Wednesday, August 24, 2016

I Said It Many Times Before.

A superb piece by Dirk Bezemer and Michael Hudson in today's Unz Review. Couldn't miss it: Finance Is Not the Economy. I couldn't miss this insightful, albeit fairly long, piece since one of the major premises of my blog's existence is my both academic and empirical understanding of finances as merely a tool servicing a real economy, which, in the end is based around manufacturing of actual goods and services. That is also where the real GDP is. There are many wonderful insights in this article but I want to leave you here with one quote which I find particularly important:

"Asset prices can rise only by debt creation or by diverting current income. The recognition that such debt-fueled inflation of asset prices is a form of rent extraction is central to our analysis of its unsustainability. By contrast, the now conventional economic models give us no handle to even start addressing these phenomena. By viewing capital gains as transfers instead of as income, we define the long-term sustainability of capital gains and asset prices in terms of trends in disposable income plus debt growth. Just as a Ponzi scheme must collapse with mathematical certainty (even though the timing of the collapse is uncertain), so it is with asset markets that expand faster than income growth. The divergence between income growth and rent extraction (asset price growth and financial transfers) is unsustainable, although, by going global, asset markets can be kept inflated over decades."

In general, don't spare your time and delve into this important piece by Bezemer and Hudson. This will also give a new impulse for continuation of my  Military Power series.  

Monday, August 22, 2016

Everybody Was Kung Fu Fighting....

OK, people, this is getting ridiculous. French MP wants mandatory martial arts classes in schools following terrorist attacks. Are these people for real?  Make no mistake, I am all for martial arts. I spent years being trained by some very impressive martial artists, starting from Kyokushinkai (by my friend, 3rd Dan) and eventually moving to "softer" styles of Kung Fu. And I am talking about full contact and grueling training sessions, not some BS for teenagers. My kimono was dirty and bloody, some spots never washed away. My, fairly limited, skills did come handy couple of times but never in my mind would I think that I could use those in the situation with terrorism. In the end, my very close friends, who trained number of special units of KGB and MVD would never even think about instructing fighters of those units to drop their AK-74s (or AKSU) in a face of armed and determined enemy. A really great martial arts skills which can make a difference are a realm for a relatively narrow strata among attendees of all kinds of martial arts groups and overwhelming majority of those attendees do it mostly for psychological self-assurance, while never getting serious skills which would allow them to effectively defend themselves. Those skills come through a lot (and I mean a lot) of pain and blood. And here are some things which all those Europeans may (but will not) take as a lesson from USSR/Russia. 

Instead of imposing mostly useless exercise in futility, how about looking at this:

These are not fake, albeit on the second photo I would have really kicked the ass of the teacher for pointing, even if unloaded and disabled, AK towards students. Let me explain why those are not fake--because in my time it also was absolutely normal to come to the lesson on physics or geography with AKM (later AK-74) if we would have some exercises in the course of NVP (Nachalnaya Voennaya Podgotovka--Basic Military Training) after this lesson. These photos are most likely from Belarus or Kazakhstan where the subject of NVP not never was cancelled (unlike it was in Russia) but thrives and rightly so. I, as well as very many of my peers in USSR knew how to assemble-disassemble AK as early as 5-6th grade,  we learned about basic tactics in offense and defense (squad-platoon), by 10th grade we would be on the nearest military unit's firing range firing real live ammo from Kalashnikovs--these were and are real requirements for the graduate of the high schools. Russia is also re-introducing NVP in its schools. And here is an advice to this Euro-morons--get your kids trained in basic weapons, in how to react to terrorists and terrorist acts, how to profile, how to avoid being hurt in stressful situations, how to develop a cohesion in a class during an attack, how to move. Yes, I know, all this is a wishful thinking--no European nation will implement this, because everything is fine, everything is peachy and shooting, decapitating, stabbing, blowing people up or executing them because they are infidels is not a war, no--it is just a cultural enrichment and it has to be gladly accepted. Exercising an idea that a boy is on his way to becoming a man and that any man must have basic weapons and tactics skills is so not metro-sexual, is so not tolerant, is so not-Euro.......But is all fun and games.


Can US Still Save Itself-III?

As you may know, I treat The National Interest magazine with degree of irony and sarcasm. Their headlines on military matters most of the time are hilarious and hark back to the days of good ole' traveling fairs with chapiteau circuses promising all kinds of "showdowns", "world-class", "champions of the world", "deadliest", what have you, entertainment just to attract the public. But once in a while even TNI puts out a worthy material written by real professionals--such as Lt. Colonel Davies--and then it makes total sense to discuss them. Such material is a fairly short article by Barry Given with telling title:

American Power in an Age of Disorder

It is a thoughtful piece and the phrase which drives the point is:

The liberal ethos that has been the foundation of American primacy is proving to be a weak barricade against national, ethnic or religious identity, even deep within the Western alliance. Democracy provides no answer when tribal animosities take hold and groups are pitted against groups.

Not for once did I point out that nation is a tribe, in which blood, ethnicity, race play a defining role together with culture. These are things which American "elites" refuse to acknowledge. Any mentioning of the fact that, contrary to politically correct narratives, United States' achievements in industry, science, culture, business were primarily due to the activity of the white European, ethnically and culturally (predominantly with Christian background), component may give current US "elites" an aneurysm. But facts are undeniable, from Russians Igor Sikorsky and Vladimir Zworykin, to Germans Werner Von Brown and William Boeing, to purely US-bred and USDA approved Anglo genius Samuel Clemens--these are mostly people of European background, including less prominent but still immensely important millions upon millions of English, Italian, Irish, Slavic Europeans who made the American nation. Remove these people, their culture and there is no United States left. I deliberately omit here the issue of minorities, including that of a black one--they do have their place in American history and culture but how many of them today identify themselves as Americans? 

While European people constituted an overwhelming majority in the US, the idea of a nation built primarily upon political and ideological creed, where liberty and pursuit of happiness trumps blood and cultures, with their differences, such an idea could existIt can not today and this is where we have a problem, a huge one. By failing to properly identify itself as predominantly nation of Europeans with European culture as a pivot, US also failed to formulate properly a real national interest--today it is nothing more than a patchwork of various, often competing and contradictory, interests of different ethnic, religious or social groups. AIPAC is a shining example of such a complete mess. How can anyone formulate own interest when one can not identify oneself coherently? But this is the only way human world, which existed tens of thousands years before United States came into existence, identified itself--by race, by blood, by culture, by religion. The whole notion that the country which came together in what could only be described as the most favorable geographic and geopolitical conditions will dictate to the world how it is supposed to view itself is, frankly, preposterous. But even that is not the worst part--the worst one is identifying WHAT American nation. Is it a nation of Black Lives Matter, thug culture, ethnic and religious mafias running a disastrous foreign policy, steadily turning into multicultural cloaca of liberal dogma or is it a nation of those who created it and these are Europeans? I don't know the answer yet. I hope it is the latter, because the former means only one thing--chaos and eventual dissolution (some will only be too happy to see it) of what used to be an American nation under the weight of colossal and unsolvable problems both domestically and internationally. 

Is there a way out of this conundrum? Again, I don't know but here is what I know for sure--until United States identifies itself as the North America-specific, geography wise, iteration of European culture and places this identity at the core of its culture, the descent, guided by totally corrupt "elites" who have no loyalty to Americans, will continue. It will continue domestically--into the third world state, it will continue internationally with US serving as the agent of chaos which is incapable anymore to let go of the idea that it is an "exceptional nation", while it resembles nation less and less, and loses what's left of its moral, economic and military power. Internationally, US has no other option but to work with world's great powers and doing what this blog was calling from the inception--finding a compromise and accommodation. This only is possible under the condition of US formulating its national interests as a nation and I really hope that this ultimately needed process will not be described by Given's closing phrase to his poignant article: The problem is that it doesn’t seem to be possible. If it will, indeed, turn out to be true, we better start thinking how can we salvage the best what will be left, if any. I lived (rather, survived) through collapse of one empire, I hope to avoid experiencing the second one.          


Friday, August 19, 2016

Now, Something For Ones In The Real Know.

These were early 1980s and it was incredible Baku and Naval Academy's Discotheques. Girls actually looked like girls and they smelled with French and Arab perfumes... We thought it was Indian music--it was Pakistani. Who would know then.... Yet it was good. 


This Music Is Beyond Good.

Yes, I watched Ghost World but I grew up with Indian movies, so, for me watching this was not a revelation. And yes, this music is incredible. In fact, this music is so bad it is incredibly good in its own right. Mohammed Rafi is an absolute embodiment of cool. Enjoy your weekend with this stroke of absolute choreographic and music genius.

P.S. Thora Birch and Scarlett are merely a bonus;-)  

Mosquito Bites Again.

Meanwhile in Mediterranean, Russian Navy continues to settle in the new (old) operational concept of keeping MRKs (Small Missile Ships) at station both in anti-shipping and land-attack configurations. JAN terrorists definitely could do without this kind of deliveries but, as the proverb goes, if in the first act of theater play there is a rifle hanging from the wall on the stage, in the last act it must shoot. Here is a lovely video of Zelyonyi Dol and Serpukhov sending well Kalibrated messages to animals. 


Here is how those messages are delivered. 

And here is one of the results of "from Russia with rather peculiar GLONASS and inertial guidance kind of high precision love". 

The work of obliterating terrorists continues.     

Russia's New Education Minister.

While the world's attention is focused elsewhere, President Putin made a step which potentially may have a strategic ramifications. He accepted "resignation" of Russia's Education Minister Dmitri Livanov and appointed to this position Olga Vasilieva.  I am going to abstain here from "analytical" speculations on what Livanov's appointment to the post of President's Envoy on trade and economic relations with Ukraine means--for that we have an army of "analysts" who will, as always, read into it much more than it is in reality, but having Vasilieva as Education Minister is a game changer. Livanov was an ultra-liberal creature who, together with a cabal of liberals in power, dealt a lot of damage to once superb system of education. Vasilieva is everything liberal "elites" hate and dread. 

Three words associated with this highly educated (Ph.D in history, also a graduate of Diplomatic Academy, widely published) woman are: Patriotism, Conservatism, Orthodoxy. Do you hear the skulls cracking in Moscow High School Of Economics? Vasilieva is an embodiment of what was being steadily withdrawn from Russia's education system--last vestiges of extremely high academic level of education, own educational tradition dating way back before any Bologna (rather, baloney) Process  existed: patriotism, focus on precise sciences and Russian literature and history, and, in general, educating people with the wholesome world view, with principles and knowledge. Here is one of Vasilieva's many quotes: 

"Our country is the only country in the world, which, after 1917, in 1991 survived second social-political crisis. As in post-revolutionary period before 1934, the time span between 1991 through 2002 was the time when there was no talk about patriotism, the very notion of patriotism, love to Fatherland, heroism was uprooted and did not exist in public consciousness."     

I can not emphasize enough the importance of references in this single phrase, especially for 1934. I can already imagine cohorts of liberal "journalists" screaming bloody murder and "back to Stalinism". But it is not about Stalinism, unless one considers a close match in world views by Stalin and Czar Alexander III (a man Vasilieva admires), who stated that Russia has only two allies--her Army and Navy, a coincidence. It is a great move by Putin and, hopefully, a long awaited relief from the idiocy of the imposed worst features of the Western education, which long ago stopped being such and transformed itself into indoctrination with the values which are in the foundation of today's troubles in US and, especially so--in Europe. As Vasilieva stated: "today's students are tomorrow's nation".  And the times when nations rise and non-nations fall are at hand.