“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Friday, January 18, 2008

Russia Returning to the Soviet Era.

Taifun class sumarines at Murmansk. This can handle 200 missiles.

Murmansk spent nuclear store area

Murmansk ship dump

Murmansk Soviet fleet wrecks

Murmansk ships

You have to go back to Neville Chamberlain's "peace in our time" declaration to find a more spectacular and ridiculous statement than George Bush's soul seeing assessment of Vladimir Putin. Hardly a month goes by without Putin coming up with another example to remind the world about the real story in Putin's soul.

Russia has some of the worst environmental disasters on the planet.

Many of these are from military nuclear wrecks and wrecked nuclear weaponry. Mr. Putin would be more impressive if he cleaned up some of the worst of these areas, especially those involving spent nuclear fuel, instead of using new found energy wealth to revive strategic weaponry and icons from the Soviet era.


Russia revives military boast of Soviet days
By David R. Sands Washington Times
January 18, 2008

Reviving yet another iconic image from Soviet days, Russia's military announced plans to stage a parade of ballistic missiles, tanks and platoons of soldiers this May through the Kremlin's Red Square.

The display of military hardware, the first of its kind since 1990, will be held May 9, the day Russians mark the victory over Germany in World War II, and could coincide with the inauguration of Dmitry Medvedev, close aide to outgoing President Vladimir Putin, as Russia's new leader.

Similar displays, typically held May 1, were a high point of the old Soviet calendar, with leaders such as Josef Stalin and other top Communist Party figures perched on the reviewing stand above Lenin's Tomb to witness the country's military prowess and send a message to the Soviet Union's Cold War adversaries.

The announcement comes at a time of rising tension between Russia and the West, on issues ranging from a planned U.S. missile defense system in Eastern Europe, to human rights to the future of Serbia's Kosovo province. Mr. Putin also has struggled to rebuild Russia's military forces, which deteriorated badly in the wake of the Soviet Union's collapse.

"You can't teach an old imperial bear new tricks," said Ariel Cohen, a Russian specialist at the Heritage Foundation. "The current regime's craving for international prestige is as high as the insecurity of its rulers."

British Foreign Secretary David Miliband yesterday accused Moscow of following the old, hostile Soviet pattern in an escalating dispute over Russia's order that two British cultural outreach offices in Moscow and St. Petersburg be shut down. Russia claims the centers are operating illegally, but Mr. Miliband said Russian authorities were trying to intimidate the British employees.

"We saw similar actions during the Cold War, but frankly thought they had been put behind us," Mr. Miliband told the House of Commons.

According to Russia's Interfax news agency, the May 9 parade lineup will include the newest version of the Topol-M SS-27 intercontinental ballistic missile, armored personnel carriers, tanks, and 6,000 troops decked out in a newly designed uniform.

Mr. Putin has made restoring Russian national pride and reclaiming some of its lost international influence central to his presidency.

He revived a reworked version of the old Soviet anthem as Russia's new national anthem and once called the collapse of the old Soviet empire "the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the 20th century."

With Mr. Putin's endorsement, Mr. Medvedev is expected to win the March 2 presidential vote handily. He already asked Mr. Putin to serve as his prime minister.

The official May Day parades were discontinued after 1990. In recent years, the day has been marked in Moscow and other cities primarily by protest marches by the declining Communist Party and by right-wing nationalist parties.

President Boris Yeltsin began staging military parades — without the weaponry — through Red Square in 1995, the first one marking the 60th anniversary of the Allied victory in Europe.

Pavel Felgenhauer, a Russian military analyst for the Washington-based Jamestown Foundation, said the revived display is one of a number of recent symbolic moves by the country's military. They include the resumption of strategic bomber patrol flights over the Atlantic and Pacific in August and plans for major naval exercises in the Mediterranean for the first time since 1991.

Mr. Felgenhauer noted that the traditional route for the May parade must now be altered in part because of the construction of a new shopping mall.

"One can only hope that ... no ancient building will collapse as tanks and ICBMs roll into central Moscow to serve the vanity of Russia's leaders," he said.


  1. Non-AlBobAl-Fischer

    Former Russian chess champion Garry Kasparov said Fischer's ascent of the chess world in the 1960s was "a revolutionary breakthrough" for the game.

    "The tragedy is that he left this world too early, and his extravagant life and scandalous statements did not contribute to the popularity of chess," Kasparov told The Associated Press.

    Over the years, Fischer gave occasional interviews with a radio station in the Philippines, often digressing into anti-Semitic rants and accusing American officials of hounding him.

    He praised the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, saying America should be "wiped out," and described Jews as "thieving, lying bastards." His mother was Jewish.

    "The United States is evil. There's this axis of evil. What about the allies of evil - the United States, England, Japan, Australia? These are the evildoers," Fischer said.

  2. Didn't the CIA implant listening devices in his teeth?

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  4. Up his ass, like Tim McVeigh.

    He and Nichols, tracked the entire time they were preparing their two man attack upon the Federals?

    Some how, I think not.

    The Russians, playing to script.
    Acting as all Nations do.
    The Arabs become cash flow positive, they buy arms.
    As do the Chinese.
    The Indians, too
    Even now, the pacifist Japanese are getting on the bandwagon.

    The US goes and borrows money from its' Free Trade partners, Chinese, Arab, Japanese and European, to buy arms and project military power, in defense of those Free Trade partners. Spending more than the rest, combined.
    To protect Free Trade.

    Why else is the US proposing "a planned U.S. missile defense system in Eastern Europe" but to defend Europe, from Iran?

    Which the US Government will have borrow the money to do.
    Then do not even ask for payment or fees from those we defend.

    How capitialistic is that?

    We are running the world like Bugsy Segal ran Vegas, comps everywhere, assuming the "players" will drop a bundle at the tables.

    Was watching the Don Rickles story on HBO, the theme put forward by Bob Newhart, when the businessmen took over from the Mob, every aspect of Vegas had to show a profit. From the coffee shops to the cigarette girls.

    A Corporate Mentality.
    Which our Government does not possess, despite having graduates from Business Schools running the show. They are still cronie capitialists, just another form of mobsters.

    As General Smedley Butler told US.
    Not much has changed.

    In the US or Russia.

  5. When shootings, assassination or associated violence occurs in Baghdad, Lebanon or Gaza, it's all over the News.

    But closer to home, it just does not matter. Fanning the fears, of the "way a far" while keeping the public ignorant of the nearer, more real threat.

    Mexican Officials Find 6 Bodies in Tijuana House Involved in Shootout
    01-17-2008 9:25 PM
    By LUIS PEREZ, Associated Press Writer

    TIJUANA, Mexico (Associated Press) -- Officials found six bodies Thursday inside a Tijuana house where gunmen took refuge during a shootout with soldiers and police.

    Investigators were trying to determine if the bodies belonged to gunmen or kidnaping victims kept at the house, said a spokesman for Baja California state prosecutors who was not authorized to be quoted by name.

    Soldiers, state and local police were sent in to help control the three-hour shootout that began when federal agents prepared to raid a house in a Tijuana neighborhood near the U.S. border.

    Earlier, Baja California state attorney general Rommel Moreno said in a news release that one assailant was killed and four police wounded in the shootout, that comes amid a surge in violence across the border from San Diego.

    Already this week, gunmen shot and killed eight people in Tijuana, including two local police officers, as well as a district commander, his wife and his 12-year-old daughter.

    Just miles from the open frontier to the south of San Diego, not half a world away.

    Not worthy of a moment on the MSM airwaves.

  6. Mr Bush will tell US of the Iranian threat, that once they have the nuclear knowledge, they'll be able to use it, if and when they desire.

    Same holds true for other scientific breakthroughs. In fields other than nuclear science.

    The Iranians already have the knowledge, so Mr Bush's concerns are belated, that horse has left the barn. A bit late to close the door.

    Human cloning, that is where the next big advance in knowledge is moving, forward.

    Scientists Produce Embryo Clones of 2 Men, Using Skin Cells in Step Toward Stem Cell Goal

    NEW YORK (Associated Press) -- Scientists in California say they have produced embryos that are clones of two men, a potential step toward developing scientifically valuable stem cells. The new report documents embryos made with ordinary skin cells. But it's not the first time human cloned embryos have been made. In 2005, for example, scientists in Britain reported using embryonic stem cells to produce a cloned embryo. It matured enough to produce stem cells, but none were extracted.

    Stem cells weren't produced by the new embryos either, and because of that, experts reacted coolly to the research.

    "I found it difficult to determine what was substantially new," said Doug Melton of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute. He said the "next big advance will be to create a human embryonic stem cell line" from cloned embryos. "This has yet to be achieved."

    Dr. George Daley of the Harvard institute and Children's Hospital Boston called the new report interesting but agreed that "the real splash" will be when somebody creates stem cell lines from cloned human embryos.

    "It's only a matter of time before some group succeeds," Daley said.

    Not to be left behind on the learning curve, advances are being made in merry olde England. England where organ harvesting will soon be a given. Permission assumed unless denied.

    UK Agency Tentatively Approves Proposals for Research Using Hybrid Human-Animal Embryos

    LONDON (Associated Press) -- British authorities on Thursday approved scientists' use of animal eggs to create human stem cells, a ruling that will boost the supply of stem cells for research.

    The decision means that researchers will be able to refine their techniques for producing human stem cells by practicing first on animal eggs, of which there is a steady supply. Similar work involving human-animal stem cells is also under way in China and the United States.

    "This is good news for research, but most importantly, it is good news for patients," said Sophie Petit-Zeman of the Association of Medical Research Charities.

    Building humans, or their organs from scratch, just like they did with that rats' heart.

    There's a new day a comin'
    It's a brave new world, already.

    Just needs a little more order to it.

  7. Mexicans just killing Mexicans that Americas won't. Or something.

  8. American foreign policy swagger must've rubbed the Russians the wrong way. What can you do, them Russians are a sensitive and sentimental peoples.

  9. The Arabs become cash flow positive, they buy arms.
    As do the Chinese.
    The Indians, too
    Even now, the pacifist Japanese are getting on the bandwagon.

    Alas, this is all too true. Add Iran. The horse may have left the barn, but if we had tried to do something about it, would have been a noble effort, in my view. don't forget the Paks. throw in Venezuela, anybody else that comes to mind.

    Fisher's an odd goose. Comes out of retirement once in many a moon, makes a pronouncement, heads back to his cicada hole.

    Deuce, you and I must be the only one's here that appreciate feminine beauty! :)

  10. I can judge how awake I am by the number of typos in a post. From that last, it looks like I need my coffee.

  11. Some of the material that Judicial Watch sued for from Hillary's days in the White House is starting to come out. Makes interesting reading, as to how they wanted to jerk us around, their tactics, strategies, their M.O., how to manipulate every damn thing in the nation, and their relationship with the MSM. Captains Quarters had some of it up, and WND has a piece on it. Check it out in the coming days. And contemplate eight more years....and weep.

  12. Add them all together, every single one, bob, and they still do not spend as much as US.

    The entire Iranian economy, every drop of their oil sold, amounts to less than we spend on Defense.

    How much do we bill the Gulf Arabs or the Saudis to protect them from evil intentions of Iran or Russia?

    How much does the US collect, in fees, to keep the sea lanes open, for the Chinese, Indians and Japs?

    Not a red cent.
    It is all on the cuff because, maybe, they'll drop a bundle at the tables. They are high rollers, after all, not nickel millionaires.

    The US running the world like old style Casino mobsters, with the insiders skimming the take.

    Is there nobility in criminal enterprises, yeah, there often is. Depending upon the perspective, but should the US not bill those most effected by our noble actions?

    Behaving a bit more like Howard Hughes, than Meyer Lansky?

    Or should we be shedding US blood & treasure, as penance for the sins of our fathers?

    No personal accountability for our Governmental actions. For mistakes that cost blood and treasure.
    General Myers promoted, not relieved, after 4 years of military mismanagement in Iraq.

    As further exemplified by the BIA, but writ much larger.

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  14. When the Bush papers are made public, when the Energy Task force papers that the Executive Branch has sequestered, are made public, there will be even more cause to weep, bob.

    Two sides of the same coin.
    The Clintons using the Office for petty crimes, Team43 selling US soveriegnty to the highest bidders.

    Committing US to a policy of continual escalation of a global-zone of percolating violence, by direct US action, rather than with proxies.

  15. Add to that, Rat, that a lot of them are buyig our weapons systems, and you got a hell of a screwed up topsy turvy world.

    I read somewhere that after the Spanish empire got out of central America and those little countries got their sovereignty, for a brief while, they all went to war with one another, cause 'that's what nations do.' Calmed down now though.

  16. While under Spanish rule, Central America is a colonial backwater and lags economically and culturally behind other centers. It is spared the bloody wars that characterize the independence movements of Mexico and Spanish South America. In 1823, the United Provinces of Central America is formed, consisting of Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica (Panama is part of Colombia until 1903, Belize a colony of British Honduras until 1973). Destructive civil wars and political unrest ensue, so that by 1841 the five countries split apart. Instead of realizing the dream of a united and prosperous independent isthmian nation, Central America remains a feuding cluster of city-states calling themselves "republics." Despite the failure of a union, their individual flags—all bearing a white stripe between two blue stripes (land between the two oceans)—symbolize shared histories and future hopes.
    from TimeLine Of History

    One must say though, looking on the bright side, that Europe isn't going back to the old ways, from the look of it. Surely this gives reason for real hope.

  17. In 1969, bob, there was the Soccer War, between El Salvador and Honduras. Left 3,000 dead, 6,000 wounded and caused $50 million in damage. More to the "Root Causes" than just World Cup soccer, but there you have it.

    Cuba instigating war in Central America, in the 1980s. So much so that the US took action, through proxies, to stem the tide.

    A lull in the fighting, currently, but no peace.
    Colombia and Venezuela are closer to war than ever before. Since the break up of Grand Colombia. Especially if the Russian proxies continue to gain ground, in the Middle East, the Near East, Southwest Asia and northern and central South America.

  18. Government to Give Us Some Of Our Money Back So's We Can Spend It to fix the economy. Buy Wal-Mart stock now for a short term gain.

  19. Ever wonder why the enemies of the US all use deniable proxies, but that course is next to impossible for the US to match?

    The US taking direct action, where proxies would work, just fine.

    The past five years in Iraq perfectly exemplify that, as did Vietnam.

    When the US does employ proxies, and is successful, the effort stopped before the endgame is finished.

    Early actions in Vietnam and the early days of US actions in Afghanistan exemplify that. Where our clandestine efforts begin to bear fruit, the US military stepping in to gum up the works.

  20. The "Football" War (La guerra del fĂștbol, in Spanish), also known as the 100-hours War, was a six-day war fought by El Salvador and Honduras in 1969.

    The tensions between the two nations were reflected by rioting at a football (soccer) match between them, but the war was not caused by football, as has been popularly imagined internationally. The war was caused by political differences between Hondurans and Salvadorans, including immigration from El Salvador to Honduras. Some believe the name is derived from the rioting at the football match immediately preceding the war, others that it refers to the sensationalist way in which international journalists overlapped war reporting with rioting from a series of football matches

    If wiki is right it was an immigration war. I had forgotten it ever happened but kind of remember it now. At least a real issue was involved.

  21. The Salvadoran civilians had moved into Honduras, gaining a defacto position there. The Hondos eventually took offense, stopping cross border shipments of food, and other material goods.

    Import duties, etc being avoided by the Salvadorans. The Hondos began to deport the illegal immigrants.
    War ensued.
    The Salvadoran Army did reasonably well, gaining political advantage in San Salvador, which led to further political repression, death squads and Nico/Cuban involement in the late 70's, early 80s, leading to a greater US involvement in the early and mid 80s.

    Leading to Iran/Contra and the subsequent political fallout in the US.

  22. Interesting chain of cause and effect.

  23. oh my god

    Did ya see Bush interview with Terry Moran on ABC? All he can do is beg the Saudi's to help out. Pitiful. But hey, those cherished tax cuts have done wonders for the economy, no?

    Interview can be found here:

  24. Bush is just ante-ing up from the Democratic Party offer of $300 per tax payer, Ash. Personally, I'm hoping for a bidding war, here. My vote's for sale, at a price. Awaiting the Libertarian Party to make an offer.

  25. He/we could do other things, ash.
    He/we choose not to do so.

    Since Mr Reagan asked the Saudi to lower production and raise prices, to assist Mexico and Canada, every US Presiedent has either gone themselves or sent a Cabinet level official to discuss Saudi oil production.

    That is called diplomicy.

    The US military, stationed in Kuwait and Iraq, close to 200,000 troops could sieze the Saudi oil fields in a week, maybe less.

    That is called appropriation by force.

    Between the two options there are other courses which the US maybe pursuing, behind the scenes.

    It'd be easier to take the Saudi fields than the Iranian or Iraqi, in the long term.
    There are many fewer people involved, and the Shia population living on top of the oil, reportedly not accorded full Saudi citizenship nor the financial advantages that come with it.

    If the US did sieze those fields, the Iranians would be taken aback, solving that challenge, short term, at least.

    We could then use the income from the Saudi fields to pay off the Shia in Iraq and Saudi Arabia, forming a better strategic and religious balance to the Iranians.

    That action could be described in many ways, but I'm sure "pitiful" would not be one you or Billary would use.

    Not likely to occur, though.

  26. It was that 'please your Highness it hurts' line that didn't sound too ... ummm...useful and likely to get a positive response.

  27. That's an attractive idea, Rat, I must say. And I'm not be facetious. We could say we are freeing the half of the Saudi population -more, really- that lives under the whip, give the women driver's licenses, etc. Tyranny often is stable, till it gets a shock from the outside. Strike a blow for the mind's freedom, fill the gas tank at the same time. Everybody wins, but like you say, ain't going to happen.

  28. Mr Bush's vocabulary and word choices have never been his strong suit.

    That continues apace.

  29. his speaking ability reflects his thinking ability.