Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
August 30, 2021

Ukraine Shuts Down Opposition Media - U.S. Ambassador Applauds 'Daring Act', Calls For Support

On Wednesday the comedian and president of the Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky will meet with U.S. President Joe Biden in the White House. The invitation to Zelensky was a booby prize handed out after Biden announced that he would not act against the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that will soon bring gas from Russia to Germany. The Ukraine is likely to lose money it currently gets for gas transfers through its pipelines from Russia to west Europe.

Zelensky is under pressure at home and his country will soon run out of money. He will have an endless list of requests but is likely to get nothing of value.

To prepare the scene for Zelensky the former ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul, who is by the way wrong on everything Russia, wrote an oped for the Washington Post. It was published on August 23.

Opinion: The U.S. and Ukraine need to reboot their relationship. Here’s how they can do it.

Setting out a cold war 2.0 scenario McFaul argues to emphasize 'democracy':

Especially after the return to power of the Taliban in Afghanistan, there will be little hope for Biden’s proclaimed democracy agenda and his democracy summits planned for this year and next if Ukraine’s democratic experiment falters. Its success will empower small-D democrats across the region and the world. Its failure will be a boon to Russian President Vladimir Putin and his autocratic allies from Minsk to Beijing.
...
On democracy, Zelensky and Biden also need a fresh approach. U.S. officials must stop lecturing the Ukrainians so publicly on corruption. Of course, fighting corruption must remain central; aid conditionality should be strengthened. But talking more broadly about our shared commitment to deepening Ukrainian democracy makes for a better public message — especially because anytime Biden mentions “corruption” and “Ukraine” in the same sentence, his opponents will add “Hunter Biden.”

That last part is actually good advice. Biden surely knows all about corruption in the Ukraine as his son signed the receipts for the hundreds of thousands the Biden family got from there.

So lets talk about democracy and here is where McFaul goes off the cliff:

When the aperture of this discussion is widened from anti-corruption to democracy more broadly, there is some good news from Ukraine.
...
Ukraine continues to hold free, fair and competitive elections. It maintains a vibrant civil society, and enjoys more competition among private media companies (even if the oligarchs own too many of them) than any other post-Soviet country other than the Baltics.

After initial hesitation, Zelensky himself is acting more forcefully. His decision to ban pro-Russia television networks, and to charge their owner and Putin ally Viktor Medvedchuk with treason, was a daring act that needs U.S. support.

McFaul is lying by leaving out the bigger half of the story.

Viktor Medvedchuk is not a 'Putin ally' even though both have good relations. Medvedchuk is first and foremost a duly elected member of the Ukrainian parliament and the leader of its biggest opposition party. How is it democratic to accuse the leader of the opposition of treason and to put him under house arrest?

One might also ask why is, in a democracy, the president allowed to shut down TV stations? If Biden were to put Trump under house arrest and shut down Fox news would that be a sign of a democracy and a 'vibrant civil society'?

In fact Zelenski did not only shut down three TV stations which supported the Ukrainian opposition but also banned two website which were among the most read in the Ukraine.

The journalist of these stations and outlets delivered a protest letter to Biden to the U.S. embassy:

We would like to inform you in brief about the main circumstances of the closure of media in Ukraine:

In early February, three Ukrainian TV channels – "112 Ukraine", "NewsOne", and "ZiK" – were shut without any legal background. At the whim of President Zelensky's Office, almost 1,500 journalists were kicked out on the street. However, we did not give up and created a new TV channel – "Pershiy Nezalezhniy" ("The First Independent"), which united the staff of "112 Ukraine", "NewsOne", and "ZiK".

On February 26, the newly established TV channel launched its broadcasting, however, an hour later and under the pressure from the authorities, Ukrainian telecom providers were compelled to stop the satellite broadcasting of the channel, even despite the previously agreed arrangements. The TV channel did not survive a day, and again without any legal background, we were denied our right to work and deprived of the access to our audience.

Later, on August 20, similarly, the authorities blocked the work of two more popular in Ukraine online media "Strana.ua" and "sharij.net".

Ukrainian authorities have gone far beyond all reasonable bounds by violating legislation and international norms, and continue to purposefully destroy freedom of speech in the country.

We, as journalists, want to continue our job and convey the truth about what is happening in the country and beyond its borders. However, we were denied this legitimate right.

Thus, we urge you to respond to the present situation and to express your position concerning the events around our media.

The shutdown of the three opposition TV stations in February 2021 came at point where the 'Opposition Platform For Live' was for the first time leading in the polls over Zelensky's 'Servant of the People' party.


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With the opposition TV stations closed down the polls reversed their trend and Zelenky's party again took the lead.

In a protest letter the European Federation of Journalists describes the lawless process of the closures:

On 21 August 2021, it was revealed that President Volodymyr Zelenskyj banned Strana.ua, one of the largest news sites in Ukraine, by decree. The authorities also announced sanctions against the outlet’s editor-in-chief, who has been living in Austrian exile since 2018.

The authorities cited the protection of national security and based the ban on a submission by the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU), which described Strana.ua journalists as “pro-Russian propagandists”. SBU head Ivan Bakanov said the measures were taken to protect the “information space”. Strana.ua is one of the few remaining opposition media in Ukraine.

Consider how that would look in the United States. The FBI would declare Fox news to be 'pro-Russian', the National Security Council would recommend to the president to shut it down and Biden would then do so by decree. This without a law that allows for such a process.

Would McFaul applaud that also as a 'daring act' that deserves international support?

Posted by b on August 30, 2021 at 18:35 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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If Biden were to put Trump under house arrest and shut down Fox news would that be a sign of a democracy and a 'vibrant civil society'?
I'd be willing to wager that most Democrats would think so.

Posted by: corvo | Aug 30 2021 18:38 utc | 1

Re: Strana.ua
Scumbags in Kiev killed the domain, but you can still read it at Strana.news.

Posted by: Mao Cheng Ji | Aug 30 2021 18:49 utc | 2

McFaul really is an empty suited neo con lite-he was kicked out of russia when he was ambassador under obama, his "record" was a sick joke. example, a few days after arrival to his new post, he met with several anti-putin groups and continued to antagonize his host govt over the next months, hence the ejection.

A most amusing antidote: he had a murky relatioship with browder, the fraud, in moving funds to hillary's campaign in 2016. Putin during a meeting with trump mentioned that he would like to arrange an interview with mc faul in addition to browder, who was a fugitive on the run from russian authorities. McFaul melted down via twitter at the prospect of the interview, which never transpired.

Posted by: Thomas Minnehan | Aug 30 2021 18:56 utc | 3

VP Biden was the architect of the Kiev revolt and overthrow of a democratically elected leader. Corruption in Kiev and the oligarchs may have adjusted their allegiance but still run the economy and country. The comic and actor will be rewarded by president Biden … don’t be surprised. Ukraine plays a most important role in anti-Russia propaganda for NATO nations … Crimea and MH-17 keeps on giving. Germany undoubtedly had to cut a deal for their Nord Stream 2 pipeline.;Read between the lines.

Posted by: Oui | Aug 30 2021 18:58 utc | 4

"Democracy" does not mean the US choosing your own government, or the US telling you what to do. The US, by the way, is not a democracy. Trump became a President with a minority vote.

Posted by: Passer by | Aug 30 2021 18:59 utc | 5

Censorship? it works, bitches!

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Aug 30 2021 19:05 utc | 6

Yes, they do call the silencing of critics "democracy", and it has been happening frequently since 2017.
They took Alex Jones off all social media platforms. Twitter and YouTube and Facebook routinely ban dissenters and skeptics, and disappear all their previous output.
They silenced the sitting president of the USA and called it "democracy".
Accurate vote counting is called "undemocratic" and "treasonous"
As Putin pointed out when asked about Navalny, the US has 800 people locked up for 7 months now, for the crime of protesting the announced election results, therefore political prisoners by any rational yardstick.
Demonstrating against a stolen election is called "insurrection".
Royal decrees are called "science" and if you question the decrees you ware a "domestic terrorist".
Also if you question the Official Story of 9-11, also issued by decree.
Do not use the word "woman" because that is offensively transphobic.
That is how we roll in the USA, the land of the "free".

Posted by: wagelaborer | Aug 30 2021 19:05 utc | 7

Great report. Biden doesn't even want to talk with the clown with the upside down smile. The consolation prize (as b says) for just saying 'no' to Nordstream and Crimea is a meet and greet with the most powerful man on earth as he tries not to nap during the 'summit'. One does wonder if Z is bringing computer drives of Hunter Biden barking like a dog while he begs for drugs.

Z is a desperate man. He reminds me of Navalny. At this point Z is worth more novo-choked than in Office.

Posted by: gottlieb | Aug 30 2021 19:22 utc | 8

In his recent book on the hot peace, McDumbnuts puts all the blame on Putin for the downturn in US-Russia relations. He calls the war in Iraq, the abrogation of the ABM Treaty, and the Maidan coup simply "road bumps" for the otherwise noble course of US foreign policy. He also explicitly lies about who started the Georgian war in 2008. He is a highly indoctrinated American liberal. No facts can penetrate and explode his paradigm. For example, he admits that the US broke promises about NATO expansion, the no fly zone in Libya, and the unilateral sanctions the US imposed on Iran after the UNSC sanctions were agreed upon with Russia. He also admits that it was the US that refused to include missile defense in New Start negotiations. But none of these things matter to his fairy tale belief of the US as the noble promoter of democracy and of Russia as a revanchist "autocracy." He's a lunatic.

Posted by: Prof | Aug 30 2021 19:32 utc | 9

That graph showing support for Zelensky's party going from 50% to below 20%, then just bouncing (a dead cat?) to 25%, wow! The frog is being boiled and he doesn't know how to get out of the pan, as the only exit - compromise with Putin - probably means a bullet through the head from the Nazis.

Putin can wait until 2024 when the current gas transit agreement is finished, and when the geopolitical environment may be more amenable to Russia and of course NS2 will be in full utilization. Also, maybe Turkstream will be more connected to eastern and Central Europe by then. Patience is a virtue, especially with the US definitely seeming to be in decline at home and abroad.

Posted by: Roger | Aug 30 2021 19:41 utc | 10

thanks b... more of the same... it is hard not to be extremely cynical of any usa involvement in anything at this point... they just want to ruin all the good they might have done the past 150 years... oh well....

Posted by: james | Aug 30 2021 19:54 utc | 11

james @11--

I'm really hard pressed to come up with anything "good" the Anglo Empires have ever done, not just in "the past 150 years," which is a very sad judgment from this US citizen. Domestically the story's somewhat different, but every decent action always seems to have an indecent one to counteract it, which is also very frustrating.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 30 2021 20:06 utc | 12

I'm sure two things Zelensky will ask for will be more NATO troops along Ukraine's borders with Russia and more armaments. With troops recently arrived back in the US and other parts of the West from Afghanistan, Biden should have no trouble finding the extra soldiers Zelensky asks for. Zelensky might just find though, that those troops might be too trigger happy after years of shooting and killing Afghan civilians, especially if they were to be deployed in the Donbass region against Russian-speaking Ukrainians.

Posted by: Jen | Aug 30 2021 20:13 utc | 13

@ Passerby 5
The US, by the way, is not a democracy. Trump became a President with a minority vote.

The US position is that (implicitly) democracy is elections, nothing more. In Biden's upcoming democracy crusade we can expect to hear more of that. The definition of democracy goes much further: "a system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives." Not just elections where the elected incumbents have lifetime sinecure following corporate orders.

It means that citizens determine what they want, and then by some mechanism those wants become part of governance. There is no such 'mechanism' in the US.

I grew up in New England, where local governance was by Town Meeting. Should we buy a new snowplow? Raise your hands. . . .Now of course that can't be done in a nation, but in a land of rapid mass communications there ought to be some 'mechanism' for democracy. Many other nations have national referendums on important matters, for example. Washington wouldn't dare to do that.

Princeton Study from April 18, 2014
A study from Princeton spells bad news for American democracy—namely, that it no longer exists.
Asking “[w]ho really rules?” researchers Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page argues that over the past few decades America’s political system has slowly transformed from a democracy into an oligarchy, where wealthy elites wield most power.
Using data drawn from over 1,800 different policy initiatives from 1981 to 2002, the two conclude that rich, well-connected individuals on the political scene now steer the direction of the country, regardless of or even against the will of the majority of voters. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 30 2021 20:20 utc | 14

McFaul should actually be written as McFowl, because he stinks to high heaven.

Posted by: Jose Garcia | Aug 30 2021 20:24 utc | 15

I don't think I'd realised what a desperate position Zelenski is in. Is it desperate, or is it that Zelenski, as a journalist, finds banning journalists is the easiest way out? Much the same as Johnson, who's nothing more than a columnist who knows how to provoke, but not how to govern a country.

Posted by: Laguerre | Aug 30 2021 20:26 utc | 16

karlof1 12

I don't judge countries on their geo-politics prior to WWII. From the beginning of civilization it was unchanged. The destruction of WWII - the industrialization of warfare in the preceding 80 - 100 years - plus the advent of nuclear weapons.

To me, Russia and China have set out to change that pre-nuclear mindset. Certainly time for those two to be the dominant powers for a period of history. Looking at Russia's new kit, both offensive and defensive, I think they have gone past mutually assured destruction and perhaps past nuclear winter if it comes to that.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 30 2021 20:27 utc | 17

McFaul should actually be written as McFowl, because he stinks to high heaven.

Posted by: Jose Garcia | Aug 30 2021 20:24 utc | 15

Maybe you meant McFoul? McFowl would make him a chicken. As in "chickenhawk"? I could see that.

Posted by: corvo | Aug 30 2021 20:27 utc | 18

@ laguerre: AFAIK I know, Zelensky was never a journalist. He did, however, pretend to play the piano with his penis as part of his "comedy" act. I guess that ought to count for something.

Posted by: corvo | Aug 30 2021 20:30 utc | 19

Isn’t Ukraine a property of the the International Money Oligarchy?

Who creates majority of money (including credit) in Ukraine? Who owns its private banks? Who are its owners? Name a democracy that isn’t a suzerainty. So Ukraine has a fictitious administrative structure.

“Banking in Ukraine traces its history back to 1918 when on December 22, 1917, the Central Council of Ukraine adopted a law "On transformation of the Kyiv office of the Russian State Bank into the Ukrainian State Bank".” In the U$A, “The Federal Reserve Act” was passed by the 63rd United States Congress and signed into law by Woodrow Wilson on December 23, 1913. What is it about the central banks, that their founding laws are passed right before holidays? Same OWNERS? 😊

Michael McFaul is a Neocon-Neoliberal propagandist. “In all press systems, the news media are instruments of those who exercise political and economic power.” Whoever owns the money owns the media. Whoever owns the media OWNS the populace. It is unfortunate that Ukrainians are being enslaved and played. They do get lots of funding to start companies when they move to the Silicon Valley. Who are their backers and bankers? Isn’t Michael McFaul at Stanford, in the valley?

Ukraine, like Afghanistan is a key bridge between Russia and Europe. The international money Oligarchy wants every nation to be controlled and dependent. Russia needs to make its transit payments to Ukraine in Rubles. The Financial Empire is still challenging Nord Stream 2.

This alibi democracy is not “the government of the people, by the people, for the people” (Lincoln) any longer, but it is governed by political agents, in the service of the international money oligarchy, selected, instructed and paid by it, in the interest of the money power (Global Financial Syndicate?), keeping the democratic forms and appearances. This technique of administration makes it possible for the actual possessor of the POWER – i.e. the international money oligarchy –, hidden behind the curtains of the fictitious democracy, using secret methods, to exert its autocratic rule. The conviction of the majority of the political elites nowadays is nothing but a mask. What ORDERS will puppet Biden give to Volodymyr Zelensky, another lackey?

Why do nations stick to the private control of the main power, the monetary policy?

Posted by: Max | Aug 30 2021 20:34 utc | 20

Posted by: corvo | Aug 30 2021 20:30 utc | 19

OK, television personality, not journalist. The experience is similar.

Posted by: Laguerre | Aug 30 2021 20:38 utc | 21

@ Laguerre: Considering what passes for teevee journalism these days, I'll have to grant you that.

Posted by: corvo | Aug 30 2021 20:40 utc | 22

I try to watch/read enough US corporate media as I can stomach mainly to figure out what IS NOT true and hear today's official BS narrative.

What I find interesting about reading so much American media regarding topics on Russia, China, Iran, Afghanistan, etc. is that it really no longer matters what the American public believes. American outrage regarding Crimea, Hong Kong, Iran's nuclear program and Taliban victory have not made any difference at all.

I now watch/read MSNBC, CNN, Fox News et al. and the programs are usually impotent rage at an incompetent politician or something a perceived enemy has done. As Chomsky has noted, the media can manufacture consent but that is no longer good enough. The US government is simply too incompetent, too corrupt or too weak to implement the most important foreign policy decisions even with manufactured consent.

So, Zelensky can beg, plead and bargain with the US all he wants. It will not matter because Russia holds the keys to Ukraine's future and Russia has nothing to fear from the US any longer.

Posted by: Mar man | Aug 30 2021 21:13 utc | 23

The US was never a democracy. The Founding Fathers believed that liberty and democracy are incompatible, and that minorities needed protection from the majority. There right in both cases. To protect the minority, they inserted several anti-democratic agencies, including: the Senate, the Bill of Rights, the Supreme Court, and the Electoral College.

None of those exist anywhere in Europe, and disfavored minorities are actively suppressed everywhere on the sub-continent.

Posted by: bob sykes | Aug 30 2021 21:23 utc | 24

@ bob sykes:

The only minority the Founding Fathers were interested in protecting was the propertied class. They weren't even interested in protecting religious minorities, as the most cursory reading of the First Amendment ought to indicate.

Posted by: corvo | Aug 30 2021 21:29 utc | 25

Mc Faul's validating in Ukraine what the United states is explicitly doing domestically, the US never was a democracy. African-americans only got the right to vote in the 60's following agitation and protests from the likes of Martin Luther King. The peaceful chap was later on assassinated by the Pentagon... Is it normal for blacks to wait in line 10 hours to cast a simple vote in southern republican states ?
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/oct/13/more-than-10-hour-wait-and-long-lines-as-early-voting-starts-in-georgia

https://www.cnn.com/videos/politics/2020/10/13/early-voting-georgia-lines-11-hours-huseman-newday-vpx.cnn

https://www.nytimes.com/video/us/elections/100000007402944/florida-early-voting-lines.html

A new "christian" law was just voted by republicans limiting food and water at polls...
https://www.washingtonpost.com/food/2021/04/09/georgia-voting-laws-food/

Every electoral cycle millions of black and hispanic votes are simply purged from voter rolls (17 million votes to be exact !!!) in this so-called democracy. Award winning researchers like Greg Palast have covered the issue for over a decade.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C5Uey_jekNY
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJx5Hyuq8Qw
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KIf5ELaOjOk

The international community is well aware of america's fraudulent electoral system. But human rights and democracy organizations are still refusing to confront ''exceptionals'' on the issue. As a consequence, we now have other fascists like Bolsonaro in brazil, confronted by the same demographic conundrum, opting to replicate the American model of massive vote suppression and outright electoral theft.
https://theintercept.com/2021/08/11/bolsonaro-brazil-congress-elections-2022/
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-07-12/bolsonaro-appoints-evangelical-pastor-to-brazilian-supreme-court

Right now, reactionary republicans and neo-confederates are actively pushing laws restricting the right to vote for blacks and hispanics. Their gambit seems to be effective, the United states supreme court recently moved to gut the 1965 voting rights act that was implemented following years of struggle by Martin Luther King's civil rights movement.
https://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/26/us/supreme-court-ruling.html
https://www.reuters.com/world/us/voting-rights-breyers-future-spotlight-us-supreme-court-2021-07-01/
https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/articles/2021-07-02/17-states-have-passed-restrictive-voting-laws-this-year-report-says

My hunch is that China and Russia are licking their chops at the prospects of christian fundamentalist minority rule in the USA. More laissez-faire junk economics, irrational rapture lunacy, destruction of the commons and plutocratic plunder in the USA, the more the merrier as far as those eurasian powers are concerned. One can only observe their collective pandemic response, and generally anti-scientific predispositions, to predict how dominionist cretins will destroy what remains of American power.

Posted by: Boss Tweet | Aug 30 2021 21:46 utc | 26

Peter AU1 @17--

I just finished writing a comment about Crooke's latest essay which provokes much thought as do those he links to, the final one being rather profound. His final thoughts center on what one of his sources posits:

"When the legitimating claim is used up, and people no longer believe in the concepts or claims that underpin a particular system or claim to rule, the extinction of that particular élite, Kyeyune writes, becomes a foregone conclusion."

The links to both are on the Week in Review thread, although Kyeyune's bears repeating and fully reading for the history he revisits has affected us both and helps to understand what Putin said about Liberalism's failures. This passage is very compelling:

"I suspect we are currently witnessing the catastrophic end of this metaphysical power of legitimacy that has shielded the managerial ruling class for decades. Anyone even briefly familiar with the historical record knows just how much of a Pandora’s box such a loss of legitimacy represents. The signs have obviously been multiplying over many years, but it is only now that the picture is becoming clear to everyone. When Michael Gove said 'I think the people in this country have had enough of experts' in a debate about the merits of Brexit, he probably traced the contours of something much bigger than anyone really knew at the time. Back then, the acute phase of the delegitimization of the managerial class was only just beginning. Now, with Afghanistan, it is impossible to miss.

"It is not just that the elite class is incompetent – even kings could be incompetent without undermining belief in monarchy as a system – it is that they are so grossly, spectacularly incompetent that they walk around among us as living rebuttals of meritocracy itself. It is that their application of managerial logic to whatever field they get their grubby mitts on – from homelessness in California to industrial policy to running a war – makes that thing ten times more expensive and a hundred times more dysfunctional. To make the situation worse, the current elites seem almost serene in their willful destruction of the very fields they rely on for legitimacy. When the 'experts' go out of their way to write public letters about how covid supposedly only infects people who hold demonstrations in support of 'structural white supremacy', while saying that Black Lives Matter demonstrations pose no risk of spreading the virus further, this amounts to the farmer gleefully salting his own fields to make sure nothing can grow there in the future. How can anyone expect the putative peasants of our social order to 'trust the science', when the elites themselves are going out of their way, against all reason and the tenets of basic self-preservation, to make such a belief completely impossible even for those who really, genuinely, still want to believe?"

For over twenty years, I've argued the US federal government is illegitimate since they've continually broken their own founding laws and covenants, while the Aussie government is no longer legitimate since the "soft coup" that made it subordinate to the Outlaw US and Anglo Empires. The circumstances differ but all NATO nations suffer the same disease as do the other nations occupied by the Empire.

If I'm extremely lucky, I'll get to witness what arises from the current debacle, the forms of which we can already see within Eurasia. Perhaps the new rulers will have learned from all the mistakes of past rulers and create something genuinely humane and moral.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 30 2021 21:57 utc | 27

Change Of Topic--

In light of immediate reports following the suicide bombing that many victims were shot dead and a posted Xinhua article where some connected to the hospital said that a large number of Afghanis were shot, apparently from above, by US soldiers, why didn't CNN, NBC, CBS, etc. send their Afghani stringers to the hospital to examine the bodies.

Apart from Xinhua, I have not been able to find any other article concerning the allegation.

Posted by: chet380 | Aug 30 2021 22:23 utc | 28

While Fox News may not have been banned yet, much of the hegemon 'opposing opinion' has been silenced across big tech and via judicial persecution (Assange, Murray etc.).

TEP.

Posted by: TEP | Aug 30 2021 22:39 utc | 29

karlof1

It was MH17 that made me realize that the US had to be brought down before this country could become an independent sovereign state. It is to deeply embedded in this country, like a systemic cancer for there to be any other way.

US will fight that to the end like the terrorist jihadi's so I can't see any soft landing - at the best something along the lines of the collapse of the Soviet Union.
US propaganda has changed western culture in general that it no longer has any grip or relation to anything rational, the basics of life and society. That covers I think a good 80% of the western population. That includes just about everything from family (female mum and male dad) as the basic unit of society to anglo european status in the world.
I think it is only a period of very hard time that will drive out or change this synthetic and unsustainable culture.

Although US supported the nazi's of the eastern block and welcomed useful nazi's to the US, it did put in an effort de-nazifying Germany and the European states it took control of. That is about where western society is at now.
Even taking away the leadership, the rest of western society will still need de-nazifying after many years of propaganda. Like pulling people out of a cult and rehabilitating them..

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 30 2021 22:46 utc | 30

@BT 26
what the United states is explicitly doing domestically, the US never was a democracy. African-americans only got the right to vote . .etc etc

Your suggestion that democracy is only about voting is invalid -- see my 14.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 30 2021 23:35 utc | 31

US propaganda has changed western culture in general that it no longer has any grip or relation to anything rational, the basics of life and society. [ . . . ] That includes just about everything from family (female mum and male dad) as the basic unit of society

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 30 2021 22:46 utc | 30


I'd argue that the extended family is the "basic unit of society." The nuclear family, such as is prevalent in the Western world and probably no more predominant in the USA, is an aberration, a product of industrial capitalism, in which the worker either has to leave the extended family in order to find a job, or is transferred away from the extended family to god-knows-where in order to serve the needs of the corporation.

At least the worker gets to keep whatever nuclear family he (it is usually he) heads; conditions are better than in the days of American slavery in which husbands and wives could be sold away from each other.

Posted by: corvo | Aug 30 2021 23:44 utc | 32

Oops, that should be "no more predominant anywhere than in the USA," of course.

Posted by: corvo | Aug 30 2021 23:44 utc | 33

@ 31, You won't get no argument from me. For the democratic process to work, participation has to go in tandem with deliberation. I recently read in an economic study that the permanent black underclass in the USA owns 0,05% of total wealth... Uncle sam's shining hill rests on a very unstable edifice of plutocracy. Thoughts and prayers when financial disintegration will come to visit exceptionals.

Posted by: Boss Tweet | Aug 30 2021 23:57 utc | 34

RE: Posted by b on August 30, 2021 at 18:35 UTC | Permalink

“So lets talk about democracy “

“Democracy” is often not defined by design thereby becoming an empty vessel which the “people” fill with their “own” content encouraged by mantra of deflection such as “rule of the people (begging the question of rule of the people by whom), rule for the people (the representative/virtual
democracy sleight of hand), by the people (begging the question of who are the people that the people are ruled by), obfuscated by “we the people hold these truths to be self-evident”, using various forms of form to obfuscate various contents.

Le Procope was not only a coffee shop in the Quartier Latin, but a place where intellectuals with a sense of the ridiculous like Mr. Franklin discussed matters of the day, and how they could continue to sit drinking coffee and discussing with “we the people” whilst being served by others.

It is and was a very productive empty vessel facilitating with the people's complicity, the negation/restriction/transfer of the people's agency to others sometimes known as “the executive” sometimes having the benefit of the appendage “branch” in hope of minimising the perception of the extent of its agency, a perceived organic appendage not the whole merely a necessary part to enable growth – hence Mr. Carlin's observation – It's a club and you ain't in it ( thereby obfuscating its a club which others use to hit you with), although they continue to believe they are members of the club, some believing they are members since on instructions they wield the club, thereby emulating behaviours/hopes/roles described by Mr. Rove :

We are an Empire
We create our own reality to which others react
Whilst they are reacting
We create another reality
To which others react.

Facilitated by others believing they are “we the people”, whilst we know that “we are the people”
and our practices are in hope that we remain so.

This “ideology” has not reached similar levels throughout planet earth to the disappointment and varying levels of fear by “the executive” who want it all to be/feel secure, and hence the “executive's” attempted crusades to “bring democracy to the rest of the planet” are understandable since the “executive” perceive this as one potential vector of attaining security by deflection/obfuscation, which if frustrated there is always potential resort to the club.

Posted by: MagdaTam | Aug 31 2021 0:09 utc | 35

With the "Electoral College" being the deciding factor where votes are concerned, the U$A has never been a democracy. Most of our "founding fathers" didn't believe "the rabble" should run the nation.

Our national policies are decided by Oligarchs, and the giant corporations they own, not voters....

Posted by: vetinLA | Aug 31 2021 0:16 utc | 36

Nice update, although trying to parse McFaul's comments is a waste of time. Ukraine seems stuck where it is, which is heartbreaking to see.

Theories of government don't usually explore the possibility that all the politically choices presented as realistic, are malevolent or at least a thoroughly dishonest. But it's a real scenario.

You have the economic-reform aka deregulation/neoliberalism option. The superficial appeal isn't in its bunko economic theory, but simply in the hope that it reduces the number of a##holes in the capital. (It doesn't)

The second option is a plainly incompetent government, on the hope they do less damage than a well organized one. Actually somewhat common reasoning worldwide. Hardly a foolproof choice, as things can always get worse. But maybe Z can be re-elected on that basis.

The third option is a right-wing government, with the classic proto-fascist arguments. If there is no external conquest to make the material promises possible, the country gets same extractive behavior, but more efficient oppression.

A country can repeatedly cycle between these for a long time :-(

Posted by: ptb | Aug 31 2021 0:17 utc | 37

Ukraine is keeping its citizens from acting as citizens. The Outlaw US Empire isn't as overt in its methods since it has preferred to control the Narrative in a manner that effectively mutes most citizens that attempt to act as citizens, which is done via "corporations" versus "informational utilities" such as MoA.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 31 2021 0:21 utc | 38

Don Bacon @ 14; Thanks for the link..

Posted by: vetinLA | Aug 31 2021 0:21 utc | 39

Don Bacon @ 14; Thanks for the link. EVERYONE should read it.....

Posted by: vetinLA | Aug 31 2021 0:24 utc | 40

Regarding "...The FBI would declare Fox news to be 'pro-Russian', the National Security Council would recommend to the president to shut it down and Biden would then do so by decree..."

Except that Fox Hasbara and Fox Plunderbund have nothing against anti-Russia narratives as long as you leave the Orange Clown, the FIRE sector oligarchs and their paid propagandists out of it. When I do searches on search engines instead of getting alt-left, alt-right, and alt-center (hardly exists anyway), Faux News is up there at the top with the rest of the weaponized propaganda.

No comment yet on this? https://www.moonofalabama.org/2021/08/how-the-cia-used-isis-k-to-stay-in-its-afghanistan-business.html?cid=6a00d8341c640e53ef026bdeec8013200c#comment-6a00d8341c640e53ef026bdeec8013200c

Posted by: William Haught | Aug 31 2021 0:35 utc | 41

Passer by 5 "Trump became a President with a minority vote."

By its constitution, US is a federation of states. By its constitution Each state votes for representatives, and the states then elect the President of the Federation via those representatives. It could be put better but that's the basics of it.
Its a democracy within states, and a democracy between states as to the common leader of all states. If you are American you should at least learn the basics of the constitution before winging.
From what I have seen, it is the most populous states that crap on about popular vote without ever referencing it to the american constitution.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 31 2021 0:42 utc | 42

Must interrupt…. If india hadserious success with ivermectin, then this is the lever to overthrow the vaxx prpaganda. I don’ feel comfortable with trusting the few sources reporting …but i trust the moa hood to ferret out enuf to decide the issue. If we cannudge the public a bit, the facade made be overcome. In the parable, it is a child who sees the emperor has no clothes …and the adults suddenly agree.

Posted by: James j | Aug 31 2021 0:47 utc | 43

William Haught 41

I clicked on both youtube links the other day and they both come up with "sign in to confirm your age". Yet you expect comments?

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 31 2021 0:50 utc | 44

Laguerre @ 16 and 21, Corvo @ 19:

Before becoming a politician, Zelensky was an actor and comedian who starred in two movies "Love in the Big City" and "8 First Dates". He had a TV series as well, "Servant of the People" in which he played the President of Ukraine.

You would hope that the likes of Matthew McConnaughey or Hugh Grant never get any ideas about future career possibilities from Zelensky's example.

At least though he might have written and acted in a lot of wacky scripts, Zelensky never penned a horror like ... Seventy-Two Virgins".

Posted by: Jen | Aug 31 2021 1:03 utc | 45

Ukraine is what it is and will remain that for the duration - like Syria, like the other frozen wars.
Martyanov put up a post on Shoigu. In it was this.

"Shoigu, however, being in the top three trolls in Russia after Putin and Lavrov, answering the tongue in cheek question on why he still didn't present himself to Ukrainian Court which demands Shoigu to appear personally in a front of it and be sentenced for Crimea's return, admitted:

"Виноват, исправлюсь" (Guilty, I will correct that)."

Shoigu I think means what he says and I expect does intend to present himself to that court along with his defense team.
The duration? Putin always has an end goal. Pieces are put in place, seemingly unconnected pieces at times until one day all these pieces come together. He doesn't believe in luck, but has very good foresight and I think would make a chess champion if he was that way inclined.
All these frozen wars can never be fully resolved until the US no longer exists as a world power. I think Putin intends to fully resolve all those frozen wars.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 31 2021 1:05 utc | 46

James j | Aug 31 2021 0:47 utc | 43

Post it on the open thread.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 31 2021 1:19 utc | 47

"Zelensky is under pressure at home and his country will soon run out of money."

Run out of money? I should think that the Ukrainian government can create as many hryvnias as it likes out of thin air, just like the US government creates infinite dollars out of thin air.

Perhaps the reference is to foreign currency reserves.

If so, let us always clarify this.

Posted by: Elena Alvarado | Aug 31 2021 1:24 utc | 48

@ Jen | Aug 31 2021 1:03 utc | 45:

We Murrikans have already had one actor-comedian president ("Bonzo, where are my legs? WHERE ARE MY LEGS?") and that was quite enough, thanks. :-)

Posted by: corvo | Aug 31 2021 1:48 utc | 49

"Opinion: The U.S. and Ukraine need to reboot their relationship. Here’s how they can do it."

Onion: The U.S. and Ukraine need to reboot their relationship. Here’s how they can do it. (Fixed.)

The western writers of comedy for the onion should learn how to spell. They always miss spell onion.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 31 2021 1:51 utc | 50

Dang! And do they also misspell misspell?

Posted by: NOBTS | Aug 31 2021 2:03 utc | 51

karlof1@27
Thanks for the mention of "Farewell to the bourgeois kings"
https://tinkzorg.wordpress.com/2021/08/16/farewell-to-bourgeois-kings/
Almost the only argument that might lead ones to feel cautiously less pessimistic.

Posted by: NOBTS | Aug 31 2021 2:11 utc | 52

RE: Posted by: Max | Aug 30 2021 20:34 utc | 20

“Why do nations stick to the private control of the main power, the monetary policy?”

Because some not all are immersed in the illusions of the "independence of markets" and that it is “the main power” since they are two of the facilitators of coercive social relations as are "nation states".

Posted by: MagdaTam | Aug 31 2021 2:11 utc | 53

NOBTS 51

I wouldn't even make the grade as an opinion writer.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 31 2021 2:15 utc | 54

Re:Peter AU1 @ 44

Its been a while since I watched those videos and I'm usually signed in to j'tube anyway. I can definitely understand why it would be age-restricted though. Perhaps I should have mentioned that these videos have rather graphic imagery for the faint-of-heart. You might not really want to watch the videos, especially just before bedtime.

also @ https://ok.ru/video/409928995232

Posted by: William Haught | Aug 31 2021 2:15 utc | 55

chet380 |28
I thought I saw it in TRTWORLD but can't find it now.

Posted by: Keith McClary | Aug 31 2021 2:31 utc | 56


Posted by: Boss Tweet | Aug 30 2021 21:46 utc | 26

You forgot to remember that it was the Democrats who owned the slaves in the South and passed the anti-black laws (e.g. Jim Crow laws). And it was the Democrats who filibustered the civil rights laws of the 1960s. Not to mention they have always been on the side of tyranny and murder. Other than that, you have a political opinion, whatever.

Posted by: observer | Aug 31 2021 2:37 utc | 57

What "opposition" is remotely comparable? Propaganda Corp's two Faux stations is as bad as Warmonger Media's Clinton Propaganda Network on anything that counts. Even the founder of Brighteon (which popped up out of nowhere) is China China China. As long as you are at least neoliberal F.I.R.E. economic arsonists, pro-intervention, pro-experimental gene trans-humanism and at least either Russia Russia Russia or China China China you got nothing to worry about.

Banning Rokfin or Bitchute might be comparable.

Furthermore, it seems to me Propaganda Corp really is fomenting insurrection to make what happened on 22 November 1963 official. I do not see how you can tell the truth in Ukraine without fomenting insurrection against a blatantly fascistic regime. The only difference is that one case is moral, ethical, and principled, the other the opposite.

Posted by: William Haught | Aug 31 2021 2:46 utc | 58

Elena Alvarado | Aug 31 2021 1:24 utc | 48
Any country can print money, as much as it wants, it will worthless like Wiemar Republic or Zimbabwe money, unless the country's currency is Reserve Currency, then they call with glib name, such of Quantitative Easing, which is Punzi, it its best! Unless Russia, China, Iran etc, get around that, they don't have much of chance! Take look at New-Zealand Dollar, it is 50 time Russian Ruble , Zealand, produce cheese butter etc, Russia produce monster missiles tanks, Air Crafts Migs Ilyushin, Tupolev Sukhois etc , larges oil gas producer, larges grain exporter etc!, but since it is not part of the club, you can see for your self

Posted by: Grishka | Aug 31 2021 3:01 utc | 60

Peter AU1-54
You do fine.

Posted by: NOBTS | Aug 31 2021 3:02 utc | 61

@ karlof1 | Aug 30 2021 20:06 utc | 12.. i know what you mean.. i try to take a rosy view of the past, but i know it wasn't rosy for many people... i want to stay positive as i believe ultimately that their is something good in human nature and nature and that without a positive attitude, it is hard to imagine a positive future.... at the same time i would like to be pragmatic in my recognizing how the world has gone in a lot of wrong directions.. i am hopeful we can learn from our mistakes individually and collectively.. as for the predator class, i am not sure if or when they evolve to see the nature of our fragile world and act within context of the limitations that go with this world.... we'll see... i do recognize the usa's malignant role, and this goes for canadas role with regard to the ukraine too... we'll see...

Posted by: james | Aug 31 2021 3:13 utc | 62

Grishka 60

The US illusion relies totally on military power. Without that everything else collapses. The US dollar? without the military power, no one will want it. It will be worthless. The weapons systems Russia is deploying now are generations ahead of what US has. Its stealth aircraft, ships anti ballistic missile system and I think even its ICBM's are now null and void. US is a dead man walking. It will be slowly pushed back out of the world, hopefully the clown show than runs the US have enough sense to know they will be annihilated if they are stupid enough to start a war. But they will be pushed back slowly like a frog being brought to the boil without it jumping out of the pot.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 31 2021 3:14 utc | 63

@ Elena Alvarado (#48), good point. The Ukrainian administration can create its sovereign money and credit to build its economy. It needs to end private creation of money (credit) that just enslaves its population. Ukrainians do have talent. Can it withstand the challenges from its traitor oligarchs and the international money Oligarchy? It might want to explore the Non-$ Bloc.

@ Grishka (#60), please learn basics. A nation can create its sovereign money and build its economy, its challenge is to allocate its money towards productive endeavors and not consumption & speculative credits. New Zealand is part of Six eyes and won’t be attacked by “Big Six” central banks. Please name those in the “Big Six” group. Understand the great game.

@ MagdaTam (# 53). Please get real. You aren’t making any sense. You’re welcome to elaborate.

Posted by: Max | Aug 31 2021 3:24 utc | 64

@Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 31 2021 3:14 utc | 63

The US clown show, in the representation of Blinken, keeps getting an ass kicking from its betters. Their response was to hide the latest ass kicking by not reporting it in the official US report of the meeting, but the Chinese were happy to supply the full details. Reported by Alexander Mercouris, for our enjoyment and mirth, "Wang Steamrolls Blinken Again in Harsh Call on Afghanistan, US-China relations". Alexander is not optimistic about Blinken learning anything useful from the ass kicking.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUm5TfmyIQw


Posted by: Roger | Aug 31 2021 3:33 utc | 65

Roger 65

I wish Mercouris would start writing again or at least putting up transcripts. I find his style a bit hard on the senses and haven't been able to adjust to it so have rely on what others say.
His mate that he brought into the Duran and does a lot of videos with, I saw his arrogance back in 2014 when he had his own blog. It was back at the time of MH17 and Australia making an agreement with Ukraine giving Ukraine veto power over the investigation. Another person I ran onto commenting at that time was a barrister who on behalf of a client had written to the Australian government requesting information on the agreement and had received a letter back saying that information was classified. Alex Christoforou had a piece on MH17 at his blog site, no commentators whatever but I put in a comment there and then O'Neill the barrister put in a bit about the Ukraine agreement giving it veto power which Christoforou had wrong. Christoforou came on and pretty much abused ONeill along the lines that he was a busy important man and O'Niell was a nobody. I never bothered to read his blog after that more when he started writing at the Duran. Then Mercouris started doing videos with him and stopped writing and that was the end for me. Mercouris's articles are something I miss. I believe he is an international lawyer by profession. With the perspective of his profession, he fills in a big gap.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 31 2021 4:03 utc | 66

Posted by: gottlieb | Aug 30 2021 19:22 utc | 8 -- "The consolation prize.... is a meet and greet with the most powerful man on earth as he tries not to nap during the 'summit'..... At this point Z is worth more novo-choked than in Office."

And that most powerful idiot on earth just might pretend to straighten his sleeve as he glances at his watch, just as he was suspected to have done when he welcomed the 13 corpses from the Kabul massacre.

And yes, all the Evil Empire's useful idiots (Guido, Joshua Wong, Zelensky, Ghani, Poroshenko, Marcos, Nalvany, et al) move along a continuum as if on a conveyor belt: they start out useful, lose usefulness, and are disposed as useless idiots. Sometimes, their corpses serve one last valuable purpose as "proof" of Russia baaaaad, or China baaaaad.

[ Heck, even when they do not have a corpse (think Skripal, Osama Bin Laden), the US can still smear others as baaaaad, very baaaaad. ]

But of course, this post-truth -- and as well, post-shame -- USofA is nowadays very modern like, and as a 'normal nation', so very wokey wokey, and of course, they set standards for the rest of the world to follow.

Am I missing something? or are they?

Posted by: kiwiklown | Aug 31 2021 5:22 utc | 67

@Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 31 2021 4:03 utc | 66

Thanks for the background. I have to admit, Alexander's delivery style can be grating even though the information is many times excellent. I would much prefer to read his stuff rather than listen to him!

Posted by: Roger | Aug 31 2021 5:54 utc | 68

by: bob sykes @24
The Founding Fathers believed that liberty and democracy are incompatible, and that minorities needed protection from the majority. There right in both cases. To protect the minority, they inserted several anti-democratic agencies, including: the Senate, the Bill of Rights, the Supreme Court, and the Electoral College.

None of those exist anywhere in Europe, and disfavored minorities are actively suppressed everywhere on the sub-continent.

<= mr. Sykes, the so-called founding fathers did not include the Bill of rights in the constitution they produced at Philadelphia (1787). The bill of rights was forced on the so called Founders (but remember these founders were not involved in the government that defeated the British in 1776-1778). The Bill of Rights was a condition precedent to ratification; meaning no one was going to ratify the Philadelphia constitution unless the Bill of rights were included, and the ratification was itself a sham.. <=the same people that sent the representatives to Philadelphia to develop the constitution would ratify it[Article VII].. (Fox in the Hen House deal type of deal). Most Americans were not aware the constitution was substituted for the Articles of Confederation, because both governments, the Articles government(1776-1788) and the constitution government(1789 to date) were called The United States of America. Those Americans who were to be the governed were not allowed to vote on ratification.

<=The USA is not a federation of states, that was settled in the civil WAR(1865), the Southern States were supported by the British bankers. .. Federalism means one government rules dictates to all the (state) governments (federalism) .. no state can have an opinion if the federal government wants to rule on the subject of interest..

<=Europe does have the two house system .. and it does have courts.. Consider France.

VetinLA @ 36 Our national policies are decided by Oligarchs, and the giant corporations they own, not voters.... <= yes i agree..

<= I observe that moving to the digital platform changed who is in charge. The nation state and the political system that enables citizen participation has been demoted. On the digital platform, nation states cannot protect their citizens against private oligarch owned corporate power.

<= Digital has enabled a new kind of tyranny.. one that inflicts pain at the individual level, and one that denies governed citizens access. Citizen access is denied by requiring spy on you digital tools and authenticated access to government or corporate entities. Citizens can no longer talk to live persons in government or in a global corporation. If the citizen does not use the required browser with preferences set to spy on me, and does not give his or her total personal history to the government or the private corporation as a condition of gaining access <=access is denied. The Digital platform has locked the governed out.. the governed can no longer participate unless they comply (that is slavery).


PeterAU! @ 47 is upset with James @ 43 for his observation that ivermectin is such a factual success story it renders dubious, subjecting oneself, to Vaccines (especially mRNA vaccines generating s1 spike structures, that don't kill the virus). Straightening out the propaganda deserves emergency consideration..

The virus vaccine propaganda is important to human health, human democracy, human freedom and human liberty. New ideas and facts that can add to the knowledge base about either virus or vaccine should be considered an emergency. Correcting or voiding virus and vaccine propaganda should be everyone's concern. Especially since librul | Aug 30 2021 19:50 utc | 107 asked is someone murdering vaccine opponents? https://www.politico.com/states/florida/story/2021/08/29/3rd-conservative-radio-host-who-condemned-vaccines-dies-of-covid-1390555.

Maybe B would consider a dedicated thread to the Vaccine and virus problem? The shut down of opposition media is what this thread is about.

Posted by: snake | Aug 31 2021 5:58 utc | 69

Peter AU 1 @ 66:

Before starting The Duran, Alexander Mercouris had been a lawyer. I believe he has done some legal work for Craig Murray in the past. He has been following Murray's recent trial and conviction over Murray's reporting and tweeting over Alex Salmond's trial in Scotland for alleged sexual harassment including assault and rape.

Incidentally Mercouris has quite a famous relative: the actress and former Greek culture minister Melina Mercouri was his aunt on his father's side.

Posted by: Jen | Aug 31 2021 6:50 utc | 70

Jen 70

Thanks Jen. I have a lot of respect for Mercouris.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 31 2021 6:58 utc | 71

RE: Posted by: Max | Aug 31 2021 3:24 utc | 64

“@ MagdaTam (# 53). Please get real.  “

Phenomena can exist without being perceived, whilst perceptions derived from implementation/testing do not require to be perceived by all to be “real”.

“You aren’t making any sense “

Perhaps not to you but to some by broadcasting through portals, one of the benefits of surveillance societies and “virtual realities”.

“You’re welcome to elaborate. “

The elaborations have been made regularly during many years, whilst the ignorance of opponents continues to have utility, as do their senses of "entitlement" and seeking of attribution, thereby the facilitating the basis of Mr. Greene's title of "The Quiet American".

Posted by: MagdaTam | Aug 31 2021 7:55 utc | 72

MagdaTam 72

Poor max is becoming confused. He has not been programmed to be compatible with your operating system.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 31 2021 8:03 utc | 73

Interesting article indeed. Now I do know that our politicians in both Sweden and Denmark are not that bright (politely spoken), but the US takes the lead! If there were a World Championship of stupid politicians, the US would handily win all top slots!
But hopefully we in Sweden would get an honorable mention, we would never make the podium, Englandia and Fransiscum both very much ahead, we might overtake Italy, but who has not done that? We might beat Norway, but they refuse to compete... hehe..
More nasty remarks on the way!

Posted by: Den Lille Abe | Aug 31 2021 8:15 utc | 74

McFault

Posted by: Jörgen Hassler | Aug 31 2021 8:34 utc | 75

Peter AU1 @73:

I'm beginning to think Max is an accual bot. No mather what the subject is, it always writes the exakt same same thing: ***It'a all about finance!!!!!!***.

If it's not a bot, it probably thinks of it self as 'radical' or 'alternative'. Which is interesting, because its output is really just Milton Friedman remixed.

Posted by: Jörgen Hassler | Aug 31 2021 8:49 utc | 76

I actually tried my hand in politics and joined a party in order to participate. All well…
I went to some meetings and such, but as it turned clear I was the brightest person in the room, I became really scared, really, really scared. This lot of people were even more stupid than me, and on top of that they did not in any way want to reason!
Exit me from politics! So my short intro to politics, via the Social Democratic Party lasted not long, in fact shorter than some speeches I had to endure, he-he.
So my foray into politics was very short, the only question I was ever asked was if I had paid my membership fee... So much for that.

Then I turned my eye on the more radical socialist parties, great fun, you could always get laid by a young fervent woman, eager to do her duty in name of the party, now that gets old quickly when you are 64 + , you would rather have a good sandwich, with ham and cheese. Never got one...
Not completely true though, back in the day in Namibia I was found by a partisan girl in a foxhole, I had a chest wound and bled badly, she jumped into the hole disarmed me (easily), dressed my wound and said "All life is sacred" she did take my gun when she left the hole. Some time after I was recovered by my own. As a doctor later said, "had she not been there, you would be dead"
I never knew her name or anything about her, but only of her kindness to a fellow soldier, she had no grounds to like me or be my mate, but she did what she did. Even to an enemy soldier.

Posted by: Den Lille Abe | Aug 31 2021 8:59 utc | 77

Jörgen Hassler
You could be right but programmed humans are very similar to programmed bots so its difficult to pick the difference.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 31 2021 9:08 utc | 78

@ 24

Much bullshit in few lines.

Those kinds of antidemocratic features were put in place to protect PRIVILEGED minorities, not disadvantaged ones.

Therefore your argument that their lack causes disadvantaged minorities to be supressed across the board in europe, not only does not obtain in practice, it's an intentional attempt at confusion.

Posted by: Misotheist | Aug 31 2021 9:28 utc | 79

Regarding "...The FBI would declare Fox news to be 'pro-Russian', the National Security Council would recommend to the president to shut it down and Biden would then do so by decree..."

Except that Fox Hasbara and Fox Plunderbund have nothing against anti-Russia narratives as long as you leave the Orange Clown, the FIRE sector oligarchs and their paid propagandists out of it.

Posted by: William Haught | Aug 31 2021 0:35 utc | 41

Even so, Fox was against ridiculous Russiagate, and branded as "pro-Russian", so if USA were like Ukraine, Biden could convene National Security Council, and upon its advise decree to close Fox, freeze the assets of the owners, and ban sympathetic websites run by people who fled to Spain or Brazil, and perhaps shut the access to American www to sites like MoonOfAlabama. For some reasons, this is not done in USA, at least not on that scale -- small fry websites were banned, but no one touches serious plutocrats like those who control Fox News. A limited blessing, but a blessing.

You can gripe about Founding Fathers, but the concept of controlling "the information space" in "allied democracies" and at home is somewhat novel, sinister and dangerous. Good old fashioned manipulation is not good enough anymore.
----
BTW, a lady hawks from leading think tanks discussing foreign policy. No chicken there!

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Aug 31 2021 10:19 utc | 80

McFaul and co have no interest in the welfare of Ukraine. Ukraine is a gullible extra in their egoistical political movie.

Posted by: Steve | Aug 31 2021 11:29 utc | 81

RE: Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 30 2021 21:57 utc | 27

“Perhaps the new rulers will have learned from all the mistakes of past rulers and create something genuinely humane and moral. “

The sustainable transcendence trajectory is to learn and practice not to be rulers but co-operators in relations facilitating from each according to her/his ability, to each according to her/his needs, and a component of why the question posed in 1969 of “How to drown a drowning man with the minimum of blow-back ?”

In small measure this informed the new Russian Constitution, and is a component part of why the co-ercive social relations self-designated as “The United States of America” perceive the Russian Federation and their associates as existential threats.

Posted by: MagdaTam | Aug 31 2021 11:39 utc | 82

Since Putin chose to not destroy the Ukranazi coup regime as soon as it illegally took power in 2014, Russia's best bet now is to starve the Ukranazis of funds in every way in Russia's power. Why does Russia allow Ukranazi politicians, including Poroshenko and Zelensky, to have business interests in Russia? Those assets need to be seized immediately and without compensation. Let Amerikastan compensate them if it wants to.

Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | Aug 31 2021 12:01 utc | 83

RE: Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 31 2021 8:03 utc | 73

“Poor max is becoming confused.” He has not been programmed to be compatible with your operating system.”

Analyses of data-streams suggest that Max in not becoming confused, but becoming more confused.

“He has not been programmed to be compatible with your operating system.”

Purposeful informed practices cannot be conflated with “operating systems” sometimes refered to as “play books”, hence they cannot be programmed in subject/object systems, hence the purpose of some is not to attempt to programme, in none of which the opponents agree, there-by becoming complicit in their own transcendence.

Enjoy your journey.

Posted by: MagdaTam | Aug 31 2021 12:01 utc | 84

RE: Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | Aug 31 2021 12:01 utc | 83

“Since Putin chose to not destroy the Ukranazi coup regime as soon as it illegally took power in 2014, Russia's best bet now is to starve the Ukranazis of funds in every way in Russia's power.  “

Sometimes the truth is not self-evident so “we the people” can't hold it.

Try to remember if you can, reflex vindictiveness is “The American Way” not the Russian Federation's way.

Posted by: MagdaTam | Aug 31 2021 12:09 utc | 85

Who will be the next Vice
Prez?

Hillary

Kamala will move up to faux Prez
after Biden exits.

How will Hillary get rid of Kamala Harris?

---

Remember the historical picture of Tricky Dick giving the double-V sign
as he made his exit?
What will the historical picture be of Biden as he exits?
Screen door meets Bidens butt?

Posted by: librul | Aug 31 2021 12:49 utc | 86

Re: Piotr Berman | Aug 31 2021 10:19 utc | 80

Even so, Fox was against ridiculous Russiagate...

*NOT*!!!

I remember quisling Royal Institute for International Studies member, eurgh, I mean Council on Foreign Relations member, Maria Bartiromo specifically (probably all of them, but I do not have a photographic memory) claiming the Ruskies interfered in our elections, her only problem with Russiagatge is weaponizing it against her fellow Repugnants.

Posted by: William Haught | Aug 31 2021 12:51 utc | 87

Re: Piotr Berman | Aug 31 2021 10:19 utc | 80

Like I said, Faux is China China China and CNN Russia Russia Russia

At least in the past, only one seems to be required.

Posted by: William Haught | Aug 31 2021 12:54 utc | 88

Posted by: Jörgen Hassler | Aug 31 2021 8:34 utc | 75

McFoul, McOffal, McAwful, McFool. Diplomacy, who needs that when the empire creates reality, or that's what they thought.

Posted by: Paco | Aug 31 2021 12:57 utc | 89

@Posted by: librul | Aug 31 2021 12:49 utc | 86

Do a DuckDuckGo search of Simpsons prophecies.
They eerily get so many things right well beforehand.

An episode called "Future Stock" [Future Shock]
has a clip that is a perfect fit for what Kamala-H
is destined to say to Biden as they part ways.
Biden exits and K-H takes over the role of Preztitute.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=deFDXYdF2g4

Posted by: librul | Aug 31 2021 15:47 utc | 90

librul @Aug31 12:49 #86

Or, as Hillary would (gleefully) see it, she is Cheney's successor.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 31 2021 16:05 utc | 91

RE: Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 30 2021 22:46 utc | 30

“ it did put in an effort de-nazifying Germany  “

It appears that you are conflating wrapping with its contents by ingnoring history from March 1943 onwards.

Posted by: MagdaTam | Aug 31 2021 16:07 utc | 92

Re: Piotr Berman | Aug 31 2021 10:19 utc | 80

Like I said, Faux is China China China and CNN Russia Russia Russia

At least in the past, only one seems to be required.

Posted by: William Haught | Aug 31 2021 12:54 utc | 88

I read that when butterflies feed on flower nectar, they remember flowers actually had nectar to prefer such. But they cannot remember more than several. Packing this image storage and image recognition in their tiny brains is amazing. And the fact that the memory of or pundits is even smaller is anti-amazing.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Aug 31 2021 16:10 utc | 93

@73 PeterAU1, @76 Jorgen Hassler, @84 MagnaTam

I think Max's focus on money and finance are quite on-point. Most of what's happening - the things that we all object to so strenuously - would not be possible without control of money and the financial system.

It's the funding mechanism and it's a strong lever.

Without it, there'd be vastly less military, para-military action, politician-steering, or media-consolidation. I could go on.

If truly think Max is a bot, then flush him out. Debate him. Robots can't debate.

Not many people on this board have the grasp of finance and money Max does. I'm not saying he knows everything, but he does know a lot.

Name-calling doesn't qualify as legitimate rebuttal.

If we really want to understand why things got so terribly out of whack, we do need to understand money. Not just money, of course, but it is one very decisive factor.

May I also call your attention to the fact that both Russia and China have taken very determined, focused, enlightened and crucial steps to dis-entangle themselves from the West's financial tentacles. That is no accident.

In order to avoid capture, one must know how the trap works.

Posted by: Tom Pfotzer | Aug 31 2021 16:58 utc | 94

@Don Bacon | Aug 30 2021 20:20 utc | 14

Thank you for pointing out the much-needed study by Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page,« Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens », which proves that the US is not a democracy.

Indeed, the opinions of citizens have no bearing on the passing of legislation. The weight of the lobbies on the other hand has a direct effect on the passage of legislation.

Barflies who don't know this study yet will want to take a closer look when they see the first few minutes of this video:

https://youtu.be/5tu32CCA_Ig

Here is the original article (PDF):

https://scholar.princeton.edu/sites/default/files/mgilens/files/gilens_and_page_2014_-testing_theories_of_american_politics.doc.pdf

Posted by: Leuk | Aug 31 2021 17:28 utc | 95

Another source of the purported documentary (which sounds legit to me) from the snipers view beside the j'tube (broken in two parts) and ok.ru (full 21 min 35 sec) links

Maidan. Occhidellaguerra https://vk.com/video-110200186_456239247?list=f04ae3bed88c7f9d14 also full 21:35 in one video

Posted by: William Haught | Aug 31 2021 17:36 utc | 96

PS the ok and vk links do not require logging in

Posted by: William Haught | Aug 31 2021 17:37 utc | 97

Last I heard, the meeting between Biden and Zelensky was formally cancelled/rescheduled by the US side, but Zelensky decided to fly to the states anyway to tend to some other business, including working out a deal with Google for localized control of their platform, possibly in exchange for Ukrainian lithium deposits. I know, it gets complicated quickly when the topic is Ukraine and what's going on there.

For instance, the situation with the suppression of strana.ua isn't necessarily clear cut. An alternative interpretation of events, which I personally find plausible, is that the government is actually boosting the popularity of this web publication as a supposed beacon of opposition press and 'pro-Russian' sentiments, to counteract several recent scandals involving the same publication which caused significant unsubscription and branded several key figures as pro-government shills. The timing alone is cause for suspicion, but the sanctions measures list -- which is a blank, t.b.d affair -- rather gives the game away. More likely, in my opinion, conditions are being set up to forcefully disassociate Igor Guzhva, the editor-in-chief who is hiding from political persecution in Austria, while rehabilitating strana under a new management that's willing to cooperate with the dictates of the Servant of the People party. With that in mind, it adds some additional color to statements of support for strana.ua from various press-freedom advocates, who are otherwise deaf, mute and blind on Ukrainian matters, since it opens up the possibility that their strongly worded statements are made in coordination with or, at least, with permission from the Ukrainian government.

Naturally, this doesn't negate the overall sentiment in the op about press freedoms and democracy. Just a reminder that various con-men play on those same sentiments for their cheap acts of subterfuge.

Posted by: Skiffer | Aug 31 2021 18:47 utc | 98

Posted by: William Haught | Aug 31 2021 17:37 utc | 97

i noticed, thanks!
i do not have or plan on having a jutube channel so i cant watch any age restricted vids there, and the ok site was new to me.

Posted by: Per/Norway | Aug 31 2021 19:17 utc | 99

@ Tom Pfotzer (#94), thanks for your support and good points. I really appreciate it.

Posted by: Max | Aug 31 2021 20:04 utc | 100

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