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Member since: Fri Sep 23, 2011, 05:20 PM
Number of posts: 6,419

Journal Archives

TYT Flashback: RT reporter says “Every single day we’re lying and finding sexier ways to do it.”

"It seems every time the world pays attention to Russia Today, the Kremlin-backed "news" channel, someone who works there realized they probably shouldn't.

Earlier this year, during the Russian invasion of Crimea, RT anchor Liz Wahl resigned on-air, refusing to be "part of a network that whitewashes the actions of Putin." (Fellow anchor Abby Martin also criticized the network, but still works there.) Following yesterday's anti-Ukraine coverage of the passenger jet shot out of the sky, another journalist has quit in a very public way. But at least it wasn't on TV. Just Twitter."* The Young Turks hosts Cenk Uygur, Ben Mankiewicz (Turner Classic Movies), Michael Shure, and John Iadarola (TYT University) break it down.


That's fascinating conspiracy theory

I've noticed that magical thinking, conspiracy theorizing and pure projection is common to many who, for whatever reason, need to defend the homophobic totalitarianism of Putin (and this thinking just happens to perfectly match Putin's own propaganda.) Your post is a good example.

You jump from an article about the distaste in academia for Cohen's embarrassing public appearances and writings, which have really gone overboard in the last year, and instantly start to talk about a conspiracy by "neocons/neolibs" to "restart the Cold War."

Some notable questions about your rant:

In what alternate universe has the Obama administration tried to "disallow" people from watching RT? What the heck are you referring to when you cite a "serious...violation of the Rights of Americans to watch, read anything they want to pay for." And don't you feel just a bit strange saying this, since Putin really has shut down nearly all independent media in Russia?

(This is a rhetorical question. Putin sympathizers on DU never answer questions about their defense of Putin's basically fascist ways.)

So let me engage in some conspiratorial speculation of my own: This Dissertation Fellowship money that Cohen's wife, a member of the 1%, wanted to donate to promote Cohen's name--I bet Cohen also wanted to control who gets it, so that he can influence the amount of Putin toadies in academia, and that's another reason the Association for Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies balked at taking his wife's dirty money.

1000 lashes for Saudi blogger for insulting Islam. Please sign Amnesty International petition


Fascinating read: In-depth story of Ukrainian president's fall from grace. Not exactly a CIA plot.


A combination of pro-EU protests occupying the main square, rumors that the protesters might soon receive serious weapons, chaos during changing events, and incompetence/corruption at the highest levels led to Yanukovych suddenly without any supporters, without any security protecting him or even his house. He now lives in Russia.

Interviews with the main players.

Sorry, Nuland Conspiracy Buffs: not a CIA plot in sight, actually. It's more the old Eastern Europe tale of a cynical security-state apparatus that recognized when a leader was suddenly powerless (and that knew the leader was beholden to another country, anyway.)

Key line: "Few outside the Russian propaganda bubble ever seriously entertained the Kremlin’s line" (about a western plot) --but somehow, many Putin explainers repeat it here on a regular basis

Ukraine Leader Was Defeated Even Before He Was Ousted

Ashen-faced after a sleepless night of marathon negotiations, Viktor F. Yanukovych hesitated, shaking his pen above the text placed before him in the chandeliered hall. Then, under the unsmiling gaze of European diplomats and his political enemies, the beleaguered Ukrainian president scrawled his signature, sealing a deal that he believed would keep him in power, at least for a few more months.

But even as Mr. Yanukovych sat down with his political foes at the presidential administration building on the afternoon of Friday, Feb. 21, his last authority was fast draining away. In a flurry of frantic calls to opposition lawmakers, police officials and security commanders were making clear that they were more worried about their own safety than protecting Mr. Yanukovych and his government.

By that evening, he was gone, evacuated from the capital by helicopter, setting the stage for the most severe bout of

Russia has attributed Mr. Yanukovych’s ouster to what it portrays as a violent, “neo-fascist” coup supported and even choreographed by the West and dressed up as a popular uprising. The Kremlin has cited this assertion, along with historical ties, as the main justification for its annexation of Crimea in March and its subsequent support for an armed revolt by pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine’s industrial heartland in the east.

Few outside the Russian propaganda bubble ever seriously entertained the Kremlin’s line. But almost a year after the fall of Mr. Yanukovych’s government, questions remain about how and why it collapsed so quickly and completely.

Purveyor: Nice try (not). No, my question was--why did my mention of Putin so enrage you?

Especially since I was not the one to bring up Putin and I was only responding.

Purveyor: Come on. Are you trying to pretend that you are not well-known for starting Russian-defending threads on a constant basis, with a fondness for Russian-front fake news sites like Consortium News, never mind for posting Russia Today and Sputnik News, two Kremlin propaganda outlets? Please don't make me cite all the examples--though this one, from another Kremlin news site, RIA Novosit, was hilarious:


Praise to Dear Leader as he taking the slopes in glorious victory for Sochi Olympics!

Not to mention the time you accused DUers who opposed Russia's military aggression in Ukraine of being "neo-nazis."

No, I think anyone who can read knows why you want me to shut up and go away. Sorry, that's not going to happen. To paraphrase a Russian idiom, "DU is not made of rubber."

One in six Russian businessmen face prison for failing to pay kickbacks, etc

(Reuters) - Sergei Bobylyov once ran a successful chain of computer shops in Russia called Sunrise. Now, the 43-year-old father of two is serving nine years for fraud in a case his family blames on a corrupt legal system abused by people out to steal his business.

His wife and daughters hope though that a six-month amnesty for jailed entrepreneurs, ordered by President Vladimir Putin and signed into law by parliament last week, will set him free.
More than 100,000 businessmen, many of whom are innocent, are in prison or face criminal proceedings, according to Boris Titov, hired in 2012 by Putin to protect entrepreneurs' rights.

Under the amnesty, between 3,000 and 10,000 people may be freed, according to official and lobby group estimates.

Critics point out that the amnesty fails to address corruption or tackle flaws in the legal system. Lengthy jail terms are too often handed down in cases that should be settled by civil suits and judges are too easily bought, with some publishing verdicts direct from the prosecutor's charge sheet - including spelling mistakes, they say.

They also say Putin tailored the amnesty to keep political opponents, former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky in particular, behind bars.

Calling it "an act of humanity", Putin announced the amnesty to applause from investors at an investor conference in St Petersburg last month, saying it was vital to create a more business-friendly environment in Russia.

The hostile legal environment has made it hard to succeed in business, legitimately, in Russia. A recent poll by the Levada Center, an independent opinion research group, said 38 percent of entrepreneurs want to emigrate.


At the centre of the problem is a legal system in which the collusion of law enforcement and justice officials is widely available, at a price.

"Someone needs to think about the law, and the system of law enforcement, prosecutors and judges, and change it from the bottom up," said Yana Yakovleva of Business Solidarity, a business rights campaigner.


On top of bureaucracy, criminal prosecution is another all-too-real problem for Russia's businesses. By 2011, one in six businesspeople in Russia had faced criminal charges, according to research by the Moscow-based Center for Legal and Economic Studies. About 120,000 people are serving prison sentences in Russia for economic crimes.

Yakovleva, the head of the business advocacy group, was a co-owner of a chemical company in 2006 when she was thrown in jail. She spent seven months in custody before her case was dropped. She claims the charges were brought by anti-narcotics police after she and her business partner refused to pay kickbacks on sales of an industrial solvent used in drug production.

"It doesn't matter if you abide by all the laws," said Yakovleva. "[Officials] can always pay you a visit and accuse you of any absurd thing, which will then be approved by a court."


Jello Biafra interviews UFO cult Unarius

"Cult" might be too strong--they seem pretty harmless. But a hilarious vid.

In 1992 Richard Metzger produced a show which intended to expose the stranger cultural facets of America. Popular alternative icons of the time were asked to act as hosts of the show, interviewing different people in places that fit the model for the show.

Unarius, a cult based out of El Cajon, California, which believes in the existence of UFO's, who allegedly have direct contact with the "Space Brothers," aliens, many of which live in an underground city in Mars, and who practice "Past Life Therapy," among other unique practices and beliefs, were a perfect subject for the show.

Metzger recruited Jello Biafra (original frontman for the Dead Kennedys) to do an in depth interview of Unarius, questioning members and key leaders of the movement, including their founder,"Archangel Uriel" aka Ruth Norman.

Soon after filming this interview in 1992, all of the original footage was stolen and never recovered.

In 2014 Jello Biafra gave a copy of the rough footage to his friend Erleen Nada (musician and video artist), who had a long time fascination with Unarius. Driven by a need to share this incredible interview with the world, Erleen Nada edited the footage (with Richard Metzger's approval), to make it comprehensive for public viewing, and available for viewing on the internet.

Here for the first time ever, 22 years after the filming of this show, is the fascinating interview between Jello Biafra and Unarius.

Fore more info on this interview visit Dangerous Minds.net:

Pro-Kremlin Russia News blames USA for Charlie Hebdon attack; Limbaugh blames Obama

Pro-Kremlin news site Lifenews.ru:
Russian website Lifenews.ru ran an interview with a political analyst named Alexei Martynov, who suggested the militants were "the US intelligence services." Claiming the notion that the Muhammad cartoons motivated the attack "looks funny," Martynov said, "I am sure that American 'curators' are behind the events in Paris, behind those Islamists, in one way or another. The US is conveniently wreaking havoc in Europe with the goal of muzzling the common sense voices that are calling to restore cooperation with Russia."

Rush Limbaugh claimed that Obama's proclamation in his 2012 United Nations speech following the Benghazi attacks—"the future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam"—emboldened the Paris attackers. "You have the president of the United States rationalizing barbaric behavior," Limbaugh said. "These actions have consequences."


Strange bedfellows: Putin, the Chomskyite left and the ghosts of the Cold War

Strange bedfellows: Putin, the Chomskyite left and the ghosts of the Cold War

So-called radicals who side with the Russian despot on Ukraine are stuck in a poisoned Cold War narrative

One of the weirder side effects of the Ukraine crisis and the West’s heated confrontation with Vladimir Putin’s Russia has been the reappearance of all kinds of complicated ideological rifts and conflicts left over from the Cold War. It’s as if the disease that afflicted and divided the world between 1946 and 1991 went into remission for 20-odd years but was never cured; given the right combination of rising temperatures, demagoguery and widespread confusion, the virus woke up and spread in all directions. Another way of looking at this question is that Cold War fever never abated in America but was diverted to other purposes, most notably the unsatisfying and amorphous “war on terror,” in which the goals, the tactics, the strategy and even the enemy were never entirely clear. In that context, the rise of a renewed Russian imperial power was almost a relief to the powers that be. It was like encountering a high school sweetheart who’s still looking foxy at the 20-year reunion dance.

The principal symptom of Cold War virus is a form of bipolar disorder, an insistence on viewing the world in Manichaean terms, divided into warring camps of good and evil, light and darkness. This seems to be such a fundamental component of human psychology that none of us ever resists it entirely; maybe it’s necessary to find absolute moral bedrock somewhere. Among the radical or progressive left, those people most likely to take a critical view of American policy and power, this bipolar disorder has produced many varieties of arcane self-torment and infighting over the years. In the old days, someone on the left was always available to apologize for the worst excesses of Stalin or Mao or Pol Pot or whomever: OK, maybe the Khmer Rouge prison-state wasn’t exactly paradise on earth, but Western aggression was mostly to blame and at least the cadres were fighting Yankee imperialism.

This lamentable tendency to make excuses for the inexcusable, and not infrequently to embrace tinpot tyrants on the flimsiest of ideological grounds, has reappeared alongside other symptoms of Cold War disease. Here’s where my own version of the disorder kicks in, I suppose: I identify with the impulse behind this tendency, but not so much with the results. It’s never a bad thing to be suspicious of the official narrative, as supplied by the State Department and the New York Times, which seeks to present the current Ukrainian crisis as a simplistic confrontation between the “forces of democracy” and the sinister, vodka-infused and quasi-totalitarian Black Hand of Sauron — I mean Putin. Amid the genuine worldwide shock and grief over the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, a heinous war crime presumably committed by pro-Russian rebels with Russian-supplied missiles, it takes rigor and courage (not to mention a certain analytical coldness) to observe that we’re not necessarily seeing the bigger picture.

Read more http://www.salon.com/2014/07/26/strange_bedfellows_putin_the_chomskyite_left_and_the_ghosts_of_the_cold_war/

BREAKING: President Obama Will Veto Congress' Keystone XL Pipeline Bill

Source: Mother Jones / AP

President Barack Obama is planning to veto a bill that would force approval of the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline, according to the Associated Press:

Read more: http://www.motherjones.com/blue-marble/2015/01/breaking-president-obama-would-veto-congress-keystone-xl-pipeline-legislation-wh
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