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Hometown: Green Mountains
Home country: US
Member since: Tue Feb 5, 2013, 04:27 PM
Number of posts: 11,163

Journal Archives

Digby: Bring on the immigrants

The single greatest advantage the United States has over China is that high-skilled immigrants would much rather move here.

Imagine if we reformed our immigration system to actually let them…

So much good information in this post.

Will make the RWNJ's blood boil, I'm sure.

Baker McKenzie, a go-to firm for Kremlin-linked companies, now says it's leaving Russia

Source: ICIJ

America’s largest law firm advised sanctioned Russian companies, including a military weapons maker, banks and an energy giant, a Pandora Papers investigation revealed. In the ruins of the former Soviet Union, legal giant Baker McKenzie found lucrative work for Russia’s largest state-controlled companies. From energy titan Gazprom to banking behemoth VTB to Rostec, maker of Kalashnikov rifles and fighter jets, Baker McKenzie served President Vladimir Putin’s business interests around the globe.

“Baker McKenzie will no longer have a presence in Russia. The offices and the people will transfer to an independent firm,” spokesman John McGuinness said in an email to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists today. “We are exiting relationships with all sanctioned Russian companies, and indeed will not act for any individuals or entities that are controlled by, or directly linked to, the Russian state and/or current regime, whether that work is in Russia or elsewhere in the world.”

As part of the Pandora Papers investigation, ICIJ and its media papers revealed in October that Baker McKenzie had represented at least six sanctioned companies controlled by the Russian government.
ICIJ’s investigation found that the Chicago-based law firm played a key role in creating the offshore economy, shaping financial laws, helping clients link up with offshore services providers and working with notorious fraudsters and autocratic regimes like Putin’s, as well as major corporations.

With 4,700 lawyers in 46 countries and annual revenue of $3.1 billion, Baker McKenzie is among those prestigious international law firms rethinking relations with the Kremlin in light of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the barrage of sanctions imposed by the United States and other Western governments.

Read more: https://www.icij.org/investigations/pandora-papers/baker-mckenzie-a-go-to-firm-for-kremlin-linked-companies-now-says-its-leaving-russia/

We can't trust firms like these (law, financial, weapons dealers) to actually do something for the people.

They'll always look for ways to make money - off the people with some of it going to their clients.

Bravo, ICIJ!

HCR: The fall of fascism in Italy in 1944 and parallels with Putin/russian agression in 2022

On June 5, 1944, the day before the D-Day operation in which the Allied forces in World War II invaded German-occupied western Europe, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt gave his 29th Fireside Chat.

Roosevelt told the American people that Rome had fallen to American and Allied troops the previous day. He used the talk not only to announce this important milestone in the deadly war, but also to remind Americans they were engaged in a war between democracy and fascism. And while fascists insisted their ideology made countries more efficient and able to serve their people, the Allies’ victory in Rome illustrated that the ideology of fascism, which maintained that a few men should rule over the majority of the population, was hollow.

Rome was the seat of fascism, FDR told his listeners, and under that government, “the Italian people were enslaved.” He explained: “In Italy the people had lived so long under the corrupt rule of Mussolini that, in spite of the tinsel at the top—you have seen the pictures of him—their economic condition had grown steadily worse. Our troops have found starvation, malnutrition, disease, a deteriorating education and lowered public health—all by-products of the Fascist misrule.”
In 2019, Russian president Vladimir Putin told the Financial Times that the ideology of liberalism on which democracy is based has “outlived its purpose.” Multiculturalism, freedom, and human rights must give way to “the culture, traditions, and traditional family values of millions of people making up the core population.”

Hungary’s Viktor Orbán has been open about his determination to replace western-style democracy with what he has, on different occasions, called “illiberal democracy,” or “Christian democracy,” ending the immigration that he believes undermines Hungarian culture and rejecting “adaptable family models” with “the Christian family model.”
That authoritarian government, it turns out, depended on democracies. As businesses pull out of Russia, the economy has collapsed. The ruble is worth less than a penny, and the Russian stock market remains closed. Today, the Russian economic ministry announced it would take the property of businesses leaving the country. Notably, it claimed the right to take about $10 billion of jets that had been leased to Russian airlines, quite possibly a way to get spare parts for the airplanes the huge country needs and can no longer get.

Putin is trying to prop up his power by insisting his people believe lies: on Friday, he signed a law making it a crime for media to produce any coverage the government says is “false information” about the invasion. He is now pushing the false claim that the U.S. is developing biological weapons in Ukraine, and has requested a meeting of the U.N. Security Council tomorrow to discuss this issue. Pentagon spokesman John Kirby called the story “classic Russian propaganda.”

Enough quoting. This is a great column and the comments are chock full of excellent background information.


"The Horror" Graphic: If you don't recognise these tactics, then you haven't been paying attention.


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