Voices from Russia

Saturday, 31 December 2016

31 December 2016. Another Gotham Institution Bites the Dust… Carnegie Deli is No More… Owner Mum on How Much Developer Gave Them to Sell-Out

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Read this. Let’s cut to the chase… it seems that the place was still making money… a lot of it. However, it seems that the owner wanted to kick back and not work as much. There’s more to this than is immediately apparent. It seems to me that the owner wants to franchise the name and sit back and enjoy the profits. Yet, who outside of NYC knows or cares about a deli knockoff that isn’t the original real deal? Let’s face it… one reason that they could charge 20 bucks a pastrami sandwich was that Woody Allen ate there, along with other B’way notables. That’s not going to to be the case elsewhere. The concept might fly in Vegas… or LA … or at the Garden. Anyplace else? It wouldn’t fly in Peoria (certainly not in Indy, where you can get an awesome pastrami at Shapiro’s for 13 bucks)!

This smells like a big-money deal for the building that it’s in and the owner wanted the bucks more than the business. This wasn’t a death… it was a suicide…

BMD

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2016: The Year Washington Lost Its Mind

00 Vitaly Podvitsky. Putin did It! 2014

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Seismic is the only word to describe 2016, especially when describing the USA-Russia relationship. Paraphrasing Gramsci, it was a year when we witnessed the dying of an old world and the birth of a new one. However, by no means, was the birth painless… nor is it complete. Western hegemony… geopolitical, military, cultural, and economic… has never been so fiercely contested as it was in 2016. Surveying a year in which anti-Russian hysteria became the new normal in Washington, London, and Paris, not to mention across Eastern Europe on the part of governments that deployed Russophobia as a convenient scapegoat to deflect from their own political and economic shortcomings, it’s a reminder that no empire ever forgives its defeats.

If this past year was anything, it was a year that hammered the final nail into the coffin of neoconservatism and its Masters of the Universe conceit. It saw humanity travel full circle from the starting point of the boast by American academic Francis Fukuyama that the demise of the USSR heralded the End of History, wherein Western liberal democracy had triumphed and would now reign supreme forevermore. Those who allowed themselves to luxuriate in this conceit have just lived through a year of unparalleled agony and anguish, defined by the collapse of this liberal order under the weight of the misery and despair it succeeded in sowing over the past decade and more at home and across the world.

For the first time since 9/11… when Western hawks declared war-without-end in the cause not of security, democracy, or human rights, but instead domination, hegemony, and unipolarity… the Western project of régime change was thwarted in Syria, though not without huge cost and suffering. It was a seminal defeat marked by the liberation of Aleppo, followed by trilateral talks between Iran, Russia, and Turkey with the objective of ending the conflict. The exclusion of the USA and European powers from these talks was hugely significant, evidence that we’re increasingly finding solutions to the crises created by Western hegemonic policies in the East rather than the West.

The election in November of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the USA, following in the wake of Brexit, confounded a Washington political and media establishment that had grown complacent over the years in a bubble of self-aggrandisement in which they detached themselves from reality. Indeed, their inability to come to terms with the shock was such that rather than look to their own failures, they sought to scapegoat Russia as the primary cause. Never mind the millions of Americans who opted to vote for a maverick billionaire businessman rather than a machine politician whose record was a monument to mendacity. No, Trump’s election had nothing to do with them. It was all Russia’s doing. In what can only be described as an insult to those voters and their democratic rights, no sooner had the election result been announced than the forces of hell were unleashed against Moscow, accused of hacking the DNC, and passing the results on to Wikileaks, whose release of the so-called “Podesta emails” provided not only the American public but also the entire world with an insight into the inner workings of what passes for democracy in Washington.

Just think about this for a moment. According to the DNC, Clinton’s supporters, the CIA, and many more besides, Russia effectively forced millions of Americans to walk into a voting booth and vote for a candidate whose suitability for office was considered so outlandish that he was ridiculed throughout both the Republican primary process and ensuing presidential election campaign thereafter. Such a rendering is so desperate and deluded it could only gain traction in a period of huge and momentous transformation, such as took place over 2016, involving the decline of what is and the rise of what will be. Over the past year, the resulting flux and discord succeeded in turning rational human beings into irrational and paranoid wrecks, people who found themselves being swept away in the currents of historical change.

It was a year that we witnessed countries responsible for the destruction of entire countries lecturing the world on the meaning of democracy and human rights. They depicted President Putin as an amalgam of every James Bond movie villain this decades-long movie franchise unleashed. Meanwhile, rather than the largest and most populous country in Europe, with a history as rich in culture and civilisation as any on the planet, they reduced Russia to a vast criminal enterprise as part of the same exercise in demonisation. In 476 AD, what was then known as the Western Roman Empire came to an end, after a century of successive “barbarian” invasions finally succeeded in bringing it to its knees. The symbols of Rome’s power… the emperor’s imperial vestments, diadem, and purple cloak… were sent to Constantinople, the seat of power of the eastern half of the empire, to bring the curtain down on a millennium of history. It was proof that no empire, regardless of its economic and military power, lasts forever.

Rome fell for the same reason that all empires fall over time… greed… greed for wealth, for power, and for domination. Our time is no different. The economic crash of 2008 was the result of greed in Wall Street and the City of London, the twin engines of Western economic growth and hegemony over so many decades. Allied to the triumphalism with which Washington (and the West in general) met the demise of the USSR in the early 1990s, the result was overreach. In 2016, we witnessed the culmination of what has been a slow but inexorable decline in the West… a political order with no answers to the crises that they in their ideological fixation with domination and hegemony caused. Blaming others rather than look in the mirror and accept responsibility was their only answer.

As the Roman philosopher Seneca reminded us, “For greed, all nature is too little”.

Western ideologues take note.

31 December 2016

John Wight

RT

https://www.rt.com/op-edge/372352-2016-year-washington-lost-its-mind/

“Most Damaging and Embarrassing Answer We Could Receive”… Putin Shocks Experts

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President Putin responded to the outgoing US administration’s efforts to provoke conflict through new sanctions in what some are calling the “most embarrassing” way possible for US President Obama. On Friday, Putin stated:

Whilst we reserve the right to take reciprocal measures, we’re not going to lower ourselves to the level of irresponsible “kitchen” diplomacy. In our future steps on the way towards restoring Russian-American relations, we’ll proceed from the policy pursued by the Trump Administration. … I also invite all children of US diplomats accredited in Russia to the New Year and Christmas children’s parties in the Kremlin and I offer New Year greetings to President Obama and his family.

Putin’s announcement that he’s taking the high road shocked American experts and even embarrassed the Obama administration. On Friday, Michael Kofman, a global fellow at the Wilson Center specializing in Russian and Eurasian affairs, told Business Insider:

This is frankly the most damaging and embarrassing answer the USA could receive. It’s quite clear that both the Obama administration and Congress are trying to box Donald Trump in on Russia policy, but instead of responding to this latest salvo with predictable retaliatory measures, the Russians chose to make them a nonissue.

Boris Zilberman, a Russia expert at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, also told the website that he believes the decision not to retaliate is a win for Putin:

I think Putin saw through Obama’s attempt to throw a wrench into relations in the next administration, and looking as though he’s above the fray is likely a win as well for him.

Mark Kramer, program director for the Project on Cold War Studies at Harvard’s Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, asserted that the response, and dismissal, makes Obama’s efforts look “weak”:

Putin’s conspicuous announcement today was intended in part to give the impression that Obama’s measures are weak and inconsequential (as, indeed, they largely are) and don’t deserve a response.

On Thursday, President-elect Trump reiterated his belief that it is “time for our country to move on to bigger and better things”, expressing again his disinterest in conflict with Russia. On Face the Nation earlier this month, Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway said:

It seems like the president is under pressure from Team Hillary, who can’t accept the election results. It’s very clear that President Obama could’ve “retaliated” months ago if they were actually concerned about this and concerned about this affecting the election.

30 December 2016

Sputnik International

https://sputniknews.com/us/201612301049152333-experts-putin-embarassed-obama/

Editor:

Watch Obama & Co forbid any American to attend the Kremlin parties. That’s nasty and petty. I’d advise VVP to send presents to the American Embassy anyway. It’d put the ball squarely in the Anglos’ court, wouldn’t it? The last few weeks have deepened my contempt of the Anglo Establishment and their Upper Middle Stepin Fetchits in the corporate, media, political, security, and intel apparats. Their vileness, mendacity, spitefulness, and cruelty have been on parade. I didn’t think that I could think less of this scurvy crew… I was wrong.

Orthodox people… do you see why we have to keep a close eye on the loudmouth konvertsy? They ally themselves with the enemies of the Rodina and of the Church. They want to suck out the Christianity in the Church and replace it with Evangelical goo and with the worship of Almighty Mammon. I confide that I’m not alone in opposing that…

BMD

Racked by Protests Over Skyrocketing Utilities Prices, Kiev Blames Putin and Trump

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The banners read, “For Life!” (an old Soviet slogan)

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Editor:

This is a month old, but it still has tread and cred. Things have only gotten worse for ordinary people in the notional “Ukraine” (the CIA and the Western media don’t give a rat’s ass for the shitty deal given ordinary folks by their cosseted clients… what does that tell you about them?). What’ll happen after the Uniate junta loses its sugar-daddies in the Obama administration? Time will tell us, won’t it?

BMD

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Kiev suffered a series of mass protests this week, with demonstrators marching against skyrocketing utility prices, rising costs for necessities, cuts to social benefits, and a string of bank bankruptcies. Ukrainian officials blamed everyone but themselves for the protests, including the Kremlin and even US President-elect Donald Trump. The series of protests, beginning earlier this week and planned to continue into the next, saw over 6,000 people take to the streets of central Kiev on Tuesday in several separate demonstrations. Police responded by blocking off the downtown area and moving 5,000 police and National Guard thugs into the area to control the situation. Protesters gathered in several areas in the city-centre, including in front of the Verkhovnaya Rada building. Organisers installed a mock “toilet” as a caricature of the Ukrainian Constitution there, symbolising how the Ukrainian authorities had “flushed down” the people. At least ten associations and parties came out in support of the latest protests, which organisers said could grow to up to 50,000 people in the coming week.

On Monday, protesters marched in front of several banks that recently filed for bankruptcy. Depositors accused the president and government officials for what they claimed were artificially inspired bankruptcies. Moving on to the Central Bank building, protesters called on Bank head Valeriya Gontareva to resign. Protesters, some organized by political parties including ex-Ukrainian Prime Minister Yu V Timoshenko‘s all-Ukrainian Fatherland Union and a new opposition party called For Life, also came out to mark their dissatisfaction with Ukrainian President P A Poroshenko and his team’s social policy. They shouted slogans including:

Presidential gang… get out! Impeachment for offshoreniks and liars!

Organisers slammed authorities for the IMF-mandated increases in electricity, gas, and water prices, as well as what they called a “Chernobyl of cuts” in social benefits. Next Monday, ultranationalists plan to join the fray with their own protests on the Maidan Nezalezhnosti (Independence Square). The groups vowed to “remind” Poroshenko and the government that they’re in power thanks to the nationalist gangs’ efforts three years ago, and that the country’s current leaders are proving themselves to be little better than the old ones. This week’s mass demonstrations come amid the third anniversary of the beginning of the so-called Euromaidan protests, which culminated in the ouster of democratically elected President V F Yanukovich in February 2014, helping to spark a crisis in relations between Russia and the West.

Earlier this week, preparing for the protests, Ukrainian Interior Minister Arseny Avakov urged security forces:

Take tough measures against protesters. Act quickly, decisively, and professionally; you should detain and isolate provocateurs and rioters. The courts will determine the details of their involvement, guilt, and punishment.

Observers familiar with the situation warned that they couldn’t rule out the authorities introducing martial law in the Ukrainian capital in the event that the situation gets out of control.

When Things Go Wrong, Blame Moscow 

As is too common, Ukrainian politicians and media reacted to the protests by blaming Moscow. For his part, presidential advisor Yu S Biryukov spoke on the demonstrators:

Anyone who wants to yell about “criminal authorities”’ or “unbearable [utilities] prices” is truly either consciously or unconsciously a helper, friend, comrade, and brother to Putin. Anyone who at this time organises or participates in these protests, legal and guaranteed by the constitution, is rocking the army, rocking the country, putting the country in jeopardy. This isn’t 2013. It isn’t 2004. This is the third year of war (referring to the conflict in the former eastern Ukraine, which Kiev blames on Russia).

Some Ukrainian journalists and “political experts” went even further, claiming that President Putin himself is personally to blame for the protests. In an article for online news site online.ua, one analyst suggested that the Kremlin is consciously trying to present Ukraine in a negative light to US President-elect Donald Trump. The images of never-ending protests in Kiev help Putin do so, the article claimed. The article didn’t detail exactly how Moscow might try to influence Ukrainians to come out to the streets. Nor did it consider that perhaps Kiev’s failed social and economic policy, the unending war in the Donbass, IMF-mandated cuts in social services, and hikes in utilities prices might be the real cause for Ukrainians’ growing frustration with authorities. Instead, online.ua suggested:

The victory of Donald Trump in the US presidential election reassured Putin’s the administration, which expects a change of tone in negotiations with Washington, including toward the Ukraine. The Kremlin has an interest in showing our country in a maximally unfavourable light, to restore old fears Americans have, and to strengthen them with terrible images from the streets of Kiev, a task that’d allow Moscow to stake out its influence over the Ukraine.

Already, Ukrainian politicians warned that the new protests could culminate in a “Maidan 3.0”, i.e. another revolutionary overthrow of the government. However, in light of the catastrophic political and socio-economic situation Kiev’s current “revolutionary” authorities “governed” themselves into, one thing is clear… as in 2004 and 2014, if the country does face another coup, Moscow won’t be the one to blame.

18 November 2016

Sputnik International

https://sputniknews.com/europe/201611181047589903-ukraine-protests-deflection-toward-moscow/

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Uniate/schismo “National Guard” nationalist thugs… friends in the Ukraine tell me that many (if not most) of their leading officers are American/Canadian Galician expats (both Uniate and schismo “Orthodox” fascist nationalists). The Berkutovtsy acted professionally… these are nothing but CIA-led and –paid thugs.

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Editor:

V F Yanukovich’s government won election in a proper election, the Ukraine had recognition throughout the world as a legitimate sovereign state, and the Party of Regions (and the KPU) was the choice of the voters in the regions outside of Malorossiya (the area under the ACTUAL control of the Ukrainian Peoples Republic of 1918… the Donbass and Krivoi Rog were a separate Peoples Republic) and Galicia (the former Polish/Habsburg territory). The Maidan rioters were rebels… they were trying to overturn an election result that they didn’t like (sound like Obama and Clinton in the USA? Don’t forget… Obama and Clinton are the two biggest sugar-daddies of the Uniate/schismo junta). That is, like Trump, Yanukovich won the election… but the Uniate and schismo nationalists wanted to overturn it. They found foreign backers in the USA. American policy in the region is often set by a set of Galician émigré nationalists who’ve insinuated themselves as advisors to the American Establishment and intel apparat (often, with backing from this-or-that Vatican faction), just as policy to Israel often comes from the “Israel Lobby” (do note that not all Jews are part of this pressure group… far from it). The Maidan started as a peaceful rally against corruption (which was less under Yanukovich than under the present junta)… the CIA exploited it. Langley didn’t start it, but it did use it. Yanukovich used far less force than the junta does, but he ran a semi-socialist state, so the Americans wanted it gone. Russia couldn’t do much about it… VVP didn’t want to have a “1914 in Sarajevo”… which is what some of the Americans DID want (tells you much about the Anglos and their (lack of) character, doesn’t it?). The Americans installed a lickspittle ramshackle junta… the rest is history. Shall it last the end of the Obama Administration that backed, armed, trained, and funded it? That depends on Donald Trump…

By the way… there was one difference between Donald Trump and V F Yanukovich. Both won their elections, but Viktor Fyodorovich won by garnering the majority of the popular vote in an election that had  a larger turnout than the late American election. If the winner of a relatively open election is illegitimate in the eyes of the American government and intel apparat, what does that tell you about that government and apparat (and the people who populate, guide, and control it)? Shall it change? Sadly, most of my friends in that part of the world think not… “Israel and Saudi Arabia will tell Trump what to do, and he’ll roll over and play dead”, as one friend put it. Shall that happen? Time WILL tell us…

BMD

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