Olympian or Politician? Make Up Your Mind.

Uncle Volodya says, "If you have the power to change the world for the better, you should do it. That's why people who do nothing are idiots, but idiots who do nothing are life-savers.”

Uncle Volodya says, “If you have the power to change the world for the better, you should do it. That’s why people who do nothing are idiots, but idiots who do nothing are life-savers.”

The latest Olympian to shoot off his cakehole to the world and bray his catastrophic ignorance is Canadian swimmer Mark Tewksbury. He tweeted earlier, although he has since taken it down, his extreme disapproval that ‘doper’ Yelana Isinbayeva had been elected to the IOC.

Isinbayeva, a three-time world champion and current world record-holder, double gold medalist for the Russian Federation and widely assessed to be the greatest pole-vaulter of all time, has never failed a drug test. Ever. But you can sort of see where ignorant know-nothings like Mark Tewksbury get the impression that everyone in Russian Track & Field is a zombie dope freak. Because of the just-as-ignorant McLaren Report, in which he and his pals on the ‘Independent Commission’ more or less acted as stenographers for Yulia and Valery Stepanov (who were paid $30,000.00 by WADA as a ‘fleeing fee’) and Grigory Rodchenkov, the central figure in Russian sports doping who is very likely parlaying it into a state-sponsored program to save himself. Grigory Rodchenkov, who previously referred to the members of the ‘Independent Commission’ as “three fools who do not understand how the Moscow lab works”.  But because his testimony was needed for political reasons, which are helping the United States of America humiliate its old and now lifelong enemy, Russia, McLaren deemed him to be credible anyway although his preliminary report assessed the exact opposite. Why? Because up as far as the preliminary report, Rodchenkov was denying everything. By the time the final report was thrown together, at just the right time to slap a national Olympic ban on Russia but leave them not enough time to undo it , Rodchenkov was singing like a canary and confessing to everything.

Confession is apparently not only good for the soul, it is also good for politically-motivated hack jobs which lack the weight of independent verification, setting in motion a rush to judgment that suits the regime-changers of North America and NATO, and feeds the hungry press a sensational story which is immediately assumed to be fact.

WADA and its foot-in-mouth-breathing soldiers would have been wise to sense, in the election of Isinbayeva, an attempt to back away from the precipice McLaren and his buddies are trying to drag us over. WADA no longer enjoys the confidence of the IOC, because it is comprised of partisan zealots who are willingly in the service of a political agenda, at the expense of sport. You can be assured that legal action will follow the Olympics, and if McLaren cannot get his ducks in a row by then, a whole lot of people are going to have egg on their faces.

So let me give you some advice, as a taxpayer who helps fund your spoiled and cosseted pursuit of sport in your discipline. If you’re at the Olympics, bully for you. You have been selected to represent your country. In politics? Check your paperwork; I’m pretty sure nobody ever asked you to perform in such a capacity. Next time you see the Foreign Minister of your country doing wind-sprints, or a tricky dismount from the horizontal beam, you can assume there’s some crossover.  Until then, keep your fucking political opinions to yourself. You’re there to swim, or run or jump or whatever. Let’s get that in perspective, what say? You’re not the discoverer of fire, or the wheel. You’re not the composer of a timeless symphony or the rescuer of a child from a burning schoolhouse. You can swim or run or jump faster or higher or further than anyone else who is involved in this competition. You are living proof that you can be the best at something, and not have a clue about anything else.

Richard McLaren does not have proof of who in the Russian Federation is a doper and who is not. What he has is witness testimony from three people who were themselves earhole-deep in doping,  and have fled their country. The IOC would not consider the election of Isinbayeva to the IOC if they were even optimistic that McLaren’s report rests on solid proof.

Everybody in the world has had it up to here with the behavior of pampered athletes abroad, from finger-wagging to rest-room-door-smashing to making up bullshit stories about robbery to sounding off about events from a dataset of zero. Stick to what you know, and the next time you’re tempted to step out of that circle, think again. Think of everybody in your country with a zipper over their mouths, and follow suit. If somebody asks you a question about your sport and your personal place in it, feel free to enlighten everyone. If you are asked a question or feel moved to publicly comment on something that is not your specialty, remember your mother’s advice; if you can’t say something nice, shut the fuck up. I’m sure she didn’t say it quite that way, but you can extrapolate a little for the times. Use your head for something other than keeping your Nicki Minaj ball cap from shrinking.

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1,869 Responses to Olympian or Politician? Make Up Your Mind.

  1. et Al says:


  2. et Al says:

    WADA and its mouth-breathing foot-soldiers

    May I suggest a humble and slight change to the above? How about WADA and its foot in mouth-breathing soldiers?

    Unfortunately, ‘This Twat is not unavailable‘, only his libellous tweet is…

  3. kickingtoes says:

    I don’t know if it’s worth it but do you think a citizens commission to review WADA’s reports etc could help – don’t know if I could find others as I’m new to this but happy to help publicise & contribute where I can

    • marknesop says:

      I’m all for something like that, and that’s precisely what I was hoping would happen at JT’s blog, here. Most of the comments are mine. What I had hoped would happen was that concerned citizens would read over the McLaren Report (the final one is not nearly as wordy as the preliminary one) and remark on things they find incongruous or impossible to reconcile with known facts. For instance, WADA likes to pretend that the ARD documentary by Germany was the triggering event which started their investigation. But that’s only peripherally true, because WADA actually introduced the Stepanovs to the documentary filmmaker, and helped them relocate (flee) to Germany and then onward to the United States. Vitaly Stepanov was feeding them information for years, and they already knew everything that was in the documentary. They just needed something to promote outrage and a rush to judgment. There are probably lots of inconsistencies like that, but nobody seemed to have very much enthusiasm for it. I’m still interested in suggestions, because I think the effort would be worthwhile and all it will take is some sharp-eyed reader to say, “Hey….what about this?” and the whole thing could fall apart. McLaren’s a lawyer, so he probably didn’t leave too many holes, but the report stinks out loud. It is not proof; it’s all supposition, and relies at least 80% on the Stepanovs and Rodchenkov.

  4. Patient Observer says:

    Perhaps the McLaren report is a bridge too far in the propaganda war.

    I would support a legal effort to bring these dopes to justice.

    • marknesop says:

      As would I. I want to see it held up as the partisan fake it is, so as to discourage any further such efforts. I am sure Russia is going to take a run at it after Rio, but as I said, I would sue Berlinger. The west would have no control whatever over such a lawsuit as they would not be named in any capacity except as having provided the reference which suggested the bottles were not tamper-proof. Russia has good reason to sue on those grounds, as Berlinger guarantees the security of the athlete’s sample. Berlinger would be forced to challenge the McLaren Report, and in turn McLaren and his happy band would have to demonstrate the alleged ‘undetectable’ tampering technique. Berlinger would have to closely examine all the McLaren evidence, if it has not done so already, but from the viewpoint that it is all an elaborate fake. And perhaps Berlinger would do all the legwork, while McLaren and the west would not dare be uncooperative and refuse to furnish evidence as they might to Russia, in the interests of ‘protecting whistleblowers’ or some such pap. I see a lot of advantages to doing it that way, and no real pitfalls. There is a very real possibility that Berlinger’s lawyers would completely discredit the McLaren report without Russia having to do anything further. At least until the McLaren Report’s main allegation was completely discredited. Then Russia could just cruise like a shark through a chum slick, gobbling up all the bloody bits.

  5. kirill says:

    Hear! Hear!

    Great post, Mark. Judging by the quick deletion of Twit’s Tweet it seems that these clowns are not too confident that have the libel smear job in the bag.

    I hope there are legal cases launch by every single Russian athlete smeared by McFUCKLaren and the pinheads at WADA. This should be turned into a long duration campaign to put NATzO’s chestnuts to the fire. At some stage the Duma needs to pass a few laws if NATzO courts pretend they can’t hear these cases. They sure love to hear any case against Russia that is totally outside their jurisdictions. The losers at WADA make it automatically their jurisdiction.

    • marknesop says:

      Uh oh; WADA is a world organization. I’m pretty sure jurisdiction is not going to be a problem. WADA deliberately avoided naming names because it wanted to avoid individual lawsuits, but going for a blanket ban was stupid overreach as now all athletes who did not get to compete but never had a positive test are eligible to sue, either on their own or in a class action. And bucket-mouth accusations like Twerpsbury’s simply add fuel to the fire – Isinbayeva would have no trouble at all proving the McLaren Report has done material and measurable damage to her reputation – fellow sports professionals believe she is a drug cheat! Where’d they get that idea? Where else? The McLaren Report, and all its attendant publicity.

      Things are heating up. Let’s see if they flinch on the Paralympics ban; that decision is due in a couple of days. I think they will, and if they do, it will be a sign that they know the winds have shifted – if they thought they could legally and popularly sustain a blanket ban, they would, and of the two legality is less a concern because the west frequently ignores the law when a great political victory is in the offing.

      I’m sorry to say it, but if I were Isinbayeba, I would turn down the IOC position. I certainly will not hold it against her if she takes it and it would be a perfect opportunity for her to continue in sport after retiring from competition. And I realize it is a vote by the athletes and not the organization. But I still think it will be interpreted as a sop thrown to Russia to deter them from pursuing a case following the Olympics – see? we’re sorry- hope there’s no hard feelings. And Russia needs to pursue this until there’s nothing left of WADA but black stubble.

      • ucgsblog says:

        I’m not entirely sure how much the IOC was involved. Only two sports executed full bans, whereas the rest did not. I see no reason to go after the IOC, with the sole exception of getting a future guarantee against an Olympic ban, and asking, perhaps through legal action, the IOC to remove leaders of IAAF and IWF from their positions. Going after the IOC can be an overreach. As for WADA, McLaren, and the rest of their ilk, simply apply their own standard to them: if the action was reckless and harmful to the sports and the Olympic Spirit, everyone in the organization should no longer be allowed to participate in sports. Isn’t that their standard?

        • marknesop says:

          Oh, I wasn’t suggesting Russia should go after the IOC, which has made the best effort of any of the organizations to be fair. I just said Isinbayeva should reject the appointment to the IOC, because it just looks like a sop to Russia to forestall legal action – how can you start legal action after you just accepted this nice symbolic appointment? But I’m not the best source to consult on that – I would have supported Russia completely boycotting the Olympics, as in not sending either athletes or officials, and all Russians holding positions in the sports organizations withdrawing from them. And as the gentleman cited yesterday pointed out, the west and most especially the USA would have been delighted, because that was their objective anyway and it would mean more medals for the west. Russia’s complete withdrawal would just be spun as shame and an acknowledgement that they actually are all dopers.

  6. cartman says:

    It gets more outrageous, because the “childrens’ rights activists” who took the viral picture of the boy “injured” by air strikes are the SAME guys who beheaded another young boy.

  7. Cortes says:

    Excellent piece on more; thanks again.

    The following linked article complements your own quite well, I think:


  8. ucgsblog says:

    Read something that annoyed me, I’ve never seen so much b/s in a single article, so had to respond: https://www.yahoo.com/news/even-vladimir-putin-cannot-kill-200517573.html

    I sometimes must wonder how propagandists can pump out such utter nonsense with a straight face. For instance, let’s look at Leon Aron’s article, whitewashing the crimes of the 1990s, as a Revolution of Dignity. Aron attempts to claim that the amoral coup that ushered in the 1990s was moral. I’m not even joking: “By any measure, the August 1991 revolt was a classic, great revolution — consider its results, impact on Russia’s future, and, most of all, objectives. Its core aims were moral.”

    Let’s consider its impact on Russia’s future. First, it was undemocratic. In a Referendum, most of the people voted against the collapse of the USSR, and yet, the Amoral Revolution of the 1990s assisted it. Perhaps Aron thinks that Democracy is amoral, since it took a “Moral Revolution” to destroy it. Unless of course one wants to argue that firing on Parliament with tank or rigging the 1996 election were really Birthpangs of Democracy. Where have we heard that one before? Aron continues: “Like the American Revolution, the French, and even the uprisings of the Arab Spring, the overthrow of the Soviet system was about human dignity.”

    Ahh yes, the American Revolution, the favorite subject of Native Americans. Oh wait, they got slaughtered as a result. Perhaps we should ask the French what they think about the French Revolution, just a second; the Frenchman is listing glories of Napoleon, this could take a while. Then again, maybe for Aron, guillotines are moral, why not? If a Referendum is amoral, why can’t guillotines be moral? As for the Arab Spring, what was its major accomplishment? Is there a single successful government that came out of the Arab Spring without bloodshed? Like, dare I say, Putin Bloodless Addendum of Crimea?

    But let’s read on: “Those who began the liberalization that ignited the revolution (Mikhail Gorbachev and his top aide, Alexander Yakovlev, the “Godfather of Glasnost”), as well as those who took it over, propelled by the upswell and radicalization from below (Boris Yeltsin and Yegor Gaidar), sought to end the complete subjugation of society to the state and the daily insults of shortages, fear, repression, lies, lawlessness, and moral degradation that resulted from this subjugation.”

    Hmm, complete subjugation of society by the mafia, the daily starvation, fear of violence, prison repression, lies told to the Russian Soldiers who were just trying to survive in Chechnya, lawlessness against Russians in the Caucasus, moral degradation of society to the point where it was considered normal to have pregnant women starving… hmm, what does that describe? Oh yeah, the 1990s, you know, the decade that said “Moral Revolution” ushered in. Oh, and how’s Yabloko’s popularity doing? What’s their approval rating at? Has it hit the single digits yet? Aron continues:

    “The socialist totalitarian state, which was doomed to perennial shortages in one of the most resource-rich countries in the world and which owned justice and the courts (as it owned everything else, including the livelihoods of every one of its 287 million citizens), was the culprit. Hence the aim of the revolution was to erect three tall hedges against the recurrence of such a state: private property, a free market economy, and popular sovereignty over the executive.”

    And there were no shortages in the 1990s? No people starved to death? No elderly, poor, war veterans, pregnant women, and babies died, while Oligarchs made billions? None of that happened in the 1990s? So after whitewashing the 1990s, indeed there was a single sentence about unemployment being bad in that article introduction, Aron proceedes to give credit for Putin’s economic reforms to those who almost destroyed Russia. No, I’m really not kidding: “In the largest privatization on record — wrenching, dislocating, and costing millions of Russians their jobs — the country sloughed off thousands of hopelessly obsolete subsidized enterprises that had wasted billions of rubles in raw materials and man-hours on things that nobody needed. Marred as it was by favoritism, manipulation, and outright fraud, privatization served as the foundation of the spectacular economic takeoff that began in 1999.”

    Remember, there were no obsolete enterprises run by Oligarchs, who showed neither favoritism nor manipulation nor outright fraud; privatization saved Russia. Why can’t it save Ukraine? Aron doesn’t want to talk about that, about Ukraine’s Revolution of Dignity. Perhaps to Aron, telling the truth is simply nonsense. Don’t believe it? Let me quote: “It is nonsense to suggest that post-Soviet Russia cut defense because it had no money.” Perhaps the soldiers were not paid because the Government was swimming in wealth?

    “But with the average price of oil at around $18 a barrel, post-Soviet Russia in the 1990s steadily increased health care expenditures; by 1999, it spent more than twice as much (7.3 percent) on health care as did the Soviet Union in 1990-1991 (2.9 percent), by share of GDP — and more than Putin’s Russia does today (6.5 percent).”

    Healthcare expenditures increased. How about healthcare quality? Did that increase or decrease? One way to measure quality of healthcare is to measure the average lifespan of the people. How’d that go for Russia? Under teh ubah ebul sistem of shotazhes, it was 69 years. After the Aron-dubbed “Moral Revolution” it averaged at 65 years, thus drastically underperforming Soviet Healthcare. After Putin’s Reforms, it surpassed 70 years. But yes, the expenditures did go up. And were promptly wasted on bloated and inefficient healthcare reforms, that led to shortages of vital medicines to the people. Aron conveniently forgot to mention that.

    Nor did he mention that GDP varied. In 1989, the GDP per capita, adjusted for PPP, was roughly $10,000 per person, making the average bill $290. In 1999, it was roughly $5,000, making the average bill $365. However, half of that was usually paid as bribes, stolen, paid for protection, etc, thus making the actual value $183. Not sure if Aron actually grasps this, but $183 is substantially less than $290. During the Putin Rule, the GDP, again adjusted for PPP, is roughly $11,000 per person. 6.5 percent of that would be $715. Since those numbers don’t suit Aron’s propaganda, he uses percentage of GDP. “Hey kids, as a result of you getting stellar grade, instead of giving raising your allowance from $20 to $40, we’re going to raise it by the fluctuations in Ukraine’s GDP!” Oh wait, that’d be really stupid to do, wouldn’t it? And yet Aron continues: “Just as spectacular was the attempt at regaining dignity by liberty, the separation of powers, and the limitation of state power by law. Freedom of speech, the press, and of demonstration — never before seen in Russia save between February and November 1917 — flourished.”

    Yep, freedom of the press flourished, just ask all of the journalists that were murdered in the 1990s, without an investigation. Russian Journalists of the 1990s were as safe as American Journalists who crossed Al Capone. But hey, the press flourished, Aron said so. And if you want to laugh at that article, here’s a line that’s, well, a bit in denial: “Three parliamentary ballots (in 1993, 1995, and 1999) and a presidential election (1996) were the freest in Russian history, except for the November 1917 election to the Constituent Assembly.”

    The 1996 presidential election – fairest in Russia’s History. Bwhahahaha. Oh dear, that’s hilarious. Erm, Yeltsin’s approval ratings were in the single digits – so how exactly did he win? Next up, let’s all watch Aron whitewash tanks firing at Parliament:

    “Exercising its constitutional right to grant amnesty, Russia’s lower house, the State Duma, ordered the release of the leaders of the October 1993 rebellion, in which black-shirted bands of leftist, anti-Semitic thugs shot at passersby from the top of the parliament building and lobbed grenades into the Ostankino television station. President Yeltsin’s compliance with the amnesty law was another revolutionary miracle. It is impossible to find another instance in Russia’s blood-stained history (or, for that matter, in almost any country) of unrepentant leaders of an armed uprising — who would have certainly executed Yeltsin had they succeeded — being freed by the victors with not one precondition. Since their release from detention, none has been persecuted or harassed in any way; none has been barred from politics; and several were later elected regional governors and Duma deputies.”

    Wow, no mention of tanks. Hmm, so if Obama was to order tanks to fire on a Republican dominated Congress, perhaps Aron would be perfectly ok with that, as long as all Republicans were freed without preconditions. IMHO, as far as pathetically researched articles, this one takes the cake.

    • Patient Observer says:

      Good take down.

    • marknesop says:

      Aron reminds me – and I’ve never met him, knowing him only from his writing – of someone who was raised as a child to believe the small pig that is his companion is a dog. He seems unable to explain what it is that constitutes a basic democracy, choosing rather to rule that actions which resulted in an outcome of which he approves as ‘revolutions for democracy’. It also reminds me, tangentially, of Mark Adomanis’s deadly-accurate description of Mikheil Saakashvili’s understanding of democracy as “things I like”. Like Saakashvili, Aron interprets any series of actions or events which brings the world more in sync with American objectives for global leadership as ‘part of the democratic transformation’, whether the actions were democratic in nature or completely against the will of the people. Which leads us straight back to the American government insiders’ definition of democracy, which is, ‘whatever helps me achieve my goals’. The US government acknowledges, a couple of times yearly at least, that the people do not have the knowledge or experience to make good decisions, and therefore they must be channeled into voting for this or that by a blizzard of propaganda or a question which limits their choices; Do you support Planned Parenthood, or are you in favour of killing children, for example. So far as I know, that’s not a real question; I just use it as an example of a question which implies a choice, but to which there can be only one answer.

      • ucgsblog says:

        “It also reminds me, tangentially, of Mark Adomanis’s deadly-accurate description of Mikheil Saakashvili’s understanding of democracy as “things I like”. Like Saakashvili, Aron interprets any series of actions or events which brings the world more in sync with American objectives for global leadership as ‘part of the democratic transformation’, whether the actions were democratic in nature or completely against the will of the people.”

        Spot on! And, btw, that was a beautiful takedown by Adomanis.

        • marknesop says:

          It was spectacular, wasn’t it? In his day, Adomanis was as sharp as a tack, and splendid at deflating puffed-up tools. La Russophobe even did an interview with him once, in which he called Paul ‘the Indispensable’ Goble a whore. Marvelous. That Adomanis turned out to be somewhat of a whore himself does not detract at all from his skill as a writer. I never agreed with everything he said, but I agreed with a lot of it and in his characterization of Saakashvili he was so right-on that I would pin a medal on him myself if one were offered for that performance.

      • yalensis says:

        Ha ha, good one!
        Under the Saakashvili/Aron doctrine, “political democracy” = “Raindrops on roses and whiskers on Kittens”. In other words, “a few of my favorite things” !

    • et Al says:

      Don’t be too hard on the poor man! 😉 He’s got bills to pay, a career to advance.

      Remember kids, there is no self-censorship in the Western journalism. Just don’t rock the boat and you’ll be fine as you are. Produce the right kind of fluff regularly and you will be blessed with a benevolent eye from above.

      If you have ever had colleagues or friends who have worked for the Pork Pie News Networks, they will tell you that this classic comedy news parody series from the 1990s is no laughing matter, let alone inaccurate:

      There are still whole episodes online, so you can see not much has changed in news reporting.

  9. ucgsblog says:

    Nicely written! Once again, thank you!

    “The latest Olympian to shoot off his cakehole to the world and bray his catastrophic ignorance is Canadian swimmer Mark Tewksbury. He tweeted earlier, although he has since taken it down, his extreme disapproval that ‘doper’ Yelana Isinbayeva had been elected to the IOC.

    Isinbayeva, a three-time world champion and current world record-holder, double gold medalist for the Russian Federation and widely assessed to be the greatest pole-vaulter of all time, has never failed a drug test. Ever.”

    Loving the start Mark!

    “WADA and its foot-in-mouth-breathing soldiers would have been wise to sense, in the election of Isinbayeva, an attempt to back away from the precipice McLaren and his buddies are trying to drag us over. WADA no longer enjoys the confidence of the IOC, because it is comprised of partisan zealots who are willingly in the service of a political agenda, at the expense of sport. You can be assured that legal action will follow the Olympics… So let me give you some advice, as a taxpayer who helps fund your spoiled and cosseted pursuit of sport in your discipline. If you’re at the Olympics, bully for you. You have been selected to represent your country. In politics? Check your paperwork… If you are asked a question or feel moved to publicly comment on something that is not your specialty, remember your mother’s advice; if you can’t say something nice, shut the fuck up.”

    Damn straight! Because ultimately, if you’re wading into politics, you get treated like a politician, not an athlete. So don’t be surprised when you get slaughtered on social media “merely” for stating your opinion. Isn’t calling Isinbayeva a doper, considered defamation? I don’t know, I’m just asking.

    • marknesop says:

      I don’t think that is defamation, actually. I’m on shaky ground with the legal definition, but I believe there has to be some element in it, like libel, of the one who states the erroneous information knowing it to be false. Twerpsbury apparently is dumb enough or incurious enough to just repeat what he reads in the papers, and it is quite conceivable he does not know Isinbayeva is not a doper and never has been.

      McLaren, now, is a different story altogether. He is a lawyer by profession and must know very well the risk of making a judgment based on nothing but hearsay evidence. He likewise well knows the concept of natural law, and the potential consequences of barring and individual from participation in something based on a blanket ban when the individuals involved have had no opportunity to challenge or even know the specific charges against them – it’s collective punishment, which is illegal under international humanitarian law, although it’s usually talking about starving a village to get them to give up some radicals, things like that.

      Russia is unlikely to ever get an apology out of this, because the west does not do apologies, especially to Russia. When it is exposed in an untenable position, it takes out its fury on the agency that put it there. And that’s WADA. But Canada, the United States, the British and to a lesser extent the Australians screwed themselves with the Russian people, who now look on them as liars and fabricators and spreaders of propaganda. Since politics is the phoniest job under the sun, politicians on both sides can speak of ‘our partners’ when they were just yesterday the screwer and the screwee. But the people remember.

      • ucgsblog says:

        I think that most Russians will be able to tell between the Russophobes and the common people. That said, there’s going to be a lot of hate over this, unfortunately. IMHO, WADA’s actions attempted to kidnap the Olympic Spirit, and, thankfully, failed. It’s only fair that their logic be applied to their actions, i.e. collective ban from sport.

  10. yalensis says:

    This is a great post, Mark.
    I love the way you put everything in perspective about the human division of labor.
    There are those whose job is politics, and those whose job is to dismount from the balance beam.
    Well said.

    • Jen says:

      If God’s name were Yalensis, Recep Tayyip Erdogan would never have been allowed a career in local government leading to national politics. Before he became mayor of Istanbul way, way back in the 1980s, Erdogan had been a semi-professional soccer player.

      Video of Erdogan scoring a goal in a 2014 charity football match for Palestine:

      • yalensis says:

        Well, there are exceptions to every rule.
        For example, if one could write the perfect song that would bring all the nations of the planet together, then one should be elected to higher office.

        P.S. – “They DO get better — wink wink…”

        • Jen says:

          And then of course there was David Cameron who was groomed all his working life to be a Conservative party politician and ultimately British Prime Minister but discovered too late that his true vocation was pig fancier.

    • marknesop says:

      Thanks, Yalensis! I wrote it in about 20 minutes, mostly in a tantrum.

      • Jen says:

        That must mean that every time each KS post’s comments forum reaches more than 2,000 comments and our laptops, PCs or smartphones start crashing or going slow, we have to think of something that upsets Mark and puts him in a black mood so a new post can arrive.

        • et Al says:

          Oh well done Jen. You’ve truly let the cat out of the bag now! 😉

          • yalensis says:

            Yup. Now we know what to do when Mark has writer’s block.
            Make him angry. You WILL like him when he is angry!

            • marknesop says:

              Ha, ha!! Actually I am a bit of a crotchety old man, and quite a lot of things make me angry. My sought-for state, in which I sometimes enjoy blissful interludes, is one in which I am in accord with my fellow man – when peace guides the planets and love steers the stars. Some will spot the latter bit from the lyrics of “Aquarius”. I have become a little more of an angry person since I began this blog, rather than less, but as in the beginning, all I wanted was for Russia to be treated fairly. Not exempted from scrutiny or given a pass, or to have behavior tolerated which nobody else could get away with. Just fair. And it’s still not.

              • Evgeny says:

                “all I wanted was for Russia to be treated fairly. Not exempted from scrutiny or given a pass, or to have behavior tolerated which nobody else could get away with. Just fair. And it’s still not.”

                As we say in Russia, “I would subscribe under each word”. Unfortunately that kind of thinking is totally unacceptable in the modern world. It pushes you to the outskirts of civilization, but you won’t really care because if you think so you are a paid Putin’s troll so you must be content living under a bridge. The problem is, it works that way because there are so many good people who are convinced that Putin’s Russia is the enemy and nothing good comes out of it. Of course, if I have said something like that somewhere else I would be reminded that it’s all fortress mentality and that Americans sincerely wish Russia to become a civilized nation and aren’t doing anything to harm it…

                • Patient Observer says:

                  The West has fully purged its belief system of “fairness” and “cooperation”. The only imperative is to win; in personal relationships (although there are hold outs here), business and most certainly in politics and foreign policy. Our ideology has reach its full expression and perfection. Systematic collapse can be expected shortly.

  11. Fern says:

    Terrific post, Mark, as always. I got very angry all over again about this whole doping issue yesterday when I heard that Yelena Isinbayeva had announced her retirement. It’s just really heart-breaking that she was denied the right to compete for the Gold in what would have been her final Olympics. The airwaves have been full of Usain Bolt’s triple Gold at what are his final Games and how wonderful it is that he can go out on such a high. Not one word for all the Russian athletes, clean all their careers, who’ve been denied this.

    WADA and every official who participated in this travesty should be sued by every Russian athlete who’s been affected.

    • marknesop says:

      Thanks, Fern, and I agree. Nothing less than the decimation and scattering to the four winds of the ashes of WADA should suffice to square this politically-motivated travesty, and I have not changed my mind that the Olympics need to go; the Paralympics, too. They’re just American foreign-policy fora now, and eventually America ruins everything it touches. Let them have The American Games, where every single medal goes to an American.

  12. Patient Observer says:

    According to a Gallup poll, Americans’ interest in watching the Games has hit a historic low.


    I once looked forward to the Olympics and the coverage seemed a little less jingoistic and one-sided. In particular, Canadian coverage in past Olympics seemed less hyped.

    • Mij says:

      And what about that Canadian commentator who was overheard denigrating that little 14 year old Chinese girl? This dehumanization of those we consider our political enemies has reached an all time low. It is crass biogtry and totally undermines the spirit of the Olympics. If this is the way it’s going to be than we may as well scrap the whole thing. Bad sportsmanship at it’s most appalling.

      Btw, China is getting fed up with the villianization and disrespect being shown them which is why I think they are beginning to take sides in international affairs (Syria) whereas before they tried to remain neutral. They are beginning to see that they will not be allowed to do that. They are being cornered so will have to make a stand in the future.

      • cartman says:

        The US Olympic swim team should be banned from competing in Tokyo, but I think sponsors would pull out. It would teach a lesson in civility that has been lacking in Rio and Sochi.

        • Jen says:

          The Australian swimming team should be banned too for bad behaviour. Some of its members were equally terrible (for example, bullying the Chinese swimmer Sun Yang by calling him a dope cheat) and there was even a lone Ryan-Lochte-wannabe who claimed he was forced by a gang to withdraw $1,000 from an ATM one evening when he should have stayed in the Olympic village like everyone else. Apparently the idiot was out all night long and was found next day wandering about in a daze.

          At least the American swimming team won loads of medals.

          • marknesop says:

            “At least the American swimming team won loads of medals.”

            There you go; even after all your complaining, I knew you would reach down deep and come up with what the Olympic spirit is all about. Americans winning lots of medals. If the Olympics keeps on staggering along, eventually the USA will eliminate all its rivals from competition except for the no-hopers, and then it will be three Americans standing on the podium fort every event. The rest are just there to fill seats.

            • yalensis says:

              Hey, it’s all about the hardware!
              Just admit it, and things will start to go easier on you.

              • marknesop says:

                Gee; that sounds like a culture of medals over morality to me. And that disgusts Sir Philip Craven, so better not let him hear it.

              • Jen says:

                @ Yalensis: do you know if the story about Fort Knox being empty is really true and that any gold bars the people there send back to countries that want their gold are merely gold-plated tungsten bars?

                That must be why the US needs so much hardware.

                • yalensis says:

                  Well, last time I busted into Fort Knox, along with George Clooney and a few other lovable rogues, the shelves did look awfully bare. Very slim pickings there.
                  Except for that one shelf, somewhat dusty but still intact, which was stacked high with gold medals from the LA Olympics of 1984. I guess they needed all those wins to back the American currency! Which is why the mob was chanting “USA! USA! USA!” with such persistency.

                • Jen says:

                  Did you see the, er … the Ark of the Covenant there, too???

            • Jen says:

              Since I made that comment (less than 24 hours ago), I’ve come across one (only one, by the way) Internet rumour that the American swimmers might have used a spray-on hydrophobic (even super-hydrophobic) body coating that helps to reduce friction and drag, enabling them to swim faster.

              The spray-on coat could be applied not all over the body but just be sprayed onto those parts that experience the most friction and drag in small amounts. So people could look at a swimmer and not suspect that s/he had this coating on. Movement through the water could spread the coating to lower parts of the body if it were applied to the torso and legs (so the coating wouldn’t be completely hydrophobic – perhaps 75% is better than 100% – but I’m no physicist so I’m only guessing here) to make it even more effective in helping swimmers to glide through the water. The only way you’d know if swimmers were cheating in this way would be to analyse the water after a race or if the coating had specially coloured nano-beads that turn colour under a light ray, meaning that all swimmers would be required to stand in front of a special lamp before or after racing.


      • Patient Observer says:

        Don’t get me wrong, Canadian coverage, if if follows the American lead, is now in the toilet as well. The decreasing interest in the Olympics is potentially due to the realization that it is has become just another BS platform for the windbag class.

      • ucgsblog says:

        American minorities are also being dissed. For instance, when Manuel won a Historic Gold Medal, some journos depicted that as her “sharing” the spotlight with Phelps, written in a tone that said “well, alright, you can be next to this legend, black girl.” it’s just bad coverage all around.

      • Jen says:

        There was a French commentator who called the Japanese women’s gymnastics team little Pikachus. Interestingly the outrage was mainly in France, the Japanese themselves weren’t bothered by the comparison and thought it was cute.

    • ucgsblog says:

      That’s mostly because of incredibly poor coverage by NBC. They had more ads and prerecorded stuff than actual sports, most of which they are, for some reason, unable to show live. I’ve seen a lot of sports coverage, and this is just a flat out fail.

    • marknesop says:

      What??? With the triumph of America winning a ton of medals every single day? Americans are getting tired of watching American victory? I don’t believe it.

      I hope this was the last Olympics ever.

      • yalensis says:

        I’ve said it before: the American TV-watching public is so narcissistic…
        How narcissistic are they?
        They are such narcissists that they would jump for joy if every other nation was banned, so that American athletes could win each and every medal in existence, and have the American anthem blared non-stop 24/7 from the podium.
        USA! USA! USA! (etc.)

  13. Fern says:

    This has probably been posted before but worth a second mention in case anyone missed it. A great 5 minute exposition of what actions Russia and its athletes should take against WADA and its officials by Ruslan Ostashko.


    • Jen says:

      I watched Ostashko’s exposition and it chimes in with what Kirill has said early in this thread, that individual Russian athletes denied the chance to go to Rio should sue WADA and Richard McLaren in particular, on the basis that the Russians should hit these people where they hurt the most … their hip pockets.

      The most pressing issue then is to find a foreign court that would be most sympathetic to hearing individual cases or class action defamation cases against WADA and McLaren.

      Thanks for the link, Fern.

  14. landak1986 says:

    A shameless plug… I had a story inside and I had to write it down. Don’t expect it to be interesting, though, because you already know it.

    • yalensis says:

      Journalists are more in danger in the Ukraine than in Russia.
      Where is all the Westie outrage about freedom of speech in Banderstan?
      The silence of a herd of crickets.

      • Evgeny says:

        Yalensis — precisely. Since 2000, 9 journalists were killed in the Ukraine and 26 — in Russia. Which results in approximately the same value if you divide each number by a respective country’s population. The difference is the dynamics. Most of Ukraine’s deaths have happened after Euromaidan, while (fingers crossed) no journalists were killed in Russia in 2014 and ever since.

        • yalensis says:

          Yes, and thanks for your comment on my blog.
          Like I said there, the comment got stuck for several hours while I was away all day.
          But I finally saw it and liberated it.

          Anyhow, that’s a good point about the murder of journalists, and the very suspicious patterns thereof. In Ukraine, one can also add the murder of attorneys, such as Grabowski. There is most definitely a pattern there. Well, look who’s in charge there — Avakov and Herashchenko!

          • Evgeny says:

            Yalensis, you are welcome and that’s precisely what I thought — that you weren’t around. It’s totally normal, and e.g. there are days I’m completely off that dreadful monster, i.e. the Internet. So, I would say you are pretty quick when it concerns your blog!

            I have used the CPJ data, so it spared me the trouble of sifting through all the cases myself. They should be credited with having a certain methodology universally applied to all cases across the world (or at least they strive to do so). Playing around with their data would ruin all the trust put in it.

            One should note, however, that a significant fraction of deaths in the Ukraine are related to the war in the East. I considered discussing that point (and in relation to it, the fraction of war deaths in Russia), but after reading the article by Anna Nemtsova, I’ve decided that it’s not really important how journalists were killed. That some journalists were killed in a war does not justify the respective Government or make those deaths insignificant. It might make a difference in how we apply the blame, though.

            • yalensis says:

              Yevgeny: Yes, I try to curate my blog as best I can while holding down a full-time job and trying to do other stuff too. Unlike Mark I don’t get many comments (THAT BASTARD!), so I try to be very responsive to the few that I do get.

      • Evgeny says:

        When I did a bit of reading about Russia’s early 1990s (Strobe Talbott’s “Russia Hand” is especially telling), I had an eerie feeling that what happens in the Ukraine now closely resembles what happened in Russia in early 1990s. If you want some parallels… the constitutional crisis of October 1993 == Euromaidan; the war in Eastern Ukraine == First Chechen war; the death toll of journalists is high following each pair of events. The role played by the official U.S. makes one thinking that Russia’s early 1990s and Ukraines mid-2010s are the script from the same page…

    • marknesop says:

      That’s a really good piece, Evgeny, and I don’t think anyone else has gone into it with the depth you have. Major sources like Volaire network might be interested in it.

      • Evgeny says:

        Mark, I really appreciate your feedback!

        I originally intended to suggest it to the ROPV. But after figuring out they have slashed the site I thought “whatever, I would just write a blog post”. I’m grateful to everyone who read it, which is pretty cool already, given that I don’t excel in literary writing.

        • marknesop says:

          I think your writing is quite good, especially considering it is a second language for you. I’d be pretty pleased with myself if I could write in Russian with that level of ability.

          • Evgeny says:

            English is a must in the modern world. When we have guests who’ve never visited us before, especially if they are non-technical people (spouses, girlfriends, etc), the same pattern repeats. There’s a jaw-dropping moment when they stare at my bookshelf of technical books in English. And if I’m stupid enough to offer them to take any, they can’t start reading. Without technical English I wouldn’t have a job.

            • marknesop says:

              Evgeny; I have sent a link to your post to Thierry Meyssan at Voltaire.net. I don’t know if anything will come of it, but I would like to see it receive wider recognition than I can offer it here. Also, there is a very interesting story at the site, here. It’s about how NED is used as a means to initiate political initiatives which ambassadors could not without being accused of violating the sovereignty of their host states. Again, this is something everyone ‘knows’, without really having much of a grasp of how it is accomplished. Here’s a teaser:

              “For the people of the United States, this very naïve belief implies without more that their country is an exemplary democracy and that they have a messianic duty to superimpose it on the rest of the world. While Saint Mathew envisaged propagating faith exclusively through the example of a righteous life, the founding fathers of the United States thought of illumination and propagating their faith in terms of regime change. The English puritans beheaded Charles I before fleeing to the Netherlands and the Americas, then the patriots of the New World rejected the authority of King George III of England, proclaiming the independence of the United States.”

              It’s good stuff. It also helps make the incidental point that most Americans are no more wicked or evil than the citizens of any other country, while they themselves have been indoctrinated their whole lives to believe that America is the unique bringer of enlightenment and good, and that they must persist despite resistance because those who do not know what is good for them always struggle against it.

              While I was perusing his work, as well, I ran across an older piece on the inimitable Madame Lagarde. The thrust of it is that national bailouts by the IMF frequently coincided with a huge order for American military equipment – the article highlights the case of Greece, which ordered 400 M1 Abrams tanks, and Poland, whose agricultural subsidies were diverted to buy F-16s. I don’t know how I missed that at the time, but it adds another coat of wickedness to my image of her.

              • Evgeny says:

                Mark, then you would enjoy the real backstory, haha. I considered writing something based on CPJ data for a year, and always put it ahead. Currently I have some project to do, so I thought that after I complete it, I would write a story. Then I have reconsidered and guessed that if I do the writing first, that would boost my spirit, free my mind and let me work more efficiently. So, writing felt good. Feedback was super cool. But writing for an audience is frankly not something that occupied my mind. I recognize that my writing is patchwork and rough at the edges. Moreover, it’s serious, and that’s not really good.

                So, of course, thanks for the support, but I don’t have any expectations, and yes, I’m totally reading the links you’ve referenced!

    • Cortes says:

      An excellent essay!

      The low figure for the USA in the first table is scarcely surprising given how studiously journalists there avoid truly contentious subjects. The following linked article relates to the muting of the story about the possibility of the assassination of General Patton by US interests and the title of the series (American Pravda) is eloquent:


  15. Evgeny says:

    It’s a good post, and the good news about Isinbayeva’s election, too.

  16. Mij says:

    Another great article!

  17. Northern Star says:

    I realize that I’m not up to speed on this latest Russia frame up…i.e alleged widespread doping
    But in reading this:

    I wonder if Canadian lawyer McLaren was paid for any of his WADA work or for that matter his prior consultative arrangements involving sports issues including those that targeted elements of the American sports establishment.?

    Also in consideration of the following excerpt from the above Global Research link:
    “The open access article in The Australian shows the extent to which McLaren and WADA have been thrown onto the defensive. It reports McLaren complaining that
    “The focus has been completely lost and the discussion is not about the Russian labs and Sochi Olympic Games, which was under the direction of the IOC. But what is going on is a hunt for people supposed to be doping but that was never part of my work, although it is starting to (become) so. My reporting on the state-based system has turned into a pursuit of individual athletes.’’
    I am at a total loss to understand how Professor McLaren thinks that a report supposedly about an alleged state-sponsored system of doping should not look into the evidence of doping on the part of individual athletes, when it is precisely those individual cases of doping which are the evidence that there was a state-sponsored system of doping in the first place.
    Obviously there was insufficient time to look into each and every allegation of doping properly in the 57 days in which Professor McLaren’s investigation was conducted. However that merely points to the fact that conducting a proper investigation within a timeframe of just 57 days was impossible. Professor McLaren should have admitted as much and asked for more time to conduct his investigation properly, leaving it to WADA and the IOC to put in place proper arrangements to prevent possible cheating by Russian athletes at the Olympic Games in Rio in the meantime. However that is not what he did. Instead he delivered an incomplete and defective report and demanded a blanket ban on the strength of it.”
    Frankly I cannot see in Professor McLaren’s words anything other than confirmation that that was his objective all along. Judging from what IOC officials are reported to have told The Australian, it seems that is their opinion too.

    Further confirmation that this was the objective is provided by the way WADA is now desperately trying to retreat from the way McLaren “implicated” individual athletes in his report. In order to explain this away WADA’s chief executive Olivier Niggli is quoted by The Australian as providing what can only be called a twisted explanation of what happened.

    “WADA chief executive Olivier Niggli said the confusion arose because sports officials had not understood what the word ‘’implicated’’ meant. ‘’Professor McLaren gave each sport the list of the athletes who were implicated. That was the word used by the IOC; which athletes were appearing there in the report. Then we get to the confusing part. He gave the international federations everything he had, every name.’’ There was no further information about some names, yet the sports federations believed listing meant they were ‘’implicated’’ and they should withdraw the athletes and, following IOC guidelines, they should withdraw them from Olympics competition.”

    That Professor McLaren (who is a lawyer) “implicated” athletes in a way that was not intended to cast suspicion on them strikes me as frankly absurd. On the contrary it is now starting to look as if he presented his findings in such a way as to create the impression that there was more evidence of Russian athletes being involved in doping than was actually the case.”

    Well…as a layperson I can’t help but wonder if there may be possible relevance of the immediately foregoing material to certain parts of the following : (start with page 109)

    Click to access ModelCode10March2016FIN.pdf

    • Northern Star says:

      Remember Killary go sacked for lying back in Watergate days:
      “Hillary got a job working on the investigation at the behest of her former law professor, Burke Marshall, who was also Sen. Ted Kennedy’s chief counsel in the Chappaquiddick affair. When the investigation was over, Zeifman fired Hillary from the committee staff and refused to give her a letter of recommendation – one of only three people who earned that dubious distinction in Zeifman’s 17-year career.
      “Because she was a liar,” Zeifman said in an interview last week. “She was an unethical, dishonest lawyer. She conspired to violate the Constitution, the rules of the House, the rules of the committee and the rules of confidentiality.”
      This isn’t exactly news. When her lachrymose performance arguably won her New Hampshire, Zeifman tried to tell people about Hillary’s duplicity. Patterico noticed the effort, but few others picked it up. Zeifman wrote at his website:”
      AND…Bubba was disbarred for lying in the Jones/Lewinsky matters…
      Being vexatious or filing briefs or motions which are delberately omissive of key material facts are -Inter Alia -sanctionable offenses in most jurisdictions….
      My analogies may not be precise…but I think they are pretty damn close..

  18. Cortes says:


    The most delicious aspect of the article is the trashing of the “Minsk Agreement Compliance > Sanctions Removal” – top bombing!

  19. et Al says:

    So, the UK doesn’t like its own Freedom of Information act, and has been squealing on an off for quite a while, which is why this piece is interesting:

    Daily Fail: Want to spy on the UK? Fill in a form: Foreign agencies ‘are using Freedom of Information requests to turn up intelligence’

    The requests can be made by anyone to publicly funded bodies
    Former spy said even relatively unrevealing data useful to enemies
    Government spokesman said ‘full use’ made of security exemptions

    …Foreign spy agencies are now using Freedom of Information requests to turn up intelligence, according to a Government source…

    …But a former intelligence officer said even information that appears relatively unrevealing can be useful to foreign nations…

    …‘The appetite for information is vast and indiscriminate,’ they said.

    Much of the data was said to be requested in order to embarrass the Government, exposing policies and communications that would otherwise remain locked away.

    Through extremely specific requests, foreign nations have obtained diplomatic telegrams and policy documents.

    It’s a strange little piece and really makes no reporting sense unless such grievances were expected to be aired.

    So what’s changed? The PM is now Theresa ‘Arbeit Macht’ May, who as former home secretary and basically since she joined as an MP has been staunchly pro intelligence services, backing every piece of repressive and surveillance bill put to government attention.

    That this piece is yet again is based on an anonymous source, “a former intelligence official” is of no surprise, but if you ask me, either the Freedom of Information Act is going to be scrapped & replaced with “An act more in keeping with the times”, or will be amended to the point that it is essentially gutted and useless.

    In Britain of all places, land of ubiquitous CCTV, surveillance tech and powers for local councils, and the sheeple who sleep through it all in the motherland of modern democracy(!).

  20. et Al says:

    I don’t know if any of you have been following the worrying bust up in Hasakah, Syria between the SDF/Kurdish forces & the SAA, but the following piece is very interesting, more so the comments that elucidate in far more detail about what probably went on.

    Moon of Alabama: No ISIS There – Are U.S. Troops In Hasakah “Advising” Kurds To Attack The Syrian Army?

    Yesterday a fight broke out between Syrian Arab Army troops and local Kurdish forces in the predominately Kurdish city of Hasakah in north-eastern Syria. Hasakah, with some 200,000 inhabitants, has held a SAA garrison for years. There is some enmity between the Kurds and the soldiers but the situation is generally peaceful.

    There have been earlier fights but these were local rivalries between Syrian auxiliary National Defense Forces from local Arab (Christian) minorities and some gangs who form a Kurdish internal security force under the label Asayish. Such fights usually ended after a day or two when grown-ups on both sides resolved the conflict over this or that checkpoint or access route…

    Much more at the link. Also check out the comments and info posted by ‘karlof1‘ who quotes ‘Canthama’ about the origins of the bust up:



    The Kurds must know that any promises by the West are not to be trusted and that they will be stabbed in the back sooner or later. I suspect that they suspect this and also that just about everyone will stab them in the back if it comes down to it (Russia too), but here it looks like a local faction thought it would be clever to try and grab local control easily and of course it rapidly went Pete Tong. As one of the other commenters noted, the very quick reaction by the SAA helped draw a line under it and any notion that such behavior would be tolerated, not to mention that the SAAF ignored American warnings to stop bombing the attackers. Fascinating stuff.

    • moscowexile says:

      I cannot give you the link as I am out in the sticks, but BBC World Service reports today that a Russian silver medalist shotputter at the London Olympics and some other Russian medalists from earlier games have been disqualified after dope was found in their samples some 4 years plus after the events. Is it only Russian athletes who are being post-game tested in this way?

      • marknesop says:

        I imagine not, as the authorities are meant to be systematically going back and checking samples with new techniques which are more discriminatory. You used to be able to get away with steroid use fairly easily, as tests were much less sophisticated, and excuses to skip testing more readily accepted. However, news that WADA and national sports organizations were going to go back and check old samples from the London Olympics were bruited about a little while ago, along with the news that some samples had been found positive from Beijing. So far they have not revealed who those athletes are. But I think, as I have from the beginning, that the real target is Sochi, and stripping medals (or having them de-recognized, which amounts to the same thing) from the Russians. This has become another crusade for Washington, finding a new outlet for its hate. consequently, they’re looking for results which will portray the Russians as systemic cheaters, and not really looking at anyone else. I would not be surprised if results revealing Americans or their allies as having tested positive were just quietly destroyed. It’s not like that hasn’t happened before.

        And now Los Angeles is being talked up again, enthusiastically, as the site of the 2024 Olympics. Don Catlin was head of the UCLA Lab then, which was accredited by WADA, and he still is.

  21. parink says:

    Thanks, Mark. Keep up the good work.

  22. et Al says:

    More worry news from Moon of Albama: How The Hasakah Clashes End Kurdish Nation Dreams

    Severe fighting in Hasakah, in north-east Syria, continues between Syrian government forces and U.S. advised Kurdish YPG groups. It is still unclear why these clashes broke out after years of mostly peaceful co-existence in the city.

    These clashes convince Turkey that the danger of a Kurdish state creation is imminent. This will unite the Turkish, Syrian, Iranian and Iraqi hostile positions towards such plans. This unity ends the dreams of an independent Kurdish nation.

    The YPG declared that it wants all Syrian government forces to leave Hasakah. But those forces are the sole protection of the large Assyrian (Christian) and other minorities in the city. These minorities fear to be ethnically cleansed by the Kurds who try to install their own state in the north of Iraq and Syria…

    To be honest, I don’t see how any Kurds in their right mind would believe that the USA would back them up to the hilt to redraw the borders of four states (I-ran/I-rack/Syria & Turkey) to create and independent Turkish state, so my impression is that the Kurds at the top are practising British Imperial policy, i.e. the when the army is encouraged in buccaneering action which if successful means additional territory for the British Empire and medals, and if unsuccessful, disgrace and being called a ‘rouge element’/rotten apple. Francis Younghusband of the 1904 Tibet massacre fame, anyone?

    If the Kurdish faction in Hasakah succeed in taking over, then the head Kurds will appreciate it, if they fail, they will be disowned. I think the calculation has been made that it is worth the risk regardless of whether they trust the US or not because the Kurds have never been in such a position of untrammelled influence (the US needs them) and it surely won’t last. Otherwise, picking a fight with I-ran, I-rack, Syria, Turkey and Russia is insane.

    As should be usually the case when you place your bets, you have to recognize the worst case scenario and then put a probability of it coming true before acting. I suspect the Kurds at the top think that even if the takeover of Hasakah is rebuffed with some losses, that would not cause a rollback of their currently held territory elsewhere as action by the countries I have mentioned above would be limited to the immediate theatre, as the Kurds are also playing a useful role for them in addition to the US.

    If the Russians haven’t given them a direct warning yet, then it cannot be long in coming. Such a warning is certainly not to be dismissed.

    • marknesop says:

      I think they are, in fact, counting on the USA to intervene in their behalf and broker a peace based on territorial boundaries in effect at the time hostilities cease, which would (in the best case) leave the Kurds with a de facto state of their own. But Washington could hardly make such an argument without being laughed out of the room after the to-do it caused over the sanctity of national borders as applied to Ukraine. The Kurds are being used, yes, but they don’t seem to realize Washington’s nation-building stock is a little depleted these days.

  23. et Al says:

    Neuters: Syrian rebels prepare attack from Turkey on Islamic State town

    Capture of Jarablus would frustrate Kurdish hopes to expand further in the area

    Hundreds of Syrian rebels are preparing to launch an operation to capture a town held by Islamic State at the border with Turkey, a senior Syrian rebel said on Sunday, a move that would frustrate Kurdish hopes to expand further in that area.

    The rebels, Turkey-backed groups fighting under the banner of the Free Syrian Army, are expected to assault Jarablus from inside Turkey in the next few days, said the rebel official, who is familiar with the plans but declined to be identified.

    “The factions are gathering in an area near the border (inside Turkey),” the rebel said…

    So this is what InSultin’ Erdogan meant when he said that Turkey would ‘take action’ in Syria, i.e. creating a buffer zone for Turkey using its paid for mercenaries.

  24. et Al says:

    Neuters: U.S. withdraws staff from Saudi Arabia dedicated to Yemen planning

    …Fewer than five U.S. service people are now assigned full-time to the “Joint Combined Planning Cell,” which was established last year to coordinate U.S. support, including air-to-air refuelling of coalition jets and limited intelligence-sharing, Lieutenant Ian McConnaughey, a U.S. Navy spokesman in Bahrain, told Reuters.

    That is down from a peak of about 45 staff members who were dedicated to the effort full-time in Riyadh and elsewhere, he said….

    …U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the reduced staffing was not due to the growing international outcry over civilian casualties in the 16-month civil war that has killed more than 6,500 people in Yemen, about half of them civilians.

    But the Pentagon, in some of its strongest language yet, also acknowledged concerns about the conflict, which has brought Yemen close to famine and cost more than $14 billion in damage to infrastructure and economic losses.

    “Even as we assist the Saudis regarding their territorial integrity, it does not mean that we will refrain from expressing our concern about the war in Yemen and how it has been waged,” Stump said. ..

    Oh this is so having your cake and eating it! I bet it is more due to keeping the US out of civilian killing headlines in Yemen in the run up to the Presidential elections. I bet that they’ll be straight back afterwards. If I am even more cynical, they may have been pulled back from Saudi Arabia, but are still doing the same job remotely.

  25. et Al says:

    Some Sukhoi SuperJet & MC-21 300 news:

    Flight Global: OPINION: Can local industry deliver on Russia’s aerospace ambitions?

    In a completely rational, market-driven world, ­the make-up of Russia’s aviation industry would no doubt look very different.

    …To be clear, the MC-21 is designed to be competitive. It looks exactly how a clean-sheet narrowbody designed 30 years after the A320 should: wider, longer and lighter, as well as more comfortable in the cabin and – thanks to active sidesticks – more advanced in the cockpit. It offers a valuable object lesson in what airlines are losing today by waiting another 15 years for a new clean-sheet narrowbody, rather than settling for merely re-engined and updated copies.

    For Russia, however, success will not be defined purely by economic standards. If the MC-21 is viewed as successful, it will have accomplished Russia’s political goal of technological independence.

    Well it certainly has a lot more Russian content than the SSJ, but until the PD-14 arrives, it will be P&W engines…

    Flight Global: Aeroflot to take another 10 Superjets

    Russian flag carrier Aeroflot has committed to acquiring an additional batch of 10 Sukhoi Superjet regional airliners from the leasing arm of state-owned Sberbank.

    The airline’s freshly signed agreement with Sberbank has been outlined via the Zakupki public procurement website.

    It shows that the 10 aircraft will be taken under 12-year financial leases…

    The SSJ should do well, and especially better once its ‘steep approach’ modification is certified and other small mods which allow it to get in to short and difficult to get to runways (London City/ various small European airports) that are normally limited to much less economical aircraft (Avro 75/85/Bae RRJ).

    Flight Global: ANALYSIS: PD-14 revives Russian hopes for commercial engines

    Until last November, Russia’s first high-bypass turbofan engine was also its only one. The Aviadvigatel PS-90A entered flight testing on a four-engined Ilyushin Il-76 testbed in 1987. Twenty-eight years later, on 3 November last year, another Il-76 carried Russia’s second high-bypass turbofan engine into flight testing.

    …But Aviadvigatel’s efforts still come close to matching the best that Western engine manufacturers can offer on fuel burn. Bjorn Fehrm, an analyst at Leeham and a former Saab engineer and test pilot, has calculated that the PW1400G exceeds the fuel efficiency of the PD-14 by only 2.5%.

    The real test for Russia’s commercial engine revival may involve other parameters besides fuel consumption. GE Aviation, P&W and Rolls-Royce have come far over the past three decades on engine reliability, with a CFM56 expected to remain on the wing for 20,000 flight cycles. Some engines have exceeded 50,000 cycles on wing before requiring removal for maintenance…

    Flight Global: Irkut submits type certification application for MC-21

    …Federal air transport authority Rosaviatsia has confirmed the application from Irkut president Oleg Demchenko.

    It has appointed a representative to co-operate on the certification process for the Pratt & Whitney PW1400G-powered aircraft, which was rolled out in June…

  26. Warren says:

    Foreign hyper-glide weapons ‘challenge’ to American Defense – media

    The top brass of US Strategic Command acknowledges that hypersonic glide weapons developed by other countries are a serious challenge to Washington’s defense capabilities.

    The concerns were voiced during a Space and Missile Defense Symposium that was hosted in the US state of Alabama earlier this week, Defense News reports.

    It is “becoming increasingly more difficult” for the US to track down and tackle the foreign hyper-glide vehicles, Admiral Cecil Haney, chief of US Strategic Command (STRATCOM) said as quoted by the media outlet. “Hyper-glide vehicle technology can complicate our sensing and our defensive approaches,” he added.


    • Patient Observer says:

      These gliders launched by ICBM boosters apparently can target US carriers, perhaps while tied to the pier at US Navy bases (actually that would be easier than ships maneuvering at sea) The challenge I believe is that sensors can not function in the plasma sheath around the glider. Perhaps the Russians have solved the problem. If so, that would be a game changer.

  27. et Al says:

    Oh look, the Crimea is f/ked! No names of course

    Neuters: Promised prosperity never arrived in Russian-held Crimea, locals sa

    More than two years after Russia annexed Crimea, promises for a better life have not materialised, local people say

    * Russia pledged higher living standards for Crimea

    * Some Crimeans say life has got worse not better

    * Pensioners say their pensions are paltry

    * Tourist industry has taken a big hit

    By Maria Tsvetkova

    …”We joined Russia and they stopped giving a damn about us,” Yevgeny, a worker at a titanium plant in the town of Armyansk told Reuters.

    “People are naive. They thought that if we were part of Russia, everything would be Russian. Prices have now jumped to the Russian level, but wages have stayed the same. That’s the main problem.”

    Fearing reprisals from his boss, Yevgeny declined to give his surname, as did other workers who spoke to Reuters…

    Hey ME, you never told us about this! Your son must have had a terrible time this summer…

    • marknesop says:

      Is Yevgeny the Titanium worker a tax auditor in his spare time? No? Because Jon Hellevig is a tax auditor, and he says that while inflation in Crimea reached just over 70% in 2014/15, wage gain outstripped it by far at 112%, which equated to a real wage gain of 40%. Yevgeny must have been drunk behind the boiler again and missed out.

      Similarly, they keep harping on the 6-million-tourists-when-it-was-part-of-a-thriving-Ukraine theme, but Jon pointed out that those people did not really spend very much money, and that since its reunification with Russia, Crimea’s income from the tourist trade doubled in 2014. But all the west has for metrics is less people. It does not occur to them that the previous crowds were poor and had no money.

      Here’s Maria Tsvetkova’s LinkedIn profile; a former reporter for Gazeta.Ru, it lists her top skill as ‘storytelling’. Yes, I’d go along with that.

      • Patient Observer says:

        When credible data does not support a predetermined conclusion, find a malcontent, pay someone or simply make up the story. Seems like they chose the third option.

        • marknesop says:

          Well, more a combination of 1 and 2, really. Nobody knows what Rodchenkov is getting for his testimony, but the Stepanovs already got some moola (which fair disclosure bids me mention was allegedly never used, and was a loan which was repaid).

      • yalensis says:

        Gazeta.ru is a fairly good newspaper, they have some good articles and I read them a lot.
        But they have a definite political slant, which is pro-Westie.
        This has to be factored in when reading their B.S.

    • moscowexile says:

      And one of my clients who got back from a fortnight’s holiday in the Crimea last month. Another sets off with his family for the annexed peninsula this week. I shall ask him when he comes back how awful it was.

    • Drutten says:

      They are definitely engaged in cherrypicking. Say they do a dozen interviews with people, they will pick out the few malcontent and present that as the only thing there. I wouldn’t put “embellishing” past them either. Also, the owner Firtash is mentioned in passing only, they do not say anything else about how a greedy Ukrainian oligarch (that’s right, Ukrainian) might have influenced the situation at that particular factory.

      The most dishonest thing is the relation vis-a-vis Ukraine that they keep mentioning, though. It’s implied that had they remained in Ukraine everything would be at 2013 levels. Obviously it wouldn’t, and they’re better off now without Ukraine, but hinting at that would mean blaming the Maidan and that’s no-go territory.

  28. marknesop says:

    Touching for a moment on the subject of the post, here’s some more detail. It’s funny how often prominent figures in Olympic sport and doping control keep popping up. Not the ones I want to talk about, because they’re dead. But figures like John Coates, who was head of the Australian Olympic Commission in 2000 for the Sydney Olympics and who said at the time that America was the problem with doping in Olympic sport, and who is now a Vice-President of the IOC. Like Don Catlin, who was head of the UCLA Lab in Los Angeles for the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, and still is. If he holds on until 2024, he might still be if Los Angeles is host to those games. If there’s still an Olympic Games by then, which I hope there is not.

    Anyway, Arnold Beckett. He appeared in the LA Times article, 10 years after the fact, which reported there was a massive cover-up of doping results in the 1984 OIympics, including a break-in to the hotel room of the head of the IOC Medical section, in which records were stolen and presumably destroyed which made it impossible to know who were the 9 positives identified in the last two days of the games. It occurs to me now that Don Catlin probably knew who they were, since the UCLA Lab identified them all, although he afterward affected to be baffled why something wasn’t done. But I guess nobody thought to ask him. We don’t even know what country they were from, although the IOC’s determined effort to suppress the results speaks volumes.

    Arnold Beckett was quite the doddering old fellow at the time, and he died since, in 2010. Arnold Beckett served 40 years in the IOC, but was ejected after the Barcelona Games in 1992 following an argument over the disqualification of two British weightlifters after steroid traces were detected in their samples. Amazingly, at the time, IOC rules did not prohibit the use of stimulants in training, only for competition.

    So, Arnold Beckett (a) was very much still an active part of the IOC Medical Commission at the time of the 1984 Olympics and was in a position to reliably report what took place from an insider’s viewpoint, and (b) was certainly no defender of drug cheating at the time, although he was a realist who argued for athletes who had taken some over-the-counter cold remedy, possibly by accident. How many of us have taken Benadryl for a cold and felt like we could leap over buildings? Certainly not I.

    He also fingered Primo Nediolo as being part of the dirty scheme. I had a hunch that Nebiolo would still be part of the organization somehow, but he’s not. He’s dead, too – he shuffled off this mortal coil in 1999, only 7 years after the Barcelona Games. But his time in the IOC was marked by controversy and hints of various patronage and criminal activities, and the piece showcases the sometimes-significant amounts of money washing around inside the IOC.

    These serve as a reminder that when trying to unravel controversies like the McLaren Report, look not only at the athletes accused of doping, but at the sports organizations themselves.

  29. Pavlo Svolochenko says:

    Despite what the image would indicate, Der Spiegel didn’t actually imitate Bild.

  30. marknesop says:

    Russia’s appeal of the Paralympics ban has been moved back 24 hours, and will now be heard the 22nd, tomorrow – today, if you’re in Russia. I say the ban will be commuted. Other opinions?

    • Patient Observer says:

      A partial ban will remain in effect and, curiously, in those competitions where the Russians are expected to medal. Actually, I agree that the ban will be entirely lifted with the hopes that it will be interpreted as an olive branch. and blunt a full-on legal response. If so, I hope that Russia does not oblige.

      • marknesop says:

        I don’t think they will reverse themselves completely like that – that fat tub of shit Craven would look too foolish. I imagine it will actually be as you allude; a partial lifting with the responsibility placed on the individual organizations. It must be obvious to them now that they are not going to be able to avoid legal action with a gesture, and I expect their solution to reflect what they think is legally defensible.

    • Eric says:

      Big difference here Mark is that the Paralympics Committee is represented by nations, but the Olympics Committee by sports organisations. That was the explanation used by “Sir” Phillip Craven for the farcical situation of the IPC banning the Russian team outright, but the IOC not doing so. I have no idea how that will impact the CAS decision…but I know the mechanism used for the Olympics , of allowing, individual sports governing bodies, represented at the Olympics to make the decision themselves on clearing Athletes…..doesn’t exist here…..and the Paralympics Committee are headed by a bunch of westerners. I reckon it will be touch and go if the decision is reversed

    • TruthSeeker says:

      I think it will be lifted. Otherwise Russian Air Force will raze the whole sectors of jihadi-held Aleppo to the ground, and Moscow will never listen to US’ pathetic whining ever again. Also, there is zero proof of doping on Russians’ part, and the awful precedent of banning innocents has a horrible blowback potential for the western athletes themselves.

    • Chinese American says:

      Personally, I get the feeling that the single most important factor will be the composition (in terms of what countries they’re from) of the judging panel…

  31. marknesop says:

    Oh, my; a letter to the IOC urging a complete ban of Russian athletes at the Olympics in Rio actually was sent before the McLaren Report even came out. It was drafted by our old American friend Travis T. Tygart, and his Canadian counterpart. I hope they’re both sued until they haven’t got anything but the clothes they stand up in.

    Tygart also served as USADA’s Director of Legal Affairs and General Counsel, so an argument that he did not know what he was doing should be a non-starter. I notice in a recent case of doping in the USA, USADA cut the athlete’s suspension in half based on her argument that “she used the substance with a prescription under the care of a licensed physician for therapeutic purposes and without the intent to enhance her athletic performance.”

    And how does that look, against the pillorying of Sharapova, who took Meldonium for a decade before WADA made it illegal, in doses as recommended by her physician, which were two or three times a year, not every day. The company which manufactures Meldonium, Grindeks, claims they gave WADA strong proof that it is not performance-enhancing, but WADA ignored it. According to the company, Meldonium reduces cellular damage of ischemic cells but does not enhance the performance of normal cells.

    “The mechanism of action of meldonium is based on limitation of carnitine biosynthesis, which leads to deceleration of fatty acid oxidation and activation of glycolysis.

    Unlike carnitine, meldonium doesn’t cause increase of muscle mass and physical properties. Meldonium decreases cellular damage from ischemia by reducing accumulation of detergent substances (acylcarnitine and acyl-coenzyme A) in the mitochondria.”

    WADA refuses to ban Thyroid hormones such as Citomel (T3, made by Pfizer). Why? Your guess is as good as mine, but my guess is because US athletes use it, especially wrestlers and boxers, to come in under weight. That’s really what WADA and USADA are all about – protecting high US medal hauls and the attendant prestige, by preserving the tricks their athletes use while systematically removing any perceived advantage used by competitors. It should not escape notice that the whole Russian drug scandal thing has brilliantly served the purpose of shifting attention from the United States as sports cheat to Russia. Nobody even remembers now the USA’s star-spangled record of drug cheating. Good job, USADA.

  32. Patient Observer says:

    Well, it has the mandatory “Vladimir Putin” reference for any story on Russia, but discounting the usual nitpicking and negative spins, it seems like the story had to acknowledge good developments in Moscow.


    • marknesop says:

      We must not be reading the same article. I see nothing but bitching about Sobyanin’s wasting the people’s money trying to create spaces which are not conducive to protests, and how his subjects secretly make fun of him for his fascination with paving stones. It sounds like a summary of a guy who’s always one step behind the curve, hiring fancy architects from around the world in an attempt to appear western, but completely missing the boat and only managing to irritate Muscovites, who obviously prefer things the western way where street renovations slowly build to a crescendo of inconvenience and take 3 years to complete.

    • kirill says:

      Another masturbatory hit piece peddling the fiction of “western democracy”. The DO NOT consult every resident to greenlight urban renewal projects anywhere in North America and most of NATO. Maybe in some boutique Norse country they go that far but not in Canada or the USA.

      For example, take the Spadina streetcar line in Toronto. There used to be a streetcar line on this major road a long time ago but like in the rest of North America, GM and pals killed electrified urban rail to replace it with oil burning automotive products. The buses that used to run on Spadina had a poor schedule keeping record since it was easy for them to bunch up in downtown traffic. Eventually it was realized that GM’s legacy was a steaming pile of shite and it was decided to return the streetcar line. The store owners protested that it would disrupt their business. Due to construction and due to loss of parking spaces since the streetcar line is raised and cars cannot travel on the rails like in other parts of the city. I am sure there was some community hall meetings held where the community could express their concerns. But the project was rammed down the throats of the community whether they wanted it or not. The “Greater Good (TM)” wins over petty local concerns. These sorts of resident consultation meetings are held all the time but they are a placebo. They are not some fort of court process where residents can prove their case and stop the project.

      I recall during a visit to St. Petersburg in the last 10 years that there WERE community planning meetings held to consult with people on redevelopment projects. They were actually covered by TV news. So this article is propaganda excrement.

  33. Patient Observer says:

    Here is a trip wire:


    In the most direct public warning to Moscow and Damascus to date, the new US commander of American troops in Iraq and Syria is vowing to defend US special operations forces in northern Syria if regime warplanes and artillery again attack in areas where troops are located.
    “We’ve informed the Russians where we’re at … (they) tell us they’ve informed the Syrians, and I’d just say that we will defend ourselves if we feel threatened,” Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend told CNN in a telephone interview Saturday from his Baghdad headquarters.

    The US places forces illegally in Syria and then threatens military action if the government of Syria objects. How Exceptional. His response seems nuanced as the good commander apparently threatened only on Syrian forces. He went on to say that he expects the US “collation” to defeat ISIS without mentioning working with Syria or Russia. Good luck, jerk.

    • marknesop says:

      Not exactly – he just says, “We will defend ourselves if we feel threatened”.

      Here’s a dilemma for you, General; what would happen if you decided to punish the Syrians by no longer helping them to defeat ISIS, and you just abruptly pulled all your men and equipment out, and said “See you, Syria. See how you get on defeating ISIS without any help from the exceptional nation”? I’ll tell you. Syria would be glad to see the back of you, considering you were never invited but Syria knows it does not have the military power to physically make you leave. So they’re making the best of a bad situation and going through the motions of pretending you are really in Syria to fight ISIS.

      But you can’t do that, of course. Because your orders are to remain, under the guise of fighting ISIS, while standing by to take advantage of any opportunity which presents itself, to overthrow Assad and replace him with a handpicked western stooge.

      This is merely highlighted by the fact that the American military presence remains in Syria, at risk to itself, when it is uninvited and unwanted, and reacts to dangers to US servicemen by announcing it will fight fiercely to protect itself instead of just withdrawing to let the fuzzie-wuzzies get on with it. America cannot demonstrate any threat to itself from ISIS which would be emboldened by its withdrawal, and has to fall back on chittering about how it is a ‘global threat’ as if it cared anything about the rest of the globe beyond what it can do to serve American interests.

      • kirill says:

        The pieces are all there telling us that the US is patron to Daesh. It bombed Syria for a year without doing any damage to Daesh but that leaves the only possibility that they bombed in such a way as to undermined the SAA. After Russia started kicking Daesh ass for real we had Uncle Scam claiming that they were bombing the FSA, a non-existent joke that is trotted out to relabel Daesh allies such as al-Nusra, al-Sham or whatnot when they suffer defeat at the hands of the SAA and Russian bombing. Recently Uncle Scam has been claiming that he and his pals have been doing all the damage to Daesh. But all I hear is about Manbij and US special forces working with the anti-Syrian YPG. So a YPG sideshow becomes “the only action against Daesh/ISIS in town”. Since YPG attacks the SAA and the SAA fights back we have Uncle Scam threatening to go to war against the SAA for whatever BS pretext they can think of. In other words the USA never actually fights Daesh but is brazenly threatening to outright attack the SAA. This is of course on the vast arms “losses” to Daesh engineered by Uncle Scam who was supposedly helping the 5 man army called the FSA. Yeah, right.

        • Patient Observer says:

          I’m curious if a Kurdistan can be cobbled together to create a corridor for the Qatar pipeline. In any event, the US’s hand is being forced if, as it appears, Daesh is losing in its last gasp effort for Aleppo. I can’t help but feel this is the opening to the final act in the Syria tragedy.

  34. TruthSeeker says:

    Tewksberry, McLaren and WADA chief liar Dick Pound are a total disgrace to Canada. What they did is an unprecedented abuse of power that will live in infamy forever. Tewksberry is a small fish compared to his other blowhard compatriots, but an important confirmation of Canada’s lack of integrity, nevertheless. The whole anti-Russian conspiracy stinks to high heaven.

  35. TruthSeeker says:

    Tewksbury. Sorry.

  36. Eric says:

    I am in shock……Yulia Latynina gets covered in sh*t …..and nobody wants to talk about it!
    It’s a bad thing for anybody to do, particularly at a woman……..but Yulia is one of those who it’s hard to feel sorrow for

    • TruthSeeker says:

      Latynina covered in shit, or not covered in it – no visible changes can be detected by the naked eye. She looks all the same.
      But if someone wants to talk about the REALLY important, WADA-free issue, here is the one:

      In a nutshell….Yemen wants to be Russia’s military outpost. That’s magnitude 9 geopolitical earthquake. Russians could use it as an industrial-strength leverage vis-a-vis the West.

    • marknesop says:

      What? Yulia Latynina got covered in shit? I’M interested!! Where’s the story?

        • marknesop says:

          Wow. That’s pretty disgusting. I’m sure that will inspire another of her hysterical rants about the ‘low Russians’ and their peasant behaviors. She should flee to the west where things like that never happen. Oh, wait; they do.

          Give her credit, though; it looked in the video like she was coming back at whoever threw the stuff over her, instead of continuing to run away.

        • kirill says:

          A shit gets covered in shit. Nothing of interest really 🙂

          I am all for these “violent” tactics. The 5th column scum can’t feel safe and secure while they attack the country on behalf of Russia’s enemies. The chutzpah of scum like Latynina is extreme. That turd needs more special time than just some glazing by excrement. Navalny got some tiny dose of medicine but needs some more. But instead the cops disrupt peaceful protests outside his apartment building. The whole chain of command that pulls this Navalny protection operation should be fired. However, I am expecting them to go after the turd attacker with a passion.

          • yalensis says:

            I must “respectfully” disagree with our friend Kirill.
            Who likes to call anybody a “scum” with whom he has any political disagreements on any issue whatsover, both big or small.
            This attack against Latynina was a criminal act. The attackers also stalked Latynina, there is a second criminal act. This is not like a pie in the face, which is sort of borderline.
            This was a definite criminal attack and an assault on a person who is also a citizen. And also a woman, which Russian law regards as deserving of special protection.

            People who believe in the rule of law should hope that the attackers will be found and punished accordingly, be it a fine or some time served, whichever is most appropriate for whichever statue(s) they violated.

            Latynina may be an ideological Fifth Columnist, but, to my knowledge, she has not committed any crime. She makes her living by writing books, not by robbing banks. She does not deserve to be physically attacked or driven out of her country of citizenship. Despite what Mr. Kirill thinks, and let us all pray fervently that this Kirill fellow never attains a position of political power, because we have heard his violent rantings about what he would do with anybody who dares to disagree with him on even the tiniest point of his personal opinions.

            As I have pointed out before, the Russian criminal codex does not regard “being an asshole” as a criminal offense. Therefore Latynina is innocent of any cirminality.
            KIrill’s calls for violent retribution, on the other hand, can be considered criminal incitement to commit harm to Russian citizens who are in good standing. (Despite being assholes, as I have stipulated.)
            Therefore, Kirill should be indicted for incitement to violence.

            Sincerely yours,
            “The Bolshie from Brighton Beach” [not]

            • marknesop says:

              I agree with all except the recommendation for indictment. Kirill did not invite anyone to perform any act of violence, merely expressing no sorrow for what transpired. And there I agree with him. I would not have encouraged the act if I overheard it being planned, and while I might have tried to help her get cleaned up if I were present when it happened, I would not make any attempt to identify her attackers. I would only have to recall some of her ranting about the bydlo to be un-sorry that it happened.

              Mind you, since I am a westerner I am therefore a God in her eyes, so I could just make her my bitch without further ado, and it would never happen again while she was my slave.

              • Eric says:

                Certainly agree with Mark and Yelensis’s comments. It is wrong and Latynina did herself credit by standing up against the person, and I find it more gross than a source of amusement….but I still can’t feel sorrow for her being on the receiving end of this attack….although it would be good if the attacker is arrested and charged.

                I have to be honest though……there are a few western journalists based in Moscow that I would love this to happen to…..regularly. Latynina is at least giving her POV, ideology…however warped, but these western journalist cretins I think are actively trying to BS and cause trouble.

              • cartman says:

                It reminds me of the story where Matt Taibbi threw a horse semen pie at a New York Times reporter. Now if he could only get the rest of the NYT staff.

              • yalensis says:

                “I am all for these “violent” tactics. The 5th column scum can’t feel safe and secure while they attack the country on behalf of Russia’s enemies. (…) That turd needs more special time than just some glazing by excrement.”

                Well, I’m no lawyer, but that sure sounds like criminal incitement to me. And not inciting just any old violence, but specifically sexual violence, against people with whom he does not agree. Which is all part of Kirill’s constant mantra. His obsession with cocks, fellatio, feces, etc. Frankly, it’s disgusting.

                He says this violence is justified because a war is going on. That’s true, there is a war going on. But real soldiers in a war only use the minimum amount of violence needed to defeat the enemy. An enemy holding a gun is fought by a gun. An enemy holding a pen should be fought by another pen, not a gun. Latynina fights her war with a pen, not a gun. She is a follower of Ayn Rand. Her views are easily debunked by intelligent and educated people. There is no need to resort to goon tactics.

                Supposedly Kirill works as a scientist somewhere in Toronto. I can almost imagine him disputing with another scientist as they debate, I dunno, the existence of quarks or something: “You filthy scum, our lab doesn’t need filth like you, you deserve to have this cock rammed up your ass…” Seriously, I doubt if he talks to people that way at work. He would be fired if he did.

                This is NOT the right way to go about debunking people like Latynina. She needs to be opposed with WORDS not with violent or disgusting deeds.
                As Lenin once said, “No brother, we must travel on a different path…”

                • marknesop says:

                  Well, I’m no lawyer, either; but I have a pretty good idea, from past research, what constitutes incitement to violence. I looked it up a long time ago in the intent of submitting documentation to get La Russophobe taken off the net for incitement of violence against Russians. Not even close. Incitement to violence has to include a specifically identified individual or group and an actionable plan with an identifiable timeframe. “Somebody ought to go around and punch her lights out sometime” will not cut it. It has to be more like, “Let’s me and youse and Frank and Fat Tony go around to her house this Friday night around seven, and beat her senseless”.

                  I would use different tactics to let Latynina know she is regarded by many as a fifth-columnist traitor, like putting a “For Rent” sign on her door while she was out, having different people run up to her just as her bus is arriving and say “Ooooh! Oooohhh! are you Yulia Latynina?? I love your work, I’m from The Economist, can I have your autograph?” and make her miss her bus. Spray her doorknob with cooking oil one day, and slow-dry epoxy the next. Glue the keyhole shut with liquid solder. But probably some people would prefer to do immature things.

              • yalensis says:

                P.S. – Mark: in the “what-if” speculating, like what if one overheard the plot, would one help the “victim”, would one snitch to the coppers, etc. we are getting into some interesting, almost Talmud-like philosophical issues. Or possibly Raskolnikovian.
                Recall that Raskolnikov only intended to kill one wicked and evil person who totally deserved to die, but ended up almost by accident killing an innocent bystander as well.
                Which proves that physically attacking another person is almost never a good thing. Except in self-defense.

                Similarly, the people who stalked and plotted the vile attack against Latynina, maybe they are people whom we agree with (mostly), they are Russian patriots, or whatever. Which doesn’t necessarily mean that they are good people. What if they’re just punks?
                But suppose they had actually injured or even killed her? Maybe by mistake.
                Or maybe one overheard them plotting and thought it was to be a harmless prank, but something more sinister was actually afoot, and the plan was actually to cripple her?

                I think in my own private code of conduct:
                (1) If I had overheard the plot, I would have tried to convince the plotters not to do it.
                (2) If they were determined to do it anyhow and wouldn’t listen to me, I would have tried to warn Latynina.
                (3) If my attempts to warn her were unsuccessful, and she was attacked anyhow, I would NOT go and snitch to the cops. But my conscience would be reasonably clean, since I had tried to warn her.

                And in conclusion, that’s what I would do.
                But what would Brian Boitano do? There is the real question.

                • marknesop says:

                  A more common Raskolnikovian question is, “If you could go back in time, and have an opportunity to kill Hitler before he rose to power, knowing what you know, would you do it?” Most people would say “Of course I would.” But the world would be powerfully and radically changed thereby, and not reliably for the better. Stephen King (pretty much the polar opposite of Raskolnikov, I know) wrote a pretty good book – fictional, naturally – about it on the concept of an individual being able to time-travel back and stop the assassination of JFK.

                  I think I would ignore all aspects of the Latynina plot if I had foreknowledge. I would do nothing to either help them or hinder them. I would reason that if it was fated not to happen, Latynina would take a different street, or a group of witnesses would appear (what are the chances of that, in a city of 12-14 million?) which would make it too risky.

            • kirill says:

              Apparently you agree that protestors should not be allowed to protest Navalny at his residence. The protestors in question just set up an information booth about this slimeball but the cops broke that up. Navalny is so precious.

              The philosophy here is rather simple. Latynina does not care about the lives of tens of millions of Russians who are likely to die from a NATzO instigated war that she is helping to happen by spreading blood libel against Russia. The western media goes to slime like her for “wise” input on the situation in Russia and she tells them exactly what they want to hear. So this is not about Latynina’s free speech but about her criminal participation in a genocidal enterprise together with NATzO scum. So why should I give a flying f*ck about her life? She signed a waiver de facto surrendering her rights to a peacful life. She is working to enable NATzO’s war on Russia so she is an enemy combatant.

  37. Drutten says:

    In case you guys remember my long (and at times shoddily written, I now realize) piece on the “submarine farce” as I like to call it, back at Russia Debate (it’s still there, by the way)… Here’s an except from a documentary called “Operation Deceit: The Reagan Method” that aired on the French-German channel ARTE:

    It’s almost like they used that big old post of mine as the starting point, haha. Still, interesting stuff right there.

    • marknesop says:

      I actually liked that whole piece very much, and it was hands down the best reference as to what was really going on – it took the papers weeks to catch up, although they reached the same conclusion.

    • Drutten says:

      Here’s the full documentary for you Francophones:

      It is a bit conspiratory, but I mean, that’s evidently what it’s like. I don’t consider myself very historically illiterate but after having watched a few episodes of Oliver Stone’s “Untold History of the United States” which describe among other things the really messy US meddling before and during WW2, and the much later planning and execution of the Afghan mujahedin mess, the Iran-Contra affair, the Grenada invasion and so on (and those were all Reagan by the way) and I realized that this is what the U.S. actually does and has been doing since at least the time leading up to WW2. For real. I mean, I kind of had an idea before but it’s laid out so much clearer. This is standard U.S. foreign policy.

      No wonder Stone pretty much sided with the Russians on the Ukraine thing, come thinking of that. The Syrian chaos follows the same exact blueprint, for that matter.

      The only factual error, or rather minor oversight Stone made was that he forgot to mention that the USSR battled Japan briefly in 1939 as well, before signing a truce.

  38. marknesop says:

    I imagine everyone noticed when Darya Klishina was allowed, on appeal, to compete in the Rio Olympics. I didn’t notice if she won anything, because I didn’t watch the Olympics except for the half-hour or so I mentioned when I was in a restaurant. Klishina’s ban was overturned mostly because she could not be part of a Russian Federation state-sponsored doping program: she lives and trains in the USA.

    However, Klishina was one of the athletes specifically singled out by the McLaren Report – her sample bottle was alleged to bear suspicious marks and scratches, and allegedly traces of two different people’s DNA were also detected. This was first alleged in the ARD documentary.

    So she was originally cleared by her association, then McLaren butted in with some ‘new evidence’. And the CAS overturned the ban again, and cleared her to compete, in spite of McLaren’s evidence.

    “One of the arguments we used is that Darya was denied due process – the ability to see evidence, challenge evidence analyze evidence. Though in the end, the reason they decided to reverse the decision was on the merits of the evidence itself – they looked at the new evidence, and decided she was clean”, reported her lawyer.

    I submit that does not bode well for the marks & scratches evidence. And just by the bye, what was one of Klishina’s urine samples doing at Sochi? She’s a long jumper – is that a winter sport now? Sochi was a winter Olympics. If tampering was detected in one of her samples from somewhere else, how would that support a Russian state-sponsored doping program with the FSB fiddling the samples?

    Ahhh…her mother claims the sample was taken at the World Championships in Moscow, in 2013.

    The Moscow lab run by Rodchenkov did those tests as well. But according to his testimony, the scheme of swapping the urine samples in the supposedly tamper-proof bottles was introduced at Sochi. No nice FSB man standing by at the mousehole at the Worlds in 2013. Also, Rodchenkov was arrested only a month before the World Championships, for drug distribution, and his sister went to jail on the same charge, although the charges against him were dropped. And WADA still thought it was OK for him to continue in his post, and to oversee the drug testing at Sochi?

    Something doesn’t add up here. But whatever the case, CAS didn’t buy McLaren’s evidence, and overturned the ban on Klishina anyway.

    • Chinese American says:

      Good point about the “scratches and marks” pseudo-evidence vs. Rodchenkov’s claim of the sample-swapping being introduced at Sochi. Yet another hole that one can drive a truck through.

      To be obsessive-compulsive about it, I wasn’t sure if Klishina was singled out by the McLaren report itself? I was under the impression that the McLaren report itself did not actually contain any athlete’s name? (Though McLaren later furnished a bunch of names to various international sport federations, at least several of which were overturned before Rio.)

      (Klishina got 9th place in the end, I believe.)

      • marknesop says:

        The preliminary report was considerably more detailed, and included interviews with a few athletes and coaches, although still not enough to establish anything as wide-ranging as a state-sponsored program. The McLaren Report certainly does name names; they just haven’t been publicly released, although Reedie said the organization was prepared to do so. I think that was just a bluff to rebut the suggestion that WADA fears public lawsuits.

        He contends that named athletes have samples in which another person’s urine is present, someone whose DNA does not match that of the athlete. My thinking is that Rodchenkov deliberately prepared such samples, and that there was never anything else in the bottle but what the investigators found. Something, in other words, which was designed to be found and to get the investgators excited. It is Rodchenkov’s story which needs the strictest scrutiny, although any inconsistencies thereby exposed are on McLaren as well. His preliminary report found Rodchenkov not credible, but his final report (after Rodchenkov came on board and started giving the investigators what they needed to establish state-sponsored doping) reversed that assessment.

        • Chinese American says:

          Thanks very much for the clarification; I was uncertain about that particular point.

          WADA head Reedie said that it was ready to provide the names of Sochi athletes “implicated” (to use their word, as quoted by the Australian) to the IOC on Aug. 3:
          From the way that news report was worded, it sounded like IOC itself had not learned those names (if existing) at that point; it was not just the matter of the public. But WADA’s chief executive Olivier Niggli also said that McLaren already gave the various sport federations “everything he had, every name” (as quoted by the Australian articles analyzed by Alexander Mercouris). So does “everything he had” include the Sochi names? Normal definitions of the word “every” suggest that it does, but if so, these names would have been in the possession of various winter sports federations. Would they have kept those names to themselves, in particular keeping them from the IOC, especially on the eve of such an important decision on the IOC’s part? Or is WADA claiming that somehow between July 18 (when the McLaren report was released) and Aug. 3, they managed to test all the Sochi samples and found out all about who had “scratch marks”? But then what happened to that so-called database?

          (BTW, merely as a pure logic exercise, even if we take McLaren’s claim that “an expert demonstrated opening the bottles for him” at face value as true, actually the only people who are therefore proven to know how to tampler with the samples are….his own team. Just sayin’.)

          • marknesop says:

            I would think WADA is already out on a limb where personal lawsuits are concerned, since if McLaren gave the names to the IOC or IAAF and decisions were made based on that information, the persons named had a judgment levied against them as if the information was accurate, whether the public knew the names or not. That’s perhaps another reason they wanted a blanket ban – so the public could not put two and two together and figure out who was labeled a dope cheater by who was not allowed to go. But the entire application was obviously geared toward the goal of a national ban, and WADA and its backers were obviously furious that they didn’t get it. The procedure was crude and intended to realize a single goal – a national ban – and McLaren and WADA are plainly unprepared for getting less than they wanted. That’s why McLaren is moaning now that his effort is being twisted into something it was never intended to be – because it exposes him and WADA to risk they would not have incurred in a national ban. He did indeed name names, but the list was confusing to the CAS because it was not clear whether some people listed had ever actually tested positive or if they were simply flagged for a closer look. It was naturally in McLaren’s interest to have as many names as possible so as to suggest the massive nature of the alleged state program, where everybody is doping. In the case of the Russian rower who challenged his ban (unsuccessfully) McLaren could not even provide the date on which the sample was taken, and that was furnished by the UK. It is clearly a joint effort by the western countries to get Russia banned from international sport because of the humiliation it would mean, as well as more-medals-for-the-USA-and-UK thinking.

  39. Jeremn says:

    I wonder about this Guardian text and whetehr it counts as damaging to a person’s reputation:

    “There was also a hint of the Russian doping controversy that clouded the weeks and months leading up to the Games when Yelena Isinbayeva, the pole vaulter who had railed against the IAAF’s decision to ban the country’s track and field athletes, was introduced as a new member of the IOC’s athlete’s commission.

    The recently retired athlete smiled, waved and posed for selfies with the volunteers in an odd reminder of the compromised nature of the IOC.”


    Compromised nature of the IOC; that seems like defamation? Does Yelena have a good lawyer?

    • marknesop says:

      Not likely, since she did not actually say it herself; the Guardian did. The legal world is complex. I discussed with Alexander Mercouris the proposed legal strategy of some prominent athlete, probably Isinbayeva, suing Berlinger . My reasoning was that as Berlinger guarantees the reliability of its product in safeguarding the athlete’s sample from collection to testing, its false advertising of its product as tamper-proof without leaving clear signs of tampering caused material harm to Isinbayeva.

      He pointed out that in order for that approach to work, Isinbayeva would have had to buy the sample bottles herself. I don’t suppose there is any reason I cannot just copy that part of his reply; it’s interesting, and typically thoughtful Alex.

      “What I suspect will happen is that a case will be brought probably against the IAAF with WADA, McLaren himself and Berlinger as second, third and fourth defendants. That way Berlinger as fourth defendant would be obliged to defend its product in the court case. If it turned out that what McLaren says about the bottles is true Berlinger would lose the case and would pay Isinbayeva compensation for breach of the duty of care. If it turned out that what McLaren says is false, the IAAF, WADA and McLaren would pay Isinbayeva compensation because of the harm she suffered from their actions, and they would also have to compensate Berlinger its legal costs involved in attending the case in which it was obliged to uphold the integrity of its product.

      It sounds complicated but it really isn’t. It is the sort of thing that goes on all the time. It makes sense to have all the parties present in the same court room and in the same case and that looks to be the obvious way to do. The key point is that it is McLaren who must ultimately prove that the bottles were tampered with as he says.”

      The ‘duty of care’ concept was established in Donoghue vs. Stevenson, sometimes called the “Snail in the bottle” case. Interesting, I think you will agree.

      • Chinese American says:

        That’s a very insightful analysis; thanks for copying it here. I hope that it will come to pass, and that Russia will help its athletes to get the best legal counsel possible.

      • Jen says:

        Another way Isinbayeva could drag Berlinger into her case would be to rope in Berlinger as a primary witness. Berlinger would be subpoenaed into presenting evidence that its products (note: not just bottles, the “products”, meaning the lids and the labelling and/or tagging as well – labels and tags could be switched from one bottle to another) are tamper-proof.

        The issue with naming Berlinger as a fourth defendant is that if Isinbayeva were to lose the case, she has to pay four sets of legal costs instead of three.

        The Donoghue versus Stephenson court case would be used as a precedent in the legal systems of the UK, Australia, Canada and possibly some other British Commonwealth countries whose legal systems are closely patterned after the British system. The US legal system would have similar product liability case precedents.

        • marknesop says:

          I don’t see any possibility of Isinbayeva (whose name is just being used as an example) losing both the principle suits (McLaren as defendant and Berlinger as defendant) because their claims oppose one another. Berlinger says its sample bottles are tamper-proof, McLaren says they can be opened and refilled while leaving traces only detectable with a microscope. They cannot both be right.

          And however the verdict went could act as precedent for individual lawsuits for all the athletes who could demonstrate they were similarly wronged. The USA and its toadies had a field day yelling about dope cheats, loud and long, and I’m sure their feeling of moral superiority was greatly enhanced thereby (although it might change when we learn more about the 98 positive drug tests WADA allegedly uncovered at Rio. I’m guessing few if any of them were Russians given the extremely low profile that news has been accorded). And now it’s time to pay the piper for that great time. It’s as simple as that.

          Sadly, we will be hard-pressed to find out anything subsequent to that astonishing revelation, as the anti-doping effort in Rio was branded the worst in the history of the Games, with WADA rapidly distancing itself and comments published such as that of former UK anti-doping head Michele Verroken: “It’s hug­ely disappointing that everything that’s happened previously around and Olympic Games is continuing to happen. It’s just failing our athletes and regrettably making anti-doping looking like it can be incompetent at times. We almost get to the situation where we’re lucky to catch anybody.”

          Lucky to catch anybody. Yet they allegedly caught at least 98 people. Let’s see where we go from here.

          There was a headline there, too, that I can’t access because I am not a subscriber, to the effect that Great Britain could become a medals powerhouse to rival the USA. One good Olympics and Britain is so chuffed with itself that it cannot resist broadcasting its sickening medals-over-morality mentality. Did you get that, Sir Philip?

          • Jen says:

            The way I read Alex Mercouris’s advice, Isinbayeva would be taking on the IAAF, WADA, Richard McLaren and Berlinger on as first, second, third and fourth defendants in the same case. If she took on Berlinger in a separate case from the others in the way that you say, she cannot win both cases because the IAAF, WADA and McLaren would be saying that the bottles can be tampered with and Berlinger would say not. I suppose how Isinbayeva will sue them all will depend on how her lawyers frame the case and what they will concentrate on, whether they will focus on the bottles or on the claim that the Russian government runs a doping scheme. I think Isinbayeva might be safer suing IAAF, WADA and McLaren only over their claim that Russia runs a national doping scheme because then they would have to defend their claim with actual evidence, and Berlinger need only be involved as a witness.

            • marknesop says:

              Yes, Alex does suggest that all parties be present in the same case. I guess I should publish his entire message, I’m sure he wouldn’t mind. He points out that Isinbayeva could not sue Berlinger based on their guarantee because it was not made expressly to her, as she did not purchase the bottle which was used to collect her sample. That kind of kicks the legs out from under my strategy. But the duty of care is an established legal precedent that would probably work. In any case, as I said, Isinbayeva’s lawyers could force a confrontation between Berlinger and McLaren, as the latter claims to have witnessed a demonstration which proved beyond a reasonable doubt that the sample bottles could be opened and their contents replaced and then the bottle resealed with the appearance of not having been tampered with, while Berlinger guarantees that cannot happen.

              Dear Mark,

              Your point about the guarantee is a very powerful one. I am not sure whether Isinbayeva would be able to sue on the guarantee however because as she did not buy the bottles from Berlinger she cannot say she had a contract with Berlinguer in which the guarantee is a term. It is because there is no contract between Isinbayeva and Berlinger that the case against Berlinger must be brought in negligence, which is where the principles set out in the ‘snail in the bottle’ case come in. However the guarantee is undoubtedly important as evidence to establish the duty of care and I am sure Isinbayeva will quote it.

              As I don’t think Isinbayeva would have any problems establishing that Berlinger owed her a duty of care I don’t think she would have any problem proving she suffered loss if the duty of care was breached. I am sure any court would accept that exclusion from the Games was a direct consequence of the breach and would award her compensation on that basis. After all she will have lost money as a result of her exclusion, though that does not seem to be an important consideration for her.

              The only issue therefore would be establishing whether the duty of care was in fact breached ie. were the bottles opened in the way McLaren says or not?

              Here again I think you are absolutely right. For the duty of care to have been breached it would be necessary to show (1) that it was possible to tamper with the bottles as McLaren says and (2) that the bottles actually WERE tampered with as McLaren also says.

              The one point where I disagree with you is that I don’t think this is legally speaking an indirect approach. I know that is how it might look to a non-lawyer but it is not how it would look to a lawyer. On the contrary a lawyer would say it was a direct approach.

              What I suspect will happen is that a case will be brought probably against the IAAF with WADA, McLaren himself and Berlinger as second, third and fourth defendants. That way Berlinger as fourth defendant would be obliged to defend its product in the court case. If it turned out that what McLaren says about the bottles is true Berlinger would lose the case and would pay Isinbayeva compensation for breach of the duty of care. If it turned out that what McLaren says is false, the IAAF, WADA and McLaren would pay Isinbayeva compensation because of the harm she suffered from their actions, and they would also have to compensate Berlinger its legal costs involved in attending the case in which it was obliged to uphold the integrity of its product.

              It sounds complicated but it really isn’t. It is the sort of thing that goes on all the time. It makes sense to have all the parties present in the same court room and in the same case and that looks to be the obvious way to do. The key point is that it is McLaren who must ultimately prove that the bottles were tampered with as he says.

              This is not by the way a complicated case either in legal or evidential terms. In England it could be concluded within a year. France and Switzerland take longer, but in Canada it could also be done pretty fast.

              If McLaren cannot prove that the sample bottles can be opened and tampered with although no evidence of tampering is visible, his case that Russia is running a state-sponsored doping scheme will be fatally weakened. It is the involvement of the FSB in taking the bottles from the mousehole and returning them undamaged and opened to the lab which underpins his entire case for state involvement. He has a couple of emails from the deputy minister which appear to be directing the receiver (presumably Rodchenkov, I forget now) to change a given athlete’s test result, but the preliminary report acknowledged it was possible there was a different explanation. Critically, none of the figures named had any opportunity to confront McLaren’s evidence, and they might very well have been able to rebut it.

              • Jen says:

                Ah I see the approach Alex Mercouris recommends is to treat the case as a product liability case, in which a manufacturer owes a duty of care to the ultimate users of his/her product even though the users do not acquire the product directly from him/her but through intermediaries. A typical example would be where a child licks paint from a toy and suffers lead poisoning; the child would be entitled to damages from the maker of that toy even though the child didn’t buy the toy himself, if the maker failed to provide advice that the paint on the toy contained lead. You can imagine these types of cases are very common. I presume Isinbayeva would plan to sue the IAAF, McLaren, WADA and Berlinger in a Canadian court (because WADA and McLaren are Canadian-based) and that court would rely on Donoghue-versus-Stephenson and historical Canadian cases that used that case as precedent. Isinbayeva’s case would be dealt with very quickly.

                • marknesop says:

                  Yes, that appears to be the direction he is taking. Russia could presumably use the international court it chooses, as WADA is only based in Canada and is not Canadian, but I suppose it could be a Canadian court. I’m not sure, though, if the Supreme Court of Canada has the power to rule on a matter which has no direct connection with Canada. All the organizations concerned (WADA, IOC, IAAF) are international and I would expect Russia to bring the suit in an international court.

  40. Fern says:

    Fogh-in-mouth-Ramussen strikes again…just when you thought you might never have to listen to Fogh-horn ever again once he’d given up the NATO gig, here he is sounding off about how Donald Trump is the end of civilisation. Amongst The Donald’s shortcomings are that he ‘has his own view on Ukraine’. The US withdrawal into isolationism will, according to Foghy, clear the stage for the world’s bad guys ‘including Mr Putin’.


    • marknesop says:

      Yes, this is mostly a re-hash of a previous statement. Rasmussen is an Atlanticist clown who shamelessly shills for western interventionism to determine the course of human civilization, despite its horrible record of leaving reeling failed states in its wake. Perhaps he hopes Hillary will reward him with his own generously-funded think-tank.

  41. Fern says:

    Very useful list of what George Soros is funding – as the article says, lots of ‘equality’ but of gender and sexuality, never of economic or social standing.


  42. Warren says:

    MI5 ‘blocked’ arrest of ISIS-supporting radical preacher Choudary ‘for years’

    Counterterrorism officers were repeatedly blocked by British security service MI5 from pursuing criminal investigations against Britain’s highest-profile radical preacher, Anjem Choudary, it has been claimed.

    Last week, Choudary was found guilty of supporting Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS, ISIL), which seized territory in Iraq and Syria and inspired terrorist attacks across Europe.

    Following his conviction, it was revealed that the 49-year-old former lawyer had been linked to at least 15 terrorist plots since 2001. Police also believe he has connections to as many as 500 of the 850 young British Muslims who have traveled abroad to join IS.



    No surprise UK spooks allowed Choudary to spout his nonsense for so long, most of these celebrity Jihadis and radicals are MI5 informants and agent provocateurs.

  43. Warren says:

    Project connects Moscow pensioners to students abroad

    Students learning Russian around the world are being offered the chance to improve their language skills by chatting online to pensioners in Moscow.


  44. Northern Star says:

    Senator Paul should be placed in the KS Hall of Heroes!!!!
    “Ambassador Pyatt can’t seem to control himself: Just as tensions were peaking between Russia and Ukraine over Crimea this month, he published a series of Tweets urging Ukraine to take back Crimea.”
    I didn’t know this…time for that tree to be watered…we are being left with no choice
    Where the Fuck was the Kenyan when this guy was trying to provoke a nuclear holocaust??

    • marknesop says:

      Unfortunately, he totally discredited himself and his analysis by using the non-word “snuck”.

      Seriously, Geoffrey Pyatt is very well-connected with the State Department, and there is little doubt in my mind that his provocations originate there. Nuland would do her nut if they could just catch Russia actually attacking Ukraine. The United States desires that, at its highest levels, as it would provide an excuse. They don’t have anything yet, nothing that will stand up, so they have to keep poking and prodding and trying to get a reaction. The Crimea sabotage thing offered the most promise yet, and Russia actually responded angrily. Quickly, Ukrainian tanks started heading that way, and Pyatt started goading Kiev to see if he could get something going, telling them this was the big moment when they would take back Crimea. But it just didn’t pan out.

      Ukraine is now well past the cusp when world attention was focused on it, and now the USA is pretty much the only entity which is still paying attention and still trying to progress its agenda for the country, after most everyone else is tired of hearing about it and tired of pouring money into such an obviously corrupt state. This was highlighted for us yet again just a couple of weeks ago, when US energy meddler Amos Hochstein threatened again that if Russia is successful in laying a pipeline which bypasses Ukraine, it will collapse – no ifs, ands, or buts.

      “Here is the level of damage you do with a project like Nord Stream 2: You take two billion dollars of revenue from shaky economy like Ukraine at a time when the international community is trying to support it. How do you recover from that? There is an easy answer. You can’t,” Hochstein said in the interview. “The economy will collapse.”

      So there you have it. A country which once had billions in cash reserves is now just $2 Billion away from collapse. As we suspected all along, Russia must be forced to continue transiting gas through Ukraine so that Ukraine can continue to reap transit fees. Hochstein is exaggerating, of course, just like he did when he cited an amount double the actual cost of Nord Stream II, to make it sound scary. Politicians have no shame at all about lying and will just continue to do it even if confronted and exposed, so it is best to just assume everything that comes out of a politician’s mouth is a lie, and make your own judgments accordingly. But it is impossible to conceal the reality that Ukraine is not going to quickly get back to even its former poorest-country-in-Europe status, if ever; the war damages have run the bill well up past $100 Billion, and nobody has that kind of money to just give away. And that’s what it would be, unless Russia and Ukraine mend their relations, because – as we have also often argued – Russia is Ukraine’s largest market, and the EU is not going to buy more stuff from Ukraine so that it can pay back its loans, especially since it steals about 60 cents of every dollar that passes through it.

      I expect tremendous pressure was exerted on Poland to get it onside for trying to stop Nord Stream II, and it has been congratulating itself that it was successful at stopping the project. I wouldn’t go that far; Gazprom is undaunted, and the other consortium members say they remain committed to the project although they will have to devise another model. But it is going to be a constant uphill legal battle, as Brussels has shown it is quite willing to just keep writing new laws until Russia is boxed in and cannot go any further. The latest is that offshore pipelines now are also subject to the EU’s Third Energy Package, and must make room for competitors to use the pipeline. Yes, I’m sure, after the EU not only is not paying anything for the pipeline although it was going to finance its lame Southern Gas Corridor with public money, but is also actively opposing Russia being able to borrow the money through western banks. I’m sure Russia will be interested in fighting for years in the courts, with the attendant cost, plus pay the entire cost of the pipeline itself, only to let competitors gain market share for free.

      Russia must resolve itself that it will be a bloody and protracted legal battle, as current western leaders are committed to preserving Ukrainian transit. What I would do is discontinue transit through Ukraine anyway, without further discussion, and all Europe got for gas would go through other lines already in place. Europe has already set the stage for that treatment itself, insisting that it is constantly diversifying and reducing its gas needs and there is plenty on the market. All right, then – find it. A year or two of making up their shortfalls with costlier LNG would soon inspire a change in their decision-making. But if Russia allows the EU to bully it into continuing transit through Ukraine, it will be the EU’s slave for as long as the relationship lasts. One way or the other, transit through Ukraine has to be ceased.

      • yalensis says:

        “The Russians claim to have stopped a Ukrainian sabotage team that snuck into Crimea to attack key infrastructure.”
        Mark will not accept any political philosophy that includes “snuck” as a past tense.

        • yalensis says:

          P.S. – I have told you, Mark a hundred times, that ALL Americans, without exception, say “snuck”. Maybe things are different up there in Canada….

          • marknesop says:

            Yes, that’s a powerful justification for adopting a habit. All Americans do it. All Americans – or at least as many as you are speaking of to qualify as ‘all Americans’ also say “fo’ shizzle, my nizzle’. I haven’t seen any of those appear in the dictionary yet. But perhaps it’s just a matter of time.

        • marknesop says:

          The past tense of ‘sneak’ is ‘sneaked’. The bastard son ‘snuck’ eventually made its way into the lexicon just because people are too lazy to keep correcting its wrong use. If it is going to establish a rule, we may as well get used to saying, “I puck around the corner”, or, “I couldn’t stand the smell of it; it absolutely ruck”. “I went for the bucket, but all the water luck out”.

    • Special_sauce says:

      The comments are mostly puerile.

      • yalensis says:

        Most of the comments seem to be the product of a determined Banderite “intervention” into the discussion.

        • Northern Star says:

          @yalensis & Mark:

          Also regarding Special _sauce’s comment regarding “puerile” comments…WTF is THAT about?????
          I shan’t be disabused of being perplexed if there is no forthright reply!!!

          • Moscow Exile says:

            Perhaps the most mysterious part of the story of snuck is the question of where it came from. No common verb follows the precise pattern of snuck: the past tense of leak is not luck, of streak is not struck, of creak is not cruck, of peek is not puck. It’s as if snuck just sidled on in and made itself at home in the language, and most of us took it for a native. Pretty sneaky.

            Oh really?

            Well, where I come from, the verb “squeeze” is rendered thus:

            He squeezes a lemon every day.

            He squoze a lemon yesterday.

            He has just squozen a lemon.

            See MacMillan

            … an informal non-standard past tense and past participle of ‘squeeze’
            The bottles are so thick that when you squeeze them, they tend to stay squoze.
            When the bus filled up a third person squoze in next to us.

            Some say that those who speak thus are just fooling and that they know the “correct”(weak) form of the verb and that it is not “strong” and that they are jokingly aping the strong verb “freeze”. But those whom I knew who said “squoze” and “squozen”, if asked why they were making “squeeze” a “strong” verb (i.e . “irregular” – they are not: there are patterns to the vowel changes, cf. German frieren [to freeze] fror, gefroren), would have answered: “Yer wot?”.

            I too say “squoze” and “squozen” when speaking informally.

            I also say “I geet” and “I’ve getten”.

          • marknesop says:

            “It’s as if snuck just sidled on in and made itself at home in the language, and most of us took it for a native.”

            Exactly. As if because people commonly use it who also commonly use ‘my bad’ and ‘where’s it at?’ and ‘That’ll learn you’, it should be broadly adopted.

            That said, we commonly use ‘spoke’ as the past tense of ‘speak’, rather than ‘speaked’, which I gather was never in the running. In fact, it only recently – generationally speaking – edged out ‘spake’.

            • Moscow Exile says:

              I could care less.

              But then … if my lesser caring about a given issue was theoretically possible, what, then, is preventing me from caring less?

              “I could care less” started replacing “I couldn’t care less” in US demotic English only quite recently.

              I reckon some rapper started using the term and impressionable youths thought it sounded “cool”.

              • Northern Star says:

                “youth*s*”…a plurality of the plural???

                • marknesop says:

                  Or, as Viv and Fern refer to them, Yoof. Or, in “My Cousin Vinny” (actually quite an entertaining film, Marisa Tomei was so hot in that), ‘Utes’.

                • Moscow Exile says:


                  1) young people considered as a group.
                  “middle-class youth have romanticized poverty”
                  synonyms: young people, young, younger generation, next generation
                  “the youth of the nation”.

                  2) a young man.
                  plural noun: youths
                  he was attacked by a gang of youths”
                  synonyms: young person/man/woman, boy, girl, juvenile, teenager, adolescent, junior, minor.

                  The way I pronounce “youths” is /ju:ðz/.

                  So do the compilers of the Oxford Dictionary, it seems:

                  See: Oxford Dictionary

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Ukraine Independence Day is fast approaching (tomorrow, August 24) and as Independence Day has been drawing ever closer, Porky has been stating that it is highly likely that Russia will soon invade the Ukraine — again.

      Twenty-six times already, I think, at the last count.

      Nice day tomorrow for a serious provocation?

      • Moscow Exile says:

        Is a full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine imminent?

        Poroshenko gives us an interesting date, in his statement, warning of, “[A] full-scale Russian invasion from all coordinates, in the east, and along the administrative border with Crimea between now through the Day of Independence – we absolutely cannot not exclude this, and our armed forces are ready to repulse the enemy .”

        This date is August 24th, and has been also proposed by DPR leader Zakharchenko as a likely date of a Ukrainian full scale attack upon the Donbass. It does appear that the Russian military is prepared to act quickly in the Ukraine region.

        • marknesop says:

          And so long as the Russian military is visibly prepared to act quickly, it likely will not happen. The reports in the last few days of “Russian surveillance equipment” spotted by clever Ukrainians along the border and very close to it, sometimes less than 2 km from it, is likely meant to be seen and to send the message, “We see you, and what you’re doing”. Ukraine would plainly like to manufacture a situation whereby a counterattacking Russian military appeared actually to be an invasion force striking the defending Ukrainians. But that’s hard to do when everything is clearly being watched and recorded. Poroshenko does not care if he loses his entire army, so long as their glorious annihilation led to a western intervention that finally locked the forces of NATO and Russia in combat.

          Means, motive and opportunity, Porky. Where’s Russia’s motive to attack Ukraine? Why? Russia plainly is not going to return Crimea, the people of Crimea are plainly happy with that decision, and otherwise Russia would just like things to return to normal. It has absolutely no reason to attack its flailing, drowning neighbour. And since Ukraine is clearly not going to become the prosperous, industrious ‘stone frigate’ NATO intended should bring down Russia, the only thing it’s still good for is starting a hot war.

  45. marknesop says:

    With its by-now typical stupid cunning, Ukraine refuses to pay Gazprom for gas volumes delivered to the DNR and LPR, insisting these deliveries are illegal and that Gazprom is simply trying to ‘write off losses’. Therefore if these regions are to have gas, Russia must supply it for free, because Ukraine is not paying.

    This region is ‘those worthless separatists’ until any discussion of ceding control of it comes up – then Ukraine becomes pious and weepy and blubbers about its inviolable borders. The east lies within its inviolable borders, but Ukraine wishes to treat it as not part of Ukraine when that is convenient and part of Ukraine when that is convenient.

    The promotion of misery in the east works to Kiev’s advantage, they reason – if they become desperate enough, they will submit to our will and beg to come back. If they don’t, Russia will provide for their needs and it will cost Ukraine nothing, while it yells daily that Russia is encroaching on its sovereign territory.

    Needless to say, the west admires this clever strategy, or at least does nothing to prevent Ukraine from exercising it.

    • Cortes says:

      Gazprom has been busy in Europe as prime sponsor of UEFA’s “Champions’ League” over the last, hmm, two seasons, and, judging by the trackside advertising at last week’s game at Celtic Park in Glasgow, this season also. Soft power is gradually being deployed and the neocon dinosaurs don’t like it. My guess is that there will be an unfortunate, climate-related interruption of supply via the indispensable transit partner at that point where Autumn 2016 switches to winter 2016/17, just to concentrate the minds of the EU.

    • et Al says:

      I don’t get it. What took them so long?

  46. Warren says:

    Michael Weiss and the Iran-U.S. Hardline Nexus That Led Iranian-American to Evin Prison

    How Daily Beast Editor, Michael Weiss Helped Send Iranian-American to Torture Chambers of Evin Prison


    • marknesop says:

      Hmmm….I seem to be on a ‘blocked’ list of Mr. Weiss’s twitter feed. But I can see the tweet in the regular format.

      The Silverstein piece frankly reads as if Weiss wrote it himself, and I can’t imagine him being anything but delighted with it – it makes him sound like some literary bête noire, lunging this way and that amongst the screaming leftists and leaving a bloody swath to mark his passing. If Weiss is the new neocon intellectual, I don’t see much cause for worry; his beady little eyes in that bland, flat face make him look like a thalidomide baby, and his ‘savage prose’ sounds more like baiting rudeness to me. He ain’t that clever: his gal Friday and translator for The Interpreter – Catherine Fitzpatrick – makes him look like Tom Sawyer, although she is a little wordy for my taste, and she speaks textbook Russian as well. She was the translator for Shevardnadze’s “The Future Belongs to Freedom”. Weiss is just a wet end with a big mouth. And a liar, I need hardly mention. Not just somebody with a different view of events – a liar. He worked hard to hype the ‘Houla Massacre’, as well as the transparent lie that Assad’s forces had carried out a chemical strike in the Damascus suburbs just as the UN boys arrived. As if.

  47. Moscow Exile says:

    Cute kid, and so artistic!

  48. Moscow Exile says:

    Transgender St. Michael the Archangel now in the service of the Ukraine and ready to smite the invading Moskaly?

    • Jenir says:

      Looks like she or he is burning his or her own robe with that flaming sword.

    • marknesop says:

      Fiery swords were just never a good idea – who the hell thought of them? You have to carry it around all the time, because you can’t sheathe it. Either the scabbard will burn up, or you’ll put it out and have to relight it. Lame.

      But you have to admit there’s nobody like the Ukrainian nationalists for coming up with fantastic imagery which vastly exceeds their capabilities. If their enemies were frightened off by intimidating pictures, they’d rule the earth.

      • Jen says:

        Not to mention the fact that if the angel swiped the sword the wrong way, those flimsy flappy wings barely holding her/him up would catch alight and the angel would hit the ground in no time at all.

        • marknesop says:

          The average European female weighs about 149 pounds. That wingspan could no more support 149 pounds than it could propel it to the moon. Let’s not milk the Bumblebee principle dry here. Look at the size of a raven’s wing compared with the size of its body, and its bones are full of air instead of chunky oxtail soup. The artist has no concept of lift.

    • Special_sauce says:

      The silly wings, even if they worked, would block her peripheral vision. She’s have to go around with them folded on her back, which would look stupid.

      Horace had a few choice words for artistic atrocities such as this:
      Humano capiti cervicem pictor equinam
      iungere si velit, et varias inducere plumas,
      undique conlatis membris, ut turpiter atrum
      desinat in piscem mulier formosa superne,
      5spectatum admissi risum teneatis, amici?

      Roughly, You’d laugh your ass off if you saw a painting of horse-head on a human neck, or a beautiful woman with a fish’s tail.

  49. Pavlo Svolochenko says:


    Paralympic ban upheld.

    • Jeremn says:

      More details here:

      “Although we are pleased with the decision, it is not a day for celebration,” says Craven.


      • marknesop says:

        “…it is not a day for celebration and we have enormous sympathy for the Russian athletes who will now miss out on the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.”

        What, enormous sympathy for dopers? They’re all doping, aren’t they? That’s what you said, you fat cocksucker. And if there are those who are innocent of guilt and deserve sympathy, isn’t that collective punishment? Isn’t that illegal?

        That’s just like the west – triumph over the cripples and the helpless, and wave its locked hands in victory. What a fine example for the world.

    • Chinese American says:

      The CAS is not much of a real court, so it’s not surprising. I would like to know who were the judges, though.

      • Jeremn says:

        We’ll have to wait, we only have a press release

        Click to access Media_Release_RPC_IPC.pdf

        It says the full award with the grounds will be released, perhaps the panel names too?

        • marknesop says:

          They took a very safe road – the IPC did not violate any procedures in making its decision, while the RPC did not present any evidence which proved they are not all dopers. There’s the protection of the rule of law for you. All that without having actually seen the evidence against them, and it all still turns on the McLaren Report, because he has asked everyone to believe that his judgments are accurate beyond a reasonable doubt.

          And what does that mean, in layman’s terms? It means that no other logical explanation can be derived from the facts except that the defendant committed the crime. Considering that most of his evidence was provided by the Stepanovs and Rodchenkov, I have a feeling he is going to be sorry he ever said that. In an adversarial court system the prosecutor bears the burden of proof.

        • Chinese American says:

          Alexander Mercouris’s preliminary analysis:

          An interesting point is that Russia is actually a major source of funding for the paralympic games, so the least that Russia can do (and will do) is to withhold funding. I am somewhat skeptical of the idea of possible Brazilian sympathies with Russia due to being part of the BRICS block, though.

          By the way, I know that the IOC stood (somewhat) against the total ban of the Russian team, but as an interesting fact, guess who is its one and the only honorary member?

          • Chinese American says:

            Or more precisely, “honour member” (not sure what is the difference between it and an “honorary member”).

    • marknesop says:

      Unbelievable. The Guardian will be a welkin of exultation, as will other western rightie conservative outlets.

  50. Warren says:

    250Gbps: Russian scientists aim to revolutionize computing with plasma-driven antennas

    A team of Russian physicists has found a way to tune silicon nanoparticles so they can process optical data at previously unattainable speed, paving the way for the creation of “ultracompact and ultrafast” processing devices.

    The findings of the experiment-based survey conducted by scientists from Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT) and ITMO University were published in the ACS Photonics journal in late July.


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