• Pragerisms

    For a more comprehensive list of Pragerisms visit
    Dennis Prager Wisdom.

    • "The left is far more interested in gaining power than in creating wealth."
    • "Without wisdom, goodness is worthless."
    • "I prefer clarity to agreement."
    • "First tell the truth, then state your opinion."
    • "Being on the Left means never having to say you're sorry."
    • "If you don't fight evil, you fight gobal warming."
    • "There are things that are so dumb, you have to learn them."
  • Liberalism’s Seven Deadly Sins

    • Sexism
    • Intolerance
    • Xenophobia
    • Racism
    • Islamophobia
    • Bigotry
    • Homophobia

    A liberal need only accuse you of one of the above in order to end all discussion and excuse himself from further elucidation of his position.

  • Glenn’s Reading List for Die-Hard Pragerites

    • Bolton, John - Surrender is not an Option
    • Bruce, Tammy - The Thought Police; The New American Revolution; The Death of Right and Wrong
    • Charen, Mona - DoGooders:How Liberals Hurt Those They Claim to Help
    • Coulter, Ann - If Democrats Had Any Brains, They'd Be Republicans; Slander
    • Dalrymple, Theodore - In Praise of Prejudice; Our Culture, What's Left of It
    • Doyle, William - Inside the Oval Office
    • Elder, Larry - Stupid Black Men: How to Play the Race Card--and Lose
    • Frankl, Victor - Man's Search for Meaning
    • Flynn, Daniel - Intellectual Morons
    • Fund, John - Stealing Elections
    • Friedman, George - America's Secret War
    • Goldberg, Bernard - Bias; Arrogance
    • Goldberg, Jonah - Liberal Fascism
    • Herson, James - Tales from the Left Coast
    • Horowitz, David - Left Illusions; The Professors
    • Klein, Edward - The Truth about Hillary
    • Mnookin, Seth - Hard News: Twenty-one Brutal Months at The New York Times and How They Changed the American Media
    • Morris, Dick - Because He Could; Rewriting History
    • O'Beirne, Kate - Women Who Make the World Worse
    • Olson, Barbara - The Final Days: The Last, Desperate Abuses of Power by the Clinton White House
    • O'Neill, John - Unfit For Command
    • Piereson, James - Camelot and the Cultural Revolution: How the Assassination of John F. Kennedy Shattered American Liberalism
    • Prager, Dennis - Think A Second Time
    • Sharansky, Natan - The Case for Democracy
    • Stein, Ben - Can America Survive? The Rage of the Left, the Truth, and What to Do About It
    • Steyn, Mark - America Alone
    • Stephanopolous, George - All Too Human
    • Thomas, Clarence - My Grandfather's Son
    • Timmerman, Kenneth - Shadow Warriors
    • Williams, Juan - Enough: The Phony Leaders, Dead-End Movements, and Culture of Failure That Are Undermining Black America--and What We Can Do About It
    • Wright, Lawrence - The Looming Tower

“We are not dealing with a sane person”

February 28, 2022

The Madness of Vladimir Putin

By Michael Curtis at American Thinker:

Throughout history, political leaders have acted in strange fashion, with symptoms of neurosis, trauma, and anxiety. The list is long of those exhibiting some indication of insanity. Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon 604-562 B.C., made no secret of his ambition to conquer the world, and saw himself as a deity. Caligula, Emperor of Rome, attempted to appoint his horse to the office of consul. Ivan the Terrible expanded the territory of Russia, created the secret police, and murdered his own son. Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin vie for leading personification of hatred, evil, and madness.

Russia this week may remember that madness since it is the anniversary of a speech denouncing a regime of suspicion, fear, and terror. On February 25, 1956, Nikita Khrushchev, leader of the Soviet Union, delivered a speech at the 20th Congress of the Communist Party denouncing his predecessor Joseph Stalin as a brutal despot. He revealed the cruelties of the regime, the trials of members of the Politburo, the assassination of Sergei Kirov in 1934, and the execution of innocent political rivals for that assassination. Khrushchev indicated that in 1937-1938, 98 of the 139 members of the Central Committee of the party were killed on Stalin’s orders.

Madness has often been depicted in fiction. James Bond has confronted Blofeld, Goldfinger, Scaramanga, and other madmen equipped with a white cat and pool of piranhas, seeking the destruction of the world. Perhaps the most well-known and entertaining presentation of derangement is Don Quixote, seeking adventures and attempting to perform deeds of heroism, mistaking a field of windmills for giants and attacking them, and battling a herd of sheep with an aim to exemplify the idea of chivalry. But this middle-aged protagonist mistakes people and places, confusing real and imaginary in his illustration of former glory, inventing problems where they do not exist and unilaterally challenging an innocent party.

The parallel of the lovable Don with the unlovable president of Russia is clear. Vladimir Putin, KGB agent for 16 years, ambitious, ruthless, and vain, is dramatically illustrating questionable behavior by his desire to obliterate an entire country and people, an objective similar to that of Nazi Germany. Western political leaders may have misread Putin, always well dressed with suits with expensive labels, musically talented, proud of displaying physical strength, and with an expensive Black Sea estate.

Because of his previous limited military interventions, the West underestimated his ambition and willingness to use greater force and naked aggression to obtain his goals. His unprovoked war on Ukraine leaves no room for miscalculation about his objectives and the ideology and emotions that drive him. He is an imperialist, backed by violence and toxic aggression, threatening those nations he considers hindering Russia’s actions. The question is whether Putin is completely sane.

“We are not dealing with a sane person” said Mikhail Khodorkovsky, former Russian oil tycoon. Khodorkovsky, once believed to be the wealthiest man in Russia, had spent ten years in prison, 2003- 2013, after a show trial, before fleeing to London. Putin, he says, wants to make Russia great again, and wants the future to remember him as a great ruler of Russia. Putin may see himself as the reincarnation of Vladimir the Great, ruler of Kiev who converted ancient Rus in 988.

This view of mental problems is also suggested in different ways by both politicians and medical authorities. One assertion is by the British defense minister Ben Wallace, who warned that Putin was not in his right mind, and what he is doing is deeply irrational. That accusation of irrationality may be justified in view of Putin’s unprovoked aggression against a sovereign nation, his fantasy of conspiracies, accusations of Ukraine planning genocide and seeking nuclear weapons and his absurd accounts of history. Whether Putin intends to seize the whole of Ukraine or to limit his control to Eastern Ukraine and the capital is unclear, but he has displayed himself as an imperialist with fabricated stories of his de-Nazification of Ukraine, and caricaturing its leader as a terrorist. 

These false charges are particularly meaningful for three reasons. One is that Zelensky is Jewish and his grandfather was a Soviet officer in World War II. A second is that Putin speaks of one people, Ukrainians and Russians, “one single whole,” akin to Nazi emphasis on “ein volk.” In fact, Zelensky is a native Russian speaker who grew up in the Russified southeastern region of Ukraine, and who won 72% of the vote in the presidential election of April 2019. Once a comic actor with no experience of politics, Zelensky, now 44, has rapidly matured to lead the fight for his country, displaying striking rhetoric and personal bravery and dignified courage, even symbolically appearing in public in olive green military style T shirt.

Zelensky, in a speech in Israel on December 14, 2021, was prophetic, “we know what it’s like not to have our own state, we know what it means to defend our own state, our land with the weapons at hand, at the cost of our own lives.” He defied Putin, “when you attack us you will see our faces not our backs.”

A third factor is a Goebbels-like spread of disinformation as well as aggression with a coup in Montenegro, assassinations in London and in Bulgaria, attacks in Chechnya, Nagorno-Karabakh, Abkhazia, and south Ossetia.

Questions about Putin’s state of mind have been raised in the medical world, though there is no conclusive evidence. Is Putin suffering the effects of Long Covid which can affect mental health and may impact his ability to consider risk in policy, which may entail loss of contact with reality, recklessness, inability to make accurate decisions and to experience a fuzzy mind or mental fog? Some doctors suggest the pandemic and physical isolation may have led not only to detachment from reality, but also to hubris, in which the personal and national are identical.

Putin’s actions may also be seen in light of fact that he apparently has a small circle of pollical and military advisers, most of whom are from the KGB of the 1980s, with little military or diplomatic experience. None of them is prepared to dispute Putin’s arrogant view of his policy on Ukraine and ambition to regain it. Mistrustful of everyone, his security has been so tight that people scheduled to meet him spend several days in guarded isolation, and then pass through a tunnel with disinfectants.

But there is now official and general understanding of the real Putin, the man who as a youth ran with street gangs in Leningrad and was eager to join the KGB when he was a schoolboy. It is heartening to witness the increasing response from western organizations to Putin’s loss of touch with reality. Russia is banned from May 2022 Eurovision song contest in Turin, one of the world’s largest televised events, and Russian residents will be blocked from voting in the competition. The soccer Champion League has been moved from St. Petersburg to Paris. The formula One Grand Prix has been moved from Sochi. Roman Abramovich, owner of Chelsea football club, has handed over the running of the club to an independent organization. For Western leaders the ship of fools is still a useful allegory to represent the problem caused by a political ruler who is not in sound mind.

Note From Mark Waldeland About Energy Costs:

Minnesotans who struggle to pay utility bills are owing more as energy costs rise – Twin Cities
https://www.twincities.com/2022/02/26/minnesotans-who-struggle-to-pay-utility-bills-are-owing-more-as-energy-costs-rise/

Monthly compliance filings from the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) for three utilities that provide natural gas to more than 2 million customers across the state show average bills have climbed significantly since last year.

Filings for Xcel Energy show the average utility bill climbed from $115 in January 2021 to $158 in January 2022 — an increase of 37%. Filings from Minnesota Energy Resources, a natural gas utility that serves more than 200,000 customers in communities including Rochester, Detroit Lakes and Wadena, saw its average January bill jump from $98 in 2021 to $202 in 2022 — a 106% increase. The utility estimates the average customer will spend $44 extra per month to heat a home this winter. . . .

Typical Fowl News AT THE NEW YORK TIMES!

The New York Times Hasn’t Always Cared About Ukrainians

By Jack Cashill at the American Thinker:

At his CPAC speech on Saturday, former President Donald Trump could not have been clearer in his denunciation of Vladimir Putin. “The Russian attack on Ukraine is appalling,” said Trump. “it’s an outrage and an atrocity that should never have been allowed to occur.”

Yet the fact that Trump called Putin “smart” and “savvy” is, for the New York Times, prima facie evidence of his affection for Mother Russia. Indeed, the Times had the nerve to run a delusional op-ed on Sunday headlined, “How the American Right Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love Russia.”

Earth to the New York Times: No one on the right is pulling for Putin. The Times is pushing this Russia-love narrative both to salvage some political gain from Biden’s catastrophic foreign policy and to cover for its own historic indifference to the Ukrainian people.

The truth is that British and American conservatives have long cared about Ukraine. Most still do. The international left, the New York Times, in particular, cared more about the success of Josef Stalin’s lethal policies than it did the millions of Ukrainians those policies killed.

The New York Times Moscow correspondent, Walter Duranty, admitted to being “pleased as punch” when Stalin announced his Five-Year Plan in the fall of 1928. Stalin, as Duranty observed in his well-titled book, I Write as I Please, was the world’s “greatest living statesman.” A pioneer in the art of fake news, Duranty saw signs of greatness in Stalin’s plan “to socialize, virtually overnight, a hundred million of the stubbornest and most ignorant peasants in the world.”

Most of these “ignorant peasants” were small Ukrainian farmers or “kulaks” as they soon came to be known. Duranty was impressed that Stalin could turn these independent souls into cogs in a vast collective despite a creaky transportation system, a dwindling food supply, and a psychotic drive to maintain existing production levels. “When all these factors are considered,” wrote Duranty, “it is a little short of a miracle that the plan was carried through.”

With the opening of the Soviet archives, scholars now know how Stalin did carry his plan through, During the years of the plan, 1928-1933, as many as five million Ukrainians and three million others died to show just how well communism worked. The story that Duranty missed — or, more accurately, concealed — is no longer a matter of speculation. It is a matter of fact. And the fact is that no single western journalist has so profoundly misreported a story as Walter Duranty of the New York Times, no mean feat given the Times Russia coverage of the last five years.

The Black Book of Communism notes, “Recent research in the newly accessible archives has confirmed that the forced collectivization of the countryside was in effect a war declared by the Soviet state on a nation of smallholders.” As even recent history suggests, Ukrainians don’t roll over easily. In March 1930 alone, there were more than 6500 mass demonstrations centering on Ukraine and expanding outwards. In all of 1930, some 2.5 million peasants participated in the 14,000 revolts or riots that engulfed the countryside.

During a six-week period including March 1930, the Ukrainian GPU, the justice arm of the Soviet state, sentenced more than 20,000 people to death through its courts for resisting collectivization. Many others were executed without judicial niceties. Somehow, this all seems to have escaped the attention of Duranty. Much worse would escape him in the years ahead.

In 1930, the GPU got serious about deporting the kulaks and other “socially dangerous elements” like priests, nuns, shopkeepers, and rural artisans. By the end of 1930, 700,000 people had been shipped to the nether regions of the Soviet Union. By the end of 1931, that number had swollen to 1.8 million. Many, perhaps most, died en route.

By stripping the countryside of its more productive citizens and reducing the rest to near starvation, Stalin had set the stage for the horror show that was to follow. He and his cohorts began by shaking down those left on the land for a bigger slice of the action.

In 1932, for instance, the government’s take was to be 32 percent higher than the year before. By that year, the peasantry was faced with a grim choice: resist the collectivization or starve to death. They resisted. Stalin sent in his shock troops.

They had come to enforce the infamous 1932 “ear law,” so dubbed because an individual could and would be arrested for withholding any “socialist property” right down to an ear of corn. To defeat an enemy as numerous and determined as the kulak, Stalin had only one recourse. Notes the Black Book, “He would have to be starved out.”

Harassed and starving, with no hope for the future, millions fled these rich agricultural lands for the cities. At this point, Stalin got serious. In December 1932, in order to “liquidate social parasitism,” he mandated the equivalent of passports for all internal migration. One wonders whether Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took his cues from Comrade Stalin.

In January 1933, Molotov and Stalin instructed local authorities and the GPU to stop the peasants from leaving their farms “by all means necessary.” These “means” included mass execution. In February 1933 alone, the secret police reported that it had stopped more than 219,000 desperate peasants in their tracks.

The net result of what Duranty calls Stalin’s “curt vigor” in pursuing the plan and establishing order was the seemingly bountiful harvest of 1933. Duranty describes it as “the greatest Russia had ever known.” In fact, the Soviet Union did manage to ship eighteen million hundredweight of grain abroad in 1933, a fitting conclusion, as Duranty would have it, to “a heroic chapter in the life of Humanity.”

“The ‘famine’ is mostly bunk,” Duranty wrote to a friend in June 1933. He used his and the Times’ authority to feed the story to a progressive establishment that had already developed a taste for fake news. The Pulitzer Committee awarded him its top prize for news correspondence in 1932. In 1933, his disinformation persuaded newly elected President Franklin Roosevelt to recognize the Soviet Union.

The surprising 2019 film Mr. Jones does an excellent job showcasing both the Ukrainian horror and Jones’s social life. Not surprisingly, Duranty was a Satanist and a world-class pervert. From the perspective of the contemporary media, he was simply a man ahead of his time.

For more information, see Jack Cashill’s Hoodwinked: How Intellectual Hucksters Have Hijacked American Culture or see http://www.cashill.com

Dem’s; ABC Twit Stephanopoulos STARS….as a twit!

Tom Cotton’s pitch perfect pushback on George Stephanopoulos is a model for GOP politicians

KAREN TOWNSEND Feb 28, 2022 at HotAir:

  

Tom Williams/Pool via AP

Senator Tom Cotton delivered a little primer on how Republican lawmakers should respond to Democrat operatives posing as Sunday political show hosts. Cotton’s Republican colleagues should take notes and respond as he did when ABC’s George Stephanopoulos relentlessly pressed him on a response to Trump’s recent remarks about Putin. Cotton wasn’t playing that game.

Do you ever wonder why Republican politicians fall for it when a reporter or television show anchor asks them to respond to another Republican’s remarks, especially Trump’s remarks? Time and time again Republicans deliver a hot take or try to respond without actually saying anything and it never turns out well. The reporter or television personality wants to create friction within the Republican Party among its politicians. Trump derangement syndrome is still strong and there has been a noticeable effort to put the blame on Trump for Russia’s invasion into Ukraine.

During his interview with Stephanopoulos on This Week with George Stephanopoulos George asked Cotton to comment on something Trump said at CPAC on Saturday. Trump described Putin as “smart” and “our leaders” as “dumb.”

“Of course he’s smart,” Trump said, doubling down on praise of the Russian leader that many other Republicans have avoided in the wake of the invasion. “But the real problem is our leaders are dumb. Dumb. So dumb.”

While Trump expressed support for the Ukrainian people and called the country’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, a “brave man,” he also noted his ties with other leading autocrats. He specifically pointed to his friendly relationships with Xi Jinping of China and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Trump then left no doubt he is the most powerful voice in Republican politics by indicating he will run for president a third time in 2024. “We did it twice, and we’ll do it again,” Trump said. “We’re going to be doing it again, a third time.”

You’ll notice that Trump described Zelensky as a brave man and voiced his support for Ukrainians. He also seems to have worked in an announcement that he’s running for president in 2024 in his remarks which apparently largely went unnoticed. Cotton is a hawk and wants Biden to act pro-actively, not defensive, when it comes to dealing with Putin. All the gestures from Americans that show support for Ukrainians are nice, he said, but it is necessary for Biden act decisively, not in half measures.

“We can do more than prayers and hashtags and lighting up buildings, George. It’s time for the president and some of our European partners to stop pussyfooting around. The financial sanctions announced last night are riddled with loopholes. I know they say they sanctioned 80% of the banks in Russia, but Vladimir Putin controls 100% of the banks in Russia. He can use the other 20% to continue to finance his war machine,” he said, calling for more immediate assistance to Ukraine and for all Russian banks to be removed from the international payment system.

Stephanopoulos, you’ll remember, has a history as a Democrat adviser and operative. Before ABC News hired him to act like a journalist, he was an adviser to the Democrat Party, communications director for Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign, and after the election, he became White House communications director. He went on to be a senior adviser for policy and strategy for the Clinton administration before he left in 1996. Stephanopoulos didn’t like it when Cotton criticized Jen Psaki when she said the “mistake, we all probably make” is believing that Putin follows the “global norms and beliefs” the rest of the world follows. Cotton rightly pushed back on that.

What has been striking to me in the run-up to Putin’s invasion into Ukraine has been the naivety expressed by Team Biden. For example, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told reporters that Putin would have to answer to Russian parents if he invaded and Ukrainians began dying in battle. He said it as though the Biden administration expects Putin to act as a normal person, capable of feeling guilt over nefarious, deadly actions. Putin doesn’t care about anyone but himself. If people have to die, so be it. This is a power grab and land grab as Putin tries to put back together the old Soviet Union. Putin is a delusional maniac, a brutal killer. Biden has consistently underestimated him.

So, Stephanopoulos decided to ask Cotton for a comment on Trump’s statement about Putin at CPAC. Stephanopoulos became like a dog with a bone. He badgered Cotton to answer a question that Cotton refused to do. Cotton refused to help Stephanopoulos pivot to bashing Trump.

“You’ve never made that mistake, it’s true. You’ve been stalwart in your opposition of Vladimir Putin. The same cannot be said for the leader of your party, Donald Trump. Last night he finally condemned the invasion but he also repeated his praise of Putin, calling him smart. Earlier in the week, he called him pretty smart. He called him savvy. He says NATO and the U.S. are dumb. Are you prepared to condemn that kind of rhetoric from the leader of your party?” Stephanopoulos grilled.

But the senator refused to discuss Republicans who’ve been accused by the left of being weak on Russia. He recalled how Republicans supplied the Ukrainians with weapons when the last Democrat president would not.

“George, you’ve heard what I had to say about Vladimir Putin. That he’s a ruthless dictator who’s launched a naked, unprovoked war of aggression. Thankfully the Ukrainian army has anti-tank missiles that President Obama would not supply that we did supply last time Republicans were in charge in Washington. That’s why it’s so urgent that we continue to supply those weapons to Ukraine,” Cotton responded.

Stephanopoulos continued to ask several times, “Why can’t you condemn Donald Trump for those comments?” Cotton told him if he wanted to talk about Trump’s remarks, he should have him on the show and talk to him. Cotton said he doesn’t “speak on behalf of other politicians” and that is exactly what every Republican politician should do when a Democrat operative goes down this path. They hold every Republican responsible for remarks made by other Republican politicians and it’s just a big game of gotcha.

Clearly frustrated, Stephanopoulos continued to push Cotton to criticize Trump but Cotton held firm. When asked if he’ll support Trump in 2024 if he runs again, Cotton brushed off the question and did his own pivoting back to Putin’s war in Ukraine.

“George, I’m not worried about this fall’s election right now, much less an election two years from now. I’m focused on the naked war of aggression that Vladimir Putin has launched in Ukraine right now. There’s not a moment to lose. We can worry about electoral politics down the road,” Cotton said.

Poor George. He tried about five times to get Cotton to criticize Trump. Republicans with presidential ambitions of their own don’t want to be on the bad side of Trump, that is true, but in the meantime, Cotton showed his colleagues how to handle Democrats who want them to criticize Trump or other Republican politicians. I hope they were taking notes.

That Fascistic Star-Tribune REPORT: “Reform policing through better standards.” meaning: “LET THE GANGSTERS WIN, JUST TO BE SAFE!”

 FEBRUARY 28, 2022 BY SCOTT JOHNSON at PowerLine:

AFTER THE FLOYD VERDICTS

Last week the jury returned guilty verdicts in the federal trial of the three former Minneapolis police officers — the officers other than Derek Chauvin, who pleaded guilty — charged with violating the civil rights of George Floyd in the arrest that resulted in his death. The jury found Tou Thao and Alexander Kueng guilty on each of the two counts against them and found Thomas Lane guilty on the one count against him. The jury also found that the violations contributed to Floyd’s death, which will aggravate the sentences.

I commented on the closing arguments here, but it is Andrew McCarthy’s NRO column quoted in the update that applies to the case at this point. His column raises the question of the legal sufficiency of the charges.

By contrast, the prosecutors promptly issued a statement celebrating the convictions. The Department of Justice has posted it here.

My first thought upon learning of the verdicts was that it was a dark day for Minneapolis. Good luck signing up new police officers to perform the protective work that is necessary to maintain Minneapolis as a civilized city, or restore it to that status. The obvious question is who in his right mind would do it for the city. You have got to be kidding me.

This is not exactly the train of thought pursued by the Star Tribune. In “A clear duty to intervene,” the Star Tribune’s editors raised no issue with the federal convictions. The editors contemplate the consequences and blow them off: “Concerns that the verdicts will have a chilling effect on police retention and recruitment are less important than the clear message sent by the jury: If an officer is engaged in excessive force, the law compels others on the scene to intervene.” In their conclusion the editors cite the Rev. Al Sharpton in support of their opinion. This is not intended as satire.

Most recently, the Star Tribune’s editors put their heads together to concoct this modest proposal: “Reform policing through better standards.” Subhead: “Tough times require even higher standards in a now-beleagured profession.” This is not intended as satire.

Alpha News now reports “Minneapolis patrol officers down by more than half.” Subhead: “The Minneapolis Police Department only has 268 patrol officers, spread across five precincts and three shifts.”

It seems to me that the Star Tribune illustrates how a dominant daily newspaper can hasten the decline of its hometown. It is a terrible thing to say, but we would be better off without it.

Evil Soviet Left Over IS TODAY’S WORLD GANGSTER #1!

BREAKING: US locks down Russian central bank, sovereign fund assets

ED MORRISSEY Feb 28, 2022 8:23 AM ET

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(AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin, Pool)

Better late than never? The US Treasury imposed a block on any assets from Russia’s Central Bank in the US, as well as any in a sovereign fund run by a Vladimir Putin crony. It is, as the New York Times reports, an “aggressive” move, but one has to wonder whether it’s too late:

https://a4717e3a799ca79fabfa29f0c19a2b83.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

The Treasury Department on Monday moved to further cut off Russia from the global economy, announcing that it would immobilize Russian Central Bank assets that are held in the United States and impose sanctions on the Russian Direct Investment Fund, a sovereign wealth fund that is run by a close ally of President Vladimir V. Putin.

The moves are meant to curb Russia’s ability to use its war chest of international reserves to blunt the impact of sanctions that the United States and European allies have enacted in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“The unprecedented action we are taking today will significantly limit Russia’s ability to use assets to finance its destabilizing activities, and target the funds Putin and his inner circle depend on to enable his invasion of Ukraine,” Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen said in a statement.

As a result of the sanctions, Americans are barred from taking part in any transactions involving the Russian Central Bank, Russia’s National Wealth Fund or the Russian Ministry of Finance.

Wouldn’t Putin have already moved those assets out of reach of the US and the EU? Maybe not:

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=true&embedId=twitter-widget-0&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdHdlZXRfZW1iZWRfOTU1NSI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJodGUiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X3NwYWNlX2NhcmQiOnsiYnVja2V0Ijoib2ZmIiwidmVyc2lvbiI6bnVsbH19&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1498277584701902849&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fhotair.com%2Fed-morrissey%2F2022%2F02%2F28%2Fbreaking-us-locks-down-russian-central-bank-sovereign-fund-assets-n451679&sessionId=3be2f426a4201fc01c3a5bfe9d7e96ee2c30107a&siteScreenName=hotairblog&theme=light&widgetsVersion=2582c61%3A1645036219416&width=550px

Supposedly, Putin planned to use these funds as “rainy day” capital to fund his war efforts in Ukraine. One has to wonder, though, whether the intent was to use them as a payoff purse to keep his oligarch class behind him when the rainy day turned into a Biblical flood. CNBC’s description of the sovereign fund certainly gives off that smell:

The U.S. is also adding Kirill Dmitriev, another ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, to the sanctions list as well as the direct investment fund Dmitriev heads. The Russian Direct Investment Fund, or RDIF, is officially a sovereign wealth fund but is widely considered a slush fund for Putin.

The official said that the U.S. expects its allies to take similar steps in the coming days.

This comes after the U.S. and its allies announced over the weekend that they will impose restrictive measures aimed at preventing Russia’s central bank from deploying its international reserves in ways that may undermine sanctions.

“No country is sanctions proof and Putin’s war chest of $630 billion in reserves only matters if he can use it to defend his currency,” a second senior administration official said Monday.

https://09b5e39fd1b6c389bce3a8c0a016f9d1.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

If war is diplomacy by other means, then sanctions is warfare by other means of destruction. What happens to Putin when he can’t buffer the oligarchs from the economic pain of sanctions he invited with his weird, payoff-deficient attack on Ukraine? Putin will either need to retreat, which carries existential risks all its own, or hope to sack Ukraine quickly and hope the West loses interest in Ukrainian oppression. The third option belongs to the oligarchs and/or the Russian people, and Putin knows that well enough.

Where Is America’s China Man, Joe Biden, During PUTIN’S COMMIE INVASION OF UKRAINE?

Is Our Senile, but Slippery China Fascist Man, JOE BIDEN, Betting on His “Buddy-Putin” to Secure Total Victory Over the UKRAINE until further notice? Is he still asleep?

He’s a CHAMPION CROOK AND HAS BEEN FOR FOUR DECADES! After all, he’s a DELAWARE MAN WITH AN EMPTY HEAD. It takes him a great amount of time to think these days of his senile drooling.

Biden-Joe has been a successful collecting his minions..,..millions, billions….take your pick! For he has trained A SON to follow Biden foot steps, greed, and champion of lulu land.

War is taking place in the Ukraine. Where’s president Joe? Five days going on six….and NO JOE!

IS IT BECAUSE “no joe” IS ON THE SOVIET PUTIN SIDE WHERE THE REAL MONEY IS?

Which LIE WILL “NO JOE” PREACH WHEN HE SHAKES UP?

Below: A “SHOT” of yesterday’s Kiev, the Capital City of ONCE FREE, UKRAINE!

and America’s Joe Biden is still hiding in BED?

Mpls’ George Floyd DEM “Gangster World” Nails Three More Police Officers

 FEBRUARY 28, 2022 BY SCOTT JOHNSON at PowerLine:

AFTER THE FLOYD VERDICTS

Last week the jury returned guilty verdicts in the federal trial of the three former Minneapolis police officers — the officers other than Derek Chauvin, who pleaded guilty — charged with violating the civil rights of George Floyd in the arrest that resulted in his death. The jury found Tou Thao and Alexander Kueng guilty on each of the two counts against them and found Thomas Lane guilty on the one count against him. The jury also found that the violations contributed to Floyd’s death, which will aggravate the sentences.

I commented on the closing arguments here, but it is Andrew McCarthy’s NRO column quoted in the update that applies to the case at this point. His column raises the question of the legal sufficiency of the charges.

By contrast, the prosecutors promptly issued a statement celebrating the convictions. The Department of Justice has posted it here.

My first thought upon learning of the verdicts was that it was a dark day for Minneapolis. Good luck signing up new police officers to perform the protective work that is necessary to maintain Minneapolis as a civilized city, or restore it to that status. The obvious question is who in his right mind would do it for the city. You have got to be kidding me.

This is not exactly the train of thought pursued by the Star Tribune. In “A clear duty to intervene,” the Star Tribune’s editors raised no issue with the federal convictions. The editors contemplate the consequences and blow them off: “Concerns that the verdicts will have a chilling effect on police retention and recruitment are less important than the clear message sent by the jury: If an officer is engaged in excessive force, the law compels others on the scene to intervene.” In their conclusion the editors cite the Rev. Al Sharpton in support of their opinion. This is not intended as satire.

Most recently, the Star Tribune’s editors put their heads together to concoct this modest proposal: “Reform policing through better standards.” Subhead: “Tough times require even higher standards in a now-beleagured profession.” This is not intended as satire.

Alpha News now reports “Minneapolis patrol officers down by more than half.” Subhead: “The Minneapolis Police Department only has 268 patrol officers, spread across five precincts and three shifts.”

It seems to me that the Star Tribune illustrates how a dominant daily newspaper can hasten the decline of its hometown. It is a terrible thing to say, but we would be better off without it.

Today’s Thug Putin WARRING AGAINST UKRAINIANS, And THAT DAY WHEN KIEV REOPENED ITS CATHEDRAL IN 1966.

FEBRUARY 27, 2022 BY JOHN HINDERAKER  at PowerLine:

THE UKRAINIANS FIGHT ON

Solid news from Ukraine is sparse, and some of what we think we know will turn out to be wrong. But one thing is certain: the Russians have not yet been able to take Kiev.

This has to be a major setback for Putin’s regime. The Ukrainians don’t have to win, they just have to keep fighting. And they seem to be all in. The Klitschko brothers, both former heavyweight world boxing champions, are under arms (and Vitali, of course, is the mayor of Kiev). Lomachenko, regarded until recently as the best fighter in the world, was outside the country when Russia invaded but has now returned to Ukraine and joined the Belgorod-Dniester Terror Defence Battalion:

It isn’t just the celebrities, naturally:

“The air-raid sirens were ringing all night, so our men sent the women and children away and stayed to fight,” said a teary Nadia, 36, as she headed across the Hungarian border with her 6-year-old son Oleg and friend Tatiana and her 9-year-old-son, Makartha.

“Not a single fighting-age male decided to leave Ukraine. They all wanted to stand up and fight,” Nadia said.

“Our men picked up a weapon, and they are fighting against the Russians.”

Ukraine’s tortured history no doubt contributes to its citizens’ determination to retain their independence.

It is reported that Vladimir Putin has put Russia’s nuclear forces on high alert. This is the kind of thing that is easy to do, may sound impressive but is really meaningless. It strikes me as more evidence that things are not going as the Russian military had planned.

Russia’s banks are now being locked out of the international SWIFT system. Is this important? I don’t know. I have seen conflicting opinions. The Telegraph says that a run on the ruble is under way, and at least one commentator I have seen says that Putin has therefore ordered the Russian army to take Kiev by tomorrow at all costs. True? Who knows?

In the Wall Street Journal, Tom Fairless argues that the West’s financial sanctions against Russia could be a nuclear bomb:

The U.S., Europe and Canada pledged Saturday to prevent the Bank of Russia from deploying its $630 billion stockpile of international reserve “in ways that undermine the impact of our sanctions,” they said in a joint statement Saturday. The move directly targets the war chest that President Vladimir Putin has built up in recent years to help insulate Russia’s economy from outside pressures.

The move could be a hammer-blow to Russia’s financial system, limiting the government’s ability to defend the ruble in currency markets, to make overseas purchases and to backstop banks that have been hurt by international sanctions, economists and central-bank officials said.

More at the link.

Still, however important financial sanctions may prove, the key variable is the Ukrainians’ determination to resist Russian aggression. Russia is not strong enough to take, hold and pacify a nation of 44 million in the face of determined resistance. Here as always, leadership is key, and President Volodymyr Zelensky has risen courageously to the occasion. If and when the Russians take Kiev, they may be able to kill Zelensky. But if that happens, it will be at best a mixed blessing. Zelensky’s example will inspire resistance that I doubt the ramshackle, dispirited Russians can overcome.

By the way, did you know that the alleged “neo-Nazi” Zelensky is a Jew? Funny how that keeps happening.

(Note from Glenn: I spent a week in Kiev in 1966 which included a Sunday. The Stalinist Soviets had banned anything JudeoChristian into those days. Countless Cathedrals in the major cities were burned or turned over for breeding cows and pigs of the real kind for cities and countries…..as well as storage for matter. Such scenes were created to fulfill embarrassments forever.

I was in my third week of my month’s visit for learnings in that Soviet Union. I had been given a grant with twenty other American public school teachers of Russian under an Eisenhower grant with the Soviets. Soviets needed the money well after President Eisenhower passed on. Americana wanted Americans to learn “Russian, the language” which had been banned because of Communism problems for a couple decades.

Russian citizens, regardless of their heritage, had to learn Russian and speak Russian in public….OR ELSE…in those Communist Soviet days. Ukrainians, and such, were not allowed to speak their native language in public…OR ELSE as well!!!…meaning their visit to Siberia to labor would be without pay, et. alia.

I loved getting out of those nearly all empty Soviet hotels early in the mornings…..when the outdoors was relatively quiet and the hundred thousands of walkers of urban humanity in the city remained quiet in their two room apartments…..sharing kitchens with three or four neighbors depending upon ones courtesy to Communism.

Like today’s urban America…..no Russians talked much about anything out doors. Only Soviet Communist ‘rulers’ managed automobiles in order to get to state business on time….as long as they were obedient toward State matter.

Around 6:30 one Sunday morning that August, 1966, I hiked a couple miles from the arranged hotel throughout a natural, but urban kind of woodland winding up hills where the scenery, although urban, was really beautiful and unSoviet! I had risen to some degree to snoop for something “Sunday”, like Church at home. I failed to realize the nature of the beauty of a white spectacular , cleanly protected, quite large Russian Orthodox “Cathedral”. It was advertising its wonderful tower with its golden “crest” standing above in that very woodsy setting.

I found a cement bench merely to sit to enjoy its scenery….The USSR had closed anything, everything JudeoChristian in those days to favor its Communist fascist conditions. Trust me, the Soviets were still good at it…..even though its champion murderer, Joseph Stalin was only dead since 1953.

As I sat I realized I was sitting with relief for the first time in outdoors Soviet Union in those two weeks I had already spent there. I was, as I felt then and now, meant to sit there for about an hour and relax….when something truly good might happen in this beautiful Ukrainian environment despite the atheist Soviet Communist prison world.

Crowds in the distance South away from me suddenly began to appear proudly walking toward the Orthodox Cathedral on my left. ….as if they were going to mass! Indeed, they looked like they WERE going toward THIS BEAUTIFUL ORTHODOX CHURCH….the FIRST one I had ever seen untarnished or not used as a cow or pig barn used in most Soviet cities I had visited.

I had been to Russian Orthodox masses in Minneapolis from time to time. Its Ancient Russian passed me by, but NOT its beautiful settings where one who could carry their sacred candle…..or candles from setting to setting to remind the passer by of the meaning and power of Their Christian GOD.

AS IT TURNED OUT, THIS RUSSIAN ORTHODOX MASS IN THE UKRAINE KIEV WAS OPENING ITS FIRST DAY OF WORSHIP SINCE COMMUNISM BEGAN TO OWN ITS USSR BY STARVING MILLIONS TO DEATH TO SATISFY THE WILL OF JOSEF STALIN IN THE 1930S.

I have never seen happiness in the good old USSR…NEVER, whether in my 1966 or 1990 visit…..except for that Sunday at Russian Orthodox Mass. Once Russian Orthodox Mass is opened, it would be opened the entire Sunday…..for its MASS. That was a unique Sunday for me, a stranger, but mostly, one could tell, for the Russian crowd that appeared in that Russian Orthodox Cathedral by tens of thousands of followers who had found their day of opening….

Ukrainians were not allowed to speak their Ukrainian during Communist Soviet Union days. It is a Slavic language, but I couldn’t understand it when it was spoken to me. By rule its LAW the USSR demanded Russian was the nation’s sacred language…….or else???

I returned to the USSR in October of 1991….again into the Ukraine. A group of Christians in Minnesota’s Anoka county had gathered quite a bit of money to give to struggling survivors of the Chernobyl disaster. They invited me to join them because I still could speak my (Tsarist lingo) Russian for them when needed.

Did Today’s Americans Under Age 60 EVER LEARN ANYTHING FROM SCHOOL ABOUT OUR HUMAN PAST?


FIRST PRINCIPLES

‘This Happy Breed of Men’

There seems to be some deep connection between the English language and that most uncommon virtue, common sense.

By Roger Kimball at American Greatness:

February 26, 2022

“There’s a deal of ruin in a nation,” Adam Smith wrote to a young correspondent who contemplated with alarm British losses in the American War of Independence. As it happened, Britain absorbed the parturition of the United States with aplomb, growing ever stronger for more than a century. Where are we now? There’s lots of ruin about: no one disputes that. But how are we—we, the English-speaking peoples of the world?—

I am not sure who coined the term “Anglosphere,” but James Bennett gave it currency in his book The Anglosphere Challenge: Why the English-Speaking Nations Will Lead the Way in the Twenty-first Century. Bennett’s book was published in 2004. A paperback edition, with a new Afterword, appeared in 2007. The Anglosphere Challenge endeavored to make good on its optimistic subtitle. The 19th century had been the British century. The 20th century belonged to America. Today, the conventional wisdom predicts that the 21st century will belong to China.  But, Bennett argued, “If the English-speaking nations grasp the opportunity, the twenty-first century will be the Anglosphere century.”

“If.” A tiny word that prompts large questions. What were those opportunities that needed grasping? How sure was our grip? And who, by the way, were “we”? What was this Anglosphere that Bennett apostrophized? Winston Churchill’s opus on the English-speaking peoples, published in four volumes in the mid-1950s, principally included Britain, Canada, the United States, Australia, and New Zealand. He commenced his story in 55 B.C., when Julius Caesar first “turned his gaze” upon Britain, and concluded as Victoria’s long reign ended. By 2006, when Andrew Roberts extended Churchill’s work in his magisterial History of the English-Speaking Peoples Since 1900, the Anglosphere had expanded to include Commonwealth Caribbean countries and, more to the point, India with its 1.4 billion people and the burgeoning capitalist dynamo that is its economy.

The inclusion of India shows that the defining quality of the Anglosphere is not shared race or ethnicity but shared values. It is a unity, as the economist Madhav Das Nalapat has observed, of ideas, “the blood of the mind” rather than “the blood of the body.” Its force is more intangible than physical—set forth primarily in arguments rather than armies—but no less powerful for that. The ideas in play are so potent, in fact, that they allow India, exotic India, to emerge as an equal partner with Britain and the United States at “the core of a twenty-first-century Anglosphere.”

I’ll say something about the substance of those ideas in a moment. First, it is worth pausing to register the medium in which the ideas unfold: English. Nalapat remarks that the English language is “a very effective counter-terrorist, counter-insurgency weapon.” I think he is right about that, but why? Why English?

In a remarkable essay called “What Is Wrong with Our Thoughts?,” the Australian philosopher David Stove analyzes several outlandish, yet typical, specimens of philosophical-theological linguistic catastrophe. He draws his examples not from the underside of intellectual life—spiritualism, voodoo, Freudianism, critical race theory, etc.—but from some of the brightest jewels in the diadem of Western thought: from the work of Plotinus, for example, and Hegel and Michel Foucault. He quoted his examples in translation, he acknowledges, but notes that “it is a very striking fact . . . that I had to go to translations. . . .  Nothing which was ever expressed originally in the English language resembles, except in the most distant way, the thought of Plotinus, or Hegel, or Foucault. I take this,” Stove concludes, “to be enormously to the credit of our language.”

Indeed. What is it about English? I do not have an answer, but I note the fact that there seems to be some deep connection between the English language and that most uncommon virtue, common sense. I do not mean that English speakers act any less extravagantly than speakers of other tongues, but rather that English generally acts to tether thought to the empirical world. This is something Bishop Thomas Sprat dilated on in his History of the Royal Society (1667): “The general constitution of the minds of the English,” he wrote, embraces frankness and simplicity of diction, “the middle qualities, between the reserv’d subtle southern, and the rough unhewn Northern people.”

English, Bishop Sprat thought, is conspicuously the friend of empirical truth. It is also conspicuously the friend of liberty.

Andrew Roberts, reflecting on the pedigree of certain ideas in the lexicon of freedom, notes that such key phrases as “liberty of conscience” (1580), “civil liberty” (1644, a Miltonic coinage) and “liberty of the press” (1769) were first expressed in English. Why is it that English-speaking countries produced Adam Smith and John Locke, David Hume, and James Madison, but not Hegel, Marx or Foucault? “The tongue and the philosophy are not unrelated,” the philologist Robert Claiborne writes in The Life and Times of the English Language. “Both reflect the ingrained Anglo-American distrust of unlimited authority, whether in language or in life.”

I have nothing by way of an explanation for this filiation between the English language and the habit of liberty. I merely note its existence. Alan Macfarlane, in his classic Origins of English Individualism (1978), shows that the habit is far older than we have been taught to believe. According to the Marxist narrative, individualism is a “bourgeois construct” whose motor belongs to the 18th century. Macfarlane shows that, on the contrary, “since at least the thirteenth century England has been a country where the individual has been more important than the group.” “Peasant” was a term the English used about others but not themselves. Why? Macfarlane locates the answer in the presence of a market economy, an “individualistic pattern of ownership,” and strong recourse to local initiative that were prominent features of English life at least since 1250. “In many respects,” he writes, “England had probably long been different from almost every other major agrarian society we know.”

Again, one wonders why. English institutions, you might say, the rule of law, and all that. Well, yes, but why were the English peculiarly prominent among the bearers of that beneficence? Again, I do not have an explanation. It has something to do, I feel sure, with the habit of liberty, the contagious temperament of freedom. It’s a trait that has been widely noticed. The Czech writer Karel Capek visited England in the 1920s. Writing about the country a few years later, he observed that the Englishman “stays in England all the time even when he happens to be somewhere else, say, Naples or Tibet. . . . England is not just a certain territory; England is a particular environment habitually surrounding Englishmen.” Santayana registered something similar in his essay on “The British Character” in Soliloquies in England (1922). “What governs the Englishman is his inner atmosphere, the weather in his soul.”

Instinctively the Englishman is no missionary, no conqueror. He prefers the country to the town, and home to foreign parts. He is rather glad and relieved if only natives will remain natives and strangers strangers, and at a comfortable distance from himself. Yet outwardly he is most hospitable and accepts almost anybody for the time being; he travels and conquers without a settled design, because he has the instinct of exploration. His adventures are all external; they change him so little that he is not afraid of them. He carries his English weather in his heart wherever he goes, and it becomes a cool spot in the desert, and a steady and sane oracle amongst all the deliriums of mankind. Never since the heroic days of Greece has the world had such a sweet, just, boyish master. It will be a black day for the human race when scientific blackguards, conspirators, churls, and fanatics manage to supplant him.

The question is whether these mostly agreeable observations should be filed under the rubric “As We Were,” like A.C. Benson’s nostalgic look back at a vanished Victorian heyday. The alarming possibility that recent history has presented us with is that the assault of Santayana’s “scientific blackguards, conspirators, churls, and fanatics” may come as much from within the Anglosphere as from outside it. “Civilizations,” observed the political philosopher James Burnham “die, in truth, only by suicide.” What have we been doing to ourselves?