• 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

WHY IS PRESIDENT JOE SUCH A CHINAMAN AGAINST THE UKRAINE? Where could Crooked Joe’s ‘secret’ investments be?

An uprising in Kherson

ALLAHPUNDIT Mar 05, 2022 at HotAir:

Putin’s theory of how Russia would pacify a conquered Ukraine appears to have been that Ukrainians would … just sort of pacify themselves. Russia can’t mount an effective long-term occupation of a country this large but it wouldn’t need to, provided that Ukrainians placidly accepted their fate and welcomed their integration into Russia.

It’s no exaggeration to say that Russia’s entire war strategy rested on that dubious assumption bearing out. If Ukrainians resisted and forced Russia to commit to a lengthy pacification effort, there’s no telling how long Moscow would be able to sustain it. Especially with western sanctions taking a wrecking ball to their economy.

To put it another way, Putin really, truly seems to have believed his own bullsh*t about Ukrainians greeting Russian troops as liberators. In a worst-case scenario, he may have imagined that Ukrainians would resist initially but then would roll over once their cities were occupied and all hope of expelling the invader was lost.

That theory was tested today in the southern city of Kherson, the site of Russia’s most significant victory to date. The Russian military seized it days ago and moved in to occupy it. If Putin is right that Ukrainians will reconcile themselves to their fate once they fall under Russian control, the first evidence should emerge in Kherson.

His theory looked shaky yesterday. Today it looks shakier:

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=true&embedId=twitter-widget-0&features=eyJ0ZndfZXhwZXJpbWVudHNfY29va2llX2V4cGlyYXRpb24iOnsiYnVja2V0IjoxMjA5NjAwLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X2hvcml6b25fdHdlZXRfZW1iZWRfOTU1NSI6eyJidWNrZXQiOiJodGUiLCJ2ZXJzaW9uIjpudWxsfSwidGZ3X3NwYWNlX2NhcmQiOnsiYnVja2V0Ijoib2ZmIiwidmVyc2lvbiI6bnVsbH19&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1500082566619086848&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fhotair.com%2Fallahpundit%2F2022%2F03%2F05%2Fan-uprising-in-kherson-n453222&sessionId=724291635b2de34ca8fde0204cb098c81a8fef7b&siteScreenName=hotairblog&theme=light&widgetsVersion=2582c61%3A1645036219416&width=550px

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Some were willing to do more than protest:

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Russia’s army may “control” the city but it doesn’t really control it. This remarkable video was apparently shot in Melitopol, not Kherson, yet it’s in the same spirit:

Why Does SLOPPY SLOW JOE IGNORE THE PUTIN HORRORS WARRING IN THE UKRAINE? BECAUSE HIS CHINA RED MONEY IS RUSSIAN?

 MARCH 5, 2022 BY SCOTT JOHNSON IN BIDEN FOREIGN POLICYIRAN

THE MADNESS OF SLOW JOE, IRAN EDITION (2)

The announcement of a new arrangement with Iran by the Biden administration is imminent. The servants of Vladimir Putin have kindly facilitated the arrangement with the best interests of the United States at heart. Emanuele Ottolenghi’s Tablet column explains why “Accommodating Iran Will Be No More Successful Than Accommodating Russia.”

Now Richard Goldberg’s New York Post column pronounces the arrangement “the worst deal ever with Iran.” Goldberg arrives at a conclusion that I find inarguable: “Iran was cheating on the old deal from the very start and using its benefits to destabilize the Middle East. Which is exactly what they will do again, thanks to the new worst deal in history, brokered by Russia at the Biden administration’s request. It ensures the United States will face an increasingly imminent choice of military action against Iran or accepting an Iranian nuclear weapon.”

The absurdity from our point of view seems to me transparent. Why would they — Biden et al. — do this? I have no satisfactory answer to that question.

The Post notes in its author tag that Goldberg is a senior adviser at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies who served as a National Security Council official, deputy chief of staff to former Senator Mark Kirk, and Navy Reserve Intelligence Officer. This is a particularly impressive credential: “He was sanctioned by Iran in 2020.”

Are We Thinking OR DREAMING?

March 5, 2022

There Is A Time-Honored Way To Help Ukraine Quickly Defeat Russia

By Ed Sherdlu at American Thinker:

The economic sanctions and boycotts directed at Putin’s Russia have been and will continue to be a complete failure. They may cause an economic slowdown in Russia, even a significant one. Aeroflot may stop flying outside the country. The French may seize the oligarchs’ floating brothels disguised as yachts, and Putin’s mistresses may miss their latest designer gowns from the Paris fashion shows. At the corner grocery store in Moscow, the shelves may be more even bare than usual. The sanctions will be “successful” only in that way. But these sanctions will not stop one bullet from being fired in Ukraine or prevent another kilometer of Ukrainian territory from being seized. That’s all that counts and, in that way, these sanctions are and will be a total failure.

But there is a way to turn the Russian invasion around in seven days. In less than a week, we could send Putin’s platoons back down the muddy roads to Russia, licking their wounds as they go. It will not necessitate American boots on the ground. And if Mr. Putin objects, it’s simply a technique he and his predecessors perfected over the years.

In 1939, the world faced a power-hungry, territory-taking gangster-dictator just as we do now. The United States wanted to help Great Britain fight Hitler, but our misguided neutrality laws forbade it. So, President Roosevelt found a way around that law by “trading” 50 old American destroyers in exchange for the American Navy’s use of the port of Bermuda. It was called the “Lend-Lease” program. The American destroyers, crewed by Brits, with a few American “consultants” on board, helped break the back of Hitler’s U-boat flotillas.

After Hitler invaded Russia in June 1941, long before the United States was officially in the war, we supplied Stalin with the equipment Russia needed to fight the German onslaught. Rather than claiming we were lending the tanks, guns, and planes to Russia, we freely admitted they were gifts. In the final tally, we sent Russia almost 425,000 jeeps and trucks, 14,000 airplanes, and 13,000 tanks. Much of it came to Mother Russia’s rescue before Pearl Harbor.

So, there’s no doubt Russia accepts the precedent of accepting military aid from a noncombatant country. But knowing it is more blessed to give than receive, they reversed the concept in the 1960s. North Vietnamese pilots flew Russian airplanes to shoot down American airmen. Russian missiles were shot at those who were not shot down by Russian aircraft. Russia gave the North Vietnamese thousands of artillery pieces and tanks, millions of rounds of ammunition, and virtually everything else the North Vietnamese requested. The bayonet on the end of the AK-47 that penetrated my knee was undoubtedly made by “the happy workers at Kalashnikov Commune #43” or some similar Russian factory.

The practice continues in the Middle East today. The Russians actively arm the Iranians, the PLO and their Hamas brothers, and the Houthi rebels trying to close the southern end of the Suez Canal. We recently intercepted an ocean-going ship packed with the latest Russian weapons from bow to stern, keel to mast.

After seeing America’s army and its honor abandoned in Kabul, many American senior military officers are willing to share their dissatisfaction and ideas for defeating Putin’s army.

The concept is straightforward. We employ the same technique Russia accepted and used for decades. But in this case, the weapon we supply to the Ukrainians can make any Russian offensive untenable. Officially it’s the M39A1 missile. It’s known to the troops as the B-BAM. The two Bs stand for Big and Bad, and the M equals Missile. I’ll let you figure out the A.

Image: Russian-made PT76 tank at Ben Het, Vietnam. Public domain.

The B-BAM rides to battle on the back of a tank-like vehicle. Each transporter carries two missiles. Those very accurate GPS-navigated missiles can be ready to fire moments after the transporter pulls off the road. They have a range of up to 300 km, but it’s what they do when they get to the target that’s really interesting.

Rather than having one big warhead, the M39A1 carries 300 small bomblets. As the missile descends on the target, the nosecone separates. This spreads the bomblets over a wide target area. The small bombs don’t create the huge explosions you currently see on cable TV. But those 300 small explosions are perfect for destroying equipment and disabling vehicles. And yes, since Civil War General Sherman already told us “War Is Hell,” we must admit they do a great job of killing or wounding enemy soldiers.

The U.S. Army has an ample supply of these missiles and their transporters in Germany. They can easily be driven to the Poland-Ukraine border and turned over to the Ukrainian Army. There would be no need for American soldiers to accompany them past the border. Of course, the rockets’ contractor, Lockheed Martin, or whatever Blackwater calls itself this year, could always include some ubiquitous “civilian technical advisors” to help the Ukrainians. Most of them would probably be retired U.S. Army missile men. As dedicated as the Ukrainians are, we certainly wouldn’t want them aiming the B-BAMs in the wrong direction!

The targets would not just be the front-line Russian infantry soldiers. Many of them are dug in, ready for battle. The best targets would be Russian artillery and missile positions, rear area supply depots, and, most importantly, the supply system itself. That 40-mile-long convoy stalled north of Kyiv is a target-rich environment.

Armor-heavy invasion forces such as Putin is employing have one weak point: They can’t leave enough troops behind to guard their supply lines. Without those supplies, the blitzkrieg soon grinds to a halt. As an example, it was the German and Italian navy’s inability to supply Rommel across the Mediterranean that led to the loss of the Africa Corps. Rommel’s soldiers were well trained and very brave. They were also very hungry and critically low on ammunition. Robert E. Lee surrendered only after Union forces destroyed the ammunition and food he needed to continue.

We are either going to help the Ukrainians win by giving them the weapons that can decide this war or we are going to let Putin gobble up that country. In the immediate aftermath, China would green light taking Taiwan. If Kyiv falls, Putin will continue his march west as soon as his Russian army is rested and resupplied. He wants Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia so badly he can already taste the Latvian delicacy, cranberry pudding, when he licks his lips.

I know the most useless desktop accessory in Washington is a crystal ball. But in this case, there is no need to guess Putin’s intentions. He has made it painfully evident for years that he wants to re-create Rodinia, Imperial Mother Russia. Sanctions will not stop him nor will the small-scale individual antitank weapons we are supplying.

This is not a time for fancy-pants diplomacy. This is a gunfight. If you’re going to a gunfight, you had better bring the biggest gun you can find (short of nuclear), and ours is the B-BAM.

How will “the world community” react? Winners write the history books.

Ed Sherdlu is the pen name of a former CBS television network reporter.

Getting To Know “Putin The Weird” BETTER!

When I Met Putin

Recollections from the thawing of the Cold War as things now begin to heat up.

By Theodore Roosevelt Malloch

March 3, 2022

Going through Checkpoint Charlie into gloomy and dark, dank East Berlin was always frightening. The Wall itself was ominous, the guards were the fiercest looking on the planet, and the barbed wire and landmines were right there for everyone to see. All of us have seen jaw-dropping spy movies about the infamous Friedrichstrasse and what happened on the other side of it. They were commies, after all.

I first went through the experience as a teenager in 1972 and did it again more than a dozen times as an adult. It never got any easier. The DDR, as they called East Germany, was a former Nazi-land that was then communist. And they did communism better than anyone else because they were authoritarian by nature. The crossing guards were a special breed of monster, who could and did make life difficult, very difficult. Just watch “The Lives of Others.

When I was a college student, I had to cut my hair at the border just to get into the lovely Soviet DDR. One of my mates had a bigger problem; after waiting the obligatory seven to eight hours and having everything he owned strewn out to inspect (and hands put up your ass) they took issue with his passport picture. In the photo he had a beard but at that time he was beardless. They debated for an hour amongst themselves before they let him pass. The guards liked to confiscate cigarettes and were most fond of Playboys. Jerkoffs. But their absolutely favorite thing to turn-up was the Bible. 

On another trip we were in a group, which I was leading, and we had three Volkswagen vans. At the DDR border which was always the strictest, German Shepherd dogs and goons in long black leather coats awaited. Our turn finally came and they deflated our tires, rolled mirrors under the vehicle, and strip-searched with grosse frauleins the woman first, and then intimidated the men. 

They kept asking me, as the leader, do you have Bibles? They were insistent. I knew the rule that a person was allowed one, as part of his personal effects. They asked two more times, never quite believing my answer. After the third time, I felt like St. Peter denying Christ thrice before the cock crowed after the scene at the Garden of Gethsemane. I loudly protested that I had no Bibles except the one I kept in the glove compartment, which they had clearly noticed. It was a Good News Bible meant for popular consumption and easy to read. The guard blurted out in German, “How could people of your level have a Bible?” Then they let us through but the government guide assigned to us spent the better part of a day reading that thing cover to cover in the front seat of the van. They had a thirst for truth because they were not permitted access to any.

Young Vladimir

When the Berlin Wall finally came tumbling down in 1989, there was an opportunity of historic proportion. It wasn’t just a German unification issue, although it was that; it wasn’t just a European issue about defining the new borders for the continent, although it was that, too. It was a Free World problem because we had fought so long, spent so much money, and prayed so hard, for such a day. Could we seize the opportunity or would it slip through our fingers?

I was at the Berlin Wall just days after the opening. I was serving as a senior diplomat (deputy executive secretary of the U.N. Economic Commission for Europe) just after adjustments were made and discussions about probabilities quickly changed into term sheets for deals and marching orders for new economic relationships. Since all the old leaders fell or killed themselves, one after the other, and the new leaders were in almost every case our former drinking buddies who suffered communism in less-than-distinguished day jobs, it meant I was well-placed to move in this new orbit to assist and recommend new and better options.

In that context, as an executive board member of the World Economic Forum (Davos), I had two opportunities to cross paths with a young Soviet deputy named Vladimir Putin. We were the same age. While he was short and blonde, I was tall and blonde. He was a colonel in the KGB and a sour-faced ideologue. Having worked in espionage in Dresden, in the DDR, and as a fluent German speaker, Putin was at that point a bag-carrier for the mayor of Leningrad, Anatoly Sobchak, a lawyer and a reformer. 

As it became clearer over the years, boy Putin was quite insecure and despondent about the Soviet Union’s demise. He believed in neither glasnost nor perestroika. We sought to have a delegation of about 25 Soviet leaders at Davos that year and it included Sobchak, all the market-leaning economists, and the heads of industry groups—from autos and steel to agriculture and energy. It was a “who’s-who” list and they wanted to make friends and do business with big Western business types to get investment and deals flowing. 

I was their official host—quite an irony, as I was a cold warrior if ever there was one, and an American to boot. I still remember the day in January they all arrived on a special Aeroflot flight from Moscow to Zurich. I met them on the runway red carpet. Arkady Volsky, who led the delegation, was a bear of a Russian with a big grin who could drink anyone under the table. He embraced me in a big hug and presented me with a gift I cherish to this day: a beautiful red fox Russian hat. 

Putin was in the background and, frankly, he drank heavily and no one expected his meteoric rise. But he was KGB through and through. When the time came, he was surrounding Boris Yeltsin and somehow weaseled his way into the power orbit so he was positioned to be president. That intrigue has led to many rumors, but I would simply chalk it up to thuggish Soviet power plays.

East Meets West

Claus Barbier was chairman of Arthur Andersen Worldwide, headquartered in Geneva but with boundary-less responsibilities. We had met at Davos and at various Geneva functions and dinners. He had hosted Eastern VIPs in Switzerland. He asked me to work with him on some new companies he was starting under the title CEO (he said it stood for capitalist economic options). His premise was that these now freed countries in the East, especially Russia, would be keen to search out new economic options. Barbier was a Frenchman with a much younger, very cute American bride and two small children. He lived well and had homes in France and Bermuda. I was invited to Bermuda for a week’s vacation and to plot out targets. I traveled with him to Hungary and then to the Soviet Union where he thought the biggest opportunities were to be plucked. We both knew Arkady Volsky and some of the Soviet economists whose careers had been transformed instantly and overnight as the tides shifted and the new economic realities came into play.

I made about 20 missions to the East and the Soviet Union, which would become the Russian Federation before long. In Hungary, we helped the Central Bank to become more bank-like. The assignment ran out of IASA, a scientific think tank in an old castle outside of Vienna where a number of Eastern country scientists were placed to learn the lessons of the West. They held a number of sessions there first for Hungary, then Poland, then Czechoslovakia, and finally for Russia itself to get them up to speed on the banking sector and especially in the dos and don’ts of running a real central bank. 

Our team consisted of senior and some older retired people who had run the Fed, been at Treasury, done research on banking, and spent time in money center banks. We would present. They would listen with simultaneous translation and ask questions. Most of the time was spent just going back and forth on what they did and then telling them what needed to be done, very differently. Their senior-most people, for the most part, were untrainable or too old to learn new tricks. The younger ones were attentive and spoke some English and seriously wanted to get on with new forms of business. One of the Soviets was particularly bright and it turned out he had spent time at Wharton in Philadelphia some years before learning econometrics. Leonid Grigoriev was a definite keeper and did well. He could also drink like a fish—an old Russian ailment, vodka 24/7.

The best trip I made to the East was with the Institute for East-West Security Studies (now the EastWest Institute) and its colorful founder John Mroz, a streetwise administrator who knew how to get things done. He had great energy and a super Rolodex to match. He asked several of us to join him and Iain Somerville from Accenture in Poland for a week to help them and their new leadership do change management and privatization. Sounded worthwhile and the stipend was good. 

We flew over on LOT, the Polish airline, and went directly to the offices of Leszek Balcerowicz, the new minister of finance whom I had met years before in Germany at the U.N. meeting on economic reforms. Now he was in charge of making those reforms. We were brought in to help him and his new juniors make the transition to a market economy. Everything from A-to-Z had to be worked out and rationally ordered. Late that night they took our group to our hotel. It was not a real hotel. It was the headquarters of the former Warsaw Pact countries, the place where their generals had met to plan war against . . . us. They were very nice digs but the air was creepy. I kept thinking about the mischief that had been orchestrated from those very rooms. It reminded me of “Dr. Strangelove.

After working intimately with the Poles and debating all kinds of options, we were taken to a dinner where we met Lech Wałęsa, the famed Solidarity leader who became Poland’s first post-communist president. He asked each of us, one by one, for our best recommendations. Time was moving fast and change was rushing in like an unstoppable wave. My recommendation was get on with it—don’t delay the pain or the coming rewards. He nodded, approvingly.

In Czechoslovakia, we made a similar but more formal visit with seated dinners and fewer roll-up-your-sleeves working sessions. Finance Minister Vaclav Klaus wanted help, but he was cocky and thought he knew most of the answers as a learned man of letters. We had a state dinner in the castle with President Václav Havel, and he gave a philosophical lecture. The Czechs seemed much more poised and ready to go back into Europe than their other Eastern counterparts. 

The Czech government sent Vladimír Dlouhý to the United States to meet with us. He was a bright new minister and later head of Eastern Europe for Goldman Sachs. It was coincidental how many of the people we worked with in short order jumped to the private sector and made a killing. Dlouhý had worked in the U.N. as a professional and was a politician. They lost his suitcase when he arrived at Dulles Airport and I had to take him out to buy a whole new wardrobe so he could be seen in public. My mother sewed his pants, making alterations in haste late one afternoon, so he could make a big speech that evening at the Aspen Institute. What we don’t do for the cause.

Cronies and Kleptocrats

The situation in the USSR around this time was most chaotic, as everything the Soviets had known was crumbling either from the dead weight of 75 years of crusty communist rule or from plain old Russian inefficiency amid the jockeying for political and economic power. The mafia didn’t help matters either. 

Meantime, our old acquaintance Putin was ascending to power.

Working with the Russians was always frustrating, as nothing ever seemed to move. When the ball went uphill, as for Sisyphus, it rolled right back down again! But there was wealth in them thar hills and they knew it. Volsky and his cronies had money stashed away in numbered accounts; apartments in Paris and London, and in Russia they still wielded ultimate power. They could fly you to Siberia and get on a helicopter to see some oil wells or get you in and out of some dangerous places in Central Asia. They controlled the large combines and dictated who would run them and who would own them when they eventually went private. 

On one trip with a small delegation, we saw all the new leaders and were the first and likely last people to see the autocrats who ran Gosplan, where all the centralization of the economy and of prices took place. Soon they would have nothing to do. Our delegation leader was an Uncle Sam-looking and talking figure named Donald Kendall, who had been CEO of PepsiCo and was still very much an all-American salesman. 

Kendall’s real interest was in seeing that the Kremlin picked Pepsi over Coke and built more Kentucky Fried Chicken stores where the lines would go around the block. Later he made a deal to buy Russia’s leading vodka maker, they say to get his rubles out and converted. Kendall’s sidekick was a short, tough-looking dark guy named Roger Enrico, who himself later became CEO of the company. 

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There were so many theories and personalities it wasn’t clear who would come out on top when Boris Yeltsin took over. A pack of Marlboro cigarettes was still a good bartering tool to get a taxi or to buy those ever-present matryoshka dolls. My favorite one had a tiny Lenin, inside a small Stalin, inside a bigger Khrushchev, inside a larger Brezhnev, inside a larger yet Gorbachev, and all contained inside a largest, Yeltsin. Very Russian—you like? It cost me a carton of those smokes. And it still sits on my bookshelf. 

On that trip we were allowed for the first time outside Moscow to a forbidden area that contained secure military installations. Our destination was the old and very beautiful Russian Orthodox monastery at Zagorsk. We were the first Western visitors and were shepherded around by an old and a young priest, both with extremely long beards, one gray and the other jet black. I think the translator was going out of her mind, as she too had never seen this side of traditional Russia. It was touching and emotional to see the art collection, the icons, and religious memorabilia, all still intact after so many years of total neglect and official atheism.

In the end, some countries made an easy and direct transition to the market with our help. Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and Poland were the three countries that made a clean, successful break. The others further east suffered messier transitions and were Slavic in culture with closer ties to the Russians. Many used the same alphabet and had the same mores. For them, change was slower and more painful. And in most of these cases the dictatorships of the proletariat gave way to the kleptocracies of the instant capitalists. Entire industries and large firms were looted, gutted, or merged with others in acts of instant privatization that saw wealth transferred from the state to the kleptocrats and their oligarchic cronies or relatives in one fell swoop. Putin was in the middle of all this and has prospered mightily from the system, to the tune of $100 billion.

Two New American Friends

In 1992, I got involved, given my background, with the Soviet—soon to be Russian—entry in the America’s Cup sailing races. Tom Griffin, a heavy vodka-drinking friend in Annapolis, was the key organizer and I helped to raise funds for the Red Star entry, captained by an Olympic medal-winning Soviet Georgian. We were set to bring the boat to San Diego when the Soviet Union finally fully collapsed and the KGB thwarted the effort. Yeltsin wanted to come himself but there was simply too much chaos at home to risk going abroad. We have some great sailing memorabilia from those days and were made honorary members of the Leningrad Yacht Club before it, too, was revamped and renamed. You have to admit that St. Petersburg does sound a lot better than Leningrad.

We did sponsor Yeltsin when he finally had his tanks surround the Russian parliament to take office. He came to New York and we met him and ushered him around. He was sober only a few minutes during the entire visit but I do recall that he made two very good, new American friends—Jack Daniels and Jim Beam.

What Putin Wants

Fast forward to the situation today and the possibility of World War III. 

Putin, still very much a product of the KGB, fancies himself as a latter-day czar. Russia’s president-for-life is reaching for his legacy at all costs. As a dictator, he wants to impose his will on Ukraine and beyond. Unbelievably, he may even risk nuclear war.

It appears Putin wants to hold Ukraine as a surrogate state, installing his own puppet. In effect, Putin wishes to re-annex Ukraine under Moscow’s political, military, territorial, and commercial control.

While implanting hundreds of thousands of Russians in occupied Ukraine between 1917 and 1991, the Soviets also built several key institutions and infrastructure, including:

  • Several weapons factories to supply Kalashnikovs and other weapons for the Soviet military and Third World allies, the Chinese army, North Korean army, revolutionary armies worldwide, and anyone with U.S. dollars. 
  • Former Soviet aircraft manufacturing plants, which produced parts for the MIG, Ilyushin, and Antonov fighter jets.  
  • Chernobyl and other nuclear power plants producing weapons-grade plutonium for nuclear weapons. (Chernobyl was de-commissioned by an American firm, Bechtel). 
  • Naval shipyards for the manufacture and operations of Russian ships in the Black Sea. 
  • The operation of strategic routes for the transmission of Russian natural gas and oil into Europe. 
  • The continued operation of commercial and military transport routes (pipeline, road, rail, air, and water) for the transmission of substantial trade flows of military and commercial goods both ways, in and out of Russia through Ukraine. 
  • A buffer to NATO.

I have not heard one pundit, politician, or deep state official raise these issues as the pretext for Putin’s interest in Ukraine, which he now feels empowered to force on his militarily and politically weak, yet courageous neighbors. 

Ukraine and other former vassal states are the “Jewels in the Soviet Crown,” which Russia lost in 1991 and which Putin wishes to retake to, if you will forgive the phrase, “make Russia great again.” 

The President: “Where Am I”….?

White House: Maybe we should stop buying Russian oil after all

JOHN SEXTON Mar 04, 2022

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AP Photo/Alex Brandon

This is pretty clearly a case of leading from behind. The White House has clearly been dragged to this new position over several days by both Republicans and Democrats.

As I pointed out last week, even as the tanks started rolling across the border with Ukraine, the Biden White House’s policy was to continue purchasing millions of barrels of oil from Russia every month. Why? Because the White House knew cutting off the Russian oil would result in higher gas prices, something which would likely hurt Democrats at the polls this fall.

As recently as yesterday, Nancy Pelosi said she was all for banning Russian oil but White House spokesperson Jen Psaki shot that down saying Biden’s goal was to maximize impact on Putin and Russia but minimize impact on the US. But today there are reports the White House is reconsidering its position.

President Biden is considering steps to reduce U.S. imports of Russian oil, the White House said Friday, as bipartisan support in Congress for a ban on the imports grows amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“We are looking at options we could take right now to cut U.S. consumption of Russian energy, but we are very focused on minimizing the impact to families,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters during a briefing Friday afternoon. “If you reduce supply in the global marketplace, you are going to raise gas prices.”

I think the best argument for cutting off Russian oil is that continuing to buy it looks a lot like hypocrisy. As oil prices rise, do we want to be sending Putin billions of dollars to prop up his failing economy? Also, if the US fancies itself a leader of the free world shouldn’t we be willing to go all in on efforts to preserve Ukraine’s independence from the autocratic bully next door? But to be fair, there really is a good argument that cutting off Russian oil will hurt Americans more than it will hurt Putin:

Just 1% of Russia’s total crude oil exports in 2020 went to the United States, according to U.S. government figures.

So while cutting off that trade would force Russia to find other buyers for that relatively small amount of oil, it would not have as significant of an impact as if Europe — where Russia sends nearly half its oil — stopped them, experts told ABC News…

The U.S. relies on Russian oil more than Russia depends on sending its oil to the U.S., with about 7 to 10% of the United States’ imports of crude oil and petroleum products coming from Russia in recent years.

Nevertheless, Sens. Manchin and Murkowski have been pushing for a more aggressive stand.

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Maybe one reason I’m not as horrified as some people seem to be by the possibility of higher gas prices is that here in California we already have gas prices that the rest of the country would consider shocking. Come to California where the worst has already happened!

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Russia Back Into Stalin’s Soviet Union!!?

American news networks go dark in Russia

JAZZ SHAW Mar 05, 2022 

AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky

If you flip on the news today, you might notice something a bit different. Most of the major news networks will not be cutting away to their reporters in Moscow or any other locations inside of Russia. That’s because those news teams have gone dark. On top of every other maniacal thing that Vladimir Putin has already done, the dictator announced yesterday that any journalists who report anything other than state-approved (false) stories about the situation in Ukraine would be arrested and sentenced to up to three to fifteen years in prison. And the new law would apply to foreign journalists as well. As a result, most of the big American media teams pulled the plug. (NY Post)

Several major news networks said they would stop broadcasting from Russia Friday after Moscow moved to imprison journalists who publish stories that deviate from President Vladimir Putin’s false war narrative.

CBS News, ABC News, CNN, Bloomberg, the BBC and the CBC announced they were curbing their coverage in Russia amid the country’s crackdown on news and free speech.

“Because of the new censorship law passed in Russia today, some Western networks including ABC News are not broadcasting from the country tonight,” ABC News said in a statement to The Post.

Right up front, I’ll just say that I’m not going to fault any of these networks for their decisions in this matter. You can say what you will about how some of them cover politics and social issues back in the United States (and I’ve had plenty to say about that in the past, believe me), but their foreign correspondents in Russia and Ukraine are literally risking their lives and freedom to bring reports of what’s going on over there to the world. That’s particularly true in Ukraine, where one news crew was almost taken out in an ambush yesterday by a Russian death squad.

So in Ukraine, we have reporters dodging the Russian military while in Russia they are on the run from the police. Even with all of the craziness we’ve already witnessed, I’ll confess to being both shocked and disturbed by this turn of events. Have we really reached the point where Putin would allow foreign journalists to be plucked off of the streets and thrown in prison for simply doing their jobs? Such a thing should have remained unthinkable, but the old rules don’t seem to apply anymore.

Putin is acting more and more unbalanced, a situation that is more than worrisome when you consider the nuclear arsenal he’s sitting on. But there may be a verifiable scientific reason for all of this. This morning, I noticed an exclusive thread on Twitter from Tim McMillan, who has been monitoring the situation closely from Germany. He claims that a well-placed source in American intelligence confirmed to him that we have data showing that Putin literally is suffering from mental illness and the problem likely has a “physical component” to it. Tim’s sources in both the military and intelligence communities have been very reliable over the years, so I tend to think this will prove to be authentic.

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If confirmed, Mad Vlad may turn out to be even more seriously mad than we had feared. In the United States, we have the 25th Amendment to fall back on if one of our leaders goes dangerously around the bend in terms of mental health. The Russians don’t appear to have such an option at their disposal. And even if they did, I would imagine that most of the people close enough to Putin to exercise it would be terrified to make the attempt. Insert the standard disclaimer here about having lived to see interesting times.

Nothing New But True and Blue!

the Aspen beat

Glenn K. Beaton is a writer and columnist living near Aspen. He has been a contributor to The Wall Street Journal

Americans are no longer a serious people or culture

Posted on  by Glenn K. Beaton:

I love my country. But I have a problem with the current occupants. Americans are fat, fatuous, failing and flailing.

Let’s look at some evidence. A serious people:

*Would not imagine for even a second that the way to reduce crime is to defund the police.  

*Would not seriously contend that the way to reduce inflation – a natural effect of too much money in circulation chasing too few goods – is to increase even further the amount of money in circulation.

*Would not allow biological and even anatomical men to beat women in women’s athletics simply because those men say they feel womanly at the moment.

*Would be supplying its own energy needs rather than sending money to the butcher of Kyiv, as if burning Russian oil does not emit greenhouse gas but burning American oil does.

*Would not have a citizenry of which 42% are clinically obese.

*Would not put masks on children who are at practically zero risk of COVID while allowing adults with an order of magnitude higher risk to be unmasked, 70,000 strong, in the Superbowl.

*Would not see one major political party voting in favor of legislation that would allow abortion up to the instant of birth, an outcome at odds with the entire civilized world.

*Would not let careless 16-year-olds drive automobiles.

*Would not let naïve 18-year-olds take out loans that they’ll spend the rest of their youth and a good part of their middle age repaying, for bogus college degrees that serve mainly to enrich already-rich colleges.

*Would blame criminal gun use on the criminals, not the guns.

*Would not politicize scientific debate about viruses or climate change.

*Would not let decisions about medical risks to unmasked children to be made by teachers’ unions, whose idea of medical expertise is “doctor” Jill (whom a bogus and ignorant political commentator followed by millions, named Whoopi, hilariously but seriously promoted for the position of Surgeon General).

*Would not spend billions on monster pickup trucks.

*Would favor immigration by the best and brightest of the world who respectfully and legally come, rather than favoring the poorest and worst who come illegally.

*Would not contend that the top 1% of earners who pay 40% of income taxes are failing to “pay their fair share.”

*Would not elect to the presidency a man who is clinically demented and criminally corrupt.

*Would not elect to the presidency a man who thinks a clever debate rejoinder is to intimate that his opponent has a small penis (don’t ask how he knows or why that’s on his mind).

*Would not consider for the presidency a family crime gang that has perfected obstruction of justice by lying under oath in a sexual harassment case, by destroying 30,000 emails after they were subpoenaed by Congress, and by framing up a political opponent in an elaborate story complete with the lie that he paid Russian prostitutes to pee on him. (Did Hillary herself think up that one, or was it Bill?)

*Would value honesty.

*Would value hard work.

*Would not instinctively ask about any issue before addressing it, “What does the opposing tribe say?”

*Would build more nuclear energy facilities, which have a safety record better than oil, gas or coal plants.

*Would give merit-based opportunities to those with the most merit, not those with the “right” skin color.

*Would fix phones so that they don’t operate, or at least the letter keys don’t operate, inside a moving vehicle.

*Would demand that public schools teach children how to read, how to write and how to do simple arithmetic.

*Would not conclude that some races are good and some are bad based on acts committed by a small fraction of the great, great, great, great grandparents of people now belonging (sort of) to those races.

*Would not hurl vile epithets at people for simply expressing an opposing viewpoint.

*Would not think the way to stop vagrancy is to give free stuff to the vagrants.

*Would not systemically endorse racial discrimination against Asians – or Jews – on the grounds that they’re too good for the rest of us to compete with on a level playing field.

Ah, you say, but other cultures and countries are even worse.

I’m not as sure of that as I used to be. Sure, America is still better than your average banana republic (oops, I heard that bananas are racist now). America is even better than, say, Italy and India. But I’m not so sure anymore that America is better than, say, Germany or Japan. Maybe, but it’s no longer a slam dunk (oops, is “slam dunk” racist too now?)

Here’s a bit of homework. Compare and contrast today’s Americans with today’s Ukrainians.

That murderous, miscalculating madman, Vladimir Putin, has a good measure of hate and contempt for the West, along with fear of it. I hope he dies at the end of a rope swinging from a streetlamp in Moscow with his genitals stuffed into his mouth.

But in the meantime, I have to admit that he has a point about the West and especially America. We’re no longer a serious people or a serious culture. For that, we and the world are the poorer and the likes of Vladimir Putin are the richer.

So, is America beyond saving? Maybe. But we have to try. Meet me at the pass, armed with Truth, Justice and Beauty.

Get To Know “USSR’s” Stalin Thug, VLADIMIR PUTIN Better! YES….PUTIN MUST GO asap!

March 4, 2022

Cleanly Washed Russian Brains

By Jacob Fraden at American Thinker:

Megalomaniac tyrants with excellent propaganda capabilities always run the risk of believing their own lies.  History constantly repeats itself.  

The world’s response to Russian President Putin’s decision to attack Ukraine brings to mind Germany a hundred years ago. In January 1919, in spite of the efforts of American President Wilson, at Versailles near Paris, the French and British imposed on Germany brutal reparations for its role in WW1. The result was the collapse of the German economy, its population became impoverished, and lawlessness and chaos descended upon the country.

When in 1933 Hitler was elected Chancellor, he brought Germany out of distress, refused to pay war contributions, and with the help of Stalin began the rapid arming of the country and thereby raised the economy from ruins. Stalin, however, had his own long-term calculations — he was thinking of Germany as a spearhead for conquering Europe, so his help was rather self-serving.

After Hitler came to power, the life of an ordinary German improved markedly; inflation disappeared, factories, universities, and scientific institutes returned to work, and to find a scapegoat, Poland, the United Kingdom, and France were appointed to the position of an external enemy, while Jews were subjected to the position of an internal enemy.

The Propaganda Ministry, under the leadership of Goebbels, began mass brainwashing of the population. Megalomaniac Hitler was obsessed with the idea of ​​world domination and in 1939, together with Stalin, unleashed WW2 by attacking Poland. The sequence of events was as follows: the impoverishment of the country, Hitler’s rise to power, the rebuilding of the economy, the designation of an enemy, brainwashing of the population, and finally — the outbreak of war. Now let’s look at our times.

After the collapse of the USSR in 1991, the country fell into a state of distress, industry collapsed, and people became impoverished and desperate as lawlessness and chaos ensued in the country. In the early 2000s, when Putin came to power, he criminalized the government and, with the help of the West, turned Russia into a giant “gas station,” that is, into a source of petrodollars. Using efficient Western technology, oil and gas were pumped out of the ground, while billions of dollars lined the pockets of oligarchs that were close to Putin and other corrupt officials. Imported food, household appliances, clothes, cars, and other goods appeared in stores, and the life of the Russian population, especially in large cities, improved. For the two following decades, the country was thriving on petrodollars, manufactured almost nothing but weapons.

Like megalomanic Hitler’s obsession with conquering lebensraum for Aryans to populate, megalomaniac Putin was obsessed with the idea of restoring Russia to the borders of the USSR. To unite the Russian people and crush opposition, like Hitler, he needed a permanent enemy, and he appointed to this position the United States and Ukraine. Ukraine was particularly hated by Putin because it was stubbornly unwilling to join Russia and turned its political and economic interests toward Europe. The sequence of events today is similar to that of Germany 80-100 years ago: impoverished country, Putin coming to power, improving the standard of living and accumulating large reserves of currency, designating an enemy, and starting a series of wars.

In Soviet times the philosophy of the Communists was: “All that is ours is ours. Whatever is yours – it’s negotiable.” Putin went much further; his slogan became the phrase: “All that is ours, is ours. Whatever is yours, also will be ours, if we want it.” His appetite grew throughout the 20 years of his rule, with the full connivance of the European countries and the United States, so he was capturing the neighboring territories, one by one. Under Russian President Yeltsin in 1994, Russia attacked Chechnya and the first Chechen war began. In 1999, three months before his resignation, Yeltsin unleashed a second Chechen war, which his successor Putin continued. The U.S. and Europe just quietly watched. In 2007 Putin openly declared his intention to change Europe’s borders to his liking and in 2008 attacked Georgia, seizing South Ossetia and Abkhazia. The West reacted lukewarmly to this move, too.

In 2014, he attacked Ukraine and seized Crimea and two of its eastern regions: Donetsk and Luhansk. Obama and his liberal colleagues in Europe limited themselves to symbolic verbal protests and minor sanctions, after which Putin learned his lesson — the West is weak and indecisive, so it can be ignored, and therefore it’s time to prepare the army and population for a larger war against Ukraine.

Russia’s brainwashing industry has launched a misinformation campaign, blaming all its economic difficulties on the United States and Ukraine — an “American puppet” that allegedly threatens to attack peace-loving Russia and enslave its people. By 2016 Putin was ready for a full-scale war with Ukraine, but his plans were delayed by the U.S. election of Trump as president. The Russian dictator realized that he had to be more careful under this president: Trump was too unpredictable. On the one hand, he declared himself a “friend” of Putin but, at the same time, he imposed harsh sanctions on Russia.

When four years later Biden became president of the United States, he turned America from an energy-independent country into a buyer of Russian oil. To Putin’s joy, fossil fuel energy prices had tripled and in Europe Germany was ready to buy Russian gas delivered through the Nord Stream-2 pipeline. Putin realized that the U.S. and Europe now depend on Russian oil and gas and thus he could act at will.

There is an old saying: “Every nation gets the government it deserves.” It seems that these wise words are fully applicable to Russia. The 70 years of Soviet rule did not pass without a trace for the Russian people. The Bolsheviks physically destroyed, sent to camps, or exiled the cream of the crop of the country — its intellectual elite. The poet Robert Rozhdestvensky once wrote of Stalin’s Russia: “Half the country is prisoners. Half the country is convoy guards.” And whose descendants live in today’s Russia? Those who were behind bars did not sire children, so only the guards produced descendants. The majority of today’s population in Russia are children of jailers, hence their servility and slave mentality. That’s why the modern-day Russians are an amorphous and passive mass for Putin.

In Russia, the intensive brainwashing, far surpassing the effectiveness of Goebbels propaganda, continues today with quite tangible results. All independent media are banned in the country, while honest journalists are either in jail or abroad. So, it’s not surprising that Putin’s policies are supported by about 80% of the Russian population. A month ago, an opinion poll showed that in Moscow 51% of respondents said they would be willing to go to war in Ukraine or to send their children to fight there. The other day, a good acquaintance of mine in St. Petersburg posted on Facebook an appeal to his colleagues calling for peace and the withdrawal of troops from Ukraine, to which he received quite a few negative responses. Among them was, “Why no war? We tried to negotiate with the Ukrainians peacefully, but they are too stubborn, so our beloved President Putin just had no choice but to coerce them by force.”

It seems that Putin believed his own propaganda and was as brainwashed as most of his subjects. Not only that, but he had also totally underestimated two factors: the freedom-loving mentality of the Ukrainian people and the unexpected reaction of the entire world. So far, the fighting continues, but the Russian military machine is beginning to stall, despite its overwhelming superiority in manpower and equipment.

Apart from the military setbacks, this campaign has another side effect for Putin. It has demonstrated to the world, and more importantly to China, the low efficiency of the Russian army, the vulnerability of its weapons to modern Western technology, and, most importantly, the ineptitude of its command staff. Even if Russia succeeded in enslaving Ukraine, its future in any scenario is unenviable — with the lack of its own industry, being almost completely cut off from the world and its dramatic decline is guaranteed. By attacking Ukraine, Russia is committing suicide. In the not-so-distant future, it could become easy prey for China.

It is now clear to everyone that the war must be stopped, and Putin must go. Alas, he has nowhere to go — he’s a war criminal, an outcast, so there is only one path left for him: either behind bars or to the gallows. It’s difficult to predict the future course of events, but history suggests a solution: a change in Russia’s ruler, with just a few exceptions, has always happened there from within. Let’s hope that this time the Putin cronies will have if not common sense, then at least a sense of self-preservation.

Photo credit: President of the Russian Federation

Jacob Fraden’s website is http://www.fraden.com