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Coup in the Kremlin: it has happened before (27/02/22 15:53:44) Reply

    The people surrounding him should be fully capable of staging sudden death in an undetectable manner.

    Polonium would be appropriatefrom a cruelty perspective, but it acts too slowly.

And after the coup (28/02/22 10:47:21) Reply
    Russia should be dismembered. As it is - and has been for at least a century - it is too dangerous to be allowed to continue.

    One caveat: This dismembering should be guided into technical, political and cultural development to make all of the population more wealthy, comfortable and happy.

    The evil orthodox church must be tamed, too. Jesus was not a supporter of the rich and powerful - in contrast to the top clergy of the Russian orthodox church.

Versailles #2 (n/t) (28/02/22 19:08:24) Reply

And Nürnberg #2 (01/03/22 08:12:00) Reply
    The persons and the systems must be brought to justice.

    After the nazi time, West Germany made a decent purge. Russia never made a purge of the guilty from the leninism-stalinism period, and the present tsar (who does not deserve to have his name mentioned) actually rehabilitated the gangs. Now we have a fresh case, so there is space for taking it all: Grozny, the journalist murders, the flat-bombing of Syria, the wars on Georgia and Ukraina.

    I would suggest that the tsar be imprisoned in Norway, sharing the prison suite of Breivik, and having their daily strip searches for weapons, drugs and telephones together.

How much land does a man need? (02/03/22 08:31:28) Reply
    The tsar - in his striving for earthly glory - may have forgotten to read his Russian classics, specially this marvellous short story by the arch-Russian Leo Tolstoj,

    "about a man who, in his lust for land, forfeits everything"


Uprisings: One reminder (03/03/22 08:47:25) Reply
    My childhood home had lots of books. One of them - I read it, I think, when I was twelve - and I didn't understand more than a twelve-year-old does. But in the apartment building where we lived at the time, there was a Hungarian refugee family.


    "The book is one of Michener's journalistic works (his 9th or 10th published book) and much shorter than the episodic novels that he wrote over the next thirty years. While the book is of an historical event based upon interviews with eyewitnesses, the story is told largely through composite characters or characters based on real people whose names were changed, either for their safety or the safety of family left behind. The story examines the experience of different segments of Hungarian society, both before and during the uprising, such as students, workers, soldiers, secret police, and ordinary citizens. The book takes the reader to the streets of Budapest, where unarmed young people, factory workers, and poorly equipped Hungarian soldiers fought Soviet tanks. It also tells the bittersweet story of the few days of freedom enjoyed by the citizens of Budapest before the Soviets returned in force."

Dominos (03/03/22 09:05:26) Reply
    "In Southeast Asia, the U.S. government used the now-discredited domino theory to justify its involvement in the Vietnam War and its support for a non-communist dictator in South Vietnam."


    I do believe in the reverse domino theory. Personal freedom is a temptation for some of those who do not have it. The majority may be bought or brainwashed or coerced into believing that they do not want it,and we will have bought spokespeople who will assert that people do not want democracy - but there will always be at least a minority, open or hidden, who desire it and are willing to work for it, given a chance. The dictators know it. In Ukraine the anti-dictatorship people seem to be a vast majority. Of course the tsar feels threatened.

    So Ukraine will be the first piece in that array of dominos. Will the next one be in Minsk?

A coup is like an idea:perhaps 0.1% of the job. (08/03/22 08:54:26) Reply
    The remaining 99.9 percent must be done by others: Building a democratic country from scratch takes decades, maybe centuries, of hard work, hards fights, in-fighting, betrayals,backlashes.

    The failure of the Arabian Spring revolutions show clearly that alot of mental infrastructure needs to bepresent for a democratic development to succeed. It is much harder than just replacing one tyranny with another.

    So we need to educate politicians aswell as nuclear technicians (and robotics engineers to enable the actual handling). Andwe need meaningful jobs for those eople while they are waiting foran opening to take over from the fallen dictator(s).

(apologies) (08/03/22 16:32:05) Reply
    this computer has a faulty keyboard. Specially the space bar is a failure. Probably the reason why I got it cheap.

    But MX Linux 21 runs well on it. I can even print from it (MX 19 did not).

Re: (apologies) (11/03/22 19:09:05) Reply
    My favourite stationary PC expired a few weeks ago - hence the use of the semi-defective laptop. Now I have renovated the old box with new motherboard, RAM, APU and SSD. And replaced Kubuntu with MX-21. So I got rid of that gigabyte RAM hog systemd and the rather defective multimedia players - where Amarok was the worst.

    I declare: Linux, in this incarnation, to me is a mature product. Comfortable to install, comfortable to use. Printer installs like a blaze. Even my sheetfeeding scanner works - and much better than when I used it with Kubuntu, when it was only marginally acceptable.

    MX 21 from a USB stick. It prompts for a thorough update (or maybe it doesn't with newer ISOs?).

    Linux on the desktop? It's there in 2022.

Democracy (08/03/22 19:49:57) Reply
    It's not about a parliament. Bogus parliaments exist. Myanmar is a blatant example.
    It is not about elected representatives. Fakes are common when candidates are elected in closed and nontransparent processes in political parties. We have such processes even in the most democratic country in the world.


    Democracy is more about the right to disagree in public, the right to make independent and personal decisions in the private life (like nonprocreative sex, like atheism, like protections against abuse by police, like healthcare for all regardless of professional affiliations or ethnicity or sex/age; free education including university for all regardless of family economy, old age pensions for everybody.

    This means that thenational economy must be reasonably distributed. We cannot have too much of property hoarding atthecost of working people. So taxes must be paid - bu the rich, by the working, and by the politicians. The rich and the politicians cannot and must not be above the law.

Fundamental errors must not be repeated (08/03/22 22:14:20) Reply
    So there is a reason to make a critical analysis of the events in Russia from 1992 onwards. We need no new revanchist regime in Russia when Putin has fallen. So the economics of the four new states need to be planned and financed responsibly.

Chinese initiatives to stop the little corporal's attack against Ukraine? Ha-ha. (09/03/22 17:32:20) Reply
    Xi has robber raid plans himself, outside of the official Chinese borders, so there is no waythat he will try to stop the Russian Napoleon-wannabe. He will patiently wait for the West to do Putin in, then he will send a few million peaceful civilian immigrants to collect valuables in Siberia. And of course he will use military power to protect them against human rights abuses.

    So thge Russian public should use the opportunity while it is there. Being a Nato+EU country wouldbe preferable to being a Chinese province like Tibet or Xinjiang.

Democratic Siberia? THE Chinese nightmare (12/03/22 13:25:37) Reply
    Tienanmen-massacre, anyone? Or the present campaign to suppress Hong Kong? Or the continuing threats against Taiwan?

    Giving power to people will take away the privileges of the Beijing-led kleptocratic system of China. Xi is not comfortable with the idea, I'm sure. So he will need a tsar in centralised Russia. He will be against my splitlines - and against all sorts of splits, no matter if the logics don't fit.

Re: Democratic Siberia? THE Chinese nightmare (26/03/22 13:51:03) Reply
    The pact of eternal friendship between Russia and China: what does it mean? The Molotov-Ribbentrop pact comes to mind.


    With today's assymmetry in economic and military power there is little doubt who in the end is planning to eat whom.

    I have said it before: Splitting of Russia and establishing a number of smaller, democratic states with EU and NATO membership, is, I believe, the only effective way of halting the Chinese quest for world domination.

    Who would like to have an aggressive China at the eastern border of Europe? Are the lessons given by Djengis Khan and Tamerlan too far away in time? They have already presented themselves as an Arctic power. Please take a look at the map of China for comparison.

    It will be after my time, for sure, but my grandchildren - I hope we can prevent it for them.

Effective measures against corruption (10/03/22 10:17:55) Reply
    "The Dictator's Handbook
    Why Bad Behavior is Almost Always Good Politics

    by Bruce Bueno De Mesquita
    Alastair Smith"


    A marvellous book. All my friends and family have the text availableand have shied away from reading it.

    IMO the best quotation is (soomewhat inaccurately): "The usual saying is: Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. It is the other way round: Corruption empowers. Absolute corruption empowers absolutely."

    The authors show convincingly how power over money is the key to dictatorship. Concentrated sources of money is key. So oil-rich countries are often tyrannies, with a small number of extremely rich and a population of poor people with no political power.

    So - the five-state landmass formerly known as Russia will need laws against extreme wealth accumulation, and judicial and policing systems to enforce those laws. Banks must be stricly controlled, and bankers need to learn about the looks of the inside walls of prisons. Controlling systems must be open and transparent, and personal assets must be open for inspection from -say the EU commission.

Sharing the burdens (12/03/22 07:10:20) Reply
    Now the Russian coffins are coming home. For 20 years the tsar has been pumping the greatness bubble while systematically branding opposition as disloyal, even treacherous. And the narrow minds of the silent majority educated by lie-mongering TV and the orthodox church - they will never rebel against the god-given tsar, his god-blessed wars, and the resulting poverty.

    So - how much should our side be willing to sacrifice in support of the good cause? A lot. But we must share it reasonably fairly. The rich, the well-to-do and the not-so-poor: We must all take part, each according to our resources. Only then - ah, you know.

Belarus (25/03/22 07:17:00) Reply
    We hear nothing about dissent within Belarus - but we have good evidence that the present dictator
    has minimal support.

    Putin's army is losing in Ukraine. He has now resorted to showing one of his true natures: that of the coward who wants to show off as powerful and frightening by terrorising the innocent and defenseless.

    Putin's system will collapse if he loses the support of Belarus. If Belarus sends troops to Ukraine, there is more room for the opposition to topple the dictator.

    "Cambyses, too, wanted to endlessly expand his empire on sea and on land and conquer the country facing Europe"


    "The army was worn down by the length of the journey and by hunger and exhaustion (cf. the lack of provisions and the starvation suffered by Xerxes’ army, 8.115). The slow and gradual decline led through raging starvation, the slaughtering of draft animals, the eating of roots and herbs, and down to cannibalism. Every tenth soldier was picked by drawing lots and devoured by his comrades. Only then did Cambyses give up his plans and end the campaign (3.25). "


    "The Ethiopian campaign can therefore count as a decisive turning-point in Herodotus’s description of Cambyses. Added to it was a further element which may be considered as characteristic for Herodotus’s description: an arrogant attitude was preceded by urgent warnings, which were just as consistently ignored."


Historic successors - the first one failed (27/03/22 08:10:15) Reply
    There have been attempts. The snippets below are from a search line starting with "decabrist" - Russian nobility trying a revolution which ended with some executions and exile into Siberia - actually Irkutsk (I've been to one or two of the mansions).

    It was early, and these people were pioneers - so of course they made capital errors. The main one was that the revolution was entirely a top-down one, so it was cheap to make it fail.

    "The Duma of the empire, created in 1905, and the institution of local self-government, (the zemstvo) created in 1864, were two of the reforms proposed by him. Speransky's plan also contributed to the constitutions granted by Alexander to Finland and Poland."

    "From 1809 to 1812, Speransky was all-powerful in Russia. He replaced the earlier members of the unofficial committee and practically became the sole minister. All concerns were discussed and decided upon by Speransky and the emperor. Even the once all-powerful war-minister Count Arakcheyev was thrust into the background. However, powerful though he was, Speransky did not use his immense influence for personal means; his idealism did not permit this but in not seeking political allies, Speransky made himself vulnerable.

    The Emperor Alexander was also an idealist, but with a more selfish attitude; he dismissed talents that overshadowed his own. He believed himself to be a potent instrument for the attainment of the ideal objective of a regenerated Russia, which was his minister's sole preoccupation.

    In 1810, Speransky was still in high favor and was the confidant of the emperor in the secret diplomacy which preceded the breach of Russia with Napoleon. He is depicted at this period in Tolstoy's novel War and Peace (he can be found in the second book; third part). Speransky then committed a serious mistake – he conceived the idea of reorganizing the masonic order in Russia to educate and elevate the Orthodox clergy. The emperor agreed to the first steps being taken, namely, the suppression of existing lodges, but he was naturally suspicious of secret societies even when ostensibly admitted to their secrets. Speransky's abortive plan only resulted in adding the clergy to the number of his enemies.

    On the eve of the struggle with Napoleon, Alexander made Speransky his scape-goat. Alexander appeased Old Russian sentiment, the strongest supporters of the autocratic Tsar against revolutionary France. Speransky's indiscretions gave the final impulse to his downfall. He was surrounded by spies who reported none too accurately the minister's somewhat sharp criticisms of the emperor's acts. Speransky presumed to advise Alexander not to take the chief command in the coming campaign."


A parallel, sort of (27/03/22 08:31:11) Reply
    Johann Friedrich Struensee (5 August 1737 – 28 April 1772)


    "Struensee held absolute sway for almost thirteen months, between 18 December 1770 and 16 January 1772. During this time he issued no fewer than 1069 cabinet orders, or more than three a day."

    "Reforms initiated by Struensee included:[6]

    abolition of torture
    abolition of unfree labor (corvée)
    abolition of the censorship of the press
    abolition of the practice of preferring nobles for state offices
    abolition of noble privileges
    abolition of "undeserved" revenues for nobles
    abolition of the etiquette rules at the Royal Court
    abolition of the Royal Court's aristocracy
    abolition of state funding of unproductive manufacturers
    abolition of several holidays
    introduction of a tax on gambling and luxury horses to fund nursing of foundlings
    ban of slave trade in the Danish colonies
    rewarding only actual achievements with feudal titles and decorations
    criminalization and punishment of bribery
    re-organization of the judicial institutions to minimize corruption
    introduction of state-owned grain storages to balance out the grain price
    assignment of farmland to peasants
    re-organization and reduction of the army
    university reforms
    reform of the state-owned medical institutions"


    Trouble was: He had no strong popular alliance behind him - and his enemies could topple him because he had an affair with the queen. So the reactionaries had him executed.

Progressives and reactionaries (27/03/22 08:57:24) Reply
    This is a difficult field, and it needs several rounds of development. It would be best if someone would help, but I hope / to cope.

    My preliminary starting point is, according to my observation and analysis:

    - those who call themselves progressives let ideology and principles take priority. Practicalities, pragmatism - are looked down upon, frowned upon, frozen out, excluded - or worse. This makes them easy targets for reactionary populistic attacks.

    - the powers that be - which are more or less reactionary - have the priority of staying in power. Practicalities, reason, honesty, science, environment protection, good manners, sound economics - are actively suppressed in spite of the damage done in the long term. Religion is a powerful ally.

    So a real progressive has a much more difficult job than the reactionary establishment.

Recent medical observations (26/04/22 08:42:16) Reply
    A recent video clip shows Putin clutching the table with his right hand, and occasionally tapping his thumb on the table. Bizarre. It wasn't only me who thought about Parkinson's disease.

    What else is there to say?


    "As part of chronic Parkinson's disease and its treatment, psychotic behaviors occur in over 50% of patients. These problems include illusions (perceptual errors), hallucinations (false perceptions), delusional thinking and even suspiciousness and paranoid behaviors. In most instances, hallucinations are visual, but they can involve the auditory, tactile, olfactory, and gustatory (taste) systems as well. Because such experiences tend to be repetitive (the same little black dog runs across the room), the patient often has insight and recognizes the hallucination as a false perception. However, the situation can become more problematic with rigid insistence that the images are real and even threatening. Psychotic behaviors are a high risk for nursing home placement, because families find them difficult to manage, especially if agitation and paranoid accusations are lodged against the caregiver. Even though hallucinations usually start out as minimal intrusions, the spectrum of psychotic behaviors is progressive, and early recognition by patient, family and physician allows for detection and treatment interventions. Life style changes, medication adjustments, and new specifically anti-psychotic treatments are available. "

Nazi junky (29/04/22 13:23:20) Reply
    I may be mistaken (and I have not studied the matter eagerly), but it seems to me that Putin's physical behaviour has changed after the cowardly attack on Ukraine. We have indications that the Russian secret service tipped off the Ukrainians about attempts to kill or kidnap Zelenskyy. If so, these same forces would be fully capable of introducing "substances" in the food or water chain supplying the tsar. I am thinking of MPTP

    It might be of interest to have a look at the relation between Parkinson's disease and drugs of abuse - specially because of Putin's rabid nazi-like behaviour and his accusations of drug abuse. It seems that the Russian government accuse their enemies of vile acts they already are doing themselves - so nazi junkies may be just what they are..


Re: Nazi junky (02/05/22 07:59:48) Reply
    myeah, now it seems that even hitler was jewish (according to lavrov)

    i have the utmost respect for the people who served under trump and managed to keep the system running despite his "efforts" to steer the sheep into shallow waters.

    i was hoping that the people at the kremlin might be doing the same.

    when the civil servants and secret service people lose their power and people are replaced with empty head yes men, all check and balances (in the much deeper meaning) are disturbed.

    after all, these people are usually very well educated (at least a masters in their field).

Impulse control disorder; hobbyism (03/05/22 17:21:32) Reply
    "Impulse control disorders (ICDs), such as compulsive gambling, buying, sexual, and eating behaviors, are a serious and increasingly recognized complication in Parkinson's disease (PD), occurring in up to 20% of PD patients over the course of their illness. Related behaviors include punding (stereotyped, repetitive, purposeless behaviors), dopamine dysregulation syndrome (DDS) (compulsive medication overuse), and hobbyism (e.g., compulsive internet use, artistic endeavors, and writing). "

    Hobbyism: - like inventive rewriting of history, or diagnosing political opponents or foreignn state leaders as drug-abusing nazis - without having any medical, historical or observational data or qualifications to do so, and without reference to scientific work relevant to actual observations .

    Orwell would, I suppose, have included it in thoughtcrime (this time as a serious real-world term).

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28802938/ (n/t) (03/05/22 17:22:28) Reply

Hedrick Smith: The Russians (1976) (08/05/22 16:40:24) Reply
    I found this unread in my How_Could_The_Soviet_Union_Be_Possible bookshelf. So I started reading and skipping and found - to me - rather shocking information about the difference in behaviour depending on the status of the other person: was it upwards or downwards? There'd be a world of difference.

    When I see the Russian disregard for the lives of own soldiers during the present robber_and_genocidal war against Ukraine, not much seems to have changed.

    The book is well worth a read in spite of its age - or maybe because of its age.

Re: Hedrick Smith: The Russians (1976) (09/05/22 07:55:09) Reply
    He describes power-submission relations. If an ordinary person becomes a person of power, a balanced relation changes into a slave - master relationship.
    It seems that Putin subscribes to this part of ingrown Russian culture. The reasoning could be: If Russia showed power towards Ukraine, Ukraine would automagically surrender and pretend happiness to please the almighty tsar.

    Hah. Letting such a man become dictator may indicate that democracy is nearly impossible in Russia. Re-education and massive immigration will be needed (but who in their right minds would immigrate into Russia and sacrifice their lives in trying to reform brainwashed Russians?).

Walter Bedell Smith: My three Years in Moscow (1950) (09/05/22 12:27:27) Reply
    He was Eisenhower's chief of staff and became ambassador to Moscow.

    I take from his book that the stalinist strategy for Russian safety almost to the letter is the same as the putinist way. So what we are seeing, is a copycat war: a script kiddy orders attacks, but he fortunately does not know what it takes - of knowledge, efforts and money - to succeed.

    Today's cheap parade on victory day may be taken to indicate that he has no planes and helicopters to spare from the theatre of war (and the repair workshops).

    When will he be ousted?

Afraid NATO will call more of his bluffs? (09/05/22 16:37:00) Reply
    We have now seen Potemkin's army, Potemkin's generals, Potemkin's soldiers. Surface mainly, but little depth. Potemkin's air force cannot be two locations at the same time.

    Potemkin's nukes, anyone?

The amputated truth - The Great Patriotic War vs WWII (10/05/22 07:46:35) Reply
    It was not a solo act by Stalin's empire against Hitler's aspirations. Stalin could not have made it without massive help in the shape of essential supplies from the West.

    "About 1,400 merchant ships delivered essential supplies to the Soviet Union under the Anglo-Soviet agreement and US Lend-Lease program, escorted by ships of the Royal Navy, Royal Canadian Navy, and the U.S. Navy. Eighty-five merchant vessels and 16 Royal Navy warships (two cruisers, six destroyers, eight other escort ships) were lost. Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine lost a number of vessels including one battleship, three destroyers, 30 U-boats, and many aircraft. The convoys demonstrated the Allies' commitment to helping the Soviet Union, prior to the opening of a second front, and tied up a substantial part of Germany's naval and air forces."


    and since this traffic was rather close to our neighbourhood during that period:

    (in Norwegian)

    But there was more

    "The Persian Corridor was a supply route through Iran into Soviet Azerbaijan by which British aid and American Lend-Lease supplies were transferred to the Soviet Union during World War II. Of the 17.5 million long tons of U.S. Lend-Lease aid provided to Russia, 7.9 million long tons (45%) were sent through Iran.[1]

    This supply route originated in the US and UK with ships sailing around the Cape of Good Hope to the Persian Gulf. From there, the materiel transited Iran to the USSR. Other supply routes included the Northern route across the Arctic, and the Pacific Route which handled US cargo at Vladivostok and then used the Trans-Siberian Railway across the USSR."

    Did Putin ever say thanks in any of his speeches? Didn't think so.

The Pacific supply route in more detail (10/05/22 13:49:30) Reply
    "Pacific Route cargo to Vladivostok was transported exclusively aboard independently routed Soviet ships. In 1942, twenty-seven United States cargo ships, built around 1919, were transferred to the Soviet Far East State Shipping Company (FESCO) as Lend-Lease provisions. Older Soviet ships excluded from the JW convoys of faster Liberty ships to minimize travel time through the dangerous Barents Sea were suitable for the Pacific route, and were later augmented by Liberty ships supplied to the Soviet Union"


    "Even though Japan had been at war with the USA since December 1941, it was anxious to preserve good relations with the USSR, and, despite German complaints, usually allowed Soviet ships to sail between the USA and Soviet Union's Pacific ports unmolested.[7] This contrasts with Germany and Britain's behavior, whose navies would often destroy or capture neutrals' ships sailing to their respective adversaries. As a result, during most of the war the Pacific Route became the safest path between the USA and the USSR."

    "The Pacific Route was augmented by the Alaska-Siberia Air Route (ALSIB),[12] which was used to fly combat aircraft and goods from North America to Siberia and beyond. This route was safe from Japanese interference, as it was undertaken by Soviet pilots based in western Alaska. ALSIB was used to deliver nearly 8,000 aircraft, air cargo, and passengers from 7 October 1942 to the end of hostilities."

    (I did not know about this, Eurocentric as my reading has been. Good to learn something new at 70!)

Planes (10/05/22 18:58:56) Reply
    12600 fighter aircraft from USA, 1300 UK Spitfires. 3600 US bomber aircraft.


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