Second Annual Fern of England Photo Caption Contest

Five hundred Euros???? I'll do it for FREE!!!

Five hundred Euros???? I’ll do it for FREE!!!

Okay, this is a blatant play for time. So far I have not made a new post in April at all, and I know I need to do one but I can’t find the time. I have a 2.5-hour exam tomorrow in American National Standards Institute (ANSI) procedures and processes, and family eats up a lot of the weekends, which are the only occasions I really have the opportunity to write.  So it looks like a great time for the second annual Fern of England Photo Caption contest.

Those who were around for the first one probably vaguely recall the rules, but I’m sure we could all benefit from a refresher, as well as any newcomers – it’s open to all. Hopefully we can get Fern to judge it, as was the case in the first one. The prize is a MEGGITT Training Systems Canada baseball cap (MEGGITT is a Canadian company which makes remote-control gunnery and missile targets for the Canadian Forces, among other customers), which was not given away last time because Yalensis won it, and he is secretive about his address (probably because he is CIA or something, or perhaps an eccentric billionaire). Fern cannot win, which is just as well, because she loathes baseball caps. So, the rules. Your first comment must include an entry for the photo caption contest. After that, you can talk about anything you like, and you can enter as often as you like. Staff of The Kremlin Stooge (which is me) are not eligible to win (no skin off my nose, that ball cap has been sculling around my closet for about two years). The ball cap has a colourful history – I once offered one to anyone who could answer a particular question, I can’t even remember what it was now, and Yalensis was a little choked up because he didn’t win. The next time I saw MEGGITT’s Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) Special Projects officer, John Leblanc (which I did frequently, I used to work indirectly for MEGGITT, as Manager of the Target Cell for Maritime Forces Pacific), I asked him for a ball cap for Yalensis, which he duly gave me. So it’s brand new, never been worn, black with the MEGGITT logo on the front, one size fits all. If the winner does not work for the CIA and/or is not an eccentric billionaire, and will provide me – offline – with a mailing address (I’ll get in contact with the winner), then I will send you the ball cap by parcel post at my expense. Sound good? Let’s do it.

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1,308 Responses to Second Annual Fern of England Photo Caption Contest

  1. Jlaus says:

    Had a great exchange with a DC based international law professor who asked a cogent question”

    “Much of what you said I agree with, but then why did Stalin not prepare for a possible German attack, and why were Russian forces caught so unprepared?”
    ****

    My hunch is that Stalin figured the Nazis wouldn’t do a two front ordeal at that point in time. By 1940, the Nazis were involved in France and fighting Britain, in addition to having an adventurous Italian ally.

    During this period, the Soviets provided natural resources to the Reich, while keeping to themselves.

    In hindsight, some things look all the more stupid.

    On some tangential issues –

    There’s highlighting of the British and French declaration of war on Nazi Germany, with comparatively little notice given to the British and French non-war declaration on the Soviet Union. Might this be in part because of an unofficial acknowledgement of sorts, that Poland’s eastern territory (acquired by the Soviets) consisted of land with large non-Polish populations who weren’t so pleased with living under Polish rule?

    In retrospect, some reasonably say the Nazis blew an opportunity for more allies among the Soviet population. Conversely, some western Ukrainian sources have said the same of the Soviets, regarding how the latter acted in western Ukraine before the Nazi attack on the USSR.

    —– Original Message —–

    Re: http://www.rferl.org/content/russia-night-wolves-zaldostanov-wwii-soviets-hitler-cooperation/27713499.html

    It was a non-aggression pact as opposed to a treaty of friendship. In diplomatic jargon, the former constitutes something different from a fraternally based relationship.

    Moreover, Poland had a treaty with Nazi Germany in 1934. Poland along with Nazi Germany and Hungary were involved in dismembering Czechoslovakia in 1938.

    The Soviet Union sought an alliance with the West to oppose that Nazi led move against Czechoslovakia. The West chose to accommodate Hitler, with some in the West hoping for an eventual Nazi-Soviet war. Facing this, the Soviets were motivated to make their own deal.

    Regarding the Nazi-Soviet dismemberment of Poland, the Nazis took Warsaw, which had been part of the Russian Empire. The Georgian Soviet dictator Stalin was known as a Communist with some Russian nationalist traits. Why would such a person agree for Germany to take Warsaw?

    The answer relates to the apparent Soviet understanding of its limited capabilities at the time. Had the Soviets not agreed to Molotov-Ribbentrop, wouldn’t the Nazis have moved further east in 1939?

    The Soviet attack on Finland was premised on the notion that in a quite possible future Nazi-Soviet war, Finland would be a Nazi ally. That said, Stalin proved incompetent for not accepting the intell given to him on the impending Nazi attack in 1941.

    A somewhat related piece that addresses the above RFE/RL article’s highlighting of a stated 1920s Soviet effort to have an anti-Polish alliance with Germany:

    http://www.eurasiareview.com/08042016-fuzzy-history-how-poland-saved-the-world-from-russia-analysis/

    • Alexey says:

      Neither Britain nor France declared war on USSR in 1939 because:

      a) Red Army entered Poland only after polish government left the country. Effectively their flight ended Poland as a sovereign nation even though army still fought.

      b) Lands occupied were east of Curzon line and never been recognized by USSR as part of Poland.

      Actually Stalin was very careful not to start actual war.

      As for USSR being unprepared – it was generally unprepared. Army wasn’t up to the standards and it was under reform. And although orders for high alert were issued before German invasion army simply wasn’t up to stop them.

      As for general timidity and over cautious approach to Germany from Stalin one needs to understand that for everybody back then closest point of reference was beginning of WWI and declaration of war by Germany “in response to Russian mobilization”. So Stalin was going out of his way not to give Germany pretext this time.

      Alas his thinking was wrong. But no sane person would blame him for that.

  2. Jlaus says:

    Dzhemilev on the Armenian Genocide:

    https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=dzhemilev+armenian+genocide

    As quoted in RFE/RL, he has also advocated for the Russian majority to leave Crimea and was against Russia in the 2008 war in the former Georgian SSR.

    RFE/RL and others are big on noting the ban on him to enter Crimea. Not as emphasized, are some of the Crimean residents who face travel bans abroad, including Kiev regime controlled Ukraine. In short, there’s a tit for tat process of sorts. Never mind that some civilized countries such as Canada have banned law abiding residents of Western countries for purely political reasons.

  3. Lyttenburgh says:

    A new star of Russian democratic emigrant opposition, “businessmen” Yevgeny Chichvarkin, opens his bloody mouth to everybody’s amusement:

    Chichvarkin has criticized the new mayor of London for servility to “panhandlers”

    Living in the UK businessman Yevgeny Chichvarkin criticized the elected Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, his Labor Party, led by Jeremy Corbin, and his voters. This opinion he shared on his Facebook page.

    According Chichvarkin, Sadiq Khan is “bad”, not because he is a Muslim, but because he is a socialist.

    Businessman criticized a number of stated intentions of new municipal authorities. In particular, he referred to the restriction of real estate investments from abroad. “So that we will have enough funds in a budget for the new social housing, these hotbeds of idleness and crime, the taxpayers had to pay,” – he explained.

    “Disclosure of beneficiaries – why?” – asks Chichvarkin. “We lived without it with a very low crime rate”, – he added.

    According to the businessman, freezing of tariffs for transportation will not happen due to the replacement of people at the box office and drivers on the computers, but due to “the subsidies from the budget, just as it the case with the housing for the “panhandkers”.” “That is for the VAT, which we bring to them,” – said Chichvarkin.

    “We will create artificially working (ha-ha-ha!) places for the poor, who are not lucky to be born into a family that could pay for education”, – he said.

    “Like all socialists, he does not understand the essence of business, does not believe in private initiative, and his friend Corbin will legitimize an even bigger robbery of all successful people in this country if gets a chance” – said Chichvarkin.

    “Social populism in favor of panhandlers and incompetent ones (rus. “нищебродам и неспособышам”)” – described the businessman the policy of the Labour Party, expressing the hope that their initiative will allow the former mayor of the capital the conservative Boris Johnson to become the prime minister of Great Britain.

    In conclusion Chichvarkin quoted former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher: “Socialism ends when other people’s money come to end, for which it existed so far.”

    P.S. As the saying goes – “Sorry, but I don’t have a different type of Russian oppositioners for your”

    • Jen says:

      Just as fish living in and breathing water would probably not know or be able to describe water, so Chichvarkin would not know inequality and corruption, because he relies on both to survive.

    • marknesop says:

      What a refreshing concept of social justice; if you were lucky enough to be born into a family which could pay for a superior education, well, then, you deserve to succeed for being lucky. If you’re not, why do we have to continue talking about something which obviously was meant to be? Is there any more cake left?

      • Lyttenburgh says:

        Is there any more cake left?

        Sorry, Mark. Looks like the Invisible Hand of the Market ™ took it!

    • Lyttenburgh says:

      Oh, and apparently Russian liberasts have a hive-mind:

      Bozhena Rynska (Kurtsina) writes:

      “Fuck. I’m talking about London’s new mayor. My beloved city is under control of the occupiers. Get ready to pay money for
      unemployment benefits for this black rabble. ‘Lodon – fair to all’ sounds threatening”/em>

      How handshakable!

  4. Warren says:

    Flight delayed after passenger becomes suspicious of equation

    >B>An Italian economist says his flight was delayed after a fellow passenger saw him working on a differential equation and alerted the cabin crew.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-36240523

    • yalensis says:

      Extra credit goes to any Stooge who can solve the equation.

      • Yonatan says:

        It shows part of the vector wave equations for electromagnetic radiation. It cannot be solved (in a non-trivial sense) without knowledge of the associated boundary conditions.

        • kirill says:

          It’s just the BBC using generic imagery. The economist was not solving EM equations.

        • marknesop says:

          Well done!!! I assume you’re correct, because I have no idea, but even if you were just making it up it sounded pretty damned convincing. I’m sold.

          • Jen says:

            Whatever the equation referred to, in the woman’s mind it equalled a weapon of maths instruction and therefore the economist must have been a member of the secretive jihadi organisation Al Gebra.

            There was a similar incident a decade ago at JFK International.

            ‘At New York’s Kennedy airport today, a person later discovered to be a public school teacher, was arrested trying to board a flight while in possession of a ruler, a protractor, a drafting triangle, a compass, and a calculator.

            During a press conference the Attorney General said he believed the man was a member of the notorious al-Gebra movement and the FBI intends to charge him with transporting weapons of math instruction.

            “Al-Gebra is a fearsum, transverse cult,” the Attorney General said. “As a group they seek means of average solutions by extremes, and sometimes randomly go off on tangents in search of absolute values. A member of al-Gebra may use acute alias such as ‘x’ or ‘y’ and refer to himself as an unknown identity, but we have determined that he is likely to belong to a common denominator — the axis of medieval that coordinates in every country.” The Attorney General continued, “Al-Gebra functions as a bunch of standard deviations that have been tribal since the time of Noah’s arc,” a remark that struck a chord with the media. “They are inordinate in terrorism, of that I’m abscissaly sure.

            They use degrees of irrational subtrahend to create differences and conditional inequalities among friendly, discriminant nations, leading to arguments and making us less functional and coefficient in attaining our goals. And they have the international mobility of a swarm of loci. Give them an air matrix to inflate and a plot to set it on, and they can live anywhere. If necessary, we will pursue them to the corners of this Earthly sphere.”

            He complemented this with the supplementary remark, “As the Greek philanderer Isosceles once said, ‘Never forget that there are three sides to every triangle, and sometimes two of them are normal.’ ” The Attorney General added, “As you can tell, I am not diagonally opposed to that prime concept.” …’

            http://www.ms.uky.edu/~jrge/340/Weapons_of_Math_Instruction.html

            You see, there can be a right angle in the Attorney General’s argument somewhere.

        • Eric says:

          “vector wave equations for electromagnetic radiation”

          Doesn’t have to be that at all. Those same equations (complete with the imaginary.complex, number donated as i) can be applied in mechanical engineering and structural engineering under a completely different set of parameters

    • kirill says:

      Why was this woman let off without even a fine? She created costs for the airline and wasted the time of security. She should have been fined and heavily. There has to be some negative incentives for accusers. If you are going to accuse someone of wrong doing, then you better have a case and your schizophrenic, demented hallucinations and general bile are not sufficient.

      • Patient Observer says:

        But, then most US political analysts and policy makers would be subject to similar fines. Then, the defense industry would suffer irreparable damage resulting in a more peaceful and just world. Subsequently, the edifice of Western moral superiority would implode leaving millions wondering how they could have been so wrong and others entering a catatonic state to escape the greater reality.

      • marknesop says:

        Well, no; I’m afraid that would defeat the purpose of public-service warnings like “Report any suspicious behavior to airline or airport staff”. If she got a fine, that would have such a dramatic effect that you could probably build a bomb on the table in the airport and nobody would dare say anything in case you were just innocently making a hobby radio or a model of the atom or something. But the airline overreacted; if they had used their heads they would likely have reasoned that the guy passed security and probably did not have any significant amount of explosives on him; the calculator did not have any wires coming out of it or anything and likely was not a remote detonator, while his demeanor presumably did not suggest stress or secretiveness. I imagine – which it’s easy to do, in hindsight – that they could have obtained some proof from him that he was an economist. Then they could have reassured the woman “I find economists worrisome, as well. However, it’s not a good enough reason to abort the flight unless the economist is Anders Aslund.”

        • kirill says:

          I disagree. Most humans have common sense. Clearly here there was no common sense involved. Imposing rationality is of paramount importance for the functioning of any system. I don’t buy for a minute that someone would be unsure of a bomb because they would fear a fine. The categories of suspicious are rather clear and nobody would be fined for reporting within these categories. This woman may as well have claimed that a warlock was casting a spell to bring down the airplane (and himself).

          • marknesop says:

            Well, okay, I was deliberately exaggerating about the bomb. But it would be difficult to send the dual message that if you observe suspicious activity you should report it, coupled with the message that if you have misinterpreted what you see you will be liable for a fine for having wasted everyone’s time. They must expect when they say “If you see something, report it” that they are going to get some well-meaning reports which belong in the funny pages. I just think the ones who went overboard were the airline rather than the passenger who initially reported something suspicious.

        • Eric says:

          ” However, it’s not a good enough reason to abort the flight unless the economist is Anders Aslund.”…………….hahahahaha…………sorry,I found that particularly amusing

      • Jen says:

        Krill, the woman did not intend to be a public nuisance (even if she is ignorant of maths, and many people are because in some countries it’s not compulsory to take maths in senior high school) and she ended up inconveniencing herself anyway because she had to transfer to a later flight whereas the economist eventually reached his destination after a 2-hour delay. The airline had to follow security procedures by contacting the airport which in turn had to bring in the FBI, and that takes time. If you’re going to blame anything or anybody, then blame the US government which has created the general climate of fear and paranoia in which an olive-skinned man with dark curly hair writing and solving an equation on a piece of paper can be mistaken for a jihadi writing (if most jihadis are able to write with pencil and paper!) in code; and again blame the US government for allowing education at all levels across the country to deteriorate.

        • kirill says:

          How do you know? How is it justified to raise any alarm about someone writing on a piece of paper unless that writing is hold up note at a bank? If some Iranian writes in Farsi on a piece of paper next to me in an airplane, then am I supposed to warn the flight crew of a potential terrorist. Sorry, but this is just witch hunting nuttery.

          You attribute 100% of the fault with the government. But you leave out individual responsibility. This is related to the fact that “I was just following orders” is not a defense during trial. This woman is not supposed act like a brainless drone or one of those shrieking doppelgangers in “Body Snatchers”. She is supposed to make at least some effort to stay sane and resist state generated hysteria. That she can’t read mathematical equations is not any sort of excuse. She can’t read most non-Latin alphabets.

          • Jen says:

            Well I don’t know and unless you live in the US where people have been brainwashed by anti-Muslim propaganda and can’t resist the hysteria, because among other things they’re not able or allowed to resist, you wouldn’t know either.

            If the woman were to be prosecuted, the prosecutors would have to establish intent to cause a public disturbance. If they can’t do that, the case gets thrown out (or it wouldn’t even make it to trial). Also you have to be fair to the woman: she did try to talk to Menzio, so presumably she was interested in what he was writing, but he refused to talk to her as the conversation would have broken his train of thought. His response must have seemed fishy. Menzio has since criticised the airline and airport procedures for creating the delay.

            Also you have to remember that the Underpants Bomber guy Umar Abdulmutalleb was caught on the flight to Detroit in 2009 only because passengers on the plane spotted that he was having trouble sitting properly and there was smoke coming out of his trousers. If the passengers hadn’t noticed (and if the guy hadn’t been wearing the same pants for 2 weeks, during which time the explosives degraded), the outcome could have been tragic.

            • marknesop says:

              I didn’t blame the government – I blamed the airline. Surely they could have sorted out the situation without diverting the entire flight. But perhaps they have certain procedures in place which say don’t approach the alleged terrorist, bla bla, don’t get him excited. Well, if so, that shows a definite flaw in the policy.

    • marknesop says:

      It reminds me of a glowing-red-numbers countdown clock screensaver somebody sent me once as a joke, suggesting that it would be handy for flights when you are seated next to that bothersome passenger who wants to engage you in conversation about some mundane subject, only because he can’t sleep, when you want to. Just pop up the screensaver on your laptop, and lean back and close your eyes were the instructions. If you did that now and couldn’t demonstrate a damned good reason for it, you’d be doing community service. If you were lucky.

      The picture is just an example; the actual screensaver – which I don’t have anymore – also featured Arabic script underneath the numbers.

      • kirill says:

        Having a laptop with a counter is obviously infinitely more suspicious than a piece of paper on which something is being written. They have not banned paper on airplanes. A bomb laptop can still be smuggled on board if it does not use conventional explosives as was the case in Belgium. TATP (triacetone triperoxide) has no nitrogen and is not detected by bomb sniffing equipment. Packing it intelligently into a laptop can hide it from visual detection at x-ray terminals.

        I think all laptops should be banned from airplane flights. The fact that they aren’t shows the whole “remove your shoes and belt” “security” to be BS.

        • marknesop says:

          Oh, was he just writing calculations on a piece of paper? I understood them to mean he was using some electronic device. If he was just writing on a piece of paper that does make it look awfully stupid.

          • Patient Observer says:

            Several sci fi stories are based on the premise that simply writing THE equation that explains existence or that writing the 9 billion names of god will end creation. So, I do not fault the fellow passenger nor the airline for being careful (joking of course).

            A key part of the story was that the women complained of being ill. Sounds to me like a way to weasel out of responsibility for her nuttiness and the air line’s overreaction.

            I agree with kirill that most people use common sense. Luggage is often left unattended as a parent chases down a child yet no one seems to running off to alert the authorities

            • yalensis says:

              Sci-fi writers who believe such nonsense are probably also believers in the anthropic principle of reality.
              In other words, they believe that reality doesn’t exist unless a human is around to observe it (or, in this case, to write it down).
              The corollary is that the universe never actually existed until humans evolved.
              Which is clearly bullshit.
              People who believe that also believe that the tree didn’t fall down in the forest if a person wasn’t around to hear the thud.

              • shargash says:

                “The 9 Billion Names of God” was written by Arthur C. Clarke, and he did not “believe” it. Clarke, a British national, lived for a long time in Sri Lanka, where he was exposed to Eastern religions. Good Science Fiction is about “what ifs.” My take on the story is that he was challenging his Western readers with “what if this odd religious belief is actually true?” All religions, including Western religions, involve some pretty odd beliefs, which many people take just as seriously as some Buddhists (I think) take the idea that the purpose of life on Earth is to compile the 9 billion names of god (after which, poof).

                • Jen says:

                  Of course the conceit with that story (which Clarke would have known) is that G_d has anticipated what the humans would do on Earth, including all the delays that the Western computer programmers have installed in the software so that the computer finishes computing AFTER they leave the monastery, and has timed all the stars to start blinking out millions of light years before their light reaches the Earth and the journey of the light stops at the precise moment when the programmers look up at the night sky.

        • Patient Observer says:

          The airport security in Moscow appeared to have less overt stringency – no need to remove laptops from carry-ons or to remove shoes. However, we did pass through both metal detectors and body scanners (in other countries, it’s usually one or the other). The airport security personnel appeared quite serious and their scrutiny was for real. I suspect that they rely on the human element more than technology (although much in evidence).

          Israel is noted for its interviews but the interviewees must be selected on stereotypes which we did not match. When you ask not to stamp you passport, you may receive a dirty look but the request is complied with.

          We were often interviewed in Amsterdam Schiphol airport when returning to the US but not so for the past few years.

  5. Warren says:

    Russian Tourists Flock Again To Georgia

    Published 6 May 2016
    A growing number of tourists from Russia are once again choosing Georgia as a holiday destination. It comes eight years after the two countries fought a short and bitter war. While some political tensions remain, Georgia is enjoying a revival in Russian tourism thanks to its sunny beaches, tasty food and attractive prices. (Reuters video)

    http://www.rferl.org/media/video/russian-tourists-flock-again-to-georgia/27720099.html

    • Jlaus says:

      Things have been improving despite some ongoing differences.

      Georgian wine was served at NY’s Russian Consulate, following the 2015 New York Russia Forum, held at the Princeton Club.

      One of the patrons had a Georgian flag pin on his jacket. Prior to the Consulate’s buffet, there was a concert which featured a Georgian pianist..

    • marknesop says:

      I can tell you someone who is not happy about that. Erdogan.

  6. et Al says:

    Watch Polish Su-22s arrive in Estonia for Exercise Spring Storm
    http://alert5.com/2016/05/05/watch-polish-su-22s-arrive-in-estonia-for-exercise-spring-storm/

    Four Su-22s from the Polish Air Force have arrived at Amari airbase, Estonia for Exercise Spring Storm.

    • Patient Observer says:

      Where do they come up with these names for military exercises? We had Desert Storm and Infinite Justice and now Spring Storm. Obviously, its all for PR but who is the target? Is it supposed to send shivers through the Russian military? Make Polish folks feel secure? Just musing.

      • Fern says:

        I like to think there’s a subversive soul or two within NATO who’s job(s) include coming up with these each-exercise-given-a-dafter-name-than-the-last-one and who treat this as if it were a caption contest and they simply can’t believe their luck when they’re adopted with a straight face.

        • yalensis says:

          I found this website about American naming conventions for military operations.
          I think I previously assumed that the names were computer generated, but apparently not.

        • Jen says:

          I’m still waiting for the Australian Government to launch the public competition to name the new icebreaker that will be stationed in Hobart and become operational in the year 2020.
          http://www.antarctica.gov.au/icebreaker

          Cue for the usual “Did You Fall From Heaven?” type names or names based on the Australian Federal Environmental Minister Greg Hunt’s name.

          • marknesop says:

            Is “Boaty McBoatface” already taken?

            • Jen says:

              No, the other ship that would have been Boaty McBoatface will now be RSS Sir David Attenborough.

            • et Al says:

              Yes. They’re naming the remotely operated submersible (a yellow submarine) carried by the RSS Sir David Attenborough.

              http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-36225652

              • marknesop says:

                “The science minister said: “The public provided some truly inspirational and creative names, and while it was a difficult decision to ignore the public choice, they have only themselves to blame for being so faffing childish. Poo to democracy, and you can be sure we’ll not do that again. I’m delighted that our state-of-the-art polar research ship will be named after one of the nation’s most cherished broadcasters and natural scientists.”

        • Cortes says:

          I’m inclined to believe in that scenario having been regaled with a story about a Dutch officer weaving a classic wind-up which the ranking NATO officer (US) swallowed whole to the enormous glee of all European reps.

  7. et Al says:

    via Alert 5: Portugal took over NATO’s BAP mission from Spain
    http://alert5.com/2016/05/05/portugal-took-over-natos-bap-mission-from-spain/

    Spain handed over NATO’s Baltic Air Policing (BAP) mission to Portugal during a ceremony at Šiauliai Air Base, Lithuania.

  8. et Al says:

    TEch Times: British Astronaut Tim Peake Feared Being Stranded In Space Due To Worsening Russia-UK Relations
    http://www.techtimes.com/articles/156747/20160507/british-astronaut-tim-peake-feared-being-stranded-in-space-due-to-worsening-russia-uk-relations.htm

    ….When Ellwood shared Peake’s worries to Putin, he said the President just grabbed him by the arm and said that Peake will not be left to stay in the ISS forever.

    “Mr Ellwood, tell Mr Peake we will not abandon him,” says Putin…
    ####

    Typical projection by the Brits because that’s exactly what they would have done to Russia if the shoe had been on the other foot. When the UK behaves badly, others have to lump it, when the UK digs itself in to hole it demands mercy and appeal to the decency of the other side.

  9. et Al says:

    via Keymags forums: Belarus Gets Fourth Battalion of Russian S-300 Air Defense Systems
    http://www.defense-aerospace.com/articles-view/release/3/173620/belarus-gets-fourth-battalion-of-russian-s_300-air-defense-systems.html

    Two of the four S-300 battalions provided by Russia will be stationed in the Polotsk district and the two others in the Grodno and Brest regions
    ####

    As ‘DJCross’ commented:

    ‘The S-300 battery at Brest covers eastern Poland, including Warsaw.
    The S-300 battery at Grodno also covers eastern Poland and southern Lithuania, including Vilnius.
    The S-300 battery at Polotsk covers southern Latvia. ‘

  10. marknesop says:

    Jabat-al-Nusra-led forces have captured (or likely recaptured) a strategic town near Aleppo. The attack obviously violates the ceasefire, but apparently that is only being currently observed in Aleppo itself, at least in this region. Some 13 Iranian soldiers were killed in the attack.

    I imagine the Islamists were coached by their western string-pullers that this would be a good moment for an all-or-nothing effort.

  11. Warren says:

    • kirill says:

      Poor little jihadi ass monkey Julian and his pathetic guilt by association. Many Ukr Nazis were waving the Israeli star of David flag. Let’s see jihadi lover Julian apply his “logic” in this case.

  12. Warren says:

    Published on 5 May 2016
    Former House speaker reacts on ‘Hannity’ to current speaker hesitating to support the presumptive Republican nominee

    • kirill says:

      Cry me a river about the coal miners. The horse buggy makers also lost their jobs. At least the buggy makers were not dooming humanity to near-extinction with their products. I can’t stand these self-entitled turds who think that society owes them their jobs. They should grow up and join the rest of the workforce and LOOK FOR OTHER JOBS instead of whining about politicians depriving them because of an “ideologically motivated theory”. Gingrich and the rest of these global warming deniers can go and get stuffed. They are the biggest welfare queens of all.

    • ucgsblog says:

      Simple politics by Speaker Paul Ryan. What Gingrich is saying is that one shouldn’t put his own career before the party. Paul Ryan disagrees. That’s ultimately what it comes down to. Politicians back then had more class than politicians today, that’s why back then we didn’t have Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton as front runners.

  13. Patient Observer says:

    Just another musing – the only two candidates to remotely reflect the genuine concerns of the US electorate are Trump and Sanders and are also the only two who MUST NOT be allowed to be president, especially so for Trump. He may not be so easily cornered and co-opted as Sanders. Sanders strikes me as a babe-in-the-woods while Trump has experience in backroom battles and pressure politics.

    Yet, if Hillary were to be the next president, it actually may be better in the long run. She will bring ruination sooner hence allowing for the post-empire rebuilding process to start all the sooner. Trump would likely be a one-off glitch that would be “fixed” thereby delaying the day of reckoning. Yet, I will still vote for him as a matter of conscious.

    • kirill says:

      Sanders is a humanitarian bomber with a globalist mindset. Trump might actually say no to an imperial adventure in the name of backwoods redneck politics. He is setting the right tone with his let’s make America great mantra since it is about domestic issues and not social engineering the globe. Sanders is not setting any tone that I can discern.

      • Patient Observer says:

        Sanders would support humanitarian bombing in exchange for some crumbs for his “vision” of domestic “justice”. He will be played like a two dollar fiddle.

      • Fern says:

        I completely agree, kirill. Sanders’ foreign policy stance seems largely indistinguishable from the neocons and he’s clearly a humanitarian interventionist-in-waiting. The emphasis Trump is giving to the costs involved of the US’s current role as global enforcer also seems to give grounds for hope that a saner world might be possible. I can see smart Russian and Chinese leaders picking up on that by saying, “look, trying to outstrip each other on military spending isn’t in either of our country’s interests so why don’t we look at how we can work together to reduce this?”

  14. Fern says:

    OK, the moment you’ve all been waiting for….the results of the second Fern of England caption contest. Firstly, the standard of entries was high so choosing wasn’t easy plus most of us can’t see a picture of Merkel without wanting to punch it which handicaps the satirical impulse but there was one – for me – standout entry so I’m pleased to announce that Payman has won with his/her:-

    “Let’s tell Recep Volodya wrote these verses” (posted 27/04/16)

    Outstanding. Honourable mentions to everyone else who contributed.

    • Cortes says:

      A worthy winner! Congrats! And envy…

    • Jen says:

      That was a funny one! Congratulations to Payman and well done everyone else!

    • marknesop says:

      Excellent choice. Payman is completely new here, so I will contact him/her and set up the delivery. Thanks for being our judge again, Fern! I imagine you were offered a lot of bribes, but just keep in mind that not everyone is like Yalensis.

  15. Warren says:

  16. Warren says:

    • kirill says:

      A bunch of freaking inadequates. They keep going on and on about being part of Europe as if they have to prove it. How about getting your shit together you morons instead of dreaming of free visas and toilet cleaning jobs in the EU.

  17. Cortes says:

    RF-Japan relationship perhaps well summarised in Glen Jones’s band’s terrific song Sakhalin…

    I got into Jones via John Fahey.

    Jones’s acoustic stuff is just marvellous. The electric pieces are none too shabby either.

    • kirill says:

      Japan’s claim on Sakhalin is null. They only managed to grab it because of the 1905 fiasco at Port Arthur. At least Russia retains the indigenous name for the island. The Japanese always love to bring up the mistreatment of the Ainu by the Russian Empire. Well, I don’t see much trace of the indigenous population of Hokkaido left. Russia is multiethnic. Japan is monoethnic. Sakhalin would have lost its name eventually for the greater good of the one people and the one culture.

  18. Moscow Exile says:

    Looks nicer in Russian!

  19. Moscow Exile says:

    The big parade has just started. I’m watching it live and Minister of Defence Sergey Shoigu has just entered the square after having, once again, crossed himself, which action caused much comment last year and will no doubt cause much amongst the chattering kreakly this year as well.

  20. Moscow Exile says:

    And now the parade has come and gone, get ready for the Western filth media to start braying about Russian sabre-rattling and dreams of resurrecting its lost empire through military aggression.

    Next annexation: Latvia or maybe Lithuania?

    Or maybe Poland?

    Or the Ukraine even?

    Never any criticism of the French military parade in Paris on the 14th July. Of course, they, the French, celebrate on that day their glorious revolution of 1789 and not their rather inglorious capitulation to the Nazi invader in 1941 after only one month and fifteen days of fighting.

    This is what today’s Victory Day parade is about:

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Wrong outline of the German map above.

      The Germany then, until 1945, that is, looked like this:

      East of the Oder-Neisse line became Polish territory, with the exception of the Königsberg enclave, which is now the Kaliningrad Province of the Russian federation.

      Yes, those dastardly Russians annexed Königsberg and its surrounds, and guess what? The Germans have long written their losses off.

      That’s what happens after an unconditional surrender.

      The Japanese, however, and their Western masters, do not seem to think that there were no terms and conditions to the surrender of the Japanese Empire and that the Japanese have the right to put into motion diplomatic efforts towards the return of territories that they unconditionally handed over to the victors in 1945.

    • Patient Observer says:

      The absence of terrorists attacks, despite every Joe Jihadist fervent desires to achieve martyrdom on a day so important to Russia, is as impressive as the military might.

    • Patient Observer says:

      Too lazy to find the link but the Victory Day parade has already been characterized as a “crude threat” to Latvia et al in a Yahoo story.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      “The Pavlov House”, Stalingrad

      The Germans lost more soldiers at this house than did France during the whole war.

      The house is thus called after Sergeant Yakov Pavlov, who commanded the platoon that seized the building and fortified and defended it for 60 days against a heavy Wehrmacht offensive during the Battle of Stalingrad. The siege lasted from 27 September to 25 November 1942 and eventually the Soviet forces managed to relieve it.

      Sergeant Pavlov survived the war and seems to have been an unassuming man, for he returned to civilian life and died in Novgorod in 1981.

      No Hollywood blockbuster movies made about plain old sergeant Pavlov and his platoon,though: no Russian Rambo-style nonsense.

  21. Warren says:

    New Russia doping cover-up alleged by whistleblower

    A whistleblower has alleged undercover Russian intelligence agents posed as anti-doping staff to cover up cheating at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/athletics/36245334

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Of course they were cheating!

      How else could they have won so many golds?

    • marknesop says:

      Let’s just make it simple. Whenever Russia competes in an athletic event, if the Russian athlete wins, he or she shall immediately confess to cheating and hand the medal over to the American athlete or his/her British proxy. Only the Americans and/or the British shall be permitted to ‘win’ medals, although they may from time to time, by common agreement, decide to let some other country except for Russia ‘win’ a medal to preserve the appearance of fairness and good sportsmanship.

      If the allegation had been made against an American or British athlete there would have been a great outcry against the exclusive use of hearsay to break a major story which reflected badly on the national character. If this turns out to be nothing, fuck-all will happen to ‘the whistleblower’ – who, naturally, is only motivated by justice in sports – and the next time he pops up with another story he will be listened to with rapt attention.

      Washington and London will not be satisfied until Russia is excluded from international competition altogether. Then they will point and say “Look! Russia is isolated”.

      • Eric says:

        Yes…..and this will also extend to events where Russia has always had strong success in comparison to the Americans……like Gymastics, the High Jump,Figure Skating and so on.

        • Cortes says:

          I’m looking forward to the day when rich Russian competitors pick up gold medals in three day eventing, dressage, yachting, etc

      • Jen says:

        They’ll have to make college gridiron, 14-day Test cricket and hot dog eating Olympic sports to enable Americans and Britons to win the most medals.

  22. Moscow Exile says:


    Remember! All have been paid to attend!

    • Moscow Exile says:

      The Immortal Regiment parade shown above.

      All a sham say the kreakly, many of whom are now probably pulling sour faces over French wine in Jean Jacques bar, Moscow.

      • Fern says:

        Well, the kreakly are going to be more-than-unhappy to learn that a growing number of countries are adopting the same tradition with – at the moment – smallish Immortal Regiment parades taking place in Europe and the US. I think it’s an amazing idea – something that crosses generations and reminds those fortunate enough not to have known war of the sacrifices members of their own families made.

    • This is a great idea. It keeps up the memory of the Great Patriotic War veterans and even more importantly brings the country together. And togetherness is something that Russia needs when it is assaulted from so many fronts.

  23. Moscow Exile says:

    Moscow, 9 May, 2016

    Bring on the girls!

    Russia’s secret weapon that guarantees surrender!

    And also at the Kremlin controlled march of the Immortal Regiment was on display what many consider to be Russia’s greatest asset:

    I bought two of those pilotki forage caps for my daughters the other day.

      • PaulR says:

        Most controversial Immortal Regiment story of the day – Natalia Poklonskaia carries icon of Tsar Nicholas II. She says, ‘Last year, when on the eve of Victory Day we visited veterans, one of them told me a story. He and his comrades got in a scrape, and he had a vision of Tsar Nikolai Aleksandrovich, who helped to save him. And the veteran asked me whether it would be possible for Nicholas II to participate in the Immortal Regiment. And so we are fulfilling this desire.’ http://tass.ru/obschestvo/3267582

        • marknesop says:

          That seems to be a bit of a reach; but then, I go all collywobbly over Nataliya Poklonskaya and am ready to let her get away with anything. In a positive light it is encouraging, because the Ukrainian state does not appear to care anything about its veterans unless they are the right political ideology. And that would be the ideology of the group which tried to help the Nazis win.

          I sometimes wonder what is going to happen to old Porky when he isn’t the president of Ukraine any more, which is likely to be sooner rather than later. I wonder if it will affect his international business ties for him to have identified himself with the nationalists, both in his policies and his speeches.

        • Moscow Exile says:

          Yes, I didn’t like that. And she’s also been photographed kow-towing to that sham grand-duchess or whatever, whose son she has been pushing for years as the true inheritor of the Romanov dynasty.

        • Moscow Exile says:

          On a par with the Angels of Mons myth, which all started from a work of fiction written by a journalist after the retreat but led to the firm belief that god was on the side of the retreating British Expeditionary Force in September 1914. Which is strange, because on each of their opponent’s belt buckles was stamped the slogan: Gott mit uns!

        • Moscow Exile says:

          Poklonskaia with a so-called aristocrat whose son claims to be rightful heir to the Russian imperial throne.

          I cannot but agree with this blogger’s sentiment concerning the above:

          Феерическая дура…

          An incredibly foolish woman …

          Albeit Polonskaia is no fool, but to associate with such monarchists is, in my opinion, politically rather foolish.

          The desire that the Romanov’s return and the empire be revived is held by a tiny minority of Russian citizens.

          • marknesop says:

            Yes, I can’t imagine too many things which would bring Russia to ruin faster than making it a monarchy. Although, ironically, the voices clamoring that it is not a democracy but an autocracy would probably stop, because there would be no state elections. It would be hard for the west to denigrate Russia for being a monarchy when it supports monarchies like Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      BBC:

      Russian WW2 Victory Day parade showcases new weapons


      Patriotic songs from WW2 featured in the military performance

      Errrr …

      As a matter of fact, old boy, those chappies in the photograph are shouting URRRRRRAAAAAAAAH!!!!!!!!!!

      Putin: Glory to you, soldiers of the the Great Patriotic [War]! Glory to the victorious nation! I wish you a happy Day of the Great Victory! Urah!

  24. Moscow Exile says:

    Кому победа, а кому мобилизация — Порошенко собирается продолжать войну

    To whom goes victory and to whom goes mobilization? — Poroshenko is going to continue the war

    In honour of the “first of minute of silence” held on the 8th of May, Poroshenko made a solemn speech. He congratulated everyone on the victory in the Second World War. Interestingly, at the ceremony, the president honoured all at once — both the Red army and the UPA and veterans of the ATO.

    Moreover, according to him, it so happened that the UPA and the Red army were kind of one and the same thing. Well, almost the same thing. He glorified those Ukrainians who fought in the Soviet army and those that helped defend Poland from the German Nazis.

    But the veterans of the UPA, who clearly did not fight on the side of Poland (and obviously not on the side of the Soviet Union, which was part of the Ukraine), were also heroes and also on that very same day. They sat at the event together with veterans of the Soviet Union, although in any combat against the Nazis, of course,they did not participate.

    Behind all of them stood veterans of the ATO, those people who have made a questionable choice and went to fight against the same Ukrainians as they are. It was also their day, too.

    Now it’s called “Day of Memory and Reconciliation”. Although within the UN there are two days of remembrance and reconciliation — the 8th and 9th of May. However, our government has separated them, making the 8th a day of reconciliation for both sides, which is paradoxical in itself, and the 9th some kind of separate, individual “Victory Day”.

    Poroshenko spoke for a long time and pretentiously. Honouring the veterans, he naturally started talking about “bloody Russia” and the power of the European sanctions. There is no speech of his where he has not avoided doing this. He then gradually turned to the subject of the enduring power of our armed forces and to drafting for military service.

    Assuring everyone of the strict fulfillment of the Minsk agreements by Ukraine and the limitless blood-lust of the breakaway Donbass, the president, did not fail to note that a 7th wave of recruitment could still take place.

    That is to say, despite a more than 10-fold increase in Ukraine armed forces salaries, about which the president has boasted, enforced recruitment is nevertheless necessary. This may be because Poroshenko failed to raise military wages, as he promised 2 years ago, to 1000 hryvnia day, and, perhaps, because the life of a soldier is not insured, as he had promised, at I million hryvnia.

    But in any case, he has not kept his main promise, namely that only volunteers will serve. Two years have passed, and now we again stand on the threshold of the next call-up. And we still do not know what guides the draft board and what the agenda is that drafts this or that young man but not another.

    Every six months the mothers or brides of men of military age await the next and not quite legitimate call-up with a shudder. Well, the very fact that the president talks about a call-up indicates that for Pyotr Alekseevich [Poroshenko] the Minsk agreements simply do not exist and that he is going to continue the war. And in this speech on the day of “reconciliation” he again promised to “free” the Donbass, and then the Crimea.

    Poroshenko is the President of a large nation and for two years he has been saying in every speech almost one and the same thing, and the boys continue to die for absolutely no reason at all in the so-called ATO.

  25. Warren says:

  26. Moscow Exile says:

    A Blogger from Zaporozhye has published video showing how fat policemen require that citizens remove the St. George ribbon under the pretext that a scuffle with the “heroes of the ATO” may ensue which would involve the law enforcement officers.

    Despite the intimidation, residents of Zaporizhia unfurled the Flag of Victory.

    “Immediately ran up a Bandera creature and policemen, forcing them to furl the banner. One policeman even shouted that today is a day of mourning and remembrance, so we had nothing to celebrate”, says the author.

    See: Укропiлiцiя как она есть.

    The Yukie Police As They Are

    • Moscow Exile says:

      The ones in white are not women sailors, though, which on first sight is what I thought they were.

      They are cadets of the Ministry of Defence General. AV . Khruleva Military Academy of Logistics and Transport.

  27. et Al says:

    Dilma Rousseff’s impeachment cancelled by acting Speaker of the Parliament!

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-36248925

    …Mr Maranhao said there had been irregularities during the lower house session in which its members voted in favour of the impeachment process going ahead.

    He said members of the lower house should not have publicly announced what their position was prior to the vote.

    He also said it had been wrong of party leaders to instruct their members how to vote.

    Mr Maranhao called for a new vote in the lower house to be held.

    But it is not yet clear whether the Senate will agree to return the proceedings to the lower house.

    It is also not known whether Mr Maranhao’s decision can be overruled….

  28. Northern Star says:

    http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/the-killing-machine/
    Horrible stuff being carried out by these vermin….

  29. et Al says:

    EU Observer: Franco-German TV channel axes Magnitsky film
    https://euobserver.com/tickers/133370

    Franco-German TV channel Arte has decided not to broadcast a film on Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian lawyer who denounced corruption and who was killed in prison. Magnitsky’s former employer, Bill Browder, said Arte acted after his lawyers accused the film, which says Magnitsky and Browder were thieves, of defamatory lies.
    ####

    William ‘Thin Skinned Browder can dish it out but he can’t take it. He loves UK courts for their libel laws, but dislikes US courts where he refuses to give evidence before a judge, preferring to run away and hide from being served a subpoena. Spineless!

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Killed in prison?

      Really?

      If a man dies in as Russian prison, does that mean he was murdered?

      “Death whilst in custody”, I should think, is what EUObserver meant to say, surely?

      Or surely not?

    • marknesop says:

      This says less about Browder than it does about Europe, which is full-throated lion in its defense of ‘free speech’ when it’s defending Ukie Rada members dancing around outside the Russian Embassy in Kiev singing “Putin huylo” or anarchists screeching about God’s shit and bitches in a Moscow church…but curls up in the dirt like a kicked puppy as soon as one of its wealthy sons starts waving money around and shouting about lawyers. It is apparent there is something in this film that Browder adamantly does not want seen. Otherwise, especially if he is confident he can prove it is just lies, he would let them go ahead and then sue for libel, reaping the double bonus of money (punitive damages) and vindication. It is further apparent that ‘free speech’ to Europe means, ‘our freedom to insult you’, while rebuttal in kind is something else, but not free speech.

      Pathetic and humiliating.

      • cartman says:

        One of the officers (Karpov, I think) had his lawsuit dismissed because he never lived in the UK, or something. When did Browder live in France and Germany?

        • et Al says:

          I think it was dismissed because he wasn’t known well enough to have his ‘reputation’ sullied…

    • cartman says:

      Never heard of this site before, but I like the delicious irony of the title.

      Russian Propaganda Film Triggers MEP Call for Sanctions

      Another Liberast got chewed up and spit out.

  30. Warren says:

    • Moscow Exile says:

      May 8th , “Remembrance Day”, is not a Russian state holiday.

      May 9th is, though. It is a holiday in commemoration of the Soviet victory against the Nazis and their allies, which latter included people whom many of the shits in the “Punishment Battalions” now engaged in “Anti-Terrorist Operations” in Eastern Ukraine openly admire and emulate.

  31. Warren says:

    Turkish Prosecutors Not Charging Suspected Killer of Russian Su-24 Pilot

    The Turkish prosecutor’s office has not charged the suspected killer of a Russian pilot of the Su-24 fighter jet downed by Turkey over Syrian airspace, Celik’s lawyer Murat Ustundag said Monday.

    Read more: http://sputniknews.com/middleeast/20160509/1039323567/turkey-russia-su24-pilot.html#ixzz48C68L2lX

    • marknesop says:

      They can’t get enough evidence to charge him, but a poem which insults the president is grounds for an international lawsuit. Nice priorities you’ve got there, Turkey.

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