Comment Thread

unclevolodyaNothing else. Just a comment thread, to alleviate the browser issues. Hey, WordPress, what’s happened to my pagination?

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1,179 Responses to Comment Thread

  1. kat kan says:

    Didn’t wordpress just do an update? new features???

    In that case remove the pagination thing and put it back on again, so the new version “takes” it.

    For followers of Saker, the new new blog is up from today
    still has comment issues (need put name every time but no captcha)

    The “menu” stripey things at left, the one above the banner, lets you choose blog version or website version. Months of work, most of it done by a good guy from Armenia.

    • marknesop says:

      I did do that, and reset it to 50 comments per page. Nothing. At the top of the comments it should say “Older Comments” after 50, with an arrow to go back. This happened before, and then it briefly fixed itself, I didn’t do anything differently. Now it’s on the fritz again.

  2. Warren says:

  3. Warren says:

  4. yalensis says:

    This comment is for Mark and colliemum, it is a continuation of yesterday’s debate about freedom of speech and mocking religion, etc. The debate is impossible to continue on that old thread, just due to browser issues.
    Anyhow, is a very good debate, mostly between you 2, I think with me butting in my 2-cents worth, in which I mostly came down on colliemum’s side. HOWEVER, there is a caveat, all of this has to stipulate that this WAS actually a jihadist attack against a French newspaper. If it turns out this was something other than that (i.e., a CIA false flag or the like to punish Hollande for going soft on sanctions), then obviously the whole discussion is MOOT, at least until the next time around.

    Having stipulated that, and starting with the base assumption that, yes, this WAS a well-coordinated jihadist attack to punish French secularists, then I just wanted to insert a couple of points, in order to keep my dog in the fight:

    Point #1

    Mark said: “And if we are just defending everyone’s right as an individual to be an asshole, then I guess it’s all right for a few little girls with balaclavas on their heads to sing about shit and bitches in Moscow’s cathedrals – after all, what harm’s it doing, really? We missed the boat on that one, because as I recall, nobody was much in favour of it at the time.”

    My reply to that: Actually, I was opposed, even at the time (and could prove it, if necessary, by going back in time to old comments), to Pussy Riot being prosecuted for their “performance” in the Cathedral. Or at least, I thought at the very most they should be prosecuted on the lesser charge of petty hooliganism. Much as I despise Pussy Riot, I didn’t think what they did in the Cathedral merited such attention and punishment; but my views are probably skewed by the fact that I am an atheist and have no truck for Orthodox Church either. If I were a believer, I might feel differently. Although I hasten to add, even for an atheist like me, modern Christianity seems like a WAY better religion than Islam, in the sense that they don’t go around slitting peoples throats who disagree with them.

    Point #2
    I mostly agree with colliemum’s analysis of French secularism. Being a Francophile myself, I am somewhat familiar with French anti-clerical history. French culture also has its crude side. That surprised me when I first started studying French, because I had always thought French culture was so uttimately sublime and classy, and then it turns out that the French have a long history of fart jokes and adolescent crudity, enough to rival even the Americans. RUSSIANS are classier, by comparison. Nonetheless, the French anti-clericalist tradition is very real, and valid, and forms a keystone of French culture. And the French should be allowed to mock religion any way they please, without being shot or having their throats slit. IMHO.

    • yalensis says:

      P.S., as for the whole argument that maybe these people weren’t really Islamists, well that is a separate argument, separate from the free speech one, which starts from a baseline of “things are what they seem”. If it WAS a false flag (*cough CIA *cough Mossad *cough) then the whole free speech debate is MOOT.

      Realistically, as soon as something terrible happens and people get hurt, then EVERYBODY and their grandmother starts jumping all over the place, trying to pin the blame on their favorite bogeyperson.

      Russophobes jump to blame Russia (somebody thought they heard one of the terrorists speaking Russian). Chechenophobes respond that, if somebody WAS speaking Russian, then it must have been Chechens, because you know what THOSE people are like. IslamoPHOBES (of which I am one) point to the obvious and blame Wahhabi-type terrorists. IslamoPHILES either deny this, or try to exculpate it.

      Of all the people piling on, it seems to me that the IslamoPHILES have the toughest job. Because they have to do a double back somersault with a twist: Vociferously denying that their guys dunnit; while simultaneously exonerating the perps and blaming the vics.

      O what a twisted web those spiders have to weave!

    • yalensis says:

      I also want to mention Fern’s contribution to the debate, and I agree with her 100%.
      Here is Fern’s comment quoted in full:

      I’m afraid I have to disagree with you here, Mark. It’s not just about whether or not religious beliefs should be exempt from being mocked or questioned – there’s a wide range of subjects, many of them legitimate areas of scholarly enquiry, which are now largely untouchable because of all too credible threats of violence. To give an example from the UK – some time ago, Channel 4 planned to screen a documentary on the origins of Islam which explored the theory that the religion actually began much later than is generally claimed. There was nothing scurrilous, mocking or obscene about the programme – it was an academic look at the origins of one of the world’s major faiths. Had it been about judaism or christianity, no-one would have batted an eye. But it wasn’t about those religions. So, not surprisingly, Channel 4 cancelled the programme because of ‘security risks’ to their staff. I find that very disturbing. Or take literature – Salman Rushdie lived under threat of death for years for writing a novel – a work of fiction. I was on holiday in Oslo when a member of his Norwegian publishing team was murdered by masked assailants. Violence against those deemed to have ‘offended’ sensibilities has been going on for years.

      What took place in Paris may have been a false flag – some sort of ‘Gladio’ type operation – certainly the attackers looked more like a military unit that a bunch of home-grown militants protesting cartoons. But if this was an attack on a magazine deemed ‘offensive’, then it is an attack on free speech and thought. Our liberties were hard-won – they shouldn’t be surrendered because a small number of people think extreme violence is the appropriate response to people poking fun at their beliefs.

      Hear hear!

      Mark responded that mocking humour is different from “just being funny” humour, to which I say, that’s actually the whole point. Nobody is disputing that the French cartoonists were viciously mocking Islam. They were not laughing WITH Islam, they were laughing AGAINST Islam.

      And they had every right to do so. They were not attacking Islam physically, nor desecrating a Mosque. They were mocking the Muslim religion in a satirical way. Free speech laws protect their right to do that; and the police system in an orderly society protects (or should protect) their physical safety against violent retribution.

      The only speech which should be banned (in a well-ordered modern society) is hate speech, the kind which incites to violence against a certain group of people.

      And there, I just opened up another whole can of worms, because how does one define hate speech? I am not a legal expert, so I will leave it at that, with the open can of worms wriggling egregiously…

      • Warren says:

        Charlie Hebdo aren’t consistent on who they offend and who they respect.

        ‘Anti-Semitic’ satire divides liberal Paris
        Controversial columnist’s aside about Sarkozy’s son and a Jewish heiress reignites old embers

      • marknesop says:

        Of course, free speech has its devotees to the point that if anything can be said, it must be said or our freedom is at risk. Mark Adomanis is one, and we had quite a disagreement over the Pussies’ “performance” in Moscow’s cathedral. Everyone should have reacted with “What’s wrong with that?” because the freedom to offend constitutes the obligation to offend. Otherwise, how do you know you’re free? One must give one’s freedom a test drive, each and every day, to see if it’s still there. The whole population can go around screaming “FUCK!!!!” in each other’s faces, all day long, because it’s a free country.

        Maybe so, but I’m glad I don’t live there. You can have it.

      • Max says:

        Someone once said the big ruction between Xtianity and Islam is that Xtians believe God had a Son. But this a metaphor for the goodness humans claim to cherish: kindness, morality, compassion. Because it’s not the default among animals; humans alone have it(if they do). Mankind embodied in Christ, god/man, is the explanation. I’m not sure how Islam explains goodness. That’s as far as my cogitations can reach.

        • Max says:

          Forgot to mention human ability to shape the environment to suit. We don’t grow fur to keep warm, or feathers to fly. We make our own clothing and wings from a bountiful planet. Like tiny gods!

        • Jen says:

          Islam (as it is now) actually resembles some forms of Protestant Christianity in that both religions posit that people choose to believe in God and through their faith establish a personal relationship with the Divine. Belief in God and his prophets brings spiritual peace to the believer, and this faith motivates the believer to do good. Praying five times a day instills discipline, orienting yourself in the direction of Mecca while praying demonstrates your place and relationship in the physical cosmos and to God, abstaining from alcohol and other substances that cloud the mind and observing the monthly fast during Ramadan help encourage self-control, and giving to charity helps the giver grow spiritually and morally. Faith that transforms into practical actions, which in themselves demonstrate the person’s goodness, is what distinguishes Islam and some forms of Protestantism: you do good not to ingratiate yourself with God, you do good because your faith and trust in God predispose you to do that – you can’t help but be good. But the fact that Islam historically is a religion of poor people – there are no initiation rituals apart from pronouncing one’s belief in God and his prophets, and there is a social justice message that appeals to downtrodden people – means that to some extent the religion has been shaped by its believers over centuries so that for most people it has become a rigid set of actions and behaviours you perform to avoid going to Hell.

          Islam and Protestantism also emphasise free will; God gives free will so that people come to him of their own accord. God’s forgiveness is a major element that goes with free will: if people realise they have done wrong, are sorry and try to make amends, they will be forgiven. Sunni Islam and Protestantism also recognise predestination (the idea that some events have been fixed by God in advance) which would seem to contradict the notion of free will: the clash between the two is reconciled by recognition that humans can exercise choice between two preordained events.

          Sunni Islam tends to revolve around community needs and expectations and tells Muslims to strive to be like the Prophet Mohammed in life-style so in that sense it’s a conservative and rule-bound religion. Shi’ite Islam is a more mystical and personal religion that relies more on leaders to interpret Islam for believers. There are two main forms of Shi’ism: Ismaili Shi’ism which believes in 7 divinely inspired imams of the past and Twelver Shi’ism which adds another 5 such imams, with the last having disappeared some place but promising to come back when catastrophe appears. Twelver Shi’ism is a future-oriented messianic religion; it also happens to be the official religion of Iran.

          • colliemum says:

            There’s a very interesting speech by the Egyptian President Al Sisi which he gave at the end of December 2014, at the famous Cairo University:
            While the audience does applaud, I am not able to predict if this will have any consequences – except for al Sisi perhaps sharing the fate of his predecessor, Anwar Sadat.

      • marknesop says:

        “And they had every right to do so. They were not attacking Islam physically, nor desecrating a Mosque. They were mocking the Muslim religion in a satirical way. Free speech laws protect their right to do that; and the police system in an orderly society protects (or should protect) their physical safety against violent retribution.”

        That being the case, there is nothing loathsome or scandalous in the opinions of those who suggest the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists got what they deserved, that they asked for it and that nobody should be surprised. They are simply exercising their right of free speech to express an opinion. They are not attacking Charlie Hebdo (for those who don’t speak French, that’s short for “Hebdomadaire”, which means “weekly”) physically, or desecrating their offices. Free speech laws protect their right to do that, and the police system must protect their physical safety against retribution, just as it must holocaust deniers and people who like to march around wearing Nazi regalia.

        Guess that includes the torchlight paraders in Lviv, too, come to think of it. They’re not physically attacking Jews, or desecrating a synagogue, after all, and Bandera is dead. What harm can designating him a national hero do now? Or carry his picture through the streets? He’s just some dead guy. It’s not as if they are advocating for further such pogroms in future.

        Oh, wait….

        • yalensis says:

          Hm….okay, this is where the free-speech debate gets the toughest, and most confusing.
          Do the people who say (Charlie Hebdo staff got what they deserve) have the right to say that?
          That is a toughie, indeed. I think you have to be a laywer to know where the line is drawn.
          I would tentatively say:
          Yes. If somebody just said, “They got what they deserve”, then that is protected speech. Because they are talking about a crime that already happened.
          We do that all the time on your blog. Like, when Muzychko was assassinated, a lot of us were, like “Hip hip hurrah!” Of course, that was just one guy, not a group of guys. But even if it was a group of Muzychko-type guys, then we would probably cheer it on.

          On the other hand, if people took it a step further, and said, “Everybody who believes such-and-such should get their throats cut”, then that is not protected speech, because they are inciting a future crime. I know, I know, it’s a really grey area.

          As for the Banderite torchlight marches:
          In a perfect world, maybe they would not be banned by the government, provided they are not committing actual pogroms.
          But in a perfect world, the Russian army would drive their tanks through and mow them all down.
          Am I a hypocrite?

          • marknesop says:

            I wouldn’t go that far – you are just predisposed to defend your own personal beliefs. Lawyers have no personal beliefs, or if they start out that way they abandon them early. You might be surprised by what constitutes hate speech, and I don’t see the example you cited making the cut. Not in the USA, anyway, the last bastion of free speech. Your conversation would likely have to reflect a specific intention tied to a specific future action, such as naming the person or persons – if not by name, by organization – and displaying that carrying out the threat was within your capability (such as the location was withinnthe same city as your residence, for example) so that immediate action was justified.

            • Jen says:

              “… “Everybody who believes such-and-such should get their throats cut” …”

              Agree with Mark that this does not constitute hate speech in itself. People make that kind of comment all the time. If we talk all the time about stringing Mikheil Saakarkrashianvili from the nearest lamp-post with his own kravat, that’s not an incitement to the act. What has to exist is planning, agreeing on the time when it is best to abduct the man, which lamp-post will be used and where – intent to perform the act has to be present and police would need authorisation to track such conversations.

    • colliemum says:

      Great labour of love, yalensis, to transpose these posts!
      The debate is of course still ongoing, with some great posts by Douglas Murray, one here:
      Note that the Speccie is standing up for Freedom of Speech by severely censoring the comments …

  5. peter says:

    • yalensis says:

      Who is busy shorting Russian stocks and flipping derivatives!

      • cartman says:

        Soros has $24 billion. He could easily send almost half of the sum he is demanding. Doesn’t he know it’s impossible for a rich man to get into Heaven? From the looks of him, he won’t have long to prepare.

      • marknesop says:

        Amen. It seems like every guy who got rich is assumed to be an economic psychic with a huge cerebellum. I would remind everyone once again that George W. Bush is rich. And that George Soros did not get rich because of his powerful background in economics. Moreover, it looks more and more like the EU wants to declare that Russia has capitulated and is now wholeheartedly cooperating, and so it would be okay to relax sanctions – declare victory, in other words.

        I hope Russia will proceed with its plans to decouple from the west and the dollar, and fuck the EU. If its economy craters, is that Russia’s fault, or is it the EU’s fault for allowing itself to be led around by the nose by an insulated USA?

    • Moscow Exile says:

      “Sanctions against Russia reinforce the deflationary and recessionary pressures that were already present [in Europe] but have now become a reality,” Mr Soros said. “A default would be a big blow to European banks exposed to Russia.”

      He added that Russia’s financial meltdown represented a strategic as well as an economic threat to Europe, with Moscow’s policy likely to become even more aggressively nationalist as the economy deteriorated.

      Despite those dangers, Mr Soros stressed that he was not calling for the easing of sanctions, which were a “necessary evil” to push Russian forces out of Ukraine.
      Instead, he said the US and EU were making a big mistake by failing to back up their sanctions with a massive financial support programme for Ukraine, which he estimated would have to run to $50bn and would need to be approved in the first quarter of 2015..

      Sorass, FT, January 7, 2015

      • cartman says:

        Hmm, Kiev breaks the Ottawa Landmine Treaty, and Merkel gives them 500 million euros. Makes sense.

        The most odious thing about that woman is that she does exactly nothing to reign in the atrocities coming from that government, even though she donates German money. Doing nothing = approval.

      • marknesop says:

        “Instead, he said the US and EU were making a big mistake by failing to back up their sanctions with a massive financial support programme for Ukraine, which he estimated would have to run to $50bn and would need to be approved in the first quarter of 2015..”

        Yes, because everyone knows that’s how George Soros became a billionaire – by lending fantastic sums of money to entities who clearly were never going to pay it back, whether through unwillingness, habit or incapability.

  6. yalensis says:

    Still on the topic of French terror act, here is more info from the Russian press:

    French Prime Minister Manuel Valls announced the detention of 7 guys suspected of involvement in the Charlie Hebdo terrorist spree. While this was going on, an explosion rang out in a mosque (Mechet?) in the East of France, and it is not known if this is connected incident.

    Valls announced that the French police were busy all night rounding up the usual suspects and averting other planned attacks. Hundreds of people are under surveillance, and dozens of people already arrested, Valls assured the public.

    Then Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve later amended this to 7 people, some men and some women.

    Earlier, the French police published the names of 3 suspected terrorists. The police were helped by a coincidence: Initially the attackers hijacked an automobile, and later abandoned it. But made one mistake: Inside the stolen vehicle they accidentally left the ID of a 32-year-old man named Said Kouachi. This clue led to Said’s older brother, 34-year-old Sharif, and then to an 18-year-old student named Hamid Murad. All 3 suspects are French citizens (born in Paris), but of Algerian origins. Hamid actually turned himself into the police, declaring his innocence.

    According to the French newspaper Le Point, two of the suspected terrorists recently returned from Syria, where they had been fighting in the insurgency against the Assad government. They claim to be members of Al Qaeda.

    The leader of the official Muslim community of France, Danil Bubaker [yalensis: unsure of spelling] condemned the terrorist act in the strongest terms: “This barbaric act, extremely heinous, is also an attack against democracy and freedom of the press…”

    Spontaneous demonstrations of outrage, and support for the families of the victims, gathered up to 100,000 people in one place, according to French police.

    From the Russian side, both Prez Putin and P.M. Medvedev condemned the terror act and expressed their condolences to the French people.
    Duma Deputy Alexei Pushkov, who heads the committee for international affairs, made the following statement: “The tragedy in Paris shows, that it is not Russia which threatens Europe and her security. That is a bluff. The true threat comes from the adepts of terrorism. That is a fact.”

    • yalensis says:

      yalensis Comment:
      If it turns out that all is EXACTLY as it seems on the surface (=terrorists were well-trained jihadists returning from Syria), then, by extension, this inevitably leads to a certain conspiracy theory, because…

      1) We know that the Syrian jihadists (fighting against Assad government) were funded by America;
      2) If these jihadists are still the hired dogs of the Americans, then it would be logical to suspect Americans of turning their dogs against the French. As cartman noted. As in: What a coincidence! Hollande starts getting cold feet about the sanctions, plus is unhappy about losing the Mistral sale. And then this.

      So maybe Hollande needed a little knee-capping from the Empire’s bully-boys to put him back in line(?)
      If so, this disgusting trick might have back-fired, I hope it did.

    • marknesop says:

      I’m always instinctively suspicious of the “wallet dropped at the scene of the crime” clue. In a well-planned terrorist operation, or any that involved covert operations, especially in a country not your own, everyone would be told not to bring anything with them that might identify them. The operative’s job is not to help the police accomplish their task. If the usefulness of the terrorist is expended with the conclusion of the operation, they usually fight to the death at the scene, rather than escape in a leisurely and confident fashion. That degree of planning does not allow for any participant “accidentally” leaving an ID card in the getaway car which will point straight to them.

      Of course, those who characterized it as a very professional operation are just everyday Joes who probably learned everything they know about military-style operations from other Joe reporters and television, people who do not really know anything about it, and perhaps it was a complete botch job full of careless mistakes which simply overawed observers with its audacity.

      • yalensis says:

        Well, if it was a CIA-planned operation, maybe they would have left Putin’s wallet behind – LOL!

        Okay, so here is my new theory:
        Jihadis fresh out of Syria are working for CIA (as usual). Howver, this particular one was not a CIA op, since it does nothing to harm CIA’s main enemy Russia (on the contrary, it gives Russia a chance to look good).

        Instead, jihadis simply took this on on themselves, as a labour of love. If CIA knew their dogs were going to do this, they would have stopped them.
        In other words, this is a variant of the “golem gets out of hand” theory.
        I’m not sure I even believe it myself. But there you have it.

    • Jen says:

      ” … Inside the stolen vehicle they accidentally left the ID of a 32-year-old man named Said Kouachi …”

      Right so these gunmen carried out professional execution-style murders of the Charlie Hebdo staff on a day they knew the staff would be having their weekly meeting. They gun down a police officer. They have a camera with them filming the scene. They then ride off in their Citroen, abandon the car and “accidentally” leave behind the ID papers of one Said Kouachi. Are these gunmen dumb or what?

      This was no accident. The guy’s passport or ID papers were SUPPOSED to be left behind to put the French police on the WRONG track!

      Recall that in the immediate wake of the World Trade Center attacks on 11 September 2001, various “clues” as to the identity of the terrorists, such as a flight training manual and an Arabic-language Qu’ran, were found in an abandoned car near Logan International Airport in Boston, and the passports of the terrorists were found in near-pristine condition in the smoking ruins of the buildings. Recall also that of the 19 terrorists who died in the attacks themselves and whose identities and photos were made public by the FBI, 7 of these individuals turned out to be alive and overseas with valid alibis at the time the attacks took place.

      We now have to consider the possibility that Said Kouachi’s identity was stolen and that his brother’s ID could also have been stolen by the killers to use to throw the French police off their tracks.

      • yalensis says:

        In which case, the “golem” theory gets thrown out the window.
        So, if it’s not the “golem”, then it must be the golem’s master.
        I would say it’s either/or. It’s either the golem or the master what dunnit.

        If golem-master, then accomplishes 3 things: (1) punish Hollande for hinting he wanted to lift the sanctions against Russia, (2) warn Hollande not to sell Mistrals to Russia, and last but not least (3) encourage Hollande to send French warships to Persian Gulf – to fight against nasty jihadis, yeah, right.

  7. Warren says:

    China Edging Russia out of Central Asia
    Beijing is continuing to step up its investment in the region, in a way that Moscow cannot match.

    • kirill says:

      Crimea is occupied by ethnic Russians. The same ones who were living there in 1990 and in 2013. It is not occupied by Islamic militants “sent by Putin”.

  8. Warren says:

    Russia and NAF should take advantage of the Western media’s focus on the Charlie Hebdo story, to launch new operations to liberate more territory.

  9. Warren says:

    • yalensis says:

      That’s very true. There is no such thing as absolute freedom of speech (or expression).
      However, I hope Sleboda is not arguing that people don’t have the right to satirize Islamic religion.

      I would say: People have the right, and it is perfectly safe to lampoon all other religions, but should exert caution when dealing with Islam, given the fact that it is an intolerant religion with many whack-jobs on the payroll.

      In the same way, that women have the technical right to walk down the street wearing a bikini, but might want to re-think that plan, based on the neighbourhood.

      • marknesop says:

        Did you see the photo? It shows what is plainly intended to be Mohammed, on all fours with his buttocks raised and his genitals visible, and a large yellow star replacing his anus. Accompanied by the caption, as I mentioned earlier, “Hey Mohammed – a star is born!”

        Tell me that would be acceptable if it depicted Rabbi Pruzansky, or the Pope – holy Christ, when a bald-headed Sinead O’Connor just ripped up his photograph on Saturday Night Live, the Catholics went nuts, and there probably were quite a few who would have shot her if they had the means and the opportunity. All religions are intolerant of mockery of their leaders, because it is impossible for religion to maintain its authority when it is the object of ridicule – you should recognize that from the Gene Sharp Playbook for Overthrowing Regimes – job one is make the leader an object of ridicule, so that he loses his ability to command his electorate and they regard him with amusement rather than feeling compelled to obey.

        Having the technical right to do something is exactly what I am talking about – most sensible people will not publicly do something that is in bad taste just because they have a right to do it. I’ve mentioned before the Westboro Baptist Church’s picketing of the funeral of Matthew Shepard, holding signs that read, “No Tears For Queers” and “Fag Matt Burns in Hell”. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that it fell within their right to freedom of expression, but if that were my son going into the ground, I would have driven my car right through them and repeated it, chasing any who escaped until I ran down every one. There’s only so much a person should be expected to take in the name of tolerance.

        • patient observer says:

          That is a good point about Sinead O’Connor. She was a very talented singer and writer who tried to fight two of the bigger (biggest?) planetary evils – the British Empire and the Vatican Empire. This is the performance that largely ended her rise toward mega-stardom:

          The media did not murder her but did end her ability reach a larger audience. Here is one of her songs about the British Empire:

      • Jen says:

        Yalensis, there is a difference between lampooning Islam or certain aspects of Islam and insulting the Prophet Mohammed by, among other things, insinuating that he is a paedophile or a catamite. No-one would dream of doing the same to Jesus Christ, Gautama Buddha or founders of other religions.

        If you think that images blaspheming Jesus Christ would be allowed in Western mainstream media, consider that US photographer / artist Andres Serrano’s “Piss Christ” image, depicting a model of the crucified Jesus submerged in urine, has been censored time and time again, and the artist’s general body of work often picketed whenever and wherever it goes on display because of the controversy surrounding “Piss Christ” – yet the work was done in a way that actually emphasises the mystique of Christ and its original motive was to protest the cheapening and crass commercialisation of the image of the crucified Christ in popular culture by the likes of Madonna and others. If a work like “Piss Christ” which actually does not blaspheme Christ can be censored, then something that portrays Christ as a paedophile or catamite would never see the light of day.

        • yalensis says:

          But didn’t Charlie Hebdo also lampoon Jesus?
          From what I understand, they lampooned every religion except, maybe, Jews.
          (Maybe they were still ticklish about that, because of French role in WWII.)

          • Jen says:

            I see, yes, you are right, Charlie Hebdo did lampoon the concept of the Holy Trinity in a cartoon commenting on gay marriage:

    • marknesop says:

      An interesting debate going on there. For the record, here’s what was allegedly the offending Charlie Hebdo cartoon:

      Or perhaps it is just an example of their clever streetwise social commentary. The caption reads, “Mohammed, a star is born!” I think everyone wil agree this constitutes serious academic research into Islam, and it is hard to understand why anyone would find it offensive. If it depicted Jesus, I’m sure Catholics would all have a good laugh.

      I can see Sleboda and I are on the same page on this; what constitutes a genuine debate, and what is just gratuitous offensiveness?

      • kirill says:

        Is this degenerate “art” or “satire”, that you won’t find even in school washrooms, what passes for modern intellectual standards in France?

        • patient observer says:

          Come to think of it, its a french example of the American media model for teenage boys – gross humor focused on bodily functions. Bleh.

          • yalensis says:

            Yeah, I mentioned above, when I first started studying French language/culture/history, I expected everything to be so shiny and civilized. I was in love with everything French. My friends tried to warn me: “After all, the French think that Jerry Lewis is the greatest and most profound comedian who ever lived.”

            But still…. I WANTED to believe! With beautiful Ravel-like chords sounding in my head, I undertook to study French history.
            Imagine my surprise and disillusionment when I discovered that French history consisted of people like this, the so-called “Fart-Man”.

            I still consider myself a Francophile, but what I am trying to say, is that the French DO have a vulgar side to their national character. Unfortunately.

      • yalensis says:

        Yes, I agree, this image is crude, vulgar, offers no redeeming social value, and is completely unnecessary and harmful to society. All true.

        But on the other hand, even the most scholarly possible essay about origins of Islam (complete with footnotes, etc.) would get exactly the same treatment from the radical jihadis, if it came to the wrong conclusions. If the academic cited dry scholarly references that Mohammad was, say, a catamite, then the whack-jobs would still go after him and slit his throat. That’s a fact. Islam does not tolerate scholarly debate about its origins, any more than it tolerates lampoons.

        Whereas if I were, say, to publish a scholarly book proving that the Mormon religion was a hoax from Day #1, and that Joseph Smith was a sex-fiend and con-man…
        Then the Mormon hierarchy would be upset.
        But they would not send a hitman after me.
        That’s the difference, see!

        • astabada says:

          Dear yalensis,

          It is true that radical islamists would find both a vignette or a “wrong” historical study to be offensive when the object is their profet. But here you are mixing three problems.

          One problem is Islamism (that is radical Islam). It exists and everyone would be far better of it didn’t.
          The second problem is that the vignettes were offensive to all muslims, regardless of their interpretation of the Quran.
          The last problem is that the attitude of Charlie Hebdo was to provoke the very same crazies who decapitate a party magician or bite a man’s liver.

          To stick to your example of historical studies on Islam, there are in fact countless such studies. Even if they are offensive to fundamentalists, they do not raise the same hatred as the blasphemous vignettes – perhaps because the aim is not to provoke their reaction. It is also safe to say that historical studies do not raise the same aversion among regular muslims, who would just dismiss them as wrong, crazy, …

          • yalensis says:

            Okay, that’s a valid point. I don’t want to confuse fundamentalism with regular Islam.
            I have friends who are Musims, and they’re not extremists at all. If somebody published a scholarly work that disproved their religion, they would not kill the scholar, or advocate his murder

            It’s also true that the Hebdo types deliberately set out to be offensive and provoke the crazies, and I think that’s wrong. It’s wrong to provoke and incite people. But I think we all agree that murder is not the solution to these problems.

        • marknesop says:

          The difference is in the assumption that radical fundamentalist Islam is the same as the so-called “Religion of Peace”, which is analogous to suggesting my Christianity (non-practicing) is the same as the crazy snake-handlers in the revival tent down by the river. I’ve noticed this impression tends to be more pronounced where there are a lot of Muslims as immigrants in a white-dominant population, as if the culture and the radical Islam are inseparable and if you are one you must be the other, and since there are so many of them that they are a pain in the ass, this is as good a reason as any to dislike them and be suspicious of them. That’s not so, and some branches of the Christian religion are much more intolerant than others; fundamentalism tends toward extremism in all religions, and while all Christian religions are offshoots of the Catholic Church, some resemble the Catholic faith only in passing. It’s true that in recent times violent killings for offending the Christian faith are rare, but we do not have to go very far back in history to come up against an era in which it was quite popular.

          It’s similar to the argument that while it’s unacceptable in our society to hit a woman if you are a man, women should assume there is nonetheless a high probability that it will happen if they and the man are in an enforced close-proximity situation – such as a marriage – and conversations which feature the woman sticking out her chin and haranguing, “Go ahead, you limp-dick son of a bitch, hit me, I dare you. You fucking Mama’s boy, you make me sick” regularly take place. Those situations, or slight variations thereof, are more common than you might think. If you tease a dog, sooner or later it will bite. We are more refined and advanced than dogs, but we’re still animals. Some of us are nice dogs, and some of us are mean dogs. And every species knows better than to gratuitously provoke others just for amusement. Every one except for humans, who believe you can control everything with a law. Although everyone knows it’s wrong, when you push someone far enough they will go past the threshold where a knowledge of right and wrong will hold them.

          Just while we’re on the subject, I would be very surprised in anything in Islam says you must kill anyone who insults The Prophet; I imagine it’s a matter for interpretation as are many religious directives, and probably says something like you shall not suffer it without response, if it is even mentioned at all. There is also the possibility that radical Islam promises eternal torment to any who overlooks such insult without avenging it, as some would interpret the book of Matthew to exhort: “And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.” How many of us have glibly used the phrase, “Silence equals consent” in the last year alone?

          All of this implies it was what it appeared to be – a revenge murder by extremist Islamic believers in retaliation for an insult to The Prophet. As Jen pointed out, that particular cartoon was out some time ago, and there have been many suggestions that it was something quite different which was planned to make it look as it does.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      No mention of the fact that most who have fled have chosen Russia as their refuge and not the welcoming arms of Banderastan.

      And there is still this “given” that Russian servicemen are operating in East Ukraine, and not as small groups of volunteers either:

      By the way, all the armed men whom we managed to speak to in Pervomaisk were locals. That is not to say, of course, that there aren’t Russians who have crossed the border to fight alongside the rebels, but we didn’t meet any

      whereupon the Grauniad has felt free to link the emboldened statement above to this:

      Russia has up to 100 battle tanks fighting in Ukraine, UK believes

      just so you don’t forget that the Russian military is really there in force because even though there is no evidence provided for this claim, the UK government believes it to be true.

      Of course tanks allegedly captured by the Ukrainian army are Russian: every bloody tank in the Ukraine is “Russian”.

      Here’s the claim made last August by the British ambassador to the UN:

      There are in the Ukraine:

      • 1,000 regular Russian troops

      • Up to 100 main battle tanks

      • 80 armoured personnel carriers

      • 100 shoulder-launched missile weapons

      • 500 anti-tank weapons

      • More than 100 artillery pieces

      Since that claim was made in August last year, not one piece of evidence has been given to back it up, yet the Guardian in its wisdom links back to that claim in its surprisingly “unbiased” publication of the report.

      What is really is surprising, however, is the fact that the report is a translation of a version of that self-same report published by Ekho Moskvy

      In the Ekho Moskvy publication you can find:

      Кстати, все вооруженные люди в Первомайске, с которыми мы успели поговорить, были местными жителями. Естественно, нельзя исключить того, что среди ополченцев есть люди, приехавшие на войну из России, но мы таких не встретили.

      This has been translated into English word for word and published in the Guardian as follows:

      By the way, all the armed men [“people” actually, but no matter] whom we managed to speak to in Pervomaisk were locals. That is not to say, of course, that there aren’t Russians [again, “people” in the Ekho Moskvy article] who have crossed the border to fight alongside the rebels [“who have come to the war from Russia” is what the Russian words actually say], but we didn’t meet any.

      These minor differences in translations apart, the major thing that is different in the Ekho Moskvy article is that “Естественно, нельзя исключить того, что среди ополченцев есть люди, приехавшие на войну из России, но мы таких не встретили” [That is not to say, of course, that there aren’t any people who have come to the war from Russia, but we didn’t meet any] is not immediately rubbished by linking it to the claim made last August in New York by the British ambassador to the UN, namely that in the Ukraine there were:

      • 1,000 regular Russian troops

      • Up to 100 main battle tanks

      • 80 armoured personnel carriers

      • 100 shoulder-launched missile weapons

      • 500 anti-tank weapons

      • More than 100 artillery pieces

      Unbiased Guardian my arse!

  10. Moscow Exile says:

    I have come here to continue my answer on pronunciation, as strange things were happening on the previous page.

    As regards speakers of Russian being described in the Ukraine as having a “Russian accent”, I should imagine that in most instances that means these “Russians” speak with a “standard” Russian or Moscow accent. Here are two of the most noticeable phonological features of Muscovite speech:

    1. That which is known as ‘aкaньe [‘akanye – where ‘ represents the main stress]: a and o are both pronounced as a when they occur in the
    syllable before the stress or in the initial syllable of a word, e.g. trav’a (трaв’a – grass), sav´a (сов’a – owl), ablak´a (облaк’a – clouds). In other unstressed positions both vowels may be reduced to ə (like the reduced vowel at the beginning of English about), e.g. məlak’о (молок’о – milk).

    2.‘икaньe [‘eekanye]: after soft consonants ´e and ´a are both pronounced as ee when they occur in the syllable before the stress, e.g. neesl´a (нeсл’a -carried/wore [feminine gender subject]), vzeel´a
    (взял’a – took [feminine gender subject]), chees’у (чaс’ы – hours/clocks/watches).

    • PaulR says:

      I would think it likely that the ‘Russian accents’ in Ukraine are most notable for saying ‘g’ for ‘g’ rather than saying ‘h’, so you can tell the locals from the ‘Russian invaders’ because the locals will claim to be defending their ‘horod’ not their ‘gorod’, whereas the Russians will say it the other way round.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        Yes, I did say that on the previous page, but I couldn’t continue with what I was writing because of problems with the thread.

        The other thing that I mentioned is that this aspiration of the letter “g” by Ukrainians also occurs in parts of southern Russia: many do that in Voronezh and Belgorod, which is hardly surprising, considering that the latter is only 45 miles from Kharkov, but a little surprising perhaps for some, when one considers that Voronezh city is about 170 miles from the Ukraine border. However, Voronezh oblast shares its western border with the UKraine.

        Perhaps that’s why Tyahnibok claims Voronezh is part of the Ukraine. After all, he should know what he’s talking about, seeing that his home town, Lvov, is situated some 670 miles WNW of Voronezh.

      • yalensis says:

        Some other Russians dialects (not physically in Ukraine) also pronounce the “g” phoneme as “h”.
        I say it that way myself, because my father did.
        Although I can switch back and forth, at my whim.
        But I think just about everybody in Russia says “Bokh” for “Bog” (God).

    • Johan Meyer says:

      My understanding is that most Ukrainophone Ukrainians speak Moscow Russian when speaking Russian, as that’s what they learn (esp. older ones), while ethnic Russian Ukrainians from e.g. Donbass eastward speak South Russian (g=voiced velar fricative, akanye + yakanye—softening unstressed vowels become like a in English ‘and’), which would be more alien than Moscow Russian to western Ukrainians, to whom g=voiced glottal fricative/voiced English ‘h’. Though wiki says that Poltava (=Poltovo + akanye) Ukrainian has akanye, but not other dialects, including eastward.

      Although some of the rebels that I’ve heard in the videos seem to be try-hards pretending to be Russian, with Lugansk being realised as Luvansk (alienation from Ukrainian ethnic identity based on political situation IMAO—northern Lugansk still Ukophone despite strong pro-Russian sentiment, plus by analogy to -ogo gen. masc/neut. single adj. as Ukrainian has -oho)…

  11. colliemum says:

    Well, to lighten things up a bit, here are two photos, of two PMs, each with a dog. One I got via a link to a post today, so don’t know when it was taken; the other is a well-known photo used in an election campaign:

    You’ll recognise each person straightaway.
    As dog person, my comment is that one of them clearly has a deep rapport with the dog, and the dog reciprocates the feelings, whereas the other … ah well, the dog looks as if it wants to be elsewhere, not appreciating the ‘cuddle’ given by that prominent person.


      • colliemum says:

        I wasn’t trying to prove anything, I just wanted to contrast that yucky Cameron photo with that Husky, with that of Putin showing a genuine affection between him and the dog, something one cannot manufacture.
        That’s all.

        • Johan Meyer says:

          Come on, as a UKIP supporter, you should have more mettle dealing with the PC crowd. That is after all the strongest cultural advantage of non-system parties—lacking the PC inhibition.

          Side note—whaddya say we go take PaulR and Yalensis on a giant Panda hunting trip? I’m thinking Orwell style, using a 22. Each of them must bag at least one, and they must field dress their respective kills. 😛

          • colliemum says:

            LOL! Put it down to a slight case of brain fog: too long on the PC yesterday and today. All I wanted was to go to bed with the First Duke of Wellington – the biography, that is, the man himself being dead these 150 years. Instead it was CharlieHebdo all the way …
            As for the side note: I’m all for it – especially the field dressing they must undertake. Perhaps we could ask them to accompany that with proper anatomical line drawings of the panda insides?

            • Johan Meyer says:

              My first thought was to make them practice on deer, but I realised that they had to go big the first time. Regarding the diagrams, they are artistic types, no? ‘Bambi’ can go second, although for the deer I guess I’d let them use a heavier round—but they must know cruelty first!—character development and all that.

              • colliemum says:

                For Bambi I’d recommend crossbows – make it a bit more sporting for the deer, what?

                • Johan Meyer says:

                  Dunno about regulations your side, but crossbows herebouts are either half a meter plus, or illegal. Aren’t artistic types supposed to be skinny and low muscle tone? If you make it too sporting, our fellow board members will starve.

                  Side note: Yalensis—feel free to vent your anger and disgust toward me, but try to do so without reference to societal standards (e.g. racism, specie-ism, reactionary, akin to person X, Y, Z, etc., overvaluation of animals, etc.; calling me evil might get you compared with certain devout personages, though—creative writing assignment 😛 )—that is the first step to deprogramming yourself from the PC mindset. From a non-PC lefty who supports gun and hunting rights…

                  The second step is to stand up for a non-leftist, with whom you have strong disagreements (ThatJ comes to mind, or that one site that he plugged, HeyJackass, which I’d been supporting financially prior to finding Mark’s blog—I think that they are black US conservatives), or even sponsor their freedom of speech (the whole question of financial means versus nominal right to freedom of speech on which the left likes to harp, but rarely likes to act). But just to annoy you (Yalensis) a bit more, here’s a little treat—as ThatJ is absent, I thought I’d take the matter just a little bit further… And the author of the link is/was Jewish (is dead, no? not sure how it works in English) 😛

          • yalensis says:

            I admit I don’t really like pandas all that much. Most people think they’re cute, but to me they’re just giant racoons.

            Even so, I have no desire to kill one. They have the right to live, like every other creature, I suppose.
            And, anyhow, even if I did accidentally kill a panda, I don’t think I could cut open its guts. I admit I am squeamish, even faint at the sight of blood. Sorry.

            • yalensis says:

              P.S. – just to clarify, I DO actually support gun rights and hunting rights.
              (For others, that is – don’t want to do it myself. You can support something without indulging in it. I also support people’s right to smoke, but I am not a smoker myself, for example.)

              So I’m not exactly the milque-toast PC type you think I am. So there!

            • Moscow Exile says:

              Why do you think that every creature has the right to live?

              How does it achieve that right?

              Who or what decides it has that right?

              Is it born with that right – a pre-ordained, as it were, granted by some higher authority or adjudicator?

              Does every member of a grazing herd of zebra have the same right to live as does every member of a pride of lions that is closing in on the herd to make a kill?

              Does a fish that I catch and eat have the same right to live as the worm that I impaled on a hook in order to catch that fish?

              • yalensis says:

                Oi! you ask too many philosophical questions which I cannot answer.
                Therefore I must kill you.

                • Moscow Exile says:

                  Well, I’ll make it simple and take it one question at a time.

                  1st question: Do you believe that all life is precious and should, therefore, be protected?



                • marknesop says:

                  Ummm….where were you planning to go to kill him? And when were you planning to do it? Who’s going with you? Do you have a valid passport? What??? I’m busy here!!! Just a second…..sorry, could you say all that again, the recording equipment wasn’t working properly.

                • Jen says:

                  Yalensis, I believe you meant this, not the cockroach:

                • Moscow Exile says:

                  I am sorely hurt – nay, cut to the quick I am.

                  Vengeance shall be mine, which vengeance is my right as ordained on high.

                • Jen says:

                  We must say nine Waes Haels each morning for the next nine days, and wear special charms made up of nine herbs during that time, to ward off Woden’s little grey thunder clouds.

                  The recipe for the charms is at this link:

            • Johan Meyer says:

              Just to bug you a bit more:

              And, by the same band, but on the theme of my adopted home, Saskatchewan—look at a map:

      • Moscow Exile says:

        Koreans love dogs: they eat ’em!

      • Max says:

        It proves dogs are easy to love.

      • yalensis says:

        Actually, I read somewhere that dogs didn’t actually like Hitler. They just pretended to.

        • Jen says:

          I guess if you’re a great big German Shepherd dog and you’re christened with a name like Blondi by your owner, you too wouldn’t like that person much.

  12. Warren says:

    Ukraine blames Russia for German hack

    Ukraine’s prime minister has blamed the Russian secret service for a hack attack against German government websites.

    A pro-Russian group has already claimed responsibility but this is the first suggestion that it was backed by the Russian government.

    Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk made his remarks ahead of a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

    But one expert questioned what real evidence there was for the claims.

    • yalensis says:

      This is good news, because Yats in essence authenticated the content of the hacks!

    • marknesop says:

      He (the quoted expert) points out, quite correctly, that political leaders just accuse each other to make political points, and there is seldom any evidence at all to suggest they are correct. The degree to which this is effective will likely dictate its manipulation by third parties who have already declared an interest in dominating the field of cyberwarfare, while only amateurs would do it from servers which are unique to their own country. It certainly argues strongly for every major nation to build its own hacking team, because if it is not responsible for implementing a cyber attack, it is likely to be accused of doing it, and a good hacking team could work the backtrail and at the very least show there was no proof of that, while at best it might be able to identify who actually was responsible.

      A good caption for that photo might be “When I got back from Neverland Ranch, my butthole was this big!!”

  13. Warren says:

    Internet Commenters: This Is Why I and Other Muslims Won’t Apologise for the Charlie Hebdo Attacks

    • Oddlots says:

      Hey Warren, how do you quote tweets “intact” so to speak?

    • colliemum says:

      The noteworthy point here is of course that the author of that post has swallowed the lefty attitude whole, namely that “one must apologise”!
      Why should he apologise indeed – and why should we apologise for our own opinions?
      Wasn’t it some eejits in the twitter sphere who ‘hate’ Putin because “he didn’t apologise”?
      All I’ll say to those who scream ‘apologise’ is: ‘apologise for what?’

      • yalensis says:

        I read the linked piece expecting to be disgusted and outraged.
        But instead came away pleasantly surprised and agreeing with the author, Javaria Akbar.
        Indeed, since Akbar had nothing to do with the attack and never incited or condoned it, then people have no cause to approach him and demand his apology or statement.

        “Barbaric terrorists who describe themselves as Muslims have nothing to do with me, my beliefs, my soul or my person. Apologising for their heinous crimes makes little sense to me when I have absolutely nothing in common with them, and zero understanding of their grotesque interpretation of Islam. Why should I take responsibility for someone else’s sins? Sins that I can neither fathom nor comprehend? “

        Having said that…
        Realistically, when a certain group (in this case, French Muslims) has made itself a nuisance, then other members of the broader group DO need to formally disassociate themselves from the troublemakers. Just like, if, say (made-up example) an Irishman set off a bomb in New York, then other members of the Irish community might need to hasten to disassociate themselves and avoid group blame. It is unfair, but there you have it.

        And ironically, Akbar does in fact goes through every motion of disassociating himself: He condemns the attack, expresses sympathy for the victims. Technically, he didn’t have to do that, any more than he needs to apologize, but it’s still nice that he did.

      • marknesop says:

        Some people are of the opinion that the Russian state – on behalf of the Russian people – must apologize for Stalin’s crimes against humanity. Although it is indisputable that the people specified are dead, there is still a great deal of informed argument as to whether the Holodomor constituted a genocide or did not, and beside that, an official apology is frequently construed (legally) to be an assumption of responsibility, which also frequently clears the way for a landslide of lawsuits. The other, and more practical argument against it is this one, which I thought was very well framed; Russians today have nothing to do with Stalin or things Stalin did. Germany apologized for Hitler and Naziism. It could quite easily have used the same argument – I didn’t do it, and don’t condone it. Not even Hitler’s apology would bring any of those people back now: what’s the current leader’s apology going to do? The west was already clearly ready to forgive Germany, just as it clearly will never be ready to forgive Russia. Why bother? It would only invite legal action as well as a chorus of screams; “You see???? Putin admits it!!!”

        • Southern Cross says:

          Once I was arguing with some bozo about the Holodomor. I rattled off a list of Ukrainians in the Soviet government and armed forces, and concluded by baldly stating that Ukraine was not a groaning captive but an active and eager accomplice in the Soviet enterprise. I continued by saying that it was as absurd for Ukrainians to blat on about the cruelty of the USSR as though they had no part in it, as it was for the Irish for to bewail the wickedness of John Bull.

          Lazar Kaganovich, I told him, was Ukrainian, as Sir Michael O’Dwyer (architect of the Jallianwala Bagh massacre and probably a distant cousin) was Irish. Ukraine’s sufferings were the fruit not of foreign occupation but civil strife.

          That shut them up, although I had hoped to bait somebody into saying that ‘Iron Lazar’ wasn’t really Ukrainian.

          • kirill says:

            If the bozo was from western Ukraine (or had relatives there), they should have shut up about Holodomor before even thinking to say something about it. The real victims of forced collectivization famines are being shelled by western Ukrainian degenerates today. The ancestors of these degenerates did not live through any of these famines since they were under Polish rule from 1920 until 1939.

            Speaking of the UK, it is ripe to Hell for the British to be supporting the breakup of “greater” Russia considering that the Scots, Welsh and Irish were not exactly being treated nicely by the English over the last 1000+ years. Ukrainians (the ones not mixed heavily with Poles, Hungarians, Romanians, etc.) are more closely related to Russians than any of the non-English in the UK are related to the English.

            • Southern Cross says:

              ‘The real victims of forced collectivization famines are being shelled by western Ukrainian degenerates today’

              I pointed that out. I don’t think he was Ukrainian, but he wailed that denying the Holodomor being equivalent to denying the Holocaust. I said it was interesting he should say that, because the loudest proponents of the Holodomor hoax tended to be Holocaust deniers themselves, their Holodomor tales being an effort to one-up the Jews in the victim stakes.

              ‘Scots, Welsh and Irish were not exactly being treated nicely by the English over the last 1000+ years’

              Indeed, but they were also part of British society in a way that true colonies like India or Kenya weren’t. Even the Irish – think how many O’Connors, O’Dwyers and Callaghans have prospered on lands wrested from their original owners by the power of the British empire.

              The relationship between England and Scotland in particular parallels that between Russia and Ukraine – with Prince Charlie Stuart as a better-looking Mazepa. If we speak of ‘Russian Imperialism’ then we must admit that Ukrainians were its eager servants, and not just its passive victims.

              But being Ukrainets is all about the happy coexistence of contradictory narratives:

              ‘Soviet Union all Russian tyranny! All Soviet generals Ukrainians! I stop now – head hurt from write’

              • yalensis says:

                That’s a very good point that the perpetrators of the “Holodomor” hoax also tend to be “Holocaust” deniers (=neo-nazis).

                The real connection is that a bunch of Nazi concentration camp guards (who were THERE and knew from firsthand experience that the Holocaust really happened, because they were involved in it up to their elbows) were, when they lost the war, whisked off to safety in the diaspora. By their patrons in the American government and the Catholic Church. This was kind of a lower-level “Operation Paperclip”. Paperclip brought the brilliant Nazi rocket scientists to the U.S. This other operation – let’s call it “Stapler” – brought low-IQ Ukrainian concentration-camp guards and their families to America, Canada, Australia, etc.

                Where they proceeded to beget their progeny in the freedom and comfort of the West. Children, grand-children, and on and on, with each generation more self-righteous and loud-mouthed than the previous.
                And that progeny invented the myth of the “Holodomor”, in order to portray their concentration-camp-guard parents and grand-parents as the true victims.
                “Because they was starved by the Russkies, see…”
                Which they, in fact, were not.
                It was other people’s grandparents who starved to death in the 1930’s, not theirs.

                And, by the way, lots of American families starved in the 1930’s too. Allude to John Steinbeck “Grapes of Wrath”.

            • colliemum says:

              Ah – but the Welsh and the Scots got their revenge by ruling over the English: Tudor kings and queens, Stuart kings … and now German ones …

              • Southern Cross says:

                There’s such a thing as taking revenge too far.

                • colliemum says:

                  The last indignity that man inflicted on us was being so bad that everybody thought it was better to vote for Cameron than Brown … and here we are today, full of buyers’ remorse.

        • colliemum says:

          Indeed so!
          This whole business of apologising by a head of state for something which that state had done in the past really took off, imho, with Tony Blair who formally apologised to the Irish Republic for the infamous potato famine in the middle of the 19th century.
          Yes, it was a catastrophe, and yes, the then British Government and the English absentee landowners behaved atrociously – but what did that have to do with the UK and the UK government 150 years later? Eff all, I’d say, and it had no consequences except making Blair feel good about himself.
          I’m now going to step on very thin, slippery ice here, but I believe that this ‘apologise’-business demanded by an ad-hoc hashtag crowd at the drop of a hat has taken off recently for two reasons.
          One is that social media facilitate the formation of such ad-hoc crowds, giving power to spurious ‘public’ demands.
          The other is the relentless march forward by so-called ‘Third Wave’ feminists in the West, exemplified and fuelled by Tony Blair’s New Labour and his ‘babes’. Again, there’s a vociferous crowd of those outside the usual government structures, but they now have enormous support from establishment figures, through the media and through MPs. These two sides are playing off each other, and do influence politics. For example neither of the leaders of the two main parties would dare to do something which will be criticised by the crowd on ‘mumsnet’!
          So my take on this relentless demand for apologies is that this is a prime example on the insidious feminisation of public life, from schools onwards, to the media, the public services and right into parliaments. It has also ‘invaded’ businesses and commerce where the PR departments are happy to screech ‘we apologise’ because that means they don’t have to compensate an unhappy customer. Apologies by such bodies means they feel free to do eff all after having caused mayhem and misery. It is nothing but posturing and pandering to crowds who get together in an ad hoc fashion – but who are of course never called a ‘mob’, like those who actually, physically go and stroll on the streets to make a point.
          I grant you that Germany after WWII is a special case in regard to apologies.

          • Johan Meyer says:

            Amen. For an especially bad case, see France in Rwanda. The reason Operation Turquoise (French peace-keeper operation) ended early (thus causing many deaths) is because Dallaire (Canadian leader of peace-keepers) demanded that OT not last longer than two months (plus that way, he could accuse the French government of ‘supporting genocide,’ while most of the murders against Tutsis were perpetrated by thugs not under Rwandan government control).

            To illustrate how desperate the Rwandan post-assassination* government was, they begged the Americans and the Ugandans (Rwandan Patriotic Front—repeatedly resupplied by the Ugandans against whom they allegedly deserted) for a cease fire, with even the Rwandan Chief of Staff handing himself over, in a hope to get the Ugandans (Kagame’s troops) to agree to a cease-fire, so that they could stop the killings. The US told the Rwandans to go ‘talk to Dallaire,’ and HRW (also repeatedly demanding apologies) subverted the efforts of Rwandan diplomats to get an emergency peace-keeper force.

            *Kagame assassinated the Rwandan president in 1994, sparking the genocide, then went on to conquer the country; this was after he depopulated the northern Rwandan area under his control by about 800 thousand people. Ugandan soldiers had invaded in 1990, although Kagame was in the US at the time—he quickly hurried back to Uganda, and took over the reins of the invasion. Dallaire had later helped out by shutting down one of the runways in Kigali (Rwandan capital) to aid in the assassination attempt—the president had been spuriously accused of genocide since 1993.

            By getting France to apologise for alleged involvement in the 1994 genocide, Bruguière’s findings of Kagame’s involvement in the assassination of the Rwandan president can be swept under the rug.

          • Moscow Exile says:

            That well known and revered Irish sage Sinead O’Connor says that the Irish potato famine was an English attempt at genocide.

            Bloody strange that, considering that in the 1840s a very, very large number of British soldiers were Irish. When Queen Victoria visited Ireland in 1900, almost 40% of the British army was made up of Irish born recruits. It has been estimated that at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815 about 50% of the British army on that battlefield were Irish born.

            O’Connor and her ilk, especially United States “Plastic Paddies” who have never set foot on the Holy Sod, remind me very much of the nuttier Galicians in the Ukraine.

            O’Connor’s as daft as a brush! And I say that as an Englishman with an Irish paternal grandmother from County Cork and an Irish maternal great-grandfather from County Waterford.

            See: Documentary reveals 2m Irish men died fighting for Britain

            • Southern Cross says:

              Certain Irish nationalists were going down the Galich road before the war:


              “Ailtirí na hAiséirghe (Irish pronunciation: [ˈalʲtʲiːɾʲi na ˈhaʃeːɾʲjə], meaning “Architects of the Resurrection”) was a minor radical nationalist and fascist political party in Ireland, founded by Gearóid Ó Cuinneagáin in 1942.[1][2] The party sought to form a totalitarian Irish Christian corporatist state. Its objectives included the creation of a one-party state under the rule of an all-powerful leader; the criminalisation of the public use of the English language; discriminatory measures against Jews; the building-up of a massive conscript army; and the conquest of Northern Ireland. In the longer term, Aiséirghe aimed to make a fascist Ireland into a “missionary-ideological” state spreading its combination of totalitarian politics and Christian social principles worldwide.”

              Supported by a number of people who ought to have known better.

              But what a name! Makes ‘National Socialist German Workers’ Party’ sound utterly prosaic.

              • Moscow Exile says:

                Yeah, the Irish fascists were the “Blueshirts”.

                The traditional “national colour” for Ireland is not green – another US Plastic Paddy invention I suspect (like bloody green Guinness on St. Patrick’s Day for Chrissake!) – but blue.

                This fascist trend that evolved in the “Irish Free State” of the 20s and 30s still has a remnant in the name of the Irish head of state, the Taoiseach, the meaning of which Irish word is most definitely non-PC.

                In Russian it means вождь.

                In Italian it means Duce..

                In German it means Führer.

                See: Fine Gael’s Fascist Roots

                And the top o’ the morni’n to yiz!


            • marknesop says:

              In Victorian Ireland as well, though, many if not most of the Irish were tenant farmers on the estates of English nobility, to whom much of the best lands in Ireland belonged. The introduction of the potato to the Irish diet provided plenty of cheap nutrition (bit starchy, but still), so the size of the average Irish family grew considerably, they could have more children and they would not likely starve from an inability to provide them with food.

              The potato blight changed all that, and of course nobody thought the English caused it, so it could not properly be called a genocide. But what would up the Irish against the English was England’s uncaring response to the disaster, the paucity of Irish relief, and the practice of some titled landowners to simply let everyone on their estates starve to death. It’s true that wasn’t always the case, and some of the nobility were extremely concerned for their Irish charges and cared for them as best they could at expense to themselves.

              • Moscow Exile says:

                The blight came by ship by means of returned potato sacks from Baltimore that’s Baltimore, Maryland, not Baltimore, County Cork, Ireland.

                Irish farmers where still exporting beef and grain to the the rest of Britain from the eastern counties, from cattle country such as County Meath, areas not affected by the blight, even whilst people where dying on the streets in he impoverished far west of Ireland.

                • marknesop says:

                  I didn’t know that.

                • Moscow Exile says:

                  They had had “warning”, some commentators say, therefore implying that the wicked English couldn’t give a damn about the consequences, as outbreaks of the blight had occurred in the USA before it arrived in Ireland by means of a shipload of returned potato sacks.

                  The blight originated in the New World, I suppose, because that’s where the potato comes from. Anyway, this “warning” served no purpose because agriculturists had no idea at the time how to combat such diseases.

                  From Wiki:

                  Ships from Baltimore, Philadelphia, or New York City could have brought diseased potatoes to European ports. W. C. Paddock suggests that it was transported on potatoes being carried to feed passengers on clipper ships sailing from America to Ireland.

                  Paddock, W. C (1992), Our Last Chance to Win the War on Hunger

                  Once introduced, it spread rapidly. By mid-August 1845, it had reached much of northern and central Europe; Belgium, Holland, northern France and southern England had all been stricken.

                  Donnelly, James S., Jr. (1995), Poirteir, Cathal, ed., Mass Eviction and the Irish Famine: The Clearances Revisited”, from The Great Irish Famine, Dublin, Ireland: Mercier Press

              • kat kan says:

                British didn’t do it on purpose (therefore no genocide) but they did cause it.

                They were all growing the one variety of potato….the kind that grew best on marginal land. Because the Brit rich guys had taken most of the good land and were growing grain on it, not spuds. When the blight hit, there were no plantings of any resistant types; they all go wiped out. The landowners continued to export the grain and not let anyone have it unless they could pay — export prices.

                Plans to feed them free or cut-price were debated and rejected several times in the House of Lords. Eventually….but too late….consciences woke up when they saw cheap labour exporting itself to the New World. Where hundreds died from cholera at Ellis Island when nobody was let off ships where any cases had been found, ie the whole ships were quarantined. (Incidentally this method is what saved Venice from the Black Plague, giving her an almost complete monopoly on trade as word got around it was a clean port, and traders going there survived to make it home).

  14. Oddlots says:

    Maria Dubovikova ن (@politblogme)
    2015-01-08, 10:08 AM
    These are exact words of Yatsenyuk. How can my beloved Europe+ US support,cooperate w/ this idiot and lend him money?

    Mark Adomanis (@MarkAdomanis)
    2015-01-08, 9:58 AM
    Have seen some pretty cynical attempts to use “terrorism” as a political issue, but this might take the cake…

    Mark Adomanis (@MarkAdomanis)
    2015-01-08, 9:58 AM
    That’s basically Yatsenyuk saying “listen Germany, you need to bail us out because Paris”

    • Oddlots says:

      • PaulR says:

        That’s quite something.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        “Some may say that what is happening in Ukraine – the anti-terrorist operation against terrorists headed by Russia – will not affect us. But it has happened. It has happened in Canada, Australia, Belgium. Yesterday it happened in France”, said the Ukraine head of government.

        He stressed that the Russian Federation “decided to seize illegally and annex the Crimea and eastern regions of the Ukraine”.

        “President Putin decided to start this aggressive military action, to wage war against the Ukrainian people”, said Yatsenyuk.

        The Prime Minister also noted that the conflict that continues in the Ukraine is not only a conflict between the Ukraine and Russia: “This is a global issue. We are fighting for independence, for our freedom, our country, our land”.

        “We must be united in the fight against terrorism”, said Yatsenyuk.

        • Moscow Exile says:

          Russians are International terrorists and must be cast into the wilderness as a pariah nation and denied membership of the International Community!

          You heard it from the man!

          Waddya gonna do about it?

          • Warren says:


            How can anyone deny Russia’s “links” to Al Qaeda????

            Exploring Al-Qa’ida’s Russian Connection


            • Moscow Exile says:

              He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone.

              J.Christ, circa 32 AD (allegedly)

            • yalensis says:

              Yeah, I heard about this “link” a couple of years ago. Basically, there is only link connecting Russia with Al Qaeda, but it is a potential doozie: the fact that al-Zawahiri spent several months in FSB custody in Russia, and then they let him go.

              I don’t say this fact should be dismissed. But it is just one odd and possibly random fact, within a fabric that otherwise is solidly trending towards the notion that Al Qaeda is an AMERICAN creation. Created for the purpose of destroying Russia.

              P.S. – Warren, not needling you, but I can’t resist this analogy, since you brought up that bit about Trotsky being detained by Brits (in Canada), and then they let him go. Back to Russia, to make the Revolution. Which supposedly proves that Trotsky was a British spy and/or Brits were behind the Bolshevik Revolution.
              Same deal as Lenin being sent back to Russia by Germans – proves that Lenin was a German spy and/or Germans were behind the Bolshevik Revolution. [actually, that last sentence has some truth to it, the Germans really did want Russia to collapse, for obvious reasons..)

              Similar deal here – does al-Zawahiri’s detention in Russia prove that he was a Russian spy/double agent within Al Qaeda? Or that Al Qaeda is actually a Russian creation?

              Dubious…. But again, it is something that does need to be explained.

              • Warren says:

                I never said that British were behind or supported the Bolsheviks and their October coup. Instead I highlighted the indisputable fact the doyen of World Jewry & Zionism at the time Jacob Schiff supported the Bolsheviks, and consistently agitated against the Tsarist Russia.

                As to the reasons why the British arrested and then released Trotsky and his band of Bolsheviks, MI6 British foreign intelligence believed the new Russian government in Petrograd lead by Kerensky would demand Trotsky’s release, it would be in the British interest the ingratiate themselves with the new regime. However MI5 British internal security service believed Trotsky still remained a serious threat because of the Bolshevik agitation to end Russia’s involvement in the war.

                The British acknowledged arresting Trotsky and being aware of his identity. Whereas the Russians in 1996, was unaware that had Al Zawahiri in custody, he had travelled to Russia using fraudulent ID, Also remember in the 90s Russia was in a mess, what benefit would Russia get from inciting AQ to attack the US? Nothing! Russia’s priority was preserving Russia’s territorial integrity and recovering from economic collapse. Confrontation with the US and the West, was simply inconceivable.

                John Schindler is a kook and a right wing nut job. For Schindler no conspiracy theory involving Russia is too far fetched.

              • Warren says:

                It is the US that has a “special relationship” with AQ not Russia.

                • yalensis says:

                  I agree (about Al Qaeda being an American golem).
                  I was just playing devil’s advocate.

                  Also, and this is just a quibble: I believe that Trotsky was not technically a “Bolshevik” at the time of his internment in Canada. (If that was the time when Kerensky was still in power.)
                  I could be wrong, and I would have to root in the archives and study the history books again for the exact timing of that momentous year, but I believe at that time Trotsky was still technically a member of the “Menshevik” faction. Which doesn’t change your main point, that the Brits were nervous about him pulling Russia out of the war. Actually, I just had a thought, a little light-bulb went off in my brain. Since Trotsky was still technically a Menshevik at the time, and the Mensheviks were NOT anti-war, then maybe the Brits didn’t know quite what to make of this Trotsky fellow.

                  Anyhow, the devoutly-desired consummation of Lenin and Trotsky did not occur formally until just before the October Revolution, when both exiles were back at their posts in Petersburg. Although I imagine the 2 men were negotiating the merger for some time before that.
                  Since Lenin and Trotsky had virtually identical political views, and since both were anti-war, it never made any sense for Trotsky to NOT join the Bolshevik faction. I think it just a case of manly egoes at stake, the usual bickering over the pecking order. The Alpha Dog position would naturally go to Lenin, who had the charisma and the votes. Trotsky also had charisma, but he wasn’t the natural leader of the masses that Lenin was. (also, he was *cough cough Jewish *cough)

                  Hence, Trotsky had to finally put aside his manly ego and take (what he thought) was Beta-Dog position. (Only to discover that there were many other contenders for the position of Lenin’s right-hand man!) But there the real story begins….

                • Warren says:

                  I don’t the British or any Western powers would make any distinction between a Menshevik and Bolshevik – they were all subversives!

                  As or Lenin and Trotsky, they were cooperating with each since the 2nd or 3rd Communist conference in London 1903.

                  As dramatised in this video.

                • Moscow Exile says:

                  Fancy my missing that “Fall of Eagles” BBC TV series! How come I missed it? What was I doing in 1974 that could have distracted me so?

                  I’m downloading the full series now by means of a torrent. The illegality of this action bothers me not – most especially because the series was made by that master of deceit, the British Bullshit Corporation.


                • Warren says:

                  I’m sure Auntie would mind the copyright breach, even if she did so what – the license fee is an extortion racket.

                  My favoruite episode so far has been episode number 2 – which focused on the Russo-Japanese War 1904/05 and Sidney Riley “Ace of Spies” antics in Manchuria.

                • Warren says:

                  Ooops I confused the Fall of Eagles with Sidney Riley “Ace of Spades” series.

                  Perhaps you missed out on Fall of Eagles because 1974 was an eventful year? 2 General Elections, 3 Day week, 1972 Local Gov Act came into effect – “Greater Manchester” thus born.

                • Moscow Exile says:

                  Perhaps you missed out on Fall of Eagles because 1974 was an eventful year?

                  Nay – I was just a horny handed son of toil then leading an honest simple life as one of the “Aristocrats of the British Working Class”, as the good Doktor Marx once described us: getting 5 shifts in Monday to Friday, playing rugby at the weekend, then getting pissed out of shape, then back to work with a huge hangover in time for the morning shift and Monday night’s training session. The next training session was on Thursday.

                  Never had much time for watching the box.

                  Then one morning, I woke up in the Empire of Evil.

                • marknesop says:

                  What happens when you are horny handed and you are by yourself?

                • Moscow Exile says:

                  “What happens when you are horny handed and you are by yourself?”

                  What happened then, 41 years ago, was that I thumbed through the Good Book with my calloused fingers, seeking advice and guidance in the word of the Lord.

                  Or I took a cold shower. (No hot water in English workers’ hovels then – the shower being an old bucket.)

                  Or both.

                  See: What the Bible says about having a J. Arthur

                  Now, I am neither horny handed nor alone.


                • marknesop says:

                  Bravo!! Who says nice guys finish last???

              • Warren says:

                If Russia had a quid pro quo deal with AQ, then why did the Taliban – AQ’s partners in crime “recognise” the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria?


                Schindler conveniently ignores or is oblivious to this!

          • cartman says:

            According to the FT, the Ukrainian debt-to-gdb ratio is 90%. It was just over half that a few months ago. That is Yatz doing!

            • Moscow Exile says:

              A pun! A pun! A veritable pun!

              Яценюк = Yatsenyuk

              яйца = eggs = balls = testicles

              нюхать = to sniff

              Яйценюх = balls-sniffer

              • Moscow Exile says:

                Жополиз (arse licker), though, would be much more appropriate!

              • colliemum says:

                Oh thank you for that!
                I really needed to have a proper laugh right now – thank you!


              • Moscow Exile says:

                Forgot to add the near similarity in pronunciation between Яценюк (Yatsenyuk) and Яйценюх (Yaitsenyukh).)

              • et Al says:

                What’s russian for ‘Teabagging’?

                • Moscow Exile says:

                  I don’t even know what teabagging means: must have led a sheltered life, me!…

                  Now I know! (Thanks Google – for nothing!)

                  Answer (18+):

                  «макание чайного пакетика»

                  Literally:immersing/dunking the/a teabag (no articles in Russian, see)

                  Trying to find out if there is a vulgar term in Russian for this sexual activity. I doubt if there is one: kreakly probably use a calque transliterated into Cyrillic, thus: тибэггинг.

                  Yep, seems they do!

                  Oral sex in Russian is минет [minet], so check this out:

                  Проблема интимного характера)) ) Мой МЧ раньше до меня не знал, что такое минет, а потому долго сопротивлялся, когда я

                  [A problem of an intimate nature – Before I came along, my young man didn’t know what this kind of oral sex is and for that reason used to resist for a long time whenever I …]

                  By the way, I’m sure the question above has been posed by a male homosexual.

                  You know, those people who live in fear of their lives in the Empire of Evil.

                • Moscow Exile says:

                  Forgot to link again!


                  «макание чайного пакетика»

                  As I said, the question linked in my previous post is from a male homosexual, I’m sure, whereas the illustration in the Russian Wiki linked above shows a young woman performing the action, which just proves the homophobic nature of Russian society – doesn’t it?


          • Moscow Exile says:

            On the other hand, NATO does not seem to be in full agreement with the bal-sniffer’s analysis:

            NATO calls Russia anti-terror ally after Paris attack

            • yalensis says:

              Speaking of Veruca…
              Here she is on German television, assuring Germans that Ukraine will NOT allow Russia to roll over and attack innocent German people, like she (Russia) did in WWII.
              “We,” Veruca says (Germans and Ukies together) “fought against Russia in WWII, and will continue to do so in the present day.”
              Commenters have noted that the German sock-puppet does not even blink an eye when Yats justifies Nazi Germany.
              I guess the de-Nazification of Germany is officially over, then?

              • PaulR says:

                At what point in the video does he say that?

                • yalensis says:

                  At 1:13 minutes in:
                  “Wir können das alles sehr gut auf sowjetischen Anmarsch in die Ukraine und nach Deutschland errinnern.”

                  To be sure, Yats is speaking in Ukrainian, we cannot hear his actual words, we can only hear the translator who dubs him into German. I am making an assumption that the translation is accurate.

            • marknesop says:

              Fuck yourself sideways with a wire brush, Stoltenberg. Wasn’t it only a month ago he was bleating that Russian aircraft flying in international airspace constituted a threat to civil aviation? The article quite correctly points out that this latest overture strikes a vastly different tone, and it seems pretty evident that at least some elements in NATO recognize things have gone too far, and want to make up. Whether they will be able to prevail over the hawks is hard to say at this point, but the “thinkers” are returning to reason. A day late and a Euro short, dickheads. Keep that decoupling train rolling, Putin. Europe should be allowed the status of respectful customer, and no more. And the USA – the instigator – not even that.

  15. Warren says:

    Ярош пригрозил взорвать гранату на заседании Верховной Рады

    В беседе с журналистами Ярош заявил, что придет на очередное заседание Верховной Рады с гранатой в кармане. Он добавил, что чувствует себя спокойнее рядом с некоторыми депутатами, имея при себе оружие.

    «Для меня пребывание там, тем более, в одном зале с откровенными врагами Украины — это дискомфорт, — заявил лидер украинских националистов. — Не, ну у меня есть граната, я ее брошу в крайнем случае. Серьезно, с собой ношу. Они не имеют права обыскивать нас, народных депутатов. Охрана спрашивает, есть ли у меня с собой оружие, а я отвечаю, что нет и прохожу».

    • Southern Cross says:

      If he’d only do it he’d be a hero to both sides.

      But alas, a guy who let Arsen Avakov call him a lying blowhard on Facebook doesn’t have the guts.

    • marknesop says:

      Sure sounds like a democracy to me. The old Rada under Yanukovych certainly did not have those freedoms. And what is bringing a grenade to a legislative session if it is not an expression of freedom? Threatening to use it is just a natural extension of that freedom – how are you supposed to influence decision-making if they know you won’t use it?

  16. Oddlots says:

  17. Warren says:

    • marknesop says:

      Kiss 1.8 Billion Euros goodbye forever. The Ukie Defense Department will be happy, though.

      • kirill says:

        Soros thinks Ukraine will be saved by $50 billion. The mighty $34 trillion GDP west can’t pony up such a measly sum.

        But Soros forgets something critical. That $50 billion could have been useful if Ukraine kept its economic ties to Russia intact. Now it is nowhere near enough.

      • colliemum says:

        Ah – so that is where the UK’s extra, top-up payment to the EU will be going!

  18. et Al says:

    A Eurosplatter from me:

    EU Observer: Plunging oil prices drive eurozone into deflation
    Prices across the eurozone have fallen for the first time in five years, according to the EU statistics office, raising the prospect of a sustained period of deflation.

    Consumer prices in the single currency area fell by a greater than expected 0.2 percent in December 2014, the first decline in prices since 2009, Eurostat revealed on Wednesday (7 January). A month earlier inflation was 0.3 percent. …

    …The combination of plunging oil prices and weak demand in the the eurozone economy will pile further pressure on the European Central Bank to expand its intervention to stimulate demand.

    Prices fall when consumers and businesses delay purchases and consumption, which in turn reduces overall economic activity and can lead to a so-called ‘deflationary spiral’….

    But, but if we just keep sanctions against Russia going for a little bit longer they’ll crack first! Honest. Looks like the US will fight the Russians down to the last European…

    EU Observer: US gag order on EU police agency stirs controversy
    The European Commission on Thursday (8 January) defended a US gag order imposed on the EU’s police agency Europol.

    It means EU lawmakers and most officials are not allowed to scrutinise a document – on implementation of the EU-US Terrorist Finance Tracking Program (TFTP) – written by Europol’s own internal data protection committee, the joint-supervisory body (JSB)…

    …But the EU’s ombudsman, Emily O’Reilly, told MEPs in the civil liberties committee the situation amounts to giving the US “a veto over the democratic oversight of EU institutions”.

    “It may well be the case that it contains sensitive data from the US and so should not be released – but we have no way of knowing without sight of the report,” she said.

    “It should be pointed out that this is a document from an EU institution.”..

    …But the JSB says most of the data transferred to the US concerns people who are not suspected of any crime and have nothing do to with terrorism.

    The European Commission made the same admission in a communication paper out in 2011 where it noted “the vast majority of this data concern citizens who have nothing to do with terrorism or its financing.”

    The commission paper added that data is provided in bulk rather than on individual basis because Europol doesn’t have the technical means to evaluate request….

    You know thanksgiving and the Turkey? The Europeans provide the stuffing!

    & now one of the most atrocious ‘articles’ I’ve seen for quite a while, even for the EU Observer. No depths are left unplunged in this one:

    EU Observer: EU mulls response to Russia’s information war
    The Netherlands is funding a study on how the EU can fight back against Russia’s “information war”, in one of several counter-propaganda initiatives.

    The Dutch-sponsored study was launched in the New Year by the European Endowment for Democracy (EED), a Brussels-based foundation. …

    …But little happened until the Netherlands stepped in with the EED grant after a passenger plane, flight MH17, was shot down over east Ukraine killing 193 Dutch nationals and 105 other people.

    Evidence indicates Russia-controlled rebels caused the disaster using a Russia-supplied rocket system.

    But Russian state media have tried to sow suspicion the Ukrainian air force did it in order to prompt Western intervention in the conflict…

    …Denmark, Estonia, Lithuania, and the UK are drafting an informal paper on how EU institutions and Nato can co-ordinate “strategic communications”…

    …Its foreign ministry spokesman, Karlis Eihenbaums, told this website that around 15 EU states back the project and that the news broadcasts should be available in Russia if they can get past its “jamming system”.

    But Riga is trying to play down expectations of a quick result.

    “I don’t think we can come to an agreement among the 28 [EU leaders] to come up with a new TV station in Russian. Euronews is already doing news in Russian, so it’ll be difficult to get an additional channel”, Latvian PM Laimdota Straujuma told press in the Latvian capital on Wednesday (7 January). …

    …Well-funded Russian broadcasters, such as RT, have hired big names, including former CNN anchor Larry King, and air programmes in English, French, German, and Spanish as well as Russian.

    Their work is backed up by pseudo-NGOs.

    Putting the Dutch grant in perspective, the British think-tank, Chatham House estimates the Russian “NGO” component alone is worth $100 million a year. …

    …Western media have caught Russian media using fake pictures and fake witness accounts of alleged Ukrainian atrocities. …

    …Eihenbaums noted that any EU news channel “must be attractive, but with accurate information … it must not be a propaganda organ”.

    He cited RFE/RFL, a US-funded broadcaster, and the BBC as models because they do both Ukraine-critical and Russia-critical stories. …

    If you can’t smell the excrement off that, then get thee to a medic!

    Now, considering the piece above, try not to hold back a large guffaw for this one!

    euractiv: Latvia claims its presidency won’t be ‘anti-Russian’
    Latvia, which took over the rotating EU Presidency on 1 January, will try to overcome stereotypes and convince Moscow that its intentions are in no way anti-Russian, the country’s foreign minister Edgars Rinkēvičs told journalists in Riga yesterday (7 January)….

    …The ceremony will take place on Thursday (8 January) in the presence of Jean-Claude Juncker, the President of the European Commission.

    Russian journalists were not invited to join the group, which includes only media representatives from the 28 EU member states…

    …But the Latvian foreign minister promised a new orientation for the EaP saying it should not provide grounds for further antagonism with Russia.

    “We have seen that there are some signals […] there is some kind of willingness [of Russia] to work more closely with the EU on issues of the Eastern Partnership and to try to find a way out of the current situation in Eastern Ukraine”, he said…

    …Regarding Western sanctions against Moscow, Rinkēvičs said those had been effective, also helped by the fall oil prices and of the Russian rouble. He called this situation “an opening we can use”…

    …“I would say that probably the sanctions have prevented the situation from getting worse, for example creating a corridor to the Black Sea,” he said, referring to the fact that Russia did not occupy further Ukrainian territory in order to link Crimea to its mainland….

    …Rinkēvičs also said he wanted to comment on “some allegations made by Russian officials” that with the sanctions, the EU and the USA were pushing for a regime change in Russia.

    “That’s not the goal, believe me,” he ensured….

    What larfs! If I were Russia, I would simply not accept communications with Latvia. They can use intermediaries if they wish, but this kind of two faced behavior shouldn’t be tolerated.

    & finally back to ‘countering Russian propaganda in Latvia

    euractiv: Latvia proposes ‘alternative’ to Russian TV propaganda
    Latvia, which took over the rotating Presidency of the Council of the EU on 1 January, intends to launch a Russian-language TV channel to counter Kremlin propaganda, with EU support, a high ranking government official told journalists in Riga…

    …Some 40% of Latvians are native Russian speakers and regularly watch several Russian TV channels, including RBK Ren TV, RTR Planeta, NTV Mir….

    …Makarovs regretted that the majority of Russian channels broadcasting for Latvia were registered in the UK and in Sweden, and that the regulators of those countries paid no attention to the content and put no pressure whatsoever on the broadcaster. He also argued that the procedure should be that if a media is targeted toward a specific country, it should be registered in that particular country….

    Firstly, the Balt states announced at various times over the last year or so that they would ban or block Russian channels. But they can’t. They are EU member states, so this whole alternative programs is an actually an admission of defeat.

    Secondly, if Russian propaganda is so absurd and unbelievable, then why would alternative programing be necessary? It is cognitive dissonance par excellence!

    What is fairly clear is that the Pork Pie News Networks of ‘Europe’ and the US are facing much more skepticism than ever before, mostly through incompetence and simply repeating the same old tropes and propganda tactics they have been using for over twenty years now. It doesn’t fool anyone any more.

    As for Latvia’s presidency of the EU, it is little more than spokesstate since the rotating Presidency was gutted a few years ago to make it much more efficient (i.e cheaper). With small countries, yes they choose certain aspects that they wish to promote for their six months of fame, but the logistics and heavy lifting is usually done (sponsored) by a larger EU state like UK, Nl, DE, Fr…etc..). It’s not that much different to Mogherini’s job as spokeshole for the European External Action Service, aka the EU’s foreign minister (and Katherine ‘Gosh!’ Ashton before her). They don’t make policy, just vocalized the lowest common denominator position of 28 EU member states.

  19. peter says:

  20. yalensis says:

    The penny drops. (Maybe.)
    Before the Hebdo terrorist act, France was being coy about helping USA in their “fight against IGIL” (or ISIS, or Al Qaeda, or whatever the hell they call their Orcs these days). Because French public opinion was against getting involved in America’s wars in Middle East.

    But today? 180 degree change. French public is raring to go. Full steam ahead to Persian Gulf!

    According to this , France has now agreed to send her fleet to the Persian Gulf to assist USA in its war against IGIL.

    ’cause see…. IGIL are the Islamist Caliphate types who were created by USA to fight against Assad government in Syria. So, they were the good guys. But now they’re the bad guys. Earlier, France needed to help them, but France now needs to fight them.

    Except, I have a sneaking suspicion that these Orcs are still trying to overthrow Assad. So isn’t that the real aim here? How does one say in French “bait and switch” ??

    • dany8538 says:

      They will fail and will only bring more death and destruction to the region. I just dread the day America and her allies will become weak and then lets just say I don’t want to be around when that happens.

    • kirill says:

      Doesn’t take much to lead the western ubermenschen around by the nose, does it now.

  21. peter says:

  22. peter says:

  23. yalensis says:

    So, is there such a thing as a Russian Orthodox terrorist?
    Proabably not, but comes close.
    His name is Dmitry Tsorionov, but he goes by the nom de plume Enteo. He is the leader of a political/religious movement called “God’s will”. (Russian “Bozhia Vol’a”).

    I had not heard of him before, so I did a bit of research, if he is just a party of one or two people, then not even worth mentioning. Well, he is just one or two people, but it seems the squeaky wheels gets the grease, and Enteo has had some influence in the past.
    For example, back in August, they succeeded in getting a concert of Slayer cancelled, which was supposed to play a gig in Moscow and St. Petersburg. “Slayer” is an American metal band that is heavily into Satan, as can be seen from this image:

    Enteo does not approve of them, so he made sure nobody in Russia got to listen to their caterwauling I mean music. “They mock everything that is sacred to Christianity,” Enteo remarked. “And they also openly propagandize Nazism and fascism.”

    Fast forward 5 months. Enteo has come out in SUPPORT of the Islamists who murdered the staff of Charlie Hebdo.

    PIcketing the French Embassy, and in his VKontakte page, Enteo has made the following statement:
    “Orthodox community has placed the blame for the tragedy in France on President Hollande, under whose silent support took place the mockery of the feelings of believers.
    “The journalists of Charlie Hebdo did not just offend Muslims and provoke them to violence, but also mocked terribly Jesus Christ, the Virgin Mother, and the Holy Trinity. Every blasphemer deserves the supreme level of punishment….”

    Enteo went on to threaten:
    “Any person who dares to publicly mock Christ, will be immediately and justifiably punished.”

    And also:
    “While not approving of Islamism, we testify, that the true terrorists are the caricaturists.”

    The piece ends by pointing out that the (Russian) state organs of security pay no attention to Mr. Enteo’s ramblings. While implying that maybe they should.

  24. Warren says:

    • kirill says:

      Asslund has been in denial for over 10 years. Rather thick and rich for him to be spouting off about others being in denial.

    • marknesop says:

      Why is Edward Lucas not Charlie? Does he approve of terrorism? You’re either with Charlie, or against us.

      Edward Lucas is gleeful that Putin will not be able to push oil prices up. Foiling Putin has become Edward Lucas’s reason for staying alive. He says Anders Aslund is “spot on”, rather than spot off his effin’ head, which is what he really is. I wonder if the big American oil majors, prime drivers of the U.S. economy, are as happy with low prices as Lucas is? Let’s ask.

      Oh, my; Chevron doesn’t appear happy at all. And surprisingly, for a country which is always gibbering about Russia’s dependency on energy revenues, the U.S. energy companies have a “break-even” price for oil, too, below which they would be losing money. As you probably know, breaking even is not a goal in the USA. And the USA’s “break-even” price is $70.00 a barrel, about $10.00 less than Russia’s figure. Gosh, as Lady Ashton would say. ” A Chevron spokesman said the company has based its “2017 production forecast on a Brent price of $110” and that it conducts a “stress test” of projects at lower price levels.”

  25. kat kan says:

    Sooner or later, “they” will have to do whatever to let the oil price go up again. The producers themselves are suffering. So when they judge they’ve wounded the opponent enough, they will want to reverse things before they themselves get too hurt, no?

    What if the price comes back up a little, they relax, and suddenly RUSSIA starts dumping cheap oil? can they sell enough fast enough to change the world price in a few days? someone who knows it’s going to happen could make a bit on some futures out of it?

    {disclaimer: the only speculation I can do is making up this kind of question, none in money formats).

  26. Terje says:

    Blink and you miss them .. Another regime change, this time in Sri Lanka. All the codewords are there in the MSM. “unexpectedly well-organised opposition campaign.”

    A featured article last week in the Financial Times—a prominent mouthpiece for the British financial elite—on the January 8 presidential election in Sri Lanka highlights the very close attention being paid in London, and Washington, to the poll.
    The report published on December 22 is fully in line with US intrigues to lever President Mahinda Rajapakse from office in favour of the common opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena, who is backed by a pro-American coalition of parties and organisations.
    The article’s partisan character is indicated in the headline “Sri Lanka’s leader pledges peaceful handover should he lose the election”—a promise extracted from Rajapakse during an interview with the Financial Times correspondent.

    For obvious reasons, the article did not dwell on how and who organised Sirisena’s candidacy so well.While Sirisena’s sudden defection from the government might have come as a surprise to Rajapakse, the top US and British diplomats had been informed weeks before.

    The article also hints at the real reason behind US hostility to Rajapakse. It notes that he has pledged a new drive for investment should he win, “including forging deeper economic ties with China.” The US and its allies began targeting Rajapakse over “human rights” in the wake of the LTTE’s defeat in 2009 in a bid to force him to end Sri Lanka’s growing dependence on Chinese arms, financial aid, investment and political support.
    As the co-author of a Senate Foreign Relations Committee report in 2009, US Secretary of State John Kerry made clear that Washington could “not afford to lose” Sri Lanka—a reference to the island’s key strategic position in the Indian Ocean. Washington’s intervention in the Sri Lankan presidential election signals that regime-change in Colombo, rather than long-term pressure on Rajapakse, has now become the priority.
    The Financial Times gives an ominous indication of what is to come should the election not produce the result desired in Washington. It cited unnamed “local analysts [who] describe the contest as too close to call, raising fears that a narrow defeat could prompt instability and violence if Mr Rajapakse’s family-dominated regime attempted to maintain its hold on power.”
    The US and its allies are not so worried about a narrow loss by Rajapakse, but the fact that he could win, despite all of Washington’s machinations. The Financial Times article is a sign that the US, Britain and other allies are willing to prompt “instability and violence” should Rajapakse defeat the opposition candidate.

    The pattern is all too evident in the many US sponsored “colour revolutions” in the former Soviet republics and countries like Lebanon and Iran. The opposition candidate will challenge the “rigged” result and launch protests of disenchanted middle class layers, with covert support from various US foundations and a global media blitzkrieg demonizing the election winner.

    • yalensis says:

      Dear Terje:
      I saw the follow-up in the Grauniad: Rajapakse conceded defeat and already cleared out of his prez palace. I guess he knew what would happen to him if he didn’t “bow to the wishes” of the United States I mean the people.

      According to Grauniad, the first official guest of the new Prez Sirisena will be the Pope:
      The first big official guest the new president is likely to welcome is the Pope who will arrive in the country on the 13th. Here is his official timetable as tweeted by the Vatican an hour ago.

      They don’t lose any time, do they? Gots to sprinkle the holy water and bless the new colour rev!

      So…. in geopolitical terms, I guess this was a defeat for China?

    • marknesop says:

      They do love their dog-whistle phrasing. For example, does it occur to nobody in the media that the government of the United States is “family-dominated”? Obama is the first president in 25 years not to be a Bush or a Clinton, and Hillary Clinton contested him for the presidency and was his Secretary of State, while the buzz suggests she will take another crack at it when Obama leaves office.

      The west is lucky, for now, that China does not respond in kind – thus far it does not appear to be hungry for territory and the global dominance the United States sees as its ordained reward. If China ever begins to stir up colour revolutions of its own in traditionally U.S-dominated regions, they are going to have their hands full, but at present they enjoy pretty consistent success because they are running mostly unopposed. It’s not as if nobody but the USA understands how it works, and China has money to burn.

  27. Moscow Exile says:

    What did Ballssniffer really say on German TV?

    (reposted from above)

    What did Nudelmann’s “Yats” actually say in the interview?

    Российская агрессия на Украине – нападение на мировой порядок и на порядок в Европе. Все мы хорошо помним советское вторжение на Украину и в Германию. Этого надо избежать, и ни у кого нет права переписывать итоги Второй мировой войны. Но российский президент, господин Путин, именно это стремится сделать.

    That is in Russian, of course: Yatsenyuk was speaking in one of the Ukrainian dialects that he prefers to use.

    See: kuzian’s Journal


    Call a friend

    Asked a friend to comment on a very important video and post by Putnik. The friend was born in the DDR. His mother tongues are German and Russian. Here is his answer:

    “The German translation is not quite correct, because, you see, it was done in a hurry. The translation of what Yatsenyuk said goes word for word like this:

    (starting from 01:05) “Die russische Aggression in der Ukraine – das ist der Angriff auf die Weltordnung und auf die Ordnung in Europa. Wir können uns alle sehr gut auf den sowjetischen Anmarsch in die Ukraine und nach Deutschland erinnern. Das muss man vermeiden, und keiner hat das Recht, die Ergebnisse des Zweiten Weltkrieges neu zu schreiben. Und das versucht der russische Präsident, Herr Putin, zu machen. (…)

    The thick print marks some bits that sound clumsy, and which rather point out the haste made in translating or in reading out a translation. These words do not alter the meaning by and large, but they sound wrong. The word “Anmarsch”, for example, means “arrival”, but in this context it is not appropriate; clearly “Einmarsch” (invasion) was meant. So, making grammatical corrections:

    Die russische Aggression in der Ukraine – das ist der Angriff auf die und Weltordnung auf die Ordnung in Europa. Wir you uns alle sehr gut an den sowjetischen Einmarsch in die Ukraine und nach Deutschland erinnern. Das muss man vermeiden, und any hat das Recht, die Ergebnisse des Zweiten Weltkrieges neu zu schreiben. Und versucht das der russische Präsident, Herr Putin, zu machen. (…)

    Translating this more competent version of the German translation into Russian:

    “Российская агрессия на Украине – нападение на мировой порядок и на порядок в Европе. Все мы хорошо помним советское вторжение на Украину и в Германию. Этого надо избежать, и ни у кого нет права переписывать итоги Второй мировой войны. Но российский президент, господин Путин, именно это стремится сделать“.

    [Translation of above Russian translated from the German translation of what Yatsenyuk said in Ukrainian:

    Russian aggression in the Ukraine is an attack on the world order and the order in Europe. We all remember the Soviet invasion of the Ukraine and Germany. This should be avoided. No one has the right to rewrite the outcome of the Second World War, but the Russian President, Mr Putin, intends to do just that. – Moscow Exile]

    It is clear that for a literal translation into Russian the translation has to be smartened up.

    “Putnik’s” translation I consider to be unacceptable. It goes in the right direction, of course but the idea expressed by it is still quite different.

    This does not undo the, forgive me, deeply embedded stupidity of what might have been an attempt, broadcast by this character, to awaken a kind of hostility towards Russians, who in the DDR had been really regarded by some as occupiers.”

    A little later, the friend added some more:

    “in one, so to say, satirical piece in the online version of the “Spiegel” there is a comment about what Yatsenyuk said. (And I quote him there, as I have done above, with corrections.)


    [Translation from Russian]

    “Democrats talking amongst themselves.

    Yatsenyuk exposes Soviet Russia

    The Prime Minister of the Ukraine, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, in “Topics of the Day” (Tagesthemen) reminded us about Soviet aggression (sic) more than 60 years ago.

    “We all remember”, Yatsenyuk told the studio presenter Pinar Atalay, “the Soviet invasion of the Ukraine and Germany”.

    Indeed, in 1942, Soviet troops ruthlessly moved West. They did not hesitate in pursuing the army of the democratically elected Chancellor, A. Hitler, including across Ukrainian territory. Probably a longer route along the southern coast of the Black Sea, bypassing the Ukraine, seemed too difficult for them.

    In the end, the Soviets (sic) broke through the eastern borders of Germany and moved into German territory, as we all, together with Mr. Yatsenyuk, remember. We don’t know whether this is true as regards Mrs. Atalay. Anyway, she did not raise any issues concerning this small digression into the history of Russian aggression”.

    The satire may be a little weak in its criticism of a studio presenter who made no comment about this obvious stupidity and barely concealed aggression.

    And der Spiegel, in spite of all its talk of the “system”, is still part of it.”

    The presenter of the show, Pinar Atalay, is, by the way, the daughter of Turkish Gastarbeiter.

    Perhaps she really does know fuck all about German/Soviet history?

    • yalensis says:

      Thanks for for all that deconstruction and clarification, Exile!
      Even those translating Yats from “mova” to Kraut to Russian to English – he still sounds like a ridiculous old Nazi! That’s my Veruca, though… sweet child…

  28. Moscow Exile says:

    The idiomatic meaning of “I am a Charlie” is lost on the Frogs, I guess, especially if the statement is emphasized thus: “I am a right Charlie”.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      The above was posted above under Charlie Depardieu, but was sent down here.


    • yalensis says:

      P.S. with your expertise in German, maybe you can answer this burning question:
      Does “Ich bin ein Berliner” actually mean “I am a jelly donut” ?

      • Moscow Exile says:

        Yes, it does! A “Berliner ” is, of course, a native of Berlin. However, a “Berliner” is also what you call in the US “a jelly donut” and what I call a “jam doughnut” and what Orcs call “пончик” [ponchik].

        So the thing is, in German, when stating one’s country or city, one does not use an article. When I want to say in German: “I am an Englishman”, I say: “Ich bin Engländer”: I do not say: “Ich bin ein Engländer”.

        Likewise, a German from Frankfurt, namely a Frankfurter, says: “Ich bin Frankfurter”: he does not say: “Ich bin ein Frankfurter” as that would mean he’s saying that he is a Frankfurter sausage.

        So, “Ich bin ein Berliner” means: “Я – пончик”.

        Full name: Berliner Pfannkuchen


        But that’s not the end of the story….

        “Ich bin ein Berliner” would only mean “I am a doughnut” if a Berliner said it. Kennedy speaking in context as an outsider was correct in using the article with “Berliner”, which kind of means: “I am one of the Berliners” or “I am one of you Berliners”. In other words, he was speaking figuratively but with a bloody awful Boston accent! And it seems he read what he said in German using his own notation for pronunciation, which read thus:

        “Ish bin ein Bearleener”.

    • marknesop says:

      It doesn’t exactly mean “I am a Charlie”, it means “I am Charlie” in the same sense as the much quoted French headline “We Are All Americans Now”, implying solidarity. Or at least that’s my interpretation, because you are quite correct that the “a” does not exist in French as an identifier – they say “Je suis soldat” or “je suis medecin” for “I am a soldier” and “I am a doctor”.

  29. peter says:

  30. kat kan says:

    Incredible story for WashingtonPost, talking about uncontrollable warlords…. in Kiev Ukraine. Not a word about any in Donbass, in fact barely a passing mention of Donbass. So have they started to recognise Novorossiya as being a separate country?

  31. yalensis says:

    Also on the Ukrainian topic:
    Czech President Miloš Zemandebates with Banderites. State Department take note:
    This man is OVERDUE for a colour revolution!

    Stepan Bandera planned to create in Ukraine a puppet Nazi government, declared Czech President Miloš Zeman, in response to a letter penned by supporters of Bandera.

    “I received your letter, in which you defend Stepan Bandera. (….) Are you up to speed about Bandera’s words: ‘I will kill every Polak from 16 to 60 years old’ ? If you never heard of these words of Bandera, then you don’t know your own (Ukrainian) history. And if you DO know about this declaration (of Bandera), then do you agree with it? Or not. And if you DO agree with it, then my discussion with you ends right here,” Zeman wrote.

    Turning to the current day, the Czech President reminded people that Viktor Yushchenko [when he was President of Ukraine] signed a decree granting to Bandera the title of “Hero of Ukraine”.

    He (Zeman) also reminded people, that today’s Ukrainian government wishes to also make a “national hero” out of Roman Shukhevich, former commander of UPA, under whose orders, in 1941 were shot thousands of Jews.

    “I really don’t feel like congratulating Ukraine on having such national heroes,” Zeman declared.

  32. peter says:

    • patient observer says:

      Glad that Putin used his own hands, shovel, hoe and other garden implements to plant the 25 vines. Very impressive! Here is a philosophical question – if you have a home but never live in it is it really your home? Extra credit – if its in the Daily Mail is it really true?

      • Jen says:

        Kolomoisky must be jealous. He must have hit the phone right now to arrange to obtain Spanish citizenship and a Spanish passport to go with his citizenship certificates and passports from Cyprus, Israel and Ukraine, so he too can buy a luxurious home on the Costa Brava and plant vines from “Pingus”.

    • marknesop says:

      Sigh; where does he find the time? And they call him a nekulturny barbarian!

      A quick diversion, but I promise I’ll come back to the point; remember Mikhail Dmitriev? Back in 2012, the doyen of the Centre For Strategic Research, another egghead Moscow NGO/think tank, penned a report which had the western world agog with its brilliance. Commissioned by a civic group headed by Alexey Kudrin, highlights of the Dmitriev Report included;

      (a) With more time, anti-corruption opposition candidate Alexey Navalny could become a serious potential candidate,
      (b) In the short term the growing political opposition will “snowball” and will create a shaky balance of conflicting political forces as the regime battles the opposition, and,
      (c) A sharp increase in the demand for alternative political leaders and the rise of the middle class could provide the foundation for a full-bodied and effective democratic system to take root.

      Dmitriev was the toast of the town, and AEI’s Leon Aron cited his reports, Dmitriev really knew Russia – he had his thumb on its pulse, and no mistake. Shame Putin couldn’t listen to somebody like Dmitriev, but alas! the poison pygmy only cowered from Dmitriev’s figurative Sword Of Truth.

      But then, something happened. Dmitriev – the same Dmitriev, the sage, the oracle – co-published another report, later the same year. Entitled, “Good-Bye, Poverty – Russia’s Quiet Social Revolution”, it is now hard to find; as if the English-speaking world were ashamed of it, like an idiot uncle. It includes this passage: “More importantly, Russia’s poor almost entirely exited from absolute poverty. By international criteria, Russia’s poor are no longer considered poor but overwhelmingly belong to the low middle class. In 2001 0.9% of Russians were living on 1.25 $US on PPP a day. Since 2008 this group is no longer observable in household surveys. 6% of Russians in 2006 were living on less than 2 $US on PPP a day. By 2009 their share declined more than 100 times – to just 0.05%. Practically all Russian poor now belong to the low class by the World Bank definition (daily incomes between 2 and 13 $US a day).”

      The Mail reporter is as full of shit as Elvis’s coffin is full of decomposed peanut butter. There is no substantiation for his assertion that 13 Million Russians live below the poverty line, and he does not offer any for good reason. British reporters simply make shit up. No wonder they purport to be such chums with Ukraine – you can hardly tell their reporting from that in the Kiev Post.

  33. peter says:

    • marknesop says:

      I don’t think it will make a great deal of difference, certainly not if the world’s largest economy is rating them higher than the USA. I don’t think the western ratings agencies enjoy the credibility they once did after their shenanigans to avoid downgrading the USA when they raised their debt ceiling over and over until the allowable debt reached a figure most people can’t even comprehend. If they lose world reserve currency status, that debt will become unmanageable; perhaps it already is, and they are just printing a flood of cheap money to delay the inevitable.

  34. Moscow Exile says:

    If a malicious neighbour puts sand into the gas tank of another’s car and thereafter, when other neighbours see that the sabotaged car is having difficulty in running, would the cause of the malfunctioning have the right to go around telling all and sundry that his unfortunate victim’s vehicle is junk?

  35. Moscow Exile says:

    Meanwhile, the war continues:

    Russian government bans transgender people from driving

    Perhaps they’re worried about what would happen if someone got his knickers in a twist whilst driving?

    UK asks US to assist in search for Russian sub off Scotland

    The Royal Navy having a refit.

    At present, there are more RN admirals than there are RN surface ships.

  36. peter says:

  37. peter says:

    • kat kan says:

      Seeing LNG is always a lot more expensive then natural gas, I can’t see how good LNG supplies will reduce demand for natural. There will be reduced demand, because of less industrial activity in Europe because of the sanctions THEY started. The spot market price has nothing to do with Russia,they sell on long term contracts. The ruble is no longer plunging. The ruble will suddenly go UP once Russia says you have to pay with rubles.

      Soooo much wishful thinking in this story.

  38. Moscow Exile says:

    Bloomberg, 22 hours ago:

    Russian Stocks Rally as Goldman Touts Sberbank; Ruble Advances

    Many Russians are taking this week off for New Year and Orthodox Christmas celebrations.

    Shows how little the writer knows: Russia – all of Russia – started its official New Year and Christmas holidays at close of business, 31st December 2014. The first working day of 2015 is Monday, January 12th.

  39. Moscow Exile says:

    The Collapsing Ruble Is Creating Food Shortages

    A variety of goods — from basmati rice to imported hard cheeses — have simply vanished, leaving consumers with fewer and less desirable choices – New York Times

    Sausages are in short supply – BBC

    Shit! No more basmati rice?????

    No sausages?

    So what were those things I saw stacked up on the shelves at Pyatyorochka not 2 hours ago?

    No, I had better not think about what their ingredients might be….

    • Moscow Exile says:


      Posted from Russia, 9 January, 2015, at 17:45 Moscow time, by someone who lives in Russia and who daily goes shopping in Russia and who does not sit on his fat arse in New York scribbling articles for Bloomberg.

      I bought two packs of Tchibo Exclusive coffee at midday:

      212 rubles for each 250 gramme pack.

      Oh yeah! And two packets of filter paper for my perculator- Rombouets, made in Belgium.

    • kat kan says:

      You know, that chain of shops may be cheap because they buy out of date goods. Which is why they still have some. Old stock.

      Use ordinary rice, cook with added teaspoon of oil, ditto fennel seeds, a cardamon pod, good pinch of salt.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        Nay. On the coffee pack it reads:

        A. 12.10.2014
        B. 10.03.2016

        The coffee is vacuum packed and the date configuration is as used everywhere except in that most necessary and exceptional nation (and possibly its side-kicked side kick to the north):

        12th October 2014
        10th March 2016

    • marknesop says:

      Just more encouragement for the American consumer – stick with the sanctions, Dick and Jane, they’re working!! Russians are suffering!! You never know; if they can’t get western sausages made with cornmeal and floor sweepings, they may soon be down to eating local stuff made from pigs! It doesn’t bear thinking about, definitely not for the squeamish.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        Did they ban in the end that mechanically retrieved gunge in the USA – you know, that slime that they blasted off carcasses and bones with high pressure water jets and made into meat loaf and whatever?


    • marknesop says:

      “The EU developed a detailed roadmap showing what steps the Ukrainian government had to take before it would extend assistance. Ukraine has undergone a revolutionary transformation since then. The roadmap ought to be adjusted accordingly, but the cumbersome bureaucratic processes of the European Commission do not allow for that.”

      Otherwise known as the old “If you can’t do 20 pushups, do 10 and we’ll call it 20” justification for failure. Because Ukraine has tried really, really hard to measure up, it ought to be rewarded for its feistiness by not having to measure up, and any effort it has made should be ruled acceptable.

      Give ol’ George credit, he doesn’t pound the war-drum throughout the way the Kyiv Post does. He’s more subtle, slipping in that “the world is under indirect military threat from Russia” so smoothly that many will just nod and go on.

      The undercurrent is that while the USA and Europe are afraid to get into a war with Russia that might escalate to a nuclear exchange, the smart thing to do would be to “help Ukraine defend itself”, and let the Slavic nig-nogs fight each other to the death in Ukraine. Russia won’t nuke them – they’re too close, so it will likely remain a conventional war which Ukraine will lose badly and quickly. But they might inflict some real damage on Russia, while the political damage will be incalculable.

      Nice try, George.

  40. peter says:

  41. Warren says:

    Russia’s London exodus as companies look east

    Equities: ‘costly’ London Stock Exchange loses its appeal, as Russian companies, including VTB Bank, contemplate Asian platforms such as Shanghai

    Russian construction company Rose Group, which operates in the upmarket sector of Moscow’s property market, has decided to delist its shares from the London Stock Exchange. In the seven years since its initial public offering (IPO), the company’s capitalisation has dropped from £895m to £174m.

    David Wood, its financial director, told the Russian news agency RBK: “An LSE listing cannot bring any liquidity or additional investment to a company, although it does impose certain restrictions and quite substantial costs”. The company has been trading just 9pc of its stock in London.

    On November 21, another Russian construction company, Gals-Development, announced its decision to delist from the London exchange, while in September, a similar decision was taken by the Russian bank FK Otkrytie. According to experts, this is part of a long-term trend, as many Russian issuers switch from European to Asian markets.

    • marknesop says:

      Makes sense to me. If the enemy only wants one-way trade and is using that policy against you, you’d be a fool to let them do it. It will be interesting to see what Chinese growth looks like by the end of the second quarter – Europe should take note, because it’s fueling it.

  42. peter says:

  43. yalensis says:

    Meanwhile, this is some very interesting background on Charlie Hebdo , even with a Russian twist.

    Apparently Hebdo was founded by a man named Francois Cavanna, this was back in the 1970’s when nihilism was all the rage. (In America, at that same time, they also had a magazine called “National Lampoon”, which was also basically adolescent vulgarity and cultural nihilism, so this sort of thing was happening all over the civilized world.)

    Anyhow, the Russian part of the story is that in 1943, when he was a forced labourer in Germany, Cavanna met another prisoner, a Donbass Ukrainian/ethnic Russian named Maria Tatarchenko. They fell in love, and Cavanna considered his love for Maria to be the one thing in his life that was above and beyond all mockery. He lost her (she returned to Soviet Union, either voluntarily or involuntarily, and he never saw her again.)
    Later, as a cartoonist and writer, Cavanna developed a philosophy of nihilism, which he expressed in his (crap) art. And that’s how Charlie Hebdo was born. Fortunately for Cavanna, he died before he had a chance to see his staff mowed down by terrorists.

    • Oddlots says:

      Some other interesting details care of an interview / debate with Art Spiegelman on Democracy Now:

      – Charlie Hedbo’s predecessor was called Hari Kari. It was banned after it ran a cover mocking De Gaulle’s death: “Tragedy in Paris: One Dead.” (Apparently there had been a fire in a discotheque the week before roughly where the headlines read: “Tragedy in [can’t remember town… Nancy I think]: 12 dead.”
      – Spiegelman says the best analogue today in American culture is “Southpark”, which is kind of elucidating.
      – he makes some pretty fine distinctions about why – from a critics point of view – Charlie Hedbo’s purpose is valid while others are – even in Spiegelman’s opinion – not (he cites the Danish magazine that was targetted as being “not” which is kind of funny to me: more gymnastics.)

      • marknesop says:

        If not for Spiegelman, I might never have known that offensive and shocking cartoons are supposed to “provoke thought”. Like you might think that Mohammed actually does have a star for an asshole, and if he doesn’t, how would having one affect Islam worldwide? Whew; my head is spinning now.

        At last, I get it.

        • Sam says:

          Just on the debate on free speech vs. hate speech, since this whole “we must defend free speech with our last pen” thing started in France, we should see the definition of hate speech there:

          ” La loi sur la liberté de la presse du 29 juillet 1881 et le code pénal répriment différents agissements considérés comme racistes. La France interdit les discours de haine qui sont également définis comme des déclarations publiques qui menacent ou insultent un groupe pour des raisons d’identité nationale, raciale, ethnique ou religieuse , ou qui inciterait à la discrimination, à la haine, ou à la violence contre une personne ou un groupe de personnes en raison de leur lieu d’origine, de leur ethnie ou absence d’ethnie, de la nationalité, de la race ou d’une religion spécifique. La diffamation raciste constitue un délit pénal depuis 1881 et est définie comme toute declaration qui porte atteinte à l’honneur ou à la considération d’un groupe pour des raisons d’identité nationale, raciale, ethnique ou religieuse . La loi de 1881vise les infractions commises par la presse et les autres moyens de communication : la provocation à la discrimination, à la haine ou à la violence, la diffamation et l’injure à raison de l’origine ou de l’appartenance raciale, ethnique, nationale ou religieuse , l’apologie et la contestation des crimes contre l’humanité. L’auteur de paroles, écrits ou images à caractère raciste est punissable lorsque les attaques incriminées s’adressent par tout moyen de communication au public, y compris par internet, quand bien même le site serait basé à l’étranger, à condition que le propos litigieux soit diffusé en France.”

          Without translating the whole thing, it is defined not only as any call to actually harm people because of their nationality/ethnicity/race/religion, but also as any insulting communication, be it in the form of declarations, articles or cartoons, that gravely injures a group’s honor based on their nationality/ethnicity/race/religion. I leave you to decide whether the Charlie Hebdo cartoons gravely insulted a particular group or whether they were just playful banter.

          • Sam says:

            I didn’t mean to bold the whole thing, just some excerpts:( isn’t it then you write something (b instead of bb)?

            • yalensis says:

              Dear Sam:
              Based on that, I suppose you would have to be a French judge the calibre of Solomon, to decide if what Hebdo wrote was hate speech or not.
              Re. “South Park” show in America – they do some similar extremely vulgar and heinous things. But ultimately, I think, that show has a redeeming social value, as it challenges “beliefs of the philistine herd” and presents what I would call a a “conservative atheist” political point of view. Their mockery of scientology got them in some trouble, at one point.
              And of couse everybody knows about their wholesale mockery of Mormonism in their Broadway show “The Book of Mormon”. But at the end of that show (which I saw, didn’t really like, I didn’t enjoy their portrayal of Africans as dim-witted primitives) they do present a valid political point, which goes something like: “Sure, Mormonism is a fake and ridiciulous religion. But the people who believe in it are happy and live decent lives. So, just leave them alone.”

              Regarding the bold tags in HTML, if you start a bold with the “b” tag, then you have to end the bold text with a “/b” tag (forward slash-b). I call them “bold” and “un-bold”.

          • colliemum says:

            Given that Law – and we have a very similar one here in the UK – one wonders why the aggrieved groups didn’t haul CharlieHebdo before a judge?
            It is done here in the UK, and el Plod is very very quick to feel anybody’s collar who tweets something someone (one person is sufficient) feels offended by. Faster than coming round if one’s been burgled …
            And then we had the unedifying spectacle of a candidate for the EU Parliament being taken to prison for daring to quote remarks written by Winston Churchill in a book over 100 years old.
            This man read the quote, with a loud hailer, from the steps of a City Hall.
            You’d have thought this would constitute a public order offense – but noooo: it was deemed to be “racially aggravated hate speech”, and the police hauled him off to their police cells … for quoting from a book by Winston Churchill.
            So we might ask, might we not, how come the aggrieved, offended muslims felt they had to kill them all rather than complain to the police?

            As always, Pat Condell says it best:

            • Sam says:

              > So we might ask, might we not, how come the aggrieved, offended muslims felt they had to kill them all rather than complain to the police?

              First of all, it’s not ” the aggrieved, offended muslims”, it’s 2 guys. I’m sure thousands more were offended and went by their day peacefully.
              Secondly, as to taking legal action, you have your answer in how the events in Paris are described: It’s an attack against free speech. Period. Not an overzealous radical overreaction to hate speech. And what better way to show we don’t give up to these attacks on our free speech then printing more such free speech. Soyons tous Charlie!

              • yalensis says:

                Continuing the train of thought from above:
                An almost exact analogy in the U.S. would be if 2 Mormom terrorists attacked Matt Stone and Trey Parker for their scurrilous portrayal of Joseph Smith in their Broadway show The Book of Mormon.

                Recall that Joseph Smith is the Founder and Prophet of the Church of Latter Day Saints, as valid a religion as any, with millions of followers and churches world-wide.
                The Mormons were persecuted and hounded everywhere they went (some say with good reason), but managed to build Salt Lake City, Utah, one of the most beautiful and best-run cities in the world.
                So, here come along 2 vulgar adolescent-minded comics, Matt and Trey, the creators of “South Park”, who completely trash Joseph Smith and everything he did and said.

                If I were a Mormon, I would be offended. Most Mormons just laughed it off.

                P.S. here is a brain-teaser:
                if Matt and Trey WERE assassinated by terrorists, then would all Americans have to go around wearing T-shirts that read “I am Cartman” ?

    • marknesop says:

      I used to like National Lampoon; I reckoned they were quite funny. But then, I have always been near the core of the adolescent vulgarity market. I honestly can’t recall any humour – subtle or in-your-face – directed at anyone’s religion in it, although I guess I was not what you would call a regular reader, I didn’t have a subscription or anything. A lot of the cartoon art resembled the same kind of stuff available in high-end comic art like “Conan the Barbarian”, except more explicitly gory and more sexual. Some of the humour mocked cultural preferences, such as a perceived willingness on the part of Asians to eat anything that can be digested (like chicken feet, baby snakes, things that most westerners will not eat). But I don’t recall any specific barbs directed at religion, and the west mostly knew nothing about Islam back then.

      It makes me sufficiently furious to be called a “colonial” by some inbred spawny-eyed British gits that I would swing for them if we were in a bar or on the street, but I certainly would never think of shooting anyone over it. Since I am not devoutly religious in any faith, I can’t imagine shooting anyone over a religious insult, either. But I have seen some scary Christian fundamentalists who probably would. Most would just shake their heads sorrowfully and pray harder for you because you are such a fool. But fundamentalist Islam is not that kind of religion, and generally speaking it is not as big on forgiveness as it is on punishment.

  44. peter says:

    • marknesop says:

      The USA had better look out, or it might have to re-learn the business of selling carpet-cleaning by call centers equipped with auto-dialers. I wonder if France is getting nervous about that Rafale sale – France made somewhat of an enemy of Putin, although his public criticism has been mild.

      This puff piece for Rafale from 2012 suggests the sale is nailed down, but if you read it you will notice France has looked not quite so competitive lately in all the categories which ostensibly resulted in its selection. It’s the author’s opinion, of course, but he believes Rafale was selected because of (1) price, much cheaper than the Eurofighter, and (2) France’s reliability as an ally and supplier, since India had reportedly wanted the F-35, but the USA would not sell it to them. The author also points out that the USA stopped delivery of the F-16 to Pakistan, but kept the money. In that light, France looks particularly bad. If they lose the Rafale sale it will be a terrible blow to both the French economy as a whole and its defense industry in particular, and might sink the Rafale program. on the bright side, it would also sink Hollande, maybe even quicker than the next election.

      This author is considerably more skeptical, and makes several startling assessments of just how much a disaster losing this sale would be for France – for instance, I had completely overlooked that if India doesn’t buy it, that refusal will make the aircraft so expensive for the French that they likely cannot even afford to produce it for their own air force. That, if it happened, would be not only economically damaging, but would leave the French military playing catch-up through an immediate and massive replacement-technology gap.

  45. yalensis says:

    Meanwhile, Veruca had to backtrack on her ill-chosen words about Russia invading Germany in 1941. There must have been some blowback from the Europeans.

    “Er…. this is what I actually meant to say. I was talking about the division of Germany AFTER the war, and how the Soviets unfairly divided Germany in half and even built the Berlin Wall… yeah, yeah, that’s what I was trying to say…”

    Er…. Veruca, tiny point…
    Germania est alia divisa in partes quattuor… sorry, slipped into my native Latin…

    All of Germany was divided into FOUR parts. By America, England, France, and Soviet Union.
    It was a mutual decision, not just Soviets being mean to Germany.

    To paraphrase Mauriac:
    “J’aime tellement l’Allemagne que je suis heureux qu’il y en ait quatre.”

    • Oddlots says:

      It’s somewhat funny to me that Putin has somehow installed in an Islamic region a leader that is actually a reliable ally (as opposed to the messes in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria etc. etc. that the US and Nato have brought about, with all the attendant blowback) and no-one seems to have noticed in the West.

  46. kat kan says:

    Meanwhile in Paris, France, the stooges have been shot to silence them. A third who came to their aid with a kosher deli siege was also killed and a fourth got away. So everything is fine,we’re back to the single safe version of what happened and why.

    • marknesop says:

      Curiously, you did not see a parallel “Je Suis Juif” campaign when the motorcycle-riding lunatic in 2012 shot a Rabbi and three young children in Toulouse. One was a little girl that he chased through the schoolyard and caught by the hair, then shot in the head at point-blank range with what was identified as a .45 handgun, probably from surveillance video.

      There was a minute of silence in memorial at all schools across the country, and a local religious leader said the community was “in shock”. France’s political leaders attended a mass at Nazareth Synagogue in Paris, but did not speak. It was believed to be the gunman’s third attack. To the best of my knowledge, he was not apprehended.

      • Southern Cross says:

        I’d forgotten about that. Journos find dead journos more shocking I guess.

        Then again, hashtag slacktivism was still in its infancy in 2012.

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