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28 July 2016


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"Median income in Russia increased 260% (in inflation adjusted terms) during the first 10 years that Putin was in power. That is a staggering increase in people's financial well being. The Economist and its brethren like to dismiss this achievement as being "solely due to the increased price of oil" - but if you look at Canada, its oil production per capita was and is equal to that of Russia yet Canada's median income only increased 9% during the same time period."

And Canadas's median income was of course as low as Russias when Putin came to power? :-)

Putin is judged by his ability to transform the Russian economy from an exporter of oil, gas and academics to something more sustainable.
Here he has failed until now.


Did this make MSM news? Pseudo news about Russia keeps this sort of thing on the back pages.



Sarcasm aside, the salient aspect of Bill H.'s post is that a significant majority of American public would likely agree that this is exactly Putin's intention. It's, in part, from long Cold War conditioning but less explained is why the so called mass, "liberal," media media buys into it. Neocons and neolibs (r2p crowd) seem pretty united in this. It seems the desire to enlighten other countries by force of arms runs deep in the human soul.


I'm trending in that direction as well. I would have supported Bernie over both of them. I can't stand the Bern's over the top socialism but, like Trump, neither would have much of a chance of passing their domestic agendas. The President does have primacy in FP matters and HRC scares the crap out of me. My only hope is perhaps she learned something about limits during her tenure. She is morally compromised and power hungry but not stupid. All the candidates say whatever they believe is required for election and getting the financing required for it.


Of interest:

Two "liberal" IT luminaries today pick up the (totally unproven) assertion that Russia hacked and published via wikileaks the DNC shennigens of preferring Clinton.

The used this to (preemptively) accuse Russia of manipulating the U.S. election via voting computers on November 9.

Bruce Schneier
By November, Russian hackers could target voting machines

Cory Doctorow
Russia and other states could hack the US election by attacking voting machines

This is curious as both are usually much more carefully about attribution of such hacks.

Could this be a "preemptive" attempt to find Russia guilty should the November 9 result come into question?

John Robb warned earlier that such a scenario could lead to civil war

Daniel Nicolas

In another thread, it was mentioned that countries have no friends, only interests.

Russia, for all the Borg media grandstanding, seems to only be concerned with Russian related interests. There is no indication of greater plan for global domination. They are upgrading and preparing for a future war, sure. Any country would be smart to prepare accordingly to defend itself (and their interests).

Obama's USA has been far too hostile to Russia without apparent cause. A Clinton administration would likely swing even further. While Russia has openly declared that it not want a new hot war, they are preparing accordingly because they have no choice but to prepare for the possible future USA being even more hostile.

Sam Peralta


Yes. Don't we get what our media and foreign policy elites have been telling us for so long? How can we be so dumb when Crooked Hillary has been telling us that Putin is a "thug" and now the Democrats are also Trumpeting that the Putin's Russia is interfering in our elections?


I think this is a sign that both Schneier and Doctorow are democrats who fear Trump. Tribal allegiance exerts a very powerful, and irrational, force on the so-called rational mind.

The Political Brain: The Role of Emotion in Deciding the Fate of the Nation, by Drew Westen https://www.amazon.com/Political-Brain-Emotion-Deciding-Nation/dp/1586485733/

Warning, Westen is a Democrat and he basically wrote this book to try and help Democrats win more presidential election, though the research portion in the beginning of the book shows how people in both parties are biased in their interpretation of political events based on their political party allegiance.

When Obama first ran in 2007-2008, Westen had clearly been drinking the glorious pro-Obama koolaid as was evident in some HuffPo articles he wrote at the time. Then a year or two later he wrote some follow up articles whining and complaining about how disappointed he was in Obama not being much different from Bush, etc, etc. Clearly this man was so caught up in his tribal allegiance he couldn't recognize the very biases his research showed. Btw, he is still a consultant to the Democrats... attempting to be the Frank Luntz of the left.


Col, I value your perspective greatly; this post is very helpful to me thank you

Old Microbiologist

I couldn't agree with you more.


I remember a presentation by Gorbachov back in early 90s here in US and on C-SPAN, he was saying if you (US) wants to believe that Reagan' arm race was the reason for USSR' collapse its fine with us. But for us the real reason was we saw no reason to continue paying for non producing resource less eastern european states. He said (paraphrasing) not only having them under our sphere of influence and security was not making Russia more secure in fact having them and paying for their energy alone with our resources was making us less secure.


Interesting Spiegel piece about some of Breedlove's email exchanges regarding the Ukraine from two years ago:


The Germans are obviously still sore about it all.


"I KNOW that Hillary would get away with murder. I'm quite serious."

It has already happened on this watch, see the case of MH-17.

Hood Canal Gardner

Col, not half bad. Really. Out here the affirmations/inbetweens were read as adds.


Russia became the enemy of United States in early 2000's after Putin started cracking down on the oligarchs that had taken over Russia's economy during Yeltsin's privatization efforts. It is estimated that seven individuals were controlling as much as 50% of Russia's economy at its peak during the late 90's:


Many of these oligarch were ethnically Jewish and had strong ties to the American Jewish community. What began as an isolated domestic Russian affair to sort out its own internal economic problems, slowly escalated to conflict with Washington, because many influential voices in the American Jewish community had taken the view that the crackdown on the oligarchs was a modern day anti-Semitic pogrom. Hence, the "Putin is a fascist", "Russia is evil" meme was born and the grounds for Cold War II was laid.

I think the key point to take away from this experience is that America's new multicultural character exposes her to a new sets of risks and challenges that did not exists during its first 200 years of existence. We now face a situation where the arrest of a of crooked businessman across the globe could trigger a new cold war, which then could accidentally lead to a nuclear confrontation 15 years down the line. Its mind boggling how quickly all of this happened and without anyone trying to stop it or at the very least call attention to it.


guessing they are setting the scene to invalidate an unfavorable vote count and take it to House of Representatives.

writers could be persuaded they were Doing Good.



Good find. Yes and yes. They never stop manipulating. Now the MSM will finally have to admit that the machines are compromised ONLY when it serves the interests of th few.


Today, all those "freedom-loving" people of former USSR, even including all those scores of West Ukrainians who hate Russian guts and Middle Asian "nationalists" flock to Russia "in pursuit of happiness". I am not saying that all those people are bad, but the question I do ask sometimes is this: you hated us, you evicted (sometimes with bloodshed) us, Russians, from your places. You got what you asked for, why then, do you come to Russia in millions (I am not exaggerating, in fact, most likely underestimating)? What happened? Of course, we all know what happened.


I'm envisioning a scenario where we have haxxors from half a dozen countries, both political parties, Anonymous, prganized crime, two or three USG intelligence agencies, and a variety of other assorted miscreants all dipping their digits into our voting systems this year.

We'll probably end up re electing Dewey...



Not likely, will be.



No, it won't. Trump perfectly outed the DNC, Hillary, and the media in one fell swoop. You're seeing the same thing you saw in the primaries: Trump winning by a little, and then a lot.



"Heh, let me passive aggressively moan about how Putin hasn't transformed the country according to MY metrics."

Can you guys go 36 hours without a terrorist attack over there in Germany? How's Mutti Merkel's insane policy working for you?


Tidewater to All,

Some years back I asked the Cossack what she thought about what was going on in the Crimea. Particularly the idea that Crimea was not Russian. She knows that area well. She smiled slightly, shrugged, and countered with her own question: "Get between the people and their datcha?"

I carefully inquired what she meant by what she had just said. It seemed very interesting. She explained that she was using the term "datcha" (dacha) to mean a 'vacation place', which would include any vacation place, not just a little cabin in the country, but also a place at the beach, whether owned or rented. She was talking about the whole Russian idea of the two or three week stay by the ocean. The Crimea is one of the few places where Russians can go, and it is probably the best place to go, palm trees and semitropical and the sea is not black, it is blue.

My translation of her rhetorical remark is: "Get between the people and their beach?"

Think about it.

What would happen in the south if people in Tennessee and other mountain regions couldn't get down to the coast at Isle of Palms or Sullivan's Island? Or Atlantic Beach? Or Virginia beach?

What happens if Manhattan cannot get to the Hamptons? D.C. to Rehoboth?

Sounds silly?

There is something else I have picked up on. This is about how Russians, particularly Russian women, think about health, and particularly the health of their children. The Cossack often talks about the need to get to the beach for the "iodine", the sea air, the ozone, the Vitamin D, the sun, whatever, and there is nothing frivolous to her about the idea. It is deeper and darker. I suspect that there is a profound belief among Russian woman that in order for a child to get through the Russian winter without dying it is necessary that that child be immunized for the winter by spending two or three weeks in the sunny climate of the littoral of the Black sea. This is an imperative. She has stated that as a fact.

Now this may be considered an Old Russian Wives tale, but again, the issue here would seem to me to be that this is an unexpected angle to the whole Crimean business. Do Russians and Russian women believe in these powers that are held in the climate of the Crimea? If so, you might compare it to how Indians and Pakistanis feel about Kashmir. There is something perhaps a little bit irrational in it, but millions will fight and die for it.


Dear Colonel,

Given that this is one of the Trump FP positions for which he has maintained consistency (against Borg opinion), his recent polling increases despite DNC/Borg attempts to tar him suggests that there may be hope for an American public that is increasingly distrustful of the political class's message.


Sarcasm at its finest, well done sir :) but it seems you probably still need the /s tag at the end, sigh.

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