Voices from Russia

Sunday, 18 February 2018

18 February 2018. A Word to the Wise About the DemExit FB Group

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Dear comrades! I’m afraid it’s time to exit the #DemExit group. DemEnter/DNC trolls have seriously infiltrated them! They’re even kicking people out for defending themselves from those trolls, bots, or whoever! That group is TOAST!

17 February 2018

John Phillip

Facebook

Editor:     

Have a care with all “anti-Trump” FB groups… many are Hillarybot entities in disguise. I was in one… they got miffed because I had an admin blocked and they demanded IN PUBLIC that I unblock them. I got the message, so I got out… be careful with all pro-Hillary sheeple. They’ve all drank the neoliberal Kool-Aid and love Hilly’s fellatio of the rich. You can’t talk with them… they’re worse than “conservatives” are. Why, to them, we’re just wayward children without a clue how to proceed without “guidance” from our Upper-Middle “betters”. I’m not the only person to believe that bat-shit crazy…

BMD

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Saturday, 10 February 2018

The Next Crash: Or, Why a Stock Market Booming While Life Craters is a Social Ponzi Scheme, Not an Economy

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Oh, no, friends… the Dow crashed… cue hysteria over everything from gold to retirement accounts to Bitcoin to Trump. Hold on a minute. What does it really mean? Here’s something to bear in mind. Investing in a collapsed society, where people have little left to be preyed upon for (and even those meagre morsels of returns an authoritarian could snatch away in a heartbeat) is a foolhardy bet. If it’s opaque, we’ll get to what that means.

Let’s start with what you probably know. The stock market isn’t the economy. The market boomed… but real incomes stagnated for decades. However, even that’s not really “the economy”. The economy is how well people’s lives are doing, and on that score, America’s in uniquely bad shape among rich nations… falling life expectancy, rising mortality, mass killings, stress, rage, misery, loneliness, and distrust. Therefore, ironically, it appears to me that Americans speak of The Market like the Soviets spoke of The Party. Just as Soviets said, “The Party’s in fine shape!”, so, today, Americans say, “Comrades! The stock market’s booming!” Both are myths that deflect from reality, protecting us from the harder work of seeing things as they are. Just as the Party wasn’t Soviet society… just a twisted caricature of it… so the stock market isn’t the American economy… it’s a bizarre upside-down mirror image.

While I’m sure you’ve had similar thoughts, here’s what you might not have gotten to yet. This shell game… a stock market booming while an economy and the lives in it crater… can’t go on forever. An economy based on such is a Ponzi Scheme of prosperity conducted on a massive social scale. One day, the bill must come due. Perhaps, you think… what could be better for capitalists than a nation of neo-peasants? However, the truth is a little more subtle. The stock market booming while life falls apart reflects a real economic transfer… the average person’s quality of life, stability, security, opportunity, and (of course) his income and savings dissolve into the future profits of predatory entities, whether they’re banks, corporations, hedge funds, etc. Where a truer capitalism… if such a thing exists… might focus on providing value, these self-evidently don’t… hence, life falling apart.

How long can all that go on? There must be something to prey on. However, the average American doesn’t have much left to give. His income is shrinking. He has less than 1,000 USD (58,366 Roubles. 6,290 Renminbi. 64,220 INR. 1,258 CAD. 1,280 AUD. 817 Euros. 723 UK Pounds) in savings. He has no real vacation or leisure time, working longer and harder hours than his peers anywhere else. He’ll never retire, be able to educate his kids, or afford decent healthcare. He’s even given his life… to the point where his longevity is now declining. Is there anything left for monopolistic predatory capitalism to take? Not much. This game can’t just go on forever… it can’t go on much longer at all. What happens when markets understand all that? They fall hard and fast. The market isn’t the economy… at least until there’s nothing left to syphon off, and, then, suddenly, kaboom. Markets must ultimately reflect the economic, social, and political reality of a failing nation, too… just as they had to before the Depression, reflecting inequality, stagnation, and predation.

What does that all mean, at the root? Markets must price in risks. However, the greatest risk of all for America is one that we haven’t yet priced in… one not considered, valued, and accounted for. That’s political risk. For example, markets discount perpetually chaotic Latin American or Eastern European economies; now, they’ll have to do the same for America. You see, not only is American life falling apart… American democracy is too. A (literal) Nazi is running unopposed for Congress in Illinois. That’s a tiny example of the trends that daily headlines reveal all too well… America is imploding from an imperfect democracy to an authoritarian kleptostate. The nearest parallel is probably Russia. Nevertheless, one doesn’t put one’s money into Russian investments without carefully considering political risk.

What does “political risk” of “autocracy” really mean? Why do markets care? Think of it as a country run by and for mafias. Mafias run protection and extortion rackets for small enterprises… the same is true for kleptocrats on a national scale. They grant favours to whoever will pay them off the most. They give shares in privatised industries to their cronies. They use every trick in the book to make already-tilted playing fields ones that players can’t enter at all unless there’s money paid out, whether in soft or hard bribery. They’ll mercilessly extort whoever isn’t part of the organisation or the family. Let’s say you’re an investor, looking at America. How far away is it from such a scenario? Already, nationalist sentiments have gone all the way to the top. They’re ripping up trade deals. They’re choosing favourites. Instead of doing business, CEOs try to curry favour… although they hold their noses at the stench. Going forward, you’d be very foolish not to begin pricing in all this risk… that one day, at the whim of a single authoritarian leader, all your money might simply disappear, be expropriated, be seized… the first step in most such situations is that you must give a portion of it to his family, friends, allies, just to do business at all.

There’s a steep political risk now for money flowing into America, just as there is and has been for other fallen states. However, the difference is that markets haven’t priced in this risk yet. They’ve coasted on two comfortable illusions:

  • American democracy will magically fix itself
  • The gains from preying on its imploded middle class outweigh the rising costs of autocratic politics

Nonetheless, those gains are drying up… all that’s left now are the costs… strongmen, extremism, and authoritarianism. That points to a very simple conclusion. The American stock market is in for a historic crash. It can’t go on being a perverse mirror image of economic reality forever. It goes up; it goes down. However, at some point, it’ll fall and fall mightily, as investing in a collapsed society where people have little left to even be exploited for (even those dwindling returns an authoritarian could snatch away from you in the blink of an eye) is a foolhardy bet. Of course, that isn’t a “prediction”. Markets always suffer crashes. It’s only a way of understanding the next crash. Perversely, the market boom of the 2000s was due to riches gained from the implosion of American life. However, the crash to follow will be about what happens after a society implodes… the loss of American democracy, prosperity, confidence, and growth, replaced by despair, cruelty, authoritarianism, and collapse.

5 February 2018

Umair Haque

Eudaimonia

https://eand.co/the-next-crash-254816fbbeb7

Monday, 8 January 2018

Patriarch Kirill: Russia Helped to Protect Christians in Syria

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Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia said in his Christmas interview with Rossiya-1 TV:

Operations of Russia’s Aerospace Forces in Syria helped to protect the Christian minority from persecution and killings. Besides solving some issues linked to stabilising the situation, preventing military threats, and preventing the takeover of power by terrorists, a very important part of Russia’s participation was to protect the Christian minority. Thanks to Russia’s participation, we thwarted genocide of Christians. If Islamist forces had maintained their influence and activity, the situation in Syria would’ve repeated the Iraqi scenario after the toppling of Saddam Hussein.

During Hussein’s rule, I visited Iraq and its northern areas, and I was in Mosul. I visited ancient Christian monasteries. I saw this pietism of people and was glad that Christian churches peacefully existed in a Muslim environment. Now, almost nothing is left. The monasteries were destroyed, the churches were blown up, and 85 percent of Christians were either eliminated or expelled from Iraq. This could’ve happened in Syria. Both the Russian Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church will continue efforts to provide humanitarian assistance to Syrians. We also have bilateral agreements with the Catholic Church to provide humanitarian assistance together. There are different areas in which we’re acting. I hope they’d make their contribution to providing real assistance to those who still suffer in Syria.

7 January 2018

TASS

http://tass.com/society/984135

Editor:

Note well that Iraqi Christians were safe until the USA imported “democracy” and empowered Islamists (whom the Anglos used to destabilise the situation). What does this tell you about Evangelical sectarians and their loud yelps of “Christianity?” I’d say that it proves that Born-Agains aren’t Christians at all… I do daresay that I’m not alone in thinking that way.

BMD

Sunday, 7 January 2018

Reports Say USA Plans to Recognise Kurdish Area in Syria 3-Times Size of Lebanon “Soon”

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Government-controlled areas are in red… American-patsy Kurdish-controlled areas are in yellow

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An unnamed senior Western official told the newspaper Asharq al-Awsat that the plan to recognise the Kurdish area is part of a new strategy for Syria by the Trump administration. Washington is planning “concrete steps” toward providing a Syrian Democratic Forces-controlled area in northern Syria’s eastern Euphrates area three times the size of Lebanon with diplomatic recognition.

The official said that the 28,000 square-kilometre (10,810 square-mile) area controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces, a collection of predominantly-Kurdish militias including the YPG People’s Protection Units, took its first step toward US recognition after US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis promised to send US diplomats to SDF-controlled areas to work alongside US troops operating in the region. They said that US initiatives in the region include empowering local councils, backing reconstruction efforts, assisting in training of government agency workers, improving public services and infrastructure, protecting SDF areas, and engaging in the upkeep of military bases, all of which will eventually lead to diplomatic recognition.

Last week, it was reported that a new “North Syrian Army”, which included SDF formations and backed by the US-led coalition, was being created to carry out “border security duties” in territories under their control. Local media said that the militias would guard areas along the region’s northern border with Turkey. The USA and its coalition allies are going to provide the new force with technical assistance, weapons, and training.

Kurdish forces have been in control over the de facto autonomous region commonly known as Rojava since 2013 amidst the civil conflict in Syria. During the war against Daesh and other terrorist groups, Syrian Army units mostly engaged in pragmatic cooperation with Kurdish forces. In September 2017, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem said Damascus would consider granting the Kurds greater autonomy once the war against the terrorists was over. At the same time, Damascus voiced its opposition to the US presence and operations on Syrian territory, including Rojava, saying that it does not accord with the principles of international law, including respect for Syria’s territorial integrity. The Syrian government insisted that US operations inside Syria are illegal, since Damascus never invited them into the country.

7 January 2018

Sputnik International

https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201801071060574215-us-recognition-kurdish-area-syria-reports/

Editor:      

The USA lost its bid to destabilise Syria when Assad smashed its ISIS proxies (with Russian, Iranian, and Hizbullah assistance). The USA wanted a puppet junta in Damascus (much like the gang of criminals it installed in Croatia, the Baltics, Kosovo, Libya, and the Ukraine) to clear the way for a Saudi/Bahraini pipeline to the Med. They failed in that. Ergo, they’re trying to form a Kurdish puppet state out of portions of Syria and Iraq (the American project in Iraq failed… it’s now pro-Iranian… so the USA wants to punish Iraq, too). Trump is an idiot… this’d drive Turkey out of NATO straight into Russia’s embrace. No Turkish state will countenance any sort of Kurdish entity. Trump’s stupidity blinds him to that. He’s striking out blindly because he slammed his dick in the door in Syria… the USA lost big-time and  its reputation (rightly) went into the toilet. He tried infiltrating provocateurs in Iran… that failed. He’s going to try a Kurdish entity… that’d drive Turkey out of NATO. Is he going to try to get Israel to strike Lebanon to get back at Hizbullah? The level of asinine juvenile actions shown by Trump gives me little hope. May God protect the world from this blustering teenager (and from Clinton, too… she’s worse).

BMD

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