How to Make a Brick from Straw and Bullshit.

Wink
Uncle Volodya says, “Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”

“If you would have a boy to despise his mother, let her keep him at home, and spend her life in petting him up, and slaving to indulge his follies and caprices.”

Anne Brontë, from The Tenant of Wildfell Hall”

“In any epoch the difference between a rabble and an army is training, which was not bestowed on foot soldiers called up by the arrière-ban. Despised as ineffective, they were ineffective because they were despised.”

Barbara W. Tuchman, from “A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century”

Poor Britain. Since the ignominious crumbling of its empire it has craved to be globally relevant. as it once was when it brought English civilization to the unruly and wild places of the earth with mace and halberd. In its more recent incarnation, it drifts about the periphery of great happenings like a resentful ghost; yearning to dominate, but able to broadcast only the memory of its great power. Increasingly, in its jiggling impatience to be noticed and respected, it attaches itself to the United States like a remora to the lower jaw of a cruising shark. The ‘special relationship’ might just be the sole truly symbiotic partnership in existence, or perhaps is the best modern example of it – an English accent makes Americans swoon with admiration for its implication; generations of refinement in ancient halls of academia such as formed Byron and Shelley, while Britain gets the vicarious thrill of holding America’s coat as it corners some poor fool and beats the shit out of him.

Consider the example of former British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw. More specifically, his recent opinion piece for The Independent, “Russia’s grip on Europe is gradually tightening – we can’t wait for the next attack to do something about it” (thanks to Moscow Exile for the link).

The Independent, of course, is owned by former Russian billionaire oligarch, KGB agent and later FSB agent Alexander Lebedev and his son, Evgeny. The British are nothing if not fair – Russian oligarchs who are said to be close to the current government of the Russian Federation are vile as raw sewage, and make the British gnash their teeth and shake their fists with disgust and rage: but Russian oligarchs who have brought their money to Britain to invest and spend are absolutely top-hole. Nothing subversive and shifty about them.

With that, let’s see what Mr. Straw had to say.

I have to confess, I’m having a hard time getting past the headline. There’s soMOSCOW BLOG: Kremlin ready to roll out the red carpet for Bojo's flying circus much about it that screams of a policy flak who knows how to present things as facts when they are anything but, and lead you into the piece already believing that (a) Britain has been the victim of more than one attack by Russia, (b) that a country supposedly friendless, without allies and with its economy reeling and staggering from punishing sanctions still somehow has sufficient power to not only grip Europe, but to squeeze it until it squeaks, and (c) Britain can do something about it.

Well, let’s look; if Mr. Straw is totally unconcerned about potential embarrassment. there’s nothing holding us back, is there? As we have often done before, let’s look at each of the ‘attacks’ Russia is supposed to have visited upon Britain. Ready? Litvinenko.

Litvinenko is supposed to have ingested Polonium 210 – a uniquely Russian isotope, although the United States buys enough Polonium from Russia nearly every month to have killed Litvinenko about 8,000 times – which was slipped to him by two Russian agents in the Pine Bar in London. Polonium traces were subsequently found all over London, including on documents Litvinenko had touched, a Fax machine at fellow collaborator Boris Berzovsky’s house, and in a cab in which Litvinenko had ridden, which was so toxic thereafter that it had to be withdrawn from service. The problem with that is that neither of Litvinenko’s accused murderers was with him in the cab, or touched the documents he handled…but Litvinenko never touched Polonium with his hands. He swallowed it, in tea, and once inside him it could not contaminate anything else unless Litvinenko licked it, because Polonium – despite its toxicity – is a low-alpha isotope which cannot penetrate skin. Litvinenko was, remarkably, covered from head to toe in skin.

Litvinenko produced a passionately and eloquently-written deathbed accusation which tabbed Vladimir Putin as his murderer, because he – Litvinenko – ‘knew too much’, including Putin’s secret pedophilia, evidence of which was the subject of KGB videotapes made while Putin was a student, although the first personal video recorder (the Sony Betamax) was not introduced until the year Putin graduated. Litvinenko himself could barely order a cup of coffee in English, but that puzzle was solved when Alexander Goldfarb – a former nuclear scientist in Russia and a close confidante of Boris Berezovsky – stepped up to say that Litvinenko had ‘dictated it to him’. Just as an interesting aside, Litvinenko had bragged to his brother how he had lied to British authorities before in the case of a supposed murder attempt against Boris Berezovsky by the Russian state, using a poisoned pen. This fake murder plot was successfully used by Berzovsky to argue against deportation from Great Britain.

Anyway, we don’t want to go on and on about Litvinenko – how believable is the British tale of his assassination by the Russian state? Polonium traces all over London in places the alleged assassins had never visited could not have been left by Litvinenko, because he never touched Polonium with his hands, and it cannot penetrate skin. Polonium was not discovered in his urine until after he was dead. We will never know if radiation poisoning made his hair fall out, because his head was shaved by one of Berezovsky’s dissident Chechen sidekicks. Berezovsky himself also turned up dead in England, after losing a major legal case, having supposedly hung himself with his tie inside a locked bathroom at his home. Coincidentally, Polonium as a murder weapon led straight back to Russia (if we assume we did not know about the American purchases of Polonium, which had the added cachet of bearing the telltale signature of having been made in a Russian nuclear reactor), and would have been a breathtakingly stupid choice for a Russian assassin. Still, they almost got away with it – British doctors were totally on the wrong track, and the alleged assassins had already left the country, when an ‘anonymous tipster’ (*cough* Goldfarb *cough*) suggested they check for Polonium 210.

The Skripals – yes, ‘pon my word, old chap; what a nefarious example of Russian ruthlessness. Probably ordered straight from the top, by Vladimir Putin himself – “Will no one rid me of this troublesome has-been KGB agent who has been out of Russia since 2010: would that I had snuffed him then, instead of trading him to the UK in a spy swap!” Yes, I know, already stupid, but it gets so much more unbelievable. Once again, a distinctively Russian murder weapon; Novichok, a nerve agent manufactured from commercially-available fertilizers and organophosphates. The helpful BBC miniseries Mr. Straw speaks of was an exercise in retconning – retroactive connectivity, an after-the-fact fix which explains what was unexplainable in previous versions. For instance, the co-poisoning of Detective Nick Bailey, so ill he was nigh unto death. Originally the story was that he was contaminated because he was one of the first responders, when the Skripals were jerking and drooling on a public bench near the restaurant where they had just eaten, in Salisbury. But the first passer-by, who helpfully attended them, just happened to be none other than the senior medical officer in the British Army, and she was in no way affected although she wore no protection than perhaps rubber gloves. Nick Bailey also wore gloves, because it was cold. The next version had him entering the Skripal home – where he was contaminated – via the back door. But the assassins had unhelpfully smeared the poison on the front doorknob. Shit! So, unable to bring the assassins and the Skripals and Nick Bailey all together at the same doorknob within the same period of lethality, the story was changed again. Bailey had actually nipped next door, borrowed the spare key – the existence of which was completely unknown to anyone prior to the television broadcast – from a neighbour, and entered by the front door, where he became contaminated. It was touch and go there for awhile, but he went home 18 days later, none the worse for his brush with one of the deadliest nerve agents known to man. A nerve agent which, incidentally, was not known to the elimination of other possibilities to have killed anyone. Dawn Sturgess died later, in Amesbury, after spraying pure Novichok on her wrists from a fake perfume bottle, we are told. But Dawn Sturgess was a known drug addict, Novichok as an aerosol spray would have taken effect within seconds but she was not stricken for hours, and the medium of infection was not discovered until three days after her death, sitting conspicuously on Charles Rowley’s kitchen counter, although the house had already been searched. Perfectly intact and waiting to be discovered, although Charles Rowley’s brother reported that the bottle had broken in his brother’s hands as Sturgess handed it back to him, which was how he became contaminated. Another insultingly full-of-bullshit story that would not survive press scrutiny for an hour if it had been Russia reporting a poisoning by British agents in Russia.

Well, I spent a lot longer on that than I meant to; let’s move on. Suffice it to say that while there indeed is ‘overwhelming evidence’ in both cases as Mr. Straw avers, it argues strongly that Britain made up both scenarios, and not very competently, while there is actually zero evidence that Russia had anything to do with either except for the screaming ‘made in Russia’ agents used, which Russian assassins would be beyond foolish to have chosen for that very reason. Would it make sense for a British assassin in Moscow to bump off a former double agent by caving in his skull with a King Dick claw hammer, and then leave it at the scene? Do international test scores suggest an otherworldly degree of reasoning ability on the part of Britons, while Russians are abysmally stupid by comparison? Not that I have ever seen.

Straw claims an ‘ever-present threat of Russia’s efforts to destabilise the UK and European Union.’ Is there anything more destabilizing between the two than Brexit? Whose idea was that – Putin’s?

Mr. Straw claims Russia’s alleged belligerence results from insecurity, a feeling of weakness and is a function of how many more times Russia’s defense budget other countries and alliances spend. How do you figure? The best fighter aircraft the USA can come up with, for more than $80 Million a copy, is the F-35. The F-35 was unable to defeat previous-generation aircraft from its own armed forces. The Sukhoi S-35 costs less than half as much, and while western sites which match the two grant all sorts of ‘excitement points’ to the F-35 for its technology and Beyond-Visual-Range (BVR) performance, the SU-35 is more maneuverable, has a higher rate of climb, more thrust, has double the speed, and while the F-35’s BVR performance is rated much better, its engagement range with its embarked missile is only a bit better than half the SU-35’s.

“However, despite high spending on its military, it is no match for the US, which spends 12 times as much, nor China, which spends four times its budget. Russia’s population is declining, and its GDP per head is just 50th in the world. It feels isolated, surrounded by potentially hostile forces, and weak.”

On the British front, the Royal Navy’s flashy new aircraft carrier actually has no aircraft. Oh, wait, wait – that accusation upsets the British, and they insist the record be corrected to reflect that it can operate helicopters. The designated type is – you guessed it – the F-35, and that flying coke machine has a troublesome delivery rate, to put it in the kindest terms. HMS DAUNTLESS,  which cost the British taxpayers a Billion pounds, has spent the last four years in port owing to a shortage of crew members, engine trouble and a class-wide difficulty operating in warm waters. What is Britain going to do – dare Putin to step across the Gulf Stream? Challenge him to an Arctic battle? Small wonder the United States spends 12 times as much, considering the appalling waste of money, and I’m not sure why China’s bigger defense budget is a plus for the west, considering China is a military ally of Russia and regarded by Washington as an enemy.

Again with the “Russia’s population is declining”. Is it? Is it really? Maybe if you are lying on your side while reading the chart – is that your problem, Mr. Straw? Because here are accurate population statistics for Russia, with a trend line included which most definitely trends upward. The Russian population is not declining, is not forecast to decline in the foreseeable future, and you are verifiably full of shit.

Russia Population

“A series of the nation’s actions, from its 2008 invasion of Georgia, to the annexation of Crimea, and the murder of 298 civilians with the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, along with those Salisbury poisonings, means that Russia has embarked on actions which collide with western economic and national security interests.”

I don’t know where you got your information on the ‘invasion of Georgia’, but it was actually more of a ‘counterinvasion of Tskhinvali’ based on Mikheil Saakashvili’s lunge at seizing South Ossetia. Had Russia not responded, Saakashvili might well have restored the breakaway republic to Tbilisi’s control by violence – which the west earnestly pretends is not the way to do things, although its views on independence are directly proportional to whether such independence would be a gain for western interests or not.

Like in Crimea, for example. History reflects that Crimea held referendums in 1991 and 1994 which must be viewed as attempts to escape Ukrainian control, and reunification with Russia. In 1991, the region voted by a decisive majority for “‘restoration of the Crimean ASSR as a subject of the USSR and as a party to the Union Treaty’. This coincided with the year of Ukraine’s declaration of independence, and could be regarded as a resolution to remain part of the USSR rather than a rejection of Ukrainian leadership. Ukraine held a referendum in December 1991, and a 60% turnout in Crimea voted by 54% for Ukrainian independence, with Crimea remaining autonomous. There were no such doubts about the 1994 referendum.

“Another Crimean referendum in March 1994 asked three questions: ‘1.3 million voted, 78.4% of whom supported greater autonomy from Ukraine, 82.8% supported allowing dual Russian-Ukrainian citizenship, and 77.9% favored giving Crimean presidential decrees the force of law’. Yet after more political turbulence – with the Crimean parliament voting to oust Meshkov in September – in March 1995 the Ukrainian parliament unilaterally abolished the post of President of Crimea, and scrapped the Crimean constitution. The Crimean parliament was forced to define a new constitution, which the Ukrainian parliament finally ratified in 1998.

So when the interim Ukrainian government today talks about the Crimean parliament’s lack of legislative power – when it comes to appointing a Prime Minister, and when it comes to calling a referendum – there is an argument that this power was taken from Crimeans by Kiev in an underhand, undemocratic, if not entirely illegitimate manner back in 1995.

135 international observers from 23 nations were accredited to observe the 2014 Crimean referendum, as well as 623 journalists from 169 media outlets. Little is ever mentioned in western commentary of this presence, and the west’s one-trick-pony dodge in votes that it feels confident in advance are not going to go its way is to refuse to even watch the vote take place, then argue it is illegitimate because no western observers showed up. Kind of like the childish belief that closing your eyes makes you invisible.

In the matter of MH-17, also mentioned by Mr. Straw as one of Russia’s many, many crimes, the Dutch prosecutors compel the belief that Britain’s laughable incompetence at building scenarios of Russian evil deeds might be more broadly European in nature. The most recent reports I have seen in the ongoing ‘trial’ reflect such a manifest inability on the part of the prosecution to prove any of its allegations that the strategy now appears to be a charge of ‘conditional intent’ against the four accused. In short, that means they wanted an aircraft to be brought down, and one was, so they are guilty. Proof not required.

Oh, here we go: Sberbank is ‘widely known’ as ‘Putin’s Bank’. Is it?

“Sberbank, which is widely known as “Putin’s bank”, is heavily involved in financing the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline. Its Vienna-based subsidiary, Sberbank Europe (SBAG), finances deals across Europe that deepen Russia’s geopolitical sphere of influence.”

First I have heard of it, and I’ll bet it is a first for Russians, too. In fact, I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest this is a clear example of ‘branding’, a technique used to find a popular label which will resonate with consumers, and stick, regardless whether there is any truth to it. The way Starbucks uses round tables because customers who come in alone feel less lonely. True story; there are no ’empty’ seats at a round table. The way the west tried – through Alexey Navalny – to make the label ‘the Party of Crooks and Thieves’ stick to United Russia. They claimed determinedly that the label was widely popular in Russia, but it never was, and eventually the west gave up.

But that should not be an excuse for discouragement. I therefore propose that Lloyds Bank be widely known as ‘BoJo’s Bank’. It even has alliteration! I feel it move me!

Putin’s bank, Mr. Straw tells us, is accused of defrauding its investors. A complicated argument follows, where Sberbank – Oops, I mean ‘Putin’s bank’ – misrepresented collateral and failed to transfer assets. I’ll see your accusation, Jack, and raise you a conviction – in a spectacular example of shitting the bed, the former head of Security and Anti-Fraud at BoJo’s Bank was jailed for defrauding the bank’s investors, in a four-year scam in which she paid herself an extra £2.5 Million for her hard work. Fuck the middleman where bonuses are concerned, am I right? Repentant? Not exactly.

“I saw the opportunity and thought, given the hours I work, I deserve it. If I went to work for another company I would probably be earning four times as much.”

If only that was the worst of it. In 2011, a High Court case against BoJo’s Bank for poor compliance and unfair treatment of customers went against the bank. BoJo’s Bank announced it was setting aside £3.6 billion to cover the cost of compensating customers who were mis-sold PPI (Payment Protection Insurance). It then surreptitiously proceeded to reduce the compensation they offered by using a regulatory provision called “alternative redress” to assume that customers wrongly sold single-premium PPI policies would have bought a cheaper, regular premium PPI policy instead. In 2008 the British charity ‘War on Want’ revealed that BoJo’s Bank was the arms trade’s second-largest investor among High Street banks. In 2009, the BBC’s program ‘Panorama’ covertly filmed an employee of BoJo’s Bank telling a customer how several mechanisms could be used to make their transactions invisible to the UK tax authorities. In 2013, BoJo’s Bank was fined £28m for “serious failings” in relation to bonus schemes for sales staff, which pressured staff to hit sales targets or risk being demoted and have their pay cut. Only a year later, BoJo’s Bank was fined £218 million for its part in the Libor global rate-fixing scandal. All the above is from Wikipedia, which still insists in referring to the institution as ‘Lloyds Bank’ although it is widely known as ‘BoJo’s Bank’. I yield the floor to Mr. Straw; your move, Jack.

We could go on with this, but I consider the comparison drawn and the point made. Attempts by HM Government to smear Russia are unfounded in reality, and rely solely on Goebbels-like repetition of propaganda to convince readers that they must be true. Scenarios constructed to illustrate Russian assassinations in the UK are laughably amateurish and as cheesy as Red Leicester. Government-insider tales of rampant corruption by Russian banks ignore staggering and demonstrably unrepentant corruption in Britain’s most hallowed financial institutions.

This is just official Britain striving to reassure the United States that it can still play a relevant and important role in influencing the European Union against Russia after Brexit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

562 thoughts on “How to Make a Brick from Straw and Bullshit.

  1. T Carlson called out the Dems and spineless or conniving Repubs (take your pick) for playing along with Russiagate. He was quite adamant that Trump et al did not collude and that that Russia was not responsible for the hack (about damn time). This episode was from May 8.

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    1. I just cannot see why the US public — better said, some of the US public. — fall for that torrent of verbal diarrhoea that Maddow regularly gushes forth on TV about all things Russian.

      The shite that she so regularly spews out is patently untrue and clearly propagandistic. Time and time again, the content of “The Rachel Maddow Show” (Why “show” FFS? Is it because that is what it is — a distraction, an entertainment vehicle for the uncritical masses?) has repeatedly been shown to be untrue, but never an apology from Maddow.

      Oh, what a surprise! Her paternal grandfather’s family name was Medvedev, a Four-by-Two who fled the Evil (Romanov) Empire and set up shop in the “Land of the Free”.

      Something that has often puzzled me is this: If the Russian Empire was such a “Prison of Nations”, all crushed by the autocratic state, how come Western Europe and the USA is swarming with the descendants of the Tsar’s former Jewish subjects?

      To be fair to Maddow — though I see no reason why I should be, for she is a lying cnut — her family background is not really kosher: her mother hails from Newfoundland and is of English/Irish descent, and one of her grandmother’s forebears were from the Netherlands. Furthermore, Maddow says that she had a conservative Catholic upbringing. I suppose that’s why she’s now a liberal lesbian. And guess what: she’s a Rhodes Scholar with an Oxford PhD.

      That wanker Cecil has a lot to answer for!

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      1. Not much different from the British public (media). UKgov was in trouble last week for failing to have their own man as head of the toothless rubberstamping parliamentary intelligence and security committee, shortly afterwards UKGov amped up ‘Russia wot stole our vaccine’ and the whole UK media ran with it, save a couple of articles qustioning the ‘timing’.

        The thinking the US & UK have in common is that there is no cost to their lying. They’re only thinking of the short term obviously, but they depend on the other to turn the cheek ignore it as ‘domstic politiking.’ Last saturday I saw the al-Beeb s’allah preview of RusAmb interview to be broadcast on Sunday. The anchor had an ‘expert’ to help her. Cue cherry brief picked quotes from the interview to make the Ambassador look weak and the ‘expert’ saying ‘that’s what you would expect them to say.’

        Today I see that Scotland is now the target, i.e. that Russia ‘interfered’ with the independence referendum. It’s not even anything goes August yet. This whole year has been August reporting.

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  2. To paraphrase the famous line from “Jaws”:

    “You’re gonna need a bigger rewrite” as another wheel falls off the Skripals Saga Wagon:

    http://johnhelmer.net/financial-times-editor-khalaf-fakes-opcw-reports-on-skripal-sturgess-cases-hides-original-documents/

    The text of the OPCW document is “enhanced” in FT reports. “Sexed up” was the term used about the UN Weapons Inspectors’ report on Iraq’s WMD programme way back when. A Dr. David Kelly was involved. I wonder what became of him?

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    1. That term “sexed up” really made me cringe when it suddenly came in vogue amongst UK commenters and “journalists” .
      I was already in exile when the the shit hit the fan in the UK as regards criminal Blair’s warmongering and was at a loss to understand what “sexed up” meant in the British newspaper articles that I read at the time — no Internet then, so once a week I used to buy a copy of the “Sunday Times” (Woden forgive me!) in the foyer of of the five-star Hotel National, Moscow. Used to cost me an arm and a leg an’ all! Robbing bastards!

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  3. Euractiv: OSCE facing leadership crisis
    https://www.euractiv.com/section/defence-and-security/news/osce-facing-leadership-crisis/

    The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) is facing an unprecedented leadership crisis, after failing to agree an extension of its four most senior posts, leaving many in Europe worried about how it will continue to work until successors are chosen in December.

    The 57 member states failed to reach a consensus on extending the mandates of four of the OSCE’s top officials last week, as of Saturday (18 July), the body has been de facto leaderless.

    Swiss diplomat Thomas Greminger was appointed OSCE Secretary General in 2017, for a three-year term, with the four posts being a political package deal struck under the Austrian OSCE chairmanship, thus ending a leadership vacuum in the OSCE. All four are now vacant…
    ####

    Would that be because it is corrupt? It’s been giving the benefit of the doubt to the west favorites for a long time when it’s come to assessing the legitimacy of erections. Its Kosovo Verficiation Mission (KVM) in their orange humvees was used in 1998 to collect target coordinates for the subsequent bombing of suitable targets in Kosovo in 1999. It’s not fit for purpose.

    You can also add the OPCW leadership and higher echelons which is carrying out a campaign of abuse against its own inspectors because they do not support their bs conclusions on chiemical weapons use (which is rather lack of) designed to further western foreign policies. Again.

    In fact, is there any international organization that since the end of the Cold War has not been bastardized in to serving one master? Not many. The irony is that by blowing them up, whatever comes after will be even less in the west favor as the balance of power has fundamentally shifted against the west in the last decade (in particular).

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  4. They’re closing in on the bullshitting thieving bastard and US agent!

    Навальный объявил о закрытии Фонда борьбы с коррупцией

    Navalny has announced the closure of the “Fund for Combatting Corruption”
    20th July 2020

    The founder of the Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) Alexei Navalny has announced the closure of the organization. He has written about this on his Twitter account.

    Navalny explained this decision by the fact that the Moscow Arbitration Court has ordered him to pay about 29 million rubles to the company “Moscow Pupil”.

    According to him, there is no earthly reason for him to hand over such a large sum of money.

    The founder of FBK announced that the organization will operate under a different legal entity.

    The Anti-Corruption Fund was created by Navalny in 2011. In October 2019, the Ministry of Justice added the FBK to the list of foreign agents — according to the department, there is evidence that foreign funding has served as the basis of the non-profit making organization. The Ministry of Justice clarified that the fund was financed, amongst others, by organizations from Spain.

    Apparently, the FBK was operating a scam as regards providing school meals. Navalny’s sidekick Sobol is also allegedly involved in the bullshitter’s money making operation.

    https://yandex.ru/turbo/s/lenta.ru/news/2020/07/20/navalny/?sign=448410a39bdf0e48f64d49757f6a39748a208e51629df2fccc5ef8ad4b2263e8%3A1595269727&utm_source=yxnews&utm_medium=mobile&trbsrc=neo-news

    See also BBC Russia Service:

    “Московский школьник” требует взыскать с Навального полмиллиарда

    “Moscow Pupil” demands recovery of half a billion from Navalny

    https://www.bbc.com/russian/news-47883113

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    1. No, it wasn’t a scam Navalny was operating: he threw the shit at “Moscow Pupil” on his “Navalny Live” vlog as regards alleged low standards of hygiene at the company.

      From the above linked 11th April BBC Russia Service article:

      The “Moskovsky Shkolnik” [Moscow Pupil] company, which the media associates with businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin, is demanding the recovery of 500 million rubles from opposition leader Alexei Navalny, the Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) and the fund lawyer Lyubov Sobol for an FBK investigation into food in Moscow schools and kindergartens.

      On April 1, Sobol and FBK became aware of the fact that Moskovsky Shkolnik LLC had sued Navalny, Sobol and FBK. Information about the claim appeared in the file of arbitration cases, but the essence and amount of the claims was not known then.

      Details appeared the day before. Sobol posted a copy of the lawsuit on Facebook. The fourth defendant is Natalya Shilova, a former employee of Moskovsky Shkolnik and who spoke on Navalny Live about violations in the supply of school meals, but later stated that her speech was allegedly rigged by Navalny and the FBK employees. Material claims against Shilova are not indicated in the document.

      According to the plaintiff, the FBK investigation contains information that does not correspond to reality and tarnishes the business reputation of Moskovsky Shkolnik.

      Photos of spoiled food in an article and video by FBK about food supplies in Moscow schools evoked negative emotions in the audience — disgust, sadness and anger, and the music in the video — tension and anxiety, the lawsuit says.

      In addition, the company complains that the authors of the investigation accused Moskovsky Shkolnik of having a monopoly in the baby food market, drawing analogies between feeding children in Moscow schools and feeding dogs, and arguing that the company “treats children like pigs”.

      The lawsuit also mentions Shilova’s words about the poor quality of the food provided by Moskovsky Shkolnik (“third grade meat”, “sour fruit compot”), about the storage conditions (“the food can lie on the floor”) and the reasons for her dismissal (“I was dismissed because I wanted to achieve the truth”).

      The company also deemed it discrediting information that Moskovsky Shkolnik belongs to the company portfolio of businessman Prigozhin, who is called “Putin’s chef” in the media. The lawsuit says that this information is not true.
      In addition to monetary compensation, “Moskovsky Shkolnik also demands from Navalny a refutation and that this information be removed from his blog and social networks….

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      1. So if Navalny has dissolved his so-called charitable fund, then he and his lawyer Sobol probably fear that they will lose in court against the plaintiff Moskovsky Shkolnik.

        The bullshitter’s done this before: he’s shot his mouth off on “Navalny Live”, making false accusations about corruption,, malfeasance etc. and blustered his way out of it. He has regularly got away this false huffing and puffing, his tactic being to repeatedly shoot the shit, which sticks even if it is refuted and proven unfounded.

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  5. The Spanish Connection?

    1. Before he got bumped off, Litvinenko had allegedly been working with the Spanish authorities as regards the activities of the “Russian Mafia” in Sunny Spain

    2. Traitor Skripal was working in Spain for Russian intelligence when he was recruited by British secret service agent Pablo Miller, who was also working in Spain for Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

    3. Navalny has made frequent visits to Spain. It was to Barcelona he went for treatment by a Spanish eye specialist — the best in Europe they said — following his facial dowsing by a green antiseptic solution.

    4. Poroshenko also sojourns in Spain: he has a Villa there. He recently went to Spain to a health:/drying out clinic.

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    1. I think the only Spanish connection it is a convenient location for whatever they were up to off-shore. We are expected to trust the intelligence services word that Litvinenko/Skripal/whomever were investigating the ‘Russian Mafia’ in Spain, so in reality it could be anything.

      What we do know is that Spain signed an updated SOFA (Status Of Forces Agreement) with the United States in 2012 (Second Amendment) and 2015 (Third Amendment). Why should this be linked to UK Russian assets like Litvinenko & Skripal? Because we know that when the United States wants to do something off the books, i.e. that is techincally illegal for their citizens to do on their soil, the UK more than happy to oblige (sic. the choice of Steele’s Orbis company in the UK to peddle lies for the Democrats to say that they only lost the US election because of someone else. Everybody else’s fault but not theirs.

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      1. Also, I seem to recall William “Bill” Browder, AKA “Putin’s Number-One Enemy” was briefly detained in Spain on an Interpol warrant or something.

        Why, yes; yes, he was, ‘way back in the mists of 2018. According to the screeching British press, he was let go because the warrant was expired.

        https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5786099/British-financier-Putin-critic-William-Browder-arrested-Spain-Russias-request.html

        I daresay these international japes add spice to his life and put a spring in his step.

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  6. And guess who arrives in London today to have discussions with Johnson and Raab?

    None other than fat twat bully boy Pompeo!

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    1. Next he is going to Denmark….

      To bully them about NS2….? An inform them that Greenland belongs to Uncle Sam.

      Like

      1. Do these countries actually invite him? Do they have to let him in? Can’t they just say it’s not a good time, they have company coming over or they are washing their hair or something? You know he’s just going to harangue them about how they are letting Uncle Sam down, and that can’t be any fun – who signs on for shit like that?

        Like

  7. And courtesy of today’s Independent, the words of that most noble and trustworthy lying cnut Browder as regards “Russian Meddling” in the affairs of my pathetic Motherland:

    Will the Russia report ‘follow the money’?

    Russia is operating in the UK through “oligarchs” who “spend their money on highly placed people”, according to British investment firm boss Bill Browder.

    Browder, the CEO of Hermitage Capital, who gave evidence for the report, told the BBC said these figures “would basically do intelligence and influence work”.

    How far will the report delve into the influence of Russian money in British politics? Although this morning’s Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) 50-page document is expected to cover political donations from wealthy Russians, reports suggest it won’t actually name any names.

    Spoken by a person who changed his citizenship so as to dodge paying tax.

    What a slimy toad Browder is!

    I shouldn’t have said that: toads are very useful creatures.

    See — or better: do not, see unless you have a vomit bag near at hand:

    UK politics news live: Latest updates as long-awaited Russia report to be released today | The Independent

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/uk-politics-news-live-russia-china-hong-kong-dominic-cummings-a9629521.html

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Of course, though, Browder is not an oligarch himself. He’s an ‘investment firm boss’. And naturally he does not himself engage ‘basically in intelligence and influence work’. He only single-handedly managed to get the Magnitsky Act on the books, where it will stay forever although the German press is belatedly owning up that Magnitsky was not the pink-faced legal cherub Browder portrayed. If that’s not influence, I don’t know what is.

      The west is so fixed on ‘getting’ Russia that it must simply make things up when it cannot find real reasons for its hatred. You could say that the USA with its marble-this-and-that secret algorithms is making up online traffic and attributing it to Russia, but I’m pretty sure other western countries are not complete oafs themselves in the computer world, and if you know what you’re looking for I’m sure that their analysts can separate fantasy-land gifts like ‘Kremlin Assassination Plan for American Soldiers’ from actual Russian plans. But they pretend to be fooled. And the best they can come up with is that Russia is behind upsets like the Black Lives Matter movement which are tearing the USA apart. If Russia always had such a mysterious weapon, why did it wait so long to use it when the USA and UK spit in its face every day?

      Like

      1. p.15 of the report:

        …William Browder told the Committee that:
        Russian state interests, working in conjunction with and through criminal private interests, set up a ‘buffer’ of Westerners who become de facto Russian state agents, many unwittingly, but others with a reason to know exactly what they are doing and for whom. As a result, UK actors have to deal with Russian criminal interests masked as state interests, and Russian state interests masked by their Western agents.57..

        ####

        It really is quite the sinister smear from William Browder.

        It’s precisely that kind of formulation that is but a few steps away from rounding people up and going much further in a slightly different political climate. That’s how I look at the British media and influence makers. If you can drop in any other group and when you read it back to yourself and it sounds like outright facism, then there really is no doubt as to how ‘professional’ and ‘independent’ they really are.

        But why is he (and the committe) so reluctant to name names? Why so coy? Protecting the innocent or protecting themselves? Is it possibly that at least he would be shredded in to carpaccio before the UK courts for libel? Remember that this testimony was well before he lost both his appeals to the German and Danish press councils…

        Like

        1. He did pretty much exactly the same thing when he got booted out of Russia and Hermitage Capital Management had to be pulled out of Russia – rival Renaissance Capital did not, so Browder whispered it about that they were in league with Putin.

          Like

    2. I had been telling a friend about this and had been looking for this everywhere … Yay!!

      * The Magnitsky Act Behind the Scenes

      This was the filth that has been peddled all the way here to Australia:

      * Dirty Money: Russia’s largest tax refund laundered into foreign banks | Sunday Night (Channel 9)

      Related:
      * Fish Stinks From the Head Down: An Update on the Mueller Inquisition
      https://larouchepac.com/20180810/fish-stinks-head-down-update-mueller-inquisition

      Like

  8. The UK propaganda organ 5 minutes ago:

    Russia report: UK ‘top target’ for Russia

    Russia sees the UK as one of its “top targets” in the West, according to the Intelligence and Security Committee.

    The ISC’s long-awaited report said the UK was targeted due to its close relationship with the US and because it is “seen as central to the Western anti-Russian lobby”.

    Its inquiry covers disinformation campaigns, cyber tactics and Russian expatriates in the UK.

    But much of the “highly sensitive” detail will not be published.

    Will not be published???

    What a surprise!

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-53484344

    Like

        1. Naaah, “Stone the crows!” was never a common expression in Australia. Can’t even remember if the old Paul Hogan comedy variety show ever used it. I’m sure people probably used that expression in polite situations, otherwise they usually said, “Well, fuck me dead! …”

          Like

          1. Maybe I saw it yoinks ago in the old Barry McKenxie strip cartoon in Private Eye. I’m going back to the ‘60s.

            Like

            1. Created by the late Barry Humphries, who, I am sure, used to make many of his “Aussie” expressions, his “McKenzie-isms” up.

              One such expression that I remember being tickled by all those years ago was said by McKenzie on entering a bar during a scorching hot day:

              “‘Strewth, I’m as dry as a dead dingo’s donger!”

              My numerous Australian relatives never talked like that, though. They must have been posh.

              Like

              1. The name chosen by the seventies rock band Three Dog Night also was said to have been adopted from an Australian expression, in that case one that meant a cold night which would require three dogs to cuddle with to keep you from freezing.

                Like

            2. Bloody typos coz I couldn’t find my reading glasses, which are bloody useless anyway now. My eyesight is on the blink.

              Should have read above:

              Maybe I saw it yonks ago in the old “Barry McKenzie” strip cartoon in “Private Eye”. I’m going back to the ‘60s.

              Like

                1. TBH Barry Humphries is more popular overseas, especially in the US with his Dame Edna Everage schtick. Most Australians under the age of 50 years have either never heard of him or think of him as antiquated and twee.

                  Truth is the Australian population has changed so much and so rapidly over the past 50 years, and most Australians have overseas links, so English as it is spoken here is less local and more global. Your relatives in Queensland would probably represent average Australians best in their use of English. Compared to New South Wales and Victoria, Queensland has a lower proportion of immigrants (though probably not by much) in its population and a higher proportion of Anglo-Australians. The state has long been perceived as less cosmopolitan and more politically backward because of past political history and being more decentralised (as in, not being so dominated by its capital Brisbane) compared to other parts of Australia.

                  Like

                2. My Aussie relatives don’t only live in Queensland, although the granddaddy of them all, my now long dead cousin, who was about 20 years older than I am and who emigrated on his tod by assisted passage when I was about 5 and who first settled in Port Kembla, where he was later joined by his sister, worked in a coal mine in Queensland. He served his time as a coal mine fitter at a pit in my home town, but as soon as he came out of his time, he buggered off Down Under. Having got wed to an Australian girl, he then followed the example of other European immigrants, to Australia, namely rabbits, and now his children and their children and their families are swarming all over Australia and are present in every state there.

                  Like

    1. Kind of like a British news release that reports, “Mysterious foreign entity revealed to be searching for which European men are best in bed – Surprise! it’s the British!!”

      I guess if nobody else is talking about you, you have to invent lions under the bed. There’s a word for it in psychology.

      Like

  9. And from “highly likely” we arrive at another mincing expression used by the British:

    The Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) has judged it “credible” that Russia attempted to interfere in the Scottish independence referendum in 2014 as part of an effort to influence political life in the UK.

    Incredible!!!

    See:

    UK politics news live: Latest updates as long-awaited Russia report released | The Independent

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/uk-politics-news-live-russia-china-hong-kong-dominic-cummings-a9629521.html

    Like

  10. And get this from RT:

    The committee – made up of a cross-party group of UK MPs – thanked a long list of people for their contributions to the inquiry. They curiously included former MI6 spy Christopher Steele, American journalist Anne Applebaum, American-British financier Bill Browder and British security specialist Edward Lucas.

    See:

    UK parliament’s intelligence report claims Russia tried to ‘influence’ Scottish referendum, spy agencies should probe Brexit

    https://www.rt.com/news/495374-uk-report-claims-russia-interference/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha, ha, ha!! Thanks for a great laugh! It reminds me of an open letter someone showed me the other day, from the New York Police Department and entitled “What Did You Think Would Happen?” It explored what a third-world shithole the city is becoming now that police are ordered to keep their distance and their faces in the naughty corner. I didn’t get to read it all, but by the time I could get home and look it up, it had been pulled from the site.

      That’s how governments on every level cover their fuckups these days – they just order them scrubbed from public view.

      Like

  11. So. I’ve read the report.

    Impressions? It’s a shitshow. There’s some reference to widely reported ‘Open Source’ intelligence (28/40+), i.e. everybody but actual intelligence professionals and lots of unquestioned conclusions from the likes of Ed Lucas et al (not me). There is much wailing and gnashing of teeth that the UK is not prepared or that the government takes notice of Open Source intelligence. It also complains that the UK has been easy to launder ‘Russian money’ and buy influence, but not providing a shred of proof of course – except the word of one William Browder. Those dirty Russians!

    The report even uses the term ‘Londongrad.’ (50) It’s almost as if the report has been written for a tv drama. Of course nobody is named because that would have legal implications. Can’t have that, especially when they say that ‘…a number of Members of the House of Lords have business interests linked to Russia, or work directly for major Russian companies linked to the Russian state..

    The report even references reports by now closed BuzzFeed UK articles (58), i.e. the company that published the string of lies that is the Christopher Steele report that he had been shopping around the western media for months and getting no bites at all.

    The report complains that (100) …In the case of Russia, the potential for escalation is particularly potent: the Russian regime is paranoid about Western intelligence activities and “is not able to treat objectively” international condemnation of its actions.109 It views any such moves as Western efforts to encourage internal protest and regime change…. – of course there is a complete absence of any mention of multiple regime change operations by the west on Russia’s borders/strategic periphery, but the UK does not need to justify its actions when they are Just.

    Oh, they also recommend a US style Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) (114+) to keep an even tighter eye on ‘them.’ The committee thinks this would be ‘effective.’ Not too bright really as there are already plenty of other tools available for the same job, sic threatening to ban RT fro the UK. With or without a UK FARA, the obvious counter-measure for Russia would be to ban the BBC and others but nothing has happened because the UK believes its media is more effective and thus useful soft power tool in Russia than RT is in the UK (Ed Lucas says RT has a tiny UK following but it is a vanity project for powerful people around Putin).

    The UK cannot afford to threaten rich Russians with Unexplained Wealth Orders (119).

    Whining that other u-Ropean countries don’t want to go along with the UK’s Russophobia – referencing Guardian and The Economist articles. (128)

    Curiously there is no mention of Georgia when it comes to ‘Russia upsetting relations with the West.’

    In short, the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament is a rubber stamping committee that has put out a very poorly sourced report, accepted unquestionably conclusions from a whole host of very well known russophobes. I suppose the most surprising thing about the report is how little there is in it. That it is completely one-sided, blinkered, unquestioning bleating and crying is hardly a surprise. This report only has propaganda value and nothing more. That is why is wasn’t released earlier. Content? Nah!

    Like

    1. I’ll just repost the first five paragraphs of the Introduction to show what a self-serving butter wouldn’t melt in our mouths aka ‘I’m a virgin’ view the committee takes of the UK. Done nuffink wrong guv!

      1.
      The dissolution of the USSR was a time of hope in the West. In the 1990s and early
      2000s, Western thinking was, if not to integrate Russia fully, at least to ensure that it became
      a partner. By the mid-2000s, it was clear that this had not been successful. The murder of
      Alexander Litvinenko in 2006 demonstrated that Russia under President Putin had moved
      from potential partner to established threat. Since then, there have been a number of attempts
      to repair relations between Western countries and Russia (for example, the US ‘Russian
      reset’ in 2009, and the Prime Minister’s visit to Moscow in 2011 in which he expressed a
      desire to rebuild the relationship), but the events of recent years show that none has had any
      impact on Russian intent, and therefore on the security threat that Russia poses.

      2.
      Russia is simultaneously both very strong and very weak. The strengths which
      Russia retains are largely its inheritances from the USSR and its status as a victor of the
      Second World War: nuclear weapons, a space presence and a permanent seat on the UN
      Security Council. By contrast, it has a small population compared with the West; a lack of
      both reliable partners and cultural influence outside the countries of the former USSR; a
      lack of strong public and democratic institutions, including the rule of law; and, of course,
      a weak economy.

      3.
      Despite its economic weakness, it nonetheless heavily resources its intelligence
      services and armed forces, which are disproportionately large and powerful. Moreover,
      Russia is adept at using its apparent weaknesses to its advantage: for example, its poor
      national brand and lack of long-term global friends appear to feed its enormous risk appetite
      – perhaps on the basis that it thinks it has nothing to lose; its lack of democracy and rule of
      law allows its intelligence agencies to act quickly, without constraint or consideration; and
      its lack of strong independent public bodies and the fusion of government and business
      allow it to leverage all its intelligence, military and economic power at the same time to
      pose an all-encompassing security threat.

      What does Russia want?

      4.
      The security threat posed by Russia is difficult for the West to manage as, in our
      view and that of many others, it appears fundamentally nihilistic. Russia seems to see
      foreign policy as a zero-sum game: any actions it can take which damage the West are
      fundamentally good for Russia. It is also seemingly fed by paranoia, believing that Western
      institutions such as NATO and the EU have a far more aggressive posture towards it than
      they do in reality. There is also a sense that Russia believes that an undemocratic ‘might is
      right’ world order plays to its strengths, which leads it to seek to undermine the Rules Based
      International Order – whilst nonetheless benefitting from its membership of international
      political and economic institutions.

      5.
      Russia’s substantive aims, however, are relatively limited: it wishes to be seen as a
      resurgent ‘great power’ – in particular, dominating the countries of the former USSR – and
      to ensure that the privileged position of its leadership clique is not damaged

      Like

      1. Didn’t have to read further than the second line. There was never a time in the west when integration of Russia or partnership was ever entertained. Russia broached the idea of joining NATO, and was told it was not ready and frankly never would be, and a primary partner in the refusal, by reason of its national objection, was the UK. Putin was right – Washington runs the west, and Washington wants vassals, not partners. Russia is too big to be ruled as a colony, and if it cannot be ruled over, the west wants no part of it. The ideal western solution has always been to break it up into small constituent republics along ethnic lines, and set them with intrigues and gossip to warring with one another so that they remain destabilized and suspicious.

        “It is also seemingly fed by paranoia, believing that Western institutions such as NATO and the EU have a far more aggressive posture towards it than they do in reality.” Ha, ha; that’s good, that, when Jens Jerkenberg is on the airwaves every other week bleating that NATO needs to take a firm hand with Russia and be prepared to fight it – and spend much more money to get ready to do that – when it has not ever been attacked by Russia.

        Russia needs to work on its ignoring skills.

        Like

      1. Craig Murray: “Credible Open Source Reporting”, the Intelligence Services and Scottish Independence
        https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2020/07/credible-open-source-reporting-the-intelligence-services-and-scottish-independence/

        I write as somebody who held Top Secret clearance for 21 years, with extensive daily use of Top Secret material that entire time, and the highest possible specific codeword clearance above Top Secret for 11 years. I personally conducted for the FCO the largest “action on” operation in GCHQ history….

        …“Credible open source reporting” is a propaganda formulation designed to fool you and give a false imprimatur to any dubious piece of published work….
        ####

        So, no surprise to us here and many other people. It is in fact, yet again, western Hybrid Warfare.

        Like

    2. Nonetheless, I daresay Moscow will be ‘furious’ and ‘fuming’. Thanks for reading all that rubbish so I don’t have to. It struck me this morning how few remaining institutions there are for which I have any respect at all. For instance, how am I supposed to have any respect for the medical profession when they’re all kitted out in those stupid paper masks, not even the N-95’s, but the expandable rectangular blue ones that have a pinch clip for the nose, and leave big gaps on either side of the face? If they will wear those without demur, they either believe they are being protected from viral infections, or are simply going through the motions because it’s an order. You could say the same of the Intelligence Agencies. Rubbish off Twitter and photos with no provenance are now perfectly acceptable for intelligence work, and Bellingcat is recognized as a working NATO asset. These agencies are caught time and again attempting to foist doctored photos and fabricated stories on the public, and only back down when caught redhanded. Consequently, all their product must be suspected of tampering and politicization. There really are precious few organizations in the west which can still be trusted. I’m assuming there are some, although to be honest I can’t think of any off the top of my head. But they want you to believe Russia is jealous of our freedoms. What freedoms? Of our access to the Rule of Law. But we willingly partner with Saudi Arabia, which is ruled by a monarchy and where they cut off your hand for stealing – that’s the Rule of Law, too, innit? None higher, when you think about it; it’s Hudud, which comes straight from God.

      And the Russians are uncivilized barbarians.

      Like

  12. This is a biggie:

    Al’s Jizz Error: Egypt’s parliament approves troop deployment to Libya
    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/07/egypt-legislators-vote-deploying-troops-libya-200720141515828.html

    Move comes as Libya gov’t and Turkey demand an end of foreign intervention in support of commander Khalifa Haftar.
    ####

    I suspect In’Sultin Erd O’Grand is a mole of the garden kind. He goes about digging one hole for himself after another. If he keeps this up, all the holes will merge in to one and he will disappear! It would give the West a chance to have someone running Turkey with a more reliably western perspective though I think it is clear that whatever comes next, Turkey will not allow itself to be treated as a western annex and pawn.

    Like

    1. Vinyard the Saker: Paying it forward – Erdogan style
      http://thesaker.is/paying-it-forward-erdogan-style/

      by Ghassan and Intibah Kadi for the Saker Blog

      With all eyes globally poised at COVID-19 and the impending economic meltdown, Black-Lives-Matter activism, and the protests in the USA and some Western countries, little attention is given to the rise of a potentially more formidable religious fundamentalism base for ISIS-style and orientation than ISIS itself; and indications are pointing to this happening right now, in today’s Turkey.

      Al-Qaeda and ISIS are/were rogue organizations with relatively little resources, little prowess, and no international standing to offer them a safe haven under which to hide and protect themselves from the wrath of the world, so to speak…
      ####

      More at the link.

      Like

  13. Rainsford of the BBC on that report (it’s labelled as an “analysis”):

    What this report has done is to present a broad picture of Russia as a powerful foe.
    And I don’t think in the Kremlin they will be too unhappy at that.

    Cos Russia is really weak, see, and it wants to be big and strong, but it can’t be because …. because they’re dullards and because …. well, because they don’t make anything, see, and their military is shit, it appears as terribly fearsome one, but it really is shit, Russian crap …. although it is a real threat to the “Free World” because it is strong …. but at the same time weak.

    Russia is strong AND weak, see, and that’s what peeves the Orcs because they want respect, see; they want the USSR back and they want a big tough tsar as well, see, which they have now, an autocrat, as in Russian imperial days of
    glory, when everybody was scared shitless of them. But back then as now, Russia was strong AND weak, see, but you can never be too careful with Russians: they’re genetically sly and deceitful, always denying the wicked things that we all know they have done.

    They want to be the big boy on the block, see, and knock the USA off it’s pedestal as leader by example and guiding light to the “Free World”. And if that happened, wel civilization as we know it would cease and we would enter a new Dark Age.

    That’s why Sarah Rainsford, BBC Moscow correspondent, believes that they in the Kremlin will not be “too unhappy” in learning that the West views Russia as a “serious foe”.

    Of course, she hasn’t a fucking clue about what “they” think in the Kremlin.

    If I were one of “them” in the Kremlin, though, I would tell Rainsford to fuck off back to London. And to take her pal Rosenberg back with her as well.

    I would tell them both to fuck off out of Russia before midnight tonight.

    Heap of shite source:

    Russia report: UK failed to investigate interference in elections

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-53484344

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Maybe the real reason is that British intellience services gave little to the committee because they saw what a useless bunch of pompous pricks they are and were likely to do more damage if they were trusted with anything of note. After all, the Committee has nothing to lose by Russia bashing, whereas there is still cooperation on organized crime, terrorism (Russian tabs on western and foreign sponsored jihadis etc.) and other stuff that the UK services that are of significant value. This stuff is not publicised of course.

      Like

  14. Well just look at this!

    Belarus election: Snatched from the streets in Europe’s ‘last dictatorship’

    People say it’s the most brutal crackdown the country has ever known.

    President Alexander Lukashenko has been in power for more than a quarter of a century, but opposition to the authoritarian leader is growing.

    Wasn’t the mass media only quite recently implying that the “dictator” was displaying admirable political dexterity, in that it seemed he was pissing up Russia’s back with his toing and froing with his deals with the Ukraine, Poland and Russia?

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-53491514

    Like

    1. “Mr Pompeo has called on countries, including the UK, to form a coalition to put pressure on China to change its political course.

      “We think that the entire world needs to work together to ensure that every country – including China – behaves in the international system in ways that are appropriate and consistent with the international order,” the secretary of state said.”

      Well, fuck me dead, to use the Australian vernacular – Mike Pompeo believes every country should behave in the international system in ways that are appropriate and consistent with the international order! Who would ever have known? I mean, judging from his own country’s actions? Oh, wait… maybe he believes the United States has a special dispensation from The Almighty to behave as it does.

      The USA seems committed to a course of terrible mistake piled upon the heels of terrible mistake, and if it plans to take on Russia and China together – which I myself said numerous times it would never be so foolish as to do – it will be making a wowser.

      It strikes me that perhaps the only ray of sunshine in a Democratic win would be the removal of Plumpeo from that position. And I say that in the greatest spirit of altruism, even though it would be pretty far from my own desires to see American power flourish, because he is damaging American global influence beyond repair – what the fuck are people supposed to think when they see him continuing to push narratives that have already been discredited? What impression are they supposed to draw about the country that he represents? That it develops storylines based on what it wants to do, and then stubbornly pursues those interests even after their rationale has been exposed as rubbish?

      It is beyond irony that Mike Pompeo should spell out the truth – that the WHO is a political and not a science-based organization – so accurately while so widely missing the mark on its implications; the United States, at the political level, consistently interprets generous contributions by itself to global organizations as hire-purchase payments, with the understanding that those organizations will carry out their business with an eye on American interests. He therefore objects to the WHO’s behavior not because its activities and attitudes are informed by politics, but because its decisions and statements of late have been in conflict with American international positions. If the WHO would come down hard on China, perhaps expel it, publicly state that the characterization ‘Wuhan virus’ is not only accurate but appropriate, and perhaps hint there there is a whiff of biowarfare about it – why, Mike Pompeo would be as happy as if he were tucking into a big plate of smothered pork chops.

      The USA does not care, not even a little, if your international theoretically-non-profit altruistic organization is plainly political in its pursuits, so long as its efforts support and nurture US foreign-policy ambitions.

      Like

      1. The aide said that guys like me were “in what we call the reality-based community”, which he defined as people “who believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality”. I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. “That’s not the way the world really works anymore”, he continued. “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality — judiciously, as you will — we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”

        Ron Suskind, quoting a “senior advisor” to President George W. Bush.

        Ron Suskind, “Without a Doubt”, New York Times Magazine, October 17, 2004.

        Like

    1. I would laugh so hard if they closed the US Embassy in Beijing in reprisal. As if the sole purpose of the United States Embassy in China is forging links of communication and cooperation with its host country. How many diplomatic cables have we seen from US consulates and embassies abroad detailing the weaknesses and vulnerabilities of the serving host government, and opinions on how it might be bent to American will?

      Instead, it will probably be a more or less exact tit-for-tat, with a US Consulate being closed down – perhaps the one in Wuhan.

      Like

      1. It’s likely the US consulate in Wuhan will be closed because as Bernhard at Moon of Alabama has noted, the US and Chinese governments are in a spat over US diplomats returning to Wuhan and having to subject themselves to a 14-day quarantine period. The US claims its diplomats should not have to quarantine for 14 days under the Vienna Convention. If US consular personnel have to quarantine, they will have to be withdrawn and closing down the consulate becomes a formality.

        One other possibility would be for the US consulate in Hong Kong to be closed down. Now that’s making some commenters over at MoA laugh! Julie Eadeh had better start looking for another job!

        Incidentally it looks as if down here in our little slave state, Canberra might become a future SARS-COV-[insert version number here] hotspot.

        Like

  15. Consortium News via Antiwar.com: SCOTT RITTER: Powell & Iraq—Regime Change, Not Disarmament: The Fundamental Lie
    https://consortiumnews.com/2020/07/19/scott-ritter-powell-iraq-regime-change-not-disarmament-the-fundamental-lie/

    Regime change, not disarmament, was always the driving factor behind U.S. policy towards Saddam Hussein. Powell knew this because he helped craft the original policy.

    By Scott Ritter

    The New York Times Magazine has published a puff piece soft-peddling former Secretary of State Colin Powell’s role in selling a war on Iraq to the UN Security Council using what turned out to be bad intelligence. “Colin Powell Still Wants Answers” is the title of the article, written by Robert Draper. “The analysts who provided the intelligence,” a sub-header to the article declares, “now say it was doubted inside the CIA at the time.”…

    …Its fumbled aftermath was again, something that transpired on Powell’s watch as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the administration of George H. W. Bush.

    Powell was part of the policy team that crafted the post-Gulf War response to the fact that Iraq’s president, Saddam Hussein, survived a conflict he was not meant to. …
    ####

    Plenty more at the link.

    Yet again a re-writing of history in favor of someone ultimately caught out. It had already been peddled as a ‘one off/not really his fault’ but this is attempted full rehabilitation when he was up to his armpits in it.

    Like

    1. A powerful and authoritative piece that should become a formative reference for policymakers whenever Washington announces it wants to form an international group to do some good somewhere – because doing good just warms the cockles of its heart – or to right some monstrous injustice. What is at the bottom of it is always – always – US interests and the furtherance of same, but Washington wishes to internationalize its efforts both to provide diversionary cannon-fodder so perhaps it does not lose so many of its own soldiers purely by virtue of there being more targets, and so that it can later say truthfully, “Europe and Canada and Australia went along with it as well, they all thought the same as we did”, omitting to mention that the lackeys and poodles ‘went along’ because they were presented with prepackaged assurances that powerful and determinative evidence had been discovered which supported American claims.

      That in no way excuses the USA’s collaborators, as they have been presented with similar situations many times, and unless they are the type whose hands are masses of scar tissue because they just cannot learn that the stove is hot, they should have learned by now not to fall for American harp music.

      I think now what it all boils down to is that all of America’s toadies just want to be on the winning side, no matter how unjustifiable it may be, and that is the proposal America sells best of all. Not ‘we’re right’ so much as ‘we’re going to win’. And it has accumulated enough painful losses over the last decade or two – many of them, coincidentally, perhaps, at the hands of Putin – that selling confidence of victory must not be as easy as it once was.

      A minor quibble – even smart and literate people fuck up ‘soft-peddle’. It’s ‘soft-pedal’, and comes from the foot-operated pedals on a piano which, when depressed, cause more reverb and intonation, and increase the overall power of the piece. To ‘soft-pedal’ an opinion or proposal, then, is to advance it modestly and without a great deal of noise and thunder, often in the hope it will achieve its aims without attracting undue notice. It’s quite a bit like the routinely-misstated ‘tow the line’, which means nothing. It’s ‘toe the line’, meaning to step up to the mark and make oneself ready, like in a prizefight. When one fighter cannot ‘toe the line’ for the next round, he is out.

      I realize these are aphorisms and not part of educational English, being more folk wisdom than proper speech. But if people are unsure of what they are saying, they would be far better off sticking to their comfort zone.

      Like

  16. BBC latest snidey Russian piece with an added two-penn’orth from Rainsford:

    Russian historian jailed in controversial sex abuse case
    33 minutes ago

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-53503660

    A Russian historian who has spent much of his life unearthing Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin’s crimes has been jailed in a controversial sexual abuse case.

    So , if you are against Soviet crimes, you must be a “good guy” and certainly cannot be a child molester?

    The government of President Vladimir government [sic] has sought to downplay the extent of Stalin-era violence.

    [BBC English? — ME]

    That a fact, BBC?

    Care to give examples of the Russian president’s downplaying of Stalin-era violence?

    As regards that request, here’s something for you to chew on, UK state propaganda organ BBC:

    Putin: Stalin’s Soviet regime is rightly accused of crimes & mass repression against its own people — RT Russia News

    https://www.rt.com/russia/492341-putin-stalin-soviet-regime-accusations/

    One of the strange aspects of western media coverage of Russia is the constant attempts to paint Vladimir Putin as an apologist for Josef Stalin. Meanwhile, in the real world, he has once-again berated the Soviet leader’s legacy.

    And look at that, will you? Published only 2 days ago!!!!

    Enter Rainsford with her “analysis”:

    The suspicion has always been that this case is about the past: blackening the image of a historian who has worked to unearth the mass graves of thousands of people executed in remote, northern Russia – during Josef Stalin’s political repressions in the 1930s.

    Whose suspicion, Rainsford?

    Do tell!

    Plenty of powerful people here would prefer such uncomfortable evidence left buried, especially as Vladimir Putin’s Russia has raised the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany to cult like status – and Stalin was commander-in-chief then.

    Plenty of powerful people, Rainsford?

    Care to name a few?

    Dmitriyev’s supporters say the fact the judge sentenced him to three and half years – not the 15 the prosecution wanted – is as good as a “not guilty” verdict, in Russia’s justice system.

    The suspicion has always been that this case is about the past: blackening the image of a historian who has worked to unearth the mass graves of thousands of people executed in remote, northern Russia – during Josef Stalin’s political repressions in the 1930s.
    Plenty of powerful people here would prefer such uncomfortable evidence left buried, especially as Vladimir Putin’s Russia has raised the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany to cult like status – and Stalin was commander-in-chief then.
    Dmitriyev’s supporters say the fact the judge sentenced him to three and half years – not the 15 the prosecution wanted – is as good as a “not guilty” verdict, in Russia’s justice system.

    So, in Russia a sentence of three and half years means “not guilty”, eh?

    In Russia, those proven guilty are always innocent, eh?

    I see …

    Rainsford, do me a favour and fuck off, will you?

    And take your pal Rosenberg with you as well.

    Like

    1. As usual, you draw entirely the wrong lesson from BBC reporting – the lesson is not that if you are a vocal opponent of Stalin, then you cannot be a sexual abuser. It is that so long as you are a vocal opponent of Stalin, it is all right to be a sexual abuser. Let him who does not hate Stalin enough cast the first stone.

      Plenty of use, as is customary, of the passive voice – ‘the suspicion has always been’. Not me, Guv; I just reports what I sees, my own suspicions do not enter into it.

      “Vladimir Putin’s Russia has raised the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany to cult like status…” Gee; I wonder why. Could it be because more than 20 million Soviet citizens perished in the battle against Nazi Germany? A nation and government now wholly rehabilitated in western eyes, I should add, to the point that prancing around in Nazi regalia is just a bit of fun, and an exercise in freedom of expression. But Americans make maudlin retards of themselves every fourth of July, and the simpleminded British light bonfires from one end of the country to the other to celebrate the foiling of a plot to blow up the House of Lords, just as if holding a gentry title because one’s family has a lot of money were the last word in civilization. I guess it must be – every other country does it. Oh, wait; they don’t.

      Once, long ago, you were judged not only on the accuracy of what you said, but on the way you said it, and compelling speakers inspired not only by the eloquence of their message but by the faith which could be vested in it. In those days, if you talked crap, you were soon given the cold shoulder, and could stand on your soapbox until the judgment trump and squawk away mindlessly like any other harmless nut. But now the harmless nuts run the asylum.

      Like

  17. From “The suspicion has always been …” to “Russia’s justice system” should have been hyphenated

    I’m sure it was!

    Like

    1. Actually, in this particular case it was you who stuffed it up – you closed the item properly, but forgot the bracketed ‘i’ that starts it. All fixed now. But I agree that italics and bolds and such coding often go wild when they come from you when there is nothing at all wrong with the original format. In such instances I just strip off what you interjected, save it once with no formatting, and then edit it again with the same coding you used, and it works fine. Probably the CIA, marbling you.

      Like

      1. Nah, it is highly likely, indeed credible, that the KGB FSB, in fact, is very probably watching me.

        All the bloody time!

        I base my suspicions on open sources.

        Like

  18. RT

    Russian visa liberalization continues as MPs pass law to let foreigners into the country WITHOUT paper visa

    Russian immigration policy is constantly being changed and reformed. In April, Russian parliamentarians passed a law to ease the route for foreigners to become Russian citizens, removing the requirement for them to give up existing passports. A month later, the Ministry of Economic Development proposed that Russia offer permanent residency to foreigners who buy property.

    That’s bloody rich, that is!!

    The bloody nightmarish bureaucratic shite that I have had to endure these past 3 years!!!

    And I bought property here in 2003 and 2004, at one of which properties I am now resident way out in the boondocks.

    Not to mention the fact that my wife is an Orcess and I am the father of 3 mixed-race Orclings!

    And a bloody immigration officer told her-who-must-be-obeyed when she was doing my annual registration of my address in Mordor on 2 June of this year, that all that I had undergone previously as regards my receiving a permanent residency permit for a foreigner I need not have done, because I am a qualified specialist that is in great demand in Putin’s Russia and my application for permanent residency could have been fast-tracked.

    https://www.rt.com/russia/495534-russia-evisas-foreigners-into-country/

    Like

  19. TASS: Four advanced radars shielding Russia’s southern strategic area
    https://tass.com/defense/1180827

    The State Duma adopted a bill on Tuesday on terminating an agreement with Kazakhstan on the terms of the transfer and the procedure for the further use of the Balkhash station on the territory of Kazakhstan in the Russian missile attack warning system

    …”The new stations that are now in Barnaul and Armavir have an operating range of up to 6,000 km and these are next-generation radars. The need for operating the station in Balkhash has completely disappeared today,” he said.

    Before the summer of 2020, the Balkhash radar station in Kazakhstan functioned as part of Russia’s missile attack warning system. It provided the radar field for missile attack warning in the southern strategic aerospace direction. The radar in Kazakhstan was withdrawn from its combat alert on June 1 this year…

    Like

  20. TheGreyZone: State Dept-funded Transparency International goes silent on jailed transparency activist Julian Assange
    https://thegrayzone.com/2020/07/21/state-dept-transparency-international-silent-jailed-julian-assange/

    For over a year, the West’s top anti-corruption NGO, Transparency International, has not said a word about the world’s most prominent jailed transparency activist, Julian Assange. Is US and UK government funding a factor in the organization’s silence?
    By Patrick Maynard

    BERLIN, GERMANY – On a cool July day, the Berlin neighborhood where Transparency International’s global headquarters is situated feels a thousand miles away from London’s Belmarsh Prison. But it is not just the pleasant setting a few blocks from the Spree River that makes the influential NGO seem so detached from the maximum security penitentiary’s most famous inmate, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.

    Transparency International has been vocal in defending jailed opposition activists in states like Zimbabwe, Russia, and Venezuela. But when it comes to Assange – far-and-away the world’s most prominent imprisoned transparency activist – the NGO has not said a word since a week after his arrest in April 2019. …
    #####

    Plenty more at the link.

    Nothing new for us lot. All these supposedly ‘independent’ orgs that peddle in ‘perceptions of [Please Fill in the Blank] are FoS. The revelation is LittleSis )LittleSis* is a free database of who-knows-who at the heights of business and government.) : https://littlesis.org/

    This looks like a very useful tool that everyone should have in their bookmarks when they are reasearching whatever.

    Like

    1. Back when Assange did have regular access to legal counsel – during his time in the Ecuadorian embassy – his interactions with others were secretly recorded by a Spanish contractor with ties to the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, as The Grayzone’s Max Blumenthal has documented in detail.

      Spain again!

      LittleSis added to the blogroll, so it’s easy to find for next time. Thanks for it.

      Like

  21. Russia has successfully flight-tested a 3D-printed aircraft engine, and it is slated to go into production next year.

    The press service of the Russian Foundation for Advanced Research Projects in the Defense Industry told Sputnik: “Russia has for the first time conducted flight tests of the MGTD-20 gas turbine engine made by 3D-printing.”

    https://www.wionews.com/technology/russia-successfully-holds-flight-test-of-3d-printed-aircraft-engine-315081

    Speaking of RFAR and aircraft engines, they seem to be quite the innovators – the same agency has ‘successfully tested’ a prototype of an aero engine that uses high-temperature superconductivity. This is a global first.

    Superconductivity is the property of some materials to have absolutely zero electrical resistance when they reach a temperature below a certain value (the so-called critical temperature). The materials that have superconductivity are metals and their alloys, semiconductors and ceramics. There are even superconducting alloys and materials in which one or all of the elements that make up it may not be superconductors.

    In this instance, superconductivity is achieved at -201 degrees C. Very interesting for even non-science types, I think. Perhaps even for those who were of the belief that Russia ‘doesn’t make anything’. I’m looking at you, President Coconut. For my part, I’d like to know why they refer to it as ‘high-temperature’ superconductivity – surely -201 C
    is rather nippy?
    The new electric motor, which was trialed in normal and emergency operating modes, was said to have performed flawlessly (although that’s what you would expect Russians to say), and will form part of a new hybrid powerplant which will be produced by the Baranov Central Institute of Aviation Motor Development engineering team.

    https://communalnews.com/russia-tests-superconducting-aircraft-engine/

    Like

    1. That electric motor using “high temperature” superconductors is a big deal. Many “high temperature” superconductors are brittle and difficult to form into wires required for motor manufacture. Being able to use liquid nitrogen for cooling is another big deal as it is cheap and readily available (as cheap as beer they say) versus liquid helium (as expensive as a good wine at $30/liter per the internet they say).

      Like

    1. Given the arithmetic with this virus, a world-wide corona party would likely have lower overall mortality than all the buggerizing around with lock-downs, vaccines, potential adverse reactions etc.
      Belarus and Sweden did it right.
      Risky vaccines would ok for something as infectious as covid19 and as lethal as plague or smallpox.
      The risk arithmetic for rolling out (an as yet mythical) covid 19 vaccine with virtually nil longitudinal trialing (which would take c.5-10yr to be confident of vaccine safety) makes no sense.

      Like

  22. «Обычная смена вывески»: что стоит за объявленной Навальным ликвидацией ФБК
    RT на русском, 21 июля 2020

    https://russian.rt.com/russia/article/766155-navalnyi-fbk-likvidaciya-prichiny

    “Usual change of a signboard”: what is behind the liquidation of FBK that Navalny has announced
    RT in Russian, July 21, 2020

    On Monday, July 20, Alexey Navalny announced the liquidation of the Anti-Corruption Foundation *. According to him, the reason for this decision was the actions of the authorities. Allegedly, the demand to close the FBK came from President Vladimir Putin. Experts interviewed by RT are sure that the reason is different. The FBK brand, in their opinion, has become too toxic, owing to the status of foreign agent having been assigned to it by the Ministry of Justice, as well as numerous scandals that have cast a shadow on the organization’s reputation. That is why, experts say, Navalny has nothing left but to get rid of the “problem asset”. At the same time, he immediately asked the fund’s sponsors to renew their subscriptions so as not to lose income.

    Amongst the FBK * problems listed off by Navalny, the main ones are those of a financial nature. These are fines for organizing unauthorized rallies and participating in them, as well as blocking the accounts of individuals and legal entities in the so-called FBK case. The Investigative Committee initiated this case a year ago, which case is concerned with the laundering of money by the fund and structures controlled by the fund that have been obtained by third parties in a criminal way.

    In addition, as the result of a lawsuit filed by Moskovsky Shkolnik LLC against FBK, Lyubov Sobol, who claims to be a deputy in the State Duma, and Navalny himself, have been fined at court 29.2 million rubles each.

    Apparently, the foreign agent status assigned to FBK, which Navalny considers unlawful, has also influenced the decision to liquidate.

    Re-alignment of terms and conditions

    However, Alexei Navalny has not stopped talking about reasons of a different nature.

    Over the past two years, FBK has been constantly at the centre of scandals. The fund management collects money to pay its own fines, but refuses to do so to its supporters, thereby breaking its earlier promises. As RT has found out, this has been the reason why his supporters have begun to leave Navalny en masse.

    FBK has also concealed the true scale of its income from supporters. In its investigations, RT talked about the so-called second budget of FBK, about unaccounted for crypto donations worth millions of rubles, about the commercial firms of the fund’s employees, about the fund’s investigation department head Georgiy Alburov’s profitable business in Latvia.

    The liquidation of FBK is also fake, experts say. All the fund’s affairs, they say, will simply be transferred to another legal entity, it is to this that donors’ money is already being reassigned.

    Ilya Remeslo, a lawyer and member of the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation, claims that he has information about this new legal entity. This, he said, concerns the non-profit organization “Foundation for the Protection of Citizens’ Rights”, registered with Olga Guseva, FBK project manager.

    “She is a person close to Leonid Volkov [head of Navalny’s headquarters network — RT]. She, apparently, has been persuaded to become “Zits Chairman Funt” — for a fee. [Zits Chairman Funt is one of the minor characters in the famous humorous novel “The Golden Calf”. Since pre-revolutionary times, a “Funt”— a Jewish family name —has been the nominal head of one-day firms created for the sake of financial fraud. The Funt is not an actual swindler, but as compensation for not benefitting fully from a scam, he is entitled to a double salary during his imprisonment — ME] But she has done this in vain, because all the demands will be directed towards her”, the lawyer notes. “And Navalny, as always, will not be the head of the fund, so he will not have to answer. He will substitute another person again, and everything will end there.”

    Recall that the current director of FBK Ivan Zhdanov is a defendant in a criminal case on charges of malicious non-execution of a court decision.

    This accusation had initially been brought against his predecessor in this post, Roman Rubanov. But he left FBK “for personal reasons” and now, in his own words, “is outside the influence of Russian justice”.

    New old fund

    According to Ilya Remeslo, money, donations and funds from other murky sources are already being transferred to the balance of the Fund for the Protection of Citizens’ Rights (FZPG).

    RT has repeatedly mentioned FZPG in its investigations. Such a fund was registered in April 2019 in Novosibirsk. It is headed by local politician Sergei Boyko.

    There is another Foundation for the Protection of Citizens’ Rights,”Shtab”, in Ufa, headed by the coordinator of the local Navalny headquarters, Lilia Chanysheva. However, this fund faces bankruptcy because of tax arrears amounting to 4.2 million rubles.

    In Udmurtia, in Votkinsk, in April 2019, the Foundation for the Organization and Coordination of the Protection of Citizens’ Rights (FOIKZPG) appeared, the head of which was Ildar Zakirov, a lawyer at Navalny’s Udmurt headquarters. At the same time, FOIKZPG appeared a month after the local court liquidated another structure controlled by FBK — the Citizens Legal Support Fund. It was founded by Zakirov, and Leonid Volkov was listed as its director.

    To all of these funds have been transferred monies from LLC “Land of Tides” — a commercial structure registered in the name of FBK lawyer Evgeny Zamyatin. Formally, “Land of Tides” is engaged in trading FBK merchandise (mugs, rubber ducks, T-shirts), while Zamyatin has deposited millions of rubles into the company’ accounts, the origin of which millions having not been established.

    However, the successor of FBK is likely to be a completely different FZPG. This was also born in the spring of 2019 and was originally located in St. Petersburg, but at the end of last year it was re-registered in Moscow. Its director is Guseva.

    Who is to answer for those who have been brought under control?

    The announcement of the liquidation of FBK does not mean that the fund will simply “evaporate”. Its employees are appearing in criminal cases; the organization itself is in debt to the tune of multi-million dollars.

    Navalny, however, is unlikely to solve their problems, Ilya Remeslo is sure of this because Navalny “has neither a share nor a formal participation in the activities there”.

    “Navalny will simply abandon FBK. All operations will stop being conducted through it, employees will be transferred, and all monetary transactions as well, the expert believes. “Subsidiary responsibility may be borne by those who formally manage the fund — Ivan Zhdanov and those who head the collegial management body. Navalny will once again frame his comrades.”

    This tale about FBK being closed down “is needed exclusively in order to save finances”, the lawyer is sure of this.

    A similar point of view is shared by Sergey Karnaukhov, Associate Professor of the Department of Legal Support of the Market Economy, IGSU RANEPA.

    “Sacrificing the history of an NGO, sacrificing ideological groundwork, Navalny is going bankrupt in order to avoid financial obligations”, the expert says. “There are no politics here. He perfectly understands that he shall register another NGO or buy in a few hours another that already exists. In fact, we are just talking about a usual change of sign.”

    This is not just a matter of economics: there are also reasons concerning reputation , adds Vitaly Serukanov, a former FBK lawyer and deputy head of Navalny’s Moscow headquarters. According to him, stories related to non-payment of fines, deceiving FBK supporters and inability to negotiate with other opposition representatives have resulted in FBK being labelled as “toxic”, and now they want to move away from this branding.

    “Navalny has never created any kind of constructive programme”, says a former FBK lawyer. “He has a lot of enemies. And not just enemies — these are people who are demanding compensation from him through the courts, by legal means. A very large group if such people was created from yesterday’s supporters, who, as a result of his actions, have been seriously affected — remember the former coordinator of Navalny’s headquarters in St. Petersburg, Denis Mikhailov. This man was simply ditched.”

    “Showing Pity”

    The number of disaffected amongst Navalny’s supporters is growing, adds Serukanov.

    “He is losing his audience, his supporters. Many are simply quietly moving into the so-called internal opposition”, he explained. “They have not changed their views, but at the same time, they no longer support this person Navalny. There has been an overwhelming majority of these people since 2013. Passive disappointment has fallen upon them.”

    The expert named another likely reason for the liquidation of FBK: the fall in Navalny’s personal rating within the opposition.

    “Navalny needs a new wave of sympathy,” Serukanov said. “So that supporters who are disappointed in his mediocre boycott of the elections, in his inaction, in his unwillingness to cooperate with other oppositionists, come to him and say: “Look how poor Alexei is, how unfortunate for him: his foundation is closing down. Let’s throw him a pretty penny again”. Best of all are FBK employees able to evoke pity and ask for money. Therefore, the headquarters has not thought of anything better to do than to make such a pathetic reshuffle.”

    As other experts have done, Serukanov has noted that the new legal entity — the successor of FBK — is actually not new and has already existed for a long time. FBK has been able to prepare in advance the giving up of the main fund if necessary, he said. “The story of the liquidation of FBK is a game of headlines in the foreign press about the oppression of Navalny in Russia”, summarizes Serukanov.

    * The Anti-Corruption Foundation is included in the register of NGOs performing the functions of a foreign agent, according to a decision of the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation dated 09.10.

    And they love the thieving, bullshitting bastard in the Western media, where the sun shines out of Navalny’s arse!

    Putin’s leading critic?

    More of a double-dealing, criminal shyster!

    And in the pay of Uncle Sam — natch!

    Like

    1. Ah, the NGO game! Most people think of them as the equivalent of charites, doing ‘good works’ and the like, not political vehicles for slippery bastards to avoid a) paying tax; b) getting an acutal job; c) affording international patronage in $$$ & facetime.

      I’ve forgotten where I read the details, but for example in the Balkans tens of thousands of ‘NGOs’ were set up, though I think there are many less now. There used to be minimal rules and controls, i.e. one person could set on one up and thus apply for tax relief. Because NGOs are good. Because the west says NGOs are a ‘grass roots citizen vehicle to affect change in countries that have weak governance.’ That is not to say that some are very good, but most do nothing and quite a number are scams. Not to mention that they also serve as useful laundering of intelligence information in to the public/media sphere.

      I’m all for citizens organizing themselves and getting stuff done when ahole bureaucrats who do not serve in the public’s interests, but they should be a) home grown; b) non-political; c) home funded & properly run, not defrauding funders, members or redirecting captial at will.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Once upon a time the Bigs of NGO fund-fountains like the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and the International Republican Institute (IRI) used to include considerable information in their toolbars, such as ‘Our Partners’ – which detailed many of the Defense manufacturers and Energy companies which shoved money at them so they could destabilize other countries and create markets for American energy and military interventions. Another was ‘About Us’, which often described the projects in which it was engaged in post-Soviet countries and in Russia itself, before the most overtly political were forced to up sticks and get out. NED, for example, used to fund ‘projects’ in Russia which ‘taught the true scope of Stalin’s crimes in the former Soviet Union’ with the fairly-obvious objective of building a cohort of native Russians who would wail and scream for the western press about what an unbelievable prick Stalin was. This – theoretically – would put the government in the position of either supporting them or curtailing their activities, each of which would provide a payoff. Others taught basic law and techniques to be used to extract protesters and dissidents from jail, and so on and so on. But those sections were cited so often by those who liked to point out what shit-disturbers the organizations were that they took them down.

        Like

    2. Yes, you’re right about the adoration of Navalny in the west, and the west will continue to support him because it has never been good at reading Russia. Therefore Navalny needs only to pull off another fruitless jape or mug and grimace at the Kremlin, and westerners will shout, “See!! Navalny is without fear!” and continue to not only fund him, but to refer admiringly to him as ‘a leading opposition figure’ and ‘thorn in Putin’s side’. So it will continue, I suppose, until he dies in relatively comfortable old age, perhaps from gout or something like that, as he evidently does not deny himself any pleasures.

      Nice work if you can get it.

      Like

    1. So you’re definitely, positively sure that Russia has contemptuously and maliciously kicked western democracy in the ballsack, because democracy says its ballsack is sore and it was Russia wot dunnit. But you don’t actually have any examples. But you’re sure. But you’re not. But you’re conducting an inquiry which already paints Russia as the villain….while you hold the inquiry to find out what the villain has done.

      Got it, thanks. I must say, I was wondering. Thanks for straightening that out.

      Like

  23. AsiaTimes: Brazil’s money laundering scandal from hell
    https://asiatimes.com/2020/07/brazils-money-laundering-scandal-from-hell/

    With no one eager to talk about the revelations, the question is what will ex-president Lula do about it

    by Pepe Escobar

    Two decades after a political earthquake, a powerful aftershock that should be rocking Brazil apart is being met with thunderous silence.

    What is now termed “the Banestado leaks” and “CC5gate” is straight out of vintage WikiLeaks: a list, published for the first time in full, naming names and detailing one of the biggest corruption and money laundering cases in the world in the past three decades. ..

    …Extra sauce in the judicial sphere comes from the fact that the provincial judge in charge of burying the Banestado case was none other than Sergio Moro, the self-serving Elliot Ness figure who in the next decade would rise to superstar status as the capo di tutti i capi of the massive Car Wash investigation and subsequent justice minister under Bolsonaro…
    ####

    Much more at the link.

    FM, this is epic! It really give an insight in to how the top 0.??% launder their wealth.

    Like

    1. Agreed; this is huge. So far as I am aware, the Asia Times does not have a wide western audience, and it is in American interests to downplay this as Uncle Sam had just about turned Brazil into a reliable western lackey under Bolsonaro. As you’re aware, Washington could care less how much its allies steal and divert so long as they do as they’re told and further American objectives, and talk the liberal line when it matters. But Washington will not be able to contain it in Brazil. It remains to be seen if the Washington fans who were waving around the ‘Adios, Querida!’ giant foam fingers when Rousseff was ousted will prevail over public anger. If not, there will probably be another change of government, and it might put Brazil back out of America’s grimy grip again.

      It also provides some insight into why the liberals of the west keep blathering on about freedom and democracy in spite of all the sordid schemes that are exposed and linked with western ‘democracy’ initiatives – they simply ignore them, and that is facilitated by giving them no coverage in the western press. But the western press has a much harder time turning off the dialogue in countries where the language is not English.

      Amid all this negative talk about America the Manipulator – which I am in no way backing down on – I would be remiss if I did not award fair accolades for honesty to the New York prosecutors who drew up the “Banestado List’ for Castilho. It is apparent there still are people doing their job in accordance with the pledges they made when they signed on, and do not regard them as simply fluff you have to say before you can get down to the business of international thievery.

      Like

  24. Euractiv+Neuters: French limits on Huawei 5G equipment amount to de facto ban by 2028
    https://www.euractiv.com/section/5g/news/french-limits-on-huawei-5g-equipment-amount-to-de-facto-ban-by-2028/

    French authorities have told telecoms operators planning to buy Huawei 5G equipment that they won’t be able to renew licences for the gear once they expire, effectively phasing the Chinese firm out of mobile networks, three sources close to the matter said.
    ####

    Quelle surprise that they fall in to line too. No doubt €µ will say something different to Beijing that France values ‘friendly ties’ with China, but the die is cast. It must be tempting for Beijing to kill two birds with one stone by pulling the plug on UK NPPs as France’s EDF is also the project lead. The anti-China crowd want it out of any European NPPs likewise. We’ll see…

    Like

    1. What a triumph for the global bully. Well, as I have said before – marry in haste, repent at leisure. European countries which commit to an inferior network just for the privilege of having Uncle Sam spy on their every move instead of the Chinese will have many years to ponder their gutlessness. The USA knows now that is in a fight to the finish, and will want to consolidate as much of the globe as possible under its solid control. But those who are in thrall will regularly be reminded who is the boss, with forced concessions to American objectives, so let’s have no more of this ‘sovereignty’ pap. If you’re in, you’re ALL in.

      It will mess up Huawei’s plans and give the iPhone a new lease on life, but it will also sharpen the division between East and West in terms of networks and smartphones. iPhones will be bigger in the west as Huawei fades from competition, but iPhones should all but vanish from the shelves in Asia, which was the growth market, especially China. Loyal American ally Japan might become a bit of an outlier in its own region. Washington will have a much harder time spying on China as the demand for American electronics dries up. What goes around comes around, and the search will be on for neutral companies from whom you can buy a cheap smartphone to use while you’re going from one side to the other, which can draw on the networks of both. America has been successful to a significant degree in excluding a competitor who makes a superior product – which, by the bye, goes completely against the blabber America spouts about a level playing field and trade based on merit – but I am confident it will not go unanswered by China and American products in China will suffer as a consequence.

      Like

  25. J’accuse! Again!

    One hour ago, BBC:

    UK and US say Russia fired a satellite weapon in space

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-53518238

    The UK and US have accused Russia of launching a weapon-like projectile from a satellite in space.
    In a statement, the head of the UK’s space directorate said: “We are concerned by the manner in which Russia tested one of its satellites by launching a projectile with the characteristics of a weapon.”
    The statement said actions like this “threaten the peaceful use of space”.

    Those Russians!

    Now they’re even weaponizing weapons!!!

    Like

    1. But of course the USA’s anti-satellite weapons do not ‘threaten the peaceful use of space’. Like its ‘Bold Onion’ project 60 years ago.

      https://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2019/03/27/history-anti-satellite-weapon-us-asat-missile.html

      The USA and UK’s constant, unremitting “Putin stole my baby’s candy” stories that nobody expects them to prove are merely making the pair of them look ridiculous. If you’re trying to get Code-Red support for war, step up to the mark and take your shot, instead of constantly sniveling and making it sound like nobody can draw a peaceful breath until the Russians have been eliminated from the planet. But I promise you if you do, you are going to be so sorry. Russia is not Grenada. Time again to trot out my favourite maxim – ‘experience keeps a hard school, but fools will learn at no other’.

      Like

      1. Or the US’s recently stood up Space Force(skin) USSF – spaceforce.mil (.mil = as in military). Maybe that is why the UK is whining about it, i.e. to put space between the US? Oh, and the Brits don’t have a capability, having given up launchers in the 1960s.

        https://www.npr.org/2019/12/21/790492010/trump-created-the-space-force-heres-what-it-will-do?t=1595537367261

        …”Space is the world’s newest war-fighting domain,” President Trump said during the signing ceremony. “Amid grave threats to our national security, American superiority in space is absolutely vital. And we’re leading, but we’re not leading by enough. But very shortly we’ll be leading by a lot.” …

        …”This is not a farce. This is nationally critical,” Gen. John Raymond, who will lead the Space Force, told reporters on Friday. “We are elevating space commensurate with its importance to our national security and the security of our allies and partners.”…

        …About 16,000 Air Force active duty and civilian personnel are being assigned to the Space Force. There’s still a lot to figure out, including the force’s uniform, logo, and even its official song.

        The Space Force will fall within the Department of the Air Force, but after one year it will have its own representation on the Joint Chiefs of Staff,…

        …The new service branch essentially repackages and elevates existing military missions in space from the Air Force, Army and Navy, said Todd Harrison, who directs the Aerospace Security Project at the Center for Strategic & International Studies.

        “It’s about, you know, all the different types of missions our military already does in space — just making sure that we’re doing them more effectively, more efficiently,” said Harrison.

        “It will create a centralized, unified chain of command that is responsible for space, because ultimately when responsibility is fragmented, no one’s responsible,” he added. …
        ####

        The most interesting bit about the article above is the ommission, i.e. it doesn’t mention offensive space capabilities, even though we know about the robotic Boing X57* winged spaceplane that swans about for up to a year.

        No. Everyone should wait for the US to deploy its weapon systems and then follow! That would be fair and just because the US is a Democracy and it has earned the right and more importantly, the benefit of the doubt ad infinitum. Or is the X-37 just there to sprinkle calming holy water on America’s adversaries? ODFO!

        * https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_X-37

        Like

        1. Well…if they don’t even have an official SONG yet…then I guess there’s nothing to worry about.

          That can be our next contest – write a song for America’s Space Force. It’s okay to use an existing tune (‘sung to the tune of xxxx’) , but you have to make up your own lyrics.

          Like

          1. What, you mean we cannot include the classic line from Ridley Scott’s ” Alien”: “In space, no-one can hear you scream”?

            On the other hand, this proposed Space Force theme song managed to mention Elon Musk:

            And this one actually mentioned patrolling the universe, bringing order to the stars (eh? what about black holes?) and concludes with “Pray for us a safe return to Planet Earth”!

            Like

            1. It brought tears to me eyes….

              Actually, the inspiration for “Space Force” came to Trump after watching Starship Trooper:

              Like

            2. Off we go into the wild black yonder, Climbing high into space,
              Here they come zooming in trying to take our place,
              At ’em persons of all genders and sexual orientation , Give ‘er the raygun!
              (Give ‘er the raygun!) Down we dive, spouting our
              super duper lasers,
              Pew! Pew! Pew!
              Onward we flew
              With one helluva roar!
              Hey! Nothing’ll stop the U.S. Space Force!

              [First Draft]

              Like

              1. To the melody of “Halls of Montezuma”:

                From the the plains of the lunar landscape,
                To the stars of the Galaxy,
                We shall fight our nation’s battles,
                To keep the Cosmos free!
                We shall blast our foes with lasers,
                In the name of Liberty,
                And woe to Galactic tyrants,
                That scorn the Land of the Free!

                Like

                1. Send The Space Force out to the Stars, fight our battle cry!
                  We’ll never change our trajectory so vicious Russians/Chinese, Iranians/ North Koreans prepare to fry!
                  In our mighty laser beams piercing the sky!
                  Roll out the nukes, boosters aweigh!
                  Blast on to victory, and send their shattered hulls to reentry doomsday!

                  Boosters Aweigh, my persons of seven+ genders and multiple sexual orientations, Boosters Aweigh!
                  Farewell to the Blue Earth, let the countdown begin at the break of day!
                  Through our last night on earth, drink to the celestial dome!
                  Until we meet once more, here’s wishing you a happy voyage home!

                  Black of space deep, Gold of Sol,
                  Let these our colors be, Till All of eternal time;
                  Above the Von Karman line heed the Space Force’s stern call:
                  Faith, courage, service true, With honor over, honor over all.

                  Like

    1. With some tweaks for technique, the same method bragged about by Bill Browder as “The Hermitage Effect”, and if truth be known, a similar method to those of venture capitalists everywhere. Nobody has time to wait anymore for a company’s stock to take off, and guess right so that you are ahead of the curve – investors want to be rich nownownow, and venture capitalists have learned you can make your own luck. Browder billed himself as an ‘activist investor’, because his claim was that he was actually doing the company a favour, trying to help it succeed with western governance procedures and transparency and all that. He would identify a company which he assessed was undervalued, and then begin a whisper campaign against it – the bosses were on the take, lots of merchandise going out the back door, cooking the books to conceal the losses, bla, bla, bla. The company’s stock would fall, and Hermitage would buy in when it felt the government’s attention had been attracted and it would try to save the company. Government investigation, some management changes and maybe a government contract or some orders. Confidence returns, stock goes up, Browder rakes in the cash and virtuously claims to have saved the company’s bacon, when it was his destabilizing efforts that made it shaky in the first place.

      Singer is more like Richard Gere’s billionaire capitalist in “Pretty Woman” – buying up companies, busting them up, stripping off the salable assets and selling the husk; a real-life example would be Mitt Romney.

      https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-news/greed-and-debt-the-true-story-of-mitt-romney-and-bain-capital-183291/

      Fewer care now about finding a cure for a wasting disease, or discovering a boundless source of cheap and clean energy – the American Dream now is Getting Rich. Maybe it always was – although I fancy I remember a bit more altruism, perhaps I am only deluding myself with pleasant those-were-the-days fantasies. At any rate, corporations and for-profit entities now seem much bolder about causing widespread ruin right out in the open, and likewise seem to be rewarded for it by moving up the ranks of Most Profitable Companies, which seems more and more the only measure of success.

      If America did not have its giant military, there would be no reason to fear it, be wary of offending it or even to pay very much attention to it. It is starting to slide over the edge, but you still have to be cautious about its tail snaking up out of the pit and taking you down with it.

      Like

  26. The Government of China has ordered the USA to close its consulate in Chengdu within 72 hours, in the widely-expected tit-for-tat response to the American order that the Chinese consulate in Houston be closed.

    “The immediate effect of the two consulates’ closures is expected to be minimal, especially since the visas they normally process have become moot at a time when travel has been severely limited by the coronavirus pandemic.

    But the closure of the consulate in Chengdu, in Sichuan Province, the westernmost of the five American consulates in mainland China, deprives the United States in a city that is a hub for China’s commercial expansion across Central Asia. Chengdu is also its most valuable diplomatic outpost for gathering information on Xinjiang and Tibet, the two sometimes-restive regions in China’s far west.”

    Pompeo blabbered in a speech at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library that “If we bend the knee now, our children’s children may be at the mercy of the Chinese Communist Party, whose actions are the primary challenge today in the free world…General Secretary Xi is not destined to tyrannize inside and outside of China forever unless we allow it.” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying compared him to ‘an ant trying to shake a tree’.

    I love the way the USA starts shit and then characterizes its rationale for continuing to escalate as the need to show it is not ‘bending the knee’. Like backing away from something you started is submission to pressure. So you need to just keep cranking the level right the fuck up.

    Like

  27. Former Flynn Deputy K.T. McFarland claims the Durham criminal inquiry into the friggin’ in the riggin’ of the “Russia Investigation” and who knew what and when at the FBI and elsewhere is just about ready to wrap up, and teases that we can expect indictments by the end of the summer. Solid documentary evidence in the form of meeting notes, email exchanges and the like has emerged, she says.

    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/ex-flynn-deputy-kt-mcfarland-john-durham-has-cold-hard-evidence-that-will-lead-to-indictments

    Like

  28. Carroll at it again in Lebedev’s “Independent”:

    Putin awards military honour to Chechen autocrat days after US imposes sanctions

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/putin-ramzan-kadyrov-chechnya-russia-us-sanctions-human-rights-a9634961.html

    Some readers’ comments:

    “a man who has been linked to the killing, torture and disappearance of hundreds.”

    “ ‘Mr Kadyrov is understood to have supported several waves of repressions of LGBT+ people beginning in 2017’

    has been linked to, is understood to…. this is how Western propaganda proceeds; unverifiable insinuation and attribution – the use of the passive voice as here is a typical device to avoid actually having to put forward a claim which can be tested.

    “The leader of Chechnya may or may not be the evil person he is made out to be in the Western media but at least lets have some credible journalism which provides solid referenced and therefore checkable claims.”

    “Present facts Oliver otherwise stfu. This is just another piece of Russia bashing and then when Russia tests a satellite launched projectile assumed to be a missile their action is called a “breach of trust”. You don’t deserve trust if this how you conduct yourselves.”

    “ Does Oliver Carroll work for the Independent or MI6 or probably both?”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tony Blair has been linked to the killing, torture and disappearance of hundreds of thousands. As has George W. Bush. Will anything ever be done about it? I doubt it.

      Like

    1. No news here – we have all known for a considerable time that US shipped LNG cannot compete with pipeline gas for price. And according to the USA and its famous ‘level playing field’, that’s all that counts, and a chance to compete fairly is all it is asking for. But that is demonstrably not true, as Rick Perry flew around the world arguing that using American gas is just like drinking freedom, while Russian gas is an invitation to bondage, and various other soft-power inducements basically saying ‘buy from us because you like us more’. When that predictably met with an uncomfortable response, the USA tried to remove the competition by stopping its project construction, although none of it is in the United States physically and none of the product to be shipped via the line is destined for the United States or any of its possessions. I need hardly point out the screams and roars that would ensue if the roles were reversed and Russia was using unfair economic maneuvering to halt an American project – there would be quite a different interpretation of fairness in that case, and Putin would be called everything but a white man.

      There have been many, many occasions when the USA won although it deserved to lose. This will not be one of those occasions.

      Like

    1. According to Turchynov, the number of Russian troops in Crimea is no more than was concentrated there at the beginning of 2014, and the training and arming of the Ukrainian military is much better.

      Wow, just wow.

      Who was the guy who posted here for a while that, based on his analysis of the number of tanks, planes, artillery pieces, and the fighting spirit of the soldiers, thought that the Ukraine could defeat Russia? It was not Matt … Not Do-little…

      Like

      1. An Adolf Hitler wannabe?

        You have only to kick in the door and the whole rotten structure will come crashing down.

        Like

      2. Oh, A-something. Just two letters, like AJ or something, but that wasn’t it. AP, maybe, because we used to theorize it was the same guy who posted as ‘Professor Preobrazhensky’ on Alexander Motyl’s blog. If you looked through the comments on the old blog at right around the time Maidan was ongoing, you would find his jubilant cheering for the Ukie nationalists.

        Like

        1. It was “AP”. I think his posts may have been removed or I did not do a sufficiently thorough search. I was saddened that two frequent posters from that era, Yalensis and Kirill, no longer participate here. I do note that the quality of my posts (perhaps never that high) has deteriorated over time – not sure what is going on:)

          Like

          1. I think you are not only being hard on yourself – we are our own most unforgiving critics – but also inaccurate. Your comments have evolved steadily into perceptive critiques, and some are real gems.

            I was sorry to see Yalensis and Kirill go as well, but they were like Itchy and Scratchy, always squabbling whenever both appeared. Not only was the forum apparently not big enough for both of them, it wasn’t big enough for either. Quite a few drifted away when the old blog went kaput, and I have to wonder if many of them never knew I moved. Since I had only the same access everyone else did, and could not write new posts. I had little choice but to leave a message at the end of the comment string of the most recent post, and that was quickly buried by Matt’s jubilant spamming once he could post with no editorial control. Perhaps that was his purpose. But I still see the occasional commenter reappearing even now and saying they had no idea the blog had moved.

            Liked by 1 person

      1. The comment above is what I mistakenly posted via Chrome, which then notified me that it was awaiting moderation.

        My avatar is missing, unlike other posts of mine.

        I wonder what happened to cause tis moderation procedure.?

        Like

            1. I couldn’t really say; I don’t like Chrome and almost never use it – it came installed on this machine, but I immediately installed Firefox. For the first few months a reminder box would regularly come up advising me how much faster Chrome is and more efficient, bla bla. It’s Microsoft and I try not to use anything Microsoft if I can avoid it. Anyway, it eventually went silent. I don’t even use Google unless I’ve already tried everything else.

              Like

              1. Same here. I don’t really know why have the Chrome app on my iPhone, which I am now using. For several years I have used Yandex, but recently I have started using DuckDuckGo ever more frequently. With DDG, when you hit the site that you are searching for, there pop up on the DDG search bar indicators of those bastards that are tracking your search and which tracking DDG has blocked. Chrome always pops up in this way.

                Like

                1. I liked DDG initially because Google had become so politicized with its tricks of downranking certain searches until you couldn’t find any information on controversial viewpoints, it was just a bunch of stars-and-stripes-waving propaganda. A search for the USA doing anything shady would net you five pages of shady things being done to the USA before you got to what you were looking for; ever the victim. Likewise, absolute rubbish is not removed or even downranked after it has been discredited, and searches for Russia meddling with America’s democracy will still yield page after page of fresh, steaming bullshit as the Yanks plow ahead with their clumsy propaganda op without any regard at all for how stubborn it looks in its stupidity. But I still use Google fairly often to substantiate stuff I find on DDG. I have never used Chrome, but as I say, it was installed on this machine when I got it. I was warned also that this version of Windows (I can’t even recall what it is) plus Chrome is the snoopiest ever, and that it sends tons of information back to the parent company by default. If you don’t want that, you have to turn it all off yourself, or pay someone you trust to do it if you don’t know how.

                  I mostly rely on the Firefox community being still comparatively small enough that all the snooping is focused on Google and Microsoft, since there are still so many I-have-nothing-to-hide types who evidently don’t mind someone looking over their shoulder and saving everything they do online. It’s not that I worry anything I do or say might be criminal or seditious – to me, it’s the same as if you and I are chatting on a bus, and some stranger edges over until he’s knee-to-knee with us and starts taking notes. It’s just not the done thing.

                  Like

                2. You can try apparently anonymous (?) qwant.com and startpage.com.

                  It’s good to have more than one browser even if you don’t use the other ones much. For chrome based ones, Vivaldi is not bad as it has lots of options and is by some of the people who lead the original Opera browser team.

                  Like

            2. I also use FireFox although it seems unable to display some video content. Chrome is mostly spyware they say.

              Speaking of spying, a marketing expert gave a talk about how we are tracked (using mobile phones) like wild game.. They know what stores we shop in and what areas within the store that we may linger, they know where we live and they time their ads and adjust the content to show up when we are home. They know who we associate with by physical proximity of our respective phones. And they never delete data. By “they” I mean computer software that is supposedly evolving into artificial intelligence.

              Like

              1. Storage is evolving so that the amount of data that can be saved is practically infinite. But one way you can cut way down on the ease with which you are tracked is to withdraw money from your bank account, and buy with cash rather than using a credit card. Throw away your Air Miles and any other loyalty cards – if you’re like most people, you’ll never claim anything that’s worth anything. The data miners will see that you withdrew $200.00 from your bank, but the trail will go cold right there, and they can’t see where you spent it as long as you don’t use a credit card or claim points on a loyalty card.

                For precisely those reasons, there are tremendous pressures and inducements to use your card for everything – because it’s free data mining, provided by you. Tappy tap tap, it’s so easy. They see what you like to buy and where, and pitch products to you that they think you might also buy.

                I’m not a good example – that was a doctrine I set for myself, and strictly followed for about two years. Then I began to sporadically use my credit card, and it was so easy and convenient that before long I used it for everything. Air Miles, too. And with the current situation, many merchants are very reluctant to handle cash – germy, you know. Our credit card is a cash-back account, so that you get a percentage of what you spend returned to your account. There are inducements and seductions bombarding you from all angles, but most knuckle under because they are lazy and cards are convenient.

                But the data miners are always watching, and their response is instant. One time I was thinking about trading in the old beater, Old Whitey, the ’98 Sentra. I changed my mind because there is really nothing wrong with it, and I have spent a fair bit of money on it when things did go wrong, a new head gasket being the biggest. Anyway, I like the Altima, and once I searched up 2010 Altima models. Every time I went to a website after that, there was a pop-up ad for used Nissans. For my birthday last year my son gave me a Kindle reader. Soon I was spending about $80.00 a month on electronic books. That couldn’t continue, so I joined Kindle Unlimited; you pay about $10.00 a month, and are allowed to hold 10 books in your library for that price. After that, every time you want a new one, you have to give one back first. One day when I had to leave for work in just a couple of minutes and was rather rushed, I chose a book based on the title, the cover and the number of stars reviewers gave it, but without reading the synopsis. It turned out to be more or less nonstop gay male pornography. I returned it after reading only 18%, but it was too late – the next time I shopped for a new book, I received LGBTQ literature suggestions ‘based on my reading habits’.

                If I was not so lazy and complacent, I could easily drop off the grid again, just by using cash and ceasing my use of credit cards. My phone is a Bobby-basic 2014 LG, too old and unsophisticated to be worth exploiting.

                Like

  29. Just mistakenly posted the following mistakenly using Chrome instead of DuckDuckGo and was immediately told it is awaiting moderation:

    I think these Baptist missionaries here who have come from the USA are little better than NGOs.

    Like

    1. Did I tell you this story? I attended the funeral for a woman who had recently suffered severe depression that lead to an apparent suicide (very sad story). It was, at a minimum, a weird experience – preachers shaking with emotions as they felt God’s energy flowing through them and into the congregation. And those in the congregation were uniquely blessed and above all others per the preachers. They also worked in that the US was God’s chosen nation.

      Anyway, the husband of the deceased woman spoke at length during the service. With a voice resonating in such a way that it had to be God speaking through him, he told of his wonderful life, how he had everything yet his poor wife suffered. They prayed together for her recovery although he had to take frequent overseas trips without her to take care of his various “ministries”. In short, he was the biggest fucking narcissist I had ever seen in person. His wife was just an accessory to be used as needed as he fucked around on his “overseas” work for God. Just my opinion.

      He thought he was God and he had found a church that welcomed that insanity.

      I told the person I was with that this guy will likely end up as the star on one of the those televisions shows that document interesting murders. The show title could be “The Preacher and the Suicide” or “Homicide from the Pulpit”.

      Like

      1. I’ve experienced USA missionary Baptists at first hand here because before I got wed and lived in Voronezh, where there was built a Baptist church and missionary HQ very shortly after the Yeltsin “Golden Age” kicked off, I was approached on more than one occasion by beaming, “Jesus-Loves-You” American Baptist missionary maniacs, who were there to give their sect the hard sell.

        They thought I was an Orc, see.

        Russians often used to think I was an Orc descendant as well — which error on their part had certain advantages.

        Like

      2. I’ve been to Baptist church services in Sydney in the past and while those were nowhere near as extreme as Patient Observer’s experience, they were still creepy in their own way. The bland surrounds (the church premises doubled as a conference centre, which many such new Protestant churches do these days), the happy-happy facade and the stuffy atmosphere, psychological as well as physical, were part of that creepiness.

        Like

  30. Does Russia “expert” Mark Galeotti understand Russian? Every time I’ve seen a video of Galeotti being interviewed by Russian language media, he is speaking English and his words are being translated. How can a self-proclaimed Russia “expert” not be able to understand Russian? How can anyone take such a person seriously?

    Итоги: “Грозные” санкции против Кадырова и Пригожина
    1,960 views•25 Jul 2020

    Как уйдет Путин: два сценария

    Профессор Нью-Йоркского университета Марк Галеотти о смене власти и коррупции в России

    26 января 2016 Наталья Шанецкая

    95 177

    https://tvrain.ru/teleshow/shanetskaja/galeotti-402440/

    Like

    1. The grammatical complexity of Russian is simply a reflection of the genetic devious nature of the Orcs: they speak Russian so that no civilised bugger can understand most of what they are saying!

      Like

        1. Russian has 6 cases singular and 6 cases plural and 3grammatical genders of nouns.

          All adjectives agree with the nouns that they qualify in gender, number and case. Numbers also decline.

          The old teacher saw three girls with four boys.

          Старый учитель видел трех девочек с четырьмя мальчиками.

          Three girls with four boys saw the old teacher.

          Три девочки с четырьмя мальчиками увидели старого учителя.

          A boy saw a girl.

          Мальчик увидел девочку

          A girl saw a boy.

          Девочка увидела мальчика.

          Three verb tenses but two verb aspects for the majority of verbs.

          I saw the girl a few times.

          Я видел девушку несколько раз.

          I suddenly saw. the girl.

          Я вдруг увидел девушку.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Note: neither Russian nor Ukrainian has articles, neither definite nor indefinite.

            That’s why it pisses me off when Ukrainian Svidomites tell native English speakers that they must not say “The Ukraine”.

            Like

        2. Words like “big”, “bigger” and “biggest” are known as comparatives and they are always adjectives, not nouns. They do not constitute a case system.

          In English there are just two cases remaining of the original 5 or 6-case system that was inherited from Proto-Germanic: the nominative case and the genitive case (usually known as possessive, as this is now the main function of the genitive case). Prepositions now do most of the work that cases did in Old English.

          Like

      1. Is it unreasonable to expect Russia “expert” to understand the Russian language? What’s the excuse? Don’t have enough time? Your entire professional career and livelihood revolves around Russia, for Christ’s sake! Make the time! Russian is too difficult to learn? OK, if so move onto something else.

        Like

    1. It reminds me for all the world of the self-righteous busybody fuckheads in Canada who are ordering everyone to mask up, making ridiculous claims about the efficacy of masks in preventing the spread of coronavirus and flashing their new buzzwords ‘maskhole’ (an asshole who won’t wear a mask when his much smarter and more with-it fellow citizens entreat him to just think of others), and ‘covidiot’. They’re such a hip group now, grooving on wearing their little face diapers in all colours and styles and clamoring for stiffer government regulations to force everyone to wear a mask.

      I would say Dr. Fauci actually starting the coronavirus himself would be quite a stretch, but it is quite clear that he will say anything if he thinks it is to his advantage. I therefore suspect that he is much more of a businessman than he is a doctor. And I would also say the strategy of trying to stamp out every case of coronavirus and then forcing a waiting period equal to its incubation before we can heave a sigh of relief that it is gone is stupid. We would never be able to open the borders, if that were the gameplan, until it had been eradicated worldwide, which is why they keep making it an insurmountable problem and crying that we desperately need a vaccine. I suppose that will be the next selfless act we have to take for our neighbours and fellow citizens – everyone must be vaccinated, otherwise you might be a selfish carrier of a deadly disease.

      I’m well and truly through with voting, and I think I might be all through with charity, as well. I’m tending more toward look after your family and friends, and fuck everyone else. The attitude of about half of my fellow Canadians is really getting on my nerves.

      Like

      1. Very few wearing them now in Mordor. I went by commuter train to Moscow and back last Thursday, and most passengers on both the train and in the metro were not wearing masks.

        I was up Thursday morning at around 5 o’clock, as usual as I had to go back to Moscow so as to collect 2 registered letters waiting for me at our local post office.

        I had no idea what they were about, but I guessed that they were probably from the tax inspectorate concerning the rebates they’re giving me because, basically, I’m not working owing to this flu hysteria.

        Mrs. Exile has been in Moscow for several days now and I am living alone at the dacha. In order to get a registered letter, you have to present your passport. They notify the addressee that such a letter is waiting to be picked up. So I sent my wife a photo of my passport and she went to see if she could pick them the letters up for me. Nothing doing! I had to present my passport in person, the bureaucratic arseholes told her. So I had to set off for Moscow the other day.

        I don’t like receiving registered letters here: the last ones I received were concerned with my having to bugger off from here to my so-called Mother Country.

        Anyway, I got them. They were from the tax inspector, as I had already expected: one told me that my application to receive a tax refund had been received, the other telling me 2 such refunds had been paid for May and June and another refund was due for this month, which I’ll get on 18th August.

        I already bloody well knew that, the bureaucratic arseholes!!!!

        I got the first 2 payments the other week, and my accountant, whom I pay £4 a month to do my business, phoned me last week to say that I’d get some more back-payed dosh off the taxman next month.

        And I spent 3 shagging hours on the train to Moscow and 3 hours travelling back here on Thursday in order to be told by these idiots something that I already knew.

        Like

        1. I have been back at work since the end of June. I believe the ferries are still restricted to a ‘B’ License, which limits the total number of persons that can be carried. The restriction mostly applies to foot passengers. Yesterday I worked on the SPIRIT OF VANCOUVER ISLAND, she and her sister SPIRIT OF BRITISH COLUMBIA are the company’s largest vessels, and we were chockers full with cars coming back from the mainland both trips (a total of four is a full shift – an hour and 35 minutes transit each way, starting and ending on Vancouver Island). But vehicle passengers are invited to remain in their cars for safety from the Great Plague, and only come up to the passenger decks to use the washrooms or purchase food. About half the seats are taped off for non-use. Originally there was no seating in the cafeteria; you had to buy your food (limited menu) and take it somewhere else, preferably back to your car if you were a vehicle passenger. Recently they have allowed some seating, and in the last few days the gift shop was opened again, so we are slowly returning to normal service.

          But I was reading the National Post last night, and the Globe and Mail, and I really should know better by now because both reliably infuriate me. There was an opinion article in the G&M that suggested Doctor Bonnie Henry was going to have to get tough with British Columbians and impose serious binding restrictions, especially on young people. Dr. Bonnie Henry is the provincial health officer, and widely regarded as a Saint in the province, just as is nearly everyone who wears a set of scrubs and carries a stethoscope. Anyway, the gist of it all is that recently some hundreds of young people were partying in Kelowna, duly photographed so doing, followed by the expected howls of rage from the busybodies. I’d link it, but like nearly every other paper in the world it has eliminated its free coverage and insists you subscribe.

          An accompanying photo to the overall story – it was big news in several papers – showed six young women sitting on a concrete divider, like you use to block roadways, waiting for seating in a bar. Necessarily, they were sitting shoulder-to-shoulder, totally unobservant of the apparently-established fact that viral germs can travel six feet (but, thankfully, no further). Anyway, this intolerable disregard of public safety (here’s the photo depicting young people thoughtlessly partying without thinking first of public safety, as every citizen is now required to do in These Exceptional Times)

          https://www.theguardian.pe.ca/news/canada/covid-19-party-held-on-vancouver-beach-despite-social-distancing-pleas-from-health-officials-476341/

          has resulted in 102 new cases, 60 of them in Kelowna. We’re on ‘cases’ now – ‘deaths’ is more fearsome, but there haven’t been enough of them so they have been dropped in favour of ‘cases’, which is slowly being made just as fearsome. Most of the new ‘cases’ are among people aged mid-20’s to mid-30’s, as is probably not too surprising given the average age of the party crowd. Absent is that hardly anyone in this age group dies from coronavirus – what if it gets loose in the nursing homes again?? So we must all remain six feet apart from one another for…oh…say a couple of more years. Because the dreaded Second Wave is coming, folks, as inevitable as taxes. And governments around the world do not hesitate to threaten we will go back into ‘lockdown’ if we do not all do our part to ‘flatten the curve’. Don’t forget ‘we’re all in this together’. Did I miss any branding phrases?

          Oh, and wear a mask. It is amazingly effective at protecting against the coronavirus (not), and it’s a simple and caring thing you can do to reassure your fellow citizens that you are ‘doing your part’. Not to be a spoiler or anything, but the second part is the whole reason for wearing a mask – it makes the busybodies feel vindicated and empowered.

          Like

      2. Is Mrs. Stooge still a Russian citizen?

        If she is, being the spouse of a Russian, you can apply for a fast-track process ending in your being granted Russian citizenship.

        Having become one of Tsar Putin’s enslaved subjects, you can say farewell to all those knobheads in Ottawa and embrace the tyranny here in Mordor.

        Like

        1. Yes, indeed; she religiously guards her Russian citizenship, and goes back at the drop of a hat when one or the other passport is getting close to expiry. We’ve discussed the idea of my obtaining Russian citizenship, and if it is not too expensive we might do it. It would be mostly symbolic until I am on a regular watch and my work schedule is more predictable. As a casual I still get a protected two weeks vacation each year, but the casuals’ leave block is October-November and January-February. Not very desirable times to visit Mordor. Anything else is out-of-block leave and they don’t have to grant it.

          She was under the impression that the new Russian rules do not really accord any earth-shaking changes, and that you could always do pretty much everything they permit – ie; that as the spouse of a Russian, I could have applied for Russian citizenship any time I liked. I think the difference now is that you can retain your present citizenship while obtaining Russian citizenship as well.

          Like

          1. Yes, as far as I know that’s the only difference.

            I talked online on a site called expat.ru many years ago with quite a few expats who were all married to Russians — Aussies, Kiwis, Canadians and quite a few US citizens, as well as that despised lot who are my English compatriots, and discussed with them the option of taking Russian citizenship. It was when I was first applying for a residency permit for a foreign citizen, so those online discussions that I had must have taken place around 2005.

            The vast majority of folk who apply for such a permit have in mind acquiring a full residency permit and, in possession of which, having lived here for a minimum of 5 years then Bob’s your uncle! — you sail through the procedure of gaining Russian citizenship.

            However, not one of these expats with whom I discussed the possibility of applying for Russian citizenship had any intention of doing this: to a man, they all said they did not want to forfeit their passports.

            Now such a necessity no longer exists.

            I decided to hang onto Her Britannic Majesty’s Passport (and legally it is hers) only so that my children could get one.

            They automatically became British citizens at birth because their daddy was— and still is — a British citizen. That’s why I extend my full residency permit every 5 years — save for when I dropped a bollock in 2017 and failed to apply for an extension on time. You all know on here what happened next because of my absent mindedness!

            Like

    1. The answer is “No”. The article was a smear based on guilt by association; wait, not even that. It was just a smear campaign.

      Like

  31. Дания запретила строительство «Северного потока-2» на два месяца

    Denmark has banned the construction of “North Stream – 2” for two months
    yesterday 18:42

    https://topcor.ru/15743-danija-zapretila-stroitelstvo-severnogo-potoka-2-na-dva-mesjaca.html?utm_referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fzen.yandex.com

    A pipeline chess game is being played in the Baltic Sea. Copenhagen has banned the completion of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline for the next two months, German radio station NDR reports.

    On July 22, 2020, Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen and the Foreign Minister of the Kingdom Jeppe Koephod received in Copenhagen the former director of the CIA, and now the head of the US State Department, Mike Pompeo. The conversation took place behind closed doors and, as sources have specified, the American demanded unconditional loyalty from the allies, but the Danes made it clear that they would act exclusively within a legal framework. Although Copenhagen is not delighted with the Nord Stream 2 gas transmission project, it is pleased that it has managed to avoid complications with Berlin, its largest trading partner.

    Yes, master! Have I not served you well, master?

    Like

    1. “Allies”?

      Military allies?

      NATO allies, the purpose of which alliance is to deter military aggression against allied member states by another, non-allied state?

      So what has this military alliance to do with attempting to thwart a commercial project, in which other NATO allies are participating.?

      Like

    2. Pompeo’s impromptu visit to Copenhagen had the desired affect. I was in Copenhagen in Nov 2019 for 3 days. Never knew Copenhagen had so many canals, and the canals were built by Swedish POWs. The little mermaid sculpture is far smaller in real life and where it’s located isn’t very romantic either.

      I wonder how long Denmark can resists Trump’s offer for Greenland?

      Like

      1. Copenhagen was the port I was supposed to travel to in order to meet my first ship, HMCS SAGUENAY, which was deployed on a NATO tour when I was posted to her, back in 1977 when I was wet behind the ears and burtsting with eagerness to see the world. But the dicks in charge changed my orders and had me do some other joe-job until the trip was over, and meet SAGUENAY on her return to Halifax. Where I promptly joined the duty watch charged with looking after the ship whilst her leave-starved crew went on holiday.

        I never did get to Copenhagen after that, nor in fact any of Scandinavia. I visited Europe many times, but that particular tour route was not repeated by any ship I served in while I was on the East Coast.

        Like

    3. As forecast, the Danes will fuck it for this year, throwing up obstacles until the weather gets too bad for construction to go ahead until next Spring. But that was more or less a foregone conclusion anyway, because of the sensitive cod-spawning season. Plumpeo and the Traveling State Department Roadshow are obviously kicking the can down the road and hoping for a break. But it is a strategy bound for subsequent delightful failure. Further delay plus attributable American bullying will only anger the Germans further, puff up the Ukrainians with false hopes and reassure Americans that they still have the Big Stick, so that the eventual letdown will be more traumatizing. I don’t believe German commitment can be shaken now, certainly not so long as the USA continues to make demands at whose end is enslavement to American LNG. Ukraine’s transit contract still has a couple of years to run, and I imagine Russia intended to run it out all the way in any event. If Europe has to ask for higher volumes to be pumped owing to the terms of the contract not resulting in enough supply, it will only highlight Russian cooperation (since it would come at increased cost to Russia in transit fees) and remind everyone of the cost of giving in to American bullying. There is no American miracle waiting to poke up its head.

      Like

  32. Vol. 42 No. 14 · 16 July 2020

    Flailing States

    Pankaj Mishra on Anglo-America

    6820 words

    ‘The abyss of history​ is deep enough to hold us all,’ Paul Valéry wrote in 1919, as Europe lay in ruins. The words resonate today as the coronavirus blows the roof off the world, most brutally exposing Britain and the United States, these prime movers of modern civilisation, which proudly claimed victory in two world wars, and in the Cold War, and which until recently held themselves up as exemplars of enlightened progress, economic and cultural models to be imitated across the globe. ‘The true test of a good government,’ Alexander Hamilton wrote, ‘is its aptitude and tendency to produce a good administration.’ It is a test the United States and Britain have failed ruinously during the current crisis. Both countries had weeks of warnings about the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan; strategies deployed by nations that responded early, such as South Korea and Taiwan, could have been adapted and implemented. But Donald Trump and Boris Johnson chose instead to claim immunity. ‘I think it’s going to work out fine,’ Trump announced on 19 February. On 3 March, the day the UK’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies warned against shaking hands, Johnson boasted after a visit to a hospital treating coronavirus patients: ‘I shook hands with everybody, you will be pleased to know, and I continue to shake hands.’

    Epidemiologists have become the idols of a frightened public and scientific rigour has gained a new status in large parts of the world. But the current regimes in the US and Britain gained power by fomenting hatred of experts and expertise. British ministers, chosen for their devotion to Brexit and loyalty to Johnson, have revealed themselves as dangerous blunderers. Trump, still promoting family, flunkeys and conspiracy theories, has obliged his administration’s scientific authorities, Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx, to tiptoe around his volcanic ego. The blithe inaction and bumbling born of ideological vanity have resulted in tens of thousands of avoidable deaths in both countries, with ethnic minorities heavily overrepresented. Meanwhile, rage against white supremacism is exploding on American streets. Whatever the fate of these uprisings, the largest since the 1960s, a period of devastation lies ahead. Tens of millions of people are likely to lose their livelihoods and their dignity.

    https://www.lrb.co.uk/the-paper/v42/n14/pankaj-mishra/flailing-states

    Like

  33. Financial Crimes: China’s tech juggernaut steams ahead
    https://www.ft.com/content/d3211dd9-9053-4d23-a695-0e34342e4e29

    With a backlash growing in the US, India and parts of Europe, a bipolar world is emerging

    When the Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris caught fire last year, Chinese-made drones were deployed to fly close to the blaze. They relayed video to the firefighters, helping them to direct their hoses and ultimately save the cathedral’s structure.

    The deployment was hailed in China as a big success for homegrown technology. But there was another aspect to the story…

    …But will all this be enough to bring China’s tech juggernaut to a shuddering halt? A quick glance at the big picture, says Michael Power, strategist at NinetyOne, an asset management firm, makes clear that the answer is no…

    ..For another, says Mr Power, China is home to the world’s largest and most innovative technology supply chain. In many technologies, he adds, “China is winning fair and square”. ..
    ####

    The premise of this article is far too simplified. It’s not just the West v. China, but the West v. Other. The article completely ignores Latin America giving the west the finger over world trade talks (DOHA round) back in the 1990s. The EU still hasn’t been able to sign a trade bloc agreement with MERCUSOR, mainly (as I understand it), French farmers/EU agricultural lobby.

    The same is true for Africa and the Cotonou Agreement that is up for renewal after twenty years. The EU wanted a simple extension, but the African partners said like “NO WAY GIRLFRIEND! You like want want to stay the same but we like want a mature and responsible relationship like and we are like not respected enuff by you and you’re all bossy like and stuck up.”* So the EU has had to drop and reformulate its trade strategy.

    As the two cases I’ve presented above show, it is the West that expects other blocs to fall in to line/respect Western leadership etc. etc. But, the party’s over man. It’s the same with the US. Just look at its rebranding of NAFTA in to the slightly different USMCA (US-Mexico-Canada Agreement). Wow, Washington really made Mexico and Canada squeal. Not. It’s only now that India is signing up to a trade/defense deal with the US & Australia, but it has been more open which has devastated for example family farmers which have long been suffering from high suicide rates (no state protection/help) etc. Comparatively, India’s economy is much smaller that that of China.

    Time and again, they are supposed to open their markets first to western producers in return for the promise of western market opening to them, which is of course in the latter’s favor. Russia privatized in the 1990s and whole swathes of markets became essentially foreign owned, with little or not domestic competition of sizeable note. Some of that has changed since sanctions were imposed (food & dairy production) and forced long had, but not implemented plans in to action. China on the other hand was smart enough to leverage the massive size of its market to pick and choose conditions (JVs etc.) for western investors and producers. It was all entirely voluntary. China paid for high-speed train IP to European companies for a few billion euros, mastered it and now build far more for example. Yet when other countries moan about western market domination at home, the response is “No one forced you to agree to our conditions. You did it voluntarily! So there you have it. Leveraging strength by us is Good(TM), leveraging strength by them is Bad(TM).

    As for banning TikTok/whatever because the CCP gets all your information, you would think that we have all slept through the arrival and expansion of the internet and the US dominated tech revolution. It’s all much too little and much too late. Game over.

    * Channeling Little Britain’s Vicky Pollard:

    https://littlebritain.fandom.com/wiki/Vicky_Pollard

    https://static.wikia.nocookie.net/littlebritain/images/c/c8/SNN1014B_280_729670a.jpg/revision/latest/scale-to-width-down/280?cb=20100617180157

    Like

    1. Very well said. China has won fair and square. A tiny example of their technological superiority in areas thats matter is in investment castings of stainless steel alloys, Our company tried US suppliers first (grossly overpriced with unacceptable quality), then India (unacceptable quality) and then China (good quality, good pricing and very good support). We had no choice but to establish a Chinese supply chain. The tariffs have hurt but not enough to go back to US suppliers (3 times the price and a rejection rate approaching 90%).

      Sorry Trump. Key industries will never come back. We would prefer to buy US but our industrial culture has been scrapped in favor of digital entertainment, vulture capitalism and debt service.

      Like

      1. I don’t doubt Chinese corporate espionage/whatever, but that has been all the rage since the end of the Cold War. Boing got fingered lifting Airbus docs in the 1990s. I’m sure there were plenty of other cases but mosly kept from the public as it was amongs allies.

        The US for example stole British mill/weaving technology by hook and by crook, smuggling out machines in parts and hiring experts, which helped the US to quickly catch up.

        https://www.history.com/news/industrial-revolution-spies-europe

        As people above a certain age will recall that in the 1980s the cheap tat that lasted one or two uses used to be ‘Made in Taiwan.’ Now Taiwan has TSMC etc. In the 1990s it was ‘Made in China.’ Some still is, but this is mostly the past for China. Bangladesh, Vietnam etc. have taken over/sub-contracted to the low end years ago and even then they are not standing still.

        But we’ve got Magic Money Trees!

        Like

        1. I’ve used the example before of Japanese guitars, back when they made the Silvertone brand for Sears and some other cheap catalogue guitars. They had pickups that were like shouting down a wire between two tin cans, a sprung lower bridge for that ‘whammy bar’ effect that would power a trampoline or offer shock absorption for a Winnebago, and a neck so thick it was like playing your own leg. In a word, they were comical. But the Japanese were not offended, or if they were, they didn’t show it. They just asked what people didn’t like, and how it could be improved. The Ibanez Sabre now is a world-class guitar that feels like it’s part of you; Steve Vai plays one.

          https://geargods.net/news/steve-vai-ibanez-jem7vp-premium/

          That’s an Ibanez he’s playing also in his epic guitar ‘duel’ with Ralph Macchio in ‘Crossroads’, although Steve Vai actually played all the parts. Macchio was pretty convincing, though; his hands looked right. I don’t know if he can actually play at all, but he certainly can’t play like that.

          Yamaha makes excellent-quality instruments for a competitive price, and ‘made in Japan’ is no longer a statement of mockery. They just went away and started improving, and kept at it.

          Like

          1. The last melody that Machio’s character plays, during which his left hand goes the whole length of the fretboard several times at first and then looks like settling in the middle, sounds like something straight out of formal classical music training. The 18th-century violinist Paganini (inspiration for a lot of guitarists) comes to mind.

            Like

            1. Yes, and that’s exactly what it is; “Fifth Caprice”, by Nicolo Paganini. I never did see all of “Crossroads”, but I seem to recall his ‘mother’ in the film made him practice classical guitar, but he always wanted to play the soulful blues, and he fell in with this old black harmonica player, and you pretty much know the rest.

              Like

              1. Yes, usually along the way the aspiring blues player meets the Devil or an emissary of the Devil (on the highway to Memphis or some other place in the Mississippi Delta region) who offers the usual Faustian pact of amazingly virtuoso ability on the guitar in exchange for the guitarist’s soul.

                Ralph Macchio took guitar lessons from Arlen Roth for a whole year to prepare for his role in “Crossroads”. Ry Cooder (who composed much of the film’s soundtrack and did the slide parts; you can see Macchio’s character wears a slide on his third finger in the video), Vai, Roth and classical guitarist William Kanengiser all had a hand in composing the music for the “Crossroads” duel. Unfortunately Roth was not credited for his contributions to the soundtrack.
                https://www.guitarworld.com/artists/forgotten-guitar-crossroads-and-its-unsung-guitar-hero-arlen-roth

                Like

                1. Implied in ‘Crossroads’ also was that Steve Vai’s character – Jack Butler – had gotten his skills the same way. He just happened to be the guy the devil held in reserve to wax all the up-and-comers so he got to keep their souls. It’s a recurring theme – I read a great story when I was a kid which was along the same lines, only the subject was baseball, called, “The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant”.

                  Like

  34. Modern US Cinema – garbage in/garbage out:

    The presenter, in my opinion, was dead nuts on regarding the devolution of film into little more than theme park rides meant to appeal to global audiences with maximized profit potential from collateral marketing gambits (toys, music, etc.).

    Not mentioned but implicit was that these films export US culture and values (using the forgoing terms very loosely). It is basically a dumbing down of emotional messages and removal of intellectual complexity to teach the audiences to be shallow and stupid (just in case the US educational system failed in doing such).

    Like

    1. Increasingly also, Hollywood is relying on foreigners as directors as well as actors. Something must be going very wrong in the US movie industry if most young actors in Hollywood these days are increasingly British or are of non-American backgrounds, and the only American directors capable of making good films with character and a strong plot are aged 50+ years. Upcoming black actors in Hollywood these days seem to be either British, Nigerian or Kenyan. Back in 2017, Samuel L Jackson was critical of Hollywood’s tendency to cast foreign actors in roles that he believed could have and should have been played by Afro-American actors (he had in mind films like Steve McQueen’s “12 Years a Slave” and Jordan Peele’s “Get Out” in which the lead roles went to British actors Chiwetel Ejiofor and Daniel Kaluuya respectively) and he was lambasted for being precious about reserving roles for Americans when British actors who belong to minority groups have a hard time getting work in the British film industry and go to Hollywood to find work. Surely directors like McQueen and Peele (both black themselves, though I think McQueen is British) could have gone out of their way to find talented and professionally trained black American actors, as opposed to black Americans who come into acting through the music industry or from football or some other sport, who could play the major roles in their films before giving them to foreign actors.

      The last two American directors to win Best Director Oscars were Damien Chazelle for “La-La-Land” in 2016 and Kathryn Bigelow for “The Hurt Locker” in 2009. What does it say about the US mainstream film industry that for a whole decade after Bigelow’s win in 2009, a Best Director Oscar has gone to an American only once and three Mexican directors managed to win five Oscars between them?

      Like

      1. In the USA, they even used a mixed race person of British-African descent as the first Black US president rather than a home-grown descendent of a Black African US slave.

        Like

  35. The Register: Intel’s 7nm is busted, chips delayed, may have to use rival foundries to get GPUs out for US govt exascale super
    https://www.theregister.com/2020/07/24/intel_7nm_chip_slip/

    CEO Bob Swan suggests his chips may some day be TSMC-flavored
    ####

    Hit the comments.

    It’s a bit of a follow up to previous posts by Goldman at Asia Times on how China will not be defeated by the US by trying to strave it from chippery. The irony is that western designed and driven Globalization (TM) is how we got here.

    Like

      1. Hey – here’s an idea. Why don’t you just issue a decree that nobody is allowed to make chips using American chipmaking technology? It worked against Huawei, and all those little yellow devils are the same, aren’t they? Bring American technology back home, so only Americans can make chips. Then everybody will have to buy from America!

        It makes me laugh. The current American leadership cannot seem to grasp that pulling the same trick over and over establishes a discernible pattern, and after awhile even the most dull-witted must see it. If you become dependent on the United States for anything, whether commerce, defense, technology or just moral support, sooner or later it will leverage that dependence against you in exchange for demanded concessions which will yield it advantage. And there’s nothing startling about that, so it is a good idea to leave all the fraternal bushwah in fairytales where it belongs, and build trading relationships with other countries with an eye to vulnerability – if you are dependent on them for something, make sure they are dependent on you for something else so you could leverage them right back, and otherwise try to obtain important products from several different sources, and reward loyalty.

        America has grand plans still of remaking the world not only in its own image, but with non-USA countries providing Americans with a steady flow of cash and good living, while its government is free to tinker and tweak as it sees fit. But those plans absolutely depend on all other countries being such patsies that they will go along with it. Resistance to Plan America will invite punishment, but you can take it, and you’ll be much better off for getting out from under the thumb.

        Like

      2. I would laugh so hard I might do myself a mischief if China achieved a chip breakthrough now. Because the Americans would have to risk life and limb to steal it, just like they accuse China of doing – they would certainly get no help or partnership offers from China. More to the point, the great lead in technology America routinely claims for itself seems to be mostly smoke.

        What would also be pretty funny would be if China bought controlling interests in the other major chipmakers, and then forbade them to sell to or perform contract work for the USA. They’d have to get their skates on pretty fast, though, because I’m sure the Americans have thought of that, too.

        Like

  36. Russia Observer: RUSSIAN FEDERATION SITREP 23 JULY 2020
    https://patrickarmstrong.ca/2020/07/23/russian-federation-sitrep-23-july-2020/

    RUSSIA AND COVID. Latest numbers: total cases 795K; total deaths 12,892; tests per 1 million 178K. Russia has done 26 million tests (third after China and USA); among countries with populations over 10M it’s second in tests per million and of those over 100M first….
    ####

    A bit late, but lots more goodness at the link.

    I like the idea of Russia’s ‘gold kitty‘ – It’s very James Bond. Musical accompaniment?

    Like

    1. I love Spandau Ballet. It’s something I inherited from my English wife, who liked the music but really had the hots for the singer. Their performance of ‘True’ at Live Aid was one of the standouts.

      Although it was eclipsed by The Hooters, “All You Zombies”. Hair-raising. They had such promise, but they never reached that pinnacle again.

      Like

      1. I believe Spandau Ballet got back together some time in the last 10 years but Tony Hadley (the original singer) now has his own solo career. He was in Australia last year on a short trip as a prelude to touring the country this year but the COVID-19 pandemic scuppered his tour plans. While in lockdown, he recorded a new song and made this video for it with his daughter’s help:

        Like

  37. There was a rather succinct analysis on the internet that tied together the over-the-top response to Corona and the BLM demonstrations/riots. The objective is to make Americans as miserable, angry and frustrated as possible with the current situation. People in such a mental/emotional state will vote for change, any change, regardless of how mind numbingly stupid the alternative may be (hint: J_e Bid_n).

    Its fairly clever marketing by the Dems. A significant fraction lead by SJWs will immediately jump on the band wagon and the “independents” will mostly just want a change. This leaves Trump with only the always-Trump crowd. They will be highly motivated but it remains to be seen if their numbers are sufficient to reelect Trump. The Dems and their bosses will need to manage the dangerous (to Biden) presidential debates.

    What can the Dems do to manage the debate? Coaching Biden with radio message as done with Bush would likely not work as Biden’s mind is too far gone to comprehend instructions in real time. Heck, Bush could not pull it off although that is not saying much.

    https://www.salon.com/2004/10/09/bulge/

    It will be interesting.

    Like

  38. Saw it on the internet that Musk expects a $500 billion market cap compared with the current (grossly overprice) $42 billion. Why?

    The bugger keeps on promising that the Tesla will have full self-driving capability – anywhere on the planet under all conditions THIS YEAR.

    He further promises that Tesla owners can use their cars (sans driver) using an Uber-like app that will earn the owner $30,000/year while the owner sits at home smoking weed or whatever.

    The video makes it fairly clear that the above claims are nonsense. Unlike other self-driving cars under development that use an array of expensive sensors including radar, lidar, ultrasonic and cameras, Tesla uses just cameras. As fatal crashes involving Tesla’s suggest, cameras are not up to the task. The video also notes that other self-driving efforts have been suspended after such accidents while Tesla keeps on barreling ahead. I thought that the SEC was to muzzle his mouth regarding BS claims.

    Like

  39. offGuardian:

    This week in the Guardian #10

    In this article, Luke Harding lists rich Russians – or rich people who were born in ex-Soviet states – and rattles off how they are connected to the British government and/or the Russian government.

    To be clear – he is not accusing any of these people of doing anything illegal whatsoever, at one point he goes out of his way to say so. Most of them have done nothing more than attend an event, or give money to a Tory fundraiser, or be photographed with a politician or something equally asinine.

    Luke doesn’t even critique their politics – both sides are represented, anti-Putin and pro-Putin (or “Putin apologists” to use Luke’s totally non-partisan wording). No, they did nothing except be Russian.

    Now, did a bunch of Russian billionaires make their money in unethical and borderline evil ways during the dark days of the 1990s? Absolutely yes. Is this true of most billionaires? Most assuredly. Is it nauseating to watch the global 1% support each other in keeping a boot on the neck of the working class? Incredibly so.

    Does their ethnicity have any bearing on this? Of course not.

    They aren’t RUSSIAN billionaires, they are Russian BILLIONAIRES. That’s the problem with this article, it focuses on the wrong word in the name of spreading Russophobic hysteria.

    These people are very much billionaires first, and Russians second. For heaven’s sake, many of them have been “exiled” from Russia thanks to Putin’s radical political ideas, like insisting people pay tax and stop stealing their worker’s pensions. Several now have British citizenship.

    If Luke were a journalist he might ask why billionaires prefer to keep their money in the notionally democratic law-abiding UK, and not the allegedly corrupt free-for-all that is Putin’s Russia.

    But Luke is NOT a journalist, he’s an MI5-backed paranoid personality and an increasingly xenophobic one at that; because this article is straight-up racism.

    Listing a bunch of men and women as somehow being potentially dangerous, whilst admitting they have committed no crimes and have nothing in common but their nationality, is the definition of racism.

    If you don’t see it, it’s because in the West we’ve been inoculated against anti-Russian racism through constant exposure.

    https://off-guardian.org/2020/07/26/this-week-in-the-guardian-10/

    Like

  40. USA drohen deutschen Auftragnehmern von Nord Stream 2
    Stand: 08:32 Uhr

    USA threatens German Nord Stream 2 contractors
    Status: 08:32 a.m.

    https://www.welt.de/wirtschaft/plus212234259/Nord-Stream-2-USA-drohen-deutschen-Auftragnehmern.html?cid=onsite.onsitesearch

    Die Welt: США угрожают европейским подрядчикам “Северного потока — 2”
    26 июля 2020

    https://yandex.ru/turbo/s/ria.ru/20200726/1574926306.html?promo=navbar&utm_referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fzen.yandex.com

    MOSCOW, July 26 – RIA Novosti. The US authorities are increasing pressure on German and European companies involved in the construction of Nord Stream 2, Die Welt newspaper writes, citing sources.
    The newspaper notes that the American side has held two videoconferences with gas pipeline contractors from Germany and other European countries to “indicate the far-reaching consequences of their further participation in the project”. The conferences were attended by representatives of the US Department of State, Treasury and Department of Energy.
    Sources told the newspaper that American officials “have made it very clear that they want to prevent the completion of Nord Stream 2”.

    The Empire hath spoken!

    Like

    1. I suppose the Germans could crumble like cheese, but I personally think it is very unlikely, since doing so would mean total dependence on the United States, with its whims and its ‘loyalty tests’. Not necessarily in energy, because Europe would still have to rely heavily on Russia; the United States would be satisfied – for the moment – with Russia continuing to supply its present amounts, provided they went through Ukraine as they do now, so that Russia has to help finance Ukraine’s slow development as a US project dedicated to Russia’s undoing. But America knows it cannot ever replace Russian supply, although it would ideally like to take more and more market share as its own production (theoretically) continues to increase. It just adamantly does not want Ukraine taken out of the equation, because Ukraine is like a rheostat that Washington can turn up or down as necessary.

      No, the USA cannot replace Russian gas, but if Germany gives in now, Washington will run it as a wholly-owned subsidiary for as far as the eye can see. And I believe Germany knows it.

      Like

      1. The German foreign minister was making suitable noises for the USA yesterday, saying that in order to rejoin G7, Russia must firstly clean up its relations with Banderastan — read: stop its “aggression” towards the Ukraine and return the Crimea to its rightful “owner”.

        The Kremlin responded that it has no intention of rejoining G7.

        No mention off the German minister about the Ukraine not complying with the Minsk agreement, about the Ukraine government waging war against its citizens, its stopping the water supply to the Crimea etc., etc. just Big Bad Russia the “Aggressor State” that must learn how to behave itself according “International Law”.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. This is what Peskov said as regards the German foreign minister’s mouthing it off as regards Russia not being allowed to rejoin G7:

        «Президент [России Владимир] Путин ни разу не выступал с инициативами, обращениями, действиями, чтобы Россия снова присоединилась к работе «Большой семерки». Вы знаете, что существовал такой формат, как «Большая восьмерка», который должен был пройти в Сочи, но участники отказались. С тех пор Путин не инициировал какое-либо обсуждение».

        «President [of Russia Vladimir] Putin has never come up with initiatives, appeals, actions for Russia to join the work of the “Big Seven” again. You know that there was such a format as the “Big Eight”, which was supposed to have taken place in Sochi, but the participants refused. Since then, Putin has not initiated any kind of discussion.»

        Source RBK:

        Политика , 27 июл, 13:23
        Песков ответил на заявление главы МИД Германии против участия России в G7

        https://www.rbc.ru/rbcfreenews/5f1ea6c49a794727b127e036?utm_referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fzen.yandex.com

        Like

      1. So it would appear. But it should not be at all surprising – except maybe to Washington – that you cannot shit on China day and night and call it all sorts of unpleasant names, and then expect the sun to come up on happy business partners China and the USA next day. China shares with Russia an imperative that it be respected; you don’t have to like it, but you must speak respectfully and politely about it, and limit your accusations to what you can prove.

        Washington likes to unload the mockery by the truckload, and then, when it’s time to do business, say “Aw, shucks – I were just funnin'”, and have business go forward as if the insults had never been voiced. Or, worse yet, insist that it is sticking to its positions, but you must do business with it anyway because it is the world leader and there is nowhere else to turn.

        Natural Gas in the USA is at what is referred to as a ‘messy bottom’, and both production and sales are below year-over-year average. Yet it is plain – they say so, in so many words – that America expects sales growth to come from China and India.

        “The International Energy Agency expects LNG, the main driver of international gas trade, to expand by 21% in 2019-2025, reaching 585 billion cubic meters annually. The growth will come from China and India, the IEA said in its Gas 2020 report published Wednesday. Trade will increase at a slower pace than liquefaction capacity additions, limiting the prospects of a tighter market, it said in the report.”

        https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/markets/shell-ceo-says-lng-market-will-recover-to-pre-virus-levels/ar-BB15imQu

        I think he’s probably right that the natural gas market will expand by a significant number. I’m just not sure the USA will play much of a part in it. And China is on solid ground, no matter how much America screams and roars; Russian gas is cheaper, and the logistics chain is short and reliable.

        Like

  41. The Daily Stary (Lebanon): Armenians and Azerbaijanis clash in Moscow
    https://dailystar.com.lb/News/World/2020/Jul-25/509466-armenians-and-azerbaijanis-clash-in-moscow.ashx

    …Russian news reports said the spate of violent incidents began when groups of Azerbaijanis beat up Armenians in Moscow early Friday and later assailed Armenian-owned stores.

    In a series of clashes across Moscow that followed, Armenians and Azerbaijanis engaged in fights and attacked each other’s shops and restaurants…
    ####

    The usual young hotheads who have to do something however dumb. They seem to have forgotten that they are not in Azerbaidjan where such behavior would present much in the way of sanction.

    Like

    1. Are they joint citizens or migrants doing this?

      If they feel so strongly they should go to their respective countries and join up!

      Going to another country and bringing grievances to that country should be stamped on hard.

      Like

      1. Migrants.

        Azerbaijan and Armenia were formerly Soviet republics, but gained independence in 1991.

        Many of those who have been fighting here may well have been granted citizenship.

        For all that these now independent former Soviet states clamoured for independence, very many of its citizens do their damndest to live in Russia.

        I used to see loads of “ illegals” rounded up and put on a train bound for their republics. They were mostly from the former central Asian Soviet republics and Azerbaijan and were to be found swarming around and living on the Moscow fruit and vegetable markets, which they control and where they often fight turf wars.

        Like

  42. UK ‘Russia report’ fear-mongers about meddling yet finds no evidence
    10,974 views•25 Jul 2020

    The Grayzone
    111K subscribers
    Pushback with Aaron Maté

    A long-awaited UK government report finds no evidence of Russian meddling in British domestic politics, including the 2016 Brexit vote. But that hasn’t stopped the fear-mongering: the report claims the UK government didn’t find evidence because it didn’t look for it, and backs increased powers for intelligence agencies and media censorship as a result. Afshin Rattansi, a British journalist and host of RT’s “Going Underground”, responds.

    Guest: Afshin Rattansi, British journalist and host of RT’s “Going Underground.”

    Like

  43. The Register: MI6 tried to intervene in independent court by stopping judge seeing legal papers – but they said sorry, so it’s OK
    https://www.theregister.com/2020/07/28/mi6_investigatory_powers_tribunal_interference/

    Just another day for the Investigatory Powers Tribunal

    …The IPT is seen by critics as a fig leaf that allows the Home and Foreign Offices to claim that spy agencies’ activities are regulated by law. Only barristers vetted by the government are allowed to present cases before it; most evidence shown to the tribunal is not shared with complainants, and large parts of legal hearings before the IPT take place in secret with complainants (and the press) excluded from the courtroom….
    #####

    Sort of a Star Chamber*, and spake with fork’d tongue…

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

    Like

    1. Obviously, for this group, ‘bridging the gap’ in ‘threat perception’ does NOT mean coaxing Poland and Lithuania to realize that Nord Stream II is just a commercial venture. It means coaxing France and Germany to accept and amplify Poland and Lithuania’s paranoia and loathing of Russia. Equally obviously, America’s determination to be Europe’s Daddy with the LNG is just a commercial venture. Nothing political about it, and if the USA ever found itself in the position where it could leverage its energy sales to Europe to make Europe do things it otherwise would not do willingly, why, it would never use that power. Only the Russians weaponize energy.

      The ‘panel’ is simply a parade of Atlanticists, a neoconservative wet dream. There are no realists there. Fortunately, US approval of the project is not required.

      Like

    1. I would add the psychological significance (!) whether or not it works or not. Many US pols still think of Russia as a ‘gas station with snow,’ so the Burevestnik can be seen as as a manifestation of FY MoFo in a way that polite dipolmatic riposts that Russia usually plies are ignored. Seeing the physical (a picture is worth a hundred words) certainly has its value. You certainly cannot deny that it has been widely reported in the western press. Sometimes the best medicine is to give you enemies exactly what they (think they) want.

      As for the military side, armed forces have to consider all circumstances of possible deployment. Simply limiting the role of Burevestnik as a ‘revenge weapon’ excludes the other possibilities, ridiculous or not. Hypothetically if a fleet of them are flying around the world non-stop, invisibly and let’s say less than 40 minutes from a ‘key target’, it’s not a revenge weapon but a rapid response/punishement nuclear system. That’s just one example. The US’s PGS Prompt Global Strike has all sorts of risks but one thing it is not is ‘stealthy.’ Maybe the even the concept of Burevestnik shows a much better Russian Yang, or Kung Fu move to the US’s Ying?

      Yes, all theoretical but it also shows yet again that Russia, like China, is not interested in going toe-to-toe in some re-run Cold War massively expensive nuclear arms race that plenty of people (US politicians) think spent the Soviet Union in to dissolution. Disabusing extremist US pols of their fantasy ‘we win however the chips fall’ also shifts the weight of the discourse on to a more egalitarian level of ‘negotiation’ than ‘do what we say or else.’ Again, what is the aim to be achieved, and how might one get there? I certainly don’t know but I won’t rule out that Burevestnik could well be one of a series of tools to this end. Or I could be completely wrong, but it is fun to speculate!

      Like

  44. E=MC2

    Einstein = mass x confounding squared

    https://www.unz.com/lromanoff/a-few-historical-frauds/

    The above link includes a fairly lengthy piece detailing the frauds carried out by Albert Einstein and his legions of supporters. In addition to the claims in the article, Mileva Marić, Einstein’s wife, has grudgingly been credited with doing the bulk of the work regarding Einstein’s work on the photoelectric effect (for which he was awarded by Nobel prize in physics). Regarding general and special theories of relativity, her contributions was large, perhaps pivotal. Also, other physicists played essential roles in the development of these theories; none acknowledged by Einstein or Einstein, Inc.

    Calling Einstein a fraud is not anti-Semitic; just pro-truth.

    Like

      1. Your posts do elicit a Pavlovian response – something like, What POS news story has Karl dug up now?

        Invariably, it is your wishful thinking with an occasional crocodile tear on the side.

        Like

    1. Some sources, eh?

      Any concrete details about these Wagnerites that you have picked up on your “Bad News for Russian” scanner?

      Like

        1. МИД РФ ответил на задержание россиян в Белоруссии
          31 июля 2020

          The Russian Federation Foreign Ministry has replied with regards to the detention of Russian citizens in Belorussia
          31st July 2020

          MOSCOW, July 31 – RIA Novosti. The odious official Minsk interpretation of the detention of Russian Federation citizens does not stand up to criticism. This statement has been made by the Russian Foreign Ministry.

          The Foreign Ministry has stressed that the intentions to present the incident as foreign interference in the internal affairs of Belarus cause “at least some bewilderment”.

          The ministry has stressed that Minsk has all the data necessary to establish the truth.

          The Foreign Ministry specified that the logistics concerning those Russian citizens detained in the republic had been provided by a local organization. The Russia citizens did not board an aeroplane from Minsk to Istanbul and had been forced to stay in the country in order to purchase tickets for another flight.

          The ministry has demanded that diplomats be given access to the detainees, and also expressed the hope for objectivity by Minsk in establishing all the circumstances of the incident.

          In transit to a third country

          The Russian citizens who had been detained near Minsk could have been employees of a private security company, which, under contract, guards energy facilities and resources abroad, outside of Belarus, explained, on his own part, the Russian Ambassador to Minsk Dmitry Mezentsev.

          He stressed that this information has yet to be clarified.

          According to the diplomat, the Russian citizens had been forced to stay at the Belorusochka Sanatorium, as they had missed their flight from Minsk airport, “en route in transit to a third country”.

          Peskov’s commentary

          Dmitry Peskov, Press Secretary of the Russian President, in turn has said that Moscow did not yet have full information about the situation, and there had also been no information about the illegal actions of the detainees.

          “At the same time, we see and hear official statements from Minsk representatives that these Russians citizens, they say, are involved in plans to destabilize the situation on the territory of Belarus on the eve of the presidential elections”, he added.

          The Kremlin spokesman called such statements “insinuations“.

          Detention of Russian citizens in Belarus

          Earlier, Belarusian media had reported the detention of 33 Russian citizens in Minsk and in the south of the republic. Minsk later officially informed the Russian embassy about this.

          The detainees were called “military operatives of the foreign private military company “Wagner “. Belarusian law enforcement agencies have opened a criminal case under the article on preparation of terrorist acts. The defendants face up to 20 years in prison.

          At the same time, Dmitry Peskov, Press Secretary of the Russian President, said that “de jure, in Russia there is no such thing as a ChVK*”.

          * ЧВК — частная военная компания: Private Military Company

          Source:

          https://yandex.ru/turbo/s/ria.ru/20200731/1575194598.html?utm_source=yxnews&utm_medium=mobile

          Like

    2. Oh dear … Karl Haushofer caught out again reading biased news articles and jumping to conclusions that say more about his mindset than anything about what this private company called Wagner is and what its relationship to the Kremlin is. Just because the company has been linked to Evgeny Prigozhin, however indirect and tenuous that link is, and Prigozhin himself owned companies that did catering for the Russian government in the past, the Western media gets all excited that Wagner and Putin have their heads together somehow and Karl swallows the bait.

      Like

      1. Посол допустил, что задержанные в Белоруссии россияне работают в ЧОПе
        RT на русском, 30 июля 2020

        Ambassador has stated that the Russians detained in Belarus may work for a private security company
        RT in Russian, July 30, 2020

        https://yandex.ru/turbo/s/russian.rt.com/ussr/news/769239-rossiyane-posol-belorussiya?utm_source=stick_link_button&utm_medium=mobile

        Russian Ambassador to Belarus Dmitry Mezentsev has not ruled out that the Russians detained in the republic may be employees of a private security company.

        “The reason for their arrival in the country was a signed contract with one of the commercial companies registered here, in Belarus, and each of the Russians who arrived had an employment contract with this enterprise”, the diplomat said in a statement.

        He noted that, according to information “which has yet to be clarified”, the Russians may be employees of a private security company, which under the contract “is called upon to ensure the protection of energy infrastructure and resources abroad”.

        As Mezentsev said earlier, the interpretation by some of the media of the fact that the detained Russians were in Belarus was an attempt to interfere in the internal affairs of the republic is groundless.

        On July 29, the state Belarusian news agency BelTA announced the arrest of 33 Russians in Belarus.

        The Kremlin expects that the rights of the detainees will be fully respected.

        Like

          1. No mention by the BBC of this:

            Thousands turn out in Minsk in support of Lukashenko opponent ahead of presidential election

            https://www.rt.com/news/496708-belarus-rally-opposition-election/

            Yet the BBC says this in its article about the “opposition rally”:

            Earlier on Thursday, the authorities arrested 33 suspected mercenaries whom they accused of plotting “terrorism”. Russia said it was seeking clarification over the arrests and denied knowledge of the Wagner paramilitary group which Belarus suspects of involvement.

            The secretary of the Belarus Security Council, Andrey Rawkow, said investigators suspected as many as 200 Russian mercenaries had entered the country to “destabilise the situation during the election campaign”.

            In fact, at least half of the BBC article, ostensibly about the opposition rally, is devoted to the role wicked Russia is allegedly playing in destabilization in Belorussian by means of its private army of Wagner terrorists.

            Like

            1. My error!

              The BBC did in fact publish a few hours ago an article about this rally in support of the heretofore unheard of housewife who has suddenly become a focus of those who oppose the presidency of “the last dictator in Europe”.

              I misread the RT headline and believed it reported a rally in support of Lushenko.

              Like

      2. Pardon me so saying such but your picture is very nice. I had a Japanese business contact/friend who looked similar. I miss her (been about 25 years since we last met).

        Like

  45. When the west doesn’t like what you’re doing, or doesn’t think you are waving the western banners hard enough or are too cosy with people it considers enemies, it has a new go-to tactic – economic warfare.

    https://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2020/07/peta-uk-scam-warning-to-trading-with.html#more

    In the long run, though, it only contributes to the many-times-aforementioned polarization of global trade and an increasing nervousness about becoming too dependent on western trade partners.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can’t praise Eva K Bartlett highly enough for her work in Gaza and in Syria (as well as some news from the DPKR on her site “In Gaza”).

      Here is her latest article. I refer to the section titled *IMPACTS OF AMERICA’S DEADLY SANCTIONS* for topical context.

      Eva Bartlett notes on her meeting with First Lady of Syria, Asma al-Assad – two incredible women.

      https://ingaza.wordpress.com/2020/07/29/impressions-from-an-informal-meeting-with-asma-al-assad-syrias-first-lady/

      Like

  46. The bully-bullshit nation protection racket:

    Based on the premise that Russia “threatens“ Germany, the “free world“ and all that we love and hold dear.

    Like

    1. Nah, more 5-D chess by Trump. He wanted US out of Europe and to dismantle NATO so everything checks out. Of course, I am being sarcastic (or maybe not, I don’t know).

      Like

  47. Motherboard: Internal Docs Show Why the U.S. Military Publishes North Korean and Russian Malware
    https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/5dmwyx/documents-how-cybercom-publishes-russian-north-korean-malware-virustotal

    A previously secret document obtained by Motherboard shows how, and why, CYBERCOM is publicly releasing malware from adversaries.

    …”The Department of Defense is thus using a Google-owned company and third-party researchers for offensive purposes—and practically asking for its adversaries to reciprocate in kind,” Rid said. (VirusTotal is owned by Chronicle, a cybersecurity company that was born out of Google’s “X” research and development program)…
    ####

    And how do we know that CYBERCOMs upload is not modified with ‘extras’ that will help others identify the ‘right’ actors or just plain misattribution? We don’t except for their word.

    Like

  48. BMPD: Первая установка двигателей ПД-14 на самолет МС-21-310
    https://bmpd.livejournal.com/4095676.html

    Госкорпорация «Ростех» 23 июля 2020 года сообщила об успешном завершении технологической установки новейших отечественных авиационных двигателей ПД-14 на опытный самолет МС-21-310. Навеска силовых установок прошла на Иркутском авиационном заводе – филиале корпорации «Иркут», входящей в состав Объединенной авиастроительной корпорации, и подтвердила правильность заложенных в двигатели конструкторских решений…
    ####

    So first mounting of the indigenous PD-14 geared fan on the airframe to check fit, system connections etc. Looking good! It’s a proper modern turbine with very similar performance to the reliatively new CFM LEAP series & P&W1000G powering the re-engined A320neo, 737MAX etc.

    Like

  49. Reminiscence of the Future… : One Trick Ponies. Or On Cold War With China.
    https://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/2020/07/one-trick-ponies-or-on-cold-war-with.html

    You all are aware of my attitude towards US “elites”. I have no respect to their abilities and I have some serious reasons for that. Just take Barbara Boland’s piece on Susan Rice in TAC:

    “Susan Rice is right in the middle of the road, when you think about foreign policy hands in DC,” said John Glaser, director of foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute, in an interview with The American Conservative. “She has a lot of high level experience in foreign policy, but I’ve never been able to detect a way she stands out as a unique thinker, in that she had something to say about the way she’d prefer the U.S. to go. She says things that are plastic, packaged to be right in the center of the foreign policy consensus in D.C. That’s how I see her: run of the mill, not an extraordinary pick … If she were VP, our foreign policy would not be different than what we’ve seen the past 30 years.”

    My issue here is with highlighted in yellow…
    ####

    Plenty more at the link.

    We’ve already had a look at Rice since she popped up a couple of months ago of course!

    Like

    1. Susan Rice is ‘right in the middle of the road’ only if ‘the road’ is bounded on either side by signs which read “AMERICAN TRIUMPHALISM ONLY 3 MILES!!!” and “DON’T WEAKEN NOW!! PUT THE HAMMER DOWN, PARDNER!!” I should clarify here for those unfamiliar with American colloquialism that “Put the hammer down” does not literally mean “relinquish your hand’s grip on the hammer, and place it on a nearby surface”. It means, “Press the accelerator downward until resistant pressure from the floorboards prevents any further increase by that means”. Susan Rice, like many cut from the same cloth as she is, devoutly believes the world wants and needs American leadership no matter what it might say, and that because it is always the leader, the world owes America a little something for its trouble, at Washington’s own discretion. Colin Powell might have caused leaky tear-ducts around the world when he proclaimed that America has never asked for more land from countries it has ‘liberated’ than enough to bury its dead, sacrificed to the cause of freedom. But it is simply not true, unless there are almost a quarter-million dead Americans under the US Embassy in Baghdad, which occupies 104 acres.

      Like

  50. Why is Modern Music so Awful?

    This guy has a number of interesting videos. Wait, here is another one on the scourge of toxic masculinity.

    Like

    1. Because much of it is unadulterated shite, part of the spew that continually gushes forth from the politically correct liberal cess pit that is the USA, where YouTube is ever on the alert for Russian “fake” clips and COVID-19 “deniers” and those who say the whole issue is a conspiracy organized by Big Pharma, yet allows such clips as the one linked below to be posted and downloaded:

      This is what the “Exceptional Nation” offers the world.

      Like

    2. One aspect of the current commercial music industry that Thoughty2 missed in his video is the corporatisation and swallowing-up of record labels by companies like News Corporation and Sony. From the 1960s to the early 1990s, record labels of all shapes and sizes, and specialising in particular genres of popular music, were the business model. It was not unusual for people to start record labels in their bedsits using government grant money that was supposed to finance their college studies. Starting in the 1980s, these labels ended up being taken over by larger, more corporate labels (CBS swallowing up Columbia Records for example) and in the 1990s the present corporate model (Sony buying up CBS and all the smaller labels it owned) started to come into being. Some artists realised what that meant for their careers – it meant they had less control over their music and how they wanted it promoted – and resisted being treated as profit-making units by the corporatised labels. The lawsuit brought by George Michael (real name: Yiorgos Panayiotou – he had Cypriot Greek background) against Sony, which affected his career in the 1990s (because it sapped the time and energy he should have had to write, play and record music, and his career never was quite the same again – he died on Christmas Day in 2016) comes to mind.

      Wikipedia article: Panayiotou v. Sony Music Entertainment (UK) Ltd.

      “The Demise of the Long-Term Personal Services Contract in the Music Industry: Artistic Freedom Against Company Profit”

      Come to think of it, quite a few famous rock and pop bands and solo artists had conflicts with their labels and managers to the extent that the conflicts affected their careers. The Beatles fell out over the issue of who should manage their business affairs (among other things) after Brian Epstein’s death in 1967. David Bowie sacked his manager in 1975 and for several years afterwards had problems with his record label (RCA, I think it was) until his contract expired in the early 1980s. Queen switched labels and managers some time in 1975 and the move from Trident to EMI was not exactly buddy-buddy amicable. Judas Priest singer Rob Halford had his issues with Sony about the same time George Michael did and ended up leaving Priest in 1992 to pursue other music projects (he returned to the band in 2003). Probably the only major British band I know of who had a good relationship with its label was Led Zeppelin – because it had signed up to a small jazz-based label, Atlantic Records, run by a Turkish-American guy Ahmet Ertegun, which in 1968 was looking to break into the rock / pop genre.

      Like

        1. In the past such a warehouse fire could have spelt life or death for the label: if its entire inventory got wiped out, not only does the label have nothing to sell but valuable cultural items will be gone. These days databases like Bandcamp and Soundcloud provide digital storage so if physical inventory is gone, digital inventory still exists in the cloud.

          Like

          1. Digital storage does address many issues regarding loss of images and text. However, I read an article years back that suggested rapidly evolving data storage technology may result in the loss of digital data simply due to the the obsolesce of the storage media. For example, things like floppy discs, magnetic tape, video tape, etc may not be easily readable without recreating the hardware. I suppose it could be done with enough money and the encoding methods deciphered but still a lot of good stuff could be lost without an active effort to transcribe to more modern storage methods. I suppose someone will need to decide which data should be saved and what is digital trash.

            Like

  51. Just received this load of shite from GOV UK:

    Press release
    Foreign Secretary welcomes first EU sanctions against malicious cyber actors

    Dominic Raab welcomes decisive action which raises the cost for hostile cyber activity.
    Published 30th July, 2020

    https://www.gov.uk/government/news/foreign-secretary-welcomes-first-eu-sanctions-against-malicious-cyber-actors

    The UK has previously identified the organisations sanctioned today for their roles in state sponsored cyber attacks which targeted democratic institutions, critical national infrastructure, media outlets and international organisations. These include:

    North Korean organisation Chosun Expo (linked to the Lazarus Group), for facilitating and supporting the ‘Wannacry’ attack. This ransomware incident impacted 300,000 computers in 150 countries, including 48 NHS trusts.

    Chinese organisation Tianjin Huaying Haitai Science and Technology Development Co. Ltd, for facilitating and supporting ‘Cloud Hopper’ – a sustained cyber campaign focused on large-scale service providers, seeking to gain access to commercial secrets.

    Unit 74455 of the GRU, the Russian military intelligence service, for the ‘NotPetya’ cyber attack in June 2017 and 4 GRU officers who attempted a cyber attack against the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in 2018.

    Running around like a headless chicken flapping its wings!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sanctions! Sanctions! More sanctions! Not allowed to buy British products! No jacket potatoes for you! Not allowed to buy priceless American technology, so you’ll have to develop it yourself, whereupon you can sell it for less, control the market and make a fortune! SUGS!!!

      Like

  52. Bill Clinton and the Clinton Foundation doing the good work:

    https://www.newsweek.com/bill-clinton-went-jeffrey-epsteins-island-2-young-girls-virginia-giuffre-says-1521845

    In recently unsealed court documents involving dead child sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein and his alleged accomplice Ghislaine Maxwell, a woman named Virginia Giuffre, who publicly accused Epstein of sex trafficking, said that she once saw former Democratic President Bill Clinton on Epstein’s island with “two young girls” from New York.

    In the questioning by lawyer Jack Scarola, Guiffre was asked, “Do you have any recollection of Jeffrey Epstein’s specifically telling you that ‘Bill Clinton owes me favors?'”

    “Yes, I do,” Guiffre answered. “It was a laugh though. He would laugh it off. You know, I remember asking Jeffrey what’s Bill Clinton doing here [on Epstein’s island] kind of thing, and he laughed it off and said well he owes me favors.”

    “He never told me what favors they were,” Guiffre continued. “I never knew. I didn’t know if he was serious. It was just a joke… He told me a long time ago that everyone owes him favors. They’re all in each other’s pockets.”

    Shortly thereafter, Scarola asked her “Were sexual orgies a regular occurrence on the island at Jeffrey’s house?” Guiffre responded, “Yes.”

    Scarola then asked if she was ever present with Epstein and Clinton on the island.

    “Ghislane, Emmy [another girl who was allegedly a regular at Epstein’s house], and there was 2 young girls that I could identify. I never really knew them well anyways. It was just 2 girls from New York,” Guiffre answered, and said they were all staying in Epstein’s house on the island.

    Epstein had multiple ties to Clinton, and Clinton—along with many other big name celebrities—was a repeated passenger on Epstein’s private Boeing 727 plane which was nicknamed the “Lolita Express” due to the frequent delivery of apparently underage women to the island of Little Saint James, a reference to the 1955 Vladimir Nabokov novel about a 36-year-old literature professor who sexually engages a 12-year-old girl.

    In 2002, Epstein hosted Clinton—as well as actors Kevin Spacey and Chris Tucker—on a 2002 tour of Africa associated with the Clinton Foundation. Epstein called Clinton “the world’s greatest politician.” In a 2002 New York magazine article in which President Donald Trump mentioned Epstein’s predilection for girls “on the younger side,” Clinton praised Epstein.

    Commentary was interesting. Apparently, Hilary also visited the island 6 times (not clear whether solo or with Bill). Quite likely, done so to counsel young girls.

    The odd thing is that the woke crowd likely has no problem with the above – just gender expression or whatever. But it will further divide the nation.

    Like

    1. Trump is crucified for off-color comments while Bill (and possibly Hilary) are raping young girls (and likely ordering murders but that is another story). It will be entertaining to say the least to watch Tucker Carlson address this story.

      As a general comment, the wheels are coming off America faster than most doom and gloomers ever imagined. Just hoping that there will be no fire.

      Like

  53. Sic Semper Tyrannis: Even the CIA Thought the Steele Dossier Was Crap by Larry C Johnson
    https://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2020/07/even-the-cia-thought-the-steele-dossier-was-crap-by-larry-c-johnson.html

    …Now we have learned the identify to that source–Igor Danchenko. He is a Russian-born analyst living in the United States and was the primary source for Christopher Steele. More importantly, he is directly linked to prominent Democrats closely tied to Hillary Clinton. In particular, Strobe Talbott:…
    ####

    More a the link.

    So wtf is his use as an intelligence asshat?

    So much for my wild speculation that Sergei Skripal might be Steele’s Russian source. Now if I want to double down, maybe it really is Skripal but it is only Danchenko on the paper (to protect British intelligence/secrecy/whatever). Yet again, I’m not a journalist (paid or other) and have much less responsibility of any kind for verifying my wild speculation!

    Like

  54. BMPD: Создание поточной линии серийного производства истребителя Су‑57
    https://bmpd.livejournal.com/4101840.html

    Как сообщила заводская газета «Крылья Советов» Комсомольского-на-Амуре авиационного завода имени Ю.А. Гагарина (КнААЗ, филиала ПАО «Компания «Сухой») в июньском номере в материале «Линия для пятого поколения», в рамках программы развития Производственной системы «Сухой» в цехе № 45 КнААЗ реализуется проект выстраивания поточной линии серийного производства истребителя пятого поколения Су‑57 (также материал опубликован здесь )…
    ####

    Their inhouse Wings of Glory Magazine latest covering among other things the 125 year anniversary of Pavel Sukhoi’s birth and the Su-57 factory at Komsomol-on-Amur.

    More at the link (WWII stuff/construction of factory in 1932+ etc.) including the PDF of the stuff above, which is with other ones on the Press center page:

    http://www.knaapo.ru/press-centre/paper/2020/

    There’s other interesting stuff on the site (library/Biblioteka for example) who’s urls are in english if you don’t read cyrillic…

    Like

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