It’s Their Party, and We’ll Laugh if We Want To.

Wink
Uncle Volodya says, “If ignorance is bliss, there should be more happy people.”

“Do you remember that part, in the Wizard of Oz, when the witch is dead and the Munchkins start singing? Think that kind of happiness.”

Julie Mulhern, from “The Deep End”

The New York Times is unable to contain its glee at Russia’s having had to cancel its Victory Day celebrations. There was no end of negative press directed at Putin for having not yet announced postponement or cancellation, because it looked for a bit as if Russia was going to go for herd immunity rather than bringing everything to a grinding halt, and sequestering its terrified citizens in their homes as the west has done. But finally the number of Russian infections began to rocket encouragingly upward, and something had to be done. So it was lockdown, Victory Day postponed indefinitely, and the Times couldn’t be happier.

The Times has been going downhill at quite a clip ever since the mendacious aluminum-tubes nonsense in the runup to the American invasion of Iraq, and in fact the Times was an enthusiastic promoter of that war in general, swaddling itself in righteousness when serial liar Judith Miller went to jail rather than reveal her sources. It was a ‘proud but awful moment for The Times’, but heroine Miller ‘surrendered her liberty in defense of a greater liberty’. Give me a moment, will you? I want to put on some violins.

Ah, that’s better. Inspiring, thank you, Judith. But in the end the Times’ blubbering about greater liberty looked a lot more like a heartstrings strumfest in defense of telling outrageous lies that got thousands upon thousands of innocent people killed, brought out the very worst in Americans in the grimy corridors of Abu Ghraib, and left a country so battered, demoralized and divided that it has never recovered to this day.

The foregoing is simply a measure of how far the Times has fallen, from standard-bearer for journalistic excellence to liberal demagogue, not fit to wrap fish and chips in. And the unseemly sneering and giggling of the authors of the subject piece should be regarded with the same contempt which would surely be directed at Russians who cheered at Independence Day celebrations having to be canceled in the United States – stick your tailgate parties up your tailgate, Amerikanski!

But since we’re here, let’s take a look at what a journalist’s salary at The New York Times buys you these days, shall we?

First of all, what does Victory Day celebrate? Because the Nazi surrender was actually tendered twice; it was signed May 7th, 1945 at Reims, by Alfred Jodl for Germany, Walter Bedell Smith for the Allied Expeditionary Force, and Ivan Susloparov for the Soviet High Command. But the latter was only a junior officer who did not have the authority to sign on behalf of the state, and the Soviet High Command had not approved the text of the surrender agreement. Stalin insisted on a second ceremony, said that the first ceremony constituted a preliminary agreement only, and insisted on the surrender being signed in Berlin, ‘center of Nazi aggression’.

“Today, in Reims, Germans signed the preliminary act on an unconditional surrender. The main contribution, however, was done by Soviet people and not by the Allies, therefore the capitulation must be signed in front of the Supreme Command of all countries of the anti-Hitler coalition, and not only in front of the Supreme Command of Allied Forces. Moreover, I disagree that the surrender was not signed in Berlin, which was the center of Nazi aggression. We agreed with the Allies to consider the Reims protocol as preliminary.”

Eisenhower immediately agreed, and the final Instrument of Surrender was signed May 9th, 1945, by Field-Marshal Wilhelm Keitel for Germany, Marshal Georgy Zhukov for the Soviet High Command, and Air Chief Marshal Arthur Tedder for the Allied Expeditionary Force. This is the date which has been celebrated every year since, by the Soviet Union and its inheritor, the Russian Federation.

What does it commemorate? The loss, according to credible research, of 23.8 million Soviet citizens due to war and occupation, 7.2 million of them soldiers who died on the front lines, 3.1 million more Soviet prisoners of war in German custody, .9 million dead – many of them starved to death – in the siege of Leningrad, and 2.5 million in the Jewish holocaust.

The USA lost a total of 418,500.

Victory Day is not about we-had-more-people-killed-than-you. But just to put the magnitude of Soviet losses in perspective – total deaths in World War II, what the Soviets called the Great Patriotic War, were around 60 million people. The Soviet Union accounted for nearly half the dead of the global total.

And another thing; the war was fought mostly in Europe, and if you look down the rows of national casualties, you will notice a pattern – once you add civilian casualties on to the military deaths, the total takes a huge jump. Austria; 261,000 military dead – total deaths, 384,700. Belgium, 12,100 military dead. Total deaths, 86,000. France; military deaths, 217,600. Total deaths, 567,600. You see what I mean, I’m sure.

United States of America; military deaths, 416,800. Total deaths, 418,500. 1,700 civilian deaths of American citizens. For each American soldier killed in battle, the Soviet Union lost 17.

And even the most pessimistic would have to admit that the USA came out of World War II in a pretty good position; my, yes. Incredibly, American managers of General Motors and Ford went along with the conversion of their German plants to military production at a time when U.S. government documents show they were still resisting calls by the Roosevelt administration to step up military production in their plants at home.

“When American GIs invaded Europe in June 1944, they did so in jeeps, trucks and tanks manufactured by the Big Three motor companies in one of the largest crash militarization programs ever undertaken. It came as an unpleasant surprise to discover that the enemy was also driving trucks manufactured by Ford and Opel — a 100 percent GM-owned subsidiary — and flying Opel-built warplanes.”

America profited handsomely, both by doing business with the Nazis right up until it was forced to stop, while at the same time America was churning out war materiel to support the allies as fast as factory lines could be made to run. Nice work if you can get it. The Bretton Woods agreement, concluded in 1944, abandoned the gold standard as the global currency in favour of the US greenback, putting America in the driver’s seat as the dominant world power. The Soviets were left with a country in smoking ruins, as apple-cheeked America went back to work with a whistle on its lips. Right away, muttering started about the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, which has recently exploded into accusation by the US Ambassador to Poland that Russia started the war. The Moscow Times, a militantly pro-western newspaper, ponders why Russia will not ‘confront its role in the war’, and decides it must be Putin’s fault.

“Teaching history has never been easy in Russia, where archives are closed and transparent discussions about the country’s Soviet past are met with hostility. Even then, teaching World War II is more difficult: with every year that Putin is in power, Russia fails to confront its role in the war head on.”

And now some fucking American chowderhead – in Moscow – openly snickers over the Fresh Idiot : engrishcancellation of the Victory Day parade and celebration, in between boasting about how he carries a shopping bag with him every time he decides to go out for a stroll, so police won’t challenge him on why he’s not at home.

“I prefer going out during the day, walking with my wife, shielded by a big shopping bag in the hope that the police will let us be.”

And of course, the canard we have all become accustomed to, Russia is aflame with coronavirus, with over 10.000 new cases per day for the last three days straight. As of the middle of April, Russia reported that nearly half its new cases were asymptomatic, and that proportion continues to increase – it seems reasonable to assume the high numbers result from increased testing. Deaths from coronavirus in Russia remain extremely low. 1,723 COVID victims have died, of a total 187,859 cases since the beginning of the outbreak, a mortality rate so far of .91%, about the same as the seasonal flu.

“Travel brings wisdom only to the wise. It renders the ignorant more ignorant than ever.”

Joe Abercrombie, from “Last Argument of Kings”

546 thoughts on “It’s Their Party, and We’ll Laugh if We Want To.

  1. Yes, perhaps if US citizens had been systematically murdered by invading Nazis in 1941 and had US cities been razed and the sizable US Jewish population near obliterated by the invader, then victory against Nazi Germany might still be celebrated there.

    I was so bloody annoyed with RT yesterday, when a British news presenter, who had conducted live interviews with RT journalists in Berlin and Paris, asking them how the Victory against Nazi Germany was being remembered in Germany and France, closed the interviews by saying: “Because of the time zones, here in Russia, Victory Day is celebrated tomorrow on 9th May”.

    Bloody ignorant twat!

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  2. “I prefer going out during the day, walking with my wife, shielded by a big shopping bag in the hope that the police will let us be.”

    I too go shopping with my wife and no cops stops us, either.

    Must be because they know I’m British!

    Hang on, though!

    Every day I see Orcs out shopping with their shopping bags too, and they’re not stopped either!

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    1. The difference must be that the American commentator wears the shopping bag over his head in the hope that it won’t attract police attention, even though everyone else on the street is looking at him and snickering behind his back.

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      1. Oh, I doubt it. American reporters are smarter than all the locals, because the clear air of freedom informs their thinking, and they can always go back to it when they need replenishment.

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    2. Oh, that is explained as well – “In a country with a long history of legal nihilism, the mayor’s stay-at-home pleas were not expected to gain much traction. Russia is, after all, a land where, according to popular wisdom, “the severity of the law is compensated by the laxity of its enforcement” and “when something is not allowed but is greatly desired it can be done.”

      Again, the beauty of artistic license; on the one hand, the law in Russia is just words – nobody really pays attention to it. The only people who don’t do just as they please are lazy fucking Russian puddings who can’t be bothered to think big. On the other, whenever Navalny and his hamsters want to march straight into Red Square or down major streets where they can cause a traffic jam, the oppressive hand of the law is everywhere at once and screaming children are dragged off to prison, or straight to the nearest recruiting office where they are clapped into the army before they know what they’re about. Depending on what kind of story you are writing for the New York Times, the law in Russia can be either wall-to-wall incompetence, Keystone Kops writ large, unenforceable and just going through the motions. Or it can be oppression, everywhere at once, brave liberals sweating over their keyboards at night in garrets, always waiting for that knock on the door, but so committed to getting the truth out that they risk their very lives.

      Russia can be anything you like, provided your objective is to shit on it.

      The vignette the author details above suggests that he and his wife are just out for a gratuitous stroll, to take the air – that little bit smarter than the native mugs who stay crammed into their tiny apartments, you see. It never occurs to them that all they need do is carry a shopping bag, and the cops will be either too lazy or too dumb to investigate.

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    3. Misunderstood the above!

      He’s so smart!!!

      He’s not really shopping and the dumb Orcs don’t suspect that he is fooling them!

      But I see Orcs walking around outside my Moscow house all the time, and they are not carrying shopping bags and the cops do not stop them.

      In fact, since this isolation regime has come into force, I have yet to see a cop in our neighborhood.

      At the very beginning of the “quarantine”, 2 cops came to the basketball court outside our house and told sone boys to bugger off. I am sure some old ratbag of an interfering babushka had summoned them.

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  3. And the Liberasts loathe the celebration of the victory against Nazism: they think it would have been better if the filth had won.

    They also detest all those who participate in the “Immortal Regiment” parade, saying they all receive payment to do so.

    Note the multi ethnicity of the USSR forces and citizens in the above clip.

    Remember, now, “Russians” are inveterate racists!

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  4. A very nice piece, Mark!

    Yes, the West is running on fumes just above a sludge of crap at the bottom of the gas (petrol in UK English) tank. Those fumes are information outlets like the New York Times.

    That the west has failed to come to terms with the inevitable historical shifts of power is hardly a surprise as it turns out that the Masters of the Universe (TM) were just playing dress up. The absence of an adult (viable/effective opposition) for almost twenty years on the international scene 1989-2009 has only accentuated its delirium.

    There was an article a couple of days ago, I think in Euractiv, that mentioned Putin’s 2007 Munich Security Conference multipolarity future speech, that I felt had a bitter undertone. If only things had been different.

    Now we have large numbers of ‘professionals’ in powerful jobs who were only greenhorns at the end of the Cold War and they cannot face reality.

    I would also argue that the media rot set in much earlier. Remember we were told about the Concentration Camps in Bosnia? It was all black and white. ‘Belsen ’92’ headlined one UK paper with not a shred of shame.

    NYT Yugoslavia correspondent David Binder had reported on the country throughout the 1980s but was quickly shuffled off to the Obituaries section of the paper. His more nuanced, nay informed and experienced view of the break up was not wanted.

    The left was destroyed, the right including mini-Nazis and whatever looked upon favorably as they were cleaning up the detritus of the Cold War for free! And the West has looked away for over a quarter of a century, refusing to admit that the real domestic threats come from the right despite a series of massacres and bombings and enabling fascist revision of history abroad.

    No, it’s not the 1930s again but it is a farcical pastiche almost too unbelievable to make it in to a novel that would be believed, let alone bought.

    2020 marks the year that most of those final illusions come crashing down, the almost complete end of Denial stage in the Five Stages of Grief. In reality those in power are already at the anger/negotiation stage for quite some while. At least that is where I’d put the symptom of t-Rump, the anger manufactured to sell a successful ‘negotiation.’ Illusion or delusion, there’s hardly a difference.

    So here we are, between two worlds. Others have moved on already. At least it is not boring! 😉

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    1. Thanks for the detailed and illuminating reply. I had intended to include the article only as a comment to the last post, but the more of it I read the madder I got. Did you ever notice that when American reporters are out in the world, outside their own country, they operate on a different plane than the locals? Their eyes are sharper, their knowledge of the potential complete and correct? They never need to ask for directions, they know where they’re going, while the apathetic locals flail and stumble. I suppose that’s because they’re journalists. And in his case, also because he lives there, a reality that should be changed forthwith. He should be sent packing on the next plane, back to the land of Hope and Glory where the coronavirus cases number 1,245,847 and just a whisker under 70,000 have died. Maybe he can write an article on how funny it is that Memorial Day in America will be celebrated by volunteers driving around the neighbourhood with papier-mache gravestones on the top of their cars, while the inhabitants look on from their windows. But no – May 15th will be celebrated as the day most states lift their lockdown orders. Despite the fact that the USA is the pulsing epicenter of the virus. But silly me – I was forgetting; nothing can stop old-fashioned can-do.

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      1. Exceptional is the word you are looking for, possibly.

        There was an article the other day (which I cannot find) by an (lady) American writer either in Politico or Euractiv or whatever (it might have been the Fraudian) I usually visit that addressed some of this American dichotomy. Can’t remember anything else apart from it was relevant.

        Maybe I would make and addition, sic USA = Exceptionalism+Technology. The ‘technology’ bit feeds back in to your opening words from the Wizard of Oz via Arthur C. Clarke’s words, “Any sufficiently arcane magic is indistinguishable from technology.”

        Yes, physics can and is harnessed for the betterment of human kind, but they’ve gone an extra stage and routinely apply properties it does not have, a panacea for everything including the human condition (aka being a wanker).

        So in short, science won’t save ***k if we insist on being morons.

        As for reporters, they are often little more than emissaries (yes, I’m being intentionally rude) from the home land to go boldly where no man has gone before.* Just like under the British Empire, the talented were sent out in to the world to expose foreign savagery of the other to the benefit of the circle-jerk superiors back home. And thus falls reporting on Russia which we know comes mostly from stringers who live locally and know what the wire services/papers/whatever want ($$$/€€€). Just don’t call it self-censorship (that’ll upset the BBC!), rather i<auto-preservation. I have little doubt al-Beeb s’allah makes use of such people but they prefer to pass it through their own superiority filter as home brand product.

        On the plus side, independent mostly self-funded reporters have been really good and genuine lights in the media landscape. Still you have to seek them out, discover them by link or hope they’ve been syndicated by bigger media (Taibbi/Levine etc. of The eXile springs to mind).

        Now that I’ve had dinner and am more drunk than when I started writing this, I have a question for the Stooges in light of post-1989 behavior. If the Soviet Union hadn’t managed to catch up more or less and let off their big one in 1949, do you think we (westies mostly) would have nuked the Soviet Union? I know General MacArthur wanted to nuke North Korea war and it was one of the reasons he was fired, but can we be relied upon to follow ‘da rulz’ if there is no/one/effective enforcement (That is where we’ve been at since 1989)? Again, I apologize and blame it on the Côtes du Rhône. Were the Rosenbergs right?

        * or ‘Baldly’ if you are Patrick Stewart as Jean Luc Picard.

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        1. If the Soviet Union hadn’t managed to catch up more or less and let off their big one in 1949, do you think we (westies mostly) would have nuked the Soviet Union?

          Goddamned right they would have! Japan was just a first article test. The Soviet Union was just too large and its industrial and population centers too dispersed for the limited amount of fission weapons to ensure an easy (or any) victory. We discussed this point in the far past; when the Soviets split the atom in a weapon, the efforts to destroy the SU shifted from military conquest to containment, isolation, and non-military warfare of every kind. The Bomb ensure no repeat of a Western invasions and has done so to this day.

          If FDR did not die when he did then that moron Truman would not become the yes-man simpleton type of President now so beloved by the ruling elites. Yugoslavia would not have been recreated – Serbia would be an independent nation free to pursue justice against those who committed or aided genocide right up to UK leadership.

          No use complaining. The good news is that reality is catching up with those narcissistic POSs that run the western world. We may be collateral damage but that is still better than living in a hellish world that we have (mostly) learned to ignore.

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          1. Catch up?? The Soviet Union was always a considerable distance ahead of the west in rocketry, and real professionals acknowledged it. How dangerous an enemy the Soviet Union would have been was always a political index, not really a military one, and it went back and forth depending on whether the politicians were looking for more money for the defense budget (nearly always), or thought the people might appreciate feeling superior for a bit.

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            1. Only “catch up” in terms of nuclear weapons. The SU already had the theory down pat but needed time to rebuild their industrial base to produce the considerable quantities of specialized equipment for uranium enrichment or plutonium production.

              I hope to never again hear how SU reduced safety to speed weapons development. From their perspective, it was a matter of life by developing the weapons or death by nuclear attack from the west.

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          2. Yes, I have a distant inkling in memory that we covered this at some point in the past too. But my wider questions of being able to behave despite ourselves and our most recent (current) past leads me to believe that those who argued that the Soviet Union should have the bomb too if only to stop the US from using it, were right. Without out balance we seem to be intent on destroying oursleves… usually by supidity!

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            1. I agree that credible deterrence is the way to go; if you (1) have a lot of oil, or (2) get in the way of US Foreign Policy ambitions, sooner or later it starts to think about knocking you off, and that’s really what the giant military – many times larger than actually needed for self-defense – is for. Once upon a time it used to make up elegant justifications which actually became part of its social contract to engage in warfare, because it was supposed to be just a big peaceful friend; Communism, for example, was fundamentally exclusive of freedom and democracy, and the United States just could not rest comfortably while people lived upon the earth who did not have freedom. Therefore, Communism (and everything socialist with it) had to go in favour of ‘market democracies’, which were just a little Uncle Sam gift, don’t thank me, it’s embarrassing. If you want to show your gratitude, buy something from an American company. Here; we’ll set up in your country, so you don’t have to go so far to shop. The recent international charges against Maduro for drug-running represent, I hope, the absolute nadir of US imagination, as the State Department is barely even trying now to cover its naked aggression in order to add another country to the Empire’s charm bracelet. That’s because the USA figures Venezuela would be no challenge whatsoever for its gigantic steroidal military, and it probably would not be; consequently it is increasingly frustrated that it will not just collapse on its own from sanctions exhaustion. Sanctions were supposed to be the new appropriations committee, enabling the USA to take other countries over without having to beat them up so much beforehand. So far, it isn’t working very well. But if Venezuela had a powerful, well-equipped and well-trained military which conducted regular international exercises with allies, that would give America pause. Because it does not like to expend American lives in a bloody struggle.

              Obviously it’s too late to think about that now, and Venezuela will have to muddle through somehow, because it has no extra money now and a military buildup would trigger a US strike as soon as it started. But it might be something to think about for a post-survival future, although I doubt Maduro needs any lecturing now on US relations – the die is cast now and America will have to see it through to the end, because it has gone way past brushing Maduro off and saying “I was just kidding”.

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  5. Yes, I second the above on Chief Stooge’s latest piece.

    Mrs. Exile watched TV this morning out here in the sticks, hoping to see the fly past. I told her it wasn’t due until 11:00, as it usually is at the end of the parade. But it wasn’t: it was at 10:00, at the start of the parade that wasn’t, and she missed it. So she’s got a mard lip on now.

    She told me, however, that the Evil One made a speech and promised that there would be a victory parade this year, so fuck you NYT!

    I don’t know if he said this or journalists are rumoring it, but it seems that
    June 27 is the favourite date for the postponed parade. That was the date when the first victory parade took place in Moskva in 1945.

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    1. There’s going to be a virtual online march of the “Immortal Regiment”, though. And there’s going to be a balcony “Urrrah” this evening. I remember how they used to do that in Soviet times: at 22:00, when the “Salyut” (firework display) starts all over Russia, folk used shout “Urrrah” on their balconies.

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      1. Now don’t y’all forget now! Each and everyone of those shown above as they paraded last year all over Russia received a Kremlin handout to do so!

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  6. Independent: Comedian Will Hislop goes viral for NHS clap for carers parody
    https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/comedy/news/will-hislop-clap-for-carers-nhs-parody-video-lockdown-a9506541.html

    ####

    I’m not sure giving the clap to carers is the best way of showing support either. If you know some, buy them a pint to show your appreciation. Few will turn you down.

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    1. Did the British ever celebrate Victory Europe Day in the past with nauseating BBC television re-runs of George VI and Winston Churchill’s victory speeches, the Queen giving a TV fireside chat and other shallow faux nostalgia propaganda that present an idealised 1930s Britain? I don’t recall British TV and other cultural products from the UK being as crudely one-dimensional. Even during the Thatcher terror years with Moscow Exile in prison, the propaganda was never so excruciatingly bad. British pop music (I’m thinking UB40, Scritti Politti, Bronski Beat) at the time still had some bite.

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  7. Hi Mark,
    I know this is off-topic, but I couldn’t find any alternative way to reach you.

    On your About page you say:-
    “I somehow got logged out and was unable to supply the correct password to get back in. The email address I had used to set up the blog was an old one that was closed out years back, so WordPress couldn’t send me a password reset link. ”

    This can’t possibly be true, If it was, there’d be more lost WordPress.com sites than atoms in the universe. And the World would have ceased to exist.

    I’m an (admittedly ex) WordPress developer. Admin emails are stored in the WordPress “options” table. So if your email dies (as you say yours has), you go to the “options” table (in PHPMyAdmin), and enter a new one.

    You can do this on a self-hosted WordPress site – but not on a WordPress.com hosted site. In this case, you must contact one of their “Happiness Engineers” – on their support page https://wordpress.com/go/wordpresscom/contact-wordpress-com-support/ – with your new admin email address) – and ask them to do do it for you.

    Cheers

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    1. Wish I had known that then. But it was a bit more complicated than that; the email address I used to set up the blog was tied not only to a dead address, but a dead computer; my old desktop. I set up the shaw.ca email account on that computer, and henceforth, it opened automatically every time the computer was turned on. If there was a password for it, I never knew it because I never needed one. When that computer was phased out, the shaw email went with it.

      For years I continued to run the blog, and I was almost always logged on. On the rare occasions I was logged out, I knew the password to get back on to the blog as an administrator. But then, one fateful day, the password didn’t work. I was sure it was correct, but to be absolutely sure I tried all the others I could remember as well. No go. Well, thought I, I’ll just change it. So I got hold of WordPress, and they said they could only send the new password to the account that was used to set up the blog. I did try. Anyway, I have a new one now so no problem. But thanks.

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      1. OK, so it’s a security issue then. WordPress are refusing to rescue the site in case this person with the new email isn’t the original site owner, but some scumbag hoping to take over the site (in order perhaps; to ransom it back to the original owner, insert malware into it, or simply delete it, etc).

        That’s the advantage of a self-hosted WordPress. You can use another email and password for the hosting login. And then rescue the self-hosted WordPress subsite yourself. You get a few other benefits too (which is why many people who start off on WordPress.com, migrate to self-hosted when they hit the big-time). It’s another ca. $100 a year for hosting – and perhaps $20 for a domain name. But well-worth it for the extra features/security.

        If you stay with WordPress.com, they must have a whole range of auto-backup features. You should set these up, to save your site (say once a day or once a week), to somewhere other than WordPress.com (and accessible via some other email and password to the WordPress.com site). There are lots of other ways to trash or lose access to your WordPress site than just losing the admin email/password.

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          1. Sorry Mark, I can see that you’ve got this all sorted.

            But have you considered what would happen if hot war were to break out between the West and Russia? In this case, pro-Russian blogs like the New Kremlin Stooge might be shut down. WordPress.com would have no choice but do as they’re told (and shut your site down). And even if you were self-hosted, the ISP concerned would almost certainly be forced to do the same thing. So it’s quite possible you’d then lose the New Kremlin Stooge too.

            Of course, you might have been nuked or imprisoned or shot or COVID-20’d or COVID-21’d, etc as well. So with hot WW3 raging, the site might be the least of your worries. But assuming that you still had a life left to live, and were still interested in running the site, an up-to-date backup – on both Western and non-Western servers – and/or on DVDs at home, might be very valuable.

            I don’t expect you to reply to this. You should obviously keep whatever precautions you do or don’t take to yourself.

            Cheers.

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            1. Again, good and sensible advice. I don’t expect a war of any kind beyond the nitpicking and economic jabs that are the current environment to take place between the USA and Russia during my lifetime, and I don’t write for a living, so WordPress taking the blog down would not put my nose out of joint much. I write because I like it, and I would just start up another and be a little more careful how I phrased my grievances, although it’s difficult to imagine how the United States could continue to blather about freedom of speech in that event – it’s difficult enough to swallow it now. But backups are a good idea, thank you for it.

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  8. If you like topical comedy, the BBC’s News Quiz is quite funny and very British. It alternates series with the Now Show, the latter being more moany, a bit bitter and not as funny:

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02pc9pj/episodes/downloads

    There’s TV version of it called Have I got news for you:

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006mkw3

    That’s Hislop pater on the left, editor of the famously satirical and much sued Private Eye magazine – that our local kiosk here in-continent has too..

    https://www.private-eye.co.uk/

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  9. al-Beeb s’Allah: Coronavirus: Belarus WW2 parade defies pandemic and upstages Putin

    the Fraudian: Victory Day: Belarus swaggers on parade as Russians leave Red Square deserted
    ####

    An Ode to (main stream) Reporters.

    Yes, I know the authors a title don’t make,
    But wanking in to a handkerchief does not sex equate!
    Thus sleeping with dogs is illegal, I do not lie,
    So just keep you legs together, now f/k off and die!

    et Al, May 9 2020.

    As Russia re-configures towards the East where all the significant future growth will be, less the need to come to u-Rope’s rescue (again) from its marvelously clever self-f/kery.

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  10. Hurrah! I have my blogroll back! I’m just starting to build it. At some point in the frequent rollouts of new WordPress features, they added a ‘WP Admin’ button, which gives access to the ‘Links’ page and allowed me to eliminate those irritating default links, as well as add new ones. So, I’m just getting started, but among the must-sees I stumbled across while starting out with links I knew I wanted to add right away are one discussing the coronavirus (haven’t even read all of it myself yet) at Club Orlov;

    https://cluborlov.blogspot.com/2020/05/gaslighting-coronavirus.html

    and a great article, very much on point with this post, at Irrussianality, detailing the absolutely flabbergasting Joint Statement on the Anniversary of the End of the Second World War, on the USA’s State Department website. The Nazis get one mention – the rest is non-stop Russia is evil.

    https://irrussianality.wordpress.com/2020/05/08/joint-statement-on-the-75th-anniversary-of-the-end-of-the-second-world-war/

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    1. How long has it been necessary to subscribe to Club Orlov? It seems that it was only quite recently when I last visited that blog and it was not behind a paywall then.

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      1. I’m glad you brought that up, because I was just about to address it. It seems to be the way things are going; with the weakening of the market for print media, more and more newspapers are making most or all of their content subscriber-only; the Washington Post, Bloomberg, The Economist…the New York Times tried it as well, but it’s kind of on-again/off-again. I would not subscribe to any of those outlets because I like to read them. However, I used to get a lot of ideas for posts from stories in them that infuriated me with their stupidity.

        I’m not sure what Dmitry Orlov does for a living, but if he is exclusively a writer when he’s not sailing around, I suppose he is entitled to charge a fee for his product, and I have found it consistently excellent and well-sourced, much like John Helmer’s work (although that is still free). Orlov’s blog is only $2.50 a month at the basic level of subscriber, and that’s cheap enough for me. I encourage readers to subscribe at the same level, because it’s an excellent resource. In this case, I had just skipped over it very quickly, because I wanted to add it to the blogroll. I read the first couple of paragraphs, divined that it was not only about the coronavirus, but vindicated many of my own beliefs, and went elsewhere to add another site. I did not notice until I came back to it that it was now subscription-only.

        So I’ll copy a few salient points for everyone, and they can judge for themselves if they are willing to pay a couple of bucks for that kind of content. It was not all about the coronavirus – it started out about that, and sort of segued into the precarious position the USA is now in economically. So that’s why it may look like two different posts; I am just excerpting at random: the entire post is much too long to copy. Presuming you have read as much of the post as was already included as a teaser before it became subscriber-only…

        “First, let’s handle the question of vaccination. There is a measles vaccine, yet it kills 140,000 a year. There is a pneumococcus vaccine, yet it kills between 2 and 2.5 million a year. There is a hepatitis B vaccine, yet it kills 140,000. There is a tetanus vaccine, yet it kills 89,000 annually. There is a rotavirus vaccine, yet it kills 800,000. There is a HPV vaccine, yet it kills 250,000. There is a tuberculosis vaccine, yet it kills 1.5 million. There is an influenza vaccine, yet it kills 650,000 to 1 million a year. None of these are considered pandemics, cause entire economies to be shut down, or call for any extraordinary measures at all.

        And then there is the novel coronavirus which has killed 218,187 people to date (the vast majority of them very old and/or very sick)—and this is considered to be a problem to be solved with all possible haste. Some infectious disease experts have suggested that the entire populace may be required to shelter in place until a vaccine becomes available. Meanwhile, deaths from the novel coronavirus largely fit within the usual mortality of the flu season. The northern hemisphere winter was warmer than usual, and some of the elderly and sick people who would have been killed off by any of the usual influenza viruses (including other coronaviruses) during any of the previous three flu seasons were claimed by the novel coronavirus.

        But even this is uncertain because it is unclear whether these 218,187 deaths were actually caused by the coronavirus or whether the coronavirus just happened to be present in their bodies at the time of death. Furthermore, a lot of people were diagnosed as suffering from this coronavirus based on symptoms which are not too different from those caused by other viral agents. Lastly, the vast majority of those who have died from it had what are called comorbidities. Elderly immunocompromised morbidly obese diabetics with high blood pressure, cancer and other potential fatal ailments have been particularly susceptible. If you discard all fatal cases with comorbidities and only consider young healthy people, then the number of deaths where the new coronavirus is obviously the root cause may turn out to be as low as zero.

        Confirmed novel coronavirus cases number less than 3,147,626 worldwide, which is 0.04% of the world’s population. This barely adds up to a cough and a sneeze. As this virus has spread throughout the world the increase in cases has slowed, but the number of confirmed cases could yet double or even triple, adding up to as much as three coughs and three sneezes. But then the World Health Organization enters the fray. The WHO makes gratuitous use of appellations such as “world” and “health” but is actually a semi-private entity lavishly financed by Bill Gates and Big Pharma, which is owned by a handful of highly inbred oligarchic entities that include Vanguard, BlackRock, Capital Group, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Northern Trust and State Street, which in turn own each other in various convoluted ways. WHO’s main function is to scare people into getting vaccinated and accepting expensive drug regimens (barely half of which do any good at all), thus funneling resources toward Big Pharma.

        The World Health Organization establishes thresholds to determine whether to declare an influenza epidemic that range between 2.5% and 5%. The novel coronavirus misses the mark by a thousand-fold, yet the WHO has declared it to be the cause of a global pandemic. If this seems like an extreme overreaction, that is because this is an extreme overreaction. Some conspiratorially-minded people may surmise that this is a conspiracy, but it isn’t. It is yet another blatant attempt to confiscate a chunk of the world’s wealth by requiring it to buy something worthless, just like this same set of medical/financial interests did with the relatively worthless Tamiflu antiviral medication during the H1N1 swine flu pandemic of 2009-10 which caused a mere 18,036 deaths worldwide. This is a specific group pursuing its own group interests.”

        Then he went into how the Chinese and the Russians are respectively manipulating the coronavirus in their own countries for their own ends…

        “The Chinese have taken the novel coronavirus outbreak as a chance to train for repelling a biological warfare attack. To argue that this coronavirus is indeed the agent of a biowarfare attack is to argue for something extremely stupid because it just isn’t effective as a biowarfare agent. It’s almost as bad as Novichok, which was touted as being able to wipe out entire armies but only managed to sicken five people and kill just one of them. It doesn’t matter whether this coronavirus leaked out of a dead bat or a biowarfare lab, or both—it just isn’t any good as a weapon. But the Chinese government imposed extreme, unprecedented controls over much of the population and the economy. The Russians followed suit, with the difference that while the Chinese saw these extreme measures as temporary, setting up makeshift hospitals, the Russians seized on them as a chance to fundamentally upgrade the entire health care system, setting it up to effectively handle any future biological warfare attacks.

        In doing so, the Chinese and the Russians pursued different goals. The Chinese need to find a way to stop shipping actual physical manufactured goods to the US in exchange for pieces of paper or promises to pay, all of which are about to become worthless, without triggering a dangerous escalation. The need to do so with all necessary haste became obvious in mid-August of 2019, when it turned out that banks were no longer willing to accept US Treasury debt instruments as collateral for overnight loans. These were supposedly the safest investments in the world that made up the world’s largest and most liquid financial market—until it turned out that they weren’t that at all.”

        And on the American economy…

        “There are two important global processes which, while they will affect the US particularly severely, go far beyond its geographic confines. One is the still relatively gradual process of dethroning the US dollar from its position of dominance. Until the coronavirus pandemic disrupted much of the global economy, most of its participants were interested in preserving some measure of stability to the dollar system. But now that trade has already been disrupted, an opening has been created to dump the dollar without necessarily causing economic damage significantly worse than already exists. The actions of the Federal Reserve, which is in the process of monetizing a large proportion of existing US government debt and virtually all of the new debt being issued to cover the ever-growing budget deficit, are undermining the dollar as well. Although the term “debt monetization” is being used to describe what’s happening, issuing currency with which to buy up worthless promissory notes stretches the definition of “debt” beyond any reasonable limit, while “monetization” is far too dignified a term for such a desperate delaying tactic. As a consequence, some analysts do not see US dollar-based global financial system holding up too far beyond this year.

        The other process is the rapid transition of the US from the world’s largest producer of oil to one of the smallest, because the fracking bonanza has largely run its course. It has never really made any money, since fracked oil is, for technological reasons, always too expensive to sustain economic growth. And now, with an economic depression setting in, economies at a standstill and oil futures trading in the negative territory (where market participants are willing to pay producers to get out of having take delivery of the oil when the contract matures) the fracking industry is going bankrupt, production is falling, and in less than a year it is likely to be down by as much as 70%. At that point, any attempt at economic recovery in the US will involve having to start importing large quantities of oil from a world supply that, with the exception of fracked oil from the US, hasn’t expanded much since 2005.”

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        1. My view is that despite this being all highly disruptive, it will prepare us all for the inevitable outbreak of a truly deadly virus that will also kill the young and healthy too (hopefully not cats). The world is becoming ever more globalized, transmission chains and time seriously shortened. There will be no escape even on the periphery. A biological version of Neville Shute’s On the Beach.

          Handling this well (in future) is eminently doable without even losing a (metaphorical) bollock. It is basic stuff and really shouldn’t be ‘a thing.’ The WHO is a redirection nothing burger for those who are responsible for the abrogation of national competence. Decisions are still taken at the national level, no? The WHO is a spokesbody and therein it does have a role to play. It is neither free from political inteference or influence just like every other international organization.

          Fortunately, Asia has shown the common-sense that we in the old world have lost through our own arrogance and self-importance. We should be humiliated, but we are not. We’re too busy blaming others.

          This CoVid-19 outbreak has provided everyone with a crystal clear warning of precisely how incompetent many nation states are over basic provision of health and pandemic planning in the 21st Century. This isn’t 1918. Things are supposed to have moved on a bit but it has exposed the ideology of cuts, penny-pinching and not-give-a-f/kery over common-sense by those elected (by us) to provide responsible government. They’ve been warned multiple times about the risks, not to mention the series of other outbreaks in this century. Still, they’re rather more interested in squeaking out ever leaner efficiencies to maximize profit.

          I’m not worried about the planet, we’ll knock ourselves off first.

          Happy Mothers Day!

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        2. My initial feeling was that the initial reaction of Putin, Trump and Johnson was to let the thing burn itself out and maybe put the effort into looking after the most at risk. The Imperial College thing seems to be the reason why Trump and Johnson went to lockdown and that left me puzzled why Putin did. Orlov’s piece gave me the idea that maybe, after talking to Xi, Putin decided to use it as a test of Russia’s ability to handle a bioattack. Notice that Russia is actually building specialised hospitals around the country rather than just (as in the West) temporarily re-purposing large facilities. We’ll probably never know but it’s a thought I will keep in the Maybe File.

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          1. Agreed; I could think of no good reason for it, and consequently Orlov’s speculation came as a revelation. Again, it’s only speculation on his part, but it does make sense and fits with the Sino-Russian concept of every experience being a teachable moment, to be wrung for such lessons as it may yield.

            It is fairly well-known that Johnson’s initial plan was to go for herd immunity and just say bollocks to social distancing, but something caused him to abruptly reverse himself after the UK had already started a pretty respectable infection curve. I’m not familiar with the ‘Imperial College thing’; could you enlighten me? I do know that impatience at being shut in with no job is increasingly unpopular with people everywhere it prevails, and governments are having a harder time keeping the lid on. I can only imagine it is the same for Putin’s government.

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              1. I see; thanks for that. I remember reading mentions of a study which forecast incredible death tolls, but didn’t realize that was it. Well, no way they could have done anything else, in the face of that – 2.2 million deaths in the US, and more than half a million in the UK.

                I don’t suppose they will ever be called to account for their fearmongering quackery. To nobody’s surprise, I’m sure, the Imperial College receives generous grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the most recent in March of this year – just shy of $80 Million, to develop a new tool for malaria control and elimination in sub-Saharan Africa.

                https://www.gatesfoundation.org/How-We-Work/Quick-Links/Grants-Database/Grants/2020/03/OPP1210755

                Nor was that the only one, by a long chalk; 80 donations between 2006 and 2018. This website does ask that a disclaimer be included that the data are preliminary; final development is not expected to be achieved until 2022. But at first glance, it looks like the full amount will run into quite a few decimal places.

                https://donations.vipulnaik.com/donorDonee.php?donor=Bill+and+Melinda+Gates+Foundation&donee=Imperial+College+London

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                1. An under-reported fact in the US is the abundance of empty ICUs and now a surplus of ventilators. A nearby city is laying off 2,500 medical personnel for lack of work (presumably mobilized for the pandemic).

                  IIRC, a local story blew the whistle on a staged waiting line for Covid-19 testing; most of the people in line (including medical volunteers who had nothing to do) were asked to to stand in line to provide video footage for a network news team.

                  Saw this clever play on words – plandemic.

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                2. Ha, ha!! Dear God. Well, I hope he doesn’t lose his tasty bit on the side over this – he’ll probably top himself. She looks quite yummy. But it’s always the same, innit? Those who make up the rules get a great kick out of it, but feel free to disregard them themselves as soon as they get in the way.

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            1. This morning I spotted a poster attacking UK minister Matt Hancock at a prominent site next to a busy roundabout. On my return from the shops around 20 minutes later it had been defaced. More will follow I’m sure.

              The same kind of central government v devolved governments putrid little game of daring each other to go ahead and relax restrictions which is ongoing in the UK and the USA is also going on in Spain. All so that cowardly politicians don’t lose face over their monumental mishandling of the phonydemic. On Saturday I learned that eight weeks into the supposed greatest health crisis since the Black Death no Covid19 protocol has been established for emergency service call-outs to care homes for the elderly. You might imagine that data such as the current known level of infection on site might be useful to supply to incoming crews so that they can arrive properly kitted out for rapid delivery of assistance.

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              1. Makes one wonder if the virus response is being managed at some level to cull the old and frail to reduce health care costs. The obvious vulnerability of nursing home residents combined with the apparent lack of resources specifically devoted to protecting those individuals suggests high level scheming in that regard.

                It was only a few months ago that we exceptional people were told that masks were useless and unneeded (except for health care workers who desperately needed them for self-protection). It is likely that policy lead to a rapid spread in the vulnerable population.

                It is remarkable how quickly the “masks are useless” directive has been officially forgotten. Now, it’s all about how China allowed us to mishandle the situation.

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                1. Reduction of care costs could have been a significant factor. Around 15 years ago I was informed by a local government solicitor that the average debt secured by the social security provision covering care home costs for homeowners was “well into six figures” – her exact words. In other words, where someone became too frail physically or mentally to live independently at home, by the time person died the total amount due to be deducted from the estate as owing for care was far in excess of £100k.

                  15 or so years ago, remember. Developments since then including wider awareness of clawback provisions have probably exacerbated the costs problem for local governments as family liferent schemes and other HASSASSA avoidance or attempted avoidance strategies have been used to try to preserve the sacred equity.

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                2. I would think not, only because no apparent effort has been made to ensure infection of the homeless in their cardboard cities, and wipe them out. Here, as I have mentioned before, Mayor Helps has given them a city park to use as their own squalid state, constantly refers to them tenderly as ‘our most vulnerable’, and provides them no end of services, all for free on the taxpayer. If your ambitions are modest, there is no real incentive to work.

                  If it were all part of a diabolical plan, you would think that plan would allow for taking out the ‘useless eaters’ among the poor and helpless, as well as the old.

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                3. It certainly looks that way but such a plot requires a competence that our political elites (at least in the UK) just don’t have. Unfortunately, we’re led by the shallow, ignorant and inexperienced who responded to a serious health problem with blind panic. It’s common sense that a virus, which is particularly dangerous for the elderly, shouldn’t be let out to play in care homes; that steps should have been taken to protect the vulnerable rather than putting everyone under house arrest while destroying their livelihoods. But common sense is a bit like common courtesy, not actually that common when you get right down to it.

                  Professor Neil Ferguson (he of the 500,000 deaths forecast) and his Imperial College team have a dire track record of forecasting in previous health crises, consistently wrong by an order of magnitude. Yet it seems that no-one in government or our once highly competent civil service had either the skills or time to query his forecasting model and the assumptions he made. The fact that he broke the lockdown, introduced as a result of his forecast, in order to dally with his mistress, does kind of suggest he doesn’t believe in his own figures.

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                4. Yes, it sounds as if you are right. I suppose one reason it looks like a well-managed conspiracy is that it was such a startlingly stupid thing to do – it’s difficult to imagine people would willingly cause such destruction without the slightest look to the future.

                  Johnson is an idiot, but his first instinct – or apparently so, I suppose it might have been just paralysis – was the correct one; proceed as normal, no reason to believe this is the Black Death.

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              2. It’s almost like the ‘pandemic’ is just an excuse for something, and the rest is just going through the motions.

                On relaxation of restrictions, it’s mostly a game of feeling for the level of restriction the public will tolerate, because it is so grateful for the degree of freedom allowed it. I imagine when stores are opened, they’re going to want Soviet-style lineups outside, social-distancing 6 feet apart, because only 50 people are allowed inside at any one time. So they can social-distance inside as well, as if that were somehow an effective contagious-virus countermeasure, the way grocery stores are now. And 50 seems to be the magic number no matter the size of the store, except for kiosks which are only allowed to serve one person inside at a time.

                The local pizza hotspot, Romeo’s, seems to be doing a land-office business, and is probably making money. They only serve take-out now, no inside service, so they only have to pay the cooks and perhaps two counter-service persons; no waitresses or waiters or busboys. And the line outside frequently is about a quarter-mile. But they still have to pay their rent based on the size of the building, which is wasteful – look for perhaps quite a few businesses switching to take-out only in the course of time, and renting smaller premises. Because of course The Authorities are going to want social-distancing inside restaurants as well as we emerge, to preserve the illusion that they knew what they were about.

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    2. If you’re interested in adding another blog to the NKS blogroll, you might consider adding The Gray Zone (the prominent writers of which are founder / editor Max Blumenthal, Ben Norton, Aaron Maté, Anya Parampil and Rania Khalek).

      Some of us may recall, Aaron Maté interviewed Luke Harding over his latest book on Julian Assange and Harding cut him off after Maté’s questioning got too much for Tintin to handle.

      Blumenthal, Norton and Khalek have also done some good reporting on the Western war against Syria although initially they had supported the jihadis against Bashar al Assad in the belief that they represented a genuine opposition.

      Here is a recent example of the work The Gray Zone has done:

      Ben Norton, “Russian Journalists accuse NY Times of stealing stories that earned it the Pulitzer Prize – for second time”

      “The New York Times has been accused for a second time of stealing major scoops from Russian journalists. One of those stories won the Times a Pulitzer Prize this May.

      The journalists who have accused the Times of taking their work without credit also happen to be the same liberal media crusaders against Vladimir Putin[my emphasis] that Western correspondents at the Times and other mainstream outlets have cast as persecuted heroes …

      As Yasha Levine further down the page says, the NYT takes whatever it wants from whomever has got it, without giving anything back or acknowledging any help or assistance, if it thinks it can get away with it because it believes that, like the Empire it serves, it is Exceptional.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sorry, I was right about Aaron Maté questioning Luke Harding about his book and Harding cutting him off over his interrogation but wrong about the subject matter of Harding’s book. Maté had been quizzing Harding about “Collusion”, the latest work of fiction from Harding’s fevered mind claiming that Trump and Putin had indeed colluded to win the 2016 US Presidential election for Trump.
        https://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2018/10/06/watch-aaron-mate-destroy-russiagate-propagandist-and-collusion-author-luke-harding/

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        1. i posted the video of said interview several days ago on the previous thread when dscussing what a wally Harding is.

          For your delight and delectation, here it is again:

          Harding gets a mard lip on at the end and buggers off like the soft-arse that he is.

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        2. Thank you Jen, Methinks Luke Harding is a close friend of the Institute for Statecraft. I must say that interview was sublime with Aaron Mate softly tearing Harding to shreds.

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  11. Thanks for your latest, Mark.

    And thanks also to others for excellent comments.

    The shallowness of much of Western culture is depressing.

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      1. It did not fail. It is not how I wished it to link. It is a video of the new cathedral for the armed forces.

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    1. Yes!

      Strange to say, completed during this pandemic that threatens civilization, as Dimka said a few weeks ago. I hope the construction workers all wore masks and regularly washed their hands.

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      1. Speaking of that, as I am slowly rebuilding my blogroll, I came across this in Tony Cartalucci’s ‘Land Destroyer’.

        https://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2020/04/the-massive-covid-19-hoax.html

        We were right from the beginning. The international health officials will struggle for awhile yet, but someday somebody will have some ‘splainin’ to do. Unless they’re going to try that horseshit that social distancing and clapping for frontline workers stopped it dead. And that’s unlikely, because the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is the development of a vaccine, which all nations will buy and stockpile.

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    2. Jesus H Christ. That is impressive in design and execution. The Western equivalent of a spiritual center is Wall Street where greed and narcissism are idolized.

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    1. These damned links are not doing what I want them to do. I am using an iPhone and I have just not got the hang of pasting links when using it. No problem with a PC, but with this contraption, everything is going awry.

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  12. And don’t forget: the US army liberated Auschwitz as well!

    This is what happens when you have a moron and his sycophants as president.

    Please tell me it would have been worse having that maniacal criminal liar Clinton as president …

    See:

    Online Rage as White House Dubs US, Britain ‘Victors Over Nazis’ Without Mentioning USSR

    I’m upstairs in our dacha cottage now using my laptop that sends smoke signals up the chimney and not in the kitchen, where I was earlier and using my iPhone, so everything is going hunky dory now, I hope, as regards pasting links.

    In addition, I should like to point out to Chief Stooge that I am not yet a grandfather, although many indeed think that my children are my grandchildren. I have to say, though, that Russians in general address all men over 60 as “granddad” out of respect. But Chief Stooge is not Russian, albeit he is married to one.

    I may soon become a grandfather, though, as my lounge-lizard son has been suffering voluntary isolation at his girlfriend’s apartment for a fortnight now, following her parents’ decision to bugger off to the country, as I too have done. So poor old Vova is being cared for by his doting Anastasia, who cooks for him, whilst his mother, Natalya, sends him money online.

    Poor lad! My heart bleeds for him.

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    1. The Russian Federation Armed Forces Cathedral and museum complex is just down the road from my country estate, a 30 minute drive away along the Minsk Highway, heading towards Moskva. at Kubinka, where the historic 2nd Guards Tank Corps is based and where a huge tank museum is situated.

      I shall have to visit the place, but I shall have to go there by local train, as I am not a driver. I shall wait until this unnecessary quarantine hysteria has ended before I go there.

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      1. It looks fascinating, and I would be very interested in the tank museum. I visited the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa, and the whole basement is full of old tanks and artillery pieces and vehicles of various types. I saw a Sherman there, and could not believe how rudimentary and primitive it looked.

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        1. About Kubinka tank museum
          Central museum of the armored vehicles and the weapons, Kubinka, Moscow region.

          Unfortunately, the gamer who uploaded the above video decided to add stupid, wailing, noisy, cacophonous “music” to the clip.

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          1. If you pay the place a visit, my dacha is about 28 kms / 16 miles down the road, so call in, if you wish!

            When writing earlier, I thought it was closer to our dacha. Must be because I whizz through Kubinka on the train and the next main stops are Tuchkova and Dorokhova, the latter place being the stop for my landed estate.

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    1. Seems odd the researcher is shot everywhere in the head, torso and extremities. Is that usually the modus operandi of people engaged in murder-suicide? I would have thought as soon as the shooter sees the victim bleeding heavily from the head or the part of torso where vital organs are, s/he wouldn’t waste any more bullets shooting into the victim’s arms and legs, if s/he also intends to take his/her own life.

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  13. Euractiv: Chizhov: Coronavirus cannot diminish the significance of Victory Day
    https://www.euractiv.com/section/global-europe/interview/chizhov-coronavirus-cannot-diminish-the-significance-of-victory-day/

    In a wide-ranging interview, Russian Ambassador to the EU, Vladimir Chizhov, discussed Victory Day, Russia’s relations with its wartime allies, conspiracy theories about COVID-19, sanctions, disinformation and more.
    ####

    All at the link.

    Again, what is the point of ‘main stream journalism’? Chizov is a slick diplomat who more than ably bats away Gotev’s lazy and repetitive accusations. Just keep on asking the same questions in the hope that the answers (and reality) might magically change? It’s just a another wasted opportunity, avenues not taken, questions not asked. Clichés and stereotypes.

    Sanctions have failed and are going nowhere. Containment doesn’t work in a globalized world except somewhat arguable for small countries like Venezuela or i-Ran, but the amount of political time and economic energy spent for such little return delivers is nothing much more than pointless punishment, and creating even more enemies.

    In macro, I guess Russian (and China) are just having to wait for the west to sort out its own identity issues without deliberately inflaming relations, save for when pushback is necessary. Is this century the west’s existential crisis of identity & bellybutton wiggling why me!? It’s all very freudian.

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    1. Again while rebuilding the blogroll, which is fairly laborious as I have to select each site from the old blogroll and determine which ones are still active (a surprising number have been taken over by happy-crappy Chinese advertisements for online gambling, probably by a low-level hack), I often scan the current posts to determine when they were posted (I dropped everyone who hasn’t been active for a couple of years) and whether they still have more or less the same content. It amazed me that the west was so slow and bumbling at recognizing that its actions were actually pushing China and Russia together, even though such an alliance was most decidedly not in American interests. Well, they realize it now, but are trapped with another dunderhead president who thinks with his gut, and policymaking to reverse the mistake is probably too little, far too late.

      https://russiamil.wordpress.com/2020/04/29/an-emerging-strategic-partnership-trends-in-russia-china-military-cooperation/

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      1. I skimmed the article. Curiously when writing that if Russia doesn’t hand over its military crown jewels it won’t be long before China has its own better ones that will gut Russian military exports, only one mention is made of rather critical jet engines, military or civilian. Quite the oversight but I guess that’s not the point of the anal-ysis. Mutually co-operative development etc. like proper allies doesn’t seem to get a look in.

        It’s full of clichéd howlers too like (early on) …China refused to help Russia overcome the effects of Western economic sanctions and bilateral trade and trade in national currencies has remained limited, with little diversification of trade and investments…/…Russia remains concerned over potential Chinese encroachment into the Russian Far East… , not to mention it finishes with ‘How Should the United States Respond?’ All in all it is a cherry picked article of maybe/could be/whatever be produced to appeal to a certain audience.

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  14. And on and on it goes!

    In my Yandex Zen today:

    Would you like someone deciding for you whether you are worthy of a vacation abroad or not?

    A huge number of our compatriots did not like that Maria Zakharova in her interview decided to divide people into worthy and unworthy.

    Only she didn’t say that, but no matter.

    In fact, a Khodorkovsky media outlet said that she said that and the Bullshitter recreated the accusation.

    First comment to the above blog statement asks: “And who are these Navalny people and his bots?”

    source

    Zen creates a feed of content that automatically adjusts to the interests of a user. The selection of content is based on the analysis of browsing history, user-specified preferences, location, time of day and other factors.

    Zen has a weekly active user audience of more than 20 million.

    So if you search the Bullshitter on Yandex, you get inundated with such shite as above.

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    1. And of course, no “huge number” is given for that alleged “huge number”: no source quoted, no data, no stats- no nothing!

      Like

    2. I’m sure I don’t need to say any more about publicity being lifeblood to Navalny. And every time someone clicks on his clickbait headlines, aggregators such as you describe note their interest in Navalny, and the become, ipso-facto, Navalny ‘supporters’. Sooner or later he will either go to the provocation well too often, and interest will fade, or go too far in pursuit of new numbers and get smacked flat. But it should be an abject lesson to the Russian government that they were far better off ignoring him. At present he is just outrageously fishing, trying to keep the confrontation going.

      What constitutes ‘a huge number’? And how did they become Team Navalny’s ‘compatriots’?

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  15. The Bullshitter’s going to be out of a job if he doesn’t watch it!

    Then the closet Russian nationalist had to correct himself:

    Alexey said he was not a foreign spy, but why then is everything in English? Maybe I’m a fool?

    Like

    1. I imagine the Bullshitter follows the White House Twitter feed quite closely, constantly looking for what his own worldview should reflect and keeping a sharp lookout for grifting opportunities to schnorr funds. He has likely gleaned from the comments on the site how insulted most of the rest of the world was, excepting Great Britain and Germany itself, and thought it would be politic to voice a respectful objection. I’m actually kind of glad they made that ridiculous and vain Tweet, because it really rallied support for the Soviet Union, not to mention the anger for their own countries’ exclusion. I hope that Tweet is what they remember the next time Uncle Sammy is trying to throw together another Coalition of the Willing to go beat up some hapless nation. All the replies should read, “Why don’t you and Great Britain go do it yourselves? You always win, right? So what’s the problem?”

      Here’s the post they should have made widely available, and might have, had spiteful children like Pompeo not been in charge.

      http://us-russia.org/6298-honor-these-us-and-soviet-vets-coronavirus-or-not-meetingontheelbe.html

      As such sites have pointed out, there probably won’t be too many vets alive to commemorate the 80th, so this was the last chance for many of them to have a glorious celebration – or ‘morbid’, if you’re a New York Times reporter. And dicks like the US government chose to go for the cheap laugh.

      Like

  16. An interesting piece on popular feeling in Italy, at least at the end of March, on its treatment by its fellow European states. I was surprised to see that 67% of Italians consider continued membership in the EU ‘useless’. Perhaps when things settle down a little, Italy will be looking to leave. On second thought, perhaps not, because it is deep in debt slavery and Brussels would very likely demand it settle up on its way out the door.

    https://katehon.com/article/italy-must-never-forgetor-forgive

    Like

    1. Someone has to offer a credible alternative. They’ve seen that vague promises doen’t really go far in a supposedly competent UK. The irony is people talk big but don’t want to pay the price, literally. I’m thinking of my very educated Greek friend who argued to keep the Euro but complained about German imposed measures…

      Like

    2. Eric Striker used to write for The Daily Stormer, now he’s writing for Katehon, an organization bankrolled by Russian billionairie Konstantin Malofeev, who has been dubbed “the anti-Soros” in some publications.

      Daily Stormer was kicked by every domain host following Charlottesville, until it found .su (the official Soviet Union domain, read the wiki entry for it).

      I have no problem with any of this, just mentioning. Andrew Anglin lived in the Philippines for a period, teaching English there, he even met and shook hands with future president Duterte.

      Malofeev has some big projects in Russia. He founded an elite school where the conservative rich send their children:

      It’s a DW documentary, if you don’t have enough time, then watch between 6:20 and 9:15. They managed to find an oppositionist of sorts, fancy that! Considering the girl’s comments at the end, she has been given a solid education & taught common sense, but is somewhat corrupted by pervasive Western influence, like many young Russians, via the internet.

      Moscow Exile has noticed this problem lately with the Russian youth, at least in the internet. In reality, this has been an ongoing process for several years, and has an explanation.

      The problem of Western influence is compounded by the fact that conservative and nationalist voices in big tech are being sistematically censored — there was undisputedly internet freedom prior to 2015, nationalist voices were abundant back in the day — and this censorship is growing worse, I have documented DOZENS of such bans (the ones I used to follow only) on Twitter and YouTube, often people with large following numbering in the tens/hundreds of thousands, so Russians like this girl who ‘surf’ the AngloNet will find nothing but approved Trotskyite gibberish and your run of the mill cuckservative who will agree with the Trotskyite in ten years’ time.

      I don’t have a Facebook, but I know it’s happening over there too. Often, the ban happens at once in these ‘big tech’ sites (internet monopolies), which have different owners (YouTube belongs to Google, Instagram to Facebook, Twitter to Jack Dorsey). The decision to target nationalist voices are being taken at a higher level. Sometimes a leftist critic of US foreign policy, be it a publication or user, will be banned too. The so-called ‘woke’ type, who subscribe to Frankfurt School-derived ideologies on gender and race, is dominant and left to babble at will by big tech. In other words, young Russians who have a good command of English are being exposed to feminism, gay activism and anti-white politics via the internet.

      The girl in the documentary is a perfect example of this environment. I have total sympathy for the Russian government’s plan regarding internet sovereignty, if it comes to that. It wouldn’t be necessary if the AngloNet was a free marketplace of ideas. Alas, these days are over.

      By the way, soon after The Unz was censored by Facebook, they took aim at VDare. These are the two latest victims of a long list.

      Like

  17. Ha, ha!! Jen called it! Well, maybe not exactly, I can’t remember her precise prediction for Greenland in America’s planning. But she definitely was closest – Greenland is to be the USA’s base of operations for eventual control of the Arctic.

    “At the same time, one can conclude from various US sources that there will be competition for the Arctic. On 23 April, Danish and US officials announced a $12 million financial and diplomatic package for Greenland to “open a consulate on the island in a bid to strengthen mutual ties and counter growing Russian and Chinese interests in the Arctic.”

    https://orientalreview.org/2020/05/05/the-hegemon-wont-leave/

    Like

    1. I think I did read an article that Mark linked to in a previous comment, noted that the Americans were establishing a consulate with NGOs to be headquartered there and mentioned that, followed by a prediction that a US military base might soon follow and Greenlanders would suddenly be entertained and bemused by more Danish largesse in the form of larger subsidies for social welfare or more frequent visits by members of the Danish royal family.

      Like

          1. Its odd that both MoA and The Saker will not accept any commentary that suggests to any degree that Covid-19 was anything other than a naturally occurring virus. Seems a bit hasty to shutdown the discussion. I can see a need to throttle back wacko theories but there is enough credible evidence that the human hand was involved in the creation of these particular strains of the Corona virus. Several high-powered scientists say as much. It may all amount to nothing but, again, its way to early to declare FINAL TRUTH.

            Like

            1. Yes, I agree. It might well be a naturally-occurring virus, although that French epidemiologist was filling everyone full of how it had malaria and HIV spliced into it, presumably to make it more debilitating. That’s the very foundation of genetic biowarfare – take a common rhinovirus (the common cold), which is very infectious but not particularly dangerous, and add elements to it to make it very debilitating or even deadly. But while it is very possible there is no connection at all to Fort Detrick, it is a matter of public record that the CDC shut it down for procedural violations, some of which were quite serious. And they mess around with serious bugs like that all the time. I’d want to know that if I lived anywhere near it.

              If any of that stuff about it having genetic markers for malaria and HIV is true, then it is not a naturally-occurring virus. And the United States is very interested in pinning it on China. Maybe everything else is coincidence, but everything is so controlled now and governments so routinely operate outside the law that it is getting hard to believe in coincidence.

              If you google ‘was the coronavirus genetically altered?’ you get stuff like this from Newsweek, which tries to squeeze every Ruusian trope into the same article. It barely mentions genetic tampering other than this batshit crazy line;

              “The decree by the country’s Prosecutor General’s office follows the widespread sharing on YouTube and Russian social networking sites of a series of outlandish claims, such as the virus “is a genetically-modified bioweapon artificially created to implant microchips into the population and establish a global world order.”

              https://www.newsweek.com/russia-coronavirus-conspiracy-theories-vaccines-1502353

              What’s widespread? And who would believe in a virus that implants microchips? They’re mashing together two separate theories, and Bill Gates was indeed funding research into microchip implants, although it had to do with pay and financing rather than viruses or anything like them. But Newsweek is the hysterical fringe of western publications, and its readers are tailored to its content. Then there’s this:

              https://www.cnbc.com/2020/04/30/dni-says-coronavirus-was-not-manmade-or-genetically-modified.html

              The Office of the Director of National Intelligence, USA, says “the nation’s collective intelligence community does not believe that the coronavirus was manmade or genetically modified.” That’s the same group that said there was definitely Russian meddling in the Trump/Clinton election, too, so forgive me if I do not find that at all convincing. I note, however, that it represents a reversal for the Trump government, as Trump himself claimed to have seen intelligence which made him suspicious it was created in a Chinese lab.

              https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/apr/30/donald-trump-coronavirus-chinese-lab-claim

              If it was indeed naturally-occurring, then the USA will have to make a case for deliberate release or a very sloppy response or even a coverup if it really wants to take China to court. I don’t see it happening.

              Here’s an example of how Trump is losing the bubble on the whole coronavirus thing. A Chinese-American reporter asked him why he cared that the US is allegedly far ahead of the rest of the world on testing, why is it a global competition with him, since it was not preventing Americans from dying and the emergence of more new cases. A simple and sensible answer might have been, “Well, Weijia, it’s important to me and it should be important to you because a high proportion of coronavirus cases present as asymptomatic. We will never know that person is positive for coronavirus and therefore a potential carrier of it without testing, because that case is probably not going to sneeze or cough or give any other indication of being sick, but they are, and they can make others sick. That’s why being far ahead in testing is important” (don’t forget to wind up by reconfirming your answer, in case someone has forgotten the question).

              https://www.cnbc.com/2020/05/11/coronavirus-trump-ends-press-conference-after-reporters-challenge-him-on-testing.html

              Instead, he said “Maybe you should ask CHINA!”, which was an immediate red flag without yellow stars because he was talking to a Chinese woman. So she challenged him on that and he started to freak out and just point randomly in different places, and then ended the press conference and stalked off as if he had been unforgivably insulted. We’ve seen so many performances from him that are way outside diplomatic behavior that you would think nothing could surprise any more. But this simply illustrates what child’s play it is to goad him into a tantrum.

              Like

          2. Yes, B at MoA took down a comment in which I noted that his post did not mention where Fairfax County, where the Greenspring assisted-care facility, was located. I took a look at the Washington Post article the ATL post linked to and saw that the author writes on issues in Maryland and Virginia states. Fort Detrick and the facility where the pneumonia outbreak occurred in mid-2019 are about 46 miles or 74 km apart.

            The other possible reason that B could have taken down the comment was I observed that pigs are quite close to humans in their immune systems and I suggested that the SARS-COV-2 virus could have jumped from pigs to humans. Indeed, if anyone has ever watched Steven Soderbergh’s film “Contagion” (did anyone who saw it cheer when Gwyneth Paltrow’s Patient X character died early on?), the jump from bats to pigs to humans is made very explicitly if in a crude manner that might appear racist: the bat drops a banana which lands in a pig farm and a pig eats it; later pork meat from that pig is being prepared and Paltrow’s character then poses with the fellow who was chopping the meat and didn’t wash his hands.

            Like

            1. Well, as to the genetic code of coronavirus having HIV spliced into it, it appears that did actually come from a scientific paper, but it was a preliminary study and they may have made some mistakes or were simply viewing too small a sample.

              https://www.forbes.com/sites/victoriaforster/2020/02/02/no-coronavirus-was-not-bioengineered-to-put-pieces-of-hiv-in-it/#1965e2df56cb

              But the effort to back away from the position that it was an engineered weapon devised to infect China’s enemies is quite striking now. I’d like to believe cooler heads prevailed and the west realized its position was ridiculous, but it might also have been based on an implied threat from China.

              As an aside, it is amusing to see the New York Times hailing Australia as a maverick global leader simply because it is doing what the Democrats want done, and demanding an international investigation which will ‘prove’ China’s guilt.

              Australia is all aw-shucks modesty, but we all know at some point in whatever initiative it might get rolling, the United States will barge in and demand to lead it, it is too important to be left to minions, and Australia will deferentially step aside.

              “Mr. Morrison has insisted that his call for a global inquiry is not directed at any one country, but all available evidence points to China as the birthplace of the pandemic, which means Australia could hardly have chosen a more sensitive subject for its leap onto the world stage.”

              All available evidence points to China as the birthplace of the pandemic. Does it? Where have we heard that ‘There’s so much evidence you wouldn’t believe it’ before? General Flynn’s case, maybe? What about those French cases in late December, nearly a month before what were thought to be the first cases in France and before the report of the first case in China? Isn’t that considered ‘evidence’?

              https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/may/05/who-seeks-early-coronavirus-cases-as-merkel-warns-over-german-lockdown

              As I mentioned earlier, cases in Nevada of people who fell ill after conventions in Las Vegas in December and January were identified by the Nevada Health Response Team as positive for COVID-19.

              https://www.ktnv.com/13-investigates/earlier-coronavirus-timeline-confirmed-in-wake-of-13-investigation

              I don’t think people know shit yet.

              Like

            2. Ah, yes! Xenotransplantation. Pigs hearts etc. being suitable for humans and as part of the solution for a shortage of donors. Vis CoVid-19, I’ve read elsewhere that the chain may be bat-owl-human. Apparently people eat owls. How weird is that?

              Like

    2. Careful there Greenland. Opening a consulate is yankee code for establishing the infiltrators to set up colour revolutions when needed. I am a strong believer in terminating consulates and replacing them with scant staffed trade missions. The rest can be transacted electronically. With any foresight all those lucky countries that have seen USA diplomatic staff scurry home due to the Covid-19 scare will restrict their re-entry.

      Like

  18. Antiwar.com: Facebook Removes News Outlets in Latest Orwellian Purge
    https://original.antiwar.com/Dave_DeCamp/2020/05/10/facebook-removes-news-outlets-in-latest-orwellian-purge/

    Over the past three years, Facebook has been removing accounts for participating in what they call “coordinated inauthentic behavior” (CIB). According to Facebook’s head of cybersecurity policy, the Orwellian term refers to when “groups of pages or people work together to mislead others about who they are or what they’re doing.” Facebook takes down accounts for CIB due to “deceptive behavior” not for sharing false information. In the latest purge, Facebook removed accounts from two news outlets, SouthFront and News Front….
    ####

    Is there anyone who still takes fBuk seriously? Is this all just about cash4clikz, to try and starve independent site off the internet? It certainly isn’t about ‘disinformation.’ I’m surprised it took them so long.

    Like

  19. JusttheNews.com: Dirty Dozen: The 12 revelations that sunk Mueller’s case against Flynn
    https://justthenews.com/accountability/russia-and-ukraine-scandals/dirty-dozen-12-revelations-sunk-muellers-case-against

    After a prescient 2017 tip from inside the FBI, a slow drip of revelations exposed the deep problems with the Flynn prosecution.
    ####

    All at the link.

    I should add that the author, seasoned investigative reporter John Soloman, wrote much of this over at TheHill.com and was targeted for review over his clearly labelled ‘opinion’ pieces reporting on the Bidens in the Ukraine. The Hill’s conclusion is piss weak and accuses him of what just about every other journalist in the US does and reads in particular of holding him up to a much higher standard than others. As you will see from his twatter bio, he’s worked for AP, Washington Post, The Washington Times and The Hill. Some things you are just not supposed to investigate, let alone report.

    https://thehill.com/author/john-solomon

    https://thehill.com/homenews/news/483600-the-hills-review-of-john-solomons-columns-on-ukraine

    Like

    1. At an absolute minimum, the FBI officials involved – except those who did their jobs properly and stated their judgments at the outset that there was no evidence Flynn was not telling the truth, or believed he was – should be fired and their pensions, if applicable, rescinded. Ideally, they should each be prosecuted with an attempt to discern their connections to the political establishment, and specifically to the Clintons. What does that woman have to do to get jailed – blow somebody away on the 6 o’clock news?

      Like

  20. Don’t fuck with the Tuck:

    The guy is on fire. Per Carlson, Obama orchestrated the Russian collusion propaganda. I suspect that the lovely Ms. Hilary was a conspirator as well.

    Carlson has the number 1 television news show with 4.56 million viewers on average.

    Like

    1. Absolutely remarkable; in fact, ‘stunning’, as he uses it, is not too much of a stretch. The ‘liberal elites’ just go right on lying even though the sworn testimony of FBI interviewers is available for anyone to read, as well as the chilling manipulations of Strozk and Page, both of whom should be in prison and perhaps will be. And that fucker Schiff should swing. I can’t believe the transformation of Carlson from Bush shill to the reincarnation of Edward R. Murrow. He makes this case so compellingly that nobody could watch that clip and not believe that Flynn was railroaded from the outset. And what were they allegedly going to jail Flynn’s son for? Does anyone know? Were they just going to make something up? That is terrifying, and almost argues for the disbanding of the FBI, although it demonstrably still contains honest agents – as Carlson asks rhetorically, how many times have they done this already, and gotten away with it?

      It’s hard to imagine anyone would vote Democrat now.

      Like

      1. The son was being lined up for prosecution for alleged FARA violations regarding work on Turkey, I think. The son was working with the General.

        Like

        1. Couldn’t have been too much of a crime, if they offered to let him go in exchange for Flynn pleading guilty to lying. Actually, you’d kind of think their business was prosecuting crimes whoever committed them, and that offering to excuse a crime in exchange for a guilty plea is….kind of a crime.

          Man, they have to clean house at the FBI. And there probably are several other organizations that need it, too. Not the political culling based on ideology that was a feature of the Bush White House, but the crowd that’s in now just cannot be allowed to get off with nothing.

          Like

          1. Greetings Mark and all, I am a new arrival as Jen suggested the company is fine here for barflies to ponder the world. Can I surmise that if Flynn and son were the FBI targets for nefarious business dealings then surely Biden and son fall in to that same category. After all Biden and son filched millions after arranging a USA loan of $1Billion to Ukraine and then did it again after the IMF loaned a few million more. Carpetbagging and its modern day practice is a crime in the USA last I looked.

            If that conspicuous bias isn’t enough cause to dismember the FBI then consider the Uranium One deal that Hillary Clinton and family set up or perhaps the Debbie Wasserman Shultz fostering the Awan family spy and blackmail ring.

            Like

            1. Good day, Uncle, and welcome! For some reason I can’t fathom, the Democrats seem to own or control all the ‘respectable’ media in the USA. FOX News is an exception, and has been a mouthpiece for the Republicans since its inception. But the Democrats control the New York Times and the Washington Post, which together represent the bulk of American public feeling to foreigners, and probably to the domestic audience as well. They are extremely active on conflicts between the two parties, ensuring the Democratic perspective gets put forward in calm, reasonable why-wouldn’t-a-sensible-person-think-this-way manner. At the same time they cast horrific aspersions at the Republicans. Not that either are much good; but the news coverage is very one-sided – the position of the Democrats on the sexual-assault furor over the Kavanaugh appointment compared with their wait-and-see attitude to very similar accusations against Biden is a classic example.

              Like

              1. Mark,

                I don’t think its the Democrats that control the NYT &WP, so much as plutocrats. They’re also the ones who fund both the Democrats & the Republicans. The only significant difference between the parties is largely in the arena of the social “culture war” issues. But on the issues plutocrats care about, like economic policy & foreign policy, the differences are shades of grey, rather than actual distinctions.

                Just remember the coverage of both papers in the run up to George W Shrub’s catastrophic Iraq war. They’re stenographers, not journalists.

                Like

                1. That may well be true, but the NYT and WP historically champion the Democrats, endorse the Democratic candidate for president, and pander to Democratic issues and projects. The Wall Street Journal is the traditional Republican print outlet, and there might be others but I don’t know them. CNN is overwhelmingly and weepily Democratic in its content – Wolf Blitzer’s eyes nearly roll back in his head with ecstasy whenever he mentions Saint Hillary – while FOX News is Repubican to the bone and openly contemptuous of liberals. It could certainly be, on reflection probably is, that the same cabal of corporatists control them all, and a fine joke they must think it. And I certainly and emphatically agree there is almost no difference between the parties in execution of external policy.

                  Like

  21. Back in Moskva again.

    Having inadvertently allowed the validity of my first “full residency permit” [ВНЖ] to expire in May 2017, I received my second full permit on 20 May last year and then had to register my place of residence, namely where I have lived these past 22 years with my wife and family.

    I have, therefore, to re-register on or around 20 May this year, as annual re-registration of one’s residence is strictly required in case, I suppose, I am a dangerous foreign national and so they can keep tabs on me.

    So, although I strongly suspect that re-registration may not be possible until after this quarantine period has ended, I decided to come back to Moskva and find out for sure, then re-register if I could, and then back to the country as soon as possible. My wife and younger daughter had to return to Moskva today, as Sasha has a music exam tomorrow, so I tagged along, having last night applied for and received online an electronic pass that allows me to travel one-way only. One may only apply no more than twice a week for such a pass and in doing so, of course, one has to inform the authorities of one’s personal details. For me, that involves foreign passport number and social services card number. Having entered the details in the mos.ru website недома [notathome], I pressed “send” and immediately received my e-pass, as I did on Friday last when preparing to set off for our dacha.

    On board the local train to Moskva, 15:00, 11 May. The ticket inspector approached me almost immediately. She looked at my social card [recall, it is not a pensioner’s card: it is a multi-child father’s card , which affords me free travel on public transport anywhere in Moskva and the Moskva province] and my electronic pass, and then asked me my age. On learning how old I am, she said I was not allowed to travel [нельзя in Russian: forbidden] as I am older than 65. But then , illogically, told me I had to pay the standard fare for a single ticket to Moskva, namely 197 rubles. I paid.

    On Friday, when making my outward journey, I showed my social card and my e-pass, displayed on my iPhone screen, at a ticket window at Begovaya station, Moskva, and the railway woman gave me a 197-ruble ticket free of charge after swiping my social card through a card reader. Usual procedure. No question from her about my age. No stern travel-is-forbidden warning from her..

    My wife tells me that today a new order has come into force.

    Now get this: as from today, It seems that local government control of elderly citizens’ movement operates thus: a person over 65 is forbidden to travel, but e-passes are still issued to the elderly, who then must pay full price for a ticket. As I stated above: illogical!

    I also find it both deceitful and extortionate.

    And what really pissed me off this afternoon is that there are in both metro and in electric train carriages signs which read: “For your health’s sake, stay at home grandma!”

    At 71 years of age, I believe I have more chance of dying when crossing a main road here than of coronavirus!

    Anyroad, when my time comes, I fully intend to go down fighting!

    Dying of flu, indeed!

    No bloody way!

    Like

      1. In fact, I’m not even supposed to set the other foot outside!

        The period of state-mandated days off work for non-essential workers will end May 12, Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced. This will allow sectors of the economy, including construction and agriculture, to resume their work, on the condition that they continue to follow strict safety rules.

        “Starting from tomorrow, May 12, the national period of non-working days will be over for all sectors of the economy,” Putin said, speaking at his latest videoconference meeting with medical officials, ministers and governors on Monday on the state of the coronavirus situation in the country.

        Putin stressed that sanitary measures such as social distancing, restrictions on mass events, and mandatory wearing of facemasks in public will remain in place (pending regional authorities’ decisions). Furthermore, the president said he still wants Russians in high risk categories, including seniors over the age of 65, to remain indoors.

        source

        Like

      1. I wrote yesterday evening to a former workmate about what happened to me on the train yesterday. He replied:

        These rules really get me. We have them over here, where they are considering letting younger people go out, but those over 70 are not allowed to do so.

        I am now 71 years old, as you are, and fit, as you are. I take my dog out for a walk twice a day for a minimum 2 miles each time. I jog some of the distance with my the border collie. I have no illnesses and I am am on no tablets.

        I am far fitter than some in their forties but I am in danger of being placed in quarantine while the younger fatties are not.

        Men who are much younger than I am and much less healthy, smokers and boozers in their 30s, 40s and 50s, are allowed to travel, but I, a non-smoker and drinker, cannot leave my flat.

        It’s not fair!!!!

        [Stamps feet: exits stage left, whining.]

        Like

        1. And I have just come back from the baker’s, where I was refused admittance because I was not wearing a mask and gloves. Fortunately, my wife had given me a mask and gloves when I set off, but I refused to wear them.

          This new rule came into force today: gloves and a mask must now be worn in shops and on public transport.

          Outside, I saw many people going on their business and of all age groups. Unlike that oh-so-smart American journalist here, they were not carrying shopping bags so as to fool the cops: as usual, I never saw any cops in the locality. I only saw 3 people wearing masks outside in the street. All women.

          Probably hysterics. 🙂

          Like

          1. Damn, damn, double-damn, two bloody-hells and a bugger!!!

            I need not have come back to Moscow yesterday, as I had suspected. I have just come back from the Taganskiy МВД place where I have to re-register my place of residence each year, which office is only a 3 minute walk from my house. The place is locked, but I saw a woman, a Georgian, I think, talking to some bureaucrat inside the building by means of a door telephone. She was asking about what I wanted to enquire about, namely how to re-register during this quarantine period.

            When she went, I asked the same as she had and this is the reply, he gave me and which I have since found on the Internet:

            According to Presidential Decree №274, your registration will be automatically extended until June 15.

            From March 15 to June 15, the period of a temporary stay, temporary and permanent residence, and the period of registration at a place of residence will be suspended, if these periods expire in the specified period.

            Subsequently, you will be able to extend your registration without any consequences.

            My re-registration date is May 20.

            I can go to the dacha and need not return for a month.

            Only they won’t let me go.

            I might die if I set foot outside.

            Bollocks!

            Like

            1. Wear a paper mask with a young man’s face printed on it, be sure to always sit with your legs spread far apart like there is nobody near you, and walk like your pants are going to fall down, in big strides. Perhaps you will be taken for a youth and can manage a return to your country estate.

              Like

                1. Some spammer keeps trying to place ads here for a reusable copper face mask which is pretty much the ugliest thing you have ever seen; it looks like it’s just a thin sheet of copper bent into a ‘U’ shape, with string ties, and it makes your face look like a car bumper. Ambient air can easily circulate above and below it, because the shape does not conform tightly to the face. Ah, though, says the advertising – copper has proven anti-viral properties, and any particles that come in contact with the ‘bumper’ will be killed. You can even, it goes on, wear an N-95 paper mask underneath it if you want, but it’s not necessary.

                  It turns out that’s not completely bullshit; copper actually does have antiviral properties. But you don’t need to wear a sheet of copper over your face. Just regular masks impregnated with copper oxide.

                  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2892464/

                  Like

          2. So you put on the mask and gloves and got your stuff from the bakery or went home and got your ear bent?

            You have my sympathies ME. Unfortunately the clusterf/k continues until the rules are clearly and widely understood, most governments only having their own incompetence to blame.

            I don’t wear a mask outside but I have one with me too and check to see if I need to wear one before going in. I’m tempted to ask every time if I need to be mosquée rather than masquée. Considering that some states have banned the niquab (Fr/Be/??) and it was quite a political hot potato, I find that now we are generally required to have face coverings hilarious in the large eye-roll and giggle sense. Oooh, I’ve got another one: I’m just off to buy a box of mosques. You can get fifty in each. Now that’s technology! You see, everything gets smaller….

            Like

            1. I put them on and bought my regular order: two white bread batons, one round black- bread wheat and rye loaf, and one “Borodinsky” black rye loaf.

              As regards the masks, I bought a pack of 5 at our local supermarket on Friday before setting off for the country. I did not buy any of the now on sale very thin, rubber surgical gloves that all the hysterics now love to sport though.

              Before I came back to Moskva yesterday afternoon, I grabbed a pair of new, clean garden gloves with red, rubberized palms and fuck the white surgical-gloved scared shitless posers here!

              Only problem with my heavy duty gloves is that when wearing them, it is difficult to get money or my debit card out of my wallet, so I take them of at the cash point in order to pay. And you know what? Nobody says sweet FA about this, which just shows you how stupid sheeple really are!.

              Like

              1. So I applied online for an e-pass and got one immediately.. I decided to go first thing tomorrow morning, intending to return in a month’s time so as to re-register my residency here.

                I want to go to my dacha and I have to: we planted gherkins and tomatoes and pumpkins etc. and they will need watering.

                Half an hour ago, I checked on Yandex search as regards the position of over-65-year olds here:

                Может ли пенсионер 65+ оформить цифровой пропуск для поездки на дачу (метро, электричка) по соцкарте москвича? Будет ли проезд бесплатный?

                Can a 65+ pensioner get a digital pass for a trip to the country house (metro, train) on a Muscovite social card? Will travel be free?

                Answer No1:

                Альбина Магомедова
                от имени Оперштаб Москвы
                Официальный канал оперативного штаба Москвы по ситуации с коронавирусом

                Albina Magomedova
                 on behalf of Moscow Operational Staff
                The official channel of the operational headquarters of Moscow during the coronavirus situation

                Unfortunately, you have to stay at home. During the period of high alert, citizens over 65 years of age, in accordance with the decree of the Moscow Mayor No. 12-UM, are required to comply with the self-isolation regime.

                These people are at risk for coronavirus infection, and a self-isolation regimen is necessary to protect them from infection. This is a necessary measure, but it will help to preserve the life and health of each of us. Please stay home!

                Please note that the decree of the Moscow Mayor has suspended the benefits of travel by public transport not only for schoolchildren and college students, but also for Muscovites over 65 and residents suffering from chronic diseases.

                If it is necessary to deliver food, medicine and other domestic problems, you can call the phone number: +7 (495) 870-45-09. Social workers and volunteers will come to your aid. By the same number, you can order home delivery of free and preferential medicines and medical products.

                And the comments follow:

                1. The an ugly situation for Muscovites over 65 years of age. It turns out that they are completely powerless. They have been put into a situation of disability, regardless of their state of health and activity, but only on the basis of age. We have no right to go to the country. If we go, then at our own expense, aAnd at our own peril and risk. This is not concern for the older generation: this is genocide of the older generation

                2. Albina, you’re talking nonsense and misleading people. Yes, according to the mayor’s order, people older than +65 must observe the regime of self-isolation, as well as all others. The decree does not say a word about the prohibition for +65 people going out (to a shop, a pharmacy, a polyclinic), otherwise it would be “house arrest”, which can only be by court order. And you shouldn’t have said anything about delivery at all: there are crazy prices and food products on offer that real pensioners (not former deputies or officials) have never bought. In addition, all doctors have always said and said that movement is life. And you want to put elderly people in a chair so that they probably stop being a burden on people like you.

                The dacha now, that’s a rescue for the elderly. You, in your operational headquarters, if you really care about +65 people, instead of forbidding them, you should think about how to organize elderly people’s departure for dachas and country houses.

                Banning is easy!!!

                Like

                1. The rebuttals are all good points – the government indeed should make arrangements for residents aged 65+ to travel to their dachas and self-isolate there, which to my mind would be safer and much more pleasant for them. Governments everywhere often settle on the easy blanket solution because it is less work for them.

                  Like

                2. They could quite simply block one entire carriage per train for 65+ or provide Dacha train timetables. Maybe ME should write to the Mayor and suggest it or write in to a popular radio station. Once the idea is in the media it may well gain traction as it would be easy to implement and look good. If they give a shit…

                  Like

            2. For the record, Denmark, Austria, Bulgaria and The Netherlands are others that have imposed full or partial islamic face covering bans.

              Like

              1. I feel like doing what one joker did several weeks ago at the very beginning of these phoneydemic safety measures, just to cock a snook at the hysteric sheeple and these “its for your own safety” orders:


                On Tverskaya Street several weeks ago.


                Taxi driver in Omsk

                Like

            3. I suspect it may be one of the prices we must pay to travel, at least in the near future, and all of it part of crushing individual will so you know you are a ward of the state and if you don’t go along, you don’t go. Cheer up’ I expect the next war to bring freedom and democracy like what we enjoy to some benighted country will be just around the corner.

              I often say it is too late for us, meaning Canada, and in the near term this country is acting just as stupidly as all the rest. But there may still be hope that we can ease ourselves away from the catastrophe to the south.

              https://www.macleans.ca/opinion/is-the-u-s-empire-in-jeopardy/

              It should be a maxim that when Canada starts to notice you are a mess, you are pretty far gone.

              Like

  22. al-Beeb s’Allah live news feed on their website Summary: Russia now has the third-highest number of confirmed cases in the world, overtaking UK and Italy.

    Three pages further on the live feed you can read:* Russia has confirmed 2,009 deaths in total. You have to go to page four for the actual story @13:07 that links to the summary to actual story details (there are no links in the summary at all!) to read …taking the total death toll to 2,009, which is far lower than the numbers reported in many other countries. (my emphasis) *** So well below the UK’s own tally of 32,000 heroic deaths. That’s good to know.

    As others have pointed out, Russia has carried out the highest number of tests in u-Rope, now greater than 4.5 million, which is only behind the US globally… Thank god there is the BBC to put things in to proper perspective in such a professional way… / sarc.

    * https://www.bbc.com/news/live/world-52612438/page/3
    ** https://www.bbc.com/news/live/world-52612438/page/4

    Like

  23. Соболь не смогла “правильно” ответить на вопросы Собчак по поводу программы Навального “5 шагов”

    Sobol unable to answer “correctly” Sobchak’s questions about Navalny’s “5 step” programme
    today

    A debate between TV presenter Ksenia Sobchak and lawyer for the recognized as a foreign agent “Fund for the Fight against Corruption” [FBK] Lyubov Sobol has been broadcast on “Ekho of Moskvy”. Sobol was puzzled by Sobchak’s questions related to blogger Alexei Navalny’s “5-Step programme”.

    In the debate, which could also be watched on the YouTube channel of the radio station, Sobchak and Sobol were given the opportunity to ask two questions. Sobol, however, was unable to answer either of them.

    Sobchak criticized Navalny’s proposals that he has put forward in his so-called “5 steps” programme, according to which the blogger urges that each Russian be allocated 20 thousand rubles from the National Welfare Fund as a means of financial support during the coronavirus pandemic. Sobchak considers these proposals to be populist. The journalist is convinced that help is primarily needed for those who really need it, including the poor and the unemployed.

    In the course of the debate, Sobol stubbornly defended Navalny’s position, but was never able to prove that his programme was not populistic. On the contrary, Sobol’s vague answers only confirmed this point. Sobchak’s first question brought Sobol to a standstill, in that she asked Sobol whether such support should extend to residents of the Crimea. By this means, the TV presenter clarified her opponent’s position regarding the status of the peninsula.

    Sobchak’s second question turned out to be even more difficult for Sobol to answer. The TV presenter asked how much money would remain in the National Welfare Fund if funds were distributed to the population, as Navalny has proposed. The FBK employee had three minutes to answer, but she could not give a specific figure.

    What is Sobchak: a journalist or a TV presenter?

    Long ago, Sobchak likewise during an interview showed up Navalny to be the bullshitter that he is by asking him questions about his proposals and their effect on the economy. If I rightly recall, he did not know certain Russian economic indices such as GDP, unemployment rate, average income etc.

    Like

    1. In the bloggersphere, enter a Navalnyite, who gives a completely different interpretation to the above:

      Любовь Соболь разнесла Ксению Собчак на дебатах
      Lyubov blew Ksenia Sobchak away in a debate.
      Today

      Yesterday I watched the long-awaited debate between Lyubov Sobol and Ksenia Sobchak, which was held at the “Ekho Moskvy” radio station. The topic of the debate was: “Is it worth making payments to all Russian citizens?”

      So, what did we see during the debate? Especially for you, I shall summarize the whole scenario. After reading this article, give a “like” and make a subscription, I strongly recommend that you watch this debate yourself by clicking the link. [this shouts out to me that some juvenile wrote this!— ME]

      In general, at the very beginning of the debate, Sobchak constantly attacked Sobol, shouting something like “populists” and accusing Sobol of constantly mentioning company slogans. Then she accused the Anti-Corruption Fund of allegedly stealing her idea of ​​payments to the entire population.

      For reference, Sobchak in her recent post stated that help should be provided only to the strong, and let the weak take care of themselves. This is not an exact quote, but the message was just that.

      Sobol’s Position
      Sobol, in her usual feisty manner, proved that every resident of Russia should receive payments, and taxes for small businesses for a period of one year should also be abolished. Plus the cancellation of utility bills. She relied on an analysis made by FBK economists and by such well-known economists as Sergey Guriev Konstantin Sonin. There were also interesting questions about Ksenia Sobchak’s crab business interests, to which questions she decided not to respond. Well, apart from laughing in response.
      [I see! An ad hominem — ME]

      Of course, I still have some questions that I would like to hear Sobol answer and FBK as a whole, but her position is more or less clear to me.

      Sobchak’s position
      If Sobol’s position is less understandable even to those who do not support it, it becomes more and more difficult with Sobchak. Or rather, she has no position at all. At first, before the debate, she said that there would not be enough money for everyone, and that ordinary Russians would just “eat it all up”. Then in the course of the debate, she changed her opinion, saying that she agreed that Russians still needed payment. However, the most affected segments of the population needed it. She did not answer the question of how to identify the most affected people and speak about how the Russian bureaucracy prevents money from reaching anybody. Although let us not forget that Ksenia tried to use her mother’s position to promote her semi-legal crab business. Her mother, at present, is a member of the Federation Council.

      But these are just small points when compared to more serious matters. When it became clear that Sobchak had run out of arguments, she asked Sobol a brilliant question: “Is the Crimea ours or not?” To the tactful remark that the question was clearly not suitable for the topic of debate [ but Sobchak’s alleged corrupt links with the crab fisheries is, I presume? — ME], she again said nothing, muttering something about the “hypocritical opposition.”

      In general, Sobchak once again displayed the fickleness of her views and insolent lies. Just her constant mentioning of Navalny was worth listening to. She can never forget that he did not support her fake candidacy for the 2018 elections.

      What she says is that ordinary people do not deserve help, but somebody helped her all the same when her back was against the wall. I have not heard any constructive arguments or suggestions from her side, only pitiful attempts to justify themselves.

      I have myself noted the fact that people loyal to the Kremlin, amongst whom Sobchak herself was recently included, have one thing in common: first they talk, then they think and justify themselves. But the only thing that matters is to justify the first word. It is the first word that expresses the real attitude of the authorities to the people.

      And what do you think about this debate? Who did what to whom? Or is it just another senseless discussion?

      Like

    2. The second of Sobchak’s questions was a direct hit, and it should have been clear to everyone that Navalny and his organization think the federal treasury is bottomless – you can just keep handing out money whenever you need approval or votes. The Bullshitter Club just advances populist – and she’s right, they are as populist as a bunch of populists in a sack – notions without running any numbers. Sobol might well know how much money is in the National welfare Fund (she should), but she has no idea what the demographic which would receive money under ‘Lyosha’s plan’ would add up to. If she had ever run the numbers, she could have come up with an estimate. She plainly has not.

      However, all of it serves handily to keep NAVALNY NAVALNY NAVALNY in the news cycle where he likes to be, and where he must be in order to gain name recognition. And by the time election day comes around again, everybody will know who he is, and he will have the attraction of an alternative candidate to everyone who is angry at Putin, if he is permitted to run. If he’s not, he will complain loudly, and again, everybody will know who he is. Just a month ago, most of Russia hadn’t a clue – he was a nobody. So the whole baiting-Zakharova thing has paid him rich dividends.

      Like

      1. He made his “5-shags” proposals, however, before latching onto the Khodorkovsky medium attack against Zakhorova’s alleged elitist attitude as regards Russian citizens’ accessibility to foreign travel.

        That’s his modus operandi: thrashing around for dirt associated with government figures and trumpeting his claims with little or no substantive evidence. Witness “Putin’s millions”, his “palaces” and Dimka’s foreign residences, all corruptly acquired, allegedly.

        Meanwhile, the Bullshitter’s daughter is studying at Stanford. That’s a fact. And his income is, allegedly, dependent on donations from his hamsters. He also, it seems, receives a sizable income courtesy the ECHR.

        Like

        1. The missus and I were chatting about it yesterday, and she said she had watched one of his videos and thought it sensationalist rubbish – his manner is to stand outside a fancy mansion, say sarcastically, “Nice house, eh? Do you know who lives here?” and then proceed to regale the observer with tales of the occupant’s connections to Putin. I would have to say it is pretty easy to run an Anti-Corruption Organization if you never have to substantiate your allegations. And the hamsters seem all to be true believers who are not that concerned about proof.

          Like

  24. Sky Nudes: Coronavirus vaccine may never be found, Boris Johnson says
    https://news.sky.com/story/coronavirus-vaccine-may-never-be-found-boris-johnson-says-11986602

    The PM says the UK must plan for a “worst-case scenario”, as he defends the government’s move to ease restrictions.

    …”A mass vaccine or treatment may be more than a year away. Indeed, in a worst-case scenario, we may never find a vaccine…

    ####

    Spektakulur! I think the only thing that stops him from being carted off is that his FOM Dominic Raab would get his job.

    ITV: Harry Dunn suspect Anne Sacoolas ‘wanted internationally’ after Interpol Red Notice issued
    https://www.itv.com/news/2020-05-11/harry-dunn-suspect-wanted-internationally-after-interpol-red-notice-issued/

    …Last month, ITV News learned the Foreign Office Dominic Raab had failed to tell police Ms Sacoolas was leaving UK…

    …According to the Interpol website, a Red Notice is a request for “law enforcement worldwide to locate and provisionally arrest a person pending extradition, surrender, or similar legal action.”

    It is not an international arrest warrant and usually applies to the country where the crime was committed rather than the home country of the individual.

    ####

    How’s that trade deal with the US going? It’s probably just part of the bargaining. Well at least Corbyn didn’t get in, a real threat to national security!

    Like

    1. BoJo is just playing ‘manage expectations’. Just a few days ago, there was no goal in the world more important than developing a coronavirus vaccine, and every medical lab was racing to find it. Now it’s all meh, maybe never happen.

      It reminds me for all the world of George Dubya Bush and bin Laden. When Dubya was bullhorning his way around the country following the 9-11 attack, he was all about not drawing a restful breath until he had seen bin Laden dead or in jail. After his government had rammed through the Patriot Act and had a wartime mentality solidly in place, he ‘didn’t think all that much about him, to be honest’ and bin Laden ‘wasn’t really that big a problem’.

      Like

      1. I suspect that you are right Mark.

        I make a point of not bodyshaming people as it is too cheap and easy, but in Boris’s case, if mass gatherings are banned, why isn’t he?

        Like

  25. Skadden & Arps has paid $11 Million to Yulia Tymoshenko and her lawyer ($5.5 million each) to avoid a lawsuit by Ms. Tymoshenko based on a report furnished to the Yanukovych government (which hired it to conduct the legal investigation) finding there was no basis to Ms. Tymoshenko’s claims that the charges relied upon to put her in jail were political.

    This merely reflects the current climate in America; I recall the occasion and the report well, and Skadden systematically and methodically demonstrated that Ms. Tymoshenko’s behavior and activities were sufficiently criminal in nature to have supported the charges; her incarceration might very well have been politically advantageous to Yanukovych (although her popularity at the time was not sufficient that she could have beaten him anyway), but as the ECHR found in the case of Khodorkovsky, political convenience accompanied by a reasonable apprehension of criminal behavior does not mean the whole thing is political.

    But Skadden finds itself now in an uncomfortable position – Ukraine is America’s baby now, and hurtful accusations against its Joan of Arc might be enough to make the firm a pariah in its field. Better to pay up, and move on – that’s just the way things are done nowadays. Granted, her release (which certainly was political) made things worse for their position, but does not in and of itself absolve her of criminal behavior. But they decided to fold rather than fight her, which she will of course claim as a major victory. And she can always use an extra couple of million.

    Like

  26. Even the White House Economic Advisor forecasts that the official unemployment rate in the US will surge above 20% this month or next, and other sources suggest it is or will be considerably worse.

    https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/snyder-its-much-worse-you-are-being-told

    And as discussed when the phony pandemic was just getting off the ground and the shutdown began, if the health authorities – backed by the government – are going to insist on social distancing in restaurants, a lot of them, perhaps most, are going to go belly-up. Invest in a cookbook collection! The restaurants that did best before the shutdown were nearly always successful because of what? Well, yes, good food, of course, thank you, Karen. But what else? That’s right – location, location, location! And downtown rents are expensive, and floor plans are maximized to get in the most tables possible without making it impossible for customers to move around. If restaurants are going to have to operate with half or even a third of their previous clientele, a lot of them are just going to go out of business. Bye-bye, tax base. Or hello, restaurant in an old warehouse in a field 20 miles outside of the downtown core, just to have the required combination of floorspace and cheap rent – maybe a golf cart for the waitress, what do you say?

    Like

    1. Don’t forget the copycat “health” measures sure to be introduced. The “El Periódico” paper suggested the other day that Spanish restaurants could open their terraces to customers (in groups of up to ten). Hurry along, ladies and gentlemen and small children. And the occasional plucky pensioner. But don’t expect to be able to use the proper toilets. Oh, no. Special portaloos for the paying public.

      Hold me back!

      The non-observance will spread from rural areas (would you enforce such bonkers rules in a one- or two-restaurant village and then expect to get a table at some point in the future? “Sorry, Officer Lopez, those tables are reserved. Big party coming in shortly. Another day, eh?”)

      Like

      1. And be sure not to sit where you can see the long line stretching outside, waiting to get in; it will lead to guilt which will make you stuff your food into your mouth so you can step back and let the disinfecting crew in so the next lot can sit down.

        Like

  27. According to a doctor who has been signing death certificates for 30 years, the American numbers at least are greatly overestimated. There is no universal definition of ‘COVID-19 death’, and the CDC’s own guidelines mandate that tested-positive COVID-19 and untested speculative cases are to be treated the same if they die.

    Like

    1. That was the video I was looking for some time ago and she makes a convincing case. The key parameter will be the overall mortality rate. My guess is there will be an overall reduction in most causes of death related to chronic disease due to the reporting bias toward Covid-19. NYC is the outlier here though as it clearly had an excessive death rate not seen anywhere else in the US including the original hot spot in Seattle. Bad medical system? Runaway spread in nursing homes (something that should have been predicted and dealt with early on)? Excluding NYC and adjacent areas, it seems that the overall impact has been negligible. What is the problem with NYC? For me, that is a the real mystery about Covid-19 in the US.

      Moscow which is actually larger than NYC still has a far lower mortality rate. Again, somethign is wrong in NYC.

      Like

      1. I would say ‘Excess Deaths’ maybe a decent indicator for want of lies, damned lies and statistics (or everybody counting differently):

        Independent: Coronavirus: Nearly 51,000 excess deaths in UK during Covid-19 pandemic
        https://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/coronavirus-deaths-england-wales-excess-ons-covid-19-a9509871.html

        …In the first six weeks of the outbreak, 108,345 deaths were registered by the Office for National Statistics for England and Wales – which is 46,494 more than the five-year average over the same period…
        ####

        So the questions I would guess should be: a) are the last five years a reasonable baseline to make this claim?; b) are the excess deaths acceptable, politically, medically or otherwise in this day and age?; c) who’s responsible?

        Like

      2. The reason NYC appears to be such an outlier could be a combination of all the possible reasons PO mentions – bad healthcare system; runaway spread in nursing homes that maybe weren’t being run very well in the first place and were employing people on low wages or contracts so they were forced to work long hours and ended up being exposed to large viral loads and were passing the disease from one person to the next – plus reasons particular to NYC itself as a large city (poor communities densely packed in sub-standard housing with little or no access to the most up-to-date and accurate information on COVID-19, and unable to practise the hygiene and social distancing measures needed to stop transmission of the virus; air pollution issues).

        Some mainstream news media reports I have seen state many poor communities in the US have particular issues with obtaining necessary healthcare because (a) they have experienced discrimination (racial, religious, whatever) in the past from hospitals or clinics and are reluctant to go again, so they delay and delay until their situation becomes critical; and (b) they have no medical insurance so again they delay seeking help. The situation in NYC does seem to be the result of myriad factors, some particular to the city itself, others particular to NYC because it is a large city with dense population clusters in particular neighbourhoods with problems of discrimination that impact on their health, and still others that are general, all of them having an impact on one another.

        Black communities in some parts of the US have been badly hit by COVID-19: in the state of Louisiana, where about a third of the total population is black, 70% of COVID-19-related deaths have been of black people.
        Brookings Institution:Mapping racial inequity amid COVID-19 underscores policy discriminations against Black Americans

        Like

        1. A significant factor, embarrassing to us Americans, is the link between obesity and its related health issues to the fatality rate of the virus. Bluntly put, obese people appear much more likely to succumb to the virus. If Russia has a significantly lower rate of obesity, it would only be logical that they would also have a significantly lower rate of mortality. I have not seen this factor mentioned in the blizzard of discussion on the difference in death rates between NCY and Moscow.

          Like

          1. But obesity is not nearly so prevalent in the UK as it is in the USA, and it is clearing them out like nobody’s business – their death rate is significantly higher than Russia’s. The UK, also, follows a practice of assigning the death to COVID-19 if the patient dies even if obvious underlying conditions are present, and it may have a similar financial system in place, in which the hospital receives a payout if a patient is deemed to be suffering from COVID-19, and a much larger payment if the patient has to be put on a ventilator.

            Like

            1. Let’s say lower obesity, generally better fitness, more effective planning, better medical response and possibly other factors (e.g. TB vaccination) could explain the difference.

              Tp support the foregoing, differences in mortality between racial group is generally attributed to differences in the level of obesity and related health issues so general levels of obesity is a factor, perhaps a major factor. It may be a little morbid but it would be interesting to understand the correlation between obesity and Covid-19 deaths in the US, UK and Russia.

              Absolutely the case that the US and the UK authorities have an enormous financial interest in exaggerating the mortality rate for short term gain and long term sustainable profit through massive and likely unnecessary vaccination programs of hundreds of millions of people generating $10 of billions revenue. And it would almost be a certainty that a new deadly virus will pop up at a rate that match the available capacity of Big Pharma to crank out new” life saving” medicines. To be clear, Big Pharma is only one of the nefarious groups benefitting from a public cowering in fear.

              I read somewhere years ago that Big Pharma’s long term goal is to have every American on a prescription drug(s) from cradle to grave. And Big Data wants every American to be enslaved by their smart phones and social media. Bastards.

              Like

  28. Stoltenberg earning his keep.

    Fankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
    10 May

    Die nukleare Teilhabe schützt Frieden und Freiheit
    VON JENS STOLTENBERG-AKTUALISIERT AM 10.05.2020-16:58

    Participation in the possession of nuclear weapons protects peace and freedom
    BY JENS STOLTENBERG – UPDATED 5/10/2020 -16:58 p.m.

    [paywall]

    The corona virus is one of the greatest challenges the world has faced since the end of World War II. However, this does not mean that others have disappeared. We face the most difficult security scenario in decades. Terrorist threats persist; authoritarian regimes challenge democracies; we see the proliferation of nuclear weapons in countries like North Korea, and the aggressive actions by Russia.

    While NATO regards its nuclear deterrent as a political tool, In recent years, Russia has invested heavily in its military capabilities, particularly in its nuclear arsenal. In Kaliningrad, just 500 kilometres from Berlin, It has deployed missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads. It has threatened allies such as Denmark, Poland and Romania with nuclear strikes. Russia promised to respect the Ukrainian borders if the Ukraine renounced its own nuclear protection. However, it violently annexed part of Ukraine …

    According to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, the Alliance’s nuclear deterrence programme does not serve to fuel wars and conflicts, but rather to ensure peace and security in the world. At the same time, the nuclear weapons of Russia, China and a number of other countries destabilize the situation on the planet and pose a real danger.

    Stoltenberg wrote an article in the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine, which outlined his strange vision of the role of NATO and its nuclear arsenal in the modern world. In particular, he writes that the strength of the Alliance lies in the solidarity of its members, and nuclear deterrence is a manifestation of this solidarity. The Alliance is a bastion of democracy and human rights. At the same time, the Secretary General notes that NATO is a defensive alliance, and its nuclear forces are needed in order to deter potential aggressors. And in general, we must strive to ensure that the world does not have nuclear weapons. However, as Stoltenberg noted, achieving this is still very difficult.

    “If Russia and not NATO were to possess such weapons, then this world would be full of dangers. Therefore, all partner countries have agreed that while nuclear weapons exist, the Alliance will pursue a deterrence policy to guarantee freedom and peace”, the NATO Secretary General noted in his article.

    Stoltenberg also stressed that Russia is investing heavily in its nuclear potential, in that he Russian Federation deploys nuclear missiles in Kaliningrad, thereby threatening Denmark, Romania and Poland.

    And of course, it goes without saying that no Alliance nuclear weapons are deployed against Russia.

    How much does this dolt get paid for writing such shit, I wonder?

    Like

  29. RT.com: ‘Pure provocation’: Moscow fumes as Czech media names diplomat a ricin courier in alleged assassination plot
    https://www.rt.com/news/488345-prague-ricin-courier-outed/

    …According to television channel CT1, Czech intelligence received a tip about Konchakov from a foreign agency. However, when he arrived in Prague on March 14 supposedly carrying the toxin in his briefcase, they did not try to intercept the package. They were concerned that the tip may be wrong, misinformation planted by Russian security services to make their counterparts look like fools, the channel’s ‘168 Hours’ program said on Sunday…
    ####

    There is so much cake and eating it that the authors are at risk of dying from CoVid-19 due to their mental obesity.

    It’s not ‘We pushed this story out because we were told it was true and so didn’t bother to check. Sorry.’ It’s ‘We’re only journalists and we are not responsible for publishing any old shit.’ Including publishing the names of ‘diplomats/spies/whatever’ when their own government officials who know perfectly well who they are do not because it is called ‘diplomacy.’

    As for Mayor Zdenek Hrib, well that’s a leaf out of the Ukrainian murdered by the Russians but Oh, not really, Arkady ‘Atari’ Babchenko.*

    I’ve been following this for a while and it is part of the campaign to undermine any Czech who is not anti-Russia, particularly Babis & Zeman etc. That a significant proportion of the Czech public voted for them and do not share the concerns that Russia is out to get Czechia is irrelevant. It is the US intelligence hub for central u-Rope and must behave as such. If you are not with the Asslantacists 100%, you are against. It is becoming positively unhindged.

    On the plus side, jumping the shark like this shows how desperate certain elements in Czechia and their foreign friends have become, a bit like in the home country. I wonder how long rock bottom can last. Place your bets!

    * A man of many lives, like a classic video game!

    Like

    1. Yes, the old we-let-him-commit-little-crimes-so-he-would-lead-us-to-Mr.-Big technique. They seem not to have noticed how justice is done in the USA, where you pick someone who would be ideal as a suspect, and then threaten and coerce him into a confession. What’s hard about that? You can even pick Mr. Big, too!

      Like

      1. Al-Beeb s’Allah GONAD (God’s Own News Agency Direct): Czech media name Russian diplomat in ‘poison plot’ row

        …In 2018, there were 121 Russian diplomats and support staff in Prague, with another 18 at the country’s consulates in Brno and Karlovy Vary. It’s one of the biggest Russian diplomatic missions in Europe.

        Exactly how many are spies using diplomatic cover is known only to Moscow. Privately Czech officials believe it could be as high as 40%…
        ####

        I’d completely forgotten about that. Now I remember previous unhappiness about ‘too many Russians in the ‘hood and their rather large car-pool. One of us posted about it at the time if I recall correctly. So for me, mystery solved!

        It seems that the whole (most recent) provokatsia is designed to create a diplomatic spat that would allow Czechia to expell most of Russia’s diplomats (as has happened in the UK ane elsewhere for example). No-one asks the obvious question as to why Russia thinks it needs such a large staff, but it is because there is a large staff of Americans spies diplomats who use Czechia as their base for the region.

        The overall US strategy is to minimize Russian diplomatic presence in u-Rope coz it’s a ‘threat’. u-Ropean ass-lantacists are fully onboard even though they’ve been losing ground in the last few years.

        You can include Brussels there too and their ‘Ever Expanding Union’, who on the one hand complain about American interference in their affairs, but also want to benefit from American ‘help’ on the periphery because it would cost too much for them to do it themsleves and they’d have noone else to blame. Let us not forget the parade of Brussels diplomats preening themselves on the streets of Kiev and also pretending their role of somehow ‘neutral’ arbiters in talks with Yanukovic, signing the deal and then dropping it like a hot potato once the coup plan had come to fruition.

        Like

  30. RT.com: German media watchdog rejects Browder’s complaint against Spiegel over Magnitsky story report, says his own narrative lacks proof
    https://www.rt.com/news/488395-german-media-watchdog-browder-spiegel/

    Bill Browder’s complaint against Der Spiegel for questioning the story he used to push for anti-Russian sanctions has backfired, with Germany’s Press Council concluding his own position is far from being an “indisputable fact.”

    “We cannot agree with your analysis, in which you criticize the allegations made by the author,” the German Press Council – a monitoring organization formed by major German publishers and journalistic associations – said in its response to Browder’s team, as it rejected the complaint against one of Germany’s major news media outlets…

    ####
    Bill Chowder. I think I did ask previously if he was dumb enough to appeal after the original ruling that the reporting was fine. Question answered! The poor hamster doesn’t realize that his fifteen minutes of being an western propaganda channel is over.

    Like

    1. But he succeeded brilliantly at getting the Magnitsky hoax into law, and now it is, and the US will never repeal it no matter how discredited Browder is. They don’t really care what happens to him; he was only the red-hot crusader for human rights until he successfully lobbied for Magnitsky to become law. Now the US has an instrument to replace Jackson-Vanik which it can use to discriminate against Russia, which is what it wanted since WTO rules would not have permitted Jackson-Vanik to stay on the books.

      Like

      1. The Prizdint can sign a waiver every few months. The law stays on the books but it can be imposed/reimposed/underposed/overposed/whateverposed so the USA gets to keep its cake and eat it! It’s best left ignored by Russia to the point that the USA needs to add more and more exceptions that it in effect becomes only symbolic if the USA is ever interested in improving social, political and economic ties. Russia is already concentrating on building up its eastern economic ties with Asia where most of the future global growth will be so…

        Like

  31. MiddleEastEye via Antiwar.com: EXCLUSIVE: British propaganda efforts in Syria may have broken UK law
    https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/exclusive-british-propaganda-syria-war-opposition-illegal-internal-review

    Internal assessment concluded UK government’s covert support of ‘moderate opposition’ was shallow, lacked coherence and cost lives

    …as the government sought to maintain a strategic foothold after parliament had voted against any British military intervention in the conflict.

    The series of programmes was given the codename Operation Volute, and those involved in the work talked not of propaganda, but of “strategic communications”, or “SC”.

    However, a review that was conducted during the summer of 2016 concluded that the “fundamental shortcomings” of the initiative included “no conflict analysis [and] no target audience analysis”…
    ####

    Much more incompetence exposed at the link.

    Can’t leave the locals to themselves to get on with it can we chaps? After all, if it wasn’t for us and the French the modern Syrian state wouldn’t exist as they know it! We were there in the beginning, and it is our post-col-anal duty to decide how it ends. In our favor of course. Fools Britainia.

    Like

      1. When he was originally diagnosed, he announced he would be going into self-isolation to protect his colleagues, but would continue to assist the governance process from home and would stay in close contact. It did not appear at that time that he would be hospitalized.

        https://www.foxnews.com/world/russian-pm-mikhail-mishustin-has-coronavirus-kremlin-announces

        That was almost two weeks ago, and I think you have to isolate for 14 days no matter how you are feeling, to allow for the full speculative incubation period. There should be some announcement on his condition in the next couple of days, as he should soon be pronounced ‘recovered’ if the virus does not continue to trouble him.

        Like

    1. Was Peskov self isolating ?

      I hope he was not in contact with the President

      Symptoms are thought to appear between two and 10 days after contracting the
      virus, but it may be up to 24 days according to WHO

      Like

      1. I have gone a little bit past trusting anything that comes from the WHO, as it seems to manipulate the parameters of coronavirus to suit its ambition of total social control. They alternate between claiming to know everything about it and nothing about it whichever offers the necessary leverage to get you to do as you are told. They are onto a winner here with the perspective that nobody has the right to infect others, so all rights are subordinate to public safety, and they are not going to let it go.

        Like

  32. Neuters via Antiwar.com: Turkey to start power generation in huge Tigris dam next week, Erdogan says
    https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-turkey-dam/turkey-to-start-power-generation-in-huge-tigris-dam-next-week-erdogan-says-idUKKBN22N2L3

    ..“We will start operating one of six turbines of Ilisu Dam, one of the largest irrigation and energy projects in our country, on May 19,” Erdogan said in a speech to the public. ..

    …The Ilisu Dam will generate 1,200 megawatts of electricity, making it Turkey’s fourth-largest dam in terms of energy production.
    ####

    If I recall correctly, Turkey has built quite a few dams over the last twenty years, which along with China and other countries are creating a suitable mix of energy along with nuclear, renewable, gas and whatever, even though dams & NPPs are frowned upon…

    Like

    1. Turkey is also known for using its dams to shut off water to downstream users when it serves its purposes. Erdogan might occasionally be a useful swine, but it’s important to remember he is a swine. If Russia was ever looking into entering the regime-change market, it would at least start looking at successors for Erdogan, because be assured the USA is. Turkey wandered far off the reservation under Erdogan, and Washington wants it brought back into enthusiastic cooperation if possible – otherwise, sullen acceptance will do.

      Like

      1. It must be said that northeast Syria is a significant downstream user of Tigris river water, and nearly all of Iraq depends on the Tigris and Euphrates rivers for nearly all its water needs. (Whichever British aristocratic politician or colonial bureaucrat in the 1920s drew up the borders for Iraq and Kuwait should have been shot. Are we looking at good ol’ Winston Churchill?) This helps explain why Erdogan keeps parking more dams on the Tigris river and flooding out local communities around the river in Turkey. He and his children and their spouses probably stand to benefit financially as well from all that dam construction; his son-in-law Berat Albayrak used to be a senior executive in a firm involved in infrastructure construction, either directly or through a subsidiary.

        Like

  33. Euractiv: Sefcovic calls for fair EU market access in China to ‘increase trust’ after COVID-19
    https://www.euractiv.com/section/economy-jobs/news/sefcovic-calls-for-fair-eu-market-access-in-china-to-increase-trust-after-covid-19/

    European Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič has renewed calls for European firms to gain fair market access in China after the global public health crisis has been reigned in, in an effort to restore trust and confidence.

    …“That’s reciprocity. This is what we like to achieve. It’s very important from the point of view of values and how we do business and increase mutual trust and confidence.”

    The EU has repeatedly called for greater market access for its businesses in China…
    ####

    Is this before or after China must succumb to an ‘independent’ investigation in to the source of CoCid-19?

    I suppose the real question is, can Brussels trust the u-Ropean capitals to keep rank? That’s even before we ask the strategic question of why China should trust the EU when several member states are supporting the United States military FONOPs and other little escapades near China? Or are trade and defense issues firewalled to u-Rope’s favor, again?

    Like

    1. Good point – I think it would be child’s play for China to rupture European unity by offering sweetheart deals to states which dragged their heels on finger-pointing, and SFA to those who made public statements self-righteously blaming China. Brussels would get huffy, of course, and prevent favoured states from accepting such deals, so China would have lost nothing, but the resentment in states whose deals were blocked would be significant. The Chinese market is huge, and Europe wants a piece of the pie. But ‘Pierrot’ the sad clown Sefcovic should go away and he should shut up. Restore trust and confidence, my ass.

      China is in a pretty solid position because there is nobody left in Europe with its manufacturing capability, so Europe is faced with the choice of making fry-pans itself and charging two or three times as much for them in order to make it pay, or dialing back the asshole a little.

      Like

  34. FlightGlobal.com: Rosaviatsia prominent in new Russian accident investigation legislation
    https://www.flightglobal.com/safety/rosaviatsia-prominent-in-new-russian-accident-investigation-legislation/138332.article

    …It proposes entry into force of the legislation on 1 January 2021.

    The document states that the rules establish the powers and responsibilities of the authorised federal executive agency in the field of accident investigation, and that this agency will carry out the work in co-operation with Rosaviatsia…

    …The draft document notes that authorised agencies for air accident investigation are granted “independence” and “unlimited authority” to pursue their work…
    ####

    More at the link.

    As long as it is effective and fully independent. Several states open ‘criminal probes’ automatically when there is an accident which I think not only sounds bad, it appears to be unneccessarily confrontational. Aviation safety depends on self-reporting and anything that reduces feedback over incidents of all kinds is a bad thing…

    Like

    1. I completely agree. The highest degree of aviation safety is realized when all levels involved feel they can identify a potentially unsafe situation without causing a crisis or an automatic criminal investigation.

      Like

        1. Yes, as we discussed before more than once, this was the ‘perfect storm’ for Boeing, with the 737 MAX catastrophe feeding straight into the coronavirus and the virtual cessation of air travel. Normally at this point I would mock them and suggest that maybe now they can catch up with those massive back-orders they’re always bragging about. But the magnitude of their disaster is such that I am kind of awestruck, and for the moment I have lost my taste for mockery where they are concerned.

          Like

  35. FlightGlobal.com: USAF abandons 80% mission capability rate goal after F-22, F-35 and F-16 fail to hit target
    https://www.flightglobal.com/fixed-wing/usaf-abandons-80-mission-capability-goal-after-three-fighters-miss-target/138318.article

    The US Air Force (USAF) has abandoned mission capability rate goals for its Lockheed Martin F-22s, F-35s and F-16s, after none of the fighters hit the target…
    ####

    I’m a bit surprised about the F-16 but then again considering how long in the tooth it is, I shouldn’t have been. In other news, I read that the F-35 no longer has any Category 1 faults, i.e. could be deadly. Yet, only 18 days ago five Cat 1 faults were downgraded to Cat 2….

    DefenseNews: Five F-35 issues have been downgraded, but they remain unsolved
    https://www.defensenews.com/smr/hidden-troubles-f35/2020/04/24/five-f-35-issues-have-been-downgraded-but-they-remain-unsolved/

    …A category 1 deficiency is defined as a shortfall that could cause death, severe injury or illness; could cause loss or damage to the aircraft or its equipment; critically restricts the operator’s ability to be ready for combat; prevents the jet from performing well enough to accomplish primary or secondary missions; results in a work stoppage at the production line; or blocks mission-critical test points…

    Like

  36. Scope for private prosecution in criminal justice cases is for practical purposes non-existent. Surprising, then, that the judge in receipt of the DoJ motion to withdraw its prosecution of General Flynn appears to be soliciting private opinions on how to proceed:

    https://thehill.com/regulation/court-battles/497447-judge-invites-outside-parties-to-weigh-in-on-flynn-case

    Tremendous amount of stress on the US Justice system at the moment. It’s like watching the Tacoma Bridge swaying.

    Like

  37. While riffing on how western Ukraine is for celebrating The End Of The Second World War (mustn’t call it ‘Victory Day’) on May 8th instead of those Neo-Soviet pigs across the border a day later, former SpecOps flyboy Nolan Peterson packs every Russophobic trope known to man into a single article.

    https://www.dailysignal.com/2020/05/12/in-ukraine-the-great-patriotic-war-is-history/

    For the strong of stomach only.

    Let’s take a look, shall we, at how Ukraine’s association with the Great United States and the west in general has benefited its overall well-being, assuming you are not a Nazi nationalist from Lvov who doesn’t mind if he starves to death, so long as he is surrounded by fellow pure Ukrainians when the time comes.

    The Ukrainian stock market, the PFTS (for Pretty Fucking Traumatic Situation, I’m guessing) is at its index line, about as far down as it can go. Yes, I’ve heard of the coronavirus, but it doesn’t take a ticker savant to see the stagger began a year ago.

    https://tradingeconomics.com/ukraine/stock-market

    The currency entered thermal runaway at about the same time, zooming from around 23 to the US dollar to over 28, before grimly struggling back down to its present 26.679.

    https://tradingeconomics.com/ukraine/currency

    On a quarterly basis, the Ukrainian economy showed zero growth, but that is not particularly relevant since nearly all its income is realized from foreign loans and aid packages.

    https://tradingeconomics.com/ukraine/gdp-growth-annual

    The balance of trade is a $560 million dollar deficit – always the sign of a healthy economy, or perhaps just something it picked up from its association with the Land Where Deficits Don’t Matter. But you have to push the assessment period out to about 5 years to get a real feeling for how western love has lifted Ukraine up where it belongs; the balance of trade is worse now than just after the Glorious Revolution of Dignity – which has taken Ukraine from independent nation to pauper begging for western handouts – came in with 2015 at about +350 and is now at -560. Good going, prosperous western-oriented market democracy.

    https://tradingeconomics.com/ukraine/balance-of-trade

    Current Account to GDP sunk another 3.6% in 2018 (I guess they have not been able to look at the carnage from 2019 yet) and stands at a relatively-optimistic (considering it’s a year behind) government debt ratio of 60.9% of GDP.

    https://tradingeconomics.com/ukraine/government-debt-to-gdp

    The year after the Glorious Maidan, Ukrainian government debt nearly doubled year-over year. It managed to achieve double the 2013 debt in 2016.

    Look at that corporate tax rate, though – down from 25% in 2011 to 18% now, and has never moved since the western makeover, despite the growing misery of the population. Except the nationalist Nazis, as I mentioned earlier, who are happy as long as they can have the occasional torchlight parade bearing Stepan Bandera’s picture through the streets.

    https://tradingeconomics.com/ukraine/corporate-tax-rate

    Never mind – businesses are more important than people – without enhanced trade volumes, you’re fucked, right? So business must be roaring with that lowered tax rate.

    Actually, not so much. If you look at exports and max it out to 25 years of data, monthly exports peaked at about $7.7 Billion USD in 2008, just before the global financial crash. They hit a post-crash high of about $6.4 Billion USD in 2012, and have been the graphic representation of ‘anemic’ ever since. To quote from the site, “Exports in Ukraine decreased to 3958.90 USD Million in February from 4155.10 USD Million in January of 2020.”

    But look; you just can’t put a price on some things. To be able to celebrate Christmas like they do in the west (even if you can’t afford presents), Hallowe’en…boy, the USA pulled out all the stops trying to get the Godless Moskali to adopt that one. And now, to celebrate the End Of The Second World War with the west, and not have to see those dried-apple relics parading in their Soviet uniforms a day later…it’s totally worth it. Great job, Nolan – a grateful nation thanks you.

    Like

  38. Go on twitter to find westoids hooting with delight at a Russian hospital fire. Trust me, you won’t have to look very hard.

    I eagerly await arguments for why these people should be allowed to exist.

    Like

    1. Just as we need actual proof of headless chickens to demonstrate that it is indeed possible for chickens to be alive and running around despite not having brains, so we need actual proof of humans existing without brains themselves.

      Like

    2. I remember reading a few years ago a comment from a USA moron concerning a gas explosion at a natural gas booster pump station just on the eastern city limits of Moscow. There was much destruction and several people died horrid deaths. The commenter stated that he always loved to read news about such terrible events in Russia and of Russians dying.

      A few days later, a train hauling petrochemicals derailed in the USA and there followed a huge fireball explosion, which caused great material damage and a large loss of life.

      I had to be taken to hospital because I was so overjoyed at hearing such news that I succumbed to an uncontrollable bout of hysterical laughter, as learning of the deaths of US morons, more especially when such deaths are gruesome and unimaginably painful, invariably fills me with such a feeling of immense joy.

      [Some of the above that I have written is untrue!]

      Like

      1. Usually the type of people you might meet in an upscale bar (imagine you still like a wee dram) in America are far above such base appetites, and are like everyone else everywhere – it would be a bad idea to start thinking Americans are evil and immoral, as it is likely to remain an important country for many years to come even when it isn’t the top dog anymore. The kind of people who append such comments to articles about death and disaster are usually kids who play Call Of Duty whenever they’re not sleeping or eating, and are looking for an angry reaction because it makes them gape-mouthed with delight. Once upon a time they would have been swept up in the draft to be sent off to some jungle somewhere to have their substandard brains decorate some palm leaf. And no, I’m not an elitist who believes the poor and uneducated should be sent off to war – but it’s surprising how often the ones who write such inflammatory comments come from that group.

        The ones you have to watch out for are the political activists and policymakers who have learned not to say or write such things, but think them inside.

        Like

        1. Then there are those writers like Tom Rogan (the journalist who called for the Banderastanis to bomb the Crimea Bridge when it was finished) who write what policymakers think inside.

          Like

        2. Bold to assume that a given comment reads like the work of a cretinous teenager, just because it reads that way.

          Like

    3. Apologies, but it gets more and more difficult to read the news, let alone the comments, without wishing for Europe and North America to be destroyed by God.

      Like

      1. I know how you feel, but I am not anxious to be destroyed along with them. Hopefully the accelerating political crisis in America – I laughed when America had to choose between Hillary Clinton and Trump, but now that it’s down to Trump and Biden it’s no longer funny – will persuade Canadian policymakers to begin detaching our economy from America’s and trying our luck (British Columbia, anyway) around the Pacific rim. It will be difficult, because a lot of American businesses are owned by Canadian investors as well, although not so many as are the other way round, and those will obviously have to go, too. It’s easy to see how we became so dependent, because we share an enormous border and goods and services are easily interchangeable – the former go cheaply by truck and rail on an excellent network of highways and railways, and the latter are easily conducted because we speak the same language and our cultures are similar. But the US debt load has just grown to be too much of a liability, entirely apart from their political wiggery and martial urges.

        The biggest objections to this, unsurprisingly, are in Ontario and Quebec, the main population centers of the country and those provinces with the least-developed direct shipping routes, although Quebec is in a good position with its access to the Labrador Sea and the Atlantic. Ontario sea traffic has to go via Hudson Bay. But it is much easier (and more profitable) for both to send their products in trucks or trains directly across the Canada-US border.

        Like

        1. As a New Zealander, Pavlo Svolochenko already has our measure and knows that we Australians with our low IQs think too slowly to be worth God’s bother to destroy us.

          After all, ’twas a New Zealander who astutely observed that when New Zealanders migrate to Australia, they raise the average IQ levels of both Australia and New Zealand.

          Like

          1. I have a certain bonding to New Zealand and New Zealanders because King Richard John Seddon of New Zealand was born about a mile down the road from where I was born and brought up. The old stone single storey Seddon cottage is still there and bears a plaque above the front porch announcing Seddon’s fame.

            Like

          2. Australia is essential to New Zealand’s self image.

            If it disappeared, we would have noone to whom we could compare ourselves favourably.

            Not that ill wishes on my part will make a difference, since Australia has already earned itself a fearful beating from the world at large for this idiotic ‘Deputy Sheriff’ game it has going with the United States.

            Like

  39. I never thought I would see the day I would cite PJ Media (remember when the crackpot who called herself ‘Kim Zigfeld’ as well as ‘La Russophobe’ was their ‘Moscow Correspondent’?) for anything that wasn’t mockery. But I have to admit their reporting has the most quotes from the Senate Hearing in which Senator Rand Paul – looking quite a bit like Rip van Winkel after a night of imbibing the dwarves’ beer, with his coronavirus beard and long hair – Departed From The Narrative. He went off on Dr. Falsie for his contention that recovering from coronavirus does not bestow immunity and for some of the other ridiculous garbage the WHO has heaped upon us. He also kicked the legs out from under the WHO Imperial College model. Listen;

    “Really the history of this when we look back will be wrong prediction after wrong prediction after wrong prediction starting with Ferguson in England. I think we ought to have a little humility in the belief we know what’s best for the economy. As much as I respect you, Dr. Fauci, I don’t think you are the end-all. I don’t think you are the one person that gets to make a decision. We can listen to your advice, but there are people on the other side saying there is not going to be a surge and we can safely open the economy. The facts will bear this out. But if we keep kids out of school for another year, what’s going to happen is that the poor and underprivileged kids who don’t have a parent that can teach them at home are not going to learn for a year. I think we ought to look at the Swedish model. It’s a huge mistake if we don’t open schools in the fall.”

    https://pjmedia.com/news-and-politics/stacey-lennox/2020/05/12/senator-rand-paul-questions-dr-fauci-drops-a-bomb-in-senate-hearing-n390185

    I don’t imagine he really cares very much for poor and underprivileged kids, and is likely just using them for leverage to get what he wants. But I think he’s right, and considering we should never have entered a lockdown which stalled the entire global economy, the quicker we exit it, the better.

    Like

  40. Well, there you have it, folks – directly from the Director of Vital Statistics at the National Center for Health Statistics; if you suspect COVID-19, put it on the death certificate.

    Click to access Alert-2-New-ICD-code-introduced-for-COVID-19-deaths.pdf

    Relevant section:

    “Should “COVID-19” be reported on the death certificate only with a confirmed test?

    COVID-19 should be reported on the death certificate for all decedents where the disease caused or is assumed to have caused or contributed to death. Certifiers should include as much detail as possible based on their knowledge of the case, medical records, laboratory testing, etc. If the decedent had other chronic conditions such as COPD or asthma that may have also contributed, these conditions can be reported in Part II. (See attached Guidance for Certifying COVID-19 Deaths)

    Like

    1. I saw earlier a comment along the lines of

      “Parachute failed to open. Cause of death: COVID.”

      The narrative is failing.

      Like

    2. A railway ticket office worker has died of coronavirus after being spat at while on duty in central London.
      Belly Mujinga, 47, was on the concourse of Victoria station in March when a member of the public who said he had Covid-19 spat and coughed at her and a colleague.Within days of the assault, both women fell ill with the virus.Ms Mujinga, who had underlying respiratory problems, was admitted to Barnet Hospital and put on a ventilator but died on 5 April, her trade union the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA) has announced.

      Notice anything there?

      And did the twat who spat at her have you-know-what?

      And she died over 5 weeks ago: why report the woman’s death now?

      source

      Bloody crap journalist what can’t write English proper like what I can!

      Should be “after having been spat at”: the action is over and not a process happening at the same time as the unfortunate woman died.

      For example, I may say: “I sang “God Save the Queen” in an Irish Republican bar whilst being spat at “.

      Like

      1. That seems pretty farfetched, and it’s hard to believe it happened as described. It just sounds like more of the stoke-the-terror propaganda.

        We had a novel (ha, ha! See what I did there?) example of The Coronavirus Defense occur right at the beginning of the outbreak; an alert resident noticed the lights of a moored yacht in Oak Bay moving away from the berth and down the shoreline, and called police, probably thinking it had slipped its mooring and was adrift. The maritime component of the police arrived alongside to find an unidentified person aboard who was plainly attempting to steal the boat. When confronted, he claimed to have COVID-19 in order to prevent his arrest. I don’t know what they did, maybe threw a net over him, hopefully cuffing and kicking him a few times into the bargain. He turned out to be COVID-19 negative.

        Ah, yes; here it is; Justin Lecky-Harris, bearer of a two-banger family name and only 25, and homeless already. One of our most vulnerable just when he is in the epicenter of his working years – how tragic.

        https://www.timescolonist.com/news/local/homeless-man-accused-of-stealing-54-foot-yacht-denied-bail-1.24120183

        Like

          1. Yes, I hadn’t thought about it, but you’re probably right. Just because parking is offered at a discount should not be an excuse to not return fees for which no service is available. Parking at UVIC is murderous, especially during events, but there is no way all students could arrive by bus and be on time. Parking in Victoria in general, downtown at least, is ugly, especially in summer, because the trend of course is to use as much land as possible for development. That’s the attraction of the malls – free parking.

            Like

      2. This Belly Muzinga case sounds rather like a custom in some Australian indigenous societies where a “wise man” or someone with a reputation for magic would point at another person with a finger or an object, and the person pointed at ended up dying within a matter of weeks. The practice was known as “pointing the bone”. The belief in the power of such a curse was so strong in those cultures with the custom that victims really did die, usually because of the psychological shock and the extreme stress to the body the shock must have caused.

        Like

    3. Covid-19 – the only disease in history you can officially die of without there being any actual evidence you’ve ever had it.

      Like

  41. The AKADEMIK CHERSKIY has arrived in Mukran, presumably to begin embarking pipes for the completion of Nord Stream II. The construction will not be affected by Germany’s threats to make the pipeline compliant with the Third Energy Package. After all, Russia owns the gas which will fill it. Europe could conceivably stall and dither until the current transit contract with Ukraine runs out, but you would hope by then the ridiculous nature of forcing new rules on Nord Stream II while Nord Stream I runs right beside it with no such restrictions would become obvious. As I have suggested before, Russia could simply refuse to negotiate a new transit contract with Ukraine, and Europe would have the choice of using both legs of Nord Stream at full capacity, or going 55 BcM a year short.

    https://www.maritime-executive.com/article/russian-pipelayer-arrives-at-staging-port-for-sanctioned-nord-stream-2

    Like

  42. A considerably less rose-coloured-glasses look at the situation with the Saudi economy. Just a few weeks ago the Kingdom’s positions were (1) Nooooooo, we weren’t trying to wreck the US shale industry; we looooove Americans! And (2) so prices will be low for some time, so what, who cares, we can tough it out – we have pots of money that we’ve forgotten where we buried them.

    https://oilprice.com/Geopolitics/Middle-East/Oil-Price-War-Puts-Entire-Kingdom-Of-Saudi-Arabia-At-Risk.html

    “Saudi Arabia itself moved from a budget surplus to a then-record high deficit in 2015 of US$98 billion and spent at least US$250 billion of its foreign exchange reserves over that period that even senior Saudis have said are lost forever. So bad was Saudi Arabia’s economic and political situation back in 2016 that the country’s deputy economic minister, Mohamed Al Tuwaijri, stated unequivocally (and unprecedentedly for a senior Saudi) in October 2016 that: “If we [Saudi Arabia] don’t take any reform measures, and if the global economy stays the same, then we’re doomed to bankruptcy in three to four years.” That is to say, that if Saudi kept overproducing to push oil prices down – just as it did this year, yet again – then it would be bankrupt within three to four years.”

    Also most interesting in that article was the deal allegedly struck between Roosevelt and the Saudi King – that the Kingdom would ensure the USA had all the oil it needed for as long as the Kingdom had any, in return for the USA’s protection of the House of Saud.

    “To the U.S. – and this has been reiterated repeatedly to OilPrice.com by various senior sources in the U.S. Presidential Administration over the past few weeks – Saudi Arabia has broken the basic deal (and therefore, trust) established in 1945 between the U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Saudi King at the time, Abdulaziz, in the Great Bitter Lake segment of the Suez Canal that has defined the relationship between the two countries ever since. The deal was that the U.S. would receive all of the oil supplies it needed for as long as Saudi Arabia had oil in place, in return for which the U.S. would guarantee the security of the ruling House of Saud. This has subsequently altered slightly to ensure that Saudi Arabia also allows the U.S. shale industry to continue to function and to grow. If this means that Saudi Arabia loses out to U.S. shale producers by keeping oil prices up but losing out on export opportunities to U.S. firms then that is just the price that the House of Saud must pay for the continued protection of the U.S. – politically, economically, and militarily.”

    Extraordinary. The very milky teat of global democracy and freedom knows that the Saudi Royals would be overthrown in a couple of weeks if not for the presence of hundreds of US troops in Saudi Arabia, which prevent that from happening. Prevent the people’s will from being carried out, not to put too fine a point upon it, and maintain in place a King – a fucking King, for God’s sake, who has never faced a democratic vote in his lifetime and never will – whose rule is like red Kryptonite to democracy. Why? Oil. And control. And wealth.

    There are early signs the USA is not fooling, either. Pass the popcorn, will you, Vladimir Vladimirovich?

    https://www.military.com/daily-news/2020/05/08/us-pulls-anti-missile-systems-saudi-arabia-amid-dispute.html

    Like

    1. Pulling out the Patriot missiles must be viewed as a symbolic move with no military consequences.

      Like

      1. It’s not them that is the implied threat; they are crap anyway, and I’m sure the Saudi Defense Department knows it. It’s the 300-or-so soldiers that installed, serviced and operated them. I’m not sure what the total deployed strength is of American troops in Saudi Arabia, but I would guess 300 would take quite a bite out of it. And opposition elements which would be glad to see the Americans go altogether will take note of it.

        Okay, as of November last year, it was 3000.

        https://www.stripes.com/news/middle-east/us-continues-building-troop-presence-in-saudi-arabia-1.607950

        The USA has 5 military bases in Saudi Arabia, but I believe that’s 5 military bases at which US troops are deployed. At least one (King Abdul Aziz Air Force Base) is a Royal Saudi military base which accommodates an American garrison, and they may all be that way, because when the USA owns a military base, it likes to name it Camp Freedom or Camp Eagle or Fort Democracy or something like that. I would guess they would not name an American Air Base King Khalid just because it is in Saudi Arabia.

        https://militarybases.com/overseas/saudi-arabia/

        Like

        1. The US has also deployed a lot of weapons and support equipment in KSA supposedly ready for use in short notice by US reinforcements should the need arise to defend the Kingdom. I am sure that the Saudi’s paid top dollar for that equipment so it will likely stay in KSA even if US forces are asked to leave or withdraw on their own accord. If there were any truth regarding the murder of Qassem Soleimani as an effort to stop a Saudi/Iran reconciliation, then a US departure could bode well for peace of some sort.

          Like

  43. The relationship continues:

    Mirror.co.uk: Mystery Saudi official ‘who helped 9/11 al-Qaeda hijackers’ mistakenly identified by FBI
    https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/breaking-mystery-saudi-official-who-22017784

    ####

    Terrorists ‘R’ US.

    75 years ago a crack Kingdom was elevated to untouchable status and never sent to prison by any court for any crime committed. This kingdom promptly provided maximum-security ‘we’re not American’ manpower for any clusterf/k boom boom mission the USA asked for around the world. Today, immune from any government or court, they’re still available for hire. If you have a problem (and don’t want to get caught)… if no one else can help… and if you can find them… maybe you can definately hire… The S-Team.

    Like

  44. The continuing voyage of the AKADEMIK CHERKSIY.

    “Ongoing activity at the Mukran Port in the midst of coronavirus pandemic lockdowns underscore the strategic importance of the project. The facility, located on the island of Ruegen, some 300 kilometers (326 miles) north of Berlin, is a key Nord Stream 2 logistics center that began receiving pipeline segments in 2016.

    Satellite images captured by Planet Labs inc. on May 10 show that sections of pipeline have been moved to a jetty equipped with a crane for loading. Ship-tracking data shows that a dredging vessel operated by a Nord Stream 2 contractor, as well as a Russian pipe-laying-crane ship are also near the port.”

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/finance/markets/the-world-e2-80-99s-most-controversial-gas-pipeline-is-nearing-its-endgame/ar-BB1413kX

    Like

  45. Greetings again from Lesnaya Polyana [Forest Meadow], my country estate! Back again in the sticks! I codded them and got here about 99 minutes ago.

    At my local metro station, one security jobsworth wouldn’t let me through: social card blocked. Told me to apply for a pass using a “Troika” travel card and come back again tomorrow.

    The trick is to get a “Troika” then apply online for a pass using the card number, then use the pass no more than 5 hours after having received it.

    I went to the other station entrance and explained to the much more affable man there that I only want to live in self isolation in the country, whence I had only returned on Monday to Moscow in order to see my family. He told me to buy a travel card and he’d let me through. When I got to the railway station, he said, I could try and get a ticket with my social card and wished me luck.

    At the station, I got the 19:18 to Borodino. The ticket woman at the station, having glanced at my e-pass, said she would see if she could get a ticket using my social card. She did. No problem!!! Just as the woman there did last Wednesday.

    I suspect that she and the friendly security man thought all this restriction imposed on the elderly is a load of bollocks; they were sympathetic: although I had a social card, they could see I was not a doddering, high risk old fart but a healthy old fart.

    I dodged the ticket inspectors on board the train, albeit that last week, when on my way to the dacha, they said nothing. But to be on the safe side, when I saw them checking tickets and passes, I moved up the train, jumped off at the next stop and dashed back to the carriage that they had just checked.

    So I am back at our dacha, but on me tod, which suits me fine!

    Like

    1. There’s a great film in there, ME, like a modern Ealing comedy. You could be big in Albania, like Norman Wisdom, doing the old carriage shuffle.

      Like

      1. Yeah, I certainly didn’t forget to buy some of my favourite Irish pipe tobacco this time!

        As soon as I got into my kitchen here, I filled up my pipe and had a great long smoke. ( I once had a load of pipes, but Mrs. Exile must have buried them somewhere in the forest.)

        Better than a Havana cigar, I reckon. Trouble is, I shall have to rid the place of the smell of tobacco. I open the doors and windows in order to do so, but as soon as she-who-must-be-obeyed arrives, she will say: “You’ve been smoking your stinking pipe in here!!!”

        In fact, I’m surprised she has not yet sent me a message from Moskva, which reads: “Are you SMOKING???!!!”

        Like

              1. She does not scare me per se: being her devoted servant, I fear hurting her feelings.

                She worries about my health, in that I persist in that loathsome habit of smoking the fumes off that noisome weed known as tobacco.

                Like

                1. Which habit I am following right now as I write – in the garden, so as the fumes waft away into oblivion.

                  Like

  46. ‘Beef trimmings’, used in Wendy’s hamburgers, were 25 cents a pound on April 1st. A month later, they’re $1.93 a pound. So many fast-food joints can’t make burgers, because meat is too expensive. I think I mentioned before that McDonalds here is doing a roaring trade through their drive-thru window, cars lined up around the parking lot, and they only have to pay cooks and a couple of window-service clerks, because there’s no sit-down service inside.

    We were swamped with cheap American pork last year, because of the trade war with China; huge pork tenderloins were almost being given away. My Mom used to buy them for me and freeze them because they were so cheap, and I hadn’t the heart to tell her to stop supporting the US economy. But all that has changed now due to the prevalence of COVID-19 in meat-packing plants. Trump even ordered them to open again, changing their designation to ‘essential services’, but the unions have defied him in some cases.

    The meat supply lines are complicated; animals are raised with a time-sensitive plan in mind for when they’re going ‘to market’. If they can’t be sent to the slaughterhouse in accordance with the plan, they can only be held on the farm a short time and they are too big for the processing plants.

    https://www.vox.com/recode/2020/5/8/21248618/coronavirus-meat-shortage-food-supply-chain-grocery-stores?utm_source=pocket-newtab

    Like

  47. The family of British martyr Dawn Sturgess has cleared the first legal hurdle in its bid to prevent the scope of the inquest being limited to basically is she or is she not dead.

    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/may/13/novichok-family-of-dawn-sturgess-wins-first-stage-of-legal-challenge

    This is interesting for a couple of reasons – one, you might think the inquest was intended to say “She’s dead, Russia killed her, next case”. And it probably was; the crown was against an Article 2 case, which would examine the role of states involved in the death, but you can be sure there would be “Russia did its” dropped regularly throughout the proceedings. But the family’s representation is seeking to widen the inquiry to examine whether the British state had a duty of care to the British public, knowing what it says it knew, which it negligently perfomed, leading directly to the death of Ms. Sturgess.

    So it will be interesting to see all that raked up again, unless the British state decides to settle out of court, because the state’s position is ” “I do not realistically see what more the authorities could have done apart from evacuate the whole area which would have been wholly disproportionate to what was known at the relevant time.”

    What was claimed to be known at the time was that two people had been attacked with the deadliest nerve agent known to man, that a tiny drop was enough to kill. And then the plod said if you were out and about in Salisbury the day it happened, just wash your clothes, yeah? That should be fine. Since when is just washing your clothes an adequate counter to potential exposure to a deadly nerve agent? Or is it only deadly against the people you want dead?

    So, yes, all that will be news again, unless the state can find an excuse to deny it before it advances much further – right now, all they’ve won is the right to a review. The second thing that is interesting is who is bankrolling the legal action against the British state? Because that must take a few coppers, and I was pretty sure the Sturgess family was not wealthy.

    Like

    1. The Ridleys have Michael Mansfield QC as their barrister. Mansfield has previously represented the families of Jean Charles de Menezes, Mark Duggan and Stephen Lawrence, all of whom were shot dead by police in suspicious circumstances (source: Wikipedia). Mansfield must have taken the Ridleys’ case on a pro bono basis through Legal Aid.

      It seems likely that any inquest into the circumstances surrounding Dawn Sturgess’s death will probably name Ruslan Boshirov and Alexander Petrov as “persons of interest” and will follow the example set by the inquest into Alexander Litvinenko’s death in returning an open verdict and finding Putin guilty of ordering the Skripals’ poisoning. The coroner better put in an order to get Sir Robert Owen and his speech out of the cryogenic chamber once the date of the inquest is known.

      Like

      1. I think they could do that under the current terms of the inquest. It certainly has not stopped the papers from routinely repeating it as fact. If any such conclusion were likely to be gained, why is the state fighting it? Surely if its own hands are clean and nothing more could have been done, then it would reap tremendous propaganda value from lovingly restating its case against Russia? Or is it just pretending reluctance?

        I did not think of the possibility of the case being taken on pro bono by such a well-known barrister, but I suppose that could certainly be.

        Like

      2. Mansfield was my counsel in the Court of Criminal Appeal, London, where an appeal was made in 1985 against my conviction and the sentence that I received in February of that year.

        The Lord Chief Justice of England, a certain Lord Lane, found against the appeal, though he added that judging by statements given by my colliery deputy undermanagers, undermanagers and even the general manager himself, who all stated that my dismissal from employment was a great loss to the industry and was causing great discontent amongst my workmates, I had been an exemplary worker, but the conviction and sentence must stand.

        You see, according to the cops that set me up, I was a noted “ringleader” of public disorder in mining communities. I must admit, I had become pretty good at speechifying and giving instructions to my workmates. They also knew of the contempt in which I held most of them.

        The term used by gutter press at the time was that I was one of “Scargill’s lieutenants”. (Arthur Scargill was the president of the National Union of Mineworkers during the year long miners’ strike 1984-1985.) However, I was never an official of the NUM: I was one of the rank and file, cannon fodder.

        I was imprisoned 2 weeks before the strike ended. Because of my dismissal, I lost all redundancy payment that I should have received if I had still been employed when the government closed all the collieries, so when I came out of prison, I was both impoverished and unemployed – permanently unemployed.

        Having stayed overnight in Her Majesty’s Prison Braxton, London, I travelled north next day to prison in my home county, handcuffed all the way to one of the two prison officers that escorted me there.

        I remember, almost 1 year later and after my release from prison, being shown in the Lancashire Area office of the NUM the bill for the services of Michael Mansfield QC.

        At my appeal, Mr. Mansfield spoke for about 15 minutes. His fee was £400.

        He had given the Lancashire NUM a discount.

        Good thing Lord Lane found against my appeal, otherwise I wouldn’t be here!

        (Metaphorically waves 2 fingers at the UK 🙂 )

        Like

        1. “They also knew of the contempt in which I held most of them.”

          “Them” being, of course, the police, most especially the Metropolitan Police goons who occupied parts of some coalfields.

          Oh, what larks they had there!

          Like

          1. Such as bragging about how much they were being paid in overtime for maintaining law and order in the badlands.

            Like

            1. One of the tricks some of Margaret Thatcher’s finest were fond of doing as they lined up in ranks in front of picketing striking miners was to flip 50p coins at us.

              I am pleased to say that I never once saw a striker pick one of the coins up.

              Bastards!

              The cops, I mean.

              Not all the cops, of course: the locals were usually OK. One of them, in fact, had worked down the pit with me, and not a few of them had relatives who were on strike.

              One of the locals used to warn me in private that “the animals” (his words) were about to be deployed at my pit. He meant “The Met”.

              Of course, the local cops were soon removed from policing us.

              Like

  48. The effect is almost like magic – Russia begins to show serious intent toward completing Nord Stream II, and Whoops! wait, oh my goodness, there’s trouble between Russia and Germany. Angela ‘the Wobbler’ Merkel has apparently just been handed ‘hard evidence’ (I can only assume she just received it, else why announce it now – the offense for which Russia is once again on the grill supposedly happened in 2015, five effing years ago) that a Russian hacker ‘known to work for GRU Russian intelligence’, one Dmitry Badin, from Kursk, stole 16 Gigs of data from the Bundestag in 2015.

    So now, well, what is Angela to do? She wants better relations with Russia, she really, really does – but it simply must be held to account for this lawless behavior. So it doesn’t take a genius to see that if Russia does not hand over Badin for prosecution, there will be more holdups for Nord Stream II. And I wonder where this 11th-hour intelligence came from?

    There’s always the possibility that Badin did have something to do with it. But I doubt he works for Russian military intelligence, or that ‘APT28’ even exists, that’s a pet peeve of Crowdstrike in the USA. In any case, Russia will refuse to hand him over, because to do so invites a verdict that Russia admitted to all the charges including his GRU affiliation, and Merkel likely knows he will not be handed over. So then, of course…well, there must be consequences.

    https://www.ft.com/content/264056c9-a13f-4421-9d35-f1bda82375af

    The Wobbler soon got over her pique when the USA was caught red-handed monitoring her cell phone, though. She canceled one visit to the USA, and then honor was apparently satisfied and they were all friends together again.

    Like

      1. Yes, I saw that, but Bloomberg is subscription-only where I am so I didn’t bother to cite it. I can only see the teaser, then I have to pay for a subscription to read the rest, and I mostly can’t stand Bloomberg, it’s just like most other western media sources – full of itself, and liberal.

        Like

        1. I was surprised when I opened that Bloomberg link because it was a freebie with an invitation to enter a trial period of reader membership before coughing up a subscription fee.

          Like

  49. Zoops! Some bad news for all of you coronavirus home-bodies who might have been thinking it would soon be safe to come out. Au contraire, mon frere; not only does hot weather not kill the coronavirus, it might even be happier and spread more easily. Yup, it’s a persistent never-go-away virus for all seasons – at its most active at about 4 degrees Celsius, scientists say, and this is the most scientifically-analyzed virus of all time, but perfectly happy to infect you all summer long, as well, Yes, I’m afraid the beast is unstoppable. Best to just nail plywood across your windows, nail the door shut and hunker down until you hear the chill winter winds blow over the rooftops. Then maybe we can revisit it.

    https://tass.com/science/1155985

    What tosh. We are being systematically funneled down a path where the only thing that will save us from COVID is a vaccine, and every person on earth must have it. It won’t go away on its own, heat doesn’t kill it, it likes cold, and it’s looking for you. We can’t only lock up sick people, ’cause it’s tricky, see – it has a long incubation period, and you might not even have any symptoms at all, but you still must isolate because you could infect millions even though you feel fine – in fact, feeling fine should be regarded with just as much suspicion as feeling sick.

    Who the fuck is writing the script for this? It’s like we have all the optimists in one room, but in a second room are a bunch of scientists and WHO bigwigs who take everything the optimists say and write a scientific reason why it’s hopeless and you must do as the doctors say.

    Like

    1. Albert Rizvanov was referring to “summer temperatures” which is left undefined in the TASS article. We should probably wait until he clarifies what he means by “summer temperatures”. He’s not exactly a sociologist or an expert in human behaviour either. Maybe the next time Rizvanov says something about the coronavirus and how it might behave in a different weather or climatic context, Yalensis (if he still visits here) could pick it up and provide a proper translation into English on his blog.

      Nowhere in the article did he say anything about UV light. Those cleaners in Russia and China using UV light to disinfect train carriages and elevator lifts can keep going with using their UV lamps and scanners.

      Like

      1. Yes, I see, but more to what I was getting at is that every time you voice expectation that it will behave like every other coronavirus, the more there’s a doctor or scientist to step in your way and say No, this is completely different from anything we’ve ever seen, it’s unkillable. I’m just tired of hearing negative talk like that. Doctors everywhere are telling us we should be outside getting fresh air and sunshine while they’re available, that they’re good for us, but they can’t be saying that we should accept extra risk to get them. I am certainly not a medical expert of any kind or even particularly smart about any aspect of medicine, but thus far it looks to me like every influenza coronavirus that has ever been. It just sends me ’round the bend the way they keep adding on conditions to make it seem deadly and all-powerful; a good example is the recent suggestion that if you just get a light viral dose, maybe asymptomatic, then you don’t have immunity and you could get it again and maybe die that time. It’s as if they’re trying to close off every avenue of optimism until all that’s left is dull acceptance. Well, surprise! The only way they can tell if you have had the coronavirus without realizing it because you are asymptomatic is the presence of antibodies.

        It’s no wonder Fauci has to go about with a six-man team of security guards now.

        Like

  50. According to Izvestia, Guaido is in deep doodoo in Venezuela and his failed attempt at a coup-from-seaward is just the latest of his retarded ideas that are losing him international support – why, I bet he couldn’t even get asked to breakfast at Chrystia Freeland’s house. Two of his ‘advisors’, Sergio Vergara and Juan Jose Rendon were among the signatories to the airheaded operation, and were forced to resign.

    Guaido has not spoken to the press since the…I was hoping for an even more contemptuous word than ‘failed’, but I guess that will have to do – the failed coup. For once, he’s got nothing to say.

    Like

    1. Guaido will likely not be invited to the next State of the Union address. No one likes a loser, especially Trump.

      Like

  51. Russia hints that it might strip the Financial Times and New York Times journalists of their Russian accreditation if those sources do not retract their completely bogus stories that the death toll from coronavirus in Russia ‘could be 70% higher than official figures’, a number they apparently pulled out of their ass, or extrapolated what death toll they would be happy with.

    https://tass.com/politics/1156151

    “World Health Organization (WHO) Representative in Russia Melita Vujnovic told the Rossiya-24 TV channel that there was no evidence proving that Russian authorities were trying to hide the actual coronavirus death toll.”

    Like

    1. This to me is the most disgusting behaviour- they are essentially hoping that more Russians have died!!!

      Then they will feel better about the disastrous UK / USA response.

      Like

      1. Here’s another example. It’s clearly marked ‘Opinion’, so you would get nowhere by suing the author. It starts off reasonably enough, soberly giving credit where credit is due;

        “The testing difference between Russia and Brazil is enormous. Dr. Malinnikova and Russian leaders should be very proud. At the time of writing, they have tested 40,995 people per million population. In contrast, Brazil has a very low rate, at 3,459 tests per million citizens. (for comparison, the US has a rate of 30,937 per million).”

        But then his research leads him elsewhere – there is absolutely no way the Russians cannot be lying: “…other factors can contribute to risk of death from Covid-19 infection, including being a male, advanced age, heart disease, chronic lung disease, diabetes and obesity, for which comparative countrywide information is available.

        Of note, Russia has high rates of these comorbid conditions, especially among men.”

        Cardiac disease, he says, is much higher in Russia than in many other countries, including Brazil (he used Brazil, Russia and the United States for comparison points). Smoking is more common in Russia, meaning chronic lung disease rates should be higher, and so on and so on, point after point that says the Russians must be lying-lying-lying, until he works himself to a climax of comparison with Stalin’s “It is not who votes but who counts the votes that matters.”

        https://www.cnn.com/2020/05/13/opinions/russia-low-covid-19-mortality-rate-sepkowitz/index.html

        So by every measure, the Russians MUST be lying, and are broadcasting a ridiculously-low death count so as to make the rest of the world feel incompetent – you know, the way they always do. If they would only come clean and admit they are all dying, then maybe we could feel sorry for them. The only way the west can feel satisfied, it seems, is in knowing that the Russians are miserable.

        Like

  52. The more I see articles like this

    https://www.theatlantic.com/culture/archive/2020/05/dave-grohl-irreplaceable-thrill-rock-show/611113/?utm_source=pocket-newtab

    and this

    https://time.com/5819187/dating-coronavirus/

    the more I think we are being set up for a post-coronavirus reality in which we will be so grateful for any little bit of the normality we once knew that we will not murmur in protest at the things that are so different. They really, really are trying to make this a thing.

    Like

    1. News just in is that the British government has allowed the British film and television industry to resume production provided that social distancing guidelines, which include maintaining a 2-metre distance between employees (including actors) and the frequent washing of hands, are adhered to.

      Should be interesting to see how the British will be able to make historical dramas or any other work where romantic relationships between people are an essential part of the plot. Daniel Craig might grow very old waiting to finish his last James Bond film “No Time to Die” while the post-COVID19 reality lasts.

      Like

          1. That film has been criticized by some contemporary critics as a reflection of the British bourgeois opinion of itself, in that the love love-struck pair does not get round to doing what they really, really want to do, whereas if they were upper-class or degenerate proletarians, they would have been shagging like ferrets.

            Like

      1. That stupid social-distancing sends me ’round the bend. So far as I am aware there is no science that says airborne viral particles cannot travel more than six feet – they’ve measured them in the hallway outside hospital rooms, albeit not in sufficient concentration to sicken a person. What if I’m standing downwind? Should we all carry wind-gauges now, and add on extra separation per knot? No outdoor functions if there is anything other than light airs present? It’s just a fetish, like wearing garlic around your neck to keep away vampires. Washing your hands makes good sense, but the globe is already overpopulated and if we’re all going to have to go around in a six-foot bubble, the next thing to come will be regulations of when you can be outside your house, grouped by last name alphabetically. I’m already mad enough to punch the first person that gives me the raised eyebrow because I have intruded upon their six-foot buffer zone because the grocery aisle is not eight feet wide and I can’t stand there all fucking day while they decide which tin of peaches they like best. And I doubt I’m alone in that – that saccharine ‘we’re all in this together’ bullshit only goes so far.

        Like

  53. I heard on al-Beeb s’Allah radio nudes this morning that Butt Feed UK, the august journal which published the wholly unverified Christopher Steele Dossier alleging all sorts of naughty t-Rumpy dumpy woo-woo not a single other media outlet over the preceding months would touch with a barge pole, is folding! I guess that its parent Butt feed US will still be kept going.

    The former has done its job as an intelligence service laundromat and is no longer of any use. Close shop. Open another one somewhere else. Plus ça change.

    Like

    1. Their Oztralian Op outlet too:

      https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-52650038

      …A Buzzfeed UK investigation into 14 mysterious deaths allegedly linked to Russia was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in 2017….
      ####

      How can they put down such exceptional churnalizm? I can link Russia 14 times too with the same level of proof: Russia Russia Russia Russia Russia Russia Russia Russia Russia Russia Russia Russia Russia Russia. I’ll take cash please.

      Like

    2. Like rustproofing undercoat services for cars – absolutely guaranteed, mate, never a flake of rust, guaranteed for five years. Then when you’re at four years and the belly of your ride is as orange as Trump and you can see the road through the holes, they close up shop only to open a month later under a different name.

      Like

  54. Neuters via Antiwar.com: Moscow says it ascribed over 60% of coronavirus deaths in April to other causes
    https://uk.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-russia-death/moscow-says-it-ascribed-over-60-of-coronavirus-deaths-in-april-to-other-causes-idUKKBN22P349

    …Unlike many other countries, Moscow’s department of health said it and Russia conducted post-mortem autopsies in 100% of deaths where coronavirus was suspected as the main cause.

    “Therefore, post-mortem diagnoses and causes of death recorded in Moscow are ultimately extremely accurate, and mortality data is completely transparent,” it said. ..

    …The Interfax news agency reported on Wednesday that the Russian Foreign Ministry wanted official retractions from two Western newspapers who had published what it said was incorrect information about the country’s coronavirus death rate.
    ####

    But post mortems aren’t accurate unless you have a medical experts working for western governments to confirm them, no? Russia’s quite angry with the FT.

    Like

    1. What are the normal death rates per day in other countries? Is nobody dying any more from anything but COVID-19? Or are death rates sky-high with all the COVID deaths added on to the normal death rates?

      Like

      1. Except for NYC and adjacent regions, it seems that overall death rates are hardly any different judging by the lack of refrigerated trucks, overflowing morgues, etc. in other parts of the US. And you can bet that the media would magnify any such occurrences. As discussed earlier, something is really wrong about NYC. In any event, the NYC experience was presumed to be representative of what was in store for the rest of the US. It did not happen in Seattle or nor anywhere else.

        Like

  55. Washington’s Pissed via Antiwar.com: Ukraine blocks oligarch’s bid to regain bank and clears way for international funds
    https://www.lmtonline.com/news/article/Ukraine-blocks-oligarch-s-bid-to-regain-bank-and-15266767.php

    …he new law targets one of Ukraine’s most powerful oligarchs, Ihor Kolomoisky, co-owner of Privatbank, the country’s largest lender, nationalized in 2016 after $5.5 million of its assets disappeared.

    Court action by Kolomoisky to recover Privatbank is ongoing. But the law passed Wednesday – known in Ukraine as “anti-Kolomoisky law” – makes it impossible for him to regain control of the bank. The new law prevents former owners of banks that have been nationalized after insolvency from regaining their assets…
    ####

    Down, but not out. By a long shot.

    Like

    1. Oh, probably not. He’s a vicious bugger. But he might be a little pinched for allies – he certainly can’t go to the Russians now and offer to help out if he gets his bank back, although in a thriller that’s exactly how it would work. I saw that yesterday, but the story was in the Washington Post or one of the other subscriber-only sources, so I could only read the first paragraph. Just as a matter of curiosity, I wonder how that’s working out for them? I wonder if they get a lot of subscribers that way? The only outlet I’ve ever subscribed to, besides my recent subscription at Club Orlov, was Natural Gas News, and that was only for a year, it’s expired now.

      Like

  56. “The New York Times is unable to contain its glee at Russia’s having had to cancel its Victory Day celebrations.”

    The New York Times fails to understand Russian Culture, as usual. We had Victory Day Celebrations, we had a Tribute to the Veterans of all wars, we had the Remembrance Time Period, we had an Air Parade and various Naval Parades, (bit hard to have one of those in Moscow unless you’re Jen Psaki,) we watched movies of the Great Patriotic War, and ensured that memory of our Heroes’ Deeds stays there for future generations. The only two parts that were moved were the Land Parade and the Forever Alive Battalion. Those weren’t cancelled, but rather moved.

    Say what you will about the presidency of Donald Trump, but one of the phenomenal things he did was to expose mass media lies to the American Public on a massive scale.

    Like

    1. Hey, UCG! Good to see you! I did not include your blog in the recap of the blogroll because it had not been updated in forever. Are you still writing? If you have another blog going, please let me know and I will add it.

      Like

    2. They had a mass hurrah at 19:00 on Victory day as well. My elder daughter, who was in Moskva on the 9th, sent me a video clip that she made of the noise outside our house when it happened – Russians “Yyyyyrrrrraaaaaa – ing “ as only Russians can and bells ringing, klaxons sounding and singing and shouting.

      I wish I could post it here.

      Fuck the Nazi-loving West!

      Like

      1. Much better than that Thursday evening seal-clapping that they do in the UK for their “front line heroes”!

        Like

        1. Last night was golden silence where I was.

          And today, unheralded, more buses on the road. (And sshhhhh – a few shops reopened which the most silver-tongued advocate would toil to justify as a supplier of essential services).

          Like

          1. Selling deep fried Mars Bars again?

            🙂

            Only kidding.

            I think that jibe about such a confection is simply an example of Anglo-mockery of Scots, an annoying habit of many of my compatriots; they do the same as regards the Irish and Welsh: they just can’t help it

            Like

  57. Well, here’s a refreshing zephyr of optimism to cool the fevered brow;

    https://www.salon.com/2020/04/28/pulitzer-winner-chris-hedges-these-are-the-good-times–compared-to-whats-coming-next/

    You know what the problem is, don’t you? And how to fix it – Americans have too darned much privacy.

    https://www.salon.com/2020/05/14/mitch-mcconnells-patriot-act-expansion-would-hand-william-barr-unprecedented-spy-powers_partner/

    Some of that is spin, of course – the Democrats absolutely do not want the Attorney-General to have the power to rifle through politicians’ mail and search history, as McConnell’s amendment would allow if it passes. But being McConnell, he could not resist broadening it to include warrantless searches of any American’s browser and search history. Better not pout, you better not cry; you better watch out, I’m tellin’ you why – the Justice Department is watching everything you do online, and you’ll never know unless they decide to use what they know against you.

    If it passes, of course. At this point I would say unlikely, given the blitz of negative advertising, but you never know. Not a great time to be an American.

    Like

  58. Now, children are in danger (not)

    https://www.lewrockwell.com/2020/05/david-stockman/wake-up-donald-your-malpracticing-doctors-are-the-real-killers/

    Apparently, the bobble headed fearless leader is deliberately conflating a well known, albeit rare, children’s disease called Kawaski Syndrome with Covid-19. Almost as if….he wanted to stoke even more fear and a demand for a “cure” at any cost.

    Lots of good data and discussion in linked article above.

    Like

    1. Dear God. It’s like a nightmare that is still going on when you wake up, and cannot be dismissed with a pinch of sunshine and a cup of coffee. We’ve joked on and off for years about the collapse of America, and I always did think it would come one day because of the reckless fiscal policies and galloping debt, as well as a growing global resistance to use of the American dollar. But it might actually be here, we might be standing on the lip of it. Those figures are horrific, and already many sources tell us nearly half the small businesses are not coming back. Think of that; out of every three of your favourite restaurants, you’ll never eat at one of them again.

      Maybe there will be a wave of new Generation Z startups, although I don’t have much of a feeling for how many of them are interested in starting a small business – and who’s got any money? It normally would be able to reach even someone as thick as The Donald when employment has fallen off a cliff at the same time debt has skyrocketed that this is an economy in deep, deep trouble.

      If I were America, I would lay off of the Russophobia and start nailing strips of metal across my own ass.

      Like

  59. So….like…pretty much every time some fat blowhard like Pompeo gets up behind a podium and puffs and blows about so much evidence you wouldn’t even believe it…he already knows they’ve got nothing. That’s right, he is getting up there under the lights in front of God and the world, and knowingly telling lies.

    That’s quite a remove from We All Thought and Nobody Could Have Predicted.

    More than two years ago, Crowdstrike’s president, Shawn Henry, acknowledged under oath that the firm he headed “had no concrete evidence that Russian hackers stole emails from the Democratic National Committee’s server.”

    https://www.realclearinvestigations.com/articles/2020/05/13/hidden_over_2_years_dem_cyber-firms_sworn_testimony_it_had_no_proof_of_russian_hack_of_dnc_123596.html

    Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) vindicated; they said within weeks of the accusations that it could not have been done via the internet, that they had modeled it under actual conditions and were not able to get anything even close to the data transfer rate, and that it was most likely a thumb drive inserted directly at the server. Which spells local, and probably a Democrat staffer with easy access. Although the media regularly says Wikileaks refused to confirm Seth Rich was its source, it sure looks to me like that’s what Assange was saying here.

    https://nypost.com/2016/08/10/julian-assange-suggests-dnc-staffer-was-shot-dead-for-being-a-source/

    Absurdly, the more wheels come off the Russiagate hoax, the more the mainstream media continues to refer to its ‘findings’ as an article of faith; “When Russia meddled in the 2016 election…”

    Like

  60. Yes, Russiagate has become our security blanket. And now, Chinagate is coming online as Russiagate falls apart from overuse.

    The ads for a local politician features a map of China glowing a menacing red emitting danger waves of some sort with a voice over warning us that China is a direct threat to the US. Our fearless Senator will fight China and restore American jobs.

    Like

  61. It was striking seeing videos of tens of thousands of American families line up in their cars for emergency food just one week after losing their jobs. These families (numbering in the millions) had essentially zero savings and likely large debt. That explain the rush to distribute $600/week per person otherwise there could be starvation, food riots, etc.

    The US is truly fragile; from the family to the largest corporations.

    Like

    1. Whilst rooting around on the old blog, looking for some old references to be used in a new post, I came across this quote: context – we were looking for who it was said no Empire has lasted longer than 300 years.

      “We were discussing, in the later comments to the previous post, who it was who said that no Empire has lasted longer than 300 years, considering the USA celebrated its bicentennial in 1976. Although I was unable to find any reference which spelled that out – the introduction to “Legacy of Ashes”, a book on the CIA, contains a quote which says no Republic has lasted more than 300 years – my search did turn up this quote, attributed to Alexander Tytler, in 1787.

      A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves money from the public treasure. From that moment on the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most money from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy followed by a dictatorship.

      The average age of the world’s great civilizations has been two hundred years. These nations have progressed through the following sequence: from bondage to spiritual faith, from spiritual faith to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency, from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependency, from dependency back to bondage.

      Where on that curve would you say we are now?

      Like

      1. Ashes to ashes, funk to funky
        We know Major Tom’s a junky
        Strung out in heaven’s high
        Hitting an all-time low

        ####

        David Bowie…

        Like

        1. My error! I was thinking of Slovakia, which had a Roman Catholic Nazi cardinal who led the Slovaks into an alliance with Nazi Germany after that state had occupied what is now the Czech Republic in 1938.

          Nazi Slovakia thereafter joined in with the 1939 Wehrmacht invasion of Poland.

          That last skirmish of WWII in Europe may very likely have been between Nazi Slovenians and Italians, who had ditched Mussolini and joined the Western allies. On the other hand, detachments of the British army, which had occupied part of Austria, might well have been the protagonists in the skirmish, or the skirmish may well have been a mopping up operation undertaken by elements of the Red Army, which army had also occupied much of Austria. Or it could have been between anti-Nazi Slovenians and their kinfolk Nazis.

          The Nazi Slovenians were best buddies with their neighbouring Croatian Chetniks.

          The Slovenians demanded at the end of WWII territory that the Italians had grabbed in 1918, Slovenia then being part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, a member state of the Central Powers, the other Central Powers being the German Reich and the Ottoman Empire.

          Slovenians and Croatians are Roman Catholics, of course.

          Mrs Trump, wife of the buffoon Donald, is a Slovenian, whose Slavic maiden family name had been Germanified long before she had set off on her modeling career.

          Like

          1. I recall reading somewhere that the Slovenes wanted Trieste so they could have proper access to the Adriatic sea and a ready-made port instead of the measly 40 km of coastline and the tiny port of Piran that they currently have. Trieste was denied to them and the city remains Italian.

            Like

            1. Trieste was the home port of the Austro-Hungarian navy.

              Fiume was another Slovenian place the Eyeties nicked after WWI. It has a Slavic name, but I forget what It is now.

              Like

                1. Yeah, in Croatia the former Italian Fiume was – further along the Adriatic coastline. In inter-world wars Italy, there was a large population of Slovenian and Croatian nationals. This was the result of successive Italian governments attempting to seize former Austro-Hungarian Empire territory, which empire included much of northern Italy. Venice was once an “Austrian”. city.

                  Like

          2. The Nazi Slovenians were best buddies with their neighbouring Croatian Chetniks.

            The correct term is “Ustashe”. Chetnicks were Serbian and fought the Nazis more ferociously than any other resistance movement.

            Like

  62. Just saw a snippet of (useless?) information this morning whilst browsing the web: on this day 75 years ago was fought the final skirmish of WWII in Europe – you know, that war which ended in victory for the USA and the UK, the latter assisted by its commonwealth, dominion and imperial armed forces, I believe, and the total defeat of Germany and its allies and the liberation of Europe from the Nazi yoke.

    That final skirmish took place at Poljana, Slovenia.

    Slovenia had been since 1939 a Nazi puppet state under the leadership of a Nazi Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church.

    I should imagine that Poljana in Slovenian means Polyana [поляна] in Russian, which means “meadow” in English.

    Slovenian is a Slavic tongue, see.

    I wonder who the protagonists in that last firefight of WWII were?

    Doubtless on one side was the Wehrmacht of Nazi Germany, or perhaps Slovenian die-hard Nazi scum, and on the other side?

    Texas Rangers, I suppose, probably units of gung-ho US general George Patton.

    Like

    1. gung-ho FFS!!!!!

      I’m sick to bloody death of this spellchecker!

      It just tried to write “hung-ho” again!

      I wish it would duck off with its changing what I write!

      If I want to write “traveller” and not “traveler” , then it should sucking mind it’s own business!

      Like

      1. Cardinal of the Catholic Church? The relationship between the Pope and the Nazis/Western elites is an under-researched topic in the Western History of WW II. Nine out of ten Serbs would agree.

        Like

      2. There must be some way you can turn it off. I know it’s always running in the background, judging you, but there must be a way to take away its mandate to make changes as it sees fit. Vova would know, I am sure.

        Like

        1. Vova is in double isolation with his Nastya. I haven’t seen him for a couple of weeks already. I send him messages , asking him how it’s going. He just answers: “I’m fine”. I guess he is, the layabout.

          Like

          1. Nice work if you can get it. Ahhh…I remember those days in Russia. We were not in isolation, but we didn’t go out much. Mind you, we were married. And that may be the outcome of his confinement, as well. Or they will discover they cannot stand each other.

            Like

          2. Changing spellchecker from US English to whatever your preference is, may be something your daughters may know how to do and show you. It usually does not require much technical knowledge.

            Like

            1. I know, of course, how to change spellchecker in Microsoft Word. It’s the spellchecker in Word Press that is bugging me.

              Like

              1. And shame on you for being so sexist!!!! 🙂

                Why should you think my daughters may lack technical knowledge?

                Mrs. Exile, by the way, is a mechanical engineer. She graduated from one of the top technical universities in the USSR, the Bauman Technical University.

                When I met her, she was involved in designing huge industrial compressors.

                Like

                1. When trying to write “gung ho” above, it changed “gung” to “hung”. It has just done so again. I have changed “hung” to “gung” and now all the “gungs” have red dotted lines under them.

                  Like

              2. “It’s the spellchecker in Word Press that is bugging me.”

                Word Press has a spellchecker?

                I think the spellchecker is in your browser.

                Like

                1. Gung ho! Traveller. Centre.

                  Done it!

                  That smart arse spellchecker has not changed what I wrote above, nor did it change “arse” into “ass”.

                  Like

    2. I do not think that that skirmish at Poljana, Slovenia, was, in fact, the last firefight in WWII in Europe, as is stated in Wiki.

      In my opinion, the last WWII skirmish between Nazis and their opponents took place about 10 years after the one at Poljana, in western UkSSR between Banderites and Soviet armed forces or in the Baltic Soviet republics, again between Nazi sympathizers, for want of a better term, and Soviet armed forces.

      Like

      1. From Wiki:

        World War II and aftermath</b
        With the annexation of the Province of Ljubljana by Italy and the subsequent deportation of 25,000 Slovenes, which equaled 7.5% of the total population of the Province, the operation, one of the most drastic in Europe, filled up Rab concentration camp, Gonars concentration camp, Monigo (Treviso), Renicci d’Anghiari, Chiesanuova, and other Italian concentration camps where altogether 9,000 Slovenes died, World War II came close to Trieste. Following the trisection of Slovenia, starting from the winter of 1941, the first Slovene Partisans appeared in Trieste province, although the resistance movement did not become active in the city itself until late 1943.

        After the Italian armistice in September 1943, the city was occupied by Wehrmacht troops. Trieste became nominally part of the newly constituted Italian Social Republic, but it was de facto ruled by Germany, who created the Operation Zone of the Adriatic Littoral out of former Italian north-eastern regions, with Trieste as the administrative centre. The new administrative entity was headed by Friedrich Rainer. Under German occupation, the only concentration camp with a crematorium on Italian soil was built in a suburb of Trieste, at the Risiera di San Sabba on 4 April 1944. About 5,000 South Slavs, Italian anti-Fascists and Jews died at the Risiera, while thousands more were imprisoned before being transferred to other concentration camps.

        The city saw intense Italian and Yugoslav partisan activity and suffered from Allied bombings, over twenty raids in 1944-1945, targeting the oil refineries, port and marshalling yard but also causing considerable collateral damage to the city and 651 deaths among the population. The worst raid took place on 10 June 1944, when a hundred tons of bombs dropped by forty USAAF bombers, targeting the oil refineries, resulted in the destruction of 250 buildings, damage to another 700 and 463 victims.

        The city’s Jewish community was deported to extermination camps, where most of them died.

        Yugoslav occupation
        On 30 April 1945, the Slovenian and Italian anti-Fascist Osvobodilna fronta (OF) and National Liberation Committee (Comitato di Liberazione Nazionale, or CLN) of Marzari and Savio Fonda, made up of approximately 3,500 volunteers, incited a riot against the Nazi occupiers. On 1 May Allied members of the Yugoslav Partisans’ 8th Dalmatian Corps took over most of the city, except for the courts and the castle of San Giusto, where the German garrisons refused to surrender to anyone other than New Zealanders. (The Yugoslavs had a reputation for shooting German and Italian prisoners.) The 2nd New Zealand Division under General Freyberg continued to advance towards Trieste along Route 14 around the northern coast of the Adriatic sea and arrived in the city the following day (see official histories The Italian Campaign and Through the Venetian Line). The German forces surrendered on the evening of 2 May, but were then turned over to the Yugoslav forces.

        The Yugoslavs held full control of the city until 12 June, a period known in Italian historiography as the “forty days of Trieste”. During this period, hundreds of local Italians and anti-Communist Slovenes were arrested by the Yugoslav authorities, and many of them were never seen again. Some were interned in Yugoslav concentration camps (in particular at Borovnica, Slovenia), while others were murdered on the Karst Plateau. British Field Marshal Harold Alexander condemned the Yugoslav military occupation, stating that “Marshal Tito’s apparent intention to establish his claims by force of arms . . . [is] all too reminiscent of Hitler, Mussolini and Japan. It is to prevent such actions that we have been fighting this war.”

        After an agreement between the Yugoslav leader Josip Broz Tito and Field Marshal Alexander, the Yugoslav forces withdrew from Trieste, which came under a joint British-U.S. military administration. The Julian March was divided by the Morgan Line between Anglo-American and Yugoslav military administration until September 1947 when the Paris Peace Treaty established the Free Territory of Trieste.

        Lots of bloodletting in a little known corner of Europe during the last days of WWII.

        Like

  63. Summarizing:
    – Covid-19 is used to shutdown the economy;
    – The Federal Reserve prints trillions of dollars to buy junk bonds thereby transferring trillions of dollars from private (i.e. financial elites) to public debt;
    – The US population will suffer a huge drop in the standard of living, social stress and sharply reduced freedoms to persists for years if not generations;
    – No chance of a socialist revolution as, of course, the virus caused the collapse of the economy and not greedy and narcissistic billionaires (for example, we are told that Bill and Melinda Gates are simply trying to help, so noble of them);
    – The virus can come back at any moment and is now stalking our children;
    – We will live in fear desperately hoping Big Pharma can develop a vaccine that we will eagerly line up for injections regardless of the cost or effectiveness;
    – And at the bottom of it all – the COMMUNIST Chinese.

    Nicely done!

    Like

    1. Here’s another example of media efforts to build a sense of hopelessness, that COVID is like no other disease before or ever will be, where your every optimistic initiative is intercepted with a gentle but firm admonition that we really know NOTHING about this disease, it’s more powerful and tricky than anyone ever imagined – aware and intuitive, it moves to meet and foil your every move.

      https://www.theverge.com/2020/5/7/21248734/coronavirus-antibody-tests-explained-covid-19-immunity-accurate

      https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/without-a-vaccine-herd-immunity-wont-save-us/

      Were you thinking you could just go get tested, and if the test revealed you had antibodies, it meant you had already had it, probably asymptomatically, and are now good to go? Dare to dream – the tests are shit, nobody has any that are actually reliable, and they are ‘a work in progress’. Go for herd immunity? Forget that, mister. The only thing that will save us is a vaccine which must be taken worldwide, and we really should not leave our homes until such a vaccine is available and tested and verified. Don’t worry, you cheap prick – it won’t cost you anything – the government will supply it. Now that the government has complete control over the entire money supply, that won’t be a problem. But it’s not like YOU’RE paying for it.

      COVID-19 is like the germ al Qaeda; you never know where it will pop up next, and it’s never completely defeated. Endlessly resourceful, numbers unknown, resilient and deadly, we must throw ever more money and effort at wiping it out but each effort ends in failure – so close, and yet so far.

      I have a feature called ‘Pocket’, which is handy for saving articles you want to read later and want to put away somewhere. The program, like all others, observes your search habits and sends you suggestions for what it thinks you might be interested to read. So I have a whole section on coronavirus – not anything I’ve saved, just suggestions for me that I have not acknowledged. Without exception, there is not a single one which is optimistic. Every one is some new terrifying feature of the disease that we must now rush to cope with, or helpful guidance on how to start preparing now for the post-COVID world, and things that are gone forever. Not a single “We came, we saw, we kicked its narrow ass” type of rallying-cry. Nothing but gloom and despondency. Is this how we normally react to challenges? It sure as fuck is not.

      Like

  64. https://iz.ru/1011086/gallery/85-let-moskovskomu-metro#

    Советский андеграунд: что творилось в московском метро

    андеграунд?

    Yalensis, ME or anybody for that matter, is there any need at all for this bad journalism ,using anglicisms unnecessarily ?It’s is the same league as 5th columnism , maybe these journalists are as such. Most western countries use “metro” anyway, US use subway and UK underground

    Like

    1. It’s wannabe-a-Westerner “liberal” journalists who dream up such concoctions, I’m sure. Navalny likes throwing in such anglicized “Russian” as well, and he most definitely is a fifth columnist.

      All the Russian speakers of English whom I know say “subway” if they prefer to speak United States English, or “the tube” when referring to the London Underground.

      I never use the term “the tube”. I think it is slangy. Historically, “the tube” refers to the deepest London Underground lines, specifically the Northern Line, which was constructed at the turn of the 20th century and whose tunnels are indeed tube-like and whose carriages are tiny and cramped.

      The original London Underground lines, such as those of the former Metropolitan Railway , now the Metropolitan Line of the London Underground system, are just below Street level and have standard size carriages.

      I say “standard” meaning standard as regards British railways standard. British railway carriages seem tiny when compared to Russian ones, not least because the standard gauge for Russian railways is 5 feet.

      North American railways also use British “standard gauge”, yet their carriages, or “cars” in US parlance, are much bigger than those in the UK, as were US and Canadian steam locomotives.

      The British paid the penalty of being pioneers in railway transport and built their locomotives and rolling stock small scale. By the time railway technology had quickly spread to other countries, railway engineers had already realized that they could run much larger vehicles along the “standard” 4 foot 8.5 inches “standard gauge”. And why just 4 foot 8.5 inches?

      In fact, it was a US engineer who recommended that the first trunk line in Russia proper, St. Petersburg to Moscow, be 5 foot. Incidentally.

      It is a myth, by the way, that Russian railways were planned to have a “broad gauge” so as to make the logistics for an invading Western army that much more difficult. The Warsaw-Moscow line originally was of “standard gauge”, but Warsaw, when that line was built, was not in Russia proper, but in the Duchy of Warsaw, which was part of the Russian Empire.

      But I digress! The most laughable of Anglo-Russian terms that I have ever come across is джобсикер – “jobseeker”. It sounds quite vulgar to Russian ears, I should imagine, because of that “yob” sound in it, “yob” [еб] being the past participle of “yebat’” [ебать] – “to fuck”.

      In Russian, “yob” means “[I/he] fucked”.

      Like

  65. Hi stooges! I require help with understanding a sentence in Bureaucratic-English.

    > SOJTF-OIR [American-led anti-ISIS coalition] personnel did not account for $715.8 million of budgeted CTEF-S equipment from procurement through divestment for FY 2017 and 2018

    That’s from their audit. What exactly does it mean though? Did they lose track of money, equipment or simply not spend the budgeted money?

    Like

    1. “Divestment” is the opposite of “investment”, and means funds realized through the sale of an asset. It looks as though they sold off an asset or assets to gain the funds to buy equipment, and poof! some or all of the equipment was not purchased, and yet there were no funds! So $715.8 million disappeared and they have nothing concrete to show for it. The divestment took place and the assets – whatever they were – were turned into cash, but the cash was not turned into equipment.

      I imagine the supply of equipment and logistics and ammunition to the ‘moderate rebels’ was quite a nice earner for quite a few sharp people, and a considerable amount of money vanished, because once the flip-flops got it it just disappeared anyway; they either lost it or wrecked it in the desert, or sold it to ISIS or whatever. Out of sight, out of mind.

      Here’s an example – not exact, because the fraud did not result from divestment; it was just government money appropriated from public funds, in Iraq. The company Custer Battles, started by a couple of former US Army officers, was headquartered at the international airport in Baghdad, following the invasion of Iraq. The company stole the forklifts from the airport (the Iraqis had no control over anything in their country any more) and painted them a different colour, and then leased them to the US government, pocketing hundreds of thousands. They were making so much money they had to establish an offshore in the Caymans to hide it.

      https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5258254

      Like

      1. Thanks. Although in this case “divestment” means a different thing. my apologies for not posting a larger quote:

        >The DoD OIG conducted this audit to determine whether the DoD properly accounted for and stored Counter-ISIS Train and Equip Fund equipment designated for Syria (CTEF-S) from procurement through divestment in accordance with guidance.

        >Divestment refers to the transfer of ownership and accountability of equipment from the DoD to the DoD-approved vetted Syrian opposition…

        >The DoD OIG determined that Special Operations Joint Task Force–Operation Inherent Resolve (SOJTF-OIR) personnel did not account for $715.8 million of budgeted CTEF-S equipment from procurement through divestment for FY 2017 and 2018 in accordance with DoD Instruction 5000.64 and Army Regulation 735-5.

        There is more in that audit btw, including an instance of paying $116 million more than necessary for the Camp Taji BLS [Base Life Support] contracts.

        Like

        1. I’m no accountant but is it possible that the $715.8 million shortfall represents a loss made when the original assets sold off in the divestment did not sell for as much as they were supposed to? In other words, the original assets may have been over-valued before their sale – because someone made an error in calculating their secondhand value or figured out a way of profiting from the sale that could be just written off somehow.

          The other thing to consider too is that what is set on paper may not match what actually happened and this observation would be more true for Pentagon financial statements than for other folks’ financial statements including those of global Mafia organisations.

          Like

      2. This fraud was breathtaking. It began as an accident when a tiny logistics company that was run by twin sisters invoiced the military with a shipping charge invoice ten (10) times larger than it should have been; apparently due to a typo. The invoice was paid without question. They then tested they system again with overcharges and each time the invoice was paid. Their increasing confidence peaked with these charges:
        $445,640 for shipping an $8.75 elbow pipe
        $492,096 for shipping a $10.99 machine thread plug
        $403,436 for shipping six machine screws worth a total of $59.94
        None of the above led to their downfall. It was rather a simple error; they invoiced twice for the same service. It triggered an audit and that was the end of that.

        Before the downfall, thesisters became the pillars of the community with their “generosity”, supported the Republican party all the while enjoying lavish lifestyles. I suppose they won entrepreneurs of the century awards.

        When discovered, one sister committed suicide. The other faced various charges. Her defense included blaming her deceased sister.

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

        And here is a link to other examples of American greed (at least those discovered and safe to air):

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

        Like

  66. Russia Observer: RUSSIAN FEDERATION SITREP 14 MAY 2020
    https://patrickarmstrong.ca/2020/05/14/russian-federation-sitrep-14-may-2020/

    RUSSIA AND COVID. Today’s numbers: total cases: 250K; total deaths: 2305; tests per 1 million: 42K.Russia has done six million tests (second after USA); among countries with populations over 10M it’s fifth in tests per million and of those over 100M first; one could therefore expect it to find new cases – most of which have little effect….
    ####

    Rest at the link, obvs.

    I read in the last day that Russia has now tested over 6 million citizens. Good luck finding that in any al-Beeb s’Allah reports:

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-52659481

    Like

    1. Ahhh, but how reliable are the tests? See? This pandemic is beautiful, you can just twist and wriggle and there’s no pinning you down. If the Russians pull off an astonishing achievement, well, first you can say they’re lying – that’s always a good go-to. If somebody speaks up for them and says no, they’re not lying, then imply their ‘tests’ (be sure to put it in “sure, as if” contempt marks like I did) are the equivalent of sticking a spoon in your mouth to see if the spoon changes colour.

      Like

      1. That’s my point. I’ve read that the tests only show the presence of coronavirus bits and pieces (which most of us have — CV infections are quite common); attributing deaths is a huge judgement call between 1) died with together with a bunch of other things that would have carried you off next week 2) as far as we know the only cause of death #) never saw the body but think it was COVID. In short, a whole bunch of variables in which one’s guess is as good as another’s. As far as I know the lethality of flu seasons are calculated by excess deaths (also estimates).
        So, in the best of all possible worlds, it’s a bunch of reasonable and rational estimates combined together and, in the wicked world we live in, there’s a bunch of politics thrown in to slant the estimate this way or that.

        Like

  67. Uh oh; Johnny-Boy Guaido put considerable effort into distancing himself from the recent K-Mart Koup attempt to kidnap Maduro and turn him over to the Feds; he said he knew nothing, had nothing whatsoever to do with it in any way, shape or form, and a couple of his ‘advisors’ fell on their swords and were canned.

    But according to captured mercs, the head of Silvercorp met with Guaido in Washington.

    What a turd.

    https://www.fort-russ.com/2020/05/revealed-guaido-held-meetings-with-deep-state-mercenaries-before-the-failed-attack-on-venezuela/

    Like

    1. The cynic (not moi) might wonder why Randomguy-Doh, the One and Only True President of Venezuela, is in Washington. Wasn’t the fact that Yanukovych left Kiev the reason to legitimately replace him? So hard to keep up which what we’re supposed to believe.

      Like

      1. Like so many other situations, it depends entirely on success. Had the mercenaries successfully captured Maduro (I know it’s hard to see how, but play along and pretend) and turned him over to the Americans, who had already publicly announced he was wanted for drug-trafficking, it would have been an enormous success. The USA would either have tried him and found him guilty and imprisoned him, or exonerated him and let him go after stalling long enough for Guaido to get his government established, and then offered to help Maduro find a new home somewhere else. Either way, Guaido’s plan would have been hailed as the last word in audacity and boldness, entirely in keeping for the young firebrand who would lead Venezuela into prosperity and security with the help of powerful American commercial interests. And the deed would have been done.

        Instead, he is an object of mockery and failure. You get your one shot, and you have to decide whether to take it, based on the merits of the plan, which in this case just goes to show how clueless and vacillating Guaido really is. Because it was a stupid plan.

        Just a roll of the dice; Put ’em in motion
        Where they stop, nobody knows,
        Roll of the dice; ain’t nothing for certain
        But if you feel lucky,.. go ahead and roll them bones.

        Like

          1. In precision flying, pilots are at least as intent on their partner’s wing as they are on the direction the formation is headed, and a twitch is enough to make them bail. It is lucky he was in the best position to break away, with nobody on his starboard side. But he didn’t appear too freaked out, and made a course to rejoin almost immediately. Anyway, I guess that’s why you practice. But precision flying is extremely competitive internationally, with a high proportion of daredevils, and fatal accidents are fairly frequent. In 1982 four members of that same aerobatics group flew straight into the ground at Indian Springs Air Force Auxiliary Field in Nevada – they were practicing a four-plane loop and were supposed to level off at about 100 feet after performing the maneuver. Possibly the leader was watching his wingmen and delayed his pullout too long – the others are watching the planes next to them and concentrating on keeping formation, and really only the leader is watching where they are going. Of course they were all killed instantly; it was the team’s worst operational accident. The dead pilots were all in their 30’s, with the oldest one only 37.

            Here’s both views of a Thunderbird F-16 going into the runway at an Airshow. The pilot ejected just a fraction of a second before it impacted, you can see in the ejection replay how close it was – the camera was destroyed while he was still only halfway out of the cockpit. But the maneuver looks lazy and simple; you can see him perform only one cursory check as to where the ground is while he’s at the apex of the loop. He just let the plane get too low on his second pass, maybe got caught in the ground effect and lost lift.

            Like

              1. They say not, although someone might have been hospitalized with injuries. I wonder that they have never moved to a newer model aircraft – the CT-114 Tutor was our standard jet trainer from sometime in the 60’s until 2000, but they stopped making them well before that so the aircraft are easily more than 20 years old and probably closer to 30 if not older. They probably handle very solidly, being a trainer by role, but those engines have to be getting some serious hours on them.

                Like

  68. Middle East Eye via Antiwar.com: REVEALED: The secret US-Iran deal that installed Kadhimi in Baghdad
    https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/revealed-secret-us-iran-deal-installed-kadhimi-baghdad

    Tehran ordered Shia factions to back prime minister in return for Washington ‘looking the other way’ over release of assets targeted by sanctions, Iraqi officials tell MEE

    …Iraqi sources declined to say where Iranian assets would be unfrozen, but pointed to a decision last month by a court in Luxembourg to block a US request to transfer $1.6bn in Iranian assets to victims of the 9/11 attacks in a case dating back to 2012…

    ####

    So, despite much huffing and puffing, deals are still being done. I suspect that as this is an US erection year, the White House doesn’t want any surprises that it doesn’t initiate itself. Cauterising i-Ran until after the results makes sense. If this is the strategy, then logically the US must have made similar deals with other ‘enemies.’ Just don’t call it a sign of weakness. Coming to think of it, I also read that the US has returned two Patriot SAM units from Saudi Arabia. That fits in to the pattern, though rather because the chance of attacks are reduced but there’s probably no need to tell Riyadh about it…

    Like

    1. The US always considers that a great deal, and it is – for them. Give you back something that was yours anyway that they illegally seized from you, in exchange for putting ‘their man’ in a position of power and influence. What’s not to like? Now they will work through Kadhimi to undermine any initiatives they do not like, and to make Iran more obedient to American directives. Or that would be the plan, although I think history will catch up with them first.

      Like

    2. I should add, except China. The US is currently trying to flog road mobile Harpoon missiles to China and France is trying to flog upgraded decoys for Taiwanese ships.

      China’s mistake is to respond to every public barb and slight, much as the British press have discovered calling Russia liars over their CoVid-19 deaths has hit a rich vein. If I was the former, I’d up the cost so that whoever is selling loses 10x more (I think they are doing something like that already). Hit them in the pocked. If I was the latter, I’d mock Britian’s Harry Potter magical Corona numbers that their media largely goes along with and ram the number 6 million Russian tests down their throat (like all other nations who have effectively handled the pandemic, SK etc.). Proof is in the pudding, no?

      Like

      1. The bigger portion of the order will be completed by 2028; assuming the supplier (Boeing) is still in business. I wonder if the order is more of a lifeline to our friendly sky giant than a necessity.

        Like

  69. Middle East Eye via Antiwar.com: Israel seeking to rebuild full diplomatic ties with Turkey
    https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/israel-turkey-diplomatic-ties-full-rebuild-mediterranean-gas

    Israeli official tells MEE that shared interests in Syria and gas supplies in the Eastern Mediterranean should bring the two countries together

    …The comments came as Turkish social media users earlier this week hyped an unverified story which said Israel had proposed to sign a Mediterranean delimitation deal with Turkey, similar to one agreed with Libya last year disrupting Greek plans to squeeze Turkey into a tight corner.

    Euphoria over a possible ease in the relationship followed a tweet posted by the official Israel account on Twitter that said Israel was proud of its diplomatic relations with Turkey and was hoping to grow the ties even stronger in the future….
    ####

    Birds of a feather. Scumbag Nut&Yahoo needs stability at least in the short term so is making up with scumbag Erd O’Grand. N&Y is apparently trying to cuddle up to Beijing to provide some insulation from u-Rope when he officially steals annexes the West Bank. The French are pushing for sanctions if it goes ahead but I don’t see how the EU will agree that unanimously considering other states far more favorable who have already announced that they’ll move their embassies to Jerusalem.

    The more I look at all the cunning schemes put together this year the more fragile everything looks. It’s almost asking for a Black Swan event to blow it all out of the water. No-one will be in control. I just hope there are still some cool heads further down the chain who will hesistate for long enough when someone further up the chain gets too exicted.

    Let us not forget that they were best buds in the old days In the old days, for example i-Sreal upgraded TuAF F-4 Phantoms to Terminator 2020 and other military stuff.*

    * https://militarywatchmagazine.com/article/terminator-2020-why-the-f-4-phantom-is-still-turkey-s-fastest-highest-flying-and-most-heavily-armed-fighter-jet

    Like

    1. Yes, I’m afraid the world is stuck with Benny as permanent leader of Israel until his health fails and he dies. There is plainly no getting rid of him, although I feel about him as I imagine Washington feels about Putin. No matter what Benny does, he is able to get away with it and hang on to power, and there is no use getting excited about this or that initiative to overthrow him or expel him through the courts. He is just always going to be around, cutting little deals for the Israeli state, until he pops his clogs.

      Israel and Turkey are a good match, because their leaders each believe they are much smarter than their counterpart and will be able to manipulate him easily. I further imagine Benny is envious of Russia’s hold over Erdogan through its gas deals, and envisions getting some similar leverage of his own, which he would then use to make deals on Washington’s behalf in return for some sweet deals for Israel. I can’t stand him (either of them, really), but realistically he is no different than any other politician, always maneuvering for national benefit.

      I see Erdy’s new Assault Carrier is due to be commissioned later this year, and is in final fitting out – the ANADOLU is presently expected to carry helicopters and will give Turkey a modest power-projection capability; also, as a Black Sea state, it can likely be deployed at its pleasure in the Black Sea. It is technically not an aircraft carrier, although speculation remains constant that Erdogan will surprise everyone and order a complement of F-35B’s for it. From the sounds of it, America would not say No.

      https://www.forbes.com/sites/hisutton/2020/05/13/turkeys-new-assault-carrier-will-transform-navy/#31ce32519f1d

      Like

      1. If you had to bet, who do you think would last longer, Erd O’Grand or N&Y?

        Despite N&Y’s ability to stay out of jail, we should also note that despite serially ‘winning’ i-Sraeli elections it’s not got any easier to form a government. It’s the opposite. He’s also made a lot of enemies and is operating on the margins. He depends on others and is hardly the king maker he was. It’s hard to imagine Erd O’Grand going anywhere but then I think we would all be more surprised if he came to a abrupt end.

        In general I would quote from Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure: Strange things are afoot at the CircleK.

        Like

        1. Whooo! Too close to call. As I mentioned earlier, they are a lot alike in their character and personality, and I think they are both resolved to remain in power for life. And the United States obviously has no problem at all with Benny ‘winning’ election after election – you don’t hear any bleating about ‘no alternative to Netanyahu’, do you? It is not quite so happy with Erdogan, but he’s so squirrely you never know what he’s going to do, so Putin cannot really rely on him, either – I think he sees Turkey as a Great Power, and is attempting to run it as though it is. But at the same time he is well aware of Turkey’s strategic importance to whoever is its friend, and knows he can get away with as much as he likes.

          Like

          1. Erdogan may have more allies, in the form of the various business cronies who own or run construction companies that have benefited from past programs of his in improving Istanbul and building dams all over the country (especially over rivers that feed Syria and Iraq downstream), and perhaps also in the armed forces since he purged them and probably replaced them with yes-people, than Netanyahu does. I think I read somewhere also that Netanyahu relies quite heavily on his wife Sara and she has made a lot of enemies in Israel partly due to the influence she has over Benny but mostly because she is such an odious character herself, even more so than Benny.

            I predict then that Erdogan will last just a bit longer than Netanyahu.

            Like

            1. I think the main advantage Mr. Erdogan enjoys is that Turkey is potentially important to a lot of countries, and the ongoing fickleness just emphasizes that – at least until there’s a major shift in the regional balance of power. Israel – not so much.

              Like

              1. Oh, I don’t know – Israel is pretty important to the United States, not just as the polestar of their religion, but as a coy We’re-not-saying-yes-and-we’re-not-saying-no nuclear power in the Middle East which it uses as a surrogate fist to keep the region in line. But Turkey definitely has a strong advantage in geostrategic positioning. But Benny makes up for it with his diplomatic presence; butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth, he’s everybody’s friend until your back is turned. Erdogan always looks like he’s trying to lip-read everything said, and when he’s not doing something he likes – which is definitely not diplomacy – he is plainly bored and sometimes looks like he may lose consciousness.

                Like

                1. It’s true Israel is important both as the US’ deputy sheriff in the Middle East and as part of fundamentalist Christian apocalyptic belief but for all the support Satanyahu gets from the likes of Sheldon Adelson and others, I daresay if some other up-n-coming politician came into the Knesset who looks like future PM material, ticks all the right identity-politics boxes and has a clean slate (no potential corruption scandals), then Mr and Mrs Benny will be quickly dumped and they’ll be behind bars in no time at all. They of all people must surely know their usefulness to the US is coming to a close and Benny’s antics in derailing the results of not one but three general elections certainly say as much. If he had as much support from the US as the state of Israel has, the US could arrange some way for him to be elevated to President of Israel instead of allowing this chaotic situation in Israel to have lasted as long as it has.

                  Like

                2. I think the admiration America has for Benny is a bit like the admiration it covertly bore for the Nazis – it’s so bad, but it’s so good. They publicly condemn election-rigging, but as you are well aware, reserve the right to do absolutely everything inside the law and a few things outside it to ensure the electorate has as little work to do in making up its mind as possible. All political movers and shakers in all the ‘democratic’ countries watch carefully what the others are doing to remain in power – and it’s a truism that the first thing a politician elected to a first term thinks about is his second term – and note well what worked and what did not. Consequently Benny is admired and even revered in some quarters as a ruthless politician who knows how to wring the system for every advantage it will yield. And in such an environment, being charged with criminal activity but completely escaping punishment is regarded by the political class with admiration that is the complete opposite one would expect.

                  Like

                3. Yes, Israel is vastly important to the US – for principally theological reasons – as a result of which, no one is in a hurry to get in a fight with Israel if they have any choice (sucks to be Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Syria – and even, to a lesser degree, Iran who don’t really have a choice) .
                  However, a lot of nations want things from Turkey – The US, for sure, the EU want Turkey to stem the refugee tide, the gulf theocracies want Turkey to back them or at least stay out their fight with Iran, except the Qataris who have a considerable interest in Turkey’s assistance to fend off the Saudis, the Russians have a variety of things they’d like, Syria would very much like Turkey to get the hell out of Idlib and the borderlands (but OTOH, Turkey could help them out by helping to eliminate the US proxy kurdish foot soldiers which would complicate the US occupation no end), China would like Turkey as a participant in OBOR, the list goes on. So, notwithstanding Erdogan’s general wretchedness, people mostly have to be avoid antagonizing the Turks.
                  I think only disinclination to get in the inevitable scuffle with the US keeps other nations civil to the Israelis. Well, that and Israel’s own nukes, at least for their immediate neighbours.
                  My two cents worth, I could be horribly wrong.

                  Like

                4. No, you’re not wrong at all; those are all good points. But even if Erdogan were covered from head to foot in festering boils, Washington would still get cheek to cheek with him if he just extended his hand and said, “Let’s dance, baby”. Because Turkey controls both the Bosporus and the Dardanelles, the former the sole seaward access to the Black Sea, and the latter separating Asian Turkey from European Turkey, and providing access to the Sea of Marmara from the Aegean. The Bosporus is the more important of the two, because Russia is a Black Sea State, and it is implicit US policy to challenge Russia on any international waterway. Turkey is home to 24 NATO bases and stations. most of them air bases.

                  https://www.globalresearch.ca/nato-s-eastern-anchor-24-nato-bases-in-turkey/23205

                  It is vastly helpful to Washington policy if a host nation also willingly embraces, supports and facilitates American foreign-policy goals, but not a deal-breaker if it has a cozy relationship with a NATO foe – in fact, that even has its own set of advantages. Washington dislikes Erdogan’s relationship with Russia because he has gone to the lengths of buying a Russian air-defense system, the S-400, after the US made it clear it disapproved and offered him the Patriot instead; insisted he take it, would be more accurate. That would be enough to get the leader of an ordinary state regime-changed out of office, and the USA probably has considered it at a number of levels – but Erdogan is such a crook that there is always the chance he will respond to the right combination of money, sweetheart deals and flattery. And in that event, the USA might find itself in one-step-removed control over the Turkish end of the Turkish Stream pipeline.

                  Like

  70. AinOnline.com: Brazil’s Gol To Get $412 Million In 737 Max Compensation
    https://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news/air-transport/2020-05-13/brazils-gol-get-412-million-737-max-compensation

    …The low-fare carrier, which had placed its first Max order—for 60 Max 8s—in 2012, added two follow-on orders that increased its total order count for the Max 8 to 99. It also placed an order for 30 Max 10s at the 2018 Farnborough Airshow…
    ####

    That helps explain why Boing needs so much cash.

    Like

  71. Correcting WWII history: How the USA erased the USSR victory over Nazi Germany – with Peter Kuznick
    4,070 views•

    15 May 2020

    Moderate Rebels

    The Soviet Union played the leading role in defeating Nazi Germany in World War II, but the US government has tried to erase its unimaginable sacrifice. Historian Peter Kuznick discusses the real history of WWII, and how 80% of Nazis were killed on the Eastern Front with the USSR.

    Max Blumenthal and Ben Norton also address the new cold war on Russia and China, and the possibility for peace, then and now.

    (Interview recorded on May 14, 2020)

    ||| Moderate Rebels |||

    Like

  72. A-HA! I told you so! The WHO’s most recent forecast is “this virus may never go away”. Gonna be like HIV, and even with a vaccine, we will always be in danger. Look for the nearest “Donate to the WHO” button, and pray for the frontline workers – don’t forget; we’re all in this together.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-who-briefing/this-virus-may-never-go-away-who-says-idUSKBN22P2IJ?feedType=RSS&feedName=worldNews

    Obviously all businesses except for grocery stores, liquor stores and pet shops cannot close forever, and so IT WAS NEVER NECESSARY TO CLOSE THEM IN THE FIRST PLACE! Care homes and the like should have been isolated and all staff tested daily with a reliable and quick test, which obviously does not exist at present so it will be something to note for the future, and the rest of us left to our own devices. The economic damage done already will be enormous, and it was never necessary. Fuck the WHO, and especially Fauci, who gets two sideways fucks with a wire brush.

    Today in British Columbia there is a total of 372 active cases. In a population of 5 million. And Dr. Bonnie Henry is still a daily feature on TV, entreating everyone to ‘stay home’ and ‘it’s incredibly important’ and ‘we need to stay safe’. Easy for her to say – she’s got a job and is probably racking up the overtime.

    Like

  73. Ha, ha!! The Venezuelan ‘opposition’ has contacted the United States with a request for help with a ‘change of direction and possibly of leadership’.

    Johnny-Boy is done like dinner, and he was always a spaz who could not plan the overthrow of a lemonade stand run by a team of fourth-graders. Maduro might not be the leader Chavez was, but Venezuela did not deserve to be led by Mr. Perfect Teeth. And now it won’t be.

    So now the State Department needs another dick du jour. I wonder who it will be? Leopoldo Lopez? The west likes the cut of his jib, but he’s a criminal in Venezuela and that might prove to be a bit of an encumbrance. How about that jag-off who was always hanging around Chrystia ‘Nazi grandchild’ Freeland…what’s his name…Carlos Vecchio?

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-05-15/guaido-s-domain-trembles-after-failed-incursion-in-venezuela

    Like

    1. It is amazing how casually the Bloomberg article discussed numerous activities by the US government without a comment on the gross illegality.

      Like

    2. My impression of the failed mercenary operation is that it is Guaido’s last chance to prove that he could organise an effective putsch after last year’s failure in Cucuta (about this time last year or a bit earlier) and he has flunked it. Whatever OTPOR taught him in Belgrade nearly 20 years ago has not been well absorbed. He will get no more money from the frozen CITGO funds or from the British holding Venezuela’s gold reserves. At this point in time, he should consider giving himself up; if he cannot pay his hired thugs, his life will be in danger. No-one will mourn him except his wife and daughter.

      Like

      1. I agree with all of that, except I believe that every willing political tool of US foreign policy feels he or she is entitled to American protection in return for his/her loyalty, and that Guaido will soon move to the United States, perhaps citing an attempt on his life or threats against his family by Maduro in order to render one last useful service. The USA took Saakashvili when he was stateless, but let him go when the area began to run short of fast food. Maybe there is a degree of guilt among Washington social engineers for putting Guaido in a position where he had to use his limited intellect to come up with such a desperate plan – but, again, it is only a jerk plan if it doesn’t work. If it does, it’s brilliant.

        I agree he’s a spent force in Venezuela – now that it is common knowledge he paid a crew of American mercenaries to overthrow the elected government, there would be rioting in the streets at any attempt to impose him as leader by whatever means were chosen. He doesn’t possess Lopez’s diabolical calculation, so he would be of no use whatsoever to whatever fresh face the USA regime-changers choose as his replacement – he’s basically an attractive imbecile who was chosen solely for his appearance and his pro-American loyalties. I almost felt sorry for him when he was standing outside that military base with Lopez and a couple of dozen others, exhorting the soldiers inside to desert their posts and come on over to the fun side of the wall; he looked so lonely, like a standup comedian at the moment he realizes nobody is laughing and he is bombing like a B-52. Maduro is surely too smart to jail him now that he is exposed as a political leper – he was too smart to jail him when he was actually a problem, and now the longer he stays free in Venezuela, the greater embarrassment he is to Washington; it would be worth it to Maduro to pretend he wanted to make a deal with him every day for two weeks, just to make him show up outside Miraflores so they could mock him and dump last week’s vegetables on him. live on Venezuelan TV, and for Washington to be sick with helpless fury.

        Like

  74. The United States has made its first move in the Giant Giveaway To Big Pharma, with Trump’s appointment of a former Glaxo-Smith-Kline executive and close partner of the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, Moncef Slaoui, to head “Operation Warp Speed”, the USA’s drive for a COVID vaccine.

    https://www.thelastamericanvagabond.com/top-news/trump-appoints-big-pharma-exec-connected-bill-gates-head-vaccine-developments/

    “The appointment of Slaoui follows previous statements regarding Trump’s desire to have vaccines available to Americans by the fall. “I think we’re going to have a vaccine by the end of the year, and I think distribution will take place almost simultaneously because we’ve geared up the military,” Trump said Thursday afternoon. Trump also told the Fox Business Network that because of the “massive job to give this vaccine” the military is now being mobilized. “We’re going to be able to give it to a lot of people very, very rapidly,” Trump concluded.”

    Like

    1. Right on cue regarding Big Pharma.

      Trump displays his technical and engineering prowess, best in the world, with his concise and insightful descriptions and technical leadership with “Super Duper missiles” and “Operation Warp Speed”.

      Archimedes, Nikola Tesla,, step aside, the bestest everest super genius has spoken.

      Like

      1. I think it was only in Star Trek that warp speed was ever used, and not in a situation where Dr McCoy was needed.

        Like

    1. That was indeed a brilliant article and the movie clip perfectly appropriate. Who would be Max? It would certainly be someone who benefits from maintaining the illusions but perhaps nostalgic as well. Canada? The EU?

      Like

      1. Probably Canada, but our role is not perfectly suited because Max actually knows what is going on – his pretense with the cameras is motivated more by pity than calculation. Canada’s relationship with the USA is certainly not like that, and I would characterize it more as hero worship, especially among conservatives like Chrystia Freeland (odd that she is a member of the Liberal political party, but so manifestly a conservative in her worldview), whose mantra is maybe we don’t always like the way the USA does things, but you can’t argue that by God they get things done. That demographic totally buys into it every time the USA says it has to reluctantly intervene militarily in some country’s affairs, that it really is all about freedom and democracy.

        Like

  75. The coronavirus and working from home has not slowed down the Trump White House’s systematic and relentless rollback of environmental regulations, in a transparent bid to help the energy industry. Sources who will not allow themselves to be named suggest the feverish activity is meant to lock in legislation against reversal in case the Democrats take the White House. As if that will happen.

    Like

  76. AsiaTimes.com: Why East beat West on Covid-19 (Part 2)
    https://asiatimes.com/2020/05/why-east-beat-west-on-covid-19-part-2/

    East Asia has handled the pandemic far better than the EU and US on virtually every metric. Here’s why

    It is abundantly clear that East Asia has managed the Covid-19 crisis far better than the West. So what is behind this glaring differential?

    The first part of this two-part series made statistical East-West comparisons, then dived into culture and communalism, attitudes toward authority, rights to privacy, and differentials in recent historical and epidemic experience…

    …“If I were to identify one factor” in the East-West conundrum, “it would be levels of BCG vaccination,” said Gurel.

    Maps of the level of BCG vaccination show a strikingly close correlation to numbers of Covid-19 casualties…
    ####

    Plenty more at the link.

    Like

    1. It’s kind of all over the place; there is some good information there, but in substance it says the East was more successful because of instant and complete adherence to government’s orders, which were in turn informed by science. To my mind, that is entirely the wrong message for the west, although it will almost certainly seize upon this sort of writing as vindication, and claim we could have beat the virus if only we had listened; that they gave all the right orders, but westerners are too set in their ways to act for the public good. Horseshit. The part about the west adopting a wait-and-see attitude until the spread of the