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Victory Day

10 May

Massive Immortal regiment march in Moscow at Victory Day

Russia’s ‘Immortal Regiment’ March Is Not About The Past, But the Present

It is not a carnival, or a show of pride – but an overt demonstration of Russians’ current dignity, honor, and courage

Immortal Regiment march in Nizhny Novgorod where the author, a famous Russian writer and left wing political activist, comes from

Originally appeared at Live Journal. Translated by Julia Rakhmetova and Rhod Mackenzie

The notion of the Motherland has been fading for a quarter-century. All that was considered old-fashioned, ignorant and unnecessary, because the entire world is free and all people are brothers.

However, according to Hollywood, some people keep up the idea of Motherland and do not consider all others as brothers, on the contrary, entire nations are considered to be villains. 

It was funny to see how a drunk, tattooed Russian villain, even if unwillingly, was replaced by a Chinese villain, then a Serb, then a North Korean and then an indistinct Arab (we had to guess where he come from: Afghanistan?  Iraq? Who  cares…)

Between the Arabs and the Serbs, the Russians appeared by force of habit, then Cubans and then again Russians, because the enemy should be recognizable after all. They raised ghosts, and the ghosts came to life. 

Russians suddenly realized they were being fooled. Yes, there is a big, free world, international cooperation and offshore places, opportunities to go abroad to lie on the beach, but nobody does anything against his or her best interests. Against his language and his wallet. And finally, against his voters.

If you want to get something from rich white people, give them at least a little of your independence. Many nations have had to make this choice.  A friend of mine from Romania told me, laughing: what kind of independence are you talking about when my own country doesn’t have the right to set the price of bread? The price for bread in our country is set by Brussels. 

For a long time, Russia was weighed down by its independence. It had to control both poles, the Pacific and Arctic oceans, maintain various experts and specialists all over the world. It seemed we needed to leave all that to begin a new life.  Experts would come home, money would remain in our pockets; why do we need this outer space after all – what have we seen there? We gave up everything,  and it seemed we started a new life…

But our new life couldn’t be compared to what we had to give up. And the most important thing was that we no longer wanted to respect ourselves. It’s hard to respect yourself just for the fact that you are able to pay off three loans at once. We want to have something that is forever, – something bigger than we are.

The memory of Victory awakened from sleep, not when our life was empty and dry. On the other hand, we reveled in those days when a Russian man took up arms and met death face-to-face – thank God, outside the country.    

We realized that if we stay out, this doesn’t mean that the war is over. They almost convinced us that we are responsible for every gunshot fired during last century. But it suddenly turned out that if we don’t shoot, continents burn, countries are ruined and military bases are mushrooming around our country anyway.

All of a sudden, there came a mournful understanding that fascism is not a Fritz from a black-and-white Soviet film but a dire reality come to life. 

It finally turned out that no one would carry our independence. “Grandpa, help me!” – a Russian man said, then took on the burden himself.  

The Immortal Regiment is not a carnival, or a show of pride in the feat of the other hundred million people – but an overt demonstration of our current dignity, our honor and our courage: we too can do this, we are ready. 

Every family bears the portrait of their grandfather, with all his wrinkles, all his medals, as a personal banner. And all these banners constitute the colors of the Motherland.

According to demographers, losses during the Great patriotic War amounted to 11% of the USSR’s population. Considering that the average family consists of four people, this means that almost half the country’s families lost one or more of their closest relatives. Half!  

Every house has a banner. Who has the right to prevent us from being proud of that?

May 9th is not about wreaths and fireworks, or drinking a shot or two of vodka.

It’s a day of mobilization, remembering when the people of an almost completely ruined country stood up shoulder to shoulder and said:  We are a nation.

Anyone who shares our joy, our grief and our happiness on this day is our brother. 

Anyone who betrays and despises it – is our foe. The world is multicolored but not simple.  With our sins, our exhausted, rickety, complicated and rather wild country, – we stand for the good.

Grandfather knows what I’m talking about.


Lavrov’s interview

24 Apr


Listening to Lavrov today I came to the conclusion that the regime in Kiev was indeed about to try to attack the eastern Ukraine. It’s not only Lavrov, the Russian Internet is on “red alert” and chock-full of rumors and speculation about an imminent attack. This begs a number of questions:

1) Why would the junta in Kiev so overtly renege on the Geneva agreement?
2) Why would it attack when the chances of success are very small?
3) Why would they attack know that Russia would almost certainly intervene?
4) Why is the US clearly behind that strategy?
I have a hypothesis which I would like to submit to your attention.
First, the junta in Kiev is reneging on the Geneva agreement simply because it cannot abide by its terms. Remember, the junta is composed of a few politicians handpicked by the US and a few Ukrainian oligarchs. They do have money, but no power. How could they possibly impose anything in the well-armed and determined freaks of the Right Sector?
Second, the eastern Ukraine is lost no matter what. So the junta in Kiev have to pick on of the following options:
a) Let the eastern Ukraine leave by means of referendum and do nothing about it.
b) Let the eastern Ukraine leave but only after some violence.
c) Let the eastern Ukraine leave following a Russian military intervention.
Clearly, option ‘a’ is by far the worst. Option ‘b’ is so-so, but option ‘c’ is very nice. Think of it: this option will make it look like Russia invaded the Eastern Ukraine and that the people there had no say about it. It will also make the rest of the Ukraine rally around the flag. The economic disaster will be blamed on Russia and the Presidential election of May 25th can be canceled due to the Russian “threat”. Not only that, but a war – no matter how silly – is the *perfect* pretext to introduce martial law which can be used to crack down on the Right Sector or anybody expressing views the junta does not like. That is an old trick – trigger a war and people will rally around the regime in power. Create a panic, and people will forget the real issues.
As for the USA – it also knows that the Eastern Ukraine is gone. With Crimea and Eastern Ukraine gone – the Ukraine has exactly *zero* value to the Empire, to why not simply use it as a way to create a new Cold War, something which would be much more sexy that the Global War on Terror or the really old War on Drugs. After all, if Russia is forced to intervene militarily NATO will have to send reinforcements to “protect” countries like Poland or Latvia just in case Putin decides to invade all of the EU.
Bottom line – the freaks in power in Kiev and the USA *know* that the eastern Ukraine is lost for them, and the purpose of the imminent attack is not to “win” against the Russian-speaking rebels or, even less so, to “win” against the Russian military, it is to trigger enough violence to force Russia to intervene. In other words, since the East is lost anyways, it is much better to lose it to the “invading Russian hordes” than to lose it to the local civilian population.
So the purpose of the next attack will not be to win, but to lose. That the Ukrainian military can still do.
Two things can happen to foil this plan:
1) The Ukrainian military might refuse to obey such clearly criminal orders (and becoming a target of the Russian military might help some officers make the correct “purely moral” choice).
2) The local resistance might be strong enough to draw out such an operation and have to come to a grinding halt.
Ideally, a combination of both.
From the Russian point of view things are rather simple: it is infinitely better for Russia to have the East break away without any Russian intervention. If the attacking force is crazy enough to use armor, artillery or airpower, the Russian could decide to strike from the air without actually sending in ground forces. They could also use electronic warfare capabilities to further create chaos inside the attacking force. Limited pinpoint attacks could also serve to demoralize the attacking force. What Russia has to avoid all costs to find itself forced to engage in offensive urban operations which are always dangerous and bloody. It is therefore absolutely essential the the locals take control of their own streets, villages and cities.
Lavrov today delivered a very direct warning: if things go out of hand in the eastern Ukraine Russia will intervene. Hopefully somebody in the West will finally realize that the Russians are never bluffing and that they really mean it. I am not very optimistic though – if Lavrov felt the need to make a full 30min interview in English in which he clearly compared the situation in the Ukraine today to the one in Ossetia in 08.08.08 it is probably because the Russians have intelligence indicating that an attack is imminent.
We shall know very soon.
The Saker

Food shortages could force world into vegetarianism, warn scientists

27 Aug

Water scarcity’s effect on food production means radical steps will be needed to feed population expected to reach 9bn by 2050

26 August, 2012
Leading water scientists have issued one of the sternest warnings yet about global food supplies, saying that the world’s population may have to switch almost completely to a vegetarian diet over the next 40 years to avoid catastrophic shortages.
Humans derive about 20% of their protein from animal-based products now, but this may need to drop to just 5% to feed the extra 2 billion people expected to be alive by 2050, according to research by some of the world’s leading water scientists.
“There will not be enough water available on current croplands to produce food for the expected 9 billion population in 2050 if we follow current trends and changes towards diets common in western nations,” the report by Malik Falkenmark and colleagues at the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) said.
“There will be just enough water if the proportion of animal-based foods is limited to 5% of total calories and considerable regional water deficits can be met by a … reliable system of food trade.”
Dire warnings of water scarcity limiting food production come as Oxfam and the UN prepare for a possible second global food crisis in five years. Prices for staples such as corn and wheat have risen nearly 50% on international markets since June, triggered by severe droughts in the US and Russia, and weak monsoon rains in Asia. More than 18 million people are already facing serious food shortages across the Sahel.
Oxfam has forecast that the price spike will have a devastating impact in developing countries that rely heavily on food imports, including parts of Latin America, North Africa and the Middle East. Food shortages in 2008 led to civil unrest in 28 countries.
Adopting a vegetarian diet is one option to increase the amount of water available to grow more food in an increasingly climate-erratic world, the scientists said. Animal protein-rich food consumes five to 10 times more water than a vegetarian diet. One third of the world’s arable land is used to grow crops to feed animals. Other options to feed people include eliminating waste and increasing trade between countries in food surplus and those in deficit.
“Nine hundred million people already go hungry and 2 billion people are malnourished in spite of the fact that per capita food production continues to increase,” they said. “With 70% of all available water being in agriculture, growing more food to feed an additional 2 billion people by 2050 will place greater pressure on available water and land.”
The report is being released at the start of the annual world water conference in Stockholm, Sweden, where 2,500 politicians, UN bodies, non-governmental groups and researchers from 120 countries meet to address global water supply problems.
Competition for water between food production and other uses will intensify pressure on essential resources, the scientists said. “The UN predicts that we must increase food production by 70% by mid-century. This will place additional pressure on our already stressed water resources, at a time when we also need to allocate more water to satisfy global energy demand – which is expected to rise 60% over the coming 30 years – and to generate electricity for the 1.3 billion people currently without it,” said the report.
Overeating, undernourishment and waste are all on the rise and increased food production may face future constraints from water scarcity.
“We will need a new recipe to feed the world in the future,” said the report’s editor, Anders Jägerskog.
A separate report from the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) said the best way for countries to protect millions of farmers from food insecurity in sub-Saharan Africa and south Asia was to help them invest in small pumps and simple technology, rather than to develop expensive, large-scale irrigation projects.
“We’ve witnessed again and again what happens to the world’s poor – the majority of whom depend on agriculture for their livelihoods and already suffer from water scarcity – when they are at the mercy of our fragile global food system,” said Dr Colin Chartres, the director general.
“Farmers across the developing world are increasingly relying on and benefiting from small-scale, locally-relevant water solutions. [These] techniques could increase yields up to 300% and add tens of billions of US dollars to household revenues across sub-Saharan Africa and south Asia.”

The Rot Runs Deep 1: The Federal Reserve Is a Parasitic Wealth Transfer Machine

27 Aug
The Federal Reserve is a wealth transfer machine, skimming wealth from the productive many and transferring it to the parasitic few.
Today I launch a series entitled “The Rot Runs Deep” that examines the moral and financial rot at the core of American finance, politics and culture. We have reached a unique junction of American history: the confluence of Big Lie propaganda, neofeudalism and the worship of false financial gods.
The Big Lie propaganda machine of corporate media and the Central State has perfected Orwell’s nightmare vision of centralized media and a fascist centralized State which turn lies into self-serving “truth.”
Since the Federal Reserve is once again expected to “save” a crumbling, exploitative Status Quo, let’s use the Fed as an example. The propaganda machine would have us believe that the Federal Reserve, the privately owned central bank of the U.S., has “saved” the Status Quo from financial ruin on numerous occasions by “smoothing out” the business cycle (credit expands and contracts) and by “stimulating aggregate demand” by lowering interest rates and pumping money into the economy (quantitative easing).
We are constantly prompted to worship the Federal Reserve’s supposedly god-like powers to rescue a corrupt and venal Status Quo from the black hole of recession and collapse, and this Big Lie masks its real nature: The Fed is nothing but a parastic wealth transfer machine, skimming wealth from the many and transferring it to the few.
In effect, the Fed is the “enforcer” of neofeudalism in America: the feudal Lords of Finance control the for-sale political system and skim tribute from the 99.5% toiling in the fields below their castles. The Fed enforces this parasitic transfer of wealth by manipulating interest rates to enrich the banks and provides “free money” to the Financial Lords which is then used to buy assets and lend at interest.
The mechanisms of the Fed’s parasitic transfer of wealth are well-known. Here’s one: the Fed “loans” money to the Feudal Lords at 0% interest. the Lords then loan this free money out to peasants, students and other debt-serfs at high rates of interest. The interest “earned,” courtesy of the parasitic Fed, is theirs to keep.
If they can’t find enough debt-serfs who can pay more interest, they can always deposit the free money back at the Fed and earn interest from the Fed itself.
Here’s another: the Fed “loans” free money (0% interest) to the Financial Lords, who then buy low-risk long-term U.S. Treasury bonds paying 3%. When the Lords spot a better skimming opportunity, they sell the bonds to the Fed, who buys the bonds from the Lords as part of its “Operation Twist.”
Peasants who have arduously saved up capital (cash) earn next to nothing as a result of Fed policy, but the Fed insures Feudal Lords earn a guaranteed return on money they obtained for free. The suppression of interest income to near-zero (a negative return once inflation is factored in) is a massive transfer of wealth from savers to Fed-backed speculator Lords and banks.
As a direct and intentional result of the Fed’s quantitative easing, huge sums of “free money” slosh into the “risk-on” stock market, where the money provides liquidity for the Lords’ high-frequency trading (HFT) skimming operations.
The losers are the peasants who have been locked into 401K plans that divert their earnings into the stock market, where the Lords’ HFT can skim billions from the 401K plans.
The Fed guarantees the Lords free money, and also supports the Financial Lords’ speculative bets in the stock market; whenever the market threatens to swoon, the Fed intervenes and manipulates the markets up to levels where the HFT machines will trigger momentum buying.
What do we call a power center that enables and enforces neofeudal exploitation and predation? We call it evil. The Federal Reserve is a force of evil that should be abolished at once. Its purpose–enabling and enforcing a neofeudal transfer of wealth from the productive many to the unproductive, parasitic few–is evil. Those within it are serving evil. Those who defend it are serving evil. Those who worship its power are serving evil. Those who mask its true nature are also serving evil.
In a society and culture that has lost its moral compass, a culture of greed, self-serving lies and corrupt vested interests, the word “evil” has lost its power. It has been reduced to a cartoonish label, a cynic’s smarmy joke.
The Soviet Empire was evil, and President Reagan was mocked by “sophisticates” for labeling our global competitor evil. In the relativist terms of propaganda, the only difference between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. were two letters; this is the mindset created by a reliance on propaganda. There is no good or evil, there is only the paycheck “earned” by serving one master or another.
Anyone daring to label the widely worshipped Federal Reserve as a false god, a purveyor and enforcer of predation and exploitation, will also be mocked by presumptive “sophisticates” of the many Cargo Cults that depend on the neofeudal skimming, exploitation and lies for their own share of the spoils. Their self aggrandizement and share of the swag demands obedience to the Fed’s godlike power to skim from the many and distribute to the few.
Since they are among the few, they will do anything for their Master, the Federal Reserve, for it has the power they worship: the power to transfer vast wealth from the productive many to the parasitic few.
Should we be surprised that the parasites in the media, academia, politics and finance support the evil that enables their own predation and exploitation? Of course not, for self-service and self-justification are the ultimate American gods. 

Another day, another NATO lie: No the Assad Troops Did Not Kill 300+ People in Darayaa

27 Aug
27 August, 2012
Here is what the NZ presstitutes are saying and here is what the people in Daraya are saying (very graphic content):
The NATO run mainstream media claims the Syrian military was responsible for a massacre in the town of Daraya, however the residents of Daraya have a different point of view.
For translation turn on annotations

The best of the best – Berezka Ensemble , 1962

23 Apr

Dzhigitovka – Cossack horsemanship

21 Apr