30 August 2015

Crimeans Enthusiastic About Mass Murder

The crowd in Sevastopol seems to be genuinely enthusiastic about this "Stalin's return" song.  The lyrics about squashing enemies and the victory in the forthcoming war is clearly touching the nerve.

The whole thing seems vaguely reminiscent of that other song, albeit the quality isn't as good.  Especially when people stand up from their sits one by one and join in the romanticized mass-muder-worshipping hatefest.

23 August 2015

Another question for Jeremy Corbyn to answer.

So, the future leader of Her Majesty's opposition regularly goes on the Russian propaganda TV to support Russia, castigate America and to compare it to ISIS (unfavorably).  In the mean time, I have not heard him condemn Putin's Russia even once.  Here is my question to Jeremy:

1. Why is this Russian man not only free but also rewarded with a new BMW?

2. At the same time Russia  put in a cage, and tortured, this man.

21 August 2015

Fucking Commies

So, it turns out that there hasn't been an anti-Semite or a terrorist who isn't the best friend of the next leader of the British Labour Party. I am starting to wonder whether this is why he is so popular, but that's not the subject of this post.

A leading British Jewish newspaper asked Jeremy Corbyn a few questions.  In response they received a letter from "prominent anti-Israeli activists" castigating journalists for the cheek of asking questions.

A quick check against several arbitrarily picked names of the signatories showed that ALL of them had two things in common:

1. Of Jewish background.
2. Communist.

Let us agree that among all the communists in the beginning of the 20th century there were a couple of people who were not complete vile assholes.   They "believed" and didn't know.  The excuse no longer applies in 2015.

16 August 2015

Russian Orthodox Activists Imitate ISIS

Vadim Sidur...  Remember visiting a tiny museum on the outskirts of Moscow.  It was in the early 90s, about 5 years after Vadim's death.  Sidur's art had been banned until USSR started to fall apart and the exhibition I visited must have been the first chance to see his work.

The visit was a major shock.  Never before or after have I been so impacted by art.  I am saying this, having had the luck to enjoy some fairly decent museums - from Louvre to  Prado, from Tate Modern to Metropolitan...

Sidur's face was disfigured by a war wound and some of the works transmitted the horror the author must have lived through.  He also touched on the subject of Holocaust.  Sidur's "Treblinka" is the simplest tribute to the victims... Also the best.

What stunned me most wasn't the horror and the sadness though, but the strength of his work.  The love, the rebellion, the humanity were projecting through the totalitarian suppression depicted by art.  I don't know why the simple figure of Sidur's kneeling slave is a perfect symbol of liberty.  I only know that it is.

On Friday Russian Orthodox activists attacked exhibition, where Sidur's works were presented.  Some of the statues were destroyed.  The attackers have been arrested, but let go on the same day.

Russian Orthodox Church stated that the attackers were "provoked".  Suppose it's true.   Sidur started it.   His Slave is an eternal attack on totalitarian ideologies.

14 August 2015

Feminism - Islam Style


13 August 2015

Can Someone Please Explain...

The Obama's Administration and New York Times maintain that:

  1. The Iran deal is in Israel's best interests.
  2. Americans, who oppose the deal, are acting in Israel's interests.  

05 August 2015

White House Spins the Iran Nuclear Deal

Obama's Administration provided a slick site with  several lines of arguments designed to justify the Iran deal.  The arguments are clearly presented, well formulated and intended for a non-expert reader.  They are also extremely misleading and full of holes.  A brief outline of the  claims is provided below:

1. White House identifies 4 paths to nuclear weapons.  That is correct, except for the claim that all of them are "blocked".

2. White House claims that without a deal, Iran can produce enough fissile material for a bomb within 2-3 months.  That's true.  It also claims that under the deal the breakdown time will increase to 1 year.  True, if there are no clandestine activities.

Now let's recall that it took us 3 years to discover the clandestine Fordow Fuel Enrichment plant.  That's an awful lot of fissile material that could be produced within another clandestine facility.

3. White House states that every step of weapons production from Mining to Spent Fuel management will be under continuous IAEA monitoring. Multiple problems with this claim:

- Iran already signed an agreement which ensures continuous monitoring by the IAEA.  It's called "Non-Proliferation Treaty.   Iran has not complied with the NPT.  Why make a new deal with someone who isn't following the original one?

- IAEA can only monitor what it knows about.  See item 2.

- IAEA will only monitor KNOWN facilities for a fixed period of time (10 to 25 years).  Any other country which signed the NPT has it's civilian facilities monitored by the IAEA indefinitely.  That includes the US of A.

- Only Uranium ore extraction and manufacturing of certain equipment will be monitored for over 15 years.  Monitoring of ore extraction will be rather useless because there are no constraints on how much ore Iran can extract.  After 15 years Iran will be able to enrich at a very high rate without any monitoring and in full compliance with the deal.  No other signatory to the NPT is allowed the same privileges.

4. White House claims that breakout time has been increased from 2-3 months to 1 year.  That is only true for the first 10 years of the deal, following which all restrictions on enrichment are lifted.  And even before they are lifted, the claim is only accurate if we were to assume there are no clandestine activities. That assumption in relation to Iran proved false on multiple occasions within the last 10 years.

5. White House claims that 24-day access rule is more than adequate to verify that Iran follows the deal because "it can take 6 months to several years to clean one of these facilities".  True for enrichment plants.  Utterly false for research on detonator systems, computer modelling of nuclear devices and neutron  initiation systems.  All of these are supposedly banned under the deal, but the ban is unverifiable because of the 24-day rule and because we are not permitted to interview Iranian specialists.

Let us remember that ALL Iranian enrichment activities have exclusively military purpose.  This is because Iran has no capability to manufacture reactor fuel for Russian-designed reactors and never will.  Furthermore, according to the deal, after 15 years Iran will be permitted to manufacture Plutonium (e.g. by operating a heavy water reactor and reprocessing).  Plutonium also has one practical use - military.

In summary, the deal legalizes development of nuclear weapons by Iran.  This is not allowed under the NPT, which Iran signed.  As such the new deal actually relaxes constraints on Iran's nuclear weapons programme.

01 August 2015

Blogging will be light for a while.

During the two coming months. A few interruptions of silence possible, but otherwise it will be quiet.

Meanwhile - behave, people.

31 July 2015

A Double-Barreled Misunderstanding in Amherst, Massachusetts

Sinister goings on in one of the centers of learning: double umbrellas, suspicious vests and whatnot.

From Wig and Pen, with thanks.

30 July 2015

John Kerry: the man who signs your treaties, US of A!

This exchange, if true*, is phenomenal and will put even a language manipulator like Juan Cole off his feed for a while:
“Is it the policy of the ayatollah, if you can answer for him, that Iran wants to destroy the United States?” Texas Republican Lloyd “Ted” Poe asked Kerry during the latter’s Tuesday appearance before the House Foreign Affairs Committee. “Is that still their policy, as far as you know?”

Kerry responded: “I don’t believe they’ve said that. I think they’ve said ‘Death to America,’ in their chants, but I have not seen this specific.”
It is not that we have some genius politician to compare with that, but... anyhow, condolences to US of A and its fair citizens with that sorry case.

(*) Since the same quote appears in several sources, I rather like it as true. But of course, this will not be the first time a fake quote makes its rounds all over the net.

29 July 2015

Cowpat throwing competition in Russia - I shit you not

Believe it or not, as you prefer, but here it is:
An extraordinary competition was held in the framework of the regional festival "Merry Bovine" in the Russian village of Krylovo, Perm region. Besides racing cultivators and garden wheelbarrows, guests of the festival were invited to participate in the cow patties throwing competition. The event was supported by the regional Ministry of Culture. The Minister Igor Gladnev personally led a delegation to the event.

The organizers of the festival "Merry Bovine" set themselves the following objectives: to promote the revival of the Russian village, its traditions, respect for its roots, to promote the rich cultural heritage of the Perm region.

One of the most spectacular events of the festival was the competition in throwing of dry cow dung. The creators of the contest said that collecting the "props" for it has occupied a special place in the preparation of the festival.

"One of the most spectacular and the audience favorite competitions - the championship on a throwing cowpats on the range. We started to hoard the patties about three months ago. We've harvested three full TV set boxes, one for male and female team each and one spare," the organizers said.

Here is a recording of the event:

According to the lady, this is the fifth year the competition is held.

Hat tip: E.S.

Irony has been here but it left early

And anyway, the author of this filth wouldn't know irony if it bit him on his arse. Click "Read more..." only if you are of appropriate (in your country of residence) age. You have been warned:

28 July 2015

Cuba Si, Yanqui No! Or is it vice versa?

Cuba Si, Yanqui No! This fiery call was heard all over the world for too many years to count, when the strife between the two countries was in earnest. Of course, these days the two sides are setting aside their long years of enmity and looking forward to a peaceful and friendly coexistence.

Still, some people can't wait. As reported by Pravda (!):

Cuban players fled to the United States in the middle of the competition that has resulted in the defeat of the Cuban team in field hockey in the Pan American Games.

Seven members of the Cuban national team took advantage of sporting events held in the Canadian city of Toronto, and fled to the United States without waiting for the end of the match. Only eight players came on the playing field as a result, which led to a crushing defeat for the team with the score 13:0 by the team of Trinidad and Tobago.

Previously four rowers, one of whom was a silver medalist, took advantage of the competition to escape. In general 20 Cubans fled to the United States during the competitions.
What can I say: just like the good old days.

27 July 2015

So who is a schmuck: Putin, Obama or French senator Pozzo di Borgo?

The story starts with a rather naughty finger in the eye of the international community (or, at least, that part of the community that condemned the Russian annexation of Crimea and doesn't recognize it). A gang of French parliamentarians visited Crimea, and the Russian RT, the rather slavish mouthpiece of the Russian rulers, is happy to report that:

There are no grounds to keep Russia sanctions in place, said member of the French National Assembly Thierry Mariani, who heads the parliamentary delegation currently on a two-day visit to Crimea.
And, of course, RT being RT, they also remind us that:
Crimea rejoined Russia last March following a referendum where more than 96 percent of people voted in favor of reunification.
Wink wink, nudge nudge...

The European politicians responded to the visit as expected: The European Parliament condemned the visit of French representatives in the European Parliament (EP) to the annexed Crimea. Of course that condemnation is nothing to the determined French solons.

But the story that may sound straight and simple as told above, has a curios side departure:
One of the French parliamentarians visiting Crimea has spoken his mind through fashion. Senator Yves Pozzo di Borgo from the center-right UDI party has acquired a T-shirt with Putin and Obama portraits, the caption saying: “Obama, you're a schmuck.”

Of course, being a politician, Senator Yves Pozzo di Borgo* will find a fitting explanation to this escapade. We all on the bleachers could just enjoy the game, some of us knowing that the good Senator is unaware of a few Russia - (and otherwise -)  related facts, like these two:
  • The widely accepted moniker that public uses for Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin is "хуйло" these days. The most benign translation of "хуйло" happens to be "schmuck".
  • While Google translates "Pozzo" as "well", and not knowing Italian I can't argue with that, the pronunciation of "Pozzo" in Italian, as offered by Google, is as close to another synonym of word "schmuck" in Yiddish as makes no nevermind.
So there, dear Senator. Take it easy.

(*) Some skinny on Senator Yves Pozzo di Borgo:
He calls himself a descendant of a famous ambassador, general, and adviser to Russian Tsar Aleksandr II.

The newspaper “Liberation”, which published a dossier on “Putin’s network in France” in September 2014, attributed the senator to the “naive Battalion” (it also contains actor Gerard Depardieu).

In June, after the spy scandal, during which it became clear that the Americans spied on French presidents and set up a spying studio in the building of the American Embassy in Paris. the senator said that if France respected itself, it would have destroyed the US embassy.

The senator has repeatedly urged the US to “stop interfering” in the internal affairs of Ukraine.

26 July 2015

Turkey: the anti-ISIS operation continues. In a way.

And now this: Turkey Drops Bombs on Kurdish Group That Has Fought the Islamic State in Iraq.

Turkish forces bombed camps belonging to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in northern Iraq, officials confirmed on Saturday. The airstrikes — which were coupled with strikes against the so-called Islamic State (IS) in Syria — complicate US-led coalition efforts to fight IS, as the PKK has been particularly effective at driving back militant forces on the ground in Iraq.

The PKK, which the Turkish government recognizes as a terrorist organization, has been fighting Ankara for independence since 1984. The two sides reached a peace agreement in 2013, but that deal that was likely dissolved by Friday's bombings.

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said the PKK violated their agreement to disarm and withdraw their fighters from Turkish territory.
No comment, but none required, innit?