Ukraine on the Proud Highway: Skidding in Broadside.

Uncle Volodya says, “Don’t waste time beating on a wall, hoping it will turn into a door.”

“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!”
– Hunter S. Thompson, “The Proud Highway: Saga of a Desperate Southern Gentleman, 1955-1967”

Whew! It’s been a hell of a ride, hasn’t it, Ukraine? But all roads end somewhere, just as this one must. Despite having the IMF and a host of other western institutions as your pit crew, spraying Febreze into the air to cover the smell of sweat, burning rubber and decomposition, the long, long road (from which there is no return) is drawing to its end. He ain’t heavy, he’s my client state.

Let’s have a look at the current freeze-frame from Trading Economics. Sourced from the World Bank and other global financial and analytic institutions, Trading Economics provides solid benchmark statistical data. In the case of Ukraine, nearly all the data comes from the state statistical service – so this is data Ukraine will admit to.

GDP growth rate – somewhat of a misnomer, it currently sits at 0.6%, a leap upward from the previous quarter’s dismal  -.03. That’s good news, surely? Not necessarily: more about that in a bit. Unemployment rate; 9.1%, down slightly from the previous 10.1%. To put that in perspective, it’s nearly double that of Russia, which is the target of international sanctions that restrict its ability to borrow, rather than the west’s pillow-boy, being coddled with low-interest loans and outright financial gifts. Inflation rate, 16.2%, up a bit from the previous 15.9%. Interest rate, unchanged at 12.5%. Balance of trade, a gulp-inducing -$827 million, another couple of hundred million further from break-even than last quarter’s -$552 million USD. And government debt to GDP ratio, 79%; a full 9% worse than last quarter’s 70%.

This is a snapshot of a country in serious trouble. But how can that be, you say, or you should. Ukraine’s western backers are doing everything they can short of just flying in planeloads of money and throwing it out the windows.

The short answer is that the west has failed in its project to turn Ukraine into the ever-popular imaginary icon of a prosperous western-oriented market democracy. But the magnitude and depth of that failure have yet to be plumbed. And let’s understand each other here: I’d love to cheer for the west, I really would. I live here, I like it here, and generally I am fond of its people, its culture and its values. I have a real problem with some of its governments, but that’s my privilege as a resident of a free society.

But imagine for a second that the west is a child, and you are its parent. When it does something bad, do you reward it? Hell, no. When it does something bad which hurts other people, should the punishment be lighter, tougher, or should there be none? Setting social and even international boundaries for your policies is broadly little different from parenting. If you reward bad behavior, it is the same as encouraging it.

Western agencies and special interests, proudly led by the US State Department, overthrew the elected government of Ukraine and put in place a hand-picked crowd of revolutionaries and oligarchs. This is not even a matter for debate; the Maidan was lousy with State Department officials, American senators, European diplomats and fixers, and the former Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs at the United States Department of State and the former United States Ambassador to Ukraine were caught red-handed, on the telephone, planning the new government which would result while Yanukovych was still nominally President. The western democracies put the revolutionary government in place, interfered constantly in the subsequent election with their relentless promotion of Poroshenko (considering the second-largest Ukrainian diaspora is in Canada), encouraged the martial punishment of eastern Ukraine in what Kiev likes to call the Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) (because using the Ukrainian military against Ukrainian citizens is forbidden by the country’s constitution) and encouraged Kiev in every one of its anti-Russian activities in a clear attempt to stoke enmity between the two. The western democracies continue to prop up the demonstrably-unpopular Poroshenko government – although they were quick to help overthrow Yanukovych, who was more popular before the coup that drove him from the country than Poroshenko was only a year after taking office. He’s even less popular now. Last, but far from least, two of the western democracies – Canada and the United States – joined non-entity Palau and Corruption-capital Ukraine in voting against the Russian-sponsored Resolution on the Condemnation of Glorification of Nazism. Please note that only one of those countries wields a UN veto, which should not detract from the shame of the others. I doubt anyone will forget it.

The western democracies – I’d like to call them something else, but just ‘the west’ makes me sound too commie-lover – pressured their own institutions to pervert and subordinate their own good-governance rules to politics, in order to allow Ukraine to continue receiving money although the former rules prohibited it. And now, at last, we are reaping the wages of stupidity and partisanship. Are these behaviors appropriate to reward, or punishment? You tell me, Dad and Mom.

Anyway, back to economics for a moment. Ukraine’s GDP showed a little bit of growth, which we speculated might be encouraging. Is it? Not really.

When the bottom fell out of the Ukrainian hryvnia, Ukrainians who still had a bit of money were desperate to protect the value of the currency they held. Please note that the site referenced tries to link the crash of the hryvnia to Yanukovych’s decision to turn away from the European Union Association Agreement. In fact, you can match it almost to the minute to the explosion of violence on the Maidan.

The tendency at the time was to purchase foreign currency as a hedge, often American dollars. But that has changed – changed in a way which presents a false indicator of Ukrainian fiscal stability.

What is driving the Ukrainian GDP growth is a boom in construction. In a country where the standard of living is steadily declining. If those two statements seem like they shouldn’t go together, it’s because they don’t.  Driven off of their foreign-currency position by the failure of the hryvnia to come back, and to rise in value against the American dollar, coupled with the latter currency’s weakness, Ukrainians are plowing their savings into housing as an investment, hoping to protect what remains of their cracked nest eggs.

Meanwhile, the biggest hard-currency contribution to the Ukrainian economy, aside from Russian investment in Ukraine (the biggest of the country’s investors by quite a stretch), is remuneration by the Ukrainians who have gone abroad to work. Where have most of them gone? Well, what language do most of them speak? That’s right – Russian. The great majority of those who fled the country went to ‘the aggressor’, Russia, from whence they now send home nearly a quarter of the Ukrainian state budget, and 7% of GDP. How long before it sinks in among the western meddlers that their project to split Ukraine away from Russia has instead left Russia with a turn-key implosion option that it can exercise, remotely, any time it likes? Can there be any doubt that only pity stays its hand? It certainly is not fear of the west, whose sanctions are the best thing to happen to Russia in decades.

If it was me who brought about this epic cock-up, this cluster-fuck for the Guinness records…I’d be pretty ashamed of myself. But it wasn’t me. In fact, I think you will find I argued against just about every foolish, wrong-headed and mean-spirited course the western democracies have taken.

But that doesn’t mean I’m incapable of pity at their disastrous consequences.

This entry was posted in Corruption, Economy, Europe, Government, Investment, Law and Order, Military, Politics, Russia, Strategy, Trade, Ukraine, Vladimir Putin and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2,032 Responses to Ukraine on the Proud Highway: Skidding in Broadside.

  1. Jen says:

    For anyone who has just over 34 minutes to spare, here is Vladimir Putin’s speech in the final plenary session of the 14th session of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi.

    English-language transcript of the speech plus further discussion with Fyodor Lukyanov, Hamid Karzai (former President of Afghanistan), Jack Ma (founder and executive chairman of Alibaba Group) and Margarita Simonyan (RT) at this link:

    • marknesop says:

      Well, well: look at that – Kosovo came up. Says Putin, European leaders presided over the disintegration of several European states and did not hide their joy. But now they are all in a sweat about Catalonia. He suggests that there are apparently ‘good’ independence movements and ‘bad’ independence movements. Trust Putin not to gild the lily.

    • yalensis says:

      Putin made a lot of good points, but lost me at “Will Artificial Intelligence become an entity separate from humans?”
      Excuse me, dude, but that is simply laughable B.S.!
      (I can’t believe a guy as smart as Putin drank the A.I. Kool-aid!)

      • Patient Observer says:

        Corporations are entities separate from humans – very deep, I know:)

        I don’t think that he was imagining a huge think tank with tentacles wrapped around necks. Rather he could have been referring to the reliance of “AI” to do things like turn off the lights at night, feed the cat and drive our cars. AI can disconnect humans from the world that matters to such a degree that we become unhinged; dominated by the goal of stimulating pleasure neurons while AI cleans up after us. It would be narcissism gone wild.

        Also AI in the form of facial and voice recognition, a cashless society (all transaction would be monitored and analyzed) and addiction to social media provides the means to regulate human affairs and root out the malcontents. Of course, the error rate would be phenomenal but perhaps sufficient to crush resistance.

        But it won’t happen. Most of the world would be too poor to afford such luxuries even with the likes of Google and FB trying to wire the world’s population to the internet for “their own good”. But, they will try and I think that may be what Putin’s warning is about.

        • yalensis says:

          If that’s what he means, then these are valid concerns.
          I was just worried that Putin had bought into the Terminator-type future where digital robots acquire consciousness and purpose – argg!
          It is far more likely that we will encounter hostile intelligent (but non-digital) aliens who will hook us up for bio-fuel, like those chaps in The Matrix!

          • Patient Observer says:

            It may already have happened but rather than bio-fuel, they feed off our flabby ego-centric narcissistic mental energy. You know, demons of old or inorganic beings in the world of Carlos Castaneda. Or, something completely beyond our comprehension may be at work. Or, it could be just weird genetic mutations that caused aberrant mental states of those individuals who seek to rule us. Need to keep an open mind.

          • Jen says:

            Isn’t it more likely that AI systems end up being so complicated that even sub-sections of them become difficult for one person or a group of people to describe properly, even if they were using another database or system to describe them? In that sense, we end up losing control over these AI systems and in that sense they become “foreign” to us.

            There is also the possibility that at a sub-atomic level, something in these systems may flip and lead to a viral domino effect that spreads through AI systems and they start to behave as if they had acquired consciousness.

            • Patient Observer says:

              I think the Heinlein story The Moon is a Harsh Mistress had a large computer becoming self-aware and a friend of the lunar revolutionaries.

              A pretty good book and movie “Colossus – The Forbin Project” told the story of a super US military computer given direct control of the US nuclear arsenal and it figures out on its own that there was “another system”. The other turned out to be a Soviet super computer assigned the same task. These two silicon buds team up and decide that they together can rule the world for the benefit of the human race. Malcontents try to stop them but fail. I don’t think that there was a sequel.


              • marknesop says:

                And, of course, there was ‘War Games’, which had a young Matthew Broderick hacking into a massive defense computer (tongue-in-cheekily codenamed “WOPR”) in the hope of playing an exciting game among its modelling, called “Global Thermonuclear War”. Sort of pre-AI or almost-AI, in which the computer has to be told what to do to kick off the scenario, but after that actively blocks attempts to circumvent its program or turn it off. All to the accompaniment of a creepy metallic machine-voice. It was quite good for its day.

        • Lyttenburgh says:

          The prevalence of the so-called “A.I.” in the future would be notriously countered by the combine law of Parkinson-Murphy, i.e. “The increas of capacity and quantity of resources of any system does not affect the efficiency of its operation, since all new resources and even some of the old ones would be wasted on eliminations of internal problems (errors) that arise as a result of the very increase in resources.”. One only has to look at the space science sphere right now.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      If granny had become POTUS there might have been a lot more radiation around the world because of her “charm”.

    • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

      The next logical step for her is walking around naked in public while the NYT lavishes praise on her stunning new clothes.

      • Patient Observer says:

        Why don’t they just give her a lifetime achievement award for something so she can stop trying?

      • yalensis says:

        “Why aren’t I 50 points ahead?”
        Maybe it’s your poor grammar, for starters, Killery.
        The correct grammar is: “Why ain’t I 50 points ahead.”

        Also, to answer ME’s question, Graham Norton is an English comedian and talk-show host. He is a completely vile individual. 99% of his so-called “humor” consists of poorly-constructed fart jokes. And this from the nation which produced Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters, along with so many other literary greats.

      • marknesop says:

        More of her crackpottery which did not make prime-time. Even discounting generously for remarks or moments which might have been deliberately taken out of context, she has a quick temper and a mile-wide sense of entitlement, and does not like being contradicted or situations in which control of the conversation is taken away from her.

    • marknesop says:

      She’s still trying to make it all about her gender, and that she lost because Trump hates women. By extension, that would suggest those who voted for him are also afraid of the stereotypical ‘strong, confident woman’. Does this mean she is giving up on the premise that the Kremlin hacked him into the office? I doubt it.

      It’s comical how they keep insisting she ‘looks Presidential’. What does that mean, exactly? If you don’t say anything, anyone could look presidential because the whole backbone of the American Dream is that anyone could be President. But in reality it is a choice from a very small and very select pool, so perhaps they mean she looks like a Clinton.

    • cartman says:

      Celebrities like to appear on Graham Norton’s show because he’s always easy on them.

  2. Warren says:

    Guardian Wires
    Published on 19 Oct 2017
    The company’s last car will roll off the production line today, signalling the end of car manufacturing in Australia and the death of an Australian cultural icon. The company, which began mass-producing cars with the FX Holden in 1948, employed 23,000 people at its peak in 1964. Among its range were classics including the EH Holden, the Kingswood, the Monaro and the Commodore, one of Australia’s bestselling cars of all time

    The de-industrialisation of the Australian economy continues unabated. Australia appears to be content being a raw material and natural resource exporting country. So long as China’s appetite for Australian iron ore and coal remains, the “lucky country” continues to be such.

    • Patient Observer says:

      Australia should consider diversification as China’s coal consumption continues a three year decline:

      The article mentioned that China is closing inefficient and/or dangerous coal mines thus reducing domestic production. However, coal imports also decline since topping out in 2014. The cost of coal in China rose substantially (I suspected mandated rather than market response in an effort reduce consumption).

      I did not have much success in finding recent data, but Indonesia is another major coal supplier to China. The biggest importer of coal is Japan which is not surprising. NK exports to China are a negligible amount.

      Coal production ins the US appears to be in a huge decline despite that shipment to Ukraine. Too many links to post so early in the morning. Trust but verify.

      • marknesop says:

        The hitch there is that the hard anthracite coal Ukraine burns in its power plants constitutes something like .02% of US production, and is not in great supply in the USA either. Ukraine’s power plants were built to burn it because they had a plentiful supply in the Donbas.

    • Jen says:

      Yes it’s very sad that car manufacturing in Australia has ended. Making cars has long been a bulwark of manufacturing in Australia since the late 1940s. So many other industries depend on car-making – industries such as making components for cars and the machines that help make cars – and in some parts of Australia, even entire towns have relied on car manufacturing as their major industry. Car making is a major driver of robotics development and it’s a shame that without a car manufacturing industry we will be missing out on so much other new technologies that could revitalise and diversify our economy.

      So much has changed though over the last 70 years: other countries in the East Asia region also make cars, but with cheaper labour (and hidden barriers that act as tariffs on Australian imports). The costs of shipping cars from these countries to consumer markets are much less compared to the costs of shipping cars from Australia to consumer markets (because Australia is so far away from export markets). Also in recent years the Federal government here (under Tony Abbott) refused to subsidise car manufacturing more money than the industry was accustomed to get even though in most countries including the US, Germany, China and Japan, government subsidisation of the car industry is a given.

      Now folks, remember that Tony Abbott after being deposed as Australian PM chooffed off to Ukraine to become part of Porky Pig’s panel of foreign advisors.

  3. Patient Observer says:

    Turns out one of the safer jobs with perks and benefits up the ying yang is to serve is the US military.

  4. Lyttenburgh says:

    The following piece ties in with my recent post about the deterioration of the US military hardware. This time the subject is “soft”-ware.

    The Vast Majority Of Americans In Their 20s Are Unfit For Military Service

    The military is facing a growing recruiting crisis: 71% of Americans between 17 and 24 can’t meet the minimum criteria for service, which places the burden of service on an ever-small and shrinking pool of troops with a family history of joining the military.


    Some quick math shows what the services are up against. For the Army, the recruiting goal for the coming fiscal year is roughly 180,000 new soldiers. According to a detailed analysis by Army Times, only 9.7 million out of the 33.4 million Americans between 17 and 24 meet the Army’s minimum standards. The reasons for disqualification range from failure to meet weight and fitness standards, misconduct, medical issues, mental health, and substance abuse concerns.

    Once you take into account whether or not the remaining 9.7 million are enrolled in college — and that the Army doesn’t want the bare minimum for its future soldiers — the recruiting pool shrinks to just 1.7 million. And that’s before you get to those who are even interested in enlisting. What you’re left with is just 136,000 potential recruits interested in joining out of the original pool of 33.4 million, Army Times reports.

    A less diverse, more insular volunteered force

    Military service is increasingly shouldered by a small subset of the population — a “warrior caste” of multigenerational military families — and that population is shrinking. According to a Nov. 11, 2016 Pew Research report, the number of veterans has fallen by half since 1980, and as it declines, so too does the share of Americans with close ties to the military — those most likely to volunteer for service.

    Roughly 80% of recruits entering the military have family members who served in the military; between 22% and 35% are children of veterans, depending on which service you look at, according to an Aug. 2 Slate analysis. Among Americans under 30, just a third have a relative with military service.

    This uneven recruitment is also keenly represented along geographic lines, with a disproportionate number of new troops hailing from rural towns or the South. In 2010, rural Americans accounted for just 20% of the population, but were responsible for providing 44% of military recruits, as Task & Purpose previously reported.


    As USNI points out, the recruitment problem would be compounded if the United States found itself in a security crisis that required a surge of fresh recruits.

    “What happens if we had a national emergency?” Bacon asked during the panel. “I’m concerned about our reserve structure.”

    Turns out it’s difficult for people on the lower end of the income scale (let’s not mince words about the people the armed forces generally attract) to stay in shape when dieting properly and working out is expensive, and a system whereby physical injuries are often aggravated because of lack of treatment. Thus, you have a generation that sits at home playing video games, eating junk food. Many have never played outside or played on team sports. Those that did stopped working out. Those that are fit are either too high or have a criminal record. College does give people the change to become an officer, but, again, they have to be fit and have no criminal record.

    Also, too many people are simply not fit enough: broken bones, sprained joints, torn muscles, mental issues. The shock of going from unfit flabby civilian to soldier/marine/airmen/sailor has been too much for a lot of people.

    The goal of Basic Training is to get a civilian up to speed and ready for military life. The problem is that many are just not ready and throwing more money/revising the whole Basic training won’t help even as a stopgap measure.

    • marknesop says:

      You could add Canada to that; when I was on my Senior Leadership Course in Quebec years and years ago, you could buy boots for half-price which were already highly shone, at the stores department. They had belonged to recruits who washed out of basic training within weeks, after having been issued their full uniform. I was told by the platoon leaders that the great majority of them had done so because they were unable to meet the fitness standard. An astonishing number were unable to climb a rope, too fat and soft from a life of playing video games and being driven everywhere they went by their mothers. When you think about it, few young men in North America are fit for military service just as they are, except for those who became interested in sports in school and continued to pursue them on an amateur or perhaps state/province level. Sports generally demands the same standard as the military, especially the infantry, with emphasis on distance running and upper-body strength.

      When I was in school, Physical Education (more often known as “Gym Class”) was mandatory and you could not elect not to take it. I’m not sure what the present position is on it, because although society as a whole recognizes the dangers of the obesity epidemic and great strides have been made against the elimination of sugary snacks in schools, mandatory physical exercise bumps up against the human-rights priority.

      To those who pursue regular sports you could add the element who are concerned with physical fitness for its health benefits, and are regular runners or cyclists or swimmers but not interested in team sports. But the two groups together are a pretty small pool overall compared with those eligible for military service because of their age.

      • Lyttenburgh says:

        “When I was in school, Physical Education (more often known as “Gym Class”) was mandatory and you could not elect not to take it.”


        Mark, right now my brain is ready to give me a BSOD, trying to process the idea that PhysEd (rus. “физическая культура” aka “физ-ра”) could NOT be mandatory at school.

        I just… just… AAAAAH!

        “…mandatory physical exercise bumps up against the human-rights priority.”

        Here comes BSOD for me…

        I mean – ah, c’mon! You are Canadians! You have badass hockey teams!

        • marknesop says:

          That’s true. But that’s because we are descended from star beings, and meant to be a little above. But once we used to be a little more like Russians than we are now.

          Seriously, there are quite a few people who pursue a high standard of fitness for health reasons, and quite a few who pursue it for sports ambitions. But schools are getting softer and softer around the edges and our curriculum – generally speaking – is edging ever closer to that terrible model in which failure is too traumatic for children, and so any standard they achieve is a success. Parents also have too much clout in a lot of situations, and schools bend over backward to accommodate religious customs and enforce tolerance and acceptance. That’s not necessarily bad, but it sometimes gives parents a stick to beat the school with. Especially those who make a business out of being offended.

      • Jen says:

        A big part of the issue also with declining levels of fitness among young people – Australia also has a problem with rising levels of obesity – is that in many areas where young people live, community facilities catering to their needs don’t exist, often because when local councils propose building them, they are shouted down at council meetings: few people want skateboard parks, basketball courts or hang-out areas next to their homes or schools because of perceived associations (however actual or not) with vandalism, graffiti and drug dealers. Suburbs and housing developments left to the whims of private developers don’t feature enough open space areas like parks that would encourage families with children to walk or play together. Even the design of neighbourhoods (not enough pavement areas or sidewalks, not enough pedestrian crossings across streets, public transport being too far away) can be enough to discourage walking and other forms of exercise.

        Another complication is that with the emphasis on native plants being planted in parks and public areas (because they help to conserve water among other things), the rates of allergies caused by airborne pollen among children and even adults go up. I have no idea how these allergies can affect children’s participation in outdoor sport, especially team sports. Of course, exercise can help people to control their allergies but children especially need the right kind of guidance, like breathing exercises and meditation / relaxation exercises to help control their allergic reactions, so they can exercise.

        One major paradox too is that the most sports-obsessed nations like Australia have this issue with obesity and low levels of fitness among the general public, probably because so much spending on sport goes to the elite levels of sports and not on encouraging people at beginner and beginner-to-intermediate levels to keep going. Many migrants coming to live in Australia are from countries where sport is seen as a Western luxury pursued by a small rich elite and / or where physical activity is to be looked down upon because only very poor people engage in it.

        • Fat Bastard says:

          Dieting without exercise is problematical as well.

        • Fern says:

          Just to add to those reasons for lower levels of physical activity listed by Jen – here in the UK there has been a huge selling-off of school playing fields. This is called ‘maximising assets’ by those advocating it – as schools are (deliberately) kept short of funds, land sales seem a good way of boosting income. Most of the sales are, of course, to private developers who erect yet more overly-expensive blocks of flats on them. Also, in the US, there seems a shocking shortage of fresh food stores – in some parts of the country, you have to travel for literally miles to find anywhere selling fresh fruit, veg and meat.

          • Lyttenburgh says:

            ” This is called ‘maximising assets’ by those advocating it”

            “Maximising assets”..Marvelous example of double-speak. Nearly as good one as “democratic reforms”.

          • Patient Observer says:

            Detroit achieve notoriety in being a city of well over 500,000 population (from its peak of 2+ million) by not having a single grocery store within the city limits. Residents, many who had to rely on limited public transit, shopped at party stores and gas stations for overprice milk, stale bread and junk food. The situation has improved lately but is still far from adequate.

  5. Patient Observer says:

    He{Suvorov, Russian press secretary) pointed out that when picking the right car for their country’s Interior Ministry, Slovaks are “reasonably guided by its characteristics and advantages over other analogues in the market.”

    “And it turns out that the Russian-made Tigr is safer, more reliable and cheaper than American, German, French and Swiss armored cars,” he said.

    Suvorov added that Western competitors are doing their best to disrupt the Russia-Slovakia deal on Tigr supplies in order to sell Slovaks their own military equipment. They refer to various arguments, including “the factor of [anti-Russian] sanctions,” according to Suvorov.

    A major purpose of the sanctions appears to be an effort to protect Western markets and not just “punishment” of Russia. With the availability of highly competitive Russian civil aircraft, it would be easy to surmise that the sanctions have an overt commercial goal.

    • kirill says:

      The west is all about free trade as long as they have the advantage. When faced with a serious competitor making superior products it throws a tantrum and puts up trade barriers. I guess the WTO does nothing to protect Russia’s interests.

      • marknesop says:

        The west is great with free trade so long as it gets to make the rules but not follow them. Trump’s current hard line at the NAFTA talks is exemplary – he wants to increase American content in everything and create more opportunity for American business…without any quid pro quo whatever. Really he figures he is in a no-lose situation; he is opposed to NAFTA anyway, as a businessman, and so he figures he will drive such a hard bargain that if Mexico and Canada walk away in disgust, he got what he wanted. If they capitulate, there will still be NAFTA but the deck will be so stacked in America’s favour that the other two parties will basically just be draining their resources into the USA.

        • Patient Observer says:

          Trump’s wall probably will not be high enough to stop this:

          The Mexican carrier Interjet is interested in acquiring Russian MS-21 aircraft, company president Miguel Aleman Velasco told RIA Novosti.

          “We are very interested in the MC-21, because its components are lighter, it consumes less fuel… Its engines are from North America, but we hope that Russia will make its own engines, which will make the jet even lighter,” he said after a meeting with the Russian Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov.

          Interjet also has purchased 30 Sukhoi Superjets with good results:

          Year by year the SSJ 100 is being welcomed in the foreign fleets. Among the foreign operators is Mexican Interjet which topped up its original 2011 order of 20 by firming for another 10. Interjet officials said that aircraft have a remarkable seat pitch, for a regional or short-haul aircraft, of 34 inches, while the Pininfarina-designed SSJ100’s interior gets high marks from customers. In a recent passenger comfort survey, Interjet passengers actually said they preferred the Sukhoi over the Airbus.

          Imagine that.

          • Patient Observer says:

            Another quote from the above link provides a good summary of commercial status of the Superjet:

            We can easily call Sukhoi SuperJet 100 a revitalizer of the Russian aviation and a game-changing, modern, and worldwide certified airliner that delivers a high level of comfort and cabin capacity that is far superior to all of its competitors.

            Is it still true that Russian company has a lack of past performance in the market and no track records? The answer is definitely – yes. The map of customers is not so impressive – Mexico, Ireland, Russia. More than 80% of all SSJ 100 which is in service are in Russia. It is because Russian government trying to force the local airlines to buy SSJ 100 by offering various subsidies. Plus, the EU-US economic sanctions on Russia are not letting Sukhoi company act freely and expand in all directions. But we should admit that there is a significant progress in these 5 years after the first flight. More and more airlines taking into account SSJ 100 as a potential machine to renew their fleet on regional routes, yet SSJ 100 still need time and better days to rise and shine.

          • marknesop says:

            Quite an eye-opener, what? Boeing’s poisoning the well to maintain its monopoly is going to blow up in its face if it keeps on as it’s doing, and the notion of America putting Mexico in its place because they are just a bunch of beaners and wetbacks who want to sneak into America to get good jobs trimming hedges and mowing lawns is looking a bit hysterical these days. It doesn’t hurt to be reminded once in awhile that Mexico is not necessarily a poor country, although many of its people are poor.

  6. Northern Star says:

    Koch Roots:

    “According to New Yorker writer Jane Mayer, Koch partnered with William Rhodes Davis to build the third-largest oil refinery serving the Third Reich, a project which was personally approved by Adolf Hitler.[15] Koch President and COO David L. Robertson acknowledged that Winkler-Koch provided the cracking unit for the 1934 Hamburg refinery, but said that it was but one of many “iconic” American companies doing business in Germany at the time.[”

    So What you say..
    Well ..daddy Fred’s sons are butt buddies with current CIA Director Pompeo:

    • Northern Star says:

      Once again the dmorista comment from the above wsws link is MOST instructive:

      “dmorista • 9 hours ago
      For one thing, taking a cue from the Corporate Controlled Propaganda and Misinformation operations, Pompeo should always be referred to as something like “Arch-reactionary Koch Brother’s tool, Mike Pompeo”; seeing as that is exactly who this loathsome right-wing operative is. It is ironically fitting that the creepy Koch Brothers, whose family fortune was founded by their reactionary father while working developing petroleum resources in the Soviet Union, are the patrons of their servant Pompeo.
      The next question is, “just how much more vicious can the CIA become?”. 30 or 40 years ago the CIA was the lead agency in implementing covert murders, coups, and other manipulations of societies; both in the Third World, but also in the developed countries including the good old “homeland” USA. Significant changes occurred, basically beginning with the Church Committee hearings in the late 1970s, and at this point 70% of the public monies spent on covert spying and thuggery now goes to private contractors. There are 17 secret police and covert action agencies run by the U.S. Government (if we include the domestic political police, the FBI), and they predictably engage in turf wars and also commit all kinds of outrageous excesses.
      All this is part of what I call “The Continuum of Coercion”, a system that is run by the U.S. State Apparatus for the benefit of the rich and powerful, both foreign and domestic, who manipulate the levers of power. From nosy social workers ready to investigate some overworked single mother because her child’s couture is not up to snuff at the overcrowded warehouse “school” her children must attend; to the mighty bombers flying along the coast of North Korea or attacking targets to support some favored religious fanatics attacking the, flawed but legally constituted, government of Syria; this juggernaut of terror and violence straddles the globe. Inside the U.S. we see increasing repression and strong-arm tactics, Oklahoma (a hotbed of “fly-over fascism”) has passed state legislation that allows prosecutors to charge protesters with “terrorism” and seize their property including their homes (a tactic developed the U.S. in the bogus “war on drugs”, confiscations being a standard authoritarian tactic); the City of Dickinson, Texas has required any citizen applying for Hurricane Harvey aid to sign a pledge not to participate in any boycotts of Israel; and the cabal of fascists and toadies that make up the Republican majority of the House of Representative has proposed legislation “that would make it a felony to support certain boycotts of companies doing business in Israel and its settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories”. Many other examples of this sort of repression abound, long gone are the days when the U.S. ruling class could also offer the carrot, of a decent life, along with the stick of repressive governmental actions A vicious and ignorant provincial loudmouth like Arch-reactionary Koch Brother’s tool, Mike Pompeo, is the perfect factotum to head the CIA during this endgame stage of U.S. global hegemony.

      We are clearly in the final stages of U.S. dominance of global affairs. The Chinese and Russians, after some unpleasant interactions with Swift, the World Bank, the IMF, and other finance capital institutions dominated by U.S. and allied interests, are about done creating their own parallel and much better financed financial institutions. The hollowed-out U.S. has steadily less and less ability to influence world events. The plans to provide massive tax give-aways to the rich and perhaps double the National Debt in the process, while cutting vital social services for the great majority of the domestic population in the meantime, promise a rough ride domestically. Crocodile tears shed about the poor saps killed in various commando operations, and the lies about the military being cut to the bone, cannot hide the fact that the U.S. military and covert action agencies are unable to achieve the control of strategic areas and resources like they used to. Allies are jumping ship and enemies are increasingly unafraid. The blowhard Arch-reactionary Koch Brother’s tool, Mike Pompeo, can bloviate all he wants but will find it very difficult to change the general trend of events.”

      >>>Texas has required any citizen applying for Hurricane Harvey aid to sign a pledge not to participate in any boycotts of Israel; and the cabal of fascists and toadies that make up the Republican majority of the House of Representative has proposed legislation “that would make it a felony to support certain boycotts of companies doing business in Israel and its settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories”<<<<

      Tell me pray tell where or when have vermin like Kuntlery or Sanfart raged against this type of ultra police state madness?? It's 4:10 PM EST October 21..I just tread this motherfucking shit in the course of getting background material for this comment…

      How the fuck is the Texas Hurricane Harvey thing not an open and shut violation of the First Amendment??

    • Patient Observer says:

      Speaking of Pompeo:

      In a recent statement, Pompeo talked brazenly about assassinating Kim Jong-un. The CIA director stated,

      “With respect to … if Kim Jong-un should vanish, given the history of the CIA, I’m just not going to talk about it.
      Someone might think there was a coincidence. ‘You know, there was an accident.’ It’s just not fruitful”.

      Pompeo then ominously stated that the CIA is “going to become a much more vicious agency”.

      Reasons for the efforts to regime-change NK may include preventing the eventual integration of NK’s economy with China and Russia. Once such an integration is achieved SK would have little choice but to join in and be part of the Eurasian one belt-one road economy. Japan would be left twisting in the wind unless it could overcome its US masters and also set aside its racial prejudices. As for Australia, who cares (no disrespect to Jen)?

  7. J.T. says:

    For interested readers: a brief review of Pelevin’s The Hall of Singing Caryatids.

  8. ucgsblog says:

    Ukraine gets trolled on Quora:

    Question: Is Ukraine still building the great wall of Ukraine along their border with Russia?

    Answer: Ukraine hired a contractor that spent 2 weeks digging an anti- tank trench down the street from where I live as part of the wall project. The 40 ton excavator worked from dawn until well into the night every day using mobile lighting and headlamps after dark.The result was a 6 inch deep- 1 meter (3 ft) wide trench that might sprain the ankles of any tanks attempting to drive by it. After 1 year the grass grew high enough that it became a trip hazard for stray dogs and escaped cows trying to cross into Russia through the old barbed wire fence and trees that line the border.

    After 2 years, the edges of the anti-tank trench were sufficiently eroded so, while hordes of Russian soldiers and their bears may not break their ankles trying to cross it, they may trip and fall scraping their knees and lose their resolve to cross over. After 3 years it has become a common goat path for miscreant milking goats on their way to pasture. The malicious goats stop and take a pee in an attempt to turn it into Arsenei Yatzenyuk’s fabled alligator moat. But, because of poor planning on Kiev’s part, there simply are not enough goats in the region to fill the moat and make importing alligators worthwhile.

  9. Cortes says:

    Here’s one for the reconfigured “Lyttenburgh Guide For The Literary Well-being of The Young “:

    Not only but also…

    “The Devil’s Carousel “ is a fabulous suite of short stories about the dying days of a car factory…

    But JT’s claim to fame (according to the gentry) is for “Swing Hammer Swing” his novel. The greatest character in fiction is Talkie Sloan, an obnoxious Communist pub regular, whose value is unappreciated in life… read on. The luvvies have zip, nada, rien to say about Talkie…

  10. Moscow Exile says:

    Typical Daily Telegraph shite on Russia, which rag is, on occasion, referred to by a well known troll as a reliable source of information (his other sources being the ever truthful and objective BBC, RFE/RL, RBK, Moscow Times, Meduza etc.) about Russia, which shows how little the writers for the Tory Rag really know about the Evil Empire:

    Putin’s chic challenger Ksenia Sobchak insists she’s a real candidate and not a Kremlin stooge

    • marknesop says:

      Why is Navalny so frequently described as the ‘fiery opposition figure’? What is ‘fiery’ about him? He is far from a dynamic speaker, and ‘critic’ just about covers his act – I have yet to see anything like a ‘Navalny Plan’ to get Russia to its next progressive iteration, only vague nods to more freedom and democracy. Who gives a fuck about freedom and democracy if you don’t have a job that will allow you a decent standard of living? Where’s the Navalny economic plan?

      Let me save you the trouble; in the extremely unlikely event that Navalny came to power, he would be given a script by his western backers. That’s why he doesn’t need a plan. It would be just like the shock therapy plan of the 90’s, just like the remove-subsidies-privatize-everything plan for Ukraine. Create a Russian one percent of fabulously wealthy, and throw crumbs to the rest to shut them up. Encourage internal dissent and gradual disassembling of the country into independent states, always touted as the very model of democracy and choice.

      • kirill says:

        The script is 1917. Navalny is supposed to be the passionate revolutionary fighting the corrupt old system and represents the voice of the people. In reality, it is the exact opposite: Navalny is a boring nobody who represents the interests of the USA and is a colour revolution puppet.

        • marknesop says:

          Sites like RFE/RL continue to insist Navalny has significant support amongst the Russian electorate.

          Earlier in the day, Navalny supporters hung a banner on a bridge close to the Kremlin reading, “It’s time to get rid of Putin and time to elect Navalny,” AFP reported.

          Navalny has campaigned actively ahead of the 2018 vote, building a formidable base among Russians, particularly younger voters, who have taken to his message of fighting corruption among top government officials.

          Yes, I imagine a lot of Russians take seriously a message about corruption from a convicted felon – what’s next, advice on selecting the Sunday joint from an axe murderer? I suppose they are trying to set the stage for another ‘huge protest’ when the election rolls around and Navalny’s name is not on the ballot, whereupon he will act all surprised and hurt and suggest he did not think the authorities were actually serious about preventing him from running with their trumped-up politically-motivated charges.

  11. Warren says:

    Al Jazeera English
    Published on 22 Oct 2017
    The Weinstein story was suppressed by Hollywood, using its legal and financial muscle to keep a lid on it – until now. But there are also power centres in the US government that can dictate to Hollywood: the Pentagon and the CIA.

    • Patient Observer says:

      What did Weinstein do to get thrown under the bus by his peers? Just on general principles, it could be surmised that this basically a turf war among the Hollywood power elites that went nuclear on Weinstein. When one scumbag accuses another scumbag of being a scumbag, there is more to the story than feigned moral outrage.

      • yalensis says:

        When I first heard about the Hollywood scandal, I was confused for a minute, thinking, “Weinstein is so gay,why would he harrass women?”
        And then I realized that I was confusing Harvey Weinstein with Harvey Fierstein!

    • marknesop says:

      A brilliant piece of modern mockery. Russia is slowly getting its shit together along image-management lines the way the west does, in English. It just has to be careful not to go too far, and must restrict itself to this kind of mockery of actual contradictions, rather than crass ad-hoc demonization as the western media does. You would think the contradiction of the west’s bubbling admiration for Pavelenskiy’s antics while he was in Russia, and the shocked silence and disapproval now would be obvious, but it’s not and it needs to be shoved in people’s faces like this. And doing so is the main reason western governments are looking for excuses to restrict sources like RT and Sputnik. Ditto the creation and hyping of the ‘fake news’ meme. The west knows all about fake news.

  12. yalensis says:

    Only just got some time to start following Mishiko’s “Mikho-Maidan” (English-language hashtag is #Mikhomaidan.

    Apparently Saakashvili came up with a humdinger this morning: He promised his followers from the stump that the Ukraine will become a superpower dictating conditions to Europe and the world.

    «Там где есть сила, там будет Украинская сверхдержава, которая будет диктовать условия в Европе и всем другим, и где люди будут жить достойно… Что стоит между нами и этим будущим? Это маленькая кучка олигархов, барыг – президент и его окружение», — сказал он, заверив, что сменить нынешнюю власть при желании населения можно «очень быстро и очень безболезненно».

    «Кто-то говорит – «вот, этот гастролер, зачем он тут?» Все очень просто. Нет будущего ни у Грузии, ни у Молдовы, ни у Белоруссии, ни у кого в регионе, если не будет Украины», — подчеркнул Саакашвили.

    “If people shall unite as a force, then there will be a Ukrainian superpower which will dictate conditions in Europe and to all the others; and people [here] will be able to live their lives with dignity. What stands between us and that future? A tiny clique of oligarchs and speculators: The President and his entourage,” he said, assuring people that it would be a very quick and painless matter to overturn the existing government, given the desire of the people.
    “Some people say, oh, here is that travelling showman, why is he here? It’s very simple: There can be no future, neither for Gruzia, nor Moldavia, nor Belorussia, not for anyone in this region, if a Ukraine doesn’t exist,” Saakashvili underscored.

    • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

      Does he even have any legal right to be in the country?

    • Patient Observer says:

      Some people say, oh, here is that travelling showman, why is he here?

      A good question yet to be answered by Mr. Saakashvili. The answer probably includes money, food, cocaine, public attention, food, sex and did I mention food?

    • marknesop says:

      Mmmmm…..that sounds suspiciously like his oratory while President of Georgia, when he predicted that within X years of his modernizations like the Glass Bridge in Tbilisi (between 3 and 5, I forget now and the source was assimilated into the government’s propaganda-pablum machine), there would be more tourists in Georgia than there were Georgians. Or like the time he told the US Senate that Georgia was so honest a place that people did not even lock their doors, the same year the US Government’s State Department released a travel warning for Georgia that warned against pickpockets and various forms of thieving, including stopping your car on the road and robbing you or making you get out and taking the car. Crimes carried out by Georgian and Ukrainian organized criminals are often blamed on the Russian mafia.

      • yalensis says:

        Also don’t forget when Mishka bragged that Gruzia didn’t need no stinking Russian wine market – they could always sell their best stuff to Western Europe!
        ’cause, see, the French and Germans and Italians don’t produce any good wines…

        • marknesop says:

          Yes, that’s right! And then when the Russian market opened up again, it was greeted with great relief by the Georgian winemakers, and impartial sources remarked that there was not much of an appetite in Europe for Georgia’s sweet and somewhat heavy wines, while Russians were very fond of them. Ukraine is learning the same bitter lesson now, and there would be nobody like Mishka to teach them. For the west’s part, they would probably be quite willing to give Mishka another project, to keep him busy and keep Ukraine from slipping back into the Russian orbit.

          Don’t forget that Poroshenko is not likely to be going anywhere, since Ukraine is making him richer and richer, and he is likely to dabble in politics even after he is evicted in the next election. But having Mishka there to split the vote could easily result in a Tymoshenko victory. And that would be just perfect, with all her histrionic squalling about getting a machine gun and going to kill some Katsaps. She did say ‘we’. Go ahead, Yooooolia. Let’s see you bring it.

          Speaking of Yoooolia, she now says that Poroshenko is using the army’s fuel contracts to launder money.

          “Everyone knows that five-billion contracts are not signed by the defense minister or by his deputy, or even by any head of the Defense Ministry department. All politicians know who signs five-billion contracts. And this is the president of Ukraine,” Tymoshenko said, while commenting on the scandal with the detention by the NABU of Deputy Defense Minister Ihor Pavlovsky and director of the public procurement department at the Defense Ministry Volodymyr Hulevych.

          Ponder for a moment the irony of Tymoshenko – who browbeat the director of Naftogaz into signing the take-or-pay contract with Russia which caused Ukraine such grief and then flew to Russia herself to wrap it up, after being specifically told by the Rada cabinet not to do it – pointing the accusing finger at corruption in the energy business.

  13. Patient Observer says:

    It is a beautiful craft:

    Hope it finds commercial success. At the very least, it should become a must-have for oligarchs around the world.

    • Jen says:

      That craft is ideal for passenger commuter transport in harbour cities like Sydney and in cities straddling rivers. Shouldn’t be just for oligarchs and their friends and guests!

  14. Warren says:

    Why Soviet prison tattoos are popular

    The Gulag prison system of the Soviet Union produced a tattoo culture with dark, political and religious themes.

    Badges of pride for the hardest in society, they became commonplace throughout the criminal fraternity.

    Now a new generation of young tattoo enthusiasts in Moscow are bringing back the body art of the underworld.

    Video journalist: Elizaveta Vereykina

  15. Patient Observer says:

    I found the following article to be reasonable and consistent with my admittedly imperfect understanding of pre-WW II Russian/Soviet history. The consistency for me was was in finding a balance with the typically hyper-exaggerated claims of Western historians (evident to this day) and the demonstrated behavior of Slavic Orthodox who tend be be far less excessive than the West when it comes to war and genocide.

    Regarding Jews in Russia, the article maintains that many were associated with betrayal of Russia and many fought valiantly against the Western invaders so its a mixed bag in that regard.

    The article suggests that the Soviet Union concluded that it had 10 years to prepare for the Western invasion that was meant to murder them all. They had to collectivize to release labor for rapid industrialization and had to eliminate the anti-Russian 5th column. Only the foregoing allowed the Soviet Union to survive and then defeat the Western invasion. It seems quite plausible.

    The article also debunks (sorry) claims of multi-million deaths from the famine and more from the purges although this seems to still be a point of contention even among Russian historians not slavishly following the Western party line.

    I do recall that Gorbechev himself caused ire in the West when he stated that the numbers killed by the purges were in the tens of thousands and not millions.

    I think that it is time for Russia to write its own history without the slightest regard of what the West will think. That holds even more so for Serbia.

  16. Patient Observer says:

    Logic turned upside down:

    In 2010, Moscow and Washington recommitted themselves to a deal signed a decade earlier called the Plutonium Management and Disposition Agreement.

    That deal, which was negotiated in the 1990s, called for turning a chunk, though not all, of the countries’ weapons-grade plutonium stockpiles into other forms, such as fuel for nuclear power plants.

    Though the amount involved was just a fraction of the overall stockpiles — 34 tons — the deal has been widely viewed as a barometer of U.S.-Russian nuclear cooperation.

    In the United States, the disposal process has long involved blending the plutonium with uranium and turning it into mixed-oxide fuel, or MOX, for use in power plants.

    A government facility being built in South Carolina for that purpose, however, has gone billions of dollars over budget and fallen far behind schedule. The fact that uranium prices have fallen amid a global glut means there’s even less demand among nuclear-plant operators for MOX.

    In February, following years of mounting criticism, President Barack Obama’s administration pulled funding for it, a decision that was praised by some experts and former Obama administration officials as “principled.”

    In place of the MOX plant, the U.S. government is leaning toward a “dilute and dispose” approach or “immobilization.” That involves adding the plutonium to a nonradioactive substance, encasing it in glass or metal-can type containers or oil drums, and burying it at a federal waste site in New Mexico. Unlike with MOX, experts say this method could still allow for plutonium to be extracted some day and put back into weapons, though with difficulty.

    This is what likely prompted Putin’s response to a question that appeared to have been planted by organizers of the April 8 St. Petersburg forum.

    I highlighted both sets of text in bold face as particularly hilarious and 1984esque claim. Of course, any question that rightly challenges the legitimacy of US policy MUST be planted.

    In addition, the US administration was in a corner; either US nuclear technology was inferior or the US was reneging on an important nuclear agreement called a barometer of US-Russian nuclear cooperation? So, whatever it was, lets characterize the violation as “principled”. Wow, just wow.

    • marknesop says:

      Basically, the American statement – as well as the inference that it is deceiving – is ‘yes, we’re lying, but it is extremely impolite to say so in a diplomatic message’. And the State Department’s position – ‘This is an opportunity for the two sides to agree to let America go ahead with its new plan without a fuss’ is comical. Whenever the USA trots out another of its examples of its own exceptionalism, then of course any move to call attention to it means poor America is ‘Putin’s punching bag’. Particularly amusing is the State Department’s attempt to merge ‘disposal’ and ‘disposition’.

  17. davidt says:

    Max van der Werff has posted another article on MH17 that gives his opinion on the current state of play. The article is in Dutch so most will need the machine translator. There is little new in the public view but Max is always worth reading.

    • saskydisc says:

      I am responding to give an overview, as some of his comments might not be clear in machine translation, which is the only access others would have.

      He compares the operation of the JIT (“The investigation is going well” ahem) to the “investigative” efforts of the Dutch government into its own war crimes in Indonesia, including such tactics as giving only one investigator access to the archives, for four months total (that which was not found in that period does not exist, by definition), and avoiding allowing Dutch and Indonesian witnesses to come forward with testimony. Van der Werff mentions that the Indonesian matter was something into which he had put much effort when he was younger.

      He then discusses the “economization with truth” for which the secret services are notorious, and scoffs rightly at the JIT’s newfound eyewitnesses, as reliability of such eyewitnesses decline with time, and material (circumstantial) evidence generally is far more reliable in reconstructing events.

      He mentions the stress laid on the Ukrainian story of the absence of flights on the day of the shooting, which serves the purpose of justifying the lack of Ukrainian radar data.

      He quotes the lead investigator to the effect that the JIT cannot state whether Almaz Antey’s results are valid or not, yet the JIT rejects those results.

      He closes by pointing out that if the JIT’s claims are valid (the Higgins claim of the “rent-a-Buk), the Netherlands should take Russia to court. He asks rhetorically why this has not happened, and suggests sarcastically that the answer likely lies in the archives, tying back to the matter of state dishonesty about war crimes in Indonesia.

      • marknesop says:

        Thanks much, Saskydisc!

        • saskydisc says:

          It would be nice if van der Werff could pay a visit here, but I guess that goes against his spirit of complete political independence.

      • kirill says:

        So more content-free “reporting”. The question as to why Russia would “rent” the launcher only has yet to be answered by these clowns. If there is so much alleged video of the launcher, then there would have been at least some video of the radar unit. And these two units, plus the missile truck and loader would have traveled together or at least in some correlated fashion. Also, why would only one alleged system be rented? If these systems were to be used, then more than one would be supplied just as with the tanks and the BTR units. This shite is an Assad chemical weapons “war crime” fairy tale redux. Big time war criminal stages war crimes in minuscule amounts, except for the rest of history.

        In spite of belled cat or whatever the clown calls himself (such a sharp whit), the only evidence of any complete (i.e. functional) Buk units in the Donbas were all operated by Kiev regime forces. And there is actual TV reporting of these units by Banderastani TV. And it was clear that the Kiev regime forces operated several systems as would be rational for any deployment.

        • saskydisc says:

          The farce is repulsive. At the same time it is transparent. That bespeaks desperation. At the same time, little cracks appear in the consensus. The CBC recently stepped down their “Chechen concentration camps for gays” farce to “some gay was beaten in an already bloody prison cell.”

          That they would step down the farce that much says that the adults/sane people are ready to take charge, should the opportunity arise. I also run into far fewer people who seek to defend the party line face to face. Or the Assad stories. People who would mock before now listen, albeit with distrust, as they have been lied to a great many times.

        • marknesop says:

          It’s just desperate groping to reassure the victims’ families that their leaders are doing something to punish the guilty parties. I’m surprised they haven’t tried to offer Russia a deal in which it would admit to having done it ‘by mistake’ in return for the lifting of sanctions or some other incentive. But there is plainly no appetite for a real prosecution or a real trial, because in any such proceedings the prosecution would have to present its evidence, and before such a trial even started the grotesquerie of the evidence’s provenance, overseen and to some extent collected by the Ukrainians – who must be a suspect for the very fact that it occurred in their country at a time when military conflict was ongoing and the systems alleged to have caused the crash were in use by Ukraine’s forces – would be on show for all to see. The Ukrainians had unsupervised access to the evidence at every turn, and their attempts to plant evidence (‘Buk missile part found in MH-17 wreckage’ when the only part of the missile to strike the plane would be shrapnel while the rest of the missile fell to earth) is a matter of public record. A real trial simply could not go forward with the gaping holes in the chain of custody of evidence, and Russia is the least likely country of the whole world to have planted or tainted evidence, since all the evidence it offered was rejected and NATO resolutely kept it from any access at all to the collective evidence while the investigation remains underway.

          They’re just kicking the can down the road and hoping for a break, the same as they’ve been doing since the crash itself. They made wild claims based on what they said they would prove, and now cannot prove any of it.

  18. Moscow Exile says:

    Власти США аннулировали визу финансиста Уильяма Браудера

    23.10.2017, 06:46
    US authorities have revoked financier William Browder’s visa

    Hear the little piggies squeal on Twitter:

    And from the №1 arse-wipe of the British liberal chattering classes:

    Russia puts British Putin critic on Interpol wanted list

    I say chaps! Doncha ya know the bloke’s British?

    He’s as British as I’m a Russkie!

    Browder — born and bred in Chicago, Illinois. He only took British citizenship, I’m sure, so as to dodge paying US tax on his foreign earnings.

    • marknesop says:

      I loved the first comment on the Twitter feed: “They’re not even trying to hide their involvement with Russia. They don’t care if we know. Why is that?” Yes indeed; the USA which is digging in its heels to stop Europe from sliding away from it, while maintaining unified western sanctions against Russia for something it didn’t do and threatening to fine Europe for violating the policy, is in bed with Putin. You just have to shake your head in amazement. It’s as if Russia never had a better best friend than the USA.

    • marknesop says:

      Hilariously hilarious. All that’s missing is a Tweet from Bana: “Dear World, it’s better to start #World War Three than let Putin have his way”.

    • Warren says:

      Mouthy and greedy idiot shouldn’t have renounced his US citizenship! lol

      • Jen says:

        Seen on Michael McFaul’s Twitter feed some way down:

        Julia Ioffe‏
        – It could be because Browder rescinded US citizenship for tax reasons,

    • saskydisc says:

      CBC, BBC, Reuters and Bloomberg had the story today; the Guardian was pushing it two days ago. It is fake news, as befits Browder.

  19. Cortes says:

    From around the halfway mark Max Keiser holds forth on the qualities of RT and its critics:

    Spoiler alert: he doesn’t miss the goal and hit the wall behind.

  20. Drutten says:

    Wow, Gazprom-owned radio station Ekho had one of its journalists attacked by an Israeli physicist.

    The man, subsequently identified as Boris Gritz, a Jerusalem University alumnus, a physicist and software developer turns out to have been writing a blog for several years, revealing that he’s long been obsessed with Felgenhauer, accusing her of invading his mind and telepathically harassing him, with the first entries of his detailing this “telepathic abuse” written way back in 2015. His blog posts also repeatedly claim he’s been hacked by Israeli security services and Felgenhauer herself, among other things.

    He is no fan of Russian authorities either, and seems to think there’s a grand conspiracy against him perpetrated by everyone from Putin to Mossad. Most of his blog seems to revolve around his failed career though, which he too ascribes to this conspiracy against him, obsessively going over all the times he gets rejected when applying for various jobs in Israel and so on.

    What a fucking nutcase.

    Seems like he flew to Moscow pretty recently, as most of his online activity is out of Israel up until just now. He also wrote a distinct threat towards Felgenhauer shortly before flying to Russia.

    • Evgeny says:

      I don’t read a lot about politics, but one of Russian newspapers I thoroughly enjoy is Vzglyad. And their recent piece about the design of a new Russian 2000 rouble bank note is yet another gem, which also provides commentaries on a cult song of 1990s and the generation of 1970s:

      I was born in 1980s, so I’m on the side of plainly enjoying the text, rather than supporting or opposing the main claims of it as regards the generation of 1970s.

      • Evgeny says:

        Oops! Responded to the wrong thread. Sorry for that.

        Regarding the recent attack on a journalist, I think that’s the problem of psychiatry and also of the society. Unfortunately, very often a nutcase who clearly suffers from a mental disorder but is critical of the Putin’s Government somehow passes for a normal person, instead of being advised to get the treatment he or she drastically needs. Which results in the problem that the bar is sometimes too low on clear cases of psychiatric disorders, which leads to tragedies like this one.

    • Drutten says:

      Seems like Gritz worked/lectured in Canada before, too, and radio Ekho says he had a map of the premises, captioned in English.

      He was a faithful radio Ekho listener it seems, and nourished his sick obsession with Felgenhauer through that, I guess.

    • Lyttenburgh says:

      1) Daesh becomes lazy – they failed to claim responsibility for this act of inghimasia, mashallah. Which, after taking responsibility for hurricanes in the US, is totally unlike them. At least reading the comments from the liberasts and demshizoids it’s obvious, that their minds have fell the shahid’s death long time ago, auzubillah.

      2) “…accusing her of invading his mind and telepathically harassing him, with the first entries of his detailing this “telepathic abuse” written way back in 2015.”

      KGB created Psychotoronic GULags in ordinary appaertments – they are real! At least, a bunch of “YABLOCO” party supporters claimed as much during their 2007 rally:

      True story – info 100500%! I mean, go and watch “The Men Who Stare At Goats”! Besides, by pure coincidence, that listening (and reading) auditory of “Ekho Moskvy” correlates just nicely with the people supporting this or that totalitarian cult non-systemic opposition movement

  21. Warren says:

    Farage and Mrs Appletree talk Brexit on morning telly.

    • Warren says:

      Mr Apfelbaum I meant.

    • kirill says:

      I like Farage even if I am not a global warming denier kook in love with laissez-faire economics. His speeches in Brussels to the clowns that run the EU are classic. Farage represents the best things about Britain. It is sad that people like him don’t set the tone of British politics over the centuries.

  22. Warren says:

    The National
    Published on 21 Oct 2017
    A B.C. woman was on a British Airways flight to London when bed bugs crawled out of the seat in front of her. When she and her family got off the flight nine hours later, they were covered in bites.
    To read the full story:

  23. Moscow Exile says:

    I made my 4th trip today to the Migration Centre, situated 60 kms from Moscow. Again, I was told to write out the application for permission to reside temporarily in Russia because of errors I had made.

    A different pen-pusher each of the 4 days has found different errors.

    The first said it was not enough under “motivation for application” to write: “re-unification with family”: I had to write: “spouse is Russian citizen”.

    At the second try the following day (after having been knocked back, you have to stand in line to get a “talon” for another appointment on another day) I was told under “nearest relatives” I also had to enter details of my mother and father. I told them that they were both dead, that my father was born 100 years ago. No matter.

    Next day, another pen-pusher said I should not have written my dead mother and father’s nationalities.

    And today, I was told to do it again because the table in which my next of kin is listed is in 2 parts, the second part following the first on the next page.

    All my documents are in order though, but they love playing their sadistic games with the application forms.

    Anyway, packed into the minibus in which I travelled to the centre today at break-neck speed by a Khirgiz maniac-driver, I overheard this conversation between a Ukrainian woman fellow passenger and the man sitting next to her. The woman going to the migration centre in order to ask for a residence permit in Russia pending her naturalization as a Russian citizen.

    — “Do you think they’ll give you a residence permit?”
    — “Oh yes! My parents were born in RSFSR”.
    — “Where are you from?”
    — “Donbass. It’s like the Bermuda Triangle there: you don’t know what to expect next. Where I live, the front line is always changing. The Ukrainian army moves in. I say “army” but they are just hooligans. And then the militiamen chase them off and after that we can have a bit of peace and quiet. But then the hooligan Ukrainian army comes back and it starts all over.”

    The source to the above is not one of the usual “reliable” ones such as RFE/RL, BBC, Moscow Times, RBK, Washington Post, New York Times and the US Department of State etc. — ЭТО — Я!

    That conversation quoted above took place at about 11:30 on 23 October, 2017, some 30 kms southwest of Moscow.

    • Drutten says:

      Sssshhhhh, internationally agreed-upon non-people have no voice. Disregard what they have to say.

    • kirill says:

      This Kafkaesque bureaucracy is one of the key long term problems Russia is facing. I would personally round them all up and shoot them. Quibbling over isomorphic phrases is a crime equivalent to murder.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        Got knocked back again yesterday for the 4th time. One of the reasons this time was that in the list of “documents provided” that one has to write, together with HIV-positive certificate and other medical test results I had no added to that list “medical certificate signed by psychiatrist and ‘narkolog'”.

        Do it again!

        All my documents are, by the way, in order: it’s the application form where they get you. I have read that 86% of applications are refused because of incorrectly filling out the 4-page application form.

        I’m going again this morning for the 7th time in a row. I expect to be knocked back again because it seems they are playing a game with me. If they refuse again, I think I will ask for a lawyer to fill out the form. That will cost me 4,000 rubles.

        • niku says:

          Asking a lawyer to fill it would only be useful if (i) the lawyer can file the form on your behalf (else, the bureaucrats would have you run around anyway), or else, (ii) you are sure that the lawyers share the fees with the bureaucrats (then everything would make sense — the bureaucrats just want bribes, and if you are not giving it straight, they’d get it in a roundabout way).

          Best, just ask the lawyer if the forms he/she fills ever gets rejected. Or ask the lawyer if he/she knows who to bribe.

          • Moscow Exile says:

            Yes, I was thinking along those lines myself, and judging by the number of ads that are popping up in my browser now, in which lawyers are offering their form-filling services, I’m pretty sure there is a connection between these lawyers and the bureaucrats at the migration centre. One law firm, however, states that it has a 97% success rate and that if a client’s application fails, then he does not have to pay the 3,900 ruble fee.

            • Moscow Exile says:

              These law firms offer free consultation as well. They deal mostly with Central Asian Republic and North Caucasus would-be migrants — and Ukrainians now, of course. They will be surprised if I turn up at one of their offices!

            • Ryan Ward says:

              When I used to live in Vietnam, I had a lot of similar issues. Eventually, it got to the point where I just wouldn’t do anything official for myself. It might be a bit pricey sometimes to pay an agent or lawyer to do it for you, but there are two huge advantages. First is obviously saving time, but the second is predictability. Agents generally know exactly who they need to pay and how much, which they work into the price they charge you. Sometimes when you try to do things yourself, you end up paying more anyway, as the “tea money” costs just balloon as you go. Generally, I think it’s better just to pay a fixed cost up front.

              • Moscow Exile says:

                I have been saying this all along to Mrs. Exile, but she just won’t have it. She says, “But you’ve almost done all the form filling correctly yourself! Why pay an advocate now to do what you have near enough completed?”

                She doesn’t include in my costs and savings the 2,000 rubles that I have already spent travelling back and forth out into the sticks to this damned migration centre, nor the costs in time. And I have also 3 times had to cancel jobs because of this bureaucratic ordeal that I have been facing these past 7 days. Today, my appointment was scheduled for 12:40: I was summoned at 14:30. Then a 3 hour journey back into Moscow because of rush-hour traffic jams.

                I got home at 19:00.

                • yalensis says:

                  I think Ryan is right, you should just suck it up and pay the right person to pay the right bribe to the right person…

                • niku says:

                  To make a good decision, Mrs. Exile has to file the business under the correct head. As far as I see, there are only three possibilities:

                  (i) The bureaucrats are “just doing their jobs” by being excessively scrupulous.

                  (ii) They want to deal with only lawyers and agents because the lawyers send up money.

                  (iii) They want to deal with only lawyers because they don’t like dealing with “the unwashed”. They like to imagine that the work they do is very complex and subtle, and they take offense at the idea that someone can fill the form for himself (“without years of study”).

                  The first option seems unlikely as if they are full of scruples, they’d have pointed out all the “problems” with your form at once.

  24. Warren says:

    DW Documentary
    Published on 21 Oct 2017
    One of Putin’s biggest fans and a prominent businessman in the agriculture industy, Stefan Dürr has built a farming empire in Russia.

    Dürr emigrated from Germany to Siberia when he was a student and now has his own empire in Russia. He owns at least 200,000 hectares of land and has 60,000 cows and 4,000 employees. Two years ago Vladimir Putin personally handed him the certificate of Russian citizenship. Russia wants to become independent of European Union imports and Dürr’s milk empire benefits from this policy. That’s because he also receives some of the state subsidies that are being invested in building up Russia’s agriculture. Wherever Dürr shows up, be it at the Agrofarm agricultural trade show in Moscow, or at the regional ministries of Kaluga and Voronezh, people listen to him and rely on him. We meet a man who waxes lyrical about how much he has been able to grow in Russia, how he has been able to buy land and develop as an entrepreneur and also get involved in politics. Dürr is an ice hockey fan: ‘Germany,’ he says, ‘is like football: very thought through, following strict rules. Fouls are punished, dives could be worth it. In Russia it’s like ice hockey: faster, more spontaneous, tougher – and yet still following fair rules.’ It’s a game that Dürr seems to have a talent for.

    • Nice video.

      Russia has always had the best success under German leadership such as Catherine the Great. It is a big shame that Russia and Germany had to quarrel in 1941-1945. If these two countries worked together they could eclipse the Anglo hegemony. With Russian resources and German intelligence and industrialism.

      • Jen says:

        “Quarrel”? You call the Nazi German invasion of the Soviet Union to occupy and seize its lands and resources, and replace Russian and other peoples with Germans a “quarrel”?

        Also the groundwork that made Catherine’s Russia what it was, was made by Tsar Peter I aka Peter the Great and two succeeding Tsarinas Anna (Peter’s niece) and Elizabeth (his daughter) in directing the country on a Westernising path; and during Catherine’s reign sustained by brilliant generals like Alexander Suvorov and advisors like Orlov and Potemkin.

      • Patient Observer says:

        Trying to stir the pot I see.

        Yeah, just that little matter of trying to exterminate the Russian population, no big deal. And utter BS that Germans offer a superior intelligence. Germany and its allies got their asses handed to them in WWII because the Russian were smarter, tougher and out-produced them in quantity and innovation.

        Germany would make a fine junior partner to Russia.

        • Northern Star says:

          The V2 was NOT a cruise was a prototypical ignorant shitass

          The ME 262 started test flights in ’42…stupid motherfucker..the design phase started back in the 30s

          The 262 COULD have inflicted devastating losses on the Eighth Airforce HAD it been mass produced as a fighter interceptor…Hitler fucked that up.

          Herr Dumb fuck Matt: Read all of this and learn something:

          “Technological advancement differed in between fighting countries different in different areas.
          For example Soviets basically set the standards for tank design for rest of 20th century with T-34. From sloped armor to track implementations for rough conditions. They even managed to mount a massive 85 mm gun in this medium tank. T-34 was a massive shock to Germany when they encountered it first, because it was better than anything they had. This also shook the ‘German Technological Superiority’ perception, but more importantly “Lowly SubHuman Slavs” perception and propaganda. Soviets also had had developed the antidote to blitzkrieg, and also had had developed basically the massive combined arms tactics that were going to be used until recent times. Zhukov developed these in Khalkin Gol in 1939, then they used these tactics to hammer down Germans to oblivion and beat them – despite Germans knew the tactic very well thanks to their Japanese allies’ correspondence. Two other major technologies with great impact were close support aircraft as Soviets used in form of IL-2, and Rocket batteries like Katyusha. Katyusha, Germans hated and dreaded very much – it was a frightening experience. It would destroy anything across a sizeable portion of land in just seconds. Below you can see the effect of a Kaytusha battery’s fire – a German convoy. One second the convoy is there, a few seconds later it isnt. Entire convoy. Pic is from another post in Quora btw”

          More specific examples..

          • marknesop says:

            Matt is not interested in facts, he is interested in argument and getting people to lose it. And now, since his comment is deleted, this thread is sitting out here headless. If it happens in future, I’ll just provide a block explanation up front – it’s because somebody replied to one of Matt’s comments, which I have warned people against doing since it only encourages him to stick around. Those who wish to engage in absolutely futile debate with Matt can look him up on Reddit.

            • Northern Star says:

              My apologies….but flat out false statements are sooooo annoying…
              I will ignore him…

              • Jen says:

                I did see Matt’s comment before it was deleted and it looked as if it had been put up deliberately to bait people. He mentioned in an incomplete sentence the Panzer family of tanks and let that sit as is. He must surely have been aware that the Germans had numerous problems with the Panzer classes: among other things, over-designed, not suited for mass production and often not suited for the conditions in which they were expected to operate.

                While he did mention several technologies, even he had to admit they weren’t up and running during the later stages of WW2 and that in itself says something about the failure of the Germans to get inventions from prototype and testing stages to mass production and what that failure in turn says about management and organisation in German government bureaucracy at the time.

                Matt’s getting desperate and resorting to all-out baiting. We just have to hang in and ignore him no matter how outrageous and stupid his remarks become.

                • Patient Observer says:

                  He did his little sidestep. My comment was the Germany would make a fine junior partner. He changed the question to Nazi WW II technology, I do note that Germany is moving toward Russia as we speak Enough said about that guy and he is imminently easy to ignore.

  25. Northern Star says:

    Oh…I get it so Matt’s bullshit totally erroneous comment is erased and along with it my admittedly profane but FACTUAL reply…

  26. Northern Star says:

    Again… the article and the comments are totally spot on….
    “Kelly’s remarks evoked such defensive statements not because they challenge nearly 250 years of civilian rule in the United States, but because sections of the US political establishment see it as necessary, at least for the time being, to cloak the massive power exercised by the military over political life with the formal trappings of civilian rule.
    This task, however, is increasingly difficult. Shortly after Petraeus’s appearance, Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer appeared on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” where he had an extraordinary exchange with moderator Chuck Todd. Asked whether as Senate Democratic leader he had been briefed on the situation in Niger, Schumer nonchalantly replied, “Not yet.”
    When Todd asked whether Schumer knew the US had a thousand troops stationed in Niger, Schumer replied, “Uh, No, I did not.”
    Todd pressed him further: “How do you describe it any other way than never-ending war?” Schumer gave a meandering reply that ended with the words, “We have to keep at it.”
    In other words, the country’s civilian leadership neither knows where the US military operates, nor dares to inquire. Wars are not declared. Those who lead them are not accountable to Congress or the people. The military is deployed at the discretion of the president and his generals, as in the over one dozen African countries where US troops are engaged in combat operations. The ranking member of the nominal opposition party has no problem with this state of affairs.

    “Peter L. • 2 hours ago
    Look, let’s be honest: since November 22, 1963 this country has been on the road to a separate military government which controls and operates foreign policy. As a nation and as a society we have reached the end of this road. We are at war in Niger with no Congressional approval or even knowledge. Africom wants to destroy the African Union and guarantee access to Africa’s resources for the West and to insure the West can pay for those resources in dollars. That was the reason for the overthrow of Ghaddafi and his government. It is the reason U.S. troops are in Africa.”

  27. marknesop says:

    You have to give the European Commission credit for grit and persistence; they never give up. So what should be named the Stop Nord Stream II Commission now announces it is contemplating a ‘legal tweak’ which will allow it to declare the Nord Stream II pipeline subject to the Third Energy Package rules, while the first pipeline was not. That would be quite a feat, and I’m betting it will never happen because too many European states oppose it. But it is significant that only the complainers get to be heard – Poland, the Baltics and Brussels. And ukraine, of course, which always has a voice because I guess it is an honorary member of the EU or something.

    Keep that term in mind – ‘legal tweak’, because it basically means changing the law to allow you to do something it previously would not, without any requirement to show why such a change was broadly necessary. You might want to think about ‘legal tweaks’ of your own to announce you are arbitrarily raising the speed limit on your route home, because it will allow you to get home faster.

    Airheads like Maros Sefcovic seem to have the idea that they can force Russia to continue transiting gas through Ukraine by putting ever more stumbling blocks in its way. But they should be careful. Even in the very unlikely event they achieved success, Russia could simply announce the new delivery point is the Russia/Ukraine border, and that the EU and its new bestest buddy are responsible for transit beyond that point. It could cover itself by insisting on official EU signature at the transit point that x amount had been delivered to the border, so that there could be no accusations that Russia was withholding gas. Then the EU would end up paying to fix Ukraine’s rusty-teakettle pipeline network, as well as having to tolerate all its staged outages and extortion tactics to squeeze more money for itself.

    • kirill says:

      Russia should sign a deal with Germany for the latter to build a stub gas pipeline to international waters to connect to the Nord Stream II pipe. The EU has zero jurisdiction over international waters. Germany controls its own EEZ and the EU can’t hijack it by definition. Germany would then buy Russian gas and resell it to the other EU members. Let’s see these EU legal eagles counteract this.

      • Patient Observer says:

        That is fiendishly clever.

      • marknesop says:

        We will see if the EU’s stubborn stupidity causes it to come to that. I kind of hope it does, because then it would be Germany which had the EU over a barrel, and not Russia, and further sanctions against Russia would be a non-starter in Germany.

        Please note in the link in which Ukraine casually discusses the possibility of again buying direct from Gazprom, it both acknowledges and blithely dismisses the fact that gas from Russia is cheaper than Russian gas reverse-flowed from a European nation. Bailouts have come a long way when the European taxpayers are forced to subsidize Ukraine’s prejudices and help it to buy more-expensive gas so that it can indulge its fantasy of spitting in Russia’s face.

        The European Commission congratulated itself for stopping South Stream in Bulgaria, and makes a big noise about blocking public funding for Nord Stream II in an effort to get the partners to give up on it. But there’s plenty of money in the bank for the never-dying dream of bringing small amounts of gas from incredibly-corrupt Azerbaijan. Again, I devoutly hope they go ahead with it. It will be a money pit the like of which has never been seen before this and even if it were successfully completed, it would supply only a token 10 BCm annually – 2.5% of what Europe consumed in 2015.

        You know what’s worse than futility? Expensive futility. Or better, depending on your point of view. Please do it, Europe. Get off the fence. And be sure to name the completed pipeline, “The Jean-Claude Juncker I Don’t Know If My Ass Is Bored or Punched Energy Project”. Maybe the day it is completed could be called European Gas Freedom Day, and you could celebrate it annually as you reminisce about throwing billions of Euros of taxpayers’ money away. I’ll be a guest speaker if you invite me.

        • et Al says:

          If you ask me, Brussels is just partaking in kabuki theater, i.e do something, do anything regardless of how useless it is is better than doing nothing, after all what’s the point of Brussels if it doesn’t do anything for member states? As for South Stream, I suspect that direct intervention by Washington may have broken the camel’s back at Brussel’s request, but if not, it was certainly a combined effort wot did it.

          • kirill says:

            South Stream was stopped thanks to Bulgaria bending over and getting it in the rear from Uncle Scumbag. Nothing more to say.

  28. J.T. says:

    Somewhat old news: Anyone seen the first trailer for ‘Red Sparrow’?

    IMO, looks boring and more than a little trope-laden, but what’s interesting to me is the ending cast list.
    The movie was originally to have a Vladimir Putin character played by Matthias Schoenaerts. Putin was later cut from the movie due to “creative forces” (The Moscow Times, 7/26/17), but Schoenaerts is still in the cast? Why?

    Oh brother, looks like we’re going to have another oh-so-clever Putin stand-in.

    • Patient Observer says:

      Never EVER trust a Russian. Got it. Rip it good J.T.!

    • Jen says:

      You’ve probably already seen the best parts of the film in the trailer.

      Plot summary from
      “Prima ballerina Dominika Egorova [Jennifer Lawrence] faces a bleak and uncertain future after she suffers an injury that ends her career. She soon turns to Sparrow School, a secret intelligence service that trains exceptional young people to use their minds and bodies as weapons. Egorova emerges as the most dangerous Sparrow after completing the sadistic training process. As she comes to terms with her new abilities, Dominika meets a CIA agent [Joel Edgerton] who tries to convince her that he is the only person she can trust.”

      Plot summary alone makes you want to laugh: why, if you’ve just suffered an injury that ends your dancing career, would you willingly undergo a sadistic training regime that turns your whole body into a potentially life-threatening (to yourself) killing machine?

  29. Pavlo Svolochenko says:

    Long article, covering a lot of familiar ground, but the essence of it is captured in this passage:

    Historian Richard Rashke explains that Eastern Europe’s Waffen-SS divisions “executed Soviet POWs and assisted the Nazi Einsatzgruppen in rounding up, robbing, and killing Jews Gypsies, and communists, […] raped and forced women to work as sex slaves, [and] tossed babies in the air for target practice.” This is what Jost glibly refers to as the Third Reich “taking on Russia.” This is, at the risk of editorializing, monstrously depraved. It is not editorializing to say that this borders on (if not qualifies as) Holocaust denial. No country that would allow a person to legally say this on television, much less be paid for it, has any right to exist.

    Let me go further: America’s duty is to die.

  30. Warren says:

    Published on 23 Oct 2017
    Spain’s central government went ‘even more nuclear than anybody had expected’ when it announced plans to completely strip Catalonia of its autonomy, says Professor Sebastiaan Faber of Oberlin College

    • marknesop says:

      That sounds to me like someone is trying to inflame the situation, because that’s not the way I heard it – Spain appealed for calm and indicated it was willing to talk. That might still be a ruse and probably is, but going hard the other way is only likely to make people furious so they will act without thinking. It’s usually the mark of someone on the outside massaging the conflict.

      • Cortes says:

        Few clear heads anywhere, it seems to me. Hasty announcements of the removal of corporate HQs from Catalonia have inflamed the situation badly.

        Looks like diplomacy by Norman Wisdom is in vogue in Spain.

  31. Warren says:

    I finally feel sorry for Theresa May – she doesn’t deserve this psychological torture and should be allowed to step down

    To want this job at this time, you’d have to be a demented fantasist and a raving narcissist. Perhaps you can picture one of those sat drooling at the Cabinet table like a famished albino wolf (Merkel evidently can). But it isn’t Theresa May

    Both members of her Cabinet and the EU have vested interests in propping up the political corpse, but it’s just not fair anymore EPA

    Are you starting to feel sorry for her yet?

    It’s taken a long time for me. But as her political living death drags on and her humiliation heightens, shards of human sympathy for Theresa May finally puncture the election-fiasco schadenfreude.

    In the months since the exit poll ended her career, seconds after 10pm on 8 June, her corpse has been propped up by those who believe it is to their advantage to pretend she is alive.

  32. Warren says:

  33. Moscow Exile says:

    19:16, 23 октября

    Psalm singers protested outside the cinema where “Matilda” was premiered:

    In St. Petersburg, a few hours before the premiere of the much heralded film “Matilda” began, there is taking place a prayer vigil.

    As reports “RBK”, in front of the Mariinsky theatre there gathered a small group of people — no more than 15 people — who are not making any declarations or shouting out: they are reading prayers and singing psalms. They have said nothing about their belonging to any organization.

    At he site there are also law enforcement agencies and journalists. The film screening is scheduled for 20.00.

    This is not the first such prayer vigil. The same kind of event was held in Moscow on 1 August. Later similar events were held in other Russian cities.

    See: У Мариинского театра перед премьерой “Матильды” началось молитвенное стояние

    And the Kremlin trembles.

    Meanwhile, the shit has hit the fan following presidential candidate Sobchaks’s public declaration that the Crimea is part of the Ukraine.

    She’ll rake in the votes after saying that — off the kreakles.

  34. Warren says:

  35. yalensis says:

    Meanwhile, Saakashvili is moving into a tent in Mariinsky Park, in front of the Rada building.
    He has a bunch of bodyguards with him in the tent, so it must be getting crowded in there!

  36. Cortes says:

    If posted before, apologies, but I thought the Helmer review of the Service biography of what a certain fresh faced ex prosecutor might think of as “St Nicholas” could be of interest to poor misguided Stooges:

  37. Warren says:

    • marknesop says:

      Oh, I’m sure Mrs. Clinton didn’t know anything. In fact, the Clinton campaign was probably hacked by the Russians, who set her up. She’s too nice a person to fight dirty like that.

      • Warren says:

        Obviously. What reasonable and sane person could conceivably think otherwise? Nefarious and amoral Russians have smeared and impugned the reputation of an honourable woman – that was destined to break the glass ceiling and become the first female leader of the free world!

        • marknesop says:

          I suppose Plan B will be Chelsea. Although her initial forays into politics have not been promising.

          • et Al says:

            My guess is that a faction of the Republican party was in with O-bomber’s lot and the whole Fusion GPS private dick outfit was just a means to launder the dregs about Trump that they’d picked up via the NSA. After all, the FBI has been caught doing the same in criminal cases where they fabricated the chain of evidence after being directed by the NSA on the QT. For me, it’s a simple solution. If you hoover up all this information as the NSA does, then what’s the point if you can’t use it? Enter the private company to act as a medium. Some Republicans who knew about their funding of Fusion GPS against Trump tipped off the DNC, because both wanted Trump out of the way. The question is, why isn’t the media trying to find out who is behind this nexus? It’s a mystery for worthy of Scooby Doo.

          • yalensis says:

            If American is determined to have a female president, then I propose Malory Archer. She is a tough broad, she can drink anybody under the table, she founded “ISIS” and she is secretly an agent of the Soviet KGB!

  38. Warren says:

  39. Northern Star says:

    IF you sorta kinda opined or speculated or surmised that ‘mon cher’ Macron-and Sarkozy before him- has a funny foul smell that brings to mind the racist colonial imperialism of Algeria or “Indochina”…you were right:

    “HORACE CAMPBELL: Well, in the case of France and the United States of America, both cannot compete with China. In the case of Niger, Niger provides 75 percent of the electricity needs of France, because it produces uranium; 7.5 percent of the world’s production of uranium comes from a French company in Niger. In 2010, in 2008, 2010, China promised to invest billions of dollars in oil production in Niger. The president of Niger at the time, Mamadou Tandja, had accused France of financing those who are called terrorists. He was overthrown in a coup d’état. Both the United States and France and other members of the European Union are opposed to the Chinese presence in Africa, because where in a country like Djibouti the United States has 4,000 troops, China has spent $5 billion building a state-of-the-art port and has spent $10 billion building a railway from Djibouti to the capital city of Ethiopia, in Addis Ababa. There is no possibility of the United States of America and Western Europe competing with China in Africa.”

  40. Warren says:

  41. Warren says:

    • marknesop says:

      So long as ‘the smartest Russia hands’ he is talking about are Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Anne Applebaum, I’m not very worried that things will change much in America’s self-destructive course. Like the rest of the western media, Politico wants to belittle Putin and portray him as a grubby little dictator with delusions of grandeur – but cannot stop itself from shrieking what a monster and world-wrecker he is.

      • Warren says:

        The US and their European Atlanticist minions are trapped by their own propaganda and ideological prejudices. Russia cannot be a poor, weak, regional power at best, that doesn’t make anything, a gas station masquerading as a country and simultaneously pose an existential threat to the United States, and has the wherewithal and guile to decide US presidential elections. US and Western propaganda is so inconsistent and contradictory. However, Americans and their European Atlanticist minions are so myopic – they don’t notice it! It’s hilarious, US and Western propaganda fails miserably, because it is so inconsistent and anyone with a modicum basic knowledge of history and has an attention span longer than that of a goldfish is immune to it.

  42. Northern Star says:

    “BOLDUC: That’s correct because we’re not – that’s not a combat environment there. However, it is, you know, very volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous. It replicates the environments in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, but the United States is not at war there. Our partners are, so we’re there to support them.
    Soooo…France and Nigeria-the ‘partners’- have formally declared war on Niger .. Chad ..and Mali.??

  43. Warren says:

    Financial Times
    Published on 24 Oct 2017
    ► Subscribe to here:

    The Chinese Communist party confirmed Xi Jinping’s status as most powerful ruler since Mao Zedong by writing him into the constitution. Chief foreign affairs columnist Gideon Rachman says liberals worry about the country going backwards politically.

    • marknesop says:

      Speaking of China, I just read something in my local paper today, about them getting the Russia treatment from WADA. Oh, yeah; here it is. Look at that – dissident sports physician, tortured by having been made to condone a massive state-sponsored doping program, spills her guts…to German broadcaster ARD. Shout out when any of this starts to sound familiar.

      But WADA will tread carefully this time – not only because its nuts were in the fire after its strutting promises to wreck Russia’s sports participation, but because China literally owns global manufacturing and commerce. You will not see any boasting by a new Professor McLaren about having dozens of trainloads of proof – this is just an exploratory shot across the bow to see how the Chinese react. And planting a seed in western minds that the Russians and now the Chinese, too, are all cheaters.

      The Chinese probably do have some dopers among their professional sportspeople. Russia probably does, too. Some people in every group always decide to cheat because they don’t have what it takes and are subject to a variety of pressures to succeed. But it appears there are considerably more among the western teams, and their doping always seems to get whitewashed so long as it is not so obvious that it can’t be ignored. In extreme cases like Sir Bradley Wiggins, they are made into national icons despite a preponderance of evidence that they owe their success to doping.

      But here we go again with another altruistic dissident, crying for the country to be stripped of its medals for the sake of honour in sport.

      • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

        In the real world, every American athlete is a drugged-up baboon. There is not one single American Olympic victory that can be considered legitimate anymore.

        • James lake says:

          The revelation that surprised me and I am sure many other people – was that sportspeople can get a TUE which allows them to take banned substances. I could not believe this was allowed.

          This has further compromised the integrity of sport.

          Are we supposed to believe that so many major athletes have illnesses such as severe asthma? That they get an exemption to enable them to take banned substances?

          TUEs have legalised drugtaking and in my view the public should know who has these “sick notes” that allow them to take drugs.

          • marknesop says:

            It’s the western way – find a loophole that will allow your side an advantage, and then keep it open for your own use, but deny it to the enemy. In fact, it’s US doctrine: full-spectrum dominance.

            Full spectrum dominance includes the physical battlespace; air, surface and sub-surface as well as the electromagnetic spectrum and information space. Control implies that freedom of opposition force assets to exploit the battlespace is wholly constrained.

            Ensure the complete freedom of your forces to operate at will, while opposition forces are wholly constrained. Does Washington see politics as war? It most certainly does. Does it see professional sport and Olympic victories as political? It most certainly does. Professional sports, then, is just another battlefield upon which the United States will do whatever is necessary to ensure it dominates. The USA insists upon being part of the governance of virtually everything in the international spectrum, and sports is no exception; look at American control and/or influence upon the UN, the IMF, the World Bank, the English-speaking media, and so on and so on.

            Look at this fawning adulation for gymnast Simone Biles. There’s no getting around it – Biles is a great athlete; strong, fast, focused. But this lickumentary reports that even after she was scouted at a very young age for gymnastics training, she was just a so-so athlete.

            The youngster’s route to the top was not a straight shot. She battled flexibility issues in the junior ranks and endured a string of poor results. As she approached the senior level the 14-year-old faced a choice: withdraw from public school and increase her practice regimen – which today consists of 32 hours of training over six days a week – or enjoy the life of a regular teenager and remain on the outside of the elite ranks.

            Biles opted for home-schooling and the monastic life of a champion gymnast, initially prompting hard-won progress in her results. But she reached a nadir at the 2013 Secret US Classic, where she fell on the uneven bars, nearly toppled off the beam and botched her floor exercise before Boorman withdrew her from the vault.

            Oh, but then. But then her parents decided she needed to focus more, and signed her up with a sports psychologist.

            That’s when Biles’ parents enlisted a sports psychologist to help the teenager work through her nerves. Soon after she received an invitation from legendary national team coordinator Martha Karolyi to train at the Karolyi Ranch, the fabled training center for the US team. The results were immediate. By the end of her rookie campaign as a senior Biles had finished second at the American Cup, outduelled compatriot Kyla Ross for a breakthrough all-around national title, then followed it up with a world championship six weeks later in Antwerp. From then on it’s been a meteoric rise.

            The results were immediate. She just needed to get in the zone, and block out the distractions. Oh, and a TUE that allows her to take a restricted drug for hyperactivity disorder, ADHD. Pretty much the textbook definition of getting in the zone, and focusing. Just flip back to that gushy Guardian piece for a minute.

            “I love to see her mindset going into things,” Douglas said in Hartford. “Sometimes you just watch her on the side because she’s so calm with everything. And I think that’s how everybody needs to be. So calm, so confident. She’s an amazing competitor. She really is.”

            Perhaps that blankness is what separates Biles from her rivals as much as any physical superiority. As wrote David Foster Wallace in 1994: “The real secret behind top athletes’ genius, then, may be as esoteric and obvious and dull and profound as silence itself. The real, many-veiled answer to the question of just what goes through a great player’s mind as he stands at the center of hostile crowd-noise and lines up the free-throw that will decide the game might well be: nothing at all.”

            So calm. So confident. But diagnosed with a hyperactivity disorder, which caused her results to be all over the place and completely unpredictable. Until she got a professional coach, and a sports psychologist, and a TUE that allows her to take a banned drug that helped her blank out distractions, and focus. And then the results were….what was the word? Oh, yeah: meteoric.

            Full-spectrum dominance, baby.

            • Jen says:

              The tragedy is that Biles’ background makes her useless for anything other than gymnastics and that probably means she’s in danger of becoming at least psychologically dependent on the banned drug (if not physically). I believe she enrolled at UCLA in 2016 but then dropped out to become a professional gymnast. What’s going to happen to her if one day her body can’t take the rigours of training and performance any more? How many more gymnastics coaches does the US need? She probably needs to be a minimum height to be an effective coach, to be able to spot and catch pupils.

      • Cortes says:

        Cmon our host

        You gotta provide humour cushions to bite for that stuff, Shirley?

        Har de har ha!

      • Jen says:

        ‘Twas also that German broadcaster ARD that broadcast the documentary about the supposed Russian doping program. What’s the likelihood that ARD fished out the original template of a sole maverick sports physician whistle-blower on the run from authorities and having to flee to a safe haven that it used against Russia and is now applying it to China?

        English-language script of the ARD documentary ““Top-secret Doping: How Russia
        makes its Winners”

        Click to access English-Skript.pdf

        • marknesop says:

          Yes; that’s why I said shout out if any of this sounds familiar. The only thing radically different is the nationality. And in the Russian instance it was a couple, the Stepanovs. But here the Chinese doctor is playing the role of Rodchenkov.

          Searching for Rodchenkov (I couldn’t recall his name right away) led to this bizarre story, which just has to be some kind of parody; have you ever heard of this film?

  44. Moscow Exile says:

    From Kremlin-Controlled RT, so it ain’t true:

    Ukrainian president’s fake news: Holocaust-twisting tweet still online after 4 days

    Today is the 70th anniversary of the mass deportation of the population of Western Ukraine regions to Siberia and the Northern regions of the former USSR


    Only they are Polish Jews in the above photograph and they are shown being deported from the Jewish ghetto of Lodz in Poland to a death camp.

    The Pig’s Tweet (above) is still up and running 4 days after having been posted.

  45. Erika says:

    I am beginning to understand all those questions made by journalist, mostly foreign journalist, to Putin in the last few months, as to whether a woman could be a Russian President.

    Now, they have him on tape, saying yes, women can be president, and all the good qualities they would bring and voila…the 5th column presents its champion.

    • Evgeny says:

      Erika, by the way, have a look at Sobchak’s recent interview with Yuri Dud.

      To be honest I have enjoyed it. It’s hard for me to imagine that Sobchak will instigate a color revolution after her very likely loss at the election. After all, plurality of opinion per se is not bad.

      • marknesop says:

        I still think she’s quite attractive. She’s not conventionally beautiful, but she knows how to make the best of the way she looks. She’s perhaps panned as horsey-faced because she is just ordinary in a country of beautiful women.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        The Deputy of the State Duma from “United Russia”, Natalia Poklonskaya, has entered the fray with TV presenter Ksenia Sobchak. The parliamentarian in particular remembered the words of her opponent when she described Russia as “a country of genetic scum”.

        Now Sobchak wants to be president of the country that has genetic scum as its citizens.

    • marknesop says:

      Of course a woman could be President of Russia: with the proper support, Maria Zakharova would probably make a good one, she has a lot of Putinesque qualities and does not take shit from anybody. But Ksenya Sobchak probably has an even smaller following than Navalny does. Perhaps the west is just setting up another avenue for caterwauling about how unfair Russia is, to supplement the chorus that The Great Navalny would probably have won, only the Kremlin would not let him run, because it’s so scared of him. To that they could add that Russia is misogynistic, because it wopuldn’t vote for a woman.

  46. Moscow Exile says:

    Looks like I’ll be given the green light tomorrow. Again, they found a couple of minor errors — well not errors really, just transliteration problems.

    You are not allowed to use the Latin alphabet in the application, so anything not in Russian has to be translated and notarized.

    Notaries do a roaring trade in Russia because of the bureaucratic pettifoggery that exists here. I read somewhere once that there are more notaries in Moscow than in the whole of India. Anyway, my sister’s address in the UK, is Salford: this is where I stayed when banished to Misty Albion, and it was to that address that a police certificate was sent, which certificate I have to present to the migration people here so as to prove that I have no criminal record in Britain. This certificate had to be apostilled by the British Foreign Office and then translated and notarized here by a money-grubbing notary.

    So, the transliterated into Cyrillic “Salford” on my notarized translation of the police certificate is Солфорд. However, when referring in my application to where I resided in the UK 11 August – 16 September, I have written Салфорд

    The bureaucrat who dealt with me this afternoon asked which version was right: if the notary transliteration was wrong, I should have to pay to have it done again; if my transliteration was wrong, I should have to change my application accordingly, which I should then take out to the migration centre for the 8th consecutive day tomorrow.

    Simply taking costs into consideration, I chose the latter option, but I told the young woman who was dealing with me that the notary translator was very likely correct because the transliteration of place names depends on pronunciation and not on the vagaries of English spelling.

    She checked this out on her PC: the official Russian transliteration of “Salford” is indeed how the translator at the notary had transliterated it.

    “Salford” is pronounced /ˈsɔːlfərd/, hence the Russian transliteration Солфорд

    I, as an Englishman, transliterated the English spelling of the word thus: Салфорд.

    I have been going through such similar bureaucratic shite these past 7 days.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      The seething masses of the Indian Sub-Continent who were enjoying the benevolence of the British Raj [irony] had a special derogatory term for jobbing notaries who were first employed by the British East India Company and then, following John Company’s demise, for the British Indian Civil Service

      Can’t remember the name now: “babu” or summat like.

      • cartman says:

        Nobbies or Nabobs?

        I think the first is more of a clerk, and the latter is someone like Bill Browder.

      • niku says:

        ‘Babus’ are the bureaucrats.

        By the way, in India, my experience has been mixed. But I will say just this: the higher up you go, the better the dealings become. In my recent experience with the local Passport office, I found the head of the Regional Passport Office to be very, very helpful. (Not just to me; I could observe his talk with a few others too.)

        This seemed to be the case with your local director of Federal Migration Service too. (The only sane person that you found.) I don’t know how it would work in practice, but if possible, perhaps one should try to “escalate” the issue.

    • marknesop says:

      Pity the British Consulate wouldn’t do anything for you. When the missus and I got hitched in Vladivostok, we had to have several official translations done – my divorce certificate, our new marriage certificate, and so forth. The Canadian Consulate engaged the services of a translator of record and notified us when the translated copies were ready, stamped and certified them and so forth, all for a very modest fee to the translator.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        The British Consul does sweet FA here now. everything is outsourced. He gave me a list of trusted advocates last May. They were all corporate business lawyers or divorce lawyers.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      No, knocked back again, this time because of an error in my firm’s address when said firm registered me on my arrival here on 16 September.

      The girl at my firm who did the form filling forgot to add “office 5” to the address.

      Legally, my firm’s address is now my registered address until I get permission to have my family’s address registered as mine.

      Now I have to get a new medical certificate because that too has an “erroneous” address on it as regards my registered address.

      “Fucking stinks!” as they say in polite circles.

      • marknesop says:

        You have little choice but to keep going back until they have made you replace pretty much every word in the application. Just for laughs, though, next time you might ask “are there any other errors in the application? No? Would you sign a declaration to that effect?”

        • Moscow Exile says:

          Knocked back for the 7th time again, and that’s after having fixed the “office 6” business as described above, the fixing of which error (not mine, by the way), I was assured yesterday, would guarantee acceptance of my application today.

          And here’s why my application was refused, albeit all my documentation is in order:

          Under “date and place of birth” I had written the d.o.b. and (in Russian, of course) literally “in the city of ******” [в городе ****].

          The bureaucrat said I should simply have written город ****.

          And in 3 places in the 4-page application where I have written my firm’s address and that where I have been living for the past 20 years, I have written: (1) post code (2) city (3) street (4) house number (5) apartment number, namely the usual Russian formula, e.g.

          109316 город Москва, улица Стройковская, дом 17/1, квартира 3

          NO, NO, NO!!!

          WRONG, WRONG, WRONG!!!

          Following the post code, I should have written РОССИЯ!

          Which one does, of course, when addressing mail from outside of Russia, but within Russia?

          So I was told for the 7th time on a 7th consecutive day to go home and do it again and bring it again tomorrow.

          What surprises does tomorrow hold for me, I wonder?

          As it happens, a girl (probably Ukrainian), who had been sitting in front of me during my two-and-a-half-hour wait to be summonsed to a window where I would have to face the wrath of the Russian bureaucracy, was informed that she had been granted a residency permit. She told me that her successful application of today had been her 7th attempt.

          • marknesop says:

            Apparently 8th time’s a charm!

          • niku says:

            Oh, so the person you submit the application to decides (on the spot) whether to grant the request? If so, I would add a further option to my three options above:

            (iv) The bureaucrats want to make sure that you understand that what they are granting is a great boon, and that you should value and treasure it! If you see it as a pilgrimage, you and the bureaucrat would finally understand each other! Putting yourself to much trouble is an essential part of the pilgrimage (it is usually taken on foot).

            Good luck for the 8th attempt, anyway.

            • Moscow Exile says:


              Exactly! My wife says all the time that this whole process is just to show how omnipotent they are.

              Yesterday, Friday, 27 October, albeit that I had successfully changed my registration address to correspond with that which they have in their data base of business addresses, and after I had also managed to persuade a very helpful woman at the clinic where I had to do my medicals to add “office 5” to my address on the medical certificate and to verify the alteration, they once again refused to accept my application because of newly discovered “errors” (as described above), even though the person who checked my application on Thursday, 26 October, said that on my return on Friday, 27 October with a suitably adjusted application, said application would definitely be accepted.

              It was not accepted yesterday for an 8th time over a period of 8 successful days.

              I shall return to the migration centre for the 9th time today with my newly “corrected” application.

              I must stress, though, that all my documents are in order: they check them carefully each time and then, at the end of their checking, they meticulously nit-pick through the written application to find fault.

              Most written applications (printed out using a word processor, actually, because the spaces provided for the detailed answers that they require are so tiny) are rejected because of “errors” in the application form, not because of errors in documentation.

              Everything, of course, must be written in Russian.

              One error they found in my application earlier last week was in my spelling of the word преродаватель (higher education] teacher; lecturer), which word appears 3 times in my application form. However, last Tuesday, I inadvertently left off the “soft sign” at the end of one of these 3 words.

              Write it out again! it Again! Come back tomorrow!.

              If an application is accepted, they stamp the application, give you back your original documents (in my case marriage certificate, passport, spouse’s passport) save for your health certificate, which proves that the applicant is not a leper, a syphilitic; that he is HIV-negative, does not suffer from tuberculosis etc.; that he is neither a junkie nor an alky nor stark-staring mad.

              Then you have to wait again — for a long time.

              Then you are summoned to another window, where a top bureaucrat in a blue MVD uniform hands you a document stating that your 3-year temporary residency permit is pending approval.

              All your documents are then reviewed by some top-dog bureaucrat and also by the Commander-in-Chief of the Moscow garrison, so I was told 11 years ago when I first applied for such a permit. You can trace the progress of your application on an MVD portal by means of a reference number for your application.

              Then, if the super-duper bureaucrats are happy about the application, you are summoned to this migration centre hell-hole in order to have your passport stamped accordingly.

              Last time, in 2006, I waited 6 months for the stamp to be put into my passport, but was covered by the “permit pending” document during this long wait.

              All this just to eat mouldy cabbage soup and rotten fish heads without having to worry about renewing one’s visa every year, or every 3 months in my present case.

              • niku says:

                Much of your experience in this regard is simply crazy. Reading it, I was reminded of a poem by William Blake, specifically, the last line of it!

       (A Little Boy Lost)

              • marknesop says:

                You probably should not bother to take off your coat and hat on subsequent visits. Just push the paper across the desk and start adjusting yourself for departure. Perhaps when they see you do not expect the application to be granted, it will not be so much fun anymore, and they will relent. But I bet you will never forget an approaching due date again.

              • Moscow Exile says:

                And on the ninth day the state bureaucrats ended their work which they had made and delighted in ….

                The bureaucratic bastards finally accepted my application to live for 3 years with my wife and family in Russia.

                I set off for the Migration Centre at 10:00 today and returned to my flat at 21:30.
                In order to be granted such a residence permit, I had to present the bureaucrats with a medical certificate that proves I am not a brain-addled syphilitic.

                I suspect some of them may not be able receive such a certificate themselves.

                I have to wait for up to 2 months to have my permit verified, which means going to the centre again and having them stamp my passport.

                After 3 years, I shall have to go through the whole process again or apply for a “permanent” residence permit, which can be extended every 5 years by 5 years.

                I forgot to do this with my previous “full residency permit” this summer.

                When I signed a document this afternoon acknowledging the Ministry of the Interior’s acceptance of my documents, the woman bureaucrat who dealt with me was not happy with my signed in Russian signature: she said it did no look like my signature in my British passport.

                I said: “Maybe that’s because my signature in my British passport is written in the Latin alphabet?”

                She got very annoyed and said, “Maybe I’ll make you write out your application again and you can bring it here again tomorrow?”


  47. Warren says:

    Published on 24 Oct 2017
    The media has been flooded with reports that alleged Russian trolls tried to influence Black Lives Matter. Historian Gerald Horne and attorney Anoa Changa discuss the use of the black struggle for the Russiagate narrative and its historical context

    • Northern Star says:

      Russkie snowflake jewess whose parents fled Russia to ‘Murica…and who now apparently thinks she knows and lives the ‘Black Experience’ better than black folk!!!

      As for BLM…No sincerely revolutionary group is or will be funded by Foundations.:

      • marknesop says:

        Neither is playing on racial tensions inside the United States a new Russian tactic. In fact, it predates even the Cold War. In 1932, for instance, Dmitri Moor, the Soviet Union’s most famous propaganda poster artist, created a poster that cried, “Freedom to the prisoners of Scottsboro!” It was a reference to the Scottsboro Boys, nine black teenagers who were falsely accused of raping two white women in Alabama, and then repeatedly—wrongly—convicted by all-white Southern juries. The case became a symbol of the injustices of the Jim Crow South, and the young Soviet state milked it for all the propagandistic value it could.

        Two things. One, if this tactic has been around and been used against America by Russia since the 1930’s, how did it just come to threaten American democracy and the integrity of its elections this year? Two, the Scottsboro Boys were falsely accused, and then falsely convicted. The things that happened to them were real, and not made up, and material which suggested America was in the wrong and guilty of a race-based crime were accurate. How is that…propaganda?

        I need hardly point out – again – that the modern alleged interference in the American elections consisted of the release of information about Hillary Clinton, prior to the election, which was true and accurate. Any suggestion that whoever had it – and it has never been proven to have been Russia, while several clues suggest it was not – should have withheld it from the electorate until after the election was complete is monstrous. Clinton lied that the State Department was okay with her having and using a private email server to conduct Secretary of State business, and the record reflects the State Department warned her not to use it for official traffic since all such official traffic is government property and must by law be archived. Clinton’s excuse was that she didn’t remember any such directive although it was sent in her behalf. Clinton lied that there was no classified material in her email traffic. Whoever released the material passed on true and accurate information that proved a presidential candidate was lying to the electorate right up to the election, and that her lying was being aided and abetted by the government agencies tasked with investigating her egregious security breaches. Yet somehow the story is all about Russian trolls spreading propaganda about Clinton which made the country elect Trump! Incredible.

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