Category Archives: Russia

No Wonder Assad Needs A Sugar Daddy

Foreign Policy, Islam, John McCain, Middle East, Neoconservatism, Russia

Crazy neoconservative John McCain has repeated his crazy talk to the effect that Bashar Assad is the father of ISIS. The guy doesn’t know Shia from Shinola. As an Alawite, Al-Assad belongs to the opposing, Shia strand of Islam.

Like the Iranians, Assad is enemy of ISIS. (Another forgetful folk are the Israelis, who’ve forgotten that Assad’s grandfather, a wise man, was a Zionist.)

The neocons destabilized the Middle East all by their lonesome. Now American mainstream think tanks are framing strongman Assad for what they wrought and have trained their sights on him. The neocon ghouls are just waiting for a clueless clown like Marco Rubio to oblige them with a war on Syria.

Assad knows he and his family are at the mercy of loons like McMussolini; that his wife and kids will live and die by the say-so of the fools. Any wonder Assad has wisely sought out the Russians to help him stay alive?

McCain’s vacation pictures to Syria, in 2013, were snapped by his then ISIS pals. Don’t believe me? Read on.

Marco Rubio’s Insane Ideation

Elections, Foreign Policy, Neoconservatism, Republicans, Russia

If America busies itself not with war, but with commerce, the shift in prestige will be away from politicians and back to The People and the private economy. At bottom, what neoconservative Macro Rubio is petrified about—reflexively, not consciously—is no longer being a politician in the country that is the number one bully of the world. What will the likes of Rubio and others like him do? Their ambitions will be stymied.

Marco Rubio’s rabid neoconservative ideation surfaced during the second primary season Republican debate, at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California:


Well, first of all, I have an understanding of exactly what it is Russia and Putin are doing, and it’s pretty straightforward. He wants to reposition Russia, once again, as a geopolitical force.

He himself said that the destruction of the Soviet Union — the fall of the Soviet Union was the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the 20th century, and now he’s trying to reverse that.

He’s trying to destroy NATO [boohoo]. And this is what this is a part of. He is exploiting a vacuum that this administration has left in the Middle East.

Here’s what you’re gonna see in the next few weeks: the Russians will begin to fly — fly combat missions in that region, not just targeting ISIS, but in order to prop up Assad.

He will also, then, turn to other countries in the region and say, “America is no longer a reliable ally, Egypt. America is no longer a reliable ally, Saudi Arabia. Begin to rely on us.”

What he is doing is he is trying to replace us as the single most important power broker in the Middle East, and this president is allowing it. That is what is happening in the Middle East. That’s what’s happening with Russia, and…

Incidentally, CNN must have done a fair job at the debate, because Sean Hannity was going blotto on the radio, dismissing the event as no more than the political equivalent of Vince McMahon’s World Wrestling Entertainment. Juxtapose CNN’s relaxed timing with dominatrix Megyn Kelly’s whipping the men into shape—and the dialogue encouraged between candidates last night looks like another positive feature of the event. I agree with Donald Trump that the event was too long.

AL Jazeera And RToo On America

America, Left-Liberalism, Media, Middle East, Russia

a DRUDGE headline blares: “AL JAZEERA July 4 vid mocks Americans as fat, gun-toting, pill-poping, porn-watching racists …” Al-Jaz has always been a clone of the American left. John Stewart on steroids. RT, however, used to have a strong libertarian streak. No more. The American anchor babes took control there and that was that. The Al-Jaz headline could have come from RT (which went instead with as a mild “Number of ‘extremely proud’ Americans drops by 3 percent”).

UPDATE II: Lagging Labor Participation (Just Another Gov. Index)

America, Canada, Economy, Europe, Labor, Russia

About the decline in US labor-force participation, when compared to other developed countries: One would think that the US has to have an absolute greater labor participation percentage than the rest of the far-less vibrant, Third-Way, Western economies, given the vitality of our economy. What RT is screeching about pertains to the rate of decline in US labor participation rates. One would expect this to be more precipitous in our economy, given that extreme welfarism and interventionism in labor markets are newer here than in the already atrophied European economies.

RT Boom & Bust: “The US stands alone, at least when it comes to labor participation rates. If you compare America to seven other advanced economies, such as Canada, France, and Germany, it’s the only country that hasn’t shown gains in labor force participation over the past 15 years. That’s according to a new study out by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Boom Bust’s Ameera David weighs in.”

First, Russia’s labor-force participation rate, if these figures are accurate, is better than expected:

“The World Bank provides data for Russia from 1990 to 2012. The average value for Russia during that period was 61.9 percent with a minimum of 57 percent in 1998 and a maximum of 67.2 percent in 1990.”

The OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development) ranks the Russian Federation at 68.2 participation rate, in 2011. Not bad.

The number of Americans not in the labor force, as of 05/08/2015, is a staggering 93,194K, “with the result being a participation rate of 69.45 or just above the lowest percentage since 1977.”

This still puts the US above all other developed countries, besides Sweden, Norway and Iceland whose participation rates are in the 70s.

These 2013-2014 values for G-20 Economies are somewhat different:

Labour Force Participation Rate – USA 62.60% Apr-2014
Labour Force Participation Rate – Japan 59.06% Mar-2014
Labour Force Participation Rate – Germany 60.40% Nov-2013
Labour Force Participation Rate – France 56.50% Nov-2013
Labour Force Participation Rate – Brazil 55.86% Mar-2014
Labour Force Participation Rate – UK 62.90% Nov-2013
Labour Force Participation Rate – Italy 49.20% Nov-2013
Labour Force Participation Rate – Canada 65.60% Apr-2014
Labour Force Participation Rate – Australia 64.81% Apr-2014
Labour Force Participation Rate – Spain 58.80% Nov-2013
Labour Force Participation Rate – Mexico 59.64% Nov-2013
Labour Force Participation Rate – South Korea 61.79% Mar-2014
Labour Force Participation Rate – Indonesia 66.90% Aug-2013
Labour Force Participation Rate – Turkey 49.12% Feb-2014
Labour Force Participation Rate – Argentina 60.53% May-2013
Labour Force Participation Rate – South Africa 57.13% Nov-2013

The Rest are Here …

UPDATE I (6/28): Labor Participation: Just Another Gov. Index.

Europe has all sorts of labor laws, increasingly creeping up on America. For example, job-sharing. Instead of firing, two individuals will be forced to “share” one job. Fewer work hours and less pay is involved, but “labor participation” is kept up artificially. Naturally, the more skilled occupations are less prone to this central tinkering.

Yes, productivity: I am told by my sources in high-tech hubs that while the great American companies will have one super-duper specialist working on, say, a niche design in a product; the Scandinavian competitors—countries that sport the highest labor-participation—will have seven experts working that niche in a product.

In other words, productivity in an American mega-company is way higher, with one man doing the work of seven. However, the obviously misleading labor-participation index will lag the more productive a country is.

UPDATE II: Via Facebook Thread:

John Clement: If the job participation rate is at 69.45% then why isn’t the unemployment rate at 30.55%?

Ilana Mercer: John Clement, we presumed that LPR is calculated on the basis of an estimation of the number of people who ought to be working. So if total employment is 100%, your point is a good one.