Guilty Until Proven Guilty

Uncle Volodya says, "For the powerful, crimes are those that others commit.”

Uncle Volodya says, “For the powerful, crimes are those that others commit.”

“Right is right, even if everyone is against it, and wrong is wrong, even if everyone is for it.”

– William Penn

“If you tremble with indignation at every injustice, then you are a comrade of mine.”

Ernesto Che Guevera

I can’t claim the social conscience of a Che Guevera, but it’s absolutely true that I feel more motivated to write when I am furious about something, and few things so infuriate me like smug pig-ignorance. And no smug pig-ignorance is so infuriating as that displayed by one’s own countrymen, as they happily allow themselves to be played like violins by an outside authority and exhibit their naked buttocks before the world. I really thought you were better than that, Canada.

According to the CBC – the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, a Crown corporation and the official voice of the nation – Russian athletes are “emerging as the villains of the Rio Olympics“. And maybe it’s just me, but the tone seems approving, self-righteous…judgy. As if the official mouthpiece of Canada is delighted to sign on to the Get Russia program offered by its southern neighbour and business partner to all its toadies and would-be chambermaids.

In a word, this is disappointing. I used that word because I didn’t want to start swearing so early, although I’m sure we’ll get to it.

Just so we’re clear – whose interests does it serve for Canada to enthusiastically sign on to booing and hooting like howler monkeys whenever Russian athletes step up to compete, like we were English football hooligans? Canada’s? How?

In fact, as everyone who is not thick as a BC pine knows, it serves Washington’s interests, because the USA wants Russia isolated and alone and friendless because it is pissed off at it for other things, and the more disrespect and ignorance and rudeness it gets from the former politeness capital of the world, the better Uncle Sam likes it. WADA is going after every medal Russia ever won, and it is not even looking at anyone else. And that entire effort rests on the credibility of two people; one who was convicted of doping herself and barred from competition for two years for it, and her husband who knew and did nothing about it while he worked for the national anti-doping agency.

We’ll get to that.

“It’s something not usually heard at the Olympic Games. Booing. Loud, sustained booing. The rain of fury is directed at a common enemy: Russian athletes. The contingent, clouded and shrouded by drug scandal, has quickly emerged as the villains of these Rio 2016 Games. Like Cold War days of old, the Russians are once again the global bad guys.

After avoiding a full Olympic ban, some wondered how fans and fellow athletes would treat Russian athletes. That answer came quickly. At the opening ceremony, even athletes from pariah nations were given polite applause. But fans interrupted the global Kumbya moment to let the Russians know their presence wasn’t welcome.”

Disappointing. Disappointing to see how easy it is to get people who probably are reasonably nice under ordinary circumstances to get on board with the mob mentality, because it’s kind of fun. Why is the western audience (because that’s who it is, mostly – the North Americans, the Australians and the English) booing the Russians? Because the whole nation is implicated in a doping scandal.

Is that all it takes to make otherwise-sensible people make one-syllable sounds of disapproval simultaneously, in a deliberately-insulting fashion? Good. Let’s hear a long, sustained ‘boooooo…..” for the cheatingest nation on the planet – the United States of America.

Worldly-wise 19-year-old American 100-meter backstroke champion Lilly King unloaded on silver-medalist Russian Yulia Efimova, calling her a drug cheat and sounding off to reporters that the ‘twice-banned’ Russian athlete should not be allowed at the games; Efimova was booed by the crowd every time she appeared on the pool deck. World-class jackass Michael Phelps, American team leader, went further as he applauded King’s rudeness; It’s kind of sad that today in sports in general, not just in swimming, there are people who are testing positive and are allowed back in the sport, and multiple times. I think it just breaks what sport is meant to be and that pisses me off.”

That so, Michael? All about self-discipline, are you? Did you learn that in rehab? “I honestly didn’t care about my training” leading up to the 2012 London Olympics; wasn’t that you? Is that what sport is meant to be? Isn’t this you, with a bong in your face? What’s up with that, voice of clean sports?

While we’re having this heart-to-heart, Michael, let me tell you what pisses me off. Hypocrisy.

Before the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney even started, Dr. Wade Exum – former director of the US Olympic Committee’s (USCOC) drug-testing program – announced that more than half of all US athletes caught doping prior to the Atlanta games (1996) suffered no penalty whatever and were permitted to compete at those games, where some of them won medals. At the time, ally Australia’s opinion of America’s drug-testing efforts was decidedly negative.

“We in Australia have been less than impressed with the efforts in America, and if you were to do a survey of the athletes, they’ll tell you the country that’s the major problem.”

And let me tell you this – that same country is still the major problem. It has hit upon the novel approach that rather than control the athletes and what they are taking, you control the testing process and develop performance enhancements which are ever harder to detect. Within months of Exum’s joining USOC in 1991, the organization came to him with a proposal to trial a new injection ‘just to see if it enhances performance’.

“They came to me and asked me to participate in a project in which they wanted to give athletes what they called ATP injections – that’s aginicent triphosphate. That’s the fuel that muscle cells actually operate on and I refused on the basis that i thought it was unethical to give people things in a non-medical fashion for non-treatment, but just to see if it would help performance. I also thought that even if that substance wasn’t directly named or on the IOC list, that it was at least aimed in the direction of doping.”

Other Australians were less circumspect in their criticism. Sean Murphy, chair of the Australian Olympic Committee at the time, said, “They’ve got the facilities, they’ve got the research, they’ve got the motivation to be using drugs across the board in many different sports.”

There was no World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) then; it was founded by Dick Pound in 1999 and he served as president until 2007. But WADA and Dick Pound were certainly around in 2003, when Exum released more than 30,000 pages of documents to Sports Illustrated and The Orange County Register, documents which proved beyond doubt that American athletes and champions such as Carl Lewis and Mary Jo Fernandez tested positive for banned substances in American screening but were allowed to compete anyway. USOC called Exum’s accusations ‘baseless’. Were they? Evidently not – here’s Carl Lewis’s reaction: So I was doping, who cares?

That’s the accused, ladies and gentleman. It sounds awfully like a confession to me. What does that mean? That the United States Olympic Committee was comprised of and headed by liars, whose word on anything to do with the clean performance of American athletes was not and is not to be trusted. It also screams “State-sponsored doping program” in chrome letters 18 feet high; USOC is the national authority for Olympic sport, and of the top ten doping scandals of all time in Track and Field, six are Americans.

Can anybody tell me the last time the United States did not send a team to the Olympics because it was awarded a blanket ban for doping? That’s right – never. Nor has any identifiable component of its team, such as Track and Field, been banned from competition, despite ample evidence of doping which was covered up by American sports organizations and its Olympic Commission. But Mr. Clean, Dick Pound, was adamant that Russia be banned completely from competition at Rio, and was vocal in his disappointment that only the Track and Field team was denied the opportunity to compete, including world champion gold medalist Yelena Isinbayeva, who has never, ever failed a drug test conducted by any authority. What a disgrace. But Dick Pound was one of the three members of the ‘Independent Commission’ appointed to investigate Russia’s alleged state-sponsored doping program.

Let’s go back to the Sydney Games, 2000. That event was dogged by allegations that American athletes had used performance-enhancing drugs to win medals. Rubbish, said USOC. An investigation was ordered. Enter Professor Richard McLaren, who headed the probe

Boom. The BALCO Scandal hit, three years later. The Bay Area Laboratory Cooperative, headed by Victor Conte, whipped up performance cocktails for American athletes. He admitted to it, and implicated dozens of athletes. Perhaps the most well-known was Marion Jones, who won 5 medals at the Sydney Olympics, 3 of them gold. Marion Jones vehemently denied any involvement with drugs, and sued Conte for defamation. Not until 2007 did she finally admit tearfully that it was all true, and was awarded 6 months in jail for lying to federal investigators, as well as being stripped of her medals. Regina Jacobs was also netted, and awarded a 4-year suspension from competition; the same year the BALCO scandal broke, she set a world record in the indoor 1500 meter. Alvin Harrison, who won a gold and a silver for the USA at the Sydney Olympics; he was not stripped of any medals until 2008, when a teammate admitted he had used performance-enhancing drugs. Michelle Collins, the 2003 world-record holder for the 200-meter indoor sprint. She was banned from competition for 8 years, threatened to take the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) to court, and they backed down and cut her suspension to 4 years. The current head of USADA is the alliteratively-named Travis T. Tygart, who bayed like a hound for a Russian national ban at Rio. ‘Cause, you know, enough is enough.

Kevin Toth, a US shot-putter who was United States Track and Field (USATF) Athlete of the Week in April that same year; he got a 2-year suspension. John McEwen, 2-year suspension. Dwain Chambers, a British sprinter – think word got around about the USA’s new line of undetectable performance enhancers? He was the top European performer at his Olympic debut at – you guessed it – the Sydney Olympics; 2-year suspension. Calvin Harrison, identical twin brother of the previously-named Alvin Harrison, gold medalist at Sydney in the 4oo-meter relay – 2-year suspension. We could go on with this for quite a while, but I think you get the point.

Here’s what I bet you didn’t get, though. Professor McLaren’s investigation did not catch any of those people. They were all exposed by the BALCO scandal and press releases like those generated by Exum. McLaren’s investigation wrapped up in 2001, and a year after that USATF was still suppressing the case files and refusing to reveal the name of an American athlete who had been cleared to compete at the Sydney Olympics and had won a medal for the USA.  USATF defied an order and threats of de-registration from IOC president Dr. Jacques Rogge. What was done about it? Fuck all, as you probably knew.

Professor McLaren was the public voice of the ‘Independent Commission’ that recommended a complete national ban for Russia at Rio. The third member was Gunter Younger, a former head of a Bavarian cybercrime division, who was just appointed as WADA’s new head of Intelligence and Investigations this past June. Younger headed the actual investigation into Russian doping, and was ‘given a free hand’ by Dick Pound to use the covert recordings from  the German television ARD documentary which initially broke the story of Russian doping.

Well, sort of. Actually ARD was steered onto the story by WADA, who had acquired the services of the whistle-blowing Stepaonovs, Yulia (nee Rusanova), a doper athlete and her urine-testing husband with the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA). WADA told Valery Stepanov that it did not have the power to investigate inside Russia. So WADA steered the Stepanovs to ARD with their story, which was released as a documentary and which WADA then pounced on as evidence of  ‘a culture of cheating’.

“The World Anti-Doping Agency steered the Stepanovs to a reporter at the German television network ARD. Their tapes became the centerpiece of this documentary which aired in December 2014 and sent shockwaves through the world of sports.”

WADA does not mention this elsewhere, and the rest of the world is led to believe that the ARD documentary was the clarion call which inspired WADA’s investigation.

“The report released Monday was the result of a 10-month investigation by an independent commission of WADA. Its inquiry stemmed from a December 2014 documentary by the German public broadcaster ARD, which drew on accounts from Russian athletes, coaches and antidoping officials, who said that the Russian government had helped procure drugs for athletes and cover up positive test results.”

But WADA considers the Stepanovs 100% credible. It has to – that’s the only evidence it has. Grigory Rodchenkov, the former director of the Moscow laboratory, was not always on board, and as recently as November 2015 described the Independent Commission as ‘three fools’.

“Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov, the director of the Moscow lab whom Monday’s report accused of having solicited and accepted bribes, dismissed the suggestions. “This is an independent commission which only issues recommendations,” he said. “There are three fools sitting there who don’t understand the laboratory.”

Yet only months later he was in the WADA camp and singing like a canary. Perhaps the revelation that Vitaly Stepanov recorded 15 hours of their conversations without his knowledge inspired a conversion. Oddly enough, that is generally illegal in Canada, and cannot be used as evidence except in exceptional circumstances. There is a blanket exemption, though, for consent, and this is implied if the person making the recording is a party to the conversation. Still, it kind of makes Rodchenkov sound like the kind of guy who will say anything. Just to give you an idea how ridiculous that is, Victor Conte – the executive in charge of BALCO – offered after the scandal broke to act as an expert assistant to WADA (probably as an effort to plea-bargain; he served four months in prison).

“Conte, who spent four months in prison for his role in the affair, said he has offered to provide expert insights to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), only to be turned down. “I’ve made myself available, put forward names, addresses, websites, protocols… but you know what they told me? That we can’t trust someone who’s been sentenced,” he added.”

But they can trust someone who just got through saying the Investigative Commissioners were three fools who don’t have any power to do anything and don’t know what the fuck they’re talking about, when he suddenly says, Yesiree, boss, it was exactly like you said. I’m a crook. And you know who else is a crook? The whole Russian government. Uh huh.

Which brings me to my favourite part – the legal implications. The McLaren Report is careful not to name names for public consumption, because WADA fears getting sued by individuals. As well it might. So McLaren prefers to leave the oomph of his report to a statement that it proves there is a state sponsored doping program in Russia which is known and countenanced by the highest levels of government. And he’s said that, on a number of occasions, and the press has dutifully repeated it. It’s basically the most damaging finding of the McLaren Report.

Which is why it would be odd for him to say that WADA has no evidence of a state-sponsored doping program. Like he did here, after the report came out.

CBCSports.ca: Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for Russian president Vladimir Putin, said Tuesday that “as long as there is no evidence [of state-sponsored doping in Russia], it is difficult to consider the accusations, which appear rather unfounded.” How do you respond to that?

McLaren: That doesn’t surprise me. He and others have said that before. But I would expect that won’t be the same refrain by the end of the week once they have a chance to study the report. When you draw the connections across the board about what’s going on, you can’t just say this is just a few isolated people or some of the old coaches dictating out of the Soviet era and nobody else.

Dmitry’s correct. We don’t have any evidence of a systematic, state-wide doping mechanism. If we did, we would have published it and so we have to go on the inference. But across a vast country [with] all sorts of different training camps, it has to be somehow state supported but we can’t actually describe for you how that operates. We can only draw the inference. We’ve given them a chance to reform, so why don’t you reform and join the rest of the world instead of fighting it.

The ‘Independent Commission’ did not question or interview any Russian athletes or officials except for the Stepanovs and Grigory Rodchenkov. The IP did not seek to interview persons living in the Russian Federation …. I did not seek to meet with Russian government officials and did not think it necessary…”

And, you see, that’s a problem. Because athletes on the Track and Field team who have never failed a drug test were banned, by association, from competing, on no grounds but their nationality. Others were banned in highly ambiguous circumstances, just because their names appeared in McLaren’s testimony. Like Russian rower Ivan Balandin, whose appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) is featured here. The whole case is worth reading, as there are many juicy bits, but the upshot was his appeal was rejected on the grounds that he had made out he was unfairly denied the chance to compete because the McLaren Report fingered him for doping, which was not the case – he was fingered as ‘ineligible’ because one of his samples had allegedly tested positive, except McLaren did not even know when the test was allegedly administered, that information helpfully being provided by the UK, the second-most-Russophobic of the western countries. I’m damned if I can see the difference, but I’m not a lawyer. Anyway, I’d just like to draw your attention to page 7, where we read,

“Additionally, no reliance can be made on the McLaren Report as evidence, as it is not complete, it has secret parts that were not shared with or available to the Athlete and there was no date of the sample taking in the information provided by Mr. McLaren.”

But on the same page, it reports, “FISA applied the criterion and was satisfied that the Athlete was ‘clearly implicated’ by the McLaren Report and was therefore excluded from the Rio Games.” Wha…wha…what??? The reference which did not meet evidentiary standards was relied upon in the decision?

Oh, dear; on Page 11…“Additionally, Mr. McLaren, in his amicus curiae, while not providing the emails on grounds of confidentiality, revealed to the Panel the exact date and times of the message from the Moscow laboratory that the screen of the Athlete’s A sample revealed positive for the prohibited substance GW 1516 and the response from the Deputy Minister to change the positive into a negative, following the DPM. While these additional details were not before FISA (primarily due to the lack of time) they have been considered by the Panel in this de novo procedure”.

FISA and the Panel both made decisions based on evidence furnished by McLaren that they never examined or even saw. There just wasn’t time. McLaren’s report provides the evidence of a state-run doping program, except he doesn’t have any evidence of that and says so, although he does and it’s secret and he hasn’t shown it to anyone.

Bullshit. From start to finish. No western athlete would have to put up with a ban on competition just because he or she was American or Canadian or Dutch, and he or she would damned sure not be told to accept a ban where he or she had not even seen the evidence against him or her because it was secret.

Which brings us back to the hooting and booing like the audience at a taping of the Arsenio Hall Show. On the occasion of Ms. King flipping out on Ms. Efimova, some reports of the incident recount the rest of the conversation – in which the reporter asked Ms. King if she thought American doper athletes like Justin Gatlin and Tyson Gay should be allowed to compete. To her credit, she didn’t flinch, and said absolutely not.

“I have to respect (the track authorities’) decision even if it is something I don’t necessarily agree with,” King said. “No, do I think people who have been caught doping should be on the team? They shouldn’t. It is unfortunate we have to see that.

You could almost smell the controlled fury in the response rushed out by USATF:

“In the United States, it is a matter of law. If you are not under a ban, regardless of what you may have served in the past, you are fully eligible to be on the team.”

Which describes Ms. Efimova’s circumstances to a ‘T’. What would be the American response to an Olympics audience which booed loudly every time Gay or Gatlin took the field? Low-class? You bet.

And that brings us back to the beginning, to the article which started the whole post. An associated article on the same page offers, “Analysis: Why a Full Olympic Ban on Russia Never Had a Chance“. Why not? Because it would have been illegal.

“For one, a blanket ban on Russian athletes would likely have been derailed by numerous legal hurdles. The Court of Arbitration for Sport, among others, would likely overturn a universal ban that included athletes who haven’t been implicated in doping.

“We were mindful of the need for justice for clean athletes,” IOC vice-president John Coates told reporters. “We did not want to penalize athletes who are clean with a collective ban and, therefore, keeping them out of the Games.”

Totally oblivious to fairness, apparently, are the Olympic crowds booing like a bunch of fourth-graders, and getting across the message so helpful to Washington that ‘you Russian cheaters are not welcome here’, fattened on non-stop propaganda from the world’s biggest cheater and seasoned by the McLaren Report which proves Russia has a state culture of cheating, except it doesn’t.

WADA argued for a total ban. Travis Tygart of USADA argued for a total ban, because it would likely mean more medals for Americans. Neither of them gives a tin weasel whether it would be legal or not. Because that’s the way things are done now – you just smash ahead by brute force and momentum, and hope that everyone mistakes action for justification.

And that’s what you’re cheering for when you boo the Russians. I’m ashamed of you.

There will be a price exacted for this later. I will be surprised if Russia does not take WADA to court, and even if it does not, the angry split between WADA and the IOC is evident. The McLaren Report does not prove anything it purports to prove, and it will not stand up to a challenge. At a minimum, WADA should be moved out of Canada to the USA, whose policies and interests it serves, depriving that country of an opportunity to internationalize its own initiatives.

God speed the plough.

 

 

 

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755 Responses to Guilty Until Proven Guilty

  1. Warren says:

    Can someone please confirm whether this is correct or not? Has the Russian government closed the PYD’s mission in Moscow? The Kurds opened their mission in February.

    Syrian Kurdistan mission opens in Moscow

    https://www.rt.com/news/332077-kurdish-representative-office-moscow/

  2. et Al says:

    Neuters via Antiwar.com: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-russia-ukraine-idUSKCN10N2AO
    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-russia-ukraine-idUSKCN10N2AO

    Russia should allow observers, including Western journalists, to attend upcoming military drills that could again put Ukraine on edge just as Russian President Vladimir Putin has sharpened his rhetoric, the commander of the U.S. Army in Europe told Reuters…

    …Hodges declined to offer estimates of Russian forces or speculate about Putin’s intentions ahead of pre-announced, large-scale exercises in Russia’s south that are expected to include Crimea.

    But he said Russia could help address concerns by following the example of military drills led by the United States and its allies in Europe, to which Russia was allowed to send observers.

    “The Russians could really help alleviate and provide some stability if they had invited observers,” Hodges said. “That would do a lot, frankly, to lower anxiety.”

    A U.S. intelligence official called the absence of observers at the Russian exercises “a worrisome development that we hope is just an oversight.”

    A spokeswoman for the U.S. Army in Europe said Russia sent observers to the “Anakonda” exercises in Poland in June, which included some 31,000 forces from countries including Poland, the United States and other NATO allies and partners…

    …”There’s nothing wrong with an exercise. It’s … the lack of transparency,” Hodges said…

    ####

    So Ben ‘Hard Ass’ Hodges who has spend time in his new job blowing wind and demanding the Russians do what Washington says is now asking Russia ‘Pretty please. Can we send observers?’. The gall of the man is unbelievable. What’s V.V.P’s way of gently yet clearly saying “F Y!”? I guess we’ll find out shortly.

    • et Al says:

      Ooops! I cocked up the headline. Should be: U.S. general calls on Russia to allow observers at military drills

    • marknesop says:

      If it would take so little to please them, he will probably do it. Russia will know, of course, that the observers are actually military intelligence types who will be watching for strengths and weaknesses, but Russia would certainly have sent the same types to observe in Poland. It might be a good opportunity for Russia to scare the shit out of the right people with something they do particularly well. Anything they don’t want the observers to see could be off-limits ‘for their safety’, such as live-fire exercises. I imagine the US Army wants to get a feel for how the Armata performs in the field, as well as an appreciation for overall military readiness.

      However, that will of course not be enough to please them, and everything Russia does is merely a signal that it is not doing enough and must do more. But I think it amuses Putin to ignore all the red-faced bawling and then surprise them by acceding to a few requests so long as he loses nothing by doing so.

      Speaking of the US Army, Turkey’s investigation – they tell us – has concluded that it was General John Campbell, formerly of ISAF, who organized the coup attempt in Turkey. The USA, unsurprisingly, has angrily denied it, at the Chief of Staff level. It’s very possible there’s something to it, as Turkish interrogation is somewhat more direct and focused than takes place in most NATO countries, and once they got a sniff of the money they would have followed it.

    • Jen says:

      Is simple … VVP requests that Russian and Chinese observers be allowed to attend joint US-Japan-South Korea drills in western Pacific and NATO drills in the Baltic and Black Seas. Watch Ben Hodges either beat as fast a retreat as a film of a cheetah running going in reverse or bluster so hard you can see his back end from his front end.

      • Patient Observer says:

        And no way would the US allow Russian observers on US soil to witness military drills.

        • marknesop says:

          The ADMIRAL PANTELYEV participated in RIMPAC 2012, in Hawaii. Russia also sent a salvage tug and a tanker. ADMIRAL PANTELYEV participated in gunnery exercises with the fleet.

          • Patient Observer says:

            Well, I did say “soil”….

            Is gunnery exercises shooting live ammo at targets or just simulations?

            • marknesop says:

              It depends. Usually it is shooting live ammo at targets, and you don’t want to let foreign military observers watch unless you are pretty confident of your performance and the reliability of your equipment. Lots of modern systems are very complex, and it doesn’t take much of a fault to put the whole system out of action. If you are confident that watching will be a sobering experience – like if you are sure you can put a lot of ammo downrange and cut the target to pieces and nothing is going to break down – then it might be to your advantage that foreign observers see it. Remember, think capabilities, not intentions. It’s not would they do it, but could they? The enemy thinks the same way.

              We have a .50 cal trainer that is indoors and uses no live ammo. You load and carry out all the drills just like real, except the rounds are not live. It provides a barrel flash, a very realistic sound (you need ear defenders when you’re firing) and the recoil is just like real as well. An electronic aid shows where you’re ‘hitting’. Normally those are dorky, like a video arcade game, but this is pretty much just like really firing a .50 cal. except the ammo belt does not cycle through the weapon.

  3. ucgsblog says:

    BTW, does anyone know why Russia isn’t appealing to these guys?

    http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/CRPD/Pages/CRPDIndex.aspx

  4. marknesop says:

    How’s those MH-17 lawsuits against Vladimir Putin going? Recover any damages yet? Good luck. You’d actually have to show some evidence.

    The ECHR has, on the other hand, green-lighted the lawsuits of MH-17 relatives against Ukraine, for “Failing to protect life” by taking the appropriate precautions to vector air traffic away from the war zone. Which means Ukraine’s actions will come under close scrutiny once again, and in this instance the plaintiffs have plenty of evidence, since it was broadly agreed at the outset that Ukraine bore responsibility for its own airspace. Now, hopefully, there will be some questions asked about Ukraine’s odd approach to record-keeping and its determination to control aircraft without any primary radars available.

  5. Patient Observer says:

    A Yahoo story with a slightly balanced view on doping:

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/team-usa-kicked-off-doping-011345417.html

    In addition to shattering world records and breaking down barriers, the swimmers at the Rio Olympics have managed another feat of sorts: reigniting international sport’s Cold War. On the self-proclaimed forces of good: swimmers from Western nations who broke unwritten Olympic etiquette by speaking out against competitors they deemed “drug cheats.”

    The story mentions that in track and field, the US has an extensive history of doping and concluded:

    Americans may stack up medals on the track in Rio, but they’ll have to table their righteousness on that podium.

    • marknesop says:

      I don’t think the pendulum has swung far enough yet, and Americans plainly (from the comments) still feel self-righteous and are oblivious to criticism. The McLaren Report has done tremendous damage, and is being regarded as the absolute truth without McLaren having to prove any of it. He must be forced to demonstrate how the sample bottles were opened and swapped – and if he cannot, admit that his case is completely made up.

  6. Cortes says:

    A different take on the outcome of the Erdogan visit to St Petersburg :

    http://atimes.com/2016/08/putin-erdogan-have-a-deal-on-syria/

    • Patient Observer says:

      The analysis seems plausible and consistent with Russian policy and strategy.

    • marknesop says:

      “On its part, Moscow announced on August 10 that humanitarian corridors leading out of Aleppo will remain open daily for a limited 3-hour period. Put differently, the military operations to capture the city will continue in top gear and remain top priority.”

      It looks like “The rebels are winning in Aleppo” might be a premature appraisal.

    • et Al says:

      …Russia and Turkey go back far in history and do not need foreplay…
      ####

      !!!!

      I think one thing that is obvious is that it is very good advertisment for real politik around the world (or who Russia carries out its international relations) rather than the West’s “Do this or else!”. To read EU states still wilfully painting themselves in to a corner vis-a-vis Turkey in a binary all-or-nothing game of poker when they certainly do not hold a winning hand beggars belief. Then again, for 25 years the West has been lording it and whole cadres of politicians, diplomats, journalists and others wedded to this kind of thinking are having great difficulty accepting the world has already changed again and that they’ll have to change with it or just shut up.

  7. marknesop says:

    Trust the crooks in Ukraine to come up with ‘documentary evidence’ which can be used to show Trump is really Putin’s man. I wonder how big an IMF package Hillary had to promise them? Or did she strike a deal with Porky to get Crimea back?

    In the New York Times, of course; the Democrats’ FOX News. They’d like to see a home girl win.

  8. Warren says:

    Soros hacked, thousands of Open Society Foundations files released online

    More than 2,500 files from the raft of organizations run by billionaire George Soros have been leaked by hackers.

    Saturday’s leak, published by DC leaks, includes hundreds of internal documents from multiple departments of Soros’ groups, predominantly the Open Society Foundations.

    https://www.rt.com/usa/355919-soros-hacked-files-released/

    • marknesop says:

      Explosive. Early analysis says the leak shows his NGO’s manipulating EU elections.

      “US security experts however are blaming the leak on Russian hackers, according to Bloomberg, in a similar reaction seen in the wake of the DNC leaks.”

      Careful, boys; one day you’ll go to the well and there won’t be any more water. It’s always the Russians.

    • Jen says:

      Interesting that Soros’ Open Society Foundations funds the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists which would explain why when the Panama Papers were released, there were no US individuals or companies named as clients of Mossack Fonseca. So the Panama Papers were released with intent to expose Vladimir Putin’s supposed corruption, only for the release itself to backfire when the only connection to Putin turned out to be a childhood friend violinist.

      • Warren says:

        Soros is an enemy of the nation state, he champions neo-liberalism and open borders.

        Soros is not even loyal to the US, he supports the US insofar it promotes his ideology and financial interests.

  9. Warren says:

    • marknesop says:

      La Russophobe used to wait for this ranking with bated breath, so that she could shout to the world that no Russian university had even made it into the top 100. This, to her, reaffirmed America’s greatness. It apparently was of no consequence that Asian students now try to conceal their Asian-ness when applying, because of an unacknowledged quota system that works to keep from enrolling too many Asian students regardless their peerless grades. Or that George W. Bush, thick as two short planks, was a graduate of both Harvard and Yale, although he struggles to form a coherent sentence. I researched a long piece on it once, although I think it might have been a comment rather than a post and have never been able to find it again, which detailed why English-language universities routinely triumph over foreign schools which are also very good; substantially it comes down to wealth, because your ranking depends partly on the prestige of the tenured professors in your faculty, and those people go where they can command the highest salary. But it also substantially comes down to the number of research papers published by the members of your faculty. These are almost entirely in English. Hardly any Russian research is ever translated into English, nor Chinese, for that matter. I don’t think a Sino-Russian alliance lacks for brains or creativity, but the west is happy in its fool’s paradise, holding up it’s finger and chanting “We’re Number One!!!” Yes, you are; with special emphasis on the ‘numb’.

    • kirill says:

      This list is total shit. A slew of Canadian 2nd rate universities ranks much higher than the best Russian universities. FAIL.

      As someone who publishes peer reviewed journal articles, I know that Harvard-associated researchers get unfair coddling by reviewers. In my particular area, they tend to put out crap papers in a stream with new papers correcting the rubbish published before. It is clear that the reviewers are not giving them a hard time and pretty much rubber stamp their 2nd rate fluff. Maybe in other areas Harvard is number one. But my point is that there is a personality cult aspect to such lists and no objective metrics are used.

      • Warren says:

        Kirill,

        Who corrects the crap papers Harvard researchers publish? Do they correct themselves or do other researchers/academics from other institutions/universities correct them? Do any of these Harvard researchers lose credibility when their work is corrected/revised?

        Also, what are your thoughts on the “replication crisis” in science? Major pharmaceutical company Bayer attempted to replicate the experiments and results of studies published in respected and prestigious scientific journals – to their amazement Bayer could only confirm the results of 20%-25% of the previously published research!

        The ‘replication crisis’ across science

        RAY MOYNIHAN

        Researchers are finding they are unable to reproduce studies long taken for granted in their disciplines.

        https://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/2016/05/28/the-replication-crisis-across-science/14643576003283

        Is Western science built on fraud?

        • marknesop says:

          Pretty much the same effect as if someone handed you a gun, told you that when you pulled the trigger it would make a bang and a high-speed projectile you could use for self-defense would come out the barrel…and then you found that only happened about 30% of the time.

          Holy shit. This must be your week for revelations.

        • kirill says:

          Other researchers (e.g. from Canada) produce better results and the Harvard crew just sort of uses them as if nothing has happened. But they do not lose any credibility and the reviewers give them basically a free pass “because the are from a world class institution”. It reminds me of Daniel Yergin and his oil price forecasts. He was wrong almost 100% of the time but remained the go to expert for the media. The trick is to act like you know what you are talking about. People don’t remember what happened yesterday.

          There is a lot of fluff in the published literature. As they say, publish or perish. In some fields it is worse than others. It appears that in biology related research (e.g medicine, biochemistry) there is a lot of rubbish. I think that in medicine related research there is too much pressure on poorly paid researchers (most research is not done by professors but by their post-doctoral fellows, aka research associates) doing laboratory work. So all sorts of corner cutting goes on. There is also more competition for scarce research dollars since there are so many people working in the field. Other fields are more esoteric and have few researchers and better paid research associates so there is much less dog-eat-dog competition and cheating.

        • Jen says:

          Interesting article from Slate.com on the replication crisis in biomedical and cancer research:
          http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/future_tense/2016/04/biomedicine_facing_a_worse_replication_crisis_than_the_one_plaguing_psychology.html

          “… Alas, the feedback loop doesn’t seem to work so well, and without some signal to correct them, biologists get stuck in their bad habits, favoring efficiency in publication over the value of results. They also face a problem more specific to their research: The act of reproducing biomedical experiments—I mean, just attempting to obtain the same result—takes enormous time and money, far more than would be required for, say, studies in psychology. That makes it very hard to diagnose the problem of reproducibility in cancer research and understand its scope and symptoms. If we can’t easily test the literature for errors, then how are we supposed to fix it up?

          When cancer research does get tested, it’s almost always by a private research lab. Pharmaceutical and biotech businesses have the money and incentive to proceed—but these companies mostly keep their findings to themselves. (That’s another break in the feedback loop of self-correction.) In 2012, the former head of cancer research at Amgen, Glenn Begley, brought wide attention to this issue when he decided to go public with his findings in a piece for Nature. Over a 10-year stretch, he said, Amgen’s scientists had tried to replicate the findings of 53 “landmark” studies in cancer biology. Just six of them came up with positive results.

          Begley blames these failures on some systematic problems in the literature, not just in cancer research but all of biomedicine. He says that preclinical work—the basic science often done by government-funded, academic scientists—tends to be quite slipshod. Investigators fail to use controls; or they don’t blind themselves to study groups; or they selectively report their data; or they skip important steps, such as testing their reagents.

          Begley’s broadside came as no surprise to those in the industry. In 2011, a team from Bayer had reported that only 20 to 25 percent of the studies they tried to reproduce came to results “completely in line” with those of the original publications. There’s even a rule of thumb among venture capitalists, the authors noted, that at least half of published studies, even those from the very best journals, will not work out the same when conducted in an industrial lab …”

          Some of the problems listed above are basic problems of designing and carrying out experiments and research, collecting and interpreting statistics, and the methods used. Even the way terms and definitions are used, and the justification for using those, can be a problem for other scientists in trying to replicate results. And that’s even before issues of finance, cutting corners and massaging the results to please whoever is funding the research come to be problems.

  10. Warren says:

    US election: Trump team ‘must disclose pro-Russia ties’

    Donald Trump’s campaign team must disclose all pro-Russia links, Hillary Clinton’s manager has said, following new allegations in the New York Times.M/b

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/election-us-2016-37080909

  11. Jeremn says:

    Interesting Timeline of how the downing of MH17 was first reported in the Ukrainian media. Basically, the Ukrainian government spokesman announced that the rebels had a BUK, but just at the time the Malaysian flight was coming down.

    “The headline at 17:26 EEST translates to “NSDC said that militants have equipment that can hit planes at a high altitude.” The headline at 17:49 translates to “Source: A passenger jet was shot down in Donetsk region.” So, it is interesting that an hour after MH17 crashed and 23 minutes before they (and probably most other news) announced that a passenger jet was shot down, NSDC and Ukrainian Pravda announced that separatists suddenly now possess a Buk, which can reach a passenger jet.”

    https://energia.su/mh17/en/article/1/

    • marknesop says:

      Very interesting indeed, since it implies premeditation. And since it is one of the few Ukrainian statements which was decisively refuted by western intelligence.

  12. Moscow Exile says:

    Objectivity in the German popular press:

    No 4th place in the olympic medal tally as presented by “Bild”.

    The Inset shows which country occupied 4th place at the time of the “Bild” publication.

    How dumb do these people think people are?

  13. et Al says:

    Petrol driven cars not dead yet?

    Neuters via AsiaTimes.com: Nissan revolution: Could new petrol engine make diesel obsolete?
    http://atimes.com/2016/08/nissan-revolution-could-new-petrol-engine-make-diesel-obsolete/

    Japanese automaker Nissan Motor Co has come up with a new type of gasoline engine it says may make some of today’s advanced diesel engines obsolete.

    The new engine uses variable compression technology, which Nissan engineers say allows it at any given moment to choose an optimal compression ratio for combustion – a key factor in the trade-off between power and efficiency in all gasoline-fuelled engines.

    The technology gives the new engine the performance of turbo-charged gasoline engines while matching the power and fuel economy of today’s diesel and hybrid powertrains – a level of performance and efficiency the conventional gasoline engine has so far struggled to achieve…

    …The compression ratio measures how much the air-fuel mix is reduced, or compressed, in the gasoline engine’s cylinders before it’s ignited and produces energy. The higher the ratio, the more efficiently the engine works, producing better fuel economy and, with the addition of a turbo-charger, more power.

    Traditionally, design engineers had to fix a gasoline engine’s combustion compression ratio, essentially deciding whether to go for power or economy.

    Nissan says the new VC-T engine can choose an optimal compression ratio variably between 8:1 and 14:1. That compares with mainstream production gasoline engines that run at compression ratios of 8:1 to 10:1. Exotic sports cars and racing cars run at 12:1 or more…
    ####

    What say ye Stooge science people? It looks kosher to me but what impact will it have on the uptake of electric/hybrid vehicles? If they combine the two it may even boost uptake at the cost of pure electric vehicles.

    • Patient Observer says:

      It sounds good but the added mechanical complexity creates potential for high maintenance and/or engine failure. High compression contributes to engine knock but the article mentions use of direct injection (like a diesel) to avoid knocking. Direct injection in itself would be a big advance in automotive gas engines.

      Diesel powered cars have great mileage; perhaps 30-35% higher than conventional gas engines. The exhaust is absolutely odorless and smokeless and they start easily in cold weather as well. I am not sure if diesel fuel has a lower cost to refine but it generally costs more than gasoline at the pump in our neck of the woods.

      A rotary engine, developed by a Russian father/son team living in the US has a lot of potential (need to find the link).

      • marknesop says:

        Here you go; note that the immediate leap is that it can be used to power killer UAV’s. Nice. The west loves nothing so much as Russo-Americans inventing stuff that can be used against their countrymen; that’s why it never occurs to them to question the loyalty of ‘dissidents’ like Rodchenkov.

        So far as I know, the high cost of diesel is driven entirely by demand and the fact that they can charge more for it. When I was a boy diesel was used almost exclusively for farming equipment; it was even called ‘farm gas’, and it was dirt cheap. There were no diesel cars then, except for maybe Mercedes. If memory serves it was Volkswagen that made the diesel car popular, at least in North America. And since big business makes the greatest part of its profits from closing loopholes opened by the consumer, the price of diesel fuel inexorably rose.

        • Cortes says:

          Easy to make your own bio diesel though, as long as you don’t mind smelling like a mobile burger bar. Lots of oil thrown away by restaurants.

          • Patient Observer says:

            A guy at work used McDonalds french fry oil in an old Mercedes. I believe he had to start the engine on regular diesel and then switch to the fry oil. The exhaust purportedly smelled like french fries.

        • Patient Observer says:

          Diesel fuel may also have higher taxes. Also, ultra-low sulfur requirements increased refining costs. There is an “off-road” diesel grade that has a higher sulfur content and a lower cost (and perhaps a lower tax).

      • Moscow Exile says:

        What happened to the Wankel?

  14. Patient Observer says:

    The Russian commitment to a permanent airbase in Syria has huge geopolitical implications:

    http://theduran.com/transforming-balance-power-eastern-mediterranean-russia-makes-syrian-base-permanent/

    It would be inconceivable for Russia to make such a commitment if there were any possibility of a partitioned Syria, “safe havens”, no-fly zones or Assad forced from office other than by democratic voting.

    The above story plus other stories about a rapidly deepening Russia/China alliance suggests something big is coming; possibly before the US elections – a repudiation of the dollar, perhaps a formal military alliance or something entirely unexpected. They may be trying to force American voters to make a choice between peace and pragmatism (Trump) and psychotic ideology and threats of general thermonuclear war (Clinton).

  15. et Al says:

    Sputnik via Space Daily: Launch of US Antares Rocket Powered by Russian Engine Postponed
    http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Launch_of_US_Antares_Rocket_Powered_by_Russian_Engine_Postponed_999.html

    The first launch of the upgraded US Antares rocket, powered by the Russian RD-181 engine, has been postponed until late September, developer company Orbital ATK said in a statement on Wednesday.

    The Antares carrier rocket will be used to launch the Cygnus spacecraft designed to transport supplies to the International Space Station (ISS). The launch of the rocket was first expected in July and later moved to August 22….

  16. et Al says:

    Dr. Filip Kovacevic @ Boiling Frogs Post/Newsbud: Newsbud Exclusive- Putin in Slovenia: An Analysis
    http://www.boilingfrogspost.com/2016/08/10/newsbud-exclusive-putin-in-slovenia-an-analysis/

    The Hidden Subtext Behind Putin’s Third Slovenia Visit

    Putin is no stranger to the ex-Yugoslav republic of Slovenia. In fact, in June 2001, when Slovenia was still neither an EU nor a NATO member state, it was chosen as a neutral meeting place for the first official meeting between him and the U.S. president George W. Bush. Ironically, the meeting took place in the Brdo Castle near Kranj, one of the long-time Communist leader Tito’s summer residences. At that time, the U.S. high level officials did everything they could to flatter Putin and get him to accept their hegemonic geopolitical agenda for Eastern Europe, Russia, and Eurasia in general. For instance, during the press conference that followed their two-hour long discussions, Bush stated that he could fully trust Putin in international matters because “he’s an honest, straight-forward man who loves his country. He loves his family. We share a lot of values. I view him as a remarkable leader. I believe his leadership will serve Russia well.”[1]

    But, when Putin, unlike Yeltsin, whose hand-picked successor he was, proved unwilling to play along with the U.S. plans, his stature in the U.S. foreign policy discourse quickly deteriorated from that of “a remarkable leader” and an honest patriot to that of a brutal dictator and even “a thug”…
    ####

    Read on, read on!

    The UNSG bid certainly looks like part of it though I doubt anyone from the Western blocs inc. asia would be favorable, let alone balanced towards Russia. I’m not sure that Washington is stupid enough to pick a fight with Europe over the Balkans, but then again Washington has a long record of their actions causing blowback to their ‘allies’ and saying “Tough. That’s the price for riding on our coattails.”

    • Jen says:

      Must only be a matter of time then, when the US government discovers that Vladimir Putin might have met Melania Trump (even if they just brushed past each other in a matter of seconds with both of them looking away from each other) and BINGO! – the connection between Lord Sauron and his robot Donald Trump is finally revealed.

  17. et Al says:

    Intellinews.org: Notorious Russian arms dealer ‘refused US offer for lighter sentence’
    https://intelnews.org/2016/08/10/01-1956/

    …In a newspaper interview on Tuesday, Bout’s wife, Alla Bout, said her husband could have gotten away with a considerably lighter sentence had he agreed to testify against a senior Russian government official. Speaking to Moscow-based daily Izvestia, Alla Bout said her husband had been approached by American authorities after being extradited to the United States from Thailand. He was told that US authorities wanted him to testify against Igor Sechin, a powerful Russian government official, whom American prosecutors believed was Bout’s boss. In return for his testimony, US prosecutors allegedly promised a jail sentence that would not exceed two years, as well as political asylum for him and his family following his release from prison. Alla Bout added that her husband’s American lawyers were told by the prosecution that the ‘merchant of death’ “would be able to live in the US comfortably, along with his wife and daughter”, and that his family could stay in America during his trial “under conditions”. Alla Bout claimed she was told this by Bout himself and by members of his American legal team…
    ####

    It goes to show how desperate Washington is, not to mention its extremely short term thinking. No one in their right minds in Russia would trust anyone in Washington worth a damn, and that has major implications for all sorts of state-to-state dealings running in to the future. If Washington thinks saying “It’s all water under the bridge” will return relations back to normal just like that, then they are sorely retarded.

  18. Moscow Exile says:


    Every time I look, I think about what that cap reminds me of

  19. Patient Observer says:

    If 300 tons of gold are discovered in the LOST NAZI GOLD TRAIN OF DOOM, who has a legitimate claim?

    https://www.rt.com/viral/356058-nazi-gold-train-dig/

  20. Northern Star says:

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/rampaging-south-sudan-troops-raped-foreigners-killed-local/
    Real tuff guys…with AWs…up against women and toddlers…
    I think tthese guys and some of the ATO people would understantd on another just fine!!!!!
    ..vermin…pure vermin

  21. Warren says:

  22. Warren says:

    • marknesop says:

      That’s actually a very good piece; the author is a compelling writer.

      • likbez says:

        I disagree. And not only regarding his extraordinarily dubious periodization of US political history. This baloney about Republicanism does not make much sense. Also since the 1963 deep state became the dominant political force and parties and elections became more of a legitimization show. .

        I see Trump more like a reaction on hardships inflicted by neoliberal globalization on the USA common folk. So he is standard bearer of the strata of population hit by globalization, the strata which standard of living was dropping for the last two-three decades. Professional classes and financial oligarchy support Hillary, but blue color workers switched to Trump by large numbers. Trade union bosses expect that 50% or more of membership will vote for Trump. That’s their way to say “f*ck you” to neoliberal establishment and so far they are saying it pretty politely, if we do not count several recent riots (which mainly involved black population). Now the neoliberal elite is afraid that even the slightest trigger can produce uncontrollable situation.

        That’s why Hillary adopted a part of Sanders platform and is now against TPP (only until November 😉 A lot of people are just fed up.

        That’s why neocons such as Cruze and, especially, Rubio and Jeb! were defeated by Trump, and why only machinations of DNC allowed Hillary to be crowned over Sanders (Sanders betrayal also played a role).

        This is a situation perfect for “color revolution” (what we miss is just a capable and well financed three letter agency of some foreign power 😉 In other words the US elite partially lost the control of ordinary people and MSM no longer can brainwash them with previous efficiency because after 2008 the key idea of “trickle down economy” — that dramatically rising inequality will provide Untermensch with enough crumps from the table of Masters of the Universe (financial oligarchy) were proven to be false.

        Financial oligarchy does not want to share even crumps and decent job almost totally disappeared. Switch to contractor jobs and outsourcing means a significant drop in standard of living for, probably, 80-90% of population. Unemployment after university graduation is now pretty common.

        While neoliberalism managed to survive the crisis of 2008 the next crisis of neoliberalism is probably close (let’s, say, can happen within the current decade). The economic plunder of the xUSSR economic space helped to delay this crisis for a decade or more, but now this process is by-and-large over (although Russia still is a piece of economic space to fight for — so its dismembering or color revolution is always in cards and not only for geopolitical reasons) . Secular stagnation does not play well with neoliberal globalization, so nationalistic movements are on the rise in different parts of the globe, including Europe. The “plato oil” situation does not help either. So here all bets are off.

        Note an unprecedented campaign of demonization of Trump in neoliberal media and attempt to link him to Putin, playing on pre-existing Russophobia of the population. I especially like “Khan gambit” (essentially swiftboating of Trump) and recent campaign salivating over the “assassination attempt” on Hillary by inflating one (unfortunate) Trump remark completely our of proportion. And that’s only the beginning.

        • marknesop says:

          Well, you certainly could be right. I spoke more of his writing style than anything else, but you’re right that it should also be accurate, although I daresay he is prepared to defend it as accurate. I don’t pay attention to American politics as much as I once did, but once – all the way up to Obama, in fact – I would have come down hard on the side of the Democrats. That’s only because the Republicans always seemed like the side most likely to start a war, as they are decidedly militaristic as much as they are fiscally irresponsible. But that died with Obama, and I now think the USA is probably doomed – it’s just a question of who they will take out with them. But I would take even Jeb! rather than Clinton. Trump seems a far better choice, although he would be doing well if he could just keep America from getting any worse.

        • Cortes says:

          The media campaign against Trump ( and what the author dubs the “Democratic Party Derangement Syndrome”) is captured nicely in the following piece:

          http://www.unz.com/article/team-hillary-to-end-evil-worldwide/

          • marknesop says:

            I’ve never been fond of the Republicans, and it is tempting for me to blame them now for Hillary’s candidacy, as she stands poised with her foot upon the stair, ready to rush onstage and go boola-boola, and shout that this is a victory for AMERICA!!!! The way I see it, the Republicans always wanted Hillary as the Democratic candidate – her ‘political experience’ has resulted in a wealth of scandals, missteps and positions taken which later were indefensible, and in their minds she had so much baggage that she would be swept away almost as soon as the primaries were over. Consequently, they did nothing at all to prevent her from getting the nomination, although they could have pulled on any of a dozen strings to mire her in good old Republican-noise-machine doo-doo. It was mostly left to the Bernie sector to try and stop her advance, and – encouraged by the silence from the Republicans – the DNC was able to dispense with him unassisted.

            But the Republicans failed to watch their six, and did not see Trump coming up – probably thought his ridiculous statements, bellicose rhetoric and radical policy positions would see him drop out fairly quickly, at which time it would be a Real Conservative against Hillary and the Republican phalanx would lock in around him. They never entertained any suspicion at all that Trump’s populist message might resonate with the public, as it has. And now they are in the terrible position of backing a candidate they don’t support who might well spell the death of the party in its current incarnation. The alternative is to do nothing to stand in the way of another Clinton – all of them, really – in the White House and Hillary’s historical body slam as the first woman president and the first husband-and-wife team. I don’t feel sorry for the Republicans, because there’s a lot they could do to prevent it from happening. But their vision is the party’s emergence from the ruins after a Clinton presidency, so they continue to do little or nothing to arrest it. They deserve what is going to happen to them. It’s America I’m sorry for, and the world.

            • Special_sauce says:

              It’s difficult to form an opinion. If you google Donald Trump you get endless pages of Donald the Monster, Donald the Misogynist, Donald the Racist, Donald the Crazy. Then for a change you check out http://www.reddit/r/The_Donald you get non-stop racism, gun-licking, red-baiting, anti-semitism etc.

      • Warren says:

        You can listen to Corey Robin talk more about his book “Reactionary Mind” and the origins of conservatism on KPFA Against the Grain.

        https://kpfa.org/episode/104484/

  23. Pingback: Russia, Olympics part1 – fightingstuff

  24. yalensis says:

    North Korean Ri Se-gwang takes gold in men’s vault (gymnastics), with Russia’s Denis Ablyazin taking the silver!. Japan’s Kenzo Shirai takes the bronze.

  25. Warren says:

    Is Boris Johnson running the country?

    For years, columns have been written about it. Documentaries have been broadcast about it. Dinner parties have discussed it.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/37086680

  26. Moscow Exile says:

    ПАРНАС одурел: у киевской хунты просит разрешения на агитацию в Крыму

    PARNAS has gone crazy: it is asking the Kiev junta for permission to campaign in the Crimea
    Aug. 16th, 2016 at 9:16 AM

    Если Крым, как они считают, хохлятский, чего же они за российскую думу там агитировать собираются?! Вот дебилы, бл…ть.

    If the Crimea is, as they believe, Khokhol territory, why are they going to campaign there for [election to] the Russian Duma? Fucking morons!

    In an original way of going about things PARNAS has decided to campaign in the Crimea, which they believe has been illegally annexed by Russia, for election to the state Duma.

    Representatives from the party regional groups have applied to the Ukrainian consulate for a transit visa in order to travel to the peninsula from “Independent“ [Ukrainian word used] Ukrainian territory.

    If the ”Pans” [Polish respectful term of address cognate with Mr. in English, aped by Galitseans, whose forebears were serfs to Polish masters] of the Kiev junta refuse, they promise not to campaign.The parties that have not recognized the Crimea as being Russian and which are participating in campaigns to be elected to the Russian parliament are Yabloko and PARNAS, which seems pretty wild in itself. I should hope that in their attempt to travel into the peninsula, the Crimeans will put on as warm a welcome for the Liberals at Perekop, as they did on 2 February 2014, when they kicked Petro Poroshenko’s arse out of Simferopol.

    • yalensis says:

      That’s not a correct use of the word “cognate”.
      A “cognate” is a word in two languages which both evolved from a common root.
      For example, English “daughter” and Russian “doch” are cognates.
      Because both words descended from a Common Ancestor, namely the Proto-Indo-European word *dhugH₂-tér-

      “Pan” and “Mister” are not cognates in that sense, because they did not evolve from a word in common.
      “Pan” is thought to be a derivative of “zupan”, some kind of tribal gathering.
      English “Mister” is from French “Monsieur”.
      Two completely different words. Just having the same meaning, by converging semantics.

    • marknesop says:

      That gives you a pretty good indication how PARNAS would rule, should they ever get power – by consensus, with the permission and approval of surrounding states. In their minds, that would be ‘progressive’; getting along with your neighbours. Therefore Kiev would be in charge of Russia’s import trade (plenty of Roshen chocolates for everyone!!) while Poland would write its energy policies for Europe. Everyone might stop to think what they are implying by seeking permission from a foreign state to campaign in what is currently Russian territory – giving it back if they win.

      It’s a good idea, though. Hopefully they will get visas. Then revoke their citizenship once they’re in Ukraine.

  27. Moscow Exile says:

    Who could not trust such persons that possess such trustworthy, honest and welcoming smiles?

  28. Warren says:

    Syrian conflict: Russian bombers use Iran base for air strikes

    Russia’s defence ministry says it has used a base in western Iran to carry out air strikes in Syria.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-37093854

    • Patient Observer says:

      That is very big news along with the permanent Russian airbase in Syria. Given the inherent conservatism in the use of Russian military power and desire to avoid pointless confrontation with the Western empire, something must have changed in Russian thinking. My guess include that Russia is going for a total defeat of the Syrian “rebels”, dispensing with concerns over Western objections of supporting Iran and (least important) a general “waddya go’ng to do about it” attitude.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        What was that criticism I saw on here a few months back from a well known nay-sayer about those perfidious Russkies and their air-force scampering away from Syria, throwing under the bus as per usual those whom they claim to be supporting?

        • marknesop says:

          True enough; however, as I’m sure you know, that represented a genuine Russian desire to disengage while the latter policy is a grim acknowledgement that as soon as it is out of the way, the western powers will recommence their inveigling to pump up ISIS and take Damascus. I don’t believe there is any joy or celebration in this decision, just an acknowledgement of facts on the ground and a continuing need for a strong Russian presence. And they might as well take advantage of being the only foreign country besides Iran which is invited in, so the west can’t say shit about it because they are not. And the sooner ISIS is decisively defeated, the sooner they have no reason at all to be there, albeit the present reason is fabricated and contrived.

        • Patient Observer says:

          Oh, I am sure he is preparing a devastating one-liners such as “Looks like Russia is sinking into a quagmire but I hope that they can change”.

    • marknesop says:

      Something both the USA and UK pride themselves on doing – it means you have allies who are supportive of your efforts, and that always makes them feel good. I daresay it feels much the same to the Russians.

  29. Warren says:

    Hack-proof? China launches world’s 1st quantum communications satellite

    The world’s first quantum communications satellite has been launched into orbit aboard a Long March-2D rocket. The main task of the Chinese satellite is to potentially secure communications in an age of cyberattacks and global electronic surveillance.

    https://www.rt.com/news/356086-china-quantum-communications-satellite/

    • marknesop says:

      If ‘Murica keeps fucking around the way it is doing, it is going to get the war that it thinks it wants. And after that it will be too late for rethinking options. Why does God group all the stupid people together? If he spread them out a little, their effect would be mitigated.

  30. Patient Observer says:

    As of this writing, Russia has 12 gold medals and the US has 28. If the full Russian contingent were present and assuming a similar gold medal/athlete ratio, they would have had about 18 golds at this point (and the US a few less). This would suggest that if not for the ban, Russia would have 18 golds to the US 26/27 golds at this point. Since the US has twice the population, a much better funded sports program, much higher paid athletes and much larger influence on all things Olympic, Russia has easily bested the US IMHO in terms of athletic performance.

    One more thing, Serbian women defeat Australian in basketball; apparently a huge upset:

    http://sports.yahoo.com/news/serbia-stuns-australia-to-eliminate-womens-hoops-medal-favorite-170454520.html?nhp=1

    And another thing, Serbia nearly beat the US basketball team:

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/olympics/rio-2016/2016/08/12/usa-serbia-mens-basketball-pool-play-rio-olympics/88638052/

    The top Serb players conveniently fouled out likely allowing the US victory.

    • marknesop says:

      It’s funny you should say that, because the main substantiation for yet another disappointing Canadian article loudly supporting the ban of Russia’s Paralympians (relying, of course, on the McLaren Report which CAS says is incomplete and did not give the athletes an opportunity to challenge the charges against them) is that Russia won so many medals at Sochi, they must be doping. Since Sochi is in Russia, they’re on home turf and probably fielded a huge team (I’m guessing, without checking), with at least one and probably several athletes competing in every event. Much like the USA is doing now. And it has a huge lead, winning far more medals than any of its competitors.

      So they must be cheating.

      • Jen says:

        Host nations are allowed to field teams or individual athletes in events they otherwise would have had to qualify for in lead-up international trial events. I believe when Sydney had the Olympics back in 2000, Australia was allowed to field a handball team, mainly for show, so that even the lowest ranked international teams could go back home and say, hey we actually thrashed some of the competition. Also host nations get extra chances to test the venues before everyone else by holding regional and national meets. When Vancouver held the Winter Olympics, Canadian Olympics officials gave the Canadian team far more practice time and more runs on a dangerously fast luge track than they gave to other teams, some of which got just one or two practice runs. The combination of limited practice time and the design of the luge track explains the death of Nodar Kumaritashvili during his practice run on the track.
        https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2010/02/olym-f16.html

        “… Given the unprecedented speed of the track, elementary safety considerations should have dictated extended practice times to familiarize athletes with the challenges they were facing. This is especially true for athletes from smaller, poorer countries, who inevitably have less exposure to cutting-edge track design than their more affluent colleagues.

        [Georgian luge runner Nodar] Kumaritashvili, according to the Wall Street Journal, “told his father he was terrified of the track before doing the run that killed him.”

        The ugly reality is that Canadian authorities stringently restricted practice runs to boost their team’s “home-field advantage.” Canadian athletes were given nearly 10 times as many runs as non-Canadians.

        The preferential training arrangements for Canadian athletes did not apply to the sliding events alone. A major row erupted in 2009 when US skaters were denied access to the Olympic skating facilities in Richmond, BC. The story has been the same across the spectrum of sporting events …”

    • Jen says:

      Erm, what did Sir Philip Craven say about who had a “medals over morals mentality that disgusts me”?

      “Rio Olympics 2016: Track cyclists, coach ask awesome Team GB: what’s your secret?”
      http://www.smh.com.au/sport/olympics/rio-2016/olympics-cycling/rio-olympics–2016-track-cyclists-coach-ask-awesome-team-gb-whats-your-secret-20160816-gqtlbh.html

      OK so the Australians, the French and the Germans have all felt the boot of the British on the wrong parts of their anatomies in the past but still when they say the British do nothing extraordinary for four years and suddenly start pulling the medals, you have to wonder.

      ‘ … France’s sprint coach, former Olympic gold medallist Laurent Gané, has told reporters [in Rio] in French: “The recipe should be asked for from our neighbours because I don’t understand. I don’t know what they’re doing. I’d love to know. These are teams that do nothing extraordinary for four years and once they arrive at the Olympics they out-class the rest of the world.”…

      … Germany’s Kristina Vogel, gold medallist at the London games and bronze winner here, has said she finds Great Britain’s dominance of Olympic Games after they perform nowhere near as well other meetings such as world championships “very questionable” …

      … [Australian sprint cyclist Anna Meares says] “The British are just phenomenal when it comes to the Olympic Games, and we’re all just scratching our heads going ‘how do they lift so much when in so many events they have not even been in contention in the world championships?’.

      “It’s been tough because you come in here with hope, and you come in here with strong performances at world [titles/cup] level for a number of years and then at the Olympic Games it seems like you’re just not in competition with that nation. So they’ve got it together, and to be honest I’m not exactly sure what they’ve got together.”…’

      • marknesop says:

        Gee…they must be doping. Apparently – according to some Canadian sources – if you win more medals than everyone else it means you are a drug cheat.

        Maybe they’re getting their pee tested by an American lab. By Sergeant Schultz.

      • Fern says:

        Yea, I’d agree. GB’s dominance in cycling is difficult to understand. The sport has done well in terms of funding and prestige because of the successes in London 2012 and well-known figures like Chris Hoy and Bradley Wiggins. There’s also been changes in how cycling talent is spotted – previously scouts and coaches concentrated on finding talented riders. Now the emphasis is much more on spotting athletes who are power and endurance preformers such as those competing in heptathalons, who may not be riders at all and persuading them to try out for cycling. And there’s a dedicated national cycling training centre in Manchester. But…all of this is replicable by other countries and yet none seem able to match the British team, particularly in the final sprint on the track races where they’re incredibly fast. So, yes, definitely something odd here.

    • Chinese American says:

      I don’t know if this link has been posted yet, but here is another article picking at Rodchenkov’s story–the “alcohol cocktail” part of it–from a biochemical point of view,
      http://www.fort-russ.com/2016/08/debunking-nyts-olympic-size-steroids.html

      I don’t know much about the biochemistry of doping, but what the author says sounds convincing, and presumably can be easily checked. As an old hand at prohibited drug trafficking, Rodchenkov would have surely known all this perfectly well.

      (BTW, Fort Russ had a typo on the date of this article. It should be August 15, I believe.)

      • marknesop says:

        That’s extremely interesting – there is something about the switching of the samples that has been bothering me, but I feel that it is an artificiality which was imposed to bring in the state and make it appear to be government controlled. I have no doubt some Russian athletes cheat – some athletes in every country cheat, the Americans most of all – and that they will continue to do so no matter how good testing gets because there are always ways around it. This is the extent of American genius, that they simply control the testing process at a state level.

        The whole bit about mouse-holes and FSB and sample-switching just seems made-up and overdone. And if Rodchenkov had clean pee right there on the premises, why didn’t he put that in first so that the bottles would be undisturbed? Then there would be no risk of anyone testing positive.

        My latest legal brain-wave is that a clean athlete – Isinbayeva is the obvious choice – should sue Berlinger, the makers of the bottles. They’re expensive, about $200.00 if I recall correctly, and they must constitute a huge contract. Their lawyers would protect it, and when they did they would have no choice but to contest the McLaren Report. McLaren’s expert would have to demonstrate how the bottle can be opened without destroying the cap, and re-sealed. And I don’t think that can be done in a way that leaves only microscopic traces. I’m pretty confident there was some cheating going on, but the whole state-level thing seems a construct so that McLaren could get backing for a national ban.

        • Fern says:

          I’d doubt Berlinger need to be sued to force them to take action. Their reputation must have suffered massive damage, the kind of serious long-term commercial damage that will affect sales and profits far into the future. I can’t see how they can let McLaren’s allegations go unchallenged.

          • marknesop says:

            That may be so, but a deal may also have been struck with Berlinger so that the Olympics will continue to use their product. It is still in use in Rio. I think if they believe there is no threat to their bottom line, they will accept a little bit of doubt about their product in exchange for taking down Russia. A lawsuit against them which highlighted that their product does not meet advertised standards – and Berlinger guarantees the security of the athlete’s sample from collection to testing and maintains the container cannot be opened without either destroying it or leaving visible signs of tampering – would mean they would have to either defend it or acknowledge that its claims are untrue. It would work to Russia’s advantage either way, as Berlinger would be hit with lawsuits from all the athletes who tested clean but did not get to compete.

            I personally think the product is correctly advertised, and McLaren is trying to pull a fast one. Exposing that would be well worth any effort which succeeded.

  31. Cortes says:

    Big thanks to Anonymous commenter at The Saker for the link to the following comedy gold article:

    http://observer.com/2016/08/senior-ukrainian-official-facebook-shames-olympic-team/

    • cartman says:

      The comments are even funnier. How many worms must one eat to become a svidomite?

    • marknesop says:

      With leaders like these, how can Ukraine fail to achieve greatness??

      It’s nice that Parubiy and his fellow bug-eaters have Facebook friends – it will make then easier to track down later. Not now, because present-day Ukraine is a 233-thousand-square-mile mental hospital. But later.

    • marknesop says:

      Once again, he’s just a product of his environment. Everyone who speaks and reads English is encouraged to believe the Russians are cheats, thanks to Travis Tygart and USADA, Dick Pound and Richard McLaren and WADA. It therefore does not seem at all improbable to him that ‘The Russians’ bought off Sri Lanka, Brazil and Poland. Because the Russians always cheat. He’s just an ignorant bogtrotter, and you can hardly blame him if it is pounded into his head day and night that if the Russians lose, it’s merely an acknowledgement that they’re just not as good as white men, and if they win, they cheated.

      What is more astonishing is the gleeful approval of Kevin I-hole, the columnist. Evidently this is the Olympics that has been selected to usher in poor sportsmanship and ignorance as just part of the games. Just in case there’s somebody reading who didn’t hear me before, shut down the Olympics. It will pay immediate dividends – just look at the fucking assholes you will put out of work.

  32. Jen says:

    Hey Mark, are you interested in adding Katehon.com to the KS Blogroll? You might want to peruse its articles before you want to add them.
    http://katehon.com/about-us

    “Katehon think tank is an independent organization consisting of an international network of people – from a wide variety of fields and disciplines – who specialize in the geopolitical, geostrategic and political analysis of world events. The group consists of political thinkers, international relations (IR) researchers, experts in security and counter-terrorism, and journalists concerned with international affairs, geopolitics, ethno-politics and inter-religious dialogue.

    We, at Katehon, clearly defend the principle of a multipolar world, and thus we fundamentally support a pluricentric worldview defined by an international balance of powers; we reject and challenge any kind of unipolar world order and global hegemony. Therefore, we pay special attention to global multipolar associations such as BRICS and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). All of our fellow contributors hold firm to the main principles of the continentalist school of geopolitics. In addition, we stress the importance of religious and cultural identities in international relations, and so we closely monitor the ethnic dimension in social processes, conflictual situations and agreements.

    We, at Katehon, view the world as being a global space in which there will always be permanent and distinct civilizations or “civilizational spheres.” These polylogue spheres of influence are not going to disappear in the near or even distant future, nor should they. We follow the realist school of international relations with its varying forms – e.g. defensive, offensive, neo, hyper – and so we are obliged to recognize the great diversity of values, traditions, interests and visions which exist among all of the world’s distinct civilizations. In particular, we are engaged in studying the following “great spaces” which comprise the majority of all world civilizations – North America, South (or Latin) America, Europe, Russia-Eurasia, China, India, the Islamic world, Africa, and the Pacific. We consider all of the preceding global-regional “poles” to be different civilizational entities, all possessing certain commonalities and yet also differences which should neither be ignored nor denied. This demands a new multipolar approach to studying each civilization and the many subtle distinctions that exist within them.

    We, at Katehon, understand our mission to be one that seeks to assist in the creation and defense of a secure, democratic and just international system, free from hegemony, violence, terrorism, persecution, slavery and extremism of any kind.”

    Konstantin Malofeev’s Wikipedia entry
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Konstantin_Malofeev

    • marknesop says:

      Done; I’m a believer. Looks like an interesting site, with lots to read. Here’s one from The Conversation Room, a new follower, which I think I will add as well. It seems to be a whatever-you-want-to-talk-about blog, and it had this very nice – slightly scary – presentation on TTIP. It sounds vaguely familiar, perhaps someone else linked it awhile ago. Rather good, anyway, and anyone who would sign such a corporation-empowering agreement wants locking up before they can do it.

  33. marknesop says:

    Reuters really is pure stone-ground ass. Check out this bowl of malarkey, paragraphs and paragraphs quoting twats from Russia-based, western-oriented think tanks, all the same old blather about ‘Russian aggression’ and trying to second-guess Putin’s next move, reciting Kiev’s mockery of the foiled attacks in Crimea and smugly confiding that the USA and EU agree there is no evidence such a thing ever happened. And buried in the slag, this gem;

    “With Russia’s reserve fund set to run out next year and Moscow’s access to Western credit markets still closed because of the sanctions, for Russia the clock is ticking.”

    Oh; is that really what you’re waiting for, boys? I devoutly hope so. Just going to wait Russia out until they drain their reserves, and assume they can’t get any credit anywhere else? You soft fuckers. Did you forget about this? China has the world’s largest cash reserves, but would not even need to tap them to help Russia as China still has access to the world’s credit markets and could borrow on Russia’s behalf with impunity – what’s the west going to do? Sanction China? Ahh ha ha haaha. Wal-Mart would collapse in about two weeks.

    Is it possible the west is just pretending to be stupid? To kind of, you know, lull Putin into a false sense of security? Because this is embarrassing. It’s like watching the Ozark Mountain Debating Team go up against Sun Tzu. Don’t take my word for it: Europe has a shitty summer.

    “The Brexit vote has, however, come in handy for Russia. The U.K. was among the hawks endorsing U.S. sanctions against Russia. Brexit, and a weakened EU resolve, is likely to lead to the easing of sanctions. This would leave Russia free to strengthen its relations with continental European powers, expand its influence, and consolidate its leadership in Eurasia.”

    Putin has a good summer.

    “It has been a very good summer for Russian President Vladimir Putin, at least as far as foreign policy is concerned. His own efforts in a variety of endeavors have paid dividends and unrelated developments have benefited Russia and Putin’s agenda. Putin is exploiting those gains — along with a reputation for subtle maneuvering and bold assertiveness — to claim additional advantages.”

  34. Moscow Exile says:

    Playing to the crowd?

    17:30, 16 августа 2016
    Ефимова раскрыла причину агрессивности россиян

    Efimova has revealed the reason for Russians’ aggressiveness

    Russian swimmer Yuliya Efimova in an interview with CNN has said how life in the United States differs from Russian reality.

    “Life in USA is much easier than in Russia. In America, everyone is smiling and friendly. It changes you: it changed me. In Russia, it is really tough for people. That could be why they seem more aggressive than Americans” said Efimova.

    Oh throw me a cliché!

    Efimova went to the USA in March 2011.

    Yeah, Russians are all sour-puss miserable bastards. Life is so tough for them, that’s why.

    Life here in Russia has certainly changed me as well. I am now one grumpy bastard who scowls at everyone, kicks puppies and drowns his sorrows in a bottle.

    I arrived in the USSR in 1989, left in ’91 and came back after the Empire of Evil had fallen and thought that joy and social harmony would shine forth upon this blighted land.

    How wrong I was!

    I have been here for a quarter of a century now — over one half of my life so far. And you can see the results: I am now one mean bastard!!!

    Funnily enough, my children were so glad to be back home after their recent visit to England.

    They like England, but much prefer to live in this hell-hole.

    Masochists, probably.

    I shall be joining them and my wife this evening at my country hovel, where they’ll all probably be sitting gloomily around a zinc bucket that doubles as my wife’s shopping basket, drowning kittens in it or pursuing some other similar inhumane and sadistic activity.

    Efimova’s actual words (quoted above in my translation from a Russian translation), taken from the above-linked CNN clip:

    It’s, you know, life’s so much, like, easier than in Russia. Everybody’s smiling. But they are always, like, super friendly and, like, they, like, Team USA, always [sic], like, screaming this, and Russian people, they are more, like … ahhhhh… they have, like, a really hard life, like, from young year [sic], like, and [laughs] every day, so that’s why they’re so, like, aggressive. You know, like, America has a lot, like, changed me…”

    Wow! That’s, like, totally awesome!

    Like, she’s, like, a real Californian girl, like!

    • Chinese American says:

      I have met a number of people who briefly visit the U. S., and are full of praise for how smiling and friendly and nice the American’s they meet are. It takes a while to realize how superficial that friendliness often is, especially when you start to become a challenge or a threat to them, and when they realize that they cannot condescend to you. (Of course, I don’t want to make sweeping generalizations about all Americans, but from my own experience, that kind of attitude is not uncommon.) Again, the ultimate bottom line is “feeling good about one’s self”.

      I understand that Efimova trains and lives in the U. S., and that her English is still not the most ideal, and that a CNN interview is always full of traps and leading questions. Still, I would have thought that she more than anyone would have realized by now what is often really behind the “smiling friendliness” of Americans.

      • yalensis says:

        The “smiley” thing is just cultural. Americans are taught to smile as an instinct.
        My personal theory: I think this stems from so many Americans being immigrants or the children of immigrants. My own family being immigrants, I know how this works: You are told to be humble and pleasing, in order to “get along” in your new country.

        Everybody do a thought experiment: Imagine you are arriving in a strange land, where you don’t anybody, and you don’t know the customs. The very first thing you would do is to smile and try to please everybody you meet. It’s sort of like Stockholm Syndrome on a large scale.

        It’s when people are in their own land and among their own, that they don’t feel such a need to smile and be pleasing.

        And, well, to continue my theory: After so many generations of this, even native-born Americans have learned the instinct, to smile at everything and everyone, whether it is sincere or not.

        • marknesop says:

          I don’t know; Canadians are the last people you could sell that theory to. We are raised to smile so as to appear friendly and put people at their ease, to encourage the passing of a pleasantry such as remarking on how fine the day is, or as a silent commiseration with the sweaty woman who is trying to control three or four bratty kids. To an extent it is just a reflex, and it’s perfectly true that it has nothing to do with your inner mood. However, rather than a pretense, I prefer to think of a friendly smile as a commitment to rise above my inner mood and be friendly to you, because you have done me no harm and the way I feel is not your fault. I imagine it is the same with Americans. In the main, they are nice people who appreciate an effort to be nice in return.

          Politics and spin do more to ruin openness and guilelessness than any other forces.

      • marknesop says:

        I’ve always found Americans to be sincere and kind, in a one-to-one scenario or a public-service capacity (except, as I have mentioned before, for those big black girls at LAX, who are simmering cauldrons of hostility, and initiate every conversational exchange as if you already back-talked them and are on thin ice). I like traveling in the USA and I have never had anyone treat me rudely or be anything other than polite. I would say American workers are at least as industrious as Canadians and they seem proud of their work. Those who are involved in security are a good deal more watchful and suspicious, as you would suspect, but they are still mostly very polite. I always find Americans to be overall good-humoured and pleasant, and enjoyable company. I never got the impression that they are phony, and in one-on-one situations they are less crazy-patriotic as well, although the bigger a group you get them in, the better the chance they will start swaying and singing about the flag and country-first. My major complaint with them is their tendency to believe whatever they are told by CNN no matter how many times the mainstream media has been caught broadcasting outright lies, and their willingness to believe certain people are lying to them but never the ones who really are.

        • Chinese American says:

          I don’t think that Americans, in general, are phony in a deliberate way. It’s just that in my experience, many Americans expect to be able to feel secure in their own wonderfulness, and at least to someone like me, sometimes some of them also rather like to enjoy being a bit of condescension (not always blatantly; it can be subtle). But if things doesn’t go according to their expectations, then their feelings can change. It’s not that they were pretending before; if I were to judge, I’d say it’s more due to a lack of introspection, possibly.

    • yalensis says:

      Arggg, you scooped me on this one by a day.
      I just posted this one on the story.

      With Efimova sounding almost like a kreakl, this should come as an eye-opener to those who saw the original story in black and white.

    • marknesop says:

      I thought the funny part was where she said Russians appear more aggressive than Americans. To the blind and deaf, perhaps. If there is a war going on and America is not invited, it shows up anyway so it can influence the outcome to its own advantage, and that’s not even counting all the wars America starts using coups and proxy forces.

      Efimova should be careful. She had sympathy going for her, especially when the cause of her dramatic ‘drug bans’ was revealed, but now she is at risk of blowing it by sucking up to the USA. It’s not going to get her a gold. But it will be used to highlight the theory that the only reason she’s any good is because she is practically an American athlete herself, just as they were fond of doing with Sharapova whenever she was on top.

      • yalensis says:

        If Yuliya wants to learn how aggressive Americans can be, then she should visit a Walmart on Black Friday.

      • yalensis says:

        I just couldn’t keep myself away from the Efimova story, and posted this installment today.
        The latest is that Yulia claims to have been misquoted. When she said she wanted to return to LA, she only meant, to collect her stuff from her apartment. Uh huh.
        Akopov goes on to write some very interesting musings about the nature of Russian patriotism, the problem with the diaspora, and what makes a real Russian. One can be the biggest Russophobe on the planet and live in the heart of Moscow. Or one can be a solid Russian with a Russian soul living on the banks of the Thames.

        Hear hear, and that’s an in-your-face to certain people on this forum who shall remain nameless.

        • marknesop says:

          If she is revising her story, though, it suggests she has sensed the rumblings her earlier remark inspired and realizes it would be better not to insult Russia, while America is not really a true friend to her. It’s good if she realizes this, because I suspect her earlier remarks got her on a ‘watch’ list for the press. They’d be very interested in the possibility of milking her for more quotes later on which could be spun as a rejection of her homeland.

          • yalensis says:

            Like I speculated in my piece, Nick Paton Walsh stumbled onto an unexpected bonanza. He thought he had a routine “strawman” propaganda package, and ended up practically with a Baryshnikov runner on his hands.

  35. Moscow Exile says:

    Click CC to switch off the Russian subtitles if they bug you.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      How strange! When I went to the YouTube site, there were Russian and English subs, but no Russian subs on the clip as played on my PC.

      Must be because my OS language is Russian default.

    • marknesop says:

      That’s quite good. I’m still skeptical that a fighter plane could have been involved, even more so that it was a joint plane/Buk attack, unless the attack came from the front, and in that case the fighter would only get one chance because its speed was probably not adequate for chasing a 777. But it is certain that the aircraft was deliberately destroyed by someone, and there are two very, very different accounts of what happened, so somebody must be lying. We’ve had quite a few exhibitions of Ukrainian lying since then, and my money’s on them.

  36. Moscow Exile says:

    18 September 2016

    Yabloko

    Because I love my country

    1993 — 7.86% of vote — 27 seats won
    1995 — 6.89% of vote — 45 seats won
    1999 — 5.93% of vote — 21 seats won
    2003 — 4.3% of vote — 4 seats won
    2007 —1.6% of vote — 0 seats won
    2011 — 3.43% of vote — 0 seats won

    Dream on!

  37. syllamo says:

    Interesting article, thanks for sharing.

    CBC implication in this is of no surprise for it is the Canadian Brainwashing Corporation.
    ‘News’ need not be real if its purpose it to illicit an indignant response from the audience and a broader conditioning of ‘opinions’ (as if they are truly ours).
    This type of ‘reporting’ can be found all across CBC ‘stories’ (and that is what they are).
    As for moving WADA to the USA for “it serves their interests” is indicative of your own naivety, for Canada is no different really, and it serves its master well – I just call us ‘America Light’ when I travel – at least that is more honest than believing that we are better than our southern cohorts.

    • marknesop says:

      Hello, syllamo, and welcome! Indeed, I must be naive, because I do believe we are different, were once much different and can be again, and resent the ongoing attempts to bring as closer together and make us all one homogeneous mass.

      • syllamo says:

        I too resent this but this is something that is happening (forcibly) on a global scale. As the years pass and I see the conditioning change, I remark that it is all too similar. No matter where, the information which reaches the public is all indistinguishable as the sources are all the same; be it CBC, BBC, CNN or insert your own, the sources are usually AP or Reuters…. Global media ownership is something to look into but why believe things like proof when we can all live in our own, programmed minds.
        Perhaps the “mass” which has emerged is simply a product of intentional conditioning.
        I know we Canadians are experiencing this conditioning on many levels; one simply has to look at some of the policies about ‘public safety’ or ‘health’ to see that generations are being trained to think and react in certain ways – indignation goes a long way.

        Thanks for the welcome 🙂

        • marknesop says:

          My pleasure!

          It is not difficult to imagine we are all being pushed to think a certain way, because with the exception of a few social aberrations, we all think basically the same way, have more or less the same system of values and react predictably to social stimulus. We all, once we have satisfied our basic needs, think of our families first and then our friends and then more amorphous concepts like our country, and it does not take much persuading for us to think our country is unique in some way.

          Having achieved this, though, media interests (who are of course just doing it for money and power, they are not particularly idealistic and are only serving providers of money and power) work to convince us that certain countries do not share our values – that they hold human life cheap rather than sacred, and would harm us and our families if they could. This is almost always a lie, and on the few occasions it was true those countries usually telegraphed their intentions plainly without needing the western media to speak for them. In the main we all think alike and are all willing to get along with everyone else so long as their lives do not impinge too much upon our own and so long as their living does not threaten the planet we all must share (such as dreadful environmental polluters, and we are not in much of a position to point the finger there). We have to be reconditioned and reprogrammed to hate others.

      • et Al says:

        …to bring as closer together and make us all one homogeneous mass…

        I would make a slight spelling change to make to make it more suitable:

        …to bring as closer together and make us all one homogeneous ass.

        Now that’s a thought….

  38. et Al says:

    Neuters via Antiwar.com: Law firm that championed Iraqi claims against UK troops to close
    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-iraq-lawfirm-idUSKCN10Q1J9

    A British law firm that doggedly pursued allegations of killings and torture made by Iraqi claimants against British troops will close down at the end of the month after it lost vital government funding, British media reported on Monday.

    Public Interest Lawyers (PIL) had been widely criticized for driving a series of legal actions that resulted in a costly public inquiry into suspected unlawful killings that concluded after years of work the allegations were untrue.

    “This is the right outcome for our armed forces,” Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said in a statement.

    The Birmingham-based firm could not immediately be reached for comment.

    The government’s Legal Aid Agency, which funds legal action when people can’t afford to pay, in the interests of fair access to justice, said it had stopped funding PIL. It declined to give a reason…

    …PIL’s efforts in that case led to a huge public inquiry that concluded in 2011 that Mousa had been violently abused by British soldiers. The inquiry made 73 reform recommendations, most of which were enacted.

    More recently, however, the firm attracted criticism for its key role in the 31-million-pound ($40 million) Al-Sweady public inquiry into allegations that British troops had executed Iraqi civilians and mutilated their bodies at a British base in 2004.

    After years of legal argument and painstaking evidence-taking, including flying witnesses from Iraq to London and hearing others by video-link from the British embassy in Beirut, the inquiry dismissed the allegations.

    PIL was also involved in an attempt in 2014 to prompt the International Criminal Court to investigate allegations of torture by British troops in Iraq between 2003 and 2008…

    …”The closure of PIL shows that we are making progress on that and tackling these types of firms,” a spokesman for Prime Minister Theresa May said on Monday.

    The government said it was looking at imposing tougher penalties on law firms which make “bogus claims” and at how to deter others.
    ####

    The British government always gets in its revenge. It goes to show that those who claim to uphold human rights are the first to take umbrage that they themselves have a somewhat spotty records.

  39. et Al says:

    Unz Review via Antiwar.com: American Pravda: Did the US Plan a Nuclear First Strike Against Russia in the Early 1960s?
    http://www.unz.com/runz/american-pravda-did-the-us-plan-a-nuclear-first-strike-against-russia-in-the-early-1960s/

    Ron Unz
    Several years ago, my articles advocating a large hike in the minimum wage caught the attention of James Galbraith, the prominent liberal economist, and we became a little friendly. As president of Economists for Peace and Security, he invited me to speak on those issues at his DC conference in late 2013. And after the presentations, he arranged a meeting with a friend of his, influential in DC political circles, at which the two of us could present my minimum wage proposals.

    While we were waiting for the taxi to take us to that meeting, I heard him quietly discussing a few other matters with a friend standing next to him. Phrases such as “attacking Russia,” “a nuclear first strike,” and “Kennedy and the Joint Chiefs” came to my ears. I can’t recall the exact words, but the conversation stuck in my mind both at the time and on my later flight home that evening, and although I hadn’t mentioned anything, I wondered what remarkable historical facts he had been discussing. His father, the legendary economist John Kenneth Galbraith, had spent decades as one of America’s most prominent public intellectuals and was a very influential figure in the Kennedy Administration, so I assumed that he was not merely engaging in casual speculation…
    ####

    Much more at the link. The story is hardly a surprise since we have know for a long time that General MacArthur wanted to use nukes in the Korean war and that the much fabled Bomber Gap with the soviets did not exist and neither the missile gap, so the clear temptation of such a dominance in nukes and delivery vehicles is to use them whilst you are still ahead. Still, a very interesting story.

  40. et Al says:

    The National Security Archive via Antiwar.com: U.S. Government Debated Secret Nuclear Deployments in Iceland
    http://nsarchive.gwu.edu/nukevault/ebb557-US-Debated-Secret-Nuclear-Deployments-in-Iceland/

    U.S. Nuclear Weapons Policy toward Iceland, 1951-1960

    U.S. Ambassador Objected, Arguing That If Iceland Discovered a Covert Deployment It Could Cause a “Dramatic Row” and Prompt Iceland’s Exit from NATO

    Declassified Document Discloses Atlantic Command Requirement for Nuclear Storage Site in Iceland..
    ####

    This nicely ties in the with my previous post.

  41. et Al says:

    Antwiar.com: Houthi Shelling Kills Seven Civilians in SW Saudi City
    http://news.antiwar.com/2016/08/16/houthi-shelling-kills-seven-civilians-in-sw-saudi-city/

    Seven civilians were reported killed today, described by Saudi officials as four citizens and three expat workers, when artillery fire struck the southwestern Saudi city of Najran, hitting an industrial area. It is one of the deadliest strikes in Saudi Arabia since the Saudis invaded Yemen in early 2015.

    Locals said the strike landed just about half a kilometer away from a power station, and fueled considerable panic among locals. Najran has been targeted intermittently by the Shi’ite Houthi forces in Yemen, as one of the few significant cities in range of Yemen’s artillery and limited missile arsenal….

  42. et Al says:

    FAIR via Antiwar.com: NYT Reveals Think Tank It’s Cited for Years to Be Corrupt Arms Booster
    http://fair.org/home/nyt-reveals-think-tank-its-cited-for-years-to-be-corrupt-arms-booster/

    By Adam Johnson

    …One of the two think tanks the Times’ Eric Lipton and Brooke Williams raked over the coals was the Center for Strategic and International Studies, which published a report advocating the expansion of drone sales while being funded by drone makers, namely General Atomics (emphasis added):

    As a think tank, the Center for Strategic and International Studies did not file a lobbying report, but the goals of the effort were clear…

    …JPMorgan, in a document dated a month before the agreement was signed, said the pending donation to Brookings “deepens/extends relationships with important client base among business and civic leaders both in the US and abroad.”

    And Brookings was ready to do its part.

    “Our events, which in part target these audiences,” said an internal 2014 Brookings memo, referring to the Global Cities Initiative and federal and state leaders, “have yielded 100+ media hits, with 97 percent of them referencing GCI and 90 percent referencing JPMorgan; by the end of this year, we will have held events in 13 domestic markets and nine international markets.”

    At times, Brookings officials seemed worried they were not doing enough for the bank…
    ####

    Plenty more at the link.

  43. Patient Observer says:

    The Brits are great at creating myths:

    https://www.rt.com/uk/356245-britains-brexit-miltary-delusion/

    One takeaway is the use of entertainment media to instill a belief in the innate superiority of the Brits and the Yanks in terms of bravery, guile, technology and gosh darn wonderfulness. James Bond, Rambo, Marvel Superheros, etc. create a cultural haze of feel-good moral superiority and invincible power. Its no wonder that Americans and to a lesser degree, Brits, are so gullible.

    The article say the Brits are Special and we all know that American are Exceptional. Between Specialness and Exceptionalness, its not surprising why Anglos think that they rule the world.

    Oh, almost forgot, that is one reason why we Americans smile all the time.

  44. et Al says:

    Delicious!

    The Hill: Snowden suggests Russia behind NSA code hack
    http://thehill.com/policy/cybersecurity/291588-snowden-suggests-russia-behind-nsa-code-hack

    National Security Agency (NSA) leaker Edward Snowden is backing a theory that Russia — not money-seeking hackers — is behind the release of possible NSA source code.

    The Shadow Brokers, a previously unknown hacking entity, and WikiLeaks have both announced they have copies of the source code used by a vaunted cyber espionage operation called the Equation Group. The Equation Group is widely believed to be connected to the NSA.

    The Shadow Brokers are auctioning off the code, and WikLeaks says it will release it for free.

    In a series of tweets on Tuesday, Snowden said he believed the effort to expose the source code was a shot from Russian intelligence operatives meant to warn the NSA against publicly attributing recent cyberattacks on the Democratic Party to President Vladimir Putin.

    “This leak is likely a warning that someone can prove US responsibility for any attacks that originated from [a specific] malware server,” Snowden tweeted.

    Many security experts agree that Russia was behind hacks targeting the Democratic National Committee and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and that the Obama administration is holding off from publicly blaming the country while officials contemplate the U.S.’s next move….
    ####

    More at the link.

    Just imagine, right in the middle of the Presidential campaign, Russia delivers this proof. Let’s see how dumb the US Pork Pie News Networks really are.

    What this article doesn’t suggest, hence its slant, is that maybe Russia can also identify those who are behind the DNC hacks, i.e. not Russia itself, but we wouldn’t expect and American rag to expend such a marginal extra mental effort to its own country’s detriment.

    The issue of “If the Russians have proof, why haven’t they released it yet?” has come up time and time again in discussions here on the Kremlin Stooge, but as any good strategist knows, saving the proof for maximal impact of your choosing rather than publishing it immediately simply to bat away blatant russophobic propaganda, is preferable. The Kremlin, unlike Washington, practices self-control quite regularly in face of a slurry of Western allegations.

  45. Warren says:

  46. marknesop says:

    Oh, hey, Moscow Exile; remember the graphic you posted from Bild, in which they skipped number four in the medals count? A commenter at RI pointed out to me that they announced that intention in advance.

    “Should Russia be allowed to participate in the Games, Bild will have it exempted from the medal count. Declare Russian athletes’ results null and void!”

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