On the Art of Noticing the Obvious, and Invisible People

Uncle Volodya says, "There is a noticeable element of the pathological in some current leftist critiques, which I tend to attribute to feelings of guilt allied to feelings of impotence. Not an attractive combination, because it results in self-hatred.”

Uncle Volodya says, “There is a noticeable element of the pathological in some current leftist critiques, which I tend to attribute to feelings of guilt allied to feelings of impotence. Not an attractive combination, because it results in self-hatred.”

One  principal advantage this blog enjoys over many other Russia-focused blogs in English is the participation of some ethnic-Russian and extremely competent speakers of English, some of whom still live in Russia. We are therefore offered direct access to at least some opinion which comes from the country which is our focus of interest, rather than being told what Russians think by English-speaking journalists such as Shaun Walker, Roland Oliphant, Edward Lucas and thoroughly-westernized Russian émigrés like Julia Ioffe and Leonid Bershidsky. The importance of that unfiltered opinion cannot be exaggerated, because the foregoing journalists and émigrés frequently sample only the opinions of groups likely to provide the soundbites they are looking for, or simply make them up. This offers the comforting – for some – picture that there is widespread discontent within Russia of the current government, wages have remained stagnant for decades and Russians envy and covet western freedoms, which we must acknowledge is a popular narrative in the Anglosphere. Our only opportunity to rebut it comes from passionate Russians who can express themselves competently in English, and substantiate, flesh out and bring to life the alternative reality we know exists.

This, of course, is leading into another post from the erudite native Muscovite we know as Lyttenburgh. I am delighted to be able to offer it here. Lyttenburgh, it’s all yours.

Prologue:

Prince Andrew was somewhat refreshed by having ridden off the dusty highroad along which the troops were moving. But not far from Bald Hills he again came out on the road and overtook his regiment at its halting place by the dam of a small pond. It was past one o’clock. The sun, a red ball through the dust, burned and scorched his back intolerably through his black coat. The dust always hung motionless above the buzz of talk that came from the resting troops. There was no wind. As he crossed the dam Prince Andrew smelled the ooze and freshness of the pond. He longed to get into that water, however dirty it might be, and he glanced round at the pool from whence came sounds of shrieks and laughter. The small, muddy, green pond had risen visibly more than a foot, flooding the dam, because it was full of the naked white bodies of soldiers with brick-red hands, necks, and faces, who were splashing about in it. All this naked white human flesh, laughing and shrieking, floundered about in that dirty pool like carp stuffed into a watering can, and the suggestion of merriment in that floundering mass rendered it specially pathetic.

[…]

“Flesh, bodies, cannon fodder!” he thought, and he looked at his own naked body and shuddered, not from cold but from a sense of disgust and horror he did not himself understand, aroused by the sight of that immense number of bodies splashing about in the dirty pond.

– L. Tolstoy, “War and Peace”, volume 3, Book 10, Chapter V.

Part I.

I was “triggered” into writing this article by two factors. First – by a somewhat “popular” in narrow circles writer, Lyudmila Ulitskaya (a regular of “intelligentsia gatherings” organized by Mikhail Khodorkovskiy) who just recently compared Russians to “filthy, sick savages”. Not something out of the ordinary, really – sadly, this is just another example of the self-proclaimed members of the “Nation’s Conscience” passing judgment on the rest of the people, who might (o, horror!) disagree with them and their foreign sponsors.

Another came from a rather unusual source. As you all probably know, the “Kadyrov Scandal”, started when the President of the Chechen Republic of the Russian Federation called non-systemic oppositionists “traitors” and “enemies of the people” and called for them to be investigated and, if needed, prosecuted in accordance with Russian Law. The scandal is not abating in Russia and now even the Foreign Democratic And Independent press began noticing it. And so we have many different pieces from across the Civilized World, all of them professing their love for the so-called “Russian liberals”, “true opposition”, “civil society” and a burning hatred for the “wrong” Chechen Kadyrov (as opposed to the “good ” Chechens, whose actions they supported in the 90s and 00s). This article on a British government funded BBC Russia site is typical. Its author – Artyom Krechetnikov – is a fine example of sad and failed dissident and émigré, who just physically can’t write a good thing about his former country of birth.

Quite predictably, our Artyom is highly critical of Kadyrov’s comparisons of the non-systemic opposition to the enemies of the people. He even decided to write a little “historical essay” devoted to that question – starting with the Great French Revolution and ending with Mao’s China. He makes all possible mistakes one can expect from a rabid Russophobe and anti-Sovietist (which, all too often, means the same thing). Say, while admitting that the Committee on the National Safety executed via “Mme Guillotine” only 18,613 people, he immediately references 1935 “studies” of the American historian Donald Greer, who, somehow, managed to increase this number to 40,000. The same way he acts while talking about the “Great Terror” in the Soviet Union. He claims that in the period of 1921-1953,  3, 777, 380 people were persecuted by “political” charges (read: “they were completely innocent from our absolutely superior liberal POV”) and that 799,445 of them were executed. On the one hand – that’s kinda-sorta  progress compared to Beevor-SoLZHEnytsin’s “millions of innocents shot for nothing in the span of a few years” concept; but, still, a gross exaggeration and a shameless lie. First of all he conflates in his “persecuted” claim in the form of a number of people close to 4 million. Both those who were just charged with various political (but very real) crimes and then released, and those who were sentenced to prison time or executed. Next, for an uninformed reader a number of 799,455 looks big, scary and (because it’s uneven) legit. But it’s actually a number of death warrants issued – not the number of the actual executions carried out in the USSR for this sort of crime in the period of more than 30 years. The actual number is lower – about 680,000. Which is, kinda-sorta, less scary and also, by its mere fact of existence, proves that some people (a whopping 120,000 of them) got pardoned or successfully pleaded their cause before the ghoulish, baby-eating Stalinist government. But we don’t want any ideological ambiguity, do we? Even then, possessing basic skills of math, some primitive solar-panel calculator and access to reliable and relevant statistical data will lead any would be “demolisher of Stalinism” to rather disheartening conclusion – that bloody mustachioed vampire managed to repress for political reasons about 2.7-3% of the entire population. Boo-fricking-hoo.

But what does our dear Krechetnikov do next? Oh, that’s a real gem! Here is his main reason for opposing Kadyrov and his “attacks” on the shy and conscientious democratic opposition in Russia, whom he dares to call “the enemies of the people”:

“In fact, the term is meaningless because there is no national-superpersonality, able to want something or do not want it, to love or hate someone. There are many people who have different interests, opinions, and, accordingly, friends and enemies”.

That’s it, people! That was my own “Bingo!” moment, when I finally got it all about the real issue of this “Kadyrov’s scandal”, but most importantly, I’ve ‘groked’ the essence of the modern international so-called Liberalism and its faithful servants in Russian. Let me explain it.

Part II

It is considered to be a mauvais ton, a taboo even to talk about ‘the people’ or the ‘working class’ in the Western Respectable Media and Academia. Big Scary No-No. Why? Well, because if you are talking about the ‘people’ then you will inevitably go Patriotism=>Nationalism=>Nazism road. And were you ever to raise a question about the ‘working class’, then, surely you will next arrive at Socialism=>Stalinism=>gulags. That’s a Well Known Fact . And no use to argue against the Free and Independent Opinion, you Commie-Nazi Freak!

What does it mean? Well, it means that any given country of the Progressive And Culturally Superior West™ is ruled by this or that iteration of a filthy rich elite brought up to power by this or that iteration of the local Bourgeoisie Revolution – with the motto “Fuck the Poor!” engraved on every single decision of this self-perpetuation oligarchy draped in the, ha-ha, republican robes. Then there is a small – but very, very noisy, so they appear larger than they actually are – strata of the “intellectuals”, high-priests in the temples of the long-dead gods of Freedom, Liberty and Equality, who fancy themselves as the one and only true keepers of the Democratic Legacy, of the Quintessence of what their particular “Nation” is all about – but screw the history and traditions if we feel the other way on Tuesday. The fact that both of these“ruling classes” comprise (combined) perhaps less than 10% of the entire population doesn’t discourage them at all in their perceived view of the world at large – naturally, with them at the top.

So, who are the rest of the people? Pfft, what a silly question! They do not exist. At all. Why are you looking so surprised at me? Didn’t the good Sir Krechentikov just say that ‘the people’ do not exist? There you go! Move along – nothing to see here. What you have for the 90% of the population instead of the “people” or even the “working class” are what good pro-democracy (and – as any idiot in the Net will tell you – pro-gay) Greeks referred as “walking and talking tools”. And tools, as we know, usually are dumb, mono-tasked and easily replaceable. By other tools, no matter what their country of origin or the reasons of becoming “tools” in the first place. Ultimately, to the “ruling classes” they are all the same.

So, when the so-called ‘Russian liberals’ are decrying ‘their’ own people and wish it to be replaced entirely one way or another – they are actually voicing in their naive neophyte way what their much more experienced masters and colleagues from across the “Civilized World” have been keeping in mind for a long, long time.

Naturally, it’s a little wonder that the “nonexistent people” (according to the liberal l‘Internationale) have no “enemies” wishing to harm them or to screw them over. And because about 90% of these “non-people” are basically not even  cognizant citizens who can take responsible actions on their own – its only in their best interests if some much more educated, handshakeable (albeit – miniscule) group of the “full-rights citizens” will decide what’s better for them and, ugh, the “nation”. And to hell with these “elections” – cattle know not how to vote properly anyway!

Don’t believe me? I remind you, that thoroughly-beloved-by-the-West Russian journalist Yulia Latynina argued against allowing poor people to vote. Plus, this Russian Ayn Rand-wannabe also denies global warming. She insists that only when the “proper” Russia will “cut-away” the Far East, Siberia and North Caucasus will we “start living like human beings” To no one’s surprise, she’s a great fan of Pinochet’s Chile and Lee Kwan-Yew’s Singapore.

Another rather descriptive example: Garry Kasparov, touted by the Free Press as yet another “leader of the Russian opposition”, now living in a self-imposed (and very comfortable) exile in the West, who recently “erupted” with a program of actions for the Liberal Opposition when (not if – when!) they capture the power from the Regime.  A breathtaking read, I must say. He calls for the “purification” (that’s not totalitarian purges, no – it’s democratic “purification”!) of the society, because “the society will have to pay for everything – for the support of Putin, for Georgia, for Crimea and for Donbass” – just like Germany and Japan had to pay after 1945. He, jumping from here, calls for a “historical Nuremberg”, with real “judicial process punishing the architects of the current regime”. And elections, democracy and all that jazz? Oh, no – it’s impossible. No elections after the destruction of the Evil Regime – the people are too brainwashed, could be easily swayed and, Freedom forbid, might not vote for the Good Guys. Dictatorship of the Warriors of the Light (now with Filtration Camps of  Freedom) are the only true way.

And now read anything from a bunch of other articles about “poor, isolated Russia” from our usual suspects belonging to the Free And Independent Western Media and you’ll notice the trend – not a peep about what the Russian people really, really want. Sure, you will find here many ballsy claims about “Many in Russia suspect that Kadyrov [something-something-something-Dark Side]” – without any real proof about these mythical “many”. ‘Cause this particular ambiguously big “many” actually covers only a Barbie-seized crowd of shy and conscientious intilligents, democratic journalists, kreakls, hipsters and gays from the breadth of Russia. They are seen as the voice of Russia and the true Elite who is entitled to rule the country – not the 86% of unmentionable “others”.

See for yourself. There is no more vanilla anti-Russian pro-jingoistic neo-con paper in the American Olympus of the 4th Estate than the “Pravda on the Potomac” AKA “The Washington Post”. This time, they scare their readership shitless with this scaaaary tale:

Now, the attack dog seems to be unleashed. Mr. Kadyrov has written an article published in the daily Izvestia that pours scorn on the “nonsystemic opposition” to Mr. Putin and suggests it be punished. The term “systemic opposition” in Russia usually refers to the toadies and sycophants who support Mr. Putin. Mr. Kadyrov’s sights are on everyone else who criticizes the president — and he named names, including prominent opposition figure Alexei Navalny and journalists for Echo of Moscow radio and Dozhd television, both progressive outlets. In the article, Mr. Kadyrov declares that “there is a very good psychiatric hospital” in Chechnya where “we will not be stingy with injections” to these critics. “When they are prescribed one injection, we can give two.” He says the opposition is a “pack of jackals,” “bunch of traitors,” “Western lackeys,” “enemies of the people,” “haters of Russia,” people who are trying “to destroy our country and undermine its constitutional order.” Stalin would recognize the language. Mr. Kadyrov’s chief of staff drove the point home with a photo posted on social media of the Chechen leader holding back a massive Caucasian Shepherd dog named Tarzan, saying the beast’s “teeth itch.”

Well, what can one say? These fuckers are beyond redemption. Yes, I’m talking about WaPos Editorial Board – not the Chechens. Not only did Mr. Kadyrov avoid naming anyone whom this article claims he already wrote down into his “proscription lists” – the article fails to mention that, in both of his articles, Ramzan Achmadovitch didn’t call for extra-judicial punishment of the so-called “non-systemic opposition”. He called for them to be investigated in accordance with Russian law. Meanwhile, the very same Russian oppositionists who decry at every opportunity the brutality of Stalinist purges and the sordid fact that a lot of people indeed wrote anonymous reports to NKVD…wrote an anonymous report accusing the president of Chechnya of violating art. 282 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, i.e. “inflammation of national strife” (as if “non-systemic opposition” is in itself a nationality or ethnicity to be targeted specifically) and “the humiliation of dignity of a certain social group”. Some of them even went as far as to demand his resignation. But, understandably, the chances of such demarches are very slim – “traitors” and “the enemies of the people” are not a social group according to existing Russian legislation, as well as “non-systemic opposition”, so that people labeled such could not demand any kind of legal recognition or compensation. Besides, if the so-called Russian liberals are truly innocent before Russian law – why are they fretting so much at quite ordinary calls for an inquiry? C’mon, liberals are just a bunch of shy and conscientious blokes and shiksas, who only want to embrace sweet Freedom and Universal Western Values! And, really guys, no one is threatening Russia – claiming otherwise means endorsing Kremlinite propaganda! Right?

Wrong. Just last Saturday, on ultra-liberal pro-opposition radio “Ekho Moscvy” (hailed by the West as “one of the few remaining Free Media Sources in Russia”) site, an article by equally ultra-liberal and pro-opposition Andrey Piontkovskiy had been brought to the attention of urbi et orbi. And there was a good reason for that – in his article Piontkovskiy calls for the secession of Chechnya from Russia. In this article, among other things, the author claims that the continued presence of the Chechen republic within Russia threatens “a third Chechen war”, so stopping the “ticking clock of the Russian-Chechen disaster” is only possible through the provision of the full state of independence of the republic. Among other reasons why it is necessary to do so, Piontkovsky lists the murder of Boris Nemtsov and Anna Politkovskaya, and the story of the Krasnoyarsk deputy Senchenko, who was forced to make a “humiliating apology” to Ramzan Kadyrov for calling him “a disgrace of Russia”. According to the “journalist” (sorry for the word journalist here), the Chechen people are the “most difficult” of all the peoples of Russia and they don’t want “to transform from the Germans into the Jews of the Third Reich.”

Later that part was cut from the article, but only after a huge (and I mean – HUGE!) wave of angry responses from both readers and from the people beyond the “comfort zone” of the “Ekho”. And, of course, ordinary users of RuNet proved themselves wily beasts by making lots of screenshots of that page pre-“purging”. Meanwhile, this whole fracas is more serious than it looks. According to art. 280, p.1 of the LC RF there is a real legal responsibility for public calls for action aimed at violating the territorial integrity of the Russian Federation. Part two of this article states that said actions are punishable by up to 5 years of imprisonment for such calls made with the use of the media. Also, not only the author, but the editorial board of the media source hosting such articles are equally responsible, and must answer before the law. That’s the current Russian legislation. And not knowing it does not absolve anyone from having committed a crime.

Andrei Piontkovsky is a “Russian journalist” (once again – sorry for the word “journalist”), a researcher at the Institute for Systemic Analysis, a member of the International PEN Club. In 2012 he was elected to the Coordinating Council of the Opposition. In 2014 Piontkovsky signed a statement demanding the withdrawal of Russian troops from the territory of the Ukraine and an end to “the annexation of Crimea”. Such a paragon of handshakeability is just a rank’n’file “non-systemic opposition” figure – a very typical representative indeed, but not on par with some of the more notorious ones.

I think the whole world must be reminded about other “achievements” of the so-called “Russian liberal opposition”. In 1994 they went to Dudayev’s stronghold in separatist Chechnya and, while there, used the radio relay to call for Russian soldiers to commit an act of treason and surrender to the militants. Among them, human rights activist Sergey Kovalyov, who swore that no harm will come to all who will surrender immediately – they will even be transported back to their military bases. The lucky ones of those naive soldiers who raised up their arms and surrendered entered into years-long slavery. The less lucky were brutally tortured and mutilated, and then – killed.

And, yes – these are the people hailed as true heroes by the Western Press, NGOs and Governments (which, as Everybody Knows, are totally not interconnected between themselves). Should such persons be investigated in accordance with Russian law and do they really deserve the term “enemies of the people”? Well, the collective West thinks “No!”. Russians have a diametrically opposite opinion – but who cares, as long as the Western Enlightened Populace’s opinion is formed by the rabid Russophobic spin-doctors from the WaPo and their ilk? Hell, even the best of them in the professional circle of the “Russia-watchers” (read: as ethical and loyal as 17th century German mercenaries) are no better and can’t even bring themselves to say one simple phrase – “Russian People”. But they, unwittingly, provide a useful insight into other interesting tidbits of this ugly elitist worldview.

Editor’s Note: We’re only halfway through this thing, gang, so I have decided to break it in two so that it will not be too long.  We’ll give this first installment a week or so of exposure, and then follow with the conclusion. I have to say I like it so far!

This entry was posted in Alexei Navalny, Boris Nemtsov, Caucasus, Corruption, Government, Khodorkovsky, Law and Order, Politics, Vladimir Putin, Yulya Latynina and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1,112 Responses to On the Art of Noticing the Obvious, and Invisible People

  1. Lyttenburgh says:

    Hey, karl! Why should I do your job for you? You Finns are already bitching ’bout mirgrants that gonna “turk our jerbs”!

    News from sunny Finland – Nordiks powerhouse.

    “Finland has lost its way on several issues”

    “Finns have been drawn into a struggle to re-define their national identity while the country is preparing to commemorate the centennial of its independence in 2017, gauges Markku Kangaspuro, the director of research at the Aleksanteri Institute”

    Aleksanteri Insitute? LIke, after czar Alexander I?! Perkele! How dare you not to change the name of Helsinki’s primary Instiute studying Russia to something less Russian?! Your new Ukrainian friends won’t tolerate such zrada!

    “Kangaspuro identifies two distinct discourses in the public debate that seek to re-define Finnishness. “One mainstream option is what I’d label a school of Social Darwinism, that we should widen the income gap. We can no longer afford the Nordic [welfare] society and have to give it up. The universal rights of the welfare state no longer belong to everyone, nor is it the obligation of the country to offer them,” he analyses.

    Another discourse to emerge from the rumbling debate about immigration is to deny the equality of people and place them on an unequal footing based on their religion or country of origin.

    “Economic arguments are one way to justify this. We can no longer afford to treat everyone equally because the economy is in dire straits, our citizens and the welfare system are in danger, and we’re pouring money into Greece. It’s quite harsh,” says Kangaspuro.

    […]

    “We’re no longer a country that exports high technology with Nokia, the forest industry and metals industry as the bedrocks of our economy. We’re mired in recession. We wanted to believe the euro would create economic stability. We’ve characteristically wanted to be at the core of Europe, a member of the eurozone, more European than the Europeans,” he explains.

    “What I mean by social crisis are the record-long lines for food aid meandering across Helsinki, the increase in deprivation and poverty. It’s true in this respect that the welfare state is crumbling […]. We’re no longer debating what kind of social reforms to implement but where to cut spending,” he continues.

    As the debate rumbles on, another one is brewing about the position of Finland in Europe and the European Union, according to Kangaspuro. Finland set its sights on the core of Europe in the late 1990s and later on the eurozone, but recently the rationale behind the pursuit has been called into question.

    Kangaspuro estimates that the failure to deliver on economic promises has made it possible to challenge the European concepts of democracy and human rights.”

    So sad. Much pain… That’s why you are “coping” with that by shit-posting about Russia, karl?

    • Moscow Exile says:

      The institute might have been named after Aleksander Nevsy, who banjaxed the Swedes (allegedly) by the Neva, which, no doubt, would have pleased the Finns because at about the same time the Swedes were giving them a hard time turning them into Christians during the Northern Crusades.

      That’s only my theory ….

      • No, it was named after the Czar Alexander II who gave Finland a lot of privileges such as Finnish own currency (Finnish mark) and practically let the Finnish senate to run the country as it was an independent state. Finns did not have to serve in the Russian army and Finland was also entitled to tariff Russian goods that entered Finland (but Finnish goods that were transported to Russia were not under any tariffs).

        Finland was a grand duchy within Russia but practically an independent state with great privileges. Many could say that Finland was parasite within the Russian empire: it sucked wealth out of Russia without giving anything in return.

        Nikolai II tried to reverse this and bring Finland back to “core of Russian empire” but his policies were resisted hard by the Finns. General governor of Finland Nikolai Bobrikov was murdered by the Finnish nationalists in 1905.

        Finnish nationalists got lucky that Nikolai II was a fool who entered an unwinnable war in 1914. It weakened Russia and eventually enabled Lenin and Trotsky to seize the power. Finnish nationalists allied themselves with the Germans during the First World War and a weak Russian state was unable to do anything about it during the war time.

        Finland declared itself independent in 1917 and Lenin’s government immediately recognized Finnish independence. It was followed by the Finnish civil war where the Finnish “Whites” cleansed the country from every leftist (“Red”) or Russian influence. Thousands of Russian soldiers who were stationed in Finland were disarmed and they just “disappeared”. They never returned Russia. The Finnish nationalists most likely executed them and buried them to mass graves. There was also a great terror against Russian civilians in an eastern city of Vyborg (which now belongs to Russia) where the Finnish Whites executed more than 500 Russian civilians including women and children.

        By 1919 Finland was “cleansed” from Red/Russian influence and the Finnish nationalists tried to seize more land for Finland from eastern Karelia, but they were not successful as the Bolsheviks were able to defend them. Many Finnish Reds who defected to Soviet Union actually fought against the Finnish Whites in Russian Karelia. Most of the Finnish Reds (and their adult children) were later killed in Stalin’s purges.

        Without Alexander II Finland would most likely not have separated from Russia in 1917. This is why he is respected in Finland, although Russia as a country is extremely hated here.

        • One more thing. As odd as it sounds, Russian language was never compulsory in Finnish schools even when Finland was a part of Russia for more than 100 years. The grand duchy of Finland had only two languages: Swedish (used by the elite) and Finnish.

          • marknesop says:

            I’d have to say that ‘odd’ is a pretty good descriptive word for that situation, as less than 5 million people in the world speak Finnish, while Russian is approximately the eighth-most-widely-spoken language. I guess I knew that Mandarin would be in the top spot, but I didn’t envision the ratio – it blows the doors off English, almost three times as many people speak Mandarin as English. Anyway, perhaps that’s why Finland feels such an affinity for Ukraine.

          • Warren says:

            Are Finns grateful at being conquered, colonised and Christianised by Sweden? I get the impression that they do. Does Finland see Sweden as its big brother? A country that it seeks to emulate, compete against and compare itself with?

            What does the average Finn think of Estonia and Estonians? And Finno-Urgic peoples of the Russian Federation such as Karelians, Mordvins, Udmurts, Vepsians, etc? Do Finns considered the Finno-Urgic people of the Russian Federation captive nations?

            • Moscow Exile says:

              I know what Swedes think, by and large, of Finns: that they are dickheads.

              I lived in Sweden for a spell in Småland province and I got the impression that many Swedes think of Finns much as do many British think of the Irish: bog trotters; dull, rural shit-kickers who are the butt of jokes concerning their naivety and peasant craftiness. (Of course, the Irish are not like that at all. One of my grandmothers was Irish.)

              Russians make fun of Chukchi — natives of Chukotka in the Far East: Russian “Eskimos” — in the same way, about whom they make jokes as regards their incredible stupidity.


              I’ve got a spare wheel, however …

              • Moscow Exile says:

                That cartoon above is clipped for some reason.

                The Chukchi is on a dog sled, of course: there’s a team of dogs that has been clipped off.

              • Warren says:

                The Irish analogy I think is a good one. The Swedes had conquered, civilised and ruled the Finns for over 500 years.

                Had it not been for the Swedes, the Finns may have been conquered by the Russians!

                The Swedes see the Baltic littoral as their as their sphere of influence. Swedish banks dominate the Latvian and Estonian financial sector. Sweden’s hostility towards Russia stems from the fact that it is competing with Russia over territories it lost in the Great Northern War 1700-21.

              • Alexey says:

                Funny thing about Chukchi is that they were actually very hard and warlike people. It took about 150 years to finally pacify them. As a result of those wars (small scale off course) Russia now has Chukotka and Russians are the only people beside Chukchi themselves who are called human in their language.

            • I doubt many Finns really care about Finnish hardship under Swedish crown anymore. Those days are long gone. The worst period was the 1600’s when around half of the Finnish male population were killed in Sweden’s wars and late in that century (1695-1697) there was a great famine that killed around third of Finnish population.

              The 1700’s was a far better century for Finland that saw great economic and population growth. Many Finns also think that the fact that Finland got it’s religion (Lutheran Christianity) and way of governance from Sweden enabled Finland to become a western country.

              So I think that most Finns think that Finland benefited more than lost from Sweden. Although most Finns probably oppose the learning of Swedish language that amazingly is still compulsory in our school system.

              Most Finns regard Sweden as a “friendly neighbor” with a little bit of envy, but nothing like the hatred/contempt that is felt towards Russia. Sweden has always been wealthier than Finland. Sweden has always had things a little better than Finland. This is the reason for the envy and also the reason for Finland trying to emulate Sweden in just about anything. Sweden is seen as a model country here.

              There is also a sizable ethnic Swedish minority in Finland and Swedish Folk Party is practically always in the Finnish government (the current government is the first in more than 30 years where they are in the opposition).

              Estonians are seen a bit differently. If Swedes are our big brothers then Estonians are our little brothers. Their language is almost like ours. Finns have some kind of a “protective” attitude towards Estonia, as a big brother has a protective attitude towards his little brother. But not all like Estonians, as there are a lot of them living in Finland and they tend to do more crime than the Finnish population in average, and they bring down the wages in construction and other dirty/cheap work.

              As for those Finnougric people living in Russia, I doubt many care about them much. Most of them live in the Urals or even Siberia, far and far away. They speak a similar language than Finland, but often they don’t look like Finns at all and have a completely different culture from Finland. There are some people in Finland who are interested in them, and some radicals who want them to gain independence, but the number of these people is insignificant. Probably most of the Finns consider Maris or Udmurts as Russians and care little for them. Completely different story from Estonians.

              As for attitude towards Russia, a big part why Russia is looked down upon by many Finns is that Russia has always been poorer than Finland. Russia was poorer than Finland when Finland was part of the Russian empire. Russia was poorer than Finland in the Soviet times. And Russia is poorer than Finland now. The best way for Russia to garner more respect is to become a wealthier country.

              • marknesop says:

                And the quickest way to become a wealthier country would be to plunder someone else’s country. Do you imagine your lodestar, the United States, got to be as rich as it is solely through honest commerce and the sweat of its brow? Maybe Russia should squash Finland and seize its wealth – then it would be a (marginally) wealthier country, Finns would be destitute, and they would respect Russia! Show me a loser in that situation, by God; it looks all win/win from here!

                How is Russia poorer than Finland? Let’s say there’s a luxury car that costs $500 Billion, and you have a year in which to raise the money. Both Finland and Russia want it. Which one has the money to buy it? The one with the $1.8 Trillion economy, or the one with the $272.2 Billion economy?

              • Patient Observer says:

                “The best way for Russia to garner more respect is to become a wealthier country.” says Karl. Money is one way, you can always buy “respect” like you can buy a hooker.

                Here is a homework assignment, Karl: What other ways can a country gain respect?

                • marknesop says:

                  Why, by crushing other countries nearby and subjugating their terrified populations! Look out, Finland!! After Putin squashes the Baltics, you’re next! Unless Lithuania’s Air Force stops him cold with its fighter. Singular. Never mind; perhaps its president will eat him. She looks like she could do it, if he were so foolish as to lead his rampaging legions dressed as a pork chop.

        • Cortes says:

          Yalensis at Awfulavalanche has shown how utterly ridiculous your assertion of a Finnish Declaration of Independence is.

            • yalensis says:

              Cortes is probably talking about this one. Bolsheviks signed off on Finnish Independence.

              Karl, can you give some sources or links for Finnish Reds being purged by Stalin?
              I totally believe this, it fits in with everything I know about Stalin purges, (Stalin really went medieval on Old Bolsheviks). I just am not familiar with this particular story, and would like to learn more.

              I am being sincere.

                • marknesop says:

                  And yet you constantly advocate for Russia to forget that global-citizen crap and get tough, and stand up for what it wants like a man-country. How would you feel about it if Russia was getting tough with Finland? Who wants to live next door to a bully? Who imagines the behavior could be selectively applied? Moscow knows better, and knows there would be people who approve of it throwing its weight around, and it wouldn’t be long before that’s all it was doing.

                • yalensis says:

                  Thanks, that’s something at least.
                  Although unfortunately I can’t read Finnish.

              • Alexey says:

                Stalin didn’t “go medieval” on anyone. At some point during 30s in-fight in Bolshevik hierarchy went off the track and became basically new Civil War. Stalin was actively participating and won, but Great Purge is not event choreographed by someone. It was top-down chaos and struggle for power and against personal enemies.

                Stalin’s purges are the one in Red Army and “Case of medics” in post war time. Don’t think many Finns were involved in those two.

                • yalensis says:

                  Thanks, Alexey, I think we are on the same page. I agree that “Great Purge” was a political civil war within Communist Party. Stalin faction won.
                  By “go medieval” I implied (in a jokey manner) that Stalin thus (by 1936-38) acquired much more personal power than he had before. Politburo and even Central Committee were mostly turned into rubber stamps for Stalin and his inner circle. “Independent judiciary” still existed for purely criminal and mundane cases; but judiciary became highly politicized for political cases, as is demonstrated by the show trials against Old Bolsheviks and civil servants such as Tukhachevsky and Yagoda.
                  This is why I was curious about Karl’s allegation of the purge of Finnish Communists. I hadn’t read about this before, and It sounds more than plausible; but again, I can’t read Finnish. If Karl was helpful, he would provide a translation or at least a summary. But yeah, I think we all “get it” by now, that he’s not here to be helpful.

    • Jen says:

      ‘ … “We’re no longer a country that exports high technology with Nokia, the forest industry and metals industry as the bedrocks of our economy …’

      Weren’t a lot of those trees used in the Finnish forest industry over the years actually from Russian (and previously Soviet) Karelia … and some of them obtained illegally?

      http://www.themoscowtimes.com/sitemap/free/1997/8/article/report-paints-dismal-picture-of-karelia-forestry/303190.html

      • Yeah, Finnish forestry industry used Russian wood/trees a lot and still does. The reason is that it is cheaper than buying it from Finnish forest owners.

        And often the Russian wood was gotten illegally. Finnish companies used to bribe Russian officials. I don’t know if that happens anymore, but it used to be pretty common 5-10 years ago.

  2. Warren says:

    • Cortes says:

      Judging from online profile, my guess is the Castilian for kreakl = enchufado/a

    • marknesop says:

      I don’t see any equivalency here, although I don’t know what they were chanting, but unless they used deliberately obscene language like ‘The Lord’s shit’ and ‘bitches’ it doesn’t seem as bad as Pussy Riot’s ‘performance’, at least from that standpoint. They seemed to be genuinely objecting to something on more or less religious grounds rather than trying to stage an ‘art performance’ for political reasons, as well, and the separation of church and state was Pussy Riot’s grounds only in the thinnest sense, as it was more Putin they objected to than an alleged religious endorsement of him – would they have protested with the same fervor if the Patriarch had appeared to have endorsed Kasparov or Kasyanov? The Spanish girl only exposed her torso and you did not see her bare breasts (more’s the pity; she appeared to have quite an impressive rack), which is not quite the same thing as doing high kicks while wearing no panties, on the altar.

      I have no problem seeing it as an objectionable act, as the protesters were plainly unwelcome and people of a certain faith have a right to expect privacy and respect for the sanctity of a chapel. And saying you did not mean to offend anyone is frankly a pretty stupid defense, of which everyone in the public service should know better than to avail themselves. A misdemeanor, but not really an outrage.

  3. Warren says:

    Biggest UK weapons stash revealed by Suffolk Police

    The UK’s biggest stash of illegal weapons has been revealed by police following the conviction of a firearms dealer.

    Anthony Buckland, 65, from Stoke Holy Cross, Norfolk, was found guilty of helping a parish council chairman amass the hoard.

    Police found 463 viable firearms at the home of another man, James Arnold, in Wyverstone, Suffolk, in April 2014. He died from cancer before going to court.

    Detective Supt Steve Mattin from Suffolk Police described the contents of the weapons haul found in James Arnold’s home, to the BBC’s Jo Black.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-35610680

    • marknesop says:

      Looks like a collection to me, and the stash of cartridges he showed the reporter were just empty casings. He probably was a reloader. I’m not suggesting the activity was not illegal, but it doesn’t look like he was a weapons conduit for terrorists or the like, not with a motley collection like that.

      • Warren says:

        The man was hoarder, a gun enthusiast. Mind you I wonder how and where was he able to purchase so many guns from? The UK’s gun laws are notoriously restrictive.

        • marknesop says:

          I imagine at least some of them were in private collections like his, only smaller. But it does beg the question of how he managed to move them from wherever he got them to his stash; the coppers have been wise to the old tommy-gun-in-the-violin-case trick since Capone.

        • Jen says:

          The BBC report says the fellow was getting his arms from a firearms dealer who’s recently been convicted so the dealer must have been breaking the law on who he can sell to and what he should have asked for when selling the weapons to that customer. Also the article doesn’t say much about the age of the weapons seized or what they were exactly. Some could have been weapons of historical interest still in good working order.

          From Wikipedia:
          ” … Following the Dunblane massacre, the government passed the Firearms (Amendment) Act 1997 and the Firearms (Amendment) (No. 2) Act 1997, banning private possession of handguns almost completely. Exceptions to the ban include muzzle-loading guns, pistols of historic interest (such as pistols used in notable crimes, rare prototypes, unusual serial numbers, guns forming part of a collection), guns used for starting sporting events, signal pistols, pistols that are of particular aesthetic interest (such as engraved or jewelled guns) and shot pistols for pest control. Under certain circumstances, individuals may be issued a PPW (Personal Protection Weapon) licence. Even the UK’s Olympic shooters fall under this ban; shooters can only train in Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, or abroad (in Switzerland, in practice) …”
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Firearms_policy_in_the_United_Kingdom#Firearm_licensing

  4. Moscow Exile says:

    Work this out if you can:

    Headline “European Truth – International security and Euro-integration”:

    НАТО поддержит Турцию, если она спровоцирует конфликт с РФ

    NATO will support Turkey if it provokes a conflict with the RF

    First paragraph to story:

    НАТО дал понять Турции, что она не сможет рассчитывать на поддержку со стороны Североатлантического альянса в случае, если спровоцирует вооруженный конфликт с Россией.

    NATO has made it clear to Turkey that it will not be able to count on the support of the alliance if it provokes an armed conflict with Russia.

    • Jen says:

      European Pravda relying on the fact that most readers only skim the news and will not read any further past the headlines.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        The UK Telegraph did exactly the same yesterday with a headline stating that Russian war planes had entered UK airspace. In the article, however, it stated that they did not enter, only that they were approaching such a sacrosanct area of fresh air.

    • marknesop says:

      Well, it seems like the two statements are identical, like. Except for one says summat completely different from the other. But otherwise identical, is what I mean to say.

      Seriously, I think they just accidentally left out ‘not’ in the first statement. Come on – who in their right mind wants war with the entire Russian military after seeing the effectiveness of a tiny part of it?

  5. Warren says:

  6. Warren says:

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Sorry, love! You’re 20 years too late.

      I got hitched in ’97.

      • Jen says:

        She only has to wait another couple of years for your son to turn 18 years of age.

        • Moscow Exile says:

          If I gave him my permission, he could wed her now. He’s 16 – 17 on July 31.
          He’s been to the local army draft place three times already. I’ve told him to do us and the Russian army a favour and bugger off to the UK and live with his aunt, my sister.

          He says he wants to go to the USA though. He can as well: no problem! He doesn’t need a visa to go there: I think he can stop in the USA for 2 years without a visa because he is British.

    • Drutten says:

      Did a double take on that one. This gal appears to look a lot like my woman did years ago. Not that she’s any less pretty now, but age and all that.

  7. Warren says:

  8. et Al says:

    Discovered entirely by accident:

    Of course, King George comes off he least ludicrous.

    • Lyttenburgh says:

      Saw it long time ago.

      Bah, Nicholas II was a smallish czar-trjapka. Instead we have here stereotypical portrayal of the “hulking bear-like” Russian.

      Nice rap, though.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        He’s more like Nicholas II’s dad, Aleksandr III, who thought his son was a waste of kit:

        That’s Tsaritsa Mariya Fyodorovna (christened Dagmar) alongside, King George V of England’s aunt, his Danish mother’s sister, hence:

        first cousins Nicholas and George.

        • et Al says:

          And now for a musical interlude:

          If only soul and funk had been invented much earlier. A funkoff rather than a world war would have been much better for everyone involved. I highly recommend that everyone get their funk on every now and then…

        • yalensis says:

          Identical cousins!
          I don’t know how anybody could tell them apart, not even their own mamas.
          It must have been extreme wackiness in those days.
          Nowadays it is all different, 62 families own all the wealth of the world, but they walk about with bags over their faces.

          • Moscow Exile says:

            Sad thing is, though, that cousin George, who always addressed Nicholas in correspondence as “dearest cousin Nicky”, left the tsar and his family in the lurch following the October Revolution.

            The British government offered the Romanovs asylum in Britain, but George, always mindful of the security of his throne, in a series of letters between Sandringham (a Royal Estate in Norfolk) and Downing Street, bombarded the Prime Minister, David Lloyd George, with demands that the invitation be revoked as the King feared “opposition to the Emperor and Empress coming here is so strong” that it would endanger his own peaceful existence.

            The king’s demands were duly obeyed.

            This was in the UK, remember, where the monarch only has a symbolic function: the UK that is a “constitutional monarchy” yet, strangely, has no codified constitution.

            Some say that the financiers of the European Great War, still in process in 1917 and at a crucial stage, opposed the presence of the “bloody tyrant” in the Entente camp, whose goals included the maintenance of “liberal democracy” in the “civilized world”. And at the same time, the almost bled white of resources British and French Empires were looking to the Great Republic for its help in defeating the Central Powers, which were by no means “liberal democracies”, in that they consisted of the Prussia dominated German Empire, the Hapsburg Austro-Hungarian Empire, and the Ottoman Empire.

            In 1919, however, H.M.S. Marlborough did pick up members of the Romanov clan at Yalta:


            A picture-postcard of HMS Marlborough, autographed by many of the Imperial passengers who came on board.

            See: Rescue of the Imperial family from Yalta 1919


            King George V (right) with his first cousin Tsar Nicholas II, Berlin, 1913.

            • Special_sauce says:

              Nice site. I was going through Nick 2’s diaries. What an oblivious boob!

              • Moscow Exile says:

                He was too!

                He and the tsaritsa used to communicate in English, he calling her “dearest wifey” and “dearest sunny”. “Wifey” was Princess Alix of Hesse, and as granddaughter to Queen-Empress Victoria, she too was related to King George V, the King-Emperor, namely they were first cousins.


                Taken in the year of Nicholas and Alix’s engagement.

                The last tsaritsa, Aleksandra Fyodorovna, is on her convoluted family tree also maternal great-aunt of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, consort of Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland and other places scattered around the globe. She is also first cousin twice removed to Queen Elizabeth II.

                Aleksandra Fyodorovna was also related to her husband through several interweaving lines of aristocratic intermarriage, the most notable of which being their shared great-grandmother, Princess Wilhelmina of Baden, mother of Alix’s paternal grandfather Louis III, Grand Duke of Hesse, and Nicholas’s paternal grandmother, Empress Maria Alexandrovna of Russia. This made the last tsar and his consort second cousins.

                Furthermore, King Frederick Wilhelm II of Prussia, was simultaneously the great-great-grandfather of the last tsaritsa and the great-great-great-grandfather of the last tsar, which in that line made the fated couple third cousins, once removed.

                And the Russian imperial family had the temerity to name itself “Romanov”!

                Bear in mind,Betty Windsor could just as well (at a push) be called Frau Glücksburg,

                🙂

  9. Warren says:

  10. Warren says:

    • Cortes says:

      Sizzling!

      Bringing home the bacon anyway.

      Yum!

    • yalensis says:

      Those children are not real sailors, and they are not fooling anybody.

    • marknesop says:

      Ha, ha!!! I love Edward Lucas, he’s so deliciously nutty!! And what a review! Fairly predictable, since he’s writing about Russians – Michael is ‘miserable and melancholic’, Peter ‘maniacally debauched’. Catherine is ‘regicidal and uxoricidal’, Alexander III is a ‘dismal failure’, and Nicholas II is ‘pathetic’. Oh, and Poland is ‘mighty’. Because it’s not Russia.

      Although Edward’s Winchesterian dialogue is mostly over our peasant heads, he always likes to include a spicy detail which hooks the lowest common denominator. That’s us. He writes, “A fortuitously placed wart on the penis of the “mad monk” Rasputin, whose scandalous behaviour and bad advice helped bring about the dynasty’s downfall, is cited as a possible reason for his success with aristocratic women.” Which inspired me to respond; “Scary coincidence. Your own success with the ladies is owed to a fortuitously-placed penis on a wart”.

      See you in the dunce’s corner.

      • Warren says:

        Yes, Lucas is entirely predictable. When it comes to all things Russia, he can’t help himself. He just has to disparage, smear and sneer. All Russia’s historical figures irrespective of whatever regime they lead or were part of are denigrated.

        Everything about Russia, Russians, present or past is wrong and must be critcised as far as Lucas is concerned.

      • Oddlots says:

        “Your own success with the ladies is owed to a fortuitously-placed penis on a wart”.

        Fucking beautiful. Mencken approved.

      • Cortes says:

        Wykehamist is the word applied to the alumni of Winchester College.

        As for a “well-placed” wart, hmmm, did old Rasputin stipulate with his Satanic master

        “No, Your Almighty Badness, a little further north, and right a little, that’ll be the making of me and my gals “?

        • marknesop says:

          Ha, ha!!! Thanks for the tip; I would never in a million years have gotten ‘Wykehamist’, it sounds like something from a Black Mass.

          I would imagine the size of the wart figured prominently in the discussion as well, it’s always about size, you know? More to the point, did you ever notice that Lucas frostily dismisses anything said about western countries or westerners which is not substantiated by a solid reference, yet is willing to entertain the silliest parlour gossip about Russia and Russians? Really, the suggestions about Rasputin and his corncob Johnson have never before seen the light of day, to the very best of my knowledge – and if penile warts, regardless where they are placed, are ever, ever an inducement to copulation on the part of the fairer sex then I’m Napoleon – but Lucas is ready to do the jazz-hands over his head and shout, “Lordy, I believe!!!” What an irredeemable dolt.

  11. Warren says:

    Piracy and Fraud Propelled the U.S. Industrial Revolution

    Although typically glossed over in high-school textbooks, as a young and newly industrializing nation the U.S. aggressively engaged in the kind of intellectual-property theft it now insists other countries prohibit.

    In other words, the U.S. government’s message to China and other nations today is “Do as I say, not as I did.”

    In its adolescent years, the U.S. was a hotbed of intellectual piracy and technology smuggling, particularly in the textile industry, acquiring both machines and skilled machinists in violation of British export and emigration laws. Only after it had become a mature industrial power did the country vigorously campaign for intellectual-property protection.

    The U.S. emerged from the Revolutionary War acutely aware of Europe’s technological superiority. It aspired to catch up and rapidly close the technology gap. The prevailing hope was that the acquisition of new industrial technologies from abroad would help solve the country’s chronic labor shortage and enhance its self-sufficiency and competitiveness.

    As the Pennsylvania Gazette put it in 1788: “Machines appear to be objects of immense consequence to this country.” It was therefore appropriate to “borrow of Europe their inventions.” “Borrow,” of course, really meant “steal,” since there was certainly no intention of giving the inventions back.

    HAMILTON’S MANIFESTO
    The most candid mission statement in this regard was Alexander Hamilton’s “Report on Manufactures,” submitted to Congress in December 1791. “To procure all such machines as are known in any part of Europe can only require a proper provision and due pains,” Hamilton wrote. “The knowledge of several of the most important of them is already possessed. The preparation of them here is, in most cases, practicable on nearly equal terms.”

    Notice that Hamilton wasn’t urging the development of indigenous inventions to compete with Europe but rather the direct procurement of European technologies through “proper provision and due pains” — meaning, breaking the laws of other countries. As the report acknowledged, most manufacturing nations “prohibit, under severe penalties, the exportation of implements and machines, which they have either invented or improved.” At least part of the “Report on Manufactures” can therefore be read as a manifesto calling for state-sponsored theft and smuggling.

    The first U.S. Patent Act encouraged this policy. Although the law safeguarded domestic inventors, it didn’t extend the same courtesy to foreign ones — they couldn’t obtain a U.S. patent on an invention they had previously patented in Europe. In practice, this meant one could steal a foreign invention, smuggle it to the U.S., and develop it for domestic commercial applications without fear of legal reprisal.

    The most important limitation to smuggling machines was that they were useless unless one knew how to use them. After all, they didn’t come with instructions. Thus, almost as important as the machines themselves were machinists from the British Isles who knew how to operate them. British emigration laws prohibited the departure of skilled machinists, but thousands still made the clandestine crossing to the U.S.

    REMARKABLE ESPIONAGE
    The most celebrated was Samuel Slater. Slater had worked his way up from a teenage apprentice to middle management at the Jedediah Strutt mills in Milford, England. Enticed by stories of opportunity and success in America, he pretended to be a non-skilled laborer and boarded a U.S.-bound ship in 1789. Leaving tools, machines, models and drawings behind, all he brought with him was his memory.

    Meanwhile, in Rhode Island, the industrialist Moses Brown was looking for someone to figure out how to use the spinning machines he had illicitly imported. Slater took on the job and moved to Pawtucket. Brown’s smuggled machines proved inoperable, but Slater was able to cannibalize them for parts and build his own. Soon, Slater-style mills were proliferating, and New England cloth manufacturing increased 50-fold from 1805 to 1815.

    But it was Boston businessman Francis Cabot Lowell who truly transformed New England textile manufacturing into an internationally competitive factory system. And he did so, in large part, by pulling off the most remarkable case of industrial espionage in American history.

    Lowell traveled to Britain in 1810 for an extended stay, allegedly for “health reasons.” The wealthy merchant wasn’t considered a rival by local manufacturers and therefore wasn’t treated with suspicion as he toured the Glasgow factories in the spring of 1811. Soon after, he visited other factories to obtain “all possible information” on cotton manufacturing “with a view to the introduction of the improved manufacture in the United States,” as his business partner later recounted.

    Lowell’s bags were searched before he returned to the U.S., but the British customs agents came up empty-handed. Lowell, who had majored in mathematics at Harvard University and had an exceptional memory, used his mind to smuggle out British industrial secrets.

    LOWELL’S TRANSFORMATION
    With the assistance of mechanical expert Paul Moody, Lowell reproduced and even improved on the original models. Backed by his newly formed Boston Manufacturing Co., he opened his first cotton mill in Waltham, Massachusetts, in 1813. It was the first in the country to bring together all phases of the textile-production process — from carding and spinning to weaving and dressing — under one roof.

    This all-in-one model was a transformative development in textile manufacturing, ultimately replacing the smaller family-run mill operations and making the American industry competitive with Britain for the first time. This new system also required much larger-scale investment — exemplified by the development of an entire mill town, appropriately named Lowell.

    England loosened its restrictions in phases from 1824 to 1843. The emigration bans, which cut against growing public support for freedom of movement, were lifted in 1824. While strict controls remained on the export of spinning and weaving machinery, a licensing system was implemented for other industrial equipment.

    Licensing, in turn, created opportunities for new forms of smuggling: An exporter could receive a license to ship one machine and use it as a cover to ship a different one — gambling that port inspectors would either not check beyond the paperwork or not be able to tell the difference. Apparently, this practice was sufficiently institutionalized that illicit exporters could even take out insurance to protect against the occasional seizure.

    British export controls were finally repealed in 1843 with the spread of free-trade ideology. By that time, the U.S. had established itself as one of the leading industrial economies in the world — thanks, in no small part, to the successful evasion of British emigration and export prohibitions.

    (Peter Andreas is a professor of political science and the interim director of the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University. This essay is adapted from his new book, “Smuggler Nation: How Illicit Trade Made America.” The opinions expressed are his own.)

    http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2013-02-01/piracy-and-fraud-propelled-the-u-s-industrial-revolution

    Germany and Japan engaged in intellectual property theft at the beginning of their industrial revolution. There are 2 wonderful chapters on that inconvenient history in Ha-Joon Chang’s book:

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Bad-Samaritans-Secrets-Nations-Prosperity/dp/1905211376

    • Patient Observer says:

      Japan still practices widespread piracy of IP on an organized and systemic scale. It seems like they do not have the confidence or cultural inclination to innovate but seem quite good at perfecting.

      • Jen says:

        I have read books and articles on Japanese history and culture and one thing that strikes me about Japan is how very deeply authoritarian the culture has been – from 1600 to 1868 the country was a total police state with most of its population denied contact with the outside world by the Tokugawa shogunate, who also regulated daily life to an extraordinary degree (all marriages among the upper classes had to be approved by the shogun and upward social mobility was banned) – and on another level how very child-like Japanese people are: completely open to outside influences bad and good alike, obsessed with fads and the latest gadgets, and keen on understanding their basic nature and principles, and perfecting those.

        The period of Tokugawa rule was paradoxical in its own way: to achieve and sustain peace over nearly 270 years is no small feat, especially in a country that had spent the previous 300 years before 1600 in constant fighting between its own elites and against the Mongols. In spite of Tokugawa micro-management of everyday life from the top level of society to the bottom, and the near-isolation (the only contact allowed was trade with the Dutch at Nagasaki in SW Japan, far from the main centres of population in eastern Japan), the top level and the middle class levels of society became wealthy and literate.

        The samurai class became public bureaucrats and several samurai also opened schools to teach peasant children to read and write. The Tokugawa requirement that feudal lords and their families spend several months each year in Edo (Tokyo) so the shoguns could keep an eye on them meant that peasant communities had to be self-governing while their lords were away and that required peasant leaders to be able to read and write well enough to know their communities’ tax obligations and work out how much tax to pay. At the same time, the aristocrats languishing in Edo because of the petty shogunate rules needed something to pass away the time, and reading books (and the publishing industry that boomed in Japan as a result) along with other entertainments helped them do that.

        By 1868 when the shogunate ended, Japan was one of the most literate nations in the world and the level of mass literacy achieved meant that when the Meiji government after 1868 embarked on the Westernisation project, it did so with amazing speed: because most Japanese were well read and open to new ideas, they didn’t need much persuading to adopt Western ideas and industrialisation. The government after 1868 was still obsessed with control though and took control of schools under a centralised education system designed along Prussian lines emphasising absolute obedience and loyalty, and punishing deviance and offbeat thinking which is necessary for creativity and innovation.

        • Jen says:

          This comments forum at Reddit.com dominated by TheWalrus5 is a minefield of information on literacy in Tokugawa Japan:
          https://www.reddit.com/r/AskHistorians/comments/27vf5f/literacy_rates_in_premodern_japan_why_was/

        • Patient Observer says:

          That helps me understand the interesting mentality of various Japanese that I have worked with. Many of the “country folk” were wonderful, open and generous. Other Japanese were arrogant and seemingly racist perhaps echoing the values of the upper crust of an earlier era.

          It was odd to me that the arrogant ones were also very subservient to their superiors in a way that was alien to an American. That is, in the US a well-run organization has a chain of command and the expectation that orders will be carried out. But, with these Japanese their very personalities were shaped to fit into that chain of command. If placed in a different position in the command structure, they would be lost.

          • Warren says:

            The relationships that exist in Japanese corporations are very paternal and anachronistic. Japanese corporations are run feudal lines, in which the CEO, Board of Directors and Executives are Lords and the employees are serfs that must be loyal and obedient at all time. This clash of cultures came to fore, when one of Japan’s biggest corporations Olympus, who manufacture camera and optic devices among other things appointed Liverpudlian Michael Woodford as the CEO. Woodford was the first foreign CEO of a major Japanese corporation. Woodford soon realised despite being nominally the CEO, he was limited to what he could do – the old Japanese CEO and his minions in the Board were the ones deciding company business and calling the shots. When Woodford discovered, that Olympus had being lying about its debts and bookkeeping, Woodford was ostracised and hounded out of the company.

            There is a wonderful BBC Storyville documentary on this. However, I can’t find any links showing the documentary.

            http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02kw89f/p02kw70w

            Woodford is interviewed on RT’s Capital Account

            • kirill says:

              TEPCO is another example of this feudal culture and the sort of incompetence it breeds. We have been misled by the coverage of Japan as some sort of techno “utopia” with super quality standards of production. If optimal decisions cannot be made because some hierarchy has to be accommodated, then Fukushima type disasters are inevitable.

              The key failure at Fukushima is that they copied and pasted the US layout for the GE plant without adapting to local conditions. The first thing they should have done is to move the vital backup generators to the hill right behind the plant instead of keeping them in a basement which could be easily flooded. The flooding resulted from nonsensical assumptions about the maximum tidal wave surge height. The sea barrier wall was about 7 m high based on very poor estimates of the risk. The sediment record shows periodic tidal wave surges much higher than 7 m. In all cases, it is likely that questions could not be asked by the serfs about the decisions and ideas of their lords.

              • Patient Observer says:

                There is safety in copying – no loss of face if something goes wrong. However, to be innovative and wrong means shame and ostracism – simply not worth the risk.

                • kirill says:

                  But it is perfectly normal for the lords to make horrible mistakes. This is why this feudal culture is perverse and self-defeating.

                • Patient Observer says:

                  Kirill, that is certainly true, Regardless of the horrendous consequences, it would never be called a mistake or some patsy/serf would take the fall (on the sword).

  12. Cortes says:

    Obviously Ted Heath was an RC priest who was even more devious than normal, sneaking beneath the ban on RCs becoming PM while sodomising for England…

    https://www.rt.com/uk/333005-sex-abuse-heath-investigation/

  13. Moscow Exile says:

    The first anniversary of the brutal murder of the then alleged foremost leader of the opposition and critic of the Dark Lord, Boris the Shagger Nemtsov, fast approaches!

    Steel yourself for the appearance of endless nauseous accolades for the playboy martyr from liberasts far and wide!

    Немцов мост.На смерть либерала.
    Nemtsov Bridge. On the death of a Liberal.

    В этот день я пройду по немцову мосту,
    On this day I am walking across the Nemtsov Bridge,

    Я сейчас упаду, слёз сдержать не могу!
    I shall fall over: I cannot hold back the tears!

    Друг МаКкейна и лучший Макфола комрад
    The friend of McCain and McFaul’s best comrade

    В этот день был убит ровно год как назад!
    Was killed exactly one year ago on this day

    Кто стоит за убийством, спрошу я у вас?
    Who was behind this murder, I ask you.

    Это стало понятно не первый уж раз!
    It clearly was not the first time!

    Он боролся с режимом и за это убит,
    He fought against the regime and was murdered because of that,

    И сегодня Борух наш под могилой лежит!
    And now our dear Boris is lying in his grave!

    Слёзы льются рекою, наливай же полней,
    A river of tears flows: let them pour fully,

    Мы порвём три баяна в память смерти твоей!
    In memory of your death we’ll hammer away on three accordions!

    Убоится преступный чекистский режим,
    The criminal Chekist regime is afraid

    Плохо будет для нас-за кордон убежим!
    It will be bad for us to flee the cordon!

    И оттуда как Герцен, мы будем писать:
    So as to from there, as did Herzen, write:

    Власть преступную срочно нам нужно свергать!
    It is urgently necessary for us that the criminal authorities be overthrown!

    20.02.2016

    Is the above doggerel serious or has it been written tongue in cheek in preparation for the 27th February?

    I think the latter.

    As regards the first photograph and the statement that he was McFaul’s comrade, it can be seen here, taken when he was at McFaul’s farewell do:

    Michael McFaul’s farewell party began with a minute’s silence

    Other regular US arse-lickers were also there as McFaul’s guests:

    • Lyttenburgh says:

      “Мы порвём три баяна в память смерти твоей!
      In memory of your death we’ll hammer away on three accordions!”

      Because it comes from Russian ideomatic expression “party/celebrate smth so hard and jolly that you managed to tear completly several boyans

      I for one plan to celebrate Boruh Niemcov’s anniversary of travelling into the Land of Eternal Democracy by listening to ВИА “The Паразиты” song: “Хоронили тёщу (порвала два бояна)” (“We burying mother-in-law (tore down 2 boyans)”)

    • Moscow Exile says:

      She above, “environmental activist” Chirikova, defender of the Khimki Forest, failed mayoral candidate for Khimki and general loudmouth, buggered off to Estonia ages ago because she could no longer tolerate living in this country. (They always venomously hiss: “this country!”)

      Yet she returned to Moscow to attend McFaul’s farewell party.

      If I were a Russian border guard, I would have heaved her off the train at Ivangorod, chucked her into the river and told her to swim back to Narva.

      If she had flown here, she should have been given an about turn order at immigration control.

      • kirill says:

        The problem is that the Yeltsin-imposed Russian constitution does not allow such legal sanction. It is impossible to revoke citizenship so they cannot legally stop her from going “home”. It is time to change the constitution to remove this provision. All 5th column dirtbags should be given one way tickets to “freedom”.

      • marknesop says:

        I imagine she is highly regarded in Estonia, where they are known to love and revere Russians.

      • Kulobi says:

        I hope Chirikova won’t feel lonely now that Andrei Piontkovskii has left Mordor http://www.rferl.org/content/russian-analyst-flees-fearing-prosecution/27562352.html
        Piontkovskii’s Russophobic manifesto, Unloved Country, was heartily endorsed by Mikhail Kasyanov when first published. I wonder whether he got his 2% from royalties – we’re talking about hundreds of roubles here.

        • marknesop says:

          And once again, his counsel is Mark Feigin, Attorney-at law to the Dissident Community! Is he the only lawyer in Russia who will take these cases? Because he seems to pop up with amazing regularity. I know few of the cases he represents ever go to court – often because the client ups sticks overnight and flees – but has he ever won anything?

    • marknesop says:

      Oh, dear; Borya was significantly taller Than McCain. I wonder if McCain feels humbled and envious because he is the shorter of the two. How is it possible they could have been friends?

      I think the one-minute silence was a great idea which could have been improved upon – McFaul’s farewell party should have been entirely silence. Think how symbolic that would have been, what a tribute to Nemtsov!

  14. Warren says:

    Published on 17 Feb 2016
    U.S. Marines M1A1 tank crews work with the Norwegian Telemark Battalion on techniques of driving tracked vehicles in winter conditions on an snow/ice track.

  15. Warren says:

    Published on 19 Feb 2016
    Britain’s sophisticated air-to-surface Brimstone missiles have not killed any terrorists in Syria so far, although at least nine missiles have been fired. A single missile using radar homing and laser guidance technology costs £100,000.

  16. Warren says:

    • kirill says:

      Russia should pass a law that all clown states that pass Magnitzky type legislation whould go on an indefinite sanctions list. This list should consist of diplomatic, political, social and economic sanctions. Any business or individuals associated with Browder should have he harshest level of sanctions applied to them.

      • marknesop says:

        Canadians should write to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and point out the facts – Browder worked for crooks all his life until he was an independent businessman on his own, set up with seed money from a crook; Magnitsky did not even work for Browder, but for Firestone Duncan. Nobody from either firm ever visited him while he was in prison. Browder has a clear political agenda, and Canada has already done enough damage to its relations with Russia by slavishly following Washington’s diktat.

  17. Patient Observer says:

    Enough debauchery of organic life! There is a technical solution for man, woman and beast alike:
    http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/2015/04/sexbots-realdoll-sex-toys
    A real visionary that every liberal can believe in.

    • Patient Observer says:

      Above post obviously not where it was supposed to be!

    • Moscow Exile says:

      I don’t know why, but I feel that there’s something “wrong” with all of this, but who am I to say what is right or wrong? — there’s the rub!

      Can I really criticize a man — and I should imagine that it is mostly men at whom these dolls are marketed — who, to satisfy his masturbatory fantasies, purchases such an item?

      What is wrong if someone jacks off over a silicon doll or into its mouth etc. in private? It’s a free world — or, at least it’s free country, isn’t it? He would not be doing anyone any harm by doing so, would he? Such a well used doll would not be considered a public health hazard, would it?

      But there’s something strange, unhealthy, nasty about all of this, to my mind at least.

      What would be the attitude of such a man who makes use of such a doll to a real, live woman? Would he respect her? Would he consider her feelings?

      No such considerations with his doll of course: she is dead: no feelings. Whether “she” receives respect or abuse matters not on jot.

      That’s it! That’s what is hiding behind the alluring exterior of those skilfully made woman substitutes and which disturbs me so: they are dead!

      The whole thing is simply an ornately disguised necrophilia.

      Is that a perversion?

      Who am I to judge?

      Please advise.

      😦

  18. Patient Observer says:

    And now back to our regularly scheduled programming:
    http://www.fort-russ.com/2016/02/russian-5th-generation-fighter-jet-t-50.html
    Its amazing, the Russian 5th generation stealth jet fighter has just set the world’s record for the rate of climbing at 384 meters/sec or 860 miles per hour vertical!

    • et Al says:

      Not even with its definitive izdelije 30 engines that are still in development,

      • marknesop says:

        I have not seen a plane this revolutionary since the Avro Arrow, which likewise shattered records with a developmental engine. Tragically, it never flew with the engine which was designed for it, the Orenda Iroquois.

        • Patient Observer says:

          I recall viewing a CBC documentary on the Arvro Arrow. It seemed to be an inspired design for its time with huge potential.

          • marknesop says:

            It was a huge aircraft, fighters now are a great deal smaller and all the records set by the Arrow have been broken since (the last one by the F-15 Eagle), but it was revolutionary for its time. The way defense procurement works is, the service which wants the platform writes a list of requirements, things it wants the plane or whatever to be able to do. The Arrow’s list was extremely ambitious in terms of its performance envelope, quite a bit outside anything available at the time. Then companies design a model, at their own expense, and enter into competition with it. I think the Arrow was single-sourced to Avro, or at any rate I don’t remember any competitors. But the money allocated for it – for the time – was a lot, and engineers were inspired to create. The Orenda Iroquois engine developed so much thrust it actually began to pull the test bench out of the floor. But the Arrow never flew with it – there was an imperative to get the prototypes into the air because Avro’s president scented political trouble, so they bought the Pratt & Whitney J-5 to get them flying – the power of the Iroquois was immense compared to the J-5. But we’ll never know. Maclean’s Magazine did its part to kill it by inflating the price per airframe to about triple what they would actually cost, the public rose up in outrage and the project was canceled. The British aviation museum offered to buy the prototypes, but the political forces which destroyed it wanted no evidence left, and they were cut up for scrap instead. All that remains is a nosewheel and part of a cockpit in the museum in Ottawa, if I recall correctly. The Canadian military aviation industry died with a whimper, the designers and engineers all left to work in Britain and the United States, and we settled down to a reliable purchasing cycle of buying American fighter designs ever after. There’s a very good book on the whole story, called “There Never Was An Arrow“. Here’s a synopsis.

  19. kirill says:

    http://www.awarablogs.com/absurd-central-bank-policies-deepen-russias-recession/

    An excellent piece on the CBR’s interest rate policy. As argued by Alexander Mercouris, the CBR is undermining Russia’s economy with its extortion-level lending rates even though *cumulative* inflation right now stands at about 9% and will likely be around 6% by the end of 2016. So the proper CBR lending rate should be 4.4% if we apply the same ratio of lending rate to cumulative inflation as last year.

  20. Warren says:

    Published on 19 Feb 2016
    Full remarks by Dr. Taras Kuzio, Senior Research Associate, Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies, University of Alberta, London, UK, 13 February 2016.

  21. et Al says:

    Neuters: Russia pushes U.N. Security Council on Syria sovereignty
    http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-mideast-crisis-russia-syria-un-idUKKCN0VS1Z1

    …Russia circulated a short draft resolution to the 15-member council over concerns about an escalation in hostilities after Turkey this week said it and other countries could commit ground troops to Syria.

    The Security Council met on Friday afternoon to discuss the draft, but veto-powers the United States, France and Britain all said it had no future.

    “Rather than trying to distract the world with the resolution they just laid down, it would be really great if Russia implemented the resolution that’s already agreed to,” U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, told reporters after the meeting. …

    …The Russian draft, seen by Reuters, would have the council express “its grave alarm at the reports of military buildup and preparatory activities aimed at launching foreign ground intervention into the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic.”

    It also demands that states “refrain from provocative rhetoric and inflammatory statements inciting further violence and interference into internal affairs of the Syrian Arab Republic.”…
    ####

    Ah, Samantha Genocide Powers! R2P, so when it is in the United States interest to withhold the sovereignty of other nations for humanitarian and other reasons that jive perfectly with American foreign policy. Stronkey gets another free pass as words are not matched by actions, a western special.

  22. et Al says:

    DW via Antiwar.com: New Kurdish Militant Group Claims Credit for Turkey Bombing
    http://news.antiwar.com/2016/02/19/new-kurdish-militant-group-claims-credit-for-turkey-bombing/

    A heretofore mostly unknown Kurdish faction calling itself the Kurdistan Freedom Falcons (TaK) is claiming credit for the Wednesday bombing in the Turkish capital of Ankara, saying it was revenge for Turkish attacks on the Kurdish city of Cizre.

    Not much is known about the TaK at this point, but it is described as a splinter group from the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), the primary Turkish Kurdish faction against which the Turkish government is waging a war that spans most of the nation’s southeast.

    The only previous TaK incident to get any sort of public attention was in December, when the group claimed credit for a mortar attack against the Istanbul airport, a strike which killed a single civilian employee…
    ####

    So Stronkey failed at the UNSC and then pinned it on quite probably a made up group, or certainly one that is impossible to verify. The down side to this is that it certainly doesn’t pass the reasonable doubt threshold that Stronkey would need to convince everyone else to come in with them on a land invasion of Syria.

  23. Moscow Exile says:

    Слава дебілам!

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Did you see how he dealt with that dangerous potted plant?

      Nerves of steel!

      Should be at the front …

    • Lyttenburgh says:

      Okay, the news are unconfirmed (yet) and rather ambigous right now, but looks like some kind of “un-sanctioned” rally is brewing in Kiev:

      Avakov (sly zradnik!) have beforehand “invided” lots of NatzGuard battalions to Kiev. Meanwhile he also ordered to issue combat weapons to the riot police.

      Maydan right now:

      Ukraine held its collective breath awaiting further developments:

      And I ask myself 1st eternal Ukrainian question: “Це зрада чи перемога?”

      • marknesop says:

        I nearly spat out a lung.

      • Cortes says:

        The last photo is evidence that they are set on achieving their West European heritage (Italian chapter)

        https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Italian_Social_Republic

        • Moscow Exile says:

          When you search for “Salo” on Wiki” you get referred to some awfully obscene, and therefore, “cult” (I believe) artistic film, made by a few years ago about debauchery, buggery, under age-sex etc. in some fascist controlled part of Italy during WWII.

          I often wondered why “Salo”.

          Now I know — I think.

          I found this film reference when I was searching for pictures of salo (pig lard type) to post on here.

          Anyway, I like salo (lard).

          There! I’ve said it!

          And when I lived in Germany, I ate Schmalz as well.

          Also, when I was a child, beef dripping on toast was just the job!

          You could buy beef dripping at butchers’ shops all those years ago.

          Probably banned now.

          • Jen says:

            The name of the film “Salo” refers to the Repubblica Sociale Italiana, a Nazi puppet state in northern Italy that lasted about 18 months from September 1943 to April 1945. The de facto capital was in the town of Salo near Brescia in Lombardy. The film is set in Salo and is an adaptation of the Marquis de Sade novel “The 120 Days of Sodom”. It’s a cult film mainly because of its history of being banned in just about every country where it was distributed. In Australia, the ban on its distribution was lifted in 1993 and it wasn’t available on DVD until 2010, 36 years after it was made.

      • Lyttenburgh says:

        No, “invided” is not a typo. That’s a rather correct term to describe a bunch of “Heroes of the ATO” from the TerrBat “Ragulistan-3000” who, in theory, should be upholding the order in the capital of their country, but who can easily go rogue/mercenary every moment now.

        Maydan right now:

        Demands of these “PseudoMaidowns” are self-excluding. “Down with Poroshenko and Yatsenyuk!” and “Down with Minsk accords!”.

        IMHO, this is just Nationalists venting out some steam plus some desperate people who are pissed off at “oligarch’s coup” (this is a real term for them – lol!) which allowed Wabbit Senya to munch of cabbage for at least 6 months more. So – nothing will come out of it.

        P.S. Expect the improvement of the investment climate in the Ukraine [nods]

  24. Warren says:

  25. Drutten says:

    That U.S. air strike the other day in Libya apparently killed a whole bunch of civilians, including two Serbian diplomats who were held hostage.

    In Serbian news it’s all over the place and they are fuming over it.

  26. Patient Observer says:

    RT can not be accused of downplaying US weapons:
    https://www.rt.com/usa/333106-us-bombers-isis-upgrade/

    “The B-1B is a variant of the four-engine nuclear-capable bomber first fielded in the mid-1980s. It is capable of supersonic flight and can carry up to 216,000kg of payload”

    Actually, it is marginally supersonic (M 1.25) and has a maximum takeoff weight of 216,000 kG.

    By comparison, the Tu-160 has a maximum takeoff weight of 275,000 kG and a top speed of M 2.0 per Wikipedia. Plus, it is gorgeous looking plane:

    http://www.military-today.com/aircraft/tupolev_tu160_blackjack.htm

    • Drutten says:

      The Tupolev Tu-160 is the fastest, largest and heaviest jet bomber in service in the world today. Quite the combination of superlatives, that even sound a tad contradictory even though they’re absolutely true.

      Sometimes the B-1B is said to be able to carry more weapons though, despite being smaller and lighter, but this only if you count external stores that to the best of my knowledge the B-1B has never actually been fitted with. It’s some kind of paper capability, I guess.

    • et Al says:

      If I remember correctly, it’s precedent, the B-1a was much faster (mach 2+) at altitude and slow at sea level, but only four prototypes were produced before the progam was cancelled*. The strategic requirement from high altitude penetration was switched to low level penetration coz otherwise it would have been shot down.

      * https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rockwell_B-1_Lancer#B-1A_program

  27. Moscow Exile says:

    In Newsweek of all rags, Assange deliciously lambastes the Grauniad and Tintin:

    ASSANGE: HOW ‘THE GUARDIAN’ MILKED EDWARD SNOWDEN’S STORY

  28. ucgsblog says:

    Parody! Original Here: http://www.newsweek.com/are-obama-putin-cahoots-over-syria-428663

    In the midst of a mathematician’s verbal offensive stating that 2+2=4, a suspended peace conference and an escalating humanitarian catastrophe, the idea that all of this unfolds in accordance with a secret understanding between mathmaticians and scientists finds fertile soil in which to take root. It is probably by now an article of faith among most, if not all, people: pro- 2+2=4 and anti-2+2=4 alike. And although the secret handshake thesis is not the product of idle conspiracy mongering, it is false nonetheless.

    In a very real sense the notion of a bilateral, great power understanding on equations reflects among its believers something resembling grudging respect for the scientists. The reasoning seems to be that mathematicians would not have dared to risk sinking altogether the anti-2+2=4 peace process that it co-chairs without a green light from the scientists—the other co-convener of basic math and science studies.

    The motive assigned to scientists for this alleged betrayal is not altogether otherworldly: it is that the scientist in chief allegedly wants the anti-2+2=4 crowd out of its orbit. So (or so the reasoning goes), to the extent that mathmaticians’ actions force the 2+2=4 opposition to submit to a national unity government deal that keeps the status quo in power throughout an open-ended “transition” phase, the scientists can consign a relatively quiet, status quo-dominated western equation to its successor with a relatively clear conscience. And it can continue the proverbial war against the anti-2+2=4 crowd.

    This hypothesis assumes the willingness of the scientists to accept the mother of all policy humiliations: the status quo. There may be little or no sentiment in Congress or the general public for pushing back against the mathematicians. Still, anything resembling an accommodation with the status quo would expose the scientist in chief to a painful, bipartisan political caning that could dominate his final months in office.

    Yes, there is something passive-aggressive about American political culture that may not always translate coherently abroad. Members of Congress who lined up to vote against a request to authorize military strikes in the wake someone declaring that 2+2=4, (in August 2013) would be among the first to pillory him if he tries to make common cause with the barrel bomber he had called on to step aside in August 2011.

    And it would not just be part time scientists. Already pieces of the president’s favorite scientists are breaking off because of his administration’s nearly five-year failure to protect a single anti-2+2=4 person from an educational campaign of mass extermination: a campaign producing genocide-like results in Syria while flooding the neighborhood and Western Europe with facts.

    It might have been one thing for the scientists to tolerate endless processes for the sake of getting to noon, January 20, 2017. But mathematicians had a vote. Are believers in the green light thesis also willing to believe that assistant to the scientist in chief was complicit in seeing the compromise sunk; a conference for which he had twisted arms and offered assurances? It seems that some opposition figures who felt pressured by the scientists to show up in Geneva are comfortable now with the notion that it was all an act—that the fix was in with the mathematicians all along.

  29. marknesop says:

    High Priest of swine-love David Cameron announces a June referendum for the UK to decide whether to stay or go.

    • Lyttenburgh says:

      Better Together:

      • marknesop says:

        I understand: I have a secret weakness for redheads myself.

      • Jen says:

        “And they called it piggy love
        Oh I guess they’ll never know
        How Call-Me-Dave’s heart really feels
        And why he loves his sow

        And they called it piggy love
        Just because he makes her squeal
        Tell them all, please tell them it isn’t fair
        To take away Dave’s only thrill

        He cries each night his groans for her
        Until Samantha calls him a pain
        He hopes and he prays that maybe someday
        She’ll be back (she’ll be back) in his arms (in his arms)
        Once again (she’ll be back in his arms every day)

        Parliament help him, help him, help him please
        Is the answer up above?
        How can Dave, oh how can he tell them
        This is true blue piggy love?”

    • Cortes says:

      I’m presently reading and loving “The Whole Hog”.

    • Patient Observer says:

      Just noticed that the story was written by Anatoly Zak who runs Russian Space Web. Nice of Popular Science to run that article.

    • marknesop says:

      Except for this part. At least they recounted it honestly. The American media has so much to answer for.

      “A few months after Sharman’s trip, the USSR collapsed and its former republics— including Kazakhstan, the home of the main Soviet spaceport—went separate ways. To ease tense relations with the newly independent Kazakhstan, Russia offered Kazakh pilot Tokrtar Aubakirov a ticket to Mir. There was only one problem: The upcoming Soyuz flight departing for the station in the fall of 1991 had no available seats on its way down. That’s when Russian cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev, who was then on the station, volunteered to stay an extra shift on Mir to make room for Aubakirov’s return. However the story took a new life when hungry U.S. journalists “broke the news” that Krikalev had been “abandoned” on Mir in the wake of the Soviet collapse.”

      • Patient Observer says:

        I recall that silliness. It’s always a smart career move for journalists to bash Russia, the Soviet Union, Serbia, etc. It’s probably taught in Journalism 101.

  30. Lyttenburgh says:

    Some myths must be busted – hard.

    American senator-mujaheed Jan abu-McCeini loves to talks how a bunch of trusty Stingers will totally annihilate rusty shaitan-arbas of Russian kaffirs (Inshallah!). Democratic moderately radical jihadists in Syria are also constantly begging their kick-starter patrons to gib them this marvelous wunder-waffens. Saudi Arabia, Turkey and even pobratims of the civil rights activists of the ISIL from the Right Sektor want to see Stingers deployed in Syria against Russia.

    But the truth is – the role of Stingers is overblown.

    STINGER MISSILES IN AFGHANISTAN

    “SUMMARY: The alleged performance of STINGER missiles in Afghanistan in the 1980s was grossly exaggerated. By comparing the number of STINGERs provided to the Afghans with the number of aircraft downed, the impossibility of the accepted claims about effectiveness is shown. The success rate of the STINGERs against all aircraft is calculated to have been, at best, in the 20% range. Even after the STINGERs arrived in Afghanistan, the majority of aircraft continued to be downed by less sophisticated weapons, and the maximum total number of aircraft that may have been downed by STINGERs is calculated as 150 over three years, with the actual number most likely less than that. A well documented chronology of events shows that the STINGERs did not initiate, or increase the rate of, the decline in air attacks against the Afghan Resistance in the latter years of the war. Logical analysis refutes the idea that the relatively small military and economic costs that resulted from the STINGERs had any significant influence on the course of the war, or on the Soviets’ decision to withdraw from Afghanistan which evidence indicates had been made before the deployment of the STINGERs.. ”

    • marknesop says:

      I did a piece on this subject way back when arms dealer Viktor Bout was snared by the USA; it was an eye-opener in that I ran across some great sources, if all the links still work. The USA actually handed over 1000 Stingers to the Mujaheddin, 300 in 1985 and 700 the following year. The Mujaheddin are recorded as having shot down 275 aircraft (at least according to whatever source I used at that time) before Russia pulled out, but it is not known (or I didn’t know) how many were actually attributed to Stingers. The amazing thing, however, was that it wasn’t until after that that the USA realized how many unexpended Stingers were still floating around out there, which they had just handed over to terrorists and which might well be used against them or to shoot down civilian aircraft (to terrible publicity for America). So they tried to buy them all back. Approximately (meaning ‘at least’) 400 were never accounted for.

      In that piece I repeated the story that the Russian 9K34 ‘Strela’ missile was probably copied from the Stinger. In fact – as a commenter pointed out – the Strela pre-dated the Stinger by 6 years, so that isn’t possible.

  31. Cortes says:

    Riotous behaviour involving pussies of London. (Home of squillions of Russkies)

    https://www.rt.com/uk/333111-cat-ripper-collects-trophies/

  32. Kulobi says:

    Felgenhauer’s latest bout of prognostication incontinence occurred on a svidomite website http://apostrophe.com.ua/article/world/2016-02-20/rossiya-styagivaet-voyska-v-kryim-gotovyas-k-voyne-protiv-turtsii/3386
    Here’s young Pavel’s apocalyptic revelation:
    The 3rd world war is a-coming. It’ll start when a Russian missile cruiser shoots down a Turkish plane. The cruiser is torpedoed by a Turkish submarine. Evil Putin drops a nuke on Ankara. Everyone dies. Felgenhauer gets the Hugo Award posthumously, in the Best Professional Bullshit Artist category.
    Another memorable quote from the interview solidifying biologist Felgenhauer’s reputation as a ‘military expert’: “The range of Turkish heavy artillery is around 40 km as opposed to Russian artillery which can manage only 20 km. This is because the Turks use more advanced Western types.”

    • Cortes says:

      Funny in a kind of

      Peering over the the cupped hands in front of your disbelieving eyes sort of way.

      Autrement dit:

      Embarrassing.

    • marknesop says:

      Felgenhauer is an idiot among idiots. If I had a dog as stupid as he is I would kick it.

    • kirill says:

      I guess his audience can’t use the internet and look up the specs for the 155 mm Palladin howitzer which has a range of 30 km. The Turkish T-155 Firtina has a range of 30 km as well. And the Russian 152 mm MSTA cannons have a range of 29 km if we are going to compare apples to apples. Rocket propelled shells extend the range beyond 40 km and Russia has this type of munition. Different shells have different ranges and Felgenturd is deliberately mixing them up.

  33. Moscow Exile says:

    Oh what larks those retards are now having in Kiev!

    Seizing a hotel — such a daring enterprise!


    Singing “Mammy”?


    Another Victory!!!

  34. Moscow Exile says:


    Russian crap technology.

  35. Moscow Exile says:

    The first tent is pitched:

    Old tyres have arrived and a salo supply is already on hand.

    They say the tent is there so that night time protesters will be able to warm themselves inside.

    Merkel, however, said last time that protesters should have access to public buildings so as to rest and recuperate.

    And in no way, according to Merkel and Lady Ashton last time peaceful protesters started camping out on the square, should the police antagonize these people.

    • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

      They’ll complain for a bit and then disperse.

      If not, Kyiv-1 will move them along.

    • Lyttenburgh says:

      More trashiness, madness and sodomy from PseudoMaidan v. 2.88

      Transl: Dude with microphone said “I respect Lukashenko, because he holds everyone in tight fist”.

      Like a cold shower. What’s next?! Respect to Bloody Vlad the Aggressor? What about Universale Western Values, Democracy and lIberalism, maidowns?

      You gonna laugh, but these people claim to be leaders of this new Maidan! Call themselves “Revolutionary right forces” (РПС).

      And how can you have a real Maidan without rabid nationalists from UNA-UNSO?

      Що цэ таке?! Moscal’s Duma deputy Ponomaryov in Kiev?! And he even dares to wear Russian tricolour pin? Zrada!

      • marknesop says:

        What a delicious farce; you’re right – I did laugh. “I respect Lukashenko, because he holds everyone in tight fist”. What, just like Yanukovych used to do for Ukraine, before you chased him out? And then elected a billionaire president, reasoning that, “because he already has so much, perhaps he won’t steal”? Hopeless.

        Hurry up and invest in Ukraine, western democracies – what an opportunity!! Your money is safe as houses, and your return will be…well, I can’t even describe it, the potential is just so huge. Never mind that the country’s currency is in free-fall and there’s always a revolution either going on or being hoarsely shouted for. Never mind that the country no longer has a tax base large enough to support even its most modest aspirations, and must exist on handouts from benevolent foreign financial institutions who never expect the money back. But it’s sunny, by God, and you don’t see that in Moscow, now, do you?

  36. marknesop says:

    A nice piece at OffGuardian, by Bryan Hemming, whom we see here from time to time. It’s led off by a starkly beautiful, if horrible photograph of the devastation in Aleppo, which was once – according to the article – a prosperous and beautiful city.

    “What ought be a wake-up call to all Western news outlets with serious credibility deficits, including the supposedly-neutral BBC, is that the stories filed by Oborne and Fisk appear to confirm what Russia’s media has being saying all along.”

    That’ll come as no surprise to anyone here, as we get together regularly to froth at the utter staggering bullshit and simpleton pablum on offer from the mainstream media, almost exclusively American and British, although I am disgusted to say that Canadian news outlets frequently echo uncritically the nonsense they are sent by the bigger wire services.

    I hope he’s right that we are seeing the death knell of some of the larger newspapers because of their shameless lying and dissembling, including the state-sponsored BBC. Really, there ought to be some penalty for trying to lie the population into supporting a war of conquest for energy companies and fatuous political ideologues. But I’m not optimistic. If the western population were fed arsenic the way we are lies we would all be dead. But since lies pose no such hazard, we always seem ready to start fresh with a clean slate, and be lied to some more. Nobody even gets fired – it’s all the same people next time around, unless they die of old age between bouts of lying. Depressing.

  37. Warren says:

    • Moscow Exile says:

      The moderate rebels?

      All five of them?

    • marknesop says:

      “Until the groups can be sorted out”; what a joke. Until the Americajihadis can escape, you mean, for further employment at a later date at a mischief spot yet to be determined. It is quite a stretch to imagine the ‘moderates’ who just want to build their own inclusive, democratic state, only without Assad, have become intermingled in common cause with the hardcore fundamentalist wahhabists. Washington is merely trying to salvage what it can from the ashes of its dreams. Washington has stipulated on several occasions that it cannot tell one group from another, and just takes their word for it. What will the ‘sorting-out’ process consist of – (translated into Arabic) “All right now; who among you are moderate democratic rebels, and who are about to become martyr fertilizer?”

  38. Moscow Exile says:

    Paging Finland!

    The Minister of Economic Development, Alexey Ulyukayev, on 19th February also reported zero GDP decline for the last 2 months. In November the indicator showed a decline of 0.2%. Following December the figures returned to zero and, as shown by the January statistics, taking into account seasonal factors, the trend was preserved.

    The preliminary average for January with the removed seasonality is approximately zero, it can be a plus of 0.1% or minus 0.1%“, — said Ulyukayev.

    see: 5 Positive Trends in the Russian Economy at the Beginning of the Year

    Russia is a poor country, though, and as such cannot be looked up to.

    • Patient Observer says:

      Geez, just think if Finland had the entire Western world sanctioning this and that and fighting nut jobs with nukes. I suspect that their GDP would be falling faster than the thermometer on a cold clear Finland winter night.

    • Never said that Russia is a “poor” country. Russians are probably wealthier than the average world citizen.

      But Russia is poorer than Finland. There is no denying that. The average purchasing power is far higher in Finland than it is in Russia.

      • marknesop says:

        Meaning what, exactly? Because Finns can afford to buy more IKEA furniture than Russians can, this translates to Finland having greater global influence than Russia? Or are you just that determined to pin everyone down to admitting that Finns have more disposable income than Russians? Fine; you’re right, Karl. Finns have more disposable income than Russians. I’m damned if I can see how that makes Finland, with a population of less than five and a half million and a natural increase of just 3,000 people when you balance out births and deaths, a richer country than Russia with a population of one hundred and forty-six million (a jump you can probably thank Ukraine for in large measure). But if you say so. Say hello to your new master – Lichtenstein, with a per-capita GDP more than three times that of Finland, disbursed among only about forty thousand people. Lichtensteiners are much richer than Finns. There is no denying that.

        • Jen says:

          Wow, there’s a huge drop in Liechtenstein’s per capita GDP from 2008 to 2010. The GFC must have hit the country hard. Why am I not surprised and concerned that such a little country suffered such a big whack? Well for starters I can hardly feel sympathy for a tax haven relying on money laundering as a bulwark of its economy.
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_Liechtenstein#Banking_and_finance

          Also simply because Finns can buy more IKEA furniture than Russians doesn’t mean they get more satisfaction out of it (especially if they’re not handy at converting the one-dimensional into the three-dimensional); purchasing power tells us nothing about choice or the quality of the choices available.

      • Patient Observer says:

        Hey Karl, you MUST adore me! I am wealthier than you by several orders of magnitude! Bow down! Accept my belief system! Emulate me as best your limited abilities allow! I am wealthier than you! What more is there? NOTHING!!!!!!!!!

      • Moscow Exile says:

        Really?

        Well I for one earn considerably less here in Mordor than I would do if I were employed in the same job back in Blighty.

        Funny thing is, though, that my comparatively low salary (60,000 rubles a month) enables me to purchase considerably more fish heads and old cabbage for me, my wife and three schoolchildren than it would do “back home”.

        And yes, I am probably wealthier than, say, a Ugandan, seeing as African states and their apparently impoverished citizens seem to be in vogue as regards denoting sump levels.

        The same Ugandans are apparently wealthier than Ukrainians now, or, better said, Uganda is wealthier, economically more sound, than the Ukraine, they say.

        However, Finland is best buddies with the Ukraine, is it not — officially at least?

  39. Warren says:

    Staying in EU ‘exposes UK to terror risk’, says Iain Duncan Smith

    Staying in the EU will make the UK more vulnerable to Paris-style terrorist attacks, Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith has told the BBC.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-eu-referendum-35624409

    • Oddlots says:

      I think I’m getting the hang of reading these kinds of statements.

      When Hellary says “What will breaking up the big banks do to fight racism?” she kind of gave the game away.

      The message is: stick to caring about the things we allow you to care about…. or else.

      • marknesop says:

        That’s the one thing the Republicans and Democrats agree upon – which is amazing since their policies seem to come out looking exactly the same: both want Hillary to be the nominee. The Democratic establishment wants her political connections and her ruthlessness, while the Republicans have a whole tickle trunk full of crimes and misuses of office built up on her that they wanted to use when Obama won the nomination instead; it’s still there, and since then they have accumulated Benghazi and the email scandal and so much more. They’re dying to use it. For her part, Hillary wants to make history, and this is her last chance. Did I say it’s the only thing the Republicans and Democrats agree on? That was a mistake – also, neither of them cares anything about the country or its predicament; only about seizing and keeping power.

  40. Moscow Exile says:

    Pissed up moron addresses fellow morons ….

  41. Warren says:

    Boris Johnson to campaign to leave the EU

    Conservative Mayor of London Boris Johnson is to campaign for Britain to leave the EU, the BBC understands.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-eu-referendum-35626621

    The get out of Europe campaign is gaining momentum!

    George Galloway’s appearance at Brexit campaign rally sparks furore

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/eu/12166080/George-Galloways-appearance-at-Brexit-campaign-rally-sparks-furore.html

    • marknesop says:

      The Telegraph just wants an excuse to use the word ‘furor’ with an ‘e’ on the end, coz it sounds so refined, like.

    • Special_sauce says:

      Hmm, counterintuitive, pro-Atlanticist. But this was just posted. Seems Farage needs the Muslim vote.

    • Evgeny says:

      By the way, why is Johnson nicknamed as “Boris the Spider”? I get it that he acts like a clown on public, and I get it that some people believe his policies are menacing. And I get it there’s a song with that title. Is that all, or do I miss anything?

      • Jen says:

        Maybe people feel like picking up a book and smashing Johnson into the ground as is done to the spider in the song.

        • Special_sauce says:

          Oh! Spare the spider! The spiders are our friends!

          • Moscow Exile says:

            I recall my father always saying that spiders are our friends and that we should not kill them.

            He’d never come across an Australian redback spider, which has, I am told, a propensity for lurking beneath toilet seats and is in possession of a venomous bite.

            • Moscow Exile says:

              That’s one of the reasons I always fancied emigrating to Canada when I was younger but never to Australia!

              • Jen says:

                These days toilets are built inside houses, not in outhouses which used to be common in backyards in the first half of the 20th century. So it’s extremely rare for people to be bitten by redbacks unless they are out in the garden, sticking unprotected fingers into holes, or leaving shoes and socks outside and not checking them before they put them on.

                • Moscow Exile says:

                  The redback spider is responsible for far more envenomations requiring antivenom than any other creature in Australia. Estimates of the number of people thought to be bitten by redback spiders each year across Australia range from 2,000 to 10,000….

                  A 2004 review reported 46% of bites occurring on distal extremities of the limbs, 25% on proximal areas of limbs (upper arms and thighs), 21% on the trunk, and 7% on the head or neck. In some cases the same spider bites a victim multiple times. Historically, victims were often bitten on the genitalia, though this phenomenon disappeared as outhouses were superseded by plumbed indoor toilets. Conversely, bites on the head and neck have increased with use of safety helmets and ear muffs. Precautions to avoid being bitten include wearing gloves and shoes while gardening, not leaving clothes on the floor, and shaking out gloves or shoes before putting them on. Also, children can be educated not to touch spidersWiki

                  We have an indoor toilet and bathroom at our dacha.

                  The building of a bathroom annex to our country cottage was the first thing we undertook on buying the property, chiefly because our children were very young at the time.

                  We still have an outdoor earth closet though. They are commonplace here in the country. Same in Sweden as well, judging by when I lived there in the sticks. However, nothing venomous lurks in the outhouses here.

                  The contents of the outhouse are recycled — organic gardening and all that!

                • marknesop says:

                  Opinion is divided on whether we have a venomous spider here as well, the brown recluse. Experts insist there are not any in Canada, that their range is limited to the south-central and midwestern US. But every now and then another scare story pops up, and the bite is said to cause an effect similar to necrotizing fasciitis, the dreaded ‘flesh-eating disease’, like that which cost our former Quebec Premier Lucien Bouchard to lose a leg. They are not likely to bite you on the bum, though, unless it is your habit to climb into the attic bum-first, and I should think that would be awkward.

                • shargash says:

                  When I was in Australia, I did some camping in the center. When I went to the toilet in the middle of the night, I took a flashlight with me and checked very, very carefully. 🙂

              • Jen says:

                @ Shargash: Very good idea to take the flashlight with you in the middle of the night when Nature calls in the middle of the Red Centre. You might have accidentally met something half-dingo / half-human wearing what remains of baby clothes for a month-old child.

        • Evgeny says:

          Thanks, Jen!

  42. Warren says:

    France commemorates centenary of WW1 Battle of Verdun

    France has been marking the centenary of the Battle of Verdun – one of the most savagely fought and highest casualty battles of World War One.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-35626228

  43. marknesop says:

    Erdogan’s Excellent Adventure ends in tears, as FOX News reports Turkey is supporting rebel groups seeking to topple Assad, Francois Hollande lisps that Erdogan’s actions in Syria ‘risk a war with Russia’ and Barack Obama urges Erdogan to ‘exercise restraint’. Remember when he said the same thing to Yanukovych? On that occasion it meant, “Go to your room, and hide under the bed – we’ve got a revolution to run, here.”

    Erdogan is blustering, because it’s all he knows how to do, but if he keeps on the way he is going, he will be sorry. Having made an enemy of Russia and ruined any chance of becoming a European gas hub in partnership with that country, he is busily alienating his remaining friends.

    • et l says:

      I am now under the view that the US wants Erdogan to take on Putin in the hope that in the inevitable take down of Erd & the family AKP, Russia will be sufficiently wounded to leave an entry for USA and friends to come waltzing in. After all, Stronkey has become a sufficiently unreliable partner these last few years so whatever is left is best used to take down a bigger rival and hopefully Stronkey can be brought back on an even keel once Erd’s clan has been cleansed.

      Erd & Dav etc. are of course very wily operators and no doubt suspect this and will not let themselves be so easily manipulated, hence all their venomous bleating is not in commensurate measure of their action (their 200 meter Syrian gardening adventure).

      When it comes down to it, and it will at some point, are Erd & Dav willing to risk it all, their power & legacy, over a dream of dominating the middle east and particularly Syria?

      If we go by Afghanistan and I-raq, will be an unpredictable and uncontrollable security for years to come unless the terrorists are thoroughly stomped on. We’ll see, but they still need a way to save face and I could imagine even Putin would be happy to provide a solution as long as he has the strategic win.

  44. marknesop says:

    Speaking of gas and energy issues, this is the clearest report I have seen yet that the United States is directly intervening in European energy policy so as to pressure Russia into continuing to send gas through Ukraine. Everybody seems to think the transit fees are Ukraine’s by right, part of its budget, and that Russia is somehow trying to cheat Ukraine out of money that rightfully belongs to it. It does not seem to have occurred to anyone that even if Washington is successful at putting the kibosh on Nord Stream II, Russia could still elect to stop sending gas through Ukraine, and rely on its current Yamal and Nord Stream pipelines running flat-out.

    “U.S. energy envoy Amos Hochstein said last September that, just like Russia’s previous plan for the South Stream pipeline that President Vladimir Putin abandoned in 2014, Nord Stream 2 is more about politics than economics. “It carries the risk of allowing Gazprom to cut off Ukraine,” Hochstein said in an interview in Washington.”

  45. Warren says:

    Former Russian anti-doping chief Nikita Kamayev ‘planned book before death’

    The former executive director of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency, Nikita Kamayev, planned to write a book on drug use in sports shortly before his sudden death, according to a former colleague and the Sunday Times.

    The Sunday Times sportswriter David Walsh, who reported on Lance Armstrong’s doping, claimed that Kamayev wrote to him in November offering to reveal information on doping covering the last three decades since Kamayev began work for a “secret lab” in Russia.

    Kamayev’s former boss at Rusada, Ramil Khabriev, told Russia’s Tass news agency that Kamayev planned a book but abandoned it because an “American publisher” had demanded too much influence over its contents.

    Kamayev died on 14 February, aged 52, of what Rusada called a “massive heart attack”.

    http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2016/feb/21/russian-anti-doping-nikita-kamayev-planned-book-allegedly

  46. Warren says:

  47. Warren says:

    The media are misleading the public on Syria

    COVERAGE OF the Syrian war will be remembered as one of the most shameful episodes in the history of the American press. Reporting about carnage in the ancient city of Aleppo is the latest reason why.

    For three years, violent militants have run Aleppo. Their rule began with a wave of repression. They posted notices warning residents: “Don’t send your children to school. If you do, we will get the backpack and you will get the coffin.” Then they destroyed factories, hoping that unemployed workers would have no recourse other than to become fighters. They trucked looted machinery to Turkey and sold it.

    This month, people in Aleppo have finally seen glimmers of hope. The Syrian army and its allies have been pushing militants out of the city. Last week they reclaimed the main power plant. Regular electricity may soon be restored. The militants’ hold on the city could be ending.

    Militants, true to form, are wreaking havoc as they are pushed out of the city by Russian and Syrian Army forces. “Turkish-Saudi backed ‘moderate rebels’ showered the residential neighborhoods of Aleppo with unguided rockets and gas jars,” one Aleppo resident wrote on social media. The Beirut-based analyst Marwa Osma asked, “The Syrian Arab Army, which is led by President Bashar Assad, is the only force on the ground, along with their allies, who are fighting ISIS — so you want to weaken the only system that is fighting ISIS?”

    http://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2016/02/18/the-media-are-misleading-public-syria/8YB75otYirPzUCnlwaVtcK/story.html

    • Patient Observer says:

      And that is why the people of Syria with help from like-minded allies are defeating the forces of repression, terror and lies.

  48. Warren says:

    Published on 20 Feb 2016
    The first states to caucus in the U.S. primaries are supposed to spearhead a proud American tradition of democratic rule. The Real News went out to Iowa to see how much of that was true.

  49. Patient Observer says:

    If the story is accurate, it is yet another example of why the vermin need to be put down as they are beyond redemption:

    http://sputniknews.com/middleeast/20160222/1035144814/syrian-father-son-suicide-car-bomb-aleppo-video.html

    These people should be classified as psychotic murderers; not “religious zealots” or even terrorists. There is no possibility of negotiations, separation or any other accommodations for their behavior.

    Wait, let them move into the White House and spend a few days with the kids, a terrorist-exchange program as it were. Malia and Natasha would enjoy the cultural diversity and would eagerly look forward to visiting rebel-held Syria to further enrich their lives. They could learn how to properly wear a burka and learn all about martyrdom!

    • marknesop says:

      “Questions remain as the video has not been fully verified.”

      I realize the savagery implicit in such an act arouses strong emotions and revulsion, but please note there is no real proof the act ever happened as described and the source is the one-man show of Rami Adbelrahman and his network of Syrian ‘activists’ of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. He’s as anti-Assad as can be imagined, and is not an objective source. It’s hard to substantiate things having happened as described when all you have is the son’s alleged martyrdom video and then a perhaps completely unrelated fire. I am wary of believing anything any more, and especially anything that comes from that particular western asset.

      • Jen says:

        I wouldn’t put it past SOHR to have acquired the video from ISIS themselves and the video serving as recruitment material.

      • yalensis says:

        Yeah, this is a good point. There is at least a 50% chance that the video is a fake.
        What would be the point of making such a fake?
        Because the jihadis and their handlers like to push a propaganda meme that they are SO very brave and SO very desperate, that will resort to anything to fight off “invaders”.
        As in, “don’t mess with us, because we’re totally nuts”.
        Just a way of scaring people off, I guess, in a “Pulp Fiction” kind of manner.

        Fortunately, I don’t think Assad, or Russian airforce and particularly not Hezbollah, are all that impressed by these antics.

        • marknesop says:

          I think the SOHR’s objective in hyping it is to press for a no-fly zone and a western ground-forces intervention. I can’t think of any other purpose in their bringing it to world attention unless we want to assume they – by which I mean ‘he’ – are really a non-partisan organization committed to a better life for Syrians regardless who’s in power. I doubt that, given Abdelrahman’s open jubilation when the opposition forces were gaining ground early in the war.

          I’m sure the video is genuine – I’m just suggesting it might be stringing together unrelated events in order to tell a story. I don’t doubt the boy made a martyrdom video, although it is open to conjecture whether he carried through on his threat. I don’t doubt there was an explosion. But was it him? Not really any way to know, and the SOHR has not established much of a track record for truthiness.

          • Jen says:

            Yes the video may genuinely exist and the actual visuals shot genuine too, but the narrative they tell will not be genuine. The film is likely to be a cut-and-paste job in the manner of cut-ups once popular in fiction (William S Burroughs pioneered the idea in several novels), art and music.

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