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Sorry for the lack of new posts recently, have been occupied with a few other matters. Will resume very soon.

 
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  1. This is the current Open Thread, where anything goes – within reason.

    If you are new to my work, start here.

    Commenting rules. Please note that anonymous comments are not allowed.

    • Disagree: Father O'Hara
    • Replies: @Jim Christian
  2. Is there any non-fake explanation of the coup in Myanmar? Also, is there any polls on the public opinion?

    • Replies: @Alfa158
    , @128
  3. Any news on the sino-American decoupling?

    Just two important info before you make any hypothesis.

    Blackrock, the bank that owns America was allowed entry into China in 2018.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/blackrock-gets-go-ahead-for-a-mutual-fund-business-in-china-11598687419#:~:text=BlackRock%2C%20which%20manages%20some%20%247.3,mainland%20China%20the%20following%20year.

    Secondly, despite Trump’s sanctions, Western investments in China are at an all time high.

    https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202101/1213873.shtml#:~:text=China%20bucked%20the%20trend%2C%20with,and%20China%20received%20%24140%20billion.

    Still think there’s a sino-American decoupling going on? or do you think the hostility towards China is all eyewash in order to grift more money for the US military-industrial complex?

    Or do you think the global elites are moving to China and don’t care if it defeats the US?

    • Replies: @A123
    , @Passer by
    , @FerW
  4. songbird says:

    Been reading “The WEIRDest People in the World.” Not that far into it, but I think it is pretty good.

    Probably haven’t read enough to characterize the whole book, but I would almost describe the first part of it as crypto-HBD. Lots of discussion about behavior and culture and how those things vary globally, but very little of genetics – at least so far. Maybe, that is just evopsych in a nutshell, but it strikes me as clever framing. Not a single boilerplate qualification about the foolishness of judging people by their race – at least not yet.

  5. songbird says:

    Just a mind experiment: I wonder if xenophiles could be made to feel ethnic loyalty if they were forced to regularly participate in mass synchronized marching with their ethnic group.

  6. songbird says:

    Is Twitter dysgenic or eugenic? Steve Sailer says it causes thousands of gangbangers to kill each other, annually. Could a thousand years of Twitter domesticate blacks to Chinese standards, if the internet survived for that long?

  7. A123 says:
    @Caspar von Everec

    Still think there’s a sino-American decoupling going on?
    Or do you think the global elites are moving to China and don’t care if it defeats the US?

    The illegitimate Biden/Harris regime hates U.S. workers & small businesses. He is also selling out U.S. students (1)

    The Biden administration quietly tossed a proposed rule that would have required U.S. universities and K-12 schools with foreign exchange programs to disclose any financial ties or other connections to Chinese state-run Confucius Institutes.

    The decision was met with swift backlash from Republicans, who, along with the FBI, State Department, and Education Department during the Trump administration, expressed concern about the potential for Chinese influence operations inside the United States with Confucius Institutes and Confucius Classrooms.

    For the moment, the Globalist Elites are making policy. However, those choices are eliminating U.S. Jobs and damaging the U.S. Economy. You know the transgression is huge when organized labor leaders lash out at Democrats. (2)

    AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka admitted Sunday that President Joe Biden’s decision to shut down the Keystone XL Pipeline will “did and will” cost union jobs.

    In an interview with “Axios” on HBO, host Jonathan Swan asked, “In his first hours as president, Joe Biden announced that he was going to cancel the Keystone XL Pipeline, and the Laborers’ International Union of North America put out a statement saying that it’s gonna cost a thousand union jobs.

    PEACE 😇
    __________

    (1) https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/news/biden-trump-rule-schools-disclosing-chinese-state-run-confucius-institutes

    (2) https://www.cnsnews.com/article/washington/melanie-arter/afl-cio-president-bidens-keystone-pipeline-executive-action-it-did

    • Replies: @SIMP simp
  8. A123 says:

    Humor for the Open Thread.

    Open the [MORE] tag for additional images
     

    PEACE 😇

    [MORE]


     


     

  9. Passer by says:
    @Caspar von Everec

    There is no Sino/US decoupling because after Corona China became too big to decouple. This is where 30 % of world growth is, with huge opportunities coming from the rising Chinese finanical system as well, where its construction is just starting, with huge benefits down the road.

    Moreover, the rest of US allies – EU, Japan, South Korea, refuse to decouple (BIT, RCEP).

    The US will continue to try to weaken China in some areas (technology) while also working together where there are shared objectives (Pandemic, Green Economy, opening chinese markets to the US), while also keeping some protectionism going (Buy American).

    Some, but not all, tarrifs for chinese products may fall. Probably for medical products and green products. The chip embargo on China will stay.

    The US will also try to use the Quad – India, Japan and Australia, although its perspectives are not very good. Throwing mud at China will continue in those cases that are dear for liberals.

    Xi is confident that under such conditions China will be able to secure pretty good growth rates from now up to 2035. That would mean that China will overtake the US in GDP MER by 2029 and have 1,25 % bigger economy in MER GDP by 2040 and two times bigger economy in PPP GDP by 2040. In practise that would mean a chinese economy 1,6 times bigger than the US by 2040 (the combo of PPP GDP and MER GDP).

    It will be a US Gov more aggressive on China than Obama, but less aggressive than Trump. Somewhere in the middle between Obama and Trump. You can call it a Cold Peace. Not perfect for China, but not bad either. You can also expect Russia to get closer to China, as it will be the most hated target of the US/EU. That in turn favors China and Iran.

  10. A123 says:

    I mentioned the 24 Hours of Daytona in last week’s Open Thread. About halfway through the stream a catastrophic audio problem emerged. The folks at IMSA.TV have fixed the problem. The Race Replay with good audio is below the [MORE] tag.

    PEACE 😇
     

    [MORE]

    • Replies: @Jim Christian
  11. @Passer by

    Moreover, the rest of US allies – EU, Japan, South Korea, refuse to decouple

    For many companies the largest source of potential growth is China. That’s why there’s so much resistance to decoupling.

  12. Passer by says:

    Maria Zakharova Chinese New Years Greeting (she was raised in China)

    • Thanks: Daniel Chieh
  13. @Anatoly Karlin

    Hey, Anatoly, where is that big old skating rink? Lovely! I thought about ice skates and skiing when I was a kid, but being a wuss, I thought it too dangerous. Took up flight decks and motorcycles instead. Never a scratch.

    • Replies: @Mikhail
    , @Shortsword
  14. @A123

    That’s the infield road-race part of Daytona, they use (or used to, I don’t know the state of F-1 motorcycle and World Superbike in the US anymore) for bikes, I believe. How fast do these cars here get to on the banking, 123?

    • Replies: @A123
  15. FerW says:
    @Caspar von Everec

    Or do you think the global elites are moving to China and don’t care if it defeats the US?

    I’m interested in seeing statistics regarding global capital elites acquiring residence permits, residential property, learning the language, marrying ethnic local citizens, adopting children, changing their names or surnames, and other methods of legal safeguard to insert themselves into Chinese society and China’s future (from the inside).

    • Agree: AltanBakshi
  16. SafeNow says:

    China’s new “coast guard cutters” are gigantic (for ramming) and flat-sided (for “shouldering”). Playing at bumper-boats creates a “presence” without risking WWIII. These are not warships. Also, merchant ships are being built that are double-hulled, just like a tanker. Maybe the U.S. should get the message, and deploy, rather than a carrier group, an icebreaker.

    • LOL: AltanBakshi
  17. songbird says:

    One thing I’d like to see the Chinese censorship board tackle is stodgy CGI.

    They should set up a joint institute with Russia which would research practical effects.

  18. A123 says:
    @Jim Christian

    The top class, Daytona Prototype [DPi] cars broke thru 200 mph on the banking back in 2019. I do not recall any speed trap numbers for this year’s race, but 202-204 mph would be a safe guess.

    PEACE 😇

    • Thanks: Jim Christian
    • Replies: @Charles Ryder
  19. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Jim Christian

    Hey, Anatoly, where is that big old skating rink? Lovely! I thought about ice skates and skiing when I was a kid, but being a wuss, I thought it too dangerous. Took up flight decks and motorcycles instead. Never a scratch.

    Isn’t it obvious from the background? If I’m not mistaken, that’s a seasonal makeshift rink. Manhattan’s Bryant Park (in back of the main NY Public Library on 42nd Street) has a similar setup. A great improvement from when that park was a drug deal destination.

    • Replies: @Jim Christian
  20. You should write a structured crypto piece. Like the stuff you do on twitter, it deserves some serious blog posts

  21. Ive become pessimistic on the matter of Turkey. Their soft power reaches very far to the fact I see Americans do apologism of beheadings in Karabakh. Nobody is meaningfully standing up to them. If trends continue I predict they will be an Ottoman style great power by 2100.

  22. @Belarusian Dude

    What’s your take on Belarus? Situation in your country appears to metastasize. Lukashenka is in denial and keeps asking Russia for money without giving any ground.

    • Replies: @Belarusian Dude
  23. 128 says:

    Why is it so difficult to nuke this site, like what happened to Parler? Considering the resources of the blues that should have been a very easy job? Cut off credit card and cloud support.

  24. @Jim Christian

    The skating rink is clearly on Red Square.

  25. @Belarusian Dude

    Ive become pessimistic on the matter of Turkey. Their soft power reaches very far to the fact I see Americans do apologism of beheadings in Karabakh.

    Who does that? It’s more that the war in Karabakh got no spotlight in the media. But that’s because of Western power. Atrocities committed by NATO and their allies aren’t going to be given attention in media.

  26. @Belarusian Dude

    Turkey carries a soft underbelly as it is carrying around a significant underclass and the Kurdish question regarding demographics.

    Maybe the Turkish elites will throw the towel and just cut off the Southeast. That will bring the Kurdish percentage down to a managable single-digit percentage.

  27. china-russia-all-the-way says:

    Last Wednesday, disengagement began in Ladakh. Troops and equipment have been pulled back in the contentious spot. Further disengagement is expect in other spots in Ladakh. In the contentious Pangong Lake area, Indians won’t patrol up to China’s perception of the claim line and likewise China won’t patrol up to India’s claim line.

    Two retired Indian generals who had commanded Northern Command (responsible for Ladakh) get into a debate about the meaning of the disengagement. The general aggressively and over emotionally contending India lost is a Jat Sikh, the community mainly responsible for the farm protests.

    • Thanks: AltanBakshi
  28. @Passer by

    There is no Sino/US decoupling because after Corona China became too big to decouple.

    A credibly claimed fact on the ground before COVID-19 was that the supply chains for 80-90% of consumed in the US pharmaceuticals trace back to the PRC. That’s everything from Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) such as acetaminophen/paracetamol, which are usually turned into finished drugs by less distrusted countries like India, to all sorts of chemical precursors used in making APIs and finished drugs. The 2018 book China Rx: Exposing the Risks of America’s Dependence on China for Medicine and its author is one source of this info.

    The world in general has entrusted the PRC/CCP with its supply of drugs, we’ll see how that works out in the long term….

    • Agree: Bashibuzuk
    • Replies: @Blinky Bill
  29. @Another German Reader

    Turkey has huge ambitions across the Islamic realm and among the Muslim diaspora. Whether they will succeed in placing themselves at the forefront of the new Ahd al Futuhat is an open question. I think this would not happen if they do not mend the fences with their (former) Israeli friends. If they do, then we should expect Turks becoming again the leaders of the Islamic Ummah, a role they played for some 800 years, roughly between the eleventh and the nineteenth centuries.

    https://www.aa.com.tr/en/science-technology/turkey-unveils-national-space-program/2139378

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  30. AaronB says:

    I am beginning to think that spirituality is really a political and social question. Spirituality itself is exceedingly simple.

    You can read book after book about spirituality from every tradition – and I have – and they really all say the same thing. Spirituality in the end is really very simple. It has all been said in the Sermon On The Mount. Or the Tao Teh Ching. Read those and you will have essentially read every book on spirituality ever written.

    So why do these basic insights of spirituality have to be discovered over and over again? Why do they seem constantly to be lost in every tradition- or buried – and then they have to be rediscovered again? Why are the same insights expresses in such a dizzying array of ways?

    My first clue was an offhand remark by Edward Conze, the great German interpreter of Buddhism – he said that Buddhism obviously corresponds to a Stobe Age way of living. It startled me at the time, but in hindsight he was absolutely correct. It was obvious.

    What is the Sermon On The Mount, or the Tao Teh Ching, but a call to return to a Stobe Age style of life?

    The problem is, spirituality is basically incompatible with living in a modern state. A state depends on ambition and materialism – people who genuinely aren’t attached to this world and who aren’t materialistic will not be productive citizens. Its as simple as that.

    Therefore the State has a severe vested interest in crushing genuine spirituality wherever it appears. Spirituality is a call to reverse the state and return to a Stone Age lifestyle. Various strategies have been devised by the spiritual to appease the powerful State – “render unto Caesar what is Caesars”, the Zen idea that the highest spirituality is to live in society obeying its rules just “seeing through” it.

    These have all been only partially successful. There is also the Hindu notion that one fulfills one’s duty to the State- one gets married, has kids, and lives a productive life – and then in later life, once ones productive years are largely behind one, one reverts to a Stone Age lifestyle and goes wandering the mountains. Likewise, the Chinese tradition of the high government official abandoning his post as he gets older and living as a Taoist recluse in the mountains.

    I remember when I was younger I had this fearsome and aggressive Jewish boss who was the epitome of ambition, hard work, productivity. He fervently believed in the modern religion of total work. He was a very unhappy man. Even then I was a budding Bohemian, and whenever he would detect 8heresy against the religion of taking work seriously – a lighthearted, cheerful look on my face, an easygoing air about me that suggested I wasn’t super anxious and gloomy about outcomes- he would get infuriated and snarl at me. He wanted to “light a fire under my ass”, as he told me – he wanted to make me driven, like him.

    In his poor mind he was trying to help me, and he was very frustrated that I was never able to “see sense”.

    Alas, who knows what I would have accomplished had he succeeded in making me driven? Probably amass a pile of useless cash, or contribute in some way to developing some equally useless technology that humanity is better without 🙂

    But now that I am older (but still youngish), and I am once again yearning for the Stone Age life, I notice there is much less fierce opposition. Perhaps the Hindu and Chinese way of spirituality compromising with the State offers a stable equilibrium?

    In the modern world, there is a great yearning among a growing number of people to escape the burdens and stupiditues of life in a State. The “nomad” movement in the US is growing rapidly. In China, there is a growing number of people who are taking after their ancestors and becoming Taoist recluses in the mountains, either in groups or alone, having been burned out by the culture of total work.

    It is wonderful to see the Chinese reviving their ancient way of life.

    The thing is, a State must provide some kind of escape for the spiritual, or they will become political troublemakers and cause its downfall. Might the history of constant revolutions in the modern period in the West simply be a response to the State becoming too overwhelming? (Modernity coincided with European states becoming finally organized and efficient). Colonial adventurism provided an outlet for a while, and French poets could go live in Ethiopia, and English Captains could sneak into Mecca disguised as Muslims, after a dangerous journey across the desert, simply for the fun of it.

    And the spiritual themselves must compromise somewhat with the state – at the very least, not become revolutionaries. Ignorant and deluded men who want power and money will always be with us. They should be pitied and soothed.

    And what of today – in what new form will the basic ideas of spirituality and its radical call to live a simple Stone Age life reappear? In what new guise will the Sermon On The Mount be preached, so that it will seem once again like a startlingly new message even though it has been with us for centuries?

    I dont know, but I suspect somehow, it will utilize the language of science and the technology, the Aramaic or Greek of today (the prestige language of today)…

    • Replies: @songbird
  31. Very powerful.

    • LOL: AltanBakshi
    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  32. A new chapter in the Abrahamic family saga:

    Under the leadership of Rabbi Dr. Elie Abadie, based in Dubai, and president Ebrahim Dawood Nonoo, based in Bahrain, the group is partnering on different communal programs and services so that their resources will enhance each other.

    Jewslam: the long expected reunion of the distant cousins…

    https://www.jns.org/six-gcc-countries-form-first-association-to-enhance-regional-jewish-life/

    Christian Zionists being cucked as expected.

    I just wonder what will be built first : NEOM or the third Temple of YHWH…

    Perhaps they might build a fourth Temple at Mount Horeb near NEOM ?

    🙂

    • Replies: @songbird
    , @Blinky Bill
  33. @Shortsword

    Love is in the air…

    [MORE]

    Nothing new…

  34. Juan Guaidó criticized the Venezuelan government for the acquisition of Sputnik V vaccine

    LOL

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  35. Alfa158 says:
    @Shortsword

    I live in the US, and there no are polls on the coup in Myanmar because, knowing my fellow Americans, the results could be predicted with complete accuracy without bothering to poll the populace:

    How do you feel about the military coup in Myanmar?
    Against it, and we need to start Hellfire droning somebody : 1%
    Why should I care? : 49%
    What the hell is a Myanmar? : 50%

    • Replies: @Shortsword
  36. 128 says:
    @Shortsword

    I suppose the military is the only thing holding the country together?

  37. @Alfa158

    I meant a poll from Myanmar. It’s unclear what percent support each side. Western media always pushes the narrative that the side most aligned with the West is the “the people” even for cases when the pro-Western side has marginal support. In the case of Myanmar it’s clear that the “pro-Democracy” side has substantive support but I don’t know if it’s 25%, 50% or 75%.

  38. songbird says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    The smaller Gulf states are the epitome of “fake and gay.” By comparison, they make Singapore, IQ shredder that it is, or Taiwan, a rebellious province, seem like a true countries.

    • Agree: AltanBakshi
    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  39. AaronB says:

    I was just reading the Btitish covid lockdown rules, and they sound pretty restrictive.

    Its interesting that so many countries chose lockdowns and America didn’t. I can only say thank God. If I wasn’t allowed to travel or go hiking/camping it would be pretty awful. Its probably the only thing I want to do these days is get out of the city.

    And this covid thing will probably go on for a few more years, when suddenly it will be all over. I think mass hysterias have a certain life span. I really feel bad for people who will have to endure the next few years of lockdowns.

    Of course, I dont know how seriously the British are obeying lockdown rules. In the Hasidic areas of Brooklyn, covid is but a memory. If you want to be reminded of what pre-covid life was like, you can visit. No masks. Period. Crowded stores and streets.

    The mayor made a few half-hearted attempts to enforce covid rules, but there does not seem to be any enforcement anymore. Its just accepted. But these are pretty self contained communities anyways.

    I am flying this week. The rules are masks unless eating or drinking. When eating, closely scrunched up with people sitting next to you, apparently the covid virus takes a break.

    When I mentioned to a friend that this airline policy perhaps suggests that authorities don’t really take covid seriously, he said nonsense, as no one can be expected to not eat for 5 hours. This perhaps helps explain something of America’s obesity problem- apparently its worth dying for to avoid not having food for 5 hours. Or perhaps the authorities don’t really think the virus is serious. One or the other- not sure which.

    Eating the right amount so that you’re full is an art and a skill, one that traditional cultures had mastered. In the 80s the country tried to replace this traditional skill, based on paying attention to how the body feels and working with it not against it, with scientific recommendations about food intake that was supposed to override what the body feels. Now food was measured in calories.

    I wonder if the modern diet industry is actually an attempt to keep people fat. It is based on telling people to eat unrealistically low amounts, which no one can maintain for long. 1500 daily calories is typical – that’s the daily calories in the famous starvation experiment that drove its participants crazy after a few months. So people try and follow diet recommendations a few times and fail, then give up.

    Yet there is a sweet spot – typically less than you’re eating now if you’re fat and more than any standard diet recommendation. But no is taught the art of finding it. It isn’t scientific.

    Its wells known that Americans used to not eat breakfast, or have a coffee and a small piece of pasty like Europeans. Bernays, the inventor of modern advertising, had to design a massive campaign to get Americans to eat breakfast. The rationale was that Americans needed to spend/consume more in order to outcompete the Soviets!

    If Americans ate 30% less, by how much would the food industry shrink? I remember reading that if we ate 30% less, it would crash the national economy. Clearly, having a nation of people eating way too much is in the national interest and the interests of some extremely large and important business.

    I very much doubt effective eating strategies will be allowed to be promoted in such an environment, if someone should discover them. Of course, the upper classes are quite thin on the whole – they know what to do. Its only the poles that have to be sacrificed for the national economy.

    • Replies: @Morton's toes
  40. @songbird

    I agree, but this initiative also includes Saudi Arabia and possibly Jordan.

    • Replies: @songbird
  41. @That Would Be Telling

    The world in general has entrusted the PRC/CCP with its supply of drugs, we’ll see how that works out in the long term….

    This is unlikely to change as long as the biggest pharmaceutical companies in the world, controlled by Americans and Western Europeans, Pfizer and Purdue Pharma (US), Roche, Novartis (both Swiss), Merck (US) and GlaxoSmithKline (UK) continue to make huge profits in China. Never forget who’s really in charge, just follow the the money.


    [MORE]

    Big pharma’s new opium war: Exporting the addiction crisis to China

    As the People’s Republic of China’s economy grows and integrates more fully into global commerce, so does the risk to its people’s health. To meet the new demand for cancer and pain medications, China has had to harmonize its pharmaceutical regulatory structures with Western ones and beef-up its investment in innovative biotech research and production.

    But by opening up to western drug companies and streamlining the approval process for new drugs, the world’s second largest pharmaceutical market is being used as a dumping ground for controversial drugs, posing a significant public health risk and opening old wounds dating back centuries.

    Hospitals all over North America have pulled back their prescriptions for the popular painkiller OxyContin, after Purdue Pharma, owned by the billionaire Sackler family, was faced with a landslide of lawsuits on behalf of over 400,000 U.S. patients who died as a result of overdoses.

    Millions more, many working-class Americans, have had their lives ruined by addiction to the prescription drug. But in China, big pharmaceutical conglomerates are just getting started and their sales are increasing exponentially.

    Telling lies, pushing pills

    In 2007, Purdue Pharma paid $634.5 million in penalties after the company’s lawyers filed a guilty plea to federal charges of wrongly marketing OxyContin in the U.S. But the Sackler family, owners of both Purdue Pharma and its global affiliate, Mundipharma, have not given up. In fact, they have only intensified their sales of the controversial drug in countries like China.

    According to a recent Associated Press investigation, Sackler’s Chinese affiliate has been telling Chinese doctors that OxyContin is less addictive than other drugs on the market, falsifying documents and having sales personnel visit hospitals posing as doctors to gain access to patients. These are the very same misleading marketing techniques which resulted in federal charges being brought against Purdue for creating the deadliest opioid crisis in U.S. history.

    The use of OxyContin by Chinese doctors has increased in recent years to the tune of more than 20%, according to the China Pharmaceutical Industry Association. A popular painkiller for cancer and post-surgical patients, prescriptions for OxyContin were twice that of growth in the overall pharmaceutical market in China since 2016.

    Addiction was a serious political problem facing China during the 19th and early 20th centuries, thanks to British, French, and U.S. traders hell-bent on making as much profit as possible selling Turkish and Indian opium in China. As a result, Chinese drug regulations have historically been strict, but all that has changed in a relatively short period of time.

    Two years ago, the Economist published a piece that rather ham-fistedly admitted “China and Britain see each other through a narcotic haze.” This typically euphemistic turn of phrase contains within it a bloody history of Britain’s war on China—to secure ports from which opium could be introduced to the rest of China. Hong Kong, among other ports, was conceded by the Chinese to the British as a direct result of the Opium Wars. Indeed, Hong Kong smolders today as a consequence of the British ruling class’s predilection for making hasty profits at the expense of ordinary working people. Times have changed so little, and the victims of this systemic avarice are, as always, the people who can least afford it.

    Great Britain was certainly not alone in its imperial drug-pushing in China. Among those illustrious names whose fortunes grew fatter off of selling opium to the Chinese included the grandfather of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and ancestors of former Secretary of State John Kerry, to name but two.

    After the revolution of 1949, the People’s Republic of China sought to combat the opiate addiction. Despite enormous challenges, a mass campaign against opiates mobilized the entire nation and virtually eradicated opium addiction by 1953. Sadly, the legacy of historic opium abuse continues to plague some 20 million Chinese outside the People’s Republic.

    Pharma companies’ new frontier

    Notwithstanding this checkered history of foreign drug-peddling and territorial infringement, in just a few years, big pharma sales in China have skyrocketed—with most drug manufacturers seeing 20% increases in quarterly sales. At the end of the first quarter of this year, Merck’s sales in China increased by 58%, fueled by the HPV vaccine Gardasil and the immuno-oncology drug Keytruda. AstraZeneca’s 28% increase, mostly propelled by its lung cancer drugs Iressa and Tagrisso, represented nearly a quarter of its first quarter global sales in 2019.

    In 2017, the Chinese government rolled out a series of reforms to its drug regulations, including a strategic focus on developing low-cost, high-quality generics. In the past, medicines with expired patents have done well in the Chinese market, where local companies oftentimes manufacture low-quality generics.

    To raise quality and lower prices, the Chinese government has implemented a new bidding process to maintain quality and price for key public hospitals, where most of these drugs are prescribed. However, huge pharma businesses are finding ways to turn the tender and regulatory processes to their own advantage. How big pharma’s influence will play out in this new regulatory regime is still unclear, though the example of OxyContin’s use in China is certainly not promising from a public health and safety standpoint.

    Despite the forward-thinking approach of government health and regulatory planners, some public health officials in China are concerned about the most recent campaign of corruption by Mundipharma, which, combined with increasing social inequality, could lead to an opioid crisis similar to that experienced in the U.S.

  42. Mersaux says:

    Considering the new mutations, and that the astra zeneca vaccine is bascially useless against the South Africa Variant and other vaccines only have a 50% protection against that. Do you think Corona will stay permanently for years?

  43. @AaronB

    Of course, the upper classes are quite thin on the whole – they know what to do.

    If you get all the way to the end of Moldbug’s post on Scott Alexander’s New York Times doxxing (it requires tactical skimming which is quicker to learn than reading two complete Moldbug posts) you come across the unreferenced datum that Donald Trump weighs 280 pounds.

    If you plug 6-3, 280 into the BMI visualizer you get BMI 35 and obese. Very obese. The visualizer shows as a possibility. He could well be that fat.

    There is a growing clan of folks promoting 16 hours per day of not eating, 8 hours per day of eating whatever you feel like eating. Takes some getting used to but they say it is stable.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    , @AaronB
  44. A bit of fodder:

    Transcendence

    Anti-aging supplement appears to be validated in mice.

    https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/09/bodybuilding-supplement-promotes-healthy-aging-and-extends-life-span-least-mice

    The molecule grabbed attention as a possible antiaging treatment in 2014, when researchers reported AKG could extend life span by more than 50% in tiny Caenorhabditis elegans worms. That’s on par with a low-calorie diet, which has been shown to promote healthy aging, but is hard for most people to stick with. Other groups later showed life span improvements from AKG in fruit flies.

    Brain chips.

    https://www.cnbc.com/2021/02/01/elon-musk-neuralink-wires-up-monkey-to-play-video-games-using-mind.html

    Tesla boss Elon Musk said in an interview late Sunday that a monkey has been wired up to play video games with its mind by a company he founded called Neuralink.

    Neuralink put a computer chip into the monkey’s skull and used “tiny wires” to connect it to its brain, Musk said.

    In general CRISPR is a fascinating topic but given various ethical roadblocks, I believe it will first find its major applications in area where it won’t be thottled at all: agriculture.

    Glowing plantlife thanks to CRISPR.
    http://www.sci-news.com/biology/glowing-tobacco-plants-08368.html

    Rapid domestication of crops with genetic alteration.
    https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-00307-5

    HBD

    In which Uriah posts a very, very, very long essay on Twitter.
    https://mobile.twitter.com/crimkadid/status/1356181036883992576

    https://hereditasjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s41065-020-00163-9

    The reversal of human phylogeny: Homo left Africa as erectus, came back as sapiens sapiens

    Sinotriumph

    https://spacenews.com/chinas-tianwen-1-enters-orbit-around-mars/

    Tianwen-1 arrived at Mars on Wednesday (Feb. 10) and fired its engines to allow it to enter orbit around the planet. China has now received and put together a series of images taken during this approach and created two remarkable scenes, seen here in a single video.

    One video, taken by Tianwen-1’s small engineering survey sub-system camera for monitoring a solar array, shows Mars entering into frame followed by an incredible view of the edge of Mars’ atmosphere, or “atmospheric limb.”

    Crypto explainers

    Government explainer on Defi, showing increasing traction; from St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank.

    https://research.stlouisfed.org/publications/review/2021/02/05/decentralized-finance-on-blockchain-and-smart-contract-based-financial-markets?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=SM&utm_content=stlouisfed&utm_campaign=f0e83c05-c5ab-4e46-b80d-b70fcf0c0a27

    I conclude that DeFi still is a niche market with certain risks but that it also has interesting properties in terms of efficiency, transparency, accessibility, and composability. As such, DeFi may potentially contribute to a more robust and transparent financial infrastructure.

    What is a blockchain oracle?
    https://academy.binance.com/en/articles/blockchain-oracles-explained

    Cyberpunk

    • Replies: @Thulean Friend
  45. @Mersaux

    The 1889–1890 flu pandemic, also known as the “Asiatic flu”or “Russian flu”, was a pandemic that killed about 1 million people worldwide, out of a population of about 1.5 billion. It was the last great pandemic of the 19th century, and is among the deadliest pandemics in history.

    A 2005 genomic virological study says that “it is tempting to speculate” that the virus might not have been an influenza virus, but human coronavirus OC43. In 2020, Danish researchers reached a similar conclusion in a study which had not been published in a peer-reviewed academic journal as of November 2020. They described the symptoms as very like those of COVID-19.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_coronavirus_OC43

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1889%E2%80%931890_pandemic

    • Thanks: Bashibuzuk, Vishnugupta
  46. @Morton's toes

    There is a growing clan of folks promoting 16 hours per day of not eating, 8 hours per day of eating whatever you feel like eating. Takes some getting used to but they say it is stable.

    I’m fairly fond of intermittent fasting; Karlin also attempted it and there’s some evidence that it has neurological benefits. I can’t seem to find my link to the nootropic guide I used to have for it though.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  47. @Passer by

    Her Chinese is basically accentless and perfect.

  48. AaronB says:
    @Morton's toes

    Lol, I guess not all members of the upper class. But in class terms Trump is a prole who got rich. He is quite literally obese, not just fat.

    As regarding intermittent fasting, I’m sure it works well for some people. Maintaining a good weight is about restriction. Different people do better on different types of restriction. Some do great on paleo, some do great on eating only bland foods, and I think most people will be well served by relearning the traditional art of listening to your body and eating just enough.

    But Americans have been deliberately educated in a philosophy of consumption without restriction. It is evident in all areas of our life. We also don’t save money. We go “big”.

    So restriction is not part of our philosophy. The Scandinavian philosophy of “just enough”, or the Japanese notion that one should eat until three fourths full, are utterly alien to us.

    If you have a culture that, on every level, pushes “more”, you can’t suddenly push “less” when it comes to food. All areas of life interpenetrate.

    Upper class culture, however, differs in significant respect from lower class culture.

  49. @Daniel Chieh

    I also did it two years ago and felt myself remarkably well.

  50. @Shortsword

    Juan Guaidó criticized the Venezuelan government for the acquisition of Sputnik V vaccine

    I wonder why nobody cites my plumber. He has about as much influence in Venezuela as that guano person.

    • Agree: Daniel Chieh
    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ
  51. @Bashibuzuk

    😂😂😂😂

    [MORE]

    • Agree: Bashibuzuk
    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  52. @Blinky Bill

    This is unlikely to change as long as the biggest pharmaceutical companies in the world, controlled by Americans and Western Europeans, Pfizer and Purdue Pharma (US), Roche, Novartis (both Swiss), Merck (US) and GlaxoSmithKline (UK) continue to make huge profits in China.

    Absolutely. Pharmaceuticals are in the same business as weapons manufacturers: making money. Neither cares whether you live or die. Weapons manufacturers are just less hypocritical about it.

  53. songbird says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    Jordan, geography aside (not a Gulf state), is a fake country, IMO, as it is very dependent on foreign aid. Unsurprising really because of refugees. They are also very reliant on Israeli infrastructure, and have a special industrial zone that exports duty free to the US, in consideration of using Israeli components.

    It is easy to characterize Saudi Arabia as a gangster state. It is probably true, but I am not sure that is the right explanation. Their smart fraction is pretty low – makes them reliant on imported talent. It is probably a natural susceptibility to globalism, especially where there is money. Maybe, they could try to transition to using Sunni talent? Though, if you ask me, it might have been better, in the long term, if Iraq had conquered the whole region, minus Iran.

    • Replies: @Yahya K.
  54. informer says:

    check out these maps of the riot zones and how they correlate with so-called opportunity zones and fed locations in all the hotspots…

    https://golocal.solari.com/draft-copy-mapping-minnesota-riot-damage-opportunity-zones-and-fed-banks-a-work-in-progress/

    very informative interview :

  55. songbird says:
    @AaronB

    Buddhism obviously corresponds to a Stone Age way of living.

    One can characterize the Stone Age in different ways, but it is tempting to describe it as being primarily the age of hunter-gatherers. In Buddhism, I believe one is supposed to avoid killing animals?

    Though, I do think hunter-gatherers are very interesting, and it is not impossible that studying them might provide some lesson for us. For example, their adherence to using ritual to bind larger groups – I think we are missing that today. And I think there might even be ways, that Leftists could be encouraged to have a national feeling.

    If anything, I would say that SJWs are the people who most adhere to ritual today – mantras, etc. – but, unfortunately, they have adopted new rituals which have not been tested in evolutionary terms, and probably reduce group fitness rather than promote it.

    • Replies: @AaronB
  56. @Blinky Bill

    They are family, they have always been. Zionist Christian cucks are useful idiots, sheeple lead to (cultural and civilizational) slaughter. The sons of Abraham will get along very well.

    Instead of having a Jewish neighborhood – called Al Mellah in Maghrebi Arabic – in each major Islamic city, as they had before the creation of Israel, they will have a bigger Mellah in Israel itself. Jacques Attali wrote praises to the Islamic Al Andalus where Jews were part of the elite. That’s the plan: Abrahamic elite ruling over the Goyim Kuffar. That’s it: Jewish brains and money + Arabs’ money and energy + Islamic masses and combativity = the Death of the West.

    I remember once personally hearing an old Arab asking a Jew why don’t they get along, and the Jew’s answer was : “Cause we are too similar ” the Arab agreed and laughed. All this Hasbara about Jews being champions of Europen civilization is so full of shit and always has been. And together they turn against the Aryan Vaija of Iran, how surprising (Sarc.)

    So NEOM or the third Temple to be built first?

    BTW, the Jews have already signaled that the third Temple might be accessible to Muslims. Many here would be surprised to learn that from the point of view of some among the Fikh interpretations the Shariah, a Muslim is allowed to pray in a Synagogue or a Church. If the Rabbis interpret the Halakha as allowing Muslims to pray inside the temple (cause they are not idolaters, they are circumcised, they are spiritual heirs to Abraham as written in the Torah) the Gulf Arabs would actually finance the whole thing.

    🙂

    • Thanks: Blinky Bill
    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ
    , @Dmitry
  57. AaronB says:
    @songbird

    That is a good point. Buddhism is indeed against killing animals.

    So in that particular, you are correct that Buddhism isn’t compatible with Stone Age life. But the general attitude Buddhism takes to life, especially in its later development- an appreciation for the wandering life, a simple life in nature alone or in small communities, a disinterest in material accumulation and a greater focus on the immediate moment, the idea of “letting things be” instead of the dedicated effort needed to create a complex civilization, a disinterest in the future, a disinterest in control, mastery, and “development” that is characteristic of a State.

    I think we can learn much from hunter gathering life. I am starting to think about ways one might incorporate insights from that way of life in our ordinary life in civilization – because civilization is hardly about to collapse, and if it doesn’t get too oppressive civilization can be fun.

    For instance, maybe inject a “nomadic” element into my daily routine like take unplanned random routes to work? Add a bit of magic…

    I agree ritual is very important. Religions with lots of ritual have a way of focusing the mind on the present and even if future oriented, can function similar to a philosophy of “letting things be”.

    As for Woke rituals, they are still new so still taken somewhat seriously. Over time, the woke philosophy will lose its meaning and just become a bunch of empty mantras one repeats. Consider, medieval people didn’t actually turn the other cheek and love their enemies…

    People pay too much attention to the content of a religion. But only a crazy minority (like me 🙂 ) actually take things like the Sermon On The Mount, or the literal meaning of (some) Buddhist scriptures, seriously.

    Mark my words – Wokeism will become like Christianity, observed in the breach, paid lip service to only..

    • Replies: @songbird
  58. Why is it that South Korea tends to be thought of by Westerners as less culturally alien than say China and especially Japan?

    Japan tends to be thought of as different in just about every way and as really quite a bizarre and cryptic country, whereas South Korea seems to be thought of as almost Western, despite being Asian racially. There doesn’t seem to be the same mystique and fascination surrounding Korean culture as Japanese and Chinese culture.

    I guess it’s mainly because K-Pop and Korean cinema are very Westernised compared to cultural exports from Japan and other East Asian countries, and also Korean car brands like Kia are seen as much more conventional and less “quirky” than Japanese brands. I guess all these things give the impression that South Korea is a familiar and understandable culture?

    Also, South Korea has a large percentage of Christians, much larger than any other East Asian country, so I guess arguably that means that the Christian/Western cultural and value system has permeated South Korean society far more so than any other East Asian country?

  59. songbird says:
    @AaronB

    For instance, maybe inject a “nomadic” element into my daily routine like take unplanned random routes to work? Add a bit of magic…

    There may even be separate lessons to be learnt from pastoralists. I think they are generally given short shrift, and we focus too much on hunter-gatherer vs. agriculturalist.

    But, in addition to roaming over territory, I think the hunt might be important. (even if one used substitute mechanisms to killing animals) Maybe, also intergroup competition, which has been subverted today, to make us root for laundry, across many countries.

    I had a very radical idea, the other day, about this movement to change the names of sports teams that have Indian names. Reservations seem like such hopeless places. Just a thought experiment: what if Indians could be given a special purpose going off them, as they did in the old days? What if they had a monopoly on spectator sports? And in America, we watched separate Indian tribes compete with each other, as in the old days, they warred with each other? Though, maybe, only the Navajo would be big enough to field a half-respectable team.

    • Replies: @AaronB
  60. The Russia-Turkey joint peacekeeping command centre in Nagorno-Karabakh.

  61. AaronB says:
    @songbird

    I appreciate this whole line of thinking. It very much accords with my notion of life as play.

    In other words, why not “hack” our psychology and do things that don’t really serve any purpose but are deeply satisfying to creatures with our disposition.

    We are trapped in this mental prison that we cannot do “useless” things or engage in “make believe”. Everything we do must serve some ulterior purpose, or have some functionality.

    Perhaps choosing unplanned random ways to walk to work is “inefficient” – but what if its fun?

    Taoism has a great phrase- the usefulness of the useless. And Victor Hugo says in Les Mis that the useless may be more useful than the useful (he was talking about beautiful objects). I was young when I read that, and I remember thinking it absurd. Now I get it.

    I think bringing back the hunt and group competition in some form is a great idea – I suppose sport is a pale imitation of these, but the real deal would probably be more satisfying.

    Indian tribes compete with each other, as in the old days, they warred with each other? Though, maybe, only the Navajo would be big enough to field a half-respectable team

    Yep, I’m sure that would help revitalize them. But this is out of the box thinking in our current culture. We cannot imagine doing anything that isn’t functional or purposeful, or that is make-believe.

    But maybe that’s changing.

    Also agree about pastoralists. Early states used to regard them as fringe people as well, and that way of life is surely closer to what beings like us enjoy.

    • Agree: songbird
  62. Bit Def says:

    If Ukraine would have been competently managed since 1990, or if it would have remained part of Russia/reformed/renamed USSR (which retained only its eastern slavic constituencies), what would have been its nominal GDP per capita and population nowadays? And what would have been the GDP per capita of East Slavic Union nowadays, if it would have existed since 1990? Many thanks in advance!

    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ
    , @Shortsword
  63. Mr. XYZ says:
    @Bit Def

    Comparable to Bulgaria or Romania, perhaps?

  64. Mr. XYZ says:
    @AnonFromTN

    What does your plumber think?

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  65. Mr. XYZ says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    And together they turn against the Aryan Vaija of Iran, how surprising (Sarc.)

    Are you suggesting a Western move towards Iran and away from Israel?

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  66. @Europe Europa

    There doesn’t seem to be the same mystique and fascination surrounding Korean culture as Japanese and Chinese culture.

    Probably because there is very little.

  67. @A123

    Didn’t know the DPi were reaching 200 mph. Faster than NASCAR* (w/ less HP) but slower than Indy Car (comparable to NASCAR in HP, except push-to-pass which will be 900 HP this season).

    I’ve never followed NASCAR and didn’t care for the culture. And with the new woke NASCAR I’ll stay disinterested. As the t-shirt at Indy Car races goes, “Too dumb for opera, too smart for NASCAR. Indy Car” Sports car (IMSA) definitely attracts the gear-head culture which I prefer.

    But we are in the waning days of the ICE so unless you’re into Formula-E you’ll be SOL in a decade.

    Btw, I always wondered why car racing hasn’t caught on more in Russia? Seems like the perfect fit. And why hasn’t Russia developed more top drivers (e.g., like even vs. Colombia)? Mikhail Aleshin did ok in Indy Car with a subpar team (SPM) earning two podiums and a pole.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/SMP_Racing

    • Replies: @Matra
    , @Kent Nationalist
    , @A123
  68. songbird says:

    I wonder how many realize that in addition to the looming Tubman $20 in the US, and the already minted “Diversity Built Britain” coin, the UK is about to put a gay man on its highest note.

    Maybe, we should copy Doge and put dogs on currency? I am a fan of the old Irish coins that had animals on them.

    • Agree: mal
    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  69. @Mr. XYZ

    What does your plumber think?

    He does not really think. He can’t find Venezuela (or any other country, including the US) on the map. But he believes American MSM that Guaido is the president of Venezuela. For all his failings, he is a good plumber.

    • Replies: @Jim Christian
  70. @songbird

    put dogs on currency? I am a fan of the old Irish coins that had animals on them.

    That won’t be politically correct. Most dogs aren’t black. What’s more, dogs, like all normal mammals, know that there are only two sexes. There are no homos or trannies among dogs.

    • Replies: @songbird
  71. @Bit Def

    Let’s say competently means about as good as V4 countries. The population would be 10-11 million in Belarus, 50-60 in Ukraine and 150-170 in Russia. GDP PPP per capita would be 25-35k in Belarus and Ukraine and 35-45k in Russia. Nominal fluctuates but it would be between 40% to 80% of PPP.

    • Thanks: AltanBakshi
  72. @Mr. XYZ

    I suggest West takes care of itself and lets all these MENA tribals sort it out themselves. Why should Western moneys and lives be spent on helping anyone among these people?

  73. @Mersaux

    Considering the new mutations, and that the astra zeneca vaccine is bascially useless against the South Africa Variant and other vaccines only have a 50% protection against that. Do you think Corona will stay permanently for years?

    This is a fear as if we don’t have any agency against the virus. As it turns out, even our adaptive immune system does as it fine tunes its response for at least six months, which can anticipate new mutations. But for vaccines, a good thing about these new mRNA and virus vector ones is that they can be quickly adjusted to counter new mutants that escape the V1.0 vaccines against “classic covid.” We can try more sophisticated vaccines, for example maybe not just targeting the spike protein. Since this is a novel virus, as we’re seeing part way with the South African variant it’s likely to mutate a a few time before it hopefully runs out of ways to outfox our immune system.

  74. Dmitry says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    Majority of people who are now called “Israeli Jews” were Arabs or Iranians or Turks, until the 20th century. They were separate from Islamic culture only to the extent they followed Jewish religion. As result of a 20th century Islamic world’s conflict with Zionism, religious distinction was converted artificially into a national one, as Arabs with Jewish religion became refugees to Israel; but it is like if Catholics from Mexico, Ireland and Germany, immigrated to the Vatican, would hardly turn them into Italian natives – they would still be Mexicans and Irish. Average Israeli people resemble the country they arrived from, and mostly Israelis are brown Middle Eastern people from historically Islamic societies.

    However, if you claim that historically European Jews in Israel e.g. German Jews, are similar culturally to Palestinians or Arab Jews or Mountain Jews, that is absurd, as you feel significant cultural differences when you are walking or driving between different areas of Israel, where different races and religions are living. Areas of Israel where Palestinians are living are culturally different from upper class areas where e.g. more descendants of German Jews are living.

    Majority average Israeli Jewish working class people, will be almost identical culturally to secular Arabs, especially in the geographically closer countries like Lebanon. Israeli Jews are mostly like a secularized Arab population.

    Working class Israeli people have the same food, clothes style, music taste, as the working class cousins in Lebanon or probably even the wealthier secular parts of Syria and Egypt. Normal Israeli people and culture are usually looking like this dude: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V8e3NXxWSDI.

    But there is also a smaller bourgeois layer in Israel, which includes more liberal Europeanized cultural influence, and whose culture especially feels influenced by a early 20th century Central Europe.

    For example, we see the popularity of expressionist dance in Israel, popularity of Bauhaus architecture, and romanticization about idealistic communities like Kibbutz.

    E.g. Israel has a lot of modern expressionist dancers, which is a 20th century Central European culture (modernist dance is not historically part of the Middle Eastern world).
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZzXhcNFXwYM.

    Location of this company of expressionist dancers is in Neve Tzedek, very close to Yafo. When you walk between Yafo and Neve Tzedek (which is only a couple hundred metres), you notice a huge cultural difference between Arabs and this type of secular liberal bourgeois Jews. Even Arabs in Yafo are standing in the street in a different way.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  75. Yahya K. says:
    @songbird

    Their smart fraction is pretty low – makes them reliant on imported talent. It is probably a natural susceptibility to globalism, especially where there is money. Maybe, they could try to transition to using Sunni talent?

    Saudi Arabia missed a huge chance over the past few decades to import high IQ Muslims from overseas. Lots of Pakistanis, Egyptians, Syrians, Lebanese would have happily immigrated to Saudi Arabia instead of the West if they had been given a chance. I personally would not have minded if the ethnic balance of Saudi Arabia tilted a bit to non-Arabs like Pakistanis. Mostly because they are already very similar to Saudi Arabs in many ways, both culturally and appearance wise. Lots of Pakistanis can pass as Saudis, and lots of Saudis can pass as Pakistanis:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zaQkXq19HYU&ab_channel=%D8%B9%D9%85%D8%B1%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B9%D9%8A%D8%B3%D9%89OmarAleesal

    Saudi Arabia in many ways is already a multiethnic place with a cosmopolitan atmosphere, mostly because of large number of temporary foreigners residing here, but also because in some areas like Mecca there has been immigration from Turkey, Iran, Yemen, Central Asia and South Asia.

    • Replies: @songbird
  76. songbird says:
    @Yahya K.

    I think there are even solutions that would not lead to the ethnic character of the country being changed: greater Sunni (or even broadly Islamic) cooperation in arms procurement and media production. I think that the larger Sunni countries like Indonesia, Pakistan, Turkey, and Egypt, working together, could certainly support a robust industry of defensive or retaliatory weapons. I don’t know how politically possible it would be, at the moment, but maybe, in the long term, they could even cooperate with Iran, which seems to be capable of producing somewhat sophisticated weapons.

    Or there could be special Sunni international zones, where they wouldn’t necessarily become Saudi citizens but would have certain rights.

    • Replies: @Yahya K.
  77. Dmitry says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    There have been some ways in which Turkey seemed superficially closer to European level, in comparison to other West Asian countries, despite having a third world banana republic leadership with Erdogan.

    For example, “Made in Turkey”, doesn’t inevitably imply that a product will be a complete shit. I have a Arcelik fridge and Indesit washing machine. Such cheap “Made in Turkey” stuff I have, by Turkish companies and designers, seemed to be pretty good for the last few years.

    Of course, we wouldn’t expect that “Made in Turkey” will be as likely to be reliable as “Made in Germany”, or “Made in Japan” or “Made in Sweden”, but the fact is Turks seem to be able to monitor their own production to some extent. Whereas things which “Made in China” are often only acceptable if it carefully monitored by a foreign company like Apple, and even then, aside from Apple products, most products I have that were made in China seem to have been unreliable over years.

    In terms of military equipment, it looks like Turkey are still dependent on American and German imports. But then there is a counterexample of the domestically designed Bayraktar drones which have probably killed more enemy militants than any other combat drones except American ones.

    Soft power? Turkey dominates the world telenovela market, and there are one or two of internationally famous writers like Orhan Pamuk that could have been at a European level. But overall Turkey’s cultural production doesn’t seem to have much influence in Western countries.

    • Agree: Bashibuzuk
  78. @Dmitry

    In the Nurture vs Nature debate, I like to look both on cultural aspects (Nurture) and genetics (Nature). You have described the cultural aspect, let’s have a look at the genetics.

    Jews have certian genetic traits:

    https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2019/jun/12/what-does-it-mean-to-be-genetically-jewish

    Male Jews mainly belong to the following Y haplogroups:

    Y haplogroup J1:

    Y haplogroup J2:

    Y haplogroup E1b

    Only haplogroup J1 is the true Kohanim haplogroup. It is shared with Arabs from Saudi Arabia and Gulf states.

    J2 is the Levantine haplogroup.

    E1b is the Afro-Asiatic and Mediterranean modal haplogroup.

    In this region E1b1 goes as far back as the neolithic Natufian Culture, they were the first sedentary people in this geographical area. Then came J2 Anatolian agriculturalists and finally came the (proto) Jewish Semitic nomads from the Northern Arabia that brought the J1 Y haplogroup with them.

    The Egyptians called these primitive nomads the Shasu.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shasu

    It’s among these Shasu that the cult of YHWH originated, as Laurent Guyenot wrote possibly among the Kenites (descendants of Cain) and the Rehabites; Bronze Age (proto) Arabic Bedouin from Northern Arabia, where Mount Horeb (an ancient volcano called today Jebel Maqla) is located.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jabal_Maqla

    https://jabalmaqla.com/mount-sinai-jabal-al-lawz-jabal-maqla/

    Basically, the first Abrahamic people were an offshoot of the Midianite. It is possibly for that reason that the mythological ancestor of Arabs, Ishmael is named as the first born son of Abraham in the Biblical myth, while Isaac is named as the ancestor of the specifically Jewish people. Both of them would have been Y haplogroup J1

    Our recent study of high-resolution microsatellite haplotypes demonstrated that a substantial portion of Y chromosomes of Jews (70%) and of Palestinian Muslim Arabs (82%) belonged to the same chromosome pool.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetic_studies_on_Jews

    Therefore you are correct, MENA people and Israeli Jews are very close, not only culturally but also genetically. And they are very far removed from both Western European and Eastern European peoples.

    That’s why I write that Jews and Arabs are family and should get along very well. In fact they mostly had excellent relationships for the most part of their history. That is, before the European born Ashkenazim nationalists created Israel.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  79. Yahya K. says:
    @songbird

    I think there are even solutions that would not lead to the ethnic character of the country being changed: greater Sunni (or even broadly Islamic) cooperation in arms procurement and media production.

    I would like to see more co-operation in the economic sphere – things like free trade and a unitary regulatory code and such. Co-operation in the military sphere is out of the picture, since most Islamic countries do not see eye-to-eye. Even majority Sunni countries like Saudi Arabia and Turkey are suspicious of each other and back opposing forces during civil wars. At any rate I don’t see much need for defense co-operation (outside of maybe small anti-terrorism ops), since really most Islamic countries do not face threats from the outside. If there are threats, its usually from other Islamic countries (i.e Iraq vs Kuwait, Saudi Arabia vs Qatar, Saudi Arabia vs Iran etc.) or from Islamists within, who are largely backed by other Muslim powers.

    • Replies: @songbird
  80. @The Spirit of Enoch Powell

    Very pleasurable pic, nice to see RF losing de facto monopoly of “peacekeeping” in CIS area.

  81. songbird says:
    @AnonFromTN

    Probably what would be politically incorrect would be the old Irish half-penny coin, with its subtle natalist image of a sow with her piglets. No doubt, today it would be classified as anti-Semitic too.

    As to dogs, one hears a lot of gabble about black dogs being unpopular, but I think the most politically correct dogs would be pit bulls, due to their vicious nature and habit of mauling people.

    There are no homos or trannies among dogs.

    True, but they do unfortunately often engage in aberrant dominance behaviors. And to prevent them, people are encouraged to mutilate them. Though, honestly, I am quite a fan of dogs.

    BTW, I wonder whether they will sometime in the future break the greenback with color signaling, in order to put brown skins on the bills. Perhaps, in the future, they will produce a bill where a blind person can feel the frizziness of Tubman’s hair.

  82. @songbird

    I think the most politically correct dogs would be pit bulls, due to their vicious nature and habit of mauling people.

    You mean, BLM-like?

    • Agree: songbird
  83. songbird says:
    @Yahya K.

    At any rate I don’t see much need for defense co-operation

    I think indigenous arms production would help sideline the lobbying influence of the US and maybe have crossover industrial or economic effects. But maybe that is unnecessary and could just buy from Russia and China.

    I also think that there is constant lobbying of the US to intervene in Muslim countries. I don’t know how much of an issue it is in the Gulf – the only country obviously not on the same page seems to be Iran and it is so big that rational people are dissuaded from action, but I think there are still a lot of neocons who would bomb the heck out of it, if they weren’t held in check. Part of being held in check, IMO, is Iran’s missile and drone systems.

    Do you think that this culture of suspicion in the Muslim world will ever change? I’ve been wondering what will happen as TFR hits below replacement – maybe that would create less inter-ethnic conflict and lead to more cooperation, like the EU? Or are the suspicions regime-led?

    • Replies: @Blinky Bill
  84. Matra says:
    @Charles Ryder

    Btw, I always wondered why car racing hasn’t caught on more in Russia? Seems like the perfect fit. And why hasn’t Russia developed more top drivers (e.g., like even vs. Colombia)?

    Russia’s had an F1 race (a crappy one, universally disliked by fans in Sochi) for quite a few years along with three or four drivers in total over the last decade – one will be debuting for Haas this season. Those drivers had sponsorship money behind them but IIRC did quite well in the feeder series and in the case of Kvyat decently enough in F1, so it must have some popularity in Russia. The Colombian, Juan Montoya, was likely a one-off from that country.

  85. @songbird

    I think indigenous arms production would help sideline the lobbying influence of the US and maybe have crossover industrial or economic effects.

  86. songbird says:
    @Blinky Bill

    “Offer?” LOL – that sounds tentative. But, maybe, it was true back then?

    I may be overestimating the direct political influence of the US on the Middle East. But some of these arm sales really seem like bribes. Maybe, the mistake is to think of it on the level of state policy and not personal relationships?

    Though, honestly, my suspicion is that most Muslims are apathetic about Palestinians. Or, at least, on the level of leadership, that is what seems to show. I suppose it is easy to misinterpret this as US lobbying. And yet, I wonder how Egyptian relations would be without US influence. And if Egypt hadn’t turned, I am not sure that the others would have.

  87. @Blinky Bill

    The Sackler family is at it again.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  88. @Charles Ryder

    Probably the comment I would have least expected from someone who chose that alias

  89. Dmitry says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    One of the main things I like about Israel, is its mix of multiracial afroasiatic peasant population, with aspects of European civilization – for example, an English style of legal system, or a philharmonic orchestra, which is more surreal when you think about the region you are in.

    I like Israel’s multiracialism and peasant culture, but on the other hand, dislike its multiculturalism, which has seemed to increase since the 1980s.

    If you just walk a couple kilometres from the Arab population in Southern Yafo, across to poor Mizrahi Jews and Sudanese population of Southern Tel Aviv, to secular bourgeois European Northern Tel Aviv, and then walk to Haredi Jewish cult city of Bnei Brak. You can cross not just some different centuries and religions, but also an uncomfortable mess of divergent nationalities, partly at war with each other. Somehow there is still a working country in Israel (unlike Lebanon), but there is something unstable about it.

    In fact they mostly had excellent relationships for the most part of their history. That is, before the European born Ashkenazim nationalists created Israel.

    Palestinians are often criticizing the Mizrahi/Sephardic Jews as self-hating Arabs.

    For example in this Palestinian rapper’s song, where he laughs that the Sephardic Jews for self-hatred:

    But at 3:50 in the music video, he shows the brown Arab Jews and Palestinian want to dance on the beach, while secular white people are exercising productively.

    There is another side of colonialism: sometimes Europeanized, post-Enlightenment people, are also more productive and responsible.

    Romantics like T.E. Lawrence might idealize Arab effendi culture, but it’s another question for normal workers what kind of country you want to live in. Asian countries have seemed more functional for ordinary citizens, when there were partly European originated elites and legal systems installed, and Israel benefits from having some aspects of that.

    In terms of the Mizrahi/Sephardic Jews, I don’t think it’s exactly true they are Arabs today, that they might have been until the 20th century. They are more culturally “half-Arabs”, and in terms of the North African Arab Jews from countries like Algeria and Morocco – some of them had already assimilated some aspects of a French colonial culture in the 19th century.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  90. A123 says:
    @Charles Ryder

    Didn’t know the DPi were reaching 200 mph. Faster than NASCAR* (w/ less HP) but slower than Indy Car (comparable to NASCAR in HP, except push-to-pass which will be 900 HP this season).

    The speed difference is mostly explained by one thing. IMSA DPi cars are almost exactly 2,000 lbs without fuel or driver. NASCAR Cup cars are ~3,200 lbs.

    The only closed cockpit series faster than DPi are — FIA WEC P1 and Japan’s Super GT500. German DTM may also be close.

    But we are in the waning days of the ICE so unless you’re into Formula-E you’ll be SOL in a decade.

    Toxic Solar Death Cells and Endangered Species Bird Choppers are technology dead ends that guarantee that ICE cars, including hybrids, will be popular for at least another 100+ years. Hydrocarbon based electricity replacement requires nuclear power, most likely LFTR or PRISM.

    PEACE 😇

  91. songbird says:

    I suppose it is just incident, but the story of Kon-tiki might signify that Europeans have some special lust for adventure and that it was more than technology which made the Age of Discovery possible.

    On the other hand, maybe it was just people trying to escape modern life, which was the West at that time.

    • Replies: @Coconuts
  92. @Another German Reader

    Kurds are numerous but weak. The Greek minority didnt stop Ottomans from rising

  93. Chucky says:

    Did Yuri Milner sever all ties to Russia? He doesn’t invest there anymore, and became an Israeli citizen.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  94. Dmitry says:

    If anyone is still talking about coronavirus? In Russia, we might be seeing one of the first countries which has something like a beginning of “herd immunity”.

    In Russia management of the second wave of the pandemic was a disaster in the autumn, and inferring from excess deaths there have been some journalists estimating that over 50% of the population has been infected by now*, which if it provides lasting immunity would allow therefore for virus spread to fall with Rt of the virus up to 2.

    So now the epidemic can possibly be fading despite the reduction of lockdown, due to half of the public having immunity. (Although another alternative explanation could be low temperatures causing the currently fading epidemic.)

    The incidence detected continues to fall.

    * That claim is inferring from excess deaths and is posted by Meduza website.
    https://meduza.io/feature/2021/02/10/teper-pochti-ofitsialno-rossiya-na-pervom-meste-po-chislu-zhertv-koronavirusa-na-dushu-naseleniya-eto-rezultat-deystviy-vlastey-letom-2020-goda

  95. Dmitry says:
    @Chucky

    Nowadays he is often “making it rain” on a lot of boring fintech in London, not on Russian websites.

    He recently throws money in with Chinese livetutoring app Yuanfudao, and he seems to often invest on food delivery startups or scaleups.

    https://index.co/company/dst-global/investments

  96. @Dmitry

    Similar thing happened in most of Eastern Europe. Eastern Europe avoided the first wave but instead took a much harder hit than Western Europe from the second wave.

    Russia started having excess deaths first in May but it wasn’t that bad until October. There still was a decent number of excess deaths in January but down from November and December. Most of Eastern Europe basically didn’t have any excess deaths at all until October so Russia stands out a bit in this regard.

    https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/coronavirus-excess-deaths-tracker

  97. Passer by says:
    @Dmitry

    Economically it appears to be a win (for those still living), but it is a high casualty win, which may still have its negative effects in the future. For those who didn’t make it, and their loved ones, it wasn’t a win.

    UK economic drop 2020
    -10 %
    EU economic drop
    -7 %
    Russia economic drop
    – 3.1 %

    Moment to reach 2019 Q4 economic level:
    UK beginning of 2023
    EU beginning of 2023
    Russia Autumn 2021

    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
    , @Dmitry
  98. @Belarusian Dude

    I find it odd that ‘Belarusian Dude’ refuses to talk about situation in his country. I certainly hope that Kremlin will stop subsidizing this shit.

  99. @Passer by

    In economic terms it’s just a WIN. People who died were overwhelmingly old and sickly, meaning less burden on Russia’s pension and (state-funded) healthcare system.

  100. Dmitry says:
    @Passer by

    It’s “Swedish strategy”, with its benefits and costs.

    It’s possible that if there were estimates that already more than half of the population could have developed immunity, that might be explanation why there had been allowance to send almost a million domestically produced vaccines to Argentina before the end of January,

  101. SafeNow says:
    @Dmitry

    Here in the U.S., the most prevalent Covid comorbidities are hypertension, diabetes, and obesity. The first two are highly treatable. But to treat these, we would need clinics that are ubiquitous, free, competent, and friendly. Competent and friendly would be unachievable in the US. Obesity is intractable in the US. In sum, these comorbidities are here to stay. I have long advocated the ventilation approach. My smart Asian-American (redundancy) oral surgeon installed an air exchanger. $1,000. Feasible for a medical office, restaurant, and many other locations.

  102. SIMP simp says:
    @A123

    The political director of AFL-CIO was the nexus of leftist actions during 2020, from the mass protests to handling mail voting. All bureaucracies, public and private, eventually become woke, because wokeness is the ideology of bureaucrats.

  103. Coconuts says:
    @songbird

    Studies undertaken during the Third Reich period in Germany showed that the dog was the natural pet of European man, given its more collectivist and heroic nature. Cats on the other hand were considered to be more Oriental or Jewish in mentality and less suitable as pets.

    • Replies: @128
    , @Morton's toes
  104. Coconuts says:
    @songbird

    I think pursuit of military superiority over the Muslims in the constant fighting that was going on in the Mediterranean was another motivation, as well as spiritual merit by expanding Christendom and pursuit of glory by great and chivalrous deeds.

    The Portuguese used to have a line written on one of the most common denomination notes when they still had their old currency the Escudo from one of Fernando Pessoa’s poems about D. Henrique and the discovery era; God wills, man dreams, the work is born.

    • Replies: @Coconuts
  105. Coconuts says:
    @Coconuts

    I guess in the period after WW2 probably the motivation for things like Kon-Tiki was more ‘glory’, great and impressive deeds.

    • Replies: @songbird
  106. ਬਾਤਨਫ਼ਕੀਰੀਜ਼ਾਹਰਅਮੀਰੀ।
    ਸ਼ਸਤ੍ਗਰੀਬਕੀਰਖਿਆਜਰਵਾਣੇਕੀਭਖਿਆ।।

    Batan Faqiri, Zahir Amiri
    Shastar Gareeb Ki Rakhiya, Jarwaney Ki Bakhiya

    Internally a Hermit, Externally a Prince
    Weapons are for Protection of the Poor
    and
    Destruction of the Tyrant.

    Sixth Guru, Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji

  107. @songbird

    the old Irish half-penny coin, with its subtle natalist image of a sow with her piglets. No doubt, today it would be classified as anti-Semitic too

    And Islamophobic, to boot.

    • Replies: @songbird
  108. @songbird

    sometime in the future break the greenback with color signaling

    It just occurred to me that it might lose its dominance due to simply removing Ben Franklin from the $100 bill. It has been a symbol of wealth and finance and American economic power to me since childhood, replacing it with something else (like a banknote with some black inventor or a strong black woman on it) would somehow change that image.

  109. @Blinky Bill

    The Israelis have also tried to produce as many of their own weapons as possible.

    • Agree: Blinky Bill
    • Replies: @128
  110. 128 says:
    @Coconuts

    So why were German tanks named after Jewish cats?

  111. @Dmitry

    Only 30% of Israelis are Ashkenazim. The Mizrahim and Sefaradim are genetically MENA people. They are also psychologically and culturally very close to the Mediterranean populations. Not just Arabs, but also the Berber and the Levantine.

    The French Sephardic Right Wing Jewish intellectual Eric Zemmour has a Berber last name, not an Arabic one. Jews lived in the Maghreb long before the Arab conquest. OTOH the Arabic name of Maimonides was Abū ʿImrān Mūsā bin Maimūn bin ʿUbaidallāh al-Qurtabī.

    But they are not Arabs. When you look at Jewish genetics you find that they absolutely genetically speaking belong in the MENA. It’s their place and their home, that’s where they should assemble and live.

    In the video above Israeli Jews play Andalusian inspired Algerian popular music (Cha’abi), a music that any Algérois would recognize and appreciate. The music that has been imported to the Maghreb adter the Reconquista by the fleeing Andalusian Muslims and Jews.

    The problem between Arabs and Israel is the consequence of bad policies promoted by the Ashkenazim Mankurts who have been thoroughly brainwashed and denaturated by the Haskalah, the so-called Jewish Enlightenment, and who ended up cut from their ethnic roots and from their Afro-Asiatic Semitic family. Some of these people are not really ethnically speaking Jewish, just like the Ethiopian Falasha are not ethnically Jewish. The Ashkenazim were certainly Jewish religiously, but since the Haskalah, the Napoleonian Codex and Russian revolution they have progressively become more European-minded. Just like British educated Indian elites were British-minded.

    You are right, this is a consequence of European colonial mentality, either in Europe or French Northern Africa. But as generations go by, the Western influences will fade and Israeli will return to their roots.

    https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2000/10/jews-and-arabs-share-recent-ancestry

    https://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-mazzig-mizrahi-jews-israel-20190520-story.html

    And for those Isreali Ashkenazim who can’t help but to “think White” and have the “feels” for all things European, perhaps they could go and settle in Ukraine as suggested by Gary Ber-Kut in his ironic videos. There is enough room for them there and they already have political power and wealth. They could recreate their traditonal shtetls and face the traditonal pogroms which had been a staple of the history of the European Jewry.

    Yuval Ben Ami wrote about it 10 years ago:

    https://www.972mag.com/are-israelis-middle-eastern/

    Bottom line, Israelis learn some Arabic (easy for anyone speaking Hebrew), rediscover their Afro-Asiatic Semitic roots and they will become part of the elites of that region. A day might come when Israel will have a seat in the Arab league.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    , @songbird
    , @Mikel
  112. 128 says:
    @reiner Tor

    Lavi would like to object. And it still can not make its own corvettes and subs.

    • Replies: @Blinky Bill
    , @reiner Tor
  113. @128

    The Israelis couldn’t even complete the project by themselves! All they could do was produce 3 rudimentary prototypes, with all American components. The Chinese had to step in and complete all the most sophisticated parts of the project for them. It cost the Chinese billions and the ungrateful sods at זְרוֹעַ הָאֲוִיר וְהֶחָלָל didn’t even have the decency to acquire a few dozen of these superb Fighter Aircraft from Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group.

    [MORE]


    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
  114. @Blinky Bill

    Israeli J-20s would be powerful

    • Agree: Blinky Bill
    • Replies: @Blinky Bill
  115. @Coconuts

    Does anybody know if Stalin was a dog person or a cat person?

    By far the best videos of Hitler are him playing with the dog.

    Mao?

  116. @Daniel Chieh

    Israeli J-20s would be powerful

    I always wondered what the J stood for.

    😇😉

    [MORE]








    • LOL: Shortsword
    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  117. @Blinky Bill

    The Israeli jet fighter should be named JW 7-40.

    🙂

    • Agree: Blinky Bill
    • Replies: @Blinky Bill
  118. Apparently Hungary is now administering the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine, that’ll confuse Western conservatives who hate China but idolise Orban.

    • Replies: @Passer by
  119. Coconuts says:
    @128

    The theorist who wrote about appropriate pets was maybe too low status to be listened to by the Wehrmacht.

    The British were ahead of the Germans in being able to name at least some of their AFVs after dogs; Whippet, Mastiff.

  120. Coconuts says:
    @Morton's toes

    I don’t know any specifics but Mao comes across as a dog man to me. Stalin I find harder to say.

    He is a lower level dictator but Lukashenko has a light coloured poodle and apparently some ostriches as well.

    • Replies: @AP
  121. @Mikhail

    Isn’t it obvious from the background? If I’m not mistaken, that’s a seasonal makeshift rink. Manhattan’s Bryant Park (in back of the main NY Public Library on 42nd Street) has a similar setup.

    Excuse me, Mr. New York City elitist, no, it is NOT obvious. Ya know why? Because there are Christmas artworks on the outside of the rink’s walls, which is NEVER seen in New York City because you Jewish liberal freaks have destroyed Christmas in this country. Bet that scene was 40 years ago.

    Isn’t it obvious, Mikail asks. No, it isn’t obvious. People skating without New York City blacks sprayin’ and prayin’ their guns at the awful White people enjoying nice things is not obvious. More obvious would have been travon and deshika shooting White people skating and the New York Times celebrating the further degradation of White culture, Freidman and Dowd enjoying the destruction from Central Park to subway knifings and pushovers into the tracks when a train is coming. Because that’s today’s Democrats and press, especially New York and their citizens have created. The KKK of black animals. More like late-stage South Africa than Christmas, kill off the whites. Obvious. Only that you are clueless about your own people, Mikail.

    Isn’t it obvious?

  122. @Daniel Chieh

    Innovation is not showing any signs of slowing down. If anything, the 2010s marked an upsurge in a number of areas with momentum increasing into the 2020s. Everyone knows about AI but quantum computing has been an underdiscussed area. I don’t think most people understand just how rapidly progress is coming along.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bp7UFdtwdTw

    By my count, there are at least five approaches to quantum computing, of which one is dedicated to using existing silicone rather than trapping ions etc at ultra-low temperatures. John Martinis of Google recently joined a start-up Australia dedicated to that approach. It’s an incredibly exciting and exhilarating time to be alive. Gene editing is the last major area I’m paying attention to, but you already covered a lot of ground in your comment.

    It’s understandable that NRx midwits feel the need to universalise their own country’s hopeless stagnation to the rest of the world, but any such attempts should be rejected. As the saying goes: the future’s already here, it’s just unevenly distributed.

    • Agree: Daniel Chieh, mal
    • Disagree: EldnahYm
    • Thanks: Blinky Bill
  123. songbird says:
    @128

    I was once trying to explain what “tank” meant to a German girl, and my first approach, to name German tanks, probably only confused her more.

  124. @Thulean Friend

    Everyone knows about AI but quantum computing has been an underdiscussed area.

    LOL. Quantum computing is not underdiscussed in fields where it is relevant. AI is simply much broader.

  125. songbird says:
    @reiner Tor

    And, meanwhile, the Irish five pence coin had a bull on it – I wonder what Indians would make of that…

    Putting blacks on bills, might cause a “white flight” from paper money. And possibly that might be the idea, to do away with physical currency. But, anyway, I bet that there be in upsurge in crypto, once the Tubman bill gets released.

  126. @Thulean Friend

    Innovation is not showing any signs of slowing down.

    My two cents: 2020 was a year of linguistic innovation, too. Spanish acquired a new word “gretinos”, whereas English acquired a new word “covidiots”.

  127. songbird says:
    @Coconuts

    God wills, man dreams, the work is born

    Good quote.

    The two world wars came pretty close together, but interestingly, Heyerdahl wasn’t the first to attempt one of these crazy voyages (though arguably you can’t get much crazier than a raft.) In 1937, a Frenchman, Éric de Bisschop recreated a Polynesia sailboat and sailed from Honolulu to Capetown. Not sure, if there was anyone before him.

    One group even attempted to recreate the fabled Phoenician circumnavigation of Africa and was successful.

  128. MOSCOW, February 16. / TASS /. About 24% of all deaths in Russia are among citizens of working age, and 80% of them are men. Every fifth death in Russia is the death of a man of working age, Sergei Rybalchenko, chairman of the Commission of the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation, said on Tuesday.

    “24% of all deaths in Russia are of working age, that is, this mortality can be prevented. 80% of these deaths are men, every 5th death in Russia is men of working age, that is, it is someone’s father, husband, son , which ensures the well-being of not only the family, but also the country, and according to this indicator we are at the level of the belligerent Syria. This is a terrible situation for us, and it needs to be corrected, “he said at the online seminar” Public Health Navigator: Community Projects on reduction of premature mortality of the population of working age “.

    [MORE]

    Rybalchenko noted that if Russia maintains the current birth and death rates, then by 2030 the natural decline – the difference between births and deaths – will be more than 5.5 million people. “This is about 30% of all losses of the USSR in the Great Patriotic War or the loss of such a region as the Moscow region,” Rybalchenko added.

    The expert emphasized that it is impossible to reverse the mortality situation only with the help of medicine. “We cannot cure everyone who is actually on the verge between life and death. We must prevent the causes that lead to this death,” he said.

    Earlier, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova reported that mortality in Russia increased by 17.9% in 2020. According to Rosstat, the country’s population decreased in 2020 by 0.5 million people to 145.2 million.The last time such a decrease in the number of plants was recorded 15 years ago

    https://tass.ru/obschestvo/10709821

    The average Russian monthly salary is around 29 000 Rub or less than 400 USD.

    https://visasam.ru/russia/rabotavrf/zarplaty-v-rossii.html

    “A Big Mac costs 68% less in Russia ($1.81) than in the United States ($5.66) at market exchange rates,”

    https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2021/01/13/russian-ruble-is-worlds-most-undervalued-currency-on-big-mac-index-a72597

    The Russian government has repeatedly stated that the fall of the Rub compared to the other currencies is not a problem. Perhaps it is not a problem for the government, but it clearly is a problem for the demographic prospects of the RusFed.

    • Replies: @Shortsword
    , @Passer by
  129. A123 says:

    Why is the illegitimate Biden/Harris regime trying to tank the economy?

    Intentionally raising gasoline prices is a bone headed maneuver that hurts people on low and fixed incomes the most.

    PEACE 😇

  130. @Bashibuzuk

    Is that after taxes or something? Average salary is 47k rubles. Life expectancy is rising fast (not taking the pandemic into account) so there’s not too much to complain about in that regard.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  131. Dmitry says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    problem between Arabs and Israel is the consequence of bad policies promoted by the Ashkenazim

    Ashkenazim in Israel on average are often liberal peaceniks, while Mizrachi/Sephardic Jews are usually more Islamophobic nationality in Israel, and base of right-wing parties. Similarly, Druze in Israel are voting for the right-wing parties. And Russian-speakers are also politically partly orientated against the native Ashkenazim, and created a new base for right-wing secular parties.

    There is a view that European colonialism is the cause of disharmony in Middle East, but the idea there is some natural harmony between brown people – seems rather of a romantic mythology.

    Armenians and Azerbaijanis seem almost identical to external observers, and they have no problem killing each other. Similarly Kurds and Turks, Druze and Arabs, or Maronites and Muslims.

    Appearance of 20th century unity in the Arab world was perhaps more a result of very strict rulers, quietly behaving minorities, and a low population density, than of any natural interethnic harmony among Arab nationalities.

    When the Middle Eastern minorities like Arab Jews have had an experience living as a majority religion, they won’t necessarily quietly return to their former status. Maronites in Lebanon were also politically militant during the 1970ies/80ies in response to becoming a minority, and Alawites in Syria are a core of Baath Party, that enforces minority rights and secularism. Even the secular Baath regime in Iraq, was partly a self-defense strategy of a Sunni minority, fearing the retribution of a Shia majority.

    Ashkenazim Mankurts who have been thoroughly brainwashed and denaturated by the Haskalah, the so-called Jewish Enlightenment, and who ended up cut from their ethnic roots

    Secularizing Jews’ culture also reacted against each other according to socioeconomic class.

    There had been in 20th century a very working class primitive Yiddish/Odessa culture, which continued with the majority Jewish lower class. On the other hand, there was also developing in the 19th century, a new kind of minority middle class Enlightened Jews that worshipped Goethe, Heine and Beethoven.

    Israel was perhaps mainly set up by the primitivist uncultured working class Yiddish people like Ben Gurion. But they also received a significant number of immigrants with high cultural level, especially in the 1930s.

    Perhaps, the immigration to Israel of such kind of German Jews in the 1930s, is partly why Israel has various aspects of a developed country today, like a sophisticated and functioning legal and political system, and modern universities – despite that Israel has mostly third world demographics today. Israel also benefited from aspects of English colonial rule, inheriting an English legal system from the Mandate for Palestine.

    European colonial mentality, either in Europe or French Northern Africa. But as generations go by, the Western influences will fade and Israeli will return to their roots.

    In the 1950s, Israel’s population doubled with immigration of Arab Jews, and then in 1990s it was flooded with Russian-speaking gopniks. Israel has been filtering for low class immigration since 1948.

    Middle class Arab Jews immigrated to France, Canada and USA, while the working class Arab Jews could only go to Israel. Similarly, in 1990s-2000s, middle class Russian-speaking Jews immigrated to Germany, Canada and USA, while the working class Russian Jews were filtered to Israel.

    My last visit in Israel in 2018, and in the first day I had to wait for my friend for an afternoon in Bat Yam mall. I was sitting on the McDonald’s tables for hours, and the sense was that all the loudest peasants of the Middle East, Africa and postsoviet space, had been brought by Zionism into a single point – at Bat Yam mall.

    Searching for this mall YouTube, I was able to find this table at 2:00 in the video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=INa6u-jHMdo.
    , and here is exactly the kind of guys I’m talking about.

    Isreali Ashkenazim who can’t help but to “think White” and have the “feels” for all things European, perhaps they could go and settle in Ukraine

    Ashkenazi upper class in Israel are too “enlightened” for Russia or Ukraine. They have a kind of Kibbutz, pseudo-peasant, liberal colonial clique. They need to live in the Middle East, as a large part of their culture is virtue-signalling about how enlightened they are, using liberal policies towards Arabs as a kind of class war against the Mizrachi Jews, religious Jews, and Russian-speakers.

    In my opinion, though, there a lot of admirable cultural aspects of the Ashkenazi elite in Israel. For example, the millionaire Israelis, are mostly driving modest or old cars, as they have some ideals that it was supposed to be an egalitarian country. YouTuber was explaining this topic well https://youtu.be/hrt6-Cf9R5o?t=420.

    They also reversed the normal order, so the collective farmers/peasants are the most elite social class in Israel. I.e. the most socially prestigious background for Israeli people, is to be raised on a collective farm. Similarly, other refreshingly reversed cultural ideals in Israel – e.g. the more shabby your clothing style (especially wearing pajamas to the office), the more elite you might be.

    • Thanks: Bashibuzuk
  132. songbird says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    Another option might be to give (or sell?) NYC to Jews.

    I consider it lost to white gentiles, anyway, and I like the idea of Jews living in the multicultural environment which they regularly say they want to inhabit. I mean, isn’t it more diverse than the Middle East? And most of the Muslims there would be newcomers, compared to the Jews.

    Though, I’m not sure that I’d be comfortable with them keeping their nuclear weapons.

    • Agree: Bashibuzuk, Not Raul
  133. @Shortsword

    In 2021, the average salary of a doctor in Russia was 25 thousand rubles. In Moscow and the Moscow region, a doctor’s salary ranges from 35 thousand to 45 thousand rubles. Nursing salaries in Russia have increased by 15% this year. The salary of a nurse in 2021 in more developed regions is 15 thousand rubles, in provincial regions the salary of a nurse does not exceed 8 thousand – 10 thousand rubles

    .

    Source: https://visasam.ru/russia/rabotavrf/zarplaty-v-rossii.html

    That’s for MDs and nurses, hardly the lowest salaries overall.

    So I am wondering: where did you find an average 47K Rub salary? Is it the average between Moscow and Piter ? 🙂

    Regarding demographics: projected Russian population in 2050 and 2100.

    https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2019/06/18/un-predicts-russias-population-could-halve-2100-a66035

    These were the projected numbers before the beginning of the coronavirus pandemics. They correlate well with the official numbers of excess deaths that I have posted in my comment above.

    • Replies: @Shortsword
  134. @Dmitry

    Ashkenazim in Israel on average are often liberal peaceniks, while Mizrachi/Sephardic Jews are usually more Islamophobic nationality in Israel, and base of right-wing parties. Similarly, Druze in Israel are voting for the right-wing parties. And Russian-speakers are also politically partly orientated against the native Ashkenazim, and created a new base for right-wing secular parties.

    Do you have any numbers on this?

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  135. @Bashibuzuk

    There’s also this projection.

    The UN’s “optimistic” forecast said that Russia’s population could also increase to 147.2 million by 2050.

    Probably a better forecast than the pessimistic one anyway. The optimistic forecasts have turned out more correct than the pessimistic ones for the last two decades anyway.

    Source on salaries: https://www.tadviser.ru/index.php/%D0%A1%D1%82%D0%B0%D1%82%D1%8C%D1%8F:%D0%97%D0%B0%D1%80%D0%BF%D0%BB%D0%B0%D1%82%D1%8B_%D0%B2_%D0%A0%D0%BE%D1%81%D1%81%D0%B8%D0%B8

    Probably a better source than a site that earns money trying to get people to buy Romanian Visas.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  136. @Dmitry

    And yet, the Arabic culture comes so naturally to the Israeli Jews. As the French saying goes: chassez le naturel, il retourne au galop

    Young Israeli musicians playing an Algerian Cha’abi song.

    Young Israeli musicians playing Maghrebi music.

    And when you remove the politics they usually get along perfectly well.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-42071018

    That’s because they are family…

    🙂

    • Replies: @silviosilver
    , @Dmitry
  137. @Shortsword

    Investigators of the regional department of the Investigative Committee of Russia work at the Novosibirsk Institute of Cytology and Genetics of the SB RAS. In parallel, the research institutes and the governing structures of the Academgorodok are checked by the commission of the Ministry of Education and Science. This commotion arose after senior researcher of the institute Anastasia Proskurina at a meeting of the presidential Council on Science and Education said that, despite Vladimir Putin’s decree on bringing scientists’ salaries to 200% of the regional average, she, working full-time, receives 25 thousand rubles, and with allowances – 32 thousand rubles.

    That’s a senior scientist we are talking about here. 🙂

    https://www.newsru.com/amp/russia/12feb2021/proskurina.html

    This senior scientist is according to your site earning less than the average Russian salary.

    Maybe your site gives a somewhat rosy picture of Russian salaries …

    Or perhaps this fine lady is also peddling Romanian visas?

    You see this lady and her colleagues pexplained the trick: the administration announces a salary compatible with the governmental demands made by Putin in his “May decrees”, then they sign you a part-time contract and make you work full-time earning half the announced salary.

    Simple and effective.

    🙂

    • Replies: @Shortsword
  138. songbird says:

    It would be interesting to contrast what Hollywood celebs say on Twitter vs. what the celebs of China, India, and Japan say on their own platforms, and how it ties to state policies.

  139. @Bashibuzuk

    Wow, the opinion articles on newsru is some real cancer.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  140. Passer by says:
    @Europe Europa

    Orban is smarter than ignorant western rightoids, he is way ahead of the curve, he understands that only multipolarity and the rise of the non-western world (which is much more traditional) can stop the Liberal World Order (LWO) from taking over the world.

    Multipolarity is by nature anti-globalist and anti-universalist.

  141. Passer by says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    The average Russian monthly salary is around 29 000 Rub or less than 400 USD.

    The vast majority of sources point to average salary in Russia being around 40 000 – 45 000 Rub. Dozens of sources.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  142. @Shortsword

    Well unfortunately it’s not just an opinion. The average salaries in Russia are rising on paper, but they are hardly rising compared to the fall of the ruble to other currencies.

    People in Russia were really getting wealthier from 2000 to 2008 when there was the crash, but it went better again until perhaps 2012. Starting from 2012 (before the whole Ukrainian psychodrame) a stagnation started to appear. And since 2014 the sanctions didn’t make things any easier.

    Now people are actually getting poorer. Therefore the officially acknowledged population decrease, that I have mentioned in my first comment, is quite normal. Even during better years, Russian families did not have more than 2 children on average. Now that the times are tough they will have even fewer children.

    The poverty level in families with children in Russia is almost twice the national average.

    At the end of 2018, 22.9% of Russian citizens under the age of 18 lived below the subsistence level, RBC reports, citing a study by Rosstat.

    Despite the fact that the agency estimates the average poverty level in Russia at 12.6%, or 18.4 million people, in certain categories of families the share of children growing up in poverty is several times higher.

    According to statistics, which are published in the Russian Federation with a two-year delay (that is, data for 2018 is available in 2020), 34.3% of young families with children have incomes below the subsistence level.

    In large families, almost every second child (49.4%) is beyond the “line”. There are also high rates in single-parent families (27.8%) and families with disabled people (27.3%). A unique feature of Russia, not typical for other countries, is that working people and families with children fall into the poverty risk group, says Tatyana Maleva, director of the Institute for Social Analysis and Forecasting, RANEPA.

    These two groups overlap by 40-50%, and the main reason for child poverty is the low income of parents, which does not cover the needs of the family, she explains.

    https://www.finanz.ru/novosti/aktsii/rossiya-dostigla-unikalnoy-bednosti-1029465383

    BTW according to the official Vedomosti newspaper the median salary in Russia in 2018 was around 15K Rub per month.

    https://www.vedomosti.ru/opinion/articles/2019/12/26/819738-viglyadit-glubokaya

    That’s very far from your 47K Rub per month average salary.

    We both know that the economic situation in Russia today is not much better than it was in 2018, don’t we?

    🙂

    • Replies: @Shortsword
    , @mal
  143. Passer by says:
    @Thulean Friend

    GDP growth rates are on a long term decline, on a path to per capita stagnation.

    Currently the estimates are about around 1 % world growth rate by 2100 and 0,5 % growth rate for developed countries by 2100.

    GDP growth will be good only in Africa, by the end of the century (best demographics plus lots of catch up effects and flynn effects in play there).

    • Replies: @mal
  144. @Passer by

    You know what a Potemkin village is?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potemkin_village

    Putin ordered a major salary increase in his 2018 “May decrees”. In part it was to balance the fall of the Russian currency.

    http://kremlin.ru/events/president/news/57425

    Now they are manipulating data to get there.

    In the article I cited above a senior scientist from Novosibirsk personally complained to Putin about a half-time salary being paid for a full time job. This is due to public research institutes hardly receiving any funding increases since 2018. So the Institute administration declares a monthly salary that corresponds to the levels expected by the Russian government for scientists in the R&D fields (200% of the average salary in a given region) and then pays only half of it by halving the working hours on paper, while asking the full time work from the researchers.

    This female senior scientist was paid around 30K Rub, therefore her “on paper” monthly salary was around 60K Rub, while the regional average in Novosibirsk (hardly the poorest region in RusFed) was also around 30K Rub per month.

    They probably also do it elsewhere. As I wrote above, based on the official 2018 data, cited by the official Vedomosti newspaper, the median 2018 salary in Russia was 15K Rub per month. Therefore my 29K Rub average is not so bad…

    🙂

    • Replies: @Passer by
  145. AP says:
    @Coconuts

    I don’t know any specifics but Mao comes across as a dog man to me

    In terms of food preference? Possibly.

    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ
  146. @Bashibuzuk

    Do you collect “imminent collapse” links or something?

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  147. Passer by says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    I think that you should be reading very carefully what you read, although i’m not a native russian speaker and my russian is not that good.

    Vedomosti newspaper talks about something called “среднедушевые доходы “, which i think means the median income per capita of all the population in Russia (not only salaries, it could include pensions, the unemployed people, as well as children and students who are not earning anything).

    He is a describtion of it: Методологические пояснения:

    Среднедушевые денежные доходы населения (в месяц) исчисляются делением годового объема денежных доходов на среднегодовую численность населения и на 12.

    https://knoema.com/fsss57039/%D1%81%D1%80%D0%B5%D0%B4%D0%BD%D0%B5%D0%B4%D1%83%D1%88%D0%B5%D0%B2%D1%8B%D0%B5-%D0%B4%D0%B5%D0%BD%D0%B5%D0%B6%D0%BD%D1%8B%D0%B5-%D0%B4%D0%BE%D1%85%D0%BE%D0%B4%D1%8B-%D0%BD%D0%B0%D1%81%D0%B5%D0%BB%D0%B5%D0%BD%D0%B8%D1%8F

    So you get the income of those who receive salaries, those who receive pensions, those who are unemployed, as well as students and children, that is – the whole population, regardless if it is employed or not. Which is way different than an average salary, and it should be way lower than it.

    On the R&D issue, i haven’t researched that, probably its true. But on the other hand there is significant gray economy in Russia (lots of unaccounted incomes), which should mean that GDP per capita in Russia, and probably incomes, are larger than what they seem. The russian GDP per capita is certainly larger than the IMF estimated one.

    • Agree: mal
    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
    , @Philip Owen
  148. @Shortsword

    My comment #136 was based on a Tass article. I have also cited data from Rosstat and Vedomosti in my other comments. So I hardly discovered anything unknown.

    If I wanted to uncover truly horrible stuff I would dig into Russian regional budgets. Some of them are exceedingly interesting. Especially that since the 2018 “May decrees ” a lot of federal budget financial obligations have been dumped onto the regional budgets.

    The number of Russian regions that ended 2019 with a budget deficit more than doubled compared to the previous year – from 15 to 35, according to the data of the Ministry of Finance on the execution of the consolidated budgets of the subjects, which RBC got acquainted with. The share of such regions increased from 17 to 40% year-on-year.

    The total deficit of 35 regions is estimated at 233 billion rubles, follows from the ministry’s data. Back in 2018, 26 of them were surplus, said Andrey Piskunov, managing director of the rating group of the authorities of the NKR credit rating agency.

    Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin ordered to allocate 39.4 billion rubles. in 2020 to support the balance of regional budgets at the expense of the balances of the federal budget allocated for these purposes in 2019.

    https://www.rbc.ru/economics/12/02/2020/5e4281299a79471b4769c391

    That was in 2020, before the coronavirus.

    And yeah, perhaps this also helps to explain the fall in Defense funding this year.

    The Ministry of Finance proposed to reduce funding for the state program “Ensuring the country’s defense” in 2021-2023 by about 323 billion rubles. This follows from the “Methodology for calculating the maximum basic budgetary allocations of the federal budget for state programs of the Russian Federation and non-program areas of activity.”

    Under the program “Ensuring the country’s defense” in 2021, it is planned to reduce budgetary allocations by about 121.4 billion rubles, in 2022 – by 128.5 billion rubles, in 2023 – by 73.2 billion rubles. It is also planned to reduce funding for the Development of the Defense Industrial Complex: in 2021 – by 849.4 million rubles, in 2022–2023 – by 840 million rubles.

    https://www.kommersant.ru/doc/4441278

    I don’t know if it does qualify as a sign of “imminent collapse “, but lowering the Defense spending while the situation is quite tense with the “Western partners ” seems like an odd choice to me. That is, unless the things are not going well on the financial front.

    But there’s still the possibility that the cold weather in Europe will increase the income from the energy exports. Perham that would help…

    🙂

  149. mal says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    BTW according to the official Vedomosti newspaper the median salary in Russia in 2018 was around 15K Rub per month.

    Salary or per capita household income (среднедушевые доходы)? Basically, if you have household with husband, wife, and two young kids, both husband and wife work, say 50,000 ruble each for salary.

    Their total household income will be 100,000 rub but per capita income will be only 25,000 because it is very difficult for a 2 year old child to find a job at full salary.

    Average salary in Russia is around 47,000 rub. If you want to make big rubles, go to Chukotka, average salary over 100,000 rubles.

    https://www.rbth.com/business/330451-average-salary

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  150. @Blinky Bill

    Mentioning Moshe Dayan reminds me of an (very) old joke.

    Right after the 1967 6 day war, impressed Americans ask the Israelis:

    “Say, what is the name of that general of yours that won this war for you?”

    “Why” reply the Israelis, “It’s Moshe Dayan.”

    “Tell you what” continue the Americans “we will trade 3 of our top generals for him.”

    “No problem” reply the Israelis. “If you don’t mind, we’ll take General Motors, General Electric and General Dynamics and Moshe is all yours.”

    • LOL: Blinky Bill
  151. mal says:
    @Passer by

    GDP is just money flow through the economy. Basic income (or MMT, or Green New Deal, or what ever you want to call it) is coming. Government is going to take charge and will continue to pump up incomes in the developed world by printing a ton of money. This by definition will drive GDP growth.

    Demographics are a serious problem, true, but GDP will not be. We can print whater GDP number we want, and have been doing it since 2008 at least.

    Here is a chart of Japanese GDP per capita to cheer you up. :).

    https://tradingeconomics.com/japan/gdp-per-capita

    • Replies: @Passer by
  152. @Passer by

    I agree with what you write. Russians often have extra sources of income beside their official salary.

    And you are right that the 15K Rub median is an income, not a salary. Still it means that people hardly earn the average officially declared 47K Rub salary.

    The “gray economy ” is indeed important in Russia.

    The size of Russia’s non-observed economy (shadow and informal production) in 2017 amounted to 12.7% of GDP, follows from the data of Rosstat on national accounts in 2014–2018, analyzed by RBC.

    https://www.rbc.ru/economics/29/08/2019/5d651ed89a79474a0d725030

  153. @Blinky Bill

    The return of the East India Company.

  154. @Passer by

    14 800 Roubles a month is the minimum wage outside the Capital Cities. It is set at 42% of the median.

  155. Passer by says:
    @mal

    Problem is, according to the economic theories i have seen, the richer the country, the lower the GDP growth rate. And it continues to decline as it gets richer. For developed countries, GDP growth rates have been on a long term decline and are estimated to continue to decline indefinitely in the future.

    For the developing world, after initial catch up effects, GDP growth rates should start dropping after 2030. It is already happening for some of them, such as China. And only Africa is to sustain good growth rates well into the future (end of the century), due to the large catch up effect there, as well as other factors.

    • Replies: @mal
  156. mal says:

    Speaking of the future…

    https://www.rt.com/russia/515612-musk-clubhouse-suggestion-kremlin-response/

    Elon Musk wants to chat with Putin on Clubhouse. Putin is curious. Now, personally, I don’t see the value of Putin doing it. I don’t want Rogozin doing it either. Somebody like Kiriyenko though…

    It would be good for Rosatom and SpaceX to have a chat I think. I mean, who is going to provide electricity for Musks’ space colony dreams? And Rosatom is building space based nuclear power plants.

    At the very least Rosatom can troll Musk and congratulate him on creating the finest gas burner on the planet (Starship), but then humbly suggest that long term the future of space travel will be electric like Russian plasma accelerators.

    • Replies: @Shortsword
  157. @mal

    Yes, I should have written a median income instead of median salary. My mistake.

    Yet if the median income was around 15K in 2018, then for a family of four that would be around 60K total, which is close to my numbers about the average salary being around 30K Rub if each of two parentd earned roughly the same salary.

    Also the real income (and therefore the real salaries) have not increased that much, if at all, between 2012 and 2018 and I don’t think it went much better since 2018.

    Vedomosti again:

    In 2018, real incomes decreased by 0.2% (taking into account the payment of 5,000 rubles to pensioners in January 2017), Rosstat reported, this is already the fifth year of falling incomes of the population. In the modern history of Russia, there has never been such a long decline – even in the 1990s, says Kirill Tremasov, director of the analytical department of Loko-Invest. With inflation accelerating, tax hikes and a tight budget policy, there is little doubt that revenues will continue to fall in 2019, he predicts.

    The data turned out to be significantly lower than the forecast of both the Ministry of Economic Development (+ 3.4%) and President Vladimir Putin (+ 0.5%). Although, without the January 2017 payment, income increased by a modest 0.3%.

    Also about Rosstat (from the same article):

    There are many complaints about the quality of Rosstat data – in December, First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Anton Siluanov called the calculation of real income terrible.

    Projections for 2019 which have been made in 2018 when the article was published:

    In 2019, salaries will grow significantly slower – by 1.5%, estimated Svetlana Misikhina, deputy director of the Higher School of Economics Development Center. The official forecast for wages growth by the Ministry of Economic Development is even lower – 1.4%, and incomes – 1%. Natalia Orlova, chief economist of Alfa-Bank, also points to the weak dynamics of wages in 2019: the electoral cycle has ended and public sector employees do not have to expect their accelerated increase.

    https://www.vedomosti.ru/economics/articles/2019/01/25/792487-dohodi-rossiyan

    So basically the real income (in USD) of average Russians is decreasing since around 2013 as I wrote in my comments above.

    No surprise that the demographics are starting to become affected by this decrease in incomes.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
    , @mal
  158. mal says:
    @Passer by

    Problem is, according to the economic theories i have seen, the richer the country, the lower the GDP growth rate. And it continues to decline as it gets richer. For developed countries, GDP growth rates have been on a long term decline and are estimated to continue to decline indefinitely in the future.

    The West was rich and had good growth rates after WW2, because government built out industries for war effort and pumped up incomes for the bottom half of the population. This is what will happen again. Either via WW3 or income support. Obviously, WW3 is not desirable, so income support it will be.

    You only get low GDP growth rates in neoliberal economics where you only print money for the benefit of the rich. That doesn’t do much. But it will not be the case for much longer as even Central Banks are now discussing “recession bonds” and digital currency, which are income support schemes. Our overlords know what needs to be done. Textbook economic theories will be amended accordingly.

    • Replies: @Passer by
  159. @Bashibuzuk

    Here, some data published after the coronavirus pandemics:

    The purchasing power of monetary income has decreased in 2020: if a year ago it was possible to buy, for example, 99 kg of boneless beef with the monetary income of the average Russian, then in 2020 – 94 kg. The equivalent of average income in liters of milk decreased from 510 to 486 liters, in apples – from 339 to 284 kg, frozen fish – from 174 to 166 kg, according to Rosstat data for nine months of 2020.

    From the same article:

    Against the backdrop of the pandemic crisis, the real disposable income of Russians at the end of 2020 fell by 3.5%, the Federal State Statistics Service estimated. They are now more than 10% behind the 2013 level. 19.6 million Russians live below the poverty line

    https://www.rbc.ru/economics/28/01/2021/60129a749a7947cf1ca85d53

    The poverty limit is estimated at 11,6K Rub a month in 2020

    Therefore around 20M Russians officially survive with less than 11,6K Rub a month (around 160 USD). OTOH they might be working in the shadow economy or just be non-working pensioners and children.

    The minimum salary is 12,8K Rub a month.

    https://www.rbc.ru/economics/24/09/2020/5f6c63f99a79475b66757139

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
  160. Passer by says:
    @mal

    The West was rich and had good growth rates after WW2

    The West was far poorer on per capita basis (constant prices) compared to today, thus it wasn’t that rich and there was room to grow. Industrial economy does not magically give you high GDP growth rates on an indefinite basis – see China, which is on a long term GDP growth decline.

    • Replies: @mal
  161. mal says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    Yet if the median income was around 15K in 2018, then for a family of four that would be around 60K total, which is close to my numbers about the average salary being around 30K Rub if each of two parentd earned roughly the same salary.

    Yep, 30K median salary and around 60K household income are about right. Those are not starvation levels of income though.

    Also the real income (and therefore the real salaries) have not increased that much, if at all, between 2012 and 2018 and I don’t think it went much better since 2018.

    Well, nominal income about doubled between 2012 and 2020, from 25K to 50K.
    https://tradingeconomics.com/russia/wages

    Obviously, there was inflation, but Nabiulina did an excellent job there, and it bounces around 4% target since 2017. And that’s despite sanctions, oil price collapse, etc. Nabiullina is amazing and quite literally saved Russian economy.

    https://tradingeconomics.com/russia/inflation-cpi

    Also about Rosstat (from the same article):

    It’s true, Rosstat consistently low balls real disposable incomes. Russian actual incomes are much higher than what’s reported by Rosstat, you can figure it out simply by looking at consumer sales data. But that’s shadow economy for you, not much Rosstat can do about it.

    So basically the real income (in USD) of average Russians is decreasing since around 2013 as I wrote in my comments above.

    Russians don’t spend USD though, mostly. Anyway, if Russians want higher wages, they need to stop blaming the government and start working smarter, and generating more output. Russian inflation is on target meaning economy is at capacity. Any further government mandated wage hikes will simply translate into more inflation which is pointless as Russia doesn’t have debt to inflate away. If Russia generates more output and drives inflation down to 2%, then talk, because then fiscal and monetary policy will be able to help.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  162. mal says:
    @Passer by

    Industrial economy is not really needed. What’s needed is income support for the lower earners, who will then spend this income, thus generating GDP. West did this via industrial labor unionization and GI Bill (government mortgages and education), but those are not the only policies that will work.

    As for how poor the West was compared to today, it doesn’t really matter. The math is the same regardless of the base. Chinese are slowing down for their own domestic reasons (environment, transition to services etc), GDP growth is not the all important number, there are other goals that a country needs to have to be successful.

    Demographics and money flow decide GDP. Since we can’t do much about demographics, we will increase money flow. There isn’t really any alternative.

    • Replies: @Passer by
  163. @mal

    Feels like Clubhouse is pushed through massive viral marketing. But how is Musk related to it?

    • Replies: @mal
  164. mal says:
    @Shortsword

    My impression (and I could be wrong here, so if somebody knows better, please let me know) is that Clubhouse is a refuge for billionaires and other colorful personalities where they can speak without being hounded by the Woke Mafia such as NYT journalists.

    Russia may want to consider getting an invite and colonizing the place. Its a chance to speak freely without having to deal with corporate media gatekeepers.

  165. @mal

    Well, nominal income about doubled between 2012 and 2020, from 25K to 50K.

    Did it increase compared to USD ?

    Because a lot of what Russians consume is imported. Let’s say an average imported car (a VW Golf ?), can an average Russian buy more of them?

    I agree about the shadow economy. I have met people in Russia who have never officially earned a salary, probably never paid taxes and yet have two apartments, a datcha and a car. It wouldn’t be possible in the West.

    • Replies: @mal
  166. Passer by says:
    @mal

    What’s needed is income support for the lower earners, who will then spend this income

    In the case of the US, they will spend it on foreign goods, thus helping other countries GDP.

    Demographics and money flow decide GDP

    There is also the law of diminishing returns, which is fundamental in economics. This is why it matters for growth rates if a country is highly developed, or undeveloped. Growth rates are generally higher in undeveloped countries.

    • Replies: @mal
  167. mal says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    In USD it stagnated because of the oil price collapse and devaluation.

    As far as imports go, Russian imports are 15% GDP.

    In 2019, imports were $254 billion and GDP was $1,700 billion nominal USD.

    https://www.statista.com/statistics/263648/import-of-goods-to-russia/

    So I would say Russians buy more Ladas and domestically manufactured BMW and Mercedes than imported VW Golfs. As much as you can call any car “domestically manufactured” anyway.

    But in general, majority of stuff Russians buy is domestic goods and services. Which is why inflation rate is more important than forex exchange rate when it comes to monitoring Russian economic activity. This is also why PPP GDP is a better indicator than nominal USD GDP.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  168. mal says:
    @Passer by

    In the case of the US, they will spend it on foreign goods, thus helping other countries GDP.

    While this is somewhat true currently due to pandemic, going forward imports will decline in relevance.

    Same analysis as what I did for Russia. US is the largest import market in the world at $2.5 trillion. However, US nominal GDP is something like $21 Trillion. (2019 numbers).

    US nominal GDP is huge. Those imports are simply not important in terms of overall economic activity. Consumption of domestic services dominates the US GDP. Imports are even less meaningful than in Russia. So eventually poors will spend their money on domestic services as well.

    There is also the law of diminishing returns, which is fundamental in economics. This is why it matters for growth rates if a country is highly developed, or undeveloped. Growth rates are generally higher in undeveloped countries.

    Perhaps, but we are not there yet. There’s still plenty of unsatisfied demand in the rich world. All those homeless people in San Francisco etc. Poor people with debts. And so on.

    And of course its easier in developing countries. When everyone is poor, giving money to anyone will increase GDP. That makes it easier for them to catch up. And they have better demographics.

  169. @mal

    A lot of things produced in Russia are made of imported components. The example you used about cars falls in this category. Therefore as RUB fell twice compared to USD, the twofold increase in nominal income should have been watered down. Also, RusFed budget is significantly dependent on oil and gas prices, these prices have also fallen (they lowered RUB to compensate).

    The salaries account for an average of 65% of Russian families income, while different social benefits average around 25% (written in one of the articles above). If Federal and Regional budgets are depleted because of substantial fall in export incomes, they will probably have to lower the social benefits or just print money, which would end up driving inflation higher.

    Also, the combined inflation in the years since 2014 is non negligeable (around 20 -25% perhaps more?). Therefore, the articles that I cited are probably right and overall the real incomes are lowering since at least 2014.

    • Replies: @mal
  170. @Bashibuzuk

    chassez le naturel, il retourne au galop

    Similarly, in English, taken from a poem by Horace, “you may drive nature out with a pitchfork, but she will always hurry back.”

    • Thanks: Bashibuzuk
  171. mal says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    A lot of things produced in Russia are made of imported components.

    Those components would be in 15% GDP imports. Sure, devaluation of 2014 produced an inflation spike, but that was rather extreme one off thing, and there was nothing Russia could do about it. Oil price is international, its not set by Russia.

    And even 2014 devaluation wasn’t too bad – from 7% to 17% inflation is survvivable. And indeed Russia survived.

    Also, the combined inflation in the years since 2014 is non negligeable (around 20 -25% perhaps more?). Therefore, the articles that I cited are probably right and overall the real incomes are lowering since at least 2014.

    Russian nominal wage growth runs at 5-10% annually, so 25% inflation over 6 years is not that big of a deal.

    Here is a chart from BNE Intellinews that tracks Russian nominal wage growth, real wage growth, real disposable income, and consumer sales.

    https://intellinews.com/disposable-income-of-russians-starts-decline-in-1q20-181879/

    Basically, nominal wages in Russia are growing at up to 10% annually. Of course, inflation is a threat, and oil price collapse dropped real wages. But real wages have resumed growing (as Nabiullina brought inflation under control) in 2016.

    What has stagnated is real disposable incomes. However, despite this “stagnation”, retail sales growth has been positive since 2017. So its not like Russians are hurting for money.

    Long story short – Russia took oil price collapse hard, but has been developing correctly since. True, disposable incomes have stagnated, but apparently Russians don’t count money spent in shopping malls as disposable income, so go figure.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  172. Dmitry says:
    @Shortsword

    Nationality seems a bit taboo in Israel in terms of counting people for official statistics, but you can see by location on the election results maps.

    So if we look at last Israeli election’s results in Tel Aviv and match it by nationality.

    Here is the map of most popular parties results by location in the city.

    If it’s not clear, I add some annotations

    Bnei Brak is Haredi, so it has only Torah Judaism and Shas (Shas is a sectarian party of the ultra-orthodox Arab Jews).

    In North Tel Aviv, it’s mostly Ashkenazi people living there, and the majority voted “Blue and White”.

    South Tel Aviv, it’s mostly Mizrachi Jews and African illegal immigrants. Only Mizrachi Jews have citizenship and can vote, so the majority of the areas votes for Likud.

    Jaffa is traditionally Arab, so the majority votes for the Joint List of Arab parties. However, Northern Jaffa is recently starting to gentrify with Ashkenazi hipsters moving there, so there are now votes for “Blue and White” in the gentrified Northern Jaffa. Arabs of Jaffa are also starting to move South into Bat Yam.

    In Bat Yam is a mix of Mizrachim and Russian ghetto, so its majority of votes are of course for Likud from both of those groups.

    Likud also receives votes from parts of the hardcore far-right Religious nationalist/settlers’ community, but they are not present in a map of Tel Aviv in significant numbers.

    Netanyahu relies on a kind of “coalition of losers”, of Mizrachim, Russian speakers and religious nationalists, as the core of his voter base, while the more economically elite classes mostly vote for his opponents,

    In the next election, Netanyahu is also trying to win some Arab votes, so he is touring all the most hardcore anti-Israel Arab cities for the election campaign.

    • Thanks: Bashibuzuk
    • Replies: @Shortsword
  173. @mal

    Here is a chart from BNE Intellinews that tracks Russian nominal wage growth, real wage growth, real disposable income, and consumer sales.

    They write that the disposable income was decreasing for the last 6 years. Which is what I suspected.

    This is confirmed by what I found in the Russian online journal Expert, they usually have relatively neutral political opinions and are seen as a trusted source of information.

    The available income of Russians at the end of 2020 decreased by 3.5%.

    In 2019, the real income of the population increased by one percent, and in 2018 remained practically unchanged – the growth was 0.1%. From 2013 to 2018, real incomes of the population fell, and their cumulative fall was 8.4%. Thus, taking into account the fall in income in 2020, the real disposable income of Russians at the beginning of 2021 decreased by 10.6% compared to 2013.

    In addition, Rosstat reported that retail trade turnover in Russia in 2020 decreased by 4.1% compared to 2019 and amounted to 33.555 trillion rubles.

    At the same time, the retail turnover of food products fell by 2.6% – to 16.403 trillion rubles, non-food products – by 5.2%, to 17.151 trillion rubles.

    The worst month for retail in 2020 was April – then, due to quarantine measures, trade turnover decreased by 22.6%.

    This is of course partly a result of the coronavirus epidemic, but as I wrote above the overall downwards trend started in 2013 already. That was before the Ukrainian Maidan and the sanctions imposed on Russia by the “Western Partners “.

    https://expert.ru/2021/01/28/v-2020-godu-dokhodi-rossiyan-sokratilis-na-35/

    I wonder what might have caused that in 2012 – 2013. Did the price of oil and gaz drop in 2012 ?

    Frankly I don’t remember…

    retail sales growth has been positive since 2017

    Ceedits are much more available in Russia now than 10 years ago. They are following the Westerners into the debt trap.

    • Replies: @mal
  174. Is there any national numbers of vaccinations in Russia? Anyway, a quick search at least gives some up to date regional news:

    170k vaccinated in Saint Petersburg, 55k last week.

    42k vaccinated in Stavropol Krai, pace of vaccination supposedly started at 250 per day and has increased to 2.5k per day. Supposed to increase to 6k per day (no specifics of when).

    25k vaccinated in Kaluga Oblast.

    37k vaccinated in Tula Oblast. Supposed to vaccinate 10k this week.

    43k vaccinated in Saratov Oblast.

    One article seemed to indicate these numbers doesn’t include military personnel and another one said that it didn’t include medical personal. Perhaps it varies from region to region. These numbers are all for the first dose I think, some of the articles weren’t entirely clear about it. In total it seems at most 3% of the population is vaccinated with the first dose but the pace of vaccination is continually increasing.

    Hardly numbers to brag about. At best it’s about as good as the EU countries that are doing the worst. Still a big win compared to buying Western vaccine of course and buying Western vaccine probably would have end up being even slower anyway. Plenty of countries are buying Sputnik V and a few are supposed to produce it themselves so in the end it will end up being a widely used vaccine.

    • Replies: @g2k
    , @Gerard-Mandela
  175. Dmitry says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    Those videos are showing Berber Jews from North Africa?

    However, Israel also is flooded with Yemeni Jews, Iranian Jews, Georgian Jews, Indian Jews, Ethiopian Jews, etc, and there is a lot of interethnic racism in Israel also between different Jewish nationalities.

    For example, Arab Jews in Israel are famously racist against the Kurdish Jews, and the word “Kurdi” for the Arabic origin Jews is a synonym for “stupid” or “ugly”.

    To do statebuilding with such exotic nationalities, they need to be assimilated to a new identity with a melting pot ideology.

    A controversial thing Israel’s education system uses the of the Second World War to try to bind disparate nationalities.

    For example, it sends the school children on vacations to visit death camps of Jews in Poland. This kind of statebuilding has in turn angered the Poles, as the Israeli children don’t interact with Polish culture, and using Poland more as a group identity exercise.

    If you look at the national composition of the vacations – maybe only minority children are Ashkenazi or would have ancestors effected by the violence of the Second World War, but the children are collectively traumatized by it. From a cynical point of view, it is probably effective in increasing the group identity, as children of Ethiopian Jews and Iraqi Jews, all feel collectively threatened, and this acts as a kind of hazing exercise by the ruling Ashkenazi culture on them.

    Young Israeli musicians playing Maghrebi music.

    And when you remove the politics they usually get along perfectly well.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-42071018

    That’s because they are family…

    Closer nationalities to each other, can be the more insoluble the interethnic conflicts. Lezginka and dolma, is not exactly bonding the Azerbaijanis and Armenians. And a cup of Turkish coffee, will not solve the arguments of brotherly Serbians and Croatians, Turks and Greeks.

    • Agree: AltanBakshi
    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  176. @Dmitry

    Do you know if anyone has done any real statistical analysis on this?

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  177. Freed 20,000 Ultranationalists, including the Members of Arakan National Party

    Why were they imprisoned in the first place? This makes it sound like there was a political purge going on before the coup took place.

  178. mal says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    They write that the disposable income was decreasing for the last 6 years. Which is what I suspected.

    Yea, but I’m skeptical of this number.

    From 2013 to 2018, real incomes of the population fell, and their cumulative fall was 8.4%.

    Oil Price 2013: $97.98.
    Oil Price 2018: $65.23.

    https://www.macrotrends.net/2516/wti-crude-oil-prices-10-year-daily-chart

    That fall was way more than 8.4%.

    I ignore 2020 because its a very weird year. A lot of economic data are not valid for it (such as things derived from models).

    as I wrote above the overall downwards trend started in 2013 already.

    The trend was sharp drop in 2014-2016, and then slow climb out. Oil prices never reached $100 again, which is slowing down recovery, but recovery is nevertheless real.

    Ceedits are much more available in Russia now than 10 years ago. They are following the Westerners into the debt trap.

    Yea, but its mostly mortgages. Outside of subsidized mortgage, consumer credit is expensive. I don’t think they have 0% interest rates like in US. So they manage to drive sales growth and service expensive debt at the same time?

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  179. There’s been a good amount of news lately with predictions of an upcoming commodity supercycle. That would naturally be really good for Russia. There’s also the fact that Russia’s food production has increased a lot in the last decade so high food prices now would increase exports more than imports.

    But if a commodity supercycle happens then Russia needs to be productive about it and not just be happy for the moment with exporting expensive commodities.


  180. • Replies: @Grahamsno(G64)
    , @mal
  181. @Felix Keverich

    They’re sick and tired of him he’s stayed in the top job forever, Putin please take note.

  182. @Shortsword

    Looks like a James Bond Villain.

  183. @128

    Obviously they cannot build everything. At the time the Lavi was shot down, Israel had maybe three million citizens.

  184. @Felix Keverich

    Im sorry what in particular do you want to know? Genuinely nothing interesting at all has happened and I come to this blog to find interesting new horizons rather than the same shit I can look out the window for.

  185. mal says:
    @Shortsword

    Well, my going assumption is ‘Satoshi’ = US Naval Intelligence (i think they were the ones who wrote the wrote the paper on cryptocurrencies like back in the 90’s) similar to how Tor browser and Signal are NSA/CIA (that one is on a lot former ground).

    Do i get to include aircraft carrier strike groups and nuclear submarines in ‘Satoshi’ assets?

    • Replies: @Morton's toes
  186. g2k says:
    @Shortsword

    It’s not that great, but the sense of urgency is not that great as the government and wider society there seem to have taken this on the chin and life is pretty much normal-ish. It’s probably much easier to do this when you don’t have a hysterical mass media blaming you for every single covid death, but it’s still an achievement.

    In the uk I was pleasantly surprised by the speed of the vaccine rollout, but unpleasantly unsurprised to find out that it hasn’t made any difference to the government’s policy on restrictions which will continue until July and most probably much longer because… reasons.

    It’s also worth re-assessing the how successful the “successful”(lucky) countries who’ve supposedly eliminated this actually are as almost all of them are now/were back in lockdowns again (NZ, China, Australia, UK channel islands) and probably will be, on and off, for the foreseeable future, with East German style borders on top of that.

  187. @mal

    Outside of subsidized mortgage, consumer credit is expensive. I don’t think they have 0% interest rates like in US. So they manage to drive sales growth and service expensive debt at the same time?

    Average Russians had very low debt levels a decade ago, they are new to this game. They used to save as much as they can and survive with very reasonable spending. Now some people I know in Moscow have a debt level comparable to Western middle class families.

    Recent condos and cars, travels to exotic locations a couple times a year etc. Of course its Moscovite upper middle class, but they still get to do that with an official 3K USD monthly salary. And there is also the shadow economy side to that. Some of them receive public contracts. This probably helps.

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
  188. @Dmitry

    Those videos are showing Berber Jews from North Africa?

    They could be descendants of les Pied Noir Jews, but I am not really sure about that. Thing is, Cha’abi music is originally derived from Al Andalus and was brought to North Africa by both Jewish and Morisco refugees from the Catholic Spain after the Reconquista. It is as Jewish as it is Arab. In fact it is Jewish and urban Arabo-Berber, nomadic Arab people in the countryside and sedentary Berber highlander clans did have their own distinctive musical traditions.

    When the Jews moved out of Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia after the independence from France (Morocco and Tunisia were protectorates, Algeria was part of France proper), they brought this culture with them. In France they don’t display it much because they want to “look White “, but that’s what the grand parents of BHL, Attali, Zemmour, Patrick Bruel (Patrick Benguigui) were probably listening to in their weddings and family reunions.

    In Israel they are free to express their cultural affinities, they don’t need to “act White “. Perhaps it is similar to what the Canadian Jewish guys from Black Ox Orkestar (sic) are doing playing ancient Jewish music and Yiddish shtetl songs: trying to assess their Jewish identity against the artificial Zionist identity construct.

    Lezginka and dolma, is not exactly bonding the Azerbaijanis and Armenians. And a cup of Turkish coffee, will not solve the arguments of brotherly Serbians and Croatians, Turks and Greeks.

    Although I don’t think Armenians and Azeri really dance Lezginka, I agree with what you hint at. But Jews and Arabs are literally family, its in their Holy Books. Prophet Mohammed’s and Imam Ali’s grandfather was literally a Hallachic Jew (I am not kidding here). When Israeli Jews will live in the Middle East for some ten generations, they will become as close to their Arab neighbors as the Al Andalus Sephardic Jews were to the Spanish Muslims. Money will flow, business deals will be made, mariages celebrated, political influence will be used to influence each other etc.

    And yeah, they both see the Europeans, the White, the Christian peoples as alien idol worshippers, already Maimonides wrote about that. So all this gay and fake “Judeo-Christian ” BS will be discarded as a used condom. And I must confess that I would like to live long enough to see the Western Christian Zionist morons being thoroughly cucked. But that’s already starting to my great enjoyment.

    🙂

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    , @Dmitry
  189. @Abelard Lindsey

    I refuse to believe in the “Sackler” conspiracy theories. I don’t think that family exists, only in the feverish imagination of anti-Semites. Hint: if it looks like a story was invented by Goebbels, then it probably was. This sounds like the “George Soros” conspiracy theories all over again. I just can’t believe what kind of idiots believe in these anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, when it’s pretty clear that neither the Sacklers nor Soros exist.

  190. @Dmitry

    Ashkenazim in Israel on average are often liberal peaceniks

    I don’t really believe it. Israel is basically the only first world “white” nation where immigration of other people is completely and utterly out of the question, that doesn’t sound very liberal to me.

    Your characterisation of Israel as just a normal first world white country does not tally with the reality that is obvious to almost everyone who has ever researched the topic. Israel is a Jewish supremacist and Jew-only state, and this is enshrined in their law. They very reluctantly accommodate the Arab and non-Jewish population who happen to live inside Israel’s borders to the minimum extent, mainly by designating Arab towns as a sort of reservations/Bantustan type set up. Why pretend otherwise?

    • Agree: Not Raul
    • Replies: @Dmitry
  191. At least this time they don’t pretend them being Russian Mafia:

    As part of international police cooperation, with the involvement of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia, dozens of Georgian criminal group member suspects have been arrested in Europe-wide operations on February 9. According to the Georgian MIA, as a result of the cooperation between Georgian, Italian and French sides, two police operations under the names of “Thief-in-law” and “BRATVA-35” were carried out.

    https://georgianjournal.ge/news/36842-dozens-of-georgian-mafia-member-suspects-arrested-in-europe-wide-operations.html

    Even Journal le Monde specifically writes about those who were arrested in western France being Georgian.

    https://www.lemonde.fr/societe/article/2021/02/16/quinze-membres-de-la-mafia-georgienne-dite-des-voleurs-dans-la-loi-mis-en-examen_6070192_3224.html

    This made me think of the Chechens fighting the Maghrebi in southern France and squaring against the Kurds in Germany. Western Europeans will have to learn to know and respect more the small freedom loving Caucasus nations. (Sarc.)

  192. 128 says:

    The gini coefficient in Russia is something like 0.45, you can say that the welfare of the middle and working class can be improved by a lot with redistributive taxation, which will also help boost consumer spending and the economy, same goes with China.

    • Agree: AltanBakshi
  193. A123 says:

    Hump Day Humor for the Open Thread

    PEACE 😇
     

    • Agree: AnonFromTN, mal
  194. @Bashibuzuk

    That’s 2020. It’ s 14811 or some such now.

  195. Mr. Hack says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    Love that Middle Eastern vibe…even if it’s made for Westernized ears. 🙂

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  196. 128 says:

    If real disposable incomes are not rising, but retail sales are, then the math says that it is consumer debt that is rising, if disposable income is not rising but consumer spending is? Not exactly something positive.

    • Agree: Bashibuzuk
  197. @Bashibuzuk

    There was a huge surge in microcredit from 2017 onwards. A lot of people borrowed to maintain their lifestyle.

    In 2015, I thought it would take 3 years for Russians to become discontent with Putin due to economic factors. In fact it has taken 6 but it is happening.

    • Agree: Bashibuzuk
    • Replies: @Beckow
    , @Passer by
  198. Beckow says:
    @Philip Owen

    Putin is paralysed by the foolish things he learned in his youth like “markets are divine” and “people prosper when oligarchs get rich“. He is an economic liberal and in his advanced years he is starting to resemble the late Soviets in stasis, inactivity and self-satisfaction.

    The solution is simple: ‘throw them a freaking bone‘. And soon. Nobody will care in 20 years whether Russia’s official debt was 20% or 40% of GNP (or even 80%). West is going through something similar – although the rulers seem even older and visibly out-of-touch. When debt is the main product of the economy limiting is idiotic. This is going to be quite a ride either way.

  199. songbird says:

    Perhaps, the popularity of the Monkey King with kids in China best represents the modern plethora of mediocre Monkey King movies, rather than any strong national feeling for traditional stories and Chinese identity.

  200. @Beckow

    Nobody will care in 20 years whether Russia’s official debt was 20% or 40% of GNP (or even 80%).

    You might be right. However, in Russian culture there is a deep-seated aversion to debt. There is even a joke “nothing is worse than borrowing money: you take someone else’s money for a limited time, then you give back yours forever”.

    • Replies: @Beckow
    , @Europe Europa
  201. @mal

    ‘Satoshi’ = US Naval Intelligence

    I have always thought this or something similar. Google search on (Satoshi Naval Intelligence) fetches absolutely nothing interesting on the first couple pages. I would be very curious if anybody knows of a good source. There is an IQ psychologist with that name which muddies things up a lot.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    , @mal
  202. @Morton's toes

    Google search on (Satoshi Naval Intelligence) fetches absolutely nothing interesting on the first couple pages.

    If you want an uncensored search, use browser and search engine that are not connected to Google, Microsoft, and the rest of “Big Brothers”.

    • Replies: @Morton's toes
  203. @Mr. Hack

    It was filmed in Morocco. I remember listening to Natasha Atlas with my Maghrebi friends.

    Have you visited Morocco Mr Hack?

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  204. Not Raul says:

    @VRSoloviev — Based Russian Jew

  205. @AnonFromTN

    duckduckgo startpage and yandex all return nothing useful on the first page of a search for (satoshi naval intelligence).

    This is consistent with my previous experience. I cannot recall one time finding something with an alternative search engine after failing with google. Perhaps your experience is different.

  206. Is he still incarcerated?

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  207. Mikel says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    In the video above Israeli Jews play Andalusian inspired Algerian popular music (Cha’abi), a music that any Algérois would recognize and appreciate. The music that has been imported to the Maghreb adter the Reconquista by the fleeing Andalusian Muslims and Jews.

    Yes, they may have taken that music with them but those rhythms stayed on alive and well in Andalusia. They merged with Gypsy music to form the Andalusian folk that most everybody associates with Spain.

    Unfortunately, the Francoist regime promoted this kind of music heavily, much to the disgust of Basques and Catalans, and many Spaniards still seem to like it. I honestly had more than my fair share of these exotic rhythms growing up.

    On the other hand, Andalusian Gypsy guitarists can produce very nice music if they just stick to their guitar solos:

    • Thanks: Bashibuzuk
    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  208. Not Raul says:

    Snow in Athens ❄️

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  209. @Not Raul

    Snow in Athens

    Did anyone accuse Putin yet?

  210. Mr. XYZ says:
    @AP

    Off-topic, but in regards to an old conversation that you and I had in regards to Ukrainians voting for independence in December 1991, apparently–based on the information on page 68 here–between 33% and 46% of Ukrainians condemned the dismantling of the Soviet Union between March and June 1992:

    https://www.google.com/books/edition/Ukraine_and_Russia/LNvTSDQXFXgC?hl=en&gbpv=1&dq=kozyrev+%22ogarevo+process%22&pg=PA49&printsec=frontcover

    Are you suggesting that Ukrainian attitudes in regards to this significantly changed over the scope of just a couple of/several months? After all, in December 1991, more than 90% of Ukrainian voters voted in favor of Ukrainian independence! Or is it more likely that some of the people who voted for Ukrainian independence genuinely wanted to use Ukrainian independence as a bargaining chip to secure better terms for having Ukraine subsequently join a new Union (as opposed to these people being genuinely committed to long-term Ukrainian independence)? This question should certainly be asked, after all.

    Also, as a side note, to avoid any prejudice or complaints, I just want to make it clear that I personally fully support the breakup of the Soviet Union, as well as Ukraine’s 2004 Orange Revolution and Ukraine’s 2014 Maidan Revolution.

    • Replies: @AP
  211. Mr. Hack says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    I’ve been listening to Natacha Atlas’ music for some 15 years now. Most of her output is quite listenable, some of it quite good, some of it just passable pop. No, I’ve never been to Morocco. I’ve seen the films “Casbah” and “Casablanca” plenty of times (close enough). 🙂

    My niece has visited it though and had one of the most harrowing experience of her life there. Seems that she ate some nasty food there and got real sick and wasn’t able to leave her room for several days. 🙁

    I’d like to visit Istanbul someday by train from: Chernivtsy -> Bucharest -> Sophia -> Istanbul. I think that it would be great fun. Do you know anybody who’s made this trek?

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  212. @Blinky Bill

    Rai music was very popular in France in the early 90ies. I remember when I arrived in Paris in 1993, you had Rai videos on French TV. I also recall that Cheb Mami had a video clip with Sting. I have not listened to Rai for many years and had no idea that Cheb Mami was incarcerated (drugs probably ?)

    [MORE]

    Another interesting Maghrebi musical style is Gnawa music derived from a Sub-Saharan Sufi-like fraternal tradition. Although mainly found in Morocco, it is also somewhat popular in Algeria.

    There are similar influences in the Brazilian Capoera music. Same West African roots.

    Below a Gnawi / Arab take on a Louis Aragon’s poem dedicated to his wife Elsa Triolet (née Ella Yurievna Kagan), the sister of Lily Brik – lover of Maïakovski and probable cause of his suicide.

    Given the African musical influences in the videos above, let’s this comment be my contribution to the Black History month.

    😉

    • Thanks: Blinky Bill
  213. @Mikel

    Would you please suggest some Basque traditional music ?

    Something authentic in Euskara.

    Thanks.

    • Replies: @Mikel
  214. Sad to know that Rush Limbaugh is dead. I used to listen to his program alot during Obama’s first term.

    It was by his program, I found out Mark Steyn, and then Steve Sailer, then this website.

    I remember he used to say that it was no time to panic because when it was he would tell his audience.

    Before listening to Rush, my image of USA was quite different. Much more simplistic.

    • Agree: Daniel Chieh
  215. Mikel says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    There are actually quite a few types of traditional Basque music. It’s been a long history. But I guess one of the most popular is choral music, each little town has its own choir.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  216. mal says:
    @Morton's toes

    Well, here is a post referencing NSA paper from 1996.

    “How to make a mint: The cryptography of anonymous electronic cash.”

    https://bbkefs.com/cryptocurrencies/

    • Replies: @Morton's toes
  217. @Mikel

    Beautiful music. Very melodious. And perhaps it would seem strange what I am writing here, but it certainly sounds typically European, which Flamenco doesn’t.

    It seems to be a musical tradition oriented towards choral chanting, bringing a communal atmosphere. Did Basque people have the equivalent of Celtic or Berber clans or extended families ? Was every village seen as a community in itself?

    Thanks again for the introduction to your culture Mikel, much appreciated.

    • Replies: @Mikel
  218. Passer by says:
    @Philip Owen

    There is discontent everywhere this year, due to the coronavirus pandemic. I would be watching at 2022, not at pandemic years.

    Btw CEBR estimates higher GDP growth rate for Russia (under sanctions) than for the US and the EU for the next 15 years.

    That is – US, EU (and Japan) are the slowest growing economies in the world, losing their share and influence in the global economy.

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
  219. Dmitry says:
    @Europe Europa

    International media promotes an idea that Israel is a right-wing ruled country, but the reality on the ground there is quite different. Israel’s final power is with Supreme Court, which is liberal in an objective observer’s interpretation of their actions.

    Israel’s situation where the working class public is quite right-wing, and politicians use a lot of right-wing rhetoric to get votes from Mizrachi or religious demographics, but reality of life in the state is liberal in many ways.

    For example, Israel cannot deport illegal immigrants from countries like Sudan and Eritrea due to the Supreme Court. That is, the Israeli government is legally not allowed by the Supreme Court to deport immigrants that climbed over the border.

    On the other hand, the government claims that it will deport illegal immigrants with aggressive rhetoric, and this generated media reports about how tough Israel is in immigration.

    Yet years later, the government didn’t deport any one of them, and the immigration in Israel is more of a clown comedy than in many Western countries, where Israel relies on illegal immigrants to voluntarily choose to leave when they are bored of the country.

    EU deport tens of thousands of Sudanese and Eritreans, and has this legal capacity. Israeli politicians talk in the right wing way, but end result of policy towards illegal immigrants had been more weak than the EU, and you see that in the city itself where there are areas settled by illegal immigrants for more than decade, and Tel Aviv builds schools for them.

    Similarly, the media, television in Israel is committed to liberal ideals, and there is consensus in things like that the media cannot name nationality of attackers.

    There is also aspects of affirmative action policies in Israel’s education scholarship system, and Arabs are overrepresented relative to population in the most elite universities like Technion.

    first world “white” nation where immigration of other people is completely and utterly out of the question, that doesn’t sound very liberal to me.

    Your characterisation of Israel as just a normal first world white country

    This idea of Israel is white country is promoted by British media, as part of its post-colonial way of understanding the world. It’s true Israel benefits from aspects of colonialism and that the country’s upper class areas have an overrepresentation of European origin people, but the overall country’s population (including Arabs) will be somewhere over 60% brown people.

    • Replies: @Coconuts
    , @Mr. XYZ
  220. @Mr. Hack

    Food poisoning while traveling is one of the worst things. Sometimes it’s just the exotic microorganisms in the water or the spices that interact with and debalance our microbial flora. Other times it’s indeed some pathogenic bacteria, which might be quite dangerous.

    I didn’t know that there is a train travelling between Ukraine and Turkey. I’ve been to Istanbul twice, once on a cruise boat and another by plane. I really loved the place and got along well with Turkish people that I interacted with. An interesting place, I would return anytime.

    About Morocco, it’s very interesting because they managed to keep their traditional culture alive, while their Algerian neighbors didn’t. Tunisia was also great, perhaps even more tourist – friendly than Morocco, but since the “Arab Spring” they got an Islamist infestation and it is not a safe country for Westerners anymore. A shame really, because it was a very nice destination too.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  221. mal says:
    @Beckow

    Russia is likely to be able to spin up money printers soon. Once pandemic related supply chain interruptions are squared away, I expect inflation to decline to 2-3% again. At that point, money printing and debt growth will be warranted.

    • Replies: @Beckow
  222. Coconuts says:
    @Dmitry

    This idea of Israel is white country is promoted by British media, as part of its post-colonial way of understanding the world.

    On the nationalist right in Britain Israel is discussed in relation to having strong ethno-religious criteria for immigration, at the moment in the UK something like this would be very taboo, so Israel can seem inherently right wing just on this basis. On the other hand, when I listened more regularly the BBC used to have reporting about the conflicts between Israeli secular liberals and religious conservatives, issues about racism in relation to black Jews, between Ashkenazi and the others and so on, conveying that Israel is multi-racial and has quite divergent political currents.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  223. AP says:
    @Mr. XYZ

    It says that this was the claim of “Russian sociologist Igor Klyamkin.” Who knows how credible it is or how he came to this conclusion. I doubt his source is as far-reaching as a national referendum.

    That having been said, as the 90s wore on, many Ukrainians came believe the dismantling of the USSR was done very badly. This does not necessarily imply that they wanted to resurrect the USSR. I often heard people in Kiev say things like, the breakup was botched, but the only way forward is through the West, there is no going back to Russia. So if the poll question was whether the USSR breakup was done badly I can believe that many would agree that it was. It doesn’t seem that the poll asked, if the people wish the USSR was back.

    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ
  224. Dmitry says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    fake “Judeo-Christian ”

    I don’t think Israel could will rapidly be a normal country that is viewed without a messianic Judeo-Christian lenses – a majority of Israeli historical sites, heritage, and tourists, are relating to Christian interest, and the religious lenses are also inadvertently the way the world views the country, and the source of international overdramatic opposition and support to it.

    For example, much of the Israeli tourists guides, are living on myths about “this tree is where Jesus climbed when he was a child”, “this river is where Jesus learned to swim”. And when you fly to Israel on the plane from Russia, half of the tourists are old pilgrims. When you visit a place which is historically interesting in Israel, there’s often ten church groups of old pilgrims surrounding you, and perhaps one group of atheist Chinese tourists.

    It’s the fate of Israel’s tourist industry, to earn its living as a Disneyland for Christians, and promote itself this way. The prices are too high for most other kinds of tourists. I also guess Muslim tourists to Israel will be only some small minority of curious people.

    But probably across the 21st century, in secularizing Western countries, Israel will become less and less interesting with each year. I think it has already happened, that most young Westerners today, are too secular to have much connotation to names like Jerusalem, River Jordan, Sea of Galilee, even as those names would have sounded magical for their ancestors.

    Europeans, the White, the Christian peoples as alien idol worshippers

    Nowadays Christianity is more strong in Latin America and Africa. Perhaps that will reflect the religious support for Israel in the future, will be coming more from places like Latin America, Africa and Philippines. In the pro-Israel marches in Jerusalem, there is already a lot of Africans, Philippines people, etc.

    Jews moved out of Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia after the independence from France (Morocco and Tunisia were protectorates, Algeria was part of France proper), they brought this culture with them. In France they don’t display it much because they want to “look White “, but that’s what the grand parents of BHL, Attali, Zemmour, Patrick Bruel

    I’m pretty sure North African Jews in France are much more middle class origin, than the equivalent in Israel, and this probably explains the difference.

    It will be less that they are “acting white” in France, but rather that the immigration process selected for more educated North African Jews to immigrate to first world countries like France, while Israel was a third world country, and was an undesirable destination that therefore received more of a lower class Jews.

    This would be why Israel has a more working class African Jewish culture, while France has received more of the colonial elite of North African Jews, that assimilated aspects of European culture as part of the local allies of France’s colonization project.

    In general (not just from Africa), after 1948, Israel received mostly the lower class Jews, while the middle class Jews emigrated to more developed countries like France, Germany, USA and Canada.

    Brown elites following Enlightened European culture, is not something exactly “unnatural”.

    For example, Palestinian writer Edward Said was playing classical music on the piano and writing about Jane Austen. Similarly, bourgeoise Lebanese had assimilated a lot of French culture; the bourgeois Indians, or Chinese in Singapore, went to British universities, and became culturally like English gentlemen.

    To speak normatively, this combination of Enlightened European cultures, with exotic countries, seems quite sensible, and its the kind of recipe that had succeeded in Singapore or Hong Kong.

    Think about good and bad things about Great Britain :
    Good = well designed legal system, strong property rights, stable representative politics, science
    Bad = boring scenery, damp weather, lack of light, bad beaches, undramatic fauna, etc.

    Good and bad things about Africa:
    Good = beautiful scenery, beaches, interesting fauna,
    Bad = no legal system, unstable politics, lack of property rights, lack of science.

    An instinctual response, is to say “why not add the good things about Great Britain, to Africa, and that colonial end result might be a better place to live than the home country?”

    Of course, sad reality of European colonialism was more exploitative, less idealistic, and often only half cooked – so that the modernizing elite classes of the native populations have such half-assimilated European culture, while the traditional majority could only resent it.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  225. Mikel says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    Did Basque people have the equivalent of Celtic or Berber clans or extended families ? Was every village seen as a community in itself?

    No clans or extended families in Euskadi but something similar may be the so-called kuadrillak: an extended group of friends that hang out together, there’s always several of them in each town/village and everybody is supposed to belong to one.

    The village-community concept was very strong indeed. Every year there were periods for communal work (auzolan) that still exist but are sadly disappearing little by little. There are countless Basque dialects and sub-dialects that typically correspond to a valley but then have village-level differentiations.

    • Thanks: Bashibuzuk
  226. mal says:
    @Morton's toes

    Here’s a pretty good article on digital money from the early 1990’s.

    https://www.wired.com/1994/12/emoney/

    Apparently everybody was interested in it, from Department of Energy to major commercial banks. They also talk about non bank cryptocurrency.

    I like how they talk about electronic wallets and telephones. Pretty insightful for 1994, I think.

  227. Dmitry says:
    @Coconuts

    Israel operates like a colonial construction, and uses Law of Return to prevent its Arab minority that supports Palestine, outnumbering an immigration-constructed Jewish majority.

    But I’m not sure Law of Return is right-wing in a Western sense, as it is increasing multiracialism and multiculturalism of the country.

    The Israeli government is now putting Indian tribes into Judaism, so they settle them in Israel as Jews on the Law of Return, and ultimately into the army.

    Israel will collect the most eccentric rainforest tribes to immigrate there, if they convert to Judaism and will send their youth into the IDF.

    Also children of illegal immigrants receive Israeli citizenship after they are 1 year in the army. One of the main celebrities in Israel is a Togo Christian dancer who became an Israeli citizen via the army, and now he sings for UAE according to Trump’s peace plan. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Flfo5MSAI00.

    The main priority for Israelis is to construct a loyal and (unlike Haredim) taxpaying population, which I think is the correct policy of Israel for its statebuilding. Although I’m not sure the policy would enjoyed for Western right-wing politicians like Orban or Trump, as latter said he wanted immigrants from Norway instead of Haiti (meanwhile Israel is built from significantly third world brown immigrants since the 1950s).

    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ
  228. Mr. XYZ says:
    @AP

    Generally speaking, opinion polls are pretty reliable, especially when actually referendums cannot be held. This is how we know just how popular each US presidential candidate was at various points in time during the last year, for instance. That said, though, I’ll see if I can ever find the actual direct wording of that polling question. If I will, I will get back to you on this.

    By the way, what should Ukraine have done better after the collapse of the Soviet Union? I’d have put Galicians in charge of Ukraine if I could, but either way, Ukraine was likely to suffer a lot of hurt due to the transition to capitalism combined with the extreme interconnectedness of the ex-Soviet economy, where different parts of a single plane could have been made in several different new ex-USSR countries, to use just one example–something that would have been difficult to continue doing post-independence and after the imposition of tariffs and whatnot.

    Also, off-topic, but I’ve got a question for you:

    Do you have any idea as to what Russia’s total population and ethnic demographics would have been right now had Germany won World War I AND have the Brest-Litovsk order been maintained up to the present-day? So, no Bolshevik and WWII demographic devastation for Russia–or, for that matter, for other territories such as Kazakhstan (or Ukraine, but it would no longer have been a part of Russia in this scenario).

    • Replies: @AP
  229. Mr. XYZ says:
    @Dmitry

    If Israel wanted to REALLY open up Judaism, it would make it MUCH easier for millions of Third Worlders to convert to Judaism:

    https://jewishjournal.com/commentary/opinion/232143/israel-should-open-judaism-to-refugees/

  230. Mr. XYZ says:
    @Dmitry

    Can Israel’s Supreme Court get packed? The US’s Supreme Court can get packed with majority support in both houses of the US Congress combined with the approval of the US President, after all.

  231. The Israeli government is now putting Indian tribes into Judaism, so they settle them in Israel as Jews on the Law of Return, and ultimately into the army.

    Israel will collect the most eccentric rainforest tribes to immigrate there, if they convert to Judaism and will send their youth into the IDF.

    The Indian Jews supposedly has some history and there are only a few thousand of them anyway. Are there any example of groups converting to Judaism to move to Israel? Not including groups that supposedly have been forcefully converted to some other religion and are “converting back”.

    • Replies: @Blinky Bill
  232. Beckow says:
    @AnonFromTN

    Let’s understand that ‘debt‘ is not what it used to be in the past, all moral or other aversions to debts are missing the point. For some time now the main Western product has been debt of different kind – money serves not to buy goods, but goods are there to create debts.

    Yes, it is an idiotic, unsustainable pyramid debt scheme – but it works, it attracts human greed. Who cares about the long-run? Think about it: nobody has ever really cared about what happens in some distant future. It is a pretence used as a tool.

    Today’s world resembles a set of luxurious casinos where life is comfortable and debts are easy. Others – including Putin’s Russians – are standing on the outside, wistfully envying the casino crowds. They are told that debts would be irresponsible by the very same casino masters who are tempting them to enter their own casinos. It is a game, and the non-participants are outplayed.

    Finally, dissatisfaction is a permanent feature of human life. Those offering something to address it will be more successful because they suggest to people the possibility of a different life. Offering people nothing, or offering only stability, will lose out in times like these. (After a catastrophe or a war, it could be a different story.)

    • Agree: Bashibuzuk
  233. Beckow says:
    @mal

    Is West measuring inflation accurately? Of course not, they change the formulas to get the numbers they want. If 70’s or 80’s inflation formulas were used today, the official inflation would be 8-10%. Have housing prices been going up 2%? Right. As long as some useless gadget with a screen is cheaper year after year, the inflation can be declared to be almost any number, it all depends on what and in what ratios is measured.

    Russia and others could do the same. Any government published number is just that: a political government published number.

    By the way, debts and inflation are not directly linked. It is all in the management of debts – what is linked is monetary liquidity and prices. Most Western wealth is in non-liquid assets, so they barely influence prices.

    • Agree: Bashibuzuk
    • Replies: @Shortsword
    , @mal
  234. @Dmitry

    Many good points Dmitry, I like it how you normalize and rationalize everything. You are probably not of the “blood and soil” or “mystique of the culture” types, are you?

    Seems that you are way more rational than Maimonides was. If the great RamBam would have thought along these lines of yours (that is Marxist rationalisation) he wouldn’t have taken all this trouble to write the Kitab al-Siraj that influenced countless Talmudists. I wonder whether younger Israeli Jews learn who we was or if learning to put Aushwitz on the map is Jewish history enough for them.

    Perhaps this would explain that I once met a young Israeli who ignored everything of the long history of the Bukhari Jewish community. I felt that I had to take upon me to explain him that Jews lived in many Central Asian trading centers since at least the times of Alexander the Great and the early Silk Road. The poor lad was afraid of visiting Uzbekistan. If that’s the type of people Israeli education produces, then they are missing somewhat on the cultural level.

    I am certain that Iranian Jews, who stayed behind in the Islamic Republic, know about this kind of things, which in my humble opinion makes them better Jews. Because if Jews are deprived of their peculiar and lengthy historical cultural development and normalized into marxist middle class “White ” or working class “Brown” products of post-enlightenment intellectualizing, then how are they different from the cultureless Western younger generations that don’t care two hoots about whom their ancestors were and what they’ve been through. These clueless youngsters are indeed only good for comparing different brands of sneakers and track suits, watching PorhHub, listening to hip hop, smoking pot and playing video games.

    This being said, the pilgrims to Mecca used to include Jerusalem in their path. Perhaps rich Gulf Arab tourists will make up for the loss of revenue incurred by the Israeli tourist industry through European secularisation and acculturation, if they are told stories about Abraham and Ishmael having done this and that in different Holy Land scenic spots.

    Perhaps this is what the whole cozying up between the Gulf Arabs and Israeli Jews is all about. And perhaps through this Islam might save Jews a second time from cultural annihilation.

    I am by nature a cheerful and optimistic person…

    😉

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  235. @Beckow

    If 70’s or 80’s inflation formulas were used today, the official inflation would be 8-10%.

    An annual inflation of 10% adds up to almost 600% inflation over 20 years. So your numbers are very exaggerated. But I do agree that inflation statistics can feel suspicious. In particular, different goods and services have different inflation rates so the rate of inflation varies from person to person depending on what type of products that person regularly purchases.

    • Replies: @Beckow
  236. Beckow says:
    @Shortsword

    Estimate or exaggeration, it is in the eye of the beholder :).

    8% inflation would be more like 4.6 increase in prices over 20 years – and 20 years is a long time. My point is the same as what you said: inflation is very different depending on what one buys and what is measured. It is definitely not 2% – as the official statistics claim – for younger people. And it is simply a fact that the formula has been changed (twice actually) in the last 40 years and that under the 70’s formula the inflation would be substantially higher. Maybe not 8%, but probably 5-6%.

  237. mal says:
    @Beckow

    Russia and others could do the same. Any government published number is just that: a political government published number.

    That’s true. Federal Reserve monitors the most mellow inflation rate, core Personal Consumption Expenditure, which isn’t very representative of the overall economic condition. Its basically a price of TV sets. But that’s fine because it serves a purpose. Russia could learn from that.

    Russian inflation metric appears to be heavily influenced by food prices which are excluded from policy analysis in the US due to volatility.

    Russia’s consumer price inflation rate rose to 5.2 percent in January 2021, from 4.9 percent in the previous month but below market expectations of 5.3 percent. It was the highest rate since April 2019 as prices rose for food products (1.0 percent), in particular fruits and vegetables (4.8 percent), and non-food items (0.5 percent). In addition, cost of services advanced 0.4 percent. On a monthly basis, consumer prices increased 0.7 percent in January.

    https://tradingeconomics.com/russia/inflation-cpi

    Whether the prices of fruits and vegetables in January should be driving monetary policy decisions is something Russia needs to figure out.

    • Replies: @Beckow
  238. Beckow says:
    @mal

    …food prices which are excluded from policy analysis (of inflation) in the US due to volatility.

    Like the Fed, I have always told my detractors to exclude any bad behaviour since it is only volatility. Not all have agreed. You can’t win them all if you are not the Fed.

    Russia needs to figure out a lot of things: what is driving its policies and what are their goals. Monetary stability is a political choice, and it comes with trade-offs. One is a dissatisfied (younger) population that may choose mayhem for the hell of it.

  239. On September 14, 2004, the government was established in Washington, DC, by prominent Uyghur and other East Turkistani independence leaders from across the East Turkistani / Uyghur diaspora.

    The East Turkistan Government-in-Exile is the democratically elected official body representing East Turkistan and its people.The East Turkistan Government-in-Exile is the democratically elected official body representing East Turkistan and its people.

    This is from their website. LOL.

    • Replies: @Kent Nationalist
  240. @AnonFromTN

    What does your plumber think?

    He does not really think. He can’t find Venezuela (or any other country, including the US) on the map. But he believes American MSM that Guaido is the president of Venezuela. For all his failings, he is a good plumber.

    Did you ask your plumber all this? I don’t buy it. Your plumber is smarter than you because he stayed out of this discussion, one you made an asshole of yourself in. Your star makes you smarter than a plumber? Cut me a king-sized break, Aye-Non Brain. You aren’t brighter than anyone. You’re an idiot, regardless of the Gold Star from the teacher. What a dumb-ass you are. Drink down three more scotch and rocks and you may convince yourself. You lost a lot of us with this one. Hurry! Delete it!

  241. @Shortsword

    Their ‘national anthem’ is pretty dire, admittedly not as bad as Bannon/gay real estate developer’s (can’t be bothered to look up his name) song for the Chinese government in exile.

  242. Houston we have a problem.

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EufOICDXIAAGl08?format=jpg&

    They should start thinking about building a Global Cooling resistant grid and controlled environment agriculture. We will need these in the next 20 years or so.

    But those polar bears will be alright…

    Poor Greta…

    https://www.nature.com/articles/srep15689#Fig3

    😑

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  243. @Bashibuzuk

    LOL

    Their 2019 Nature publication, presenting similar data and reaching similar conclusions in more detail, has been retracted due to an astronomical technicality detected by someone among the editors.

    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-45584-3

    They announced a global cooling roughly between 2020 and 2050. Can’t have that published while all humanity must unite in the heroic fight against the Global Warming (now rebranded as Climate Change). We must decarbonize the economy ASAP, otherwise the polar bears will keep on dying.

    But suddenly and absolutely unexpectedly (Sarc.):

  244. @Shortsword

    Given the African musical influences in the videos above, let’s this comment be my contribution to the Black History month.

    Let this be mine.

    The African Hebrew Israelite Nation of Jerusalem is a mainly based in Dimona, Israel, whose members believe they are descended from the Twelve Tribes of Israel. The Black Hebrew Israelites’s claims of Jewish heritage provoked substantial debate in Israel. Israeli law offers citizenship for all Jews throughout the world, but the Black Hebrew Israelites could produce no evidence to substantiate their Jewish heritage.

    After much investigation, the Chief Rabbinate of Israel thus decided that the Black Hebrew Israelites were not really Jewish and were not entitled to citizenship. The community now numbers around 5,000. Their ancestors were African Americans, many from Chicago, Illinois, who migrated to Israel in the late 1960s.

    Some Black Hebrew Israelites, frustrated by their lack of citizenship, denounced Israel and adopted anti-Semitic rhetoric, arguing that white Jews were frauds and that Black Hebrew Israelites were the only true Jewish descendents.

    https://www.haaretz.com/amp/opinion/.premium-israel-give-the-african-hebrew-israelites-citizenship-1.5461503

    • Replies: @Shortsword
  245. AP says:
    @Mr. XYZ

    By the way, what should Ukraine have done better after the collapse of the Soviet Union?

    Best option would have been to follow its neighbors Poland, Slovakia and Romania and take advantage of the 90s window to fully integrate with the West, thereby becoming a large Visegrad type country.

    Second best option would have been to pursue a Belarus strategy.

    Neither would have been realistic, because Ukraine’s independence was managed by its Sovok comprador elite whose motivation was to steal as much as possible without interference.

    Do you have any idea as to what Russia’s total population and ethnic demographics would have been right now had Germany won World War I AND have the Brest-Litovsk order been maintained up to the present-day?

    Well, Ukraine would probably have around 60-65 million people and its population would have a friendly attitude towards Russia, clearly seen as a different (Ukraine would be fully Ukrainophone) but fraternal country, as Norway has towards Sweden.

    Russia’s fate would depend on whether the Kaiser would tolerate an ongoing Bolshevik regime to his East and (related) if the Whites would accept territorial losses in exchange for help against the Reds. If Reds lose power quickly, Russia today would probably have around 200-230 million people within current borders and a per capita GDP similar to that of Italy. It would probably also include Kazakhstan and other parts of Central Asia so total population would be over 300 million. Due to many more ethnic Russians existing in this country, there would be less of a demographic imbalance between Russians and Central Asians than if these places would unite today in our actual timeline.

    Russia would thus be an actual equal participant in a multipolar world involving the USA/Anglosphere, Russia, German-dominated continental Europe, and China.

    If Bolsheviks stay in power, Russia would still probably avoid World War II so it would have an additional 10-15 million additional people but would be stuck with Central Asia.

    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ
  246. Mark Zuckerberg told Rupert Murdoch to Fu*k off today!

    😂😂😂

    Zucks actually got some ballz on him.

  247. Mr. Hack says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    The “Chernivtsy – Istanbul” train trek is not highly advertised, and is not to be considered as a branch of the Oriental Express. It’s something that I’ve patched together in my mind and it is possible. Actually the route changes sometimes, depending on the time of year and the viability of certain tracks. The boxcars used are just the plain everyday ones used by the regular plebs. As a result, the prices should be quite inexpensive. You could, actually bypass Sophia altogether, and get from Bucharest to Istanbul on another route. I was just interested to know if anybody that reads this blog has been to Bucharest or Sophia? Are they worth spending a couple of days visiting, with an overnight stay or two? I know about the direct Black Sea route by boat, but I’m not particularly fond of boat travel. Interestingly enough, I did locate this website from likeminded individuals:

    https://rail.cc/blog/bucharest-sofia-istanbul-train

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
    , @AP
  248. I find the long read linked below (in Russian) remarkable. And I consider the author as one among the smartest Russian bloggers. Many aspects of his lengthy post are somewhat related to our different discussions here.

    https://kornev.livejournal.com/573484.html

    Informative and at the same time very entertaining.

  249. @Mr. Hack

    I’ve been to Bucharest. It’s a beautiful city. People are nice. Certainly worth visiting. And it is not expensive at all.

    • Thanks: Mr. Hack
  250. AP says:
    @Mr. Hack

    Our host was in Bucharest and wrote an article about it. He hasn’t gotten around to writing an article about impressions from his trip to Poland yet.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  251. @Blinky Bill

    I didn’t know that Israel had any Black Hebrew Israelites. That’s funny. But it does look like Israel doesn’t accept them anymore. In general Israel doesn’t seem keen on converts. Black Hebrew Israelites doesn’t really qualify as converts though since their religion is not really Jewish.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  252. Mr. Hack says:
    @AP

    Yes, I do recall that. It was one of his extravaganza travel logs, loaded with photos too. If his Poland trip is anywhere near finished, he should consider posting it now, while he’s busy with other things?…

  253. Dmitry says:
    @Shortsword

    African Hebrew Israelites are a kind of originally Christian polygamous religious group in Israel that immigrated illegally into Israel from Chicago in the 1970s. I watched some documentaries about them on YouTube I will add to the bottom of this post.

    Originally they emigrated from USA in response to the American Civil Rights movement, so they went from Chicago to Liberia, to be free from racism .

    After terrible experiences in Liberia, the community fell into disillusionment, and then immigrated to Israel.

    In Israel, their leader was in conflict with the government, which said it would deport them if they didn’t convert to Judaism – but Israeli government often can’t actually succeed in deporting people (due to decisions of a quite liberal Supreme Court). In the recent decades, they became loyal to the state, as their children receive Israeli citizenship after being in the army for 1 year.

    There was a scandal a few years ago as one of their women soldiers was found dead with a bullet in her head. Israeli army claimed she killed herself, but the community thought she was been murdered after sexual harassments by an officer.

    Kids of the community go to the Israeli army (that’s the legal reason Israel gives them citizenship – they don’t qualify in any way on “Law of Return”, but instead can get citizenship via military service).

  254. Mr. XYZ says:
    @AP

    Best option would have been to follow its neighbors Poland, Slovakia and Romania and take advantage of the 90s window to fully integrate with the West, thereby becoming a large Visegrad type country.

    Second best option would have been to pursue a Belarus strategy.

    Neither would have been realistic, because Ukraine’s independence was managed by its Sovok comprador elite whose motivation was to steal as much as possible without interference.

    A Belarus strategy would have meant returning to Imperial Moskali Domination, no?

    Also, just how did countries such as Poland avoid the emergence of oligarchs to the same extent as Russia and Ukraine did in the 1990s?

    Well, Ukraine would probably have around 60-65 million people and its population would have a friendly attitude towards Russia, clearly seen as a different (Ukraine would be fully Ukrainophone) but fraternal country, as Norway has towards Sweden.

    Russia’s fate would depend on whether the Kaiser would tolerate an ongoing Bolshevik regime to his East and (related) if the Whites would accept territorial losses in exchange for help against the Reds. If Reds lose power quickly, Russia today would probably have around 200-230 million people within current borders and a per capita GDP similar to that of Italy. It would probably also include Kazakhstan and other parts of Central Asia so total population would be over 300 million. Due to many more ethnic Russians existing in this country, there would be less of a demographic imbalance between Russians and Central Asians than if these places would unite today in our actual timeline.

    Russia would thus be an actual equal participant in a multipolar world involving the USA/Anglosphere, Russia, German-dominated continental Europe, and China.

    If Bolsheviks stay in power, Russia would still probably avoid World War II so it would have an additional 10-15 million additional people but would be stuck with Central Asia.

    Yes, Russia should have a GDP PPP per capita comparable to Italy or perhaps France in this scenario, though I actually wouldn’t rule it out being slightly higher since Russia has A LOT OF natural resources–and Russia will only benefit by keeping Kazakhstan’s and Turkmenistan’s vast natural resources.

    Also, what about further Russian expansion and immigration to Russia? After losing World War I as a result of Bolshevik subversion, would Russia ever actually be capable of expanding further anywhere else–whether it was led by Bolsheviks or by Whites? In addition, just how many people are actually going to immigrate to Russia over the last 100 years in this scenario? After all, a wealthy Russia could certainly become a HUGE magnet for international migration. If Russia keeps Central Asia, then it’s going to be located right next door to Afghanistan and South Asia–and of course South Asia currently has a giant and poor population right now!

    As a side note, Central Asians also suffered heavily from Communism and Nazism, especially–but not only–Kazakhs. However, I suspect that, other than Kazakhs (who lost a third of their total population as a result of the 1930s famines, to my knowledge), Russians suffered proportionally more as a result of Communism and Nazism than Central Asians did. As for these territories uniting right now in real life, Nursultan Nazarbayev had it correct when he said that the Eurasian Economic Union should be a purely economic union as opposed to it eventually becoming a political union. Why exactly MUST economic integration result in full political integration, after all?

    • Replies: @AP
  255. A123 says:

    Thursday humor for the Open Thread:

    Full Auto Square Bob. Can you imagine the reaction trying to market this in the U.S.?

    PEACE 😇
     

    • Agree: mal
  256. Dmitry says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    was afraid of visiting Uzbekistan. If that’s the type of people Israeli education produces, then they are missing

    I’m not expert, but I think most young secular Israelis are not people with a high average cultural level, or historical knowledgeable. Secular Israel is not that kind of indoors culture that encourages development of cultural level.

    The reverse side of that is I think they might be somewhat more protected against the extreme computerization and internet addiction we see happening to young people in Russia; as it is benefits from Mediterranean climate, and less cold, dark, months, inside the apartment.

    products of post-enlightenment intellectualizing, then how are they different from the cultureless Western younger generations

    It’s a good point, and usually in this forum people don’t seem to want to discuss the importance of cultural development.

    But notice that people from a multi-generational post-enlightenment background, are usually better adapted for life in modern world. So in some sense, the post-enlightenment people are becoming stronger.

    Jacques Derrida is an example of education of native elite by the French colonists. Centuries ago, Derrida’s ancestors were probably some primitive Berber Jewish tribesman, but his family was likely educated in a secular middle class French culture for multiple generations since the 19th century.

    As an Algerian immigrant to France, he was easily able to navigate the most sophisticated French career ladder, while the Algerian immigrants from less elite, post-enlightenment backgrounds, were cleaning toilets, or living in banlieues.

    I think Derrida’s writing is like a bad parody of French intellectualism, but my point is that unlike many third world immigrants, French colonialism has given to families from local middle class or elites the skills to survive in a modern country.

    Sometimes colonized elites can be more successful than the colonizers in their own games – for example, Imran Khan, Pakistan’s President, was an cricket champion in London, like a model English gentleman. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imran_Khan

    For contrast, “mentally uncolonized” immigrants, can seem quite lost and unadaptable when they go to a modernizing country.

    Ethiopian Christians that immigrate to America might be urbanized middle class from cities like Addis Ababa, but the Jews in Ethiopia seem to be mostly some kind of Iron Age peasants, in the hinterland of the country.

    Israel uprooted whole villages of Jews from the Ethiopian outback, and expected them to adapt as good Zionists in Ashdod or Ramat Gan. But situation for Ethiopians in Israel is much more difficult; and older immigrants from their pre-enlightenment background, seem like they can be spiritually broken by the modern world.

    You see these old people that immigrated to Israel:

    ^ This idea of recreating their home village, is funded by some sophisticated Canadian Jews, who probably studied psychotherapy in university.

    But Israel itself was not that sophisticated, and now seems surprised that Ethiopians are not adapting as easily as Russian-speaking postsoviet immigrants, who arrived at the same time . It doesn’t need to be said that immigrants from the culture that launched the first humans into space, find it easier to adjust to immigration, than people from pre-historic African villages

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  257. @Dmitry

    I mainly agree. The best would be for Jews and everybody else to find a balance between their cultural, spiritual and historical background and modern day technological and social developments. It is a hard balancing act even for the most educated among the Westerners, it must be even harder for some imperfectly integrated third world people. I think the worst situation is when these maladapted people live in their own communities and perpetuate or even increase this social problematic.

    You have mentioned les banlieues, this is the example of what should never be done: bring them in, parc them in a ghetto and let them rot. Those among the African Blacks and Maghrebi that get out of this morass to work or study usually end up adapting and even prospering: some of the third generation Maghrebis are doing fine financially, but those who stay behind become rootless lumpen proles and end up criminalized.

    I hope that Russia will avoid this kind of problem.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  258. AP says:
    @Mr. XYZ

    “Best option would have been to follow its neighbors Poland, Slovakia and Romania and take advantage of the 90s window to fully integrate with the West, thereby becoming a large Visegrad type country.

    Second best option would have been to pursue a Belarus strategy.

    Neither would have been realistic, because Ukraine’s independence was managed by its Sovok comprador elite whose motivation was to steal as much as possible without interference.”

    A Belarus strategy would have meant returning to Imperial Moskali Domination, no?

    In the way that Belarus is. It would have meant less economic ruin and misery than what actually happened, but would have been an inferior strategy to the one pursued by Poland, Romania, etc.

    Also, just how did countries such as Poland avoid the emergence of oligarchs to the same extent as Russia and Ukraine did in the 1990s?

    Polish society including its elites were anti-Communist and patriotic, including its Communist elites who saw their role as being compliant enough in order to safeguard Poland from worse treatment by Moscow. Many of them (including Jaruzelski) were noblemen. Thus, there was strong and broad-based motivation to improve the country and its people’s lot.

    About half of Ukraine could be considered patriotic, and very few of the elites were. The elite in Ukraine were a mixture of simple collaborators and of Sovok bureaucrats who were too stupid to make it in Moscow so they were relegated to the provinces. These were the people who happened to be in control of the place when the USSR fell apart. They really had no strong connection to “Ukraine.” Amoral Sovoks, they were primarily motivated by the desire to steal as much as they could and made the most of the opportunity to do so. They gave the educational institutions to the nationalists to appease them and keep them quiet, which worked for over 10 years, but kept the economy under their control.

    Also, what about further Russian expansion and immigration to Russia? After losing World War I as a result of Bolshevik subversion, would Russia ever actually be capable of expanding further anywhere else–whether it was led by Bolsheviks or by Whites?

    Without Bolshevism’s social changes and mass murder Russia would have tens of millions of additional people. If a powerful Germany-dominated Europe would constrain attempts at revanche to the West, Russians could further colonize the beautiful lands of central Asia, or settle places like the Far East much more densely – Vladivostok might have had a population similar to that of LA. I suppose Russia might have clashed with Britain over Afghanistan and India some day.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    , @Mr. XYZ
  259. I’m laughing at ZOG rightoids including Manchuria in their fantasy maps, when Chineses from that region don’t even call it that name because it’s too reminiscent of the Japanese puppet regime.

    MAP BREAK The Real Map of China pic.twitter.com/sqhDsxFi9i— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) February 17, 2021

    • Replies: @Shortsword
  260. @Kent Nationalist

    I found this person in the replies

    He seems to be an Algerian living in USA that is pro-Trump and anti-China but also pro-Palestine, anti-Israel and anti-Turkey. He calls out Turkey and Israel for funding terrorists and destabilizing the Middle East. Why are pro-Blompfers so retarded?

    • Replies: @Kent Nationalist
  261. Mr. Hack says:
    @AP

    I suppose Russia might have clashed with Britain over Afghanistan and India some day.

    Though I don’t recall any direct clashes over Afghanistan by Russia and Britain, there sure was a lot of posturing and proxy alliances for dominance over it by these two great powers in the 19th century. Russia finally established itself as the great power there, but finally losing its dominance in the 1980’s. Now the “Great Game” has expanded to include India and China to be forces to be reckoned with in the Eurasian continent too, not to mention Turkey and Iran as smaller players. Instead of a game of chess with two players, it looks more like a game of bridge. And then there’s always the US, still trying to impose its vision there too, especially with its strong foothold within Ukraine. The two most interesting players, for my money, are Russia and China. China looks like the rising meteorite in the area, but Russia still has historic imperial designs in play too. Their “mutual partnership” is fraught with possible fault lines in the area. It’ll certainly be interesting to see how the political map will be drawn 20 years from now.

    • Agree: AP
    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ
  262. The Texas winter storm is really something. Because the infrastructure can’t handle the cold millions of people are without electricity, water and heating. Almost all oil production in Texas has shut down which is over 40% of the national oil production. Bursting pipes are causing major damage to peoples homes. Many have to live in their cars or in hotels but all hotels are full and the prices per night have skyrocketed.

    • Replies: @AnonfromTN
  263. Dmitry says:
    @Shortsword

    I doubt it would be possible for most groups because Israel doesn’t seem to count citizens by nationality, but rather by religion.

    There are pre-election polls commissioned specifically for Russian-speakers, where you can see who Russian-speakers say they plan to vote for.

    In 2015, 29% of Russian-speaking voters say they would vote for “Nash Dom Israel”, 22% would vote for “Likud”, 6% of the votes each received the “Yesh Atid” and the “Zionist Camp”, 5% would vote for the “Bayt Yehudi” party, 2% for “Kulanu”. “Meretz”, “Shas”, “Ale Yarok” and right-wing radical parties each receive 1% of the votes.
    https://www.newsru.co.il/israel/09feb2015/pori_otchet_104.html

    Russian speakers are voting as a sectarian bloc for the non-Ashkenazi parties. Ashkenazi parties seem to receive only 13% from the Russian vote, while the non-Ashkenazi parties receive 60% from them.

    Russian-speaking vote is somewhat in alliance with the working class Mizrachi Jews that they usually live mixed up with, and which belong to a more similar socioeconomic level to themselves – except on secularism where their interests overlap with a secular Ashkenazi vote.

    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ
  264. @Shortsword

    The Texas winter storm is really something.

    Snow might be unusual in Texas, but in Middle TN we have several snow days virtually every winter. We did not have this much snow that lasted almost a week in the last 20 years that I live here. Snow in winter appears to be a natural disaster in the US. Out of two supermarkets nearby one is closed for the entire week, and in the other half of the shelves are empty: no meat, fish, few milk products, almost no bread, etc. The last time I’ve seen something like that was last Spring at the beginning of “covid pandemic”, and before that in the last year of the USSR. Even formerly robust US economy cannot survive throwing a third of the budget into the insatiable maw of MIC, allegedly for “defense” (from who?). I’ve witnessed one empire dying, and now I see the same signs in another one. Sad.

    • Replies: @Shortsword
  265. @Passer by

    Rich countries grow slow. Catch-up is easy. Being leading edge is not. 8th & 19th C Britain never had spurts of 7% growth. 3% was a good year. The whole of Africa doubled in that 20 years. Still not worth much attention.

    • Replies: @Passer by
  266. Mr. XYZ says:
    @AP

    In the way that Belarus is. It would have meant less economic ruin and misery than what actually happened, but would have been an inferior strategy to the one pursued by Poland, Romania, etc.

    Belarus’s situation isn’t that good. True, it’s better off than Ukraine, but it is likely to endure a lot of additional economic misery were it to ever break off more decisively from Russia–before things would gradually begin getting better there, of course.

    Polish society including its elites were anti-Communist and patriotic, including its Communist elites who saw their role as being compliant enough in order to safeguard Poland from worse treatment by Moscow. Many of them (including Jaruzelski) were noblemen. Thus, there was strong and broad-based motivation to improve the country and its people’s lot.

    About half of Ukraine could be considered patriotic, and very few of the elites were. The elite in Ukraine were a mixture of simple collaborators and of Sovok bureaucrats who were too stupid to make it in Moscow so they were relegated to the provinces. These were the people who happened to be in control of the place when the USSR fell apart. They really had no strong connection to “Ukraine.” Amoral Sovoks, they were primarily motivated by the desire to steal as much as they could and made the most of the opportunity to do so. They gave the educational institutions to the nationalists to appease them and keep them quiet, which worked for over 10 years, but kept the economy under their control.

    Are the people who are currently in charge of Ukraine Sovoks, in your honest opinion?

    Otherwise, good analysis. 🙂

    “Without Bolshevism’s social changes and mass murder Russia would have tens of millions of additional people. If a powerful Germany-dominated Europe would constrain attempts at revanche to the West, Russians could further colonize the beautiful lands of central Asia, or settle places like the Far East much more densely – Vladivostok might have had a population similar to that of LA. I suppose Russia might have clashed with Britain over Afghanistan and India some day.”

    Would the Chinese have become Vladivostok’s equivalent of LA’s Mexicans?

    As for India, Russia never actually had any desire to conquer India–at least not after Tsar Paul–did it? True, Britain was afraid of Russia doing this, but AFAIK, it was an irrational fear.

    Afghanistan, of course, would be more interesting, as would Persia, Xinjiang, and Mongolia, but the question is–would a victorious Germany have actually allowed Russian expansion further to the south in Asia? Or would Germany have viewed such Russian moves as GOOD things since they would have reduced the risk of Russian revanchism in Europe?

    • Replies: @AP
  267. Mr. XYZ says:
    @Mr. Hack

    In regards to Central Asia, I expect all Central Asian countries other than Turkmenistan to become members of the Eurasian Economic Union within the next 20 years and maybe even within the next 10 years. Afghanistan would have also been a nice addition to this had the religious fundamentalist element there been–or became–MUCH less strong.

  268. Mr. XYZ says:
    @Dmitry

    “Nash Dom Israel” isn’t an Ashkenazi Party?

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  269. Dmitry says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    les banlieues, this is the example of what should never be done: bring them in, parc them in a ghetto

    They are not just cut from their enchanted medieval Arabic culture, but thrown into the country’s more economic sectors (e.g. industrial labour where a worker is alienated from the object of their work), and living in the cheapest version of modernist architecture. At least in Marseille, I imagine the sun and beaches might create a tolerable environment, but in North France you also have to add grey skies and rain.

    Although in Israel, much of the Russian-speaking immigrants, Ethiopian immigrants and Mizrachi Jews, have been thrown into physically worse ghettoes, than many banlieues of France.

    For example, Bat Yam is good at making Tolyatti look like Monaco.

    Yet local people seem to think it’s a beautiful city, and my friend (who lives there) does not leave it. There is a collective subjective decision of the immigrants involved in this. That in France, immigrants were not sufficiently subsumed to France on the ideological level.

    In the case of Algerian Muslim immigrant in France, their ideological situation seems particularly strange? Immigrating to the country you have defeated in a war of independence a few decades earlier.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  270. @AnonfromTN

    At least pipes over there should be built not to burst.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  271. Dmitry says:
    @Mr. XYZ

    NDI is a small party with support from mostly older Russian-speaking immigrants in Israel, although when outside Russian language, it seems to use a right-wing rhetoric to unsuccessfully try to attract Mizrachi voters.

    When party’s leader (Avigdor Lieberman) was chosen as Minister of Defense, the Ashkenazi elite in Israel had a mental collapse, and the media were writing articles about how they will emigrate from country in shame that a foreign Moldovan immigrant is elevated to the prestigious position of defense minister.

    NDI was able to get support from some Druze villagers as well. This is probably why their leading politician after Lieberman, is a gangster looking Druze Karate fighter Hamad Amar.

    In the election advertising for Hebrew, they seem to try to disguise that their voter base is Russian-speaking pensioners. For example, Mizrachi actors to hold the signs

    • Replies: @Shortsword
  272. @Dmitry

    When party’s leader (Avigdor Lieberman) was chosen as Minister of Defense, the Ashkenazi elite in Israel had a mental collapse, and the media were writing articles about how they will emigrate from country in shame that a foreign Moldovan immigrant is elevated to the prestigious position of defense minister.

    Doesn’t this contradict your earlier posts in this thread about how the Israeli Ashkenazi elite is?

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  273. Dmitry says:
    @Shortsword

    In Israel, the elite and upper middle class is still somewhat dominated by a prestigious clique who speak Hebrew natively, since childhood was part of Zionist youth movements, go to elite schools, and was usually combat soldiers in the military, and who had family originating in collective farming communities (“Kibbutzim” and “Moshavim”).

    Politically, the culture is marked by majority belief in liberalism, secularism, and militarism, and agricultural origin – the archetype is Yitzhak Rabin, and you can see “Rabin Day” as a festival especially valuable for secular, liberal Ashkenazi in Israel.

    Netanyahu is from that elite clique’s background himself, but his party’s voting base is since its formation relying on working class Mizrachim (“masortim”), religious-nationalists (“datim leumim”), and Russian-speaking and Ethiopian immigrants (“olim”). Some are writing about Netanyahu as a cynical traitor of the idealistic Israel of his youth, not only in the demographics he relies on for votes, but also in his American Republican (anti-labour) economic views.

    Avigdor Lieberman was an adult immigrant to Israel from Kishinev, who doesn’t speak with Hebrew accent, and his career is based on votes of recently arriving Russian-speaking immigrants. In addition, his political rhetoric can sound unhinged, and appealing to less liberal voters. And he was also not a combat soldier in the army, which is what they criticized him for most.

    On the other perspective, he presents himself as a kind of civil rights achievement for immigrants, and like a Russian-speaking version of Obama, who breaks the glass ceiling for people from a traditionally excluded national origin.

    View post on imgur.com

    While Begin’s son said he’s just an idiot

    Netanyahu was soon attacking in a snobby way Lieberman for being outside the elite background of someone which led soldiers in combat experience:

  274. @Shortsword

    All part of life’s rich tapestry

    • Agree: Daniel Chieh
  275. Ukraine now wants to finish their project 58250 corvette that hasn’t been worked on since 2014. Ukrainian shipyards only build small numbers of tugboats and barges so it will something funny to follow.

    Another similar idea they have is build a couple of An-74 and An-140 out of the unfinished fuselages that’s been collecting dust for years in the Kharkov factory. Antonov hasn’t built an aircraft since 2015.

  276. Passer by says:
    @Philip Owen

    Problem with all of that is the long term decline of the West and it becoming a small part of the global economy in the long run. Which means that 500 hundred years of western domination are over.

    This isn’t to mention that the West is now getting dumber, while the rest of the planet is getting smater (Flynn effects).

    Btw when talking about leading edge EU failed to create a Covid vaccine while the US can not compete in the 5G sector.

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
  277. There is a very large surplus of women in Hong Kong aged 30 to 60. The only feasible explanation is that more women have immigrated to Hong Kong. Why is that? Some kind of policy?

    • Replies: @Blinky Bill
  278. @Shortsword

    Free Hongkong, make the bastards clean their own rooms!

    [MORE]

    Not just from the the Philippines but also women from Indonesia and Mainland China come to work! Seriously skews the ratio.

    For the record I like Filipinos,they are kind and generous. I don’t like the people who can’t wash their own dishes.

    • Thanks: Shortsword
    • Replies: @Shortsword
  279. @Blinky Bill

    Nice video. Basically all women.

    Looks like there is a Wikipedia page on foreign helpers in Hong Kong. But it’s weird that the demographics page of Hong Kong doesn’t mention this. On the demographics page there is a picture of the population pyramid which shows there is a huge surplus of women but there is no explanation for why. Very suspicious!

    But the page on foreign helpers says

    Foreign domestic helpers in Hong Kong (Chinese: 香港外籍家庭傭工) are domestic workers employed by Hongkongers, typically families. Comprising five percent of Hong Kong’s population, about 98.5% of them are women. In 2019, there were 400,000 foreign domestic helpers in the territory; of these, 48 percent were from the Philippines, 49.4 percent from Indonesia and 1.3 percent from Thailand.

    which explains the surplus of women.

  280. @Dmitry

    Immigrating to the country you have defeated in a war of independence a few decades earlier.

    De jure Algeria was not a colony, but a French department. It was France. From the point of view of OAS the FLN was a left wing terrorist separatist militia. L’OAS was not fighting for a colony, but for France on a French territory.

    [MORE]

    The coat of arms of French Algeria is quite transparent about the way things were organized there. When you read Camus, he’s not writing about a foreign land, but about a land that belongs to the Pieds noirs – European settlers.

    In the early decades after being conquered and pacified, Algeria was mainly Muslim and Jewish (probably 70% Muslim and 30% Jewish) with Jews being perhaps 50% of the population in the urbain centers. Jews controlled commerce (including international trade) and crafts, Arabs were semi-nomadic agriculturalists, while Berbers were sedentary agriculturalists and craftsmen. The early European were military and administrative personnel. It was the colonial era when French built forts, crushed rebellious Arab and Berber tribes and pushed exploration further south into Sahara.

    Then the settlers started pouring in and toiling the land that was taken from the semi-nomadic Arab tribes which were assigned to a sedentary existence on smaller tracts of land. Given superior agricultural skills of the European new comers, the agriculture rapidly developed with the Arabs being the farm hands. Jews still controlled trade, but lost many trades due to competing imports from the metropolitan France.

    It was a three tier system then: the European Pied noir settlers were the dominant class, Urban Jewry were the second class and Muslims were overwhelmingly third class. Then under the pressure from their European Jewish cousins, the French government granted equal rights under local law to Algerian Jews and later on under le Front populaire of Léon Blum, they had full French citizenship. The Muslims were now second class citizens with Pieds noirs forced to integrate urban Jewish population.

    After WW2, the Muslims were finally recognized as French citizens, but with inequal voting rights to ensure the prevalence of the Judeo-European Pieds noirs in the Algerian elected bodies. By that time a large majority of Algerian Jews were westernized and the majority of Algerian Pieds noirs were born and raised there.

    A lot of Algerian Muslims fought in the WWI in France proper. After the war first Algerian migrant workers started to travel to France to work in the mines and agriculture. By the time of the independence, tens of thousands of Algerian Muslim French Army soldiers and Harki paramilitary fighters against the FLN ran for their lives along the Pieds noirs who were threatened with death if they stayed in Algeria. All of them, Christian, Jewish or Muslim were French citizens.

    Therefore, the first hundreds of thousands of Algerian born French were not immigrants, but repatriated French nationals. The current Ministre de l’intérieur, Gérald Moussa Darmanin is the son of one of these Harkis and an ethnic French mother.

    The mass immigration of the Maghrebi started in the early 60ies, when Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco had a weak economy, while France was experiencing a strong economic growth. The Maghrebi went to work, save moneys to buy a car and come back home to marry. But they stayed. And now 2 generations later they are 20% of the France population and the majority of them were born and raised there.

    • Thanks: Blinky Bill
    • Replies: @Dmitry
  281. AP says:
    @Mr. XYZ

    Are the people who are currently in charge of Ukraine Sovoks, in your honest opinion

    They are mostly too young, though there are many Sovoks such as Medvedchuk among the older established elites.

    @Vladivostok might have had a population similar to that of LA. I suppose Russia might have clashed with Britain over Afghanistan and India some day.”

    Would the Chinese have become Vladivostok’s equivalent of LA’s Mexicans?

    Maybe, though the city would have also attracted Filipinos.

    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ
  282. Until quite recently, a civil war seemed all but impossible in the United States—something of the past, for most citizens, not of the future.

    But the Capitol insurrection on Jan. 6 and the rise of violent domestic extremism have set off alarm bells about the potential for another descent into internal war. That may seem far-fetched, but there have been literally hundreds of internal conflicts around the world—in countries from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe. And more depressingly, in many ways, the U.S. Civil War never actually ended and may indeed be ramping back up.

    https://foreignpolicy.com/2021/02/18/how-civil-wars-start/

  283. @Shortsword

    At least pipes over there should be built not to burst.

    I am sure the story of water pipes in TX is the same as the story of its electric grid. Texas utilities cannot say they weren’t pre-warned. After 2011 cold snap Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the North America Electric Reliability Corporation made recommendations, that were ignored by TX utilities for the sake of maximizing profits.
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-02-17/texas-was-warned-a-decade-ago-its-grid-was-unprepared-for-cold
    Not to mention that TX electric grid is not connected to others. Overall the US electric system is not far from the African level: there are three separate grids, North-East, West, and TX, and they aren’t connected. The connection would have enabled exchange of power in case of emergency, like this one.

    • Replies: @A123
    , @Beckow
  284. @AnonFromTN

    German culture is the same apparently. In British culture it’s the opposite, taking advantage of easy credit is seen as the smart thing to do. People who would save and only buy what they can afford are seen as suckers basically.

    This may be due to the ease of declaring bankruptcy in Britain and wiping ones debts and starting afresh, perhaps not so easy in other countries? There’s many people here who seem to live in a continuous cycle of bankruptcy and dodging debt collection agencies, and are almost proud of it.

  285. Biden Should End U.S. Hypocrisy on Israeli Nukes

    For decades, U.S. presidents have pledged not to talk about Israel’s nuclear arsenal despite pushing for nonproliferation in the region. It’s time for Washington to end the double standard.

    [MORE]

    Until Feb. 17, U.S. President Joe Biden had delayed making the usual post-inauguration ceremonial call to the Israeli prime minister. Washington insiders concluded that the apparent cold shoulder meant Biden had not yet signed “the letter,” which Israel routinely demands of U.S. presidents to ensure the United States doesn’t mention Israel’s nuclear weapons when discussing proliferation in the region or pressure the Israeli government to reduce its formidable atomic arsenal.

    As described by Adam Entous in a 2018 New Yorker article, every U.S. president since Bill Clinton has, at Israeli insistence, signed a secret letter upon entering office that effectively pledges the United States will not “press the Jewish state to give up its nuclear weapons so long as it continued to face existential threats in the region.” Whatever policy the United States adopts toward Israeli nuclear weapons, it’s time it stopped this demeaning rite.

    The consequence for U.S. policy has been that the United States does not press Israel to give up its nuclear weapons—when doing so would have been the only course consistent with U.S. nonproliferation policy. However, Washington actively assists Israel, both diplomatically by quashing discussion of its nuclear weapons in international forums and materially by looking the other way at nuclear-related Israeli violations of law, including some within the United States.

    This included pretending in 1979 that what was almost certainly an Israeli nuclear test in the South Indian Ocean, which was observed by a U.S. satellite, didn’t happen. Former President Jimmy Carter’s White House and its successors classified documents and debunked what was known, but the signal evidence is extremely compelling, as we and others have detailed in Foreign Policy.

    Perhaps the worst result of accommodating Israeli demands for such letters is that the U.S. government has voluntarily blinded itself by pretending not to know anything about Israeli nuclear weapons—and thus corrupted its efforts at coherent and constructive policymaking.

    By maintaining this fictional ignorance within the government, when everyone on Earth who has the slightest interest in the subject knows the truth, the U.S. government has promulgated a regulation—described in the U.S. Energy Department’s Classification Bulletin WPN-136 on Foreign Nuclear Capabilities—that threatens government employees with severe punishment if they acknowledge Israel has nuclear weapons. Naturally, the regulation is withheld from public release. The government hides behind a stretched reading of the Freedom of Information Act’s exemption for documents that “would disclose techniques and procedures for law enforcement investigations or prosecutions,” which the withheld material would not.

    At former President Barack Obama’s first televised press conference, the late journalist Helen Thomas asked him whether he knew of any nuclear armed countries in the Middle East. Obama was already primed with the right answer: “With respect to nuclear weapons, you know, I don’t want to speculate,” as if an intelligent person couldn’t be sure. Such presidential statements provide guidance for the rest of the government. At a meeting we attended during the Obama administration, a senior state department official—an intelligent man—covered his embarrassment for following the party line by saying sheepishly, “personally, of my own knowledge, I can’t be sure.”

    There is a myth that this charade is required because of a secret 1969 understanding between former U.S. President Richard Nixon and former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir. Supposedly, she promised not to test a nuclear weapon and he promised not to press Israel to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) or give up its nuclear weapons.

    The trouble with this conclusion, so confidently presented by historians and officials, is that Nixon and Meir spoke alone with no aides present, not even the ubiquitous Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, and there is nothing in writing that reveals what they talked about. Nevertheless, successive Israeli governments have bluffed U.S. officials into accepting a supposed obligation to continue to protect their nuclear weapons from public disclosure or criticism.

    The press occasionally mentions Israeli nuclear weapons, but journalists hesitate to ask a government official about the subject, knowing it is not helpful to a journalist’s career to venture into that territory.

    But the stakes are much higher at a time when nuclear proliferation in the region is a global concern and a growing risk. A government that is not able to admit that Israel has nuclear weapons cannot credibly discuss the issue of nuclear proliferation elsewhere in the Middle East. This leads to more foolishness. The 2010 NPT Review Conference voted unanimously to have a Middle East conference discussing the problems of a ban on nuclear weapons.

    The day after his own conference delegate voted in favor of the discussion, Obama trashed the idea: “Our view is that a comprehensive and durable peace in the region and full compliance by all regional states with their arms control and nonproliferation obligations are essential precursors for [a ban’s] establishment. … We strongly oppose efforts to single out Israel and will oppose actions that jeopardize Israel’s national security.” Although this secrecy-driven policy is what the Israelis insist on so they can maintain their ambiguity, it isn’t at all clear that it is to Israel’s ultimate advantage, as the scholar Avner Cohen has argued. It certainly isn’t to the United States’ advantage.

    One can imagine this statement’s effect on the credibility of U.S. pronouncements regarding the need to curtail the spread of nuclear weapons. U.S. credibility is critical because recently, the Saudi crown prince and the Turkish president have cast doubt on their NPT pledges not to obtain nuclear weapons, and Iran’s nuclear future continues to be in doubt. The idea of a conference on a nuclear-free Middle East is also not going away—the Egyptian foreign minister said Egypt will bring the issue up again in the NPT Review Conference scheduled for August 2021. Signing the letter would force a repeat of Obama’s performance.

    In this respect, the behavior of U.S. officials appears to track with Israel’s famous policy of ambiguity regarding nuclear weapons. But there is a difference: U.S. presidents sign the letter, and the government keeps mum. But ironically, the Israelis find ways, without mentioning the word nuclear, to brag about their nuclear weapons.

    They have their own triad: nuclear-tipped land-based missiles (of French design), nuclear-capable aircraft (U.S. design), and advanced German submarines armed with Israeli long-range nuclear-tipped cruise missiles. When the last addition to their submarine fleet arrived from Germany in 2016, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke of the devastation this submarine could wreak on Israel’s enemies if they were to try to harm the country. You can’t inspire fear if you don’t give adversaries an idea of what you are capable of.

    The United States has put itself in a ridiculous position. If Israel wants to maintain ambiguity about its nuclear arsenal—whether for national security or domestic bureaucratic reasons to avoid scrutiny—that is its business. But the United States’ acceptance or rejection of a muzzle on what it can say is now Biden’s business.

    There may have been a time when revealing Israeli nuclear capabilities might have produced a seriously adverse reaction from the Soviets, perhaps assisting nuclear weapon programs in Arab states, but that time has long passed. The United States is now in the process of trying to keep Iran from developing the wherewithal to obtain nuclear weapons. Washington cannot credibly or effectively discuss the subject without acknowledging that Israel has nuclear weapons too.

    The letter Israel expects all U.S. presidents to sign supposedly speaks of U.S. protection so long as Israel faces “existential threats”—which raises the question of whether Israel still faces any such threats, especially after the landmark 2020 Abraham Accords and other agreements with key Arab states. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, in his Senate hearing, spoke of Israeli security being “sacrosanct” as if it were a David surrounded by Goliaths.

    It is time to update Washington’s thinking. Israel is a powerful, nuclear-armed state—stronger than all of its neighbors combined. The United States’ credibility and standing as it seeks to prevent further regional proliferation are more important than indulging Israel in a charade that undermines U.S. interests.

  286. A123 says:
    @AnonFromTN

    Texas has been badly treated by the major grid operators in the past. Those spurned grid operators generated the hit pieces like the one you cite.

    While not the only culprit, the #1 root cause for the magnitude of the current problem is over dependence on inherently unreliable wind turbines. SJW Globalists Elites are pushing debunked Climate Mythology to line their own pockets. As long as Elite Science Deniers keep pushing unsound choices to combat non-existent Global Cooling / Warming / Change — That Science Denial will impose an ever growing risks on the victims who think they can deny physical reality and get away with it.

    PEACE 😇
     

  287. Beckow says:
    @AnonFromTN

    Another factor that made it worse in Texas is the deregulated energy market. I visited a friend at UT, he showed me that his house had a choice of “16 electricity providers“, different prices for different consumption levels. Of course none of them are actually a “provider”, simply a business venture that buys and sells electricity from the producers, intermediaries who are in it just to make a profit. A true libertarian paradise.

    Now we see how well that works: none of the companies planned for an emergency, nobody keeps reserves, nobody has backups, there is no incentive to do maintenance. And nobody can be held responsible.

    That works well when buying potatoes or socks, not so well with the rest of the economy (probably 70-80%) where there are monopolies, rent seeking and no “market” anyone would actually recognize.

    On a related topic: we are getting rich “trading” sh..t with each other, everything from GameStock to cryptocurrencies. If this is not an irrational mania not based on anything real, what would be? Or do people really think that we can all get rich with enough websites and electronic “transactions”? Wealth is nothing else but what we manage to consume during our lives – if nothing gets produced, how exactly is that “wealth”? The latter-day capitalism is truly bizarre in its ability to make so many people stupid.

    • Agree: Bashibuzuk
  288. A123 says:
    @Blinky Bill

    If you are going to pick on Ted Cruz. Make fun of the flag mask. From this angle…

    Can you say Poland?

    — Take One “Lone Star” away from Texas… What do you get?
    — Who knew that Texas and Poland were so closely related?

    PEACE 😇
     

  289. Mr. XYZ says:
    @AP

    They are mostly too young, though there are many Sovoks such as Medvedchuk among the older established elites.

    Interesting.

    Maybe, though the city would have also attracted Filipinos.

    Why Filipinos in particular?

    Also, do you think that Russia (specifically anywhere in Russia) would have also received a lot of immigration from South Asia as well as from other Asian countries such as Japan, Korea, Vietnam, et cetera?

    • Replies: @AP
    , @Mr. Hack
  290. Passer by says:

    First LNG icebreaking tanker arrives in China utilising Northern Sea Route during winter.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  291. @Passer by

    First LNG icebreaking tanker arrives in China utilising Northern Sea Route during winter.

    The EU should pay attention. If the Empire manages to sabotage or incapacitate NS2, that’s where Russian natural gas that used to go to Europe would end up going. Why should Russia care about frozen European asses? Let them warm themselves with Brussels directives. LOL.

  292. I wonder how the Global Cooling will impact this sea route.

  293. AP says:
    @Mr. XYZ

    Philippines are poor and Vladivostok as an Asian city would attract Asia’s poor.

    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ
    , @Mr. XYZ
  294. Mr. Hack says:
    @Mr. XYZ

    When I last live in Minneapolis in the late 1990’s, I made a friend who had immigrated from Kharkiv, Ukraine. He would travel back home occasionally and would tell me stories about the great influx in Kharkiv of various Asians. Once, a friend of his, who we all called “Kitaets” (Chinaman) came back with him and stayed for a couple of years (indeed, he had some prominent Asian features). Sometime in the early 2000’s he went back home and met a violent death there. We all mourned his death for he was a really nice guy. I was perusing the internet, trying to find a more accurate reply to your question, and came across this comment that I’ll reprint here, for its right on the mark:

    More than 50.000 East Asian people reside in Ukraine[1]. East Asians settled in the country as early as during World War I, when they were used to replace mobilized workers. Today some Ukrainians of East Asian descent are prominent as politicians (Oleksandr Sin), actors (Ivan Doan) and sportsmen (Kou Lei). The city of Kharkiv in Eastern Ukraine has a large East Asian community, which is successful in business and has constructed Europe’s biggest buddhist pagoda in the city[2].

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  295. Mr. Hack says:
    @Mr. Hack


    Buddhist followers attended a Buddha bathing ritual at Truc Lam Kharkov Pagoda

  296. @Passer by

    The Pfizer vaccine was an EU development, also 1st to market and best so far.

    • Replies: @AnonfromTN
    , @Passer by
  297. Dmitry says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    I’ve read somewhere that Sartre’s attack on Camus in 1951, was partly because Sartre saw Camus as a representative small-town provincial French intellectual; in the sense, Algeria was viewed like a backwards hinterland of French culture.

    There was also an ironic situation where the younger generation of French intellectuals that followed Sartre, would include people of Algerian origin like Camus, Althusser and Derrida.

    It can be that the products of an empire’s declining civilization continues a little later in the colonial periphery than in the centre – or with time delay : Latin America has had such a relation to Spain and Portugal.

    tribes which were assigned to a sedentary existence

    It reminds me of the famous viral dashcam of the elderly Russian Jewish guard shouting at the Moroccan customer, with all anger of a grandfather’s lack of ability to retire on livable pension in Israel – “It was amazing in Morocco. You don’t have to work, open your mouth and bananas fall in.”
    https://youtu.be/eZS6AI6U-q4?t=110.

    Jews controlled commerce (including international trade) and crafts, Arabs were semi-nomadic agriculturalists, while Berbers were sedentary

    From reading a little on Google Books, it seems that in Algeria, Jews were on average more middle class than Muslims. There was an earlier urbanization of the Jewish population.

    Northern Africa does not sound like a lost Eden of multinational harmony, if we believe the claims of this book. The African Jews had endemic problems of alcoholism, illiteracy, prostitution.

    And then the standard problems of interethnic violence in Northern Africa, with colonial aspects, which seem to have partly continued in the banlieues of 21st century France.

    https://books.google.ru/books?id=eJmLDwAAQBAJ

  298. @Philip Owen

    The Pfizer vaccine was an EU development, also 1st to market and best so far

    Did Pfizer CEO sell 60% of his Pfizer shares right after the announcement that Pfizer has vaccine because this vaccine is best, or because he knows something that Pfizer isn’t telling us?

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
  299. Mr. XYZ says:
    @AP

    China was also poor until fairly recently. Even South Korea before the 1990s.

  300. Jews were on average more middle class than Muslims. There was an earlier urbanization of the Jewish population.

    Jews were probably already present in the Maghreb in the Punic period. Algiers is built on a Punic emporium and a later Roman fortress site. Jews were there before it became Christian. They were already urbanized before Islamic invasion began. One of the oldest extant Synagogues in the world is located on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The Lybian Cyrenaic Pentapolis was the site of a follow up rebellion of Jews against the Roman Empire after the Bar Kochba defeat. There were probably Jewish converts or possibly people born of intermarriage among the Berber tribes. The earliest Moroccan proto state practiced a syncretic Abrahamic religion made up of a Christian, Jewish and Islamic theological amalgam. On top of that many thousand Jews found refuge in the Maghreb after their expulsion from Spain.

    [MORE]

    In the Maghreb, the Arab ideal was the Bedouin, living freely among his clan on communal lands stretching beyond the horizon. The Berber sedentary clans had to seek the protection of higher mountainous ground, distant Saharan oases or fortified settlements against their nomad Arab neighbors. The local Berber nomads ended-up completely Arabized and lost their cultural identity. Arabo-Berber nomads imposed a tribute on smaller sedentary communities, which progressively ended up deserted. That’s how the Maghreb, which was somewhat densely populated in Roman times, ended up mainly deserted by the time of the French conquest. In Algeria the sedentary Islamized and Arabized Berbers, Andalus Morisco refugees and Jews formed the city- dweller population under Turkish protection.

    Northern Africa does not sound like a lost Eden of multinational harmony, if we believe the claims of this book. The African Jews had endemic problems of alcoholism, illiteracy, prostitution.

    With the notable exception of the Almohad forced conversion attempt, there were neither recurrent pogroms, or state religious oppression directed towards convering Jews to Islam. Arabs and Berbers often consumed Cannabis, Jews drunk – no big deal. Arab and Betber girls also got involved in prostitution under colonial rule. Before that, under the Ottoman regency, it was European female captives and male eunuchs who were sold for pleasure, while European male prisoners were used in the building industry in Algiers and other portal towns.

    And then the standard problems of interethnic violence in Northern Africa, with colonial aspects,

    Europeans writing about the mores of the natives would certainly describe them as inferior. But I think it was not worse than what is happening in Israel today where the roles are reversed.

    Overall the most harmonious and peaceful time in the Islamic/Jewish coexistence was in the Islamic Andalus and under Ottoman protection. Early colonial era was an era of social decadence of the native communities. Alexis de Tocqueville wrote about it after his visit to Algeria. He decried the destruction of the native network of the Sufi fraternities that ensured the education and moral betterment of the Maghrebi Muslims. These networks were destroyed after coordinating rebelions against French rule. As a consequence, in a couple of generations the level of literacy fell from around 70% of the male population to perhaps 40%.

    Under later colonial rule and the département Français, the natives started to get educated in French in primary schools. Arabic was taught in the Lycées as a foreign language only. By that time, Algérian Jews had received full rights and the citizenship. They had access to the same level of education as the Pieds noirs.

    • Thanks: Blinky Bill
    • Replies: @Dmitry
  301. Passer by says:
    @Philip Owen

    The Pfizer vaccine needed Pfizer (USA) for development – thus there is lack of independent EU capability to properly develop a vaccine. Not to mention that it has terrible logistics and high price.

    TLDR: EU can not vaccinate itself without the US. One of the many reasons it is a US colony.

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
  302. @Shortsword

    Is there any national numbers of vaccinations in Russia? Anyway, a quick search at least gives some up to date regional news:

    170k vaccinated in Saint Petersburg, 55k last week.

    42k vaccinated in Stavropol Krai, pace of vaccination supposedly started at 250 per day and has increased to 2.5k per day. Supposed to increase to 6k per day (no specifics of when).

    25k vaccinated in Kaluga Oblast.

    37k vaccinated in Tula Oblast. Supposed to vaccinate 10k this week.

    43k vaccinated in Saratov Oblast.

    One article seemed to indicate these numbers doesn’t include military personnel and another one said that it didn’t include medical personal. Perhaps it varies from region to region. These numbers are all for the first dose I think, some of the articles weren’t entirely clear about it. In total it seems at most 3% of the population is vaccinated with the first dose but the pace of vaccination is continually increasing.

    Hardly numbers to brag about. At best it’s about as good as the EU countries that are doing the worst. Still a big win compared to buying Western vaccine of course and buying Western vaccine probably would have end up being even slower anyway. Plenty of countries are buying Sputnik V and a few are supposed to produce it themselves so in the end it will end up being a widely used vaccine.

    Yes the numbers don’t include military, trial stage and medical personnel. The numbers 10 days before were about 1.9 million Russians FULLY vaccinated ( 2 doses – so 3.8 million vaccinations). That’s very good, and of course not including the very sizable amounts given to those groups I mentioned. America and some others have either higher fully vaccinated by number or by proportion – but these numbers from Russia are very good.

    Many regions in Russia have required antibody tests before allowing people to be vaccinated – that’s why it’s irrelevant to look at the vaccines done and compare it to other countries. I think it’s 12-15% of the population have immunity or antibodies or whatever ( safe to say I don’t work in this field!), and in addition those who have already had the virus are not allowed to have the vaccine for several months. This is probably the reason Putin has not had the vaccine

    Then there is the vaccines produced, versus those produced vaccines being checked, delivered and passing all the checks. It looks like 60% of vaccines produced have been available to use when the numbers produced were 3 million, 5 million and 7 million.

    Also important is to forget the Soros funded pathetic BS – we have longer January holidays then most other countries – the first 3 weeks are very quiet and the government used that time to make sure production was increased, more available after the third week in January – a further reasons direct comparisons with other countries are not relevant – except to say that Russian vaccination program is doing great.

    My place Tatarstan and other great ( wealthy) regions like Tyumen have had lower vaccines delivered by proportion compared to some poorer regions like Kurgan

  303. Mr. XYZ says:
    @AP

    BTW, just how much do you think that Russia would have been hurt by the loss of Ukraine in the years and decades after 1918? After all, Russia can survive without Ukraine just fine right now.

  304. @Beckow

    Russia’s macroeconomics are amongst the world’s best.

    The problem is at the microeconomic level. There have been massive subsidies for new meat and horticultural industries for example. Now they are all facing losses. They have the world’s best equipped, newest fattening units and glass houses but no one who understands how to manage them. Russia is actually putting an export tax on wheat nd allowing GM soya iinto the country to give the meat firms subsidies. Pharmaceutical firms also received huge subsidies for import substitution. The government is having to rig tender terms to make then price competitive in tenders to supply the public sector. The subsidies and shelter from foreign competition by weighting state tenders against foreign competition are turning the public sector into a state pensioner. Light Industry is now getting the same treatment.

    Russia has full employment and the finances to import whatever it needs. It makes no sense to put money into import subsitution of shoes (90% com efrom China or Vietnam) when the same money could go into supporting larger families and better skills (Russia has enough education) training.

    • Replies: @Passer by
  305. Passer by says:
    @Philip Owen

    Didn’t the US initially use various trade barriers in order to build up its industries?

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
  306. @Passer by

    Partly. When the dollar was backed by silver. There are still some direct protections. Media, shipping. However, the US had a strongly competitive local market and an export orientation from the word go. Tobocvo, salt cod, furs.

    • Replies: @Passer by
    , @Beckow
  307. Passer by says:
    @Philip Owen

    There are still some direct protections. Media, shipping.

    Not only. “Buy American” initiative comes to mind. Tarrifs. Blockade of companies from “undesirable countries”. Subsidies and bailouts. Targeting the business of competitors from abroad. Forcing others to buy US products (for example LNG) . Etc.

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
  308. Beckow says:
    @Philip Owen

    It is not that simple, US (and EU) also have enormous trade barriers for their protected classes. They suffer from the Dutch disease: having created a monetary magnet, the actual production can never be attractive enough or profitable enough. In a weird modern form of the Dutch disease the underlying wealth is created fiat money and its value is what the creators say it is (until that ends one day).

    Russia doesn’t have that ability as long as it stays integrated into the world economy and business: they are like a guest at a casino where the house can change the rules anytime, create chips at will, roulette tables are rigged. I agree that the alternative – domestic subsidies and inefficiency – is imperfect.

    The choice is basically between giving a large part of the economic output to the Western oligarchs or to give it to its own population – with the local oligarchs and government bureaucrats getting a large share. Given the kleptocratic impulse among the Russia’s rich, this is not always pretty. But all in all, even with the inefficiency and theft, it works out better for the people. Although, it creates political instability.

    We live in a fully liberal capitalist world, so for Russia (and for all others) the choices are limited. Russians have done slightly better than others in the last few years. The Ukraine model – 90’s Russia on steroids – isn’t working. EU’s growth with all the fiat money and unlimited debts is slightly below Russia’s. If Russia would loosen up its money creation they could do even better.

  309. Dmitry says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    You sound like a North Africa expert/fanatic – have you visited the region/what were your impressions?

    I’ve never visited North Africa/Near East, except Israel, which latter country I know quite well. My girlfriend visited Marrakesh for a weekend when she was younger, but what she says it that place is too much of a tourist trap/people chasing you to try to sell you souvenirs. The tourist trap aspect makes me less interested in visiting ever the region.

    I think it was not worse than what is happening in Israel today where the roles are reversed.

    Israel conforms partly to a Middle Eastern tribal structure, where countries can be ruled through alliances of tribes.

    In role reversal, Christian Arabs in Israel have something like a role that Jews had, dominating professions like medicine (and communist politicians), or taking advantage of religious allowances in a country’s economy, such as the farming of pork .

    Within a few years of arriving, it was noticed that Russian-speaking immigrants in Israel have formed their own sectarian tribe, despite multiracial origin from non-tribal societies. So that Lieberman exploited this by trying to operate politically as a tribal chieftain, representing interests that only concern his tribe (e.g. civil marriage).

    Some write that the weakness of Ethiopian Jews, is they naively expected to be assimilated in Israel, and didn’t impose themselves as a another tribal group; which is evident that they are one of the groups which don’t have any specialized political party representing them.

    Perhaps a tribal alliance system can result in a useful balance of power, as each tribal leader is fighting in the interests of their tribal group. But some pessimistic writers are saying the multiconfessional system introduced in French rule in Lebanon, could be the dysfunctional direction Israel is going to.

    harmonious and peaceful time in the Islamic/Jewish coexistence was in the Islamic Andalus

    Perhaps more in romantic mythology; as lost hierarchical, aristocratic/feudal society, that had exotic multinational elements. And because some of the cultural fertility in Spain seemed to decline in subsequent centuries.

    Archetypally, Alhambra is the most beautiful and romantic building in Spain; but ordinary people could never enter there under Muslim times, it was only for the ruling Nasrid nobility.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  310. @AnonfromTN

    Very interesting. I ended up with AZ. I was disappointed at first but real world results in Scotland favour AZ. I had a small bout of inflammation 72 hours later as my immune system kicked in. All my recent aches and pains erupted.

  311. @Passer by

    The UK was still in the EU when the AZ vaccine was developed.

  312. @Passer by

    Not to mention NATO keeping the EU from developing a full range of weapons and exporting them.

  313. @Dmitry

    You sound like a North Africa expert/fanatic – have you visited the region/what were your impressions?

    I’ve been to Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco and Lybia. The most tourist friendly destination was Tunisia, before their Arab Spring it was very safe and absolutely open for every religious and ethnic group. After their idiotic revolution, it has lost a lot of charm and become unsafe for tourists.

    Morocco is a nice place because they managed to keep many aspects of their traditional culture, the nature is beautiful, especially on the Atlantic coast, but your girlfriend is right; it is excessively touristic.

    Algeria would have been interesting for all its Roman history and also because it was partially westernized, more so than Morocco, perhaps even more than Tunisia. Unfortunately Algerians despite being friendly are not really good for tourist industry work.

    Lybia was already a terrible place when I visited in the Gaddafi era, it is a hell hole today to avoid at all costs.

    My opinion is that the Maghreb is worth visiting if someone is not afraid of the terrorist threat. I think that Morocco is probably the best destination.

    But some pessimistic writers are saying the multiconfessional system introduced in French rule in Lebanon, could be the dysfunctional direction Israel is going to.

    I don’t think this might happen in Israel. I am quite optimistic about Israeli prospects. I think they will become the elite of the Middle East, like Hellenic Greeks were in their time. They just need to mend the fences with their neighbors.

    Perhaps more in romantic mythology; as lost hierarchical, aristocratic/feudal society, that had exotic multinational elements.

    Al Andalus was not really an European medieval feudal society. It was closer to Roman era social organization with Islamic characteristics.

    Archetypally, Alhambra is the most beautiful and romantic building in Spain; but ordinary people could never enter there under Muslim times, it was only for the ruling Nasrid nobility.

    Supposedly Medina al Zahra near Cordoba was even more beautiful. If you like this type of architecture, you would like it in Morocco.

    • Thanks: Mr. Hack
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    , @Dmitry
  314. Mr. Hack says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    Have you ever travelled via the Trans Siberian Express, or any of its offshoots to the Far East?

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  315. @Mr. Hack

    I have not, although I have always dreamed about it. I like traveling by train very much and have great childhood memories about it.

  316. Dmitry says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    Maghreb is worth visiting if someone is not afraid of the terrorist threat.

    Well statistically it is not a threat from an individual perspective.

    I’d be more worried about not enjoying holiday in a tourist trap, or because tourists are obviously tourists (i.e. white people viewed like a walking dollar bills in the poorer Arab countries).

    Do you speak Arabic, or went to Arabic classes?

    Supposedly Medina al Zahra near Cordoba

    I haven’t been to Cordoba, but my experience of travelling around in Spain in general, is that the South is the romantic part (at least in summer), and North not so much.

    I feel like Toledo is like the gateway of the “Romantic Spain”, especially if you are there on a 40 degrees summer day, and look across the barren landscape. Something like this:

    When I drove on the bus from Madrid to Seville, it was like going on the bus in a ordinary place, and you leave in Seville, feeling half-way in Africa.

    I guess the romance is partly just the Southern deserty landscape, but also there is an additional exoticism created by the region’s deeper ex-Islamic history.

    I think they will become the elite of the Middle East

    Isn’t it more the opposite, that if there is continued economic development in the Arab world, the Arab Muslims might become culturally more like Mizrachi Jews currently are. I.e. the Arab Muslims will become more like culturally “half-Arab”, half “generic brown people”, with the latter half being like Spanish people or Mexicans.

    Arab Jews in Israel can seem like the historical vanguard of the Arabs, in the sense they were forcibly de-Arabized (forced to speak Hebrew since the 1950s), and have been thrown into a somewhat 21st century civilization.

    If you look at the Mizrachi Jewish popular culture, some of it reflects being “half Arabs”.

    Sometimes Mizrachi pop songs are discordantly changing between styles in the middle of the song, in a switch between Arab and Western pop sounds.

    Mizrachi Jewish stars, switching in the video from “yes we look like a generic brown people that look like Mexicans”, but we are also crazy Arabs.

    Or she is singing with the same discordant switch of genres, she is an Arab Jew from the banlieues that brought into the centre of the country

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  317. @Dmitry

    Pop music is mostly shit everywhere, but I agree that the Israeli variety seems even worse than the American.

    I tried to learn Arabic, but it is a complicated language so I didn’t get very far, the chief purpose was to try to read the Qur’an in the original language because Muslims always say that we cannot grasp the depth of their religion if we are not able to read it in their language. I put around a year of my free time into it before I got fed up, it was a very stupid idea in retrospect.

    I also liked it in Spain and I agree that Toledo is the gateway into the ancient Islamic territory and therefore is the place where the exotic feeling truly starts. BTW Toledo played an unfortunate role in the history of the Sephardic Jews: when it was taken by the Spanish, its Jews collaborated with the Reconquista and betrayed their Muslim neighbors. The Almohad Berber dynasty used this as a justification to attempt a forced conversion to Islam for all Christians and Jews accross their territory. They succeeded in converting the Christians or driving them into exile, the Jews faked their conversion for a couple of generations then reverted back to Judaism.

    I think that Sephardim were for a time the elite of the world Jewry. When you look at the way they forced themselves among the ethnic French and Ashkenazim French elites, how they progressed in a matter of three generations, I think it is clear that Sephardim are not to be seen as dumb third-world people. As Israeli population becomes less secular European and more religious Middle Eastern, the Sephardic and Mizrahim Jews will play a bigger role.

    I agree that there will be a convergence between Israel and its neighbors. I think Israelis being more educated will become more of an intellectual and managerial class, like they were in Al Andalus were they often were high ranked officials. The Arabs will provide the numbers. It should be an interesting combination.

    Поживём увидим…

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