Oct 272017
 

Europe seems to be just slightly less peaceful and unified and satisfied with its borders as is often portrayed…

Spain Seizes Power in Catalonia After Region Declares Independence

 

 

What’s more, there are a number of independence movements around Europe. Many are no doubt honest expressions of ethnic/cultural differences. Some are no doubt due to irritation at the insidious nature of the EU government. And I’ve no doubt that some, perhaps most, are being egged on by the likes of Putin. Europe falling to bits would be handy for the dreams of a Russian empire.

Beyond Catalonia: pro-independence movements in Europe

 

 

 Posted by at 4:44 pm
Oct 172017
 

Interesting if true:

FBI uncovered Russian bribery plot before Obama administration approved controversial nuclear deal with Moscow

The basic claims are not new, but the claims that the FBI knew about it and essentially sat on it… that’s new.

Federal agents used a confidential U.S. witness working inside the Russian nuclear industry to gather extensive financial records, make secret recordings and intercept emails as early as 2009 that showed Moscow had compromised an American uranium trucking firm with bribes and kickbacks in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, FBI and court documents show.

They also obtained an eyewitness account — backed by documents — indicating Russian nuclear officials had routed millions of dollars to the U.S. designed to benefit former President Bill Clinton’s charitable foundation during the time Secretary of State Hillary Clinton served on a government body that provided a favorable decision to Moscow, sources told The Hill.

 Posted by at 10:31 pm
Sep 292017
 

So the Russians have some seriously badass off-road vehicles, including some surprisingly large vehicles capable of going prit-near anywhere. They pretty much *have* to , since they have a whole lot of territory, and apparently not such a good road system.

For a really WTF example, take a look at the following video. It’s a collection of Wacky Videos From Russia, including the usual collection of stuff you might expect. Most of the clips are the sort of things you could see anywhere, but at about 1:33 there is a short clip showing a paved asphalt road that is… I don’t know what it is. It ain’t right, and I can’t explain it.

If anyone can explain that road and just what the frak happened, I’d love to hear it.

 

 Posted by at 1:27 am
Sep 262017
 

Have you ever wondered why there are so many dashcam videos out of Russia showing spectacular car crashes? The usual explanations include bad roads and booze, but I think I’ve discovered the real problem: bears. Bears on the roads. Bears in vehicles.

NATO better watch out. When Russia invades Lithuania, Poland and Portugal to protect the local ethnic Russians, they’re going to show up with bear cavalry.

 

 

 Posted by at 8:33 pm
Aug 312017
 

Russia claims new Mach 4+ MiG-41 Interceptor will be able to operate in space

No actual details.

An aircraft capable of Mach 4+? Sure, I suppose. Seems an odd thing to develop these days. Those sort of speed were an aviation fetish in the 50’s and 60’s, but there really isn’t a whole lot of need to go that fast and the penalties for doing so are *harsh.*

Operating in space? Meh. Might be a translation error or a simple misunderstanding. An aircraft capable of going that fast could potentially pop above the sensible atmosphere, perhaps like the X-15. So it would be in space, but nowhere near orbit (which would require Mach 25, not merely Mach 4). if it did so, it would need to have some ability to control its attitude, presumably with attitude control thrusters.

Or it could be BS. That would be entirely unsurprising.

 Posted by at 12:35 am
Aug 292017
 

America tests ‘the most dangerous nuclear bomb ever produced’: F-15 drops $1trillion super-nuke that has an adjustable yield and is more accurate than ever

The B61-12 is called “dangerous” because it’s yield is *ridiculously* low, variable between 300 *tons* and fifty kilotons. How it’s a “super nuke” I can’t say.

Entertainingly, in an effort to define this bomb as “dangerous,” the author of the piece refers to both International ANSWER (a communist front group) and Russia Today (Putins mouthpiece in the west). these organizatiosn don;t want the US to have this or any other new nukes. Which means it’s probably a good idea to keep developing, testing and fielding new nukes.

 Posted by at 9:06 pm
Jul 252017
 

The official story is that Russia is in Syria in order to fight ISIS and other jihadis… *not* that they’re there in order to get them selves a strategic foothold in the region by way of supporting Assad so he’ll give ’em a port. But then there’s this:

Videos suggest Russian government may be arming Taliban

Hmmm.

Some might suggest that this is irony,or turnabout s fair play. The US armed the proto-Taliban against the Soviets, after all. But in the 80’s, the great threat was the Soviet Union, not global jihadi terrorism. Now that the Russian government claims that jihadis are enough of a threat that they’re willing to carpet bomb cities full of civilians, they are *apparently* arming the very same jihadis.

 Posted by at 9:55 am
Jul 112017
 

Well, this should prove endlessly fascinating for the press.

Trump Jr. Was Told in Email of Russian Effort to Aid Campaign

In short, in June 2016 Don Trump Jr. was informed via email of a meeting with Russian lawyer who claimed to have dirt on Clinton… dirt dug up by the Russian government for the purpose of aiding Trump. Don Jr. expressed enthusiasm for this.

On  the one hand, this is not good news for the Trump narrative that he and his campaign had nothing to do with the Russians. On the other hand, it doesn’t really seem to back up the anti-Trump narrative that his campaign colluded with the Russians. It seems like the Russians – assuming the lawyer knew what she was talking about – had found the incriminating evidence on Clinton on their own initiative, and were simply offering it to the Trump campaign.

Now, on the one hand if someone offers you information that would be very useful or valuable to you, it seems reasonable enough to at least hear them out. On the other hand, there are laws against political campaigns accepting valuable gifts from foreign nationals, and “opposition research” can be considered monetarily valuable. Thus a violation of campaign finance laws. And on the other hand, we have hysterical Democrats like Tim Kaine crying “treason.” The problem with *that* is that treason is clearly defined in the US Federal Code:

Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason…

… and Don Jr.’s actions don’t come close to “treason.” In 2016,Russia was not an enemy of the US, so that wipes it out right there. And accepting information from even an enemy does not constitute giving them aid and comfort.

On the whole this is bad news for Trump. And potentially good news for future-President Pence.

 

 

 Posted by at 7:48 pm
Apr 082017
 

Anybody else ever notice how common headlines like this are? “He was an activist for X, and it turns out he was actually…”

He lobbied for gay rights and opposed Trump — now Seattle’s mayor is accused of sexually assaulting minors


And because why not, the world ain’t half weird enough:

It’s now illegal in Russia to share an image of Putin as a gay clown


And on the subject of Russia… if you still have a LiveJournal account, it’s time to close it out. LJ was sold to the Russians years ago and in December the servers moved to Russia; you are now subject to Russias laws regarding censorship and control over the internet. You are not allowed to post political discussions without first getting LJ’s approval (i.e. the Russian government), and if you have more than 3,000 views per day you’re supposed to register as a media outlet.

Russian-Owned LiveJournal Bans Political Talk, Adds Risk of Spying

 

 Posted by at 9:22 pm