Run Silent, Run Deep. But Not So Deep that the Halfwits Won’t Get It.

Uncle Volodya says, “You are not entitled to your opinion. You are entitled to your informed opinion. No one is entitled to be ignorant.”

I crossed the ocean, where no one would see
And I put a time-bomb in your submarine;
Goodbye to old friends, the secret’s in hand
With phonied up papers, and counterfeit plans…

Alice Cooper, from “Halo of Flies

Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!

Noel Langley, from “The Wizard of Oz

I’ve been wanting to get to this story for some time, but things – like work – keep getting in the way. I would have much preferred to get it out there while it was hot off the press: but even now that it has cooled a bit, it remains evident that western automatic disparagement of anything Russian has metastasized to the point that westerners dare not use a Russian-made spoon to eat their breakfast, lest it lunge at your face in its idiot violence and put your eye out. Russian policy is reckless and destructive, Russian-made coronavirus vaccines are just cheap weapons supporting its pursuit of linebacker diplomacy, and even the most innocent-appearing technology produced by the benighted country is infected with menace.

Consider Deutsche Welle‘s squeals of panic (actually, they are squealing in panic over a story which originally appeared in Bild, implying a general German-media panic) over the installation in German military vessels – even, ich kann es nicht glauben, submarines! – of Russian-built navigational aids. Sohn einer Hündin! What were the naval architects thinking?? Did they not realize the Russians build backdoors and exploitable vulnerabilities into the simplest devices, so that they can later make you chop your finger off, or drive into a wall or something??

The British press was quick to pick it up – absolutely unacceptable, old chap. Those systems must be ripped out as quickly as it can be carried out, and replaced with reliable NATO systems made by an honest western manufacturer.

The thing is, Transas – the maker of these Navaids (a portmanteu of ‘navigational aids’) – builds about 35% of the navigational systems used by world shipping, and about 45% of the trainers. The company was acquired by Wartsila of Finland in 2018, but the defense division remains Russian. It sounds to me as though the alarm was perhaps raised by some commercial entity which builds similar systems, and which would like to see its global market share rise by 35%.

What are we talking about here? The Transas Navi-Sailor 4100 is an ECDIS system, an acronym typically pronounced ‘Ekk-Diss’; an Electronic Chart Display Information System. It replaces the drawers of paper charts ships used to have to carry, and update, for routine navigation. If you regularly travel the same route, as many commercial carriers do, you can write and save the route in ECDIS that offers the best compromise between speed and safety, incorporate and display known shoals and navigation hazards; a saved route appears as an overlay with a dotted red line and the helmsman simply has to follow it, making course corrections at waypoints which account for the speed and maneuverability of your vessel. You can select route monitoring, and the system will warn you if you stray outside the designated safety corridor, much as rumble strips on the side of the pavement alert you if you are drifting off the highway. Although the latter usually make you scream and shit your pants, especially if you have dozed off while driving. ECDIS monitors everything that contributes to the current accuracy of the system, including if your charts are out of date, your AIS (Automatic Identification System) is inactive, your applied helm exceeds the recommended turn rate, and notifies you that you are coming up to a critical point which may require you to make a log entry. You can select ETA (Estimated Time of Arrival) and ECDIS will figure it out for you on the assumption that your current route and speed are the values you intend to use. It is like a Second Officer on the bridge who never sleeps and knows everything.

The overlays you select to provide the chart you need for navigation are stored on the system; the symbol which represents you and moves about on the chart takes its feed from GPS – most commonly – or the ship’s Inertial Navigation System (INS), which is a gyrocompass incorporating dead reckoning, using accelerometers and starting from a known position.

You can pursue ECDIS and INS systems on your own; nothing like education to broaden your mind. But the intent of this post is more to alert you that once again, the west is being abysmally stupid, and apparently assumes you are, too.

“The Bild report claims that the system’s data encryption does not comply with military security standards, in an apparent reference to NATO, of which Germany is a member.

“During a worst-case cyberattack, navigation data could be hacked and the ship could fully lose operability,” Bild quoted an unnamed officer as saying. The report also pointed out that Russia sometimes carries out naval maneuvers close to Germany’s Baltic Sea coastline.”

What would be the point of data encryption in a navigation system? Is the Rock of Gibraltar a British secret? Do the Russians have to ask for a special map to find their way through the English Channel? Navigational information for the oceans and seas of the world is international property. Do commercial vessels making their way into Golden Horn Bay at Vladivostok have to wait out at sea until the FSB sends a special cloak-and-dagger operative to guide them in? Hardly. Maybe a pilot, but it is not unusual for harbors to require a pilot’s services for arriving shipping and the pilot uses charts that are available to everyone. ECDIS is just an electronic locker of charts which are readily available to anyone.

Which brings us to the moving symbol on the overlay, which represents the ship or submarine you are standing on. That movement which tells you where you are on the face of the earth comes from GPS. While you’re on the surface. Can submarines receive GPS while they are submerged? Nope. INS only. Can the Russians hack your INS? What do you think?

The reporting sources seem super-excited about the possibility of Putin moving around German submarines at his evil pleasure, maybe making them collide with one another, to the accompaniment of ominous balalaika music. No wonder the imaginary officer who told Bild that ‘navigation data could be hacked and the ship could fully lose operability’ was unnamed. The filtering process that is supposed to catch idiots before they get promoted high enough to be dangerous was obviously down for maintenance that day. Suppose your ECDIS told you there was an island looming in front of you, and you were about to crash into it – that’s what bridge windows are for. You might be on a submarine, and it’s quite true they don’t have windows, but when they are submerged they are not working on GPS data anyway. While we’re on that subject, where do the Russians get their GPS feed from? Oh, that’s right – GLONASS. They know very well that if they relied on GPS for long-range targeting, the west would just mess with their GPS feed. The systems they build are probably capable of receiving both, but international users probably use GPS. I’m sure Russia is capable of jamming GPS, but it has never been observed doing it, and submarines don’t receive GPS while submerged.

This might be a good place for a simple summary. The system the Germans are shrieking about is ECDIS, a chart-display system which uses electronic overlays to call up charts for whatever area you want to navigate. It does not inject the moving symbol which represents you – that comes from GPS, and you still have your own radar slaved to the ECDIS, so you have raw video from that as well to confirm your position in relation to other contacts. Although the Transas Navi-Sailor 4100 is built by Russia, it is not a replacement for radar, Russia cannot hack your INS feed, and Russia does not even use GPS for most navigational applications. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) directs that by law, all commercial ships must install and use ECDIS (the general implementation period ran from 2012 to 2018), and maritime law clearly states that all international vessels must carry current charts aboard in some form. They can be paper or electronic, but if electronic, updates must be regularly downloaded. Only charts approved by governments can be considered official. The ECDIS systems Bild is screeching about have been in the German vessels since 2005 – over 15 years of updates have been downloaded without anyone in NATO expressing the slightest alarm.

Did I say you cannot hack GPS? I certainly didn’t. Because you can. Some of those who can do it are sufficiently proud that they want you to know about it, and they would be the usual suspects.

Naval Dome cybersecurity – I’m imagining your surprise – is located in Israel. And they want you to know that not only can GPS be hacked, it’s not even difficult. According to Naval Dome’s Chief Technical Officer,

“We succeed in penetrating the system simply by sending an email to the Captain’s computer.

We designed the attack to alter the vessel’s position at a critical point during an intended voyage – during night-time passage through a narrow canal. During the attack, the system’s display looked normal, but it was deceiving the Officer of the Watch. The actual situation was completely different to the one on screen. If the vessel had been operational, it would have almost certainly run aground.

He goes on to explain that Naval Dome incorporated a viral attack concealed in the email, which installed itself as an ECDIS update. The company was also able to corrupt and falsify the radar picture through the Ethernet Switch Interface, which connects the radar to the ECDIS, so that the original attack also affected the radar. Finally, they were able to override the Machinery Control System (MCS), although this would be much harder to duplicate as it was done by means of an infected USB stick. German military vessels typically employ some pretty strict access control, and such an act of sabotage would likely have to be carried out by someone posing as a civilian contractor during refit, or by a traitor in the employ of a hostile government.

The fairly-obvious objective of this exercise is to terrify shipping-line owners that their vessels could be turned into maritime twin-towers airliners, and manipulated to cause terrible loss of life and incalculable property damage. All of which could be avoided by…ahem…contracting Naval Dome cybersecurity to consult and harden your ECDIS system against penetration.

I propose several points for consideration. One, there is absolutely no reason to imagine the ECDIS systems supplied to Germany by Russia have concealed electronic traps incorporated which would let the Russians manipulate and remotely control German ships and submarines. They have been in place for more than 15 years without any such incidents. Two, submarines submerged do not use GPS information, proceeding under INS guidance which does not have external input other than vessel motion. Three, while Russia has not ever been reported for attempts to manipulate GPS information or to interfere with ECDIS data or chart updates which are not likely downloaded from Russian sources anyway – ECDIS is international and it is a bit of a stretch to imagine the German government approved military chart downloads for German use from Russia – the Israelis have acknowledged that they are capable of doing it, and are actually quite chuffed with the results. Four, you can maybe save yourself a great deal of money by not opening any unsolicited email unless you are sure where it originated, and Five, Russia is probably luckier than it realizes because it uses GLONASS for military applications rather than GPS.

 

651 thoughts on “Run Silent, Run Deep. But Not So Deep that the Halfwits Won’t Get It.

  1. Greetings on International Workers’ Day!

    веселых Вам праздников – Happy holidays to you!

    Usually, Mrs. Exile (that is her pictured above) and I set off for our country estate on 1st May – if not earlier if the weather is fine. Not this year have we done this, though, because it is unseasonably cold now and pissing it down. The temperatures will rise to normal levels in the middle of this month, they say. However, I desperately want to move out to the country, this inclement weather notwithstanding.

    And there’s this situation to consider here in Mordor as well:

    «Неизвестно»: Кремль высказался о продлении нерабочих дней

    “Not Known”: the Kremlin has spoken about the extension of non-working days
    Rambler 20 hours ago

    Dmitry Peskov, press secretary of the Russian President, does not know whether the non-working days will be extended after May 10, reports TASS.

    A week ago, as Rambler reported, President Vladimir Putin signed a decree establishing non-working days from May 4 to 7 with the same wages in order to maintain the trend of reducing the spread of coronavirus infection.

    Thus, the May holidays will last from May 1 to May 10 inclusive. Today, journalists asked Peskov to comment on the possibility of their extension after May 10.

    “I am unaware of this”, he replied.

    A Kremlin spokesman added that Putin has had a rather busy work schedule since May 8.

    Yesterday, the operational headquarters for combating the spread of coronavirus infection said that in Moscow the number of new cases of the disease had exceeded three thousand for the first time since January.

    Infectious disease specialist Nikolai Malyshev said that usually an increase in the incubation occurs within two incubation periods after the weakening of restrictive measures. He expressed the opinion that over the next few days, the incidence in the capital may be increased. The doctor attributed this to the fact that the people are a little too free and easy, and they are also in no hurry to get vaccinated.

    It’s all bollocks! It’ll never end. I’m pissed off with this!

    No skin off my nose as regards earnings, though, as my clients mostly still wish to continue their lessons on line with me. And looking out of the winsow, despite the sleet/rain that is steadily falling, I am still in half a mind to bugger off to the dacha on my tod.

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  2. Shit! This thread to which JULIUS SKOOLAFISH posted is way back!

    I wanted tp post to the present thread and thought that the above mosting had been made there.

    I shall post my May Day greeting again on the present thread.

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  3. Thanks Mark. Fascinating material. Maybe I’m misconstruing the Naval Dome publicity angle,but it doesn’t sound very different from the kind of sales patter employed by the local representatives of those coyly referred to by the media as “colourful business figures.”

    “Nice little restaurant/grocery/barbershop you have here. Be a real shame if something happened to it…”

    Moreover, the sour grapes from the approach taken by the German media at how such a useful application of IT is in the hands of the fucking Ivans are pretty overwhelming.

    Top stuff!

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    1. Yes, I thought also that the pitch was a sales approach; sometimes companies hire security types to try and break in, to satisfy themselves that their system – administrative network, whatever – is impregnable to outside attack.

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

      So it is fairly common to achieve success and then propose to fix the problem for the company, thus creating your own market. The thing about ECDIS, though, is that it is benign; it is used simply to navigate from one place to another. It’s hard to imagine approval for anyone who would inject anomalies into your perception of reality and use that misplaced certainty to cause a crash – it’s actually not far from terrorism, and could bring international shipping to a halt.

      Most warmaking nations have long had the ability to inject false targets into radar; it’s called jamming and deceptive repeating. But that’s used to break lock by a weapons-control or terminal-homing radar. Jamming someone’s navigation radar is just not done; there is no evidence, simply by the use of navigation radar, that the navigator intends to do you harm. And ECDIS is sufficiently a vital part of safe navigation that the IMO mandates its use in all international shipping.

      Also a repudiation, now that I think on it, of Obama’s sneering “Russia doesn’t make anything”. It makes more than a third of the ECDIS systems used worldwide, and nearly half the navigational trainers. Finland owns most of it now, as I mentioned, but they bought a functioning company and its market; they didn’t develop it.

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    2. Seconded. Thanks for another very detailed article, Mark.

      Odd how Deutsche Welle didn’t try to bring Nordstream II into its discussion. After all it will be carrying Russian natural gas and it wouldn’t be like Lord Vlademort not to try putting something into the gas that might make disused ammo dumps in remote parts of Germany, far from the actual pipeline itself, explode suddenly for no reason at all.

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    1. Ah, you beat me to it by 12 minutes. That’s my punishment for not refreshing the page and going off to do other stuff like making a cup of tea!

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  4. Antiwar.com: As Ukraine Simmers, Victoria Nuland Is Now Highest-Ranking Member of US Foreign Service
    https://news.antiwar.com/2021/04/30/as-ukraine-simmers-victoria-nuland-is-now-highest-ranking-member-of-us-foreign-service/

    On April 29 the U.S. Senate confirmed Victoria Nuland as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, which has been described as the fourth most important position in the State Department…

    … In a leaked phone conversation of January 28, 2014 between her and American ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt, the two provided future historians with a textbook-perfect specimen of engineering a coup, replete with the exact people who would lead the post-coup “transitional government.” Three and a half weeks before President Yanukovych was deposed ..

    … not because it exposed the most naked form of interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign nation, not because shortly afterward the plot resulted in a what is now a seven-year war with the ever-worsening prospect of a direct military confrontation between the U.S. and NATO on one side and Russia on the other – no, but because the diplomat with decades of diverse experience said, when the ambassador raised the issue of the European Union’s role in the transition, “F-ck the EU.” That made the conversation noteworthy. The only outrage in the West was over the fact that the contents of a private conversation has been divulged. …

    ####

    Plenty more at the link.

    The psycho is back. War this year then.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. She retailed some of her “historic moments” in that career, among them “working on tough arms control problems and conflicts from Rwanda to Haiti to Bosnia and Kosovo.” But what she expressed as her last-listed and perhaps proudest moment was, while she served as Deputy Chief of Mission at NATO, the military bloc for the first time activating its Article 5 collective defense clause, which contributed to the now twenty-year-old war in Afghanistan,

      Not a bad track record if you are one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse. She must have a lot of fans in Haiti,

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        1. “Who are the ones that we kept in charge?
          Killers, thieves, and lawyers”

          Tom Waits/Cookie Monster mashup – God’s Away On Business:

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      1. And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and her name that sat on him was Death, and Hell – and the wagon with the regime-change dinner rolls – followed with her.

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  5. Thanks for the update on another example of fear and hate induced madness in the West. Russophobia and Wokeism are symptoms of the disintegration of civilization in the West that in the US is racing ahead of the UK.

    Alexander Dugin has defined it as Liberalism v2 born out of Liberalism v1 that is destroying the latter – the totalitarian project of US elites into this new Cold War that may not be cold for long.

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    1. This is certainly the Age Of Woke in America, where scoring political points for getting the first woman and first person of color on the moon is at least as important as a successful landing. Don’t forget to make sure the Mission Captain is openly gay.

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      1. Talkn’ about Wokeness –
        Kamala Harris is now the head of the US Space Council:

        https://www.businessinsider.com/vice-president-kamala-harris-appointed-lead-national-space-council-2021-5

        [Senator] Nelson [new head of NASA] welcomed the news in a statement released by NASA: “The Vice President is the perfect person to lead the federal government’s space policy, which is increasingly complex, with many nations in space.”

        Harris recently showed her interest in US spaceflight when making two calls to astronauts aboard the International Space Station. Harris virtually spoke with astronauts, Shannon Walker and Kate Rubins, to mark Women’s History Month, CNN reported.

        Nelson did a virtual ass-kiss of Kamala.

        Her interest in US spaceflight is based on two phone calls to mark Women’s History Month? Sterling qualifications I would say!

        She has no qualification in education or experience with any science or engineering discipline, She has no apparent interest in technology or any curiosity beyond what it will take to push Biden into the geriatrics wing of the Bethesda hospital.

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  6. “I crossed the ocean, where no one would see
    And I put a time-bomb in your submarine;
    Goodbye to old friends, the secret’s in hand
    With phonied up papers, and counterfeit plans…

    Alice Cooper, from “Halo of Flies“ ”

    What Uncle Sam thinks of himself:

    You’re a Movie

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  7. Novichok was not evil enough for those Russians. Now, its energy weapons targeting Americans standing close to the White House! Is there no stopping them? They attacked a woman walking her dog a few years ago. Embolden by the lack of response by the Trump administration (surprise, surprise), they are targeting Americans left and right – they don’t care. That is how evil works! Sanctions! Now!

    https://news.yahoo.com/u-investigates-suspected-energy-attack-224019132.html

    Law enforcement agencies are investigating two possible directed energy attacks on government employees on U.S. soil.

    One of the suspected energy attacks occurred on the south side of the White House in November, and is believed to have sickened a White House aide. That incident followed a similar one in 2019 in a Virginia suburb which reportedly injured an aide walking her dog.

    The alleged victims’ conditions are not known, but the White House confirmed that President Biden has been briefed on one of the incidents. Senators are demanding answers on the mystery attacks.

    “There are personnel who have been harmed. We need to make sure they get the care and benefits they need,” New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen said.

    Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines said leaders are focused on the “critically important” issue.

    But officials say it’s too early to tell what happened. In the past, the National Security Agency has described an energy attack as a “high-powered microwave system weapon” that can “bathe a target’s living quarters in microwaves” and “kill an enemy over time and without leaving evidence.”

    Energy attacks were suspected in Cuba and China in the past few years as U.S. personnel reported symptoms of ear popping, pounding headaches and nausea. The symptoms have been referred to as the “Havana Syndrome.”

    Sources tell CBS News there have been energy-directed attacks on U.S. personnel on multiple continents. While Russia is considered a main suspect, U.S. officials are currently skeptical that Moscow would have carried out an attack just steps from the White House.

    However, there was this:

    https://news.yahoo.com/u-investigates-suspected-energy-attack-224019132.html

    https://gizmodo.com/show-me-a-directed-energy-weapon-or-shut-your-anonymous-1846792168

    Another day, another mostly anonymously sourced story about unidentified assailants supposedly assaulting U.S. government employees around the globe. This time, according to CNN, federal agencies are looking into something closer to home: symptoms suffered by a White House employee in Virginia and National Security Council staffer near the south lawn of the White House.

    To recap, speculation about foreign spies or their proxy agents aiming mysterious energy weapons at U.S. personnel began in 2017, when U.S. diplomats (some of whom were later confirmed to show signs of traumatic brain injuries) in Havana, Cuba reported hearing bizarre noises before falling ill with symptoms like headaches, nausea, and hearing loss. At that time, the primary theory going around was some kind of sonic weapon. Other U.S. diplomatic staffers and spies across the globe, including in the UK, Russia, and China, then began reporting similar experiences. The State Department bungled the initial investigation and failed to collect key evidence at the same time it was conveniently looking for an excuse to revert to a hawkish U.S. stance on Cuba.

    Although a government report later concluded the most likely cause was instead some sort of “directed, pulsed radiofrequency energy” (i.e. a microwave weapon), that conclusion was primarily based on a lack of evidence for other causes and received strong pushback from many others in the scientific community. No hard evidence of any kind for the technology has ever been publicly presented by the U.S. government. Reports citing government officials who suspect Russian intelligence to be involved have largely been anonymous and buoyed primarily by rumors the Russian government may have resumed Soviet-era research into experimental weapons.

    Last week, anonymous national security officials told Politico that the Pentagon had briefed members of Congress about similar attacks on U.S. troops in Syria—although by this time the story had morphed into the targeted individuals experiencing “flu-like symptoms” and it was conveniently unclear “how many troops were injured, or the extent of their injuries.” One troop was later confirmed to just have food poisoning.

    This brings us back to these mysterious directed energy weapons that no one has ever confirmed existed suddenly popping up in D.C.—for a super-secret spy technology that the U.S. government is having so much difficulty getting its hands on, it’s sure making the rounds! CNN cited two specific incidents. One in 2019 involved a White House staffer that, according to GQ, was walking her dog in the Virginia suburbs before her dog began acting strangely and she felt “high-pitched ringing in her ears, an intense headache, and a tingling on the side of her face.” She had previously reported a similar experience in a hotel room in London in 2019 that caused a feeling of “intense pressure” in her head but stopped when she left the room. There’s no mention in the GQ report that this person was confirmed to have suffered any injuries.

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    1. “The Russians discorporated my homework!” That’s all America needs to have used against it; a weapon that ‘kills an enemy over time and leaves no evidence’. Of course there’s no evidence that Russia did it – he’s DEAD, in’t he? Well, how much more proof do you NEED?

      I know just what they mean. I was out for a walk the other day, and a nice-looking female jogger in tight shorts passed me. I felt a strange tingling in my groin. I should have known she was a Russian agent using a directed-energy weapon against me.

      Really, you have to laugh helplessly; it’s so farcical. It’s actually embarrassing, I’m embarrassed to be geolocated so closely.

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    2. “Circle the wagons!” “Enemies at the Gates!”

      It all looks like the self-serving paranoia of the die-hard neocons who will grasp at anything to not change and face up to a world around them that has. They’re still at the Denial stage of the Five Stages of Grief.

      The real question for everyone else is, are the professionals in the world of reality and are they just going through the motions for political expediency? That would be my guess. Some people cannot take the words ‘No.’ So rather than trying to impose it you have to change your methodology.

      But, and this is the related question, if such a bunch of individuals (Dem/Rep) want to do something stupid and pressure Bi-Dumb & co who may well go along with it, will the chains of command passively go along with it? Sic, will orders be followed?

      Either way, these insane people need to be ‘managed’ in a way that minimises the damage they can do, one way or another.

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  8. Христос Воскресе! — Christ is arisen!

    Easter Sunday here today.

    There were a load of traditional painted Easter eggs in the kitchen when I got up this morning, all prepared late last night by Mrs. Exile. And there are “kulich” there as well — traditional Easter cake.

    No decadent chocolate eggs here!

    However, follower of Woden that I am, I feel that I must keep my side up and send this Easter greeting to fellow non-believers:

    JOIN THE LEGION. WE MAKE GODS OUT OF MEN!

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    1. Our household has the same, although at the critical moment, the dyes could not be found and Mama coloured the eggs with markers. Non-toxic, I trust. He is raised from the dead! Best of the season to you and yours.

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      1. Mrs. Exile always boils the eggs in a pan full of boiling onion skins. The shells then become golden brown. And then she oils the shells with sunflower oil and puts shrink-fit stickers onto them that have ХВ on them or icon images of the arisen Christ or she simply paints some of them.

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        1. Yes, we commonly use the shrink-fit wraps as well. This year, for whatever reason, no decorations could be found. But Putin’s passport was found on the kitchen floor, and the back door was left open.

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  9. Couple of days late, getting over here to read this. BUT the first substantial thought is, I recall an age of education prior cheap, palm size calculators to solve math problems. We had to work the problems out long-hand. These days (for a few decades) kids can cheat this process and when older and you ask for a solution to any basic math problem beyond 2 + 2 = ?, and there is no handy-dandy calculator present, the puzzled baboon expression is immediate and if an important (immediate) occasion demands answer, the sweat breaks out on the forehead.

    Maybe we’re dealing with a similar circumstance here. If it were necessary, could these military sailors still break out and read an old-style chart?

    Meanwhile (obligatory cynicism) “Is the Rock of Gibraltar a British secret?” Naw. It’s a British hemorrhoid whose itch is compulsively retained as reminder of days of yore (empire) …

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    1. For the past couple of months I’ve restricted my use of the calculator to checking the results of arithmetic computations done the old way – on paper. It’s more satisfying that way. And (as with most things) with practice you improve.

      And if only picking up a few items in the supermarket, I do the sums in my head and occasionally get to amaze the till assistant with the correct amount tendered straight away.

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      1. They used to use counting beads in shops here until the end of the ’90s or thereabouts. I don’t suppose youngsters could use them now. The old cashiers used to rattle away at them like billy-o.

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        1. I remember seeing the abacus used in Russia as recently as 1998, and in China as well. I had no idea at all how they worked, but someone who knew it well was proven at least as fast as a calculator in several demonstrations when we were in China that same year.

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    2. Yes, of course, and many ships still carry some paper charts as a backup, in case the ECDIS goes down. But today they are mostly used to answer questions such as ‘What’s that point called? The one with the tall white stone building on it?” Such features are not typically named in ECDIS. As to whether modern sailors could navigate using paper charts, I believe military navigators are still required to do so; the planned route is built using paper charts, and once approved, loaded onto ECDIS. For the ship I work on we are almost never out of sight of land, and follow the same route day after day, so there are a couple of paper charts aboard but they are almost never seen, and what we are doing is not actually navigating, at least in terms of finding our way on a marine pathway not often traveled. We could certainly drive it during the day without ever looking at the radar display – that’s more for avoiding reefs and shoals you can’t see – and even at night we know where we are from lights and beacons on or near the shore. But as far as I am aware, military operations still require navigators to use paper charts for the initial route plan, and navigators must be able to retrieve a variety of other information such as depth and contour from a paper chart.

      I am well aware of the phenomenon you discuss, though; as I think I mentioned before, when I was posted to the destroyer HURON (DDH-281), when it came out of refit back sometime in the 80’s, it had had a primitive mainframe computer installed, up in the Fire Control workshop. It was linked to maybe 15 terminals on board, from which you could access its services, which would be laughable today but were considered quite advanced back then. One of them was next to the Coxswain’s office (The Coxswain, usually abbreviated as ‘Cox’n’, is the senior non-commissioned member aboard and the highest-ranking in the crew who is not an officer, he or she is a Chief Petty Officer First Class, and the ship’s regulatory authority and disciplinarian), and was used to produce Routine Orders, which the US Navy calls the Plan Of The Day, and is a document which details the days exercises and serials, training assignments, those slated for the day’s Duty Watch if the ship will be arriving in port, and various administrative items.

      Prior to that the Cox’n’s Writer (a rotating 3-month assignment chosen from the combat trades) would run them off on the Gestetner, a purple-ink monstrosity fixed to the deck which had many of the features of a multilith offset press. The original had to be typed out on a typewriter, and then it was reproduced in sufficient numbers to be posted around the ship. With the computer model, you could simply overwrite the previous day’s entries, change the date and send it to the printer.

      The computer went down maybe a month or two after it had been installed. Only temporarily, and it was fixed, but it was quickly discovered that no single individual could completely remember, even in such a short interval, how we had done it before. It required a collective effort of several to get Routine Orders out.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Brings to mind a hilarious anecdote that a Canadian with whom I once shared digs in the UK recounted to me.

        This is the transcript of a radio conversation of a US naval ship with Canadian authorities off the coast of Newfoundland in October, 1995. Radio conversation released by the Chief of Naval Operations 10-10-95.

        Americans: Please divert your course 15 degrees to the North to avoid a collision.

        Canadians: Recommend you divert YOUR course 15 degrees to the South to avoid a collision.

        Americans: This is the Captain of a US Navy ship. I say again, divert YOUR course.

        Canadians: No. I say again, you divert YOUR course.

        Americans: This is the aircraft carrier USS Lincoln, the second largest ship in the United States’ Atlantic fleet. We are accompanied by three destroyers, three cruisers and numerous support vessels. I demand that YOU change your course 15 degrees north, that’s one five degrees north, or countermeasures will be undertaken to ensure the safety of this ship.

        Canadians: This is a lighthouse. Your call.

        Like

    1. The above happened in two villages near where my dacha is, which was on the frontline, December 1941. They only found the remains by chance a couple of years ago when they were doing construction work. Moscow academics say that the villagers — men, women and children, including babes in arms, had been murdered on suspicion of their helping partisans.

      Like

    2. And the NATO countries continue to slowly but surely expunge the record so that there is doubt over what actually occurred and only Hitler himself really crazy and evil.

      Like

  10. Asia Times: America’s gender warriors in a deal with the devil
    https://asiatimes.com/2021/05/americas-gender-warriors-in-a-deal-with-the-devil/

    It’s no surprise that today’s US high school students are by any measure far less happy than their antecedents

    by Spengler

    In a 1935 radio play, a man dies in a car accident and finds himself in a palatial home where a butler fulfills his every wish for wealth, women and so forth. The man (acted by Colin Clive, the first movie Dr. Frankenstein) cannot bear what he takes for Heaven, and tells his butler, “I want to suffer…I’m sick of Heaven…I can’t stand this confounded everlasting bliss…Well, whatever the devils do to me can’t be as bad as this. I want to go to Hell!”

    The butler replies, “Why sir— wherever do you think you are? This is Hell, sir!”..
    ####

    More at the link.

    Quite the rant. But we ‘older’ people have left a gigantic mess for those younger than us who still have most of their lives ahead of us. Now combine that with a once in a century global shift/real history, hiding from reality is what old declining powers do, by hook or by crook.

    It’s stuff like this (below) that gets bumped down in the social consciousness particularly by corporate media who has no interest in challenging massive economic abuse of American citizens.

    al-Beeb s’Allah: How ‘good news’ stories hide healthcare woes
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-56910392

    US headlines abound of average Americans crowd sourcing funds for their medical treatment, or selflessly forgoing necessary medicine in order to save money for their families. Why are these stories so popular?…

    …Researcher Alan MacLeod refers to these types of stories, depicting triumph over adversity, as “perseverance porn”.

    MacLeod, who is based in Scotland and represents the group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, says stories of working-class people persevering against all odds have been told throughout history, and speak to the public’s desire for human interest stories that put their own lives into perspective.

    “These sorts of stories about persevering through tough times are really sort of relevant to pretty much anyone,” he says, adding that they are growing in popularity as people struggle amid the global pandemic…
    ####

    Plenty more at the link.

    Of course MacLeod does lots of other good work at FAIR, including coving biases by media corporations…*

    ‘Insulin’ ffs!

    Gouging prices for a basic drug. Just the tip of the iceberg of course. While much of the dem Pork Pie News Media and associated fawners are rubbing each other off on B-Dumb’s $2t structural investment plan, there’s almost total silence about health care and all the other stuff. It’s much easier to rebuild all the stuff that’s been in maintenance mode or inanimate stuff since it was built in the post WWII boom of the 1950s and 1960s than fix stuff for every day Americans. Denial is not just a river in Egypt!

    * https://fair.org/home/its-aggression-when-they-do-it-but-defense-when-we-do-worse/

    Like

    1. Brave New Cancel Culture World
      http://thesaker.is/brave-new-cancel-culture-world/

      By Pepe Escobar with permission and first posted at Asia Times

      In 2020, we saw the enshrinement of techno-feudalism – one of the overarching themes of my latest book, Raging Twenties.

      In lightning speed, the techno-feudalism virus is metastasizing into an even more lethal, wilderness of mirrors variant, where cancel culture is enforced by Big Tech all across the spectrum, science is routinely debased as fake news in social media, and the average citizen is discombobulated to the point of lobotomy.

      Giorgio Agamben has defined it as a new totalitarianism.

      Top political analyst Alastair Crooke has attempted a sharp breakdown of the broader configuration…
      ####

      This is more my kind of analysis.

      PC/wokeness/identity etc. are just a few strands among many strands.

      Like

    2. It’s like an internet meme I saw the other day; superimposed on a black-and-white photo of Klaus Schwab, it says in white bold text:

      You’ll own nothing, and you’ll be happy.

      We’ll own everything, and we’ll be happier.

      Like

      1. Pretty funny! Some people like the concept of not owning anything but they rarely ask who owns the house they live in. Here is the critical question to me – if its owned by “the people” i’m OK but if it is owned by the Bill Gates and Jeff Bezo, not OK. Don’t know why I feel this way but I am not fully convinced that they would have my best interest in mind. Just a hunch.

        Like

  11. — Well all right then, from the 1st through to the 10th of May take a vacation.

    V. V. Putin announced the other week that the two May holidays would be merged into one long one, lasting from May Day and including 9 May Victory Day and 10 May.

    Like

  12. Look who’s become a milkmaid!

    She’s a proper country-girl now!

    For a while, nothing had been heard of the whereabouts of former Banderastan Supreme Rada deputy Nadezhda Savchenko, but the other day there appeared photos on her Facebook, showing her in a long dress and headscarf milking a cow, giving milk to a calf, caring for seedlings in a greenhouse, stoking a stove with wood and sweeping the street near a high fence.

    Source: https://www.kp.ru/daily/27273/4407698/

    Like

    1. Is she still on a hunger strike and still getting fatter?

      If she eats more the Norwegian PM (Erna Solberg) will see her as a threat to less food for the fat PM.

      Like


  13. Yukitard photoshopped propagandist photograph of Savchenko after she had been captured by Donbass Vatniki.

    top: After her capture by Russian “terrorists” and before her transportation to Rostov-na-Dony, where she stood trial, was convicted, sent to prison, and went on a hunger strike.

    bottom: After her hunger strike


    Free at last from starvation in a Russian concentration camp!

    Like

    1. Ukrainian milkmaids are all right though! I remember when Ukrainian women used to come to a village market in the country near my dacha. They sold tvorog there — English – Russian dictionaries usually call tvorog “cottage cheese”, but it isn’t: it’s more like German Quark.

      The Ukrainian women at the market also sold salo.

      Quark/tvorog is kvarg in Norwegian, isn’t it?

      Like

  14. Well…Good bye, America…! Transgender minister suggests changing the gender of children
    9 April

    NOTE!Throughout this translated text, “gender” is supposed to mean “sex”. The word “gender”, however, refers to the classification of nouns in some languages, i.e masculine, feminine and neuter GENDER! In Russian, for example, a door is of feminine gender, a house is of masculine gender and a window is of neuter gender — and a man is of masculine gender and a woman of feminine gender. Male sex, however, is determined by the fact that men have dicks, whereas, women, those of the female sex do not. — ME.

    Translation

    You know, when I saw this news, for a while I was speechless … Firstly, from the fact that the Pennsylvania Secretary of Health, now confirmed by the Senate as a US Department of Health minister, is transgender; secondly, from the very story of the sex change of this former man, Mr. Richard Levine, now Mrs. Rachel Levine, and, most importantly, from the ideas that this minister actively promotes in life…

    And here is the story of the gender transition of this….. minister.

    Richard Levine was a man until he was in his fifties. He worked as a pediatrician, treated children. He was married and was an exemplary family man. Had and has two children. However, as Levine himself now claims, all his life he had dreamt of being like Kim Basinger. That was the dream of this children’s doctor…

    So our Doctor Levine thought and thought and thought: “Oh, I am a woman yet I am not a woman! I’m going to change my gender and I’m 50 odd years old! I’ll be like Kim! We only live once!”. So at the age of 54, Dr. Levine had a transgender transition: he underwent a course of hormone therapy, and everything unnecessary was cut off. And the doc became an old aunt.

    To be continued . . .

    Like

      1. On a Saturday night, about four hours into a session at the pub, maybe.

        “If I said you have a beautiful body would you hold it against me” etc.

        The “beer goggles” effect.

        Like

        1. Nope; this is the worst picture I could find of Kim Basinger now and they still look like different species.

          Obviously I was being sarcastic. He made a terrible decision. There are men who still look good as women, but he is not one of them. But he claims to have had ‘everything unnecessary removed’ so there’s no going back. Hope he’s happy as a really ugly woman. Actually, scratch that – I don’t even care if he is happy, that’s just a routine politeness that should be dispensed with. We have to take responsibility for our terrible decisions, and if I met him I would say, “Wow; you look just like a man in a wig.”

          Like

  15. Continued . . .

    True, he didn’t look very much like Kim Basinger, but that’s just a small point! The main thing is that the dream had come true! Moreover, such a “transformation” dramatically changed the life of an ordinary pediatrician. The doc and his wife were quickly divorced, of course. The two children, of course, stayed with their mother. But Dr. Levine’s career quickly took off. In the US, it is very much in the trend to be, so to speak, a person with special needs. They love and respect unusual people. For example, people with non-traditional orientation, and even more so, transgender people. Such people in the States are everywhere honoured and respected! America is a very democratic country! Thus, because of his gender transition, Dr. Richard Levine quickly transformed from a regular doctor to Secretary of Health of the State of Pennsylvania, Rachel Levine.

    Except that Rachel wasn’t doing a very good job as the state’s health minister. When the coronavirus pandemic hit, the Pennsylvania health care system, led by unnatural blonde Rachel Levine, was almost the worst effected in the USA. In fact, this caused a lot of questions to be asked of Rachel during the confirmation of her candidacy in the Senate.

    “In addition to problems with testing last spring, your state failed to properly protect residents of nursing homes from the virus, and now it is making unacceptable mistakes in the vaccination process. Pennsylvania is considered one of the most dangerous states for patients on long – term treatment and struggling with covid”, said Senator Richard Burr. And, of course, such attacks were immediately dismissed by the Democrats in the Senate as phobias and intolerance towards transgender people.

    But what does Rachel care about the pandemic! She is so busy with more important issues, namely the fight against gender stereotypes, and, most importantly, helping teenagers who want to change their gender! Yes! It is the idea of gender reassignment that the indefatigable Rachel actively seeks to introduce into the lives of Americans. Dr. Levine is for allowing minors to take hormones that block the onset of puberty and for their having the surgical removal of their genitals. And she is not at all confused by the story of a young British woman, Kira Bell, who won a historic lawsuit in the UK against gender identity clinics.

    The story of Keira Bell. From girl to boy and back again

    In a state of severe adolescent depression, a 14-year-old girl turned to psychologists, who immediately sent her to a clinic specializing in child and adolescent gender identity. And on state health insurance! There she was diagnosed with “Gender dysphoria”, which means that she was born a girl by mistake, but in fact she is a boy, and she urgently needed to be released from this “gender prison”. And puberty blockers and sex reassignment would save her from psychological problems. With the help of hormonal drugs that stop the natural process of the maturation of the body, the clinic doctors began to change the girl’s gender to the opposite, and at the age of 17 they began to introduce male sex hormones into the girl. At the age of 20, Kira Bell had her breasts removed.

    The fact is that such “treatment” also means that the patient receives a lifelong dependence on hormone therapy and the prospect of undergoing repeated operations to further remove already “unnecessary” female organs. In addition, there is a high probability of various side effects associated with hormone therapy.

    But despite all these procedures, Keira Bell never got rid of her psychological problems. And at some point, the girl realized that instead of saving her from banal teenage psychological problems, she had simply been maimed and disfigured, like hundreds of others of her peers. And then she decided to go back to her gender.

    As the case progressed, it became clear that she was not alone in her torment. “Detrans-persons” who have undergone sex reassignment surgery by mistake, number several thousand worldwide. And they all want to stop this torment and return to their biological sex.

    An amazing case! In the UK, minors are not allowed to drive a car, buy tobacco and alcoholic beverages, but they are not prohibited from giving consent to manipulations that will irrevocably affect their physical and mental health! By and large, it turns out that by paying for such “treatment” with state insurance, the state is financing experiments on children and adolescent

    Keira Bell was able to successfully prove in court that such practices are unacceptable. And now there is hope for a complete cessation of the funding of gender clinics in the UK for their closure . A British court decision has already come into effect, and medical officials have announced the suspension of experiments on teenagers under the age of 16. Thank you Keira Bell for this!

    But back to America and Secretary Rachel Levine. The fact is that the US Department of Health is responsible for caring for young street children-immigrants who are released en masse by poor parents into the USA via Mexico. This means that new projects and ideas of the Ministry of Health will be experienced by defenseless immigrant children.

    To be continued . . .

    Like

  16. Continued . . .

    Result

    Following a vote in the Senate, with 52 votes in favour and 48 against, Dr. Rachel Levine was inaugurated as a member of the White House team. So now, if an American child has a fever or a stomach ache, the doctor, a follower of Rachel Levine, will be able to ask himself and his parents the questions: “Should the child change gender? And is this child in the right body?”

    What can I say…? Only: “Well…. Good bye, America…!”

    “Прощальное письмо (Гуд бай, Америка)”

    “A farewell letter (Goodbye America)”

    Song by Soviet rock band Nautilus Pompilus.

    Когда умолкнут все песни,
    которых я не знаю
    в терпком воздухе крикнет
    последний мой бумажный пароход

    гуд-бай Америка – о
    где я не был никогда
    прощай навсегда
    возьми банджо сыграй мне на прощанье

    мне стали слишком малы
    твои тертые джинсы
    нас так долго учили
    любить твои запретные плоды

    гуд-бай Америка – о
    где я не буду никогда
    услышу ли песню которую запомню навсегда

    When all the songs that I don”t know
    Have gone silent
    Into the biting air will sound out
    My last paper steamship

    Goodbye America – oh
    Where I have never been
    Farewell forever.
    Take a banjo to play me goodbye

    I have become got too small
    For your frayed jeans
    We have been taught for so long
    To love your forbidden fruits

    Goodbye America – oh
    Where I shall never be
    Shall I hear a song that I will remember forever?

    Like

    1. Isaiah 5:20

      Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

      That’s what Christians say.

      Followers of Woden, like what I am, do not say “Woe unto them!” We say “Destroy them!”

      If I were a doctor, I’d fill that bastard Levine so full of hormones that a dick would grow out of his forehead.

      Like

    2. What does this mean:

      There she was diagnosed with “Gender dysphoria”, which means that she was born a girl by mistake, but in fact she is a boy,

      By mistake? What? By mistake….

      Is there a genetic basis for this disorder? Do brain scans (functional MRI, PET scans, etc.) show any underlying brain structure/functionality to support such claims?

      Or is it a psychological construct created to exploit a financial opportunity or support what used to termed “purient” interest? It’s one or the other or both.

      Like

      1. I could see you being born something ‘by mistake’ if you were born with the reproductive organs of both genders, which I am told does rarely happen, although I could not personally vouch for it as I do not know of anyone actually born like that. But genetics do not lie and if you were born with a penis you were meant to be a boy. You might be unhappy about that and wish to be something else; a girl, or a bird or a horse, but I don’t see how it could be as much a ‘mistake’ as it is a ‘disappointment’.

        There are all manner of dysphorias; ‘Body Dysphoria’ is fairly common in women who cannot grasp what size they are and repeatedly buy or try on clothes that are meant for a much slimmer woman, then experience trauma because they are too fat to fit. They – so I am told, again, this is completely outside my personal experience – do not see themselves in the mirror as they truly are, they see somebody who should fit in those clothes. Like the movie “Shallow Hal”. Except in that contrived situation, hypnosis made Hal see a totally different person who was not fat, so perhaps you could say it is a form of self-hypnosis.

        https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0256380/

        Like

        1. It could be an extreme manifestation of the drive towards solving human development challenges with pharmaceuticals and surgery. Depressed (we are at some point but that is warning to change our lives in some manner). Now, without really trying to get to the root cause of depression, we pop pills and put that happy face on. That is another issue I have with a lot of people – the need to appear happy and oh-so successful at all times: A nation of f’ing salesmen we are – A nation of Face Book movie stars.

          To be fair, there are people who truly have imbalances in their brain chemistry and they should receive all available help. It’s just too damn easy to have doctors prescribe mind-altering drugs (or change a person’s gender) just because the patient asked. I suppose that money drives this easy acquiescence to honor such requests. If a doctor hesitates to do that breast enlargement because the psychological condition of the patient is questionable, there will be five other clinics ready to jump in.

          At the core of the Western Problem is runaway narcissism. It’s promoted and highly rewarded. The exceptional nation is nothing more than narcissism run wild. End of my 5 minute rant.

          Like

          1. I just think they are perverts, weird fuckers, freaks, dirty bastards.

            Call me “old fashioned” if you will — a bigoted, a fascist etc.

            Don’t be afraid of hurting my feelings: I won’t cry. Honest!

            I can take criticism like a man — or a woman.

            Like

            1. Yeah, I mentioned earlier that prurient interests were a major factor. Also, social posturing, money and adulation of the woke were factors as well.

              Like

      2. In cases like Keira Bell’s, my suspicion is that the girls are going through a stage (actually quite common in young adolescent girls) where they experience same-sex attraction fantasies to girls their own age and sometimes older. The girls may have grown up in families and communities though where to be homosexual is deemed unnatural or sinful. The attitudes and values the girls have grown up with, combined with the fantasies that may in part be stimulated by the onset of puberty (with increased levels of hormones like oestrogen sloshing through their brains), may be more than they can handle. The kids will be conflicted about what they feel and think, what their families and communities expect of them in thoughts, feelings and behaviour, and depression can be one result of this. So they are referred to psychologists, the girls talk about what they are going through, and the psychologists hit on “gender dysphoria” as the cause of their problems and sex reassignment as the solution.

        Keira Bell’s case could have been resolved by psychologists telling her she is going through a normal phase and reassuring her family that her behaviour does not mean she will end up lesbian. Some girls may discover or realise they will always be attracted to their own sex but for most teenage girls the same-sex attraction is usually short-lived and their sexual orientation is more or less established by their late teens. But of course this kind of resolution demands time and money for things to work out by themselves and doesn’t conform to a results-oriented strategy.

        Different cultures have ways of dealing with this phenomenon. Current Japanese culture and the sub-culture that has grown up around Japanese anime films treat this kind of same-sex infatuation in young girls as acceptable and even encourage it in cosplay (“costume play” in which people dress up as their favourite cartoon or TV show characters). Even 100 years ago in Japan, this superficial same-sex infatuation was condoned (if not exactly encouraged) with the founding of the Takarazuka musical revue and the theatre associated with it: from the start, the Broadway-style musical dramas associated with the theatre featured all-female casts (with several women playing male parts) and audiences were mostly women. Osamu Tezuka, the creator of the Astro Boy character, attended Takarazuka musicals as a child tagging along after his mum, and these performances influenced his later career as a comic strip (manga) writer and animator. I just had a look at the Takarazuka theatre website and the theatre and the performances are still going strong with new productions being advertised even at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic in Japan is apparently still serious.

        Like

  17. A new project from the oppositionists: Dasha Navalnaya is aiming for her father’s place
    Today

    Whoopee!!!
    All the romantically minded adherents of “Navalny Day” were absolutely sure that the beloved wife of the country’s main opposition leader (and at the same time an implacable “enemy of Putin and Co.”) would pick up the banner of blue underpants that had so unexpectedly fallen out of Alyosha’s weakened hands. But that wasn’t the case. Yulia Borisovna did not want to put her life on the “sacred “altar of the fighters for the “bright future of Russia”. All she could do was post on her Instagram profile pictures of the now sickly prisoner, who is still unable to get started with occupational therapy in the colony.

    Of course our bright-faced citizens have tried to talk some sense into the inconsolable “five-minute widow”. They twice summoned her to Germany for explanatory talks, but in the end it became clear even to them that another housewife at the head of the opposition movement was yet another failure.

    An unsolvable question arose before the movers and shakers of the masses: Who should be put at the head of the protest-minded investigators? Volkov and Zhdanov had not lived up to expectations and had in the end ruined the farm entrusted to them. Sharashkin’s offices (Navalny’s headquarters) are closed, the leaders are disbanded, the “hamsters” are in quiet shock. Alyosha’s faithful combat friends do not know what other adventure to arrange in order to attract attention.

    And then the Western gentlemen remembered that they are paying for the education of Navalny’s daughter at Stanford (only absolutely naive people can believe the stories that Dasha studies for free). And since the debts must be repaid, DA-DAH … And we have a new candidate for the chair of an ideological provocateur. Dasha’s audition will be held in early June in Geneva at the Summit on Human Rights and Democracy. There she will have to give a fiery speech and pick up her father’s award —the “Courage Prize”.

    I should like to believe that Dasha knows English better than Lyuba Sobol, the winner of a Red Diploma, and dad will not have to blush over his daughter.

    Like

  18. It is interesting to learn how stuff works and ship navigation is up there on things inherently interesting. I marvel at how well Google maps can display driving instructions to any two points; not without the occasional hiccup but still pretty darn good (Russian hackers are, no doubt, behind the hiccups).

    It does sound like a hack job by Naval Dome; likely contrived with Israeli, US and Germany government encouragement – full spectrum attack on anything Russian. I suppose Russian wheat will be on the hit list next.

    Given that Russia produces the finest programmers and software engineers int the world, I suspect that whatever security breach there is can be updated with a download in short order. I am surprised that an email was all it took unless there was an attachment promising unlimited free porn that contained malware.

    It is a fascinating post presented in an entertaining and informative manner.

    Like

  19. I’m probably 15 year behind the times but these news presenters actually appear to be more intelligent and literate than most cable news hosts. And its very Canadian.

    (warning – graphic content)

    Like

        1. No, that’s quite true. But they could tell you anything – Bat-Boy was just elected President of South America – and on some level you would internalize it even if you didn’t really hear it.

          Like

  20. I’m telling ya! It was the Russians what done it! No ifs and buts about it!!!! So shut your mouth!

    Czech Prime Minister summoned Justice Minister over her statement about Vrbetice
    May 2, 2021, 17: 32

    Czech First Deputy Prime Minister Jan Gamacek said on Czech TV that Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis had summoned Maria Benesova, the head of the Ministry of Justice of the country, in connection with her statement about the explosions in Vrbetice.

    This is reported by RIA Novosti.

    It is noted that Babis” dissatisfaction was caused by the minister’s words that there were more than two versions of what led to the explosions in Vrbetice.

    As explained by Gamacek, at the moment law enforcement officers of the Czech Republic are working only with the version of events, which refers to the alleged involvement of the Russian special services in those events.

    “There are no other versions”, he said.

    The Deputy Prime Minister added that he does not know whether the head of the Ministry of Justice will now be dismissed for this, indicating that the corresponding decision is made by the Prime Minister of the country.

    Earlier, Beneshova said that there are several versions of what led to the explosions in Vrbetice.

    In April, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that the statements of Czech officials about the causes of the explosions at the weapons depot in Vrbetica and subsequent accusations of the country’s President Milos Zeman of treason because he had proposed that all versions of what happened be considered, including careless handling of weapons, were “pure schizophrenia”.

    Like

  21. Antiwar.com: NATO’s Southeastern Spearhead: Turkey’s Military Aggression in Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Caucasus Signals Proxy Conflict With Iran
    https://news.antiwar.com/2021/05/02/natos-southeastern-spearhead-turkeys-military-aggression-in-iraq-syria-yemen-and-caucasus-signals-proxy-conflict-with-iran/

    The past week has witnessed reports of increased Turkish military activity in Iraq and Syria as well as its intruding itself deeper into the war in Yemen. In all three cases Ankara has pitted itself against forces that are or can be seen to be pro-Iranian: Shiite parties in northern Iraq, the government of Syria and the Houthi-led government in Yemen.

    Direct tensions between Turkey and Iran have been increasing since last year over the above three nations as well as the Turkish-directed attack on Nagorno-Karabakh by Azerbaijan (Turkey and Azerbaijan identify themselves as “one nation, two states’) and its aftermath….
    ####

    A lot more at the link.

    No need to wonder how dumb In Sultin’ Erd O’Grand is. Picking a fight with i-Ran is beyond reason. Why do it? Because i-Ran is an enemy of the US and its hamsters therefore will not cause blowback from the US. Also Erd O’Grand’s strategy of creating enemies to distract from his disasterous performance at home.

    As for the United States, it claims it wants to return to JCPOA (which it may), but this shows it would have no problem with Turkey as its new anti-i-Ran proxy, and particularly now that Saudi Arabia has publicly said that it wants to have good relations with i-Ran. The US cannot be trusted. It never gives up leverage willingly, only diverts it through another channel.

    Vis KSA & i-Ran kissing and making up, that undermines i-Srael’s i-Ran hysteria. One argument was that if i-Ran got the bomb then KSA said it would get one too. If neither want it and get along, then there’s not much of a threat to anyone (except for psychotics). This also means that the US can get along with i-Ran without worrying that KSA might stop buying American weapons, further undermining i-Sreal’s position in the region. If the US can save money in the Middle East, it won’t but it will spend it on its continued operation to hopelessly contain China & Russia. A quiet ME therefore is bad for everybody else! Or, it will all fall apart.

    Like

  22. Apparently the Russian ‘Ambassador’ to the EU Vladimir Chizov has been called in to the u-Ropean Commission to protest ‘Russia’s actions.’ Blinken Blonken is in the UK having a love fest and will go shortly to Brussels/NATO/Commission to have a similar love in and pretend that it is still 2013 and nothing has changed since O-Bomber.

    Like

        1. They got the message alright:

          Euractiv mit neuters: EU summons Russian envoy over travel bans on Brussels officials
          https://www.euractiv.com/section/global-europe/news/eu-summons-russian-envoy-over-travel-bans-on-brussels-officials/

          …EU summons Russian envoy over travel bans on Brussels officials…

          …The EU will consider its next steps at a meeting of foreign ministers next week but may also look to the Council of Europe, a non-EU body of which Russia is a member, for ways to respond to what Brussels says are continued Russian rights abuses…
          ####

          As with everything EU, you can tell them something but they’ll ignore it until you do it. Russia long told them that it was no longer ‘business as usual’ and they were still surprised. Like the Americans.

          u-Rope ‘reserves the right to respond’ but that clearly means escalation against a country that will not back down.

          The u-Ropean institutions have no one to blame but themselves after throwing poo like monkeys at Russia so frequently. Finally they are getting a taste of their own medicine and they don’t like it.

          The best thing about this all is that Russia’s timing is impeccable. There is absolutely no doubt at all the EU dug this hole all by themselves. The lines have not only been clearly drawn in word, they have been demonstrated in deed. Stupid u-Ro f/kers.

          Like

        2. Apparently EP prez Sassoli said in La Stampa on Sunday he doesn’t take the sanctions personally that it’s all part of the politics. That’s quite the turn around from being outraged on hearing the news…

          Like

            1. Double negative. I’m right!

              Politico.eu: Why did Russia go after the European Parliament?
              https://www.politico.eu/article/russias-travel-ban-against-david-sassoli-raises-eyebrows/

              It doesn’t carry out EU foreign policy or adopt sanctions, yet MEPs have often gone further than the EU in criticizing Moscow.

              …blah blah blah…

              …“In the public view, Parliament has seized the leadership role in this debate,” Sergey Lagodinsky, a German Green MEP who grew up in Russia, told POLITICO. “It’s a voice that is directly legitimated, and it’s more political, more ambitious.”

              “We are politicians more than the bureaucrats or the executive branch,” he added.

              Or, as Sassoli put it, the ban simply wasn’t about him.

              “It’s not a personal issue,” he told Italian daily La Stampa on Sunday. “One hits the president to hit the Parliament.”…
              ####

              There’s a reason the u-Ropean Parliament isn’t allowed anywhere near foreign policy. They’re all dicks.

              Like

  23. Apparently i-Ran is interferring in Skootland, says the neocon Henry Jackson Society. Motto “No shark large enough.”

    Like

      1. It looks like they’re volunteering to become Azeri sashliki.

        Pashinyan betrayed N-K by not intervening with Armenian military forces. On who’s ‘advice’? There is abject silence. It is highly likely that it is those self-same foreign supporters that had advised to distance Armenia from Russia, to switch from dug in protected defensive lines to easily picked off mobile warfare. The only reason Pashinyan would not have sent his forces in is if his ‘allies’ told him they would not offer any backing at all.

        If you sleep with dogs, you get fleas.

        Like

        1. Pashinyan is history because he was a stuffed shirt who talked the talk about glorious democracy and freedom and all that idealistic bullshit – the west’s daily experience with The Great Plague has given everyone an object lesson in just how transitory ‘freedom’ is, with police in this country empowered to stop citizens on the public roads to inquire of the purpose of their travel – but when the rough stuff started, he fell apart. He just stood there, blinking like a deer in the headlights. If he’d been wearing a tie, he’d have eaten it. He was a real leader like ‘The Simpsons’ is real life.

          Like

    1. Nothing like a vote of confidence [insert the punchline here]

      He won’t do the old Robert the Bruce and the spider thing, will he?

      Like

  24. That’s it!

    I’m off out to the country first thing tomorrow morning regardless of the fact that it’s blowing a gale and pissing it down.

    Again, they’ve postponed these damned checkups that I need to have done before I get hospitalized, and even then, when this happens, I have to be quarantined in hospital for 3 days.

    They’ve told me again to come back when this extended May holiday ends on 11th. Extended because of the shamdemic.

    Load of bollocks!

    Bloody ‘flu!

    And people over 85 tend to pop their clogs if they fall sick.

    They keep on mithering me about getting vaccinated. I’ve told them where to shove their fucking vaccine.

    Like

  25. Family protest business of the Navalny clan
    3 May 2021


    Entry only with search warrant

    The fact that the State Department project “Navalny” had been ordered to exist for a long time is now obvious even to the most stubborn fighters against the regime. However, such an end was not predictable for everyone.

    Ordinary activists of the movement, who firmly believed that they were fighting for the best option for Russia, were left at a broken feeding trough, wondering what to do next.

    The leaders of the sect are counting the remaining dividends and figuring out where to go now with their tarnished reputation. As the unforgettable Koreiko used to say: “Good accountants are needed everywhere”.[Aleksandr Ivanovich Koreiko is one of the central characters in the novel by Ilf and Petrov “The Golden Calf” and films based on it. Russian bloggers regularly make parallels between the goings on th that book and FBK because the book is about a conman massively swindling the gullible — ME]


    Trust us!

    Only for the saintly Navalny family nothing unexpected has happened. Business is business, and its originators always knew that the tumultuous activity of destroying Russia was only a stage in a great journey, at the end of which they would have to move safely to a well-deserved rest, astutely prepared for them by the caring hands of the guardian of the home and the rebellious muse of Navalny, his faithful wife Yulia.

    To be continued . . .

    Like

  26. While the simpletons were dreaming of her picking up the flag of struggle from her husband’s weak arms (some idiots are like that), Yulia, whilst busy making arrangements, has been circling between her wine plantations in the heart of France and a comfortable nest for herself and her son in Germany, where she will wait out her beloved husband’s imprisonment or mourn his untimely demise. Decembrists’ wives are prepared for all eventualities. [Reference to some of the wives of 1825 Imperial officers sent into exile after failing to overthrow the monarchy: they followed their husbands into Siberia, those husbands that had not been hanged, that is — ME]


    Bienvenue en France, blonde sculpturale!

    This nice little vineyard in the south of France was owned by Yulia Navalnaya back in 2015.

    https://avatars.mds.yandex.net/get-zen_doc/4032365/pub_608fc03ea38d215d4ec801f7_608fca45b8f34b04d27d1d9d/scale_1200

    [See linked Russian article for image of bill of sale — ME]

    However, this is not Putin’s palace that is to be shouted about at every corner. It is just a reasonable disposal of donations for the future, which will come after the breakdown of the Putin regime, when there will be nothing more to break in Russia.

    Navalny, unlike his supporters, always understood that his activities in Russia were temporary, and he has diligently prepared for the subsequent happy life outside of it. In any case, they have been preparing their children for this since their childhood.

    At a time when Navalny was proudly broadcasting that his children were attending a regular school in Maryino [Moscow suburb where the Navalny family pretend to live as ordinary Russian citizens — ME], an unemployed blogger and housewife could already afford to educate their child where the children of the oligarchs whom they had exposed were studying.

    Fees for one academic year at the elite Moscow high school that Navalny’s daughter attends cost 700, 000 rubles


    Whoopee!!!!

    To be continued . . .

    Like

  27. Navalny’s son is too young to be on the internet, but he is already on the right track, gnawing at the granite of science in Germany.

    But as for his mother, she has already worked hard enough for the family. And she has not worked so hard just to wave the flag of struggle all the time. It’s time to enjoy the fruits of her labours.

    But the donations they have accumulated are not endless, and someone has to ensure that the family keeps getting them by continuing the family business. Therefore, the family business is in the capable hands of an heiress, the family daughter Daria.

    The girl has been prepared for her mission from an early age. As a schoolgirl, Dasha kept a personal blog about the youth struggle against the regime, copying the best examples of such a repertoire.

    Today, 19-year-old Darya Navalnaya is preparing to speak at the annual Geneva Summit on Human Rights and Democracy, which will take place on June 7-8, 2021.

    She has been endorsed by the US State Department. Who would doubt it? A worthy daughter of her father.

    But her mother has had some problems with her. Her daughter often and seriously fights with her and does not want to maintain the family saintly reputation that she has built so carefully.

    During her time at Stanford she became addicted to illegal substances and same-sex love. All of this somehow upsets the well-meaning Yulia Navalny. Strange, isn’t it? The girl has adapted, fitted in with advanced Western values, and her mother is not happy. After all, this is the very way of life for which she and her husband have been fighting for so long.

    True, they wanted this for Russia, but it has turned out the other way round. Well, as the saying goes, if you like to go for a ride, get to like driving a sleigh.

    Like

  28. Dances with Bears: THE NEW NAVALNY INDICTMENT – WHY ARTICLE 239 PROSECUTION IS WORSE FOR THE ANGLO-AMERICAN REGIME-CHANGE OPERATION THAN ARTICLE 275 (TREASON)
    http://johnhelmer.net/the-new-navalny-indictment-why-article-239-prosecution-is-worse-for-the-anglo-american-regime-change-operation-than-article-275-treason/

    When Alexei Navalny and his aides met in Germany in January with the US, British and German intelligence services, they agreed that Navalny would cease to be what he imagines himself to be, the front-running candidate for president of Russia, if he followed Boris Berezovsky and Mikhail Khodorkovsky into permanent exile abroad. The agents also reminded Navalny that his two predecessors could count on more of their own personal cash to pay for the standard of living and attention to which they were accustomed, than Navalny could. On account of his vanity and their cash, they had Navalny over a barrel….
    ####

    The rest at the link.

    Curiously I can only access the homepage of DWB from here in u-Rope (for quite a while). If I try to access the articles themselves I get an ‘Error 521 Web server is down.’ Cloudflare says the problems is with the Host site. Fortunately there are lots of free proxy services out there that work very well that don’t require sign up.

    Like

    1. Lyosha is not the first Russian to roll the dice on how powerful western influence is in his own country, and lose. And he probably will not be the last. But I doubt Dasha will return to Russia after her Stanford polishing. She will be an agitator from abroad, because not even the serially-delusional west could seriously imagine her as an influential political figure within Russia.

      Like

  29. Oh. look! The New York Times has reached the same conclusion as us, albeit a couple of months later and using completely different logic.

    They say herd immunity is not achievable because of ‘variants’ and vaccine hesitancy. I said ages ago that herd immunity was not achievable because the vaccines do not confer immunity – they merely mitigate the symptoms.

    At least they are finally coming around to the same page the ‘anti-vaxxers’ have been on since Day One – vaccinate the most vulnerable if you must and if they consent, and leave everyone else alone. How much money has been thrown into the wind since then?

    Like

    1. It’s all a load of dog’s bollocks is this vaccination scam.

      I am at last in the country! I bit the bullet and set off, even though the weather is very unseasonable — plus 3 and sleet.

      After very many months of having my social card blocked in order to prevent me from travelling free of charge on public transport, such free travel being my right in my dotage, I was led to believe in March that this block had been lifted.

      Wrong! At the station, after I had asked for a ticket to my dacha station whilst handing over to the cashier my social card, the cashier swiped the card and handed it back to me, saying: “You need a spravka!” —a term much loved by the Russian bureaucracy and can mean a host of things but in general refers to documentation, authorization etc.

      It seems, I think, that in order to travel free of charge, I need a spravka, namely verification that I have been vaccinated against the plague. I have not been and will not be vaccinated.

      And here’s the irony: I then bought a ticket without any hassle.

      I am not allowed to travel free of charge because, having not been vaccinated against Covid and being advanced in years, I pose a mortal danger to the travelling public in general. However, if I buy a ticket, it seems I miraculously cease to be a Moscow “Typhoid Mary” as it were.

      As I wrote at the beginning: a load of dog’s bollocks.

      Like

      1. It’s good to see Russia is as irrational as Canada. Hotel quarantine if arrival by air; home quarantine if arrival by land. Actually not as crazy as it looks but still nuts.

        Weather for the moment is a bit better, +7 and sunny. Subject to change without notice.

        Like

        1. Yes, I need a certificate to show that I have been vaccinated against the dread disease. The blocking of free travel was lifted in March, but only on condition that a social card holder ha such a spravka.

          Last week, regular flights between USA Chief Lackey in Europe, the UK, began again.

          I do hope that they only really did this so that they could fuck off odious, Russophobia fellow countrymen of mine at Sheremetevo.

          Like

          1. Tisk, tisk, I am sure there are some nice English people. I think I met some when I played rugby years ago.

            Of course, in Canada, the Scots and Irish immigrants just blend in, a bit like the Chinese immigrants do. It takes one generation and a good school system.

            Like

            1. The Russophobic ones are odious, unlike me, because I am not a Russophobe, albeit I am English.

              I am not a flag waving monarchist either, nor do I drink tea with milk and sugar out of a China cup with my right little finger stuck up in the air.

              And I’m not an arse bandit either.

              Perhaps I’m not really English?

              😦

              Like

            2. I should point out that my fellow countrymen are English, Scots, Welsh and some Irishmen who profess loyalty to the British crown.

              Like

          2. Lots of countries are excited about introducing the vaccine passport, and vow to not allow international travel without it. However, I forecast that perhaps even before they roll it out, or within a year of having done so, they will accept a negative COVID test from the unvaccinated in lieu, and eventually even that will be dropped. Much of the population of the pushiest countries is now vaccinated, and they are running up against a hard wall at around 62%. Let’s say all the government pushiness, persuasion and incentivizing results in that figure rising to 70%.

            The global tourist industry is staggering, and you can see its ribs. It needs a hard rebound followed by about 5 years of steady growth before it can start breathing easy again. And it is simply not going to achieve that on a loss of 30% of the traveling public. The greater the proportion of unvaccinated, the more leverage they have.

            Like

  30. Potential good news for Russia, as the EU prepares to roll out new legislation in retaliation for Biden’s ‘Buy American’ initiative. New European law would exclude companies from countries where European companies are barred from tender.

    https://www.politico.eu/article/eu-response-joe-biden-buy-american-us/

    I realize Russia at present bars many European companies from tender, because of reciprocal sanctions that affect international trade. But if American companies are excluded from the EU, already-sclerotic international trade is going to become even more crippled and incestuous, and Europe will begin to cast about for alternatives.

    It begs the question of how squirrely Biden is going to be allowed to get before Democrats will finally admit he is off his head. ‘Buy American’ has the potential to eliminate international trade in America; no foreign company is going to buy American products it can make for itself or source elsewhere if America is going to source all but essential-but-unavailable products nationally.

    Like

  31. Uhhh…about that hydrogen revolution that is going to sweep Russia off the board, as the EU is awash in cheap but green energy….

    “The IEA projects that hydrogen will command a 7% share of the global energy mix by 2050, whereas BP expects it to occupy a 15% share and Bloomberg New Energy Finance as much as a 24% share. These are all respected sources, but with widely different views on the potential of hydrogen in our energy future.

    Which is the most realistic? BNEF’s projection was published in March 2020. BP’s and the IEA’s scenarios both in September 2020. The timing may be relevant. There are signs that analysts are having second thoughts about the potential of hydrogen, certainly when it comes to transport, but also with regard to its possible role in home heating and electricity supply. Hydrogen seems a better bet in industrial heating and heavy-duty transport.

    “Green hydrogen an illusion”

    Energy expert and former European Commission official Samuel Furfari went as far as to call “green hydrogen”, based on renewable energy, an “illusion” in an interview with NGW in February. “The process is totally inefficient and therefore will not have any industrial application without continuous subsidies,” he said. He pointed out that “we have gone down this road before”, several times, and each time it turns out to be a “dead end”.

    https://www.naturalgasworld.com/second-thoughts-on-green-hydrogen-gas-in-transition-87745?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Natural%20Gas%20Insights%20by%20Natural%20Gas%20World&utm_content=Natural%20Gas%20Insights%20by%20Natural%20Gas%20World+CID_b9b0d8f00c6599cb60e54ed48faa91e4&utm_source=Campaign%20Monitor&utm_term=SECOND%20THOUGHTS%20ON%20GREEN%20HYDROGEN%20GAS%20IN%20TRANSITION

    Like

    1. AsiaTimes.com: China’s hydrogen dream takes shape in Shandong
      https://asiatimes.com/2021/05/chinas-hydrogen-dream-takes-shape-in-shandong/

      Polluting industrial province is on the state-planned vanguard of using hydrogen fuel to achieve carbon neutrality

      …There are already plans afoot in the eastern province of Shandong, following the April signing of a pact on sweeping hydrogen adoption and commercialization initiatives by the provincial authorities, the Chinese State Council’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and the Ministry of Science and Technology in April.

      The pact contains a raft of tailor-made measures for Shandong as China’s only pilot zone for hydrogen’s wider application. Under the auspices of Beijing, Shandong will be made a testing ground for the cells, batteries, pipelines and business models indispensable for a future nationwide roll-out…
      ####

      We are being left in the dust as we have been with 5G. What was it Anthony Blinken said the other day ‘The West is not over.’ True, but it is becoming far away & and potentially very small.

      Like

      1. China can be subject to boondoggles. In the US, it seems most boondoggles are swindles in disguise. Perhaps in China, boondoggles like green-hydrogen are meant to score social points – we are doing something to fight pollution regardless of how ineffective e/uneconomical it may be. China builds a lot of wind turbines and solar power installations but they rely on coal, hydro and increasingly nuclear.

        Green-hydrogen is perhaps one step above filtering CO2 out of the atmosphere as dead end efforts to reduce atmospheric CO2.

        Like

        1. Developing a hydrogen fuel industry would help reduce Chinese dependence on coal production and external sources of oil and natural gas, the routes from which nearly all have to pass through chokepoints like the Malacca Straits and the South China Sea or land-based areas subject to US interference, in order to reach China.

          Boondoggles of this sort in China look rather like experiments which, if successful, can be expanded to other parts of the country. They can also help relieve unemployment in areas (like NE China aka Manchuria) where other industries are declining and laying off people, and people are moving to other parts of the country to find work.

          Like

          1. …if successful, can be expanded to other parts of the country.

            Precisely my thoughts.

            Lots of useful stuff will be uncovered and possibly some discoveries and tech solutions such as materials developments. I made a post a while ago about de-salination filters (?) where researchers showed that by adjusting manufacturing and making the filter itself evenly made rather than the general uneven dense and less dense patches, significant savings in energy could be made.

            https://www.nextbigfuture.com/2021/01/consistent-density-for-desalination-membranes-can-increase-efficiency-by-up-to-40.html

            As PO points out hydrogen production is quite a heavy energy use process but it wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest if there were also significant efficiencies also to be made with better production like above even before talking of new membrane tech with wundermaterials such as graphene. Or maybe not. But I’m an optimist.

            Like

      2. China has the money and the will to see these things through where others would falter, and the EU has always been a debating club that cannot agree on anything. Except sanctions against Russia at the behest of its master, of course. But China is not a dog in the manger like the Great Hegemon. Western nations will be allowed to buy back in, on a case-by-case basis and when the proper humility has been expressed, on the clear understanding that they are not going to be allowed to run it. Shoulders against the wheel, not the hand on the tiller.

        Like

        1. Jen and Mark make very good points. Many good things for the people will come from the green hydrogen boondoggles such as creation of good jobs in construction, engineering, manufacturing, project management, logistics, etc. The results will not reach financial breakeven but that is a nice thing about a truly socialistic economy where the goal is to help people have better lives and not enrichment of the ruling elites. True, the entire economy needs to achieve a net productivity and China is doing quite well in that department.

          However, hydrogen is extremely expensive to produce. Water is burnt hydrogen so extracting hydrogen from water using high value electricity is a dead end in many ways.. Extracting hydrogen from methane is the lowest cost method of hydrogen but it is waseful as much of the methane’s chemical energy is wasted in the process, Just burn methane and get far more benefit.

          Refineries do produce a lot of hydrogen that they use to add hydrogen to heavy oils to make them into lighter and more useful grades. Perhaps some refineries produce more hydrogen than they need but I suspect that the volumes are small compared to the amount needed to replace methane (i.e. natural gas).

          Like

            1. Hydrogen, due to the very small size of the H2 molecule, oozes through most steels and causes “hydrogen embrittlement” – not good. The idea of using NS II to pump hydrogen seems insane – the comprssorrs would need replacement and it highly doubtful that the steel is rated for high pressure hydrogen service.

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

              Stainless steel piping is preferred. The cost of a stainless steel pipeline of the dimension of NS II would be astronomical.. Carbon steel may cost $0.80/lb while SS may cost $6.00/lb in bar form. Pipe would be much more expensive.. Crazy talk.yes.

              Like

              1. Same with LNG, although the problem there is the temperature (-265C). All the fittings for transfer must be stainless steel, and the storage tank must be cylindrical to handle the pressure (compressed 600 times); anything with corners on it would blow apart. LNG dripping on a mild steel deck during fuel transfer will cause an embrittlement fracture.

                Likely why natural-gas pipelines are the diameter they are; the gas is compressed 600 times for volume reduction, as well as chilled to -265C to make it a liquid, at which point the pipeline could be a hell of a lot smaller, but the materials used to build pipelines could never handle it. Pipeline natural gas is in its gaseous state.

                Like

  32. Globetrotter via AsiaTimes.com: US withdrawing from Afghanistan? Not really
    https://asiatimes.com/2021/05/us-withdrawing-from-afghanistan-not-really/

    America’s geopolitical considerations in regard to China and Russia eclipse any concern for the Afghan people

    by Noam Chomsky and Vijay Prashad

    …On October 11, 2001, journalist Anatol Lieven interviewed the Afghan leader Abdul Haq in Peshawar, Pakistan. Haq, who led part of the resistance against the Taliban, was getting ready to return to Afghanistan under the cover of US aerial bombardments. He was, however, not pleased with the way the United States had decided to prosecute the war.

    “Military action by itself in the present circumstances is only making things more difficult, especially if this war goes on a long time and many civilians are killed,” Abdul Haq told Lieven…

    …No lessons have been learned from this history. The US will “withdraw,” but will also leave behind its assets to checkmate China and Russia. These geopolitical considerations eclipse any concern for the Afghan people.
    ####

    Plenty more at the link.

    Unfortunately this is true. The US will never leave Afghanistan. CIA/whatever money will still be provided to the ‘right’ groups to try and bleed Afghanistan’s northern neighbors of resources that would otherwise be used elsewhere or used differently. No doubt this would be used as leverage in ‘negotiations,’ i.e. if you agree with our plans (elsewhere) we’ll leave the neighborhood alone more or less and of course is eminently reversable or subject to domestic politiking which in the US drives casual bombing of other countries.

    Like

    1. The CIA may focus on keeping opium production going as a source of black money and to cause as much misery for people in general and Russians in particular. The CIA thrives on making the lives of people miserable as part of the global misdirection game.

      Like

      1. Wait, the CIA is so woke that they cannot offend or upset anyone! They CARE!
        https://www.rt.com/op-ed/522885-cia-recruitment-video-woke/

        A new CIA recruitment video stars a female agent spouting incessant woke nonsense in a bid to attract applicants to join the world’s most powerful secret service but her self-obsession would put off any candidates with real sense.

        Forget about selling the virtues of illegal rendition, waterboarding, spying on civilians in their homes via their smart TVs, or colluding with narco-terrorists to overthrow foreign dictators [no, any government not subservient – PO], the CIA has weaponised the world of woke in its latest recruitment video.

        Having swallowed the entire progressive’s handbook in one go, the slickly produced two-and-a-half-minute ‘Humans of CIA’ video enlists the help of a Latina agent to regurgitate a mess in a bid to attract new recruits to join the world’s most powerful intelligence network.

        However, anyone who thought that working alongside the female star of this film might be fun is clearly unfit for active duty.

        She is identified only by the name ‘Mija’ – the affectionate Spanish diminutive of ‘my daughter’ – emblazoned on her shirt. We learn everything else about her, other than what the job entails, in what passes for a modern employment application based solely on that person’s identity and how they see themselves.

        I wish the CIA complete success in their recruiting efforts for LGBT? agents. No doubt such agents will be as vicious as any agent before, perhaps more so give their need to show their mettle and to break the chains of enslavement created by the patriarch.

        Yeah, its great being a member of the patriarch! We live shorter lives, die early from stress and despair and are expected to die by the millions if there is war. Where is the upside, again?

        Like

    2. As pointed out, this is what the US does. It knocks over whatever government happens to be in place when it arrives on the scene, to great fanfare and noisemaking, and demands a seat at the leadership table for its cronies wherever it does not simply replace the leader straightaway with its puppet. It then sets competing factions to warring against one another, browbeats the IMF into lending the parachuted-in leader enough money to ensure debt enslavement for future generations, and demands the country open itself to western investors. When it has stripped the country of everything profitable, it is abandoned to its fate unless it has ongoing strategic value owing to its location. That seems to be the case here.

      Many media sources seem to think another world war is coming; that the United States will be successful with its continued poking and prodding, and either Russia or China will take that swing that Washington needs to ‘reluctantly respond’. I still don’t see it happening, because the USA and Britain have spent the last decade demonizing Russia – and, more lately, China – as human-rights violators, clandestine murderers and global poisoners, all to decreasing avail. Nobody is interested in fighting a war so immensely destructive that it might just be the war to end all wars (because it will end the planet) to guarantee continued US hegemony. Yet the conditions for continued American expansion have become impossible without war.

      More on that – extremely interesting, the long-awaited and perennially prematurely-heralded collapse of the US dollar just might be imminent after all. From the same site:

      https://asiatimes.com/2021/05/fed-turns-us-dollar-into-toilet-paper/

      Prices are rising uncontrollably on various commodities and assets even as people have no money except what they are given in government handouts.

      Like

  33. Euractiv: China Atlantic base would spark ‘strong concern’, Portuguese minister says
    https://www.euractiv.com/section/eu-council-presidency/news/china-atlantic-base-would-spark-strong-concern-portuguese-minister-says/

    …“The challenges of the Atlantic Ocean do not require a non-Atlantic country to establish a base in the region, he said.

    “Frankly, this would be viewed with strong concern. We do not think it is necessary and we would work very closely with our partners, with respect for their sovereignty and sovereign decisions, to explain that it is not a good idea to make the Atlantic a scenario for geopolitical conflict.”

    Gomes Cravinho also said it was important to “demystify the idea” that the aim of strategic autonomy for the EU was to “dissociate the United States and Europe”…
    ####

    Get your hypocrisy here! Read all about it!

    Says Portugal, member of NATO, an organization that has taken part in agressive wars of choice wherever it feels like (causing devestation to tens of millions and signifiantly boosting jihadist behavior in tis own back yard) under cover or ‘Responsiblity to Protect’ and who’s members casually float up and down the China seas for ‘Freedom of Navigation’ purposes, even though it is a key strategic trade route for China.

    While I’m here, here’s another ladle of European hypocrisy from a non-EU member:

    Euractiv: Norway denies Russia’s remarks of mounting tensions in Euro-Arctic region
    https://www.euractiv.com/section/politics/short_news/norway-denies-russias-remarks-of-mounting-tensions-in-euro-arctic-region/

    The signing of the Norway-US revised Supplementary Defence Cooperation Agreement (SDCA) on 16 April has sparked harsh criticism from Russia’s foreign ministry, accusing Oslo of “aggravating tensions in the Euro-Arctic region, and destroying Russian-Norwegian relations”.

    …The defence cooperation agreement allows the US to build facilities at three Norwegian airfields and one naval base and have unrestricted access to these facilities and areas. All activity must still be in accordance with relevant laws and respect the sovereignty of Norway…

    …the agreement is not intended to escalate tensions with Russia…

    ####

    Intent has been known to rapidly change in accordance with Washington’s wishes.

    American B1-b strategic bombers in Norway were of course only on holiday, even if an engine was destroyed by a maintenance laptop…

    Like

  34. Politico: Czech police probe minister’s planned Moscow trip amid reports of suspect deal
    https://www.politico.eu/article/czech-police-probe-interior-minister-jan-hamacek-moscow-russia/

    According to a local media outlet, Jan Hamáček told colleagues he would offer to bury intelligence about Moscow’s role in a 2014 Czech bombing in exchange for Russian coronavirus vaccine doses.

    …The official, Jan Hamáček, was also serving as interim foreign minister when, according to Czech news outlet Seznam Zprávy, he outlined his plan to colleagues during an April 15 meeting. Hamáček also reportedly told colleagues he would press for the Russians to name Prague as the site for an expected summit meeting between U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin…

    …That meeting reportedly included a series of high-ranking Czech officials, including the heads of the secret services, their deputies, the national police president and the Czech ambassador to Moscow…

    ####

    Ho ho ho! Were the explosion allegations made to sabotage his cunning plan? It’s not the first time by far that domestic politics have used ‘RUSSIA!’ as a football to score points and damage each other.

    Like

    1. Uh huh. He’ll offer to ‘bury’ intelligence they cannot produce in exchange for real vaccine doses. Quite the deal, if you can swing it. I’m betting not.

      Like

  35. Gilbert Doctorow: Brussels wants war!
    https://gilbertdoctorow.com/2021/05/03/brussels-wants-war/

    …Last week we learned that the Parliament passed a resolution empowering the expulsion of Russia from the SWIFT monetary transfer network and also called for an embargo on Russian gas. It is hard to imagine any action that could do more damage to European economies by “cut off my nose to spite my face” thinking.

    Removal of Russia from SWIFT would instantly end the means of paying Russia for its natural gas which covers 40% of Europe’s current imports. And it would also end the means of paying Russia for the very large shipments of crude oil it now receives…
    ####

    And what of western institutional and private investors? Though it’s not up to the EP to decide what happens with SWIFT. There’s a reason there is an External European Action Service (EEAS) institution and the Council of Ministers. The second hand seat warming politicians in the EP cannot be trusted with their own shoe laces.

    Like

    1. Do it, you gutless bastards, DO IT!!!! I dare you!! You will be sorry you were ever born if you do, because life will get so complicated so fast you will be gobsmacked. Russia is already prepared to work without SWIFT, and while it will be inconvenient, it will not break Russia’s will any more than the attempts to strangle its economy did, while it will have the selfsame effect of making it more independent from the west. You’re persistently destroying the last links you have, to no purpose at all, and in the end you are still going to be dependent on its energy exports while it will have no incentive to pretend you are friends who merit special-price considerations.

      Here’s what you are. Thanks, Clark.

      Like

    2. However, the framers of these institutional arrangements were motivated by the need to put an end to Europe’s century long civil war, to the cleavage between the biggest economies of the Continent, France and Germany. — Doctorov.

      I rather think that in the period that Doctorov is thinking of, the biggest economies in Europe 1900 to 1918 were those of Germany and the UK and, during the inter-war years, those of the UK and France.

      After 1945, I should imagine that the UK economy was still the biggest in Europe, albeit in rapid decline as a result of being on the “winning side” in two world wars at the cost of going into hock with the USA, together with the rapid termination of the British Empire, whereas Germany, starting from Jahre Nul [Year Zero] in 1945, experience the so-called Wirtschaftswunder [Economic Miracle], no thanks to massive USA financial aid — and remember, at one point there were serious considerations in the USA of making occupied Germany a de- industrialized agrarian state — so as to make that place a bastion against Soviet western expansion and, if such an expansion were to take place, a killing ground for the subhuman Asiatic fiends.

      I am pretty sure now, though I have no time to check, that the economic top-dog in Europe has long been Germany, with the UK, France and Italy jostling for the silver and bronze.

      That Germany was top-dog in 1900 was a fundamental reason for the UK and the British Empire and Dominions for its declaring war against the German Reich “in defense of Belgian neutrality”.

      That declaration of war changed Europe and the world in a way nobody could have imagined. If the UK had not declared war against Germany in 1914, France would have been defeated in that year, the ramshackle and decrepit Austro-Hungarian Empire would have still got its arse well and truly kicked by Serbia, the Russian Empire would have still mobilized just as surprisingly quickly as it did in reality and would have fought the Germans, to a standstill on the Eastern Front, a Germany, remember, that was still wastefully supporting its useless Austro-Hungarian ally.

      The result of all of this would have been no crippling reparations on Germany as imposed at Versailles in 1919, no shameful to the Germans “peace treaty”, no Austrian gobshite WWI veteran ranting on about Germany’s shameful treatment, no Great Depression, no USSR, though Russia may quite well have become a constitutional monarchy or even a democratic republic, no WWII in Europe, though there may still have been a Pacific War between the USA and the Japanese Empire, because of the imposition by the USA of sanctions against Japan owing to Japanese expansion on the far shore of what the USA considered to be its economic zone and not because the Japs were murdering the Chinese as though it were going out of fashion.

      However, it is a waste of time using the subjunctive mood when talking about past events.

      Like

      1. You wouldn’t want to write an “alternate history” novel on this would you? The premises are fascinating.

        Was not Russia, post-1905, a quasi-constitutional monacrchy? My Russian history is really bad so I may be totally wrong.

        Like

        1. Yeah, post-1905, as a result of the defeat by Japan, Nicholas II promised reforms and reluctantly agreed to the establishment of a State Duma.

          The Duma was full of argumentative liberasts — “The Constitutional Democratic Party” or Partiya K-D, the “Kadets” and reactionaries who still sang the mantra “православие, самодержавие, народность” [orthodoxy, autocracy, nationality] and “The Party of Socialist Revolutionaries” (SRs), who later split into the factions “The Majority” [Bolsheviks] and “The Minority” [Mensheviks].

          However, the tsar was in the habit of proroguing the Duma when they could not reach an agreement in policy — which was often. So it was all start—stop-start again.

          Drunken bastard Yeltsin used to do the same, or threaten to do so, so as to force acts through the Duma.

          The threats worked because the Duma delegates were shit scared of losing their opportunity of raking it in whilst sitting in the Duma.

          They also had free accommodation in Moscow. In fact, when the Evil One took over in 2000, some of the bastards refused to vacate their “grace and favour” accommodation.

          Anyway, reforms started to work post-1905 and Russia was definitely heading in the right direction until the Crown Prince of the moribund Austro-Hungarian Empire was shot dead, together with his wife, in Sarajevo, June 1914, by a Serbian nationalist.

          That’s when the shit hit the fan in Europe and the civil war began.

          Like

      2. I like your alternate (and plausible) history. And no nuclear weapons but nuclear power may have been widespread. Not that the nuclear bomb would never have been conceived at some point but there would likely be strong international measures in place to prevent development and manufacture. Socialism may have taken root in some countries, hard to say on that. The US would not be the global hegemon but a serious power for sure. The UK would have gradually lost its Empire but still be a force of chaos. Russia could very well have become the #1 economic power with its vast resources and large, energetic, population. Hard to say what could have been but entertaining to speculate.

        Like

    1. There were so many juicy inanities. Here is one chosen at random:

      “You know, there are 10s of thousands, probably millions and millions of Russians, who know they’re being badly governed, who want more … want to be part of the broader modern world who would leave Russia if they could, in order to live in the United States or Canada or Europe, seeking not only freedom, but opportunity.

      I understand that Russia has a very high net immigration level. What were you saying, Hilary?

      Like

      1. That loathsome lying fucking bitch should check this out from one of her government’ s sponsored liberast NGOs:

        “Do you approve the activities of V. Putin as the President (Prime Minister) of Russia?” — Levada.

        Percentages of approval are given, starting in August 1999 at 31% — a three-way split with “do not approve” and “no opinion”, then there follow percentages of approval in the high 60s and 70s, peaking at 89% in June 2015 (the Crimea effect), thereafter continuing in the high 60s, 70s and 80s until April/May 2020 [59% — lockdown!], then continuing in the 60s [peaking at 69% in September 2020 ] until the last recorded percentage of April this year with a rating of 65%.

        Source: https://www.levada.ru/en/ratings/

        I wonder how that lying bitch’s popularity ratings in the USA compare?

        No doubt the “woke” freaks like her.

        Прошмандовка!

        Like

        1. Tough shit, bitch!

          I had to post that.

          The above image puts me in a good mood for the rest of the day.

          “There’s many a slip twixt cup and lip” they say.

          Like

        2. Obviously, the other 35% support Navalny and yearn to live in the Western world. I mean,like, what other interpretation could there be? Some many claim that a large fraction of the 35%% think Putin is too easy on the West. Ridiculous! The 35 percenters may not march in the streets or show any outward sign of dissatisfaction with Russia but that is proof by their silence. Keep it up Navalny, the goal line is in sight!

          Like

    2. Not to worry! The worms will soon be eating up the remains of that old ratbag.

      Didn’t she do quite a bit of tottering and stumbling around when running for president?

      Wasn’t there much speculation at the time about the state of her health then and she’s getting no younger.

      Like

      1. She will join ‘Jukebox’ John McCain in one of the most eagerly-anticipated deaths of the new millennium.

        She is said to have gained a substantial amount of weight (although this is of course stridently disputed by the ‘fact-checkers’), and now her photo looks a lot like a long-haired version of Fat Bastard (just imagine her with long ginger sideburns). This is in turn said to be feeding a decline in health. One day that crazy cackle will be heard nae more.

        https://www.econotimes.com/Hillary-Clintons-health-is-deteriorating-badly-after-gaining-weight-Former-First-Lady-allegedly-struggling-to-breathe-and-walk-1597721

        If they were ever looking for an antidote for the effects of viagra, that’s it. She could make the penis fall off the statue of David just by walking – or tottering – past.

        Like

        1. The Floating Fat Guy in Dune could have been modeled after Hilary in demeanor, appearance and ambitions:

          Like

        2. Here is The Klintonator discussing Creepy Sleepy Joe’s first 100 days as President with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria. She has really aged beyond her 73 years. She’s starting to look like that George Soros with the bags under her eyes (and those eyes carrying that demented glint).

          Like

          1. “.. he embodies how a president should act in office”. Translation; He is an automaton whose entire mental processing power is absorbed by reading teleprompters and climbing stairs (and, in both cases, not very well). No need to pretend that POTUS has any real authority. Such delusions got Trump into big trouble.

            Like

          2. I stopped listening when she graded Biden with an ‘A’ for ‘care for what he says’. He often does not know what he is saying, and is plainly just talking while he hopes he can reconnect with his train of thought.

            Like

  36. The latest thoughts of the Prague Sage on matters Russian:

    The Great Turn in Putin’s Post-Post-Modern Authoritarianism
    A regime that for twenty years sought to be an exemplar of a kind of “hybrid authoritarianism,” seems to be seeking to get back to basics.

    There is no way of escaping the realization that a major policy shift has taken place in Russia. A regime that for twenty years sought to be an exemplar of a kind of “hybrid authoritarianism,” seems to be seeking to get back to basics . . .

    There was no meaningful opposition, the elite were either content or fearful of losing what they had, and the state’s capacities, from financial reserves to repressive capabilities, in healthy surplus.

    This makes it all the harder to explain the apparent decision to drop the mask and turn to much more openly repressive measures.

    Presumably, the decision to poison Alexei Navalny in August 2020 reflected a conviction not just that he and his movement was dangerous – which itself would be a striking admission of insecurity for the Kremlin — but also that, knowingly or not, he was contributing to a Western campaign of subversion against Russia.

    When he survived and defiantly returned to Russia the regime clearly felt it had no alternative but to imprison him, lest it look weak. And once his movement began to hold mass protests, which spread beyond the usual metropolitical set and into towns and cities across the country, then the “logic” of cracking down more broadly became hard to resist.

    And on and on . . .

    The bastard was poisoned by “The Kremlin” — fact!

    Nationwide protests — fact!

    Thus saith the sage from afar in Bohemia.

    Like

    1. Of course there were nationwide protests— but mass protests?

      The percentage of the population that protested nationwide was, if I’m not mistaken, about 2%. It always is.

      The 5,000 who last protested in Moscow in support of the USA hireling represented about 0.03% of the population of Moscow.

      Of course, the Navalnyshites said that 50,000 protested last in April over the hunger striker Navalny, who had, in fact, ceased his hunger strike the day before the protest.

      In the last “mass” protests, in some cities way east of the metropolis, the numbers present could be counted on one hand.

      I think there were 5 assembled in protest in Yakutsk.

      Like

      1. And don’t forget the earlier “mass” torchlight protest!

        Who could forget it’s enormity?

        What a tosser that Galleoti character is!

        Like

  37. Well what a surprise!

    Having, no doubt, received orders from its controllers, sham “human rights”organization “Amnesty International” apologizes to Russian charlatan “politician”:

    Amnesty International has apologised to Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny and reversed a decision to stop calling him a “prisoner of conscience”.

    BBC, 12 hours ago:

    In a statement, Amnesty called for Navalny’s “immediate and unconditional release from prison”.

    See: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-57029346

    The Kremlin has replied through an official communiqué :

    “Shut the fuck up!”

    [I made the last bit up.]

    Like

    1. Well waddya know!

      Right on cue, Her Majesty’s Government releases this:

      Human rights concerns in Russia: UK statement
      Ms. Nicola Murray, Deputy Head of the UK Delegation to the OSCE, raises UK concerns about the crackdown on fundamental rights and freedoms in Russia.

      source

      The above linked address ends thus:

      Madam Chair

      Russia must respect its citizens’ rights to freedom of expression and fulfil its international obligations, including ensuring the right to fair trial; the right to freedom from arbitrary arrest or detention; the prohibition of torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, as well as upholding the rule of law . . .

      I wonder what Ms Murray thinks of Assange’s predicament?

      Cue what about whataboutism?

      Like

      1. “I wonder what Ms Murray thinks of Assange’s predicament?”

        A comment from MoA:

        President Ilham Aliyev, Azerbajan

        The BBC hadn’t prepared for this moment and it was beautiful.

        Like

        1. He may have won ‘Most Corrupt Person in the World’ for 2012 (according to the Corruption Reporting Project), but if I were wearing a hat I would now remove it in respect. He kicked her feet out from under her so adroitly, she did not even see the floor rushing up to meet her. That interview went south like a migratory flock. I would like to think this signals the end of coddling British journalists just because they are British, and speaking to them respectfully even when they are being deliberately insulting. I was quite impressed with his English, as well; I wonder how well she speaks Azerbaijani?

          The delectable part is that when the EU – formerly led, at least in the Russophobic charge, by the UK – likes to pretend it has a pile of options in sourcing energy and does not have to take any shit from Russia, the source it likes to refer to is…Azerbaijan, where Aliyev has been President since time immemorial (well, since 2003, but he took over from his Dada), and who is obviously tired of talking politely to a bunch of grinning eejits. The Shah Deniz field in Azerbaijan was going to be the giant gas bathtub that Europe drained through its magnificent pipeline which never got any further than being named Nabucco. That particular interview probably cost Europe a 10% haircut on any gas they ever source from Azerbaijan while an Aliyev is running the country. And Ilham Aliyev has a son who is 21 and two daughters who are 31 and 32. Here are the latter – do they look ready to run a country?

          Like

          1. Re: I am a British journalist gambit

            Brings to mind when Tintin of the Grauniad went on a jaunt to the Caucasus badlands after a terror act in Moscow and without due authorization to enter a war zone. He got lifted there and, as he described in his own inimitable “Boys’ Own Paper” way in a Grauniad article about his troubles in “Putin’s Russia”, his response on having been told that he was under arrest was to ask those who were arresting him whether they realized he was a British journalist.

            No doubt, their reply was something like: “Yes, we fucking well do. Now shut the fuck up!”

            It was because of that aresehole’s unauthorized excursion in order to get “good copy” that he was told to sling his hook here. Other necessary documentation related to his work here as a foreign correspondent was also out of order at the time, but the useless bastard huffed and puffed that the regime had bundled him out of the “Mafia State” without due reason.

            Like

        2. There is a new wind blowing starting in Russia – state governments are calling out the MSM BS. And that Azerbajan guy ripped her boilerplate attack to shreds. The worst part was that she walked in with overconfidence expecting sputtering anger, denials, rage, etc. Her next gig could be local sports and weather.

          Like

        3. President Ilham Aliyev is correct: BBC interviewer Orla Guerin did indeed bring up the issue of freedom of the press and freedom of speech in Azerbaijan but that part of the interview was cut off at the beginning of the video in Pelegeesi’s tweet that Trond linked to. Early on in the interview Guerin tells him that she was told by “many independent sources” that there is no freedom of the press in Azerbaijan and journalists and NGOs in that country are being “subjected to crackdown”. Of course she won’t name any of her independent sources.

          It’s possible that if there are journalists and NGO’s “subjected to crackdown” from Aliyev’s government in Azerbaijan, that is because the bulk of their funding is coming from the usual overseas suspects and they are under pressure to register as foreign agents under Azerbaijani law.

          Like

          1. It’s also quite possible the Alyievs will ‘get you’ if you talk smack as a journalist, as well – the father is President since 2003 and one of the daughters is in publishing, although I believe it is a fashion magazine rather than a newspaper. But the ladies own banks and other assets – even if your complaint was substantiated and not groundless, I daresay they could and would make life uncomfortable. However, President Aliyev is right on the money when he suggests Britain does not practice what it preaches so nauseatingly – Britain does not give a flying fuck for freedom of the press when it is holding the British establishment’s feet to the fire. Assange is just one example of many. Ironically, although there is something of the despot about Aliyev – but still no less than Erdogan, whom the British pretend to like – actions such as he displays here may save Assange’s life. There is more about him of the martyr every day, and Aliyev has just given that aura a tremendous boost. The journalist contributed as well with her thoroughly detestable evasions, making it plain that the double standard will brook no challenges and is simply a part of western life. It was what is often termed a ‘watershed moment’. The west can no longer pretend that its adversaries are not noticing its behavior and are not keeping score, and – now – that they might hesitate before calling a spade a spade in public. Bravo, Aliyev.

            Like

            1. I’m sure that not everything the various Aliyev family members do is above board and squeaky clean. It is difficult to know how far though they are bending Azerbaijani law and exploiting loopholes in it when media outlets that claim to be raking the muck on the family often have an interest in seeing the Aliyevs go into the dustbin of history, to be replaced by another dynasty more compliant with US and EU dictates.

              TV report “Who is Leyla Aliyeva?” from Meydan TV:

              Leyla Aliyeva is the one who owns the London-based fashion magazine Baku.

              Meydan TV is an oppositionist media NGO based in Berlin. According to its Wikipedia entry, Meydan TV is a partner in the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), itself funded by USAID and the US State Department. The European Endowment for Democracy (EED) has supported several of Meydan TV’s reports in the past, especially around the time of the 2015 European Games in Baku. As you can imagine, Meydan TV has been in the target sights of the Azerbaijani government for several years over its funding.

              “Azerbaijan: Campaign Against Meydan TV Continues”

              “… President Ilham Aliev’s top political adviser Ali Hasanov has made it clear that the government has Meydan TV in its sights

              “The Accreditation Rules for Foreign Media Representatives in Azerbaijan were approved on March 18, 2015. Unfortunately, despite the numerous warnings given to the Interaz and Euroaz television channels, Voice of America radio, the Meydan-TV website and a number of other foreign media agencies and employees, they are still not following the rules, and they are operating illegally in this country,” he told the Azertaj news agency in September.

              In early October, Azerbaijan’s chief prosecutor Zakir Garalov accused “certain NGOs” and unspecified journalists of engaging in “corrupt schemes” to receive grants from “foreign patrons”, and warned that they would face prosecution.”

              The Institute for War and Peace Reporting which published the linked article used to have Annie Applebaum on its Board of Directors.

              At this point I’ll stop as my head hast started to go round and round in circles.

              Like

    2. Amnesty International & Human Rights Watch got a room together quite a few years ago and it is all rather incestual, which is why even Nazis right wing quasi fascists like Navalny have rights. The AI of today would have been backing a certain Adolf in his Bavarian prison cell back at the time as a ‘political prisoner.’

      Like

    3. Yes, Volkov was featured in the local paper yesterday – speaking through some stringer for the AFP or Reuters or something, and as ‘Nanalny’s Chief of Staff’ – exhorting Canada to get on board and do something, more sanctions or something more specific that I don’t remember. Doubtless it reached the right ears with Russia-hater Freeland still in office.

      https://www.timescolonist.com/canada-must-sanction-vladimir-putin-s-oligarchs-alexei-navalny-s-chief-of-staff-1.24316054

      Yes, more sanctions against more people. Ostensibly Putin decided to poison Navalny because he was ‘personally offended’ by Navalny’s tenacious investigation into his palace-building plans. A measure of how gullible Volkov apparently thinks Canadians are, as that whole story was laid bare as a very clumsy fake that did not even use the crest of the Russian state on the front gates, while the ‘luxurious palace’ is an empty shell.

      Like

    4. They were probably encouraged by the way the Kremlin jumped to attention when all the other organizations demanded Navalny’s immediate and unconditional release.

      Like

  38. Daily Maverick: Nazanin’s story in Iran is not just a tragedy, it’s a warning
    https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2021-05-01-nazanins-story-in-iran-is-not-just-a-tragedy-its-a-warning/

    As Iran sentences Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe to a further two years in Iran, her husband outlines why the UK’s secretive, unaccountable arms trade is a danger to British citizens and why his family remains haunted by an unkept promise made by the UK government.
    ####

    A lot a the link.

    Takeaways? Regardless of what you think of the i-Ranians, 1) the west preaches rule of law yet while the UK recognizes the Islamic Republic of Iran as a sovereign state and has diplomatic relations with it consciously and deliberately refuses to repay what it owes in a clear cut case of contract non-fulfillment. Why? My best guess is that the US won’t allow it; 2) it is not responsible for its own behavior – in this case Doris Johnson’s ability to be a stranger to fact completely f/king a British national abroad. Consequences for Doris? He still became Prime Minister of the UK (a real case of s/t floating to the top); 3) This is actually how the world works as opposed to how we are told it works (with the support of free/independent/unbiased media). Prediction: if the Bi-Dumb Administration manages a sort of return to the UN JCPOA agreement, this British bit may well be part of the deal to clean up ‘loose ends’ not that the UK will admit to paying up the money they owe.

    Like

  39. Euractic: German Greens leader Baerbock signals post-pacifist shift on foreign policy
    https://www.euractiv.com/section/elections/news/german-greens-leader-baerbock-signals-post-pacifist-shift-on-foreign-policy/

    The German Greens’ candidate for chancellor Annalena Baerbock on Thursday (6 May) said her country must be more active on foreign policy and take more responsibility for its own security, in a sign the party is shifting from its pacifist stance towards the centre.

    ….In regard to Russia, Baerbock said Russian President Vladimir Putin’s aggressive behaviour, such as the recent massing of troops on Ukraine’s borders, would stem in part from a lack of an “active foreign policy” from Germany and the EU in standing up for Eastern European allies.

    Asked whether to go forward with the controversial Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline from Russia to Germany, Baerbock gave hard “no.” Her stance is in stark contrast to Merkel and Armin Laschet, the new leader of the CDU and Baerbock’s chief rival to become chancellor…
    ####

    More at the link.

    You can say anything when you are in opposition but when you are actually responsible for what you say….

    What I would have asked is “If you cancel NordStream II, will you make up the shortfall by building new Nuclear Power Plants?” I wonder If anyone will ask her this obvious question in the run up to elections rather than softball questions?

    Even then, for a supposedly ‘centrist’ FP view, she still doesn’t trust the US and has not been asked her view about keeping US nuclear weapons on German soil.

    If she manages a serious government post, she’ll discover what Hard School is.

    Like

  40. The Gray Zone: White Helmets corruption scandal deepens: Dutch gov’t investigated parent org for fraud, but covered it up
    https://thegrayzone.com/2021/05/07/syria-white-helmets-mayday-fraud-netherlands/

    The Netherlands investigated fraud by the Mayday Rescue Foundation, which funded the Syrian White Helmets with over $120 million in Western government contracts. But top Dutch officials covered up the corruption.

    The decade-long dirty war on Syria proved to be a cash cow for some of the most prominent US and UK regime-change operatives. Western government contractors got hundreds of millions of dollars to run schemes to destabilize Damascus – and some of them took a cut for themselves, profiting off of the pillage.

    One of the main players in the cottage industry of contractors that helped run the Western regime-change war on Syria, and which was eventually implicated in a massive corruption scandal, was the Mayday Rescue Foundation….
    ####

    The rest at the link.

    Just one of quite a few other frauds the Dutch government has been up to its neck in (MH-17 for starters).

    Who holds the Dutch government to account?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, Mark Rutte’s Netherlands (in the same vein as referring to ‘Vladimir Putin’s Russia’ as if it were his personal fief) appears to be more corrupt by far than all but a few think. I bought John Helmer’s book on MH-17, planning to do a book review as a post (which I probably will do one of these days), and the performance of the Dutch courts as described was a travesty that makes Britain’s Litvinenko inquest look like Brown vs. the Board of Education. They actually reworked the law so that they would not have to answer embarrassing questions, and the Dutch lawyers for the defense let them get away with whatever they liked. For decades the Netherlands was perceived to be a model for morality, but that is no longer true, if it ever was. Just as the performance of western governments during the ‘pandemic’ has highlighted how close to the surface is their inner Nazi, the Netherlands’ go-to status as Europe’s ‘honest broker’ merits a hard second look.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I would argue that Rutte & Orban of Hungary have more than one or two things in common.

        Yes, Rutte though is rabidly pro-American down to his toenails so he gets a free pass for just about everything, while Orban isn’t and likes to strut too and is regularly vilified by the western press to boot (not so much in the neighborhood).

        Both started off as relatively conventional politicians and segued from there and like being in charge. It goest to show that if you look after the economy most people aren’t too bothered about the scandals and other stuff.

        Human rights warriors and critics of Putin mostly refuse to recognize that part of his steadfast public support over the years is also because he and his team has managed the economy relatively well. Different rules for different people.

        Like

        1. Although, as I never tire of pointing out, Russia is nearly unique in that its economy has remained relatively stable and independent despite being a target of a focused global effort to ruin it. Hungary and certainly the Netherlands are operating under no such handicap.

          Like

  41. Lavrov’s speech to the UN Security Council is a work of genius. Here is an excerpt that was particularly interesting:

    Unfortunately, not all of our partners are driven by the imperative to work in good faith to promote comprehensive multilateral cooperation. Realising that it is impossible to impose their unilateral or bloc priorities on other states within the framework of the UN, the leading Western countries have tried to reverse the process of forming a polycentric world and slow down the course of history.

    Toward this end, the concept of the rules-based order is advanced as a substitute for international law. It should be noted that international law already is a body of rules, but rules agreed at universal platforms and reflecting consensus or broad agreement. The West’s goal is to oppose the collective efforts of all members of the world community with other rules developed in closed, non-inclusive formats, and then imposed on everyone else. We only see harm in such actions that bypass the UN and seek to usurp the only decision-making process that can claim global relevance.

    The well-known idea to convene a Summit for Democracy proposed by the US Administration is in the same vein. The establishment of a new club based on interests, with a clearly ideological nature, has the potential to further inflame international tensions and deepen dividing lines in a world that needs a unifying agenda more than ever. Of course, the list of democracies to be invited to the summit will be determined by the United States.

    Another initiative with the goal of global leadership that bypasses the UN is the French and German idea to create an Alliance for Multilateralism. What could be more natural then discussing the tasks of strengthening multilateralism at the UN? However, Berlin and Paris think differently and issue joint documents declaring that “the European Union is the cornerstone of the multilateral international system” and promote the conclusions of the Council of the European Union under the title “The central role of the European Union and European institutions in promoting multilateralism.” Presumptuous, you might say. The EU does not think so and declares its own exceptionalism despite all its invocations of equality and brotherhood.

    By the way, as soon as we suggest discussing the current state of democracy not just within states but on the international stage with our Western colleagues, they lose interest in the conversation.

    New ambitious initiatives to create narrow partnerships are emerging all the time within the Alliance for Multilateralism, on issues that are already being discussed at the UN or its specialised agencies, for example, on cyber security (with 65 member countries), respect for the international humanitarian law (43 member countries), the Information and Democracy Partnership (over 30 countries), etc.

    This also reveals the West’s true attitude toward multilateralism and the UN, which they do not regard as a universal format for developing solutions acceptable to everyone, but in the context of their claims to superiority over everyone else, who must accept what is required of them.

    Another example of the dictatorial methods introduced by the West is the practice of imposing unilateral sanctions without any international and legal grounds, with the sole purpose of punishing “undesirable regimes” or sidelining competitors. During the pandemic, such restrictions have limited the capacity of a whole range of developing countries to counter the spread of the infection. Despite UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’s call to suspend such unilateral sanctions during the pandemic, we mostly see them becoming harsher.

    We believe such efforts to impose totalitarianism in global affairs to be unacceptable, yet we see it more and more from our Western colleagues, above all the United States, the European Union and other allies, who reject all principles of democracy and multilateralism on the global stage. As if to say, either it’s our way, or there will be repercussions.

    It is striking that Western leaders, while openly undermining international law, do not hesitate to argue that the main task of world politics should be to counter the attempts of Russia and China to “change the rules-based order.” Such statements were made the other day following the G7 ministerial meeting in London. In other words, there has already been a substitution of concepts: the West is no longer concerned with the norms of international law and now requires everyone to follow its rules and observe its order. What’s more, US representatives freely admit that the USA and Great Britain have had the biggest hand in shaping these rules.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think the unsaid rule is that if you are an old skool democracy, you get extra points which means you are automatically worth ‘more’ than other countries, even though you are living on your legacy that has already fallen apart. You also afford yourself the ‘benefit of the doubt,’ again, again and again however disasterous the same actions have been repeated in the past. By saying We didn’t mean it every time it is ‘proof’ that you did not have legal intent to destroy a country by bombing and sanctions. It’s by accident each time! The ‘independent’ media is of course not interested in old news. Why rake over old coals, eh? Especially when you need advertisers and important people to endorse your channel. They’re only thinking about their futures!

      Like

  42. Moscow, 10:00, 9 May 2021

    This years Victory Parade has just begun.

    Watching it now on TV. Cold, cloudy dreary weather.

    And none of the participants are wearing totally useless masks, I am pleased to say.

    Like

    1. Whereas in Berlin yesterday, when they were celebrating the Western allies’ 8 May Victory Day, they all wore masks.

      Will all the unmasked military on parade here today soon fall victim to the dread disease?

      Masks are bullshit!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Now, now; they’re not ‘totally useless’. The fact-checkers have established that to their satisfaction – where the anti-maskers erred is in calling them useless; they’re just ‘not very useful’. Think positive, old chap. It’s all in how you say it, and ‘no discernible difference which surpasses the statistical margin of error’ can always be spun as a huge benefit which ‘cannot be precisely quantified’.

        https://www.factcheck.org/2020/11/danish-study-doesnt-prove-masks-dont-work-against-the-coronavirus/

        Masking here in the land of the sycophants to public health remains rigid and non-negotiable until at least the end of May, and hardly a week goes by without someone marveling in the newspaper that there was no flu this year, which was plainly a nudge to us that masking and social distancing should just be part of our daily lives forever.

        Presumably the earth is swelling slightly every day, so as to accommodate the increasing millions who never die but whose ongoing lives depend on there being a six-foot bubble around them.

        Like

        1. This covid scam will never end — even here!

          I’m now back home in the centre of the Black Heart of Mordor, that very “City of Satan”, as that dimwit daughter of that late and not lamented senator for Arizona once described the beating heart of the Evil Empire.

          On the train, the ticket collector checked my social card with her card reader and apologized for its being blocked, telling me, as I was told when attempting to use my old codger’s card outward bound, that I needed a spravka verifying that I had vaccinated against covid. (As a matter of fact, I have a social card not because I am in my dotage, but because I am a “multi-child father”: I am not registered as a Russian pensioner, though I receive a British state pension and also a pension from the Miners’ Pension Fund.)

          I told here that I had already gone down with the dread disease last September and had recovered, my aged decrepitude notwithstanding, that I was fighting fit. The ticket inspector was very polite and helpful. She told me that in that case, it was a simple matter to get a spravka, that everything is done online. She told me to log in to the Moscow City Health Authority, give my national insurance policy number and, the authority, having my health data in its data banks, would send some sort of document online, which I should then show to a doctor at my local state clinic. The doctor would then push some buttons andvoila — my card would be unblocked.

          But get this: it would only be unblocked for 6 months! So they are reckoning on the possibility of this virus still wreaking havoc at the end of this year.

          Ye gods! There will be piles of corpses everywhere . . . won’t there?

          By the way, where are the plague pits in Moscow? Why are not bells heard ringing at night, accompanied by the baleful call: “Bring out your dead!”

          That’s what’s supposed to happen during deadly epidemics . . . isn’t it?

          Like

          1. “So they are reckoning on the possibility of this virus still wreaking havoc at the end of this year. “

            Hardly – it’s been a struggle, incorporating doing everything wrong, such as ‘lockdowns’ to keep it going this long. The aim is to eke out the terror until everyone that can be bullied, sweet-talked, guilted or coerced into getting a ‘jab’ has conformed. Then the next hurdle will be to accustom the global population to getting a six-monthly ‘booster’ in preparation for the next global pandemic, with the teaser of a ‘variant’ outbreak if necessary. This is a huge cash cow for the pharmaceutical industry, for whom the aim is to have every single man, woman and child on the planet on a prescription medication that they believe allows them to live a normal life.

            So you are being prepped for the next PR gambit, in which you will either have to go through all the paperwork again, or ‘do the right thing’ and ‘get your jab’. If they can get a good turnout for six-month booster shots, it will probably just be absorbed into ‘the normal’ after that, just something you do, and eventually the government will not have to appropriate huge masses of taxpayer currencies up front to pay for emergency vaccinations that in many cases go unclaimed – customers will pay out of their own pocket and it will just become a budgeted expense. Not the golden showers – in the monetary sense – that Big Pharma reaped this year, but a nice, steady earner nonetheless, and one which will probably keep its stock value high. High stock values attract investors, and investors means expansion. You will see the efforts of Moderna and Pfizer to squeeze all competitors out of the market intensify.

            I read a story yesterday in the National Post which recounted the ‘massive public support’ in Canada for ever-tighter restrictions, and the elevation of public-health figures to godhead status, and the suspicion that Canadians are just grooving on the pandemic was confirmed for me. It’s their Blitz, their Battle of Britain, and I felt nothing for them but contempt. They are begging to be ruled by authoritarianism, but Trudeau is such a wet end and so hopelessly incompetent that he is totally unsuited for the role. Another, an opinion piece, speculated that you can tell western democracies are reluctant to lord it over their inhabitants because they are so bad at it. Give them time – they’re still in the exploratory phase, still sussing out how badly the naughty children want to be spanked. Once I thought I always wanted to live in Canada, but now I feel no stirrings of nationalism, no pride at being a part of this weak society of needy goody-goodies, and I imagine that when I retire we will move; perhaps elsewhere in Canada, perhaps out of the country altogether. I no longer feel any obligation to it.

            Like

        1. I think the commentator is a Russian who is speaking British English (Received Pronunciation), for he sometimes mispronounces some words. For example, at the very beginning he pronounces “sergeant” as “sir-jent”, which is almost like the way Russians pronounce the Russian for “sergeant” [сержант].

          Like

    1. Humanity owes the Soviet Union/Russia eternal gratitude for their sacrifice not to mention aid in their recovery from the staggering losses endured to secure victory. The West’s post-war actions are of biblical evil.

      Like

    1. Money, as always, makes the world go ’round, and the entitled find they need more of it than the rest of us with depressing predictability. Certain standards must be maintained.

      Like

    2. Prince Michael’s wife, Baroness Marie Christine Anna Agnes Hedwig Ida von Reibnitz, a member of the Austro-Hungarian Empire nobility, was a fine end when she was younger. She has often been accused of being racist, a closet Nazi even! Her most recent “racist” scandal occurred when she sported a “blackamoor brooch” with a stylised figure of an African man during a Christmas banquet at Buckingham Palace, at which the mixed-race American actress and wife to be of the grandson of Queen Elizabeth II was also present.

      After the shit had hit the fan as regards Princess Michael’s brooch, a spokesperson for the her later said that she “is very sorry and distressed that it has caused offence”.


      That brooch


      2003: Princess Michael of Kent at the Lord Mayor’s Banquet, London, I reckon.

      Like

      1. I’d have loved to have been the fly on the wall when Princess Michael of Kent met Meghan Markle and the shit started flying. The two were just made for each other. One should have known better not to wear the brooch, given that she already has a poor reputation for apparent racist behaviour, and the other makes such a scene about seeing and experiencing racism wherever she goes that you start to suspect she’s got knives out for everyone and woe betide whoever triggers her sensitivity points. If the late Princess of Wales were alive today, she’d probably be in her daughter-in-law’s black book for walking through a landmine field in Angola and not getting blown up.

        Like

  43. Pepe Escobar via AsiaTimes.com/Vinyard the Saker: An empire in love with its Afghan cemetery
    http://thesaker.is/an-empire-in-love-with-its-afghan-cemetery/

    The New Great Game 3.0 is just beginning with a hat tip to Tacitus and dancing to the Hindu Kush groove

    By Pepe Escobar with permission from the author and first posted at Asia Times

    One cannot but feel mildly amused at the theatrical spectacle of the US troop pullout from Afghanistan, its completion day now postponed for maximum PR impact to 9/11, 2021.

    Nearly two decades and a staggering US$2 trillion after this Forever War was launched by a now immensely indebted empire, the debacle can certainly be interpreted as a warped version of Mission Accomplished…
    ####

    The rest at the link.

    Hyperpower resources well spent, for its enemies.

    Like

  44. Strategic Culture: The Butterfly Effect Re-Setting the Global Paradigm
    https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2021/05/08/butterfly-effect-re-setting-global-paradigm/

    Alastair Crooke

    The shift of paradigm centred on the U.S. pivot away from West Asia naturally impacts on Iran’s JCPOA calculus, Alastair Crooke writes.

    In chaos theory, the butterfly effect is the idea that small things can have non-linear impacts on a complex system. The concept is imagined with a butterfly flapping its wings, and though this, in itself, would be unlikely to cause a tornado, nonetheless small events can cause cascades of change within a complex system…

    Richard Haas and Charles Kupchan, from the ‘oracle’ that is the Council for Foreign Relations, argue that America, having renewed its standing, will ultimately itself have to pivot towards a new Concert of Powers. They write:

    “Pax Americana is now running on fumes. The United States and its traditional democratic partners have neither the capability nor the will to anchor an interdependent international system and universalize the liberal order that they erected after World War II…
    ####

    Plenty more at the link.

    I’m sure the US is currently mightily impressed with Blinken’s u-Ro tour, but what matters is when he goes home, what happens here? The u-Ropeans are very good at putting on a good show and papering over the cracks, but when it comes to action, well let’s say they are a lot more cautious. Crooke refers to the EP vote, which I have referenced in an earlier posting. No doubt it irked Russia but it doesn’t count. What will the Council of Ministers do (not. inc. the UK any more of course)?

    2021 is probably a make or break year. As the coronabollox lifts, priorities will have to be on economic performance, otherwise those in power risk their electoral base. So far more effort is going to used for that than pickign a fight with Russia. Can we expect more dick moves? Certainly! Will they be of much import, mostly not. Fortunately Australia is leading the way with China by cancelling deals and now talking about revising the ‘port of Darwin’ deal. Why would anyone invest in future? Simply because they are not China? I guess we’ll see how much is bluff and bluster, and everyone else even here is the west will be taking note of the consequences.

    Like

  45. On a side note, I see that the western media is quite disappointed that the Long March 5B main rocket body did not land on a school for disables children. At lunch time. It was only after several days of wild speculation that there was actual reporting from China saying that it was designed to break and burn up in the atmosphere and stating the obvious that it was very unlikely to hit land. I suppose on the plus side, there’s a whole series of upcoming 5B launches over the next year or so to get excited about killing someone on the ground…

    Like

    1. There was an RT article on that – if US rocket booster or satellite renters the atmosphere – it’s a light show! If its Russian or Chinese, its’ a reckless disregard for human life and SOMETHING MUST BE DONE!

      It was amusing to see stories about whether the US military should “shoot it down”.

      IIRC, the crashing of Skylab was the biggest piece of space hardware to reenter the atmosphere. Here is a story about public reaction with the usual mix of frivolity, speculation and exaggerated fear:

      https://www.history.com/news/the-day-skylab-crashed-to-earth-facts-about-the-first-u-s-space-stations-re-entry

      . . .but nothing comparable to the Chinese bashing we saw this past. week. Various commentators are demand China must pay! But pay for what? No harm, no foul.

      Like

      1. Self-correction – the Space Shuttle Columbia was the biggest piece of space hardware to breakup in the Earth’s atmosphere and it happened entirely over US territory. Here is a good video with insights on the decision-making process that was involved in the disaster

        Like

          1. The dots are closely connected…
            Actually, I read somewhere that the missions did involve military technology and that Israel was somehow involved. This may be a false story or true but have little significance or Karma at work.

            I had never heard the bit about the refusal by NASA to permit attempts to photograph the damaged shuttle in orbit. The reason that accounts for the most facts could be that a rescue mission was impossible or simply too risky so lets say everything is OK and hope for the best.

            If the photos were taken but provided ambiguous results, what then? Hate to say it but if that were NASA’s thinking, in the cold calculations needed in such matters, it was probably the correct decision at that time based on what they knew.

            Like

      1. “Predictably … writing propaganda is fun work”

        Please add this to your dossier … 😊

        • Arthur Ponsonby – Falsehood in War-Time
        https://archive.org/details/FalsehoodInWarTime1928/page/n5/mode/2up

        • “We were told that . . .”
        • “one gains the following information from well-informed circles . . .”
        • “one hears from knowledgeable officials . . .”
        • “from expert statements one can infer.”
        • “We believe we have cause to be permitted to believe that . ..”

        Like

  46. Reminiscence of the Future: Preaching To A Choir?
    https://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/2021/05/preaching-to-choir.html

    The world is a strange place and I am a pretty strange man in this world, all things considered, since I have a luxury (not afforded to many) to experience, as it turned out today, twice, two opposing sides in a huge geopolitical spectacle of the 20th and 21st centuries. ..
    ####

    Lot more good stuff at the link.

    Like

  47. A famous architect was killed near Chicago while riding a bicycle. I am sure a loss for his family, friends and associates. What struck me about the RT story on his death were pictures of some of his more famous works.

    https://www.rt.com/news/523346-architect-helmut-jahn-killed/

    I may be too old to become enthralled by the jarring or unexpected edges, angles and unusual glass facades of those buildings. It may be great background for taking selfies or impressive for travel videos and brochures to draw tourists but I would prefer not to work in such an environment. I would not even like to walk by those buildings on a daily basis – subtly nerve wracking in a way. I wonder if the CIA helped launch postmodernist architecture like they did with modern art.

    Not only are such building expensive to build but one can only imagine the maintenance on sealing the weird joints and the HVAC system must have a complexity and expense of a nuclear power plant. The designs are inherently energy inefficient as well. Nothing wrong with large open areas in airport, train stations, etc but there is no need to assault our sense of scale or beauty of symmetry. I can go . . .

    Like

    1. From the RT.com link:

      “… After finishing his studies at Technische Hochschule in Munich, Jahn came to Chicago in 1966 to study under Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, one of the creators of postmodernist architecture …”

      Actually Mies van der Rohe was actually a modernist architect, not a post-modernist architect. His buildings were usually stripped right back to their structural basics and he eschewed ornamentation. Some of his buildings, like his famous Farnsworth House, are actually very beautiful in their simplicity and clean lines, and harmonise with their surroundings.

      It is true that Jahn studied under van der Rohe – they both were originally German (van der Rohe having fled Germany in the 1930s because of his association with the Bauhaus movement) – but Jahn later became part of the post-modern architecture network. As a reaction against the formality of modern architecture, post-modern architecture is supposed to be humorous, playful and knowing in the way it mixes styles and standards from different historical periods; but in throwing out a lot of the beliefs and tenets of modern architecture, post-modern architecture often ends up parodying itself – because one of the beliefs of modernist architecture was to be in balance and harmony with its environment.

      Like

      1. … one of the beliefs of modernist architecture was to be in balance and harmony with its environment.

        If the environment is a fevered dream of a discordant angles and jarring views, sure. The driving force behind this architectural movement is to be more absurd than the last “masterpiece” thus securing funding from the city, state or corporation to to prove to all that they are avante-garde and thought-leaders. A sucker is born every minute as they say.

        Like

  48. Two-faced twat Zelensky!

    Ukrainian lawyer Tatyana Montyan took part in an Immortal Regiment march with Donetsk residents . On the main street of Donetsk, she carried a portrait of the grandfather of the current President of the Ukraine, Vladimir Zelensky.

    It is known that Semyon Ivanovich Zelensky was born in Kryvyi Rih, Dnipropetrovsk region of the Ukrainian SSR in 1924 and was called up for military service in 1942. During the Great Patriotic War, he served as the commander of a mortar platoon, and then as the commander of a rifle company of the 174th regiment of the 57th Guards Rifle Division. In a description of one of his several exploits, Zelensky is described as a “good organizer and leader” in his company.

    “I don’t know whether Vova [Zelensky —ME] will remember his order-bearing forebear. There now, in Kiev, on his orders, a pile of folk are being “lifted” for their wearing of the St. George ribbon in memory of the fallen”, Tatyana told Komsomolskaya Pravda. “Yesterday, Vova had a ‘Day of Reconciliation’; today he is celebrating the victory over the Nazis. And yet Nazis calmly walk along the streets of Kiev. And, worst of all, the majority of young people do not take it at all seriously. For them, it’s all old-fashioned stuff! And they don’t understand that the scum who almost destroyed us almost 80 years ago have now returned, that they have already destroyed the Ukraine, right before our eyes, and almost destroyed Belarus. Their main goal, however, is Russia. And all according to the same guidelines.

    Source: «Вспомнит ли Вова своего орденоносного предка?»: Татьяна Монтян пронесла в Бессмертном полку Донецка портрет дедушки Зеленского

    “Will Vova remember his order-bearing ancestor?”: Tatyana Montyan carried a portrait of Zelensky’s grandfather to the Immortal Regiment of Donetsk

    Like

  49. Western Ukrainian nationalists [many formerly citizens of post-Versailles resurrected Poland and, prior to that, subjects of the Habsburg Austro-Hungarian Empire]took the initiative to cooperate with the Nazis from the first days of the war. However, the Germans did not immediately pay attention to these proposals. When Paulus was tamed in Stalingrad in 1943, the Nazis thought about using the Ukrainian resource to fill in front-line holes. So there was created a pro-Fascist unit “Galicia”, which surprised even Gestapo veterans with its antics.

    Ukrainian volunteers under German command

    The first foreign SS units appeared in 1940. Then Heinrich Himmler, in an effort to expand the Waffen-SS forces, ordered the recruitment of ethnic Germans (Volksdeutsche) living in the territories occupied by the Nazis. Later, racial priorities had to be ignored, and in 1943, SS units were formed by foreign volunteers, including Ukrainians.

    Residents of the eastern regions of the Ukraine successfully organized mass partisan movements, giving a massive rebuff to the invaders. The situation in the West was quite different. The local population of Galicia (today this consists of the Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk and most of the Ternopil region) was loyal to its German master. In March 1943, local newspapers published a “Manifesto” signed by district head Otto Wechter. In an appeal to the combat-ready population, it was reported that in the assisting Germany with their right to form an SS division was a high honour for Galicia.

    Kubiyovich, who represented the Ukrainian Central Committee, was assigned to create the pro-fascist SS unit Galicia. But soon this formality was corrected, handing over the reins of power to Abwehr Colonel Alfred Bizantz. On April 28, 1943, the act on the creation of the Hitler SS division, “Galicia” was solemnly proclaimed in the Lviv administration building.

    The true goals of Western Ukrainians

    SS parade in Lviv.
    [Ha! Many of their great-granddaughters are now earn their livings on their backs in Germany — ME]

    According to the Germans, by the beginning of June, almost 82 thousand Ukrainian volunteers had registered in the division. The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church assigned 18 of its chaplains to Galicia, who were granted SS officer knowledge. The Ukrainian nationalists were promised that the division would not become a front-line division, but would fight the partisans. For joining the fascist ranks, the traitors were promised large allotments of collective farm land and the exemption of the families of newly minted SS men from agricultural tax.

    For this reason, the first people to join Hitler’s ranks were rural residents. So most historians reject the version about the ideological component of Ukrainian initiatives was a hunger for independence and freedom. A lot of evidence suggests that the first incentive was still material interests. And could SS-“Galicia”, the commander of which, together with his staff and all the battalion commanders, were Germans, lay the foundation of a free Ukrainian army? The exception was Sturmbannführer Eugen Pobegushchy, but he, for example, was forbidden even to visit the officers’ casino.

    To be continued . . .

    Like

    1. The attitude of the Germans towards their “colleagues”

      14th Grenadier Division.

      The acute shortage of frontline troops after the defeat at the Battle of Stalingrad forced the Nazis to take into the SS elite Western Ukrainians. “Galicia” was the first of all SS divisions of foreign volunteers. Out of 26 thousand people, 3 combat regiments and 5 police officers were formed. In” Galicia”, Ukrainians were banned from any national symbols, and the official name of the division’s fighters in the documents was “Galicians”.

      Once, Bauff, a commander of one of the companies, on seeing flowers planted by a “trident” [symbol of the Ukraine —ME] in a barracks, trampled them. When the division left for training in Germany, its members were overcome by frustration there. For the most part, German officers looked at their Ukrainian subordinates with disdain, not really hiding it. Galician Untersharführer Lazurko recalled how in a Dutch training camp, the Germans chased their henchmen in gas masks, ordering them to sing songs. And as training sessions, they were forced to move around the parade ground with a satchel filled with sand and do push-ups in puddles.

      Heroes of punitive operations

      Himmler at an SS-Galicia review.

      Since November 1943,” Galicia ” was commanded by SS Oberführer Freitag, who had rich police experience. German military officers did not like him: Freitag did not participate in any battle. In 1944, the Ukrainians formed a “battle group” to fight Polish and Soviet partisans. This is how the 14th SS Grenadier Division Galicia began its journey. Punishers “fought” exclusively with superior strength, preferring to fight with unarmed civilians. Their favorite tactics were to set fire to houses with their inhabitants inside, and kill peaceful peasants, including women and children. In their native Lviv alone, the punishers killed at least one and a half thousand citizens. In Zolochiv, Ukrainians were involved in the execution of captured Red Army soldiers. In Ternopil, they were noted for setting fire to churches together with its parishioners. And the town of Olesko was completely destroyed by the Galicians with a human sacrifice of 300 souls.

      The aborted flight of SS-Galicia and the Canadian diaspora

      Captured Ukrainians from the SS.

      In the summer of 1944, the Red Army was advancing, and SS-Galicia was entrusted with the defence of a 30 km wide area. Armoured formations of the Red Army broke through the defence line in several directions at once. Under the Brody transport hub, 8 divisions from the German group, including Ukrainians, were surrounded. Once in the cauldron, the newly minted pro-Fascist allies faltered. Fighting civilians and fighting regular troops were not the same thing, and the Ukrainian nationalists did not like the Katyusha rockets.


      Monument to “Galicia” in Canada.

      The command of the 1st Ukrainian Front [Of the Red Army! Remember, in Soviet parlance, “front” meant “army”. The Ukrainian Front was the Red Army operating in the liberation of the Ukraine. It started off further east as the Voronezh Front. Voronezh was the furthest eastern point in the USSR that the Nazi central armies reached — ME] that ordered the complete destruction of the Nazis with the support of aviation and artillery. Out of all the participants of SS-“Galicia”, only a minority escaped. Many of them preferred to surrender to anyone, just not to the Red Army. The surviving representatives of SS-“Galicia”, who were not extradited to the Soviet Union, went en-masse to create the Ukrainian diaspora in Canada.

      For faIrness sake, it should be added that not only Ukrainians went over to the side of the enemy in World War II. Collaboration also affected other nationalities of the USSR, including Russians.

      source

      Further:

      Today, some argue that the SS division “Galicia” was a “Ukrainian” formation — almost the “cradle” of the national army. But there are myths and there are facts. The modern Ukrainian army is the successor of the Soviet Army. In the same way as present-day Ukraine is the successor to the UkSSR. From the SS division “Galicia” nothing grew. Moreover, In 1945, its soldiers who survived the battles and surrendered to the Anglo-Americans, escaped extradition to the Soviet Union only because they officially declared themselves to be … “Poles.”

      By agreement between the USSR and the Western Allies, all former Soviet citizens who became traitors to the Motherland and went over to the Nazis were extradited. That is how the British and Americans handed over to the Soviet Union soldiers of the Vlasov army and the Don Cossacks who fought in the corps of the German General Pannwitz. But Western Ukraine before the Second World War was part of Poland. Up to 1939, the vast majority of ordinary soldiers of the SS-“Galicia” legally were Polish citizens.

      As the British researcher Gordon Williamson writes in the book “The SS — An instrument of terror”: “The fact that the Allies confused the status of these people, called Galicians, allowed many of them to avoid forced deportation to the Soviet Union. Despite the fact that they had served as part of the Waffen-SS, Polish general Anders preferred to consider the situation from a pragmatic point of view and decided to forgive them of their past, and considering their potential usefulness as true anti-communists and supported their claims that they were POLES”.

      This once again testifies that they were no “heroes” of Ukraine, and indeed the heroes of the SS “Galicia” were most certainly no heroes. Rather than courageously acknowledging themselves as “Ukrainians,” they preferred a loophole, hiding themselves behind their official status of being “Poles”. Approximately how many “patriots” in Western Ukraine nowadays prefer to stand in line for a so-called “Polish card” in order to make it easier for them to travel to the European Union?

      Source: https://en.topwar.ru/29156-mayor-divizii-ss-galichina-evgeniy-pobeguschiy-nemcy-razreshali-nam-nochevat-tolko-v-hlevah.html

      Clearly a machine translation from Russian, the original to be found somewhere here

      It’s way back though: around 2013.

      Author Oles Alekseevich Buzina, murdered by the filth in Banderastan.

      Buzina was a Ukrainian journalist and writer known for his criticism of Ukrainian politics and for the support of closer ties of the Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia. He was murdered on 16 April 2015, shot on the footpath not far from his flat in Kyiv. The murder case has not yet been solved.

      Like

  50. Meanwhile the hegemon defends freedom and democracy in distant lands . . .

    US wants to move troops from Afghanistan closer to Russia – Wall Street Journal
    10.05.2021 – 8:30

    The United States may move troops being withdrawn from Afghanistan to Central Asian countries, the Wall Street Journal newspaper writes, citing sources.

    The publication notes that Washington needs bases to accommodate not only military personnel, but also drones, bombers and artillery in order to support Kabul and deter the militants of the radical Taliban movement*.

    According to representatives of the US government and the Pentagon, as possible locations for future deployment of troops are considered neighboring countries of Central Asia, the Persian Gulf states and individual Navy ships.

    According to some military officials and representatives of the administration of US President Joe Biden, it would be best to deploy troops in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, which border Afghanistan. This way, the military would be able to quickly enter the country if necessary.

    US Special Representative for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad visited Uzbekistan and Tajikistan in May, where he discussed the situation in the neighbouring country. According to the newspaper’s sources, Tashkent and Dushanbe expressed their unwillingness to spread violence and expressed concern about the current situation.

    Unnamed officials also told the newspaper that there were no requests to deploy troops to any bases in Central Asia yet, and the US Department of Defense is now weighing the pros and cons. The State Department and the White House are also involved in the decision-making process.

    As the newspaper notes, the United States previously had two bases in Central Asia: one each in Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan; both of them were used for deploying forces and conducting operations in Afghanistan.

    Despite Washington’s deteriorating relations with Moscow and Beijing, officials in the United States and several other countries say they share the United States ‘ interest in ensuring stability in the region. Central Asia, in turn, wants to create a counterbalance to the influence of Russia and China, the newspaper writes.

    According to the publication, the withdrawal of US troops may be completed as early as July.

    Earlier, the US administration announced that it would begin and complete the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan by May 1 and September 11 in full coordination with its allies. In 2020, the United States and representatives of the radical Taliban movement signed the first peace agreement in Doha in more than 18 years of war. It provides for the withdrawal of foreign troops from the Middle East state in 14 months and the beginning of an inter-Afghan dialogue after the exchange of prisoners.

    Since the signing of the agreement, the Taliban has repeatedly accused Washington of violating the agreement.

    Like

  51. Russian hackers accused of hacking the largest US oil pipeline
    Foreign media found a “Russian trace” in the hacker attack on the American oil pipeline

    Valeria Bunina 10.05.2021, 11: 41

    In the attack on the pipeline company Colonial Pipeline, “Russian hackers” are to blame, CNN claims. The actions of the attackers led to the shutdown of the largest pipeline on the east coast of the United States, which led to the introduction of a regional emergency level in the country. According to the media, the attack was carried out as part of a criminal operation aimed at obtaining a large amount of money.

    The DarkSide group may be responsible for a cyberattack on the Colonial Pipeline company, CNN reports, citing former White House employees whose duties included ensuring cybersecurity in the country.

    According to them, the group that carried out the attack is Russian, but usually chooses non-Russian-speaking countries as its targets. According to CNN, this attack was carried out as part of a “criminal scheme”, and the Russian government has nothing to do with it.

    I thought Russians were supposed to be retards who fuck everything up, like poisoning Putin’s critics with the most deadly nerve agent known to man, but never succeed in killing their victims.

    Like

    1. Yes, well, I think everyone here knew it was going to end up being blamed on Russia as soon as they mentioned that ‘Dark Side’ usually avoids targeting eastern-European nations. That’s ’cause they ARE eastern European – get it? Gives everyone a chance to play armchair detective, with a scenario that a child could put together and arrive at ‘Russia’.

      Hopefully the general public is approaching saturation with Russophobia. It is getting so Russia – usually on Putin’s personal orders – is responsible if your daughter is late getting home from school. However, as far back as 2017 – shockingly, four years gone already – literally everything that went wrong in the United States was Russia’s fault.

      https://www.thelibertybeacon.com/political-brinkmanship-blaming-russia-for-everything/

      Perhaps saturation is further away than I thought.

      Like

    2. Biden said Russia was not behind the attack but was still somehow partially responsible.

      https://www.rt.com/usa/523420-biden-colonial-pipeline-russia-responsiblity/

      Addressing the attack on Monday, Biden initially threw cold water on the claims of Russian involvement, instead blaming “transnational criminals.”

      “So far there’s no evidence from our intelligence people that Russia is involved,” Biden told reporters. However, he followed that statement by saying that the ransomware used “is in Russia,” and Russia therefore has “some responsibility to deal with this.”

      The ransomware “is in Russia”? What does that mean? Ransomware is also in the US. Sometimes,, I wonder bout Biden.

      Like

  52. 8 May 2021 at 10: 18 am
    Russians celebrate the long-awaited filling of the North Crimean Canal from the Biyuk-Karasu River

    Residents of the Crimea are rejoicing at the long-awaited replenishment of the North Crimean Canal (SKK) with water from the river. Users write that a real miracle has happened.

    A recent video by blogger Igor Korsakov about how the Biyuk-Karasu River in the village of Novoivanovka fed the North Crimean Canal with water has gained over 500,000 views on YouTube. The results of the” flooding ” delighted ordinary people.

    The video, taken for clarity from a quadrocopter, shows how water is being discharged into the North Crimean Canal through the Novoivanovsky hydroelectric complex. The canal that runs along the Feodosia — Dzhankoy highway allows water to flow from the Biyuk-Karasu river massif.

    The blogger called the incident an incredible sight, since before that the North Crimean Canal had been literally empty. At the moment, the water level has risen, and residents have gathered to watch the long-awaited event. They believe that the riverbed ponds will be enough for the authorities to cancel the regime of non-permanent water supply. People are literally rejoicing at the filling of the North Crimean Canal.

    Source: https://inforeactor.ru/370343-voskhishayus-russkimi-peretoplenie-vodoi-severo-krymskogo-kanala-nazvali-chudom?utm_source=yxnews&utm_medium=desktop

    Silence about this from the Western media and Banderastan

    Like

    1. Crimea. EXCLUSIVE. It’s happened. The Biyuk-Karasa River has been released into the North-Crimea Canal so as to fill the reservoirs.

      Like

    2. Let’s hope that the water flow is sustainable and sufficient. It is certainly already far better situation than before.

      Like

  53. Glenn Greenwald via Antiwar.com: Antony Blinken Continues to Lecture the World on Values His Administration Aggressively Violates
    https://greenwald.substack.com/p/antony-blinken-continues-to-lecture

    How can you feign anger over others’ attacks on a free press when you imprison Assange as punishment for his vital revelations about U.S. officials?

    ####

    All at the link.

    Don’t worry, the free, independent and fearless western press that speaks truth to power will continue to look the other way. The veneer of Democracy laid upon $$$$.

    Like

  54. This is my own true headline of the day:

    Navalny Omsk Doctor Missing On Trip Unfortunately Found Alive*

    We, the western media are disappointed.

    Do they all just sit around in a circle jerking each other off? Yes!

    Like

  55. Media Lens: Shocking Omissions: ‘Capitalism’s Conscience – 200 Years Of The Guardian’ – John Pilger and Jonathan Cook Respond
    https://www.medialens.org/2021/shocking-omissions-capitalisms-conscience-200-years-of-the-guardian-john-pilger-and-jonathan-cook-respond/

    19th April 2021

    Long before ‘the propaganda model’ flew off Edward Herman’s keyboard and into ‘Manufacturing Consent’, the book he co-authored with Noam Chomsky, Leo Tolstoy had captured the essence of non-conspiratorial conformity:…
    ####

    More at the link.

    A bit late but it was when gugl nudes UK served up today’s healines one was from the Groaning Man ‘What we got wrong: the Guardian’s worst errors of judgment over 200 years.’

    The piece goes on to list the not infrequent failings of its editorials and makes the excuse that fortelling the future is a fairly risky bet in the first place. But, an of course, not a fig about the most controversial issues of the 21 century about war/Assange/attacks on journalists and the complicity with government on ‘sensitive issues.’ What is the phrase? Lies of omission.

    Like

    1. And only today I had not one, but two people trying to explain to me how the Russians hacked the American election so that Hillary won the popular vote, but Trump won in the electoral college. You see, Trump sent the Russians polling data which alerted them to the areas where the vote would be close, and then they specially targeted those areas with misleading messages that Clinton is a crook, and don’t vote for her. This is despite American intelligence agencies at the highest level admitting they had no evidence at all to back up accusations of Russia stealing the election for Trump. Yet people still believe that’s what happened.

      Like

  56. Eleven dead in shooting at Russian school
    12 minutes ago

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-57069589

    Children and a teacher have been killed by gunfire at a school in the Russian city of Kazan, officials say.

    Two people reportedly opened fire and a 19-year-old man has been detained.
    The attack happened some 820km (510 miles) east of Moscow.

    An explosion was heard and reports said the second attacker was killed on the fourth floor of the building.

    Kazan is in the mainly Muslim republic of Tatarstan.

    Heavily armed police and emergency vehicles were seen outside school number 175 in Kazan. Footage shared on social media showed some children jumping from windows to escape as well as injured people being evacuated.

    Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov told reporters outside the school that it was a disaster and that 12 children and four adults were being treated in hospital. “The terrorist has been arrested. He’s 19. He’s a registered firearm owner,” he said.
    One video on social media captured a teenager lying on the ground apparently being detained outside the building.

    Wouldn’t happen in America, only in THIS country, as Navalnyites are fond of saying.

    Like

    1. I have the misfortune of teaching such a Navalnyite. She likes to talk to me about THIS country, which is a shithole, in her opinion, because I am English and expects me to join in with her criticism.

      She is an Anglophile, has visited the UK several times, where, I suspect, she has had many a conversations with the endemic Russophobes there, in which all parties enjoy slagging off Russia.

      She’s been pissing me off so much of late that I’m tempted to hit back with praise of the Evil One and the party of “Thieves and Swindlers”.

      Against the rules, I know, when teaching, namely not to get involved in sensitive topics with the natives.

      I’ve done it before, though, usually getting the sneering response, “I suppose you like it here!” to which I respond that I certainly do and have done so for many a year — since before several of such types had been born, in fact.

      Like

      1. Do you teach them the phrase “The grass is always greener on the ohter side” and other useful English idioms, ME?

        Like

    2. Rest in peace to those who have been killed and my deepest sympathy to the families and to the Russian people.

      I truly hate it when terrorist target children.

      Shame their is no death penalty for such terrorist scum

      Like

      1. Life in prison, largely in isolation for protect him from retribution from other prisoners, is hellish enough. They can equip his cell with a suitable hanging rope should he decide he has had enough. In fact, would that not make sense to given prisoners irrevocably sentenced to life the option for suicide?

        Like

    3. If it keeps up, in all the places it is occurring, it will begin to crystallize for parents and educators that they now have a viable alternative where children are not physically in school; Zoom classes. And poof! there will be no more schools; that land might be better served by being corporate headquarters for something or other. And then you will never get your kids out of the house.

      Like

  57. Politico running more lies, even after their last ‘exclusive’ lie* (which I posted*) was debunked and contradicted by US Gen. Frank McKenzie within hours of its publication, with Politico having to amend their ‘Exclusive’ with his comments.

    Politico.eu: Exclusive
    Russian spy unit suspected of directed-energy attacks on U.S. personnel

    https://www.politico.com/news/2021/05/10/russia-gru-directed-energy-486640

    CIA Director William Burns is now receiving daily briefings on the investigation.
    ####

    F/k Politico again.

    They first ran the exclusive story back on 4/22 which was then quickly contradicted by US Gen. Frank McKenzie within hours of its publication (which I posted*). This article does not reference McKenzie this time but links to a previous article of 4/22 (linked as ‘increasing threat’ in the text) that includes his comments and also linnks to a 4/29 article (linked as ‘including in the U.S.’) that ignores McKenzie’s comments or any critical comment.

    If you want proof that the Pork Pie News Networks have learned nothing since the fake ‘Saddam Weapons of Mass Destruction’ story then Politico is a shining example, peddling shite to support American warmongering neoc*nts.


    * https://thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com/2021/02/21/doctor-politico-reliable-journatard/comment-page-6/#comment-57727

    Like

    1. Well, then, I would think the message is watch out, Americans. We are not the incompetent bumblers some of your press would have you believe. We see you, and you are under constant surveillance. Don’t be scratching your nuts or picking your nose when you’re alone in the car on the freeway, because we see you, and we hit each other on the shoulders and roar with laughter. And one day, when we’re bored with your no-longer-amusing pedestrian antics…ZAP!!! Right in the noodle, with a cobalt-fueled direct-energy laser beam that cuts right through all obstacles and snuffs your sad ass forever.

      Be afraid. Stop voting. Post more cat pictures.

      Anyone who is stupid enough to fall for the be-very-afraid mantra generated by the unintelligent intelligence agencies and the fatuous, incompetent self-serving government deserves to spend his/her life in constant terror. Ignore all of it and live your life as best you can for your own enjoyment and in service of those you love. And don’t pretend to believe it, either. Just say, “Whoa! look at the time! I’ve got that thing, at that place! See you later”.

      Like

  58. Surprise, surprise – Russia withdraws from the Open Skies treaty in the latest treaty thrashing tirade by Putin.

    https://www.rt.com/russia/523479-russia-officially-withdraw-open-skies-treaty/

    Russian President Vladimir Putin has submitted a bill to the country’s parliament to leave the Open Skies Treaty, a post-Cold War surveillance agreement that allows signatory countries to openly spy on each other from the air.

    (Working hard on my propaganda skills.).

    Like

    1. Now you’ll see a lot more of those “They violated our airspace” stories, which you will have to peruse carefully to discover all participants were in international airspace. Because that’s where pretty much all military aircraft will have to stay now – there are no more excuses for being in another country’s airspace without explicit permission. Probably a good day on the markets for builders of air-defense systems.

      Like

  59. Remember- Diversity, Inclusion and Equity (DIE). This is our new HR mantra. I think it is actually DEI.

    Like

  60. Euractiv: Slovak government again divided over ousting of justice minister.
    https://www.euractiv.com/section/politics/short_news/slovak-government-again-divided-over-ousting-of-justice-minister/

    Slovak government again divided over ousting of justice minister…

    …The relationship between the two soured after she called Matovič out for lying about the contents of a Sputnik V deal with Russia, a controversy that ultimately led to him stepping down. …
    ####

    Central u-Ropean politics is all getting a bit stabby. Are they giving back the Sputnik-V doses?

    Like

  61. Euractiv: EU won’t expel Russian diplomats despite Czechia’s solidarity call
    https://www.euractiv.com/section/politics/short_news/eu-wont-expel-russian-diplomats-despite-czechias-solidarity-call/

    …“Everybody agreed on the need not to continue an escalation. That we need to look for strong support, but at the same time not to increase tensions,” Borrell told journalists…

    …However, the EU’s stance could change following the meeting of EU leaders on 25 May in Brussels…

    …Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has already called on his European counterparts to expel “at least one Russian diplomat”…
    ####

    So “Everybody agreed” does not mean “Everybody agreed”? WTaF?

    Yet again, for all the big words coming from u-Rope, the people in charge (not the u-Ropean Parliament) know that there will be actual significant consequences if they throw all their toys out of the pram.

    Which is why Bad Boy Hungary is actually doing the other ‘tards quite a big favor vis China:

    Politico: Germany slams Hungary for blocking EU criticism of China on Hong Kong
    https://www.politico.eu/article/german-foreign-minister-slams-hungary-for-blocking-hong-kong-conclusions/

    …One EU diplomat said Hungary’s objection reflected a view that “declarations and conclusions have produced nothing else rather than a further deterioration of relations with China”…
    ####

    It’s called Real Politik (M)ass! You would think a German would understand that but the drug of DO SOMETHING! however stupid is still quite potent for much of the west who’ve become addicted over the last few decades of destroy stuff and pretending the consequences aren’t linked (handing Turkey significant leverage with ‘flooding’ u-Rope with refugees for example).

    Like

    1. ‘Everybody agreed on the need not to continue an escalation’ , I should like to point out, after Moscow made it clear that it would escalate, up to and including erasing the subject nation’s diplomatic presence in the country and accepting the same abroad. Yurrup is not willing to have all its diplomats sent home, where they will be pulling down a paycheque in exchange for doing nothing, and the national intelligence schools would turn yellow and curl up without the mandate to educate diplomats on the fine art of collecting useful information while giving away nothing but smiles and platitudes.

      Mmmm…yes; the Czech government ‘revealed’ information detrimental to Russia which they have evidently been investigating for, what, 7 years? I’d like to have gotten on the billable-hours time sheet for that one. And all European nations were invited to expel ‘at least one Russian diplomat’…for what? As a ‘show of solidarity’? And then get two of each country’s own diplomats expelled, also for doing nothing but being of the wrong nationality? Maybe Russia ought to look again at the last time a dam burst, or a bridge collapsed, and announce that a long-running investigation concluded a wide-ranging European Union intelligence operation was to blame, and expel one diplomat from every country, just as a warning. I’m sure the message would be clear. And the Europeans would not have a leg to stand on – Russia would deny them access to the investigation’s documentation and findings.

      Another game of don’t-blink-first-for-God’s-sake, another blink from Yurrup.

      Like

  62. RT.com: Leading Russiagate conspiracy theorist appointed to key national security role at Biden’s Department of Justice
    https://www.rt.com/usa/523425-biden-hires-russiagate-propagandist/

    …In between her roles with Obama-Biden and now Biden-Harris, Hennessey served as one of the more unhinged voices of the anti-Trump “#Resistance” and supported the Russiagate propaganda campaign through jobs as CNN analyst, Lawfare blog executive editor and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution think tank.

    Responding to the appointment, journalist Glenn Greenwald called Hennessey “one of the most deranged Russiagate conspiracists.”..
    ####

    More evidence that s/t floats to the top.

    But why scrub your social media past? Could it be because it looks embarassing and unprofessional? I can’t imagine that there are any other regrets such as it was conspiracy bs. But, as we all know there are no professional consequences at all when you go all bunny boiler on America’s enemies. It’s just youthful japes!

    Like

  63. Strategic Culture: Why Moscow Doesn’t Just Knock Him Over
    https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2021/05/08/why-moscow-doesnt-just-knock-him-over/

    Patrick Armstrong

    Moscow knows what Washington has not yet learnt: it’s not just one guy, it’s a whole country and sugar hits don’t last.
    ####

    Every time – and we’ve just had an illustration – someone in Kiev makes trouble for Russia, the Internet is full of people crying on Putin to just go in and knock them over. A sub-variant of this is that Moscow should have invaded after the Maidan coup, arrested all the nazis and put Yanukovych back to serve out the rest of his term under the now-forgotten agreement hammered out by the EU.

    But there’s actually a good reason why Moscow, in Ukraine or earlier in Georgia, did not invade and knock Zelensky or Saakashvili over and why it doesn’t forcefully deal with other irritations…
    ####

    More at the link.

    Those who don’t learn from history are to destined repeat it.

    For me the question is, is Institutional America capable of doing anything else? The Bi-Dumb Administration thinks a bit of spin and trying harder (aka the same ‘have cake and eat it) is the solution. The agreeing on some subjects but behaving as before on other subjects that are to say the least ‘contentious’ assumes the other sides are stupid, i.e. they won’t risk throwing the agreement bit while the USA tries to f/k them elsewhere. This is despite Russia and others having clearly told BDA that no current agreement is safe in face of hostile action by the USA.

    Russia pulling out of the Open Skies Treaty is now on the Duma floor and shortly to be actions. There’s been silence from BDA. Is this because they really don’t care or they have a Black Adder style ‘cunning plan’ that they think Russia cannot but accept at the last possible moment? Or, it’s a BDA squeeze on u-Rope to make it more dependent on the USA? It’s all very dumb and very amateur.

    Like

  64. “You broke it, you bought it” seems to be the policy of the RF towards the “West” in the Ukraine. But if the account of the Blinken-Zelensky meeting given by Pepe Escobar in

    https://thesaker.is/pictures-of-a-ukrainian-dream/

    is accurate, then it’s hard to believe that gentle, mild-mannered people like Kolomoisky or Akhmetov will quietly be alleviated of their spoils.

    Perhaps it’s a cunning plan to provoke a break between the USA and the Ukraine: “it fell apart due to shoddy workmanship – nothing to do with us” type of idea? And let the shambles develop. The reference to giving up the individuals who provided the information about Hunter Biden is against such an interpretation, but overall the purported demands seem so outrageous that the current oligarchs may have no option but opposition to Uncle Sam if they are to preserve at least some of their wealth and power.

    Like

    1. If it were not from Pepe Escobar, I would have dismissed the article as a pipe dream as he alluded to. Yet, it would be true to form and a natural progression of a failed geopolitical plan.. If Ukraine could not be turned into a mini-battering ram against Russia, let’s cut losses and rob the place blind. Nueland and company will fatten up those Swiss bank accounts and Western interests will become the new slum lords after they strip the place of copper wiring and plumbing.

      And it should put an end to the fear mongering of an all-out war with NATO from the well-known bird-like blogger whom I will not name. I do wonder if the US has accepted the completion of NS II if indeed the Ukraine project has collapsed.

      Like

    2. The girl with kaleidoscope eyes…

      Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds…

      Extra points to Pepe for that! Here’s the EJ version:

      Like

  65. 06: 03, 12 May 2021

    Foreign Ministry names sources of cyber attacks on Russia in 2020

    Most cyberattacks in 2020, focusing on Russia, were carried out with addresses registered in the United States, Germany and the Netherlands. This was told to RIA Novosti by the deputy head of the Russian Foreign Ministry Oleg Syromolotov.

    According to him, the hackers targeted objects related to the development of vaccines, public administration, the financial sector, the military-industrial complex, science, education, healthcare and transport.

    In February, the head of the General Intelligence and Security Service of the Netherlands (AIVD), Eric Akerbom, spoke about catching hackers from Russia and China, which hacking allegedly occurs every day. According to him, they “hack the computers of companies and educational institutions. They also target vital infrastructure such as drinking water supply, banks, telecommunications and energy networks”, Akerbom said.

    In August 2020 , it became known that one of the CIA hacker units operates on the territory of the American Consulate General in the German city of Frankfurt am Main. Its employees conduct cyber operations in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. This information appeared through a leak of materials from the CIA cyber intelligence centre. American hackers exploit zero-day vulnerabilities, hacking Windows, Android and iOS devices, as well as Samsung TVs, turning them into listening devices.

    At the same time, it was reported that US intelligence agencies are actively conducting illegal cyber operations around the world in order to gain access to classified information and diplomatic correspondence of other countries in order to put pressure on these countries. Often, the West blames so-called Russian hackers for such cyber attacks, without providing any evidence to support their words.

    Warning!

    Kremlin controlled media source.

    What a ludicrous proposition!

    The Americans are accusing Russia of doing what the USA does!

    Preposterous!

    Like

    1. With all the hacking of various systems, devices and databases that they do, it’s no wonder some of the staff at these US embassies and consulates complain of Havana syndrome. They’re exposing themselves continuously to pulsed radiofrequency waves and microwave radiation. And maybe cricket noises.

      Like

  66. Totally off-topic, but hey; remember how I have been searching for a long time for substantiation that Browder’s pet accountant, the great corruption-fighter Sergei Magnitsky, was arrested because it appeared as if he was about to do a runner, and had booked a flight to Kuh-yiv? Found it; it was actually in the ECHR’s judgement, which received the polar opposite of attention from western sources.

    https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/150239382/posts/119748

    The relevant passage is here:

    The Court reiterated the general principles on arbitrary detention, which could arise if the authorities had complied with the letter of the law but had acted with bad faith or deception. It found no such elements in this case: the enquiry into alleged tax evasion which had led to Mr Magnitskiy’s arrest had begun long before he had complained of fraud by officials. The decision to arrest him had only been made after investigators had learned that he had previously applied for a UK visa, had booked tickets to Kyiv, and had not been residing at his registered address.

    Very good stuff, an excellent and interesting post from many angles.

    Like

  67. And mind you close the door behind you when you leave! . . .

    May 12, 2021, 11:39 am
    Kommersant reports on the expulsion of the US Embassy’s press secretary from Russia

    Rebecca Ross has been included in the list of ten American diplomats who must leave the country.

    Press secretary of the US Embassy in Moscow Rebecca Ross is being expelled from Russia. She was included in the list of ten American diplomats whom the Russian side declared persona non grata in response to a similar step by the US authorities, the “Kommersant” newspaper writes.

    The publication recalls that on April 15, the United States introduced a new extensive package of sanctions against Russia. Among other things, it provides for the expulsion of ten Russian diplomats. Moscow responded in a mirror image.

    At the same time, the Twitter account of Rebecca Ross herself does not say anything about the upcoming expulsion. In her latest message, she expressed “sincere condolences to the families of all those killed” in the attack on the school in Kazan.

    To which above “Tweet” this Twitter twat replies:

    Have a dekko at his Twitter photo:

    https://twitter.com/geomekot/photo

    Dickhead!

    Like

  68. Going back to the head of this thread and addressing my question to Chief Stooge, do navigation officers still have to learn how to navigate by dead reckoning and to “shoot the sun” with a sextant — just in case, sort of?

    And regardless of “just in case”, surely at the outbreak of any hostilities, all these wonderful navigation aids would go dead as a dodo.

    My old pal, who was an engineer officer on tankers, mostly, used to tell me that if they were at sea at the New Year, the ship sailed itself because everyone was pissed as a handcart.

    I forget which line employed him, but he ended up with a shore job with Exxon in Nigeria at an oil farm where they pumped out the black stuff to tankers lying off shore.

    Like

    1. Naval officers do; warships still carry a sextant and military navigation officers are still tested on its use during training so far as I know. DR navigation is still an element of all professional navigators, again so far as I know, as I am not a navigator myself. But DR is simply an extrapolation based on last-verified position; okay, we know we were HERE as of 13:10 yesterday, since then we have maintained a base course of 272 at 13 knots, therefore we must be about HERE on the chart. And that will never be exact as GPS or a system with similar accuracy because of set and drift; while you may be steering 272 on the gyro, you may have a set of 6 or 7 degrees to port or starboard because of tide or current, making your actual course over the ground (COG) as little as 266 or as much as 278. Over a day or two that could add up to quite an error if the cloud cover did not allow for a sun sight. In that case a furthest-on circle is often used; we know we must be somewhere within this circle based on our last-known position.

      Latitude was always easy, but the fixing of longitude – the north-south position – was so notoriously difficult that the British Parliament offered prizes up to what would amount to some $5 million in today’s currency to anyone who could reliably fix the position of a ship at sea to within 30 nautical miles accuracy.

      https://www.blue-growth.org/Blue_Growth_Technology_Innovation/Board_Of_Longitude.htm

      Some of the ideas were lunacy; the article mentioned stationing barges at sea in known positions which would fire flares at regular intervals, and in another reference I read of a similar barge-stationing scheme which would use barking dogs so sailors could hear them in the fog, although fixing direction in fog by sound is wildly inaccurate. Anyway, they settled on extremely accurate clockwork by which they could measure how long they had been on a particular course at a particular speed. Set was accounted for by dropping billets of wood and calculating how far to one side or the other of the ship’s course they were until they passed out of sight.

      The whole story of the Longitude Prize is quite fascinating, I recommend it. To illustrate that governments have always been formed of the scum of the earth, just as they are today, the British government tried to use the ideas discovered without awarding the prize, and it took a petition to the King to get a payout.

      With regard to the ship having to run itself the first day of the New Year due to incapacity to navigate, I remember that in the old SAGUENAY, we frequently got what was known as a ‘pipe down’ the day after leaving a foreign port so that everyone not on watch could get some kip and recover from their hangovers. When we visited the port of Goderich, Ontario during a Great Lakes cruise sometime in the late 70’s, it was the first visit by a warship since the Second World War and there were more people in the crew than there were inhabitants of the town. There was one pub, which was filled to bursting, and the nearest town was Wawa, about 25 miles away. The Captain and Executive Officer repaired ashore in their dress whites, bound for Wawa, and returned late that evening comatose in the bed of a pickup truck; the XO looked particularly horrific, as one whole side of his face was covered in some opaque bloody goop. But it turned out all right – it was sweet-and-sour sauce, and he had passed out in his plate.

      Next morning, as soon as the pipe “Part-ship hands fall out, secure for sea, port watch on deck close up” was made, it was followed by the four pips on the bos’n call which means ‘pipe down’, with only the watch on deck awake until sunset.

      Like

      1. The life of a sailor….

        Another method to determine “absolute time” was based on astronomical observations of the moons of Jupiter. The orbits of the four “Galilean” satellites were precisely timed so by noting the arrangements (perhaps over several nights) one could figure out an absolute time. No idea on the accuracy and the process sounds complicated and with possibly ambiguous results.. Since the distance between Earth and Jupiter would vary, the speed of light had to be factored in. Needless to say, the idea never caught on and Jupiter is often not visible for month at a time. (In fact, the first accurate estimates of the speed of light was by measuring the changing in the timing of the moons’ positions as the distance between Earth and Jupiter varied).

        Regarding development of high precision chronometers, the early efforts focused on large and slow moving clockwork mechanisms. but the best designs turned out to be small chronometers mounted on gimbals to minimize effects from the motion of the ship (IIRC)

        Like

  69. Vis the Colonial Pipeline ransome attack currently causing panic in America.

    Has anyone yet pointed out that the USA does this (in effect) regularly to whole countries and it disproporionately and massively hits civilians?

    No, I thought not.

    Some questions are best left unasked becasue the answers are unpalatable. Call it independent, free and professional self-censorship by the media.

    Like

  70. Craig Murray: Appeal For Defence Funds
    https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2021/05/appeal-for-defence-funds/

    UPDATE I today received a prison sentence of eight months for my reporting of the defence case in the Alex Salmond trial. I have a three week stay while we apply to this same court for permission to appeal to the Supreme Court. My appeal will be based on the simple fact that I did not identify anybody. It will also be based on the right to report the defence case being denied by an extraordinary, impossibly strict application of “jigsaw identification”, and on fair process not having been observed….
    ####

    More at the link.

    Why doesn’t the judge just say that she’s making an example of Murray? That’s what it is. That is what political judges do when they are required to do so, pour decourager les autres.

    Remember kids, this is not judicial corruption. This is how real ‘business’ is done. It almost doesn’t matter if he wins on appeal or not or whether it goes all the way to the European Court of Justice for whatever result. The Establishment message is, ‘STFU or you’ll end up like Murray and can kiss goodbye to a normal life for several years.’ It goes to show that there is no democracy when it comes to covering up political/power corruption.

    Like

    1. But the government can leak anything in its possession to prejudice your case, and it’s just an ‘Oops! I’m sorry’ and nobody is ever punished.

      I’m telling you now, if there isn’t a massive revolt against government right across the board resulting from the grotesque COVID theft of liberties and rights, it will never come – if people continue lining up to ‘cast their ballot’ as if their vote actually means anything and they live in an accountable democracy, then such a revolt will never happen and humanity will just become more and more the pawn of government power out of control.

      I imagine governments are aware of how they have overstepped and of growing restlessness and anger, and the current crop of politicians will be sacrificed – the people will be urged by the entirely-complicit media to rise up with a great shout and ‘throw the bums out’, but through election, not revolt. Many of them will lose their positions, but they will just fade back into the political milieu, the people will feel that justice was done, and the ;political system will breathe a sigh of relief. The system is safe, and politics is free to continue gobbling of the rights of the electorate and administering punishments to those who dare dissent. It does not matter in the slightest which ‘party’ politicians affiliate themselves with; they are all the same and will sing from the same song sheet when assembled. There’s no real ‘opposition’, just more politicians who will shout along in indignation when not in power, and behave exactly the same as those they pretend to oppose once in office. Here’s an example.

      “Doctors in British Columbia are being warned they could face investigation or penalties from their regulatory body if they contradict public health orders or guidance about COVID-19. The warning is contained in a joint statement from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of B.C. and the First Nations Health Authority.”

      All doctors receive basically the same training and education – that’s why they call it ‘medical school’. I should be able to believe the opinion of a doctor who says facemasks do not really do very much to curtail the spread of COVID-19 carries as much weight of expertise as a doctor who claims the opposite. Especially when I can go online myself and call up study after study which found through the actual scientific method – trying it, to see what happens – that non-medical cloth masks do next to nothing to stop the spread of a respiratory virus, and that it does not spread principally through ‘droplets’ which a mask will catch. But now it is laid out for us that while all animals are equal, some animals are more equal than others. George Orwell was perhaps the only real politician ever, or perhaps just the person who understood politics best.

      https://nationalpost.com/pmn/news-pmn/canada-news-pmn/b-c-doctors-could-face-penalty-for-veering-from-covid-19-health-guidelines-college

      In the same newspapers, I found articles which purported to ‘come clean’ that while it was understandable that people were confused by all the mixed messaging, they must close their eyes and trust the science; that science is ‘constantly evolving’ and that the ‘blurring speed’ with which the new vaccines were developed caught everyone off guard and that we are still learning, alongside articles which claim we know the new mRNA vaccines are safe because Moderna and Pfizer have been working on mRNA vaccines for 10 years. Horseshit. Moderna was only founded 10 years ago, and it was Moderna Therapeutics until only 4 years ago.

      https://finance.yahoo.com/quote/MRNA/profile

      It also has a ‘strategic alliance’ with its competitor, Astra-Zeneca, with DARPA and with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which is hardly surprising since Bill Gates owns everything. Moderna has an overall corporate-governance score of 8 in a rating system in which 10 is maximum risk and 1 is minimum risk. But you’re supposed to have full confidence in ‘the science’ which says they know their business in experimental vaccines.

      Like

  71. Could there have been a worse ad for recruiting than the CIA woke woman video? Why yes, that was was just scratching the surface of wokeness. Check this one:

    Like

    1. The army needs to block the comments – five newest comments below:

      Imagine signing up to be a pawn for globalists and calling yourself patriotic.

      I express my opinion and got blocked by the Army’s PC department I served in Desert Storm what a free country

      I am sure China, Russia, Iran, and all potential foreign enemies are going to die from this military. Die of laughter that is.

      “We have no idea why retention and recruitment is so low.”

      Army is no longer needed, This country isn’t worth defending anymore.

      Like

    2. Looked over the most recent 100 or so comments. All negative, some asking Russia to invade us to put an end to this country’s misery. Israel mentioned often. Comments will likely be disabled soon.

      Like

    3. Comments have been turned off? I wonder if it had anything to do with the 100% negative reaction, many by purported military and ex-military commentators.

      How could any social medial company believe that such a message would be accepted by the demographic who would view that video. Was it an effort to gauge the temperament of that group? Was it an effort to force feed ideas? Just weird.

      Like

  72. Buthole Insider: ‘Champions League of tax avoidance:’ Uber used 50 Dutch shell companies to dodge taxes on nearly $6 billion in revenue, report says
    https://www.businessinsider.com/uber-tax-avoidance-50-dutch-shell-companies-5-billion-revenue-2021-5

    ####

    If this is verfied, the heads of the company should be in jail and Uber closed (or sold off). It won’t happen of course. Why? The same reason F*bk/Gugl/M$/Ama/etc. had been given a hands off approach for such a long time, because they built ‘national champions.’ The EC took Amazon to court for tax avoidance and has just lost at the General Court on appeal and it also lost the opening 13b tax case against Apple in Ireland (now being appealed).* In short, Doctor Frankenstein built the monster and let him go, patting himself on the back for being so clever. Then closed the door after he’d gone walkabout. The consequences? Bah!

    * https://www.euractiv.com/section/competition/news/amazon-wins-court-fight-against-e250-million-eu-tax-order/

    Like

    1. I’m not an Uber fan – and far less a fan of the Monster Bezos Built (coincidentally, the papers here are abuzz with plans to make a large tract of land available near the Victoria Airport for a client who wishes to remain anonymous but wants to build a ‘multistorey distribution center, and I would give you pretty substantial odds it is Amazon). However, tax law pretty much everywhere provides that nobody is under any obligation to pay more taxes than they have to. Uber, and doubtless Amazon as well, are probably not doing anything illegal, and ‘tax avoidance’ is not quite the same thing as ‘tax default’. Probably they have discovered loopholes which allow them to legally pay less tax, and I am more inclined to believe that considering they used the weepy example of poor India, which needs extra money so badly, like they are trying to guilt Uber into paying where they cannot make them pay legally.

      I might be a whole lot more sympathetic if it weren’t government allegedly coming up with the short end of the stick. Because government’s tax policy consists of commissioning expert groups to learn where people are putting their money, and then writing new laws which allow them to take some of it. Taxpayers are more or less forced to find creative loopholes to prevent being robbed by the government, which promptly throws the money away on things like COVID vaccines from America at four or five times the population ratio, then giving the unused vaccines away to poor countries. My opinion of government in general, and in this country specifically, has sunk to abysmal levels over the last two years.

      Like

  73. Crooks and swindlers?

    Lyubov Sobol has paid out 1 million rubles for false statements
    2 days ago


    As honest as the day is long?

    On May 11, the Simonovsky Court of Moscow recovered 1 million rubles from Lyubov Sobol on the claims of businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin.

    Lawsuits had been filed for the protection of his honour and dignity. A young activist accused a businessman, who organizes dinners and banquets, of poisoning Moscow schoolchildren and children from preschool institutions.

    As you can understand, the charges were very serious, and the reputation of the businessman was at stake. It turned out that earlier Rospotrebnadzor[Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing — ME] did indeed find a low-quality dairy product in the company’s assortment, and Yevgeny Prigozhin immediately broke the contract with the Chaplygin dairy, from which these products had been supplied. Moreover, the businessman paid substantial compensation to the parents of those children who had consumed such low-quality products.

    And then began the most interesting part of the story: Navalny and Sobol, having learnt about this situation, begin to blackmail the businessman, threatening to publish this story in their next blog investigation, thereby destroying the entrepreneur’s reputation.

    Navalny and Sobol explained to Prigozhin that this story might get lost in the (NGO, foreign agent) FBK archives , but as they say, quid pro quo: in return for not publishing this material, Navalny and Sobol demanded that Prigozhin participate in fundraising for their election campaign in St. Petersburg. Navalny quoted a sum of 300 million rubles.[$4,035,000]

    Prigozhin refused, and Navalny and Sobol started publishing “revealing” videos, insulting the businessman and discrediting his honour and dignity. Yevgeny Prigozhin demanded that the videos that completely distorted the facts be immediately removed videos, and the bloggers did not hesitate to openly impose their position on viewers, calling the businessman a “bandit from the ’90s” and a “crazy arsehole”. [придурок in the original]

    It all ended with Yevgeny Prigozhin suing FBK and Navalny and Sobol as individuals.

    That’s exactly how the lawsuit filed against Sobol came about, and which resulted in the activist’s family budget being reduced by 1 million rubles.

    Yes, justice is a harsh thing, and the revolutionary who graduated from law school should have realized this when she was back in the classroom.

    The blogger who wrote the above used one of those annoying Anglicisms that young folk here think so “cool”, namely for “fundraising” he wrote фандрайзинге [fandraysing], for which term there is the Russian expression сбор средств: literally “gathering of funds”.

    Like

    1. It looks good on her. The blackmail angle is news to me, and you would think if Russia were half the ‘mafia state’ poxy twits like Luke Harding claim it is, Sobol and Navalny would end up headless in a ditch for trying to extort a wealthy businessman who can afford to have his enemies taken care of.

      Like

    2. In the original of the above it says she was fined 300 million rubles, yet her family budget was reduced by a million.

      I don’t get it!

      And I’m sure she wasn’t hit with a 3 million fine.

      I shall check it out.

      Sweet FA about this in the Western media though.

      Like

      1. Meduza:

        Lyubov Sobol handed fines in two more Prigozhin defamation lawsuits
        6:28 pm, May 11, 2021

        Moscow’s Simonovsky Court has partially fulfilled two defamation lawsuits filed by Russian oligarch Evgeny Prigozhin against opposition politician Lyubov Sobol, MBX Media reported on Tuesday, May 11, citing the court’s press service.

        The hearings on the two claims took place on April 30. The Simonovsky Court ordered Sobol to pay Prigozhin 500,000 rubles ($6,745) in damages for each suit. Prigozhin’s lawsuits each demanded 5 million rubles ($67,450) in compensation from Sobol.

        The first claim was filed over statements Lyubov Sobol made during a broadcast on the YouTube channel “Navalny Live” — she called Prigozhin a “criminal from the nineties” and accused him of organizing an assassination attempt on her husband, Sergey Mokhov. She also accused the catering mogul of “delivering rotten meat to Moscow schools.”

        Though the lawsuit was initially filed against jailed opposition politician Alexey Navalny as well, Prigozhin’s representatives ended up dropping their claim against him since they couldn’t prove his connection to the YouTube channel “Navalny Live.”

        The second lawsuit was filed over an article published by the news site Znak.com, in which Sobol called Prigozhin a “jackass from the nineties, mad with impunity,” who “poisons children in kindergartens to the point of bloody diarrhea and hospitalization.” (The article was deleted, but it’s still available via web archive).

        Evgeny Prigozhin has filed multiple defamation lawsuits in Moscow courts against Alexey Navalny and his associates. In March, the Lyublinsky District Court ordered Navalny to pay Prigozhin 500,000 rubles in compensation in one such suit.

        In early April, the Simonovsky Court ordered Lyubov Sobol to pay Prigozhin 500,000 rubles in damages over two posts she wrote on Twitter in October 2020. Sharing an article about Prigozhin filing a different defamation lawsuit against herself and Navalny, Sobol wrote, “When you steal billions from the [state] budget, but want to snatch some more money?”

        If you go to the linked site, at the top it says: Help Save Medusa!

        Oh dear. Meduza must be having financial problems. How sad!

        Like

        1. Yeah, in the above linked blog on Sobol’s fine, it reads:

          11 мая Симоновский суд Москвы взыскал с Любови Соболь 1 млн рублей по искам бизнесмена Евгения Пригожина

          On May 11, the Simonovsky Court of Moscow recovered 1 million rubles from Lyubov Sobol in the claims of businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin.

          That’s bollocks!

          In the above linked Meduza site, it reads:

          The second lawsuit was filed over an article published by the news site Znak.com, in which Sobol called Prigozhin a “jackass from the nineties, mad with impunity,” who “poisons children in kindergartens to the point of bloody diarrhea and hospitalization.”

          She called him a придурок, which Meduza translates as “jackass”.

          The word придурок means more like “jerk” or “asshole” if one wishes to use American vernacular, which, judging by the way “diarrhoea” is spelt in the above article, the staff at Medusa seem to prefer.

          In the Queen’s English, one would say “wanker”.

          Like

          1. It was explained to me as ‘ten times an idiot’, where “дурок” is ‘idiot’; the prefix “при” is an amplifier. But that’s what the missus said – the occasion was a family friend, now a divorcee, getting a drive home with an associate with whom she did not have a romantic relationship, and espying her suspicious husband lurking around the corner of the building, plainly expecting to catch her. That’s what she called him, in later conversation.

            Pity; I liked him a lot, he was screamingly funny. He used to work as a hospital orderly, and occasionally in the department where they collect and process the…ummm…stool samples. They are usually – according to him – hygienically packaged and labeled, but on this one morning he encountered a sample which was apparently collected with more enthusiasm and dedication than usual, by someone determined to get answers despite having been caught without the proper collection kit; he said it was on the lid of a jar, and was festooned with grass spears and dirt. Even though I understood almost no Russian at the time, his evocative description and the girls’ tear-streaked faces had me laughing so hard my ribs hurt. Anyway, now he’s gone the way of the buffalo.

            Like

        2. I would not be too quick to make the link between a website asking for money, and that website being in financial trouble. Of course that’s what it wants its subscribers to think. Some newsie websites likely do operate on the edge all the time, but I would imagine just as many who want you to think they do, but whose message is friendly to the agencies of the US government and helps it spread its own message, get gifted the odd dollar or two for their coffers from taxpayer funds.

          I just happened to catch a headline from my Pocket feed on my way here, on a similar subject – let me go back and have a look. Yeah; here it is.

          https://www.wired.com/story/everyone-is-a-subscription/

          I skimmed through it, because Wired often writes like it thinks it is Rolling Stone, but essentially the article suggests that more and more of the internet is becoming inaccessible to you unless you pay for a subscription. I have a few, Club Orlov, and I believe I subscribed to the National Post or the Globe and Mail because there was something in their content that I wanted to cite and I couldn’t find it anywhere else, perhaps as the subject of a post, I really don’t remember. It’s usually not much, something like $2.00 a month, generally far less than you would pay to buy a hard copy of the paper even for a week, never mind a month.

          However, it adds up, I imagine. There are a couple of effects of this that are not immediately obvious (to anyone but Jen), such as you will not voluntarily subscribe to everything, so what you pay for helps build a profile of your interests and views. But they could already get that from your search patterns, which you give them for free via cookies, and if you don’t accept cookies you don’t get to see the content, so it amounts to the same thing. Another net effect is to push non-members toward social media, which its creators proudly advertise as Always Free; just sign up. And your Facebook page is the first place your boss goes if you don’t show up on time for work; actually, it’s the first place your prospective boss goes after your job interview. It’s also the first place reporters go if you attract attention by leading a political protest, or sometimes even by just having a contrarian letter published.

          I do have a Twitter membership, although only a fool would follow it or look it up, since I might use it once every six months; when I do post something, usually in argument to something someone else said (which is why I got it in the first place, you can blame Michael McFaul), I get sneering replies that I am clearly a Russian bot because I have so few followers and tweet so infrequently. Otherwise, I have no social-media presence. I did have a Facebook profile for about two weeks, at which point it grew irritating because I was being flooded with friend requests from people I thought were dead, and I binned the account. I remember now; I signed up because there was an article in the Orange County Register which was so inflammatory I just had to comment, but it was one of those increasing Facebook-plugin-only comment forums, because of course the paper wants to collect as much information about you as possible. And my comment was taken down within 30 minutes, so there was obviously no benefit for me to be a Facebook member, although some people’s entire lives revolve around it.

          Like

      2. In the original of the above it says she was fined 300 million rubles, yet her family budget was reduced by a million.

        No! My error!

        That was what the Bullshitter tried to rip off Prigozhin.

        The blog says she was fined 1 million rubles. Meduza says she was fined 500,000 rubles.

        Considering she is a lawyer, it’s surprising how she likes shooting off her gob in public. Same goes for her gobshite boss. He’s a lawyer as well — isn’t he?

        Like

        1. RAPSI is the most reliable source in such matters:

          Navalny’s ally Sobol ordered to pay $7,000 to businessman Prigozhin for defamation


          Say, who was that masked woman?

          15:18 06/04/2021
          MOSCOW, April 6 (RAPSI)Moscow’s Simonovsky District Court on Tuesday obliged Lyubov Sobol, an associate of Alexey Navalny, to pay businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin 500,000 rubles (about $7,000) upon his defamation lawsuit against the woman, the Concord Company’s press service told RAPSI.

          The court also ordered Sobol to delete and refute untrue statements.

          Earlier, Moscow’s Lyublinsky District Court ordered Navalny to pay Prigozhin 500,000 rubles (about $7,000), therefore granting the entrepreneur’s defamation claim against the blogger.

          Earlier, the businessman lodged another suit against Navalny with the Lyblinsky District Court. The tycoon sought to recover 5 million rubles in compensation for moral harm inflicted by false discrediting information distributed by the blogger. Moreover, Prigozhin asked to recognize disseminated statements calling him “a dangerous special criminal funding a private military company responsible for hundreds of human lives” as inaccurate.

          Like

        2. Yes, that’s a good point; few should understand the potential consequences of making libelous statements in public better than she should. And it is plainly not a case of The Bloody Hand Of The State coming down hard on a dissident, either – it should have been crystal clear that input on the ‘Navalny Live’ channel comes from Navalny, but the charges against him were dropped because that cannot be proved. On reflection, perhaps investigators thought it was worth it to make the point that ‘Nanalny’s’ content often comes from someone else.

          Like

          1. . . . perhaps investigators thought it was worth it to make the point that ‘Nanalny’s’ content often comes from someone else.

            Russian anti-Navalny bloggers often point this out, namely that Navalny “investigations” into corruption are not done by him, nor are they done by his investigators at his regional HQs. Navalny and Co. are given the dirt from outside sources. Gobshite and chums only dish it out. That’s what Pevchikh was doing: bringing info from the UK given to her by UK State Security and Intelligence, hence her 11 trips between London and Moscow.

            Like

  74. Oh, dear. Industry analysts are coming around to the view that the USA’s shale oil production is unsustainable. Better late than never, I guess.

    “The road ahead is very different than the one energy investors have been stuck on for the past 5+ years. No longer possessing short-cycle supply, the world is increasingly reliant on long-cycle supply from either the supermajors who are no longer willing to sufficiently invest or state-owned oil companies facing financing constraints due to other sovereign spending priorities.

    With global oil inventories having already nearly healed from the COVID-19 demand shock and with future production growth rates challenged, the writing is on the wall: the world is on the cusp of a supply crisis that I believe will result in meaningfully higher oil prices likely to surpass US$100 in the coming years.”

    I’m thinking of a country – see if you can guess it – which has quite a lot of oil and gas, which it makes available through pipelines to its customers. This country would likely benefit significantly from $100.00 oil since its budget balances at a little more than half that value. Its enemies, including a really big one who would like to sell lots more gas but apparently doesn’t have as much as it thought it did, would gnash their teeth with fury to see that country float serenely back to prosperity on a long-running bull market in oil, after they expended so much effort on ruining it. And another country, where they drink a lot of beer and wear leather shorts, would be pretty foolish if it did anything to jeopardize a major pipeline project with the first country under such conditions.

    https://financialpost.com/commodities/energy/oil-gas/peak-demand-more-like-a-supply-crisis-propelling-oil-to-us100

    Like

  75. The Gray Zone: A mainstream outlet accepted my pitch on what media refuses to say about US empire – then refused to let me say it
    https://thegrayzone.com/2021/05/13/mainstream-outlet-media-refuses-say/

    Matthew Alford·May 13, 2021

    A mainstream academic outlet called The Conversation green-lighted my article on foreign policy issues Western media refuses to discuss. With the piece ready to go live, everything went horribly wrong.

    This is a story about how the media works. Specifically, it’s about my failed attempt to publish an article with the mainstream media about some of the things that news outlets consistently avoid when they cover US/UK foreign policy.

    You’re maybe thinking, “That’s your own fault – why would you ever have thought you could get an article about what the mainstream media refuses to say into the mainstream media?”…
    ####

    More at the link.

    Like

    1. “However, when it comes to Western power, I think something more fundamental is taking place than normal biases and differences of opinion. Indeed, it is standard – even when it comes to the most vicious applications of British and American foreign policy – that Western mainstream media simply ghosts pivotal critical content that is staring it right in the face. ”

      That, to me, is the linchpin paragraph of the whole piece which, taken together, is an indispensable firsthand account of the manner in which anything contradicting The Narrative is forced into the ‘ignore’ column, and thanks so much for posting it. There were many bell-ringers in there for me, and the scrupulously-careful avoidance of negative connotations reminded me instantly of the way the words ‘oligarch’ and ‘Poroshenko’ never appeared even in the same sentence in the western press, lest the mind of the reader make unwanted connections – he was always referred to as a ‘tycoon’ or an ‘entrepreneur’. I consciously look for such dodges now in newspaper articles, and am seldom disappointed; in current reporting, for example, of the escalating conflict between Israel and Palestine, deliberate focus is concentrated on the non-combatant status of all Israeli casualties. They are ‘innocents’ or ‘civilians’. When rare mention is made of Israeli attacks killing or wounding civilians, the paper is quick to add Israeli spokespersons assessed that at least 75% of the dead were ‘militants’.

      Like

      1. I was watching al-Beeb s’Allah’s reporting of the current wave of violence in i-Srael/Gaza Strip etc. etc. and it uses the phrase “XX casualties in Gaza and XX Israeli’s killed.” Not “Palesinian casualties in Gaza.” It’s this kind of otherism language that the Brits excel at. You don’t have to be pro-Palestinian or i-Ranian or whatever to get tired of this coded b/s. The media treats people like idiots and then wonders why they go instead to ‘alternative’ news sites on the internet. Just do your f/king job!

        Like

  76. TK News: Reporters Once Challenged the Spy State. Now, They’re Agents of It
    https://taibbi.substack.com/p/reporters-once-challenged-the-spy

    News companies are pioneering a new brand of vigilante reporting, partnering with spy agencies they once oversaw

    Matt Taibbi

    What a difference a decade makes.

    Just over ten years ago, on July 25, 2010, Wikileaks released 75,000 secret U.S. military reports involving the war in Afghanistan. The New York Times, The Guardian, and Der Spiegel helped release the documents, which were devastating to America’s intelligence community and military, revealing systemic abuses that included civilian massacres and an assassination squad, TF 373, whose existence the United States kept “protected” even from its allies….
    ####

    A lot more at the link.

    It’s all part of putting the (internet) genie back in the bottle. The second from last paragraph I think is a significant part.

    It’s all getting a bit Buck Rogers. When he is discovered in the 25th century he is the only being not chipped/tracked/databased since birth… which makes him useful for special missions…

    Like

    1. That’s another winner – you are on fire. Sad, really, to read, and you can’t help thinking despairingly, “What are the chances that any truth at all will get past the filters of mainstream media?” And the success of the policy is reflected in the smug self-assuredness of the chowderheads who confidently correct you that indeed there was ample and clear evidence of the Russians hacking the American election, of direct collusion between Donald Trump and the Kremlin, and of numerous Russian plots and poisonings around the world, not to mention China’s ‘horrible human-rights record’ (seriously? When the USA publicly and proudly embargoes everything going into Venezuela and steals its money banked abroad to prevent the government from humanitarian aid?) and its terrifying state surveillance programs.

      Like

      1. They’re certainly keep a handful of the awkward squad on hand to do an article or two a year in the PPNN (like the Guardian and others do) just to prove that they are not propaganda outlets with little difference between them, and also that they can be kept an eye on and anyone who reads them too. For their own safety of course!

        Like

  77. BBC RUSSIA goes great guns for “Navalny’s Doctor” in a huge puff piece on Vasilyeva:

    “Я считала, что Путин замечательный”. Кто такая “врач Навального” Анастасия Васильева

    “I thought Putin was wonderful.” Who is “Navalny’s doctor” Anastasia Vasilyeva
    Vladimir Dergachev, Anna Rynda, Natalia Zotova
    The BBC
    April 7, 2021

    The BBC clearly thinks that its Russian readership has respect for the objectivity and truthfulness of its reporting, which everyone knows is without parallel in Free World, because, you know, all of occupied Europe used to secretly tune in to the BBC during WWII, desperately waiting for news about when plucky Albion would free the continent from the Nazi yoke, listening with hope to the morse signal for V beamed out from Broadcasting House. It’s the same with Radio Liberty/Radio Free Europe — another beacon of hope and liberty for the oppressed masses of Eastern Europe.

    Like

    1. Mmm.. I don’t suppose it will be mentioned that she is an ophthalmologist by specialty, and that she knows about as much as any other boob on the street about chemical/biological weapons and nerve agents and ‘poisoning’. It will be assumed that because she has ‘doctor’ in front of her surname, she knows the entire field of medicine and is qualified to speak authoritatively on any of its topics.

      Like

  78. Link, which I forgot to insert above:

    “Я считала, что Путин замечательный”. Кто такая “врач Навального” Анастасия Васильева


    She had the temerity to tell a court here that she only lives on modest means.

    Like hell she does! She is from a privileged background and lives in an extremely affluent part of Moscow —gated community and all that, former Soviet State dacha territory.

    Recently divorced (her “trade union” activity caused the marriage breakup, reports the BBC), two children, former father-in-law an FSB general. Former husband a surgeon at the First Surgical department of the Central Clinical Hospital, officially “The Central Clinical Hospital of the Presidential Administration of the Russian Federation”, a heavily guarded facility seven miles northwest of the Kremlin in an exclusive, wooded suburban area known as Kuntsevo. It is considered to be the best hospital in Russia. The Kuntsevo forest, by the way, is where Stalins “Nearest Dacha” is situated. When it was built, Kuntsevo was beyond the city limits and very rural. Vasilyeva’s former father-in-law is an FSB general.

    See, she’s just an ordinary gal!

    The BBC reports that she became acquainted with the Bullshitter after “green paint” had been thrown in his face, and she too is quoted as saying that.

    Do these Russian nationals who are BBC hirelings really know what they are talking about?

    It was not “green paint” that allegedly damaged the gobshite’s eye: it was a green tinctured antiseptic solution commonly used here.

    The damage was allegedly so great to the Bullshitter’s eye that he had to fly off to Barcelona for consultation there with an ophthalmologist, who was described as a leader in his field. He flew off there with his wife, of course.

    Coincidentally, on the same day as the above BBC puff piece appeared, Tsargrad published the following on Vasilyeva:

    “АЛЬЯНС ТРЕПАЧЕЙ”: РАСКРЫТА ЗАГАДКА ЛЖЕДОКТОРОВ НАВАЛЬНОГО

    ALLIANCE OF BULLSHITTERS: THE MYSTERY OF NAVALNY’S FALSE DOCTORS IS REVEALED

    Amid the present pandemic and the crisis in the oil industry, it is clear to everyone that the situation in the world and in the country is a most difficult one. And the easiest thing now, of course, is to criticize, and even better — to create speculations about “the inactivity of the government” and that “there will soon be a collapse”, which is, in fact, what the well-known oppositionists have actively begun to do, releasing portions of poisonous lies and fakes about the organization of the fight against the spread of infection.

    But even this should have some kind of limit — only the “Navalnyites” have no such limits. And a clear example of this kind of provocation aimed at causing revulsion in society is the the story of the trade union “Alliance of Doctors” attempted delivery to one of the hospitals in the Nizhny Novgorod of medical masks for doctors, which “trade union” is opposition controlled and headed by Navalny’s former personal ophthalmologist Anastasia Vasilyeva.

    “I need a maid at my mansion. I won’t be offended by your salary.”

    Few people had known about Anastasia Vasilyeva, a former ophthalmologist, before she began to head a certain “Alliance of Doctors”, which has positioned itself as an independent trade union of workers in the medical industry. And this organization literally immediately miraculously joined Navalny’s trade union organization.

    Which, in general, is not surprising.

    The situation in the health care sector has clearly deteriorated in recent years as a result of the efforts of well-known personalities, about whom “Tsargrad” has spoken about more than once. And any performances under the guise of “protection” naturally resonate.

    But in reality, the “Alliance”, having become one of the subdivisions of Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Fund, actually just rocks the boat, making good copy for puff pieces, which, of course, is picked up with the help of the foreign media support of the “Fund for the Struggle Against Corruption” [FBK].

    Vasilyeva, as she herself has she has already said in an interview before Navalny took her under the wing, worked as an assistant at the Department of Eye Diseases and received 25 thousand rubles. Plus, by her own admission of this middle-aged blonde, “gratitude from patients”.

    A pretty picture? It sure is!.

    Except that attentive activists from the “Anti-Corruption Bubble Foundation”, a parody of the Navalnyite FBK, discovered that the woman had managed to buy herself a luxurious estate in an elite village in the Istra district: two cottages on a half-hectare plot, a garage for several cars, a terrace with a barbeque for shashlik, a park, and greenhouses.

    Not bad, though! Either the “gratitude from patients” was substantial, or the “unearned income” of the trade union leader was.

    And before that, according to some sources, she lived in a four-room apartment in Moscow: her ad (the contact number, at least, is listed by Vasilyeva) for a governess for children still hangs on a housekeeper search website:

    “I need a live-in nanny for my 5 and 6-and-a-half-year-old children. Moscow, 4 bedroom apartment. Salary discussed in person. I shall not make an offending offer.”

    2 Percent Dissertation of a Candidate of Medical Sciences

    The history of Vasilyeva’s acquaintance with Navalny is also known.

    Several years ago, the “main oppositionist” started having vision problems, and fate somehow brought them together. In fact, she became his personal ophthalmologist.

    How this happened is also questionionable. The fact is that Anastasia Vasilyeva is very proud of her Ph.D. thesis. And Aleksei Navalny is no less zealous in persecuting those who steal dissertations.

    But, as Ilya Remeslo, a lawyer and member of the Public Chamber of Russia, has found out, having studied Vasilyeva’s scientific research and having passed the work through the Antiplagiat resource, the dissertation originality is only 2 percent, and in it, what is called “incorrect borrowing”, is as much as 82 percent!

    An excellent specialist, huh?

    However, throughout the entire time during which the Alliance’s resources have been used, it should be noted, they have only been used in an inadequate way: yes, from time to time Vasilyeva and her fellow union members have spoken up, but there have been no truly high-profile cases.

    How and what the trade union has been living on all this time, claiming to exist on the dues of its members in as many as 31 regions of Russia, is a mystery. The same Ilya Remeslo found out, for example, that the Alliance of Doctors had spent only 18 thousand rubles in 2018.

    In that case, what money did the union work on for almost six months? Vasilyeva does not report anything about this in her report to the Ministry of Justice. It becomes obvious that the “union” does double-entry bookkeeping, existing at the expense of money that it does not officially report on

    believes a member of the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation.

    “Doctors are working in Pampers!”

    The finest hour of the Alliance and Anastasia herself came with the beginning of the coronavirus epic. Now they could really set to work!

    She publishes “doctors’ complaints” about how bad everything is, but, of course, without signatures and specifics and without specifying exact data about medical institutions.

    One such complaint refers to a call from a certain nurse in one of the capital’s clinics, who claims that doctors walk around for eight hours in diapers.

    However, despite the difficult times, the doctors themselves were pretty amused: the fact is that once the head physician of Kommunarka Denis Protsenko on his Facebook gave an example of the dedication of his Chinese colleagues, writing how they, in fact, wore adult diapers so that they could work night and day because there was a real rush on at work and there was simply no time for rest and shift changes.

    And the “trade union lady” apparently decided to seize this hype and pass it off as Russian reality.

    It is strange, by the way, that she has not yet been brought to justice for spreading fakes (how else should one call this?)

    It turns out to be pure PR on pandemics.

    And the most striking event was the story of an attempt to bring medical masks to one of the hospitals in the Nizhny Novgorod region, following which action Navalny elevated his colleague to the rank of “Hero Doctor”.

    Having escaped from quarantine, she became a heroine.

    There is no doubt that this whole spectacle with the masks was planned and orchestrated. Navalny has given her a decent and, in fact, a key place in his next “exposé” issue.

    This classic method of spreading fakes is similar in principle to the behaviour of the coronavirus itself, or any nasty infection, for that matter.

    First, they threw in the news that the “Alliance of Doctors” (a completely incomprehensible structure, positioning itself as a kind of independent trade union of doctors) was announcing that it would hold the largest “medical public action” in the history of the country to raise funds for masks.

    By the way, the goal was chosen precisely — a clear blow to the short-sightedness of regional and municipal authorities, which had blatantly failed to provide pharmacy chains with these basic means of protection.

    Masks — of course! After all, this is what all sorts of specialists from all screens and sites are talking about as the primary measure to ensure their own safety. And they are not. More precisely, even before the introduction of large-scale measures to prevent coronavirus, masks were quickly bought up by wholesalers, and now they speculate on them, selling them on the Internet on specialized portals.

    And the notorious Alliance, it turns out, knows where to get them. And collects money for this.

    A smart move? You bet!

    Navalny himself declares that he has transferred the money for a good cause, so come on, you people who care, donate as well!

    To be continued …

    Like

  79. Continued from above . . .

    Whose side are you on, citizens?

    Everything would be fine, and the cause would be really good, if it were not for a number of things.

    First of all, when announcing the fundraising, Vasilyeva (or, let’s be honest, Navalny speaking through her) said that they would not just hand the masks out, but also conduct a kind of “inspection” of hospitals.

    We’ll go all over Russia to inspect medical institutions and bring funds to medics where the state can’t provide them with such protection

    says Vasilyeva into a camera in front of a kind of corridor, apparently intended to give the viewer the impression that the film is being shot in a medical institution.

    Perhaps, however, this is some kind of abandoned polyclinic — it is not clear. But it is clear that no one has the right to film anywhere in a working hospital, especially given the current situation.

    She claims that they, Navalnyite “alliance-unionists”, are obligated to “protect and ensure the rights of doctors” who “from all over the country simply demand” that they come and be shown that they have nothing.

    Then, after a while, a woman appears in the frame (behind, in the distance, a traffic police car, not an ambulance) with her face covered up to her eyes with a mask, posing as an ambulance paramedic. She is standing next to the organizer of the “action” and says: “We are very grateful to you, dear people from the Alliance, that you have not left us: there is nothing anywhere, and you, our benefactors, have saved us.

    Then some cars drive down the federal highway and carry something, like masks.

    Coronavirus parody of Lena Letuchaya [TV presenter/journalist — ME}

    But, Madame Vasilyeva, here are two questions.

    First. Let me ask you, on what grounds are you now thinking of conducting “inspections”? If you claim to be a doctor, you must at least be aware that WHO —not Putin — declared a pandemic; you must not allow any public servants, or anyone else, to enter medical institutions.

    Well, here we have another “Lena Letuchaya” with her revisionist tendencies during the quarantine!

    Second question. Again, I am sorry, I have to make a reference to the profession to which you claim to belong. They have announced a self-imposed isolation regime, and now a certain caravan is on its way from Moscow, which is currently hosting the largest number of people infected with the disease and from where the infection began to spread across the country, claiming it is carrying what is essentially humanitarian cargo.

    You know, there is no need to make up conspiracy theories, but this very “gift” not coordinated with anyone could be a large-scale diversion.

    Imagine that the masks, so to speak, are impregnated with some chloroform, or even infected with some virus, and then they will be put on by doctors. What will happen? But the organizers will always have an excuse: the Chekists are saying that they poisoned the people.

    In general, the action with the masks turned out to be a sham.

    And everyone who was directing and staging it, understood how it would end. By the way, it is not excluded that the rabble rousers themselves leaked the route of the Alliance to the law enforcers. They just called and asked the question: can we take such a highway and bring the cargo of medical supplies? Permission? A license? Approval? No, no, we don’t have any, and why?

    That’s all, it’s enough just to do the inspection.

    But then it gets even more interesting.

    First of all, guys, where is the money you collected from gullible fellow citizens and allegedly paid for the announced masks? And were there any at all, these masks?

    Secondly, if there were, then where are they, may I ask? So no one can get them, there are no pharmacies, and you got them somewhere? That’s curious, though. You’re not behind this sabotage with the masks bought up all over the country, are you?

    Well, no, of course not.

    There were only three handouts from the notorious Doctors Alliance with masks that no one actually saw.

    Provocation.

    The police detain the shipment and take the people who identified themselves as its owners away to explain themselves. What’s wrong with that?

    They figure it out and let her go. She also managed to post a timeline of the events from her “detention”.

    But Alexei Navalny makes a statement:

    A doctor in the world during an epidemic: a hero. A Doctor’s Union in the world: a respected organization 1 they help doctors. Russia: the leader of the doctors’ union was detained, beaten, spent the night in a cell, and now sits in court awaiting sentencing for the crime: delivering protective equipment to colleagues

    he writes.

    So that’s how he does it, huh?

    It’s about half true, isn’t it? And about the hero doctors, and about the union. But all the same — a lie.

    What has Vasilyeva done during the epidemic that she has been elevated to the rank of “hero”? Does she save people’s lives?

    And why is the incomprehensible, completely captive (in relation to the FBK) Alliance suddenly called a trade union?

    Here’s what happens: no matter how you call a fake, it doesn’t become true. This is best illustrated by the last sentence of Chief Vasilyeva’s boisterous statement. Who beat her? What conviction? What crime? Hello, Monsieur Lawyer!

    Firstly, if the police officers injured Citizen Vasilyeva, and it is confirmed, they should be held criminally liable.

    Secondly, a crime is an act prohibited by the Criminal Code, and there is a specific list of articles defining a violation of the law.

    Thirdly, a verdict is passed by a court.

    Otherwise, everything she said is an empty set of big words.

    Bit different to the above BBC take on the lying scheming bitch!

    Like

  80. Should have been italicized above from “What has Vasilyeva done. . “‘ to “an empty set of big words” as that part of the text is a translation from Tsargrad.

    Tsargrad doesn’t call her a lying, scheming bitch: I do!

    Like

    1. 05.03.2021 12:24

      The Ministry of Justice “found” foreign sponsors from 8 countries from the “Alliance of Doctors”. The union itself does not know about these payments
      The Alliance of Doctors has no information about the receipt of funding from citizens of the countries indicated in Ministry of Justice documents. The press secretary of the trade union, Aleksandra Zakharova, told Open Media about this. The Ministry of Justice officially added the “Alliance of Doctors” to the list of non-governmental organizations-foreign agents on March 5. The relevant information appeared on the official website of the ministry. According to the register, 8 foreign citizens — from Singapore, Finland, Germany, Great Britain, the Czech Republic, Norway, Belarus and the Ukraine —provided financial assistance to the trade union. “We exist on the membership fees of Russian doctors and on donations from Russian citizens who are not indifferent to the problems of medicine in Russia”, Zakharova stressed.



      Photos: screenshot from the Ministry of Justice website

      It follows from the Ministry of Justice documents that the Alliance of Doctors “influences the development and implementation of state policy, the formation of state bodies, local self-government bodies, their decisions and actions” and involves minors in it. The inclusion of the Alliance of Doctors in the list of non-profit organizations (NPOs) performing the function of a foreign agent became known on March 3. Then the organization’s press secretary, Aleksandra Zakharova, told Open Media that the alliance had not yet received any notification of recognition as a foreign agent. “This is as much news for us as it is for you. We are waiting for explanations from the Ministry of Justice”, she said.

      The Doctors ‘ Alliance is an independent trade union created by ophthalmologist Anastasia Vasilyeva to protect the interests of health workers. In November 2019, the Alliance held a series of single-person pickets “For decent Medicine” in more than 20 cities of the country against the dismissal of doctors and their unfair criminal prosecution. At the end of March last year, the Alliance of Doctors launched an All-Russian inspection aimed at checking the readiness of hospitals to fight the pandemic. In its framework, the head of the trade union Vasilyeva announced the collection of money for the purchase of protective equipment for doctors. In April, the alliance was accused of spreading fakes that medical institutions are not ready to receive patients owing to a lack of pre-trial detention facilities and ventilators. The Federal News Agency (FAN), which is linked to “Putin’s chef” Yevgeny Prigozhin, also asked the police to check Vasilyeva’s video message to doctors.

      Note: “Open Media” is an organ of convicted criminal and accessory to murder suspect Saint Mikhail of the Gulag Khodorkovsky.

      Like

          1. Yes, that is a classic product placement. Note that both bottle have the Coke local position for maximum visibility and are at the lower center of the picture where eyes are naturally drawn to. Perhaps she is just trying to ingratiate herself to the drink manufacture or show that she highly values Western products. In any event, its trite and demeaning groveling but she may think that is a good thing to do in the West to gain advancement. And she would be correct.

            Like

            1. I don’t think much of a doctor who would allow her children to drink such sugary shite.

              As for me, Russian patriot that I am, I used to buy my sprogs this (below)and tell them it was Russian Coca-Cola and much better than that USA product:

              It is not made with Baikal water, though, but the name suggests, I think, the purity of the product.

              In fact, the composition of the drink was developed in the USSR in 1973 by the All-Union Research Institute of the Beer and Non-Alcoholic Industry( VNII PBP). In those days, beer was not considered to be an alcoholic drink: it was just a “wet” before hitting “the hard stuff”.

              I have never liked Coca-Cola. Even as a child I was not over fond of it, but I have always liked “Baikal” and first tried it when I arrived in the USSR. My children still drink it.

              As it happens, Baikal was commissioned to create an analogue of Coca-Cola and Pepsi. Production of the drink was established at a factory in Moscow. The composition and technology of preparing the new Soviet drink “Baikal” was kept as an official secret.

              The main composition of the drink is, of course, water, sugar, citric acid, carbon dioxide. However, it is full of natural extracts, which include extracts of:

              • sage,
              • wormwood bitters,
              • angelica root,
              • gentians,
              • cardamom;
              • hop oil,
              • eucalyptus oil,
              • bay leaf oil,
              • natural apple flavor,
              • elderflower extract,
              • licorice root extract.

              See Russian Wiki Байкал

              Like

              1. The picture is missing a carton of Camel cigarettes, unfiltered.

                That is a really good point about the good doctor seemingly promoting a drink no one regards as being healthy and especially regarding consumption by children. We may have had Baikal during our frequent eating at a food stand outside the hotel in Moscow. We liked the food. It was prepared by one very hard working guy who ran the stand, made the food, took care of the customer, etc. Fast food service in the US is absolutely dismal as the typical demographics of the fast food worker is also typical demographic of the $600/week pandemic relief beneficiary. They make an equivalent of $15/hour for doing nothing (fast food jobs pay far less) except spending the money. Tens of millions are living the dream and no political wants to wake them up.

                Meanwhile inflation is raising its head. Building materials for homes have risen by 400% (yes, that’s right) in a year. And, the reasons are not clear as it is certainly not demand driven. A 2×4 stud now costs $8. A year ago, it was $2 and occasionally can be bought for $1. Why? Is Canada the problem? Screwing with us over that pipeline deal? Just joking but why the price surge?

                Like

                1. The demand for finished lumber far outstrips the supply; it’s the same here. So many people are out of work and stuck at home with nothing to do, and a regular stipend from the government encourages them to get on with renovation while they have plenty of free time. Something else that is insane is the real-estate market; only in April, a house listed in the area I live was on the market for only two days, listed for $1.2 Million and sold for more than $400,000.00 OVER the asking price after a fierce battle of competing offers.

                  https://www.timescolonist.com/real-estate/most-houses-selling-for-over-list-price-in-red-hot-victoria-market-1.24314125

                  It wasn’t that long ago that $400.000,00 was the average price for a home in Victoria, and someone bid that much above the asking price to get it.

                  Real-estate prices have gone crazy all over Canada; in Nova Scotia, cited reasons are out-of-province buyers (many from Ontario), an existing lack of inventory pre-pandemic, and a lot of people deciding to retire and leave the workforce, including in the construction industry.

                  https://novascotiarealestate.pro/nova-scotia-real-estate-market-outlook-for-2021/

                  Nova Scotia used to be the have-not province everyone wanted to leave; I grew up there myself, although I was born here on Vancouver Island.

                  Like

                2. There is no doubt that demand is outstripping supply but is the demand at historic highs? After looking at this:

                  https://www.ibisworld.com/united-states/market-research-reports/lumber-wholesaling-industry/

                  he Lumber Wholesaling industry is expected to grow over the five years to XXX, albeit at a subdued rate. Demand for industry products depends on the level of activity in downstream construction markets, new housing starts and on home remodeling activity, all of which are expected to grow during the outlook period. Although downstream construction activity tends to demonstrate a significant degree of cyclicality, the total value of construction trends in line with overall economic cycles. Nonetheless, industry growth is expected to be limited due to competition from substitute products, import competition from downstream markets, and the economic downturn tied to the coronavirus pandemic. Consequently, IBISWorld expects industry revenue to grow only…

                  the market seems tepid. You gotta pay to see the numerical data but the description suggests modest growth. But then there is this:

                  https://tradingeconomics.com/commodity/lumber

                  showing a surge in demand likely due to the contraction in 2020. However, I wonder how much of th 400% is from general inflation and how much from spot shortages.

                  Like

                3. “Nonetheless, industry growth is expected to be limited due to competition from substitute products…:

                  Uhhh….what substitute products? There are a number of wood substitutes, notably sawdust/glue/recycled-plastic composites, that are ideal for use in wet conditions or for building boat ramps and docks, because they work like wood but don’t rot. But all of them which enjoy some advantage over wood, such as the aforementioned resistance to rot or greater structural strength, are more expensive than wood. Which kind of begs the question why anyone in his right mind would use them in circumstances where basic lumber would do as well. If they have any amount of wood content, then their price should still be higher than wood. You can increase the concrete content in a structure, maybe, and save a little, but nobody has figured out how to frame using wet concrete, and there is even extensive use of plywood in building dams and reinforcements for pouring concrete walls and floors.

                  New building seems to have pulled back a little, but that only makes existing houses more expensive because of fewer new-builds on the market.

                  I imagine it will settle out in awhile, but in Canada a lot of migration is internal, and a lot of homes are being bought by Canadians from other provinces; there is particular interest in getting out of Alberta and Ontario as they are COVID hotspots. Additionally, I still see a lot of Alberta and Ontario license plates, and someone observant clued me in to look and see how many of them are pickup trucks. A lot of them belong to Albertans and Ontarians who are living here now because they have come to work construction in BC, and are not tourists.

                  Like

          2. Yes the whole photo looks very staged: well-dressed children and the mother with their heads forming one a natural arc that then focuses viewer attention to the oranges and the bottles of Coca Cola. Christmas decorations in the background. The entire picture oozes sentimentality. That was intentional.

            Like

  81. Global car manufacturers could lose as much as $110 billion due to the ongoing shortage of semiconductor chips, according to consulting firm AlixPartners.

    https://www.rt.com/business/523777-chip-shortage-costs-automakers-billions/

    It’s blamed on Iphone and Ipad sales yet, given the large losses, auto companies should be willing to pay top dollar for the chips. If they are, it’s without success.

    Mobile phone sales are up 13% YOY but not enough to account for the chip shortage. Someone is yanking the chain of US and European manufacturers.

    https://www.rcrwireless.com/20210419/devices/smartphone-market-expected-to-rebound-this-year

    China’s automakers seem to be having fewer shortages.

    https://www.scmp.com/tech/tech-trends/article/3132813/semiconductor-shortage-sees-chinas-carmakers-chip-suppliers-join

    Just saying…

    Like

    1. Would be interesting to get a better idea of what she hopes to gain by getting citizenship?

      Will she speak out on politics using her status to gain attention?

      She will always be an American in Russia – so why not just keep visiting. She could turn into a headache.

      Like

      1. I see nothing wrong about her intentions. Political diversity is fine as long as it is understood that working on the behalf of foreign powers or seeking destruction of one’s (adopted) country is not to be tolerated. Does she intend to promote a color revolution? I highly doubt it but if she does, she should be deported right quick.

        Like

        1. Suzanne Massie has been a frequent visitor to the USSR / Russia over the past 38 years. She has written books on Russian culture and history. Apparently she was the one who told President Reagan as his advisor on all things Soviet the saying “Доверяй, но проверяй” (“doveryai no proveryai” meaning “trust but verify” in English).

          She’s 90 years old so she must have some strong reason to want Russian citizenship at her age with children and grandchildren in the US. She wouldn’t need Russian citizenship to carry out a Color Revolution; in all her past visits to Russia, if she had intended to promote regime change by stealth, she would have made a point of meeting intellectuals, artists, film-makers and media people – not a bunch of computer-crazy haemophiliac kids. She must understand that if she does obtain Russian citizenship, she might be compelled to leave the US and she might never see her children or grandchildren again.

          Like

    2. Strange days indeed, as John Lennon was heard to remark. I share Andrei’s confidence that she will be given citizenship, because she is a significant catch; while Reagan was certainly no socialist, he did some amazingly socialist things, such as busting the ATC strike by firing all the controllers. I’m sure he had different reasons and did it so that commerce could continue, but it was just the way a dictator would teach a lesson to a bunch of smarmy liberals who had formed a trade union so they could go on strike and coerce pay raises and more favourable conditions and so on. The Republicans hate trade unions, but not because they hate freedom. Anyway, having a Reaganite living in the Evil Empire would be just too good to pass up.

      Like

  82. Euractiv: Russian ambassador: Moscow and EU need to pull themselves out of ‘this mess’
    https://www.euractiv.com/section/global-europe/interview/russian-ambassador-moscow-and-eu-need-to-pull-themselves-out-of-this-mess/

    In a wide-ranging interview, the Russian Ambassador to the EU, Vladimir Chizhov, discussed the current tensions against the background of purported covert operations by Russian military intelligence GRU on EU soil, jailed dissident Alexei Navalny, the Sputnik vaccine, and the upcoming Economic Forum in St Petersburg.

    Vladimir Chizhov is a career diplomat. Before being appointed ambassador to the EU in 2005, he was Russia’s deputy minister of foreign affairs. He spoke to EURACTIV’s senior editor Georgi Gotev in an in-person meeting on 12 May. …
    ####

    The rest at the link.

    Chizov is quite funny and takes down invertibrate russophobe Georgi Gotev and his stupid questions when he could have asked normal ones.

    Like

    1. Yes, he acquitted himself well, and closed with a positive statement that should have won him an Oscar; we are part of the same civilization. It would be nice to think so, but the west is weak, with its chittering and lockstep loyalty to the United States even as Uncle Sam pisses over its head, and degenerate in its preoccupation with all the rainbow queerios, making sure they all have their rights and recognition out of all proportion to their numbers, because the people ;love wedge issues. Russia and Europe are not, really, part of the same civilization. But they might be part of a new and revitalized economy, if Brussels but had the nerve to tell Uncle Sam “no”.

      He brought up an interesting point, or highlighted one from a perspective I had not seen; another reason to drag one’s feet on certifying the Sputnik vaccine in the EU is that it implies travel restrictions for Russians, and for those countries which use it.

      I will not willingly take any vaccine, although the mRNA vaccines appear the most dangerous; I saw a video the other night, a sweet old grandmotherly type who had been a doctor since the 80’s, explaining things about macrophage types and autoimmune disorders, and I have to say she was very convincing – let me see if I can find it again. Yeah…here it is.

      https://www.bitchute.com/video/Dccv1kgGBBLl/

      Not everyone agrees with her, but she scared the shit out of me with her description of how damaging the spike protein can be, and the implication that injecting it into your body is like permission for it to reproduce itself over and over. And it’s a decision that cannot be reversed, and a circumstance that cannot be reversed, once started. Will our miraculous bodies devise some work-around to blunt the effects of crackpot science? We won’t have long to wait to find out; she reckons the autoimmune-deficiency reactions should start causing serious problems within a year.

      Like

      1. Thanks for that link, Mark. I watched 40 minutes of it and may watch the rest later. Her remark about removing the battery from a fire alarm is very acute. I have a problem associating everyone working to produce vaccines as Bond villains but do share scepticism about the Covid herding. It’s too close to the

        “Carousel Time!”

        announcements of “Logan’s Run.” I’m deflecting pressure from family members to join them in Vaccined Heaven.

        “You won’t be able to go to Spain”. Well: so be it. If I had the moral courage of Reinette the interviewer (around the 38 minute mark) I’d add: “And don’t think I’ll be caring for you when you’re all pegging out from the complications.”

        Like

        1. That’s sort of my mental conversation, too.

          Them (meaning not my relatives, just people I vaguely know): “I don’t understand why you won’t get the shot. It’s proved safe and effective. If you don’t mind my saying so, it’s just incredibly selfish that you won’t help your community.”

          Me: “Enjoy your autoimmune collapse in about a year.”

          Who knows? Perhaps they’re right; perhaps it IS safe and effective, up to a point, although actual evidence so far suggests it is neither. But maybe the early speed bumps will settle out, and the human system will stabilize and accept it, and if the old blue-hairs are less terrified and less sick because of it, I suppose it’s worth the money they spent on it, although there was never a need for everyone to take it and there was never a need to suspend living and hold our breath waiting. But I don’t mind saying “I was wrong”; I have been, lots of times, and I daresay I will be again. But I don’t think so, somehow; there are just too many things that are hinky about it, the suppression of dissent (funny story, my entire Disqus profile disappeared after a lengthy argument on a medical site, I’ve had that account probably 12 years), the constant blaring of propaganda, the coercion and the happy talk. It all just doesn’t fit with a medical miracle.

          Either way, I am unlikely to change my mind about my fellow citizens of the country and the world. I see the majority in a new light; zealots, proselytizers, willing to guilt you into something that might be harmful for the benefit of a self-righteous ‘community’ that really cares nothing for you except that you conform to the model. A common theme in newspaper editorial-page letters is “I’m sick and tired of hearing that we must treat vaccine hesitation with compassion. The time for compassion is past. It’s real simple (it always is, to those people); it’s just like a driver’s license. If you don’t have one, you can’t drive, and we don’t feel any need to explain it in sensitive terms.”

          So you might have spent your entire life paying into ‘the community’; into its healthcare systems that you’re not allowed to use because you should have gotten vaccinated when you had the chance, supporting its arts community whose concerts and spectacles you are no longer allowed to see unless they are outdoors, paying for its police forces whose special job it now is to keep you penned up and away from all the special-privileges crowd who took an experimental vaccine to get back a few of the things that were once considered everyone’s by right.

          When those people are coughing their lungs out in shreds, that’ll be just too bad. Like the Eagles sang, I guess every form of refuge has its price.

          Like

  83. RT.com: American ‘regime change’ specialists NED claim credit for Belarus protests & boast of funding Russian opposition during prank call
    https://www.rt.com/russia/523956-regime-change-belarus-prank/

    …In a video call posted on the online channel of pranksters Vovan and Lexus, senior representatives of the American agency disclosed that they have actively financed and supported anti-government campaigns in the region. The officials from the NED, which is funded by Congress and describes its role as “supporting freedom around the world,” also revealed that they are coordinating efforts with prominent political activists in a range of countries, including Russia…
    ####

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    1. Those guys are amazing. They deserve some sort of investigative journalism award. And it is amazing how Western officials take the bait. I guess the officials love to show off, take center stage to show the caller just how amazing and effective they are.

      Like

    2. It’s just like the sexy e-mails thing; people simply will not learn. By now every western government official should have been alerted to the possibility of a prank call by these two, but it continues to work every time although they ask ludicrously leading questions that should put the westerners on alarm vibrate. Goes to show what self-confident mugs are working in foreign postings.

      Along about 10:52 he says something about ‘of course we hope that one day we can start thinking about something like Yulia being President…’ Huh?? Who the hell is Yulia? He’s supposedly thinks he is talking to Tikhanouskaya, whose first name is Sveta or Svita. Does he not even know the name of the Dissident Empress-in-Exile of Belarus? Or is he talking about someone in Russia we have never heard of who is going to knock Putin off his perch?

      A pretty poor show all around. I guess it’s true that people are much more likely to believe you if you talk that freedom-and-democracy pablum.

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      1. I’m guessing the fellow was thinking of “Yulia” the Ukrainian Gas Princess. Goes to show how much these NED folks know about Belarus and Ukraine. The only thing Tsikhanovskaya and Timoshenko have in common is that in the English language their surnames begin with the letter “T”.

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        1. That’s what I thought, too, but Yulia has zero chance of ever being president of either Belarus OR Russia as she is not a citizen of either. You would think Job One would be the ability to address the person you’re talking to by name; anyone who’s selling anything can do it within 5 seconds of learning it.

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          1. Yulia has a better chance of becoming President of Belarus or Russia than the NED official has of finding either Belarus or Ukraine on a map with the promise of 100 free McDonald’s Wagyu burgers and a year’s supply of McDonald’s French fries if he gets either one correct.

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  84. Asia Times: Why Pakistan is changing its tune on the Taliban
    https://asiatimes.com/2021/05/why-pakistan-is-changing-its-tune-on-the-taliban/

    Islamabad no longer favors a Taliban total victory in Afghanistan as it seeks to balance its US and China relations

    In a strategic shift, Pakistan’s security establishment appears to see more geopolitical upside to an inclusive rather than Taliban-dominated Afghan government in Kabul when US troops fully withdraw by September 11.

    That marks a distinct flip of Pakistan’s previous position in favor of a Taliban total win over Kabul, one that violently ousts President Ashraf Ghani’s government and establishes a new Islamic emirate to the exclusion of non-Taliban and non-Pashtun groups. …
    ####

    More at the link.

    It’s an interesting article, but for me it is what is missing that is more interesting, namely the role of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia which has for decades funded the indoctrination/training/whatever of militants in Pakistan, for example Madrassas where kids from poor families get free education but under the tutelage of Saudi brand of extreme islam. Their relationship goes much further, Pakistan having been (allegedly) funded in producing nuclear weapons by KSA, which itself has its own SSM (Surface-to-Surface Missiles) but the warheads stored conveniently in Pakistan. More recently (2 years ago?), Pakistan turned down KSA ‘request’ for Pakistani troops to protect KSA’s frontier with Yemen, so it is clear that the relationship was already changing.

    In short, is Saudia Arabia pulling its resource funding for the Taliban via Pakistan? This may also well explain Pakistan’s shift on the Taliban in Afghanistan, but is not questioned in this article. If KSA wants a quiet life after their little genocidal war (fully backed by the west with their weapons/intel/contractors/whatever) in Yemen, peace with Qatar and more recently a rapprochement with i-Ran, pulling the plug or at least significantly restricting resources to the Taliban would have to be part of the plan for it to make sense and build any semblance of ‘trust’ in the neighborhood.

    Like

  85. Strategic Culture: America’s Crumbling Infrastructure: Transit
    https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2021/05/17/america-crumbling-infrastructure-transit/

    Every four years the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) measures the conditions of bridge, water and transportation infrastructure within the US and publishes its findings through the Infrastructure Report Card. In 2021, America’s Cumulative Infrastructure Grade is C-, that is worse than “mediocre”. Transit got a D- grade…
    ####

    More at the link.

    We’ve posted about this in the past, so this update is welcome. The overall score is a ‘C-‘*

    Infrastrucure is not financially or politically sexy in the USA so it gets a pass. Germany’s infrastructure also needs a significant upgrade but politics there is hooked on the religion of a ‘balanced budget’ (aka ‘fiscal conservatism’) even though infrastructure is critical.

    * https://infrastructurereportcard.org/

    Like

  86. Huh. Who knew? The world’s most-consumer resource, after water, is sand. And we’re running out of it. Which of course makes it sought-after, and worth stealing, so poachers rob it from anywhere they can get it, because it’s worth money.

    If you’re like me, you said, duh, there’s a couple of huge deserts of it, dude, I feel constrained to point out. Turns out THAT sand is, surprise! no good – too smooth and rounded, not grabby enough. The grabby stuff is either mined or taken from riverbeds or the sea bottom.

    https://asiatimes.com/2021/05/yes-its-true-the-world-is-running-out-of-sand/

    Like

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