Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
April 22, 2021

Open Thread 2021-030

News & views ...

Posted by b on April 22, 2021 at 15:28 UTC | Permalink


Those dastardly Russians did something new to our troops. What it is will have to wait for the MSM to invent.

Posted by: Librul | Apr 22 2021 15:51 utc | 1

Today I read that Google has an AI called Deepmind that has already beaten two Go champions, one from South Korea, one from China. The South Korean guy, Lee Seedol, quit Go altogether 2 years after his defeat, and the chinese believes that the AI is some sort of God that humanity cannot beat nor perceive.

And now this Deepmind is learning and fighting against pro Starcraft II and Quake 3 players.

I feel that this is gonna be the battleground in the future, not over wealth or ownership rights, but survival when one AI goes rogue. That is gonna be so poetic and Promethian.

Posted by: Smith | Apr 22 2021 15:53 utc | 2

freddie deboer on "woke" types and their cynical/cowardly motives. one of the best of many articles i've seen given that i've personally witnessed these types going back to the "PC" phase of the 1990s.

highly rec'd.

Posted by: the pair | Apr 22 2021 15:55 utc | 3

speaking of nathan j robinson....
Why Cryptocurrency Is A Giant Fraud

Posted by: james | Apr 22 2021 16:11 utc | 4

Smith in 2 above mentioned AI and the systems coming on line. He should look at Martin Armstrong's Socrates to see real AI.

Posted by: Ed in Kanata | Apr 22 2021 16:12 utc | 5

China’s digital yuan displaces the dollar: $16 trillion of US dollar deposits may disappear

This would be of minor consequence to America’s world position, except for the fact that the United States now must borrow 15% to 20% of its GDP each year to finance its internal budget deficit, and also must attract about $1 trillion of capital inflows to finance its growing current account deficit with the rest of the world.

Memorize this quoted above paragraph, learn to recite it by heart. This is the essence of the American Empire post-1st Cold War foreign policy. Everything the Americans have been doing at least since the Gulf War - good and bad, smart and dumb - revolves around this simple statistics: it must find USD 1 trn (current USD value); 15%-20% of its GDP, from the rest of the world every year to keep itself afloat, i.e. it must keep the rest of the world in a condition where it is forced to give the American Empire this quantity of wealth every year, minimum. All the rest is a mere derivation of this objective fact.

Also I recommend reading the article in full. It explains why a digital Renminbi is synergistic with socialism.


Exclusive: China-N.Korea border remains closed despite signs of possible trade resumption

Let's hope it reopens as soon as possible.

It's a myth North Korea under Jong-un Kim doesn't have a national project (as some guy from the Asia Times has said some days ago). Jong-un Kim has a clear path in his mind: copy and paste the Chinese model. This strategy has the elegant advantage of being ready-made: Jong-un Kim doesn't have to be a great statesman, he just has to follow the recipe with the due tweaks and adaptations.

You guys have no idea how the existence of China helps the socialist cause: you don't have to try to explain to illiterate peasants a very complex theory in the space of some months as Lenin had to do, you just need to point to the already existing thing and say you want the build the same. That's why Marx said that one step forward in the real world is worth more than one dozen programs.


Why US can’t emulate China’s lessons on infrastructure building

Probably because of space restrictions, Ding Gang toned down and simplified a lot his argument. But he barely scratched the surface: the reasons why the USA cannot emulate China on infrastructure are much more numerous and deep than the mere existence of SOEs.

Biden's infrastructure plan will fail. That's a scientific certainty.


This is a good gem found by Carl Zha:

China’s pledge to become carbon neutral by 2060 poses an existential threat to polluters that could have ramifications for the financial sector, a former central bank adviser says


Actually, two gems:

CIA considered bombing Miami and killing refugees to blame Castro (from 2017)

Posted by: vk | Apr 22 2021 16:14 utc | 6

Canada Reveals It Paid White Helmets $4 Million Annually After It Cuts Ties

A bombshell new report in The Globe and Mail says only that the government of Canada, dubbed "one of the staunchest backers of the White Helmets", ended support "shortly after the death of the group’s British co-founder, James Le Mesurier, who committed suicide in November, 2019."

... the reality all along was that this 'humanitarian rescue group' was a Western government-backed operation which served as an extension of the same external powers' drive to overthrow Assad via covert support to jihadists on the ground.

Canadian support to the White Helmets was worth about $4-million per year, with final payments of just under $900,000 being made in March, 2020.... The United States also within the past few years become increasingly open in acknowledging it paid out multiple millions of dollars to the group.

  • Did Western governments really end their "support" or simply encourage others (Saudis?) to increase their financial support?

    It's likely that support for the White Helmets continues by other means (Saudis?) or in other forms:

    • Syria's White Helmets awarded £920,000 to make PPE (January 2021)
    • Israel evacuates ‘White Helmet’ members and their families (July 2018)
      Israel’s Army said on Twitter that Washington and European governments had asked it to move the White Helmets and their families out of southwest Syria overnight as there was “an immediate threat to their lives”.

      The evacuees ... will be resettled in Britain, Germany and Canada within three months, a Jordanian government source said.

      Is money being funneled to the White Helmets via payments to family members that now reside in the West?

  • Is Le Mesurier really dead? Or is he "dead" like Epstein - drinking Mai Tai's on a Tel Aviv beach in the "afterlife"?

    It seems that Le Mesurier's "death" was simply needed as a trigger for Western governments to pretend to end support for an organization that THEY KNEW was working with the Jihadis.

  • Aaron Mate correctly notes that the White Helmet funding by Western governments "should be a huge scandal".

    But it won't be because the depth of the scandal goes deeper than funding for the White Helmets. It includes things like the Obama Administration's bogus "train and equip" program and wilful decision to allow the rise of ISIS as well as the continuing war on Syria.

<> <> <> <> <>

Re-posted (I had just posted this on the previous Open Thread then saw that there was a new Open Thread.)


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 22 2021 16:18 utc | 7

A moment of self-adulation:

COVID-19: India sets record for new coronavirus cases in a single day

I called it (in the first months of 2019). Many of you doubted me, but I called and I was right.

And, by the way, there are much more daily cases than those 320,000+ registered yesterday in India. The reason for this is India's testing capacity is low compared to the USA's (the former daily record holder, at 300,000+). I wouldn't be surprised if India is actually topping the 1 million daily cases mark.

Posted by: vk | Apr 22 2021 16:20 utc | 8

@ Ed in Kanata

I will believe the guy in the link if he or his AI can beat AlphaZero in chest or Go.

He seems to believe in some divine creativity that makes humamity so special, but it is precisely pattern recognition, memory and the ability to note things down information that makes human so smart, and the current AI got these things in spade.

I don't want to hype it up but seeing the reactions of these Go guys against an AI is kinda depressing, since they themselves are at the top of their games yet the AI still make moves that make creative humans surprised.

Posted by: Smith | Apr 22 2021 16:24 utc | 9

Sputnik is also reporting that the US is making it official against Turkey: F-35 canceled for them because of the S-400.

What the heck are they thinking by offending Turkey? Just when they get Erdogan to defend Ukraine and play ball, they screw him over. No "one" is in charge of foreign policy.

Posted by: Eighthman | Apr 22 2021 16:26 utc | 10

Canadastan and Brutain are welcome to the White Hellmate headchoppers, Jackrabbit. Just like they're welcome to Ukranazis. Let them take all of them and free Syria and Ukraine of the burden.

Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | Apr 22 2021 16:29 utc | 11

What the heck are they thinking by offending Turkey? Just when they get Erdogan to defend Ukraine and play ball, they screw him over. No "one" is in charge of foreign policy.

Posted by: Eighthman | Apr 22 2021 16:26 utc | 10

Well the man said nothing would fundamentally change. Still it is striking that "Biden" turns out to be even more erratic than Trump. I have the feeling the "Interagency" is very busy gumming things up too.

You can also ask what the heck was Erdogan doing in Ukraine? What did he think would happen when he helped the Ukrainian war effort? There are a lot of loonies running around. Erdogan needs cash, I think he will do just about anything for some ready cash.

Posted by: Bemildred | Apr 22 2021 16:38 utc | 12

vk@6 seems to think China's economic warfare against Korean socialism is not even Chinese, but the Koreans closing the border because of covid-19 panic. Not so, the Chinese have consistently joined the US et al. in besieging the north, under various pretexts. The capitalist road Xi is pursuing finds its expression in hostility to socialism abroad. There is no Chinese wall, excuse the expression, between foreign and domestic policy, they have the same roots and the same fundamental goals. It is China that joined in the permanent siege of the people of Korea. (All economic sieges are directed against the population, by the way, especially when the perpetrators swear they are targeting the "regime.")

The Chinese haven't been quite so ruthless in their blockade as the US et al., partly because the imposition of the blockade has damaged the Chinese economy in Manchuria. The proximity to Korea makes Korea in effect part of the local economy, which the blockade artificially divides, and weakens. But as the central government is losing control of the provinces, the old industrial northeast is falling behind (partly because of the blockade) and the southern capitalists relish finding a colony in the north. Additionally, it is likely---though unlike vk I cannot read minds, not even Kim Jong-un's---that China doesn't want a total collapse in the north. Quite aside from a hostile power, the southern satellite of the US, rampaging up to the border, there are the spillover effects of millions of refugees. The south is not the economic paradise touted by the capitalists. The south is more of a cannibal kingdom. If the north falls, there is no way the rickety (at the base) Korean capitalism could afford west German style takeover. The cannibals in the south will basically eat the people of the north, leaving them to starve...and some will try to flee to China. The cannibals' restoration of capitalism in the north will, I think, make Yeltsin's attack on the workers of Russia look soft and half-hearted.

As to the possibility that Kim wants to play mainland China to the south's Taiwan? Every effort to do so has been stymied by the obduracy of the US, the ultimate masters of the cannibals. Like Park sending Korean soldiers to fight socialism in Vietnam, Deng curried favor with the US by invading Vietnam too. I don't know whether Kim Jong-un is personally so vicious as to be capable of such muderous malice. But I can see the map which shows that even if Kim were as monstrous as Deng, there's no convenient enemy of the US within the north's reach. So it doesn't matter what Kim is thinking, even if vk has the mystic power to see it.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Apr 22 2021 16:53 utc | 13

The CBC has a morning radio show called "The Current" which broadcasts nation wide. Normally I try to avoid it because too often it is mostly propaganda and wokeness. This morning the had a segment on events in Russia and Ukraine, so I decided to torture myself by listening. The approximately half hour segment starts around the 22 minute mark, and three people are interviewed...their views range from somewhat biased to very biased. Enjoy!

Posted by: Victor | Apr 22 2021 17:06 utc | 14

It amazes me that the Neo Cons can't see that the US is helping China greatly by maintaining the status quo in Korea.

Suppose NK collapsed and then re-united with SK? China would be facing a heavily armed Korea with nuclear weapons and huge economic competition. The US keeps things the same. Thanks, Uncle Sam. Meanwhile, we'll grow and pass you by....

Posted by: Eighthman | Apr 22 2021 17:19 utc | 15

Pretty cool, Russia pulling out of Crimea.
That's going to throw a wrench in the works.
That's the asymmetrical thing.
What's a would be neocon to do?

Posted by: jared | Apr 22 2021 17:28 utc | 16

Erdogan has his own reasons to supply Ukraine with weapons. He isn't a puppet of Washington but has his own agenda.

I'd rather ask what the heck is he thinking offending - not only the USA - but pretty much everyone. Turkey is heading towards difficult times.

Posted by: m | Apr 22 2021 17:37 utc | 17

I posted this on an earlier thread- but it goes here

The Russians are said to be pulling back from their stance. ie. "Ending" the present "exercises." sending the soldiers off-field.

Very subtle. What they are doing is reducing (visibly for the PR) the quantity of servicemen dirctly involved in or near the frontier. BUT, they are leaving most, if not all, the heavy weapons in place. Particularly around Crimea. The heavies would be harder to transport back to the front line in the case of an advance by Zelnskies comrade-clots. The men are easier to move in a hurry - just fly them in or catch a passing train.

In other words the Russian "threat" is still there, but the Russians are, for the MSM, backing off. Zelnsky has the choice and probably an obligation to act. He can't afford to continue without financial backing for his forces, diesel for his trains etc. Might he attack ? (apart from being a crass idiot if he did so). Then the forces in Donbas would be capable of delaying any incursion to allow a field force to reoccupy the terrain they have just trained on.

Posted by: Stonebird | Apr 22 2021 17:42 utc | 18

Victor @14

Re the CBC, News Network, and other Canadian media outlets such as CTV, Global, etc.,

They never interview any Canadian who has a view that differs from the MSM view, even though there are many such Canadians who are truly more expert than those they do choose to interview. For example,the other day, Vassy Kapelos once again had Bill "Bullshit" Browder on as her "expert" on Russia. (Doesn't Vassy or any researcher at News Network have internet access?)

They never interview people such as Ivan Katchanovski, Christopher Black, Aaron Mate, Eva Bartlett, Ed Lehman, etc.

Posted by: spudski | Apr 22 2021 17:51 utc | 19
WHO pushed research to say covid was only droplet-transmission and not airborne? under the pressure of governments who did not want to ground flights?

Posted by: Mina | Apr 22 2021 18:40 utc | 20

@ Jackrabbit | Apr 22 2021 16:18 utc | 7... if you read the response to that article in the globe and mail from 2 days ago, it is encouraging... interestingly, MARK MACKINNON, the lead writer on the article was interviewed by matt galloway on cbc radio this morning.. i shared a link to it on the new thread on 'ukraine crisis lessens..'
read the responses to feel a bit more encouraged on how the propaganda is not working as effectively as many writing these narratives had hoped...

Posted by: james | Apr 22 2021 18:40 utc | 21

Interesting, I read about about a stray SAM from Syria landing in the Negev. Or maybe it wasn't so stray at all? Certainly a reminder of the range of Syria's missile force. Related to this, the explosion in some Israeli depot. Iranian media were very, very quick to report it, and with apparent glee. However, not a peep on all of this in German state media.

Posted by: Scotch Bingeington | Apr 22 2021 19:38 utc | 22

Not sure what is going on regarding errant missiles exploding near sensitive nuclear facilities, missile factories going boom, dodgy missile defense and cyber war but it sure was an attention getter diverting ones gaze from the other plates that are at risk of crashing to earth. One more event like that in occupied Palestine could have the toilets overflowing in the bomb shelters and send the settlers into a profound funk and having second doubts about their exceptionalism.

The infamous Iron Colander Dome

Seyed Mohammad Marandi
The Israeli regime should take care that their key infrastructure on the ground isn't destroyed by surface-to-air missiles.

They should also take better care of their missile factories.

By the way, what happened to that so called Iron Done?

It functions more like a colander.

Posted by: Tom | Apr 22 2021 20:42 utc | 23

What are they thinking?
First the "ultimatum" and now this.... How did Putin call them in his reference?

Posted by: Kartoschka | Apr 22 2021 21:19 utc | 24

I have just read a marvelously ironic article that damns the Chinese for their propaganda efforts in South America and then describes how the Special Forces are galloping to the rescue to save the poor inhabitants from the Evil Chinese (Who use sneaky tactics like vaccines!) by means of propaganda.

Posted by: foolisholdman | Apr 22 2021 21:33 utc | 25

juliania -

from a friend.. you might enjoy that!

Posted by: james | Apr 22 2021 22:10 utc | 26

The anti-russian narrative is falling apart, on vaccine too.

Baloo humiliates Green G. Tabaqui
RT/SNA turn machine gun!

Can somebody turn this to english

Posted by: Bernard F. | Apr 22 2021 23:28 utc | 27

I tried to prepare myself for how I would feel, knowing that after the initial "demand" of vaccines from the sheep, who unquestionably assumed it good, had fallen off, there would be a glut of vaccine ready to go with no takers.

Well, here they are now, right on cue, blaming the surging covid cases on vaccine hesistancy, despite the fact that half of America is vaccinated. How is that even possible?!?!?!?

These motherfuckers can say anything...ANYTHING!!!!!!!!! and the sheep will believe them. The same wool pulled over the eyes during Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Syria, the same wool now being used to pit countryman against countryman, family member against family member.

These motherfuckers are pure evil. They know that this will and has divided families and will keep them divided yet don't care. Who cares if father does not see their son again before their death? Who cares if deplorables lose their job because of a mandate.

As it stands, I expect to be unemployed by Fall and divorced from my elderly father as well.

What a great country, full of evil motherfuckers at the top. At least Russia and China is showing them their international bullying is coming to an end. Now they are forced to turn inward against their own subjects.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Apr 23 2021 0:29 utc | 28

The new Defense Secretary publicly remarked in the same way. It sounds like good news !

Because maybe.....they put emphasis on climate above all else for "national security" while retreating from the rest of the world.

Posted by: Eighthman | Apr 23 2021 0:56 utc | 29

South America keeps rising!
This time... Peru.
Here's a piece from Ollie Vargas's Kawsachun News in Bolivia about Pedro Castillo, plans to kick out U.S. DEA. Most of the report comes from a newly elected socialist congressman who supports Castillo and asserts that everyone in Peru hates the narcos and the politician puppets and the

Posted by: migueljose | Apr 23 2021 1:26 utc | 30

sorry, I hit the wrong button....

the newly elected congressman in Peru says:

"Peru Libre’s candidate for President, Pedro Castillo, has run on a platform which promises to leave the Lima Cartel, expel USAID and close U.S. military bases within the first 100 days of government. Other proposals include nationalizations, a constituent assembly and the procurement of Cuban and Russian vaccines. "
The elected congressman is Guillermo Bermejo, he is in the same party as presidential cadidate Pedro Castillo. Castillo is running against the daughter of Fujimori, the right wing thug who is in prison. The election is in early June.

Posted by: migueljose | Apr 23 2021 1:30 utc | 31

Pepe Escobar on his VK page reports that CENTCOM says it no longer has command of the skies, because of Iran's drones. He doesn't give a link but quotes this:

Gen Frank McKenzie, the head of CENTCOM - responsible for US forces in West Asia - made a startling admission in a written testimony to the House Armed Services Committee.

He admitted the Pentagon’s utter impotence facing a swarm of Iranian small and medium-sized drones used for surveillance and attacks: “For the first time since the Korean War, we are operating without complete air superiority.”


Meanwhile, Elijah Magnier - in a link that came from a commenter here, with thanks - reports that Iran at the discussions regarding returning to JCPOA used the recent cyber attack from Israel as moral high ground to force the dialog with the west. It's an interesting read on how Iran doesn't ever back down:
Iran embarrassed Netanyahu and cornered the West in Vienna

It's also a telling illustration of how Israel continues to lose its grip on things.


One more such illustration comes from a Hezbollah insider translated by Middle East Observer and republished at the Saker, to the effect that the axis of resistance has decided to retaliate against Israel attacks "openly", which means with attribution from the retaliating party.

The region is losing its patience with Israel, or perhaps, more likely, sees its battlefield advantage over Israel and sees that showing this gains more now than hiding it:

"Resistance Axis on war alert, to ‘openly’ target Israel if Iran attacks continue: Hezbollah insider"
(sorry, the link doesn't show up for some reason in preview)

This piece says that the resistance has decided on open confrontation with Israel, unless the US can restrain Israel from its provocations. It seems to me that Netanyahu's strategy of provoking the US into war against Iran is backfiring, such that the regional axis is beginning to shift into leading the play rather than reacting to it.

Posted by: Grieved | Apr 23 2021 2:23 utc | 32

Sorry james @ 26, couldn't access. I'm rereading "The Devils" at present - long time since first read. It's a tangled web - I'll wait till I finish to say more. Here is the Pushkin poem extract that I guess serves as a dedication piece, gives you the flavor of the novel:

Can't be helped, the track is covered,
Hopeless! We have lost our way.
Demons must have taken over,
Wheeling,twisting us astray.
Look at them! They're everywhere!
Hear the mournful tune they make!
What, a witch's wedding fare?
Or a goblin's gloomy wake?
[from "The Demons"
by Alexander Pushkin]

I don't suggest it for you - its too much like "The Master and Margarita", which didn't appeal to you. It is interesting as the forerunner to "TBK" for me -- they do sort of explain each other's ambiguities.

I'm hoping to finish it before Holy Week begins. Palm Sunday is this coming Sunday.

Posted by: juliania | Apr 23 2021 4:15 utc | 33

Eighthman #10

F35 are incapable of performance to specifications. That is why they are cancelled. Any half baked excuse will do.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 23 2021 4:50 utc | 34

Below is a Xinhuanet quote from a posting about Australia that is hard to believe

BEIJING, April 22 (Xinhua) -- With the federal government of Australia tearing up Victoria State's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) agreements with China, Australia has shown no respect for the spirit of contract or any sincerity toward improving bilateral ties.

On Wednesday, Australia's Foreign Minister Marise Payne announced her decision in a statement to scrap the memorandum of understanding on BRI cooperation and the framework agreement, which were signed in 2018 and 2019 respectively, between the government of Victoria and the Chinese side.

The statement, calling those deals "inconsistent with Australia's foreign policy or adverse to our foreign relations," was made under Australia's Foreign Arrangements Scheme that came into effect last December.

It is reportedly the first time that the Australian government has used its new power tool to cancel agreements between local governments and other countries.

I looked up statistics that show that 40% of Australia exports go/went to China and 27% pf Australia imports come from China....biggest trading partner on both sides and now they are going to take one for the Gipper, what a country.....something tells me this hyena is not going to be laughing for long.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Apr 23 2021 5:04 utc | 35

Below is a link to a Wall Street on Parade posting about an interview with James Grant with his point 6 being the title

“Today’s Rates, the Lowest in 4,000 Years, Harm Savers, Advantage Speculators, Misdirect Capital, and Perpetuate the Unnatural Lives of Failing Businesses…”

Other quotes from the James Grant interview

“Tesla is the Bitcoin of auto manufacture. And Bitcoin is the Tesla of monetary gimmicks.”

“The more intense the craze, the higher the order of intellect that succumbs to it.”

Posted by: psychohistorian | Apr 23 2021 5:27 utc | 36

Posted by: juliania | Apr 23 2021 4:15 utc | 33

Juliana, watch this excerpt from the Balabanov movie "Morphine" based on Bulgakov short stories and tell me if the Pushkin poem was not known to the film director. After reading that excellent translation I searched for the original to delight myself anew. Enjoy.

Posted by: Paco | Apr 23 2021 5:34 utc | 37

I came over to MOA in the hope of seeing Bernhard's take on the big explosion in Israel, particularly to see his response to the analysis by Taxi (of the American lady who lives in southern Lebanon and writes on security matters. I'm taking the liberty of quoting her long comment:

Three days ago, here in the south and for the first time in quite a while, we had the israeli air force flying overhead just before sunset and doing so for at least one and a half hours – just buzzing and buzzing and buzzing away for a really long time. Then, in the early evening, we heard from the jewish press that a ‘mysterious’ explosion in an israeli missile factory near Jerusalem had occurred – this was the initial first report. Subsequently, and throughout the rest of the night, israel forced a gag order on its media releasing any further information on the ‘missile factory near Jerusalem’ story, and instead, the story of a Syrian attack “near the Dimona” began to circulate, with apparently israel attempting to retaliate against Syria, but failing due to Russian missile deterrence (the Russians used Russian missiles to deter, as opposed to destroy). Since then, little to no information on this incident has been released by israel – or by any other party, for that matter.

So, OK, let’s together look at this ‘cover up’ by the israeli military – and we know that some kind of jewish cover up is involved because the israeli press has been kiboshed by the israeli military immediately after the first initial report. We know that israel definitely attempted to strike at Syria later on in the night but failed, thanks to Russia. This attempted strike on Syria by israel is about the only fact that’s weaved into the bullshit story of ‘a Syrian attack near the Dimona’. We know there was a big explosion near Jerusalem, but, who done it?

To me, it looks like this: in order not to create panic in the jewish state, the jewish military needed to change the location of the explosion from Jerusalem to ‘near the Dimona’ – Dimona here being a trigger word for jews: a word that incites/inspires holocaust-related victimhood in the jewish mind. The jewish state would rather have the narrative of ‘we were attacked in a non residential area’, instead of ‘an explosion occurred in one of our missile factories that’s near residential Jerusalem’: because this would create many-many security questions that the jewish state does not want to answer. A real conundrum for the jew strategists here. We also know that a few years ago, Hamas sent a message to the jews by sending a couple of missiles that intentionally landed near the Dimona, as opposed to actually striking it. So, if this ‘near the Dimona’ strike came from Gaza, israel’s military would be forced to promptly respond in Gaza, but it didn’t do this, as it normally does. And even if Hamas was behind this explosion, striking at Gaza is presently undesirable for the israelis as it would destabilize israeli society, what with covid still running wild in the jewish state and army, and especially that their political decision-making is currently crippled due to the voting crisis that israel finds itself in today. For israel to strike at Gaza, for daring again to strike at the Dimona, would also be handing Hamas a HUGE PR victory, a victory that would create panic in jewish society. So, Gaza is not the culprit here – otherwise they would have claimed the strike themselves, as they normally claim all their strikes. We also know that it’s not Hezbollah’s style to go striking willy-nilly at israel, especially during Ramadan. Furthermore, we also know that Syria has no strategic logic or value to strike near the Dimona just for the sake of it – but, nevertheless, the jews retaliated against Syria because it is currently the weakest link in the Levant resistance and tel aviv needs to show israeli jews that their defensive posture is still active and working to protect jews inside israel. After all, it’s easier for israel to strike at Syria nowadays than it is to strike at Hamas or Hezbollah. This leaves, as culprit…. Iran! Yes, I’m seeing Iran in the picture. I’m seeing it as Iran’s quiet retaliation against the mosad op of last week on its nuclear facility in Natanz. A retaliation that uses cyber attack instead of launching a missile from Iranian or Syrian territory. And here is the cherry on the cake: israel cannot say it’s an Iranian cyber attack on an israeli missile factory – tantamount to admitting that a mega sabotage of israeli cyber security by Iranians had caused the explosion. This in itself would create a much bigger panic in the minds of jews than even ‘Hamas or Hezbollah did it’. Admitting to a successful Iranian cyber attack against an israeli military compound is about the worst thing that tel aviv can admit to.

In conclusion, I see this incident as a very successful Iranian cyber attack against the terrorist jewish state. This explains the unusual hush-hush approach that the israeli military has enforced on this story. And of course, Iran too is hush-hush about it as well. They don’t need to be dancing in the streets at the success of this cyber attack for us to know that Tehran is behind this incident. The Iranians retaliated with a very forceful message: ‘you touch our facilities again and we guarantee we will touch yours, again’.

The truth is that israeli deterrence is now at its weakest ever, all due to the Resistors’ continuous advancing technological stride. The security of israel has never been so open to targeting. Nothing in israel is beyond reach now – everywhere is presently checked by the Resistance. And THIS is the very news that the jewish military wants to keep away from jewish residents in israel. If israeli jews really-really knew how geostrategically weak they’ve become, and with no reversal in sight, they would start packing suitcases and leaving israel pronto. Israeli strategists consider reverse-Aliya (leaving israel) to be a very dangerous thing for the continuation of the state’s very existence – on par with the existential danger that Hezbollah presents to the jewish state. Tel aviv will do absolutely anything to avoid reverse-Aliya.

I say: bravo Iran, you make us proud when you stump and stomp on that vile little satan.

APRIL 22, 2021 AT 8:40 AM (presumably the time in Lebanon)

Posted by: sarz | Apr 23 2021 8:42 utc | 38

The author is highlighting her hypocrisy.

She went with the "moral" line for refusing Russian Vax.
He points out that on this ground she has to refuse all the other Vax too. (assange, Guantanamo)

At the end he points to the new information "Germany to buy 30mln doses sputnik" and that this makes her just almost forgotten

The greens are going to formm the new admin. I would bet my cat (nothing else of worth).
And then the Russo phobia will go uuuuuiiiiiii

Posted by: Kartoschka | Apr 23 2021 9:08 utc | 39

@Bernard 27

Posted by: Kartoschka | Apr 23 2021 9:10 utc | 40

With the MSM intensely engaged in the latest episodes of the deathporn (Brazil, India), no question is asked about why rich countries do not lift the patents (as law allow them) to let vaccines be produced everywhere in larger quantities... But that would be too politically incorrect.
It seems that the youth don't buy it. Of course, they are day dreamers, otherwise they'd been eliminated quickly.
"Youth activist Xiye Bastida has told world leaders that the climate crisis is the result of powerful people like them who are "perpetuating and upholding the harmful systems of colonialism, oppression, capitalism and market- oriented brainwashed solutions'' to global problems.

In a hard-hitting speech Thursday at the virtual climate summit, the Mexican teenager said solutions to global warming "must be aligned with the fact that climate justice is social justice.''

Current economic and political systems "rely on the existence of sacrifice zones" that "target the global South, and black and brown communities to the global North,'' she said.

Instead of just talking about climate change, world leaders "need to accept that the era of fossil fuels is over,'' she said, demanding an immediate transition to renewable energy worldwide and an end to fossil fuel subsidies and infrastructure, including new pipelines."

Unfortunately I cannot find the full statement anywhere. She specifically said that Western companies target the lands of poor countries instead of their own...

Posted by: Mina | Apr 23 2021 9:33 utc | 41

Pfizer could give some recipients HERPES.

This report from the New York Post is handy but so incredibly lightweight it is sinister in its naivety. Shingles does give you a surface rash but the more damaging impact is on the virus assault on the body organs that can be severely impacted.

Clearly the Pfizer vaccine is last resort beyond Astra Zeneca and J&J it seems.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 23 2021 9:37 utc | 42

One can wonder how many elderly, weak, and ill people were in the groups testing the vaccines for initial approval, I guess zero.

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Apr 23 2021 11:25 utc | 43

Covid say - What Monroe doctrine? What Commonwealth?

The Munroe Doctrine first established in 1823 really continues until today, ostensibly created to "prevent European Imperialism throughout the americas", the real primary purpose of James Monroe's new foreign policy was aimed at ensuring that only amerika could colonise the rest of the two continents.
That policy continued through the 20th century - after all what was the 'Cuban missile crisis' about? The Munroe Doctrine that's what, amerika has consistently refused to allow any administration anywhere in North or South America that they believe may favour a closer relationship with a nation other than amerika.
This is why Venezuela, Peru, Nicaragua & Brazil for example have fallen foul of the amerikan blob whenever they appear to reject amerika as their closest 'big brother'.
Mexico is copping it big time at the moment, simply because there is currently a slightly left of center administration in Mexico, an administration which sometimes questions when amerika instructs it how to behave.
Yet there is a completely unashamed lack of reciprocity between amerika and the other nations of the americas. Even Brazil, currently suffering under the jackboot of the Bolsonaro mob who appear to exist solely to do as washington DC instructs, but which ia suffering an unimaginable number of Covid-19 deaths each day, is ignored by amerika. The amerikan vaccination program is only for amerikans - close friends and neighbours can jam it up their arses as far as amerika believes "we're all right Jack - bugger you!" has been the response of amerika to the people of South & Central america.

England is equally screwed up. Queen Betty and the rest of the royal bludgers have always been big on promoting joints such as Pakistan, India, Nigeria & South Africa for example; as being the closest friends england has, nothing to do with the oil, minerals, cheap labour and burgeoning markets, of course, /snark that is why the commonwealth matters to england with Queen Brenda at the front, always shouts, yet even as England is getting close to total vaccination, What has england done?

Not only has it hoarded all available vaccines for itself, now it has decided to ban all arrivals from those commonwealth countries whose inability to secure vaccines have left 'em vulnerable.

I jacked up a few weeks ago when Aotearoa temporarily blocked arrivals from nations where those arrivals were averaging close to 50% covid positive. Why? because many of those who were coming to Aotearoa were Kiwi citizens - maybe they had been born in Pakistan or India, but they lived and worked here before going back to the villages they had been born in to celebrate a wedding or funeral.
Whack em in quarantine for two weeks & then they can get back into kiwidom just like everyone else coming back.

The government who had implemented a successful covid elimination program refused to accept the risk of covid seeping out of hotel quarantine.
I disagree on human rights grounds but at least since Aotearoa is Covid free, I get what they reckon they are trying to achieve,

Covid is rampant in amerika & england, yet particularly in england, politicians have 'blacklisted' a mob of nations such as Pakistan & India, preventing even englander citizens from returning to their homes. WTF? englanders have consistently failed to keep Covid to a minimum and now it seems that both they & amerika are warping the process to restrict the arrivals of brown people citizens or not?

How low can you go, eh?

Posted by: Debsisdead | Apr 23 2021 11:50 utc | 44

In Belgium, a cluster of Indian students has been found. They arrived on April 12 in Paris Charles de Gaulles and travelled to Belgium by bus. Out of the 43, 21 are now positive with mild symptoms. All had negative tests and some where vaccinated with the AZ and the Indian vaccine Covaxin.
I guess the exchange program had them train in Belgium hospitals (to replace the burn-outs?)

Posted by: Mina | Apr 23 2021 13:24 utc | 45

@ Posted by: NemesisCalling | Apr 23 2021 0:29 utc | 28

The Americans claim all their vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna, J&J) have 97%+ efficacy (after the two doses). If those rates are true, then the USA has to fully vaccinate (i.e. two doses per person) a little bit above 70% of its entire population (yes, including babies, children etc. etc.) in order to reach herd immunity.

So far, the USA has vaccinated some 130 million (about half of which received the two doses, 70 million of those 130 million). That means the Americans have only fully vaccinated one fifth (20%) of its population. At this rhythm, we should have to wait until the beginning of 2022 to reach that.

If, after herd immunity is reached, the number of cases continues, then we have to start to think about the hypothesis that the USA has crappy vaccines. And that's not even considering the variable of the new mutations of the COVID-19 (specially the Brazilian ones).

Posted by: vk | Apr 23 2021 14:02 utc | 46

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 23 2021 9:37 utc | 42

I recommend looking behind hysterical msm “news” before parroting their hysteria, uncle.

The 6 clinical cases were of the shingles variety, related to chickenpox. This virus lays dormant in those previously infected and can reactivate under certain conditions. I’ll leave you to seek out the facts.

Your headline news is rubbish. Complete misrepresentative hysteria.

Posted by: suzan | Apr 23 2021 14:36 utc | 48

@Mina #41:

Instead of just talking about climate change, world leaders "need to accept that the era of fossil fuels is over,'' she said, demanding an immediate transition to renewable energy worldwide and an end to fossil fuel subsidies and infrastructure, including new pipelines."

Immediate transition to reneweable energy worldwide? Sure, Xiye, we’ll transition tomorrow. After lunch. It’s not like it would take decades to build up the manufacturing capacity to produce enough components to do that. Everything is easy when you’re dumb! And what’s with the fixation on “fossils,” by the way? Wouldn’t burning abiotic graphite cause the same problems? Not to mention that the build out of the “green” infrastructure currently requires resources that are incredibly toxic to process with available technology (this may change in the future):

Why electric cars aren’t as environmentally-friendly as you think (Euronews, August 19, 2019, Sofia Sanchez Manzanaro and Marta Rodriguez)

According to the Chinese Association of Rare Earths, between 9,600 and 12,000 cubic metres of waste in the form of gas containing concentrated dust, hydrofluoric acid, sulphur dioxide, and sulphuric acid, are expelled for each tonne of extracted rare-earth elements.

Additionally, around 75 cubic metres of acid wastewater and a tonne of radioactive waste are produced.

And what’s wrong with “pipelines”? Pipelines are the cheapest and most environmentally friendly way to transport any gas, be it methane or hydrogen. The latter can be produced via hydrolysis reaction using “green” electricity.

Current economic and political systems "rely on the existence of sacrifice zones" that "target the global South, and black and brown communities to the global North,'' she said.

Really? Are Central Asians, Ukrainians, Bulgarians awash in cash? These regions are not in “the global South,” neither they are “black and brown communities.” Perhaps it’s better to drop the silly race distinctions and talk about rich and poor nations instead?

Posted by: S | Apr 23 2021 14:58 utc | 49

I'm sorry Paco, james, Debsisdead,

I would agree from the visuals and the virulence expressed here that the Pushkin extracts do apply to many comments and videos - the last peacefully good thing on here that I hold onto was the Putin speech to the country, so I'm holding to that for now. Devils and meanspiritedness are hard to digest; they poison the soul. Here is the Lenten prayer I have been saying, say for the last time today as tomorrow is Lazarus Saturday, the Lazarus Christ raised from the dead, after the short verse: "Jesus wept."

O Lord and Master of my life,
Take from me the spirit of sloth, faintheartedness,
lust for power, and idle talk.
But give rather the spirit of chastity, humility,
patience and love to Thy servant.
Yea, O Lord and King,
Grant me to see my own errors,
And not to judge my brother.

O Lord, cleanse me, a sinner (12 times)

Best wishes to all for a meaningful week ahead.

Posted by: juliania | Apr 23 2021 16:48 utc | 50

Forgot to say, that is the Lenten prayer of Saint Ephraim the Syrian.

Posted by: juliania | Apr 23 2021 16:52 utc | 51

Posted by: juliania | Apr 23 2021 16:48 utc | 50

Thanks for your kind words, this is the second year we miss Easter celebrations which in Spain we call Holy Week, actually it is more that a week, it starts with Palm Sunday and it is celebrated in each and every town and city. Hopefully come next year, just like Lazarus everything will come back to life.

Posted by: Paco | Apr 23 2021 17:23 utc | 52

Czech newspaper Blesk has interviewed Václav Klaus, the former president of Czechia (2003–2013), about the Vrbětice explosions brouhaha:

Klaus: Czechia barks like a rat, the timing of Vrbětice is not a coincidence, and who is Kulhánek? (Jakub Tomek, April 23, 2021)

The essence of the Vrbětice case is a giant and unfortunate statement about our country, says former president Václav Klaus. In an interview with Blesk, he talks about “the fun of how our security services work.” The new Foreign Minister Jakub Kulhánek (ČSSD*) is a junior person for him, whom no one has ever heard of before. And according to Klaus, domestic foreign policy lacks a concept and is now barking at one of the world’s great powers. For Klaus, the Czechia is a rat, who barks at Russia like at a good dog.

Mr. President, you wrote in your statement on the diplomatic rift that we are in the 1950s, just from the other side. So what do you think really stands behind the Vrbětice case?

So, first of all, I wrote it sometime on Sunday, and I had no idea what it would turn into by Thursday. You said a “diplomatic rift” with Russia. Look, I think it’s a diplomatic rift with Russia, of course, but that’s not the essence of the problem.

I think the essence of the problem is a giant, unfortunately sad statement about our country. About the behavior of our country, about the absence of our foreign policy, about the incredible mess that prevails in our country. About the fun of how our security services work. That we lack the concept of foreign policy because no one cares. Therefore, it is also possible that a completely junior person will become the Minister of Foreign Affairs, about whom no one has ever heard of to this day (Jakub Kulhánek from the ČSSD* — editor’s note). While in the past and in other countries of the world, the foreign minister is the second, third person after the prime minister.

So for me it’s a statement about our country and really that we are not able to have a meaningful foreign policy at all. And barking at one of the world’s great powers is something I’m ashamed of and depressing to try to do anything else in this country.

And what’s behind it? Why do you think we’re barking at that country?

First, because we think we can bark. That’s the crucial thing, it’s the kind of rat that barks at a good dog. Or like when a little boy dares to beat a little bigger boy only because, unlike the little boy, he goes with his father and knows that if it happens to be bad for him, the father hits and saves him. We, the rat, are barking at Russia because we think we have the powerful U.S. and NATO behind us. I think that’s a bit of a stupid policy.

Can’t that happen when the secret services discover espionage of a foreign power in their territory? After all, the state must respond.

The state should respond, but first it should state why any activity on the part of these security services has been absent for seven years, when it is an old known case, which they now happen to discover when it is politically advantageous for someone. The fact that it was not discovered in the previous seven years is simply not a coincidence, the fact that it was discovered now is also no coincidence. We see that some government parties are nervous before the October elections, ANO** fears they are losing to the Pirates***. The Social Democrats* and Mr. Hamáček suspect that they will get three percent, and that he will end up in the abyss of history. So now they are suddenly pulling a case out of their hats in a way that looks very unbelievable.

I spoke with President Zeman yesterday (Wednesday — editor’s note), and I agree that before we make any major judgments, we should wait for the delivery of really serious data and information and not do it without it. The idea of ​​giving ultimatums to Russia when the data really still isn’t available, I don’t think that’s right.

But the president agrees with the government’s position, according to Mr. Babiš. What did you say during that talk?

I don’t know, the President did not tell me that he agreed with the position of the government and the foreign minister. That’s not how we formulated the question.

And do you have the same opinion as the President? Did you agree on something?

I think I have to leave aside the opinion of the president, which he wants to express on Sunday in his regular program on Prima television. I do not have the slightest right to communicate it four days in advance. But I think that between those alternative theories, when it was interpretive case A and case B, I think that the President of the Republic wants to say that there are still two concepts, and only when the definitive data comes it will be possible to express a strong opinion.

So can you confirm that you agreed on that opinion, for example?

On the fact that it is necessary to wait for serious facts, I think we have agreed 100%. And, after all, I said that on Monday to Nova and Prima television. They asked me how could I explain the President’s silence. And I said on Monday afternoon that I think being silent at a time when there are no hard facts, but only conjecture and speculation, being silent at this point is reasonable.

The Czech side gave Russia an ultimatum by noon on Thursday. It threatened to expel other Russian embassy staff if Russia did not accept our demands. Is it the right step for the Russian embassy to have the same number of staff as the Czech one in Moscow?

These are Pretkin questions. Whether there are two or three more Russian diplomats here, that is completely beyond the distinguishing ability of anyone—you, me and anyone else. This is about giving ultimatums. And that—giving ultimatums—is not the foreign policy of a confident country. That is the absence of foreign policy and the absence of self-confidence and this rat barking. Czech foreign policy should clearly state what it wants to achieve in its relationship with Russia. And it’s not issuing ultimatums.

And why is it, in your opinion, that the Czech foreign policy is as it is?

Czech foreign policy has not existed for a long, long time. Foreign policy gets second-rate politicians, foreign policy is basically not interested in political leaders, those deal with domestic politics, and foreign policy is usually just a barely heard yelling in one direction or another.

* ČSSD, the Social Democrats: Czech Social Democratic Party.
** ANO: ANO 2011.
*** The Pirates: Czech Pirate Party.

Posted by: S | Apr 23 2021 17:29 utc | 53

Why do embassies and ambassadors even exist? They are an artifact of the 19th century, they attract mobs and terrorists and require expense and soldiers to guard them.

If you can do an auction on ebay with somebody in Malaysia using paypal or send out a blockchain contract to the other side of the globe, who needs personal representatives?

Posted by: Eighthman | Apr 23 2021 18:01 utc | 54

@ juliania | Apr 23 2021 4:15 utc | 33... thanks... the link was just some light humour involving a radish...

you know i tried reading another of bulgakovs books 'the heart of the dog' and same thing.. i can't read this guy! is 'the devils' a dystoyoksy book? who wrote it?? yes -i would enjoy your comments on it, so long as bulgakov didn't write it!

@ 50 juliania... thank you for that... it is enlightening! happy easter to you!

Posted by: james | Apr 23 2021 20:42 utc | 55

To James at 55

Fiódor Dostoiévski is the author of "The Demons"


Posted by: VS | Apr 23 2021 21:10 utc | 56

Posted by: james | Apr 23 2021 20:42 utc | 55

Well I was just ready to recommend you another one by Bulgakov, The Fatal Eggs, but if you did not like A Dog’s Heart then maybe just leave it at that, Bulgakov is irony and satire about his time, and some knowledge of the miseries suffered by a country destroyed by war, revolution and civil war, one after the other, is needed. Last chance, try a short story, Purple Island, and if you do not smile a bit reading it then forget about him once and for all.

Posted by: Paco | Apr 23 2021 21:52 utc | 57

S: thank you for the comment and link!

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Apr 23 2021 23:16 utc | 58

@ Paco, James and Juliana - I really enjoyed Dostoyevsky's "The Demons." It is sometimes titled "The Devils" or "The Possessed" in English. I thought "Notes from the Underground" was a great read as well. "Fathers and Sons" by Turgenev is my favorite bit of Russian literature. It is a beautifully written book about the same time period in Russia of "The Demons." The time of the Nihilists and the beginning of overturning of the old order in Russia. Plus some good drama of father/son relations.
Those daddy issues...
I learn so much from everyone here!

Posted by: Lex Talionis | Apr 24 2021 0:37 utc | 59

@ VS - thanks! i was starting to think that... looks like a good book!

@ paco - thanks! it is not that i didn't think some of 'heart of the dog' was good, but he is just not anywhere in the same league as dyostovsky or h.g. wells as a writer... maybe it is lost in translation, but i didn't have that problem with brothers karamazov.. i think bulgakov is over-rated at this point! thanks for your input - always appreciated!

@ Lex Talionis - thanks...i have a copy of 'notes from the underground' that i have yet to read... thanks for your book suggestion.. i am a bit swamped at the moment.. i am reading a book paul recommended 'the gun and the olive branch' which is a departure from the fiction~!

Posted by: james | Apr 24 2021 2:41 utc | 60

Mr Eighthman

Look up Korea's trade volume with China and also with US.

She is very dependent on China. There is a lot of leverage there for China.

US, in fact, broke her promises to North Korea under Mr. Clinton. He was hoping for a North Korean collapse and thus, a cost-free win. Something that Mr. Trump repeated with Iran 20 years later. That is how Americans operate.

US is also pumping a lot of money out of Korea, look up the poverty rates in that country as well as the suicide rates among the elderly.

Posted by: Fyi | Apr 24 2021 3:07 utc | 61

Below is a short posting from Xinhuanet

BUCHAREST, April 23 (Xinhua) -- The foreign ministers of Romania, Poland and Turkey met here on Friday for a trilateral meeting on security issues, which also included a special meeting with their counterparts in Georgia and Ukraine.

During the trilateral meeting, issues related to the security situation in the Eastern Neighborhood, as well as the preparation of the NATO Summit on June 14, 2021, were discussed.

The three foreign ministers agreed to continue close coordination in areas of common interest in the future, especially in consolidating NATO's deterrence and defense stance, with a focus on the Eastern Flank and the Black Sea region, as well as strengthening resilience and support for partners in the region, especially for Ukraine and Georgia.

Romanian Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu presented his country's priorities for the NATO Summit and insisted on the need to continue to strengthen NATO's position on the entire Eastern Flank, including the Black Sea region.

For the first time for the trilateral format launched some ten years ago, there was also a special working session with the participation of partners - the foreign ministers of Georgia, David Zalkaliani, and of Ukraine, Dmytro Kuleba.

Talks between the five foreign ministers focused on the security situation in the Eastern Neighborhood, including the Black Sea.

The Romanian minister, together with his Polish counterpart Zbigniew Rau and Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu sent a clear unitary message reaffirming support for the two partners' Euro-Atlantic aspirations, as well as the common interest in continuing cooperation with these partners in order to strengthen defense capacities and increase resilience.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Apr 24 2021 4:42 utc | 62

Posted by: psychohistorian | Apr 24 2021 4:42 utc | 62
"The foreign ministers of Romania, Poland and Turkey met here on Friday for a trilateral meeting on security issues, which also included a special meeting with their counterparts in Georgia and Ukraine."

I am guessing, that would not be a most convivial meeting of longstanding, well trusted friends and partners who are confident of the future...

Posted by: tucenz | Apr 24 2021 6:56 utc | 63

Supply disruptions on raw materials, as well as finished goods…
If it's rare, is expensive. Isn't it?

Are we witnessing inflation's return? One of those that are preludes to war?
In a time of never-ending negative rate and himalayan QE, it doesn't seem to bode well for the triumphant West… and hence for peace.

Or is it just a normal process, for the global commercial flux put to sleep during lockdowns, which now struggles to come back to a "business as usual" scheme?

Being quite of an economicus ignoramus, I'm searching for clues, not to mention answers.
I'd be glad to read the thoughts and links of the regular contributors on that topic.

Posted by: Herr Hesser | Apr 24 2021 8:45 utc | 64


Everyone and his aunt know that the crash is unavoidable.

They are just playing the game until the music stops
They don't have a contingency plan, just grab as mutch an get out just at the right time.

The consequences are destroyed economies. But why should they care?

Posted by: Kartoschka | Apr 24 2021 12:03 utc | 65

Try this very interesting interview with M. Hudson

Posted by: Kartoschka | Apr 24 2021 12:06 utc | 66

@Sunny Runny Burger #58

I’m glad you found it useful!

Posted by: S | Apr 24 2021 12:29 utc | 67

For the Idiot, try the Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky translation. It was so absorbing (and many themes of the Karamazov are there) that I could not stop reading until I finished it in 3-4 days.

Posted by: Mina | Apr 24 2021 13:25 utc | 68

@Lex Talionis #59:

I really enjoyed Dostoyevsky's "The Demons." … "Fathers and Sons" by Turgenev is my favorite bit of Russian literature.

Dostoevskiy himself famously hated Turgenev; in fact, the character of “great writer” Semyon Yegorovich Karmazinov in Demons is a direct caricature of Turgenev. Here are some of Dostoevskiy’s milder comments about Turgenev (translation by Russia Beyond):

Turgenev lacks knowledge of Russian life in general. He learned about the lives of ordinary people from a serf footman he went hunting with once (A Sportsman's Sketches), and beyond that he knew nothing.

He is someone who is happy to crawl from Baden to Karlsruhe on his hands and knees just to do something unpleasant to his literary rival...

The story of their relationship and the reasons Dostoevskiy came to hate Turgenev are summarized in this article (machine translated from Russian, very readable).

Posted by: S | Apr 24 2021 14:09 utc | 69

to josemiguel: Good news that Castillo plans to leave the Lima Group. Argentina just did so. The Lima Group, for those who have not read up, is in fact the creation of the ukrainian nazi descent canadian, Chrytsia Freeland. (funny name. haha.) and includes a collection of eeuu toadie countries (yes it is complicated. Lots of overlapping billionaires) with the avowed intention of getting rid of the elected president of venezuela. At the moment, disappointingly, the chilean foreign minister, Andres Allemand, is still very strongly in support of the overthrow idea. I'm not sure about Pinera, but he apparently had a direct phoneline to pfitzer so chile was one of the first to obtain the modi-thingee.
(Pinera is one of the nine chileno billionaires, many of whom gained their advantages during the Pinochet era. Interestingly, the Alessandri family, which owns among other things, Arauco lumber co., sold the entire year's production (last year) to the eeuu - thereby making beaucoup buckos on the 300% lumber price increase. Their homeland, chile, suffered greatly as there was no construction lumber to be had. I am told that some small mills have started up, but they lack the kiln drying capacity so the quality is perhaps not so good.)
Also, as many know, the bolivian coup was staged, with support from eeuu and perfidious albion, by - surprize surprize - ukrainian neonazis. I suppect but have not yet discovered a connection with the canadian neonazis.
I have a collection of links on this and other subjects of interest (Jake Sullivan in brazil in 2013)
which will post tomorrow.
Thanks to all and to b for good works.

Posted by: Miss Lacy | Apr 24 2021 14:26 utc | 70

to Lex - and we from you. It would seem that many of us are reading russians just now. From a different era, there is Life and Fate by Vasily Grossman.

Posted by: Miss Lacy | Apr 24 2021 14:54 utc | 71

Putin orders preparing list of hostile states for sanctions

According to Putin's decree, the Russian government would be tasked with preparing a list of countries with hostile policies against Russia and the number of local staff allowed to work in foreign embassies in Moscow.

Russia's relationship with the West has deteriorated, and so far, Moscow has expelled US, Czech, Polish and Bulgarian diplomats in retaliation for expelling its own diplomats.

Posted by: Norwegian | Apr 24 2021 15:46 utc | 72

Norwegian | Apr 24 2021 15:46 utc | 72

The number of "hostile attacks yesterday and today, makes it sure that lines are being drawn, and not in the sand.

1) Donbas - the Zelenskiests are continuing their attacks (Including on what I presume are four lorries of Russian speaking Ukrainians further towards Kiev!)

#Zakharova: We urge Kiev to immediately stop military escalation in #Donbass, discontinue its attempts to feign a negotiating process, and start to responsibly implement its commitments to domestic Ukrainian settlement under #MinskAgreements, which have no alternative.

2) A Tanker has been hit by a drone from Lebanese airspace just off the Syrian coast. (Banyias) It is now on fire. Certainly Israel again.

3) 105 Palestinians were hurt by Jewish extremists shouting out "death to Arabs", followed by attacks on ordinary houses in east Jerusalem with the stated aim of Cleansing them for Jewish occupants. Most Palestinians have been excluded from praying at Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem during Ramadan.

4) Abbas is "tempted" to cancel the upcoming Elections. (Israeli pressure), it would preserve his post. Many Hamas prospective candidates have been arrested by Israel.

5) There were at least 20 rockets fired from Gaza with a heavy "ripost" from the Israeli airforce.

The Russian are completing their "turn to the east". I do not think they will hesitate to slap sanctions on anyone. Note that if NS2 is not finished this will be Germany's problem (Mainly the industries) and would put even more pressure on their so called "ties" to the US.

Posted by: Stonebird | Apr 24 2021 16:17 utc | 73

as a canuck, i know russia permanently banned crystia freeland... good for russia for doing so...

surprising how wikipedia actually allows this to be included in the write up on her.. some truth comes thru...

"Freeland's maternal grandfather, Michael Chomiak or Mykhailo Khomiak in Ukrainian, had been a journalist before World War II. During the war in Nazi-occupied Poland and later Nazi-occupied Austria he was chief editor of the Ukrainian antisemitic daily newspaper Krakivs'ki visti (News of Krakow) for the Nazi regime.[26] After Chomiak's death in 1984, John-Paul Himka, a professor of history at the University of Alberta, who was Chomiak's son-in-law (and also Freeland's uncle by marriage), used Chomiak's records, including old issues of the newspaper, as the basis of several scholarly papers focused on the coverage of Soviet mass murders of Ukrainian civilians. These papers also examined the use of these massacres as propaganda against Jews.[27][28][29] In 2017 when Russian-affiliated websites further publicized Chomiak's connection to Nazism, Freeland and her spokespeople responded by claiming that this was a Russian disinformation campaign during her appointment for the position of minister of foreign affairs.[30][31][32][33][26] Her office later denied Chomiak ever collaborated with the Nazi Germany.[34] However, Freeland has known of her grandfather's Nazi ties since at least 1996, when she helped edit a scholarly article by Himka for the Journal of Ukrainian Studies."

Posted by: james | Apr 24 2021 16:35 utc | 74

This is how the Kaishekists talk: like a bunch of spoiled gangsters with king complex:

TSMC founder doubts US competence in chip-making

Not satisfied with essentially demanding the USA to bleed to death in its defense against the Mainland, the Taiwanese are now spitting on the face of the American proletariat.

Is this what you want, America? Is this the version of your ideal China? I urge you to think again.

Posted by: vk | Apr 24 2021 16:36 utc | 75

@Stonebird | Apr 24 2021 16:17 utc | 73

The Russian are completing their "turn to the east". I do not think they will hesitate to slap sanctions on anyone.

Yes, here is the announcement from TASS

Putin signs decree on countermeasures to other states’ unfriendly actions

Posted by: Norwegian | Apr 24 2021 16:48 utc | 76

@ S - Thank you for that bit of information! Super-interesting! I didn't know about Dostoyevsky's dislike for Turgenev. I am quite eager to read Dostoyevsky's The House of the Dead written about his time in Semipalatinsk, Kazakhstan.

@ Miss Lacy - Indeed, Russia, the Soviet / post-Soviet world and Central Asia are fascinating! So much to learn! Thank you for the book suggestion! It makes me sad that we in the West ( I'm in California ) are so rude to these people who have gone through so much. And worse than rude, openly hostile.

Moon of Alabama is a bright light in this dark world, though. Thank you all!

Posted by: Lex Talionis | Apr 24 2021 17:24 utc | 77

I believe the US cancellation of Turkey's F35 contract is intended to do economic harm. Now Biden has declared that Turkey perpetrated the Armenian genocide. Serious displeasure over something - still the S400 purchase?

Overt attacks on shipping by thinly veiled perpetrators - Iran, Syria, and Israel mixing it up. Israeli munition factories exploding 'accidentally on purpose', Iran's Nuclear program targeted by Israel, errant missiles landing near the Israeli nuke facility, Lebanon in a state of deepening crisis, American base targeted by rockets in Iraq, Iran and Saudi leaders conducting secret negotiations, the Houthis still targeting Saudi oil infrastructure, Ukraine in a deepening economic crisis exacerbated by COVID restrictions (people need a special pass to travel to work and being caught without it carries a very heavy fine, yet only people with legal work can obtain such a pass and over 60% of workers in Kiev work 'under the table' and so cannot get such a pass) and at the same time is calling up reserves and striking at Donbas [Ukraine doesn't need weapons, but economic aid and an effective vaccination program]. Leader of Belarus targeted for assassination, leftists winning elections in South America, Germany considering putting Nordstream 2 on hold while the Greens are gaining political strength, President of Chad dead and ISIS active all around the Sahara, Russian diplomats expelled over baseless accusations.... could likely go on for quite a while here, didn't mention Asia, Afghanistan, and so on.

So many things in a state of flux and instability.

Posted by: the pessimist | Apr 24 2021 17:25 utc | 78

And apparently Hamas has decided to mix it up with Israel:

Protests in Jerusalem and Rockets Fired From Gaza: Here's What's Going On in Israel

Militants in the Gaza Strip have carried out 36 launches towards Israel's southern communities. Only six have been intercepted. Although no casualties or injuries have been reported, heavy damage was done to many agricultural fields in the south.

Posted by: Bemildred | Apr 24 2021 18:11 utc | 79

@ Kartoschka | Apr 24 2021 12:06 utc | 66

Merci, l'ami !

Posted by: Herr Hesser | Apr 24 2021 19:07 utc | 80

@22 Scotch

May I ask you where you are in Ger?
Just out of curiosity
I'm from Worms

Posted by: Kartoschka | Apr 25 2021 17:10 utc | 81

The German main public paid news never hear of any chants, Provokation or other Rassist things. Only angry Arabs clashing with the police, cos "Als Auslöser für die Unruhen in Jerusalem gilt Zorn der Palästinenser über Sperrmaßnahmen der israelischen Polizei in der Altstadt während des Ramadan-Monats."

They are just angry because the police don't let them into some places. So angry that they fired rockets... Or so the story of Tagesschau

Posted by: Kartoschka | Apr 25 2021 19:46 utc | 82

Lex Talionis @ 59, it was hard for me to enjoy "The Demons", but my perspective is 'tainted' it being the beginning of Orthodox Holy Week. That one and "The Idiot" I have trouble with, though my admiration for Dostoievski matches that I have for Putin. He gave "Crime and Punishment" to Snowden to read during his stay in the Moscow Airport - I wonder if he did. I would say the difference with Turgenev is that even in the darkest characters (he did give the Karamazov father his own name, Fyodor, after all) Dostoievski finds human, even lovable characteristics and actions -- even in Smerdyakov! And, reading "The Devils" I did keep thinking of the D.C. eruptions during Trump's final days - very Dostoievskian those!

I do love Stepan Verkhovenski, who in spite of his foolishness has very many of Dostoievski's own liberal tendencies. We need to keep in mind that he faced a firing squad for those, and was exiled himself. Had to mind his P's and Q's after that, but it forced him to dig deeply and the novels are all the better for it.

It was interesting to me that "The Idiot" was written after the death of Dostoievski's first child, and "The Brothers Karamazov" was written after the death of his last child - the difference between the two novels, while both are 'greatsouled' points to, I would say, purity of vision. That's just a stab at a description. I will say that even in the 'dark' novels there is light being found in unexpected places.

Thanks for your response.

Posted by: juliania | Apr 26 2021 3:21 utc | 83

james @ 55 Thank you - still ahead - if you can find online some of the Holy Week music, it is quite lovely. I have some tapes of early 80s recordings and concerta I will be playing for myself - classical radio plays selections sometimes and the Rachmaninov Vespers are beautiful if you can find that. We had a choir my younger days that did the eight part harmonies, but in church everybody sang as the whole service is sung or chanted, even the readings. No instruments, just the human voice.

Posted by: juliania | Apr 26 2021 3:33 utc | 84

@ juliania - enjoy the beautiful music.. that sounds great! share what you can if you find something online.. i am curious to hear what you are listening to...

here is a song that i think is quite beautiful.. it might not be part of your lexicon, but i think you will like it either way! - The Flower Duet (Lakmé)

Posted by: james | Apr 26 2021 5:00 utc | 85

Thank you james! I love that duet, just as I love Orthodox church music that includes women's voices - here's a very nice recording from a group in Kansas, of Rachmaninov's interpretation of the central hymn for Orthodox Sunday worship. Below I will give our church's translation of the lyrics, which we sang in English - they won't match the Slavonic exactly but come pretty close.

Here we become, in mystery,
icons of the cherubim, icons of the cherubim
echoing their singing Holy, Holy, Holy thrice
in the hymn to the life-giving Trinity.
Now let us, now let us lay aside
Every care of this life, every care of this life.

So we shall make welcome the King of all, the king of all
Invisibly upborn by angelic hosts
On shield and spears like conqueror

Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

I haven't yet found a hymn from the Holy Week repertoire. If I do, I will put it on the most recent Open Thread. We didn't use Rachmaninov's music in our church services -- it is simply too difficult for that setting. But we did sing selections in concert formats, back in the '80's. We had several other composers' interpretations of this central hymn that we sang in church- there is a basic format to follow there, but the melodies vary.

Posted by: juliania | Apr 26 2021 20:44 utc | 86

suzan #48

re shingles, I know the facts first hand. The chicken pox herpes virus lays dormant and can be activated later in life as immune system declines. It can be reactivated by numerous circumstances. People of chicken pox encounters are many. The shingles skin blisters are a minor indicator of what the blistering is like within the body organs.
I have first hand experience and it is debilitating. If the mrna series of psuedo vaccines is a trigger to reactivate shingles - with or without external skin blistering - then that is a big issue.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 26 2021 22:01 utc | 87

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