Seasons Greetings From the Masters of Illusion

Uncle Volodya says, “When people complain of your complexity, they fail to remember that they made fun of your simplicity.”

Nolan Peterson, perennial Ukraine optimist and is-the-glass-half-empty-or-are-you-not-listening-to-me guy, feels like the country has turned a corner. Yes, by God, things are looking up. Ukraine might not be able to look forward to EU membership, but hey! It has visa-free travel, so if you have enough money for a vacation, you can go to the EU and see what it would be like to live there. Ukraine might not be able to look forward to NATO membership, but there are a few NATO troops in Ukraine training the country’s soldiers so that they can get a feel for what it would be like to be a NATO soldier, sort of.  I mean, apart from getting paid, and stuff.

And the country’s GDP growth might be an anemic 0.2%, the Balance of Trade might have been relentlessly negative for more than a year, so that Ukraine is digging itself into a deeper hole every month by buying more than it’s selling – worse yet, nearly all of it with borrowed money – and the Government Debt to GDP ratio might have more than doubled from Yanukovych to Poroshenko. Running the economy is like juggling flaming tar. But never mind that. Sit down for a minute, because Mr. Peterson has big news, the kind of news that is going to make you want to pack up your troubles in your old kit bag and smile, smile, smile. You’re going to want to jump in the air – proof, incidentally, that you are not a Moskal – and click your heels together.

Ukraine now has Christmas.

Yes, isn’t that great??? Petro Poroshenko the inspirational leader, moved by a compulsion to give his countrymen a gift that all could enjoy, signed it into law – December 25th is now a public holiday, just like it is in the west! Now Ukrainians can experience – vicariously, at least – the joy of sharing a holiday with the west: not like those bearded Orthodox wierdos. In fact, that’s what makes it the best! Russia doesn’t have it!!

You might think I’m being sarcastic, but I assure you I’m not. Establishing an ever-more-obvious difference between Ukrainians and Russians who share the same genetic makeup is sufficiently important to Mr. Peterson that he put it in the headline. In Ukraine, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. And a lot less like Russia.

I suppose we should have expected this, because it’s the kind of thing westerners – especially Americans – do in their eagerness to spread their culture of consumerism. The Moscow Times, a western-oriented newspaper with an American editor, based in Moscow, mounted a spirited campaign for a couple of years to get Hallowe’en to catch on in Russia, and was scathing in its denunciation of the government and the Orthodox religion for their resistance. I don’t really understand why this is so important, but it just seems as if the ‘democracy activists’ believe if they can get foreign populations to adopt western commercial holidays – which virtually all of them now are – they will respond more readily to exhortations to throw themselves into the kind of ridiculous spending frenzy holidays in the west imply, and docilely allow themselves to be managed by corporate advertising.

Holiday surveys in America predict the average American will spend between $950 and $1,200 on Christmas shopping this year. Some can afford it. Quite a few can’t.

Well, in that respect, Americans and Ukrainians are already just like brothers. You can sort of tell from the throngs of eager shoppers you can see in the picture accompanying Mr. Peterson’s smug article. At first glance, I would say Santa has his work cut out for him. According to state statistics, the average monthly wage across Ukraine in July 2017 was $276.00 USD. Right off the top of my head, I’m going to predict the average Ukrainian will not be spending a minimum of $950.00 on Christmas, because that represents almost three and a half months’ wages.

A big part of consumer research in the west is dedicated to finding out where people spend their money, and then developing advertising which will persuade them to spend it on targeted products instead. So what do Ukrainians spend their money on? Well, mostly – some 94% – goes on  food, transport, essential goods and communal services. According to a popular Ukrainian news site, Ukrainians have only 6% of their wages available for savings. Or…er…Christmas shopping. Gee; what a dilemma.

Say; you know, maybe there’s a lesson here. Maybe Ukrainians don’t need to be herded into aping westerners’ consumer habits quite yet. Perhaps they don’t need to be pawns in a one-upmanship game where western ideologues take a poke at Russia and then giggle behind their hands, waiting for a reaction. Maybe they need help breaking out of a system in which the country’s 50 wealthiest citizens control 85% of the nation’s GDP – because their president sure as hell isn’t going to help them there. Maybe instead of just blindly pumping money into the country without any accountability, so that much of it ends up in wealthy citizens’ offshore accounts and shell corporations, they need local agencies distributing aid money directly to small businesses and farmers and tradesmen under conditions of strict oversight and monitoring. Maybe the grinding noise of being crushed by poverty is making it hard for them to hear the jingling of sleigh bells and the prancing and pawing of each little hoof, if you get my drift.

Instead, westerners busy themselves thinking up ways in which Ukrainians can show that they are different from the dirty Russians, which plays into the fantasies of a tiny fraction of the population, and those the most ideological and least stable. Instead, westerners invent barriers which caused Ukraine to lose the Russian market for its goods which was more than a third of its GDP. In their minds, western ideologues are still missionaries, going amongst the heathen to save their souls for the real God.  And he’ll likely have them soon enough: Ukrainians’ life expectancy has faltered and stumbled, and they are dying faster than new Ukrainians can be born. If it were happening in Russia, it’d be ‘a death spiral’, because the Russians are our enemies and we like to think about lots of them dying. We don’t talk that way about our friends, though, so it’s a big mystery, although Ukrainians themselves have a pretty good idea why.

“This is a serious problem for the country,” Alex Ryabchyn, a member of Ukraine’s Parliament, told The Daily Signal. “People are dying due to bad living conditions, declining environmental standards, or the war. Another problem is that the most active workforce is considering emigration..More people are dying than are being born in Ukraine. In 2016, every birth in Ukraine was matched by 1.5 deaths, according to a January report by the State Statistics Service of Ukraine.

Where did we learn that? Why, from Nolan Peterson; the same guy who thinks a little ho-ho-ho is just what Ukrainians need to chase away those winter blues.

“They are Man’s and they cling to me, appealing from their fathers. This boy is Ignorance and this girl is Want. Beware them both, and all of their degree, but most of all beware this boy for on his brow I see that written which is Doom, unless the writing be erased.”

Charles Dickens; A Christmas Carol




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1,923 Responses to Seasons Greetings From the Masters of Illusion

  1. Moscow Exile says:

    Hello, you thousands of kiddies!

    • Matt says:

      The youth is generally less brainwashed than the rest of the populace. This can only be seen as a good thing.

    • rkka says:

      Yes, the youth have no memory of the last US puppet to govern them, whose oligarch-friendly policies had Russians dying off at the rate of 705,000 to 950,000 a year for eight consecutive years, easily the most catastrophic 8 consecutive years of Russia’s peacetime history.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      All the above photos from Navalny’s article in today’s Ekho Moskvy:

      The best way to convince oneself that there is no huge percentage of support for the government is to hold a rally in the Kemerovo region.

      I have been here twice in one month. I was in Kemerovo and today I have been in Novokuznetsk, a very important industrial region with an urban agglomeration of 1.3 million people. It is important to have votes and support there.

      But here is a thing: according to official data, Putin has 93% support here, Governor Tuleyev has 98%, and the United Russia mayor has 90%. This means, of course,that everyone here is for the government.

      And, of course, no one will come to an oppositionist rally, especially if it is forbidden to come, volunteers’ tyres wheel are punctured, students intimidated and special Saturday classes arranged for them. Yes, and it is cold. What sort of rally will take place here?

      And he bullshits on, saying that despite the alleged huge support for Putin and the intimidation “a rally did take place”.

      I don’t know what the Kremlin sociologists will say, but the largest political rally over the course of many years did take place in Novokuznetsk today, and they were definitely not supporting Putin there.

      Well, I just don’t know where these sky-high percentages of support for Putin come from. In Novokuznetsk, I did not find them, but found only remarkable people who demand a normal life that they deserve.

      Thank you very much to everyone who came. An excellent rally was held. it was interesting to be with you, and I am very grateful for such a warm welcome. Kuzbass is with us.

      Tomorrow I shall be on the other side of the country – in Kaliningrad. There, the rally is to take place on a private site: Moskovsky Prospect, 83 (landmark – “Moskovsky” supermarket). The site has been leased to us by a local businessman, but I do not know what the local authorities are doing with it — maybe they are tearing off their nails with pliers, but some problems with the site have started.

      The City Hall was so kind to offer us a playground nearby. Therefore, we already have two possible options, and the meeting will most certainly take place. Now the headquarters are engaged in organizational issues and they will be definitely be decided . Come: 15-00, Moscow Avenue, 83.

      And, all you dear people, you see: we are the only ones leading a real campaign. In fact, we are agitating people and are fighting for votes, but we are not making ourselves visible This campaign is only possible with your support. Continue to render it. We are rightly spending what you are sacrificing.

      Please keep giving us money!

      And the fraudster says himself that the urban population of Novokuznetsk is 1.3 million.

      Only 1 thousand turned up.

      So the bullshitter concludes that this proves that the 93% support there for Putin is clearly a fiction.

      Yes, quite.

      And keep sending Navalny and Volkov your money, suckers!

      • marknesop says:

        He knows he will not have to prove any of this in an election. He’s just singing for his supper, or rather, causing a minor disturbance which he’s exaggerating out of all proportion for his NED cheque.

    • Lyttenburgh says:

      “Thousands” of Novokuznetsk citizens attending Navalny’s rally look like this:

      Eh, I mean:

      Funny thing how our thought process works sometimes. While reading the National Interest article linked by davidt on the previous page (the one where the NI chief editor asks whether Navalny is a real alternative to Putin) it suddenly hit me. I think that I’ve finally groked what this whole fucking circus with horses and hamsters is all about.

      Navalny is our modern age Peter Pan (which makes Volkov his, uhm, Tinkerbell? Horror, horror…). 40 something, pot-bellied man-boobed Peter-Fucking-Pan. And all his cultists are Lost Boys and Girls. His “electorate” is no old enough to vote. And you know what? It will never be – because over time these kiddies will grow up and smarten a little bit. They will start having real concerns that only they (without parental care anymore) have to solve. That’s like sub-culture – it will pass, as passed all those Goths, Emos, as passed into obscurity after just one year Pokemon Go and fidget spinner.

      But it doesn’t matter for Peter-Alexei, because there are bound to be next generation of 14-17 year olds, and one after them, and another, and another… Because big cities school-children/higher-ed students are the eternal group of class-less politically active “rebels without cause”. On the one hand they need to “rebel”, on the other – show conformity tribal like. For some it is via sports fan-clubs, for others – via belonging to this or that “fandom”. And yet for others it is political activism. But all of these is lukewarm, skin-deep and temporal. What happened to the throngs of anti-kremlin youth from Bolotnaya protests in 2011-12? What happened to the one’s in 2007-2008 where there were rallies numbering in thousands both in Moscow and St. Pete? They grew up. They’ve changed. Now the routine of life dominates them.

      The ones that keep protesting past that “phase” prove that they are not your ordinary net-hamsters happy to run in (safe) circles within the confines of their cage/parent’s apartment and the hamster-wheel/Net. No, these who become serious are bloody lemmings. Should there were an evolution of the protest-hamster, the positive natural selection, survival of the fittest, real personal and mental growth, by now we’d see a mammoth sized hamsters ready to plow with their tusks RosGvardia and take over the Kremlin. Instead year after year they are younger and pathetic. I mean, Borukh Nemtsov and Mikhail Kasyanov and their camarilla were/still are a bunch of unprincipled amoral ego-driven bastards – but 10 years ago they didn’t stoop so low as to engage in the political peadophilia like Pan-Navalny does.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        You missed out the self-evident fact that was pointed out above by an occasional visitor here that “the youth are generally less brainwashed”, thereby implying that, in general, the kiddies who flock to the bullshitter’s rallies in their hundreds of thousands are not “brain-washed”.

        This, of course, is a “good thing”, because the majority in Russia is clearly brainwashed, judging by the percentage ratings that Putin and his regime continually enjoy.

        I must go now and tune into my Kremlin controlled favourite TV channels and websites.

        Слава России! Путину слава!

        • Lyttenburgh says:

          “You missed out the self-evident fact that was pointed out above by an occasional visitor here that “the youth are generally less brainwashed”, thereby implying that, in general, the kiddies who flock to the bullshitter’s rallies in their hundreds of thousands are not “brain-washed”.”


          New Scientist: Teenage brains can’t tell what’ important and what isn’t

          “Teenagers may know full well how important final exams are – but that won’t stop some putting in minimal effort. This may be because their brains aren’t developed enough to properly assess how high the stakes are, and adapt their behaviour accordingly.

          Adults are generally pretty good at being able to tell when a situation is worthy of extra time or concentration. Research has found that, when potential rewards or losses are higher, for example, adults will perform better on tasks. But this doesn’t seem to be the case for adolescents.

          Catherine Insel, at Harvard University, and her team asked adolescents between the ages of 13 and 20 to play a game while lying in an fMRI brain scanner. In some rounds of the game, participants could earn 20 cents for a correct response, while an incorrect one would cost them 10 cents. But in rounds with higher stakes, correct responses were worth a dollar, and wrong answers lost the participants 50 cents.

          Less-developed brains
          The team found that while the older volunteers performed better in the high stakes rounds, the younger ones didn’t – their performance didn’t change in line with whether the stakes were low or high. And the older the volunteers were, the more improved their performance was. “Interestingly, the ability to adjust performance according to the stakes at play emerged gradually across adolescence,” says Insel.

          When the team looked at the brain activity of the volunteers, they found that their ability to improve their performance was linked to how developed their brains were. A region called the corticostriatal network seemed to be particularly important. This is known to connect areas involved in reward to those that control behaviour, and continues to develop until we are at least 25 years old.

          The more developed their corticostriatal network was, the better volunteers were able to boost their performance on high stakes tasks, says Insel.

  2. Patient Observer says:

    Simply sickening this scumbag was found innocent by a jury of the feeble-minded I would guess.

    An air-tight defense for police murder is that they simply felt or were concerned or had the impressions that there may be an infinitesimally small chance that the suspect could possibly represent some sort of danger at some point in the future.

    The comments were generally spot on.

    • cartman says:

      He was an Afghan vet – of course – and his gun was inscribed with the words “You’re fucked.”

      • Patient Observer says:

        And probably volunteered for several tours of duty – killing is easy, perhaps an occasional rape and the pay is pretty good. However, I don’t blame these poor twisted human wrecks as much as the people who put them there.

        • kirill says:

          The American justice system is a complete joke. The jury never saw this video. So it must have seen some Mickey Mouse substitute for reality instead. You can convict Jesus H. Christ for mass murder this way.

          I saw on RT that a court case that Jesse Ventura won against the “American sniper” was overturned by an appeals court upon the intervention of the US MSM corporations. The trick is that the appeals judges basically staged an illegal new trial by hearing a different theory without any new evidence and counter-arguments, as opposed to finding flaws with the original case. This is simply not the function of appeals courts, they can only rule on mistakes in the original trial and cannot stage new trials by starting from scratch (there are no appeals court juries, etc.).

        • marknesop says:

          Oh, I blame that guy. He sounded like he was really getting off on it.

    • marknesop says:

      What a disgusting example of authority out of control. Hopefully there will be a little street justice. I can’t see him lasting long just walking around free; He probably would have been safer in jail. So perhaps this is the best outcome.

      • yalensis says:

        Yep, the calibre of American cops has gone WAY down in recent years.
        So many of them are poorly educated brutes who don’t possess even the minimal amount of courage to perform such functions intelligently.

        • Patient Observer says:

          Many are ex-military deployed overseas where they learned their “skills” in dealing with people. We recently had training in how to respond to an active shooter at our facility. The instructor was a police officer who served several tours of duty in Iraq. He regaled us for an hour (was supposed to be 30 minutes of training) about Muslims including how they are required to kill an animal with with their bare hands by their tenth birthday and in general just how stupid they were. He had a lot of good things to say about Israel and how good they were at dealing with such matters. I was happy that our “stupid” Muslim employees were not present (both have MS degrees in chemical engineering).

        • marknesop says:

          I understand that they do a dangerous job and that a disproportionate number of them are killed or injured by violence in comparison to most other avenues of employment. But behavior like that is what gets them targeted deliberately by otherwise law-abiding people, just out of helpless fury.

      • Patient Observer says:

        His victim was a pest exterminator. This time, the vermin won.

  3. cartman says:

    The Louvre is a franchise? Like Wendy’s?

    • marknesop says:

      Evidently. Abu Dhabi can buy anything.

    • Jen says:

      Looks like the Louvre did indeed sell its name (with the goodwill and reputation attached) to the city of Abu Dhabi for the euro equivalent of US$525 million, and that Louvre Abu Dhabi is the first of many such planned Louvre art museum franchises.

      Other French institutions have also jumped onto the French-culture-for-profit-maximisation bandwagon: there is now Paris-Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi, and the Pompidou Centre has opened temporary pop-up museums carrying its name in Spain, Mexico and Brazil.

      How flogging culture for money is going to enhance the reputation of French culture and history should be interesting to see. At the very least, French museums falling over one another to open branches in countries with dubious human rights records aren’t exactly doing themselves favours in the long-term.

      • yalensis says:

        What’s next? The Paris Conservatory? The Italian Opera? The Opera Comique?
        Is literally nothing sacred any more?

      • marknesop says:

        Ha, ha!! I was only joking, but it’s true!! Incredible!

        • Patient Observer says:

          Another example the power of money monetizing everything creating an under-recognized form of totalitarianism . And that is why the West fears Russia, Serbia and other countries that do not bow to Western money although their traitors certainly do.

          In a way, all people who do not worship money above all are all potential “traitors” to Western values. Consider Snowden, I do not consider him a traitor although many do. They cannot understand why he did what he did without a huge monetary payoff. That blind spot will their undoing.

          • et Al says:

            Moon of Alabama: Trump Is Bashing The ‘Salvator Saudi’ – Why?

            The Trump administration seemed to get along very well with the Saudi tyrant and his son Mohammed bin Salman. They together admired the orb and joined up to bash Iran. But now the Trump administration scolded and embarrassed MbS three times in as many days. One wonders what is going on behind that scene.

            In mid November a mysterious buyer bought a probably fake Leonardo da Vinci painting of Jesus Christ for a cool $450 million. On December 6 the New York Times reported that some Saudi prince was the front-man for the purchase:…

            Plenty more at the link.

    • Lyttenburgh says:

      “The work was acquired by the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi for the museum.”

      Sharia commentary: Whoever UAE prince acquired this painting of the prophet Isa (pbuh), is both a murtad and mushrik , People should not be portrayed with the graven images – ma shā Allah! And from these people (UAE and other Gulfies) mujaheeds from the ISIL and AQ take money?! Astagfir allāh!

    • Patient Observer says:

      At least one commentator at MOA surmises its just a money laundering scheme – first plausible rationale I have seen. The painting is bad and possibly a fake some say.

    • marknesop says:

      Ahhh…that brings back fond memories of La Russophobe’s war cries about Russia ‘buzzing the coast of America with nuclear bombers’. Are the American planes close to the coast of Russian territory? Yes, they are. Could they carry a nuclear weapon? Yes, they could. So the Americans are buzzing the coast of Russia with nuclear bombers, by the same logic. I want to be clear I am making fun only of her, and not the USAF, who said on these occasions that there was no danger and that they were not worried about it.

  4. Northern Star says:
    The pix that speaks a thousand words is the one with his daughters..
    “Murica needs a Bastille moment…..

    BTW..speaking of murder..the black guy on the Greek island was not “allegedly curb stomped” by racist vermin of whatever nationality.

    He was kicked and stomped to death.

    Just wanted to set the record straight for any loudmouth MFs who know who they are.

    • kirill says:

      Not to defend Yankee loud mouths, but any such attack is by total coward vermin. Even if this American had personally insulted the mothers and daughters of these shitheads, the attack was the typical attack by gang scum. The value of any member of a gang in such contexts is basically the inverse of the total number of gang members.

      A real man would have used his fists to beat the Yank senseless. Even into a coma, it would have been fair. The POS who used his feet to attack the victim’s head should do 20 years.

      • marknesop says:

        As far as I can see, there was no reason to beat him with fists or in any other way. Just because a particular country is unpopular is no reason to take it out on its citizens when they are somewhere else, so long as they mind their own business and are not looking for trouble.

    • Patient Observer says:

      The issue with me was your apparent effort to use that act of heinous and despicable gang violence to characterize the Serb people and their history. I hope that you have learned something about the history of Serbs fighting fascism and intolerance for centuries. If there is need for further edification:

      • Northern Star says:

        “General Ratko Mladic, now 75, was sentenced last week to life in prison by the *NATO* kangaroo court known as the ..”


        *ALL* Western courts are comprised of corrupt and/or racist and/or incompetent large marsupials with big tails masquerading as educated jurists.

  5. marknesop says:

    Oh, look. The Venice Commission of the European Union has released its opinion on the Ukrainian language law, and it is that the law is discriminatory toward those whose mother tongue is Russian. The commission recommends that Ukraine rewrite Article 7.

    Apparently there actually is such a thing as too far. Irina Farion will have a meltdown.

    Oh, look. Never mind. Ukrainian legal expert elected head of Venice Commission, followed quickly by Parubiy announcing there will be no changes to the language law. And that’s how it’s done, folks; badda-bing, badda-boom. Apparently Ukraine will decide what is too far, and Europe can just go suck it. Oh, and send us more money. I hope Russia announces that all immigrants from Ukraine must demonstrate fluency in Russian or they will not be admitted.

    • kirill says:

      All this generosity for minority languages in Banderastan is because few in it actually conform to such BS. There are plenty of youtube channels from Banderastan that use full Russian (not even Syrzhik). Kiev cannot enforce any draconian language law and would only undermine itself by doing so.

      • marknesop says:

        Well, it can, actually, since the law specifies in what language you can learn in school. And that’s Ukrainian. So it cannot affect what language people speak now, but it can ensure that future generations inexorably speak Ukrainian more and more. But really it is targeted against Russia, because it specifies that EU languages are OK. And don’t forget that YouTube is owned by Google, and is moving steadily toward being a constantly-monitored and edited network service which removes content it does not like.

        The current government in Kiev is working hard to ensure Ukraine is sufficiently de-Russianized that it cannot go back to the way it was. It will end up like the Baltics, loathing and discriminating against its Russian minority. The most strategic action Russia could take would be to not help it, and just let it fail and fall apart. A succeeding government will be sadder and wiser.

  6. marknesop says:

    Aaaaand there you have it, folks, straight from the lips of Pavlo Munchkin. The west will not react to Saakashvili’s detention, and considers it to be an internal Ukrainian matter. So Kiev can make up whatever wild charges it wants, and Uncle Sam will not ride to the rescue. Saakashvili has apparently outlived his usefulness.

    I don’t really feel sorry for him, because I’ve always thought he was a twat and his preening over being the golden child of Washington was sickening. In fact, he probably deserves whatever happens to him, although I expect the west will make some kind of private deal to get him out on the promise that he will stay out of Ukraine. Where he will go then is anyone’s guess, since he is a stateless person with no citizenship. But it is significant to note how much weight Ukraine still swings with the west, even though Europe is getting impatient about its hamfisted anti-corruption charade. Kiev just said “Stay out of it”, and the west retired smartly.

    I think you will agree that is hardly a climate in which Poroshenko will feel moved to do anything much about corruption beyond making a lot of noise and promises.

    • et Al says:

      Where he will go then is anyone’s guess,…

      I put my vote in for Lebanon. He’ll help Hariri the son keep peace and make milk and honey with Nut&Yahoo.

  7. Lyttenburgh says:

    Well, indeed, it looks like the collective West decided to just say to poor, ageing, clumsy Mishiko “I know thee not, old man!”. The ritualistic spitting and trampling of Saakasvhili effigy in the Freest Press in the World (Western one) will commence soon enough. But before that – a quick reminder of what they were saying, before re-alignment of the winds, blowing from Washington’s ObCom.

    The Economist (Editorial): Ukraine is a mess; the West should press it harder to fight graft – Lay off the pay-offs
    Drama in the streets is a sign of worsening corruption. Ukraine must not be allowed to fail

    Ukraine is a mess? Nooooo waaaaaay! Are you sure? Tell me more!

    “AFTER the Maidan revolution and the start of the Russian war against Ukraine in 2014, Western policy had two aims: to halt and punish Russian aggression and to help Ukraine become a democratic state governed by the rule of law. America imposed sanctions on Russia, ordered the president, Petro Poroshenko, to establish an anti-corruption force and sent Joe Biden, then vice-president, on repeated visits to insist on fighting graft. The EU imposed sanctions on Russia, and made support for civil-society and the rule of law a linchpin of the association agreement it signed with Ukraine in 2014.

    In that light, the news out of Ukraine over the past few weeks has been dire. The country’s prosecutor-general has disrupted investigations by its National Anti-corruption Bureau, with the apparent consent of Mr Poroshenko. The interior minister has intervened to protect his son from similar scrutiny. Officers in the security service, the SBU, have tried to arrest Mikheil Saakashvili, the former Georgian president turned Ukrainian corruption-fighter, only to be driven back by protesters. Prosecutors are targeting anti-corruption activists; the army, interior-ministry troops and private militias work at cross-purposes, answering to different politicians or oligarchs. Mr Poroshenko’s government has been seriously weakened.

    That’s important part – keep it mind. But here comes the “meat” of the article! Good flunkies of Ed Lukas has found the answer to the eternal question “Whom to blame?” as pertains to the Ukraine and its current woes! Are you ready? Here it is:

    “To some Europeans and Americans, this picture suggests that their efforts to persuade Ukraine to turn over a new leaf were always doomed to fail. That is a misreading. In fact, the recent chaos in Ukraine comes in part because in the past year, especially since the inauguration of President Donald Trump, Europe and America have eased the pressure. If they do not restore their commitment to defending anti-corruption reforms, Ukraine risks sinking back into the morass from which it tried to extricate itself with Maidan.

    Ukraine’s grubby politicians and oligarchs have tried to frustrate Western aims without openly defying them (see article). Partly as a result, policy under Mr Trump has lost its focus on fighting graft. Kurt Volker, the American envoy to Ukraine, works on external security; America may soon sell the country lethal weapons for the first time. But when the State Department complains about corruption, it is ignored—because (unlike Mr Biden) the White House offers it no support. As for the EU, few believe it would jeopardise its association agreement with Ukraine for the sake of the rule of law. So, the country’s elite no longer fears attacking investigators and activists.”

    Trump! It is all Trump’s fault! Because – surely! – under the watch of the President of Peace B. Obama and gramps Biden no dodgy things ever happened in the Ukraine, noooope! Biden (and his son) gonna defend this PO like lions! This also welcomes nasty question – aren’t Mr. Poroshenko himself an oligarch, whose personal wealth skyrocketed since his election? And maybe – I’m not insisting, no-no – having lots of cash stashed in “Panama Papers Fund” precludes him from actually fighting corruption – and not, you know, the election of Trump? Heresy, I know!

    But the articles goes from strength to strength, boldly skipping to the “What to do?” section. The solution is as brilliant and though-over as everything else in there:

    “Lay off the pay-offs
    If they succeed in ending the attempts to fight graft, it will be a disaster for Ukraine—and a step back for Europe and America, too. The country is the focal point of the West’s conflict with Russia. Weak and divided, it is vulnerable to Russian encroachment, especially if Vladimir Putin decides he needs to fire up patriotic Russian voters. Chaos would also buttress Mr Putin’s claim that the West’s aims in Ukraine are purely anti-Russian and have nothing to do with democracy or the rule of law. All this would undermine the rules-based global order, with consequences in the South China Sea and elsewhere.

    Now that Ukraine is defying complaints by America’s State Department and the EU’s foreign-policy arm, it is vital that America and Europe use every tool at their disposal to support corruption-fighters in Kiev. The EU should make plain that the benefits of the association pact depend on progress against graft; America should attach the same conditions to arms sales. Prosecutors in Western capitals should investigate the laundering of ill-gotten Ukrainian wealth. Support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity should not involve tolerance for the lack of integrity among its politicians.”


    Nope. Your Russophobia is high (and you yourself dear Western elites are also high most of the time when it comes to Russia) that you will allow this unholy corrupt mess to persist. Because, really, you are not interested in “democracy” and “open society”. Not at the prize of people electing someone, whose strings you cannot pull.

    At the same time – this is “big: and “respectable” The Economist we are talking about. They smell the fire from the yet unlit tires of new Maidan. They are afraid. They know, that their “Operation: SHOWCASE” of turning Ukraine into a “democratic alternative to Russia” failed. They are in denial.

    Oh, how sweet!

    • Cortes says:

      The obligatory “rules-based global order” makes a tardy but welcome cameo appearance like an aging well-loved Thespian milking the audience for a final burst of applause before retirement. Great stuff!

    • yalensis says:

      “I know thee not, Old man. Thy white hairs ill become a fool and jester.
      Thou shouldst retire unto that gentle nothingness whilst consuming thine own cravat…”

  8. Moscow Exile says:

    Some scenes from Not-the-West Russia taken during the run-up to the Festive Season, which they do not celebrate in that excuse for a country as they do in the recently liberated from the Russian Yoke Ukraine, where they now enjoy the fruits of being part of the West and may celebrate Christmas just as the rest of the civilized world does:

    GUM [ГУМ — Главный универсальный магазн, tr. Glavniy universalniy magazín, literally “Main Universal Store”], Red Square, Moscow; formerly the State Universal Store [Государственный универсальный магазин — Gosudarstvenniy universalniy magazín] as it was known in the days of the Evil Empire.

    The pictures below were taken at a shopping mall accordingly named “European”, which is situated next to the Kiev Terminus station:

    In the above photograph you can see the Kiev station clock tower all festively lit up behind the illuminated model of the Kremlin Spasskaya Tower.

  9. Moscow Exile says:

    Oh look — Marks & Spencer’s, a British store in Moscow!!!
    Well I never!

    But they are not free, you know!

    I mean the Russians.

    And they are all brainwashed — except for those thousands that attend “fierce Putin critic” Aleksei Navalny’s rallies; the non-brainwashed millions that do not attend these momentous events are silent, as they would most certainly live in fear of arrest if they should speak out against the moral turpitude of those corrupt swine who rule them with a rod of iron.

    So all these decorations in Moscow are just a sham.

    And in any case, the don’t celebrate Christmas Day on 25 December in Russia as does the community of nations worldwide.

    Also, the decorations were almost certainly erected by slave labour.

    Life is hell here!

  10. Moscow Exile says:

    В Киеве призвали “раздробить Россию на части”

    In Kiev they have called for “breaking Russia up into pieces”.

    MOSCOW, 10 Dec — RIA Novosti. The Deputy Minister of the Temporarily Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons of the Ukraine, Georgy Tuk, told the websiteGlavredwhat political course Kiev should choose against Moscow.

    He said he did not believe in the concept of “brotherly peoples”, “brotherly love,” and “other simple snotty turns of phrase”, and added that relations between the two countries should be based on pragmatism.

    “But politically, in the long term, Russia will remain the enemy of an independent Ukraine. Therefore, our task is to strive to break Russia up into pieces”, explained the official.

    This is not the first time that Tuk has come out with provocative remarks about Russia: in July, he called Moscow a “terrible” and “insidious” enemy, urging that Kiev build up troops. According to him, the best option for the Ukraine, “for the whole world”, would be a “cessation of the existence of Russia as a state”.

    State Duma Deputy Ruslan Balbec, elected from the Crimea, told RIA Novosti that the statements of the Ukrainian officials are far from reality.

    “The Kiev regime has its most hopeless dreams uttered through Georgy Tuk’s mouth … Georgy Tuk is the official mouthpiece for Poroshenko’s pipe dreams”, said Balbec.

    Balbeck noted that this phrase was given to Tuk to utter, so as to have an opportunity to voice the most extreme of these anti-Russia pipe-dreams.

    Fuk Tuk!

    • yalensis says:

      Kiev to Russia: “Break up into pieces!”
      Russia to Kiev: “I would prefer not to.”

    • marknesop says:

      Now, you see, it’s letting your mouth write a cheque your body can’t cash that gets people like Tuk into trouble, and perhaps an early grave through overly-ambitious goal-setting. I daresay he’s merely putting the west’s naughty dreams into words, because the west also would love to see Russia broken into warring manageable-size statelets. But Ukraine cannot even manage its own festering corruption in a country whose GDP is more than 70% controlled by its oligarchy, and whose currency has halved in value.

      By the time Ukraine is ready to break Russia into pieces, there will be an app that will let you do it from the moon with your iPhone 800.

  11. Moscow Exile says:

    Украинцы проголосовали за возвращение «преступного режима» Януковича

    Ukrainians voted for a return of the “criminal regime” of Yanukovich
    01:24 – 10.12.2017

    Ninety-two percent of the audience of the Ukrainian TV channel “NewsOne” voted for the return of the regime of former President Viktor Yanukovych, reports the news portal “Politnavigator”.

    In Saturday’s broadcast, viewers were asked to choose one of two options to answer the question “For whom would you vote: for the last criminal power or the current one?”. Out of 46,686 people only eight per cent supported the policy of the current president, Petro Poroshenko.

    On 23 October, the Centre for social studies “Sofia” published the results of a poll in which 79 percent of the population in varying degrees did not approve of Poroshenko being head of state: the answer “fully approve of the President” was chosen by only 1.6 percent.

    On October 17, the Prosecutor General of the Ukraine, Yuriy Lutsenko, accused former president Viktor Yanukovich of embezzling assets worth $40 billion. According to the head of the supervisory authority, this was comparable with the annual budget of the country.

    Yanukovych was President of the Ukraine from 2010 to 2014. After a violent regime change by means of the Euromaidan mass protests in Kiev and other cities, he left the country.

    In the Ukraine, there have been initiated several criminal cases made against the former head of state and his property on the territory of the country has been seized.

    • marknesop says:

      There’s a useful lesson there for someone: more than 90% – arguably; we have no way to know how scientific or representative this poll was – of the population does not support the current government, in a country that has considerable and recent practical experience of revolution. Yet the current government prevails with complete impunity, and even flaunts its contempt for accountability. How can these two realities coexist? Is it possible the violent nationalist element wields disproportionate influence, despite all the quacking about its low support in the polls and Russian exaggeration of its extremist beliefs?

  12. Moscow Exile says:


    What provocations?

    На «Артдокфесте» сорвали показ фильма о войне в Донбассе

    There was to be shown in Moscow today at “ArtDocFest”, a documentary film, “Flying bullets”, shot in August 2014 and dealing with Ukrainian soldiers of the battalion “Aidar”, who were engaged in the civil war that is now being waged in the Donbass.

    Rather unsurprisingly, the projection of the documentary was prevented by the action of violent protesters.

    The film screening was to be held in the cinema “Oktyabr”. “This morning there began to gather people in camouflage uniforms with marks of military ranks unknown to me. At the start of the show, there were about a hundred of these people. As far as I could see, these people had come into the theatre in order to force their way into the auditorium. After the film had been running for about 20 minutes, a few people burst into the room where the film was being shown and blanked out the projector beam with a jacket. Another sprayed part of the screen with some caustic fluid, so I decided to stop the show”, said the festival president, kreakl film director Vitaly Mansky.

    Such is the right to freedom of expression in Putin’s Russia!

    The day before, December 9, there was cancelled a screening of the Ukrainian film “War for Peace”. The film was to be shown on 11 December with the support of the Czech Centre at the Czech Embassy in Moscow. “Before he time of the showing of this film in Moscow, some groups of people and the media had created an unhealthy situation and there had begun to emerge all kinds of accusations and threats”, said the organizers. They felt that the film screening could lead to “undesirable incidents at the Embassy of the Czech Republic”.

  13. Moscow Exile says:

    Порошенко поблагодарил крымчан и жителей Донбасса за «непоколебимую веру» в Украину

    Poroshenko has thanked the Crimeans and residents of the Donbass for their “unshakable faith” in the Ukraine
    17:16 10 December 2017

    Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has thanked the residents of the Crimea for their “unshakable faith” in the Ukrainian state.

    This is stated in a message published on the website of the head of state on International Human Rights Day.

    In his statement, Poroshenko expressed “sincere gratitude” to the population of the Crimea, and to those people living in Donbass territories that are outside of the control of Kiev, noting their “resistance.”

    “Thank you so much for your courage and perseverance, unwavering faith in justice and our Ukrainian state”, wrote Poroshenko.

    In late November, Russian foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, in an interview with the Italian newspaper “Libero”, said that the question of reunification of the Crimea with Russia was closed.

    The Crimea became a Russian region after there had been held there in March 2014 a referendum, in which the majority of respondents were in favour of reunification with Russia.

      • Patient Observer says:

        Funny, i was just thinking that Putin is doing his job with exceptional skill and dedication but he does not relish being a global leader so it is good to see him laugh in public once in a while. Its just his patriotic duty and when a suitable replacement is found, he is out of there.

        We speculated that, upon retirement, he would become a semi-recluse dabbling in art, philosophy and conservation causes – no million dollar speaking engagements or self-promotion efforts.

        Once can easily sense Obama loving the attention and adulation from the institutional ass-kissers as he works diligently to maximize his historical significance in the eyes of the official story tellers of US history.

    • kirill says:

      I guess Crimeans are not going to sell themselves like $10 whores to Uncle Scumbag so all that the Kiev regime can do is wallow in reality denial. Too bad for Kiev but Uncle Scumbag is not omnipotent and having his dick up your ass does not make you invincible.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        Well, if not making them feel invincible, being sodomized perhaps comforts them.

      • marknesop says:

        All right; settle down. Let’s not get carried away.

        • yalensis says:

          Hear, hear! I am really getting tired of Kirill’s deviancy and hard-core pornography fantasies, especially the violent fellatio and sodomy references, – ugh!
          Can’t we be more cultured and hold to some kind of moral standards on this blog?

          • kirill says:

            Self-appointed blog police. And not even its own blog. You have your own blog, now bugger on off and worry about your thought crimes there.

            • yalensis says:

              Of course, Kirill, in your demented criminal world, EVERYBODY is the police.
              Even somebody just expressing an opinion that you don’t like.
              And, as I said before, no, I will NOT bugger off. I will continue to buzz around and criticize you.
              You can call that “policing” if you like, even though I have no enforcement powers.

              Meawhile, if you are downloading that sort of hardcore porn at your workplace, involving fellated cocks and rapey buggery and the like, then you had better watch out for the workplace police.

    • marknesop says:

      In other news, the Kremlin published a message on its official website, thanking Washington and the people of the United States of America for their unwavering and courageous support for the Nord Stream II pipeline.

  14. Patient Observer says:

    Can’t vouch for the entire web site but this was interesting:

    Baiting is the act of deliberately annoying or provoking someone to extreme emotion. When a person baits another, they are deliberately taunting in order to provoke a response from the offender’s attack.

    If you are a fisherman, it might be fun… but if you’re the fish — or worse… a worm squirming on a hook, being used to entice a predator to amuse? It’s simply not as much fun for people who are the victims of any form of bait and switch attack.

    Truly believing the world as they know it revolves around them, they tend to symptomatically behave in ways that are compulsively self-promoting, grandiose, illogical, irrational, egocentric, and grandiose.

    Every social interaction is seen as a competition of sorts, with the Narcissist behaving as if their distorted, self-deluded version of any fact, story, or reality is somehow rooted in divine truth (rather than being recognized as a symptom of psychiatric dysfunction and outright gaslighting tales and lies).

    The condition — a personality TYPE classification, rather than an actual diagnosis of illness (per se) — tends to be rooted in cultural nurturing, for the most part.

  15. Warren says:

    TeleSUR English
    Published on 15 Aug 2017
    Tariq Ali talks to Alfredo Saad Filho, Professor of Political Economy, SOAS, about the economical and political mess Brazil finds itself nearly one year after the Coup to remove former President Dilma Rousseff from office.

    • Warren says:

      Can Neoliberalism Ever Go Away?

      People all over the world are protesting against globalisation, inequality and selfishness. Democratic liberalism is supposed to solve these problems, but liberalism and its big brother neoliberalism are actually the cause of these problems. Furthermore, once a country has adopted neoliberalist policies it is very hard for it ever to reject them.

      • Northern Star says:

        “The Interior Security Law would provide a legal framework for the Armed Forces to carry out operations for the “war on drugs,” given that the military has been carrying out such tasks informally for over 11 years.
        As the country has become increasingly militarized, levels of violence have recently hit record highs. When the war on drugs began in 2006, over 6,500 members of the military were deployed nationwide. Since then, over 750,000 members of the armed forces have been given police powers across the country. Levels of violence are now worse than they were a decade ago, with 24,000 people killed in 2017 alone. This represents a higher figure than the number killed in the war-torn countries of Afghanistan and Iraq this year.
        **The root cause of this crackdown lies in the need for the ruling class to defend its wealth by force** “

    • marknesop says:

      Brought to you by the professional architects of national ruin. Group rates available. Seniors discounts, preferential rate for serving military.

  16. Moscow Exile says:

    Navalny’s latest huge rally: held today, Sunday, 10 December. in Kaliningrad:

    850 turned up.

    At first, his supporters gathered at a supermarket, but no consent had been given there for conducting an unsanctioned rally. [Navalny wrote in yesterday’s Ekho Moskvy that the owner of the store had agreed that a rally be held there.] Apparently, Navalny, as he has done in other cities, was planning to provoke the police into taking drastic action, but he failed. The police officers were extremely polite with the participants, and representatives of the Ministry of the Interior informed them through megaphones that their action was illegal and asked them to leave the area around the supermarket.

    In the end, about 300 protesters went to the local “Hyde Park” — known as “South Park”. The organizers led people directly onto the roadway, which caused dissatisfaction amongst motorists. The 300 protesters caused a traffic jam and those drivers who became stuck in it did not always refrain from using strong language.

    In the park, the total number of protesters was about 850 people — from a city of more than 450 thousand people. In the provinces, Navalny has been gathering fewer and fewer people: in Barnaul there were about 600 people; in Samara — 500; in Vladimir — not more than 400.

    However, speaking from the stage, Navalny said that in not one city where his rallies had taken place, had there ever gathered fewer than 1,000 people, despite the fact that from photos taken at his rallies it is clearly visible how many residents do actually give him their support. Here is a photo from the recent rally held in Pskov:

    And [below] is today’s rally in Kaliningrad. It is easy to see that in no way does he enjoy massive support, and that’s not taking into consideration of this support given by by 0.2% of all the residents of Kaliningrad.

    Recall that in accordance with the law as it now stands, Aleksei Navalny, having been convicted of a serious criminal offence, has no legal right to stand as a candidate in the upcoming presidential elections. However, the blogger continues collecting donations for his “election campaign” needs.

    See: “Не собрал”. На митинг Навального в Калининграде пришло всего 850 человек

    “Non-Event”. At the Navalny rally in Kaliningrad, 850 turned up

    Yeah, but you’d never guess this about Navalny being a total nonentity here in Russia if you believe Western pesstitutes.

  17. Drutten says:

    Aaaalmost there:

    Pavlo asked about the 2018 opening date on the previous page, and yes, the motorway portion will most certainly open in 2018. Originally, the date was set to sometime in December, i.e. a year from now, but given that only a few things remain (in rough chronological order):
    1. Joining up with the main arch on both sides, will be completed over the next week.
    2. Dismantling the bridge sliding contraptions on both sides of the arch, and replacing them with the missing bridge segments here, will be done before New Years.
    3. Roadworks, which have already begun, with surfacing already finished across about half of the bridge span already, may well be done by April or so, together with lighting fixtures, barriers, signage and so on.
    4. The approaches on both sides, where the Taman/Krasnodar approaches nearing completion but the Kerch/Crimea side remains in its early stages. Still, given the pace we’re seeing on the Taman side, I would say they should be done by May.

    So, a June opening is likely, all things considered. But I do believe it will be a limited opening, because there is a huge bottleneck remaining – namely the sorry state of the road network on the outskirts of Kerch (and indeed in the rest of Crimea). It is simply not feasible to open it to full-on traffic yet, as it would without a doubt cause vast traffic jams. The Taurida highway is under construction however, its sections near Kerch will help rectify this bottleneck and those sections will probably be finished by late summer.

    • Moscow Exile says:

      My son was in the Crimea last year. He travelled there with two of his mates (one — a Crimean) by bus to Port Kavkaz through Rostov-on-the Don, thence by ferry to Kerch.

      He sent me loads of pics. It was pissing it down when the got to Kerch and the roads from there to Simferopol, where his pal’s folks live, were under mud. Looked like Flanders, 1917.

      • Drutten says:

        The Ukrainians neglected Crimean infrastructure for some 20 odd years, even the “artery” roads were in a nightmareish shape. It’s night and day when comparing it to Krasnodar krai just across the straits.

    • marknesop says:

      A lot depends on the weather and if it will be favourable for the pace of construction; but yes, the timeline you have set out is realistic and probably accurate. Good call on the state of the road network the bridge will feed, many would not have thought of it, and it will have to be part and parcel with the improvements. Money well-spent, though.

      Shame there’ll be nobody there to greet the arriving visitors on opening day, what with all the Crimeans and eastern Ukrainians pining to be reunited with Sweet Home Kiev.

    • Drutten says:

      Only meters remaining now:

      Also, the big ship in the foreground is a 200 meter long bulk carrier, heading towards Mariupol, Ukraine. It’s the biggest ship they’ll receive in a very long time (even before the archs were put in place)

  18. Cortes says:

    Rapping robots should be a Neil Diamond song…

  19. Moscow Exile says:

    BBC: Don’t look here! Look over there!

    No escaping Big Brother in China
    China has been building what it calls “the world’s biggest camera surveillance network”.

    O tempora o mores

    • marknesop says:

      With good reason – according to the surveillance industry:

      Surveillance cameras do not have to be registered in London, so there are no exact statistics. A recent sampling found that 41 percent of public premises in London have CCTV equipment, and they estimate there is around 420,000 cameras in the city of London.

      The United Kingdom began installing video surveillance cameras since the 1960s, and by August of 1996, all major cities had cameras. Today, the U.K., as a whole, has the largest network of surveillance cameras with an estimated 1.85 million cameras, or one camera for every 14 people.

      This is an estimate, for the reasons stated. But because they are accountable in China, Beijing registered top of the list, with about half that number as of 2010.

      Projection is such a useful technique! Can’t think how we ever got by without it.

      • et Al says:

        ANPR – Automatic Number Plate Recognition. So good the US of A wanted it:


        ANPR was invented in 1976 at the Police Scientific Development Branch in the UK.[citation needed] Prototype systems were working by 1979, and contracts were awarded to produce industrial systems, first at EMI Electronics, and then at Computer Recognition Systems (CRS) in Wokingham, UK. Early trial systems were deployed on the A1 road and at the Dartford Tunnel. The first arrest through detection of a stolen car was made in 1981.[citation needed] However, ANPR did not become widely used until new developments in cheaper and easier to use software were pioneered during the 1990s. The collection of ANPR data for future use (i.e., in solving then-unidentified crimes) was documented in the early 2000s.[4] The first documented case of ANPR being used to help solve a murder occurred in November 2005, in Bradford, UK, where ANPR played a vital role in locating and subsequently convicting killers of Sharon Beshenivsky.[5]…

        Oh, what have the Brits ever done for us! 😉

  20. Drutten says:

    By the way… Navalny’s youth popularity reminds me a fair bit of the Pirate party here in Sweden 6-7 years ago, which was also politically irrelevant (polling <2%, lacking any coherent platform apart from some loose stuff about free internet piracy and fighting EU online surveillance) but they gathered a rather remarkable and very enthusiastic following among non-voting age teenagers.

    Their PR operations were chiefly on the internet, and YouTube rants and "memes" were a huge part of it.

    Now they're more or less dead, as their "electoral base" has grown up, and the new teenagers on the block have Netflix.

  21. Moscow Exile says:

    Poroshenko has thanked the Donbass for its “unshakable faith” in the Ukraine.

    Translation into Russian: Hitler has thanked Leningrad for its unshakable faith in Germany

  22. Moscow Exile says:

    Remember this Tweet this coming summer!

    Ukrainian patriot Mamuka Mamulashvili promises to conquer the Donbass by the end of the year and to take Shoygu prisoner

  23. Lyttenburgh says:

    C for Chutzpah.

    ButtFeed: How Secret Talks With Russia to Prevent Election Meddling Collapsed
    With the 2018 midterms on the horizon, Moscow proposed a sweeping noninterference agreement with the United States, US officials tell BuzzFeed News. The Trump administration said no.

    “To test the possibility of a mutual agreement, Putin dispatched Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov to Washington for a July 17 meeting with Under Secretary Tom Shannon, the No. 3 official at the State Department. The official US account of the meeting offered only a bland summary of conversations on “areas of mutual concern.” But three US administration officials, including one inside the meeting, said Ryabkov handed over a document containing a bold proposal: A sweeping noninterference agreement between Moscow and Washington that would prohibit both governments from meddling in the other’s domestic politics.

    After examining the proposal, which has not previously been reported, US officials told Moscow there would be no deal.

    “We said ‘thank you very much but now is not the time for this,’” said a senior State Department official who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive diplomatic discussions.”

    Here you have it – a self-confession from the highest D.C. officials, that “democracy promotion = meddling in the elections”! Oh, but that’s not all:

    But is that really newsworthy and all the attention and outrage? Naaaaaah!

    • marknesop says:

      You say potato, I say democracy promotion. Washington has locked itself into a self-destructive loop, in which it cannot simply give up the narrative that Putin put Trump in the White House – it has too much invested in that story. Now it says, by inference, that it is all right for Russia to hack the midterms, because it is unwilling to give up democracy promotion in exchange. But everybody and anybody associated with The Donald is likely to do very badly in the midterms – also, turnout is likely to be poor as people become exasperated that there are no good choices. How will Washington explain that? That Russia has changed its mind and is now backing the Democrats? Not likely.

      I still wish Russia had not taken this step, though – it looks as if they are admitting to meddling in the American presidential election, which is ridiculous.

    • yalensis says:

      In truth, tis a very beautiful chandelier!

  24. Warren says:

    Al Jazeera English
    Published on 9 Dec 2017
    He was the president of Georgia, then a governor in Ukraine, and now he’s in jail on hunger strike.

    The arrest, and re-arrest, of Mikhail Saakashvii in Kiev has stirred protests which evoke memories of the Ukrainian revolution three years ago.

    Saakashvili’s supporters say his detention is based on lies and they want him let go. They already freed him once earlier this week – from a police van.

    Tuesday’s dramatic scenes saw a former president being dragged across a roof.

    Police arrested him for allegedly conspiring with Russia against the Ukrainian state.

    Saakashvili then escaped custody, before police tracked him down again on Friday.

    The former Georgian leader says his arrest is politically motivated.

    But is it really?

    Presenter: Sami Zeidan


    Alexander Korman – Former Head of the Public Council and First Deputy Chairman of Public Council to the Ministry of Foreign Relations of Ukraine.
    Sergey Markov – Former Russian MP & spokesman for President Vladimir Putin.
    Lilit Gevorgyan – IHS Global Insigh tanalyst and principal economist covering Russia & Ukraine.

  25. Warren says:

    Israel’s Volunteer Soldiers – Al Jazeera World

    Al Jazeera English
    Published on 23 Aug 2017
    In November 2013, Elena Zakusilo, a Ukrainian Jewish woman, appeared on the Ukrainian TV show “Lie Detector”, revealing that she worked for the Israeli army and continued to do so.

    “The first time I killed was difficult for me. I threw the weapon and said I wasn’t going anywhere. But I went,” she said and admitted to having killed civilians, including children.

  26. Patient Observer says:

    60 Minutes:

    A lot’s been said about Russia meddling in our 2016 presidential campaign. But the Russians are already buzzing about their presidential election next March. Because unexpectedly Vladimir Putin has a genuine challenger: a handsome, 41-year-old lawyer, Alexei Navalny, who has chosen one of the most dangerous occupations in the world: running against the man who controls the Kremlin.

    And it goes downhill, rapidly, from there.

    • marknesop says:

      Yes, yes; it’s very important that he is handsome – the whole question of what kind of policies he might be expected to favour as president turns on his appearance, and it’s fairly clear that real leadership cannot be exercised by anyone who looks like a dork. Any moment now, we’re going to be re-introduced to his ‘statuesque’ wife Yulia.

      What do his looks have to do with it? That only works for Justin Trudeau.

      So much bullshit in such a small space. A ‘genuine challenger’ who is a convicted felon and not legally permitted to run, and whose support is something less than 5%? ‘Unexpectedly’ when he has been the west’s great white opposition hope for nearly a decade? A ‘lawyer’ who was trained and licensed to work in real estate? Running against the man who controls the Kremlin is ‘one of the most dangerous occupations in the world’? Compared to what – testing sneakers? Zhirinovski and Zyuganov have been doing it since the early 90’s, and they’re both still alive.

    • kirill says:

      What is it with the “lawyer” obsession of NATzO propagandists. Navalny is a lawyer like Magnitsky. That is, no such thing. Taking a couple of courses on aspects of law does not make you a lawyer. As with engineers, a rigorous curriculum and certification are required. Not surprising to see a crook make a token effort to learn about the law so that he can screw around with the system.

      • marknesop says:

        Well, he is actually a lawyer. It’s just that his background is in real-estate law; so far as I know, real-estate lawyers are not barristers nor have to pass the bar exam. It’s glamorous to refer to Navalny as a ‘lawyer’, it gives him a certain air of a professional man. But it’s quite a bit like calling him a ‘mechanic’ or even an ‘engineer’ if his job were putting wheels on shopping carts. By the loosest definition, yes; I suppose. But the average westerner obviously hears ‘lawyer’ and thinks criminal law and intense courtroom battles.

        Sergey Magnitsky, by contrast, was not a lawyer of any description, but an accountant. He was not employed as a lawyer in any capacity, although I daresay he knew quite a bit about the law from his experience as an accountant. Quite a bit like the myth of ‘fighter-pilot’ Savchenko.

    • et Al says:

      Let’s give the ‘journalist’ that wrote the piece oS the credit due, namely Lesley Stahl. May I request all Stooges who post to add the author’s name in their comment. It’s just that it makes it easier to search in future.

  27. marknesop says:

    According to Deutche Welle, the crowd of Saakashvili supporters is more than a few hundred, and some smashed the window of a Roshen shop and others carried a banner of Poroshenko in a black-and-white striped suit behind bars. Lots of red-and-black banners in the crowd, too. Considerably bigger than any of Navalny’s rallies.

  28. marknesop says:

    Europe’s lowest wages are in Ukraine, according to a Ukrainian study. Ukraine is at the bottom of a list in which it is outdone by Moldova, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Albania, Macedonia and Serbia. Ukraine’s average wage is 190 Euros per month. A Christmas turkey in France would cost a Ukrainian two weeks wages.

    Although The Aggressor Country is not specifically mentioned, its average monthly wage is 548 Euros; nearly three times as much. And The Aggressor Country is the target of western sanctions aimed at wrecking its economy, while its twittering victim is the receiver of billions in international aid in an attempt to put it on the path to prosperity.

    Somebody is not very good at what they are doing.

  29. Moscow Exile says:

    Since yesterday, Monday, December 11, all Russian passenger and goods trains now use the newly laid route Zhuravka – Millerovo, bypassing the Ukraine.

    Today, a Ukraine government minister announced that he was pleased with this development.

    Kiev gladdened by the news that Russian trains have started using a Ukraine avoiding line

    The Ukraine Minister of Infrastructure, Volodymyr Omelyan, commented about Russian rail traffic having begun to bypass Ukraine territory. In comments to the TV channel “112 Ukraine”, he said that he “absolutely welcomes” this step.

    “Let them go anywhere, except the Ukraine. This has no effect [on us] whatsoever”, said Omeljan.

    Just shows how isolated Russia is, see.

    • marknesop says:

      That’d be the same Minister for Infrastructure who presided over the resignation of the senior executive of Ukraine Railways, after only a year in the job, this summer. He cited differences with the Minister for Infrastructure, although PM Groysman said he was retiring for ‘personal reasons’. He is a Pole, not a Ukrainian: Ukraine seems to have a fondness for employing foreign executives – gives it that ‘international’ flair, I suppose – although those executives uniformly seem to have a tough time putting up with the conditions of employment.

      Naturally Kiev affects to be delighted with the action, like someone whose utilities have been cut off for non-payment and who then walks around naked at home all the time to show how much he likes the new cold temperatures. Again, Europe must be embarrassed, although the USA will be pleased because it and Ukraine are on the same maturity level. It costs the USA nothing to clap from the sidelines while Ukraine shits its pants and grins at everyone, but it is European subsidies that are supporting it while it is in a power-dive and Europe must increasingly despair of ever getting back any of the money it has already poured in, never mind risking more. Ukraine Railways, by the way, is another 100%-owned-by-the-state entity. Ukraine is diligently looking for investors, but it increasingly seems to be that Poroshenko controls everything in the country, as president, all the while he is an active businessman whose wealth is increasing. I only mention it here because the west affects not to notice.

      Still, the whole attitude is kind of odd, considering that when Ukraine’s ‘patriots’ blockaded the rail lines just from the Donbas, in their own country, Groysman lamented that if they didn’t stop jacking around, they could cost the country up to $3.5 Billion and up to 75,000 jobs. I probably do not need to interject here that $3.5 Billion is more than Ukraine’s projected annual growth for 2017, and would be enough to tip it into recession. And Ukraine has already banned its own freight rail traffic through Russian territory. All of this costs money.

      We can see this in Ukraine Railways’ (Ukrzaliznytsia) confident projection of profits for 2017 totaling 1.2 Billion hryvnia, which was hastily revised downward to 60 Million hryvnia, with an ‘M’. With the exchange rate, that’s only about $2.2 Millon USD. Well, like I say – Ukraine is earnestly looking for investors.

      And that’s about it for the good news. On the bad news front, Ukraine’s economic decline continues. Oh, I know Porky pumps sunshine up their asses all day long with his magik projections and confident assessments – he can afford to; he and his friends are actually making money. But foreign trade turnover with Russia fell from $49.5 Billion in 2013 to about $10 Billion in 2016. Was there an infusion of cash of around $35 Billion into Ukraine to make up for that? I don’t think so. I’m pretty sure the cumulative amount of money the west has put into Ukraine in that period, including emergency ‘loans’, has totaled less than $10 Billion. Some of the difference will have been offset by payments sent into Ukraine from Ukrainians working in The Aggressor Country; in 2015, those remittances offset the total losses to Ukraine from the Russian food embargo and transport restrictions.

  30. Moscow Exile says:

    Путин поручил вывести российские войска из Сирии
    11 декабря, 13:01 дата обновления: 11 декабря, 13:37


    HAMIM, 11 Dec. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin, who on Monday visited the Hamim base in Syria, has instructed the defence ministry to begin the withdrawal of Russian troops from Syria.

    • Ryan Ward says:

      If Syria is a “quagmire”, I’d like to see what a real victory looks like 😉

      • Moscow Exile says:

        Some Frog minister said the other day that Russia had “appropriated’ the victory against ISIS in Syria from the other allies’ contribution.

        Sort of like the USSR continuously tries to appropriate the glorious victory of the Western allies against the Third Reich during WWII?

        • Moscow Exile says:

          Russia appropriates victory over Islamic State: French FM

          French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian was surprised that Russia “appropriated” a victory over the terrorist group Islamic State.

          “I find it surprising that Russia appropriates the victory over the IS,” said Le Drean on the BFMTV channel.

          According to him, we are talking about “somewhat unreasonable interpretation”. The minister is also sure that the IS from the territories it occupied displaced the forces of the international coalition.

          “With a certain delay, the Russian military came to the aid of the forces of the [Syrian president] Bashar Assad and eventually achieved the liberation of Deir-ez-Zor,” added Le Drian.

          Earlier, the General Staff of Russia announced the complete liberation of Syria from the IS.

          You couldn’t bloody make it up if you tried!

  31. Warren says:

    FRANCE 24 English
    Published on 11 Dec 2017

  32. Moscow Exile says:

    Navalny is a bullshitter!

    From Russian Wiki:

    В 1993 году, в возрасте 17 лет, Навальный окончил Алабинскую среднюю школу в военном посёлке Калининец в окрестностях подмосковного села Тарасково[12].

    В 1998 году, в возрасте 22 лет, окончил юридический факультет Российского университета дружбы народов[3][4].

    На следующий год заочно поступил на факультет финансов и кредита Финансовой академии при Правительстве РФ (специальность «Ценные бумаги и биржевое дело»), который окончил в 2001 году[4], в возрасте 25 лет.

    Через 9 лет (в 2010 году) 34-летний Навальный, по рекомендации Гарри Каспарова, Евгении Альбац, Сергея Гуриева и Олега Цывинского, проходил полугодовое обучение в Йельском университете по программе «Yale World Fellows»[30][31].

    In 1993, at the age of 17 years, Navalny finished at the Albinskaya secondary school [“middle school” in Russian parlance; “high school” in US English — ME] at the Kalininets military settlement near the village of Taraskovo[12].

    In 1998, at the age of 22 years, he graduated from the law faculty of the Russian University of Friendship of Nations[3][4].

    The following year, he undertook extra-mural studies at the Finance and Credit Faculty
    of the Russian Federation Government Finance Academy (specialty “Securities and Stock Exchange”), from which he graduated in 2001[4], at the age of 25 years.

    9 years later (in 2010) 34-year-old Navalny, on the recommendation of Garry Kasparov, Yevgenia Albats, Sergei Guriev and Oleg Sivinskogo, six months training at Yale University on the program “Yale World Fellows”[30][31].

    Graduating from a law faculty does not make one a practising, licensed lawyer.

    Navalny Is Not a Real Lawyer, Investigators Say
    Feb 27, 2013 — 23:00
    By The Moscow Times

    The Investigative Committee said Wednesday that anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny had fraudulently obtained his credentials as a lawyer.

    The accusation against one of Russia’s most prominent opposition figures is the latest in a series of blows between Navalny and the powerful Investigative Committee. To meet the requirement of two years of legal experience, Navalny said in his application documents that he was the deputy director responsible for legal issues at Allekt, a company where he was also director, the Investigative Committee said in a statement posted on its website.

    “So he named himself both director and his own deputy,” the statement said. The statement goes on to say that Allekt did not even exist when Navalny says he gained legal experience there.

    The Investigative Committee, which Navalny has repeatedly accused of being a political tool, was ridiculed by the anti-corruption activist in a blog post that said the allegations were old and baseless.

    “So far, all these complaints have been unsuccessful because they contain a load of garbage that is instantly exposed under critical examination,” Navalny said.

    The alleged irregularities in Navalny’s lawyer status were uncovered in an ongoing investigation into Navalny’s purported involvement in the theft of timber from state-owned company KirovLes in 2009, the Investigative Committee said.

    News of the latest accusation against Navalny was first made public Wednesday morning through the newly opened Twitter account of Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin.

    Алексей Навальный оказался фальшивым адвокатом

    Aleksei Navalny turns out to be a fake lawyer

    The activity of a lawyer is regulated by a special federal law, according to which the applicant for the status of a lawyer must have a qualification that is checked by means of an exam and must have a certain period of legal work experience, namely 2 years. And as regards qualifications and experience, Navalny had problems.

    In his specialty, he worked for only 4 months for the firms of businessman Shalva Chigirinsky: from June 1 to July 31, 1998, as a legal adviser for “ST Group Ltd.” and from August 3 to October 5, 1998, also as a legal advisor at the joint stock company “Perestroika”. Thus, there was no chance of him taking a law exam in the Moscow and the Moscow Region lawyers’ chambers. Well, the law did not apply to Navalny and his friends.

    In 2009, Aleksei became an advisor to the governor of the Kirov region, Nikita Belykh, and received a temporary registration at the address: 69, Karl Liebknecht Street. However, at this address stands the Kirov Region administration building. A representative of the administration said that there had never been any Navalny at this address. It turns out that Aleksei registered himself at a non-existent address and this registration he filed with the Kirov Region Lawyers’ Chamber.

    Navalny also decided to legitimize his lack of experience in an unusual way. He just retrospectively appointed himself as his own deputy on legal issues at the firm “Alllekt Ltd.”, at which firm he is the founder and CEO. “Deputy General Director for Legal Affairs (part-time)” – this is how from December 25, 1998, to February 14, 2005, the official position of Navalny at “Alllekt Ltd.” reads. This was done, of course, in violation of all conceivable norms of labour legislation, but for some reason the Kirov Region Lawyers’ Chamber did not raise any questions about it.

    Moreover, the Lawyers’ Chamber business manager, Galina Rychkova, has stated that she had never heard of Navalny and that it impossible to apply for a lawyer’s status with a temporary registration. When asked about how to solve the problem of passing the exam, she answered that one had to talk with the President of the Chamber and to provide the chamber with [evidence] of “sponsored assisstance”. It remains a mystery how Navalny did this when he has had no legal practice.

    The oppositionist only needs lawyer status for his image and as a means of legitimizing his income that he gets, for example, from the sale of vodka at his parents’ firm in the Odintsovo district of the Moscow region.

    It also seems that the lawyer Navalny has not conducted a single case in court and still does not conduct cases there. Asked by journalists to give an example of at least one successful case that he had undertaken, Aleksei cited the case of demanding information from Rosneft and Transneft through the court. However, as it turned out, that case belongs to the lawyer Glushakov, who conducted it, and not to Navalny. For some reason or other, Aleksei could not speak about any other case.

    • Moscow Exile says:


      The above should have been below Mark’s response to Kirill’s question about Navalny’s profesional status.

      Mark replied that Navalny is a lawyer.

      Once again, it seems that ….


      • marknesop says:

        I read somewhere, on an English site, that he has a background in real estate law. Naturally I cannot find it now, but it will be somewhere in the comments; I have cited it before now.

    • Jen says:

      Navalny’s training and experience wouldn’t be enough even to get him a job as a paralegal in some countries.

  33. Warren says:

    Published on 11 Dec 2017
    Trump is making history again – this time in the Middle East. Russia is banned from the 2018 Winter Olympic Games. Is this politics on steroids? And, do neocons and Mikheil Saakashvili have no shame?

  34. et Al says:

    Btw, Barbara-Ann’s brother, Viktor, plans to participate in the Winter Olympics in South Korea, but is doesn’t yet know what he would do if there is a Russia boycott:

  35. Northern Star says:

    “Murican television journalism at its finest…!!!!!

  36. Warren says:

    Published on 11 Dec 2017
    President Trump signs a directive authorizing NASA to conduct a space exploration program that would see Americans return to the moon, and eventually Mars.

  37. Northern Star says:

    1917: Lenin, Wilson, and the Birth of the New World Disorder Hardcover – November 28, 2017
    by Arthur Herman PhD (Author)

    The book may be of interest to some of the Stooges..But I take issue with :

    “In this incisive, fast-paced history, the New York Times bestselling author Arthur Herman brilliantly reveals how Lenin and Wilson rewrote the rules of modern geopolitics.

    **Prior to and through the end of World War I, countries marched into war only to advance or protect their national interests. **

    After World War I, countries began going to war over ideas. Together Lenin and Wilson unleashed the disruptive ideologies that would sweep the world, from nationalism and globalism to Communism and terrorism, and that continue to shape our world today.”

    I think that in Europe religious strife issues -certainly Catholic v Protestant- and also dynastic conflicts played as much of a role in leading to war(s) as say territorial matters.

    Nevertheless kicking around the historical ethos interference patterns of the transformational waves broadcast by Lenin and Wilson seems to be worth some consideration.

    • yalensis says:

      He compares Lenin to Woodrow Wilson? hahahahahahahahhahahahah
      what a load of crap…

    • Moscow Exile says:

      The Crusades were fought to defend “Christendom”, so they say.

      Now there’s an idea!

      The Holy Fathers in Rome often used to get pissed off with the idea of Christians murdering each other in Europe during the course of their interminable wars and feuds, or cracked on they did, so word was sent round from Rome that all Christian princes should get their acts together, set off for the Holy Land and beat shit out of the “unbelievers” who had taken over the place.

  38. yalensis says:

    Everybody: I started a new series on my blog:

    It’s Lyttenburgh, back with his sensitive critiques of American TV shows.
    The new series seems to be popular already: My clicks shot way up just today, and Johnson’s Russian List picked it up – yay Lyttenburgh!

    This looks to be a 4-parter.

    • Northern Star says:

      So what else is new??

      Here’s some whataboutism’ for ya:

      Obviously the author is russophobic jerk..but some of issues and facts raised-if assumed true-are noteworthy.

      • marknesop says:

        Well, it’s official now – Americans officially did not believe that the earth is flat for as long as they have ‘widely believed’ that Anna Kabayeva is ‘Putin’s paramour’. It does not matter that they are never seen together and that Putin’s schedule does not allow for wide spaces of dead air where nobody knows where he is, but he could be over at Kabayeva’s gettin’ some. Jeez, remember the panic when he hadn’t been seen in public for, like, a week, and internet analysts exploded with speculative theories that he was dead or in Switzerland getting his blood changed out in a cryogenics lab with Mick Jagger, all kinds of craziness. Putin can’t just disappear, and nobody has ever seen him with Kabayeva in anything but an official capacity.

        But who needs evidence? It’s such a great story. And that could serve as an epitaph for western journalism. Not that The Daily Beast is journalism; actually, what it is is flypaper for shitheads.

    • Northern Star says:

      and don’t forget:

      “The promotion of shallow, materialistic, ego-centric values, and the obvious dumbing down of the American population is coming from these 6 corporations. Think about that. These are the companies that glorify consumption, obedience, ignorance, the hyper-sexualization of youth, the glorification of war and government surveillance, and so on. The advertisers that support these media companies have tremendous sway over what makes it on the airwaves. They help to control public perception.
      The bottom line is that corporate media is a behemoth of special interests and mind controllers. So much of the human story is omitted in this capitalistic, for-profit environment scheme like this, which is why now more than ever the independent, alternative media is such a gem for human kind.”

      So you and Lyttenburg were expecting something other than totally dumbed down garbage on american tv??? LOL!!!

      Yeah..there a few decent programs..but most everything else is Bimbos and morons
      Gone Wild!!!

      • yalensis says:

        I personally expect nothing less of American TV than dumbed-down garbage and political propaganda!
        I think that Lytternburgh was yearning for something more, though…
        Maybe I can get him turned on to the “Classical Music channel”…

  39. Warren says:

    Canada, provinces reach tax deal for recreational marijuana

    Canada’s provinces will be getting the lion’s share of the lucrative taxation revenues from legal cannabis.

    • marknesop says:

      Yeah, I heard that on the radio on the way home. The Feds originally offered a 50/50 split, but the provinces said No Deal. I wonder if we should offer our new advent calendars for sale in the United States? No? Well, isn’t that trampling on freedom of religion?

    • kirill says:

      Are we going to have to go through the whole driving while drunk “learning curve” with this crap? Back in the 1960s and early 1970s claiming you were drunk while driving and involved in deadly accidents was considered a mitigating circumstance (i.e. it gave you more leniency). Will we have to deal with all the THC addicts driving high claiming they are innocent of vehicular homicide? When are the cops going to give roadside tests for THC?

  40. Warren says:

    The Times newspaper uses Grenfell Tower disaster to attack RT… again

    Six months after one of Britain’s worst post-war disasters in which dozens died and hundreds lost their homes, the Times newspaper has attacked activists seeking justice for victims, and chucked in another swipe at RT for good measure. Because why not?

    The Times gets off to a strong start in its RT story with the line “A Kremlin-controlled TV station seized on the Grenfell Tower fire to try to foment ‘class war’ in Britain.” It’s a scary accusation, albeit an inaccurate one. RT only aims to foment class war in the early spring. A quick glance around the office shows you’re more likely to find staff fermenting grapes than fomenting class war.

    • marknesop says:

      Well done; RT came out swinging, and it is a fact that every newspaper which reported the story – including the Times – to varying degrees highlighted the suggestion that the residents’ social standing (working poor to lower-middle-class) contributed to the initial lack of government response. It is likewise a fact that the British government got ‘interested’ in a hurry just as soon as this discrepancy was pointed out, and not just by RT.

      The UK and its hidebound institutions and its revolting government merely want to get on the political #MeToo bandwagon, and paint themselves victims of a remorseless enemy who invents and exaggerates their faults for its own evil gains. It’s just piggybacking on Uncle Sam’s querulous complaints that RT is playing up racial politics in America in order to divide blacks and whites. In fact, the only thing RT could do to win approval in both countries would be to clear its reports with national government agencies so as to ensure it presented a view sympathetic to those governments.

      For Christ’s sake, can Britain not stop aping its American friends across the sea; monkey see, monkey do? More and more the British are turning into Americans who talk funny.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        Since I last lived in England things called “Proms” have appeared and some annoying ritual known as “Trick or Treat”. And “railway stations” are now called “train stations”. Soon they’ll be saying “on the weekend” instead of “at the weekend” and “I just did it” instead of “I have just done it”.

        When I last lived there as a horny handed son of toil, they used to do such things as Morris Dancing and getting pissed out of shape at the weekend.

        I still think they do the latter, and on weekdays as well.

        • yalensis says:

          I heard that Morris Dancing has made a big come-back, especially in the major metropolitan areas…
          [just kidding]

          • Moscow Exile says:

            They used to do this where I come from:

            • Jen says:

              Apparently clog fighting used to be popular in Lancashire and the Manchester area too. Two clog-wearing men would face each other, both with outstretched arms and each placing his hands on the shoulders of the other, and they would kick each other’s shins with metal-lined clogs. Loser was whoever gave up first or bled first. Fights could be brutal and onlookers would bet on the results.

              • Moscow Exile says:

                I know. I knew old hands who had been quite skilled at it.

                The dialect term for clog fighting is “purring”, as in:.

                “Ah’ll pur thi if tha dostn’t shut thi fookin’ gob!”

                The clog irons usual became razor sharp after only a few days of tramping along cobbled streets and lanes.

                My earliest childhood memories include the sound of clattering clogs as the morning shift went to the local pit.

          • marknesop says:

            The last dance exhibition I went to – the missus performs in a Salsa group – featured Morris Dancers. There’s a club here, and they say they’re always advertising for new members. Looks like it would strain the envelope of my dancing ability, though, so it’s not for me.

  41. marknesop says:

    You And Your Passport, Chapter III – if you hang out with enemies of the state, do not leave your passport at their flat, allowing the state to wrap up an airtight case against you. Please note that it is not safe to leave your passport with anyone else, not even the president, as the passport-left-at-the-crime-scene is such a hot trick right now that even a president might not be able to resist fucking you over.

    Yes, you almost knew it was coming; Saakashvili has been released by the SBU, but oh, whoops! His passport turned up at the Kiev flat of his alleged pal, Severion Dangadze, who is supposedly funneling money to Saakashvili’s protest movement from Sergey Kurchenko, the teenage (actually he’s 28) energy executive and Poroshenko foe who fled to Moscow and is directing Saakashvili’s provocations from there. Whew! how many birds was that with just one stone? And they managed to tie it to The Aggressor Country once again – you know, if Russia just blew up tomorrow, Ukraine would be a wealthy paradise free from corruption and want.

    To the surprise of no one at all, Saakashvili’s bank card and ‘other material evidence’ as well was ‘discovered’ at Dangadze’s flat; I guess Saakashvili was walking around for quite some time without noticing that he had lost both his passport and bank card plus unspecified incriminating evidence.

    I don’t feel sorry for Saakashvili in the least, because he has probably been on the other end of this same wheeze before. But seriously – is the western media just going to let this go on without remarking on the clumsy framing? Come on. The clues don’t even magically appear like that on Columbo.

  42. marknesop says:

    Well, well; a new report from the RAND think tank concludes that US Forces could, ‘under plausible circumstances’, lose a war with Russia and China. Gee; you think? This is all down to the degree to which Russia and China have advanced, according to the strategists, which is considered ‘so much that under certain conditions they could have a military edge over the US’. By contrast, American forces are ‘insufficiently trained and ready’.

    I’m just going to stop this right here, because some people will think this is good news. Not so much, really, because the RAND group is fairly well-known for lobbying in favour of America’s defense industries and convincing the US government to spend even more on the defense budget. They also included the by-now-obligatory invitation for Putin to invade the Baltics, saying that NATO would be unable to defend against a determined and short-warning Russian attack. I imagine they are dreaming about a meeting in which Putin is snapping, “Prepare a determined, short-notice attack” based on this trolling. What Russia would want with the Baltics, which are both needy and yappy troublemakers, I can’t think, but obviously motive only contributes to spoiling the dream.

    Besides, Latvia is showing some signs of coming around without having to be attacked and subdued, and its ambassador claims the country desires good relations. I imagine that means they want such relations more or less entirely on their terms, but it’s a start.

  43. marknesop says:

    It looks as if most Russian Olympic athletes will participate in the winter Olympic Games, under a neutral flag. Of course Karl, the jewel in our sovok crown, will pan this as yet another expression of weakness on Russia’s part, by now it must be so weak that it might as well just surrender. But for reasons I have already expressed, I don’t agree, and those who have prepared and trained for years should have the chance to participate. Besides, if some of them win medals, everyone will know where they are from. What are they going to say; the gold medal was won by the athlete with the Russian-sounding name, from Olympics?

    I think many of the athletes will also be driven by the insult, and will try that much harder. And they will be tested until they are like pincushions, so there will be no doubt as to whether they were doping. It’s a pity it had to be this way, and it’s all down to the childishness of western leaders and most especially the United States, but I really think this is the way to go. Having made the offer, I don’t think the IOC will refuse any athletes who were not previously found to be doping and can pass a current test, which is the great majority.

    • James lake says:

      They will be attacked and abused, it has already started from the Americans and a Norwegian athlete.

      The Russian athletes can’t moan and whine, as it is predictable what will happen. No sympathy will be extended to them.

      They have chosen to compete in this atmosphere and will just have to get on with it.
      It’s not brave or honourable it shows that personal ambition is a greater driver than national pride.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        Did you mention a Norwegian athlete?

        Meet Norwegian Skier Marit Bjorgen. Since 2009, she has been authorized under the western sanctioned *TUE program, in which the US controlled IOC and WADA allows NATO countries and allies, to take steroids for asthma, for example.

        No signs of doping, move along.

        No doping here either, stop staring.

        Below, a typically doped-up Russian woman cross country skier:

        Julia Tchepalova

        She’s Russian, so BAN HER!


        *TUE: therapeutic use exemption

        • Warren says:

          How dare you impugn the reputation of Marit Bjørgen – her amazing physique is entirely down to exercise and healthy eating! To suggest otherwise is scurrilous!

          • marknesop says:

            “To me, everyone on the starting line is clean until proven otherwise”

            Unless, they’re Russian, obviously.

          • Jen says:

            Odd that Marit Bjorgen is told she has asthma. How do her doctors know or how did she find out? Did she experience any asthma symptoms like wheezing or shortness of breath while exercising? She does not say in the interview – all she does is repeat the usual banal platitudes expected of athletes like being lucky to be able to excel in her chosen sport and having family support.

            • Moscow Exile says:

              She just says that she was told that she had asthma in spring 2009 and at 1:11 says: “It was probably my hard training that caused the asthma”.

              It was probably the same for Bradley Wiggins:

              Bradley Wiggins opens up with full story on asthma, allergies and TUEs

              Sir Bradley Wiggins has for the first time given details of the history of asthma and pollen allergies that led him to apply for three therapeutic use exemptions (TUEs) to have injections of the banned corticosteroid triamcinolone. The use of the drug did not break any anti-doping rules, although they occurred immediately before major target races, but the 2012 Tour de France winner and nine-times Olympic medallist said he realised why the injections might be considered unethical.

              Yeah, I agree: it just might well…

              But he is a Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire now, so give him some respect, you oiks!

            • marknesop says:

              Exercise-induced asthma is the path to Olympic glory. It is a real condition, although I doubt it occurs with anything like the wildfire prevalence claimed in Olympians, and in the case of the wretched Sir Bradley Wiggins, he was administered a dose of his performance-enhancing rocket fuel ‘just in case’, on the eve of the Tour de France, when he was not even showing any symptoms. It is apparent the west feels like it has stumbled on a nice little political earner, in which western medical organizations get the final say on who is ‘doping’ and who is simply addressing a bona-fide medical condition with the approval of competent medical authority. If a Russian athlete asked for a TUE because of exercise-induced asthma, and was approved by a Russian doctor without the higher authority of a western agency, then he or she would be ‘a doper’ and would be disqualified. The TUE is simply another tool for western achievement, which is in turn for the greater glory of politics and one-upmanship.

        • marknesop says:

          What a disgrace. The west is embarrassing. Another reason the Olympics should be disbanded completely. As soon as it gets political, all the sport element is gone and the goal becomes to win at any cost.

      • marknesop says:

        But really, if they give up sport rather than wait and hope for the next Olympics, what is there for them? Are they going to be truck drivers or pharmacists, starting job training late when they might have been the best in the world? Olympic sport is not all one big happy family, and there is always an element of piling on a competitor when they have difficulties. There is no way Russian athletes who attend, and win, could be doping because they will be watched closer than any other and tested more frequently than any other. If they win, it will have been clearly a clean win. At that point they can say to the Americans or the Norwegians, go fuck yourself. I won because I am better than you. They don’t have to be friends. Whereas if there were a national boycott, it’d be all about Putin breaking the hearts of his athletes, what a cruel beast. You see? If the athletes choose to compete, the west’s focus will be on reviling them as a bunch of cheaters who slipped through the net. If there were a boycott, they would be tragic figures of pathos whose chance was snatched away by a dictator. Nobody does theatre like the west.

        • Pavlo Svolochenko says:

          The new line is that absence of evidence only speaks to the efficacy of the conspiracy. They will be accused of ‘doping’ and probably punished regardless, while roided-up Scandinavian whores cluck with approval.

          America and its homunculi are now so far up their own arses that they’re psychologically incapable of honesty in thought or action. Nothing short of a full atomic blitz could make any impression on their diseased minds at this point.

          • kirill says:

            People believe in some utopian spiral of progress. I see degeneration back to medieval times when people were accused of being witches and murdered without a shred of proof. Scumbags like McLaren have the onus on them to prove their case and can’t invoke some brain dead “argument” that samples “must have been tampered with even though we don’t have an explanation as to how” (because Rodchenkov is credible). McLaren may as well have been Powell waving his vial of “proof” at the UN.

      • Moscow Exile says:

        Chris Froome could lose Vuelta title after abnormal drugs test result
        • Froome found to have an excessive level of an asthma drug at Vuelta
        • Team Sky’s top rider says it was for medical use and within permitted doses

        • marknesop says:

          Not a chance – he’s from the right sort of country, so he’s well in with WADA and they will protect him rather than trying to drive him out of sport. They’ll just say he has asthma, poor thing, all the best athletes have it, don’t you know. He is permitted to take a performance-enhancing drug to put him back on a level playing-field with his fellows, and the fact that he’s a winner just proves that the approach was justice.

  44. Moscow Exile says:

    Another bullshitter participating in what must be one of the riskiest jobs in the world, according to some pundit linked above:

    Taking a page out of chief bullshitter’s book as regards presentation style?

    Her mannerisms in the clip seem to be a copy of the fake lawyer’s.

    The TV presenter [Sobchak] was a guest on the First Channel programme “Time Will Tell” on the , writes “”.

    Sobchak was talking about low pensions and benefits for Russians, when the programme host asked her if she knew how much it costs to travel by the Moscow metro.

    Instead of an answer, Sobchak asked if the presenter had any other questions, and reminded him that she had not long before answered a similar question about the cost of bread.

    “Do you think that this determines whether a person despises the people or not?” said the angry TV host [i.e. Sobchak].

    See: Собчак опозорилась в эфире Первого канала 

    Sobchak shows herself up live on the First Channel

    • marknesop says:

      Sort of like George Dubya when he made some throwaway remark like “We know how hard it is” when talking about the cost of living, sort of adding himself in there with the working poor. Of course he is not among them, he is a millionaire, as is Sobchak.

      However, anyone who would be a leader in Russia – or anywhere else – is going to have to talk about pensions and the cost of living because they are serious issues nearly everywhere. You don’t have to always make pensions bigger; a serious study, for example, of what most pensioners spend their money on and from that, ways in which their costs could be partially subsidized would be an alternative. That’s probably what the presenter was getting at with the cost of transport, and there’s no doubt Sobchak could have handled it better. But there’s also always an element of ‘gotcha’ in political interviews. Political interviewees should know to expect it.

  45. Moscow Exile says:

    Another who is risking his life by daring to stand against the Dark Lord as a presidential candidate:

    Brave man!

  46. Warren says:

  47. Warren says:

    • marknesop says:

      That’s a pretty good story, and it is definitely a valid point that the press just wants to forget a lot of the things it said and the positions it took. The whole effort was plainly to build momentum for regime change, and had it occurred as planned we would not be having this conversation, because history would reflect that all the charges against Assad were true. Still, even those authors cannot resist the urge to go along with the fiction that the USA was in Syria to oppose ISIS.

      The notion that Assad “won’t fight” Islamic State was always wrong. The notion that “defeating Islamic State also requires defeating Bashar Assad” was, likewise, always wrong. By now it should be obvious that the Syrian Arab Army has played a role in degrading Islamic State in Syria — not alone, of course, but with Russian and Iranian partners, not to mention the impressive U.S.-led coalition.

      The ‘US-led coalition’ was all the way across town from ‘impressive’, unless you were on the side of ISIS. The beloved ‘facts on the ground’ are unassailable – after an intense media campaign against Assad, in which he was accused of all manner of repressive and violent actions for which no substantiation was ever provided (and in which attempts to fake it such as the employment of ‘Syrian Danny’ and those highlighted by the Observer Mission of the Arab League were uncovered), the United States invited itself into Syria with the stated goal of ‘fighting ISIS’. During that time it proudly admitted to funneling arms into the region, for ‘the moderate rebels’, and near the end of the program, admitted to having trained something like 5 fighters at a cost of more than a million dollars. I find it hard to believe they spent a million dollars on five guns. And during the better than 18 months the USA ‘fought ISIS’, the latter steadily advanced as the Syrian Army was pressed back, and ISIS took more and more territory. Enter Russia and Hezbollah – at the invitation of the Syrian government – and within a month the tide had turned and ISIS was falling back.

      But I suppose the notion that Russia and the United States were ‘uneasy allies’ in this battle will pass into the history of the conflict. I suppose we should be glad if that’s as bad as the bullshit gets, considering there is an ongoing attempt to portray events as if Russia took credit for the ‘coalition victory’.

    • yalensis says:

      “The now-defunct conventional wisdom was not only stubbornly anti-empirical…”

      Anti-empirical is a polite way of saying that all these media prostitutes LIED.

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