The Near-Global Collapse of Critical Thinking

Uncle Volodya says, “When an honest man speaks, he says only what he believes to be true; and for the liar, it is correspondingly indispensable that he considers his statements to be false. For the bullshitter, however, all these bets are off: he is neither on the side of the true nor on the side of the false.”

“Every ounce of my cynicism is supported by historical precedent.”

– Glen Cook, Shadow Games

“The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who haven’t got it.”

– George Bernard Shaw

I’m lazy. But vanity constrains me from admitting that, so I call it ‘busy’. However I choose to label it, I haven’t written anything new in a long time. It’s not writer’s block, because I had a couple of topics in mind; if I had to blame it on anything, I’d blame it on the comments section. We don’t really have any rules here, or not many (there are a couple of people who can’t comment, but that’s because they cannot be trusted to not instantly return to old habits as soon as they are allowed), and things routinely drift off-topic to whatever is going on at the time. Current events; yes, that’s the term I was looking for. So when new things are happening, we tend to discuss them in the comments section, instead of my writing a new post dedicated specifically to that issue. It’s the primary cause, I’m afraid, of important comments you would like to be able to locate because they contain hard-to-find sources or just the information you need to settle an argument, because they are not linked by subject. Obviously I prefer the unregulated format, or I wouldn’t use it, but it does have its disadvantages.

Anyway, the silver lining that comes with being late to discuss a particular current event is that you get to talk about the filtered version, after the ferment has settled down and often new facts have presented. So it is with the teapot tempest of Alexei Navalny, vaulted to international fame virtually overnight by becoming the latest victim poisoned by nefarious Soviet-era deadly nerve agents that, in their known application, have a success rate of 16.67%. A funny statistic has emerged from the absurd times we are living in – a viral infection, the ‘novel coronavirus’, more commonly called COVID-19, has the world shivering with terror like frogs in a glass cage with a big snake, even though its Infection Fatality Rate (IFR) compares with the annual influenza bouts we have lived with all our years. Yet an engineered nerve agent reputed to be ten times as deadly as the most toxic poison the west could come up with – one which, I might add, has a known survivor list among the exposed of zero point zero – has never killed the individual it was intended to kill, and managed to incidentally slay one innocent bystander who was also an alcoholic and drug abuser. As John Lennon remarked in “Nobody Told Me”; strange days indeed. Most peculiar, Mama.

I meant to do a post on Navalny – more correctly, my patience with the ridiculous statements made about his latest adventure finally evaporated – after reading this amazingly cheeky tapestry of fabrication; “The Kremlin, predictably, says it didn’t poison Alexey Navalny. So what can the West do?”

I looked it up so as to have an electronic link, so readers could get the full effect. But I initially saw it in the newspaper, the Canadian Globe & Mail (British Columbia edition), in which it was headlined a little differently – “Why nobody has power to make Kremlin come clean on poisoning”. So far as I can make out on initial examination, the body of the article is unchanged. Both pieces – well, the same piece with two different headlines – are by Mark MacKinnon, who is The Globe & Mail‘s senior international correspondent, based in London, UK. He’s quite highly-regarded by his employers, is a seven-time winner of the National Newspaper Awards (for creativity, perhaps, although they don’t say), and the author of…”The New Cold War: Revolutions, Rigged Elections and Pipeline Politics“. Gee, that sounds like it might be about a particular country; let’s have a dekko at the writeup.

“When the Berlin Wall fell in 1989 and the Soviet Union collapsed two years later, liberal democracy was supposed to fill the void left by Soviet Communism. Poland and Czechoslovakia made the best of reforms, but the citizens of the “Evil Empire” itself saw little of the promised freedom, and more of the same old despots and corruption. Recently, a second wave of reforms — Serbia in 2000, Georgia in 2003, and Ukraine in 2004, as well as Kyrgyzstan’s regime change in 2005 — have proven almost as monumental as those in Berlin and Moscow. The people of the Eastern bloc, aided in no small part by Western money and advice, are again rising up and demanding an end to autocracy. And once more, the Kremlin is battling the White House every step of the way. Mark MacKinnon spent these years working in Moscow, and his view of the story and access to those involved remains unparalleled. With The New Cold War, he reveals the links between these democratic revolutions — and George Soros, the idealistic American billionaire behind them — in a major investigation into the forces that are quietly reshaping the post-Soviet world.”

Because western-imposed liberal democracy has been such a star-speckled success in so many places – Libya. Iraq, Venezuela…anyway, the above author information is offered to sort of set the tone for the type of worldview you might expect. And to introduce a premonition, before you even read his material, that Mark MacKinnon just might be exactly the sort of guy who would smirk with revulsion at the mention of Putin’s name, and have a big ol’ man-crush on Alexei Navalny. I’m not implying anything untoward, here; Mr. MacKinnon is a realist. An ideologue, yes, but a realist.

And as with others of his ideological type, I marvel that he apparently sees some sort of inspirational leader in Navalny. I’m cautiously optimistic, of course, because until international busybodies have a vote in Russian elections – as they have in other places, except it’s called ‘regime change’ – there is about as much chance of Alexei Navalny being elected to a position of influence by a broad Russian vote as there is of you dying from coronavirus. Which you have about a 99.6% chance of surviving, if you should get it. Anyway, I’m optimistic, as I have suggested many times before, because for so long as western liberal meddlers choose to put all their eggs in the Navalny basket, for that long leaders elected by Russian votes will rule more or less unmolested. You could as likely persuade Russians to dress up as Obama on Hallowe’en (well, first you would have to persuade them to celebrate it, which The Moscow Times almost reduced itself to tears trying to bring about) as you could to persuade them to vote for Navalny. And this latest escapade, which – perversely – has put him in the western hall of political fame has probably actually cost him votes in Russia, which is remarkable considering he already was about as popular as vomit air-freshener.

Mr. MacKinnon starts off his excoriation of the Kremlin, and his apparent poignant appeal for someone to rid us of this troublesome autocratic dictator, with some lighthearted snark about how predictable it is that the Kremlin would deny poisoning Alexei Navalny. Uh huh; of course they would. Real men would immediately own up – yeah, I poisoned that motherfucker. Teach him to talk smack about me. What are you gonna do about it? You might be repulsed by the implicit evil there, but at least you could respect Putin for telling the truth.

Let’s look at it a little differently. Suppose I said “Mark MacKinnon is a wife-beater”. For the record, I don’t even know if he is married. Or straight. But that’s beside the point, which is that to the best of my knowledge, it is not true. Doesn’t matter. Predictably, he would deny it. Now suppose I repeated that allegation regularly for twenty years. Might I be able to say, wearily, “the only predictable thing about MacKinnon’s latest wife-beating incident is his denial of having had anything to do with it”? I think I could. But denying it is exactly the predictable occurrence if he had not done it.

How about we take a quick recap of some of the things Russia has been accused of just in the last few years. A state-sponsored doping program for its Olympic athletes, in which they were fed performance-enhancing cocktails that powered them all the way to the podium. The special investigatory body put together to look into it, headed by Canadian Richard McLaren, claimed there was so much proof that it was embarrassing. When we got down to where the rubber meets the road, said investigatory body could not prove fuck-all, their star witness fell apart in testimony, and 28 Russian athletes had their Olympic bans reversed while 7 medals were reinstated. The Nation recapped it thus;

“How the Times could provide such minimal coverage of these important April 2018 reasoned CAS decisions on matters on which the Times had extensively reported is inexplicable. By allowing the Russian athletes, for the very first time, to confront their accusers with cross-examination, the CAS was in a position to make startling revelations about Rodchenkov and McLaren. Rodchenkov, for example, admitted that he never personally witnessed any accused Russian athlete committing doping violations themselves, including taking the illegal drug cocktail, giving a clean urine sample out of competition, tampering with a urine sample, or transmitting information to co-conspirators about the coding on the drug sample after it had been given.

Furthermore, several of Rodchenkov’s explanations of events were simply not believable. For example, Rodchenkov had stated that the swapping of urine samples occurred after 1 am, but his own diary entries confirmed his bedtime by midnight each night, with two or three exceptions. When confronted with this contradiction, he made the incredible claim that he had lied to his diary.”

Were the Russians guilty? Apparently not. What is the appropriate response when you are accused of something but did not do it? Denial? Damn straight. But there’s another key takeaway in there – the testimonial hearing in which the athletes and their representatives dismantled Rodchenkov’s self-important blathering was the very first time they had been able to confront their accuser. Uncorroborated denials are easy to brush off, which would seem to summarize Mr, MacKinnon’s style.

One more. Russia was accused by the United States – whose allies quickly picked it up as one more example of the reprehensible Russian conduct that just makes you shake your head in helpless wonder – of paying the Taliban in Afghanistan a bounty to kill American soldiers.

For starters, it would not be difficult to imagine the US Army as being so loathed in Afghanistan – considering American military operations have devastated the country for 19 years now – that jihadis in Afghanistan would be happy to kill them for free; might even pay for the opportunity, if they had any money. Some might say well, if not for the democracy-promotion efforts of America, the Taliban might still be in charge! Yeah, ha, ha; funny story about that. President Trump announced this past Spring that it was time to turn over law and order in Afghanistan to…the Taliban.

He said US troops had been killing terrorists in Afghanistan “by the thousands” and now it was “time for someone else to do that work and it will be the Taliban and it could be surrounding countries”.

Personally, I think it’s a hell of a cheek of the Taliban to accept money from the Russians to kill Americans who just cut them such an exceptional deal – you would think they would be so happy that they would dance into the streets with their arms full of flowers and candy. Oh, wait – different democracy-promotion operation.

And I’d just like to point out to anyone who is forming the opinion that I am a sarcastic prick that the main piece of ‘evidence’ on which the Americans based the assessment that a mysterious Russian GRU (military intelligence) unit was paying bounties to the Taliban to kill American soldiers was the discovery of ‘a large amount of American cash from a raid on a Taliban outpost’.

Jesus, God of our fathers – please tell me they had more than that. Quite apart from the patent rudeness of carrying out a raid on the ‘outposts’ of your new Afghanistan caretakers, the US dollar is the most common and widely-circulated currency in the world. Instead of leaping to the conclusion that it had to have come from the Russians – whose currency was still the ruble the last time I looked – why was the King Arthur Flour Company not immediately a suspect? After all, sourdough baking has lunged to a quivering peak during ‘COVID times’ (as I heard one imbecile describe the  peyote cartoon we are all living); King Arthur offers a very popular sourdough starter, and the Afghans are great bakers. Maybe they were saving up to buy a couple of truckloads, give the people something to raise their morale! Get it? ‘Raise’ their morale? It’s not funny if I have to explain it. But it makes as much sense as assuming the Russians want to accelerate the killing of American forces just as they are arranging terms for a pullout, which would surely make them stay longer.

Well, let’s get back to Mr. MacKinnon’s story, before we wander too far off the path. But I hope that addresses the issue of the Kremlin denying western accusations. Deny is what you do when you really had nothing to do with whatever it was you are being accused of, instead of ‘manning up’ and saying “Yeah; it was me”. Gaddafi did that, in the hope of making peace with the Americans, and look where it got him. And America is not put off by lack of evidence – obviously.

So we’re back where Russia might be believed today, if the past 20 years had never happened. At that, I would suggest he’s casting too wide a net; the USA and Russia were getting along fairly well between the time the Harvard Boys were invited in to remake Russia in 1991, and the presidential candidacy of American Idiot and Venture Capitalist Mitt Romney, during which candidacy he identified Russia – for no apparent reason than that it sometimes caused headaches for the United States at the UN – as the USA’s Number One Geopolitical Enemy. That was in 2012, which was only 8 years ago, and in fact the great majority of western accusations against Russia have taken place since 2014 and the US State Department’s successful second run at taking over Ukraine to Make It Safe For Democracy. It’s pretty hard to restore your ‘credibility’ when the international press whose language is foreign to your own continues to insist it has mountains of evidence that you are lying, but cannot reveal any of it because of national security. On the occasions it does publish some of its substantiation, the alternate-narrative element of the public is so scathing in its scorn – as happened when the British tried going public with their Skripals Case – that the storytellers are sent back to the drawing-board to make up something different. Otherwise they might have to explain why a poison so virulent that Sergei Skripal’s house had to have its roof removed because Novichok was daubed on the front doorknob, but the same poison failed to kill not only the Skripals times two, Detective Nick Bailey, Charles Rowley and now Navalny. The Skripals came into direct contact with it while the family’s roof did not, unless they had a sixteen-foot diameter doorknob, and Navalny actually drank it. So the story goes. I don’t think ‘absurd’ is too strong a word.

Russia, we hear, denied that its soldiers were in Crimea before Russia ‘annexed’ the territory in 2014. Where? Russia was permitted by international agreement to base sufficient forces at Sevastopol to easily take the region away from a Ukrainian Army so useless that initial attempts to stop the unraveling were made by civilian militias. Oh, and my favourite; Russia denied shooting down MH-17 “even after the anti-aircraft system involved in the attack was detected leaving Russia then returning short one missile.” Is that a fact? Well, no; it’s not. That accusation was made by Bellingcat, the brain trust of former underwear-company accountant Eliot Higgins, and there was never any ‘detection’ of any such anti-air system “leaving Russia and returning short one missile”. Bellingcat offered a potential route such a system might have taken to and from a launch site, in an animation, which was itself never substantiated by evidence – a route which took the system many vulnerable kilometers out of its way on the alleged return – and the photograph that made the cover of Paris Match is so obviously a Photoshop mosaic. And the inclusion of Ukraine, who was automatically a suspect considering the incident occurred in Ukrainian airspace, in the investigation to establish Russian guilt, together with its unsupervised access to the collected evidence, renders the whole issue farcical.

“And on it went. The official RIA Novosti newswire quoted chemical-weapon experts who said that had Novichok been used, Mr. Navalny would already be dead. It’s a line Russian state media have used before, after Mr. Skripal and his daughter survived the 2018 attack, but one they dropped after 44-year-old Dawn Sturgess died after coming into contact with an unused vial of Novichok in a Salisbury park three months later.”

Is that what happened, Mr. seven-times-recipient-of-the-National-Newspapers-Award? Dawn Sturgess was given the perfume bottle as a gift from her boyfriend, Charles Rowley, at his home in Amesbury, 8 miles from Salisbury. She allegedly ‘immediately sprayed some on her wrists and rubbed them together’ according to Rowley.

“Charlie Rowley claimed his partner, mother-of-three Dawn Sturgess, fell ill within 15 minutes of spraying the bottle, which he said he had found, on to her wrists at his home in Amesbury, Wiltshire.”

Couldn’t ask for much more of an eyewitness than Rowley – he’s kind of at the center of the story, albeit he is a heroin addict himself, according to a previously-cited reference. He claims that within 15 minutes she was stricken, claimed to have a headache, and disappeared to the bathroom, where he found her fully clothed and lying in the bath, ‘in a very ill state’.

Hand Mouse Cursor Clicks The Bullshit Button. Pointer Push Press.. Royalty Free Cliparts, Vectors, And Stock Illustration. Image 96927935.That’s funny; according to Sky News, she was not so ill that she could not admit herself to hospital, which she is alleged to have done at 11 AM on Saturday, after being poisoned with a nerve agent ten times as deadly as VX, exposure to which nobody has survived.

“During their trip to Salisbury on Friday, the pair visited a number of shops during the afternoon and evening with their friend Sam Hobson.

The following day, Ms Sturgess admitted herself to hospital at 11am. Mr Hobson, 29, and Mr Rowley went on to visit a number of places in the town centre.”

Mr. Rowley, the poor man who ‘lost so much’, was so affected by his beloved’s condition that he and his friend Sam Hobson went on – after she admitted herself to hospital – to see the sights of downtown Amesbury. We know they were in Amesbury because one of the locations they visited, Boots the Chemist in Amesbury, was soon thereafter closed by police as part of the investigation.

Perhaps they were looking around for the hospital. Because there isn’t one in Amesbury. The closest is in Salisbury, 8 miles away, and the next-closest is in Andover, even further. So the poor woman, having passed out in a very ill state after spraying a deadly nerve agent directly on her skin, somehow roused herself for the 8-mile drive to Salisbury and then proceeded with the admittance process, while the cretins in Emergency let the two who had dropped her off head back to Amesbury for some window-shopping. The alternative is that they were not even with her, and she drove herself. Say, do you know what one of the symptoms of nerve-agent poisoning is? Blurred vision due to excessive watering of the eyes.

The ‘only predictable part of the drama’, to borrow from Mr. MacKinnon’s introduction, is that Ms. Sturgess did not “die after coming into contact with an unused vial of Novichok in a Salisbury park”, or anything close to it. Sloppy, or loyal? Which is it?

Anyway, back to Navalny; for some reason I seem to be incapable of staying on his dramatic story. So, ‘predictably’, there are some pretty big holes in his story. For one, he was supposedly – initially – exposed to a near-unimaginably-toxic nerve agent which he drank in tea at the airport, prior to departure. Then the same Novichok which laid out Dawn Sturgess within 15 minutes did not affect Lyosha until 40 minutes after the plane took off. Team Navalny and its backers have attempted to explain that away by suggesting this was a specially-engineered ‘slow-acting’ Novichok.

What use would a slow-acting military-grade nerve agent be? Want to give the enemy a fair chance before killing him stone dead? And while we’re on the subject: note to the GRU, or the FSB or whoever – stop engineering Novichok to be slow-acting just to attack Navalny, and impervious to rain (like no other nerve agent ever, the immediate countermeasure is to flush the area with water and take atropine) to attack Sergei Skripal, and WORK ON MAKING IT KILL PEOPLE!!! Jesus Christ, do I have to think of everything myself?

So, obviously, the tea narrative was not going to work. Enter The Water Bottle Of Death. Allegedly, the GRU or FSB, or maybe Putin himself poisoned a water bottle and left it in Navalny’s hotel room in Tomsk, where there were always people in and out and they had no clue whether it would kill Navalny or someone else. Maybe that’s why they engineered it to be slow-acting and non-fatal. Then, after Navalny checked out and headed to the airport, where he hung around for at least long enough to drink a cup of tea before his flight was called, and then after takeoff and 40 minutes into the flight, suddenly, Lyosha is poisoned!! He begins to roar and scream with pain, and members of his entourage immediately go to get a lawyer to accompany them, and go to Navalny’s hotel, and – wonder of wonders – not only has it not been cleaned, it is still completely undisturbed!! Fucking hotel service in Tomsk, unbelievable, I hope they don’t pay them much.

So, what do we deduce from that? Not only did Navalny show no ill effects after being poisoned with a military-grade nerve agent for approximately an hour – rolling back the moment of his poisoning to his drinking tea in the airport before his flight was called – he survived it for significantly longer than that, because in the end the tea was just tea. He did not take the Water Bottle Of Death with him, instead leaving it in his hotel room, so he must have drunk from it before he left the room. How long was that? How far was his hotel from the airport? Well, let’s see – he stayed at the Xander (four stars, not too shabby), which is 24 km from the Bogashevo Airport. I feel safe in suggesting Navalny survived direct contact with a military-grade nerve agent for at least two hours before he even showed any symptoms, and perhaps for considerably longer than that. Which sounds quite a bit like the Skripal saga, in which they were poisoned by their front doorknob – the approximately sixteen-foot-diameter one which reaches to the roof, it’s a two-level home – but still managed to drive to the town center, feed the duckies in the park and then go on to a restaurant and finish dinner, before throwing a poison wobbler on a nearby bench outside. Where they happened to be discovered by the senior medical officer in the British Army. Quite by chance, she was just passing by.

So contact with the American VX agent means near-instantaneous death, but contact with a substance ten times more toxic means nothing at all for at least an hour and perhaps twice that, then an unpleasant bout of coma, then presto! 90% recovery of mental faculties – admittedly, not a high threshold for Navalny – and maybe 50% recovery of physical capability, with a cautiously-optimistic prognosis of a full recovery. Lawdy Jeebus; a miracle!

Back to MacKinnon’s story for a moment. “His transfer to Berlin’s specialist Charité hospital was delayed for 24 crucial hours while Russian officials floated wildly different versions of what might have happened to him.” Actually, they did no such thing; the doctors in Omsk are acknowledged to have probably saved his life, there actually was something wrong with him. They stabilized him for transport rather than immediately saying “Here you go, Krauts, it’s your show”, so his transfer was delayed for a not-at-all-excessive 24 hours, and it was the Germans who ‘floated wildly different versions of what might have happened to him’, initially claiming he had been poisoned with a cholinesterase inhibitor, and only changing the story to Novichok after the Water Bottle Of Death was delivered to Berlin by Navalny’s wife. And unless Lyosha had a water bottle secretly hidden on his person, they did not establish nerve-agent poisoning from his samples, either, unless the German doctors are incredibly incompetent. It would be pretty hard for a skilled medical technician to confuse a cholinesterase inhibitor with a nerve agent, and the doctors in Berlin initially had no clue what was wrong with him. They became confident after the water bottle was delivered.

Navalny’s aide is shown delivering his tea to him at the airport. No gloves, no Personal Protective Equipment whatsoever. But Lyosha was already crawling with Novicok – he must have been poisoned in his room. Was the hotel closed? The airport? Was the plane impounded and destroyed? Why is Navalny’s aide still alive, and not just waking up from a coma?

And now I am afraid I have some questions about Chain of Custody of important evidence in a criminal investigation. Because according to the timeline of the ‘Navalny poisoning’, Team Navalny back on the ground in Tomsk did not announce the discovery of a poisoned water bottle from his hotel room until September 17th – two days after the fact. Right up until then, Navalny’s ‘press agent’ stuck with the story that he was poisoned with tea at the airport. What kind of four-star hotel does not clean the room of a guest who has checked out for two days afterward? Alternatively, what kind of political team allows a narrative to persist that their leader was poisoned with tea at the airport for two whole days before they clue the world in that they have discovered important evidence to the contrary? So far as we know, nobody had analyzed the alleged traces on the bottle while it was still in Russia – the Germans allegedly established it was Novichok. Or else Team Navalny already knew, but didn’t bother to tell anyone, just assuming everyone who handled it would take deadly-nerve-agent precautions. Who else might have been inside that hotel room in two days? According to the NewsTimes, an Instagram post by Navalny claimed members of his ‘team’ tossed his hotel room looking for evidence only an hour after he collapsed, which is pretty impressive considering they had no real reason at that point to suspect a crime had been committed; he probably had just reached the hospital in Omsk by that point, if even that, and there had been no announcement as to his condition, But they waited until September 17th to announce they had discovered a bottle contaminated with Novichok? nearly a month later? Excuse me – some state-sponsored nerve agent – the bottle had not been tested yet.

According to the certifiable inbreeders in the European Parliament, Novichok and its family of poisons can only be made in state-owned military laboratories, and there is no way civilians could have gotten hold of it.

“MEPs have called for sanctions against Russia, saying on September 17, “The poison used, belonging to the ‘Novichok group’, can only be developed in state-owned military laboratories and cannot be acquired by private individuals, which strongly implies that Russian authorities were behind the attack.”

Huh. That’s odd. Because Alistair Hay – a toxicologist at the University of Leeds, a leading expert in the toxic properties of chemical warfare agents and a member of the British government’s advisory group on chemical warfare – assessed that it could be made by “any competent chemist”. I’m pretty sure they’re not all in the military, and obviously they do not need to be Russian. The principal developmental engineer of Novichok, Vil Marzayanov, published a book which contained the formula, and which sells on Amazon for less than 30 bucks. But what does Hay know, right?

“The Kremlin’s latest denials should and will fall flat with Western governments. It was already clear that Mr. Putin’s inner circle had ample reasons to wish Mr. Navalny harm. (The Kremlin’s feelings about the anti-corruption campaigner have long been obvious. Mr. Putin has repeatedly refused to use Mr. Navalny’s name, even when asked direct questions about him. On Thursday, Mr. Peskov continued that practice, referring only to “the Berlin patient.”)

Ha, ha!! Oh, my God. It is clear that the Kremlin has ample reasons to wish Mr. Navalny harm, because they don’t talk about him. If I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes, I wouldn’t have believed it. That’s some award-winning journalism right there.

I think we’re done here; what is supposed to be a straightforward tale of the unrepentant state poisoning of a political opponent is in fact so confusing and contradictory that I cannot make any sense of it. I suspect even closer examination of it is only going to reveal further inconsistencies.

“The notion of carefully wrought bullshit involves, then, a certain inner strain. Thoughtful attention to detail requires discipline and objectivity. It entails accepting standards and limitations that forbid the indulgence of impulse or whim. It is this selflessness that, in connection with bullshit, strikes us as inapposite. But in fact it is not out of the question at all. The realms of advertising and of public relations, and the nowadays closely related realm of politics, are replete with instances of bullshit so unmitigated that they can serve among the most indisputable and classic paradigms of the concept. And in these realms there are exquisitely sophisticated craftsmen who – with the help of advanced and demanding techniques of market research, of public opinion polling, of psychological testing, and so forth – dedicate themselves tirelessly to getting every word and image they produce exactly right.”

Harry G. Frankfurt, from “On Bullshit“.

How many of you would describe the western media as “exquisitely sophisticated craftsmen who dedicate themselves tirelessly to getting every word and image they produce exactly right”? Count me out. They’re not even good at it. Fortunately for them, critical thinking is at an all-time low.

1,428 thoughts on “The Near-Global Collapse of Critical Thinking

  1. In the aftermath of 9/11, I never could have imagined that the US government would ever openly side with the perpetrators, much less that the public at large would be OK with it. And yet that is precisely what happened in Libya and Syria. When Trump showed signs of disengaging from Syria, some of the people protesting were themselves survivors of 9/11 or families of the victims. If they can get away with that, what can’t they do? It seems like the media can claim whatever they want, no matter how ridiculous, and the public will believe them without question. Some of the things I’ve seen in the media look to me like experiments being undertaken to probe the gullibility of the public.

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    1. In the spirit of going off topic …

      I see what you just did there – inferred that 19 Arabs representing al-Qaeda were responsible for ‘911’.

      • On the Morning of 9/11 – The Truth In 5 Minutes – James Corbett

      This is what weakens the sincerity of people like Tulsi Gabbard and retired Colonel, Senator Richard Black despite all the good that they have said and done.

      Exactly – WHY would the US aid and abet in Iraq, Libya and Syria the group that ‘allegedly’ perpetrated the worst act of diabolical terrorism against American citizens in its history … it wouldn’t – unless of course the official narrative was just not true.

      You only have to listen to very clumsy performance by Ehud Barak in the BBC studios on the very day, or Jane Standley declaring the collapse of WT7 23 minutes before it happened (an honest mistake according to official BBC response) or the very fact that WT7 collapsed at all to know that the ‘official narrative’ is … Bullshit.

      • 9/11 Revisited, Uncovered & Exposed – Barrett, Gage and Bollyn

      (particularly Bollyn from 54:20)

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    2. **“Tyranny requires that the truth be silenced, that real history be erased and rewritten, that speech be restricted, and that individual thought be silenced.”**

      *Erasing History and Erasing Truth: Censorship and Destroying Records Is the Cornerstone of Tyrants* by Gary D. Barnett

      https://www.lewrockwell.com/2020/09/gary-d-barnett/erasing-history-and-erasing-truth-censorship-and-destroying-records-is-the-cornerstone-of-tyrants/

      I have not seen it expressed better than in this short article by Gary D Barnett.

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    3. We have always been at war with Eastasia. It is hard to believe that Orwell almost predated television (he died in 1950), and ‘1984’ certainly did.

      American – and, in fact, western in general – manipulation of public perception almost invariably relies on values and the public’s impression of what is ‘the right thing to do’. Consequently, the choice is always a Manichean one; this guy is trampling on democratic values. He’s killing his own people. Peaceful protests are being forcibly dispersed with machine-gun fire. An entire people cries out for freedom. Are we gonna let him get away with it? Who’s with me??? Slightly more subtle is the implication of, “If you’re not with us, you’re against us”. There is no possibility of detachment. Thus it is with the coronavirus crisis now – you and everyone else have a responsibility to public safety. If you don’t do as the government says is necessary for public safety, then you are an enemy of public safety, and deserve the scorn of your fellow man. Come on; who’s with me??

      You simply have to make it clear that everyone must make a choice; there is no such thing as ‘sitting this one out’. Then you frame the choice in such a way that choosing for the majority is easy – do you want to make the world a better place? If you say ‘No’, then obviously you want to make it a worse place.

      Like taking candy from a baby. In Trump’s case, though, he’s on the wrong side of the equation, and rather than he and his administration steering the narrative, others both for him and against him are framing the choice and he is having to react to it. Those who are against him want to destroy and cast him out, and those for him want to use him as a global influence.

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  2. Thank you Mark; I’m glad to have found your blog site.

    I find the format just fine- I learn a heck of a lot from the diversion onto ‘off topic’ topical events.

    I wandered into one of my favourite bookstores a couple of times over the last week (I am in Australia). Really, the only reason for doing so is to check out the classics section (which remains authentic) or to follow up on a special order – there is nothing on the shelves these days, especially the ‘latest/best sellers’, that is worth burning the paper it is printed on. I get most of my books directly from the author’s site or as free pdf downloads from such places as archive-dot-org. I have never, and never would utilise Amazon.

    You will see books glorifying Greta, Jacinda, Hillary, Michael (sic), the Walrus, the latest [‘Rage’] by Woodward or the latest obligatory ‘testimony’ from a 100-year-old ‘survivor’.

    They then have the array of trash talk vilifying, demonising and assassinating anyone with integrity who has something worthwhile to say and who cares about humanity:

    “The Doctor Who Fooled the World: Andrew Wakefield’s War on Vaccines”
    – “Award-winning investigative journalist Brian Deer reveals the shocking truth … blah …”

    But the centrepiece at the moment is

    “The Rodchenkov Affair: How I Brought Down Putin’s/Russia’s Secret Doping Empire” by Grigory Rodchenkov. [Oh dear!!]

    Great lines:

    “exquisitely sophisticated craftsmen who dedicate themselves tirelessly to getting every word and image they produce exactly wrong [sic]”

    “When an honest man speaks, he says only what he believes to be true; and for the liar, it is correspondingly indispensable that he considers his statements to be false.”

    This is what so impresses me – that they can produce so much bullshit that some (?many/most) people actually find credible – but when what is left of the world and humanity is based entirely on exquisitely crafted lies – then what?

    PS. I see that Russia and/or China meddled in the RBG’s respiratory system overnight. One commenter wrote “Weekend at Bernie’s” is FINALLY over.

    PPS. Russia has also denied bombing schools and hospital in Syria. Boris Johnson would know – here he is admitting that the UK openly funds terrorists – he forgot that people would actually realise who and what the ‘White Helmets’ are as he proudly boasts of another £65 million going the way of these “fantastically brave people”.

    … not to mention the despicable practice of ‘double tapping’ by Russia and the [Assad] ’regime’ – rotten bastards!

    featured here …
    https://21stcenturywire.com/2018/07/05/white-helmets-the-eton-mess/

    And not one word in your article on Magnitsky and Browder, you sarcastic prick – you’re slipping!

    Great writing – much appreciated.

    Like

    1. Ha, ha! Thanks, Julius; I thought the post just went on and on as it was, and each avenue seemed to lead into another, so that I despaired of ever finishing it. If I had brought Browder into it, I’d still be writing. But if you are a devotee of Browder and his mendacious machinations, here’s a post from my old blog on ‘that individual’. Get it? I’m showing how much he disturbs me by refusing to mention him by name.

      https://marknesop.wordpress.com/2011/08/21/its-not-what-you-know-its-who-you-know-deconstructing-william-browder/

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Навальный симулирует – разбираем по пунктам

    Navalny is simulating – we go through this point by point

    Navalny came to his senses and immediately started having photos published on Instagram. Indeed, what else is there to to do in hospital? But it would have been better, of course, if he had not do this, because the public has raised many questions.

    Journalist Alexander Sosnovsky has analyzed Navalny’s photos and posts on social networks, coming to a rather simple and logical conclusion — Alexey is simulating. This is hardly surprising, given Navalny and his associate’s love for exaggeration, lies and fraudulent schemes.

    Sosnovsky highlighted several points by which it is quite easy to realize that the blogger is lying about his “terrible” state. There is no tracheostomy mark on Navalny’s neck, which means that he did not have such a serious violation of the respiratory system. And it means that there is no talk of any kind of poisoning with combat poison.

    In the photo, he is walking down stairs — after a few weeks in a coma, muscles can hardly recover so quickly. The knee joints literally “freeze”, and it is simply impossible to use stairs so easily.

    The same applies to sitting in the lotus position, and this is how the blogger is sitting in the earlier photo. Again, this is absolutely impossible after such a severe poisoning, as all Navalny’s hamsters and his family talk about.

    By the way, In the message, Navalny thanks the doctor, but he did not write about his family under any of the photos. But when a person is on the verge of death, relatives are the first ones he thinks of when he comes to his senses. And his daughter had flown from the USA, but not a word about Yulia, Dasha and Zakhara, although usually Navalny now and then shows photos and videos of his family, posing as a loving family man.

    Next, we pay attention to Navalny’s trainers, and they are rather heavy, not of cloth. Such footwear is not worn in an intensive care unit. It is used by patients undergoing normal treatment and who can walk about on the street, but the blogger has not been outside, otherwise his photos would have already appeared on the Web, because there are a lot of paparazzi around. By the way, the fact that he is in the “Charité” has not been in any way confirmed.

    In general, there are a lot of questions about Navalny. It remains only to wait for answers from him, although he probably will not bother to devote time to this, because the blogger usually does not comment on any of his type of fraud.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. stimulating? Maybe Navalny had allegedly been assisted by his apparent drug of choice, cocaine? Or, he was acutally out of a coma a few days earlier (to plan how to spin things) and had access to a rowing machine…

        Like

        1. My point is that we are given a narrative but there really is absolutely nothing but his/team/Charite’s word about any of this. It’s annoying that we have to question everything but even then we often accept much of what is said and look at the most obvious inconsistencies rather than the much more subtle sleights of hand or sideways misdirections. It is non-stop.

          What we can do is if we know the conclusion sic ‘Navalny poisoned’, then the narrative has to (mostly) fit in to that box/framework. So work backwards and see if the public claims fit that narrative, short of deliberate traps to to mop up the conspiracy crowd.

          Like

        2. Yes, I had to laugh when MacKinnon ridiculed the notion that Navalny might have been poisoned by samagon by invoking the image of Navalny – as painted by his ‘press agent’ and his ‘team’ – as a “near teetolaler”. What are they going to say? That he is a lush who drowns kittens? Mark MacKinnon, Stenographer to the Stars, all gossip repeated.

          Like

    1. What is far more likely is that he will consult with his handlers, and together they will come up with a reply stinging in its scorn, revolving around the theme, “Can you believe they are saying this??”, inviting all readers to have a hearty laugh at the squalling of the conspiracy theorists. It’s worked before – no reason to change the formula until it stops working.

      Like

      1. In that photo, Navalny looks as if he is walking through a fire escape area. Would hospitals really allow patients to walk unassisted and unprotected through the fire escape area? Once the door into the fire escape closes, if you’re in the fire escape, you cannot open it again. You’d have to walk all the way down to the exit and out into the open air – fire escapes are designed to get you out of a burning building. Once out, Navalny would be exposed to all kinds of aerosols including air pollutants, let alone the odd coronavirus spike-ball, that could sicken him in his recently recovered state.

        This makes you wonder whether Navalny even set foot into any hospital in Berlin at all, and not just a medical clinic or some place where discharged patients go to recuperate after a hospital stay. (I forget the term used for such places where people receive care after being discharged from hospital.)

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        1. Which I would say support my suposition that Berlin’s Charite hospital has been rather conservative with it is press release (patient confidentialty) that has afforded FC Navalny’s PR team sufficient time to create a nice visual story fit for western consumption, nyam nyam nyam copy copy copy, snore.

          Like

    2. Perhaps the category and grade of Novichok used to poison Navalny are the same as for the Novichok used on Julia Skripal. Recall that during her May 2018 interview with the Reuters reporter at USAF Fairford base in Gloucestershire or wherever, Julis Skripal looked slim and radiant and her skin was in good condition. She was able to walk unassisted to the interview as well. It seems clear to me that that Novichok stuff must actually be some Fountain of Youth elixir, that it puts its victims into temporary Snow White repose and then, without warning, not only awakens them but restores them to a better state of health and physical condition better than what they had before they were poisoned. Next thing you know, Navalny will be training for the marathon in next year’s Olympic Games.

      Like

  4. Блогеры отреагировали на второй после «отравления» пост Навального
    19 сентября 2020

    Bloggers have reacted to Navalny’s second post after the “poisoning”
    19 September 2020

    View this post on Instagram

    Давайте расскажу, как идёт мое восстановление. Это уже ясная дорога, хоть и неблизкая. Все текущие проблемы вроде того, что телефон в моих руках бесполезен, как камень, а налить себе водички превращается в целый аттракцион, – сущая ерунда. Объясню. Совсем недавно я не узнавал людей и не понимал, как разговаривать. Каждое утро ко мне приходил доктор и говорил: Алексей, я принёс доску, давайте придумаем, какое на ней написать слово. Это приводило меня в отчаяние, потому что хоть я уже и понимал в целом, что хочет доктор, но не понимал, где брать слова. В каком месте головы они возникают? Где найти слово и как сделать так, чтобы оно что-то означало? Все это было решительно непонятно. Впрочем, как выразить своё отчаяние, я тоже не знал и поэтому просто молчал. И это я еще описываю поздний этап, который сам помню. Сейчас я парень, у которого дрожат ноги, когда он идёт по лестнице, но зато он думает: «о, это ж лестница! По ней поднимаются. Пожалуй, надо поискать лифт». А раньше бы просто тупо стоял и смотрел. Так что много проблем ещё предстоит решить, но потрясающие врачи университетской Берлинской клиники «Шарите» решили главную. Они превратили меня из «технически живого человека» в того, кто имеет все шансы снова стать Высшей Формой Существа Современного Общества, – человеком, который умеет быстро листать инстаграм и без размышлений понимает, где ставить лайки.

    A post shared by Алексей Навальный (@navalny) on

    Rise, take up thy bed and walk!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, sad indeed, although there will be many liberals who will raise a glass to toast his passing, and not in approbation. He was well-educated and substantiated his points succinctly and clearly, in an atmosphere where the favored Russophiles are the wild-eyed angry whose arguments are easily and satisfyingly demolished. Rest well, Professor Cohen. He was older than I thought.

      Like

      1. In the same vein, Ruth Bader Ginsburg has also died. One of the last moderate voices on the US Supreme Court, and her departure will surely ignite a scramble to get a partisan in her position. It was hopeless to think that America will ever be truly united again anyway, since there is no glimpse of a horizon beyond the heaving backs of cut-and-thrust bickering, but still. One more light in the fog winked out.

        https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2020/09/ruth-bader-ginsburg-dies/616132/?utm_source=pocket-newtab

        Like

          1. Bernhard H’s current MoA post points out Ginsburg should have retired when Barack Obama offered her the opportunity to do so. Ginsburg refused, thinking perhaps that the Klintonator would succeed Obama as President and would nominate her replacement who would presumably be a Ginsburg clone.

            In a normal healthy democracy, the US Supreme Court would not have the significance that it does, as a de facto legislative body. It would just be like the High Court in Australia or the House of Lords equivalent in the UK: few people would know it even exists, let alone have the final say in interpreting law.

            Like

    2. RIP Stephen Cohen. I’ve never read much of his work but from what I have read, he was very good even if the premises and assumptions he worked off often overlapped with what everyone else assumed.

      Like

  5. You pays yer money and you takes yer choice!

    Aleksei Venediktov, touchy, feely boss of Libtard Ekho Moskvy:

    Maria Pevchikh did not fly from Omsk on an ambulance flight with Aleksei Navalny.

    Radio Freedom:

    Maria Pevchikh: I flew in a medical aeroplane with Navalny.

    Like

  6. That Sneaky Putin

    While the western world(read fascist) was going ape over novichok-you know the Russian bio-weapon that is the most dangerous chemical known to man except it fails to kill anyone-Putin had developed and infected the entire political and mass media leaders of the west with a new bio-weapon that he created himself. It’s called Notajoke and it makes those infected become babbling idiots and anyone can see that it has worked. Trump got his dose from some Las Vegas hookers who the FSB infected and they in turn pissed on him. Even worse, it eventually gives every infected person a Hitler mustache that cannot be gotten rid of. These babbling idiots are aware something is wrong but they are not sure of whats happening and they have developed a strategum. They are going to emulate certain successful comics from the past and make their adversaries die laughing. Trump becomes Moe, Boris becomes Larry and Angela becomes Curly-wise guy eh? They plan to resort to slapstick, where upon they slap you with sanctions and then stick it to you, bomb your country and everyone is in stitches(in the hospital) “Yeah that’ what we’ll do eh Moe?”. As part of the plan the G7 mental 7 dwarfs are on board with Moe(Trump-coc) as their leader followed by Larry(Boris-sleezy) and Curly(Angela-frumpy) with those idiots True-dough(dopey) Canada, Cunte(bashful) Italy, Macaroon(creepy) France and the Jap chap Ape Abe(jappy). What a team folks- I may die of laughter before I’m finished this tirade. Their latest brilliant stroke is to put an end to Nordstream 2 so that their citizens can pay double thereby aiding Moe and getting rid of their excess money. The Baltic states are on board as well. They are afraid that Russia will steal their technology- ooops they don’t have any, their natural resources- ooops ditto, their dirt-ya that’s it, their dirt. Poland is worried about the theft of their telecommunications technology developed by Alexander Graham Kowalski better known as “The Telephone Pole”. Ukraine got on board and has now elevated itself to the poorest country in Europe. Moe thought Putin may be behind all this so he offered a challenge. Putin responded with chess?, judo?, hockey?, Moe had in mind a pie throwing contest. “wise guy eh?”

    Pompeo and Abrahms not to be outdone have become Ollie and Stan as Ollie admonishes Stan-”this is another fine mess you’ve gotten me into” over Venezuela and proceed to bump into one another. To add a little “stiff” competition in comes Joe “the stiff” Biden to out stupid them all.

    Like

  7. MacKinnon is a follower. No relation to autistic hacker Gary MacKinnon.* This MacKinnon is a member of the Ford Estate, not the Fourth Estate. It’s the appearance of journalism. Just because some thing is long (lots of words) doesn’t make it fact. Never mistake quantity for quality, but that is the strategic propaganda goal against Russia. Bombard the public with endless long, big, stronger, higher, faster, deeper/whatever reports/investigations/studies etc. which when you actually look for the source is either anonymous/highly likely/judged to be/whatever, but you never get to read the actual source material. NEVER.

    Vis the poison in the hot tea. What got me was that no-one commented that using a poison in 70c+ tea would dramatically reduce its effect (chemically break down very quickly) which is directly contrary to the claimed goal of killing Navalny). It would also have to be specifically designed to be heat resistant which is a whole other level of chemical weapons development more suitable for a sci-fi future of scorching global temperatures where the human race dwell below ground like Morlocks.

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

    Like

    1. Sorry, Aspergers. In defense of my poor memory (champagne, red wine, G&T so far) or failure to actually check before I posted, I got the ‘A’ right!

      Like

  8. Tass: Press review: EU plots own bloc-wide Magnitsky Act and Moscow, Minsk bolster defense ties
    https://tass.com/pressreview/1201793

    Top stories in the Russian press on Thursday, September 17

    Vedomosti: Rostec to shell out $1.7 bln on creating new Sukhoi Superjet aircraft

    By 2023, the United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) plans to create the Sukhoi SuperJet New, an import-substituted version of the short-haul Sukhoi SuperJet 100, the only civilian jet built by the Russian aviation industry. The development of the new Sukhoi Superjet New aircraft, which UAC plans to create by 2023, will cost 120 bln-130 bln rubles ($1.6-1.7 bln), Vedomosti writes, citing sources close to the corporate leadership of Rostec and UAC.

    According to the newspaper, the United Engine Corporation (UEC) is developing a domestic PD-8 engine, which the aircraft will use. ..UAC will allocate at least 50 bln rubles ($664 mln) for the development of SSJ New.
    ####

    Plenty of stuff, but as usual, put up or shut up. Russia puts up.

    Vis the u-Ropean ‘Magnitsky Act’ no unanimity required. Russia would do well to say in advance that it would counter-act against certain senior EU officials/member states for complicity in genocide in Libya, Yemen etc.

    The problem with u-Rope is that is that Brussels is a balm for the crimes of its member states. On the one hand the EU is the collective consciousness of its member states but is not responsible for their individual actions. It is yet again ‘cake and eat it.’ Brussels needs to be rudely disabused that it can continue to play this game without consequence (f/y European Parliament second hand, seat warming pols who are only waiting until their party wins elections back home again). Take away this option. I don’t see Russia taking this new act lying down though and are deliberately playing their cards close to their chest.

    Now on reflection, this act has taken a remarkably long time to come to this point. This in itself tells us that there are clearly significant misgivings behind closed doors. The fact that it has now reached his stage also tells us that Brussels/Paris/Berlin think they have come up with a cunning plan aka ‘squared the circle’, but it is also a significant sign of weakness. Maybe the timing is related to the almost completed NordStream 2 but that is irrelevant. This is about consequence. u-Rope is currently at its weakest (politically and economically) for a long time but for some reason it thinks now is the time for a EU Magnitsky It’s really poor thinking.

    So, I declare 2020 as the year of Hail Marys. The last throw of the dice. Desparation of maybe a final win, however fleeting to go out in a blaze of heavenly glory before the EU turns inward to deal with its US sponsored saboage attempts, sic the PiS run lo-land of Po-land that runs out of substantial cash on 31 December 2020 and the wheels of the bus start coming off.

    The only other tidbit I’ve seen is about Byelorussia. In particular only Latvia has STFU about and avoided the ire of Lucky-shenko. The Brits would say that Riga is ‘Boxing Clever.’ Still, is it setting itself up as an EU interlocutor. Yet again, this is a story of omisson. Lucky shouldn’t trust any of them. And speaking of f/kers who won’t let go, Borissov in Bulgaria is still refusing to resign (who cares, they’re in the EU) and Djukanovic in pro-EU Montengro remains presient despite losing parliament. But, if you are in Da Klub, however korrupt or faked (hello Romania too!), it’s just not news.

    Like

    1. Vis the end bit:

      Invitation for Tikhanovskaya to Brussels is interference in Belarusian affairs – diplomat
      https://tass.com/world/1202715
      ####

      Brussels is the sum of its parts. This is an opportunity for Moscow to say to Paris and Berlin to just let it go and by doing so, would be a self-favor unless they want to be on the hook again for a Ukraine 2.0. Leverage the weakness.

      Or as the Americans say ‘this is a learning moment.’ Brussels can think and walk away. Stop repeating the mistakes of the past, or get a bigger spade. It’s too early to say and logic would say ‘no thanks’, but momentum has its own logic. I’d like to be proven wrong, but I find it hard to believe the corner has been turned. That would mean the final stage of the Five Stages of Grief has been reached, acceptance.

      That’s one step closer to the inevitable EU-Russia strategic security agreement, i.e. a re-agreement that the EU will stop backing encouleur revolutions (s/tting) in their own backyard and put an effective stop to Ever Expanding Union. It has to happen at some point as otherwise war would be inevitable and the west requires willing (non-eu) hamsters to die on its behalf because its values are only backed in words, not in its own blood.

      Like

  9. RBK

    So it must be true! “Novichok” was used to murder the “Leader of the opposition”! Soviet developer of “Novichok” makes an apology to Navalny:

    Отравление Навального , 20 сен, 00:23 179 058

    Разработчик «Новичка» извинился перед Навальным
    Он назвал разработку боевого яда «преступным бизнесом» и пояснил, что посвятил всю свою последующую жизнь борьбе против применения отравляющих веществ


    Vil Sultanovich Mirzayanov, a Tatar now living happily in the USA, where he likes to dish the dirt on Russia as regards chemical weapons

    Novichok developer has apologized to Navalny
    He called the development of combat poison “a criminal business” and explained that he had devoted his entire subsequent life to the fight against the use of toxic substances

    A chemist and one of the developers of the Novichok chemical warfare agent Vil Mirzayanov has apologized to opposition leader Alexei Navalny on the Dozhd TV channel.

    “I sincerely apologize to Navalny for being involved in this criminal business — the development of this substance, which he was poisoned with”, said the chemist who has lived in the United States since 1995.

    He noted that he had devoted himself all his subsequent life to the fight against the use of combat poisons.

    In an interview with Dozhd, Mirzayanov explained that in 1993 he met a man who had survived poisoning by “Novichok”. He stated that the symptoms he described were similar to those mentioned by Navalny on Instagram on September 19.

    “All the symptoms are similar. He overcame, survived. Apparently, Navalny will have to be patient. But, ultimately, he must be healthy, ”said the scientist. The restoration of full health to the Russian politician, Mirzayan said, could take up to a year.

    In his opinion, the situation as regards the impossibility of writing words on a blackboard, which Navalny described, is associated with problems of signal transmission from the brain to functional organs — “Novichok” molecules prevent the breakdown of the protein responsible for the transmission of such signals.

    RBK calls Navalny a “politician”.

    “Dozhd” gave the interview.

    Both are libturd organs.

    Mirzayanov was not a developer of “Novichok”. At one time he worked at the State Research Institute of Organic Chemistry and Technology in the department for counteracting foreign technical intelligence, where he rose to the rank of head of department. That is, he was familiar with what they do in laboratories, but he himself did not “invent” Novichok.

    He started blowing the whistle as regards the Soviet Union allegedly working around compliancy with the proposed 1990 Chemical Weapons Accord and In 1992 published an article about the USSR and Russian development of extremely potent fourth-generation chemical weapons from the 1970s until the early 1990s. The publication appeared just on the eve of Russia signing the 1990 Chemical Weapons Convention.

    Mirzayanov was arrested on treason charges but the trial collapsed. He was released, but kept under house arrest and observation. In 1995 he relocated to the United States where he presently resides, taking a position at Rutgers University in New Jersey.

    Mirzayanov is a professional Tatar: On October 26, 2008, was elected to the Presidium of the Milli Mejlis of the Tartar People in exile. On January 17, 2009, in an article on CNN, he published the DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE OF TATARSTAN, adopted at a Special Meeting of the Milli Mejlis of the Tatar People on December 20, 2008] At a conference on the separation of Tatarstan from Russia, held in Ankara in the same year, Mirzayanov was elected “Prime Minister” of the “government in exile”. In March 2010, Mirzayanov signed the “Putin Must Go” campaign.

    In March 2018, after the alleged poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal by “Novichok”, Mirzayanov spoke about how Russia had maintained tight control over its “Novichok” stockpile and that the agent is too complicated for a non-state actor to have weaponized.

    “It’s torture. It’s absolutely incurable.”

    “I never imagined even in my bad dreams that this chemical weapon, developed with my participation, would be used as terrorist weapons.”

    Mirzayanov said only the Russians could be behind the use of the weapon and said he was convinced Russia carried it out as a way of intimidating opponents of President Vladimir Putin.

    Singing for his supper in the USA?

    Like

    1. All part of Washington’s momentum campaign – keep it rolling, a new atrocity by Russia every day. Mirzayanov is an American now, well established and apparently happy, and doubtless he will be well-rewarded for his storytelling. But I doubt the ‘apology’ to Navalny was his idea. Washington just wants to keep Navalny in the news, in the hope that the more people learn who he is and what he is all about, the greater will be his influence in Russia.

      Like

    2. Кто такой Мирзаянов и почему он извинялся перед Навальным?

      Who is Mirzayanov and why did he apologize to Navalny?

      The mass media, which in general few people trust, continue to increase false publications about the poisoning of blogger Navalny. So, absurd information has appeared on the Web about the fact that one of the creators of “Novichok”, Vil Mirzayanov, who lives in the States, has apologized to Alexei Navalny.

      But the fact is that Mirzayanov is not a developer of Novichok, he has nothing to do with this poisonous substance. He was involved in some kind of indirect way with the creation of the poison, as were many others, but to call him a developer is like calling a woodworker who made a stretcher for a canvas the artist who created the oil painting that is on it.

      So in general, complete nonsense. One of the direct participants in the process of creating the toxin, Leonid Rink, stated that Mirzayanov was only one of the workers on “Novichok”, but did not participate in the direct creation of the poison.

      He also commented on Navalny’s symptoms, saying that they are in no way similar to those that should have been in the case of Novchik poisoning. Rink stressed that his “colleague” also cannot know what the real symptoms are when this toxin enters the human body. So Mirzayanov’s statement is completely unfounded, and may apparently be explained as having been made because he was ordered by someone to make it.

      Finally, Rink said that if Navalny had been poisoned with this particular poison, he would not have been saved.

      Like

      1. And is it working? Is the west achieving the goals it set for itself by co-opting these traitors? Maybe in the short term; the west was successful – using Rodchenkov – of keeping Russia largely out of a couple of Olympics series. But the overall effect, it seems to me, is that the west is increasingly revealed as a partisan liar, and consequently untrustworthy.

        Why do you say, “So many”? Does Russia have more ‘internal traitors’ than other countries? From the point of view that they are willing to help other countries overthrow their own government, perhaps. But otherwise they are simply people who disagree with the way their country is run, by the people who run it. The rest is support offered by the west for them to air their views. Do you think Russia could make good use of Edward Snowden to bring down the United States government by starting a movement in the USA of discontented people? I do; it wouldn’t even be difficult – it is a fragmented and angry country already, with several anti-government movements the government can barely keep in check. Are there any signs Russia plans to use that approach? I mean, for real, not the hysterical cries that Russia is behind Black Lives Matter and other obviously-American groups that are fed up with their lives as they are.

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        1. It is working because 95% of the people in Finland or the United States or Germany believe that Russian state poisoned Navalny. The facts don’t matter as much as what people believe in.

          And those who want more sanctions against Russia and isolate Russia also benefit, because they can point to Navalny “poisoning” and say that Russia must be punished.

          Like

          1. In the US, virtually everyone has an opinion regardless of the level of familiarity with the topic. But, the willingness to suffer for those opinions is ZERO, nada, ništa.

            I would appreciate a link to the information indicating 95% of the US population “believe[s] that Russian state poisoned Navalny”.

            Like I said before, so much US propaganda is being dispensed that its value, like an overprinted currency, is diminishing. When the US economic system collapses, as it surely will, all those opinions will be forgotten as quickly as last year’s “America’s Got Talent” runner-up.

            Like

          2. And so they apply more sanctions. Has that had any measurable negative effect on Russia? What will they do, ban it from the Council of Europe again?

            Look at it this way – the sanctions and the regime-change operations in neighbouring countries and the serial-lying campaigns have all been part of a plan, a plan to drive Putin from power and put a western bobblehead in his place. How many years have they been trying this, now – since 2014? Is it working? Is Russia in worse shape now than it was then, or better? Is it more independent, or less? More assertive, or less? Does it have a more diversified economy, or less?

            If I had put this plan together, and poured it on as hard as I could for six straight years now and had as little to show for it as the west has, I’d be expecting to be called into the office any day now to get fired.

            Like

      2. Russia has so many internal traitors (Navalny, Rodchenko and this Mirzayanov for example) that it makes too easy for Russia’s enemies to use them against Russia.

        The US government/deep state leadership is traitorous to its own population. The steadily decreasing standard of living over the past 3-4 decades combined with a rapidly growing wealth inequity tell us that,

        Having traitors fighting the national leadership is to be much preferred to a national leadership in the hands of traitors. More simply, the US does not have many traitors because the traitors are running the show.

        Got it?

        When all is said and done, the countries with the most fit population will generally prevail if left alone. The West knows that hence the continuous pressure on Russia. Still got it?

        Like

        1. The Great Leader?


          Guide us, O thou great redeemer, pilgrims through this barren land!


          Follow me to the sweet summer pastures!


          I shall lead you all to the Shining City on the Hill


          Yay!!!! Follow the Wizard of Oz! Мы — власть!

          Like

      3. Thank you for your astute observation concerning the obvious decrepitude of the Russian state.

        You may now return to your troll hole.

        Like

  10. FIGHT! Via MoonofAlabama.org:*

    Matt Taibbi is a cancel culture hypocrite
    https://yasha.substack.com/p/matt-taibbi-is-a-cancel-culture-hypocrite-b78

    Here’s what Matt hopes you don’t remember: When the cancel mob came for him, he was the “upper class Twitter Robespierre” ratting on his colleagues.

    Yasha Levine Sep 18

    Between the pandemic, the economic collapse, the fires and the toxic fumes, and the fact that I’m currently fighting an eviction, I know there are much more pressing issues to get worked up about these days. But as someone who got his start in journalism at The eXile and who has been on the receiving end of our “cancel culture” so many times I lost count, I can’t let it go. …
    ####

    Plenty more at the link.

    There’s very much ‘don’t put one’s head above the parapet unnecessarily’ about all this so no wonder Levine feels betrayed. Yes, people change and see things differently later in life and deal with it in their own ways. Maybe we all live too long….

    The eXile also reflected closely what I myself saw and heard first hand while I was studying in Russia in the mid-1990s, that it bore no resemblance to what the western journalists were reporting. This on the back of all their lies and willful ignorance during the break up of Yugoslavia and the subsequent civil wars. It put me off being a journalist (which was a good thing)!

    There’s other interesting stuff including by Anatole Lieven in Prospect Magazine which is stuff familiar and oft discussed by us already.

    * https://www.moonofalabama.org/2020/09/the-moa-week-in-review-open-thread-2020-75.html#more

    Like

  11. BBC

    Huge banking scandal in London.

    Squeaky clean, transparent, honest, true and trusted Western way of doing business — European values and all that — exposed as a crock of shite:

    FinCEN Files: HSBC moved Ponzi scheme millions despite warning
    By FinCEN Files reporting team
    BBC Panorama
    20 September 2020

    HSBC allowed fraudsters to transfer millions of dollars around the world even after it had learned of their scam, leaked secret files show.

    Britain’s biggest bank moved the money through its US business to HSBC accounts in Hong Kong in 2013 and 2014.

    Its role in the $80m (£62m) fraud is detailed in a leak of documents – banks’ “suspicious activity reports” – that have been called the FinCEN Files.

    HSBC says it has always met its legal duties on reporting such activity.

    Why is it that the “Free World” has so many corrupt institutions, especially when it comes to dealing with loadsa lolly?

    The West has so many internal financial traitors, who, essentially, are traitors and deceivers to whole populations of Western free society, and who make it too easy for enemies of the “Free World” to use the blatant dishonesty and hypocrisy of Western financial institutions as a glaring example of Western perfidy.

    95% of Russians think that all Western financiers are thieves. Just walk around any hell hole of a Russian shitsville town out in the sticks and you will find that to be true!

    And get this!

    Clearly distraught about the enormity of this financial swindle perpetrated by HSBC, the BBC feels it duty bound to point out a Putin connection with this ginormous financial scam:

    FinCEN Files: Sanctioned Putin associate ‘laundered millions’ through Barclays
    By FinCEN Files reporting team
    BBC Panorama
    20 September 2020

    Note the headline!

    He definitely did it! Past tense: completed in the past — “laundered”

    However, in the first line of the body of the article, enter the modal auxiliary verb “may” in order to indicate probability, and slight probability at that:

    One of Vladimir Putin’s closest friends may have used Barclays Bank in London to launder money and dodge sanctions, leaked documents suggest.

    And Putin has known this bloke since childhood!

    I rest my case, m’lud!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And Deutsche Bank was well in on the money laundering scam as well:

      FinCEN Files: Deutsche Bank tops list of suspicious transactions

      Leaked documents shed a light on Deutsche Bank’s central role in facilitating financial transactions deemed suspicious. Many of these could have enabled the circumvention of sanctions on Iran and Russia.

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

      European values.

      Like

  12. Why are there so many corrupt Russian businessmen and politicians?

    Russia has so many corrupt public figures that it makes too easy for Russia’s enemies to use them against Russia.

    95% of Europeans think all Russians are corrupt!

    RIA NOVOSTI

    Опубликованы данные финразведки о счетах россиян в американских банках
    08:46 21.09.2020 (обновлено: 09:04 21.09.2020)

    Financial intelligence data about the accounts of Russians in American banks has been published
    08:46 21.09.2020 (updated: 09:04 21.09.2020)

    MOSCOW, September 21 – RIA Novosti. Cassandra, an international consortium of investigative journalists, has released classified data from the US Treasury Department for Combating Financial Crimes (FinCEN) regarding suspicious banking transactions.

    According to media reports, the beneficiaries of some transactions are, amongst others, Russian politicians and businessmen.

    The consortium declined to comment on how it got the secret documents. At the same time, the investigators themselves noted that suspicious transactions do not always indicate a violation of the law.

    An “international consortium”, eh?

    No explanation of how the data was acquired, eh?

    And in any case, big transfers of dough don’t necessarily mean that such transfers are illegal.

    So why make an issue out of it?

    I wonder if this International Consortium has ever taken a peek at poroshenko’s money transactions and offshore subterfuges?

    Oh look!

    The address of “Cassandra”:

    1710 Rhode Island Ave NW | 11th floor
    Washington DC 20036 USA

    See: International Consortium of Investigative Journalists

    Like

  13. As regards Putin’s pal since childhood who “may have used Barclays Bank in London to launder money and dodge sanctions”, Vedomosti reports this morning:

    14 минут назад
    Ротенберг назвал бредом данные СМИ о транзакциях через лондонский банк

    14 minutes ago
    Rotenberg has called the media data on transactions through a London bank nonsense

    Aha! A denial from a Russian — and a Russian 4×2 to boot!

    That can only mean he is guilty as accused.

    The data on suspicious transactions carried out by Russian businessmen Arkady and Boris Rotenberg through the London bank Barclays is nothing more than nonsense, RBC reports with reference to a representative of Arkady Rotenberg.

    “The data on suspicious transactions that Russian businessmen Arkady and Boris Rotenberg carried out through the London bank Barclays, published by the international investigative project Cassandra, is nothing more than delusion”, the message says. Representatives of other members of the Rotenberg family said that they did not settle through British banks and did not directly or indirectly own Ayrton, which is mentioned in the Cassandra report, the newspaper reports.

    Earlier, experts of the international investigation project “Cassandra” published a report on the results of a study of the documents of the US financial intelligence (FinCEN) that came at their disposal. Amongst the financial transactions that the banks reporting to FinCEN found suspicious, in particular, were those of Ayrton Development Limited. The company, according to the BBC, was deemed by Barclays to be owned by the sanctioned Arkady Rotenberg. According to the report, 26 transactions carried out in the interests of the Rotenbergs were classified as suspicious.

    Leningrader Arkady Rotenberg was a sambo pal of Putin. He has clearly enjoyed considerable enrichment during the Putin tyranny.

    In 2000, the Evil One created Rosspirtprom, a state-owned enterprise controlling 30% of Russia’s vodka market, and put Rotenberg in control.

    In 2001, Rotenberg and his brother founded the SMP bank, which operates in 40 Russian cities with over 100 branches, more than half of them in the Moscow area. SMP oversees the operation of more than 900 ATM-machines. SMP bank also became a leading large-diameter gas pipe supplier.

    In 2007, Gazprom rejected an earlier plan to build a 350-mile pipeline and instead paid Rotenberg $45 billion to lay a 1,500 mile pipeline to the Arctic Circle.

    O’Bummer signed an executive order instructing his government to impose sanctions on the Rotenberg brothers and other close friends of President Putin because of the Russian “annexation” of the Crimea.

    For all his wealth, though, Arkady Rotenberg is not that smart at everything he does: In 2005, Rotenberg married his second wife Natalia Rotenberg, who is about 30 years his junior. Their two children, Varvara and Arkady, live in the United Kingdom with Natalia. They divorced in 2015 in the U.K. While the financial details of the divorce are private, the agreement includes division of the use of a £35 million Surrey mansion and a £8 million apartment in London. The couple’s lawyers obtained a secrecy order preventing media in the U.K. from reporting on the divorce, but the order was overturned on appeal.

    Like

  14. Italics should have been closed following: “. . . carried out in the interests of the Rotenbergs were classified as suspicious”.

    The rest is my piffle.

    Like

  15. Strange reaction indeed:

    And only then, after having assured everyone and everything that the dose of the terrible poison Novichok was received precisely at home, Mr. Navalny, a dissenting person, was for some reason not at all afraid of this “irrefutable fact”, and barely having opened his eyelids from a cloudy “comatose” slumber, was already prepared — almost in his hospital robe — to rush back.

    To Moscow.

    His home country.

    Where allegedly, he was almost wiped off the face of the earth by “insidious poison murderers”.

    All part of the Bullshitter’s repertoire.

    source

    Like

    1. I read that Billingslea piece on Kommersant about an hour ago.

      Fortunately, vomit bags are not yet deficit in the Evil Empire.

      «Если Россия не примет наше предложение до выборов, то цена за вход повысится»
      Спецпосланник президента США Маршалл Биллингсли о требованиях Вашингтона к Москве в сфере контроля над вооружениями

      “If Russia does not accept our offer before the elections, the entry price will go up.”
      US President’s Special Envoy Marshall Billingsley on Washington’s demands on Moscow in the area of arms control

      Billingslea’s negotiating style should be treated with such contempt as it justifiably deserves.

      Or he should be given a smack in the gob.

      Which latter is more of a suitable response to his tough-guy style.

      Like

        1. It’s nothing more than an offer that is designed to be refused so the US can say, “We tried.” And the US modernization of nukes began already under O’Bomber. These are straw negotiations.

          Like

  16. Euractiv: Ukraine top court deals another blow to anti-corruption bureau
    https://www.euractiv.com/section/europe-s-east/news/ukraine-top-court-inflicts-another-blow-to-anti-corruption-bureau/

    …Among the parts of the law the court scrapped are provisions that gave the president powers to form the bureau, appoint and sack its director, and appoint members of the commission that runs the selection process for the investigative body’s chief.

    Parliament will have three months to bring the law in line with the final and unappealable ruling or risk the functioning of the agency, set up in 2015 after a push from Ukraine’s international partners, including the EU and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

    This is the second blow Ukraine’s highest court has dealt to the anti-graft body..
    ####

    More at the link.

    Like

    1. “Both cases were brought before the court by a group 50 MPs, mostly from the pro-Russian faction Opposition Platform — For Life.

      NABU has said the cases against it are politically motivated.”

      Get it? The filthy Moskali are STILL trying to ruin Ukraine, by pulling all the teeth from its Anti-Corruption Court.

      When will we see a Ukraine for Ukrainians?

      Like

      1. Or Ukraine for Joe/Hunter Biden, cough cough!

        Apparently there will be a Republican Senate report coming out soon on the Bidens in the Ukraine, but I don’t expect much to happen and to be filled with fluss (sic the recent ‘Russian interference’ report which recycled long debunked claims).

        Like


  17. The last photo of Alexei Navalny before boarding the Moscow bound aeroplane plane in Tomsk / Twitter

    Taken after Navalny had allegedly drunk poisoned tea, they all at first howled in unison, but now they say he drank from a Novichok contaminated bottle in his hotel room, which the Navalnyites later so fortuitously recovered from Navalny’s long vacated hotel room and sent to Berlin.

    95% of people in the West believe this story, namely that Navalny was poisoned by Novichok?

    And not only do 95% of Westerners believe that Navalny had ingested Novichok, but also, that it was a specially developed delayed action Novichok that would only take effect some 40 minutes after that photo above had been taken.

    Furthermore, 95% of Westerners believe that Navalny recovered from his poisoning by specially developed, delayed-action Novichok.

    Now if the story were subsequently changed and it were claimed that Navalny had been poisoned by, say, special, delayed action strychnine, AND had recovered from its effects, would 95% of Westerners believe that as well?

    Well, maybe, if it were alleged that such special, delayed action Strychnine could only have been developed by evil Russian scientists, and one of those who partook in its development now showed remorse for his nefarious activities ands made a public apology to Navalny for all the bother said strychnine had caused him.

    Like

  18. Libtard Kommersant:

    21.09.2020, 14:39

    Навальный потребовал вернуть изъятую в омской больнице одежду

    Navalny has demanded that his clothes removed in the Omsk hospital be returned

    View this post on Instagram

    Пост про любовь ❤️. У нас с Юлей 26 августа была годовщина – 20 лет свадьбы, но я даже рад, что пропустил и могу это написать сегодня, когда знаю о любви немного больше, чем месяц назад. Вы, конечно, сто раз видели такое в фильмах и читали в книжках: один любящий человек лежит в коме, а другой своей любовью и беспрестанной заботой возвращает его к жизни. Мы, конечно, тоже так действовали. По канонам классических фильмов о любви и коме. Я спал, и спал, и спал. Юля @yulia_navalnaya приходила, говорила со мной, пела меня песенки, включала музыку. Врать не буду – ничего не помню. Зато расскажу вам, что точно помню сам. Вернее, вряд ли это можно назвать «воспоминание», скорее, набор самых первых ощущений и эмоций. Однако он был для меня так важен, что навсегда отпечатался в голове. Я лежу. Меня уже вывели из комы, но я никого не узнаю, не понимаю, что происходит. Не говорю и не знаю, что такое говорить. И все мое времяпрепровождение заключается в том, что я жду, когда придёт Она. Кто она – неясно. Как она выглядит – тоже не знаю. Даже если мне удаётся разглядеть что-то расфокусированным взглядом, то я просто не в состоянии запомнить картинку. Но Она другая, мне это понятно, поэтому я все время лежу и ее жду. Она приходит и становится главной в палате. Она очень удобно поправляет мне подушку. У неё нет тихого сочувственного тона. Она говорит весело и смеётся. Она рассказывает мне что-то. Когда она рядом, идиотские галлюцинации отступают. С ней очень хорошо. Потом она уходит, мне становится грустно, и я снова начинаю ее ждать. Ни одну секунду не сомневаюсь, что у этого есть научное объяснение. Ну, типа, я улавливал тембр голоса жены, мозг выделял дофамины, мне становилось легче. Каждый приход становился буквально лечебным, а эффект ожидания усиливал дофаминовое вознаграждение. Но как бы ни звучало классное научно-медицинское объяснение, теперь я точно знаю просто на своём опыте: любовь исцеляет и возвращает к жизни. Юля, ты меня спасла, и пусть это впишут в учебники по нейробиологии😍

    A post shared by Алексей Навальный (@navalny) on

    Greetings from Berlin! The happy couple enjoying deutsche Gemütlichkeit. It’s a miracle, I tell ya!

    The above Instagram text reads:

    Julia and I had our anniversary on August 26 — 20 years of being wed, but I’m even glad that I missed it and I can write this today, when I know a little more about love than I did a month ago.

    You, of course, have seen this a hundred times in films and read about it in books: one loving person lies in a coma, and the other brings him back to life with her love and incessant care. Of course, we also acted in this way. According to the canons of classic films about love and coma. I slept and slept and slept. Julia came, talked to me, sang songs to me, turned on music. I won’t lie – I don’t remember anything.

    But I’ll tell you what I remember exactly. Rather, it can hardly be called a “memory”, rather, a bundle of my very first sensations and emotions. However, it was so important to me that it has been forever imprinted in my mind. I’m lying there. I have already been brought out of the coma, but I don’t recognize anyone, I don’t understand what is happening. I don’t speak and I don’t know what to say. And the whole of the time that I was there was spent waiting for her arrival. Who she is is unclear. I don’t know what she looks like either. Even if I manage to see something with a defocused gaze, then I simply cannot remember the picture. But She is different, I understand that, so I lie and wait for her all the time. She comes and becomes the head of the ward. She adjusts my pillow very comfortably. She doesn’t have a quiet, sympathetic tone. She talks cheerfully and laughs. She tells me something. When she is around, idiotic hallucinations recede. It’s very good with her. Then she leaves, I feel sad, and I start waiting for her again.

    I don’t doubt for a second that there is a scientific explanation for this. Well, like, I caught the timbre of my wife’s voice, my brain secreted dopamines, it became easier for me. Each visit literally became healing, and the expectation effect increased the dopamine reward. But no matter how cool scientific and medical explanation sounds, now I know for sure just from my own experience: love heals and brings you back to life. Julia, you saved me, and let it be written in the textbooks on neuroscience😍

    [Wipes tear from eye….]

    The body of the Kommersant article text:

    Opposition leader Alexei Navalny has published a blog post in which he is outraged by the lack of a criminal investigation into his poisoning. He has also demanded the return of his clothes, which may be important evidence. Mr. Navalny noted that two independent laboratories in France and Sweden, as well as a German special laboratory in the Bundeswehr, had confirmed the presence of Novichok in his body. “However, in Russian political and legal reality, none of this exists … In Russia there is no criminal case, but there is a “pre-investigation check on the fact of hospitalization ”. It seems that I didn’t fall into a coma on the aeroplane, but slipped in a supermarket and broke my leg”, wrote Mr. Navalny. He also demanded that the clothes he wore on August 20 be returned to him — the day he felt sick. According to the politician, he was “sent absolutely naked” to Germany. “Considering that a Novichok was found on my body and a contact method of infection is very likely, my clothes are a very important piece of evidence. 30 days allotted by law for pre-investigation …

    Listen, arsehole: you threw a wobbler on the aircraft, howled and screamed and rolled around on the deck and then, allegedly, went into a coma. On admission to hospital, you were put into a coma and remained in an induced comatose state until your miraculous recovery in the Charité, Berlin

    The reason why no criminal case has been made in the country where you were allegedly dosed with Novichock, is that there is no evidence of this being the case. Furthermore, there was no evidence of poisoning in the analyses of your body fluids and tissue done in Omsk.

    German doctors say that they have such evidence, but they wont show it; likewise the Bundeswehr laboratories.

    And there will be no traces of Novichok on your clothing in the Omsk hospital either. If there had been, there would have been a lot of dead people at that hospital last month.

    So fuck off!

    Like

      1. By the way, is that an ashtray I see, tucked away on the floor near the sliding glass-door jamb?

        A Russian ashtray, forsooth —namely and old food can. Not a genuine Russkie ashtray, though, which are usually fashioned out of empty sprat cans.

        Whatever, those nice Fritz doctors must have bent the rules so that the hero can go to the balcony for a quick drag between ward rounds.

        Hope Mutti Merkel doesn’t find out!

        Like

    1. 21 сентября 2020
      Стали известны результаты исследований одежды Навального

      September 21, 2020
      The results of investigations of Navalny’s clothing have become known

      Russian experts did not find traces of poison or hazardous substances on the belongings of Alexei Navalny, in which he was on the day of hospitalization. The results of the research have been made known to the TASS agency.

      “In his personal belongings, no dangerous, prohibited, poisonous, other substances or their traces were found”, said a source in law enforcement agencies.

      Earlier, the Ministry of Health of the Omsk region told Interfax that Navalny’s clothes were seized from doctors by the investigating authorities during an inspection.

      On Monday, September 21, the blogger demanded that the things that were removed from him in the Omsk hospital be returned to him. According to him, these clothes could become important evidence, since there were traces of a poisonous substance on his body. “30 days of a ‘pre-investigation check’ were used to hide this vital piece of evidence. I demand that my clothes be carefully packed in a plastic bag and returned to me”, the oppositionist said.

      Yeah, deny, deny, deny! That’s all that Russians do. However, 95% of Finnish people think he was Novichocked and there were traces of the most deadly nerve agent known to man on his clothes.

      Like

  19. У РОССИИ НЕТ БУДУЩЕГО: ЛИКВИДИРОВАЛИ ПАРТИЮ НАВАЛЬНОГО
    21.09.2020

    RUSSIA HAS NO FUTURE: NAVALNY’S PARTY LIQUIDATED
    09/21/2020

    Today, September 21, the RF Supreme Court liquidated Navalny’s party “Russia of the Future”.

    In mid-May 2019, Alexey Navalny’s assistants submitted documents to the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation for registration of the “Russia of the Future” party. True, the ministry re-registered the “Party of Free Citizens” under a new name, but refused to register Navalny’s associates, owing to the fact that a party with this name had already been registered.

    Alexei Navalny filed a lawsuit trying to challenge the registration refusal. Ultimately, both the Zamoskvoretsky Court and the Moscow City Court were on the side of the Ministry of Justice.

    Navalny’s aide, Ivan Zhdanov, said they currently do not plan to reapply for party registration.

    “Our case has been communicated to the ECHR and we are not planning new filings in the near future”, Zhdanov said.

    Since 2012, politician Navalny has been trying to register his party under the names “People’s Alliance”, “Party of Progress” or “Russia of the Future”. However, all attempts to do so have been in vain.

    In other words, as I have said before: “Fuck off, arsehole!”

    The “politician” without a party and with statistically zilch public support in Russia.

    No mass protests or civil unrest anywhere in Russia since Navalny’s alleged poisoning: nothing like the massive popular protests held week in week out in support for Furgal in Khabarovsk. Sweet FA in support of the “leader of the Russian opposition” whom Putin tried to murder with Novichok!

    However, I hear that 95% of people in the West believe there was indeed an assassination attempt made against the US agent using the most deadly nerve agent (weapons grade, modified) known to man and undertaken on Putin’s direct order.

    Like

    1. Here’s a possible solution – call it “The Party of Crooks and Thieves”. Subtle, innit? Then The Kremlin will think Navalny is calling himself and his fellow party members crooks and thieves, when all along he is simply planning – cunningly, as he and the US Department of State do everything – to give his signature phrase the publicity boost it deserves! Fookin’ ELEGANT!

      Like

  20. Navalny would have been better off staying silent.

    He just confirms by his words and behaviour what a fake this all is.

    What a traitor

    Like

  21. I wonder if the several gallons of acid will be spilled accidentally on the flight logs.

    https://www.rt.com/usa/501323-epstein-flights-passengers-list-subpoena/

    Bill Clinton made 24 flights on the Lolita Express to Rape Island. Hilary apparent partook of the girls as well as reported elsewhere.

    Stranger things have happened:

    https://www.rt.com/usa/500411-mueller-team-wiped-phones/

    Over a dozen members of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russiagate-investigating team “accidentally” wiped their phones before they could be inspected and “lost” the phone of disgraced FBI lawyer Lisa Page with anti-Trump texts.

    Like

    1. Musing during an evening work break – the reason why mass rape of children by our vaunted leaders draw so little attention from the MSM has nothing to do with “protecting” those in power either due to fear or reward. Rather, Bill and Hilary do what comes natural to sociopaths. As such, their behavior is accepted, if not condoned, as normal for those in power. Us deplorables just don’t get it.

      Like

  22. Russian Avaiation: Rostec announced the results of the Russian Be-200ES firefighting operations in Turkey
    https://www.ruaviation.com/news/2020/9/21/15439/

    Over the past three months, the Russian Be-200ES amphibious aircraft flew more than 200 times for suppressing wildland fires in Turkey. Aircraft with Russian crews onboard have been participating in the firefighting missions at difficult and strategically important places and locations since June 16. Total flight time exceeded 400 hours….
    ####

    I don’t know how I missed this.

    So while Russia has been putting out fires in fancy parts of Turkey (Izmir), Turkey has been continuing its fires in Syria!

    Like

  23. Посетивший “Шарите” журналист показал признаки отсутствия там Навального
    14:55 22 Сентября 2020, Берлин, Германия

    Journalist who has visited Charité has pointed out signs of Navalny’s absence there
    14:55 22 September 2020, Berlin, Germany

    Alexei Navalny is not at the Charité clinic in Berlin. This is the conclusion reached by journalist Alexander Sosnovsky, who has visited the place.


    A journalist from Berlin has shown why Navalny cannot be at the “Charité” / Collage: FBA “Economics Today”

    According to the journalist, the photo of Navalny with his wife on a balcony makes one think about his whereabouts. Sosnovsky, who is familiar with the architecture of Berlin, drew attention to the strange urban landscape in the corner of the picture. He pointed out that the Charité building does not have balconies with a similar view, as it is located in the central part of Berlin with a completely different architecture.

    To confirm his words in practical way, Sosnovsky personally went to the Charité and walked around the building with a camera. He drew attention to the construction work near the clinic (this would probably have got into the blogger’s photo), as well as the complete absence of journalists and security. All this confirmed Sosnovsky’s suspicions about Navalny’s absence from Charité.

    In addition to the cityscape, the journalist had questions about the can with cigarette butts on Navalny’s balcony. Sosnovsky called such an object impossible in an élite medical institution in Germany with patients of this level. If Navalny himself smoked all the cigarettes in the frame, this raises even more questions about his “diagnosis” and the conclusions of German doctors.

    The journalist notes that all the shots of Navalny taken after he had emerged from the coma are static and “inanimate.” Sosnovsky, a person with a medical education and a practicing doctor, calls this understandable, pointing to the possibility of identifying the signs of specific diseases and influences based on movements, speech and other dynamic manifestations. For example, after a tracheostomy (artificial windpipe), a person often has voice problems.

    “Any video and audio makes it possible with a high degree of probability to calculate where and how it was made. It is much more difficult from a photo. And if they hide from us the opportunity to determine the location and diagnosis, this is very significant”, Sosnovsky said on the air of Soloviev Live.

    Earlier, Navalny demanded that Russia return the clothes in which the blogger was hospitalized in Omsk. However, Navalny’s own associates previously wrote that all his belongings were transferred to his wife, and some of the items that the blogger touched and used could have been taken out by Maria Pevchikh, a suspect in his poisoning.

    Like

    1. Bingo! I had said a few days earlier:

      “… This makes you wonder whether Navalny even set foot into any hospital in Berlin at all, and not just a medical clinic or some place where discharged patients go to recuperate after a hospital stay …”

      – even before that photo of the Navalnys being lovey-dovey on a balcony appeared. Do hospital floor plans normally include balconies attached to patient wards? I am sure hospitals are not designed like hotels or even like educational institutions, to include balconies for individual patients or groups of patients, for possible security and liability reasons among others. (You don’t want patients sneaking out at night and possibly getting run over in traffic when they are supposed to be under hospital supervision; and you also don’t want to make entry easy for people looking for drugs and entering hospitals through patient wards to get drugs.)

      ArchDaily.com has 50 examples of floor plans of hospitals and health clinics at this link if anyone is interested enough in scrolling through them all.

      And since when do hospitals allow patients or even their visitors to smoke on their premises? Not only are they a health hazard (to smokers and non-smokers alike in sealed air-conditioned environments such as hospitals provide) but they are also a fire hazard.

      Like

      1. Navalny was supposedly on oxygen until just a couple of days ago, and firing up a lung dart around oxygen is as good a way as any to blow yourself up.

        Mind you, when you have survived poisoning with enough nerve agent to kill an elephant, you’re invincible.

        Speaking of hospitals, how’s the missus getting on?

        Like

        1. My wife is in a bad way, is still on a ventilator and an IV drip, but her condition is slowly improving. Her temperature is now normal.

          Yesterday, a man from the Moscow health authority paid us a visit. He was dressed all in white in hazmat gear from head to toe, wearing goggles and a proper medical hazard mask, not a waste-of-time piece of paper “surgical mask.

          He was here a long time. A very decent type of bloke he was. He spent ages filling out medical forms for me, Vova, Lena and Sasha. He checked out our state medical insurance policies and my passport and right of residence permit here as a foreign citizen. Having done all of this paperwork, which business took over an hour — we left him alone at my elder daughter’s writing desk in her room: I felt sorry for the poor bugger, for I thought he must be sweating like a pig inside all that safety gear — he then, having first taken all our temperatures and pulse rates, stuck a swab on the end of a long stick up each of our nostrils, and did a swab of our throats.

          We then each had to sign 5 times our copious documents that he had completed for us.

          We have to go to our local state polyclinic, which happens to be right next door to our housing block, in a couple of days for the results.

          Vova asked him if it was true that you can have covid yet show no symptoms: he said it was and that’s why we were being checked out because their mum was in hospital with covid.

          I feel like crap: head aching all the time and my lungs have started wheezing. My temperature is normal, however.

          My lungs are partly buggered up in any case, as I have already long ago long described on here, the result of chronic bronchitis, which is endemic in that place where I was raised, and my previous occupation.

          I went down with pneumonia here around 2001, I think, and the doctors here found a shadow on one of the lobes of my lungs, which the bastards in the UK never thought worth mentioning to me the last time I had a compulsory mineworker’s lung X-ray in 1983.

          Like

          1. My wife’s friend Oksana has it as well; all the people I actually know who have it are in Russia. Oksana (who lives in Dalnegorsk) said that she felt weak all the time, and lost her sense of smell, which they tell me is a fairly common symptom. I think she is doing okay and we are confident she will recover fully as most non-compromised people do. I’m rooting for you and your family; take care of yourself.

            Like

          2. Goodness, you don’t sound too good and yet here you are posting impressive news every day. I am in awe.

            I have heard the same, that initial COVID-19 symptoms include loss of senses of smell and taste, along with dry cough, fatigue and fever. Nausea and diarrhoea may be present. Paraesthesia (pins and needles sensations in skin) and chilblains sensations in fingers and toes have been reported as well.

            Wishing your wife a comfortable and speedy recovery. Take care of yourselves and I wish you all well.

            Like

  24. Apparently the u-Ropean Parliament EPP, S&D, en enMarche groups have nominated the Byelorussian opposition as their candidated for this years EP Sakharov human rights prize. The problem is that one Paval Sieviaryniec is a massive homophobe. That’s very un-EU public values! But I guess sacrifices must be made for the greater good.

    https://euobserver.com/institutional/149490

    Like

  25. I can’t remember where I read it (Euractiv?), but apparently the current NordStream II plan is to complete it and then apply restrictive measures such as capacity caps etc. This I can believe. A) it get’s Brussels off the hook for wildly violating its own Energy Charter (private investor protections), something which you may all recall Brussels has been trying to use against Russia even though the latter did not ratify it but is technically supposed to be bound by the rules or a period; b) it looks like it has taken action; c) it can reverse at any point… not to mention all the exemptions Brussels allowed for ‘Field Pipes’, TAP etc. and retro-actively trying to redefine its rule to be ex-territoria – i.e. apply to out pipline that are not end-to-end EU pipelines but cross outside of the EU. And finally to threaten and blackmail Gazprom in public to agree Privately mutually beneficial terms that do not contravene the Energy Charter, i.e. if Gazprom voluntarliy goes along with the new rules. Very Brussels ‘squaring the circle’/presenting weakness/compromise as VICTORY!

    We know from the past that Brussels imposed a 50% capacity cap on Russian gas though NS I …until demand picked up and the restriction would have driven up prices for EU industry and private customers and thus magically lifted the cap, subject to ‘market conditions’ of course!

    In other news, a PiS (Polish government) spokesman said that they didn’t need coalition partners which turned out to mean that ‘The PiS-led coalition would lose its parliamentary majority without United Poland, which has 17 seats. The coalition crisis came after simmering tensions spilled into open conflict when the junior members refused to support an animal rights bill..’ ‘Hanging by a thread’ anal-cyst looks more like projection to me.

    https://www.euractiv.com/section/politics/news/italy-slashes-number-of-politicians-by-a-third/

    Like

    1. Oh, what a stupid fucking plan. They’re not serious, or don’t realize they are not, but ENI and Uniper and Wintershall are not going to put up with that shit for a minute. They invested to make money, not lose it, and they are not remotely interested in making room for American LNG. I sometimes wonder what passes for political nous in Europe these days – it doesn’t look like you have to have too many synapses firing.

      Like

      1. Therefore it is very much a political figleaf. Something they can tell themselves and others knowing full well that they won’t do it. More importantly they think it buys them time for example if t-Rump is not re-elected even though the Dems are onboard with the ‘f/k NSII’ plans.

        I think this actually shows that they looked down the barrel of the gun (i.e. spoke to their own Legal Service) and didn’t like what they saw, that Brussels would be unequivocaly on the hook for NSII not being completed. This is just like earlier when the EU Legal Services told them that they couldn’t apply the Third Energy Package retroactively (as previously posted on this blog – or was it the old one?). The article below has a pdf upload of the actual EU Legal Services opinion & the German.* Bundesnetzagentur.

        * https://www.euractiv.com/section/energy/interview/nord-stream-2-official-we-see-a-lot-of-smokescreens-thrown-around/

        Like

  26. Off-topic (or perhaps not, given the circumstances), I heard this morning that the US journalist Andre Vltchek died yesterday while travelling by car from Samsun to Istanbul. His death is being treated as suspicious by Turkish police authorities.

    Turkey probes death of American journalist Andre Vltchek

    I have to wonder why Vltchek had to travel the way he did earlier this month – he and his wife flew from Serbia to Turkey on Sept 12, then spent nine days in Samsun, and travelled overnight by “rented, chauffeured” car (taxi?) to Istanbul: a journey that takes about 8 or 9 hours by road – given that according to the linked report he had diabetes and a paralysed leg, and was taking two medicines.

    According to this link, air travel time between Samsun and Istanbul is 0.69 of an hour, or about 42 minutes. Could Vltchek not have flown the route or would even the short flying time have been a potential hazard to his health?

    RIP Andre Vltchek.

    Like

    1. Oh, look at that – Mr. Less-than-5% has been ‘discharged’ from the hospital he probably was never in, so you journalists can stop hanging about picking the western storyline apart; he ain’t here no more. Poisoned with the deadliest nerve agent known to man, and in less than a week he’s ready to hit the road (less than a week after coming out of a coma where he had to have a ventilator breathe for him, I mean). Day one, he wakes up. Day two, he’s recovered 90% of his brain function and nearly all his mobility. And only a couple of days after that, he’s demanding his clothes back from Russia and making plans for his glorious return, perhaps riding an Abrams main battle tank. Wasn’t Detective Bailey in the hospital for weeks, with death hovering over his pillow the whole time? And HE had gloves on! Navalny is Superman. Remarkable.

      https://www.rt.com/russia/501448-navalny-discharged-berlin-hospital/

      Like

      1. Fully recovered, the Fritz miracle worker doctors say.


        A golden Guinea to the swab who first spies a balcony on yon white monster! Aaaaarrr!!!

        As it happens, I lived in Berlin for a while in 1988 — in both the capitalist showcase of “West Berlin” and in “East Berlin”, the capital of the former German Democratic Republic or “sowjetische Besatzungszone” as “West German” politicians liked to label the place without going into details about why exactly a large chunk of the so=called “Thousand Year Reich” was indeed occupied by the Soviet Union, and I agree with other critics: no way was that balcony shot of Bullshitter and his wife taken at the Charité, which is situated right slap bang in the middle of Berlin.

        Berlin’s Charité Hospital — “Bettenhochhaus” — was completed in 1982 and was cleaned and renovated in 2016-2017. It is around 87m tall and is Germany’s largest hospital. It dominates the skyline at the Mitte Campus, nestled right in the middle of the city near the Parliament and Central Station.

        Like

  27. The opinion of a Russian blogger who clearly isn’t a Navalny kiddie:

    Навальному не стоит возвращается в Россию.
    Yesterday

    Navalny really shouldn’t return home to Russia.

    Not because he is in trouble with the law here. Although a trial awaits him in order to establish the truth as regards another criminal case. Not because he can be poisoned (but who needs him), although no one poisoned him. He is either a pawn in someone’s dirty game that was used on the quiet, or the initiator of this whole bad story.

    If he had really been poisoned with a chemical warfare agent, then everyone who had contact with him would be in the hospital bed. And the aeroplane in which they brought the bottle on which the traces of “Novichok” were allegedly found, would have been burnt long ago. As in the case with the Skripals, the British demolished the house where they had found traces of the poison. Somehow everything turns out awkwardly.

    What is it all for? By and large, Navalny does not play any role in Russian politics. An ordinary blogger who positions himself as an opposition politician, fighter against corruption. True, it is worth recalling that this fighter against corruption has himself been a defendant in a criminal case of embezzlement in Kirovles. And he received a five-year suspended sentence for embezzlement and yet more embezzlement.

    Scandals are his bread and butter. The forgotten blogger decided to remind everyone about himself in this way, let’s say for the sake of hype. True, it all went too far. And if the truth is revealed, and someday it will definitely come out, then Navalny will really have to worry about his health . . .

    Most likely, the fugitive blogger will disappear like Skripal. It will be better for everyone. So stay there in Germany or go to the states.

    And the above opinion, in my opinion, is what the vast majority of Russians think.

    I live with Russians — real Russians: I don’t sit in flash cafés or bars, chinwagging with the Russian bourgeois “élite”, who are ever willing to spill forth to me their tales of woe and suffering in the “regime” and their yearning for the establishment of a “liberal” Western “democracy” here, as do the likes of Independent Moscow correspondent Carroll, and Shaun “don’t-give-me-no-dill” Walker, the BBC correspondent Rainsford, so full of negative spin on all things Russian, and her slimy git of a BBC colleague Rosenberg.

    Like

  28. And now the ever truthful Frog rag “Le Monde” reports that in conversation with Macron, Putin suggested that the Bullshitter may have poisoned himself.

    Signal immediate heart-rending response from team Navalny — read “Washington”:

    «Сварил на кухне „Новичок“. Тихо отхлебнул из фляжки в самолете»
    Навальный ответил на предположение Путина о том, что оппозиционер сам выпил яд

    “I cooked ‘Novichok’ in the kitchen. I took a soft sip from a flask on the plane ”
    Navalny has responded to Putin’s suggestion that the oppositionist himself drank poison

    Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny has responded to the words of Russian President Vladimir Putin, published in the French newspaper “Le Monde”, that he poisoned himself with a substance from the “Novichok” group. “Good version. I believe that it deserves the closest study. Cooked “Novichok” in the kitchen. Took a soft sip from a flask on the plane. I fell into a coma. Prior to that, I agreed with my wife, friends and colleagues that if the Ministry of Health insists that they take me to Germany for treatment, they would not allow it to be done. To die in the Omsk hospital and end up in the Omsk morgue, where the cause of death would be established: “had lived enough” – this is the ultimate goal of my cunning plan. But Putin outplayed me. You just can’t fool him. As a result, I, like a fool, lay in a coma for 18 days, but did not achieve my goal. The provocation failed! ” – ironically Navalny on his page on the social network Instagram.

    Who could not feel sympathy for that bullshitting twat?

    Hey, arsehole, who keeps you funded so that you may live according to the style you are accustomed?

    What’s your real source of income?

    How do you earn your daily bread?

    There are already appearing on the Russian web suspicions that the “Le Monde” story is fake.

    Like

    1. I wonder why the silence from the usual mouthy Doctor Vaselinovaya?

      The otherwise mouthy at gobshite level Sobol is keeping stumm as well.

      Wonder why?

      Like

    2. 23 сентября 2020, 08:39
      Заявление Макрона по Навальному и громкая публикация Le Monde

      23 September 2020, 08:39
      Macron’s statement on Navalny and the resonating publication of “Le Monde”

      The French President said that what happened to the Russian oppositionist was an “assassination attempt.” Le Monde wrote about the conversation between Macron and Putin, and the Russian ambassador to Germany has said that Berlin does not want to cooperate with Moscow over the Navalny situation.

      Updated at 10:07

      French President Emmanuel Macron called on Russia to shed light on the situation with Navalny. Speaking at a session of the UN General Assembly, the French President called the incident an “assassination attempt”: “We will not tolerate the use of chemical weapons in Europe, Russia or Syria. We need to clarify quickly and flawlessly as we will make sure that the red lines are respected. ”

      His video message to the UN coincided with a high-profile publication of the French newspaper “Le Monde” about a telephone conversation between Macron and Putin. Sources of the publication retell their conversation about the situation with Navalny.

      According to Le Monde, it was “a conversation not intended to be heard”. According to sources, Macron said that since it would be impossible for a private organization to use “Novichok” [Why? Peddling another “Novichok” myth yet again! — ME], an official Russian explanation is needed [Why? Presumption of Russian guilt? — ME]. In response, Putin allegedly called Alexei Navalny “a simple internet brawler who committed illegal actions in the past and used the Anti-Corruption Fund to blackmail deputies and officials”. According to the newspaper, the Russian president noted that Navalny had previously simulated various diseases and could have swallowed the poison himself. Why the politician did this, Putin did not explain, writes “Le Monde”.

      According to the newspaper, Vladimir Putin also noted that “Novichok” is a much less complex substance than it is believed. The lack of an official investigation was explained by the fact that the results of the French and German tests were not transferred to Russia. In addition, the Russian president, according to “Le Monde’s” sources, suggested investigating other versions, leading, in particular, to Latvia, where the inventor of “Novichk” lives. As the newspaper noted, in fact, several Soviet scientists took part in the creation of “Novichk” at once, and the fact that one of them lives abroad says nothing, especially in the absence of any plausible motive. According to the newspaper, Macron rejected the Latvian trace and the version of an attempt to poison himself.

      How should one feel about the publication of “Le Monde” and will it have any impact in Europe? Commentary by political scientist Georgy Bovt:

      – First of all, Le Monde has just thrown shit at the Russian president, because, first of all, we do not know in what context this was said. It could have been said in such a sarcastic tone, for example, and in the context of other spoken phrases, it would have sounded different from what it sounds like now, when such a position seems rather too strange to many. This happens quite often when retelling rather frank conversations of politicians, which are then presented without understanding the tone and context. So, of course, this post will make a difference. And secondly, the fact that the Elysée Palace itself considered it possible to leak this information to the press makes it problematic in the future to communicate with Macron at the level at which it happened before.

      – During his speech at the session, he also called on Russia to shed light on, as he put it, the attempt to assassinate Navalny.

      – It doesn’t matter much now, since it is obvious that the conversation with Putin, which took place in confidence, was leaked to the press. Usually this is not done after all. And if it is done, then the relationship that was before is cancelled out. This probably means that Macron also decided to cross out his relationship with Putin, which had developed before.

      – Couldn’t Putin have thus, on the contrary, been try to improve relations by recounting all Navalny’s “ideas” and attempts to blackmail people close to the authorities during his investigations?

      – The Kremlin’s attitude towards Navalny can hardly be called exalted, and to say that the Kremlin loves Navalny would be a strong exaggeration. Therefore, the attitude to this politician there is supercritical, dismissive. Nevertheless, to seriously talk about the fact that he poisoned himself — well, the general public will not understand this: this requires at least some additional clarification about the basis on which such statements are made, if they are made seriously, and not in such a manner as a cynical joke.

      [You must be kidding, Bovt! Navalny critics — and most Russians are! — think he’s lower than a snake’s belly, that he’s a TRAITOR, a FOREIGN AGENT!!!!! If the Pindosi tell him to give one for the Gipper, he’ll fucking well do it! That’s his nature. He’s in it for the moolah!!!! Nothing else! — ME]

      Late at night, Navalny himself reacted to the publication. On social media, he wrote: “Good version. I cooked “Novichok” in the kitchen. I took a soft sip from a flask on the aeroplane. To die in an Omsk hospital and end up in an Omsk morgue, where the cause of death would be established “had lived enough” — that was the ultimate goal of my cunning plan. But Putin outplayed me. You just can’t fool him. As a result, I, like a fool, lay in a coma for 18 days, but did not achieve my goal. The provocation failed! ”

      Russian Ambassador to Germany Sergei Nechaev said that Berlin does not want to cooperate with Moscow on the situation with Navalny. According to him, the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office sent requests for legal assistance to France, Sweden and twice to Germany, but did not receive a single answer.

      According to the diplomat, without these samples from foreign laboratories, law enforcement agencies cannot start a criminal investigation into the incident. He said that a preliminary investigation of the situation had already begun on the part of Russia: many objects were examined, the staff of the hotel, hospital and airport were interviewed.

      According to the latest data, Navalny’s condition improved and he was discharged from the hospital. This was told in the Berlin clinic Charite. Doctors consider it possible that he will recover completely.

      Which all begs the question that he was poisoned with “Novichok”, which he clearly wasn’t!

      Why?

      Because he is not dead!

      It matters not who administered the poison or whether the bullshitting bastard took it himself: the dose wasn’t lethal.

      The bastard took some salts in the aircraft toilet, then put on a show for the passengers, none of whom suffered any ill effects from their having been in close proximity with a person covered with the most deadly poison known to man.

      Russian doctors at Omsk know that the lying traitorous bastard wasn’t poisoned.

      So do German doctors in Berlin, but they have political agenda to follow.

      Macron is a French excuse for a politician.

      Like

  29. On the Navalny poisoning. Interesting to see that Vladimir Ashurkov is in the inner core of the Integrity Initiative. Suggesting another media-led provocation.

    Like

    1. Given “asylum’ in the UK in 2015.

      Russian dissident Vladimir Ashurkov given UK asylum
      1 April 2015

      April Fool?

      More fool you BBC for believing the story of such a cnut!

      Ashurkov is Executive Director of the Anti-Corruption Foundation. A former banker, Ashurkov was rolling the lolly in as the Director of Group Portfolio Management and Control at Alfa Group Consortium from 2006 to 2012, when he was asked to step down because of his political involvement with Alexei Navalny. So he has an axe trto grind.

      As usual, the rich and privileged Ashurkov is so typical of the millions of Russians who love and adore Bullshitter Navalny.

      From the Russian Wiki entry on Ashurkov, which is far more revealing than the sparse English Wiki on the thieving twat:

      In April 2014, Ashurkov left Russia. On July 30, 2014, he was put on the federal wanted list in the case of fraud with the financing of Navalny’s election campaign as mayor of Moscow.

      In July 2014, he applied for political asylum in the UK in connection with persecution in the Russian Federation. In February 2015, he received asylum, at the same time his common-law wife Alexandrina Markvo was arrested in absentia by the Basmanny Court, whose firm Bureau 17 of the RF IC was accused of stealing several million budget funds during literary events.

      In the UK, he was engaged in investment projects in the field of venture and angel investments dedicated to e-commerce. At the same time, he continued to work with Alexei Navalny. In December 2015, he launched the Sanation Law project, which analyzes the adopted scandalous bills and the process of their further cancellation, “which will become relevant when the political system is liberalized and the new government takes a course to dismantle the authoritarian regime”. According to his own statements, he changed his libertarian beliefs to more leftist ones.

      He gave, along with several others, testimony to the Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of Commons of the British Parliament in connection with the preparation of the latter’s report “Russian corruption and the UK inquiry”, which was presented in May 2018 year.

      In November 2018, hackers of the Anonymous group published documents of the British project Integrity Initiative; amongst others, Ashurkov’s surname appeared in the lists of participants. Ashurkov suggested that the hackers stole the Institute of Statecraft (one of the founders of the Integrity Initiative) mailing address database, which actually contains his email address. According to him, he had not heard of the Integrity Initiative.

      Yes, of course he hadn’t!

      Like

  30. BBC on Navalny’s discharge from hospital:

    Western politicians are still undecided over their response to the poisoning, says the BBC’s Jenny Hill in Berlin.

    However, Mr Navalny’s discharge from hospital will intensify pressure on German Chancellor Angela Merkel who has demanded – so far in vain – a full explanation from the Kremlin, she adds.

    A nerve agent from the Novichok group was also used to poison Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury, England in 2018. They both survived, but a local woman, Dawn Sturgess, died after coming into contact with the poison.

    Britain accused Russia’s military intelligence of carrying out that attack. Twenty countries expelled more than 100 Russian diplomats and spies. Moscow denied any involvement.

    And no evidence presented whatsoever for the above highlighted accusations.

    But Russia, as ever, is presented as denying a fully proven fact —a “slam dunk” accusation, as I believe Pindosi are sometimes wont to say.

    Like

  31. Dances with Bears: NAVALNY, PEVCHIKH ARE BARKING DOGS; MERKEL AND NORD STREAM-2 ARE THE CARAVAN WHICH MOVES ON
    http://johnhelmer.net/navalny-pevchikh-are-barking-dogs-merkel-and-nord-stream-2-are-the-caravan-which-moves-on/

    What with all the noise of the dogs and camels, a swan song can be easily missed. But not Maria Pevchikh’s (lead image, right) broadcast by the BBC’s Russian Service.

    For the first time, the British state propaganda organ has said too much too loudly in defence of one of its Russian assets, and confirmed the combination of celebrity, political ambition, and money which has made the poisoning of Alexei Navalny a faulty fabrication; and Navalny’s attempt to make political capital out of it, a modest success for the British secret services; an immodest failure for the German Foreign Ministry, Defence Ministry, German Army, and the Berlin medical clinic which goes by the name of Charity…

    …German sources close to the thinking of the Chancellery in Berlin and of Chancellor Angela Merkel believe that whatever she has been told by her subordinates and experts, her intention is to let the Navalny poisoning narrative fade away for lack of evidence of a crime the Germans are willing to publish…
    ####

    More at the link.

    I concur with the conclusion. I think at some point Merkel realized she was being bumped in to action and rather than just saying ‘No’ against a mass of pressure and liability for her, she moved sideways and insisted on the full processes to be followed. That way she could not be accused of blocking, and secondly it affects the time frame for actions which is the whole critical point of the whole affair. Outside a certain window, proposed actions lose much of their force, are obsolete or ultimately become pointless.

    As for les grenouilles, le coq is all about puffing up its chest and looking much bigger than ite really is. Maybe they’ve given up on their ‘special relationship’ with Russia. It’s certainly backwards from when Putin allowed Sarkozy to dig the EU/NATO and the west out of its self-made hole of backing Saakashiti’s 2008 ‘war of liberation.’ Exactly what ‘other tools’ does Clément Beaune think the EU can bring to bear on Russia that would have any more effect than the current sanction etc.?* Unless he is talking about sorcery…

    https://www.politico.eu/article/eu-hard-power-russia-turkey-france-minister/

    …But we were so bad at dealing with power that we just delegated it, if I may put it like that, to NATO, to the U.S., to national states, armies and so on,” Beaune said.

    “The EU was not about this. So the EU is learning that, hello, there are some powers on the doorstep — Russia, Turkey, just to mention two of them, the main ones — and they are not so nice. So we have to unite and we have to develop tools, and we don’t have them at this stage,” he said…

    Like

    1. Apparently, Pevchikh was given a bogus interview on the BBC and was presented as an uninteresting, nothing special sort of person, about whom rumours and innuendo were amassing for no reason whatsoever.

      The interviewer never pressed her on how long she had lived in the UK, what her business interests there were (claims have been made that she runs a book store), why she visits Russia so frequently, what indeed isher present citizenship, how she became involved with Navalny’s “fund” — she says she answered an ad., but where? In the UK? Hardly! And on and on ….

      It was a “nothing to see here, now move along!” interview undertaken by the free of state control BBC under the auspices of the State Intelligence Service, for whom, I am sure, Pevchikh is a most willing helper, if not in its employ.

      Like

  32. One small thing that has been bugging me for years, is the name of the bottled water in question: It is bottled in a monastery and called Святой Источник — “Holy Spring”..

    However, the Russian adjective святой means “Saint” when attributed to a male person (святая for a feminine noun).

    However, Russians mistranslate Святой Источник as “Saint Spring”.

    I would not say “Saint Spring” in English”, but “Holy Spring”, just as I would not say “saint water” but “holy water”.

    Like

    1. …out of a cannon! That’ll teach yer!

      Or at least ‘Saints Spring’ if you are desperate to keep the alliteration for marketing purposes. But I suppose that leads to the question “Over what?” And we all know that sometimes it’s better not to pose (even rhetorical) questions if you may not like the answers..

      Like

  33. Vis the recent Su-30 crash in the Tver region:

    BMPD: Истребитель Су-30М2 ВКС России был ошибочно сбит пушечным огнем истребителя Су-35С
    https://bmpd.livejournal.com/4147236.html

    ####
    Yup, it was shot down by accident. Apparently the gun is supposed to be manually disconnected on the ground by armament specialsts so that even the ‘ARM’ switch in the cockpit doesn’t function. Also it is procedure that the pilot is supposed to check this in the air safely to make sure. A double balls up.

    Like

  34. Antiwar.com: Will Michele Flournoy Be the Angel of Death for the American Empire?
    https://original.antiwar.com/mbenjamin/2020/09/22/will-michele-flournoy-be-the-angel-of-death-for-the-american-empire/

    by Medea Benjamin and Nicolas J. S. Davies Posted on September 23, 2020

    If the Democrats manage to push Joe Biden over the finish line in November’s election, he will find himself presiding over a decadent, declining empire. He will either continue the policies that have led the American empire to decadence and decline, or seize the moment to move our nation into a new phase: a transition to a peaceful and sustainable post-imperial future…

    …So it is tragic that the 2020 presidential election offers us a choice between two major party candidates uniquely unqualified to manage America’s post-imperial transition,..
    ####

    Method, not goal.

    Download the General John Glubb ‘Fate of Empires’ booklet at the link.

    Like

  35. Neuters via Antiwar.com: U.S. troops to stay longer in Lithuania, defence minister says
    https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-belarus-election-us-military/u-s-troops-to-stay-longer-in-lithuania-defence-minister-says-idUKKCN26D180

    A new contingent of U.S. troops and armour will be deployed in Lithuania in November but their presence is not linked to the situation in neighbouring Belarus, Lithuania’s defence minister said on Tuesday….

    …The new force will stay until mid-June 2021…
    ####

    He then went on to say that “Contrary to rumors, the Pope is not catholic. He refused to expand further.

    Like

  36. Neuters via Antiwar.com: Venezuela launches London appeal in battle for $1 billion in gold
    https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-venezuela-britain-gold/venezuela-launches-london-appeal-in-battle-for-1-billion-in-gold-idUKKCN26D2SA

    ..Lawyers representing the BCV say selling the gold, which amounts to around 15% of Venezuela’s foreign currency reserves, would fund the response to the coronavirus and bolster a health system gutted by six years of economic crisis…
    ####

    Yet the rich still continue to hide/launder invest their money in the UK for safe keeping. The UK’s behavior over a deal with u-Rope over BREXIT, this and other events shows that its Light Touch (TM) regime of regulation is fraying at the seams and the UK cannot be trusted to keep their side of the bargain.

    Like

  37. Zakharova:

    “In response to the actions of the European Union, Russia has decided to expand the list of representatives of EU member states and institutions that are prohibited from entering the Russian Federation”.

    She stressed that the number of people in the list is equal to a similar list compiled by the European Union, adding that the bloc has taken multiple unfriendly steps towards Russian citizens, using sanctions as an “absurd” excuse

    See:

    Moscow Expands Bans on EU From Entering Russia in Response to Unfriendly Gestures.
    13:24 GMT 23.09.2020(updated 14:41 GMT 23.09.2020)

    Fuck ’em all off!

    We don’t need them!

    And tell the Polish and Baltic US arse-licking embassies to get the fuck out of here as well.

    Like

  38. KP.ru

    22 сентября 2020 13:18
    Что известно про Марию Певчих: Таинственная спутница Навального — связная с его иностранными заказчиками?
    След Марии Певчих начинается в Лондоне и, похоже, ведет к теневым кураторам Фонда борьбы с коррупцией

    22 September 2020 13:18
    What is known about Maria Pevchikh: Navalny’s mysterious companion – connected with his foreign customers?
    The trail of Maria Pevchikh begins in London and seems to lead to the shadow curators of the Anti-Corruption Foundation

    If you believe that journalists have so far been able to unearth Navalny’s mysterious companion on his “last tour” in Siberia, Maria Pevchikh lives in a prestigious area of London overlooking the Thames. But her old grandmother Valentina Vasilievna – in a modest two-room apartment on the far outskirts of Moscow – in Zelenograd. Only now her granddaughter does not visit her at all, although in recent years she has flown to Moscow 64 times.

    “Komsomolskaya Pravda” went to all the addresses of Maria Pevchikh in Russia – Zelenograd, Moscow State University, school, neighbours, relatives and colleagues at FBK …

    … and discovered that Pevchikh was not only Navalny’s employee, but the conspiratorial head of his investigation department, and, possibly, its curator from Western customers.

    LIKE A DETECTIVE
    Maria Pevchikh. A couple of weeks ago, this name was not known to anyone except to a narrow circle of people. But now it has thundered all over the world. Now Pevchikh claims to be an old and trusted employee of the Anti-Corruption Foundation (Navalny’s main brainchild) with almost 10 years of experience, who has had a hand in almost all of his landmark investigations. But her name never flashed in the credits for the FBK video exposures . And the opposition blogger’s associates have never spoken about her anywhere.

    So after the mysterious “poisoning” of Navalny on August 20, no one let slip the fact that on the trip he was accompanied by a mysterious companion – 33-year-old Maria Pevchikh. Perhaps Maria would have remained unnoticed if the transport police of the Siberian Federal District had not found her name among those who were on that trip with the oppositionist. And it turned out – what a coincidence – she was the only one of the 6 members of Navalny’s entourage in Siberia who was not interviewed: “… Marina [sic} Pevchikh, who permanently resides in Great Britain, on August 20, avoided giving explanations. On August 22 … the said citizen flew to Germany, and therefore it was not possible to get an explanation from her”, the police reported on September 11. That is, 3 weeks after the incident! Until that moment, there was complete silence about the existence of Pevchikh.

    But as soon as this name was sounded, something strange began to happen. More like a detective story.

    LOOKING FOR POLICE, LOOKING FOR JOURNALISTS …
    The name of the Pevchikh immediately became surrounded with rumours and speculation. Who is she? Where from? FBK employees were stubbornly silent. There were only two mentions of Pevchikh in open sources. First, how about a 9th grade student from Zelenograd gymnasium No. 1528 who took part in the international (!) “Gifted children” competition. The second (from 2010) on the website of the Faculty of Social Sciences of Moscow State University: “Congratulations to Maria Pevchikh! The 5th year student has been selected as the head of the Russian delegation at the G8 Youth Forum in Canada based on the results of the All-Russian competition”. And a photo of a smiling red-haired girl. And journalists also found the name of the Pevchikh in the list of students at the prestigious London School of Economics and Political Science.

    A couple more blurry images from the Internet, where it is generally difficult to see someone (supposedly in 2013, from a Moscow hotel, where Navalny had a secret meeting with the ex-Prime Minister of Belgium). Well, Western journalists also recognized Maria as the woman caught in the lenses of cameras in Berlin next to Navalny’s wife Julia. True, everywhere the “Pevchikhs” are in dark glasses and wearing a mask. From coronavirus or prying eyes? That, in fact, is all.


    We congratulate Maria Pevchikh!

    Such mystery only spurred interest – who is this lady?

    “Investigations” began – who Pevchikh was, overshadowing even the “poisoning” of Navalny. And bit by bit the image of a certain secret agent was formed – a sort of James Bond in a skirt. With reference to a source close to FBK, a Sherlock Holmes managed to dig up from the Internet that Maria lives in a prestigious area of London overlooking Tower Bridge. Owns a chain of bookstores in Britain. And she participates in competitions under the US Special Forces program – “Navy Seals”!

    And she is also a friend of Navalny’s rivals and associates in the fight against the “Russian regime” who have settled in London – Khodorkovsky, Chichvarkin, Ashurkov. But bad luck – none of these figures in social networks have found a friend by the name of Pevchikh. And in the photos that appear in their social networks, none of Maria is to be seen.

    Maria’s story with social networks is generally amazing – they simply do not exist! In the 21st century that is simply unthinkable for a young woman. Have you at least one young woman acquaintance who has no Facebook or Instagram page, or who is in at least in Odnoklassniki or VKontakte? Quite!

    Experts believe that such secrecy is one of the sure signs that a person is related to the special services. They – both in Russia and abroad – do not welcome the publicity of their employees on social networks.

    However, Major General of the FSB in reserve Alexander Mikhailov admits that she might be playing a two-sided gamey:

    “Apparently, this person leads a double life and, on the one hand, creates turbulence around her activities in the same social networks, but on the other hand, she does not want to attract personal attention to herself. I think this woman may have accounts, but under assumed names. Because it is impossible to imagine that she works in such a field and does not use modern technologies at all.”

    HER FATHER IS A SCIENTIST AND WORKS WITH VIRUSES
    But a page on the social network has turned out to belong to Pevchikh’s father Konstantin. No one has any doubts that he is Maria’s father – both are registered in the same apartment in Zelenograd. And Konstantinovna is Maria’s patronymic. At the same time, there is no Maria Pevchikh even in his photo or in subscribers! But there is information that he is the general director of the Zelenograd NIOBIS LLC, which is engaged in research in the field of virology. At the same time, he is developing the SkinPort system of painless (say, invisible) drug delivery through the skin. Which is also a very suspicious circumstance, when his daughter accompanies an oppositionist, who was either injected or not with some kind of poison. So much so that he only knew he had been poisoned when he began to feel bad.

    There is not much information about NIOBIS either. In the magazine “Zelenograd Entrepreneur” of October 2011, there is an interview with the leaders of the company Grishin and Morozov (Pevchikh even then did not communicate with journalists for some reason). In it, they declare that the NIOBIS biological laboratory is a joint project of the Probe Microscopy and Nanotechnology Research and Education Centre and the Zelenograd Nanotechnology Centre. However, in these centres, no matter how many times we called, they did not tell us anything about NIOBIS, switching from one employee to another. At the legal address in Moscow on Viktorenko Street, we did not find any information.

    Interestingly, the British tabloids could not find Pevchikh either. In search of at least some information, British journalists began to call Russia, former and current FBK employees.

    “British journalists contacted me and found out at least some information about Maria Pevchikh”, Vitaly Serukanov, the former deputy head of Navalny’s Moscow headquarters and lawyer of his foundation, told KP. “This suggests that not only we in Russia do not understand what kind of person she is, but, apparently, the British themselves are not clear about what kind of activities she is involved with. Even they have nothing concrete to go on.

    Of course, rumours immediately spread that Maria Pevchikh was a spy. Some even stated it openly:

    “She is an undercover British intelligence agent with MI6”, political scientist Vladislav Rogimov believes. “My source, a former high-ranking official of the Stasi [GDR Ministry of State Security], immediately stated this. And Pevchikh supplied Navalny with information about the targets of his investigations, such that an ordinary person cannot get.”


    A couple more blurry shots from the Internet, where it is generally difficult to see anyone …

    MSU AND COLLEGE
    Strange, but none of the graduates of those years could remember the outstanding student who glorified the faculty during her studies by becoming the leader of a youth delegation.

    “Well, I seem to remember Maria – such a bright girl. We crossed paths with her in the hostel. She loved rock music and knew English well”, Svetlana Cherezova, a graduate of the social faculty in 2009, told KP. [American rock music, the chief weapon of US soft power! Rock music is the bane of modern society! — ME 😦 ]

    “And how did you realise that she knows a foreign language?”

    “In the summer, foreign students were settled in the hostel. And she communicated well with them. But after that I somehow didn’t see her …”

    Another graduate of the social faculty recalled the Pevchikh, but also only vaguely.

    “Yes, she studied with us. Smart, open like that. But … that’s all I remember about her.”

    And in the Zelenograd gymnasium №1528 Maria Pevchikh was not remembered at all. Even by the old-timers who have been working at the school for over 30 years.

    “No, we didn’t have a student with that last name.”

    HEAD, ABOUT WHOM NO ONE KNEW ANYTHING
    Even after journalists had found out that Pevchikh has been an FBK employee since 2011, Navalny’s fund employees remained silent about her. No statements! None at all.

    And only on September 15, when Navalny came to his senses, and journalists and political analysts said in unison that Pevchikh herself could have organized his “poisoning”, the FBK employees, as if on command “from above”, began to urgently divert suspicions from her, turning everything into a joke and publishing pictures of themselves with her. Georgy Alburov, who had previously called himself the head of the FBK investigation department, suddenly revealed his real boss to the world … yes, Pevchikh:

    “I have been working with Maria in the Investigation Department for 8 years and for about 7 of them we constantly joked about some kind of martial art that she went to a couple of times. They teach how to fight off drunken men with the help of a hundred different techniques of hitting in the groin (we laugh at this). Our office wiretap also failed to remember the name, and now Maria is featured in the media as ‘a martial arts master trained under the US Army SEAL program’. It’s funny. And it’s not funny that now all her relatives are hunted by the Prigozhin gangster ‘media’ (and the British ones are also “Prigozhin gangsters”, yes, George? – author). Not for the poisoners of Alexei, but for Maria’s 85-year-old grandmother. We shall remember this and shall not forget. And I wish my fighting friend (and boss) fortitude and courage.”


    Georgy Alburov, who had previously called himself the head of the FBK investigation department, suddenly revealed his real boss to the world. Photo: http://www.instagram.com/alburov

    On the same day, FBK lawyer Lyubov Sobol also published a photo of herself with Maria: “I know Masha as an honest and decent person. To suggest that she may have been involved in the poisoning of Navalny … complete bullshit and a smokescreen to distract attention”.

    And not a word about why for so long all as one “fighters against corruption” were silent about the existence of Pevchikh and the fact that she was on a trip with Navalny in Siberia.

    BUT WHAT ABOUT GRANDMA?
    And Maria Pevchikh’s grandmother really lives in Zelenograd. Not far from the local forest park. Here, apparently, the “Prigozhin gangster media” had been hunting for her.

    In general, it is strange that an employee of the investigation department, who herself “hunts” for the targets of Navalny’s revelations and for these targets’ relatives as well, was outraged that journalists began to visit all possible addresses associated with Maria. What would have happened if the “Navalnyites” themselves had not hidden her existence hardly anyone could have “crossed her grandma’s threshold”, because nobody had seen her there for a long time: she dwelt elsewhere.

    “Yes, I know Valentina Vasilievna. Our children studied together, in the same school. My son and her Kostya”, a neighbour told the KP correspondent on the street at the entrance. “She lived here just like me since the construction of the house, since 1982. But I haven’t seen her for a long time, although I had met her all the time before. She seems to be still working”.

    “At 85 years of age?”

    “Why 85? She is 84”.

    “And what does she do?

    “Earlier, I believe, she was at Mikron [manufacturer of integrated circuits – author]. Where now, I do not know”.

    “Her son often turns up here?

    “No, I haven’t seen him for a long time.

    And her granddaughter Maria?

    “Oh, I did not know that she has a granddaughter! I have never seen her.”

    No other neighbours remembered Masha Pevchikh, even from the photo. Although she, as the media has already dug up, in recent years flew to Moscow at least 64 times, but here, with her grandmother, she has not appeared. At least, neighbours have never came across her.


    Georgy Alburov and Maria Pevchikh. Photo: http://www.instagram.com/alburov

    “I AM SO FUCKING AWESOME”.
    And only ABOUT a month after the “poisoning” of Navalny, when suspicions about Maria Pevchikh had reached their peak, she herself gave an interview … for some reason to the BBC, and not to the Russian media. “I am the head of the investigation department at FBK. I was recruited by an ad (in 2011), as they say. If you’ve seen our investigations on Navalny’s channel, then I have this or that relationship.” Maria explained her incognito state in one phrase: “It was my personal choice and desire to avoid publicity”. But at the same time: “Absolutely everyone in the office knew me. A huge number of people from the journalistic environment knew me. Therefore, the fact that I am somehow connected with FBK is a secret only for a very wide audience.”

    Investigations about herself were ridiculed by Pevchikh (a professional technique when it is impossible to refute, but it is necessary to object): “This is absolutely ridiculous. I read about myself and thought: Damn, how fucking awesome I am”.

    About the her scientist father: “Some creepy, crazy story has been made up about my father, with whom I have not communicated for 15 years – my parents are divorced. And he is portrayed as almost a key figure in all that has happened”.

    But Maria gave a lot and of details about what happened in Tomsk, about how boldly she, together with others, rushed into Navalny’s room in order to collect “evidence” – bottles of water. She confirmed that she flew to Germany on the same aircraft as did Navalny and took those bottles out of the hotel to the West and on which German experts found traces of “poison”. True, she did not explain why she had not y taken sheets and towels, because poison can be both solid and gaseous. The discerning Pevchikh’s’ suspicions fell only on liquid.

    Maria tossed a few of her pictures to the BBC and a portion, apparently to dilute the avaricious photos that the media was chewed on.

    Talking about everything and yet . . . again about nothing. Also a professional reception?

    SECRET BRITISH FBK CURATOR
    “When they began asking me about Maria Pevchikh, I also could not immediately understand who it was”, Vitaly Serukanov, an FBK employee in 2013-2017, told KP. “But then I remembered that I first noticed her (although I had probably seen her many times, but had not paid any attention to her) in 2016. It was surprising to me that Navalny, who always kept his distance from his employees, behaved in a special way with her. With respectful reverence. As if they were of the same rank, as if they were of the the same position. This is generally strange and did not fit into the paradigm of his behaviour. That is to say, Maria is a person who appeared sometimes, but who had to be respected. My personal opinion is that she is a liaison agent between Navalny and foreign customers. The person who brought the invoice and, at the right time, audited the investigation department, supervised its work. Such as , you know, a British auditor who is always lurking in the shadows.

    “Pevchikh told the BBC that she actually ran Navalny’s investigation department.

    “I have been saying for a long time that the FBK investigation department “headed by the talented Alburov” was a screen that does not represent anything. Alburov is just a drone driver who provides a naive Russian man in the street with a picture: “You see, we are not foreign agents. Our investigation department is here”. In fact, there is no talented Alburov. And there are people like Maria Pevchikh who flock to Russia to promote the interests of their Russian and Western masters. That’s all, no matter how tough it sounds.

    “That is, all this hidden lifestyle, lack of social networks and photos are part of this opera?

    “Absolutely!”

    But you had some corporate parties, meetings at FBK. How did it happen that for almost 10 years Pevchikh never got into the frame?

    “She very professionally avoided attracting attention to herself. Never hit the lens. And I’m sure the rest of the people made sure that this did not happen. At the same time, FBK is a special society where everyone wants to become a media and popular person. There are even internal competitions to see who is more popular on social media. The same was always demanded by Navalny. His main postulate in politics was: “I am absolutely open. I have no secrets. ” But it turns out there are! Suddenly, a certain Pevchikh is presented to the world, who has never even been registered in the fund and who lives on an unbelievable income. All the stories about her business are just a way to legalize her financial situation – like ‘I’m such an ordinary simpleton from Britain’. Who’s going to believe that?

    And they would hide Pevchikh further. But she was so very much lit up in this story with the “poisoning” that they had no other choice. I was really amused how all these clowns, such as Alburov and Sobol, on command, simultaneously began to upload their prepared photos of Pevchikh. It’s funny. Why did they hide her before? Refused to answer questions about her? And then they burst through at once. Received instructions to bring Pevchikh out into the light so as to ward off the threat from her? All this suggests that Pevchikh knows more than we can ever imagine. The story is a real detective one. Even a spy one. It’s very interesting what will happen next.

    Like

    1. She is almost too perfect; a daddy who is both a virologist and a developer of a means of delivering a drug through the skin without a needle or any sensation likely to be noticed, leader of the effort to collect ‘evidence’ in the hotel room – an effort surprising in its thoroughness in that they thought to take a lawyer with them and yet still made it before the hotel had begun to clean the room, and a young woman with no social media presence when they normally cannot powder their noses without Facebooking it. Add to that the full-court press by the Navalnyites to ridicule any possibility she might be involved; especially Sobol, who as a lawyer herself would be able to more accurately appraise the weight of mounting coincidences.

      But you went too far when you spat on American rock music. I will grant that at least half of it is crap, but America is the cradle of rock, more so than the UK. Your punishment is to listen to Joan Jett and the Blackhearts do “I Hate Myself for Loving You” on a volume at least 8 and preferably all the way over. This is a fine example of the genre, one I used to play for the little ‘un when she actually was a little ‘un, to show her that women can do anything.

      Like

        1. Oh, I’m fond of them, too. But they were prissy compared with rockers, and where would we be if men still cropped their hair short and wore powdered wigs, washed none too often and took an hour and the aid of a manservant to get dressed? And then looked like a big poof. I love the meaty sound of an overdriven guitar. Here’s the late – and very much lamented, at least by me – Steve Clark, of Def Leppard, cranking out the lead to “Die Hard the Hunter”. I bet Bach never jumped around on his bed with no shirt on and his tie around his forehead. And he ended up deaf as a post anyway.

          Kind of cheating, because he’s English (Clark, I mean); but there was a guy who looked like he was having the time of his life every day he drew breath. But the bottle got him, sadly. Much as I dislike Country music, I even found it impossible to dislike Dwight Yoakam for the same reason; a guy who was having that much fun doing what he does for a living can’t be all bad. Oh – except for serial killers. And that’s not really what they do for a living.

          Like

        2. You’re originally from Lancashire, aren’t you? Lancashire (the historic Lancashire, which used to include Liverpool and areas now part of Greater Manchester) used to be the centre of the universe or close to it for rock and pop music (well, British rock and pop music) from the 1960s into the late 1990s.

          Someone at Wikipedia took time and effort to index most of the major English bands by their places of origin at this link. The vast majority are from London and Manchester of course – Manchester probably had the most varied pop and rock scene with respect to the genres of music that came from that city – but northern England (Leeds, Liverpool, Sheffield especially) punches well above its weight.

          Of course, the loudest, noisiest and biggest-metal-racket bands are from Birmingham and the Black Country.

          Like

  39. With his receding hairline and rapidly thinning mop Navalny has exceeded his shelf life for attracting naïve youngsters. He looks like the Russian equivalent of Rigsby, the seedy rackrent landlord in Rising Damp.

    Perhaps Pevchikh is the replacement.

    Like

      1. Rigsby was a great snidey, lecherous, creep of a landlord

        Poor old Leonard Rossiter was a good actor as well. I was rather saddened when he died unexpectedly.

        One of my old workmates could take Rigsby off to a “T”. He used to chat up girls using Rigsby-style creepy flattery and strangely enough, he used to hit it off with them when performing his chatting-up of them in this fashion.

        Like

    1. Oh, I doubt it – Pevchikh is the exact opposite of a media personality, apparently doing her best to remain in a blurry background and not get noticed. And owing to the suspicion now surrounding her, she would never have Navalny’s freedom of movement in Russia, where he is watched only by the newbies who need the training and the guys who showed up to work hung-over and are being punished.

      Like

  40. Did Russia really poison opposition politician Navalny? And NATO wants a color revolution in Belarus
    708 views•23 Sep 2020

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    Moderate Rebels
    20.9K subscribers
    Max Blumenthal and Ben Norton start off with an exclusive, bombshell intercepted recording we were leaked of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s phone calls.

    Then we speak with journalist Bryan MacDonald, who lives in Russia, about the very suspicious alleged poisoning of opposition candidate Alexei Navalny, and what his real, xenophobic politics are.

    We also discuss the NATO/EU attempt to orchestrate a so-called color revolution in Belarus and install a pro-Western neoliberal regime.

    SECTIONS
    0:00 Exclusive, bombshell intercepted recording
    8:33 Poisoning of Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny
    45:00 Belarus color revolution attempt
    1:21:30 Outro

    PART 1 OF 2

    Follow Bryan MacDonald on Twitter: https://twitter.com/27khv

    (Episode recorded on September 22, 2020)

    ||| Moderate Rebels |||

    Please consider supporting us on PATREON: https://www.patreon.com/ModerateRebels

    Website: https://moderaterebels.com
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    #ModerateRebels

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  41. Over at OffGuardian, a frequent contributor argues compellingly that information which supports questions as to whether face masks have any beneficial effect against an airborne viral infection is being systematically purged from the internet.

    https://off-guardian.org/2020/09/23/is-evidence-masks-dont-work-being-purged-from-the-internet/

    Furthermore, the comments carry on the discussion of the extent to which not only well-known corporate-friendly browsers and search engines like Google censor searches and limit access to critical information through down-ranking algorithms, but even ‘independent’ browsers like DuckDuckGo.

    Often people who narrate tech talks seem chosen for their preoccupied monotone delivery, so that reading the phone book seems a viable alternative to listening, and this one is no exception – nonetheless, a very interesting demo of a fairly-new website known as ‘Censored Search’.

    https://www.bitchute.com/video/o5BDZRWRvpYs/

    I think most people realize the internet is slowly but surely being taken over by corporate and one-world interests that want to shape your thinking by controlling what you read – apparently monitoring was not enough. But I would wager few grasp just how blatant and invasive it is. The internet is lost, and it is past time for an alternative that gets back to its maverick early days while maintaining its present versatility. The secret to the success of advertising – which after all, is mostly propaganda – is to prevent your ability to turn it off and not be exposed to it.

    Liked by 1 person

  42. I fear I have contracted coronavirus. I have just spent a night in semi-delirium. I am cold. My limb extremities are very cold. I cannot keep warm in bed. I am shaking and feel very weak. I have had to put on a sweater whilst in bed and a lambswool shawl. My head is aching all the time and I nearly fall over when I try to get up and walk around. However, I do not think I have a high temperature.

    Like

    1. I expect you have, considering a family member with whom you have been in close contact has it. You should probably notify the hospital if you have not already done so, as you may have to be admitted. You are, by your own description, in a high-risk group, although even people who are getting on a bit are at relatively low risk if they are otherwise in good health. You walk everywhere and do not smoke or drink. Your immune system should be relatively solid and maneuvering to do battle.

      Your symptoms sound very much like a conventional fever, which surely you have had before. It’s no fun, but you have shaken it off in the past. That’s not intended to downplay the necessity to notify medical authorities.

      I was almost certain I had already had it as well, but it would have been back in late November/early December, long before there were any cases here. Still, for a transportation worker who comes in contact daily with travelers from far-flung corners, it’s possible. It was the worst chest cold I have ever had; coughing hurt so badly that I would breathe in tiny sips of air so as not to trigger a coughing response, which seemed to happen every time I drew a deep breath. No fever, though, or headache.

      Since there was no coronavirus panic then, I did not take any special precautions; the Mate on the same ship also had it, and probably I either gave it to him or got it from him. No other crew members were affected that I know of. No family members caught it. The Mate was away from work for a day or two – in my case, the only day I was too sick to go to work happened to be a day off, so I did not miss any work; the next day I felt well enough to answer the call of duty, although still a bit ropy. After that, I recovered quickly and completely.

      It may not have been coronavirus, but it may have been. However, different regions experience different mutations of the virus, and mine might be nothing like yours. Of course I cannot give you advice as I am not a medical professional, but it seems to me you are doing all you can do, and the correct measures you can take on your own against what sounds like a fever minus the sweating, which you usually do not see until it is getting near breaking anyway. Courage, and keep up your nourishment.

      Like

    2. The most common symptoms of fever include:

      headache
      warm forehead
      chills
      aching muscles
      general feeling of weakness
      sore eyes
      loss of appetite
      dehydration
      swollen lymph nodes

      Sounds like you have a fever – your body fights infection and ends up becoming too cold. Try taking a hot shower / bath and Parecetomol to help your temperature normalise

      Like

      1. It’s also about the time you are supposed to get your winter flu jabs too. Normally I wear a scarf and hat indoors to try and keep my temperature constants.

        Like you lot, I think I’ve also had COVID-19 as I felt bad for a couple of weeks back in March which is way, way longer than the usual two to three days.

        Best wishes for a quick recovery to ME and Da Missus.

        Like

        1. Eh, I cannot write properly today. This might be because the dogcat ikes fighting me. I meant to write that When I have the flu or whatever I wrap up indoors. And have a very hot curry.

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        2. I spent almost a full day today being tested at a clinic with a CT scanner.

          They diagnosed pneumonia. I refuse to be hospitalized: I wanna die with my boots on.

          I feel like shit.

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          1. BOLLOCKS! You definately have Old Monia. That’s my professional opinon.

            Get thee to a nunnery/popery/pot-pourri/no-curry hospital forthwith and stop assing around ME. Do it for Odin.

            Like

            1. Lemon, ginger and honey tea is good too if cinnamon tea is not to your taste. You need to have lots of hot tea drinks and wafting the steam to your nose (but don’t burn your hand or your face) will help clear your nasal passages and make breathing easier.

              Keep well and I hope the rest of the family is staying well too.

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              1. I woke up in the night feeling bad but by 6 a.m. my temperature was normal. I’ve been taking the medication. Seems to be working. In the end, I conceded to my wife, after her continuously nagging that I go to hospital. I told her I would cure myself at home, but she doesn’t want a 71-year-old geriatric with pneumonia in the flat with her children.

                I was about to get ready to set off, when the local clinic phone with the results of the coronavirus test that Vova, Lena, Sasha and I had undergone a few days ago.

                Apart from Vova, we all have coronavirus. The clinic said we must not leave the flat and that a doctor would visit us later today. As regards being hospitalized because of pneumonia, the doctor who is going to visit us will decide.

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                1. Coronavirus does cause pneumonia as there are such things as viral pneumonia, or it can weaken the lungs for bacteria to cause bacterial pneumonia. Please get some rest as there is not much that can be done to cure a viral infection except rest (although in Russian and many American hospitals they now give a steroid which lowers the immune system overresponse and seems to work really well).

                  I highly doubt you are in a ‘real’ risk group, since you are too young, and also don’t drink and are not overweight, but please take it easy nonetheless. Coronavirus symptoms can come and go and it can drastically increase the heart rate all of a sudden (because it can get into the blood stream), so it’s best to just lie in bed as much as possible to lower the risk of cardiac problems and wait until your immune system makes antibodies.

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                2. How did Vova escape having the coronavirus? His nocturnal lifestyle must have something to do with his being CV-free.

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                3. He took bad in the Crimea on 8th August. They said he had pneumonia. He flew home on 11th and has been OK since then. The last 3 days of his holiday were spoilt by the sudden onset of this sickness but he must be immune now. That’s whe he has buggered off to the dacha for the weekend with his Anastasia: he’s simply a sociopath!

                  Like

                4. I’ve got crazy medical indices now. As of this morning they are as follows:

                  temperature: 34.7

                  blood pressure: 105/73

                  pulse: 66

                  I am not dead!

                  Yet!

                  Like

      1. I must have missed it completely! Thanks for that, yes, I’m surprised Uncle Sam did not immediately trumpet it as a sterling example of the hooligans and morons that make up the Russian Air Force.

        Like

        1. They are a joy to behold in summer in the skies over my dacha territory, where they practise cunning stunts. Bit noisy though. They occasionally do it at night as well, which is a bit annoying.

          Like

  43. The unregulated comment format is great. I sometimes come here to look for links. Plus sometimes I post too, even though I’m intimidated by being more conservative in politics to probably everyone in the comments, and also for not dismissing coronavirus lately. I mean common, it’s obviously not the flu. It’s ten times deadlier. There are ~400,000 people estimated that die of the flu each year in the world, and coronavirus with the hidden deaths is probably up to 2 million. It will get to 4 million eventually. That said, that still doesn’t mean much to me. To some people it does, like my wife who was pregnant, so I have to make a good faith effort to try and not catch coronavirus because that makes you paranoid about illnesses. But a 10 times deadlier than the flu virus doesn’t justify destroying the economy if you can’t contain it with a quick and brutal quarantine like China and Taiwan did in the first month. If it was 100 x deadlier… that would be a different story. Plus I actually worked in Israel for five years so that also makes me a bit of a comment thread outsider.

    The length of time between posts is a bit problematic for me for long comment threads as they get too intimidating and I’m afraid to read through the last ten comments as usual, looking for links. Still, this is not a complaint but just a comment as this was brought up in the post.

    Also, I’m probably qualified to take a look at the German test results and see if they really did have traces of ‘Novichok’. Might need to do some quick reading on mass spec breakdown patterns to remind myself, but I really want those HPLC/MS traces from the German labs, along with their suspected structures of the compounds. I’m guessing I will never see them though.

    Like

    1. My experience with this web site is that all opinions are welcomed if they are accompanied by supporting facts.

      You mentioned that the “hidden” corona deaths would add substantially to the official fatality count. By “hidden” do you mean those who died from Corona without being diagnosed (thinking India, Brazil, etc.) or deaths from mis-classifications by medical staff?

      Like

      1. Yes, that’s what I mean. The flu deaths every year is an estimate. A lot less than 400,000 worldwide are actually officially diagnosed as dying from the flu after a test for the virus. There can be other sources of pneumonia for example, and some people never go to the hospital, so computer models take over based on observations over the last 30 years on how many true fatalities one fatality observed for sure in a hospital represents, and on the number of excess deaths that month (typically flu is seasonal and there is a spike when there was an outbreak) not attributed to other causes, etc…

        This is likely true for the coronavirus as well, with the caveat that a much larger number of the deaths are not “hidden” since many people go to the hospital and there is a spotlight on the virus. Those 200,000 dead in the US were officially registered as dying from COVID, but unlike the flu, I bet the hidden deaths are not several times higher but are probably at most twice higher. And obviously in countries like India and Brazil where someone in the slum dies and it goes completely unnoticed.

        Anyways, even half a million excess deaths in the US would not make me scared to go outside and shop, as I’m not in a risk group, but it would for a significant number of people. That’s just human nature. Last time there was a not very deadly flu (1957) that was still many times deadlier than the ordinary flu, the economy also dipped according to some charts I’ve seen. Personally I’d rather not catch it just in case and I’m happy my wife and the greater paranoid society around me made me follow all precautions and also my job is safe for now. I also hate travelling too much and I have to do it for my job, so not being able to fly to far away countries has been a small blessing. “Sorry… coronavirus; I’ll try to come next year though!”

        Now there is some strange type of dichotomy going on with the Republicans where on the one hand they want to accuse China of releasing the deadly virus, but on the other they want to say it’s completely harmless to save the economy. They were probably cocky and thought they could handle it better than China, so they whipped up hysteria about it being deadly and China not dealing with it well back in February. Then whoops… Now enough people think it’s deadly to totally screw your economy since you can’t deal with it as well as China did.

        Hilarious. If it wasn’t for all the jokers having nukes.

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        1. From all I have read, it looks as if the CDC is settling on an Infection Fatality Rate (IFR) for COVID-19 of about 0.65%. That fluctuates a bit, and sometimes is presented as low as 0.1%. But consensus in the field seems to be that the infection rate as a whole is grossly underestimated, and may be 25 times as high – this seems to be supported by the ‘new cases’ phenomenon, whereby the more they test, the more cases they discover, which in turn seems to suggest more cases await discovery than current testing can keep up with. At the same time, though, even fiddling with the death rate by incorporating all deaths of tested people regardless whether COVID actually killed them cannot conceal that the fatality rate of confirmed cases is quite low. COVID-19 is extremely contagious…but chance of recovery for those infected is in the order of 98% even by conservative estimate, and the demographic for whom it is most dangerous is well-established as elderly, perhaps above age 75, and the immune-compromised.

          Against that backdrop, SARS CoV (2003) and MERS (2012) were considerably less contagious, but significantly more dangerous – SARS CoV was 16 times more deadly at 9.6% IFR, and MERS 57 times more deadly at 34.3 %. Both are coronaviruses. In both cases the at-risk group included the elderly, although MERS seemed mostly to affect men, and the immune-compromised. In neither case is a vaccine available to this day. In neither case was a lockdown employed.

          https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/how-do-sars-and-mers-compare-with-covid-19#MERS

          What can we deduce from this? I’m going to suggest governments fell hook, line and sinker for the Imperial College model and its grossly-flawed projections of huge numbers of deaths. Lockdowns, in their turn, were desperate efforts to stave off those mass deaths. But entirely the wrong lessons were learned, and governments still seem to believe – or pretend to, for their own purposes – that going back into lockdown is an efficacious way to deal with an apparent ‘surge’ in cases. But this has already been shown to not prevent such deaths as occur from Coronavirus, and it looks to me like safeguarding facilities for the elderly and weak, such as care homes, would suffice. There is a totally-unsupported linkage of large numbers of infections with large numbers of deaths. And for so long as we commit to wiping out an airborne viral infection by suppressing it, we can never open our international borders until the last case has been eradicated worldwide. Every country will have a large pool of uninfected potential victims with no herd immunity. Astra-Zeneca/Oxford’s vaccine trials have been suspended because of unanticipated deleterious effects on test subjects.

          https://nypost.com/2020/09/08/astrazeneca-halts-covid-19-vaccine-trial/

          Like

          1. Well, a 1% or .65% death rate is a huge number of deaths if everybody necessary for herd immunity gets infected (~60-80% of all people based on the contagiousness). And apparently it’s not familiar to humans so everyone gets infected with it, unlike the flu or cold to which many already have some antibodies. And you’re still likely not to notice it that much in your circle, but all of a sudden you end up with 2 million dead in the US where so many are obese, and COVID is known for playing with the heart rate in addition to causing breathing difficulties.

            There is actually a MERS vaccine that finished Phase II. It was made by the same Russian institute responsible for the coronavirus vaccine and they’ve been testing it for the last few years. This explains why they had such a head start in vaccine development. They basically took their MERS system and replaces it with the COVID specific antibody and felt so certain about it that they injected themselves with it already back in the spring.

            There is an interview there with the developer. I know it’s Kevin Rothrock’s outfit, but the interview was actually very good and professionally done from a science angle. I’m not sure they translated it from Russian entirely as I read it a while ago.

            https://meduza.io/en/feature/2020/07/23/russia-s-way-out

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            1. That’s interesting. According to the source I cited, both SARS CoV and MERS are also zoonotic, meaning they originate in animals and are not familiar to humans – SARS CoV’s natural reservoir was horseshoe bats and MERS from contact with Dromedary camels. I have seen suggestions, which seem to be supported by the rapid decline in deaths relative to the rise in infections, that herd immunity for COVID 19 may be a much lower threshold than previous viral infections, possibly as low as 20%.

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              1. Mathematically, it does not make any sense that herd immunity for any disease to which you need to develop immunity would be less than 50%, because until that threshold, each infected person has on average a greater chance of coming in contact with someone who does not have immunity, than with someone who has immunity. Now as you get to 50%, then the reproduction rate of the virus across population starts to matter. If it’s low, just above 1, then you might become healthy and non infectious before you can infect someone else so herd immunity can be just above 50%. However if it’s really high, like the 20 of measles, then even 99% will not be enough to kill it as it will always find someone who is a good host for it and that’s why measles is so hard to wipe out, even though almost everyone has a vaccination.

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                1. Interesting; I did not think about it from a mathematical point of view. I wonder where the figure of 20% came from? Now I could challenge them and look smart.

                  Oh, hey – what do you know? I was just browsing for something interesting to read while I ate my Instant Pot Peach Cobbler (delicious with French Vanilla ice cream, and I used way less sugar than the recipe called for), and I found an article claiming a low (although not quite 20% low) herd immunity is possible because of pre-existing immunity in T-cells, and that a significant number of people worldwide already had some level of resistance to COVID-19 before it even arrived on-scene.

                  https://www.anti-empire.com/ex-chief-science-officer-for-pfizer-says-second-wave-conjured-up-by-flawed-test-pandemic-is-over/

                  Dr. Michael Yeadon, Chief Science Officer for Pharma giant Pfizer for 16 years, is the source for some of the material, although I have not watched the video and do not know how much of what is claimed he is responsible for. A lot of jaw-dropping inferences that at least half the COVID test results might be false-positives, and maybe many more. If the numbers claimed have any solid backing and are accurate, then the survival rate for COVID-19 is only marginally less than the flu – 99.8% versus 99.9% for flu.

                  Like

                2. I forgot to mention that it’s possible for the disease to end before reaching 50% if the transmission rate goes below 1, but this is due to other factors such as quarantines, people taking precautions, it’s summer and it doesn’t transmit well, etc… But that means it ended before herd immunity has been reached. If the transmission rate was always less than 1, then there would have been no big outbreak at all and it would have died out by itself after infecting a few dozen people. If the conditions revert to the original where the transmission rate was more than 1, and the disease is still around and less than 50% of people have immunity, it will start spreading again.

                  Herd immunity is ultimately a mathematical concept so it has to be above 50%. If people already have pre-immunity, either from a previous disease that looked similar or from a vaccine, then that counts as well as part of those 50%. But I thought the deal with the coronavirus was that all humans did not have any pre-immunity to it since it was so different and that’s why everyone got scared at the beginning. Because if that is the case, then it will infect ~60% of the entire human population in the best case herd immunity scenario.

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                3. “If the conditions revert to the original where the transmission rate was more than 1, and the disease is still around and less than 50% of people have immunity, it will start spreading again.”

                  Hence my main point that even if we managed to wrestle it to submission using suppressive techniques such as lockdown and quarantine, we would never be able to allow travelers from or to other countries until it was extinct everywhere. Suppression was always a bad idea.

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                4. Well the point was that you could slow it down long enough for a to find some better treatment techniques or for vaccine to be ready. I admit that I didn’t think it likely, but since a vaccine is coming out in January, it seems like it was quite an achievable goal, even if the economic damage was not worth it. Now that there is no appetite for lockdowns since the mortality rate is too low and it mostly kills people not in ‘your’ (i.e. most) demographic, it still might not be enough time to prevent a second wave, but it’ll take care of a third one I guess. And they did find a cheap steroid that shuts down the overly strong immune response in the bad cases. It’s been credited for lower mortality lately in the US and the low mortality in Russia. So that was the reasoning behind fighting it. Everyone being vaccinated is a more palatable herd immunity strategy for politicians and a huge number of other people, as opposed to the alternative. The economic damage and the bravery of citizens in the face of something that kills only 1% of infected (and mostly old people) was underestimated.

                  Like

                5. Well, some Canadian provinces – the only ones that matter, I guess, Quebec and Ontario – spent much of today’s news cycle declaring that the dreaded Second Wave is already upon us. Cases, naturally, not deaths; they cite ‘new infections’ with the terrified wonder that implies this was not the expected result of accelerated testing, at all. What we’s gonna do? I submit it is a shot across the bow of the 20% or so who are not convinced that this is the Great Scourge childhood Bible tales warned us about; wear a fucking mask and start looking like you like it, bucko, or we’ll be back in Lockdown City before you can say “droplets’. It looks more and more like no progress against the virus is going to be measured until the entire population is so cowed that it will accept any withdrawal of its freedoms, while congratulating itself for being so noble and community-minded. Hint – stop thinking ‘Rights’, and start thinking ‘Privileges’.

                  But I did hear a sort-of rebuttal to my usual charge that we will never be able to open national borders until every single ‘case’ has been eradicated worldwide – No, they said; as this situation evolves, we will have quicker and more reliable testing, and we can test, test, test everyone who is entering the country until we are satisfied all travelers from other lands are COVID-free. And we’ll have a vaccine, as well, the magic potion that will prevent those who have never had it from ever having it.

                  Perhaps. But to me, it’s a little like death-penalty cases. If you only once send an innocent plaintiff to his death, it’s once too often. If only once a COVID test is inaccurate and a single case carrying a live virus is permitted to enter, it will maul a population rich in uninfected victims in less time than it takes to say it. Herd immunity is a far better concept, and there is absolutely no requirement to risk the lives of the elderly to achieve it. Let it rage among the healthy and younger population until it runs out of steam, and it’s beaten. But they’re too busy trying to suppress it, then wailing and gnashing their teeth and demanding more sacrifice until the unworkable somehow works.

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                6. Well, some Canadian provinces – the only ones that matter, I guess, Quebec and Ontario …

                  Is that really the case?

                  I am really interested to know this, for as you know, I have always had a soft spot for Canada ever since I was a kid, and now, having heard my nephew’s yarns about the wilds of Canada, namely out in the vicinity of Suffield, Alberta, about his having only prairie dogs for companions whilst dug in at a forward artillery observation post there, my old desire to venture West has been newly stimulated.

                  But does the vastness of Canada beyond the Ontario and Quebec province really only consist of the boondocks?

                  If it does, it sounds like my kind of country.

                  Same as here, really — after a fashion.

                  🙂

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                7. In terms of political influence, it certainly seems that way to anyone who is not from either Quebec or Ontario. They are Canada’s most populous provinces, and their opinions and grievances carry the most weight; what happens there is often assessed as ‘what’s happening in Canada’. Like Moscow and Saint Petersburg versus ‘the regions’.

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              2. The 20% figure may be from NYC’s experience. Covid-19 spread in that city has largely been eliminated yet with only about 20% (IIRC 22%) immunity of the general population. Those numbers were mentioned in a Congressional hearing involving Rand Paul and the good Dr. Faulucci whatever.

                The 50% requirement likely assumes a completely homogeneous population that is randomly interacting. Yet, children apparently have a lower likelihood of catching and transmitting the disease and may not be counted in the 20-22% figure. Moreover, it’s the health impact of the spread that matters. A reasonably health adult has little chance of a severe reaction to an infection. Indeed, getting infected seems to be a free and effective form of vaccination contributing to the decline of further spread.

                My suspicion is that masks and social distancing have only a minor contribution toward reducing the spread. Only a complete lock down would guarantee a reduction in the rate of transmission.

                My inexpert but nevertheless fact-based assessment is that the most effective and least damaging strategy is to protect those groups with a high likelihood of an adverse effect from an infection while allowing the 90%+ of the population to go about their business.

                The above strategy may not be PC as young but overweight people would be singled-out thereby countering the body positivity message that fat is beautiful. Often mentioned by non-MSM sources is that the US’s poor Covid track record can be partially explained by the very high rates of obesity with its related health problems. Such inconvenient facts to not play well for an exceptional nation populated by heroes.

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    2. Yes, it’s funny you should say that, because I just got off the phone with my Mom. We were setting up lunch today; she mentioned that Coronavirus has killed almost 200,000 people in the USA, and I told her that was way off, that’s the number worldwide and the media routinely confuses it to scare people. So I immediately looked it up after putting down the phone, and indeed it is over 199,000 deaths in the USA. It is indeed deadlier than the flu; but still, it is not the plague and the number of deaths has tapered off dramatically, hence the need to refer to ‘cases’ now rather than ‘deaths’, although obviously if you are a ‘case’ it is still very unlikely you will be a ‘death’.

      I would argue over the ‘hidden deaths’ unless you do not mean that such deaths should be attributed to coronavirus, since there seems to have been a deliberate effort on the part of the western health-care system to attribute any peripherally-related death to coronavirus and if anything, the number is probably lower than stated. But it has certainly taken off more than I thought.

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      1. The bulk of the information at

        https://heyjackass.com/

        relates to the ongoing mayhem generated by violence using firearms in Chicago.

        Scroll down through the dismal stats on drive-by shooting incidents and the like and there are a couple of sections dealing with Coronavirus demographics and, especially interesting, listed comorbidities for deaths in Cook County cases. The footnotes detail the sources and remind us to distinguish between cases of death WITH Cv19 and FROM Cv19. The blurring of causes of death benefits only the fearmongers, I believe.

        The Scottish death certificates I used to see regularly listed several causes of death, in descending order of importance. The few English ones I saw had far fewer details, and perhaps the US system followed the English example.

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        1. Gee; humour is to be found in a variety of odd places these days. The comparison between COVID fatalities and being shot offered a Case Fatality Rate (CFR) of 3.68% for the former, while a much higher rate of 17% was attributed to ‘Hi-Speed Lead’. And the CFR for COVID is likely exaggerated as well, due to linking of deaths owing to comorbidities as you mentioned. I think the global average COVID CFR is about 2%.

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          1. Yes, they do have a mischievous sense of humour – one of the “spikes” on the CV19 graphic there is shaped like a handgun.

            The shot-in-the-ass &c-ometers are good too.

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    1. It reminds me of that famous French song from the 1980s Fromage, Fromage by Desireless:

      Au dessus le camembert,
      Glissent d’ail en le fromage Bleu d’Auvergne…

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      1. Mechant, Et Al!

        As penance you should read “The Cheese and the Worms” about the Holy Inquisition dealing with a nutty Miller in Friuli.

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    2. That was a singularly interesting post; I always enjoy Helmer’s work because it is impeccably sourced, but in this instance the pie charts offered persuasive evidence as to why Belarus was almost immediately selected as the underground railroad for European cheeses masquerading as originating within the customs union. Belarus had 25% of the Russian cheese import market in 2013, and its share ballooned to 86% this year. Added to that would be Lukashenko’s fence-sitting and flirtation with the EU, said tacit alliance and cooperation having gone into the toilet bowl with the EU’s complicity in trying to overthrow and replace him, whipped on by Uncle Sam. Another nice own goal, you failures.

      As an aside, I greatly appreciate Putin’s earthy and impromptu sense of humour; in response to cheesemaker Sirota’s assurances that in the next two to three years, Russian cheese exports would make established European cheese producers tremble, he inquired “Will it make them tremble because it is delicious, or because of something else?”

      Like

    3. I don’t know if I mentioned it here, but I went to my wife’s hometown in the summer of 2019 (I was there earlier as well), and one of the free days I went to the supermarket and bought six to eight different cheeses that said “made in Russia” to try. I left the rest of the blocks to her sister after trying. It wasn’t bad actually. Not as good as stuff I can get in Germany but close enough to it, but much better than typical American or Canadian made cheeses. I know it’s not a high bar, but still.

      I guess I’m comparing it to Russian chesses from 2015. It was edible but not much different than the cheap cheeses I could get at the ubiquitous Russian supermarkets in Israel. There almost all the stuff was imported from Poland or Russia, and there were a few of homemade varieties that had different names from the official Western version, like Tal-Emek instead of Emmental, where it was slightly inferior but really depended on the month. The Russian cheeses were often different in taste and were different kinds, but were nothing extraordinary. They just didn’t copy the Western famous types and concentrated on their own thing. Which I guess is not allowed under the EU rules. Now they copy and call it by the original name too and the taste is great.

      I wish I could get more stuff from Europe and Russia here, but I think my current country has some sort of import mafia where they don’t want to compete with outside products too much. The problem is that unlike Russia, they often just don’t make that type of cheese so the import substitution amounts to: “Just eat something else. Who needs all these stupid cheeses anyways. We survived many centuries without Emmental. Why don’t you just eat our traditional food and be happy; there are pseudo-scientific studies showing that it’s healthy!”

      Like

      1. I did not try a great variety of cheese in Russia when I was there, so my palate is quite limited; we had a medium-hard ripened cheese that was whitish-yellow, sort of creamy in colour and mild in flavour that we liked and pretty consistently bought to eat with rulka and bread as a light meal. But that was in, what, 2006 or so. So the Russian cheese market might have really taken off. And that was in the Primorskye region, which is pretty rural compared with the great cities like St Petersburg and Moscow, where I imagine the variety to be quite cosmopolitan, although back then most of it would likely have been international rather than domestic. We did shop at a few supermarkets, but most of our food purchases came from open-air markets with small shops or the ubiquitous stalls made by cutting one side out of an old shipping container.

        Overall I am encouraged by the Russian response to sanctions, because it seems to me very positive to use it as an opportunity to infuse the domestic industry – rather than being bitter and indulging in recriminations, which would only give the enemy satisfaction, Russia reorients its markets and uses gentle mockery, which makes the enemy feel cheated, balked and ineffective.

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  44. Pop quiz – who said this?

    “95% of the people in Finland or the United States or Germany believe that Russian state poisoned Navalny. The facts don’t matter as much as what people believe in.”

    Bonus question – if that’s true, how can such a reality coincide with this one?

    “But it is far from clear that Ms Merkel is ready to pull the plug on Nord Stream 2. The chancellor’s messaging on the pipeline has been remarkably consistent and the Navalny affair has, so far, barely impinged on it. Moreover, she is backed by most of the German political establishment.

    The opposition Greens tabled a motion in the Bundestag last week calling on the government to stop the project, which will bring gas directly from Russia to Germany across the Baltic Sea. Green party leader Annalena Baerbock said Nord Stream 2 was “splitting Europe”.

    Yet Ms Baerbock and her party found themselves almost entirely isolated. Erstwhile enemies from across the political spectrum ganged up to savage their motion. It was one of the few occasions on which Ms Merkel’s CDU/CSU, the Social Democrats, the hard-left Die Linke and the hard-right Alternative for Germany had ever agreed on anything…

    …At the same time, Berlin has continued to insist that political issues — specifically, the Navalny affair and the need for a robust European response — must be kept apart from economic ones, notably infrastructure projects that are seen as essential for Europe’s energy security.

    Ms Merkel was asked in late August, shortly after Mr Navalny had arrived in Berlin for treatment, if Germany should quit Nord Stream 2. Her response was clear: the two issues should, she said, be “decoupled”. Nord Stream 2 should be completed, she added, since it would be operated by economic actors in both Russia and Europe. There is no reason to believe her view has changed since then — novichok or no novichok.”

    How sad – the Germans just do not seem to care about Navalny! Unless it is the 95% of Germans who are outside the government (apart from the Greens) and the business community. Ich weiß, welche Seite meines Brotes gebuttert ist.

    https://www.ft.com/content/a26cacdf-7238-4417-b0b7-696eeeeb239c

    Like

    1. Which is the modern version that stands today, then? The one with balconies, or without?

      According to Wiki, the Charite has four campuses, all in Berlin – the main building in Mitte (which appears to be the one in which the honoured guest was allegedly quartered and allowed to smoke and wander about the stairwells at will). the Benjamin Franklin in Lichterfelde , the Virchow Klinikum in Wedding and the Berlin Buch, in Buch. Of those pictured, only the main building appears to have balconies like a hotel. The Buch is not pictured, but was apparently acquired in 2001 by the Helios clinics Group; the Charite now uses it only for research facilities.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charit%C3%A9

      It’s hard to know which side you’re looking at, but one side appears flat right across while the sections that are balconied protrude slightly at each side. It would obviously be much easier to build them on than to blast them off, so it appears the version with the balconies is current.

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      1. Most likely one side of the building has balconies (let’s say it’s facing north) and on the other side opposite to the first side (that is, it is facing south if the first side faces north), there are no balconies. Of course if the balconies’ side faces south, then the side facing north has no balconies.

        A bird’s eye view of the building would clear away any confusion.

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  45. TheHill.com: Steele Dossier sub-source was subject of FBI counterintelligence probe
    https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/518138-steele-dossier-sub-source-was-subject-of-fbi-counterintelligence-probe

    …The detail was previously redacted from a footnote in Justice Department inspector general Michael Horowitz’s 2019 report on four Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court warrant applications…

    …the investigation was opened “based on information by the FBI indicating that the Primary Sub-source may be a threat to national security.” The investigation was closed in 2011 and not reopened. …
    ####

    I had assumed that anyone of Russian origin who is in contact with certain American officials/agencies is automatically probed. Not much of a surprise.

    Like

  46. Собянин призвал пожилых москвичей оставаться дома из-за коронавируса
    12:28 25.09.2020

    Sobyanin has urged elderly Muscovites to stay at home because of coronavirus
    12:28 25.09.2020

    MOSCOW, September 25 – RIA Novosti. Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin has called on elderly Muscovites and people with chronic diseases to change over to remote work or take a vacation owing to to the coronavirus situation. The new rules will take effect on 28 September.

    “Muscovites over 65 and younger citizens suffering from chronic diseases should not leave the house or leave their garden plot without a special need for doing so. Please temporarily refuse making contact with relatives and friends who live separately. Walking and physical exercise in the fresh air is restricted”, says the personal blog of the mayor.

    Yeah, well I’m not a Muscovite — so bugger off!

    They’ve told me and my 3 children to stay put in our flat.

    The doctor has still not come though. When he does, I ‘m sure he’ll say there’s no need to go to hospital. My temperature is now normal .

    In my CT analysis that I have now finally read from top to bottom, it says that observations of my scan “may correspond to the manifestations of viral pneumonia”.

    That’s rich: may correspond!

    Like

      1. It was, and she wasn’t the least interested in me and told me so. I proffered her my CT analysis and she said that she needed nothing off me, that she was a paediatrician and was only interested in my children’s health. So I said to her: “I’m a big kid really!”

        She may not have understood me because because I said that to her in English.

        And she thought I was their ancient grandpa as well, which always pisses me off.

        She wasn’t aware that Vova was getting ready to bugger off to the dacha for the weekend with the delightful Anastasia, albeit he is supposedly confined to barracks as well. As soon as she had left, he was away to the country with his girlfriend.

        Like

        1. By the way, Vova is the only one in my family who has not been registered as corona-positive. That must be because when he was in the Crimea for the first 11 days in August, 3 days before he was due to return here, he fell ill and his temperature rocketed. he had breathing difficulties and they took him to a coronavirus clinic in Sevastopol, from where they sent him to a lung hospital in Balaclava. They gave him a CT scan there and said he he had pneumonia and he needn’t go into isolation and could fly back to Moscow. So he must have immunity now.

          Like

        2. “… [She] wasn’t the least interested in me and told me so. I proffered her my CT analysis and she said that she needed nothing off me …”

          The way this part of the comment reads, it looks like a hilarious propositioning scenario.

          Like

    1. At least they did not say “highly likely”.

      A doctor makes house calls? My god, Russia is backwards! That practice disappeared decades ago in the US.

      Good to hear that your temperatures is back to normal. I wonder if having the virus eliminates the need for a vaccination.

      Like

  47. Euractiv: BERLIN – Head of Military Intelligence Service to resign
    https://www.euractiv.com/section/politics/short_news/berlin-head-of-military-intelligence-service-to-resign/

    On Thursday (24 September), Christian Gramm, the president of Germany’s Military Intelligence Service (MAD), was forced to resign. To many, the shake-up doesn’t come as a surprise given the recent criticism over how the agency handled investigations into right-wing extremism in the German Special Forces (KSK). Gramm’s term as MAD president will come to an end next month…
    ####

    Curious timing no? Surely completely unrelated to the recent likely faked Navalny ‘poisoning.’

    Like

    1. I’ll be damned. That IS an astonishing coincidence, and they apparently felt it was enough of a glaring coincidence that a red-herring excuse was supplied. If your guess is accurate, it likely suggests there will be no flinching from Germany on supplying Navalny’s samples to Russia, and no apology; the issue will just be allowed to fade away, while a few selective firings is supposed to send its own message. We’ll see. Good catch!

      Like

      1. Well keep an eye on the follow up or far more likely the almost total absence of it.

        When it is embarassing to oneself, suddenly it becomes like classic ‘straight facts’ reporting. When it can cause trouble for your enemies, speculation runs wild, pure Rosenford (Rosenberg/Rainsford), They can peddle all kinds of ropey speculative s/t and opinon as proper journalism because it is Russia where we all know that everything is possible.

        Like

  48. Russia Observer: RUSSIAN FEDERATION SITREP 24 SEPTEMBER 2020
    https://patrickarmstrong.ca/2020/09/24/russian-federation-sitrep-24-september-2020/

    RUSSIA AND COVID. As far as I can see it’s pretty much under control in Russia. CNN has a (surprisingly) intelligent discussion; counting is everything (vide: with or from?) and the Russians are stricter on their counting. They also treat early with an effective drug. Meanwhile in the USA and UK, supposedly the best prepared… I recommend Stephen Walt’s essay again: The Death of American Competence. And I reiterate: 2020 will go down as the year the West lost its mojo….
    ####

    The rest at the link as usual.

    Like

  49. dp.ru
    24 сентября 2020, 16:49 1522
    Квартиру Навального в Москве арестовали по иску Пригожина

    Navalny’s apartment in Moscow has been seized following a lawsuit by Prigozhin

    Bailiffs have seized the apartment of opposition politician Alexei Navalny in Moscow, FBK press secretary Kira Yarmysh said on Twitter.

    According to her, Federal Bailiff Service officers announced a ban on registration actions at the end of August, a week after Navalny had been poisoned on board a Tomsk-Moscow flight.

    “This means that the apartment cannot be sold, donated or mortgaged. At the same time, Alexey’s accounts have been seized”, Yarmysh explained.

    She also added that the seizure was connected with a lawsuit filed by the St. Petersburg businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin, who bought out the FBK debt of 88 million rubles from “Moskovskiy Shkolnik”. 30 million rubles have already been collected from the fund’s accounts.

    In October, the Moscow Arbitration Court took the side of “Moskovskiy Shkolnik” in a dispute with FBK. The company demanded compensation for damages received as a result of the fund’s investigation of poor quality food in the capital’s schools.

    From RIA Novosti:

    Data from an extract of the Unified State Register of Real Estate, which is at the disposal of RIA Novosti, confirms that the bailiffs imposed encumbrances on Navalny’s apartment, in which he owns one third of the living space.

    In addition, as follows from the database of enforcement proceedings on the Federal Bailiff Service website, Navalny must pay almost 29 million rubles under a writ of execution on “other foreclosures of a property nature” in favour of individuals and legal entities, as well as pay off an enforcement fee of more than two million rubles.

    Commenting on the situation with Navalny’s apartment, Yevgeny Prigozhin, director of “Concord Management and Consulting”, said that he would be able to give shelter the blogger for a small fee.
    “As for Navalny’s apartment, if he does not find shelter with his comrades-in-arms, like Lenin, then I will make him an inexpensive in the hallway”, the Concord press service quotes him.

    In 2019, a court in Moscow found 17 statements in a video clip and a publication on catering in Moscow schools and kindergartens as untrue and defamatory to the business reputation of “Moskovskiy Shkolnik” and ordered that there be recovered from FBK, as well as Navalny and Lyubov Sobol, in total 88 million rubles. They were also ordered to remove the subject and articles containing inaccurate information from their websites and social media accounts, as well as publish a refutation in the form of the operative part of the court decision.

    In July this year, Navalny announced the closure of the Anti-Corruption Fund. In August, Prigozhine bought out the debt of Navalny, Lyubov Sobol and FBK to the Moscow Schoolboy company. After that, the right to claim passed to the businessman.

    What you gonna do now, Yogi?

    You should know: both you and Sobol are lawyers — aren’t you?

    Like

    1. It sounds as if ‘the Kremlin’ is finally going to get serious about punishing that toad. He’s so used to piling up suspended sentences hat he perhaps expected another. But I suspect the purpose of the legal actions against him this time around is to prevent his return to Russia. Moscow is likely quite comfortable with the idea of him becoming another ‘president in exile’ like Khodorkovsky. And Navalny has access to the finest legal minds in the west – surely they will take his case pro bono, and show up where ‘the Kremlin’ is acting illegally. If they cannot do that, well…then what must be our conclusion?

      I suspect the days of money-for-nothing for Lyosha may be over.

      Like

      1. It sounds like a lien or inhibition on dealing with the property – standard practice in seeking to recover monies owed in the western legal systems so admired by the blogger. A bog-standard remedy in private law disputes – i.e. NOT involving the state other than through its position to adjudicate between non-state parties in duly conducted court proceedings.

        The purchase of the assignation of rights in the school services defamation case was pure genius.

        “Rule of law”.

        Like

    2. typos above:

      Commenting on the situation with Navalny’s apartment, Yevgeny Prigozhin, director of “Concord Management and Consulting”, said that he would be able to give shelter to the blogger for a small fee.
      “As for Navalny’s apartment, if he does not find shelter with his comrades-in-arms, like Lenin, then I will fashion him an inexpensive bed in the hallway”, the Concord press service quotes him.

      Like

  50. Bullshit baffles brains!


    Daria Alekseevna Navalnaya

    Dasha studied English language in-depth at Moscow Gymnasium No. 45, one of the most prestigious educational institutions in the Russian capital,

    However, after graduating from high school, the girl did not want to stay in her native Moscow. Dasha has frankly admitted in her blog: she is going to study at Stanford University, one of the top universities in America, located in sunny California.

    According to Daria, she will study at Stanford free of charge, since her parents’ income is below one hundred thousand dollars. However, this has caused more surprise among Russians – the fact is that only US citizens on a low income have the opportunity of studying at this university without paying fees, and In any case, her parents must pay considerable expenses for her living and studying in America …

    source

    Like

    1. “Undergraduate admissions [at Stanford] is the most selective of any college in the United States, with an acceptance rate of 4.3% [of applicants].”

      More selective, that is to say, than Harvard or Yale.

      https://www.wsj.com/articles/acceptance-rates-at-harvard-other-ivy-league-schools-edge-up-11585311985

      I daresay Moscow is starting a dossier on Darya, with relevant information such as this, against the day she will want to return to Russia as a celebrated dissident like Daddy.

      Like

  51. An amusing anecdote from the past …

    *Pussy Riot Activist May Have Been Poisoned, German Doctors Say*

    Sept. 18, 2018

    BERLIN — German doctors treating a Pussy Riot activist who lost his sight, speech and mobility after spending time in a court in Moscow said on Tuesday that it was “highly plausible” that he had been poisoned, as their tests had found no evidence that he was suffering from a long-term illness.

    The activist, Pyotr Verzilov, 30, was treated for several days in the toxicology wards of two hospitals in Moscow after falling ill. On Saturday, he was flown to Berlin and admitted to the Charité hospital. His doctors in the German capital told reporters at a news conference that he was in an intensive care unit but was not in life-threatening condition.

    “We are working on the assumption of a poisoning that has lasted about a week,” Dr. Kai-Uwe Eckardt, director of the hospital’s medical center, said. “Test results indicate certain active ingredients, but the exact substance has not yet been determined.”

    Suffer more …

    Every – Single – Time.

    Like

        1. That guy is a self-important prick with delusions of grandeur. If he is representative of the non-systemic opposition in Russia then, assuming that Putin is even aware of this guy, it would only provide a good laugh after a hard day at the office

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Verzilov is an attention junkie. He set himself up as the ‘spokesman’ of Pussy Riot because they were getting a lot of attention and he wanted to be part of it. He has no visible talent of his own – except perhaps a facility for languages, his English is pretty good – and so he must attach himself to those who either are talented, or who fancy they are and who are supported in that belief by the English-speaking media.

            https://www.thelocal.de/20200822/whos-behind-the-berlin-ngo-which-rescued-russias-opposition-leader

            Like

            1. His English is good because he went to school in Toronto until his somehow landing a place at MGU Philosophy Faculty, which is one of the greatest riddles of the Cosmos, in my opinion.

              I think he was at least 12 when he began to live in Canada. He lived there with his “philosopher” first wife as well. What exactly their status in Canada is, I can never clearly find out.

              She dropped out of the MGU Philosophy Faculty after he had humped her when she was 18. A couple of weeks before she had the baby, he was shagging her in public — or simulating the act — in a Moscow zoological museum. He and his ex-wife had other fornicating accomplices during the “event”.

              Ars gratia artis, as they say.

              Like

  52. Ватикан учит Варшаву правильному обращению с Белоруссией

    The Vatican teaches Warsaw how properly to deal with Belarus

    Full in the panting heart of Rome,
    Beneath th’apostle’s crowning dome,
    From pilgrims’ lips that kiss the ground,
    Breathes in all tongues only one sound:

    ‘God bless our Pope, God bless our Pope,
    God bless our Pope, the great, the good.


    Following the visit to the Vatican on Friday, September 25, of Polish President Andrzej Duda and his wife, the Press Department of the Holy See published a short message. It said that Pope Francis received Duda, after which the President met Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin and Secretary for Relations with States, Archbishop Paul Gallagher. And further: “Heartfelt discussions took place in the context of the centenary of the birth of St. John Paul II and the 40th anniversary of the founding of the independent trade union “Solidarity”. Several topics of mutual interest related to the mission of the Church were discussed, including the issues of strengthening families and raising young people. Finally, attention was drawn to some international issues such as the current health emergency, regional situation and security”.

    What is meant by “regional situation and security” was later deciphered by Duda himself. Note that these issues were not the subject of his conversation with the pontiff, they were raised during negotiations with Cardinal Parolin, who is in charge of the practical leadership of Vatican diplomacy. According to the Polish president, they talked about the situation in Belarus. “The cardinal asked how we perceive what is happening, I in turn asked what is the position of the Holy See”, said Duda. “In fact, we came to a common opinion that it is necessary to support all those who want real democracy, who want freedom, who want to live in an honest state: these people should have our support. But, of course, Belarus must make its own decision in free and fair elections. Here we have an unambiguous position that the international community should demand from the Belarusian authorities: that the policy in Belarus be carried out in such a way as to hold the elections fairly. And the Belarusian people should be supported in this. The international community should support the Belarusian people.”

    At the same time, the President of Poland did not specify such key issues as when to hold “fair elections” — now, after the constitutional reform in Belarus or the end of the next term of office of the recently inaugurated President Alexander Lukashenko. Nor was it said who Lukashenka is for Warsaw. After all, the international community has an ambiguous attitude towards it. Thus, for Vilnius, he is “the former president of Belarus, both politically and legally”. Germany and the EU diplomatic department use the formula of “missing or insufficient democratic legitimacy necessary for his recognition as the legitimate president” in relation to Lukashenko. With all its usual demagogy, Washington has discussed the candidacy of the US Ambassador to Belarus Julie Fischer through the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and is sending her to Minsk, where she will present her credentials to the President, which means recognition of Lykashenko.

    Everything is much more interesting in the case of Warsaw. As the former Polish diplomat Witold Jurash notes, the Polish Foreign Ministry speaks of the lack of legitimacy of Lukashenko and the illegality of his government, but, unlike Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, does not declare that Poland does not recognize Lukashenko as president. “The prime minister, it seems, in turn, assumes the latter”, the expert believes, calling the difference between the positions of the diplomatic department and the head of government “principled”. As for Duda, on this issue he is closer to the Foreign Ministry and the Vatican than to the prime minister. It is not yet known what exactly the Secretary of State of the Holy See replied to the Polish president during the meeting in the Vatican, but his position can be reconstructed based on indirect data. Recall that on September 16, the cardinal ordained the new apostolic nuncio in Belarus, Ante Jozic, to the bishopric in Croatia. This is not an ordinary event, it is obvious that it was important for Parolin to personally meet with Jozic and explain to him the Vatican’s line regarding the republic, the development of the situation in which the Holy See is closely watching.

    A little later, the Nuncio gave a detailed interview to the Croatian Catholic portal IKA-Zagreb. Answering the question about his mission in Belarus, he highlighted the following. “First”, said Jozic, “one of the main tasks of a nuncio is the appointment of new bishops: after the retirement of bishops who have reached the age of 75, the nunciature initiates the procedure for appointing new ones. This is an indication of the head of the Belarusian Catholics, Archbishop Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz, who has been in Poland since the end of August and who, by order of the Belarusian authorities, is not allowed back to Minsk. In January 2021, he will just turn 75 years old, and it seems that the Holy See will not hesitate in satisfying his resignation petition. Secondly”, stressed the nuncio, “the Catholic Church will not interfere in politics”, because if “the Church or its leaders choose this or that person, then there is a division of believers”. This is already a response to Belarusian Catholics, who are carried away by participation in protests against Lukashenko’s administration, and some of them are even unhappy with the fact that the Vatican refuses to directly support their political demands..

    Like

      1. The Northern Crusade against Baltic pagans and Slav heretics.

        Chaucer’s Knight:

        Seen the elephant he had: been everywhere, done everything:

        A Knight ther was, and that a worthy man,
        That fro the tyme that he first bigan
        To ryden out, he loved chivalrye,
        Trouthe and honour, fredom and curteisye.
        Ful worthy was he in his lordes werre,
        And therto hadde he riden (no man ferre)
        As wel in Cristendom as hethenesse,
        And ever honoured for his worthinesse.

        At Alisaundre he was, whan it was wonne;
        Ful ofte tyme he hadde the bord bigonne
        Aboven alle notions in Pruce.
        In Lettow hadde he reysed and in Ruce,
        No Cristen man so ofte of his degree.
        In Gernade at the sege eek hadde he be
        Of Algezir, and riden in Belmarye.
        At Lyeys was he, and at Satalye,
        Whan they were wonne; and in the Grete See
        At many a noble aryve hadde he be.
        At mortal batailles hadde he been fiftene,
        And foughten for our feith at Tramissene
        In listes thryes, and ay slayn his foo.
        This ilke worthy knight had been also
        Somtyme with the lord of Palatye,
        Ageyn another hethen in Turkye:
        And evermore he hadde a sovereyn prys.
        And though that he were worthy, he was wys,
        And of his port as meke as is a mayde.
        He never yet no vileinye ne sayde
        In al his lyf, un-to no maner wight.
        He was a verray parfit gentil knight.

        Where hadn’t he been?

        Pruce — Prussia: not German then but pagan Baltic tribes.

        Lettow — Lithuania: Baltic pagan tribe.

        Ruce — Russia; heretical Eastern Orthodox.

        The rest of the time he seems to have been kicking Muslim arse around the Mediterranean, but, clearly, Northern European pagans and Eastern European Orthodox Christians were also considered fair game.

        Like

        1. Worthy of sainthood I would say if not already sainted by the Vatican. My understanding is that most largest Crusades were directed against the Eastern Orthodox just as they are now but in a different form. Modern folks do not fully appreciate the persistence of history.

          If you are affected by Covid, it is certainly not apparent from the quality and quantity of your posts!

          Like

  53. Coming home to roost . . .?

    Пора платить: на банковском счету Албурова заблокировали более трёх млн рублей
    Сегодня, 18:17

    Time to pay up! More than three million rubles have been blocked on Alburov’s bank account
    Today, 18:17


    Georgy Alburov, who had previously called himself the head of the FBK investigation department, suddenly revealed his real boss to the world, when the activities of Maria Pevchikh were exposedPhoto: http://www.instagram.com/alburov

    It is time to pay the bills. The hand of justice has also reached out to the liberalist Georgy Alburov from the so-called Anti-Corruption Fund, recognized as a foreign agent. More than three million rubles have been blocked on his bank account. The money will go towards losses incurred by government services during last year’s rallies in Moscow. Navalnyist Alburov was one of the main agitators of the disorder there.

    Unlike adequate people, Navalnyists do not recognize the obvious illegality of their actions, as well as the right of representatives of the authorities to impose completely justified punishment against them. They start screaming on all their Twitter, Facebook, Telegram etc. accounts about alleged blatant injustice and, as it happens, every time, they ask for donations. Thus, they manage, of course, by manipulating the hamsters a little, to avoid financial responsibility by dumping it on their lop-eared biomass.

    This method is used not only by Alburov, it is a common feature of FBK foreign agent members. First, they fuck everything up and then cry onto ther subscribers’ shoulders

    Tough shit, arsehole!

    Like

  54. Sabine Hossenfelder is one intelligent and charismatic physicist. She takes on established science for its tendency to pursue projects simply to create job openings for scientists as well as presenting lucid explanations of various scientific phenomenon. Here, she rants about science being used to justify political decisions.

    Like

  55. Украинские и американские военные блокируют подходы к Крыму
    23.09.2020 11:53

    Ukrainian and American military blocking approaches to the Crimea

    As reported by online media, the Crimean peninsula was in a partial “siege”. Journalists write that the military personnel of the USA and the Ukraine have practically blocked the peninsula from the “western and eastern directions”. According to sources not named by the publications, the airspace and water areas here are controlled by the Ukrainian and American military aviation, as well as by the warships of the Ukrainian Navy.

    In support of the veracity of their publication, the authors show a map where zones controlled around Crimea are highlighted in green.

    “Considering the fact that neither the United States nor the Ukraine recognizes the transition of the Crimea to Russian sovereignty, an intensified blockade of the peninsula is underway. Of course, it is impossible to completely blockade the Crimea, but, nevertheless, this is part of the West’s policy — to demonstrate the existence of Russia’s weaknesses in protecting its own territories”, say
    journalists, citing the conclusion of their anonymous source.

    It is noted that the Telegram-community “Operational Line” has explained what has been happening with the joint exercises of the Ukrainian and US Air Forces, which are most likely a reaction to the Kavkaz-2020 command and control system conducted by Russia. At the moment, no official confirmation of this information has been received either from the Ukrainian side or from the Russian Ministry of Defence.

    Like

    1. “…as well as by the warships of the Ukrainian Navy.”

      They have one. The one in the photo, to be exact, the HETMAN SACHADACHNYY. The rest are minor auxiliaries like those dinky little riverboats the Russians seized and eventually gave back, following the Battle Of Kerch Strait. Mockery is the only sensible response. Those are not real seagoing vessels, and an imperious order to stop directed at a major commercial vessel could safely be answered by simply running the pipsqueak over. They only have some little guns. They were popular with Poroshenko because he owns the shipyard that built them.

      Like

      1. I read recently (BMPD?) that the UK plans to build missile boats for the Ukraine, I guess as humanitarian aid… Found it:

        ‘Europan Pravda’ via BMPD: Предложение постройки ракетных катеров по британскому проекту для Украины
        https://bmpd.livejournal.com/4137253.html

        …Финсирование проекта должно осуществляться в счет займа размером до 1,25 млрд фунтов стерлингов (1,6 млрд долл), который якобы может предоставить Великобритания сроком на 10 лет. Средства данного заемного финансирования должны пойти также на модернизацию объектов базирования ВМС Украины. По условиям кредитования, не менее 20% этих средств должны идти британским поставщикам.

        В случае согласия украинской стороны межправительственное соглашение по данному вопросу может быть подписано в ходе визита президента Украины Владимира Зеленского в Великобританию в октябре 2020 года….
        ####

        So much for my memory! It a 1.6 billion dollar equivalent loan, 20% must be spent on British suppliers. What a bargain.

        Like

  56. Despite this, it should be said that according to the statements of the officials of the Russian military department, the number of provocative flights of the American strategic aviation near the Crimean peninsula has really very many times increased recently.

    Earlier it was reported that Russian fighters had intercepted three US bombers over the Black Sea..

    How does that Dirty harry catchphrase go?

    Something like: “Do you feel lucky, punk?”

    Like

    1. Oh, the humanity!

      The turboprop crashed as it was about to land at an airfield outside the town of Chuguev, close to Kharkov. According to information from the State Emergencies Service (SMS), in Kiev, 26 of the 27 people on board were killed, with one injured. The dead were mostly young cadets.

      Too bad the young cadets died but, on the other hand, their alternate future may have been to be shot down like clay pigeons in a war with Russia.

      https://www.rt.com/russia/501741-military-plane-crash-ukraine/

      Like

  57. Navalny is ‘a ray of light emerging from the darkness’. Remarkable. Like Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show in “Cover of the Rolling Stone”, Navalny will want to buy five copies for his mother.

    https://emerging-europe.com/voices/navalny-must-be-the-turning-point-for-greater-consequences-for-kremlin-actions/

    Ross Burley, co-founder of the ‘Centre for Information Resilience’, gives Navalny a slow tongue bath. Those splashing sounds are me throwing up.

    Of course the message is that There Must Be Consequences. Like canning Nord Stream II.

    Like

  58. Well, well; look at that. Shale oil and gas production in the USA continues to fall, and according to BP’s 2020 Energy Outlook Report, oil demand ‘may never return to pre-pandemic levels’. Which would suggest we saw the peak in global consumption last year.

    https://oilprice.com/Energy/Crude-Oil/US-Shale-Production-Continues-To-Decline.html

    And which, I am bound to suggest, is not the desirable state of affairs if you fancy yourself the World’s Biggest Energy Exporter.

    International Banker agrees, adding the gloomy forecast – depending on your point of view – that according to IATA, airline companies will require 25% fewer planes in the sky over the next 5 years. That’s hardly good news for Boeing, and might mean the end of production for the 737 MAX. But it’s quite a few gallons less of avgas, as well.

    https://internationalbanker.com/brokerage/is-there-any-way-back-for-the-us-shale-industry/

    “Can US shale bounce back quickly from this crisis? It seems unlikely. According to Ramanan Krishnamoorti, professor of petroleum engineering at the University of Houston’s Cullen College of Engineering, the industry is in serious trouble. “You’re going to see a lot of bankruptcies, a lot of furloughs, more than furloughs. You’re going to see layoffs. You’re going to see people leave this entire industry because there aren’t going to be jobs,” he told Houston’s ABC13 news outlet.”

    Like

    1. The US fracking industry has been basically a Ponzi scheme since the first well was drilled. It seems to have become the darling of the investment class who never quite seemed to realize that they were really not making much as a return on investment.

      Combine that with what seems to be very short life spans for wells, and I think we probably have seen a decimation or destruction of the industry. I’m not sure but I wouldn’t be terribly surprised to see that the US will not have oil ” self-sufficiency” how much longer. (We will not mention the Russian and Canadian oil that is being imported.)

      For Canadian readers here’s an interesting essay on Jason Kenney and his delusional world of oil. Jason Kenney can’t see what’s right in front of him.

      After putting up with Doug Ford for the last while, I have rather given up on expecting modern-day Conservatives to actually have a grasp on reality that Kenny is really a worry. It really sounds like he thinks did Alberta is going to go back to the boom days of 1970s or at least of the 1990s. He is nuts.

      I was just reading about city of Shenzhan, the new 12 million inhabitant city just over the border from Hong Kong. As of this year there’s 16,000+ city buses and God knows how many taxis that have all gone electric. This is just a hint of what’s going to be happening around the world from the look of it. Heck, my small city has 3 electric buses on order.

      The oil market is not going to disappear anytime soon but even BP is reported as saying they don’t expect oil demand to come back to what it was before the pandemic

      Like

      1. Our lease ran out a couple of weeks ago on the RX-350, and we traded it in for a hybrid, the UX-250H. Below 40 kph it’s all-electric, like if you are cruising around a neighbourhood looking for a particular house number. Above that the gas engine kicks in, but it is supported by the electric motor and gets more than 700 km on a tank of gas. Teslas used to be a bit of an oddity around here as recently as 5 years ago, but now they’re everywhere. The Nissan Leaf is very popular as well, and the buyer base for electrics has expanded rapidly as soon as drivers realized electric vehicles do not have to be nerdy, and at the high end (Tesla) they can leave conventionally-powered cars in the dust. The Tesla is very fast and the acceleration is instant, with no throttle lag.

        Losing the economic clout of the energy industry would be a blow – potentially a fatal one – to the USA. A few years ago, not many, oil and gas companies would have made up nearly half of the top ten US companies for both revenue and profit. Only one makes both listings now – Exxon-Mobil – but the industry remains tremendously influential in politics and, more importantly, is into the government for so much money in loans and investments that its collapse would imperil the government itself.

        Some would be quite happy to see America with its shoulders pinned to the mat, after enduring decades of its arrogance and swaggering; I wouldn’t be too sorry to see it myself. But it maintains -somehow – the world’s biggest and best-outfitted military by a long shot, and when it sees itself on an irreversible downward trend, it is going to want to take its enemies with it.

        Like

      2. It may seem like a small matter but China seems to have electrified its entire scooter fleet. Scooters often pump out more pollution than a car. Multiply that by tens of millions and you have a major pollution source. The battery powered scooters are quiet and likely maintenance-free. Compare and contrast with India and its tens of millions of two-cycle oil smoke/unburnt gasoline pollution generators a.k.a. scooters.

        Like

        1. I have not heard if it is 100% but it should be close. IIRC, I have read that Shanghai is full of them and there seems to be pretty decent recharge facilities.

          Given the combination of global warming and the often atrocious air quality in major cities, the Communist Gov’t seems to be really pushing to get away from fossil fuels.

          India might be a good market for Chinese scooters and might spur some Indian companies to get going—well after this latest border war calms down.

          Even canny Afghan opium farmers are moving to solar power. What the heroin industry can teach us about solar power

          Like

  59. Ha, ha, haaaaa!!! Booga-booga!! Coronavirus is gonna getcha!!!

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/nashville-mayors-office-and-health-department-hid-coronavirus-data/ar-BB1993V7

    Yes, indeedy, the Mayor of Nashville was caught red-handed discussing via email how to hush up the relatively-small numbers of cases that were linked to restaurants and bars, because putting restaurants and bars back into lockdown was the decided-upon action that would be taken to show the eejits in the electorate that their elected officials are looking out for public health.

    One more time – COVID-19 is real. It’s not fabricated, but the way it is being ridden to political Nirvana is unprecedented, and if it does not destroy the global economy altogether, putting us back to the barter system and working for food, it will be a fucking miracle.

    Like

  60. Russian blogger:

    Sep. 27th, 2020 | 02:57 pm

    Ан-124 ВКС России прилетел в Армению.
    Логистический ад, конечно.
    Насколько для Армении мир стал безопаснее с развалом СССР, не правда ли?

    An An-124 of the Russian Aerospace Forces has arrived in Armenia.

    A logistical hell, of course.

    How much safer has the world become for Armenia since the collapse of the USSR, isn’t that so?

    source

    Like

    1. And you won’t find the u-Ropean Parliament harping much or even loudly about the authoritarian regime in Azerbaidjan because its produces good gas and it is run by our kind of dictator. That’s their ‘Human Rights’ bulls/t in a can for you. Myanmar has also got of remarkably lightly from the west too.

      Like

      1. Leaving Europe behind, I have always been amazed that President Duterte of the Philippines is`not not a pariah. Declaring open season on one’s citizens and letting encouraging the police to shoot anyone they want strikes me as a bit dubious for a head of state.

        Like

          1. President Duterte is said to have ordered police and the military to shoot dead anyone who defied or protested COVID-19 lockdown orders on the island of Luzon – the largest island and the most populous in the Philippines – back in March / April 2020. The sources for this news are nearly all MSM sources and Amnesty International.

            Duterte is the first Filipino President to have come from outside the political elite based in Manila. This in itself makes him an easy target for Washington who would rather get rid of someone they don’t know or can’t control instead of try to understand where he is coming from and work with him.

            As mayor of Davao City in Mindanao, in the southern part of the country, Duterte had promoted policies to help disadvantaged women in areas of reproductive rights education and fighting domestic violence. As any fule knows from following the MSM, Duterte is supposedly a misogynist who makes crude fun of women. In addition, Duterte has expressed interest in working with China and establishing better relations with Beijing, and this in itself, coming from a leader of a former US colony, makes him a potential target for regime change tactics.

            I’d be very careful of anything reported about what Duterte says or doesn’t say by the mainstream press and groups like Amnesty International: it is very likely that Duterte’s utterances are taken out of context and twisted into something that conforms to a stereotype depicting him as crude, violent and Stone Age, and consequently encourages the Western public to accept his forced removal if and when the opportunity presents itself.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. “I’d be very careful of anything reported about what Duterte says or doesn’t say by the mainstream press and groups like Amnesty International … ”

              I totally concur.

              I have been a long time admirer of President Duterte (as has a niece-in-law of mine).

              I have a great dossier of his speeches and interviews. For example:
              • Interview with Maria Finoshina on RT – a true investigative journalist.
              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rHjlCmdyesY

              But then I started seeing him parading around with his full cabinet in those ridiculous masks and wondered if ‘they’ had got to him.

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F254mUYqLb8&t=591

              And then this.
              https://21stcenturywire.com/2020/08/08/covid-crazy-philippines-to-require-commuters-to-wear-face-shields-and-masks/

              Still hopeful …

              Like

        1. Well it is a paraphrase but basically yes.but it was aimed at drug dealers. I had not heard about the Covid-19 orders that Jen mentioned but it sounds a bit like something he would say.

          Apparently a lot of people have been shot but I cannot remember the figures. Possibly in the 1,000s?

          Jen, also, has a good point that he is not from the elite and the MSM media.

          Like

    2. Fighting has broken out between Armenia and Azerbaijan

      ( Turkey encouraging war- saying they will support Azerbaijan and blaming Armenia)

      What a year 2020 is turning out to be!

      Like

      1. Yes, general mobilization.

        “Dear compatriots, now, by the decision of the government, martial law and general mobilization are declared in Armenia. I urge all personnel to come to recruitment offices,” he said.

        https://tass.com/world/1205523

        The west will be beavering away in the halls of power, trying to work out what solution would be most to Russia’s detriment, but as you say (or as Al said), they have a soft spot for Azerbaijan ever since the Nabucco Pipeline plans.

        Like

        1. No doubt Erd O’Grand sees his machinations in Azerbaijan as extra negotiating leverage to be used on Russia to bolster his weak position.

          For the west, it probably thinks that if it can organize multiple crises on Russia’s borders at about the same time, there’ll be an opportunity for a ‘quick op’ elsewhere (say Syria) while Russia is distracted elsewhere, if only to tweak Russia’s nose in the press. t-Rump is apparently under pressure by both side of the House to punish Russia for whatever supposed ‘interference’ in the US that it is accused of this week.

          My really big worry is that USA is bent on starting a war with i-Ran, currently floating one of its big targets up the Persian Gulf while i-Ran has opened a new naval base at the strategic choke point city of Serik.

          Vis growning i-Sreali diplomatic normalizations with neighbors that is being played as a big PR victory but is in reality just the formalization of improved relations dating back almost twenty years, this of course works both ways. If Nut&Yahoo starts another war or something else, these same countries can just as easily break diplomatic relations and it would quickly provide bad PR for i-Srael.

          In other news, Byelorus has just completed the first full servicing of a Bulgarian air force Su-25 (vis BMPD), an EU member that will be expected to follow EU sanctions… against Byelorus.

          Things are starting to look quite ropey and it doesn’t at all look unlikely that someone is going to do something extremely stupid.

          Like

          1. Middle East Eye via Antiwar.com: Tensions between Turkey and Russia rise in Idlib following failed talks
            https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/syria-idlib-tensions-turkey-russia-talks-failed

            Turkish officials are preparing for the worst case scenario as talks in Ankara made clear that Moscow doesn’t want a new deal
            ####

            This is a Turkey sympathetic piece but may be one reason for current events between Armenia and Azerbaidjan. As for Syria, Turkey has been claiming to keep the north/Idlib under control which is has until the last few weeks at it has used the previous time to reinforce its military presence (‘observation posts’) – vis Vinyard the Saker – and now claims it is not reponsible and its not fair that Russia reacts to attacks by its re-dressed (literally) jihadists. Turkey’s preference is of course to do nothing despite the all the attacks, and that in itself explains a lot. Turkey is now publicly putting out its argument in advance that it is ‘Russia wot broke the agreement’ and thus ‘we are not responsible for any of the consequences.’ Erd O’Grand is due another significant spanking. Would he call NATO to his defense as he did before? Certainly. Will it happen? No. Not to mention his current intreagues around Cyprus and pissing of the French, Greeks and others. Trouble t’mill.

            Like

            1. But here’s a much better article again via Antiwar.com

              AL Monitor: Turkey’s military deterrence breaks down in Syria’s last rebel stronghold
              https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2020/09/turkey-syria-russia-idlib-escalation-inevitable-m4-highway.html

              Despite Turkey’s efforts to maintain the status quo in Idlib, a Russian-backed Syrian assault seems increasingly likely.
              ####

              In short, Turkey has not kept up its side of the deal of bringing the rebels under control and the supposed opening and joint patrols of the M4 & M5 highways has been suspended by Russia because of the attacks by rebadged jihadis. Turkey has clearly used the agreement to simply buy time for another ‘cunning plan’ and as no interest in fulfiling the agreement with Russia. The latter’s patience is almost gone.

              Like

  61. Neuters via Antiwar.com: Putin Calls For Mutual Ban on Election Meddling With US
    https://news.antiwar.com/2020/09/25/putin-calls-for-mutual-ban-on-election-meddling-with-us/

    US intel agencies claim Russia, China, and Iran are meddling in 2020 election

    On Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the US and Russia should sign an agreement promising not to meddle in each other’s elections. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-russia-usa-putin/putin-says-russia-and-u-s-should-agree-not-to-meddle-in-each-others-elections-idUSKCN26G1LJ

    Putin proposed, “exchanging guarantees of non-interference in each other’s internal affairs, including electoral processes, including using information and communication technologies and high-tech methods.”..

    ####

    That is some excellently timed next level trolling from Pootie-McPoot-Face.

    Like

    1. Of course the USA will never agree to such a proposal, because (a) it does not regard its meddling as ‘interference’ but as the bringing of the gift of freedom, (b) it stands on its absolute right of judgment as to what is a situation that requires more democracy and what is not, and (c) it probably knows at some level that Russia did not meddle in the US elections, and that it would therefore in that case be constraining its own behavior in exchange for nothing.

      But then, when refused – I imagine the US will try to extract something from the offer, such as “A-HA!! So you ADMIT to meddling in our elections!! – Russia can obviously claim, “Well, we tried.”

      Like

  62. I’d like to look at the Navalny ‘poisoning” from a slightly different angle, one which I think bears scrutiny. I’ve said several times that nobody – to the best of my knowledge – has ever survived poisoning by VX. But that’s not quite accurate – the two women who thrust what was always believed to be VX in some form into the face of Kim Jong Nam (Kim Jong-Un’s half-brother) at an airport in Kuala Lumpur killed him stone dead. But they themselves apparently survived with no ill effects except that one of them allegedly may have vomited.

    The major difference in the way the stories are treated, then, is the incredulity with which the apparent survival of the alleged poisoners is regarded by the western press. Consider;

    An amount of VX, we are told, that weighs as much as two pennies would kill 500 people. I assume that’s what he meant, as he is strikingly un-eloquent for a scientist and the ‘penny’ is not a weight of measure. Is that a British penny, or an American one? Big difference in weight.

    ‘‘The other chemical agents like sarin, tabun, those kinds of things, they’re way below this. They’re toxic, yes, but this is the king,’’ said John Trestrail, a U.S. forensic toxicologist who has examined more than 1,000 poisoning crimes.

    He said an amount of VX weighing two pennies could kill 500 people through skin exposure. It’s also hard to acquire and would likely have come from a chemical weapons laboratory, making it more likely that the attack was executed by a government.”

    Yes, you read that right – VX is the King of vicious toxicological agents. Except for Novichok, which is ten times as deadly, and the would-be killers dusted Navalny’s bottle with enough of it that the bottle was liberally covered with the dust, and his clothes apparently were as well, or so Team Navalny suspects. Say – that’s a handy little timeline right there, innit? When did Navalny put those clothes on? Presumably he had a shower before going to bed; did he dress in fresh clothes before leaving for the airport, or wear the same stuff from the day before? Either way, the poisoner must have accessed Navalny’s room between the time he got up and the time the plane took off – if he still had Novichok on his clothes from the day before, he’d be dead, plus would have contaminated God knows how many surfaces.

    Anyway, remember – Novichok is ten times as deadly as the King of nerve agents, VX. But it has killed – according to western yarns – only one of six people exposed to it; Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Detective Nick Bailey, Navalny and Charles Rowley all survived and have apparently achieved full recovery, Navalny in only a week after emerging from an alleged coma.

    Western incredulity? None. Nothing to see here, old chap.

    Listen to the awful consequences of poisoning with VX, and remember the assassins only pushed some quantity of VX into Kim Jong-Nam’s face; a second’s contact, them they ran away, not wearing gloves or any protective gear at all.

    “VX is an amber-colored, tasteless, odorless chemical weapon first produced in the 1950s. When inhaled or absorbed through the skin, it disrupts the nervous system and causes constriction and increased secretions in the throat, leading to difficulty breathing. Fluids pour from the body, including sweat, spontaneous urination and defecation, often followed by convulsions, paralysis and death. Kim Jong Nam sought help at the airport clinic and died en route to a hospital within two hours of being attacked, police said.”

    I don’t think anyone has reported what Navalny was roaring and screaming, but perhaps it was”Get back!!! I’m shitting myself!! Jesus, I can’t stop pissing!!! Help me!!” although you would think if his symptoms included spontaneous defecation and urination, someone would have said – it could be important. Different agent, I know, but the symptoms of nerve-agent poisoning are quite similar across the type. Navalny’s symptoms were nothing like nerve-agent poisoning, no matter how energetically the defector Mirzayanov and his fan club try to backstop Navalny’s story. The intense sweating and the obvious gross irritation of the mucous membranes would have been unmistakable to the doctors in Omsk, considering Navalny had already passed the onset of whatever symptoms he did have and was unconscious.

    Kim Jong-Nam died within two hours of being attacked with a nerve agent ten times less toxic than Novichok. Navalny was definitely poisoned with a substance ten times more toxic than VX, according to the Germans and the French and whoever else swears to that ludicrous story, but was to all appearances normal at least an hour after having been poisoned, since he showed no symptoms until at least 40 minutes after the plane took off with no obvious GRU agents on board, and hung around the airport before the flight was called at least long enough to drink a cup of tea, plus however long it took for him to get from the hotel to the airport.

    “The two women — one Vietnamese, one Indonesian — recorded on surveillance cameras thrusting a substance into Kim Jong Nam’s face as he was about to check in for a flight home to Macau, apparently did not suffer serious health problems. Malaysian police have said they were not wearing gloves or protective gear and that they washed their hands afterward as they were trained to do. However, authorities said Friday that one of them vomited afterward.

    Both have been arrested along with another man. Authorities are also seeking several others, including an employee of North Korea’s state-owned airline, Air Koryo.

    ‘‘If they used their bare hands, there’s just no possible way that they would have exposed him to VX unless they took some sort of precaution,’’ Goldberger said. ‘‘The only precaution I know of would be administration of the antidote before this went down.’’

    Perhaps that’s it; perhaps immediately after swigging from his water-bottle – which he left in the hotel room, obviously – Navalny rang room service for some Novichok antidote. Just in case. Can’t be too careful, when you are the main opposition leader.

    “No areas were cordoned off and protective measures were not taken. When asked about it a day after the attack, airport spokesman Shah Rahim said there was no risk to travelers and the airport was regularly and properly cleaned. But officials announced Friday that the facility would be decontaminated.

    ‘‘It’s as persistent as motor oil. It’s going to stay there for a long time. A long time, which means anyone coming in contact with this could be intoxicated from it,’’ Trestrail said. ‘‘If this truly is VX, they ought to be calling in a hazmat team and looking at any place these women or the victim traveled after the exposure.’’

    A hazmat team, and looking at any place the assassin or anyone potentially exposed might have traveled. For an agent ten times less toxic than Novichok.

    https://www.bostonglobe.com/news/world/2017/02/24/banned-chemical-weapon-potent-killer-that-lingers/5bTFjBz6tJVouk4tnyaERK/story.html

    Like

    1. Reading this Wikipedia account of how Kim Jong-nam was targeted and attacked by the two women, I think there are other possibilities to consider:
      (a) that the substance or substances sprayed into his face was / were dangerous only if (in the case of two or more substances) combined in a particular way and then inhaled;
      (b) Kim was known to be allergic to particular substances and the people who plotted his assassination knew what those substances were and used them to induce an anaphylactic shock that killed him;
      (c) Kim had other health issues (he was a very tubby fellow) that should have been considered factors in his death;
      (d) one of the women who attacked Kim supposedly crept up behind him, took out a cloth with chemical on it and reached around his head to smack the cloth onto his face – sounds a bit like those movie / TV show stunts where someone creeps up from behind his victim and puts a chloroform-soaked cloth onto the victim’s face – and chloroform can be toxic in high doses;
      (e) Kim’s treatment at the Menara clinic at the airport included atropine and adrenaline and these could have contributed to his death if the plotters had foreknowledge of what would be used to treat him were he to be poisoned and planned his assassination accordingly.

      Kim’s assassins need not have been North Koreans or connected to the North Korean government in any way. He also might not have been expected to die but just be given a scare, but the shock he got along with his obesity and other underlying health issues might have done him in.

      Like

      1. Yes, those are all good and sound arguments. The point I was trying to make, though, is that American toxicologists and field experts are astounded that anyone might survive exposure to VX; it is unaccountable not only that they could be alive, but that there is not a trail of death following the assassins as well until it kills them, too. But nobody seems surprised for Navalny to make a complete recovery and be sitting up in bed making demands and strolling around the stairwells, after exposure to a much more toxic agent that should have killed him, while nobody noticed anyone sneaking into his room dressed in a full hazmat suit with breathing apparatus and apparently others could come and go from the scene of the alleged exposure with no protection.

        Perhaps the Skripals ‘disappeared’ because the British government was unsure how to present them after a supposedly-deadly poisoning attempt which they plainly are said to have survived. Perhaps also it is the judgment of similar authorities that the public will accept the dichotomy without demur; hence, the agent can still be nefarious beyond belief because it is so insidious and deadly, but Navalny can be alive and making noise after exposure to it.

        Like

  63. So why does a head of government visit a foreign funded foreign political agitator in hospital?

    Answer: When the head of government is Merkel and the visited party is chief, Washington-hired, non-systemic political bullshitter Navalny:

    Spiegel: Меркель тайно навещала Навального в клинике Шарите
    08:28 28.09.2020 (обновлено: 10:10 28.09.2020)

    MOSCOW, September 28 – RIA Novosti. German Chancellor Angela Merkel secretly visited Alexei Navalny while he was being treated at the Charité clinic in Berlin, “Spiegel” weekly reported, citing its own informant.

    Other details are not provided.

    On August 20, the founder of the Anti-Corruption Foundation* was hospitalized in Omsk after he had fallen ill on an aeroplane. Doctors diagnosed a metabolic disorder that had caused a sharp drop in blood sugar levels. It is not yet clear what caused this, but no poisons were found in Navalny’s blood and urine.

    Later he was transported to Germany. In early September, the German government announced that the Russian had been poisoned with a substance from the “Novichok” group of biological warfare agents. Moscow sent a request for more detailed information on the results of analyses from the Berlin laboratory, but there was no response.

    At the same time, it is known that the German intelligence service BND has had access to “Novichok” since the 1990s. In addition, it has been studied by about 20 Western countries, including Great Britain, the USA, Sweden, the Czech Republic. Russia, in accordance with a presidential decree of 1992, stopped developing in the field of chemical weapons, and in 2017 destroyed the entire available stock of such substances, which has been confirmed by the OPCW.

    On September 7, Navalny was discharged from the hospital, his condition is satisfactory.

    *The Anti-Corruption Foundation is included by the Russian Ministry of Justice in the register of NGOs performing the functions of a foreign agent.

    Note: the bastion of freedom and democracy has still not, as per agreement, destroyed its chemical weapons stocks — always delays and so on, see …

    STOCKHOLM INTERNATIONAL
    PEACE RESEARCH INSTITUTE

    Celebrating a milestone: Russia completes the destruction of chemical weapons stockpile
    29 September 2017

    On Wednesday the Director-General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Ambassador Ahmet Üzümcü of Turkey, congratulated Russia on completing the destruction of its chemical weapons stockpile which originally totalled 39 967 agent tonnes (i.e. excluding munition weight). This represents a major milestone towards realizing a world without chemical weapons as envisaged by the negotiators of the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC)…

    The USA, the other major possessor of a chemical weapons stockpile (which originally totalled approximately 30 000 agent tonnes), has completed the destruction of approximately 90 per cent of its stockpile and is scheduled to finish its operations by 2023….

    Technologically backward Russia completes its task as agreed: the far more technologically advanced USA is still dawdling along …

    Like

    1. It’s hard to imagine the Germans poisoned his samples, although I suppose it is possible. But if Pevchik had poisoned him with something intended to incapacitate but not kill him, you’d think the doctors in Omsk would have detected it.

      Like

  64. Навальный подтвердил встречу с Меркель в берлинской клинике
    28 сентября 2020, 11:22

    Navalny confirms meeting with Merkel at Berlin clinic
    28 September 2020, 11:22

    Blogger Alexei Navalny has confirmed that German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited him at the Berlin Charité clinic, where he was being treated. Earlier, the secret visit of the politician was reported by the journal “Der Spiegel”, citing sources.

    “There was a meeting, but you shouldn’t call it “secret ” — rather, a private meeting and conversation with the family. I am very grateful to Chancellor Merkel for visiting me at the hospital”, Navalny wrote on his Twitter microblog on September 28.

    At the same time, the interlocutors of “Der Spiegel” called the visit top secret, without giving details of the meeting. The publication considered this fact a sign of Merkel’s loyalty to Navalny.

    Earlier, the German Chancellor called Navalny a victim of an attack carried out with a substance from the “Novichok” group.

    The Russian Foreign Ministry considered such statements by Berlin to be yet another information campaign against Russia, noting that the accusations were not supported by facts.

    Alexei Navalny felt unwell during the Tomsk-Moscow flight on 20 August. The plane urgently landed in Omsk, the blogger was taken to the emergency hospital No. 1, and later transported to the Charite clinic in Berlin, Gazeta.ru recalls.

    There, the Russian “found” signs of intoxication with a substance from the group of cholinesterase inhibitors. However, Omsk doctors during the examination of the patient did not reveal intoxication with this substance. On September 23, Navalny was discharged from the hospital.

    So Merkel too is part and parcel of the Navalny bullshit performance dreamt up by the US Dept. of State.

    You’ll pay for all of this, bastards!

    Like

    1. This has surprised me, what is all this for?

      Is it to boost him as a potential leader?

      I just don’t get this behaviour by Merkel.

      Does she believe he is important?

      Or is he going to be another Juan Guaido

      Like

  65. I wonder if she “secretly” visited Yuschenko and Timoshenko and Verzilov when they were patients at the Charité

    I should hardly imagine so — they are of no importance whatsoever when compared with the “leader of the Russian opposition”, albeit the Russians themselves consider the Bullshitter with the derision he deserves, but don’t tell anyone in the “free world” that!

    Like

      1. Tymoshenko was both treated in Banderastan by doctors from “Charité” and at the “Charité” itself.

        06.06.2012 00:39
        Бассейна не хватает
        Немецкий врач подробно рассказала нашему корреспонденту о состоянии Юлии Тимошенко

        No swimming pool
        A German doctor has told our correspondent in detail about the condition of Yulia Tymoshenko

        An RG correspondent has met a doctor from the “Charité” hospital department “Physiotherapeutic Medicine and Rehabilitation”, Dr. Annette Reizhauer, who has just returned from Kharkov, where she was engaged in the examination and treatment of former Prime Minister of the Ukraine Yulia Tymoshenko.

        — Dr. Reishauer, is Yulia Tymoshenko really so seriously ill that the best specialists in the world should be treating her?

        — Reishauer: There is no doubt that Ms. Tymoshenko is seriously ill. On October 5, 2011, she had an intervertebral hernia with compression of the third spinal nerve ending on the right in the hip region, which causes severe pain and is the cause of paralysis. On November 5, an acute deterioration was reported, which led to chronic pain syndrome, secondary musculoskeletal lesions and muscular atrophy. Therefore, every effort should be made to treat this disease in accordance with existing standards….

        And so on und so weiter.

        — RG: is it possible to carry out physiotherapy treatment?

        — Reishauer: Of course. This is urgently needed. After a long time of immobility, a decrease in muscle mass has been recorded.

        — Did you perform physiotherapy in Kharkov or just made a diagnosis?

        — Reishauer: Both. To be treated, you must first make a diagnosis.

        — Did you do it?

        — Reishauer: Naturally, when I was in Kharkov.

        — How long did you spend there?

        — Reishauer: One week.

        — Where did you live?

        — Reishauer: In a hotel.

        — Who paid for your accommodation? Relatives of Mrs. Tymoshenko, hospital or someone else?

        — Reishauer: The chairman of the board of our hospital, Professor Karl Max Einhoipl, agreed with her relatives that they will take care of the treatment and other costs.

        — How much does Yulia Tymoshenko’s treatment cost?

        — Reishauer: I can’t say that now. I was in Kharkov as part of my work at Charité, so the hospital with my relatives will discuss this, not me.

        — What kind of treatment does Yulia Tymoshenko receive?

        — Reishauer: We cannot publicly announce the plans. We agreed on this in advance. There was a very difficult situation in the Ukraine when my colleague visited there for the first time. The treatment plans were published against our wishes in the newspapers. This is absolutely unacceptable. However, I can say that the share of passive therapeutic measures will be reduced in favour of active ones. This is so that Ms. Tymoshenko can move more and more actively.

        — To swim, for example?

        — Reishauer: Unfortunately, swimming is not possible. There is no swimming pool.

        Ukraine’s Tymoshenko begins medical treatment in Berlin
        Ukraine’s former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko has started medical treatment in Germany. She suffers from a chronic back ailment linked to injuries she sustained while in prison on controversial corruption charges.

        Tymoshenko received a thorough examination in Berlin’s Charite hospital on Saturday, a day after arriving in the German capital.

        Hospital chairman Karl Max Einhaeupl said doctors would decide on Monday whether the 53-year-old needed an operation for back pain resulting from three slipped disks she suffered more than two years ago.

        He added that doctors were currently unsure how long treatment would take, but are positive Tymosenko [sic] would ultimately be able to move around again unassisted.

        Although she was not suffering any paralysis, the former prime minister is said only to be able to walk using a walker, but it caused her great pain.

        Tymoshenko was released from prison in Ukraine last month following the uprising that ousted President Viktor Yanukovych. Since then, she has only been seen in public in a wheelchair.

        She is now considered a contender for Ukraine’s presidential election on May 25.

        Treatment offer denied

        Tymoshenko reportedly suffered several injuries while serving more than two years in prison on charges of corruption, which Western leaders said were politically motivated.

        Ukraine refused to grant Tymoshenko the right to travel to Germany for treatment during her incarceration. She also turned down an operation and injections, saying she did not trust the former Ukrainian authorities

        Einhaeupl said doctors from the Charite clinic, who visited her in prison, found their hands “were tied severely in treatment.”

        Vee haf vays off mekking you feel besser, mein Liebchen!


        Lying bitch speaking to her fans at the Maidan following her release from prison. Note the orthopaedic shoes she is wearing.

        Like

        1. And she rolled around for a bit in her martyr’s wheelchair after getting out of the slammer – where, strangely enough, Amnesty International found the charges against her were ‘politically motivated even as all agreed the contracts she signed on Ukraine’s behalf with Russia were a license for the latter to rob the former – but it is very likely her ‘treatment’ was driven more than anything else by a desire to get back into those fuck-me-sailor heels and be ‘cured’ enough to parade around in them. Barring a loaves-and-fishes Miracle Of Jesus, the best way to be out of that chair and on her pins was to have some restorative treatment in a foreign hospital. It was not long at all before she was, thanks to wonderful German treatment, able to swagger about as before.

          She was released from prison in 2014, following the capitulation of Yanukovych to the forces of the Glorious Maidan, in 2014. Even while she was still incarcerated, Ukrainian doctors said she did not need to be hospitalized while German doctors argued that she did. I know from years in the Navy – and from some people repeatedly missing deployments because of back problems – that it is perfectly possible to convince doctors that you suffer excruciating back pain although they can find no physical cause, and I don’t doubt sometimes it is true. But doctors do not like to mess around with the back, and tend to believe the patient when they scream that ‘that hurts’. I suspect they are even more likely to believe there was a serious problem when you praise their medical skill and claim that their treatment has done wonders.

          https://www.rferl.org/a/ukraine-tymoshenko-german-doctors/24916332.html

          Tymoshenko entered hospital that same year, in March 2014, where her doctor claimed her improved appearance was due to ‘freedom’ and that “Stress can impair the back muscles, which in turn affects the spine”. Which, to me, says they could not find any physical cause, although all along Team Tymoshenko had claimed she suffered three slipped disks while in prison.

          https://www.ctvnews.ca/world/former-ukrainian-pm-yulia-tymoshenko-starts-medical-treatment-in-berlin-1.1720447

          I’m not sure at what moment she started walking again, you’d have to go back through pictures by date, but a photo in this article shows her standing without any apparent aid in 2014, apparently casting her ballot in 2014 Ukrainian elections.

          https://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/yulia-tymoshenko-it-won-t-just-be-revolution-time-end-ukraine-a6683731.html

          A miraculous recovery, indeed. This archived piece by the legendary John Helmer contains a wealth of information about Tymoshenko’s background and seemingly Teflon-coated political career.

          https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2015/02/john-helmer-the-political-motivation-of-chancellor-merkels-embrace-of-yulia-tymoshenko-and-war.html

          Skadden, Arps, Meagher & Flohm, the American legal firm that produced a solid legal argument – while commissioned to do so by the Ukrainian government under Yanukoych – that Tymoshenko was a phony, something substantiated by Ukrainian media release of secret video recordings made of Tymoshenko ‘moving nimbly about her cell’ while unaware she was being recorded, was eventually beaten down and forced to apologize and pay Tymoshenko compensation. I suspect they did so knowing their political connections with the US government would be severed if they did not, as they had attracted the personal spiteful attention of Victoria Nuland.

          Like

  66. This is a threat?

    https://www.rt.com/usa/501883-iraq-embassy-baghdad-closure-attacks/

    Washington is considering closing its embassy in Iraq, nine months after the US killing of an Iranian general on Iraqi soil led to protests over what Baghdad called a “violation” of its sovereignty, according to reports.

    Multiple media outlets, including the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post and Sky News, reported on Sunday that US officials told their Iraqi counterparts that Washington will shut down its operations unless there is an end to rocket attacks on the embassy, which is located in the heavily-fortified Green Zone in Baghdad.

    Sounds more like a possible victory for Iraq and its people. I suspect that there is much more to the story and the US is pre-emptively seeking a face-saving exit excuse if it were to come to that.

    However, it would be extremely unlikely for the US to abandon the embassy given that it serves as the headquarters for numerous nefarious operations in Iraq and Iran

    Like

    1. The claim that I have read is that this is in response to the USA’s assassination of General Solemani in Lebanon. More precisely the i-Ranian strategy is not per se to cause American casualties but carry out sustained attacks via proxies on American interest in i-Rack, i.e. psychological pressure, cost etc. the ultimate goal being the USA leaving i-Rack as a suitable price for the assassination.I

      I’ve also read (Vinyard the Saker?)that the USA has so far closed some of its smaller and less defensible outposts but concentrated what remains in fewer better defended bases. The USA does not want to leave i-Rack militarily and will hang on until it is out of options. The US embassy leaving i-Rack will not be good enough for i-Ran, but maybe this is the beginning of some kind of behind the scenes bargaining, though this is hard to believe considering the US is still pushing for a gulf coalition (WAR!) against i-Ran as well as polically neutralizing any potential spoiler countries. Also the embassay was built at quite a significant cost $750 billion.* So, you are right PO, this is bluff by the big puff Plumpeo.

      i-Rack has also being trying to get rid of American military presence even though they have bought F-16IQs from Washington but the latter is using the same figleaf excuse as in Syria that they are ‘fighting terrorists.’

      * https://www.businessinsider.com/750-million-united-states-embassy-iraq-baghdad-2013-3

      Like

        1. $750 million. Duh
          Given standard US contracting over-runs I was willg to believe “billions”. The surprising thing is that it got built.

          Like

    2. The USA will never abandon its crown jewel in Iraq, and it would make little practical difference anyway, as it lies entirely within the American ‘Green Zone’, and they will surely not abandon that.

      “But the location of the compound is well known in Baghdad anyway, where for several years it has been marked by large construction cranes and all-night work lights easily visible from the embattled neighborhoods across the river. It is reasonable to assume that insurgents will soon sit in the privacy of rooms overlooking the site, and use cell phones or radios to adjust the rocket and mortar fire of their companions. Meanwhile, however, they seem to have held off, lobbing most of their ordnance elsewhere into the Green Zone, as if reluctant to slow the completion of such an enticing target.”

      https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2007/11/langewiesche200711

      The Baghdad Embassy is the USA’s most-expensive embassy in the world, and it costs far more to run it each year than the cost of building it, in excess of a Billion dollars a year. What America might do, and what Iraq does fear, is send its diplomats home for awhile, and use it as an excuse to open a military operation in Iraq against what it terms Iran-aligned militias.

      Like

  67. Politico.eu: Polish energy deal signals a more political Vestager
    https://www.politico.eu/article/poland-energy-deal-pkn-orlen-lotos-margrethe-vestager/

    EU green light for merger suggests Franco-German pressure for ‘champion’ companies is paying off.

    blah blah blah blah…

    …The clearance could become a precedent for other political mergers — such as the Franco-Italian tie-up between cruise ship-builders Fincantieri and Chantiers de l’Atlantique — and the Commission will have to “limit the contagion,” the first senior official said.

    And the Dane has to ensure the Polish champion keeps its promises….
    ####

    Interesting if you follow how the Brussels/EU is still struggling to adapt to the real world (i.e. outside the EU) rather than its own bubble and dreams of a western led globalization, particularly it’s failure to balance consumer protection with building modern, EU based companies/organizations that can hold their own against other globocorps. It’s where principles hit reality.

    But, I was sure that there was something in the past about a possible Russian share in the Gdansk Lotos Refinery (I was wrong) but I did come across this in looking for further information:

    BiznesAlert.com: Orlen will want to prevent Russians from buying shares in the Gdańsk Refinery
    https://biznesalert.com/orlen-lotos-merger-gdansk-refinery/

    13 August, 2020

    ….

    Rosneft’s missing link in Germany

    One of the arguments for the thesis that Russians could enter the Polish market as a shareholder of one of the two biggest refineries, is supposedly the fact that they are already present in Germany. However, it is worth reminding that they slipped into Germany thanks to Venezuela’s fondness towards Russian politics. Venezuela’s late president Hugo Chavez agreed for PDVSA, a state-owned oil company, to sell its shares in five German refineries to Russia’s Rosneft. Since then, Igor Sechin’s concern has been trying to acquire the missing link – the retail market and gas stations. Despite interventions, negotiations and investments, Russians have not achieved this goal yet. They have been trying to purchase gas stations in Germany for a few years. This is the next natural step for any oil company that took over shares in a refinery on a new market. After the success on the wholesale market, it wants to earn on the retail market by selling its own oil products. However, nobody wants to sell Russians, in this case Rosneft, any gas stations despite the fact they have been present on the market in Germany for years.

    In January 2019, Rosneft Deutschland GmbH, Rosneft’s daughter company, launched a trade and marketing business in Germany. Today it purchases products from three German refineries in which it has shares…

    …Why would Russians want to enter the Polish market? Poland is one of the biggest importers of Russian oil. In 2019 PKN Orlen imported 8.3 m tons of oil from Russia, which makes it one of the biggest importers of this fuel. By entering the Polish market, Russians could achieve synergy by acquiring 30 percent of shares in the refinery. However,…
    ####

    Plenty more at the link.

    So, it looks like this merger is to bolster the lo-land of Po-lands energy position and protect the key refinery being picked up by one means or another by Russia.

    Like

  68. Politico.eu: Macron’s Russia dialogue to be tested on Baltic trip
    https://www.politico.eu/article/emmanuel-macron-baltics-trip-france-russia-strategy/

    French president heads to Lithuania and Latvia, where discussion will focus on Russia and Belarus.

    …”The so-called new architecture of security that France wants to develop with Russia is sensitive for us, because it’s a bilateral conversation discussing a multilateral issue,” said a Lithuanian government official ahead of Macron’s visit…

    …So far Macron’s team has played it coy, avoiding confirming that he will meet with Tikhanovskaya but not ruling it out either. She has expressed her desire to meet with him…

    …Western officials have stressed that they are not in competition with Moscow over Belarus and Macron believes Russia has a role to play. …
    ####

    The €µ ‘Failing at Home so preening abroad’ PR campaign continues apace after his successful trip to Lebanon where he saved the country from disaster. Except he didn’t!

    Le Coq soit bloqué! (trans. ‘cock block’ ! 😉 )

    What the f/k does he think he can offer? Are the Balts and Russia going to be overawed with his garlic charm before he sleeps with their wives (and husbands) before they all form a circle and hold hands merrily? No.

    Yes, the only thing that makes sense is a a grand strategic treaty between the EU and Russia, but when some of its own members are actively undermining such a thing and playing with the Americans at the same time, you have to wonder what all the point of this is? Simply ‘Don’t you forget about me’? Russia is not going to patiently wait for the EU to climb out of its own hypocritical a**hole after years of sanctions and ‘Do as we say, not as we do.’

    The CFE Treaty is not fit for purpose and the permanent rotation of NATO forces on Russia’s borders drives a tank through it, however clever they think this loophole is. By the time the EU is ready to talk properly and get off its high horse, the only things it will have attached to its shoulders will be its own stubby little fingers, or should that be ‘cut off its nose to spite its face’? Just ridiculous!

    Like

    1. Ha, ha, haaaa!! ‘Garlic charm’ – I don’t know if that was deliberate or accidental, but it’s brilliant.

      The Baltic position on Russia is well-known, and you would not have to be much of a political wunderkind to figure out that the Balts hope for a chance to shit all over any plans France might have that smack too much of rapprochement to suit them. But there is no real danger Micron would proceed with any such plans even if he made them; he is a political lightweight aching to duplicate the derring-do of Sarkozy. No political softening between Russia and Europe is possible with the current crop of European leaders, as all are committed Atlanticists to some degree and in thrall to Washington. They might pretend Washington is bullying them, but it hurts so good, daddy.

      Lavrov has already announced that Russia has given up on trying to get the west to like it, and acknowledges it is not possible. Just like admitting you are an alcoholic – metaphorically speaking, I wasn’t pointing at you personally -is the day your recovery begins, resolving to dedicate no more Russian effort to wooing the western delinquents is the day the west loses a shiny toy it loved to play with. Few moments were so satisfying as those dedicated to typing “Moscow denies it!” after some new fabricated atrocity was thrown in Russia’s face. I recommend a macro be built into all Russian diplomatic computers’ word-processor programs which reads, “Believe what you like. It is of no interest to us. Oh, and your zipper is open. Made you look!!”. The last two sentences are optional, but I think they lend a certain joie de vivre.

      Like

  69. Asiatimes.com: How Suga will and won’t change Japan
    https://asiatimes.com/2020/09/how-suga-will-and-wont-change-japan/

    Japan’s likely incoming premier is a poor guy made good, a tireless worker and a dangerous opponent

    by Jake Adelstein*

    …The broad question is whether Suga will act on his own convictions and make a mark on the premiership, or will simply act as a “caretaker” leader who continues Abe’s policies until the next national election in October 2021…

    …Like Abe, Suga appears to be a staunch supporter of the US and is known to be a fan of Colin Powell, the former general and ex-secretary of state.

    His views on China are not clear but some, including the author of a 2016 biography of Suga, Isao Mori, have speculated that he may be less hawkish than Abe. It remains to be seen how he will engage South Korea, an important relationship that has deteriorated significantly on Abe’s watch…
    ####

    I was going to post this a couple of weeks ago and comment that coming out from under his master’s shadow (though he is a master himself), may provide for an opportunity to get somewhere with Russia (Kuriles/gas pipeline) and make some significant changes. But I didn’t. Then I saw this:

    Bloomturd:Japan’s Suga Makes Fresh Pitch for Meeting With Kim Jong Un
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-09-25/japan-s-suga-makes-fresh-pitch-for-meeting-with-kim-jong-un
    ####

    & this:

    Al’s-Jizz Error: Japan and S Korea need to repair ties, cooperate on N Korea: PM
    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/9/24/japan-and-s-korea-need-to-repair-ties-co-operate-on-n-korea-pm

    Yoshihide Suga says it is time to mend frayed ties in call with South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in.
    ####

    He really has come out of the blocks with intent and is clearly his own man. More so that it seems a final recognition that issues in the neighborhood should be worked out among themselves (sic without American help?). So I am waiting on what he may say about Russia.

    * Author of ‘Tokyo Vice’ which I highly recommend.

    Like

    1. Why the German Chancellor visited the blogger at the hospital is not quite clear. After all, if German doctors are right about “Novichok”, then the head of the German Cabinet of Ministers, Bundeskanzlerin Merkel, seriously risked her life.

      Armen Gasparyan* has suggested that the matter is due to the status of the patient from Russia — after all, he is in Germany as an official guest of the Chancellor. And what kind of guest is this, with whom the hospitable hostess does not even meet?

      So they decided to support this fantasy about his status in Germany by following due protocol, but with a supposedly secret visit, which secret the whole world immediately learnt about.

      * Armen Gasparyan works for a Russian media outlet Sputnik and, at the same time, is a member of Russia Today board. In parallel, he is a member of Russian State Duma Youth Council and a holder of a prize from the Ministry of Communications of the Russian Federation for his contribution towards developing radio communication.

      In December 2018, the “Russian opposition” (that’s the non-systemic opposition, mind you —the ones that no one votes for) — has included Gasparyan in the list of “Putin’s propagandists”.

      Like

    2. Merkel: The laws in Germany are ridiculous. Can’t even have a fag in public any more!

      Nav-alny: Well you’re welcome to come visit me in Russia. You can get awaywith all sorts of s/t. I’ve done so for years!

      Like

          1. Magnetism more likely. One of the two has a negative charge and the other a positive charge. Which is which, that’s another problem …

            Like

  70. Strategic-Culture.org: Tomorrow’s Arctic: Theatre of War or Cooperation? The Real Story Behind the Alaska Purchase
    https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2020/05/19/tomorrows-arctic-theatre-of-war-or-cooperation-the-real-story-behind-the-alaska-purchase/

    Matthew Ehret
    May 19, 2020

    Today, the Arctic has increasingly become identified as a domain of great prosperity and cooperation amongst world civilizations on the one side and a domain of confrontation and war on the other.

    In 2007, the Russian government first voiced its support for the construction of the Bering Strait rail tunnel connecting the Americas with the Eurasian continent- a policy which has taken on new life in 2020 as Putin’s Great Arctic Development strategy has wedded itself to the northern extension of the Belt and Road Initiative (dubbed the Polar Silk Road). In 2011, the Russian government re-stated its pledge to build the $64 billion project….
    ####

    Plenty more at the link.

    Full circle?

    I found this via the more current Vinyard the Saker Piece by the same author: Trump’s Surprising Alaska-Canada Rail Announcement: Might America Join the Polar Silk Road?
    http://thesaker.is/trumps-surprising-alaska-canada-rail-announcement-might-america-join-the-polar-silk-road/

    By Matthew Ehret for the Saker Blog

    On September 26, President Trump announced that a long-overdue project would receive Federal support which involves connecting Alaska for the first time with Canada and the lower 48 states via a 2570 km railway.

    In his Tweet announcing the project, Trump said:…
    ####

    I’d never read about the sale of Alaska to America by Russia in any detail before but just by looking at the map it was clear that it made sense. Indefensible against a rapidly growing country, so sell early for a good price or lose it and get nothing.

    As for Ehret’s hypothesis, we know that t-Rump sees things in a deal oriented way and not simply ‘You must be destroyed (TM)’ way, though his methods of reaching such deals ‘Maximum Pressure (TM)’ are none too bright and result in less than a normally negotiated deal. But, if we look at the ends rather than the means, improving trade links is surely to America’s (and others) advantage.

    One thing that does strike me from the maps of the proposed increased US-Asia links is that having those function normally is not compatible with the current strategic goal of trying to contain China. So, what is the point of the US Pacific Fleet? Just Free-Dumb of Navigation (FONOPS) cruises for pensioners?

    Like

    1. It might be interesting to see what kind of deal would result from a process in which Russia has given up trying to be liked by the west, and consequently examines each negotiation on its merits alone. I think it might result in quite a few initial offers being rebuffed with “Uh huh. Go fuck yourself.” And that would be kind of refreshing. It might usher in an international process between the two countries in which no ‘deal’ was possible until each side was satisfied it had gotten the better of the other. I need hardly point out these would be few and far between, and none would be arms-control agreements.

      Like

  71. Jonathan Cook Blog via Antiwar.com: The Guardian’s deceit-riddled new statement betrays both Julian Assange and journalism
    https://www.jonathan-cook.net/blog/2020-09-26/guardian-assange-denial-deceptions/

    In my recent post on the current hearings at the Old Bailey over Julian Assange’s extradition to the United States, where he would almost certainly be locked away for the rest of his life for the crime of doing journalism, I made two main criticisms of the Guardian.

    A decade ago, remember, the newspaper worked closely in collaboration with Assange and Wikileaks to publish the Iraq and Afghan war diaries, which are now the grounds on which the US is basing its case to lock Assange behind bars in a super-max jail….
    ####

    If USG is relying on anything the Groaning Man’s Puke Larping writes, then they are desperate, but the t-Rump Administration is mainly different from the O’Bomber Adminstration (for us not American peasants) in that the latter still bothered with the velvet glove…

    Like

    1. “…giving oxygen to claims by the nation’s socialist elite that the U.S. is resorting to trumped-up charges to pursue its goal of regime change.”

      Golly – who would believe such an hyperbolic charge as that? Does that mean the USA’s pursuit of freedom and democracy for Venezuelans is…fake?

      One of the references I cited earlier regarding Tymoshenko included a statement by an unnamed Kuh-yiv source who claimed Tymoshenko would do and say anything to gain power. Maybe that’s why Washington likes her – they are as two peas in the same pod; two pups of the same mother rat. Nothing thrills Washington like gaining control over another country, to despoil and exploit and re-engineer as it chooses. Washington has discerned that much of its audience will not look too hard at its motives as long as it garbs them in all the right buzzwords. Consequently it leans heavily on freedom and democracy, more cynically by the day. Like saying ‘pumpernickel’ over and over again when you are stoned will eventually make the word lose all meaning, these two tenets of American diplomacy are just words without any particular association beyond ‘saying them lets me do what I want’.

      Like

  72. Update on the state of Natalya Vladimirovna’s health:

    She sent me a WhatsApp message yesterday, one of very many that she sends daily and which are mostly instructions from her to her devoted slave.

    This notable one I got yesterday afternoon:

    I have been moved to another place. Not so comfortable, but OK. When moving, saw four black bags waiting at the doors…. waiting to go for ever….

    Dead bodies.

    In black bags, and several hospital trolleys with dead on them.

    Just standing there at at the room entrances …. 😢

    She then added:

    I feel sorry haven’t taken and sent you a picture.

    So I wrote back:

    Oh please send me a picture!

    Pleeeeeaaaase!!!!!

    That’s because I am a cynical bastard.

    Like

    1. Good to hear Mrs Moscow Exile is doing well.

      For a pneumonia sufferer almost on the verge of landing in hospital, and maybe into the same room as the missus (probably to keep an eye on you), you’re doing spectacularly well, to judge from all your recent posts.

      Like

      1. My temp only went up to 38.7C for about 12 hours 23/24 September and I only felt like shit warmed up for about the same period of time. Then, by midday 24 September it abated. However, having been informed late in the evening of 23 September that I was suffering from pneumonia, and having further been informed on the morning of 24th that I was corona positive, I have since then been in isolation at my flat.

        This morning, my temperature was 35.1C, my blood pressure — 107/73, and my pulse rate — 54.

        I am sticking rigidly to the course of treatment prescribed for me, which means taking 6 pills a day. One course of treatment having ended today, which entailed taking a capsules of medicine every 24 hours since last Wednesday evening.

        I feel weak though. However, I have no difficulty breathing, have no rattling chest and cough little. Nevertheless, when I do cough, I cough up phlegm from my lungs. Not a lot, but up it comes. And it’s grey, yet shows no signs that my lungs are infected.

        So I have a lot of free time.

        I start online teaching again this evening.

        Like

        1. Some people have all the luck! You northerners are made of stern stuff.

          I’ve got a cold. The only bonus that provides is that a very hot curry is the best symptom killer for well over half a day. Mango chutney included.

          Like

          1. Hurrah! Winter doth approach!

            The radiators starting clicking and murmuring about 11 a.m. today and now they are warming up.

            The communal central heating has been turned on.

            It’ll be turned off in May.

            Bloody socialists! They love spending taxpayers’ money!

            Like

          2. I have a cold as well; curry sounds like the answer. Probably have to make it myself, though – they’re dithering over whether or not to close the restaurants again. Like masks, locking down something seems to be a panacea the government grabs for when it wants to show the public it is taking action. Rising ‘new cases’ is being used to show that we are in the dreaded ‘second wave’ of coronavirus (nothing to do with masses of people being tested, of course), so we must do what we did when we were in the first wave – the public seemed supportive of that, and there’s an election coming up.

            Like

  73. I told my old workmate back in the UK, he who together with his wife visited us here last year, about her seeing body bags in the corridor when they were moving her to another ward. He couldn’t believe that what I wrote was true. He through I was joking. I assured him that it was true.

    He thinks it unbelievable that at the hospital where Natasha is they leave dead bodies lying around in body bags.

    He must be a very sensitive person.

    I don’t think Russians are as sensitive about such a thing as they seem to be in the West.

    Of course, Russians don’t like seeing dead bodies; they don’t like to be reminded of death, but they accept this fact rather than hide from it, I think.

    I noticed this attitude here towards death when I first came to the USSR: on TV news they often showed dead bodies — usually dead gangsters or people killed at car crashes — during the news reports.

    There was one news programme called “Traffic Patrol”, I think, in which photojournalists followed traffic cops who were answering emergency calls, and they often showed dead bodies scattered all over the highway after there had been a big crash.

    That was back in the ’90s.

    Funny thing was that the journalists usually got to the scene of a pile-up or a gangster firefight before the cops did, because the journalists were driving imported , second-hand cars, usually Mercs, whereas the highway patrolmen were in crappy Zhigulis.

    Like

  74. Светлана Тихановская объявлена в Польше президентом Белоруссии. К ней приставлена государственная охрана, выделена резиденция в столице Польши Варшаве. Также вчера она получила награду экономического форума Польши, где была представлена как избранный президент Белоруссии.

    In Poland, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya has been declared the President of Belarus. A residence for her has been allocated in the capital of Poland, Warsaw, and State guards have been assigned to it. Yesterday she also received an award from the Economic Forum of Poland, where she was presented as the elected President of Belarus.

    source


    Oh thank you! Thank you! I love you all!!!

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EjAmkolWoAcXbbk?format=jpg

    Hmmm, I remember, back in the mid-2000s, nearby — both in the passage to the Aleksandrovsky Garden, and near the Arbatskaya metro station — they were actively selling such fake IDs for every taste and in every colour! And what choice there was: “Hooligan ID”, “Bandit ID”, “Racketeer ID”, “Sex Maniac ID” … But, all the same, as far as I remember, the ID of “President of Belarus” was not there. Although, of course, I could be wrong — there were a lot of them, I can”t remember everything.

    I suppose that Tikhanovskaya still needs to be more careful: what if she has been slipped some kind of fake?

    Fortunately, the authenticity of this ID is fairly easily verified experimentally.

    She just needs to go to the nearest checkpoint on the Lithuanian-Belarusian border, and present this certificate there.

    If the border guards salute and say something like: “Madam President, how glad we are to see you!” it means that the certificate is genuine.

    If they turn her directly back to Minsk in a paddy wagon, then, alas, this document is a fake!

    Perhaps from that very underground passage of the mid-2000s. )))

    UPDATE: however, they have written that the certificate in a quite genuine way, but a presidential candidate. )))

    source

    Like

        1. He has a thing for teachers and if she were to put granny glasses on and white streaks in her hair to make her look 30 years older, he’d really go overboard for that.

          Like

  75. Russians are miserable bastards: never smile, no sense of humour:

    <.—————
    Hot, tasty coffee

    —————–>
    Cold, cruel world

    Like

  76. The world turned upside down:

    Chris Bryant, a Labour Party MP for a former coal mining constituency in South Wales, a former privately educated schoolboy and an Oxford graduate, a former sodomist Anglican priest, an MP who In 2003 voted for participation in the Iraq war, a member of the “Labour Friends of Israel”, a parliamentarian who claimed over £92,000 in expenses over the five years leading up to the 2009 scandal over MPs’ expenses, during which time he “flipped” his second-home expenses twice, claiming mortgage interest expenses that started at £7,800 per year before rising (after flipping) to £12,000 per year; he also claimed £6,400 in stamp duty and other fees on his most recent purchase, and £6,000 per year in service charges, has nominate Joe Biden for the Nobel Peace Prize.

    What an arsehole!

    Never mind the body bags from Serbia to Syria: British Labour Party MP nominates Joe Biden for Nobel Peace Prize
    29 Sep, 2020 01:56 / Updated 4 hours ago

    Like

  77. RT.com: Oxford University anonymously interviews RT journos, reveals we have ‘doubts about the West.’ In other news, water is wet.
    https://www.rt.com/op-ed/501973-rt-oxford-propaganda-study/

    Oxford University academics interviewed two dozen former RT employees in a bid to reveal the inner workings of our newsroom. However, they didn’t need secret interviews to find out we’re a bit skeptical of the West.

    In December 2018 I received a message on LinkedIn, the world’s most boring social network. It was from Mona Elswah, a researcher at the Oxford Internet Institute, and she and her colleagues wanted to anonymously interview me about my experiences working at RT – specifically how “editorial policies might influence, or not, the news content.”…
    ####

    Another fishing expedition on behalf of UKGov, only for academic purposes obvs… If you opne the link to the actual study, right there at the bottom of the first page ‘Abstract’ is:

    Key Words: Russia Today, Propaganda, Disinformation, Public Diplomacy, International Broadcasting, and Information Warfare.

    If you go to the end of the document and look at Table 1: A Comparison Betweenthe Sovietand RT Media Models, you can see for Oxford ‘Academics’ that Soviet is Russian and Russian is Soviet! Interchangable as convenient..

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    1. From the ‘Conclusion’:

      …) the gatekeeping processesthatbegins with assigningthe politically-sensitive topics to Russianjournalists and endswith anoccasionaltop-down intervention from the state; 2) the socialization process of journaliststhat dependson establishing loyalty in the newsroom through monetary incentives and job promotions; 3) not having a specific political leaning; our data shows that RT was a far-left organization inthe early days and later changed to adoptfar-right ideas.; 4) focusing on non-Russia related content insteadof representingRussiapositively…
      ####

      That reads a lot like how the state sponsored BBC functions.

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    2. Let the Oxford academic Russian specialist arseholes fathom this one out then:

      Russian anecdote:

      The Soviet media told us lies about the USSR; on the other hand, it told us the truth about the West.

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  78. Where can I get some?

    Better stick to my thick black shag …

    Searched high and low for a a smart black shag but never found none nowhere!

    By the way, my pipes were stashed away for winter and spring until I venture forth into the sticks next dacha season — Woden willing!

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