‘Politics’ Category

  1. “A quasi-religious faith in a pan-European identity”

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    January 23, 2017 by AK

    At last, a piece on the “alt-right” that doesn’t mention Dugin! Plus, it hinges on this worthwhile observation: The alt-right’s love of Europeanism blends racial politics with a quasi-religious faith in a pan-European identity. Says Devin Burghart, vice president of the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights: “It is white nationalist internationalism,” he added. The aim “is …
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  2. The ingredients of poison

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    January 19, 2017 by AK

    Marina Warner’s recent post on the LRB blog has tempted me to write about Russian theater and about bobeobi, but I don’t know where to start. Let’s say the Russian theater is enjoying yet another golden, or at least gilded, age but there’s little coverage of it in the Anglophone press apart from John Freedman’s …
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  3. Jokes for the DDCI

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    January 18, 2017 by AK

    On a lighter note, a small selection of Soviet jokes from the recently declassified CIA documents, “Soviet Jokes for the DDCI” (deputy director of central intelligence). I’m not sure if I heard numbers two and three; the rest are familiar in some variation. The stuff’s undated – I’d venture 1987. That year or a little …
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  4. Humming

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    January 13, 2017 by AK

    One If you were in the real estate business in NYC, London or Toronto in the late 1980s, the 1990s or the noughties, there’s no way you could have avoided dealing with shady operators of Soviet or third-world extraction. I can’t tell if the cash inflow from the former USSR into UK and US real estate was greater …
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  5. Amusing trivia

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    January 12, 2017 by AK

    Max Boot writes in his latest NYT op-ed: Mr. Trump himself is doing nothing to dispel suspicions with his hyperbolic attacks and his denials that he has business interests in Russia — when his dealings there go back decades. So far, no evidence has surfaced of any real estate deals Trump may have done in …
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  6. Vlad: the Omnipotent Cat

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    December 17, 2016 by AK

    Ivan Krylov published The Mouse and the Rat in 1816. My rough translation follows, without the last quatrain, or the “moral” of the fable. “Dear neighbor, have your heard the good rumors?” Said Mouse to Rat, running in. “They say the cat has fallen into the lion’s claws? It’s time for us to have some rest.” “Don’t rejoice, …
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  7. Tillerson 3

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    December 13, 2016 by AK

    In March 2014 – right after Moscow’s Crimea operation – Christopher Helman, who covers the energy business for Forbes, wrote: So why has Exxon excelled there [in Russia]? I think it’s because Exxon has proven itself to be as hard-nosed as Putin is. Agreed. I’m not so sure about the following, however, since the Kremlin’s thought process is …
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  8. Tillerson

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    December 11, 2016 by AK

    In dealing with Russian authorities, Exxon has always stood out among its peers for toughness. The company has steadfastly rejected opportunities that would not put it in control of a project: it would rather stay away altogether. As a result, 20 years after signing the original production-sharing agreement (PSA), ExxonMobil remains the operator and the …
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  9. “Institutions of direct democracy”

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    December 1, 2016 by AK

    TASS reports on Putin’s annual address to the Russian parliament (the Duma and the Federation Council): The policy of developing the political system and institutions of direct democracy, as well as enhancing the elections’ competitiveness will be continued, the president notes. I can’t think of “institutions of direct democracy” in our time apart from referendums …
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  10. A little too late

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    November 24, 2016 by AK

    They should have done it in 2014: Lawmakers [MEPs] voted on November 23 in favor of a motion condemning Russian state media outlets like the television channel RT and the news agency Sputnik for disseminating “absolutely fake” news. They said the Kremlin was using “a wide range of tools and instruments”, including think tanks, multilingual …
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