Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 31, 2022

Then I Woke Up And Saw This. WTF?

This was the weather in my hometown over the last week.

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40-50° F, somewhat sunny, spring was in the air.

And this is what I woke up to today. Two inch of snow with more falling as I write this. "What the f***?"


Those who have lived on a diet of 'western' news over the last weeks may have the same feeling when waking up to the real data.

Overthrowing Putin?


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Yes - U.S. citizens would probably like to see that.

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But why not start with this guy?

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And here is the data from those who really count.

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Wait - wasn't Putin finished after he destroyed the value of the Russian currency?

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Not really.

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And today it's even better ...

Source - bigger

Time for another coffee.

Posted by b on March 31, 2022 at 7:46 UTC | Permalink

« previous page

@ 94
Europeans are not only forced to fork out, but also, in fact, with their own hands to undermine the competitiveness of European companies, to remove them from the global market. For Europe, this means large-scale de-industrialization and the loss of millions of jobs. .
I would think that at some point the corporations would jerk the European politicians back into reality regarding Russia (and China's BRI). Never mind the altruism, they're losing money!

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 31 2022 16:55 utc | 101

Federal prosecutors are advancing their investigation into Hunter Biden’s foreign business dealings and are now gathering information related to his foreign income, including from Ukraine.

Investigators with the U.S. attorney’s office in Delaware are scrutinizing the money Biden made from his association with the Ukrainian natural gas company Burisma Holdings Ltd. and how Biden spent that money to pay off debt, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal.;.[.] (original emphasis)


Posted by: Likklemore | Mar 31 2022 15:51 utc | 84

You've heard the term 'Judge shopping'? Appears to work quite well in the United States.

Then there's that stain on everything America claims to be, Trump. How many prosecutors are involved in bringing him to ..American..Justice. Congress and Chucky Schumer too!

Wise old Indian once said, "Only a White Man can make that much smoke."

If US leaders of the free world were truly interested in this rule of law they so often speak about, they would long ago have applied to Interpol for a Red Card to arrest the true owner of Burisma, a guy who managed to fleece the IMF out of some $6 billion via his Ukrainian bank. The dude has citizenship in Ukraine, Israel and likely Switzerland as he has been know to spend a lot of time in Geneva.

His brazen activities did however manage to garner enough attention in the US that he recently barred from traveling their. Yet, he still walks free.

Compare to US efforts to prosecute Dimitri Firtash who the US saw as a Russian instrument in Ukraine's gas industry. The US was quick march on ordering Austria to detain him for extradition.

"Only a White Man can make that much smoke."

Posted by: bubbles | Mar 31 2022 16:56 utc | 102

It has to get worse, before it can get better. I am now convinced that ppl have to see what it means to live through social unrest and mass unemplyoment to appreciate our current standard of living in Germany. I live in my own house, have the money and my own job to sustain a crisis, not a complete breakdown, but a longer crisis. I dont rely on anybody's help. IMO, its almost certain that from tomorrow onwards, Russian gas deliveries will stop: Euros are useless for Russia, they can be frozen at will by the EU member states. So Russia wont delvery gas for basically free.

Posted by: Arne Hartmann | Mar 31 2022 16:58 utc | 103

There is a huge conceptual problem: how can the trade in fiat currencies (the only in existence) occur with trade imbalances?

Method A. This is particularly acute for commodity exporters, as the commodity prices are disproportionally affected by price swings. What you can buy for corn, wheat, nickel, oil etc. one year can be doubled or halved the next year. In principle, it would be rational to build reserves in years of high export prices and use them during low price periods to dampen impact on the domestic economy.

Method B. Alternative is to maintain trade balance, and decrease the export of commodities when the price is high. That could drive the prices yet higher, decreasing the need to export. The problem is the shock on importer economies, and resolution of the imbalance by "demand destruction", people drive less, eat less etc. In other words, the swings in the global production and consumptions would get amplified, and overall, the global productivity and welfare of the people would go down.

In bad old years of gold standards, depressions were regular and deep, and with limited options for financial reserves, hard to avoid. Responsibly maintained fiat currencies were a nice solution, even if benefits were not distributed uniformly (what is?).

Now comes the monkey wrench for the global solution to imbalanced trade that is worthy of Hanuman (the king of monkey armies and very mighty of his own): the foreign reserves accumulated over the years can be "frozen", annihilated from the point of view of depositors. It affected Iran and Venezuela, Trump threatened Iraq to freeze their 35 billion dollars, would they dare to insist that American troops leave their country. But it happened only to middling countries, did it? But with freezing Russian assets, everything is possible -- except for trading in commodities using Method A.

From that point of view, the solution based on forcing importers to buy rubles is temporary, allowing some time to think and find face saving ways to get out of the hole. A Russian bank may sell rubles for funds from a foreign bank, essentially a foreign obligation that still can be defaulted by "freeze" fiat.

Mind you, a wanton application of freezes is chilling to other reserve holders like Qatar, UAE and KSA. At any time they can be accused of being aggressors (in Yemen) or users of slave labor (contracts with laborers who get deprived of passports for the duration), or murderers etc.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 31 2022 17:01 utc | 104

"Biden says Putin can't remain in power." Guys, please give Biden some credits. At least he is very "moderate" by American standard.

Some clowns from the Congress and Fox News actually call for killing of Putin.

Posted by: d dan | Mar 31 2022 17:06 utc | 105

Biden expected to authorize release of 1/3rd of US strategic oil reserve. Some 180 million barrels over the next 6 months. Rational is to give time for their Frackers to return to the Field of Dreams.

Clearly some shale plays are economically viable, but many aren't unless oil sells consistently in the $80 to $100 range. That doesn't allow for much profit, ergo not much interest from investors.

So further Corporate Socialism it will be, in the Land of the Free, Home of the Brave?

US gov't already spends at least 25% more than it receives in revenues and the rich they have helped for so long aren't one bit interested in shoring up the shortfall.

Posted by: bubbles | Mar 31 2022 17:12 utc | 106

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 31 2022 16:33 utc | 94
Thank you Karl.
But what really makes the difference from paying Euros to Gazprom to paying Euros to the Gazprom BANK, and get them converted to Rubles by a Russian bank?
The Euros will fill up the accounts of the Russian Central Bank, so I can't see any difference. Russia will accept "worthless defaulting" foreign paper for NG.
Europe has nothing to offer to Russia that really gives an equivalent. If they had to pay with the Ruble the hard core way, they had to sell to Russia before whatever she needs.
This will not take place, as I understand Putin.

Posted by: njet | Mar 31 2022 17:15 utc | 107

correction #106:

"Europe denies to offer Russia anything that gives an equivalent to NG."

Posted by: njet | Mar 31 2022 17:22 utc | 108

Same deplorable weather up here in Norway, said spring temps and clear skies.
Now there is 1 inch of snow and cold af, the farmers must be happy about the weather switch i bet.

Posted by: Per/Norway | Mar 31 2022 17:28 utc | 109

it makes no sense to me - for the Russian CB to hold Euro's, because of rampant inflation of the Euro. Its purchasing power diminishes quickly, at current rate of inflation 7.9% in Germany, probably much higher in reality.

Posted by: fanto | Mar 31 2022 17:34 utc | 110

Obama then Biden slammed the door shut on a pipeline project from Canada that would have carried 850,000 barrels a day of heavy Canadian oil from the tarsands in Alberta and some from Saskatchewan. They did so out of concern for Global Warming.

Now Biden is expected to release an historically large amount of oil from US reserves. Content of which probably comes from multiple sources, US, Arab,Canada, Russia even

I'm a bit confused as to those goals and the current Western impetus to do everything in their power to continue a war in Ukraine that never should have happened, if sane people were in charge of planet Earth. I see so much destruction, oil facilities blown up, homes and vehicles destroyed, armor, trucks, buses moving here and there, and surely none of this favors those who oppose global warming.

Tomorrows war now I suppose, today's war is the war that has always been, economic, finance,

" Permit me to issue and control the money of a nation, and I care not who makes its laws!"

Lest we forget.

It's a strange strange world we live in Master Jack
You taught me all I know and I'll never look back

Posted by: bubbles | Mar 31 2022 17:36 utc | 111

Nice garden, b. Thanks for the photo. Many thanks also to FromFrance for warning about the future shortage of wood for heating - I'll give my wood guy a ring forthwith to get delivered early. I've got just enough left to get through the current cold snap (obviously Putin's fault - the cold snap, I mean, but I suppose he ought to be blamed for everything else as well).

Interesting exchanges about the Mariupol helicopter downings and Macron's keenness for urgent evacuation corridors. And the French intelligence chief's sudden sacking. Methinks the upcoming presidential election may not be as done and dusted as everyone was thinking. Panic is in the air, and French MSM are hysterically begging us to believe that Russia is losing. On verra.

Posted by: B. Wildered | Mar 31 2022 17:40 utc | 112

How long will the new German government last after this?

I think the German government will collapse soon.

Finito "green" policy.

Posted by: Norwegian | Mar 31 2022 17:46 utc | 113

the US government doesn't really care about global warming, any more than it cares about setting off wars, or risking nuclear war.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Mar 31 2022 17:48 utc | 114

3 out of 4 Ukrop helicopters sent in to Mariupol to rescue unknown individuals have been shot down. One fell into the sea with 3 survivors captured. Another crashed close to Rybatsky west of Mariupol. All passengers and crew died. There were numerous wounded amongst the passengers.

Given the effort made, and the limited passenger capacity, it would seem that the individuals rescued were the highest level, most dedicated fighters, possibly even NATO/? 'advisors'

Posted by: Arfur Mo | Mar 31 2022 17:55 utc | 115

Suggestion: let the Azov commanders escape in the helicopter and simply intercept it when it leaves with its cargo. Shoot off a couple of blades and capture the occupants in the sea.

That said, most likely most of the high value personnel will be executed to prevent capture if that hasn't already happened.

Posted by: Scorpion | Mar 31 2022 17:58 utc | 116

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 31 2022 16:33 utc | 94

Thanks for the very helpful link to Putin’s remarks expanding on my link @ Post 79 to Sputnik’s short snippet. Sadly western leadership continues to ignore words of wisdom because “it’s Russian.”

Your valuable comments here are deeply appreciated.


Do Biden really misbehave so badly that Deep State had to do this ???
Was Biden ordered to "press the button" but dared to refuse compliance?

Posted by: Arioch | Mar 31 2022 16:06 utc | 86

Federal Prosecutors’ investigation and a Grand Jury seated is the least of it.

You have Tucker Carlson Calling for Biden's Removal from Office: 'Invoke the 25th Amendment'

'It’s obvious Joe Biden is not well'

“So no American president has said anything like that in your lifetime. You grew up assuming the United States would never use chemical weapons because the United States is not a rogue state.[.]

“… Joe Biden, the president of the United States, reversed a hundred years of American security policy in the middle of a war.”

Biden’s comment caused his national security advisor, Jake Sullivan, to scramble and contradict the president by saying the U.S. has no intention of using chemical weapons.

“But Jake Sullivan had no choice. He works for a man who cannot even pronounce his own vice president’s name consistently and yet is in charge of the United States at the most delicate moment in our lifetimes.”

AND, on Fox News

Senator Rand Paul: Biden's gaffes becoming 'national security risk', .

Biden’s cue cards raise questions of cognitive decline

Posted by: Likklemore | Mar 31 2022 18:07 utc | 117

"Volodomyr Zelensky is more unpopular in Ukraine than Joe Biden in the United States. The Statista Research poll in October only “28 percent of the Ukrainian population approved of the activities of Volodymyr Zelensky as the president of the country. The approval rating saw a decrease in recent months. Furthermore, Volodymyr Zelensky was trusted by over 31 percent of Ukrainians in March 2021.” One of the main reasons for Zelensky’s flagging political fortunes was his failure to follow thru on his campaign promise to seek peace with Russia. I have not seen any new polls. CNBC is just repeating Western wishful thinking."

Posted by: Virgile | Mar 31 2022 18:13 utc | 118

or risking nuclear war.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Mar 31 2022 17:48 utc | 113

I beg to differ, I think they care about that. But they are the New Age River Boat Gamblers, and will bluff as long they can on the premise they really do hold all the Aces.

However, I don't think they included in their calculations the possibility of Putin going all in and betting the whole pile. A crazy Ivan type maneuver. Maybe they should have studied more history? I've always thought American educational institutions focused far too much on American History and ignored the world and it's 1,000's of years of what came before Washington, Franklin and Jefferson the engineer of the trail of tears, and the like.

See the PNAC'ers for a seemingly complete void of understanding of history and other countries history, culture and traditions. I guess they thought they could follow in the footsteps of the British Empire's path of violence, bribery and collusion, no one would be strong enough to oppose them and the rewards of rolling the dice and gun boat diplomacy would never end. Albeit they may have achieved some of their goals, they created many enemies and the balance of power lies in the economic war that is now unfolding.

Seems clear to me now, once again the little people will pay the price, unless of course they pick the 'right' financial advisor so they can maybe win a bet or two.

Join us on the River boat they say, put your money down, spin the wheel and see if you can beat the House.

Posted by: bubbles | Mar 31 2022 18:26 utc | 119

We have entered SILLY Season. Who is in charge of sanctions and who writes these scripts?

US Will ‘Allow’ India to Buy Russian Oil, Threatens Sanctions If New Delhi Buys Too Much: Report

The position taken by India regarding Russia’s military operation in Ukraine has provoked disappointment from its former western colonial masters, with New Delhi calling for a cessation of hostilities, but refusing to join the West in condemning Moscow and declining to halt trade.

India will be “allowed” to buy Russian energy resources, but will face a “great risk” if it fails to comply with western sanctions, a senior Biden administration official has warned.

“The US has no objection to India buying Russian oil provided it buys it at a discount, without significantly increasing from previous years. Some increase is allowed,” the unnamed official told Reuters.

“Whatever they are paying, whatever they are doing, needs to be in compliance with sanctions. If not they are exposing themselves to a great risk. As long as they are compliant with sanctions and not significantly raising purchases, we are okay,”
the official added.[.]

“We, over the next several days and weeks, are going to be stepping up the enforcement of sanctions. We are telling everybody, everywhere around the world to ensure you are compliant with sanctions…this is the message to everyone,” the official said.[.]

(emphasis added)

"will Allow" !!!

Can't help these questions: Is India still a colony? Do Americans know the difference between Rupees and Rubles?

They are in deep mourning. The USD$ died and signing of its death certificate and burial is being arranged.

Posted by: Likklemore | Mar 31 2022 18:46 utc | 120

And it's snowed on and off in New York City for the last 2 days, no accumulation. But there will have been some just to the north.

Doesn't hide the Ukrainian flags, and the fact that "liberal" Rutgers Church (West 73rd Street and Broadway Manhattan) has a poster in its outside wall case using the phrase "Glory to Ukraine".

Posted by: Jay | Mar 31 2022 18:46 utc | 121

"How long will the new German government last after this?"

Posted by: Norwegian | Mar 31 2022 17:46 utc | 112

If it can manage to jump onto the rescue wagon, continueing gas delivery, they will not fail soon. But it would enlarge tension within at least the Green party. The country is in a deep civilizational crisis as it swallowed the Big Cheat of this Fake-pandemy that ruined a lot. there is not much science left, leaving aside upright independent thinking and a political communication based on evidence and reason.

Posted by: Hausmeister | Mar 31 2022 18:51 utc | 122

@ Norwegian

Who cares if the German government collapses? It would just be replaced by another one that bends over for Uncle Sam.

@ pretzelattack

Precisely. In its more lucid moments the Pentagon worries about climate change, but that always takes a back seat to keeping the armaments gravy train a-rollin’.

Posted by: malenkov | Mar 31 2022 19:15 utc | 123

malenkov | Mar 31 2022 19:15 utc | 122

"Who cares if the German government collapses?"
Some Germans.

Posted by: Hausmeister | Mar 31 2022 19:20 utc | 124

@Hausmeister | Mar 31 2022 18:51 utc | 121

Thanks for the reply. Obviously, I am looking at things from abroad, but I have not seen such apparent incompetence before, and my guess would be that German industry would have some power to correct things, but maybe not. The green ideologues just remind me of the Khmer Rouge, an ignorant destructive force.

Posted by: Norwegian | Mar 31 2022 19:21 utc | 125

bubbles @ 110
Now Biden is expected to release an historically large amount of oil from US reserves. Content of which probably comes from multiple sources, US, Arab,Canada, Russia even

Actually it is low quality high sulphur content sour crude not really wanted by refinerys as it is hard to process, hard on the equipment, and hard on stack emmissions.

Posted by: circumspect | Mar 31 2022 19:29 utc | 126

@pretzelattack #28

They still do. Worked as helicopter crew chief back in late 90's at Ft Campbell. Dextroamphetamine for pilots.

Posted by: fnord | Mar 31 2022 19:32 utc | 127

@karlof1 | Mar 31 2022 16:33 utc | 94

Many thanks for translating and posting President Putin's speech.

Simply put, Russian gas is cheaper energy, heat, light in the homes of Europeans, an affordable cost of fertilizers for European farmers, and therefore, food in the end. Finally, this is the competitiveness of European enterprises, and hence the salaries of Europeans, citizens of European countries.
However, judging by the statements of some politicians, they are ready to neglect the interests of their citizens, if only to please their overseas master, the suzerain. Some kind of populism inside out: people are encouraged to eat less, dress warmer to save on heating, refuse to travel – and all this supposedly for the benefit of those people from whom these voluntary deprivations are demanded for the sake of abstract North Atlantic solidarity.

A good summary of the current situation, of the current reality.

Posted by: cirsium | Mar 31 2022 19:34 utc | 128

US Will ‘Allow’ India to Buy Russian Oil, Threatens Sanctions If New Delhi Buys Too Much: Report

Posted by: Likklemore | Mar 31 2022 18:46 utc | 119

" US ramps up imports of ‘banned’ Russian oil
Purchases have risen to 100,000 barrels a day, data shows "

Source RT

Good for me, but not for thee.

Posted by: bubbles | Mar 31 2022 19:38 utc | 129

Posted by: bubbles | Mar 31 2022 18:26 utc | 118

I agree with you, they massively underestimate the risk. and they are in their information bubble, and all have their heads up each others' asses, so as long as the "serious people" all agree there is no question in their minds.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Mar 31 2022 19:40 utc | 130

@Piotr Berman #103

There are still many ways to store trade surplus:

  1. Government debt of trusted countries (countries not known to steal other countries’ money), such as China, India, Russia, Brazil and others, denominated in those countries’ currencies.
  2. Commercial debt of companies from trusted countries, denominated in those countries’ currencies.
  3. Portfolio equity investment in companies from trusted countries (individual stocks and ETFs).
  4. Direct investment in companies from trusted countries (including real estate and land).

Or reduce trade surplus by buying:

  1. Storable commodities such as metals, certain chemicals, etc.
  2. Large movable assets such as ships.
  3. Foreign equipment to build out infrastructure and/or move up the value chain (increase processing of resources).

This is already happening:

India has allowed Russia to invest in its companies, media writes (RIA Novosti, March 24, 2022 — in Russian)

The Indian authorities have approved a Russian proposal that would allow investment in debt securities of Indian companies, reports The Print, citing senior government officials.

Russian government officials have asked their Indian counterparts to loosen India’s external commercial borrowing system, which would allow Russian entities to invest in Indian corporate bonds and pay for those investments through an account at the Reserve Bank of India that predates the fall of the Soviet Union three decades ago.

According to one of the interlocutors of the publication, the Reserve Bank of India has accumulated a balance of 20 billion rupees (261.9 million dollars) from pending payments for defense purchases made in Russia.

“The money has been accumulating over a certain period of time,” the official said.

Another interlocutor of the publication noted that the money could be raised through masala bonds—denominated in Indian rupees and issued outside of India. Because these bonds are issued outside of India, they are settled in foreign currencies, usually dollars. Indian corporations usually issue masala bonds to raise funds from foreign investors. These bonds can be issued by both public and private organizations.

Posted by: S | Mar 31 2022 19:45 utc | 131

Actually it is low quality high sulphur content sour crude not really wanted by refinerys as it is hard to process, hard on the equipment, and hard on stack emmissions.

Posted by: circumspect | Mar 31 2022 19:29 utc | 125

Really? Source? Sour crude is common in the overall basket.

Posted by: bubbles | Mar 31 2022 19:46 utc | 132

A good article at NLR-Sidebar on the US "Left" and Ukraine. The author, a CUNY Professor who has written a history of The Economist, seems a little 'soggy' as we used to say but it is worth reading. For example:

"...If much of the left is subdued, there seem to be two main reasons. The first stems from its relationship to the Democratic Party since 2016, which has effectively neutralized it as a caucus and activist base. Absent any movement on social reform legislation, progressives have gone along with the quest to link Trump to Putin, to the point that Russophobia increasingly defines the party as such. On this issue, most of the Squad hardly differ from the chair of the House Intelligence Committee. The second is moral sententiousness, underpinned by a powerfully selective memory. Months after the retreat from Afghanistan and theft of its reserves – and during the US-backed Saudi bombing of Yemen – this country is not in a position to dispense moral lessons. As an upholder of the principle of national sovereignty, its credibility is nil...."
Talking of which

‘...Condoleezza Rice had the same message of support for ‘throwing the book’ at Russia on the grounds that – expressed without a hint of irony – ‘when you invade a sovereign nation, that is a war crime’. "

"Hillary Clinton was even more explicit: the Russian debacle in Afghanistan in the 1980s ought to be the ‘model’ for Ukraine. Plans to turn Ukraine into a new Afghanistan, from the people who just released the old one into the grip of famine, ought to give pause to anyone concerned about Ukrainians."

Posted by: bevin | Mar 31 2022 19:55 utc | 133

Tollef As #99

I neve knew Jews were deported from Poland in the mid- sixties. I only knew of the Turks deported from Bulgaria in the mid Eighties.

The poles now have more refugees per capita than any other country in the world. Most West _ Ukro Galicians who hate and murdered Poles in centuries gone by.

stupid Poland!

Posted by: Brother Ma | Mar 31 2022 20:24 utc | 134

LOL, this is hilarious, the highschool girls who infest the Whitehouse and the corporate media, are having a little hissy fit about that darn Putin! Putin is a big meanie, says MSNBC

Posted by: Kadath | Mar 31 2022 20:37 utc | 135

‘...Condoleezza Rice had the same message of support for ‘throwing the book’ at Russia on the grounds that – expressed without a hint of irony – ‘when you invade a sovereign nation, that is a war crime’. "

"Hillary Clinton was even more explicit:"

Posted by: bevin | Mar 31 2022 19:55 utc | 132

Worth repeating.

Also, I remember the feminist cause promoters advocating the notion the world would be a much better place if only women could hold positions of real power.

Meh, seems to me they are nothing more than willing members of the go along to get along Gang and the two mentioned above are extreme examples due to their hypocrisy and embrace of extreme violence against any and all including hundreds of thousands of innocents who never did a damn thing to hurt those two wicked witches.

Posted by: bubbles | Mar 31 2022 20:37 utc | 136

@ Likklemore 119
US Will ‘Allow’ India to Buy Russian Oil, Threatens Sanctions If New Delhi Buys Too Much: Report

So I went to the Facebook of main source on India . . .
from Bhadrakumar Melkulangara of "India Punchline". . .here
"If this works, BRICS takes off - BRICS accounts for 43% of world GDP, while Europe & US represent 36%. Russian DFM Ryabkov said in a TV interview yesterday that BRICS is poised to be a "cornerstone" of the new economic order. Lavrov's arrival in Delhi today signifies a defining moment in India's foreign policy."

below this comment there was a warning from Facebook: "This link is from a publisher Facebook believes may be partially or wholly under the editorial control of the Russian government.
Learn more" . . . brings
What is labeled state-controlled media on Facebook?
Facebook defines "state-controlled media" as media outlets that Facebook believes may be partially or wholly under the editorial control of their government, based on our own research and assessment against a set of criteria developed for this purpose. We hold these Pages to a higher standard of transparency because we believe they combine the influence of a media organization with the backing of a state. . . .

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 31 2022 20:39 utc | 137

Posted by: Brother Ma | Mar 31 2022 20:24 utc | 133

To me it sounds like another comment similar to , "Germans made soap from Jews"

Posted by: Tom_12 | Mar 31 2022 20:45 utc | 138

Norwegian #31 Thank you for the Eva Bartlet yarn with Gonzalo Lira. What a combination!

Boo Thank you for all your posts :)

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 31 2022 20:57 utc | 139

@Brother Ma | Mar 31 2022 20:24 utc | 133

> The poles now have more refugees per capita than any other country in the world. Most West _ Ukro Galicians who hate and murdered Poles in centuries gone by.

I doubt that very much. Lebanon & Jordan would be it. At one time Syria was one also before the war brought on by the "civilised world".

Posted by: Sundial | Mar 31 2022 21:10 utc | 140

Thanks for the replies! I had business and just returned.

Another important note to paste in full is the machine translation of Lavrov's "report card" from the Afghan conference held in Tunxi, China. Do take note of what nation is the main inhibitor in solving Afghanistan's huge humanitarian problems and whose Terrorist Foreign Legion remains very active and is also a hinderance. IMO, further evidence that the Outlaw US Empire is Anti-Human. Lavrov:

First of all, I would like to express my gratitude to our Chinese hosts for organizing the next ministerial meeting of Afghanistan's neighbouring countries and the events that are taking place and will continue to be held on the sidelines of this meeting. We believe that this initiative is very timely. "Comparing notes" in this format on the situation in Afghanistan is in demand for the development of region-wide approaches to the post-conflict development of this country.

It can be stated that, despite the lack of managerial experience, financial and economic restrictions and political and diplomatic pressure from the United States and its allies, the new administration of Afghanistan manages to cope with keeping the state "afloat". There have been some positive results in the counter-terrorism area. Efforts were being made to respect human rights.

Kabul is actively working to expand diplomatic and economic ties. Officials of the Taliban government regularly hold meetings with foreign partners in bilateral and multilateral formats, as it was in Moscow, Tehran, Doha, Oslo, Antalya, etc. Today this list will be replenished by the city of Tunxi. We note the gradual establishment of trade and economic cooperation, primarily with the countries of the region, whose business structures are interested in Afghanistan. All these contacts certainly contribute to the international recognition of the new Afghan authorities. In this regard, I would like to note that the first Afghan diplomat sent by the new authorities, who arrived in Moscow last month, received accreditation from the Russian Foreign Ministry.

In our view, the main obstacle to the formal recognition of the new Government in Kabul remains its lack of representation. I am referring to the absence in the authorities of those persons who would represent the interests not only of different ethnic groups of the country, national and religious minorities, but also of political forces. If these conditions are met, the UN should play a decisive role in the official recognition of DT.

The World Organization should be the main coordinator in addressing the full range of problems of post-conflict reconstruction in Afghanistan. This, in particular, was discussed during the last meeting of the Moscow format in October 2021, which was attended by all the countries present here and a delegation of the Taliban. The outcome document collectively called on all of us to convene a representative international donor conference as soon as possible under the auspices of the United Nations. Almost six months passed before the UN, with the support of such extra-regional states as Qatar, Germany, and the United Kingdom, responded to this call and announced a high-level conference on humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan. Frankly speaking, we were perplexed by the lack of coordination between the organizers and participants in the preparation of this forum. The corresponding invitation to our address was received less than two weeks before it was held. And the timing strangely coincided with our event today. The conclusion arises that our Western colleagues are trying to use the UN flag and the UN Secretariat in order to create artificial competition in international and regional efforts in afghanistan. We consider such actions counterproductive and urge our colleagues from the UN to take a more responsible approach to their duties.

On March 17, UN Security Council Resolution 2626 on the extension of the mandate of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan was adopted. Russia took an active part in the work on this document. At the same time, they were forced to abstain from voting on it due to the categorical refusal of the Western members of the Security Council to include in the text a direct mention of the Taliban de facto authorities. We are convinced that this issue should have been coordinated with the new Afghan authorities. However, our insistent proposals were ignored, although host State support for any UN mission is an absolute imperative in deciding the work of all peacekeeping and special political missions of the Organization.

We consider it necessary to intensify our joint work with the leadership of the UN and its Afghan mission in order to ensure that the interests of Afghanistan's neighbours and other regional partners in the context of the reconstruction of this country are fully taken into account.

Dear colleagues,

Despite the general cessation of hostilities and a significant decrease in the number of civilian casualties, the security situation in the country cannot yet be called stable. A serious factor of tension remains the activities of international terrorist organizations, such as ISIS, Al-Qaeda, Jamaat Ansarullah, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, East Turkestan (IMU, ETIM), etc. Additional tension is created as a result of the activities of Panjshir guerrillas from the National Resistance Front.

Of particular concern are the plans of ISIS and their supporters to destabilize the Central Asian states and export instability to Russia. An alarming signal is the build-up of jamaat Ansarulla detachments and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) in the area of the Afghan-Tajik and Afghan-Uzbek borders.

As we have already stated, we consider unacceptable the deployment of any military infrastructure of the United States and NATO or the Afghans who served them on the territory of neighboring states, primarily in Central Asia. Such plans run counter to the security interests of our States and contradict the obligations that arise from the charter documents of the Collective Security Treaty Organization. We urge you to be extremely careful about appeals regarding the placement of Afghan refugees in the territory of neighboring countries and carefully weigh the possible negative consequences that carry high risks for the country concerned and regional security as a whole. Even if such visits are submitted under noble humanitarian slogans, it will not be superfluous to show increased vigilance.

The problem of illicit drug trafficking is not decreasing. According to some estimates, income from the drug business ranges from 6 to 11 percent. GDP of Afghanistan. At the end of last year, an increase in the yield of narcotic crops and the volume of drug production was recorded. As far as is known, the Taliban authorities, despite the measures to which our President referred, do not prohibit local farmers from cultivating opium poppy due to the difficult situation in the economy. The high-ranking representatives of the DT themselves are sounding the alarm in connection with the growth in the number of drug addicts to 5 million people, including, according to estimates, 1 million - women and children. Call on the international community to assist Afghanistan in its transition to alternative cultures. We are convinced that approaches to resolving the Afghan drug problem should be comprehensive and combine law enforcement with the development of national agriculture and the health system.

Dear colleagues,

After 20 years of NATO's military presence, accompanied by a completely collapsed experiment in imposing recipes and values alien to the Afghan people, the "collective West" bears direct responsibility for the current humanitarian situation, the deplorable state of the Afghan economy. Consequently, it must shoulder the brunt of the financial burden of overcoming the crisis and stabilizing the situation.

However, Washington, as we have seen more than once, is trying to evade responsibility for the fate of Afghan citizens and refugees, including those who served the Americans and are now "stuck" on the way to the United States in "transit countries". It seems that Washington is not averse to leaving these people in the region on a permanent basis.

President Joe Biden's decree to block half of the accounts of the Afghan Central Bank under the pretext of the need to pay compensation for the claims of relatives of the victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks looks particularly cynical and even mocking. This frankly unfair decision sharply limits the ability of the Taliban government to normalize the situation and reduces the counter-terrorism potential of the Afghan armed forces and law enforcement agencies. The sincerity of the Americans' intentions to help stabilize the situation in Afghanistan is highly questionable.

We commend certain steps taken by international agencies and financial institutions, in particular the World Bank, which has decided to unfreeze the Afghanistan Reconstruction Fund in order to alleviate the humanitarian situation. So far, however, these measures have not led to a marked improvement in the lives of ordinary Afghans. Washington, again, through its influence in the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, hinders the implementation of social programs by the Kabul authorities. In particular, it hinders the resumption of the work of Afghan financial operators with the international banking system.

In such circumstances, it is necessary to strengthen regional cooperation, consolidate our approaches aimed both at restoring and normalizing all spheres of Afghanistan's life, and at suppressing the threats of terrorism and drug trafficking that are still emanating from this country. I also believe that the Moscow format, the SCO and the CSTO are promising mechanisms for establishing effective, sustainable and coordinated work in these areas.

It is important to continue work within the framework of the so-called expanded troika. It has a serious untapped potential and is capable of bringing together key regional partners and other donors for the comprehensive post-conflict reconstruction of Afghanistan.

The main thing is that our American colleagues should participate in this mechanism in good faith, proceeding not from the next geopolitical plans, but from the interests of the Afghan people and stability in the region. Russia continues to provide humanitarian assistance to the Afghan population. In November-December 2021, the next three consignments of humanitarian goods, including food and medicines, were delivered. Another batch of humanitarian aid was delivered last week, when an interdepartmental Russian delegation was in Kabul. This visit confirmed the mutual interest in establishing Russian-Afghan cooperation in such areas as energy, transport, civil aviation, mining, and agriculture.

In conclusion, I would like to note that we support the adoption of the Joint Statement following our meeting today, as well as the Tongxi Initiative proposed by the Chinese organizers. This document can serve as a basis for our further work to build up practical cooperation with our Afghan colleagues.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 31 2022 21:11 utc | 141

Even though it seems like a bit of a cop out,allowing exchange of Euros for rubles in a Russian bank located in Germany makes some sense. Firstly Russia gets to sell some gas. Secondly there will be at least one non sanctioned bank or the gas flow will stop - probably instantly. Third Russia will need some Euros for trade with third parties. I imagine that in many parts of Africa and South America if Russia paid for imports in rubles there would be difficulty in spending them for those poorer countries. India too may have all the rubles it can use via the oil trade, so a few Euros would be useful. Ditto Iran. Four of course it helps break the US/Europe nexus. Five it is probably important also for China's BRI.

At a guess the 10 day work through would allow for gas supply that is already paid for- I imagine that payment is in advance.

Posted by: watcher | Mar 31 2022 21:12 utc | 142

njet @106--

It appears you failed to read any of my previous explanations as to what Russia will use its euros for. Despite everything, Russian businesses and the Russian government still conduct operations in Europe where the use of the euro facilitates their efforts. Furthermore, it's possible to use the euro to displace the dollar in foreign trade--and the #1 goal is the displacement and destruction of the dollar given the Outlaw US Empire's failed attempts to destroy the ruble.

I hope that's now clear to you and to others professing the same lack of understanding.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 31 2022 21:19 utc | 143

watcher @141--

Apparently, you failed to understand this passage from Putin:

"In fact, what's going on, what's already happened? We supplied European consumers with our resources, in this case gas, and they received it, paid us in euros, which they then froze themselves. In this regard, there is every reason to believe that we have supplied part of the gas supplied to Europe virtually free of charge." [My Emphasis]

And that's not going to be allowed to occur again. So, yes, payment up front then delivery.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 31 2022 21:27 utc | 144

@bubbles | Mar 31 2022 17:12 utc | 105

"So further Corporate Socialism it will be, in the Land of the Free, Home of the Brave?"

Hahahaha, perfect—I shall now describe the US's political economy as Corpsie... 💀

Posted by: Vintage Red | Mar 31 2022 21:45 utc | 145

The poles now have more refugees per capita than any other country in the world. Most West _ Ukro Galicians who hate and murdered Poles in centuries gone by.

stupid Poland!

Posted by: Brother Ma | Mar 31 2022 20:24 utc | 133

Poland has suffered from poor leadership for a long time. It's leaders have a history of trying to punch above their weight. As is seen now with their leaders once again posturing as major players while Poland is a welfare state taking more from the EU than it contributes while lifting it's middle finger to it's benefactor.

I read once that Poland had been occupied for all but 30 years out of 350 years prior to 1945, Not sure if that is accurate but it seems plausible.

Posted by: bubbles | Mar 31 2022 21:46 utc | 146

Boo #5

Another ukie helicopter shot down attempting to fly over to azovstal, mariupol.

My machine translate from this utoob site (Юрий Подоляка, 3.02M subscribers) suggests the chopper was terminated after departing Mariopol.

Good work! and I guess that this way the Russian side will recover the bodies for identification. That will be interesting. Apparently 2 survivors who were sitting at chopper doorway.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 31 2022 21:54 utc | 147

Germany is the top Net Contributor to the EU Budget, Poland is the largest beneficiary to the EU Budget. . .here, from 2019

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 31 2022 21:54 utc | 148

Perhaps the Nazis and their choppers were mislead by the Russian Defense Ministry announcement of a Thursday cease-fire around Mariupol to allow for the evacuation of civilians.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 31 2022 21:58 utc | 149

@ Don Bacon 136

Ah yes Facepalm living in metaverse. Need we elaborate. Is PBS, BBC, CBC not funded by .gov grants?

Yes BRICS has been readying under the radar the past decade and will pay a significant role in the new financial order. Several articles at the BRICS official website:

Russian Central Bank Specialists to Meet RBI Counterparts; to Discuss Rupee-Ruble Payment

A team of specialists from the Russian Central Bank will meet their Indian counterparts from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) this week to discuss rupee-ruble payment systems for future purchases. With the West mounting its economic sanctions, Moscow has been pushing countries to switch to ruble transactions.

It is pertinent to mention here that Indian oil companies are currently purchasing a high amount of Russian oil at discounted prices amid global sanctions. Earlier on March 11, Russian Deputy PM Alexander Novak spoke to Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Hardeep Singh Puri during which he invited Indian investment in its oil and gas sector. 

Note at discounted price with Brent benchmark over USD$100/bbl, Russia can afford huge discounts. It budgets oil at USD$45/bbl and the West is envious.

More headlines at the BRICS Portal

China to Host 14th BRICS Summit with Focus on 'New Era of Global Development'

And see where the “new era” is institutions replacing World Bank IMF….

New Development Bank Updates: NDB Enters 2022 in Expansion Mode

The New Development Bank (NDB) – established by BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) – is starting 2022 in expansion mode after welcoming four new members in the previous year.

NDB was created in 2015 with the aim of becoming a global development bank to mobilize resources for infrastructure and sustainable development. During its first years of operation, the Bank focused on building solid foundations to operate at scale. After the initial establishment phase, NDB has now started admitting new members.

NDB's Board of Governors authorized the Bank to conduct formal negotiations with prospective members in late 2020. After a round of successful negotiations, NDB has admitted four new members in 2021: Bangladesh, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Uruguay.

"We are delighted to welcome Bangladesh, Egypt, UAE and Uruguay to the NDB. They bring over 280 million people that can benefit from NDB's investments in infrastructure and sustainable development", said Mr. Marcos Troyjo, President of NDB. "We will continue to expand the Bank's membership in a gradual and balanced manner".[.]

= = = = =

[.]And that's not going to be allowed to occur again. So, yes, payment up front then delivery.

@ karlof1 143

Mr. Putin and Mr. Lavrov have been too polite.
The “theft of goods” should be the operative descriptor. COD, irrevocable Letters of Credit will not be considered.

New Payment Terms: CBD Cash Before Delivery in the currency deemed acceptable to Seller, further stipulating - 72 hours prior to releasing the juice.

A lot of pain dialed up.

Posted by: Likklemore | Mar 31 2022 21:59 utc | 150

karlof1 #94

Thank you for your 'sterling' efforts.

I love it - All Fools Day - and the west MUST open accounts in Russian banks to pay for gas. That is too good.

Comrade Putin has a dry, wicked humour.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 31 2022 22:00 utc | 151

The Beeb offers some "key fronts" and then trashes Russia for thinking differently and acting elsewhere.
Russia's invasion is now in its sixth week, and it has failed on the key fronts - the Russians have not managed to enter the capital Kyiv, to topple the government, or to take any major city - bar Kherson - in the south. Russia has destroyed more than it has captured. That's a poor return on a costly invasion. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 31 2022 22:25 utc | 152

Likklemore @149--

Thanks for the reply and your leg work on collecting info on the New System; there's quite a lot, and it's a difficult job for one or even a team of six.

The next move for Russia will be the pricing of all exports in Rubles for unfriendly nations. IMO, oil and refined products must come next so the Outlaw US Empire can get in on the fun.

It's interesting to see what's not being asked of Lavrov or talked about by him, aside from his general terms about the coming Multipolar World Order.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 31 2022 22:27 utc | 153

“Whatever they are paying, whatever they are doing, needs to be in compliance with sanctions. If not they are exposing themselves to a great risk. As long as they are compliant with sanctions and not significantly raising purchases, we are okay,” the official added.[.]

“We, over the next several days and weeks, are going to be stepping up the enforcement of sanctions. We are telling everybody, everywhere around the world to ensure you are compliant with sanctions…this is the message to everyone,” the official said.[.]

(emphasis added)

"will Allow" !!!

Can't help these questions: Is India still a colony? Do Americans know the difference between Rupees and Rubles?

They are in deep mourning. The USD$ died and signing of its death certificate and burial is being arranged.

Posted by: Likklemore | Mar 31 2022 18:46 utc | 119

There is a word in my language that describes a person who is benevolent in his own opinion, for example like a lord who does not order his peasants to be whipped WITHOUT A GOOD REASON. In recent history, in the case of Iran, India was showing "flexibility" of the sort that USA demand again, i.e. buying Iranian oil with a discount but not increasing those purchases. This situation is different in many aspects.

First, regularly receiving orders from "Rule based World order" has to grate on Indian elite, which has some split personality. On one hand, the ARE colonials, often more fluent in English than in Indian vernaculars, and their businesses do depend on Western markets and regulations. On the other, they represent the most marvelous and exceptional civilization, so being lectured by barbarians really requires to instruct those barbarians back. Accepting such treatment once is more of a reason not to do it again. (If anything, Modi's circle is megalomaniac, so dignity consideration carries an extra weight.)

Second, Russia has a lot to offer to India, oil, weapons AND technology to make them, nuclear power (again, with technology sharing) and other stuff hard to replace, like fertilizers currently under Russian export embargo (with discretional exceptions). These things are are hard to get otherwise or with a better price.

Third, India strategic worry with China cannot be relieved by USA. However, having influence on Russia that has influence on China is a stabilizer for Indian subcontinent: Pakistan is chummy with China, India with Russia, and China with Russia. While Pakistan and India have "profound differences", this chain provides a stabilizing effect. By the way of contrast, the West plays games to inflame local conflicts, Ukraine being the current example.

To summarize, being an obedient Western follower can hurt Indian dignity, pocketbook and security.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 31 2022 22:34 utc | 154

uncle tungsten @150--

Thanks for the reply and for your appreciation of the Putin Doctrine.

Past Putin's announcement at the link I provided is a discussion about Russia's airlines and air travel that's very educational. Russia expects to have 100 million people travel via air domestically--domestic traffic--while Russia's population isn't quite 150 million. IMO, that's an amazing figure. Apparently, Russia's economy is strong enough that its people--2/3rds--can afford to take vacations via air travel. Within the Empire, that would be an unheard of number.

Russia gets sanctioned. Russia grows stronger. IMO, the West needs to give it favors so it can make it soft and weak!

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 31 2022 22:41 utc | 155

Posted by: bubbles | Mar 31 2022 17:12 utc | 105

"Biden expected to authorize release of 1/3rd of US strategic oil reserve. Some 180 million barrels over the next 6 months."

US daily consumption of oil is @ 20 million bpd - so 1 million bpd is just a pr exercise.

Posted by: Waldorf | Mar 31 2022 14:16 utc | 68

"The People's Militia of the DPR reported that one of the helicopters was shot down by a prepared calculation from a captured Stinger MANPAD captured during the liberation of Mariupol..."

A timely dose of poetic justice.

Posted by: ted001 | Mar 31 2022 23:16 utc | 156

US daily consumption of oil is @ 20 million bpd - so 1 million bpd is just a pr exercise.

US produces 12 million on a very good day--
So we import 7 million barrels a day.

Posted by: Duncan Idaho | Mar 31 2022 23:43 utc | 157

bubbles @ 131
Sour crude exists and it is cheaper. If a refiner could get better quality crude at a similar price they would run it. Source? I have been reading this for decades going way way back...
However, traders said they expected the sale of SPR oil, which is mainly blended sour, or high-sulphur, crude, will depress the value of U.S. sour crude grades, such as Mars and Southern Green Canyon, and benefit buyers in Asia, which processes mainly high-sulphur oil.
U.S. to sell 32 mln bbls from 4 sites as part of strategic sale

Going back to my original post, it is basic economics in a country that tries to protect its environment somewhat. Stack emissions are a big deal hence It is cheaper than sweet crude and much harder on the equipment.

Posted by: circumspect | Apr 1 2022 0:20 utc | 158

"CEO of Germany's multinational BASF SE, the world's largest chemical producer, has warned that curbing or cutting off energy imports from Russia would bring into doubt the continued existence of small and medium-sized energy companies, and further would likely spiral Germany into its most "catastrophic" economic crisis going back to the end of World War 2."

(for full disclosure I'm an American)
Europe: Stupid Is As Stupid Does.
Shouldn't they have considered this before marching full speed to "punish" Russia financially? Not even a near significant group thought 'Well we get a very substantial amount of our energy producing fuel from Russia, let's think this through'. Instead they double sown on stupid by publicly scoffing at "Rubles for Fuel". Wouldn't that have been the perfect time to be statesmen? negotiators? "Paying in rubles would be difficult for us. However, we would like the fuel, Russia would like the revenue, so we will meet to discuss and negotiate"?
Nope. headlong MSM virtue signaling while they are out buying what they need -- while the serfs will go without. Just stupid and sad...

Posted by: Corsair66 | Apr 1 2022 1:03 utc | 159

@ karlof1 152,

Thanks karlofi.1 That’s some huge shout out. I’m honoured.

Yes, the BRICS group of nations has been dismissed in Western mindsets. Considering the direction before us the BRICS group should be kept on our radars.
I’m well pleased Egypt, Uruguay and UAE has ascended to membership in the BRICS New Development Bank (NDB). After Brazil and Uruguay other South American countries will follow. What is little known is that trade from other countries destined for Brazil is routed through Uruguay. Uruguay is considered a financial centre.

The 5 founding countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa represent 3.5 billion people and 41.3% of world population.
See its startup: "BRICS, Shaping the New Global Architecture"

Brazil anchors South America. South Africa anchors Africa. India, Russia and China forms the pillars of Euroasia. Plug in the 65 countries along Xi's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) the platform to global trade connectivity.

We give thanks to the unfolding of the new financial world order.

Oh, after the West telegraphed “sanctions from hell” Putin knew he had to double prepare. Most were puzzled when Putin said (paraphrased) “we will use ‘military and technical’ means”

February 24, 2022. Putin deployed the “military”
March 31, 2022. Putin announced what he meant by “Technical” - nuanced. In some cultures, Financing is technical.

Posted by: Likklemore | Apr 1 2022 1:43 utc | 160

It may be an early April fool joke by the "Sueddeutsche Zeitung" - headlining Christopher Steele - of the faked Russia gate fame -
"Der frühere MI6-Russland-Chef Christopher Steele über Putins Fehleinschätzungen, die Gefahr eines dritten Weltkriegs - und warum sein "Trump-Dossier" nie öffentlich werden sollte."
Steele needs more money?

Posted by: fanto | Apr 1 2022 2:41 utc | 161

@ Corsair66 | Apr 1 2022 1:03 utc | 158

As many knowledgeable people have pointed out, the people making these decisions do not have the requisite education or professional training for their responsibilities.

Andrei Martyanov, for example, for the umpteenth time mentions this again today concerning the German politicos. See ~ 14:50 :

A similar situation holds for the US, UK and EU where people in top positions have degrees in law, philosophy, education, even social work. Where are the people with degrees in engineering and the hard sciences?

Further, as Gonzola Lira elaborated in a recent video concerning his experience in the west’s educational institutions, those who ‘succeed’ — who make it through the hoops to the top — are conditioned to be compliant.

Ideologues in charge = a failed system.

Posted by: suzan | Apr 1 2022 3:00 utc | 162

@ karlof1 152,
Thanks karlofi.1 That’s some huge shout out.
Let's extend that. I've been blogging on & off here for a few years, and I'm thinking that we've never had such an intelligent, fact-based, impressive panel. . .Opinions are fine, but it's the facts which brings home the bacon. :-)

Posted by: Don Bacon | Apr 1 2022 3:13 utc | 163

Scott Ritter. I think this is the interview Richard linked to live which I missed. A must watch.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 1 2022 3:48 utc | 164

"...Where are the people with degrees in engineering and the hard sciences?.."suzan@161

It really has nothing to do with university degrees. The problem is that these people are dishonest and corrupt. They would still be so if they had PhDs in Engineering or whatever.

In a sense the underlying problem is that education is indoctrination. In order to succeed academically individuals have to compromise themselves and deny the lessons that their lives, and those of their parents and their neighbours, have taught them.

What is needed are honest representatives, humble enough to defer to the judgements of those who elect them. And capable of understanding that the basic questions in politics are not complicated, that democracy is impossible without equality and that justice cannot co-exist with the exploitation of the many by the few.
There are few illiterate peasants in the Third World who do not understand these truths and the morality that they are born from, and thousands of highly educated and corrupt people who regard the cannibalism of capitalism as inevitable and a reasonable price to pay for the privileges that they enjoy and defend for the powerful.

Posted by: bevin | Apr 1 2022 4:16 utc | 165

Chinese FM spokesperson trolling the US again.

Posted by: Moses22 | Apr 1 2022 5:54 utc | 166

Two Ukrainian helicopters cross the Russian border at low altitude and destroy an oil deposit in Belgorod.
acc. Bellum Acta.

Posted by: SCan | Apr 1 2022 6:05 utc | 167

Perhaps China has already woken up to this.

The Biden administration has approved its first arms sale to the island democracy of Taiwan, a potential $750 million deal, amid rising tensions with China.

It calls for selling Taiwan 40 new M109 self-propelled howitzers and almost 1,700 kits to convert projectiles into more precise GPS-guided munitions, according to a State Department notification to Congress on Wednesday.

The article would also remind readers of other relatively recent US arms sales to Taiwan:

The new package follows high-profile sales to Taiwan approved in the last year of the Trump administration, including 66 new model F-16 Block 70 aircraft from Lockheed Martin Corp. and a potential $2.4 billion sale of Boeing Co. Harpoon antiship missiles for coastal defense.

Another package late in the Trump administration includes 135 SLAM-extended-range land attack missiles from Boeing valued at $1 billion if the entire sale goes through, $436 million for Himars mobile artillery rocket systems made by Lockheed and $367 million in surveillance and reconnaissance sensors from Raytheon Technologies Corp. to be mounted on aircraft. Since 2010, the US has announced more than $23 billion in arms sales to Taiwan.

More recently, Reuters in its 2022 article, “US approves $100 million sale for Taiwan missile upgrades,” would report:

The United States has approved a possible $100 million sale of equipment and services to Taiwan to “sustain, maintain, and improve” its Patriot missile defense system, the Pentagon said on Monday, drawing an angry threat of retaliation from Beijing.

While these arms sales are presented as “defensive,” they are part of Washington’s wider militarization of the region and, more specifically, the military encirclement of China itself.

I doubt that China will wait for all these armaments to be delivered this year. Climate wise there are optimum windows for ground based activities:

Taiwan ... lies on border of two climatic zones. Northern part of island has subtropical climate with wet summer and dry cool winter. Southern part of Taiwan has pronounced monsoon tropical climate with minor changes of temperature through whole year. Instead there are dry and rainy seasons.

Precipitation level is high in both parts of Taiwan but northern part has more even distribution of rains in the year. However time between November and February may be considered as dry season on whole territory of the island. Southern part is almost completely dry during this period and northern have moderate occasional rains.

May is the peak wet season as far as I can tell.
Here is a map to consider.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 1 2022 6:19 utc | 168

suzan #161

Thank you, I caught that excellent Andrei Martyanov piece earlier and thought that if ever thee were a 7th Heaven designed just for Andrei, then it is the year 2022. He has been exulting in the flogging of the pentagon deluded infidels for the past month. Me too.

Certainly I never thought I would see such an extraordinary reverse again since the USA was defeated in Vietnam, then came the Iranian Mullahs to kick their arses with Carter, their murderous quagmire in the middle east then along came Afghanistan, and now the clowns are in the stocks shared with nazis that they created and we can all throw rotten tomatoes at them.

Perhaps the next event will be Taiwan being politely refused delivery of its murderous war toys. That would be a humane contribution from China and friends.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 1 2022 6:54 utc | 169

Apr 1 2022 6:54 utc | 168 "Perhaps the next event will be Taiwan being politely refused delivery of its murderous war toys."

It is hard to predict the future, but the yanks have fucked with the bear. I am not sure they have a geopolitical future.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Apr 1 2022 7:05 utc | 170

Peter AU1 #169

It is hard to predict the future, but the yanks have fucked with the bear. I am not sure they have a geopolitical future.

They will likely pick on someone of their own grade next time, perhaps skunks.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 1 2022 8:45 utc | 171

To Boo @ #42
The closest we’ve seen is an announcement yesterday that our neoliberal narcissist nutcase PM is intending to send some Bushmaster armoured PCs. Last week he wanted to send coal . (you see what I mean). Thankfully he’s so busy with an impending election mid May, and death spiral in the polls, that it’s all talk, likely. He couldn’t (wouldn’t) get help in time to a large town here now flooded horribly twice in a few weeks. A common hashtag is #ScottyTheAnnouncer. You get my drift.
It’s hoped they’ll be routed, but fat lady singing and all that.

Posted by: PaulH | Apr 1 2022 10:13 utc | 172

Sorry that was to ‘….. Northerner’ @ #42

Posted by: PaulH | Apr 1 2022 10:15 utc | 173

Dispatch from Pakistan: Regime change alert!

There's an active regime change operation taking place, to remove PM Imran Khan who has publicly said no to US having bases in the country.

MSM will not report because the main players are backed by the notorious "international community."

The highlights of the story:

Some US under secretary met the Pakistani ambassador in Washington DC and in no ambiguous words stated that "Imran Khan is the problem" between the relations of the two countries, and that if the parliamentary Vote of No Confidence (VONC) against Khan does not result in him being removed, there will be consequences. Here's the kicker: An assassination/death threat against Khan was implied. Khan's independent foreign policy, meeting with Putin were said to be potential sources of angst.

All of this was communicated in an official memo by the Pakistani ambassador to the PM, on March 7. At that point, there were no developments in Pakistan about VONC. However, the opposition parties somehow magically assembled the required numbers to oust Khan over the past few days. This prompted PM Khan to disclose the ambassadors' memo in a live address to the nation yesterday.

Khan is known for his non-corrupt, honest reputation and he does not cut deals with western governments by allowing drone attacks and large scale slaughter of his own people. He has openly reached out to China and Russia in the past.

The opposition members (clique of old tried and tested venal *******) have had many, many frequent meetings with US/foreign officials in the last few days.

Khan is now alleging a foreign conspiracy to oust him. Public opinion in Pakistan is strongly in his favor -- and this comes from me who was more or less neutral in the last few years of Khan being in power.

Posted by: Tranquilitus | Apr 1 2022 11:23 utc | 174

Imran - needs to boot out the nato/CIA bases that have been there for most of the last f Pakistan’s existence. He also needs to clear out their proxies in the SiS of the Army. He needs to tell the Saudis to fuck off and take their mad mullahs back to their sandcastles. He needs to prove Pakistan is no longer a staging post for Afghanistan mujahadeens - ie CIA/Mossad/MI6 proxxies.

I won’t believe it as Khan was captured a long time ago by the Zio kings - Kissinger considered him ‘one of our boys’ - he was married to the princess Goldsmith and given children of the ‘blood’ who would forever be part of the tribe. A guarantee and a threat.

If he stepped out of his contract - he would have been blown up already.

Posted by: DunGroanin | Apr 1 2022 12:16 utc | 175

The heroic night time sortie and attack directly by helicopters in Belgorod in Russia – seems most likely either the work of some kamikaze types to avenge their fellow pilots not caring for their own safety or some other faction and least like a direct order from the top. Seeing how the ‘peace talks’ are supposed to resume today.

It does seem desperate that the crazies are being forced to be exterminated. There are many such nasty rats who will need to be captured tried punished and kept confinement for decades seeing how many are so young – some may be able to be reprogrammed- but none should ever be free to roam in society for the rest of their lives.

(What has happened to these head chopper Uighers by the way??)

These who have been torturing civilians in the streets and raping deserve their gonads removing so that their high pitched voices will always show them up even as they try and hide their idiotic tattoos.

It’s April fools day – none of the above is a joke – for me that comes this evening as many idiotic British people rush to raise funds for random Ukrainian ‘refugees’ in Poland through unknown agents here in the U.K. who are raising tens, hundreds of thousands through arranging entertainment and champagne quaffing evenings – the literal FOOLS of this April first are us, western emotionally blackmailed button pushed morons, who only know what the MSM tells us.

Posted by: DunGroanin | Apr 1 2022 12:22 utc | 176

A final post for now - busy raising funds for Ukraine for the rest of the day (😤)


Look - there are enough top politicians and ex chancellors in these companies - they will have Germany’s interests at heart.

The pipeline is built. It is pressurised. It will flow gas for many decades.

Anyone who doubts or doesn’t understanding that is not just a Fool for a Day but everyday.

Germany will finally be able to tell the Yankees to go home - they have plenty to sort out.

I bet Mutti has not been completely enjoying her retirement and not giving a crap about what has happened since her departure.

Posted by: DunGroanin | Apr 1 2022 12:28 utc | 177

Imran's marriage to a jewish billionaire's daughter (they divorced nearly 14 years back) has always hounded him. As someone who has observed Pakistan's political developments closely, I can safely vouch that it's not a concern any more for most Pakistanis who just want an honest PM at the top who doesn't loot the treasury the way Nawaz Shareef (Billionaire courtesy stints as PM and Chief minister of the largest province) and Asif Zardari (Notoriously corrupt husband of Benazir Bhutto, has documentaries on his corruption and loot.) Imran, on the other hand, has built 3 cancer hospitals in 3 of Pakistan's biggest cities which provide subsidized treatment, along with 1 university in his rural constituency, which largely persuaded people to vote him in.

Imran went and met Putin the day Russia stepped into Ukraine, which angered the western powers. More importantly, he has said "absolutely not" to allowing NATO bases in the country. This has worked against him.

The VONC is now scheduled for April 3 which Khan has said that he will allow to go through, for it will expose those who are part of the conspiracy he alleges.

Posted by: Tranquilitus | Apr 1 2022 12:30 utc | 178

The VONC is now scheduled for April 3 which Khan has said that he will allow to go through, for it will expose those who are part of the conspiracy he alleges.

Posted by: Tranquilitus | Apr 1 2022 12:30 utc | 177

Thank you your comments, very helpful. I have a favorable view of Imran, but no clue at all about Pakistani politics.

Posted by: Bemildred | Apr 1 2022 12:48 utc | 179

@Tranquilitus #173

Thank you for your comment about the Western plot to remove Khan. Please keep us updated.

Posted by: S | Apr 1 2022 15:38 utc | 180

the US is try to change too many regimes. It would be a lot simpler to change the regime in the US, except the nukes are an intractable problem.
a desperate empire with psychopaths running things.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Apr 1 2022 15:45 utc | 181

The Rooster has crowed. So loud that he cracked the egg.

It's April 1st, 2022. It's DDD. Big news

Russia's Gazprom exits German business amid row over pricing

Russian energy giant Gazprom said on Friday it was exiting its business in Germany, amid a row between the two countries over Moscow's insistence on switching payments for Russian gas to roubles from euros. 

It was not immediately clear how the move would affect the supply of Russian gas, on which Germany depends for about 40% of its needs. [.]

Austria, Hungary Say No Substitute to Russian Gas as Germany’s BASF Warns of Worst Crisis Since WWII

Officials in Austria and Hungary say there’s no alternative to Russian natural gas, with Budapest stressing that more costly American-sourced LNG is not a realistic substitute.

“Replacing cheap Russian gas with expensive American gas” is an “absurd” proposal, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban told Kossuth Radio on Friday.

“It’s not that we’ll put on an extra sweater in the evening and turn the heating down a little or paying a few extra forints for gas. The fact is that if energy supplies don’t come from Russia there won’t be any energy in Hungary,” Orban stressed.

The politician noted that 85 percent of Hungary’s gas supplies and 64 percent of the country’s oil comes from Russia, and that geography puts limits on Budapest’s ability to diversify its sources of energy.
Austrian energy giant OMV CEO Alfred Stern echoed Orban’s concerns, saying that there was no LNG alternative for Austria.

“Giving up on Russian gas is impossible unless we are willing to live with the massive consequences of such a step. Some countries can do that. It cannot be implemented by Austria this year…As a landlocked country, we don’t have access to LNG. Any diversification would mean investing in more expensive infrastructure to get access to more expensive gas. (emphasis added)

‘Worst Crisis Since WWII’

Austria’s neighbour Germany, whose leaders have so far publicly refused to be “blackmailed” into paying for Russia’s gas in rubles, while privately inquiring about how such ruble payments could be made, is facing a similar dilemma, with Berlin activating an emergency plan to cope with supply disruptions and preparing to institute gas rationing. Russian deliveries made up 55 percent of the European industrial giant’s gas consumption in 2021, with Germany’s underground gas storage tanks down to 25 percent of capacity this week.

Martin Brudermuller, CEO of German chemicals giant BASF, has characterised Berlin’s plans to boycott ruble-priced gas as a “highly irresponsible experiment,” and stressed that Germans underestimate the true risks of such a step.

Observe: The Emperor does not do geography. Ukraine, what’s that? Russia? Oh, that’s the name of a gas station...and the cashier only accepts cash in local currency, Rubles.

OTOH. Watch Germany’s business Titans bringing the government in on a tight leash.
Do we destroy our economy with our eyes wide open? Destroy everything we have been creating for decades?

Iran Wants to Trade With Russia in National Currencies, Deputy Head of Central Bank Tells Sputnik

And the switching over gathers pace.

Posted by: Likklemore | Apr 1 2022 15:48 utc | 182

В перед Россия!

Posted by: Russophile | Apr 1 2022 15:55 utc | 183

Likklemore | Apr 1 2022 15:48 utc | 182


It was not immediately clear how the move would affect the supply of Russian gas, on which Germany depends for about 40% of its needs."
The move is great as this is the kind of language the political establishment in Germany immediately perceives. One creates a new reality so the other day one has to compromise but irreversibly on the basis of new changed facts.
Whatever camouflage they may find for a solution. How in reality it affects the supply is the one and only thing that counts. Suicide or not.

Posted by: Hausmeister | Apr 1 2022 16:22 utc | 184

S @180--

RT has an article reporting Khan's accusation of Outlaw US Empire meddling which the Empire confirmed via its quick denial by Ned Price. There's a very good possibility that the no confidence vote will fresult with Khan emerging even stronger than now since an opposition win would force new elections that would allow Khan's party to govern either outright or with a much stronger coalition. The Pakistanis the Empire controls are at the elite level and don't have nearly the voting power of the overall electorate. Plus, Khan has instituted the People Centered Development political-economy promoted by China and Russia which has greatly empowered the electorate. Khan has already invoked the British legacy and now invokes further Imperial meddling. It's another very high stakes chance undertaken by the Outlaw US Empire that it's very likely to lose.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 1 2022 16:45 utc | 185

@pretzelattack | Apr 1 2022 15:45 utc | 181,

Comment of the Month?! (This is not a joke.)

Posted by: LuRenJia | Apr 1 2022 16:48 utc | 186

"No sustainable life inland."

Posted by: Et Tu | Mar 31 2022 10:13 utc | 29

Au contraire. Indigenous Australians have been living in 'The Red Centre' for more than 45,000 years...based on the confirmed dated site at Lake Mungo, New South Wales. Those folks go back a looong way.

Posted by: Jon_in_AU | Apr 1 2022 16:58 utc | 187

I’ll make myself clearer about my previous comment and won’t mention it again.

Khan is a Pashtun.

That means he has steel in his bones.

He was and probably will remain famous for his captaincy of the the Pakistan cricket team that arose to prove to be winners. I know him from his cricketing as a fan of good cricket. He took the empires game and used it against them.

But he is compromised by his trajectory and his life after. He wouldn’t have been allowed to become the leader unless he had been ‘picked’. My comment earlier of the blood ties is valid.

He is considerable personal danger and his children threatened if he actually goes against his ‘owners’.
As is Zelensky.

He is a Pashtun his steel may see him through. Good luck captain.

Posted by: DunGroanin | Apr 1 2022 20:45 utc | 188

Thank you all for your feedback. Truly appreciate being able to contribute in any manner to this fantastic forum.

@188 DunGroanin

Imran Khan has always batted against the empire, and his stint as a PM has seen Pakistan draw closer to Russia and China and out of US orbit of influence -- something ordinary Pakistanis would endorse and approve of.

My guess is it is just a matter of time before they get rid of him (from this planet) one way or the other. His opponents in the opposition is comprise of a set of a highly corrupt, "compromised" billionaires with many assets in western capitals. A simple wikipedia search will tell you the same. Google Asif Zardari, Shehbaz Shareef and Nawaz Shareef. They are ready to do the empire's bidding. The role the powerful armed forces are serving is ambiguous.

Posted by: Tranquilitus | Apr 1 2022 22:57 utc | 189

Strategic Culture has a new writer on its team, Declan Hayes, and he's a fireball. His second article, "To NATO’s Mafia, Sport Is Strictly Business", rips all international sport authorities to shreds, as they most certainly deserve. His concluding paragraph bears repeating:

"Roy Keane, himself a high profile victim of NATO’s sporting Mafia, gave perhaps the best advice when he addressed children in the North East of Ireland. When asked how to excel at sports, Keane told them to climb trees, as all children should, to enjoy all sports, as all children should, but also to first throw their X boxes and other electronic toys into the rubbish bin, as all children also should. Therein lies to key to sports’ future; a return to basics by Russia, Central Asians, Africans and other well-adjusted folk, and fruitless years wasted bribing Norwegian women and their American transsexual fellows into throwing beach balls at one another, whilst wearing skimpy thongs, betting on pretend horses, sporting Ukrainian flags and congratulating obese British Prime Ministers for pulverizing starry-eyed Japanese children."

An interesting way of saying China was correct to restrict children's access to such indoctrination machines.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 1 2022 23:17 utc | 190

Sorry to be late, b: brrrr, but beautiful!

I've thought (hoped) we might have a cooler summer -- guess I should be careful what I wish for!

Posted by: juliania | Apr 1 2022 23:32 utc | 191

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