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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

  1. I was led to believe by some other online sites (the names of which I’ve now forgotten) that Sergei Skripal’s neighbour, from whom Detective Nick Bailey must have borrowed the spare key ‘coz who else could have held it, was none other than Pablo Miller. I’d have thought the D-notice imposed on British media compelling them never to refer to him back in March 2018 was still current. How would the BBC or those Guardian journos who wrote the script for the recent TV series have avoided referring to him when the detective was trying to locate a spare key? I admit I haven’t seen the TV series yet and from what I’ve seen and heard about it so far, it’s not worth a look.

    Thanks for the new post, Mark, and for making it as detailed and riveting as ever.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The D-Notice system (DSMA?) technically only requires voluntary compliance but curiously all the British media consistently go along with it… Ho! Ho! Ho!

      ..Any D-Notices or DA-notices are only advisory requests and are not legally enforceable; hence, news editors can choose not to abide by them. However, they are generally complied with by the media…

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DSMA-Notice

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    2. Thanks, Jennifer; I didn’t really have to do much – Moscow Exile was kind and psychic enough to print out Straw’s whole editorial, else I might have had to subscribe to The Independent to even see it. *Shudder*. And Straw just opened his head and let the bullshit flow – I only had to redirect the stream a little here and there.

      I don’t think Miller was the neighbour, I seem to remember a different name…nope, that was Ross Cassidy, who was cited by John Helmer as perhaps the only person Skripal trusted enough to have left a key with him, but he didn’t live next door. Pablo Miller does indeed also live in Salisbury, but I have seen no mention of where,

      https://www.theblogmire.com/joining-some-dots-on-the-skripal-case-part-2-four-invisible-clues/

      Pablo Miller, Mark Urban and Hamish de Bretton-Gordon all served in the same tank regiment in the British Army. I have seen one other source – can’t remember where now – that claimed Christopher Steele also served in the same regiment, but that’s not true – he was recruited straight out of Cambridge at graduation, by MI6, and worked for them for 22 years. That’s not to say there were not connections, though – Steele was also Case Officer for Litvinenko, and was allegedly the first to assess that Litvinenko’s death was ‘a Russian state hit’.

      “Over a career that spanned more than 20 years, Steele performed a series of roles, but always appeared to be drawn back to Russia; he was, sources say, head of MI6’s Russia desk. When the agency was plunged into panic over the poisoning of its agent Alexander Litvinenko in 2006, the then chief, Sir John Scarlett, needed a trusted senior officer to plot a way through the minefield ahead – so he turned to Steele. It was Steele, sources say, who correctly and quickly realised that Litvinenko’s death was a Russian state “hit”.”

      https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jan/12/intelligence-sources-vouch-credibility-donald-trump-russia-dossier-author

      You’ll enjoy that piece by The Grauniad – it goes on and on about how first-rate credible Steele was, and how the quality of his work is above reproach. His legendary ‘dossier’, obviously, has since fallen apart and been dismissed as fanciful disinformation.

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    3. The spare key was found in the usual place: inside the cane rod of the little angling garden gnome modelled on His Imperial Majesty Tsar Nicholas II, stood by that awkward entrance to the back porch. No need for nosy neighbours. (I added this detail for inclusion in Version 4 of The Skripals, due out in January 2021.)

      Thanks again, Mark.

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  2. Thank Mark for another great piece!

    Jack Straw as a marketing exec? No giant killer, but rather tilter at windmills!

    But why now? Could it have anything to do with the new leader of the UK Labor party jettisonning anything foreign policy related that would not continue UK Plc’s god given right to go around the world and blow up countries wily-nily and without consequence* with best mates USA! & NATO? It looks like rebranded Blairism to me. We Care, so We Bomb! I guess we’ll see David Milliband and others back soon too.

    Vis the F-35, it is now claimed it has won all sorts of training air-encounters hansomely. When you look at the detail, it is from a distance. It’s hardly much of a surprise that using newer avionics, sensors and software would give the advantage over aircraft decades older and less sophisticated gizzards.. Of course that fancy stuff can be transplanted in to older airframes…

    What I think this tells us is that now Labor has been brought back to an even keel (no real lefties left), this is a unified rebranding of new BREXIT Global Britain(TM) that will reap the benefits of being out of a massive club by picking fights with the world’s largest economy (China, innit?) and cutting itself off from the world’s fastest area of growth for the foreseeable future. UK Plc will recognize the errors of its ways privately and change course eventually when the costs start to stack up.

    Speaking of which, now that Doris has folded to the f/k China brigade of the Tory party and nixed Huawei investment in 5G, will China pull the plug on its investments in UK nuclear power plants (Hinkley Point C at the moment). That would be an easy f/k you back, or more subtly pull out of Sizewell C that is the next project. The USA would be happy, it’s cousin taking ‘one for the team.’ The frogs (EDF) who are the other part of the project have been in serious difficulty so who could step in without it all going Pete Tong? The USA’s Westinghouse was sold to the UK’s BNFL and then to Japan’s Toshiba but was then declared bankrupt ($9b loss) and sold, so Toshiba or maybe ROSATOM? 😉

    * Suicide bombings like that at the Manchester Arena are considered an OK price for Britain’s global footprint coz eggz getz brokenz.

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  3. Nice one, Mark!

    In a word, Straw is a Blairite twat.

    I remember him as far back as 1969, when he was president of the National Union of Students. He was already a grade-A tosser then.

    Now just take a gander at this:

    BBC
    Last Updated: Monday, 27 February 2006, 19:11 GMT
    Straw’s warning to Russian tycoon
    Boris Berezovsky

    Berezovsky was granted political asylum in the UK in 2003

    Jack Straw has warned a Russian tycoon that his refugee status could be reviewed after he reportedly said he was planning a coup in Russia.

    London-based Boris Berezovsky, 59, was granted asylum three years ago and has a fortune estimated at £800m.

    He told a Russian radio station in January he wanted to replace what he called the “anti-constitutional regime” of President Vladimir Putin.

    The foreign secretary condemned his remarks in a written Commons statement.

    Russia – ‘a valued partner’

    Mr Straw said the government would “take action against those who use the UK as a base from which to foment violent disorder or terrorism in other countries”.

    “Advocating the violent overthrow of a sovereign state is unacceptable and we condemn these comments unreservedly,” he said.

    The UK Government respects Russia’s constitutional arrangements and the territorial integrity of the Russian Federation.

    “We enjoy a close working relationship with Russia, as a valued partner of the UK.”

    Mr Straw said Mr Berezovsky, who is wanted in Russia for fraud and tax evasion, had not entered the UK on the government’s invitation.

    “Those granted asylum in the United Kingdom have duties to the UK which require, in particular, that they conform to its laws and regulations,” said Mr Straw.

    “They are advised that their refugee status can be reviewed at any time where it is considered their presence is not conducive to the public good.”

    Former computer scientist Mr Berezovsky sold the Sibneft oil giant in 1997 for £1bn and was ranked 50th in the Sunday Times Rich List last year.

    What a two-faced twat!

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/4756880.stm

    By the way, BBC: Berezovsky was indeed a mathematician before becoming departmental head of the institute of Control Sciences.

    Berezovsky, having in 1989 taken advantage of the opportunities presented by traitor Gorbachev’s perestroika founded LogoVAZ with his Georgian business partner Badri Patarkatsishvili and senior managers from Russian automobile manufacturer AvtoVAZ.

    LogoVAZ developed software for AvtoVAZ, sold Soviet-made cars and serviced foreign cars.

    And then the feeding frenzy began in the Glorious Yeltsin years.

    The big automobile scam that Berezovsky then organized profited from hyperinflation by taking cars on consignment and paying the producer at a later date when the money had lost much of its value.

    There were competitors in this automobile skulduggery and Tolyatti, the city where The AvtoVaz (Lada) plant was located became for a while the murder capital of Russia.

    There were also turf wars in Moscow over control of car dealerships. Nice Mr. Businessman Berezovsky’s enforcement team consisted of Chechens. I well remember how there was once an infamous firefight in Moscow between team Berezovsky and another gang of armed gunmen. Whenever Berezovsky was asked about his car dealer activities and the killing spree that was associated with it, he always claimed he didn’t know anything about gunfights and gangs, of course.

    And then there was the murder of US citizen Klebnikov, Editor of the Russian “Forbes”. Klebnikov had had the temerity to write a book about businessman Berezovsky, daring to label him as “The Godfather of the Kremlin”.

    Needless to say, Berzovsky and clan Yeltsin were at the time as thick as thieves.

    They were, in fact, thieves.

    And didn’t Washington just love that drunken bastard Yeltsin! How Boris and Bill chuckled together at the White House in front of the cameras!

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    1. Yes, it’s hard to believe Jack Straw – with his other face on – once argued that Berezovsky should be careful of Russia’s feelings. And the holier-than-thou psalm about not overthrowing sovereign governments was too precious to believe. It was around this time, when Boris Berezovsky was the subject of tentative deportation investigations, that the poisoned-pen scheme was dreamed up, and authenticated by Litvinenko, so Berezovsky got to stay because Putin tried to kill him.

      https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2007/apr/14/uk.russia

      Also hard to believe now that Berezovsky was himself a suspect in the murder of Litvinenko. The idea!!

      “Among the 100 suspects is Mr Berezovsky, who has accused the Kremlin of being behind Mr Litvinenko’s death – a claim Russian officials deny. Mr Berezovsky has been the subject of two extradition attempts; the total cost to the UK taxpayer of Russia’s attempt to extradite oligarchs is put at £3m. His asylum stems from a court claim that an agent had been sent to kill him with a poisoned pen.”

      Luckily, Christopher Steele happened along and told them it was a Russian state hit.

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    2. Straw is a disgusting creature, agreed.

      Almost as bad as Bliar and Brown.

      Shame he couldn’t do nuffink about the grooming in Blackburn. Too busy trying to cut a dash on bigger stages.

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          1. Them soft-arse kreakli here never stop whinging about their not being able to get Frog cheese in Mordor.

            I was rather fond of Stilton and I’ve never seen it for yonks here, but I say nowt ‘cos I’m made of sterner stuff as I’m English and have a permanently stiff upper lip, see.

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    1. Yes, I’m rather fond of Red Leicester myself, I was introduced to it by my British former missus. Not radically different from Cheddar, though. Did you know that no cheese is actually orange? It’s colour added using some Caribbean seed. The reason is that a slight orangey tint used to illustrate its cream content, but cheesemakers learned they could skim off the cream and sell it separately, and add other things to the cheese to make it look like it still had a high cream content. There’s almost none in it now, except perhaps for expensive artisan cheeses.

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      1. Red Leicester was my cheddar substitute when I lived in Charlottenberg (Berlin.) Yes, I knew yellow cheese is dyed, but was only familiar with carrot dye, I suppose all sorts of things might be used these days, artificial color.

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        1. It’s annatto, the seeds of the Achiote tree, which grows in tropical regions from Mexico to Brazil. Beta-carotene is the natural ingredient in milk that makes cheese slightly yellowish, but it is more pronounced in milk which has a higher butterfat content, Cheesemakers came up with the idea of dyeing it so buyers would not be prejudiced against pale cheeses which resulted either from lower-quality milk or milk which had had the butterfat separated out to be sold as a separate product.

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  4. Via MoonofAlabma.org.

    The Beagle: Evidence Casts New Doubts on Russian Doping Whistleblower
    https://www.spiegel.de/international/world/evidence-casts-new-doubts-on-russian-doping-whistleblower-a-4bba2ee9-4ead-42fd-85d0-56bd87092c93

    For five years, the sporting world has been gripped by Russian manipulation of the anti-doping system. Now new evidence suggests the whistleblower who went into a witness protection program during the scandal may not have been entirely truthful.

    #####

    What’s the bet that the beagle will win prizes for ‘reporting’ like this and the previous ‘discovery’ that Bill Browder makes pork sandwiches in a pork shop made of pork? More importantly, wtf is up with this coming out now? Has the free, democratic and inquisitive German press suddenly grown a pair or have the authorities told them that they could ‘go ahead.’ Nothing that they have published is new and has been known about for a long time. Again, wtfof?

    Like

    1. There’s currently several differences of opinion between US and WADA regarding what the US wants WADA to do in thr future and what their funding contribution will be: https://www.sportsintegrityinitiative.com/us-may-withhold-wada-funding-due-to-failure-to-reform/
      Der Spiegel stuck its neck out re Browder in recent months too https://www.spiegel.de/international/world/spiegel-responds-to-browder-criticisms-of-magnitsky-story-a-1301716.html

      Like

      1. Hi, Nicola! Great to see you again! It would be fairly easy to guess what the US wants WADA to do in future – mind your business where US athletes are concerned, or at a minimum accept American explanations for any irregularities you might find, and come down like a ton of bricks on the Russians and the Chinese, excluding them from pro sports to the degree that is possible.

        Like

    2. Well, once again, it was the Germans who started it all. WADA went to German station ARD with its suspicions – which it got from the Stepanovs, Rodchenkov was still defending the Moscow lab and calling the WADA panel ‘fools’ at that point – and then WADA used the ARD ‘documentary’ as an excuse to open a major investigation. At some juncture someone probably pointed out how lucrative it could be fr Roschenkov if he rolled, and he did.

      Yes, I’m sure the Germans will reap rewards from playing both ends. But who cares, as long as it gets out? Maybe it will teach people to not be so trusting of the mess media next time it breaks a Russia-the-Evil story. Probably not, though.

      Like

  5. Sky Nudes:

    https://news.sky.com/story/suspected-killers-of-jamal-khashoggi-and-sergei-magnitsky-included-on-new-uk-sanctions-list-12022458

    ….They include:

    20 Saudi nationals involved in the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi;

    25 Russian nationals involved in the mistreatment and death of lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who uncovered widespread corruption;

    two high-ranking Myanmar generals involved in violence against Rohingya people and other ethnic minorities

    Two organisations involved in forced labour, torture and murder in North Korea’s gulags have also been listed…

    …The new autonomous regime will allow the UK to work independently with allies such as the US, Canada, Australia and the EU…

    ####

    But not Mohammed Bin Salman, obvs. Those weapons aren’t going to sell themselves!

    Can the UK government put itself on the list for arbitary detention and expulsion of Brits born in Jamaica but resident in the UK for decades and asked to come to the UK due to the shortage of national labor, aka the Windrush scandal? The latest news on that is there is no automatic redress for those screwed over by Theresa May+. They have to prove they that they had been unfairly targeted!

    Anger As Windrush Victims Told To Prove Case ‘Beyond Reasonable Doubt’ To Get Compensation
    https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/windrush-compensation-beyond-reasonable-doubt_uk_5efcaf12c5b612083c55c7cf

    Like

    1. ‘Suspected’ killers. That’s good enough for sanctions these days. Hopefully the rest of the EU will take Brexit as an opportunity to break with the Russophobic policies of the loony UK and its crackpot big brother, and re-orient its economy on a separate trajectory from theirs. We’re already going to end up with two distinct trading blocs who operate largely outside one another, to the detriment of both but much more so to the United States. We don’t need three. I’m watching in appalled fascination to see what happens to the American airliner market when it doesn’t get any more Chinese orders. Once I would have said it was impossible that Boeing would go under, but now I’m not so sure.

      Speaking of Boeing, no more 747’s will be built after the current order backlog is completed, about 13 more planes. That’ll be it for four-engine airliners – too expensive to run. Twin-engine planes can achieve almost the same range for less outlay. And economy is going to have to be the watchword of the aviation industry for awhile if it is to survive: air travel in the USA is down about 80% in the past week. Of course Boeing stock rose, though, because the investor class lives in a different reality.

      I can’t help noting that this will mean Boeing will rely even more heavily on the 737.

      https://www.barrons.com/articles/us-regulators-complete-test-flights-on-boeing-737-max-01593642305

      Like

      1. The main problem is that China doesn’t have the engine tech. Russia does (PS90 series) but it doesn’t cover the full thrust range and the PD series is in its early days, nor is there any huge GE90 class engine. As for the Norwegian cancellation, they were very lucky as its business model was already failing and it would have had to cancel its orders anyway.

        Like

        1. Again, probably not an urgent problem unless some existing Chinese aircraft in service are on their last legs and urgently must be replaced. In which case they could go with Airbus if the situation could not wait. China has options. Boeing does not.

          The west loves to portray the Chinese as totally without ethics, and if you have a product they can’t make for themselves, they will buy it from you only until they have figured out how to make it themselves, and then fuck you, Jack. I don’t see any reason to believe the Chinese value alliances less than the west does, or are any more incapable of grasping the value of a give-and-take trade policy. The west – especially the United States – favours establishing a monopoly on markets and then using your inability to get the product anywhere else as leverage to force concessions you don’t want to make; is that ethical? China must surely see the advantages of a mutually-respectful relationship with Russia, considering that country not only safeguards a significant length of its border from western probing, but supplies most of its energy. There remain many unexplored avenues for technical, engineering and technological cooperation. At the same time, Russia is not in a subordinate position where it has to endure being taken advantage of.

          Trade is hard work, and any partner will maneuver for advantage, because everyone in commerce likes market share and money. But Washington has essentially forgotten how to negotiate on mutually-respectful terms, and favours maneuvering its ‘partners’ into relationships in which the USA has an overwhelmingly dominant position, and then announcing it is ‘leveling the playing field’. Which means putting its thumb on the scale.

          Like

  6. More stuff on Boeing. It’s actually a bit worse than I thought. In the first half of this year, 600 737’s disappeared from Boeing’s backlogged orders. Last week, BOC canceled another 30 737 orders, and Norwegian Air canceled 92 737’s and 5 Dreamliners. Large widebodies are going to be in trouble for an extended period, as aviation analysts say it may take several years for air travel to recover to 2019 levels.

    https://www.nasdaq.com/articles/the-boeing-737-max-completes-flight-tests%3A-so-what-2020-07-04

    Meanwhile, China’s domestically-developed COMAC C-919 has received 815 orders, China says, from 28 domestic and foreign airlines. Development of the joint Russian-Chinese-produced CR-929 long-range widebody is in the preliminary design phase.

    https://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1189548.shtml

    The Chinese company has delivered 25 of its ARJ-21 regional jets to domestic customers.

    All but 10 of the C-919 orders are domestic – but, as I have said before several times, all China needs to do to fuck Boeing over is not buy its aircraft. 305 firm orders and options for an additional 700 C-919’s mean that at least some of those are orders which would otherwise have been 737’s, as the C-919 is the Chinese equivalent. China is the major growth market, and it is driving hard to get its economy back on track before the west.

    https://thepointsguy.com/news/comac-aircraft-delivery-to-major-chinese-airlines/

    Like

    1. I forgot to post this yesterday so forgive my comments to it that mirror some of yours above.

      al-Beeb s’Allah: EU threatens escalation in tariff fight over Boeing and Airbus subsidies
      https://www.bbc.com/news/business-53309937

      ….On Monday, Europe’s trade commissioner Phil Hogan said Washington had rejected moves to settle the dispute.

      “I want to reassure people that we are ready to act decisively and strongly on the European Union side if we don’t get the type of outcome that we expect from the United States in relationship to finalising this 15-year-old dispute,” he told the European Parliament’s trade committee…
      ####

      Sing with me, ‘the wheels of the bus are coming off, coming off, coming off…

      I would once again remind people that this all dates back to 1992 and the US-EU LCA (Large Civil Aircraft) agreement and included the 1979 TLCA (Trade in Large Civil Aircraft) agreement.* This would have allowed both Arbus & Boing to build new jumbo jet models without a big fight but agreed subsidy limits. McDonnel Douglas (MD) threw in the towel on its MD-12 double decker project and was taken over by Boing – or as others have pointed out, MD Execs tookover Boing and drove the financialisation of the company since. Arbus went ahead with the A380.

      In 2004 the USA threw a tantrum on behalf of Boing and ripped up the agreement and it has been legal ping-pong ding-dong ever since. That’s the short version. The irony is that the Arbus A380 is not a successful program and is already cancelled and young airframes now being ‘parted-out.’ Boing on the other hand bet on long range twins like the 777 to take passengers from point to point rather than just hub to hub and then transferred to spokes, and has hansomely outsold Arbus that went four engined with the A340 before dumping it for the two engined A330 version.

      * https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/MEMO_04_232

      * https://www.pulj.org/the-roundtable/battle-for-the-skies-boeing-airbus-wto-trade-dispute

      Like

  7. Apart from this below, I have found nothing in the UK and German media about Denmark’s giving the go-ahead for the final stage of NS2 construction:

    NATURAL GAS 06 Jul 2020 | 09:44 UTC London
    Denmark approves use of ships with anchors to lay Nord Stream 2 gas link

    https://www.spglobal.com/platts/en/market-insights/latest-news/natural-gas/070620-denmark-approves-use-of-ships-with-anchors-to-lay-nord-stream-2-gas-link

    I wonder why?

    If you search through the web, you find reports in the Western media about Denmark giving its approval in 2019. It reneged on that decision. . But nothing on the Danish decision the other day.

    Because the USA must never appear as a “loser”.?

    Like

  8. Sky Nudes: China ‘trying to influence elite figures in British politics’, dossier claim
    https://news.sky.com/story/china-trying-to-influence-elite-figures-in-british-politics-dossier-claims-12022695

    A privately-funded dossier also repeats allegations of a spying risk posed to the UK by the technology firm Huawei.

    A dossier linked to former spy Christopher Steele accuses China of seeking to influence elite figures in British politics, business and academia.

    …This latest piece of work, which the ex-MI6 officer contributed to, is focused on China’s alleged interests in the UK.

    The content, which has not been made public, has been shown to a small number of parliamentarians and media organisations, including Sky News…

    …Sky News did not cite from the report, but asked the diplomat to respond to claims by “some people” that China is allegedly conducting subversive activities, trying to influence elements of UK politics, academia and business to further its influence and interest….
    ####

    Oh for f/k’s sake! How can any serious news organization touch Orbis/Christoper Steele with a barge pole after his dossier of gossip and made up shit about t-Rump? The author of this piece comes from Channel 4 which is known for its sensationalist reporting, and particularly her reporting has been full on establishment. I thought I recognized the name as I had looked her up before, also appalled by sloppy writing and verbatim acceptance of government claims.

    That Sky Nudes didn’t actually publish any of the report shows that it knows it is treading on very thin ice, thus the ‘respond to allegations please’ bs. Well, you were seen walking on the other side of the streed from a child so you could potentially be a pedophile – what do you say about this? level of gutter journalism.

    The ‘film producer and China critic’ Andrew Duncan has a bit of a history.*

    But remember kids, private intel companies are not Hybrid Warfare and used to launder intel from previous employers. Only The Enemy(TM) does that.

    * https://variety.com/2017/film/news/andrew-duncan-florida-project-sexual-harassment-1202642007/

    https://www.complex.com/sports/2019/10/producer-andrew-duncan-buys-300-tickets-to-netsgame-for-hong-kong-protesters

    https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/2017/12/185488/andrew-duncan-sexual-harassment-florida-project

    Like

    1. Here we go – so predictable

      UK imposes sanctions against human rights abusers

      06 July 2020 UK Politics

      The UK is imposing sanctions on 49 people and organisations behind the most “notorious” human rights abuses of recent years.

      Individuals implicated in the death of Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky in 2009 will have their UK assets frozen and banned from entering the country.

      And Saudi Arabian officials involved in the 2018 murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi are also being targeted.

      Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the move sent a “clear message”.

      Speaking in the Commons, the foreign secretary said the UK was taking action against the “thugs of despots and henchmen of dictators” as well as stopping those trying to launder their “blood-drenched ill-gotten gains”.

      Russia has threatened to retaliate with reciprocal measures and said the sanctions were “pointless”.

      “Russia reserves the right to respond to today’s unfriendly decision by the UK on the basis of reciprocity,” the Russian embassy in London said in a statement, adding that the move “will not improve Russian-British relations”.

      Like

      1. It’s a clear message to people who don’t have UK assets and have no wish to visit the UK that this list is much huff and puff by the government to publicly show. It looks and sounds strong, but the devil is in the detail and the devil is mostly absent. We should be asking what legally could the UK do and what did it not choose to do and why? The public is the court here.

        Like

        1. Who in Russia should wish to do business with the UK, apart from the criminal “liberal” scum that has already fled there in order to enjoy “freedom and democracy” — and their ill- gotten gains?

          Like

      2. Why do western politicians always claim these actions send a ‘clear message’? What is it? We are good, and you are evil? Roughly the same number of individuals get banned on each side in tit-for-tat, so is the Russian side also sending a ‘clear message’? Is it maybe ‘fuck you’? And for God’s sake stop with the ‘blood-drenched’ hyperbole – I’m pretty sure I remember Britain chopping up fuzzy-wuzzies by the score in its drive to extend its Empire ever further into countries which most definitely did not welcome it. If you make laws that supposedly send a ‘clear message’ to your own populations and then ignore them yourself, aren’t you a dictator?

        Like

        1. Judging from the tweets trolling the UK Foreign Secretary, I’d say the clear message the British public has received is that the British government should be sanctioning itself and sending its own politicians and consultants to prison for human rights abuses at home and overseas.

          Like

    2. Of course they need justification to be shown to the public to substantiate decisions which may have far-reaching commercial consequences – a Scandahoovian 5G network is going to cost more, for sure, and probably not be as good although we only have the word of industry insiders for that. Enter a made-up threat so they can say “We had to act”. But they have learned a little from the Litvinenko and Skripal fabrications – learned at least that they are not very good at making up convincing stories, and so the public had perhaps best only see the headlines and not the content, because the public has proved quite adept at picking apart the content.

      Like

  9. Ever wondered what happened to our mouth foaming favorite russophobe, Ed Lucas?

    Daily Fail: EDWARD LUCAS: At last! The end of the age of appeasing Beijing bullies
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-8495983/EDWARD-LUCAS-end-age-appeasing-Beijing-bullies.html

    ####

    Remember, Sir John Sawers is the former chief of MI6 and is in no way linked to the UK government. He is a private individual. This is not Hybrid Warfare.

    Which is good, because it allows Ed to earnestly parrot his talking points and add plenty of filler in that well known balanced, independent and journalistically shining star of an outlet, the Daily Fail.

    The lesson I think we can take from this is that UK gov has finally been caught in its own bitch ‘n’ slap China trap and also a victim of t-Rump’s bash China campaign. Time has run out on this strategy. It was more than happy to sign on to loud anti-China slogans, as long as it didn’t cost UK plc serious cash or future investme nt. The problem is that China has had enough of mostly ignoring those slings and arrows for years.

    The new so-called ‘Wolf-warrior’ China response that the west is publicly bemoaning as ‘threatening’ comes after so much sinophobia. Thus, UK gov has got the message much more forcefully in the last few days and the opposition like ‘ex’ directors of British intelligence and others are all hands to the wheel because they do not hold official power and have no other way of influencing the government. 2020 really is a momentous year.

    Like

    1. I didn’t really have time to read it because I have to leave for work, but the headline alone is enough to showcase classic Lucas behavior – enthusiastically cheer the government ‘taking a stand’, and leaving the accountants to sort out the damage and try to salvage something from the rubble. You know, it is a miracle Britain has survived as long as it has with the eejits who are let to run it.

      Like

      1. Oh, there’s this news from a couple of weeks ago too!

        FlightGlobal.com: Joint UK-Qatar Typhoon squadron launches first flights
        https://www.flightglobal.com/fixed-wing/joint-uk-qatar-typhoon-squadron-launches-first-flights/138963.article

        …Doha in December 2017 signed a contract with BAE to acquire 24 Typhoons, with the arrangement including personnel training and a six-year support package. Also counting precision-guided weapons from MBDA and nine BAE Hawk advanced jet trainers, the business totals more than £6 billion ($7.5 billion), the MoD says…

        ####

        Yes, another shining democratic light in the Gulf receiving desperately needed help and support from UK Gov Plc. There are not many that give KSA proper competition, but Qatar is one of them!

        Like

        1. I’d be careful about boasting over that figure – it draws attention to the fact that the Typhoon is even more overpriced than the F-35. The Americans have whittled the F-35 down to less than $80 Million USD a copy in an attempt to sell more of them, but the Typhoon is more than that in pounds: £87m each, to be specific, or about $108 Million and change USD. Each. Lucky for Britain the Qataris like to pay more, to show off that they can.

          We have a linen shop here, Heritage Linens, sells sheets and duvet covers, that sort of thing; their advertising tag-line is “We only sound expensive”. When Prince William and the Duchess visited here in 2016, a local radio station snarked “Guess they won’t be shopping at Heritage Linens – because they only SOUND expensive!” Ditto Qatar. Their line might be, “When you care enough to spend twice as much money as everyone else pays. Welcome to the Qatari Air Force.” You can buy an SU-35 for $76 Million. You know; save $10 million here and $10 million there, pretty soon you’re talking real money.

          Like

          1. $80m per copy, not including weapons, nor personnel or support packag. The devil is in the detail

            One thing for sure is that the vertical landing B version of the F-35 (ordered for UK) is and will be the most expensive to run by a long shot.

            Like

    1. I think they will have to be let away with that one, because they did not just come up with it at the last minute. That condition was known at the outset, and all they did was stall with the environmental squalling until they were well into the spawning period, so that construction would have to wait until it is over. It remains to be seen if any other work can be done in the meantime.

      Like

    2. I would say bank on early 2021, unless we have an exceptionally placid fall and winter in the Baltic. They have probably managed, through stalling and the fisheries concerns, to kill the working season for this year, and you can be sure Washington will be scratching its head to see what else it can come up with, but we’re definitely getting nearer to the end game. I’ve seen estimates of up to 3 months to finish, and if they started on the first of September that would still take them into ugly season. No real rush; it will be nice to get it completed, but the transit contract with Ukraine still has some years to run. If I were Russia I would only send the minimum agreed-upon amount, I think it was 40 BcM annually, just to make the Yurrupeans sweat.

      Like

    1. “Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla and SpaceX, endorsed him for president at the weekend and West revealed: “I proposed to him to be the head of our space programme.”

      Uh huh. A businessman who lives on loans and just happens to make spacecraft. Sure, sounds like a good idea to me.

      The wrist-thick gold jewelry and the ‘past mental-health issues’ are do-not-pass-gos for me. But you never know – we live in a reactionary age, and so many people are consumed with guilt over the George Floyd murder. I’d say not likely, though – the United States has had enough of presidential candidates from outside the political class, and the world has, too, where America is concerned. I thought Trump would make an interesting choice on the assumption that he – having no real experience in politics – would listen closely to his advisors. But so much went wrong with that. He listened to the wrong people, his lack of experience was used by underlings to simply go around him, and he has such a huge ego that he made a lot of terrible decisions just flying by the seat of his pants.

      Like

      1. Trump got bitch slapped out of the gate when his appointees and confidants were politically neutralized. He then hoped that “the generals” would put his version of patriotism above placating if not kissing the ass of the deep state; wrong again.

        Now the presidential debate format may change to create a wall of noise about “fact checking” real time during the debate. What a circus that will be.

        But, the ultimate surreal moment in politics will be a Trump-Keynes ticket. I hope it happens because I don’t give a damn:

        https://www.rt.com/op-ed/494178-kanye-west-donald-trump-running-mate/

        The author is jesting but who knows?

        Like

  10. Janes via Alert5.com: Russia will stand up a second MiG-31 squadron at 317th Composite Aviation Regiment at Yelizovo airfield, Jane’s reported.
    https://justthenews.com/accountability/russia-and-ukraine-scandals/british-court-rules-http://alert5.com/2020/07/07/russia-standing-up-second-mig-31-unit-at-kamchatka/

    The new unit will be operating the MiG-31BM. Aircraft have started arriving since last year.
    ####

    Russia’s modernization and expansion of its military in the Far East these last few years looks somewhat prescient, particulary with the US’s desperate need to swing its ballz everywhere for PR points. It’s good to have at least one enemy when things are going to hell at home.

    Like

    1. Oops, one link too many, but the big news is that Christopher ‘t-Rump Dossier bs’ Steel’s Orbis lost in the UK high court to Fridman and Alfabank for Steele’s bs claims. It can be no more categorical than that. It’s no surprise that it is not being widely reported.

      Like

        1. “The judge also concluded that Steele’s notes of his first interaction with the FBI about the dossier on July 5, 2016 made clear that his ultimate client for his research project was Hillary Clinton’s campaign as directed by her campaign law firm Perkins Coie. The FBI did not disclose that information to the court.”

          Finally we are getting down to where the cheese binds. Hillary Clinton’s campaign, with Mrs. Clinton’s knowledge, commissioned the Steele dossier to try to torpedo Trump’s election prospects. She never thought he could win, but the Dems wanted to make sure. I’d bet a dollar to a doughnut Skripal was the source of the Russian ‘intelligence’, and that he was bumped off afterward to make sure he stayed quiet. The whole Russiagate scandal was just Democrat bullshit, and they kept up with it long after they all knew they were lying. And Biden thinks he’s going to get elected, after that revelation? The Democrats deserve to be expelled from politics en masse. Leading with that wretched prick Schiff.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. It would seem likely that had the Klintonator won the 2016 Presidential election, Sergei Skripal might have been left alone mouldering with his guinea pigs and cats in his Salsibury home. Perhaps he had to take the fall for HRC’s loss in the election, for whatever reason (not shovelling enough shit into the dossier to bring down Trump perhaps); someone had to take the blame and of course HRC will never admit responsibility for her own failure.

            Like

            1. Well, you never know – Russians are kind of an endangered species in the UK. They turn up dead whenever a public accusation of another Putin ‘state hit’ would be a useful feature in the papers.

              Like

          2. What I want to know is if the paths of the Skripals passed with those of the supposed Russian assassins (which I assume to be possible decoys) or anyone else in space, but not necessarily time. If Skripal is involved with all the Clinton stuff, then he would want an insurance policy for example on an usb drive that he could leave for someone to pick up, and leak if something foreshortened his life…

            It could well have been a simple dead-drop and when alerted by their phones being turned off and batteries removed, the priority was to immobilize/incapacitate them. A bit tricky in public, but not at all impossible by a near/passer by to their bench with an aerosol, say a cyclist walking with his bike… After all, they did also have the Chief nurse of the BA on hand just in case it went wrong as things sometimes do. Which leads to the question, was it just the Brits alone, together with the Americans, or watching the Americans and then cleaning up their mess? 2 or more likely 3 seem most likely if we look at sheer brazeness.

            That concludes my speculation for the day! Maybe I should be a journalist. I could be paid for this!

            Like

            1. Yes, you never know, but it’s certainly hard to believe Occam was English. It seems pretty clear the simplest explanation is “MI6 bumped him off and blamed it on Russia”. When you are trying to arrange a death which is bound to be suspicious, you want to do it in a way that when it becomes public knowledge, the first people the public thinks of is not you. means, motive and opportunity all strongly favour the English side. It seems to be be fairly common knowledge that Skripal wanted to return to Russia; we have no way of knowing if he planned to live there or just visit, more likely the latter. But Putin decides to send an assassination team to England to rub him out. Instead of welcoming him home to Russia, where he could prevent the British from investigating, and then killing him. Presumably in a much more prosaic fashion – say, running him down with a car – rather than employing some exotic poison or isotope which will scream ‘Russia!!’ How long would the British have been investigating the Skripals’ deaths (if they had died) had they been run down with a 7.5 ton lorry which was subsequently found burned to a shell several counties away? Would the British papers have been shrieking “Putin’s Truck!!!” next morning? But no – Russian assassins always have to ‘send a message’, which must inspire Britain to ‘send a message’ of its own by punishing the entire country. Maybe it’s just me, but flash-cooking Skripal in the High Street with a flamethrower in broad daylight would send a message. And then say to the police, “Keep your hands where I can see ’em, unless you want a couple of shashliks, comrade”, before speeding away in an Aurus Senat limousine. That would send a message, too.

              Like

    2. RUAviation.com: Upgrade of the runway at Chukotka’s Pevek airport began after the coronavirus pandemic
      https://www.ruaviation.com/news/2020/7/6/15205/

      …”Pevek’s runway upgrade began on July 1,” he wrote. “The contractor – Serbia’s Planum – is bringing materials and staff. We plan the upgrade will be completed within two seasons.”..
      ####

      It’s not often you read about suff like this. It’s good to see concrete signs of economic cooperation.

      RUAviation.com: Roscosmos subsidiary signs contract to place another SM-GLONASS station in Brazil
      https://www.ruaviation.com/news/2020/7/8/15212/

      Precision Instrument Engineering Systems company (part of Roscosmos) signed a contract with the Federal University of Pará and the Research Development and Support Fund to place a SM-GLONASS measurement station in the city of Belen, Brazil.

      This is the sixth GLONASS measurement station created as part of the Sigal design and development work….
      ####

      Is this allowed after the US’s great victory against Lula/Roussef? Surely someone should complain?

      Like

    1. Ha, ha – oh, for the chance to be stuck-up!! Really I did not do anything – as usual – merely passed along an item which Moscow Exile kindly linked. It was more a courtesy than anything else, to ensure others who cannot watch every development at the same time are aware of movement on the Nord Stream issue. But thanks for the encouragement! If ever I am invited for cocktails with Zakharova, I will ensure you are invited as well to offer the Hispano-Scots view.

      Like

  11. Nice to see frist thing in the morning:

    https://www.rt.com/news/494233-serbia-protests-civil-war/

    Violent clashes that rocked Belgrade and other cities this week were “carefully prepared,” and are aimed at seizing power and igniting a civil war in Serbia, the Balkan country’s defense minister has alleged.

    What started as a demonstration against the government-planned curfew over the coronavirus eventually got out of hand and snowballed into massive riots that saw mostly young people assaulting police squads in Belgrade and other major Serbian cities.

    The brewing unrest is actually a coup attempt, Serbian Defense Minister Aleksandar Vulin opined on Thursday while speaking on local television. The “terrible street violence” has purely political backgrounds, he argued.

    He describes it as a coup attempt as if it were a bad thing. Go figure.

    And good to see young people engaged in political discourse – Serbian style.

    Like

    1. “I am proud of Serbia for enduring this,” Vucic said on Friday from Paris, where he was meeting with French and German leaders to discuss negotiations with the breakaway province of Kosovo.

      https://www.rt.com/news/494459-serbia-protests-vucic-terrorism/

      Truly odd that Kosovo must become an independent country yet its “founders” were recently recognized as war criminals by the West and the pretext for independence soundly discredited.

      My hope is that Russia is helping the Serbs to liberate themselves from the Western Anglo/Roman/fascist/plutocratic empire.

      Interestingly, the harshest response in Europe to the alleged public health crisis was apparently in Serbia. Repression behind a medical mask? You bet.

      Like

  12. Is anyone else curious about the Safronov treason trial?

    There seems to be a continuing thread of people being collared for ‘not being careful’, if not actually spying. A few years ago a retired jet engine expert from Rolls Royce went to trial in camera (not CAMRA – CAMpaign for Real Ale) with the bare details published later, because he got a job as a visiting professor or whatever at a Chinese university. Even though this was long after active employment by RR, any pointers to the Chinese that might improve their gas-turbine (jet engine) knowledge was clearly considered beyond the pale. And today, I see this:

    Politico.eu: Sweden’s ex-ambassador to China awaits verdict in historic trial
    https://www.politico.eu/article/anna-lindstedt-sweden-china-trial/

    A court will rule Friday if Anna Lindstedt is guilty of overstepping her mandate. >

    STOCKHOLM — In Sweden, a high-profile trial set to wrap up on Friday has captured the nation’s attention.

    Given the details of the case, that’s no surprise: It involves China, a Swedish bookseller, a secretive meeting in a luxury hotel and — for the first time in more than two centuries — an ex-ambassador on trial for allegedly overstepping her mandate.

    On Friday, a Stockholm court will rule on whether Sweden’s former ambassador to Beijing, Anna Lindstedt, was guilty of “arbitrariness during negotiations with a foreign power” at a January 2019 meeting she arranged in Stockholm…
    ####

    When those crafty Russians or Chinese finger a foreign spy/helper/whatever, there is a howl of outrage from the western diplomats and their free media. Their peeps were ‘targeted’, or ‘made an innocent mistake’, or whatever but never actually guilty, until admitted years later. But wolf-de-howl when they pick up one of them. Pats on backs all round for their cleverness and keeping the nation safe, at least in the US…

    Found a link!

    Daily Fail: ‘I’m no traitor’ says ex-Rolls-Royce engineer accused over Chinese plot to steal secrets of RAF’s F-35B jets as his daughter says he would NEVER be a spy
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5846209/Im-no-traitor-says-Rolls-Royce-engineer-stole-RAF-secrets-China.html

    ####

    Looks like anti-Welsh racism by London to me. So, he was arrested and released on bail but there seems to be no further news. Was the investigation quietly dropped or was he quietly dropped in to a black hole? I suspect that the definition of ‘secret’ is much more fluid than it used to be, for everyone.

    Like

    1. Add this to American autof/kery.

      SCMP via Antiwar.com: Chinese-American scientist’s world upended after he is swept up in US national security net
      https://www.scmp.com/news/world/united-states-canada/article/3092404/chinese-american-scientists-world-upended-after-he

      Original charges against Emory University researcher are dropped, but fears of continuing overreach by US Justice Department’s ‘China Initiative’ remain

      Critics call the initiative counterproductive and an over-deterrent, as investigations drive experienced scientific researchers back to China amid the pandemic
      ####

      You do wonder in the ‘China Evil’ brigade (Rep/Dem) that there could be any downsides to kicking out or driving out Chinese experts from the USA back to China? Maybe they think they’ll be denying China technological advances as you really cannot do cutting edge research anywhere else than in the US? The concept of not struggling when you are in quicksand seems to be a concept beyond them.

      Like

    2. Rolls-Royce is only responsible for the STOL vertical-lift system on that variant of the P&W F-135 engine. Despite P&W’s bafflegab on awarding contracts for important precision components to all its partners so everyone gets some of the lolly, the United States almost never lets allies manufacture anything it actually considers an important defense secret. RR developed the STOVL system on the Harrier, so they have valuable experience, but that was an original British system which was bought by the Yanks.

      According to Pratt&Whitney – unsurprisingly – the F-135 is an amazing advanced engine with an unbelievable readiness record.

      https://www.forbes.com/sites/lorenthompson/2019/05/02/pratt-whitneys-f135-fighter-engine-is-poised-to-dominate-for-decades-to-come/#4e62db69304f

      Other press sources are not so forthcoming with the cheerleading, however, as might be expected on a program (the whole aircraft, not just the engine) which was 7 years behind schedule and $163 Billion over budget in 2014.

      https://www.ctpost.com/news/article/Latest-F-35-problems-implicate-Pratt-Whitney-5616105.php

      Oil leaks developing in flight is kind of an important problem when you only have one engine. Catching fire in flight is an even bigger one, which might well have evolved from the first problem.

      Anyway, the points I was trying to make are (1) the guy probably did not know anything that was going to compromise their super-stealthy secret engine, even more likely nothing other countries’ engineers could not intuit for themselves, and (2) you could not make a much bigger design/engineering mistake than trying to copy anything on that flying turd.

      It depends who you talk to, of course; The National Interest reckons the F-35 is a pretty good fighter, and that if it had to go toe-to-toe with the SU-35 it would be a pretty even contest, although of course the F-p35 is bursting with amazing American technology that gives it so many advantages that maybe the pilot could just stay back in the Ready Room and read the paper while his plane did all the fighting by itself. But in the scenario described in the article, the F-35 pilots would whistle up the F-22’s.

      “Unlike a Raptor, which was designed from the outset as an air-to-air killer par excellence—the F-35 was not. The Raptor combines a very stealthy airframe with a high altitude ceiling and supersonic cruise speeds in excess of Mach 1.8. Compared to that, the F-35 can just barely touch Mach 1.6 in full afterburner. Further, the F-22 possesses excellent maneuverability for close-in visual-range dogfights––it crushes the competition in terms of turn rate, radius, angle-of-attack and energy addition at all altitudes.”

      https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/russias-su-35-vs-americas-stealth-f-35-who-wins-fight-81996

      Uhhh…the SU-35’s speed is just above Mach 2, and its acceleration is faster than the F-15, which for my money was the best air superiority fighter the USA ever built.

      Like

      1. I recall that P&W bought Yakovlev’s swivelling nozzel tech from its Yak-141 back in the 1990s.

        https://hardware.slashdot.org/story/02/06/12/1914213/inside-the-joint-strike-fighter-competition

        Comment by DABANSHEE ( 154661 ) on Wednesday June 12, 2002 @07:57PM (#3690459):

        …In 1992, Lockheed Martin signed an agreement with the Russian Yakovlev Design Bureau & Pratt & Whitney signed one with the Soyuz Aero Engine Company for information on the supersonic Yak-141 STOVL fighter and its three bearing swivel duct nozzle, etc. Yakovlev was paid ‘several dozen million dollars’, P&W also spent some small change on a license from the Soyuz Aero Engine Company..

        Like

        1. The Forger was the aircraft the USA never got tired of making fun of, which supposedly was the Soviets’ clumsy typically-crappy attempt to mimic the genius of the Harrier. Obviously it was not so crappy that they would rather engineer a better design themselves, rather than just buying it.

          Like

  13. Antiwar.com: China Conditions Nuclear Talks on Drastic US Stockpile Reductions
    https://news.antiwar.com/2020/07/08/china-conditions-nuclear-talks-on-drastic-us-stockpile-reductions/

    Says US would need to come down to China’s level for arsenal

    China confirmed on Wednesday that they would be happy to join trilateral nuclear arms limitation talks with the US and Russia, but would only do so if the US drastically cut its nuclear stockpile to be in line with China’s…
    ####

    From the CNN link: …”I can assure you that if the US says that they are ready to come down to the Chinese level (of nuclear weapons), China will be happy to participate the next day. But actually we know that’s not going to happen,” Fu Cong, head of the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s arms control department, said at a press briefing in Beijing Wednesday…
    ###

    LOLZ! That’s a pretty good response and I’m surprised they didn’t say this much earlier, but I assume Beijing & Mosocw have it all in hand. Now I would follow this up with If it helps, we will increase our nuclear capacity to 6,000 plus deployable nuclear weapons and then negotiate a reduction. Agree?

    Like

      1. I strongly suspect that I don’t have the stomach for the endless bs, and least of all staying awake in numerous long meetings.

        Like

        1. It also occurred to me that China has a Cuban option if the US insists on ringing it with missiles and them moves nukes up to the region. Beijing would only have to mention the possibility and Washington would go apoplectic! Remember that the Cuban missile crisis had its origins in the USA installing Nike/Jupiter IRBMs in northern Turkey which would have a very short flight time to target in the Soviet Union. Putting nukes in Cuba was an et tu Brute move and completely unexpected, coz the enemy is always dumb.

          Ringing China was on the cards from the mid-1990s, so of it already implemented such as ‘Super Bastions’, i.e. building up bases such as Guam & Diego Garcia to take more bombers, nuke armed submarines etc. The down side of that is that they make very tempting targets to hit with nukes themselves, both bases being far from any other country.

          Just at what point will the US understand that building up its military forces in the region is massively retarded? Unfortunately the French and the British have signed on. India still hasn’t learned its strategic lessons either as we have seen recently with China where it tried to change the balance (via J&K new state declaration etc.) and got wedgied. The US loves its naval exercises with India in the region coz the USN doesn’t and will not have enough (of the right) ships to do so itself ($$$) so being nice is a bit of a freebie. Backing up India 100% wouldn’t be but it does look good in public when soothing words come from Washington.

          Like

    1. Consultant=lobbyist.

      “Beef up the Pentagon budget to confront China”…with what? Look, I know your Chief Accountant (Ben Bernanke) says you just ‘use the computer to mark up the size of the account’, but you can’t really take that seriously. I mean, money is not imaginary; it has to come from somewhere, and you can’t just magic billions of dollars out of thin air – or, if you can, ‘earning’ has just lost all meaning as a word. If the Fed can just increase the size of the current account, then why can’t I just sit at home and use my computer – yes, I have one, too – to ‘mark up the size of my account’ so that I don’t have to work?

      I daresay there have been dynasties before this one who thought they could just run the presses day and night, printing banknotes and making the country richer and richer, but money just does not work that way. Without something to back it, it’s just paper.

      Like

  14. TheNewArab via Antiwar.com: Protests erupt in Lebanon over US army commander’s visit
    https://english.alaraby.co.uk/english/news/2020/7/8/protests-erupt-in-lebanon-over-us-army-commanders-visit

    …His trip, protesters say, is to mark the anniversary of a 1983 bombing that killed 241 US military personnel in Beirut…

    …Many observers remarked on the fact that McKenzie’s trip coincided with the repatriation of Lebanese businessman Kassim Tajideen, who also landed in Beirut on Wednesday after being released early from a five-year prison sentence in the US after being convicted of funding Hezbollah.

    The protests also coincided with rising tensions between the Shia militant group and the US Ambassador to Lebanon, Dorothy Shea…
    ####

    The US is further trying to leverage the economic upset in Lebanon to their favor, no doubt via-a-vis i-Ran/i-Srael and even worse, they think no-one will notice.

    Like

  15. Curly Doodle has been busy:

    Highlights:

    Doodle affirms the supremacy of black cock:

    Doodle pisses himself, possibly as a primate submission gesture toward his new black masters:

    Doodle is most likely a fed:

    He really should have just killed himself like I told him to.

    Like

    1. Dear me; he does appear to be having a bit of a meltdown, doesn’t he? Never mind – he’s rich, he told us so himself, and he would never lie. And he has a beautiful young Ukrainian wife waiting at home who will wash out his shorts for him, and when they’re dry they will be good as new.

      I’m glad to see he’s as unpopular in other quarters as he was here. And I believe if you looked up “White people who failed”, it would include grizzled old white dudes who think penis size is a function of skin pigmentation, and who are incontinent.

      Like

  16. From the one and only, Dutch owned, English language newspaper that few read in Mordor:

    Russia Detains Ex-Defense Reporter for Treason
    Updated: July 8, 2020

    His arrest, on charges that carry a maximum sentence of 20 years behind bars, sparked an uproar among supporters, some of whom took to the streets of Moscow to protest.

    Twenty people have been detained, according to OVD Info, which tracks detentions at political protests.

    Twenty arrests!!!!

    There must have been HUNDREDS there!

    https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2020/07/07/russia-detains-ex-defense-reporter-for-treason-a70807

    And the same story from Stalker Zone:

    Selling Your Own Motherland: The Case of Ivan Safronov
    July 9, 2020

    https://www.stalkerzone.org/selling-your-own-motherland-the-case-of-ivan-safronov/

    Like

    1. Per Moscow Times:

      Safronov’s arrest came after President Vladimir Putin, who has been in power for two decades, oversaw a controversial nationwide vote that allows him to extend his grip on power until 2036.

      This tag line is apparently replacing “unprecedented demonstrations against Putin’s rule”.

      Like

      1. Allows him to extend his ‘grip on power’ supposing he is elected. At present that is pretty much a foregone conclusion, but the Moscow Times – what La Russophobe used to lovingly refer to as “The Mighty Moscow Times” – would like to put a different spin on it and assume he will still be leader out of personal craving for power rather than the popularity of his leadership, which is easy to chart for anyone who is not too lazy.

        Like

    2. Of course Kommersant tries to put the most innocent spin on it. But it essentially boils down to, is it all right for a reporter to knowingly discuss affairs he has a reasonable apprehension are not for public dissemination with agents of a foreign intelligence service? I’m saying he must have known the Czechs were foreign intelligence, right? Because that’s not always the case, and the very best recruiters elicit information from people who actually believe they are helping their country, not betraying it. In any case, he didn’t even get sent down for the SU-35 deal, which I believe the Egyptians are buying anyway, although there’s no doubt his tittle-tattling caused problems for Russia. How does the United States react to Americans who chat up foreign intelligence types and feed them titillating bits of national-security information? Well, that’s different, innit?

      Often you can tell how valuable someone likely was to the west by how energetically the west rushes to their defense. As soon as they get Kseniya Sobchak out to wear your name on her T-shirt, you’re in the big time.

      Like

  17. Simonyan loses her cool:

    Margarita Simonyan, editor-in-chief of RT, asked a diplomat at the American embassy in Moscow to shut her mouth after she had tried to shame the Russian Federation about arrested journalists. U.S. embassy spokeswoman Rebecca Ross said Washington was keeping an eye on successive arrests in Russia.

    Simonyan said in response that allegations of an attempt against the “freedom of the press” are especially cynical in the light of the numerous arrests of journalists in the United States. During the riots in the United States alone, 58 journalists have been arrested and more than 470 injured at the hands of the police.

    But Simonyan did not say “mouth”, as it says in the lead of the Russian article linked below:

    Just shut your gobs, right! And do not open them until you have rewritten your methodology manuals so that your couriers are able to work, observing at least a minimal illusion of connection with reality. Otherwise, this [what you say] is completely ridiculous, writes the editor-in-chief of RT in Telegram.

    https://yandex.ru/turbo/s/tsargrad.tv/news/simonjan-obratilas-k-posolstvu-ssha-zakrojte-uzhe-past-pravda_265494?utm_source=yxnews&utm_medium=mobile

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “Just shut your gob, right?” that should have been above

      Simonyan was addressing Ross.

      рот is “mouth”; пасть is “nuzzle”, “snout”, “gob”.

      I think “gob” is the best translation in this context.

      It’s rude. And пасть is rude and vulgar in Russian too.

      That’s why Simonyan said it.

      At least she didn’t say: “Shut your fucking gob!”

      Like

    2. and it is not the first time …

      https://fort-russ.com/2018/08/german-press-let-simonyan-speak-and-got-an-earful/?utm_medium=ppc&utm_source=wp&utm_campaign=push&utm_content=new-article

      “And now you’ve made sure we do not respect you any more – with your short – sighted sanctions, the heartless humiliation of our athletes (including the disabled), your Skripals, with that demonstrative indifference to basic liberal values like presumption of innocence … your attacks of mass hysteria, which can only bring relief to any sane person living in Russia rather than in Hollywood; with your confusion after the elections – be it in the US or in Germany or in the Brexit zone – with your incitements against RT (formerly Russia Today, ed.), whom you can not forgive for taking advantage of your freedom of speech and demonstrating to the whole world that one had better not use it, and that it was not invented for use but for ornamentation (…) — the injustice, wickedness, hypocrisies, and lies have led to the point that we do not respect you anymore. You and your so-called values.
      […]
      We have no more respect for you
      […]
      Our people can forgive many things, but just like anyone else, we do not forgive arrogance.”

      I like her

      Like

      1. Sometimes nothing gets the job done like plain talk. However, the official version would reflect that Simonyan got spitting mad when people of integrity called her on Russia’s repressions or some such shit. There is a basic truth in there, though – America sacrificed the respect of a lot of its allies as well, and even those who did not particularly like it used to respect it.

        I imagine Simonyan hates them with a passion.

        Liked by 2 people

  18. Russia Observer: RUSSIAN FEDERATION SITREP 9 JULY 2020
    https://patrickarmstrong.ca/2020/07/09/russian-federation-sitrep-9-july-2020/

    RUSSIA AND COVID. Latest numbers: total cases 707K; total deaths 10843; tests per 1 million 151K. Russia has done 22 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….
    ####

    Rest at the link.

    Vis Covid-19, the headlines yesterday (or was it the day before?) that is was communicable by air were frankly bizarre. It’s in the same virus family as flu. How do you get flu? Sneezing, coughing etc. on others, close quarters and even spread by airco. Wtaf is the surprise about then? What’s the next revelation, bears s/t in woods?

    Like

  19. FlightGlobal.com: Sky Gates 747 inaugurates new Moscow Zhukovsky freight complex
    https://www.flightglobal.com/air-transport/sky-gates-747-inaugurates-new-moscow-zhukovsky-freight-complex/139237.article

    …The centre, operated by Zhia Cargo, features a 9,200m² freight terminal and 90,000m² apron.

    Sky Gates, which uses a pair of Boeing 747-400Fs, will station its operations at the new facility. One of its aircraft ceremonially marked the opening after arriving from Baku…
    ####

    Remember kids, Russia is just a hair’s breadth of economically imploding. That’s what quite a few ‘experts’ say.

    FlightGlobal.com: Laminar-flow nacelle being explored for PD-35 engine
    https://www.flightglobal.com/aerospace/laminar-flow-nacelle-being-explored-for-pd-35-engine/139245.article

    …“It takes into account all the significant factors influencing the position of the laminar-turbulent boundary-layer transition on the nacelle, as well as the effect of the airframe and engine,” the institute says…

    …The institute says the nacelle is predicted to reduce air resistance by around 2%, with a corresponding reduction in fuel consumption…
    ####

    It’s good to see this level of attention to detail and no stone left unturned. It all adds up. In other news, Arbus’s has dropped its plan to build its own nacelles, no doubt as a consequence of the Covid-19 downturn.

    Like

  20. Not a profound observation but consider these two stories

    https://www.rt.com/op-ed/494433-deblasio-blm-new-york-protests/

    Bill de Blasio has decided that summer is cancelled for New Yorkers… unless they’re campaigning for BLM. The New York City mayor has announced that all big events for the summer season in the Big Apple are called off in order to tame Covid-19, the only exception being if those gatherings are in the name of social justice.

    https://www.medpagetoday.com/infectiousdisease/covid19/86266

    n Louisiana, African Americans accounted for 70% of COVID-19 deaths, while comprising 33% of the population. In Michigan, they accounted for 14% of the population and 40% of deaths, and in Chicago, 56% of deaths and 30% of the population. In New York, black people are twice as likely as white people to die from the coronavirus.

    Isn’t the focus on anti-virus measures to protect susceptible populations from exposure? Yet, we have De Blassio and his ilk pushing for events virtually guaranteed to worsening the infection rate in a vulnerable group. Three possibilities:
    – he is simply pandering
    – the need to cower resistance is paramount
    – Black Lives Don’t Matter to him and his cohorts

    Side note – here in the heartland, the cynicism regarding politician and the media has never been stronger. If Trump were not such a fucking moron, he could waltz into the White House after the election.

    Despite his moronism, Trump can still win. Biden looks like a block of wood with eyes glued to the teleprompter. His mind is gone.

    Like

  21. JustTheNews.com: New Steele evidence strengthens Durham prosecution as frustration over inaction grows
    https://justthenews.com/accountability/russia-and-ukraine-scandals/new-steele-evidence-strengthens-durham-prosecution

    A British court decision unmasks new evidence of FBI abuses in the Russia collusion probe.

    …Warby’s lengthy ruling unearthed a gem of new evidence to answer the question: Steele kept his own notes of what he told FBI agents the first time he met them on July 5, 2016 in London to discuss his anti-Trump Russia research.

    And, Warby revealed, the notes make clear that Steele told his FBI handlers from the get-go that the dossier’s “ultimate client were (sic) the leadership of the Clinton presidential campaign.”…

    …And after Trump won the election, the judge added, Steele disclosed he gave copies of his dossier to longtime Clinton friend Strobe Talbot in hopes it would get to the top of the State Department…
    ####

    Plenty more at the link.

    BiDumb has to win in November to make all this go away.

    Like

  22. TASS via Antiwar.com: Russia arrests governor on suspicion of ordering murders
    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/07/russia-arrests-governor-suspicion-ordering-murders-200709082140693.html

    Sergey Furgal is considered the ‘organiser of an attempted murder and the murder of a number of businesspeople’.

    …Sergey Furgal is considered the “organiser of an attempted murder and the murder of a number of businesspeople” in 2004 and 2005, according to a statement published on Thursday by Russia’s top investigative agency…
    ####

    I’m glad to see that historic crimes are still being investigated but I’m curious as to why this has happened now. Did an arrested criminal offer the police some information? I expect the western press to pin this as ‘cracking down on opposition politicians’. Even better would be to dig back to the 1990s+ and make public who was responsible for what.

    Like

    1. Enter the BBC RUSSIA SERVICE:

      В Хабаровске проходит акция протеста против ареста губернатора Фургала
      4 hours ago

      In Khabarovsk, a protest rally against the arrest of Governor Furgal
      2 hours ago

      A protest rally against the arrest of Governor Sergei Furgal has been held in the centre of Khabarovsk. After a march through the streets, a crowd gathered at the administration of the Khabarovsk Territory and demanded that representatives of the authorities come out to them. The audience chanted: “Putin to resign!”

      https://www.bbc.com/russian/news-53371781

      Libtards always ready to respond to the call!

      Like

        1. Yes, what’s the problem? If they want a murderer for Governor, what’s not to like?

          If the investigators can make an airtight case and he is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, then they will just have to suck it up – nobody cares if you LIKE the guy if he is a criminal who cannot be allowed to walk around free because there is no punishment for murder and he can just waste anyone who gets in his way, what’s the matter with you people? If he’s not guilty, then of course it is a different story, but it would be unusual for the authorities to investigate for years and then decide to pounce more than a decade later. But people in charge of administration everywhere are so untrustworthy that nobody believes anybody. So I guess they’re going to protest in favour of the ‘quiet guy who kept to himself’.

          Like

          1. By the way, this Governor has nine fingers. Not to say he is responsible for these 3 murders (despite the alarming coincidences), but it looks likely he is missing one finger because of the gangsterism he was involved with in the 90s and early 2000s – and not from bad DIY.

            Like

      1. And now “Der Spiegel” gets into the act:

        Rebellion in Russia’s Far East

        Russian secret service arrested the governor of Khabarovsk – and so sparked a small uprising in the border region with China. What’s behind it?
        By Benjamin Bidder
        11.07.2020, 5:06 p.m.

        Sometimes popular anger seeks strange heroes. In Russia this is currently happening to Governor Sergei Furgal in the city of Khabarovsk, around 6,000 flight kilometers east of Moscow, in a region on the border with China.

        On Saturday there was the largest demonstration in the recent history of the 600,000-inhabitant city. Local media reported up to 60,000 participants; the respected daily “Kommersant” estimated 30,000. Many of the demonstrators carried placards with Furgal’s name and photo on them.

        A highly unlikely hero

        The protests were triggered by the arrest of the governor, who had surprisingly prevailed against the candidate of the Kremlin party “United Russia” in 2018. State television broadcast during the week how FSB operatives dragged Furgal out of his car and arrested him. He is accused of having been involved in the organization of contract killings in the region around 2005, including one of his business partners at the time.

        In recent years, the Kremlin and secret service have repeatedly arrested regional politicians. The population has usually only acknowledged this with a shrug.

        Things are different in Khabarovsk: Immediately after the arrest had become known, solidarity actions took place in the city and on social media. Then on Saturday, anger against the Russian central government broke out. “Moscow, get out”, chanted the people, “Putin is a Thief” could be heard on some videos — a battle cry from opposition politician Alexei Navalny.

        The fierceness of the protests is difficult to understand when only taking into account Governor Furgal: the politician has gradually built up a career in the Putin system, first as a regional politician and later as a member of the right-wing nationalist party LDPR.

        That party leader, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, has occasionally railed against the Kremlin, but has regularly voted with the the Kremlin majority party “United Russia” on important decisions. The function and behavior of the LDPR in the Russian power structure somewhat resembles the role that the bloc parties once played in the GDR People’s Chamber alongside the SED state party.

        Many elections are supposed to have given candidates of the LDPR, and also communists and representatives of the “Just Russia” party, the appearance of plurality, whilst other opponents and opponents of the ruling system are generally not admitted.

        Such manoeuvres sometimes go wrong because the United Russia Kremlin party has not begun to enjoy the same backing as has President Vladimir Putin. The party has lost numerous governor elections in recent years.

        Suddenly governor.

        Nowhere did it crash as it did in the Far East, in Khabarovsk. In 2018, Furgal competed against the incumbent of “United Russia”. He did not sound like a revolutionary at the time: in the election campaign, he let it be known that he could also imagine himself serving as a vice governor amongst his competitors after the election.

        But he won the second ballot, much to his own surprise and because of a dynamic that had little to do with himself. “The wave of protests did not ask Furgal if he agreed”, the popular Russian news portal “Medusa” aptly analyzed. Since then, Furgal has had a reputation in the region of being a “people’s governor”.

        A few months after the election, the Kremlin moved the administrative centre of the entire Far East region from Khabarovsk to Vladivostok. The move is still seen by many citizens as retaliatory action for the defeat of “United Russia”. The popularity of the party was not conducive to this: in the regional elections in 2019, United Russia in Khabarovsk only got 13 percent of the vote. In November 2019, news agencies reported that satisfaction with Putin’s work was not lower in any region in Russia than in Khabarovsk (48 percent).

        Furgal “categorically” rejects all accusations against him. However, one of the peculiarities of the matter is that experts in the region such as Medusa reporter Andrej Perzew nevertheless think it conceivable that “the accused may well have something to do with reality”.

        The secret service and the Kremlin, however, have apparently bothered little for more than a decade – to the point where Sergei Furgal became governor.


        Has the time come at last???

        Navalny, gird your loins!!!!

        The people await you!!!!

        “Medusa” a “popular news portal”, eh?

        And a “Medusa” reporter on hand to give “Der Spiegel” the low down on what’s really happening in Khabarovsk?

        https://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/russland-sergej-furgal-in-chabarowsk-festgenommen-vom-fsb-a-aa84526c-be95-483b-8b98-4a83db491027?sara_ecid=soci_upd_KsBF0AFjflf0DZCxpPYDCQgO1dEMph

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        1. Of course the western media is not stirring the pot. I was surprised to see the protesters carrying signs that actually appear to have been hand-made rather than the glossy purpose-made professional jobs complete with innocent-looking photograph that normally appear as if by magic at Russian liberal protest actions. If I had just the money the west blew on signs for Khodorkovsky, I could retire.

          Like

      2. Yes, I’ve never seen a more hopeful lot. No matter how many times their hopes are dashed, they always rally to the war drum. I suspect that’s because they only have to win once. If the west were ever successful in getting another Gorbachev or Yeltsin in the Russian presidency, his rule would be so firmly cemented he could never be overthrown. And then when he crushed protest, you would hear the familiar refrain; “President X has a right to protect his country”. When they like you, you can do as you please and it is all ‘protecting the country’. When they don’t like you, everything you do ids oppressive and freedom-crushing. And their liking for you is directly proportional to how free a hand Washington is allowed to meddle and tune and tweak.

        Like

        1. Unauthorized rally in support of Furgal takes place in Khabarovsk
          July 11, 2020

          Khabarovsk, July 12. Blogger Alexander Golovko, who was present during an unauthorized rally in Khabarovsk, spoke about how this event took place. As the man explained, among the supporters of the detained governor Sergei Furgal were activists of Navalny’s headquarters who tried to provoke unrest.

          As explained by Golovko, the events began on Lenin Square. Then people moved in a column along the main street, after which everyone returned to the square.

          “People came with loudspeakers and let everyone have his say. Included in the rally Exited, were representatives of Navalny’s headquarters. They called, of course, for the release of Furgal, which was was the slogan used by everyone, but it was clear that the instigators were transforming regional happenings into federal, issue.”, explained the blogger in an interview with Nation News.

          He also noted that most people came to the city centre that day on their own, but there could have been some kind of coordination, because at the same time the rally participants had leaflets, a march route, and banners.

          It should be recalled that according to investigators, Furgal is suspected of organizing an attempted murder and the murder of a number of entrepreneurs in 2004-2005 in the Khabarovsk Territory and Amur Region. On July 10, the Basmanny Court of Moscow detained the governor until September 9. Now he is in the Lefortovo pre-trial detention centre. The official himself does not admit his guilt and declares complete UN involvement in the alleged crimes.

          On the previous day, it had become known that Furgal could also be charged under “entrepreneurial articles” of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. According to a source at Interfax, investigators already have materials that may soon be made public. The fact is that before joining the civil service, Furgal “made money by selling timber and scrap metal”, and these sectors of the economy are quite criminalized.

          https://yandex.ru/turbo/s/riafan.ru/1292612-nesankcionirovannaya-akciya-v-podderzhku-furgala-prokhodit-v-khabarovske?utm_source=turbo_turbo

          Like

          1. Why exactly are liberals defending arrested governor Furgal?

            Yesterday, immediately after the arrest of Furgal, Navalny released an anti-Putin video about this arrest.

            In this video, Navalny, as always, misinforms his listeners. For example, he says that the Putin candidate who had worked for all the administrative resources (shows as an example a poster of Shport and Putin presented before the elections), Vyacheslav Shport, lost to the independent popular candidate Furgal and Putin’s resentment over this has led to the arrest of Furgal.

            Navalny is lying, since Shport was not Putin’s candidate: he was a United Russia candidate, and Putin is not a member of this party. The head of United Russia is Dmitry Medvedev.

            This Shport/Putin poster had been distributed by Shport’s campaign headquarters, not Putin. So What do we have here — that Putin must be responsible for all the posters? United Russia very often issues posters with Putin and generally calls itself the government party. Say whatever you like, but the fact of the matter is that Putin even went to the presidential election as a non-partisan candidate and made it clear to everyone that he is an independent candidate.

            And what kind of resentment could Putin have? What should he be offended by when the candidate was not his? And even if he had been, then what problem would there have been in rigging the voting results? After all, the opposition is always talking about this, that Putin always rigs votes in his favour and there is no sense in going to the polls. There is an inconsistency here. So Putin forgot to ascribe votes to his candidate in Khabarovsk? Where is the logic, liberals? And the United Russia Party for some reason forgot to do this, because it is always rigged so that the votes go in its favour? In general, Navalny and the liberals are, as usual, in a bit of a fix because of their use of double standards.

            Why does Navalny always protect criminals? For him, it does matter whether a person be a terrorist or a killer, the main thing is to be anti-Putin. The FSB apparently has the evidence: that’s why they arrested Furgal, and whether Putin’s feelings had or had not been hurt has nothing to do with it.

            But all right then, the article [that the blogger has written and which he refers to at the beginning of this abridged by me blog — ME] is not about Navalny’s lies, which are in every one of his videos. More precisely, he often likes to manipulate facts.

            This article is to show that all these rallies in support of a particular person are launched by order. And the customer, as we can see by what the Russian service of the British BBC broadcasts, is not in Russia. The customer is one that the liberal media or bloggers have, and that some government representatives also have, regardless of their party affiliation.

            And the customer’s goal has been clear for a long time — a coup d’etat in Russia, after which a civil war will necessarily begin, since our society is divided. Moreover, most folk are for Putin. And naturally, no one will agree with a minority coup, especially when it is run from abroad.

            https://zen.yandex.ru/media/id/5e9dbcd43fdcda291b797804/pochemu-imenno-liberaly-vstali-na-zascitu-arestovannogo-gubernatora-furgala-dokazatelstva-5f098bba6505094fcc4ceac9

            Like

            1. Yes, exactly. Navalny consistently takes up the cause of criminals, or self-important bullshitters like Vasilyeva.

              https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-06-02/anastasia-vasilyeva-doctors-alliance-russia-coronavirus/12276094?nw=0

              If I had seen this comment before posting my last reply, I would not have gone into such a tirade, because that’s just what I wanted to say. Lyosha doesn’t get it that you can’t just panic the Russian people into doing what would work in America – foisting a lie on them and making a reprobate into a hero. The public will throw its weight behind Furgal if he is proven completely innocent of the charges. But here’s an early hint – don’t make a defense out of “The UN knew all about it, every step of the way” when you are charged with organizing murder. I still can’t believe that’s not a mistake; if he actually said that or anything like it, they should just give him a suspended sentence and free airfare to Washington.

              Navalny has a shadowy understanding of the concept – mobilize public outrage and make the accused a symbol of government heavy-handedness. But Navalny is lazy; his flabby middle suggests he quickly got used to good living, and he seemingly has never learned the rest of the technique. Make sure your choice actually is being wronged by the government, and not a criminal guilty of what he is accused of doing. However, in addition to being lazy, Navalny seems not very bright. A deficiency apparently shared by Furgal, because he does not appear to realize that all Navalny’s shit-disturbance will galvanize the prosecutors into an even more-energetic effort to prove his guilt beyond the slightest shadow of doubt, so that not even foreign screamers and pointers can defend him. Which will in turn invite the maximum sentence, both for purposes of defiance and because the case against him has been made airtight.

              The status quo in Russia is more or less assured for so long as the west continues to support Navalny as its chosen champion.

              Like

                1. Well, you know; properties, people…legal contracts and social contracts….basically all the same, right? What’s to know?

                  Like Reese Witherspoon said in ‘Legally Blonde’ to the incredulous question, “YOU got into Harvard Law?” “What, like it’s hard?”

                  Like

          2. Remind me again – how did Furgal get into the position of governor? Did he actually reach the level of holding public office while still maintaining the belief that if the UN knew about it and was involved in it, it wasn’t a crime? In fact, I’d like to see him expand on that; people are unquestionably – I presume – dead, and Furgal is accused of having played an instrumental role in their deaths. And his defense rests on the UN knowing about the killings, and being somehow involved? I can just see the UN emails now.

            Once again – this is becoming such a perennial subject it really should have its own category – Navalny is only showing off What He Learned During His Yale Fellowship; how to fuse an angry rabble into an instrument of your will, and how to turn a local matter into an ‘international outcry’. Someone call Sararh Rainsford! Also once again, I feel completely and unreservedly safe in predicting such efforts will come to absolutely nothing and the liberals will be disappointed once again, for a simple reason that Navalny either never learned at Yale or somehow keeps failing to notice. Well, two things, actually; (1) you cannot overthrow the government of your own country without getting the population of that country behind you, and (2) you cannot achieve Objective One by backing criminals against that government.

            I suppose Yale taught Lyosha that the latter really doesn’t matter; the important thing is to quickly and expertly bamboozle the public into BELIEVING the guy is not guilty before any details are made public, and that they must get out the torches and pitchforks without delay. And perhaps that goes down a treat in the United States, and in some other countries that are now regime-change notches on Uncle Sam’s bedpost. But the great majority of Russians actually have something in common with Americans from Missouri, and their position is ‘Show Me”. Show me Furgal is innocent, and then we’ll talk. A hundred years from now, when historians are looking back at the grotesque failure that was Lyosha’s political career, they will muse that he simply failed to internalize an important concept; Russians are typically a phlegmatic and deliberate crowd, with a strong thread of cynicism, and consequently they are a poor choice for being rolled by devices which depend on nothing more than building momentum. The young are excitable and more responsive, but they are not the decision-makers. And do not fail to note that their faith is not infinite; they will turn into middle-aged Russians who have observed the provocateur’s record of manipulation, and if anything turn into voters even more cynical than their parents.

            But by all means keep trying the same old one-trick-pony bullshit; it’s entertaining.

            Like

            1. You have clearly forgotten, dear chap, that although presumption of innocence is allegedly a fundament of Russian jurisprudence, in the West it is constantly maintained that anyone accused of a criminal offence in Russia is not only de jure innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, but is also and forever will be de facto innocent.

              Like

              1. I should also add that the new Criminal Procedure Code of the Russian Federation, passed in December 2001 — you know, after the Evil One had seized power — led to the extension of jury trial to the entire country with the exception of the Republic of Chechnia in 2003-2004.

                Prior to 1993, criminal court procedure In Russia and the USSR had been “inquisitorial” — better said, “non-adversarial”.

                However, as everyone knows in the Free World, this change of criminal court procedure is all part of the sham democracy that is displayed in “Putin’s Russia”.

                Like

      3. These genuinely thick retards at BBC and Russian Liberasts are trying to link the constitutional amendments and vote with this and some other arrests this week. Delusions of self-grandeur never appears to be a problem with this lot.

        Furgal and the LDPR have sizeable or strong support in the region. It should be neither dramatic nor unexpected that 20000 out of his hundreds of thousands of supporters should protest his arrest. It’s a big event, not some bored out of their mind liberast losers in Moscow attention-seeking over some nothing event.
        It doesn’t require dumb projections about the “downfall” of Putin or the Kremlin, not least because according to the same people, such a scenario has been “impossible” during the last 20 years–opposition parties, and opposition governors who are clearly in opposition to United Russia. They should face some censure for continuously lying and contradicting themselves depending on whatever anti-kremlin argument they are trying to make.

        Like

  23. The wise words of the Russian Foreign Minister, spoken during a videoconference with African diplomats on Wednesday, 8th July 2020:

    “If the Pentagon chief believes that the containment of Russia and China is the main goal of its agency, then this means that the same philosophy is practiced by the current US administration, which is literally obsessed with a desire to contain everyone but itself, seeking to eliminate everything that limits its freedom of action or even freedom, say, of impunity by the US administration on the global arena — be it the INF Treaty, the Treaty on Open Skies, the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, the activity of UNESCO, of the UN Human Rights Council or the World Health Organization,” he said Wednesday following a videoconference with his counterparts from the African Union trio (Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt and South Africa), according to TASS.

    Compare and contrast Sergei Viktorovich Lavrov’s above statement with the often crass, vulgar, and downright mendacious utterances of his United States counterpart, Secretary of State Pompeo.

    Sergei Viktorovich Lavrov speaks English intelligibly and fluently at almost native-speaker level: Harvard Law School and West Point educated Pompeo uses in his bullshitting utterances a form English. As far as I know, Pompeo is monolingual.

    For other Lavrov words of wisdom, which, I am sure are quoted verbatim, namely in English, see:

    LAVROV: ‘The Pentagon Seeks to Contain Everyone But Itself’ – Fort Russ

    https://fort-russ.com/2020/07/lavrov-the-pentagon-seeks-to-contain-everyone-but-itself/

    Like

  24. British gutter journalism at its best — or should that be “worst”.

    China furiously threatens UK will ‘bare the consequences’ for standing up for democracy
    CHINA has warned the UK against interfering in its internal affairs in regards to the draconian new security law that outlaws freedom of expression in Hong Kong warning those who treat China as an enemy will “bear the consequences”.

    Saturday, 11 July 2020

    Not just “threatens”, mind you, but “furiously threatens”!!!

    And shit punctuation as well.

    So China bares its arse at the UK?

    https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/1308012/china-news-hong-kong-security-law-consequence-Liu-Xiaoming-world-war-3

    Like

  25. Further to out wild Skripal speculations posted earlier:

    Real Clear Investgations: FBI Man at the Heart of Surveillance Abuses Is a Professor of Spying Ethics
    https://www.realclearinvestigations.com/articles/2020/07/10/fbi_man_at_heart_of_surveillance_abuses_is_a_professor_of_spying_ethics_124382.html

    …In addition, Auten personally met with Steele and his “primary sub-source,” reportedly a Russian émigré living in the West, as well as former MI6 colleagues of Steele…

    …In January 2017, Steele’s primary sub-source told Auten that Steele “misstated or exaggerated” information he conveyed to him in multiple sections of the dossier, according to a lengthy summary of the interview by the analyst…
    ####

    Plenty more at the link.

    Cricumstantial, but an ex-British spy using a ‘Russian emigre’ living in ‘the West’ as one of his main sources.

    Like

  26. Like

        1. The ends justify the means. That there is no intent to cause genocidal destruction and upset the whole region for years is irrelevant, because no-one – least of all the West – will be held to account. Therein lies the nature of power. We are good and didn’t mean it, they are bad and did mean it… and even if they didn’t, they should still be held accountable.

          Like

        2. The famed ‘dodgy dossier’ – strike a chord with more recent British attempts to manage the narrative? On that past occasion, the trigger was that Saddam could have WMD’s ready to deploy against his chosen target – which apparently was most anywhere on the planet – within only 45 minutes. The Grauniad would later avow that particular falsehood came from a taxi driver who claimed to have overheard two Iraqi Generals talking about it in his cab. Jesus Christ. Obviously the chances of ever finding this guy again are less than zero, if in fact he ever even existed.

          https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2009/dec/08/45-minutes-wmd-taxi-driver

          “After the war, the dossier became hugely controversial…”; yeah, and its impact was the square root of fuck-all. Nobody was punished in any way for blatantly lying to the public, Blair landed a cushy and lucrative job as Special Envoy which richly rewarded him with cash and gravitas just as if everything he had said was completely true. Lesson? If you manage to get into a certain political position, you can never be held accountable for anything you do, no matter how damaging or how many die needlessly as a direct result. You are Teflon – nothing sticks. And so it shall ever be, world without end, amen.

          Like

  27. With the anniversary of the cold-blooded murder of the Romanov family and attendants coming up on the 17th I thought you might find this passage as profound as I did.
    Alexander III is speaking to his son Nicholas II as Alexander lay on his death bed.
    He is referring to the tragic day when his own father Alexander II was assassinated by the Jewish-led terrorist group Narodnaya Volya ( “Peoples’ Will’). (paragraphing is mine ..)

    • “On that tragic day the question stood before me: which path was I to follow? Was it the one towards which I was being urged by the so-called progressive society, infected with the liberal ideas of the West, or was it the one recommended by my own convictions, by my highest, sacred duty as sovereign, by my own conscience? I chose my path. The liberals call it reactionary.
    • I was interested only in the good of my people and the greatness of Russia. I strove to give it internal and external peace, that the state might freely and calmly develop, becoming strong, rich and prosperous in an orderly way. Autocracy has created Russia’s historical individuality. If autocracy fails, God forbid, Russia will collapse with it. The fall of the time-honoured Russian government will inaugurate an era of civil strife and bloody internecine wars.
    • I adjure you to love everything that serves the good, the honour and the dignity of Russia. Guard autocracy, remembering at the same time that you bear the responsibility for the fate of your subjects before the throne of the Most High. May faith in God and in the sanctity of your royal duty be the foundation of your life.
    • Be firm and courageous and never show any weakness. Listen to everyone – there is no shame in that – but hearken only to yourself and to your own conscience.
    • In foreign policy preserve and independent position. Remember – Russia has no friends. They fear our vastness. Avoid war.
    • In domestic policy, first and foremost protect the Church. She has often saved Russia in times of misfortune.
    • Strengthen the family, for it is the foundation of any state.”

    Source: **“The Romanov Royal Martyrs: What Silence Could Not Conceal”** – authored by Saint John The Forerunner Monastery of Meso Potamos, Cyprus (various contributors)
    https://www.romanovs.eu/

    Like

  28. Here is another example of Covid lies.

    https://www.rt.com/usa/494468-joseph-fair-nbc-coronavirus-fake/

    The dramatic televised saga of a doctor’s struggle to overcome coronavirus has ended in embarrassment after the NBC News contributor quietly admitted that there’s no evidence he ever had the virus. Is this the zenith of fake news?

    Dr Joseph Fair appeared at least 10 times on NBC and MSNBC over the last two months to share his fight against Covid-19 with the networks’ viewers. His television appearances – including an interview from his hospital bed – fueled panic about the illness. Describing himself as a fit and healthy 42-year-old, Fair claimed in May that he had absorbed the virus through his eyes while on a flight. As it turns out, there is no reason to believe he ever contracted the virus.

    The doctor announced earlier this week that his Covid-19 antibody test had returned negative and that his “suspected” illness from the virus remains an “undiagnosed mystery.”

    Really? This “man of science” ignored multiple test results that were consistently negative including an antibody test but nevertheless “knew” had the virus. Not only “knew” but appeared multiple times on national media to share his harrowing, alarming and frightening battle against an implacable enemy that could strike down anyone including a fit and healthy and presumably credible doctor providing a stark warning that the virus was truly a threat to all of us and that we are not doing nearly enough to halt this menace that…..

    Yeah. From the same link:

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He sounds like an antivaxer. Antivaxers “know” vaccines cause everything from autism to male pattern baldness, never mind the evidence.

      Like

      1. NBC and MS-NBC knew their man-of-science colleague was blowing smoke (likely, at their behest). Antivaxers are often well-meaning but misguided. These guys were calculating, if quite careless, liars with an agenda. Just my take.

        Like

        1. It is perfectly possible for someone to be an ‘Anti-Vaxer’ and not be bugshit crazy, and ‘Anti-Vaxer” is just a fallback position in case they are unsuccessful selling the bullshit coronavirus doctrine. Then they can still cause damage as they retreat. I am very much opposed to vaccinations for every little thing and refuse them so long as that remains an option, and I don’t think I’m crazy. I get the feeling, though, that the ‘opt-out’ days are over, and we are entering the age where you will be refused services on public-health grounds if you won’t take the shot, which has already been thoughtfully purchased for you by your government using your tax dollars. Thenceforth you will have to be annually inoculated against the coming year’s cocktail of viruses, and you will be lucky if it’s just something innocuous that won’t hurt you. World government has discovered a tool of limitless potential – everyone has a public-health duty to protect everyone else, and if you won’t do it you are a criminal.

          Freedom, of a sort, was nice while it lasted, and I’m glad I had an opportunity to enjoy it.

          Like

          1. Absolutely agree that antivaxers have legitimate concerns but cast their net too widely. I have vague memories of the polio epidemic and the relief of my parents from the availability of the polio vaccine.

            Absolutely agree that the legitimate value of vaccines are being exploited to cower (or force) people to be vaccinated at some risk and greater cost to enrich big Pharma. And it dovetails nicely into the obvious multi-front war on personal freedom and breakdown of the family.

            These fuckers are going for control of the human race at a biological and psychological level. No more sloppy control via religion, money or ideology. They think they understand what makes us tick and are going straight for our souls or whatever you want to call what makes us human. They will fail and fail ugly.

            Like

            1. Yes, I too remember that anti-polio vaccine coming out in the 1950s and there being some fears about it. The option of my being vaccinated by it was refused by father: he didn’t trust it. I can faintly remember his arguing against my and my sister’s vaccination at school.

              The vaccine had been developed in the USA by a virologist called Salk. It wasn’t mandatory in the UK, so my father opted out, which, I recall, caused some comment at my school.

              This is what must have caused my father’s refusal to have me and my sister vaccinated against polio:

              Regretfully, the story of polio vaccine was not without tragedy. In April 1955, soon after mass polio vaccination began in the United States, reports trickled in to the Surgeon General concerning atypical cases of paralytic polio. Several paralytic polio cases were reported in California in patients who had received the polio vaccine about a week earlier but the paralysis only affected the arm or leg in which they received the injection. Each of these cases occurred in polio vaccine produced by Cutter pharmaceutical company. The Surgeon General immediately pulled all Cutter polio vaccine, but it was too late; nearly 400,000 children had been inoculated with Cutter polio vaccine and 250 cases of atypical paralytic polio occurred. There were also reports of the Wyeth pharmaceutical company polio vaccine causing paralysis and death in several children in the northeastern United States.

              See:

              Lessons from the Salk Polio Vaccine: Methods for and Risks of Rapid Translation

              https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2928990/

              Like

            2. That was a long time ago, when vaccines came out of years of research to save humanity from actual debilitating and life-threatening diseases like polio, tuberculosis and plagues of poxes. In the modern world, we must have vaccines for ‘diseases’ that amount to an inconvenience, because it provides an excuse for the government to appropriate huge sums of money for ‘medical research’ and resulting patent medicines which are billed as necessary to protect public health. Very much in line with the obsession for there being a pill for everything, so that people can’t even deal with a headache any more without having a nervous breakdown.

              Like

              1. As noted before, Big Pharma seeks to have every American on a prescription drug, preferably multiple prescriptions, from birth to death. Drugs for allergies, mood, depression, attention deficit, itchy skin, various promoted disease, memory enhancement, cholesterol control, memory suppression (yes), social stress and life in general will now be cured. If you can not afford your prescription, the government will be happy to make direct payments to Big Pharma. Doctors will continue to push drugs over life-style changes to maximize the drug solution as well as to continue to receive appreciation, if not love, from Big Pharma sales ladies.

                Like

    2. …but a mystery we must all be on guard against!! Bio-suits! Face masks! Filtered and purified water delivered from one-use personal bottles! Only eat food you have personally prepared from sterile ingredients!

      The global government will stop at nothing to portray a relentless threat which we will only overcome if we do exactly as instructed.

      Like

  29. Sometimes it is the small things…

    Japan Times: Power pioneer Hideaki Horie invents new battery 90% cheaper than lithium-ion
    https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2020/07/09/business/tech/hideaki-horie-invents-new-battery/

    …cut mass production costs by 90 percent and significantly improve their safety….

    …Horie’s innovation is to replace the battery’s basic components, which are metal-lined electrodes and liquid electrolytes, with a resin construction. He says this approach dramatically simplifies and speeds up manufacturing, making it as easy as “buttering toast.”

    The modification allows for 10-meter-long battery sheets to be stacked on top of each other “like seat cushions” to increase capacity, he said. Importantly, the resin-based batteries are also resistant to catching fire when punctured…
    ####

    This looks like a game changer. In avaition it will save a lot of weight and boost backup capacity/availability/reliablity. Recall the Boing 787 battery fires that was caused by cell runaway where it had to add heavy shielding between cells to stop it happening again. Electric cars that won’t explode (Teslas combusting in accidents) and also safety system weight reductions. For orbiting spacecraft exposed to hot and cold continuously too. It will be cheaper and safer to also store your renewable energy harvested by your home or large scale renewables (via Hydro/whatever) Add to that it can be custom made to fit spaces much better. This is impressive, clever stuff.

    Like

    1. Brilliant. Now as long as the USA does not get hold of the technology and patent it. I wish inventors would all keep quiet about their discoveries until they have acquired complete intellectual-property ownership. Then if they choose to just give it away for the benefit of mankind, that’s their prerogative.

      Like

      1. I seem to recall reading that news a few years ago (maybe even one of us posted about it). It’s good to see that it hasn’t died a death.

        What I like about all of this is that it is the decidedly unsexy stuff, like batteries/storage (reservoirs and the like) are the fundamental keys to making it all work and tying it together. On a much larger scale, smart electrcity grids are neede to tie it all in seamlessly from whatever sources are available. ‘Smart’ of course means vulnerable to cyberattack so it all has to be done properly with plenty of firewalls in the place.

        The irony is that we we are constantly surrounded by energy which makes up the universe (quanta) but for want of it. I’ve forgotten which sci-fi author or show has a class of planets that only get as far as developing nuclear weapons and power before it destroys itself (HHGTTG?). I guess we are still in that zone for a while.

        Like

  30. Neuters: Dutch government to file suit against Russia over downing of MH17
    https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-ukraine-crisis-mh17/dutch-government-to-file-suit-against-russia-over-downing-of-mh17-idUKKBN24B1OF

    The Dutch government on Friday said it would file a suit against Russia at the European Court of Human Rights over the downing of Malaysia Airlines passenger flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine six years ago. ..

    …“The submission is a new step in our efforts to establish truth, justice and accountability”, Dutch Foreign minister Stef Blok said in a letter to parliament.

    Blok said his government would give the court all its information on MH17, thereby supporting the individual applications already submitted by the victims’ next of kin. ..
    ####

    Isn’t ‘establishing the truth’ the whole point about the current sham MH17 trial in the Hague which refuses to accept any evidence from Russian experts or non-western (save Ukranian sources of course) sources? Isn’t this admitting that they’ve royally f/ked up their own trial if they need the ECHR’s ‘help’? It should be noted that Russia has told the ECHR where to stick it as it has become the go to channel for any kind of person with a grip to appeal to, the ECHR being snowed under with frivolous complaints that it is backed up for years.

    On the plus side, I guess we know much better how dumb Dutch politicians are.

    There is no reaction from Russia as of yet, but I’m sure that they’ve come to the same conclusion that the Netherlands isn’t interesting in establishing the truth in law but in international public opinion and milking it out for as long as possible. Consequences? That’s not something the Dutch are conscient of, but then neither are most of America’s hamsters.

    Like

    1. There’s been no notification made by the ECHR to Russia either of a suit having been filed against the Russian Federation, though it has acknowledged that such a suit has been filed by the Dutch court.

      Such suits against a state are seldom made. I read in a Russian newspaper the other day when the news broke as regards this latest Dutch move that only about 24, if I rightly recall, of such suits have been made since the early ‘50s. Furthermore, I read that if the ECHR does, in fact, dance to the Dutch tune, it will take years to process.

      Like

  31. The National Interest via Antiwar.com: Did U.S. Prosecutors “Bury” Evidence to Enforce Iran and Venezuela Sanctions?
    https://nationalinterest.org/blog/skeptics/did-us-prosecutors-%E2%80%9Cbury%E2%80%9D-evidence-enforce-iran-and-venezuela-sanctions-164448

    …But the government agreed to drop the case after new evidence emerged supporting Sadr’s innocence…

    …Judge Alison Nathan asked both sides on Wednesday to submit evidence for or against “bad faith, knowing misrepresentations, or an intentional failure to comply with discovery obligations” in Sadr’s case.

    One piece of evidence, a 2011 letter from the German bank Commerzbank to the U.S. Treasury, was only revealed towards the very end of the trial. The letter showed that Treasury officials were informed about Sadr’s financial dealings with Venezuela years before his arrest, undermining the case that he had tried to hide anything from the U.S. government…
    ####

    More at the link.

    Yet again we learn that if they want to get you, facts will not be allowed to get in the way. Even if they ultimately have to give up, the economic and psychological campaign may well have achieved its goal and the state pushing the case will not be punished more than a light slap on the wrist.

    Like

    1. It cracks me up, how when they are caught actually using language like ‘burying’ evidence, they play the bland-assurances card, call it ‘Friday night thinking’, and expect everyone to just move on and not make an issue of it. Just as if any talk of burying evidence, when used by federal prosecutors in criminal law which is their livelihood, should not be an immediate and unambiguous stop-the-case-right-here. Talk of ‘burying evidence by prosecutors immediately raises speculation that the suspect is not guilty and that prosecutors are trying to railroad him into a conviction, which looks like exactly what is going on.

      I remember reading years ago that criminal law in the United States is such a mess that if you reach the stage where charges are actually laid against you, you are pretty much going down and might as well plead to a lesser charge, if offered, in order to do less time even if you didn’t do anything, or at least not what you are accused of. If the prosecutor is determined to get you, either you will have to accept pleading guilty to something, or your life’s savings and everything you own will be spent to prove your innocence while the prosecution is paid for using your tax dollars. Unless you can prove the most outrageously biased miscarriage of justice whereby you can reclaim your legal costs – rare – your legal expenses are your own responsibility and even if you are innocent and the ruling bears that out, you’ll be ruined.

      Like

  32. Follow up to previous post.

    Al’s Jizz Error via Antiwar.com: Swedish court acquits ex-ambassador to China over dissident talks
    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/07/swedish-court-acquits-ambassador-china-dissident-talks-200710095159502.html

    Judges say Anna Lindstedt had not overstepped her diplomatic brief in efforts to free a Chinese-Swedish bookseller.

    …The Stockholm District Court said on Friday prosecutor Henrik Olin had not proved that Lindstedt had negotiated with any person who represented the Chinese state.

    The court also noted that Lindstedt would have been in her authority to do so, noting that an ambassador has a wide-ranging scope, judge Anna Flodin said. She said the court was unanimous…
    ####

    Well that’s a bit of an embarrassment. I suppose it also serves the purpose pour décourager les autres.

    Like

  33. Rainsford’s article above posted 8 hours ago.

    Safronov was arrested 5 days ago.

    Rainsford must have been really working hard since then interviewing the right people who would give her the right responses to her questions concerning tyranny in Russia in order that she cobble up good copy for the British government news agency.

    Like

    1. Yawn. Every time anything happens in Russia there is an ‘international outcry’, which would lead one to two possible conclusions – everything Russia does is wicked, or the international community is a fucking crybaby. The BBC is one of the greedier outlets, though, trying to maximize its displeasure/secret pleasure by moaning about the disgraceful treatment of Russia’s journalists while simultaneously hinting at a wormy official paradigm crawling with traitors eager to bring down the ‘regime’.

      As I recall it best, none of the ‘evidence’ offered to support any of Washington’s continuous screaming about Russia beating up on them was ever made public, and it’s only now that it is beginning to fail the test of time, still without any of the ‘evidence’ being made public, so Sarah Rainsford should go away and she should shut up.

      On Russia, the UK press in general behaves like a seductive trollop who will never quite let you have the big payoff, always teasing that something better than you’ve ever had is almost within reach, but then, oh; what a shame! It didn’t pan out – better luck next time. If you had a car you relied upon for transport to work, and it wouldn’t start as many times as the BBC claimed it was firing on all cylinders and ready for road war, but were completely wrong…would you keep it?

      “Rainsford must have been really working hard since then interviewing the right people who would give her the right responses to her questions concerning tyranny in Russia in order that she cobble up good copy for the British government news agency.”

      Let me guess; Masha Lippman from the Carnegie Moscow Center must have been washing her hair or out getting drunk, so she had to unearth Pasko and pump him for quotes.

      Like

  34. Vinyard the Saker: Iran-China pact turbocharges the New Silk Roads
    http://thesaker.is/iran-china-pact-turbocharges-the-new-silk-roads/

    China will invest $400 billion in Iran energy and infrastructure but nothing in strategic pact allows for a Chinese troop presence or island handover

    By Pepe Escobar – republished from Asia Times by permission of author

    <iTwo of the US’s top “strategic threats” are getting closer and closer within the scope of the New Silk Roads – the leading 21st century project of economic integration across Eurasia. The Deep State will not be amused.

    Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi blasted as “lies” a series of rumors about the “transparent roadmap” inbuilt in the evolving Iran-China strategic partnership…
    ####

    Much more at the link.

    For convenience, here’s the rather excitable oilprice.com piece that Pepe links to in his AT piece:

    https://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/China-Inks-Military-Deal-With-Iran-Under-Secretive-25-Year-Plan.html

    Regardless of who is American president, the plan remains much the same. It’s like saying that the color of the tie you are being strangled to death with makes a difference. BiDumb or t-Rump, for the rest of us it makes little difference except when it comes to being embarrased in public by the US.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This, from the end of the article:

      It’s quite instructive to place the whole process within the context of what State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi stressed at a recent China-US Think Tanks meeting, attended, among others, by Henry Kissinger:

      “One particular view has been floating around in recent years, alleging that the success of China’s path will be a blow and threat to the Western system and path. This claim is inconsistent with facts, and we do not agree with it. Aggression and expansion are never in the genes of the Chinese nation throughout its 5,000 years of history. China does not replicate any model of other countries, nor does it export its own to others. We never ask other countries to copy what we do. More than 2,500 years ago, our forefathers advocated that ‘All living things can grow in harmony without hurting one another, and different ways can run in parallel without interfering with one another’”.

      China does not need to do anything to harm the Western cultural of expansion and domination. The West will do itself in.

      Like

    2. The Deep State might well not be amused, but if it would not be too tiresome I would like to reiterate that it did not have to happen this way – a pact of all Washington’s nightmare countries was never inevitable. All any of them asked was the right to make sovereign decisions without having to run everything past a US trade/military/human-rights panel before announcing them, and to be treated with respect rather than as naughty schoolchildren who need constant minding. I’ve probably never advanced this possibility before, but the entire world without exception is sick and tired of the United States’ totally unjustified claim on ‘global leadership’, and its equally-simpleminded belief that the world wants this but just isn’t very good at framing its needs. Those who continue to advance such an agenda are really just showing their contempt for the rest of us, as if we are too retarded to notice all the times Washington publicly offers the hand of friendship, and then is caught plotting in the secret world of email. Email! Haven’t you got it yet, you tools? Forget your computer and your phone even have email, and don’t write anything in it ever except for “Happy Birthday, Mom! Lunch tomorrow?” How many times now have American diplomats been photographed shaking hands and smiling with the leader of this or that country, and then had diplomatic emails exposed in which they are relaying his assessed weaknesses back to the Death Star and scheming how he can be overthrown? Don’t you get it, you fucking clunks? NOBODY TRUSTS YOU. Writing it in email is the same as dictating it into a tape recorder which is playing its soundtrack into the public square. But American officials persist in the childlike delusion that American tech is so good that the natives could never crack it, safe as Fort Knox.

      One more time, the USA once envisioned Iran as its anchor in the region, and built its entire Air Force with American planes and American training and all kinds of technical help. The whole scheme fell over dead when Washington became impatient that all its secret deals were not coming to fruition quickly enough, and there was that troubling lack of western control over oil production, and forged a deathless legacy of complete and utter untrustworthiness. Don’t give me that ‘secret deals’ shit.

      Whew! I got a little wound up there. But it never fails to goad me into a fury when any American official or outlet pretends like it was always friendly and respectful, and other countries just ganged up on it to fuck it over because they are meanies and are secretly jealous of its freedoms. The USA chose this path deliberately and with malice aforethought, and if it truly continues to make terrible decisions because it truly believes the rest of the world is looking for it to step up and lead, it needs therapy in the worst way. I am going to go out on a limb here and say the very great majority of world countries would like to see at least ten years of the United States not being managed by the village idiot or a glad-handing despot, getting its own shit together and providing the evidence of example in principles and honest-brokerage before it should consider throwing its hat in the ring for the leadership of even an international committee on Something Relatively Unimportant, and then – if elected – running that to the complete satisfaction of all involved parties for another decade before it was even allowed to mention ‘global leadership’ in polite company.

      China is just going quietly and deliberately about the business of building alliances and partnerships the way the United States once did, with the don’t-step-on-own-dick example of the United States to serve as a template of what to not do.

      Like

      1. Bombs away. It was a rush just reading it.

        It’s narcissism – the original sin of mankind. Western values encourage it, rewards it, celebrates it. As a nation, the US is so fucked. The latest public orgies of narcissism – BLM and Covid-19.

        Like

  35. Jonathan Cook Blog: Writers’ open letter against ‘cancel culture’ is about stifling free speech, not protecting it
    https://www.jonathan-cook.net/blog/2020-07-09/letter-cancel-culture-free-speech/

    Updated twice below.

    An open letter published by Harper’s magazine, and signed by dozens of prominent writers and public figures, has focused attention on the apparent dangers of what has been termed a new “cancel culture”.

    The letter brings together an unlikely alliance of genuine leftists, such as Noam Chomsky and Matt Karp, centrists such as J K Rowling and Ian Buruma, and neoconservatives such as David Frum and Bari Weiss, all speaking out in defence of free speech….
    ####

    A lot more at the link.

    It’s an interesting dissection of the ‘letter.’ The only thing I would add, or rather emphasize, more is that this is about the wielding of tools in new hands.

    Social Media first makes it easy to respond, and people are much more likely to do that when they are angry and are responding from emotion rather more than logic/discussion. People also see what they want to see regardless of intent or even just bad english, so when they commit to an attack even when it is based on their own misapprehension they themselves either don’t back down, least of all apologize, and maybe just slink off. It cannot be agree to disagree but ‘you either agree with me 100% or else.’

    That again is nothing new, but as Cook points out that power was held by newspaper editors and those given the priviliged of platform. Speaking of which, he also noted comment/talkback but did not point out how it has been progressively rolled back by so called .champions of free speech’ like the Guardian so that it is only available on select news and opinion items and then in a time limited heavily censored manner. Much enjoyment though of him pointing out those who hare hoist on their own petard (JK Rowling etc.). Robespierre anyone?

    Like

    1. What a completely remarkable and inspiring piece of writing. I haven’t read the open letter he’s referring to – I will, when I get more time – but his own dissection of it is so right-on that there are the kind of revelations in every paragraph that make you realize on some level you have already thought about this, it just never rose to the level of open expression or analysis.

      The Chomsky clip linked by Anna Slatz is a perfect example of circular reasoning – it is impossible for Chomsky to get it across to bright young ideologues that you can support someone’s right to free speech and to express views which you find hateful or repugnant without supporting anything about those views. It is perfectly plain from the fury of his critics that the concept is impossible for them to grasp, and that in their minds if you support a person’s right to express views like holocaust denial (the Big Enchilada of third-rail politics), you also support those views because the only way to deal with them is to forbid their utterance.

      It’s a hugely complicated issue in which almost everyone could be held up as a hypocrite. I well recall a heated online exchange between Mark Adomanis and I and some other commenters on his former blog at Forbes, over the Pussy Riot incident of their performance of ‘Mother of God, Cast Out Putin” in a Moscow cathedral during worship. He took the position that it was a free-speech issue, and consequently the Russian State’s behavior was reprehensible. I used the example of shouting “Fire” in a crowded theatre, people being trampled in a rush for the exits, and so forth – real damage and possibly loss of life resulting from an individual’s exercise of free speech. If I recall correctly, he held that free speech means anytime, anywhere, baby. So if you’re one of those individuals who would get off on interrupting a religious service to flash your pussy at the congregation and shriek about shit and bitches, you should have every right to do that. And while I would very much have liked to advertise myself as a defender of free speech, I just couldn’t – and can’t – go that far.

      Time and place. If there are absolutely – and I mean absolutely – no curbs on the exercise of free speech, then we have to put up with sitting in a restaurant with our children while the group of college boys at the next table are loudly discussing in the most graphic and vulgar fashion how Johnny put the blocks to Susie in the projectionists’ booth on Saturday night. To me, that is not a free speech issue, and free speech does not mean you can sing “Hey, Motherfucker, get laid, get fucked” as the bridge to the Billy Idol version of “Mony, Mony” while listening to the track on headphones when you are on a city bus. There must be sensible limits on everything, just as we are invited to enjoy our vices in moderation so long as they are legal. The right to drink alcohol after reaching the legal age does not include the right to get incontinent-drunk in public, and never has; if you are so obviously drunk that you are a public nuisance, you will be taken into custody by the police, and you will look long and hard for a defender of your right to drink as much as you want to because you have the right to drink. If you cannot moderate yourself, you will be moderated – count on it.

      Incidentally, Mark Adomanis had that conundrum brought home to him in a fiery blaze of poetic justice not long after. The Edward Snowden disclosures exploded, and he took the angry patriotic-American position that Snowden had absolutely no right to do as he did. Passing on classified information is NOT an example of free speech, that information is protected, and he was paid to protect it. But in the example of me and my family in the restaurant (not an incident which actually happened, I am using it for example only, although I have seen my stepfather go to another table in a restaurant and ask another customer to remove his hat while seated at the table), haven’t I paid for us to enjoy our meal without being exposed to graphic pornography? Don’t I own that time and place, and is it possible for you to pay only the same fee to override my rights? Where’s the line? In the Adomanis exchange, people reminded him of his immovable standard vis-a-vis Pussy Riot. He was already having a difficult time rationalizing his position, but then a commenter pointed out – with a substantiating link – that Mark Adomanis was also a consultant for Booz-Allen-Hamilton, the company which had employed Snowden. And then the entire post on the issue, with associated commentary, vanished as if it had never been.

      At bottom, we are all hypocrites if we defend freedom of speech unlimited by any conditions. Airlines tell you up front that amusing conversations about bombs and explosive devices are not covered by free-speech claims, and if you feel like a civil-rights argument, hope your cell has wi-fi and they let you keep your phone. Why? They’re just words, and if they search you and you don’t really have a bomb, have you done anything wrong? Is it wrong to lie? Uh, oh – no more politicians.

      In fact, much of the free-speech debate revolves around the right to influence listeners who don’t know any better, and who might have their minds changed. And the signatures of people like J.K. Rowling – whom I used to admire for her completely self-made breakout from very humble beginnings – just makes the position that much more indefensible.

      Like

    2. Significantly the signatories to that letter include Anne Applebaum, Francis Fukuyama, Gary Kasparov and Fareed Zakaria, all of whom have played some role in stifling free speech or encouraging “fake news” covering for a neoliberal agenda. The letter itself reads in a very generic way, so much so that it comes over as mealy-mouthed.

      I wonder who or what persuaded Noam Chomsky to sign the letter; I have heard rumours that since his wife Carol died and he remarried, he may have come under some influence from his second wife or the people around him who adulate him. I attended a talk he gave once and I noticed there was a huge crowd of mostly middle-aged female groupies hanging onto his every word. The atmosphere was quite creepy as a result.
      https://justrichest.com/valeria-wasserman-facts-noam-chomsky/

      The fact that Jonathan Cook felt the need to update his article not once but a few times demonstrates how fanatical Chomsky’s followers can be and that Chomsky, whether he approves or not, has become a gatekeeper on what kind of dissent is permissible and what is not.

      Like

      1. I remember an article Annie Applebaum wrote for The Washington Post in which she bewailed the downhill plunge of comment forums and encouraged readers to read only the articles, and give the comments a pass. She claimed comment forums had become filled with retards who simply spammed everyone with their moronic messages, but neoconservatives have never minded arguments from idiots. In fact, they relish them, because they serve to illustrate that lefties are just as dumb as the neoconservative crowd says they are – they act as proof. They love nothing better than an argument with someone who is passionately angry but totally out of their depth and ignorant of the subject – then they can school the hapless fool, to the great amusement of their neoconservative hangers-on.

        What they do not like is a reasoned and well-substantiated argument made by someone who is patient and never loses his/her temper, and suggests from time to time that he/she may be amused by the neoconservative’s floundering and repetition of formulaic talking points. Those are the comments they don’t want you to read.

        Like

    1. Fascinating. It often seems to me at least possible that companies deliberately foster conspiracies like this to get attention and advertising. If so, this example would be in extremely poor taste, and at worst it seems believable that they actually are engaged in something weird and illegal. Industrial-grade throw pillows? Come on. The linkages and the prices are hard to explain, and the defense that they just put the price out of reach when the item is out of stock is not very compelling.

      Like

    2. WTF has RT become? It’s almost unreadable. I’m on the same page as yalensis about it. Not that I looked at it much apart from when some s/t rag or US news outlet wrote/talked about it I would immediately go and see.

      Like

      1. Say what you will, RT is doing a good job reaching out to the American audience. The mix of news, sports and a little sex along with many good op/eds and topics censored in MSM works fairly well. It is far far better in objective terms than, say, Yahoo News. Sputnik is also OK that way.

        RT does run some articles that are contrary to their main messages but I suppose that gives them more credible as an objective news source.

        Like

        1. Yes, I’m not their audience. It’s just that there’s such a paucity of decent english language news on Russia (not including translations). I have to agree with you. It’s clear that RT has transitioned/balance adjusted and ultimately works in their favor of being ‘less Russian’ and thus being harder to ban, which is the sword that authorities have been regularly holding over RT’s head.

          Like

      2. Forgot to mention that the Wayfair conspiracy theory, as indicated in my opening post on this topic, had sufficient verified facts to support the claims of a link to child abuse/abductions. The questionable areas are the extent of the conspiracy.

        Like

      3. I feel the same way too. I’m getting pissed off with the stupid sex stories. that frequently pop up in RT.

        I don’t give a fuck about how well Ronaldo’s girlfriend “twerks”. I don’t give two fucks about “football” or Ronaldo either!

        Maybe that article was in the nauseating Daily Mail UK. I can’t remember now, but similar shite is appearing more and more regularly in RT.

        Like

  36. The Iranians man-up on the shoot-down of that civilian airliner:

    https://www.rt.com/news/494528-iran-ukrainian-plane-report/

    A chain of errors made by the Iranian military resulted in the downing of a Ukrainian passenger plane in January, investigators have said. The tragic incident began with an air defense unit misaligning its radar by 107 degrees.

    Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 was shot down shortly after departing from Imam Khomeini International Airport in Tehran. An interim report by Iran’s Civil Aviation Organization has outlined the chain of mistakes by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), which resulted in the death of all 176 people on board the airliner.

    Compare and contrast when the US Navy shot down an Iranian airliner in much less trying circumstances. The fucking captain and crew were awarded medals although the US eventually paid compensation to the families of those murdered by US incompetence.

    Russia takes the high road and so does Iran. People and governments notice these things. .

    Like

    1. Good to see the real cause of the accident was actually mentioned.

      The downing occurred amid a period of high tension between the US and Iran following the assassination of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani in a US airstrike and Iran’s retaliatory ballistic missile strikes against US military bases in Iraq. The Iranian military suspended regular procedures for managing air traffic in the country, which is ordinarily led by civilian authorities, and insisted that only aircraft cleared for flight by the military are allowed in Iranian airspace.

      Never mind 107-degree radar errors and ‘trigger-happy operators’; trigger-happy everybody is what you get when a foreign country carries out a drone assassination of a popular and widely-regarded public figure in his own country. I don’t think I would be out of line if I suggested this would never have happened if the United States did not insist on its right to decide who is a terrorist and assassinate them without any kind of trial anywhere in the world. There are plenty of American political and military figures who are without a doubt considered state terrorists by Iran – would it be all right for the Iranians to waste them when they deplaned at JFK International?

      Like

      1. Not to mention that POTUS virtually guaranteed a massive air bombardment of Iranian targets of every description including historical sites.

        Like

      2. If there is something to salvage from this tragic accident, it is that it exposed one of the two Ukrainian passengers, Olena Malakhova, as an owner of two companies, one of which (SkyAviaTrans) had been suspected of flying illegal arms or parts for illegal arms including parts for drones to Libya and possibly also Afghanistan. Why Malakhova had reason to be in Tehran at the time the passenger airliner was shot down is not known either.

        The other Ukrainian passenger had been visiting her daughter in Tehran.

        Like

      3. I suspect that US allies are furious with them about this but have kept the anger behind closed doors, because that is what allies do for each other. Cover up.

        It won’t last though. The US will try again and I worry with things heading in a southward direction in the US and also i-Srael (resistance to annexation/Nut&Yahoo etc.) that a little war bombing the f/k out of i-Ran would be nice distraction in the run up to US presidential elections. They’ve already boasting via the NYT that a possible Son of Stuxnet was responsible for the destruction of the i-Ranian centrifuge factory. If the i-Ranians were to retaliate that would be used to justify bombing the country leadership outright.

        Remember kids, defending yourself from attack shows your intent to attack in the first place, something the US of A has adopted from i-Sraeli strategy and sold as offensive defense (or whatever). You, could kick me in the balls at some point in the future, so I’ll creep in to your house in the middle of the night and torch it. To protect myself. And it’s OK because I believe it. It’s quite 1930s!

        Like

    2. ditto when the Yukies shot down a Siberian Airlines passenger aircraft in 2001 during a joint Russian-Ukraine military exercise and even now the Ukraine does not admits culpability, albeit it paid $15 million to relatives of the deceased passengers, only conceding that Ukraine armed forces might have shot the aeroplane down.

      And get this from Wiki:

      Initial private assessments of American military officials said the crash was caused by a S-200 missile that overshot its target drone — which had been destroyed successfully by an S-300 fired at the same time — and instead of self-destructing, locked on the passenger plane about 250 kilometres (160 mi) further away and detonated 15 metres (50 ft) over the plane.

      But the missile launched by a Buk system that brought down flight MH17 not only hit that aircraft, but was also conveniently found amongst the wreckage of the downed airliner many miles away from where the missile impact had happened.

      None of this “detonated 50 feet” above it crap!

      The Orcs harpooned MH17 with a “Buk missile” as though the airliner were a great white whale.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siberia_Airlines_Flight_1812?wprov=sfti1

      Like

      1. I try to avoid citing Wiki for anything unless it simply backs up reliable information elsewhere, because it is such an attractive site for partisans who visit it daily and clean up anything they believe is detrimental to their heroes, regardless if it is true. But what was interesting to me in that previous incident was that Russia took a very neutral position and tried to avoid blaming Ukraine, to the extent some claimed the Russians had shot it down themselves. You might expect that if it had been a western flight, but it was actually a Russian aircraft.

        No such hesitation on Ukraine’s part with MH-17.

        Like

        1. Another surprising thing about that downed Siberia Airlines flight that the Yukies “might have” downed, yet paid millions in compensation to relatives of the deceased, is that the victims of the downing were mostly Israeli citizens, outward bound from Tel Aviv, flying to visit relatives in Russia.

          I don’t recall the Israeli government at the time howling and a-yammering for compensation and justice for its deceased citizens after the event in the same way as the Dutch government has been doing over MH17, in that the majority who died as a result of the MH17 downing were Dutch citizens. Nor did the Israeli government at the time of the Siberian Airlines disaster immediately heap blame on one possibly guilty party, unlike the Dutch government and the rest of the “Free World”, which has unremittingly declared that there is only one guilty party in the MH17 affair, namely the Evil Empire.

          Like

    1. The American RT presenter wrongly stated that “Gorgeous George” Galloway is an MP (member of parliament). He isn’t. He was twice a Labour MP, but was chucked out of the Labour Party for “bringing the party into disrepute”, which, I must say, is not really a very difficult thing to do. Anyway, he came back fighting, and re-entered the Commons as a member of the newly founded Respect Party, of which he was leader, after having defeated a sitting Labour MP in a London East End constituency (he had previously been an MP for Scottish constituencies), Bethnal Green. The Respect Party was focused on opposing the Iraqi War.

      Like

  37. More data suggesting that Covid-19 is, among other things, being managed to enrich Big Pharma like never before.

    https://www.unz.com/article/the-great-covid-19-deception-and-what-you-need-to-know-to-survive/

    Why not? The medical establishment downplayed the effects of cigarette smoking for decades out of financial self-interest. Now, they get to play heroes as they rob us blind. Its all so capitalistic and normal.

    A society that does not react to Madeleine Albright ‘s assertion that the murder of 500,000 Iraqi children was “worth it” deserves what it gets.

    Like

    1. Disgusting. And everyone is going along with it. I had a quick read of a National Post article this evening which claimed that although coronavirus was all but beaten in Canada, with cases and deaths steadily declining since the peak in April, it would be fatal to ‘drop our guard too soon’ because a ‘second wave’ is a ‘mathematical inevitability’. Obviously schools are done for this year, with ‘virtual grads’ being held on Zoom. More and more people are wearing masks, although I see a lot of that on the ferry because the company states that it is a requirement. The marquee everyone passes under on the highway enroute to Swartz Bay informs them that ‘face coverings are now required’, and an informational announcement on sailing elaborates that everyone more than two years old must wear a mask IF they are unable to social-distance themselves from other passengers. So it is technically left up to the passengers, and I guess I should be surprised that about half the people don’t wear one. In town I would say it is definitely a minority, although there are some.

      Canada has 321 confirmed cases as of July 12th, and 10 deaths reported for the same day.

      A lot less American plates on the ferry now, although I did see a California plate today and two Washington plates.

      Like

  38. Deutsche Welle über Alles!

    NATO’s Jens Stoltenberg sounds warning on China’s rise
    13.06.2020

    “One thing is clear: China is coming ever closer to Europe’s doorstep,” he said. “NATO allies must face this challenge together.”

    What, like Russia coming ever closer to the NATO doorstep in Eastern Europe?

    So Chinese warships are now regularly cruising along the western seaboard of the USA?

    https://amp.dw.com/en/natos-jens-stoltenberg-sounds-warning-on-chinas-rise/a-53795384

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Just attach a sausage to a stick by way of a string and dangle it in the direction you want Stoltenberg to go. It really is that easy. And he gets paid!

      Like

    2. Jens Stoltenberg turned out to be worth every penny they pay him, or whatever the hundredth denominations of the Euro are. He is ever willing to croak dire stormcrow warnings of NATO’s peril – oh, that such an inherently good and peaceful alliance should vanish from this earth! Ever anxious to do his bit for making more NATO, adding more beads to the rosary, but not anyone who is unwanted, mind. In those cases the aim is to nibble off little bits of them and make those bits triumphant bits of NATO, and encircle the baddies, always crying and raging that the baddies are menacing NATO and making it impossible for it to just live in sweet peace, which is all it desires. Yes, Washington is in no hurry to see Stolternberg’s replacement; he is one of the last Atlanticists to still see the United States as overall a force for good, or he pretends to. But I think he actually believes it.

      Like

    3. Stoltenberg belongs in The Fletcher Memorial Home.

      Just kidding.

      Send Stoltenberg to Libya and let the people there democratically decide how to execute Mr. NATO.

      The same way that NATOs mild boots on the ground killed Gadaffi?

      Or to be hanged, drawn and quartered?

      Like

  39. Well what a surprise!

    Kudrin has declared that there is a stagnation in the economy
    July 11, 2020
    MOSCOW, July 11 – RIA Novosti. The Russian economy has found itself in a state of stagnation that cannot be overcome without structural reforms, said the head of the Audit Chamber, Alexei Kudrin, at a lecture to graduates of the Russian School of Economics.

    He noted that since Russia will have to quickly move away from the oil structure of the economy in the coming years, it needs to increase government spending on science and education by one percent of GDP and by the same amount on health care.

    In addition, reform of the public sector is required, reducing the regulatory burden on business by at least half and creating large economic agglomerations at the regional level.

    “Despite the fact that we have been talking about this for many years, unfortunately, no political decisions have been made. Unfortunately, we are standing. We are in stagnation,” Kudrin said.
    According to him, the main reason for the economic slowdown was the “failure to conduct sufficient structural institutional reforms.”

    “If this year’s official forecast comes true, and the economic downturn is about five percent of GDP, then over the past ten years, including the last year, our economy’s average growth will be only one percent of GDP. It is historically small and so we have had very little growth over a decade” , said Kudrin.

    According to him, since the 1990s, the Russian economy has grown by only 30 percent – by world standards this is very small.

    “Russia, of course, can grow by three to five percent (per year. – Approx. Ed.)”, concluded the head of the Accounts Chamber.

    Why doesn’t someone tell him to fuck off and find a job somewhere else?

    https://yandex.ru/turbo/s/ria.ru/20200711/1574213684.html?utm_source=yxnews&utm_medium=mobile

    Like

    1. Let’s see; it’s Monday, so Kudrin must be moaning about the economy. I wouldn’t put too much credence in it, and I suspect most outside the west do not (although to them he is an oracle, because he forecasts Russian doom), because it’s always the same with him. Either the economy is doing terribly, or it has improved thanks to liberal guidance and reforms. Sometimes both – the economy is doing terribly, and what it needs is liberal reforms. Kudrin is nothing if not predictable, and I suspect that’s why he holds on to his post in spite of his claptrap advice which is pretty much never taken – his job is to make the Russian government look good by tolerating his constant whinging about how little the government understands about how to run a crackerjack western-style economy, with full benefits for everything and scatterbrain funding for the sake of spending that rewards endless ‘studies’ of whackjob projects.

      In that same newspaper I only had time to glance at last night was included an article I didn’t have time to read in detail, but in essence it was an allegorical tale of someone they labeled “Jack”, who worked for some company where he had full medical benefits. Jack is on long-term disability, and is never reasonably going to go back to work. So now he’s deciding if he can afford to retire. At a glance I would have said nope, because his employment still has years to run, throughout which he will continue to collect full disability but never work again. If he retires, the company is no longer liable, and he loses his bennies. From the liberal viewpoint, which assesses that corporations have endless cash, this is progressive and good; it’s wonderful that a company should continue to pay an employee who will never do another day’s work in service of whatever they make. But practically speaking, the costs of these full-benefit plans are passed on to the consumer, so we work to pay Jack to not work.

      I’m still grappling with the concept, because it’s complicated and there are powerful arguments to be made for both sides – of course I don’t mean to suggest that if someone is injured on the job, he should just be let go to shift for himself, tough luck, Jack. Canada in general has socialized medicine, and I would say British Columbia is quite progressive; my father-in-law has had a couple of operations since arriving in Canada, the cost of which might well have sunk us if we had to pay. The price everyone complains about here is the length of time you have to wait to get a free operation, and wealthy people often go to the USA where they can pay to get it done immediately, which sometimes you need. From what I understand of the Russian medical system, it is similar – the state pays doctors to do doctor stuff and that is their regular job, not hanging out a shingle and building up an exclusive patient clientele. But for the purposes of Kudrin’s argument it is enough to simply examine the potential costs of company-sponsored medical care, which I assume is his desired end-state rather than having the national government continue to pick up the tab. This, liberal theory has it, forces the company to innovate and become more progressive and productive so it can afford to pay its sick-time workers and still make a profit and expand its market share, all of which is a delicate balancing act – because if your product becomes too expensive, customers go elsewhere.

      The Russian approach to science and technology funding is just about what I would recommend – new technologists with innovative ideas compete for start-up funding, and I presume the idea is assessed on its merits as well as the scope of its application if it works. Funding is assessed to be generous, but not so lavish that you invent one modification and then sit on your keister the rest of your life, puffing a pipe and looking wise.

      https://www.timeshighereducation.com/unijobs/minisites/skolkovo-institute-of-science-and-technology/a-unique-model-for-russian-innovation/

      “The Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, for example, each year invites pitches from students who compete for basic start-up funding. After that, they can go through an 18-month programme that helps them to build business plans, develop sales pitches and other activities that will enable them to secure further venture capital funding in the future. Professor Stevenson argues that Skoltech students and graduates have access to “unparalleled” support for attracting funding in Russia. Other university students often have to fund their own intellectual property and patent registration, but Skoltech students receive extensive financial support and networking opportunities with successful business leaders from the Skolkovo community and beyond. One area of focus is digital agriculture, supporting innovations in, for example, crop simulation or managing farms remotely. Skoltech’s Center for Computational and Data-Intensive Science and Engineering has also built and operates one of the most powerful supercomputers in Russia, Zhores.”

      The provost of Skoltech is Keith Stevenson, there’s a nice traditional Russian name for you. Oh, look at that – Professor Stevenovich is an American, a chemical engineer who got his PHD at the University of Utah. The founding partner of Skolkovo, with the Russian government, is the Massachusetts – ha, ha, spelled it right the first try – Institute of Technology, the famed MIT. I can’t refrain from pointing out that while he might be doing an outstanding job and probably is, the notion of a Russian who is not a political dissident being the administrative head of Silicon Valley is pretty farfetched. Professor Stevenson is in an excellent position to pass on every Russian innovation he observes to the United States, yet he is apparently trusted. I doubt he had to profess to despise Trump and hate and pity America in order to earn it.

      Like

    2. I wouldn’t hire him as my house janitor!

      The Tajik immigrants do a much better job than he ever could.

      Bloody economists?

      I’ve shat ‘em!

      Like

        1. Right, I’ll go and wash my mouth out with soap and water, as nice old Sister Bernadette used to say when I was about 7 years old.

          Like

  40. So, according to Kudrin, since the 1990s, the Russian economy has grown by only 30 percent and by world standards this is very small?

    Pray tell me, Kudrin, who was Minister of Finance during much of that period that began after the drunkard Yeltsin was kicked into touch?

    Has this never ending naysayer really forgotten that he was appointed as Finance Minister on 28 May 2000 and held that post for 11 years, making him the longest-serving Finance Minister in post-Soviet Russia.

    As Finance Minister, Kudrin was “widely credited with prudent fiscal management, commitment to tax and budget reform and championing the free market” — Wiki

    He has also on many occasions stood on the same platform as have other well known liberast shits and outright foreign agents, Russian citizens in the hire of Washington.

    He has associated with such liberast shits because he is one himself.

    Like

  41. Antiwar.com: US Warns Iran and China Against Major Investment and Security Deal
    https://news.antiwar.com/2020/07/12/us-warns-iran-and-china-against-major-investment-and-security-deal/

    State Dept vows to impose costs on both nations

    ####

    Must. Pass. Foreign. Relations. Policy. Past. USDoS. First. Well that is unforgiveable for the Masters of the Universe(TM). No-one knows exactly what’s in it except that it is substantial. Still, the USDoS is having a public aneurism tells us that they care a lot.

    Like

    1. Every time you “impose costs” on another country, you make more enemies and inspire more end-around plays which take you as an economic player out of that loop. And by and by what you do is of no great consequence, and your ability – your LEGAL ability, I should interject – to ‘impose costs’ is gone. Sooner or later America’s allies are going to refuse to recognize its extraterritorial sanctions, which it has no legal right to impose; it gets away with it by threatening costs in trade with the USA, which is a huge economy and is something under its control. But that practice causes other countries to gradually insulate themselves against exposure, and one day the cost of obeying will be greater than the cost of saying “Go fuck yourself”.

      The New York Times goes a little further, stressing that the agreement would entail an economic and military partnership: “It calls for joint training and exercises, joint research and weapons development and intelligence sharing — all to fight “the lopsided battle with terrorism, drug and human trafficking and cross-border crimes.” This would give Iran access to some fairly high-tech systems, perhaps fighter aircraft and training and tech support, but of that part of the package, I would rate intelligence sharing the highest. It would potentially give Iran a heads-up on what the USA is planning in the region before it even is briefed to Congress – Washington leaks like a sieve, and while it is often intentional, it happens when it is not desired as well.

      Washington’s policy now consists of little more than frantically papering over cracks as they appear; its ability to direct the world is gone and its ability to influence it is deteriorating by the day as it becomes more and more intensely disliked, and everyone’s enemy. Perversely, this brings war closer as a possibility, as threats of it are no longer an effective deterrent to partnerships and exchanges the USA does not like. More and more of those threatened are taking the attitude of “Put up or shut up”. Trade deals outside Washington’s influence increase those countries’ insulation against US sanctions, and perhaps it is beginning to dawn on the western banking cartel that it is in imminent danger of being isolated itself, like a fleck of grit that irritates an oyster and finds itself encased in nacre.

      Like

  42. SCMP: China hits back, sanctioning US officials and Congress members in response to Xinjiang ban
    https://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy/article/3092945/china-hits-back-sanctioning-us-officials-response-uygur-ban

    Beijing follows through on its promised retaliation for Washington’s move to hold individuals to account

    Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio among those facing sanctions in latest tit-for-tat move
    ####

    More at the link.

    What springs to mind is that Groucho Marx quote: “I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member.”

    That the US sanctions China with an act named after a dodgy Russian book-keeper working for a thief is all kinds of wrong, but as we all know, the ends justify the means. Hamsters are happy.

    Like

  43. I had once thought the prospects of Turkey buying the SU-35 were quite good, and that still might happen (although the offer by the United States to buy their S-400 from them so they could buy the Patriot, be back in Uncle Sam’s good books and be reinstated as a loyal member in good standing of the F-35 program was too delicious for words), but it looks as if Erdogan has a bee in his bonnet about the country designing and building its own stealth fighter, claiming to have learned enough from their recent participation in the program to pull it off domestically.

    https://nationalinterest.org/blog/reboot/turkey-wants-built-its-very-own-f-35-stealth-fighter-good-luck-164551

    It would be premature to assume Turkey cannot do it, because if you have enough money you can do anything, but starting up a combat-aircraft assembly from scratch would be a tremendous undertaking. It also sounds like the kind of thing Erdogan would say to get the USA all worked up and offer him a better deal; say, ignoring Turkey’s ownership of the S-400 and perhaps increasing Turkey’s share of the parts made in Turkey for the program.

    Nobody deliberately builds a fighter just for domestic use; everybody builds them with the intent of financing their own ownership through sales, so that other countries pay for Turkey’s air force. But I don’t see anyone else buying it unless it would be to spite the United States, and its hard to imagine them getting it just right on the first try. I’m confident you can build a superior fighter plane without all the fancy avionics America insists on, without even getting into its obsession for stealth, and a Turkish-built fighter might serve Turkey very well. I just don’t think they could sell it.

    Like

    1. But surely Turkey already has prospective buyers in mind, if not actually at present expressing interest in buying a (presumably) cheaper version of the F-35? Otherwise the Turks would not think of going ahead now with a breakaway project to produce an F-35 that is not actually an F-35. The linked article did say this idea had been in the works for a decade, going back to 2010. It’s not just some vanity project on Sultan-wannabe Erdogan’s part.

      Like

    2. I’m surprised it hasn’t thought of joining the SK-Indonesian KF-X program.

      FlightGlobal.com: Fuselage of first KF-X prototype breaks cover
      https://www.flightglobal.com/fixed-wing/fuselage-of-first-kf-x-prototype-breaks-cover/139215.article

      Meanwhile, the US is buying modernized 1960s designed F-15s, hardly a sign of confidence in the F-35:

      https://www.flightglobal.com/fixed-wing/usaf-orders-eight-boeing-f-15ex-as-part-of-deal-worth-up-to-23bn/139269.article
      ####

      I wonder how much of the F-35 related electronics will be stuffed in to the airframe?

      Like

      1. The F-15 was the best fighter the USA ever built, for my money. You’d think they would have moved on a bit since then, true, but they went tech-crazy and built an Elon-Musk fighter that will fly itself and give the pilot a happy ending at the same time. As usual, when you try to build one plane that will fulfill the roles of several. The F-15 was a wonderful and deadly air-superiority fighter, while the F-35 is a flying paradigm of hype that actually does nothing well. It is, frankly, a huge embarrassment for Lockheed Martin.

        The KF-X is interesting – I can’t make out which end is which. It’s either going to have a boat tail or a flattened nose.

        Like

  44. The aircraft carrier USS BONHOMME RICHARD is afire alongside San Diego, and has been burning for more than 30 hours – the internal damage is likely to be catastrophic.

    https://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/2020/07/she-is-still-fighting.html

    The Ty-Vek wrap on her catwalks and the scaffolding on deck look like she was in refit. That is a particularly dangerous time and fire is a major risk, because there are few crew aboard and there is a lot of welding and cutting-torch work going on. Fire sentries are supposed to be supplied because it is easy for heat to transfer through a bulkhead being welded and start a fire on the other side, but sometimes manpower is short and the contractor is impatient to get on with it.

    Like

  45. My mobile phone (along with millions of others in Michigan) emitted an ear piercing alarm this afternoon with an urgent message from the governor of Michigan. Effectively immediately, all stores, restaurants and the like are ordered to refuse entrance or service to anyone not wearing a mask. The order applies to outdoor gatherings as well with offenders subject to a $500 fine.

    Surprised that the tornado sirens were not sounded nor police cars with loudspeakers ordering citizens to stay home unless participating in a BLM protest. It is officially fucking crazy.

    No school classes this fall and mail-in voting coming right up. I would imagine mandatory vaccinations are next with whatever chemical garbage they come up with.

    Like

    1. And yet you can wear a dishtowel wrapped around your face like a bandito, and it’s perfectly acceptable despite being completely worthless at preventing the spread of an airborne virus. Ditto a cloth mask you made yourself out of an old T-shirt, or your baby’s old receiving blanket. Congratulations, mask-sporting comrade – doesn’t it feel good to be doing your part to safeguard public health?

      No scientific evidence supports the wearing of masks to protect against a coronavirus respiratory illness. None. The furthest they will edge out on that limb is ‘the results are inconclusive’ while some are comfortable saying that masks do not work. But politicians – not scientists or medical doctors – blithely assure us, “Masks are very significant in preventing the spread” and “Masks totally work”.

      Like

      1. British Tommies used to piss onto rags and wrap them around the lower half of their heads in order to cover their mouths and noses when the Hun first used chlorine gas as a chemical weapon in 1915 and before gas masks had been developed.

        I fail to see how a urine soaked rag covering one’s mouth and nose counters the effects of chlorine gas on the human respiratory system, but there you are.

        Like

        1. Perhaps they were a little short of water in other forms, but it has long been believed that a damp cloth for filtering air is more effective than a dry one; the liquid tends to fill up the pores in the cloth and plump the fibres. For a long time it was a common belief that if you had to get out of a burning house, stay low to avoid the worst of the heat and smoke and breathe through a soaked handkerchief.

          I guess a gas mask is a similar proposition, although it is not wet; it is still just outside air pulled through a filter, although it incorporated eye protection so you could see as well. The ones we had before I retired had a built-in straw that went through the mouthpiece, and the outer part clipped to the facepiece, so that you could drink from your water bottle without taking the mask off.

          Like

        2. Chlorine gas dissolves readily in water therefore breathing through a water-soaked rag would likely reduce the amount of gas making its way to the lungs.

          Like

        1. For what its worth, climbing three flights of stairs with a mask on is more tiring than without. Reasons could include re-breathing some CO2 from the previous exhalation.

          Like

          1. I don’t see how the odds are with masks. Proponents keep telling us that this country and that country employed masks early, and escaped COVID with very low numbers. Was that the reason? Are researchers sure? Sweden mostly did not bother with masks or social distancing, The penalty it paid, we are told, is that its death ratio was higher than many other countries.

            https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-05-14/sweden-coronavirus-response-less-economic-damage-more-disease

            But the article goes on to explain that most of its deaths were in nursing homes, which Sweden admitted were poorly protected and announced plans to improve it. Most deaths in Canada, as well, were in nursing homes, or among the demographic with compromised immune systems through associated disease or advanced age. As has been pointed out ad infinitum, that’s the demographic that gets taken off by the grim reaper every flu season.

            I’ve read several articles in the local paper over the last couple of days, whose headlines imply that masks are a major game-changer in preventing COVID-19. And each of them, in the body, contains language like ‘there’s this theory’, or ‘although there is no scientific proof’. Great. I’m supposed to wear a mask every time I leave the house based on evidence that is similar to claims that ginseng will give me an erection I could use to hit a home run out of Fenway Park. For how long are we going to have to mask up, so everyone looks like a sock monkey? Months? Years?

            Because the world seems to love COVID, and is apparently reluctant to see it go. As I complained before, it’s the circular logic – everything comes back to you should just take it on faith, renounce individual will and do as the government says for the protection of the public. People said hopefully, maybe it will go away in summer – a doctor stepped up to say we don’t know; it might like heat. How about winter? Nope, sorry; it flourishes in cold temperatures. The article I linked above contains a classic – the better job a country did at beating back COVID, the greater the chances that country will experience a ‘second wave’. So, you see, you’re fucked no matter what you do.

            Saskatchewan’s top doctor, Saqib Shahab, confides wisely, “Everyone should wear a reusable cloth mask and that protects everyone else. I think this is something that we need to now learn to carry with us.” Gee, that sounds long-term to me, like a habit we should begin to cultivate for life. That what you’re saying?

            https://www.timescolonist.com/mask-advice-could-change-depending-on-covid-19-spread-saskatchewan-s-top-doctor-1.24163276

            Because according to chairman of California Pacific Medical Center’s department of anesthesiology Doctor Jeffrey Swisher (who might or might not actually be a real doctor, because it seems there’s no line in this crisis the press won’t cross, as we saw with NBC’s resident medical puppet who gave interviews from his hospital bed claiming to have COVID-19, for which he repeatedly tested negative and did not in fact have), viral particles are too small to be captured even by an N-95 mask.

            https://www.ccn.com/your-coronavirus-face-mask-fails-at-protecting-you-warns-top-doctor/

            Oh, that’s right – that was back when they were lying in order to protect the supply of masks so there would be enough for doctors and nurses, and if people thought they worked, they would hoard them. So let me ask you something – they didn’t care about your life then. What makes you think they care about it now, and don’t simply want to sell all the billions of face masks they’ve been working day and night to over-produce?

            I thought to myself, hey – remember working in construction, when they used to come around and hound you to wear your respirator (when you”re already sweating like a pig) because there is concrete dust in the air, and it causes silicosis, and construction companies don’t like getting sued for preventable medical problems? And I just bet viral particles are smaller than concrete dust motes.

            So I asked my good friend Dr. Lisa Brosseau, a national expert on respiratory protection and infectious diseases and professor (retired), at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Well, figuratively speaking – I don’t actually know her, her article just came up when I was googling to see how small viral particles are compared with dust motes. And look at that – there’s fucking experts coming out of the woodwork. Experts tell us masks work – use them, it’s an order. Other experts – in this case, an expert on respiratory protection – are unequivocal (which should trump experts who say ‘there’s this theory’ or ‘although there’s no scientific proof’) that not even an N-95 surgical mask will protect you against an airborne virus.

            Sweeping mask recommendations—as many have proposed—will not reduce SARS-CoV-2 transmission, as evidenced by the widespread practice of wearing such masks in Hubei province, China, before and during its mass COVID-19 transmission experience earlier this year. Our review of relevant studies indicates that cloth masks will be ineffective at preventing SARS-CoV-2 transmission, whether worn as source control or as PPE.

            Surgical masks likely have some utility as source control (meaning the wearer limits virus dispersal to another person) from a symptomatic patient in a healthcare setting to stop the spread of large cough particles and limit the lateral dispersion of cough particles. They may also have very limited utility as source control or PPE in households.

            https://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2020/04/commentary-masks-all-covid-19-not-based-sound-data

            According to Dr. Brosseau, only a respirator will protect you from COVID viral particles, and even that only if it is fit-tested, meaning you put it on and adjust the straps until it is tight to your face. Then the tester introduces a harmless gas which tastes terrible, and you inhale and see if you are still getting gas, while your head is in a big bag with the gas in it. Then you move your head around in various ways, count backwards from ten and so forth to assure yourself and the tester that 100% of the air you are breathing is passing through the filters before you breathe it. And that’s what you have to do to work around silica dust, which is a by-product of concrete and whose dust motes are larger than viral particles. A cloth mask? Don’t make me laugh.

            But let’s not be too hasty – respiratory experts don’t know everything. Let’s check with Caitlin Flynn, of PopSugar. According to her, “Face Masks Are Most Effective When Everyone Wears One, So Enough With the Excuses”.

            https://sports.yahoo.com/face-masks-most-effective-everyone-204237446.html?src=rss

            And I be go to hell if she doesn’t say, in only the second paragraph of her shame-on-you-if-you-won’t-wear-a-mask rant, that “Studies indicate that face coverings are an effective way to curb the spread of COVID-19”. So what the fuck do you know, respiratory experts? The source she links to for that denunciation claims, “At the beginning of the outbreak, public health officials thought that the virus was primarily transmitted by people touching contaminated objects or surfaces and then touching their face. Regular handwashing and refraining from touching your face were the main prescriptions (SN: 3/4/20). The CDC and the World Health Organization both at first said that healthy people didn’t need to wear masks.”

            I see. So the officials responsible for public health worldwide, able to draw at the snap of their fingers upon encyclopedic medical advice, thought that coronaviruses – of which the common cold is one, it’s only been around for as long as there have been humans on earth and its symptoms sound remarkably like those of COVID-19 –

            https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/general-information.html

            thought that you could only get infected by coronavirus if you touched a contaminated surface and then touched your face. Just as if coronaviruses had not been transmitted by airborne particles since before anyone currently serving at the WHO or CDC was born. Pull the other leg, bullshitter.

            The world’s top medical authorities told you that paper or cloth masks were ineffective, and that you were wasting your time wearing one, because they wanted to safeguard the supply for ‘frontline workers’. To hell with the rest of you sad sacks. That was a lie, obviously, as it has been admitted. So what makes you think they’re telling the truth now? Maybe they just want you to wear a mask for some other reason. Because there is no – repeat NO – scientific study which demonstrated that wearing of cloth masks would protect anyone from getting coronavirus. As I said from the very beginning, a mask might protect someone uninfected from being sprayed with large gobs of mucus from an infected person if they are sneezing or coughing but are wearing a mask. It might just limit the virus particles you inhale so that you don’t catch it. Therefore, a recommendation or even an order that all persons who have symptoms of coronavirus or any respiratory illness wear a mask makes sense. Since it is transmitted by airborne particles which are too small for masks to block, there is no reason at all for asymptomatic people to wear them.

            Like

            1. Perhaps the only positive aspect of wearing a mask is that it reduces the potential for one to touch his nose or mouth which are apparently major points points of viral entry.

              As has become abundantly clear, the most effective way to fight the virus and any other contagious disease is to isolate the vulnerable; usually the aged, to allow them to live out their few remaining years with the least amount of illness. Allow the rest of us live, work and enjoy our lives.

              This virus thing is absolutely beyond a doubt managed for ulterior purposes including to promote a Big Pharma feeding frenzy, as a cover for multi-trillion dollar Fed purchase of corporate junk bonds, conditioning the population to eagerly obey directives (heck, to eagerly become enforcers), to accept a decreasing standard of living, to worship the billionaires who magnanimously work on vaccines and to give up personal freedom for “the greater good” (did I miss anything?).

              In short, creating a new societal norm that should have taken generations to achieve has been achieved in less than a year. Even a major war that threatened the survival of the US could not have done such. Impressive!

              Like

  46. offGuardian:

    NHS Consultant Says Staff Are Being Silenced Over COVID19
    13th July 2020

    https://off-guardian.org/2020/07/13/nhs-consultant-says-staff-are-being-silenced-over-covid19/

    Anonymous, yes. However, NHS staff are certainly being silenced at the Salisbury hospital where the Skripals were miraculously saved from certain death after their having been criminally dosed with a “weapons grade” nerve agent that normally is sufficient to kill thousands and which also has no known antidote.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’d be careful about that – it reads like the kind of document the authorities ‘leak’ when they want to cover something up by exposing the writer as a total fraud, and thereby discredit all non-belief narratives as crazy conspiracy theories. Ambulances driving around, sirens wailing, responding to fabricated emergencies just to enrich the atmosphere of panic? What a flagrant abuse of the courtesies accorded emergency vehicles – folk drive off the road in their enthusiasm to give way. They would be ready for a hanging if it came out it was all a fake.

      You know me well enough to know I believed from the outset it was a hoax. But I always imagined a large part of it was due to government incompetence, maybe guided by a few sharpies looking to bag a huge payday for Big Pharma. If it ever came out it was all a big plot and the entire professional medical administration was in on it, it would be completely discredited and there would have to be mass sackings or the government would be implicated too, and it would also have to go. A hoax of that magnitude has never been tried, where the public had all its rights revoked and its livelihood wrecked.

      That letter reads like it was meant to be found out and exposed, so the authorities could say incredulously “You BELIEVED this? What do you take us for?”

      If it’s accurate – which I doubt – there would have been nothing in human experience like the level of fraud to which we have been exposed.

      Like

      1. Rob Slane over at The Blogmire twigs the document might not be genuine even if it had been written by someone for whom English is a second or third language: he noticed that “out patients” (note the space) had been used twice whereas people working within the NHS would have used “outpatients”. Although as some of his commenters point out, spellcheck could have over-ridden the original word used and one should never assume these days that even highly educated people with postgraduate qualifications take care with spelling and grammar or edit their letters before hitting the “enter” button.

        Incidentally the conclusion to the letter looks generic and vague, almost as if it came straight off a template used for writing letters on different issues.

        Like

        1. I agree. It looks as if it were specifically formulated to mix believable details with outrageous claims, and the added careful construction of an alibi for why the writer cannot be identified, so as to sandbag those who spread it and expose them as fools to be pitied in their craziness. Just incidentally wrecking any credibility any doubters might have built up.

          Like

  47. BMPD: Проблемы с программой газовой турбины большой мощности ГТД-110М/ Problems with the GTD-110 high-capacity turbine program
    https://bmpd.livejournal.com/4085804.html

    Как сообщает газета «Коммерсантъ» в материале Полины Смертиной и Татьяны Дятел «Продажа большой мощности. «Ростех» будет производить уникальную турбину без партнеров» , «Интер РАО» и «Роснано» планируют продать «Ростеху» свои доли в консорциуме по производству единственной российской газовой турбины большой мощности (ГТД-110М). «Интер РАО» оценивает стоимость своей доли в 4,5 млрд руб., «Роснано» — в 4 млрд руб. У «Интер РАО» есть собственный проект по локализации турбины с GE, а «Ростеху» теперь придется искать якорного заказчика, что ставит будущее ГТД-110М под вопрос, считают аналитики….

    ####

    Why so pessimistic? Independence isn’t free.

    We’ve written about this before, a) that GE (https://www.ge.com/ru/) is still operating in Russia (Kaluga service center for example – localization of GE grid products via Elektroaparat) despite the loud sanctions as well as a whole host of other US megacorps – sic claims of sanctions being much tougher than they really are; b) Russia’s efforts to idigenize production of key technologies and tools such as gas turbines for the energy extraction business, power plants etc.

    As one of the commenters points out, Russia already has PowerMachines GTE-65 & 170 turbines (the latter still a little over half the output of GTD-110M) the output of the : http://www.power-m.ru/en/customers/thermal-power/gas-turbines/

    Like

  48. Seems like Carroll of the Independent has problems with English syntax, either that or his sub-editor is semi-literate:

    Ivan Safronov: Russia charges former military journalist with treason
    For some, the charges are a warning to journalists to stop investigating sensitive subjects, Oliver Carroll reports

    Russia has formally charged a space official and former military journalist with treason, opening the door to a possible 20 years in prison.

    Ivan Safronov, 30, was arrested in central Moscow six days ago, bundled into a van and whisked to Lefortovo, a high-security prison favoured by intelligence services in the east of the city.

    Mr Safronov was considered one of the finest military reporters of his generation, and a longtime member of the Kremlin reporter pool, before starting work for as a spokesperson for Roscosmos, Russia’s space agency, in May.

    I shan’t copy and paste the rest of Carroll’s piece: it’s the usual “some believe” and “ he may have been” stuff, but here’s a teaser for those who wish to log into the Independent “Premium” article:

    Another explanation for Mr Safronov’s prosecution focuses on interclan rivalries within the Russian system. Some have interpreted it as a move against Dmitry Rogozin, the head of Roscosmos. Intriguingly, Mr Rogozin refused to criticise his employee, praising instead his “true professionalism and personal integrity”. Mr Safronov had no access to state secrets, he added.

    Others believe geopolitics – especially the rapidly deteriorating relations with Prague following the expulsion of diplomats – may have played a role.

    Whatever the reality, the formal treason charge raises the stakes in strained relations between the Kremlin and the country’s press corps.

    Yeah, right Carroll — whatever the reality is, you don’t bloody know it.

    https://www.independent.co.uk/independentpremium/world/ivan-safronov-journalist-russia-treason-moscow-a9616661.html

    Like

    1. Bla bla, ‘some say’ while ‘others believe’ allows you to posit the full spectrum of possibility without ever having to quote anyone or supply any references.

      I suppose there are some who will swallow the notion that Putin just wakes up some days and decides to burn a journalist for no particular reason other than he hasn’t done it in a while, but I feel pretty confident they must have something fairly solid on Safronov to charge him with treason. That’s a pretty serious charge anywhere, Russia being no exception, and so far as I have seen Russia gives you the benefit of the doubt if you just ran your mouth a little and didn’t realize who you were talking to – you’d still be in trouble, but treason is customarily reserved for deliberate and conscious attempts to cause harm to national security. Palling around with foreign intelligence services is usually a pretty reliable way to attract the attention of your own. If they have been watching Safronov for some time, it’s fairly likely they leaked some specific information (or disinformation) which was carefully compartmented so that it would be easier to nail down who passed it on. Knowing as we do that the west only supports Russians who are worthless shits, if the west rushes to their defense they are probably guilty of what they are accused of. Lots of people go to prison in Russia without the west taking any interest whatsoever.

      Like

    2. They’ve edited out the sloppy English that was in the subheading of Carroll’s article, by the way, since I posted the above.

      Like

  49. Dances with Bears: RUTTE’S RUT — DUTCH PRIME MINISTER LOSES CONFIDENCE IN MH17 TRIAL, FILES CLAIM TO EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS DESPITE COURT DECISION DELAYING ALL UKRAINE-RUSSIA CASES
    http://johnhelmer.net/ruttes-rut-dutch-prime-minister-loses-confidence-in-mh17-trial-files-claim-to-european-court-of-human-rights-despite-court-decision-delaying-all-ukraine-russia-cases/

    …“This isn’t just parallel litigation, which the ECHR has already refused to allow,” commented a London legal expert. “It’s a vote of no confidence in the Dutch prosecutors to secure convictions in the murder case they are trying to make.” …

    …Rutte and his foreign minister, Stephanus Blok, made their move on July 10 with press releases and tweets; there has been no release of the legal papers. The ECHR has yet to record their lawsuit…
    ####

    Well we’re not surprised! Rutte seems quite adept at autof/kery.

    Like

  50. Politico.eu: EU’s new green label for fertilizer is set to benefit Russia
    https://www.politico.eu/article/eu-new-green-label-fertilizer-benefits-russia-cadmium-phosphate/

    …That scientific debate soon turned into a geopolitical one, however. EU farmers are overwhelmingly dependent on North and West Africa for phosphate where, because of the natural conditions, there is usually a cadmium level far higher than 20mg/kg. At the same time, phosphate coming from Russia has far lower natural levels of the metal.

    Southern European countries feared that switching phosphate supplies away from Africa to Russia could severely undermine volatile North African economies and trigger social problems…

    …One of the countries that has strongly opposed the new labeling rules is Poland — a country that historically wants to avoid commercial dependence on Russia but also has its own national fertilizer business and has invested in a Senegalese phosphate mine…
    ####

    Plenty more at the link.

    We support the environment as long as it benefits our trade partners and is poitically balanced in our favor.

    This looks like the european industry is waving the ‘Russia Bad’ flag because it cannot counter the technical aspects and more environmental policies coming out of the EU.

    They are also arguing in favor of less transparency and less information for farmers which is suspect because their fear is that low cadmium fertilizer (from Russia/wherever) may get tax-breaks to promote its use.

    Rather than figure out a way to adapt and help their partners, their first reaction is to throw poo at the walls.

    Like

    1. The Poles are amusing – as soon as you mention anything is Russian, they set up a yammering and wailing out of all proportion to the matter. How can anyone take a nation seriously when it has this absurd national bias and buttons that are just begging to be pushed? Hush, Poland – the adults are talking.

      Also, hilarious to see European motherly concern for poor North Africa and how its economy might be damaged by switching purchasing loyalty away from it, from the same den of numpties that levied economic sanctions on Russia with the stated aim of wrecking its economy because the United States told them to. I won’t hold my breath waiting for independent European policies, regardless how annoyed it professes to be at American bullying, because deep down the EU is a battered wife that keeps coming back to its hair-trigger-temper husband.

      The EU often presents matters such as this as if Russia is begging to sell its fertilizer to the EU, and it is for the EU to sneeringly turn it down, at its pleasure. Russia has such a burgeoning agricultural industry now itself that I daresay it can use the fertilizer domestically and, as Victoria Nuland once famously said, fuck the EU.

      Like

  51. Russia Observer: RUSSIANS DON’T WANT TO BE EUROPEANS
    https://patrickarmstrong.ca/2020/07/13/russians-dont-want-to-be-europeans/

    On July 13, 2020 By Patrick Armstrong

    Pravda lied to us about the USSR, but it told the truth about the West.

    – Contemporary Russian joke

    For fifty years, secretly and openly, we wanted to live like you, but not any longer.

    Margarita Simonyan, editor-in-chief of RT

    First published Strategic Culture Foundation
    ####

    A lot more at the link.

    I can’t really think of much to add. Maybe the word ‘disappointment.’ It initially sounds (and feels) rather passive and benign, but as we have all experienced at some point in our personal lives at the point where reality crashes in dreams and sends them down in flames. It’s that hollow, sick feeling that starts in the pit of your stomach and works its way up to join your brain in trying to cope with the shock. Then it becomes a weight you carry around until you are ready to cast it off with a f/k it! and move on.

    Like

  52. Putin makes it easier to obtain Russian passport. Moscow tries new approach to tackle demographic challenges

    https://www.rt.com/russia/494715-russian-citizenship-quick-way/

    Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a long-awaited law streamlining the process for foreigners to obtain Russian citizenship.

    Foreign citizens who have a Russian parent, are married to a Russian, or have a child with a Russian citizen, can now quickly obtain a passport themselves. The acquisition of Russian nationality has also been streamlined for foreigners who reside permanently in the country.

    In April, the Russian parliament passed a law allowing foreigners to become Russian citizens without giving up existing passports. Along with the simplified process, Moscow hopes that the updated process for obtaining citizenship will help attract millions of new Russians.

    Time to bite the bullet, I think.

    It’s the decision that I need not forfeit my British passport is the one that has made me decide to apply for citizenship, albeit I have the full rights of a Russian citizen already, apart from the right to participate in political activities. But my children all have two passports so I want two as well!!!

    And there’s another thing that annoys me about RT, by the way — at the very top: who’s this “Putin”?

    The man has a full name and is head of state. Why ape the Western arsewipe media with “Putin-Does-This” and “Putin-Does-That” headlines?

    Disrespectful, to say the least.

    Like

    1. “Putin” is now likely the among the best known brands on earth. The name, in some graphical style, could be copyrighted and licensed. A line of Putin sunglasses, watches, camouflage apparel, sniper rifles, wine, etc. would do very well in much of the world.

      Trump as well as most western politicians are likely envious of the Putin brand. Amazingly, the MSM created this brand for free. In their effort to cast Putin as a macho dictator with expensive tastes, they have, instead, created a style that dovetailed with Putin’s coolness and class. I am already the proud owner of a Putin shirt and coffee mug.

      Like

        1. After having agreed to buy, I remember downing a bottle of that stuff in 2004 with the old bloke, off whom my wife and I bought the dacha where I am now resident.

          Nice drop of stuff.

          Like

          1. Mrs. Exile had a couple of snorters too, as did the former owner’s wife, who was a Ukrainian. I still use one of her old watering cans, which is painted blue and yellow.

            Like

    1. Thanks for the link. Putin was doing surprisingly well in US opinion polls on world leaders; at least before Russiagate.

      Like

  53. Fat bully boy speaks for Bully Boy state:

    “Today the Department of State is updating the public guidance for CAATSA authorities to include Nord Stream 2 and the second line of TurkStream 2. This action puts investments or other activities that are related to these Russian energy export pipelines at risk of US sanctions. It’s a clear warning to companies aiding and abetting Russia’s malign influence projects and will not be tolerated. Get out now or risk the consequences”.

    Pompeo speaking at a press conference today.

    CAATSA — Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act

    So Russia and Turkey are “adversaries” of the USA?

    In what way?

    Do these states wish to wage war against the USA?

    Is it adversarial to United States interest to compete economically with the hegemon?

    Like

    1. Who cares? Really, is Pompeo still scary? If he has a functioning brain, he should realize that all these blatant efforts to reserve markets for America by sanctioning all its competitors out of the picture is having the opposite effect, and frightening customers away from becoming dependent on American products which might be withheld on a whim when America wants political concessions. ‘Will not be tolerated’ – what a pompous ass. Sanction away. The consequence is well-known to be seizure of assets held in the United States or an inability to do business in the United States. That will frighten some into submission – like the UK, which was threatened with the cessation of intelligence-sharing with the USA (sure you can spare it?) if it did not drop Huawei from its 5G networks. But others will take prudent steps to limit their exposure to such threats, in the certain knowledge that if they work, they will encourage the USA to use the technique again.

      Like

  54. Deutsche Welle:

    The never ending search for Reds under the bed:

    From Russia with love? UK government sits on hot-button report
    Europe
    15/07/2020 | Rob Mudge

    The “Russia Report” sounds like a title straight out of a James Bond movie. With a plot to match, it has the potential to wreak further damage on an already beleaguered prime minister and his government.

    https://p.dw.com/p/3fLRj

    Like

    1. ….says the talking chancre known as James Nixey, director of the Russia and Eurasia Programme at Chatham House. Really, it’s tiresome; it’s always the same people with their same tired doom-and-gloom warnings.

      Like

    2. Whoopty-doo; another bullshit report full of ‘most likelies’ and ‘some sources says’, and sweeping conclusions – with no evidence – which pander to Britain’s gnawing Russophobia.

      Like

  55. The ingrate! She should have been thankful for her stay in a US correctional facility!

    https://www.rt.com/russia/494829-burina-jail-time-memoir/

    A guard pushed me into a corridor with a small metal staircase and we started descending. From there, I could hear the dreadful sounds of people pounding on metal, shouting in anguish – all sorts of inhuman moaning and howling.

    “Shut up, all of you!” barked the officer into the semi-darkness of that metal hell.

    We walked down the corridor surrounded by cells beyond count, men and women were clinging to the metal netting of the doors. They were begging for water, toilet paper – or at least for someone to tell them what time it was. Male prisoners were raising hell after they noticed me, which put an amused grin on the face of my guard.

    He threw me into a cell next to one with a man. The wall between us had no windows so I couldn’t see my ‘neighbor’, but he certainly liked to tune in to any sound I made. He got so stimulated hearing me moving around next door and choking on my tears that he pleasured himself loudly all night long – and I had to listen.

    Like

      1. She looks pretty good; perhaps just a glimpse was enough.

        Why in hell are prisoners treated like dog shit? Where is the upside?

        Like

  56. The chief Washington agent for a “regime change” in Russia has been summoned for an interview at the Russian equivalent of the FBI for shooting off his big bullshitting gob once again on one of his videos:

    Алексея Навального вызвали на допрос по уголовному делу о клевете
    Следствие подозревает его в распространении заведомо ложных сведений о ветеране войны
    Артем Гирш, 14 июля 2020

    Alexey Navalny summoned for interrogation in a criminal libel case The investigation suspects him of spreading deliberately false information about a war veteran

    Alexei Navalny has been summoned for questioning by the Investigative Committee (IC) in a libel case. Navalny has announced this on his Instagram page. A criminal case against the politician became known in mid-June. The investigation suspects him of disseminating deliberately false information discrediting a person’s honour and dignity (part 2 of article 128.1 of the Criminal Code).

    On June 2, RT published a video in which Russian public figures and artists read the preamble to the country’s Constitution. Amongst them was a participant in the Great Patriotic War, 93-year-old Ignat Artemenko. He expressed his opinion on the proposed changes to the Basic Law.

    On June 2, Navalny copied this video and posted it on social networks, accompanied by the comment:

    “Oh, here they are, my darlings. It has to be said that so far the team of corrupt lackeys looks rather weak. Look at them: this is the shame of the country. People without conscience. Traitors”.

    [«О, вот они, голубчики. Надо признать, что пока команда продажных холуев выглядит слабовато. Посмотрите на них: это позор страны. Люди без совести. Предатели» wrote Navalny on Twitter.

    Голубчик literally means “little pigeon” or “dove”, but is often used as a term of endearment.

    So who the hell was he calling “my darlings”? His kiddie army? — ME]

    Investigators believe that the comment contains false information, discrediting the honour and dignity of a veteran, and the politician, therefore, wanted to spread false information.

    In other words, Navalny shot his gob off without thinking, thereby categorizing a 93-year-old veteran of the Great Patriotic War 1941-1945 as a shameful traitor having no conscience.

    source: Vedomosti

    https://yandex.ru/turbo/s/vedomosti.ru/politics/articles/2020/07/14/834548-alekseya-navalnogo-vizvali-na-dopros?promo=navbar&utm_referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fzen.yandex.com

    Navalny is a “politician” according to that rag.

    Like

    1. I suppose it is fair to call someone a politician if he seems to live well but has no visible means of support. I agree “My Darlings” is hardly a way to address mature, decision-making supporters. But Navalny’s shtick has ever been to appear ‘cute’ and precocious.

      Like

      1. Maybe he was referring to those speaking about the referendum when he said “little pigeons/doves/darlings” as in: “Oh, here they are, the little darlings!” albeit one of the “little darlings” was a 93-year-old GPW vet?

        Like

        1. It’s the absence of articles in Russian that is the problem.

          «О, вот они, голубчики»

          can mean:

          “Oh, here they are, darlings”

          or

          “Oh, here they are, the darlings”.

          Like

  57. Further to the above:

    Navalny faces a fine of up to 1 million rubles, or the amount of salary or other income for a period up to a year, or compulsory work for up to 240 hours. He is now on probation following a sentence that the Simonovsky court passed in 2014 in the case of embezzlement of Yves Rocher funds. Then he was given 3.5 years probation and five years probation. In August 2017, the court extended the probationary period for one year – until December 30, 2020.

    But when are they finally going to send the foreign agent down — preferably in a “colony” under a “strict regime”, or “gulag” as they like to say in the West?

    Like

    1. Dealing harshly with him would provide Navalny with the very thing he is after: the veneer of being oppressed for his “political views”. Best just to extend his period of probation for another couple of years; as he ages, so mature his current teen fans and the gap between him and younger kids becomes wider. Good luck remaining relevant in the future, Daddy-o.

      (Apologies. Couldn’t resist the last bit)

      Like

      1. Navalny’s use-by date must be coming quite close though or he’ll end up looking like Creepy Uncle Joe Biden. That won’t be a good look for him.

        Like

  58. UK Claims Russia Used Reddit to Meddle in 2019 Vote But Has No Proof of ‘Broad Spectrum Campaign’

    UK Foreign Secretary:

    “It is almost certain that Russian actors sought to interfere in the 2019 General Election through online amplification of illicitly acquired and leaked Government documents,” Raab said, referring to leaked documents on a controversial planned US-UK free trade deal whose existence was revealed during the race.

    Almost certain?

    Gosh!!!!

    https://sputniknews.com/uk/202007161079902636-london-says-has-no-evidence-of-broad-spectrum-russian-campaign-against-britains-elections/

    Like

    1. It’s that famous British legal phrase almost certain that really seals the deal and has been the clincher in many High Court cases. A bit like almost pregnant.

      From the al-Beeb s’Allah article* on it:
      …”part of a campaign that has been reported as originating from Russia”…
      ####

      ‘that has been reported.’ By whom? It is yet again the famous circlejerk practiced by those who do not want to back up any claims with actual evidence. The leaker leaks and the first paper reports. Other papers/media outlets report that report and the leaker (usually government) refers back to reports in the media, that the leak should be reported… because it has passed the journalistic rigour test so must be worth investigating, officially.

      I guess we’ll have to wait for actual report but so far it looks like it follows the usual western hybrid warfare pattern.

      * https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-53433523

      Like

      1. It never ends:

        al-Beeb s’Allah: Coronavirus: Russian spies target Covid-19 vaccine research
        https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-53429506

        Russian spies are targeting organisations trying to develop a coronavirus vaccine in the UK, US and Canada, security services have warned.

        The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) said the hackers “almost certainly” operated as “part of Russian intelligence services”….
        ####

        There’s that phrase again, ‘almost certain(ly).’

        Coz Russia wot don’t have scientists or decent doctors needs to steal everything from da west. It’s not like there are not mulitple vaccine trials in Russia either.

        This looks to me like another distraction story which can be put out at any time that is politically expedient, say ahead of a report that the government itself has blocked. By coming out with this ‘story’ it is showing the UK government taking active control of the narrative which will no doubt lead to doing something.

        Like

        1. The Russian attempt to hack vaccine work is described as “despicable” by someone whom the BBC quotes.

          I don’t know who, said it though; can’t find out from the BBC article. I’m not bothered either.

          ‘Despicable’ Russian attempt to hack vaccine work

          Try as I might to find the link to that quotation, I cannot find out who said it. Probably Johnson. Sounds like the huffing and puffing style of a Westminster blowhard.

          Like

          1. Just spotted this:

            SkyNudes: Is Downing Street trying to draw the sting out of the Russia report with election interference admission?
            https://news.sky.com/story/is-downing-street-trying-to-draw-the-sting-out-of-the-russia-report-with-election-interference-admission-12029668

            Why has Downing Street chosen today to admit what it’s known for some time: that Russia did try to interfere in British democracy?

            …Exactly a month ago, I reported the findings of an independent investigation that revealed, in great detail, the activity of a Russian cyber group called Secondary Infektion.

            That group carried out a disinformation campaign over six years, in seven different languages and on more than 300 different platforms including Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and Reddit. It was thought to be linked to the Russian government….
            #####

            This is hilarious. We know the BBC is afraid of its own shadow when it comes to reporting, let along investigative reporting (sic the s/tshow known as ‘Panorama’) news, but here we have the Defense and Security correspondent not questioning that Russia interfered (coz everyone ‘knows’ it is true), but picking up on the same thing as I did, timing. He also blows his own horn for his earlier report on ‘Russian interference’ which is supported in the past tense with ‘was thought to be linked…

            The ‘independent’ report that he references throws up a familir name, Ben Nimmo, Director of US based analytics firm Graphika, formerly ‘Senior Fellow for Information Defense at the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab (DFRLab).’ It looks like yet another organization that has pivoted to take advantage of the ‘Fake News’ analysis business, or more plainly, willingly co-opted in to the west’s hybrid warfare program/fake intelligence laundromat. Just look at their ‘In the Media Page.’

            There are also foundations, groups/whatever that have a rather sleepy existance until the last few years when suddenly they have a significant change in personnel, mission statement and upgraded website that is all very media savvy and available for expert comment on PPNN broadcasts. I posted about one of them (???) a while back that followed this pattern of being repurposed as another propaganda channel. So who’s paying for all of this?

            Like

            1. Here we go:

              https://wikispooks.com/wiki/Ben_Nimmo

              …A 2019 RT article commenting on the tendency of commercially-controlled media to cite Nimmo without declaring his allegiances “is journalistic malpractice”.[9]

              On 2 December 2019, ‘Philip Cross’ cited “Ben Nimmo, of the social media analysis company Graphika” as a reliable source in the “Russian and Syrian disinformation campaign” subsection of the Wikipedia page posted following the death of James Le Mesurier…

              …The Integrity Inititive Leak revealed Ben Nimmo as a UK deep state propagandist. Danielle Ryan wrote for RT that “Nimmo is a former spokesperson for NATO”.[9] He previously consulted for the covert Integrity Initiative propaganda farm, which was funded by the UK Foreign Office and dedicated to spawning conflict with Russia..
              ####

              More at the link.

              A pig wearing lipstick? Or a pig getting paid by a cosmetics shop? The Sky correspondent doesn’t have a problem with Nimmo or Graphika despite the facts. But as we all know, there is absolutly no cost to journalists or anyone else when they are on the same page as official British foreign policy. Even the opposite.

              Like

              1. British FM Dominic Raab is ‘almost certain’ Russians interfered in election, but you’ll have to take his word for it

                https://www.rt.com/uk/494960-dominic-raab-russia-interference/

                Blaming Russia for domestic scandals is a well-thumbed chapter of the liberal establishment’s playbook. However, politicians like Raab are often backed up by an array of anti-Russia think tanks and media outlets. When the trade deal documents were first leaked, the Atlantic Council – a think-tank funded by NATO – got together with Graphika – an analytics firm funded by the US Department of Defense – to declare the leak a Russian operation.

                The Atlantic Council and Graphika concluded that the leak “resembles” another Russian influence operation, and therefore was the work of the Kremlin.

                Like

                1. I should also add that attacking Russia now neatly pivots the UK press (and MPs) away from Huawei/5G. The UK faces much less ($$$) risk spitting on Russia than China. No doubt that UK Gov is hoping that going submarine may help them avoid serious punishement by Beijing for their American toady butt licking. They’re not fooling anyone.

                  My guess is that Beijing may take its time to come up with a punishment that is big enough to cost the UK signficantly but certainly not maximalist, i.e. show that they could have done much more and apply a ‘have you learned your lesson?’ It’s all about the balance. Add to that UK gov finances are weak, there’s been a revolt against BloJo and also punishing the sinophobic part of the Conservative party, but also a message to Labor and others… It should be interesting.

                  Like

                2. I’m a little bit sorry for Huawei, really; I just read an article in the Times-Colonist this morning which reported Huawei was still hopeful that it would be allowed to build at least part of Canada’s 5G network, because the possibility was still under review. Examination of three facts – one, the very suggestion is an open invitation for Trump to call up Troodledoo and bully him until he cries; two, Troodledoo has a spine of purest Mascarpone, and three, the UK already folded and stipulated to buy whatever network Washington orders it to build under threats of being cut off from intelligence-sharing – virtually guarantees Canada will crumble in even less time and announce the gates are closed for Huawei, come on in, Nokia.

                  I personally don’t care – 5G means diddly to me, and I don’t plan to buy a driverless car or a phone that will give me a virtual-reality sexual experience. I daresay there will be applications where I will have to use 5G, but it won’t be by choice and I am content with the present level of technology. If Canadians want to pay a third more money for a network half as capable, it’s no skin off my nose, and the useless government might as well waste my tax dollars on that as rainbow crosswalks and free opiates for Drug Addicts At Risk.

                  https://www.timescolonist.com/news/local/people-at-risk-in-cowichan-valley-to-get-free-opioids-1.24171205

                  Like

        2. And once again, as observer have pointed out here more than once, COVID-19 is a public-health emergency that shook the world. It did incredible economic damage, and all the health professionals of the world should be working together, publishing their research as they go, to arrive at the precious vaccine which is the only thing that will save the human race from extinction.

          Unfortunately, there are a few countries which can see things only in terms of profit, and the medical researchers of those countries are racing to get a working vaccine so they can patent it and extract billions, if not trillions from the global economy by dangling the prospect of salvation in front of the sick and dying, so that they will beseech their governments to pay anything, anything if only their lives can be saved.

          But somehow it is the people who are trying to cyber-snoop the details of secret medical research who are despicable. Hmmmm…

          Like

    2. Where have you been? Proof is an outmoded concept, is no longer required, and the UK is proudly leading the way. It’s easy; you simply make a forceful and definitive accusation about another country or person, candidly admit that you have no evidence, and then invite readers to believe it based on the history of this country/person which you have established through previous claims which also are unsupported by evidence but are presumed to be true. Want to try one?

      “British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab is almost certainly a practicing pedophile. While no conclusive evidence of this has been produced, leaked documents, reports from high-ranking officials who cannot be named but are close to the British Prime Minister and the established high per-capita incidence of unnatural sexual perversion among British parliamentarians suggest it is very likely.”

      See? Easy and fun. When it is exposed as untrue time and again it naturally hurts your credibility with non-gullible audiences, but enough people will believe it every time to make spreading yellow gossip worthwhile, and your enemy is kept constantly busy refuting charges.

      As of May 2020, UK users made up 8.1% of Reddit’s daily traffic – marginally higher than Canada despite having almost double the population of Canada. Reddit users are overwhelmingly American, at almost 50%. And Dominic Raab is as full of horseshit as Beyonce’s shorts are full of booty.

      https://www.statista.com/statistics/325144/reddit-global-active-user-distribution/

      In fact, the percentage of horseshit generated by the British government, against that generated by the equine community of the British Isles, exceeds the latter’s output by a factor of more than 100 to 1.

      Like

      1. However, genuine horseshit is very useful manure for spuds and roses etc, , whereas the horseshit that comes out Raab’s and his fellow parliamentarians’ gobs just makes the air foetid.

        Like

  59. It is almost certain that all British government ministers are arseholes.

    Just my opinion, mind you.

    But there is no broad spectrum of arseholery in the UK.

    Like

  60. Beware! Russia needs your vaccine! UK, US & Canada say hackers targeting Covid-19 research are ‘almost certainly’ Kremlin-linked
    https://www.rt.com/uk/494962-uk-us-canada-russian-hackers-covid-vaccine/

    Security officials claim that the group is “almost certainly” part of the Russian intelligence services, and its target was – “highly likely” – Covid-19 vaccine research or research into the virus itself.

    Does not the term “laughing stock” ever enter these morons’ heads?

    Like

  61. ‘Europe’s energy policy made in Europe, not Washington’: Defiant Germany again hits back at US targeting Nord Stream 2 pipeline

    https://www.rt.com/news/494961-germany-us-targeting-nord-stream2/

    By announcing measures that will also sanction European companies, the US government is disregarding the right and sovereignty of Europe to decide where and how we source our energy. European energy policy is done in Europe and not in Washington. We firmly reject extraterritorial sanctions.

    Heiko Maas, German Foreign Minister, 16th July 2020

    However, Maas went on to say:

    The Federal Government has held numerous talks with the US in recent weeks against the background of a possible tightening of PEESA. We made our position very clear. We consider it wrong to impose sanctions amongst partners. What we need is a common transatlantic stance on sanctions against Russia. Yesterday’s US decision will make this effort even more difficult.

    So still willing to play along with sanctions against Russia just so long as there is a consensus of opinion?

    Really?

    Or just toke suck-holing to Uncle Sam?

    Außenminister Maas sagte anlässlich US-Ankündigung, CAATSA-Durchführungsbestimmungen verschärfen zu wollen – Auswärtiges Amt

    https://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/de/newsroom/maas-caatsa/2368692

    What the hell is PEESA?

    Like

      1. Thanks for clearing that up, Mark!

        I searched and searched German dictionaries in vain for the meaning of PEESA and now, as Patient Observer has pointed out,. it simply turns out to be yet another US Congress piece of shit legislation.

        What has the US legislature to do with European energy supplies and the security thereof?

        Dumb question, I know.

        Like

        1. A dumb question to which you know the answer very well, as you have framed it here along with the rest of us – protecting Europe’s energy supply by denying them cheap Russian gas and making them buy more-expensive American molecules of freedom instead. But only ‘coz it’s for their own good. The Russians, if allowed to get their nose under the edge of the tent, would only use their energy clout to press Europe for concessions on trade and for political meddling. America would never do that; it’s dead trustworthy.

          Well, the UK has shown itself to be completely incapable of getting out from under the grimy thumb of Washington, and responds to direction like a jerky marionette. It will cost billions more up front to build a 5G network using a European contractor rather than Huawei, and billions each year after that to slowly but surely rip out all the Huawei components already installed. But BoJo has pledged to do it, and Uncle Sam will be watching to make sure there’s no backsliding. It remains to be seen if the rest of Europe will snap to attention and salute when the band plays “Hail To The Chief”.

          The Germans are showing signs of having discovered a fragment of bone in their spinal area, but if France and others fold and won’t back them up, they’ll scuff the ground with their toe for awhile, then will ultimately fold, too.

          Like

    1. Shhhh ME! Don’t confuse British journalists with facts, especially the wrong sort of facts. This is more than three centuries of ingrained hate that leads them to a (frequent) cathartic public burning. If they drown, they are proved innocent. If they don’t, then they are guilty!

      Like

  62. RT:

    UK press harass Jeremy Corbyn outside his home, accuse him of helping Russians ‘attack our election’

    https://www.rt.com/uk/494981-jeremy-corbyn-russian-documents/

    “Do you have anything to say about Russian disruption?” one reporter asked Corbyn as he dismounted his trademark bicycle in his front yard.

    The tone quickly became more accusatory. “Are you complicit?” the reporter asked. “Did you help those who attacked our election?”

    “Would you do it again, Mr Corbyn?… Do you regret your actions, Mr Corbyn?”

    Corbyn offered only one word in response – “Goodbye” – before he closed his front door on the cameras….

    The media scrum outside Corbyn’s house was condemned by left-wing pundits and commentators. “This isn’t journalism,” wrote the Guardian’s Owen Jones. “It’s someone heckling an opposition politician with government attack lines.”

    Media SCUM would be more appropriate.

    Owen Jones is a rare bird in the Guardian nest of Atlanticists.

    Like

  63. Via RT:

    https://www.cebm.net/covid-19/why-no-one-can-ever-recover-from-covid-19-in-england-a-statistical-anomaly/

    By this PHE [Public Health Englad] definition, no one with COVID in England is allowed to ever recover from their illness. A patient who has tested positive, but successfully treated and discharged from hospital, will still be counted as a COVID death even if they had a heart attack or were run over by a bus three months later.

    The PHE did introduce a new way to skew the data to the preferred conclusion. Hats off for that. The US engages in similar data manipulation to grossly overstate COVID deaths as discussed before,

    Nothing new I guess other than another confirmation that the COVID crisis is manufactured by our ruling elites for numerous interlocking reasons.

    Like

  64. See a SJW ad on the Comedy Channel showing a young white boy (8-9 years old) placing a LGBQT? rainbow flag in his window. Seriously? Images of young children are now being used to promote sexuality including rather damaged versions (yes, that’s right).

    Liked by 1 person

  65. Apparently Pootie Poot has ordered snap military drills in the Caspian and Black Sea areas that will involve aroudn 150,000 troops. Is this part of Russia’s response to the current wave of UK government sponsored Russophobia that also is willing being amplified by the tame British press? If it is, it shows words met with actions.

    Like

  66. Dutch Foreign Ministry Says Probe Started Into Why Ukraine Did Not Close Skies Over MH17 Crash Site
    Updated 18:20, 17th July

    https://sputniknews.com/world/202007171079916084-dutch-foreign-ministry-says-probe-into-why-ukraine-did-not-close-skies-over-mh17-crash-site/

    The Flight Safety Foundation has begun an investigation into why Kiev did not close the airspace over the warzone in eastern Ukraine where MH17 was destroyed in July 2014, a Dutch foreign ministry spokesperson has confirmed to Sputnik.

    Like

    1. Honour among thieves – he says he didn’t mean to steal, it was a mistake, and they conduct an investigation on the down-low so the press doesn’t get wind of it, or is warned that it should not. The same cooperative that solemnly preaches western morality, and screeches ‘Russia!!!’ as soon as anything happens before it can be attributed to someone else. I think I understand Russia a little better every time something like this happens – it’s a honour to be hated by such a crooked and wretched entity, and approbation by the same would be an implication that one has as little a sense of values.

      Like

    2. http://syriapropagandamedia.org/james-le-mesurier-a-reconstruction-of-his-business-activities-and-covert-role

      The above link exhaustively details how the fraud was perpetrated and how the White Helmets were funded. The most disturbing facts were the murder of captive Syrian civilians including children for use as props for Western media. There is little doubt in my mind that these murders were viewed as standard business practice with the only concern being related to complication from being caught. Of course, being “caught” was a minor inconvenience that the MSM could easily manage into oblivion.

      Mr. Le Mesurier may have been killed as the White Helmets no longer had value and dead men rarely talk:

      https://www.dailysabah.com/investigations/2019/12/10/british-spy-le-mesurier-was-likely-running-away-from-someone-before-his-death

      His wife was not very helpful in the investigation having changed her story several times.

      Winberg said she looked for her husband inside the house and saw his lifeless body when she looked out of the window. Police are investigating now how she was able to wake up about half an hour after she took a sleeping pill and why she stacked a large amount of money inside the house into bags immediately after Le Mesurier’s body was found.
      Among questions that are needed to be addressed in the case is why Le Mesurier, who intended to sleep, did not change his clothes, did not even loosen his belt or remove his watch. It is also not known why he did not choose a definitive suicidal action to kill himself, instead of jumping from a relatively low height and why he chose to walk along the roof, passing around the air conditioning devices on the roof, instead of jumping to the street directly from the section of the roof closer to his window.

      Mr. Le Mesurier was previously active in Kosovo.

      Like

    1. So, the IMF tried coercion to maintain the COVID hysteria. I wonder if other sorts of “inducements” were offered Russia.

      Like

  67. Британский суд назвал сроки решения по долгу Украины перед Россией
    Газета.RU, 17 июля 2020

    British court has announced the timing of a decision on the Ukraine debt to Russia
    Gazeta.RU, 17 July 2020

    The UK Supreme Court will make its decision concerning the Kiev debt decide to Moscow no earlier than autumn. RIA Novosti reports.

    The court said that in the coming months there will be no decision in this case.

    The final resolution of the dispute between Russia and the Ukraine was expected this summer, but its finding was postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

    Ukraine sovereign Eurobonds for $ 3 billion were placed at the end of 2013 in favour of Russia with a coupon rate of 5% per annum. In 2015, Kiev defaulted on its debt.

    According to the head of the Russian Ministry of Finance Anton Siluanov, the Kiev’ debt to Moscow, taking into account fines for delay, has already reached $ 4.5 billion.

    https://yandex.ru/turbo/s/gazeta.ru/business/news/2020/07/17/n_14684053.shtml?promo=navbar&utm_referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fzen.yandex.com%2F%3Ffrom%3Dspecial&utm_source=YandexZenSpecial

    What’s the betting the Yukietards will be let off the hook?

    Like

    1. I don’t see how they can be – there was a flurry of effort a couple of years back to get it declared ‘odious debt’ so that Kuh-yiv could get out of paying it, but it came to naught.

      It’s like you and the taxman – when he owes you, he pays when he gets around to it. When you owe him, pay right now or he’ll be levying interest. When Russia ‘owes’ Ukraine, it is expected to pay up immediately. The Ukies are capering and grinning. When they owe Russia, they put on their ‘gib moneys’ faces and expect some other country to step in and save them.

      Like

  68. Love this comment below to this offGuardian article:

    The “Russian vaccine hack” is a 3-for-1 deal on propaganda – OffGuardian

    https://off-guardian.org/2020/07/16/the-russian-vaccine-hack-is-a-3-for-1-deal-on-propaganda/

    Tutisicecream
    Jul 17, 2020 8:44 AM
    Yikes! The Ruskies are hacking again! Let’s not forget that the British Superb plan for Brexit was born out of Vova’s cunning mind.

    From the people who brought you polonium in a teacup, Basha’s bouncing Barrel Bombs, Salisbury Plain Pizza and the Covid- Horrid. Now want you to know Vova is back!

    Last weekend they launched their counter move with Luke Harding interviewing himself about his new book

    https://www.theguardian.com/membership/2020/jul/12/covering-russia-and-the-west-putins-goal-is-to-make-the-truth-unknowable

    The decline of the Guardian is legend and one of their supposed ace gumshoes, Luke Harding, who has been the chief protagonist of the “Stupid Russia/ Cunning Russia” Guardian editorial line gets this time to interview himself. Displacement in psychology, as I’m sure Luke must have learnt from his handlers, is where we see in others that which we can’t or fail to recognise in ourselves.

    Those CIFers long in the tooth will recall how he moderated his own BTL comments on Russia until it all got too much for him. At which point they were cancelled. Now it seems it’s all gone to a new level as Harding apparently interviews himself about his new book! In the Guardian’s new post apocalyptic normal, where self censorship plus self promotion is the norm for their self congratulatory hacks and hackets Harding never fails to amaze at this genre.

    As expected the reader is taken into the usual spy vs spy world of allusion and narrative plus fake intrigue and facts, so much the hallmark of Harding’s work. None of which stands up to serious analysis as we recall:

    https://youtu.be/9Ikf1uZli4g

    where we have Arron Maté, a real journalist doing a superb job of exposing Harding as the crude propagandist he truly is.

    This interview is about Harding’s last book “Collusion: Secret Meetings, Dirty Money, and How Russia Helped Donald Trump Win the 2016 US election”.

    Now we have a new cash cow where clearly with Harding’s latest shtick the Guardian can’t be arsed having him interviewed for another piece of self promotion by one of their hacks. So they go for the off the shelf fake interview where they allow Harding to talk to himself.

    Clearly as they point out Harding is working for home, with more than one foot in the grave it must be time to furlough him.

    You couldn’t make this stuff up Luke could you?

    Like

    1. Great, now that Tintin interviews himself about his own books, it must be a matter of time before he reviews them as well, gives himself five out of five stars each time and then starts bragging about how it is only a matter of time before he is offered mucho mega-moolah from a Hollywood movie studio to work his latest book into a script.

      Here is Lucky Lukey on writing non-fiction (non-non-fiction?) over at his own Fraudian interview:

      “… In my books and reporting I try to tell stories that are true and exciting. Two have been made into movies, one is a play. Non-fiction feels like the right genre for now. Our era is so darkly twisting, why make things up? …”

      No, he surely is not making stuff up!

      Like

      1. Well, he certainly is darkly twisted. It certainly says a lot for literary appetite in the west that he is able to sell anything at all. People who believe his James-Bond caricatures deserve whatever happens.

        Like

        1. Also the way Harding talks about writing non-fiction, as if it is no different from writing fantasy or space operas in which some kid on a desert planet discovers he is related to a princess and their dad turns out to be an evil enforcer for an intergalactic empire. Facts and accuracy count for nothing unless they can be shaped into something that arouses emotion, and which people will buy and consume. The end result being that Harding makes money out of it all.

          Like

          1. Yes, that’s exactly correct and an important point – he speaks of ‘telling a story’, and it is at least as significant that it be exciting and packed with derring-do on the part of the chosen hero – often himself – as that it accurately reflect what happened. Sometimes nothing happened, and the entire construct is completely made up; Harding is a proponent of the ‘composite character’ in which he invents an old pensioner or similar figure of pathos whom he claims represents an aggregate of all the similar types he interviewed.

            Like

    2. I once thought the whole thing was a Big-Pharma scam to grab a shitload of cash. But Big Pharma – I don’t think – would have engineered it to start in China, and it’s not made-up; there is a genuine viral illness, it’s just nowhere near as deadly or severe as they’re making out. But if it is a real spontaneous viral illness. I don’t see Big Pharma swinging into action so smoothly and with such international unity on an unplanned event, an unexpected opportunity. It’s too well-organized. And I don’t see Big Pharma destroying the US economy to seize short-term profits, then the country goes broke – that’s the Democrats, trying to ensure a Trump purge. So I’m left unsure of what this is – just that it’s not what they say it is.

      Like

    1. Long RT article:

      Disaffected Navalny acolyte dishes the dirt on the “Fund for Fighting Corruption“:

      «Многие недовольны, но боятся это высказывать»: как в команде Навального обманывают собственных соратников
      RT на русском, 17 июля 2020

      Many are unhappy, but afraid to say it”: how Navalny’s team deceives it’s own associates
      RT in Russian, 17 July 2020

      Russian]https://yandex.ru/turbo/s/russian.rt.com/russia/article/764905-navalnyi-volkov-shtaby-aktivisty-shtrafy?promo=navbar&utm_referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fzen.yandex.com&utm_source=stick_link_button

      Like

    2. Except for a country that pays its bills on time and has a half-trillion in the bank being rated ‘B’ in the first place. While a country that owes more than its GDP and is printing money like comic books is rated AA+.

      Like

      1. These rating agencies know who butters their bread. Besides, it just more of the same manipulated ratings used to protect/promote fake asset values that drives the Great Money Machine.

        Like

  69. BTW Ukrainian banknotes and coin are printed and minted in Russia, aren’t they? I should think so: if the Yukies actually made their own currency, you can imagine there’d be only one use for it, and that’s in the human equivalent of bird and hamster cages or cats’ litter pans.

    Like

  70. Freedom of navigation in the Black Sea for the Imperial US Navy?

    America’s Black Sea Doom & Gloom
    Stalker Zone
    July 18 2020

    https://www.stalkerzone.org/americas-black-sea-doom-gloom/

    The deployment of these [Russian] submarines to the Mediterranean is a serious concern for NATO leadership. Speaking at the International Institute for Strategic Studies on June 25, Adm. James Foggo, Commander of U.S. Naval Forces in Europe and Africa, described the Eastern Mediterranean as ‘one of the most kinetic areas in the world.’ He said, ‘the Russians are deploying quiet, modern, diesel submarines capable of launching the Kalibr cruise missile.’

    No shit, Sherlock!

    And the USN delivers candy to Odessa?

    In the 19th century, the European powers — the Hapsburg Austro-Hungarian Empire, France and Great Britain (the Bismarckian German Empire only kicked off in 1871 and one of its first international political was to act as a mediator between said powers and the Ottoman Empire, which empires were acting in concert against the expansion of the Russian Empire — consistently tried to prevent the Russian Black Sea fleet from gaining access to the Mediterranean Sea.

    Russian expansionism!

    Not that the British, French, Germans and Austro-Hungarian Empires were expansionist, and they all, including Russia, had their eyes on the decrepit, collapsing Ottoman Empire.

    Yes, by jingo:

    We don’t want to fight, but by jingo if we do,
    We’ve got the ships, we’ve got the men, we’ve got the money too!
    We’ve fought the Russian bear before, and while we’re Britons true,
    The Russians will never have Constantinople!

    Like

  71. Her Britannic Majesty’s Royal Navy may have had the men back in the 1870’s, when that little ditty was sung in British music halls during the Russian-Turkish War 1877-1878, when the Russian army was about to take Constantinople, but it certainly has no seamen now:

    British Royal Navy Bans Terms ‘Seaman’ & ‘Manpower’ Over Fears of ‘Sexism’

    https://sputniknews.com/uk/202007181079922560-navy-bans-terms-sexism/

    The actual words of the chorus of that jingoistic song:

    We don’t want to fight but by Jingo if we do
    We’ve got the ships, we’ve got the men, we’ve got the money too
    We’ve fought the Bear before, and while we’re Britons true
    The Russians shall not have Constantinople.

    Not “will not have” — a sure prediction, but “shall not have” — a firm intention that the Russians not take Constantinople!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I recently heard the Canadian Navy is headed the same way; the ranks of Able/Leading/Master Seaman will be re-designated Able/Leading/Master Sailor. Wouldn’t want to get ‘man’ in there, which has become a foul word nobody is allowed to use. It has resulted in some awkward constructions, although most are simply a shift to ‘police officer’, ‘firefighter’ and so forth. I see the aim – it’s so that when you are reading a resume or a career-impacting document such as a Personnel Evaluation Report (PER) on which promotion depends, you can’t tell if you are reading about a man or a woman. Since all the supervisors and decision-makers will eventually be women anyway, that might just work in men’s favour. I suppose the pendulum must swing all the way to the opposite extreme, where women are the breadwinners out battling the world on the job every day, while the men sit at home and mind the kiddies and get dinner in the oven in time for the little woman’s return. This will be the result of the ‘drive for equality’, and there will be much snickering about the ‘whining’ of ‘poor men’, because it’s only discrimination when it’s happening to women.

      The re-engineering is widespread; I noticed an ad in the paper the other day, for some consultancy or other. Once the ad would have featured mostly male office types, well-dressed, well-groomed, and a token woman on the sidelines with a tray of coffee or something like that. And that wasn’t fair, I think everyone will agree. Then it trended to where there had to be an equal number of women and men represented. Then diversity demanded that some of these women and men be black, aboriginal, Asian, and so forth, to suggest a world of equal opportunity – nothing wrong with that, either, if it is assumed to be a suggestion of where we should go rather than a representation of current reality.

      But it’s also important what the figures in the ad are doing. If you have all your operative roles assigned to one gender, then that’s messaging, too, innit? In this ad, a woman is seated at a laptop, obviously doing something brilliant that we can’t see because we are looking at the back of the lid. Three other women (various racial subsets) are standing behind her with their arms folded. Two men are on the sidelines, one older, one younger, both white, registering expressions of amazement – what lady do? Both are wide-eyed, and one actually has his hands in the air as if he has just seen a Hobbit disappear. Twice as many women as men, and all office-killer types, while the half-as-many men appear to have been left behind somewhere around the invention of the wheel.

      And of course there will be those – many, probably – who will say men are just getting what they deserve, after repressing women for so long. And I personally will view that in much the same context as I do Black Lives Matter. I’m ready to stipulate to the wrongness of racism starting with slavery – in which I had no part or input, and yes, I’m well aware this is one of the ‘trigger responses’ unfailingly attributed to the defenders of ‘white privilege’ – and evolving to the widespread criminalization in America of Black male youth. But I have to draw a line where I am supposed to kneel and acknowledge I got where I am today through white privilege and I must atone by giving it all up and going back to the Great Reassignment.

      You see, my problem is that it was all done under the guise of ‘equality’. Most people who are fair, if they have achieved the place they hold in society through their own labour, complete with chance-taking which sometimes resulted in advancement and sometimes in a costly and time-consuming mistake, earnestly support all achieving the same standard through the same methods, regardless of their colour or gender, even if that results in stiff competition for themselves. That’s why, I guess, there is nothing implicitly unfair in the term ‘firefighter’ when the administration is reviewing candidates – even a rule that all candidates must refer to themselves as ‘Joe’ so you can’t tell their gender from their name, suit yourselves. They will find out soon enough the day that the candidates have to run up three flights of stairs carrying a roll of canvas hose if the ‘Joe’ in the resume is a 120-pound girl in average shape. Or a transgender Zir with pink hair, of the same displacement and in similar physical condition.

      I’m reminded again of my Senior Leadership Course, during which our group was addressed by a representative of the Chief of the Defense Staff in a speech which extolled the progressive work the defense department was doing to recruit and integrate more women. After the wind-up, he invited questions and comments. A sergeant named Lou Schoofs – known to his intimates as ‘Spooky Lou – stood and pointed out, “Sir, the Carl Gustaf (an anti-tank recoilless rifle the army used to use) weighs 30 pounds. If you can carry it in the field, welcome. If you can’t, I don’t need you in my squad”. Which I thought was a succinct and eminently-fair assessment; look critically and fairly at the job requirements, and ensure the applicant can do them all to at least a minimum standard which actually represents doing the requirement under actual envisioned conditions.

      But that’s not happening. There is intense political pressure to augment the ranks of traditionally male-dominated fields with women who want to continue to look and act like women, rather than becoming a steroid man that they would have to be to make up the physical difference in upper-body strength. That’s not to say no women can be, say, a firefighter. Some women who are young and in exceptionally good physical shape can do it, and they should get the same chance. But I can personally vouch for the different fitness standards applied by the Canadian Forces to ensure women who were not as physically strong could pass the initial and annual fitness test required of all serving members; the push-ups required of women were fewer, and they could do what we called ‘girlie push-ups’, in which your knees are allowed to be on the floor supporting you, so your arms are lifting only your upper body. Fewer sit-ups. Lower figures on the tensionometer for the grip test. That persisted for years.

      That story, at least, has a happy and fair ending. The test was completely re-engineered, and everybody has to achieve the same standard. Here it is.

      https://www.cafconnection.ca/National/Programs-Services/For-Military-Personnel/Military-Fitness/FORCE-Program/FORCE-Evaluation.aspx

      I personally think the hardest objective for older people is the 20-meter rushes, because you have to throw yourself to the floor and leap up again or you will not be able to complete it in time. The hardest for those who are smaller and perhaps not that strong is the sandbag drag. The Physical Education staff who administer the test therefore make sure that the demonstrator of the sandbag drag (they show you how to perform each objective so you will have no excuse for not doing it properly) is their smallest or skinniest girl, to show that it can be done.

      Anyway, I guess my major complaint is that the gender shift in power is coming under the guise of equality. It’s not. It’s an enforced transfer of roles overseen by activists who are determined to obliterate any trace of gender, while stealthily padding the supervisory and administrative role of women through advertising.

      Like

      1. Well said.

        From discussions with someone familiar with the practical issues, I am led to conclude that many beneficiaries of relaxed standards of recruitment are play acting; when situations become (or just threaten to become) “tasty” their usual keenness to promote themselves into position for attention suddenly deserts them. And then they are content to let their big guy colleagues actually get to grips with the tasks that ALL are supposedly capable of doing. And for which they are all paid on the same scale.

        Like

      2. Want to see perfectly correct workplace images? Look no further:

        https://www.paycor.com/

        Yes, this is an engineered shift in societal values. What purpose? Well, my guess is to secure a complaint, atomized, population too self-absorbed to notice that they are getting fucked over. Throw in a large dose of homosexuality, transgenderism and sexual oddities (being nice here) and the result is a population interested only in sex. Not fairness, not family, not religion, just sex.

        Put men in roles that they are biologically and historically not suited (as a general rule) and do the same for women. Whadda’y get? We can start with incompetence, anxiety and depression. Best get that sex change operation – life will be easier in the New World – all female born or otherwise.

        And another thing, the only privilege that I am aware of is Wealth Privilege. No one dare talk about that. A wealthy black American has no lack of privilege AFAIK. It’s the money, but nooo, don’t bring that up. Its only about skin color and sexual orientation. Why ANYONE can have money so no discrimination there! Right. Meanwhile wealth inequity is zooming through the ozone layer. Now, that is what I call discrimination.

        Male privilege? Does it apply to blacks or just to whites? And…..

        Like

  72. Craig Murray: Calling all NUJ Members
    https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2020/07/calling-all-nuj-members/

    When a country’s main union for journalists polices the Overton window, you are in a society well on the way to authoritarianism. For four months I have been excluded from the National Union of Journalists and, despite repeated requests, the NUJ even refuses to tell me the nature of the objection.

    140 days ago, on 5 March 2020, I applied online to renew my lapsed membership of the National Union of Journalists. For two months I heard nothing, then after inquiring I was told objections had been received to my membership. After two months more pressing I was told the objection is that I am not a “fit and proper person” to join the trade union. I still have no idea on what grounds this is alleged, or who alleges it. …
    ####

    Plenty more at the link.

    Anything to do with his upcoming trial for ‘Contempt of Court’ over his reporting of the Alex Salmond witch hunt trial that other mainstream scottish papers were far more explicit and direct about?* Delaying or undermining his right to journalist status removes clear protections that he is due under the law and if kept in this state, will not count when he is brought before the judge. Remember Scotland is not England/London. This has the potential for quite some blowback.

    * https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2020/07/i-need-a-craig-murray/

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  73. And Russia does not try to cooperate fully?

    Is Russia even allowed to cooperate?

    The Ukraine is allowed to cooperate, of course, and not only cooperate: the Ukraine is part of the “Joint Investigative Team”!

    The Ukraine even provides “evidence” of Russian culpability!

    What duplicitous twat Raab is!

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    1. And of course, according to the mendacious Raab, the purpose of the “trial” is to deliver “justice for those who died and their loved ones” and certainly not to apportion blame on Russia and the so-called terrorists in eastern Ukraine, whom Russia supports by, amongst other things, having dispatched a Buk ground-to-air anti-aircraft missile launching complex from Russia to the Ukraine, which weaponry was part of the Russian armed forces and manned by Russian servicemen, then ferreted said system out of the Ukraine back to Russia, mission having been accomplished, namely the downing of a civilian airliner that, for some reason or other, had been diverted by Ukraine air-traffic control over a war zone in the Ukraine and on a day when all Ukraine air-traffic radars were, for some inexplicable reason, out of action.

      Raab, to partly quote one of your fellow British cabinet ministers and erstwhile foreign minister: “You should go away and shut up!”

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    1. Bum link, I think.

      This is what the moron tweeted:

      “We won two world wars. Beautiful world wars. That were vicious and horrible. And we won them out of Fort Bragg, we won them out of all of these forts, and now they want to throw those names away” .

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        1. Absent his usual ridiculous grandstanding and his babbling about ‘I love that state’ when he probably does not know what state Fort Bragg is in, I have to broadly agree with him. The current mania for removing statues and renaming points of interest because indigenous people suddenly find them oppressive is the midpoint of a landslide that will have the conquerors ceding control of all the land back to the defeated; in Canada, removal of a statue often coincides with a bulk purchase of native art as an act of contrition.

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  74. Not foreign minister: Gavin “Stupid Boy” Williamson was Minister of Defence when he said that Russia should “go away and shut up”.

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