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04 April 2016


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Add a zero and double it. The St Pete network have got filthy rich in the past decade or so.

It has little effect though as firstly the Russians expect it, and secondly if you look at GDP per capita, life expectancy etc. then Putin's rule has also led to the enrichment of the general Russian population as well. Under Yeltsin corruption happened on a greater scale, most of the money ended up in Israel or the West, the country was humiliated and living standards collapsed.

That said just one opposes the new cold war doesn't mean one should be apologist for the excesses of the current Russian elite. Most Russians long for strong rule of law and a less rapacious elite.



Trump's long time political adviser Roger Stone has written about the USS Liberty. It is things like that, and not his AIPAC speech, that was written by his on in law, that account for much of the hysteria directed at him.

Ishmael Zechariah

Colonel Lang,
Many thanks. I know about the use of dummy corporations for circumventing country or company-specific embargoes. The use of these devices for hiding/protecting personal wealth by the rich, I understand. External funds controlled by Putin or FSB through proxies for Russia-specific activities I also acknowledge. What I fail to see is the utility of such a fund for Putin's "personal wealth". At his position, with his actions, he seems to be only interested in Russia and Power. At this level of the fight a "golden parachute" might not have the meaning, or utility, it has for lesser minds-say for a two-bit thief like tayyip erdogan of Turkey, or for a globalist mercenary like George Soros. Running away and living off his stash at a Riviera if things go bad does not seem to be Putin's style-but I could be mistaken. If he had to run from Russia, where would he run to, and what good 2 billion or 40 billion do for him there?

Ishmael Zechariah


TTG - beautiful pictures. Do you make tea or tincture from the echinacea or is it just butterfly bait? (my wife is an herbalist and makes lot's from a surprisingly small patch)


TTG: Absolutely magnificent photos.

BTW, do you know anything about the status around Azaz? https://twitter.com/RobotNickk/status/716686983930716160

ex-PFC Chuck

Here's another, more amusing piece on the subject:


The Beaver

Ha ha ha , can't stop laughing since i read this :

“We have used the power of digital forensics to expose the details of Russia’s aerial and ground attacks in Syria using information entirely from open sources, available to be viewed and verified by anyone.”
The report, Distract, Deceive, Destroy: Putin at War in Syria is by Maksymilian Czuperski, John Herbst, Eliot Higgins, Frederick Hof and Ben Nimmo. Higgins is head of Bellingcat, the UK-based website that specialises in analysis of open source material such as aerial photographs and in crowdsourcing"

Brown Moses - him again , the couch potato from the UK who was adamant that Assad was killing his people with sarin when he has never set foot in Ghouta :(


Atlantic Council which bent over backwards when they received a call from the Hariri family and which receives donations from 25 foreign govt !!!


New front of the Borg in Karabakh?

What just happened in Karabakh seems to me like the Borg just opened a new front. It's quite clear that Aliyev did start the fighting to conquer terrotory, while Erdogan has his back. Quote:

Amid Heavy Fighting, Azerbaijan Claims "Liberation" Of Some Karabakh Territory

Azerbaijan's military claims to have "liberated" some territory in Nagorno Karabakh after the heaviest fighting in years broke out between Azerbaijani and Armenian forces over the disputed territory.

Fighting that broke out overnight April 2 has already resulted in an unprecedented death toll ...


Colonel Cassed has some maps of territory conquered by Aliyev with his offensive on Karabakh:


But both Erdogan and Aliyev in Washington just not only met each other - they also met major Borg operatives there. Of course, everybody knows that Armenia supports Karabakh and Russia is allied with Armenia in the CSTO and the Eurasian Union. So, an Azeri attack on Karabakh may easily be seen by the Borg as a new pressure point against Russia.


Yes, that's a nice one, although by the 1360's they might no longer have been regarded as Vikings. There's also people like Gloria Farley who had a site and a book called In Plain Sight about early voyagers and settlers to North America.
Barry Fell was probably the most famous, and the books of Joseph Farrell are interesting.It seems that everyone had got to America long before Columbus. There was another woman who wrote about ancient Chinese settlements, and I recall seeing websites of people who think they have found evidence for 'someone' building canals between the sources of very pure copper around Lake Superior and the headwaters of the Mississippi.


Well, at least cynic is not cynical about conspiracy suspicions.
Shall follow up your links. Thanx

Babak Makkinejad

Azerbaijan Republic - a.k.a. the old Iranian provinces of Nakhjevan & Aran - a New Jersey by the Caspian Sea - has been buying weapons during past decade of high old revenue for war against Armenia.

On the other hand, of the 3 states of the Minsk Process - France, Russia, and the United States - France has been most unhelpful over a 20 year period in settling the Nagarno-Gharabagh War; largely due to the strong Armenian lobby in France.

After Armenians shot down an Iranian C-130 in 1996 that was carrying the families of Iranian diplomats, Iran has not attempted any mediation.

Turkey has supported and will support Azerbaijan - because of vague feelings of Pan-Turkism and very concrete sentiments against Armenia.

NATO states & Russia will support Armenia.

I do not see any upside in this for Borg.


Atlantic Council has used "open sources" to inform Mr. Ewen MacAskill, the Guardian's defence and intelligence correspondent, that "Russian claims on Syria airstrikes 'inaccurate on grand scale." This is the same Atlantic Council that has elevated Mr. Eliot Higgins, a specialist in women's underwear, to a position of a Senior Fellow and New Information Frontiers, Future Europe Initiative Expert (http://www.moonofalabama.org/2015/06/medias-beloved-expert-higgins-wrong-again-and-again-and-again.html). This is what Wikipedia tells about this particular Senior Fellow at Atlantic Council: "Higgins has no background or training in weapons and is entirely self-taught, saying that "Before the Arab spring I knew no more about weapons than the average Xbox owner. I had no knowledge beyond what I'd learned from Arnold Schwarzenegger and Rambo." Higgins does not speak or read Arabic." (Frederick Kempe is the President and CEO of Atlantic Council).
The report was actually written by some Damon Wilson, EVP of the Atlantic Council. This great bleeding-heart humanitarian served from 2007 to 2009 "as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for European Affairs at the National Security Council. He managed interagency policy on NATO, the European Union, Georgia, Ukraine, the Balkans, Eurasian energy security, and Turkey, and planned numerous presidential visits to Europe, including US-European Union and NATO summits. Previously, Wilson served at the US embassy in Baghdad as the Executive Secretary and Chief of Staff, where he helped manage one of the largest US embassies, played a key role in overseeing the embassy's effort to design and implement a civilian surge throughout Iraq." And this bloody weasel came out for a daylight to show his concern for a human life? - No way!

Max H

That's hilarious. I now have an excuse when my wife suggests that we hike the Appalachian Trial on our vacation.


A minor addition, Mr. Damon Wilson "has been decorated by the Presidents of Estonia Georgia, Hungary, Latvia, and Poland for his efforts to advance transatlantic relations. He also serves as a Senior Adviser to the US-Ukraine Business Council; is a member of Commander, US European Command..."
I guess we should expect great things from Ukrainian economy any day. Why the US embassy in Baghdad comes to mind?
In his report (based on "open source") Mr. Wilson was particularly disturbed by the "alleged use" of cluster bombs by RF against ISIS. He was obviously was not familiar with the following reports which presented the factual information on the use of the cluster bombs by the US ally:
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/06/cluster-bombs-yemen-saudi-united-states https://www.hrw.org/news/2016/01/07/yemen-coalition-drops-cluster-bombs-capital-0 http://www.cnn.com/2016/02/29/politics/saudi-arabia-us-cluster-bombs-on-civilians/

The Twisted Genius


I often thought about brewing my own echinacea tea, but always decide to leave them all for the goldfinches in the fall. They swarm over the flowers once the seed heads try out.


different clue: This is why the anti-Assad crowd want a "transition" not election. They will choose a council of pro-NATO lackeys who will then "supervise" any subsequent election.

BTW, if this story is to be believed, then the more successful Russia is on the battlefield, the more incompetent they become as negotiators. See

Who knew that the Alawites would "break" from Assad--right as he starts crushing the opposition. (Face palm.)



The Squatchers think that east coast Bigfoots migrate north-south on the AT. So, if you got lucky... pl

The Twisted Genius


Don't know much about Azaz. I do read that Hizbollah, IRGC and SAA forces are gathering to renew the offensive in the north and west.

Trey N

Read Fell's books years ago; he was definitely a ground-breaker.

Farley Mowat, in his book "Alban Quest" (apparently also published as "The Farfarers"), proposes an interesting theory about Europe-to-North America voyages/settlement shortly before the Vikings.

Recent DNA studies are providing fascinating data about large-scale historical migrations, many confirming old legends. I hope to live long enough to see a true history of the world combining translated records from ancient archives, archeological digs, DNA studies, and maybe new methods yet to be invented.

More likely, I'll have to wait until I'm on the other side of the grass, when I can (hopefully) talk to the ancients and get the story straight from the horse's mouth....


As a bonus, you'd get to meet Newfoundlanders, some of the most wonderful people on earth.

different clue


"Some" Alawites is not necessarily the same as "the" Alawites, certainly not the same as "all the" Alawites.

different clue


All this deserves longer thought and reply than I now have in the few minutes before my shift starts at work. One very short little thing I once read is this: that when the Twin Towers were built, the 5 Mafia Families totally dominated the building trades in NYC. So whoever paid for those billion dollar buildings may have only gotten 250 million dollar buildings, with the Mafia Families keeping the other 750 million dollars for themselves. So maybe the buildings were not really built to withstand very much impact at all . . . let alone the impact the billion-dollar-payers for the buildings said they were designed to withstand.


Since it is indeed an open thread:
• Chas Freeman: (particularly good line on American amnesia being sufficient to allow us to hide our own Easter eggs). http://lobelog.com/the-end-of-the-american-empire/
• Pillar with good article on ‘just what the hell it the objective anyway’: http://lobelog.com/opaque-strategy-and-u-s-troops-in-eastern-europe/
• An lastly Nagorno-Karabakh: http://lobelog.com/nagorno-karabakh-chance-for-eu-iran-engagement/


different clue: As I thought. The disinformation blizzard is really thick right now.


I like the idea that ice age people paddled and hunted along the edges of the ice floes and weren't bothered about which continent they were near. Also in recent decades people have found stone tools and arrow points in America that are of the same type as in Europe, much older than had been previously taught.

Have you come across a book by M.J.Harper called The History of Britain Revealed? John Michell endorsed it as 'The most outrageous book I have ever read.' (He wrote enough to know!)He shows that the evidence for generally accepted explanations is not very strong and it can be interpreted in other ways than those imposed by the rulers of academe.(Rather like Cremo and archaeology.)He has a site called Applied Epistemology where alternative explanations may be argued over.

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