Some headlines and quotes that tell an unfamiliar story. * ZeroHedge: Putin Hints At New Russia-Saudi Axis: "No Reason To Spoil Saudi Ties Over Khashoggi Killing (Oct 18) * Angered By Saudi Plan to Purchase Russian S-400, Trump Admin Exploiting Khashoggi Disappearance to Force Saudis to “Buy American” * OilPrice.net:
Khashoggi wasn't some sort of dissident or human rights activist; he wasn't even your run of the mill neoliberalism.txt crusader. He was a Muslim Brotherhood supporter, palled around with Osama bin Laden, and served as media advisor to Turki al-Faisal, one time-head of the Saudi Mukhabarat and so not a nice guy by definition. Nor... Read More
Most things in life are strongly g loaded, from obvious things such as socio-economic success and chess ability to less obvious ones such as an appreciation for Indian cuisine or quality terrorism. Assassinations are no different. Assassination quality seems to be a function of national IQ, plus the levels of remuneration and prestige with the... Read More
Though presented as an anti-corruption campaign, there's no real doubt that it is politically motivated (at any rate MbS sure enjoys the sweet life himself). I agree with Alexander Mercouris (read his excellent article) that the intent is to transform Saudi Arabia from the nepotistic monarchy it is today to a modernizing autocracy centered around... Read More
This is an argument that is doing the rounds on the Internet after Iran's condemnation of the Saudi execution of 47 people (including at least 4 "politicals") to mark the New Year and the ensuing breakdown in Iranian-Saudi diplomatic ties. After all, they say, Iran executes a lot more people than the Saudis.
Repost of Alexander Mercouris' comments at Mark Chapman's blog and The Russia Debate forum. The original compilation is posted at Mercouris' blog. PS. Originally, this space hosted just one of Mercouris' comments. Now that he has taken the trouble to gather up his output, the least I could do is update it and try to... Read More
So apparently an Ambassadorship costs $1.8 million per post in the US. In virtually any other country, even where the situation with corruption is quite dismal, such arrangements would be seen as unquestionably corrupt. And yet the US scores an entirely respectable 73/100 in Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), leagues above say Italy which... Read More
Not often that you see Russia in some color other than bloody red on a world map of corruption or institutional quality. But according to the Open Budget Index (2012 results), the Russian budget is actually pretty transparent as far as these things go.
This is the Karlin Freedom Index for 2012, a political classification system I formulated more than a year ago in response to systemic bias on the part of traditional "freedom indices" such as Freedom House and The Economist Democracy Index (hint: they give massive bonus points for neoliberalism and pro-Western foreign policy orientations). The explanation:... Read More
Sorry for not posting on either of my blogs for almost a week now and being slow on responding to the emails. I've been rediscovering the pleasures of old-fashioned book reading after purchasing a Kindle. I'm very happy with it. When faced between the choice of surfing the interwebs or reading a paper book, the... Read More
I am a blogger, thinker, and businessman in the SF Bay Area. I’m originally from Russia, spent many years in Britain, and studied at U.C. Berkeley.
One of my tenets is that ideologies tend to suck. As such, I hesitate about attaching labels to myself. That said, if it’s really necessary, I suppose “liberal-conservative neoreactionary” would be close enough.
Though I consider myself part of the Orthodox Church, my philosophy and spiritual views are more influenced by digital physics, Gnosticism, and Russian cosmism than anything specifically Judeo-Christian.