Putin is Weaponizing Popularity: Newsweek is not Amused.

Uncle Volodya says, "Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.”

Uncle Volodya says, “Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.”

“The mind, placed before any kind of difficulty, can find an ideal outlet in the absurd. Accommodation to the absurd readmits adults to the mysterious realm inhabited by children.”

 – André Breton

How appropriate, to say nothing of au courant,  to kick off this post with a quote from André Breton; a French poet, writer, and author of “The Surrealist Manifesto”, he is best remembered as the founder of Surrealism. And oh, Mama; surreal is what we have for you today. Yes, having weaponized everything from refugees to referendums, Putin has finally rolled out his magnum opus: he has weaponized his own popularity. Except it is somehow a secret. What a good thing that we have Newsweek to brief us on how that works, because at the outset I confess I am puzzled as to how secret popularity could function as a weapon.

I hate to give away right at the beginning how numbingly idiotic the piece is, but I am afraid most of you would guess as soon as you learned that the primary source upon which Newsweek relied for its breathtaking Kremlin insights was that old ‘Kremlin insider’ himself – Gleb Pavlovsky. Epiphany Number One: the overriding reason the west has Russia so wrong is that it keeps tapping the same sources for instruction and inspiration – Fiona Hill, Clifford Gaddy, Gleb Pavlovsky, Yulia Latynina, Stanislav Belkovsky, Edward Lucas, Julia Ioffe, Miriam Elder, Garry Kasparov, the late and mostly unlamented Boris Nemtsov…a phalanx of sycophancy that always tells it what it wants to hear. Thou, O Queen, art fairest still. Gleb Pavlovsky affects to know everything that goes on in Russia as if it were all unfolding to his own plan, and nobody ever seems to notice when he is catastrophically wrong or that he has been predicting Putin’s collapse for a decade. Here he is, running his mouth in The Guardian, four years ago: “[Putin] thinks man is a sinful being and it is pointless to try to improve him. He believes the Bolsheviks who tried to create fair people were simply idiots, and we wasted a lot money and energy on it … So Putin’s model is that you need to be bigger and better capitalists than the western capitalists. And more consolidated as a state: there must be a full, maximum unity of state and business.”

For Pavlovsky, United Russia’s collapse in the polls in December was obvious. “It was nothing more than a telephone system for conveying the Kremlin’s orders. It transmitted a signal. It has absolutely not independence and can not act on its own. It needs full instructions – 1,2,3,4,5. If 3 and 4 are missing, it stops and waits for instructions.”

The masses, in Putin’s mind, cannot be trusted to rule. Pavlovsky said: “What is the Putin consensus? It is a construction of a pact between the ruling elite and the main groups of society in which society is guaranteed a degree of social distribution and an elite which feels free to move across borders. This state has no ideology. It will be a state without ideas oriented on common sense, the average man, the citizen. Nonetheless the masses must not be given access to power.”

The Putin consensus began when Putin decided he was the sole bearer of that guarantee and he controlled the whole situation. But it ended at precisely point he decided to return to power as president: “That was his mistake. His decision to return was a certain delusion of grandeur, ” Pavlovsky said.

Just pause for a moment with me, and ponder the irony of a Newsweek article on Putin’s weaponization of his massive popularity, in which it relied heavily on a source who only four years ago announced that Putin’s return to the presidency was based on delusions of grandeur. That was quite the fucking mass delusion, wasn’t it, considering the complaint now is that he’s too popular, it simply can’t be real?

You know, it’s bad enough to start out being not particularly good at solving global puzzles. But how much worse you make it for yourself by ruling out all sources of information whose product is unpleasant to hear, because it conflicts with your vision of yourself as all-seeing, all-knowing, a benevolent giant who is forever a force for good. What you are left with is rows of bobble-headed yes-men who just tell you whatever will keep the NED cheques coming. The west did pretty much exactly that with Mikhail Dmitriev, when he authored the famous ‘Dmitriev Report’. Published in 2011 – and actually titled “Political Crisis in Russia and the Possible Mechanisms of its Development” – it told the west that Russians’ trust in the government was falling sharply and that the trend appeared irreversible. This generated nearly as much excitement in the west as reading that the face of Ronald Reagan had appeared in the burn patterns on a tortilla. But when Dmitriev later co-authored “A Farewell to Poverty” with Svetlana Misikhina, in which the two reported that the Putin government had eradicated poverty in Russia for the purposes of statistical significance, he got the ‘Mikhail who??’ treatment.

Well, no use preaching to The Church Of I Know Everything. Let’s have a look, and see what Newsweek‘s complaint is.

Well, basically it seems to be that Putin’s popularity is all a sham. He’s not really popular, and he knows it. So whenever his pseudo-popularity looks to be fading, he holds the Olympics or starts a war with somebody. Then his ratings ease back up into comfortable territory. Remember, this is someone who works for a polling agency who is telling this to Newsweek.

You know what? Putin should tell Obama how that works. Because Obama is forever starting a war with somebody, tidying up the remnants of a war he inherited from the previous administration, threatening to start a war with somebody or just showing up with his planes and Special Forces somewhere that a war is going on to which the United States was not invited, and announcing that they are playing, too, because the USA called dibs. And his ratings are still in the tank. So obviously it is not as easy as just throwing a big spectacle or a tantrum  for the folks whenever they start to mutter, there must be a trick to it.

Putin’s ‘reiting’ – which is merely a Russian rendering of an English word, although Newsweek manages to invest it with the mystery of code – ‘rules supreme over all of the nation’s political and economic decisions.’ So when Putin’s rating dips, he does not dare to make decisions which might bring the people into the streets with torches and pitchforks (I know, we’ve heard that a million times, but it’s still funny for me), and instead picks a fight with someone or holds an impromptu Olympics which was actually awarded to Russia years ago. Anyone buying this?

Putin’s rating – excuse me, ‘reiting’ – touched 61% in November 2013. Quick as a flash, Putin annexed Crimea, and his cratering reiting rebounded. What a planner, if you’ll excuse me a moment of frank admiration; Putin had to arrange for the Maidan protests to spin out of control into violence, forecast the rise of the opposition in Kiev – considering Tiahnybok and Klitschko were next to invisible before that- position snipers on the rooftops and flood Kiev with western politicians, all to provide the flashpoint which terrified Crimeans into abandoning the sinking ship! I submit he deserved good reitings after such a masterpiece of manipulation.

The Kremlin has spawned a vast new monitoring body with the aim of spotting and crushing dissent. Let’s call it “Tentacle”, or maybe “The Burning Eye”.  Well, we might, except it already has a name – according to The Moscow Times, it’s Putin’s ‘secretive’ Federal Guard Service (FSO). Its job is to conduct non-stop polling to determine levels of discontent, and dole out subsidies to areas the polls show are discontented. Sinister.

Let’s look at it as if it were in, sayyyy….England. “Her Majesty’s Government announced today the creation of a new domestic polling service, under the supervision of the Foreign Office. The purpose of this new office will be to constantly sample the public mood, establishing areas in which ineffective economic policies or uneven distribution of government subsidies have resulted in pockets of discontent, so that aid can quickly be channeled to address the problem”. Gee – that sounds completely different, doesn’t it? It’s all in how you spin it. Newsweek – and The Moscow Times – want you to see it as just more oppression and totalitarianism. This is a technique from journalism known as “Having Your Cake and Eating It” . If the government is too much of a busybody, it’s authoritarian and oppressive. If it isn’t, it’s out of touch with the people. There is no middle ground.

I propose we do an exchange, to promote understanding. Putin will show Obama how to start wars and gain good reitings. Obama will explain to Putin that if you want to gauge the public mood, there’s no need to stand up big agencies to do polling. Just have your intelligence service record their phone calls or watch them through their laptop webcam, and you will know exactly what they’re thinking, with the plus that they are more natural because they don’t know they’re being monitored. That’ll bring down that old ‘terror of the state’ barrier, at the same time resolving the innate dilemma of a ‘secretive’ service which conducts public polling.

Epiphany Number Two: you will never overthrow or successfully promote regime change in a country which is proud of its institutions and traditions by writing lies about it. You cannot make Russians feel ashamed of themselves by inventing horrible things they have done and then saying they ought to be ashamed of themselves, see, because they know you are lying. Battalions of Russian soldiers have invaded Ukraine. Russia was hiding Saddam. Russia shot down MH-17. Russia manipulated Brexit. If you oppose Putin, you will disappear. You can’t be gay in Russia. Navalny is popular in Russia, so the government had to crush him. Putin owns large blocks of shares in Russian energy companies and a string of palaces. Russian athletes can’t win a medal unless they are doped up. All these are ‘truths’ the western media has fed to its readers and demanded they internalize, or be branded a ‘Putin apologist’.

Vladimir Putin’s reiting is a reflection of Russians’ confidence in his leadership, and faith that he will continue to lead the country in the right direction, spotting pitfalls before the country can tumble in and dodging western sandbags dropped in its path, all without whining for mercy or prostrating himself in obeisance. Barack Obama’s reiting, and the evident pre-distaste for Hillary Clinton, are a measure of the American peoples’ fear that American leadership is increasingly dysfunctional, directionless and self-absorbed.

Where is America’s Vladimir Putin, the leader who will restore American pride and confidence, national direction and unity, and remake America’s poisoned relationships with the world’s nations? You can only rewrite reality for so long before the power of illusion fades.

This entry was posted in Alexei Navalny, Boris Nemtsov, Corruption, Economy, Europe, Government, Law and Order, Military, Politics, Russia, Strategy, Vladimir Putin and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2,623 Responses to Putin is Weaponizing Popularity: Newsweek is not Amused.

  1. colliemum says:

    If you should happen to like to see our Fern’s excellent comment on here turned into a ‘Letter to the Editor’, look no further than here:
    http://www.ukipdaily.com/letters-editor-26th-july-2016/
    Hers is the second of three – the last one by an American friend about the Hillary convention is a hoot!

    😉

    • marknesop says:

      It looks even more visionary in a newspaper format. And the third comment is indeed a cracker. I don’t understand why there is not a general revolt in the United States – are Americans seriously going to put up with this complete and brazen hijacking of what was not even a democratic process to begin with? And what next? Will Hillary simply rewrite the Presidential term in office to ‘forever’?

      • colliemum says:

        I don’t think Hilary is going to get in.
        In the first place, the now nearly daily muslim terrorist acts in Europe add another 5% each to Trump’s vote.
        In the second place, more and more dirt will come out on Hilary and Bill, and more and more people are aware of the underhand dealings in vote counting. It was one thing to keep quiet four years ago when most people couldn’t give a toss about Romney, so squeals of voting fraud were not widely reported.
        Now they know, now they are aware, and now, unlike Romney, there’s one candidate who’s not afraid of saying what most people think.
        I belive Trump will do it.
        What happens after he’s in – well, it’s gotta be better than Hilary.

        • marknesop says:

          If he just avoids a major world war, that will be enough for me. Because I believe the American elite would be quite happy for that to happen – it badly wants Russia taken off the board, and China too if they will not cooperate and learn their place, and such a war would be fought in Europe – again – while America is insulated by distance. Of course Russia would ensure America paid a price, but in the plan, their missiles would not reach their targets owing to the USA’s brilliant missile defense.

          If this is not America’s plan, then the last 5 years’ amped-up hatred and deliberate alienation of Russia from the United States, for a generation at least, looks awfully stupid.

          For the moment, at least, Trump has pulled into the lead. It remains to be seen if Sanders democrats will forgive Clinton for her unconscionable maneuvering, self-promotion and subordination of the DNC to her cause alone, not to mention what must now be complete disillusionment with the latter organization. The democrats, amazingly, are making the republicans look clean by comparison.

          • pacific999 says:

            “Of course Russia would ensure America paid a price, but in the plan, their missiles would not reach their targets owing to the USA’s brilliant missile defense.”

            Ummm..I thought that there is no defense against hundreds of incoming SLBM and ICBM MIRVED warheads and thousands of decoys:
            http://nationalinterest.org/feature/the-limits-us-missile-defense-12503?page=3

          • Jeremn says:

            Don’t underestimate how stupid they can be. They trashed Afghanistan and Iraq, and were then surprised that Iran became the dominating power in the region (after destroying Iran’s two most formidable foes).

            The US government can do stupidity, I don’t think they plan so well.

  2. Moscow Exile says:

    Russia can no longer use gas for manipulating Ukraine – Pyatt

    Ukraine has managed to get rid of its gas dependence on Russia, thus destroying the “energy weapon” of the Kremlin, U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt has said.

    The Ukrainian authorities over the past few years have in fact destroyed Moscow’s energy weapon, which used gas in this way, Pyatt said during a meeting of the discussion club “Open World” on the transformations in Ukraine, progress and tasks for the future in Kyiv on Tuesday.

    The diplomat said that Ukraine’s national gas company Naftogaz Ukrainy currently purchases gas only if it finds the price acceptable, but the natural gas has ceased to be the instrument of manipulation. Ukrainians are no longer in the situation when the Kremlin uses energy resources as a weapon, as an instrument of manipulating Ukrainian politicians, so that they should take certain decisions, he said.

    Pyatt also said that the Ukrainian energy sector is undergoing serious transformations and this is very important to bring these changes to completion.

    What? Buying the cheapest gas on the market is more economical than not paying for it at all, which is what they did as regards gas directly supplied by Russia?

    And where does this cheaper alternative supply come from — originally, not through an intermediary?

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Reverse supply, Pyatt! Ever heard f it?

      And the wonderful terms and conditions for EU “association” that Yanukovich could only refuse?

      Remember them, you twat?

      And billions that the Ukraine owes Gazprom?

      • Moscow Exile says:

        Perhaps Pyatt lauds this action of the Ukrainians as regards their good business practice concerning energy supplies:

        На Украине не видят причин возвращать России долг в $3 млрд

        Украина не должна возвращать России $3 млрд, которые были получены во времена Виктора Януковича. Об этом в программе «О политике» с Сергеем Руденко в эфире Еспресо [sic].TV заявил министр финансов Александр Данилюк. «Это был политический кредит, который нас заставили взять»,— пояснил министр.

        По словам господина Данилюка, эти средства в то время могли пойти на различные выплаты в государстве. «Наша позиция заключается в том, что мы не должны возвращать эти деньги»,— сказал Александр Данилюк.

        In the Ukraine they see no reason for paying back their $3 billion debt to Russia

        The Ukraine is not obliged to return to Russia the $3 billion debt that was accrued during Victor Yanukovych’s presidency.This is what Finance Minister Alexander Danyluk said live on air to Sergei Rudenko during the Espresso TV programme “On Politics”. “Our position was that we were politically forced to accept this credit. Therefore, our position is that we do not have to return this money”, explained the minister.

        According to Mr. Danyluk, at the time they were able to use the money for the payment of various state benefits. “Our position is that we should not return the money”, said Alexander Danyluk.

        On December 16 last year, the IMF Executive Board recognized the official status of the $3 billion Russian loan to the Ukraine. In response, the Ukraine announced a moratorium on the payment of any debts to the Russian Federation.

        Which is good business practice, according to Pyatt Twat, I presume.

        • marknesop says:

          They evidently believe Daddy Pyatt’s muck that they are getting off the Gazprom tit just because they are buying Gazprom gas from someone else. I would have a quiet word with those people to warn them of the possibility that they might have to suddenly find 45% to 90% of their gas supplies somewhere else if they did not put pressure on Ukraine to pay its debts. Because it has evidently not occurred to Ukraine where they would get their gas if their brotherly suppliers did not have any to sell, and were scrambling to find enough for themselves. America would crow that Russia was using energy as a weapon, of course, but Russia should be past caring what America thinks or says because they are never going to be anything like friends no matter what Russia says or does.

          Meanwhile, Daddy Pyatt is going to have some ‘splainin’ to do when Gazprom refuses to sell Ukraine any more gas until they pay. Because they’re still getting more than 10% directly. Russia is being nice, and usually sells them gas as soon as they pay in advance for that amount. But maybe they should say, “You know what? I think you should pay all your past dues before you get any more”. And they wouldn’t have a leg to stand on, because it doesn’t matter what ‘their position’ is; the debt has been recognized as legal and binding.

        • Moscow Exile says:

          Посол США на Украине Пайетт – дурак или всё же идиот?

          The United States Ambassador to the Ukraine — a fool or just an an idiot?

          I thought he’d been moved to some Stan-republic?

          • marknesop says:

            He would take any criticism from Russia as an accolade, an indicator that he is doing something right, because getting up Russia’s nose is his stock in trade and the reason he’s posted in there. He’s there to provoke confrontation between Russia and Ukraine, the more the better, and he could not care less what will happen to Ukrainians after he’s gone.

    • marknesop says:

      As usual, Pyatt is trumpeting nonsense, although I would love for some intrepid journalist to ask him why the USA is so resistant to Nord Stream II and preserving Ukraine’s transit fees for Russian gas. If it’s so easy to cut your imports of Russian gas by more than half that the poorest country in Europe can do it, why couldn’t anyone do it?

      Such as the countries from whom Ukraine now buys its gas – Slovakia, Hungary and Poland. Of the three Slovakia is 90% dependent on Russian gas, Hungary 44%, and Poland 45%. These are the countries that scream Nord Stream II must not be built – what would happen if Russia stopped supplying them with gas? Where would Ukraine get its gas then? Where would its suppliers make up their shortfall? American LNG? Ah ha, ha, ha!! Yes, I’m sure; forgive me for laughing, I couldn’t help it.

      Russia is not making as much money, that’s certainly true and will remain true for as long as the west can force the price down through oversupply. Who will run out first? I guess we’ll see. But although profits are undeniably lower, Gazprom’s exports to Europe increased by approximately 16% between January and May of this year. I think Europeans should be asking themselves how important Ukraine really is in their gas-distribution network. But bravo to Ukraine! See if you can reduce your Gazprom imports to zero! Now, there’s a worthy target. Just ask Daddy Pyatt from time to time how you’re doing.

      • Cortes says:

        Excellent.

        Back in the day contracts were “consensus in idem” or, my version = “agreement in all essentials”.

        The “partners” ought to be aware that the RF (and its “emanations of the State” (c) EU Law) appears to be relying on that, hmmm, understanding of “the rule of Law”.

        Chihuahua yelps and Banderastan yowls and EU poodle elite yips aside, the rest of the wide world sees reality as the RF does.

  3. marknesop says:

    The cycle of jihadist violence in Europe is tightening; a brutal murder of a priest in a church in Normandy this morning. Whoever is coordinating these acts of violence is pushing hard for Europeans to get the message, and react.

    Good for le Pen’s election campaign, I should think, although it will be amazing if Hollande even lasts until the next election.

    • Cortes says:

      No wish to be an automatic sceptic, but Valls’s comment about “all Catholics” whiffs worse than a month-old mackerel. And yet again no surviving perpetrators. I suppose that the survivors can be identified easily and the MSM will wish to have access in due course.

      • marknesop says:

        Oh, I completely agree. That’s why I say “whoever is coordinating this”. The fake suicide belt and fake bomb also smell. But the journalists will all go yapping off after whatever target they are pointed at.

        But is the priest really dead? Apparently, yes. So it’s not all fakery.

        • Jen says:

          I have a strange feeling that this killing at St Etienne church in St-Etienne-du-Rouvray might be intended as a warm-up to an even bigger shock event. The two killers entered the church on a Tuesday morning and came across the priest, two nuns and two parishioners. One nun managed to escape to raise the alarm without the killers noticing her running away. Whoever planned this attack might be gauging the public reaction before planning another, more preposterous event.

          It could be that whoever planned this attack and the other attacks in France has a beef with both Islam and Christianity, or Roman Catholicism at least, and sadistically thinks recreating the sectarian conflicts of Lebanon in France is a great idea.

          • Cortes says:

            Agreed.

            Now, who could possibly prosper from inter-religious strife?

            If only Dieudonne were here…!

          • yalensis says:

            Well, until somebody can prove otherwise with solid facts, I am just going to assume that these ISIS killers are on the CIA payroll. It’s all just some grotesque performance art to them.
            What is the ultimate goal of all this Theater of the Absurd? You would have to ask the puppet masters.
            I am guessing they want to get Europeans on board for a new war in the Middle East. Against Syria again, I reckon.
            Americans will tell the Europeans that they they are going on a new “Crusade” to reform and/or punish Islam. Then they will go after a secular regime, and bring even more religious crazies to power.
            They continue to do this, because they think all people are stupid.

            • Fern says:

              I strongly suspect a lot of this is Gladio redux – it’s all incredibly familar to those of us who lived through the apparent ‘left-wing’ terrorism of the 1970’s and 1980’s in Europe which turned out to be something very different. TPTB never like to give up on something that has already worked well so why wouldn’t the Gladio networks or some parts of them still be in place?

              Unfortunately, the MSM today is worse than back then and not asking the obvious questions such as a) how come so many of the alleged perpetrators seem to be ‘known’ to the authorities? b) how come so many of those ‘known to the police’ manage to get hold of weapons so easily? Even the 18 year old in Munich had no problems acquiring an automatic weapon; c) Is just possible that one of Europe’s shibboleths, open borders and the free movement of peoples might make it really easy for weapons and those with the will and desire to use them to travel undetected from place to place?

              • Jen says:

                Yes it sounds a bit like Operation Fast and Furious where the FBI tried to track all these handguns as they went from one owner to another across state and national borders (open of course) and not surprisingly lost track of most guns. Result being that guns purchased in Arizona and New Mexico often ended up in Mexican drug wars and there were cases where tracked guns were used to kill US border patrol police.

        • colliemum says:

          Thing is, the journalists are already yapping in unison at the tree they’ve been pointed at, and it’s getting outright ridiculous. The perps are never ever “real” muslims, they re always mentally disturbed lone wolves who’ve been on drugs/had affaires (huh?)/were drinking … beheading someone after giving a ‘sermon’ in arabic is simply an everyday thing to do when killing catholic priests. Shouting ‘allah akbar’ while killing – well, that’s a quaint cultural custom, innit, so what sort of racist xenophobe are you to point that out?

          No, the pattern is now well set, by the governments for the media: in no case, at all, ever, must these terrorist attacks be linked to islam. This “Sprach-Regelung” (so beloved by Goebbels) has been in place here in the UK ever since that drummer Lee Rigby was decapitated on the open street in London.
          After all, decapitation and beheadings are a normal act of violence in our countries,a aren’t they, ever since those refugees – well, no, stop right there!

          Isn’t it obvious by now that TPTB do not, under any circumstances, want the people to realise what is going on?
          Unfortunately, people use social media, have seen the ISIS and Al qaeda videos where the head honchos tell their faithful to go and kidnap someone (as was tried recently at an RAF Base in Norfolk) and to kill the infidel with whatever is at hand. So they go and do it … what is so complicated in realising this?

          What we should ask is how come most of these perps have been ‘known to the police’, and how come the meejah are in a perpetual snitch about ‘backlash’, which so far in the UK has consisted of some graffiti and, oh the horror, some bacon slices draped over the doorhandles of a mosque …

          • Jen says:

            It’s really odd though that the people who carry out these attacks have Muslim names, yet their families (if one assumes that the identities attached to the attackers are for real, because more often than not they are identified by passports or other information “found” at or near the scene of the crime by police, and who knows if the papers were not planted there?) say these guys were not pious Muslims, were not known to pray regularly or visit mosques, and smoked, drank alcohol or took intoxicating drugs, went to parties and stayed out late … in fact, more or less engaging in activities frowned upon by devout Muslims.

            For a 19-year-old to cut a priest’s throat, give a “sermon” over his body and then cut another hostage’s throat and leave him for dead, all the while filming himself and his accomplice, not only smacks of ISIS influence but also suggests the guy must have been high on ice.

            • colliemum says:

              Yes – and why shouldn’t they be high on their chemical-of-choice?
              After all, using such while killing infidels and apostates has a very long tradition in islam, and is approved of.
              The origin of the word “assassin” provides a clue.

              Of course, the Nazi killers were only allowed to get drunk after the act – their Commandant, a certain Himmler, ‘allowed’ it because these pure men needed to drown their sorrow over their lost humanity …

              • Jen says:

                I’ve read stuff in the past about the Assassins and their leader Hasan-i-Sabah. He was a strange though learned fellow who believed in a highly unorthodox, even heretical form of Islam: it was originally derived from the Nizari sect of Ismaili (Sevener) Shi’a Islam. Ismailis only believe in seven divinely inspired imams (the official religion of Iran adds another five imams, therefore it is called Twelver Shi’ism). Hasan-i-Sabah apparently believed in some strange ideas like the possibility of reincarnation and the notion that the universe had been created from other universes in a series of emanations starting with God, which for Hasan-i-Sabah justified his ordering of his followers in a hierarchy that peaked with him (of course). Coincidentally or not, Kabbalah Judaism has a similar idea about the creation of the universe as a series of emanations from God.

                Killers trained by Hasan-i-Sabah did take hashish but not necessarily to psych themselves up for hit-jobs.

                The Assassins’ headquarters were at Alamut somewhere in northern Iran during the High Middle Ages. Everyone, Christian, Jewish and Muslim, was frightened of them until the Mongol and Turkish hordes, who’d never heard of them, came in the 1300s and rubbished Alamut along with everything else they destroyed.

                https://www.library.cornell.edu/colldev/mideast/assasns.htm
                http://disinfo.com/2012/07/hasan-bin-sabbah-and-the-secret-order-of-hashishins/

                Apparently the CIA training manual was inspired by Hasan-i-Sabah’s methods so it is quite possible that a lot of the beliefs that ISIS, al Qa’eda and other takfiri groups have about fighters going to Paradise if they are killed in action could be Assassin beliefs fed to them by the CIA.

                http://iranian.com/History/Aug97/Sabbah/index.html
                http://drkhaninamagha.blogspot.com.au/2015/02/cia-using-hassan-bin-saba-doctrine-on.html

                • Jen says:

                  Wow … I just realised a lot of things about ISIS make sense if one assumes that their ultimate inspiration was the Assassins via the CIA and its brainwashing programs like MKUltra. Just as the Assassins were supposed to have used hashish to prepare them to carry out assassinations, so ISIS fighters use ice to prepare them to carry out mass killings and atrocities.

            • yalensis says:

              I wouldn’t pay too much attention to the protestations of the families. The familities might be innocent, or they might be guilty, either way the’yre scared shitless, and their words are meaningless. There were many similar cases in Russia, like the “Black Widow” Chechen families, or whatever; and the families were all, like, “Oh, we’re not even that religious, and Sonny-Jim never showed any signs of this…” and then it turned out the whole family was a nest of Wahhabistic terrorist plotting, from Grandpa on down to the infants in diapers. Or not. The point I am trying to make is that family rhetoric is meaningless.

              Instead, I have a compromise theory which I think should satisfy all parties:
              Here is my proposal: We look reality straight in the eye and stipulate that these terrorists are Muslim (or rather, Koran-waving Islamist) fanatics who belong to ISIS (or whatever they call themselves) and are hopped up on drugs to carry out these outlandish attacks; but that the people training and inciting these freaks are an inter-denominational coalition of Muslims (Saudi Arabia), Jews (Israel) and Christians (the CIA).

              Ultimate goal of these attacks (this is my theory): To gear Europe up for “civilizational war” aka “The Eighth Crusade”. If Killery comes to power, then there is to be one last Crusade against Syria. She will try to convince the Europeans that the only way to get rid of all these noxious and murderous refugees is to finish off Assad once and for all and install a “democratic government” consisting of five CIA agents plus ISIS. After which, the refugees will leave Europe alone and return home to enjoy the fruits of their new heaven-on-earth.

          • marknesop says:

            Well, I would have a hard time linking that nutter in the McDonalds to Islamic terrorism – he was born in Munich, brought up German, and bullied in school (which is a problem at least as big as Islamic terrorism and getting worse all the time since it now extends to social networks so that there’s no relief from it, not even transferring to another school) But this shouts it, as if the Islamists were deliberately trying to get everyone back on the right track. And by attacking the Christian religion, it is begging for a direct confrontation between Islam and Christianity.

            The bacon thing is just childish; if people have a beef with Islam, they should not be afraid to say so up front – after all, what did those poor cartoonists at Charlie Hebdo die for if not so that people have the freedom to say something which might be offensive?

            The aim seems to be to provoke a clash between the two cultures in Europe, and if was pretty faffing stupid to flood the continent with Islamic immigrants immediately prior to such a clash, Madame Merkel, if I must say so. But if it starts it will become a purge, and the Muslims who have made every reasonable effort to fit in, pay their taxes and adapt to the limits their religion allows will be swept away along with the radical shitheads. It is inevitable – every effort to get rid of the troublemakers will result in enough troublemakers evading detection to perpetrate yet another attack, until someone says despairingly, “We have to get rid of them all”. And that will be unfortunate, because there’s really no test you could trust. Five years’ trouble-free citizenship, perhaps. I’m afraid I don’t know. But it’s a problem which is not going to just go away.

            • colliemum says:

              It’s interesting, isn’t it, how the Munich terrorist act (call it ‘running amok’, it’s just a rose by another name) is instrumentalised by TPTB to reinforce their mantra that all terrorist attacks are actually nothing to do with islam but are just acts of the mentally deranged … with of course no answer given what ere are so many mentally deranged people on our streets who seem to have easy access to weapons and ammunition … or how come that so many of these Lone Wolves have in fact been known to the police and nothing was done about them.

              This whole thing would need a long and cold analysis, sine ira et studio as the ancient Romans would say, and not reduced or limited to the question of islam, because more and more it looks as if governments are tacitly allowing these things to happen, from running down police forces to open borders, from running down psychiatric facilities to allowing known foreign criminals to remain in the country.

              Yes, that Merkel policy was a mistake of unbelievable dimensions, but critique is not allowed – why? Those who do criticise, like Marine Le Pen, like Victor Orban, like Nigel Farage, are labelled immediately as “extreme right wing populists” whose critique therefore must be disregarded.
              Then there are the “hate crime” pushers: those who squeal at a wrong word, but disregard terrorist killings, or disregard mass grooming and mass rape of underage girls.
              Yes, putting bacon on mosque doorhandles is childish – but what other sort of protest is possible in a country like the UK where one man was arrested for publicly quoting words by Churchill about islam? Or where another man was arrested for a tweet where he said he’d urged a muslim to tell him if she found the Bataclan massacre ok?

              There’s not just a huge disconnect in the minds of our “elites” who do not want to look at what is actually going on, but also between that ‘elite’ and there best of the people.

              This will not end well …

            • yalensis says:

              “The bacon thing is just childish; if people have a beef with Islam…”
              then they should smear beef, not bacon!

          • Fern says:

            Good post, colliemum. The problem the UK government has, whether of a Tory or NuLabour stripe, is that all these particular ships have sailed. For years, anyone who expressed concern about the pace of demographic change or observed that out-of-control immigration was turning parts of our cities into havens for mutually hostile ethnic groups was denounced as a neo-Nazi. Nothing could dent the one-big-happy-melting-pot myth. And for why? Primarily because whether a Tory or Tory/Lib Dem coalition or NuLabour was in power, corporate interests wanted high levels of immigration so nothing else mattered. And most of Europe is in the same boat. So what can governments do? Can they really now admit the truth – that some interpretations of Islam are very problematic? That a small percentage of the one-big-happy-melting-pot hold views that are genuinely disturbing and that some of those people are likely to seek a violent expression of their beliefs? Governments HAVE to peddle the line that these acts are unrelated to the ‘real’ Islam because admitting anything else is just untenable at this point.

            • shargash says:

              The problem is not Islam, per se; it is salifism, particularly the Saudi version (Wahhabism). However, we in the West cannot talk about that. The last time Saudi Arabia was angry at the West, it embargoed oil and brought the Western economies to their knees.

              Our elites don’t really care whether a few light-skinned people die here and there in terrorist attacks and care even less whether darker-skinned people are blown to pink mist in our endless wars in the Middle East. However, they do care very much about the economy.

              So we dance around the issue, never daring to talk about Saudi Arabia as the heart and soul of salafism. Even less do our elites want to talk about how they coddled and enabled the salafists: the British between the wars, the US ever since the end of WWII. In fact, the West mobilized radical Islam on a massive scale in post-war era as a bulwark against Communism. We recruited, funded, trained, and armed salafists throughout the greater ME. We also worked our “regime change” magic against any secular government that even remotely cast a favorable glance towards Moscow.

              It is really a kind of poetic justice (divine retribution?) that Communism is now gone as a threat, but radical Islam is boomeranging back upon the West. And how does the West react to the blowback? Why, by recruiting, funding, training, and arming salafists to overthrow the last secular governments in the region (Libya & Syria) to cast a favorable glance towards Moscow, of course! It would actually be funny in a cosmic sort of way, if you could get past all the deaths and ruined lives.

    • pacific999 says:

      Sooner or later the white guys in Europe will start to channel Charles Martel…and there will ensue one huge fuckin’ bloodbath…muslim//Islamic men who allowed themselves-and their families- to be run out of THEIR homeland(s) are not gonna take over Europe….

      • kirill says:

        Maybe when U-rope gets over its Russia derangement syndrome.

      • Ilya says:

        Peter Turchin’s meta-ethnic frontier theory, as laid out in War and Peace and War, states that frontiers where different civilizations meet serve as fault lines around which conflict occurs and identity on either side crystallizes (e.g., the Orthodox Russia-Muslim Tatar frontier; the Roman-Gaul frontier).

        Will continued Muslim outrages in Europe result in the the growth of a pan-European identity, wherein European states put aside their less salient civilizational differences in solidarity against the unbridgeable gulf between “Europe” and “Islam”?

        • Northern Star says:

          Yes

          • Jen says:

            “… Will continued Muslim outrages in Europe result in the the growth of a pan-European identity, wherein European states put aside their less salient civilizational differences in solidarity against the unbridgeable gulf between “Europe” and “Islam”?”

            On one occasion when European states put aside their differences and sallied against Islam, the Christian city of Constantinople ended up being sacked by … European Christians. The long-term result was to weaken the Byzantine empire in Anatolia and hasten the transition from Christian Anatolia to Muslim Ottoman Turkey.
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Constantinople_(1204)

            I would caution falling into a trap as well, because the intended result of the recent attacks on civilians around France and in southern Germany may be to push Europeans into supporting an invasion of Syria. It would be the Fourth Crusade all over again.

            • marknesop says:

              Yes, that’s a possibility – there has been a real effort to link many of these crimes to ‘Syrian men’, as though all the refugees were Syrian. I suspect the press is complicit in this.

            • Ilya says:

              The happenings of the Crusades aren’t relevant to the 21st Century; Christianity has been in rapid decline since the Enlightenment — to the point where even the Patriarch of the ROC and the Pope met for the first time in nearly a thousand years this past February, however perfunctorily.

              Peter Turchin offers the US as another, much more recent example: the traditional intra-European animosities between Protestants and Catholics became secondary. Why? The red-black-white divide was so conspicuous in the US that the primary standard of identification became race.

              The overt racial and cultural differences between Europe and its resident Muslim populations could engender something similar.

              • yalensis says:

                Dear Ilya:
                Are you talking about this Peter Turchin, and if so, could you please cite which of his works you are paraphrasing about race relations in the U.S.
                Please provide links and quotes.
                This is important, since you are using Turchin as indirect support for your racialist political assertions, therefore we need to learn if you are quoting or misquoting this scientist.

                One also needs to note that “culture clashes” and “clashes of civilizations”, while often resulting in conflict, also tend to result in blending of cultures, eventually.
                “Co-evolution”, the eventual blending and synthesis is a more likely outcome than the simplistic solution of one group simply exterminating the other.
                Despite the wishes of certain people who shall remain nameless.

                • Ilya says:

                  Ch. 2 of Turchin’s War and Peace and War:

                  “One consequence of life on the North American fault line was the famous American melting pot. Indeed, when confronted with such obvious aliens as painted, bloodthirsty, heathen redskins [Turchin’s describing Indians as they were caricatured], two European settlers, even if they came from different countries, could not help but feel that they were kin. Thus, in old Europe, although the Irish hated the English, and the French fought against the Germans, in the New World all these people cooperated with each other and fought together against the Indians. As a result of the shared feeling that they belonged together, they and their descendants rapidly assimilated to a common American culture and language. Note also the limits of the melting pot. Because the fault line was defined in racial terms, immigrants belonging to non-White races, such as the Negroes and the Chinese, were not accepted as “Americans.” (This pattern began to change in the twentieth century.)”

                • Ilya says:

                  This excellent book, published in 2007, also contains this little ditty (Ch. 14):

                  “The theory — the American Creed — is that bringing democracy and the rule of law to the Middle East will transform the Arab societies there and place them on the road to freedom and prosperity. It might work.

                  The metaethnic frontier theory [Turchin’s], however, predicts that the Western intrusion will eventually generate a counter-response, possibly in the form of a new theocratic caliphate, because that is the traditional way in which Islamic societies have responded to challenges from other civilizations.”

                  Isis, anyone?

                • yalensis says:

                  Thank you, that is useful. Turchin sounds like an interesting writer.

                • marknesop says:

                  I think that’s the first book review by Anatoly I’ve read. He’s quite good, isn’t he? For me, a good review summarizes the content without simplifying it to the point that nobody wants to read it (unless, of course, it’s a terrible book, in which case people should be warned to avoid it). In this instance, the book sounds meaty but turgid, as often happens when a specialist holds forth on a subject which is already of consuming interest to him, but lacks the talent to make it interesting to anyone else but niche readers.

                  It does seem to hold out a tantalizing glimpse of the USA coming to the end of its imperial tether, though, and being jerked off its feet, if he is correct in his conclusion that empires crash just after they reach maximum income inequality. We are seeing, also, an inexorable and growing population shift to major urban centres as small outlying towns and even small cities die out – but that seems to be a global phenomenon rather than one isolated to the USA.

                • yalensis says:

                  It is a very good book review. And not having read Turchin’s book (yet), and just basing myself on Karlin’s review, which I think gives me a good idea about Turchin’s arguments:
                  I have a feeling that commenter Ilya is cherry-picking something from Turchin’s book which maybe isn’t even there.
                  I don’t see any indication in this discussion, that Turchin has a racialist point of view.
                  But it’s like the story of the blind man and the elephant.
                  When people like Turchin write about clashes of cultures, then certain people jump up to salute “the white man” and his struggle against the hordes.
                  In other words, I wonder, are the Kevin MacDonald types now in the process of adopting this new field of “cliodynamics” to support their own agenda?

              • Jen says:

                The Crusades are still relevant in the sense that Christianity has been replaced by the European Union project and the “European values” it claims to espouse. Plus any so-called racial and cultural differences between Europeans and Muslims are not as great as people think: southern European countries like Spain, Portugal, Malta, Greece and southern Italy have experienced past Muslim rule and people in these countries often look like people in neighbouring Muslim countries. Greece and Turkey even had a population exchange in the 1920s in which Greece dumped about 800,000 Muslims onto Turkey and Turkey reciprocated with about 1.2 million Christians. A lot of Greek Christian people have Turkish surnames or or at least surnames with Turkish elements such as “Hadji-” (meaning someone who has made a pilgrimage) or “Kara-” (Turkish for “black”) at the beginning or “-oglou” (descendant of) at the end.

                • yalensis says:

                  Similarly, the Balkans are a patchwork quilt of “Turkish” and non-Turkish communities.
                  And sometimes “Turkish” is just an identity, as in many Bulgarian villages, where people call themselves “Turks”, because they are Muslims, but they actually speak a Slavic dialect. The Turks, not to mention the Moors, did leave a big cultural legacy over all of Europe.

                • Jen says:

                  @ Yalensis: There are also Christian communities in the Balkans (and formerly also in Anatolia) that speak Turkish or a related language but who used to be called Greeks or Rum (Romans) because they were Greek Orthodox or Greek Catholic believers and wrote their language in the Greek or Latin alphabets. The obvious present-day example is the Gagauz people in parts of Bulgaria and Romania but Turkey also used to have similar communities (Karamanlılar) before the 1920s population exchange with Greece.

            • yalensis says:

              Bingo, Jen! That’s my theory too. That all these recent atrocities are the work of TPTB pushing for one last go at Syria. In other words, a series of false flags.
              The media narrative will go: Syrian men… raping…. murdering Europeans….is all the fault of chaos in the Middle East, maybe “we” (Europeans) had something to do with that, maybe not, either way we HAVE to do something about it now, like support the U.S. in installing a democratic European-values type regime in Syria, so that all the refugees can return home and leave us alone…

              I am hoping that Europeans are not as stupid as Americans in falling for a simple bait and switch type scam.
              And also, the above narrative can be completely turned around by common sense, namely: “Yeah, but the real way to end this chaos and get the refugees home is to support Assad and stop trying to overthrow him.”
              Which, if I am not mistaken, is the basic Donald Trump/Marine Le Pen type position, which incorporates common sense while not open to suspicions of “coddling” Muslims.

              • Northern Star says:

                @Yalensis
                “like support the U.S. in installing a democratic European-values type regime in Syria, so that all the refugees can return home and leave us alone”

                Yes but no matter how enduring the cluster fuck nature of US foreign policy…muslim/Islamic enclaves in europe-prone to episodic outbursts that are NOT necessarily the result of false flag machinations of TPTB- are not sustainable….for the same reason that white minority residents of colonial Africa or SE Asia were ultimately not tolerable by the indigenous residents.
                @Jen

                “Plus any so-called racial and cultural differences between Europeans and Muslims are not as great as people think: southern European countries like Spain, Portugal, Malta, Greece and southern Italy have experienced past Muslim rule and people in these countries often look like people in neighbouring Muslim countries……
                A lot of Greek Christian people have Turkish surnames or or at least surnames with Turkish elements such as “Hadji-” (meaning someone who has made a pilgrimage) or “Kara-” (Turkish for “black”) at the beginning or “-oglou” (descendant of) at the end.”

                Really Jen??…tell that to the Golden Dawn people:
                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Dawn_(political_party)#Allegations_of_Nazism

                21st century humanity is just as balkanized wrt racial tribalism as it ever was…you guys have been watching too many John Legend /Chrissy Teigen videos…
                :O)

                • yalensis says:

                  Ho ho! I never watch John Legend vids and I don’t even know who Chrissy Teigen is!
                  But seriously, I can offer a couple of counter-examples where different races and cultures can achieve an accommodation. Exhibit A: South Africa. Now, I happen to believe that one of the reasons why whites were able to survive there and NOT get kicked out after majority rule, is because there was a significant “white” influence in the African Liberation struggle.
                  Namely, the alliance of the Communist Party (predominantly white/English) with the African National Congress. There were white people who put their asses on the line, suffered and went to jail, to achieve African liberation, culminating in Nelson Mandela’s victory.

                  So, that’s one example.
                  I know it ain’t easy for people to get along.
                  But it’s possible, sometimes, so long as people try to do the right thing and not act like dicks.

                • Northern Star says:

                  @yalensis

                  Teigen is Legend’s wifey…she is of Norwegian/Thai ancestry

                • marknesop says:

                  He’s got a nice voice; I like his duet with Megan Trainor. They sound good together, although the song is formulaic schmaltz. Or maybe I just like Megan Trainor.

                • yalensis says:

                  Okay, so I read up on this, and they named the kid Luna.
                  Okay, so I saw some pictures of the baby, and she isn’t really that cute.
                  Her eyes are too big, she drools, and she has a receding hairline.
                  Somebody had to say it.
                  But, with good-looking parents, I suppose the kid has a fighting chance.

                  https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/OpapPuVlOdm_P27msEelAQ–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjtzbT0xO3c9ODAw/http://media.zenfs.com/en-US/homerun/hello_giggles_454/57b6c378b4f2cdba7bbba5493e7293f8

                • Northern Star says:

                  @yalensis
                  RE: Pix of baby momma and baby:

                  Obvious mongrel untermensch….it is precisely this type of stuff that is largely responsible for Murica’s downfall…..Donald will put things right!!!!!!!

                • Jen says:

                  I’ve been lucky to meet Greek, Armenian and Turkish people without having to set foot outside Sydney – because Sydney does have sizeable communities of these and other groups – and though I haven’t met very many individuals, the ones I did know had a “live and let live” attitude. One Armenian guy I used to know said that events like the 1915 Ottoman genocide against Armenians should stay in the past and dredging them up again didn’t serve much purpose other than the possibility of getting monetary compensation for lost property and the money-grabbing shenanigans and scheming that might give rise to.

                  Peter Turchin’s theory as presented by Ilya here may be relevant at the level of competing elites wanting to grab territory or trade routes to enrich themselves, and claiming religious motives as excuses; but it’s not necessarily relevant at the level of communities of people thrown together in cities, towns and villages, and more or less governing themselves under an umbrella of protection and a general legal code provided by the ruling elite. Under the Ottomans, this over-arching system was the millet system.

                  From Britannica.com:
                  https://www.britannica.com/topic/millet-religious-group

                  “Millet, (Turkish: “religious community,” or “people”), according to the Qurʾān, the religion professed by Abraham and other ancient prophets. In medieval Islāmic states, the word was applied to certain non-Muslim minorities, mainly Christians and Jews. In the heterogeneous Ottoman Empire (c. 1300–1923), a millet was an autonomous self-governing religious community, each organized under its own laws and headed by a religious leader, who was responsible to the central government for the fulfillment of millet responsibilities and duties, particularly those of paying taxes and maintaining internal security. In addition, each millet assumed responsibility for social and administrative functions not provided by the state, conducting affairs through a communal council (meclisimillî) without intervention from outside. From 1856 on, a series of imperial reform edicts introduced secular law codes for all citizens, and much of the millets’ administrative autonomy was lost.”

                  It’s important to make the distinction between what elites desired and what the majority of the people they ruled actually put up with and were able to achieve when left to their own devices.

        • Moscow Exile says:

          Whither the concept “Christendom”?

          I suppose Realpolitik (started off by the Frogs when they allied with the Ottomans in 1536) and the rise of 19th century European Nation States killed off that idea.

          Then again, I don’t think the Russian Orthodox Church was ever really accepted as being part of Christendom. It certainly wasn’t when the Holy Father in Rome gave the green light for a “Northern Crusade”.

          A KNYGHT ther was, and that a worthy man,
          That fro the tyme that he first bigan
          To riden out, he loved chivalrie,
          Trouthe and honour, fredom and curteisie.
          Ful worthy was he in his lordes werre,
          And therto hadde he riden, no man ferre,
          As wel in cristendom as in hethenesse,
          And evere honoured for his worthynesse.
          At Alisaundre he was, whan it was wonne.
          Ful ofte tyme he hadde the bord bigonne
          Aboven alle nacions in Pruce;
          In Lettow hadde he reysed, and in Ruce…

          A KNIGHT there was, and such a worthy man,
          Who, from the moment that he first began
          To ride about the world, loved chivalry,
          Truth, honour, freedom and all courtesy.
          Full worthy was he in his sovereign’s war,
          And therein had he ridden, no man more,
          As well in Christendom as heathen lands,
          And honoured everywhere for worthiness.
          At Alexandria, in the victorious battle he was there;
          Full often was he seated in the place of honour at table
          Above all other nations’ knights in Prussia.
          In Latvia raided he, and Russia…

          Rus’, actually.

          No mention of the Ukraine by old Chaucer when he wrote those lines in 14th century England.

          Know why?

          Because there was no such country.

          And in Latvia was the worthy English knight!

          Latvia was the last “heathen” country in Europe. It became a Christian land after its ruler accepted the Polish crown in the late 15th century.

          Warsaw is worth the mass?

          No NATO then to protect poor little Latvia from the aggression of neighbouring states.

          • Jen says:

            Hang about, “Lettow” could mean Lithuania, not Latvia. At the time Chaucer wrote The Canterbury Tales, Lithuania definitely existed as a duchy linked to the Kingdom of Poland but the territory that became modern Latvia was split up into various regions (Courland, Latgalia, Livonia, Semigallia among others) depending on who was living in the regions at the time, and this suggests that the Latvian people as a distinct entity had yet to form.

            • Moscow Exile says:

              Yes, I’ve got Latvia on my mind!

                • Moscow Exile says:

                  It’s just that one of my Russian colleagues was on holiday in Latvia when I spent a fortnight in England with my family. I was talking with him the other day for quite a while about Latvia, where he drives to every summer with his family, despite the fact that the Latvian government constantly howls with trepidation about the likely annexation of their little country by their aggressive neighbour.

        • colliemum says:

          No.
          Not as long as “Europe” – or rather, the EU, insists on taking them in, because it’s ‘humanitarian’, and if a EU country doesn’t, then it’s denounced for being extreme right-wing xenophobic.
          I know Poland has a bad image here, but the current government resisted forcefully to succumb to EU repressions to take in ‘refugees’, as did Hungary.
          Guess where there haven’t been any ‘incidents’ …
          No, if there is to be resistance, then it can only come from singe nation states in the EU – and we all know, don’t we, that single nation states are abhorrent to the EU elites …

          • Cortes says:

            Agreed.

            And it occurs to me that there’s a ratcheting up of atrocity levels, from clubbers/concert goers to St. Jo of Diversity to promenading holidaying families to snacking kids to commuters to a religious celebrant as though the body politic were being probed for the tender spot sending it into convulsions of street rage. I hope I’m wrong.

            • yalensis says:

              Yeah, these terrorists and their handlers keep raising the bar, so you have to wonder what will be next — clubbing a fetus with a dead kitten?

  4. marknesop says:

    Well, this really is a bridge too far. Now the Turks say the decision to shoot down the Russian SU-24 was the pilot’s personal decision. “Turkey has no hostile feelings to Russia, and will never have,” says Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek. There are apologies, and then there are abject apologies.

    We know that’s a lie – as I’ve often mentioned, Davutoglu and Erdogan quarreled with one another over who actually gave the order, both claiming to have been the decision-maker, back when they thought that Turkey would be rewarded by NATO for its boldness.

    • colliemum says:

      So it’s a lie – so what!
      Lying to infidels is encouraged in yon religion, it’s called taqqiya. We do know that, and I’m sure Putin knows it. He’s just giving them some more rope to hang themselves with.

      • et Al says:

        True dat. Russia will have its piece of flesh, whether directly through action, proxy or by denying action or information at a critical point. This may seem a contradiction to the apparent ‘fact’ that Russia tipped of Erdogan about the upcoming coup attempt, but Russia plays the long game. Anything that gives U-rope grief & sows division in the Euro-atalanticist goal of f/king up Russia into easy to digest bite-sized chunks works.

  5. Northern Star says:

    This just in: Rivers of crocodile tears flow in streets of Brussels
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-07-26/putin-erdogan-mend-ties-as-post-coup-turkey-turns-toward-russia
    Maybe Turkey should withdraw from NATO and for a new thing with Russia…
    ………………Turkish Strategic Alliance with Russia……..TSAR..rather catchy don;t you think?

    • Northern Star says:

      Sorry about the typos folks…but I’m so wired up in anticipation of the epiphanies Bubba will bestow upon We the People tonite!!!!!!!

    • yalensis says:

      Yeah, I just did a piece on the newfound friendship between Russia and Turkey. The money quote from Turkish Foreign Minister:

      ““Europe is not Turkey’s master. We will not permit Europe to speak with us in the language of threats, nor look down their nose at us.”

    • marknesop says:

      I notice there was no mention on the west’s part of Russia tipping off Turkey that something fishy was going on. It must infuriate the west and particularly Washington that Russia does not have to bug everyone and everything to know what is going on, while western surveillance is pervasive and they still often find out about ‘surprises’ in the newspapers.

      We’ll see how pissed Erdogan is at NATO. He is certainly unlikely to sever Turkey’s ties with that alliance in order to throw his hand in with Putin. And I’m not sure how useful a major pipeline project would be with a NATO partner. Although Germany is a NATO partner. So, we’ll see. The more routes for Russian gas into Europe which circumvent Ukraine, the better, although you cannot convince Europe of that. To Brussels, more pipelines mean less choice.

      • Jen says:

        That’s the paradox of the all-pervasive surveillance state: it’s so busy collecting data on everyone and everything that the collection and surveillance become ends in themselves, and everything collected is atomised and lacks connections that would give it meaning. No-one knows what is useful information and what isn’t, because the links, the history and the context have disappeared.

      • shargash says:

        I would be very surprised if Turkey were to quit NATO. When you have no friends, you need to keep as many options open as you can. I would be even more surprised if NATO were to kick Turkey out. That would just drive Turkey into the Russian camp. Regime change is a much more likely option for NATO, though I doubt they’ll try a military coup so soon after the last one. IMO, a color revolution is more likely, or perhaps something involving the Kurds.

        • marknesop says:

          I, too, would be very surprised if Turkey were to quit NATO, and I’m sure they envision nothing of the kind; getting as far as Turkey has has been a long uphill slog. But the most recent speeches and dialogues have included a lot of ‘Europe is not the boss of me’ and ‘Don’t you dare talk down to me like I am some petitioner for alms in the street’. Erdogan was still very interested, in an on-again-off-again sort of way – in Turkish Stream even when he fancied himself to be foremost in NATO’s thoughts, and there is nothing about Turkey becoming a major regional gas hub which is likely to make Turkey smell bad to NATO. NATO will just want to control it, which is why it wanted Ukraine as well and wants Russia to continue transiting gas through Ukraine – because if it enables direct sales, there is a relationship of dreadful finality, in which once the gas is in Europe and contracted for, Russia doesn’t care what Europe does with it. You bought it, you use it. You need it; I got it. Europe’s interest lies in buffer zones of negotiation which are under its control.

          This is just Erdogan keeping his options open, as you say. But I think he learned a very harsh lesson from the sanctions against Turkey nonetheless, so it was effort well-spent.

  6. ucgsblog says:

    WADA might be at it again: http://sports.yahoo.com/news/rio-drug-dealers-using-olympic-rings-to-sell-cocaine-175640087.html

    “Who says the Olympics aren’t boosting the Brazilian economy? The latest news coming out of Rio suggests that the games are indeed serving as a catalyst for local business — just not in the way you might expect. And probably not in the way the Brazilian government envisioned, because it’s not legal business. Apparently drug dealers in Rio de Janeiro are taking advantage of their country’s hosting of the games to drive sales: Rio cocaine dealers now using the Olympic logo, plus the warning “don’t use near children,” which is very thoughtful”

    “And what’s more, they’re even doing so responsibly! “USE LONGE DAS CRIANCAS” translates to “USE AWAY FROM CHILDREN.” The above picture is from a major drug bust, during which police seized 93 bags of cocaine. Many had the official Rio logo on them. No word yet on whether the IOC will seek out the dealers to punish them… But not for selling cocaine of course; rather, for copyright infringement. Remember, non-partners of the IOC or national Olympic committees can’t use the word Olympics, or any Olympic-related slogan or logo, for commercial purposes. We’re going to guess that the seller of this cocaine has not paid millions of dollars to the IOC for the exclusive rights to use those Olympic rings on their product.”

    • marknesop says:

      Well, Washington and its partners would not be too upset if Rio was a disaster, really, since it is one of the BRICS and it is worth a reasonable amount of effort to weaken that alliance. But they may back off a little, because if the Olympics collapses in Rio and there is a decision to put off any more games indefinitely, Washington might get the blame for fucking it up for everyone over its desire to ‘get’ Russia. I’m sure it would rather public opinion not turn to anything like sympathy for Russia.

      However, nobody is going to get anywhere defending cocaine, are they, because its possession is a crime and it is responsible for a lot of deaths and ruined lives. So they’re on pretty safe ground there.

  7. Moscow Exile says:

    Here is an example of how kreakl Putin obsessives while their time away on the Russian blogosphere:

    Good morning, Putin agents!

    Wake up, it’s time to spread Kremlin propaganda!

    Every day the same freaks post numerous photographs of their regular as clockwork daily replenishment of Nemtsov’s shrine on the Bolshoi Moskvoretskiy Bridge with fresh blooms lined up in buckets either side of the playboy political charlatan’s photograph that has been placed on the spot of his murder.

    It made me laugh when one day somebody posted a photograph of a feral dog taking a piss against said photograph.

  8. Moscow Exile says:

    How the situation as regards suicides changed in Russia over a period of 60 years

    Note how it peaked during the Golden Yeltsin Years.

    Thank you, Washington and the Harvard led Chicago Boys’ shock therapy!

    Ah, those were the days when liberal economic policies were unfettered and anyone could make a fast buck …

    Well, some could….

    Well, very few, as a matter fact.

    But who cares about losers, as Chubais so succinctly stated below:

    Why concern yourself about these people? So 30 million will die. They are not part of the free market. Don’t think about it: others will arise.

  9. Warren says:

    Published on 26 Jul 2016
    Russia Insider website https://www.russia-insider.com/en
    Support Russian Insider website http://russia-insider.com/en/support

  10. Evgeny says:

    News of the recent month… (all links in Russian).

    The US and its allies are trying not to let Russia use nuclear rocket engines in space: Российский ядерный двигатель пытаются не пустить в космос через ООН. To put it short, Russians are trying to develop and build next-gen rocket engines for use in space, in order to make feasible manned flights between planets of the Solar System. And seemingly the US aren’t very content with that.

    Preceding news, to understand the context: Россия построит космический аппарат с ядерным двигателем. A popular introduction into precisely what is Russia planning to do, to even better appreciate the context: Про реактор – 1, Про реактор – 2, Про реактор – 3.

    • “The US and its allies are trying not to let Russia use nuclear rocket engines in space”
      How do they plan to stop Russia?

      • Evgeny says:

        By adopting some sort of a regulation at the UN level. Karl, I am afraid I don’t have sufficient knowledge of the UN procedures to make a good English translation. But you can get an idea of what’s going on if you use the a Google translate.

  11. Cortes says:

    Shamir on identity politics, including different approaches of Corbyn and Trump:

    http://www.unz.com/ishamir/the-secret-of-identity-politics/

    • yalensis says:

      Once again, I ALMOST agree with everything that Shamir says, but I have to demur on his calls to attack and/or disband the American Supreme Court:
      Indeed every possible step of President Trump will run into the Supreme Court. This is a body where an unelected (Clinton-appointed) Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg already declared she will fight him tooth and claw. That is the body that gave you gay marriages, unlimited immigration and other liberal joys. Sooner or later Trump will have to borrow a page from President Erdogan’s book and deal with them, if he is to achieve anything: unless, surely, they will refrain from action.

      Shamir calls the Supreme Court “unelected”, which it is. That was the whole point, the way the “Founders” intended it.
      Is this a rotten, stupid system? Yes!
      Should it be destroyed? Well, yes, eventually it should collapse just because it’s stupid and un-democratic.

      But what Shamir is inciting is an unconstitutional coup to eliminate one of the three EQUAL branches of the American government. Which is what the Supreme Court is supposed to be. Crazy old bat Ginzburg and all.
      Should Shamir not be more cautious before calling for a future President Trump to go all Erdogan on one of the branches of government?
      One has to ask the question: What would happen then?

      What will the other two branches do? Descend into chaos? Into Presidential rule and autocracy? Hail Caesar!
      Scrap the constitution? What would be the result?
      Would there be anarchy? A race war? People have to ask these important questions.

      • yalensis says:

        P.S. – I do like Shamir’s quote from V.I. Lenin: ““Dear comrades, if we shall keep mum today, tomorrow the Jewish Marxists will ride on our backs”. This was Lenin polemicizing against the Bund. Note to anti-Trotskyistes: Trotsky also polemicized against the Bund and joined up with Lenin instead of joining up with the Bund. So much for Jewish genes – gasp!

        Shamir likes Lenin. I like Shamir. (with caveats, as expressed above…)

        • Jen says:

          You only have to change the way the judges are selected for the Supreme Court. Instead of the President choosing people who happen to be close to him ideologically, you switch the power to choose to Congress. Let the House of Representatives nominate and choose a judge for whenever a position on the Court is vacant, then the Senate votes and if both Houses approve of the nominee, that person occupies the vacancy.

          • yalensis says:

            I think the way they do it currently is that the Prez nominates, and the Congress votes thumbs up or thumbs down, after an intensive interrogation of the candidate. Sometimes on late-night TV.

            In some cases, like Robert Bork, the candidate is rejected and doesn’t get the job.
            Then there was Clarence Thomas , the ultra-right-wing “affirmative action” candidate. Clarence ended up getting the job despite his glaring lack of qualifications. In fact, the woman he was accused of sexually harrassing, Anita Hill was way more qualified than him, and they probably should have given the job to her as a booby prize for all the shit she had to put up with from her odious boss.

            • shargash says:

              You are correct. The president nominates, with the Senate’s advice. The Senate then votes up or down on the nominee. The phrasing in the constitution is “advise and consent.” However, the American political process has become so debased that the process doesn’t work the way it was designed. I will also note that the way it was designed to work was to maximize the influence of the landed gentry (the Senate) over the ordinary people (the House of Representatives).

      • marknesop says:

        If the vote actually turned out to be that close, I don’t think the electorate would stand for another Supreme-Court-appointed president. Remember, too, the group that would be – in theory – trying to roll the election would be the vegans, the bunny party, the Democrats, trying to play hardball against the meat-eater Republican election-riggers. Traditionally the Republicans suppress the Democratic vote, phone-jam their hotlines on election day, wipe thousands of voters off the rolls with various schemes from convicted-felon lists to sending them bogus instructions on where to vote and generally cheat on an industrial scale. And the Democrats usually shiver a bit and put up with it, ‘for the good of the country’ and unity and kumbaya. The Republicans don’t like their candidate, and they probably figure a single term of Clintonian rule would be such a disaster that the country would be ready for a change and would have forgotten Trump – but winning is a knee-jerk with them.

        • shargash says:

          The Democrats have got MUCH better at vote rigging and voter suppression (q.v. the Democratic primary this year). Also, the Republican elites who do the vote rigging hate Trump, so they may actually use their “talents” in Clinton’s service.

          As for the “useless eaters” that support Trump, well, there is a reason the police have become militarized in the US, and it is not to be better able to shoot unarmed black men.

    • marknesop says:

      Pretty comical. As others have pointed out, though, who is responsible for the leak – and I don’t believe it was Russia, at all – is not the real story. The real story is what Counterpunch passes off as ‘sleazy electioneering’ by the Clinton campaign, but which was oh, so much worse than that, and their desperate attempts to redirect attention away from it. It’s serious enough that they need to bring out the big gun – Trump is in league with Putin. I don’t know who thought that was a good idea, but it wasn’t.

      “On Tuesday, new polling showed that Trump is maintaining his lead even after the first night of the Democratic National Convention, which had several high-profile speakers, such as Bernie Sanders, First Lady Michelle Obama (who gave a highly praised speech) and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, the latter of whom in particular railed against Trump.”

  12. Warren says:

    Published on 27 Jul 2016
    Who would have thought Russia and Vladimir Putin would play such an important role in the American presidential election? The media treadmill claims Trump is under Putin’s spell. And Hillary Clinton blames the Russian president for still another scandal. Russia is a one-size-fits-all political tool.
    CrossTalking with George Szamuely, Ray McGovern, and Daniel McAdams.

  13. Northern Star says:

    @Jen
    …How white ethnics think of black people….

    • marknesop says:

      As she herself points out – because her comment was controversial where it was meant to be a straightforward rallying cry, which is a phenomenon of the Clinton campaign that reflects the electorate’s skepticism – Albright was the one who argued precisely the opposite: that women should vote for Clinton because she is a woman. This swiftly gave rise to the counter-argument, posed by a woman (I forget who, now); of course I want a woman to be President. Just not her.

      I’m sure I’m not the only observer to be getting an impression of a candidate who thought this was going to be a cakewalk, and who is baffled and infuriated at how difficult it is turning out to be. If I were Hillary, I would turn down the overheated rhetoric on what a racist, misogynist, egotistical Putin-worshiper Trump is. Because if he beats her, the conclusion will be inescapable that the people chose him instead of her in spite of all those things.

  14. Cortes says:

    Good news for soft-foods fan and “economist” Anders Aslund and divers kreakl fromagistes:

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jul/27/divers-in-sweden-sniff-out-340-year-old-shipwrecked-cheese

    • Jen says:

      From the Guardian article:

      “… The 53-metre (174ft) Kronan, one of the largest warships of its day, exploded and sank off the southern tip of the Baltic Sea island of Öland on 1 June 1676 while manoeuvring before a battle with an allied Danish-Dutch fleet.

      Historians believe the vessel foundered while attempting a turn under too much sail and in rough weather, somehow igniting its gunpowder magazine, which blew off most of its bow. Only 42 of the ship’s 800-strong crew survived …”

      Given to us by the country that gave the world the Vaasa which sank straight into Stockholm harbour on its maiden voyage of just 1,300 metres, and which confuses Russian submarines with workboats.

    • marknesop says:

      Don’t even get me started on this, because it is so infuriating I may have an embolism. Washington’s form on this is already well-known, as it has been in virtually every warning from scientists of impending crisis which impacts profits – deny, scorn, mock and ridicule until it’s too late to do anything about it, which usually coincides neatly with the moment when it can no longer be denied, and then announce that the situation is nobody’s fault, this is no time for finger-pointing, and we all have to come together to solve the problem.

  15. Warren says:

    Published on 13 Jun 2016
    China’s Millionaire Migration: The wave of Chinese millionaires making property prices unaffordable in Canada

    • Northern Star says:

      Hmmm….perception of special economic privilege(s) and undeserved favored status..
      How did that work out for the jews a few years ago???

      • cartman says:

        It didn’t work well for Chinese diaspora from Indonesia, Vietnam, Kyrgyzstan, Thailand, Cambodia, etc.

        But these people in Canada are not from the merchant class. They are usually the layabout offspring, which is worshipped in the West.

        • Cortes says:

          Ian Hamilton novels about the Vancouver-Toronto-HK ninja forensic accountant must’ve done well…

        • Northern Star says:

          “They are usually the layabout offspring, which is worshiped in the West”
          …….as long as the local majority population isn’t under any economic duress….

  16. Northern Star says:

    http://www.newsweek.com/kremlin-dismisses-russian-plot-assault-poland-mindless-484413
    “Earlier this week U.S.-based thinktank Atlantic Council issued a report, warning that Moscow had the capability and plan to strike Poland quickly “overnight”. The report said that currently Russia did not appear intent on carrying this out but it was able to “artificially generate any pretext that suits its propaganda narrative” quickly and deploy forces.”

    Now..Exactly what is the Atlantic Council about? Hmmmm…Let’s see:

    “Coordinating with sympathetic retired military personnel, such as Wesley Clark, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, and Harlan Ullman, a top official of the Atlantic Council, the idea was – as Ullman put it – to “leverage, cajole, convince or coerce the U.S. to react” to an alleged Russian threat in Europe. Another academic contact, one Phillip Karber, head of the neoconservative Potomac Foundation, was involved in disseminating a crude forgery supposed to have depicted Russian tanks in Ukraine. Naturally, the Washington Free Beacon fell for it, as did Sen. James Inhofe. Confirmation bias is pandemic in these circles. ”

    https://www.sott.net/article/321621-Warmonger-Breedlove-the-Russophobes-and-the-push-for-World-War-3

    One must always read things in the context of their point (s) of origin…right???

  17. Northern Star says:

    Well..setting aside for a moment the possible race war thing-other than that this man MUST become POTUS…. F Her!!!!!
    (I am somewhat conflicted here!!!!!!!! His VP is a dickhead when it comes to women and their rights)
    http://www.politico.com/story/2016/07/trump-crimea-sanctions-russia-226292

    • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

      President Clinton will guarantee the abortion rights of every irradiated cinder in America.

    • marknesop says:

      “Crimea, historically a popular tourist destination for Russians seeking out its subtropical climate, formally became part of Ukraine, in 1956, while it was a constituent republic of the Soviet Union, and remained part of Ukraine after it the USSR broke up in 1991.

      Trump’s comments on Crimea came during the same news conference that he suggested Russia should hack Hillary Clinton’s email server to “find the 30,000 emails that are missing.” The remark has been harshly criticized, and the Clinton campaign said it has now become a national security issue.”

      Crimea did not ‘formally become a part of Ukraine’ – it was a whim, a gift from Krushchev, and there was no referendum nor was the Duma even consulted. But somehow, now, that is the highest standard in legal ownership transference, and Ukraine thumps its chest and says by God, that was the way to do it. Propaganda.

      Oh, now, now the Clinton emails are a national security issue, because Trump mentioned them. They were no big deal when Hillary was using an illegal email server to host her communications although she was told it was against the regulations and her staff knew it. But Trump needs only make a flip remark, and Clinton screams “National Security”! You could not make this shit up, and I am so glad it is not happening in my country. It is, however, a measure of how safe from prosecution Clinton feels, that she can quickly pivot and accuse Trump of violating national security by talking about her illegal emails.

      • kirill says:

        Sevastopol was never part of Khruschev’s 1954 gift. Yet somehow it became part of Ukraine in 1991. Let’s see a similar case anywhere else on the planet in the last 200 years. It is tiresome to see this pile of rabid double standards and outright lies.

        BTW, Crimea voted to restore its autonomous republic status in 1991 before the breakup of the USSR. So it should never have been part of Ukraine after 1991. It was scumbag Yeltsin that allowed this grotesque land grab to occur.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crimean_sovereignty_referendum,_1991

  18. Cortes says:

    Quelle surprise, hein?:

    France’s Le Monde daily said Wednesday it would no longer publish photographs of killers responsible for terror attacks to avoid giving them “posthumous glorification”. The country’s biggest rolling news television channel, BFMTV, later confirmed that it was following suit, as did Catholic daily La Croix. And the Europe 1 radio station said it was going further and not naming terrorists. “We realized after the Nice attack that we were very uncomfortable about a series of photos from the attacker’s past,” Le Monde’s managing editor Jerome Fenoglio told AFP. “It is not about hiding the facts, or where these killers came from, which is why we do not agree with not naming them,” he added. “But their photos are not pertinent for describing their background,” he said. (AFP

  19. marknesop says:

    The United States government has suspended some $200 Million in humanitarian aid to Syria, on the grounds that it suspects fraud. That might very well be true, although it is likely their own extremist groups which are siphoning off the aid money.

    But it continues to pour money into Ukraine, where the President was caught red-handed opening up an offshore money shelter even as his army was taking one of the worst thumpings of the entire war. I guess there’s no fraud in Ukraine.

    • Jen says:

      ” … “When you work cross-border and without a consulate, things become very complex, very high risk, and very dangerous,” said Nancy Lindborg, president of the U.S. Institute of Peace and a former senior official at USAID. She likened the challenges of the cross-border operation to aid efforts in Somalia. There, as in Syria, aid workers have been kidnapped and killed for their work …”

      Lindborg might have added that when you work without the permission of the Syrian government and when you work with dodgy jihadi groups instead of authorised aid agencies, things become very shady and even criminal as well.

  20. Jen says:

    Very interesting news indeed!

    “The Guardian’s parent company is poised to unveil a record loss”
    http://www.thisisinsider.com/the-guardian-poised-to-unveil-record-loss-2016-7

    “The Guardian Media Group (GMG), owner of The Guardian and The Observer, is set to announce a record pre-tax loss of £173 million ($228 million) on Wednesday …

    … The company’s pre-tax loss of £173 million follows a decision to write down £80m ($105 million) in the value of its stake in magazine and events company Ascential.

    GMG will also shoulder a £20 million ($26 million) restructuring charge over severance payments. Some 270 staff have agreed voluntary redundancy as part of a job cuts round, while GMG is also closing 60 unfilled vacancies …

    … One section of The Guardian that will be hit by the cuts is MediaGuardian, according to Campaign. One reporter has taken voluntary redundancy, while another could report to the business desk as part of the changes …”

    From Business Day / BD Live: “Guardian hits record £173m loss after job cut charges”
    http://www.bdlive.co.za/world/europe/2016/07/25/guardian-hits-record-173m-loss-after-job-cut-charges

    ” … [Guardian Media Group] has exceeded its target of cutting 250 jobs, with 70 journalists taking voluntary redundancy as it struggles to deal with the harsh advertising environment that is hurting print publications.

    Controversy over responsibility for losses at GMG led to Alan Rusbridger, its former editor-in-chief, stepping down in May as incoming chair of the Scott Trust, which is GMG’s sole shareholder. Rusbridger and Andrew Miller, GMG’s former CE, were accused of allowing costs to escalate as the Guardian expanded globally.

    The Guardian’s launch of free digital editions in the US and Australia relied on rising digital advertising demand. Although it recorded 167-million monthly unique browsers in June, it has faced intense competition for advertising from Facebook and Google.

    The operating loss of £68.7m for the year to March, to be unveiled on Wednesday, exceeds its earlier estimate of £58.6m. GMG faces a sharper than anticipated fall in UK print advertising, along with other newspapers including the Financial Times …”

    Oh dear … roll on the day when The Guardian will exist only as a virtual newspaper reporting on virtual reality … oh yeah, it already exists in virtual reality.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      So who picks up the tab?

      And who funds the arse-wipe — not that I would abuse my own posterior in using said rag for such a purpose.

    • marknesop says:

      Say not so! Can it be that the Godhead of free journalism lieth stricken? Everyone sit down, right now, and write a fat cheque to The Guardian, to save its global operations!

      Of course I’m not sorry, but we must curb our enthusiasm. The very last to go will be the core-of-Russophobia Guardian of Luke Harding and Shaun of the Dead. And in principle the concept of live reporters reporting live from the location they are describing is far superior to, say, Paul Goble writing his Window on Eurasia from Staunton, Virginia and pretending to have a grip on global affairs. The concept falls down, unfortunately, when you send pompous ideologues and jackasses instead of reporters.

      Good to see the Grauniad get some of its comeuppance, but it will not alter the editors’ beliefs in British moral superiority or the irredeemable barbarity of the fuzzie-wuzzies.

      • et Al says:

        Here’s my second prediction (my, what risks I take). The Guardian will sell an almost controlling stake to a US media group or a tech company like google.

        In other news, Verizon is buying Yahoo! Will it stop the crap they publish that they call ‘news’? It’s even harder to believe.

        • marknesop says:

          No US Media group will make an offer – tempting a target as it is based on its range of influence – unless they have reason to believe they could (1) turn a profit, or (2) transfer its influence to American influence. The latter might not be much of a trick, since The Graun already favours a total-American-domination future.

          • et Al says:

            True, the Groaning Man has been syndicating pieces from the NYT & WaPo which I guess is a way for the Scott Trust to get around its own rules, and they could probably do more of the same. The Brits are quite creative when there is a necessity to ignore their own rules and laws, so I’ll be interested to see what happens.

      • Jen says:

        Most likely the Guardian will start ditching its printed newspapers by reducing the size of the daily newspaper and then issuing it Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. The staff who work on the online version and those who work on the print edition will be merged (if they haven’t been already) and more specialist sections will be dumped. There will be more “partnerships” with dodgy networks like the New East network. Eventually the Guardian will have to merge with some other failing “liberal-progressive” newspaper like the New York Times.

    • cartman says:

      IBT Media (which publishes Newsweek), gave zero notice of layoffs to its journalists, doesn’t send paychecks, and doesn’t reliably pay its bills. Allow me to play the world’s tiniest violin.

      http://money.cnn.com/2016/07/28/media/ibt-media-layoffs/

      • marknesop says:

        Seen in the frame of The Guardian’s woes, it should be a blinking red warning to western journalism that it is doing something seriously wrong and it has lost the confidence of the public with its ‘Yassuh, boss’ stenography of political talking points.

  21. Moscow Exile says:

    FIRST WITCH
    When shall we three meet again?
    In thunder, lightning, or in rain?

    SECOND WITCH
    When the hurly-burly’s done,
    When the battle’s lost and won.

    THIRD WITCH
    That will be ere the set of sun.

  22. Moscow Exile says:

    Another Serdykov, namely someone upon whom the gods on high smile benignly?

    В Федеральной таможенной службе заявили о невозможности отставки Бельянинова
    Глава службы находится в плановом отпуске, сообщила начальник правового управления ФТС Лариса Черкесова

    Глава Федеральной таможенной службы Андрей Бельянинов не мог уйти в отставку, так как находится в плановом отпуске. Обыски у главы службы не повлияли на работу службы, заявила начальник правового управления ФТС Лариса Черкесова.

    Напомним, во вторник, 26 июля официальный представитель СК РФ Владимир Маркин проинформировал об обысках по местам работы и жительства главы ФТС, а также в кабинетах его заместителей Андрея Струкова и Руслана Давыдова. Сообщалось об изъятии предметов и документов по делу о контрабанде алкоголя.

    “Этого просто не может быть, потому что не может быть никогда”, – заявила Черкесова. Она добавила, что Бельянинов ушел в плановый отпуск.

    Начальник правового управления ведомства отказалась комментировать сообщения о том, что в доме Бельянинова были найдены около 10 млн рублей, 400 тысяч долларов и 300 тысяч евро, а также коллекционные произведения искусства. “Я в гостях у руководителя на была, картины не видела, информацией не обладаю”, – сказала Черкесова, передает ТАСС.

    The Federal Customs Service has spoken about the impossibility Belyaninov resigning
    The head of the service is on a planned holiday, said the chief of the FCS legal department, Larisa Cherkesova

    The head of the Federal Customs Service, Andrei Belyaninov, could not have resigned because he is on a planned holiday. A search for the location of the head of the service cannot be effected by the the service, said the chief of the FCS legal Department, Larisa Cherkesova.

    We should remind readers that on Tuesday, July 26, the official representative of the Investigatory Committee of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Markin, informed that searches had been undertaken at the places of work and residence of the head of the Federal Customs Service, as well as in the offices of his deputies, Andrei Strukov and Ruslan Davydov. It was reported that there had been seized objects and documents relating to a matter concerning the smuggling of alcohol.

    “This simply cannot be possible, because it has never been possible”, said Cherkesova. She added that Belyaninov had left on a planned holiday.

    The head of the ministry legal department has refused to comment on reports that in Belyaninov’s house were found about 10 million roubles, 400 thousand dollars and 300 thousand euros, as well as collectable works of art. “I have never been a guest of the chief and have never seen his apartment, so I have no information to give about this”, said Cherkesova as reported by TASS.

    Latest:

    Медведев отправил в отставку главу ФТС Бельянинова

    Москва. 28 июля. INTERFAX.RU – Премьер-министр Дмитрий Медведев отправил в отставку главу Федеральной таможенной службы Андрея Бельянинова.

    Распоряжение от 28 июля об освобождении Бельянинова от должности с формулировкой “по его просьбе” опубликовано на сайте правительства.

    Бельянинов, которому через год исполнится 60 лет, возглавлял ФТС с мая 2006 года. До этого он работал во внешней разведке, возглавлял “Рособоронэкспорт”, Федеральную службу по оборонному заказу.

    В январе этого года Федеральная таможенная служба президентским указом была передана в ведение Минфина, до этого ФТС подчинялась правительству напрямую. Переход ФТС в ведение Минфина сопровождался активными слухами о кадровых перестановках и возможной смене руководителя ведомства.

    Во вторник официальный представитель СКР Владимир Маркин сообщил, что следователи провели обыски у Бельянинова и его заместителей Руслана Давыдова и Андрея Струкова в рамках расследования дела о контрабанде алкоголя, возбужденного против гендиректора холдинга “Форум” Дмитрия Михальченко. Кроме того, по его словам, обыски прошли по месту жительства и работы президента ООО “Страховая компания Арсеналъ” Сергея Лобанова, “который является учредителем не менее 15 различных фирм, чья деятельность тесно связана с ФТС”.

    Маркин отметил, что следственные действия проводились в рамках расследования уголовного дела, возбужденного по статье 200.2 УК РФ (незаконное перемещение через таможенную границу алкогольной продукции в крупном размере, неуплата таможенных платежей) в отношении гендиректора холдинговой компании “Форум” Михальченко, его заместителя Бориса Коревского, заместителя гендиректора ООО “КонтРейл Логистик Северо-запад” Анатолия Киндзерского и директора ООО “Юго-восточная торговая компания” Ильи Пичко.

    В ходе обыска у Бельянинова были изъяты денежные средства в разных валютах на общую сумму около 60 млн рублей, сообщал источник “Интерфакса”. Кроме этого, были изъяты ювелирные изделия.

    Глава ФТС, по словам источника, объяснил наличие у него крупных сумм личными накоплениями.

    Medvedev has dismissed the head of the FCS, Belyaninov

    Moscow. July 28. INTERFAX.RU Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has dismissed the head of the Federal Customs Service, Andrei Belyaninov.

    A decree of 28 July on the dismissal of Belyaninov from office with the words “on his own request”, has been published on the government website.

    Belianinov, who will be 60 in one year, has bee chief of the FCS since May 2006. Prior to that, he worked in foreign intelligence and headed “Rosoboronexport”, the Federal Service for Defence Contracts.

    In January of this year, by presidential decree the Federal Customs Service was transferred to the Ministry of Finance management; earlier, the the FCS had been directly subordinate to the Government. The transference of the FCS management to the Ministry of Finance was accompanied by active rumors of personnel changes and the possible change of the head of department.

    On Tuesday the official representative of the Russian Investigatory Committee, Vladimir Markin, reported that investigators had raided Belyaninov’s home and those of his deputies Ruslan Davydov and Andrey Strukov whilst investigating cases concerning the smuggling of alcohol, and that proceedings have been initiated against the CEO of the holding company “Forum”, Dmitry Mikhalchenko. In addition, according to Markin, searches took place at the residence and workplace of the president of the insurance company “Arsenal”, Sergei Lobanov, “who is the founder of no less than 15 different companies whose activities are closely connected with FCS”.

    Markin said that the investigative actions were carried out as part of an investigation of a criminal matter and initiated under article 200.2 of the criminal code (illegal movement across the customs border of alcoholic products in a large quantity, and the evasion of customs duties) in respect of the general director of the holding company “Forum”, Mikhalchenko, his assistant, Boris Koretskogo, and the assistant general director of “Logistik Central Northwest”, Anatoly Kindzersk, and the director of “The Southeast Trading Company”, Ilya Pichko.

    During the search at Belyaninov’s there was seized cash in various currencies and totalling about 60 million roubles, according to “Interfax”. In addition, jewelry was seized.

    The head of the FCS, according to one source, explained the presence of large amounts of money as being his personal savings.

    No chance!

    • marknesop says:

      Do you think he’ll go to jail? I was supremely confident that Serdyukov would – since it was an open-and-shut case, and he could hardly have argued that his house was full of stolen boodle which he never noticed. But the authorities seemed content to simply knock him off his perch. It would be interesting to determine exactly where the line is, at which they determine you do not need further punishment than being sent back to Square One, so that one could ensure being just over the line. Because an ordinary person who stole only a little would go straight to jail.

      Once bitten, twice shy; I will be surprised if he does any time.

      • Nat says:

        To be honest, I don’t think that the difference is in the scale of the crime. I think Serdyukov’s main asset was that he was the Defense Minister, and that it was judged wiser to let him go quietly, with no grudge that could be problematic in the future, than serve justice.

        • marknesop says:

          And you’re probably right. But I took it a little personally, as I felt it reflected very badly on Russia internationally to give him a pass, and that it lent weight to criticisms that Russia is governed by an elite cabal which protects its own even when they screw up publicly.

    • Moscow Exile says:


      Belyaninov

      Another corrupt, thieving fat-pig, bureaucrat fuck who had his snout and trotters well and truly in the trough bites the dust — sort of.

      I wonder why boy-wonder whistle-blower Navalny never sussed him out?

  23. Moscow Exile says:

    Russian sportswomen after saying farewell prayers at the Kremlin Uspenskiy Cathedral

    “Cheats” praying for victory?

    • marknesop says:

      In principle. Warning Erdogan of the impending coup despite his backstabbing ways seems to be paying dividends, as he seems to be genuinely pissed at NATO. But let’s hold off on the ribbon-cutting ceremonies for now, because you can’t trust him as far as you can throw him.

  24. Cortes says:

    Merkel does “Bob the Builder” (or is it The Electoral Suicide Squad?):

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jul/28/merkel-rejects-calls-to-change-germanys-refugee-policy-after-attacks

    Perhaps the most worrying evidence of how out of touch she is lies in the flippancy of the final remarks quoted, about incidents occurring where any of us could be. Any of US, yes, but not her and her bodyguarded peers in other states. If an incident were to occur in the owners’ enclosure at Longchamps, Royal Ascot, at Henley or similar regattas then maybe the little people might, just might, buy the puerile pablum about all being in this together. Meantime: keep the sickbag handy.

  25. Warren says:

    Published on 28 Jul 2016
    Al Jazeera has obtained exclusive video of the former leader of al Nusra Front confirming the group’s split from Al Qaeda.
    Abu Muhammad Al-Julani appears in vision for the first time to announce his group’s name has also changed to Jabhat Fath al Sham or The Front for liberation of al Sham.

    It follows earlier reports that the leader of Al Qaeda had approved the split so the Nusra forces could concentrate on their fight against the Syrian government and other rebel groups.

    • cartman says:

      LOL is all anyone should say

    • marknesop says:

      It should be emphasized here that this split has nothing to do with ideology, and does not mean the al Sham group are freedom fighters for democracy. It is a cosmetic and deliberate rebranding so that they can continue to receive funding and equipment support from the United States, which will pretend to believe the split means they are moderates.

    • yalensis says:

      Like I said before, “Al Sham” is the perfect name for these paid actors.

  26. marknesop says:

    Masha Gessen, as usual, makes an ass of herself – this time on the Trump-Putin connection, which she quite correctly opines does not really exist. The interesting part is where she expands on Trump’s weakness of character, in that he is not interested in anything he does not understand. She frames the danger of this by suggesting it was Khodorkovsky’s confidence in the power of his wealth that made him stay in Russia to be arrested, instead of fleeing (although there was considerable circumstantial evidence to suggest his arrest gained immediacy because he was planning to do just that), and that because David Cameron could not imagine England leaving the EU, he went ahead with a referendum. This seems to suggest an extremely Latyninaesque view in which you should anticipate what the proles are going to want and, if it does not coincide with the interests of the elite, take steps to ensure there is no mechanism by which they could gain it. You know; because they’re mostly harmless and we need them to pay taxes, but they’re too childlike and stupid to know what’s good for them.

    There’s a reason Masha is so beloved of the American elite – because she’s one of them; she’s just not rich. Interestingly, she does not seem to think Clinton is going to be able to eke out a win, and that the uncomfortable reality of a single Trump term should be anticipated.

    • Cortes says:

      Avoiding things you don’t understand seems to me to be an asset. Certainly worked for Emilio Botin of Santander Bank who famously told the brainiacs behind CDOs and other derivative “products” to do one when they tried to baffle him with bullshit. I wonder how it panned out at other banks, insurers and governments…?

  27. PaulR says:

    ‘US presidential hopeful Donald Trump says he was being sarcastic when he appeared to invite Russian hackers to find Hillary Clinton’s missing emails.’ This was obvious. Not sure why anyone needed Trump to tell them that. http://www.bbc.com/news/election-us-2016-36917349 But, maybe the cliche is true that Americans don’t understand sarcasm.

  28. Northern Star says:

    HEY Killlary..where you goin’ with those H-Bomb codes in your hands….

    • marknesop says:

      Incredible – I had never heard of this version, and assumed Hendrix’s was the original. Another demonstration of how a radical alteration of tempo can produce a major hit; this principle was also illustrated by Patsy Cline’s version of “Crazy”, which was written as a finger-snapping upbeat number. The syrupy slowdown resulted in a big hit, perhaps Cline’s best-known tune and the only version of the song most people recognize.

      • Northern Star says:

        Damn!!!…What a coincidence that you bring up Patsy..I was just now listening to
        Walkin’ After Midnight!!!!

        • marknesop says:

          It’s difficult to imagine now, with groups like Slipknot and Watain, but Patsy Cline was once an edgy rebel. With one of the most expressive and soulful voices of her day, she has something in common with Hendrix and Morrison and Cobain and Winehouse – nobody knows what she might have done had her career not been cut short early.

          Here’s the latter, in a song that still moves me to pity for her.

  29. Northern Star says:

    @yalensis and Jen:

    :O)

    • Northern Star says:

      AWEsome..totally awesome vid….

      (OK Mark I wion’t post more vintage vids…) :O)

      • yalensis says:

        This is good!
        But what happened to them? They got older and grew mullets, and what happened to the African-American lady with the nice hair?

      • Cortes says:

        Crap singer, but his most famous moment was good:

        rod stewart crying at celtic game

          • Moscow Exile says:

            A London-Scottish Celtic supporter!

            Or is it really Denis Law?

            • marknesop says:

              He looks like Keith Richards might have, had he not willed his body to chemistry.

              • Moscow Exile says:

                But more importantly, do you think Rod Stewart is sexy?

                • yalensis says:

                  I do! But I did not recognize that was him, foolish me…..

                • marknesop says:

                  Not a bit. Always liked his voice, though; it’s nearly unique and easily identifiable from among a cast of thousands. And I loved the early work of the Faces. I suppose I probably first heard him on ‘Maggie May’, which was a monster hit in North America, but usually someone who sings in as high a register as he does – sometimes nearly falsetto – is unable to invest it with that hoarseness as he does, it’s usually clear. The closest comparison I can think of is Kim Carnes, of ‘Bette Davis Eyes’ fame.

                  I saw that one performed by the writers, on a program about the Songwriters’ Awards. A couple of ladies who looked like librarians or schoolteachers, and a classical guitar; that’s it. It was recognizable, of course, but it must have taken quite an ear to recognize the potential for a hit, and production certainly added a great deal to it over and above the extra instrumentation. Carnes was an inspired choice to sing it.

                • Jen says:

                  Unless I miss my guess, I believe “Bette Davis’ Eyes” was written by Jackie de Shannon who was a minor pop sensation in the 1960s and started becoming more famous as a song-writer than a singer towards the end of the decade. She was a quite a looker when she was young. Musically she was associated with Burt Bacharach and Jimmy Page. (It was a small world in those days.)

                • Jen says:

                  Here we go, Jackie de Shannon’s version of “Bette Davis’ Eyes” on an album “New Arrangement” she released in 1974. It sounds completely different and the mood is cleaner, brighter and less seductive than the Kim Carnes cover but the basic melody is there.

                • marknesop says:

                  Yeah, that’s nothing like the version I saw, which went something like this. I can’t find the original broadcast, but it was the songwriters awards and both ladies came out; I don’t remember what they looked like, but one of them obviously must have been Deshannon and the other Donna Weiss. One sat on a tall stool and played the guitar, and the other sang. The tempo and arrangement were more or less identical to the Kim Carnes release – just, obviously, with bare-bones musical accompaniment. I had never heard the original, and thought until now that the songwriters wrote it and then looked for someone to perform it for release.

                • Jen says:

                  Hey Mark, you might like this: Jackie de Shannon performing “Dream Boy” with Jimmy Page on guitar. They wrote the song together.

                • marknesop says:

                  Pretty forgettable lyrics, but she does have a nice voice, and I like what he has done with a basic three-chord structure. Jimmy Page continues to surprise with his session work, because his interests were so eclectic – a lot of guitarists are wedded to one style, and rock players especially are partial to ear-bleeding Marshall sound with a fat tone and some distortion. Thanks for that, I had no idea.

  30. Pavlo Svolochenko says:

    http://varjag-2007.livejournal.com/10367887.html

    Ukraine’s permanent rep to the UN slags off trump.

    Cannot recall Ukraine officially attacking the Donald before.

    • marknesop says:

      I would imagine they have heard from Mrs. Clinton, and have likely received a juicy offer of what she will do to help Ukraine if it…ahem…helps her. Coupled with The Donald’s threat to completely review the whole aid plan – not in a good way – it probably took a great deal of study out of the decision who Ukraine will back.

      • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

        She couldn’t seriously imagine that Russia’s retarded little brother publicly taking up her cause could help her – could she?

        Well, I hope she does. I have visions of Poroshenko getting the Jeb treatment, and it’s glorious.

        • marknesop says:

          Can’t happen soon enough. The only sad thing is that, like Jeb, he is a very wealthy man, and you will not see him picking through the trash cans for his dinner when it happens. He will suffer no consequences for the ruin he brought on his country – unless an angry mob tars and feathers him, you don’t suppose that might happen, do you? – and will just shrug philosophically and go back to his former life as a rich man making more money every year. He will remain highly regarded in the west as a reformer who just couldn’t win cooperation, and probably will be able to pick up lucrative speaker’s fees.

        • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

          Would not be so sure about that. Saakashvili couldn’t make it in America, and Pinchuk failed because he’s a crass, embarrassing boor who didn’t understand the etiquette of Beltway bribery.

          Poroshenko probably could not hack it anywhere else, especially if his business interests in Ukraine had been seized out from under him. And in six months Washington may be a very unwelcoming place for him.

          • yalensis says:

            If Trump wins, then the Ukrainians will have to go crawling on their hands and knees to beg his forgiveness for their untimely remarks.

            • marknesop says:

              They will be in gallant company, indeed, then, and as close to Europe as they probably will ever get. Because Europe has made no secret of its distaste for the boorish Donald, and its preference for Clinton the Insider. Quite a few people will be eating crow and mending fences at the same time, but since The Donald sees such relationships from a business point of view, he probably does not care very much about personalities. You might even see a few laggards hurriedly paying up their NATO dues.

  31. et Al says:

    Neuters: U.S. diplomatic strategy on South China Sea appears to founder
    http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-southchinasea-usa-diplomacy-analysis-idUKKCN1072WR?

    …the U.S. strategy appears to be unravelling and the court’s ruling is in danger of becoming irrelevant…

    …Yet after the international court rejected Beijing’s position, the U.S. calls for a united front appear to have made little headway, with only six countries joining Washington in insisting that the decision should be binding.

    They include the Philippines, but not several other countries with their own claims to parts of the South China Sea that might benefit if Beijing observed the decision.

    China also scored a major diplomatic victory earlier this week, when the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) dropped any reference to the ruling from a joint statement at the end of a meeting of the 10-country group’s foreign minister in Laos. This followed objections from Cambodia, Beijing’s closest ASEAN ally….

    …He also said it was “impossible” for the ruling to become irrelevant because it is legally binding.

    But analysts said it now risks exactly that, not least because Washington has failed to press the issue effectively with its friends and allies.

    “We should all be worried that this case is going to go down as nothing more than a footnote because its impact was only as strong as the international community was going to make it,” said Greg Poling, a South China Sea expert at Washington’s Center for Strategic and International Studies think-tank.

    “And the international community has voted by not saying anything. The consensus seems to be ‘We don’t care. We don’t want to hold China to these standards.'”…
    ####

    USA Sad Face! 😦

    • marknesop says:

      Ha, ha!!! Maybe if they all get together and go, like, “USA!!USA!!!” really loud all at the same time, everything will come up sparkelz!!

      Seriously, it’s a shame that Washington cannot – not will not, cannot as in is physically incapable – hoist in the lesson that much of the world cheers when things go pear-shaped for it because (1) it insists on running everything, claiming pervasive wisdom when all it really has in the sack is slyness and self-interest, (2) its motives have been shown time after time to tend toward foiling someone else rather than developing some mutually-beneficial initiative, and (3) its terrible record for fucking things over and blaming someone else precedes it.

      All it would take would be a dose of humility and a little honest negotiation on selfless initiatives, instead of strutting and whooping and patting itself on the back, to have people waving little stars-and-stripes flags again, and sewing them on their backpacks. Humility, being a good sport and trying to make sure everybody gets a chance to speak and have their opinion considered go a long way. It’s not hopeless for the USA yet, but its current crop of leaders are leading it in the same direction it’s been headed for the last couple of decades and it can only end in tears without some serious changes.

  32. Warren says:

    Published on 27 Jul 2016
    Russia Insider website https://www.russia-insider.com/en
    Support Russian Insider website http://russia-insider.com/en/support
    Isinbayeva gives emotional farewell speech to Olympic team ahead of Rio 2016 Fighting back tears, two-time Olympic champion pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva tells Russian athletes going to the Rio de Janeiro Olympics to defend the country’s honor.

    • marknesop says:

      Wow is right. Isinbayeva is developing some great political instincts, and I would not be surprised to see her replace Mutko; she has become the face and the voice of Russian sport. I’m not suggesting that it’s all a political put-on, either – she obviously speaks from the heart. Obviously she is blaming Washington, and it is there that the blame belongs. They have not even begun to regret their politically-motivated interference in world sports, since they are the world’s biggest cheats themselves and only get away with it because they get to make all the rules. Roll on the day when the United States is just another country among many, because it makes a shitty boss.

      Isinbayeva’s speech hit all the right notes, and she is plainly becoming more than just another sports figure. And she’s right, there’s a group I forgot entirely – those for whom this would have been their first Olympics.

    • AliCat says:

      Putin normally has a cero emotion face, but for some reason, or maybe is just me, I see that he might be affected by this. Or maybe is the emotion Yelena put into her speech. I wasnt going to watch the Olympics if Russia woudnt go, but Im happy that some will go. But this is so fucking unfair !!!!!

      Anyway hope all are well, take care 🙂

      • Fern says:

        AliCat, nice to see (and read) you again – you’ve been away too long. The speech by Yelena Isinbayeva was very moving and I’m sure everyone who heard it, including Putin, was touched. What I read into his expression was ‘#so sick of this Olympic sh*t’. 2008-Beijing, Georgia undertakes its cross-border initiative killing Rusian peacekeepers and civilians.; 2014-Sochi, world’s greatest and totally unprecendented hate-fest in the run-up followed by the Ukraine coup; 2016-the doping ‘scandal’ and no-one knows how the athletes who are allowed to compete will be treated both by the officials and the spectators. The West is, no doubt, planning to heap as much humiliation on the Russian team as possible.

        ‘Russia Insider’ has the same clip of Yelena’s speech together with a suggestion made by a Russian blogger that Russia should go the legal route and sue the WADA officials responsible.

        • AliCat says:

          Thanks Fern, I normally come here everyday to read the posts I just dont have any interesting thing to write about. On the WADA thing, I hope the russians sue the WADA but I dont think they will win, sadly as it is. In any case the remaining members of the Olympic team will do their best and some are already world champions so Russia wont do a bad job. At least I hope so.

          • marknesop says:

            Some Russian athletes have already taken their case to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). That could put it in opposition of WADA if the court agreed to hear the case, and certainly would if they won. But it might be years before the case even comes up, since the ECHR will not be in a hurry to get involved in such a contentious case, and since it has to sort through a mountain of frivolous lawsuits as well.

  33. TruthSeeker says:

    Putin is becoming the all-consuming obsession for America. Still not quite on the Ukrainian level, where Russian President is a cause and a symbol of everything happening on Erath – but getting close.
    Today’s Bloomberg article has a feel of incipient panic:
    http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2016-07-28/putin-potency-grows-effortlessly-as-nato-does-his-work-for-him

    • yalensis says:

      “Putin has the luck of the devil,” said Mark Galeotti, a visiting fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations. “He can just sit back and watch this richer, more powerful and legitimate values-based bloc tear itself apart.”

      VALUES-BASED BLOC?????
      hahahaha ahhahahaha hahahahahahahahahah ahhahahaha!
      Oh please make me stop laughing, I’m dying, hahahahaha my head just fell off!!!!!

  34. Warren says:

    English Bulldog health problems prompt cross-breeding call

    Crossing the English Bulldog with another breed is the best way to ensure its survival, scientists have argued.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-36916431

  35. marknesop says:

    So it looks like this is the propaganda the Clinton campaign has settled on to try and induce Sanders voters to transfer their loyalty to Hillary – for the good of the party, of course, and to stop TrumPutin from winning.

    On that note, considering she already loathes Putin, can you only imagine how she will hate him if she loses the election owing to carefully-timed releases of new scandals and more emails, which the Democrats blame on Russia?

  36. marknesop says:

    I’m highly encouraged, in my job-hunting, by how blindingly incompetent you can be and still get a great, high-paying job. For example, the British Prime Minister. Thanks to her leadership on immigration, British taxpayers are on the hook for £5.2 million (Yes, with an ‘m’) for airline seats which were booked for deportees but never used because the ministry booked the seats prior to legal challenges being heard. Read and weep.

    • Jen says:

      Let me get this right … May’s department books all those flights in advance, anticipating that most refugees will have to go through the courts to prove their cases and the judges will find they are illegal. However the courts and appeals courts find that the majority of refugees have a solid legal case for staying. So instead of admitting they erred in booking all those advance flights (and reforming their procedures for returning failed asylum seekers instead), the Tories plan to change British human rights laws and the courts into fast-tracking refugees back into war zones that British governments over the years have been creating or helping to create. In doing this, the Tories potentially endanger the human rights of first and second-generation British citizens (because any changes to the laws could affect their right to stay) and those of British citizens living or working abroad who have foreign spouses / partners and their children. Just so that the voters of the Dog and Duck electorate can sleep safely at nights knowing their taxes are being used well by Theresa May’s government.

  37. Jeremn says:

    Breedlove not getting much love in Germany:

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/breedlove-network-sought-weapons-deliveries-for-ukraine-a-1104837.html

    Killer phrase:

    “Restraint, it seems, was never Breedlove’s thing.”

    • yalensis says:

      These people are so clearly nuts, even Stanley Kubrick couldn’t make this sort of thing up.

    • et Al says:

      First sentence:

      In private, the general likes to wear leather.

      stopped reading after that. It told me far more than I needed to know.

      • Jen says:

        Pity the sentence got no further than the leather and the Harley-Davidson obsession. I was starting to wonder if Breedlove was familiar with a certain Conchita.

        http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-04-16/dutch-central-banker-fired-being-nazi-cross-dressing-nymphomaniac-dominatrix-prostit

        • marknesop says:

          That is just wrong. If S/he had only not put that line in about having a career in international finance, there could have been a very convincing argument that they were essentially two different people – that’s kind of what ‘leading a double life’ means, after all – and so long as the whipping-naughty-men side did not interfere with the banker side’s performance, glass-house dwellers need not hurl any missiles. She looked pretty damned good for 46, a bit zaftig for me, but our paths would not have crossed as I have no lingering feelings of guilt for past naughtiness.

          International finance institutions rules are too general, and seem to cast a pretty wide net of impropriety. I think they should say, “Employees cannot also be Nazi cross-dressing nymphomaniac dominatrix prostitutes”. Simply putting in a wishy-washy codicil about not behaving indecently is unfair; somebody with bad post-lunch gas could be considered by some to be ‘behaving indecently’, but the institution would be held up to international ridicule if the employee were fired for it.

    • marknesop says:

      Phillip Fucking Karber again!!! Respected adviser who had the Commander in Chief of NATO forces in Europe in the palm of his hand, who assessed him as ‘impressive’!! Has the world lost its mind? What was the USA thinking to put a man in charge of its biggest foreign military commitment who does not bother to use the internet, or to check up in any way on sources?? Karber is a known charlatan and fool, who – notably – overestimated China’s nook-yoo-lar capability by a factor of ten, and whose report on that occasion included photographs which appeared to have come from movie sets. He was also the dunderhead in charge of the ‘Ukrainian delegation who tried to mislead the Senate Armed Services Committee on the subject of ‘Russian aggression’ in Ukraine using faked photos from Georgia in 2008. for his part, Inhofe was quite happy to be fooled, and only had to freak out about it because the fake was exposed in public so he could hardly pretend not to know.

      I can’t recall how far back Karber and his treasonous sidekick Wesley Clark and their weasely Clark-Karber Report on Ukraine appeared here, but it was discussed in some detail in Spring of last year, and it recommended the transfer from East-European NATO nations of as much post-Soviet equipment – tanks, planes and artillery pieces – as could be spared because prying eyes would not be able to tell it from equipment Ukraine already possessed. they sure must have been burning the midnight oil to get that one out, since it was released April 8th and the Donbas only declared its independence on the 7th, the day prior. Obviously I am being sarcastic; the report was plainly prepared well in advance, probably weeks.

      I’m sure I don’t need to point out that a US General Officer who goes off the reservation this dramatically, who is skulking about making covert deals with other nations and ‘wiping fingerprints’ against the express instructions of his President, and who has been publicly exposed as having done these things, needs to be not comfortably retired but standing in front of a Congressional hearing explaining himself and his behaviour, which would be merely a speed-bump on his way to USDB Fort Leavenworth.

      The USA is totally and completely out of control, and needs to be rounded on by the entire global community and brought to heel. Nothing at all that you see in public is as it really seems to be, and all official public posturing is merely a veneer of normality over a roiling soup of lies and deception, from the leadership of the military right up through the Investigative Services and the State Department to the Presidency itself. The country is a threat to the continued stability of the rest of the world.

  38. Moscow Exile says:

    The Ukraine?

    Where’s that then?

    Somewhere on the bordertwixt Catholic Europe and the Orthodox East, I suppose.

    100 years ago the Ukrainian diaspora in America called themselves LITTLE RUSSIANS

    See: До Революции украинцами называли себя только те, кто отрёкся от православной веры

    Before the Revolution, only those who had renounced the Orthodox Faith called themselves Ukrainians

    For more on “Ukrainian Nationalism” see: Expert opinion: There is no real “Ukrainian nationalism”

    The essence of “Ukrainian nationalism” in its most famous [sic] Galician version of Dontsov, Bandera, and Shukhevych lies not in the creation of a new political or cultural project but in the destruction of Culture as such. It is the revolt of the small, poor, and backwards village of Khutor against the materially and culturally-high City. Typologically, “Ukrainian nationalism” is closer to “black racism” among tribes in South Africa as opposed to the Enlightenment versions of European nationalism. In Europe, the bearers of the idea of “enlightened nationalism” were groups of the intellectual elite, while in Galicia this role was fulfilled by the children of Greek Catholic village priests culturally and intellectually narrow-minded and intolerant towards peoples of other faiths, such as Roman Catholics and Orthodox. To this hatred for the “others” was added a hatred for “heretics.” Various factions of the OUN were no less fiercely at war with each other than against the Poles and communists. Even in the conditions of emigration in the US and Canada, a total, mutual alienation was preserved between nationalists from Galicia and the Skhidnyaki (“Easterners”) from Dnieper Ukraine…

    To summarize: “Ukrainian nationalism” in its Galician version was born in the form of fascism. The first steps of this phenomenon were the extermination of the Galician Russians in the death camps at Talerhof and Terezin. Then, there was close cooperation with like-minded adherents of the other fascist factions of interwar Europe, especially the Croatian Ustashe and German Nazis. After the collapse of the USSR and the emergence of independent Ukraine, the remnants of the Banderites and Melnykites returning from emigration quickly captured leading positions in the spheres of ideology and education. They began to impose their primitive and backwards ideas from 50-60 years ago

    Not many Europeans are aware of the horrors of the Austro-Hungarian death camps Talerhof and Terezin, on the site of which they only recently discovered a previously unknown grave of its mass-murdered inmates.

    (I’m always telling Russian speakers that one does not become “famous” as a result of one’s evil nature!)

    • TruthSeeker says:

      The seeds may have been planted by Germans and Austrians, but this monstrosity grew into 50 million – strong polity due to the tender care of the Russians themselves. They are the ones who assembled all of its fragments into a unitarian Ukie state, and even endowed it with the land that should legitimately belong to Russia (as spoils of multiple Russian military victories over Turks). Odessa, Crimea, Izmail, Nikolaev, pretty much all of the Black Sea coast – historically have nothing to do with no stinking Ukraine. Sometimes Russians do inexplicably stupid things. Hopefully they’ll learn from such a debacle, or even better, fix this monumental error by breaking Ukraine up into 30-40 “people republics”.

      • kirill says:

        It’s not Russians. It’s Bolshevik dictators and of course Khruschev. Russians never had any say. Including the Novorussians who were stapled onto the Ukr SSR concoction.

        • yalensis says:

          Oh, here we go again, your usual bullshit, Kirill.
          “Russians never had any say.”
          Nope, the Russian Revolution never had anything to do with Russia.
          It was just some outside parties and devious ethnic group (Guess Who?) saddling their will on unwilling Russians. Who, in their mass, piously supported the Tsar of all Russia and His Amazing Church.

          Well, at least some progress is being made in your belated education, at least this time around you didn’t confuse Novorossiyans with the residents of Donbass. Who (the Donbassians) were somewhere around 57% ethnic Ukrainian around the time of the Russian revolution.
          Truthseeker is right about Novorossiya, though. That was majority ethnic Russian, albeit with patchwork quilt of other nationalities thrown into the mix.
          And as for the future “People’s Republics” – viva them!
          But no doubt Kirill will be upset when the victorious Seps restore and rebuild all the Lenin statues.

          • kirill says:

            According to you Russians voted to be part of Ukr SSR? They were given a choice by their “democratic” leaders Lenin and Trotsky? And in 1954 Crimeans voted to be part of the Ukr SSR too?

            You are peddling obvious revisionist bullshit and of course accuse others of spreading BS the routine ploy for agit-prop poodles such as yourself. I dare you to provide historical references that establish the democratic credentials of the Bolsheviks and Khruschev. Come on, “Brighton Beach Bloshie” give some references to back up your demented revisionism. And don’t bother to cite Trotsky like you usually do.

            • yalensis says:

              Dear Kirill, a brief history:

              After the Russian Revolution of 1917 (not initially Bolsheviks in charge), the Ukrainian National Republic arose, with a coalition government consisting of the Menshevik, Socialist Revolutionaries and Bolshevik political parties, with the SR’s being in the majority.

              After two years of civil war and free-for-all, the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic came into being formally in March of 1919 by democratic vote of the 3rd Congress of Soviets in Ukraine.
              Three years later, in 1922, the Ukrainian SSR became one of the founding republics of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

              Where you, in your simple Canadian-diaspora brain, see only Lenin and Trotsky directing all of these events (at the behest of foreign bankers), the reality was much more complex; and in fact there were hundreds of thousands of people involved in all of this. A process much more democratic than anything your precious Tsar Nicky ever did.

              In fact, you will have to show, in turn, how the Tsar always consulted the people, and even held giant referendums, every time he annexed any land or re-drew any administrative boundaries – LOL!

              🙂

  39. ThatJ says:

    ‘Do not get me into a war’: Leaked emails show Obama didn’t want to engage with Europe over Russia because US could be seen as a ‘threat’

    • Emails stolen contain information from conversation between both former Secretary of State and supreme commander of Nato
    • General Breedlove asked Secretary to convince President to take greater role in Russian conflict
    • The chain from 2014 was posted on new website called DC Leaks

    Hacked private emails have revealed how a US Nato chief believed President Obama did not want to engage with Europe or the Alliance over Russia because he thought they were a ‘threat’.

    General Philip Breedlove, former supreme commander of Nato, said he feared the White House viewed the bloc as a ‘worry’ because their gung-ho attitude to war could drag the US into another conflict.

    (more on the link)

  40. et Al says:

    Flight Global: Ukraine receives Raven UAVs
    https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/ukraine-receives-raven-uavs-427971/

    The Armed Forces of Ukraine received a batch of AeroVironment RQ-11B Ravens for reconnaissance missions, president Petro Poroshenko announced 28 July.

    A US Air Force transport aircraft delivered the drones to Kiev, Poroshenko wrote on Facebook.

    The small UAVs will help prevent violations of the Minsk ceasefire agreement, which Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany negotiated in February 2015. The agreement has amounted to a ceasefire in name only as conflicts between the Ukrainian troops and Russian-backed rebels continue….

    …The 1.9kg (4.2lb) Raven can be hand-launched and provides low-altitude surveillance at a maximum range of 5.4nm (10km), according to AeroVironment.

    The Raven has an 80min flight endurance and its color electro-optical cameras allow both day and night operations. The vehicle can be controlled by an operator or fly autonomously on a pre-planned route.
    ####

    No doubt operated by retired US soldiers who have gone over to Ukraine to volunteer their services.

    • TruthSeeker says:

      How long will it take for Ukies to resell these toys to the Russians or to the separatists?

    • marknesop says:

      Very likely. Have you noticed that with the intensity of drone operations in Ukraine – first a US deployment flying out of Kherson, then a lot of blabber about Ukraine developing its own sophisticated drones (although the models featured looked as if they had been put together by Survivorman from materials he found in a cabin trash can) and now more shinies from Uncle Sam – they have never been able to show any footage of Russian troop movements, or armored incursions, or Russian artillery firing over the border? Nothing. Oh, there was that supposed ‘massive Russian base’ being built somewhere in the east; but it had a lot in common, appearance-wise, with a farmer’s field with a couple of vehicles in it, accompanied by a lot of optimistic commentary which said, “This is where the mess tent will go, and here will be quarters for thousands of Russian soldiers” and so on. As if an aggressor nation next door trying to be covert would establish a big fuck-off camp in a field with no cover at all.

      They’ve still got nothing, and I think if Trump gets in he will consider winding the whole thing down.

  41. Warren says:

    Published on 27 Jul 2016
    TRANSCRIPT AND SOURCES: https://www.corbettreport.com/?p=19364

    Since the failed coup attempt in Turkey on July 15th, the name of exiled Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen is on everyone’s lips. So who is Fethullah Gulen? Well, that depends who you ask…

  42. Warren says:

    • TruthSeeker says:

      Hard to understand why Russia needs any “sanctions relief”. Whole sectors of industry and agriculture are booming exactly because of the sanctions. They serve as an impetus for the development of the independent Russian financial system as well.
      These sanctions are a godsend to Russia. Sure, the economic “reset” may be unpleasant in the short run (5-7 years), but sanctions are a blessing in the long term.
      The growing discomfort of the West is the best indication that the sanctions are good for Russia.

      • kirill says:

        There is nothing to understand. The NATO mass media and leaders live in a bubble of wishful thinking, projection and delusion. I think this is the normal dementia for all empires. Empires I define as political entities with vast, almost unstoppable power. NATO is such an entity and absolute power corrupts absolutely starting with the rot of sanity.

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