Here is the post which I will try to keep sticky for people to ask questions and share their thoughts which are not on topic. This, I think is known as Open Thread. Fire away.
Saturday, January 1, 2022
Monday, April 5, 2021
People asked me to open this thread. Ok, here it is--I am not moderating it, because I simply have neither desire nor time to do this. Please abstain from mutual insults and posting some openly bizarre or profoundly anti-government shit, because I know many government people are trying their best to contain this pandemic. If something goes way out of control which I may not catch--please inform me in other threads. Fire away.
Monday, February 1, 2021
Friday, May 22, 2020
I was there in 1978. A separate story of how SRV (no, not Socialist Republic of Vietnam), but the largest shipyard in Kamchatka (Sudoremontnaya Verf), where all our parents and us (on Summer vacations) worked went on this epic hike to Avachinsky Volcano. I will not describe all details of that ascend and the night which preceded it (wink, wink) but once we got to the crater, see it here from 7 years ago:
We had our Elektronika cassette player with us and that is what we turned on--it was the first experience of youth with eternity and state of absolute awe. We always loved Pink Floyd, but at that moment we knew that we experienced more than just music...
It is Friday, ticking away the moments that make up a dull day....
P.S. It stinks there, bad, with "rotten eggs", sulfur that is, and yet...
P.S. It stinks there, bad, with "rotten eggs", sulfur that is, and yet...
This is on Russian news today.
Of course, as much as I cannot stand GOP, Democrats outdo themselves immediately:
Top House Democrats objected Friday to White House plans to send hundreds of ventilators to Russia at a taxpayer cost of $5.6 million, saying the “gift to President Putin” is unjustified given the ongoing pandemic and needs at home. “We are deeply concerned with recent reports that you are providing critical, life-saving ventilators to Russia when they are urgently needed here in the United States to combat the coronavirus crisis and save American lives,” House Oversight Committee Chairwoman Carolyn B. Maloney and Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot E. Engel wrote.
Pathetic, really. Russians, of course, are deeply grateful and invocation of WW II was appropriate. It was recognized in Russia on highest political level and among people--that is the only thing that matters.
Thursday, May 21, 2020
No really, comes as no surprise to me at all, in fact I am almost nonchalant about it, I almost surprise myself.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo regularly held taxpayer-funded, 500-guest formal dinners — and President Trump reportedly knew nothing about them. Until the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Pompeo often invited hundreds of guests to the U.S. State Department for his "Madison Dinners," referring to how former President James Madison often met with foreign diplomats over a meal. But unlike Madison, Pompeo invited more than just diplomats to his dinners, and sent the bill for food, entertainment, and goody bags to the U.S. government, NBC News reports. Pompeo held about two dozen Madison dinners since he took office in 2018, and they were scheduled through October until the coronavirus hit, NBC News reports via dinner guest lists and State Department calendars. About 30 percent of invitees worked in politics, another 29 percent came from corporate backgrounds, a quarter were in media and entertainment, and just 14 percent were actually involved in foreign policy. Some of those less diplomatic invitees included Reba McEntire, Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Fox News host Brian Kilmeade, and they all enjoyed harp music and embossed Madison Dinner pens and journals to take home.
You gotta love this. Reba, for all my love for her art (I consider Fancy to be one of the greatest songs ever written, in any genre), I am not sure what she, or, for that matter, Dale can really contribute to a discussion of the US foreign policy, especially in a Madisonian sense of a discussion. Not that the United States States needs a recognition as an independent nation, right? James Madison, while writing (under Publius moniker) Federalist #10 and being fourth POTUS, exhibited a political and intellectual finesse of a highest order. But then again, I have to agree with Senator Kennedy that: US was founded by geniuses and is being run now by a bunch of idiots. Here is Kennedy verbatim:
So, putting names of James Madison and Mike Pompeo in the same sentence, is an affront to America's founding, same as it would be bringing a beautiful thoroughbred to the stable for jackasses. You see, the lipstick on the pig trope did not appear out of nowhere, same as expression that you can take a girl out of the village, but you cannot take village out of the girl. Pompeo, of course, may try, for the next Madison Dinner to add, to harp, a harpsichord with French horn, to increase the sense of enlightenment of his guests, or even ask them to dress in 18th Century clothes for further refinement of the occasion. The only thing what I would have done, in the goody bags distributed to those guests I would put US Constitution, Declaration of Independence and Federalist Papers, for attendees to refer to after enjoying a fancy meal. Otherwise this:
State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus called the dinners "a world-class opportunity to discuss the mission of the State Department and the complex foreign policy matters facing our exceptional nation," saying each guest "has a stake in America and its leadership in the world."
May come across as an exhibit A of a kitsch, lowbrow, tasteless attempt to substitute real intellect and ethics in foreign policy with shiny objects and dim people like Pompeo. But then again, what do I understand about "a world-class". In a world where country-music star, race driver and Mike Pompeo discuss "complex foreign policy matters facing an exceptional nation", one has to conclude, that, apart from stinking ethically to heaven, those Pompeo Dinners exhibit an exceptional idiocy and lack of class persisting among America's "elites" who still think that they are running Rome at the height of her might, not noticing that their imagined Rome is turning, fast at that, into Carthage at the end of the Third Punic War. I will abstain from commenting here on "leadership", because that requires a whole PhD. thesis to describe a level of delusion.
Wednesday, May 20, 2020
I mean intelligence agencies which conduct actual intelligence gathering and analysis. RT published this piece today:
US military intelligence has admitted Iran has no plans to “actively oppose” the peace process in Afghanistan, directly contradicting one of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s many allegations about the Islamic Republic.The report by the lead inspector general on the state of the ongoing war in Afghanistan poured cold water on Pompeo’s speculation that Iran is seeking to upend the strained peace process between the US and the Taliban, confirming the Defense Intelligence Agency has no reason to believe Tehran will “actively oppose” the negotiations that are supposed to end with the US withdrawing troops.While acknowledging the Iranian Foreign Ministry’s March statement that Washington “has no legal standing to sign a peace agreement or to determine the future of Afghanistan,” the DIA pointed out that the statement fell significantly short of an intention to meddle in the peace process – especially because Iran was fully on board with the departure of US forces from the region.
Indeed, how could this be (/s) that Iran which knows what real war is doesn't want a war? We all know that Pompeo is good at telling fairy tales, especially to the benefit of his Old Testament buddies from Israel, but actual report by three Inspectors General from DoD, Department of State and USAID, could be found on line and it has a funny name of:
I may never grasp the significance of the usage (in reality shameless abuse) of the term "freedom" when naming military operations which are designed to kill on a massive scale, but it is just me and after Freedom Fries, I don't think I have a strong case. But here is the phrase which should be paid attention to:
According to the DoS, the United States and Russia released a joint statement welcoming the signing of the U.S.-Taliban agreement as an important step to end the war in Afghanistan. Russia also offered to discuss sending military assistance to a future interim government. China maintained contact with the Taliban and the Afghan government throughout the peace process, and stood by its offer to mediate between the two sides, according to press reporting.
What is highlighted in yellow is highly significant and reflects not only Russia's concern, understandable, with the matter at hand, namely Talibanization of Afghanistan, and Taliban is officially declared in Russia a terrorist organization, but it also has a lot to do with... ISIS. Russia believes (not without justification) that the United States is supporting ISIS through a number of her proxies in Syria and transported, on a number of occasions throughout the years, some big ISIS honchos to Afghanistan away from Russia's smart munitions and SSOs in Syria. This is a serious matter, knowing America's history with being in cahoots with the most despicable elements among jihadists, not least with those "moral equivalents of America's founding fathers" in Afghanistan which was destabilized (what's new) under the supervision of late Zbig in 1970s. Same pattern is repeated in Syria, plus knowing that there is a lot of butt-hurt and many sore losers among US "elites", destabilizing Eurasian subcontinent, not far from Russia and China, seems like a logical conclusion for them. If it takes most vicious terrorists, why not?
Russia once, in 2000, provided a serious military assistance to Northern Alliance, so, for Russia it is only natural to help out to whatever least bat shit crazy interim government may emerge in Afghanistan (hope dies last, you know), because, unlike with the United States, the principle of "better to fight them there, than here" applies fully. Such is the fate of continental powers which have a world view different from such power, a world island, as the United States. So, expect a flow of weapons and advisers once ISIS will raise its ugly head in Afghanistan and everything points out to this development, despite all those upbeat points about ANDSF which WILL disintegrate the moment the United States leaves Afghanistan. In other words, there is a lot of excrement ready to hit the fan in Afghanistan and around, plus, who can forget a required massive effort domestically in turning humiliating defeat into some sort of a "victory" for America against those, you know, bearded dudes in sandals with old Kalashnikovs and RPGs roaming Hindu-Kush mountains. Boy, are we in for a show, granted the whole damn thing doesn't collapse completely, which is probable, and the US will need to simply leave, deal or no deal.