* Bolsonaro is now 90% likely to become Brazil Prez according to latest PredictIt numbers. * Brian Winter: Who is Mr. Bolsonaro? (h/t Polish Perspective) * Glenn Greenwald: The Stunning Rise of Brazil’s Far Right and What It Shows About Western Democracies. As in the West, it is centrist collapse that has opened up space... Read More
So the results are in, and... The AKP just failed to get a majority of seats, though it comfortable clears that level in coalition with the nationalist MHP. Was there fraud? No hard statistical evidence of that, at least so far. But a couple of things that are suspicious at a glance: (1) Erdogan's lead... Read More
The results are in and YES has won a narrow 51.4% victory in the Turkish referendum on making the country into a Presidential republic. This map I found (via Turkish Wikipedia) is the only one to show regional gradations. It shows the percentage of people voting NO.
I realize everyone is obsessed with North Kora right now, but the Turkish referendum that is set for April 16 may turn out to be even more significant. Erdogan's AKP and the MHP nationalists have proposed a set of amendments to the Turkish constitution that would remove the office of the Prime Minister, annul a... Read More
Turkey has a proud and rich history of military coups. As analysts tirelessly point out, they are even sanctioned by the Constitution as a means of preserving secularism. However, those days have come to an end. The abortive coup of the past few days was in all likelihood the dying gasp of 20th century Turkey.... Read More
The only two major world political factions that ever seem to be willing to shed their own blood for their beliefs are nationalists and Islamists. In Ukraine it was the hardened Neo-Nazi thugs of Right Sector who hammered in the last few nails in the Yanukovych regime. They were also reliably the best units of... Read More
Three hours after this story began to break it's increasingly clear that we are seeing the biggest Happening of 2016 to date, far overshading the Nice terrorist attacks yesterday. As Lenin purportedly said, "Sometimes decades pass and nothing happens; and then sometimes weeks pass and decades happen." The initial regime response was to blame the... Read More
My latest for the US-Russia Experts Panel and VoR. In this latest Panel, Vlad Sobell asks us supposed Russia “experts” whether Freedom House’s “alarmist stance” towards Russia is justified. Well, what do YOU think? I don’t think you need to be an expert to answer this; it’s an elementary issue of common sense and face... Read More
One of the most common tropes against Russia is that critical (independent, democratic, etc) journalists there are dying like flies, presumably because of the "culture of impunity" created by Putin or even on his express orders. It is rarely mentioned that the statistical chances of a Russian journalist dying by homicide is an order of... Read More
The Press Freedom Index issues by Reporters Without Borders is a good starting point for assessing journalistic freedoms in global comparative perspective. However, much like all attempts to measure democracy or Transparency International's assessment of corruption perception, their methodology relies on tallying a number of intangibles that cannot be objectively estimated: Censorship, self-censorship, legal framework,... Read More
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
As was inevitable, the commentary on Israel's raid / high seas piracy / legal blockade enforcement / call-it-what-you-will has degenerated into a polarized flame-war between the blind and the deaf, which although very entertaining is also pretty useless*. By far the best analytical article on this issue I've found that really cuts through the partisan... Read More
So given that it's the only game in town, let's start provocative? The only group who behaved rationally are the Israeli commandos and the Americans. And perhaps the Turkish government. The Israeli position on the Gaza blockade is understandable (which is not to say optimal). The Palestinians elected Hamas, a militant group to Israel that... 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.