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* NBC: Trump administration to hit Russia with new sanctions for Skripal poisoning

The Trump administration is hitting Russia with new sanctions punishing President Vladimir Putin’s government for using a chemical weapon against an ex-spy in Britain, U.S. officials told NBC News Wednesday.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo signed off on a determination that Russia violated international law by poisoning the former spy, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter in March, officials said, a decision that was announced Wednesday afternoon by State Department. …

The biggest impact from the initial sanctions is expected to come from a ban on granting licenses to export sensitive national security goods to Russia, which in the past have included items like electronic devices and components, along with test and calibration equipment for avionics. Prior to the sanctions, such exports were allowed on a case-by-case basis. …

A second, more painful round kicks in three months later unless Russia provides “reliable assurances” that it won’t use chemical weapons in the future and agrees to “on-site inspections” by the U.N. — conditions unlikely to be met. The second round of sanctions could include downgrading diplomatic relations, suspending state airline Aeroflot’s ability to fly to the U.S, and cutting off nearly all exports and imports.

The sanctions are directly based on H.R.3409 – Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act of 1991.

Section 7 covers the sanctions that are to be imposed, which consist of initial sanctions, and further sanctions to be imposed after 90 days if there is no compliance on the country’s part.

Initial sanctions: Ban on foreign assistance, arms sales, denial of US credit, and exporting national security sensitive goods. (Most of this is already functionally in place with respect to Russia).

Further sanctions: Ban on multilateral bank assistance [e.g. IMF, World Bank, the EBRD, etc], ban on US bank loans, a near total export ban (except food and agricultural commodities) and import ban, downgrade or suspension of US diplomatic relations, revocation of landing rights to air carriers controlled by the government of the sanctioned country.

Reuters has a US State Department official saying that the sanctions would not apply to Aeroflot, which some commenters have qualified as backtracking. But I think that the official was merely talking of the initial sanctions.

How does Russia go about removing the sanctions? The President will need to “certify” to Congress that the country in question: (1) Has made “reliable assurances”, and is not making preparations, to use chemical/biological weapons in violation of international law, or against its own citizens; (2) is willing to allow on-site inspections by UN observers to confirm the above; (3) is making restitutions to the victims of its chemical/biological weapons usage.

This would basically require Russia to admit guilt for the Skripal poisoning and subject itself to the inspections regimes that the US typically tries to force on “rogue states.” In other words, it is out of the question.

Moreover, even in the theoretical possibility that this goes through, it’s not like President Trump’s “certification” will be worth anything amidst the Russiagate hysteria.

Another possibility to avoid the near cessation of trade between the US and Russia is to have the President “waiver” the application of individual sanctions, if he can determine and certify to Congress that doing so is necessary for the national security interests of the US; or that there has been “a fundamental change in the leadership and policies” of the sanctioned country. In either case, the President needs to provide a report to Congress explaining his detailed rationale for the waiver, and listing steps the sanctioned country is taking to satisfy the “removal of sanctions” clause.

This isn’t near the end of it, though.

***

* Meduza: Russian newspaper leaks draft text of U.S. Senate’s Defending American Security from Kremlin Aggression Act

The newspaper Kommersant has published a full draft of the proposed “Defending American Security from Kremlin Aggression Act,” which demands a U.S. investigation into Vladimir Putin’s personal wealth and whether Russia sponsors terrorism, and would impose a ban on U.S. citizens buying Russian sovereign debt, though the U.S. Treasury publicly opposed this idea in February, warning that it would disrupt the market broadly. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, one of the initiative’s sponsors, says one of the draft legislation’s goals is to impose “crushing sanctions.”

[Sanctions to include:]

* Banning the banks. The draft bill proposes banning Russia’s biggest state banks — Sberbank, VTB Bank, Gazprombank, Rosselkhozbank, Promsvyazbank, or Vnesheconombank — from operating inside the United States, which would effectively prevent these institutions from conducting dollar settlements.

* Oil and gas. In the energy sector, the legislation would impose sanctions on investment in any projects by the Russian government or government-affiliated companies outside Russia worth more than $250 million. Businesses would also incur penalties for any participation (funding or supplying equipment or technology) in new oil projects inside Russia valued above $1 million.

* Lists and research. If the bill is submitted in its current form and adopted, the U.S. president would have 180 days to begin implementing its provisions; within 60 days of adoption, the White House would need to provide a new list of Russian individuals suspected of cyber-attacks against the United States; the Treasury Department would have 180 days to update its “Kremlin list” of Russian state officials and oligarchs; the director of national intelligence would be tasked with completing a “detailed report on the personal net worth and assets” of Vladimir Putin and his family; and the State Department would have 90 days to determine whether Russia should be designated as a state sponsor of terrorism.

* A new Sanctions Office. In order to shore up the 2017 Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, the draft legislation would also create an “Office of Sanctions Coordination” within the State Department to coordinate work with the Treasury.

Here is the original Kommersant article: Комплекс мер по сдерживанию Дональда Трампа

Here is the text of the draft bill: https://www.kommersant.ru/docs/2018/_2018d140-Menendez-Russia-Sanctions-Bill.pdf

It contains many more interesting details.

(1) The bill’s sponsors, which include Lindsey Graham, Robert Menendez, and Ben Cardin, preface their text with a call for President Trump to demand Russia stop interference in US “democratic processes”, return Crimea to the Ukraine, stop supporting the separatists in East Ukraine, as well the “occupation and support of separatists” in the territories of Georgia and Moldova, and support for Bashar Assad, who continues to commit “war crimes.”

(2) They note that the general drift of the document is towards a consolidation of separate anti-Russian sanctions, from the “Ukrainian” to the “cyber” ones, into a “single mechanism.”

(3) Subject to a 2/3 vote in the Senate, the bill also includes a ban on financing “direct or indirect” steps, that have as their goal to support the attempts of “any US government official” to take the country out of NATO. Every 90 days, the US Secretary of State, in coordination with the Defense Minister, would be required to present a report to the relevant committees in Congress about “threats to NATO”, which would include attempts to weaken US commitments to the alliance. Considering Trump’s ambiguous feelings on NATO, this part is primarily aimed at Trump himself.

(4) There are calls to “pressure” Russia from interfering with UN and the OPCW attempts to investigate chemical weapons usage, as well as to “punish” Russia for producing and using chemical weapons. This directly syncs this sanctions bill to the previous one.

The report concludes that it’s not yet clear how to interpret this. In the worse case, it could be a “preliminary application” for a UN campaign to exclude Russia from the Security Council; alternatively, it could just be a “pragmatic” run-up to merely invoking great sanctions, as with Iran in 1983.

***

russia-us-treasury-securities

I suppose we now also know why Russia has been selling Treasuries for the past three months, which plummeted from their typical level of $100 billion in March to just $15 billion from June (i.e. just enough to guarantee USD-denominated trade).

For comparison, the last time such a drawback happened (but which only lasted three weeks) was in the immediate aftermath of Crimea.

The last time Russia pulled such a large sum out of the U.S. was just after the annexation of Crimea in 2014, when the central bank withdrew about $115 billion from the New York Fed, Reuters reported last year, citing two former Fed officials. Most of that money was returned a few weeks later, after it became clear that the scope of initial U.S. sanctions would be narrower than the Kremlin expected, according to the news service.

But I suppose this drawdown would now be permanent, since it is increasingly evident that Iran-tier sanctions on Russia are now on the horizon.

These sanctions are either going to steadily creep in – or rush in like a tsunami if there is a Blue Wave in 90 days, or if Trump was to be removed.

However, as I have pointed out, the ultimate ability of the US to directly punish Russia is limited; it has twice as many people as Iran, after all, and many times the economic output. Trade between Russia and the US is very limited.

Moreover, as I have pointed out, Russia has plenty of surprising ways to hurt the US as well. For instance, banning Aeroflot from flying to the US has a simple response – banning US air carriers from overflying North Eurasia, period. It can resurrect a bill – first raised this May, since sunken in the legislature – to impose fines and prison time on individuals and entities who support Western sanctions by refusing to do business with Russian citizens or entities on America’s SDN list. It can throw out the American-dominated copyrights regimen out of the window.

Some questions we should now be asking include:

1. Precisely how far is the US prepared to go? Cutting off its own trade with Russia is one thing – penalizing foreign companies that do business with Russia is something else. As Ben Aris notes, the US Treasury Department has been ratcheting back on its sanctions against Oleg Deripaska and Rusal, after the chaos it has caused in the international metals market. The ideological Russiagaters need to balance their PDS/TDS against the pecuniary practicalities of catering to finance and oil & gas interests and their lobbies.

2. To what extent will the EU join in, passively acquiesce to, or resist the US sanctions against Russia? The answer to this question will to a large extent determine precisely how deeply Russia falls into China’s orbit in the next couple of decades.

 
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  1. Putin and his regime are weak on the USA, but Uncle Sam seems intent on making even Medvedev-style weak comprador liberals enemies.

    I think unrequited love often turns to hate, and so there’s some chance that these weaklings become anti-American nationalists.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mitleser

    Putin and his regime are weak on the USA, but Uncle Sam seems intent on making even Medvedev-style weak comprador liberals enemies.
     
    https://twitter.com/MSuchkov_ALM/status/1027795359156850690
    , @Mikhail
    Before the Trump-Putin summit, the Mueller involved FBI indicted 12 Russians, knowing full well that they'd not be turned over to the US. This latest round of sanctions comes right after Rand Paul's trip to Moscow, for the purpose of seeking closer US-Russian relations.

    As noted in this below piece, these sanctions are crock based:

    https://www.rt.com/news/435576-russia-us-sanctions-reactions/

    On CNN, the establishment alternative academic Robert English hypothesized that elements in the Russian government might've poisoned the Skripals without Putin's prior knowledge. He leaves out another possibility, in line with US mass media restrictions. In the UK, there're Russian ex pats, who quarrel among themselves, in addition to not liking the Russian government. The poisoning of the Skripals could very well be a matter of trying to kill two birds (so to speak) in one shot.

    Of course we don't know for sure. Likewise, with the bogus suggestion as fact that the Russian government poisoned the Skripals. Given the ongoing lack of UK government disclosure on this incident, there's very good reason to doubt the claim against the Russian government.
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  2. The Scalpel says: • Website

    This sounds very close to a declaration of war. USA is beginning to throw everything it has behind economic warfare and go “all in” forcing even its closest allies to either suffer serious sanctions for not joining the economic attacks or to inflict self-harm by limiting trade with Russia, Iran, and anyone else the US chooses to declare economic warfare upon.

    I don’t believe that this set of circumstances can continue indefinitely without a serious realignment or a degeneration into “kinetic” warfare.

    Read More
    • Agree: utu
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    I agree. They are constantly talking about the “hybrid warfare” and the Russian “attack” on America, but it means that the US (both its politicians and its population) get psychologically prepared for an actual war, and it is precisely their actions which keep drifting towards actual war.

    There is also a lot of projection going on here: the Americans obviously perceive their own election meddling as war by other means, and so they accuse their enemies with the very same thing.
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  3. The first comments never show, only after the second (or third?) or some time lapses.

    AK: Don’t know what to do about this, sorry. Perhaps we can raise it the next time Ron has a suggestions thread.

    Read More
    • Replies: @utu
    I think the is a feature affecting the first comment. Happened to me several times but comments always eventually showed up.
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  4. Mitleser says:
    @reiner Tor
    Putin and his regime are weak on the USA, but Uncle Sam seems intent on making even Medvedev-style weak comprador liberals enemies.

    I think unrequited love often turns to hate, and so there’s some chance that these weaklings become anti-American nationalists.

    Putin and his regime are weak on the USA, but Uncle Sam seems intent on making even Medvedev-style weak comprador liberals enemies.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    Maybe we’ll see unrequited love turning into hatred.
    , @Felix Keverich
    Every time Medvedev opens his mouth, he makes me cringe. Seriously, if you're going to proclaim an "economic war", against USA no less, then you better explain how Russia is going to fight back and win.

    Smart Russians will be heading to currency exchange (обменный пункт) after hearing this statement.
    , @pyrrhus
    This economic "war", if implemented, will cause an economic collapse in Europe, and subsequently in North America...These Senators are lunatics...
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  5. Proposed new “sanctions” on Russia essentially amount to a declaration of war. Lunatic asylum is the most appropriate place for the whole American “leadership”, down to the last man/woman/tranny. The only thing that stands between us and WWIII, which would be a suicide of humanity, is unbelievably cool and reasonable position of Putin and the rest of Russian leadership.

    It is clear to anyone with a brain that the US “sanctions” on Russia have zero chance of changing Russia’s stance on any international issues of consequence. Crimea is a good example: it will return to Ukraine the day after the Hell freezes over. On the same date Georgia gets South Ossetia and Abkhazia, and US-sponsored Islamic bandits win over Assad in Syria. Thus, The US is spelling out the conditions that have no chance of being met. Let’s hope that the result will be further Russian alignment with China, rather than nuclear war. I’d hate to be killed by Russian missiles hitting the US just because bought by MIC and paid for American “leadership” has gone completely insane. Hope springs eternal.

    Read More
    • Agree: Ron Unz
    • Replies: @anon
    I agree zero chance to change Russia or Iran..

    The sanctioned nations club members (Russia, China, Iran and Turkey) are aligning, Erdogan has nightmares the regime change elephant will stampede his playground . Nord II pipeline, one road I got-you. and Fed avoiding money transfer bacteria have infected the entire state department with Ivory tower disease. Israel is yearning for a booster dose of Hezbollah brew, and the Yemeni have discovered who their enemy is
    http://www.moonofalabama.org/2018/08/yemen-the-saudi-us-al-qaeda-alliance-is-now-officially-news.html

    otherwise the world looks quite.
    , @B-ravehart
    It is the neocons that long to reconstitute the Soviet Union, not Vladimir Putin.
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  6. @The Scalpel
    This sounds very close to a declaration of war. USA is beginning to throw everything it has behind economic warfare and go "all in" forcing even its closest allies to either suffer serious sanctions for not joining the economic attacks or to inflict self-harm by limiting trade with Russia, Iran, and anyone else the US chooses to declare economic warfare upon.

    I don't believe that this set of circumstances can continue indefinitely without a serious realignment or a degeneration into "kinetic" warfare.

    I agree. They are constantly talking about the “hybrid warfare” and the Russian “attack” on America, but it means that the US (both its politicians and its population) get psychologically prepared for an actual war, and it is precisely their actions which keep drifting towards actual war.

    There is also a lot of projection going on here: the Americans obviously perceive their own election meddling as war by other means, and so they accuse their enemies with the very same thing.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    These demands on Russia are about as sincere and plausible as the ultimata given to Serbia after Sarajevo. They are not credible but meant only as a prelude to war. The whole slow-motion drama, with all its attendant false flags (MH17, the Skripals, gassings in Syria, etc), numerous rounds of sanctions and specious rhetoric including accusations of "stealing the election" from Hillary, since Putin checked Obama's attempt to seize Russia's Crimean base and recruit another hostile NATO member on that country's frontier has been meant to convince the American public that Russia is our country's blood enemy, that it is run by an insane dictator the equal of Hitler, and that the consequent world war will have been all Putin's fault in spite of America bending over backwards to make peace with those vicious mongrels from the steppes.

    As a commentor above said, I'd hate to be killed by a Russian nuke directed at my city only because of an insane American leadership, but I'd equally hate for tens of millions of Russians (and others) to be exterminated by our weapons simply to further an agenda being promoted by the likes of Jeff Bezos, Sheldon Adelson and the other plutocrats who really pull all the strings in Washington to benefit themselves plus their Saudi and Israeli co-conspirators in some great game to rule the world. I'd say that Washington is about poised to commit the greatest crime in the history of the human race, and chances are good that it will be the last.
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  7. @Mitleser

    Putin and his regime are weak on the USA, but Uncle Sam seems intent on making even Medvedev-style weak comprador liberals enemies.
     
    https://twitter.com/MSuchkov_ALM/status/1027795359156850690

    Maybe we’ll see unrequited love turning into hatred.

    Read More
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  8. LondonBob says:

    Russia is far too integrated in to the wider European economy, and Russia is too stronk for sanctions to do anything. See Nord Stream II. Ignore the Israel lobby sanctions, not even the corrupt congress critters could vote for those.

    I have no idea why these new meaningless sanctions have been conjured up, maybe the Rand Paul letter has the answer, maybe not. I think we may have some answers after the midterms.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    I don’t think the Israel lobby alone should be blamed for these “sanctions”. Insanity is more widespread in the US “leadership” than Jewish shekels. This looks like the death throes of the Empire. Let’s hope it does not take the humanity with it to its grave.
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  9. @LondonBob
    Russia is far too integrated in to the wider European economy, and Russia is too stronk for sanctions to do anything. See Nord Stream II. Ignore the Israel lobby sanctions, not even the corrupt congress critters could vote for those.

    I have no idea why these new meaningless sanctions have been conjured up, maybe the Rand Paul letter has the answer, maybe not. I think we may have some answers after the midterms.

    I don’t think the Israel lobby alone should be blamed for these “sanctions”. Insanity is more widespread in the US “leadership” than Jewish shekels. This looks like the death throes of the Empire. Let’s hope it does not take the humanity with it to its grave.

    Read More
    • Replies: @LondonBob
    Why, if Putin threatened Netanyahu to call off his dogs, he would have to? Actions of AIPAC should be accountable.

    Interesting looks like the inevitable Turkish financial crisis has begun, Europe has reasonable exposure there, further disruption to economic ties to Russia would be seen as a hostile act by Europe.
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  10. neutral says:

    Now that it is within the realms of reasonable debate, if there were a nuclear war between the USA and Russia what targets would be hit? Would Russia hit puppet regimes such the UK, France or Poland? Would the USA hit Iran (because if they are going to hit Russia they might as well get Iran in there as well).

    If say only Russian and USA were hit, how much of the nuclear fallout would affect Europe?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Coos Palmboom
    I would say nature can handle ten bombs without going berserk, if she hasn't already. Above that, expect nuclear winter (and the rich running to their shelters).
    , @ZZZ
    If a nuclear war starts, it is only logical for the initial combatants to target ALL powers at once, as this may be their last chance to reduce their neighbors' ability to loot and conquer after the war. So expect Europe & China to be hit. China will in turn target Japan, India, Korea, etc. The US do not trust Canada or Mexico, so these may well become targets too. Pakistan and Israel may want to make their move at this point. Pretty soon it would become clear that no major industrial or population center should be spared. So within a couple of hours, the world's entire nuclear stockpile would be launched.

    After these events, the country with the most extensive tunnel system will emerge as the new world leader.

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  11. LondonBob says:
    @AnonFromTN
    I don’t think the Israel lobby alone should be blamed for these “sanctions”. Insanity is more widespread in the US “leadership” than Jewish shekels. This looks like the death throes of the Empire. Let’s hope it does not take the humanity with it to its grave.

    Why, if Putin threatened Netanyahu to call off his dogs, he would have to? Actions of AIPAC should be accountable.

    Interesting looks like the inevitable Turkish financial crisis has begun, Europe has reasonable exposure there, further disruption to economic ties to Russia would be seen as a hostile act by Europe.

    Read More
    • Replies: @notanon

    Why, if Putin threatened Netanyahu to call off his dogs, he would have to? Actions of AIPAC should be accountable.
     
    i don't this is just AIPAC driven - partly yes but the banking mafia have their own reasons for trying to bring Russia to heel.
    , @Dmitry
    Israel and Netanyahu responsible for American sanctions on Russia, conspiracy makes less sense to me than the others I read here (Israel responsible for killing Kennedy, etc). Why do Israel want to impose American sanctions on Russia?

    This week's sanctions mainly targeting Russian airlines. Aeroflot is about to buy 30 Boeing 737s from America - and now this is in danger.

    In Israel, Aeroflot is the third airline, and Israeli government pays it direct subsidies to reduce the ticket prices for places like Eilat. They allow Aeroflot to put giant Aeroflot commercial posters along the roads and skyscrapers.

    According to the news earlier in the year, Israel is negotiating to join a customs union with the Eurasian Economic Union. How will they reconcile their own actions, with being the one responsible for America to sanction Russia? It would be very competent 4 dimensional chess, from people who cannot even count their illegal immigrants or deport a single illegal immigrant, or coordinate their nationality policy with a few thousand druze. While making America sanction Russia has no benefit for them, deporting illegal immigrants, or coordinating with Druze has important benefits for them (yet supposedly they can do the former, but not the latter).

    At the same time, they do the opposite of sanctioning themselves.

    Also if this is the case, how in Russia, nobody in the expert community is aware Israel is responsible for the sanctions. Instead the media celebrate when it still wants to export carrots. And if any of the Kremlin top think relations with Israel are bad, then why is Israel allowed to operate freely in Russia.

    If explanation is to do with Syria - it also does not fit. Intervention in Syria was presented as something which would encourage West to remove its sanctions.

    For Israel, Russian-American alliance would improve the situation in the region. And also probably for Turkey and the Arabs.

    Israel is terrified with an increase of Iran in Syria. The reality is that is that both Russia and America is going to reduce presence in Syria, and Iran is going to increase it. The problem of Russia in Syria for Israel, is that Russia's presence is only minimal, and will allow Iran on the ground to take over the same territories that Russia helps secure for Assad. In the current equation and stage of the war, they will be hoping Russia increases its presence and reduces the need for Iranian forces. Problem of Assad for them is his only to the extent of his relation with Iran, not with Russia.

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  12. Russia today is in a much better position to withstand sanctions. Global oil investments have been lagging for half a decade due to low prices, and this will inevitably show up in the coming years.
    Russia in 2014 was battered by a twin storm, of which the oil price collapse was in fact far worse. That factor is now gone.

    Furthermore, a planned VAT rise next year will mean that the break-even oil price for the Russian budget will fall to $50 after $60 this year and $67 last year, according to Alfa Bank’s analysis. Steady, impressive improvement. So even in an event of an unexpected oil price decline, Russia is far more prepared this time around.

    Additionally, over the last 4 years, Russia’s economy has indigenised to a much greater extent than before. This is especially the case in the financial markets. Russia is simply a lot less reliant on foreign funding. Bershidsky wrote about how more and more Russian companies are leaving UK capital markets and returning to Russia. This process will continue but it has already yielded results. As a country with a large current account surplus, tamed inflation, an incredibly strong fiscal state, there is indeed very little that the US can do, which is probably why they are reaching with ever-greater desperation.

    I think the ultimate endgame can only be to completely run a parallel system. Any compromise with the US is unlikely to give anything than shattered delusions. Who could be partners in such a system? Aside from the obvious candidate, China, perhaps even India. Modi has in recent months distanced himself from the US and warmed up to China again. India has always bristled at being treated as a close ally rather as a ‘partner’. It has cherished it’s non-aligned movement legacy and its historically close relations to Russia. It is unlikely to want to give up on that in order to become a subservient lapdog to US interests in the manner that the EU has degraded itself.

    China’s AIIB is a good start, but the full range of new institutions must bear fruit. Some of the BRICS ideas are good but ultimately both Brazil and South Africa are too unimportant. It should be borne by the big powers (Russia, India and China) together with an Asian coalition like the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia and others who are not in the US orbit yet have a bright future ahead of them.

    Turning to Europe. Unless the EU finally shows some spine – which is very unlikely – then the Western system will be exposed to be at the mercy of whoever controls the US. Such a system is hegemonic and it will be in the best interest of not just the non-Western world but even for those of us in Europe to see a breakdown in that world order.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    Good to hear something sensible from Polish Perspective (in every sense of this expression). I know some Poles, who tend to be reasonable people, so the policies of Polish government always amazed me. Then again, if Polish democracy is similar to the US, the opinions of the people don’t matter at all.

    There is still a long way to go before Russia, China, or any other country frees itself from the clutches of dollar-based financial system. However, an alternative might look parallel at the beginning, but it won’t be parallel for long. Thing is, the US dollar and the US sovereign debt have become essentially Ponzi schemes. If Russia, China, and a few others create a “parallel” system, dollar-based Ponzi scheme folds, as the US does not have sufficient assets to support the dollar or pay off its debt. The fall of the Empire will likely be violent. The only thing we can hope for is that the humanity survives it.

    As to EU, it missed every chance of becoming something with a spine. Too late now. In fact, what French president once said about Arafat (he never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity) applies to the EU with a vengeance.
    , @Felix Keverich
    Regarding India, they are asking America for a permission to keep buying Russian weapons. Asking for a sanctions "waiver" - this is just sad. India also agreed to reduce imports of Iranian oil. So, perhaps, not so independent anymore.

    There is no way to sugarcoat it: in the short to medium term sanctions will suppress Russian economic growth. But unless they find a way to somehow stop Russia's exports of oil, our economy will shrug off whatever sanction packages US can throw at it.
    , @Mitleser

    I think the ultimate endgame can only be to completely run a parallel system. Any compromise with the US is unlikely to give anything than shattered delusions.
     
    Seconded. Washington is too much in love with their sanctions.

    https://www.economist.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/640-width/images/print-edition/20180519_LDC498.png

    It should be borne by the big powers (Russia, India and China) together with an Asian coalition like the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia and others who are not in the US orbit yet have a bright future ahead of them.
     
    What about Turkey?

    https://twitter.com/jc_mittelstadt/status/1027952979880628224

    https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1027899286586109955
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  13. Dmitry says:

    America now has a “good cop, bad cop” with Trump and Congress.

    Congress puts in more sanctions, but there is constraint responding too much because Trump seems friendly, and you don’t want to alienate him.

    Trump himself doesn’t care about the sanctions, because he thinks it is leverage that he can lift them later.

    There was an article a few months ago that Trump is actually worse than Obama – even in Obama did not supply direct weapons to Ukraine.

    I thinkTrump plans to remove the sanctions in the next year and improve the relations – but without any kind of timetable (his meeting with Putin is delayed already to next year).

    Read More
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  14. OT: The Turkish lira is now the worst-performing currency this year, bar none.

    Turkey’s implicit bet was that it could continue to rely on Western money flows while pursuing an agenda contrary to Western interests has been conclusively shattered. When I say Western interests, I do not mean the propaganda about human rights, which the West manifestly doesn’t give two hoots about.

    Turkey was not entirely foolish to believe this strategy could work. Pakistan during the reign of Islamist military dictator Zia ul-Haq, used a similar strategy during the 1980s. He empowered the mullahs and moved Pakistan decidedly to the hard-right in religious/cultural terms while massively opening up the economy to speculative finance, thereby pleasing Washington. Saudi Arabia has used this policy for a long time. For those who knew this, the revelation that the US funded some of the most extremist “moderate” rebels in Syria came as no shock.

    So perhaps it isn’t the Islamism in of itself which is the problem in Erdogan’s case. What could it be? Well, one clue is the case of Pastor Brunson. The good pastor, who under house arrest in Turkey, is accused to be close to the Gülen cult. The official line in the Western MSM is that Trump is trying to appease evangelicals before the midterms. I don’t buy that. He has them in the bag regardless. Gülen himself, some of you might recall, still lives in the US despite repeated pleas from Turkey to give him back. Which is the unreliable ally here? Curiously, Gülen’s religious bent is even more Islamist than Erdogan’s. He’s also even more of a neoliberal. Notice a pattern?

    At any rate, the demand from the US has been for Turkey to release Brunson unconditionally. Erdogan’s media has speculated that Brunson was slated to become CIA chief in Turkey had the 2016 coup come to pass. Obviously, Turkey does not want to release him unconditionally: it makes them look extremely weak. Well, they now got hit where it hurts. Indeed, Trump even tweeted out new sanctions news today even as Erdogan was delivering a speech. I don’t happen to believe in coincidences. The result is that the lira lost close to a quarter of its value in a single day. I haven’t even mentioned Turkey’s apparent interest in the S-400 missile system among other matters. This, I think, is what truly irked D.C. rather than Erdogan’s human rights record or “authoritarianism”, which is just the pretext.

    Make no mistake: the decline of the lira was structural from the beginning. Turkey’s large CAD made it extremely vulnerable to financial speculation from the getgo. It has now paid that price. But this does not preclude the fact that countries which are overtly reliant on Western financial flows to fund large current account deficits should forgo the lesson that there is no free lunch. Erdogan made this cardinal error. Poland is not nearly as vulnerable, but we’re also in the same orbit. This is why I always laugh at the Poland Stronk memes. It’s also why I dismiss the criticism against Orban that he plays all sides, including taking money from the EU, as politically naïve. Very few countries in this world can reliably be called truly independent. Russia is in the process of becoming one. So is China. India is not quite there, but it has the potential. The rest of us will simply have to balance hegemons, while reminding ourselves of our inherent vulnerability. If we forget that, then we just had a textbook example of what happens when we overestimate our hand, playing out in front of our very eyes today.

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    • Replies: @utu

    He’s also even more of a neoliberal. Notice a pattern?
     
    The west has no qualms about using Islamist. Radical Islam has been used in 1950s against Nasser's regime in Egypt. Islamist were used against secular pro Soviet regime of Afghanistan and then against Assad's Syria, Hussain's Iraq and Gaddafi's Libya. The equation is complicate: on one side you have Israel's Yinon Plan and global neoliberal and Islamists and on the other side you have secular national countries that try to build greater sovereignty and stronger state.

    Majority of Islamist are just useful idiots while some among the leadership are operatives of western security services. Sometimes they break off the leash like Hamas which it does not seem to be controlled by Mossad anymore but it still does everything from the wish list of Israel's hard-liners.

    My pet theory is that Islamist of Iran who destroyed the fast growing and developing Iran of Shah were also used by some foreign interests in the west and/or Israel. Shah himself believed it was the British.

    You should look at history of your own country in 19 and 20 century. To what extent all those patriots responsible for numerous and hopeless uprisings were useful idiots, dupes or operatives of foreign interests?
    , @Bukephalos
    Brunson's captivity had dragged for quite long already, and we heard negotiations for his release made some progress before. However, Trump ramped up the rhetoric at a precise moment: when Turkey announced they would not only shirk new Iran sanctions (like they did in the past) but also were being vocal about this.

    Seeing what ensued, again yes the S-400 was an irritant for a while already and certainly cumulate with other factors but the timeline is interesting. God forbid we conclude those who should not be named are ultimately setting the agenda here, not really the pastor's plight under islamist thugs.
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  15. @Polish Perspective
    Russia today is in a much better position to withstand sanctions. Global oil investments have been lagging for half a decade due to low prices, and this will inevitably show up in the coming years.
    Russia in 2014 was battered by a twin storm, of which the oil price collapse was in fact far worse. That factor is now gone.

    Furthermore, a planned VAT rise next year will mean that the break-even oil price for the Russian budget will fall to $50 after $60 this year and $67 last year, according to Alfa Bank's analysis. Steady, impressive improvement. So even in an event of an unexpected oil price decline, Russia is far more prepared this time around.

    Additionally, over the last 4 years, Russia's economy has indigenised to a much greater extent than before. This is especially the case in the financial markets. Russia is simply a lot less reliant on foreign funding. Bershidsky wrote about how more and more Russian companies are leaving UK capital markets and returning to Russia. This process will continue but it has already yielded results. As a country with a large current account surplus, tamed inflation, an incredibly strong fiscal state, there is indeed very little that the US can do, which is probably why they are reaching with ever-greater desperation.

    I think the ultimate endgame can only be to completely run a parallel system. Any compromise with the US is unlikely to give anything than shattered delusions. Who could be partners in such a system? Aside from the obvious candidate, China, perhaps even India. Modi has in recent months distanced himself from the US and warmed up to China again. India has always bristled at being treated as a close ally rather as a 'partner'. It has cherished it's non-aligned movement legacy and its historically close relations to Russia. It is unlikely to want to give up on that in order to become a subservient lapdog to US interests in the manner that the EU has degraded itself.

    China's AIIB is a good start, but the full range of new institutions must bear fruit. Some of the BRICS ideas are good but ultimately both Brazil and South Africa are too unimportant. It should be borne by the big powers (Russia, India and China) together with an Asian coalition like the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia and others who are not in the US orbit yet have a bright future ahead of them.

    Turning to Europe. Unless the EU finally shows some spine - which is very unlikely - then the Western system will be exposed to be at the mercy of whoever controls the US. Such a system is hegemonic and it will be in the best interest of not just the non-Western world but even for those of us in Europe to see a breakdown in that world order.

    Good to hear something sensible from Polish Perspective (in every sense of this expression). I know some Poles, who tend to be reasonable people, so the policies of Polish government always amazed me. Then again, if Polish democracy is similar to the US, the opinions of the people don’t matter at all.

    There is still a long way to go before Russia, China, or any other country frees itself from the clutches of dollar-based financial system. However, an alternative might look parallel at the beginning, but it won’t be parallel for long. Thing is, the US dollar and the US sovereign debt have become essentially Ponzi schemes. If Russia, China, and a few others create a “parallel” system, dollar-based Ponzi scheme folds, as the US does not have sufficient assets to support the dollar or pay off its debt. The fall of the Empire will likely be violent. The only thing we can hope for is that the humanity survives it.

    As to EU, it missed every chance of becoming something with a spine. Too late now. In fact, what French president once said about Arafat (he never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity) applies to the EU with a vengeance.

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  16. I suppose we now also now why Russia has been selling Treasuries for the past three months, which plummeted from their typical level of $100 billion in March to just $15 billion from June (i.e. just enough to guarantee USD-denominated trade).

    You’re making the Kremlins look smarter than they actually are. They should have done this 4 years ago. What I want to know is what happened to the proceeds from the sale? CBR data shows that value of “foreign exchange” held by the CBR hasn’t declined:

    https://www.cbr.ru/eng/hd_base/mrrf/mrrf_m/

    Did they convert the dollars into other currencies, or are they keeping it in cash on a bank account somewhere, where it could be easily “frozen”?

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  17. notanon says:
    @LondonBob
    Why, if Putin threatened Netanyahu to call off his dogs, he would have to? Actions of AIPAC should be accountable.

    Interesting looks like the inevitable Turkish financial crisis has begun, Europe has reasonable exposure there, further disruption to economic ties to Russia would be seen as a hostile act by Europe.

    Why, if Putin threatened Netanyahu to call off his dogs, he would have to? Actions of AIPAC should be accountable.

    i don’t this is just AIPAC driven – partly yes but the banking mafia have their own reasons for trying to bring Russia to heel.

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  18. Great.

    Now I can’t use the Export-Import Bank insure the export of American-made products from a swing state to Russia.

    Really Making America Great Again!

    Can we please replace Pompeo with Rohrabacher already?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Cagey Beast
    Can we please replace Pompeo with Rohrabacher already?

    Rohrabacher is a flake and blowhard as well. If he were in the running for Secretary of State, he could just as easily flip and become militantly anti-Russian in order to impress people in Washington. Appearing tough on foreigners in front of one's peers in Washington is their prime motive. They've been like this since before the Vietnam War era.
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  19. @Polish Perspective
    Russia today is in a much better position to withstand sanctions. Global oil investments have been lagging for half a decade due to low prices, and this will inevitably show up in the coming years.
    Russia in 2014 was battered by a twin storm, of which the oil price collapse was in fact far worse. That factor is now gone.

    Furthermore, a planned VAT rise next year will mean that the break-even oil price for the Russian budget will fall to $50 after $60 this year and $67 last year, according to Alfa Bank's analysis. Steady, impressive improvement. So even in an event of an unexpected oil price decline, Russia is far more prepared this time around.

    Additionally, over the last 4 years, Russia's economy has indigenised to a much greater extent than before. This is especially the case in the financial markets. Russia is simply a lot less reliant on foreign funding. Bershidsky wrote about how more and more Russian companies are leaving UK capital markets and returning to Russia. This process will continue but it has already yielded results. As a country with a large current account surplus, tamed inflation, an incredibly strong fiscal state, there is indeed very little that the US can do, which is probably why they are reaching with ever-greater desperation.

    I think the ultimate endgame can only be to completely run a parallel system. Any compromise with the US is unlikely to give anything than shattered delusions. Who could be partners in such a system? Aside from the obvious candidate, China, perhaps even India. Modi has in recent months distanced himself from the US and warmed up to China again. India has always bristled at being treated as a close ally rather as a 'partner'. It has cherished it's non-aligned movement legacy and its historically close relations to Russia. It is unlikely to want to give up on that in order to become a subservient lapdog to US interests in the manner that the EU has degraded itself.

    China's AIIB is a good start, but the full range of new institutions must bear fruit. Some of the BRICS ideas are good but ultimately both Brazil and South Africa are too unimportant. It should be borne by the big powers (Russia, India and China) together with an Asian coalition like the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia and others who are not in the US orbit yet have a bright future ahead of them.

    Turning to Europe. Unless the EU finally shows some spine - which is very unlikely - then the Western system will be exposed to be at the mercy of whoever controls the US. Such a system is hegemonic and it will be in the best interest of not just the non-Western world but even for those of us in Europe to see a breakdown in that world order.

    Regarding India, they are asking America for a permission to keep buying Russian weapons. Asking for a sanctions “waiver” – this is just sad. India also agreed to reduce imports of Iranian oil. So, perhaps, not so independent anymore.

    There is no way to sugarcoat it: in the short to medium term sanctions will suppress Russian economic growth. But unless they find a way to somehow stop Russia’s exports of oil, our economy will shrug off whatever sanction packages US can throw at it.

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    • Replies: @Gerard2

    There is no way to sugarcoat it: in the short to medium term sanctions will suppress Russian economic growth
     
    ....AND also Ukraine's,Moldova's,Georgia's, the Baltics and the friendly countries like Armenia,Belarus,Kyrgyzstan etcetera. If anything the US's moron, scumbag policy towards Russia ends up doing the exact opposite of what it intends to do......Ukraine,Moldova,Gerogia and Baltics then become more financially interlinked and even dependent on Russia than they were before.

    But in the circumstances.....is guaranteed 1% or 1.5% GDP growth per year for the next decade even that bad considering the circumstances? Every social/infrastructure element is improving in Russia
    , @dfordoom

    But unless they find a way to somehow stop Russia’s exports of oil, our economy will shrug off whatever sanction packages US can throw at it.
     
    It still makes Russia look pathetically weak. The U.S. actions are essentially an act of war. If Russia just rolls over allows itself to get kicked then the U.S. is just going to keep on kicking. Cowardice is rarely a good policy.
    , @Vidi

    There is no way to sugarcoat it: in the short to medium term sanctions will suppress Russian economic growth.
     
    Russia will scarcely notice the new sanctions if the gas lines to China start on schedule (sometime next year, I understand). That's $400 billion revenue for just the Power of Siberia; $800 billion when the Altai pipeline also goes online.

    But unless they find a way to somehow stop Russia’s exports of oil, our economy will shrug off whatever sanction packages US can throw at it.
     
    True, especially if you substitute "oil and gas" for "oil" in the above sentence.
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  20. @Thorfinnsson
    Great.

    Now I can't use the Export-Import Bank insure the export of American-made products from a swing state to Russia.

    Really Making America Great Again!

    Can we please replace Pompeo with Rohrabacher already?

    Can we please replace Pompeo with Rohrabacher already?

    Rohrabacher is a flake and blowhard as well. If he were in the running for Secretary of State, he could just as easily flip and become militantly anti-Russian in order to impress people in Washington. Appearing tough on foreigners in front of one’s peers in Washington is their prime motive. They’ve been like this since before the Vietnam War era.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mikhail
    DR was rabidly anti-Serb in the 1990s.
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  21. Kimppis says:

    Anatoly, I read your Russian “Whitepill” article through Google Translate recently:

    http://akarlin.ru/2018/08/whitepill/

    Obviously a good read overall, but there was this one part that I found particularly… well, interesting, and actually quite surprising:

    “Moreover, the mid-2020s will also see a massive influx of electric vehicles into the global car fleet, which could lead to a final collapse in oil prices. There was practically no real diversification: the number of industrial robots per worker in Russia is at the level of Iran and India. Meanwhile, “effective managers” like Sechin turned out to be so effective that Rosneft’s debts exceed the value of the company itself from this year. An acute economic crisis in a few years is almost inevitable.

    So I’m clearly not even entirely sure whether that translation is accurate, but it really seems like you’re kind of suddenly much more pessimistic on the Russian economy. Or is that just the “best-case” scenario for Russian nationalists?

    Didn’t you rate Putin’s “economic management” reasonably highly not a long time ago, just before the Presidential elections? Of course compared to the situation in 2000, but still.

    You’ve also pointed out several times that Russia’s oil dependency has been considerably exaggerated. Also, Russia’s federal budget is already based on low oil prices. Then there’s Jon Hellevig’s research and numbers as well (GDP share of oil & gas, the consolidated budget, etc). And Polish Perspective’s comment above.

    So shouldn’t the repeat of 2014 be kind of… unlikely, if not impossible? At this rate, Russia’s remaining oil dependency should already be considerably lower by the mid-20s, despite all those technological limitations.

    You don’t believe in an annual growth of 3% anymore? You seriously think there will be an “acute crisis” in a few years?

    I actually just read that even the always (or atleast recently) conservative/pessimistic Russian authorities (in this case, the Economic Development Ministry) forecast a growth rate of atleast around 3% beginning from 2021, after the VAT hike, some other “reforms” and increasing spending.

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    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    I merely choose to emphasize different things in my Russian language texts, which serve a primarily hortative function.
    , @Dmitry

    Also, Russia’s federal budget is already based on low oil prices. Then there’s
     
    It's up to 50% of the federal budget in recent years, is funded by oil and gas revenue, although in low oil price years the proportion can fall (to lower 40s%).

    When the proportion falls, then you are by definition financing a federal budget in other ways, which are usually less politically popular.

    You can see unpopularity of announcements to raise VAT or pension age.

    Raising pension age (as needs to often be repeated to people) is necessary and reasonable, but raising VAT is a bad thing as in most countries.

    Karlin is probably too pessimistic about oil price demand peaking in 2020s (demand for oil probably peaking in the 2030s).

    Either way, it's known there need to be economic reforms, reduction of size of government sector, increase in proportion of private sector in many areas, investment in education for future industries.

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  22. @Kimppis
    Anatoly, I read your Russian "Whitepill" article through Google Translate recently:

    http://akarlin.ru/2018/08/whitepill/

    Obviously a good read overall, but there was this one part that I found particularly... well, interesting, and actually quite surprising:

    "Moreover, the mid-2020s will also see a massive influx of electric vehicles into the global car fleet, which could lead to a final collapse in oil prices. There was practically no real diversification: the number of industrial robots per worker in Russia is at the level of Iran and India. Meanwhile, "effective managers" like Sechin turned out to be so effective that Rosneft's debts exceed the value of the company itself from this year. An acute economic crisis in a few years is almost inevitable."
     
    So I'm clearly not even entirely sure whether that translation is accurate, but it really seems like you're kind of suddenly much more pessimistic on the Russian economy. Or is that just the "best-case" scenario for Russian nationalists?

    Didn't you rate Putin's "economic management" reasonably highly not a long time ago, just before the Presidential elections? Of course compared to the situation in 2000, but still.

    You've also pointed out several times that Russia's oil dependency has been considerably exaggerated. Also, Russia's federal budget is already based on low oil prices. Then there's Jon Hellevig's research and numbers as well (GDP share of oil & gas, the consolidated budget, etc). And Polish Perspective's comment above.

    So shouldn't the repeat of 2014 be kind of... unlikely, if not impossible? At this rate, Russia's remaining oil dependency should already be considerably lower by the mid-20s, despite all those technological limitations.

    You don't believe in an annual growth of 3% anymore? You seriously think there will be an "acute crisis" in a few years?

    I actually just read that even the always (or atleast recently) conservative/pessimistic Russian authorities (in this case, the Economic Development Ministry) forecast a growth rate of atleast around 3% beginning from 2021, after the VAT hike, some other "reforms" and increasing spending.

    I merely choose to emphasize different things in my Russian language texts, which serve a primarily hortative function.

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    • Replies: @Kimppis
    Got it. Certain parts of the article very much reminded me of your "blackpill timeline," which was very pessimistic as well.
    , @FB

    '...I merely choose to emphasize different things in my Russian language texts, which serve a primarily hortative function...'
     
    Translation...'I make up this bullshit as I go along...all depends on who's listening...'
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  23. At the same time, Trump his helping to push the Turkish economy off a cliff with his Twitter account. Russia and Turkey find themselves in the same boat. So?

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    I don’t like Putin and I truly hate Erdogan, but I’d like them to win against the hegemon.
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  24. @Cagey Beast
    At the same time, Trump his helping to push the Turkish economy off a cliff with his Twitter account. Russia and Turkey find themselves in the same boat. So?

    https://twitter.com/KremlinRussia_E/status/1027954065299390464

    I don’t like Putin and I truly hate Erdogan, but I’d like them to win against the hegemon.

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    • Replies: @Cagey Beast
    That means you hate gays and freedom. It's that simple.
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  25. @reiner Tor
    I don’t like Putin and I truly hate Erdogan, but I’d like them to win against the hegemon.

    That means you hate gays and freedom. It’s that simple.

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    Yes, President Dubya so eloquently expressed it almost seventeen years ago.
    , @AnonFromTN
    Since when do gays equal freedom? The majority of the population isn’t gay, that’s why we do have population: imaginary “gay society” would die out in one generation. Biology is brutal.

    Now, if you equate freedom with the US, here is a scientific refutation of that claim:
    https://scholar.princeton.edu/sites/default/files/mgilens/files/gilens_and_page_2014_-testing_theories_of_american_politics.doc.pdf
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  26. Kimppis says:
    @Anatoly Karlin
    I merely choose to emphasize different things in my Russian language texts, which serve a primarily hortative function.

    Got it. Certain parts of the article very much reminded me of your “blackpill timeline,” which was very pessimistic as well.

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  27. Dmitry says:
    @LondonBob
    Why, if Putin threatened Netanyahu to call off his dogs, he would have to? Actions of AIPAC should be accountable.

    Interesting looks like the inevitable Turkish financial crisis has begun, Europe has reasonable exposure there, further disruption to economic ties to Russia would be seen as a hostile act by Europe.

    Israel and Netanyahu responsible for American sanctions on Russia, conspiracy makes less sense to me than the others I read here (Israel responsible for killing Kennedy, etc). Why do Israel want to impose American sanctions on Russia?

    This week’s sanctions mainly targeting Russian airlines. Aeroflot is about to buy 30 Boeing 737s from America – and now this is in danger.

    In Israel, Aeroflot is the third airline, and Israeli government pays it direct subsidies to reduce the ticket prices for places like Eilat. They allow Aeroflot to put giant Aeroflot commercial posters along the roads and skyscrapers.

    According to the news earlier in the year, Israel is negotiating to join a customs union with the Eurasian Economic Union. How will they reconcile their own actions, with being the one responsible for America to sanction Russia? It would be very competent 4 dimensional chess, from people who cannot even count their illegal immigrants or deport a single illegal immigrant, or coordinate their nationality policy with a few thousand druze. While making America sanction Russia has no benefit for them, deporting illegal immigrants, or coordinating with Druze has important benefits for them (yet supposedly they can do the former, but not the latter).

    At the same time, they do the opposite of sanctioning themselves.

    Also if this is the case, how in Russia, nobody in the expert community is aware Israel is responsible for the sanctions. Instead the media celebrate when it still wants to export carrots. And if any of the Kremlin top think relations with Israel are bad, then why is Israel allowed to operate freely in Russia.

    If explanation is to do with Syria – it also does not fit. Intervention in Syria was presented as something which would encourage West to remove its sanctions.

    For Israel, Russian-American alliance would improve the situation in the region. And also probably for Turkey and the Arabs.

    Israel is terrified with an increase of Iran in Syria. The reality is that is that both Russia and America is going to reduce presence in Syria, and Iran is going to increase it. The problem of Russia in Syria for Israel, is that Russia’s presence is only minimal, and will allow Iran on the ground to take over the same territories that Russia helps secure for Assad. In the current equation and stage of the war, they will be hoping Russia increases its presence and reduces the need for Iranian forces. Problem of Assad for them is his only to the extent of his relation with Iran, not with Russia.

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    • Replies: @Mitleser

    Aeroflot is about to buy 30 Boeing 737s from America – and now this is in danger.
     
    Aeroflot should cancel the orders and buy the Airbus 320s Iran was supposed to get.
    , @The Scalpel
    " Aeroflot is about to buy 30 Boeing 737s from America – and now this is in danger."

    I thought Russia could build commercial airliners????
    , @Alfred
    Israel is behind major efforts to destabilise Russia - in Georgia and Ukraine. Please open your eyes to the realities.

    When countries like Georgia and Ukraine put Jews/Israelis in charge of their government and military, it is ridiculous to pretend that Israel was not supporting them all along.

    "THE RUSSIAN-GEORGIAN WAR OF AUGUST 2008 WAS ACTUALLY THE RUSSIAN-‘ISRAELI’ WAR"

    https://www.fort-russ.com/2018/08/the-russian-georgian-war-of-august-2008-was-actually-the-russian-israeli-war/

    If the Russians wish to prevent WW3, they should tell the Israelis that they would be the first to be wiped out.

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  28. @Cagey Beast
    That means you hate gays and freedom. It's that simple.

    Yes, President Dubya so eloquently expressed it almost seventeen years ago.

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    • Agree: Cagey Beast
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  29. Mikhail says: • Website
    @reiner Tor
    Putin and his regime are weak on the USA, but Uncle Sam seems intent on making even Medvedev-style weak comprador liberals enemies.

    I think unrequited love often turns to hate, and so there’s some chance that these weaklings become anti-American nationalists.

    Before the Trump-Putin summit, the Mueller involved FBI indicted 12 Russians, knowing full well that they’d not be turned over to the US. This latest round of sanctions comes right after Rand Paul’s trip to Moscow, for the purpose of seeking closer US-Russian relations.

    As noted in this below piece, these sanctions are crock based:

    https://www.rt.com/news/435576-russia-us-sanctions-reactions/

    On CNN, the establishment alternative academic Robert English hypothesized that elements in the Russian government might’ve poisoned the Skripals without Putin’s prior knowledge. He leaves out another possibility, in line with US mass media restrictions. In the UK, there’re Russian ex pats, who quarrel among themselves, in addition to not liking the Russian government. The poisoning of the Skripals could very well be a matter of trying to kill two birds (so to speak) in one shot.

    Of course we don’t know for sure. Likewise, with the bogus suggestion as fact that the Russian government poisoned the Skripals. Given the ongoing lack of UK government disclosure on this incident, there’s very good reason to doubt the claim against the Russian government.

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  30. @Cagey Beast
    That means you hate gays and freedom. It's that simple.

    Since when do gays equal freedom? The majority of the population isn’t gay, that’s why we do have population: imaginary “gay society” would die out in one generation. Biology is brutal.

    Now, if you equate freedom with the US, here is a scientific refutation of that claim:

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

    Read More
    • Replies: @Cagey Beast
    Gays are the ideal consumer-citizen in the new West. They are free to shop; which is the greatest freedom of them all. Do keep up.
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  31. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Cagey Beast
    Can we please replace Pompeo with Rohrabacher already?

    Rohrabacher is a flake and blowhard as well. If he were in the running for Secretary of State, he could just as easily flip and become militantly anti-Russian in order to impress people in Washington. Appearing tough on foreigners in front of one's peers in Washington is their prime motive. They've been like this since before the Vietnam War era.

    DR was rabidly anti-Serb in the 1990s.

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  32. Mitleser says:
    @Polish Perspective
    Russia today is in a much better position to withstand sanctions. Global oil investments have been lagging for half a decade due to low prices, and this will inevitably show up in the coming years.
    Russia in 2014 was battered by a twin storm, of which the oil price collapse was in fact far worse. That factor is now gone.

    Furthermore, a planned VAT rise next year will mean that the break-even oil price for the Russian budget will fall to $50 after $60 this year and $67 last year, according to Alfa Bank's analysis. Steady, impressive improvement. So even in an event of an unexpected oil price decline, Russia is far more prepared this time around.

    Additionally, over the last 4 years, Russia's economy has indigenised to a much greater extent than before. This is especially the case in the financial markets. Russia is simply a lot less reliant on foreign funding. Bershidsky wrote about how more and more Russian companies are leaving UK capital markets and returning to Russia. This process will continue but it has already yielded results. As a country with a large current account surplus, tamed inflation, an incredibly strong fiscal state, there is indeed very little that the US can do, which is probably why they are reaching with ever-greater desperation.

    I think the ultimate endgame can only be to completely run a parallel system. Any compromise with the US is unlikely to give anything than shattered delusions. Who could be partners in such a system? Aside from the obvious candidate, China, perhaps even India. Modi has in recent months distanced himself from the US and warmed up to China again. India has always bristled at being treated as a close ally rather as a 'partner'. It has cherished it's non-aligned movement legacy and its historically close relations to Russia. It is unlikely to want to give up on that in order to become a subservient lapdog to US interests in the manner that the EU has degraded itself.

    China's AIIB is a good start, but the full range of new institutions must bear fruit. Some of the BRICS ideas are good but ultimately both Brazil and South Africa are too unimportant. It should be borne by the big powers (Russia, India and China) together with an Asian coalition like the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia and others who are not in the US orbit yet have a bright future ahead of them.

    Turning to Europe. Unless the EU finally shows some spine - which is very unlikely - then the Western system will be exposed to be at the mercy of whoever controls the US. Such a system is hegemonic and it will be in the best interest of not just the non-Western world but even for those of us in Europe to see a breakdown in that world order.

    I think the ultimate endgame can only be to completely run a parallel system. Any compromise with the US is unlikely to give anything than shattered delusions.

    Seconded. Washington is too much in love with their sanctions.

    It should be borne by the big powers (Russia, India and China) together with an Asian coalition like the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia and others who are not in the US orbit yet have a bright future ahead of them.

    What about Turkey?

    Read More
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  33. @AnonFromTN
    Since when do gays equal freedom? The majority of the population isn’t gay, that’s why we do have population: imaginary “gay society” would die out in one generation. Biology is brutal.

    Now, if you equate freedom with the US, here is a scientific refutation of that claim:
    https://scholar.princeton.edu/sites/default/files/mgilens/files/gilens_and_page_2014_-testing_theories_of_american_politics.doc.pdf

    Gays are the ideal consumer-citizen in the new West. They are free to shop; which is the greatest freedom of them all. Do keep up.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    But they fail to produce the next generation of consumer-citizens. Or is the Western elite so shortsighted? To the level of “après moi le déluge”?
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  34. Dmitry says:
    @Kimppis
    Anatoly, I read your Russian "Whitepill" article through Google Translate recently:

    http://akarlin.ru/2018/08/whitepill/

    Obviously a good read overall, but there was this one part that I found particularly... well, interesting, and actually quite surprising:

    "Moreover, the mid-2020s will also see a massive influx of electric vehicles into the global car fleet, which could lead to a final collapse in oil prices. There was practically no real diversification: the number of industrial robots per worker in Russia is at the level of Iran and India. Meanwhile, "effective managers" like Sechin turned out to be so effective that Rosneft's debts exceed the value of the company itself from this year. An acute economic crisis in a few years is almost inevitable."
     
    So I'm clearly not even entirely sure whether that translation is accurate, but it really seems like you're kind of suddenly much more pessimistic on the Russian economy. Or is that just the "best-case" scenario for Russian nationalists?

    Didn't you rate Putin's "economic management" reasonably highly not a long time ago, just before the Presidential elections? Of course compared to the situation in 2000, but still.

    You've also pointed out several times that Russia's oil dependency has been considerably exaggerated. Also, Russia's federal budget is already based on low oil prices. Then there's Jon Hellevig's research and numbers as well (GDP share of oil & gas, the consolidated budget, etc). And Polish Perspective's comment above.

    So shouldn't the repeat of 2014 be kind of... unlikely, if not impossible? At this rate, Russia's remaining oil dependency should already be considerably lower by the mid-20s, despite all those technological limitations.

    You don't believe in an annual growth of 3% anymore? You seriously think there will be an "acute crisis" in a few years?

    I actually just read that even the always (or atleast recently) conservative/pessimistic Russian authorities (in this case, the Economic Development Ministry) forecast a growth rate of atleast around 3% beginning from 2021, after the VAT hike, some other "reforms" and increasing spending.

    Also, Russia’s federal budget is already based on low oil prices. Then there’s

    It’s up to 50% of the federal budget in recent years, is funded by oil and gas revenue, although in low oil price years the proportion can fall (to lower 40s%).

    When the proportion falls, then you are by definition financing a federal budget in other ways, which are usually less politically popular.

    You can see unpopularity of announcements to raise VAT or pension age.

    Raising pension age (as needs to often be repeated to people) is necessary and reasonable, but raising VAT is a bad thing as in most countries.

    Karlin is probably too pessimistic about oil price demand peaking in 2020s (demand for oil probably peaking in the 2030s).

    Either way, it’s known there need to be economic reforms, reduction of size of government sector, increase in proportion of private sector in many areas, investment in education for future industries.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Gerard2

    You can see unpopularity of announcements to raise VAT or pension age.
     
    It's fake outrage and fake unpopularity on these two issues. 18% increased to 20% is a non-issue ( the budget is being spent significantly better than ever to offset this increase in VAT)

    A lot of nonsense about "long overdue" get's said about pension reform...but this is total BS.
    Yes Russia has 48 million out of 146 million as pensioners, but the most important thing is the unexpected , way above average increase in life expectancy ....... that has actually instigated this move by the authorities.

    Those approaching retirement won't suddenly have to work 1-5 years longer... they can still opt-in to the current arrangements in the overlapping period..and with guarantees pension increased much further to corresponding inflation levels than now.


    Either way, it’s known there need to be economic reforms
     
    Disagree with this....the same patterns that have been shown in the last 4 years need to continue, no radical "reform" is necessary. Small and medium sized business have gone from 10 million to 20 million people and should easily reach the target in afew years time that the President wished for in May,credit behavior and availability is becoming more and more western,

    Instead of saying "reduction in size of government sector" you must specify exactly which areas of state control should be privatised....too often from liberasts their focus is solely on getting state control off critically important energy resources and distribution....nothing else.

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  35. Mitleser says:
    @Dmitry
    Israel and Netanyahu responsible for American sanctions on Russia, conspiracy makes less sense to me than the others I read here (Israel responsible for killing Kennedy, etc). Why do Israel want to impose American sanctions on Russia?

    This week's sanctions mainly targeting Russian airlines. Aeroflot is about to buy 30 Boeing 737s from America - and now this is in danger.

    In Israel, Aeroflot is the third airline, and Israeli government pays it direct subsidies to reduce the ticket prices for places like Eilat. They allow Aeroflot to put giant Aeroflot commercial posters along the roads and skyscrapers.

    According to the news earlier in the year, Israel is negotiating to join a customs union with the Eurasian Economic Union. How will they reconcile their own actions, with being the one responsible for America to sanction Russia? It would be very competent 4 dimensional chess, from people who cannot even count their illegal immigrants or deport a single illegal immigrant, or coordinate their nationality policy with a few thousand druze. While making America sanction Russia has no benefit for them, deporting illegal immigrants, or coordinating with Druze has important benefits for them (yet supposedly they can do the former, but not the latter).

    At the same time, they do the opposite of sanctioning themselves.

    Also if this is the case, how in Russia, nobody in the expert community is aware Israel is responsible for the sanctions. Instead the media celebrate when it still wants to export carrots. And if any of the Kremlin top think relations with Israel are bad, then why is Israel allowed to operate freely in Russia.

    If explanation is to do with Syria - it also does not fit. Intervention in Syria was presented as something which would encourage West to remove its sanctions.

    For Israel, Russian-American alliance would improve the situation in the region. And also probably for Turkey and the Arabs.

    Israel is terrified with an increase of Iran in Syria. The reality is that is that both Russia and America is going to reduce presence in Syria, and Iran is going to increase it. The problem of Russia in Syria for Israel, is that Russia's presence is only minimal, and will allow Iran on the ground to take over the same territories that Russia helps secure for Assad. In the current equation and stage of the war, they will be hoping Russia increases its presence and reduces the need for Iranian forces. Problem of Assad for them is his only to the extent of his relation with Iran, not with Russia.

    Aeroflot is about to buy 30 Boeing 737s from America – and now this is in danger.

    Aeroflot should cancel the orders and buy the Airbus 320s Iran was supposed to get.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    Agree. Aeroflot should not buy anything American. Neither should Iran or Syria. The most sensitive part of the US anatomy is the wallet.
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  36. @Cagey Beast
    Gays are the ideal consumer-citizen in the new West. They are free to shop; which is the greatest freedom of them all. Do keep up.

    But they fail to produce the next generation of consumer-citizens. Or is the Western elite so shortsighted? To the level of “après moi le déluge”?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Cagey Beast
    Apparently yes they are.
    , @Mitleser
    No skin in the game.

    https://twitter.com/myhtopoeic/status/998961807044816896

    A recent article in the German polit magazine Cicero claimed that Germany will have to deal with 3,7-4,7 trillion extra cost thanks to the Merkel government.

    This is going to break our aging state.
    , @Daniel Chieh
    Yes, of course. Same with the focus on DINK couples.

    Especially if you're uncertain about the future, getting "money up front" rather than waiting for potential future customers can be a good thing.
    , @German_reader
    There's always surrogacy for male homos, and lesbians can use sperm banks, liberals are lobbying hard for such practices to become accepted.
    More generally, the political establishment in Europe of course doesn't offer a future looking forward to, their ideology mandates abolition of Europe in its historical form.
    , @Anonymous
    As our esteemed host said, technology will solve this problem, soon.

    https://www.unz.com/akarlin/paper-review-artificial-wombs
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  37. @Mitleser

    Aeroflot is about to buy 30 Boeing 737s from America – and now this is in danger.
     
    Aeroflot should cancel the orders and buy the Airbus 320s Iran was supposed to get.

    Agree. Aeroflot should not buy anything American. Neither should Iran or Syria. The most sensitive part of the US anatomy is the wallet.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
    Iran and Syria don't even have the option.

    Agreed that Aeroflot should not, but it's not like declining to order from Boeing, General Electric, and United Technologies--Rockwell Aerospace (Pratt & Whitney) will break America.

    What Russia really needs to do is stop purchasing foreign aircraft period. Aeroflot should be purchasing Russian aircraft and jet engines.
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  38. @AnonFromTN
    But they fail to produce the next generation of consumer-citizens. Or is the Western elite so shortsighted? To the level of “après moi le déluge”?

    Apparently yes they are.

    Read More
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  39. Mitleser says:
    @AnonFromTN
    But they fail to produce the next generation of consumer-citizens. Or is the Western elite so shortsighted? To the level of “après moi le déluge”?

    No skin in the game.

    A recent article in the German polit magazine Cicero claimed that Germany will have to deal with 3,7-4,7 trillion extra cost thanks to the Merkel government.

    This is going to break our aging state.

    Read More
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  40. I hope Russia sticks it to Microsoft, Apple and the rest of them by mandating the use of Linux in government offices.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    It’s another area of Putin’s incompetence. He should’ve forced it years ago.
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  41. @AnonFromTN
    But they fail to produce the next generation of consumer-citizens. Or is the Western elite so shortsighted? To the level of “après moi le déluge”?

    Yes, of course. Same with the focus on DINK couples.

    Especially if you’re uncertain about the future, getting “money up front” rather than waiting for potential future customers can be a good thing.

    Read More
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  42. @Cagey Beast
    I hope Russia sticks it to Microsoft, Apple and the rest of them by mandating the use of Linux in government offices.

    It’s another area of Putin’s incompetence. He should’ve forced it years ago.

    Read More
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  43. @AnonFromTN
    But they fail to produce the next generation of consumer-citizens. Or is the Western elite so shortsighted? To the level of “après moi le déluge”?

    There’s always surrogacy for male homos, and lesbians can use sperm banks, liberals are lobbying hard for such practices to become accepted.
    More generally, the political establishment in Europe of course doesn’t offer a future looking forward to, their ideology mandates abolition of Europe in its historical form.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Cagey Beast
    It's the same ruling ideology here in Canada. The Prime Minister is proud not to appoint White men like me (and him) to his cabinet and has given the job of Minister of Immigration to a Somali. The future they look forward to requires the abolition of my country.
    , @Anon
    I am always puzzled to hear that lesbians require artificial insemination. I had a couple of friends who were a bit behind schedule, and were trying hard to conceive just before the last eggs would wither. Whatever they were doing, taking days off from work when the thermometer said so, shoving it at any price, and so on - it could not be described as pleasurable. So why would the lesbians not bear it if they so much need children?

    On a more general note, I am puzzled as to how USSR survived between 1945 and 1989 without fainting at the thought that Americans would not recognize annexation of the Baltic jokes, that Russians would not be allowed to use dollars, or that Pokemon Go could be blocked in the Russian app store. Surely, if you have a population of idiots, like USSR circa 1989, who would think that it's their ow government blocking the dollar and Pikachu, it may gnaw at the roots of the state. But today's Russians can guess that with Putin or without him, with Crimea or without it, they are still seen as enemies of America, and will be treated accordingly.
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  44. @AnonFromTN
    Agree. Aeroflot should not buy anything American. Neither should Iran or Syria. The most sensitive part of the US anatomy is the wallet.

    Iran and Syria don’t even have the option.

    Agreed that Aeroflot should not, but it’s not like declining to order from Boeing, General Electric, and United Technologies–Rockwell Aerospace (Pratt & Whitney) will break America.

    What Russia really needs to do is stop purchasing foreign aircraft period. Aeroflot should be purchasing Russian aircraft and jet engines.

    Read More
    • Agree: reiner Tor
    • Replies: @g2k
    Looks like these sanctions will force their hand: their new narrowbody airliner was going to have pratt and witney engines with the aviadvigatel ones only for government planes. Not sure what the exact reasons for this were: p&w ones have a slightly higher bypass ratio, it allows international buyers to utilise existing service infrastructure or aviadvigatel's ability to mass produce might be crap. If the us imposes a complete export ban they'll all have to have them.

    Russia's current widebody airliner is pretty much obsolete though.

    , @AnonFromTN
    For that, Russia needs to produce all types of civilian aircraft, like the USSR did. That’s hard after the 1990s, when the traitors destroyed Russian aircraft industry. There are moves in the direction of restoring it, in cooperation with China. However, they both need to be able to build aircraft w/o any parts from the US and its vassals. That would take 5-10 years. In fact, US sanctions pushed Russia and China in the direction of self-sufficiency very hard. In Russian it is called “sawing off the bough you sit on”. The West is really good at that lately.
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  45. @German_reader
    There's always surrogacy for male homos, and lesbians can use sperm banks, liberals are lobbying hard for such practices to become accepted.
    More generally, the political establishment in Europe of course doesn't offer a future looking forward to, their ideology mandates abolition of Europe in its historical form.

    It’s the same ruling ideology here in Canada. The Prime Minister is proud not to appoint White men like me (and him) to his cabinet and has given the job of Minister of Immigration to a Somali. The future they look forward to requires the abolition of my country.

    Read More
    • Agree: RadicalCenter
    • Replies: @German_reader
    I know, Canada with its multiculturalism and free speech restrictions looks really bad, it's striking how the British past is being done away with everywhere in the English-speaking world, even in Britain itself.
    Bizarrely German right-wingers often cite Canada as a positive example due to its supposedly skills-based immigration system.
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  46. @Cagey Beast
    It's the same ruling ideology here in Canada. The Prime Minister is proud not to appoint White men like me (and him) to his cabinet and has given the job of Minister of Immigration to a Somali. The future they look forward to requires the abolition of my country.

    I know, Canada with its multiculturalism and free speech restrictions looks really bad, it’s striking how the British past is being done away with everywhere in the English-speaking world, even in Britain itself.
    Bizarrely German right-wingers often cite Canada as a positive example due to its supposedly skills-based immigration system.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Pericles

    Bizarrely German right-wingers often cite Canada as a positive example due to its supposedly skills-based immigration system.

     

    Skills-based immigration is better than what is being used in Europe (come one, come all) but still lends itself to being gamed. I guess Asians are better than muslims, but you're still being invaded. And I also guess there are more ways to get in than just SBI since all the muslims streaming into Canada presumably aren't doing it through their rare skills.
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  47. Having Russia go pirate on US copy-rite laws could be interesting. Do you think the US would build a giant firewall and ban it’s citizens from viewing Russian content, and could they actually enforce it, or would the internet be just like back in the good old 90′s days with Napsternik?

    Russia might even make some headway with Pirate Party types. Information belongs to the people, comrades!

    Also Russia switching to Linux would probably lead to an increased development of Linux.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    Do you think the US would build a giant firewall and ban it’s citizens from viewing Russian content, and could they actually enforce it, or would the internet be just like back in the good old 90′s days with Napsternik?
     
    The "free market" of Facebook, Apple, Google and Spotify will protect good Americans from fake news.
    , @El Dato

    Also Russia switching to Linux would probably lead to an increased development of Linux.
     
    I would finally have a good reason to learn me some Russian.
    , @Pericles
    Armadas of Russian seed boxes are standing by. Please don't throw us in that briar patch.
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  48. g2k says:
    @Thorfinnsson
    Iran and Syria don't even have the option.

    Agreed that Aeroflot should not, but it's not like declining to order from Boeing, General Electric, and United Technologies--Rockwell Aerospace (Pratt & Whitney) will break America.

    What Russia really needs to do is stop purchasing foreign aircraft period. Aeroflot should be purchasing Russian aircraft and jet engines.

    Looks like these sanctions will force their hand: their new narrowbody airliner was going to have pratt and witney engines with the aviadvigatel ones only for government planes. Not sure what the exact reasons for this were: p&w ones have a slightly higher bypass ratio, it allows international buyers to utilise existing service infrastructure or aviadvigatel’s ability to mass produce might be crap. If the us imposes a complete export ban they’ll all have to have them.

    Russia’s current widebody airliner is pretty much obsolete though.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    These sanctions might be a net positive for Russia in the long term, forcing them to develop indigenous industries instead of just importing everything from the oil revenue.
    , @Thorfinnsson
    Presumably they can still source from Rolls Royce. The UK is a smaller economic power than America and presumably less interested in sabotaging one of its crown jewels (never rule it out with the UK ofc).

    Russia's aerospace technology is inferior to the West, but that's irrelevant since Russia can simply force Russian carriers to purchase Russian aircraft. Higher operating costs relative to foreign carriers can be addressed with subsidies (or tariffs).

    Prioritizing your own technology also creates the option of charting an independent technological course. For instance, instead of building swept-wing jets with low bypass turbofan engines optimized for transonic cruise, you could build straight-wing aircraft with propfans optimized for low fuel consumption. You can also build supersonic aircraft and experiment with different planforms than the boring one established by the Boeing 707.

    , @The Scalpel
    "Russia’s current widebody airliner is pretty much obsolete though."

    Do you really mean that they cannot fly with people in them?
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  49. Dmitry says:

    Aeroflot had benefited from collapse of Transaero. They’re getting 35 planes (all Airbus and Boeing models) from the Transaero fleet and are putting them into Aeroflot fleet this year.

    With Boeing, they also had an order of Dreamliners, which they cancelled a few years ago. Although that was just because there was a downturn in long-haul flights. New Boeing 737 orders are for building up their lowcoster “Pobeda”.

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  50. @Thorfinnsson
    Iran and Syria don't even have the option.

    Agreed that Aeroflot should not, but it's not like declining to order from Boeing, General Electric, and United Technologies--Rockwell Aerospace (Pratt & Whitney) will break America.

    What Russia really needs to do is stop purchasing foreign aircraft period. Aeroflot should be purchasing Russian aircraft and jet engines.

    For that, Russia needs to produce all types of civilian aircraft, like the USSR did. That’s hard after the 1990s, when the traitors destroyed Russian aircraft industry. There are moves in the direction of restoring it, in cooperation with China. However, they both need to be able to build aircraft w/o any parts from the US and its vassals. That would take 5-10 years. In fact, US sanctions pushed Russia and China in the direction of self-sufficiency very hard. In Russian it is called “sawing off the bough you sit on”. The West is really good at that lately.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    Probably working together with China is the easier way, and more feasible economically.
    , @Thorfinnsson
    This is already in the works with the CRAIC CR929. Engineering in Moscow, assembly in Shanghai.

    Will be in service around a decade from now.
    , @ondrej
    H

    owever, they both need to be able to build aircraft w/o any parts from the US and its vassals. That would take 5-10 years.
     
    No it will not take 10 years...

    Sukhoi Superjet is already flying..
    http://superjet.wikidot.com

    MC-21 is started going for production next year
    http://mc-21.wikidot.com

    Il-96 is going trough modernization (probably as backup solution) for China Russian plane.

    Russian engines in final testing stage.
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  51. @g2k
    Looks like these sanctions will force their hand: their new narrowbody airliner was going to have pratt and witney engines with the aviadvigatel ones only for government planes. Not sure what the exact reasons for this were: p&w ones have a slightly higher bypass ratio, it allows international buyers to utilise existing service infrastructure or aviadvigatel's ability to mass produce might be crap. If the us imposes a complete export ban they'll all have to have them.

    Russia's current widebody airliner is pretty much obsolete though.

    These sanctions might be a net positive for Russia in the long term, forcing them to develop indigenous industries instead of just importing everything from the oil revenue.

    Read More
    • Replies: @ThreeCranes
    My take too rT. Economic warfare will not play out against Russia today as it did against Japan and Germany in the 1930's; because while they were energy dependent, Russia has an abundance of oil and can and will--as you say--bootstrap its own industries inso far as they are able. They don't have to develop a surplus to trade since, like the USA 100 years ago, their population is sufficiently large to support a robust internal market.

    Also, this entire analysis (and the Saker's discussions of weapons as well) ignores Russia's bigger concern, 1.2 billion Chinese wielding state of the art weaponry, who would love to bite off some big chunks of a weakened Russia for lebensraum.

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  52. @AnonFromTN
    For that, Russia needs to produce all types of civilian aircraft, like the USSR did. That’s hard after the 1990s, when the traitors destroyed Russian aircraft industry. There are moves in the direction of restoring it, in cooperation with China. However, they both need to be able to build aircraft w/o any parts from the US and its vassals. That would take 5-10 years. In fact, US sanctions pushed Russia and China in the direction of self-sufficiency very hard. In Russian it is called “sawing off the bough you sit on”. The West is really good at that lately.

    Probably working together with China is the easier way, and more feasible economically.

    Read More
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  53. @Lars Porsena
    Having Russia go pirate on US copy-rite laws could be interesting. Do you think the US would build a giant firewall and ban it's citizens from viewing Russian content, and could they actually enforce it, or would the internet be just like back in the good old 90's days with Napsternik?

    Russia might even make some headway with Pirate Party types. Information belongs to the people, comrades!

    Also Russia switching to Linux would probably lead to an increased development of Linux.

    Do you think the US would build a giant firewall and ban it’s citizens from viewing Russian content, and could they actually enforce it, or would the internet be just like back in the good old 90′s days with Napsternik?

    The “free market” of Facebook, Apple, Google and Spotify will protect good Americans from fake news.

    Read More
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  54. El Dato says:
    @Lars Porsena
    Having Russia go pirate on US copy-rite laws could be interesting. Do you think the US would build a giant firewall and ban it's citizens from viewing Russian content, and could they actually enforce it, or would the internet be just like back in the good old 90's days with Napsternik?

    Russia might even make some headway with Pirate Party types. Information belongs to the people, comrades!

    Also Russia switching to Linux would probably lead to an increased development of Linux.

    Also Russia switching to Linux would probably lead to an increased development of Linux.

    I would finally have a good reason to learn me some Russian.

    Read More
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  55. Shows how malleable public opinion is:

    Read More
    • Replies: @German_reader
    It's kind of funny how many Americans feel threatened by Iran.
    Regarding Russia as a threat at least makes a certain sense given Russia's nuclear arsenal and ability to destroy the US.
    , @Colin Wright
    '...Americans view Russia as a greater threat than Iran...'

    I can go along with that. Russia's a greater threat than Togo as well.
    , @Parbes
    U.S. "public opinion" is literally the collective opinion of dumbed-down, amoral idiots. In fact, the word "opinion" is too dignified for this - "braindead recantation of MSM-fed government propaganda" would be a better description.
    , @Vidi

    Shows how malleable public opinion is:

    As U.S. unleashes sanctions, Americans view Russia as bigger threat than Iran: Reuters/Ipsos poll https://reut.rs/2KJ91J1
     

     
    These days, I never dismiss the possibility of fake news. Polls can be manipulated in any number of ways. And even if the polls were honest and accurate, the reporting on them may not be.
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  56. @g2k
    Looks like these sanctions will force their hand: their new narrowbody airliner was going to have pratt and witney engines with the aviadvigatel ones only for government planes. Not sure what the exact reasons for this were: p&w ones have a slightly higher bypass ratio, it allows international buyers to utilise existing service infrastructure or aviadvigatel's ability to mass produce might be crap. If the us imposes a complete export ban they'll all have to have them.

    Russia's current widebody airliner is pretty much obsolete though.

    Presumably they can still source from Rolls Royce. The UK is a smaller economic power than America and presumably less interested in sabotaging one of its crown jewels (never rule it out with the UK ofc).

    Russia’s aerospace technology is inferior to the West, but that’s irrelevant since Russia can simply force Russian carriers to purchase Russian aircraft. Higher operating costs relative to foreign carriers can be addressed with subsidies (or tariffs).

    Prioritizing your own technology also creates the option of charting an independent technological course. For instance, instead of building swept-wing jets with low bypass turbofan engines optimized for transonic cruise, you could build straight-wing aircraft with propfans optimized for low fuel consumption. You can also build supersonic aircraft and experiment with different planforms than the boring one established by the Boeing 707.

    Read More
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  57. @AnonFromTN
    For that, Russia needs to produce all types of civilian aircraft, like the USSR did. That’s hard after the 1990s, when the traitors destroyed Russian aircraft industry. There are moves in the direction of restoring it, in cooperation with China. However, they both need to be able to build aircraft w/o any parts from the US and its vassals. That would take 5-10 years. In fact, US sanctions pushed Russia and China in the direction of self-sufficiency very hard. In Russian it is called “sawing off the bough you sit on”. The West is really good at that lately.

    This is already in the works with the CRAIC CR929. Engineering in Moscow, assembly in Shanghai.

    Will be in service around a decade from now.

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  58. The Scalpel says: • Website
    @Dmitry
    Israel and Netanyahu responsible for American sanctions on Russia, conspiracy makes less sense to me than the others I read here (Israel responsible for killing Kennedy, etc). Why do Israel want to impose American sanctions on Russia?

    This week's sanctions mainly targeting Russian airlines. Aeroflot is about to buy 30 Boeing 737s from America - and now this is in danger.

    In Israel, Aeroflot is the third airline, and Israeli government pays it direct subsidies to reduce the ticket prices for places like Eilat. They allow Aeroflot to put giant Aeroflot commercial posters along the roads and skyscrapers.

    According to the news earlier in the year, Israel is negotiating to join a customs union with the Eurasian Economic Union. How will they reconcile their own actions, with being the one responsible for America to sanction Russia? It would be very competent 4 dimensional chess, from people who cannot even count their illegal immigrants or deport a single illegal immigrant, or coordinate their nationality policy with a few thousand druze. While making America sanction Russia has no benefit for them, deporting illegal immigrants, or coordinating with Druze has important benefits for them (yet supposedly they can do the former, but not the latter).

    At the same time, they do the opposite of sanctioning themselves.

    Also if this is the case, how in Russia, nobody in the expert community is aware Israel is responsible for the sanctions. Instead the media celebrate when it still wants to export carrots. And if any of the Kremlin top think relations with Israel are bad, then why is Israel allowed to operate freely in Russia.

    If explanation is to do with Syria - it also does not fit. Intervention in Syria was presented as something which would encourage West to remove its sanctions.

    For Israel, Russian-American alliance would improve the situation in the region. And also probably for Turkey and the Arabs.

    Israel is terrified with an increase of Iran in Syria. The reality is that is that both Russia and America is going to reduce presence in Syria, and Iran is going to increase it. The problem of Russia in Syria for Israel, is that Russia's presence is only minimal, and will allow Iran on the ground to take over the same territories that Russia helps secure for Assad. In the current equation and stage of the war, they will be hoping Russia increases its presence and reduces the need for Iranian forces. Problem of Assad for them is his only to the extent of his relation with Iran, not with Russia.

    ” Aeroflot is about to buy 30 Boeing 737s from America – and now this is in danger.”

    I thought Russia could build commercial airliners????

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dmitry
    There are a couple of new planes which Aeroflot is going to buy/buying for shorthaul - Superjet 100 and MC-21. Karlin was blogging about these planes a few weeks ago.

    Airtickets are a freemarket, and most passengers don't want to fly in unsafe old planes like Tu-154

    A single crash can be even fatal for an airline - crash of an An-148 has earlier this year, destroyed Saratov Airlines

    As a customer, I don't think there is any disgrace in buying Boeing and Airbus. All major airlines now, and around the world, are using mainly Airbus and Boeing, and have now retired the Tu-154.

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  59. @Felix Keverich
    Shows how malleable public opinion is:

    https://twitter.com/Reuters/status/1027969154186444800

    It’s kind of funny how many Americans feel threatened by Iran.
    Regarding Russia as a threat at least makes a certain sense given Russia’s nuclear arsenal and ability to destroy the US.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mitleser
    On the other hand, the Islamic Republic of Iran is ideologically far more committed to anti-Americanism than the RF.
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  60. The Scalpel says: • Website
    @g2k
    Looks like these sanctions will force their hand: their new narrowbody airliner was going to have pratt and witney engines with the aviadvigatel ones only for government planes. Not sure what the exact reasons for this were: p&w ones have a slightly higher bypass ratio, it allows international buyers to utilise existing service infrastructure or aviadvigatel's ability to mass produce might be crap. If the us imposes a complete export ban they'll all have to have them.

    Russia's current widebody airliner is pretty much obsolete though.

    “Russia’s current widebody airliner is pretty much obsolete though.”

    Do you really mean that they cannot fly with people in them?

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    More fuel consumption than is usual with modern aircraft, noisier passenger cabin, more external noise (also important for some airports with regulations restricting noisy aircraft), less safety, etc.

    It’s just not competitive to operate them. Airlines have very low margins anyway, you cannot make a profit with obsolete aircrafts.
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  61. @Mitleser

    Putin and his regime are weak on the USA, but Uncle Sam seems intent on making even Medvedev-style weak comprador liberals enemies.
     
    https://twitter.com/MSuchkov_ALM/status/1027795359156850690

    Every time Medvedev opens his mouth, he makes me cringe. Seriously, if you’re going to proclaim an “economic war”, against USA no less, then you better explain how Russia is going to fight back and win.

    Smart Russians will be heading to currency exchange (обменный пункт) after hearing this statement.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mitleser

    if you’re going to proclaim an “economic war”, against USA no less, then you better explain how Russia is going to fight back and win.
     
    Sun Tzu would disagree.

    Why let the enemy know what you are planning to do?
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  62. @The Scalpel
    "Russia’s current widebody airliner is pretty much obsolete though."

    Do you really mean that they cannot fly with people in them?

    More fuel consumption than is usual with modern aircraft, noisier passenger cabin, more external noise (also important for some airports with regulations restricting noisy aircraft), less safety, etc.

    It’s just not competitive to operate them. Airlines have very low margins anyway, you cannot make a profit with obsolete aircrafts.

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  63. Do Russians by a lot of gold? If not, they should. It’s certainly much smarter than buying everything from the shops, from cars to plasma TVs and other shit that loses value fast, like what happened the last time the rouble took a considerable dive.

    With gold, no matter how a trade war goes, you win. Or at least you don’t lose, as even if there isn’t a trade war, gold price still increases on a long enough time line to more than meet inflation.
    Now that interest rates for deposits are miserable pretty much everywhere (and much lower than inflation), it seems like the best option to me.

    Now I know that someone economically literate like Thorfinnsson may disagree and mention a thousand options for investing and managing money that I won’t really understand.
    But for an ordinary wagecuck who, rather than making an investor profit, mostly wants to protect what has been saved with long years of hard work, gold seems like the best option, as it is easy, straightforward and pretty much the most secure one.

    This is just an idea for people protecting themselves on the personal level. I am sure that the Russian government will be more or less fine.

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  64. Anonymous[265] • Disclaimer says:
    @AnonFromTN
    But they fail to produce the next generation of consumer-citizens. Or is the Western elite so shortsighted? To the level of “après moi le déluge”?

    As our esteemed host said, technology will solve this problem, soon.

    https://www.unz.com/akarlin/paper-review-artificial-wombs

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mitleser
    In theory, yes.

    In reality, they do not seem to be that interested in this technology.
    , @AnonFromTN
    If you combine two spermatozoids, the combination won’t be viable, no artificial womb can help. Biology does not go for PC, it is a natural science (as opposed to unnatural “sciences”).

    Also, only oocytes provide mitochondria. How do they solve that pesky problem?

    , @Daniel Chieh
    You still have to pay for the raising of the kids; that's the main obstacle.

    Surrogacy/adoption/etc already exist at present if they had such vast interest in kiddos.
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  65. Mitleser says:
    @German_reader
    It's kind of funny how many Americans feel threatened by Iran.
    Regarding Russia as a threat at least makes a certain sense given Russia's nuclear arsenal and ability to destroy the US.

    On the other hand, the Islamic Republic of Iran is ideologically far more committed to anti-Americanism than the RF.

    Read More
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  66. Mitleser says:
    @Felix Keverich
    Every time Medvedev opens his mouth, he makes me cringe. Seriously, if you're going to proclaim an "economic war", against USA no less, then you better explain how Russia is going to fight back and win.

    Smart Russians will be heading to currency exchange (обменный пункт) after hearing this statement.

    if you’re going to proclaim an “economic war”, against USA no less, then you better explain how Russia is going to fight back and win.

    Sun Tzu would disagree.

    Why let the enemy know what you are planning to do?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
    The enemy is probably laughing his ass off at Medvedev. One simply should NOT be making such statements as a prime-minister of Russia.

    Here is another fool, who doesn't understand currency markets:

    https://twitter.com/Schuldensuehner/status/1027798848129908736
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  67. Mitleser says:
    @Anonymous
    As our esteemed host said, technology will solve this problem, soon.

    https://www.unz.com/akarlin/paper-review-artificial-wombs

    In theory, yes.

    In reality, they do not seem to be that interested in this technology.

    Read More
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  68. @Anonymous
    As our esteemed host said, technology will solve this problem, soon.

    https://www.unz.com/akarlin/paper-review-artificial-wombs

    If you combine two spermatozoids, the combination won’t be viable, no artificial womb can help. Biology does not go for PC, it is a natural science (as opposed to unnatural “sciences”).

    Also, only oocytes provide mitochondria. How do they solve that pesky problem?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Yes we can.

    https://www.businessinsider.com/mouse-grown-from-its-mothers-skin-cells-2016-10

    https://www.newscientist.com/article/2109305-eggs-made-from-skin-cells-in-lab-could-herald-end-of-infertility/
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  69. Pericles says:
    @German_reader
    I know, Canada with its multiculturalism and free speech restrictions looks really bad, it's striking how the British past is being done away with everywhere in the English-speaking world, even in Britain itself.
    Bizarrely German right-wingers often cite Canada as a positive example due to its supposedly skills-based immigration system.

    Bizarrely German right-wingers often cite Canada as a positive example due to its supposedly skills-based immigration system.

    Skills-based immigration is better than what is being used in Europe (come one, come all) but still lends itself to being gamed. I guess Asians are better than muslims, but you’re still being invaded. And I also guess there are more ways to get in than just SBI since all the muslims streaming into Canada presumably aren’t doing it through their rare skills.

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  70. Pericles says:
    @Lars Porsena
    Having Russia go pirate on US copy-rite laws could be interesting. Do you think the US would build a giant firewall and ban it's citizens from viewing Russian content, and could they actually enforce it, or would the internet be just like back in the good old 90's days with Napsternik?

    Russia might even make some headway with Pirate Party types. Information belongs to the people, comrades!

    Also Russia switching to Linux would probably lead to an increased development of Linux.

    Armadas of Russian seed boxes are standing by. Please don’t throw us in that briar patch.

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  71. Dmitry says:
    @The Scalpel
    " Aeroflot is about to buy 30 Boeing 737s from America – and now this is in danger."

    I thought Russia could build commercial airliners????

    There are a couple of new planes which Aeroflot is going to buy/buying for shorthaul – Superjet 100 and MC-21. Karlin was blogging about these planes a few weeks ago.

    Airtickets are a freemarket, and most passengers don’t want to fly in unsafe old planes like Tu-154

    A single crash can be even fatal for an airline – crash of an An-148 has earlier this year, destroyed Saratov Airlines

    As a customer, I don’t think there is any disgrace in buying Boeing and Airbus. All major airlines now, and around the world, are using mainly Airbus and Boeing, and have now retired the Tu-154.

    Read More
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  72. Gerard2 says:
    @Felix Keverich
    Regarding India, they are asking America for a permission to keep buying Russian weapons. Asking for a sanctions "waiver" - this is just sad. India also agreed to reduce imports of Iranian oil. So, perhaps, not so independent anymore.

    There is no way to sugarcoat it: in the short to medium term sanctions will suppress Russian economic growth. But unless they find a way to somehow stop Russia's exports of oil, our economy will shrug off whatever sanction packages US can throw at it.

    There is no way to sugarcoat it: in the short to medium term sanctions will suppress Russian economic growth

    ….AND also Ukraine’s,Moldova’s,Georgia’s, the Baltics and the friendly countries like Armenia,Belarus,Kyrgyzstan etcetera. If anything the US’s moron, scumbag policy towards Russia ends up doing the exact opposite of what it intends to do……Ukraine,Moldova,Gerogia and Baltics then become more financially interlinked and even dependent on Russia than they were before.

    But in the circumstances…..is guaranteed 1% or 1.5% GDP growth per year for the next decade even that bad considering the circumstances? Every social/infrastructure element is improving in Russia

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  73. @Anonymous
    As our esteemed host said, technology will solve this problem, soon.

    https://www.unz.com/akarlin/paper-review-artificial-wombs

    You still have to pay for the raising of the kids; that’s the main obstacle.

    Surrogacy/adoption/etc already exist at present if they had such vast interest in kiddos.

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  74. @Mitleser

    if you’re going to proclaim an “economic war”, against USA no less, then you better explain how Russia is going to fight back and win.
     
    Sun Tzu would disagree.

    Why let the enemy know what you are planning to do?

    The enemy is probably laughing his ass off at Medvedev. One simply should NOT be making such statements as a prime-minister of Russia.

    Here is another fool, who doesn’t understand currency markets:

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mitleser

    One simply should NOT be making such statements as a prime-minister of Russia.
     
    What statements should the PM make?
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  75. Gerard2 says:
    @Dmitry

    Also, Russia’s federal budget is already based on low oil prices. Then there’s
     
    It's up to 50% of the federal budget in recent years, is funded by oil and gas revenue, although in low oil price years the proportion can fall (to lower 40s%).

    When the proportion falls, then you are by definition financing a federal budget in other ways, which are usually less politically popular.

    You can see unpopularity of announcements to raise VAT or pension age.

    Raising pension age (as needs to often be repeated to people) is necessary and reasonable, but raising VAT is a bad thing as in most countries.

    Karlin is probably too pessimistic about oil price demand peaking in 2020s (demand for oil probably peaking in the 2030s).

    Either way, it's known there need to be economic reforms, reduction of size of government sector, increase in proportion of private sector in many areas, investment in education for future industries.

    You can see unpopularity of announcements to raise VAT or pension age.

    It’s fake outrage and fake unpopularity on these two issues. 18% increased to 20% is a non-issue ( the budget is being spent significantly better than ever to offset this increase in VAT)

    A lot of nonsense about “long overdue” get’s said about pension reform…but this is total BS.
    Yes Russia has 48 million out of 146 million as pensioners, but the most important thing is the unexpected , way above average increase in life expectancy ……. that has actually instigated this move by the authorities.

    Those approaching retirement won’t suddenly have to work 1-5 years longer… they can still opt-in to the current arrangements in the overlapping period..and with guarantees pension increased much further to corresponding inflation levels than now.

    Either way, it’s known there need to be economic reforms

    Disagree with this….the same patterns that have been shown in the last 4 years need to continue, no radical “reform” is necessary. Small and medium sized business have gone from 10 million to 20 million people and should easily reach the target in afew years time that the President wished for in May,credit behavior and availability is becoming more and more western,

    Instead of saying “reduction in size of government sector” you must specify exactly which areas of state control should be privatised….too often from liberasts their focus is solely on getting state control off critically important energy resources and distribution….nothing else.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dmitry
    VAT is not a "non-issue". When you raise from 18% to 20%, then you are taking significantly more money from the whole population (including poor people) who want to buy things in private sector, and transferring this money to state sector, where not all extra money (to be "polite") is going to be used "wisely".

    At the same time, a problem now is to have up to 50% of the federal budget from oil/gas revenues - which is a volatile priced resource.

    So it's typical dilemma with neither option looking good.

    Of course, the solution to both, is to reduce unnecessary government expenditure, which continues to grow all the time in many useless areas, to the extent that you can see expressed in even unhidden ways of the luxurious buildings being constructed for all kinds of different government offices who could really do their job just as well (or incompetently) in a warehouse or a polyester and nylon tent.

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  76. utu says:
    @reiner Tor
    The first comments never show, only after the second (or third?) or some time lapses.

    AK: Don't know what to do about this, sorry. Perhaps we can raise it the next time Ron has a suggestions thread.

    I think the is a feature affecting the first comment. Happened to me several times but comments always eventually showed up.

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  77. Cyrano says:

    Americans see the Russians as greatness deniers. Their European lackeys are their greatness-acknowledgers – even when it’s detrimental to their own survival.

    If the world was a theater, Americans see themselves as the only performers – the role of the rest of the world is to applaud their performance.

    Russia is not a part of the audience, it’s not even a heckler. It’s a performer, it has always been, and a very talented one too. To try to demote them to the role of spectators, or to try to usher them out of the concert hall can be suicidal, they have enough musical instruments to put on a remarkable concert – even if afterwards no one is left to applaud.

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    • Agree: Cagey Beast
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  78. Mitleser says:
    @Felix Keverich
    The enemy is probably laughing his ass off at Medvedev. One simply should NOT be making such statements as a prime-minister of Russia.

    Here is another fool, who doesn't understand currency markets:

    https://twitter.com/Schuldensuehner/status/1027798848129908736

    One simply should NOT be making such statements as a prime-minister of Russia.

    What statements should the PM make?

    Read More
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  79. Anonymous[899] • Disclaimer says:
    @AnonFromTN
    If you combine two spermatozoids, the combination won’t be viable, no artificial womb can help. Biology does not go for PC, it is a natural science (as opposed to unnatural “sciences”).

    Also, only oocytes provide mitochondria. How do they solve that pesky problem?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    Mice and humans are quite different, results applying to mice apply to humans less than 50% of the time. The loss rates on this, at any rate, are insane:


    Of the 1348 embryos they made, eight pups were born.
     
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  80. @Anonymous
    Yes we can.

    https://www.businessinsider.com/mouse-grown-from-its-mothers-skin-cells-2016-10

    https://www.newscientist.com/article/2109305-eggs-made-from-skin-cells-in-lab-could-herald-end-of-infertility/

    Mice and humans are quite different, results applying to mice apply to humans less than 50% of the time. The loss rates on this, at any rate, are insane:

    Of the 1348 embryos they made, eight pups were born.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Every beginning is hard. Considering that all the cutting edge research in fertility/cloning/artificial wombs is done on shoestring budgets, the progress is amazing. Imagine what could be done with sufficient funding.

    Our esteemed host have the right idea - the only chance for Russia to achieve its rightful number one place in the world is through new Manhattan project to develop better Russians.
    The West is stymied by the "pro-lifers" of the right and "bioethicists" of the left, and this is Russia's chance. Unlike the origial M project, Russians can keep things secret, and even if the West will suspect something, what can they do? Impose sanctions? ;-)

    In the thirties, ignorant Caucasian moustacheoid gangster picked the Lysenkoists over the scientifically correct Darwinist transhumanist eugenicists. Time to undo this mistake.
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  81. Anonymous[931] • Disclaimer says:
    @Daniel Chieh
    Mice and humans are quite different, results applying to mice apply to humans less than 50% of the time. The loss rates on this, at any rate, are insane:


    Of the 1348 embryos they made, eight pups were born.
     

    Every beginning is hard. Considering that all the cutting edge research in fertility/cloning/artificial wombs is done on shoestring budgets, the progress is amazing. Imagine what could be done with sufficient funding.

    Our esteemed host have the right idea – the only chance for Russia to achieve its rightful number one place in the world is through new Manhattan project to develop better Russians.
    The West is stymied by the “pro-lifers” of the right and “bioethicists” of the left, and this is Russia’s chance. Unlike the origial M project, Russians can keep things secret, and even if the West will suspect something, what can they do? Impose sanctions? ;-)

    In the thirties, ignorant Caucasian moustacheoid gangster picked the Lysenkoists over the scientifically correct Darwinist transhumanist eugenicists. Time to undo this mistake.

    Read More
    • Replies: @utu

    Our esteemed host have the right idea – the only chance for Russia to achieve its rightful number one place in the world is through new Manhattan project to develop better Russians.
     
    And it will have as much impact on the outcome of the looming confrontation as the Mengele's research had on the outcome of the WWII.
    , @anonymous coward

    scientifically correct Darwinist
     
    Darwinism violates basic laws of probability theory and the observed fossil record.

    It's a nice just-so story for the innumerate (most biologists are innumerate), but not in any way, shape or form science.
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  82. utu says:
    @Anonymous
    Every beginning is hard. Considering that all the cutting edge research in fertility/cloning/artificial wombs is done on shoestring budgets, the progress is amazing. Imagine what could be done with sufficient funding.

    Our esteemed host have the right idea - the only chance for Russia to achieve its rightful number one place in the world is through new Manhattan project to develop better Russians.
    The West is stymied by the "pro-lifers" of the right and "bioethicists" of the left, and this is Russia's chance. Unlike the origial M project, Russians can keep things secret, and even if the West will suspect something, what can they do? Impose sanctions? ;-)

    In the thirties, ignorant Caucasian moustacheoid gangster picked the Lysenkoists over the scientifically correct Darwinist transhumanist eugenicists. Time to undo this mistake.

    Our esteemed host have the right idea – the only chance for Russia to achieve its rightful number one place in the world is through new Manhattan project to develop better Russians.

    And it will have as much impact on the outcome of the looming confrontation as the Mengele’s research had on the outcome of the WWII.

    Read More
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  83. utu says:
    @Polish Perspective
    OT: The Turkish lira is now the worst-performing currency this year, bar none.

    Turkey's implicit bet was that it could continue to rely on Western money flows while pursuing an agenda contrary to Western interests has been conclusively shattered. When I say Western interests, I do not mean the propaganda about human rights, which the West manifestly doesn't give two hoots about.

    Turkey was not entirely foolish to believe this strategy could work. Pakistan during the reign of Islamist military dictator Zia ul-Haq, used a similar strategy during the 1980s. He empowered the mullahs and moved Pakistan decidedly to the hard-right in religious/cultural terms while massively opening up the economy to speculative finance, thereby pleasing Washington. Saudi Arabia has used this policy for a long time. For those who knew this, the revelation that the US funded some of the most extremist "moderate" rebels in Syria came as no shock.

    So perhaps it isn't the Islamism in of itself which is the problem in Erdogan's case. What could it be? Well, one clue is the case of Pastor Brunson. The good pastor, who under house arrest in Turkey, is accused to be close to the Gülen cult. The official line in the Western MSM is that Trump is trying to appease evangelicals before the midterms. I don't buy that. He has them in the bag regardless. Gülen himself, some of you might recall, still lives in the US despite repeated pleas from Turkey to give him back. Which is the unreliable ally here? Curiously, Gülen's religious bent is even more Islamist than Erdogan's. He's also even more of a neoliberal. Notice a pattern?

    At any rate, the demand from the US has been for Turkey to release Brunson unconditionally. Erdogan's media has speculated that Brunson was slated to become CIA chief in Turkey had the 2016 coup come to pass. Obviously, Turkey does not want to release him unconditionally: it makes them look extremely weak. Well, they now got hit where it hurts. Indeed, Trump even tweeted out new sanctions news today even as Erdogan was delivering a speech. I don't happen to believe in coincidences. The result is that the lira lost close to a quarter of its value in a single day. I haven't even mentioned Turkey's apparent interest in the S-400 missile system among other matters. This, I think, is what truly irked D.C. rather than Erdogan's human rights record or "authoritarianism", which is just the pretext.

    Make no mistake: the decline of the lira was structural from the beginning. Turkey's large CAD made it extremely vulnerable to financial speculation from the getgo. It has now paid that price. But this does not preclude the fact that countries which are overtly reliant on Western financial flows to fund large current account deficits should forgo the lesson that there is no free lunch. Erdogan made this cardinal error. Poland is not nearly as vulnerable, but we're also in the same orbit. This is why I always laugh at the Poland Stronk memes. It's also why I dismiss the criticism against Orban that he plays all sides, including taking money from the EU, as politically naïve. Very few countries in this world can reliably be called truly independent. Russia is in the process of becoming one. So is China. India is not quite there, but it has the potential. The rest of us will simply have to balance hegemons, while reminding ourselves of our inherent vulnerability. If we forget that, then we just had a textbook example of what happens when we overestimate our hand, playing out in front of our very eyes today.

    He’s also even more of a neoliberal. Notice a pattern?

    The west has no qualms about using Islamist. Radical Islam has been used in 1950s against Nasser’s regime in Egypt. Islamist were used against secular pro Soviet regime of Afghanistan and then against Assad’s Syria, Hussain’s Iraq and Gaddafi’s Libya. The equation is complicate: on one side you have Israel’s Yinon Plan and global neoliberal and Islamists and on the other side you have secular national countries that try to build greater sovereignty and stronger state.

    Majority of Islamist are just useful idiots while some among the leadership are operatives of western security services. Sometimes they break off the leash like Hamas which it does not seem to be controlled by Mossad anymore but it still does everything from the wish list of Israel’s hard-liners.

    My pet theory is that Islamist of Iran who destroyed the fast growing and developing Iran of Shah were also used by some foreign interests in the west and/or Israel. Shah himself believed it was the British.

    You should look at history of your own country in 19 and 20 century. To what extent all those patriots responsible for numerous and hopeless uprisings were useful idiots, dupes or operatives of foreign interests?

    Read More
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  84. Mr. XYZ says:

    Question about the Skripal poisoning–if it wasn’t the Russians, then who did it?

    Also, it’s interesting that Sergei Skripal’s poisoning has resulted in much more Western action than Alexander Litvinenko’s poisoning back in 2006 did.

    Read More
    • Replies: @anonymous coward

    ...if it wasn’t the Russians, then who did it?
     
    Guilty until proven innocent? Don't open that Pandora's box. You're gleefully piling on the Russians now, but give a few years and the same gang might apply that principle to you in turn. Just because they hate Russians at this moment doesn't mean they hold any love for the rest of humanity.
    , @Mikhail
    You could do a better job at reading this thread. See:

    http://www.unz.com/akarlin/russia-sanctions/#comment-2458139

    Excerpt -


    On CNN, the establishment alternative academic Robert English hypothesized that elements in the Russian government might’ve poisoned the Skripals without Putin’s prior knowledge. He leaves out another possibility, in line with US mass media restrictions. In the UK, there’re Russian ex pats, who quarrel among themselves, in addition to not liking the Russian government. The poisoning of the Skripals could very well be a matter of trying to kill two birds (so to speak) in one shot.

    Of course we don’t know for sure. Likewise, with the bogus suggestion as fact that the Russian government poisoned the Skripals. Given the ongoing lack of UK government disclosure on this incident, there’s very good reason to doubt the claim against the Russian government.
     

    As for the Litvinenko matter you bring up, there's good reason to believe that he somehow got poisoned by a source other than a Russian government act. His Italian friend got arrested for arms smuggling and was also infected with polonium. Litvinenko was said to be sympathetic to Chechen separatism. These factors and his links to the likes of Goldfarb and Berezovsky suggest a source other than the Russian government.
    , @The Scalpel
    If it wasn't the British, or ISIS, or the Martians, who did it?
    , @RadicalCenter
    If it wasn’t a setup by formerly-great formerly-Britain, who was it?
    , @anon
    who did it.. answered right here go no further
    https://www.rt.com/usa/435824-us-midterms-hacking-children/
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  85. ‘…The biggest impact from the initial sanctions is expected to come from a ban on granting licenses to export sensitive national security goods to Russia, which in the past have included items like electronic devices and components, along with test and calibration equipment for avionics. Prior to the sanctions, such exports were allowed on a case-by-case basis. …’

    Now they’ll have to pay the Israelis to get it for them. Does this count as aid to Israel?

    Read More
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  86. If, without admitting guilt, Russia expressed her regret for the fact that Donald Trump won the election, would that open the door to a settlement?

    Read More
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  87. @Felix Keverich
    Shows how malleable public opinion is:

    https://twitter.com/Reuters/status/1027969154186444800

    ‘…Americans view Russia as a greater threat than Iran…’

    I can go along with that. Russia’s a greater threat than Togo as well.

    Read More
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  88. Anon[813] • Disclaimer says:
    @German_reader
    There's always surrogacy for male homos, and lesbians can use sperm banks, liberals are lobbying hard for such practices to become accepted.
    More generally, the political establishment in Europe of course doesn't offer a future looking forward to, their ideology mandates abolition of Europe in its historical form.

    I am always puzzled to hear that lesbians require artificial insemination. I had a couple of friends who were a bit behind schedule, and were trying hard to conceive just before the last eggs would wither. Whatever they were doing, taking days off from work when the thermometer said so, shoving it at any price, and so on – it could not be described as pleasurable. So why would the lesbians not bear it if they so much need children?

    On a more general note, I am puzzled as to how USSR survived between 1945 and 1989 without fainting at the thought that Americans would not recognize annexation of the Baltic jokes, that Russians would not be allowed to use dollars, or that Pokemon Go could be blocked in the Russian app store. Surely, if you have a population of idiots, like USSR circa 1989, who would think that it’s their ow government blocking the dollar and Pikachu, it may gnaw at the roots of the state. But today’s Russians can guess that with Putin or without him, with Crimea or without it, they are still seen as enemies of America, and will be treated accordingly.

    Read More
    • Replies: @utu

    New state provision would cover fertility services for lower income women
    https://nypost.com/2017/04/16/new-state-provision-would-cover-fertility-services-for-lower-income-women/
    Conservatives pilloried the program, which sources said is a gift to an Orthodox Jewish community that has pressed for government-paid fertility services for 15 years.

    Orthodox leaders called the budget measure a “significant victory” for women struggling to have kids in a community that traditionally values large families.

    “This amendment will make it easier for women who would like to have children to do so,” said Jeff Leb, a top lobbyist for Jewish nonprofits.
     
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  89. utu says:
    @Anon
    I am always puzzled to hear that lesbians require artificial insemination. I had a couple of friends who were a bit behind schedule, and were trying hard to conceive just before the last eggs would wither. Whatever they were doing, taking days off from work when the thermometer said so, shoving it at any price, and so on - it could not be described as pleasurable. So why would the lesbians not bear it if they so much need children?

    On a more general note, I am puzzled as to how USSR survived between 1945 and 1989 without fainting at the thought that Americans would not recognize annexation of the Baltic jokes, that Russians would not be allowed to use dollars, or that Pokemon Go could be blocked in the Russian app store. Surely, if you have a population of idiots, like USSR circa 1989, who would think that it's their ow government blocking the dollar and Pikachu, it may gnaw at the roots of the state. But today's Russians can guess that with Putin or without him, with Crimea or without it, they are still seen as enemies of America, and will be treated accordingly.

    New state provision would cover fertility services for lower income women

    https://nypost.com/2017/04/16/new-state-provision-would-cover-fertility-services-for-lower-income-women/

    Conservatives pilloried the program, which sources said is a gift to an Orthodox Jewish community that has pressed for government-paid fertility services for 15 years.

    Orthodox leaders called the budget measure a “significant victory” for women struggling to have kids in a community that traditionally values large families.

    “This amendment will make it easier for women who would like to have children to do so,” said Jeff Leb, a top lobbyist for Jewish nonprofits.

    Read More
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  90. @Anonymous
    Every beginning is hard. Considering that all the cutting edge research in fertility/cloning/artificial wombs is done on shoestring budgets, the progress is amazing. Imagine what could be done with sufficient funding.

    Our esteemed host have the right idea - the only chance for Russia to achieve its rightful number one place in the world is through new Manhattan project to develop better Russians.
    The West is stymied by the "pro-lifers" of the right and "bioethicists" of the left, and this is Russia's chance. Unlike the origial M project, Russians can keep things secret, and even if the West will suspect something, what can they do? Impose sanctions? ;-)

    In the thirties, ignorant Caucasian moustacheoid gangster picked the Lysenkoists over the scientifically correct Darwinist transhumanist eugenicists. Time to undo this mistake.

    scientifically correct Darwinist

    Darwinism violates basic laws of probability theory and the observed fossil record.

    It’s a nice just-so story for the innumerate (most biologists are innumerate), but not in any way, shape or form science.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    That’s wrong, except about the innumeracy of the majority of biologists. Evolutionary biologists are less innumerate than the rest, and in any event, enough of them are numerate (like Greg Cochran with a physics PhD).
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  91. @Mr. XYZ
    Question about the Skripal poisoning--if it wasn't the Russians, then who did it?

    Also, it's interesting that Sergei Skripal's poisoning has resulted in much more Western action than Alexander Litvinenko's poisoning back in 2006 did.

    …if it wasn’t the Russians, then who did it?

    Guilty until proven innocent? Don’t open that Pandora’s box. You’re gleefully piling on the Russians now, but give a few years and the same gang might apply that principle to you in turn. Just because they hate Russians at this moment doesn’t mean they hold any love for the rest of humanity.

    Read More
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  92. @Polish Perspective
    OT: The Turkish lira is now the worst-performing currency this year, bar none.

    Turkey's implicit bet was that it could continue to rely on Western money flows while pursuing an agenda contrary to Western interests has been conclusively shattered. When I say Western interests, I do not mean the propaganda about human rights, which the West manifestly doesn't give two hoots about.

    Turkey was not entirely foolish to believe this strategy could work. Pakistan during the reign of Islamist military dictator Zia ul-Haq, used a similar strategy during the 1980s. He empowered the mullahs and moved Pakistan decidedly to the hard-right in religious/cultural terms while massively opening up the economy to speculative finance, thereby pleasing Washington. Saudi Arabia has used this policy for a long time. For those who knew this, the revelation that the US funded some of the most extremist "moderate" rebels in Syria came as no shock.

    So perhaps it isn't the Islamism in of itself which is the problem in Erdogan's case. What could it be? Well, one clue is the case of Pastor Brunson. The good pastor, who under house arrest in Turkey, is accused to be close to the Gülen cult. The official line in the Western MSM is that Trump is trying to appease evangelicals before the midterms. I don't buy that. He has them in the bag regardless. Gülen himself, some of you might recall, still lives in the US despite repeated pleas from Turkey to give him back. Which is the unreliable ally here? Curiously, Gülen's religious bent is even more Islamist than Erdogan's. He's also even more of a neoliberal. Notice a pattern?

    At any rate, the demand from the US has been for Turkey to release Brunson unconditionally. Erdogan's media has speculated that Brunson was slated to become CIA chief in Turkey had the 2016 coup come to pass. Obviously, Turkey does not want to release him unconditionally: it makes them look extremely weak. Well, they now got hit where it hurts. Indeed, Trump even tweeted out new sanctions news today even as Erdogan was delivering a speech. I don't happen to believe in coincidences. The result is that the lira lost close to a quarter of its value in a single day. I haven't even mentioned Turkey's apparent interest in the S-400 missile system among other matters. This, I think, is what truly irked D.C. rather than Erdogan's human rights record or "authoritarianism", which is just the pretext.

    Make no mistake: the decline of the lira was structural from the beginning. Turkey's large CAD made it extremely vulnerable to financial speculation from the getgo. It has now paid that price. But this does not preclude the fact that countries which are overtly reliant on Western financial flows to fund large current account deficits should forgo the lesson that there is no free lunch. Erdogan made this cardinal error. Poland is not nearly as vulnerable, but we're also in the same orbit. This is why I always laugh at the Poland Stronk memes. It's also why I dismiss the criticism against Orban that he plays all sides, including taking money from the EU, as politically naïve. Very few countries in this world can reliably be called truly independent. Russia is in the process of becoming one. So is China. India is not quite there, but it has the potential. The rest of us will simply have to balance hegemons, while reminding ourselves of our inherent vulnerability. If we forget that, then we just had a textbook example of what happens when we overestimate our hand, playing out in front of our very eyes today.

    Brunson’s captivity had dragged for quite long already, and we heard negotiations for his release made some progress before. However, Trump ramped up the rhetoric at a precise moment: when Turkey announced they would not only shirk new Iran sanctions (like they did in the past) but also were being vocal about this.

    Seeing what ensued, again yes the S-400 was an irritant for a while already and certainly cumulate with other factors but the timeline is interesting. God forbid we conclude those who should not be named are ultimately setting the agenda here, not really the pastor’s plight under islamist thugs.

    Read More
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  93. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Mr. XYZ
    Question about the Skripal poisoning--if it wasn't the Russians, then who did it?

    Also, it's interesting that Sergei Skripal's poisoning has resulted in much more Western action than Alexander Litvinenko's poisoning back in 2006 did.

    You could do a better job at reading this thread. See:

    http://www.unz.com/akarlin/russia-sanctions/#comment-2458139

    Excerpt –

    On CNN, the establishment alternative academic Robert English hypothesized that elements in the Russian government might’ve poisoned the Skripals without Putin’s prior knowledge. He leaves out another possibility, in line with US mass media restrictions. In the UK, there’re Russian ex pats, who quarrel among themselves, in addition to not liking the Russian government. The poisoning of the Skripals could very well be a matter of trying to kill two birds (so to speak) in one shot.

    Of course we don’t know for sure. Likewise, with the bogus suggestion as fact that the Russian government poisoned the Skripals. Given the ongoing lack of UK government disclosure on this incident, there’s very good reason to doubt the claim against the Russian government.

    As for the Litvinenko matter you bring up, there’s good reason to believe that he somehow got poisoned by a source other than a Russian government act. His Italian friend got arrested for arms smuggling and was also infected with polonium. Litvinenko was said to be sympathetic to Chechen separatism. These factors and his links to the likes of Goldfarb and Berezovsky suggest a source other than the Russian government.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    You're right again about the Litvinenko conspiracy, Mickey. The notion that the Russian government would want to eliminate somebody who had betrayed its secret service, written books denouncing Vladimir Putin for giving the order to murder the likes of Boris Bereszvsky, Anna Polikovskaya and others, accused the secret service of being behind the bombings of the Russian apartment buildings, just doesn't add up or make any sense. The fact that Litvinenko, while lying on his death bed directly accused Putin for being responsible for his death also didn't lend any value that it was indeed Putin behind his poisoning. It just goes to show you the lengths to which the enemies of Russia and Vladimir Putin will go to try and besmearch Putin's honorable name. But they'll never be able to fool somebody with your veracity and skillul analysis - keep up the great 'independent foreign analysis'!
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  94. @anonymous coward

    scientifically correct Darwinist
     
    Darwinism violates basic laws of probability theory and the observed fossil record.

    It's a nice just-so story for the innumerate (most biologists are innumerate), but not in any way, shape or form science.

    That’s wrong, except about the innumeracy of the majority of biologists. Evolutionary biologists are less innumerate than the rest, and in any event, enough of them are numerate (like Greg Cochran with a physics PhD).

    Read More
    • Replies: @anonymous coward

    That’s wrong
     
    It isn't. I'm a professional, trust me.

    Evolutionary biologists are less innumerate than the rest, and in any event, enough of them are numerate (like Greg Cochran with a physics PhD).
     
    Physicists are trained in integrals and analysis, they know nothing about probability theory, statistics and theoretical computer science. These are the fields required to form a semblance of a mathematical theory of evolution.

    (A theory that will never be formed, because Darwinism violates the very basic theorems of probability and computation.)
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  95. @reiner Tor
    That’s wrong, except about the innumeracy of the majority of biologists. Evolutionary biologists are less innumerate than the rest, and in any event, enough of them are numerate (like Greg Cochran with a physics PhD).

    [MORE]

    That’s wrong

    It isn’t. I’m a professional, trust me.

    Evolutionary biologists are less innumerate than the rest, and in any event, enough of them are numerate (like Greg Cochran with a physics PhD).

    Physicists are trained in integrals and analysis, they know nothing about probability theory, statistics and theoretical computer science. These are the fields required to form a semblance of a mathematical theory of evolution.

    (A theory that will never be formed, because Darwinism violates the very basic theorems of probability and computation.)

    Read More
    • Replies: @utu


    Could you give an example of some probabilities? How do you calculate them and with what assumptions?

    At resent article by Fred Reed the commenter "j2" produced some numbers but I was too lazy and not certain that his starting assumptions were correct to verify it.
    , @Jaakko Raipala

    Physicists are trained in integrals and analysis, they know nothing about probability theory, statistics and theoretical computer science. These are the fields required to form a semblance of a mathematical theory of evolution.
     
    Such complete bullshit. Probability and statistics are absolutely key for modern physics and an education in theoretical physics is definitely the best route to train in the practical applications, better than going to the mathematics department where they mainly deal with abstract theory. You clearly know nothing beyond high school level physics (or anything else for that matter).

    Some fields of modern physics like thermodynamics ARE basically just pure probability theory applied to physical phenomena. If you take a random sample of research physicists from your local university, they're much more likely to be doing statistical mechanics rather than trying to find analytical solutions for their n-body problem and some application of probability is usually the most important field of mathematics for working physicists.
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  96. anon[170] • Disclaimer says:

    Sanctions are more or less equivalent to Neo Mercantilism. Currency devalued, imports surpassed, etc.

    Last round led to Russian agriculture boom.

    The US would not tolerate a sanctions equivalent industrial policy, Nr would the Russian people.

    Just call it better than tariffs,

    Never before have unintended consequences been so obvious.

    Read More
    • Replies: @anon
    It will have a negative impact on domestic Russian consumption short term. It's stupid, short sighted, and hard to reverse. Sanctions work best when used least.
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  97. utu says:
    @anonymous coward

    That’s wrong
     
    It isn't. I'm a professional, trust me.

    Evolutionary biologists are less innumerate than the rest, and in any event, enough of them are numerate (like Greg Cochran with a physics PhD).
     
    Physicists are trained in integrals and analysis, they know nothing about probability theory, statistics and theoretical computer science. These are the fields required to form a semblance of a mathematical theory of evolution.

    (A theory that will never be formed, because Darwinism violates the very basic theorems of probability and computation.)

    [MORE]

    Could you give an example of some probabilities? How do you calculate them and with what assumptions?

    At resent article by Fred Reed the commenter “j2″ produced some numbers but I was too lazy and not certain that his starting assumptions were correct to verify it.

    Read More
    • Replies: @anonymous coward


    Some quick back-of-the-napkin calculations:

    * Age of the universe is about 10^18 seconds.
    * The "Planck time" gives us the smallest possible unit of time, about 10^-45 seconds.
    * There are about 10^82 atoms in the Universe.

    Now assume an ideal computer. Let each atom of the Universe be a CPU, operating as fast as physics allows.

    That gives us an upper bound of 10^(18+45+82) = 10^145 CPU cycles for computation.

    Now take Shakespeare's sonnet #27. It is 458 letters long. (Let's ignore punctuation.)

    If we take 458 random letters of the English alphabet, there are 26^458 random combinations.

    So if our ideal Universe-sized computer was randomly picking letters and hoping to compose a Shakespeare sonnet, it would need about 10^300 Universes to do so.

    How much more complex is an E. Coli cell compared to a sonnet?

    P.S. This is obvious, freshman-tier stuff unless you're blinded by ideology.
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  98. The Scalpel says: • Website
    @Mr. XYZ
    Question about the Skripal poisoning--if it wasn't the Russians, then who did it?

    Also, it's interesting that Sergei Skripal's poisoning has resulted in much more Western action than Alexander Litvinenko's poisoning back in 2006 did.

    If it wasn’t the British, or ISIS, or the Martians, who did it?

    Read More
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  99. @anonymous coward

    That’s wrong
     
    It isn't. I'm a professional, trust me.

    Evolutionary biologists are less innumerate than the rest, and in any event, enough of them are numerate (like Greg Cochran with a physics PhD).
     
    Physicists are trained in integrals and analysis, they know nothing about probability theory, statistics and theoretical computer science. These are the fields required to form a semblance of a mathematical theory of evolution.

    (A theory that will never be formed, because Darwinism violates the very basic theorems of probability and computation.)

    Physicists are trained in integrals and analysis, they know nothing about probability theory, statistics and theoretical computer science. These are the fields required to form a semblance of a mathematical theory of evolution.

    Such complete bullshit. Probability and statistics are absolutely key for modern physics and an education in theoretical physics is definitely the best route to train in the practical applications, better than going to the mathematics department where they mainly deal with abstract theory. You clearly know nothing beyond high school level physics (or anything else for that matter).

    Some fields of modern physics like thermodynamics ARE basically just pure probability theory applied to physical phenomena. If you take a random sample of research physicists from your local university, they’re much more likely to be doing statistical mechanics rather than trying to find analytical solutions for their n-body problem and some application of probability is usually the most important field of mathematics for working physicists.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    anonymous coward makes it a point of pride to be as consistently wrong as possible.
    , @anonymous coward

    Probability and statistics are absolutely key for modern physics and an education in theoretical physics is definitely the best route to train in the practical applications, better than going to the mathematics department where they mainly deal with abstract theory.
     
    Untighten your panties. That was my point, which you managed to miss by blindly charging to M'Lady Science's defense.

    Any scientific theory of evolution will have to be about information entropy, computational complexity and asymptotic properties of stochastic processes. That's exactly the "abstract theory" you're deriding.

    The practical stuff physicists are using for solving practical, well-defined problems is useless here.
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  100. Mr. Hack says:
    @Mikhail
    You could do a better job at reading this thread. See:

    http://www.unz.com/akarlin/russia-sanctions/#comment-2458139

    Excerpt -


    On CNN, the establishment alternative academic Robert English hypothesized that elements in the Russian government might’ve poisoned the Skripals without Putin’s prior knowledge. He leaves out another possibility, in line with US mass media restrictions. In the UK, there’re Russian ex pats, who quarrel among themselves, in addition to not liking the Russian government. The poisoning of the Skripals could very well be a matter of trying to kill two birds (so to speak) in one shot.

    Of course we don’t know for sure. Likewise, with the bogus suggestion as fact that the Russian government poisoned the Skripals. Given the ongoing lack of UK government disclosure on this incident, there’s very good reason to doubt the claim against the Russian government.
     

    As for the Litvinenko matter you bring up, there's good reason to believe that he somehow got poisoned by a source other than a Russian government act. His Italian friend got arrested for arms smuggling and was also infected with polonium. Litvinenko was said to be sympathetic to Chechen separatism. These factors and his links to the likes of Goldfarb and Berezovsky suggest a source other than the Russian government.

    You’re right again about the Litvinenko conspiracy, Mickey. The notion that the Russian government would want to eliminate somebody who had betrayed its secret service, written books denouncing Vladimir Putin for giving the order to murder the likes of Boris Bereszvsky, Anna Polikovskaya and others, accused the secret service of being behind the bombings of the Russian apartment buildings, just doesn’t add up or make any sense. The fact that Litvinenko, while lying on his death bed directly accused Putin for being responsible for his death also didn’t lend any value that it was indeed Putin behind his poisoning. It just goes to show you the lengths to which the enemies of Russia and Vladimir Putin will go to try and besmearch Putin’s honorable name. But they’ll never be able to fool somebody with your veracity and skillul analysis – keep up the great ‘independent foreign analysis’!

    Read More
    • Disagree: Kimppis
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack

    Litvinenko was said to be sympathetic to Chechen separatism.
     
    I wasn't aware of this and am glad that you pointed this out. Another incredibly strong reason not to believe that the Russian government was behind the Litvinenko poisoning. Isn't it time that you wrote a book, Mickey? I know that other book authors regularly rely on your input to write their own monographs, isn't it time that you put it all together and shared more of your thoughts with the world? Perhaps, Karlin might let you write a chapter in his forthcoming book 'The Dark Lord of the Kremlin'?
    , @Sean
    Yeltsin was president when the bombings happened. Putin was only prime minister for a couple of weeks before the tower block bombings happened. Boris Bereszvsky killed himself (exiles are often miserable, Skripal wanted to go back) after Litvinenko, they were a couple of losers. No, Putin is a proud man, he sent the anti terror police to arrest Gusinsky not because of investigation into the apartment massacres of hundreds, but because that puppet show Dolls of Gusinsky’s NTV portrayed Putin in a way he hated.

    Who wouldn't want to inflict a horrible death on someone who accused them of being a paedophile? Litvinenko accused Putin of being a child molester and so Putin immediately issued orders for him to be sadistically murdered and a month he was poisoned (like apartment bombings, these things take a while to set up).

    , @Mikhail
    Empty calories sarcasm on your part.

    The US went thru a period of noticeable politically motivated violence (in one form or another), that among other things included the murders of the Kennedy brothers, King, X, black children in a church, fatal Kent State shootings and the Manson involved murders.

    There was absolutely no need for the Russian government to orchestrate the Moscow apartment bombings. The evidence is non-existent, with the so-called evidence being a put mildly creative stretch. On par with the idea that the US government sought and was involved in planning 9/11. Terrorism from Chechnya was a clear reality before the Moscow apartment bombings.

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  101. @Jaakko Raipala

    Physicists are trained in integrals and analysis, they know nothing about probability theory, statistics and theoretical computer science. These are the fields required to form a semblance of a mathematical theory of evolution.
     
    Such complete bullshit. Probability and statistics are absolutely key for modern physics and an education in theoretical physics is definitely the best route to train in the practical applications, better than going to the mathematics department where they mainly deal with abstract theory. You clearly know nothing beyond high school level physics (or anything else for that matter).

    Some fields of modern physics like thermodynamics ARE basically just pure probability theory applied to physical phenomena. If you take a random sample of research physicists from your local university, they're much more likely to be doing statistical mechanics rather than trying to find analytical solutions for their n-body problem and some application of probability is usually the most important field of mathematics for working physicists.

    anonymous coward makes it a point of pride to be as consistently wrong as possible.

    Read More
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  102. Mr. Hack says:
    @Mr. Hack
    You're right again about the Litvinenko conspiracy, Mickey. The notion that the Russian government would want to eliminate somebody who had betrayed its secret service, written books denouncing Vladimir Putin for giving the order to murder the likes of Boris Bereszvsky, Anna Polikovskaya and others, accused the secret service of being behind the bombings of the Russian apartment buildings, just doesn't add up or make any sense. The fact that Litvinenko, while lying on his death bed directly accused Putin for being responsible for his death also didn't lend any value that it was indeed Putin behind his poisoning. It just goes to show you the lengths to which the enemies of Russia and Vladimir Putin will go to try and besmearch Putin's honorable name. But they'll never be able to fool somebody with your veracity and skillul analysis - keep up the great 'independent foreign analysis'!

    Litvinenko was said to be sympathetic to Chechen separatism.

    I wasn’t aware of this and am glad that you pointed this out. Another incredibly strong reason not to believe that the Russian government was behind the Litvinenko poisoning. Isn’t it time that you wrote a book, Mickey? I know that other book authors regularly rely on your input to write their own monographs, isn’t it time that you put it all together and shared more of your thoughts with the world? Perhaps, Karlin might let you write a chapter in his forthcoming book ‘The Dark Lord of the Kremlin’?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mikhail
    A disingenuous cherry pick on your part, along with empty calories sarcasm. It wasn't only his (as has been said) sympathy for Chechen separatism, but a combination of factors, in conjunction with that aspect.

    What I said in full on this matter:

    As for the Litvinenko matter you bring up, there’s good reason to believe that he somehow got poisoned by a source other than a Russian government act. His Italian friend got arrested for arms smuggling and was also infected with polonium. Litvinenko was said to be sympathetic to Chechen separatism. These factors and his links to the likes of Goldfarb and Berezovsky suggest a source other than the Russian government.
     
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  103. APilgrim says:

    ‘Russia-Sanctions’ are pitiful ‘Double-Standards‘, written by ‘Frustrated Globalists‘.

    Read More
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  104. Anyone wants to comment on this bizarre diplomatic spat, that Greece and Russia are having?

    The abrupt deterioration in relations between Greece and Russia has intensified after Athens publicly accused Moscow of attempting to bribe state officials and meddle in the country’s internal affairs.

    Athens also rejected requests for entry visas from Russian Orthodox clerics heading for northern Greece’s all-male monastic republic of Mount Athos.

    The community is alleged to be a “den of spies”, with reports that Moscow has turned the Holy Mount – widely seen as the spiritual centre of Orthodoxy – into an intelligence-gathering operation with extensive funding of monasteries across the peninsula.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/aug/11/greece-accuses-russia-bribery-meddling-macedonia-deal

    Personally, I’m not sure what to make of it. Greece could be trying to secure some debt relief by manufacturing a pointless row with Russia. Their PM Tsipras did come to Russia in 2015, asking for money. Left with nothing.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    What' s to make of it? The article that you cite clearly explains what the row is all about:

    Moscow announced the move weeks after Athens banned four Russian diplomats after accusing them of fomenting opposition to a landmark deal between Greece and macedonia, opening up the possibility of eventual Nato membership for Skopje.
     
    Your own bizarre explanation betrays your own Russian reasoning:

    Personally, I’m not sure what to make of it. Greece could be trying to secure some debt relief by manufacturing a pointless row with Russia. Their PM Tsipras did come to Russia in 2015, asking for money. Left with nothing.
     
    , @Mitleser
    My guess is that the Greek government wants to gain a powerful backer against Brüssel.

    In Greece, he very often appears in public alongside Kammenos and spreads his political views on what is going on in the country via his Twitter account.

    The influence goes so far that Pyatt unchallengedly criticizes the Greek judiciary and demands measures against anti-American demonstrators. Tsipras administration, arguing anti-Americanly itself at opposition times, on the other hand, fulfils every wish of the USA. While on the other side of the Bosphorus NATO partner Turkey is pushing its dispute with the US to the top, Greece's government is the most US-friendly since the overthrow of military rule in July 1974: NATO interests, gas pipelines and the regional influence of the North Atlantic defence alliance.

    The coalition government of SYRIZA and the Independent Greeks agreed to the expansion of American military bases in Greece, including the stationing of nuclear weapons. This was not initially communicated to the public by the government, but only became known when the Secretary General of the Communist Party, Dimitris Koutsoubas, criticized it during public performances.

    Secret diplomacy, as in the case of NATO, is also a characteristic of the Tsipras government in resolving the name dispute with northern Macedonia and in ongoing negotiations on border corrections with Albania. All negotiations are held in secrecy, with reference to the protection of state interests. There is no detailed information and no transparency regarding the reasons for the decision.

    Athens is now providing NATO with the infrastructure for military bases in the event that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan withdraws his country from the North Atlantic Defence Alliance.
     
    https://www.heise.de/tp/features/Russland-weist-griechische-Diplomaten-aus-4130628.html
    Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator

    Yes, that's is the infamous Pyatt who was ambassador in Kiev during the Maidan Coup.
    He has been in Athen since 2016.

    The case brings to the forefront the tension that seems to have been brewing between Athens and Moscow over the last two years, for reasons that have to do with regional security.
     
    http://www.ekathimerini.com/230551/article/ekathimerini/news/greece-decides-to-expel-russian-diplomats
    , @Anatoly Karlin
    One thing I saw is that they dislike Russia's support for replacing Greeks with Palestinians in the Orthodox Church in Israel.

    https://www.facebook.com/pakopov/posts/1975263482518921

    Israel Shamir had an article on that, interestingly enough: http://www.unz.com/ishamir/the-greek-occupation/
    , @Dmitry
    You can read statements of their foreign ministry.

    His statements to do with paranoia about Russian-Turkey relations - statement from Greece was claiming Russia is a "comrade in arms with Turkey".

    If Greece is angry about something, it is usually related to Turkey.

    As Russia becomes friendly with Turkey - they will find an excuse to be angry, and vice-versa.

    Think about Trump is this week criticizing Turkey - so he is probably now a hero in Greece this week.

    Greeks are also angry because they think Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society is trying to de-Hellenize Middle Eastern patriarchates .

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  105. @Jaakko Raipala

    Physicists are trained in integrals and analysis, they know nothing about probability theory, statistics and theoretical computer science. These are the fields required to form a semblance of a mathematical theory of evolution.
     
    Such complete bullshit. Probability and statistics are absolutely key for modern physics and an education in theoretical physics is definitely the best route to train in the practical applications, better than going to the mathematics department where they mainly deal with abstract theory. You clearly know nothing beyond high school level physics (or anything else for that matter).

    Some fields of modern physics like thermodynamics ARE basically just pure probability theory applied to physical phenomena. If you take a random sample of research physicists from your local university, they're much more likely to be doing statistical mechanics rather than trying to find analytical solutions for their n-body problem and some application of probability is usually the most important field of mathematics for working physicists.

    [MORE]

    Probability and statistics are absolutely key for modern physics and an education in theoretical physics is definitely the best route to train in the practical applications, better than going to the mathematics department where they mainly deal with abstract theory.

    Untighten your panties. That was my point, which you managed to miss by blindly charging to M’Lady Science’s defense.

    Any scientific theory of evolution will have to be about information entropy, computational complexity and asymptotic properties of stochastic processes. That’s exactly the “abstract theory” you’re deriding.

    The practical stuff physicists are using for solving practical, well-defined problems is useless here.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jaakko Raipala

    Any scientific theory of evolution will have to be about information entropy, computational complexity and asymptotic properties of stochastic processes. That’s exactly the “abstract theory” you’re deriding.
     
    Bullshit. I have a pretty good education in probability theory both from the theoretical physics and mathematics departments so feel free to explain whatever point you think you have in as technical terms and with as much abstract math as you like.

    I'm just going to claim that you're trying an "it doesn't work because of fancy words X, Y, Z" bluff without any actual technical argument behind the big fancy words. Prove me wrong.
    , @ploni almoni
    "Any scientific theory of evolution will have to be about information entropy, computational complexity and asymptotic properties of stochastic processes. That’s exactly the “abstract theory” you’re deriding."

    Phony Baloney.
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  106. @utu


    Could you give an example of some probabilities? How do you calculate them and with what assumptions?

    At resent article by Fred Reed the commenter "j2" produced some numbers but I was too lazy and not certain that his starting assumptions were correct to verify it.

    [MORE]

    Some quick back-of-the-napkin calculations:

    * Age of the universe is about 10^18 seconds.
    * The “Planck time” gives us the smallest possible unit of time, about 10^-45 seconds.
    * There are about 10^82 atoms in the Universe.

    Now assume an ideal computer. Let each atom of the Universe be a CPU, operating as fast as physics allows.

    That gives us an upper bound of 10^(18+45+82) = 10^145 CPU cycles for computation.

    Now take Shakespeare’s sonnet #27. It is 458 letters long. (Let’s ignore punctuation.)

    If we take 458 random letters of the English alphabet, there are 26^458 random combinations.

    So if our ideal Universe-sized computer was randomly picking letters and hoping to compose a Shakespeare sonnet, it would need about 10^300 Universes to do so.

    How much more complex is an E. Coli cell compared to a sonnet?

    P.S. This is obvious, freshman-tier stuff unless you’re blinded by ideology.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jaakko Raipala

    * Age of the universe is about 10^18 seconds.
     
    "Age of the universe" is a pop sci concept. In the standard model of cosmology it is estimated that the universe has developed from a massively dense state to the current state in roughly 13 billion years. We can backtrack the development over that time with current theories of physics and then we hit a wall as matter is so dense that we'd need a quantum theory of gravity to go further back in time but we don't have that. We don't know how long the universe existed before that, actually we don't even know if time existed in the same manner. The earliest known state of the universe was NOT informationless (there were variations in mass distribution etc) so your assumption that patterns would emerge only in the following 13 billion years is false.



    If you watch some pop sci documentary, they will explain all sorts of stuff about how the universe was at first some tiny point and there was a big explosion that spread it all over. This is all nonsense that was made up so that pop sci documentaries could have CGI graphics.

    * The “Planck time” gives us the smallest possible unit of time, about 10^-45 seconds.
     
    There is no such thing as the "smallest possible unit of time". This is complete nonsense. You seem to get your knowledge of physics from science fiction movies.

    There is an expectation that current theories of physics are not accurate at very small time scales (which have not been reached by experiment). This is not the same thing as postulating that there is some "smallest possible unit of time". Current theories of physics simply do not include such a thing.

    * There are about 10^82 atoms in the Universe.
     
    We don't even know if the universe is finite or infinite. This is just a claim that you pulled out of your ass. There may even be an infinite number of atoms.
    , @utu


    Interesting argument but it hinges on something that is not a part of it, i.e, what is special about the 458 letter sonnet? Your argument only demonstrates that if another world began 10^18 seconds ago it most likely would not produce the same 458 letter sonnet but it would produce some other sonnet which could have a meaning in this different world.

    You could create similarly fallacious argument 'proving' that you cannot possibly exist. Assign probabilities p<<1 of an event that two of your ancestors met and procreated. What was a chance that your parent met and then go back to grandparents and so on. And soon you will obtain cumulative probability close to zero stating exactly what? That your life could not have happened?

    I think it is east to be confused and tricked by probabilities. And this happens when we are sloppy in defining the space of events on which the probability function must be defined. When you are heating up water at some point there will me one molecule of H2O that will break free and evaporate. If this molecule asked the Nancy Kerrigan's question "Why me?" and began calculating the probability of this event soon it would have to conclude the even was impossible. The problem is with the question "Why me?"
    , @Chainsaw1


    "Now take Shakespeare’s sonnet #27. It is 458 letters long. (Let’s ignore punctuation.) If we take 458 random letters of the English alphabet, there are 26^458 random combinations. So if our ideal Universe-sized computer was randomly picking letters and hoping to compose a Shakespeare sonnet, it would need about 10^300 Universes to do so."

    The above just shows that the author is just completely ignorant of scientific, statistics and computing principles.

    First in English the occurance of letters do not have random frequencies, the frequencies range from 0.074% for letter z to 12.702% for letter e. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Letter_frequency

    Next the letters are not combined randomly, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alphabetic_principle Next there are pattern the letters are used to form phonetics. The English language only has 40 sounds (English orthography) the combination of which form the words. Then there is https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phonemic_orthography

    Incidentally sonnet 27 only has 80 unique words, many of which are not random but closely related, e.g. blind, old, sight, tired, sightless, see, ghastly, shadow, darkness, expired, eyelids, drooping, weary, bed, toil, view, night, etc. A task simple enough for markov text sonnet generators,

    http://www.devjason.com/2010/12/28/shakespeare-sonnet-sourced-markov-text-generation/

    https://www.prism.gatech.edu/~bnichols8/projects/markovchains/main.shtml "Shakespeare Sonnets Training Set"

    and the more sophisticated that the word frequency will be generated from the 154 Shakespeare sonnets and will preserve the classic ABAB CDCD EFEF GG rhyme scheme of the sonnets, https://medium.com/@SherlockHumus/creating-markov-chain-based-sonnets-9609d77a2635

    By trying to shuffle 26^458 random letters by brute force into sonnet showed that the author is only good at shuffling shits.
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  107. Mr. Hack says:
    @Felix Keverich
    Anyone wants to comment on this bizarre diplomatic spat, that Greece and Russia are having?


    The abrupt deterioration in relations between Greece and Russia has intensified after Athens publicly accused Moscow of attempting to bribe state officials and meddle in the country’s internal affairs.

    Athens also rejected requests for entry visas from Russian Orthodox clerics heading for northern Greece’s all-male monastic republic of Mount Athos.

    The community is alleged to be a “den of spies”, with reports that Moscow has turned the Holy Mount – widely seen as the spiritual centre of Orthodoxy – into an intelligence-gathering operation with extensive funding of monasteries across the peninsula.
     
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/aug/11/greece-accuses-russia-bribery-meddling-macedonia-deal

    Personally, I'm not sure what to make of it. Greece could be trying to secure some debt relief by manufacturing a pointless row with Russia. Their PM Tsipras did come to Russia in 2015, asking for money. Left with nothing.

    What’ s to make of it? The article that you cite clearly explains what the row is all about:

    Moscow announced the move weeks after Athens banned four Russian diplomats after accusing them of fomenting opposition to a landmark deal between Greece and macedonia, opening up the possibility of eventual Nato membership for Skopje.

    Your own bizarre explanation betrays your own Russian reasoning:

    Personally, I’m not sure what to make of it. Greece could be trying to secure some debt relief by manufacturing a pointless row with Russia. Their PM Tsipras did come to Russia in 2015, asking for money. Left with nothing.

    Read More
    • Agree: AP
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  108. Mitleser says:
    @Felix Keverich
    Anyone wants to comment on this bizarre diplomatic spat, that Greece and Russia are having?


    The abrupt deterioration in relations between Greece and Russia has intensified after Athens publicly accused Moscow of attempting to bribe state officials and meddle in the country’s internal affairs.

    Athens also rejected requests for entry visas from Russian Orthodox clerics heading for northern Greece’s all-male monastic republic of Mount Athos.

    The community is alleged to be a “den of spies”, with reports that Moscow has turned the Holy Mount – widely seen as the spiritual centre of Orthodoxy – into an intelligence-gathering operation with extensive funding of monasteries across the peninsula.
     
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/aug/11/greece-accuses-russia-bribery-meddling-macedonia-deal

    Personally, I'm not sure what to make of it. Greece could be trying to secure some debt relief by manufacturing a pointless row with Russia. Their PM Tsipras did come to Russia in 2015, asking for money. Left with nothing.

    My guess is that the Greek government wants to gain a powerful backer against Brüssel.

    In Greece, he very often appears in public alongside Kammenos and spreads his political views on what is going on in the country via his Twitter account.

    The influence goes so far that Pyatt unchallengedly criticizes the Greek judiciary and demands measures against anti-American demonstrators. Tsipras administration, arguing anti-Americanly itself at opposition times, on the other hand, fulfils every wish of the USA. While on the other side of the Bosphorus NATO partner Turkey is pushing its dispute with the US to the top, Greece’s government is the most US-friendly since the overthrow of military rule in July 1974: NATO interests, gas pipelines and the regional influence of the North Atlantic defence alliance.

    The coalition government of SYRIZA and the Independent Greeks agreed to the expansion of American military bases in Greece, including the stationing of nuclear weapons. This was not initially communicated to the public by the government, but only became known when the Secretary General of the Communist Party, Dimitris Koutsoubas, criticized it during public performances.

    Secret diplomacy, as in the case of NATO, is also a characteristic of the Tsipras government in resolving the name dispute with northern Macedonia and in ongoing negotiations on border corrections with Albania. All negotiations are held in secrecy, with reference to the protection of state interests. There is no detailed information and no transparency regarding the reasons for the decision.

    Athens is now providing NATO with the infrastructure for military bases in the event that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan withdraws his country from the North Atlantic Defence Alliance.

    https://www.heise.de/tp/features/Russland-weist-griechische-Diplomaten-aus-4130628.html

    Translated with http://www.DeepL.com/Translator

    Yes, that’s is the infamous Pyatt who was ambassador in Kiev during the Maidan Coup.
    He has been in Athen since 2016.

    The case brings to the forefront the tension that seems to have been brewing between Athens and Moscow over the last two years, for reasons that have to do with regional security.

    http://www.ekathimerini.com/230551/article/ekathimerini/news/greece-decides-to-expel-russian-diplomats

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    As late as this April Tsipras was still skeptical of the Skripal case.

    But yes, probably they want America’s friendship.
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  109. @Mitleser
    My guess is that the Greek government wants to gain a powerful backer against Brüssel.

    In Greece, he very often appears in public alongside Kammenos and spreads his political views on what is going on in the country via his Twitter account.

    The influence goes so far that Pyatt unchallengedly criticizes the Greek judiciary and demands measures against anti-American demonstrators. Tsipras administration, arguing anti-Americanly itself at opposition times, on the other hand, fulfils every wish of the USA. While on the other side of the Bosphorus NATO partner Turkey is pushing its dispute with the US to the top, Greece's government is the most US-friendly since the overthrow of military rule in July 1974: NATO interests, gas pipelines and the regional influence of the North Atlantic defence alliance.

    The coalition government of SYRIZA and the Independent Greeks agreed to the expansion of American military bases in Greece, including the stationing of nuclear weapons. This was not initially communicated to the public by the government, but only became known when the Secretary General of the Communist Party, Dimitris Koutsoubas, criticized it during public performances.

    Secret diplomacy, as in the case of NATO, is also a characteristic of the Tsipras government in resolving the name dispute with northern Macedonia and in ongoing negotiations on border corrections with Albania. All negotiations are held in secrecy, with reference to the protection of state interests. There is no detailed information and no transparency regarding the reasons for the decision.

    Athens is now providing NATO with the infrastructure for military bases in the event that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan withdraws his country from the North Atlantic Defence Alliance.
     
    https://www.heise.de/tp/features/Russland-weist-griechische-Diplomaten-aus-4130628.html
    Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator

    Yes, that's is the infamous Pyatt who was ambassador in Kiev during the Maidan Coup.
    He has been in Athen since 2016.

    The case brings to the forefront the tension that seems to have been brewing between Athens and Moscow over the last two years, for reasons that have to do with regional security.
     
    http://www.ekathimerini.com/230551/article/ekathimerini/news/greece-decides-to-expel-russian-diplomats

    As late as this April Tsipras was still skeptical of the Skripal case.

    But yes, probably they want America’s friendship.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
    This brings me back to my point about Hitler & weak, foolish Eastern Europeans. Greek government is only behaving this way because it sees no risks in antagonising Russians whatsoever. Slapping sanctions on Greece (by banning tourism for example) might get them thinking.
    , @Sean
    Greece was told it had to join NATO to be allowed into the EU.
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  110. Sean says:
    @Mr. Hack
    You're right again about the Litvinenko conspiracy, Mickey. The notion that the Russian government would want to eliminate somebody who had betrayed its secret service, written books denouncing Vladimir Putin for giving the order to murder the likes of Boris Bereszvsky, Anna Polikovskaya and others, accused the secret service of being behind the bombings of the Russian apartment buildings, just doesn't add up or make any sense. The fact that Litvinenko, while lying on his death bed directly accused Putin for being responsible for his death also didn't lend any value that it was indeed Putin behind his poisoning. It just goes to show you the lengths to which the enemies of Russia and Vladimir Putin will go to try and besmearch Putin's honorable name. But they'll never be able to fool somebody with your veracity and skillul analysis - keep up the great 'independent foreign analysis'!

    Yeltsin was president when the bombings happened. Putin was only prime minister for a couple of weeks before the tower block bombings happened. Boris Bereszvsky killed himself (exiles are often miserable, Skripal wanted to go back) after Litvinenko, they were a couple of losers. No, Putin is a proud man, he sent the anti terror police to arrest Gusinsky not because of investigation into the apartment massacres of hundreds, but because that puppet show Dolls of Gusinsky’s NTV portrayed Putin in a way he hated.

    Who wouldn’t want to inflict a horrible death on someone who accused them of being a paedophile? Litvinenko accused Putin of being a child molester and so Putin immediately issued orders for him to be sadistically murdered and a month he was poisoned (like apartment bombings, these things take a while to set up).

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    Look, I'm not passing judgement on the veracity of these accusations, that Litvinenko made against Putler. I see that you've added another one to the list, that Litvinenko accused Putler of being a pedophile too. All I was pointing out was that there were many reasons why Litvinenko was a target for unfriendly Rusian actions, not like our resident 'Independent foreign Policy Analyst' Mike Averko who claims:

    As for the Litvinenko matter you bring up, there’s good reason to believe that he somehow got poisoned by a source other than a Russian government act.
     
    Of course, he's a professional analytical type that always knows what he's talking about? :-)
    , @annamaria
    "...and so Putin immediately issued orders for him to be sadistically murdered..."
    What an amazing consistency in supporting the Browder/Steele line "Putin did it." Which is understandable, considering the efforts and investment made into the MSM memes. You made a very strong impression that the presstituting MSM is your main source of information.
    Here are some excerpts from the honest sources.

    "Poisoned Russian spy was close to Christopher Steele consultant:" http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/poisoned-russian-spy-close-steele-consultant-report-article-1.3862516
    "Jonathan Winer was not only a point man for the Steele "dossier" at the State Department in 2016 (and Steele dossiers of yore), he was also a father of the Magnitsky Act in 2012. Yes, longtime Senate staffer Winer is the "old friend" Browder credits with envisioning the legislative strategy that culminated in passage of the law. (More recently, Winer is serving as Browder's bulldog-lawyer -- story here.) ...
    "Cardin knew there were problems with Browder’s story about Magnitsky’s death and yet brought him into Congress to testify to secure the vote. That’s suborning perjury:" https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-08-04/magnitsky-trio-pushes-war-russia-new-sanctions

    "Litvinenko’s circle also included Boris Berezovsky, Alexander Goldfarb, Vyacheslav Zharko, and Akhmed Zakayev, most of whom have received asylum in the U.K. In the 1990s, Boris Berezovsky worked with Mikhail Khodorkovsky and George Soros’ International Science Foundation which was headed by Alexander Goldfarb for almost ten years. He was also involved in money laundering millions of dollars through the Bank of New York and the Republic Bank of New York which was owned by Bill Browder’s now deceased partner, Edmond Safra:" https://jimmysllama.com/2018/05/07/11191/

    -- Is not interesting, how so many Browder's connections met an untimely death yet Browder the Scoundrel is well supported and protected by the "deciders." -- See the fate of a DOCUMENTARY about Browder, Magnitsky, and a bloody trail of the dead former employees of Browder whom he used for his very profitable if criminal enterprise.
    Alexander Perepelichny" was the key witness who could potentially destroy the scam with highest political stakes on Magnitsky dossier. As Browder responds with “I do not recall” and “I do not know” on any substantial inquiry in the court, the US judiciary could be very interested in hearing Perepelichny. This menace to Magnitsky Act was eliminated one week before the bill passed the US House: on Nov 10, 2012 Alexander Perepelichny was found dead outside his mansion in London."
    https://off-guardian.org/2018/03/13/fatal-quad-who-is-assassinating-former-mi6-assets-on-british-soil/
    https://www.newcoldwar.org/film-andrei-nekrasov-magnitsky-act-behind-scenes/
    This is a vicious attack against the First Amendment. The same superactive suppression was used against the "Two Hundred Years Together." Is not it ironic that the bloody Jewish Browder is a grandson of two KGB agents?

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  111. @reiner Tor
    As late as this April Tsipras was still skeptical of the Skripal case.

    But yes, probably they want America’s friendship.

    This brings me back to my point about Hitler & weak, foolish Eastern Europeans. Greek government is only behaving this way because it sees no risks in antagonising Russians whatsoever. Slapping sanctions on Greece (by banning tourism for example) might get them thinking.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mitleser
    No sanctions, just encourage the tourism branch to redirect Russian tourists to Turkey which can offer them more for less. ;)

    https://www.xe.com/de/currencycharts/?from=RUB&to=TRY&view=5Y
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  112. @Felix Keverich
    Anyone wants to comment on this bizarre diplomatic spat, that Greece and Russia are having?


    The abrupt deterioration in relations between Greece and Russia has intensified after Athens publicly accused Moscow of attempting to bribe state officials and meddle in the country’s internal affairs.

    Athens also rejected requests for entry visas from Russian Orthodox clerics heading for northern Greece’s all-male monastic republic of Mount Athos.

    The community is alleged to be a “den of spies”, with reports that Moscow has turned the Holy Mount – widely seen as the spiritual centre of Orthodoxy – into an intelligence-gathering operation with extensive funding of monasteries across the peninsula.
     
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/aug/11/greece-accuses-russia-bribery-meddling-macedonia-deal

    Personally, I'm not sure what to make of it. Greece could be trying to secure some debt relief by manufacturing a pointless row with Russia. Their PM Tsipras did come to Russia in 2015, asking for money. Left with nothing.

    One thing I saw is that they dislike Russia’s support for replacing Greeks with Palestinians in the Orthodox Church in Israel.

    https://www.facebook.com/pakopov/posts/1975263482518921

    Israel Shamir had an article on that, interestingly enough: http://www.unz.com/ishamir/the-greek-occupation/

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  113. Mitleser says:
    @Felix Keverich
    This brings me back to my point about Hitler & weak, foolish Eastern Europeans. Greek government is only behaving this way because it sees no risks in antagonising Russians whatsoever. Slapping sanctions on Greece (by banning tourism for example) might get them thinking.

    No sanctions, just encourage the tourism branch to redirect Russian tourists to Turkey which can offer them more for less. ;)

    https://www.xe.com/de/currencycharts/?from=RUB&to=TRY&view=5Y

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    • Replies: @Dmitry
    I'm not really sure how low prices for Turkey can become lower. It's already very cheap.

    Maybe further devaluation can contribute to the tourist market diverging more between Greece and Turkey. More and more poorer people will go on holiday to Turkey, as it becomes almost as cheap to go on holiday in Turkey, as it is to stay at home.

    Maybe Greece can focus more on middle segment of the tourist market.

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  114. Mr. Hack says:
    @Sean
    Yeltsin was president when the bombings happened. Putin was only prime minister for a couple of weeks before the tower block bombings happened. Boris Bereszvsky killed himself (exiles are often miserable, Skripal wanted to go back) after Litvinenko, they were a couple of losers. No, Putin is a proud man, he sent the anti terror police to arrest Gusinsky not because of investigation into the apartment massacres of hundreds, but because that puppet show Dolls of Gusinsky’s NTV portrayed Putin in a way he hated.

    Who wouldn't want to inflict a horrible death on someone who accused them of being a paedophile? Litvinenko accused Putin of being a child molester and so Putin immediately issued orders for him to be sadistically murdered and a month he was poisoned (like apartment bombings, these things take a while to set up).

    Look, I’m not passing judgement on the veracity of these accusations, that Litvinenko made against Putler. I see that you’ve added another one to the list, that Litvinenko accused Putler of being a pedophile too. All I was pointing out was that there were many reasons why Litvinenko was a target for unfriendly Rusian actions, not like our resident ‘Independent foreign Policy Analyst’ Mike Averko who claims:

    As for the Litvinenko matter you bring up, there’s good reason to believe that he somehow got poisoned by a source other than a Russian government act.

    Of course, he’s a professional analytical type that always knows what he’s talking about? :-)

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    • Replies: @Mikhail
    Much unlike your svido trolling ways, which include mis-informative cherry picks, designed to spin an otherwise faulty impression.

    In comparison, there's better reason to be critical of the Kiev regime's stunt with Babchenko.
    , @EugeneGur

    All I was pointing out was that there were many reasons why Litvinenko was a target for unfriendly Russian actions
     
    I am pretty sure Litvinenko wasn't particularly loved in Russia: he was a traitor, after all, and, judging by his actions, a pretty miserable human being. However, building a case on motive alone is not possible, if for no other reason than because a motive is by definition subjective. You could analyze until your face turns blue how Putin felt about Litvinenko's accusations but you'd never come to any firm conclusion, for only Putin can possibly know that.

    Therefore, we have to deal with facts in the matter. Among the facts, I'd like to point out to the behavior of the investigating party, i.e. the British authorities. "We have proof but won't show them to you, because they are secret" attitude; bypassing normal investigative and judicial channels; unreasonable demands towards Russia they knew full well won't be met and total refusal to cooperate on realistic terms - we saw it for the first time in the Litvinenko affaire.

    The same patters was repeated exactly in the Skripal case. This tells you who is the "highly likely" culprit, doesn't it? These two scenarios are so much alike, the have the same author - not necessarily the same person, but definitely the same office.
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  115. Sean says:
    @reiner Tor
    As late as this April Tsipras was still skeptical of the Skripal case.

    But yes, probably they want America’s friendship.

    Greece was told it had to join NATO to be allowed into the EU.

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    • Replies: @German_reader
    Greece has been a member of NATO since 1952, it joined the European Community in 1981.
    It's odd though that a Greek leftist like Tsipras is pro-American, given the strong anti-American traditions of Greek left-wingers. But Tsipras seems to be an all-around scumbag anyway.
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  116. @Sean
    Greece was told it had to join NATO to be allowed into the EU.

    Greece has been a member of NATO since 1952, it joined the European Community in 1981.
    It’s odd though that a Greek leftist like Tsipras is pro-American, given the strong anti-American traditions of Greek left-wingers. But Tsipras seems to be an all-around scumbag anyway.

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    • Replies: @Sean
    Greece had withdrawn from the NATO military structure after the invasion of Cyprus by fellow member Turkey. If I remember rightly it was their own PM who told Greeks they had to go back into NATO to be allowed to join the EC.
    , @Uebersetzer
    In fact, his "conservative" predecessor Samaras was more pro-German than pro-American. Tsipras is pro-American. He is leftist like Tony Blair is leftist.
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  117. how deeply Russia falls into China’s orbit in the next couple of decades

    Russia can start taking China’s side on an ad hoc basis, e.g. sending ships to the disputed sea and hassling US ships and planes. Russia could hassle them on the Northern half and China on the Southern half, a nice division of labor and multiplication of hassle for the US Navy.

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  118. Dmitry says:
    @Felix Keverich
    Anyone wants to comment on this bizarre diplomatic spat, that Greece and Russia are having?


    The abrupt deterioration in relations between Greece and Russia has intensified after Athens publicly accused Moscow of attempting to bribe state officials and meddle in the country’s internal affairs.

    Athens also rejected requests for entry visas from Russian Orthodox clerics heading for northern Greece’s all-male monastic republic of Mount Athos.

    The community is alleged to be a “den of spies”, with reports that Moscow has turned the Holy Mount – widely seen as the spiritual centre of Orthodoxy – into an intelligence-gathering operation with extensive funding of monasteries across the peninsula.
     
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/aug/11/greece-accuses-russia-bribery-meddling-macedonia-deal

    Personally, I'm not sure what to make of it. Greece could be trying to secure some debt relief by manufacturing a pointless row with Russia. Their PM Tsipras did come to Russia in 2015, asking for money. Left with nothing.

    You can read statements of their foreign ministry.

    His statements to do with paranoia about Russian-Turkey relations – statement from Greece was claiming Russia is a “comrade in arms with Turkey”.

    If Greece is angry about something, it is usually related to Turkey.

    As Russia becomes friendly with Turkey – they will find an excuse to be angry, and vice-versa.

    Think about Trump is this week criticizing Turkey – so he is probably now a hero in Greece this week.

    Greeks are also angry because they think Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society is trying to de-Hellenize Middle Eastern patriarchates .

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    • Replies: @Felix Keverich

    You can read statements of their foreign ministry.

    His statements to do with paranoia about Russian-Turkey relations – statement from Greece was claiming Russia is a “comrade in arms with Turkey”.

    As Russia becomes friendly with Turkey – they will find an excuse to be angry, and vice-versa.
     
    I feel that this is one of those situations, when you need to read between the lines. Turkey, religion and "meddling" ARE excuses for Greece. Trying to please Greece's creditors is the real issue here. It's a literal crackwhore of a nation, living from one tranche to another.
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  119. Russia has enough chicken legs of its own now. They are not washed in chlorine.

    Disengagement will simply remove what little influence the US has on Russia. Russia’s exports are utterly dominated by primary production which is entirely fungible. The US exports little of high added to Russia and the EU and Switzerland, Korea and increasingly China can replace that. Japan probably won’t. Russia has been trying to play a softer game with Japan but both sides true imperialist nature keeps on re-emerging. Like the US, Japan has remarkably low levels of trade with Russia given the size of its economy. Switzerland does a lot of high end complex electromechanical systems, like the Germans. The Germans are good; The Swiss are perfect.

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  120. Dmitry says:
    @Mitleser
    No sanctions, just encourage the tourism branch to redirect Russian tourists to Turkey which can offer them more for less. ;)

    https://www.xe.com/de/currencycharts/?from=RUB&to=TRY&view=5Y

    I’m not really sure how low prices for Turkey can become lower. It’s already very cheap.

    Maybe further devaluation can contribute to the tourist market diverging more between Greece and Turkey. More and more poorer people will go on holiday to Turkey, as it becomes almost as cheap to go on holiday in Turkey, as it is to stay at home.

    Maybe Greece can focus more on middle segment of the tourist market.

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    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    Turks are a lot more orderly and competent than Greeks. In fact, I was surprised how much more organized Turks are: we rented a car in Ankara near railway station and returned it in another city near airport, and they delivered the car where we wanted it and then took it off my hands, without car rental agency at either point.

    For Russians, there are two additional advantages: no visa is required (you just pay $20 at the airport, and they stick what they call “visa” in your passport), and the same services are cheaper than in Greece.
    , @Mitleser
    Greece has an inferior tourist industry and plenty of great European competition (Spain, Italy, Croatia etc.)
    Thanks to Cyprus, you don't even to travel to Greece if you want to be on vacation in a Greek-speaking country.
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  121. Sean says:
    @German_reader
    Greece has been a member of NATO since 1952, it joined the European Community in 1981.
    It's odd though that a Greek leftist like Tsipras is pro-American, given the strong anti-American traditions of Greek left-wingers. But Tsipras seems to be an all-around scumbag anyway.

    Greece had withdrawn from the NATO military structure after the invasion of Cyprus by fellow member Turkey. If I remember rightly it was their own PM who told Greeks they had to go back into NATO to be allowed to join the EC.

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    • Replies: @German_reader
    I hadn't known about Greece's withdrawal from NATO in the 1970s, interesting, thanks.
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  122. @anonymous coward

    Probability and statistics are absolutely key for modern physics and an education in theoretical physics is definitely the best route to train in the practical applications, better than going to the mathematics department where they mainly deal with abstract theory.
     
    Untighten your panties. That was my point, which you managed to miss by blindly charging to M'Lady Science's defense.

    Any scientific theory of evolution will have to be about information entropy, computational complexity and asymptotic properties of stochastic processes. That's exactly the "abstract theory" you're deriding.

    The practical stuff physicists are using for solving practical, well-defined problems is useless here.

    Any scientific theory of evolution will have to be about information entropy, computational complexity and asymptotic properties of stochastic processes. That’s exactly the “abstract theory” you’re deriding.

    Bullshit. I have a pretty good education in probability theory both from the theoretical physics and mathematics departments so feel free to explain whatever point you think you have in as technical terms and with as much abstract math as you like.

    I’m just going to claim that you’re trying an “it doesn’t work because of fancy words X, Y, Z” bluff without any actual technical argument behind the big fancy words. Prove me wrong.

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    • Replies: @anonymous coward

    I’m just going to claim that you’re trying an “it doesn’t work because of fancy words X, Y, Z” bluff without any actual technical argument behind the big fancy words. Prove me wrong.
     
    What's the "it" in your post, exactly? Darwinism? The problem with Darwinism is that it's not a scientific theory. It's not even formulated correctly. The problem itself is framed by biologists in handwavey terms on a "monkeys and typewriters" level.

    When one tries putting some sort of numbers to the idea, the whole thing falls apart. See my post above, for example, where it turns out you need a Universe about 10^300 larger than ours to make random selection work.

    And before you charge to M'Lady Science's defense: note this isn't a "disproof", it's just a demonstration that nobody bothered to frame the question properly yet. There's nothing there that can be proved or disproved.
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  123. anon[170] • Disclaimer says:
    @anon
    Sanctions are more or less equivalent to Neo Mercantilism. Currency devalued, imports surpassed, etc.

    Last round led to Russian agriculture boom.

    The US would not tolerate a sanctions equivalent industrial policy, Nr would the Russian people.

    Just call it better than tariffs,

    Never before have unintended consequences been so obvious.

    It will have a negative impact on domestic Russian consumption short term. It’s stupid, short sighted, and hard to reverse. Sanctions work best when used least.

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  124. @Sean
    Greece had withdrawn from the NATO military structure after the invasion of Cyprus by fellow member Turkey. If I remember rightly it was their own PM who told Greeks they had to go back into NATO to be allowed to join the EC.

    I hadn’t known about Greece’s withdrawal from NATO in the 1970s, interesting, thanks.

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  125. @anonymous coward


    Some quick back-of-the-napkin calculations:

    * Age of the universe is about 10^18 seconds.
    * The "Planck time" gives us the smallest possible unit of time, about 10^-45 seconds.
    * There are about 10^82 atoms in the Universe.

    Now assume an ideal computer. Let each atom of the Universe be a CPU, operating as fast as physics allows.

    That gives us an upper bound of 10^(18+45+82) = 10^145 CPU cycles for computation.

    Now take Shakespeare's sonnet #27. It is 458 letters long. (Let's ignore punctuation.)

    If we take 458 random letters of the English alphabet, there are 26^458 random combinations.

    So if our ideal Universe-sized computer was randomly picking letters and hoping to compose a Shakespeare sonnet, it would need about 10^300 Universes to do so.

    How much more complex is an E. Coli cell compared to a sonnet?

    P.S. This is obvious, freshman-tier stuff unless you're blinded by ideology.

    * Age of the universe is about 10^18 seconds.

    “Age of the universe” is a pop sci concept. In the standard model of cosmology it is estimated that the universe has developed from a massively dense state to the current state in roughly 13 billion years. We can backtrack the development over that time with current theories of physics and then we hit a wall as matter is so dense that we’d need a quantum theory of gravity to go further back in time but we don’t have that. We don’t know how long the universe existed before that, actually we don’t even know if time existed in the same manner. The earliest known state of the universe was NOT informationless (there were variations in mass distribution etc) so your assumption that patterns would emerge only in the following 13 billion years is false.

    [MORE]

    If you watch some pop sci documentary, they will explain all sorts of stuff about how the universe was at first some tiny point and there was a big explosion that spread it all over. This is all nonsense that was made up so that pop sci documentaries could have CGI graphics.

    * The “Planck time” gives us the smallest possible unit of time, about 10^-45 seconds.

    There is no such thing as the “smallest possible unit of time”. This is complete nonsense. You seem to get your knowledge of physics from science fiction movies.

    There is an expectation that current theories of physics are not accurate at very small time scales (which have not been reached by experiment). This is not the same thing as postulating that there is some “smallest possible unit of time”. Current theories of physics simply do not include such a thing.

    * There are about 10^82 atoms in the Universe.

    We don’t even know if the universe is finite or infinite. This is just a claim that you pulled out of your ass. There may even be an infinite number of atoms.

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    • Replies: @anonymous coward


    Congratulations, you missed the point again.

    The actual point is that biologists framed a problem in a way that doesn't match the scale of our Universe as we observe it.

    Feel free to correct the numbers I made; maybe the correct factor is 10^100 instead of 10^300. So what? The processes biologists postulate are so asymptotic that they require an infinite Universe, which doesn't exist in real life.

    There is an expectation that current theories of physics are not accurate at very small time scales (which have not been reached by experiment).

    We don’t even know if the universe is finite or infinite. This is just a claim that you pulled out of your ass. There may even be an infinite number of atoms.

     

    Good point, but no. You missed the point again.

    Any theory that requires time or space outside of a conventional Newtonian understanding of physics isn't Darwinism. It wouldn't even be biology, because biologists don't (and can't) deal with stuff like that.
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  126. @Dmitry
    I'm not really sure how low prices for Turkey can become lower. It's already very cheap.

    Maybe further devaluation can contribute to the tourist market diverging more between Greece and Turkey. More and more poorer people will go on holiday to Turkey, as it becomes almost as cheap to go on holiday in Turkey, as it is to stay at home.

    Maybe Greece can focus more on middle segment of the tourist market.

    Turks are a lot more orderly and competent than Greeks. In fact, I was surprised how much more organized Turks are: we rented a car in Ankara near railway station and returned it in another city near airport, and they delivered the car where we wanted it and then took it off my hands, without car rental agency at either point.

    For Russians, there are two additional advantages: no visa is required (you just pay $20 at the airport, and they stick what they call “visa” in your passport), and the same services are cheaper than in Greece.

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    • Replies: @Simpleguest
    "Turks are a lot more orderly and competent than Greeks."

    Hear, hear.
    , @Dmitry
    Well orderliness is not the only reason for holiday choice.

    And Schengen visa is not a big deal for middle class tourists (35 euros).

    Greece already has almost "too many" tourists (from around the world), for size of the country.

    Greece receives 32 million tourists this year (while Turkey receives around 40 million a year tourism - and is six times larger than Greece in land area).

    Perhaps Greece can even raise prices and market more for middle class tourists?

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  127. @anonymous coward

    Probability and statistics are absolutely key for modern physics and an education in theoretical physics is definitely the best route to train in the practical applications, better than going to the mathematics department where they mainly deal with abstract theory.
     
    Untighten your panties. That was my point, which you managed to miss by blindly charging to M'Lady Science's defense.

    Any scientific theory of evolution will have to be about information entropy, computational complexity and asymptotic properties of stochastic processes. That's exactly the "abstract theory" you're deriding.

    The practical stuff physicists are using for solving practical, well-defined problems is useless here.

    “Any scientific theory of evolution will have to be about information entropy, computational complexity and asymptotic properties of stochastic processes. That’s exactly the “abstract theory” you’re deriding.”

    Phony Baloney.

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  128. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Mr. Hack
    You're right again about the Litvinenko conspiracy, Mickey. The notion that the Russian government would want to eliminate somebody who had betrayed its secret service, written books denouncing Vladimir Putin for giving the order to murder the likes of Boris Bereszvsky, Anna Polikovskaya and others, accused the secret service of being behind the bombings of the Russian apartment buildings, just doesn't add up or make any sense. The fact that Litvinenko, while lying on his death bed directly accused Putin for being responsible for his death also didn't lend any value that it was indeed Putin behind his poisoning. It just goes to show you the lengths to which the enemies of Russia and Vladimir Putin will go to try and besmearch Putin's honorable name. But they'll never be able to fool somebody with your veracity and skillul analysis - keep up the great 'independent foreign analysis'!

    Empty calories sarcasm on your part.

    The US went thru a period of noticeable politically motivated violence (in one form or another), that among other things included the murders of the Kennedy brothers, King, X, black children in a church, fatal Kent State shootings and the Manson involved murders.

    There was absolutely no need for the Russian government to orchestrate the Moscow apartment bombings. The evidence is non-existent, with the so-called evidence being a put mildly creative stretch. On par with the idea that the US government sought and was involved in planning 9/11. Terrorism from Chechnya was a clear reality before the Moscow apartment bombings.

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  129. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Mr. Hack

    Litvinenko was said to be sympathetic to Chechen separatism.
     
    I wasn't aware of this and am glad that you pointed this out. Another incredibly strong reason not to believe that the Russian government was behind the Litvinenko poisoning. Isn't it time that you wrote a book, Mickey? I know that other book authors regularly rely on your input to write their own monographs, isn't it time that you put it all together and shared more of your thoughts with the world? Perhaps, Karlin might let you write a chapter in his forthcoming book 'The Dark Lord of the Kremlin'?

    A disingenuous cherry pick on your part, along with empty calories sarcasm. It wasn’t only his (as has been said) sympathy for Chechen separatism, but a combination of factors, in conjunction with that aspect.

    What I said in full on this matter:

    As for the Litvinenko matter you bring up, there’s good reason to believe that he somehow got poisoned by a source other than a Russian government act. His Italian friend got arrested for arms smuggling and was also infected with polonium. Litvinenko was said to be sympathetic to Chechen separatism. These factors and his links to the likes of Goldfarb and Berezovsky suggest a source other than the Russian government.

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  130. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Mr. Hack
    Look, I'm not passing judgement on the veracity of these accusations, that Litvinenko made against Putler. I see that you've added another one to the list, that Litvinenko accused Putler of being a pedophile too. All I was pointing out was that there were many reasons why Litvinenko was a target for unfriendly Rusian actions, not like our resident 'Independent foreign Policy Analyst' Mike Averko who claims:

    As for the Litvinenko matter you bring up, there’s good reason to believe that he somehow got poisoned by a source other than a Russian government act.
     
    Of course, he's a professional analytical type that always knows what he's talking about? :-)

    Much unlike your svido trolling ways, which include mis-informative cherry picks, designed to spin an otherwise faulty impression.

    In comparison, there’s better reason to be critical of the Kiev regime’s stunt with Babchenko.

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    • Replies: @Mr. Hack

    'Svido cherry picking'?
     
    Stick to the facts and do not reply back with your monotonous drum of often recited BS when you don't have a credible reply, Mickey!

    I was specifically pointing out the paucity of information that you provided regarding your alternative suggestion that somebody other than Russian backed was responsible for Livinenko's demise. As I've already pointed out, I do not pass judgments on any of the aspersions that Litvinenko made against Putler, only that the smoking gun clearly points towards Moscow. If you've got something better, then present it I'd try something more clever than indicating that Litvinenko was in favor of Chechen separatists. :-)

    , @Mr. Hack

    Much unlike your svido trolling ways, which include mis-informative cherry picks, designed to spin an otherwise faulty impression.
     
    Whoa, what do we have here? Another genuine 'Averkoism'??

    You indicate that I 'include mis-informative cherry picks' to spin an otherwise faulty impression. Why yes, I guess that's what I can be contrued doing. Most impressions that you make are faulty'' and deserve to be rebuked, don't you think? I think that what you meant to say was that:


    Much unlike your svido trolling ways, which include mis-informative cherry picks, designed to spin an otherwise accurate impression.
     
    Mickey, you don't really want to be remembered for making 'faulty impressions' now do you? :-) :-)
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  131. It’s a pity that the good things Macedonia is doing (like fixing its relations with Bulgaria and Greece and starting to slowly accept the real history as opposed to the shit made up by the Serbs, the communists and Tito) are all done for such a shitty reason like entering the EU and NATO.

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    • Replies: @Epigon
    Slavs of Macedonia had nothing to do with Bulgarians.
    They actively resisted Bulghar invasion and conquest of the area in mid-9th century.
    Since their arrival in late 6th, early 7th century, Slavs had expanded through Thessaly, Epirus all the way to Peloponnese, and predate Bulghar invasion of Balkans.
    You are generalising ethnic Bulgarians in eastern part of FYROM/North Macedonia like Zaev with the entire South Slavic subgroup and the population of the country.
    Learn actual history and not pro-Bulgarian German nonsense made in late 19th century or Bulgarian propaganda. Cyril and Methodius worked among Slavs living under Byzantine rule, not Bulghar, and the language and script they created was based on their speech, not Bulgarian.
    Skopje, Kumanovo, Skopje Holy Mount areas are historical Serbian core, the rest of Slavic Macedonians are neither Serb nor Bulgar, and are related to by now assimilated Slavs of Greece or descendants of those expelled post-WW2
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  132. @AnonFromTN
    Turks are a lot more orderly and competent than Greeks. In fact, I was surprised how much more organized Turks are: we rented a car in Ankara near railway station and returned it in another city near airport, and they delivered the car where we wanted it and then took it off my hands, without car rental agency at either point.

    For Russians, there are two additional advantages: no visa is required (you just pay $20 at the airport, and they stick what they call “visa” in your passport), and the same services are cheaper than in Greece.

    “Turks are a lot more orderly and competent than Greeks.”

    Hear, hear.

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  133. Mitleser says:
    @Dmitry
    I'm not really sure how low prices for Turkey can become lower. It's already very cheap.

    Maybe further devaluation can contribute to the tourist market diverging more between Greece and Turkey. More and more poorer people will go on holiday to Turkey, as it becomes almost as cheap to go on holiday in Turkey, as it is to stay at home.

    Maybe Greece can focus more on middle segment of the tourist market.

    Greece has an inferior tourist industry and plenty of great European competition (Spain, Italy, Croatia etc.)
    Thanks to Cyprus, you don’t even to travel to Greece if you want to be on vacation in a Greek-speaking country.

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  134. Mr. Hack says:
    @Mikhail
    Much unlike your svido trolling ways, which include mis-informative cherry picks, designed to spin an otherwise faulty impression.

    In comparison, there's better reason to be critical of the Kiev regime's stunt with Babchenko.

    ‘Svido cherry picking’?

    Stick to the facts and do not reply back with your monotonous drum of often recited BS when you don’t have a credible reply, Mickey!

    I was specifically pointing out the paucity of information that you provided regarding your alternative suggestion that somebody other than Russian backed was responsible for Livinenko’s demise. As I’ve already pointed out, I do not pass judgments on any of the aspersions that Litvinenko made against Putler, only that the smoking gun clearly points towards Moscow. If you’ve got something better, then present it I’d try something more clever than indicating that Litvinenko was in favor of Chechen separatists. :-)

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    • Replies: @Cyrano
    I have to agree with Mikhail here. I think that Litvinenko affair was like a dress-rehearsal for the most famous, daring and successful spy operation in history – the Babchenko affair.

    You see, such a stunning operation like that takes years to perfect and for the Ukrainians Litvinenko was just a guinea pig on whom they tested their secret intelligence (OK, intelligence might be a stretch) operations skills.

    And Litvinenko was an easy choice, the Ukrainians were sure that because of his background – it will be blamed on the Russians.

    Nevertheless, this doesn’t take anything away from the professionalism and mastery that Ukrainians displayed when they designed the Babchenko hoax. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Babchenko success story launches a new series of spy novels – maybe about agent 008 – where 008 is the IQ of the agent.
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  135. Mr. Hack says:
    @Mikhail
    Much unlike your svido trolling ways, which include mis-informative cherry picks, designed to spin an otherwise faulty impression.

    In comparison, there's better reason to be critical of the Kiev regime's stunt with Babchenko.

    Much unlike your svido trolling ways, which include mis-informative cherry picks, designed to spin an otherwise faulty impression.

    Whoa, what do we have here? Another genuine ‘Averkoism‘??

    You indicate that I ‘include mis-informative cherry picks’ to spin an otherwise faulty impression. Why yes, I guess that’s what I can be contrued doing. Most impressions that you make are faulty’‘ and deserve to be rebuked, don’t you think? I think that what you meant to say was that:

    Much unlike your svido trolling ways, which include mis-informative cherry picks, designed to spin an otherwise accurate impression.

    Mickey, you don’t really want to be remembered for making ‘faulty impressions‘ now do you? :-) :-)

    Read More
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  136. Cyrano says:
    @Mr. Hack

    'Svido cherry picking'?
     
    Stick to the facts and do not reply back with your monotonous drum of often recited BS when you don't have a credible reply, Mickey!

    I was specifically pointing out the paucity of information that you provided regarding your alternative suggestion that somebody other than Russian backed was responsible for Livinenko's demise. As I've already pointed out, I do not pass judgments on any of the aspersions that Litvinenko made against Putler, only that the smoking gun clearly points towards Moscow. If you've got something better, then present it I'd try something more clever than indicating that Litvinenko was in favor of Chechen separatists. :-)

    I have to agree with Mikhail here. I think that Litvinenko affair was like a dress-rehearsal for the most famous, daring and successful spy operation in history – the Babchenko affair.

    You see, such a stunning operation like that takes years to perfect and for the Ukrainians Litvinenko was just a guinea pig on whom they tested their secret intelligence (OK, intelligence might be a stretch) operations skills.

    And Litvinenko was an easy choice, the Ukrainians were sure that because of his background – it will be blamed on the Russians.

    Nevertheless, this doesn’t take anything away from the professionalism and mastery that Ukrainians displayed when they designed the Babchenko hoax. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Babchenko success story launches a new series of spy novels – maybe about agent 008 – where 008 is the IQ of the agent.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mikhail
    He's a svido troll as evidenced by his ongoing distortions and omissions, which include not having a good comeback to the following:

    As for the Litvinenko matter you bring up, there’s good reason to believe that he somehow got poisoned by a source other than a Russian government act. His Italian friend got arrested for arms smuggling and was also infected with polonium. Litvinenko was said to be sympathetic to Chechen separatism. These factors and his links to the likes of Goldfarb and Berezovsky suggest a source other than the Russian government.
     
    Never mind the impracticality of the Russian government using something like polonium to bump someone off, when there're effectively cheaper ways of doing such.
    , @Mr. Hack
    So, do you have even one shred of any evidence linking the poisoning of Litvinenko with the Ukrainian secret service? If not, I wouldn't spend too much time writing your novel about 008 and Babchenko, unless you intend it for an audience of only one gullible reader, Michael Averko! :-)
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  137. @reiner Tor
    These sanctions might be a net positive for Russia in the long term, forcing them to develop indigenous industries instead of just importing everything from the oil revenue.

    My take too rT. Economic warfare will not play out against Russia today as it did against Japan and Germany in the 1930′s; because while they were energy dependent, Russia has an abundance of oil and can and will–as you say–bootstrap its own industries inso far as they are able. They don’t have to develop a surplus to trade since, like the USA 100 years ago, their population is sufficiently large to support a robust internal market.

    Also, this entire analysis (and the Saker’s discussions of weapons as well) ignores Russia’s bigger concern, 1.2 billion Chinese wielding state of the art weaponry, who would love to bite off some big chunks of a weakened Russia for lebensraum.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Hyperborean

    Also, this entire analysis (and the Saker’s discussions of weapons as well) ignores Russia’s bigger concern, 1.2 billion Chinese wielding state of the art weaponry, who would love to bite off some big chunks of a weakened Russia for lebensraum.
     
    This is implausible, for reasons that have been discussed multiple times here, including recently.
    , @Thorfinnsson
    China isn't a threat to Russia at present for many reasons.

    See my comment on this: http://www.unz.com/akarlin/kissinger-sees-sense-but-its-far-too-late/#comment-2456313

    The idea that the Chinese will move to seize Siberia is a ridiculous fantasy.

    China and Russia already in the 1990s peacefully resolved all of their outstanding border issues.

    China suffers from below replacement fertility and solved its food security issues in the 1980s, so the era of “Yellow Peril” population pressure belongs to the distant past. And in any case the Russian Far East is useless for agricultural purposes.

    There are indeed some minerals in Siberia, but let’s review some economic facts about China:

    #1 exporter
    #1 forex reserve holder
    #2 creditor nation
    #6 gold reserve holder

    China can buy all the resources it needs. The main threat to China’s economic security are the naval and air forces of the United States and Japan, and to a lesser extent the US Treasury and Commerce Departments. Expanding into Siberia does exactly zero to counter any of these threats, unless you think the Port of Vladivostok somehow enables the PLA-N to break out into the open Pacific.

    Instead it multiplies these threats by pointlessly adding Russia to its enemies and eliminating the possibility of overland trade substituting for seaborne trade.

    China is a security threat to Siberia only once the following are true:

    1 – USA abandons Western Pacific in favor of hemispheric security
    2 – China secures dominance over Second Island Chain
    3 – China replaces USA as lynch pin of global financial (as opposed to just economic) system

    And given China’s cautious attitude, that might not be enough. For instance, a USA focused on hemispheric security would still be viewed as potentially dangerous by China owing to its blue water navy and dominance of the “Third Island Chain”.
     

    If China displaces the USA as the world's preeminent power, then there might be some cause for concern. But even then I'm not so sure--Russia would be Canada to China's America. The USA and Canada have had very good relations since the 1930s.

    Lebensraum with Chinese Characteristics is not going to happen.

    That's not to say everything will be hunky dory in Russian-Chinese relations. There are areas of friction like:

    • Influence in Central Asia
    • Chinese IP theft
    • North Korea
    • Japan
    • Near Abroad
    • Competition for defense and nuclear exports

    The CRAIC CR929 project looks great for now, but the gist of it is that while it's designed in Russia it will be made in China. Once China matches Russia in aerospace technology, what is Russia's role in this partnership? Seems like the most likely outcome is that Russian industry is reduced from producing aircraft to merely being a Tier One supplier and, perhaps, an engine supplier.

    Will Russia be happy with that? I don't know. The UK decided to accept being reduced to this status after the commercial failure of its innovative but flawed postwar airliners cheerfully enough I suppose. Japan considered but decided against developing a complete aerospace-industrial base, though this may be changing (MHI Regional Jet, Kawasaki P1, MHI X-2 Shinden).

    , @Anatoly Karlin
    Has been discussed to death on this blog, both in general, and recently.
    , @ThreeCranes
    Thanks for your comments. I really wasn't referring to today, more to a tomorrow when China is the world's leading economy and the USA is struggling to enforce dollar supremacy.
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  138. @Dmitry
    You can read statements of their foreign ministry.

    His statements to do with paranoia about Russian-Turkey relations - statement from Greece was claiming Russia is a "comrade in arms with Turkey".

    If Greece is angry about something, it is usually related to Turkey.

    As Russia becomes friendly with Turkey - they will find an excuse to be angry, and vice-versa.

    Think about Trump is this week criticizing Turkey - so he is probably now a hero in Greece this week.

    Greeks are also angry because they think Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society is trying to de-Hellenize Middle Eastern patriarchates .

    You can read statements of their foreign ministry.

    His statements to do with paranoia about Russian-Turkey relations – statement from Greece was claiming Russia is a “comrade in arms with Turkey”.

    As Russia becomes friendly with Turkey – they will find an excuse to be angry, and vice-versa.

    I feel that this is one of those situations, when you need to read between the lines. Turkey, religion and “meddling” ARE excuses for Greece. Trying to please Greece’s creditors is the real issue here. It’s a literal crackwhore of a nation, living from one tranche to another.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Dmitry
    Theory that it is to do with creditors, doesn't make much sense.

    Creditors (troika) are European fund - mainly Germany, France and Italy, in order. Followed by IMF and ECB.

    Criteria for release of funds is economic criteria, that imply they might one day get their money back.

    Greece's foreign policy is not of interest to anyone much (Turkey care about them), especially not accountants.


    -

    Reason for tensions with Greece, are the new relations with Turkey.

    An alternative world, with a solvent Greece, they would be more angry, than currently weak, insolvent one - considering sale of S-400 to Turkey, construction of Akkuyu for Turkey, and recent decision for Turkstream.

    Turkstream was always supposed to go to Greece, but two months ago, finally announced it's going to Bulgaria (with no mention of Greece).

    https://www.reuters.com/article/russia-gas-bulgaria/update-1-bulgaria-says-will-be-entry-point-for-russian-turkstream-gas-link-idUSL5N1T16DI

    For Turkstream it's now option if it needs to go to Greece at all - it could also reach Italy, via the Balkans.

    In a Northern option that gets to Hungary and Italy over Serbia. (With no need of Greece).

    At the same time, Israel, Cyprus and Greece are probably building a rival pipeline (probably not very economically rational), after Cyprus has discovered a gas field.
    https://business.financialpost.com/pmn/business-pmn/cyprus-israel-greece-push-east-med-gas-pipeline-to-europe

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  139. @ThreeCranes
    My take too rT. Economic warfare will not play out against Russia today as it did against Japan and Germany in the 1930's; because while they were energy dependent, Russia has an abundance of oil and can and will--as you say--bootstrap its own industries inso far as they are able. They don't have to develop a surplus to trade since, like the USA 100 years ago, their population is sufficiently large to support a robust internal market.

    Also, this entire analysis (and the Saker's discussions of weapons as well) ignores Russia's bigger concern, 1.2 billion Chinese wielding state of the art weaponry, who would love to bite off some big chunks of a weakened Russia for lebensraum.

    Also, this entire analysis (and the Saker’s discussions of weapons as well) ignores Russia’s bigger concern, 1.2 billion Chinese wielding state of the art weaponry, who would love to bite off some big chunks of a weakened Russia for lebensraum.

    This is implausible, for reasons that have been discussed multiple times here, including recently.

    Read More
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  140. @ThreeCranes
    My take too rT. Economic warfare will not play out against Russia today as it did against Japan and Germany in the 1930's; because while they were energy dependent, Russia has an abundance of oil and can and will--as you say--bootstrap its own industries inso far as they are able. They don't have to develop a surplus to trade since, like the USA 100 years ago, their population is sufficiently large to support a robust internal market.

    Also, this entire analysis (and the Saker's discussions of weapons as well) ignores Russia's bigger concern, 1.2 billion Chinese wielding state of the art weaponry, who would love to bite off some big chunks of a weakened Russia for lebensraum.

    China isn’t a threat to Russia at present for many reasons.

    See my comment on this: http://www.unz.com/akarlin/kissinger-sees-sense-but-its-far-too-late/#comment-2456313

    The idea that the Chinese will move to seize Siberia is a ridiculous fantasy.

    China and Russia already in the 1990s peacefully resolved all of their outstanding border issues.

    China suffers from below replacement fertility and solved its food security issues in the 1980s, so the era of “Yellow Peril” population pressure belongs to the distant past. And in any case the Russian Far East is useless for agricultural purposes.

    There are indeed some minerals in Siberia, but let’s review some economic facts about China:

    #1 exporter
    #1 forex reserve holder
    #2 creditor nation
    #6 gold reserve holder

    China can buy all the resources it needs. The main threat to China’s economic security are the naval and air forces of the United States and Japan, and to a lesser extent the US Treasury and Commerce Departments. Expanding into Siberia does exactly zero to counter any of these threats, unless you think the Port of Vladivostok somehow enables the PLA-N to break out into the open Pacific.

    Instead it multiplies these threats by pointlessly adding Russia to its enemies and eliminating the possibility of overland trade substituting for seaborne trade.

    China is a security threat to Siberia only once the following are true:

    1 – USA abandons Western Pacific in favor of hemispheric security
    2 – China secures dominance over Second Island Chain
    3 – China replaces USA as lynch pin of global financial (as opposed to just economic) system

    And given China’s cautious attitude, that might not be enough. For instance, a USA focused on hemispheric security would still be viewed as potentially dangerous by China owing to its blue water navy and dominance of the “Third Island Chain”.

    If China displaces the USA as the world’s preeminent power, then there might be some cause for concern. But even then I’m not so sure–Russia would be Canada to China’s America. The USA and Canada have had very good relations since the 1930s.

    Lebensraum with Chinese Characteristics is not going to happen.

    That’s not to say everything will be hunky dory in Russian-Chinese relations. There are areas of friction like:

    • Influence in Central Asia
    • Chinese IP theft
    • North Korea
    • Japan
    • Near Abroad
    • Competition for defense and nuclear exports

    The CRAIC CR929 project looks great for now, but the gist of it is that while it’s designed in Russia it will be made in China. Once China matches Russia in aerospace technology, what is Russia’s role in this partnership? Seems like the most likely outcome is that Russian industry is reduced from producing aircraft to merely being a Tier One supplier and, perhaps, an engine supplier.

    Will Russia be happy with that? I don’t know. The UK decided to accept being reduced to this status after the commercial failure of its innovative but flawed postwar airliners cheerfully enough I suppose. Japan considered but decided against developing a complete aerospace-industrial base, though this may be changing (MHI Regional Jet, Kawasaki P1, MHI X-2 Shinden).

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin

    • Influence in Central Asia
     
    I believe Russia's loss of influence there is inevitable. China has $$$; Turkey/Islamic world has ethno/religious draw; USA has its hegemonic culture.

    Russia has some fading sovok relicts, such as old political ties and the Victory Day cult.

    However, China is displacing it gently, as opposed to batting it away as the US and EU are wont to do. This naturally makes Russia much better disposed than it otherwise would be.

    • Chinese IP theft
     
    Will become less of an issue as China converges with and overtakes Russia in many technological areas. For instance, the realization that China's MIC is progressing far faster than expected - without significant Russian tech transfer - has contributed to Russia dropping its inhibitions on selling the S-400 and advanced fighters to China in recent years. (An HBD realist could have told them as much, earlier).

    • North Korea
    • Japan
    • Near Abroad
     
    The equitable arrangement would be for Russia to defer to China on North Korea and the Far East in general (though economic relations with Japan should be broadened), and to require that China do the same for Russia wrt to its Near Abroad.

    But certainly a much more dominant China may no longer feel the need to honor such an arrangement.

    • Competition for defense and nuclear exports
     
    This will certainly be an issue.

    Russia's nuclear technology is much further advanced than China's (the gap is much bigger than the rapidly dwindling one in the military sphere), and it doesn't appear to me that China is making a major R&D push in that area. I think Russia will continue to dominate global nuclear tech exports for at least 2-3 more decades.
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  141. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Cyrano
    I have to agree with Mikhail here. I think that Litvinenko affair was like a dress-rehearsal for the most famous, daring and successful spy operation in history – the Babchenko affair.

    You see, such a stunning operation like that takes years to perfect and for the Ukrainians Litvinenko was just a guinea pig on whom they tested their secret intelligence (OK, intelligence might be a stretch) operations skills.

    And Litvinenko was an easy choice, the Ukrainians were sure that because of his background – it will be blamed on the Russians.

    Nevertheless, this doesn’t take anything away from the professionalism and mastery that Ukrainians displayed when they designed the Babchenko hoax. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Babchenko success story launches a new series of spy novels – maybe about agent 008 – where 008 is the IQ of the agent.

    He’s a svido troll as evidenced by his ongoing distortions and omissions, which include not having a good comeback to the following:

    As for the Litvinenko matter you bring up, there’s good reason to believe that he somehow got poisoned by a source other than a Russian government act. His Italian friend got arrested for arms smuggling and was also infected with polonium. Litvinenko was said to be sympathetic to Chechen separatism. These factors and his links to the likes of Goldfarb and Berezovsky suggest a source other than the Russian government.

    Never mind the impracticality of the Russian government using something like polonium to bump someone off, when there’re effectively cheaper ways of doing such.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    His 'Italian friend'? Were they fishing buddies where somebody got jealous of their 'friendship' and decided to take the Italian out? Could've been another Russian job too?...

    Litvinenko was said to be sympathetic to Chechen separatism.
     
    Now, this is really stupid, I think that even you'll have to admit Mickey. Are we to believe that because Litvinenko was sympathetic to Chechen separatism, that this somehow made him impervious to any sort of Russian assault? Please explain this one to me!

    Never mind the impracticality of the Russian government using something like polonium to bump someone off, when there’re effectively cheaper ways of doing such.

     

    Well, somebody was responsible for this ill advised murder, and did so in this grotesque and over the top manner. Why not the Russians, are they somehow smarter than the rest? If Russia wasn't full of fools, why are they circumvented by the world community with unnecessary and embarrasing sanctions, anyway? Besides, as I've already pointed out, there were many reasons why the Kremlin wanted Litvinenko gone.
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  142. Mr. Hack says:
    @Cyrano
    I have to agree with Mikhail here. I think that Litvinenko affair was like a dress-rehearsal for the most famous, daring and successful spy operation in history – the Babchenko affair.

    You see, such a stunning operation like that takes years to perfect and for the Ukrainians Litvinenko was just a guinea pig on whom they tested their secret intelligence (OK, intelligence might be a stretch) operations skills.

    And Litvinenko was an easy choice, the Ukrainians were sure that because of his background – it will be blamed on the Russians.

    Nevertheless, this doesn’t take anything away from the professionalism and mastery that Ukrainians displayed when they designed the Babchenko hoax. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Babchenko success story launches a new series of spy novels – maybe about agent 008 – where 008 is the IQ of the agent.

    So, do you have even one shred of any evidence linking the poisoning of Litvinenko with the Ukrainian secret service? If not, I wouldn’t spend too much time writing your novel about 008 and Babchenko, unless you intend it for an audience of only one gullible reader, Michael Averko! :-)

    Read More
    • Replies: @Cyrano
    You are looking at it from a wrong perspective, pal. I was simply expressing pride and admiration for the competence of the Ukrainian Secret Services. Why can’t a fellow – even though admittedly phony – Slav like me feel proud of the accomplishments of a Slavic country that I look upon to for inspiration and guidance?
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  143. Mr. Hack says:
    @Mikhail
    He's a svido troll as evidenced by his ongoing distortions and omissions, which include not having a good comeback to the following:

    As for the Litvinenko matter you bring up, there’s good reason to believe that he somehow got poisoned by a source other than a Russian government act. His Italian friend got arrested for arms smuggling and was also infected with polonium. Litvinenko was said to be sympathetic to Chechen separatism. These factors and his links to the likes of Goldfarb and Berezovsky suggest a source other than the Russian government.
     
    Never mind the impracticality of the Russian government using something like polonium to bump someone off, when there're effectively cheaper ways of doing such.

    His ‘Italian friend‘? Were they fishing buddies where somebody got jealous of their ‘friendship’ and decided to take the Italian out? Could’ve been another Russian job too?…

    Litvinenko was said to be sympathetic to Chechen separatism.

    Now, this is really stupid, I think that even you’ll have to admit Mickey. Are we to believe that because Litvinenko was sympathetic to Chechen separatism, that this somehow made him impervious to any sort of Russian assault? Please explain this one to me!

    Never mind the impracticality of the Russian government using something like polonium to bump someone off, when there’re effectively cheaper ways of doing such.

    Well, somebody was responsible for this ill advised murder, and did so in this grotesque and over the top manner. Why not the Russians, are they somehow smarter than the rest? If Russia wasn’t full of fools, why are they circumvented by the world community with unnecessary and embarrasing sanctions, anyway? Besides, as I’ve already pointed out, there were many reasons why the Kremlin wanted Litvinenko gone.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sean
    The Kremlin would have killed the organ grinder (Boris Abramovich Berezovsky) not the monkey. Litvinenko virtually committed suicide. People become depressed when they are exiles.. Litvinenko publicly accused Putin of the apartment bombings by Chechens that killed hundreds of Russians so he must have had some inkling that Putin could be dangerous.

    If you publicly call someone a child molester they will at least fantasize about killing you, and if they have the means and opportunity then it is not the biggest surprise in the world if you give them the motive and you are killed by a method that is as good as a signed confession they did it. Putin wanted Litvinenko to know who had put an end to him. That was the whole point of using alpha radiation; nice and slow all the while knowing who did it. Putin is very like another famous Vlad.

    https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/vampirediaries/images/0/08/Vlad-The-Impaler-dracula-untold-37680708-854-347.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20141217165742

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  144. Mikhail says: • Website

    Well, somebody was responsible for this ill advised murder, and did so in this grotesque and over the top manner. Why not the Russians, are they somehow smarter than the rest?

    Why Litvinenko himself, albeit (if true) in a possible unintended way. No proof that the Rusisan government did him in. No need to reply anymore to your rehashed trolling tripe.

    Still no good answer to:

    As for the Litvinenko matter you bring up, there’s good reason to believe that he somehow got poisoned by a source other than a Russian government act. His Italian friend got arrested for arms smuggling and was also infected with polonium. Litvinenko was said to be sympathetic to Chechen separatism. These factors and his links to the likes of Goldfarb and Berezovsky suggest a source other than the Russian government.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    You missed my reply in #143 with plenty of decent replies. I don't mind reprinting them for you, I know how prone you are to missing information that is contrary to your myopic belief system:

    His ‘Italian friend‘? Were they fishing buddies where somebody got jealous of their ‘friendship’ and decided to take the Italian out? Could’ve been another Russian job too?…


    Litvinenko was said to be sympathetic to Chechen separatism.

     

    Now, this is really stupid, I think that even you’ll have to admit Mickey. Are we to believe that because Litvinenko was sympathetic to Chechen separatism, that this somehow made him impervious to any sort of Russian assault? Please explain this one to me!

    Never mind the impracticality of the Russian government using something like polonium to bump someone off, when there’re effectively cheaper ways of doing such.
     
    Well, somebody was responsible for this ill advised murder, and did so in this grotesque and over the top manner. Why not the Russians, are they somehow smarter than the rest? If Russia wasn’t full of fools, why are they circumvented by the world community with unnecessary and embarrasing sanctions, anyway? Besides, as I’ve already pointed out, there were many reasons why the Kremlin wanted Litvinenko gone.
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  145. Dmitry says:
    @Felix Keverich

    You can read statements of their foreign ministry.

    His statements to do with paranoia about Russian-Turkey relations – statement from Greece was claiming Russia is a “comrade in arms with Turkey”.

    As Russia becomes friendly with Turkey – they will find an excuse to be angry, and vice-versa.
     
    I feel that this is one of those situations, when you need to read between the lines. Turkey, religion and "meddling" ARE excuses for Greece. Trying to please Greece's creditors is the real issue here. It's a literal crackwhore of a nation, living from one tranche to another.

    Theory that it is to do with creditors, doesn’t make much sense.

    Creditors (troika) are European fund – mainly Germany, France and Italy, in order. Followed by IMF and ECB.

    Criteria for release of funds is economic criteria, that imply they might one day get their money back.

    Greece’s foreign policy is not of interest to anyone much (Turkey care about them), especially not accountants.

    -

    Reason for tensions with Greece, are the new relations with Turkey.

    An alternative world, with a solvent Greece, they would be more angry, than currently weak, insolvent one – considering sale of S-400 to Turkey, construction of Akkuyu for Turkey, and recent decision for Turkstream.

    Turkstream was always supposed to go to Greece, but two months ago, finally announced it’s going to Bulgaria (with no mention of Greece).

    https://www.reuters.com/article/russia-gas-bulgaria/update-1-bulgaria-says-will-be-entry-point-for-russian-turkstream-gas-link-idUSL5N1T16DI

    For Turkstream it’s now option if it needs to go to Greece at all – it could also reach Italy, via the Balkans.

    In a Northern option that gets to Hungary and Italy over Serbia. (With no need of Greece).

    At the same time, Israel, Cyprus and Greece are probably building a rival pipeline (probably not very economically rational), after Cyprus has discovered a gas field.

    https://business.financialpost.com/pmn/business-pmn/cyprus-israel-greece-push-east-med-gas-pipeline-to-europe

    Read More
    • Replies: @Felix Keverich

    Theory that it is to do with creditors, doesn’t make much sense.

    Creditors (troika) are European fund – mainly Germany, France and Italy, in order. Followed by IMF and ECB.

    Criteria for release of funds is economic criteria, that imply they might one day get their money back.

    Greece’s foreign policy is not of interest to anyone much (Turkey care about them), especially not accountants.
     

    You assume that Greece is the rational actor in this situation. It's a stupid crackwhore, desperate for a bit of debt relief.

    It is also fair to say that Western decisions on financial aid are not made by accountants, ultimately they are made by politicians, who do consider geopolitics.

    Surely Greece can see that IMF is dumping billions of dollars into the Ukraine for no other reason than geopolitics. Ukrainian regime also got a nice debt relief a couple of years back - to better resist "Russian aggression".

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  146. Dmitry says:
    @AnonFromTN
    Turks are a lot more orderly and competent than Greeks. In fact, I was surprised how much more organized Turks are: we rented a car in Ankara near railway station and returned it in another city near airport, and they delivered the car where we wanted it and then took it off my hands, without car rental agency at either point.

    For Russians, there are two additional advantages: no visa is required (you just pay $20 at the airport, and they stick what they call “visa” in your passport), and the same services are cheaper than in Greece.

    Well orderliness is not the only reason for holiday choice.

    And Schengen visa is not a big deal for middle class tourists (35 euros).

    Greece already has almost “too many” tourists (from around the world), for size of the country.

    Greece receives 32 million tourists this year (while Turkey receives around 40 million a year tourism – and is six times larger than Greece in land area).

    Perhaps Greece can even raise prices and market more for middle class tourists?

    Read More
    • Replies: @AaronB
    Lol, NYC received 62.8 million visitors last year. One city.
    , @Mitleser

    Perhaps Greece can even raise prices and market more for middle class tourists?
     
    And encourage tourists to travel to other countries?
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  147. Mr. Hack says:
    @Mikhail

    Well, somebody was responsible for this ill advised murder, and did so in this grotesque and over the top manner. Why not the Russians, are they somehow smarter than the rest?
     
    Why Litvinenko himself, albeit (if true) in a possible unintended way. No proof that the Rusisan government did him in. No need to reply anymore to your rehashed trolling tripe.

    Still no good answer to:


    As for the Litvinenko matter you bring up, there’s good reason to believe that he somehow got poisoned by a source other than a Russian government act. His Italian friend got arrested for arms smuggling and was also infected with polonium. Litvinenko was said to be sympathetic to Chechen separatism. These factors and his links to the likes of Goldfarb and Berezovsky suggest a source other than the Russian government.
     

    You missed my reply in #143 with plenty of decent replies. I don’t mind reprinting them for you, I know how prone you are to missing information that is contrary to your myopic belief system:

    His ‘Italian friend‘? Were they fishing buddies where somebody got jealous of their ‘friendship’ and decided to take the Italian out? Could’ve been another Russian job too?…

    Litvinenko was said to be sympathetic to Chechen separatism.

    Now, this is really stupid, I think that even you’ll have to admit Mickey. Are we to believe that because Litvinenko was sympathetic to Chechen separatism, that this somehow made him impervious to any sort of Russian assault? Please explain this one to me!

    Never mind the impracticality of the Russian government using something like polonium to bump someone off, when there’re effectively cheaper ways of doing such.

    Well, somebody was responsible for this ill advised murder, and did so in this grotesque and over the top manner. Why not the Russians, are they somehow smarter than the rest? If Russia wasn’t full of fools, why are they circumvented by the world community with unnecessary and embarrasing sanctions, anyway? Besides, as I’ve already pointed out, there were many reasons why the Kremlin wanted Litvinenko gone.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mikhail
    You're still shooting blanks to this:

    As for the Litvinenko matter you bring up, there’s good reason to believe that he somehow got poisoned by a source other than a Russian government act. His Italian friend got arrested for arms smuggling and was also infected with polonium. Litvinenko was said to be sympathetic to Chechen separatism. These factors and his links to the likes of Goldfarb and Berezovsky suggest a source other than the Russian government.

    Never mind the impracticality of the Russian government using something like polonium to bump someone off, when there’re effectively cheaper ways of doing such.
     
    I can't help it if you don't know the specifics about Litrvinenko's aforementioned Italian friend. Stupid people have a way of babbling on because they don't realize just how stupid they are. Then again, part of you might recognize that, seeing your cowardly anonymous empty calories insults.

    Opposite to your shooting blanks is this precision reply:

    https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/07/29/an-unhealthy-trump-putin-summit-fallout.html
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  148. @ThreeCranes
    My take too rT. Economic warfare will not play out against Russia today as it did against Japan and Germany in the 1930's; because while they were energy dependent, Russia has an abundance of oil and can and will--as you say--bootstrap its own industries inso far as they are able. They don't have to develop a surplus to trade since, like the USA 100 years ago, their population is sufficiently large to support a robust internal market.

    Also, this entire analysis (and the Saker's discussions of weapons as well) ignores Russia's bigger concern, 1.2 billion Chinese wielding state of the art weaponry, who would love to bite off some big chunks of a weakened Russia for lebensraum.

    Has been discussed to death on this blog, both in general, and recently.

    Read More
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  149. @Thorfinnsson
    China isn't a threat to Russia at present for many reasons.

    See my comment on this: http://www.unz.com/akarlin/kissinger-sees-sense-but-its-far-too-late/#comment-2456313

    The idea that the Chinese will move to seize Siberia is a ridiculous fantasy.

    China and Russia already in the 1990s peacefully resolved all of their outstanding border issues.

    China suffers from below replacement fertility and solved its food security issues in the 1980s, so the era of “Yellow Peril” population pressure belongs to the distant past. And in any case the Russian Far East is useless for agricultural purposes.

    There are indeed some minerals in Siberia, but let’s review some economic facts about China:

    #1 exporter
    #1 forex reserve holder
    #2 creditor nation
    #6 gold reserve holder

    China can buy all the resources it needs. The main threat to China’s economic security are the naval and air forces of the United States and Japan, and to a lesser extent the US Treasury and Commerce Departments. Expanding into Siberia does exactly zero to counter any of these threats, unless you think the Port of Vladivostok somehow enables the PLA-N to break out into the open Pacific.

    Instead it multiplies these threats by pointlessly adding Russia to its enemies and eliminating the possibility of overland trade substituting for seaborne trade.

    China is a security threat to Siberia only once the following are true:

    1 – USA abandons Western Pacific in favor of hemispheric security
    2 – China secures dominance over Second Island Chain
    3 – China replaces USA as lynch pin of global financial (as opposed to just economic) system

    And given China’s cautious attitude, that might not be enough. For instance, a USA focused on hemispheric security would still be viewed as potentially dangerous by China owing to its blue water navy and dominance of the “Third Island Chain”.
     

    If China displaces the USA as the world's preeminent power, then there might be some cause for concern. But even then I'm not so sure--Russia would be Canada to China's America. The USA and Canada have had very good relations since the 1930s.

    Lebensraum with Chinese Characteristics is not going to happen.

    That's not to say everything will be hunky dory in Russian-Chinese relations. There are areas of friction like:

    • Influence in Central Asia
    • Chinese IP theft
    • North Korea
    • Japan
    • Near Abroad
    • Competition for defense and nuclear exports

    The CRAIC CR929 project looks great for now, but the gist of it is that while it's designed in Russia it will be made in China. Once China matches Russia in aerospace technology, what is Russia's role in this partnership? Seems like the most likely outcome is that Russian industry is reduced from producing aircraft to merely being a Tier One supplier and, perhaps, an engine supplier.

    Will Russia be happy with that? I don't know. The UK decided to accept being reduced to this status after the commercial failure of its innovative but flawed postwar airliners cheerfully enough I suppose. Japan considered but decided against developing a complete aerospace-industrial base, though this may be changing (MHI Regional Jet, Kawasaki P1, MHI X-2 Shinden).

    • Influence in Central Asia

    I believe Russia’s loss of influence there is inevitable. China has $$$; Turkey/Islamic world has ethno/religious draw; USA has its hegemonic culture.

    Russia has some fading sovok relicts, such as old political ties and the Victory Day cult.

    However, China is displacing it gently, as opposed to batting it away as the US and EU are wont to do. This naturally makes Russia much better disposed than it otherwise would be.

    • Chinese IP theft

    Will become less of an issue as China converges with and overtakes Russia in many technological areas. For instance, the realization that China’s MIC is progressing far faster than expected – without significant Russian tech transfer – has contributed to Russia dropping its inhibitions on selling the S-400 and advanced fighters to China in recent years. (An HBD realist could have told them as much, earlier).

    • North Korea
    • Japan
    • Near Abroad

    The equitable arrangement would be for Russia to defer to China on North Korea and the Far East in general (though economic relations with Japan should be broadened), and to require that China do the same for Russia wrt to its Near Abroad.

    But certainly a much more dominant China may no longer feel the need to honor such an arrangement.

    • Competition for defense and nuclear exports

    This will certainly be an issue.

    Russia’s nuclear technology is much further advanced than China’s (the gap is much bigger than the rapidly dwindling one in the military sphere), and it doesn’t appear to me that China is making a major R&D push in that area. I think Russia will continue to dominate global nuclear tech exports for at least 2-3 more decades.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
    Russia's current dominance of global nuclear exports is something of a fluke.

    The West crippled its nuclear industry owing to pathological atomophobia. Design expertise didn't atrophy, but construction experience did. Result was massive cost overruns and endless delays on the few Western Gen III reactor projects. Now effectively priced out of the world market.

    Japan suffered from the double whammy of Fukushima and Toshiba getting dragged down by the collapse of Westinghouse. Even though it's somewhat unfair, no one will now order Japanese reactors in the near future. The Japanese elite, once truly impressive in its atomophilia and determination to resist popular atomophobia, is no longer united on the issue either. Former Prime Minister Junichiro Koisumi has for instance called for Japan to shut down all nuclear power plants.

    Emerging competitor is South Korea. The Koreans successfully won the project in the United Arab Emirates, and within South Korea they have an excellent record of efficient construction. Fortunately for Russia, the very weak President Moon is a disgraceful atomophobe.
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  150. AaronB says:
    @Dmitry
    Well orderliness is not the only reason for holiday choice.

    And Schengen visa is not a big deal for middle class tourists (35 euros).

    Greece already has almost "too many" tourists (from around the world), for size of the country.

    Greece receives 32 million tourists this year (while Turkey receives around 40 million a year tourism - and is six times larger than Greece in land area).

    Perhaps Greece can even raise prices and market more for middle class tourists?

    Lol, NYC received 62.8 million visitors last year. One city.

    Read More
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  151. @Anatoly Karlin

    • Influence in Central Asia
     
    I believe Russia's loss of influence there is inevitable. China has $$$; Turkey/Islamic world has ethno/religious draw; USA has its hegemonic culture.

    Russia has some fading sovok relicts, such as old political ties and the Victory Day cult.

    However, China is displacing it gently, as opposed to batting it away as the US and EU are wont to do. This naturally makes Russia much better disposed than it otherwise would be.

    • Chinese IP theft
     
    Will become less of an issue as China converges with and overtakes Russia in many technological areas. For instance, the realization that China's MIC is progressing far faster than expected - without significant Russian tech transfer - has contributed to Russia dropping its inhibitions on selling the S-400 and advanced fighters to China in recent years. (An HBD realist could have told them as much, earlier).

    • North Korea
    • Japan
    • Near Abroad
     
    The equitable arrangement would be for Russia to defer to China on North Korea and the Far East in general (though economic relations with Japan should be broadened), and to require that China do the same for Russia wrt to its Near Abroad.

    But certainly a much more dominant China may no longer feel the need to honor such an arrangement.

    • Competition for defense and nuclear exports
     
    This will certainly be an issue.

    Russia's nuclear technology is much further advanced than China's (the gap is much bigger than the rapidly dwindling one in the military sphere), and it doesn't appear to me that China is making a major R&D push in that area. I think Russia will continue to dominate global nuclear tech exports for at least 2-3 more decades.

    Russia’s current dominance of global nuclear exports is something of a fluke.

    The West crippled its nuclear industry owing to pathological atomophobia. Design expertise didn’t atrophy, but construction experience did. Result was massive cost overruns and endless delays on the few Western Gen III reactor projects. Now effectively priced out of the world market.

    Japan suffered from the double whammy of Fukushima and Toshiba getting dragged down by the collapse of Westinghouse. Even though it’s somewhat unfair, no one will now order Japanese reactors in the near future. The Japanese elite, once truly impressive in its atomophilia and determination to resist popular atomophobia, is no longer united on the issue either. Former Prime Minister Junichiro Koisumi has for instance called for Japan to shut down all nuclear power plants.

    Emerging competitor is South Korea. The Koreans successfully won the project in the United Arab Emirates, and within South Korea they have an excellent record of efficient construction. Fortunately for Russia, the very weak President Moon is a disgraceful atomophobe.

    Read More
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  152. @ThreeCranes
    My take too rT. Economic warfare will not play out against Russia today as it did against Japan and Germany in the 1930's; because while they were energy dependent, Russia has an abundance of oil and can and will--as you say--bootstrap its own industries inso far as they are able. They don't have to develop a surplus to trade since, like the USA 100 years ago, their population is sufficiently large to support a robust internal market.

    Also, this entire analysis (and the Saker's discussions of weapons as well) ignores Russia's bigger concern, 1.2 billion Chinese wielding state of the art weaponry, who would love to bite off some big chunks of a weakened Russia for lebensraum.

    Thanks for your comments. I really wasn’t referring to today, more to a tomorrow when China is the world’s leading economy and the USA is struggling to enforce dollar supremacy.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    It's a big world to the south without powers with nuclear weapons.
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  153. @ThreeCranes
    Thanks for your comments. I really wasn't referring to today, more to a tomorrow when China is the world's leading economy and the USA is struggling to enforce dollar supremacy.

    It’s a big world to the south without powers with nuclear weapons.

    Read More
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  154. Cyrano says:
    @Mr. Hack
    So, do you have even one shred of any evidence linking the poisoning of Litvinenko with the Ukrainian secret service? If not, I wouldn't spend too much time writing your novel about 008 and Babchenko, unless you intend it for an audience of only one gullible reader, Michael Averko! :-)

    You are looking at it from a wrong perspective, pal. I was simply expressing pride and admiration for the competence of the Ukrainian Secret Services. Why can’t a fellow – even though admittedly phony – Slav like me feel proud of the accomplishments of a Slavic country that I look upon to for inspiration and guidance?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    Sounds like you're making some real progress - keep it up!
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  155. utu says:
    @anonymous coward


    Some quick back-of-the-napkin calculations:

    * Age of the universe is about 10^18 seconds.
    * The "Planck time" gives us the smallest possible unit of time, about 10^-45 seconds.
    * There are about 10^82 atoms in the Universe.

    Now assume an ideal computer. Let each atom of the Universe be a CPU, operating as fast as physics allows.

    That gives us an upper bound of 10^(18+45+82) = 10^145 CPU cycles for computation.

    Now take Shakespeare's sonnet #27. It is 458 letters long. (Let's ignore punctuation.)

    If we take 458 random letters of the English alphabet, there are 26^458 random combinations.

    So if our ideal Universe-sized computer was randomly picking letters and hoping to compose a Shakespeare sonnet, it would need about 10^300 Universes to do so.

    How much more complex is an E. Coli cell compared to a sonnet?

    P.S. This is obvious, freshman-tier stuff unless you're blinded by ideology.

    [MORE]

    Interesting argument but it hinges on something that is not a part of it, i.e, what is special about the 458 letter sonnet? Your argument only demonstrates that if another world began 10^18 seconds ago it most likely would not produce the same 458 letter sonnet but it would produce some other sonnet which could have a meaning in this different world.

    You could create similarly fallacious argument ‘proving’ that you cannot possibly exist. Assign probabilities p<<1 of an event that two of your ancestors met and procreated. What was a chance that your parent met and then go back to grandparents and so on. And soon you will obtain cumulative probability close to zero stating exactly what? That your life could not have happened?

    I think it is east to be confused and tricked by probabilities. And this happens when we are sloppy in defining the space of events on which the probability function must be defined. When you are heating up water at some point there will me one molecule of H2O that will break free and evaporate. If this molecule asked the Nancy Kerrigan's question "Why me?" and began calculating the probability of this event soon it would have to conclude the even was impossible. The problem is with the question "Why me?"

    Read More
    • Replies: @anonymous coward


    I never assigned any special meaning to a sonnet. I merely demonstrated that the size of the probability spaces we're traversing are unimaginable orders of magnitude larger than the Universe we observe.

    Formulating the probability spaces and functions should be step one of any biological theory of evolution. Only then we can start talking about meanings and other philosophy.
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  156. Mr. Hack says:
    @Cyrano
    You are looking at it from a wrong perspective, pal. I was simply expressing pride and admiration for the competence of the Ukrainian Secret Services. Why can’t a fellow – even though admittedly phony – Slav like me feel proud of the accomplishments of a Slavic country that I look upon to for inspiration and guidance?

    Sounds like you’re making some real progress – keep it up!

    Read More
    • Replies: @Cyrano
    Thanks man, I am really trying. If I may confide in you, you know what I find the most admiring about the Ukrainians? Your keen sense of democracy.

    I mean, it took you what – barely 4 years to figure out that Yanukovych was not democratic enough – and then boom – revolution. I mean you guys are sharp. Look at the Russians, they have been electing Putin since 2000 and they still haven’t figured out that he is not democratic enough. You are way ahead of the game.

    You know what I think? I think that one good coup is worth at least 5-6 regular elections. So if you guys were to stage another coup within – let’s say the next couple of years – it’s like you’ve gone through 12 regular elections of 4 years each. You know what – if I was you I wouldn’t even bother with elections, elections are for dummies, just stick with coups and soon you’ll overtake even Western Europe - democracy and economic development wise, so you won’t even need their stinking EU.
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  157. Cyrano says:
    @Mr. Hack
    Sounds like you're making some real progress - keep it up!

    Thanks man, I am really trying. If I may confide in you, you know what I find the most admiring about the Ukrainians? Your keen sense of democracy.

    I mean, it took you what – barely 4 years to figure out that Yanukovych was not democratic enough – and then boom – revolution. I mean you guys are sharp. Look at the Russians, they have been electing Putin since 2000 and they still haven’t figured out that he is not democratic enough. You are way ahead of the game.

    You know what I think? I think that one good coup is worth at least 5-6 regular elections. So if you guys were to stage another coup within – let’s say the next couple of years – it’s like you’ve gone through 12 regular elections of 4 years each. You know what – if I was you I wouldn’t even bother with elections, elections are for dummies, just stick with coups and soon you’ll overtake even Western Europe – democracy and economic development wise, so you won’t even need their stinking EU.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mikhail
    In case you missed it:

    https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/08/10/cold-war-in-the-sauna-notes-from-a-russian-american/

    Thek ind of Russian-American views not getting propped in US mass media. Similar to the PC Ukrainian views getting the nod over Ukrainians thinking differently.
    , @Mr. Hack
    You're on the right track, buddy! I don't know why AP tries to continually put you in place by pointing out that you're not really a Slav, but some sort of Balkanized Turk. Who cares? Your last two comments indicate that you're capable of evolving your thinking patterns much higher that the typical 97 or 98. Heck, I'd guess that you're a solid 99! Keep it up!
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  158. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Mr. Hack
    You missed my reply in #143 with plenty of decent replies. I don't mind reprinting them for you, I know how prone you are to missing information that is contrary to your myopic belief system:

    His ‘Italian friend‘? Were they fishing buddies where somebody got jealous of their ‘friendship’ and decided to take the Italian out? Could’ve been another Russian job too?…


    Litvinenko was said to be sympathetic to Chechen separatism.

     

    Now, this is really stupid, I think that even you’ll have to admit Mickey. Are we to believe that because Litvinenko was sympathetic to Chechen separatism, that this somehow made him impervious to any sort of Russian assault? Please explain this one to me!

    Never mind the impracticality of the Russian government using something like polonium to bump someone off, when there’re effectively cheaper ways of doing such.
     
    Well, somebody was responsible for this ill advised murder, and did so in this grotesque and over the top manner. Why not the Russians, are they somehow smarter than the rest? If Russia wasn’t full of fools, why are they circumvented by the world community with unnecessary and embarrasing sanctions, anyway? Besides, as I’ve already pointed out, there were many reasons why the Kremlin wanted Litvinenko gone.

    You’re still shooting blanks to this:

    As for the Litvinenko matter you bring up, there’s good reason to believe that he somehow got poisoned by a source other than a Russian government act. His Italian friend got arrested for arms smuggling and was also infected with polonium. Litvinenko was said to be sympathetic to Chechen separatism. These factors and his links to the likes of Goldfarb and Berezovsky suggest a source other than the Russian government.

    Never mind the impracticality of the Russian government using something like polonium to bump someone off, when there’re effectively cheaper ways of doing such.

    I can’t help it if you don’t know the specifics about Litrvinenko’s aforementioned Italian friend. Stupid people have a way of babbling on because they don’t realize just how stupid they are. Then again, part of you might recognize that, seeing your cowardly anonymous empty calories insults.

    Opposite to your shooting blanks is this precision reply:

    https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/07/29/an-unhealthy-trump-putin-summit-fallout.html

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack

    Stupid people have a way of babbling on because they don’t realize just how stupid they are.
     
    I see that you're still babbling on Mickey. Isn't it time for you to do a few rounds of kumbaya in front of your icon of Herr Putler and go to sleep yet?

    As La Russophobe imagines it, Averko then sits down in the lotus position, the room lit by a single candle beneath a large photo of Stalin, and intones his mantra several thousand times: “I am a journalist………I am a journalist ………I am a journalist ………” until he falls asleep. When he wakes up, he heads out to his day job flipping hamburgers at Wendy’s
     
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  159. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Cyrano
    Thanks man, I am really trying. If I may confide in you, you know what I find the most admiring about the Ukrainians? Your keen sense of democracy.

    I mean, it took you what – barely 4 years to figure out that Yanukovych was not democratic enough – and then boom – revolution. I mean you guys are sharp. Look at the Russians, they have been electing Putin since 2000 and they still haven’t figured out that he is not democratic enough. You are way ahead of the game.

    You know what I think? I think that one good coup is worth at least 5-6 regular elections. So if you guys were to stage another coup within – let’s say the next couple of years – it’s like you’ve gone through 12 regular elections of 4 years each. You know what – if I was you I wouldn’t even bother with elections, elections are for dummies, just stick with coups and soon you’ll overtake even Western Europe - democracy and economic development wise, so you won’t even need their stinking EU.

    In case you missed it:

    https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/08/10/cold-war-in-the-sauna-notes-from-a-russian-american/

    Thek ind of Russian-American views not getting propped in US mass media. Similar to the PC Ukrainian views getting the nod over Ukrainians thinking differently.

    Read More
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  160. Mr. Hack says:
    @Cyrano
    Thanks man, I am really trying. If I may confide in you, you know what I find the most admiring about the Ukrainians? Your keen sense of democracy.

    I mean, it took you what – barely 4 years to figure out that Yanukovych was not democratic enough – and then boom – revolution. I mean you guys are sharp. Look at the Russians, they have been electing Putin since 2000 and they still haven’t figured out that he is not democratic enough. You are way ahead of the game.

    You know what I think? I think that one good coup is worth at least 5-6 regular elections. So if you guys were to stage another coup within – let’s say the next couple of years – it’s like you’ve gone through 12 regular elections of 4 years each. You know what – if I was you I wouldn’t even bother with elections, elections are for dummies, just stick with coups and soon you’ll overtake even Western Europe - democracy and economic development wise, so you won’t even need their stinking EU.

    You’re on the right track, buddy! I don’t know why AP tries to continually put you in place by pointing out that you’re not really a Slav, but some sort of Balkanized Turk. Who cares? Your last two comments indicate that you’re capable of evolving your thinking patterns much higher that the typical 97 or 98. Heck, I’d guess that you’re a solid 99! Keep it up!

    Read More
    • Replies: @Cyrano
    Thanks man, that's what I have been craving all my life - an approval from a Ukrainian hick. You keep it up too buddy, your encouragement means the world to me.
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  161. Mr. Hack says:
    @Mikhail
    You're still shooting blanks to this:

    As for the Litvinenko matter you bring up, there’s good reason to believe that he somehow got poisoned by a source other than a Russian government act. His Italian friend got arrested for arms smuggling and was also infected with polonium. Litvinenko was said to be sympathetic to Chechen separatism. These factors and his links to the likes of Goldfarb and Berezovsky suggest a source other than the Russian government.

    Never mind the impracticality of the Russian government using something like polonium to bump someone off, when there’re effectively cheaper ways of doing such.
     
    I can't help it if you don't know the specifics about Litrvinenko's aforementioned Italian friend. Stupid people have a way of babbling on because they don't realize just how stupid they are. Then again, part of you might recognize that, seeing your cowardly anonymous empty calories insults.

    Opposite to your shooting blanks is this precision reply:

    https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/07/29/an-unhealthy-trump-putin-summit-fallout.html

    [MORE]

    Stupid people have a way of babbling on because they don’t realize just how stupid they are.

    I see that you’re still babbling on Mickey. Isn’t it time for you to do a few rounds of kumbaya in front of your icon of Herr Putler and go to sleep yet?

    As La Russophobe imagines it, Averko then sits down in the lotus position, the room lit by a single candle beneath a large photo of Stalin, and intones his mantra several thousand times: “I am a journalist………I am a journalist ………I am a journalist ………” until he falls asleep. When he wakes up, he heads out to his day job flipping hamburgers at Wendy’s

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mikhail


    Your uncritically citing LR is indicative of one stupid anonymous coward referencing another.
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  162. Chainsaw1 says:
    @anonymous coward


    Some quick back-of-the-napkin calculations:

    * Age of the universe is about 10^18 seconds.
    * The "Planck time" gives us the smallest possible unit of time, about 10^-45 seconds.
    * There are about 10^82 atoms in the Universe.

    Now assume an ideal computer. Let each atom of the Universe be a CPU, operating as fast as physics allows.

    That gives us an upper bound of 10^(18+45+82) = 10^145 CPU cycles for computation.

    Now take Shakespeare's sonnet #27. It is 458 letters long. (Let's ignore punctuation.)

    If we take 458 random letters of the English alphabet, there are 26^458 random combinations.

    So if our ideal Universe-sized computer was randomly picking letters and hoping to compose a Shakespeare sonnet, it would need about 10^300 Universes to do so.

    How much more complex is an E. Coli cell compared to a sonnet?

    P.S. This is obvious, freshman-tier stuff unless you're blinded by ideology.

    [MORE]

    “Now take Shakespeare’s sonnet #27. It is 458 letters long. (Let’s ignore punctuation.) If we take 458 random letters of the English alphabet, there are 26^458 random combinations. So if our ideal Universe-sized computer was randomly picking letters and hoping to compose a Shakespeare sonnet, it would need about 10^300 Universes to do so.”

    The above just shows that the author is just completely ignorant of scientific, statistics and computing principles.

    First in English the occurance of letters do not have random frequencies, the frequencies range from 0.074% for letter z to 12.702% for letter e. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Letter_frequency

    Next the letters are not combined randomly, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alphabetic_principle Next there are pattern the letters are used to form phonetics. The English language only has 40 sounds (English orthography) the combination of which form the words. Then there is https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phonemic_orthography

    Incidentally sonnet 27 only has 80 unique words, many of which are not random but closely related, e.g. blind, old, sight, tired, sightless, see, ghastly, shadow, darkness, expired, eyelids, drooping, weary, bed, toil, view, night, etc. A task simple enough for markov text sonnet generators,

    http://www.devjason.com/2010/12/28/shakespeare-sonnet-sourced-markov-text-generation/

    https://www.prism.gatech.edu/~bnichols8/projects/markovchains/main.shtml “Shakespeare Sonnets Training Set”

    and the more sophisticated that the word frequency will be generated from the 154 Shakespeare sonnets and will preserve the classic ABAB CDCD EFEF GG rhyme scheme of the sonnets, https://medium.com/@SherlockHumus/creating-markov-chain-based-sonnets-9609d77a2635

    By trying to shuffle 26^458 random letters by brute force into sonnet showed that the author is only good at shuffling shits.

    Read More
    • Replies: @utu


    After showing off that you know statistics of character string in English language try to explain what is your point.
    , @anonymous coward


    Good point, but unfortunately Markov chains (and evolutionary algorithms) are intelligent design, not random evolution.

    They are tools for getting an answer when you know the result you want, but don't know the steps to get it. The better you understand the result you want, the faster you arrive at a solution.

    That's a framework postulated by 'intelligent design' proponents, and rejected by conventional Darwinist biologists.
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  163. utu says:
    @Chainsaw1


    "Now take Shakespeare’s sonnet #27. It is 458 letters long. (Let’s ignore punctuation.) If we take 458 random letters of the English alphabet, there are 26^458 random combinations. So if our ideal Universe-sized computer was randomly picking letters and hoping to compose a Shakespeare sonnet, it would need about 10^300 Universes to do so."

    The above just shows that the author is just completely ignorant of scientific, statistics and computing principles.

    First in English the occurance of letters do not have random frequencies, the frequencies range from 0.074% for letter z to 12.702% for letter e. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Letter_frequency

    Next the letters are not combined randomly, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alphabetic_principle Next there are pattern the letters are used to form phonetics. The English language only has 40 sounds (English orthography) the combination of which form the words. Then there is https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phonemic_orthography

    Incidentally sonnet 27 only has 80 unique words, many of which are not random but closely related, e.g. blind, old, sight, tired, sightless, see, ghastly, shadow, darkness, expired, eyelids, drooping, weary, bed, toil, view, night, etc. A task simple enough for markov text sonnet generators,

    http://www.devjason.com/2010/12/28/shakespeare-sonnet-sourced-markov-text-generation/

    https://www.prism.gatech.edu/~bnichols8/projects/markovchains/main.shtml "Shakespeare Sonnets Training Set"

    and the more sophisticated that the word frequency will be generated from the 154 Shakespeare sonnets and will preserve the classic ABAB CDCD EFEF GG rhyme scheme of the sonnets, https://medium.com/@SherlockHumus/creating-markov-chain-based-sonnets-9609d77a2635

    By trying to shuffle 26^458 random letters by brute force into sonnet showed that the author is only good at shuffling shits.

    [MORE]

    After showing off that you know statistics of character string in English language try to explain what is your point.

    Read More
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  164. @Mr. XYZ
    Question about the Skripal poisoning--if it wasn't the Russians, then who did it?

    Also, it's interesting that Sergei Skripal's poisoning has resulted in much more Western action than Alexander Litvinenko's poisoning back in 2006 did.

    If it wasn’t a setup by formerly-great formerly-Britain, who was it?

    Read More
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  165. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Mr. Hack

    Stupid people have a way of babbling on because they don’t realize just how stupid they are.
     
    I see that you're still babbling on Mickey. Isn't it time for you to do a few rounds of kumbaya in front of your icon of Herr Putler and go to sleep yet?

    As La Russophobe imagines it, Averko then sits down in the lotus position, the room lit by a single candle beneath a large photo of Stalin, and intones his mantra several thousand times: “I am a journalist………I am a journalist ………I am a journalist ………” until he falls asleep. When he wakes up, he heads out to his day job flipping hamburgers at Wendy’s
     

    [MORE]

    Your uncritically citing LR is indicative of one stupid anonymous coward referencing another.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack


    What do you mean uncritically? I think that the citation is very critical of you. If you're looking for something even more critical, just let me know?
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  166. @Jaakko Raipala

    Any scientific theory of evolution will have to be about information entropy, computational complexity and asymptotic properties of stochastic processes. That’s exactly the “abstract theory” you’re deriding.
     
    Bullshit. I have a pretty good education in probability theory both from the theoretical physics and mathematics departments so feel free to explain whatever point you think you have in as technical terms and with as much abstract math as you like.

    I'm just going to claim that you're trying an "it doesn't work because of fancy words X, Y, Z" bluff without any actual technical argument behind the big fancy words. Prove me wrong.

    [MORE]

    I’m just going to claim that you’re trying an “it doesn’t work because of fancy words X, Y, Z” bluff without any actual technical argument behind the big fancy words. Prove me wrong.

    What’s the “it” in your post, exactly? Darwinism? The problem with Darwinism is that it’s not a scientific theory. It’s not even formulated correctly. The problem itself is framed by biologists in handwavey terms on a “monkeys and typewriters” level.

    When one tries putting some sort of numbers to the idea, the whole thing falls apart. See my post above, for example, where it turns out you need a Universe about 10^300 larger than ours to make random selection work.

    And before you charge to M’Lady Science’s defense: note this isn’t a “disproof”, it’s just a demonstration that nobody bothered to frame the question properly yet. There’s nothing there that can be proved or disproved.

    Read More
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  167. @Jaakko Raipala

    * Age of the universe is about 10^18 seconds.
     
    "Age of the universe" is a pop sci concept. In the standard model of cosmology it is estimated that the universe has developed from a massively dense state to the current state in roughly 13 billion years. We can backtrack the development over that time with current theories of physics and then we hit a wall as matter is so dense that we'd need a quantum theory of gravity to go further back in time but we don't have that. We don't know how long the universe existed before that, actually we don't even know if time existed in the same manner. The earliest known state of the universe was NOT informationless (there were variations in mass distribution etc) so your assumption that patterns would emerge only in the following 13 billion years is false.



    If you watch some pop sci documentary, they will explain all sorts of stuff about how the universe was at first some tiny point and there was a big explosion that spread it all over. This is all nonsense that was made up so that pop sci documentaries could have CGI graphics.

    * The “Planck time” gives us the smallest possible unit of time, about 10^-45 seconds.
     
    There is no such thing as the "smallest possible unit of time". This is complete nonsense. You seem to get your knowledge of physics from science fiction movies.

    There is an expectation that current theories of physics are not accurate at very small time scales (which have not been reached by experiment). This is not the same thing as postulating that there is some "smallest possible unit of time". Current theories of physics simply do not include such a thing.

    * There are about 10^82 atoms in the Universe.
     
    We don't even know if the universe is finite or infinite. This is just a claim that you pulled out of your ass. There may even be an infinite number of atoms.

    [MORE]

    Congratulations, you missed the point again.

    The actual point is that biologists framed a problem in a way that doesn’t match the scale of our Universe as we observe it.

    Feel free to correct the numbers I made; maybe the correct factor is 10^100 instead of 10^300. So what? The processes biologists postulate are so asymptotic that they require an infinite Universe, which doesn’t exist in real life.

    There is an expectation that current theories of physics are not accurate at very small time scales (which have not been reached by experiment).

    We don’t even know if the universe is finite or infinite. This is just a claim that you pulled out of your ass. There may even be an infinite number of atoms.

    Good point, but no. You missed the point again.

    Any theory that requires time or space outside of a conventional Newtonian understanding of physics isn’t Darwinism. It wouldn’t even be biology, because biologists don’t (and can’t) deal with stuff like that.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jaakko Raipala

    Feel free to correct the numbers I made;
     
    There is no reason to look at any further steps in your calculations when you begin with false premises.



    Again, you are under the false impression that the universe "began" 13 billion years ago as some informationless entity and that all patterns and complexity emerged after it. No. The earliest known state of the universe had patterns and complexity. Even if you somehow managed to argue that the complexity of life on earth is too high to emerge in 13 billion years, it would still be of no consequence to Darwinism since we don't need it to emerge in that time - 13 billion years ago is not some patternless zero state of complexity.

    In fact, for all we know the emergence of life on earth could have already been determined in the earlier state of the universe 13 billion years ago. That's implausible to me but a lot of people believe in an intelligent creator and you can easily just postulate that he baked the emergence of man in the design of the early universe and then you're in no contradiction with modern science whatsoever.

    Where did the patterns and complexity in the early universe come from? We don't know since the current theories of physics can't probe that far. In fact, as I said before, the whole "age of the universe" thing is a false notion that unfortunately some physicists peddle as a simplification of cosmology. What we can do is trace back the development of the universe from this point in time and we can go back 13 billion years and conclude that the universe back then was a very different place, in a very dense state that gradually "expanded" into the current one.

    However in this process we run into a dead end as to study such dense states we'd need to make the theories of gravity and quantum mechanics work together and we can't do that currently. Hence, everything "earlier" than that is pure speculation, in fact we don't even know for sure whether there was a "before". This state beyond current theories has been dubbed the "big bang", "the beginning" and such but that's all just popularization. This has the unfortunate side effect that some people now believe physics to somehow have proven that the universe emerged from "nothing" 13 billion years ago and that's just not true.

    And an "understanding of time and space outside of a conventional Newtonian understanding of physics" is definitely required for cosmology like claims that "universe is X seconds old". You are the one who began with assumptions that require physics well beyond Newtonian mechanics.
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  168. @utu


    Interesting argument but it hinges on something that is not a part of it, i.e, what is special about the 458 letter sonnet? Your argument only demonstrates that if another world began 10^18 seconds ago it most likely would not produce the same 458 letter sonnet but it would produce some other sonnet which could have a meaning in this different world.

    You could create similarly fallacious argument 'proving' that you cannot possibly exist. Assign probabilities p<<1 of an event that two of your ancestors met and procreated. What was a chance that your parent met and then go back to grandparents and so on. And soon you will obtain cumulative probability close to zero stating exactly what? That your life could not have happened?

    I think it is east to be confused and tricked by probabilities. And this happens when we are sloppy in defining the space of events on which the probability function must be defined. When you are heating up water at some point there will me one molecule of H2O that will break free and evaporate. If this molecule asked the Nancy Kerrigan's question "Why me?" and began calculating the probability of this event soon it would have to conclude the even was impossible. The problem is with the question "Why me?"

    [MORE]

    I never assigned any special meaning to a sonnet. I merely demonstrated that the size of the probability spaces we’re traversing are unimaginable orders of magnitude larger than the Universe we observe.

    Formulating the probability spaces and functions should be step one of any biological theory of evolution. Only then we can start talking about meanings and other philosophy.

    Read More
    • Replies: @utu

    I never assigned any special meaning to a sonnet.
     
    OK, so what is the big deal about generating random string of 458 letters? Any such string can be easily generated with the same probability from a bag full of letters. Each string is equivalent.
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  169. @Chainsaw1


    "Now take Shakespeare’s sonnet #27. It is 458 letters long. (Let’s ignore punctuation.) If we take 458 random letters of the English alphabet, there are 26^458 random combinations. So if our ideal Universe-sized computer was randomly picking letters and hoping to compose a Shakespeare sonnet, it would need about 10^300 Universes to do so."

    The above just shows that the author is just completely ignorant of scientific, statistics and computing principles.

    First in English the occurance of letters do not have random frequencies, the frequencies range from 0.074% for letter z to 12.702% for letter e. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Letter_frequency

    Next the letters are not combined randomly, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alphabetic_principle Next there are pattern the letters are used to form phonetics. The English language only has 40 sounds (English orthography) the combination of which form the words. Then there is https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phonemic_orthography

    Incidentally sonnet 27 only has 80 unique words, many of which are not random but closely related, e.g. blind, old, sight, tired, sightless, see, ghastly, shadow, darkness, expired, eyelids, drooping, weary, bed, toil, view, night, etc. A task simple enough for markov text sonnet generators,

    http://www.devjason.com/2010/12/28/shakespeare-sonnet-sourced-markov-text-generation/

    https://www.prism.gatech.edu/~bnichols8/projects/markovchains/main.shtml "Shakespeare Sonnets Training Set"

    and the more sophisticated that the word frequency will be generated from the 154 Shakespeare sonnets and will preserve the classic ABAB CDCD EFEF GG rhyme scheme of the sonnets, https://medium.com/@SherlockHumus/creating-markov-chain-based-sonnets-9609d77a2635

    By trying to shuffle 26^458 random letters by brute force into sonnet showed that the author is only good at shuffling shits.

    [MORE]

    Good point, but unfortunately Markov chains (and evolutionary algorithms) are intelligent design, not random evolution.

    They are tools for getting an answer when you know the result you want, but don’t know the steps to get it. The better you understand the result you want, the faster you arrive at a solution.

    That’s a framework postulated by ‘intelligent design’ proponents, and rejected by conventional Darwinist biologists.

    Read More
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  170. utu says:
    @anonymous coward


    I never assigned any special meaning to a sonnet. I merely demonstrated that the size of the probability spaces we're traversing are unimaginable orders of magnitude larger than the Universe we observe.

    Formulating the probability spaces and functions should be step one of any biological theory of evolution. Only then we can start talking about meanings and other philosophy.

    [MORE]

    I never assigned any special meaning to a sonnet.

    OK, so what is the big deal about generating random string of 458 letters? Any such string can be easily generated with the same probability from a bag full of letters. Each string is equivalent.

    Read More
    • Replies: @anonymous coward


    Good point. If 1/2 of all random strings of letters are sonnets, then the probability of generating one is 50%. Let's test that hypothesis.

    Take a dictionary of English words: https://github.com/dwyl/english-words

    * There are 27 words of one letter and 26 letters.
    * There are 635 words of two letters and 676 two-letter combinations.
    * There are 4710 words of three letters and 17576 three-letter combinations.
    * There are 11169 four-letter words and 456976 four-letter combinations.
    * There are 22950 words of five letters and 11 million five-letter combinations. (Oops.)
    ...
    * There are 61018 words of 8 letters, but 208 billion 8-letter combinations.

    Now, these are words, not texts, but you get the idea. Letter combinations grow as c^n, while the number of English texts clearly doesn't.
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  171. utu says:

    Important speech of Victor Orban

    Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s speech at the 29th Bálványos Summer Open University and Student Camp

    http://www.kormany.hu/en/the-prime-minister/the-prime-minister-s-speeches/prime-minister-viktor-orban-s-speech-at-the-29th-balvanyos-summer-open-university-and-student-camp

    Read More
    • Replies: @JerseyJeffersonian
    Thanks for posting this, utu. Impressive. I have shared it with others.
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  172. Continuing on AKarlin’s conclusion how Russia’s future economic and foreign policy orientation lies on the EU’s response to the US’s inevitable Iran-style sanctions against Russia, I’ll walk through some situations, and also state that once sanctions and adversaries with unfriendly relations escalate to embargo and enemies with no relations on the US side, the EU’s decision at that point will be able to determine its fate for a long time to come.

    1. EU caves in, and like a good vassal state with no independent policy of its own whatsoever, follows US policy. This is more likely to happen if the US threatens third party trade ties with Russia. This means that EU imposes Iran-style sanctions, and gradually turns to more expensive US LNG for energy. This would put the EU under incredible strain, and a large amount of state coffers would be shaved off due to these purchases; the citizens disposable income would plunge too. On the other hand, Europe won’t really collapse if the US agrees to subsidize gas sales to the EU in exchange for joining the ideological crusade against Russia.

    In the Kissinger thread where I mentioned how a blackpilled possibility of Russia’s future lies as a vassal state, or junior partner, of China, while I may have exaggerated a little regarding permanent PLA bases on Russia soil, it still is a slight possibility if the oligarchs become more powerful again and also get a little desperate. However, PLA bases aside, if the EU joins in the US on an embargo against Russia, Russia would still be cut off from trade and other ties to its west, and inevitably having to completely rely on its east for trade and political ties. Since even Japan/Korea trade can be a little difficult due to their strong US ties and India doesn’t really offer Russia much, except as a place to export some goods, this leaves us with China, rendering Russia’s future as China’s largest and most important vassal state.

    This would also enable the EU branch of neoliberalism.txt to show their true colors as an American vassal. Outside of Poland and the Baltics, attitudes towards Russia vary directly on how neoliberal they feel, so in order to prevent the people from voting in non-neoliberal parties, some “checks and balances” aka non-democracy has to be implemented to make sure neoliberalism.txt stays via “voting”. In this case, shave off a good at least 10% to EU’s white percentage in the long run also; while its unlikely for Britain and France to ever dip below 60% white but stabilize around that point instead, a quasi-neoliberal dictatorship would mean Eastern and Southern Europe bearing a lot of this brunt, e.g. ghettos in Warsaw might go from a fear to actual reality. And expect the EU’s economic growth to be highly stagnant, and China, with Russia as not just a friendly state but a vassal state, would take advantage of this to end up becoming the other pole in a bipolar world along with the US.

    Unless China changes the way it conducts trade and foreign policy, this means that Russia will likely get taken advantage of and not get too much in return, especially with non-patriotic and greedy oligarchs still having significant power. In this case, Russia-China relations will resemble a more predatory version of UK/Canada-US relations and Russia will find itself to be a largely China-oriented, with Chinese tourism, businesses, language, and other ties etc. having a very broad, visible, and dominating presence.

    Chance of this happening? 30% given Europe’s rhetoric on Iran. China will gladly take advantage of the situation.

    2. The EU doesn’t cave in and continues to maintain trade and political ties with Russia. This is the better result for not just Russia, but also the entire world. A Europe that’s able to stand up to American foreign policy, especially if its more ideological hysteria than based on realpolitik in the case with Russia, is one that would have taken its first step towards significantly reasserting their sovereignties. This would’ve also been a huge blow to the American establishment, if not THE nail in the coffin ending American unipolarity. And China also needs more competitors instead of a bipolar world with just China and America.

    2a). Europe continues to be ruled by neoliberalism.txt as America enforces the embargo. Sanctions won’t be lifted and the status quo remains. As China gets more powerful and European relations still cold, Russia and China will end up in a full-blown alliance, but its status quo trade and personal ties with Europe would ensure that Russia can continue to maintain a somewhat multi-vectored approach instead of complete subservience to Beijing. And Russia won’t be as much of a “hot potato” if not embargoed by the EU, ties with countries like Japan and South Korea will continue unabated if not upgraded. In this case, the EU can still be a more sovereign entity, albeit just ruled by the neoliberalism.txt ideology; demographically, slightly better than, but no significant differences from the EU caving to US embargo case. In this case, Russia-China relations will resemble Japan-US relations, albeit without the military bases.

    Chance of this happening? 40%.

    2b). Europe undergoing a right-wing wave as America enforces the embargo. Europe in this case will lift sanctions against Russia and ties likely even upgrade to a strategic partnership. While Russia will not become enemies with China since it is in its best interest to not pick a fight with the world’s #1 or #2 power, its relationship will stabilize as non-adversarial but non-aligned, a renewed strategic partnership with Europe can stimulate Russia’s economy and will ensure a multipolar world emerges in the 21st century, with Russia as a powerful 3rd or 4th most powerful country on good terms with everybody (minus the US and parts of Eastern Europe). Such close ties to Russia will also be a boon for Europe’s economy, and the possibility to regain their sovereignties after a century-long occupation post-WW2. America becomes more isolated and loses its unipolarity in this case.

    An unrelated side effect of this tactic is that the nonwhite percentages of Europe will probably stabilize at or just above or below (in the case of southern Europe) current values.

    In this case, Russia-China relations won’t be any special, with close trade relations, some military cooperation, and neutral détente but inevitable minor beefs that spring up every once in a while, like a closer and better version US-China relations pre-Trump. Russia in this case will truly be one of the smaller poles in a multipolar world.

    Chance of this happening? 30%, but this is by far the best outcome for the entire world.

    Read More
    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @Mitleser

    1. EU caves in, and like a good vassal state with no independent policy of its own whatsoever, follows US policy.
     

    Chance of this happening? 30% given Europe’s rhetoric on Iran.
     
    Eh, what? It is not EUropean rhetoric that suggests that, but the gap between their rhetoric and reality.
    Europeans talk about defending JCPOA yet European big business ditches Iran and European banks stab Iran in the back.

    In recent weeks, U.S. and European intelligence agencies flagged a European-Iranian Trade Bank request to withdraw 300 million euros from the Deutsche Bundesbank. Iran claimed the cash is necessary so that Iranian citizens can use foreign currency when they travel, but Western governments warned that the cash would be used to fund Iran’s terrorist proxies.

    Fearing repercussions from the U.S. Treasury, the German bank decided last week to introduce the new rules to prevent the withdrawal. This move was likely coordinated with the German government.

    In recent months, the E.U. has said that it will try to salvage the Iranian nuclear deal, despite the U.S. withdrawal and renewed sanctions.

    Initially, the E.U. explored the possibility of compensating European firms that would be affected by the new sanctions, using the European Investment Bank.

    This effort was torpedoed by the EIB, which said it might be blacklisted by the U.S. Treasury of it was part of a scheme to offset the sanctions. EIB President Werner Hoyer said two weeks ago that “doing business in Iran is something that we cannot be actively engaged in.”
     
    https://www.jns.org/wary-of-repercussions-eu-unlikely-to-defy-us-sanctions-on-iran/
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  173. Mitleser says:
    @Dmitry
    Well orderliness is not the only reason for holiday choice.

    And Schengen visa is not a big deal for middle class tourists (35 euros).

    Greece already has almost "too many" tourists (from around the world), for size of the country.

    Greece receives 32 million tourists this year (while Turkey receives around 40 million a year tourism - and is six times larger than Greece in land area).

    Perhaps Greece can even raise prices and market more for middle class tourists?

    Perhaps Greece can even raise prices and market more for middle class tourists?

    And encourage tourists to travel to other countries?

    Read More
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  174. @utu

    I never assigned any special meaning to a sonnet.
     
    OK, so what is the big deal about generating random string of 458 letters? Any such string can be easily generated with the same probability from a bag full of letters. Each string is equivalent.

    [MORE]

    Good point. If 1/2 of all random strings of letters are sonnets, then the probability of generating one is 50%. Let’s test that hypothesis.

    Take a dictionary of English words: https://github.com/dwyl/english-words

    * There are 27 words of one letter and 26 letters.
    * There are 635 words of two letters and 676 two-letter combinations.
    * There are 4710 words of three letters and 17576 three-letter combinations.
    * There are 11169 four-letter words and 456976 four-letter combinations.
    * There are 22950 words of five letters and 11 million five-letter combinations. (Oops.)

    * There are 61018 words of 8 letters, but 208 billion 8-letter combinations.

    Now, these are words, not texts, but you get the idea. Letter combinations grow as c^n, while the number of English texts clearly doesn’t.

    Read More
    • Replies: @utu


    So it comes down to the meaning after all. You look for words that have meaning. But why? Every word out of 208 billions may have a mining in some other language that you do not know of. Why you insist that the disproof of evolution or the random Universe must be based on what has meaning in English language? There are some believers in the intelligent design like yourself in Pentecostal church who speak all kind of tongues nobody heard of them but to them they have some meaning. There are patients in psychiatric wards who write 458 letter sonnets that have meaning only to them. So why did you pick up this particular Shakespeare sonnet to calculate a number that suppose to prove something?

    Do you begin to understand where is the flaw in your argument?
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  175. Mitleser says:
    @AquariusAnon
    Continuing on AKarlin's conclusion how Russia's future economic and foreign policy orientation lies on the EU's response to the US's inevitable Iran-style sanctions against Russia, I'll walk through some situations, and also state that once sanctions and adversaries with unfriendly relations escalate to embargo and enemies with no relations on the US side, the EU's decision at that point will be able to determine its fate for a long time to come.

    1. EU caves in, and like a good vassal state with no independent policy of its own whatsoever, follows US policy. This is more likely to happen if the US threatens third party trade ties with Russia. This means that EU imposes Iran-style sanctions, and gradually turns to more expensive US LNG for energy. This would put the EU under incredible strain, and a large amount of state coffers would be shaved off due to these purchases; the citizens disposable income would plunge too. On the other hand, Europe won’t really collapse if the US agrees to subsidize gas sales to the EU in exchange for joining the ideological crusade against Russia.

    In the Kissinger thread where I mentioned how a blackpilled possibility of Russia's future lies as a vassal state, or junior partner, of China, while I may have exaggerated a little regarding permanent PLA bases on Russia soil, it still is a slight possibility if the oligarchs become more powerful again and also get a little desperate. However, PLA bases aside, if the EU joins in the US on an embargo against Russia, Russia would still be cut off from trade and other ties to its west, and inevitably having to completely rely on its east for trade and political ties. Since even Japan/Korea trade can be a little difficult due to their strong US ties and India doesn't really offer Russia much, except as a place to export some goods, this leaves us with China, rendering Russia’s future as China's largest and most important vassal state.

    This would also enable the EU branch of neoliberalism.txt to show their true colors as an American vassal. Outside of Poland and the Baltics, attitudes towards Russia vary directly on how neoliberal they feel, so in order to prevent the people from voting in non-neoliberal parties, some “checks and balances” aka non-democracy has to be implemented to make sure neoliberalism.txt stays via “voting”. In this case, shave off a good at least 10% to EU's white percentage in the long run also; while its unlikely for Britain and France to ever dip below 60% white but stabilize around that point instead, a quasi-neoliberal dictatorship would mean Eastern and Southern Europe bearing a lot of this brunt, e.g. ghettos in Warsaw might go from a fear to actual reality. And expect the EU's economic growth to be highly stagnant, and China, with Russia as not just a friendly state but a vassal state, would take advantage of this to end up becoming the other pole in a bipolar world along with the US.

    Unless China changes the way it conducts trade and foreign policy, this means that Russia will likely get taken advantage of and not get too much in return, especially with non-patriotic and greedy oligarchs still having significant power. In this case, Russia-China relations will resemble a more predatory version of UK/Canada-US relations and Russia will find itself to be a largely China-oriented, with Chinese tourism, businesses, language, and other ties etc. having a very broad, visible, and dominating presence.

    Chance of this happening? 30% given Europe’s rhetoric on Iran. China will gladly take advantage of the situation.

    2. The EU doesn't cave in and continues to maintain trade and political ties with Russia. This is the better result for not just Russia, but also the entire world. A Europe that’s able to stand up to American foreign policy, especially if its more ideological hysteria than based on realpolitik in the case with Russia, is one that would have taken its first step towards significantly reasserting their sovereignties. This would’ve also been a huge blow to the American establishment, if not THE nail in the coffin ending American unipolarity. And China also needs more competitors instead of a bipolar world with just China and America.

    2a). Europe continues to be ruled by neoliberalism.txt as America enforces the embargo. Sanctions won’t be lifted and the status quo remains. As China gets more powerful and European relations still cold, Russia and China will end up in a full-blown alliance, but its status quo trade and personal ties with Europe would ensure that Russia can continue to maintain a somewhat multi-vectored approach instead of complete subservience to Beijing. And Russia won’t be as much of a “hot potato” if not embargoed by the EU, ties with countries like Japan and South Korea will continue unabated if not upgraded. In this case, the EU can still be a more sovereign entity, albeit just ruled by the neoliberalism.txt ideology; demographically, slightly better than, but no significant differences from the EU caving to US embargo case. In this case, Russia-China relations will resemble Japan-US relations, albeit without the military bases.

    Chance of this happening? 40%.

    2b). Europe undergoing a right-wing wave as America enforces the embargo. Europe in this case will lift sanctions against Russia and ties likely even upgrade to a strategic partnership. While Russia will not become enemies with China since it is in its best interest to not pick a fight with the world’s #1 or #2 power, its relationship will stabilize as non-adversarial but non-aligned, a renewed strategic partnership with Europe can stimulate Russia’s economy and will ensure a multipolar world emerges in the 21st century, with Russia as a powerful 3rd or 4th most powerful country on good terms with everybody (minus the US and parts of Eastern Europe). Such close ties to Russia will also be a boon for Europe’s economy, and the possibility to regain their sovereignties after a century-long occupation post-WW2. America becomes more isolated and loses its unipolarity in this case.

    An unrelated side effect of this tactic is that the nonwhite percentages of Europe will probably stabilize at or just above or below (in the case of southern Europe) current values.

    In this case, Russia-China relations won’t be any special, with close trade relations, some military cooperation, and neutral détente but inevitable minor beefs that spring up every once in a while, like a closer and better version US-China relations pre-Trump. Russia in this case will truly be one of the smaller poles in a multipolar world.

    Chance of this happening? 30%, but this is by far the best outcome for the entire world.

    1. EU caves in, and like a good vassal state with no independent policy of its own whatsoever, follows US policy.

    Chance of this happening? 30% given Europe’s rhetoric on Iran.

    Eh, what? It is not EUropean rhetoric that suggests that, but the gap between their rhetoric and reality.
    Europeans talk about defending JCPOA yet European big business ditches Iran and European banks stab Iran in the back.

    In recent weeks, U.S. and European intelligence agencies flagged a European-Iranian Trade Bank request to withdraw 300 million euros from the Deutsche Bundesbank. Iran claimed the cash is necessary so that Iranian citizens can use foreign currency when they travel, but Western governments warned that the cash would be used to fund Iran’s terrorist proxies.

    Fearing repercussions from the U.S. Treasury, the German bank decided last week to introduce the new rules to prevent the withdrawal. This move was likely coordinated with the German government.

    In recent months, the E.U. has said that it will try to salvage the Iranian nuclear deal, despite the U.S. withdrawal and renewed sanctions.

    Initially, the E.U. explored the possibility of compensating European firms that would be affected by the new sanctions, using the European Investment Bank.

    This effort was torpedoed by the EIB, which said it might be blacklisted by the U.S. Treasury of it was part of a scheme to offset the sanctions. EIB President Werner Hoyer said two weeks ago that “doing business in Iran is something that we cannot be actively engaged in.”

    https://www.jns.org/wary-of-repercussions-eu-unlikely-to-defy-us-sanctions-on-iran/

    Read More
    • Replies: @AquariusAnon
    Didn't know that. I'll keep that as a note.

    So my 3 predictions are essentially, Iran-style western embargo, status quo with embargo only on US side, and normalization of relations with Europe. How would you recalibrate the likelihoods?

    , @utu
    Interesting. It looks really bad.
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  176. @Mitleser

    1. EU caves in, and like a good vassal state with no independent policy of its own whatsoever, follows US policy.
     

    Chance of this happening? 30% given Europe’s rhetoric on Iran.
     
    Eh, what? It is not EUropean rhetoric that suggests that, but the gap between their rhetoric and reality.
    Europeans talk about defending JCPOA yet European big business ditches Iran and European banks stab Iran in the back.

    In recent weeks, U.S. and European intelligence agencies flagged a European-Iranian Trade Bank request to withdraw 300 million euros from the Deutsche Bundesbank. Iran claimed the cash is necessary so that Iranian citizens can use foreign currency when they travel, but Western governments warned that the cash would be used to fund Iran’s terrorist proxies.

    Fearing repercussions from the U.S. Treasury, the German bank decided last week to introduce the new rules to prevent the withdrawal. This move was likely coordinated with the German government.

    In recent months, the E.U. has said that it will try to salvage the Iranian nuclear deal, despite the U.S. withdrawal and renewed sanctions.

    Initially, the E.U. explored the possibility of compensating European firms that would be affected by the new sanctions, using the European Investment Bank.

    This effort was torpedoed by the EIB, which said it might be blacklisted by the U.S. Treasury of it was part of a scheme to offset the sanctions. EIB President Werner Hoyer said two weeks ago that “doing business in Iran is something that we cannot be actively engaged in.”
     
    https://www.jns.org/wary-of-repercussions-eu-unlikely-to-defy-us-sanctions-on-iran/

    Didn’t know that. I’ll keep that as a note.

    So my 3 predictions are essentially, Iran-style western embargo, status quo with embargo only on US side, and normalization of relations with Europe. How would you recalibrate the likelihoods?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mitleser
    Most likely is "status quo with embargo only on US side" with limited shift towards "Iran-style western embargo". EUropean elites do not show much willingness to oppose Russophobia, but on the other hand Russia is much more integrated in the EU economy than the Iran.

    For instance, the value of the trade in 2017 between Russia and Germany was 57,3 billion Euro (rank 14th), the number for the Iran-Germany trade was only 3,4 billion Euro (rank 58th).
    https://www.destatis.de/DE/ZahlenFakten/GesamtwirtschaftUmwelt/Aussenhandel/Tabellen/RangfolgeHandelspartner.pdf?__blob=publicationFile

    That reduces their willingness to follow American sanctions.
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  177. @Dmitry
    Theory that it is to do with creditors, doesn't make much sense.

    Creditors (troika) are European fund - mainly Germany, France and Italy, in order. Followed by IMF and ECB.

    Criteria for release of funds is economic criteria, that imply they might one day get their money back.

    Greece's foreign policy is not of interest to anyone much (Turkey care about them), especially not accountants.


    -

    Reason for tensions with Greece, are the new relations with Turkey.

    An alternative world, with a solvent Greece, they would be more angry, than currently weak, insolvent one - considering sale of S-400 to Turkey, construction of Akkuyu for Turkey, and recent decision for Turkstream.

    Turkstream was always supposed to go to Greece, but two months ago, finally announced it's going to Bulgaria (with no mention of Greece).

    https://www.reuters.com/article/russia-gas-bulgaria/update-1-bulgaria-says-will-be-entry-point-for-russian-turkstream-gas-link-idUSL5N1T16DI

    For Turkstream it's now option if it needs to go to Greece at all - it could also reach Italy, via the Balkans.

    In a Northern option that gets to Hungary and Italy over Serbia. (With no need of Greece).

    At the same time, Israel, Cyprus and Greece are probably building a rival pipeline (probably not very economically rational), after Cyprus has discovered a gas field.
    https://business.financialpost.com/pmn/business-pmn/cyprus-israel-greece-push-east-med-gas-pipeline-to-europe

    Theory that it is to do with creditors, doesn’t make much sense.

    Creditors (troika) are European fund – mainly Germany, France and Italy, in order. Followed by IMF and ECB.

    Criteria for release of funds is economic criteria, that imply they might one day get their money back.

    Greece’s foreign policy is not of interest to anyone much (Turkey care about them), especially not accountants.

    You assume that Greece is the rational actor in this situation. It’s a stupid crackwhore, desperate for a bit of debt relief.

    It is also fair to say that Western decisions on financial aid are not made by accountants, ultimately they are made by politicians, who do consider geopolitics.

    Surely Greece can see that IMF is dumping billions of dollars into the Ukraine for no other reason than geopolitics. Ukrainian regime also got a nice debt relief a couple of years back – to better resist “Russian aggression”.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mitleser
    Don't bash Greece so much.

    They are still making right decisions.

    https://twitter.com/joshua_landis/status/1028609985159282689

    From 2009 to 2011, Syria supplied almost a fifth of EU imports of phosphate, but those sales collapsed during the war.

    Official EU import data shows that phosphate shipments to Europe — heading almost exclusively to Greece — are resuming and more than tripled between December 2017 to April 2018. The volumes remain small compared to the pre-war heyday, but Syria is making a clear push to return to the EU market and its giant farm sector.

    Syrian data show that total phosphate exports were more than $200 million in 2010.

    Three people either working in the phosphate industry or involved with trading the commodity said Syria is able to export again because Russian investors have resurrected the Palmyra mines, which Islamic State militia captured in 2015. Assad awarded these reserves to the Russians last year after Moscow helped him turn the tide against ISIS.
     
    , @Dmitry
    IMF funded by a lot of countries though - Russia now one of the top ten important creditors and more influential owners of the IMF (although it's proportion of ownership is still multiples times smaller compared to US).

    Russia is 8th largest shareholder of the IMF (out of 189 countries). US is largest share-holder, and then Japan and China.

    Decisions are based on member voting which is based on share in the organization, so Russia has 8th largest vote in IMF, but behind USA, Japan, China, etc.

    Part of the Greek debt is owned by Russia through the IMF, probably relative to Russian ownership of IMF and the debt relief packages partly also funded from Russian loans.

    Fortunately, IMF ownership of Greek debt is several times smaller than the eurozone countries. But Russia's government share of Greece debt will probably be some billions of dollars. That's how Greece can basically continue receiving money - so many countries are owed money on their debt.

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  178. utu says:
    @anonymous coward


    Good point. If 1/2 of all random strings of letters are sonnets, then the probability of generating one is 50%. Let's test that hypothesis.

    Take a dictionary of English words: https://github.com/dwyl/english-words

    * There are 27 words of one letter and 26 letters.
    * There are 635 words of two letters and 676 two-letter combinations.
    * There are 4710 words of three letters and 17576 three-letter combinations.
    * There are 11169 four-letter words and 456976 four-letter combinations.
    * There are 22950 words of five letters and 11 million five-letter combinations. (Oops.)
    ...
    * There are 61018 words of 8 letters, but 208 billion 8-letter combinations.

    Now, these are words, not texts, but you get the idea. Letter combinations grow as c^n, while the number of English texts clearly doesn't.

    [MORE]

    So it comes down to the meaning after all. You look for words that have meaning. But why? Every word out of 208 billions may have a mining in some other language that you do not know of. Why you insist that the disproof of evolution or the random Universe must be based on what has meaning in English language? There are some believers in the intelligent design like yourself in Pentecostal church who speak all kind of tongues nobody heard of them but to them they have some meaning. There are patients in psychiatric wards who write 458 letter sonnets that have meaning only to them. So why did you pick up this particular Shakespeare sonnet to calculate a number that suppose to prove something?

    Do you begin to understand where is the flaw in your argument?

    Read More
    • Replies: @anonymous coward

    So it comes down to the meaning after all.
     
    No, it actually doesn't. The probabilities grow as c^n, while the Universe doesn't. No matter how big it is, it's still a fixed size due to the laws of conservation of mass and energy.

    Every word out of 208 billions may have a mining in some other language that you do not know of.
     
    Even if every atom in the observable Universe had its own language, the number of possible letter combinations would still be vastly bigger.

    Why you insist that the disproof of evolution or the random Universe must be based on what has meaning in English language?

     

    I'm not "disproving" anything. I'm demonstrating that the "monkeys and typewriters" argument used by biologists (and its variants "the universe is really big" and "the Earth is really old" arguments) violate basic mathematical logic.

    The Universe isn't really big. In fact, it is infinitesimal compared to the probabilities we're dealing with here.

    Once biologists acknowledge this obvious fact, then we can formulate some sort of theory, and maybe then there will be something to prove or disprove.

    Do you begin to understand where is the flaw in your argument
     
    Do you? The point is that we're traversing probability spaces here that grow exponentially, and yet nothing in nature can be exponential indefinitely. Somewhere in your assumptions is a grave error.
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  179. utu says:
    @Mitleser

    1. EU caves in, and like a good vassal state with no independent policy of its own whatsoever, follows US policy.
     

    Chance of this happening? 30% given Europe’s rhetoric on Iran.
     
    Eh, what? It is not EUropean rhetoric that suggests that, but the gap between their rhetoric and reality.
    Europeans talk about defending JCPOA yet European big business ditches Iran and European banks stab Iran in the back.

    In recent weeks, U.S. and European intelligence agencies flagged a European-Iranian Trade Bank request to withdraw 300 million euros from the Deutsche Bundesbank. Iran claimed the cash is necessary so that Iranian citizens can use foreign currency when they travel, but Western governments warned that the cash would be used to fund Iran’s terrorist proxies.

    Fearing repercussions from the U.S. Treasury, the German bank decided last week to introduce the new rules to prevent the withdrawal. This move was likely coordinated with the German government.

    In recent months, the E.U. has said that it will try to salvage the Iranian nuclear deal, despite the U.S. withdrawal and renewed sanctions.

    Initially, the E.U. explored the possibility of compensating European firms that would be affected by the new sanctions, using the European Investment Bank.

    This effort was torpedoed by the EIB, which said it might be blacklisted by the U.S. Treasury of it was part of a scheme to offset the sanctions. EIB President Werner Hoyer said two weeks ago that “doing business in Iran is something that we cannot be actively engaged in.”
     
    https://www.jns.org/wary-of-repercussions-eu-unlikely-to-defy-us-sanctions-on-iran/

    Interesting. It looks really bad.

    Read More
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  180. Miro23 says:

    2. To what extent will the EU join in, passively acquiesce to, or resist the US sanctions against Russia? The answer to this question will to a large extent determine precisely how deeply Russia falls into China’s orbit in the next couple of decades.

    This looks like a fine opportunity for the EU to 1) develop its own international settlements system based on a Euro reserve currency 2) redirect trade and investment towards the ROW (rest of the world), if necessary, excluding the US 3) become a reliable non-political trade partner to these countries 4) make a unilateral decision to terminate NATO and detach itself from US lies, subversion and military adventurism.

    The place to start would be the termination of NATO, but it would be better to implement the policies simultaneously. It would initially be very costly to European corporations, but ultimately worth it, with new more predictable international relationships.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AquariusAnon
    This is exactly what I meant by my response. Not only will EU's response to the upcoming US embargo be instrumental in writing Russia's role and development in the 21st century world, but also if the EU ever wants to transform from a neoliberalism.txt US vassal experiment to either an independent "Great Power" quasi-federation (essentially USSR 2.0 after the revolutionary phase died down, Communism replaced by neoliberalism.txt), or to break up as wholly sovereign states, a continuation if not strengthening of relations with Russia will be a pivotal first step for that to happen.
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  181. @Miro23

    2. To what extent will the EU join in, passively acquiesce to, or resist the US sanctions against Russia? The answer to this question will to a large extent determine precisely how deeply Russia falls into China’s orbit in the next couple of decades.
     
    This looks like a fine opportunity for the EU to 1) develop its own international settlements system based on a Euro reserve currency 2) redirect trade and investment towards the ROW (rest of the world), if necessary, excluding the US 3) become a reliable non-political trade partner to these countries 4) make a unilateral decision to terminate NATO and detach itself from US lies, subversion and military adventurism.

    The place to start would be the termination of NATO, but it would be better to implement the policies simultaneously. It would initially be very costly to European corporations, but ultimately worth it, with new more predictable international relationships.

    This is exactly what I meant by my response. Not only will EU’s response to the upcoming US embargo be instrumental in writing Russia’s role and development in the 21st century world, but also if the EU ever wants to transform from a neoliberalism.txt US vassal experiment to either an independent “Great Power” quasi-federation (essentially USSR 2.0 after the revolutionary phase died down, Communism replaced by neoliberalism.txt), or to break up as wholly sovereign states, a continuation if not strengthening of relations with Russia will be a pivotal first step for that to happen.

    Read More
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  182. @anonymous coward


    Congratulations, you missed the point again.

    The actual point is that biologists framed a problem in a way that doesn't match the scale of our Universe as we observe it.

    Feel free to correct the numbers I made; maybe the correct factor is 10^100 instead of 10^300. So what? The processes biologists postulate are so asymptotic that they require an infinite Universe, which doesn't exist in real life.

    There is an expectation that current theories of physics are not accurate at very small time scales (which have not been reached by experiment).

    We don’t even know if the universe is finite or infinite. This is just a claim that you pulled out of your ass. There may even be an infinite number of atoms.

     

    Good point, but no. You missed the point again.

    Any theory that requires time or space outside of a conventional Newtonian understanding of physics isn't Darwinism. It wouldn't even be biology, because biologists don't (and can't) deal with stuff like that.

    Feel free to correct the numbers I made;

    There is no reason to look at any further steps in your calculations when you begin with false premises.

    [MORE]

    Again, you are under the false impression that the universe “began” 13 billion years ago as some informationless entity and that all patterns and complexity emerged after it. No. The earliest known state of the universe had patterns and complexity. Even if you somehow managed to argue that the complexity of life on earth is too high to emerge in 13 billion years, it would still be of no consequence to Darwinism since we don’t need it to emerge in that time – 13 billion years ago is not some patternless zero state of complexity.

    In fact, for all we know the emergence of life on earth could have already been determined in the earlier state of the universe 13 billion years ago. That’s implausible to me but a lot of people believe in an intelligent creator and you can easily just postulate that he baked the emergence of man in the design of the early universe and then you’re in no contradiction with modern science whatsoever.

    Where did the patterns and complexity in the early universe come from? We don’t know since the current theories of physics can’t probe that far. In fact, as I said before, the whole “age of the universe” thing is a false notion that unfortunately some physicists peddle as a simplification of cosmology. What we can do is trace back the development of the universe from this point in time and we can go back 13 billion years and conclude that the universe back then was a very different place, in a very dense state that gradually “expanded” into the current one.

    However in this process we run into a dead end as to study such dense states we’d need to make the theories of gravity and quantum mechanics work together and we can’t do that currently. Hence, everything “earlier” than that is pure speculation, in fact we don’t even know for sure whether there was a “before”. This state beyond current theories has been dubbed the “big bang”, “the beginning” and such but that’s all just popularization. This has the unfortunate side effect that some people now believe physics to somehow have proven that the universe emerged from “nothing” 13 billion years ago and that’s just not true.

    And an “understanding of time and space outside of a conventional Newtonian understanding of physics” is definitely required for cosmology like claims that “universe is X seconds old”. You are the one who began with assumptions that require physics well beyond Newtonian mechanics.

    Read More
    • Replies: @anonymous coward

    Again, you are under the false impression that the universe “began” 13 billion years ago as some informationless entity and that all patterns and complexity emerged after it. No. The earliest known state of the universe had patterns and complexity.
     
    Very good point, and one I agree with. However, this is a variant of the Intelligent Design hypothesis, and is considered to be pseudoscience by biologists.

    Like I said, I'm not "disproving" anything, merely pointing out that the way Darwinian evolution is framed by biologists is not science.

    Maybe it can be reformulated in a way that makes sense, but don't hold your breath -- the biologists don't even understand the objections and fall back to the "Earth is, like, really old" argument.

    And an “understanding of time and space outside of a conventional Newtonian understanding of physics” is definitely required for cosmology like claims that “universe is X seconds old”.
     
    Again, the actual figure is irrelevant. The point is that we've posited an exponentially exploding probability space, and yet nothing in nature is infinite and exponential. (I know about the cosmology arguments about the finite/infinite universe, spare me. In any case, the observable Universe is definitely finite, and science only deals with the observable.)
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  183. Mitleser says:
    @AquariusAnon
    Didn't know that. I'll keep that as a note.

    So my 3 predictions are essentially, Iran-style western embargo, status quo with embargo only on US side, and normalization of relations with Europe. How would you recalibrate the likelihoods?

    Most likely is “status quo with embargo only on US side” with limited shift towards “Iran-style western embargo”. EUropean elites do not show much willingness to oppose Russophobia, but on the other hand Russia is much more integrated in the EU economy than the Iran.

    For instance, the value of the trade in 2017 between Russia and Germany was 57,3 billion Euro (rank 14th), the number for the Iran-Germany trade was only 3,4 billion Euro (rank 58th).

    https://www.destatis.de/DE/ZahlenFakten/GesamtwirtschaftUmwelt/Aussenhandel/Tabellen/RangfolgeHandelspartner.pdf?__blob=publicationFile

    That reduces their willingness to follow American sanctions.

    Read More
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  184. Mitleser says:
    @Felix Keverich

    Theory that it is to do with creditors, doesn’t make much sense.

    Creditors (troika) are European fund – mainly Germany, France and Italy, in order. Followed by IMF and ECB.

    Criteria for release of funds is economic criteria, that imply they might one day get their money back.

    Greece’s foreign policy is not of interest to anyone much (Turkey care about them), especially not accountants.
     

    You assume that Greece is the rational actor in this situation. It's a stupid crackwhore, desperate for a bit of debt relief.

    It is also fair to say that Western decisions on financial aid are not made by accountants, ultimately they are made by politicians, who do consider geopolitics.

    Surely Greece can see that IMF is dumping billions of dollars into the Ukraine for no other reason than geopolitics. Ukrainian regime also got a nice debt relief a couple of years back - to better resist "Russian aggression".

    Don’t bash Greece so much.

    They are still making right decisions.

    From 2009 to 2011, Syria supplied almost a fifth of EU imports of phosphate, but those sales collapsed during the war.

    Official EU import data shows that phosphate shipments to Europe — heading almost exclusively to Greece — are resuming and more than tripled between December 2017 to April 2018. The volumes remain small compared to the pre-war heyday, but Syria is making a clear push to return to the EU market and its giant farm sector.

    Syrian data show that total phosphate exports were more than $200 million in 2010.

    Three people either working in the phosphate industry or involved with trading the commodity said Syria is able to export again because Russian investors have resurrected the Palmyra mines, which Islamic State militia captured in 2015. Assad awarded these reserves to the Russians last year after Moscow helped him turn the tide against ISIS.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AquariusAnon
    Now that Syria has all but won the war, I wonder when will rebuilding and eventually re-emerging as a stable country good enough for FDI and tourism will start. By then, I also wonder how it will be sanctioned.

    My guess is that it will rebuild under Iran-style conditions back to more or less where it was in the early 2000s politically, economically, socially, and sanctions-wise starting around 2020 or so.
    , @anon
    Author thinks US administration is moral, "

    Moral argument is the religious argument of the dressed-up fanatics who hide their regular dress and ideologies for acceptance by the wider world

    It is still a religious tribal nepotistic violent argument for personal enrichment and is used to satisfy rabid hatred based on stupidity.

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  185. @utu


    So it comes down to the meaning after all. You look for words that have meaning. But why? Every word out of 208 billions may have a mining in some other language that you do not know of. Why you insist that the disproof of evolution or the random Universe must be based on what has meaning in English language? There are some believers in the intelligent design like yourself in Pentecostal church who speak all kind of tongues nobody heard of them but to them they have some meaning. There are patients in psychiatric wards who write 458 letter sonnets that have meaning only to them. So why did you pick up this particular Shakespeare sonnet to calculate a number that suppose to prove something?

    Do you begin to understand where is the flaw in your argument?

    [MORE]

    So it comes down to the meaning after all.

    No, it actually doesn’t. The probabilities grow as c^n, while the Universe doesn’t. No matter how big it is, it’s still a fixed size due to the laws of conservation of mass and energy.

    Every word out of 208 billions may have a mining in some other language that you do not know of.

    Even if every atom in the observable Universe had its own language, the number of possible letter combinations would still be vastly bigger.

    Why you insist that the disproof of evolution or the random Universe must be based on what has meaning in English language?

    I’m not “disproving” anything. I’m demonstrating that the “monkeys and typewriters” argument used by biologists (and its variants “the universe is really big” and “the Earth is really old” arguments) violate basic mathematical logic.

    The Universe isn’t really big. In fact, it is infinitesimal compared to the probabilities we’re dealing with here.

    Once biologists acknowledge this obvious fact, then we can formulate some sort of theory, and maybe then there will be something to prove or disprove.

    Do you begin to understand where is the flaw in your argument

    Do you? The point is that we’re traversing probability spaces here that grow exponentially, and yet nothing in nature can be exponential indefinitely. Somewhere in your assumptions is a grave error.

    Read More
    • Replies: @utu


    So it comes down to the meaning after all.
     
    No, it actually doesn’t.
     
    No, it does.

    The machine that draws the numbers for a lottery manages to pick 7 winning numbers every week. It never fails to pick the winning numbers. Is this an amazing feat? The numbers it picks are the winning numbers while millions of lottery players have great difficulty to pick the winning numbers and spend millions of dollar on it while the cost to the machine is just few bucks.

    Shakespeare picked 458 'winning' letters but if you would try to reproduce them in the same sequence by random selections it becomes probabilistically impossible task.

    Finding a winning sonnet by Shakespeare for the Universe was not a probabilistic feat just as it is not for the lottery machine to pick the winning numbers. It all comes down to the meaning and when that meaning is assigned. You assigned a special meaning to this particular sequence of 458 letters just like lottery players assign special meaning to 7 numbers picked by a machine.
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  186. Mr. Hack says:
    @Mikhail


    Your uncritically citing LR is indicative of one stupid anonymous coward referencing another.

    [MORE]

    What do you mean uncritically? I think that the citation is very critical of you. If you’re looking for something even more critical, just let me know?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mikhail


    Your reading comprehension sucks.

    You uncritically referenced an anonymous, lying coward (not too much different from yourself BTW), who ducked a live one hours BBC World Service radio panel discussion, much unlike the person who you've an obsession with.
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  187. @Jaakko Raipala

    Feel free to correct the numbers I made;
     
    There is no reason to look at any further steps in your calculations when you begin with false premises.



    Again, you are under the false impression that the universe "began" 13 billion years ago as some informationless entity and that all patterns and complexity emerged after it. No. The earliest known state of the universe had patterns and complexity. Even if you somehow managed to argue that the complexity of life on earth is too high to emerge in 13 billion years, it would still be of no consequence to Darwinism since we don't need it to emerge in that time - 13 billion years ago is not some patternless zero state of complexity.

    In fact, for all we know the emergence of life on earth could have already been determined in the earlier state of the universe 13 billion years ago. That's implausible to me but a lot of people believe in an intelligent creator and you can easily just postulate that he baked the emergence of man in the design of the early universe and then you're in no contradiction with modern science whatsoever.

    Where did the patterns and complexity in the early universe come from? We don't know since the current theories of physics can't probe that far. In fact, as I said before, the whole "age of the universe" thing is a false notion that unfortunately some physicists peddle as a simplification of cosmology. What we can do is trace back the development of the universe from this point in time and we can go back 13 billion years and conclude that the universe back then was a very different place, in a very dense state that gradually "expanded" into the current one.

    However in this process we run into a dead end as to study such dense states we'd need to make the theories of gravity and quantum mechanics work together and we can't do that currently. Hence, everything "earlier" than that is pure speculation, in fact we don't even know for sure whether there was a "before". This state beyond current theories has been dubbed the "big bang", "the beginning" and such but that's all just popularization. This has the unfortunate side effect that some people now believe physics to somehow have proven that the universe emerged from "nothing" 13 billion years ago and that's just not true.

    And an "understanding of time and space outside of a conventional Newtonian understanding of physics" is definitely required for cosmology like claims that "universe is X seconds old". You are the one who began with assumptions that require physics well beyond Newtonian mechanics.

    [MORE]

    Again, you are under the false impression that the universe “began” 13 billion years ago as some informationless entity and that all patterns and complexity emerged after it. No. The earliest known state of the universe had patterns and complexity.

    Very good point, and one I agree with. However, this is a variant of the Intelligent Design hypothesis, and is considered to be pseudoscience by biologists.

    Like I said, I’m not “disproving” anything, merely pointing out that the way Darwinian evolution is framed by biologists is not science.

    Maybe it can be reformulated in a way that makes sense, but don’t hold your breath — the biologists don’t even understand the objections and fall back to the “Earth is, like, really old” argument.

    And an “understanding of time and space outside of a conventional Newtonian understanding of physics” is definitely required for cosmology like claims that “universe is X seconds old”.

    Again, the actual figure is irrelevant. The point is that we’ve posited an exponentially exploding probability space, and yet nothing in nature is infinite and exponential. (I know about the cosmology arguments about the finite/infinite universe, spare me. In any case, the observable Universe is definitely finite, and science only deals with the observable.)

    Read More
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  188. @Mitleser
    Don't bash Greece so much.

    They are still making right decisions.

    https://twitter.com/joshua_landis/status/1028609985159282689

    From 2009 to 2011, Syria supplied almost a fifth of EU imports of phosphate, but those sales collapsed during the war.

    Official EU import data shows that phosphate shipments to Europe — heading almost exclusively to Greece — are resuming and more than tripled between December 2017 to April 2018. The volumes remain small compared to the pre-war heyday, but Syria is making a clear push to return to the EU market and its giant farm sector.

    Syrian data show that total phosphate exports were more than $200 million in 2010.

    Three people either working in the phosphate industry or involved with trading the commodity said Syria is able to export again because Russian investors have resurrected the Palmyra mines, which Islamic State militia captured in 2015. Assad awarded these reserves to the Russians last year after Moscow helped him turn the tide against ISIS.
     

    Now that Syria has all but won the war, I wonder when will rebuilding and eventually re-emerging as a stable country good enough for FDI and tourism will start. By then, I also wonder how it will be sanctioned.

    My guess is that it will rebuild under Iran-style conditions back to more or less where it was in the early 2000s politically, economically, socially, and sanctions-wise starting around 2020 or so.

    Read More
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  189. Anon[536] • Disclaimer says:

    “For instance, banning Aeroflot from flying to the US has a simple response – banning US air carriers from overflying North Eurasia, period. It can resurrect a bill – first raised this May, since sunken in the legislature – to impose fines and prison time on individuals and entities who support Western sanctions by refusing to do business with Russian citizens or entities on America’s SDN list. It can throw out the American-dominated copyrights regimen out of the window.”

    As an American, I think Russia should do this and for good reason: the people who run this country are idiots; if this is allowed to stand, they’ll continue to push this until we get a war. Best to head it off now by making the US Ruling Class pay the price. I especially like the last part. Russia should just host all Hollywood movies, books, and video games on a server accessible to American pirates (hey, Red States won’t have problem with this…these scum just voted to remove Trump’s star on the walk of fame anyway).

    Read More
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  190. Anon[360] • Disclaimer says:

    “This looks like a fine opportunity for the EU to … make a unilateral decision to terminate NATO and detach itself from US lies, subversion and military adventurism.”

    Not going to happen for a variety of reasons. NATO is a good way to keep an incompetent, belligerent U.S. bogged down so that it doesn’t cause any serious trouble for advanced nations. Take Germany for instance. The number of US troops there is quite small in an absolute sense, not enough to cause trouble, but combined with troops all over the place, the all-volunteer US military can’t really marshall the numbers necessary to invade anyone without support from Europe. NATO is actually a clever way to control the aggressive tendencies of the United States; without it, there is no telling what the U.S. could do.

    Europe also gets high-tech weapon systems in the process – and sold at a premium considering the enormous R&D costs involved. That’s why German industrialists were stupid to provoke Trump and go around telling Europeans to not buy American weapons (those weapons are in some cases FAR superior to what the Europeans have and someone is definitely going to buy them considering the cost spent to develop them, either you or a potential enemy…so it might as well be you). In all, it’s good deal for them. They aren’t going to chunk that for anything.

    The real key here is for Russia to strike back in a way that doesn’t galvanize the American public against them. My suggestion: cancel all American copyright protections and start hosting American movies and television programs. Conservative republicans won’t oppose this as these programs are made in Trump-hating California – a place that just voted to remove Trump’s star on the walk of fame.

    Read More
    • Agree: RadicalCenter
    • Replies: @Hyperborean

    Europe also gets high-tech weapon systems in the process – and sold at a premium considering the enormous R&D costs involved.
     
    Right, which is why Denmark bought the F-35. The one which even Americans were criticising.

    Buying American weaponry is often a combination of tribute, corruption and paying protection money.

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  191. @German_reader
    Greece has been a member of NATO since 1952, it joined the European Community in 1981.
    It's odd though that a Greek leftist like Tsipras is pro-American, given the strong anti-American traditions of Greek left-wingers. But Tsipras seems to be an all-around scumbag anyway.

    In fact, his “conservative” predecessor Samaras was more pro-German than pro-American. Tsipras is pro-American. He is leftist like Tony Blair is leftist.

    Read More
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  192. @Anon
    "This looks like a fine opportunity for the EU to ... make a unilateral decision to terminate NATO and detach itself from US lies, subversion and military adventurism."

    Not going to happen for a variety of reasons. NATO is a good way to keep an incompetent, belligerent U.S. bogged down so that it doesn't cause any serious trouble for advanced nations. Take Germany for instance. The number of US troops there is quite small in an absolute sense, not enough to cause trouble, but combined with troops all over the place, the all-volunteer US military can't really marshall the numbers necessary to invade anyone without support from Europe. NATO is actually a clever way to control the aggressive tendencies of the United States; without it, there is no telling what the U.S. could do.

    Europe also gets high-tech weapon systems in the process - and sold at a premium considering the enormous R&D costs involved. That's why German industrialists were stupid to provoke Trump and go around telling Europeans to not buy American weapons (those weapons are in some cases FAR superior to what the Europeans have and someone is definitely going to buy them considering the cost spent to develop them, either you or a potential enemy...so it might as well be you). In all, it's good deal for them. They aren't going to chunk that for anything.

    The real key here is for Russia to strike back in a way that doesn't galvanize the American public against them. My suggestion: cancel all American copyright protections and start hosting American movies and television programs. Conservative republicans won't oppose this as these programs are made in Trump-hating California - a place that just voted to remove Trump's star on the walk of fame.

    Europe also gets high-tech weapon systems in the process – and sold at a premium considering the enormous R&D costs involved.

    Right, which is why Denmark bought the F-35. The one which even Americans were criticising.

    Buying American weaponry is often a combination of tribute, corruption and paying protection money.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor

    the F-35. The one which even Americans were criticising.
     
    I bought into much of the criticism, and probably a somewhat better plane could’ve been made cheaper, but all in all I think it’ll be a fine enough weapon, and probably better than any currently deployed Russian fighters. The Su-57 is not yet ready (and it’s recently got questioned if it ever will), so you cannot meaningfully compare it to it.

    Altogether if you want the very best fighter jet available in the market, then you should choose it, unless the costs are prohibitive for you. It’s actually no longer much more expensive than 4+ generation planes. I think Boeing is trying to market the F-15X, which would be a newly produced version of the F-15 with all possible technologies (except stealth which is impossible for this frame), and it’s not going to be meaningfully cheaper than the latest (and cheapest) F-35.

    If buying Russian is politically possible for you, then the Su-35 might be a good cheaper alternative, though countries which are allowed to buy it are usually not sold the F-35. Maybe India (and perhaps soon Turkey?) is the only country where both could even be considered.

    If the Su-57 were ready, then maybe we could talk about whether it was better than the F-35 (the answer would probably depend on a number of issues, e.g. the rest of the equipment used by the military in question, and of course politics, which is to say, if there was a chance of a political conflict with the supplier, because if yes, then obviously you’d need to buy from the other).

    For most (but not all) roles the F-35 is at least as good as any other American fighter jet (except maybe the F-22, and maybe not even that).
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  193. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Felix Keverich
    Regarding India, they are asking America for a permission to keep buying Russian weapons. Asking for a sanctions "waiver" - this is just sad. India also agreed to reduce imports of Iranian oil. So, perhaps, not so independent anymore.

    There is no way to sugarcoat it: in the short to medium term sanctions will suppress Russian economic growth. But unless they find a way to somehow stop Russia's exports of oil, our economy will shrug off whatever sanction packages US can throw at it.

    But unless they find a way to somehow stop Russia’s exports of oil, our economy will shrug off whatever sanction packages US can throw at it.

    It still makes Russia look pathetically weak. The U.S. actions are essentially an act of war. If Russia just rolls over allows itself to get kicked then the U.S. is just going to keep on kicking. Cowardice is rarely a good policy.

    Read More
    • Agree: reiner Tor
    • Replies: @Felix Keverich

    Cowardice is rarely a good policy.
     
    I agree. However, let's not forget that Russia and USA have very different weight and role in the international economy. USA effectively owns the system of international finance. That is to say "international finance" is but an extention of US financial system. They can exclude Russia, we can't exclude them (from the system they created and own).

    If Russia is going to impose meaningful costs on the US, I think it can only be done through non-economic means. Realistically, what action Russia could take that would potentially match the disruptive power of American sanctions on Russia? Arm the Central American drug cartels?
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  194. @Hyperborean

    Europe also gets high-tech weapon systems in the process – and sold at a premium considering the enormous R&D costs involved.
     
    Right, which is why Denmark bought the F-35. The one which even Americans were criticising.

    Buying American weaponry is often a combination of tribute, corruption and paying protection money.

    the F-35. The one which even Americans were criticising.

    I bought into much of the criticism, and probably a somewhat better plane could’ve been made cheaper, but all in all I think it’ll be a fine enough weapon, and probably better than any currently deployed Russian fighters. The Su-57 is not yet ready (and it’s recently got questioned if it ever will), so you cannot meaningfully compare it to it.

    Altogether if you want the very best fighter jet available in the market, then you should choose it, unless the costs are prohibitive for you. It’s actually no longer much more expensive than 4+ generation planes. I think Boeing is trying to market the F-15X, which would be a newly produced version of the F-15 with all possible technologies (except stealth which is impossible for this frame), and it’s not going to be meaningfully cheaper than the latest (and cheapest) F-35.

    If buying Russian is politically possible for you, then the Su-35 might be a good cheaper alternative, though countries which are allowed to buy it are usually not sold the F-35. Maybe India (and perhaps soon Turkey?) is the only country where both could even be considered.

    If the Su-57 were ready, then maybe we could talk about whether it was better than the F-35 (the answer would probably depend on a number of issues, e.g. the rest of the equipment used by the military in question, and of course politics, which is to say, if there was a chance of a political conflict with the supplier, because if yes, then obviously you’d need to buy from the other).

    For most (but not all) roles the F-35 is at least as good as any other American fighter jet (except maybe the F-22, and maybe not even that).

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mitleser

    Altogether if you want the very best fighter jet available in the market, then you should choose it, unless the costs are prohibitive for you.
     
    Or you do not want Lockheed use your combat jets to spy on you.

    https://twitter.com/RT_com/status/934693207891255297
    , @Thorfinnsson
    F-35 has inferior kinematic performance to most, if not all, of the Generation 4 fighters it's supposed to replace or oppose. Lack of a bubble canopy is also a major step backwards. Quite a dubious distinction for a new aircraft.

    That leaves its stealth and its supposedly wiz-bang sensors.

    Stealth is nice, but it drives up operating costs and reduces sortie rates. And on a small aircraft, you can't carry large war loads without sacrificing your stealth. F-35 stealth is in the frontal area only, optimized for the X-band. It will be easily detected by long wavelength radars. In air to air combat it would rely upon detecting intercepting aircraft and firing AMRAAMs before they can lock on or, heaven forbid, close to visual range (where the F-35 will be dogmeat).

    The Air Force has long said that the F-35 isn't optimized for air combat. I suppose the idea was that F-22s and legacy fighters would handle air superiority missions. F-35s, with frontal stealth, would be able to get close to targets and attack them with PGMs.

    As for its allegedly wonderful sensors, I am skeptical. Lots of air forces continuously modernize old designs with AESA radars, glass cockpits, etc. Why exactly is a new airframe needed for any of this?

    That said it's not like the F-35 is awful, and as usual pilot skill and other factors can overcome inappropriate technology.

    The F-35 also now costs less to buy than the Eurofighter Typhoon and Rafale, which is an important advantage. Gripen is much cheaper, but Sweden has no geopolitical clout and has a very bad habit of finding moralistic reasons not to export armaments.

    If you have to buy from Western suppliers, a mix of F-15X and Gripen NGs seems ideal. If you can't afford two classes of fighter, the Rafale is a very good compromise. France is also a reliable supplier. Worst choice is the Super Hornet. The F-16, while now quite an old design, is still a very capable aircraft at a reasonable price as well.

    Japan now has a stealth fighter technology demonstrator in the MHI X-2 Shinden. They somehow built it, including with indigenous turbofans, for $360m. The airframe is very interesting in that it's built of new materials which eliminate the need for RAM, which should keep operating costs down and increase sortie rates. But this is only a technology demonstrator at this time, probably as proof-of-concept for the new materials and an indigenous low-bypass afterburning turbofan engine.

    As for the Su-57, it's somewhat like the F-35 in its limited stealth. But it's also like the Su-27 family in having superb kinematic performance. Russia's official reason for delaying entry into service is that the Su-35 is adequate for existing threats, which is probably true.

    Who knows what the real reason is. Budgetary pressures perhaps? Russia wants to double capital spending in rouble terms in 2024, and to do so without increasing debt. At the same time it's continuing its import substitution efforts, and there are no moves to soaking the rich. So the money has to come from somewhere, and presumably that makes mass production of the Su-57 and T-14 Armata less attractive.
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  195. Mitleser says:
    @reiner Tor

    the F-35. The one which even Americans were criticising.
     
    I bought into much of the criticism, and probably a somewhat better plane could’ve been made cheaper, but all in all I think it’ll be a fine enough weapon, and probably better than any currently deployed Russian fighters. The Su-57 is not yet ready (and it’s recently got questioned if it ever will), so you cannot meaningfully compare it to it.

    Altogether if you want the very best fighter jet available in the market, then you should choose it, unless the costs are prohibitive for you. It’s actually no longer much more expensive than 4+ generation planes. I think Boeing is trying to market the F-15X, which would be a newly produced version of the F-15 with all possible technologies (except stealth which is impossible for this frame), and it’s not going to be meaningfully cheaper than the latest (and cheapest) F-35.

    If buying Russian is politically possible for you, then the Su-35 might be a good cheaper alternative, though countries which are allowed to buy it are usually not sold the F-35. Maybe India (and perhaps soon Turkey?) is the only country where both could even be considered.

    If the Su-57 were ready, then maybe we could talk about whether it was better than the F-35 (the answer would probably depend on a number of issues, e.g. the rest of the equipment used by the military in question, and of course politics, which is to say, if there was a chance of a political conflict with the supplier, because if yes, then obviously you’d need to buy from the other).

    For most (but not all) roles the F-35 is at least as good as any other American fighter jet (except maybe the F-22, and maybe not even that).

    Altogether if you want the very best fighter jet available in the market, then you should choose it, unless the costs are prohibitive for you.

    Or you do not want Lockheed use your combat jets to spy on you.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    Yes, that’s another risk.

    Maybe that’s why Israel uses its own software? (At least they rewrote part of the software, or so I read.)

    Anyway, I don’t think it’s a bad fighter jet for the job of fighting America’s enemies. Probably even against neutrals. It might be useless against America’s friends, or America itself, but no one buys it for that. And actually it’s probably useful against America, too, or else why is the US so reluctant to sell it to Turkey?

    And probably the American idea that the Russians might use their S-400 to spy on other Turkish weapon systems (including the F-35), when in fact it’s the Americans who use weapons they sell to do that. The Russians are probably too afraid to lose their reputations.

    , @reiner Tor
    Interestingly, when I searched for it, besides RT, I only found an Israeli and an Australian site. It’s not a widely reported news.
    , @Z-man
    Interesting, a few years ago Algeria had to have Russia redo the electronics in the Su 30's that it bought because there was some Izraeli electronics in it.
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  196. @Mitleser

    Altogether if you want the very best fighter jet available in the market, then you should choose it, unless the costs are prohibitive for you.
     
    Or you do not want Lockheed use your combat jets to spy on you.

    https://twitter.com/RT_com/status/934693207891255297

    Yes, that’s another risk.

    Maybe that’s why Israel uses its own software? (At least they rewrote part of the software, or so I read.)

    Anyway, I don’t think it’s a bad fighter jet for the job of fighting America’s enemies. Probably even against neutrals. It might be useless against America’s friends, or America itself, but no one buys it for that. And actually it’s probably useful against America, too, or else why is the US so reluctant to sell it to Turkey?

    And probably the American idea that the Russians might use their S-400 to spy on other Turkish weapon systems (including the F-35), when in fact it’s the Americans who use weapons they sell to do that. The Russians are probably too afraid to lose their reputations.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mitleser

    And actually it’s probably useful against America, too, or else why is the US so reluctant to sell it to Turkey?
     
    >study F-35 and its data
    >get better at detecting/fighting F-35

    It is probably one of the main reasons why the RoC (Taiwan) won't get this jet despite needing more than most. The risk that pro-PRC agents would have access to the F-35 is not small.
    , @Thorfinnsson
    Using your own software is common for technologically advanced powers concerned about their sovereignty and their own military-industrial capabilities. Japan for instance (after being bullied out of building its own indigenous fighter in the 80s) built its own upgraded version of the F-16 which, among other things, included Japanese software. Like Israel, Japan also fields its own air-to-air missiles which on paper are in the first rank.

    The UK took a different route of becoming a Level 1 Partner on the F-35 program, so they received privileged access to the source code which is not available to other powers.

    The F-35 is not very useful for fighting Russia or China, but fine for fighting most anyone else. It actually could have some utility against America since America lags Russia and China in low-frequency radar and infrared search and track, but probably the real reluctance is safeguarding technology. In particular materials (e.g. the new RAM panels instead of finicky coatings) and the engines.

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  197. @Mitleser

    Altogether if you want the very best fighter jet available in the market, then you should choose it, unless the costs are prohibitive for you.
     
    Or you do not want Lockheed use your combat jets to spy on you.

    https://twitter.com/RT_com/status/934693207891255297

    Interestingly, when I searched for it, besides RT, I only found an Israeli and an Australian site. It’s not a widely reported news.

    Read More
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  198. @reiner Tor

    the F-35. The one which even Americans were criticising.
     
    I bought into much of the criticism, and probably a somewhat better plane could’ve been made cheaper, but all in all I think it’ll be a fine enough weapon, and probably better than any currently deployed Russian fighters. The Su-57 is not yet ready (and it’s recently got questioned if it ever will), so you cannot meaningfully compare it to it.

    Altogether if you want the very best fighter jet available in the market, then you should choose it, unless the costs are prohibitive for you. It’s actually no longer much more expensive than 4+ generation planes. I think Boeing is trying to market the F-15X, which would be a newly produced version of the F-15 with all possible technologies (except stealth which is impossible for this frame), and it’s not going to be meaningfully cheaper than the latest (and cheapest) F-35.

    If buying Russian is politically possible for you, then the Su-35 might be a good cheaper alternative, though countries which are allowed to buy it are usually not sold the F-35. Maybe India (and perhaps soon Turkey?) is the only country where both could even be considered.

    If the Su-57 were ready, then maybe we could talk about whether it was better than the F-35 (the answer would probably depend on a number of issues, e.g. the rest of the equipment used by the military in question, and of course politics, which is to say, if there was a chance of a political conflict with the supplier, because if yes, then obviously you’d need to buy from the other).

    For most (but not all) roles the F-35 is at least as good as any other American fighter jet (except maybe the F-22, and maybe not even that).

    F-35 has inferior kinematic performance to most, if not all, of the Generation 4 fighters it’s supposed to replace or oppose. Lack of a bubble canopy is also a major step backwards. Quite a dubious distinction for a new aircraft.

    That leaves its stealth and its supposedly wiz-bang sensors.

    Stealth is nice, but it drives up operating costs and reduces sortie rates. And on a small aircraft, you can’t carry large war loads without sacrificing your stealth. F-35 stealth is in the frontal area only, optimized for the X-band. It will be easily detected by long wavelength radars. In air to air combat it would rely upon detecting intercepting aircraft and firing AMRAAMs before they can lock on or, heaven forbid, close to visual range (where the F-35 will be dogmeat).

    The Air Force has long said that the F-35 isn’t optimized for air combat. I suppose the idea was that F-22s and legacy fighters would handle air superiority missions. F-35s, with frontal stealth, would be able to get close to targets and attack them with PGMs.

    As for its allegedly wonderful sensors, I am skeptical. Lots of air forces continuously modernize old designs with AESA radars, glass cockpits, etc. Why exactly is a new airframe needed for any of this?

    That said it’s not like the F-35 is awful, and as usual pilot skill and other factors can overcome inappropriate technology.

    The F-35 also now costs less to buy than the Eurofighter Typhoon and Rafale, which is an important advantage. Gripen is much cheaper, but Sweden has no geopolitical clout and has a very bad habit of finding moralistic reasons not to export armaments.

    If you have to buy from Western suppliers, a mix of F-15X and Gripen NGs seems ideal. If you can’t afford two classes of fighter, the Rafale is a very good compromise. France is also a reliable supplier. Worst choice is the Super Hornet. The F-16, while now quite an old design, is still a very capable aircraft at a reasonable price as well.

    Japan now has a stealth fighter technology demonstrator in the MHI X-2 Shinden. They somehow built it, including with indigenous turbofans, for $360m. The airframe is very interesting in that it’s built of new materials which eliminate the need for RAM, which should keep operating costs down and increase sortie rates. But this is only a technology demonstrator at this time, probably as proof-of-concept for the new materials and an indigenous low-bypass afterburning turbofan engine.

    As for the Su-57, it’s somewhat like the F-35 in its limited stealth. But it’s also like the Su-27 family in having superb kinematic performance. Russia’s official reason for delaying entry into service is that the Su-35 is adequate for existing threats, which is probably true.

    Who knows what the real reason is. Budgetary pressures perhaps? Russia wants to double capital spending in rouble terms in 2024, and to do so without increasing debt. At the same time it’s continuing its import substitution efforts, and there are no moves to soaking the rich. So the money has to come from somewhere, and presumably that makes mass production of the Su-57 and T-14 Armata less attractive.

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    I think even the production of the F-16 is about to end.

    Yes, the Gripen is a good and cheap alternative, but it’s not the best available in the western ecosystem. The F-35 would probably destroy an equal number of Gripens, though that’s not saying much, considering the price differential.

    Hungary also has Gripens, though we didn’t fully equip them until recently, and I don’t think we spend enough on training the pilots.
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  199. Mitleser says:
    @reiner Tor
    Yes, that’s another risk.

    Maybe that’s why Israel uses its own software? (At least they rewrote part of the software, or so I read.)

    Anyway, I don’t think it’s a bad fighter jet for the job of fighting America’s enemies. Probably even against neutrals. It might be useless against America’s friends, or America itself, but no one buys it for that. And actually it’s probably useful against America, too, or else why is the US so reluctant to sell it to Turkey?

    And probably the American idea that the Russians might use their S-400 to spy on other Turkish weapon systems (including the F-35), when in fact it’s the Americans who use weapons they sell to do that. The Russians are probably too afraid to lose their reputations.

    And actually it’s probably useful against America, too, or else why is the US so reluctant to sell it to Turkey?

    >study F-35 and its data
    >get better at detecting/fighting F-35

    It is probably one of the main reasons why the RoC (Taiwan) won’t get this jet despite needing more than most. The risk that pro-PRC agents would have access to the F-35 is not small.

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  200. @dfordoom

    But unless they find a way to somehow stop Russia’s exports of oil, our economy will shrug off whatever sanction packages US can throw at it.
     
    It still makes Russia look pathetically weak. The U.S. actions are essentially an act of war. If Russia just rolls over allows itself to get kicked then the U.S. is just going to keep on kicking. Cowardice is rarely a good policy.

    Cowardice is rarely a good policy.

    I agree. However, let’s not forget that Russia and USA have very different weight and role in the international economy. USA effectively owns the system of international finance. That is to say “international finance” is but an extention of US financial system. They can exclude Russia, we can’t exclude them (from the system they created and own).

    If Russia is going to impose meaningful costs on the US, I think it can only be done through non-economic means. Realistically, what action Russia could take that would potentially match the disruptive power of American sanctions on Russia? Arm the Central American drug cartels?

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    • Replies: @LondonBob
    Sun Tzu say avoid combat with superior force, bide time and wait till you are stronger. Of course doesn't take Sun Tzu to work that out, even if he did say it.
    , @dfordoom

    Realistically, what action Russia could take that would potentially match the disruptive power of American sanctions on Russia? Arm the Central American drug cartels?
     
    I quite like that idea!

    Provide sophisticated arms to everybody (no matter how crazy) with an ability to cause grief to the U.S.

    The U.S. objective is not to punish Russia or weaken Russia. The U.S. objective is to destroy Russia as a sovereign nation. This is war to the death. There can be no negotiation with the U.S. The only hope of forcing the Americans to adopt a sane policy is to make the costs of their current policy catastrophically high.

    The U.S. is obviously stronger but a strong man will usually back down if faced with someone crazy and unpredictable. Putin needs to be crazy and unpredictable.

    And Russia needs to target America's lapdogs, like the British. Perhaps let them know that if it ever came to nuclear war London would be a priority target.
    , @Vidi

    Realistically, what action Russia could take that would potentially match the disruptive power of American sanctions on Russia?
     
    Russia may have struck a heavy blow already, when she dumped her holdings of U.S. treasuries. The relatively small amount ($100 to $200 billion) may not have been significant, but as a signal to the rest of the world it may have been loud. The new sanctions may be an attempt to punish Russia for that. They won't work, of course, but the noise they generate may help to obscure the import of Russia's recent action.
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  201. @reiner Tor
    Yes, that’s another risk.

    Maybe that’s why Israel uses its own software? (At least they rewrote part of the software, or so I read.)

    Anyway, I don’t think it’s a bad fighter jet for the job of fighting America’s enemies. Probably even against neutrals. It might be useless against America’s friends, or America itself, but no one buys it for that. And actually it’s probably useful against America, too, or else why is the US so reluctant to sell it to Turkey?

    And probably the American idea that the Russians might use their S-400 to spy on other Turkish weapon systems (including the F-35), when in fact it’s the Americans who use weapons they sell to do that. The Russians are probably too afraid to lose their reputations.

    Using your own software is common for technologically advanced powers concerned about their sovereignty and their own military-industrial capabilities. Japan for instance (after being bullied out of building its own indigenous fighter in the 80s) built its own upgraded version of the F-16 which, among other things, included Japanese software. Like Israel, Japan also fields its own air-to-air missiles which on paper are in the first rank.

    The UK took a different route of becoming a Level 1 Partner on the F-35 program, so they received privileged access to the source code which is not available to other powers.

    The F-35 is not very useful for fighting Russia or China, but fine for fighting most anyone else. It actually could have some utility against America since America lags Russia and China in low-frequency radar and infrared search and track, but probably the real reluctance is safeguarding technology. In particular materials (e.g. the new RAM panels instead of finicky coatings) and the engines.

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    • Replies: @Sean
    The F-35 is for transferring US technology to Israel

    https://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/israels-air-force-might-have-the-ultimate-weapon-custom-25983
    Lockheed-Martin has mostly refused to allow major country-specific modifications to the F-35, despite the hundreds of millions of dollars foreign F-35 operators contributed to the aircraft’s development. Israel, however, managed to carve out an exception. Though not an investor in the F-35’s development, Tel Aviv was nonetheless quick to sign on to the program with an initial order of fifty. It also negotiated a favorable deal in which billions of dollars worth of F-35 wings and sophisticated helmet sets would be manufactured in Israel, paid for with U.S. military aid. Furthermore, depot-level maintenance will occur in a facility operated by Israeli Aeronautics Industries rather than at a Lockheed facility abroad.

    The Lightning’s sophisticated flight computer and ground-based logistics system has become a matter of contention with many F-35 operators. Foreign air forces would like to have greater access to the F-35’s computer source codes to upgrade and modify them as they see fit without needing to involve external parties—but Lockheed doesn’t want to hand over full access for both commercial and security-based reasons. Israeli F-35Is uniquely will have an overriding Israeli-built C4 program that runs “on top” of Lockheed’s operating system.
     

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  202. anon[356] • Disclaimer says:

    LOL. Not only the usual Russo-Ukro shitstorm that takes over every thread longer than 100 replies, but evolution-creation debate is there too.

    This thread is officially over. RIP.

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  203. LondonBob says:
    @Felix Keverich

    Cowardice is rarely a good policy.
     
    I agree. However, let's not forget that Russia and USA have very different weight and role in the international economy. USA effectively owns the system of international finance. That is to say "international finance" is but an extention of US financial system. They can exclude Russia, we can't exclude them (from the system they created and own).

    If Russia is going to impose meaningful costs on the US, I think it can only be done through non-economic means. Realistically, what action Russia could take that would potentially match the disruptive power of American sanctions on Russia? Arm the Central American drug cartels?

    Sun Tzu say avoid combat with superior force, bide time and wait till you are stronger. Of course doesn’t take Sun Tzu to work that out, even if he did say it.

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    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
    Not really applicable in Russia's situation. We are already at war, it's entirely one-way for now, but that doesn't make it less of a war.
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  204. Dmitry says:
    @Felix Keverich

    Theory that it is to do with creditors, doesn’t make much sense.

    Creditors (troika) are European fund – mainly Germany, France and Italy, in order. Followed by IMF and ECB.

    Criteria for release of funds is economic criteria, that imply they might one day get their money back.

    Greece’s foreign policy is not of interest to anyone much (Turkey care about them), especially not accountants.
     

    You assume that Greece is the rational actor in this situation. It's a stupid crackwhore, desperate for a bit of debt relief.

    It is also fair to say that Western decisions on financial aid are not made by accountants, ultimately they are made by politicians, who do consider geopolitics.

    Surely Greece can see that IMF is dumping billions of dollars into the Ukraine for no other reason than geopolitics. Ukrainian regime also got a nice debt relief a couple of years back - to better resist "Russian aggression".

    IMF funded by a lot of countries though – Russia now one of the top ten important creditors and more influential owners of the IMF (although it’s proportion of ownership is still multiples times smaller compared to US).

    Russia is 8th largest shareholder of the IMF (out of 189 countries). US is largest share-holder, and then Japan and China.

    Decisions are based on member voting which is based on share in the organization, so Russia has 8th largest vote in IMF, but behind USA, Japan, China, etc.

    Part of the Greek debt is owned by Russia through the IMF, probably relative to Russian ownership of IMF and the debt relief packages partly also funded from Russian loans.

    Fortunately, IMF ownership of Greek debt is several times smaller than the eurozone countries. But Russia’s government share of Greece debt will probably be some billions of dollars. That’s how Greece can basically continue receiving money – so many countries are owed money on their debt.

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  205. @LondonBob
    Sun Tzu say avoid combat with superior force, bide time and wait till you are stronger. Of course doesn't take Sun Tzu to work that out, even if he did say it.

    Not really applicable in Russia’s situation. We are already at war, it’s entirely one-way for now, but that doesn’t make it less of a war.

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  206. Cyrano says:
    @Mr. Hack
    You're on the right track, buddy! I don't know why AP tries to continually put you in place by pointing out that you're not really a Slav, but some sort of Balkanized Turk. Who cares? Your last two comments indicate that you're capable of evolving your thinking patterns much higher that the typical 97 or 98. Heck, I'd guess that you're a solid 99! Keep it up!

    Thanks man, that’s what I have been craving all my life – an approval from a Ukrainian hick. You keep it up too buddy, your encouragement means the world to me.

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    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    Although you show a lot of promise, unfortunately there are still a few rough edges. Don't concentrate so much on your less than honorable pedigree, but work on improving your emotional dilemmas. AP is a medical doctor, and has diagnosed some of your ailments. Listen to him, for he's a pure blood Slav. And you know how great the Slavic race is. (I know that you can overcome!).
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  207. Dmitry says:
    @Gerard2

    You can see unpopularity of announcements to raise VAT or pension age.
     
    It's fake outrage and fake unpopularity on these two issues. 18% increased to 20% is a non-issue ( the budget is being spent significantly better than ever to offset this increase in VAT)

    A lot of nonsense about "long overdue" get's said about pension reform...but this is total BS.
    Yes Russia has 48 million out of 146 million as pensioners, but the most important thing is the unexpected , way above average increase in life expectancy ....... that has actually instigated this move by the authorities.

    Those approaching retirement won't suddenly have to work 1-5 years longer... they can still opt-in to the current arrangements in the overlapping period..and with guarantees pension increased much further to corresponding inflation levels than now.


    Either way, it’s known there need to be economic reforms
     
    Disagree with this....the same patterns that have been shown in the last 4 years need to continue, no radical "reform" is necessary. Small and medium sized business have gone from 10 million to 20 million people and should easily reach the target in afew years time that the President wished for in May,credit behavior and availability is becoming more and more western,

    Instead of saying "reduction in size of government sector" you must specify exactly which areas of state control should be privatised....too often from liberasts their focus is solely on getting state control off critically important energy resources and distribution....nothing else.

    VAT is not a “non-issue”. When you raise from 18% to 20%, then you are taking significantly more money from the whole population (including poor people) who want to buy things in private sector, and transferring this money to state sector, where not all extra money (to be “polite”) is going to be used “wisely”.

    At the same time, a problem now is to have up to 50% of the federal budget from oil/gas revenues – which is a volatile priced resource.

    So it’s typical dilemma with neither option looking good.

    Of course, the solution to both, is to reduce unnecessary government expenditure, which continues to grow all the time in many useless areas, to the extent that you can see expressed in even unhidden ways of the luxurious buildings being constructed for all kinds of different government offices who could really do their job just as well (or incompetently) in a warehouse or a polyester and nylon tent.

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    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
    Increasing taxation reduces private consumption, but I'm skeptical that it creates a long-term output gap (short term is a different matter). The OECD has prosperous economies with taxation at a share of GDP ranging from about one-third to three-fifths. Such a wide divergence suggests that high taxes and prosperity are not incompatible. Money spent by the state is still spent, and even if it's spent dubiously it continues to circulate.

    Russia's official economic plan (besides import substitution) is to increase capital spending. It intends to do with while retaining fiscal discipline and limiting offshore borrowing. If you are unable or unwilling to borrow to finance investment, you must suppress consumption.

    Suppressing consumption to finance investment has a track record of success in East Asia and for that matter Russia itself (~1928-1970).

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-08-12/putin-s-wealth-shift-takes-aim-at-russian-economy-s-idled-engine

    The intent is to increase capital spending from one-fifth of GDP to one-quarter. A reasonable goal.

    The real issue here of course is that the intent is for this increase in investment to come from the state and state-controlled companies, whose track records are dubious.

    Still, perhaps something good could be done. Russia's nuclear industry is one bright spot, and shifting to a more nuclear power mix would allow for more hydrocarbon exports and improve public health. Russia is a growing agricultural exporter, and somehow I doubt Russia has the ubiquitous farm roads like we have here in the American Midwest.

    Perhaps it would be wiser to reduce Rouble borrowing costs for the business sector by suppressing consumer credit and promoting higher household savings. Household savings rate in Russia is only 8%. China is 38%.
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  208. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Mr. Hack


    What do you mean uncritically? I think that the citation is very critical of you. If you're looking for something even more critical, just let me know?

    [MORE]

    Your reading comprehension sucks.

    You uncritically referenced an anonymous, lying coward (not too much different from yourself BTW), who ducked a live one hours BBC World Service radio panel discussion, much unlike the person who you’ve an obsession with.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mikhail


    That's: a live one hour....
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  209. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Mikhail


    Your reading comprehension sucks.

    You uncritically referenced an anonymous, lying coward (not too much different from yourself BTW), who ducked a live one hours BBC World Service radio panel discussion, much unlike the person who you've an obsession with.

    [MORE]

    That’s: a live one hour….

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack


    That is pretty incredible, however, because of your reputation perhaps she was afraid of some sort of retribution for being critical of you? I notice that you often like to taunt me on by calling me a 'coward' for using a moniker instead of presenting you with my true identity. Whether deserved or not, many feel that you're some sort of a Kremlin Stooge nutcase, Mickey. From Srebrenica Genocide Denier to this:

    friend of mike averko | April 12, 2010 at 4:17 pm | Reply
    I have known mike averko for a very long time and wish to warn all of you who feel safe mocking him and his rants…this is not someone you want to get angry. HE IS INSANE!!! I have seen how this man lives and it is not that of a healthy person, it is that of someone insane. Make your comments but don’t ever let this man into yuour life in any way or you will end up being sorry.

     

    This is why I choose to shield my true identity from you, Mickey. Who needs any grief from a Kremlin Stooge wacko?
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  210. @Dmitry
    VAT is not a "non-issue". When you raise from 18% to 20%, then you are taking significantly more money from the whole population (including poor people) who want to buy things in private sector, and transferring this money to state sector, where not all extra money (to be "polite") is going to be used "wisely".

    At the same time, a problem now is to have up to 50% of the federal budget from oil/gas revenues - which is a volatile priced resource.

    So it's typical dilemma with neither option looking good.

    Of course, the solution to both, is to reduce unnecessary government expenditure, which continues to grow all the time in many useless areas, to the extent that you can see expressed in even unhidden ways of the luxurious buildings being constructed for all kinds of different government offices who could really do their job just as well (or incompetently) in a warehouse or a polyester and nylon tent.

    Increasing taxation reduces private consumption, but I’m skeptical that it creates a long-term output gap (short term is a different matter). The OECD has prosperous economies with taxation at a share of GDP ranging from about one-third to three-fifths. Such a wide divergence suggests that high taxes and prosperity are not incompatible. Money spent by the state is still spent, and even if it’s spent dubiously it continues to circulate.

    Russia’s official economic plan (besides import substitution) is to increase capital spending. It intends to do with while retaining fiscal discipline and limiting offshore borrowing. If you are unable or unwilling to borrow to finance investment, you must suppress consumption.

    Suppressing consumption to finance investment has a track record of success in East Asia and for that matter Russia itself (~1928-1970).

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-08-12/putin-s-wealth-shift-takes-aim-at-russian-economy-s-idled-engine

    The intent is to increase capital spending from one-fifth of GDP to one-quarter. A reasonable goal.

    The real issue here of course is that the intent is for this increase in investment to come from the state and state-controlled companies, whose track records are dubious.

    Still, perhaps something good could be done. Russia’s nuclear industry is one bright spot, and shifting to a more nuclear power mix would allow for more hydrocarbon exports and improve public health. Russia is a growing agricultural exporter, and somehow I doubt Russia has the ubiquitous farm roads like we have here in the American Midwest.

    Perhaps it would be wiser to reduce Rouble borrowing costs for the business sector by suppressing consumer credit and promoting higher household savings. Household savings rate in Russia is only 8%. China is 38%.

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    • Replies: @g2k
    On the subject of of agriculture, it should be noted that Rostelmash has done ok for a big sovok behemoth and has had at least some success exporting west. It's combines are competitive with the American makes but not Claas, they've also been able to buy up varsatile. This is quite surprising given the fact that rostov has a reputation for being a rough and corrupt place. Ak, any thoughts?
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  211. Anon[204] • Disclaimer says:

    “F-35 has inferior kinematic performance to most, if not all, of the Generation 4 fighters it’s supposed to replace or oppose. Lack of a bubble canopy is also a major step backwards. Quite a dubious distinction for a new aircraft.”

    The F-35 will have an over-the-horizon A2A capability that will result in virtually any other aircraft being annihilated long before it closes distance on it. The bubble canopy is really only useful in dogfights; the F-35, scheduled to be built by the thousands, likely won’t get into one-on-one engagements without serious air support. The bubble canopy reduces stealth, so it was removed. That was the right decision.

    “That leaves its stealth and its supposedly wiz-bang sensors.”

    Its sensors have already been tested against the F-22 – a proven aircraft – and are almost certainly far and away superior to anything fielded by the Russians. There is no “supposedly” here as the US has already built aircraft with similarly impressive sensor suites. There is no reason to believe the F-35′s sensors won’t be just as good, and probably far superior, to what it has already been able to produce. Any belief to the contrary is wishful thinking.

    “Stealth is nice, but it drives up operating costs and reduces sortie rates.”

    The US can easily afford it.

    “And on a small aircraft, you can’t carry large war loads without sacrificing your stealth.”

    Doesn’t matter. The F-35 will be operating with many other F-35s. Combined, it will be a formidable foe.

    “F-35 stealth is in the frontal area only, optimized for the X-band.”

    No, it’s not. The F-35 is simply more stealthy frontal but still stealthy over all. Further, X-band is the frequency required for a weapons lock. All stealth aircraft are specialized for this radar band.

    “It will be easily detected by long wavelength radars.”

    Radars not capable of generating a weapon’s grade lock, so they’re useless in combat. Further, long wavelength radars – weather radars, basically – can already detect stealth aircraft; that’s always been true. Didn’t do Iraq any good back in the 90s.

    “In air to air combat it would rely upon detecting intercepting aircraft and firing AMRAAMs before they can lock on or, heaven forbid, close to visual range (where the F-35 will be dogmeat).”

    Which they will do very effectively. 100 F-35s vs. 100 Russian Su-27s, both closing on each other = 100 piles of wreckage and 100 F-35s.

    “The Air Force has long said that the F-35 isn’t optimized for air combat. I suppose the idea was that F-22s and legacy fighters would handle air superiority missions. F-35s, with frontal stealth, would be able to get close to targets and attack them with PGMs.”

    F-35 + F-22 is a potent combination. Even a squadron of F-35s alone would crush anything the Russians have. If necessary, the air force will likely just dogpile a large number of F-35s to make up for any perceived weakness. Considering the numbers scheduled to be produced, that should work fine.

    “As for its allegedly wonderful sensors, I am skeptical.”

    You have no reason to be skeptical. The US has continually fielded next generation weapons that have worked quite well in combat. There is no reason to believe this will be any different. Further, your qualifications seem to be essentially nill in this area as you have displayed very limited knowledge of the subject. Your skepticism doesn’t seem to be based on anything concrete, just wishful thinking.

    “Lots of air forces continuously modernize old designs with AESA radars, glass cockpits, etc. Why exactly is a new airframe needed for any of this?”

    This one statement qualifies you as an amateur that should be ignored.

    “That said it’s not like the F-35 is awful, and as usual pilot skill and other factors can overcome inappropriate technology.”

    The technology on the F-35 will crush its competition.

    “If you have to buy from Western suppliers, a mix of F-15X and Gripen NGs seems ideal. If you can’t afford two classes of fighter, the Rafale is a very good compromise.”

    Sure, if you’re poor and want to lose against countries fielding 5th generation fighter aircraft.

    “As for the Su-57, it’s somewhat like the F-35 in its limited stealth. But it’s also like the Su-27 family in having superb kinematic performance.”

    Having superb kinematic performance doesn’t count for much if your opponent is flying in an aircraft that can shoot you down long before you close to within visual range.

    “Russia’s official reason for delaying entry into service is that the Su-35 is adequate for existing threats, which is probably true.”

    Russia is delaying because 1. they can’t afford to buy the aircraft 2. they are having trouble constructing the aircraft as designed and in the quantity required 3. it probably isn’t as good as the F-35 anyway, so they don’t see a point in building it.

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    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson

    The F-35 will have an over-the-horizon A2A capability that will result in virtually any other aircraft being annihilated long before it closes distance on it. The bubble canopy is really only useful in dogfights; the F-35, scheduled to be built by the thousands, likely won’t get into one-on-one engagements without serious air support. The bubble canopy reduces stealth, so it was removed. That was the right decision.
     
    "Over-the-horizon A2A capability" has existed for half a century. Previously structuring our airpower around this concept resulted in high losses in Vietnam.

    The real reason for the bubble canopy's elimination (note that the stealthier F-22 and YF-23 both have bubble canopies) is the ridiculous insistence on the same platform being used for a STOVL aircraft with a lift fan placed right in the middle of the fuselage.

    If your goal is to maximize stealth and only fight BVR engagements, the F-35's design is entirely inappropriate. After all, its stealth is in the front area only and it can't carry a large missile load.

    Optimizing exclusively for BVR combat would entail a large tailless aircraft (perhaps a flying wing) with all-aspect stealth, large internal volumes of missiles, and far more powerful radar.

    The F-35's design is based on political and economic considerations, not military ones.


    Its sensors have already been tested against the F-22 – a proven aircraft – and are almost certainly far and away superior to anything fielded by the Russians. There is no “supposedly” here as the US has already built aircraft with similarly impressive sensor suites. There is no reason to believe the F-35′s sensors won’t be just as good, and probably far superior, to what it has already been able to produce. Any belief to the contrary is wishful thinking.
     
    I have no doubt in the capability to produce and field top-class avionics. What I do doubt is the idea that we produce (and always will produce) superior avionics to anyone else. Europe, Russia, China, Japan, and even tiny Israel all produce AESA radars. The US lagged Russia (and Europe) in IRST for decades. The US is far behind on low-frequency radar.

    The US can easily afford it.
     
    You'll note that this was originally about F-35 exports. A solution with high operating costs and low sortie rates is problematic for anyone, but especially undesirable for a small power.

    Radars not capable of generating a weapon’s grade lock, so they’re useless in combat. Further, long wavelength radars – weather radars, basically – can already detect stealth aircraft; that’s always been true. Didn’t do Iraq any good back in the 90s.
     
    Detection is not useless. It allows you to vector interceptors until they get close enough for a radar lock or can identify the target with IRST or visual tracking.

    Incompetent Arabalonians. Norman Scwhartzkopf stated that if you'd reversed the weapons on each side but kept the personnel and training the same, the Allied coalition would've still handily won. Serbia incidentally did successfully shoot down an F-117, which largely owed itself to the skill of the operator in question and poor tactics on the part of NATO.

    Which they will do very effectively. 100 F-35s vs. 100 Russian Su-27s, both closing on each other = 100 piles of wreckage and 100 F-35s.
     
    The RAND Corporation disagreed and projected one Su-35 lost for each 2.4 F-35s.


    F-35 + F-22 is a potent combination. Even a squadron of F-35s alone would crush anything the Russians have. If necessary, the air force will likely just dogpile a large number of F-35s to make up for any perceived weakness. Considering the numbers scheduled to be produced, that should work fine.
     
    F-22 production capped at 187 units, and none were exported to other countries (despite persistent requests from Japan).


    You have no reason to be skeptical. The US has continually fielded next generation weapons that have worked quite well in combat. There is no reason to believe this will be any different. Further, your qualifications seem to be essentially nill in this area as you have displayed very limited knowledge of the subject. Your skepticism doesn’t seem to be based on anything concrete, just wishful thinking.
    [...]
    This one statement qualifies you as an amateur that should be ignored.
    [...]
    The technology on the F-35 will crush its competition.
     
    This is what is known as projection. Identifying in others the sins that you yourself are guilty of.

    Sure, if you’re poor and want to lose against countries fielding 5th generation fighter aircraft.
     
    Many countries are poor. Others are small or have limited defense budgets. Though I contend thee aircraft in question are in fact superior to the F-35 which makes this moot.

    Having superb kinematic performance doesn’t count for much if your opponent is flying in an aircraft that can shoot you down long before you close to within visual range.
     
    Superb kinematic performance enables earlier missile shots, makes it easier to defeat incoming missile shots, allows for faster transit in and out of combat zones, and gives a decisive edge in WVR combat.

    The F-35 program developed a first-class powerplant and avionics, but then mated then to an inferior airframe in order to fulfill a commonality fantasy driven by a silly Marine Corps STOVL requirement.
    , @utu

    The F-35 will have an over-the-horizon A2A capability that will result in virtually any other aircraft being annihilated long before it closes distance on it.
     
    If this is the case then obviously its 'kinematic performance' is secondary. If you can see the enemy before it can see you and you have weapons to engage the enemy then obviously your top speed and acceleration are not that important. The missile you launch is faster than your top speed and your enemy's top speed.

    But there are doubts. How much the stealth technology is a hype? Is information about radar cross sections of various planes credible?
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  212. Sean says:
    @Thorfinnsson
    Using your own software is common for technologically advanced powers concerned about their sovereignty and their own military-industrial capabilities. Japan for instance (after being bullied out of building its own indigenous fighter in the 80s) built its own upgraded version of the F-16 which, among other things, included Japanese software. Like Israel, Japan also fields its own air-to-air missiles which on paper are in the first rank.

    The UK took a different route of becoming a Level 1 Partner on the F-35 program, so they received privileged access to the source code which is not available to other powers.

    The F-35 is not very useful for fighting Russia or China, but fine for fighting most anyone else. It actually could have some utility against America since America lags Russia and China in low-frequency radar and infrared search and track, but probably the real reluctance is safeguarding technology. In particular materials (e.g. the new RAM panels instead of finicky coatings) and the engines.

    The F-35 is for transferring US technology to Israel

    https://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/israels-air-force-might-have-the-ultimate-weapon-custom-25983
    Lockheed-Martin has mostly refused to allow major country-specific modifications to the F-35, despite the hundreds of millions of dollars foreign F-35 operators contributed to the aircraft’s development. Israel, however, managed to carve out an exception. Though not an investor in the F-35’s development, Tel Aviv was nonetheless quick to sign on to the program with an initial order of fifty. It also negotiated a favorable deal in which billions of dollars worth of F-35 wings and sophisticated helmet sets would be manufactured in Israel, paid for with U.S. military aid. Furthermore, depot-level maintenance will occur in a facility operated by Israeli Aeronautics Industries rather than at a Lockheed facility abroad.

    The Lightning’s sophisticated flight computer and ground-based logistics system has become a matter of contention with many F-35 operators. Foreign air forces would like to have greater access to the F-35’s computer source codes to upgrade and modify them as they see fit without needing to involve external parties—but Lockheed doesn’t want to hand over full access for both commercial and security-based reasons. Israeli F-35Is uniquely will have an overriding Israeli-built C4 program that runs “on top” of Lockheed’s operating system.

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  213. Anon[121] • Disclaimer says:

    “Right, which is why Denmark bought the F-35. The one which even Americans were criticising. Buying American weaponry is often a combination of tribute, corruption and paying protection money.”

    Please. They bought the F-35 because it is the best aircraft they could get, and they don’t trust the Russians. If they wanted to offer tribute, they’d just write a check and buy another aircraft.

    Further, much of the so-called criticism of the F-35 came from non-experts in the subject or older guys who worked with the now-outdated F-14. The F-35 has made enough progress for me to believe that it will likely crush anything the Russians have now or in the future. Even if the Russians could build the Su-57, the F-35 would still win in most contests because 1. its sensor suite and over the horizon A2A capability + electronic warfare capability will be appreciably superior 2. it will be built in far larger numbers.

    “The F-35 is not very useful for fighting Russia or China, but fine for fighting most anyone else.”

    The F-35 will be quite effective against any aircraft those countries currently field. Any belief to the contrary is either ignorance or delusion. The US isn’t spending a trillion dollars on this thing to fight Trinidad and Tobago.

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  214. @Anon
    "F-35 has inferior kinematic performance to most, if not all, of the Generation 4 fighters it’s supposed to replace or oppose. Lack of a bubble canopy is also a major step backwards. Quite a dubious distinction for a new aircraft."

    The F-35 will have an over-the-horizon A2A capability that will result in virtually any other aircraft being annihilated long before it closes distance on it. The bubble canopy is really only useful in dogfights; the F-35, scheduled to be built by the thousands, likely won't get into one-on-one engagements without serious air support. The bubble canopy reduces stealth, so it was removed. That was the right decision.

    "That leaves its stealth and its supposedly wiz-bang sensors."

    Its sensors have already been tested against the F-22 - a proven aircraft - and are almost certainly far and away superior to anything fielded by the Russians. There is no "supposedly" here as the US has already built aircraft with similarly impressive sensor suites. There is no reason to believe the F-35's sensors won't be just as good, and probably far superior, to what it has already been able to produce. Any belief to the contrary is wishful thinking.

    "Stealth is nice, but it drives up operating costs and reduces sortie rates."

    The US can easily afford it.

    "And on a small aircraft, you can’t carry large war loads without sacrificing your stealth."

    Doesn't matter. The F-35 will be operating with many other F-35s. Combined, it will be a formidable foe.

    "F-35 stealth is in the frontal area only, optimized for the X-band."

    No, it's not. The F-35 is simply more stealthy frontal but still stealthy over all. Further, X-band is the frequency required for a weapons lock. All stealth aircraft are specialized for this radar band.

    "It will be easily detected by long wavelength radars."

    Radars not capable of generating a weapon's grade lock, so they're useless in combat. Further, long wavelength radars - weather radars, basically - can already detect stealth aircraft; that's always been true. Didn't do Iraq any good back in the 90s.

    "In air to air combat it would rely upon detecting intercepting aircraft and firing AMRAAMs before they can lock on or, heaven forbid, close to visual range (where the F-35 will be dogmeat)."

    Which they will do very effectively. 100 F-35s vs. 100 Russian Su-27s, both closing on each other = 100 piles of wreckage and 100 F-35s.

    "The Air Force has long said that the F-35 isn’t optimized for air combat. I suppose the idea was that F-22s and legacy fighters would handle air superiority missions. F-35s, with frontal stealth, would be able to get close to targets and attack them with PGMs."

    F-35 + F-22 is a potent combination. Even a squadron of F-35s alone would crush anything the Russians have. If necessary, the air force will likely just dogpile a large number of F-35s to make up for any perceived weakness. Considering the numbers scheduled to be produced, that should work fine.

    "As for its allegedly wonderful sensors, I am skeptical."

    You have no reason to be skeptical. The US has continually fielded next generation weapons that have worked quite well in combat. There is no reason to believe this will be any different. Further, your qualifications seem to be essentially nill in this area as you have displayed very limited knowledge of the subject. Your skepticism doesn't seem to be based on anything concrete, just wishful thinking.

    "Lots of air forces continuously modernize old designs with AESA radars, glass cockpits, etc. Why exactly is a new airframe needed for any of this?"

    This one statement qualifies you as an amateur that should be ignored.

    "That said it’s not like the F-35 is awful, and as usual pilot skill and other factors can overcome inappropriate technology."

    The technology on the F-35 will crush its competition.

    "If you have to buy from Western suppliers, a mix of F-15X and Gripen NGs seems ideal. If you can’t afford two classes of fighter, the Rafale is a very good compromise."

    Sure, if you're poor and want to lose against countries fielding 5th generation fighter aircraft.

    "As for the Su-57, it’s somewhat like the F-35 in its limited stealth. But it’s also like the Su-27 family in having superb kinematic performance."

    Having superb kinematic performance doesn't count for much if your opponent is flying in an aircraft that can shoot you down long before you close to within visual range.

    "Russia’s official reason for delaying entry into service is that the Su-35 is adequate for existing threats, which is probably true."

    Russia is delaying because 1. they can't afford to buy the aircraft 2. they are having trouble constructing the aircraft as designed and in the quantity required 3. it probably isn't as good as the F-35 anyway, so they don't see a point in building it.

    The F-35 will have an over-the-horizon A2A capability that will result in virtually any other aircraft being annihilated long before it closes distance on it. The bubble canopy is really only useful in dogfights; the F-35, scheduled to be built by the thousands, likely won’t get into one-on-one engagements without serious air support. The bubble canopy reduces stealth, so it was removed. That was the right decision.

    “Over-the-horizon A2A capability” has existed for half a century. Previously structuring our airpower around this concept resulted in high losses in Vietnam.

    The real reason for the bubble canopy’s elimination (note that the stealthier F-22 and YF-23 both have bubble canopies) is the ridiculous insistence on the same platform being used for a STOVL aircraft with a lift fan placed right in the middle of the fuselage.

    If your goal is to maximize stealth and only fight BVR engagements, the F-35′s design is entirely inappropriate. After all, its stealth is in the front area only and it can’t carry a large missile load.

    Optimizing exclusively for BVR combat would entail a large tailless aircraft (perhaps a flying wing) with all-aspect stealth, large internal volumes of missiles, and far more powerful radar.

    The F-35′s design is based on political and economic considerations, not military ones.

    Its sensors have already been tested against the F-22 – a proven aircraft – and are almost certainly far and away superior to anything fielded by the Russians. There is no “supposedly” here as the US has already built aircraft with similarly impressive sensor suites. There is no reason to believe the F-35′s sensors won’t be just as good, and probably far superior, to what it has already been able to produce. Any belief to the contrary is wishful thinking.

    I have no doubt in the capability to produce and field top-class avionics. What I do doubt is the idea that we produce (and always will produce) superior avionics to anyone else. Europe, Russia, China, Japan, and even tiny Israel all produce AESA radars. The US lagged Russia (and Europe) in IRST for decades. The US is far behind on low-frequency radar.

    The US can easily afford it.

    You’ll note that this was originally about F-35 exports. A solution with high operating costs and low sortie rates is problematic for anyone, but especially undesirable for a small power.

    Radars not capable of generating a weapon’s grade lock, so they’re useless in combat. Further, long wavelength radars – weather radars, basically – can already detect stealth aircraft; that’s always been true. Didn’t do Iraq any good back in the 90s.

    Detection is not useless. It allows you to vector interceptors until they get close enough for a radar lock or can identify the target with IRST or visual tracking.

    Incompetent Arabalonians. Norman Scwhartzkopf stated that if you’d reversed the weapons on each side but kept the personnel and training the same, the Allied coalition would’ve still handily won. Serbia incidentally did successfully shoot down an F-117, which largely owed itself to the skill of the operator in question and poor tactics on the part of NATO.

    Which they will do very effectively. 100 F-35s vs. 100 Russian Su-27s, both closing on each other = 100 piles of wreckage and 100 F-35s.

    The RAND Corporation disagreed and projected one Su-35 lost for each 2.4 F-35s.

    F-35 + F-22 is a potent combination. Even a squadron of F-35s alone would crush anything the Russians have. If necessary, the air force will likely just dogpile a large number of F-35s to make up for any perceived weakness. Considering the numbers scheduled to be produced, that should work fine.

    F-22 production capped at 187 units, and none were exported to other countries (despite persistent requests from Japan).

    You have no reason to be skeptical. The US has continually fielded next generation weapons that have worked quite well in combat. There is no reason to believe this will be any different. Further, your qualifications seem to be essentially nill in this area as you have displayed very limited knowledge of the subject. Your skepticism doesn’t seem to be based on anything concrete, just wishful thinking.
    [...]
    This one statement qualifies you as an amateur that should be ignored.
    [...]
    The technology on the F-35 will crush its competition.

    This is what is known as projection. Identifying in others the sins that you yourself are guilty of.

    Sure, if you’re poor and want to lose against countries fielding 5th generation fighter aircraft.

    Many countries are poor. Others are small or have limited defense budgets. Though I contend thee aircraft in question are in fact superior to the F-35 which makes this moot.

    Having superb kinematic performance doesn’t count for much if your opponent is flying in an aircraft that can shoot you down long before you close to within visual range.

    Superb kinematic performance enables earlier missile shots, makes it easier to defeat incoming missile shots, allows for faster transit in and out of combat zones, and gives a decisive edge in WVR combat.

    The F-35 program developed a first-class powerplant and avionics, but then mated then to an inferior airframe in order to fulfill a commonality fantasy driven by a silly Marine Corps STOVL requirement.

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  215. Sean says:
    @Mr. Hack
    His 'Italian friend'? Were they fishing buddies where somebody got jealous of their 'friendship' and decided to take the Italian out? Could've been another Russian job too?...

    Litvinenko was said to be sympathetic to Chechen separatism.
     
    Now, this is really stupid, I think that even you'll have to admit Mickey. Are we to believe that because Litvinenko was sympathetic to Chechen separatism, that this somehow made him impervious to any sort of Russian assault? Please explain this one to me!

    Never mind the impracticality of the Russian government using something like polonium to bump someone off, when there’re effectively cheaper ways of doing such.

     

    Well, somebody was responsible for this ill advised murder, and did so in this grotesque and over the top manner. Why not the Russians, are they somehow smarter than the rest? If Russia wasn't full of fools, why are they circumvented by the world community with unnecessary and embarrasing sanctions, anyway? Besides, as I've already pointed out, there were many reasons why the Kremlin wanted Litvinenko gone.

    The Kremlin would have killed the organ grinder (Boris Abramovich Berezovsky) not the monkey. Litvinenko virtually committed suicide. People become depressed when they are exiles.. Litvinenko publicly accused Putin of the apartment bombings by Chechens that killed hundreds of Russians so he must have had some inkling that Putin could be dangerous.

    If you publicly call someone a child molester they will at least fantasize about killing you, and if they have the means and opportunity then it is not the biggest surprise in the world if you give them the motive and you are killed by a method that is as good as a signed confession they did it. Putin wanted Litvinenko to know who had put an end to him. That was the whole point of using alpha radiation; nice and slow all the while knowing who did it. Putin is very like another famous Vlad.

    https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/vampirediaries/images/0/08/Vlad-The-Impaler-dracula-untold-37680708-854-347.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20141217165742

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor

    If you publicly call someone a child molester they will at least fantasize about killing you
     
    I have fantasized about killing people who had seriously harmed me or the public. But I have never fantasized about killing a clown, nor can I ever imagine fantasizing about it. I cannot imagine anyone who is not a psychopath fantasizing about killing a clown. By accusing Putin of the house explosions and converting to Islam etc. Litvinenko totally jumped the shark. He was a clown, a tool used by others.

    Now it’s not impossible that Putin nevertheless wanted to murder Litvinenko, but you have just assumed how Putin would think and then proceeded to jump to a conclusion based on that assumption.

    Litvinenko was a poor devil, incapable of harming Putin. If anyone harmed Putin, it’s Berezovsky or the western media which gave a platform to poor devils like Litvinenko. Do you think Putin is so stupid that he hates the tools instead of the powerful people wielding them?

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  216. @Sean
    The Kremlin would have killed the organ grinder (Boris Abramovich Berezovsky) not the monkey. Litvinenko virtually committed suicide. People become depressed when they are exiles.. Litvinenko publicly accused Putin of the apartment bombings by Chechens that killed hundreds of Russians so he must have had some inkling that Putin could be dangerous.

    If you publicly call someone a child molester they will at least fantasize about killing you, and if they have the means and opportunity then it is not the biggest surprise in the world if you give them the motive and you are killed by a method that is as good as a signed confession they did it. Putin wanted Litvinenko to know who had put an end to him. That was the whole point of using alpha radiation; nice and slow all the while knowing who did it. Putin is very like another famous Vlad.

    https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/vampirediaries/images/0/08/Vlad-The-Impaler-dracula-untold-37680708-854-347.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20141217165742

    If you publicly call someone a child molester they will at least fantasize about killing you

    I have fantasized about killing people who had seriously harmed me or the public. But I have never fantasized about killing a clown, nor can I ever imagine fantasizing about it. I cannot imagine anyone who is not a psychopath fantasizing about killing a clown. By accusing Putin of the house explosions and converting to Islam etc. Litvinenko totally jumped the shark. He was a clown, a tool used by others.

    Now it’s not impossible that Putin nevertheless wanted to murder Litvinenko, but you have just assumed how Putin would think and then proceeded to jump to a conclusion based on that assumption.

    Litvinenko was a poor devil, incapable of harming Putin. If anyone harmed Putin, it’s Berezovsky or the western media which gave a platform to poor devils like Litvinenko. Do you think Putin is so stupid that he hates the tools instead of the powerful people wielding them?

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    • Replies: @Sean
    I thought like you before Skripal, but after the second in a row I understood this was either Western intelligence or Putin's orders. Western intelligence simply would not dare frame Putin because the Russians would become too jumpy. Yeltsin almost started WW3 in 1995, there is no telling what could happen if the West was framing Putin repeatedly and he responded by putting Russian forces on red alert, then something like the Black Brant scare occurred.

    Litvinenko was a poor devil.
     
    I don't think he was a happy man.

    Now it’s not impossible that Putin nevertheless wanted to murder Litvinenko, but you have just assumed how Putin would think and then proceeded to jump to a conclusion based on that assumption.
     
    I happen to believe that Putin is deliberately trying to alienate the West with these assassinations because he wants Russia to remain proudly independent after he is gone. Yet he has to justify that policy to his close associates many of whom who love the Western lifestyle and making money. It is like Hitler having to explain his attack on the USSR to his generals and Goebbels by saying it was necessary to remove that threat from the east before moving against Britain. Obviously Hitler really longed to conquer Russia, and it seems likely to me that Putin wants to initiate schismogenesis with the West. He probably is not telling his cronies that though, there will be some security pretext.

    Do you think Putin is so stupid that he hates the tools instead of the powerful people wielding them?
     
    Putin has more power than anyone else on Earth, I should have thought that was obvious by now. He wants to exert control when he is no longer there, and that means setting Russia on a course that cannot be altered, and consulting/implicating the entire future leadership cadre.
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  217. Mr. Hack says:
    @Mikhail


    That's: a live one hour....

    [MORE]

    That is pretty incredible, however, because of your reputation perhaps she was afraid of some sort of retribution for being critical of you? I notice that you often like to taunt me on by calling me a ‘coward’ for using a moniker instead of presenting you with my true identity. Whether deserved or not, many feel that you’re some sort of a Kremlin Stooge nutcase, Mickey. From Srebrenica Genocide Denier to this:

    friend of mike averko | April 12, 2010 at 4:17 pm | Reply
    I have known mike averko for a very long time and wish to warn all of you who feel safe mocking him and his rants…this is not someone you want to get angry. HE IS INSANE!!! I have seen how this man lives and it is not that of a healthy person, it is that of someone insane. Make your comments but don’t ever let this man into yuour life in any way or you will end up being sorry.

    This is why I choose to shield my true identity from you, Mickey. Who needs any grief from a Kremlin Stooge wacko?

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    • Replies: @Mikhail


    No, you're a cowardly anonymous troll, who uncritically references such people. Much different from yours truly.
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  218. utu says:
    @anonymous coward

    So it comes down to the meaning after all.
     
    No, it actually doesn't. The probabilities grow as c^n, while the Universe doesn't. No matter how big it is, it's still a fixed size due to the laws of conservation of mass and energy.

    Every word out of 208 billions may have a mining in some other language that you do not know of.
     
    Even if every atom in the observable Universe had its own language, the number of possible letter combinations would still be vastly bigger.

    Why you insist that the disproof of evolution or the random Universe must be based on what has meaning in English language?

     

    I'm not "disproving" anything. I'm demonstrating that the "monkeys and typewriters" argument used by biologists (and its variants "the universe is really big" and "the Earth is really old" arguments) violate basic mathematical logic.

    The Universe isn't really big. In fact, it is infinitesimal compared to the probabilities we're dealing with here.

    Once biologists acknowledge this obvious fact, then we can formulate some sort of theory, and maybe then there will be something to prove or disprove.

    Do you begin to understand where is the flaw in your argument
     
    Do you? The point is that we're traversing probability spaces here that grow exponentially, and yet nothing in nature can be exponential indefinitely. Somewhere in your assumptions is a grave error.

    [MORE]

    So it comes down to the meaning after all.

    No, it actually doesn’t.

    No, it does.

    The machine that draws the numbers for a lottery manages to pick 7 winning numbers every week. It never fails to pick the winning numbers. Is this an amazing feat? The numbers it picks are the winning numbers while millions of lottery players have great difficulty to pick the winning numbers and spend millions of dollar on it while the cost to the machine is just few bucks.

    Shakespeare picked 458 ‘winning’ letters but if you would try to reproduce them in the same sequence by random selections it becomes probabilistically impossible task.

    Finding a winning sonnet by Shakespeare for the Universe was not a probabilistic feat just as it is not for the lottery machine to pick the winning numbers. It all comes down to the meaning and when that meaning is assigned. You assigned a special meaning to this particular sequence of 458 letters just like lottery players assign special meaning to 7 numbers picked by a machine.

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  219. Mr. Hack says:
    @Cyrano
    Thanks man, that's what I have been craving all my life - an approval from a Ukrainian hick. You keep it up too buddy, your encouragement means the world to me.

    Although you show a lot of promise, unfortunately there are still a few rough edges. Don’t concentrate so much on your less than honorable pedigree, but work on improving your emotional dilemmas. AP is a medical doctor, and has diagnosed some of your ailments. Listen to him, for he’s a pure blood Slav. And you know how great the Slavic race is. (I know that you can overcome!).

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    • Replies: @Cyrano
    You make it sound like being a Slav is like being a member of an exclusive club. How exclusive can it be if you – the Ukrainians are in it? I would say that that is setting the standards pretty low. Don’t worry about my “emotional” dilemmas. I am happy with who I am, which can’t be said about you people. You seem quite torn between your Western European heritage and your humble Slavic origin that gets in the way of being recognized as one of the nations that are pillars of western civilization which everybody agrees that you are.
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  220. g2k says:
    @Thorfinnsson
    Increasing taxation reduces private consumption, but I'm skeptical that it creates a long-term output gap (short term is a different matter). The OECD has prosperous economies with taxation at a share of GDP ranging from about one-third to three-fifths. Such a wide divergence suggests that high taxes and prosperity are not incompatible. Money spent by the state is still spent, and even if it's spent dubiously it continues to circulate.

    Russia's official economic plan (besides import substitution) is to increase capital spending. It intends to do with while retaining fiscal discipline and limiting offshore borrowing. If you are unable or unwilling to borrow to finance investment, you must suppress consumption.

    Suppressing consumption to finance investment has a track record of success in East Asia and for that matter Russia itself (~1928-1970).

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-08-12/putin-s-wealth-shift-takes-aim-at-russian-economy-s-idled-engine

    The intent is to increase capital spending from one-fifth of GDP to one-quarter. A reasonable goal.

    The real issue here of course is that the intent is for this increase in investment to come from the state and state-controlled companies, whose track records are dubious.

    Still, perhaps something good could be done. Russia's nuclear industry is one bright spot, and shifting to a more nuclear power mix would allow for more hydrocarbon exports and improve public health. Russia is a growing agricultural exporter, and somehow I doubt Russia has the ubiquitous farm roads like we have here in the American Midwest.

    Perhaps it would be wiser to reduce Rouble borrowing costs for the business sector by suppressing consumer credit and promoting higher household savings. Household savings rate in Russia is only 8%. China is 38%.

    On the subject of of agriculture, it should be noted that Rostelmash has done ok for a big sovok behemoth and has had at least some success exporting west. It’s combines are competitive with the American makes but not Claas, they’ve also been able to buy up varsatile. This is quite surprising given the fact that rostov has a reputation for being a rough and corrupt place. Ak, any thoughts?

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    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
    USSR engaged in intensive agricultural motorization earlier than any country other than the USA and Canada. It was also fairly early to intensive chemicalization, mainly beaten out by Germany and America.

    In the postwar period the share of capital investment devoted to agriculture varied from 11.8% in 1946-1950 to a peak of 20.1% in 1971-1975.

    Not surprising there is something of a positive legacy. Main failures of postwar Soviet agriculture were distribution and processing. Not enough roads or trucks, inadequate cold chain, too few food processing plants, etc.

    Belarus also has a successful agricultural machinery sector as well.

    Heavy transportation machinery was generally a Soviet success story, probably because not only are they producer goods but they also require routine replacement. Thus unlike other capital goods in centrally-planned economies they weren't kept in service long past the time they ceased to be efficient. The irrational "development" of Siberia also increased the size of this sector and the quality of its output.

    Lastly, worth noting Rostelmash has been privately owned since 2000.

    , @Philip Owen
    John Deere does very well in Russia because they own a local factory. They seem to be the combine of choice because they have faster parts distribution than Class. Rostelmash does better than it used to but the really big commercial farms and associated contractors buy the best machines. The operators on the ex cooperatives, usually farmed under (corrupt) rental arrangements tend to use Rostelmash, insofar as they buy new.
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  221. APilgrim says:

    The US Congress, has popularity & confidence levels in the toilet.

    Congress, in defiance of public opinion has MANDATED ‘Russia-Sanctions’, in the law.

    Congress has done this overwhelmingly & repeatedly, without VISIBLE public support.

    There is no evidence available to the American Public which justifies ‘Russia-Sanctions’.

    Sadly, the USA Public regards Vladimir Putin more highly than they regard congress.

    Vladimir Putin has consistently high favorable ratings with the US Public.

    Congress is rated below treatable venereal diseases, but above Ebola.

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  222. APilgrim says:

    Sadly, the USA Public regards Vladimir Putin more highly than they regard congress.

    Vladimir Putin has consistently high favorable ratings with the US Public.

    Congress is rated below treatable venereal diseases, but above Ebola.

    Read More
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  223. Cyrano says:
    @Mr. Hack
    Although you show a lot of promise, unfortunately there are still a few rough edges. Don't concentrate so much on your less than honorable pedigree, but work on improving your emotional dilemmas. AP is a medical doctor, and has diagnosed some of your ailments. Listen to him, for he's a pure blood Slav. And you know how great the Slavic race is. (I know that you can overcome!).

    You make it sound like being a Slav is like being a member of an exclusive club. How exclusive can it be if you – the Ukrainians are in it? I would say that that is setting the standards pretty low. Don’t worry about my “emotional” dilemmas. I am happy with who I am, which can’t be said about you people. You seem quite torn between your Western European heritage and your humble Slavic origin that gets in the way of being recognized as one of the nations that are pillars of western civilization which everybody agrees that you are.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack

    being recognized as one of the nations that are pillars of western civilization which everybody agrees that you are.
     
    Like I said, you're showing some progress. It's hard an takes some time, don't get discouraged.
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  224. @g2k
    On the subject of of agriculture, it should be noted that Rostelmash has done ok for a big sovok behemoth and has had at least some success exporting west. It's combines are competitive with the American makes but not Claas, they've also been able to buy up varsatile. This is quite surprising given the fact that rostov has a reputation for being a rough and corrupt place. Ak, any thoughts?

    USSR engaged in intensive agricultural motorization earlier than any country other than the USA and Canada. It was also fairly early to intensive chemicalization, mainly beaten out by Germany and America.

    In the postwar period the share of capital investment devoted to agriculture varied from 11.8% in 1946-1950 to a peak of 20.1% in 1971-1975.

    Not surprising there is something of a positive legacy. Main failures of postwar Soviet agriculture were distribution and processing. Not enough roads or trucks, inadequate cold chain, too few food processing plants, etc.

    Belarus also has a successful agricultural machinery sector as well.

    Heavy transportation machinery was generally a Soviet success story, probably because not only are they producer goods but they also require routine replacement. Thus unlike other capital goods in centrally-planned economies they weren’t kept in service long past the time they ceased to be efficient. The irrational “development” of Siberia also increased the size of this sector and the quality of its output.

    Lastly, worth noting Rostelmash has been privately owned since 2000.

    Read More
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  225. utu says:
    @Anon
    "F-35 has inferior kinematic performance to most, if not all, of the Generation 4 fighters it’s supposed to replace or oppose. Lack of a bubble canopy is also a major step backwards. Quite a dubious distinction for a new aircraft."

    The F-35 will have an over-the-horizon A2A capability that will result in virtually any other aircraft being annihilated long before it closes distance on it. The bubble canopy is really only useful in dogfights; the F-35, scheduled to be built by the thousands, likely won't get into one-on-one engagements without serious air support. The bubble canopy reduces stealth, so it was removed. That was the right decision.

    "That leaves its stealth and its supposedly wiz-bang sensors."

    Its sensors have already been tested against the F-22 - a proven aircraft - and are almost certainly far and away superior to anything fielded by the Russians. There is no "supposedly" here as the US has already built aircraft with similarly impressive sensor suites. There is no reason to believe the F-35's sensors won't be just as good, and probably far superior, to what it has already been able to produce. Any belief to the contrary is wishful thinking.

    "Stealth is nice, but it drives up operating costs and reduces sortie rates."

    The US can easily afford it.

    "And on a small aircraft, you can’t carry large war loads without sacrificing your stealth."

    Doesn't matter. The F-35 will be operating with many other F-35s. Combined, it will be a formidable foe.

    "F-35 stealth is in the frontal area only, optimized for the X-band."

    No, it's not. The F-35 is simply more stealthy frontal but still stealthy over all. Further, X-band is the frequency required for a weapons lock. All stealth aircraft are specialized for this radar band.

    "It will be easily detected by long wavelength radars."

    Radars not capable of generating a weapon's grade lock, so they're useless in combat. Further, long wavelength radars - weather radars, basically - can already detect stealth aircraft; that's always been true. Didn't do Iraq any good back in the 90s.

    "In air to air combat it would rely upon detecting intercepting aircraft and firing AMRAAMs before they can lock on or, heaven forbid, close to visual range (where the F-35 will be dogmeat)."

    Which they will do very effectively. 100 F-35s vs. 100 Russian Su-27s, both closing on each other = 100 piles of wreckage and 100 F-35s.

    "The Air Force has long said that the F-35 isn’t optimized for air combat. I suppose the idea was that F-22s and legacy fighters would handle air superiority missions. F-35s, with frontal stealth, would be able to get close to targets and attack them with PGMs."

    F-35 + F-22 is a potent combination. Even a squadron of F-35s alone would crush anything the Russians have. If necessary, the air force will likely just dogpile a large number of F-35s to make up for any perceived weakness. Considering the numbers scheduled to be produced, that should work fine.

    "As for its allegedly wonderful sensors, I am skeptical."

    You have no reason to be skeptical. The US has continually fielded next generation weapons that have worked quite well in combat. There is no reason to believe this will be any different. Further, your qualifications seem to be essentially nill in this area as you have displayed very limited knowledge of the subject. Your skepticism doesn't seem to be based on anything concrete, just wishful thinking.

    "Lots of air forces continuously modernize old designs with AESA radars, glass cockpits, etc. Why exactly is a new airframe needed for any of this?"

    This one statement qualifies you as an amateur that should be ignored.

    "That said it’s not like the F-35 is awful, and as usual pilot skill and other factors can overcome inappropriate technology."

    The technology on the F-35 will crush its competition.

    "If you have to buy from Western suppliers, a mix of F-15X and Gripen NGs seems ideal. If you can’t afford two classes of fighter, the Rafale is a very good compromise."

    Sure, if you're poor and want to lose against countries fielding 5th generation fighter aircraft.

    "As for the Su-57, it’s somewhat like the F-35 in its limited stealth. But it’s also like the Su-27 family in having superb kinematic performance."

    Having superb kinematic performance doesn't count for much if your opponent is flying in an aircraft that can shoot you down long before you close to within visual range.

    "Russia’s official reason for delaying entry into service is that the Su-35 is adequate for existing threats, which is probably true."

    Russia is delaying because 1. they can't afford to buy the aircraft 2. they are having trouble constructing the aircraft as designed and in the quantity required 3. it probably isn't as good as the F-35 anyway, so they don't see a point in building it.

    The F-35 will have an over-the-horizon A2A capability that will result in virtually any other aircraft being annihilated long before it closes distance on it.

    If this is the case then obviously its ‘kinematic performance’ is secondary. If you can see the enemy before it can see you and you have weapons to engage the enemy then obviously your top speed and acceleration are not that important. The missile you launch is faster than your top speed and your enemy’s top speed.

    But there are doubts. How much the stealth technology is a hype? Is information about radar cross sections of various planes credible?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
    In BVR combat kinematic performance is indeed secondary to the performance of sensors, electronic warfare equipment, and missiles.

    But not irrelevant. Higher top speed allows for longer-ranged missile shots. Faster acceleration (and, for that matter, turning performance) allows for faster escape from the combat zone.

    Note how BVR optimized interceptors like the F-102/106, MiG-25/31, F-4, F-111B, English Electric Lightning, and so forth had great top speeds and excellent acceleration. They were however lacking in maneuverability as it was not intended for them to dogfight (hence the bad air combat performance over North Vietnam).

    China's Chengdu J-20 is a modern stealth aircraft designed for this role. The F-35 is not. It's basically a tactical strike fighter. Historical analogues would be the F-100, F-105, SEPECAT Jaguar, Su-24, and so forth.

    Tactical strike fighters of the classic style are dubious today since multi-mode radars and PGMs have made fighters very capable of ground attack.

    Stealth isn't hype unless you believe the maximalist fanboy nonsense from the 1990s.
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  226. Sean says:
    @reiner Tor

    If you publicly call someone a child molester they will at least fantasize about killing you
     
    I have fantasized about killing people who had seriously harmed me or the public. But I have never fantasized about killing a clown, nor can I ever imagine fantasizing about it. I cannot imagine anyone who is not a psychopath fantasizing about killing a clown. By accusing Putin of the house explosions and converting to Islam etc. Litvinenko totally jumped the shark. He was a clown, a tool used by others.

    Now it’s not impossible that Putin nevertheless wanted to murder Litvinenko, but you have just assumed how Putin would think and then proceeded to jump to a conclusion based on that assumption.

    Litvinenko was a poor devil, incapable of harming Putin. If anyone harmed Putin, it’s Berezovsky or the western media which gave a platform to poor devils like Litvinenko. Do you think Putin is so stupid that he hates the tools instead of the powerful people wielding them?

    I thought like you before Skripal, but after the second in a row I understood this was either Western intelligence or Putin’s orders. Western intelligence simply would not dare frame Putin because the Russians would become too jumpy. Yeltsin almost started WW3 in 1995, there is no telling what could happen if the West was framing Putin repeatedly and he responded by putting Russian forces on red alert, then something like the Black Brant scare occurred.

    Litvinenko was a poor devil.

    I don’t think he was a happy man.

    Now it’s not impossible that Putin nevertheless wanted to murder Litvinenko, but you have just assumed how Putin would think and then proceeded to jump to a conclusion based on that assumption.

    I happen to believe that Putin is deliberately trying to alienate the West with these assassinations because he wants Russia to remain proudly independent after he is gone. Yet he has to justify that policy to his close associates many of whom who love the Western lifestyle and making money. It is like Hitler having to explain his attack on the USSR to his generals and Goebbels by saying it was necessary to remove that threat from the east before moving against Britain. Obviously Hitler really longed to conquer Russia, and it seems likely to me that Putin wants to initiate schismogenesis with the West. He probably is not telling his cronies that though, there will be some security pretext.

    Do you think Putin is so stupid that he hates the tools instead of the powerful people wielding them?

    Putin has more power than anyone else on Earth, I should have thought that was obvious by now. He wants to exert control when he is no longer there, and that means setting Russia on a course that cannot be altered, and consulting/implicating the entire future leadership cadre.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor

    I thought like you before Skripal, but after the second in a row I understood this was either Western intelligence or Putin’s orders.
     
    Or something else neither of us thought of. It’s a false dichotomy when we have no information at all about the whole thing, the only thing we know is that the British are lying.

    Western intelligence simply would not dare frame Putin because the Russians would become too jumpy.
     
    But that’s just your model. Maybe they wouldn’t become jumpy, or maybe the Western intelligence services would dare frame him anyway.

    By the way it’s interesting that you managed to draw a psychological profile of Putin based on just two cases a decade apart, and Putin only did it twice in his whole reign. Sure if he enjoyed torturing his critics he’d do it more, wouldn’t he?

    Yeltsin almost started WW3 in 1995, there is no telling what could happen if the West was framing Putin repeatedly and he responded by putting Russian forces on red alert, then something like the Black Brant scare occurred.
     
    Risk management is my job. People don’t think about risks that way. They assign a very low probability to events like the Black Brant scare, and anyway probably Putin would just realize it was only one rocket. There’s no reason to believe he’d be any more likely to launch than Yeltsin.
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  227. @g2k
    On the subject of of agriculture, it should be noted that Rostelmash has done ok for a big sovok behemoth and has had at least some success exporting west. It's combines are competitive with the American makes but not Claas, they've also been able to buy up varsatile. This is quite surprising given the fact that rostov has a reputation for being a rough and corrupt place. Ak, any thoughts?

    John Deere does very well in Russia because they own a local factory. They seem to be the combine of choice because they have faster parts distribution than Class. Rostelmash does better than it used to but the really big commercial farms and associated contractors buy the best machines. The operators on the ex cooperatives, usually farmed under (corrupt) rental arrangements tend to use Rostelmash, insofar as they buy new.

    Read More
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  228. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Mr. Hack


    That is pretty incredible, however, because of your reputation perhaps she was afraid of some sort of retribution for being critical of you? I notice that you often like to taunt me on by calling me a 'coward' for using a moniker instead of presenting you with my true identity. Whether deserved or not, many feel that you're some sort of a Kremlin Stooge nutcase, Mickey. From Srebrenica Genocide Denier to this:

    friend of mike averko | April 12, 2010 at 4:17 pm | Reply
    I have known mike averko for a very long time and wish to warn all of you who feel safe mocking him and his rants…this is not someone you want to get angry. HE IS INSANE!!! I have seen how this man lives and it is not that of a healthy person, it is that of someone insane. Make your comments but don’t ever let this man into yuour life in any way or you will end up being sorry.

     

    This is why I choose to shield my true identity from you, Mickey. Who needs any grief from a Kremlin Stooge wacko?

    [MORE]

    No, you’re a cowardly anonymous troll, who uncritically references such people. Much different from yours truly.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack

    Much different from yours truly.
     
    You're right about that, and I'm glad to be different from you. At least people aren't leaving messages about me at blogs warning them that I might be dangerous to deal with. 'Sbrebrenica Genocide Denier' is nothing to be proud about, Mickey. :-(
    , @AnonFromTN


    Svidomism is a mental disorder, incurable like the rest of them. You are violating the first rule of psychiatry: never argue with patients.
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  229. @utu

    The F-35 will have an over-the-horizon A2A capability that will result in virtually any other aircraft being annihilated long before it closes distance on it.
     
    If this is the case then obviously its 'kinematic performance' is secondary. If you can see the enemy before it can see you and you have weapons to engage the enemy then obviously your top speed and acceleration are not that important. The missile you launch is faster than your top speed and your enemy's top speed.

    But there are doubts. How much the stealth technology is a hype? Is information about radar cross sections of various planes credible?

    In BVR combat kinematic performance is indeed secondary to the performance of sensors, electronic warfare equipment, and missiles.

    But not irrelevant. Higher top speed allows for longer-ranged missile shots. Faster acceleration (and, for that matter, turning performance) allows for faster escape from the combat zone.

    Note how BVR optimized interceptors like the F-102/106, MiG-25/31, F-4, F-111B, English Electric Lightning, and so forth had great top speeds and excellent acceleration. They were however lacking in maneuverability as it was not intended for them to dogfight (hence the bad air combat performance over North Vietnam).

    China’s Chengdu J-20 is a modern stealth aircraft designed for this role. The F-35 is not. It’s basically a tactical strike fighter. Historical analogues would be the F-100, F-105, SEPECAT Jaguar, Su-24, and so forth.

    Tactical strike fighters of the classic style are dubious today since multi-mode radars and PGMs have made fighters very capable of ground attack.

    Stealth isn’t hype unless you believe the maximalist fanboy nonsense from the 1990s.

    Read More
    • Replies: @utu
    If indeed F-22 and F-35 have several orders of magnitude smaller cross-sections (RCS) than other jet fighters then obviously it is a huge advantage that if utilized will render small differences (±10%) in speed and acceleration completely unimportant.

    F-22 RCS=0.0001 sqm
    F-35 RCS=0.005 sqm

    F16 RCS= 5 sqm
    SU-35s RCS= 1-3 sqm
    PAK-FA (T-50) RCS=0.5 sqm

    Providing that one can trust this blogger:
    http://mil-embedded.com/guest-blogs/radar-cross-section-the-measure-of-stealth/
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  230. utu says:
    @Thorfinnsson
    In BVR combat kinematic performance is indeed secondary to the performance of sensors, electronic warfare equipment, and missiles.

    But not irrelevant. Higher top speed allows for longer-ranged missile shots. Faster acceleration (and, for that matter, turning performance) allows for faster escape from the combat zone.

    Note how BVR optimized interceptors like the F-102/106, MiG-25/31, F-4, F-111B, English Electric Lightning, and so forth had great top speeds and excellent acceleration. They were however lacking in maneuverability as it was not intended for them to dogfight (hence the bad air combat performance over North Vietnam).

    China's Chengdu J-20 is a modern stealth aircraft designed for this role. The F-35 is not. It's basically a tactical strike fighter. Historical analogues would be the F-100, F-105, SEPECAT Jaguar, Su-24, and so forth.

    Tactical strike fighters of the classic style are dubious today since multi-mode radars and PGMs have made fighters very capable of ground attack.

    Stealth isn't hype unless you believe the maximalist fanboy nonsense from the 1990s.

    If indeed F-22 and F-35 have several orders of magnitude smaller cross-sections (RCS) than other jet fighters then obviously it is a huge advantage that if utilized will render small differences (±10%) in speed and acceleration completely unimportant.

    F-22 RCS=0.0001 sqm
    F-35 RCS=0.005 sqm

    F16 RCS= 5 sqm
    SU-35s RCS= 1-3 sqm
    PAK-FA (T-50) RCS=0.5 sqm

    Providing that one can trust this blogger:

    http://mil-embedded.com/guest-blogs/radar-cross-section-the-measure-of-stealth/

    Read More
    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
    Stealth is definitely an advantage.

    But it's not an invisibility cloak.

    It's optimized for certain wavelengths and expected receiver locations.

    Thus stealth aircraft can for instance be readily detected by low frequency radars. Stealth is still useful as low frequency radars are too bulky to fly, and they indicate a general location rather than a precise location.

    Stealth aircraft can also be detected visually, acoustically, through their own electronic emissions, and through their heat signatures. Employment of weapons, obviously, compromises stealth as well.

    There are also degrees of stealth. The F-22 for instance is considered an all-aspect stealth design, at least in the higher frequency bands. The Have Blue, MBB Lampyridae, F-117, B-2, and YF-23 were as well.

    The F-35 however is not--it's only stealth optimized in the frontal area. This of course reflects the fact that it was never intended to be an air superiority fighter, but incompetent American force planning is now pressing it into that role.

    Lastly, while stealth is obviously a good capability (hence why everyone is following America's lead on it), it's not without trade-offs. Stealth is lost if weapons are carried externally. Radar absorbing materials are costly and maintenance intensive (though the Japanese may have solved this problem). Because stealth requires precision shaping of the airframe, it is difficult to modify the airframe for future requirements.
    , @reiner Tor
    Though the first comment there:

    If you don’t know the composite materials used, you can not give a correct RCS, and you can not tell just by looking, the physics don't work like that!
     
    So at least we have the word of the US Air Force and Lockheed regarding the stealthiness of their planes (these are probably not outright lies, but might differ from reality in either direction: they might be modest to hide their true capabilities, or, more likely, exaggerate and give a number only true under ideal conditions for a specific type of radar etc. ), but regarding the supposedly 5th generation Chinese or Russian jets we have just very rough estimates based on the shape and some assumptions about their coating.
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  231. Mr. Hack says:
    @Cyrano
    You make it sound like being a Slav is like being a member of an exclusive club. How exclusive can it be if you – the Ukrainians are in it? I would say that that is setting the standards pretty low. Don’t worry about my “emotional” dilemmas. I am happy with who I am, which can’t be said about you people. You seem quite torn between your Western European heritage and your humble Slavic origin that gets in the way of being recognized as one of the nations that are pillars of western civilization which everybody agrees that you are.

    being recognized as one of the nations that are pillars of western civilization which everybody agrees that you are.

    Like I said, you’re showing some progress. It’s hard an takes some time, don’t get discouraged.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Cyrano

    Like I said, you’re showing some progress
     
    I wish I could say the same thing about the Ukrainians. You are showing nothing but regress since 1991, but I don’t expect that you’ll agree with that. It’s one of the side effects of having a thick head.

    You know how the Ukrainians got their name? It’s from the Latin Cranium for scull. Basically, what it means is that when any new idea (or old one for that matter) tries to penetrate the thick Ukrainian sculls – it has to make a U turn when it reaches their fortified cranial structures – U Cranium – therefore Ukraine. Get it? It’s pretty discouraging actually.

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  232. Mr. Hack says:
    @Mikhail


    No, you're a cowardly anonymous troll, who uncritically references such people. Much different from yours truly.

    Much different from yours truly.

    You’re right about that, and I’m glad to be different from you. At least people aren’t leaving messages about me at blogs warning them that I might be dangerous to deal with. ‘Sbrebrenica Genocide Denier’ is nothing to be proud about, Mickey. :-(

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mikhail


    A few cranks out of many more thinking quite differently.

    You of course can take pride in being a cowardly anonymous troll.
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  233. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Felix Keverich

    Cowardice is rarely a good policy.
     
    I agree. However, let's not forget that Russia and USA have very different weight and role in the international economy. USA effectively owns the system of international finance. That is to say "international finance" is but an extention of US financial system. They can exclude Russia, we can't exclude them (from the system they created and own).

    If Russia is going to impose meaningful costs on the US, I think it can only be done through non-economic means. Realistically, what action Russia could take that would potentially match the disruptive power of American sanctions on Russia? Arm the Central American drug cartels?

    Realistically, what action Russia could take that would potentially match the disruptive power of American sanctions on Russia? Arm the Central American drug cartels?

    I quite like that idea!

    Provide sophisticated arms to everybody (no matter how crazy) with an ability to cause grief to the U.S.

    The U.S. objective is not to punish Russia or weaken Russia. The U.S. objective is to destroy Russia as a sovereign nation. This is war to the death. There can be no negotiation with the U.S. The only hope of forcing the Americans to adopt a sane policy is to make the costs of their current policy catastrophically high.

    The U.S. is obviously stronger but a strong man will usually back down if faced with someone crazy and unpredictable. Putin needs to be crazy and unpredictable.

    And Russia needs to target America’s lapdogs, like the British. Perhaps let them know that if it ever came to nuclear war London would be a priority target.

    Read More
    • Agree: reiner Tor
    • Replies: @Felix Keverich

    There can be no negotiation with the U.S.
     
    You don't need to convince me. You'll need to convince Russian kleptocrats, who've been sending their kids to live in the West since 1991, and who have kept their (stolen) money in the West.

    And reiner Tor, you are a funny guy, liking these militant comments from dfordoom, but getting your panties in a bunch, when I suggest occupying the Ukraine. I wonder why? ;)

    The fact is asserting dominance in Eastern Europe will be a lot easier for Russia to accomplish, than confronting USA directly, and it is something I would probably do before I started threatening New York and London with nuclear devastation. You gotta make your threats credible you know. Credibility doesn't come from making scary faces and shouting loudly, it's earned.

    , @Dmitry

    U.S. objective is not to punish Russia or weaken Russia. The U.S. objective is to destroy Russia as a sovereign
     
    Americans are far too self-obsessed to even want to place their feet in Russia.

    The current scandal in America, is internal politics. Opponents of Trump, want to undermine Trump's legitimacy by claiming Russia has influenced the election. When you look past their noise - you can see this topic is mainly Americans fighting with Americans.

    , @Johann Ricke

    The U.S. objective is not to punish Russia or weaken Russia. The U.S. objective is to destroy Russia as a sovereign nation.
     
    The Democrats don't care about Russia one way or another, except as a rhetorical stick with which to beat Trump. Have you heard any Democrat ask for tougher sanctions on Russia or military aid to Ukraine? And the Republicans mainly want Russia to cough up its territorial gains in Ukraine and Georgia and stop it for expanding any further. Nobody wants to invade Russia.

    The real question is what Russia will do when China does a land grab in Central Asia and/or Mongolia, both of which are areas where China has some history, and a plausible claim to ethnic kinship. You might even say that those regions are to China what the Slavic countries are to Russia - lands to be eventually incorporated into the empire.
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  234. @Mikhail


    No, you're a cowardly anonymous troll, who uncritically references such people. Much different from yours truly.

    [MORE]

    Svidomism is a mental disorder, incurable like the rest of them. You are violating the first rule of psychiatry: never argue with patients.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mikhail


    Yes, I've been told that.
    , @Mr. Hack


    https://youtu.be/lpdl7AQ0uAs

    Do you remember Ukraine?...remember your Ukrainian mother?...you're a sorry excuse for a human being, a modern day janissary.
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  235. Parbes says:
    @Felix Keverich
    Shows how malleable public opinion is:

    https://twitter.com/Reuters/status/1027969154186444800

    U.S. “public opinion” is literally the collective opinion of dumbed-down, amoral idiots. In fact, the word “opinion” is too dignified for this – “braindead recantation of MSM-fed government propaganda” would be a better description.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
    Public opinion in Russia is a lot like this actually. It seems that state-tv interrupted its anti-Western programming during World Cup, which caused approval of both US and EU to spike into positive territory for the first time since 2014.
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  236. @utu
    If indeed F-22 and F-35 have several orders of magnitude smaller cross-sections (RCS) than other jet fighters then obviously it is a huge advantage that if utilized will render small differences (±10%) in speed and acceleration completely unimportant.

    F-22 RCS=0.0001 sqm
    F-35 RCS=0.005 sqm

    F16 RCS= 5 sqm
    SU-35s RCS= 1-3 sqm
    PAK-FA (T-50) RCS=0.5 sqm

    Providing that one can trust this blogger:
    http://mil-embedded.com/guest-blogs/radar-cross-section-the-measure-of-stealth/

    Stealth is definitely an advantage.

    But it’s not an invisibility cloak.

    It’s optimized for certain wavelengths and expected receiver locations.

    Thus stealth aircraft can for instance be readily detected by low frequency radars. Stealth is still useful as low frequency radars are too bulky to fly, and they indicate a general location rather than a precise location.

    Stealth aircraft can also be detected visually, acoustically, through their own electronic emissions, and through their heat signatures. Employment of weapons, obviously, compromises stealth as well.

    There are also degrees of stealth. The F-22 for instance is considered an all-aspect stealth design, at least in the higher frequency bands. The Have Blue, MBB Lampyridae, F-117, B-2, and YF-23 were as well.

    The F-35 however is not–it’s only stealth optimized in the frontal area. This of course reflects the fact that it was never intended to be an air superiority fighter, but incompetent American force planning is now pressing it into that role.

    Lastly, while stealth is obviously a good capability (hence why everyone is following America’s lead on it), it’s not without trade-offs. Stealth is lost if weapons are carried externally. Radar absorbing materials are costly and maintenance intensive (though the Japanese may have solved this problem). Because stealth requires precision shaping of the airframe, it is difficult to modify the airframe for future requirements.

    Read More
    • Replies: @utu
    "But it’s not an invisibility cloak." - Nobody talks about invisibility. RCS matters. You detect enemy plane before it detects you. Period.

    "The F-35 however is not–it’s only stealth optimized in the frontal area. " - Presumably it will show its rear to its enemy only when the enemy will be already falling down after being hit.

    "Stealth aircraft can also be detected visually..." - Nobody argues invisibility.

    "it was never intended to be an air superiority fighter". - It all depend on superiority over whom. Anyway this is a vague and pompous term.

    "Stealth is lost if weapons are carried externally." - What good are those weapons for if you are shot before you see your stealthy enemy?

    "Radar absorbing materials are costly and maintenance intensive". - Yes. That's why Russians do not have it.

    Listen. I do not really care about this issue and I do not know much about it. I just responded to your arguments which are mostly rhetorical in nature among at diminishing importance of the orders of magnitude lower RCS of F-22 and F-35 comparing to that of their potential opponents.
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  237. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Mr. Hack

    Much different from yours truly.
     
    You're right about that, and I'm glad to be different from you. At least people aren't leaving messages about me at blogs warning them that I might be dangerous to deal with. 'Sbrebrenica Genocide Denier' is nothing to be proud about, Mickey. :-(

    [MORE]

    A few cranks out of many more thinking quite differently.

    You of course can take pride in being a cowardly anonymous troll.

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  238. Mikhail says: • Website
    @AnonFromTN


    Svidomism is a mental disorder, incurable like the rest of them. You are violating the first rule of psychiatry: never argue with patients.

    [MORE]

    Yes, I’ve been told that.

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  239. utu says:
    @Thorfinnsson
    Stealth is definitely an advantage.

    But it's not an invisibility cloak.

    It's optimized for certain wavelengths and expected receiver locations.

    Thus stealth aircraft can for instance be readily detected by low frequency radars. Stealth is still useful as low frequency radars are too bulky to fly, and they indicate a general location rather than a precise location.

    Stealth aircraft can also be detected visually, acoustically, through their own electronic emissions, and through their heat signatures. Employment of weapons, obviously, compromises stealth as well.

    There are also degrees of stealth. The F-22 for instance is considered an all-aspect stealth design, at least in the higher frequency bands. The Have Blue, MBB Lampyridae, F-117, B-2, and YF-23 were as well.

    The F-35 however is not--it's only stealth optimized in the frontal area. This of course reflects the fact that it was never intended to be an air superiority fighter, but incompetent American force planning is now pressing it into that role.

    Lastly, while stealth is obviously a good capability (hence why everyone is following America's lead on it), it's not without trade-offs. Stealth is lost if weapons are carried externally. Radar absorbing materials are costly and maintenance intensive (though the Japanese may have solved this problem). Because stealth requires precision shaping of the airframe, it is difficult to modify the airframe for future requirements.

    “But it’s not an invisibility cloak.” – Nobody talks about invisibility. RCS matters. You detect enemy plane before it detects you. Period.

    “The F-35 however is not–it’s only stealth optimized in the frontal area. ” – Presumably it will show its rear to its enemy only when the enemy will be already falling down after being hit.

    “Stealth aircraft can also be detected visually…” – Nobody argues invisibility.

    “it was never intended to be an air superiority fighter”. – It all depend on superiority over whom. Anyway this is a vague and pompous term.

    “Stealth is lost if weapons are carried externally.” – What good are those weapons for if you are shot before you see your stealthy enemy?

    “Radar absorbing materials are costly and maintenance intensive”. – Yes. That’s why Russians do not have it.

    Listen. I do not really care about this issue and I do not know much about it. I just responded to your arguments which are mostly rhetorical in nature among at diminishing importance of the orders of magnitude lower RCS of F-22 and F-35 comparing to that of their potential opponents.

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    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    Stealth is of limited use in an air-to-air role to take down enemy fighters(air superiority fighter) since missiles are not "stealth" and their guidance systems very, very obviously telegraph their intentions: thus "missile lock" warning. The longer range just telegraphs their intentions earlier, which gives the targeted plane more options to employ countermeasures.

    However, ground sites lack many countermeasures against incoming missile launches and cannot lock onto low-visibility planes from the front, so even if its general location is known, there's not much that a SAM site can do to it in theory. Thus, it has a very effective, but limited role.

    This is of questionable utility against a peer competitor since they will not be using ground to air systems in isolation, although it probably means that the US can destroy any number of third world countries.
    , @reiner Tor
    A good case could be made that we don’t know how these jets would perform under the conditions of a real world war. But I think it’s always the best bet that it will be the American weapons which perform the best. That’s simply the way to bet.

    It’s possible that many of their weapons systems wouldn’t perform as advertised. Some would perform better than thought or for roles they weren’t designed for.

    It’s a very safe decision to buy the F-35, which is now not even that expensive. It’s possible that it won’t be worth much in a real war against comparable opponents, but this could be true of any other platform: these weapons are only tried out against vastly inferior opponents.

    You detect enemy plane before it detects you. Period.
     
    He will usually have a vague idea where you are. Currently it’s not possible to launch a missile based on that vague knowledge, but will it stay like that forever? A lot depends on other systems like air defense and AWACS.

    Anyway, my original point was that probably buying the F-35 is not based on politics, it’s a safe decision for those with deep enough pockets to buy the best available fighter jet. Even if under the circumstances of a real war it turned out to be bad: it could happen to a number of other weapons systems anyway, and you cannot really tell in advance which ones.
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  240. Mr. Hack says:
    @AnonFromTN


    Svidomism is a mental disorder, incurable like the rest of them. You are violating the first rule of psychiatry: never argue with patients.

    [MORE]

    Do you remember Ukraine?…remember your Ukrainian mother?…you’re a sorry excuse for a human being, a modern day janissary.

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    • Replies: @Mikhail


    On your warped world, cranks like La Russophobe and pro-Bosnian Muslim extremists are okay.
    , @AnonFromTN
    Even though I am not a psychiatrist, I had enough MD/PhD students to respect the first rule of psychiatry: never argue with patients.
    , @Maudits


    Mr Fack , your ukraruina , your jojolistan , is the black hole of Europe , you want to set Europe on ( atomic ) fire fot the benefit of the usa , and of your corrupted oligarcs .

    No real country in Europe respects ukraruina , a very inmoral and stupid pseudocountry . Ukraruina could have been a golden bridge between the EU and Russia ,and choosed instead to be a blood trench for the benefit of the oligarcs of the usa . You are a cursed land .
    Reply