Once He Was the King of Spain – Now He Vacuums the Turf at Skydome

Uncle Volodya says, "There’s fool’s gold—pyrite—and then there’s fool’s gold—gold owned by idiots willing to trade it for worthless dollars.
”

Uncle Volodya says, “There’s fool’s gold—pyrite—and then there’s fool’s gold—gold owned by idiots willing to trade it for worthless dollars.
”

Anders Aslund proves me wrong, over and over again. Every time I think I’ve seen the stupidest, most pedantic, most off-the-wall leap for mediocrity from the atrophied pecan in his head, he surpasses his previous foamy wild-eyed assessment of reality. Rodeo clown dressed as economist. All of it delivered in that whiny Swedish accent that makes him sound like he needs to be changed, and put straight to bed for a nap. I hasten to add that the Swedish accent is not annoying in all its speakers – pretty much only Aslund and the Swedish Chef from “The Muppets”, to whom he bears an astonishing resemblance. And it doesn’t end with physiognomy; they share a similar grasp of economics and government.

I can’t wait, I’m lowering interest rates, my people say:
“King, how are you such a genius?
There’s a roof overhead and food on our plates!”
It’s laissez-faire, I don’t even care
Let’s make Friday part of the weekend.”

Moxy Fruvous, from “King of Spain”

Hey, remember when Aslund was president of that country; Jeez, what was it called? Anyway, he became president way back in the late 90’s, almost further back than pterodactyls can remember, it’s not surprising that the details are a little fuzzy. I do remember that when he became president, the country was on the ropes: the inflation rate was around 27% (now it’s 11.4%), the unemployment rate was 12% (now it’s 5.2%), and per-capita GDP was about $3,500.00 USD (now it’s $7,000.00 USD). Adjusted for PPP, it’s about $25,000.00 per year, the highest it’s ever been. Personal income tax rate was a flat rate of 13%, and it still is. In how many other countries has the electorate seen its tax rates remain the same for 14 years? Not the UK, that’s for sure – they started the same period at 40%, went up to 50% from 2010 to 2012, and after that 45% looked like a tax break – neat, huh? The USA’s tax rate has remained stable, which is a remarkable achievement…but it’s at 35%, more than double what president Aslund was able to offer his electorate.

Of course Anders Aslund was never president of anywhere. That was Russia, and Putin was – and is – president. I introduced that short and harmless deception merely to showcase what a self-important, pompous toad Aslund is, when he says “In short, Putin – who is no economic expert – makes all major economic policy decisions in Russia, delivering orders to top managers of state-owned enterprises and individual ministers in ad hoc, one-on-one meetings. As a result, Russian economic policymaking is fragmented and dysfunctional.” Aslund wants you to know that he is an economic expert, and that Russia would be in so much better shape if only Putin would obey Aslund’s advice and step down, turning the presidency over to a brilliant fellow economist like, say….oh, I don’t know…Alexey Kudrin.

Aslund is at his entertaining best in his latest blowhard epic, “Putin in Denial“. World oil prices have halved since June, he says (he knows juicy insider stuff that you and I don’t because he’s an economist), and the value of the ruble has plunged along with the oil price (ditto). And, he warns, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

Which he would know, of course, being an economist and consequently such a reliable engine of prediction. Like when he said back in 2009 that Gazprom – and whenever he speaks about Gazprom he has to switch over to his reserve vitriol tank, since he really, really hates Gazprom, probably because they will not “open up” to western investment and share ownership – was failing, citing the excellent book co-written by co-numpties Boris Nemtsov and Vladimir Milov. The following year, Gazprom overtook Exxon-Mobil as the world’s most profitable company. His masterwork, “Think Again: Russia” contained more stream-of-consciousness bullshit than you could carry home in an eighteen-wheeler; I think Foreign Policy Magazine became ashamed of the flash flood of drivel in it and deleted it. If you have a hard-copy subscription, you can probably still read it and marvel at the mental grounding of anyone who could argue that political stability is undesirable because it is poorly suited for reform; I quoted from it here, but the electronic link is now dead. He described the voucher scheme introduced under Yeltsin – which resulted in Mikhail Khodorkovsky making the leap from ambitious geek to oligarchical geek virtually overnight – as an acceptable way to create an owner class, and the oligarchs as “engines of capitalist development”. Describing that view as wrongheaded would be an understatement on the order of describing Bill Gates as financially secure. Better wrap the belt from your bathrobe around your jaw before you read “An Assessment of Putin’s Economic Policy“, to stop it from dropping to the floor: penned by Aslund in 2008, it describes Putin as “one of the lucky ones who happened to be in the right place at the right time, as Talleyrand said about Lafayette, but accomplished little that was positive”, and blithely informs the reader that “Lucky” Putin took over the helm in Russia after Boris Yeltsin had already successfully set it on the road to a market democracy. It is for howlers like this that some long-ago Suffolk writer coined the word “flabbergasted”.

Here, from the subject article, are a few glittering examples of Aslund reasoning; (1) cutting Russia’s imports in half is going to worsen Russians’ living standards considerably (now that they presumably cannot afford to vacation in New York or buy milk packaged by Pepsi); (2) Russia, which has greatly increased its holdings in gold by dumping its useless dollars to buy it, suffers from “ever-worsening corruption and a severe liquidity freeze”; (3) Because he is unprepared to act, Putin continues to pretend there is no crisis at all; (4) Putin could withdraw his troops from eastern Ukraine, whereupon the benevolent USA and Europe would lift their crippling economic sanctions, but he won’t do that because he can’t stand losing, and (5) Putin’s failure to use the internet prevents him from grasping the magnitude of the crisis because he does not have access to up-to-date statistics. I have to stop now, because I can’t focus on the screen while I’m shaking my head.

“Likewise, short of initiating a major war, Putin has few options for driving up oil prices. Moreover, even before the oil-price collapse, crony capitalism had brought growth to a halt – and any serious effort to change the system would destabilize his power base.”

Really? I can think of a way, although I won’t pretend I thought it up myself, because it’s already happened – shut off Europe’s gas. Did you forget that one, Anders? All based on a very strange piece in the Daily Mail in which they appear to have copied and pasted part of it, since it reports that Mr. Putin is the Prime Minister – which he was, for a time – but it is dated today and several other details suggest they meant it to be now. No major war. Have energy prices risen? You tell me.

Whether six European countries are without gas tonight and blubbering in terror as they try to marshal their reserves, or it is all a big hoax, some of that famous British humour, it is apparent that the suggestion it could really happen is enough to make energy prices jump, so don’t fool yourself.

“Though accurate and timely statistics on Russia’s economy – needed to guide effective measures to counter the crisis – are readily available to the public online, Putin claims not to use the Internet.”

I can’t think of a more reliable way to inspire commentary by western leaders that Putin had “lost touch with reality” than to learn he was trying to run the country using the Internet as a guide. Because every leader knows the Internet is more reliable than your closest advisers who are, theoretically, experts in their fields. That might be true if you were George W. Bush, surrounded by a sycophantic circle of people who took turns blowing sunshine up your ass because it made you so happy when things were going well regardless how they were really going, but there is no evidence at all that Putin is that kind of leader and ample evidence which suggests he is not. And the United States seems to still be slogging along, despite the description of the Internet by one of its elected representatives as “a series of tubes“.

“His actions suggest that he considers economic data to be far less important than security information – perhaps the natural attitude of a kleptocrat.”

It becomes steadily more evident that Aslund simply loathes Putin so deeply that his desire to rant and call him names seizes complete control of his brain so that he can’t think – his entire mental hard drive is focused on talking smack like a six-year-old. There is absolutely no evidence at all that Putin is so preoccupied with security that he is oblivious to the economic situation. If he were, the deliberate effort to cause a panicky run on the ruble that would collapse it entirely might have succeeded. It is Aslund who is totally oblivious to the fact that Russia’s economic woes are caused largely by a bitter economic war of which it is the sole target and against whom are arrayed the entire forces of the NATO powers, with varying degrees of enthusiasm. Aslund is acting as if the price of oil is the only consideration, and that Putin is mismanaging it terribly.

“If Putin wants to save Russia’s economy from disaster, he must shift his priorities. For starters, he must shelve some of the large, long-term infrastructure projects that he has promoted energetically in the last two years. Though the decision in December to abandon the South Stream gas pipeline is a step in the right direction, it is far from adequate.”

There you have it: Putin’s decision to shut down South Stream was a wise one, but not near enough. He must stop all the big projects that he only uses to steal from the Russian people anyway. What do the European Union’s mandarins think of the decision to shut down South Stream? I think it’s safe to say their take on it is all the way across town from Aslund’s.

I’m not sure how much more evidence anyone would need to conclude that Aslund was born an idiot, strove all his life to be an even bigger idiot – largely succeeding – and  will likely be carried in his pine box by six of his most thickwitted contemporaries in a celebration of idiocy that will see the grief-stricken pallbearers pass under an arch of giant crossed dunce-caps, to be laid to final rest under a stone which proclaims, “In the first place, God made idiots. That was for practice. Then he made economists.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2,333 Responses to Once He Was the King of Spain – Now He Vacuums the Turf at Skydome

  1. yalensis says:

    “Marta Wise was ill and emaciated “when she heard the distant sound of soldiers marching toward Auschwitz. The 10-year-old Slovakian Jew assumed it was German troops coming to get her but once she saw the red stars on their uniforms she realized they were Russian. Her nightmare was over. She was liberated.”

    (….)
    “A famous black-and-white photo of about a dozen children in rags standing behind a row of barbed wire, taken by the Russian liberators, has become one of the most iconic images of the Holocaust. Among the children featured is a rail-thin Wise, who weighed just 17 kilograms (37 pounds) when the Russians arrived, and her older sister Eva, whose sunken cheeks gave her a deathly gaze.
    “That I survived and my sister survived is beyond me. I’ve never been able to work it out,” said Wise, now 80 and living in Jerusalem. “To me, as far as I am concerned, the 27th of January is my second birthday … because that’s when we got another lease at life.”

  2. yalensis says:


    Testimony of SS Scharfuhrer Erich Fuchs, in the Sobibor-Bolender trial,
    Dusseldorf
    :

    Following this, a gassing experiment was carried out. If my memory
    serves me right, about thirty to forty women were gassed in one gas
    chamber. The Jewish women were forced to undress in an open place
    close to the gas chamber, and were driven into the gas chamber by the
    above mentioned SS members and the Ukrainian auxiliaries. when the
    women were shut up in the gas chamber I and Bolender set the motor in
    motion. The motor functioned first in neutral. Both of us stood by
    the motor and switched from “Neutral” (Freiauspuff) to “Cell” (Zelle),
    so that the gas was conveyed to the chamber. At the suggestion of the
    chemist, I fixed the motor on a definite speed so that it was
    unnecessary henceforth to press on the gas. About ten minutes later
    the thirty to forty women were dead.

  3. Moscow Exile says:

    First day at school, September 1st.

    That picture was probably taken in the early ’90s. The girl and her mother look very similar to two people I knew very well in Voronezh, where I lived 1989-1990 and 1992-1994, and with whom I ended up living. (The mother was a widow: her husband had died as the result of an industrial accident, not booze.)

    I once commented to an English teacher acquaintance of mine in Voronezh, a 20-something Londoner who was nearly always dress in jeans and and a shirt and sweater, that one of the things that I liked so much about the Soviet Union/Russia was how the little girls wore ribbons as they did when I was a boy in the 1950s, whereupon my fellow countrywoman hissed at me that I was a sexist and asked sneeringly why I liked little girls so much.

    She buggered off: I stayed.

    Best decision I have ever made in my life!

    • Tim Owen says:

      The civility on this board is really to be marvelled at.

      • marknesop says:

        It’s a delicate balance that is policed by the commenters themselves, and for which I thank them whether we agree on other subjects or not. I put at least some of it down, too, to most members being mature enough not to be drawn into a yelling match, and the reaction on the few times someone has attempted to start an inflammatory trolling session has been amusement.

    • ..james says:

      thanks for sharing that moscow exile. nice!

    • Warren says:

      What were you doing in the Soviet Union in the late 80s? I would’ve thought travelling across the CCCP would be restricted for foreigners.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        I was a student.

        Officially I was not allowed to travel more than 20 kms beyond my registered place of residence, but I did. For example, I used to go on fishing trips to the Chigla river some 100 kms south-east of Voronezh city. Nobody said anything. They all used to say I looked like one of them, anyway. Never got bothered by the cops; never stopped and searched; never had to show my papers.

        The Soviet government gave me a grant of 400 rubles a month and I was stinking rich. The boys and girls whom I lived with in a students’ hostel on Friedrich Engels St. used to get 38 rubles a month.

        Happy days!

        • Tim Owen says:

          Reminds me of the ridiculous sums I earned in Czech in 90. Multiples of my clients who were psychiatrists mostly. Embarrassing.

          The solution: a lot of nights at the pub. Happy days indeed.

          • Tim Owen says:

            This quote popped into mind:

            “Innocence is like a dumb leper who has lost his bell, wandering the world, meaning no harm.”

            ― Graham Greene, The Quiet American

            And just to be clear: I was furiously “recycling” my personal surplus by paying the bar tab.

            • Moscow Exile says:

              “And just to be clear: I was furiously “recycling” my personal surplus by paying the bar tab.”

              Same here: I used to get the vodka in at the weekend. Gorby had caused vodka sales to be strictly limited, but you could still get “expensive” vodka, if you had the readies, which few had. The top-of-the-line vodka then in Voronezh was Zolotoe Koltso (The Golden Ring) at 13 rubles a bottle – horrendously expensive for the vast majority of locals: the local vodka, “Rossiya”, was in short supply and only cost about 5 rubles, if I remember rightly. And there was always “samogon” and “Eau de Cologne” if you were pushed.

              Word used to get round quickly about where and when a vodka delivery would take place – “Gastronom № 6 – Wednesday morning!” – and it was absolute mayhem when the mob descended on the delivery place. Wagons loaded with vodka rolled up and it was every man (and not a few women) for himself.

              I, on the other hand, would nonchalantly stroll up to the de-luxe goods counter or go to the restaurants and buy the expensive stuff, because I was a filthy, pampered capitalist fawned upon by the Soviet government.

              🙂

  4. ThatJ says:

    A Victim Of Revenge Porn Released Her Own Nude Photos To “Take Back Consent”

    From “creepshots” to “revenge porn”, the betrayal of women’s privacy and denial of consent is commonplace online.

    It’s an experience Danish activist Emma Holten knows all too well. At the age of 17, Holten found that private nude photographs of herself had been shared online. As she wrote later:

    On a regular October morning in 2011 I couldn’t access my email or Facebook. I didn’t think anything of it – I forget passwords all the time – and just tried again. Waiting for me upon entry were hundreds of messages and emails.

    Messages and emails with pictures of me in them.

    One: me, naked, in my ex-boyfriend’s darkened room. Seventeen, a little awkward, slightly hunched forward: a harmless attempt at sexiness.

    Another: two years later, in my room in Uppsala, Sweden. Older, a little more confident, but not a whole lot.

    What had happened was apparent: the pictures were now online.

    Full text: http://www.buzzfeed.com/rossalynwarren/a-victim-of-revenge-porn-released-her-own-nude-photos-to-tak

    She’s campaigning against revenge porn now:

    I don’t know if she’s still living in Sweden, but apparently she moved from the moderately conservative Denmark to liberast Sweden to study. I can only guess what she was fed in the university there…

    Check out what she says in this two-liner tumblr post:
    http://emmaholten.tumblr.com/post/96340190485/if-nude-leaks-happened-to-old-rich-white-dudes

    Or worse, look at her tumblr feed (just keep scrolling down):
    http://emmaholten.tumblr.com/

    Facebook:
    https://www.facebook.com/emmamarieholten/about

    Internship: Dagbladet (a leftist newspaper in… Norway)
    She’s also a redactor at Friktion. Even if you don’t speak any Scandinavian language, just take a look at that page. The “vibe” will suffice.

    I’m sorry she turned out that way. Internet hackers will not spare you of your bank account, credit card or racy photos, nudes included. It just happens that most hackers are men, and although I have no way to prove this, I think young women take more nude photos of themselves than do men. Why this is so, I can’t say — but, considering that’s how things are, you shouldn’t be surprised that 90% of people who have their nude photos leaked are women. I’m open to alternative views, but I don’t think she’ll ever see “equality” (50/50) in the number of photos leaked, when more women take photos of their tits and pussy than men take of their p3n1s.

      • marknesop says:

        Me, too. She’s very attractive and obviously smart. What I dislike about feminists is that they deify the male homosexual as the ideal man – he’s in touch with his feelings, he doesn’t objectify women, he gets it. The fact that he does not find then sexually attractive in any way, but is more likely to dish about hair or wardrobe tips does not get mentioned.

        I get that some men are Cro-Magnons in their clumsy attempts to do the mating dance and are completely disinterested after the mating part is completed. But there is a pretty big sample gap between them and drag queens.

        • Tim Owen says:

          It’s funny, in my experience the ladies are almost always in charge.

          We were having a laugh about this the other day as a colleague of mine received a text from a friend that read: “[insert wife’s name] said ok to the [ski] trip [they were planning.] We have to book it now before she changes her mind.”

          As my – female – boss said: “Yep, you move out of one woman’s house (mother) and into another (wife’s.”

          But the funniest comment to me was this: someone’s friend in the group said, on receiving a “honey-do” list from his wife on a Saturday morning apparently replied: “You know it would never occur to me to make a list of things for YOU to do.” … to which his wife replied simply:

          “Excuse me?”

  5. Tim Owen says:

    Hey, while we were investigating the current status of the Kulturkampf on Emma Holten’s twitter feed Syriza appears to have won the election in Greece. Not clear whether they will have an outright majority or not.

    Armageddon? Ray of hope?

    I’m going with the latter.

    As Michael Hudson says: debts that can’t be repaid won’t be. In other words, there is no alternative.

    TINA strikes again. Take that Thatcher!

    • Max says:

      Even RT is calling Tspiras a “radical”. You’d think he was Mao 2.0.

      • Oddlots says:

        Well maybe that’s the problem right there.

        • Oddlots says:

          Again the joke is that precisely no one believes in the austerity plan. It doesn’t matter where you look.

          But the problem is, in political terms, no one in Europe can see a branch to swing to. They are that f’ing cowardly and clueless.

          Contemporary Europe truly deserves its vassal status. Hence the ex-chancellors speaking up in horror and disbelief.

    • colliemum says:

      Ahem. The lady who is hawking ‘TINA’ around Europe is Madame Merkel. She’s been doing it for years. She is a faint and unsavoury copy of Mrs Thatcher, who btw has been out of office for over thirty years now, and is also dead.
      I’m always amazed how after such a long time, and after having been in government themselves for 13 years, Labour and their acolytes still blame Mrs Thatcher for everything, when they have had enough time and power to do something about all they are blaming her for.
      One cannot help but think that they are in fact quite pleased with what she did, since it means they haven’t got dirty hands – and that they can keep that outdated slogan to keep their sheep inside the fold.

      • Tim Owen says:

        My use of TINA was meant as an ironic tribute. In other words, I’m not sheep dogging anyone. It’s the non-ironic use of the term that aims at that.

        Of course you are right though, I think many of our troubles started in the era – in British terms – of the Big Bang and the rise of finance (basically when private debt exploded.)

        • colliemum says:

          Didn’t mean to get snappy – it just pisses me off when there’s been nearly a quarter of a century in which to change all that was bad, but nothing at all has happened, to the contrary – except blame.
          Just goes to show that this attitude of ‘it wan’t my fault, my Mum/Dad/society made me do it’ isn’t restricted to the peasants – it’s alive an thriving in the upper echelons of government, has been and will be.
          Gah – I’m having the Monday Blues …

          • Tim Owen says:

            Not at all. I liked the “Ahem.”

            My brother in law in London had the advertising contract for Labour way, way back in Blair’s early days. Used to come home and mock the “New Labour” mantra to my sister, not out of any conviction I don’t think – he’s in advertising after all – but just because it struck him as self-satisfied and shallow.

            I suspect that politics is the dog being wagged by the dog (economic interests) and that in an economy driven by finance – the Big Bang – Labour was always going to have to give itself a make-over to stay relevant even if this involved believing 5 impossible things before breakfast.

            Basically in the last thirty years we’ve had politics that naturally accompanies (private) debt-fueled growth. Now that that jig’s up everyone’s flailing about.

            There’s a good treatment of the underlying phenomenon here:

    • yalensis says:

      I don’t get the joke. Who or what is TINA?

      • Jen says:

        TINA = There Is No Alternative (to neoliberal economics, the free market and globalised economies).

        A political slogan associated with the former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher (RIP, as in Rest In Purgatory) who reigned 1979 – 1991.

        Try listening to one of her speeches, in that deep droning voice she acquired after voice coaching in 1975, and you will get some idea of how TINA came to be associated with her:

        • et Al says:

          Not Tina as in Tina Turner – We don’t need another hero? Oh well!

        • Tim Owen says:

          Thanks for that Jen. Here’s another interesting tidbit:

          The interesting thing is this was basically the whole Republican message of Romney’s campaign. My point: it’s amazing how these touchstones of wisdom can suddenly lose all value.

          Think of what she’s saying then in terms of that Oxfam report on wealth distribution now and it suddenly seems ludicrous. Obviously unfair but also clearly indicates how shopworn those ideas are and, also, how maybe there’s a Minsky moment of ideas as a counterpart to the Minsky moment in credit terms: the tide suddenly goes out and it’s suddenly clear who’s lost their onesie, idea wise.

        • rymlianin says:

          In Dame Maggy’s case “Roast in a pit.”

      • Oddlots says:

        There Is No Alternative (TINA) was a phrase that Thatcher famously used to justify cuts, taking on the miners’ unions etc. The idea being that what she was doing was necessary pain to put an end to unsustainable trends.

        Micheal Hudson and others have re-purposed the phrase to express the idea that the present level of financial claims on the economy is creating debt deflation which can only get worse in a self-reinforcing cycle making the financial claims even harder to carry. Thus there must be some form of debt repudiation. TINA.

        A knee slapper I know.

      • yalensis says:

        Thanks, guys!

  6. Tim Owen says:

    Funnily enough the IMF itself has admitted in its laconic way that austerity doesn’t work:

    http://www.theguardian.com/business/2013/jun/05/imf-underestimated-damage-austerity-would-do-to-greece

    So I expect them to come out with a ringing endorsement of the new government.

    • ..james says:

      the imf is a front for western banks giving loans to countries that typically can’t pay the money back! what is there for western, mostly wall st banks to not like about that! they especially like the gaurantees that come with these imf rbber stamped loans! it is about lending mone, the great ponzi scheme of the fiat system… don’t pay it back, just keep these interest fees or usury fees flowing endlessly!

      • Oddlots says:

        (Roughly) Correct!

        Syriza Wins and the NYT and WSJ Coverage Competes for Mendacity

        http://neweconomicperspectives.org/2015/01/syriza-wins-nyt-wsj-coverage-competes-mendacity.html

        “The Wall Street Journal and the New York Time’s eurozone reporters, who share the same unshakable devotion to TINA and austerity as the Murdochized WSJ news staff have been thrown into a panic by Syriza’s electoral successes in Greece.

        Both papers are freaked out, as are the Germans, about the potential for Greece to spark a wave of rejections of the troika’s infliction of austerity in a manner similar to how the infliction of self-destructive austerity programs pursuant to the Washington Consensus’ demands led to the “lost decade” and the democratic election of what is now over a dozen Latin American candidates running on anti-austerity platforms. The Washington Consensus was drafted and named by an economist at Pete Peterson’s International Institute. Peterson is a Wall Street billionaire whose mission is causing debt and deficit hysteria and plugging the joys of austerity and unraveling the safety nets. His greatest goal is privatizing Social Security – producing hundreds of billions in additional fees for Wall Street.”

        It’s actually kind of funny. Everyone seriously engaged with the Eurozone crisis agrees that austerity hasn’t worked but the one thing that terrifies them most is ending it. All bow down before that display of European deep thinking.

        Where I’d disagree with you is this: I don’t think that these are attributes of “fiat” money per se. Within an individual economy fiat money has the enormous and – I think – key advantage of allowing for counter-cyclical fiscal policy. It gets a little more complicated when you are talking about a community of economies and trade, but the basic dynamic is the same: the hallmark of a true capitalist economy is credit cycles creating booms and busts. The only practical monetary system is one that can counteract the busts, lest they be (needlessly) fatal. And the only system that meets that description is fiat currency.

        FWIW under a fiat regime it’s impossible to “pay” all the debt back. The reason is kind of depressingly simple: because if we did there wouldn’t be any money in circulation. Suggests to me that we need some new word to describe government debt to indicate that there is NO effective similarity between a household “budget” and the budget of a sovereign government that issues its own currency.

        • ..james says:

          oddlots, james@wpc and others.. thanks for the conversation.. i was looking for a quote from someone on banking.. this site has some good ones. http://www.themoneymasters.com/the-money-masters/famous-quotations-on-banking/

          giving control over money to private banks was the beginning of the end…. fiat money is huge part of the problem… sorry, i can’t be convinced otherwise, but it is a moot point until the next bust. when people will talk about it again.. the fiat system is a boom bust system. always has been and always will be.. gov’ts as oppsed to private banks need to be running the banking.. the fed reserve is not answerable to the public and never will be.. how do you like the way it is going so far? lol.. how about the imf system? do you like how they run most of the central banks of many countries? hopefully you don’t think your countries cental bank is in control, lol… i think i read “creature from jekyl island” 10 or 15 years ago.. while it is only a starting point and i don’t mean to imply i have much in the way of answers, i don’t beleive fiat currency is one of them… regards

          • james@wpc says:

            “fiat money is huge part of the problem… sorry, i can’t be convinced otherwise”

            james, no one can convince you of this because of the false notions you have been educated with. We all have. So you need to do the work to undo the conditioning. For instance, economics students are taught that there are three factors of production – raw materials, labour and capital. But this is not true. All wealth boils down to labour and raw materials only. Capital (in the form of money) does not exist in the real world and therefore cannot be an essential part of wealth creation or production.

            Capital in the form of capital equipment also boils down to labour and materials. Money has only been in existence for the last few thousand years. Does anyone claim there was no production in the hundreds of thousands of years before this date?

            Money is a measuring system of value. Money is also an exchange system but this is still an measuring system. It would be ridiculous for a building contracting company to claim it cannot fulfil its building contract because it has run out of metres and millimetres. The same applies to any government that has a printing press.

            Because money is an abstract ‘commodity’, it bamboozles the mind when it tries to think of it as a real physical commodity. With this in mind, it’s creation will also be abstract and equally bamboozling to the mind that thinks money is concrete. Hence the general confusion in economics and amongst economists.

            Here is an economist, J.K. Galbraith, who understood money creation (but was less than forthcoming about its implications). It is a revealing quote from the link you provided illustrating this very point about the general bamboozlement –
            “The study of money, above all other fields in economics, is one in which complexity is used to disguise truth or to evade truth, not to reveal it. The process by which banks create money is so simple the mind is repelled. With something so important, a deeper mystery seems only decent.” John Kenneth Galbraith (1908- ), former professor of economics at Harvard, writing in ‘Money: Whence it came, where it went’ (1975).

            It can be said that all currencies are fiat in nature including the so-called ‘gold backed’ currencies because gold backed currencies are only ever partially (10% maybe) backed by gold.

            It can equally be said that there are no fiat currencies in existence except defunct ones because all currencies are ultimately backed by the goods that are available for purchase. These goods are produced by the general population and if they are the ones providing the backing, the value, then they should be the ones to profit from the issuance of the currency. So the government should issue the money (thus greatly reducing the need for taxation) and not the bankers (for whose benefit the taxes are raised).

            Anyway, the above is not put forward as a convincing argument but merely as points to consider against your existing notions of what money is. It took me months and months to get my head around this simple stuff because my mind kept wanting to go back to what I had been taught. Galbraith is right – “the mind is repelled”. Such is the nature of brainwashing!

            • ..james says:

              james, i understand the fiat system. it ain’t that. the problem is with those who think countries control it, when it fact they don’t.. if canada or the usa were running the system it would be one thing, but they’re not.. it is the private banks running things.. why would canada need to pay interest on all this debt if it issued its own money? answer that question and you will see how we have been conned into thinking we control the banks.. it is the other way round my friend and no amount of fiat paper printing is going to change that.. in fact it just helps to sustain it.. banks don’t want the money loaned to be paid back.. they want the interst payments only! keep them coming forever! that is called slavery the way i understand the concept and that is exactly what we have now…the financial ponzi scheme is one big bullshit enterprise and fiat currency just helps to sustain it.. i get the impression you think we live in some sort of rational universe where everyone including bankers are nice people! they aren’t even if they wear suits and ties and look conservative.. they are leeching off us and i am going to call it how i see it.

              • james@wpc says:

                james, I agree with everything you say except the last sentence about what you think I think.

                “i get the impression you think we live in some sort of rational universe where everyone including bankers are nice people! they aren’t even if they wear suits and ties and look conservative.”

                I am puzzled why you would think that. Can you enlarge on that?

                Fiat systems can be govt run or private banker run. The problem is with the private banker run variant. No argument there! But you said fiat systems per se were a big part of the problem and I had previously said that bankers manipulating the money supply through their fiat system was the problem. They did exactly the same thing when they ran so-called gold backed currencies. The bankers are the problem and I would describe them as a bunch of psychopaths rather than nice rational people. They are certainly thieves of the highest order.

                Canada and Australia have govt owned central banks but they are not run by their govts. In theory the govts control the central banks who, in turn, control the retail banks. At least that is how it is sold to the public. But the reality is the other way round, as you say. The bankers provide the electoral funds/bribes for the political parties who in return appoint the bankers and/or their stooges to the boards of the central banks.

                • ..james says:

                  hi james, i am going to be offline for a day of travel after this post, but we can continue on later! the gov’t of canada and australia have gov’t owned central banks not run by there own people? how do you explain that? central banks is a system set up under the imf system and answerable to the imf, not the local gov’t.. the local gov’t can pull a few strings but of generally insignificant value.. why do you think everything is run by private banks? sorry if i haven’t addressed your specific comments. the central bank concept was a part of the package that came with the imf.. central is a nice word, but us canucks have little to no say on any of how it operates.. we don’t get to choose who leads it and just coincidentally it is typically goldman sach ex types who are climbing the imf ladder who do..

      • Oddlots says:

        PS, if I wasn’t clear I’m not really expecting a ringing endorsement from the IMF despite the white papers.

        • james@wpc says:

          I agree with Oddlots in that the problem is not the currency being a fiat one. The problem is that the fiat currency is issued by private bankers who regulate the amount of the money supply to their own advantage creating endless cycles of boom and bust.

          The simple but seemingly impossible answer is a representative government that issues their own fiat currency and regulates it for the benefit of the general population and thus ensuring steadily growing living standards. Mind you, govts that have done just that, such as Libya, Syria, Iran, China and to some extent Russia, have found themselves facing invasions or threats of invasions.

          “Austerity” is never designed to work as advertised. It is designed to impoverish people to make them more malleable and controllable. Austerity defies basic economic principles and even common sense.

          I don’t hold out much hope for change with the new Greek govt. They have committed to remaining in the EuroZone and will refinance the IMF loans which means more interest for nothing. This doesn’t sound at all radical to me.

          More likely is that the Greek population has been conned again and the WSJ et al are playing along with the faux opposition meme. We’ll know soon enough.

          • Jen says:

            One possibility is to base the supply of fiat currrency on the infrastructure needed to sustain the population at a standard of living such that every community at least has adequate transport, utilities, communications, medical and education services (at the very least, access to two major roads in and out, electricity and water supplies, one hospital or major health clinic as a minimum, and education from preschool to Year 12 or the first year of college or undergrad university). The amount of money in circulation from year to year then depends on how much governments or councils spend on infrastructure investment and maintenance.

            There may be potential for governments to spend too much on infrastructure because some infrastructure projects, once started, can take on a life of their own beyond fulfilling their original goals and end up becoming nursing homes for ageing bureaucrats. A taxation system based on collecting land rent might also charge a small income tax to make up shortfalls between government infrastructure spending and people spending the money they earn in jobs created by govt investment. Another alternative is to encourage people to save a portion of their income in savings banks owned by the government or its agencies – because that money saved goes back to the government – and the interest earned would be spent on goods and services within a certain period (say, 12 months) of its being earned or it gets taxed.

            • james@wpc says:

              “One possibility is to base the supply of fiat currrency on the infrastructure needed to sustain the population at a standard of living such that every community at least has adequate transport, utilities, communications, medical and education services”

              Indeed. There is the problem of some infrastructure projects taking several years to commence economic activity so the wages need to be absorbed in new consumer production in the meantime. Savings are good in this case but it would be unwise to rely on them. Some balance between short term and long term infrastructure development and investment is needed.

              There is a simple formula for working it out how much money to inject into the economy. As E=MC2 is to physics, P=MV is to economics. P = Production (GDP), M = the total of the money supply and V = the velocity of the circulation of the money supply (how many times it turns over as a whole within one year). V hovers around 1 (0.9-1.1) usually so it can be left out of the equation for most purposes and can be read as P=M.

              So M can be increased till it absorbs all the idle resources (raw materials, labour and capital equipment) without causing inflation. It is all very simple and easily understood once it is recognised that a national currency is backed by the production it can buy regardless of whether it is a fiat currency or backed by gold or mother-of-pearl shells. No one ever mentions this of course because it would bring down the economists’ towers of bullshit around their ears.

          • colliemum says:

            Of course the Greek people have been conned.
            If Syzira were a real danger to the EU/IMF ‘consensus’, the western MSM would’ve been writing and condemning them from the rooftops.
            They haven’t.
            The only condemnation you get from them is that of the so-called “extreme right wing populist” parties across the EU, but you get that non-stop.

            • james@wpc says:

              “Of course the Greek people have been conned.
              If Syzira were a real danger to the EU/IMF ‘consensus’, the western MSM would’ve been writing and condemning them from the rooftops.
              They haven’t.”

              Exactly! I didn’t want to be too black and white about it but you are right, IMHO 🙂

              • colliemum says:

                Thanks – you’ve gotta forgive me, election fever is starting to take over my thoughts. It’s 100 days until “that day” over here … it’ll be a mad mad time for us foot soldiers.

              • marknesop says:

                In fact there has been just enough trepidation in the press to suggest they are really scared of a Syriza win. They are not. Perhaps a deal was struck with them before the vote, in return for assurance that Greece would not leave the EU. I will be surprised if they do, but I would think the Greeks will turn really ugly if they find they were conned again. I imagine that was the plank of Syriza’s platform which struck a responsive chord.

      • marknesop says:

        Well, actually their policy statements forbid them from undue risk, which is carefully calculated in percentages and risk architecture. They are not allowed to lend money they are sure they will not get back, and in fact they can’t just say “damn: I was sure we could get that back – guess I got fooled!” They have to make the case on paper first, and ridiculous pie-in-the-sky reaching will not likely result in approval.

        • kat kan says:

          Then how come Ukraine got a single dollar?

          They can’t tax business, because most of it belongs to oligarchs who bank out of country. They can’t tax workers because a lot of them are dead, and the rest are either about to be or just caught the last bus to Russia to avoid that fate. (even Lvov to Russia train is booked out for a month, I saw somewhere).

          • ..james says:

            ltcm looked good on paper and it had a couple of nobel prize in economics who were the brains behind the derivative games they were engaged in… regardless of there sophisticated models and nobel prizes, they went bust… this is the kind of shit that is regularly approved of by the govermental bodies overseeing much in the financial world today… buffett calls derivatives the wmds of the financial world… it isn’t a question of another one going off, just a question of when the next one happens… greenspan was the wizard of oz until he wasn’t.. same deal with any of these financial gurus put in positions of power who could give a rats ass about the little people.

          • marknesop says:

            I suspect they factored in energy revenues from fracking in the Donbass region, based on the assumption that they could take it. And they nearly did at one point.

        • Tim Owen says:

          I wonder whether the Marshall Plan would ever be funded by the brain-trust at the IMF?

  7. ThatJ says:

    Updates from mp.net and elsewhere (copy & paste):

    If true – then OMFG

    Western Ukrainians flee to Russia to avoid conscription

    The Krasnoyarsk and Khabarovsk Krai of the Russian Federation received Ukrainian workers from Perepiska Rostovskogo district, Ivano-Frankivsk region.

    On January 19, the day before the official start of the partial mobilization campaign, about a thousand men from Perepiska went to work abroad – in Russia. 26 bus full of workers went to Krasnoyarsk. This was announced at a meeting on the issues of the mobilization that took place today in the Ivano-Frankivsk regional state administration with the participation of representatives of power structures and social activists.

    In short: 17400 pop. town in western Ukraine, 26 buses with workers went to Russia, Krasnoyarsk (look at the map for more lulz) – one guy went to the ATO zone.

    LPR fighter reported that the armed forces of the republics surrounded the occupied Debaltsevo, and UAF is in panic in Lisichansk:

    DPR and LPR militia forces surrounded Debaltsevo, Ukrops have a lot of losses. Panic in Lisichansk. Most enjoying joint operations with DPR. Heading to Debaltsevo with DPR is nice. It’s a success without a doubt. Literally every 30 minutes in Stanitsa working on the ukrops, not stopping, started sweeping. BMP arrived with help. Debaltsevo will be Ilovaysk 2.0. Its hot here right now, successful attack on Lisichansk, KAMAZ arrived. I was near Debaltsevo – you can take it in a day. Helping DPR.

    According to the militia, a group of punishers near Debaltsevo consists of about 7,500 men.

    Finnish Foreign Minister just compared the incident in Mariupol to what happened in Sarajevo. 7 months until NATO bombing campaign starts?

    Stratfor analysis:

    …[G]ood strategy involves creating options while withholding commitment to any particular course until the political and diplomatic possibilities are played out in the context of a build up. It would seem to us that this is what the Russians are doing, while signaling capability if not yet intent. However, the Americans sending the commander of the U.S. Army to Kiev on a very public visit is a signal that the window is closing. That forces Russia to make decisions sooner rather than later.

    The Red Alert we issued yesterday was triggered by what appeared to be artillery preparation by the Russians at exactly the point when a move toward Crimea would be launched. That was alarming. We think it was meant by the Russians to be alarming, a warning of Russian operational superiority and strategic imperatives. Things have quieted down. The quiet ought not to be taken as the end of anything.

    Red Alert Update: At the Heart of the Mariupol Crisis

    Just spotted this from two days ago on FortRus, so it has a clear bias but a cleverly subtle ring of truth. Top notch if it is actually propaganda or disinformation.

    Is America taking over the military operation in Ukraine and why did Poroshenko leave Davos early

    January 23, 2015
    Roman Nesterenko – JPGazeta.ru
    Translated from Russian by Kristina Rus

    Our source close to the General staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, who previously quite accurately forecasted for us the catastrophic defeat on the southern flank of the advancing parts of the UAF – on July 6th (when no one else mentioned the strategic value of Saur-Grave), reports about a chaos in Kiev and the turmoil in the country’s administration and the army.

    According to the source, the defeat at the airport, and the loss of the new terminal was a complete surprise to the leaders of ATO [anti-terrorist operation] – as prepared since the beginning of October and started on January 15th operation of “aligning the front” consisted of the acquisition of the greater part of Donetsk and Gorlovka in response to “the terrorist violence against civilians”. Next, after the recognition by the Council of Europe of DPR and LPR as terrorist organizations, as well as after the elimination of the “Bezler’s gang” in Gorlovka, a general offensive of AFU through Debaltsevo ledge in the direction of Krasny Lyman and Snezhnoe was to begin.

    For these operations surplus ammunition supplies, fifteen hundred armored vehicles, more than 50 aircraft and helicopters of various types were prepared at the front over the course of three months. Also different types of equipment for communication and control of combat, and artillery (anti-mortar) radars were received from overseas friends.

    Full text: http://fortruss.blogspot.com.br/2015/01/is-america-taking-over-military.html

    Video worth watching:

    KIEV, January 26. /TASS/. Ukraine proposes expanding the format of negotiations on the peaceful settlement of the crisis in the country’s southeast by involving the European Union and the United States into it, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavel Klimkin said on Sunday.

    “The Normandy format is very efficient. Now we are speaking about the possibility of expanding this format, maybe, in a Geneva context, and involve the EU and the US,” Klimkin told the 1+1 TV channel.
    The Ukrainian leadership earlier said Kazakhstan’s capital Astana would host the summit in the Normandy format – Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine.
    Earlier on Sunday, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said he saw no alternative to the Minsk agreements on resolving the conflict in Donbass. “We will not allow undermining the Minsk agreements, everything should be based on them,” he said.
    The parties to the Ukrainian conflict agreed on a ceasefire at talks mediated by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) on September 5 in Belarusian capital Minsk. The ceasefire took effect the same day but has reportedly occasionally been violated.
    The Russian Foreign Ministry said the OSCE has repeatedly ignored data on military preparations and concentration of Ukrainian forces along the contact line which comes in violation of the Minsk agreements.

    • kat kan says:

      They can also involve all of sub-Saharan Africa and the western hemisphere of Mars… it will get them nowhere unless they are prepared to talk to the actual people involved …the two republics. A ceasefire won’t lead to peaceful settlement. For that they need to go to armistice, which has to be between the involved parties. (Although NR would no doubt accept unconditional surrender, too).

    • Southerncross says:

      I don’t understand them at all. The rebels I mean, the orcs aren’t an enigma. How do they keep summoning up mercy for the dogs who came to murder them and pillage their homes, or their bitch mothers who laughed and gloated while the children of Donetsk hid in cellars from Grad fire?

      • astabada says:

        Either this sort of propaganda videos are effective at encouraging disertion against compulsory levy in the Ukraine, or perhaps Zakharchenko and his entourage really believe in some sort of national reconciliation. Regular citizens (who make up the vast majority of the Ukrainian population, rather than the Right Sektor goons) might see this video. That woman might recount her experience and yes – albeit humiliating – it was still a humane treatment considered the circumstances. Zakharchenko attacks the credibility of the authorities in Kiev, who are trying to sell their subjecs something between a Russian invasion and a terrorist overtake.

        I’d say this is much better than the treatment DNR prisoners receive at the hands of the Kiev authorities, which can only increase the hatred and the ranks of the DNR.

        • Southerncross says:

          Certainly, rebel prisoners who’ve been in Ukrainian custody for a while tend not to be so presentable.

        • Paul says:

          I thought Zakharchenko was rather hard on her – I don’t think that you can blame mothers because their children are conscripted.

          • astabada says:

            That woman might recount her experience and yes – albeit humiliating – it was still a humane treatment considered the circumstances.

            I conceded that it is a humiliating treatment, talking to her like her small boy had been caught shoplifting. And agree with you that it is certainly not her fault if her twenty something years old son has been conscripted.

            We must not forget however what is the term of comparison. How woud they treat the mother of a DNR prisoner in Kiev? What if this soldier is part of an army that shells your family every day? This is what I meant by writing considered the circumstances.

            This sort of show (including the ones where they exhibit prisoners to angry mobs) demonstrates that there is some sort of humanity left in Novorussia, and a certain degree of reconciliatory spirit. They believe that they can wake up Ukrainian servicemen to the reality of the war (as they see it). This consrasts with DNR militiamen who returned crippled from their prisony, with one even dying afterwards (if I remember correctly the one exchanged for the special forces officer).

          • ERika says:

            He wasn’t hard on her.

            She got lucky and he emphasized how lucky she was. She has two sons, one is a prisoner, sitting next to her, the other is at the age of being conscripted. He is telling her not to make the same mistake with the 2nd son. That it is better for her second son to end up in jail, but safe, than allow himself to be conscripted or go to war where he would likely end up dead, and be cremated by the army.

            As a parent, he recognized that what he was saying was difficult, implying no one wants their kid in jail, but things could have been far worst for her family. She got lucky.

  8. kat kan says:

    Putin is visiting Hungary on February 17. A group organising a “Friendship with Russia” march noticed the atlantist groups planning a protest. So they’ve just added “ANTI-MAIDAN” to the name of their march. Hint hint guys, we know what you’re up to, don’t even think about it…..

    They seem well aware there will be provocations, and most of their plans to cope with them, without violence, seem sensible. Some don’t like Viktor Orban at all. Others are saying doesn’t matter, we can’t afford to change him until we have Russia locked in, if we lose Orban we lose Russia. A couple of the organisers are old guys who once were throwing Molotovs at Soviet tanks. I’m lurking on their FB.

    • ThatJ says:

      I hope Jobbik bring all their supporters to the streets.

      • kat kan says:

        Jobbik is nationalist in an ethnic and exclusionary sense, they’re not too pro-Russian that I can see. The Russia-friends people are looking at it from the economics point of view – reliable business partner, generous with no-strings-attached loans. Protecting Novorossiya is a big plus; there are 5 countries with Hungarian minorities and they are sure Orban would do nothing to help any of those if they had to rise up

        Still, Jobbiks might turn up just to oppose the atlantists.

  9. peter says:

    • Southerncross says:

      Worked for Poroshenko didn’t it?

    • spartacus says:

      “…around 90% of the €217bn of loans provided by the Troika went to pay off Europe’s banks and the hedge funds that held the debt. The banks got most of their money back, leaving the Greek people with the bill. This is now owed to the Troika. Back in 2012, the EU leaders finally recognised that the huge public sector debt that the Greeks had incurred in bailing out their banks and in funding the repayment of debt and interest to foreign lenders (mainly German and French banks) was just too great. They agreed with the conservative government in Athens that more funds would be made available, but that private creditors would take a ‘haircut’ in what was owed them. So French and German creditors swapped their Greek government bonds for new ones worth a little less, but guaranteed by the euro stability funds…”

      Maybe Mr. Bildt should have been a little more vocal when the Greek government was bailing out private financial institutions with public money. The money fleeced from the EU taxpayers did not actually go to those “lazy Greeks”, but to the German, French and other banks that managed to accumulate huge piles of under performing loans on the Greek financial market. But you see, Capital doesn’t like to lose…

      https://thenextrecession.wordpress.com/2015/01/21/syriza-the-economists-and-the-impossible-triangle/

      Of course reckless borrowing played its part, but I think it can hardly be singled out as the sole culprit and the attempt to portray the Greek people in general as lazy thieves that are begging for money does not convince me at all. In the end, it takes two to tango. Nobody forced the banks to lend the money. They should have asked for some kind of collateral 🙂

      • ..james says:

        indiscrinimate lending on the banks part was a big part of the 2008 financial meltdown.. they figured the gov’t would bail them out and they were right! some of the history on fannie and frddei mac tell the story too, but ultimately the bank win regardless the the public gets stuck with the bill.. works good for th banks. what is not to like for them?

    • Tim Owen says:

      Sigh. Errrr… I know Carl, how about Southern Europe just sends back all the BMWs and Siemens appliances they bought and call it even?

      It’s really simple. We can’t all run trade surpluses at once anymore than we can all stand up at a stadium and get a better view.

      If you want a monetary union you have to have transfer payments. In Canada it’s actually written right into the constitution. This moaning about funding is just completely ignorant.

  10. peter says:

  11. Tim Owen says:

    http://cluborlov.blogspot.ru/2015/01/panic-in-kiev.html

    “Local authorities in Ukrainian-controlled districts near the front report that Ukrainian soldiers are deserting with their weapons and taking to looting the countryside in increasing numbers.”

    Be still my heart.

  12. Warren says:

    • Tim Owen says:

      FWIW I think there’s two different videos and two different English speakers. The guy who said “Out of my face. Out of my face, please” while he hurried along past the reporter is different from the guy who was accompanying a camera-wielding person – OSCE perhaps – as they both inspected shell damage.

      I would put money on the former being North American.

      • Warren says:

        I agree the man saying outta my face sounds English, whereas the man accompanying OSCE sounds North American.

        • Tim Owen says:

          Really? I thought just the opposite.

          • ..james says:

            while out of my face is an expression i associate with north am, the voice has a brit sound to me… might be someone who has moved around enough while retaining the accent of there early years, and it might be that i can’t discern an aussie or new z type accent very well, but as a canuck, while the saying ‘out of my face’ sounds north american, the accent sounds not north american to me.. someone who has moved around is most likely, but folks like simple either or answers as the silly survey at the sakers highlights.

        • kat kan says:

          This English guy is walking around with others in the Azov video. The “outta mah face” guy is American for sure, by the entitled arrogance as well as the accent. The Brit speaks a bit of Russian, in one scene asks someone “what is this town”” the guy says “Mariupol” he says “spaciba”.

  13. Tim Owen says:

    That footage is incredible.

    • Paul says:

      Someone needs to assemble a catalogue of all the online videos, as a sort of archive for future historians. There must be tens of thousands.

    • yalensis says:

      Good post.

      I hate those impressionistic pieces supposedly proving something about a whole society.
      Reminds me of this one commenter on KievPost, he keeps asserting (IN CAPITAL LETTERS) that all Russians are drunks; and to prove it, he posts youtube videos of drunken Russians.
      Well, on youtube one can easily find videos of Americans having bowel movements in public, but that doesn’t prove anything; only that some people are vulgar idiots!

      • Paul says:

        But Russians are drunks – Oliver Bullough tells me so in his 2013 book ‘The Last Man in Russia’, which I’ve just started. You wouldn’t want to question Mr Bullough, would you?

        • PaulR says:

          I’ve only got to page 5 and he’s already told me that ‘Between 1940 and 1980 … the nation decided, apparently as one, to go on a huge zapoi [drunken binge]. … The Russian nation is shrivelling away.’ So there!

      • yalensis says:

        By the way, I have to insert a footnote to my comment, above.

        I just read that Kiev Post has disabled comment section on ALL their secitons. The stated reason being The Kyiv Post is disabling its online comments section due to an increase in trolls, comments advocating violence and personal attacks.
        I wonder if they were referring to this one commenter, his name was Chmeliwsky, or something like that (don’t remember the spelling). All his comments were IN CAPITAL LETTERS and he was constantly screaming about “I WILL KILL ALL YOU RUSSKIE MONGOLS YOU ARE A BUNCH OF DRUNKEN ANIMALS, YOU ARE MONGOLS MONGOLS MONGOLS!”

        He seemed to have some kind of bee in his bonnet about Mongols.

    • Oddlots says:

      Hilariously he was on this panel called – put that coffee down – “The Menace of Unreality: Combating Russian Disinformation”

      http://www.valatube.net/the-menace-of-unreality-combatting-russian-disinformation-in-the-21st-century-introduction-0Nh5rcNpluCo0sc.html

      Several sites listed him as a documentary maker. Reality Television you say?

      No wonder he’s so confused.

  14. PaulR says:

    Kiev declares ‘state of emergency’. Strikes me as a little late for that.

    • marknesop says:

      Ain’t we brave? I wonder if Mr. Harper will get one of those nifty Eurofreedom coins from Mr. Obama for our aggressive support to Washington?

    • yalensis says:

      “They [the Canadians] will stand together with the Ukrainians and provide all necessary support for Ukraine to return to peaceful life and become a prosperous country.”
      To make Ukraine prosperous, that will take probably around $500 billion American dollars – minimum.
      Is Canada really prepared to give that much? Bravo!

      • marknesop says:

        Ummm….we meant “all necessary support” EXCEPT money. Because we’re a little short of that these days. Since the popular refrain is all about cutbacks, I can’t believe an initiative to take the savings – if there atually are any – and give them to The ChocoWarrior so he can kill some more of his countrymen will be met with anything like enthusiasm.

    • ..james says:

      right on cue… our resident idiot in command shows the real stuff he is made of..thanks harper for embarassing the shit out of this canuck… did you make sure to send it out on netanyahoos letter head paper? fuck!

      • marknesop says:

        Ohhhh….wait for it. I stopped by the supermarket on my way home from work – as is my habit: I am in charge of making lunches each morning, so I buy fresh food daily in small amounts so it doesn’t spoil, I would be the easiest guy in the world to shoot from a rooftop because I’m at the same market within 10 minutes of the same time every weekday wearing a bright lime-green cycling shell – and glanced at the paper on my way out. The Conservatives are tabling a bill soon – tomorrow, I think – on “Anti-Terrorism”. It will – Surprise!!! – broaden the authorities’ powers to arrest, detain and charge those found guilty of “inciting terrorism”. There was much more, but I don’t remember it all. We are sort of in a time-warp lockstep with the United States: we don’t copy everything they do immediately, but give it just enough time to look like a new idea, and we’re there.

        Funny how that Charlie Hebdo thing is ricocheting around the world, isn’t it? Those lawmakers yelling for free speech are going to rig the deck so that only certain viewpoints can be aired. Since terrorists are all Muslims (except the ones in Ukraine, and they could be secret Muslims), they should just learn to get a sense of humour. But defend them, and you’re inciting terrorism.

        At first I was really mad, but the more I thought about it (cycling is good for thinking), the more I thought, this could be fun. It is going to be enjoyable watching the first prosecution under this law, because I will be interested to see a rationale which will charge somebody for inciting hatred of an identifiable group but which sees nothing wrong with an allied government official referring to ethnic citizens under his government as “sub-humans”.

        • ..james says:

          mark, they have free wifi here at the airport in penang!
          does this mean i can accuse harper of inciting terrorism with more bullshit law ideas like this? i definitely need to be going for some exercise too, as. while i have enjoyed the holiday, these stories drive me bonkers. guess what happens when folks are driven bonkers? i thnik it was archie bunker who said ‘he made me do it’. i blame harper!

          • marknesop says:

            Be careful over there, won’t you? I envy you; I’ve never been to Taiwan (or Malaysia, although I was in Singapore in ’08, as well as Hong Kong and Saigon). We did pass through the Taiwan Strait (AKA The Black Ditch, for some reason), but it was too foggy to even see Taiwan except on radar.

  15. et al says:

    If the NAF can close the Debaltsevo cauldron, it would be massive, though not decisive. It will only further convince all the doubter in Kiev and the West that the folly is an even bigger folly than they thought and even for the supporters, they simply cannot win.

    NATO is meeting this afternoon in Brussels to decide how far they can go, though I don’t expect much. Maybe they will warn the NAF off Mariupol which would look like a tough statement but would be anything but (which is a total red herring and only useful to draw Kiev’s forces away from other parts of the field), because NATO has to do something, even if it is meaningless. For all its huff and puff these last few months, I don’t think anyone is convinced by NATO. Ideally Mariupol will liberate itself when Ukropy forces turn tail in panic when surrounded, or are told by the locals to just surrender (not easy to believe, but a possibility).

    I expect the same from the EU to say something i.e. all this talk of new sanctions against Russia because they are not willing to do anything else, either financially or militarily to improve Kiev’s situation. The EU simply cannot walk and chew gum at the same time. Talk of new sanctions happening because the Germans want it only further serves to underline that it is not an EU of 28 member states, but an EU of Germany and 27 wannabies. Yet again, Brussels exposes itself to be incompetent and not fit for purpose at any political level. They’ve bit off far too much than they can chew and are now reaping the consequences, stomach ache and diarrhea!

    Major kudos to the NAF for going on to the counter-offensive and shorting a future Ukropy attack long before they were equipped, manned and trained well enough to start a new campaign at their leisure. Just as Sun Tzu (?) said you don’t fight war like you did the last one, the same is true even in the same campaign.

    The Pork Pie News Networks seem to be stunned by the turn of events after they had been caught lying about Kiev taking Donbass airport for almost a week. How and whether they can keep on simply repeating Kiev’s fluff is anyone’s guess but their tone and semantics have changed, actually writing ‘Ukraine says…’ and introducing however small, an element of doubt.

  16. et Al says:

    A Eurosplatter:

    EU Observer: Greece and Ukraine top EU agenda this WEEK
    blah blah blah bla blah blah…

    Auschwitz

    Polish authorities told EUobserver they sent a note to the Russian embassy in Warsaw asking it to send a delegate “at the highest level”. Putin’s spokesman later said he isn’t going because he didn’t get a “personal” invitation.
    ###

    Dem poles don’t know when to stop digging.

    EU Observer: Poland ‘disturbed’ by French ‘Russophilia’
    https://euobserver.com/tickers/127371
    Polish agriculture minister Marek Sawicki told press in Brussels Monday he is “disturbed” by French “Russophilia” after it started bilateral talks with Russia on relaxing its ban on French food exports. The European Commission has also outlined a plan to let member states make bilateral deals on food with Russia.
    ####

    Who needs friends? Polish politicians are increasingly throwing their toys out of the pram!

    EU Observer: Diplomat: No EU sanctions on Russia until February
    https://euobserver.com/tickers/127370
    An EU diplomat has told EUobserver foreign ministers meeting in Brussels Thursday due to Russia’s new offensive in Ukraine will not adopt extra sanctions: “The last FMs’ meeting decided that sanctions decisions will be handled at the highest level only – this means the next EU summit [in February]”.
    ####

    Well take your bets which country this diplomat comes from! It looks like he saying that the NAF has two weeks to sort out the Ukropy…

    EU Observer: EU sceptical on Russia’s plan to build Turkey pipeline
    The EU has called Russia’s bluff on a recent ultimatum by Gazprom, saying it “would not work”. The Russian state energy company had urged the EU to start building additional gas infrastructure to Turkey to secure access to Russian gas…

    …EU energy ministers seem equally unimpressed.

    “At this point, they are not planning to discuss this soon on a ministerial level”, an EU source told this website, adding that this could always change and that the issue is being kept under “cautious observation”.

    The source pointed to the first upcoming regular meeting of energy ministers in Brussels on 5 March as a forum where “it’s viable that it will be raised in policy debate”.

    Similarly, a spokesperson for the EU commission referred to another meeting on energy that had already been scheduled…

    …A reason for the EU’s relative imperturbability is that the Ukrainian route has become less important for the EU’s gas supply, said Fabio Genoese, an energy policy research fellow at the Centre for European Policy Studies….

    …The Polish source dismissed Gazprom’s ultimatum that Europe’s countries should start building infrastructure to link to Turkish Stream.

    “Imagine someone who used to deliver pizza to your front door suddenly tells you, you should pick up your pizza elsewhere, while there are other suppliers who could deliver to your front door, your natural answer would be: ‘OK. If you don’t want to deliver, then I will ask someone else to do it’.”
    ####

    Cognitive dissonance at its best! a) the EU is hoping they can pull something out of their ass, followed by b) then it doesn’t matter as it is just like ordering a pizza (see the link for the hilarious polish comment.

    As for Porkoshenko going to the ICC, he would have to admit that a) Kiev is at war with its own citizens and it is not an anti-terrorist operation; b) implicitly recognizing LPD & DPR; c) opening up Kiev’s war crimes – of which there is ample evidence – to prosecution at the ICC. It’s dumb all around and there was a reason they didn’t do it months ago. Go figure!

    • marknesop says:

      The Poles are increasingly becoming an embarrassing laughingstock. They want to strut and talk so tough, as if every crisis reminds them that they were admitted to the European Union for their valor or something. The EU has NO PLAN for an alternate gas supplier except for the “Southern Gas Corridor”, which even if it went off without a hitch due to infighting and squabbling such as resulted in Nabucco being canceled without so much as a foot of it ever being built, could not supply Europe’s consumption even straining at full-out. It must by now be crystal clear to Washington that it cannot possibly in the next two years have a tanker bucket-brigade going to Europe which will flood it with cheap LNG. Not unless the USA is willing to lose money on it on a grand scale.

      Two years, Europe. The clock is ticking already. If you want to spend the first year affecting lofty disdain because some Pole told you energy’s just like pizza and you have another source wating to give you hot and fresh delivery, and then the second year drumming your fists on the floor and screaming for mercy, it’s not for me to tell you how to handle a crisis. Although I’m bound to point out your own methods have enjoyed a pretty negligible success rate so far. Tick, tock.

      • et Al says:

        NATO was afraid that Sikorski would shoot his mouth off and didn’t give him the job. Everyone breathed a sigh of relief. Who would have guessed that level headed Tusk would make up for his countryman’s failings?:

        euractiv: Tusk slams Moscow ‘appeasement’ as EU debates new sanctions on Russia
        http://www.euractiv.com/sections/europes-east/tusk-slams-moscow-appeasement-eu-debates-new-sanctions-russia-311544
        Senior figures in the European Union brandished a threat of new sanctions against Russia over the weekend violence in eastern Ukraine, with one blasting what he called “appeasement” of Moscow. EU foreign ministers will convene for an emergency meeting on Thursday.

        That remark on Twitter by Donald Tusk, the former Polish prime minister who now chairs summits of EU leaders, used language recalling the eve of World War Two that conveyed both fierce condemnation of Russian President Vladimir Putin and criticism of recent EU talk of easing sanctions against Moscow.

        “Once again, appeasement encourages the aggressor to greater acts of violence. Time to step up our policy based on cold facts, not illusions,” Tusk tweeted after a call with Ukraine’s president on a response to Saturday’s bloodshed in Mariupol….

        …Asked whether he likened “appeasement” of Russia to that of Nazi Germany, a spokesman said: “The tweet is a reaction to the latest serious escalation of fighting … The escalation regrettably shows that our policy has still not been effective in reaching its goal, i.e. a peaceful, political solution.

        “The escalation also puts the last few weeks’ debate on possible re-engagement with Russia into perspective. The escalation will require a review of EU’s policy towards Russia. The tweet does not prejudge the outcome of such a review.”
        ####

        What would that solution be, Strength through joy?

        Well I guess inviting the president of a country where neo-nazis are represented in government and are fighting a war, to the Auschwitz commemoration is something completely different. Even after all this jumping, still no visa free travel to the USA then Tusk?

      • ..james says:

        does poland remind you of canada under harper much? sorry, but it does me..i long for a leader here in canada with a friggin brain, but alas we have harper..

  17. ThatJ says:

    Important updates from twitter, mp.net and elsewhere (copy & paste):

    WOW, Putin proposes to extend stay in Russia for Ukrainians of draft age, says many of them are looking for ways to avoid conscription

    #Ukraine is running out of money, 4th mobilization has been a huge bust so far, portion of army trapped in #Debaltsevo pocket. #NATO, help!

    #Sanzharovka & two hills behind it are captured by #NAF. The the right flank of the #Debaltsevo pocket is collapsing.

    In new statement, #Putin says #Ukraine’s army is a foreign legion for #NATO. Says #Kiev rejects peace, abused ceasefire. via @RT @SputnikInt

    UPDATE: Jean-Marie Le Pen (father of Marine) was wounded in the face but okay after a chimney fire at his home.

    #Poland urges #EU to consider strengthening sanctions against #Russia.

    A police car in #Gorlovka bearing #Russia’s flag. Already transitioning?

    #Ukraine’s NSDC accuses #Russia of increasing aerial activity on border inc. adding 50 Mi-24s to Black Sea Fleet.

    #Kremlin says #US failed to assemble anti-#Russia coalition.

    #Israel offered to mediate between #Russia & #Ukraine but #Russia says they are not at war with Ukraine.

    #Yatsenyuk called #Mariupol strikes a terrorist attack. (I wonder what he calls cluster bombs on #Donetsk?) #Ukraine

    40 MLRS & 15-20 artillery pieces are firing at #Debaltseve from Pervomaisk, Chernukhin, east of Makeyevka and Yenakiyevo

    I’ve just read that #Putin allowed #Ukrainian young men to hide from the mobilization on the #Russian territory. Would they ‘love’ him more?

    #Russia’s border control in #Crimea reports increased influx of #Ukraine males,apparently they are escaping from mobilization

    #Breaking Putin today: Ukrainian males are to get visa or immigration advantages in Russia

    MORE #Putin: “#Kiev rejects peace in #Ukraine, used ceasefire to regroup forces http://rt.com/news/226319-putin-nato-russia-ukraine/

    On Monday, US President Barack Obama promised the United States would examine options to “ratchet up the pressure on Russia” on the Ukraine issue.

    At the same time, US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said Washington has “more tools” available to increase pressure on Russia.

    “I think we have seen that the sanctions work to create real stress in the economy. We have more tools. I am not today going to enumerate what the tools are but we have more tools,” Lew told a news conference in Brussels.

    Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski also called on the EU to consider imposing tougher sanctions on Moscow, saying: “The response of the Western world should be very firm.”

    Germany’s Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier also hinted at further restrictions, adding that “an attack or a broad offensive on Mariupol would be a qualitative change in the situation to which we would have to react.”

    Vladimir Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov called fresh threats of anti-Russian sanctions “an absolutely destructive and unjustified course that would eventually prove to be shortsighted.”

    “Instead of stepping up the pressure on those who refuse to start a dialogue and to solve the conflict in a peaceful way, we hear they want to resume this economic blackmail against Russia,” Peskov noted in his statement.

    This is supposedly the spotter for the Mariupol attack…says he met Ponomarenko(nickname ‘terrorist’ sic!), commander of 1st Slavyanks Company six years ago. This Company? has infantry, recon, and artillery. Ponomarenko called this guy and told him to report to rebel by nickname ‘Pepel'(ash). Pepel called him and asked for coordinates…this guy worked as a traffic cop till the end of 2014 and visually remembered where UA checkpoints are. He then found those spots on Google Earth and sent coordinates by SMS to Pepel. Pepel is an officer of the Russian Army and commands an artillery battalion.

    Something happens on LNR borders, rebels said that 40-50 men came from UA side to Stanica Luganskaya with journos with camera crew, and troops dressed like rebels. They saw shots from RPGs in some building near river. LNR official made statement about UA preparing provocations like did against DNR. This world became more crazy every day…

    Putin said that the West uses Ukrainian troops as NATO legion against Russia. Putin said that Russia will accept all draftable men from Ukraine for a long time.
    Dreamers in Moscow begin to understand no one needs peace in Ukraine but Russia.
    There are all chances there should be no more fake truces until Kiev will be liberated.
    The thread will surely break all world records for forum threads.

    #Azov NG commander #Biletskiy admits: “Truth is that our situation is critical. [Ukr] politicians & generals already lost this war.” #ATO

    So, nationalisation of Akhmetov assets in Crimea was greenlighted, And that latest Putin statements, guess Surkov peace plan to use Akmetov in “Oligarch backroom deal” – that Kremlin is so fond of using, fallen flat on its ass, and Ahmetov was proven worthless and thrown out of equasion, Russia is ready to take in any Ukrainian of conscription age… (There’s also rumors of huge oil deal with China – need to dig up on it more tho)… My senses tingling that, Huston, we’re about to have a lift-off…

  18. peter says:

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Oh no!!!!!!!

      What shall we do?

      • PaulR says:

        Someone explain this to me. Russia has $400 billion of reserves, and so is able to pay its debts. So why junk?

        • peter says:

        • marknesop says:

          Pure politics, to try to spook investors. I honestly don’t know why politicians and the ratings agencies collude on this, because they above any should know investors thrive on risk and only the most cautious are actually frightened by the grades assigned by ratings agencies, preferring to rely on their own intelligence gathering. How are you going to get ahead of the market by following the market? And Russia has already announced it will have nothing more to do with western ratings agencies. Hopefully the next step will be to sever any connections it might have to western busybody index-makers as well.

      • dany8538 says:

        This whole thing is ridiculous. I work right next to fitch ratings and I gotta say this is biggest pile of crap I have ever seen. They are basically saying Ukraine and Russia are both junk when in fact there is a huge difference between them economically. Regardless, I know Russian and China are already initiating their own credit rating agencies which they should have had long ago. This is another lever of the west financial system .The reason the ratings are important is because they are included in contract clauses and can trigger penalties of all kinds. The best way to solve this is just not to include them in the Contract which in essence means russian corporations cannot borrow from the west.

        • marknesop says:

          Thanks for that explanation; that’s a useful piece of information. Russia is currently in a situation where it cannot borrow from the west anyway, owing to sanctions, and I imagine that in whatever new reality emerges from this pissing contest Russia will borrow from the west only as a last resort if it is then permitted because the west is an untrustworthy partner to whom everything is political and any leverage that can be used, will be used. There are plenty of other venues from whom Russia can borrow where its loans will be more secure anyway, while Fitch and all the other losers will be forced to dig for their rating information since they will no longer just have it handed to them as a matter of course. Competing agencies from Russia and China will be a good thing for the industry as well, because then the investment industry will be able to get a picture for which ratings agency has the most reliable record for rating econmomies appropriately, without political considerations.

          • kirill says:

            Now that the western clown parade has expended its remaining ammunition, we will just have to see how the junk Russian economy performs in the coming years.

            People will be laughing when they remember these western chihuahua incidents.

        • ..james says:

          dany8538. a knowledgeable comment on finances here at ks.. thanks. stick around. i don’t have the heart or patience to go into the details like you here.

          • dany8538 says:

            I am finishing up my CFA(Chartered Financial Analyst) so I am familiar with the repercussions of a downgrade. The ratings agencies are given enormous power because these ratings are incorporated in the bond indenture. Lowering a rating can trigger a penalty but more importantly going forward it will raise the rates for the downgraded country to borrow. That is a huge problem because it increases the future costs of borrowing and decreases the prices of already existing bonds as bonds and interest rates exhibit a reverse relationship.

            • Moscow Exile says:

              The finest financial analyst I have ever heard of was Mr. Micawber:

              “Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen pounds nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.”

        • spartacus says:

          The ratings are also important because there are investors like pension funds that are prohibited by the state authority that oversees them to invest in bonds that have a rating below a particular level.

          • marknesop says:

            So the world is meant to believe a financial system which has not collapsed even under deliberate NATO economic attack, and which is backed by the world’s largest economy which also has the world’s largest cash reserves, is junk. In the judgment of the rating agencies of the country which is the most severely indebted on the planet, and whose friends and allies also carry significant debt loads with little or no reserves. Okay, that makes sense.

      • peter says:

    • ..james says:

      s&p…. a reliable agency if ever there was one! keep those kleptomaniac updates coming!

  19. peter says:

  20. ThatJ says:

    More important updates from mp.net, twitter and elsewhere (copy & paste):

    Official NATO statement after NATO-Ukraine comission meeting.

    http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/opinions_116862.htm?selectedLocale=en

    Full text (PDF)

    While trying to de-blocade #Debaltsevo, #Ukrainians made a zerg rush on #KrasnyPartizan. Attack was repelled, they lost 3 tanks and 4 APCs.

    It is fair to say that everything is quiet in #Mariupol. #NAF pulled most of their forces to #Debaltsevo pocket & defense of #Donetsk. #ATO

    #Ukrainian sources confirm that Cpt. Nikolai Zhuk, commander of AT battery of 128th Brigade was KIA near #Debaltsevo.

    • marknesop says:

      Thanks for these updates! On the NATO thing, in his response to the first question Jens showed his willingness to talk the issue into submission with possibly the most circular argument I’ve ever seen; I decided to include it here for review.

      As to the statement that there is a NATO legion in Ukraine, is nonsense. There is no NATO legion. The foreign forces in Ukraine are Russian. So I think that is in a way the problem. That there are Russian forces in Ukraine. And Russia backs the separatists with equipment and we have seen a substantial increase in the flow of equipment from Russia to the separatists in Ukraine. And we speak about heavy equipment and many different kinds of equipment. NATO is part of a broad international effort to support Ukraine and we all agree that there is no military solution to the crisis in Ukraine. So we stand united in supporting all efforts to reach a negotiated peaceful solution based on the Minsk agreements. And what NATO does is that we provide both practical and political support for Ukraine. Just the meeting today in the NATO Ukraine Commission is a strong sign of the strong political support from NATO and all NATO Allies to Ukraine. In addition we provide practical support. We support Ukraine when it comes to defence reform: modernising their armed forces. We have established trust funds helping them with reforming their defence. In addition we have a trust fund for providing medical aid for wounded soldiers. And tomorrow, NATO defence councillors from NATO allied countries will meet with General Koval here at NATO headquarters. And he’s the deputy secretary of Ukraine’s national security and defence council and he briefed us at the council meeting today and I think that he’s here today, together with a delegation from Ukraine, underlines that we are now actually doing what I think is very important and that is to help them with reforming their armed forces. In addition to that, of course, we support the economic sanctions imposed by the European Union, the United States and others. And I will later today meet with High Representative Mogherini and discuss the very severe situation in Ukraine.”

      It’s basically a stream of filler with occasional buzzwords like “important” and “peaceful” and “political”. And “reforming” – can’t let a press statement go by without dropping “reform” in there, the holy grail of the Eurocracy.

      Unfortunately fot the Secretary-General’s position, there is a hell of a lot more proof of NATO forces active in Southeast Ukraine than there is of Russian forces, although he continues to refer to “Russian forces” as if it were not only a fact, but Russian forces in pivotal strength, so that if they were not there Kiev would win easily. He also blabbers about the “increase” in the supply of heavy military equipment when NATO has yet to show any proof of it being a fact at all, never mind more of it.

    • patient observer says:

      That plane is an Antonov 225 and is the only example ever built. It is an amazing aircraft that has set just about every air cargo record for weight, size and distance. Those Russians/Soviets can’t build anything.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antonov_An-225_Mriya

      Antonov airlines out of Kiev operates this plane.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antonov_Airlines

  21. ThatJ says:

  22. ThatJ says:

    You couldn’t make this up, timing section:

    KIEV, January 26. /TASS/. Ukraine’s Petro Poroshenko Bloc party has changed its name, Ukrainian National News (UNN) said on Monday.

    The party will be named “Petro Poroshenko Bloc – Solidarity”, the news agency said.
    A decision to this effect was taken at the party’s technical congress and timed to local elections in Ukraine, it added.

    BRUSSELS, January 26 (Sputnik) — Ukraine has asked its partners, including NATO members, for additional military assistance in light of the deteriorating security situation in the southeast of the country, the Ukrainian envoy to NATO said Monday. “We continue to hold bilateral talks with various countries, including NATO members, and in light of the deterioration of the situation on site and the increase of heavy weaponry from Russia, we have asked [these countries] for additional military aid to Ukraine,” Ihor Dolgov said after a meeting of the Ukraine-NATO commission.

    #US: #Russia is trying to cover up separatist statements; specifically those of #DNR PM Zakharchenko. He is “too straight forward.” #UNSC

    #US: Because #Russia’s media relishes in separatist victories, it is just as guilty of their crimes. #UNSC

    #US: ‘What context requires bombardment of civilians in a city?’ #UNSC

    #US: ‘Goal is to move #Russia’s territory deeper into #Ukraine.’ #UNSC

    #UK: ‘We don’t want a world where borders are redrawn by force.’ #UNSC

    #UK: ‘Separatists have since taken 550km worth of new territory’ since #Donetsk Airport. #UNSC

    #UK: ‘#Russia’s soldiers, command & control, logistics, drones & air defense systems continue to flow into #Ukraine.’ #UNSC

    #Russia: ‘Stop encouraging the war hawks in #Ukraine and covering up their war crimes.’

    #Russia: ‘This could have been avoided if #Ukraine kept to #Minsk Agreement by removing heavy artillery & handing over #Donetsk Airport.’

    #Russia calls for INDEPENDENT investigation into bombardments of not only #Mariupol but also of #Donetsk.

  23. ThatJ says:

    Extreme Right Party Headed for 3rd Place in Greek Election

    The extreme right, anti-immigrant Golden Dawn party, which has Nazi roots, appears headed for a third-place finish in Sunday’s election. Its showing comes despite the fact that the party’s leader and most of its lawmakers are behind bars, facing charges of participating in a “criminal organization”.

    With more than 90 percent of the voting precincts reporting, Golden Dawn was receiving 6.3 percent of the vote, narrowly leading the centrist Potami (“River”) with 6.04 percent. Both parties exceeded the 3 percent minimum required to gain seats in the 300-member parliament — with each forecast to win 17 seats.

    Its share of the vote doesn’t match the 9.39 percent it received in last June’s European Parliament election in which Golden Dawn also finished third. It also trails the 6.92 percent won in the previous national election, in June 2012.

    Golden Dawn leader Nikos Mihaloliakos and his top lieutenants were not free to campaign ahead of the election, since they were behind bars. They were free to stand as candidates because they have not yet gone to trial. Some of them, including Mihaloliakos, may soon be set free when their 18-month maximum pre-trial detention limit is reached.

    In a taped statement Sunday, Mihaloliakos celebrated his party’s performance.

    “We achieved this great victory despite the fact that we could not be guaranteed an equal and so-called democratic election as the regime likes to call it, shunned by all (media), facing mudslinging and slander from all sides … having to campaign through a payphone. We have a fresh mandate … everyone fought to keep Golden Dawn away and they lost. Golden Dawn won,” Mihalioliakos said in his taped message.

    http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2015/01/25/world/europe/ap-eu-greece-election-golden-dawn.html?_r=1

    European Analogy Of The Day: Greek F-16 Crashes In Spain During NATO Training

    As the political and financial markets await the contagion from Greece to Spain, this happened:

    *GREEK F-16 FIGHTER CRASHES AT AIR BASE IN ALBACETE, SPAIN
    *GREEK F16 FIGHTER JET CRASHES IN SPAIN DURING TESTS: MUNDO
    *TWO PILOTS KILLED, AT LEAST 10 HURT IN SPAIN F-16 CRASH: MUNDO

    As Bloomberg reports,

    Greek F-16 fighter jet crashed at Los Llanos air base in Albacete, Spain, a spokeswoman for Spanish Defense Ministry said.

    Pilot was taking part in NATO training course: spokeswoman

    Ministry cannot yet comment on possible victims of crash: spokeswoman

    Crash occurred at ~2.30pm CET: spokeswoman

    Full article: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-01-26/european-analogy-day-greek-f-16-crashes-spain-during-nato-training

    2 Foot “Quad-Copter” Crashed On White House Grounds

    2014 was not a good year for White House security, when one after another deranged intruder managed to scale the fence, and on at least one occasion, make it all the way inside the building housing the “leader of the free world” (assuming of course said leader was not on a golf course at precisely that time). The resultant embarrasement for the Secret Service was too much to bear for at least one person, and in October the head of the Secret Service resigned claiming it was the “Noble thing to do” (leaving unclear if it was “nobler” to no longer have to protect Obama or something else). However, this took place only after some others came up with the idea to dig a moat surrounding the holiest of American holies.

    Full article: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-01-26/2-foot-quad-copter-crashed-white-house-grounds

    Syriza Forms Coalition Government With Anti-Bailout Independent Greeks: What Happens Next

    There was some excitement in the capital markets overnight, when what was initially seen as an outright victory for Syriza, giving it an absolute, 151-seat majority in parliament – a fear that briefly pushed the EURUSD under 1.11 when the Euro PPT stepped in – ended up being a placing just shy of a majority with 149 seats. However, that same excitement fizzled several hours ago when the “radical left” party agreed to form a government with the “rightwing” group of the Independent Greeks in the aftermath of Syriza’s historic win which harnessed the public backlash against years of belt-tightening, job losses and hardship.

    As the FT reports, Panos Kammenos, leader of the fiercely anti-bailout Independent Greeks, said as he left Syriza’s headquarters after a meeting with Alexis Tsipras, the prime minister-elect: “The country has a government. Independent Greeks will give a vote of confidence to Alexis Tsipras.” The deal would give Syriza a comfortable working majority in parliament but Mr Tsipras has yet to confirm anything as he continued coalition negotiations with other parties.

    So in a parliament in which the nationalist Golden Dawn placed third, the new leadership will be comprised of a far left and a far right group, both united by the hatred of European bailouts and the stifling Greek economy, both of which they are eager to blame on Germany and the Troika.

    Full article: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-01-26/syriza-forms-coalition-government-anti-bailout-independent-greeks-what-happens-next

  24. kat kan says:

    Interesting support for Ukraine by Czech Republic. I wonder if it’s really them? that is an Antonov of which there are about 6 in the whole world, 2 run by a USA based but Ukrainian owned company (think Kolomoisky) and 4 by a Russian company. The latter has had the contract for moving USA heavy gear in and out of Afghanistan., whence US was planning to pass on tanks etc to Ukraine and Russia told them no. Russia gets a say, as it all has to go over their air space, which they’re allowed to refuse for military goods. Maybe US then said it’s going to Czechs? and then will get transferred by rail?

    #US: ‘What context requires bombardment of civilians in a city?’ #UNSC revenge perhaps?
    Volnovakha being shredded, building collapsed on top of people. And a less gory picture to show the scale of it
    https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004809737872

    • et Al says:

      I looked up the tweet and others say the tanks are going to an unnamed country in Africa.

      BTW, there is only one An-225 in the world (six engines) versus the much more numerous An-124 (four engines) transports. The Ukranian ones are owned by the Antonov Design Bureau as cargo carriers (industrial turbines/out-sized loads etc.) to bring in much needed hard cash that Antonov doesn’t get from Kiev. Russia had a plan a while back to upgrade and build new modified An-124s but that’s not now going to happen… Russia also funded most of the new An-70 turboprop airlifter but Russia won’t be buying it any time soon either, if at all.

  25. ThatJ says:

    Oh well…

    Here’s the full NYC spy ring affidavit: http://scribd.com/doc/253795635/Evgeny-Bur-Yakov-Complaint

  26. ThatJ says:

    AS GOOD AS IT GETS

    France’s Marine Le Pen was given some media coverage of her views as she prepared to debate (and doubtless get howled down) at the Oxford Union on February 6th (Mail on Sunday, 18 i). Happily, her ideas on the Muesli question were not entirely dissimilar from those advanced in ‘IQ & PC.’

    She wanted to abandon the Schengen Agreement, which mandated free movement of self-proclaimed ‘workers’ across Europe’s internal borders – though she seemed to have no proposal for towing ships of A/A would-be migrants back across the Mediterranean.

    She wanted mosques constantly supervised – though how this would improve on MI5’s efforts or a policy of closing one mosque per each Muesli murder was unclear. And, most imaginatively of all, imitating Russian policy, she wanted to reintroduce conscription – though how she would get such a policy to bite especially on non-taxpaying Blecks, Peks and Mueslis was not specified.

    Still, altogether a not unpromising start, at least as compared with the non-proposals of Europe’s political class.

    Meantime, as Russia had to deal with new ferocious fighting in Solunni Chechnya (killing a score), it reminded the West of another alternative as it razed the homes of some fifteen families believed to have links to the Muesli troublemakers.

    FAXALIFE MENTIONED

    Israeli PM Benjamin Notanyahoo became the first Western leader to admit that Europe was being hit by “a wave of Islamisation.” In response, he said Israel would aim to reduce its dependence on trade with Europe and instead seek to expand contacts with Asia – in token of which he welcomed a 100-strong trade delegation from Japan (D. Telegraph, 18 i).

    In Britain, former Chief Rabbi Lord Sachs was prepared to tell the BBC (R4, 19 i, 08:10) that the mounting anti-Semitism that was putting fear into British Jews was due to “radicalised Islamists” – a rare public admission that Islam had anything to do with anything, though he quickly went on to add the usual piety that such “radicalized Islamists” were only a “tiny minority.”

    ETHNIC CLEANSING POPULAR

    After thirteen years of the West seeking multiculti harmony in Iraq, and eight recent months of dropping 17K of ordinance to stop Solunnis advancing into Baghdad, Iraq’s vice-president Iyad Allawi (a Shitite who subscribed to Western lunacy) said (Guardian, 19 i) “There is widespread ethnic cleansing there, militias are roaming the areas. Scores and scores of people … have been expelled from their areas and they can’t go back because of the dominance of the militias.”

    A senior Iraqi official, Dr Hisham al-Hashimi, who advised the government on Isis, agreed. “The areas around Baghdad are suffering from a lot of sectarian violence and the tribes there have started to reflect on the idea of joining Isis. The tribes believe that there are moves to deport them from their lands.”

    Samarra to the north of the Iraqi capital and Solunni areas just to the south remained tense and dangerous, despite more than seven months of air strikes that had supported the embattled Iraqi military and the large number of Shitite militias that fought alongside it.

    A Guardian correspondent added: “In the long term the Sunni areas of Iraq will become independent, alongside Kurdistan and the Shia. Building an artificial nation state made up of these ingredients is a recipe that has failed many times before. Chef Iyad Allawi may cook up a storm in his restaurant with the nation building menu, but he’ll end up with egg on his face, unsatisfied customers and a messy clean-up.”

    MUESLIS MESS UP

    As a thousand mosques and related groups received a completely courteous letter from Westminster’s outsize ‘Community Secretary’ Eric Pickles and a Muesli pal, Lord Ahmad, asking them to help counter radicalization (a plea doubtless made hundreds of times over the previous generation and usually followed swiftly by government handouts), their leadership decided to go into caterwauling mode: ‘Why are we being treated as having some special problem? What comparable requests were being made of churches, temples, synagogues etc?’

    Muslim Brotherhood secretaryperson Ibrahim Bogbrush needed only to reply politely assuring HMG of co-operation and asking what precise action was expected to have the gigantic Pickles’ knickers in a twist – for Westminster had no idea what to do about the Muesli problem except to ignore it as much as possible while issuing occasional anodyne reports and letters to provide a semblance of activity to handle the invasion which it had traitorously allowed. Instead, Bogbrush catapulted imams (many of them doddery) into a confrontation which HMG had certainly not sought.

    PEECEE IN DENIAL

    As the mayoress of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, announced she would sue America’s Fox News for saying her city had ‘no-go’ areas dominated by Mueslis (six banlieus were named by Fox), a Guardian correspondent observed (21 i):

    “I’ve heard of ‘Gallic hubris’ but this woman flies in the face of obvious truth.

    Across France large swathes of Muslim neighborhoods are now considered “no-go” zones by French police. In English we refer to these areas simply as “no-go zones” but with more finesse the French refer to them as Zones Urbaines Sensibles. Same thing, two different languages.

    At the last count, there are 751 Sensitive Urban Zones (Zones Urbaines Sensibles, ZUS), as they are euphemistically called. A complete list of the ZUS can be found on French government websites, complete with satellite maps and precise street demarcations. An estimated 5 million Muslims live in the ZUS, parts of France over which the French state has lost control.

    I don’t see how this woman’s exagerated outrage is likely to solve what is fast becoming a religio/cultural civil war in her country.”

    CHINESE BAN BURQA

    Legislators in China’s far-western Xinjiang province passed a law to prohibit residents from wearing burqas in public, state media reported, in a continued campaign against what authorities view as religious extremism (CNN, 14 i).The new ban in local capital Urumqi was approved by local legislators in December, and given the green light by the regional legislature at the weekend.

    A spate of recent violent incidents had rocked Xinjiang, a resource-rich region long inhabited by the Turkic-speaking, largely Muslim Uyghurs. The arrival of waves of Han Chinese, the country’s predominant ethnic group, over the past decades had fuelled ethnic tensions. Chinese officials blamed the recent attacks on Uyghur separatists — whom they also labelled “religious extremists” — seeking to establish an independent state.

    NEAR-TRIUMPH OF TOUGH-MINDEDNESS

    As Boris Johnson’s paean to ‘the Greatest Briton,’ Sir Winston Churchill, makes clear, WSC was a magnificently rounded and inspiring personality. As The Churchill Factor goes through WSC’s achievements in the military, politics, journalism, world leadership, love and painting, no modern psychometrician would doubt he was intelligent (g+), independent-minded / determined /wilful (w+), lively / good-humoured (e+), conscientious /careful (c+), and affectionate / sympathetic (a+), all topped off by emotionality / neuroticism (n+) (which likely accounted for his jumbo-sized memory and constant drinking) and with the greatest capacity for repartee.

    (When one woman tried jesting with him – with regard to his ‘militaristic’ views that, were he her husband, she would put poison in his coffee, WSC promptly replied “Madam, if I were your husband I would drink it.”)

    Understandably, BoJo specially emphasizes WSC’s bravery (w+) which was prominent from an early age as WSC – a small, skinny, lisping, ginger-haired boy – laboured to impress schoolmates who dismissed him as feeble (he took up dumb bells and became his primary school’s champion fencer) and to win the slightest approving attention from his disdainful father.

    Fortunately, things came together quite quickly for Churchill. Diverted to Sandhurst instead of university (he had probably been somewhat dyslexic), he flourished as a cavalryman and embedded journalist, became famous for his dashing exploits and, when he married Clementine Hozier in 1908, when he was 34, was treated to adoring London crowds usually reserved for royalty. By that time, the a+ side of WSC was also being given a run for its money for WSC (who called himself a Tory Democrat, like his father) had joined the Liberals to fight for free trade, pensions, strikes and tea breaks. An intimate of Liberal grandee Lloyd George, WSC had the world at his feet.

    Churchill’s courage was to be sorely tried. Major military expeditions failed (Dardanelles, 1915; Narvik, 1940; Battle of France, 1940 – from which 600K British troops were only saved by what BoJo agrees with others was Hitler’s “mistake” in thinking his own armies overstretched. By 1942, Britain had plainly failed to rescue Poland (the original point of the UK’s declaration of war), had lost Singapore (and the great ships ‘Prince of Wales’ and ‘Repulse’) and was having a hard time even against Mussolini; Churchill had to endure Stalin waving his pipe and asking when WSC would start fighting.

    Even Churchill’s diplomatic initiatives had not paid off: Russia and America had been brought into WWII not due to WSC’s assiduous efforts but thanks to the folly of Hitler and Hirohito in attacking them. And by 1945 Britain was well en route to losing India which Churchill had wanted saved from the detested Gandhi (whom WSC said he wished to see trampled by bull elephants); and had acquired vast debts to America (for what BoJo calls “bathtub” ships) that they were not paid off till the last £50M instalment in 2005.

    It is true that Churchill had a passable line in tough-minded ‘racist’ bluster, being unafraid to call himself a patriotic White and Aryan who stood for “race and nation” and did not want to see “Hottentot” immigration; but his main vision for post-1945 was of an internationalist world – albeit one in which Britain would play a leading role, especially in Europe (which Labour coalminers and steelworkers prevented him joining since they did not want to be run from Brussels); and he gave no thought to how to limit immigration from Pakistani Muslims or Caribbean Blacks (who all had ‘rights’ to come to the motherland) any more than he had to making peace with Hitler (arranging a proper German imperium in eastern Europe in return for British domination of the high seas) after his let-off at Dunkirk and salvation by Polish pilots in the Battle of Britain.

    All this was perfectly understandable; but tough-minded realists do not normally expect understanding. Certainly Brits of 1945 gave him little, chiefly because of his mad fantasy of getting US dollars to fund the ex-Wehrmacht in a new attack on Russia (when the Americans were happy enough to get Paris, Rome, Berlin and Tokyo and had no desire to risk the fate of Napoleon and Hitler by quibbling with Uncle Joe): even while cheering for Winnie, they threw him out of office unceremoniously.

    Mercifully, WSC’s legend of defending freedom (that famous V-sign came from the Dutch Vreiheit) was passably intact, not least because it suited the left to applaud the UK co-operating with ‘anti-Nazi’ Communist Russia. But even as he died in January, 1965, with eastern Europe well and truly under the Communist jackboot, the rats were gnawing at the bottom drawer, planning restrictions on free speech which would first be implemented under the Race Relations Act of 1966, a foretaste of the full-blown tyranny of PeeCee which would engulf the West by 2015, making all realistic discussion of differences in IQ, race, sex, sexual orientation and handicap an impossibility.

    Churchill would rightly have smiled and rightly had another drink, for he knew he had “achieved so much to achieve so little.” As Enoch Powell – kicked out by the Tories for insufficient multiculturalism – was to put it: “All political careers end in failure.” And this was doubtless specially true when key knowledge sources were avoided (perhaps out of the earliest political correctness, insisted on by Lenin c.1920 to help manage Russia’s sprawling empire): WSC was an enthusiast for science (half-inventing the tank and the seaplane) and Enoch surely knew of Muslim proclivities for cousin marriage, but neither man ever clapped eyes on an IQ test, so their ability to be tough-mindedly realistic about the future was limited.

  27. et Al says:

    IBM to cut 114k jobs & BP salaries frozen globally today. Yup, the economy in the West is rocketing!

    • kirill says:

      Even if it is a smaller figure, it is still news. Looks like the debt bubble has entered the phase of diminishing returns.

      • et Al says:

        IBM says it is a ridiculous rumor! It was Forbes that reported ‘Project Chrome’ was about laying off large numbers. Egg on face! From the WSJ:
        http://www.wsj.com/articles/ibm-dismisses-report-of-massive-layoffs-1422289059

        IBM does not comment on rumors, even ridiculous or baseless ones. If anyone had checked information readily available from our public earnings statements, or had simply asked us, they would know that IBM has already announced the company has just taken a $600 million charge for workforce rebalancing. This equates to several thousand people, a small fraction of what was reported.

        • kirill says:

          IBM doth protest too much. From another forum, $50,000 per head would give around 11,000 layoffs. This is not “several thousand”.

  28. Warren says:

    Essex’s finest talking about the Greek elections.

  29. Warren says:

    FBI cracks ‘Russian spy ring’

    The FBI has charged three men it says were spying for Russia and trying to recruit sources in New York City.

    US prosecutors say Evgeny Buryakov, 39, was part of an alleged spy ring that included two others in the US on official business.

    The other two named defendants, Igor Sporyshev and Victor Podobnyy, no longer reside in the US.

    Mr Buryakov, who held a position in banking, is scheduled to appear in court later on Monday.

    He is accused of attempting to gain economic and other intelligence and recruit Americans to spy for Russia, including several people “employed by major companies” and “several young women with ties to a major university in New York”.

    In a statement, Attorney General Eric Holder said the charges “demonstrate our firm commitment to combating attempts by covert agents to illegally gather intelligence and recruit spies within the United States”.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-30992174

  30. peter says:

    • ThatJ says:

      NYT is grossly overstaffed by Jews. Silverstein (Jew) welcoming Ioffe (Jewess) to her new job at the Zionist-friendly (Israeli nationalism good!), anti-White newspaper is not surprising.

      Those Irish-American racists

      NYT has a recent article complaining about ethnic solidarity of Jewish communities in New York and their connections to Israel.

      Complicating the current embrace from abroad is the gated community’s extreme insularity. Borough Park and Williamsburg are the most Jewish neighborhoods in the city, a demographic makeup that critics say illustrates the enclave’s entrenched xenophobia, a dark flip side, perhaps, to all that ethnic pride. The consul general of Israel said he and others had made special efforts to avoid the impression of “the Jews looking after their own.”

      Actually, I made some substitutions. The article is actually about Breezy Point, an Irish enclave in New York City receiving aid from Ireland following Hurricane Sandy. The article refers darkly to Breezy Point being “the whitest area of the city,” its “extreme insularity,” its “entrenched xenophobia,” and its ethnic pride.

      http://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/2013/02/those-irish-american-racists/

      Climbing Jacob’s Ladder: A White New York Times Editor Converts to Judaism

      Just how powerful is Jewish influence over the prestige media in America? So powerful, non-Jews are willing to sell their souls — literally, if selling a soul can be literal — to prove their fealty to Jewish power and achieve journalistic success. Consider the revealing essay of Dana Jennings, a New York Times editor, appearing below an illustration of a baseball hat reading “My Other Hat is a Yarmulke” in the “Week in Review” section on Sunday.

      Jennings, born Protestant in New Hampshire, describes a conversion that came about because of his Jewish wife and interest in the supposedly more open-minded religion of Judaism. The marriage happened in 1981, and the conversion, not until 2004. Along the way, “I sought, and found, solace, refuge and a way of being in the Judaism of my wife and sons … found a depth that had been missing from the religion of my childhood.”

      Jennings amazingly claims his conversion “isn’t much different from other American journeys to a new faith — whether it be from megachurch to Zen monastery, or from mosque to the Cross.”

      Jennings is deluded. It is impossible to observe the saturation of big media, especially the New York Times, with Jewish reporters, editors, owners, columnists and opinion writers, and come away with the conclusion a non-Jew journalist’s conversion was a simple matter of “yearning for a different faith.” A very convenient yearning, as it happens.

      http://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/authors/Donovan-Jennings.html

      What’s good for the goose is good for the gander, eh?

      Large majority of Jews favor abortion—for non-Jews

      In a footnote to Chapter 5 of Separation and Its Discontents, I describe the work of Felix Theilhaber, a racial Zionist working in Germany in the early twentieth century. Like all racial Zionists, Thielhaber wanted to end Jewish intermarriage, increase Jewish fertility, and preserve Jewish racial purity. Theilhaber was very concerned about the declining Jewish birth rate and was politically active in attempting to increase Jewish fertility (going so far as to propose to tax “child-poor” families to support “child-rich” families). At the same time, he was also instrumental in creation of the Gesellschaft für Sexualreform, whose aims were to legalize abortion and make contraceptives available to the German public. (On the other hand, because they were ethnic nationalists, the National Socialists encouraged fertility and enacted laws that restricted abortion and discouraged birth control.)

      Now an article on Mondoweiss by Allison Deger points out the hypocrisy of American Jews who simultaneously are staunch supporters of abortion in America but also support anti-abortion organizations in Israel (“‘Pro-Life? Pro-Israel?’: Israeli anti-abortion organization reaches out for US support to fight demographic war in the Jewish state“).

      http://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/2013/11/jews-oppose-abortion-for-jews/

      • Johan Meyer says:

        The current owner of the NYT (father is Jewish, mother is Protestant, raised by his mother) inherited the paper from his father. During the 40s-60s, despite being a Jewish-owned newspaper (the family in question has had the paper since the late 1800s), they were quite content to assist in housing discrimination against New York Jews, by running adds for ‘restricted’ apartments and houses. If memory serves, this was mentioned either in Hilberg’s Destruction, or in his “Perpetrators, Victims, Bystanders”…

    • Oddlots says:

      I guess she impressed them with that shameless and embarrassing hit-piece on Cohen last year. Guess they’ve got some wet work to be done. She’s a cold hearted killer.

  31. kirill says:

    We need a similar placard for the EU, USA and NATO to be waved at some demonstration in Russia.

    • marknesop says:

      That’s brilliant, that is. Say, do you know the history of the phrase? Since sweatshirts featuring that logo are ubiquitous in every Canadian airport souvie shop, I naively assumed Canada had invented it. Sadly, no. It was third in a series of wartime inspirational posters – preceded by “Your Courage, Your Cheerfulness, Your Resolution will Bring Us Victory” and “Freedom is in Peril” – produced by the Ministry of Information of the British Government. Since the poster was designed to be released only in the case of a land invasion of the British Isles, it never was. Released, that is. Most were destroyed, but a few survived and now command premium prices. Interesting.

      • kirill says:

        I always thought it was quintessentially British in its phrasing and the poster usually comes with some sort of crown symbol at the top. I did not know that it was linked to a never-released WWII poster.

  32. Warren says:

    I have now become obsessed with this reality show, I’ve seen 5 episodes of season 1 so far.

    • ThatJ says:

      They are from Brighton Beach, a mostly Jewish-Russian enclave in Brooklyn. Diana herself wears a Star of David collar, but from her looks, she’s a mischling.

      After Diana reveals that she’s dating a “Spanish”, the mother is not amused and tells her she must date only Russians.

      “Spanish” is a loaded term in America. The people south of the US are in no way Spanish, but many Americans associate them with Spaniards, for obvious reasons.

      I wouldn’t be so exclusive — though not 100% liberal, either. If it’s white, it’s right.

      As of 1983, Brighton Beach had a middle class, mostly Jewish, older population. 68.5% of Brighton Beach was non-Hispanic White. 17.3% was non-Hispanic black. 11.7% were Hispanic. 27% of Brighton Beach was of age 62 or older, while the national average of persons aged 62 or older was 13.9%. Since the ’90s, however, the neighborhood’s ethnic demographics have been changing, with a large influx of mainly Muslim immigrants from Central Asia, such as Uzbeks.

      As of 2010, increasing numbers of Muslim Central Asians were moving into Brighton Beach. Due to Soviet influence, they also speak Russian.

      The chances that the boyfriend is “Spanish” from Spain are very small. Here’s Diana and Paul, the “Spanish” boyfriend, advance to 2:00:

      What do you amateur anthropologists tell? To me he has the mystery meat look from Central America.

      • Warren says:

        You’re right the cast is Jewish, Brighton Beach is famous for its large Soviet Jewish emigres.

        Regarding “Spanish”, in the US that terms is used for anyone who is Hispanic, especially if their origins are from Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic or Cuba.

    • yalensis says:

      Dear Warren:
      I have not seen this show. Do the characters ever hang out at Lev Shcharansky’s favorite watering spot, the Cafe Matroshka in Brighton Beach?
      If not, they should. It is where all the freedom-loving creative class hang out!
      (according to Shcharansky)

  33. Warren says:

    • marknesop says:

      Merely the latest example of the USA saying “Well, I guess we could let you do that, go ahead, it’s all right with us” after arrangements have been made and events set in motion without any participation by The Indispensable Nation, except to try its best to fuck it up for a couple of years, and then only give in with ill grace once that course is deemed hopeless.

      • Warren says:

        The US has finally come to the realisation, that overthrow of Assad would lead to Syria becoming a failed state taken over by extremists like Libya.

        ISIS comes to Libya

        http://edition.cnn.com/2014/11/18/world/isis-libya/

        • Tim Owen says:

          I had an interesting conversation with a Syrian emigre a couple months back. Fascinating talk.

          His disgust with the way the Syrian situation was being portrayed was palpable. (FWIW he was an ethnic Armenian which suggested to me he was somewhat outside the society, but that might be naive.)

          He pointed out, among other things, that the demands of the early protesters in – I think Aleppo – were met. The local government was replaced before even the state’s negotiator had arrived back in the capital… And yet that wasn’t good enough.

          (There’s a whiff of the “Maidan dynamic right there”: if the government is conciliatory, go for the throat. If its on the offence play the human rights card. Diabolical the cynicism. But then Auschwitz is now an acceptable “post-modern” piece of political stage-dressing so I wonder what cynical means anymore.)

          He was a little less sure about this: what always seemed strange to me was the extreme disconnect between the Syrian state’s announcement of casualties in the security services all apparently happening in the midst of an outbreak of peaceful protest. To my recollection it went on for a couple of months at least and no enterprising Journalist seemed bothered to ask where all those dead security personnel were coming from. It was just assumed that it was a lie.

      • Warren says:

  34. marknesop says:

    I can’t believe you guys missed this piece – not just one, but two of our favourites: Bill “Chowder” Browder and Luke “Tin-Tin” Harding. Watch in amazement as Harding laminates Browder’s love-muscle with his lactiferous lips, uncritically recounting how the Kremlin tried to kill Browder (presumably he just went like this and like this, POW!! ZAMM!! and fought his way out of the airport after “the Kremlin” told him his entry documents were not sufficient to grant him entry to the country and he was told to catch the next flight out) in tones of lovestruck hero-worship. Other than the syrupy tone of bromance, the story has all been told before numerous times (which is just up Harding’s street, no imagination required). I guess what with Russia and sanctions being hot right now, Browder saw an opportunity to re-insert himself into the public discourse, remind everyone that he personally got the Magnitsky Act off the ground, maybe pick up some investment bux. What’s he doing now, anyway? The article mentions him as a “former banker”….never mind. I answered my own question. He’s a writer – or, more likely, a collaborator with an author, and his book is due out tomorrow. That’s why. Even more important than location, location, location is timing, timing, timing.

    The short paragraph on Berezovsky – Putin’s dead enemy – could be a stand-in for Harding himself: “Berezovsky decamped to Britain where he led a noisy campaign against Putin, accusing him of numerous misdeeds.” Too bad the next sentence didn’t apply to Harding as well.

    The injustice of it all – to think that the hottest fund manager on the planet has to toil for a living like the skivvie-maids and sons of the soil. You would think that people with money burning a hole in their pocket all over the world would have flocked to his door after “the Kremlin” burned him, swept away by his story and his obvious honesty and ethical standards, and said “Here, Bill – I know it’s not much, just a couple of Billion, but see if you can’t make it work for me, whaddya say?” But oddly enough, his investment-banker career seems to have died on the vine. Investors are funny that way; they believe the damnedest things. Maybe they even bought “the Kremlin’s” story. Sucks to be you, Billy, you poor multimillionaire, you.

    • Jen says:

      Shouldn’t Tintin be aware that people who meet or work with Bill Browder have something of a habit of dying mysteriously, like Sergei Magnitsky and Edmond Safra?

    • Moscow Exile says:

      And a spate of “comment deleted” notices follow the article together with one that bemoans the presence of too many “Russian trolls”.

  35. kirill says:

    A ban fag moderator has gone on a rampage at MP.net and shutdown the Ukraine thread. What a collection of sore, butthurt baby losers. Things are not going so well for their stooge regime in Kiev, so they try to censor reality.

    By digrar whose avatar is just so appropriate:

    “I’ve gone back 12 hours, just half a day, deleted about 200 posts, infracted about 85 posts, suspended dozens of people. If you’re still standing, consider yourself lucky.

    I’ve changed the thread title.

    I’ll be cycling through the huge amounts of posts in this thread daily. I will be culling anything that is not on topic. Offenders will infracted, suspended, multiple pages of infractions will result in bans. People creating second accounts to get around suspensions will have both accounts banned.

    This thread will be locked for a period of time so that you can all absorb the new world order and my post doesn’t get lost in the sea of arsebanditery that abounds in this thread.

    Have the best day ever. ”

    Nobody needs your shitwit moderating you cunt.

    • Southerncross says:

      They know right well where all the trolling in that thread comes from. Just ban all Polish and Balt isps and be done with it.

    • yalensis says:

      I just did a quick check, they still kept a pretty good comment from yesterday.
      Some pro-Ukie guy had made the dumbest comment ever, namely, that having their army destroyed at Ilovaisk was a good thing for Ukrainian army, having it destroyed at Debaltsevo would be even better, and that every battle the Ukies lose, and all the soldiers they lose is all for the better, even because it arouses sympathy in the West.

      To which an anti-Ukie commenter replied: “I don’t think you’re getting the whole point behind warfare.”

    • Compared to Finnish military forum maanpuolustus.net MP.net is liberal. MP.net allows openly pro-Russian posters to post there. In maanpuolustus.net you will get banned for one pro-Russian post concerning the war in Ukraine.

  36. james@wpc says:

    “hi james, i am going to be offline for a day of travel after this post, but we can continue on later! “

    Have a safe trip. I’ll look forward to your answer to my question on your return.

    • ..james says:

      thanks james! in the airport in penang at the moment on way to taiwan then vancouver. they have free wifi here! talk soon.

  37. Moscow Exile says:

    Tintin in his element:

    Alexander Litvinenko murder inquiry opens in high court

    Public inquiry led by Sir Robert Owen expected to find Russia responsible for polonium poisoning of MI6 informant in London

  38. Moscow Exile says:

    The situation at the front is critical. I don’t want to imitate the tens of hundreds of propagandists and home-front heroes who are trying to calm the Nation down. They are spinning tales of ‘heroism’ and ‘stabilization’ of the front, thousands of supposedly killed enemies and burned out tanks. The awakening can be very painful. We need to look the truth in the eye. We face a powerful and craven enemy who has long been preparing to commit aggression. We have to admit that we embarrassingly used to call the enemy our friend and strategic partner; that we found ourselves unprepared for the confrontation, and even with four months of ‘ceasefire’, we did nothing to strengthen own defences; that during all this time we put our hopes in an abstract ‘maybe’: maybe Russia will calm down if we forget about the Crimea; maybe the West will help us, and so on. Russia did not calm down and the West did not help.

    The time has come to make the most important of decisions, both as individuals and as a people: the decision whether to live or to die. If the decision is to die, then everything is clear and simple; but if to live, it means to fight! To fight cruelly, painfully, for a long time and with complete selflessness. This war cannot be a war of generals and politicians. They have already lost their war. This is a war of an armed people. Here, at the front, there are plenty of weapons and plenty of determination. We need men, fighters, volunteers. We need everyone for whom the Ukraine and its will are real things for which one is willing to die. Come! The frontline brotherhood is announcing its welcome to you! Glory to the Ukraine!

    Götterdämmerung?

    • Southerncross says:

      Says Biletsky who ran from Illovaisk so fast he left a trail of scorched grass all the way to Mariupol.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Nay! That music is too damned good for those murdering bastards!

      No music, just contemptuous, stony silence.

    • marknesop says:

      A “craven” enemy that has “long been preparing to commit aggression”? How can you be craven and aggressive at the same time? And surely Ukraine’s huge and powerful army would make any neighbour craven, what? I mean, didn’t Porkoshanko tell the world a month or two ago that Ukraine was ready for “total war with Russia?” I hope he knows more about chocolate than he does about strategy, because Ukraine can’t handle even the invisible part of the Russian Army, never mind all of it, while its air force has been all but rubbed out. Brave talk is fine to keep the morale of the home front high, but let’s not get stupid; that’s an insult to the people who are not numb from the neck up.

      Keep on telling yourselves you got beaten like a red-headed stepchild by the elite of the Russian military, you sad sacks. And see if you can’t keep the victim complex alive at the same time, too. Tough to do considering none of this would have ever happened had you not attacked the east in military force when all they had was a small militia, and gleefully pressed them back into just two cities, which were then shelled without letup and without any regard for the civilian population. But when the going gets tough, the tough get going, isn’t that what they say?

      By the bye, why isn’t the OSCE reporting huge formations of Russian troops?

  39. yalensis says:

    Important Interview with Porky Junior !
    The interview was conducted by Roderick Spode, the Eight Earl of Sidcup.

    TRANSLATION
    Porky Jr: Any message for my father?
    Roderick: Yes. Tell him I’m going to break his neck.
    Porky Jr: Break his neck, right. And, if he should ask why?
    Roderick: He knows why. Because he is a butterfly, who toys with women’s hearts and throws them away like soiled gloves!
    Porky Jr: Do butterflies do that?

    [at this point in the interview, there were joined by Porky’s personal manservant, Jeeves, who joined in on the conversation]

    Jeeves (ominously): If one were to “get the goods” on Mr. Spode, as the underworld phraseology has it, he would be rendered a negligible force.
    Roderick: I don’t like where this is going…. [departs]
    Porky Jr: Well, yes. But we haven’t got anything on him. I don’t even know where we’d look.
    Jeeves: I was thinking of the Junior Ganymede, sir. It is a club for gentlemen’s personal gentlemen in Curzon street.
    Porky: A club? What, you mean like that Matroshka Cafe in Brighton Beach?
    Jeeves: Of a similar nature, sir. The surroundings are more comfortable, however, and the members less Bolshevik.

  40. peter says:

    • Moscow Exile says:

      All right then, if you say so.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        S&P Faces Squeeze After $1.3 Billion Countrywide Fine

        Standard & Poor’s (MHFI)’ chances of settling the government’s lawsuit over mortgage-bond ratings for less than $1 billion may have slipped away after Bank of America Corp.’s Countrywide unit was socked with a $1.3 billion fine.

        For the Justice Department, the case against S&P goes to the heart of the financial crisis, attacking the company’s claims that its ratings — relied on by investors worldwide — were honest and neutral.

        Doubts about S & P’s ratings?

        By the Justice Department of the US of A, no less!

        Well, see here, U.S Justice Department you can damn well think what you want and go on pretending that S & P’s ratings were not honest and neutral …

  41. peter says:

    • Moscow Exile says:

      http://news.yandex.ru/quotes/2002.html

      23 January ——- 64.2395
      26 January ——- 68.75
      27 January ——- 67.801

      • Moscow Exile says:

        Does the Home Country of Credit-Rating Agencies Affect Sovereign Ratings?

        However, many scholars and policymakers around the world blame credit rating agencies for unreliable practices, unfortunate timing and misjudgments. Russia’s president Vladimir Putin and Germany’s finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble speak of “abuses” and “abusive behaviour,” Turkey’s premier Recep Tayyip Erdoğan makes claims of “unfair” decisions, and José Manuel Barroso, president of the European commission, directly accuses the agencies of a “bias […] when it comes to the evaluation of specific issues of Europe” …

        Breaking the oligopoly: Ratings agencies under attack amid debt crisis

        Paris: Ratings agencies are again under attack, with EU leaders objecting that Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s and Fitch Ratings are an “oligopoly” which issues self-fulfilling prophecies of doom, greatly aggravating the eurozone debt crisis.

        Ratings agencies criticised by European Commission

        The European Commission has strongly criticised international credit ratings agencies following the downgrade of Portugal by Moody’s.

        The Commission said the timing of the downgrade was “questionable” and raised the issue of the “appropriateness of behaviour” of the agencies in general.

        Idiots!

    • marknesop says:

      I see. If the Russian economy refuses to collapse, the western media will simply act as though it has.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        Sort of like Napoleon waiting in Moscow for one month for a delegation to arrive from the Tsar to negotiate a surrender…and they waited…and they waited….and they went.

        And they went in the middle of October.

        It wasn’t snowing when they left.

        Only started snowing in November.

        The campaign was over by December 15th.

        General Winter my arse!

  42. peter says:

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