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:

    So, back to the ‘US nukes from Turkey moved to Romania’ story. It turns out that the Bulgarian journalist behind it is none other than russophobe ‘senior editor’ at euractiv, Gerogi Gotev.

    euractiv: US nukes in Turkey: The story behind the story

    I consulted with George Friedman before publishing the story US moves nuclear weapons from Turkey to Romania, which I wrote together with Joel Schalit. He warned me to be careful with our sources, because nukes are obviously sensitive for the US, “and whoever talks doesn’t know and those who do know wouldn’t talk”.

    I kept this warning in mind, but we published the story anyway, despite the fact that the Romanian government strongly denied that the country had become home to American nuclear weapons. Of course, we quoted the Romanian government….

    …From my perspective, it was clear that following the foiled coup attempt on 15 July, the US (and NATO) are losing Turkey, and that Russia is building a new Moscow-Ankara-Teheran axis, with enormous geopolitical consequences for the Western alliance, and its regional allies. I’m aware that US Vice President Joe Biden will visit Turkey on 24 August in what may be a last attempt to save what can be saved. I wish him luck, but I’m not optimistic.

    Without a doubt, the situation is fraught with tension, enough to generate heated debate amongst political analysts, who for the most part, agree on such matters. Hence, the op-ed which George Friedman published on his website Geopolitical Futures, in which he contends that our article bears the hallmarks of disinformation. He sent me the text in advance, and I thank him for that….

    …He also states that “sometimes 10 sources are all wrong or lying”. And that the beneficiary of the story is clearly Russia. Friedman also says that in this case, neither of the two sources had to be working for the Russians. “There are probably many degrees of separation between Russia and the sources. It would be impossible to trace the information back,” he concludes.

    I still think that I was not manipulated, as the two sources are wholly unrelated. ..

    So Gotev refuses to admit fault. Confirmation bias at work. He saw what he wanted to see, despite warnings and super special care that should be taken over anonymous sources, timing, and subject. F/kwit.

    • et Al says:

      I’ll add Freidman’s op-ed on Global Futures that calls the story bs here which I forgot to include in the piece above) for easy reference:


    • Jeremn says:

      The interesting thing about Gotev is that he is a Bulgarian diplomat (working as First Secretary of the Bulgarian Mission to the EC, for four years), and not really a journalist at all.

      He’s sometimes quite good on his blog, I quite liked this:

      “The turning point came the day when Yanukovych said that Ukraine wants to be a member of both the Customs Union and to sign an Association agreement, and a Brussels official said that the EU Association agreement is not compatible with the Customs Union. It’s either-or, the anonymous official said. This was in December 2012.
      Initially, no one paid much attention to these words. No one in European Union institutions realised that this was a de facto declaration of war. Any further statements by Brussels that the signing of an Association agreement with Ukraine was not directed against Russia did not sound serious. The next developments are widely known, culminating in the refusal of then-President Yanukovych to sign an Association Agreement during the summit in Vilnius on 28 and 29 November last year.
      Two weeks ago, Pierre Vimont, the number two in Catherine Ashton’s External Action Service, said that the EU was “pushed into the wall by Cold War reflexes”. He also said that the choice between the Association Agreement and the Customs Union was not as “inescapable” as initially thought.
      “What strikes me is when we ask is this really incompatible as it’s really said, we discover, discussing with our experts, that maybe it’s not exactly that, and we can find a common ground,” Vimont said.
      So much about facts. Now for my commentary. Asked who they prefer, Russia or the EU, the Ukrainians are divided , but in Bulgaria, the country I know best, society is not unanimous either . Happily enough, when entering the EU, no one offered Bulgarians an alternative.”


      • et Al says:

        ..No one in European Union institutions realised that this was a de facto declaration of war. Any further statements by Brussels that the signing of an Association agreement with Ukraine was not directed against Russia did not sound serious…

        That’s absolute bullshit and beggars belief. If it were true, then we should be all as terrified of Brussels as being incinerated in a nuclear fireball.

        Van Ropuy, Barroso and all the others would have had security briefings and direct talks with the Council of Ministers so there can be no doubt in my mind that ‘Brussels just muddled along and got it wrong’. They were wanton handmaidens, hoping to pull the wool over Russia’s eyes long enough to get a result.

        The fact that they had to state that ‘the signing of an Association agreement with Ukraine was not directed against Russia..’ is an indication in itself that it was perfectly clear that Russia knew that van Rompuy & Barroso were the watercarriers for a strategic shift in Europe on behalf of the Atlantacists, but the real point is that despite Russia’s objections, they went ahead, no doubt on the advice of western government ‘experts’. It was a massive gamble to take and they got it catastrophically wrong.

        In a sense you could say that it is better that they got it wrong over the Ukraine that something else that would have started World War Three, but Brussels has bathed itself in European blood quite willingly.

        As for Gotev being a former diplocrap, it serves his interests to simply not question the premise that Brussels ‘had no idea’ of the consequences. He is a consistent and sometime subtle russophobe as can be seen in what you put above with hat the EU was “pushed into the wall by Cold War reflexes”. . That is reporting after the fact and doesn’t make a blind bit of difference. Now if such senior figures were quoted widely before hand, than maybe some credit would be due, but hand wringing and spreading the blame afterwards requires no talent. Consider this, would we have heard from such people if the Ukraine had successfully been taken completely into the West’s orbit with ease? If you fail, its everyone else’s fault (wtf didn’t you speak up?). If you succeed, pats on the back all round and all criticism self-censored or turning up in memoires or other little read pieces.

        euractiv also plays its unofficial role in the European ‘anti-Russian’ propganda project, which is far wider than just employing a few media experts employed by Brussels and a handful of funded institutes. Reporting by the Pork Pie News Networks is more than enough evidence that everyone is willing to pitch in, and then some even without being asked, and when necessary giving almost unquestioned free reign to any old bullshit.

        euractiv, as I think I pointed out in an earlier post, is the unofficial press service of the Brussels institutions. Don’t expect ground breaking and heavy hitting investigative reports, rather well explained copy of Brussels policies. That is why it is so weird that euractiv broke the story, which in itself casts serious doubt on it. But Gotev knows better of course. Whether the story was right or wrong, it brings much greater recognition to the euractiv brand (that has spread throughout Europe – even Serbia has a site) that spreads the Brussels world. Either way, euractiv couldn’t loose by publishing.

      • marknesop says:

        That’s very interesting, because western sources almost uniformly deny that Yanukovych was ever told he must choose between the two – Russia or the EU. It seems pretty clear that he actually was presented with that choice, but you can see now what a fatal error it was, as well as see that it was unnecessary and EU diplomats presented it the way they did because they were confident of complete victory. It is not surprising they choose to downplay their stupidity and just yell “But Yanukovych was corrupt!!” to cover the mess they made. It is only fitting they should now suffer the consequences of it.

        • et Al says:

          Land Destroyer comes to the opposite conclusion to George Friedman.

          Land Destroyer: NATO Nukes in Romania: Rumor Mill Vs. Reality

          August 22, 2016 (Ulson Gunnar – NEO)

          …According to a 2010 paper by The Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) titled, “NATO’s Tactical Nuclear Dilemma” (PDF), part of the reasoning of maintaining nuclear weapons in Europe and Turkey is to give the NATO alliance “credibility” as well as discourage nuclear proliferation both within NATO and beyond it.

          The paper postulated that the removal of nuclear weapons from Turkey could unbalance the region strategically and spur nuclear proliferation from Iran to Saudi Arabia and perhaps even force Turkey itself to seek its own nuclear weapons. In regards to Turkey, the paper concluded that maintaining US nuclear weapons there was desirable both for Turkey and for NATO. ..

          …floating rumors of the weapons being moved could have been aimed at pressuring Ankara to make concessions regarding any number of current US projects in the region, the most prominent of which would be its ongoing proxy war against Syria, Russia and Iran.

          Another possibility may have been to simply add credibility to claims that US and Turkish ties are strained, even unraveling. This might be perceived as necessary considering the lack of actual, quantifiable fallout seen on the ground in Turkey in regards to a continued US presence within its territory, as well as on the ground along the Turkish-Syrian border.

          This geopolitical subterfuge might be aimed at Russia and Syria as a means of drawing them in before an inevitable betrayal…

          More at the link.

          The RUSI report mentioned in the paragraph just made me laugh out loud. I wonder how many tissues they went through writing it. FFS, taking away nukes would encourage more countries getting nukes? WTF!?

          For Friedman, it simply doesn’t seem to occur to him that it is the US that is playing these games. Well, he does have bread to butter…

          • et Al says:

            Oh, and one final thought about BS artist Gotev. If I was burned by some assholes selling me a tale that was bull shit, then I would have no hesitation in publishing their names as it is deliberate subterfuge and down right dishonesty, so they have forfeited any right to anonymity. But Gotev hasn’t. Why not? Go figure. The man’s a joke.

    • marknesop says:

      Great catch. There goes their credibility.

  2. et Al says:

    Slutfor via euractiv: Azerbaijan courts Russia and Iran

    The Baku summit, during which Azerbaijan hosted the presidents of Russia and Iran, couldn’t have come at a better time, writes Stratfor.

    The balance in the Caucasus is changing. With Iran emerging from the malaise of sanctions, it is reaching north and becoming more assertive. Russia, too, is changing tack, aligning with Azerbaijan instead of Armenia in the long-running Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. In early August, Azerbaijan made a bid to capitalise on these changes by hosting the presidents of Iran and Russia for a summit in Baku. The meeting featured discussions of counterterrorism initiatives and of the negotiations on Nagorno-Karabakh and Caspian Sea disputes. But it was regional connectivity — not conflict — that topped the agenda, specifically the North-South Transport Corridor and its railway construction component.

    The 7,200-kilometer (4,500-mile) North-South Transport Corridor was first discussed in 2008. It would involve building railway, road and shipping infrastructure stretching from Iran to Russia through Azerbaijan. Actually implementing the project, however, would be difficult — it involves a dizzying array of stakeholders and a $400 million price tag…

    Russia is certainly not allying itself with Azerbaidjan, so one massive fault right in the first paragraph. As for the rest, I’ll believe it when I see results. While it makes sense that Aliyev tilts one way or another depending on circumstances, despite events in Turkey, the situation in Syria is still live and unresolved so calling it already (I have, it will be wrapped up in a year) is presumptuous indeed. Aliyev is certainly more cautious. I would guess that this is just preparing the ground effort. Russia is feeling out possibilities too. All in all, a rather poor effort by Slutfor.

    • marknesop says:

      I agree. A lot of the appraisals are made from changeable factors which might not be the same in a month, and there is thus far no real indication of a trend, while Aliyev will change his alliances as soon as someone shows him the money. But it is de rigueur for western news sources to portray Russia as brooding and massive one moment and a clapped-out economic ruin the next. Stratfor is no exception.

  3. Moscow Exile says:

    MH17 – сбили по “ошибке”

    MH17 – shot down by “mistake”

    В голландской Телеграф вышел анонс статьи, где утверждается, что это было трагической ошибкой и объясняется низкой квалификацией операторов Бука, усугубляющейся состоянием стресса.

    In the Dutch “Telegraph” an article has been published in which it is announced that it was all a tragic mistake explained by low-skilled Buka operators who were under stress.

    Tomorrow in the Dutch “Telegraph” appears new material about the downing over the Donbas of the Malaysian Boeing MH-17. There has been made an announcement, in which experts are referred to, that states that the Boeing was shot down accidentally (!), that it was “a huge, tragic mistake” and that no one at all had intended to shoot down the Boeing, only those people who were manning the BUK had low skill and had found themselves in a stress situation. In short, they fired a rocket at the Boeing by mistake.

    What I find hard to believe is that if these accusations had been made against the separatist militia or the Russian military, then the tone of this discussion would have been otherwise. Such a tone, however is fully appropriate in the Western mass media when relating to Ukrainian anti-aircraft operatives who had been approximately deployed at that place and at that time. There are photos and videos.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Over to you, Secretary of State Kerry…

    • marknesop says:

      Extremely interesting, and quite a variation on what I thought would be the verdict; “We may never know”. But is this actually stipulating that it was non-separatist Ukrainian personnel who were responsible? I don’t see that – just ‘stressed-out, poorly-trained Buka operators’. That could be anyone. It would be profoundly astonishing to me if there was even the slightest move toward Ukraine accepting responsibility, because of all Poroshenko’s accusatory rhetoric and the eager baying of the western press, the British being the worst of the lot. The west would have to eat too much crow, while Ukraine would be the object of both disgust for its deliberate deception and renewed lawsuits by relatives of the dead. They’ve gone way too far to reverse themselves now. Fascinating, nonetheless.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        But is this actually stipulating that it was non-separatist Ukrainian personnel who were responsible?

        The translation reads:

        Such a tone, however is fully appropriate in the Western mass media when relating to Ukrainian anti-aircraft operatives…

        Are they classifying separatists as “Ukrainians” when using the term “Ukrainian anti-aircraft operatives”? Wouldn’t they have written “Russian backed separatist anti-aircraft operatives” if they had meant those opposed to Kiev rule, or are the “Russian backed separatists” now recognized by the “Telegraph” as being Ukrainian citizens, which they are, of course de jure.

  4. Moscow Exile says:

    According to the Ukraine ambassador to Canada, Andriy Shevchenko, there was last year a 30% failure rate for Ukrainian citizens who applied for visas.

    Канада может десятилетия рассматривать вопрос отмены виз для украинцев – Шевченко

    Canada maybe take decades to consider the question of abolishing visas for Ukrainians – Shevchenko


    Glory to Bandera!

    • marknesop says:

      Why in the name of God would Canada consider abolishing visas for Ukrainians?

      • Moscow Exile says:

        In recognition of the well known fact that the Ukrainian people were fundamentally the trail-blazers in that former part of British North America that later became the Dominion of Canada and is now simply known as Canada.

        The numbers of other European immigrants to Canada pale into significance in comparison with those that ventured forth from the lands that were formerly known as Kievan Rus’, to say nothing of the paltry contribution to Canadian society and its achievements that other non-Ukrainians have allegedly made when compared with those of Ukrainian immigrants.

        So why, indeed, not exclude Ukrainian citizens from the necessity of having visas in order to enter Canada?

        Credit should be given where credit is due.

        Slava heroyam!

        • Jen says:

          The Yukies must have had some epic battles with these beasties then.

          They must have also carved out the Great Lakes by pushing all those glaciers northwards with their bare hands.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      That should have been above:

      Canada might take decades to consider the question of abolishing visas for Ukrainians – Shevchenko

  5. Jeremn says:

    Some good links here. How arms merchants benefit from tensions with Russia:

    “Companies like Lockheed Martin and Boeing have pledged to increase the share of exports in their overall revenues, and they have been seeking major deals in East and Central Europe since the 1990s, when NATO expansion began,” said William Hartung, director of the Arms & Security Project at the Center for International Policy. Hartung noted that as some nations ramp up spending, U.S. firms will be “knocking at the door, looking to sell everything from fighter planes to missile defense systems.”


  6. et Al says:

    Antiwar.com: Iran Ends Russia’s Use of Air Base for Syria Strikes

    DM Expressed Annoyance at Russia’s Publicizing of Base’s Usage

    Iranian officials have announced that Russia has stopped using the Hamedan Air Base, in western Iran, to conduct airstrikes in Syria, saying the deployment was only ever meant to be temporary. Russia confirmed their planes had all left Iran.

    The base only began being used last week, and was seen as a major win for Russia’s air war, as the Iran base supporters larger planes than their own bases inside Syria, and was much closer than flying them from Russia directly.

    Indications are that this is at least in part the result of Iranian annoyance at Russia for publicizing the use of the air base. Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan had slammed Russia for its “showing-off and inconsiderate attitude” in making the announcement….

    Slippery buggers dem I-ranians. I strongly suspect that Russia has absolutely no problem with this and the story is for western consumption. The reality is that Russia & I-ran have displayed co-operation where and when necessary, another complicating military factor to Syria has been introduced that the West must now account for etc. All the rest is just fluff. Russia can be back bombing from I-ran in less than a week if needs be.

    • marknesop says:

      And I suppose American satellites which crisscross the globe with priority on coverage of countries Washington hates would not have noticed Russian bombers position on Iranian airstrips.

      • et Al says:

        Moon of Alabama: NYT Again Misreports On Iran – Claims Conflict With Russia Without Any Source

        This NYT piece on Russia and Iran lacks any source for the main claim made in its headline and repeated in its first paragraph:

        Iran Revokes Russia’s Use of Air Base, Saying Moscow ‘Betrayed Trust…

        ….There is no source quoted in the piece that claims Iran “revoked” or “annulled permission”. That is not too astonishing as no such claims were ever made in Iran. But how can the NYT claim that?

        What really happened:…

        MoA lays it all out for you at the link.

        • marknesop says:

          That’s a good, rational article. Washington is in the business of inducing doglike loyalty in its allies, and creating and exploiting divisions in its enemies. No surprises there, and any major power would likely do the same in its place. But the NYT has gone so far out on limbs and been wrong or caught actually lying so many times that it is hardly ‘the paper of record’, and has lost much of its credibility. Nothing comes without a cost.

  7. et Al says:

    Antiwar.com: Turkish Artillery Attacks ISIS, Kurdish Targets in Northern Syria

    Attacks Target US-Backed Rebels in Recently-Captured Manbij

    In a move that was linked to the major suicide bombing against a wedding in southern Turkey over the weekend, Turkish forces attacked ISIS targeted in and around Jarabulus today, along the Syrian border. In a move that perhaps surprised no one, Turkey’s attacks on northern Syria centered primarily not on ISIS, but on the Kurds.

    While Jarabulus was hit a bit, nominally to “open a corridor” for the Islamist rebels preparing to attack the city from Turkish soil, the Turkish military also heavily bombarded Manbij, a city which last week was captured by US-backed Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) troops.

    The attack on Manbij reflects Turkey’s long-standing warning to never allow Kurds to hold territory west of the Euphrates River. Manbij is on the western shore. Yet last week Turkish officials claimed to have been assured, by the US, that the Kurds would abandon Manbij quickly…

    The mighty Turks turning up after all the hard work has been done by the SDF. Dey ain’t squaring no circle.

    The only important factor here is whether the US backs the Kurds fully or not. Most likely the latter. Thus all the Kurds will be starkly shown that whatever is said, the US still cannot be trusted, even when there are Kurdish factions who are still pushing this line. Great timing for Syria/Russia etc. vis Hasakah.

    • et Al says:

      Moon of Alabama: Syria – The U.S. Creates More Chaos While The Grown-Ups Talk Resolution

      Last week a Chinese admiral visited Damascus and promised support. The Indian Minister of State for External Affairs also passed by. The Turkish deputy intelligence chief was there for secret talks. Earlier the Turkish president visited Russia and the Turkish foreign minister visited Tehran. Those are a lot of talks between big and important countries and players in the conflict over Syria. None of them, not even Barzani, is in the U.S. camp.

      I assume that this outbreak of diplomacy, which bypassed Washington, led to concern that the U.S. might be left out of a resolution in Syria. It had to play a card of its own. That is the most likely explanation for the sudden clashes in Hasakah where the Syrian Kurdish YPG is suddenly determined to kick out the Syrian army garrison that protects the Arab population there. U.S. special forces are “advising” these Kurds…

      More at the link..

  8. Patient Observer says:

    A lot of news today but this is worth reporting as well:

    A cross-discipline study has challenged the belief that human sexuality and gender identity are determined by biology and remain fixed, saying that there is no scientific proof of this.

    If true, this kicks out the foundation of the Gay Rights movement as LGBT behavior has been rendered as a psychological condition caused most likely by early childhood sexual experience. No gay gene, just a psychological condition like, say, agoraphobia.

    The researchers appear highly qualified:

    The 144-page paper was written by Dr. Lawrence S. Mayer, an epidemiologist and biostatistician also trained in psychiatry, who is currently a scholar in residence at the Department of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and Dr. Paul R. McHugh, a renowned psychiatrist, researcher, and educator and former chief of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Hospital. The paper’s three parts focus on sexual orientation, links between sexuality and mental health, and gender identity.

    • marknesop says:

      Yes, the whole gay rights platform rests on the pillar that there is no choice; that you are born gay and it is what you must be, and efforts to fight it are futile. I completely buy that there is a strong compulsion and that some people are irresistibly attracted to their own sex; a small proportion, less than 10%. But if it can be demonstrated that there is no ‘irresistible calling’ based on genetics, much of their legal argument collapses.

      • Drutten says:

        I’ve read plenty of studies demonstrating that the commonly cited number of “10%” is as a matter of fact rather inflated. Exclusively homosexual people are in the ballpark of 1-5%, rather, in society as a whole.

        People who have at some point been involved in sexual acts that could be classified as “homo” or have had fantasies or whatever are far more numerous, far, far more numerous, but that’s a no-brainer and shouldn’t be confused with “actual” homosexuality.

        • marknesop says:

          Yes, that’s true. I’m painting with a broad brush, based on a survey I read some time ago which encompassed people who were bisexual, and the vast majority of them were women. Even adding bisexual women to the gay population still took it to less than 10%. Over 90% of the world identifies heterosexual. Rabid activism and identity politics are what closes the gap.

    • Northern Star says:

      “psychological condition caused most likely by early childhood sexual experience. No gay gene, just a psychological condition like, say, agoraphobia.”

      Logically that (an absence of a so called gay gene) doesn’t follow…. it could be the case that there is a genetically determined predisposition to a heightened vulnerability to acquiring homosexual proclivities as a result of these ” childhood experiences”..

      “Differences in the brain structures of gay and straight individuals identified by researchers are not necessarily innate and may be the result of environmental or psychological factors.”

      Are we to assume that brain structure is the only way innate sexual orientation (gender) differences may biologically manifest themselves??

      “The strongest statement that science offers to explain sexual orientation is that some biological factors appear, to an unknown extent, to predispose some individuals to a non-heterosexual orientation,” the paper said.”
      Ummm..I think I just stated that..or something very like it!!!

      “The authors noted that their paper touches upon controversial issues and insist that first and foremost it is about science and the need for additional evidence in the field. Mayer said many people who contributed to the report asked not to be identified so as to distance themselves from the potential backlash.”

      The problem I have with their approach is that they seem to be slaying the gay gene dragon without stating *exactly* where he lives or looks like!!!!!

      • marknesop says:

        Gay activists have pointed out that animals will ‘turn gay’ in a single-sex environment, but there is a well-established tendency for humans to do that as well and it seldom argues real homosexual imperatives so much as it does availability. Similarly, gay activists draw upon the argument that homosexuality occurs among animals as proof that it is ‘natural’. And it might be, for reasons that are presently not known to us; but it does not take a geneticist to figure out that a species which cannot reproduce will disappear, and that is most definitely not natural.

        I’ve always been willing to ignore it so long as gay lovers are not planting big sloppy tongue-kisses on one another in a public setting, in celebration of their gayness. That sort of behaviour is completely incompatible with the cry that ‘we just want to be accepted like everyone else’, because heterosexuals are not allowed to behave offensively in public. They don’t get a Pride Parade which is based entirely on their sexual choice, either. Gay people who just want to blend in and act like responsible adults are okay in my book, and I agree they should have the same rights as the majority.

        • Patient Observer says:

          If “gay” gene does not exist but even granting a predisposition for gayness (just as may exist for agoraphobia), the gay community is showing gross irresponsibility for pursuing an agenda to raise gayness to a similar if not preferred life choice.

          The gay community realizes that at some level, their strength lies in promotion of gayness as a equal or preferred choice simply as they have no other means of reproduction. In that sense, they are like stamp collectors seeking to keep interest alive in stamp collecting. In the case of gays, it may be (I could be wrong) that early childhood sexual experience is the key to sustaining their population.

          I think that major drivers of the gay rights movement includes a diversion of attention from far more fundamental issues such as war and peace, the deep state and the like plus the fact that the gay community may trade recognition for support of agendas of those who rule us (the Sochi Olympics gay fiasco comes to mind).

          Did I mention this? I was seated on a plane flight in an area with high school kids returning from Paris on an apparent class trip. One of the kids was making comments who he would marry this or that male movie stars and was behaving in a very gay stereotypical way. Several other kids thought he was so cool and free to have such sexual freedom; he was a real opinion leader for those kids!

        • Cortes says:

          What really cheesed me off was my local authority introducing CCTV “to monitor potential crime in a car park” which just happened to be attached to the soft play area for young kids and which was regularly littered with condoms when I started taking my daughter on Saturday mornings in the mid 1990s. Complaints to the council were met with PC crap about the identity of the perpetrators was unknown. Local police had a quite different take on the matter. By the mid 1990s there was no great prejudice against gays in that prosperous middle class part of the city, but there most certainly WAS resentment about the pollution of a kids’ play area for outdoor kicks.

        • Moscow Exile says:

          I should imagine that a dog, for example, which appears to be “naturally gay”, in that he is going through the motions of shagging another dog, will quite miraculously turn heterosexual if a bitch on heat suddenly enters the arena and will rapidly join the line for his turn, and though very likely risking being beaten up for his efforts by the top dog, he will (naturally) remain undeterred in his efforts to mount her.

          I cannot imagine an apparently “naturally” homosexual dog persisting in trying to have some kind of sexual intercourse with another dog (are such “homosexual” dogs really choosing anal intercourse in their actions?) and at the same time refusing a bitch on heat whilst all his pals are sniffing round her.

          • Patient Observer says:

            Good and to the point!

          • yalensis says:

            It is ludicrous on BOTH sides of the debate for people to use animal examples.
            People are very different from animals. (With certain exceptions.)
            Although, on the other hand, comparisons with our closest cousins, chimpanzees, shows a wide range of sexual behaviors. Bonobo chimps are said to be super-gay as well as super-hetero. Whatever turns them on, those hairy beasts….

            The one debating point which I will NOT accept, and this always gets my goat, Mark included, is when people diss homosexuality on the grounds that it will lead to the extinction of the human race. Hello, people! Have you been outside recently, tried to walk down the street, or get a good parking spot?
            There are WAY too many humans on this planet already. If any species is in danger of extinction, it is certain NOT homo sapiens.
            And even if everybody went gay overnight, it would still not do a damned thing to alleviate population pressures. Mark my words. Even as the Antarctica icebergs melt, people will just start growing babies in test tubes, and that’s already a thing, by the way. Every gay couple that I know of, guess what? they still have kids!
            Well, maybe with the exception of Glenn Greenwald/David Miranda. Or, as their friends call them, “Glenda”. They are a childless couple, as far as I know.

            • marknesop says:

              I am speaking purely in a biological sense rather than a demographic context, and my only point there is that the argument, “homosexuality is natural, because animals do it without anyone making them do it” is specious on its face because an animal species – let’s say there are only 400 of them rather than billions and billions – which could not reproduce would die out in perhaps two generations. Homosexuals cannot naturally reproduce, and if the whole world were exclusively gay. humans would vanish, inevitably.

              It’s not an argument against homosexuality – I recognize it occurs and it does not bother me. It’s an argument against an argument, and while it is harmless it is demonstrably not ‘natural’ except in the sense that it occurs occasionally without any outside direction or influence. It just happens. In that context, homosexuality is natural like a large asteroid hitting the earth. That occasionally happens without outside direction or influence, too.

            • Patient Observer says:

              I agree that citing animal behavior is spurious but such “evidence” is often cited in the gay community. Once it was raised, then counter-arguments can be readily made just as ME had done.

              Is there any doubt that a significant fraction (or, if the study if correct, virtually all) of gays become such through early childhood experience? Given such, then the LGBT movement is reduced to protection of an arbitrary psychological condition. Why not allow polygamy or even make it a protected class as there would undoubtedly be adverse societal reaction?

              Why have any laws regarding sexual behavior or tolerate any resistance to any behavior? Why have an arbitrary age limit for consent? As soon as a child can verbalize a “yes” or “no” is that not sufficient? If it feels good or at least not yucky, why not?

              I agree with most on this blog that homosexuality is a fact of life (just as other psychological conditions) and should be tolerated to the same degree as other conditions (e.g. someone who washes his hands 50 times per day). Homosexuality is no better or worse as long as their psychological condition is not promoted or idealized or otherwise placed in a special status.

              I think that Russia has the right approach on this matter from what I have seen.

              • yalensis says:

                Well, that’s a good point, I admit, and I will stipulate that the pro-gay side of the debate should not use animal examples either.
                Gay penguins notwithstanding.

  9. Evgeny says:

    Results of the Second World War according to Bild newspaper:

    (From pikabu.ru.)

  10. Northern Star says:

    a little savage amusement :


    • marknesop says:

      Submarines are notoriously clumsy and difficult to maneuver on the surface because, unlike WWII subs which spent a lot of time on the surface and frequently only dived to make an attack or a surreptitious approach, the surface is not their natural element. WWII subs had raked bows like a surface ship. Modern submarines have a bulb for a bow, and the diving planes are on the sail which is out of the water. They are usually maneuvered by a tug when on the surface, and surface ships approaching them do well to bear this in mind. Typically the duty of care falls on the more maneuverable vessel, which is why ships under sail always have the right of way over power vessels. The article should probably censure the support ship, although I don’t know the details.

      • Patient Observer says:

        I have trouble not interpreting it as anything other than incompetence based on no mention of adverse conditions or mechanical failure.

  11. marknesop says:

    Look what happened when fans at a Celtic vs. Hapoel Be’er Sheva football match displayed Palestinian flags. The UEFA sanctioned the Celtic club and fined them, saying they had been warned against displaying the Palestinian flag – although it is a real flag of a real state – because it might offend their Israeli guests.

    Celtic fans raised more than double the anticipated fine, over £130,000.00, with the balance to go to Palestinian charities.

    I’d just like you to look at that from the viewpoint of what was just done to Russia at the Olympics.

    “UEFA rules forbid the use of “gestures, words, objects or any other means to transmit any message that is not fit for a sports event, particularly messages that are of a political, ideological, religious, offensive or provocative nature”.

    But the western press just giggled naughtily when the crowd booed Russian athletes, and tacitly encouraged it by pointing out that the Russians should have expected they would be unpopular by not just accepting their humiliation silently as awarded by the west.

    “Why should Israeli football players be subjected to this? They are not the government. Sport should be above politics. Celtic’s opponents, Hapoel Be’er Sheva, are an excellent example of Jews and Arabs coexisting in Israel. The fans knew the consequences of their actions. They can raise money for what they like, but I don’t understand why they needed the Champions League draw to inspire them.”

    Sport should be above politics – when, of course, Israel has skin in the game. I should point out here that this is not necessarily what the Israelis think about themselves, but what some of their British fans think of them. So far as I’m aware the Israeli players did not complain.

    • Cortes says:

      Last time I looked Israel was nowhere near Europe. The politics begins with UEFA scandalously allowing a country which shits all over its neighbours in Asia access to its competitions. Same with Eurovision (though for some bizarre reason Australia also has access).

      • Drutten says:

        Regarding Eurovision that’s just because they have networks that are members of the European Broadcasting Union. Hence why Morocco and others have also participated in Eurovision.

        But yeah, Australia isn’t, so I don’t know what’s up with that.

        • Jen says:

          Eurovision attracts a large audience in Australia and it must be a tidy little earner for the EBU to sell the screening rights to SBS TV.

          Originally Australians only watched Eurovision because it was cheesy and kitsch but that’s now lost on SBS who sniffed the money-making potential and the chest-beating that came with gatecrashing the competition.

    • Drutten says:

      The Belarusian Paralympic team was apparently forbidden from carrying a Russian tricolor on the opening day, too. They wanted to do it as a gesture of solidarity with the by all means unfairly treated Russians, but nope.

    • Cortes says:

      The following linked article is a bit “we are so worthy/holy, admire us” but overall not too cringetastic…


  12. marknesop says:

    And in news that’s just hours old, WADA backs off from charges that Liverpool defender Mamadou Sakho is a doper and a cheat after he failed a drug test. UEFA told them to back the fuck off, and they did. Why? Because they were afraid they would be sued.

    So Sakho failed a drug test – and that is not in dispute – but UEFA told WADA, move along, nothing to see here. And WADA went.

    “A WADA spokesperson told Omnisport: “With the support of its List Expert Group, WADA thoroughly reviewed the full case file along with recently published articles on higenamine. WADA supported the List Expert Group’s unanimous view that higenamine is a beta2-agonist and does indeed fall within the S3 class of the Prohibited List.

    “However, after careful review of the specific circumstances of the case, WADA decided not to appeal. Mr. Sakho had already served a provisional suspension of one month and, given the circumstances of the case, it is uncertain whether a significantly higher sanction would have been justified and obtained based on the Code and, more specifically, Mr. Sakho’s degree of fault.”

    Sakho had fully cooperated with UEFA’s initial investigation, but always vehemently denied deliberately attempting to contravene doping rules.”

    So WADA accepted in this case that even though his sample had tested positive, he didn’t do it intentionally.

    But Yulia Efimova was booed on the pool deck at the Olympics, and the media just said har-de-har-har.

    Even though WADA backed away from an appeal, this source now reports Sakho could sue anyway, given the fact that he got a month’s time-out.

    Please, Russia; sue the ass off of WADA, and bury this revolting political ass-kissing organization.

    • Cortes says:

      The case of Rio Ferdinand, who was banned for eight months for deliberately body swerving a dope test when the testing team showed up at Manchester Utd’s training ground, is interesting. His offence didn’t prevent the English Football Association from allowing him to accumulate 81 appearances for its international side, nor to appoint his as a player rep on its commission of “the great and the good” established to work on ways to improve the numbers of home-grown players appearing in English professional leagues. Moreover, not even the doping ban or his serial drink-driving offences (other “offences should be taken into consideration” as the English magistrates have it) proved an obstacle to him picking up ex-player pundit gigs on some of Downing St-controlled BBC flagship football coverage, like the final of the FIFA World Cup in 2010.

  13. Patient Observer says:

    I’m only providing this link just to be sure everyone knows about this shocker:


    The repeal on the ban on the Russian Paralympics has been rejected.

  14. Patient Observer says:

    To be clear, I meant that Russia will not be permitted to participate in the paralympics and that is the final decision.

    • marknesop says:

      Yes, I saw that. Russia’s medals-over-morality mentality disgusted Sir Philip Craven.

      Oh, speaking of that – did you see the interview with UK Athletics Chief Ed Warner? No? Here are some highlights;

      “Irrespective of the restrictions on Russia, funding body UK Sport have tasked Team GB with making Rio the nation’s most successful overseas Olympic Games with the target set at a cumulative 48 medals.

      Between seven and nine of those are expected in athletics – six were snared at London 2012 – a tally which City and financial services veteran Warner believes will be met, although he acknowledges that failure to do so will have ramifications.

      “We have a fair and reasonable target,” added Warner. “We may even exceed the target but that will require sporting stars to align across a number of events.

      “We’re taking 80 athletes to Rio, which is a big team by historic standards. But it’s not a reflection of us just wanting to cram athletes onto the plane, these are all athletes who’ve got the prospect of doing well.

      “When I look at the team, I can see strong prospects for all of the medallists in London, not just the gold medallists, and I can see good prospects in the relay.

      “If we hit our target then we’ll have done very well but I will be very surprised if we don’t hit it given the talent in the team.

      If targets are not hit then quite rightly there are repercussions. There will be a very thorough examination as the money which comes from UK Sport is not given out lightly. You want to make sure you come home without there being an inquest.”

      I saw a couple of hits, one from Sputnik, which suggested Russia was going to cease funding to WADA starting in 2017, but it was gone before I could access it, so the announcement may have been premature. Hopefully WADA will be rubbed out of existence, and hopefully the Olympics will be a casualty as well. I read that tickets to the Paralympics were only 12% sold, and I imagine the Rio Olympics were a money-loser as well, like they always are now. The less international fora for Americans to swagger around in and politicize, the better.

      • Jen says:

        Ed Warner sure knows how to apply the pressure.

        What exactly does he mean by “inquest”? Why, do athletes who fail to win gold and win silver instead expect to be hauled up before a court and to be charged with corruption because for all the money that was spent on them they misused it by not running as fast, jumping as far or knocking off the bar?

        • marknesop says:

          Well, no, of course not; I’m sure he is referring to the kind of funereal dissection of a failed strategy that goes on when the country is very, very disappointed in its athletes for not winning the targeted number of medals. What they like to call the ‘hot wash-up’ after an exercise. However, no danger of that here; Britain is swooning over the performance of its athletes and all the medals they won, it really was a very good Olympics, even if the food smelt funny and there were all those noisy foreigners. They’re already talking about Britain challenging the USA for top spot next time.

          Before the Olympics, British sports figures speculated that with the Russians out, there would be more medals for Britons – although it’s not really about medals, of course, it’s about doing your best. And although Mr. Warner said Oh, pshaw, the Russians are not that good, that’s just what happened – more medals for Britons. Great Britain won 7 medals in Athletics, including 2 gold, and the Russian track team was not even there. It won only 6 medals in 2012 when it was the host country, although 4 were gold. Russia won 13 medals in athletics at the 2012 Olympics, 6 of them gold. Russia won 77 medals overall at the 2012 Olympics in London, while Great Britain won 65. But Ed Warner says he didn’t see them on the podium much. Maybe he was watching darts by mistake.

        • Fern says:

          When sports fail to reach the target medal total, the funding that sport gets is cut. New targets will then be set and restitution of funding depends on hitting those. It’s all become very ruthless. And in common with virtually every other western country, certainly every English-speaking one, the more money that is poured into elite sports, the less healthy and the more unfit the rest of the population grows.

          • Patient Observer says:

            That perfectly fits the US culture – we idolize athletes, saturate the ether with imagery of fit, young Americans yet rack up increasingly dire medical conditions in the general population such as obesity. As of 2010:

            Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2009–2010 2, 3
            More than 2 in 3 adults are considered to be overweight or obese.
            More than 1 in 3 adults are considered to be obese.
            More than 1 in 20 adults are considered to have extreme obesity.
            About one-third of children and adolescents ages 6 to 19 are considered to be overweight or obese.
            More than 1 in 6 children and adolescents ages 6 to 19 are considered to be obese.

            Data from:

            We Americans live vicarious lives.

          • marknesop says:

            “…the more money that is poured into elite sports, the less healthy and the more unfit the rest of the population grows.”

            That’s a very interesting correlation, but I suppose it is true. What’s the message? Don’t do sports – watch sports? I would not say that was true in Canada; we are bombarded daily with the Canada Food Guide and the merit of exercise and diet to a healthy lifestyle. Schools have to provide play areas and supervised activity; my daughter’s school does “walking Wednesday” where the whole school including teachers walks the perimeter fence, and you have to be medically excused to not do it. Her school is regularly soliciting parent volunteers (not now, of course, it’s summer, although the great Go date is fast approaching for the new school year) as guides for nature hikes through the parks which abound in the area.

            Mind you, there are still some fat kids.

            All that said, except for 2010 we are not much of a threat in the Olympics, nationally. And we have a straight cash-for-medals policy; I think it is $25,000.00 for winning a gold medal, which really isn’t much – you can barely buy a car for that these days.

            • Jen says:

              Without realising it, you hit the issue: sport and exercise are now becoming activities pushed onto people by governments, to be supervised by teachers or coaches according to set rules.

              Another thing too is that there is a huge divide (in Australia at least, but the same phenomenon may be happening in other Anglophone countries) between sports and physical education facilities offered in private schools or academies on the one hand, and public schools on the other: private education institutes offer top-notch facilities while public schools must make do with increasingly scarce or run-down, even hazardous facilities. Private schools for boys in particular spend huge amounts of money each year on building specialist infrastructure like aquatic centres (complete with pools that have underwater cameras or pools set aside for diving), indoor basketball courts and sports stadiums while government schools have to make do with sharing facilities with other schools or using structures meant to be temporary but ending up being permanent.

              This is where Fern is right: a small section of society is able to play and train in sport up to elite levels from an early age, all funded by taxpayers, but everyone else gets crumbs and has to be bullied into half-arsed excuses for physical education.

              Article from The Melbourne Age: “Privte Schools in Race to impress with Best Facilities” on the situation in the state of Victoria:

              Sydney Morning Herald article: “”Taxpayers fund Private School Orchestra Pits and Swimming Pools” on the situation in New South Wales:

          • Jen says:

            @ Fern: I’ve heard also that UK Sports targets sports where an individual is likely to win several medals in the one Olympics and lots over two or three Olympics which might explain why Britain has come up very suddenly in sports like gymnastics and cycling. Team sports on the other hand get less funding because at the end of their respective Olympics tournaments there are only three medals on offer.

            Not only ruthless but cynical.

  15. Warren says:

    Russian hackers ‘targeted New York Times’

    The FBI is investigating whether Russian hackers have carried out a series of cyber attacks on the New York Times, officials have told US media.


    • Warren says:

      New York Times was whinging that Chinese hackers had breached and infiltrated their servers a few years ago. NYT is always bitching about something.

      Hackers in China Attacked The Times for Last 4 Months


      • marknesop says:

        Yes, the Chinese in chinked-out China would be very likely to want to tap into a newspaper that doesn’t report anything which is true except for the Catholic Bean Supper at St. Patrick’s. China can hear US government propaganda along with everyone else, while it is valuable to have advance notice of news only if what is being reported is actually true.

    • marknesop says:

      Isn’t it cute, the way the Americans have lost their minds, and they don’t even notice? Here’s the Washington Post, blatting about how Putin’s meddling in the American elections has backfired on him. Just as if that were actually happening. It’s a good thing they have focused on another actual country which is part of this planet, I guess, rather than aliens from another world, because then we would have to lock them up.

      Not even during the coldest depths of the Cold War did the United States so crazily blame all of its problems on the Russians. If America can’t have global war against Russia, it is going to be so disappointed.

      Some of it is just agitating for Hillary, trying to scare low-information dumb voters away from Trump. But there is a definite tendency to blame even routine American problems on Russia. They don’t seem to get how crazy it makes them look, it’s like actual national mental illness. The whole election process should be frozen right here until the country comes to its senses.

  16. Patient Observer says:


    Psychologist Dr. Kevin Dutton has ranked the psychopathic traits of the Republican candidate and various historical figures using a standard psychometric tool – the Psychopathic Personality Inventory. Experts suggested likely scores against a series of questions. Trump scored 171, two points more than Hitler.

    Saddam Hussein topped the list, scoring 189, while Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton received a score of 152, putting her in the top 20 percent.

    Margaret Thatcher scored 136 points, and Elizabeth I was put at 130.

    Dutton says the test scores people on eight traits that contribute to a psychopathic character. They are fearlessness, cold-heartedness, egocentricity, ruthlessness, self-confidence, charisma, dishonesty and deficits in empathy and conscience.

    I find it surprising that Hilary did not peg the needle. Obama who, in candid moments, brags about being “really good at killing people” should be way up there as well (the article did not mention him which seems surprising). Or, is being good at killing people more of a sociopath thing? Anyway, here are what sociopaths do:

    Glibness and Superficial Charm.
    Manipulative and Conning. They never recognize the rights of others and see their self-serving behaviors as permissible. …
    Grandiose Sense of Self. …
    Pathological Lying. …
    Lack of Remorse, Shame or Guilt. …
    Shallow Emotions. …
    Incapacity for Love.
    Need for Stimulation

    OMG, that describes American leaders and foreign policy to perfection! The only item missing is exceptionalism

  17. The US raises the stakes in Syria, sets up “no-fly zones” in Syria and threatens to shoot down any Russian/Syrian jets enter these “no-fly zones”: http://theduran.com/us-pentagon-throws-full-support-behind-al-qaeda-syria-exclusion-zones-ready-shot-syrian-russian-planes/

    This is all about securing that pipeline route that the West hopes that it can some day build from Qatar through Syria to Turkey. The US now claims that part of Syrian territory is their own and it will be used to build that pipeline.

    • marknesop says:

      There is one accurate statement in there. The last one in the article. It’s endgame time. The USA has no business at all in Syria, was not invited in, and if it is allowed to get its way in this it will progressively control more and more Syrian territory until it succeeds in its objective of unseating and replacing Assad. Once more, it has no right to be there, and I’m sure Russia will pursue that angle at the seat of international law. But at the same time, Russia is legally in Syria, and I am sure it is not going to allow the USA to tell it where it can and cannot fly in Syria. If the USA is really ready to go to war in Syria, it is going to get it. And I don’t think I have to point out to you the kind of logistic nightmare it would be, especially if it can no longer count on Turkey. And I find it hard to believe Erdogan will come on board with the USA carving out a Kurdish homeland right next door. Washington is getting desperate, and that’s making it act crazy. Let’s see what China says about it.

      The USA also has no right to impose no-fly zones arbitrarily on its own recognition in another sovereign nation. That’s a UN decision, and they will never get that through the Security Council. If they try the R2P approach, who are they exercising their right to protect? ISIL?

      What’s the USA got in Syria for anti-air systems? Russia has the S-400, and can cover most of Syria without even putting one of its own planes in the air.

      • The problem is that once the US sets a military foothold in Syria there is nothing – outside of using military power – that Russia can do to oust the US from Syria. The international law does not apply to the US because it can break the international law without sanctions being used against it. If there is no punishment there is no incentive for adhering the law either.

        • marknesop says:

          Well, I guess we’ll just have to see how it shakes out, won’t we? I can tell you that if Syrian forces come knocking to drive out ISIS from other towns after Aleppo falls, and the USAF says it is going to stop them because its forces are mixed with ISIS in the town (remember, American Special Forces have already been caught wearing parts of Kurdish uniforms and badges) it is going to cut no ice with the Syrians – it’s their country.

          On second reading, it’s beginning to sound more like American bluster to me. The press tried to pin him down to no-fly zones or not, and he didn’t want to back down but he didn’t want to go quite that far so he said “Call it what you want”. The USA has no authority to unilaterally impose no-fly zones in a sovereign country. It has to go through the UN, and Russia and China will veto it. The USA is not in Syria with the Syrian government’s permission, and it has had what must be called very questionable success so far with ‘fighting ISIS’. If it wants to ‘protect its forces’, it can leave, and the Syrian government will not miss it a bit.

  18. Drutten says:

    • Drutten says:

      Our esteemed foreign prime minister and later foreign minister Bildt is at it again, of course. Why I even keep reading his Twitter feed I do not know.

      Just have to get it off my chest…
      1. The territories of Poland (Kresy) that the USSR invaded in the wake of the earlier Nazi invasion of said country were territories Poland invaded and annexed from the USSR 20 years earlier while the USSR was weak and all shook up. Poland wanted some Lebensraum so to speak (that’s how they justified it, actually). Yep, that’s right.
      2. Before signing this non-aggression pact with Nazi Germany with its subsequent “division” of eastern Europe, Stalin tried for years to get the Western allies to help contain the growing Nazi menace, but they were not interested in the least (I think senator Trumans words in 1941 sums it up). Something simply had to be done to buy some time and secure the Soviet Union from imminent war in the west, furthermore the Soviet Union was already fighting the Japanese to the east which understandably contributed further to this decision.

      I’m sure there are even more details surrounding this that people often forget.

      • Drutten says:

        FORMER prime minister…

        • marknesop says:

          Actually, I left that as it was because I did not realize it was a mistake. Bild has always aimed to cultivate international rather than national interests, and fancies himself quite a global mover and shaker; he often acted more like the Foreign Minister of Poland rather than Sweden. I’m sure Swedes are great people – I don’t think I know any of them closer than I know you – but when they go bad the do so in a dramatic fashion and you end up with individuals like Aslund and Bild.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        Similar to when the British and French prime ministers joined hands in Munich the year before with Hitler, fascist Benito Mussolini acting as “honest broker”, thereby allowing th Nazis to divide up central Europe, with the eternal martyr Poles jumping in to get their slice of the Czechoslovak cake.

        And then there was the Anglo-German Naval Agreementof 1935, but this isn’t spoken of in polite society, to say nothing of the German–Polish Non-Aggression Pact, 1935-1939.

  19. Warren says:

    Rio Paralympics 2016: Russian state dopers should apologise for ban – Craig Spence

    The officials behind Russia’s state-sponsored doping should apologise to their athletes, according to Paralympic committee member Craig Spence.


    • et Al says:

      Pardon my French (as I am still in France at the moment), but what a fat prick!

    • Fern says:

      Well, that’s another name to add to the ever-growing list of folk who should be sued in both an official and personal capacity. And in these various statements by officials like Craig Spence is the amplification of what is now being hinted at – that the ban on Russian athletes participating in Olympic activities might be permanent.

      I gather that the Belorussian Paralympic team offered to carry the Russian flag in the Paralympic Opening Ceremony on behalf of their absent colleagues and have themselves been threatened with a ban since such a gesture would be ‘political’ and contravene God knows how many regulations. Of course, seeking to ban the entire Russian team, possibly for ever, is not political at all. You could just not make this stuff up.

    • marknesop says:

      “We really want the Russian team back competing, but we only want that to happen if we can ensure a level playing field for all our athletes.”

      Translation – we will know the Russians are not doping when their performance falls short of winning medals. We’ve all seen suggestions in the media that Russia’s performance at Sochi proves that they were doping. Canada won 14 gold medals at the 2010 Olympics, which it hosted, breaking the all-time record for most gold medals won at a single Winter Olympics (set by the Soviet Union in 1976 and matched by Norway in 2002). Nobody that I saw suggested the Canadians were doping based on their winnings. America just won twice as many medals as its closest competitor at Rio – is that proof the Americans were doping?

      The ‘doping scandal’ is being kept alive by the western press, mostly the Brits and Americans with some sideline yapping from the Canadians, because it is the latest in a campaign to try to isolate Russia internationally. It has long outlived the amount of press it could be expected to get had it occurred anywhere else. But the west is going to live to regret that when it comes around to legal time, when they are going to wish everyone had forgotten it. Spence, like everyone else, is relying on the McLaren Report, which is fast evolving into the most nefarious and infamous piece of documentation in sports history. Remember, ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’ means that there is no other logical explanation except that the accused is guilty of the crime of which he or she is accused. And McLaren established ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ on events he never saw involving people he never interviewed, yet he was so sure of the testimony of his stool pigeons that he did not even show any of his evidence to the accused – just said, “trust me”. That is a position that is going to be very difficult to defend in court.

      • Hoffnungstirbtzuletzt says:

        And again this whole topic is addressed by Cohen and Batchelor in their recent podcast. And again cohen asks why the bottles are still being used/were used in Rio. Plus interesting views on Minsk ll and the USA election. Cohen speaks very clearly about these topics: https://audioboom.com/boos/4967245-decrying-trump-putin-in-the-new-cold-war-stephen-f-cohen-nyu-princeton-university

        • marknesop says:

          Cohen is a voice in the wilderness on this and many topics, and he is a compelling and deliberate speaker. He makes a couple of tiny mistakes – Rodchenkov was not the head of the Russian anti-doping organization, he was the head of the WADA-accredited Moscow lab. It was not his wife who went to prison on charges of operating a doping ring, it was his sister. That notwithstanding, he makes some very good points, including that Berlinger still advertises that its sample bottles cannot be opened and resealed without visible signs of tampering, and that the bottles are still in use in Rio. He missed, though, as do most other sources, that Rodchenkov himself does not know how the bottles were opened. He referred to it as something accomplished by ‘magicians’, whom he alleged were affiliated with the FSB. He never, ever saw any process carried out for opening the bottles, but says they were returned to him opened with the lid intact. How McLaren could get beyond a reasonable doubt with that is beyond me.

          I think we may yet see McLaren portrayed as the remorseful victim of a clever trickster. And he should not be allowed to get away with it, if the effort comes to pass, because he was a zealot in the anti-Russia crusade and went into it with his eyes open. He should be sued until he has nothing left, and has to live on the streets as a bum.

  20. Moscow Exile says:

    The natives of Ekatinburg are not pleased:

    The authorities are still trying to find and prosecute the perpetrators of this outrage.

    Do these stupid hooligans not know who Yeltsin was?

    Don’t they know how democratic and freedom loving Yeltsin was, that under the guidance of the Chicago Boys he was leading them to the bounteous pastures of a free and truly democratic society?

    Surely they should be showing their dissatisfaction against their present tyrant ruler of the regime in which they suffer such social deprivations?

    That’s what the Western SMS is always reporting, isn’t it, namely that the Russian masses are seething with anger against the Dark Lord and his corrupt entourage and that a popular uprising is close at hand?

    See: хронический полубоянчег

  21. Moscow Exile says:

    To the 10 dark deeds, or to the dark Dharma, Theravada considers them to consist of three physical acts: murder, theft and adultery; four verbal actions: lying, slander, verbal abuse and frivolous speech; and three intentions that are caused by greed, ill-will, and ignorance. … unkindness begets ugliness, many diseases and a bad character…

    the consequences of negative attitudes to the Communist idea:

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Forgot to give the source of the above:

      Еще немного о Латыниной
      A little more about Latynina

      Если уж без “духовности” совсем никак, мне предпочтительней буддизм:

      Without “spirituality” there is nothing at all; I prefer Buddhism.

      That Russian word духовность is a bugger: it’s this “Russian Soul” thing. It means in the broadest sense:

      – one of the most topical and controversial concepts of contemporary knowledge of man about himself as the indivisible element of the living space of the cosmos and about the heart of this space, where localized human intrinsic attribution (in that sense, the essence of a person, which defines it as “the ensemble of social relatedness” according to Karl Marx. Spirituality, according to V. P. Kaznacheeva, “brings together the border of the large limits of our knowledge with the largest limits of our ignorance”. More specifically, spirituality can be considered as: a) a perfect representation of the person in the other (according to A. V. Petrovsky); b) the totality of human values and meanings of knowledge, experiences, relations, creativity (according to V. Frankl); in) the need of each person to transform himself and the circumstances of his life (according to Levine and E. Bauer); g) the need to establishing onesself and life, i. e. in activities, aimed on the fact, that by the destroying certain parties, the Devil, the phenomena of the external world give themselves reality in the form of internal reality (according to Hegel). Spirituality in the modern scientific understanding of the term becomes objective reality, as the principle of the indivisibility of man within his living space, and also the past, present and future of a person. Recoded in human language perception, this integrity may be called spirituality.

      See: Словарь-справочник по социальной работе (Dictionary of social work)

  22. Warren says:

    Israel armed Argentina to deadly effect during Falklands War, secret files show

    Britain’s supposedly close ally, Israel, armed Argentina as the South American nation was bombing Royal Navy ships and killing UK troops in the vicious 1982 war to reclaim the Falkland Islands, secret files indicate.

    The supply of arms and military equipment may have been fuelled by an old hatred of the British harbored by then Israeli Prime Minister Menachim Begin – himself a former Irgun terrorist who fought against British troops in Palestine.

    Israeli exports included Skyhawk jets that were responsible for bombing and sinking the RFA Sir Galahad, a troop ship, leaving 48 dead and numerous horrific injuries.


  23. Warren says:

    • et Al says:

      Even the BBC explainer piece quotes regular travellers as saying that it is not entirely clear that the seats can be taken and seems to be a deliberately ambiguous policy by Virgin trains.

      Rich Branson doth protest too much!

      Al Beeb s’Allah GONAD (God’s Own News Agency Direct): Who, What, Why: When can you sit in a reserved seat on a train?

      …You are allowed to sit in reserved seats that are not occupied. If you speak to a conductor on a busy train they will tell you to do this. It’s usually obvious a few minutes after departure that the person who made the reservation is not coming.

      But the problem is there is no sign that tells you to do this. So even on busy trains people will walk past empty reserved seats. There’s a further confusion when someone places belongings in an otherwise unoccupied empty seat next to theirs….

      …Electronic displays

      For socially reserved Britons it’s not an easy situation, says social historian Joe Moran, author of Shrinking Violets: A field guide to shyness.

      “I think on Virgin trains it is often very ambiguous. One of the things shy people have a problem with is social ambiguity – if things aren’t clear. There might be a bag on it, people might have gone to the toilet.”

      There’s a slightly different situation in much of the rest of Europe. “On the continent you have to take up your seat within 15 minutes of departure,” says Smith…

  24. Moscow Exile says:

    Omnia vincit amor et nos cedamus amori!*

    That rascal Belykh, former governor of the Kirov region is to wed his betrothed — in a Moscow remand centre:

    Экс-губернатор Никита Белых женится в СИЗО 27 августа

    Former governor Nikita Belykh is to get married in a remand centre on 27 August

    According to information given by a source to Radio “Komsomolskaya Pravda”, on Saturday, August 27 in the Moscow gaol “Lefortovo” there will be a wedding: 41-year-old former head of the Kirov region, Nikita Belykh, is to marry his betrothed, Catherine Reifert.

    It seems that Belykh has been allowed to get married in Lefortovo if he testifies. If the wedding takes place, then he has talked.

    Belykh has already had his assets seized by the courts because of the large amount of bribes that he is alleged to have taken.

    *A standing cock has no conscience.

    • et Al says:

      A standing cock has no conscience.

      That is also very true, but was that joke made tongue in cheek?

      Sorry. Couldn’t resist!!! 😉

  25. Warren says:

    ‘Public are the enemy’ of British foreign policy – expert

    UK foreign policy strategists consider the British public to be their enemy and, thus, bombard it with lie upon lie about the UK’s secretive antics around the world, a renowned author and scholar has claimed.

    Writing for the Huffington Post on Monday, historian and foreign policy expert Mark Curtis laid out what he claims is the truth behind British foreign policy in the Middle East.

    “British wars abroad have two enemies. First, the official enemy, portrayed as a monster whom we always battle with noble intentions. But second is the enemy within – us, the public,” he argues in an article titled “We Know about the Lies over Iraq but What about Syria?”


  26. Moscow Exile says:

    The IWF reports that as a consequence of the IOC’s reanalyses of samples from the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games (IOC – wave 2), the samples of the following Athletes have returned Adverse Analytical Findings …

    One Azeri
    Three Byelorussians
    Three Chinese
    Four Kazakhs
    Two Russians
    Two Ukrainians

    • marknesop says:

      And not a single westerner – only the usual suspects. I guess the BALCO scandal marked the end of American doping in professional sports; they were scared straight. Well, except for all the people who have been caught since then.

      This comes back to what I said earlier about American cleverness – forget about controlling doping in sports, you can’t stop it. Get control over the analysis and the anti-doping organization. Then you control the results.

  27. et Al says:

    I have a heart warming story for colliemum.

    A couple of days ago I was in a gallo-roman French village somewhere in southern France and had just popped out of the town’s tourist office. Standing in the shade (^$&$in hot), I perused the local literature only to look up and see a border collie advancing upon me enthusiasticially with a rather used tennis ball in its mouth.

    I looked at the collie. The collie looked at me. I then looked at the collie again and nodded. The collie then put the mangy tennis ball at my feet. I thought “Why not?” so I picked it up, did a few (poor) basket ball moves and flung it as hard as I could. In a flash the collie was after it and brought it back. I then did it a few more times and only stopped when the g/f threatened to hit me. Walking away, I said “Aurevoir” to the dog and saw it disappear in to a nearby open door. With the tennis ball.

    In other news, our host’s cats was beating up a baby Martin this morning so we rescued it. The cat was very p’d off. We thought that the Martin had seen the end of its days but it turned out to have only been traumatized after we examined it for wounds and broken wings after looking up what to do on youtube. The little bugger is happily sitting in a small box with holes and is being fed regularly, well out of evil cat’s reach.

    • Fern says:

      Another collie dog story that colliemum would like. There was a newspaper report last week about a family, inspired by watching the Olympics, who bought a trampoline for use in the garden. Dad assembled it and, in no time, the kids were out the back, bouncing around, having great fun. Another member of the family had also watched the Olympics and was anxious to join in the fun – the family dog, a collie. He rushed out into the garden, hurled himself onto the trampoline and sailed effortlessly over the fence into the next door neighbour’s garden. Luckily, he landed safely.

      • Jen says:

        Our neighbours have a border collie who guards their house during the day. When she was small she came through a hole in the fence and took all our garden shoes. We got most of them back. When I go to water the plants in the back garden, she immediately rushes to the bottom of her garden and sticks her head through another hole in the fence for our little game where I spray over the fence but keep moving the hose so she has to keep chasing the water as it comes over.

        The neighbours’ yard is always a mess with toys strewn everywhere

        This website has a story about a BC that fought a vacuum cleaner and nearly lost her teeth:

  28. et Al says:

    via Propeace post over at Moon of Alabama:

    Oilprice.com: http://oilprice.com/Latest-Energy-News/World-News/Georgia-Foils-Terror-Attack-on-Russia-Armenia-Gas-Pipeline.html

    Georgia’s security services have thwarted an attempt by terrorists to blow up a pipeline that supplies natural gas from Russia to Armenia in an area outside Georgia’s capital Tbilisi, Russian-language Georgian website Gruzia Online reported on Monday.

    Georgia’s State Security Service have detained seven people, including a police patrol officer, who were trying to blow up the Russia-Armenia pipeline and are now facing charges of having links to terrorist organizations. One of the detainees has often traveled to Ukraine, Gruzia Online reported, citing a security services official…

    It’s exactly the kind of thing that the US and its allies would back. Any shit, anywhere.

  29. Northern Star says:


    You Stooges have it all wrong….

    Ukraine is totally festive and free…

    .Russian oppression……Se acabo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • marknesop says:

      “The Euromaidan and elections that followed brought in Poroshenko and the most reform-minded government and parliament in Ukraine’s history. The achievements of this new government are significant. The move to market pricing in natural gas has removed the country’s major source of corruption and hugely reduced the deficit. The government has also established a transparent system for government procurement and undertaken a major reform of the banking system. That said, the government has not moved as rapidly on reform as it should, and corruption continues to be a major scourge.”

      Wonderful. Going to market pricing for gas had the benefit of forcing efficiency, because suddenly pensioners had to choose between eating and being warm, but I doubt many of them would describe it as ‘progressive’. On top of regular and massive price increases introduced by Maidan governments, newly-appointed PM (and Poroshenko crony) Groysman doubled them as a welcome-to-me present. This, we are told, removed the major source of corruption! Oh, but wait – corruption continues to be a major scourge, even with its major cause removed. Net accomplishment? Fuck all.

      Oh, but going to market prices for gas hugely reduced the deficit. Which was nearly double in the first six months of 2016 what it had been the previous year, $682.6 million over the previous $351.1 million. That’s some creative accounting there; I’m impressed. Some would call it ‘lying’.

  30. et Al says:

    I think the Syrian/Russian side needs to put it out there, officially or unofficially that the USAF and coalition forces will back the SDF in ethnic cleansing non-pro kurdish forces and populations from their homes.

    The US and its allies (coz they are hiding under Big Momma’s skirts) need to be put on the spot and not be left with the option of ambiguous bs spouted by some third rate US DoS spokesdick who seems to be the first person to spell out US policy, i.e. not a top ranking official.

    I suspect, like others, that the US is deliberately trying to manoeuvre Russia in to an all in or fold situation. So far Russia has been banking its political and military successes at apposite intervals. It’s no skin of the US’ nose if Russia tells them straight to f-off, but if Russia doesn’t then the US will consider that they are still in the game and push even more.

    The potential ethnic cleansing point really does need to be heavily made. After all, the West (including a whole host of humashite groups, ngos, wanktanks etc.) has spent the formative years of its global dominance in demanding that ethnic cleansing being stopped and not rewarded in the Balkans. This is not a point against the Kurds per se, but about the US not pretzelising the UN mandate to fight ISIS in to something completely different as they did with Libya.

  31. Moscow Exile says:

    McFaul dropped a bollock twice on his Tweet page when congratulating Banderastan on its independence day.

    First dropped bollock was when he got the Yukie rag wrong. He deleted the tweet, but Violetta Volkova (that’s right: Feigin’s old Pussy Riot co-counsel for the defence) has revealed all:

    It was put right, but we have screened it

    Second dropped bollock was when he got the flag upside down

    Second attempt also failed. Michael, this time the flag is upside down

    Then he finally got it right:


    What a wally!

    • Moscow Exile says:

      Here’s the KP story on the above:

      Макфол дважды ошибся с флагом в поздравлении ко Дню независимости Украины

      McFaul twice made a mistake with the flag in greeting the Ukraine on its Independence Day

      Эту оплошность дипломата заметили многие пользователи, поэтому он посчитал нужным объясниться.

      «Извините, я пытался разместить мой украинский флаг из дома и обидел столь многих людей неправильным цветом (из-за фона) или перевернутым снимком. Прошу не обращать на это внимания», – цитирует заявление американца «Лента.ру».

      This mistake made by the diplomat was noticed by many users, so he found it necessary to explain.

      “Sorry, I tried to place my Ukrainian flag from the house and offended so many people because of the wrong colour (for background) or inverted image. Please do not pay attention to it”, Lenta.ru quotes the American.

      It would be better, I should imagine, not to pay any attention at all to what that dickhead says or does.

    • cartman says:

      The first is zoomed in on the Russian black-gold-white flag?

  32. Northern Star says:

    Eventually in America..the confrontation will be between the fascists and those of us who must turn the page..

  33. Warren says:

    • Warren says:

      This is the future Maidanites have envisaged for Ukraine – to be once more ruled by Poles and Lithuanians.

      • kirill says:

        Western Ukrainians (aka Banderastanis) have a pathological variant of the Stockholm syndrome that has become culturally ingrained. Poland has for centuries treated them like some colony of second class citizens. They never experienced the sort of abuse and discrimination at the hands of Russians that they have at the hands of Poles. But the Poles, through brutal assimilation policies have managed to “convert” these Ukrainians.

        BTW, the Poles were quite abusive when they controlled western Ukraine between 1920 and 1939. The Ukrainian part of my family lived this through this so I know what I am talking about. So all this parading together with Poles while hating Russians is grotesque to me.

        • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

          I’m quite sure western Ukrainians hate the Poles as much as they ever did.

          Perhaps you recall the recent incident where Ukrainians living in Poland held marches in the Kresy region, shouting ‘Poland has not yet perished – but it will!’?

        • Moscow Exile says:

          That’s why they, in the West at least, call themselves “Pan”. I have never heard a Ukrainian from Donetsk or the Crimea or Odessa being addressed as “Pan”.

          Pan is used to varying degrees in a number of countries – Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ukraine, and Belarus. Historically, Pan was equivalent to “Lord” or “Master” (ruler, suzerain).

          Pan is most common in Poland. The feminine form is Pani and the collective is Państwo. Panna is sometimes used to refer to young women but is becoming less common. The use of Pan differs significantly from English honorifics. It is used as an honorific (roughly equivalent to Mr) before the name (first name and surname, only surname, or only first name) and as a form of address without the name (roughly equivalent to “Sir”).

          Use of Pan with the first name in Poland marks a combination of familiarity and respect. Unlike “Sir”, Pan is used both ways between persons of both equal and unequal rank (a waiter will address a guest as Pan, and the customer reciprocates, much like using Monsieur in French). Using Pan with only the surname is regarded as a disrespectful way of addressing people, even somewhat condescending, when it is used to a superior. Using Pan with only the surname, however, is normally respectful if talking about somebody. Pan is never used about oneself (unlike “Mr”).

          Source: Slavic honorifics

          That freak Novodvorskaya used to use the term “Pan” when addressing Banderites in her videos.

          Here she is slobbering away in her last video address to West Ukrainian separatists:

          The video was made by “Euromaidan PR”. See the pitifully few comments (3 in all) since the video was published just over 2 years ago., which comments appeared 1 year ago.

          And notice the English subtitles written by a “wannabe” Westerner Yukie:

          “…what are you gonna die for? We can’t understand here. Why are you going to die? And whom for?…” [0.46]

          Valeriya Ilyinichna Novodvorskaya R.I.P. (Rot Into Pieces)

  34. Northern Star says:

    Hmmmm…I think they should go after super nazi beast thing in kiev!!!

    • Drutten says:

      One thing people don’t seem to realize (because they’re so used to it, it’s ingrained at a subconcious level) is that U.S. superhero films are shoddy pieces of U.S. propaganda, much like the rest of what Hollywood spew out at a regular basis. That’s how it all started back in the day, and that theme remains, though sometimes it’s well disguised or only implied at some level. Holy hell, I saw that abysmal thing “Batman v. Superman” and certain scenes were so soaked in U.S. patriotism that it was overwhelming.

      Sometimes I’m willing to go as far as to call it outright psy-ops, no other country does this at this scale and the impact it has makes children (the principal audience) all over the world embrace U.S. exceptionalism. No joke, man.

      Whenever say Russia or China does something vaguely similar, people start freaking out a bit, you often hear them say how “cringeworthy” it is and what not. The wrong guys are the heroes, the subliminal messages are all wrong, you know. Well guess what, THAT freaks me out.

      Anyway, that particular article you linked was somewhat decent and not as annoying as the dozen or so others I have read about this film recently. As for me, I’ll watch Защитники for the fun of it… In Russian, because if those trailer voiceovers are any indication of what the dub’s gonna be like then I’ll skip that.

  35. Cortes says:

    Shamir on the herding of “western” media:


    A great read!

  36. et Al says:

    Crikey, the US has stabbed the Kurds already in the back. Well that didn’t take long.

    Al Beeb s’Allah GONAD (God’s Own News Agency Direct): IS conflict: Turkey-backed Syrian rebels ‘take Jarablus

    …US Vice-President Joe Biden said the US had been flying air cover for the operation.

    He also warned members of the Syrian Democratic Forces – the most effective opponents of IS on the ground in Syria – that they had to return to the east of the River Euphrates if they wanted to continue receiving its help.

    “We have made it absolutely clear… that they must go back across the river,” he said. “They cannot, will not, and under no circumstances get American support if they do not keep that commitment.”..

    …Responding to news of the Jarablus offensive, PYD leader Saleh Moslem tweeted that Turkey was now in the “Syrian quagmire” and would be defeated like IS….

    Maybe I misread it earlier, but I’m sure that I read that Turkey also wanted recently liberated (by the SDF) Manbij.

    Anyway, here’s Moon of Alabama’s take: Kurds Lose Out As Neo-Ottoman Turks Steal Syria’s Jarablus


    Don’t forget to check out the comments.

    • marknesop says:

      Joe Biden received at the airport in Turkey by the deputy mayor of Ankara!! Ha, ha – they might as well have sent the secretary of the Greengrocers’ alliance. If that was intended to be a message, it was not, “Welcome to Ankara, good to see you again, old friend!”

    • et Al says:

      From the MoA piece above:

      …Today the Turkish government announced that it will not only take Jarablus but also Manbij and throw the Kurds back east behind the Euphrates river…

  37. et Al says:

    The Register: French submarine builder DCNS springs leak: India investigates

    India is investigating a security breach affecting its French-built Scorpene-class submarines after more than 22,000 pages covering its secret capabilities were leaked.

    First reported in The Australian, the documents offer details on the designs of the submarines, which were put together by French company DCNS.

    Based on the Scorpene design, and dubbed the Kalvari class, the first diesel-electric boat is due to enter service by the end of this year.

    The Australian posted redacted excerpts from the leaked documents on its site, and reported it had seen thousands of pages offering details of the Scorpene’s underwater sensors, above-water sensors, its combat management system, its torpedo launch system and specifications, and its communications and navigation systems…

    Putin did it! Obviously. I just wanted to be first.

    One of the commenters says that the report is hyped and there appears to be nothing particularly special. We’ll see, but whoever did it is quite naughty. It looks like the leak is from the Indian side…

    When I get back, I’m going to watch Das Boot again. In a dark room. By myself. I might even shake a cup of coffee during the depth charge scenes.

    • marknesop says:

      That was the greatest submarine movie ever; a classic. When they’re trying to creep past Gibraltar, on the surface at night, I could feel my nails biting into my palms. U-571 had a great scene where you see the hull of the sub actually whipsawing and flexing from the outside view as depth charges go off near it, but the technical skill was overcome by stars-and-stripes patriotism. Das Boot is at the top of the heap.

      • Cortes says:

        Agreed. Peerless.

        Book was great, too.

        • Cortes says:

          For sheer mindless nonsense there’s always this:


          • marknesop says:

            Those dirty Krauts. You can never trust a German. What? They’re our friends now??!!! Uhhh…what I meant was, those dirty Commies. You can never trust a Russian.

            You gotta love that ole American can-do spirit. Not many would think of using a crane to pick up an unexploded torpedo and use it as a gravity bomb.

            • Cortes says:

              Nevertheless the movie foretold the rise of the NGO role in Colour Revolution:

              Several Peace Corps volunteers serving in towns near the Orinoco River were recruited to play Nazi submariners. The volunteers donated their daily wages to the Venezuelan school districts or other organizations with whom they were working at the tIme.

      • et Al says:

        There’s also the 1985 TV mini series that comes in at 4h35mins over six episodes. When watching it, you don’t realize that all your muscles are taut and that you are sitting the edge of your seat. Literally.

  38. Northern Star says:

    Try this Senor:

  39. Northern Star says:

    Wow!! I did not realize that Amanpour is such a ‘bed wench’ lackey/tool of the fascist PTB
    Learn something everyday!!!!

    • marknesop says:

      Bla, bla, bla. Once Poroshenko could bleat such nonsense directly to the UN. Now he has only aging CNN dowagers to spout off to. CNN just wants to pretend the world is interested in what Poroshenko has to say. It’s not. He always says the same old shit – Russia stole our Crimea, and now it has attacked us with thousands and thousands of regular troops. What the hell would Putin want with Ukraine?

    • yalensis says:

      You didn’t know Amanpour is a tool of the Empire??

      By the gods, that imperialist wench is married to James Rubin, who was none other than Bubba’s butt monkey!

      • marknesop says:

        I would have been willing to bet James Rubin was related to Jennifer Rubin as well, the hydrophobic Washington Post columnist and defender of American exceptionalism, but I can’t find any connection. They certainly share the same philosophy – America is meant to lead the world.

  40. Cortes says:

    Unprofessional towel-heads disrupt freedom of navigation in the Straits of Hormuz! Action needed!

    Such a shame no, repeat NO credibility remains:


  41. marknesop says:

    But WADA, although it backed down for the Liverpool footballer, ‘took a tough stance‘ in the case of Indian wrestler Narsingh Yadav. He got a four-year suspension and banned from Rio although he swore competitors had spiked his drink to make him test positive, and his national anti-doping agency had cleared him. The subhead says it all:

    “Yadav may have been innocent as NADA claims but his participation would have been against the principles of fair play and doping-free sport”.

    But if you’re a Frenchman playing for a British football club, we believe your story.

    Any do you know why? Because that fucking Dick Pound is also a member of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). He’s everywhere; a member of the ‘Independent Commission’ that found Russia guilty of state-sponsored doping, member of CAS, honorary member of the IOC, honorary member and past President of WADA. There’s no agency you can go to in international sport that does not have Dick Pound’s fingerprints all over it. There’s another guy who needs to be sued into the ground.

  42. Tony Seed says:

    Mark Tewkesbury was in Rio not as a swimmer but as a “colour commentator” for the CBC, so a better headline would be “Olympian, CBC journalist or politician. Make up your mind.” The ‘doper’ Yelana Isinbayeva was elected by her fellow athletes at Rio, despite being excluded from the pole vault competition of which she is the reigning World Record holder, to the IOC with over 1,300 votes, the third highest total.

    • marknesop says:

      Thanks for the correction; I saw him described only as a swimmer. That makes more sense now, because he seemed to have a lot of time to shoot his mouth off. Commentators have really made fools of themselves this time around – the partisanship is naked and ugly.

  43. marknesop says:

    Ho hum. Putin is bored. There is apparently not enough going on upon the world stage to keep him busy, so he has offered to host Israel-Palestine peace talks in Russia.

    I’m being sarcastic, of course, because that’s just me, but the offer is apparently being taken very seriously. And the aim is clear – for Russia to supplant the USA in the Middle East. Russia is not slowing down at all; in fact, it is accelerating.

    • yalensis says:

      Well, Russia would be a pretty good broker for this conflict, since they are friends with both sides.
      Most of the other players are partisan to one or the other side.

      • yalensis says:

        P.S. – Just noticed the fact that “Russia was the first country to recognise the state of Palestine in 1988…”
        Russia (Soviet Union) was also the first nation in the world to recognize the state of Israel on May 17, 1948.
        If that isn’t good will brokerage, I don’t know what is.

  44. Drutten says:

    Russia’s culture minister calls ‘Suicide Squad’ a ‘garbage’ film after it breaks Russian box-office record

    I love this. Meduza themselves write:
    Despite miserable reviews, the film has earned more than half a billion dollars worldwide

    Wikipedia notes:
    Suicide Squad received generally negative reviews from critics.

    …But Meduza attempts to spin into something negative the fact that the Russian minister of culture has better taste than your average moviegoer and that critics worldwide agree.

  45. marknesop says:

    Oh, my. Mark Galeotti is extremely upset and not having a good day at all, thanks to Putin. Damn the man! Doesn’t he know how to lose?

    That’s right, folks – thanks to the west’s weakness and its unwillingness to just tell Russia to get the fuck off the planet, it has failed once again in its efforts to help the good people of Russia break free from the shackles and bonds placed upon them by that demonic dwarf, Lilli-Putin. If only they could slip their bonds, they might have a chance to be as obese, ignorant and incurious as their western counterparts.

    Make a note of this article, will you, Darya? I want to send a copy of it to Mr. Galeotti when the McLaren Report is thrown out.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      So much of the regime’s legitimacy has, after all, been based on this notion that under Putin, Russians come first — whether taking Crimea regardless of what international law may say…

      And what, pray tell, does “International Law”* say about this matter?

      For that matter, what does “International Law” say about US forces that have ensconced themselves in a sovereign state without having received any permission off such state to do so?

      *Self-determination includes the right of a people of an existing State to choose freely their own political system and to pursue their own economic, social, and cultural development…

      See: Oxford Public International Law: Self Determination

      • marknesop says:

        I have had would-be attorneys argue before that the right to self-determination in Ukraine is not actually a right at all, because it is not specifically addressed in an article, but only mentioned in the Constitution’s preamble.

        So I guess you can put anything you like in the preamble, since that does not carry the weight of law. That might be a good place for countries to sex-up their constitution by putting rights in there that you can’t actually have. Just be sure to not put stupid stuff in there, such as all citizens are entitled to wings, or something that is demonstrably against the law, such as the right to ignore the speed limit.

        I am sure the drafters of the constitution intended for self-determination to carry the weight of law, since it is a basic human right that the country does not have the authority to deny, or the Americans will be there with their tanks and their R2P doctrine.

  46. Kulobi says:

    An Honorary Member of the Ukrainian Psychiatric Association with Dutch/Lithuanian/Georgian roots celebrated the 25th anniversary of nezalezhnost’ using a Mosaic allegory: “I fear Ukraine needs another fifteen years. The forty years in the desert needs to be completed.”
    In line of Ukraine’s congenital affinity with Europe, parallels with Völkerwanderung (400 years) or Aryan migrations (3000 years) seem more appropriate.

    • yalensis says:

      Speaking of which… I read some books on ancient Jewish history, and most reputable Israeli archaologists believe that the 40 year thing in the Sinai is just a myth. Since there is zero archaeological evidence of an entire people camping out there for 40 years. Which would have left some archaeological evidence behind, of which there is zero!

      • Jen says:

        40 is a mystical number in the Jewish religion. Noah’s Ark sailed for 40 days and 40 nights during the flood until it came to rest, supposedly on Mount Ararat.


        • yalensis says:

          Hm… The number “40” is also a strange one in Russian. It deviates from the usual pattern of, say, “dvatsat” (2-tens) for 20; “tritsat” (3-tens) for 30, “patsat” (5 tens) for 50, etc.

          Instead, the word for 40 is “sorok”, a completely different word that has nothing to do with anything else. Obviously some history there, but nobody knows the derivation.
          Probably some pagan or Indo-Aryan thing about “40” being the biggest number that people could physically count, or something like that. Back in the mists of time.

    • marknesop says:

      Indeed. Welcome back, Kulobi, it’s been a long time!

      You can have the luxury of evolving slowly, so long as your economy is stable. Ukraine’s is not, and it is living on borrowed time and handouts. The government announced in the last couple of days that if it did not receive the next tranche of IMF money, it would have to start cutting services.

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