An enduring myth about the Soviet Union is that its economy collapsed under the burden of its military spending. This story allows America to congratulate itself on "winning" the Cold War by driving it to collapse under the fiscal weight of the arms race.
This is not true. (1/8)
In fact, the Soviet military industrial complex was by far the most cost effective and technologically sophisticated sector of the Soviet economy. The general academic consensus is that the Soviet Union had a comparative advantage in both military R&D and production. (2/8)
Mark Harrison, a economic historian who specializes in the Soviet Economy, wrote that nobody "saw the Soviet Union being crushed under an unbearable military burden." He furthermore deduced a counterintuitive motivation for Soviet secrecy about such matters. (3/8)
The Soviets were secretive about defense expenditures – not to hide a crushing fiscal burden, but actually to hide how cheaply they were able to make weapons! The Soviet state made a huge profit exporting weaponry, and did not wish to make known the size of the markup. (4/8)
I for one do not believe these mistakes were entirely innocent. I can relate to doctors in fields not closely related to covid being unwilling or unable to speak up. And I can relate to bureaucrats and political functionaries being afraid to speak up. Same for low-level hospital administrators, academics, and scientists. But people at or near the top of the food chain who banned early treatments, mandated vaccines, restricted hospital treatments, denied religious and other exemptions, wrote garbage “news” stories about all of this, you behaved very badly.
The Buddhist way out of this terrible karma you have incurred is: 1) publicly admit your mistakes; 2) apologize for your mistakes; 3) make amends for your mistakes as you are able and as are proportionate to the harm caused; 4) vow never to do anything like that again. Take your lumps, suffer for having violated your own conscience. Then, when all of this has been completed and you have done your best and your vow is strong, put it behind you and dwell on it no more. For many for whom the above is necessary, this period of remorse and self-examination should last at least a year or more. ABN
“What you’re seeing is a full scale attack on free speech in a country that has been free for nearly 250 years. And it’s happening at the direction of the US government through a law enforcement agency.” ~TC
Compos mentis means “of sound mind.” Another great essay by Carlson. ABN
Poland does have legitimate historical claims on that region, though they gave those up at the fall of the Soviet Union. But they gave those claims up to the government of Ukraine which is now a mess, so what to make of it today? This is a daring move for Poland and may cause the war to widen, which may be precisely what the NATO cabal wants. If Ukraine eventually is divvied up among its present neighbors, that is not necessarily a bad thing. Expanding the war today or risking an attack on Poland itself, however, does not look like a good idea to me. ABN
Built around 1180 and is dedicated to the Apostle Andrew. The church is exceptionally well preserved and is one of the most distinctive stave churches in Norway. Some of the finest features are the lavishly carved portals and the roof carvings of dragons’s heads. The stavchurches are Norway’s most important contribution to world architecture and Norway’s oldest preserved timber buildings.~link
Washington, D.C. – In spite of French-led U.N. Security Council Resolution 1973 creating a no-fly zone over Libya with the express intent of protecting civilians, one of the over 3,000 new Hillary Clinton emails released by the State Department on New Year’s Eve, contain damning evidence of Western nations using NATO as a tool to topple Libyan leader Muammar al-Gaddafi. The NATO overthrow was not for the protection of the people, but instead it was to thwart Gaddafi’s attempt to create a gold-backed African currency to compete with the Western central banking monopoly.
The emails indicate the French-led NATO military initiative in Libya was also driven by a desire to gain access to a greater share of Libyan oil production, and to undermine a long term plan by Gaddafi to supplant France as the dominant power in the Francophone Africa region.
The war in the Ukraine continues but the propaganda hysteria around it seems to have calmed down a bit as reality is setting in.
This gives room from more sane voices to be heard by the public. I will start with the Russian ones.
The Russian ambassador to the U.S., Anatoly Antonov, was interviewed by Newsweek. He explained Russia’s political and judicial reasoning behind the war:
“The special operation in Ukraine is the result of the unwillingness of the Kiev regime to stop the genocide of Russians by fulfilling its obligations under the international commitments,” Antonov told Newsweek. “The desire of the NATO member states to use the territory of a neighboring state to establish a foothold in the struggle against Russia is also obvious.”
This is the most important article I ever wrote, as it is key to understanding the past two years. I began it in May 2020 and kept adding items.
It is remarkable that a large series of events taking place over the past months produced a unified message about hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), and produced similar policies about the drug in the US, Canada, Australia, NZ and western Europe. The message is that generic, inexpensive hydroxychloroquine (costing only $1.00 to produce a full course) is dangerous and should not be used to treat a potentially fatal disease, Covid-19, for which there are no (other) reliable treatments.