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    Here it is in Russian: Вверх-вниз по рейтингу свободы. This translation here is of a longer version at my Russian language blog. A version of it also appears on Voice of Russia: Press freedom - on both sides of the Information Curtain. Thanks to Alexei Pankin (who is a regular at Komsomolskaya) for making it...
  • @TRex
    Masha Gessen was also called a Putin sycophant by many in the west and blamed for the recent troubles at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Guess it depends on how one wants to spin things.

    Her book is quite good bye the way.

    No in the case of people who call Gessen a Putin sycophant it is not a question of how one spins things but how batshit insane one is. :)

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  • @Alexander Mercouris
    Dear Anatoly,

    Congratulations on an excellent article. I agree with every word of it. The Russian media is not perfect but here in Britain where we are in the midst of a massive hacking scandal, which has exposed an incestuous relationship between sections of the media and the police (which included payment of bribes) and which has caused the head of the London police and one of his most senior deputies to resign and led to a public inquiry and calls for more press regulation we are in no position to point fingers or throw stones.

    May there be many more articles like this from you in the Russian media soon!

    Thank you Alex.

    I too hope to start making more inroads into the Russian media, but the book and RossPress are taking first priority right now. ;)

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  • Masha Gessen was also called a Putin sycophant by many in the west and blamed for the recent troubles at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Guess it depends on how one wants to spin things.

    Her book is quite good bye the way.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    No in the case of people who call Gessen a Putin sycophant it is not a question of how one spins things but how batshit insane one is. :)
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Dear Anatoly,

    Congratulations on an excellent article. I agree with every word of it. The Russian media is not perfect but here in Britain where we are in the midst of a massive hacking scandal, which has exposed an incestuous relationship between sections of the media and the police (which included payment of bribes) and which has caused the head of the London police and one of his most senior deputies to resign and led to a public inquiry and calls for more press regulation we are in no position to point fingers or throw stones.

    May there be many more articles like this from you in the Russian media soon!

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    Thank you Alex.

    I too hope to start making more inroads into the Russian media, but the book and RossPress are taking first priority right now. ;)

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • 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...
  • [...] the deeper underlying theme is that despite an election where one candidate deliberately attacked the Roman Catholic Church and [...]

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  • 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,...
  • @marknesop
    Right on! I have been hoping somebody would crucify that fat soulful choirboy of the damned, and was thinking about doing it myself when I was distracted by Miriam Elder. What the hell; at least she got me into Wikipedia on her coattails.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miriam_Elder

    I was surprised La Russophobe didn't cite von Eggert (at least, that I ever saw), because he will say anything and is actually so over the top that he is a caricature of liberal journos everywhere - imagine, for example, a Russian journalist using the phrase, "the primary organ of state propaganda on the world stage" when referring to the Wall Street Journal, or FOX News. He or she would be buried under a barrage of scornful laughter.

    Probably there are people who can carry off a bow tie as an accessory of sartorial je ne sais quois - but it just makes von Eggert look like Rush Limbaugh, and focuses attention on the fact that he has more chins than a Guangdong telephone book. There are two men in the world whose choice of the bow tie seems to have been a considered decision to advertise their status as self-righteous pricks; Tucker Carlson ( http://gawker.com/5368463/tucker-carlson-compares-kids-obama-song-to-khmer-rouge?tag=tucker-carlson ) and Konstantin von Eggert.

    Kostya is an enthusiastic promoter of regularly-discredited tropes; that the Russian population is dwindling, that the liberal opposition is a building juggernaut that will flatten Putin like a blin, and that Putin has looted the Russian treasury of billions which he will use to pad his luxurious retirement on some tropic isle. Everything is a "crackdown" to von Eggert. I agree with you that he enjoys privileged status as a journalist in Russia both as an advertisement of Russia's freedom of the press and because the dung he writes provides a handy reference for Russian English-speakers as to the impartiality of the western press on the subject of Russia.

    Probably there are people who can carry off a bow tie as an accessory of sartorial je ne sais quois – but it just makes von Eggert look like Rush Limbaugh, and focuses attention on the fact that he has more chins than a Guangdong telephone book.

    Mark, can I tell you (again?) that you’re a comedic genius?

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  • Right on! I have been hoping somebody would crucify that fat soulful choirboy of the damned, and was thinking about doing it myself when I was distracted by Miriam Elder. What the hell; at least she got me into Wikipedia on her coattails.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miriam_Elder

    I was surprised La Russophobe didn’t cite von Eggert (at least, that I ever saw), because he will say anything and is actually so over the top that he is a caricature of liberal journos everywhere – imagine, for example, a Russian journalist using the phrase, “the primary organ of state propaganda on the world stage” when referring to the Wall Street Journal, or FOX News. He or she would be buried under a barrage of scornful laughter.

    Probably there are people who can carry off a bow tie as an accessory of sartorial je ne sais quois – but it just makes von Eggert look like Rush Limbaugh, and focuses attention on the fact that he has more chins than a Guangdong telephone book. There are two men in the world whose choice of the bow tie seems to have been a considered decision to advertise their status as self-righteous pricks; Tucker Carlson ( http://gawker.com/5368463/tucker-carlson-compares-kids-obama-song-to-khmer-rouge?tag=tucker-carlson ) and Konstantin von Eggert.

    Kostya is an enthusiastic promoter of regularly-discredited tropes; that the Russian population is dwindling, that the liberal opposition is a building juggernaut that will flatten Putin like a blin, and that Putin has looted the Russian treasury of billions which he will use to pad his luxurious retirement on some tropic isle. Everything is a “crackdown” to von Eggert. I agree with you that he enjoys privileged status as a journalist in Russia both as an advertisement of Russia’s freedom of the press and because the dung he writes provides a handy reference for Russian English-speakers as to the impartiality of the western press on the subject of Russia.

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    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    Probably there are people who can carry off a bow tie as an accessory of sartorial je ne sais quois – but it just makes von Eggert look like Rush Limbaugh, and focuses attention on the fact that he has more chins than a Guangdong telephone book.

    Mark, can I tell you (again?) that you're a comedic genius?

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  • Thank you for your work, Anatoly. About half a year ago I have written to RIAN about the unacceptable anti-Russian propaganda of this rat named (von) Eggert, but they didn’t even considered replying. I explained my ideas in a polite letter and sent it to their contact address. I got nothing in return. Not even a “OK, we will think about it” or “This is our editorial policy”
    I read Voice of Russia instead of RIAN from that point.

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  • @Anatoly Karlin
    There are all of course interesting facts, but I question the wisdom of making an issue of them. IMO what Eggert said (and continues to say) is far more relevant to the analysis of democratic journalism, not to say damning.

    I agree: he writes shit. But I find it annoying that his addition of a title to his name, whether bogus or not, and the granting of a title to him by the British government, for some seems to add lustre and authority to the dreck that he writes.

    You can’t polish a turd!

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  • @Moscow Exile
    So von Eggert and Adamkus have joined those honoured ranks also occupied by the Russian traitor and former Colonel of the KGB Oleg Antonovich Gordievsky, who was appointed Companion of the Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) for "services to the security of the United Kingdom" in the 2007 Queen's Birthday Honours.

    Somebody somewhere in Whitehall has a wry sense of humour: the CMG is the same award that fictional true-Brit hero James Bond was awarded.

    Adamkus, by the way, has the not so-honourable record of being the last living European head of state to have served in the Wehrmacht:

    See: http://en.rian.ru/analysis/20050511/39967058.html

    Come to think of it, there still is in office a European head of state who, although by all accounts unwillingly, served in the Wehrmacht in WWII: Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger, otherwise known as the Pope Benedict XVI.

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  • @Moscow Exile
    So von Eggert and Adamkus have joined those honoured ranks also occupied by the Russian traitor and former Colonel of the KGB Oleg Antonovich Gordievsky, who was appointed Companion of the Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) for "services to the security of the United Kingdom" in the 2007 Queen's Birthday Honours.

    Somebody somewhere in Whitehall has a wry sense of humour: the CMG is the same award that fictional true-Brit hero James Bond was awarded.

    Adamkus, by the way, has the not so-honourable record of being the last living European head of state to have served in the Wehrmacht:

    See: http://en.rian.ru/analysis/20050511/39967058.html

    There are all of course interesting facts, but I question the wisdom of making an issue of them. IMO what Eggert said (and continues to say) is far more relevant to the analysis of democratic journalism, not to say damning.

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    • Replies: @Moscow Exile
    I agree: he writes shit. But I find it annoying that his addition of a title to his name, whether bogus or not, and the granting of a title to him by the British government, for some seems to add lustre and authority to the dreck that he writes.

    You can't polish a turd!

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  • @Ken Macaulay
    Von Eggert does actually have some connection to Royalty, according to http://ceness-russia.org/index.php?id=300

    "In 2008 Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has created Konstantin Honorary Member of the Civic Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire."

    He also got in "same year President Valdas Adamkus awarded him Commander's Cross of the Order of Merits to Lithuania." although I don't think that one allows to him any fancy titles.

    So von Eggert and Adamkus have joined those honoured ranks also occupied by the Russian traitor and former Colonel of the KGB Oleg Antonovich Gordievsky, who was appointed Companion of the Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) for “services to the security of the United Kingdom” in the 2007 Queen’s Birthday Honours.

    Somebody somewhere in Whitehall has a wry sense of humour: the CMG is the same award that fictional true-Brit hero James Bond was awarded.

    Adamkus, by the way, has the not so-honourable record of being the last living European head of state to have served in the Wehrmacht:

    See: http://en.rian.ru/analysis/20050511/39967058.html

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    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    There are all of course interesting facts, but I question the wisdom of making an issue of them. IMO what Eggert said (and continues to say) is far more relevant to the analysis of democratic journalism, not to say damning.
    , @Moscow Exile
    Come to think of it, there still is in office a European head of state who, although by all accounts unwillingly, served in the Wehrmacht in WWII: Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger, otherwise known as the Pope Benedict XVI.
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  • If I may…your observation is a nail in the head!What makes your it juicier is the fact that all the “constitutional” changes(powers relegated to a Cabinet) were adopted or custom made for a Saakashvili’s post-President’s employment.Conversely,trying to repeat a Russian tandem trick(but to avoid the parallel…)his failure at it became more pronounced!

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  • @Leos Tomicek
    The "von" is more a designation mening "from" or "of", the title would be something like "Earl of...". It just so happens that in Germany, and Central Europe in general, the name of the family would also be a name of a resident town, village, or castle. My opinion is that Russian noble families have surnames that often have more modest origins.

    Perhaps the origins to Eggert’s fraudulent use of pompous “von” can be traced to a bizzare court murder case of one Claus von Bullow,who added “von” upon marrying up to an Austrian ex-nobility…to the delight of NY trash papers…

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  • @Moscow Exile
    Craig James Willy asks: "By the way, are there any good voices condemning these tools in Russian?"

    See: http://rublogers.ru/2011/12/16/ee-velichestva-fon-eggert.html

    As regards Eggert's origins, I've searched high and low on the net for info concerning this matter: nothing. His biography only starts with the fact that he attended Moscow school № 20.

    Is he really a "von"? I should imagine that most Russians would consider any fellow countryman that sports the German aristocratic "von" before his family name to be an insufferable prick.

    The conceit of the man is clearly of oustanding proportions.

    One small point: the pompous prick probably doesn't realize it, or would not even dream of admitting it even if he were to do so, that his English at times would merit a little attention, e.g. "Perhaps after your present us with your ten interviews with politicians, and even 'revolutionaries' that RT promise, you will finally understand what is journalism" and "everyone has already began to forget about you".

    Viele Grüsse aus Moskau!

    Von Moskauer Exil

    One may find it helpful on the subject of K.von Eggert-101 the screenshot published by well “sourced and connected” Russian blogger “politrash” http://politrash-ru.livejournal.com/66831.html

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  • @Mr. X
    Well I haven't seen any evidence that Von Eggert is about the rebirth of the Reich, but arch-Russophobe Edward Lucas did re-tweet an Estonian's tweet that Kaliningrad is 'occupied European territory'. While of course re-tweet does not equal agreement, it can be supposed that European in this context is a euphemism for German, and of course, Anatoly has well documented the 'let's give all our eastern islands captured in WWII back to Japan' impulse among Moscow 'liberasts'. One wonders how Americans would react to activists insisting we give Lousiana back to France or Alaska back to Russia.

    “Kaliningrad is ‘occupied European territory’”

    Some people seem to have forgotten that Kaliningrad Oblast isn’t the whole of former East Prussia – the southern (and larger) portion is now part of Poland. So this unnamed Estonian is (by implication) calling for Poland to be carved up again.

    Thankfully, no government in that region is currently making claims on anyone else’s territory.

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  • @Scowspi
    Eggert looks like a good example of what Orwell called "transferred nationalism." Since this is built on an idealized and unreal image of the country to which one transfers one's allegiance, it forces people into absurdities and, eventually, disillusionment.

    And that "von" (assuming he added it) would be fine for a comedian or writer of romance novels, but on a journalist it just looks pompous.

    >>on a journalist it just looks pompous…
    I concur this a case of etymology reversed:it is a “journalist” added to the Von.Von to a signature is like a bow-tie at a non-tuxedo function)))

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  • The latest piece of idiocy by Von Eggert:

    “Due West: Georgian President Stuns Russia’s Leadership
    Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili confounded his critics, won a place in history and preserved his political future. All this was achieved on October 2 when he admitted that his United National Movement had been defeated in the parliamentary elections…”

    http://en.rian.ru/columnists/20121005/176427054.html

    No surprise that he is a Saakashvili fan, but this is extreme…

    For a sharp, sane view:
    Putin: Saakashvili to ‘Cling to Power’
    “Saakashvili will try to cling to power,” Putin said in an interview on the Central Television program broadcast on the NTV television network on Sunday.
    “I think he will try to offset defeat in the party lists with the single-mandate constituencies,” Putin said.

    http://en.rian.ru/politics/20121007/176466644.html

    Also, wouldn’t mind an opinion on this if anyone has any insight.

    Bloomberg put a piece up about Putin’s popularity at 60 (Sixty-four percent of Russians are positive about the Putin era), but then supposedly quoted the Valery Fedorov saying:
    “I’m sure he would have had more than 80 percent of Russians supporting his era in 2008,” Valery Fedorov, VtsIOM’s head, said by phone from Moscow. “But that was another era. The new one is just starting. And it’s about people being massively unhappy with the state.”

    Did some research on Federov previously, & he has been accused by the usual Western suspects of being in the Kremlin’s pocket & fixing results that they don’t like, & VtsIOM ended up having to take the NYT to court where they won a decision over basically slander.
    He looks to be a solid, professional pollster, & VtsIOM a solid organisation.

    This quote from Bloomburg seems very dubious – Fedorov, the head of Russia’s oldest polling agency doesn’t even know the result of his own polls 4 years ago (?) & has no problem with statements that he’s not backing up with data.
    It could of been something taken completely out of context, but to me it looks like the Bloomberg reporter simply made it up in order to ‘balance’ what looks like good news for Putin.

    Putin at 60 Has Rule Rated Positive by Most Russians, Poll Shows
    By Ilya Arkhipov and Stepan Kravchenko – Oct 8, 2012 7:00 AM ET

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-10-07/putin-at-60-has-rule-rated-positive-by-most-russians-poll-shows.html

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  • @Anatoly Karlin
    I will actually have an article on this coming out for the Experts Panels in another day or two. My basic contention was that it neither "Kremlin coup" (crazy neocons) nor "democratic triumph" (Eggert and Co.), but an oligarchic coup that was took Saakashvili totally by surprise.

    ***

    PS. Interest finding - by this:

    Valentina, an acquaintance of mine, is a third year Moscow University student. She told me recently: ‘Whenever I or my friends and college mates hear ‘Georgia’, the reaction is nearly universally positive – food, people, culture and now democracy! The Georgians succeeded where our rulers failed”. The Kremlin may well hear more from Saakashvili – and Georgia’s growing fan-base in Russia itself.

    Eggert means a comment to one of his Facebook postings by one Валентина Филиппенко:

    Знаете, в своей "молодняковой" среде отмечаю: коннотативная окраска у слова "Грузия" становится все более положительной - с этим Кремлю и ЕР сложно будет

    = You know, I'm noticing in my "youth" circles [she appears to be a student at the Journalism Faculty of MSU - great, another democratic journalist in the making]: The connotative coloring of Georgia is becoming ever more positive - this the Kremlin and United Russia will find hard to deal with.

    Is this a breach of journalistic ethics? I'm sure Ms. Filippenko would agree with the sentiment, but still, nowhere does "food, people, culture and now democracy!" or even "nearly universally positive" (=/= Georgia's image becoming more and more positive") figure in her comment. Unless she further expounded on this to Eggert on the telephone, one has to consider that he invented embellishing quotes, Johann Hari-style. Perhaps a theme for another Eggert post?

    ***

    PSS. Here's another gem from there, in the same discussion where Ms. Filippenko showed up:

    Ramil Gataullin Саакашвили вошёл в историю прежде всего как убийца российских миротворцев.
    October 2 at 2:05pm · Like

    Sergei Medvedev Российские миротворцы заблудились в горах и оказались на чужой территории...)) Костя, отличный комментарий!
    October 2 at 2:12pm · Like · 3

    = Ramil Gataullin: Saakashvili above all entered history as a killer of Russian peacekeepers.

    Sergey Medvedev: Russian peacekeepers got lost in the mountains and ended up in the wrong territory...)) Konstantin, excellent commentary.

    (For context, Mr. Medvedev is a prof at the School of Higher Economics (i.e. bastion of neoliberal thought); Mr. Gataullin is a journalist, who I am surprised is Friends with Eggert.)

    Needless to say, it was Medvedev who got all the Likes on Eggert's page.

    Little surprises me from these people, but still, even I am taken aback by this degree of loathing for their country. They really do think it excellent that Saakashvili bombarded the barracks of their own soldiers and killed some of them. To them, Kasparov and his ilk meeting Saakashvili in solidarity immediately after the war wasn't a cause for disenchantment; it was taking a heroic stand against the Kremlin!

    Dear Anatoly,

    I will be very interested to read your piece. I am sure by the way you are right and what has happened in Georgia is an oligarchic coup. The repeated viewings of the prison abuse videos on Georgian television may be a sign of this. However I will reserve further comment once I have read your piece.

    For the rest

    1. On the face of it I cannot see any difference between what Johann Hari did and what Eggert has done.

    2. I find the lack of patriotism of these people and their shameless gloating at the injuries done to their own people and country by its enemies utterly nauseating. That is not because I am any sort of nationalist – far from it – but to wish ill of one’s own people and country and to prefer one’s country’s enemies to one’s own country is incomprehensible to me.

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  • Von Eggert does actually have some connection to Royalty, according to http://ceness-russia.org/index.php?id=300

    “In 2008 Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has created Konstantin Honorary Member of the Civic Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.”

    He also got in “same year President Valdas Adamkus awarded him Commander’s Cross of the Order of Merits to Lithuania.” although I don’t think that one allows to him any fancy titles.

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    • Replies: @Moscow Exile
    So von Eggert and Adamkus have joined those honoured ranks also occupied by the Russian traitor and former Colonel of the KGB Oleg Antonovich Gordievsky, who was appointed Companion of the Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) for "services to the security of the United Kingdom" in the 2007 Queen's Birthday Honours.

    Somebody somewhere in Whitehall has a wry sense of humour: the CMG is the same award that fictional true-Brit hero James Bond was awarded.

    Adamkus, by the way, has the not so-honourable record of being the last living European head of state to have served in the Wehrmacht:

    See: http://en.rian.ru/analysis/20050511/39967058.html

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  • @Alexander Mercouris
    The world according to Eggert: Saakashvili has outsmarted the Kremlin by losing the Georgian parliamentary election.

    http://en.rian.ru/columnists/20121005/176427054.html

    Like Hitler who outsmarted the Kremlin by losing the Battle of Berlin.

    I will actually have an article on this coming out for the Experts Panels in another day or two. My basic contention was that it neither “Kremlin coup” (crazy neocons) nor “democratic triumph” (Eggert and Co.), but an oligarchic coup that was took Saakashvili totally by surprise.

    ***

    PS. Interest finding – by this:

    Valentina, an acquaintance of mine, is a third year Moscow University student. She told me recently: ‘Whenever I or my friends and college mates hear ‘Georgia’, the reaction is nearly universally positive – food, people, culture and now democracy! The Georgians succeeded where our rulers failed”. The Kremlin may well hear more from Saakashvili – and Georgia’s growing fan-base in Russia itself.

    Eggert means a comment to one of his Facebook postings by one Валентина Филиппенко:

    Знаете, в своей “молодняковой” среде отмечаю: коннотативная окраска у слова “Грузия” становится все более положительной – с этим Кремлю и ЕР сложно будет

    = You know, I’m noticing in my “youth” circles [she appears to be a student at the Journalism Faculty of MSU - great, another democratic journalist in the making]: The connotative coloring of Georgia is becoming ever more positive – this the Kremlin and United Russia will find hard to deal with.

    Is this a breach of journalistic ethics? I’m sure Ms. Filippenko would agree with the sentiment, but still, nowhere does “food, people, culture and now democracy!” or even “nearly universally positive” (=/= Georgia’s image becoming more and more positive”) figure in her comment. Unless she further expounded on this to Eggert on the telephone, one has to consider that he invented embellishing quotes, Johann Hari-style. Perhaps a theme for another Eggert post?

    ***

    PSS. Here’s another gem from there, in the same discussion where Ms. Filippenko showed up:

    Ramil Gataullin Саакашвили вошёл в историю прежде всего как убийца российских миротворцев.
    October 2 at 2:05pm · Like

    Sergei Medvedev Российские миротворцы заблудились в горах и оказались на чужой территории…)) Костя, отличный комментарий!
    October 2 at 2:12pm · Like · 3

    = Ramil Gataullin: Saakashvili above all entered history as a killer of Russian peacekeepers.

    Sergey Medvedev: Russian peacekeepers got lost in the mountains and ended up in the wrong territory…)) Konstantin, excellent commentary.

    (For context, Mr. Medvedev is a prof at the School of Higher Economics (i.e. bastion of neoliberal thought); Mr. Gataullin is a journalist, who I am surprised is Friends with Eggert.)

    Needless to say, it was Medvedev who got all the Likes on Eggert’s page.

    Little surprises me from these people, but still, even I am taken aback by this degree of loathing for their country. They really do think it excellent that Saakashvili bombarded the barracks of their own soldiers and killed some of them. To them, Kasparov and his ilk meeting Saakashvili in solidarity immediately after the war wasn’t a cause for disenchantment; it was taking a heroic stand against the Kremlin!

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    • Replies: @Alexander Mercouris
    Dear Anatoly,

    I will be very interested to read your piece. I am sure by the way you are right and what has happened in Georgia is an oligarchic coup. The repeated viewings of the prison abuse videos on Georgian television may be a sign of this. However I will reserve further comment once I have read your piece.

    For the rest

    1. On the face of it I cannot see any difference between what Johann Hari did and what Eggert has done.

    2. I find the lack of patriotism of these people and their shameless gloating at the injuries done to their own people and country by its enemies utterly nauseating. That is not because I am any sort of nationalist - far from it - but to wish ill of one's own people and country and to prefer one's country's enemies to one's own country is incomprehensible to me.

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  • @Alexander Mercouris
    As Jennifer says the brothers Dominic and Anatole Lieven are a case in point. Both are genuine aristocrats. A friend of mine who was Dominic's student tells me that he is very proud of his ancestry and likes to tease his students about it by saying for example when he is travelling to Turkey that he is "going to Byzantium". Neither brother would however dream of using the "von".

    To get an idea of how obsolete the "von" has become, think how many pre war Germans one knows who used it and compare that with how rarely one comes across it in the names of important Germans today.

    Of all the German presidents of the German Federal Republic and of the Weimar Republic before that, only one, Richard Karl Freiherr von Weizsäcker (1984-1994), had the “von” in his name – and he didn’t use the title “Freiherr”, literally “free lord” and 2nd in the German rank of nobility, being above “Ritter” (knight) and below “Graf” (Count).

    In the Bismarck Reich there were no presidents, the head of state being the Kaiser. The Kanzler (Cnancellor) was (and still is) chief of the executive. These were Graf Otto von Bismarck, Graf Leo von Caprivi, Fürst (Prince) Chlodwig zu Hohenlohe-Schillingsfürst, Fürst Bernhard von Bülow, and Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg. After Bethmann-Hollweg came revolution and the abdication of the Kaiser.

    Since that time there have only been three chancellors who were either an aristocrat or of the nobility: Fürst Maximilian of Baden, who was chancellor for one month in 1918; Franz von Papen (1932); and Kurt von Schleicher
    (1933). After Scleicher came the Austrian corporal who soon took upon himself the title of Führer.

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  • The world according to Eggert: Saakashvili has outsmarted the Kremlin by losing the Georgian parliamentary election.

    http://en.rian.ru/columnists/20121005/176427054.html

    Like Hitler who outsmarted the Kremlin by losing the Battle of Berlin.

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    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    I will actually have an article on this coming out for the Experts Panels in another day or two. My basic contention was that it neither "Kremlin coup" (crazy neocons) nor "democratic triumph" (Eggert and Co.), but an oligarchic coup that was took Saakashvili totally by surprise.

    ***

    PS. Interest finding - by this:

    Valentina, an acquaintance of mine, is a third year Moscow University student. She told me recently: ‘Whenever I or my friends and college mates hear ‘Georgia’, the reaction is nearly universally positive – food, people, culture and now democracy! The Georgians succeeded where our rulers failed”. The Kremlin may well hear more from Saakashvili – and Georgia’s growing fan-base in Russia itself.

    Eggert means a comment to one of his Facebook postings by one Валентина Филиппенко:

    Знаете, в своей "молодняковой" среде отмечаю: коннотативная окраска у слова "Грузия" становится все более положительной - с этим Кремлю и ЕР сложно будет

    = You know, I'm noticing in my "youth" circles [she appears to be a student at the Journalism Faculty of MSU - great, another democratic journalist in the making]: The connotative coloring of Georgia is becoming ever more positive - this the Kremlin and United Russia will find hard to deal with.

    Is this a breach of journalistic ethics? I'm sure Ms. Filippenko would agree with the sentiment, but still, nowhere does "food, people, culture and now democracy!" or even "nearly universally positive" (=/= Georgia's image becoming more and more positive") figure in her comment. Unless she further expounded on this to Eggert on the telephone, one has to consider that he invented embellishing quotes, Johann Hari-style. Perhaps a theme for another Eggert post?

    ***

    PSS. Here's another gem from there, in the same discussion where Ms. Filippenko showed up:

    Ramil Gataullin Саакашвили вошёл в историю прежде всего как убийца российских миротворцев.
    October 2 at 2:05pm · Like

    Sergei Medvedev Российские миротворцы заблудились в горах и оказались на чужой территории...)) Костя, отличный комментарий!
    October 2 at 2:12pm · Like · 3

    = Ramil Gataullin: Saakashvili above all entered history as a killer of Russian peacekeepers.

    Sergey Medvedev: Russian peacekeepers got lost in the mountains and ended up in the wrong territory...)) Konstantin, excellent commentary.

    (For context, Mr. Medvedev is a prof at the School of Higher Economics (i.e. bastion of neoliberal thought); Mr. Gataullin is a journalist, who I am surprised is Friends with Eggert.)

    Needless to say, it was Medvedev who got all the Likes on Eggert's page.

    Little surprises me from these people, but still, even I am taken aback by this degree of loathing for their country. They really do think it excellent that Saakashvili bombarded the barracks of their own soldiers and killed some of them. To them, Kasparov and his ilk meeting Saakashvili in solidarity immediately after the war wasn't a cause for disenchantment; it was taking a heroic stand against the Kremlin!

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @AP
    ...And in New York.

    As Jennifer says the brothers Dominic and Anatole Lieven are a case in point. Both are genuine aristocrats. A friend of mine who was Dominic’s student tells me that he is very proud of his ancestry and likes to tease his students about it by saying for example when he is travelling to Turkey that he is “going to Byzantium”. Neither brother would however dream of using the “von”.

    To get an idea of how obsolete the “von” has become, think how many pre war Germans one knows who used it and compare that with how rarely one comes across it in the names of important Germans today.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Moscow Exile
    Of all the German presidents of the German Federal Republic and of the Weimar Republic before that, only one, Richard Karl Freiherr von Weizsäcker (1984-1994), had the "von" in his name - and he didn't use the title "Freiherr", literally "free lord" and 2nd in the German rank of nobility, being above "Ritter" (knight) and below "Graf" (Count).

    In the Bismarck Reich there were no presidents, the head of state being the Kaiser. The Kanzler (Cnancellor) was (and still is) chief of the executive. These were Graf Otto von Bismarck, Graf Leo von Caprivi, Fürst (Prince) Chlodwig zu Hohenlohe-Schillingsfürst, Fürst Bernhard von Bülow, and Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg. After Bethmann-Hollweg came revolution and the abdication of the Kaiser.

    Since that time there have only been three chancellors who were either an aristocrat or of the nobility: Fürst Maximilian of Baden, who was chancellor for one month in 1918; Franz von Papen (1932); and Kurt von Schleicher
    (1933). After Scleicher came the Austrian corporal who soon took upon himself the title of Führer.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Jennifer Hor
    Apparently the film was banned for a long time in the Soviet Union and the Martian slave worker rebellion and Aelita's attempt to manipulate it might have been one reason. The portrayal of the Martian workers before they rebel is not flattering either: the workers do their jobs and when not required, are dumped into suspended animation in storage chambers.

    The scenes on Mars use Konstruktivist sets and designs and the actors playing Tuskub and Aelita wear geometric Konstruktivist-inspired costumes and the influence of this avant-garde art movement on the film may have been another reason for the ban.

    The film is worth watching for the sets alone but it's one of those films where you need to know the plot first before watching as much of "Aelita ..." is one man's daydreaming fantasy and you get no warning of where reality ends and fantasy begins. It is available on DVD (film quality can vary) and it has been uploaded in several parts to Youtube. The film was an influence on Fritz Lang's "Metropolis" in its set design and social protest theme.

    Dear Jennifer and Scowpsi,

    Aelita is a brilliant film and it is NOT a science fiction film in any way. Since this is off topic I am going to write about it on Anatoly’s Open Thread.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Scowspi
    Moscow Exile: "Perhaps he dreams of a rebirth of the Reich or [whatever]"

    Or maybe it's just his name. Who cares really? I do know that Austria abolished titles of nobility after the breakup of the Empire, which is why for instance you see the composer Anton Webern sometimes referenced as Anton von Webern. I don't know what the law is in Germany though.

    Well I haven’t seen any evidence that Von Eggert is about the rebirth of the Reich, but arch-Russophobe Edward Lucas did re-tweet an Estonian’s tweet that Kaliningrad is ‘occupied European territory’. While of course re-tweet does not equal agreement, it can be supposed that European in this context is a euphemism for German, and of course, Anatoly has well documented the ‘let’s give all our eastern islands captured in WWII back to Japan’ impulse among Moscow ‘liberasts’. One wonders how Americans would react to activists insisting we give Lousiana back to France or Alaska back to Russia.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Scowspi
    "Kaliningrad is ‘occupied European territory’"

    Some people seem to have forgotten that Kaliningrad Oblast isn't the whole of former East Prussia - the southern (and larger) portion is now part of Poland. So this unnamed Estonian is (by implication) calling for Poland to be carved up again.

    Thankfully, no government in that region is currently making claims on anyone else's territory.

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  • @AP
    Nope. An example:

    http://pl.linkedin.com/pub/witold-de-sas-zubr/5/617/79a

    Another example:

    http://records.ancestry.com/Stanislaw_De_Korczak_Leszczynski_records.ashx?pid=333990

    “de” was used sometimes among Poles and western Ukrainians of noble descent to denote their heraldric sign. So for example, Stanislaw’s surname is Leszczynski and he belongs to the noble family of Korczak so he adds “de Korczak” to his name. Likewise the other guy Zubr belongs to the noble family Sas, so he adds “de Sas”. The only necessary French connection is that presumably the custom came about at a time when educated people all spoke French.

    In the case of western Ukrainian nobles, they were typically named after the location of their ancestral territory or village. So those from the village of Kulchytsi were named “Kulchytsky.” Due to Slavic word endings “von” becomes redundant. (in contrast, peasants/serfs often had surnames ending in -enko or -uk, diminutives). De Sas or de Korczak could be used to denote one’s coat of arms.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Mitleser
    Doesn't von Eggert have a point?

    What point? Clarify, or you’re a troll.

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    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Doesn’t von Eggert have a point?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    What point? Clarify, or you're a troll.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @AP
    Nope. An example:

    http://pl.linkedin.com/pub/witold-de-sas-zubr/5/617/79a

    I guess in the case of this individual keeping de Sas before Zubr was an esthetic thing, because the last means “wisent.” I have only seen “de” on publications in French language written by Polish exiles in Paris. There is always some connection to French in these names with de.

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  • @AP
    Nope. An example:

    http://pl.linkedin.com/pub/witold-de-sas-zubr/5/617/79a

    I once knew of a working girl called Fifi de Filth. She was neither French nor noble.

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    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Moscow Exile
    As regards Lenin being the son of a hereditary noble, which he was after his father, having become state schools inspector for the governership, had been moved up in the table of ranks to the position of Actual Civil Counsellor (the rank system resembled the present British system in that there were equivalents to life peers and hereditary ones), Vladimir Ilyich was not averse to using his nobility whenever it suited. After his elder brother had been hanged for his
    association with the plotters of tsar Alexander II's assassination, Lenin, like all other radical students, was thrown off his degree course on the orders of
    Alexander II's son, Alexander III. The young Lenin and his doting mother spent a great deal of time appealing for his re-instatement. In the letters that the young Ulyanov wrote appealing for re-instatement, he signed them "Hereditary
    nobleman V.I.Ulyanov". His pulling of rank failed, however, and he eventually graduated from an extra-mural law course.

    There's a Russian nobility organization in London as well. The last time I was in London was at eastertide many years ago and I attended the Easter vigil there at the Russian Orthodox cathedral in Kensington. That was in 1991 and I became acquainted with several there who claim to be descendants of the Russian nobility, though none of them had visited Russia or could speak Russian (though I dare say there are many who have done so and who can).
    They have an annual nobility ball in London. The same happens in Moscow now each year as well.

    …And in New York.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Alexander Mercouris
    As Jennifer says the brothers Dominic and Anatole Lieven are a case in point. Both are genuine aristocrats. A friend of mine who was Dominic's student tells me that he is very proud of his ancestry and likes to tease his students about it by saying for example when he is travelling to Turkey that he is "going to Byzantium". Neither brother would however dream of using the "von".

    To get an idea of how obsolete the "von" has become, think how many pre war Germans one knows who used it and compare that with how rarely one comes across it in the names of important Germans today.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Leos Tomicek
    And they probably all lived in France, Or signed their French language works this way. ;-)
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    • Replies: @Moscow Exile
    I once knew of a working girl called Fifi de Filth. She was neither French nor noble.
    , @Leos Tomicek
    I guess in the case of this individual keeping de Sas before Zubr was an esthetic thing, because the last means "wisent." I have only seen "de" on publications in French language written by Polish exiles in Paris. There is always some connection to French in these names with de.
    , @AP
    Another example:

    http://records.ancestry.com/Stanislaw_De_Korczak_Leszczynski_records.ashx?pid=333990

    "de" was used sometimes among Poles and western Ukrainians of noble descent to denote their heraldric sign. So for example, Stanislaw's surname is Leszczynski and he belongs to the noble family of Korczak so he adds "de Korczak" to his name. Likewise the other guy Zubr belongs to the noble family Sas, so he adds "de Sas". The only necessary French connection is that presumably the custom came about at a time when educated people all spoke French.

    In the case of western Ukrainian nobles, they were typically named after the location of their ancestral territory or village. So those from the village of Kulchytsi were named "Kulchytsky." Due to Slavic word endings "von" becomes redundant. (in contrast, peasants/serfs often had surnames ending in -enko or -uk, diminutives). De Sas or de Korczak could be used to denote one's coat of arms.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Scowspi
    "overthrown by a Martian proletarian revolution led by Aelita, the engineer and a radical writer. Aelita then decides she’ll be the new dictator"

    Assuming this summary is accurate, this looks quite fascinating, as it could be taken as a veiled critique of the October Revolution and subsequent dictatorship.

    Apparently the film was banned for a long time in the Soviet Union and the Martian slave worker rebellion and Aelita’s attempt to manipulate it might have been one reason. The portrayal of the Martian workers before they rebel is not flattering either: the workers do their jobs and when not required, are dumped into suspended animation in storage chambers.

    The scenes on Mars use Konstruktivist sets and designs and the actors playing Tuskub and Aelita wear geometric Konstruktivist-inspired costumes and the influence of this avant-garde art movement on the film may have been another reason for the ban.

    The film is worth watching for the sets alone but it’s one of those films where you need to know the plot first before watching as much of “Aelita …” is one man’s daydreaming fantasy and you get no warning of where reality ends and fantasy begins. It is available on DVD (film quality can vary) and it has been uploaded in several parts to Youtube. The film was an influence on Fritz Lang’s “Metropolis” in its set design and social protest theme.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Alexander Mercouris
    Dear Jennifer and Scowpsi,

    Aelita is a brilliant film and it is NOT a science fiction film in any way. Since this is off topic I am going to write about it on Anatoly's Open Thread.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @AP
    I have come across western Ukrainian and Polish nobles who used "de" although this is rare.

    And they probably all lived in France, Or signed their French language works this way. ;-)

    Read More
    • Replies: @AP
    Nope. An example:

    http://pl.linkedin.com/pub/witold-de-sas-zubr/5/617/79a

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Jennifer Hor
    In a public library where I used to work years ago, we had a book on the Baltic states written by the British journalist Anatol Lieven whose family used to be part of the Baltic German aristocracy. The family traces its lineage back to a Livonian chief who lived nearly a thousand years ago. There is a Wikipedia article on the Lieven family (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lieven) and some of their number used "von" as part of their surname in the past but current members have dropped it.

    In Tsarist Russia if you reached a certain level of public service and income, you were entitled to own property and have tenants working for you, and you became part of the aristocracy. Vladimir Lenin's father Ilya Ulyanov reached the level of Actual Civil Counsellor in the Table of Ranks (see here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Actual_Civil_Councellor) and technically could call himself a noble; born of poor parents of Tatar or Kalmyk background, he really was a self-made man and proof that upward social mobility did exist in Russia in the 1800s. The British actress Helen Mirren's family (originally Mironov) attained aristocratic status in Russia some time in the 1700s.

    As regards Lenin being the son of a hereditary noble, which he was after his father, having become state schools inspector for the governership, had been moved up in the table of ranks to the position of Actual Civil Counsellor (the rank system resembled the present British system in that there were equivalents to life peers and hereditary ones), Vladimir Ilyich was not averse to using his nobility whenever it suited. After his elder brother had been hanged for his
    association with the plotters of tsar Alexander II’s assassination, Lenin, like all other radical students, was thrown off his degree course on the orders of
    Alexander II’s son, Alexander III. The young Lenin and his doting mother spent a great deal of time appealing for his re-instatement. In the letters that the young Ulyanov wrote appealing for re-instatement, he signed them “Hereditary
    nobleman V.I.Ulyanov”. His pulling of rank failed, however, and he eventually graduated from an extra-mural law course.

    There’s a Russian nobility organization in London as well. The last time I was in London was at eastertide many years ago and I attended the Easter vigil there at the Russian Orthodox cathedral in Kensington. That was in 1991 and I became acquainted with several there who claim to be descendants of the Russian nobility, though none of them had visited Russia or could speak Russian (though I dare say there are many who have done so and who can).
    They have an annual nobility ball in London. The same happens in Moscow now each year as well.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AP
    ...And in New York.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Jennifer Hor
    To Moscow Exile and Alex,

    I have seen that film "Aelita, Queen of Mars" on Youtube. It was made in 1924 and is usually considered the first Soviet sci-fi film although the sci-fi is actually a minor sub-plot in a film about an engineer who daydreams a lot (which explains the extremely confusing plot in which he shoots dead his wife for being unfaithful and she suddenly comes back to life later on). Konstantin Eggert grand-pere plays Tuskub, ruler of Mars, who is overthrown by a Martian proletarian revolution led by Aelita, the engineer and a radical writer. Aelita then decides she'll be the new dictator and the Earth men try to stop her.

    The film's message in a nutshell is that fantasising about exotic women in faraway lands gets a person in trouble and people should be happy with what they have (or they will lose it otherwise) and do practical work building a new nation.

    There is very basic biographical information on Eggert the actor here at:
    http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0250955/. Note that he also wrote the screenplay for and directed a movie "Gobzek" in which he appears as a minor aristocratic character.

    “overthrown by a Martian proletarian revolution led by Aelita, the engineer and a radical writer. Aelita then decides she’ll be the new dictator”

    Assuming this summary is accurate, this looks quite fascinating, as it could be taken as a veiled critique of the October Revolution and subsequent dictatorship.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jennifer Hor
    Apparently the film was banned for a long time in the Soviet Union and the Martian slave worker rebellion and Aelita's attempt to manipulate it might have been one reason. The portrayal of the Martian workers before they rebel is not flattering either: the workers do their jobs and when not required, are dumped into suspended animation in storage chambers.

    The scenes on Mars use Konstruktivist sets and designs and the actors playing Tuskub and Aelita wear geometric Konstruktivist-inspired costumes and the influence of this avant-garde art movement on the film may have been another reason for the ban.

    The film is worth watching for the sets alone but it's one of those films where you need to know the plot first before watching as much of "Aelita ..." is one man's daydreaming fantasy and you get no warning of where reality ends and fantasy begins. It is available on DVD (film quality can vary) and it has been uploaded in several parts to Youtube. The film was an influence on Fritz Lang's "Metropolis" in its set design and social protest theme.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Scowspi
    Moscow Exile: "Perhaps he dreams of a rebirth of the Reich or [whatever]"

    Or maybe it's just his name. Who cares really? I do know that Austria abolished titles of nobility after the breakup of the Empire, which is why for instance you see the composer Anton Webern sometimes referenced as Anton von Webern. I don't know what the law is in Germany though.

    In a public library where I used to work years ago, we had a book on the Baltic states written by the British journalist Anatol Lieven whose family used to be part of the Baltic German aristocracy. The family traces its lineage back to a Livonian chief who lived nearly a thousand years ago. There is a Wikipedia article on the Lieven family (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lieven) and some of their number used “von” as part of their surname in the past but current members have dropped it.

    In Tsarist Russia if you reached a certain level of public service and income, you were entitled to own property and have tenants working for you, and you became part of the aristocracy. Vladimir Lenin’s father Ilya Ulyanov reached the level of Actual Civil Counsellor in the Table of Ranks (see here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Actual_Civil_Councellor) and technically could call himself a noble; born of poor parents of Tatar or Kalmyk background, he really was a self-made man and proof that upward social mobility did exist in Russia in the 1800s. The British actress Helen Mirren’s family (originally Mironov) attained aristocratic status in Russia some time in the 1700s.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Moscow Exile
    As regards Lenin being the son of a hereditary noble, which he was after his father, having become state schools inspector for the governership, had been moved up in the table of ranks to the position of Actual Civil Counsellor (the rank system resembled the present British system in that there were equivalents to life peers and hereditary ones), Vladimir Ilyich was not averse to using his nobility whenever it suited. After his elder brother had been hanged for his
    association with the plotters of tsar Alexander II's assassination, Lenin, like all other radical students, was thrown off his degree course on the orders of
    Alexander II's son, Alexander III. The young Lenin and his doting mother spent a great deal of time appealing for his re-instatement. In the letters that the young Ulyanov wrote appealing for re-instatement, he signed them "Hereditary
    nobleman V.I.Ulyanov". His pulling of rank failed, however, and he eventually graduated from an extra-mural law course.

    There's a Russian nobility organization in London as well. The last time I was in London was at eastertide many years ago and I attended the Easter vigil there at the Russian Orthodox cathedral in Kensington. That was in 1991 and I became acquainted with several there who claim to be descendants of the Russian nobility, though none of them had visited Russia or could speak Russian (though I dare say there are many who have done so and who can).
    They have an annual nobility ball in London. The same happens in Moscow now each year as well.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Moscow Exile
    The only "von" in Russian history that immediately sprang to my mind when reading about von Eggert was von Bennigsen, a Hannoverian general in the service of the tsar who saw action at Friedland, Borodino, Leipzig etc. during the Napoleonic Wars. But after his retirement he went back to Germany: he never became a subject of the tsar. And there was his contemporary, General Barclay de Tolly, who was a subject of the tsar born in Russia and who, despite his aristocratic French "de", was of Scottish descent, a member of the Barclay clan.

    There was no marker term for nobility in Russian: you could be a prince or a count or a baron, but there was nothing like the "de" or "von" as there is/was in France and Germany and no great multiple barrelled names of royal "houses" as there were in Germany and still are in the UK, such as the mouthful possessed by the British head of state's husband, namely Prince Philip, who was born in Corfu as Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark (hence the term "Phil the Greek" used in the UK) but is of the Danish/German royal house of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg. His in-laws are of
    Saxe-Coburg und Gotha, but they changed their house title to Windsor during WWI.

    I have come across western Ukrainian and Polish nobles who used “de” although this is rare.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Leos Tomicek
    And they probably all lived in France, Or signed their French language works this way. ;-)
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Alexander Mercouris
    Dear Moscow Exile,

    Peter has said that he is the grandson of the famous actor Konstantin Eggert. You can see Eggert the grandfather in the Soviet silent film Aelita Queen of Mars where he plays the role of the Ruler of Mars.

    To Moscow Exile and Alex,

    I have seen that film “Aelita, Queen of Mars” on Youtube. It was made in 1924 and is usually considered the first Soviet sci-fi film although the sci-fi is actually a minor sub-plot in a film about an engineer who daydreams a lot (which explains the extremely confusing plot in which he shoots dead his wife for being unfaithful and she suddenly comes back to life later on). Konstantin Eggert grand-pere plays Tuskub, ruler of Mars, who is overthrown by a Martian proletarian revolution led by Aelita, the engineer and a radical writer. Aelita then decides she’ll be the new dictator and the Earth men try to stop her.

    The film’s message in a nutshell is that fantasising about exotic women in faraway lands gets a person in trouble and people should be happy with what they have (or they will lose it otherwise) and do practical work building a new nation.

    There is very basic biographical information on Eggert the actor here at:
    http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0250955/. Note that he also wrote the screenplay for and directed a movie “Gobzek” in which he appears as a minor aristocratic character.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Scowspi
    "overthrown by a Martian proletarian revolution led by Aelita, the engineer and a radical writer. Aelita then decides she’ll be the new dictator"

    Assuming this summary is accurate, this looks quite fascinating, as it could be taken as a veiled critique of the October Revolution and subsequent dictatorship.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Moscow Exile
    From US constitution:

    Article I, Section 9, Clause 8:

    No title of nobility shall be granted by the United States: and no person holding any office of profit or trust under them, shall, without the consent of the Congress, accept of any present, emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever, from any king, prince, or foreign state.

    As far as I am aware, there is no similar article in the present Russian constitution. Needless to say, the Russian nobility and its titles were abolished totally and finally in 1917 - in Russia.

    This site may prove to be of interest to some:

    http://www.almanachdegotha.org/id222.html

    There is an organization of Russian nobility in Russia; my mother-in-law was invited by them to join and become “ennobled.”

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    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Alexander Mercouris
    Dear Scowpsi,

    The legal position is that in Austria use of the "von" was formally abolished in 1919. Thus since Webern was Austrian after 1919 he became legally "Anton Webern" not "Anton von Webern". It was not formally abolished in Germany but as I can vouch for myself it is nowadays very rarely used even by members of the aristocracy.

    "Von" as Moscow Exile says is not a Russian title and Russia anyway has not had titles since 1917 though as AP correctly says it was used by some Baltic German nobles and some German noble families that had settled in Russia to serve the Tsar. Eggert's only reason for using it is to show off his supposed aristocratic ancestry. Doubtless he has some sort of family claim to it. I find his use of it bizarre coming as it does from a self proclaimed moderniser and besotted admirer of the US which of course has no titles. However it is entirely in keeping with Eggert's ridiculous snobbishness and pomposity for which he is rightly mocked and for which Anatoly expertly takes him apart in his two articles.

    From US constitution:

    Article I, Section 9, Clause 8:

    No title of nobility shall be granted by the United States: and no person holding any office of profit or trust under them, shall, without the consent of the Congress, accept of any present, emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever, from any king, prince, or foreign state.

    As far as I am aware, there is no similar article in the present Russian constitution. Needless to say, the Russian nobility and its titles were abolished totally and finally in 1917 – in Russia.

    This site may prove to be of interest to some:

    http://www.almanachdegotha.org/id222.html

    Read More
    • Replies: @AP
    There is an organization of Russian nobility in Russia; my mother-in-law was invited by them to join and become "ennobled."
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Alexander Mercouris
    Dear Scowpsi,

    The legal position is that in Austria use of the "von" was formally abolished in 1919. Thus since Webern was Austrian after 1919 he became legally "Anton Webern" not "Anton von Webern". It was not formally abolished in Germany but as I can vouch for myself it is nowadays very rarely used even by members of the aristocracy.

    "Von" as Moscow Exile says is not a Russian title and Russia anyway has not had titles since 1917 though as AP correctly says it was used by some Baltic German nobles and some German noble families that had settled in Russia to serve the Tsar. Eggert's only reason for using it is to show off his supposed aristocratic ancestry. Doubtless he has some sort of family claim to it. I find his use of it bizarre coming as it does from a self proclaimed moderniser and besotted admirer of the US which of course has no titles. However it is entirely in keeping with Eggert's ridiculous snobbishness and pomposity for which he is rightly mocked and for which Anatoly expertly takes him apart in his two articles.

    The only “von” in Russian history that immediately sprang to my mind when reading about von Eggert was von Bennigsen, a Hannoverian general in the service of the tsar who saw action at Friedland, Borodino, Leipzig etc. during the Napoleonic Wars. But after his retirement he went back to Germany: he never became a subject of the tsar. And there was his contemporary, General Barclay de Tolly, who was a subject of the tsar born in Russia and who, despite his aristocratic French “de”, was of Scottish descent, a member of the Barclay clan.

    There was no marker term for nobility in Russian: you could be a prince or a count or a baron, but there was nothing like the “de” or “von” as there is/was in France and Germany and no great multiple barrelled names of royal “houses” as there were in Germany and still are in the UK, such as the mouthful possessed by the British head of state’s husband, namely Prince Philip, who was born in Corfu as Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark (hence the term “Phil the Greek” used in the UK) but is of the Danish/German royal house of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg. His in-laws are of
    Saxe-Coburg und Gotha, but they changed their house title to Windsor during WWI.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AP
    I have come across western Ukrainian and Polish nobles who used "de" although this is rare.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Alexander Mercouris
    Dear Scowpsi,

    The legal position is that in Austria use of the "von" was formally abolished in 1919. Thus since Webern was Austrian after 1919 he became legally "Anton Webern" not "Anton von Webern". It was not formally abolished in Germany but as I can vouch for myself it is nowadays very rarely used even by members of the aristocracy.

    "Von" as Moscow Exile says is not a Russian title and Russia anyway has not had titles since 1917 though as AP correctly says it was used by some Baltic German nobles and some German noble families that had settled in Russia to serve the Tsar. Eggert's only reason for using it is to show off his supposed aristocratic ancestry. Doubtless he has some sort of family claim to it. I find his use of it bizarre coming as it does from a self proclaimed moderniser and besotted admirer of the US which of course has no titles. However it is entirely in keeping with Eggert's ridiculous snobbishness and pomposity for which he is rightly mocked and for which Anatoly expertly takes him apart in his two articles.

    The “von” is more a designation mening “from” or “of”, the title would be something like “Earl of…”. It just so happens that in Germany, and Central Europe in general, the name of the family would also be a name of a resident town, village, or castle. My opinion is that Russian noble families have surnames that often have more modest origins.

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    • Replies: @геннадий гум
    Perhaps the origins to Eggert's fraudulent use of pompous "von" can be traced to a bizzare court murder case of one Claus von Bullow,who added "von" upon marrying up to an Austrian ex-nobility...to the delight of NY trash papers...
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  • @Scowspi
    Moscow Exile: "Perhaps he dreams of a rebirth of the Reich or [whatever]"

    Or maybe it's just his name. Who cares really? I do know that Austria abolished titles of nobility after the breakup of the Empire, which is why for instance you see the composer Anton Webern sometimes referenced as Anton von Webern. I don't know what the law is in Germany though.

    Dear Scowpsi,

    The legal position is that in Austria use of the “von” was formally abolished in 1919. Thus since Webern was Austrian after 1919 he became legally “Anton Webern” not “Anton von Webern”. It was not formally abolished in Germany but as I can vouch for myself it is nowadays very rarely used even by members of the aristocracy.

    “Von” as Moscow Exile says is not a Russian title and Russia anyway has not had titles since 1917 though as AP correctly says it was used by some Baltic German nobles and some German noble families that had settled in Russia to serve the Tsar. Eggert’s only reason for using it is to show off his supposed aristocratic ancestry. Doubtless he has some sort of family claim to it. I find his use of it bizarre coming as it does from a self proclaimed moderniser and besotted admirer of the US which of course has no titles. However it is entirely in keeping with Eggert’s ridiculous snobbishness and pomposity for which he is rightly mocked and for which Anatoly expertly takes him apart in his two articles.

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    • Replies: @Leos Tomicek
    The "von" is more a designation mening "from" or "of", the title would be something like "Earl of...". It just so happens that in Germany, and Central Europe in general, the name of the family would also be a name of a resident town, village, or castle. My opinion is that Russian noble families have surnames that often have more modest origins.
    , @Moscow Exile
    The only "von" in Russian history that immediately sprang to my mind when reading about von Eggert was von Bennigsen, a Hannoverian general in the service of the tsar who saw action at Friedland, Borodino, Leipzig etc. during the Napoleonic Wars. But after his retirement he went back to Germany: he never became a subject of the tsar. And there was his contemporary, General Barclay de Tolly, who was a subject of the tsar born in Russia and who, despite his aristocratic French "de", was of Scottish descent, a member of the Barclay clan.

    There was no marker term for nobility in Russian: you could be a prince or a count or a baron, but there was nothing like the "de" or "von" as there is/was in France and Germany and no great multiple barrelled names of royal "houses" as there were in Germany and still are in the UK, such as the mouthful possessed by the British head of state's husband, namely Prince Philip, who was born in Corfu as Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark (hence the term "Phil the Greek" used in the UK) but is of the Danish/German royal house of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg. His in-laws are of
    Saxe-Coburg und Gotha, but they changed their house title to Windsor during WWI.

    , @Moscow Exile
    From US constitution:

    Article I, Section 9, Clause 8:

    No title of nobility shall be granted by the United States: and no person holding any office of profit or trust under them, shall, without the consent of the Congress, accept of any present, emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever, from any king, prince, or foreign state.

    As far as I am aware, there is no similar article in the present Russian constitution. Needless to say, the Russian nobility and its titles were abolished totally and finally in 1917 - in Russia.

    This site may prove to be of interest to some:

    http://www.almanachdegotha.org/id222.html

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  • @Scowspi
    Problem with the "links with Germany" theory is that the name Eggert by itself looks German. The nobility theory makes sense: a lot of people with noble backgrounds had to lie low or falsify their origins during Soviet times.

    So why didn’t he change his name entirely if Germany wasn’t popular? ;-)

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  • @Leos Tomicek
    Why don't you google it? Do you know Russian, there should be a lot of information out there for people who do. ;-)

    You should not have bothered, I was just trying to take a shot at Mr. AP who was asking a stupid question which he can deal with himself. This anonymous mendacious prick, on another thread, misrepresented something he read on my blog with the intentent to slander me, or as he says warn people against my views. I think he does not realise that much of these views are freely accessible to public, and people can make their own mind.

    This heroic internet hamster claimed that I said that Ukrainians are not Slavs, and that many Ukrainians believe that Ukrainian is related to Sanskrit. I am sure he can provide relevant links to these damning statements of mine. :-)

    And meanwhile, I can mock his comment, unless I get a warning…

    AK: Okay, I really can’t be bothered looking through and figuring out who started what in the old thread, but please don’t spread it to here.

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  • Moscow Exile: “Perhaps he dreams of a rebirth of the Reich or [whatever]”

    Or maybe it’s just his name. Who cares really? I do know that Austria abolished titles of nobility after the breakup of the Empire, which is why for instance you see the composer Anton Webern sometimes referenced as Anton von Webern. I don’t know what the law is in Germany though.

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    • Replies: @Alexander Mercouris
    Dear Scowpsi,

    The legal position is that in Austria use of the "von" was formally abolished in 1919. Thus since Webern was Austrian after 1919 he became legally "Anton Webern" not "Anton von Webern". It was not formally abolished in Germany but as I can vouch for myself it is nowadays very rarely used even by members of the aristocracy.

    "Von" as Moscow Exile says is not a Russian title and Russia anyway has not had titles since 1917 though as AP correctly says it was used by some Baltic German nobles and some German noble families that had settled in Russia to serve the Tsar. Eggert's only reason for using it is to show off his supposed aristocratic ancestry. Doubtless he has some sort of family claim to it. I find his use of it bizarre coming as it does from a self proclaimed moderniser and besotted admirer of the US which of course has no titles. However it is entirely in keeping with Eggert's ridiculous snobbishness and pomposity for which he is rightly mocked and for which Anatoly expertly takes him apart in his two articles.

    , @Jennifer Hor
    In a public library where I used to work years ago, we had a book on the Baltic states written by the British journalist Anatol Lieven whose family used to be part of the Baltic German aristocracy. The family traces its lineage back to a Livonian chief who lived nearly a thousand years ago. There is a Wikipedia article on the Lieven family (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lieven) and some of their number used "von" as part of their surname in the past but current members have dropped it.

    In Tsarist Russia if you reached a certain level of public service and income, you were entitled to own property and have tenants working for you, and you became part of the aristocracy. Vladimir Lenin's father Ilya Ulyanov reached the level of Actual Civil Counsellor in the Table of Ranks (see here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Actual_Civil_Councellor) and technically could call himself a noble; born of poor parents of Tatar or Kalmyk background, he really was a self-made man and proof that upward social mobility did exist in Russia in the 1800s. The British actress Helen Mirren's family (originally Mironov) attained aristocratic status in Russia some time in the 1700s.

    , @Mr. X
    Well I haven't seen any evidence that Von Eggert is about the rebirth of the Reich, but arch-Russophobe Edward Lucas did re-tweet an Estonian's tweet that Kaliningrad is 'occupied European territory'. While of course re-tweet does not equal agreement, it can be supposed that European in this context is a euphemism for German, and of course, Anatoly has well documented the 'let's give all our eastern islands captured in WWII back to Japan' impulse among Moscow 'liberasts'. One wonders how Americans would react to activists insisting we give Lousiana back to France or Alaska back to Russia.
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  • @Leos Tomicek
    Why don't you google it? Do you know Russian, there should be a lot of information out there for people who do. ;-)

    Dear Leos,
    I have searched everywhere in Yandex and other Russian search engines for “фон Эггерт”: nothing, apart from references to the pompous twat who is under discussion here. And even if von Eggert were a descendent of some German aristocratic line, he is a Russian citizen and Russia is a republic. I should imagine that there are plenty of descendants of Russian author Count Tolstoy around: I don’t think any of them calls himself “Count Tolstoy”.

    Bear mind, if “von Eggert” is a poseur, then in his line of business that would be nothing new. English journalist, political pamphleteer, government agent and novelist Daniel Defoe was just plain old Mr. Foe before he decided to add on to his surname the French aristocratic “de”‘, thus: de Foe, which typesetters soon adjusted to “Defoe”.

    There is another “von” active in Russian journalism, namely Nikolaus von Twickel of the Moscow Times, but he’s the real deal: he was born in Munich and comes from a German aristocratic line. Nevertheless, Germany is a republic, so why the “von”? Perhaps he dreams of a rebirth of the Reich or, at the very least, the Kingdom of Bavaria; in my opinion, the vast majority of Germans don’t.

    Yours sincerely,

    Moscow Exile

    Earl of Northumbria

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  • @Scowspi
    Problem with the "links with Germany" theory is that the name Eggert by itself looks German. The nobility theory makes sense: a lot of people with noble backgrounds had to lie low or falsify their origins during Soviet times.

    Yeah, I think it was the noble thing that would have prompted the removal of “von,” rather than the German link (Eggert was active in the 1920′s and 1930′s, a time when Germany wasn’t so unpopular in Russia).

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  • @AP
    ...Or, the actor did not use "von" during Soviet times as it denotes nobility and/or links to Germany (I know nothng abut Eggert's family background; was he Baltic German?)

    Problem with the “links with Germany” theory is that the name Eggert by itself looks German. The nobility theory makes sense: a lot of people with noble backgrounds had to lie low or falsify their origins during Soviet times.

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    • Replies: @AP
    Yeah, I think it was the noble thing that would have prompted the removal of "von," rather than the German link (Eggert was active in the 1920's and 1930's, a time when Germany wasn't so unpopular in Russia).
    , @Leos Tomicek
    So why didn't he change his name entirely if Germany wasn't popular? ;-)
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  • @Craig James Willy
    Thanks for the rebuttal Anatoly. I echo Mercouris' words exactly, evidently true from the first lines. And nice to see the lies on WL-caused deaths discredited.

    I was particularly repulsed by this passage: "I would like to extent a warm welcome to our club of Russian journalists. Perhaps after your present us with your ten interviews with politicians, and even “revolutionaries” that RT promise, you will finally understand what is journalism. You see, it is not a waste basket, even a flash card-sized miniature one; it is a laborious process of fact checking and protection of sources." He's clearly been learning very well from his Western colleagues. It just *oozes* with the hypocritical self-righteousness of the elite U.S. media class, an ostentatious commitment to The Truth and love of process, combined with actual contempt for taking on the powerful and revealing their secrets even when it is in the public interest.

    I am always kind of grudgingly admiring of people, like Von Eggert, who successfully make their living like this. One has to be impressed: What kind of morally fetid mind is required to combine such cynicism, such disregard for basic facts, with such faux-moralistic self-righteousness?

    Von Eggert's crime is not focusing his criticism on Russia. In targeting his own country he is in fact merely following basic Chomskyite ethical principles. The problem is not when you *omit* the crimes of others', which is often inevitable, but when you actually *do the apologia* for the those crimes and discredit dissidents in other countries. It's entirely gratuitous - how does criticizing Assange improve the cause of freedom and rights in Russia? - and shows that the point is not legitimately criticizing the Russian government, but indeed siding with the West.

    Eggert looks like a good example of what Orwell called “transferred nationalism.” Since this is built on an idealized and unreal image of the country to which one transfers one’s allegiance, it forces people into absurdities and, eventually, disillusionment.

    And that “von” (assuming he added it) would be fine for a comedian or writer of romance novels, but on a journalist it just looks pompous.

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    • Replies: @геннадий гум
    >>on a journalist it just looks pompous...
    I concur this a case of etymology reversed:it is a "journalist" added to the Von.Von to a signature is like a bow-tie at a non-tuxedo function)))
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  • @AP
    ...Or, the actor did not use "von" during Soviet times as it denotes nobility and/or links to Germany (I know nothng abut Eggert's family background; was he Baltic German?)

    Why don’t you google it? Do you know Russian, there should be a lot of information out there for people who do. ;-)

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    • Replies: @Moscow Exile
    Dear Leos,
    I have searched everywhere in Yandex and other Russian search engines for "фон Эггерт": nothing, apart from references to the pompous twat who is under discussion here. And even if von Eggert were a descendent of some German aristocratic line, he is a Russian citizen and Russia is a republic. I should imagine that there are plenty of descendants of Russian author Count Tolstoy around: I don't think any of them calls himself "Count Tolstoy".

    Bear mind, if "von Eggert" is a poseur, then in his line of business that would be nothing new. English journalist, political pamphleteer, government agent and novelist Daniel Defoe was just plain old Mr. Foe before he decided to add on to his surname the French aristocratic "de"', thus: de Foe, which typesetters soon adjusted to "Defoe".

    There is another "von" active in Russian journalism, namely Nikolaus von Twickel of the Moscow Times, but he's the real deal: he was born in Munich and comes from a German aristocratic line. Nevertheless, Germany is a republic, so why the "von"? Perhaps he dreams of a rebirth of the Reich or, at the very least, the Kingdom of Bavaria; in my opinion, the vast majority of Germans don't.


    Yours sincerely,

    Moscow Exile

    Earl of Northumbria

    , @Leos Tomicek
    You should not have bothered, I was just trying to take a shot at Mr. AP who was asking a stupid question which he can deal with himself. This anonymous mendacious prick, on another thread, misrepresented something he read on my blog with the intentent to slander me, or as he says warn people against my views. I think he does not realise that much of these views are freely accessible to public, and people can make their own mind.

    This heroic internet hamster claimed that I said that Ukrainians are not Slavs, and that many Ukrainians believe that Ukrainian is related to Sanskrit. I am sure he can provide relevant links to these damning statements of mine. :-)

    And meanwhile, I can mock his comment, unless I get a warning...

    AK: Okay, I really can't be bothered looking through and figuring out who started what in the old thread, but please don't spread it to here.

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  • @Moscow Exile
    Eggart the Soviet actor has no "von" before his surname: Eggert the journalist does. If Eggert the journalist is Eggert the actor's grandson, that means that the "von" in his name is a load of BS.

    …Or, the actor did not use “von” during Soviet times as it denotes nobility and/or links to Germany (I know nothng abut Eggert’s family background; was he Baltic German?)

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    • Replies: @Leos Tomicek
    Why don't you google it? Do you know Russian, there should be a lot of information out there for people who do. ;-)
    , @Scowspi
    Problem with the "links with Germany" theory is that the name Eggert by itself looks German. The nobility theory makes sense: a lot of people with noble backgrounds had to lie low or falsify their origins during Soviet times.
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  • @Alexander Mercouris
    Dear Moscow Exile,

    Peter has said that he is the grandson of the famous actor Konstantin Eggert. You can see Eggert the grandfather in the Soviet silent film Aelita Queen of Mars where he plays the role of the Ruler of Mars.

    Eggart the Soviet actor has no “von” before his surname: Eggert the journalist does. If Eggert the journalist is Eggert the actor’s grandson, that means that the “von” in his name is a load of BS.

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    • Replies: @AP
    ...Or, the actor did not use "von" during Soviet times as it denotes nobility and/or links to Germany (I know nothng abut Eggert's family background; was he Baltic German?)
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Moscow Exile
    Craig James Willy asks: "By the way, are there any good voices condemning these tools in Russian?"

    See: http://rublogers.ru/2011/12/16/ee-velichestva-fon-eggert.html

    As regards Eggert's origins, I've searched high and low on the net for info concerning this matter: nothing. His biography only starts with the fact that he attended Moscow school № 20.

    Is he really a "von"? I should imagine that most Russians would consider any fellow countryman that sports the German aristocratic "von" before his family name to be an insufferable prick.

    The conceit of the man is clearly of oustanding proportions.

    One small point: the pompous prick probably doesn't realize it, or would not even dream of admitting it even if he were to do so, that his English at times would merit a little attention, e.g. "Perhaps after your present us with your ten interviews with politicians, and even 'revolutionaries' that RT promise, you will finally understand what is journalism" and "everyone has already began to forget about you".

    Viele Grüsse aus Moskau!

    Von Moskauer Exil

    Dear Moscow Exile,

    Peter has said that he is the grandson of the famous actor Konstantin Eggert. You can see Eggert the grandfather in the Soviet silent film Aelita Queen of Mars where he plays the role of the Ruler of Mars.

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    • Replies: @Moscow Exile
    Eggart the Soviet actor has no "von" before his surname: Eggert the journalist does. If Eggert the journalist is Eggert the actor's grandson, that means that the "von" in his name is a load of BS.
    , @Jennifer Hor
    To Moscow Exile and Alex,

    I have seen that film "Aelita, Queen of Mars" on Youtube. It was made in 1924 and is usually considered the first Soviet sci-fi film although the sci-fi is actually a minor sub-plot in a film about an engineer who daydreams a lot (which explains the extremely confusing plot in which he shoots dead his wife for being unfaithful and she suddenly comes back to life later on). Konstantin Eggert grand-pere plays Tuskub, ruler of Mars, who is overthrown by a Martian proletarian revolution led by Aelita, the engineer and a radical writer. Aelita then decides she'll be the new dictator and the Earth men try to stop her.

    The film's message in a nutshell is that fantasising about exotic women in faraway lands gets a person in trouble and people should be happy with what they have (or they will lose it otherwise) and do practical work building a new nation.

    There is very basic biographical information on Eggert the actor here at:
    http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0250955/. Note that he also wrote the screenplay for and directed a movie "Gobzek" in which he appears as a minor aristocratic character.

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  • @Craig James Willy
    By the way, are there any good voices condemning these tools in Russian?

    Craig James Willy asks: “By the way, are there any good voices condemning these tools in Russian?”

    See: http://rublogers.ru/2011/12/16/ee-velichestva-fon-eggert.html

    As regards Eggert’s origins, I’ve searched high and low on the net for info concerning this matter: nothing. His biography only starts with the fact that he attended Moscow school № 20.

    Is he really a “von”? I should imagine that most Russians would consider any fellow countryman that sports the German aristocratic “von” before his family name to be an insufferable prick.

    The conceit of the man is clearly of oustanding proportions.

    One small point: the pompous prick probably doesn’t realize it, or would not even dream of admitting it even if he were to do so, that his English at times would merit a little attention, e.g. “Perhaps after your present us with your ten interviews with politicians, and even ‘revolutionaries’ that RT promise, you will finally understand what is journalism” and “everyone has already began to forget about you”.

    Viele Grüsse aus Moskau!

    Von Moskauer Exil

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    • Replies: @Alexander Mercouris
    Dear Moscow Exile,

    Peter has said that he is the grandson of the famous actor Konstantin Eggert. You can see Eggert the grandfather in the Soviet silent film Aelita Queen of Mars where he plays the role of the Ruler of Mars.

    , @геннадий гум
    One may find it helpful on the subject of K.von Eggert-101 the screenshot published by well "sourced and connected" Russian blogger "politrash" http://politrash-ru.livejournal.com/66831.html
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  • @Anatoly Karlin
    Look, I use the "West" as a convenient geographical and cultural shorthand in the same sense that it is frequently deployed elsewhere. It is broadly approximated by (1) countries that recognized Kosovo and (2) countries that haven't recognized Palestine. As a rule of thumb it includes the Protestant countries, the European Catholic countries (but not most of Latin America), the allies of this block (e.g. Japan), and their puppets (e.g. Colombia, Thailand, Georgia under Saakashvili).

    Obviously, some countries are a lot more "embedded" into the West than others (e.g., Britain vs. Bulgaria); allegiances can change (De Gaulle kept France at a hesitant distance from "the West"; today, it is one of the main enablers of its imperialism); and the concept itself isn't all that well-defined (I mainly use it in the sense of that group of countries that are now ideologically dedicated to spreading "democracy" and neoliberalism with Bolshevik-like fervor).

    Note that all the breathless reports of Turkey and NATO ready to attack Syria are coming from…wait for it…France 24′s Twitter feed.

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  • @Anatoly Karlin
    Look, I use the "West" as a convenient geographical and cultural shorthand in the same sense that it is frequently deployed elsewhere. It is broadly approximated by (1) countries that recognized Kosovo and (2) countries that haven't recognized Palestine. As a rule of thumb it includes the Protestant countries, the European Catholic countries (but not most of Latin America), the allies of this block (e.g. Japan), and their puppets (e.g. Colombia, Thailand, Georgia under Saakashvili).

    Obviously, some countries are a lot more "embedded" into the West than others (e.g., Britain vs. Bulgaria); allegiances can change (De Gaulle kept France at a hesitant distance from "the West"; today, it is one of the main enablers of its imperialism); and the concept itself isn't all that well-defined (I mainly use it in the sense of that group of countries that are now ideologically dedicated to spreading "democracy" and neoliberalism with Bolshevik-like fervor).

    Look, I use the “West” …are you going to explain every time to everybody what you mean by the West?
    What means the west in your mind- does not mean the west in the mind of somebody else.
    What does the west means in an American warmonger?
    The answer is; USA and GB
    Anyway to cut short the long discussion with the West you people pit or putting against Russia 1/2 world., no country can stand it.
    Russia can be pitted against each developed country, in something will be better off in something will be worst off but to put 1/2 world against Russia is ridiculous.
    Then how can you win against the so called west?
    how can you win against 50 the most developed countries in the world?
    When people participate in Olympic Games, there is not the West versus Russia.
    Maybe one day comes a fool and says;
    -Look how many gold medals won the west and how many Russia.

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  • By the way, are there any good voices condemning these tools in Russian?

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    • Replies: @Moscow Exile
    Craig James Willy asks: "By the way, are there any good voices condemning these tools in Russian?"

    See: http://rublogers.ru/2011/12/16/ee-velichestva-fon-eggert.html

    As regards Eggert's origins, I've searched high and low on the net for info concerning this matter: nothing. His biography only starts with the fact that he attended Moscow school № 20.

    Is he really a "von"? I should imagine that most Russians would consider any fellow countryman that sports the German aristocratic "von" before his family name to be an insufferable prick.

    The conceit of the man is clearly of oustanding proportions.

    One small point: the pompous prick probably doesn't realize it, or would not even dream of admitting it even if he were to do so, that his English at times would merit a little attention, e.g. "Perhaps after your present us with your ten interviews with politicians, and even 'revolutionaries' that RT promise, you will finally understand what is journalism" and "everyone has already began to forget about you".

    Viele Grüsse aus Moskau!

    Von Moskauer Exil

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  • Thanks for the rebuttal Anatoly. I echo Mercouris’ words exactly, evidently true from the first lines. And nice to see the lies on WL-caused deaths discredited.

    I was particularly repulsed by this passage: “I would like to extent a warm welcome to our club of Russian journalists. Perhaps after your present us with your ten interviews with politicians, and even “revolutionaries” that RT promise, you will finally understand what is journalism. You see, it is not a waste basket, even a flash card-sized miniature one; it is a laborious process of fact checking and protection of sources.” He’s clearly been learning very well from his Western colleagues. It just *oozes* with the hypocritical self-righteousness of the elite U.S. media class, an ostentatious commitment to The Truth and love of process, combined with actual contempt for taking on the powerful and revealing their secrets even when it is in the public interest.

    I am always kind of grudgingly admiring of people, like Von Eggert, who successfully make their living like this. One has to be impressed: What kind of morally fetid mind is required to combine such cynicism, such disregard for basic facts, with such faux-moralistic self-righteousness?

    Von Eggert’s crime is not focusing his criticism on Russia. In targeting his own country he is in fact merely following basic Chomskyite ethical principles. The problem is not when you *omit* the crimes of others’, which is often inevitable, but when you actually *do the apologia* for the those crimes and discredit dissidents in other countries. It’s entirely gratuitous – how does criticizing Assange improve the cause of freedom and rights in Russia? – and shows that the point is not legitimately criticizing the Russian government, but indeed siding with the West.

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    • Replies: @Scowspi
    Eggert looks like a good example of what Orwell called "transferred nationalism." Since this is built on an idealized and unreal image of the country to which one transfers one's allegiance, it forces people into absurdities and, eventually, disillusionment.

    And that "von" (assuming he added it) would be fine for a comedian or writer of romance novels, but on a journalist it just looks pompous.

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  • @Croatia
    Who and what is the so called the West?
    There are emerged countries like China, Bulgaria, Russia etc..
    and developed countries like USA, GB, Canada,Norway etc..
    But to talk of the West like it is one country can do only a person who has lived all his life isolated in a country like Russia.
    Is the West AlJazeera?
    Is the West Saudi Arabia or Singapore if they are not why?
    Is the West Ireland and Spain, do they demonize Russia like USA & GB
    Poor Russia, you are pitting all world against yourself and you will end up like Carthage.

    Look, I use the “West” as a convenient geographical and cultural shorthand in the same sense that it is frequently deployed elsewhere. It is broadly approximated by (1) countries that recognized Kosovo and (2) countries that haven’t recognized Palestine. As a rule of thumb it includes the Protestant countries, the European Catholic countries (but not most of Latin America), the allies of this block (e.g. Japan), and their puppets (e.g. Colombia, Thailand, Georgia under Saakashvili).

    Obviously, some countries are a lot more “embedded” into the West than others (e.g., Britain vs. Bulgaria); allegiances can change (De Gaulle kept France at a hesitant distance from “the West”; today, it is one of the main enablers of its imperialism); and the concept itself isn’t all that well-defined (I mainly use it in the sense of that group of countries that are now ideologically dedicated to spreading “democracy” and neoliberalism with Bolshevik-like fervor).

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    • Replies: @Croatia
    Look, I use the “West” ...are you going to explain every time to everybody what you mean by the West?
    What means the west in your mind- does not mean the west in the mind of somebody else.
    What does the west means in an American warmonger?
    The answer is; USA and GB
    Anyway to cut short the long discussion with the West you people pit or putting against Russia 1/2 world., no country can stand it.
    Russia can be pitted against each developed country, in something will be better off in something will be worst off but to put 1/2 world against Russia is ridiculous.
    Then how can you win against the so called west?
    how can you win against 50 the most developed countries in the world?
    When people participate in Olympic Games, there is not the West versus Russia.
    Maybe one day comes a fool and says;
    -Look how many gold medals won the west and how many Russia.
    , @Mr. X
    Note that all the breathless reports of Turkey and NATO ready to attack Syria are coming from...wait for it...France 24's Twitter feed.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Who and what is the so called the West?
    There are emerged countries like China, Bulgaria, Russia etc..
    and developed countries like USA, GB, Canada,Norway etc..
    But to talk of the West like it is one country can do only a person who has lived all his life isolated in a country like Russia.
    Is the West AlJazeera?
    Is the West Saudi Arabia or Singapore if they are not why?
    Is the West Ireland and Spain, do they demonize Russia like USA & GB
    Poor Russia, you are pitting all world against yourself and you will end up like Carthage.

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    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    Look, I use the "West" as a convenient geographical and cultural shorthand in the same sense that it is frequently deployed elsewhere. It is broadly approximated by (1) countries that recognized Kosovo and (2) countries that haven't recognized Palestine. As a rule of thumb it includes the Protestant countries, the European Catholic countries (but not most of Latin America), the allies of this block (e.g. Japan), and their puppets (e.g. Colombia, Thailand, Georgia under Saakashvili).

    Obviously, some countries are a lot more "embedded" into the West than others (e.g., Britain vs. Bulgaria); allegiances can change (De Gaulle kept France at a hesitant distance from "the West"; today, it is one of the main enablers of its imperialism); and the concept itself isn't all that well-defined (I mainly use it in the sense of that group of countries that are now ideologically dedicated to spreading "democracy" and neoliberalism with Bolshevik-like fervor).

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  • 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...
  • @Mr. X
    "In this he shows little actual understanding of the US or of the range of opinions that exist there but not surprisingly identifies with those who are the most extreme in promoting American ideas of exceptionalism." On that subject Alexander, I wonder how von Eggert would deal with the American Conservative's Daniel Larison in a debate? Especially since Larison lacks the baggage, of say, a Pat Buchanan when it comes to Israel, and would just laugh at the anti-Semite charge?

    The neocons love dismissing all of their opponents as 'leftist America haters' or 'anti-Semites', but cannot deal well with actual paleocon/Ron Paulish libertarian non-interventionist arguments at all -- especially the argument that years of massive war spending threaten to destroy the very petrodollar that 'defense' spending was intended to defend.

    They generally prefer to dismiss Paul and all of his followers as racists, cranks (even if this, as over at the Streetwise Professor blog or Catherine Fitzpatrick when I used to waste time trolling those folks, requires libeling the tens of thousands of American veterans who donated to Paul's campaign as kooks/nutjobs).

    Yet there is clearly an audience for those views in America otherwise RT's YouTube channel wouldn't be one of the most heavily downloaded in the history of the web with most of the views coming from outside of Russia.

    Eggert fits in perfectly with the SWP hive. In fact, IIRC he occasionally exchanges friendly tweets with some of their members.

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  • @Alexander Mercouris
    Dear Anatoly,

    I agree with you about Eggert. I cannot read his Kommersant pieces but I suspect that those he writes in Novosti are pretty representative. By the way though I am becoming critical of Novosti for its reporting I am not critical of Novosti for having Eggert as a columnist. What he writes are opinion pieces and he is entitled to his opinions and it is fine for Novosti to publish them.

    What to my mind destroys Eggert's credibility as a columnist is

    1. His unhealthy infatuation for the US. Not only does Eggert worship the US but his idea of a proper foreign policy for Russia is that it support everything the US does. Last year he was even suggesting apparently in all seriousness that Russia join the UN/NATO bombing campaign against Libya. As for domestic policy the only sort of policy he supports is one that is wholly oriented around American ideas and interests, which he equates with "modernisation". In this he shows little actual understanding of the US or of the range of opinions that exist there but not surprisingly identifies with those who are the most extreme in promoting American ideas of exceptionalism. The result is that his economic and social ideas mirror those of the US disciples of Ayn Rand whilst he makes no effort to hide his preference for Bush over Obama and his support for the neocons. Neeldess to say anyone who gets in the way of the US be it Assange or Putin is immediately damned in his eyes.

    2. His sheer snobbery and pretentiousness. This expresses itself in all sorts of bizarre and unattractive ways. As examples there are as his arrogant comments about working class and provincial Russians who are contemptible in his eyes not least because they support Putin, his ludicrous and nasty comment about your article in Al Jazeera which implies that only people with postgraduate degrees should be allowed to write articles (!), his fawning articles on such anachronistic characters as Otto von Habsburg and of course his eccentric use of the "von", which anyone who knows Germany today knows is nowadays hardly ever used even by the grandest German aristocrats who are entitled to it. If people mock him because of it and his bow tie (though I admit I wear bow ties myself) he has no one to blame but himself.

    All this is in many ways a shame since one senses that buried deep somewhere within all this pomposity and blindness about the US there is a clever man. However his faults warp and distort his journalism. The result is that he is intolerant (as shown by his comments about you), unpleasantly sarcastic, sanctimonious, hypocritical (exactly as you say) and almost invariably wrong.

    Dear Alexander Mercouris,

    I should think most Russians would consider a fellow countryman who chose to add the German aristocratic appendage “von” to his family name nothing less than an intolerably conceited prat.

    The following blog concerning Konstantin von Eggert may be of interest to you, though I should add that it is in Russian. No doubt a translation program will sufficiently convey to you the gist of the blog:

    http://magspace.ru/blog/206311.html

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  • “In this he shows little actual understanding of the US or of the range of opinions that exist there but not surprisingly identifies with those who are the most extreme in promoting American ideas of exceptionalism.” On that subject Alexander, I wonder how von Eggert would deal with the American Conservative’s Daniel Larison in a debate? Especially since Larison lacks the baggage, of say, a Pat Buchanan when it comes to Israel, and would just laugh at the anti-Semite charge?

    The neocons love dismissing all of their opponents as ‘leftist America haters’ or ‘anti-Semites’, but cannot deal well with actual paleocon/Ron Paulish libertarian non-interventionist arguments at all — especially the argument that years of massive war spending threaten to destroy the very petrodollar that ‘defense’ spending was intended to defend.

    They generally prefer to dismiss Paul and all of his followers as racists, cranks (even if this, as over at the Streetwise Professor blog or Catherine Fitzpatrick when I used to waste time trolling those folks, requires libeling the tens of thousands of American veterans who donated to Paul’s campaign as kooks/nutjobs).

    Yet there is clearly an audience for those views in America otherwise RT’s YouTube channel wouldn’t be one of the most heavily downloaded in the history of the web with most of the views coming from outside of Russia.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    Eggert fits in perfectly with the SWP hive. In fact, IIRC he occasionally exchanges friendly tweets with some of their members.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Anatoly,

    Great post! Let’s keep things on the cheery side — if Mitt Romney is elected and his advisors really do manage to marginalize the oilmen within the GOP who want to drill in the Russian Arctic in favor of a new Cold War line (though the Georgians might not be game for a second go at South Ossetia/Abkhazia), your pending book will be in even greater demand. Silver linings all around!

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  • Dear Anatoly,

    I agree with you about Eggert. I cannot read his Kommersant pieces but I suspect that those he writes in Novosti are pretty representative. By the way though I am becoming critical of Novosti for its reporting I am not critical of Novosti for having Eggert as a columnist. What he writes are opinion pieces and he is entitled to his opinions and it is fine for Novosti to publish them.

    What to my mind destroys Eggert’s credibility as a columnist is

    1. His unhealthy infatuation for the US. Not only does Eggert worship the US but his idea of a proper foreign policy for Russia is that it support everything the US does. Last year he was even suggesting apparently in all seriousness that Russia join the UN/NATO bombing campaign against Libya. As for domestic policy the only sort of policy he supports is one that is wholly oriented around American ideas and interests, which he equates with “modernisation”. In this he shows little actual understanding of the US or of the range of opinions that exist there but not surprisingly identifies with those who are the most extreme in promoting American ideas of exceptionalism. The result is that his economic and social ideas mirror those of the US disciples of Ayn Rand whilst he makes no effort to hide his preference for Bush over Obama and his support for the neocons. Neeldess to say anyone who gets in the way of the US be it Assange or Putin is immediately damned in his eyes.

    2. His sheer snobbery and pretentiousness. This expresses itself in all sorts of bizarre and unattractive ways. As examples there are as his arrogant comments about working class and provincial Russians who are contemptible in his eyes not least because they support Putin, his ludicrous and nasty comment about your article in Al Jazeera which implies that only people with postgraduate degrees should be allowed to write articles (!), his fawning articles on such anachronistic characters as Otto von Habsburg and of course his eccentric use of the “von”, which anyone who knows Germany today knows is nowadays hardly ever used even by the grandest German aristocrats who are entitled to it. If people mock him because of it and his bow tie (though I admit I wear bow ties myself) he has no one to blame but himself.

    All this is in many ways a shame since one senses that buried deep somewhere within all this pomposity and blindness about the US there is a clever man. However his faults warp and distort his journalism. The result is that he is intolerant (as shown by his comments about you), unpleasantly sarcastic, sanctimonious, hypocritical (exactly as you say) and almost invariably wrong.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Moscow Exile
    Dear Alexander Mercouris,

    I should think most Russians would consider a fellow countryman who chose to add the German aristocratic appendage "von" to his family name nothing less than an intolerably conceited prat.

    The following blog concerning Konstantin von Eggert may be of interest to you, though I should add that it is in Russian. No doubt a translation program will sufficiently convey to you the gist of the blog:

    http://magspace.ru/blog/206311.html

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • 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...
  • http://streetwiseprofessor.com/?p=6238#comment-91891

    And I would just like to say on standards of deceny and conduct and allegedly writing more than the host blogger at the SWP hive (a lie)…let’s briefly compare. I did accuse him of soft-pedaling Jon the Don Corzine’s theft of 1.2 billion in customer funds and getting away with while playing up every example of corruption in Russia. And of covering for his buddies at the CME and failing to criticize things that have genuine libertarians up in arms such as the TSA, NDAA, SOPA, CISPA et al. In fact Pirrong said SOPA was no big deal. He also compared Ron Paul supporters to the genocidal Khmer Rouge, while yammering about ‘decency’.

    I never called for anybody to be interned like some of SWP’s commenters who then lied and said they didn’t (vorobey), never denounced everyone as a KGB operative (Anders) or ZeroHedge as such based on flimsy evidence (Pirrong), didn’t call for Ron Paul supporters to be aggressively monitored by the FBI or called them neo-Confederates out of the SPLC playbook (Reggie Cointelrpo/DHS wannabe Quill). I didn’t post huge thread-clogging rants at 3 a.m. Oslo time while probably drunk like Anders routinely did, and didn’t use foul language like SWP’s Twitter groupie LibertyMeow upon being confronted with anyone not in love with Mittens Romney.

    I did make fun of his alleged Kiwi commenter who seemed fixated on Georgia’s cause and compared him to a white American guy trying to join MeCha or MS-13, but that was about all. That’s about all I did over at the SWP ‘hive mind’.

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  • 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...
  • Not to mention everyone Googling Peter Savodnik and/or Craig Pirrong and coming across this piece should be aware of Pirrong’s all time nuttiest piece, in which he compared supporters of 76-year-old Texas Congressman Ron Paul to the genocidal Khmer Rouge, while his Twitter groupies insist they’re beating back the Occupy Commies and libertarian kooks they overlook such pro-Establishment fanaticism.

    http://streetwiseprofessor.com/?p=5898

    You can’t make this stuff up. I hope Google will steadily move this up in the SWP search results.

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  • 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...
  • There is more than enough pro-Western propaganda in the world, not to mention Hollyweird so it’s only fair to give the other side a voice even when we don’t exactly like what they’re saying!

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  • @kirill
    Granting political asylum to Assange would be quite proper. If maggot mafioso Berezovsky can have it in the UK then a whistle blower like Assange surely deserves as much and more.

    Indeed! Get it done Russia! Give net hero Assange shelter! :)

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  • @Jennifer Hor
    Yalensis,

    You can follow the episodes at this link http://worldtomorrow.wikileaks.org/. I think Assange will concentrate on interviewing people the West considers beyond the pale. I'd be interested to see Assange interview Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Hugo Chavez or Evo Morales (President of Bolivia); his interviewees won't be limited to politicians.

    I noted that Julian Assange treated Nasrallah with respect and allowed him to express his opinions clearly. Assange didn't try to stamp his personality on the interview and he acknowledged the contributions of the interpreters. Other Western journalists would have asked N loaded questions of the "Are you still beating your wife?" type and would have interrupted him constantly, trying to distort his replies and make him fit their expectations or to anger him somehow. They would have been very insolent, sneering and hostile towards him.

    @Jennifer, Yes, I also noticed, and liked, the fact that Julian acknowledged his interpreters. Simultaneous translation is a tough job. I haven’t done it myself (except informally), but I know a little bit about how it works, and I have an awful lot of respect for this particular career. The professional interpreter tries to make him/herself invisible, giving the principals the illusion that they are speaking directly to one another. Due to this, the interpreters often are treated like mere machines, so it was a nice touch for Julian to acknowledge them at the end, although it would have been inappropriate to pay too much attention to them during the actual interview.

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  • @yalensis
    Hi, Jennifer,
    Yes I agree, I was surprised how well Nasrallah acquitted himself, and I did come away with a somewhat improved opinion of Hezbollah. Not so much about the religious stuff (they will never convince me about that!), as the overall debate. N also did a good explanation of the tricky relationship between Hezbollah and the Syrian government. In summary, the interview itself was interesting and newsworthy, and the meta-news aspect (that RT is giving Julian this forum to interview people whom the West consider pariahs) is also interesting. Does anybody know who his next guest is going to be?

    Yalensis,

    You can follow the episodes at this link http://worldtomorrow.wikileaks.org/. I think Assange will concentrate on interviewing people the West considers beyond the pale. I’d be interested to see Assange interview Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Hugo Chavez or Evo Morales (President of Bolivia); his interviewees won’t be limited to politicians.

    I noted that Julian Assange treated Nasrallah with respect and allowed him to express his opinions clearly. Assange didn’t try to stamp his personality on the interview and he acknowledged the contributions of the interpreters. Other Western journalists would have asked N loaded questions of the “Are you still beating your wife?” type and would have interrupted him constantly, trying to distort his replies and make him fit their expectations or to anger him somehow. They would have been very insolent, sneering and hostile towards him.

    Read More
    • Replies: @yalensis
    @Jennifer, Yes, I also noticed, and liked, the fact that Julian acknowledged his interpreters. Simultaneous translation is a tough job. I haven't done it myself (except informally), but I know a little bit about how it works, and I have an awful lot of respect for this particular career. The professional interpreter tries to make him/herself invisible, giving the principals the illusion that they are speaking directly to one another. Due to this, the interpreters often are treated like mere machines, so it was a nice touch for Julian to acknowledge them at the end, although it would have been inappropriate to pay too much attention to them during the actual interview.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Jennifer Hor
    Hi Yalensis,

    Nasrallah certainly was surprised at that question and had to take a deep breath!
    But elsewhere in the interview he gave answers that suggest he is tolerant of other relgious beliefs.

    His reply was a good one though: social justice, struggle for freedom and self-determination are instinctive and human-based and belief in one God as expressed through the Abrahamic religions is a natural human instinct so these all go together and he sees no contradictions. Although you could counter that by saying Hinduism is essentially monotheistic because all gods in Hinduism are manifestations of Brahman the supreme god.

    For a son of a greengrocer he's not doing badly. Wish we could say that about a daughter of a greengrocer in the UK years ago!

    Hi, Jennifer,
    Yes I agree, I was surprised how well Nasrallah acquitted himself, and I did come away with a somewhat improved opinion of Hezbollah. Not so much about the religious stuff (they will never convince me about that!), as the overall debate. N also did a good explanation of the tricky relationship between Hezbollah and the Syrian government. In summary, the interview itself was interesting and newsworthy, and the meta-news aspect (that RT is giving Julian this forum to interview people whom the West consider pariahs) is also interesting. Does anybody know who his next guest is going to be?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jennifer Hor
    Yalensis,

    You can follow the episodes at this link http://worldtomorrow.wikileaks.org/. I think Assange will concentrate on interviewing people the West considers beyond the pale. I'd be interested to see Assange interview Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Hugo Chavez or Evo Morales (President of Bolivia); his interviewees won't be limited to politicians.

    I noted that Julian Assange treated Nasrallah with respect and allowed him to express his opinions clearly. Assange didn't try to stamp his personality on the interview and he acknowledged the contributions of the interpreters. Other Western journalists would have asked N loaded questions of the "Are you still beating your wife?" type and would have interrupted him constantly, trying to distort his replies and make him fit their expectations or to anger him somehow. They would have been very insolent, sneering and hostile towards him.

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @yalensis
    I thought it was interesting when Julian tried (very gently and respectfully) to challenge Nasrallah's religious views. I am guessing Julian is an atheist, and he posed it, like, how can you oppose a monolothic unipolar power in this world (=USA), but approve of a monolithic unipolar power in the spiritual world (=God). Nasrallah sincerely misunderstood Julian's point, which questioned the right of an authoritarian God to rule over people (without their democratic consent), and mistakenly thought he was talking about polytheism. So Nasrallah goes off on this tangent about how the Universe isn't big enough to hold more than one god, because they would end up at loggerheads with each other. Julian was too polite to clarify and press him further, but that's okay, because mostly we (viewers) were interested in Hezbollah's policies and not in Nasrallah's religious beliefs. Still fascinating, though, to see two intellectuals (from completely different and opposite cultures) dicussing stuff in the realm of pure ideas.

    Hi Yalensis,

    Nasrallah certainly was surprised at that question and had to take a deep breath!
    But elsewhere in the interview he gave answers that suggest he is tolerant of other relgious beliefs.

    His reply was a good one though: social justice, struggle for freedom and self-determination are instinctive and human-based and belief in one God as expressed through the Abrahamic religions is a natural human instinct so these all go together and he sees no contradictions. Although you could counter that by saying Hinduism is essentially monotheistic because all gods in Hinduism are manifestations of Brahman the supreme god.

    For a son of a greengrocer he’s not doing badly. Wish we could say that about a daughter of a greengrocer in the UK years ago!

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    • Replies: @yalensis
    Hi, Jennifer,
    Yes I agree, I was surprised how well Nasrallah acquitted himself, and I did come away with a somewhat improved opinion of Hezbollah. Not so much about the religious stuff (they will never convince me about that!), as the overall debate. N also did a good explanation of the tricky relationship between Hezbollah and the Syrian government. In summary, the interview itself was interesting and newsworthy, and the meta-news aspect (that RT is giving Julian this forum to interview people whom the West consider pariahs) is also interesting. Does anybody know who his next guest is going to be?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • 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...
  • @Alexander Mercouris
    Just shows who are the real democrats and the real authoritarians.

    No wonder these people always fail. With these sort of views why would the peasants ever vote for them?

    That’s why they try to stage revolutions. In other words, coups d’etat. Some fringe minority seizes power and then sends millions to gulags trying to secure itself in power. Not thanks, Russia has had more than enough of this sh*t. I say put these bastards on western bound planes with one-way tickets. They will have more freedom than they can stomach.

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  • @Mr. X
    The contempt for the Russian Orthodox Church and the violation of their property rights/disruption of worship is also telling. SWP and pals curiously silent or even by Pirrong's own admission indifferent to contraception controversy, even though it's violating Roman Catholic Church's conscience (regardless of where you stand on the Pill or abortion if individuals paying for their own not demanding that taxpayers/religious institutions do so).

    In fact, there are remarkable parallels betweeen P----- Riot and Sandra Fluke, in that both clearly seem to be ops designed to wave a red flag in front of a bull (in Fluke's case, Media Matters wanted tossed a bloody steak in front of junk yard dawgs Rush Limbaugh and other talk hosts) and P---- Riot wanted to anger Putin/Orthodox by disrupting church services during Great Lent.

    Remarkable how SWP condemns 'Alinsky tactics' of Occupy, but not Alinsky tactics of Rus opposition figures. Both intended not to actually change America or Russia for the better but to make victims out of those who are clearly not victims.

    There is a fresh case in the US where an airline passanger protested TSA’s behaviour by undressing completely. He was, of course, arrested for public indecency. These bloody hypocrites then bleat about “political prisoners P*ssy Riot”. They 1) trespassed and 2) broke public decency laws. Since they did this serially they got the book thrown at them. Cry me a river.

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  • @Andor
    "Politkovskaya, a journalist murder in Russia SIX YEARS ago" For the Russophobes dead of Russia are never alid to rest. They are waved us bloody flags in the face of every one opposing their views.

    Considering that she was spreading hate propaganda against Russia, from Russia, her fate was not some anomaly. But considering the facts, it was most likely a western hit and not a Russian one. Why kill a has been long past their active period? People were forgetting about her and suddenly she is made a martyr? Reminds me of the Litvinenko case, a useless target if ever there was one. He was an indirect asset to Putin given all the embarrassing nonsense he was spouting. His patron Berezovsky is the by far the most likely culprit. I am not sure who sponsored the offing of Politkovskaya. But Putin is not a retard to go after such trivial targets. He does not even go after serious ones like Berezovsky.

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  • 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...
  • @yalensis
    Nobody outisde (or inside) of Russia will watch RT if they just show pictures of happy Russians. To be ABOUT Russia and interesting to viewers, they would have to focus on hardhitting exposes. But that isn't their mission statement or the kind of viewers they are trying to attract. As comments to the Guardian article, show, RT is finding their audience in people who crave more balanced international news and a different POV from what they see on pro-imperialist media like BBC, FOX and Al Jazeera.

    From all the chatter about RT I see on the interwebz it looks like they are actually making an impact. Kudos to them. I don’t care if they are biased. The west and its media dogs are the very definition of the word bias and of bloody hypocrisy.

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  • @Alexander Mercouris
    It has seemed to me for a long time that Russia and the US/UK are on opposite trajectories. Russia is becoming more democratic and the US/UK are becoming more authoritarian.

    What would happen if Assange somehow escaped to Russia. Would Russia grant him political asylum?

    On the subject of Assange's interview with Hassan Nasrallah, I actually thought it was a good interview.

    Granting political asylum to Assange would be quite proper. If maggot mafioso Berezovsky can have it in the UK then a whistle blower like Assange surely deserves as much and more.

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    • Replies: @Realist
    Indeed! Get it done Russia! Give net hero Assange shelter! :)
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  • @donnyess
    RT could potentially face trademark infringement litigation sometime before the end of the year.
    http://www.pcworld.com/article/253954/windows_rt_to_support_armbased_processors.html#tk.mod_stln

    My feeling about Assange is that if he were a stand-up guy he would have ceased standing up a long time ago. Harding makes a good point about RT not showing real Russians on their programs.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z30-t7TXsnc

    Nobody outisde (or inside) of Russia will watch RT if they just show pictures of happy Russians. To be ABOUT Russia and interesting to viewers, they would have to focus on hardhitting exposes. But that isn’t their mission statement or the kind of viewers they are trying to attract. As comments to the Guardian article, show, RT is finding their audience in people who crave more balanced international news and a different POV from what they see on pro-imperialist media like BBC, FOX and Al Jazeera.

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    • Replies: @kirill
    From all the chatter about RT I see on the interwebz it looks like they are actually making an impact. Kudos to them. I don't care if they are biased. The west and its media dogs are the very definition of the word bias and of bloody hypocrisy.
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  • @Mr. X
    No prob.

    Another reason I don’t like twitter – I can’t figure out what the heck those people are talking about. Worst debating forum EVER! Although I did get the one little factoid that Ron Paul supporters are called “Ronulans”. That’s cute. But I still insist on calling the whole lot of them “Randians” .

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  • 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...
  • This highlights my problem with journalism as a profession: it’s a megaphone for amplifying prejudices. In theory, one should be able to hate country X on a personal level, but still strive for accuracy in writing about it. That’s part of being a professional, right? In practice, too many “elite” journalists do nothing of the sort. I do think the business press is better about respecting facts and logic, as well as being less moralistic in their approach.

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  • 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...
  • @Mr. X
    Some people cling to the Almighty Status Quo view of what's Left and Right like imperial Japanese in 45' on some godforsaken rock in the Pacific clung to their Emperor or some Germans as depicted in Downfall shouted fanatical allegiance to their Fuhrer even within ear shot of the Red Army's guns...Senor Equis

    3h Mr X ‏ @EquisMr
    Reply Delete FavoritedFavorite · Close Open Details
    @catfitz @streetwiseprof want an example of what's more relevant? Here -- starving law students http://pjmedia.com/richardfernandez/2012/04/17/failure-in-the-first-degree/

    Mr X ‏ @EquisMr
    @catfitz and note not a single person who underwrote this poor guy's student loans or bankster who packaged them will be fired. Major fail

    3h CatherineFitzpatrick ‏ @catfitz
    @EquisMr why would we fire people who wrote bad loans? Where are the parents & the responsibility of the individual student here?

    CatherineFitzpatrick ‏ @catfitz
    @EquisMr @streetwiseprof nobody held a gun to their head to go into such debt to go to law school. Could they work at college as I did?

    Mr X ‏ @EquisMr
    @catfitz @streetwiseprof Answer is for the 'elite' or even middling law schools, no. Ur generation went to school prior to Nixon 71' dv'd [devalued the] $ [U.S. dollar]

    2h Mr X ‏ @EquisMr
    @catfitz in a free market like a marriage it takes 2 to tango, both parties in a contract have obligations. One side escaping theirs

    2h Mr X ‏ @EquisMr
    @catfitz in that they get to put their crap loans onto the Fed, US taxpayer, while individual a debt slave for life. That makes me want2OWS [join Occupy Wall Street]

    Mr X ‏ @EquisMr
    @catfitz and I'm a RIGHT winger. No surp SWP prefers debating more left l[ike]@AnatolyKarlin. Mainline GOPers fear Ronulans, hence the censorship [libel, defamation, lies about hated Ronulans etc etc]

    40m CatherineFitzpatrick ‏ @catfitz
    @EquisMr yes you prove my point again and again that pro-Kremlin includes right wing, conservatives, Paulians, etc.

    Mr X @EquisMR to catfitz: SWP expects ppl to believe w/straight face that Paul spent x times more than in 08' and got exact same result in MN, NV in '12?

    37m CatherineFitzpatrick ‏ @catfitz
    @EquisMr I believe SWP with a straight face, yes. Paul is a cult figure w cult following. Spooky. SWP is right.

    And Catherine, you and ReginaldQuill defame the thousands of American servicemen who've donated to Paul -- more individual donations than to any other single candidate -- when you make such statements. You and Andy Dzughashvili can't suppress that fact, so you just dance around it. Shame on you.

    AK Edit: Could you please keep this to Twitter? Thanks.

    No prob.

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    • Replies: @yalensis
    Another reason I don't like twitter - I can't figure out what the heck those people are talking about. Worst debating forum EVER! Although I did get the one little factoid that Ron Paul supporters are called "Ronulans". That's cute. But I still insist on calling the whole lot of them "Randians" .
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  • RT could potentially face trademark infringement litigation sometime before the end of the year.

    http://www.pcworld.com/article/253954/windows_rt_to_support_armbased_processors.html#tk.mod_stln

    My feeling about Assange is that if he were a stand-up guy he would have ceased standing up a long time ago. Harding makes a good point about RT not showing real Russians on their programs.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z30-t7TXsnc

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    • Replies: @yalensis
    Nobody outisde (or inside) of Russia will watch RT if they just show pictures of happy Russians. To be ABOUT Russia and interesting to viewers, they would have to focus on hardhitting exposes. But that isn't their mission statement or the kind of viewers they are trying to attract. As comments to the Guardian article, show, RT is finding their audience in people who crave more balanced international news and a different POV from what they see on pro-imperialist media like BBC, FOX and Al Jazeera.
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  • “It has seemed to me for a long time that Russia and the US/UK are on opposite trajectories. Russia is becoming more democratic and the US/UK are becoming more authoritarian.” Yes! Spoken like a Greek who’s watched Anglo-American media pass over the rape of his homeland by fascist Eurocrats like it’s no big deal.

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  • Some people cling to the Almighty Status Quo view of what’s Left and Right like imperial Japanese in 45′ on some godforsaken rock in the Pacific clung to their Emperor or some Germans as depicted in Downfall shouted fanatical allegiance to their Fuhrer even within ear shot of the Red Army’s guns…Senor Equis

    3h Mr X ‏ @EquisMr
    Reply Delete FavoritedFavorite · Close Open Details
    @catfitz @streetwiseprof want an example of what’s more relevant? Here — starving law students http://pjmedia.com/richardfernandez/2012/04/17/failure-in-the-first-degree/

    Mr X ‏ @EquisMr
    @catfitz and note not a single person who underwrote this poor guy’s student loans or bankster who packaged them will be fired. Major fail

    3h CatherineFitzpatrick ‏ @catfitz
    @EquisMr why would we fire people who wrote bad loans? Where are the parents & the responsibility of the individual student here?

    CatherineFitzpatrick ‏ @catfitz
    @EquisMr @streetwiseprof nobody held a gun to their head to go into such debt to go to law school. Could they work at college as I did?

    Mr X ‏ @EquisMr
    @catfitz @streetwiseprof Answer is for the ‘elite’ or even middling law schools, no. Ur generation went to school prior to Nixon 71′ dv’d [devalued the] $ [U.S. dollar]

    2h Mr X ‏ @EquisMr
    @catfitz in a free market like a marriage it takes 2 to tango, both parties in a contract have obligations. One side escaping theirs

    2h Mr X ‏ @EquisMr
    @catfitz in that they get to put their crap loans onto the Fed, US taxpayer, while individual a debt slave for life. That makes me want2OWS [join Occupy Wall Street]

    Mr X ‏ @EquisMr
    @catfitz and I’m a RIGHT winger. No surp SWP prefers debating more left l[ike]@AnatolyKarlin. Mainline GOPers fear Ronulans, hence the censorship [libel, defamation, lies about hated Ronulans etc etc]

    40m CatherineFitzpatrick ‏ @catfitz
    @EquisMr yes you prove my point again and again that pro-Kremlin includes right wing, conservatives, Paulians, etc.

    Mr X @EquisMR to catfitz: SWP expects ppl to believe w/straight face that Paul spent x times more than in 08′ and got exact same result in MN, NV in ’12?

    37m CatherineFitzpatrick ‏ @catfitz
    @EquisMr I believe SWP with a straight face, yes. Paul is a cult figure w cult following. Spooky. SWP is right.

    And Catherine, you and ReginaldQuill defame the thousands of American servicemen who’ve donated to Paul — more individual donations than to any other single candidate — when you make such statements. You and Andy Dzughashvili can’t suppress that fact, so you just dance around it. Shame on you.

    AK Edit: Could you please keep this to Twitter? Thanks.

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    • Replies: @Mr. X
    No prob.
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  • 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...
  • Spengler was at least more honest when he wrote that Putin realized the problem was the Russian people, in his infamous essay “Putin for President” post-08/08/08. Sometimes I suspect, given his pessimism about Middle Eastern democracy clashing with neoconservative piety, that David P. Goldman wrote that just to piss off the likes of Frank Gaffney and other D.C. neocons who happen to be Russophobes/eternal Cold Warriors.

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  • 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...
  • I thought it was interesting when Julian tried (very gently and respectfully) to challenge Nasrallah’s religious views. I am guessing Julian is an atheist, and he posed it, like, how can you oppose a monolothic unipolar power in this world (=USA), but approve of a monolithic unipolar power in the spiritual world (=God). Nasrallah sincerely misunderstood Julian’s point, which questioned the right of an authoritarian God to rule over people (without their democratic consent), and mistakenly thought he was talking about polytheism. So Nasrallah goes off on this tangent about how the Universe isn’t big enough to hold more than one god, because they would end up at loggerheads with each other. Julian was too polite to clarify and press him further, but that’s okay, because mostly we (viewers) were interested in Hezbollah’s policies and not in Nasrallah’s religious beliefs. Still fascinating, though, to see two intellectuals (from completely different and opposite cultures) dicussing stuff in the realm of pure ideas.

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    • Replies: @Jennifer Hor
    Hi Yalensis,

    Nasrallah certainly was surprised at that question and had to take a deep breath!
    But elsewhere in the interview he gave answers that suggest he is tolerant of other relgious beliefs.

    His reply was a good one though: social justice, struggle for freedom and self-determination are instinctive and human-based and belief in one God as expressed through the Abrahamic religions is a natural human instinct so these all go together and he sees no contradictions. Although you could counter that by saying Hinduism is essentially monotheistic because all gods in Hinduism are manifestations of Brahman the supreme god.

    For a son of a greengrocer he's not doing badly. Wish we could say that about a daughter of a greengrocer in the UK years ago!

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  • 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...
  • The interesting thing about Pussy Riot is that they all wear masks. However, they were arrested and spent several days in jail, so I suspect at that time the jailers would have ripped off their masks and exposed their secret identities?

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  • “Peter Savodnik @petersavodnik

    Okay. Enough with the personal broadsides against agents of an authoritarian regime that kills people.”

    When there is no valid arguments left, accuse an opponent of being a Commie, KGB, bloody Putin’s agent

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  • “Politkovskaya, a journalist murder in Russia SIX YEARS ago” For the Russophobes dead of Russia are never alid to rest. They are waved us bloody flags in the face of every one opposing their views.

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    • Replies: @kirill
    Considering that she was spreading hate propaganda against Russia, from Russia, her fate was not some anomaly. But considering the facts, it was most likely a western hit and not a Russian one. Why kill a has been long past their active period? People were forgetting about her and suddenly she is made a martyr? Reminds me of the Litvinenko case, a useless target if ever there was one. He was an indirect asset to Putin given all the embarrassing nonsense he was spouting. His patron Berezovsky is the by far the most likely culprit. I am not sure who sponsored the offing of Politkovskaya. But Putin is not a retard to go after such trivial targets. He does not even go after serious ones like Berezovsky.
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  • The contempt for the Russian Orthodox Church and the violation of their property rights/disruption of worship is also telling. SWP and pals curiously silent or even by Pirrong’s own admission indifferent to contraception controversy, even though it’s violating Roman Catholic Church’s conscience (regardless of where you stand on the Pill or abortion if individuals paying for their own not demanding that taxpayers/religious institutions do so).

    In fact, there are remarkable parallels betweeen P—– Riot and Sandra Fluke, in that both clearly seem to be ops designed to wave a red flag in front of a bull (in Fluke’s case, Media Matters wanted tossed a bloody steak in front of junk yard dawgs Rush Limbaugh and other talk hosts) and P—- Riot wanted to anger Putin/Orthodox by disrupting church services during Great Lent.

    Remarkable how SWP condemns ‘Alinsky tactics’ of Occupy, but not Alinsky tactics of Rus opposition figures. Both intended not to actually change America or Russia for the better but to make victims out of those who are clearly not victims.

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    • Replies: @kirill
    There is a fresh case in the US where an airline passanger protested TSA's behaviour by undressing completely. He was, of course, arrested for public indecency. These bloody hypocrites then bleat about "political prisoners P*ssy Riot". They 1) trespassed and 2) broke public decency laws. Since they did this serially they got the book thrown at them. Cry me a river.
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  • Obviously he thinks Alexander II was wrong and abolishing serfdom was a mistake.

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  • Just shows who are the real democrats and the real authoritarians.

    No wonder these people always fail. With these sort of views why would the peasants ever vote for them?

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    • Replies: @kirill
    That's why they try to stage revolutions. In other words, coups d'etat. Some fringe minority seizes power and then sends millions to gulags trying to secure itself in power. Not thanks, Russia has had more than enough of this sh*t. I say put these bastards on western bound planes with one-way tickets. They will have more freedom than they can stomach.
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  • 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...
  • And I for one think Nasrallah a mob boss. But Al-Jazeera has interviewed him, if I’m not mistaken, and they don’t get condemned for it.

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  • I remember talking to an Irishman once who mentioned that the BBC refused to air his interview w/certain veterans of the 1916 Easter uprising who were incredibly still alive in the 1990s. I told him this prohibition seemed bizarre since the BBC would interview German veterans of WWII including those who likely knew of or participated in atrocities, and 1916 was more than seventy years past and unlikely to inflame IRA rejectionists in the present. Just goes to show even very old/outdated habits die hard.

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  • 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...
  • @Minka
    Glad you did Peter Savodnik, there's something seriously wrong with the guy who conctantly bitches about Occupy movement, and off handedly calls Russians "pesansts" and then goes on to say how "peasansts" shouldn't be allowed to vote (I'm not even joking).

    Thanks! I included those tweets. The schizophrenia of people like Savodnik, Julia Ioffe (workers = sovoks), Yulia “Pinochet” Latynina is hilarious (and disturbing) to observe.

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  • 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...
  • Here is RT’s own reposte to the attacks on the Assange interview.

    http://rt.com/news/assange-world-tomorrow-reaction-360/

    The most interesting thing in this reposte is the accuracy with which Assange anticipated the smears that would be hurled at him.

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