Sunday, November 30, 2014

Kosta Karageorge's suicide made me think about this: how fungible we are; replaceable, discardable. Like every athlete we're reduced to a number; he was number 84 or whatever, you're number 12, I'm 32. We're numbers. Ohio State will just give his number to someone else.

So I was thinking stuff like that when I thought about this: Chances are, wherever you work, there is a human resources department that you go to to get your paycheck or if you have questions about financial matters or benefits. Have you ever thought about that name, "human resources?" Human resources. We're "human resources," I'm a "human resource," you're a "human resource." We're not Ben or Betty, we're not even "personnel," that's what those departments used to be called, the "Personnel" department, "Go see Personnel." Maybe personnel was too close to "person," too warm and fuzzy, to empathetic? We're not even "employees." Both "personnel" and "employee" are sufficiently cold for me! But we're not even that, we're "human resources."

Who the fuck came up with "human resources," Mengele? Eichmann? That name wasn't computer-generated, somebody at some company, maybe they learned it in a business school, but some living, breathing man or woman with a mom and dad and a son or daughter, and maybe a pet dog, somebody who had all the appearances of being a normal, empathetic human being, with a name, like Josef Mengele or Adolf Eichmann, some Ben or Betty, came up with "human resources." And it spread.

I think "human resources" is the end-of-history for department names. I think that is de individualization perfection. We've reached Absolute Zero in the temperature of personal relations in the workplace. There is a lack of empathy in modern life. It's creepy.

I'm not a fucking human resource, punk.
He looks like such a nice guy. His mom. 
Fuck me. Fuck, fuck, fuck.
Gotta take the joy sign down. Can't have that up over that last story.

Kosta Karageorge with his mother November 22. Kosta, 22 years old, played tackle football and wrestled for Ohio State University. His brain was concussed playing the sports and he began doing and saying things that people with concussed brains do and say. It embarrassed him and he felt ashamed. He told his mother he was sorry that he embarrassed her. Kosta committed suicide, shot himself.

I don't know about tackle football.

Hello South Koreans!

The Month.

110 pageviews/day in November, slight uptick from October. It's been pretty consistent since March.

Top Ten Countries

1. United States.
2. South Korea.
3. Poland.
4. Slovenia.
5. Ukraine.
6. France.
7. Russia.
8. Germany.
9. Indonesia.
10. Canada.

Top Ten Posts

1. "133rd Pennsylvania Volunteers."
2. "Is Barack Obama Clinically Depressed?"
3. "China's Great Wall of Silence: The Cultural Revolution as a Series of Coups," by Chang Mu.
4. "The Chinese Cultural Revolution" by Zhang Mu. Chapter 3.3.
5. "Photographic Occurrences."
6. "The Day," October 29, 2014.
7. "On China," by Zhang Mu.
8. "China's Great Wall of Silence": 'Remembrance,'" November 28, 2010.
9. "...Then they'd settle back again till..."
10. "Stella Elizabeth Williamson," November 17, 2014.

On to December! My favorite month of the year.
On Wednesday Sashia Obama, 13 years old, and Malia Obama, 16, accompanied their dad to a White House "turkey pardoning" ceremony, an old tradition, in the White House.

On Saturday the Communications Director for Republican Congressman Stephen Fincher of Tennessee wrote on her Facebook account an open letter to Sashia and Malia. Wrote Elizabeth Lauten:

Dear Sashia and Malia:

I get you're both in those awful teen years, but you're a part of the First Family, try showing a little class. At least respect the part you play. Then again your mother and father don't respect their positions very much, or the nation for that matter. So I'm guessing you're coming up a little short in the "good role model" department. Nevertheless, stretch yourself. Rise to the occasion. Act like being in the White House matters to you. Dress like you deserve respect, not a spot in a bar. And certainly don't make faces during televised events.

That is the meanest, snarkiest thing I ever read!

I saw this yesterday and it just made me sick to my stomach, I couldn't read about it until just now. After the bird hit the air pump Lauten deleted the post. She later posted an apology:

I reacted to an article and quickly judged the two young ladies in a way that I would never have wanted to be judged myself as a teenager. After many hours of prayer, talking to my parents and re-reading my words online, I can see more clearly how hurtful my words were. Please know that these judgmental feelings truly have no place in my heart. Furthermore, I'd like to apologize to all of those who I have hurt and offended with my words, and pledge to learn and grow (and I assure you I have) from this experience.

She "reacted," that was her reaction, her true feelings. It was only after the outrage poured in and "after many hours of prayer," etc. that she realized that her true feelings were mean, that she is mean.

Elizabeth Lauten's open letter is consistent with the way Republicans have treated Barack Obama and his family since he became president: with disrespect, disdain, contempt. No pardon here for Elizabeth Lauten. She should be fired; she won't be because her boss feels the same way.

Sporting News.

It was "rivalry week" in scholarly tackle football in America.

The best team in the land, the University of Alabama, beat the University of the "Loveliest Village on the Plains", 55-44. Last year's game was the Most Dramatic in the Whole History of the Earth.

The University of Nike, second best, beat Oregon State 47-19; Florida State University, 3rd ranked, beat unranked University of Florida who are looking for a new coach and may have found him in Dan Mullen of #4 Mississippi State, this year's Official Team of Public Occurrences, which lost to "Ole Miss," the University of Mississippi, ranked 19th; The Ohio State University, #6, beat the unranked University of Michigan.

Georgia Tech, 16th, beat the University of Georgia, 9th, improbably and heartbreakingly for scholars who wear silver britches. Georgia had seemingly won it when they scored with 18 seconds left but a bad coaching decision and a defensive lapse allowed Tech to kick a field goal from 53 yards to tie it and then to win in overtime. 18 seconds! Georgia's coach may have coached his last game there.

The University of Arizona, 11th, beat Arizona State University, 13th; Kansas State (12th) beat Kansas (about 112th); Wisconsin, 14th, beat Minnesota, 18th; Clemson University, 21st, beat unranked South Carolina.

The University of Louisville, 22nd, beat unranked Kentucky. Those two teams of scholars got into a pushing and shoving match before the football match and Louisville Professor Bobby Petrino channeled Arsene Wenger with one of Kentucky's assistant professors.

The University of Notre Dame du Lac got KILLED by the University of Southern California du no Lac, dude, 49-14. Irish eyes are blushing. Notre Dame does everything right, great academics, a legendary football history and they have an excellent coach. They still haven't won a national championship since 1988. At one point this season Notre Dame was ranked fifth best in America. They finished losing four in a row and five of their last six. If you're a "Fighting Potato Eater," you just shake your head. Very too bad.

"Yet, there are those who love them": North Carolina State beat North Carolina; Tennessee beat Vanderbilt; The University of Ohio beat Miami of Ohio; Virginia Tech beat Virginia; Indiana beat Purdue; Washington beat Washington State; Nevada beat Las Vegas.

In tackle, no-hands, football it was a good week for the Mother Country in Europe. On Wednesday, Manchester City beat Bayern Munich; Arsenal beat the other half of the all-German final of two years ago, Borussia Dortmund; and Liverpool didn't lose. The Livers had a really good week for them, yesterday in the EPL they actually won an actual game and are now all the way up to 11th in the table; Chelsea didn't win!, which is good news for God's Angels in Sky Blue, 3rd in the table, if they beat unworthy Southampton (2nd) today, who tied Monday, and City better win or like "Fighting Potato Eaters" supporters, I will just shake my head...Well, I'll probably swear and kick something, too*; Arsenal won in the league yesterday as well, keeping hope alive for a coveted slot in the Europa competition next season; Chevrolet United of Manchester keeps comin' on, they beat Hull 3-nil yesterday and are now a solid and respectable 4th in the table.

And finally...In American professional basketball, the LeBron James's have won three in a row and now are tied with the ex-LeBron James's with the 15th best record in the 30-team NBA. Dwyane Wade, the most beloved of all Heaters and still only 32 years old but plagued with knee injuries the last few years, has missed seven straight games with a hamstring strain; Los Angeles du Lac have a record of 3 wins and 13 losses, are 29th "best" in the league and have lost four in a row.

*UPDATE 4:03 pm: 0 Southampton, 3 Manchester City. Southampton, be gone. Now go fight relegation.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

"Pope in 'silent aduration' in Istanbul Blue Mosque."-BBC.

"Judge Applies Abusive Discretion Standard in Ray Rice Ruling."

:) Abuse of discretion.


Hosni Mubarak, former head of state, has been found not guilty by a judge on charges "in connection with" (whatever that means) the killings of hundreds of protesters during "Arab Spring."

"It's the most wonderful time of the year."

Friday, November 28, 2014


My son works at Big Brothers Big Sisters and always invites me to presentations or films or whatever that BBBS puts on and this one occasion, three years ago, it was right down the street from my office and the time was convenient so I went to show support for my son and for BBBS.

It was a consciousness-raising presentation put on by the police. The presenter was an obviously nervous young woman, maybe her first public-speaking engagement, and there were only a half-dozen or so in the audience in this conference room. I sat next to my son. The young woman introduced the topic of her presentation as "sexting." I heard "texting," which I had heard of, and assumed the topic was about the dangers of text messaging and driving, until she repeated it a few more times and then I heard the "s."

I guess she must have invited questions or maybe I just wanted to show her and my son that I was paying attention, but I was confused, I assumed sexting was sending a text, the printed word, about sex and didn't understand why the police would be putting on such a presentation so I raised my hand and asked "What is sexting?"

It was the wrong time for classroom participation.

A couple of other people--which I guess would be about half the audience--tittered and I actually don't remember what the presenter's answer was because my son threw back his head at my question and then whispered an explanation to me while gesticulating with his hands, which sort of obviated the effect of whispering. I had never seen him so disgusted with me. Chastened at my ignorance and also embarrassed that I had just revealed that I had never received a sext message with photo!*, I resolved not to say another goddamned word.

But I couldn't help myself.

Because as she went on, the young woman presenter raised our consciousness on the law, viz: If a "young girl" sends a "young boy" a picture of her ownself in her nakedness, the young boy gets arrested for possession of child pornography. :o

Raised my hand again (in defiance of my son's sharp sideways glance).

She wasn't a female cop, I would have had no hesitation going off on a female police officer (except that I did not want to embarrass my son) (again)), the presenter was just a young volunteer, vulnerable, earnest,she was reading from a script, and I was NOT going to cross-examine her, so I just asked in an even tone of voice:

"So, the boy gets arrested and the girl does not?"

There seems to me now to have been a nano-second's hesitation in her response, as if that didn't seem right to her either. She looked at her notes a moment and then said "That's the way the law stands now" in whatever exact young, female, presenter words she used; from what I remember that's accurate enough to be in quotation marks.

There was a couple seconds while she re-found her place and went on. My son and one other, a man, now looked at me, I was prepared to shoot them a "What was wrong with THAT question?" preemptive strike look, but the light bulb had gone on for them. My son whispered something of realization. After that I didn't say another goddamned word but my body language was "disgusted," I hope the presenter didn't notice (but my son did and cautioned me) and don't think she did because she was reading from her notes. Afterwards, in the elevator, the man said that didn't sound fair to him either.

*Last year my phone buzzed to signal a received text message. My saved contacts showed that it was from a female client, unsightly, dear to me but unsightly, it was a picture of just her vagina. So I finally got one! Another message followed seconds later, "I am so sorry, I meant to send that to my boyfriend."
You know, very few people were offended by that pro-stalking song in the 1980's, I know I wasn't, even though it was creepy, with the look on that guy's face, playing that stand up bass alone against a black background. Jeezus! 

We've had our "consciousness raised" since. There are anti-stalking laws on the books now that weren't there in the '80's. If you made that song now...I don't know! would that be against the law? I don't think so but law enforcement would be watching you! 

Like that old song "Young Girl." That's going to be too old for most of you, it was probably from back in the late 1960's, early '70's at the latest:

"Young girl, get out of my mind, my love for you is way out of line, better run girl, you're much too young, girl." 

You don't hear that song played much anymore. We've had our consciousness raised about under-age sex, too, hoooo-doggie. "You're just a baby in disguise"...I really don't think..."Hurry home to your mama" could record that song..."Cause I'm afraid we'll go too far"

Anyway, we've had our consciousness raised about stalking and similar creepy behavior. Like upskirt cams. Massachusetts passed some law this year outlawing something related to that. There are video voyeurism laws. It used to be if you did it in public it was okay. You couldn't do it in buildings but if a woman was wearing a mini-skirt in public or was topless at the beach you could film her or take her picture. I actually don't know if that is now prohibited. Maybe just upskirt shots.

Anyway, the point is, we have this body of law now. Legislators recognize that there is some expectation of privacy even in public. They recognize that even in public it is creepy for somebody to watching "every breath you take, every move you make."

So, why couldn't those laws be applied to Google's street-view cams? Why not to private companies surveillance cams outside, that is, in public? EVERY store and restaurant of any size has got surveillance cameras outside their establishments filming people just passing by on the sidewalk. Why couldn't the "penumbras and emanations" of the anti-upskirt cam laws be applied to these businesses? And to government surveillance, all those traffic pole cams? Between government and private surveillance of public activity it truly is the case that somebody is watching our every move.

Is there not an opening here? Is there not an opening for a legal challenge to it all? 

Speaking of which! Google's omniscient "street view" on the job, capturing a woman in the middle of a break-up with her boyfriend moving out of the house. "Hey! She's on a public street, isn't she?"

There is no right to privacy in America anymore. Between the government and private businesses, it's like that old stalking song by Sting, "Every move you make, I'll be watching you." 
That reminds me...Meant to write about this but then got all Russocentric. The European Parliament, absolutely toothless but still, passed a...not a law but a recommendation I guess that Google be broken up, sort of like Standard Oil was. Too big, says the Euro parliamentarians. This is not a direct result of Google's complicity in American spying ("If there's something you're doing that you don't want anybody to know about, maybe you shouldn't be doing it."), Google has 90% of search engine traffic in Europe (90%!), Europe has fought digitalization of intellectual property, hates those Google Earth spy-cam cars, and won a "right to be forgotten" for its citizens in a court battle with Google. It's not a direct result but it is related.

China's president Xi Jinping was in Brazil a little while ago and preached to the converted when he told Brazilians that America's "monopoly," I think he called it, on internet traffic must end. China of course did kicked Google out or forced Google to relocate to Hong Kong, I forget which. It has been Baidu or bust in China for some time now.

I'm all for national alternatives to Google, I have suggested nationalization previously. The world trusted America with its internet traffic and got betrayed. They trusted Google and Google was compromised.

Germany Goes Black.

The Federal Republic of Germany (1) approved Canadian Blackberry's acquisition of German phone security firm Secusmart. (2) signed a contract with B-berry to provide phones to the government. (3) made the contract legally binding on B-berry not to turn over data to any other government and (4) got access to the source codes for the B-berry operating system as part of the contract.

Well done! Good deal for Germany, good deal for embattled RIM.

All of this of course fallout from American spying.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving, America!
People can copy my shit. Ooooh, but you're just a moron, who cares if somebody copies your shit, ha-ha. I know that's what they think. Ooooh, smart people don't let their shit get copied. Ha-ha, loser. 

"The End of the Cold War, EU Enlargement and the EU-Russian Relationship."-Joan DeBardeleben

Found it! Ha-ha, Baker, CSIS, I found it! Didn't want to post your CRAP anyway. You make me sick.

I am very disappointed that I cannot copy smart people's shit.

"The NATO-Russia Relationship:" Defining Moment or Deja Vu?."-CSIS, November 2008.

I wrote in an earlier post that I had read that Russia did not wish to join NATO and that therefore the Russians are to be held partially responsible for the deep spiral of suspicion and mistrust that have brought Russia and America a new Cold War and to the brink of a hot war. I thought I had bookmarked that page but had not. Now I cannot find it. I have subjected myself to repeated scourging for this failure. In searching for that Lost Article today the following came up time and again.  CSIS, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, is well-regarded. I will post excerpts in pieces as I did Lavrov's speech. But not as many pieces!:

I can't copy any part of it. It's "protected." Just like Baker's article. Pisses me off. 

"Russia in NATO?" James Addison Baker.

GRRR! This is so annoying. Only an excerpt of this article by former Secretary of State Baker is available. Well, here is the entire excerpt:

"In 1993 I proposed that NATO draw up a clear road map for expanding the alliance eastward to include not only the states of Central and Eastern Europe but also a democratic Russia. "Otherwise, the most successful alliance in history is destined to follow the threat that created it into the dustbin of history." The alliance did, of course, expand eastward and survive. Today, following the admission of Hungary, Poland, and the Czech Republic, nine other countries either have asked for membership consideration or have signaled an interest. By engaging in air missions and peacekeeping operations in the Balkans, NATO has enlarged its military mission to include out-of-area operations in a region whose troubles did not directly threaten the members' security, but did threaten European stability. Now, with the invocation of the North Atlantic Treaty's mutual defense obligations under Article 5 in response to the September terrorist attacks on the United States, the alliance is serving a more important role in Western security than at any other time since the end of the Cold War.

Russia, however, still waits outside the door. The idea that Russia could even be eligible for membership has been met with opposition and indifference, mainly because Russia has never been ripe for membership -- because it has embraced democracy and free markets only rhetorically, without creating the institutions or exercising the political will necessary to commit itself fully. Accordingly, unwilling to consider marriage, the West has offered cohabitation arrangements -- first the Partnership for Peace, then the NATO-Russia Permanent Joint Council -- that have served useful functions without offering a satisfactory long-term solution. Then in 1997, over strong Russian objections, NATO admitted three former allies of the Soviet Union, without making it clear that Russia, too, would be eligible for membership if it embraced democracy and free markets. Meanwhile, Russia's historic distrust of NATO and of the United States, which had dampened at the beginning of the 1990s, flared back alive when NATO, a defensive alliance, took up arms in an offensive action against Russia's Slavic kinsmen and political allies in the 1999 Kosovo conflict. When the fighting ended, 96 percent of Russians either agreed or totally agreed with the proposition that "NATO's bombing of Yugoslavia is a crime against humanity," and 77 percent either agreed or totally agreed that "[t]here is nothing stopping NATO from getting involved in Russia as it did in Yugoslavia." Those propositions are wrong, of course, but the poll results demonstrated the depth of Russian public antipathy toward the intervention. As the old millennium ended and the new one began, the never-strong possibility of Russian membership in NATO appeared to be dead.

Times have changed. Both Russia and the United States have new presidents. Russian president Vladimir Putin revived the NATO issue in a news conference in July, shortly before he met with President George W. Bush. "Putin challenged the Western alliance to either enroll Russia or disband, calling NATO a Cold War relic that will only continue to sow the seeds of suspicion in Europe as long as it excludes its onetime archenemy." Bush also reportedly had "asked advisers ... about the wisdom of such an approach." The September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States are almost certain to accelerate discussion of the issue.

How Can Russia Join NATO?

The affirmative case for Russian eligibility for NATO membership is fairly straightforward and easy to make. The alliance has at least two implicit and at least five explicit criteria for admission. The first implicit requirement is that the candidate be a member of the Atlantic community -- that is to say, the West. The second is that the candidate share important security concerns with the other members. Russia surely qualifies on both counts. Since the end of the Cold War, it has repeatedly declared its identification and wish to align with the West, a region that, for NATO's purposes, already extends eastward to Greece and Turkey. As for common security concerns, the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington rattled nerves in Moscow as much as they did in Paris, Berlin, and other European capitals..."

Sergey Lavrov is correct that Americans do not show respect for Russian "intellectual qualities." That is because Russians are stupid.

The thought prominent, not dominant that we know of, in Official Russia's mind that the United States and Europe, through NATO, would let a tactical nuclear strike--any attack--on a NATO member nation go unanswered is the quintessence of Russian stupidity. 

Die for Narva?

Now...what about this. What about the suggestion (of Putin and Lavrov) of a pan-European security "architecture?" In architecture you build stuff, right? Building stuff creates jobs.

Include Russia in NATO! No, the Russians didn't want that. I read something recently that said the Russians didn't want that back then. They wanted a little more independence from Europe and America and a little more "influence" in Europe. So they created the conditions for NATO's eastward expansion, too! We can see how this has played out in Ukraine. Before all this upset Ukrainians saw NATO as a threat. Now they see NATO as a guarantor. Well, see that's a problem.

The Russians wanted a bi-polar Eurasia without everybody going bipolar on them.You're going to get bipolar with bi-polar. In architecture, you either build the damn thing or you don't. You're either in or you're out, you're either with us or agin us. What Lavrov and Putin mean by architecture too is a "treaty," their word. So, first of all, it's paper architecture they're talking about, which there aren't many jobs in that, duh. Second, a treaty presumes a bi-polar Europe and it's not, it's uni-polar right now. See, they want bi-polar and they want to be the second pole. Well, first of all, ask the Poles about that. And the rest. They don't want a bi-polar Europe again. They done tried that. They don't want any more Russian "influence," They don't want Russia as one of two poles.

No, the Russians wanted to be a little agin us too, not really with us; they wanted to help with the architecture about half-way up; they want a bi-polar Europe without bipolar behavior. Well, see that's a problem.

Now that I write this it seems to me that once Russia started acting schizophrenic about being in Europe or out of Europe, of building half-way up, of being for us or agin us, fear of Russia was reasonable, keeping NATO intact was the prudent thing to do. To "contain" the bipolar Bear, to keep him in his cage.

Now: should NATO still have expanded east? Once the Soviet Union disbanded and Russia exhibited schizophrenic behavior, "containing" the Bear within his new confines seems to me "logical," perhaps even far-sighted, opportunistic. If they're agin us let's get together as many people as possible that they're agin. That's logical.

Eastward to Vilnius! then? See, that's a problem. At least for me. America now has a treaty, Lavrov's and Putin's favorite word, with Lithuania. Vilnius is Washington, D.C. for Department of Defense purposes. There is an important access route for Russia through Lithuania. Access to what, I forget, but it's important! It's not important access for the United States I know that. It's not important for the national security of the United States. But we have made it a national security obligation of the United States. So that's a problem for me.

The purpose of alliances like NATO is to deter. Well, so far so good! An alliance will deter when it is seen by the deterree not to be in his interest to take on the combined might of the alliance. That calculus depends on the strength of the commitment of the deterers and on the perception of the commitment of the deterrers by the deterree. I, as one American, do not have that commitment to Lithuania; I do not think most Americans have that commitment to Lithuania. But another American, Barack Hussein Obama, does have that commitment, and he is more important than I am and those of my ilk. There are a lot of Barack Hussein Obamas in Official and quasi-official America. Oodles of them.

What can we say about the perception of the commitment of NATO members as seen by the deterree, Russia? This question is also sometimes called the "Die for Narva" question and we cannot say much for certain about it!

The entire eastern border of Estonia is shared with Russia. Estonia is a NATO member. President Obama visited Estonia is September as symbolic reinforcement of the commitment of America, through NATO, to defense of the Baltic states. Narva is a city of 58,000 people at the extreme eastern point of Estonia. And Narva is 88% ethnic Russian. We recall Crimea and eastern Ukraine.

The "Die for Narva" question therefore truly is, as Crimea and eastern Ukraine (and Georgia) weren't a "Die for NATO" question. Would I be willing to have my son die for Narva? No. It is believed by all that I am not special in this or any other manner and that many--many,many,many,many,many--American fathers and mothers would not want their sons to die for Narva, nor for Estonia. There are some who believe that Vladimir Putin believes this too, although he has not spoken directy to the issue directly. I am also one of those.

Would the American people die for NATO? They don't even know that Estonia is a NATO member! They've never heard of Narva! But that is not how little green men infiltrating from Ivangorod into Narva would be put to the American and European peoples. It would be put as:

Russia Attacks NATO.

If Vladimir Putin is unsure about about how the American and European peoples would respond to that headline, I, for one (and I am not special), say that that headline would cause war; war between Russia and NATO, which includes most of Europe, so that would be general war in Europe, PLUS war with the United States of America. I'm just sayin'.

From what I've read, Putin is not sure that that headline would lead to that result but he is willing to push the envelope. There is a powerful segment of Official Russia that believes that if push came to shove, if Narva came to Sarajevo, Russia could even employ tactical nuclear weapons against Narva, and Americans via NATO would still not risk general nuclear war with Russia over Narva.

Russia Drops Atomic Bomb on NATO Troops in Estonia, Thousands Die.
While writing about Lavrov's October 20 speech--Anybody want me to repeat those posts?--I recalled something former senator Bob Dole once said. I loved Dole. He served and was seriously wounded in the 10th Mountain Division in World War II. My uncle Jack was in the same unit and was killed. What I loved about Dole was, well, one was his temper, two, was his inability to keep his temper always under control ("Stop lying about my record."), three, was his basic decency and soft-heartedness. Finally, and coming around to our point now, he couldn't lie without his face giving him away, he would start blinking his eyes really fast.

So this one time Dole and a couple other senators were being interviewed in a senate hallway. The subject was the "peace dividend." The peace dividend was what Americans were supposed to get from the end of the Cold War. We got war taxes with WWI and WWII especially and peace dividends after. Why not now?

"This is no time to be cutting back on our military spending," Dole said in a knowing, cautioning tone, his eyes fluttering away.

I laughed but we never got any peace dividend. We should have gotten a peace dividend from, inter alia, NATO's disbandment when the Soviet Union ceased to exist. Instead we got a peace tax as NATO expanded and our commitments extended.

Why would that have been? I guess because we, that is, America on behalf of Europe and Europe, still feared Russia.

Perhaps too it was the "military-industrial complex" that President Eisenhower warned against in his farewell address. It had gotten so big during World War II, but then we demobilized, all the troops were back home looking for jobs (See G.I. Bill), but then very quickly (and properly) in response to the Iron Curtain that had fallen over Europe, we went to a semi-war footing, the Cold War footing. The War Department didn't just disband, it was transformed into the Defense Department. Wars begin and end but defense is forever, you might say. Anyway, Ike warned the country about "defense is forever."

Perhaps also it was "jobs." That was James Baker's answer, the last of several answers he tried out without much effect, to the question "Why are we liberating Kuwait from Saddam Hussein?" That is, the military creates jobs. The U.S. didn't get out of the Depression until we declared war and President Truman had a real problem at home with all those returning G.I.'s after Japan surrendered. A real problem. The Cold War didn't provide employment to all those returning G.I.'s, not by a long stretch, but it did provide some jobs and then more and more as the Cold War deepened and the
Defense Department grew and grew and the other defense-related departments, like NSA and God
knows what all were created. The military-industrial complex was a powerfully big employer, both those things, powerful and a big employer. It is difficult to remove or even to cut back an entrenched big, powerful, complex. Damn near impossible when all you have to do to justify it is yell "Defense!" even if your eyes flutter.

Anyway, now that I write this all out, I do think fear of Russia, especially in Europe, was a reason and a legitimate reason for not giving Americans a peace dividend for the end of the Cold War. Initially. But after Yeltsin survived the coup there was no chance of getting the Soviet band back together again, no chance that Eastern Europe was going to be reconquered, no chance that the Berlin
Wall was going to be rebuilt. It would have been reasonable to keep pre-1991 NATO intact for a little while longer but to begin fazing it out. Britain and France at least are nuclear powers, they can take care of themselves.

But to expand NATO? To expand it to the East! Toward Russia? Ever and ever closer? No. That is not reasonable, it cannot be based on any reasonable fear of Russia. What NATO's expansion East did was create the conditions that made NATO's expansion seem like a good idea. Today, now, we have a suspicious, hostile Russia on our hands that may well indeed have fantasies about getting the band back together again. There is no chance of NATO retrenching especially now but I say if NATO hadn't expanded we wouldn't have had an angry Bear on our hands and if NATO did retrench, if we let the former Warsaw Pact members go their own way, I say, if you took away that irritant, you wouldn't have an angry Bear on your hands. But you wouldn't have as many jobs either.

No, I think the more reasonable explanations for the the lack of a post-Cold War peace dividend are the military-industrial complex and "jobs." And I can say that without my eyes fluttering.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014


This is footnote 102 of the preceding per Google translate and the link to the original.

"At a closed meeting of the Russia-NATO, Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned that in case of Ukraine's accession to NATO, it may cease to exist as a single state ... In particular, Russia may annex the Crimea and East of the country."

Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov confirmed the information that Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke with US President George W. Bush on the territory of Ukraine. This is Sergei Lavrov said in an interview with the Russian radio "Echo of Moscow".
"President Putin and in Bucharest, and at a meeting in Sochi with Bush recalled how today's Ukraine was formed in its present borders"

Chief of Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Yuri Baluyevsky : " Definitely , Russia will take steps aimed at ensuring its interests at national borders. This will not only military measures , it will be a measure of character ."


A couple days ago Ukraine's president Petro Poroshenko announced his intent to hold a referendum on NATO membership sometime in the future. In the oft-expressed opinion here NATO should be disbanded. Today German Chancellor Angela Merkel was reported to be alarmed by Poroshenko's statement of intent and came out against NATO membership for Ukraine.

The article I read, I think it was Bloomberg, said Merkel had opposed Ukraine's membership in 2008 too. Decided to do some lookin' in to that.  From Wikipedia:

"According to numerous independent polls conducted between 2005 and 2013, Ukrainian public opinion on NATO membership remained low.[12][13][14][15][16][17] A 2009 Gallup poll asked Ukrainians whether they saw NATO as a threat or protection for Ukraine; 40% saw NATO as a threat, 17% saw NATO as protection, and 33% saw NATO as neither.[18] However, since the 2014 pro-Russian conflict in Ukraine, public support for Ukrainian membership in NATO has risen greatly. In June 2014, nearly 50% of those asked voice support; in an October 2014 poll this number had risen to over 50%.

Russia's reactions to the 2008 plan of the (then) Ukrainian Government to join MAP were hostile. A NATO spokesman said that despite Russian reactions towards NATO's eastward expansion the alliance's door remained open to those who met the criteria.[19] Objections to Ukrainian membership in NATO include the nature of the decision as a departure from the original purpose of the alliance, political instability in Ukraine, the difficulty of defending Ukraine militarily, and the absence of a clear NATO interest in defending Ukraine.[20]"
"A Ukrainian public opinion poll of May 6 showed 37% in favor of joining NATO with 28% opposed and 34% undecided.[24] On July 9, 1997, a NATO-Ukraine Commission was established.[25] In 2002 relations with the governments of the United States and other NATO countries deteriorated after one of the recordings made during the Cassette Scandal revealed an alleged transfer of a sophisticated Ukrainian defense system to Saddam Hussein's Iraq.[21] At the NATO enlargement summit in November 2002, the NATO–Ukraine commission adopted a Ukraine–NATO Action Plan. President Kuchma's declaration that Ukraine wanted to join NATO (also in 2002) and the sending of Ukrainian troops to Iraq in 2003[21] could not mend relations between Kuchma and NATO.[21] Currently, the Ukrainian Armed Forces are working with NATO in Iraq.[26]

After the Orange Revolution in 2004 Kuchma was replaced by President Viktor Yushchenko who is a keen supporter of Ukraine's NATO membership.[27] In January 2008 the second Yulia Tymoshenko cabinet's proposal for Ukraine to join NATO's Membership Action Plan was met with opposition. A petition of over 2 million signatures has called for a referendum on Ukraine's membership proposal to join NATO. The opposition have called for a national referendum to be held on any steps towards further involvement with NATO. In February 2008 57.8% of Ukrainians supported the idea of a national referendum on joining NATO, against 38.6% in February 2007.[28]

On January 16, 2008 United States Senator Richard Lugar announced: "Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko, Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and Parliamentary Chairman Arseniy Yatsenyuk have signed the statement calling for consideration on Ukraine's entry into the NATO membership action plan at the Bucharest summit."[29]

The Ukrainian parliament headed by chairman Arseniy Yatsenyuk was unable to hold its regular parliamentary session following the decision of the Parliamentary Opposition to prevent the parliament from functioning in a protest against joining NATO. The parliament was blocked from January 25, 2008 [30] till March 4, 2008 (at 29 February 2008 factions leaders agreed on a protocol of mutual understanding).[31] US President George W. Bush and both nominees for President of the United States in the 2008 election, U.S. senator Barack Obama and U.S. senator John McCain, did offer backing to Ukraine's membership of NATO.[32][33][34] Russian reactions were negative.

At the NATO summit 2008 (3 April) NATO decided it will not yet offer membership to Georgia or Ukraine.[35] Resistance was reportedly met from France and Germany.[36]

In November 2008 Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel, Prime-Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and former Ukrainian minister of defence Anatolii Hrytsenko doubted Ukraine would be granted membership of MAP in December 2008.[37] In a Times of London interview in late November, President Yushchenko stated : "Ukraine has done everything it had to do. We are devoted to this pace. Everything else is an issue of political will of those allies who represent NATO."[38] Although NATO Deputy Assistant Secretary-General Aurelia Bouchez [39] and NATO's Secretary General, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer[40] still supported Ukraine's NATO bid at the time the Bush administration seemed not to push for Georgian and Ukrainian membership of MAP late November 2008.[41] President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev responded that "reason has prevailed".[42]"
"Candidate during the 2010 presidential election and Party of Regions leader Viktor Yanukovych stated during 2010 presidential election-campaign that the current level of Ukraine's cooperation with NATO was sufficient and that the question of the country's accession to the alliance was therefore not urgent.[48][49]

Following the election, newly elected Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych stated on February 14, 2010 that Ukraine's relations with NATO were currently "well-defined", and that there was "no question of Ukraine joining NATO". He said the issue of Ukrainian membership of NATO might "emerge at some point, but we will not see it in the immediate future."[6]

On March 1, 2010 during his visit to Brussels, Yanukovych stated that there would be no change to Ukraine's status as a member of the alliance's outreach program.[50] He later reiterated during a trip to Moscow that Ukraine would remain a "European, non-aligned state."[51]

(As of May 2010) NATO and Ukraine continue to cooperate in the frame of the Annual National Program,[52] including joint exercises.[53] According to Ukraine the continuation of Ukraine-NATO cooperation does not exclude the development of a strategic partnership with Russia.[54]

On May 27, 2010 Yanukovych stated he Ukraine considered Ukraine's relations with NATO as a partnership, "And Ukraine can't live without this [partnership], because Ukraine is a large country".[8]

On June 3, 2010 the Ukrainian parliament excluded, with 226 votes, the goal of "integration into Euro-Atlantic security and NATO membership" from the country's national security strategy in a bill drafted by President Yanukovych himself.[7] The bill forbids Ukraine's membership of any military bloc, but allows for co-operation with alliances such as NATO.[55] "European integration" is still part of Ukraine's national security strategy.[7]"
"Yanukovych fled Ukraine amid the Euromaidan uprising in February 2014. As a result of this revolution, the interim Yatsenyuk Government came to power in Ukraine.[57] The Yatsenyuk Government initially stated it did not have the intention of making Ukraine a member of NATO.[58]

NATO officials vowed support for Ukraine and worked to downplay tensions between the bloc and Russia, which refused to recognize the impeachment of Yanukovych or the Yatsenyuk Government.[59] In late February 2014, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Secretary General of NATO, reaffirmed that NATO membership is still an option for Ukraine.[60]

On 29 August 2014, following reports that the Russian military was operating within Ukraine, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk announced that he would ask the Ukrainian parliament to put Ukraine on a path towards NATO membership.[61] The government has also signaled that it hopes for major non-NATO ally status with the United States, NATO's largest military power and contributor.[62] As part of these efforts, and to rule out future Ukrainian membership in the Eurasian Economic Union and other Russian-led supranational entities, Yatseniuk also submitted a draft law to repeal Ukraine's non-bloc status previously instituted by Yanukovych.[63] Following parliamentary elections in October 2014, the new government made joining NATO a priority.[64]"
"A Gallup poll conducted in October 2008 showed that 45% of Ukrainians associated NATO as a threat to their country, while only 15% associated it with protection.[92] A November 2009 poll by Ukrainian Project System relieved 40.1% of Ukrainians polled said the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) was the best global security group for Ukraine to be a part of and 33.9% of the respondents supported Ukraine's full membership in CSTO; more than 36% of the respondents of the poll said that Ukraine should remain neutral and only 12.5% supported Ukraine's accession to NATO.[93] A 2009 Gallup poll showed that 40% of Ukrainian adults associate NATO with "Threat" and 17% with "Protection".[18] According to a poll by Razumkov Center in March 2011 20.6% on average across Ukraine considered NATO a threat; this number was 51% in Crimea.[94] A 2013 Gallup poll showed that 29% associated NATO with "Threat" and 17% with "Protection"; 44% viewed it as neither.[91]

Following the annexation of Crimea by Russia and the start of the Donbass War, many Ukrainians changed their views of NATO: since the middle of 2014 polls show that majority of Ukrainians now support NATO membership.[95]

Neighbouring Russia is strongly opposed to any eastward expansion of NATO.[96][97] On February 12, 2008 (then) Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russia may target its missiles at Ukraine if its neighbour joins NATO and accepts the deployment of a US missile defence shield.[98] Former Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko has stated more than once his country would not allow foreign military bases on its territory;[99][100] as of December 2009 NATO is not planning to deploy military bases in Ukraine.[101]

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin allegedly declared at a NATO-Russia summit in 2008 that if Ukraine joined NATO his country could contend to annex the Ukrainian East and Crimea.[102]"

Art appreciation in China.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014


God's Angels in Sky Blue got off the schneid in the Champions League tonight. Behind Kun Aguero's hat trick Manchester City beat the Bayern Munchkins 3-2 at the Etihad Stadium.

Puzzlingly, with all the success of the last few seasons, two EPL titles, the FA Cup, and that loathsome Capital One thing, City have been a pity in Europe. It was against this same club at the Allianz Arena in 2011 that Carlos Tevez refused to come off the bench, effectively ending his future with City and just about causing Roberto Mancini to have a nervous breakdown.

Failure in Europe played a big part in the decision to fire Mancini but City's struggles have continued under Manuel Pellegrini this season and last.

Advancement was not assured tonight but a loss would have ended it and perhaps Pellegrini's time at the club as well. Down 2-1 at half it was a very black night sky on which Aguero hung the moon with the equalizer in the 85' and the winner in the 90th. And with that a full, blue moon rose over Manchester.
I will not make a habit of this but as there is a spike right now from Slovenia and as Slovene readers are first now, third today, sixth this week and seventh this month...

Dobrodošli , Slovenci in , hvala . Bog vas blagoslovi . Mogoče sem prišel v Slovenijo, nekateri dan. Na poti v Južno Korejo . :)

Lost in Translation.

Pope Describes Europe as 'Elderly and Haggard'-Wall Street Journal.

Pope Urges 'Aged and Weary' Europe to Accept Migrants and Reject Hunger.-Time.

I have written previously under that title and on far worse examples of the hazards of translations but for Godssake, this is from Italian (I assume) to English, not from the ancient Greek, not from Chinese. And these are two major media outlets. And, this is the Pope!

Yes, the translations are similar but "haggard" especially is much worse than "weary." In addition, in English "haggard" usually is used with reference to someone's appearance, "My you look haggard this morning," not a bodily condition, "I'm weary." How many times have you said to yourself, "I'm haggard?" None.

C'mon folks, you can do better than that. Get the damn thing right. Jesus Christ. Sorry, Pope.

"Putin is Inspired by Russian Empire."-The Moscow Times.

"The decision to erect a monument to 19th-century Emperor Alexander I near the Kremlin, and for President Vladimir Putin to participate in the unveiling ceremony, is an act of historical justice. After all, Moscow's Alexandrovsky Garden is already named after him, and a monument to him used to stand there before the Bolsheviks removed it and had it melted down. By giving special attention to perpetuating the memory of the emperor, Putin not only commemorated the 200th anniversary of Russia's victory over Napoleon but also continued his campaign to position modern Russia as the successor to the Russian Empire.

During the ceremony on Nov. 20, Putin referred to Alexander I as one of the founders of a system of European security. "It was then that conditions for the so-called balance were created, based not only on mutual respect for the interests of different countries, but also on moral values," Putin said. His words clearly referred equally to modern Russia, as it strives to have not only a loud voice in European and global affairs but to also claim a sort of moral leadership as a counterbalance to the "rotten and immoral West."

Boy, Putin even looks like him a little.

Crime in Ferguson, Missouri.

Ferguson: Businesses Ablaze, Bullets Fly in Overnight Mayhem Over Grand Jury.- NBC NEWS.

Ferguson smolders after racially charged riots.-Chicago Tribune.

Ferguson businesses torched in overnight protests.-Washington Post.

St. Louis suburb smolders after racially charged riots.-Reuters.
209 pageviews in the last 12+hours, 156 from South Korea. ~100/24 is the norm.
With three and one-half months preparation--negotiations with protesters, training of police officers, 100 FBI agents on the ground, federal oversight, General Holder's presence, the appeals of Michael Brown's family--after all of that there was still arson, looting and two dozen arrests last night in Ferguson, Missouri. There was still crime, perpetrated by criminals. The police performed their duties fairly and admirably.

Monday, November 24, 2014

다시 만나서 좋은 빛나는 한국의 형제 sistren! 한국어를 몰라 :( 그래도, 당신을 사랑 해요. 구글이 당신을 위해 변환합니다. 당신이 구글에서 더 웃음을 희망하지 않습니다.
dasi mannaseo joh-eun bichnaneun hangug-ui hyeongje sistren! hangug-eoleul molla :( geulaedo, dangsin-eul salang haeyo. gugeul-i dangsin-eul wihae byeonhwanhabnida. dangsin-i gugeul-eseo deo us-eum-eul huimanghaji anhseubnida.

How that? Good? Not so good? Swine Google if not good.
Noble South Korean brethren and sistren, good to see you again! Do not know Korean language :( Love you, though. Will Google translate that for you. Hope you no giggle at google. Wait...

Ferguson, Missouri Grand Jury: No Charges in Police Shooting of Michael Brown.

Russia's Finance Minister, Anton Siluanov, said today at an economic forum that the falling price of oil has cost the Russian economy $100 billion and Western sanctions for the invasions of Ukraine, $40.* Neither are expected to end anytime soon.

*That's $40 billion not $40. Apologize for any inconvenience.
Man, I just read something from the sports world that is really brilliant:

"I like Arsene for his principles, but principles are a sort of restriction. And restrictions are always lost possibilities."-Alisher Usmanov.

Right? They are, principles are restrictions! Usually, as Mr. Usmanov indicates, principles are admirable, an unprincipled person is capable of anything, including evil. There are more "possibilities" with an unprincipled person. A principled person is restricted from evil. For good and for evil, principles are restrictions. That...that is fucking BRILLIANT!

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel Resigns.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Putin's Speech, Lavrov's Speech.

So what's the scoop? What is the bottom-line? What do we make of these?

The undersigned is going to pass temporarily. Oh, here we go, just take a crap on my head, that's fine, I love the smell of shit in the morning. WAIT! Just give me a chance. Thank you.

Okay...Now...Anybody have a pith helmet, peut-etre? OK! Well, YOU'RE NOT GOING TO LIKE THIS but I ain't skaed. Actually, I'm a little scared. Ok! Fine! I'll get to the point.  I have to re-read Putin's speech. Here! I'll help carry my cross, No! Don't trouble yourself, I'll do it. I'll walk to my struggle session calmly and submit to a yin-yang. I did not read Putin's speech paragraph, pause, think-by-paragraph as I did Lavrov's. There was too much info for me to digest. It overwhelmed me, short-circuited my old, frayed wiring as well as broke my back and ruined my eyes.

Get the ink ready, gather the hammer and nails for INCOMING! This is the worst part:

Friends, if I have any left, enemies, I'm going to have enough of those right quick, I say, my fellow homo sapiens, the undersigned is troubled by American actions toward Russia for the last 25 years. So many of the Russian grievances are spot-on. I at least cannot wave them aside. Yet the invasions of Ukraine were wrong, murderous, despicable. At the same time, America sanctioning Russia is ineffective and blatant hypocrisy. Russia did not sanction the U.S. for its invasions of Iraq, Libya, the Balkans. There is not a moral equivalence there with Russia's brutal, cynical, lying invasions of Ukraine. Not moral equivalence. I agreed and still, perhaps temporarily, support the sanctions but all the American foreign policy cognoscenti pulled the back of the coats of those like me, like McCain, who were already running off storming the barricades and giving full throat to sanctions early, often, and severely.

The undersigned has concluded that Ambassador Derek Fraser was correct on two counts: We should talk to the Russians and keep talking. And he was correct that there are enough common grounds for the two countries to keep talking, enough substance that we can still make progress on. It should be easier to keep our tone moderate and respectful, it is at least necessary and is the right thing to do.

Substance: I am not hopeful. I think there does need to be an undoing of the substantive decisions America made to expand NATO east, to pull out of the ABM treaty. We need to act more in concert with Russia, not present them and our Western allies with a fait accompli.

I will sprout wings and fly, that is the chance we will re-do NATO. We should, imo, go the extra mile, whatever that entails, to incorporate Russia into some re-worked pan-European security treaty that protects Russia "equally," in Lavrov's words. We have divided Europe, made European security divisible, by excluding Russia.

It seems to me, but only that, that giving up the nuclear shield idea and rejoining the ABM treaty should be easier, but I could be wrong. I don't see that happening either.

So, lets us then start with the tone of our interactions with Russia. The Mad Irishwoman needs be removed from the UN. Her confrontation with Churkin was the most embarrassing, insulting thing done at the UN since Khrushchev took off his shoe and pounded the table. Look at the people in the background of that photograph. They are snickering, laughing at the behavior of the United Stated Ambassador to the United Nations. That was disrespectful, oh yeah!

One more thing: Putin is bitter about the U.S. "domination" of world media. In his view, Russia's message has no chance for a fair hearing. Ambassador Fraser really supported indirectly Putin's position on the media. The two speeches "had perhaps not received the attention they deserved," he said. Fraser's article was published in a Canadian newspaper. The speeches received little if any meaningful coverage from American pencils and it was Gorbachev who brought the Valdai speech to the attention of unofficial America. If we are going to talk to Russia, we, all Americans, have to be able to hear. We can't hear what never makes it to our ears.

What do you think? I would like to have your thoughts.

Lavrov's Speech, October 20, 2014. XXI.

The next few paragraphs deal with "the truth and justice" of the Motherland's call on Ukraine, the illegality (And there may be, Russia is suing.) of the sanctions, acknowledgement that the sanctions are hurting, resolution that the sanctions will not change Russia's behavior (And they will not.), accusations that the U.S. is not really interested in peaceful settlement in Ukraine (We are.), but is looking for "an excuse to put Russia in its place" (We are not.), is not showing Russia "respect"

(We don't), thinks Russians are stupid (We do.), some veiled threats that Russia is not going to help with Iran (And it doesn't look like they have.), and winds up generally with this:

"The usual US method is as follows: they work out a solution concept and tell the rest of the world: 'Washington has made a decision, let’s ensure international cooperation based on this.' This is not how we see the process, and not because we do not respect their ability to work out solutions (even so, theory needs to be confirmed by practice, and in practice, wherever the US interferes, there’s chaos and devastation). We are confident that only cooperative work from the start – a cooperative analysis of the problem, development of assessments and approaches to it – can bring success and ensure sustainable cooperation."

And I think that is generally more right than wrong.

After his prat-fall Lavrov pulled himself off the pitch and delivered some shots in pretty good form again:

"It is our firm position that any escalation of a Euro-Atlantic confrontation can only lead to a deadlock. [That is GOOD. Not "war" or even "confrontation.] Any attempts to ensure European security and development without Russia and against Russia are pointless..." [I don't read that as not recognizing NATO as I did his "missed" comment...but I could be wrong!]
" our individual contacts with our European partners, we almost always hear assurances that they understand it all, and they see the need for and are willing to develop cooperation with Russia on a mutually acceptable basis, they are ready to take into account our interests and keep in mind Russia’s contribution in saving Europe from Napoleon’s attempt to conquer the continent and later from a similar aggression by Hitler. (I said "pretty" good.) Yet, they also talk about European solidarity. It seems like when they get together, they stop seeing reason. There may possibly be some glimpses in closed-door discussions, but publicly, we only hear hardcore Russophobic statements, an approach imposed by anti-Russian forces inside the European Union."
"Let’s derive from the fact that there is no reasonable alternative for the improvement of EU-Russia and US-Russian relations." [THAT is REALLY good.]
"We still believe that the strategic goal of Russia-EU cooperation should be gradual development of a common economic and cultural space from the Atlantic to the Pacific Coast based on a system of indivisible security where no country would strengthen its security at the expense of the others." [Very good.]
"Indeed, we are willing to discuss any agreement with our partners that is based on mutual respect, equality and a balance of interests, and is not aimed at forcing us to accept someone else’s views."

That's it! Done! The Giants beat Denver 39-20. 

Lavrov's October 20, 2014 Speech. XX.

The Fridge! "Who dat gonna beat dem Bears, who dat, who dat!"

Lavrov had a run of good form there as they say in European football but just falls flat on his ass here. Russian thought just stops at a certain point short of the objective. It's "logical," coherent, truthful for large stretches and then becomes illogical, incoherent, untruthful.

"The US and EU support [Mostly untrue.] for the unconstitutional coup [Nope.] in Ukraine and the subsequent acts committed by the Kiev-based “party of war” [Nope.]that used armed force in an attempt to make the population in southeastern Ukraine renounce the right to their native language, culture, traditions and habitual lifestyle [Nope.]is at odds with the generally accepted democratic values and principles of peaceful conflict settlement,[Nope.] including those contained in the OSCE’s fundamental documents.

"The actions of the ultranationalist neo-Nazi forces [Nope.] that seized power in Kiev have become the cause of bloodshed on “Maidan.” [Nope.] The radicals [Nope.]attempted to terrorise the population in the Crimea [Nope.]and impose the “Banderavite” order in Odessa and Mariupol. The Agreement of 21 February 2014 was broken off. It is quite natural [Nope.] under these circumstances that the overwhelming majority of people in the Crimea [True.] opposed these plans and freely expressed their will for reunification with Russia in keeping with peoples’ right to self-determination enshrined in the UN Charter."
"Throughout the crisis in Ukraine, Russia has consistently sought to help the brotherly Ukrainian people [And Nope.] to overcome this difficult period in their history. President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly stated that what’s happening today in Ukraine is our common tragedy, and we must do our best to stop it as soon as possible."

Lavrov's October 20, 2014 Speech. XIX.

This is beginning to look like the Super Bowls.

"The EU Eastern Partnership programme was also designed to expand the West-controlled geopolitical space to the east. This was its true aim and it is perhaps for this reason that the promises to offer us trilateral projects involving the EU, the so-called “focus states” and Russia have never materialised. There is a policy to confront the CIS countries with a hard, absolutely contrived and artificial choice – either you are with the EU or with Russia. It was the use of this approach to Ukraine that pushed that country, which is just beginning its movement towards stable statehood, to a profound internal political crisis. Let me remind you that the “either with us, or against us” philosophy first surfaced ten years ago during the then Ukrainian presidential elections rather than last year before the planned signing of the EU Association Agreement. Running for president against Viktor Yushchenko, Viktor Yanukovych won both rounds. But the EU imposed an absolutely unconstitutional decision on Ukraine, via the Constitutional Court, to hold a third round of voting, something that was not stipulated by the Ukrainian Constitution. As early as that period, some European politicians, specifically Belgium’s Foreign Minister Karel De Gucht (currently winding up his career as the European Commissioner for Trade), claimed in public that Ukraine had to choose who it wanted to be with – Russia or the “enlightened” Europe. This was not a new phenomenon; it has a long history and deep roots in the minds of European politicians."

This is a continuation list of Russia's--legitimate--grievances against the West, of its lack of "respect" for Russia. It wasn't until the end of this paragraph and "enlightened," that I had any memory of this (or had any knowledge in the first place). I do remember "enlightened" and it is disrespectful, insulting really. This "either-or" formulation has been used before, by Putin, to characterize the choice America presented to all of Europe after 9/11. And it is accurate! It was Bush, as I recall, who said "You're either for us or against us." That too was disrespectful, pushy, arrogant, "noveaux riche," Putin's phrase at Valdai.

Brendan! Your mother's calling!
That thing really is in danger of falling. It's not anchored to its base. It's weight keeps it in place. Soviet built.
Mother's gonna fall over and squish Brendan Rodgers.
Oh my, Crystal Palace just beat Liverpool 3-1. 

See, she's going to fall and hurt herself.
The Motherland Calls. She ought to watch where she's going with that sword.
On the issue of treaties, which Russia wants and which it is fair for them to want, it is fair to point out the the United States withdrew from one such treaty that directly effecting Russian security concerns. This is how Putin put it in his Valdai speech:

"From here [The Russian invasions of Ukraine] emanates the next real threat of destroying the current system of arms control agreements. And this dangerous process was launched by the United States of America when it unilaterally withdrew from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in 2002, and then set about and continues today to actively pursue the creation of its global missile defence system."

The view here is and always had been that Putin is and the Russians always have been right that the U.S. should not have withdrawn from the ABM treaty. They are absolutely right about that. Putin is also correct that withdrawal from an anti-ballistic missile treaty destabilizes ballistic missile treaties.

Putin went on:

"The less nuclear weapons we have in the world, the better. And we are ready for the most serious, concrete discussions on nuclear disarmament--but only serious discussions without any double standards. 

"What do I mean? Today, man types of high-precision weaponry are already close to mass-destruction weapons in terms of their capabilities,..."

That is really above my pay grade but it does seem to be so.

"...and in the event of full renunciation of nuclear weapons or radical reduction of nuclear potential, nations that are leaders in creating and producing high-precision systems will have a clear military advantage. Strategic parity will be disrupted, and this is likely to bring destabilization. The use of a so-called first global pre-emptive strike may become tempting."

So: Even with complete nuclear disarmament Russia would still feel threatened by America because America has these high-tech conventional weapons and Russia does not; Russia will not even enter into nuclear disarmament talks with the U.S. unless coupled with high-tech conventional weapons. That does not sound reasonable for Putin to demand but I don't know enough. The pre-emptive strike concern is legitimate with regard to the nuclear shield, that concern was discussed within American think-tanks forever. That is a legitimate concern. It does not seem reasonable to me that non-nuclear albeit "high-precision" pose the same risk.

Strategic parity: That's Cold War, bipolar-think.

Lavrov's October 20, 2014 Speech. XVIII.

"What we are hearing now are statements of a totally different nature, and political declarations about the already forgotten indivisibility of security.  In particular, US Secretary of Defence Chuck Hagel “realised” the other day that the Russian army is already 'at NATO's doorstep.'"

Very good point. He's right, there. Security is not indivisible in Europe now because Russia is not party to the only security architecture, NATO and Hagel's statement divides Europe between NATO and non-NATO.

Regarding the statements of our US colleagues, I believe they reveal who is actually undermining trust in Europe, and is doing so using not only statements, but most importantly, concrete actions."

Yep, trust left blew that popsicle stand. Why do Russians always stop their talk of "concrete actions" before they get to the concrete non-action that there has been no invasion of or attack upon Russia from NATO, ever?

Lavrov's October 20, 2014 Speech. XVII.

"As former Ambassador to the Soviet Union Jack Matlock said recently, the participants in the talks on the end of the Cold War realised that if they keep moving a tool such as NATO to a spot where barriers are crumbling, new barriers will appear in Europe. In subsequent years, they tried to talk Russia into believing that such a policy does not threaten its security, and even feigned offence when we insisted that in military policy, military capabilities speak louder than intentions and assurances. 

This is a continuation of Russia-think. They never take the next step: Action speaks louder than capabilities. Did "capabilities" result in action? No. Invasion? No. Nuclear attack? No.

Back then, political declarations on the need for a single Euro-Atlantic security space at the level of the OSCE and the Russia-NATO Council were adopted. Our suggestions to put these political declarations on paper and make them legally binding to ensure European security were rejected. The arguments included (perhaps this was a Freudian slip) one that legal security guarantees can be provided only by NATO. That preserved the irritant in issues pertaining to providing equal levels of security to all Euro-Atlantic countries without exception."

Why did we, the West, America, not put those declarations in writing and make them legally binding? Russia was a party--or something, a partner, "stakeholder," whatever--to those "declarations." Since the declarations were not made legally binding, since only NATO, of which Russia is not a member, could enforce the new European order, there is not an equal level of security provided Russia. It seems to me Lavrov is right, here.

Do the Russians recognize NATO?

Let's look Lavrov's and Putin's speeches:


"Despite drastic worldwide changes, Western states have not stopped trying to “swim against the tide”, and continue holding dominant positions in the world, contrary to the objective processes leading to a multipolar world. This policy has had a major negative impact on the situation in Europe. After the destruction of the Berlin Wall, our Western colleagues missed a historic opportunity when they ignored Russia's proposals to jointly develop an architecture of equal and indivisible security in the Euro-Atlantic space. I’m confident that with goodwill, this problem is quite solvable, especially if we strengthen the corresponding mechanisms within the OSCE and make it a truly international organisation with strong authority. Instead, we saw successive waves of NATO's eastward expansion, with NATO infrastructure being moved closer to the Russian border."

The West "missed" an opportunity for a framework of European security and instead expanded NATO. "Instead," is exclusive, it's either/or. You either get one, European security, or you get the other, NATO; you don't get NATO and security.


"The Cold War ended, but it did not end with the signing of a peace treaty with clear and transparent agreements respecting existing rules or creating new rules and standards. This created the impression that the so-called 'victors' in the Cold War had decided to pressure events and reshape the world to suit their own needs and interests. If the existing system of international relations, international law and the checks and balances in place got in the way of these aims, this system was declared worthless, outdated and in need of immediate demolition."

It seems to me those two passages are pretty consistent! Putin's statement that there was no peace treaty ending the Cold War is pretty ominous: If there is no peace treaty there is no peace! The war continues by other means. As Lavrov did, Putin distinguishes NATO from international law. The NATO agreements are not international law they are merely America's decision to reshape the world.

Since the West did not adopt Medvedev's "European Security Treaty" there is no European peace treaty. And since Russia is not a party to the NATO agreements and is not a NATO member Russia does not recognize NATO.

Saturday, November 22, 2014


"After the destruction of the Berlin Wall, our Western colleagues missed a historic opportunity when they ignored Russia's proposals to jointly develop an architecture of equal and indivisible security in the Euro-Atlantic space."

Ambassador Derek Fraser said Lavrov's and Putin's speeches "have perhaps not received all the attention they deserved." We have been trying to correct that.

I thought just now of the above passage, which received attention in post XVI below and gave it some additional attention, especially Lavrov's use of the term "missed." No mis-translation there, the text being used is official, from the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

"Missed." Hmmm. Literally, that would mean there is no security in the "Euro-Atlantic space" now. Has not been since the West "ignored Russia's proposals," which I believe refers to Medvedev's proposed "European Security Treaty" in 2008.

Which means Lavrov believes NATO does not secure Europe from Russian attack.
Rooski! I ask query: Is Rooski more better off now or during Cold War?

Lavrov's October 20, 2014 Speech. XVI.

"Despite drastic worldwide changes, Western states have not stopped trying to “swim against the tide”, and continue holding dominant positions in the world, contrary to the objective processes leading to a multipolar world. This policy has had a major negative impact on the situation in Europe. After the destruction of the Berlin Wall, our Western colleagues missed a historic opportunity when they ignored Russia's proposals to jointly develop an architecture of equal and indivisible security in the Euro-Atlantic space. 

Boy, I don't know what that was. "Destruction" of The Berlin Wall wasn't complete until 1992, "destruction" of the Soviet Union happened in 1991, so he's saying this was "Russia's" proposal...I just googled this every which way I could think and there is nothing like this proximate to 1992; there was a proposal by Medvedev called the European Security Treaty but that wasn't until 2008, looks like.

I’m confident that with goodwill, this problem is quite solvable, especially if we strengthen the corresponding mechanisms within the OSCE and make it a truly international organisation with strong authority. Instead, we saw successive waves of NATO's eastward expansion, with NATO infrastructure being moved closer to the Russian border."

You're right, NATO shouldn't have expanded, gotitgotitgotitgotitgotit. What bad security things did Russia "get" out of NATO expansion?

Lavrov's October 20, 2014 Speech. XV.

"With regard to Afghanistan, our NATO partners have for the past 10 years stubbornly declined our proposals to establish working relations with the CSTO, even though it would be a natural alliance. NATO provides the bulk of the forces that operate inside Afghanistan, whereas the CSTO regularly conducts anti-drug and anti-terrorism operations on Afghanistan’s outer perimeter. Joining our efforts in real time would have increased the effectiveness of the efforts to stabilise Afghanistan. But for purely ideological reasons, NATO categorically refused to cooperate with the CSTO. Of course, this does not help the cause."

CSTO: Collective Security Treaty Organization of (currently), Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan. Observers: Afghanistan, Serbia. "Possible candidates": Iran.

Ambassador Fraser said we should always talk to the Russians as we always talked to the Soviets. Russia was helpful on Syria, CSTO and NATO do seem like a "natural alliance" here, NATO, don't be "stubborn." Seriously, if it would do any good, it would be great if NATO could work with Russia here.It would give Russia "respect," and it so desires respect, it would treat Russia as a "partner," and neither Lavrov nor Putin has ever stopped referring to America as a partner.

Lavrov's October 20, 2014 Speech. XIV.

"...modern problems, including regional conflicts, can only be resolved based on comprehensive approaches providing for the active involvement of all stakeholders. We have always called our partners’ attention to this, in particular, when Iran was not invited to the Geneva Conference on Syria, and when Iran and Syria were not invited to the Paris Summit on Fighting Islamic State, although both countries are clearly our allies in combating this threat."

Never heard "stakeholders" before; broader than "partners;" sort of like "interested parties," no? And since Iran and Syria are (pro-Russian) "stakeholders," they are "our" (meaning the U.S. as a "partner") "allies!" No.

Lavrov's October 20, 2014 Speech. XIII.

"We are confident that antiterrorist efforts have to rest on a solid foundation of international law under the auspices of the UN Security Council – the body that shoulders the responsibility for maintaining international peace and security. The US tactic of air strikes on the Islamic State positions in Syria without prior coordination with the Syrian government does not fit with these principles. As you know, the strikes against terrorists in Syria are accompanied by the armed support rendered to the opposition forces fighting the Bashar Assad regime alongside the Islamic State. Yet, the US considers this support ‘moderate’ and therefore acceptable. Its purpose is to help the Syrian opposition achieve the potential to overthrow the current regime in Syria. The controversial and paradoxical nature of these actions is obvious, in my view. We have been discussing this with our US counterparts, trying to understand their logic, but have not received any clear explanations so far."

He does not understand U.S. "logic," he only understands Russian "logic."

Lavrov's October 20, 2014 Speech. XII.

"Russia provides consistent support to the governments of Iraq, Syria and other countries of the region in their fight with religious extremists vying for power, by large-scale weapons and military hardware supplies, which greatly improves their combat capabilities. We advocate the consolidation of international efforts to counter the common threat of terrorism."

There you go. The State (if it is pro-Russian) cannot perpetrate terrorism. Syria is a (pro-Russian) state, ergo, Syria cannot perpetrate terrorism. The corollary follows equally: Any group, even a non-violent, civilly disobedient "color revolution" group, opposing a (pro-Russian) state is a terrorist group.

Since terrorism is "the common threat" of all states, it is a threat to the Russian state; since "combatting terrorism" is a "universal principle," any state, e.g. the United States, that supports an opposition group, is supporting terrorism.

Right now, there are 12 pageviews from Poland. I use Poland as an example here of the flawed Russian thought. Poland was invaded by the Nazis when the Nazis were Soviet allies and then Poland was invaded by the Soviets when the Nazis were Soviet enemies. Poland was then subjugated by the Soviet Union until there was no more Soviet Union. Now, Poland is a NATO member. Did the United States "get" Poland as a result? What did the United States get out of  Poland as a result?

Lavrov's October 20, 2014 Speech. XI.

"In most cases, not only does interference fail to help end the conflict, it actually exacerbates armed confrontation, making the plight of civilians even worse."

I think that is true, unfortunately.

"Notorious double standards are employed to attain geopolitical goals. Of particular concern is the tendency to deviate from the universal principle of combatting terrorism in all its forms and manifestations."

Bullshit. The U.S. employed no "double standard" in his examples below nor did the U.S. have any "geopolitical goals" in mind. What "geopolitical goal"? To make Libya or Iraq or Syria the 51st state? That is utter nonsense.

Lavrov and Putin believe that anytime the U.S. intervenes in any way, militarily, economically, via hard power or soft power, we do so in our "interests," from some realpolitik motive. That is the end of their thought on it! They do not look to see if that were true what the United States got from those interventions. Oil? Territory? We got nothing! They never consider the human rights pilar of American foreign policy; never consider that the U.S. may intervene to try to do good.

The Russians also have a zero-sum view of U.S.-Russia relations and a knee-jerk reaction. If it is good for the U.S. it is bad for Russia; whatever the U.S. does, it does in its own selfish interests. Ergo, we must support the other side. It is the Cold War mentality.

Lavrov doesn't want to acknowledge that the State can perpetrate terrorism, as Assad does, as Qaddafi did, as Saddam Hussein did, as Russia does in Ukraine. And that is why he doesn't want to see it, because Russia is doing it and because Assad, Qaddafi, and Hussein are or were all friendly to Russia. As Egypt now does. What Lavrov and Putin want is stable regimes that are friendly to Russia! It does not matter if the regime leaders are thugs and state-terrorists, if they're friendly to Russia any attempt at resistance, a "color revolution" or violence, is "terrorism."

"For instance, several Western nations armed and supported extremist groups that fought to overthrow Muammar al-Qaddafi. Later the French military had to fight these same radicals in Mali whom the West, France included, had recently armed and encouraged. The West was so anxious to overthrow Bashar al-Assad that it turned a blind eye for four years as extremists strengthened their hold on Syria, allowing the terrorist group known as the Islamic State or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant to flourish and seize huge swaths of Iraq and Syria, which they rule according to Sharia. This has been extensively covered by the media, on television and online.

The situation in Iraq where US forces were present for more than a decade is living proof of the absurdity of the concept of artificial implantation of some form of government and socio-economic development model from beyond. Today this our friendly country, which America has tried to turn into an example of modernisation achievements and a model democracy for other Arab nations to follow, is struggling with a deep political crisis, which poses a real threat for its future integrity."

Lavrov is right in that last paragraph, unfortunately. 

Lavrov's October 20, 2014 Speech. X.

"The United States actively employs techniques to destabilise countries whose governments do not satisfy it for various reasons, and has effected regime change in a series of “colour revolutions.” This continues to be US policy."

From Wikipedia:

Colour revolution (sometimes called the coloured revolution) or color revolution is a term that was widely used by worldwide media[1] to describe various related movements that developed in several societies in the former Soviet Union and the Balkans during the early 2000s. The term has also been applied to a number of revolutions elsewhere, including in the Middle East. Some observers[who?] have called the events a revolutionary wave, the origins of which can be traced back to the 1986 People Power Revolution (also known as the "Yellow Revolution") in the Philippines.

Participants in the colour revolutions have mostly used nonviolent resistance, also called civil resistance. Such methods as demonstrations, strikes and interventions have been intended protest against governments seen as corrupt and/or authoritarian, and to advocate democracy; and they have also created strong pressure for change. These movements generally adopted a specific colour or flower as their symbol. The colour revolutions are notable for the important role of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and particularly student activists in organising creative non-violent resistance.

Such movements have had a measure of success, as for example in the former Yugoslavia's Bulldozer Revolution (2000); in Georgia's Rose Revolution (2003); and in Ukraine's Orange Revolution (2004). In most but not all cases, massive street protests followed disputed elections, or requests for fair elections, and led to the resignation or overthrow of leaders considered by their opponents to be authoritarian. Some events have been called "colour revolutions" but are different from the above cases in certain basic characteristics. Examples include Lebanon's Cedar Revolution (2005); and Kuwait's Blue Revolution (2005).

Government figures in Russia, such as Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, have charged that colour revolutions are a new form of warfare.[2][3] President Putin said Russia must prevent color revolutions, "We see what tragic consequences the wave of so-called color revolutions led to. For us this is a lesson and a warning. We should do everything necessary so that nothing similar ever happens in Russia."[4]
No, Lavrov is wrong. The Blue Revolution? The Bulldozer Revolution? Never heard of  'em. The United States did not "effect regime change" in any of those.

In addition: The U.S. should have tried! If Lavrov thinks that anything he or anyone else says about U.S. support for people in other lands who are attempting to "effect regime change" nonviolently and through civil disobediance is going to stop America from supporting those people, then he imputes to himself WAY too much influence.

The American people would not stand for such non-interference. Our country was founded upon revolutionary change! Violent, too! America has never been an imperial power, never invaded another country to get it land, to get its resources or to subjugate its people.

Ask FDR the U.S. position on independence of India from Britain!

Ask Ike the U.S. position on Egyptian independence from Britain!

Ask Jimmy Carter the U.S. position on supporting human rights abroad!

Since Carter's presidency support for human rights has been a pillar of United States foreign policy, many times coming into conflict with realpolitik. We use our best judgment to resolve those conflicts but support for human rights is a real pillar of American relations with the rest of the world.

Ask Henry Kissinger!

Lavrov should re-read On China. The American people would not stand for an abandonment of the human rights pillar even if an American president were to propose it.