Achtung!! Ve Have Vays Off Making You Not To Talk!


Customarily, I am not a fan of the play-by-play “Twitter” style post (I’m going into the coffee shop now…whoops! I spilled my goat’s-milk latte). But I just had to share this comedic moment with you – I have been banned from commenting at La Russophobe’s latest full-on crazy manifesto, Dying Russia.

Well, that didn’t take long. Four days, to be exact. A bit less than half the time I lasted at the original blog, La Russophobe. But that’s not the funny part. So eager was Krazy Kap’n Kimmie to get rid of me as a commenter, she banned me for use of profanity, because I said “Amnesty International simply pulled those numbers out of their ass”. No, I’m not kidding; see for yourself.

That’s right; “comment deleted for violation of posted comment publication guidelines regarding profanity”. So in the same thread that I am referred to as “psychotic and evil”, “the stupidest and most dishonest person on the planet”, a “putinophilic moron” (that’s the very Bohdan who gave The Kremlin Stooge its name), and an “inbred ape”, the ears of the readers must be protected from the word, “ass”.

You probably think that’s the funny part. No, it’s not. Or maybe the funny part is that there are no posted comment publication guidelines. Nope. The funny part is the content of the comment that was deleted. Beside the use of the word “ass” in describing where Amnesty International got its figures, it was a reply to the suggestion that I am the stupidest and most dishonest person on the planet. It read, in part “Have it your way. But wasn’t it you who wept about “the WOEFUL under-reporting of violence against women in Russia”…just 18 days after you personally advocated for the gang-raping of one of your fellow countrywomen? I couldn’t help noticing your standards regarding violence against women are a little pliable.”

Sho ’nuff. “If you saw the movie “Boys Don’t Cry,” you saw Hilary Swank portray a character being brutally gang raped. Until recently, we would never have suggested than any woman deserves such a fate. But now we can’t help but think that maybe Swank herself actually does.”

Oh, later on she says Swank should be murdered, after referring to her as a “cheap slut” and a “nasty little American bitch”. Note, though, friends and neighbours, that she never stoops to using the vulgarity, “ass”.

I thought the whole episode was pretty funny, and Anatoly and I did get a few good licks in. I particularly enjoyed the self-righteous post that wants you to know the word combination “Dying Russia” registers over 28 million google hits. When I pointed out that the same search technique yields 10 times that number of hits for the combination “American Fool”, I got this reply; “Better foolish than dead, you hopeless inbred ignoramus.”

Most of you are probably too young to remember the sixties Nazi prison-camp sitcom, “Hogan’s Heroes”. Incidentally, in one of those funny twists you sometimes run across, all the actors who played the senior German officers were actually Jewish. Anyway, that’s what the groupthink over at “Dying Russia” reminds me of; they’re like Nazis, but really stupid, bumbling Nazis who are constantly being outwitted, but are too slow to realize it.

So now, I guess I’ll have to go back to mocking her here instead of there. Auf Wiedersehen, Phobie; it was fun while it lasted.

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61 Responses to Achtung!! Ve Have Vays Off Making You Not To Talk!

  1. So eager was Krazy Kap’n Kimmie to get rid of me as a commenter, she banned me for use of profanity, because I said “Amnesty International simply pulled those numbers out of their ass”. No, I’m not kidding; see for yourself.

    Man, have some sensitivity. As a morbidly obese young woman sublimating her insecurities into Russophobia it’s understandable why your ass talk might disturb and upset her.

    • Chrisius Imperator Maximus Potensque says:

      We are assuming this person (if there is such a person) is young?

      • Yes. She writes like a young woman, at least that’s how it seems to me.

        I don’t know if the morbid obesity part is true, but the eXile claims it is, and that’s good enough for me!

        • marknesop says:

          It’s hard to say; Catherine Fitzpatrick writes like a young woman, too, at least in my interpretation. But according to her history in her own words, and events she says she attended in which she’d have to be at least in her late teens, she’d have to be in her 50’s now.

    • marknesop says:

      I forgot all that trash talk that was going around – especially the post at the eXile that you mention downthread – about “Kimmie” (not her real name, I imagine) being measured on the Richter scale rather than the bathroom scale. It’s funny, but I never visualize her that way. You know how you get a mental picture of people with whom you’re engaged in conversation – even if it’s only in writing – and it’s completely imaginary if you’ve never seen anything to inform what they look like. I see a woman of average build, probably late 30’s, with dyed blonde hair and those industrial-strength black framed eyeglasses that can be sexy on the right face. Maybe with a small mole on her left cheek. Of her face, I mean. Stiletto heels, because she’s kind of short, around 5′ 6″. Arrogant, my God, yes.

      But in fact she may well be just as eXile described. Remember that post that supposedly celebrated 2,000,000 hits at La Russophobe, that featured a photo of a half-dozen or so people leaping into the air on a sidewalk, holding signs that carried the figures “2000 000”? One of the ladies was…..a little heavy. I remember a commenter sent, “You look good in pink, Kim” (the little-bit-heavy lady was wearing a pink sweater, and she didn’t so much leap as shift her torso upward slightly), and she responded, “That’s not us, Idiot” or the public-relations equivalent. But would the budget at La Russophobe permit hiring some complete strangers for a photo-op? Isn’t that level of security a little bit silly anyway, like she’s a double-nought spy or something? And that ego – it must be a terrible struggle to remain anonymous.

      Unfortunately, the national security of the United States of America demands it.

    • yalensis says:

      Kimmie should be arrested for inciting rape and violence against Hilary Swank. Hilary needs to be protected against this she-monster. (I volunteer!) Meanwhile, Kimmie should be shipped off to Gitmo and waterboarded to pay for her terrible crime.

  2. kovane says:

    How could you betray Uncle Volodya like this? His picture graced every post here, and now you traded him for some Nazi grandee. I think we hit irreconcilable creative differences, and it’s time we part ways.

    • yalensis says:

      My dear kovane:
      Use of the word “Nazi grandee” is banned on this blog. We extended you the privilege of commenting here, and like the inbred ape you are you could not use it properly and thus lost it.
      You have the intelligence of a lemon and the manners of a spider.
      Sincerely yours,

    • kovane says:

      I didn’t realise that LR is an accomplished hacker as well – look how effortlessly she hacked yalensis’ account. Since she’s obviously such a multi-faceted individual, maybe there is something to her writing after all.

      • yalensis says:

        I am outraged, I say outraged! that LR hacked into my account and has been able to impersonate me, posting words that I myself would never say. I am furious! I will file a complaint with the appropriate authorities. My apologies to you, kovane, and I do hope this unfortunate incident did not cause you any unnecessary distress.

    • marknesop says:

      You’re just looking for an excuse to bail on your contract, and if you think you’re getting out of it without the agreed-upon 500 installments, there’ll be some lawyers coming around to see you that will make Putin’s goons look like Bolshoi dancers.

      • yalensis says:

        Ha ha, don’t you realize that Putin’s goons ARE Bolshoi dancers! That’s why the massive muscular thighs… they can kick you silly like a mule.

  3. yalensis says:

    re “stupid bumbling Nazis….” Have some pity on poor Colonel Klink, he was also so desperate for a promotion:

  4. yalensis says:

    @mark: Now, in terms of the actual content of the debate you had with LR:
    If I am understanding correctly, she claims that one Russian woman is murdered every hour by her husband, so your counterpoint is: Why, then, are Russian females still more numerous than Russian males, if they are being killed off at such a rate?
    Now, I remember reading somewhere that in developed countries husbands and wives kill each other at a more or less equal rate. Spousal BATTERING is a purely male phenomenon (men beat women, but women almost never beat men), however, out-and-out spousal KILLING is employed by both genders to good effect. For example, the disgruntled wife will greet her husband in the driveway with a loaded shotgun, and BAM! Hence, by this logic, Russian females cap their hubbies at an equal rate, and so the relative gender equality is maintained. Nice theory, huh? Unfortunately, I have absolutely NO facts to back this up, and am way too lazy to do any research into it.

    • marknesop says:

      Well, it is an interesting theory, and I hadn’t thought of that possibility. Kimmie obviously wouldn’t bring it up, because on most days she rationalizes the more Russians that are killed, the better, and even on her most generous days she rationalizes the more Russian men that are killed, the better. Besides, it would hardly help my argument that Russians are not a bunch of savages if I said, “So what, Russian women kill their husbands, too”.

      However, that theory doesn’t really get past the common-sense test, either. If Russian men and women killed each other in equal or approximately equal measure, those deaths would comprise almost two-thirds of the total for external causes of death. A phenomenon like that could hardly pass unremarked by anyone except Amnesty International. In a country where many of the roads are in bad shape, there are no safety-inspection standards for cars (to the best of my knowledge, but I could be wrong) and where traffic signals are often considered to be merely suggestions, it just doesn’t add up. Although alcoholism has tapered off considerably, being dead drunk in public is still a good deal more common there than it is here and alcohol is a great deal more accessible; alcohol has its own category for deaths based on the medical cause of death, but car crashes and murders perpetrated by drunks are not listed as a death due to alcohol. The numbers just don’t add up. Amnesty International might have observed 24 deaths of married women over a 24-hour period – I could certainly see that happening in a country that size with that population – but there’s no way that goes on day after day, year after year without some shrinking of the female population. Remember, the vast majority of those who supposedly die are of child-bearing age, so its reasonable to assume that would be having a negative effect on the overall population as well. But the difference in life expectancy is already figured into the ratio of men to women – .85 to 1.

      • 24 dead per day means 8760 dead per year. Practically insignificant.

        I also find it believable. Until recently, Russia’s murder rate was at 20/100,000, meaning around 30,000 murders per year. It’s plausible – if not likely, as vast majority of murders are men on men – for 25% of them to have been husband-wife killings, e.g. during or after a binge.

        • marknesop says:

          It’s not the numbers that bother me (well, of course they bother me, but I mean in terms of making sense); it’s the ratio. If the difference in life expectancy is already factored into the basic population numbers (ie: women outnumber men .85 to 1), how can Russia be losing nearly 9000 women from the childbearing group every year, and women still outnumber men? Are all those murdering husbands obligingly dying in their sleep after killing their wives?

          • There are 10 million more men than women in Russia. Next to that, 10,000 pales into insignificance.

            Population numbers have nothing to do with LE (and vice verse). Population, including the number of males and females, is obtained directly from censuses.

            • marknesop says:

              Well, that would certainly invalidate my entire theory. However, I didn’t take it from any figures that had anything to do with Life Expectancy, or at least only peripherally. I got them from here. The CIA World Factbook isn’t my favourite reference, but I used it because it is a beloved reference of Russophobes, so it would make a smackdown more devastating. My main argument with it is that information is sometimes years out of date, while the currency indicator at the bottom says it is accurate as of whatever day you happen to check it.

              The figures specifically show sex ratio, men to women, and the only time males ever outnumber females (at least according to this reference) is from birth to age 15 – 1.06 to 1. Males start to lose ground during the time period when they’re supposedly all killing their wives – 15 to 65, where they have slipped to a ratio of .92 to 1. After age 65 men fall off a cliff, dropping to a ratio of .44 to 1. However, the final figure expresses the ratio over all age groups, and reports that women outnumber men in Russia 1 to .85. I allowed for the difference in LE, which gives women an advantage of 15 in every 100 Russians.

              But I offered my conclusions in terms whereby I cannot be wrong – either Amnesty International is pulling their figures out of their ass, or the CIA World Factbook is full of shit. And I’m still happy with that, because both cannot be right.

      • hoct says:

        “In a country where… there are no safety-inspection standards for cars (…) and where traffic signals are often considered to be merely suggestions.”

        The land of the free it is!

    • Giuseppe Flavio says:

      LR cites a VOA article from Dec. 2005, which is based on an Amnesty Int. report published the some month. It is here. Look at par. “GOVERNMENT STATISTICS”, the data come from that part. The number of 9000 women killed by their partners is consistent with the “one woman every one hour”. Although high, it’s not so high to reverse the male/female ratio.
      The problem with LR reporting is that, first it’s old data, second such numbers must be put in context, that is to say compared with those of other countries and with the overall homicide rate. Here is some data I got from various sources for 2005, like Wikipedia and this

      homicide x 100000 Domestic violence homicides population
      USA 5.6 1687 (female+male) ca. 300m
      Russia 25 9000 (female only?) ca. 143m
      Italy 1.04 213 (female+male) ca. 58m

      the domestic homicide rate according to this data is 6.3 x 100000 for Russia, 0.37 for Italy, 0.56 for the US. Comparing this total homicide rates, domestic ones are around 1/4 of the total for Russia, 1/3 for Italy, 1/10 for the US.
      So, in conclusion, from an Italian viewpoint you Russians are barbarians, the Americans are barbarians too, but less than Russians, or we Italians are really sissies.

      • Giuseppe Flavio says:

        And that table came out really bad…

      • It makes total sense that more Russian deaths come from domestic brawls (with male on female homicides a big subset of that) because the vast majority of Russian homicide deaths in general (75%, in the mid-2000’s) involve alcoholic intoxication. (Hence, why trends in deaths from alcohol poisoning and homicides match almost perfectly in Russia).

        In the US and especially Italy, I would imagine a much larger percentage of homicides come from turf wars between Organized Crime groupings. That is certainly the case in the US, where homicide rates outside inner city ghettos are basically at European levels. Naturally, homicides as products of criminal infighting will be almost entirely male dominated.

        • Giuseppe Flavio says:

          In the US and especially Italy, I would imagine a much larger percentage of homicides come from turf wars between Organized Crime groupings. Perhaps it is so in the US, given the low (10%) incidence of domestic violence, but in 2005 organized crime was responsible for 139 ot of 601 homicides, i.e. less than 25%.
          Just out of curiosity, do you know the most recent data about domestic homicides and homicides due to alcohol? From 2005 to 2010 total homicides x 100000 dropped from 25 to 15 but I don’t have a breakdown of the data.

      • yalensis says:

        Everybody knows that Italians are a sweet and gentle people who would never harm a fly…. 🙂

      • grafomanka says:

        A curious case are stats on child death as a result of abuse/neglect. Russia reported 2 000 death last year – comparable stats for UK and US are around 1 700 deaths. Now Russia has smaller population than US but all the same I expected Russian stats to be much more severe – because of alcoholism etc. Might be that those crimes are very underreported in Russia (?) or UK and US are very bad in this respect. ‘Missing’ children comparisons are also interesting (but less clear because many of those children are found) – Russia reports that around 55 000 children go missing every year – UK around 140 000. Not sure about US stats but it’s something staggering like 0,5 million missing children a year.

        • Giuseppe Flavio says:

          I did a short search on this, and the 1700 a year for the US seems correct, but it is too high for the UK. Look at page 14 of this Unicef document, the child death for 100000 due to intent is 2.74 for US, 0.80 for the UK in the 91-95 timeframe. The US seems very bad, close to Mexico 2.90. As for Russia, it is very difficult to under-report deaths, while it is possible that deaths due to abuse/neglect are reported as accidents. I’ve read some suggestion that such under-reporting (i.e. reporting accidents instead of intentional killing) happens in the US, but I’m suspicious of the source. It was one NGO for children protection that is interested in exaggerating the problem to get more funding. Re. missing children, there are similar numbers in Italy, tens or hundred of thousands, and these number are often mentioned by NGOs that deals with children protection, often along with the pic of a pre-teens child. What they avoid to mention is that besides a handful of cases the “vanishing children” are underage teens of 13+ years that go out of home and don’t come back until the parents have alerted the police. Once they’re back they are still counted as missing. Perhaps the low number of missing children in Russia is due to the distrust of police, i.e. Russian parents don’t call the authorities until a few days have passed since the disapperence, so Russian boys and girls have more time to calm down and return home.

          • marknesop says:

            People are people, and when they get a pet theory in their heads they are very reluctant to let it go. Consequently, when figures show that the problem is significantly different from the state they claimed, they say incidents of the subject you are discussing are under-reported, and the problem is actually much worse than official figures indicate. Maybe so, but what about the other countries to which it’s being compared? Are their governments deadly accurate, or might the problem be under-reported there, too?

            I’d buy that for rape, because rape is an under-reported crime everywhere. The tendency of the family is to try to help the traumatized girl get over it rather than keeping it in the news, although it usually means the bastard who did it walks free. I can also see runaways giving the authorities nightmares trying to keep up to date, because parents often don’t report when they return. But killing your wife is pretty hard to cover up – even dispassionate, calculated crimes are difficult to get past investigators, and the perpetrators often make silly mistakes (every time I say something like that, I can’t help remembering the sailor from here who robbed a convenience store, years ago, with a nylon stocking over his head to conceal his identity. But he wore his ship’s leather jacket, with “HMCS RESTIGOUCHE” on the left breast and “Mike” on the right sleeve), never mind when you’re shitfaced drunk and can barely remember your own name. I can imagine the efforts of drunken husbands to cover up their wife’s murder as pretty clumsy.

            As always, my efforts are not intended to protect Russia from criticism when it is wrong, but to argue for fairness. Pretty much everything in Russia appears to be headed in the right direction (standards of living up, inflation down, crime down, wages up), and if everything is not as good as in some other countries, so what? The west only argues for patience in the achievement of social benchmarks in countries it has democratized, often by force. And I promise you, if the west managed regime change in Russia and managed to get Boris Nemtsov and a gang of liberal reformers installed in government, you wouldn’t hear a peep from La Russophobe about the murder rate or alcoholism or divorce, even if those rates went up. Because she’d no longer have the Kremlin to blame it on. She’d have to bottle her loathing for everything Russian, because Russia would be a western project, and the west is never wrong.

            • grafomanka says:

              Well even Americans are saying that the number of children dead because of abuse/neglect might actually be around 2 500 a year, substantially higher than ‘official’ one. Even if Russian number is underreported as well, still makes America look quite appalling. Makes you think about all the stories with Russian kids getting abused in the US by their adoptive parents.

            • Giuseppe Flavio says:

              Mark, first of all thanks a lot for the story of Mike from HMCS RESTIGOUCHE, it gave me a good laugh. The claim about under-reporting from the NGOs isn’t just because people are reluctant to dismiss their petty theories out of pride, it is they make a living out of it.
              Under-reporting is possible, but so is over-reporting. IMO, the “missing children” data are due to over-reporting. Over-reporting is also possible in intentional children deaths. An over-zealous policeman or prosecutor (or better, an attention whore) can prosecute a child death by accident as an intentional killing.
              In the ’80 and early ’90 there was the Day-care sex-abuse hysteria in the US and other English-speaking countries, an egregious case of over-reporting of child sexual abuse.

              • yalensis says:

                There was also that notorious case in Australia when a mother was convicted of killing her baby at a campsite. She was convicted with almost no evidence and no dead body, she was pilloried and mocked in the (Murdoch) tabloid press when she insisted that her baby had most likely been dragged off by a wild animal (=a dingo dog) when she left it alone in the crib for just one minute. Because some people had seen these dogs sniffing around the camp. Some years later, after the mother had spent years in prison, it turned out that her much-mocked story was true: by a fluke the baby’s skeleton was discovered many miles away in the desert, at a dingo site. The judge finally admitted her innocence and released her from prison. This true story was made into a movie starring Meryl Streep.

                • marknesop says:

                  I remember that one; it was a long time ago (and I never saw the movie), but it’s an excellent example of the press pillorying you spoke of. Her story was frankly improbable at the time (who camps out with an infant at a site that is stiff with wild meat-eaters roaming about?), but the prosecution also had absolutely no motive except that old standby, post-partum depression. The mother didn’t do much of a job in her own defense, as you might expect considering she was wild with grief at her child’s death, and probably the possibility of her conviction seemed not very important to her at the time.

                  Whenever another story about the press steering public opinion comes up, it reminds me of A.J. Cronin’s “The Northern Light” (I love A.J. Cronin, can you tell?). The Light is a small independent newspaper in the Midlands of England at a time when the large tabloids were just emerging, and expanding readership is the goal that must be achieved at any cost. The Daily Chronicle, a tabloid owned by a wealthy socialite who today would be an oligarch, determines to acquire the Northern Light. When the Editor, Henry Page, will not sell, the tabloid embarks on a series of ever-escalating dirty tricks in order to force him to submit, culminating in his son’s death and his daughter-in-law’s suicide owing to an abortion she had when she was a young girl, which fact The Chronicle dug up and threatened to run as a human-interest story to force Page to capitulate.

                  The novel is at pains, through Henry Page’s character, to point out that the purpose of a newspaper is to inform and uplift, not to titillate and sensationalize, pandering to the basest human instincts. The end result of constantly dumbing down the public is, unsurprisingly, a dumb public that is intellectually incurious provided it gets its daily ration of sex and murder and what celebrities are doing.

                  A public newspaper can be tremendously influential in steering public opinion on criminal cases by simply putting certain portions of significant statements by the plaintiff in bold type or quotation marks, thereby implying there is more to the statement than meets the eye or that it is likely to be a lie. Similarly, as we’ve discussed before, news media can choose to say “so-and-so denies this” rather than “the claim was examined and found to be untrue or inaccurate”, thereby leaving the reader to form the assumption that so-and-so is a liar. The problem is exacerbated now that those forming opinions can always go to their favourite blog or news site for their news, and count on being told exactly what they want to hear regardless of its accuracy.

                • Giuseppe Flavio says:

                  I remember this case, IIRC it happened in the ’80. That’s another example showing that these statistics must be taken with a pinch of salt. They’re based on the initial complaints not on the trial outcome, because the latter arrives years later than the former.

          • grafomanka says:

            You’re right the UK number is wrong, thanks! In fact, it is much smaller. About missing children – around 12 000 of those 55 000 missing in Russia remained unaccounted for, the rest had been found.
            Another bit on Russian crime statistics: Russia allegedly registers 6 times less rapes than America and 3 times less than Britain. Looks like the case of Russians not trusting the police.

            • Giuseppe Flavio says:

              Looks like the case of Russians not trusting the police.
              Or that some countries have extended the meaning of the word “rape” beyond any reasonable limit. Assange is accused of rape in Sweden, but what he did was, at worst, to trick that woman. If that is rape, than 90% of men can claim to have been “raped”, and some even married the evil perpetrator.

              • yalensis says:

                Agree, Giuseppe, the Swedes have taken political correctness too far. Assange may be a cad, but he is no rapist. (By the way, it was TWO women that he tricked, not just one. He told them he was wearing a condom when he wasn’t.) Okay, so the guy is a creep, but still no rapist.

                • marknesop says:

                  It probably meets the technical definition of rape (which is surprisingly broad although many assume it must constitute forced sex) from the standpoint that neither woman would have consented to sex if they had known the true facts; similar to having a sexual disease which you conceal from your intended partner. It exposes people to risk they would not willingly accept. You could argue it’s the same as speeding with someone else in the car – it exposes them to risk they would not willingly incur. But I bet you’d find in that situation that another person who ratted you out for speeding while they were in the car would have a solid case, too, even if no police officer saw it happen.

                  I’d be very willing to agree various agencies are eager to nail Assange to the wall for any infraction they can get, for the embarrassing documents he leaked and not for any particular crime, but engaging in sex without a condom when you have assured your partner you are wearing one (if that accurately describes what happened) exposes the partner to a risk that transcends cadhood.

                • Giuseppe Flavio says:

                  He told them he was wearing a condom when he wasn’t.
                  I’ve not followed this case in detail, because it is a politically motivated trial, so it is the first time I hear this allegation. But to me it doesn’t make sense. He told them he was wearing a condom and they didn’t realize he didn’t? Were they blind?

                • marknesop says:

                  Perhaps they were not having sex in the public square at high noon! 🙂 Modern condoms are so thin it would be difficult to tell by touch, and I knew guys in high school that carried just the ring from a condom in their wallets so they could put that on. You can’t tell in the dark, but it’s a dangerous game indeed. If the girl becomes pregnant, your entire line of escape hinges on her tearfully confessing to having had sex with someone else during the same time period. If it was just you…wedding bells. If you’re in your last couple of years of high school, marriage is way down on the scale of bad ideas.

                  The condom charge was news to me, too, although I’m sure Yalensis didn’t make it up. I really didn’t follow the Wikileaks thing as closely as some others did, and although I know the broad outlines I didn’t follow every document release. Consequently, a good deal of the Assange story went right by me. But it obviously made him some high-level enemies, and probably inspired the release of more personal information such as Sarkozy’s recent revelation that he considers Netanyahu a liar.

  5. cartman says:

    Sorry if you don’t like counterpunch, but the other place I saw this was down. The supposed Russian scientist in the IAEA report that supposedly helped Iran’s nuclear program is not a nuclear scientist at all. He is a Ukrainian who developed synthetic diamonds:

    They are just recycling their fear arguments used to star the Iraq War (which many neocons tried to take pieces of personally). Who knew Obama would be just like George W. Bush?

    • marknesop says:

      Along with the New York Times, the Washington Post and the American Conservative, Counterpunch used to be a daily read for me (online versions in all cases, of course). At that time I was an American politics junkie; I paid no attention to what was going on in Canada, and I hadn’t really gotten into Russia to the extent I am now, although I also kept up with the Vladivostok News, the St Petersburg Times and the Moscow Times. Counterpunch is a bit extreme left, but some of their stuff was excellently sourced by industry-specific professionals. It was Counterpunch’s Dr. Gordon Prather who convinced me the Iranians were not making a bomb. And he should know; he was a nuclear weapons physicist.

      The key is the degree of enrichment. Uranium enriched to weapons grade is enriched to better than 80% (that’ll do for rough figures, it’s actually up around 87% if I recall correctly), while reactor fuel is uranium enriched to less than 25% (down around 22%). You cannot use low-enriched uranium such as that used to power a reactor to make a bomb. The west is watching Iran like a hawk, just waiting for anything that could be interpreted as production of a nuclear weapon. It’s hard to imagine they would miss weaponized uranium, if there was any.

      Very probably, Iran has made some modifications to the warhead design of the Shahab 3, perhaps some updates to the guidance system or the fuel payload, to gain more range. But if any weapons-grade uranium had been found in Iran, you can be sure the U.N. would have spelled it out, and it would have been a giveaway that the Iranians are lying. I believe they don’t fully understand what the missile modifications are or what they might imply, and that and pressure from certain countries has led them to speculate that Iran might be trying to make a nuclear weapon. That’s good enough for the American right and for Israel, of course.

      The scientist in question apparently showed Iran how to make focused detonators or something like that; his work is indeed in industrial diamond production, but some applications crossed over into nuclear territory – that’s the version I read. The U.N. report said much of the new developments could be dual-use but that some of them could only be applications for a weapon. They declined to be more specific. I’m reminded of the time every scientist solicited except one said that Saddam’s aluminum tubes were designs for artillery rockets. One said they were designed to make a centriguge for enriching uranium to weapons grade. That’s the guy the Bush administration went with.

      • yalensis says:

        In Bush Jr times the IAEA was actually a respectable, independent agency led by honorable men such as Hans Blix along with his assistant Muhammed Al Baradei and also Scott Ritter. They were impartial professionals, doing their job. American army made sure to chase them out of Iraq. In more recent years, especially under Obama, Americans have corrupted IAEA, just as they corrupt every international institution, and installed their own puppet in charge. This puppet will say whatever Americans tell him to say, regardless of the facts. They simply cannot be trusted. If Americans say that there is sand in the desert, then one must disbelieve them.

    • yalensis says:

      Thanks for link, cartman.
      The good news is that Russia is finally growing a pair of balls: Russian foreign ministry has made it clear they will oppose any attempt to impose new sanctions on Iran. Even a newborn baby can see that any new sanctions are an obvious ruse to initiate regime-change in Iran, a la Libya. No, Hillary Clinton, sorry, my dear, you and your boss, Mr. Obama will be deprived of the pleasure of watching Mr. Ahmadinejad on you-tube as he is hunted through the water-pipes of Tehran, then captured, sodomized, and torn apart by angry mob of Al Qaeda fanatics and Blackwater mercenaries.

  6. sinotibetan says:

    Sorry…..on a totally different note:-

    …even as Italy and Greece drags EU down.


  7. Giuseppe Flavio says:

    One of the things I read about the Assange “rape” case, is that the two women decided to go to police only after they met and talked about him. Obviously, they must have realized that Assange hadn’t used a condom before they met. Unfortunately Wikipedia doesn’t help, so I’ll wait some clarification from Yalensis.

    • yalensis says:

      Giuseppe: I read several conflicting stories about what happened. In this version he was wearing a condom, but it broke right in the middle of the event. This version of reality shows an Assange who uses his celebrity to seduce young starry-eyed women. A cad, yes, but no rapist. The other version of the story (in which he lied about not wearing a condom) is more sinister and, yes, I suppose that could qualify as rape in some legal systems. In most versions of the story, the two young women do eventually meet each other (because they both work for Wikileaks as volunteers), compare notes, and realize that Julian used the same pick-up line on both of them, and also the same incident with the condom. They are worried that they will get pregnant and also want to make sure that Julian is tested for STD, so that is why they go to the authorities.
      I have always been a huge supporter of the Wikileaks concept and regard Assange as a modern hero, so when I first heard there had been a sex scandal, I was, like, “Oh god, please let it NOT turn out that Julian raped little boys…” ‘cause, see, I admit I had him pegged as gay (because of his weird haircut and effeminate looks). Silly me, shows how you shouldn’t stereotype people for their looks. Turns out this man is a red-blooded pussy-hound.
      I think what happened is this: Every living human being (except me) has some type of sexual skeleton in their closet. Once that person makes him/herself a target of powerful enemies, then they can always find some dirt. If it’s a man, they will find that he is secretly gay, or cheated on his wife, or fathered an illegitimate child, etc. If female, they will discover something skeezy in her past like a teenage abortion, or maybe a citation for prostitution, etc.
      The moral of the story is: If you are going to challenge THE MAN, then make sure you have led a perfect saintly life!

      • Giuseppe Flavio says:

        Thanks for the clarification. The article in the Daily Mail is very detailed, and at times entertaining. Referring to Assange, Sarah says a man..who has a problem accepting the word “no” but according to the story the only one in a position to say “no” was Assange. What can you expect from a ‘campus sexual equity officer’ (Oh God!) that has written the ‘7 Steps to Legal Revenge’ guide to abuse the legal system to achieve your petty revenge?
        Re. sexual scandals, I find baffling that they work so good and aren’t a dud in the Anglo-Saxon world, and recently even in Italy started to be effective. In the ’80 one of the most hated (and loved) Italian politician was Bettino Craxi which was known to have an extra-marital affair with a young actress (Ania Pieroni), but I can’t remember any political adversary, even from the bigot neo-fascist MSI attacking him on this ground. I learned about this actress years later after Craxi political demise. Also, to many Italians the Lewinsky affair was difficult to understand, and the usual pro-US opinion makers on TV had an hard and embarrassing time trying to explain what was going on.

        • grafomanka says:

          What follows is my sloppy interpretation of Italian family values based on the Godfather. 🙂 Tho not sure how ‘Catholic’ Italian values are nowadays.
          I remember reading about ‘old Italian wifes’ in the book – they were accepting of husbands having some sex outside of marriage because their position and position of their kids was not endangered – marriage was still sacred and family of paramount importance. For Anglo Saxons marriage is easy to break – they can get divorced or not get married at all – hence infidelity has graver consequences – it can easily lead to break up of a family and kids being abandoned. Besides aren’t Catholics supposed to be more permissive than puritans/protestants?

          • Giuseppe Flavio says:

            Until the ’60 there was a law, dating back to fascism, that made adultery a criminal offence, for both husbands and wives, but it also stipulated a jail term for women that was two times higher than for men. Hence it was deemed unconstitutional and adultery was de-penalised. As for wives accepting their husbands extramarital sex, I think it depends mainly on the personality of the wife. There are wives that accept it, just like there are husbands that accept their wives extramarital sex, the so-called “cornuto/a contento” (happy cuckold).
            Re. permissiveness, IMO Catholics tend to be more permissive when they are the majority, while they tend to be more radical in their views when they are a minority. I’ve noticed that Americans often refer to Catholics as less permissive than the average protestant, and that those Italians that emigrated after the war to America/Australia/etc. seems to be stuck in the past much more than their coevals that remained here.
            In other words, I don’t think that permissiveness is closely related to being Catholic/Protestant/whatever.

            • grafomanka says:

              The thought behind Catholics being more permissive is that they have confession and believe that sin can be forgiven. I even read somewhere that Catholics have less suicides for this reason (I don’t remembers the details tho). I think you’re right with this minority/majority thing, Protestants, at least in the UK, perceive Catholics as less permissive and burdened by ‘Catholic guilt’.

      • marknesop says:

        “The moral of the story is: If you are going to challenge THE MAN, then make sure you have led a perfect saintly life!”

        This is why politicians lead charmed lives of depravity and debauchery. You don’t have to lead a perfectly saintly life at all – you merely have to control the message and make sure your version is both the dominant one, and one that will resonate with ordinary people (read, the thickheaded voters). First, keep it on the down-low and try not to get caught. If you do, deny it for as long as the story has a chance of holding up. When the story falls apart, say that you only held out for so long to protect your family and other innocent people who depend on you, bawl like a baby on TV, and claim to have gotten Jesus in a big way. Works every time.

        • Giuseppe Flavio says:

          That’s the reason I appreciate Berlusconi. Instead of claiming he got Jesus he candidly admits he no saint but a little scamp (“birichino” as he said).

  8. yalensis says:

    @grafomanka and @giuseppe:
    I learned a lot about Italian culture from watching American mobster movies. Apparently every Italian mob boss has a mistress, called a gumad, and his wife doesn’t mind, so long as he doesn’t (a) bring her home to meet the family, (b) call her on his cellphone during dinner time, or (c) have a kid with her.

    • grafomanka says:

      By the way, Putin family model (by the Guardian);
      “To some it may sound dysfunctional and autocratic, but in Russia, it is the model family. The man – a terse, authoritarian workaholic – comes home, knackered, to his kitchen table in the leafy suburbs between 11.30 and midnight, slumps into a chair, and drinks a glass of yoghurty milk. The family know this is the time to approach him to seek his consent for things, but never to ask him about work. He grunts, makes dark and ironic jokes that bemuse his long-serving and adoring wife, seldom asks his family’s advice about the myriad of incurable problems besetting his brow and beloved motherland, and then goes to sleep”

    • Giuseppe Flavio says:

      American mobster movies are not the best source about Italian culture. Even on mobster they got it wrong. Riina, former head of Sicilian mafia and Provenzano that succeeded him not only hadn’t a mistress and were not known to have had any, even when they were young, but lived a modest life while in hiding (their hiding lasted for tens of years).
      That’s not a general rule, IIRC Catania boss Santapaola had a mistress.
      One thing that is frequent among mafia men, which is hardly seen in US movies, is the mafioso’s religious fervor.

  9. Eugene says:

    Erm… Decided to act as Captain Obvious and checked for “dying Russia”. Indeed, 30.5 millions of results.
    Then checked “dying America” on the very same page… 206 000 000 results!! Are you guys feeling well out there overseas?

    • kovane says:

      You were cheating: since English is the primary language of the US, and, obviously, they are more interested in themselves than some distant country, comparing search results in English is not correct. A little more appropriate method: “умирающая Россия” gets 2,190,000 hits, while “умирающая Америка” yields only 728,000 (And I was generous, because the term America includes other countries). Your move, comrade Mauzer!

      • marknesop says:

        Try, “американская Дурака”.

        • Eugene says:

          Oh, you seem to mistake me for La Russophobe or her cronies. Hehe!
          “Американский дурак” yielded 36.5 millons of results.
          “американская дура” (female fool, best regards to our common “bitter friend”) – 20.2 millions.

          So, what’s the bottom line? Appeal to the number of hits in Google is an unbelievably lame way to prove anything in discussion, as it is too prone to vary wildly with wording.

          • marknesop says:

            Absolutely agree. Usually only about the top 20 or so hits actually include the 2 words together, and probably about half of those will be in the context you’re searching for. The rest will include both the word “dying” and the word “Russia”, but sometimes the two are paragraphs or even pages apart. It proves nothing, and I only pointed out to her that “American fool” got 10 times the number of hits to help illustrate that it is foolish and meaningless.

            But arguing with somebody like that is also meaningless. It certainly won’t make her modify her behavior.

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