Jens Stoltenberg Tries Out The Latest NATO Meme – The Russian Air Force is a Menace to Civil Aviation.

Uncle Volodya says, "If black boxes survive air crashes, why don't they just make the whole plane out of that stuff?”

Uncle Volodya says, “If black boxes survive air crashes, why don’t they just make the whole plane out of that stuff?”

There’s a temptation to believe the world is spinning faster now on its axis, as events which we would once chew over for months, worrying the juiciest meat off the bones first, are now shoved aside in only days by the next consecutive Richter-scale happening. For instance, it was only a couple of months ago that many – and I include myself – thought Radek Sikorski was a shoo-in for NATO Secretary-General. This was somewhat worrying, since Sikorski is not only a Russophobe of the first rank, he is married to another just like himself, The Washington Post‘s Anne Applebaum.

But Sikorski was passed over in favour of colourless nonentity and lifelong politician Jens Stoltenberg, and we breathed a sigh of relief. Before we could even take a close look at Stoltenberg, Radek Sikorski shit the bed in such spectacularly colourful and dramatic fashion that he immediately sucked all the air out of the Troposphere, confiding to U.S. website Politico that he had been present when Vladimir Putin told Donald Tusk that Ukraine was an artificial country (the west loves that one, and repeats it brainlessly although Putin has never, ever said anything of the kind), and proposed that Poland and Russia divvy it up. Naturally – so went Sikorski’s narrative – the honorable Polish politicians put him straight right away, and told him they would never be involved in anything so parvenu and underhanded.

Well, that’s not quite what happened. Some analysts suggest that Sikorski was actually floating a trial balloon, to see what world reaction would be to the suggestion that Ukraine be divided, so that maybe Poland might end up with some of it before Putin systematically took it all back in his typically businesslike fashion. I have no idea if that’s what was actually in his head, but if that was his plan, the response must have made him think he fell asleep in the bath and put his wet hand into a toaster. When a little quick checking revealed the bilateral meeting he described had not taken place anywhere around the time he said it did, this “passionate and articulate” politician said he had “become confused”, that his memory had failed him. He apologized to Mr. Tusk and to the preceding Polish Foreign Minister for any embarrassment he might have caused them – pointedly not apologizing to Mr.  Putin – and said the exchange had actually taken place in Bucharest in 2008, and that Mr. Putin might have been “only joking”. By then it was obvious he was only thrashing about and doing what he should have done in the first place – Googling to find out when this meeting that only occurred in a dream in his head might have taken place, based purely on the principals being in the same place at the same time. He would have been forced to say he heard Putin and Tusk discussing it in the Men’s room while he was  disguised as a shoeshine boy if it had gone much further, but since he is so well-connected, the press took pity on him and the whole thing just went away. But political damage has a way of sticking with you for so long as your rivals are alive, and although a dramatic comeback is possible for Sikorski, it’s just about as likely to happen for J.J. Cale.

Anyway, all of that caused us to take our eye off the ball, the ball being Stoltenberg. A former Prime Minister of Norway, you might think his being chosen reflected a desire for better relations with Russia, since Norway and Russia have pursued a fairly pragmatic relationship in modern history.

Not a bit of it.

Once that might have been true. His sister, whom he claimed was influential upon his entry into politics (into which he was born, actually, his father having been an ambassador, defense minister and foreign minister and his mother serving as state secretary in several governments during the 1980’s), was a member of the Marxist-Leninist group “Red Youth”, and Stoltenberg himself was leader of the Workers Youth League. Once he settled down and decided to get a job – working for Statistics Norway as well as working part-time at the University of Oslo – he became friendly with a Soviet diplomat…whom the Norwegian police at some point advised him was a KGB agent.

In 2010, Prime Minister Stoltenberg and President Medvedev signed an agreement which settled a long-standing marine border dispute between their two countries, an arrangement which replaced a controversial temporary agreement that had been brokered by Jens Evensen and Arne Treholt, and I be go to hell if the latter was not also a Russian agent, who assisted the Russians in securing the agreement. So on at least two occasions, Stoltenberg has had firsthand acquaintance with Russian treachery. Throw in a little seasoning like the contention that his first cabinet as Prime Minister was modeled after Tony Blair’s New Labour,  his government oversaw the most widespread privatizations in Norwegian history and his foreign policy favours increased defense spending, and you begin to get a feel for where he might want to take NATO. And, more to the point, why he was chosen for the position.

But that’s a story for another day.

What I wanted to talk about today is the emergence of a disturbing meme – that whenever aircraft of the Russian Air Force conduct sovereignty patrols or reconnaissance flights, they endanger civil aviation. This notion has been floated by several sources lately, and it is bullshit.

The first I noticed it (more accurately, it was brought to my attention) was almost a month ago, at the end of October. NATO, U.S. Army Chief of Staff General Ray Odierno and Pentagon spokeswoman Vanessa Hillman all voiced what they described together as a “troubling trend” (and which Odierno referred to as “Russian aggression”). Russian aircraft – frequently the Tupolev TU-95 “Bear” bomber, a favoured Soviet reconnaissance aircraft which first flew in 1952 and entered service in 1956 – flying in international airspace now have NATO’s panties in a bunch, because they might be a danger to passing civilian flights. “We have been keeping track of incidents and have noticed an increase in Russian flights close to NATO airspace since the start of the Ukraine crisis,” said Lt. Col. Hillman; “We don’t think those flights help de-escalate the current situation at all.

Close to NATO airspace. Which means not in it. Russian aircraft flying in international airspace should clear their flight plans with NATO and the Pentagon beforehand, so that those authorities could lecture Moscow on flight safety. Anything else is “escalation”. I’m sure you can imagine what the reaction from Washington and Brussels would be if the Kremlin announced it wanted to be consulted before any NATO aircraft conducted reconnaissance patrols in international airspace. Yeah; that’ll happen.

Next up was a mention of Russian carelessness in the crowded skies by The Independent. Owned by Russian oligarch Alexander Lebedev, The Independent frequently runs virulent anti-Russian pieces, while it is generally approving to the point of cheerleading of capitalistic moneymaking, as you might expect of a paper run by an oligarch. Nobody in the west calls him that, though, or goes on about his having been a KGB agent. All forgiven, all friends together now, since Lebedev lives in London. The British press playfully soft-pedals Lebedev’s KGB activities as having been no  more harmful than reading the British newspapers every day, ho, ho, how sinister, my dears!! Vladimir Putin did essentially the same in East Germany for his KGB stint, but you would think from those same press sources that he had slit more throats than Edward Teach, better known as Blackbeard.

The Independent tells us, “The European Leadership Network (ELN) said Russia is risking military escalation across Europe with Cold War-style military “brinkmanship”, following 39 “near-misses” involving its planes and ships where military confrontation or the loss of life was narrowly avoided.”

More about that in a minute – who is the European Leadership Network? Well, they’re a “non-partisan, non-profit organisation based in London and registered in the United Kingdom. The network is led by its Director, Dr. Ian Kearns, and the Chair of the pan-European Executive Board, Lord Browne of Layton.

That Executive Board is stiff with former Foreign Ministers and Defense Ministers, including those of Turkey, Denmark, the Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, and Russia. The Russian – Igor Ivanov, was Russia’s Foreign Minister before Sergei Lavrov, and since 2000 has worked for The Moscow Times. Here’s a sample of Director Dr. Ian Kearnes’ work: “Sanctions Are Not Enough“.  An excerpt from it: ” …the West should make it unequivocally clear to Putin that any incursion on to the territory of a NATO member state will be viewed as an attack on NATO as a whole and will be met with a military response. This statement should be backed up with more forward basing of NATO forces in Eastern Europe to re-assure allies in the region. Ambiguity is the friend only of miscalculation in a crisis. A line has to be drawn, and Putin needs to be clear as to where it is.”

Uh huh, sure: that sounds non-partisan to me. The report , entitled “Dangerous Brinksmanship” includes incidents in which Canadian and American warships are dragging their coattails up and down the Russian coast in the Black Sea, and Russian aircraft which pass close aboard are “acting aggressively”. You want to see passing close aboard? Remember the former Turkish Foreign Minister, on the Board at ELN? Here’s a Turkish F-16 passing over the heads of observers at the Waddington Air Show, just this year. Is that passing close enough for you, Mr. Foreign Minister? I see Poland’s former Defense Minister sits on the Board as well – remember the head-on collision at the Radom Air Show in Poland in 2007? Nobody killed but the pilots, but the show remains the most popular of its type in Poland, doesn’t it?

But those are air show crashes, right? Although the pilots are among the best-trained and most highly skilled flyers in the world, accidents do happen and the audience must know that. We’re talking here about commercial aircraft, and Russia playing fast and loose with safety. Incidents abound recently, and civil aviation has every reason to be scared, right?

Of who? According to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the ultimate authority for commercial pilots of the world, the Russian Federation is quite responsible in the air. In its 2013 report on the State of Global Aviation Safety, North America and Europe are almost tied for the highest number of accidents. Ahhh, but Europe probably includes the Russian Federation! Yes, it does – so lets look at who had the most accidents. You’ll find that information in Appendix II (2012 accidents) and Appendix III (2013 accidents), starting on page 41. For 2012 – accidents involving aircraft of: The United States of America (24), the United Kingdom (10), and the Russian Federation (3). While the greatest number of fatalities resulted from Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT), as might be expected, the majority of accidents in 2012 were attributed to RS, Runway Safety. Patrolling aircraft of the Russian Air force are hardly likely to contribute to accidents in either case. The only category in which they might be presumed to have an effect – LCIF, or Loss of Control In-Flight – is by far the lowest accident category.

In 2013, accidents were as follow: aircraft of the United States (6), the United Kingdom (2) and the Russian Federation (1). The report appears to have been produced during the 2013 year, so that only accidents up to June of 2013 were recorded.

Stop twisting things, Chapman – you know very well we’re talking about the danger to civil aviation caused by Russian aircraft: we have it on no less an authority than Jens Stoltenberg, the NATO Secretary-General. Yes, just a few days ago the Secretary told usRussia’s growing military presence in the skies above the Baltic region is unjustified and that its aircraft regularly fail to file flight plans or communicate with air controllers, and fly with their transponders off, posing a risk to civil aviation.” As substantiation for this, he cited an incident in which a Russian Ilyushin-20 surveillance aircraft flying in international airspace came within 300 feet of a Scandinavian Airlines jet taking off from Copenhagen airport. The Russian aircraft was flying without its IFF transponder turned on.

Copenhagen is in international airspace? Gee, I’m pretty sure it’s not. Oh, wait – thank God we have ELN’s report to clear things up. It tells us the incident happened 50 miles southeast of Malmo. Wait – the plane was still taking off from Copenhagen airport, 5o miles southeast of Malmo? That’s, like, 70 miles from Copenhagen airport! The report says the plane was carrying 132 passengers: were they Rush Limbaugh and 131 clones of him? Seems like it must have been quite a load if they  still weren’t at cruising altitude 70 miles away. And how does Copenhagen know the IL-20 did not have its transponder on? It wasn’t even in Danish airspace. Maybe Sweden reported it, just like that Russian submarine that was crippled off Stockholm and firing off distress calls a couple of weeks ago. Uh huh.

Listen, Mr. Secretary. Military aircraft do not file flight plans with enemy countries; you’d think information like that would not come as a surprise to the NATO Secretary-General. They file a flight plan with the base or station they take off from, and that’s it, unless they plan to land at a different airfield on completion of their patrol – NATO aircraft, too. Was that the Norwegian Air Force’s practice when you were Prime Minister – file a flight plan with Moscow when they intended to test Russia’s surveillance capability? Please don’t embarrass me in front of the Russians by saying such stupid things. They don’t turn on their transponders unless they are part of an exercise, or flying in a civilian air corridor, which they typically do not do, because it’s dangerous, and because they don’t conduct probes at 35,000 feet where early-warning radar can see you hundreds of miles away with your transponder on. Russian military aircraft can reach the Baltics without flying in any civil air corridors, provided they avoid the Riga/Moscow route. The ELN report also cited instances in which Russian fighters responded to probes by NATO surveillance aircraft in the Russian Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) as examples of the Russian Air Force “behaving aggressively”, when it is NATO’s standard practice to do the very same when Russian surveillance aircraft are detected in international airspace, but near a NATO country. What a bonus – Russian surveillance aircraft are misbehaving when they test NATO surveillance capability, and then Russia is misbehaving again when their Air Force responds to NATO doing the same thing to them – I guess they’re just a naturally aggressive people, whereas NATO can be trusted to go wherever it wishes and do whatever it likes. There is no reason for Air Traffic Controllers to be contacting Russian aircraft which are outside their control zone in international airspace, and therefore no reason for such aircraft to reply.

I recommend the ELN’s report be re-titled “Dangerous Dinkmanship”, and that it carry pictures of the report’s authors and nothing else. Maybe a nice photo of Stoltenberg on the cover.

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1,438 Responses to Jens Stoltenberg Tries Out The Latest NATO Meme – The Russian Air Force is a Menace to Civil Aviation.

  1. Moscow Exile says:

    You can witness the nervousness of the Russian president during his meeting with his French counterpart here:

    Президенты России и Франции обсудили украинский кризис и пути его разрешения

    Russian and French presidents discuss the Ukraine crisis and ways towards solving it

    Yeah, a bundle of nerves, he was; a quivering wreck of a man, overwhelmed by the enormity of the moment.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      And although some reports say it was a surprise visit, Putin, in welcoming Hollande, thanks him for finding to drop in, as it were, on his way home, the possibility of which stop-over they had already spoken about in Australia:

      1:01: “Thank you for finding time to call in on your way home … about which we had agreed in Australia, that if it appeared that you had a few minutes, you would call in order to discuss these problems …”

  2. Moscow Exile says:

    EU will have to transport Russian gas from Turkey on its own – Gazprom chief

    On the Russian language coverage of this story, however, RT says:

    Алексей Миллер: После строительства газопровода в Турцию транзит газа через Украину сведётся к нулю

    Alexey Miller: After the construction of the gas pipeline to Turkey, transit of gas across the Ukraine will be reduced to zero

    Руководитель «Газпрома» Алексей Миллер подтвердил намерение компании отказаться от услуг Украины в деле транзита газа в Европу. Сегодня в интервью программе «Вести в субботу с Сергеем Брилёвым» Миллер утвердительно ответил на вопрос журналиста, превратит ли сочетание «Северного потока» и нового маршрута через Турцию в бессмыслицу вариант украинского транзита.

    «Да, фактически роль Украины как транзитной страны сводится к нулю», – цитирует Миллера РИА Новости.

    The head of Gazprom, Alexey Miller, confirmed that company’s intention to refuse the services of the Ukraine for gas transit to Europe. Today in an interview on the programme “News on Saturday with Sergei Belevin”, Miller replied affirmatively to the journalist’s question about whether the combination of “Nord Stream” and a new route across Turkey would make the concept of transit across the Ukraine nonsensical.

    “Yes. In fact, the role of the Ukraine being a transit country will be reduced to zero”, RIA Novosti quotes Miller as saying.

    • kirill says:

      By sending a pipeline to Turkey Russia is reducing the total time for construction and hence moving up the day of freedom from the Kiev leeches.

  3. et Al says:

    Toilet Barf: François Hollande mocked for looking ‘like Borat’
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/francois-hollande/11277582/Francois-Hollande-mocked-for-looking-like-Borat.html
    Elysée furious after photos posted of François Hollande in Kazakhstan in full traditional costume
    ###

    Now which one do you think is playing the role of the lady in the photograph. I bet Hollande is wearing not much more than a garter belt and suspenders underneath all that….

    • Moscow Exile says:

      What bollocks!

      For a start, Borat ain’t real and is simply an over the top piss taking creation of Sacha Cohen, whereas real Kazakhs, in my experience at least, are very likeable people.

      I mean, does the Kazakh (below) look like Borat:

      And do these comely wenches look like Mrs. Borats:

      • Moscow Exile says:

        Which reminds me once again: those Kazakhs (pictiured above), who now live in their own sovereign-state, have parents/grandparents who were once “prisoners” of the Soviet Union and, before that, of the Russian Empire.

        Is there an independent state populated by the Sioux or the Cherokee or the Iroquois etc. in North America?

        Indeed, how many “pure blood” Native Americans are there on this planet nowadays?

  4. Moscow Exile says:

    Graham Philips back in action:

    He looks fit and well.

    Imust have lived here too bloody long though, because even I as a fellow countryman of his sometimes find it hard to understand what he’s saying in Russian.
    🙂

    • yalensis says:

      I don’t think anybody can understand a word that Graham says in any language.
      One of his endearing features is that his Russian is so goddamned awful, but he doesn’t even care, he just chatters away completely un-self-consciously, not worrying a bit about proper declensions or case endings!

      • yalensis says:

        P.S. I will take Graham any day, with his horrendous Russian, over a perfect Russian speaker like Julia Ioffe, who is an enemy, and a snake.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        He’s from Nottingham. When Nottinghamers say “Nottingham”, it sometimes sounds to me like “Nottigub” – mi dooks (my ducks)!

        That’s a term Nottigubbers use. They call everyone “ducks”.

        So this sentence: I was about to have a bath before going to town in an attempt to find a new girlfriend, but realised my shirt was dirty, so I went out to buy a new one in Nottigub sounds something like:

        Ah wor joost abaaht ter tek a baff after wok before gooin’ dahn tahn fu the fanneh – but me shot wor dotteh, so I went aht ter gerra new’un.

        Owz tha’, mi dooks?

        It’s English East Midlands accent/dialect, actually, old boy.
        🙂

    • marknesop says:

      I can’t think why – they know what to expect. After all, this shipment – which is badly needed – was “held up for several days at the border”. Nobody imagines that was the fault of the Russians, who were hesitant to let it through, do they?

    • kirill says:

      Actually the USSR did not lose in Afghanistan. They kicked the mhajed’s asses up and down the valleys. But the US started supplying them with weapons that allowed them to disrupt the successful tactics the Soviet army developed in the early 1980s. Eventually it just became a grinding guerrilla war with the generic results.

      It is funny how dick stroking NATO pinheads actually think that the USSR used human wave attacks during WWII. The Chinese used such tactics and the USSR *never* used them. To think these retards are now planning a war on Russia. There should never have been nuclear arms reduction. I am quite sure that some collection of two-neuron organisms have concluded that Russia does not have enough nuclear missiles to defend itself.

      • marknesop says:

        Take a good, long, slow look. See any actual preparations for war besides a lot of bellowing and chest-thumping in Congress? Ships alongside loading supplies and equipment for forward deployment? Medical equipment being boxed up for transfer to field hospitals? A shortened cycle of readiness training? Stockpiling ammunition and fuel? Intensified maintenance on heavy air transports? Recalling military members from leave? None of that is happening. Everyone could be forgiven for assuming that Big Three is about to kick off, since all the cheap, shitty western tabloids are alive with it, but there are no signs at all that any such thing is being actually planned. Just a lot of big talk and threats. America wants Russia and Europe to fight – it wants both weakened and dependent on American leadership, and to repeat the winning formula of Big Two when America emerged as one of the few countries not devastated by war. But you don’t see any preparations in Europe, either – in fact, they are getting downright cautious, as if they realize they might have stopped talking just a few sentences too late. Everyone is well aware that they are now tippy-toeing around the edges of actual conflict with a country that has the world’s biggest nuclear arsenal. Nobody wants any misunderstandings. Except the USA, which is bellowing and thumping the war drum – and even it is full of shit. It is all a big bluff, every other tactic having dismally failed.

        • et Al says:

          This one is for you Canadians and the belligerent Harpo government:

          Aviation Week: NATO Faces AWACS Fleet Shrinkage
          http://aviationweek.com/defense/nato-faces-awacs-fleet-shrinkage
          Funding shortfall is reducing key NATO surveillance fleet …

          …Today, however, the force is facing new financial pressures. The most critical of these emerged three years ago, when the Canadian government decided to withdraw its support from the program, seeking to save money in the economic downturn.

          Until the country’s flag was lowered at Geilenkirchen in July, Canada had been the third-largest contributor to the program, providing four complete flight crews. The last Canadian personnel left Geilenkirchen at the end of August.

          By quitting both the AWACS and also the new Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) operation, Canada aimed to save CAD$90 million ($79 million) annually. But without Canada’s money, the force may have to remove one of the 17 E-3 Sentrys from operation because it cannot afford its depot-level maintenance. The aircraft likely will be stored and harvested for parts to support the rest of the fleet….

          • marknesop says:

            I had a tour of the AWACS while a student on the Fleet Air Arm Electronic Warfare course in the UK; I’m almost sure we were at Cranwell, but there are no E-3’s based there, they are all at Waddington. Nonetheless, I suppose one could have been there temporarily, and both bases are in Lincolnshire. We drove all over England in rental cars, two of the ugliest vans I have ever seen and one small Mitsubishi compact. I remember getting into the latter to hear our RAF driver – a fellow student – exclaim “This is the fastest car in England!!”. When I asked him what made him say that, he replied, “It’s a rental!!” before tearing off at a breakneck pace. Maybe that’s an old joke, but I had never heard it and found it very comical. But then, he had a flair for comedy – I remember asking him what the big cathedral in Lincoln was called (imagining it to be probably Saint Something-or-other), to be told, deadpan, “Lincoln Cathedral“, and having to put up with the gasping laughter of the two other Canadian chuckleheads who made up the rest of our abbreviated party. I was interested because I had read or been told that the German bomber crews had used the four points of its tower as a navigation aid when bombing the shit out of England because it was the tallest feature for miles around, and the top stuck up even if it was foggy, which it frequently is in the region.

            Anyway, the AWACS was quite impressive, although it’s very crowded inside and space is at a premium. I was not moved to pity for the crews very much, knowing they would only have to put up with it for a few hours at a time. As a concept, though, it is brilliant and its contribution to deconfliction in the air battle is legendary.

            As I think I mentioned before, our RAF driver on that occasion had been a crew member of the RAF Nimrod that went into Lake Ontario during the Toronto Air Show in 1995. He was posted out a couple of months before the incident, in which all seven crew were killed. He always said the pilot was a daredevil who did not completely understand the laws of physics. Actually he was quite a bit more profane than that, but that’s the gist of it.

        • patient observer says:

          Good points for sure. I wonder if the disconnect between high level belligerency and low level passivity could reflect deep rifts in the empire. Perhaps the military is dragging its feet – doesn’t want to send the wrong signals to the Russians, trying to weather the political shit-storm until the psychotic episode in Washington subsides. The military can say, perhaps in truth, that they can not organize a massive mobilization because they no longer have the personnel, training and resources to pull it off – better to not try then to try and certainly fail which would make visible to all the beginning of the end of American hegemony.

          If its all a big charade who is Washington trying to frighten? Russia (its leadership and population) seem utterly unimpressed. In fact such noises from Washington is a great reminder to Russia that the world is a dangerous place and they need to continue to rebuild and retool for possible future conflicts. The American electorate beyond a vague sensation of something about Ukraine hardly cares. Perhaps its just boogeyman talk to justify more tax payer money flowing to US corporations and government agencies.

          If the foregoing is the case, the American empire may more or less quietly deflate like one of those balloons at the end of the Thanksgiving day parade.

          • marknesop says:

            It is part and parcel of the effort to beef up NATO and have it continue as a menacing military force long after its mandate has run out. I agree that American power will be around for a long time, and that the American empire is not going to simply go *pop* and disappear, and that’s probably to the good. But the day when it will have to acknowledge emerging power blocs as peers or even superiors is upon us.

      • patient observer says:

        Kirill, I agree that the USSR military did well in Afghanistan. Even with unlimited support from the US via Pakistan for the “rebels”, cities like Kabul were largely free from violence. IIRC, Kabul did not “fall” until several years after the USSR military withdrew. Today, the rebels without any outside support are more than the US can handle.

        The MSM and Hollywood have created a barrage of myths about Afghanistan and the USSR. Supposedly, stinger missiles were sweeping the sky clean of evil Russian helicopters. Yet total aircraft loss for the entire 10 years of war was 232 with the worst periods averaging about 3-4 losses per month.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Soviet_aircraft_losses_in_the_Soviet_war_in_Afghanistan

        US aircraft losses in the Vietnam war were at least 8,659 and likely higher depending on the definition of a “loss”.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aircraft_losses_of_the_Vietnam_War

        Regardless, the losses for the USSR in terms of aircraft were no more than 2.6% of the US losses in Vietnam. Afghanistan did not bankrupt the USSR nor was it a humiliating military defeat.

  5. Moscow Exile says:

    The Guardian bang on form this morning.

    Moscow braces for economic winter as rouble becomes a standing joke

    “My commentary on the situation is very simple. Everything is fucked,” said Anton Krasovsky, a former state television presenter who was chief of staff to oligarch Mikhail Prokhorov when he ran against Putin as a Kremlin-sanctioned pseudo-opposition candidate in 2012.

    Well he would say that, wouldn’t he? And “pseudo-opposition” opposition you say? I don’t suppose you would care to elaborate on your choice of terminolgy, would you, Mr. Walker?

    Not everyone is quite as miserable as Krasovsky, but it is unlikely there are many Muscovites who have not experienced a moment of panic over the state of the rouble in recent weeks.

    I’ve not, Shawn. I would have told you so if you had asked. Why not ask me and my neighbours?

    You prefer to talk to the liberasts, though, don’t you – bourgeoise tossers such as Krasovsky and Tsentsiper, who are similar to you and your ilk?

    In the fashionable posh cafés that you mention, as well, where the coffee is overpriced. That’s where you go to sense the heartbeat of the nation, don’t you, Shawn – to posh cafés and restaurants?

    Your prestigous plagiarist colleague was also fond of doing that, Shawn, when he was the Grauniad “Man in Moscow”. He was fond of describing his repast that he had ordered whilst awaiting his meeting with some fat cat, who would allow him to sense the pulse of the nation.

    And hell’s bells! Shawn then starts giving the opinion of Lebedev of all people as regards the Russian economy:

    For now, the propaganda is working among large sections of the population, and Putin’s approval ratings remain high.

    Stupid, stupid Russian sheeple! So unlike those in the West who are free-thinkers and recognize propaganda immediately.

    And then, below the article, there follows the usual, relentless bile off the Grauniad commenters, a spewing forth of opinions founded not on fact but on ignorance and hatred:

    Russophobe: … the vast majority of ‘ordinary’ Russians uses Rubles… and it bites when anything that is imported (like, just to name one little thing – food… ) jumps in price by 50% in one year….

    [Why the inverted commas around “ordinary”? Is the ‘phobe suggesting that the existence of such a creature is only theoretical, that such ordinary folk – careree, happy, contented, intelligent etc. … as are found in the West are an unkown species in the Empire of Evil?]

    Non-phobe response: Name something, c’mon? 50% jump on what exactly? Let’s discuss, it is interesting?! … I speak to Moscow and St. Petersburg on almost daily basis, and I had a fucking good education, so I won’t be the one that falls for such shyte, that you wish people actually ‘recommend’.

    Russophobe: ‘I speak to Moscow and St. Petersburg on almost daily basis’

    Getting your instructions on what to type?

    A Russophobe, who calls himself “Mr.Europe” and has an EU flag as his avatar comments:

    Interesting you should mention manufacturing. For me the lack of even a single well-known Russian brand of… well… anything really.. car, fridge, computer, what ever… has always been a puzzling mystery. They have so much [sic] highly-skilled and educated people. They have a sense for the fine arts and refined goods. Yet nothing is being manufactured there that is known in the West (you know, the market where one could exploit the difference between low wages/manufacturing cost and the high price one could ask to the fullest extent)

    (Not a native speaker of English, I should think: last parenthetical sentence very “foreign”.)

    Moscowexile would have responded to Mr. Europe as follows, but he can’t, because of his having been barred by the Comment-Is-Free-But-Facts-Are-Sacred Grauniad on suspicion of being a hired Putinbot:

    Check out in your browser: Finland – nuclear power programme, building of – Russian engineers and technology. But yes, I concede that you don’t see Russian Cornflakes in Walmart, Milwaukee – not that I’ve been there, of course; nor, I suspect, have you been to Russia.

    As it happens, I buy Russian cornflakes (хлопья кукурузные) here in our local Russian supermarket, never US ones. They’re tastier and much cheaper – the Russian ones, that is. Well, that’s my opinion, anyway.

    That’s why nobody buys the imported US ones, I should imagine: that’s why they’re not on our local supermarket shelves – nobody I know of buys the Kellog’s variety, though I should imagine those wannabe Westerners with whom Walker likes to chat with do. More fool they, say I!

    Here’s yet another Russophobe gem amidst the relentless bile following Walker’s article:

    The patriotic Russian economy has been reduced to rubble under the firm guidance of Mr Putin. Empty shelves will soon await patriotic Russian shoppers.

    And now, at 07:15 Moscow time, the Putinbots are responding after the feeding frenzy of the ‘phobes has ended and while all are a-bed in Merry England:

    The author is suggesting that someone (maybe even him) knows how this is all going to end. Don’t make me laugh. Japan is in recession for the second decade and America’s economy is only surviving thanks to Chinese loans. The UK economy is growing only by turning into a fake arse China with low wages and zero hour contracts. It won’t be long before the shit hits the fan again and you will have too much to write about in London to bother about Moscow.

    What happened in Ukraine was a CIA v KGB (FSB) classic. Each knew what the other was up to. What has followed is the US not willing to accept that Putin and the FSB outsmarted them and instead going all out to “teach Putin a lesson”
    .
    Considering that the FSB, the Russian army, and the Russian people would never accept a leader who is not seen to at least stand up to NATO in Russia’s backyards, the real objectives of America’s policies towards Russia remain questionable. But then when was the last America bothered about the final outcome of their interventions?

    Putinbot! Putinbot!

    And not a US one (arse instead of “ass”).

    I guess that comment may be deleted when they crawl out of their pits in the UK in about 5 hours’ time, it now being Sunday morning.

    And there are more Russia stories in today’s arse-wipe Guardian:

    Why a Moscow meltdown could spread around the globe

    Rouble’s dramatic decline gives Russia an economic headache

    And then deep, deep down in the very bowels of the rag there is this, a Reuters report about the Hollande-Putin meeting that took place yesterday evening in Moscow:

    Vladimir Putin says he hopes for a ceasefire in Ukraine – video

    The Reuters paragraph below the video reads:

    Russian president, Vladimir Putin, says he hopes for a ceasefire in Ukraine “in the nearest future”. Putin was speaking after a meeting with his French counterpart, Francois Hollande, in which they discussed the Ukraine ceasefire “in detail”. Putin says Russia supports the territorial integrity of Ukraine and supports the countries that are involved in the process of resolving the conflict.

    “In ‘the nearest’ future” is not English: it’s what Russians often say in English because they are literally translating into English what they say in Russian, which leads me to believe that the Reuters report was penned by a Russian speaker of English.

    The Reuters bulletin is dated Saturday 6 December 2014 17.09 GMT- more than 12 hours ago as I write this snowy Moscow Sunday morning.

    News travels slowly from the Black Pit that is the Evil Empire.

    It must be because of the censorship.

    • kirill says:

      Walker, the war propagandist, is missing the obvious fact that once the ruble was allowed to fully float, it settled into a band between 50 and 60 to the dollar. When it goes to 100 to the dollar and stays there perhaps he will have some sort of point. However, he is spewing BS when it comes to the Russian economy regardless of the exchange rate. Russians are not all starving because some import prices went up. Compare to the mess in Ukraine. Will Walker write about the collapsing Ukraine?

    • james says:

      i enjoyed your post. thanks – james

    • Moscow Exile says:

      This isn’t about the West, it’s about the people of Ukraine – including Crimea – getting to pick who represents them, getting to pick their future and not having Russia do it for them.

      Marie Harf, Washington, USA, December 4, 2014

      See: State Department Press Briefing 12/04/14

      • Moscow Exile says:

        You just couldn’t make this up!

        Meet the new Yukie finance minister:

        Ukraine’s Made-in-USA Finance Minister

        As Russian Insider states:

        She lost about $100 million of US taxpayer money invested into an investment fund she managed.

        While losing this money, she paid herself $1 million per year in 2011 and 2012.

        As manager of the US-backed fund, she invested its assets into companies in which she had a financial interest – a big no-no.

        When former employees went public with allegations, she squelched them by enforcing non-disclosure agreements.

        Something is rotten in the state of Banderastan!

        And there’s something rotten in the state/states that support Banderastan and its so-called democratically elected government that is supposedly devoted to rooting out corruption.

        Well we all knew about that, didn’t we?

        What? It’s all kremlin propaganda?

        And while all this goes on, brain-dead Yukies chant: “Anybody who can’t jump up and down is a Moskal!”

        Morons!

        I’m sure he agrees – about the morons, that is.

        • marknesop says:

          I think that motto needs changing to reflect the season. For the next few months it should be “Anybody who cannot stand the cold is a Moskal”.

          • Jen says:

            The Banderites cannot have their motto both ways: “Anybody who can’t jump up and down is a Moskal!” and “Anybody who cannot stand the cold is a Moskal!” are contradictory. Kinda makes it difficult for the riot police to work out who’s who when the EuroMaidanuts start assembling again to protest Jaresko’s financial “reforms”. They’ll probably just have to arrest and beat up everyone.

  6. Moscow Exile says:

    Just checking Helmer’s site and this little beauty of a story has turned up there. (Also in Russian Insider.)

    Now get this as regards an insight into the degree of hypocritical shittiness Western hacks have, most noticeably those who never cease howling about the monstrosity of Russia, Russians and the Russian “regime”:

    The Good Soldier Lucas: Seeking Tax Exemption on the War Front with Russia

    Remember, this is the country that he constantly says is under imminent threat of Russian invasion, yet he has decided to set up business there.

    I mean, whose pisser does the lying tw*t think he’s pulling with his endless talk of Russian expansion aggression against the Baltic States?

    He’s either an out and out propagandistic liar or he really is crazy – or both.

    I think both.

  7. yalensis says:

    On the Donbass front:
    I saw this piece by an analyst named Pavel Krivosheev about Kremlin intrigues surround the perennial question: “What to do about Donbass?”
    One has to consider the source: in recent years, ROSBALT has become something of an Opps rag. But this piece rings true, based on other stuff I have read.

    The piece is entitled “Surkov is changing horses”
    SUMMARY
    Sources leaked to ROSBALT that recent secret negotiations between DPR/LPR and Kiev focused on a plan to “trade coal for peace”.
    The deal is (or would be) that Kiev not only stops shooting, but pulls back from Donbass so far, that not one bullet could reach. And then they would get the coal.
    [yalensis: But recall, that Russia just sent a ginormous shipment of coal to Ukraine. Is this part of above-said deal, or does it contradict the premise??]

    Continuing:
    Meanwhile, processes are in place to reign in and regulate the DPR/LPR military formations. Still making attempts (which proved futile in the past) to combine them under one command. Various commanders and warlords have either been removed by Moscow; in some cases even placed under arrest.
    Simultaneously, there are forces afoot to subsume Donbass entities into Commonwealth, of which Vladislav Surkov is in charge. [yalensis: He, Navalny’s nemesis, of which it was said everything was Surkovian propaganda.] Surkov curates the entire Commonwealth economics. Under Surkov there was a man named Boris Rapoport, who was in charge of DPR/LPR. But then he (Rapoport) was sacked. Also Vladimir Avdeenko was sacked. And five or six others. In other words, a purge going on in Surkov’s department!

    According to ROSBALT’s secret sources, the reasons for the purge are that these men were not coping properly with the problems of Donbass, and integrating the various entities into Novorossiya.
    And yet, nobody is even 100% sure that that WAS the goal, in the first place. Currently nobody has a clue what to do: “At the given moment, there is no iron plan how to get out of this crisis,” said the source. So, Surkov and others are floundering, and just changing cadres, in the hope that something will work. [yalensis: well, why not try to get rid of Surkov himself? Did nobody think of that?]

    The main problem with Novorossiya is not even the military one, but the economic one.

    Analyst Professor Valery Solovei adds his opinion that the Ukrainian experts in the Kremlin administration are being purged, because they didn’t foresee, or know what to do, with the crisis.
    Surkov himself has been a “dove” in this debate. The “hawks” pushed for support for a wider “people’s uprising” against Kiev. The hawks accuse the dove Surkov of playing into Kiev’s hands. The infighting between doves and hawks in the Kremlin led to such phenomena, as the removal of Strelkov and the Cossack ataman Kozitsyn.

    The analyst predicts, that by spring the Ukraine hawks in the Kremlin will supplant the doves. Up until now, it was the “liberals” who curated Donbass. With the results that we see.

    • Erebus says:

      Yalensis,
      It hasn’t been said often enough that your work in bringing these pieces to light for us is invaluable, and appreciated.

      As you note, this rings true. Here’s another one that rings true:
      http://afinabul.blog.cz/1412/bud-ttip-alebo-vojna
      I remember a year or so ago the great houfera about the TTIP arrangements being worked on so frantically. They were talking about signing in 2015. I thought then that it was more than a little weird how it just popped up more or less fully formed, and how much promotional activity there was around it. Then, a few the nasty details were exposed and it immediately went underground again. Well, according to the story linked above, the Ukraine crisis is a necessary part of the same program that propels TTIP.

      It’s Czech, so I read it via Google translation. Though subtleties were doubtless obscured, it too rings as a viable explanation for what appears to be madness on the part of the Euros, and the US itself.

      In a (google distorted) nutshell…
      In the 90s, the US realized that the dollar’s days are done, and that US supremacy will go “poof!” with the dollar. So they concocted a scheme, and a justification for it.
      The US “saved” Europe from the Nazis, and had secured it against the Soviet menace for 50 yrs. Europe had done rather well from American largesse, and now it’s America that needs help. It was time to present them with the bill. Namely, Europe, by giving up its sovereignties, would by formal treaty, hand itself over to the US and allow the dollar a lease on life.
      Ipso facto, a new, formidable block would be formed, able to make the rules for the rest of the world into the foreseeable future. The alternative is to accept that the 21st century will be Chinese, with Russian characteristics.
      The main obstacle is Europe’s new infatuation with the East, and its utter dependence on Russian energy. Luckily, most of that came through a place called Ukraine. By destroying Ukraine, Europe is cut adrift from its moorings and ready to make whatever deal it can get with the US.

      If there’s a Czech Yalensis in the house, I think it would be enlightening if she/he could correct and augment the above. It is the only thing I’ve read over the last year that makes plausible sense of the extreme risks that are being taken.

      • Oddlots says:

        Great find. As you suggest, the apparent desperation and idiocy of US actions in this has been both puzzling and – in itself – worrying and the above at least explains this. It also makes some sense of European actions, not just politically but economically. The austerity policies of the EU have always puzzled me. It’s been like watching modern doctors return en masse to applying leaches and speaking of vapours. But the above makes some sense of this by suggesting that the Euro and so the Eu are really just derivatives of the dollar and of the dollar’s power respectively. In this way the EU is more like a collection of foreign “states” (in the sense of New York State.)

        But the argument seems to rely a little too heavily on a slightly naive view of what the “dollar as reserve currency” really means. That power is significant but it comes with its own burdens. As I’ve said before it requires that the reserve country run huge trade deficits in order to keep that flow of money between consumers – foreign suppliers – foreign governments – purchases of US denominated debt. Is anyone else willing to step up and play this role? It’s not at all an unpleasant one in some ways but unless one has a finance class able to make the most – least?, since the activity is “unproductive” – of and off these flows I suspect taking it on would just mean unemployment for the volunteer country’s people.

        Another way to look at this: perhaps what is slouching into view is something closer to Keynes’ alternative to the dollar as reserve currency. A super-national clearing currency made up of a basket of currencies (what he called the Bancor.) This is what the Brics want as far as I understand. The predicament though appears to be: the BRICS seem to think of this in trade terms. That is, in terms of exchange of real goods. But that realm is dwarfed by financial transactions amplified by derivatives. These are many multiples larger than real trade in size. How does one escape that?

        I’m embarrassed to say I’ve been reading about this stuff for going on about a decade. Ever since I got worried about a dollar crash way back in I think ~ 2003-4*. Find it very slippery stuff but also suspect it’s the real key to understanding the actions of our – otherwise – apparently insane political class.

        * Worth noting that that crash never came and the bond vigilantes never returned: in fact the dollar rallies hard as money pours back to the centre from the periphery. I guess this suggests that transactions are always round trips and, therefore, that capital – while it might seem international and non-aligned always ultimately belongs to the “home team”, the nation whose currency it is denominated in.

        • james says:

          hi – i would like 2nd erebus’s comment to yalensis – thanks for these informative articles that you kindly share and translate. much appreciated.. thanks also to erebus for doing the same with the link from czech.. i just realized i have a friend who is czech. i will ask him if he can give an overview on the link you share.

          regarding oddlots comments.. it is a topic i have also been trying to understand for a number of years. i don’t claim to understand how the us$ as world reserve currency works exactly, but i can say this. most of the financial systems in place, including central banks in most countries including russia, swift( Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) , imf, bis(bank of international settlements) and etc. etc. are all dominated by the us$. this is the problem that russia presently finds itself in with the central bank of russia running under a system of guidelines put in place to continue the centrality and importance of the us$.. sorry, but that is what i understand. until someone comes along to show me how russia or anyone who wishes to operate outside this system can get out from under the yoke of this system, i think it is huge challenge for russia and any of the bric countries. they could try to set up a similar/alternative system of swifts, bis’s while getting their central banks to answer locally, but it ain’t happening at present which is why any country sanctioned by this same financial monster is in a pickle.

          the bank of england went on to extend it’s tentacles into the federal reserve. there is next to nothing british or american about either of these institutions. they are about money first and foremost. getting europe to sign on to a single currency was a means of playing with the chairs on the titanic.. at some point the fact we are dealing with an outdated world financial system where fiat currencies can be printed without restraint – being on the gold standard until nixon changed this was one such restraint) means the world financial system is indeed doomed. it is a bit like the financial meltdown of 2008 where the gov’t bailed the banks out.. expect more and bigger bail outs.

          meanwhile, russia needs to figure out how to interact financially on the world stage while being attacked financially by this same structure that wants them to conform to the use of the us$ as the defacto world currency. if i find out more to change my mind – i will change my mind on this, but war – economic or more – is assured and in the process of happening still..

          • Erebus says:

            FWIW (not much, I’m no economist) but here’s my take in a nutshell…
            In general terms, the value of a non-reserve currency is roughly what its associated economy produces that can be purchased with that currency. The fact that the international pricing of oil is denominated and typically transacted, in USD makes that currency uniquely valuable. As oil consumers need dollars or its derivatives to get oil, they sell their production, be it iron ore or iPhones, to get the currency that gets them the oil they need to produce.
            Ergo, the USD has become the only currency to reflect not just what its economy produces, but also the economies of others.
            It is in this sense that (as Dick Cheney famously remarked) that “deficits don’t matter”. That is, the value of the USD is not dependent on the US’ economic output, but on that of the entire world. All Americans (govt included) have to do, is consume enough of the world’s output to keep the Fed printing enough dollars for the rest of the world to use. They’ve kept their end of the bargain lustily, until recently, and the foreigners have kept theirs. Today, there are far more dollars held outside of the US than domestically. The US has been the beneficiary of this “Exorbitant Privilege” (c. deGaulle) since the ’70s. There’s been really no other choice.
            An analogy is MS Windows. Yeah, its a bloated, incoherent, clunky OS and I hate it, but it is so prevalent, and so many of the Apps I run are available for no other platform, that my new computer has the latest version. No choice, for me.

            This “structural” support is breaking down now as currency swaps are sweeping the world’s trade. The danger for the dollar is that as it falls out of favor in international transactions, the international overhang will come “home” looking for assets to buy. When the trickle becomes a flood, the result is called hyperinflation, which is better thought of as repudiation of a currency.
            We’re been seeing that trend develop for a decade now, but it’s gaining momentum at an accelerating rate. China is demanding an international role for the Yuan, Russia for the Rouble, and others are accommodating them. If the Europeans bail out as well, the USD’s gig is over. Hence the panic.

      • yalensis says:

        Dear Erebus:
        Thank you for your kind words, I really appreciate that. Yes, this is a good find!
        I also hope there is a Czech-language expert who could provide a better translation than Google! I wish I had studied Czech (it is a wonderful language and culture), but I never did, unfortunately.

      • marknesop says:

        Leos Tomicek is a Czech, but I don’t know if he’s around any more, and his excellent blog “Austere Insomniac” seems to have gone belly-up.

        This is a great find, and adds collaboration to the theory that this is all about protecting dollar dominance – more importantly, that America’s position atop the heap cannot be sustained without it. Truly, in confronting Russia, it is now or never for America. I wrote about the iminent fall of the dollar here, back in 2012.

        True to its model, the USA attempts regime change, and if it does not go as planned, either wrecks the hapless country or stands back to watch it wreck itself, never mind all that bushwah about “standing shoulder to shoulder with whoever”. The Europeans simply are very late realizing that their own ruin is acceptable to their American partners, so long as it renders them dependent and supplicants to dollar dominance.

    • Oddlots says:

      Patrick L Smith along with Stephen Cohen was one of the people who opened my eyes early on. Likewise this quite mild piece in the times:

      http://nyti.ms/1tB9vqM

      I think the most damning piece I’ve read so far in establishment media was the 7000 word analysis in Der Spiegel of the gong-show otherwise known as EU diplomacy:

      http://bit.ly/121tlQj

      Interestingly Stephen Cohen suggests that this is the work – behind the scenes – of Steinmeier from the SPD wing of Merkel’s government. (He went on to say that this is something of a vindication of the German democratic system as at least the group think isn’t enforced as it is in the states where you have two corporatist parties that have shed any pretence they have any history or philosophy beyond raising money and gaining or retaining power. Notably the SPD was the home of Ost Politik under Willy Brandt, if memory serves.)

      • marknesop says:

        Steinmeier was among the loudest blowhards at the outset of the Maidan, among the first to start getting the boots into Russia’s ribs when MH-17 was shot down and among the shouters for sanctions. It’s only in the last few months that he has backed off and become cautious, and my own theory is that this results from tete-a-tetes with Merkel, who knows she will not survive this debacle and is attempting to position Steinmeier as her successor as well as a moderate.

        • Erebus says:

          I too find Steinmeier’s volte face from mad dog to pragmatic statesman in a few months is an astonishing transition. The word “contrived” comes to mind.
          Instead of Merkel, I would guess he consulted his pollster, or got a word in his shell-like ear from his corporate backers that this schtick won’t work for them. I doubt he himself has an opinion and simply plays whatever role he thinks will ingratiate him with the voters and the German power circles that determine outcomes.

        • Oddlots says:

          Agreed. Quite an about face. I still remember his spluttering rage against any suggestion of anti-EU dissent:

          But when it comes to the EU you need to give thanks for any positive movement because the precedents are so horrifically stupid.

          • marknesop says:

            It must just be something about the German language, but every guy who yells in German sounds like Hitler. Probably it’s just because I don’t understand it, so I base everything on tone and body language – I used to think my father-in-law was a very angry guy because he’s not a gratuitous smiler, and I couldn’t understand anything he said. Anyway, I laughed out loud when Steinmeier said the Social Democrats don’t have to remind themselves why they fight for peace. Ha, ha – sure you do, Frankie.

            Less American influence in Europe would be a blessing, but the fact of the matter is the current crop of European leaders will follow any power player that emerges, purely out of self-interest and the belief that that figure will keep them in power if they only swear fealty.

            • Oddlots says:

              It’s not called the language of love for nothing.

              Wait…

              • Moscow Exile says:

                It’s not called the language of love for nothing…

                Ganz recht, mein Herr!

                What’s unromantic about this old party-piece of mine, a serenade from Lehár’s operetta “Frasquita” sung by the wonderful Richard Tauber:

                Hab’ ein blaues Himmelbett
                [I Have a Blue four-Poster Bed]

                Schatz, ich bitt’ dich, komm heut’ Nacht,
                Alles ist bereit gemacht
                Für ein Stelldichein
                Beim Lampenschein.
                Wenn der Sekt im Glase sprüht
                Und die Zigarette glüht,
                Fühlst du, kleine Maus,
                Dich wie zu Haus’

                Schatz, ich bitt’ dich, komm heut’ Nacht,
                Alles, was dir Freude macht,
                Geb’ ich gerne dir,
                Ach, komm zu mir.
                Fünf Minuten nach halb Neun
                Werd’ ich an der Türe sein.
                Niemand wird dich seh’n
                Beim Kommen und beim Geh’n.

                Ein Glück mir winkt wo wie noch nie,
                Kein Laut uns stört, kein Vis à Vis.
                Beim Mondenstrahl ganz verstohlen noch spät,
                Doch was er sieht, er nicht verrät.
                Im nahen Park die Nachtigall
                Singt süss dazu ein Madrigal,
                Bis dann sie Sonne uns sagt ganz diskret,
                Es ist schon Zeit, dass ihr zum Gabelfrühstück geht.

                Schatz, ich bitt’ dich, komm heut’ Nacht,
                Alles, was dir Freude macht,
                Geb’ ich gerne dir,
                Ach, komm zu mir.
                Hab’ ein blaues Himmelbett,
                Drinnen träumt es sich so nett,
                Aber nicht allein,
                Geh, sag’ nicht nein.

                My treasure, I beg you – come tonight,
                Everything has been made ready
                For a lamplight rendezvous.
                When the sparkling wine fizzes in their glasses
                And the cigarettes glow,
                You, my little mouse, will really feel at home.

                My treasure, I beg you – come tonight,
                Everything that gives you joy
                I will gladly give you.
                Oh come to me!
                At twenty-five to ten
                I shall be at the gates.
                No one will see you
                Coming and going.

                Good fortune beckons me as never before.
                No sound will disturb us, no one will see us.
                A stolen moonlight glance quite late,
                But what the moon sees, he’ll not betray.
                The nightingale will sweetly sing a madrigal In the park nearby,
                Until quite discreetly the sun says to us
                That it is already time for us to go for breakfast.

                My treasure, I beg you – come tonight,
                Everything that gives you joy
                I will gladly give you.
                Oh come to me!
                I have a blue four-poster bed
                And it is so nice to dream in there,
                But not alone.
                Come on! Don’t say no!

                In fact, it’s more than romatic, it’s bloody-well too near the knuckle and shouldn’t have been allowed!!!!
                🙂

    • ThatJ says:

      Salon being the liberast heartland that it is (and heavily Jewish), I wasn’t surprised at all to see that the commenters are worse than Guardianistas.

      • ThatJ says:

        Slate‘s readership and expressed views are not unlike those of Salon’s, both publications are cut from the same cloth.

      • Oddlots says:

        But what did you think of the ARGUMENTS presented in the ARTICLE? Did they not seem sound? If so, is it not worth crediting the author with getting it published given the wasteland that is coverage of Ukraine? Does the editor not deserve some credit for that ESPECIALLY given the comments?

        Seriously, are you seriously proposing that one make one’s mind up based on a straw vote from the comments section?

        • ThatJ says:

          Seriously, are you seriously proposing that one make one’s mind up based on a straw vote from the comments section?

          NO! I’m commenting about what I read in the comment section. Regarding the article itself, I agree with the author. I must also add that even the most biased websites will let a contrarian view slip out once in a while, for the sake of being “balanced” of course…

          • Oddlots says:

            If they’ve consistently published Patrick L Smith’s contrarian – and righteous – pieces regarding the Ukraine debacle then how are they “biased”? On what issues do you disagree with them and how does this impact their reporting on Russia? I think you are trying to make a larger argument in which the Ukraine is merely an instance. What exactly is that argument?

  8. kirill says:

    http://www.newsweek.com/more-50-russians-want-another-decade-putin-288865?piano_d=1

    But of course Russians have no say when it comes to the “democratic” standards being pushed by the west. Western dictatorship is above democracy.

    • marknesop says:

      Not mentioned is that Anna Nemtsova is a liberast elitist who loathes Putin and would readily support somebody like Navalny or Boris Nemtsov, to whom she is not related. The rest is a blizzard of numbers, and I very much doubt her quoted statistic of 99% of Putin’s supporters for a re-election bid being men – not unless men made up 99% of the surveyed group. Putin’s popularity is pretty evenly spread across social strata regardless of gender, and the idea that women are “on to him” is just typical Nemtsova ridiculous pap. Liberal elites hate him, always have and always will, because they fancy that under a western-oriented presidency they would get the attention and respect that is their due and their opinions would be anxiously sought in the running of the country. You just can’t tell some people anything, because their fantasies are so strong.

  9. et Al says:

    First the stick, and then the carrot:

    Neuters: U.S. ready to help Hungary build energy independence: diplomat
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/12/06/us-hungary-usa-gas-idUSKBN0JK0FF20141206
    The United States is willing to help Hungary and other European countries build energy infrastructure to reduce its dependence on Russian oil and gas, U.S. Chargé d’Affaires in Budapest André Goodfriend has told Nepszava newspaper.

    “Relying on Russian sources threatens energy independence,” Goodfriend told Nepszava in an interview published on Saturday. “We are ready to help the country build real energy independence.”…

    …”With its eastern opening, Hungary clearly pursues an energy policy independent of the European Union,” Goodfriend said. “The fact that they planned to build a second pipeline from Russia and they want to increase nuclear energy production, that is what threatens Hungary’s energy independence.”…”
    ###

    Yup, it’s all water under the bridge. Sure, the US and its Hungarian ambassador got in to Hungary’s boat and tried to hold Orban’s head under the water until he screamed for mercy, but hey, it’s just tough love.

    It’s amazing how consistently deluded the US political class is. After everything they threatened and did to Hungary, they somehow think Hungary will be begging to come back under its wing. Nuts!

  10. Warren says:

    Frau Merkel spouting her usual self-righteous nonsense again, does she think she is a school teacher and Putin is a naughty school boy or something?

    • ThatJ says:

      Again, we see Merkel parroting the meme that Russia is violating the “territorial integrity” of Ukraine. The shabbos goyim, meanwhile, are given a free pass by the Zionists and their bitches (Merkel included) to do whatever it takes to regain the territories — too bad Russia and the rebels won’t let they win.

      Russia should back the German nationalists and say that Moscow “supports the demographic integrity of Germany” while condemning Berlin for its violation.

  11. yalensis says:

    On the Karma front:

    Protesters in Vinnitsa (West Ukraine) ripping up Porky portrait and chanting “Poro – xujlo!” (“Poro – is a dickweed!”)

      • yalensis says:

        Huh???
        Couldn’t get vid to embed.
        Oh well, here is link.

        • ThatJ says:

          As with images which require links to end with an extension (.jpg, .png etc), youtube links must end with the video identifier string for the auto-embed feature to kick in.

          In your case, the video identifier is i9ZCE0U7X6I. Everything after it must be removed, or so I think. Your link ends with &fmt=18. Remove it and we have this…

          • marknesop says:

            I was able to see the original one posted with no problem.

          • ThatJ says:

            @marknesop

            Strange. This is how yalensis’ comments appear to me:

            • marknesop says:

              Huh. Well, I am viewing it from the Admin page, which you guys don’t see. But there is a link there, and when I click on it it takes me to the video. But the one Dan put up earlier is completely blank in all windows. Curious.

            • ThatJ says:

              @marknesop

              I personally checked the source code of yalensis’ comment and indeed WP tried to embed the link, but it failed:

              Well, the above code is full of tags which WP may strip upon being posted. The point is that the WP developers can do a better job than this.

            • ThatJ says:

              @myself

              I suspected WP would remove all tags, so the “code” didn’t show up at all…

              Anyway, to view that his “blank” comment is not actually blank you can right-click this page (but not in the admin panel I’m afraid), click on “source code” or something along this line, press CTRL+F and then search for:

              December 7, 2014 at 11:56 am

              Right below the found result there’s a div tag with the class “comment-body” which is yalensis’ comment. He posted just the link and what you see is the bad job of WP trying to embed his link, which failed and the result is the blank comment that we see.

  12. patient observer says:

    Big news – Russian economy collapses – now smaller than Spain!
    Funny, no change in employment data, no change in productivity, nothing changed in Russia’s physical economy except for the speculative value of the ruble thus the Russian economy has shrunk by more than 30%! Gleeful news for the West.
    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/russias-economy-shrunk-much-now-191000983.html
    Are these guys idiots or what?

    • Jen says:

      Russian economy shrank because it does not count prostitution, human organ trafficking and transactions involving cocaine, heroin and crystal meth.

      • ThatJ says:

        Heh, perhaps it’s time for Russia to follow Italy’s example:

        Hookers And Blow: How Changing The Definition Of GDP Officially Jumped The Shark

        • patient observer says:

          These vibrant and dynamic growth industries must be nourished in the West and exported around the world. The latest success is Ukraine which is jumping generations ahead into the post-reality economy of the West.

          Let Russia remain stuck in the past with its “culture”, “morality”, “reality” and “sexual differentiation”. They are so old-fashioned! Why, they still make “things” and they force children to learn math, science and the arts. The inhumanity!

          • james says:

            all of these barometers remind me of the types of barometers used by the accounting firms prior to the implosion of the ltcm, 2008 financial fiasco meltdom and etc. etc.. the figures are all good until they blow up in one’s face and the accounting firms cease to exist – but are definitely not held accountable!

          • Moscow Exile says:

            I tell you, much was made of in the West about the wonderful entry of McDonald’s into the USSR and how that shite they sell as food gave the downtrodden Russian masses a “taste of the West”, something which they were gagging for.

            I was living in Moscow when Ronald McDonald arrived and witnessed Muscovites standing for hours around Pushkin Square, waiting eagerly for their first bite into the world of freedom and democracy.

            Another of the great Western innovations presented to the yearning Russian masses was this venture, opened in 2001:

            Spearmint Rhino Gentleman’s Club

            The Moscow Times, always on the side of making Rusia a better, freer world for those poor, dumbass Russkies, gushed over its opening:

            Club Kid – Spearmint Rhino Gentlemen’s Club

            That’s what democracy is all about folks: freedom of choice!

            Key word: freedom.

            The New Arbat joint closed in 2007.

            I mean, watching women getting undressed is so passé, my dears!

            See: The Moscow strip scene

        • davidt says:

          It seems as though Russia has a nice little strategy in place to essentially sell oil/gas for gold. This is predicated on the widely held assumption that the US authorities are suppressing the price of gold. (Paul Craig Roberts has been running this argument for quite a while.) Some evidence for this can be seen in the figures that gold futures amount to $360 billion per month, whilst only $280 million of physical gold changes hands per month. During the 3rd quarter of 2014 some 93 tons of gold were bought by central banks, of which 55 tons went to the Kremlin’s vaults. According to Dimitry Kalinichenko, of whom I know very little, Russia accepts US dollars for its oil or gas, but then uses them to buy gold. (Well, it uses some of them to buy gold.) It will be interesting to see whether Russia develops this strategy, and whether China also makes this play.
          http://www.gold-eagle.com/article/grandmaster-putins-golden-trap

    • Oddlots says:

      I remember some Yank State Department guy saying that Syria was sooooo crack ward economically that it didn’t even register the 2007-8 meltdown. Never occurred to him or the interviewer to register the irony of that statement.

    • kirill says:

      Where’s peter the pedo and his retarded one line posts?

      LOL.

  13. et Al says:

    According to the Moon of Alabama, The New Republic is toast!

    http://www.moonofalabama.org/2014/12/the-death-of-tnr-is-well-deserved.html#comments

    Does that mean Julia ‘Ukraine rebels took up arms basically because of Russia tv propaganda’ Ioffe is unemployed? Woot!

  14. ThatJ says:

    Who pulls the strings of Femen and Pussy Riot?

    Christmas is a wonderful time at the Paris city centre church of La Madeleine. The magnificent vaulted ceilings echo to the sounds of baroque organ music and the choir rehearsing for the famous Christmas Eve concerts. But mainly it is a haven where generations of devout Catholics sit, pray and re-charge their spiritual batteries.

    Then last December 20 it became the scene of an obscenity. A young woman, naked to the waist apart from a blue veil, marched to the altar and proceeded to enact an “abortion” using a calf’s liver as a foetus. Then while screaming pro-abortion slogans she proceeded to urinate on the altar. After striking defiant poses for photographers she walked calmly back out.

    Radical feminist street outrage group Femen had struck again and were duly rewarded with a flood of fawning international TV, print and online coverage. Six years after they were launched in Kiev, Femen have become the one of the most fashionable brands in radical politics with guaranteed coverage for their lurid antics and an endless stream of pretty young women willing to make spectacles of themselves for the cameras.

    The toxic combination of narcissism, weaponised female rage and bare breasts has made them media darlings. They now have chapters in nine cities across the world including Rio, London, Frankfurt, Paris and Tel Aviv.

    Their hallmarks are slogans spray-painted on bare breasts and floral garlands. They’ve embraced many trendy causes from gay marriage to cis-gender rights and have even protested outside the Davos summit, Euro Cup 12 soccer tournament and even mosques but there is no doubting their main targets — Russia, and the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches.

    Some of the scenes of their desecrations defy belief as in Argentina last year where Femen-inspired women, snarled, spat and then had sex in front of devout men defending a church from vandalism. Last month another topless group ran screaming around St Peter’s Square in Rome apparently violating themselves with crucifixes before they were bundled away by the police.

    So who are Femen and who is paying for them? Who is pulling the strings behind these obscene, marionettes? And why are their offensive actions treated with kid-gloves in a Europe so hyper-vigilant about “hate crimes”? These are among the many questions that surround them.

    Femen were launched by a group of Kiev University students campaigning against sex tourism in 2008 and quickly got attention. But as their topless fame grew, the nagging questions increased. How are they able to rent such nice flats in Kiev? How do the girls make a living? The Italian magazine Il Foglio did its own investigation and uncovered some tantalising facts.

    Every activist in Kiev gets about one thousand euros per month, the salary of the leaders is 2,500 euros (note that an average salary in Kiev is about 500 euros). In Europe, spending is even higher, and the girls from FEMEN receive €1,000 a day,” the Italian newspaper wrote. (Aug. 20, 2013)

    Il Foglio identified an American Jewish businessman called Jed Sunden as a key funder of Femen. Sunden is an enigma himself because of his puzzling business success. After majoring in history at Macalester College in Minnesota, Sunden ended up working in 1993, “sort of by chance,” on a privately funded research project compiling a register of Jewish cemeteries in Ukraine.


    Jed Sunden

    Less than two years later, he decided to set up his own English-language newspaper, the Kiev Post. “I was just a poor kid from Brooklyn with a dime and a dream,” he says of himself at the time. Knowing nothing about the publishing business and having a limited knowledge of journalism, Sunden relied heavily on two experienced Jewish journalists, Igor Greenwald and Brian Bonner.

    Full text: http://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/2014/12/who-pulls-the-strings-of-femen-and-pussy-riot/

    • patient observer says:

      Putin found the FEMEN entertaining in a strip-club way. After all that is all that they are – public strippers but without the pole or dancing talent. The mix of sex and selling is an effective method to gain attention. One example that I find amusing are the letters S, E and X. These letters are combined in several ways to identify car models such as EX, SE, SX but so far no has tried the obvious – the SEX-500 turbocharged coup for example. As advertisers become more daring we could see the SE-BOOBmobile or the CHIC-MAGNET-2000

      • marknesop says:

        Or the ORGA S/M. It’s funny, I never noticed those letter combinations, because once they all stood for something. The SE still does – Special Edition. R/T stood for Road & Track, SS very similarly for Street and Strip, and GT meant Grand Touring.

      • ThatJ says:

        It always struck me as odd the fine looks of the FEMEN activists.

        Over a year ago I read about a French FEMEN activist who was ousted as a call-girl, causing embarrassment for the movement because the fight against the sexual objectification of women is one of their stated goals. The activist in question is Eloïse Bouton.

        From the beginning, I noted that the women who make up FEMEN are good-looking, whereas other feminist groups, past and present, are not. In other words, FEMEN seemed “fishy”.

        Also in France:

        “Marine Le Pen called the French population to “make French children” as a response to “a considerable immigration”. Alert! The fascist epidemic transforms into STD and try to contaminate our vaginas. As a serum, Femen sextremists call all the French women to kiss, to suck, be licked, to wank, to stick fingers in, to pump, to fuck as many foreigners as they can before the European elections. We count on you to have many multicolors buns in your ovens! Femen gives the starting signal of the international marathon of sex! Cosmopolitan France will win against FN mafia! ! FOREIGNERS FUCK BETTER !”

        Why is FEMEN different? It’s really simple, imo. There are hundreds of thousands if not millions of pretty girls in North America and Europe who are in the sex industry. It is my belief that the majority of them have very messed up heads. Some may feel bad about what they do and joining FEMEN can be guilt-freeing (whores by night, against objectification of women by day). Others will do their bit if they get paid, which is not a bad deal if you are in the sex industry. What is obvious is that FEMEN are not made up of intellectual women. The other feminist groups, past and present, may be ugly and masculine-looking and their ideas of dubious merit but at least you can tell they are smart.

        Now I’m not saying this “trade-off” between intelligence and looks is genetic in origin. On the contrary, there are studies out there that say that beautiful people are, on average, smarter. But looks is not as important in men as it is in women. If you are a pretty lady, you have it easy in picking up a suitable husband. For men, intelligence in women is of secondary importance. Why invest so much money and time (years) in studies when you don’t have to? This dynamics is not bad, actually. Pairing successful men with women possessing good looks and average intelligence is considered to be eugenic, and I can see why.

        Of interest: Do women with lower waist-to-hip ratios have higher intelligence?

      • ThatJ says:

        Ugh, I hate it when I notice the typos only after posting the comment. But since the subject being discussed can be amusing, let me continue.

        This website, femininebeauty.info, is both creepy and intriguing. I agree with the author to some extent (e.g. the influence of gay men in the fashion industry), but much of what he says is too far-fetched for me to take seriously. For instance, I see beautiful women being called “masculine” by him when there’s no such masculinity in their looks. Here’s an example (ps: the pics are not work-safe).

        In my entire adolescent and adult life, I never considered those “super models” beautiful or hot, or at least not the majority of them. Now I know why. Feels good, man.

        The owner of femininebeauty.info, Erik, has this informative piece about the gay domination of the fashion industry:

        Gay fashion designers

        Although I have cited “The Advocate,” a major U.S. publication catering to homosexuals, on the gay domination of the fashion business, some people read so superficially that they would accuse me of using nothing other than my own assurance and pictures of the faces and physiques of fashion models to argue that the fashion business is dominated by gays, and this in spite of my quoting the following statement published in the Advocate:

        To observe that gay men and lesbians dominate the fashion business may seem about as controversial as saying that Russians rule Moscow.

        The tone of the statement above connotes pride, which shouldn’t be surprising given that plenty of gays are proud of being homosexual. Below, you will find some excerpts from Fred Goss in the 1997 issue (June 10, volume 735) of the Advocate that I have cited.

        Few industries are seen as gayer than fashion. Stereotypes aside, the world of couture has indeed been molded by the vast numbers of gay men and lesbians working in the industry. Yet Seventh Avenue and its European counterparts remain strangely closeted. We’ve charted some of the brightest lights who’ve made no secret of their sexuality. But that’s not all: In our cover story, on page 28, we meet the guru of Gucci, Tom Ford; menswear maverick Gene Meyer gets the spotlight on page 37; and jewelers Jelena Behrend and Trisha Alkaitis tell all on page 39. Each is compelling proof that fashion owes its very life to the gay sensibility.

        Full text: http://www.femininebeauty.info/gay-fashion-designers

        I did a search for “Russian” in his website and found the following:

        Why are there so many high-fashion models from Eastern Europe?

        The strange death of Ruslana Korshunova: likely murder by an organized crime group

        Feminine beauty from Russia (not work-safe!)

        Ekaterina Joukova: Why do modeling agencies not book me?

        • marknesop says:

          I think this guy is full of it. He implies that the reason there are so many Eastern-European women in modeling is because they come from poor countries and will take a lot of abuse and bullying about the desired image because they are poor and fear losing their jobs. I suspect it is because Eastern European women are beautiful and have figures that highlight the potential of the clothes they model. The examples of feminine beauty he offers are useless to his point because the women are wearing nothing or next to it – what are they modeling, underwear?

        • Moscow Exile says:

          Confucius he say: Man poking fire no lookee at mantlepiece.

          • Moscow Exile says:

            Confucius also say: Man with dick in fire think he fucking grate!

            • colliemum says:

              Outstanding!
              There’s nothing like starting the new week on an industrial-strength giggle!
              🙂

              • Moscow Exile says:

                Glad to hear I caused a chuckle!

                I was wondering whether the above pun would be lost now amongst those born later than 1970, for a coal fire on a grate in a hearth in a fireplace in every room, including bedrooms, is now a thing of the distant past, namely my youth, as are mantlepieces and fire-irons such as pokers and coal tongues and coal scuttles.

        • Moscow Exile says:

          Pairing successful men with women possessing good looks and average intelligence is considered to be eugenic, and I can see why.”

          Not all are in agreement with such a sentiment.

          An alleged conversation between US dancer and beauty of her day, Isadore Duncan, and French poet, novelist and journalist Anatole France, once took place on the subject of eugenics. This conversation came to a sudden stop when Duncan said: “Imagine a child with my beauty and your brains!” whereupon France responded: “Yes, but imagine a child with my beauty and your brains!”

          George Bernard Shaw has also long been said to have made a similar response by post to an unknown beauty’s proposition that he received in a letter posted to him from Switzerland – and Shaw was a eugenicist (of sorts).

          See: But Suppose the Child Inherited My Beauty and Your Brains?

        • ThatJ says:

          @marknesop

          I think this guy is full of it. He implies that the reason there are so many Eastern-European women in modeling is because they come from poor countries and will take a lot of abuse and bullying about the desired image because they are poor and fear losing their jobs.

          Yes, he did imply that. But a commenter named Ingrid took a slightly different angle: she thought the author implied that Eastern European women are more masculine, therefore, more desired by the gay-ridden fashion industry. She commented:

          http://www.femininebeauty.info/comment/3618#comment-3618

          It’s not hard to see why she got offended. If you say the fashion industry is dominated by gays who have abnormal tastes, and that these tastes compel them to recruit Eastern European women, then it quite rationally follows that EE women are more masculine. But the author disagrees:

          http://www.femininebeauty.info/comment/3620#comment-3620

          At first Ingrid felt offended, but then she clarified that it was a misunderstanding. Ingrid is part-Russian, part-Northern European, so the text was a personal matter to her:

          http://www.femininebeauty.info/comment/3630#comment-3630

          The examples of feminine beauty he offers are useless to his point because the women are wearing nothing or next to it – what are they modeling, underwear?

          The point he’s trying to make, imo, is that the fashion industry is dominated by gays and that the taste of gay men differ from that of hetero men. So the photos you see of the almost nude women, they aren’t modeling anything — it’s Erik making a point that they are more appealing to heteros because of their femininity, and that they, not masculinized women, should be used by the fashion industry or chosen in beauty pageants. When we think of models, we think of high-fashion models, but there are other types as well. Glamour models are all over his website and for him, they are more appealing than the “beauty standard” presented to us by the fashion industry.

          Erik gets a lot of name-calling and he says he’s misunderstood. There are pages explaining that no, being tall does not make a woman less feminine, and no, having smaller breasts also doesn’t make a woman less feminine. Imagine you’re a woman with low self-esteem, and you end up finding his website? He tries to be a good guy, he has a self-esteem page dedicated to women searching for answers (many females are unhappy with their bodies). He says that they shouldn’t follow the standards imposed by the fashion industry and starve themselves. But at the same time he goes to great lengths trying to classify what are feminine and masculine traits in a woman:

          Female fashion models and adolescent boys

          High-fashion models with fine facial features

          High-fashion models with robust facial features

          The jaws of high-fashion models

          The backside of high-fashion models

          The forehead-nose region of high-fashion models

          Erik wrote this piece especially for those people who say that overweight women were preferred in medieval Europe, a claim he disputes:

          What form of women’s body shape was preferred in medieval Europe?

          Pictures of feminine women with small breasts are used by Erik to undermine the “clothes hangar” argument. Being skinny/small-breasted is no excuse for the use of (almost exclusively) masculinized high-fashion models, because skinny/small-breasted women can also be feminine:

          A woman with small breasts

          Even more women related to the “clothes hangar” argument

          More women related to the “clothes hangar” argument

          More evidence against the “clothes hangar” argument

          Paris A. from Met Art
          Here is yet another refutation of the “clothes hangar” argument. Paris A. from Met Art is slender, small-breasted and doesn’t have much in terms of feminine curves that will come in the way when modeling clothes, but women like her will not be seen as high-fashion models because they are too feminine for homosexual fashion designers.

          Olga K. from Met-Art

          Andrea from femjoy

          Valery from Galitsin News

          Lena Sunshine

          Erik is opposed to international beauty pageants. He argues that different ethnicities cannot be judged by the same standards:

          Aesthetics in international beauty pageants

          Women participating in and often winning contemporary high profile beauty pageants mostly have unimpressive looks. Just as the participants in the Olympics, science Nobel Prize nominees and candidates for the Field Medal are drawn from the best athletes, intellects and mathematicians, respectively, and the top prize goes to the very best among them, high profile beauty contests should be about the highest aesthetic standards and the most attractive women.

          Toward this purpose it is necessary to address aesthetics in an international context. Therefore, this section addresses whether it is possible to come up with objective criteria to compare the attractiveness of women from different [geographic] populations. If this is possible, then these criteria should be used in beauty contests, but if this is not possible, then alternatives to the way contemporary beauty pageants are run should be considered.

          Please note that whereas there are comparisons of physical appearance across populations within this section, the comparisons are not for the purpose of comparing the attractiveness of ethnic groups, but for determining whether one can come up with objective criteria to compare the attractiveness of individuals across populations. Additionally, the illustrative examples and comparisons should not be assumed to imply typicality or average differences; the context of the illustrative examples is explained in the text and/or legends.

          The above excerpt is from his “ethnic comparisons” series in which he uses graphics to compare the physical attributes between different populations (Europeans/Africans/Asians):

          http://www.femininebeauty.info/ethnic-comparisons/

          I agree that the author is “full of it”, the only thing he “gets” is that yes, the fashion industry is full of gay men, and yes, the high-fashion models are for the most nothing to feel aspired by. Men are not spared from his writings. Look at the examples he uses to describe masculinization and feminization in men:

          http://www.femininebeauty.info/masculinization-feminization-in-men

          Bodybuilders, seriously?

    • james says:

      thanks for sharing this link. very interesting.

    • kirill says:

      Would Jed Sunden tolerate a FEMEN or Pussy Riot “peformance” inside his local synagogue? Let’s see this two bit hypocrite and the rest of the string pullers take the medicine they dish out.

      • Jen says:

        Funnily the same thing can be said for ISIS who have never declared jihad against Israel yet seem prepared to take on Jordan, Qatar and Saudi Arabia even though these three countries have acted as midwives and financiers in some way for the organisation.

  15. ThatJ says:

    The leader of Austria’s right-wing Freedom Party (FPÖ), Heinz-Christian Strache, is in Moscow for a discussion on “overcoming the crisis in Europe”.

    This comes amid speculation as to whether the FPÖ might have received financial support from Russia, after a Moscow strategy paper seen by German media revealed that Russian President Vladimir Putin has been advised to influence Europe through right-wing populist parties including Alternativ für Deutschland (AfD).

    The round-table discussion is being chaired by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

    Strache is accompanied by the chairman of the Vienna FPÖ Johann Gudenus, the party’s foreign policy spokesman Johannes Hübner, and science spokesman Andreas Karlsböck. In a press statement the FPÖ said that the meeting was being attended by politicians, scientists and experts from across Europe.

    […]

    The national manager for the social democrats, Norbert Darabos, said that he found “the extent to which the FPÖ has recently courted Russia very striking”. He called on Strache to speak out, rather than relying on Gudenus, and explain the nature of the “strategic friendship”.

    http://www.thelocal.at/20141125/right-wing-freedom-party-visits-moscow-for-talks

    • marknesop says:

      I imagine the “strategic friendship” revolves around the cancelled South Stream project, which would have placed the hub in Austria (although it was changed to Italy when fickle Austria dumped Gazprom to be part of the European pipe dream formerly known as Nabucco. It only makes sense that somebody from Austria would visit Moscow to see if somehow South Stream can be saved. It’s a lot of money for Austria that just went down the toilet.

      Speaking of the toilet and South Stream, I see Bulgaria is still trying to spit the shit out of its mouth with a declaration that no European rules were violated in the South Stream construction tender. Bit late for that now, although he points out that Bulgaria has still received no official word that the project is cancelled, and is getting all its news from TV.

      And speaking of gas, Russia says it has received $378 Million from Ukraine as advance payment for gas, and Ukraine plans to buy up to 1 Billion CuM in the first quarter of 2015. There – that wasn’t so hard, was it, Kiev?

  16. Pingback: Violence Once Removed: War Through the Languid Filter of Bored Academia | The Kremlin Stooge

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