Sundown in the Somalia of Europe

Uncle Volodya says, "You should be nicer to him,' a schoolmate had once said to me of some awfully ill-favored boy. 'He has no friends.' This, I realized with a pang of pity that I can still remember, was only true as long as everybody agreed to it.”

Uncle Volodya says, “You should be nicer to him,’ a schoolmate had once said to me of some awfully ill-favored boy. ‘He has no friends.’ This, I realized with a pang of pity that I can still remember, was only true as long as everybody agreed to it.”

Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.

Matthew Arnold, from “Dover Beach

The startling reversals in Syria and Iraq now afford us our daily whiff of gunpowder and desperation, and Ukraine has been largely swept from the front pages. This is a matter of no small concern to the incompetent train wreck that is its government, because the flow of financial life support on which it relies is, to a large extent, dependent upon the sense of urgent emergency it is able to convey. So long as Kiev is able to fog the media’s glasses with “Russian aggression!!!” and a dire sense of a building menace, western leaders do not press it too hard for reforms, and are more likely to spit fat wads of cash because…well, because it’s an emergency.

And, of course, it is. I don’t want to create the impression I think the Ukrainian government is faking its sense of crisis, because Ukraine as a state is in a power-dive that is making the the wings shudder and shed rivets. Much of the government itself actually does not realize just how bad it is, because its clown-car membership is too busy throwing haymakers at one another in the legislature and squabbling over who is (a) the most  Ukrainian, and (b) the biggest crook. Mistrust among the factions also contributes to a degree of compartmentalization which prevents more than the broad outlines of the catastrophe from being seen.

We could feel a lot of things, dependent on our position and our sympathies. We could feel vindicated, if we were among those who foretold disaster from the hurried rounding-up of thieves, rabid nationalists, opportunist criminals and sycophants and labeling the result “the government”. We could feel stunned and disillusioned, if we were among the formerly-giddy dissident morons jumping up and down on the Maidan, who expected to be opening their Christmas presents in the European Union this year. And if we were among the poor sods who live there, who trudge to work every day from Monday to Friday, pick up a paycheck that buys less every month, and try to support a family on it… we could feel bewilderment, gnawing fear and a gathering apprehension that the world is spiraling down and down to a sunless pit of misery where no light reaches.

For how much longer can the happy talk of visa-free travel and someday-prosperity hold the stink of failure at bay?

“Everyone thought Ukraine would suddenly turn into Poland,” said mechanic Taras Yakubovsky, sitting by a cast-iron woodburner in his small garage, where work has dried up because customers can no longer afford car repairs. “But we’ve become more like Europe’s Somalia.”

What’s really going on in Ukraine? A good deal of what we get is from nationalist expats who don’t live there, and for whom it is easy to exhort their hereditary countrymen to redouble their efforts, to hold out bravely against the slavering Russian invader, to let faith carry them onward when hope is gone – expats like bad-tempered fathead Taras Kuzio in Alberta, and bitter, thwarted Political-Science professor Alexander Motyl at Rutgers in New Jersey. This smokescreen is complicated by deliberate duplicity and sleight-of-hand by the Ukrainian government, enabled by an English-speaking media which uncritically repeats whatever it is told by Kiev, without investigating, thereby giving it the weight of fact. Data on the economy is frequently sourced from the State Statistics Service of Ukraine. I don’t want to say they’re simply pulling figures from their ass, because it always infuriates me when people suggest Russia simply makes up its statistics. But a lot of the Ukrainian numbers just do not add up.

The facts have to be horrible: according to a report entitled “Millennium Development Goals: Ukraine 2000-2015”, as many as 33% of Ukrainians are forecast to be living below the poverty line by the end of this year. But the official unemployment rate, as reported by the State Statistics Service of Ukraine, trended steadily downward from a peak of 11% in January 2015 to 9.4% at the end of the second quarter. Does that make any sense? It might, if more people were employed every month, but the bottom fell out of wages. And you could believe that, because the currency lost 70% of its value against other currencies in just a year. Over the same period, utility rates jumped by 188% and the cost of food and beverages increased by 154%.

But if that’s what happened, how can we account for a reported per-capita GDP adjusted for purchasing power parity (PPP), according to the World Bank, which decreased only modestly from $8,337.93 in 2013 to $8,267.07 a year later? So, you’re telling me Ukrainians – in real purchasing-power terms – experienced only a modest loss of about $71.00 a year when the currency tanked and inflation spiked? According to Reuters, the collapse of the currency alone has brought the average wage down to $150.00 per month. That was reported this past Spring. Have things gotten better since then? You know they haven’t. If we multiply $150.00 by 12, I get $1,800.00. What’d you get? Okay, so I’m not crazy. But the World Bank is reporting a purchasing power wage which is more than 4 times higher. How is that possible? Incidentally, in case you were curious or perhaps an historian, the record high per-capita GDP adjusted for PPP in Ukraine – $10,490.37 – was achieved in 1990, the year before Ukraine declared its independence from the Soviet Union. Ditto population, which crested just 3 years later.

Anyway, back to, how is that possible? It’s not, is the short answer. Although per-capita GDP is an estimate, and reflects living standard rather than an actual measure of income, it can’t be that far out. In a classic rearranging-the-deck-chairs-on-the-Titanic display of bizarre pretended normality, Ukrainian expat-American finance minister Natalie Jaresko’s speech at the meeting of the National Council for Reforms (because calling it the Blah-Blah Council for Yeah Whatever would not have fitted with the theme of Keeping Up Appearances, although it would have been accurate) just a few weeks ago was sprinkled liberally with advocacy for…tax cuts. Uh huh; specifically, she wants to (a) cut the payroll tax in half in 2016, (b) implement a new income tax rate of 18% for personal income as well as corporate profit tax, (c) cut that rate by a percentage point the following year, to 17%, and (d) abolish the payroll tax in 2018, replacing it with a flat tax rate on salaries of 20%.

This plan, she says, “will enable us to implement one of the lowest salary taxes compared to the EU-countries; 16% of our citizens will be enjoying the social tax exemption and will not be paying 3.6% in payroll tax anymore.”

Umm…Natashka…that still leaves more than 16% – at current figures – who are living below the poverty line. I’d love to know how you are going to implement a tax cut in a country that has lost a third of its tax base as well as its industrial heartland, which has blown all its reserves on a costly civil war and just severed its relationship with its largest single trading partner. Is there a prize for Most Ridiculous Time For a Tax Cut? George W. Bush, you’ll recall, implemented a tax cut in the middle of a war which he ran off the books, funding it each year with emergency supplementals which did not figure in the budget. The USA borrowed that; towards the end, almost exclusively from China. How’d that work out, do you remember?

Ukraine was pretty consistently one of the poorest countries in Europe. But it is now, according to the IMF which keeps it barely breathing with irregular transfusions of emergency cash, rubbing shoulders with Uzbekistan and the Republic of the Congo, and below Vietnam, Honduras, East Timor and Sri Lanka; 18 positions below Georgia. Yet the trade deficit – reported by the State Statistics Service of Ukraine – was only $356 Million in October of this year: in July Ukraine recorded a surplus, selling $117 Million more than it bought from its trading partners! Wages – again reported by the State Statistics Service, are rising steadily, and were 4,532 hryvnia per month on average, in October. That’d be $198.34 USD by today’s exchange rate, or $2,380.08 annually. That’s still $5,886.99 short of the reported per-capita GDP adjusted for PPP, which is supposed to be a general reflection of the standard of living. Is that a little off? I think it is.

Russia has said it will not abandon Russian-speaking Ukrainians to nationalists. I dare to hope Russia has a Plan B in mind which will save Ukraine, once the EU and Washington tire of playing with it and move on to ruin someone else. The east of Ukraine will never again let itself be ruled by Kiev, and the generation currently at maturity will never forgive the rest of Ukraine for not stopping Kiev when it turned the full force of the state military on them. But an uneasy business relationship could prevail under federalization with broad autonomy, and perhaps someday the country could once again throw its shoulder to the wheel together with a common purpose. Meanwhile, spare a moment of pity, in this season of family and forgiveness and plenty, for the Ukrainians who did not speak out in protest – for whatever reason – when the unthinkable happened, and have since paid such a terrible price for their passivity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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812 Responses to Sundown in the Somalia of Europe

  1. Jen says:

    Admiral Kirby, get thee to a farm!!!

    Syria: The conflict in Syria has continued to unfold in tragic ways over the course of 2015. From the humanitarian crisis endured by refugees fleeing violence, to the reprehensible human rights violations and violence carried out by the Asad regime, the Syrian people have borne a heavy load. The United States and many members of the international community have stepped up to aid the Syrian people during their time of need – the United States has led the world in humanitarian aid contributions since the crisis began in 2011. Led by Secretary Kerry, the United States also continues to push for a political transition in Syria, and under his stewardship, in December, the UN Security Council passed a U.S.-sponsored resolution that puts forward a roadmap that will facilitate a transition within Syria to a credible, inclusive, nonsectarian government that is responsive to the needs of the Syrian people. – See more at: https://blogs.state.gov/stories/2015/12/24/year-review-pivotal-foreign-policy-moments-2015#sthash.Um1F6jw3.dpuf

  2. Moscow Exile says:

    The Cabinet of Curiosities of Russian Liberalism: Irina Prokhorova

    Irina Prokhorova — sister and companion in arms of oligarch M. Prokhorov.

    The main problem in Russia is unfinished de-Stalinization.

    — Irina, Russia’s main problem is you and your brother, together with other oligarchs and their lackeys, who for the past 25 years have assigned to yourselves, by means of criminality and banditry, gigantic properties of the state and of the nation, the foundations of which having been created precisely during the time of Stalin, and who, under an Anti-Stalinist and Anti-Soviet banner, continue mercilessly to rob our long-suffering Motherland.

  3. Moscow Exile says:

    Crimea responds with dignity to Ukrainian President’s obscene proposal — Irina Yarovaya, Chairman of the State Duma Committee for Security and Counteraction to Corruption, has said.

    On January 1, the All-Russia Opinion Research Centre (VCIOM) presented the data on a poll of residents of the Republic of the Crimea and the federal city of Sevastopol, which showed that 93.1% of those polled spoke against an agreement on purchases of electric power from Kiev if the latter document named the Crimea and Sevastopol as part of Ukraine. Also, 94% respondents said they were prepared to tolerate interim discomforts linked to short outages of electricity in the next three of four months if the electricity agreement with the Ukraine was not signed.

    “The conditions put forward by the Ukrainian authorities are something bigger than just blackmail: they bring out the very essence of the Ukrainian government”, Yarovaya said. “By specifying such conditions, the Kiev policy-makers have obviously tried to judge others by their own standards, but the Crimeans have once again showed that they are Russians — Russian people who never give up or sell out”, she said. “Poroshenko’s proposals fall into the category of obscene ones and the usual reaction to such a thing is perfectly well known, but the Crimea answered ‘no’ gently and with dignity.”

    Supplies of electricity to the Crimea from the Ukraine stopped on November 22 when pylons of all the four power lines leading to the peninsula from the Ukrainian power grids were blown up. The authorities had to declare a state of emergency in the Crimean Federal District in the aftermath of the subversive act organized by a nationalistic faction of the Crimean Tatars and far-right Ukrainian nationalists, who had launched the so-called blockade of the Crimea. The situation started improving after the commissioning of the first power line of the so-called ‘electricity bridge’ that was laid across the seabed of the Strait of Kerch from the Krasnodar region. It went on stream on December 2. The commissioning of a second power line of the bridge on December 15 increased the transmissions from the mainland to 400 megawatts. The authorities plan to bring two more power lines into operation next spring. This will make the Crimean Federal District totally independent of power supplies from the Ukraine. The previous agreement on supplies of Ukrainian electricity to Crimea expired on December 31.

    • marknesop says:

      *Sneer* That was hardly a proper poll, then, was it? It was conducted by a RUSSIAN polling agency – in order for it to have any credibility in Ukraine it must have been conducted by a Ukrainian polling agency reporting directly to President Poroshenko, and it must have total control over polling as well as all ballots and voting results becoming the property of the Ukrainian government. I promise you such a poll would have recorded very different results. It is only because Russia is an aggressor state that it does not trust Ukraine’s word.

  4. Moscow Exile says:

    Another Yukie propaganda blog fail!

    Новости Донбасса: саперы нашли в зоне АТО российские запрещенные кассетные бомбы

    Российские военные не только незаконно присутствуют на территории Украины, но еще и используют запрещенное оружие. Как сообщают новости Донбасса, боевики используют кассетные бомбы. Новости Донбасса: саперы нашли в зоне АТО российские запрещенные кассетные бомбы , подробнее…

    http://joinfo.ua/incidents/1142643_Novosti-Donbassa-saperi-nashli-zone-ATO.html

    ——————————————————————————————————————————————
    Comment

    КАК !??
    КАК ополчение использует кассетные АВИАБОМБЫ ?!!!

    ВСУ, на вас работают тупые журналисты!! Меняйте придурков, а то они вас в конец спалят!!!
    ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————–
    Translation

    Donbass News: sappers finds banned Russian cluster bombs in ATO area

    The Russian military is not only illegally present on the territory of the Ukraine, but is still using prohibited weapons. As Donbass news reports, the militants have been using cluster bombs. News of Donbass: sappers have found banned Russian cluster bombs in ATO area, read more …

    http://joinfo.ua/incidents/1142643_Novosti-Donbassa-saperi-nashli-zone-ATO.html

    ——————————————————————————————————————————————-
    Comment

    HOW!??

    HOW can the separatist militia be using cluster AERIAL BOMBS ?!!!

    UAF*, you have stupid journalists working for you! Change these super-idiots, or they’ll give your game away!!!

    ——————————————————————————————————————————————-
    *Ukrainian Armed Forces

    —————————————————————————————————————————————–

    • Jen says:

      The Yukies will be claiming that Russian forces are using BUK missile delivery systems to launch the cluster bombs into the air.

    • kirill says:

      BTW, USA never signed any agreements to ban the use of these weapons. It used them prolifically during the 1999 NATO gang rape of Serbia. All this prattle about how they are “illegal” is obscene. Of course the little detail about how to deliver them without an air force is missed by these retarded monkeys.

  5. Jen says:

    Seeing as we are going into the 2016 Presidential election year, was it advisable for Hillary Rodham Clinton to have released a web advert in which she reminisces about competing with Jurassic John to see who could down the most vodka shots (without turning back into their normal reptilian form) while they were on some overseas Congressional jaunt?
    http://www.theamericanmirror.com/hillary-releases-ad-reminiscing-about-drinking-competition-with-john-mccain/

    • Cortes says:

      Looks to me like a clumsy attempt to build on her already marimacho butch public persona and garner a few Latino votes. She should be disqualified from any public office after her “quip” about Qaddafi.

      • Patient Observer says:

        Yes, she is a sadist (and a lesbian but that is among her lesser sins).

        Could it be that Hillary is being promoted because she is deranged? There would be no potential for those awkward moments like JFK seeking peace with the Soviet Union (grossly under reported)?

        Don’t know the degree of truth but UK ballistic missile sub commanders were allegedly chosen based on their degree of sociopathic behavior (assuming all other captain skills were present). They could not become squeamish about pushing the launch button knowing that millions will die.

    • marknesop says:

      Hillary Clinton is a conglomerate of all the archetypes who should automatically be disqualified from the presidency on their characteristics – she is a woman who has none of woman’s wisdom or humility or instinct or compassion, and would actually make a far worse president than her husband did. She might even be a contender with Obama for Worst President Ever, and I can easily see her being more destructive and willful than Obama, while she would blow him out of the water for entitlement even as she donned the mask of humble rectitude. It is too simplistic to suggest she wants only for a set of balls to be a man, because she would make a weak and supercilious man as well.

  6. Cortes says:

    Our new buddy “spat” pops up in this article featuring “bilateral energy spats”

    http://sputniknews.com/world/20160103/1032622825/russia-ukraine-war.html

  7. Moscow Exile says:

    Yet another insight into how those of the Russian “creative, educated class” that are opposed to the “regime” regard their fellow countrymen:


    Believe!
    [God’s dew]

    The kreakl state of mind is surely certifiable!

    • kirill says:

      They project on others what they themselves engage in. That cartoon is how kreakls swallow all the propaganda piss from the NATO mass media and politicians.

      Russians are too damned tolerant. Some 5th column lunatic fringe minority should properly fear for its life instead of smugly engaging in overt sedition.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      I just checked again what the cartoon Evil One is saying above.

      He’s not saying “Believe!” but “They believe!”

      He’s not demanding that they believe but is expressing his astonishment, to his surrounding goons apparently, that they believe.

      His goons have wings for some reason.

      Angels of Darkness?

      Hell’s Angels?

  8. Warren says:

  9. Warren says:

    • marknesop says:

      And of course this network will gain credibility by “telling only the truth about the war”. And part of the truth is that Ukraine is a great investment climate. The country that just defaulted on its debts and understands negotiation as a process in which it, as the customer, tells the supplier what it is willing to pay and demands the supplier furnish the goods or commodities at that price and no other, and goes in a tantrum to Brussels if its “offer” is refused.

      Ah ha ha ha!!!

      It sounds like “Ukraine Tomorrow” will provide lots of material for posts! I bet they either don’t allow comments, or heavily moderate them – the hallmarks, really, of a propaganda network.

      • Patient Observer says:

        They may be saying “Western companies” only will gain favorable terms (i.e. smash and grab with a sizable payoff to the oligarchs). German business should do particularly well but connected US companies can also enjoy the feast.

        For Russian investors, it is as you indicated. The Chinese may be welcomed but played for dupes. BTW, the Chinese are not easily duped.

    • Patient Observer says:

      So, “Ukraine Today” ratings tanked and was cancelled mid-season. What if “Ukraine Tomorrow” tanks as well? How about “Survivorman – Keiv” or “Ukraine got Talent!” featuring jiggling young women in front of an EU-sanctioned panel of judges. If no bread, then circus,

    • yalensis says:

      I thought we had already resolved, as a group, that any headline which poses in the form of a question, should be answered simply with “No.”
      In this case:

      Q: “Will Kiev’s New Foreign Propaganda Network be Able to Stave Off Disaster?”
      A: “No, it won’t.”

    • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

      Their admission that they haven’t been telling the truth thus far is welcome.

  10. Patient Observer says:

    Oregon makes a break for freedom from the tyrants of Washington!
    https://www.rt.com/usa/327762-armed-bundy-militia-oregon-ranchers/
    Russia should set up an NGO to support their struggle for freedom and human rights. Lavrov can hand out cigarettes and beer.

    Actually, a lot of people in the US look to Russia as an alternative to the ruling class in the US. Some like their overt Christian values, other like their strong leadership and others simply see Putin as the anti-Obama.

    • marknesop says:

      They’re not “armed militias”, they’re moderate rebels. They will not offer violence so long as the government agrees to step aside and facilitate a peaceful transition.

    • Lyttenburgh says:

      Given the fact that Western Free and Independent (literally) Media ™ are already in full-swing of the smear campaign against Oregonian People Republic (aka OPeR), I predict rather short and uneventful future for this case of “regional separatism” in the US of A.

      A) More likely outcome is that Media suffocation and propaganda will cause (as it is repeated everyone, i.e. we have a clear case of the forced meme) “white male militiamen” to surrender themselves to the good graces of Obama’s GULag.

      B) Less likely that the whole situation will go full Charlie Foxtrot, with short but victorious ATO and some blood. Not Waco level, though.

      Judging by the comments on news-sites and forums, Politically Opinionated Idio Concerned Americans are already branding Oregonian “slightly-pissed off opposition” as the terrorists. Oh, and they blame Obama for beign “too soft”. Some twitterasts are labeling the gropu “Y’All Qaeda”.

  11. Moscow Exile says:

    VDNKH (Russian: ВДНХ, pronounced “vedeenkha”) — the Russian Vystavka Dostizheniy Narodnogo Khozyaystva (Exhibition of Achievements of National Economy), Moscow, January 1st, 2016.

    Ice City – well below zero and the temperatures are forecast soon to fall to minus 20C in a couple of days and will be a good 15 degrees and more below zero for the foreseeable future.

    So it’s winter fun time all around, as work only begins a week tomorrow (11 January).

    And a good job too, for if there were not so much bread and circuses provided, this regime would surely be overthrown.

    • Patient Observer says:

      Here, in middle America, temperatures are well above normal with the warmest December on record for many areas. We have only had a trace of snow so far. Last winter started similarly but then the bottom dropped out with February being the coldest month on record in our area. IIRC, 15 all-time record lows were recorded with a major snow storm as well (17 inches).

      Lake effect snow has also been virtually non-existent as the temperature is simply not cold enough to trigger precipitation. In winters past, lake effect snow was quite heavy and then, as the Great Lakes freeze over (especially Lake Erie), diminish toward the end of the winter season.

      Here is a good article on lake effect snow:
      http://www.noaa.gov/features/02_monitoring/lakesnow.html
      “Thundersnow” can occur in which extremely heavy snow is accompanied by lightening and thunder.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        It was the mildest December on record here and in most of Europe as well, although late November and early December kicked off here with seasonal temperatures.

        Temperatures in Berlin were in double figures above zero about 3 weeks ago – at night!

        They say it was all because of the El Nino or whatever it’s called.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        Yeh, I saw “thundersnow” for the first time ever last year here – or was it the year before? The Russians here said they’d never ever seen such an concurrence.

        • Drutten says:

          I encountered this phenomenon while I was on vacation in Dalarna (literally “the valleys”, a region in central Sweden) over New Years 2011/2012.

          A rather violent blizzard was raging and then from out of nowhere came a number of brilliant blue-ish flashes lighting up the whole room, accompanied by near-instantaneous thundering. For a brief moment I was puzzled and started wondering if it was some kind of insane homemade fireworks going off outside, seeing that it was the season and everything, but soon therafter I saw the lightning bolts with my own eyes. Surreal experience. Very cool though.

          • Moscow Exile says:

            Dear Drutten,

            re: Dalarna

            That’s interesting. A “valley” is a “dale” in my homeland and “hills” are “fells”. That’s because where I lived was the former Danelaw, where Old Norse and Old English was spoken, hence “bairn” for “child” and a “skriking bairn”.

            to skrike = to scream, from Old Norse skríkja.

            And that’s what my youngest bairn Aleksandra has just been doing — skriking — because I won’t let her go out without putting her layers on because it is minus 19C now and snowing.

            I think I might have been to Dalarna. It’s where those red, wooden horses come from, isn’t it?

            Waes hael!
            🙂

            • Moscow Exile says:

              Oh bugger!

              Forgot to close the italics.

              • marknesop says:

                I fixed it, but as far as I could see there was nothing wrong with it and all your coding was in the right place. Sometimes that just happens, but fixing it is easier than it is for you to code it up – I just have to highlight the text and select “italic” like you do in a Word document.

      • Cortes says:

        My correspondent in Kalamazoo (KZ) says they’ve had two ice storms, brief, but little snow, to date.

        • Patient Observer says:

          The ‘zoo! that takes me back many years. Yes, it’s a winter that isn’t. I need snow on the ground, crisp and clean air and sunny skies.

        • Moscow Exile says:

          I got a gal in Kalamazoo!

          Couldn’t resist it!

          Just love the big bands!

          That’s a full uncut clip above from the 1942 movie “Orchestra Wives”, showing the Nicholas Brothers in an amazing dance routine.

          I should imagine that when one of the brothers sings “I’m going to make my bid for the freckle-faced kid” (05:19), he is clearly referring to a “white” girl — I cannot imagine dark-skinned girls having freckles — and would have been a sentiment looked upon not too kindly by audiences in many parts of the USA at the time, and most certainly in those states that once attempted to secede from the Union.

          • Jen says:

            Believe it or not, dark-skinned people can have freckles. Look at this photo of actor Morgan Freeman and you can see he’s got freckles.

            Some black people also have a condition called vitiligo in which they naturally have patches of white skin. Michael Jackson had the condition which was the original reason why he was obsessed with his appearance and had his skin whitened.

  12. Lyttenburgh says:

    And today we will talk about the despicable practice of squashing the free-spirited independent democratic journalists, these pillars of any Democratic society, this “4th estate”, these heroes of our day, risking their lives an careers in… Poland?! Psh-pshjeeeeeee?! This is soooooooo against the script!

    Poland’s new government seeks to bring media into line
    Even before being brought before parliament, the Polish government’s planned new media law is already making headlines. Politicians have been speaking candidly about transforming the media to serve national interests.

    Reports clearly biased Niemci rag DW.

    “Reporters Without Borders is sounding the alarm. The human rights organization says it is “extremely concerned” about events in Warsaw. It means the new Polish government’s plans for media reform, although not officially introduced yet, are already the topic of much discussion. The group is worried that the goal of the reform could be to bring “the fourth estate” into line.

    Polish public television, radio, and the Polish Press Agency (PAP) would be affected by the reform. Currently state-owned businesses, these outlets should in future no longer pay attention to profits, but rather concentrate on their “national mission.” They will be re-named from “public” to “national” media, and instead of corporations, they’ll be known as “national cultural institutes.” “

    Huh. I could swear this reminds me of something I have this French-word on my mind, What? Hey, who suggested ménage à trois?! No! Another word!

    “Following the national mission

    According to Krzysztof Czabański, the responsible undersecretary at the culture ministry, “national mission” means that Polish history should be an important focus of programming in future. He added that the term “national interests” refers to content that speaks to the public’s sense of patriotism. Similarly, plans for education reform will put history on equal footing with subjects such as Polish or mathematics. Critics, on the other hand, say it is highly unlikely that critical journalistic views of Polish history will be broadcast on public television.

    They also argue that conspiracy theories such as that surrounding the Smoleńsk plane crash will be more likely to be broadcast. Many in the governing party believe that the crash that killed President Lech Kaczynski and 95 others was not an accident, but an attack.”

    Gee, I can predict THIS early how swell will it go!

    Oh, and what about Democratic journos themselves? Tough luck for them! Those in the media who don’t toe the line are intimidated or suspended. Popular talk shows are “suspended” and their hosts are targeted by a smear campaign. While the top-tier Polish politicians are allowing their pierogi-holes say such things as “He stands for everything that is evil and is being financed with public funds by public television” while talking about one such “4 estater”.

    Number of victims of Polish media-terror are increasing daily:

    The pressure is more than some can stand. Journalists are already saying that self-censorship is taking hold among their colleagues. Young reporters are especially fearful about their futures following the “good transformation” promised by the government.

    […]

    Plans to reduce the number of foreign newspaper publishers in Poland are less certain. The measure is directed mainly at German publishers, who are very active in Poland. One member of the government spoke of “repolonizing” the country’s media landscape.
    The reform plans are due to be presented by early January.

    In a strange fit of lucidity, EUrocrats decided to react – in a fashion – to all this nasty stuff happening in Poland (which, as we know, “Has not perished yet”, but the smell is already noticeable… or is it Ukraine?)

    EU executive voices concern over planned Polish media law

    “The European Commission sent a letter to two Polish ministers yesterday (30 December) expressing concern over a proposed law on control of the country’s state-run media, a spokesman for the EU executive said, another sign of disquiet in Brussels over Poland’s new political path.

    An amendment to Polish media law that would give the treasury minister the authority to appoint the management of state-run radio and television has been sent to parliament by the ruling conservative-nationalist Law and Justice party (PiS).

    “Freedom and pluralism of the media are crucial for a pluralist society in a member state respectful of the common values on which the union is founded,” European Commission First Vice President Frans Timmermans wrote in the letter.

    Parliament approved the amendment on Wednesday evening, Polish state-run news agency PAP said. It still needs to be approved by the upper house of the parliament and then signed by the president. Critics say the amendment is part of PiS plans to increase state control over public media.”

    Yeah, awright! This strongly-worded letter will surely show these zhurek-eating neo-barbarians how to behave! Expect them to change their attitude any moment now. Juuust wait for it…

    P.S. And the Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs managed just recently stated how Poland is at all unlike the “Marxist, vegan, bicycle-riding European Union that is working to eradicate religion”

    P.P.S. Poland still cannot into space ;(.

    • marknesop says:

      “Freedom and pluralism of the media are crucial for a pluralist society in a member state respectful of the common values on which the union is founded,” European Commission First Vice President Frans Timmermans wrote in the letter.”

      Well, they are if we’re talking about Poland, of course. Values are not important for Ukraine, though, nor is anything else which might force the west to be critical of Ukraine, or stop giving it money because it is a deadbeat with no visible means of support, and so forth. I refer, of course, to the newly usherd-in Ukrainian law on foreign broadcasting. Kiev has learned well from its mentor, Washington – so long as you market a law as increasing transparency, you can sell anything. The new law is designed to restrict Russian broadcasting in Ukraine, on the grounds that it is part of ‘hybrid war’ and that Ukraine needs to hear the truth about how the war is going. “Whzzzz” goes the shutdown of all broadcasting in Ukraine which will contradict the government’s happy talk about how streets paved with gold and Ukrainians farting through silk are just around the corner.

  13. Moscow Exile says:

    A piece of shit called Kasparov ranting away in Vilnius yesterday [incomplete text]:

    Translation
    Russia after Putin

    As history has shown, for such a dictatorship as is the Putin regime, the collapse of external political aggressiveness is the trigger for explosive protest within the country. I have already said that the rejection of the concept of being an empire is Russia’s principle task. We need to do that which was not done 25 years ago and formulate what must be made out of that state that goes under the name of Russia. The country must be inoculated against this imperial virus and must be once and for all ridded of those phantom sicknesses caused by “lost imperial greatness”, for it is upon those imperial illusions that the Putin regime plays, thereby guaranteeing for itself the support of a significant section of Russian society, the ever growing social tensions notwithstanding. In the end, people have to realize that all these things are mutually connected. Obviously, after the collapse of the Putin regime Russia will be obliged to undergo a “cleansing” process, during which people will have to understand that for everything — for the support of Putin, for Georgia, for the Crimea, for the Donbass — there is a price to be paid.[My guess at what the shit wrote – ME]

    ——————————————————————————————————————————————

    … works. Our task is that Russia not be obliged to pay too high a price. However, the people must understand that that there is a price which they will have to pay. They will have to hear unpleasant things about what has happened, about the fact that in reality they had been supporting a criminal regime. They will have to admit that with their agreement the country was plundered and that the process of reconstruction will take up some considerable time, a time that would be comparable to the length of time during which the plundering took place. For these reasons, I consider it unthinkable that elections be conducted immediately following the collapse of the Putin regime, for immediately after Putin there will come those who will attempt to “comfort” the people, transferring the whole responsibility onto the dictatorship and its inner circle – saying that there were, let’s say, certain bending of the rules and trifling omissions as regards the letter of the law. But this in no way concerns any bending of the rules. The Putin regime is a continuation of the criminal activities of organizations that go by the name CHEKA, OGPU, NKVD, KGB and FSB. It will be demanded of us that we not only have our own historic “Nuremberg”, in which will be given a legal judgement of the crimes of of the communist …

    End of translation

    As soon as that bastard sets foot on Russian territory, he should be arrested for incitement to overthrow a legitimate government.

    The man is a traitor, a criminal in more ways than one in the hire of a hostile power.

    In less humane times, the little shit would have been shot – one hole behind his right lug hole.

    • Lyttenburgh says:

      1) I’m still waiting for the so-called “Russkie liberals” to call for the US to stop acting as Empire, get an “inoculation against the imperial virus” and then crawl on their knees “paying and repenting” ™ for all the evil they’ve done to the world. Because we must “live not by lie”, right?

      2) The real nature of these “der’mocrats” is aptly shown in the demand of: A) New Nuremberg (with the help from the 6th Fleet, right?) B) No elections afterwards, because even without Putin Russians won’t vote for these bunch of fifth columnists.

      • yalensis says:

        Yeah, if Russians Liberals were consistent, they would demand that USA pay reparations to Native Americans who were genocided; and to African-Americans who were enslaved and subjected to apartheid.
        But Liberals are not consistent, and in Kasparov’s case, he is simply a crazy-ass cuckoo bird!

    • Kasparov seems mad and really hates his “own country”.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        Kasparov writes above “We need to do that which was not done 25 years ago and formulate what must be made out of that state that goes under the name of Russia”.

        He is talking all the time of that state about which he is seemingly clinically obsessed, namely the USSR, and is convinced that that state still exists and intends to be master of the world, no matter what name it goes by at any particular moment in time.

        Kasparov is not an “ethnic” Russian. He was born in the USSR, but not in the RSFSR: he was born in the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic of a Jewish father and Armenian mother. I should imagine that his father was not a “practising ” member of the Jewish faith. I do not know and do not care either way. The thing is though, that for whatever reason, Kasparov loathes the USSR and all its manifestations – or what he seems to think are its manifestations. No doubt he believes that the Comintern is still alive and well.

        This was the state, by the way, wherein Kasparov received a free education and the encouragement to become a World Chess Master.

        I do not think Kasparov has ever had a real job: he has lived the detached and molly-coddled — dare I say “freakish”? — life of a former Soviet child-prodigy chess genius, and all thanks to the Empire of Evil, of course, which he hates so much.

        He is resident in Croatia now — at least, he is during the summer:

        Kasparov denied rumours in April 2013 that he planned to leave Russia for good. “I found these rumours to be deeply saddening and, moreover, surprising”, he wrote. “I was unable to respond immediately because I was in such a state of shock that such an incredibly inaccurate statement, the likes of which is constantly distributed by the Kremlin’s propagandists, came this time from Ilya Yashin, a fellow member of the Opposition Coordination Council (KSO) and my former colleague from the Solidarity movement” — Wiki.

        Kasparov said at a press conference in June 2013 that if he returned to Russia, he doubted he would be allowed to leave again, given Putin’s ongoing crackdown against dissenters. “So for the time being”, he said, “I refrain from returning to Russia” — Wiki.

        In early February 2014, Kasparov applied for citizenship by naturalisation in Croatia, adding that he was finding it increasingly difficult to live in Russia. According to an article in The Guardian, Kasparov is “widely perceived” as having been a vocal supporter of Croatian independence during the early 1990s. On 28 February 2014, his application for naturalisation was approved, and he is now a Croatian passport holder” — Wiki.

        He is still a Russian citizen, though.

        • marknesop says:

          I think he has it backward; there would be no reason for Russia to prevent his leaving, and it would doubtless be delighted to see the back of him. However, he might find it hard getting back in. Perhaps he knows that already, and is waiting on the glorious revolution before making his triumphant return. Bye now, Garry.

        • Patient Observer says:

          Consistent, he is. Croatia is a great home for haters of the Slavic Orthodox civilization.

          “Kasparov denied rumours in April 2013 that he planned to leave Russia for good. “I found these rumours to be deeply saddening and, moreover, surprising”, he wrote. “I was unable to respond immediately because I was in such a state of shock that such an incredibly inaccurate statement, the likes of which is constantly distributed by the Kremlin’s propagandists, came this time from Ilya Yashin, a fellow member of the Opposition Coordination Council (KSO) and my former colleague from the Solidarity movement””

          Lame, lame, lame. One can speculate (if it were worth the effort which it is not), why he was so stricken by the rumors. As for his concern that Russia would not let him leave if he were to return, he could only dream of such importance. He would be viewed more as flotsam that washed up on the shore; a smelly nuisance at best.

    • marknesop says:

      I agree. He should stay the hell out of Russia. What is he proposing – a ‘caretaker government’ comprised of western liberals, which will rule until Russia can be safely partitioned?

      He is getting even more nutty than Navalny and Khodorkovsky – is this some kind of nut contest?

    • Moscow Exile says:

      I wrote “Yesterday” above. In fact, I think it was a few weeks ago when “yesterday” was yesterday!
      🙂

  14. Moscow Exile says:

    Another traitor:


    MEDAL FOR “VICTORY IN THE COLD WAR”
    Do many know that there is such a medal in the USA?
    And that Gorbachev was awarded one?

    • Well, if the 299,999,999 citizens of the Soviet Union allowed one man to bring down the country I would blame the citizens as a whole instead of just this one man.

      • Lyttenburgh says:

        Well, the “the 299,999,999 citizens of the Soviet Union” DID NOT allowed this one man to bring down the country – it was:

        A) done against their will
        B) The number of people bringing down the USSR was more than one.

        Or you think that the Soviet union was some absolute monarchy where one person decided everything? That’s what you were taught in the school, Karl?

      • Patient Observer says:

        IIRC, the citizens of the USSR did indeed vote by a wide margin to maintain their country. But, their will was trumped by treasonous rats of every sort. I blame the treason rats.

        • Moscow Exile says:

          Never one not to point out the weakness of the Russians — all 299,999,999 of them who were citizens of the USSR in 1991 — are you, Karl?

          January 1991: “Russians” (Soviet Citizens) protesting in Moscow against the end of the Soviet Union:


          About 500,000 demonstrators march on the Kremlin in Moscow on January 20, 1991. Many called for the resignation of Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev.

          The crowd, estimated at 500,000, was the biggest anti-government demonstration in the 73 years of since the Communists took power, and came a week before the nationwide referendum on Gorbachev’s union treaty.

          Of course, the Western media always described the “opposition” marches “of a million” that took place in Moscow a couple of years ago as the biggest that had ever taken place in Moscow. They were not!

          Over 20 years after it had been taken and after having been “doctored”, that photograph above was displayed on the full front page of “Paris Match”, where it was presented as a protest against the “Putin regime”. It did the rounds on social networks in 2012 as well.

          Here is the doctored photo story:

          The Moscow-Protest Photo That Wasn’t What It Seemed

          That was when “millions” were protesting against the Dark Lord’s tyranny — according to the Western lying-bastard press.

    • marknesop says:

      First I’ve heard of it. But there’s nobody like Washington for officially recognizing traitors. Except its own, of course.

  15. Warren says:

  16. Pingback: Welcome to Ukraine – Now the ‘Somalia of Europe’ | BlogFactory

  17. Pingback: Welcome to Ukraine – Now the ‘Somalia of Europe’ | The Conservative Papers

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