10 June 2018

Israeli operation, Russian one - or both?


Frankly, this meme I have chosen for the masthead of the post isn't even especially funny. But the subject of the post isn't especially funny either. Weird will be the most fitting adjective, but judge for yourself.

The article in question this time is titled: How Russiagate Became Israelgate, with a subtitle It’s not about Vladimir Putin anymore. And it opens a view on a new direction in the ever expanding scope of the Mueller team's activities.

To forewarn you: the article is a morass of incomprehensible charges, suspicions and claims - even if you go to the links offered in it. Measure the worth of this priceless WaPo starter, for instance:
Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III last summer threatened to charge George Papadopoulos, a former campaign adviser to President Trump, with acting as an unregistered agent of Israel, Papadopoulos’s wife said Tuesday.

Simona Mangiante Papadopoulos, an Italian lawyer who married Papadopoulos in March, said the special prosecutor’s office claimed to have evidence that Papadopoulos had worked on behalf of Israel without registering as a foreign agent while he was serving as an energy consultant before he joined the Trump campaign.
So the man was working as an "energy consultant" (whatever it means) for someone in Israel - this before he joined the Trump campaign. Is it in any way or manner relevant to a possible collusion with Moscow, Jerusalem or anyone else? You tell me. And check also this:
In October 2015, Papadopoulos wrote a column for the Israeli publication Haaretz entitled “Natural Gas Isn’t Just about Israel.”
Wow, seriously? Don't you feel the hairy tentacle of Mossad in this act? Or in this one:
During those years, he became acquainted with Eli Groner, who has served since 2015 as a top aide to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
That sulphurous smell of collusion indeed.

The hilarity of the whole brouhaha is summarized by a quote from a former National Security Agency analyst John Schindler:
Schindler quotes a colleague from the US intelligence community who wonders, “What if the real secret of the Trump campaign isn’t that it’s a Kremlin operation, rather an Israeli operation masquerading as a Russian one?”
Because, you know, of the eternal "cui bono" question, answered by the same "analyst":
“Trump has gone whole-hog for the Israeli right-wing,” writes the former American spy. “The recent move of our embassy to Jerusalem, long desired by the Israeli Right, is merely the most prominent of Trump’s gifts to his pal Bibi and his ruling Likud party.”
If I had a dollar for every time a raving conspiracy nutcase uses the "cui bono" test, which test in every such case invariably pointing to his/her chosen culprit, of course... But in this case we are ostensibly dealing with a high level expert.

One item, though, is to be concerned about, if true:
Some conservative journalists have argued that Mueller appears to have a problem with Israel.
As an example, the article describes two clumsy attempts, not of a counter-spying investigation by the illustrious FBI, but of crude entrapment. Which attempts are clearly based on the so much non-politically correct and maligned ethnic profiling.
According to the 2009 Post article, “Franklin was apparently sent out by his FBI handlers to tempt Jews. He tried Adam Ciralsky at CBS News, who had once sued the CIA for anti-Semitism, and Richard Perle, who was on his way to vacation in France, as well as Pentagon employees who had done nothing more than work with Franklin. All turned down the offer of information.”
All that during the Mueller's years as a head honcho.

And this is a man who already spend an year digging in many possible directions. Of course, it will be stupid of me to prejudge the final outcome - if and when it comes, but the further this process expands, the more it smells - of bumbling, incompetence and failure to find real meat.

Says the author of the article:
It’s difficult to imagine that many of the prominent figures on the left and the Never Trump right who have seen the Russiagate conspiracy as a useful instrument to weaken or corral Trump will be eager to push a narrative about clandestine Jewish control of American politics.
I would dare disagree with this statement. Not difficult at all, unfortunately.

***

As for John Schindler, "former National Security Agency analyst", with some murky bio episodes: his pedigree and his way of thinking are weirdly similar to that of another person, one Wayne Madsen, who bills himself as "communications security analyst with the National Security Agency in the 1980s, and an intelligence officer in the US Navy". Mr Madsen entertained me several times, and his mastery in finding connections between people and events that will seem impossible to a normal person is second to none. Worth your time to compare, and to enjoy.

06 June 2018

The real collusion with Russia


Consider this post to be a free gift* to the Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller and his tireless investigation of the above mentioned collusion. Which investigation, after a year of tireless digging in all possible directions, seems to have strayed far away from its original target.

The matter at hand is Russian supply of natural gas to European countries. To remind you:
Russia provides approximately a quarter of the natural gas consumed in the European Union; approximately 80% of those exports travel through pipelines across Ukrainian soil prior to arriving in the EU.
So far so good (for Kremlin, that is): being a provider of the essential substance gives Russia, beside a significant income, a valuable addition to their stranglehold on the European behavior in other aspects.

Like the European military readiness and spending.
For the euro area, defence expenditure amounted to 1.2 % of GDP; with expenditure in both areas changing little in comparison with 2015.
Which number, like it or not, drives the Americans mad.
However, it seems fair to point out that making the American taxpayer indirectly fund welfare programs in Germany, a country not in need of financial aid is a troublesome proposition. European nations can stand on their own two feet when it comes to organizing their defense. If Europe does not feel satisfied with its level of defense, it should have those debates within its own countries, without asking Americans for handouts.
So this European attitude makes Kremlin even happier, of course.

But there is a fly in the ointment. Namely, the fact that a good part of the Russian natural gas, on its way from Russia to Europe, passes through the much hated lately Ukraine. Not only does this passage provide Ukraine some much needed income (close to $800M yearly for the passage fees), the pipeline also provides Ukraine itself the much needed gas**. Of course, this state of affairs bothers Kremlin, and thus the Nord Stream - a series of pipelines that eventually will allow Russia to kill two birds with one stone: to avoid paying the passage fees to Ukraine - a considerable saving that, by the way, will hurt Ukraine quite a lot; and to put Ukraine on notice: continue to misbehave and the tap will be closed for good.

And here comes the uncrowned leader of EU - Germany, ostensibly a good friend of USA, a progressive bastion of Western world etc. Here I shall use an unprejudiced German source.
Preparatory work for the construction of a controversial Russian gas pipeline began off the German coast on Tuesday, just days ahead of a visit to Moscow by German chancellor Angela Merkel.

"Nord Stream 2 AG today started the offshore preparatory works for the subsequent pipe-laying in the Bay of Greifswald" on Germany's Baltic Sea coast, the building consortium, led by Russian gas giant Gazprom, said in a statement.
The article doesn't avoid the controversy:
The pipeline has proved controversial, in particular in eastern European EU states, who fear it could be used as a tool to boost Russian influence over the bloc.

Moscow notoriously used gas prices to pressure Ukraine during a mounting conflict with its former satellite which saw Russia annex the Crimean peninsula in 2014 -- prompting EU sanctions in response.
On one hand, Germany has participated in the economic sanctions against Russia, established after its annexation of Crimea. On the other... yes, we need the gas, don't we? And the cheaper the better.

As for Ukraine? Well, a bit more lip service from Brussels, and we got it fixed, don't we?

And this is the way it goes. Does it drive America mad? You bet.

So what?

Oh, and about that collusion...

(*) My favorite Americanism
(**) Not that Ukraine is a totally innocent player in this game. If you believe this Wiki article, Ukrainians tend to siphon off some gas without paying etc. Although, the credibility of Wiki political info is hardly above 50%, be warned...

04 June 2018

Terry Glavin on Gaza - when your friends are worried about you


This post isn't easy for me to write. Not because I don't know what it should say, just because I don't have a solution to the problem raised by Terry Glavin in the article A moral dilemma on the Israel-Gaza border. It is much easier to respond to a relentless propaganda attack by your enemies than to a true concern about you, expressed by your true friend.

There are many good reasons why the so called "protests" on the Gazan/Israeli border result in so many deaths. There are many good reasons why a certain percentage of these deaths is of innocent people. We can argue the military necessities, the "collateral damage", the bloody reality of picking out the villains out of the huge crowd of extras etc. We could (and should) blame the chief instigators of the bloody show, who coldly calculated their PR benefits, while the bodies were still bleeding. And we will be absolutely factually and morally right at that.

However, as Terry says, it is rather beside the point now.
What Israel is now facing is a different and far more sinister security challenge. Hamas exists for the sole purpose of doing violence to Israel and to Israelis. By its various bloodcurdling pronouncements and exhortations, Hamas had made it clear that what it failed to accomplish with its rockets and tunnels, it is now prepared to attempt with the corpses of young, desperate and deluded young Gazans, piled in heaps along the Gaza security fence.
The problem with it, to come to the point, is as Terry defines it:
That is the predicament Israel is facing. If Hamas persists in luring Palestinians to martyrdom at the Gaza fence, the IDF’s rules of engagement – first shoot to warn, then shoot to wound, then shoot to kill – become morally untenable. An abomination.

It is not right, or fair, but this is the dilemma, and it is Israel’s dilemma to resolve.
To summarize for those who haven't yet caught on with what Terry is saying: you are a nation of many talents. Your technology is superb, you have succeeded in multiple endeavors, both military and civil, to find unique and original solutions. Your Iron Dome, your Arrow, your microprocessors, your electronics, your tanks, your guns etc etc. And yes, you are in the right in this stand-off. But you must find a way to deal with it without innocent lives being lost. Without any lives being lost, in fact.

And now we are facing a dilemma, folks. It might seem a lose/lose situation. If we don't shoot - they march into our villages and towns - and not to bring flowers, of course.
Before clashes turned violent on Monday, Hamas posted on social media to encourage protesters to storm the Israeli border, claiming that after the border was successful penetrated, Palestinian leaders would speak to protesters in Israeli towns.“Ismail Haniyeh will speak in Nahal Oz, Khalil al-Hayya in Kfar Aza and Nafed Azzam in Be’eri,” Israel’s Hadashot TV news quoted from Palestinian social media. “After the victory speeches, celebrations will begin throughout Palestine.”
And when we shoot, pushed into shooting by the dire necessity - we lose again, because we are effectively doing Hamas' bidding: provide bloody corpses to the cameras.

And some people correctly say that Hamas will always win the PR war, even as Israel wins the military victories. No, dear Ms Kay, I don't think that in the article quoted above Terry takes us to task. He is a friend who is worried, and for a good reason, about the same thing that worries you, even if we judge your article by its headline only.

So, this is a situation where straightforward thinking doesn't seem to be of much use. And, while both friends and enemies ask the same question: why doesn't such a technological juggernaut have a solution that will keep the "protesters" away from the border fence, I know that we just don't have one. No one has, not that it makes me feel better...

So the order of the day should be to find one, and this is the bothersome issue: I am not sure there is a solution to be found at all.

And this is only half of the problem. The other one, as Terry formulates in his next article, Even rational folks lose their minds when Israel comes up. Hamas counts on it:
It is not an easy thing, getting to the truth of all this, and coming to some rational judgments about the apportionment of blame for the horrible predicament Gazans are obliged to endure: a crushing hopelessness, a quarter of their meagre personal incomes spent on drinkable water, an unemployment rate approaching 50 per cent, the tyranny of Hamas, and no escape.
Of course, the suffering, the neglect, the unemployment are not exactly harmful to Hamas, after all their answer to all this is to point the finger at the Zionist enemy. And to use the suffering for more PR.

It is not that we are blind to the need for a solution. Our media lately is quite full of the articles like these:

Offer Gaza a Marshall Plan in Exchange for Demilitarization

Needed: A different Gaza strategy


Editor's Notes: Changing the Gaza Paradigm

There is a way to solve the Gaza crisis

Essentially they all pursue the same target: improving the quality of life of Gazans in order to pacify the Strip. None, however, provide an answer to the crucial question: how to improve the life of Gazans without handing Hamas another PR victory and strengthen their hold on the hapless population? Another lose/lose situation, another conundrum. I doubt there is a straightforward solution, but we definitely do have to think about an unorthodox one that will do the former without causing the latter.

The alternative to the solution is stark and unwanted: re-occupying the Gaza Strip, getting rid of Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other ingredients of the terrorist alphabet soup and taking the responsibility of managing the life of Gazans for undefined, but definitely long period. Not a single sane voice was heard so far in support of this venue (thank deity for small favors).

And, back to Terry Glavin: to stress the point of friendship, a quote from the second article linked above:
I’d said that surely there must be a way the protesters could be stopped without shooting live ammunition at them – that Israel, with its incredible technological capabilities, must be capable of developing a way. That was a cry of anguish, but it was not an argument.
And even if it were an argument: I hope we all are still able to distinguish between a friendly concern and a blame assignment. No worries, Terry.

31 May 2018

Sarcasm, Middle East Monitor and the Elders


Sarcasm doesn't register with some folks. For instance, so called MEMO (Middle East Monitor), that bills itself in this, slightly pompous way:
The use or misuse of information is central to the conflict in the Middle East. There has been a growing need for supporters of, in particular, the Palestinian cause, to master the art of information gathering, analysis and dissemination. This requires well organised, focused and targeted operations. Such initiatives are virtually non-existent in the West today.

The Middle East Monitor (MEMO) was established to fill this gap.
ETC. (Check out the personnel list of this institution, and much of the above will become clear-er).

The latest pearl of MEMO was born by the significant fall of Turkish lira. I just cannot deny myself the pleasure of quoting this opus in full.
Edy Cohen, an Israeli academic and analyst, has blamed the Jewish lobby for the recent volatility of the exchange rate between the Turkish lira and the US dollar.

Cohen, a faculty member at Israel’s Bar-Ilan University and an analyst at the Begin-Sadat Centre for Strategic Studies, tweeted the remarks in Arabic accompanied by the hashtag, “support the Turkish lira”.

“The Turkish lira has fallen to its lowest level in Turkey’s history,” Cohen said, going on to claim that the sudden decline had happened shortly after the Israeli ambassador was insulted at an Istanbul airport as he prepared to depart the country.

Addressing Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Cohen said: “Don’t you know that half of the world’s wealth belongs to only one Jewish family, which is Israel’s primary supporter?”

Cohen went on to warn that the Turkish economy would experience further losses as a result of the lobby’s manoeuvres.
The hullabaloo around this story was even picked up by the Times (paywall) - probably a slow day in the office there.

As a duly authorized representative of the Elders, I have to correct the numbers aired by the good professor. He is not an economist and, probably, doesn't know that the family in question owns 63.5% of the world’s wealth by now.

So there.

As for MEMO: keep up the good work, folks. With friends like you, Palestinians (and Turks) really don't need additional pain in their backside.

20 May 2018

People of Jaffa

It will be a grave omission on my side to skip another observation related to the promenade described here. You can see in the picture of the promenade in this post that every 50 m or so there is a sign warning the passerby not to venture onto the rocks. It is heartwarming to state that both Arabs and Jews disregard this warning.



And both throw there some strangely looking garbage that could scare the crap out of an innocent tourist.


As for this act of artistic self-expression: you tell me what it means.


Well, and the last one - just to show off my prowess as a photographer.


Nah, it was just a lucky play of sun, shadows and clouds. Oh well...

17 May 2018

CNN fact checking team in overdrive, folks!


CNN deigned to notice a news item that might clash with their  hitherto firm narrative of Israeli soldiers murdering innocent and defenseless "protesters".
A senior member of Hamas' political bureau said during a TV interview on Wednesday that 50 people killed by Israeli soldiers during clashes in Gaza on Monday were members of Hamas.
So far, so good. Only in this case, unlike in many other cases where the blame is laid at the Israel's doorstep, CNN diligently sought some input that will sow doubts about that quote. Like this:
Ahmed Abu Artema, widely credited as the person who brought the latest wave of demonstrations into being, cast doubt on Hamas' claims.
I don't know how the Hamas' mandarin reached his number of 50 and, frankly, I don't care.

But the diligence of the CNN employees in our era of fake news is nothing short of amazing, you must agree. Very laudable, that.

And this is the way it rolls, ladies and gentlemen.

14 May 2018

Washington Post and complicity in murder

It is already several weeks since Hamas cold-bloodily and calculatingly started to encourage the attempts to breach the border fence. Hamas know perfectly well what the response will be and are consciously sending people to die.

Anyone who understands that and still finds it acceptable to encourage Hamas murderers - directly or by blaming Israel - is covering their hands in blood. That much is clear.

And now to the reason for this post. Here it is:


So - Israelis kill protesters?

Check you hands, WaPo, check your hands.

(Hat tip: James S. Oppenheim).

Cats of Jaffa

Just to make sure that the location and the general environment of the rest of the pictures is clear, this is where they were taken: along the Jaffa seaside promenade.


The rocks, apparently brought in to protect the shore from erosion, provide a kind of a safe space for a sizable feline population, a small part of which is presented here.







Notice that the tuxedo (black and white) cats presented are not several shots of the same cat.

13 May 2018

Untied Airlines and me


When it comes to traveling, rarely a person undertaking the voyage is more discombobulated than I. Both acquired with years fear of flying and the unwillingness to leave home add a lot to the dealing with all these Internet sites offering you the most convenient and the cheapest way to get you from point A to point B. In this case, from point Z* to point X with a plane change in point Y. And back, hopefully.

So, being in thrall of all the "best offers", timetables, prices, stopover points, timelines etc., I missed a certain point, when making the final choice and clicking on the fateful "Make the purchase" (or whatever it says) button. My inattention brought me to the bunch of misbegotten malcontents, malfeasance - minded marauders of civil aviation, otherwise known as Untied Airlines**. Yes, the ones whose exploits in passenger-oriented violence, casual murder of animals and other similar innovations in customer service are the sign of the times and the talk of the day.

I noticed my oversight only when it came to the online check-in procedure. The usually simple and quick process of filling in a page of basic data came in this case as a sequence of several pages, with kind of questions more suited for an application to some spy agency. But the breaking point came when somewhere on page 5 the system stopped responding, mulled on some issues for a while and came with a notice: "For security reasons your check-in process can't be continued at this time".

OK, I said, no big deal. After all, that whole home check-in procedure doesn't really save you much time, not in point Z, where most of your time is spent in the security-bound lines anyway. So, after getting to the old-fashioned check-in counter, I was unpleasantly surprised to see that our seating arrangements were changed by the airline - we were bumped about 9 rows back. I've mentioned this discovery to the check-in wallah, with a (feeble, I know) protest of a "But I have reserved these seats several months ago!". His response, coupled with his unwavering steely gaze was  crushing: "No matter, it is the same cabin, after all". No further arguments...

Well, looking forward to the pleasant vacation and keeping in mind that for the flight back I have reserved (and paid for) something called "enhanced seating", I have swallowed this small insignificant crow and otherwise our way to the point X was uneventful and even more or less on time.

On the way back I haven't even attempted the doomed in advance online check-in. So, after repeatedly swapping our passports in that infernal machine at the airport in point X, we have eventually got our boarding passes, and lo and behold: our seats were bumped back again, far away from the general area of the duly paid for "enhanced seating". Now I was pissed off. So, when we got to the terminal, which almost wholly belongs to the Untied Airlines, I have started to search for a service agent. To my chagrin, there wasn't a single one available. About 45 minutes before our flight take-off time a harassed - looking agent appeared at out gate and got swamped immediately by all kinds of needy people, mostly of the stand by category. When my turn came, I was told that the agent can't see my ticketing on the computer (?), so I shall have to defer my issues to the service agents in point Y, where the long flight to point Z is starting.

The first available service agent at point Y was an apprentice (as he himself confessed) who decided to redirect my issue to his neighbor - an important looking lady who, pointedly ignoring the apprentice's attempts to draw her attention, took care meanwhile of several other customers, who came by way after me. When she deigned to take a brief look at the apprentice's screen with my ticket info, she immediately declared that I didn't have a claim for the enhanced seating, since I haven't purchased any. My attempts to demonstrate the ticketing email on my phone were rejected outright and quite rudely.

Only when I asked for the lady's name (for submitting a complaint), did she jump into action. Which action consisted of  a) complaining of me being annoying and b) calling for a supervisor to get rid of the said annoyance.

Well, to shorten the story, the supervisor's intervention resolved the whole drama. She was a rather nice person, who took a look at my ticketing email and, seeing the proof of purchase, moved the poor apprentice aside and, after a few manipulations on the computer, found us two seats in the enhanced seating section. She also told me that, due to cancellation of the previous flight from point Y to point Z, the wave of newcomers caused a turmoil with seating and even (kind of) apologized for the misunderstanding and inconvenience caused.

Well, as an afterword: only in the morning after landing in point Z, I have found an email from Untied Airlines, partially quoted below:
There has been an aircraft swap for your flight today to Tel Aviv, which has resulted in seating changes. We have done our best to keep your original seating preferences, but your seat assignments have changed.

New seat assignments:

[Passenger 1] - 30A
[Passenger 2] - 30B

We appreciate your understanding and apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.
There are three intriguing points about that email: that it was sent about two hours before take-off time from point X; that it contradicts the flight cancellation story of the supervisor; and the reference to "original seating preferences". Original my foot.

But no matter. What matters is that SWMBO was able to relax in the enhanced seat (having, to be frank, legs longer than mine, it is a significant point), that the justice triumphed and that I have learned to double check the situation before clicking this "Make the purchase" button. Hopefully to avoid the good services of Untied from now on.

So there.


(*) Point Z, being of course the Zionist Entity.
(**) Well, kind of, if you know what I mean.

10 April 2018

Taking a break

The blogging will be scarce to not done at all till (approximately) mid May.
You all out there - behave!

06 April 2018

Another gem in my NYT collection

With thanks to Noga The Contentious


To join that other, apparently later, pearl:

02 April 2018

Russia - where go thee?


"National mourning during the run-up to the presidents inauguration - cynical disrespect to millions of voters", stated Volodin" - in regard of the tragic fire event in Kemerovo

Vyacheslav Viktorovich Volodin is a Russian politician who is the 10th and current Chairman of the State Duma since 5 October 2016. He is a former aide to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

I heard that this mind-boggling message was later removed by its carrier, the state-owned TASS.

This unbelievable declaration after the Kemerovo disaster, besides showing the level of adoration of the de facto Russian autocrat for life, signifies the new era in Russian internal and international politics. It didn't happen yesterday, of course, it took some time, but the boiled frog method eventually succeeded. The country that, in the beginning of the nineties, had a chance to develop into a full-fledged democracy, was returned, slowly but surely and without undue violence, into its traditional slavish worship of the Strong Man. From now on anything he will do, no matter how criminal or stupid, no matter whether it is done in own society or without, will be accepted and hailed as a given.

The tone of the external discourse, as set by the ruler, has also changed, and became quite ominous. I would say that since Stalin's times, the language of the Russian foreign ministry communiques was never that crude and militant. Not to mention full of lies (that was never a showstopper for the ministry mentioned).
The British authorities have demonstrated their inability to ensure the safety of Russian citizens more than once. The glaring examples include the poisoning of former FSB agent Alexander Litvinenko, the death of businessmen Badri Patarkatsishvili and Alexander Perepelichny under unclear circumstances, the mysterious “suicide” of Boris Berezovsky and the strangling of Berezovsky’s business partner Nikolai Glushkov, and lastly, the recent attempt on the lives and health of Sergey Skripal and his daughter Yulia.

In the latter case, London acted contrary to all the norms of international law, ethics and even common sense. London has accused Russia of poisoning Russian citizens without providing any evidence or the complete picture of the crime. At the same time, it has provided the alleged name of the toxic agent, which has never been used in Russia, and has launched a large-scale political and media campaign against Russia. It has initiated the campaign to expel Russian diplomats from a number of countries and representative offices at international organisations and has announced a package of other sanctions. Meanwhile, it has completely disregarded our legitimate requests to share the samples of the alleged toxic agent.
There is more in this text, but the quote should be enough.

The war with Georgia, the annexation of Crimea, the ongoing war in Ukraine, the Syrian adventures, the recent bragging session by Putin about the Russian military might - all this doesn't bode well for anyone with a bit of common sense. Whoever doesn't see that this is Putin's way to deflect the attention of the average Russian from the woes of the stagnating economy and the effects the Western sanctions are having on the daily life, could do worse than read this article from Pravda.

A word of caution: the person, quoted at the end of the article, one Sergei Gorodnikov,
is an unusual character. Described by Wiki as a "Russian scientist, writer, playwright, political economist, journalist, publicist, philosopher, politician", he is an ultra-nationalist, as reactionary as they come. During the Soviet years he was too much of a blackshirt to be supported by the ruling powers, but these days, with proliferation of ultra-patriotic filth, he's harnessed the wave. Gorodnikov was leading an extremist nationalist organization Русские ("Russians"), which appeared to be too much even for the sympathetic Russian administration and got dissolved in 2015 by a court order. Currently Mr Gorodnikov bills himself as a director of an entity called Global Policy Development Center (probably having about one employee/CEO/CFO).

His political stance is not quite clear, since he defines himself sometimes as "national socialist" and sometimes as "national democrat". But otherwise, his goals are defined very well in this article.
Director of the Global Policy Development Center, Sergei Gorodnikov, told Pravda.Ru that the Russians are absolutely uncompetitive in the world, "primarily because we have the universal Christian morality, and the West obeys concepts of national interests and corporate ethics. They see the rest of the world beyond the notion of ethics and morality," the political scientist noted in an interview with Pravda.Ru.

According to him, "the countries of the West that stand on the positions of double morality are much more powerful economically and financially. They will wipe Russia out with its weak economy that accounts to only 1.7% percent of GDP of the world economy. They will squash Russia like a fly, we have one or two decades left maximum."

The West, Sergei Gorodnikov continued, has been preparing its public opinion for a consolidated struggle against Russia on the scenario that they had used against Saddam Hussein. As soon as they all consolidate, they will launch an offensive on Putin's regime," the expert told Pravda.Ru.

According to the political scientist, Russia's salvation lies in her return to totalitarianism. "Party is a system-forming core that rules the country for generations. This is an instrument of strategic management. We've had the communist regime that would give the country a strategy for three generations,"
You could easily see where the learned national socialist is right: Russian economy isn't competitive and accounts for a very thin slice of the world economy indeed. The picture of the bloodthirsty West that is preparing to wipe Russia out, though, fits like a glove the current Kremlin view of the political map.

You might ignore the (indeed) odious "analyst", but ignoring the media outfit that publishes revelations like this, Pravda.ru, is a perilous decision at the best of times. Because Pravda.ru is not a mouthpiece of the weakened to the point of impotence communist party. It is toeing the Kremlin line quite devoutly, and its writers know very well the direction of the wind blowing from Kremlin.

Not to mention that the prophecy about returning to totalitarianism is rather a thing of the past. Everything points to it being a reality today.

Too bad.

27 March 2018

Jeremy Corbyn and his magic pockets


The many and various Jew-hating outbursts by various members of Labour party, both rank and file and leaders, caused an impressive show of solidarity and protest by British Jews in London.

It is not that Corbyn himself continues to deny the issue. Even before the demo in London he said:
We recognise that anti-Semitism has occurred in pockets within the Labour Party, causing pain and hurt to our Jewish community in the Labour Party and the rest of the country.
And in his letter to the Jewish leaders in reply to their open letter (both in the same link), Corbyn says all the right things.

So what is the problem, you might ask? First of all, the valiant fighter for social justice, equality and peace has done nothing about anti-Semitism during his time at the head of the party. But there is another, more acute issue, and it is Mr Corbyn himself.

The whole brouhaha, if you believe the BBC article, started with Corbyn's approval of an an anti-Semitic mural. A honest mistake, if you believe Corbyn and his minions:
Shadow transport secretary Andy McDonald told Sky News' Sunday with Niall Paterson that the Labour leader "hasn't got an anti-Semitic bone in his body"...
I wouldn't go as far as analyzing the gentleman's bones, besides I wouldn't know how to detect an anti-Semitic one. But the spirit of Corbyn is another matter...

The said spirit let itself to be invited (and joined) at least two virulently Jew-hating Facebook groups, spending several years in each one, without ever noticing the poisonous contents. The same spirit joined on its own another Facebook group of the same ilk and still continues to be a member there.

Another honest mistake, you might say. After all, the group isn't titled anything like "Kill the Jew" or something in this vein. And, being a busy man, Mr Corbyn doesn't have time to really nitpick the small print. Right?

The problem is that even on his own Facebook page our hero allows the racist vermin to proliferate and celebrate their verminity unopposed. And here is a selection of comments to be found on the said page, under the oh how politically correct response to the Jewish leaders, mentioned already here. Enjoy.

And consider what Mr Corbyn says about pockets...

Update 1: A great tweet by Amie:

Update 2: My cup runneth over:
Jeremy Corbyn is a member of two more virulently anti-Semitic Facebook groups, Guido can reveal, bringing the total up to five. Jezza has been a member of “Jeremy Corbyn Leads Us to VICTORY” since 2015. It is full of post after post about the Rothschilds, comparisons between Israel and the Nazis and “Antichrist Zionist Rothschild Jews”.

***

“Its not anti Semitic to compare Israeli policies to hitlers, it's fair and accurate.”

“I have never seen anti-semiticism in the Labour Party.. but I have seen anti-zionism of which I am
very proud to be an anti-zionist. We need to be VERY clear that protesting against the so-called apartheid state of Israel is not anti-semitic.
The Labour Party needs to be much stronger on this and not tolerate the conflation of anti-zionism with anti-semiticism [sic]”

“It disgusts me that within the PLP are a group of MPs calling themselves Labour Friends of Israel. This is disgraceful. In the time of the South African apartheid if there were a group in the PLP calling themselves the Labour Friends of South Africa, they would not have lasted five minutes. To have this group of MPs in the pockets of the zionist lobbyists is the shame of the Labour Party.”

“I would class the mural as anti establishment, anti capitalism not antisemitic”

“Don’t worry I did not believe a word of the media obsessional distraction techniques.”

“Don't sweat it jez. The mural wasn't antisemitic anyway, the target of the satire was corrupt banks, not Jewishness. If Jews own the banks then yea they're involved. What, are we never allowed to critique anything that in any way involved some people who happened to be Jewish? The usual suspects trying to undermine u, they should be ashamed. It is they who hurt labour's chances not u”

“Ironically most of the right wings are supporter of the zionazi state which make all the sense...racists are alike”

“[...] how by any stretch of the imagination has corbyn used this image an off the cuff comment from years ago is just another ridiculous smear by pro Israeli state lobby in and out of the Labour Party”

“The mural was not antisemetic. This is total foolishness. The painting -- from my interoperation -- is capitalism being portrayed as a game. A lot of Labour MPs have conveyed solidarity for the Palestinians this week, so the mainstream media driven argument of antisemitism is a way of undermining that. In addition, to undermine the success that will happen 3rd May under Jeremy's leadership of the Labour Party.”

“Well well Jeremy Corbyn is now just another politician bought and paid for by the Zionist state of Israel. You don't get to the front benches in the Westminster houses of corruption unless!”

“The mural was not anti-Semitic, it is anti-establishment. It just so happens the Rothschild and the rockerfella family have Jewish backgrounds and are the world's richest families.”

“Luciana Berger MP is a traitor to the labour party! She is contributing to the Tory lies and bogus smear campaigns!”

“I can smell a rat when a labour MP came from Haberdashers private school for girls and secretly has a surname called Goldsmith!”

“Jeremy ...someone needs to man up and tell people live on tv that anti Zionism is not the same as antisemiticism ...and defend robustly against the traditional onslaught that usually comes after...people are sick and tired of this situation and the constant holocaust “reminders “ on tv...”

“Strange how these unfounded accusations of anti-Semitism always gather steam around election time. Almost as though the Jewish community were trying to subvert sovereign British politics by tarnishing the image of an innocent and genuinely nice man and influencing the outcome of a sovereign British election.”

“Jeremy i am a big fan huge one but no one is more racist faschist extremist and crying victims than jews”.

***

21 March 2018

CNN and selective color vision

A curios situation in the CNN reporting on the Austin TX serial bomber. Here is the passage that confused me mightily:

The first explosion killed 39-year-old Anthony Stephan House on March 2. The second blast on March 12 killed 17-year-old Draylen Mason. The third blast happened several hours later and critically injured a 75-year-old woman. Those three blasts all happened after someone left explosives-laden packages on the victims' doorsteps. In the fourth blast, a device was triggered by a tripwire, injuring two white men, police said. The device was left on the side of a road in a predominantly white area.
So the first three blasts killed or injured three persons without any color attributed and the other blast injured two white persons.

Is there some special new kind of explosive material that could be set to injure a colorless person or a person of specific color, depending on the circumstances or on the bomber will?

Hmm... consider me confused. Like this:


P.S. I hope they will get the bastard. And there really is no need to research his color preferences. Just to shoot...

Update: done. Good.

18 March 2018

The phallus that discombobulated FSB


The story is rather old, but needs a refresher. A rare case when size matters.

The story starts with the Russian art group "Voina" (War):
Voina (Russian: Война, IPA: [vɐjˈna] (About this sound listen), lit. War) is a Russian street-art group known for their provocative and politically charged works of performance art. The group has had more than sixty members, including former and current students of the Rodchenko Moscow School of Photography, Moscow State University, and University of Tartu. However, the group does not cooperate with state or private institutions, and is not supported by any Russian curators or gallerists.

The activities of Voina have ranged from street protest, symbolic pranks in public places, and performance-art happenings, to vandalism and destruction of public property. More than a dozen criminal cases have been brought against the group. On 7 April 2011 the group was awarded the "Innovation" prize in the category "Work of Visual Art", established by the Russian Ministry of Culture.
One of the famous actions of Voina was:

Dick Captured by the FSB
During the night of 14 June 2010, Voina painted a giant 65 m long phallus on the surface of the Liteyny drawbridge leading to the Bolshoy Dom, headquarters of the Federal Security Service in Saint Petersburg. This painting was entitled Giant Galactic Space Penis. The group studied traffic patterns at the bridge, and practiced coordinated actions for two weeks beforehand, in a parking lot, because they would have only 30 seconds to complete the painting before the drawbridge was raised.
And the drawbridge was raised!



More about the action in the Youtube description:
June 14, 2010, Saint Petersburg

Security guards are stopping traffic across the Liteyny Bridge, located in front of the local FSB (ex-KGB) headquarters.

Voina members, on foot, bike and in a car, breach the roadblock. Activists rush over with white paint. Voina President Leo the Fucknut is captured and roughed up by the cops.

Onlookers shout, 'It's a Russia Day celebration!'

Menacingly rising, Voina's Dick slowly erected in front of the Federal Security Service building, lovingly nicknamed The Big House by the Russian people.

Some images of Voina's Dick opposing the FSB building has been immortalized on a Norwegian postal stamp. All revenues from the stamp were directed to political prisoners in Russia.
And here is a recording of the preparation of the monument:



Viva Voina!