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. Fern says:

    A happy new year to all Stooges, readers and lurkers. May 2016 be good to all. Moscow Exile, Moscow looked A-mazing, really beautiful.

  2. Cortes says:

    For multimillionaires the New Year is a taxing affair which occurs in April…

    May the road rise up to meet you all…

  3. Moscow Exile says:

    And true to form, miserable bugger that I am, I went to bed last night exactly 7 hours ago, as it is now, as I write, 07:40. January 1. I went to bed at 00:40.

    I saw the New Year in, then went to bed because I was bored. All the rest went out, where they frolicked in the snow with friends and neighbours. Outside it gets very noisy here for several of the first hours of the first day of a new year: fireworks are constantly being let off – very loud ones at that, huge salvos of them, accompanied by constant cries of “S Novym Godom!” This riotous and childish behaviour lasts well up to about 4 o’clock in the morning.

    I, for my part, just get fed up of the same old same-old – the same TV spectaculars, the same popular music, the same nonsense: Philip Kirkorov and Nikolai Baskov were, as usual, hosting some huge TV spectacular when I threw the towel in. I spent most of the few hours before midnight preparing the festive table, but ate very little.

    Truth is, I just don’t see the point: today is just another day as far as I am concerned and why make a big deal out of it, apart from the fact that, hopefully, you are still alive and well, that is?

    I have long felt this way. I have developed this attitude over the years and am now, officially, a state-certified New Year Grump.

    So I woke up, as is my habit, at 6 o’clock, the result of working continuous morning shifts, I suppose, when last I worked in the UK, albeit that that was almost 32 years ago. (The last shift I worked was on March 17, 1984. I must have been well conditioned to rise early!) I had a lie-in, so to speak, and got up.

    Vladimir Denisovich, the 16-year-old wastrel heir to my estates and fortune, together with his 15-year-old flippity-dippity sister, my elder daughter Yelena Denisovna, only went to sleep about 2 hours ago: they were still yapping away on computers, iPads, iPhones or whatever when I awoke.

    The youngest of my offspring, 7-year-old Aleksandra Denisovna had gone to bed after I had, as well as my spouse, Natalya Vladimirovna, and were still asleep when I rose.

    So here I am at the computer keyboard once more.

    The first working day of this year falls on Monday,11 January and the next festive stop is Christmas Day on January 7, followed by Old New Year (January 13/14) and Kreshcheniye (January 19), the Feast of the Epiphany – 12th Night – but “Baptizing” in Russian: for some reason, the Orthodox Christians here celebrate the dunking of J.Christ into the River Jordan by his cousin John on 12th Night rather than the visit of the Magi. And so the crazy religious coots here show their faith by going for a dip on Kreshcheniye. Problem is, it is usually “brass monkeys” here at that time of year and is certainly forecast to be so this year.

    Speaking of which, it’s now minus 15C outside and snowing.

    It is still dark, and will be so until about 09:30.

    That’s it!

    New Year is yet to come for you folks across the Pond, I think, and most certainly for those of you resident on the Pacific coast of North America, so Happy New Year to the New World and for the rest this side of midnight, 31 December, 2015:

    365 days to go before New Year!

    366, actually, because this year is a Leap Year.

    🙂

    • marknesop says:

      Just after midnight now for me and 40 minutes into the New Year, and off to bed in a moment. No snow here; we’ve only had a couple of days that were actually cold enough, and true to cold-front form, the coldest days were clear and sunny. I watched Lord Vladimort’s speech, and am comforted that Putin always looks the same. He has aged a little, but still looks strong and steady and in good health. He rarely raises his voice or seeks refuge in histrionics, and just says what he has to say in firm, no-nonsense terms. I understand that there are hysterics in Russia who dislike him intensely and harbour the absurd notion that a kreakl liberal taking over his position would be a humble man (or woman) who would not take any serious decisions without having a referendum in order to satisfy himself (or herself) that every last one of his/her subjects agreed before going ahead with it. If the kreakly weren’t on board – as the real power and silent majority in Russia – then the answer must be no. What a Nirvana it would be! Democracy for everyone, to the point that fuck-all ever got done because there would always be some sour prick who didn’t want whatever it was they were discussing. but that’s the Utopia they seek, because what they really ant is to be a part of the inner circle who can paralyze everything, so that they must be consulted before anything major in the country can go forward, and their importance recognized.

  4. Moscow Exile says:

    And the Kreakly continue their relentless campaign to educate the dullards in their society, i.e. those not fortunate enough to be a Kreakl:

    I can just imagine the sad Kreakl who put the above posting together feverishly working away at his computer shortly after midnight in order to post it as soon as the Evil One’s midnight address to the nation had ended.

  5. Moscow Exile says:

    And the Banderites haven’t left off on Live Journal with their jabbering:

    A reminder that today is their great man’s birthday.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      A reminder to Russian citizens from moronic Banderites:

      REMEMBER CITIZENS OF RUSSIA!

      when consuming spirits on

      JANUARY 1st

      you are celebrating

      THE BIRTHDAY OF

      Stepan Andreevich Bandera

      Glory to the Ukraine!

      Well blow me down!

      I never knew that!

      Nor, should I imagine, do most of the 145 million plus Russian citizens as well!

      Good job that Banderite took the trouble of posting that message as a timely reminder to all in the Aggressor State not to drink on their freak hero’s birthday, otherwise they will be celebrating his birthday!!!

      • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

        Should you meet one, remind them that this what their hero actually looked like:

        • Warren says:

          Bandera died pretending to be a Pole! Stepan Bandera assumed the identity of Stephen Popiel while living in Munich.

        • marknesop says:

          I kind of liked that candid of he and Mumsie on safari, with his childbearing hips and pith helmet and his khaki shorts – sort of showed his family-man side, you know?

          Speaking of the patron saint of the Ukro-Nazis, I ran across this description of a Canada-wide lecture tour in 2012 by the director of the Center for the Study of the Liberation Movement, who is also director of the Lonsky Street Prison National Memorial Museum, in Lviv/Lvov/Lwow/Lewackjob. Well before Maidan the ultranationalists were spreading their disgraceful lies in which retouched photos of Nazi atrocities under their hero were blamed instead on the Soviets.

          Those who are aware of what really happened must never stop reminding western leaders and their media servants that they knew as well, and supported the ultranationalist revolution in Ukraine in 2013 anyway, because it served their interests. You can’t just whitewash history and then later change it back, and the west has taken the position that the Nazis were not really so bad, and the Holocaust more of a cultural disagreement. Don’t let them forget.

        • Cortes says:

          No need to buy a bottle opener in that family.

  6. Moscow Exile says:

    There are going to be three porno channels on Ukrainian TV. And you say that Euromaidan was a waste of time?

    • davidt says:

      How about a prediction about Ukraine? I don’t understand why the locals seem so accepting of their lot. (Syria already seems pretty clear cut- without direct US military intervention Syria, as a state, will survive, as will Assad.)

    • Warren says:

      Ukraine has some serious talent, I expect the adult entertainment industry to be a growth industry in the new Ukraine. Budapest and Prague will soon face stiff competition from Kiev in the years to come!

      Klitschko campaigned to legalise prostitution, by taxing this trade Ukraine can reduce its budget deficit and national debt.

      Topless Femen Activist Calls Kiev Mayor Klitschko a Pimp

      Femen activists allege that Klitschko has been campaigning for the legalization of prostitution in Ukraine, and accuse the mayor of running a “protection racket” for illegal sex industries, according to the Femen website.

      http://www.themoscowtimes.com/news/article/topless-femen-activist-calls-kiev-mayor-kitschko-a-pimp/549121.html

      • Warren says:

        I’ve been to Budapest and Prague, though I have yet to visit Kiev……………..

      • marknesop says:

        But of course, in the upsy-downsy bizarro world of current political reporting, legalizing prostitution as a legitimate métier is probably a sign of Ukraine’s progressiveness.

        I notice the performance of the FEMEN activist was not treated with the customary lip-smacking reverence, as it is when they are demonstrating against Putin. Then, of course, they are ‘speaking truth to power’ rather than ‘accosting’.

      • Jen says:

        Erm … don’t most people who consider themselves politically progressive and who want to protect prostitutes from the exploitation associated with prostitution usually plump for legalising the industry so it can be regulated by governments? Legalising prostitution would be one way (though not the only way) of pulling the carpet out from under gangs who run brothels illegally.

        Femen are hardly the most informed people to be talking about exploitation of women when they themselves are run by a male Svengali-type figure.
        http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/news/the-man-who-made-femen-new-film-outs-victor-svyatski-as-the-mastermind-behind-the-protest-group-and-8797042.html

        • Moscow Exile says:

          When I was first living in das Vaterland, they had fantastic whorehouses – all spick and span, well run, staff medically checked according to a strict timetable: typically Deutsch — Alles in Ordnung!

          And no criminality!

          The whores also paid their taxes.

          They were state registered prostitutes, see – and no pimps!

          And guess what, when I returned after a couple years’ absence in miserable, gloomy Albion, they had closed down all the brothels – wonderfully big shagging palaces such as the Eros Center on Hamburg’s infamous Reeperbahn had all gone.

          And why?

          Bloody German feminists, that’s why!

          However, there is still plenty of whoredom in Germany, but its all run by Albanian and Turkish pimps now though.

          (I should like to add that my glowing description of the former German state controlled whore industry is only based on what I have been told by acquaintances that frequented such places.)

  7. Moscow Exile says:

    The Kreakly New Year barrage continues unabated on the Russian blogospher this New Year’s Day:

    Kreakly hands on display.

    All young people, by the looks of their mits.

    Nice plasma TV screen.

    • marknesop says:

      This, this must be the year that the people will come into the streets and proclaim their loyalty to honest Russians like The Great Khodorkovsky, and Kasparov The Wise And Good. Do it for Boris! Putin must be cast out! If you can’t do it for Boris, do it for Washington!

      Ha, ha.

    • Warren says:

      Notice the Turkish Grey Wolves hand signal? I never knew that Russian Kreaklies adhered to Turanism?

      • yalensis says:

        Very good observation! The neo-fascist Turkish “Grey Wolves” organization uses the hand signal portraying a wolf’s snout and ears.
        In the “kreakl” photo above it looks like at least 2 or 3 people are giving the very specific “Grey Wolf” hand signal to the TV.
        The other 4 people are just doing the more generic middle-finger thing.
        Conclusion: At least some of the kreakls portrayed are showing their solidarity with the Turkish nationalists who shot down the Russian fighter plane over Syria.
        They are too chicken to show their faces, though.

        • Moscow Exile says:

          And the “generic” middle-finger is a US importation not seen here before the 90s.

          The middle-finger is also not the most common offensive gesture directed at someone in order to show disrespect in the UK either.

          • Moscow Exile says:

            That is how this “visual pun” (below) was possible:

            Putin is not “giving the finger”.

            The “traditional” Russian gesture of disrespect – “fig” – is admirably displayed below by Comrade Lenin:

            • yalensis says:

              Er…. I have a theory about this, which is somewhat vulgar, but I think my theory has merit.
              I don’t know the exact numbers, but I believe that a majority of boys in the U.S. are circumsized. This procedure is done fairly routinely on male newborns in American hospitals (thank goodness, not on females!), and is not even considered a Jewish thing any more.
              The middle-finger gesture, in my opinion, is meant to resemble a circumsized penis which, for many Americans, both men and women, is actually the only type of penis any of them has ever seen.

              Whereas the gesture which Comrade Lenin is making, above, is meant to resemble an UNcircumsized penis. Which was probably the norm for most Russians at that time, maybe even Lenin, although he was rumored to be half-Jewish!

              • Moscow Exile says:

                There are several theories concerning the “fig” gesture.

                • marknesop says:

                  The BBC World Ukrainian Service – I might have known. Control Alt Delete does not delete anything; it starts the Task Manager. So where’s the “get lost” in that? Svoboda’s symbol is the three fingers – does that mean Control Alt Delete? Get lost?

              • rymlianin says:

                “Rumored”? In a recording he made of his speech, “What is Soviet Power” I remember him speaking with a definite Yiddish accent.

                • yalensis says:

                  No, that is not correct. Lenin did not actually speak with a Yiddish accent. He spoke with a regional Volga-German type accent. Lenin also had a speech impediment. He was not able to pronounce a rolling “R”, instead he pronounced his “R”s in the German fashion, in the back of his throat. To some people it might sound like a Yiddish accent. Here is an example of Lenin’s speaking voice:

              • Moscow Exile says:

                It is still the norm, a far as I am aware and recollect from my student days in the USSR and the communal showers in the students’ hostel where I lived. And when my son was born, he was not circumsized, nor was it suggested by doctors at the maternity ward that this be done to him.

                • yalensis says:

                  I am glad that circumcision has not become a custom in Russia.
                  That is one Western custom that it is not necessary to adopt.
                  I believe it is actually the norm in American hospitals, although parents always have a choice.

        • marknesop says:

          It’s one thing to express discontent and even fury and contempt at the government and the leader – you can’t please everyone, and there are malcontents in every society. It’s quite another to express solidarity with the country’s enemies.

      • Warren says:

        The Question of Russian “Turanism”

        A Contribution to the History of Intellectual Exchanges between Germany, France, and Russia in the 19th Century

        Abstract

        English

        This article aims to show the interactions between the intellectual milieus of different countries that borrow from each other positively or negatively according to the political stakes of the time. The demonstration is based on a specific, yet poorly known aspect of the discourse on Russian identity. The term “turanism” is one of those “cultural borrowings” that took place between France, Germany, and Russia. A definition of the so-called ethno-linguistic unity of the peoples of northern Asia, it was used as an argument by Russophobic German and French scholars who sought to exclude Russia from Europe, thus denying its European-ness both culturally and racially. That raises three questions: the racial classification applied to Russians, the arguments put forward about their so-called “turanism,” and the historical delegitimation of the Romanovs’ empire in favor of Poland. Paradoxically, this Western accusation of turanism, typical of nineteenth-century Russophobia, was co-opted by certain Russian Slavophile intellectuals and turned into a nationalistic discourse throughout the nineteenth century up to the appearance of the Eurasist current. Thus, what too often appears as a scientific debate circumscribed to one specific scientific community is actually part of a larger set of transnational polemical discussions about the eastern borders of Europe. It brings to light the rhetorical nature of identity and the “swing-wing” character of its building processes.

        The full article is in French.

        http://www.cairn.info/article.php?ID_ARTICLE=CMR_451_0241

  8. Warren says:

    Copyright of Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf expires

    For the first time in 70 years, Adolf Hitler’s Nazi manifesto Mein Kampf is to be available to buy in Germany.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-35209185

    • marknesop says:

      Gee; signs are cropping up all over that Hitler was really more of a strong leader with just a soupçon of control issues, rather than an evil dictator whose crimes will live in eternal infamy and damnation. For the latter, see Stalin, who was always and will ever be a Russian.

  9. astabada says:

    Al monitor reports that Turkey has closed its side of the Turkey-Iraq border crossing at Habur. This comes after a curfew has been declared in the cities of Silopi and Cizre, following ethnic clashes between the Turkish Army and the alleged Kurdish militia.

    Notice how I use “alleged” because so far it doesn’t sound like the Kurds are doing anything worth reporting on the Turkish side of the border.

    In any case, it seems that a long awaited chicken is coming home to roost. Very good.

  10. Moscow Exile says:

    Here’s another kreakl who’s posted pictures of foodstuffs and their prices so as to compare them later this year when prices have inevitably increased.

    So the whinger is getting ready to go on the attack, surveying his approach with care – but hang on, though: where’s that endless kreakl whine that the shops are empty and that famine will soon stalk the land, thanks to he Evil One?

    See: Сохраню на память цены еды в 2015 году

    Stored in the memory: food prices in 2015

    A few of the pictures from the above linked whinge:

    • Moscow Exile says:

      And that’s Finnish butter (Valio) shown above, by the way, and that round cheese, “Lamber”is a Wimm-Bill-Dann product: Wimm-Bill-Dann is owned by the Pepsi-Cola Corp.

  11. Moscow Exile says:

    Starving Russians in a land where everything is deficit:

    BREAKFAST, 1ST JANUARY

    My favourite “Herring-under-a-Fur-Coat” fish salad, front left; red caviar (from Kamchatka Pacific salmon) front right.

    Mum at the stove, I suppose.

    Just had a similar very late breakfast myself because all those lazybones of mine only got up a few hours ago.

  12. reinaldo souza ramos (reinaldo) says:

    Moscow Exile
    no, ME, it is 365 days till next New Year because this is a 366 day year….it would be 364 days for a 365 day year….give it a thought….happy new year for you and the “children” and your wife

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Dear reinaldo,

      Why have you put the word “children” (above) in inverted commas?

      Do you believe that those whom I call my children are not, in fact, my children?

      And it is 366 days until midnight, December 31st of this year if one includes this day, January 1st, 2016, in one’s calculations.

      • kirill says:

        Seems we have a troll on this board. You are of course correct about 366 days in years with February 29 included. A rather straightforward concept.

        • yalensis says:

          No, Reinaldo is right. It actually depends whether you count both boundary values “inclusively” or not.

          I encounter these issues all the time in computer applications, for example, in a medical application, if you need to count “Length of Stay” in the hospital, for billing purposes. How many days did the patient stay in the hospital if they were admitted on Monday and discharged on Saturday?
          .
          If you ask people, “how many days between Monday and Saturday”, most people will say 5. They don’t include Monday, but do include Saturday.
          Some people might say 6, if they include both Monday and Saturday in the count.
          This is why, in the computer application world, it is extremely important to define your terms exactly.
          For the record, Hospital Length of Stay is usually calculated as every day the patient occupied a bed at the stroke of midnight. If the patient was admitted, say, Monday morning, and left for home, say, Saturday afternoon, then their length of stay would be billed at 5 days.
          For Mr. Reinaldo’s purposes, in the normal way that people count, it is 365 days from New Year’s Day 2016 to New Year’s Day 2017..

          • kirill says:

            So what. ME made the point about the leap year being 366 days. He is 100% correct. You need them every 4 years since the length of a year is about 365.25 days and we do not have fractional days in our calendar. The calendar drifts about 1/4 of a day each year and is then reset with the extra leap year day. It is impossible to tell from the troll’s post what he was nitpicking. Putting children in quotes was downright offensive. If he is using any of Latin languages he would know not to put the word in quotes perfectly well.

            • yalensis says:

              Dear Kirill:

              After re-reading ME’s comment, Yes, you are right, and Yes ME is right, ME did stipulate that if one counts in the “inclusive” manner, then it is 366 days between 01/01/2016 and 01/01/2017.

              And it is 366 days until midnight, December 31st of this year if one includes this day, January 1st, 2016, in one’s calculations.

              However, you are wrong that this minor debate over counting definitions has anything to do with the Leap Year, other than the fact that 2016 is a Leap Year. So what? What does it matter that Leap Years happen every 4 years, or why they happen? Nobody was denying the fact that 2016 was a Leap Year. Your exposition on that was irrelevant to this debate, and just confuses the issue.
              All that matters for the purposes of the debate between ME and Reinaldo is whether there are 365 or 366 days between Jan 1 2016 and Jan 1 2017. And again, they are both right. Depending on whether the count is boundary-inclusive or boundary-exclusive, one can count either 365 or 366 days.

              Like I said, it’s all a matter of definition.

              A more important issue, is why are you attacking Reinaldo for the slightest thing he says?

              He’s new to Mark’s forum, maybe this guy is just trying to fit in, and and I am willing to give him a chance. You already acted like judge jury and executioner, all in one.
              You have to provide something a bit weightier than his using the word “children” in quotes.
              Maybe he was just trying to be funny?

      • Eric says:

        “Children” meaning your offspring who could be grown-up adults or could be actual children but both fall under the term “children” when speaking casually. I dont think he is questioning their existence!

      • Patient Observer says:

        Being me, I take a sinister interpretation. He owes you an explanation.

        • Moscow Exile says:

          It was the inverted commas around the word children, which could be interpreted as “so-called children”.

          By Russian law, my son is old enough to marry – only if he has my permission. He also cannot legally buy or be sold tobacco products and alcoholic drinks.

          And I’m going to tell him to go to bed now (22:30): he stopped up all night last night.

          He’s 6′ 2″ tall (1.88m), but not too big not to be told it’s time for beddie-byes.

          • Jen says:

            Once upon a time, if you reached the age of 15 years, you were considered fully adult and you were expected to be in full employment (or at least apprenticed to someone, or in the army) or married off; or you were ready for rites of passages during which you underwent various trials of ordeal, usually in isolation from the rest of the community. Teenage birthday celebrations like Sweet Sixteen and Quinceañera (for 15-year-old girls in Latino cultures) are modern versions of traditions of adolescent rites of passage. Quinceañera is a huge industry in some countries and the amount of work and expense some families put into it is staggering.



            • Moscow Exile says:

              When I was 15, you could leave school: most did. Back then, you could also be a boy-soldier or sailor in the British armed forces at 16. You still can, I believe.

              On the first day of the Battle of the Somme in 1916, 500 ‘Boy Soldiers’ were killed and 2,000 wounded. BY the time the battle had ended, 18,000 ‘Boy Soldiers’ had been killed or wounded.

              More than one in 10 new Army recruits are boy soldiers of just 16 years old, according to the latest figures released by the Ministry of Defence. And more than one in four of all new Army recruits are under 18 – too young to be sent into combat.

              The figures, released last week, have sparked renewed criticism of the British Army’s use of boy soldiers. Following an outcry over the deployment of 17-year-olds to the Gulf War in 1991, and to Kosovo in 1999, the Army amended its rules stopping soldiers under 18 from being sent on operations where there was a possibility of fighting. Despite this, at least 20 soldiers aged 17 are known to have served in Afghanistan and Iraq due to errors by the MoD.

              See: UK under fire for recruiting an ‘army of children’


              16-year-old John Travers Cornwell- died of wounds received at the Battle of Jutland, 1916. He was awarded the VC posthumously

              In 1910 near where I Iived in “The Old Country” there was at the Pretoria colliery a pit disaster in which 344 coal miners died: “men and boys” it says on the memorial.

              Westhoughton was particularly hard hit by the tragedy as more than 200 men and boys from Westhoughton died in the blast, some were as young as 13 years old.

              There was no such thing as “teenagers” when I was a child: you were either a boy, a young man, or a man, and you didn’t get a man’s rate of pay until you were 21.

  13. yalensis says:

    This is interesting.
    As people probably heard, the Ukrainians once again shut down electricity to Crimea, and picking the best time to spoil things, right on New Year’s Eve!

    Turns out, there was a method to their madness, they are attempting to negotiate a new contract with Russia for delivering electricity to Crimea, but they want it written into the contract that Russia has to recognize Crimea and Sebastopol as belonging to Ukraine!

    Summary of the timeline:
    -On 22 November 2015 Crimea went into almost total blackout when Dzhemilev/Right Sektor and their Merry Crew brought down all 4 pylons feeding power into the peninsula.
    -On 8 December the Ukrainians resume flows of electrons on one of the lines, which is named “Kakhovka – Tital – Krasnoperekopsk”.
    -On 15 December Russia was able, ahead of schedule to deploy a second underwater line from the Russian mainland. This brought in enough megawatts to keep the peninsula limping along. People only need to survive until April-May, at which time Crimea should be supplied fully from the Russian mainland, as construction of the underwater lines continues.
    -Then 2 nights ago the Ukrainians once again sabotaged their one (“Titan”) line, once again plunging the peninsula into rolling blackouts.

    The Ukrainians are demanding that Russia agree to the “fact” that Crimea/Sebastopol are part of the Ukraine, before signing a continuation of the “Titan” contract. The implication is that, if Russia agrees to this, then they will switch on the current again.

    In response to this blackmail, Putin announced the following:
    He has ordered a reputable sociological company to conduct a scientific survey in Crimea/Sebastopol. There will be 2 questions on the survey, phrased thusly:

    Question #1: “Do you support, or not support, concluding a contract with the Ukraine, to supply electrical energy to Crimea and Sebastopol, given that the contract stipulates that Crimea and Sebastopol are part of the Ukraine?”

    Question #2: “Are you prepared for temporary inconveniences, associated with insignificant interruptions to the supply of energy, in the course of the next three or four months?”

    According to Energy Minister Alexander Novak, Putin wants to study the results of such a survey, before making the decision as to whether or not to sign a contract with the Ukraine.

    • PaulR says:

      According to Cassad, the results of the survey are in: 93% were against signing the contract on those terms: http://colonelcassad.livejournal.com/2548330.html

      • kirill says:

        FRAUD, FRAUD, FRAUD….

        Because everyone wants to live the Banderastan good life. Where people have economic prosperity and freedom of expression.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        Yes, I’ve just been watching the stats being read out on Kremlin Controlled Russian TV.

        Mrs. Exile cried out “Molodtsy!”

        She’s a right militant when she gets going.

        I said to her: “My dearest, I should advise you not to believe everything you see or hear in the Russian media!…”

        Whereupon she sprang up and flopped me.

      • yalensis says:

        Yup!

        And this piece from Life News includes a video of the press conference held by Valery Fedorov, the General Director of the polling firm which conducted the survey. He explains the methodology and answers a lot of interesting questions.
        Anybody who can understand Russian and has a half-hour to spare, should listen to this press conference – it is actually quite good.

    • marknesop says:

      I suppose they will want a Ukrainian polling agency to conduct the survey as well, and it must include armed members of Right Sector. Since a Ukrainian polling agency did conduct a survey in Crimea post-separation and learned that a solid majority of Crimeans support being part of the Russian Federation. I can’t remember where I saw that now, I think Paul posted it here awhile ago. So obviously Crimeans need a little convincing that Ukraine is really where they want to be.

      It’s amazing – if true – that Putin would even give Crimeans another chance to reunite with Ukraine if that is what they want, and to announce such a plan in advance, because (again, if it is not just a rumor) Kiev and its Washington string-pullers will mobilize every dirty trick at their disposal to influence the vote.

      And even if they get a do-over and fail, they will never, ever accept that Crimea is no longer Ukrainian. So what is Putin doing? Teasing them?

      • yalensis says:

        I think the Russian government did absolutely the right thing to do a second referendum. They were willing to risk an undesirable result, and I am pretty sure they would have abided by it, had it gone the other way.

        The main reason for the re-do is because stuff changed. In the first flush of things, Crimeans were overjoyed to re-join Russia, and they were sure that their lives would get better; however many may not have taken into account that sacrifices might be required, and that life could get worse before it got better.

        When the Ukrainians blackmailed the Crimeans and made it clear that they would have to suffer, this was a new development (not an unexpected one, though), and therefore, the referendum needed to be done again, so that people could take this new factor into account.

  14. Warren says:

    • marknesop says:

      Did you read the sidebar related story? Ukraine’s Rada considers legalizing the use of mercenaries! Amazing! I wonder if they will legalize rape while they are at it? Because the west will not call them on the rebirth of Naziism in Ukraine, they are drunk with power and they plainly fancy that Ukrainian law supersedes international law! The recruitment, training, equipping and use of mercenaries is strictly forbidden under international law signed by Ukraine. But since nobody with any clout says stop this nonsense at once, they just carry on. And expect to be admitted to the EU with open arms.

  15. Warren says:

    …………….

  16. Moscow Exile says:

    More Yukie bullshit:

    • kirill says:

      Will she and her clown subspecies insert tubes up their asses to replace the CH4 from Russia. That is the key question.

  17. Warren says:

    The double life of a Russian ‘spy’ beheaded by Islamic State

    http://img-s-msn-com.akamaized.net/tenant/amp/entityid/BBo1RMB.img?h=768&w=1366&m=6&q=60&o=f&l=f&x=311&y=105

    In the video, a man in an orange jump suit kneels beside a lake in Syria and confesses in Russian to spying on Islamic State militants. Another Russian speaker, this one in camouflage fatigues, then uses a hunting knife to hack off the kneeling man’s head.

    When Islamic State posted this footage online on Dec. 2, it brought the distant Syria conflict home to ordinary Russians. Here, in high-definition video, appeared to be one young Russian killing another for reasons few people could understand.

    It also opened up another mystery.

    The prisoner and alleged spy in the video said his name was Magomed Khasiev, that he was from Russia’s mainly Muslim region of Chechnya, and that he worked for Russian intelligence.

    Pro-Kremlin Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov quickly denied Khasiev was a spy.

    But interviews with more than a dozen people who knew Khasiev in Russia suggest the 23-year-old man had connections to both Muslim groups and Russian security and seemed to live a double life.

    An ethnic Russian born to a non-Muslim family in Russia’s industrial heartland, Khasiev spent his teenage years among Chechens who knew him as a devout Muslim and a fluent Chechen speaker. Some of his Chechen friends went off to fight for Islamist militants in the Middle East, and encouraged him to join them.

    In his other life he associated with non-Muslims, had a friend in the police, and had a license from the Interior Ministry to work as a security guard, according to a former teacher, a friend, and staff of several security companies. For some purposes, including his work, Khasiev used the name he was given at birth: Yevgeny Yudin.

    If his testimony on the video is to be believed, Khasiev ended up caught in the murky world between official Russian involvement in the conflict in Syria and the jihad that several thousand citizens of Russia and other former Soviet republics have joined.

    Neither Russia’s Federal Security Service – the intelligence agency Khasiev claimed he was working for – or Russia’s Interior Ministry responded to requests for comment on the case.

    http://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/world/the-double-life-of-a-russian-spy-beheaded-by-islamic-state/ar-BBo2Shb#image=1

    • kirill says:

      Pro-Washington Merkel, Harper now Trudeau, Cameron, Hollande….

      Drivel language from drivel-tard haters known as the NATO MSM.

  18. Moscow Exile says:

    Talk on the Russian blogosphere that Yukie schismatics are after seizing Russian orthodox places of worship in Banderastan:

    УКРАИНСКИЕ РАСКОЛЬНИКИ РУКАМИ НАЦИСТОВ ГОТОВЯТ ЗАХВАТ КИЕВО-ПЕЧЕРСКОЙ ЛАВРЫ.

    Ukrainian schismatics with the help of Nazis preparing to seize Kiev Pechersk Lavra

    In the period following the New year leading up to Christmas, the schismatic “Ukrainian Orthodox Church” (“the Kyiv Patriarchate”), together with UNA-UNSO (Ukrainian National Assembly – Ukrainian People’s Self-Defence) militants are planning a hostile takeover of the Russian Orthodox shrine, the Kiev Pechersk Lavra, where Ilya Muromets and Nestor the Chronicler are buried.

    The initiator of this barbaric obscurantism, the press Secretary of the UOC-KP (Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyivan Patriarchate), is right now negotiating with Igor Mazur from UNA-UNSO, as well as with other radical Nazi groups, with a request to allocate 200 militants for the capture of the Russian shrine.

    The main goal of the raiders is to hold a Christmas service at Kyiv Pechersk Lavra, followed by the the subsequent transfer of the Lavra to the ownership of the UOC-KP.

  19. reinaldo souza ramos (reinaldo) says:

    Moscow Exile
    “The only certainty in this world is maternity”
    Kidding
    My mistake because in portuguese only Aleksandra would be a child….Yelena and Dimitry are not considered children
    Starting with Jan 1rst one day elapses on Jan2nd…and so one….so, 365 days

    Kirill
    Why such arrogance? Happy New Year to you too

    • Jen says:

      From 1 January 2016 (12am) to 1 January 2017 (12 am) is 366 days. From 1 January 2016 (12pm) to 1 January 2017 (12am) is just under 366 days but not exactly 365 whole days. 12 hours of Day 366 of 2016 have been spent but 12 hours (to noon on 1 January 2017) are still to go.

      Reinaldo’s reasoning works if you regard 1 January 2016 as Day Zero and the following day as Day 1. But since zero as a concept literally refers to something that does not exist, Day Zero really cannot exist (except perhaps in the border between 23 hours 59 minutes and 59 seconds of the previous day and New Year’s Day) and 1 January 2016 is to be regarded as Day 1. Likewise, between Year 1 BC (Before Christ) or BCE (Before the Common Era) and Year 1 AD (Anno Domini “In the Year of our Lord [Jesus Christ]”) or CE (Common Era), there was no Year Zero.

      In some East Asian cultures, babies are regarded as one-year-olds the moment they are born and get the full 1st-birthday treatment with 1st-birthday cards, presents and cakes. Where both Western and local reckonings of people’s ages are done, the babies might get a repeat of the 1st-birthday treatment when they turn 12 months and from then on the Western way of celebrating annual birthdays is followed. This is because traditionally people didn’t celebrate birthdays every year, they only celebrated birthdays if the celebrant reached a milestone year like the age of 5 or 7 years (the ages children start school) or 60 years (the age when people can be considered wise).

      • Moscow Exile says:

        Was my elder daughter, who was born on Christmas Day, 2000, born in the 21st or the 20th century?

        No doubt, however, about the fact that my son was born in the 20th century,1999 being the year of his birth, and that my younger daughter, born 2008, is a 21st century child.

        • Jen says:

          Because there was no Year Zero, the first century AD or CE started with Year 1 and ended at the end of Year 100. Therefore the 20th century started 1 January 1901 and ended at the end of 31st December 2000.

      • Cortes says:

        In Spanish speaking countries one “accomplishes” = completes a year. So there was merit in the C XVIII system in Scottish obituaries in describing the deceased as having died in, eg, the 56th year of his life (in modern money = 55).

      • yalensis says:

        Dear Jen:

        I encounter these problems all the time in database queries; seems like half of what we do is date and time calculations; for example, calculate the difference between 2 dates in days, hours, seconds, etc. There is an endless amount of computer code dealing with date calculations, leap years, Julian dates, Gregorian dates, Greenwich Mean Time, Daylight Savings Time, etc. Daylight Savings Time alone provides a lot more headaches to programmers than Y2K ever did.

        See how this works with a shorter range example:
        How many days between January 1 and January 3?
        2 days?
        or 3 days?

        The answer is that it depends on your definition of “between”.
        If you start the timer just as the clock strikes midnight of January 1 and stop the timer as the clock strikes midnight January 3, then 48 hours have passed, i.e., 2 days.
        But if you said, “The Gladiator games will take place on the 1st, the 2nd, and the 3rd of January,” then obviously you have a 3-day tournament.

        Informal language is imprecise and confusing on this issue. For example, if you said, “I’ll be here for the next 2 days,” it probably means today and tomorrow, but it could also mean tomorrow and the day after tomorrow.

        When the Bible says “Christ rose from his tomb on the third day”, what exactly did they mean? If he was buried on Day #1, then did he rise on Day #3 or Day #4?
        And I think you can guess how all this relates to hospital billing, bed charges, and Medicare reimbursements!

        • Cortes says:

          See also:

          Did Shakespeare and Cervantes die on the same day…

        • Moscow Exile says:

          Timekeeping was different in England 1,000 years ago – in fact, scholars are still unable to fathom out quite how it was done. What we do know, however, is that for the Old English, whom Victorians mistakenly called “Anglo-Saxons”, a new day began at sunset.

          That is why the 12-day Yuletide feast began in the evening of what we now call Christmas Eve (the “-ing” in “evening” is the diminutive suffix for “eve”), namely at sunset on 24th of December.

          One whole day in Old England was measured from sunset to sunset. And they had different lengths of hours according to the season and, therefore, the length of daylight time as well: the Romans did the same.

          They still observe this system in Germany at Christmas, where they light up their Christmas trees at sunset on Christmas Eve.

    • kirill says:

      You are clearly a troll. Putting children in quotes was offensive. And don’t pretend you don’t know. It is the same in Spanish and Portuguese.

  20. Moscow Exile says:

    Более миллиона человек приняли участие в новогодних гуляньях в Москве

    More than a million people took part in New Year festivities in Moscow

    01 January 2016

    In Moscow, public law and order during the New Year celebration was provided by nearly seven thousand employees of the Internal Affairs authorities, said the Ministry of the Interior in the capital on Friday. The police are continuing to keep order in places where there are New Year events.

    More than a million people took part in the New Year events that were held last night in public places and on the streets of Moscow, including 150 thousand people in the central part of the city, said the Ministry of the Interior in the capital on Friday

    “Law and order was provided by almost seven thousand employees of Internal Affairs bodies. Measures to ensure public order and security in the capital Moscow by the police were fully implemented. No serious violations of public order were registered”, it was announced.

    The police are continuing to serve in places of New Year events, which will run until January 10, and in this regard draw attention to Muscovites and guests in the capital on the need to respect the rules of personal safety and behaviour in public places.

    Interesting!

    In further evidence of America’s gun violence epidemic, 27 people were shot and killed on Christmas Day – more gun homicides than most countries see in an entire year.

    See: Christmas Day in the U.S. saw more gun violence than most countries see in a year

    One must not forget, however, that Russians are not free, do not enjoy freedom of expression and have never ever experienced democracy, as they live under an abhorrently tyrannous and criminal regime.

    • marknesop says:

      And the answer, according to the NRA, is for more people to carry and have easy access to more guns. If everyone had a gun, well, then, they could protect themselves and others from nuts carrying guns.

      Mind you, this is what passes for clever negotiating in America, and it is a favourite tactic of the NRA; when there is an atrocious mass shooting which arouses the public consciousness, the NRA promptly takes an outrageous position on the issue that it knows will receive virtually no support. People will say angrily, “Hell, no – we’re not doing that!!!” And then the NRA will withdraw the proposal, pretending to have taken a whipping at the hands of the public, but honouring its right to make such decisions. The public is mollified by the appearance of having faced down the NRA, on a position it never expected to be adopted anyway. Things go back to normal, with no new gun laws or restrictions, which is what the NRA really wanted.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Manchester, England, New Year’s Eve – compare and contrast with the report above about the Moscow celebrations:

    • kirill says:

      Interesting that the New York Times Square party also had around a million people and 6000 cops deployed.

  21. reinaldo says:

    Moscow Exile
    I am a huge fan of English humor but hate your sadism…I am barely acquainted with the cyrillic alphabet….when you reproduce things in russian and do not add a translation I kind of loose a finger….be a nice guy
    Friendly

    Kirill
    I am offering my frienship to you too

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Sorry! I didn’t realize I had done that.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        I usually put the translation under the Russian link in English: the translated headline in bold and the text in italics, thus (from above):

        Более миллиона человек приняли участие в новогодних гуляньях в Москве

        More than a million people took part in New Year festivities in Moscow

        01 January 2016

        In Moscow, public law and order during the New Year celebration was provided by nearly seven thousand employees of the Internal Affairs authorities, said the Ministry of the Interior in the capital on Friday. The police are continuing to keep order in places where there are New Year events….

    • Cortes says:

      Loosing a finger is quite offensive, Reinaldo.

  22. Moscow Exile says:

    Torchlight processions in honour of Bandera’s 107th birthday aniversary.

    Don’t these Nazis just love these torchlit night time parades! I guess it’s because there appear to be at such events more than there actually are.

    Parades were scheduled to be held in Kherson, Dnepropetrovsk, Kiev and Odessa.

    At the Kherson procession there were only about 100 activists who marched through the main street of the city.

    In Dnepropetrovsk there were fewer participants: to honour the memory of their hero, only 60 turned up.

    In Odessa, the March had not started when the report (link below) was posted.

    Meanwhile In Kiev, activists intended to start the procession in honour of Bandera when he report was made. The participants stated that their rally would be peaceful.

    See: Украинские националисты проводят факельные шествия в честь Степана Бандеры

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Happy birthday dear Stepan, happy birthday to you!

      Failed miserably.

      Biggest turnout: Kiev.

      Mariupol: 20 – no march, only a rally; Slovyansk – around 100: Sumy – about 200: Dnepropetrovsk – about 100: Odessa – 100: Lviv – 300 (!).

      See: Марш в честь Бандеры

      March in honour of Bandera

      In Kiev, various estimates: from 500 to 1,000.

      • marknesop says:

        Once again, though, these individuals exert influence disproportionate to their numbers by their willingness to do violence at the slightest pretext. A march of 100 along Main Street is enough to make a thousand who live on Main Street stay indoors. It’s a similar argument, when employed, as the chestnut that Nazis are of no consequence in the Ukrainian government because extremist parties got only around 3% or so of the vote. As long as Ukraine and its western supporters do nothing to arrest their complete freedom of movement in public in Ukraine and freedom to express their ideology, they are abetting its rise.

    • Jen says:

      Hmm … if you were to ask how many Banderites are needed to change a light-bulb, the answer could be either one of the following:

      a) none, they hate to be enlightened
      b) none, there won’t be any electricity in Ukraine so light-bulbs are unnecessary
      c) none, they’re all away at the torch-lit parade
      d) all of the above

      • Lyttenburgh says:

        The true answer is… “Slava Ukrajine!” (and an anonymous call to the SBU reporting separatists asking some treasonous questions).

  23. Moscow Exile says:

    More shite from an I-Hate-Russia blogger who clearly knows sweet FA about the present day Empire of Evil:

    In Russia every second house is proudly named in honour of the American president — Barak

    Every second house??!!

    For those who may not understand the pun in English/Russian, Obama’s given name, Barak, is spelt in Russian in exactly the same way as the Russian word for “barrack”.

    In the Soviet Union, workers were often housed in communal dwellings that were sometimes disparagingly called “barracks”. The apartments were often communal, in that they shared kitchens and bathrooms:

    A kommunalki kitchen.

    Regular accommodation now looks more like this:

    And the kitchens in the above blocks are something like this:

    which above illustration resembles the kitchen in my flat.

    Now don’t you folks go and forget now! Every second dwelling in Russia is like the one in the first picture above.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Here’s a photograph of a former communal dwelling that is in far better condition than the nightmare of a place illustrated above:

    • kirill says:

      Predictable Banderatard loser attempts at defamation. The whole Banderatard identity centers around their subconscious sense of inadequacy that they channel into hate for Russians. Russia’s economy and standard of living grew significantly in the last 15 years while Ukr-land stagnated. Since they are taught to treat Russians as untermenschen by their revisionist nationalist history they experience severe cognitive dissonance. “If we are better, then why are we still in the toilet”. One of the central aspects of this Ukr character is their welfare bum syndrome. They actually expect to be provided for instead of actually working to better themselves. This is why they expected to become like Poland by signing the AA with the EU. Instead they became like Somalia. Sitting on their asses and bitching is their national trait. Eventually they will deeply resent the EU for not giving them the hoped for welfare.

      • marknesop says:

        I still think there are a lot of decent people in Ukraine, and we have seen people (through video) even in Lviv speak out against nationalist policy and claim that Russia is their friend and the national posturing will come to a bad end. There has to be a way to get rid of the Nazi bastards while saving the decent people who are just too afraid to stand up for themselves. I believe Putin is invested in Ukraine for the long haul and does not play the smash-and-grab European game. By keeping tension high in Ukraine, Russia is bleeding Europe to pay for it, and one day it will simply become too expensive and Europe will cut its losses. But it seems to me the odds favour Putin’s game – even if Europe manages to wrest away rump Ukraine, it will never again get the east and the Crimea back, and Ukrainians who do not want to learn English or Dutch or German or whatever to get along in European Ukraine will leave for where it is easier because it is a language and culture they know. Europe will be left with a poor wasteland, especially after they strip it of its rich soil and anything else of value. But that might not happen. Europe might simply give up. Then it would have to be purged of nationalist shits like Yarosh. They could go to Poland.

        • Moscow Exile says:

          Ukraine, holding placards reading “”Freedom!!” and “Independence”: But what’s in it for me?

          Fat Cat West, having seized Ukrainian industrial and agricultural assets: For you – Liberty!

        • kirill says:

          Some of the newly arrived Ukrainians in Toronto give me hope. The Kiev regime is now despised and considered much more corrupt than Yanukovich’s government. But we’ll see if this understanding is channeled into a true liberation movement, or will be vented into Russia hate.

          • marknesop says:

            I’m afraid that Ukrainians will not associate the Poroshenko government with the EU, and while the former’s government will likely continue to sink in popularity, it will not likely come to symbolize western-style democracy to them. Consequently, while Poroshenko will likely get the push before he is ready to go, the envisioned solution will not be a return to Ukrainian association with Russia, but Ukrainians will instead expect to be welcomed into the EU under different leadership. Europe will likely end up with a piece of Ukraine, which it will promptly ruin. But look on the bright side – much depends on the way Europe and its agencies, such as the IMF, behave. If they keep on as they have done thus far, doling out money in dribbles while moaning about reforms, Ukrainians will sour on them, perhaps before irrevocable commitments can be made.

  24. Phil K says:

    I didn’t interpret Reinaldo’s quotes as trollish or offensive in the least. My mother often did the same thing in her letters, from an awareness of a contradiction in referring to her adult offspring as “children”.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      But my eldest, Vladimir, is only 16: he was born on July 31,1999.

      My middle-child, Elena, was 15 on Christmas Day.

      Aleksandra is 7: she was born on May 22, 2008.

      The two eldest are certainly not adults.

      • kirill says:

        I interpreted his post as an attack on you where he is casting doubt on the existence of your children. Since I have relatives in Argentina and know something about Spanish and how closely it is related to Portuguese I could not attribute the quotes to some sort of language issue.

        • marknesop says:

          I think he was just kind of joking, suggesting the older children are beyond being ‘children’ – although, to me, they are such for as long as they stay in the house and are not out on their own. I personally think of children as adults when they move out and are self-supporting. But it means different things to different people. I don’t think he was trying to be insulting.

  25. Terje M says:

    Happy New Year 2016 to all, from someone who loves reading this site (and a very occasional poster! )
    May 2016 be the year when the truth on MH17 gets revealed.

  26. Warren says:

  27. Cortes says:

    Seems like some at least in the indispensable nation have the number of a saintly oiligarch:

    http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2016/01/venality-and-the-surveillance-hawks-by-cp.html

  28. Cortes says:

    Tangential at best, but I suspect similar currents flow within Banderastan…

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/01/01/a-case-of-bribery/

  29. Fern says:

    Another year, another theatre for Ukrainian lunacy has opened. On January 1st, Ukraine started its two year stint as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council so Poroshenko now has the peace of the world resting on his ample shoulders:-

    “Ukraine’s membership in the UN Security Council begins today. We know the value of peace and justice! Two years of the special responsibility for the safety of the world are ahead. Ukraine will bear it with dignity,” Poroshenko wrote on his Facebook account.

    http://sputniknews.com/world/20160101/1032582506/ukraine-security-unsc.html

    Vitaly Churkin, with the snark only diplomats can manage, congratulated Ukraine:-

    ”He noted that Ukraine’s election to the position could be seen simultaneously as a “triumph of Ukrainian diplomacy” and the success of the current government since “Washington, which patronizes the country, helped it get elected to the Security Council.””

    http://sputniknews.com/world/20150617/1023459074.html

    Churkin also expressed the hope that Ukraine would act ‘responsibly’ in its new role. What are the odds?

    • marknesop says:

      I don’t feel at all like I am going out on a limb when I suggest Poroshenko will try to monopolize the Security Council for Ukrainian affairs and troubles. He doubtless imagines he has reached a seat of great international power, but it is nothing of the kind.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        Do you think Obama will dare walk past him again, as he did recently without giving him even a token nod, leaving Porky to shuffle off with a mard lip to join the rest of the mob lined up for a photo shoot?

  30. Moscow Exile says:

    Миллионы россиян от Камчатки до Калининграда встречали новый, 2016

    Millions of Russians from Kamchatka to Kaliningrad celebrate New Year 2016

    From Kremlin Controlled Russian TV Channel 1.

    I just love putting in that “Kremlin Controlled” bit because it’s so funny to hear it on CNN and Fox News being relentlessly uttered de rigeur whenever the Russian mass media is mentioned!

    And for those of you who may not understand most, if not all, of what is said in the above-linked clip, the purpose of my posting it is to to point out to all the irrefutable misery of the Russian population, who are forced to endure the iron heel of an obnoxious tyranny.

    Let freedom ring! One day, God willing, the Tree of Liberty will take root in the vast expanses of the Russian steppe!

    (Exit stage left)

    🙂

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Oh yes, and notice too, if you will, the multi-ethnicity of the Russian citizens in the above-linked clip.

      True, no one of African descent or birth is visible in the clip, and this, I suspect, often leads many Westerners to believe that Russia is not “multi-ethnic”, which mistaken belief then in its turn leads to the illogical conclusion that Russians are intolerant towards those of other ethnicities and cultures.

      However, in the part of the clip shot in Siberia, in Yakutsk, where the temperature was minus 41C (minus 42F) on New Year’s Eve, the indigenous population can be seen together with ethnic Russian Siberians. Likewise in the midnight bathing scene.

      In general, from what I have observed, Russians usually get on well with one another. In my house there is a Georgian family, some folk from the North Caucasus and Armenians; there is a Jewish family (I only know this because the pater familias is a devout, practising Jew: I can see in warmer months his prayer shawl tassels dangling from beneath his jacket), and a Tatar family; and the janitors for the block are all Tadjiks.

      They are not all at each others’ throats all of the time.

      Don’t know what thy think of me, though!

      🙂

      • Jen says:

        English spy perhaps?
        🙂

        They see you loitering outside the apartment block at odd hours of the night and the early morning and going down to your tree grove wherein resides the little Wotan idol. They probably think you’re communicating to your MI6 superiors in London through the wooden statue.

        • Moscow Exile says:

          Woden idol!

          I am not German!

          As a matter of fact, a former janitor for our house once criticized my behaviour to my wife, without knowing that she was my wife.

          She, the janitor, started moaning about foreigners in the block and that one of them was always throwing empty beer bottles out of the window of his 2nd floor (that’s the 3rd floor in Russia) flat. So, in view of the fact that we live on that floor and that when this conversation took place in 2002 we had not long moved into our house, my wife asked the janitor to describe this badly behaved foreigner to her. The janitor described me and, furthermore, said I was a Swede.

          As it happens, the janitor was a Ukrainian woman.

          After she had left — where to I know not: she might be sitting in a window in Amsterdam now for all I care — we had a Vietnamese woman as a janitor. Her Russian was very poor and she once had a big row with me because she caught me slinging a dead cat into her garbage container that she had just wheeled out from the services room on the ground floor and into which the household garbage chute from our section of the nine-floor house discharges.

          I had found the dead cat in the garden area at the back of the house. It hadn’t suffered a violent death – no dogs or whatever had been at it: I think it had just croaked naturally. So, carrying the deceased moggy by its tail, I approached the container, which was in the street awaiting the arrival of a big city garbage truck, and with a deft twirl swung the no-longer-with-us former furry friend into the container – just as Miss Vietnam 1947 came out of her bower.

          She went bloody berserk, grabbed the dead cat and slung it back at me, whereupon I slung it back into the container. I could just make out that she was telling me in Russian that the container was only for household garbage and not dead bodies.

          Most of what she shouted at me, though, sounded like the noise that comes from a Chinese restaurant kitchen when a big order comes in. I asked her what I was supposed to do with it — throw it into the river? She said that she wasn’t bothered where I slung it, but she wasn’t having it in her container.

          Anyway, she won in the end, and I slunk off with my dead cat, but unbeknown to her, I only walked around the block and returned when she was back in her den and pitched the dead Tom into the container again.

          She, the Vietnamese janitor, vanished after a couple of years – she’s probably working as a bogus Japanese waitress now somewhere in a sushi bar.

          After her, we’ve had nothing but Tadzhiks, who are fine. They always say good morning to me when we pass in the street early every working day.

      • Lyttenburgh says:

        “In my house there is a Georgian family, some folk from the North Caucasus and Armenians; there is a Jewish family (I only know this because the pater familias is a devout, practising Jew: I can see in warmer months his prayer shawl tassels dangling from beneath his jacket), and a Tatar family; and the janitors for the block are all Tadjiks. “

        The way you describe it this reminds me of my first school… and a song by the Dyuna – “Communal flat”:

    • Cortes says:

      Rigeur is the non u version of rigueur, said Lord Snooty…

    • marknesop says:

      According to the Westminster-controlled BBC, a Russian pilot “died when his SU-24 aircraft was shot down”. If that is a time appreciation, it is a fairly accurate one, but he actually died after his aircraft hit the ground, and that fact was not the cause of his death. He died because he was shot full of holes from the ground while he was hanging helpless in his parachute straps and was not armed. As has been demonstrated to what should be the complete satisfaction of all, this is a war crime, illegal under international law regardless who does it. But the Washington-and-Westminster-controlled western media skates adroitly around that fact, and consistently normalizes his death as just one of those unfortunate things that happens in war. I can promise you that the murder of a western pilot under the same circumstances would not be soft-pedaled in the same manner, and the fact that criminal circumstances were attached to his dying would have been shouted to the skies.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        I noticed that as well. I was waiting for a reaction off you other Kremlin apologists.

        Lying by omission, don’t you think?

        • Jen says:

          That is one of the main ways (selective filtering and reporting) news in the Western MSM is reported, the other ways including projecting one’s sins onto one’s enemy (as when the US accuses Russia of hitting “moderate rebels” in Syria instead of the ISIS takfiris, or hitting civilian hospitals while talking down its own crimes elsewhere in Iraq or Afghanistan) or even taking credit for doing something that the other side did. Then of course there is wholesale omission of other news such as Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen which is drawing in mercenaries from places as far away as Colombia and which is probably draining the KSA’s finances more than anything else the Saudis are doing in Syria and Iraq.

          With regard to selective filtering, the Dutch Safety Board did something similar in its final report on the MH17 shoot-down when it framed its investigation in such a way as to pursue only the narrative of the SA-11 missile exploding near the Malaysian Airlines Boeing jet, and even then to concentrate only on data that did not point to or suggest a specific culprit (allowing the media to jump to conclusions about who the culprit/s was/were) and not pursue any other credible narratives explaining how the plane could have been brought down.

  31. Moscow Exile says:

    Returning to that “fig” gesture — a timely reminder!

    So you think you’ve survived?

    Well —

    there’s still Old New Year to come!

    • kirill says:

      The German/Austrian “f*ck you” gesture has the thumb between the middle to fingers and “fig” is clearly a corruption of “fick”. But the Russian gesture does not quite mean FU, it is more like “you will get nothing”.

  32. Moscow Exile says:

    You know where you can go shove your Western Coca-Cola Santa Claus!

    ДА ЗДРАВСТВУЕТ ДЕД МОРОЗ!

    LONG LIVE DYED MOROZ!

    (Старый козёл! — The old goat!)

    🙂

  33. Moscow Exile says:

    Compare and contrast:

    New Year’s Day evening, Moscow vs. New Year’s Day evening, Kiev

    MOSCOW

    KIEV

  34. Moscow Exile says:

    I’m sure those two are related!

    🙂

  35. reinaldo says:

    What a commotion a trivial arithmetic “problem” can cause! . In this chaotic São Paulo of mine when we say “the day after tomorrow” we mean in 2 days….or when we say “in ten days” we satart counting by tomorrow ….anyhow, let us move on.

    ME, thank you for your translations

    Phil K, Yalensis thanks

    Kirill, if by troll you mean the sob from the opposition who comes in to create confusion I refuse the epithet.If we can extend the concept, you may cal me a Reluctant Troll. Peace.

    Happy New Year

  36. Moscow Exile says:

    More Svidomite shite!

    KUBAN: ethnic Ukrainians , Kubanians are asking the Ukraine and the World Community to protect them from the pretensions of Russian Chauvinism. The Kuban demands unification with the Ukraine, its historical homeland.

    And you know how the morons work out that the Kuban is “ethnically Ukrainian” (as if there were such a thing as an “ethnic Ukrainian”, let alone a historical Ukrainian state)? — Because there were and are Kuban Cossacks.

    However, Cossacks are not an ethnic group: Cossacks adhere to a particular ethos and its associated life-style.

    And there are not and never have been any Cossacks who set up a Cossack community in Galitsia, Transcarpathia etc., namely those parts of Banderastan that were attached to the UkSSR in 1939 and 1945.

  37. Moscow Exile says:

    Gaidar, Masha — 2 hryvna and she’s yours!

    It rhymes in Russian!

    Gaidar, Masha — dvye hreevny ee vasha!

    Blogs continue to pop up in the Russian blogosphere announcing the fact that she’s back in the bosom of Mother Russia after her having been given the elbow in Odessa.

  38. Moscow Exile says:

    The apotheosis of Ukrainian valour?

  39. Moscow Exile says:

    Putin’s Speech:
    Love and look after your parents; remember the history of your country.

    Poroshenko’s Speech:
    Russia, Russia, Russia; aggressor, war; glory to the heroes!

  40. Lyttenburgh says:

    1) I used to think that a person, who got tired of the crab salad is tired of life…

    2) I’m still alive!

    3) All you need to know about Russian democratic MEDIA:

    NTV [Gazprom controlled]: “Putin forbid to fire military personel lacking housing”
    […]
    Slon.ru [Independent and handshakable trumpet of Freedom]: “Putin finally gave his permission to fire military personel lacking housing”.

    “ЖиДь не по лжи” (с)

  41. Warren says:

    • Warren says:

      Hitler made repeated efforts to bring Turkey into the Axis powers alliance, had Germany won at Moscow or Stalingrad and advanced to Baku, the Turks would have entered the war to get their share of the spoils. In the same way Italy invaded France so after Germany had defeated France and captured Paris.

  42. Warren says:

  43. Warren says:

    Published on 8 Dec 2012
    This documentary uncovers the unholy alliance between Nazi Germany and some of the biggest corporations in the US — companies which were indispensable for Hitler to wage war. Henry Ford, the automobile manufacturer; James D Mooney, the General Motors manager; and Thomas Watson, the IBM boss were all awarded the Grand Cross of the German Eagle — the Nazi’s highest distinction for foreigners for their services to the Third Reich.

    • Patient Observer says:

      Thomas Watson, Jr,. son of Thomas Watson, Sr., appeared to be sympathetic towards the Soviet Union/Russia from my memory of his autobiography. For example, he noted that there appeared to a competition to come up with the most inane (and fanciful) anti-Soviet propaganda in the 1950s. Also, he was a pilot and flew US personnel to the Soviet Union numerous time during WW II in support of lend-lease. He served as US ambassador to the Soviet Union from 1979-81. He was also an expert sailor with various awards.

      He had a difficult relationship with his father that may have swayed him to take a contrary position relative to the Soviet Union.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Watson_Jr.

    • Jen says:

      No mention of the Bush family’s financial contribution to the rise of the Fuhrer?

      From Fox News, no less!
      http://www.foxnews.com/story/2003/10/17/documents-bush-grandfather-directed-bank-tied-to-man-who-funded-hitler.html

      Documents: Bush’s Grandfather Directed Bank Tied to Man Who Funded Hitler

      President [George W] Bush’s grandfather was a director of a bank seized by the federal government because of its ties to a German industrialist who helped bankroll Adolf Hitler’s rise to power, government documents show.

      Prescott Bush… was one of seven directors of Union Banking Corp. (search), a New York investment bank owned by a bank controlled by the Thyssen family, according to recently declassified National Archives documents reviewed by The Associated Press.

      Fritz Thyssen … was an early financial supporter of Hitler, whose Nazi party Thyssen believed was preferable to communism. The documents do not show any evidence Bush directly aided that effort. His position with Union Banking never was a political issue for Bush, who was elected to the Senate from Connecticut in 1952.

      Reports of Bush’s involvement with the seized bank have been circulating on the Internet for years and have been reported by some mainstream media. The newly declassified documents provide additional details about the Union Banking-Thyssen connection.

      Trent Duffy, a spokesman for President Bush, declined to comment.

      Union Banking was owned by a Dutch bank, Bank voor Handel en Scheepvaardt N.V., which was “closely affiliated” with the German conglomerate United Steel Works, according to an Oct. 5, 1942, report from the federal Office of Alien Property Custodian. The Dutch bank and the steel firm were part of the business and financial empire of Thyssen and his brother, Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza, the report said.

      The 4,000 Union Banking shares owned by the Dutch bank were registered in the names of the seven U.S. directors, according a document signed by Homer Jones, chief of the division of investigation and research of the Office of Alien Property Custodian, a World War II-era agency that no longer exists.

      E. Roland Harriman, the bank chairman and brother of former New York Gov. W. Averell Harriman (search), held 3,991 shares. Bush had one share.

      Both Harrimans and Bush were partners in the New York investment firm of Brown Brothers, Harriman and Co., which handled the financial transactions of the bank as well as other financial dealings with several other companies linked to Bank voor Handel that were confiscated by the U.S. government during World War II.

      Union Banking was seized by the government in October 1942 under the Trading with the Enemy Act (search).

      No charges were brought against Union Banking’s American directors. The federal government was too busy trying to fight the war, said Donald Goldstein, a professor of public and international affairs at the University of Pittsburgh.

      “We did not have the resources to do these things,” Goldstein said.

      Fritz Thyssen broke with the Nazis in 1938 over their persecution of Catholics and Jews, and fled to Switzerland. He later was arrested and spent 1941 to 1945 in a Nazi prison. His brother lived in Switzerland from 1932 to 1947 but continued to operate businesses in Germany.

  44. Patient Observer says:

    Believe it or not, he is the best of the bunch:
    http://news.yahoo.com/trump-hillary-clinton-created-isis-014337111.html?nf=1
    Sometimes, I think he has a marketing genius and other times simply loopy. One thing for certain, he is a moving target that confounds the MSM and their owners,

    He is calling out the Washington elite and a lot of ordinary people are listening.

    • yalensis says:

      Trump is like a bull in a china shop, some of what he says is B.S., but at other times he makes uncannily accurate statements. For example, his accusation that Hillary/Obama created Isis is right on the mark. I don’t know if Trump has access to secret behind-the-scenes info, or if this is just inspired guesswork on his part. Or, he just knows what all the rest of us know.

      For her part, Hillary responds in typical Liberal fashion:
      First with that old chestnut about anti-Muslim statements and hurt feelings leading to Isis.
      Which is bullshit. Reading something in the paper, people might get hurt feelings.
      People with hurt feelings do not organize a multi-billion-dollar terrorist army.
      Only people like Hillary/Obama and the CIA have the resources to do that.
      And their feelings were never hurt, because they never had feelings!

      Secondly, Hillary is suddenly a delicate little victim, who accuses Trump of sexism.
      Sure, Trump is a sexist, so what? Hillary ain’t no trembling abused and beset upon Fantine from Les Miserables.

      • Patient Observer says:

        Trump does seem to shoot form the hip and sometimes hits the target.

        I wonder if he knew something was odd about Hillary’s “bathroom” breaks during the debates. Hillary appears to be a sadist; perhaps she needs to release “tension” in a psycho way and Trump, being the outsider, did not feel compelled to look the other way.

        The foregoing is partially based on the premise that people who can, with apparent glee, seek the death of thousands of innocent men, women and children (suitably disguised as a humanitarian act) perform horrendous/disgusting acts in private. In fact, it would be expected.

        • yalensis says:

          Or, Hillary could just be a 68-year-old woman with a weak bladder.
          Trump himself is 69, most likely he suffers from prostate problems.
          In a well-mannered society, people would not discuss other people’s bathroom habits in public.
          It is a sign of the utter degeneration of American society, that all commentary is literally in the toilet.
          What next? Feces-slinging contests instead of political debates?
          Are we already living on the Planet of the Apes?

  45. Patient Observer says:

    Here is a rare example of a captain that does not buy the farm after his vessel hits something. In this case, a US nuclear sub collides with a seamount resulting in death and serious damage:

    http://www.spacedaily.com/news/submarine-05a.html

    “Typically, a vessel’s commander is held responsible for such mishaps, but the official said that might not be the result here if an investigation concludes that it was an uncharted sea mountain and the skipper’s judgments were sound.”

    It seems hard to believe that there is an uncharted seamount. It makes one wonder if this is a cover story for a serious failure in man or equipment which can not be admitted for the pride of the US nuclear navy.

    If it were a Russian sub, the obvious causes would be vodka and incompetence combined with a mutiny.

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