I'll go back to posting proper material soon enough, but in the interim, here's another open thread. *** * Glenn Greenwald: Trump DoJ prosecution of Assange is unprecedented threat to press freedoms but many vindictive Democrats support it * Atlantic: Declining marginal returns to science? In past few decades importance of new discoveries fell even... Read More
Today is the centenary of the crushing of the Yaroslavl Rebellion against Bolshevik tyranny. I will have a post on that imminently. Romania travel post is still in the works. Given previous prediction failures that I would publish it "within a week," I will just settle on saying that it will likely be "sometime soon."... Read More
Vault 7, the the CIA's suite of hacking tools just released by Wikileaks, includes a malware library "stolen" from other states, including Russia, that can be used to misattribute attacks to them: As if there wasn't a big enough pall of suspicion over the entire "Russian Hackers" meme already. /pol/ is ON IT: The CIA... Read More
This post is a continuation of the last, and can otherwise be called "Konstantin von Eggert: A Case Study In Democratic Journalism (part 2)." Alternatively, one might view it as a refutation of claims that the Kremlin controls or censors the Russian media (Eggert's own protestations, hilarious and Orwellian in the context of what follows,... Read More
There is a term on Runet, popularized by the satirical "dissident" Lev Sharansky, called "democratic journalist." Of course, this term is every bit as satirical as its main propagator. In the Russian context, it denotes a journalist who is obsessed with free speech, human rights, democracy, the whole turkey. But they are "obsessed" with them... Read More
UK police descend on Assange's embassy refuge. According to the Ecuadorians, their Embassy was threatened with a revocation of its status as Ecuadorian sovereign territory in the case that President Rafael Correa offers Julian Assange political asylum. This would clear the way for PC Plod could go in and fish out Assange. Presumably this is... Read More
So Assange has fled to the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, in scenes reminiscent of what happens to dissidents in truly authoritarian countries. (The parallels keep adding up don't they). Let's recap. His site kept releasing classified documents, from secretive and typically nasty organizations. Too bad that some of them belonged to the Pentagon and the... Read More
I really can't figure what this Economist editorial reeks more of: Hypocrisy, mendacity, or pure delusion? Being anti-Western is "negative", even for daring to oppose Western-backed Islamist crazies who will back-stab their handlers as soon as they're able to. Note how "liberalizing" and "pro-Western" are conflated, because one can't possibly liberalize without kowtowing to Western... Read More
As I noted before, the symmetry is amusing to say the least. Anti-regime characters such as Nemtsov and Navalny, who are marginal in Russia (both in popularity and media presence - as is logical, nothing undemocratic about that), are treated as Genuine Voices of the Russian People by the Western media. In its turn, Russia... Read More
I recently had the dubious pleasure of engaging in an extended Twitter exchange with Peter Savodnik. Peter is a consummately credentialed journalist based in New York. He is also a classical representative of the well-paid prostitute class otherwise known as Independent Western Journalists in polite (i.e. doublethink) society, as well as of that emigre clique... Read More
Happy new year to all Sublime Oblivion readers! This blog wouldn't be what it is without you. In fact, I'd have probably abandoned it after a month or two after a couple of posts as I did with my first blog in 2006. So please keep on reading and commenting. BTW, the image above is... Read More
A thundering takedown of the Financial Times transparently one-sided coverage of the Khodorkovsky affair -and Khodorkovsky says Putin is ‘pitiable’ can also serve as a palimpsest for Western media coverage of this topic in general - from Eric Kraus at Truth and Beauty. BTW, do feel free to add his blog Truth and Beauty to... Read More
Though I originally meant to write my own analysis of what the Wikileaks cables have contributed to our understanding of the 2008 South Ossetia War, I realized that I would essentially be trying to duplicate the excellent efforts of Patrick Armstrong. (See also the New York Times article Embracing Georgia, U.S. Misread Signs of Rifts).... Read More
Four cables from Cathay, courtesy of this excellent Cable Search tool. The first cable (Cable 1) is one of the last dispatches of Ambassador to the PRC Clark T. Randt, a long, analytical piece from January 2009. But it's also perhaps the least interesting of the four. This is because it is only a rehashing... Read More
Or at least that's what seems to be going around in the mind of Condoleezza Rice, if this cable (Cable 1) from September 2008 is anything to go by. After successfully persuading countries like Brazil to let the American scientist Christopher Field run unopposed for an important position in a Working Group of the Intergovernmental... Read More
This might well be my favorite cable so far - perhaps even better than the Caucasus wedding - courtesy of US ambassador to Iran Bruce Laingen in August 1979. Now maybe US diplomats are culturally West-centric and insular today, but they've got nothing on their predecessors. "Perhaps the single dominant aspect of the Persian psyche... Read More
Truly, if Willian Burns were to issue an anthology of his Moscow cables during his 2005-2008 ambassadorship, I'd seriously consider buying it. Just consider this cable from May 2006, on Chechnya's "Once and Future War", a nuanced US view of that conflict and the cynicism and corruption it engendered amongst all its parties. What struck... Read More
Another Wikileaks cable - a secret one, not merely confidential - from our Caucasus ethnologist and bestest bud at the State Department, William Burns. Dated October 2007, it describes America's perception of Russia's global arms trade and emphasizes its concerns that many of its partners are "rogue" or "anti-American" states like Syria, Iran and Venezuela.... Read More
It's sad, but not unexpected, to see the usual motley of neocons, freepers and general creeps crawling about the interwebs, baying for Assange's blood and calling for him to be disappeared into the Nacht und Nebel. But it is absolutely tragic that, misled by the MSM and dulled by their own cynicism, so many people... Read More
A foreign "subversive" journalist, driven by fevered idealism, publishes reams of leaked internal documents from an Authority that, beneath its carefully positioned mask of civility, honor and justice, views the whole world - of both friend or foe - as its own playground, and engages in the most corrupt and underhanded wheelings and dealing to... Read More
I am a blogger, thinker, and businessman in the SF Bay Area. I’m originally from Russia, spent many years in Britain, and studied at U.C. Berkeley.
One of my tenets is that ideologies tend to suck. As such, I hesitate about attaching labels to myself. That said, if it’s really necessary, I suppose “liberal-conservative neoreactionary” would be close enough.
Though I consider myself part of the Orthodox Church, my philosophy and spiritual views are more influenced by digital physics, Gnosticism, and Russian cosmism than anything specifically Judeo-Christian.