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Tuesday, 06 May 2014

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And there's you wanting to vote Ukip.

Don't give these bastards anything, even a tactical victory.

SoD

Well you might be happy losing your liberties centimetre by centimetre in the golden age of the New Frankish Empire but I'm not! If sending 'our Nige' and his weird followers to Brussels 'en masse' thus ensuring the fright of frights is administered to the useless Tory party, then he gets my vote! Now get on with your work!

I have been reading this post over and over and doing much thinking---a frightful prospect by itself. It is hard to distil the observable truth from run amuck projection of too much media, especially American. A few weeks ago I fully expected to see the Soviet Red Army of old goose stepping up my street. Then I imagined Khrushchev at the podium banging his shoe telling me he would destroy me. He messed up and helped destroy his country. We here in the US are capable of destroying ourselves on our own thank you very much.

In perusing other blogs on all things Russian, I wonder just how deeply the average Russian knows his country's recent history. Sure they know the horrors visited upon them during WW2, and they remember the propaganda from Moscow during the Cold War against the West. But do they know the depths of Stalin's purges against the people at the hands of the State? It seems the greatest assault on the collective Russian Person, pause for effect, has mostly come from the Kremlin. Putin/Russia imagine themselves constantly set upon by the "others" just over the horizon.

In this mental state, Mad Vlad is having a mid life crisis with his shirtless parading about, and displaying his skill with firearms etc. He has left his wife, seemingly an attractive woman, for a young lady who can complete his fantasy. With any luck, this pretty young thing may be the death of him.

"With any luck, this pretty young thing may be the death of him."

To which one can only mutter, or at least, I can only mutter because, alas, 'I have lunched not wisely but too well', - what a way to go!

(And it took three goes to type out the syntax of that sentence properly because of American sabotage, dammit, why do you guys mess about with drones and things when all you need is the American dry martini and the world is yours! Yes, right, I'm off for a post prandial nap!)

:)) It amazes me the world likes the dry martini. Can't stand the things myself. I am marveling at your ability to coax your keyboard into writing that as well. On matters of pretty young things, I figured out that after a certain age, I had to get good at either fishing or lying. I am quite the fisherman.

Nap mightily sir David

David? Take some advice from an Arkianese?

I had to get good at either fishing or lying.

I am quite the fisherman.

Wherein you're gently led in with a complimentary

"I am marveling at your ability to coax your keyboard into writing that as well."
______________

Lock the liquor cabinet. Maybe even, hide the silver!

Nothing personal Whitewall, fisherman to fisherman?

Just to be clear Whitewall - and "I believe" you've made mention of North Carolina?

... recorded many ghost stories (which might localize internationally known themes), accounts of witchcraft (a subject often treated with extreme secrecy in the region), jokes (many of which are too ribald for publication in the in the 21st Century), and tall tales (“lies” in local parlance).

http://www.encyclopediaofarkansas.net/encyclopedia/entry-detail.aspx?search=1&entryID=406

By the way, consider yourself invited to the Ozarks, we've some middling big fish.

JK, yessir, NC indeed. In this state, we have many ghost tales, tall tales, gross exaggerations of the truth---among us fishermen aka lies. Our region is said by many to be the last large outpost of the Celtic peoples. Some of our culture is shaped by these long ago folks as they cross pollinated with others from around the British Isles. That's me.

I have heard of the fine fishing among the Ozarks and just might someday. We can compare fishermen's lies. The last bass I caught was big....so big the picture alone weighed 5 lbs.

Eh Whitewall, I've myself got some "connectors" extending back to Carolina ... prior to division.

More recently, a certain rendezvous generally in the vicinity of Asheville. Very Smoky though - at least I hope it remains so.

Hmm, Putin as a new wave of born again fascists. That is apt. In South America, there is a revival of Bolivarian style dictators, the late smoldering Hugo Chavez, and his replacement as well as other countries. Human kind never changes. The rise and fall of these clowns is predictable with the only variant being the level of carnage.

The Chinaman used to own a a game-fishing boat in Cairns (called "Hooker") and the biggest fish he ever caught was a black marlin which weighed in at 797 lbs. A 704 lb. tiger shark was trying to eat the marlin so the Chinaman caught that one too.
The paying anglers caught many, many marlin over 1,000 lbs. on "Hooker".
Of course, nowadays he's down to a 14'6" tinnie but he has lots of fun with that and manages to feed himself and the cat (I don't fancy seafood).

Oh Lord, you fishermen are worse than golfers with your tall tales!

Hello again,
If you don't mind I'd comment this. I suppose the root of all the misunderstandigs between the West and Russia lies in western unwilling to aknowledge the fact Russia has its own geopolitical interests (however I do not exclude any other reeasons which might be up to Russians). You wrote: "Immediately you have a Russian variation on the old Germanic nightmare, the fear of being surrounded. That is followed by resentment at territories lost after the Cold War ended and foreign parties took advantage of temporary Russian weakness." All right, let's look back. Before we withdrew our troops from the Europe and let Germany to rejoin, we had been promised NATO would not extend towards the east. Did the West keep its word? Have a look at the map, and evaluate another time if Russia IS ALREADY surrounded? I'll be owed you some vodka if we are not :) Basically to understand Putin one must not onle listen to him but to HEAR him. I can't say the author does.
Quote: "In true Fascist style, Putin has passed anti-homosexual legislation which, now that the winter Olympics are over, you can bet will be pursued vigorously." and from the initial article: "When they were first introduced one year ago, people also failed to recognize the true meaning of Russia's new anti-gay laws. But today it is clear that it marked the emergence of the new Russia."
The true meaning is following:
The PROPAGANDA of unusual sexual relationships among UNAGED is banned. The ADMINSTRATIVE responsibility is established. If violated by the citizen - the fine of 5000 rub (less than 100 pounds) is applied. If the same was done via media the fine is 50000-100000). That's all. We just do not our children to become homosexuals. Is it fascism? Are there any punishments for homosexuals? Could you anybody show me just a single gay sentenced to prison because of his sexual orientation. So I'd recommend author first of all to get things known and only after write about them in well-known magazine.
On a whole the western media makes an impression of "posting the labels". They listen to but do not hear, think but don't analyze.
No facts, no finding out the reasons, no striving to understand the essence of the things. It woild'nt be an exagerration to say that those Russians who read them are just laughing and not perceive them seriously. Those who don't are indifferent. As for me - I am very sad, because such staff separates us deeper and deeper, which is not good. It tunes simple citizens against Russia.

I am very happy for you to comment on anything, Alexey.

Yes, you are correct to say that NATO/EU encroached into eastern Europe after the Soviets withdrew but, as you know and your president knows, 'nature abhors a vacuum' - which is part of the reason why the Soviets did *not* withdraw from eastern Europe after the war!

However, it is equally true that the West has pushed much too far because you should only dominate territory if you have the strength to defend it. The West, or at least, western Europe, does not have that strength, and the Americans do not have the will power. I have written before on this blog that the West has no strategic interest in who rules Ukraine, but Russia does and if they think they can afford to run the place - then good luck to them! (However, I would add that the West does have some interest in the Baltic States so I do hope Russia treads carefully there!)

I can understand your wish that "We just do not [want] our children to become homosexuals." Most people think the same but unfortunately no-one can control the outcome when the genetic dice are thrown. There have been homosexuals in every nation since history began and using government 'diktat' to try and stop it is useless as well as cruel. Anyone who thinks, as Mr. Putin obviously does, that he can control human sexual nature is a fool - and a dangerous fool with delusions of grandeur. In my opinion, his absolute rule will grow and grow - remember Niemoller's old poem:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out-- Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out-- Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out-- Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me--and there was no one left to speak for me.

Let me be clear, I would like Britain to come out of the European Union which I consider to be a German-dominated empire, and in the long term I would like to be friends with Russia in order to keep the EU in check; and also, perhaps more importantly, to try and break up Sino-Russian relationships in the Far East.

"Oh Lord, you fishermen are worse than golfers with your tall tales". Golfers dress better, we exaggerate better.

Well, these days they do but when you see those old matches from the '80s - what an embarrassment!

David, if so, how would you explain such a furious activity of the West in Ukraine? What would be your thoughts if, for example, Russia tried to participate in Irish or Mexican revolution? We are also generally indifferent whom will the Ukraine ruled by. Because all the story shows that who-ever was in charge in there he would always betray Russia and ruin all the agreements. Literally. But we can't afford any insustainability or - even worse - hostility towards in the closest neighboor country. Shouldn't the West (especially USA) FIRST get hands off it?
Regarding to gay-law. Generally you are right, it's hard to affect instincts. However when alcohol and cigarettes ads are being banned the bannes always (of course with some extent of success) work.
Actually, I do not mean to hurt you but it seems to me the current Europe has no its own position. Total support of USA cannot be a point of view. You must think about your interests. Probably we'll never become allies, but we shouldn't be the enemies.

Alexey....it is far better to send trade goods and services across borders than to send armies. It is always one or the other. Ukraine is an economic basket case, as is Crimea. Thus many billions of $$ are owed to Russia by Kiyev. Economic prosperity for Ukraine will not come through Moscow, only through self determination and open trade with Europe and the rest of the world.

For Russia to absorb Ukraine, there will be economic hardship on both as Russia's economy is struggling. It is only a matter of time before Europe, through new technology, becomes energy independent. It is Russia that will be hurt from this and will have to follow the rest of the developed world.

Dear Whitewall,
If you read my comment last week, Ukraine's industry entirely depends on Russia. Namely entireley. Did we mind Ukraine to go sign the agreement? No, we didn't. We just warned that in this case Russia would set a regular custom charges for all the goods coming from Ukraine. Yanukowich had realised the disasterous consequences of it and refused to sign the agreement. You want to have a free trade with Ukraine? Welcome. But what will european giants say?
Yet again. Russia is not about to absorb Ukraine. We don't need 20 million poors. You will probably be right about the energy, but it will cost you too much. Are you ready your goods will become expensie and incompetitive? All right, China with Russian energy is waiting for you at the markets all aroud the world. Hence we should rather talk about mutual losses. You need them? We don't...

Alexey...no I'm sorry I didn't read your comment last week. My point is that western Europe will become energy independent on its own just as North America is becoming so. I guess we have a different definition of "absorb". What is happening today is another way of doing what happened in Crimea. The result is the same. If Ukraine is left alone by Moscow it can work out its own economic problems over time with the help of Western Europe. It won't be easy and will take time, but it is possible.

I Whitewall, as David occasionally is seen to type - in the context of whether Putin actually does want Ukraine

I hae me doots.

From NW:

Russian President Putin held talks with Swiss President Didier Burkhalter in the Kremlin today. Burkhalter is also the Chairman-in-Office of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). At a joint press conference, President Putin made several important remarks that seem to have been mischaracterized by Western press.

...

President Putin did not say he backed the 25 May election. He called it a move in the right direction, provided it is inclusive and the rights of all Ukrainians are guaranteed. He did not say he was withdrawing Russian forces, he said he already withdrew them.

...

Putin's talk with the OSCE Chairman looks like an attempt to exploit differences between Europe's interests in Ukraine and those of the US. Putin is trying to cut the US out of a solution.

http://www.kforcegov.com/Services/IS/NightWatch/NightWatch_14000099.aspx

& should you Whitewall read that whole link and finding yourself at its end and still curious remember, NW publishes to us - a day late.

(Reuters) - Pro-Moscow separatists in eastern Ukraine ignored a public call by Russian President Vladimir Putin to postpone a referendum on self-rule, declaring they would go ahead on Sunday with a vote that could lead to war.

The decision, which contradicted the conciliatory tone set by Putin just a day earlier, caused consternation in the West, which fears the referendum will tear Ukraine apart.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/05/08/us-ukraine-crisis-idUSBREA400LI20140508

JK, I read some of that. The mention of a "solution" is I believe a misdirect. It suggests Putin has a problem in need of a solution. He doesn't have any problem. He has time and power on his side. I seriously doubt any Russian forces have been moved as in away. Rather, I'll bet they are simply repositioned. His dirty work is being done by plain clothes special forces within Ukraine. The differences between the US and Europe are only so effective as Europe would suffer the most and Washington knows it. Putin may not want every square mile of Ukraine, that's a possibility, but what may be left is a landlocked stub in the far west.

JK....btw you make a good Scotsman yourself ;)

Never one to deny the possibility I may be in error Whitewall, you might find something herein (& comments) where I've said as much.

http://libertybellediaries.com/2014/05/05/quick-ukraine-update/

Alexey, I would interested to know your thoughts on this:

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/377462/what-drives-vladimir-putin-victor-davis-hanson

Hello David, I am sorry for absense.
To star with, reading one of the american articles on Crimea I encountered just a perfect comment, which was something like this: "The Crimea was forcibly torn out of Russia and given Ukraine by COMMUNIST Khrusschev. Obama and the West are democrats. Why do they so furiously go for the communist's decision and why they don't go for such a democtatic procedure as referendum?" Regarding to the particular article In my opinion the misunderstandings are here:
1) "to grab things that are not his". The author just not good at Russian and Ukrainian history. The Crimea has always been considered by both - russians and crimeans - as RUSSIAN territory (certainly, excluding tartarians who have their own interests). Moreover in Russia the Crimea has become something like the symbol of national shame. To get the Crimean issue properly one should learn properly our history. In this regard I am not sure about the author.
2)"Putin acts now because in the era of failed reset diplomacy and recent empty American deadlines, red lines, and step-over lines, he feels the old U.S. deterrent is absent or dormant."
Russia does not aknowledge America's (or someone else) role of world's policeman. So the reacquisition of the Crimea would have happened in any way. It was just a matter of time and circumstances.
So basically in this regard Russia was driven by the sense of justice. We just have taken back that what belongs us. I'd also like to underline in a democratic manner - via referendum.

Alexey, I have no argument with any of that and if the idiots in Brussels and Washington come out looking foolish then they deserve it. However, Putin needs to be exceedingly careful because he, too, could lose control of the situation if he is not very careful. Just think of the miscalculations that were made by virtually everyone in 1914!

I see, David, the tension is too high. Any wrong step might lead to a disaster. There are to much relationships spoiled for quite a long time. However everything is still can be handled if each side stops pumping complications.

"Pumping complications". Not exactly correct English, Alexey, but even so it is an excellent image. You must now do your best to stop Mr. Putin from 'pumping iron'! (Ask Richard!)

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