Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
April 02, 2014

Open Thread 2014-09

(busy ...)

Your news & views ...

Posted by b on April 2, 2014 at 18:00 UTC | Permalink

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Syrian army is kicking ass. Turkey decided to close their border finally. May they all burn.

Posted by: Shoes | Apr 2 2014 18:18 utc | 1

Turkey decided to close their border finally.

Link?

Posted by: Demian | Apr 2 2014 18:45 utc | 2

Shoes wrote: Turkey decided to close their border finally.
Demian asked: Link?

www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/syria/120826/turkey-closes-its-borders-fleeing-syrians

Posted by: rackstraw | Apr 2 2014 19:39 utc | 3

Someone from Fahrenheit-Land [FL] made the comment that Russia was little more than a third world country with nukes. Tell that to FL IT companies like Google who have set up research labs in Moscow because of the high-quality education system and the high quality of their graduates that Russia has. The research labs there get the can't-solve-it-anywhere-else problems.

You see, unlike Fahrenheit-Land where people, believe it or not non-FLers, search high and low for a school district that rises a bit above the mediocre-quality schools, passing for normal there, and for the privilege consequently for paying outrageous school taxes, Russia actually has quality schools which you don't need to search high and low for and which are funded from the country's taxes. Teachers are so respected there that during what FLers considers the golden Yeltsin years when no one got paid, parents would bring what little they had to their children's teachers.

Russian children don't get the mediocre "Look see, Dick-Jane" readers that FL children do, but stories and poems lovingly written by famous 19th and 20th century Russian authors, which, since Russian has a regular spelling, enables them to quickly learn to read. Russia also uses the metric system and its students learn to think scientifically.

Most Russians have post-high school degrees and they don't spend a fortune to get them.

Posted by: Albertde | Apr 2 2014 19:48 utc | 4

I know this is not surprising considering the Citizens United decision, but it does make things that much worse:

http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/04/02/4035032/supreme-court-says-political-donors.html

I keep trying to believe there is hope for the U.S. outside of revolution, but it's getting more and more difficult to do so.

Posted by: RudyM | Apr 2 2014 19:52 utc | 5

Foreign Affairs has a piece on Alexander Dugin, unsurprisingly making him out to be a Nazi sympathizer. You need to sign up to read the article, but don't need to pay. (You get to read three or five articles a month for free; I forget which.)

Putin's Brain:
Alexander Dugin and the Philosophy Behind Putin's Invasion of Crimea

To continue a theme that I raised in comment #124 in this thread, one of the memes of "Western" propaganda that I find most annoying is the continual equation of "the West" with Anglo-American liberal democracy and free market capitalism. There are other Western traditions, most notably Hegelian political theory, which has more in common with Dugin's Slavophilism than it does with anglophone liberalism.

As an aside, I will say that Dugin does strike me as a bit of a huckster. This is because of his claim that he is developing a fourth political theory. The first three are liberal democracy, Marxism, and fascism. This characterization of political theory is extremely disingenuous, since the two main political orientations that are considered by political theory are liberalism and conservatism. (Hegelian political thought combines elements of the two.) Dugin apparently does not consider conservatism as a political theory in its own right alongside liberalism because he is just rehashing conservatism. So Dugin is selling us old wine in new bottles, with Russian flavoring added.

Posted by: Demian | Apr 2 2014 19:52 utc | 6

lol did anyone read the interview with nato? maybe its been posted already?
it was stupid and warmongering like russia will attack any minure now haha

Posted by: Anonymous | Apr 2 2014 19:57 utc | 7

@Shoes

-> "Syrian army is kicking ass"

Well, I doubt this seriously, while I hope it would be so.
While I have seen in the last two weeks very clear rebel videos in and around Kasab, Lattakia, showing at least 50 dead SAA/NDF men along with destroyed vehicles plus the video of celebrating Chechens with the antennas of "Point 45" right behind them, all the pro regime media has produced are say-nothing "combat" clips showing tanks firing at someone somewhere along with a single clip of 5-6 dead rebels.

While the army or pro army sources like Syrian Perspective claim regime forces have killed between 1000 and 3000 rebels, it seems the same rebel corpses from a Kasab video appear 40Km away in a clip from Lattakia city: https://twitter.com/Brown_Moses/status/451284290366484480/photo/1

Posted by: KerKaraje | Apr 2 2014 20:01 utc | 8

Ukraine's putsch parliament unanimously passed a resolution authorizing security forces to seize weapons of self-defense forces, i.e., Right Sector. There was a shootout Monday night near the Maidan. Security forces then surrounded Right Sector's Hotel Dnipro HQ. The standoff ended Tuesday morning at dawn when Right Sector members were loaded onto buses and taken outside the city. So far Interior Minister and Fatherland Party member Arsen Avakov appears to have gotten the better of the neo-Nazis. Dmitry Yarosh's only response has been to register for May's presidential election.

Posted by: Mike Maloney | Apr 2 2014 20:05 utc | 9

There was a piece on France Culture this morning on the disaster that is Libya. Really sad interviews with people who manifested in the belief things were going to get better. The worst thing to happen to them was to be 'helped' by the United States.

Petits princes, videz vos débats entre vous.
De recourir au Rois vous seriez de grands fous.
Il ne faut jamais engager dans vos guerres,
Ni les faire entrer dans vos terres.

Posted by: Knut | Apr 2 2014 20:15 utc | 10

@rackstraw #3:

That article says that Turkey has closed its borders to Syrian refugees, which is a bad thing. It says nothing about Turkey closing its borders to jihadi terrorists who are trying to topple the secular Syrian government, and whom Turkey is aiding, under pressure from the US and Israel.

Posted by: Demian | Apr 2 2014 20:18 utc | 11

NASA cuts ties with Russia over Ukraine
Haha west is desperate now.

Posted by: Anonymous | Apr 2 2014 20:23 utc | 12

@Anonymous #12:

The totalitarian and dictatorial nature of Superpower is becoming more and more apparent.

Ukraine crisis spills over into historically amicable space partnership

The prohibition does lay out a specific exemption for International Space Station operational activities, which is important since the ISS can't function without some cooperation between US and Russian ground control. There's also the matter of the station's crew being composed of both American and Russian personnel who have to live and work together to keep the flying laboratory operational.

NASA currently depends wholly on Russia for getting astronauts into orbit, and the collaboration between NASA and Russia has been quite deep for more than a decade. Russian personnel in NASA facilities is a common sight, at least at NASA centers dealing with manned space flight like the Johnson Space Center. The two nations are the primary members of a large—and unfortunately fragile—international partnership that oversees the operations of the International Space Station.

Posted by: Demian | Apr 2 2014 20:35 utc | 13

@3 rackstraw (and @11 demain)- that link rackstraw posted is from august 2012.. please take a closer look at the link you post before sharing it, as it just ain't up to date enough and is essentially worthless now!

Posted by: james | Apr 2 2014 20:45 utc | 14

Looks like the Saker http://vineyardsaker.blogspot.com/ has put his sick time to good use. Brilliant essay.....

Posted by: georgeg | Apr 2 2014 20:52 utc | 15

@6
Foreign Affairs sounds like a dating site to mean gorgeous foreigners!

Posted by: brian | Apr 2 2014 21:29 utc | 16

@13
yes the autocratic nature of the US is best shown by the pressure on a weak and obsequious org like NASA bending under the imperiai will instead of showing some backbone
Does noone at NASA have the IQ to see the autocratic nature of the current US regime? its up to people in positions of authority to oppose this. Not to bend over

Posted by: brian | Apr 2 2014 21:33 utc | 17

@rackstraw #18:

I don't know if that means anything. Kiev called the Crimea an "autonomous region", but it continually tried to limit any actual autonomy that the region had.

Ukraine's pro-Western government said it would hand more power to the country's regions, seeking to defuse pro-Russian unrest in its east but stopping short of proposing a federal structure pushed by Russia.

How can regions be sure of having any actual power unless there is a federal structure? RF's position is that they can't. Think of the United States without any states having their own governments. That is what Kiev wants for the Ukraine.

Posted by: Demian | Apr 2 2014 21:50 utc | 19

I would think Kiev getting cozy with NATO will not bode well for Crimean autonomy. No way the Russians will let NATO get their hands on that.

Posted by: dh | Apr 2 2014 22:11 utc | 20

Posted by: georgeg | Apr 2, 2014 4:52:40 PM | 15

I just finished reading it. He did a good job on that one.

Posted by: scalawag | Apr 2 2014 22:20 utc | 21

This article by Eric Draitser is also very good on Russia and the effect of the sanctions.

http://rt.com/op-edge/sanctioning-russia-825/ Sanctioning Russia into multi-polar world?

Posted by: scalawag | Apr 2 2014 22:31 utc | 22

@scalawag # 21:

I started reading the Saker at the same time that I learned about MoA. I just noticed that the Saker takes Russian Orthodoxy seriously. That makes him a bit eccentric for a Russian intellectual, since most Russians, even the ones who call themselves Orthodox, do not take Russian Orthodoxy seriously, as he himself notes. (I was raised Russian Orthodox.)

The big difference between Russia and Iran is that in Iran the Islamic model is clearly fully endorsed by a strong majority of the population. In contrast, in Russia even most nominally Orthodox Christians would have great reservations about attempting to establish such a "Orthodox Republic". Its hard to come by any credible figure, but my personal gut feeling is that no more than 10% of Russians would feel comfortable with such a proposition. In other words, the idea of the establishment of an "Orthodox Republic" would probably be opposed by 90% of the people.

I personally deplore this state of affairs, if only because this is the model which I believe would be best for Russia

I think the mistake that the Saker is making here is equating "Western" with "AngloZionist". There are Western models for the "social state", which is what the Saker very correctly wants Russia to be: namely, Hegelian political philosophy.

Posted by: Demian | Apr 2 2014 22:55 utc | 23

Does anyone here have an idea what is going on with the Russian GPS shutdown story presented by Rayne at emptywheel?

Posted by: oboblomov | Apr 2 2014 23:04 utc | 24

Oligarchy anyone? This new ruling by the US Supreme Court ensures dominance by the most wealthy.

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2014/04/02-7

Posted by: ben | Apr 2 2014 23:05 utc | 25

An update from Rayne on the Russian GLONASS (GPS) network shutdown:

"UPDATE — 6:45 PM EST—

Sources report the GLONASS satellite network was back online noon-ish Russian time (UTC+4); the outage lasted approximately 11 hours. Unnamed source(s) said the outage was due to the upload of bad ephemeris data, the information used by the satellites to locate other satellites in space. An alleged system-wide update with bad data suggests RADF has serious problems with change management, though.

There is speculation the M-class solar storm, summarized at 1452 UTC as an “X-ray Event exceeded M5,” may have impacted GLONASS. However early feedback about radiation ejected by an M-class storm indicated the effects would not reach earth for 24-48 hours after the storm’s eruption."

Posted by: oboblomov | Apr 2 2014 23:20 utc | 26

I want to confirm what Albertde @ 4 says about Russian education. Dr. J F Kenney discusses their science eduction in this archived spot on Science Friday, NPR about the Russian process for abiotic oil (if it cuts off, download it): http://web.archive.org/web/20111025151824/http://www.gasresources.net/Kenney-NPR.mp3">http://www.gasresources.net/Kenney-NPR.mp3">http://web.archive.org/web/20111025151824/http://www.gasresources.net/Kenney-NPR.mp3

Yesterday the NYT tried to pom-pom-pah American kids' ability to solve problems. (They were substandard in reading, math and science tests.) A careful reading, however, states that American kids can't solve dick compare to kids in Asia, the British Commonwealth, and Finland, a wide swath of the populated world.

"The American students who took the problem-solving tests in 2012, the first time they were administered, did better on these exams than on reading, math and science tests, suggesting that students in the United States are better able to apply knowledge to real-life situations than perform straightforward academic tasks.

Still, students who took the problem-solving tests in countries including Singapore, South Korea, Japan, several provinces of China, Canada, Australia, Finland and Britain all outperformed American students."

Posted by: MRW | Apr 2 2014 23:37 utc | 27

RE: The Robert's Court enlargement of its declaring that the US Constitution states that money equals speech --

I guess the conservatives on the bench, heeding the demands of their backers, want to make the US into an official oligarchical fascist state.

Down with equality. Money is power, and power rules for these judges and their supporters.

Now, when will we lowly ones begin making tumbrels in this nation?

Posted by: jawbone | Apr 2 2014 23:57 utc | 28

@Rudy 5, @ben 25

I've had a solution to the 'campaign finance' problem up in one form or another for twenty years.

The problem is their ain't no deme in demos in the 'democracy' in the USSA.

In the course of those two decades I've come to realize that the right to vote is not even in the 'fabled' US Constitution ... nor is democracy itself, as Mike Gravel - the man who had the backbone to do what Udall or Wyden cannot - pointed out with his ni4d.

Posted by: john francis lee | Apr 3 2014 0:23 utc | 29

@28 - Now, when will we lowly ones begin making tumbrels in this nation?

as soon as the dems can get a government grant and the republicans a bank loan for the materials.

Posted by: rjj | Apr 3 2014 0:25 utc | 30

Jawbone get off the "conservatives" on the bench meme. The US Govt now is all new world order (NWO) facist police state run by lots of dual citizen types. This "conservative" court upheld Obama's disgusting ObamaCare which is unConstitutional.

I am hoping Russia and Hezbolah are helping Syria repel the Al Qedda Al Nasar and Muslim Brotherhood savages that Obama and McCain are backing with the Saudis. Stay the course President Putin. Obama the puppet will sell out America.

Posted by: Mary Jean | Apr 3 2014 0:32 utc | 31

@30 addendum

and insurance coverage.

Posted by: rjj | Apr 3 2014 0:36 utc | 32

@27 The United States doesn't want its citizens solving problems - after all, they might solve their biggest one: how to get the American oligarchy's Harrys of London Penny Loafers off of their necks.

The assault on education in the United States - on all fronts and on all levels - indicates to me that the US seems to be reversing entirely the gains that followed the Second World War. It costs too much money that too many American's no longer have to go to school, and the economy is too weak, in many places, to support anything except passing hamburgers from one hand to the next.

After all, the elite discovered what happened when they allowed the sons and daughters of Sicilian steel workers into the Universities. It wasn't a good couple of decades...

I've often wondered if importing skilled labor from other countries, instead of educating Americans at home, isn't just simple economics but actually serves policy objectives of the power elite as well: it drains the talent pool in the developing countries, and builds up, for the US, a class of citizens in the countries it draws from who have deep and lasting connections to the United States. It would be an interesting research project to look into wether or not it is these expats, having been treated to the best America has to offer, are ones to benefit from NGO largess in the political sphere when they return home.

Perhaps keeping Americans down - by starving them of educational opportunities - in favor of importing the educated sectors of the developing countries serves as excellent global propaganda for the "American Dream". Certainly would be some deep irony there.

Posted by: guest77 | Apr 3 2014 0:52 utc | 33

@27 MRW - the dumbing down of america continues unabated.. all in the name of easy fodder for being manipulated by propaganda and servitude.. mass surveillance is used to keep tabs on anyone might want to object..

Posted by: james | Apr 3 2014 0:52 utc | 34

(ideal for) servitude.

Posted by: james | Apr 3 2014 0:53 utc | 35

Looks like those clowns in congress did it again...

Now GOP leaders are accusing Putin of trying to control the internet as the US tries to share governance:

"Do you really think that Vladimir Putin... isn't going to figure out some way to get control?" Rep. Steve Scalise, a Louisiana Republican, shot back. "China and Russia can be very resourceful,"*

This shows either the level of stupidity, paranoia, and fear-mongering regarding Russia at this point.

http://www.politico.com/story/2014/03/internet-transition-triggers-gop-backlash-104698.html

The Obama administration’s decision to relinquish oversight over the group that manages the Internet’s architecture has raised an early red flag with Republicans, who blast the move as a threat to free speech.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers has managed the Web’s domain-name system under contract with the U.S. government for more than a decade — but the Los Angeles-based nonprofit has worked to transform itself into a global organization free of U.S. ties. European Union officials backed the globalization effort, which intensified with Edward Snowden’s leaks about the NSA’s sprawling surveillance programs.

*I found this quote in a site too gross to link to.

Posted by: guest77 | Apr 3 2014 1:09 utc | 36

Torture. It never worked, and they knew it never worked, but the CIA did it with gusto.

CIA misled on interrogation program, Senate report says

“The CIA described [its program] repeatedly both to the Department of Justice and eventually to Congress as getting unique, otherwise unobtainable intelligence that helped disrupt terrorist plots and save thousands of lives,” said one U.S. official briefed on the report. “Was that actually true? The answer is no.” ... The report also cites cases in which officials at CIA headquarters demanded the continued use of harsh interrogation techniques even after analysts were convinced that prisoners had no more information to give. ... U.S. officials said the committee refrained from assigning motives to CIA officials whose actions or statements were scrutinized. The report also does not recommend new administrative punishment or further criminal inquiry into a program that the Justice Department has investigated repeatedly. Still, the document is almost certain to reignite an unresolved public debate over a period that many regard as the most controversial in CIA history.

No accusations. No punishment. No criminal inquiry. But we're going to have a "public debate" - probably a "public debate" a lot like the one that recently failed to place even a very short speedbump in the way of NSA spying, I presume.

Then these tactics:

Ghul [was held] at a secret CIA prison in Romania.... Ghul was later turned over to authorities in Pakistan, where he was subsequently released. He was killed by a CIA drone strike in 2012.

Take a man prisoner, torture him, send him home to be released, and then kill him with a drone strike. Others got this:

At the secret prison, Baluchi endured a regime that included being dunked in a tub filled with ice water. CIA interrogators forcibly kept his head under the water while he struggled to breathe and beat him repeatedly, hitting him with a truncheon-like object and smashing his head against a wall, officials said.

And yet, after all of this, finding it necessary to take these measures against these terrorists (whom, in all reality, they had created in the first place), the USA was quite willing to turn around and begin to fund these same types of people in Syria?

Posted by: guest77 | Apr 3 2014 1:33 utc | 37

@33-35

dumbing down comes with self domestication. not so much policy as the way of things.

Posted by: rjj | Apr 3 2014 2:28 utc | 38

Maybe Hegel had something to say about that. If not, see Ibn Khaldun.

Posted by: rjj | Apr 3 2014 2:32 utc | 39

Posted by: guest77 | Apr 2, 2014 8:52:21 PM | 33

Great insight. Besides the fact that high-value-added workers and technicians imported from overseas can be bought for less.

Posted by: fairleft | Apr 3 2014 2:40 utc | 40

Another massacre of American soldiers by an American soldier on an American base in the homeland: a sign of a military breaking down.

Meanwhile, Western observers are impressed with the improvements that Putin has made to the Russian military.

Posted by: Demian | Apr 3 2014 2:52 utc | 41

@41

first...

"They were evident not only in the demeanor of the Russian soldiers but also in the speed with which they overwhelmed Crimea with minimal violence."

later...

Mr. Gorenburg noted that the Russian troops had faced no opposition, and that there had been no fighting.

I know I'm quibbling with the NYTimes, but... is 'minimal' a new synonym for 'none at all' or something?

Posted by: guest77 | Apr 3 2014 3:13 utc | 42

NASA Breaks Most Contact With Russia

Whatever, let the USA do all this kind of petty bullshit they want - it will all only make it that much more obvious when they have to go crawling back, asking to use the Russian rockets engines again...

Posted by: guest77 | Apr 3 2014 3:16 utc | 43

Some cultures do better no matter where they go to school.
A lot of the concept of intelligence and achievement is cultural anyway.

Better schools don't help when kids need someone to talk to.

Posted by: somebody | Apr 3 2014 3:32 utc | 44

Posted by: rjj | Apr 2, 2014 10:32:13 PM | 39

Actually, Hegel was strongly opposed to kids thinking for themselves.

Posted by: somebody | Apr 3 2014 3:42 utc | 45

@somebody #45:

That German self-loathing again.

You obviously don't know anything about Hegel, if you have to cite the FAZ to back up your points about him.

Posted by: Demian | Apr 3 2014 3:49 utc | 46

There are 2 Americans at the ISS right now. NASA isn't scheduled to have a manned space capability again before 2017 (probably later with the usual American corruption and ineptitude). It's a good thing Russians are not like American and Israelis....

Posted by: scalawag | Apr 3 2014 3:50 utc | 47

I just remembered, all is not lost. Israel could have their Virgin Records tosser provide the Americans with a manned space capability in the interim. I'm sure his vehicles are very safe. ;)

Posted by: scalawag | Apr 3 2014 3:55 utc | 48

Two aspects of the US part of the imperial project:

First, it is been an elite treasonous project, intimately connected to the Council on Foreign Relations and its global governance ideology, and dual loyalty Zionists, requiring the repudiation of lawfulness, a repudiation of the primacy of the US constitution, hidden by censorship and propaganda, empowered by lies, not one that proceeds from the desires of the population, connected to secret societies like Skull and Bones, and to a rogue CIA; 2nd, it has been synonymous with a variously pernicious attack on the US population itself.

In education this attack on the US population has for example been catalogued by John Taylor Gatto, in Dumbing Us Down, and Charlotte Thomson Iserbyt in The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America.

The widespread fluoridation of water has created apathy and lowered IQ. www.globalresearch.ca/harvard-study-fluoride-lowers...by...iq.../5368216
10 Feb 2014 ... “Thus, children in high-fluoride areas had significantly lower IQ scores than those who lived in low-fluoride areas.”

There has been a massive vaccination assault on US children: www.mercola.com/.../vaccines/neurological_damage.htm

“The neurological disorders associated with vaccinations are diverse and
numerous. Vaccinations lower IQ ….”

Autism rates in the US are rapidly approaching 1 in 50.

The massive geo-engineering over the United States for the last two decades has disgorged vast amounts of aluminum oxide into the environment, and aluminum is associated with neurological damage.

The genetic modification of principally soybeans and corn and their ubiquitous use in food has greatly damaged the health of the US population.

For example, in 2005 scientist Irina Ermakova and her team in Russia found that a modest amount of GMO soy in the diets of rats precipitated a disastrous health outcome. Renowned scientist Àrpàd Pusztai at the Rowett Institute also found significant health detriment in the GMO material he studied. See Jeffrey M. Smith at Institute for Responsible Technology for more on both these and many other examples.

10s of millions of Americans are on anti depressants, and the US is more or less ‘world leaders’ in pharmaceutical dependence, junk food intake, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, gross obesity, personal indebtedness, and per capita prison population.

The US population has been infantilized by television and other media.

Posted by: Robert Snefjella | Apr 3 2014 4:13 utc | 49

Pew Poll: Americans Think US Should ‘Mind Its Own Business’ Globally

Unsurprisingly all the polls show that Americans don’t want to get too involved in Ukraine’s problems with Russian encroachment, just as they have been disinclined to get drawn into other recent world trouble spots, including Syria, Egypt and Libya. This is not surprising because in record numbers, Pew Research Center surveys find Americans saying the U.S. should mind its own business and let other countries get along as best they can. […]

Opinions about America’s global leadership have changed very little since the end of the Cold War. Only briefly in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks did the public overwhelmingly reject the notion that the U.S. should mind its own business internationally. And even then, few Americans thought the U.S. should be the world’s leading nation or even play a first among equals role.

Posted by: Demian | Apr 3 2014 4:36 utc | 50

http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2014/04/02/fifa-rejects-senators-call-to-ban-russia-from-world-cup/ FIFA Rejects Senators’ Call to Ban Russia From World Cup

I'll bet those two politicians have a stronger than usual AIPAC influence on them.

(Decided to not post my initial one word reaction since it was homophobic)

Posted by: scalawag | Apr 3 2014 4:41 utc | 51

Posted by: Demian | Apr 2, 2014 11:49:05 PM | 46

I like to back up stuff.

denn dies ist der Hauptzweck der Erziehung, dass diese eigenen Einfälle, Gedanken, Reflexionen welche die Jugend haben und machen kann, und die Art, wie sie solche aus sich haben kann, ausgereutet werden; wie der Wille, so muss auch der Gedanke beim Gehorsam anfangen

translation: this is the main aim of education, that the ideas, thoughts, reflections youth can have and make, out of themselves, are eradicated, will and thought have to start with obedience.

Posted by: somebody | Apr 3 2014 4:47 utc | 52

Add to 52) There is no way to mix up Hegel with Rosseau. If you are interested this is an English summary of his thought on education.

Posted by: somebody | Apr 3 2014 4:50 utc | 53

Moscow slams US for extraditing Russian citizen from Costa Rica
from rt
Russia has slammed the US for initiating the extradition of a Russian citizen from Costa Rica, said the Foreign Ministry’s commissioner for human rights, Konstantin Dolgov. The Foreign Ministry stressed that the extradition was carried out with serious procedural deviations and in violation of generally accepted international rules. "The Russian Embassy in Costa Rica has not been officially notified of the decision by the authorities of this country to extradite the Russian citizen and deport him to a third country. He was denied the right to meet a lawyer, representatives of the Russian Embassy and relatives,” said Dolgov. Maksim Chuharev has been accused by the US of money laundering and was deported from Costa Rica to the US last Thursday.

Posted by: james | Apr 3 2014 4:58 utc | 54

@somebody #52:

Well, you're not doing a good job of "backing up stuff", since you haven't given the location of that citation.

To conclude from that quotation that "Hegel was strongly opposed to kids thinking for themselves" is highly tendentious. The point that Hegel is making that in order to be reasoning creatures, human beings must be raised into a specific culture. In a given language, words have definite meanings; a child should not be humored if she wants to take a given word to mean something different than the accepted meaning of the word in her culture.

Hegel is expressing a very simple, commonplace principle of education: the parent is assumed to be more knowledgeable than her child, so the child should obey the parent, instead of acting in a randomly self-willed fashion.

Your Hegel hatred makes me suspect that you come from a Roman Catholic background. That Hegel passage is selbstverständlich to a Protestant.

Posted by: Demian | Apr 3 2014 5:01 utc | 55

KerKaraje #8: Referencing brown moses makes any attempt at discovering the truth impossible. He's still trying to convince everyone that Assad's forces used Chemical Weapons when they probably weren't used at all. Looking at this BBC 'production' (especially at 30 seconds in) the 'victims' need much better drama teachers and more skilful make up artists.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=diyZtuF7NUs#t=29

Posted by: Andy | Apr 3 2014 5:02 utc | 56

@52

The sort of things one says (and BELIEVES) after overexposure to adolescents.

Posted by: rjj | Apr 3 2014 5:04 utc | 57

Posted by: Demian | Apr 3, 2014 1:01:05 AM | 55

No anti-autoritarian background. That has a tradition in Germany, too.

I could not find the quote in decent version, just google's useless scan not being able to cope with German letters.

The quote is dialectic of course. You can emphasize the "obedience", if you are right-wing Hegelian, or you emphasize "will and thought" then you are left-wing Hegelian, what remains in the two is the "eradicate the ideas, thoughts, reflections youth can have and make".

The problem is the word "eradicate".

Posted by: somebody | Apr 3 2014 5:17 utc | 58

@somebody #58:

This is probably a Zusatz from the Encyclopedia of Philophical Sciences. As far as I recall, the Zusätze were taken from students' notes of Hegel's lectures. So it's not as if we're talking about a fundamental, authoritative text here. Interpretation of this passage must be made within the context of Hegel's philosophical system, the central principle of which is human freedom. The "dialectical" point, as you put it, is that a child must respect the authority of his elders, so that he may attain a good grasp of his own culture, which is required to be able to enjoy the freedom which reason makes possible.

As for the word "eradicate" being a problem: you do realize that the reason you think it's a problem is that your country has been occupied for nearly seventy years now, its citizens being subjected to constant psy-ops by foreign powers? A German student complained to me that the only thing that Germans are taught every year in high school history classes is the Holocaust.

Constant dwelling on the Holocaust is just a way of keeping Germany down, and you are obviously a victim of this stratagem.

Posted by: Demian | Apr 3 2014 5:37 utc | 59

Adolescents are perverse. Hegel's approach gives them something to resist.

"eradicate the ideas, thoughts, reflections youth can have and make".

I once said that the quickest and cheapest way to promote literacy in US schools would be to outlaw reading.

Posted by: rjj | Apr 3 2014 5:41 utc | 60

for outlaw read prohibit.

Posted by: rjj | Apr 3 2014 5:43 utc | 61

50) No, it is from one of the speeches he made as a school principal - he knew what he was talking about.

Posted by: somebody | Apr 3 2014 5:54 utc | 62

Posted by: Demian | Apr 3, 2014 1:37:40 AM | 59

Constant dwelling on the Holocaust is just a way of keeping Germany down, and you are obviously a victim of this stratagem.

?? are you paranoid ?

Posted by: somebody | Apr 3 2014 5:55 utc | 63

i wonder how much usa pettiness towards russia is on display thanks snowden residing in russia? funny how the usa has become such a petty tyrant over the years. reminds me of a castaneda book i read a long time ago called 'the fire within' where their are a few good stories told about petty tyrants.

Posted by: james | Apr 3 2014 6:02 utc | 64

@somebody #62:

Well, in that case, he was talking the talk that was expected from a Prussian school principal, and not speaking as a philosopher. Hegel also had sex with his maid, who bore him a son. So what? Neither of those aspects of his life have anything to do with his philosophy.

@somebody #63:

I am not paranoid. You are in denial about German culture being destroyed by seventy years of occupation by a hostile power. A friend who grew up in the GDR told me that the Soviet occupiers told the Germans that the problem with the Nazis was the Nazi ideology, whereas the American occupiers of West Germany told their Germans that the problem with the Nazis was that they were Germans.

Posted by: Demian | Apr 3 2014 6:08 utc | 65

65) You lie - I end this conversation now.


Posted by: somebody | Apr 3 2014 6:20 utc | 66

@somebody $66:

EXACTLY the response that one would expect from someone who is in denial about his having been brainwashed by a hostile power, and desperately trying to cling to the delusion that he is free.

Posted by: Demian | Apr 3 2014 6:25 utc | 67

US regimes love secrecy
USAID TWITTER PROGRAM FOR UNREST IN CUBA:
From http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory/us-secretly-created-cuban-twitter-stir-unrest-23170813?singlePage=true
US Secretly Created 'Cuban Twitter' to Stir Unrest
In July 2010, Joe McSpedon, a U.S. government official, flew to Barcelona to put the final touches on a secret plan to build a social media project aimed at undermining Cuba's communist government. ...

Posted by: brian | Apr 3 2014 8:12 utc | 68

Demian apparently had a pre-existing hegelian fixation, and then loaded Dugin in on top of it. But while Demian correctly dismisses Dugin's three political theories as nonsense, he is in thrall to a 'conservatism' of his own. Yet he objects to others who call Hegel an outright totalitarian. I should say it's fairly unimportant. The only interest I can find in hegelianism is that it does provide a non-biologistic way of conceiving of the identity of nations. An example is the Zionist hegelian, Shlomo Avineri. But I don't care much for nations.

By the way, I have decided that the correct strategy for a revolutionary party in the west to follow is to campaign on a program of the abolition of wage labour. The existing law regarding slavery could simply be extended to outlaw wage labour, on the same grounds that it outlaws slavery. This would then force all capitalist firms operating in the country to reorganise themselves into cooperatives, if they wanted to go on operating there. And though this would doubtless reduce 'productivity' drastically, it would gradually bring about a universal reconceptualisation of ownership, money and wealth.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Apr 3 2014 8:12 utc | 69

#69:

You are evidently so frightened by Hegel that you are only able to address me in the third person.

And I didn't "dismiss Dugin's three political theories as nonsense". All I said was that Dugin's not including conservatism along with those three is a transparent rhetorical device.

Posted by: Demian | Apr 3 2014 8:25 utc | 70

Dugin's theory is nonsense, and in any case Dugin's theories are no guide to his practice, which is shabby ultra-right-wing clique formation in the style of Evola.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Apr 3 2014 8:42 utc | 71

I know you may say Dugin is quite different from Evola, and doctrinally I am sure he is, they are as unlike as one writer of fantasy fiction is unlike another, even though they both write gothic fantasy, for instance. But the umbrella term for all this is 'fascism', and if you put your mind to it, you can provide a more or less umbrella definition: all the innumerable flavours of fascism proceed by idealising one portion of humanity at the expense of the rest, granting the favoured portion more or less divine status, declaring it holy, and placing it beyond the reach of 'ordinary' law, including the law of contract. Thus it seems to transcend wage labour, by instituting a sort of bogus neo-feudalism among the servants of the state. But what it does not do is abolish capitalist private enterprise. On the contrary, it corporatises it, if it isn't already corporatised, by building it a protected niche within an intermittently dirigiste system.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Apr 3 2014 9:00 utc | 72

People may wish to spend a few minutes surfing through Dugin's book and deciding for themselves whether it is or isn't presenting a fascist doctrine. To me it's obvious that it is, because I have been following Dugin for almost ten years, because I am familiar with Evola's books and career, both pre- and post-WW2, and also with Guenon and the doctrine and history of 'Traditionalism', and because I have done some research of my own into the people Dugin actually appointed as representatives of his Eurasia Movement in Israel, and all three are simple far-right agitators: one a journalist, one a "gun-toting settler rabbi" and the third the notorious Avigdor Eskin, the fellow who put a death curse on Yitzhak Rabin, and went to prison for conspiring to catapult pig's heads onto Muslim sites. Anyway, Dugin's book (or quite a lot of it) is online here:
http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=3sKj49_0fw4C

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Apr 3 2014 9:38 utc | 73

Hegel

Somebody scolding Hegel a totalitarian is like a Roman Catholic scolding Aristotle a pagan.

It is unacceptably laborious to reconstruct Hegelian thought in context of its tradition, but imho it is worth remembering Hegel was a fanatic of truth. The concept of his philosophy was to establish a science of truth in contrast to a science of "things". "Science of truth" is sharply opposed to epistemology, the latter being a fallacious surrogate of the former because it declares cognition and knowledge a "thing" (a methodical item) without knowing what a "thing" is all about.

So the core of Hegels thinking is one sole presupposition:

"The only presupposition that is to be made in science is, that it works"
(Die einzige Voraussetzung, die in der Wissenschaft zu gelten hat, ist, daß sie geht.)

That is to say: Correspondence of a thought and its object is not result of science, but it's starting point, but has a form (probably better: Gestalt) beyond recognition; it has to be developed / unfold.
From there it derives simply that the objects of cognition and knowledge aren't "things", but the awareness of "things", and insight / knowledge nothing else than awareness of a "self" - self consciousness. By itself, this "self" is an individual, but an individual as part of society and its culture.

So Hegelian thought in its core is a philosophy of Praxis. Therefore of cause he does not prone to an ideal of individual freedom, but to furthering the realities of freedom of the human race. And of cause this is deeply affirmative thinking, because it includes all the history and actuality of rule and exploitation, of domination, Lordship and class-struggle into this case of "reality of freedom(s) of human race". Therefore also Hegels famous "misconception" declaring the Prussian State as "state of the art"-manifestation of freedom. And exactly at this point you get the interface to US-ideology, to the core concept of "American exeptionalism".

I named the mistake, the error of this before: Denial of what rule, domination and class-struggle is really about. Hegel was a german professor preferring to treat the history of rule as the history that led to his self, to a Hegel recapitulating the freedom of his personal thinking. He promptly fell prey to the rule he was subjected to ...

Posted by: TomGard | Apr 3 2014 10:09 utc | 74

Heard about Moon of Alabama on the Scott Horton Show where the host gave it high praise and decided to stop by. I will be a regular visitor, very nice work being done here.

Posted by: Donn Marten | Apr 3 2014 10:13 utc | 75

Latest propaganda: A bit of satire in Russia earns a big backlash

How does one humorless governor of the oblast of Vologda (population 1.2 million) inflate into “satire is tough in Putin’s Russia”? Only in a Russia-phobic, Putin-demonizing propaganda drive that is driving us into another arms-buying, budget-busting new cold war.

Posted by: fairleft | Apr 3 2014 10:26 utc | 76

The Maidan Sniper Story gets interesting

Russia says Pravy Sector
US says SBU/Alfa
Kyiv Government/SBU (still working) says Berkut (trained by Germany/dissolved)
SBU seems to have an English website - why?


Posted by: somebody | Apr 3 2014 11:14 utc | 77

Perhaps this insertion above at 69:

"By the way, I have decided that the correct strategy for a revolutionary party in the west to follow is to campaign on a program of the abolition of wage labour. The existing law regarding slavery could simply be extended to outlaw wage labour, on the same grounds that it outlaws slavery. This would then force all capitalist firms operating in the country to reorganise themselves into cooperatives, if they wanted to go on operating there. And though this would doubtless reduce 'productivity' drastically, it would gradually bring about a universal reconceptualisation of ownership, money and wealth."

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Apr 3, 2014 4:12:58 AM |

could be an initiating item for thoughts on possible revolutionary programs in a future open thread

Posted by: Robert Snefjella | Apr 3 2014 11:33 utc | 78

77 "interesting" - really?

Lavrov rejects the accout of Aleksandr Yakimenko (it was not Pravy sector, not Svoboda) authoritatively, without evidence, without any hint on corroboration ("might be", "probably") and offers as openly as possible a joint cover-up with the US that takes Nuland, CIA etc. out of the picture:

"Lavrov also said he hoped Russia and Western countries could "express a common position" with regards to matters in Kiev ..."

Posted by: TomGard | Apr 3 2014 11:43 utc | 79

plus 77) Maidan Snipers

Yanukovich had replaced the SBU head with an inexperienced private sector security friend of his son (The Yanukovich familiy - in German - use Google translate if you are interested)

whilst today's UDAR SBU head is a very old hand

Maybe the US and Russia should compare notes.

Posted by: somebody | Apr 3 2014 11:48 utc | 80

Posted by: TomGard | Apr 3, 2014 7:43:37 AM | 79

You seem to have a problem with keeping up with the change in Ukraine. There is a new SBU head.

The US (unofficially, but spread by official people) and Lavrov made a statement who they believed responsable. The US statement is more damaging to the present authorities than the Lavrov statement - they have no problem to disassociate from Pravy Sector (as demanded by the EU), they have a huge problem disassociating from their active SBU services.

Posted by: somebody | Apr 3 2014 11:55 utc | 81

79 correction

For "rejects" read "dismissed"

Posted by: TomGard | Apr 3 2014 11:56 utc | 82

81

"You seem to have a problem with keeping up with the change in Ukraine. There is a new SBU head."

Laß doch die Albernheiten.

I know Yakimenko is no longer head of SBU. He made his statement in Moscow and I remember you were posting it.

" ... they have no problem to disassociate from Pravy Sector (as demanded by the EU), they have a huge problem disassociating from their active SBU services.

dito
The elusive "Alpha - group" is not "their active SBU service", but a single task force.

Posted by: TomGard | Apr 3 2014 12:09 utc | 83

Here the interview with Yakimenko:
http://rt.com/op-edge/mercenaries-at-maidan-ukraine-558/

Posted by: TomGard | Apr 3 2014 12:19 utc | 84

@66 what did he lie about? Hegel humping the maid?

You can do better than that somebody.

Posted by: guest77 | Apr 3 2014 12:25 utc | 85

1930 recording of Brecht/Weill's "Moon of Alabama" with Lotta Lenya

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EGUjGPrfA6U

Posted by: Harry Clark | Apr 3 2014 12:31 utc | 86

Posted by: TomGard | Apr 3, 2014 8:09:15 AM | 83

I am wondering who the Ukrainian SBU was working for, especially taking into account this recent Lukashenko interview

People in Kyiv controlled the Belarusian “maidan” in 2010. The statement was made by Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko in an interview for the Ukrainian TV show Shuster Live on 26 March, BelTA has learned.

“I had to go through that in 2010 when they came to Belarus, the Right Sector, it had a different name back then, we have pictures of them trying to turn over cars here,” noted the Belarus President. “It was filmed by Ukrainian television, Russian television, CNN, BBC, and the rest”.

According to the head of state, later on the video records were used as a testimony to rebuke the West’s accusations. “Have a look, it is not our television, you see these people wielding mining picks, crowbars, shivs, spades, breaking down doors, you can see their faces. It all happened”.

“Only those, who organized it and broke things down, have been imprisoned. The bulk of them have been released. Two or three people are left and the West is unhappy about it and claims they are political prisoners,” said Alexander Lukashenko.

“Now Belarusians say that if Lukashenko had done what Yanukovych did, things in Belarus would have gone the Ukrainian way. But our secret services have tracked the links. Do you know where the command center for our maidan in 2010 was? In Kiev,” stated the Belarus President. “We have even records of individual instructions for breaking down doors and taking government seats. I still remember these conversations”.

“Nobody was injured back then, tear gas and water cannons were not involved, no Molotov cocktails. Riot police did the things the way they had been trained. I was involved in the process. Neither Russia nor generals nor admirals. I saw it all in the situation center through dozens of cameras in the square since the seat of government is subject to access restrictions,” said Alexander Lukashenko. “I said right away that if they spit in the face of police or soldiers, god forbid, if they attack, respond immediately”.

“I don’t know the names of those, who controlled the Minsk riots from Kiev, but the Right Sector was already evolving and operational. By the way, we repulsed these units. One group was being prepared in Polesie, one or two near Brest. We threw them out fast. They were trained in Poland and Western Ukraine. Now we see real pictures. Our KGB archives have many photos and videos like that. We have recorded everything,” noted the head of state.

Why indeed. Why could Belarus get rid of violent protesters like any Western government but not Ukraine?

Posted by: somebody | Apr 3 2014 12:33 utc | 87

Posted by: TomGard | Apr 3, 2014 8:09:15 AM | 83

It is unlikely Alfa is detached from the rest of the organization.

Posted by: somebody | Apr 3 2014 12:36 utc | 88

51;Homophobic;Reminds me of the term holocaust denial.A misdirection to impugn the resistance to BS.Nobody(or very few) is afraid of or believes gays don't have the right to private sexual relations.Just don't try to claim a tradition,marriage,the sanctifying of women and children,(no bastards) with sexual preference.Why do gays need my validation?Come up with a term that satisfies you,and use it,but don't abscond with another that doesn't fit.And I've never heard anyone say that Hitler didn't put his political enemies in camps when fighting the world,like America did to the Japanese Americans,and that many many died.
As serial liars lie serially,why should I believe their prior claims that fly in the face of logic?If Hitler had intended to wipe out European Jewry,how come he left the job unfinished?Why didn't he have the SS go to the camps to wipe out the witnesses to his alleged depredations.He was going down,so why not take his alleged mortal enemies with him?Uncounted (by our MSM) survivors to this day are still receiving benefits.Horsehockey from homonazis,feminazis and Zionazis,and if one can't see the links between those groups,they are part of the con.And they are all mostly unhappy miserable people.

Posted by: dahoit | Apr 3 2014 12:40 utc | 89

Posted by: TomGard | Apr 3, 2014 8:19:54 AM | 84

Yes, Russia Today published the interview with Yakimenko, where he says "mercenaries" and "Parubyi, Fatherland Party" but Lavrov does not seem to buy it. Lavrov says Pravy Sektor. And the US say Ukrainian SBU ie the organization Yakimenko supposedly headed for less than a year.

Posted by: somebody | Apr 3 2014 12:55 utc | 90

Today's NYTs says that Pollard is the first ally to serve x number of years in jail by US;Typical Ziodouble speak;Allies don't spy on allies,there's no need.My God,the treasonous scum.No comment on the story.I guess they hate taking a beating from readers.And with the Ft. Hood shooter,they had a mea culpa for starting the Iraq War.Not.Pathetic bloviating Zio scum.

Posted by: dahoit | Apr 3 2014 12:57 utc | 91

Posted by: guest77 | Apr 3, 2014 8:25:23 AM | 85

He is a German suprematist, peddling nonsense.

Of course Americans did not confuse Germans with Nazis.

Posted by: somebody | Apr 3 2014 13:00 utc | 92

90) ok they have solved the problem - Berkut arrested, Alfa hide in Crimea

The employees of the SBU's Alfa special police force who participated in the so-called "anti-terrorist operation" on Independence Square in Kyiv are currently hiding in Crimea, Head of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) Valentyn Nalyvaichenko has said.

Posted by: somebody | Apr 3 2014 13:32 utc | 93

"Somebody", meanwhile I am not willing to argue with you any more because you are not sincere, you don't talk truly.

The Lukashenko - interview lacks everything to make more of it than rumor and resentment: names, connections, command chain. It is quite self-evident that ukraine right wing movements had a foothold in SBU - but on which level? What range had their influence? Lukashenko doesn't know or prefers not to tell.

But the main point resides in this sentence:

Why could Belarus get rid of violent protesters like any Western government but not Ukraine?

On this blog there were literally yard-long discussions of the history of Ukraine before and after independence from SU, of the history of revolt that was partly instigated, partly manipulated by western powers, of the diversity of oligarch-structures and rule and many, many more that makes up for the differences of actions and reactions of those involved. You, somebody, know a whole lot of it, but now you prefer to feint forgetting about it in favour of the cheapest improper comparison available. That is what right wing-, fascist and every state propaganda is all about: Aiming at the dumbest, the lazieest readers / hearers who like to jump at any "conclusion" that feeds their inclination for resentment and brute force. And never omitting an opportunity to belittle, degrade, discredit the opponent, being it as fatuous as possible.

For example:

It is unlikely Alfa is detached from the rest of the organization.

So it's likely the Svoboda / UNA-UNSO infiltration of the organization is "detached" from it?
You aim at the reader that forgot about your plea to my objection before:

" they have no problem to disassociate from Pravy Sector (as demanded by the EU), they have a huge problem disassociating from their active SBU services."

or are lazy to look up the reference. And then do not notice, that you talk plainly contradicting bullshit for propaganda purposes.

Which propaganda I won't speculate, and quite possible it is just personal vanity, so you could stop this manner any time. Meanwhile I stop talking to you.

Posted by: TomGard | Apr 3 2014 13:43 utc | 94

Perhaps this insertion above at 69 could be an initiating item for thoughts on possible revolutionary programs in a future open thread Posted by: Robert Snefjella | Apr 3, 2014 7:33:25 AM | 78
I've already thought of a problem with it: the capitalist firms could all just switch from wage labour to piecework. And they would depress rates for piecework, relative to the cost of living, just the same way they do wages. So I would have to bring a larger definition of "slavery": chattel slave, serf, wage slave, piecework slave, etcetera.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Apr 3 2014 13:46 utc | 95

Posted by: somebody | Apr 3, 2014 9:00:32 AM | @92

"He is a German suprematist, peddling nonsense."

Your scrappy German suprematist "sounds" very, very young. Could be wrong, but if not, should be good for insight into Schoolmaster Hegel's prescription.

Posted by: rjj | Apr 3 2014 14:27 utc | 96

Posted by: TomGard | Apr 3, 2014 9:43:16 AM | 94

This won't go away. Either the SBU was loyal to Yanukovich and implicated, then it is not loyal now, and doing a coverup (everybody is in Crimea) against present autorities, or it was not loyal to Yanukovich and implicated, then there is a cover up by the new authorities.

Avakov has now confirmed that the SBU was involved.

If the SBU did it because of loyalty to Yanukovich Avakov has to clean up and if they did it not being loyal to Yanukovich, he still has to clean up.

As everybody seems to be against Pravy Sektor recently, Lavrovs version would have been the easy way out. Noone seems to believe the Parubyi mercenary version.

Posted by: somebody | Apr 3 2014 14:37 utc | 97

:-))

Posted by: rjj | Apr 3, 2014 10:27:31 AM | 96

Yeah, it is always tempting to go for this solution. Actually, I think, not that young, stuck somewhere the fall of the wall.

Like you said, young people are "perverse". If you tell them one thing at school they will go for the opposite (damned dialectic again).

Young people just don't like synthesis.

Posted by: somebody | Apr 3 2014 14:43 utc | 98

synthesis is difficult for anyone who wants an exclusive franchise on the goodness-truth-beauty manifold.

Posted by: rjj | Apr 3 2014 15:11 utc | 99

Summary of the BBC - they keep an open mind, but identify more sniper positions than the Ukrainian government does

It is believed that much of the shooting was directed from buildings, out of sight of the media.

British forensic experts travelled to Kiev soon after the killings to gather evidence which may be used in future prosecutions.

The investigators, who did not wish to be named, told BBC News they had pinpointed at least four sniper positions.

The new authorities have identified two places where they think snipers operated from, on Khreshchatyk Street and Kostiolna Street, but it is believed snipers also opened fire from the Ukraina hotel and the National Bank building.

Posted by: somebody | Apr 3 2014 15:12 utc | 100

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