July 11, 2017

In the Moscow marketplace.

moscow mall

Version 2

2 selections from Google Street View. I'm exploring Moscow because Russia is much in the news today. Here at Meadhouse, we were watching CNN and MSNBC — so many happy, even exultant faces. It was a veritable feast, TREASON! was on the menu, and the hosts were encouraging the guests to go ahead and order that most expensive item. The salivation was audible.

57 comments:

Chuck said...

Lulz.

New York Post: "Donald Trump Jr. is an idiot."

http://nypost.com/2017/07/11/donald-trump-jr-is-an-idiot/

Arguably, with his father posting a Tweet about Hillary emails on the same day as the now-infamous Russian lawyer meeting, Sr. is something of an idiot too.

Oh well; Trump may have lost the confidence of the Journal, the Post, the Republican congressional leadership, and most of Fox News, and with Drudge now placing that NY Post headline above the banner... He's still got the monkey-butler Sean Hannity ready to serve the master.

Ann Althouse said...

The "cruel neutrality" brand isn't a commitment to having no opinions. Really, Once written, you keep repeating yourself, and it is boring. Everyone knows what you have to say, and look what you've done here. There are 4 comments, and 3 are from you, all saying something you've already said many times before. Frankly, I should delete all of them, because you're doing clutter, not contributing to conversation. This is a warning. In the future, I will delete. Stop the name calling too.

Gusty Winds said...

I'm pretty sure all the MSNBC/CNN/Clinton supporters thought Ellsworth M. Toohey was the hero in "The Fountainhead".

Unknown said...

As IF the readers and commenters here wouldn't be exultant if the shoe were on the other foot.

Birkel said...

Unknown51, OWT and Chuck share an opinion. Noted.

Gusty Winds said...

The NY Post story has a point. Pretty bonehead move on Don Jr.'s part. Probably trying to gain Dad's approval over Ivanka and her husband.

The scammers must have known he was ripe.

Birkel said...

Unknown51,

It was better when you typed show. That was a nice play on words given the nature of the post. Correcting your typing to shoe made you comment boring and predictable. As a bit of friendly criticism, your edit was a bad decision.

DKWalser said...

I've been trying to read the Trump, Jr., email exchange in the way most damaging to the President and it's still very thin gruel. At best, they have the President's son accepting a meeting with someone who promises to provide some damaging information on Hillary and hints that the source of the information is from the Russian government. That's it? Are we to believe that Hillary's team wouldn't have met (and didn't meet) to hear a similar proposal?

We know Hillary was paying people big bucks to try to dig up dirt on Trump. (That's NOT unusual. Most campaigns engage in such tactics.) Some of that money was spent on foreign sources. I'm not buying the claim that Hillary would have turned down any information that somehow passed through Russian hands.

D said...

Sorry. I type slower evidently.

Plus i added a bit about pastel walls

Gusty Winds said...

I thought 'cruel neutrality' just meant daring to post outside the Madison, WI / UW party line without fearing being driven out of town.

I don't always agree with the Professor, but give her a lot of credit for posting what she does in the area she lives. And she jabs her commenters too.

The whole Phil Donahue mansplaining thing I thought was ridiculous. But also cruel and neutrally consistent.

Ann Althouse said...

Once written, I can't accept the level of participation you are doing here. You are impairing the conversation and not responding decently to what I took the time to write to you. You have abused the privilege of commenting here. I'm deleting you now.

Gusty Winds said...

Too bad the source didn't deliver the goods. Isn't anyone interested in 20% of US uranium being sold to the Russians?

No big deal I guess. But hacking Podesta's gmail and exposing his taste for spirit cooking cuisine; you can destroy the country with that kind of info.

Birkel said...

Unknown51,

Your unwitting humor was not boring. Sorry you can't take a compliment.

clint said...

Once -- did you ever explain what makes this lunch meeting so much worse than the dossier?

The dossier was information from foreign agents, purchased by the Clinton Campaign, spread around Washington, and triggering an FBI investigation.

I heard a lot of screaming from the right about it -- claiming that the information was false and the source unreliable.

I didn't hear anyone claiming that there was anything wrong or illegal about the Clinton Campaign hiring foreign operatives to do opposition research. Did you?

Ann Althouse said...

"I thought 'cruel neutrality' just meant daring to post outside the Madison, WI / UW party line without fearing being driven out of town."

The original "cruel neutrality" was a decision to blog the 2004 election without supporting either candidate. I took a vow not to choose a candidate until right before the election. In the end, I took a position in an October post called "How Kerry Lost Me."

Mostly it's a position I take because I'm not interested in helping one side or the other and I feel distanced from politics, even though I write about it a lot.

I tend to needle liberals more than conservatives because I'm more of a liberal myself and because nearly everyone in my real-world environment is left of center.

Ralph L said...

if the show were on the other foot.

Enough with the hairy feet.

DKWalser said...

"Althouse Hillbillies" is a way of "othering" those you disagree with. It is based on a cruel slur of us who come from Appalachia. It's on par with calling a group of Hispanics "wetbacks" and then claiming that they just don't like the term cause it strikes too close to home. Other than that, it adds nothing substantive to the debate.

Narayanan Subramanian said...

Gusty winds .... I would say that alinsky was toohey's spawn and therefore hillary's hero. Roark would not look at her.

Ann Althouse said...

I don't accept one commenter putting up multiple comments that don't add new material, especially when the person is in the first few comments. What possesses someone to put up 4 of the first 5 comments and to just shit on the post. I consider it bad faith. When I point out that I consider it bad and that it's a warning to change, that person should have been very apologetic and promised to try to change and meet my standards. Because he didn't, he marked himself as a bad faith commenter, meaning — as I put it in the instructions above the compose window — one of the "a small handful of commenters who, I believe, intend to ruin this forum." Arguing with me about my standards is a mistake. This is my blog, and my standards necessarily apply. If you like different standards, write on your own blog.

Gusty Winds said...

Speaking of the dossier....maybe it was Don Jr. who purchased the urinating hookers for his Dad in another effort to gain favor. They were probably waiting there as a surprise.

Ivanka and Jared had already impressed everyone being able to tell the difference between Beluga and Sterlet caviar wearing blindfolds.

Poor Don Jr.

What we will all probably learn that he's the Jan Brady of the fir three Trump kids.

"Everything is always vanka, vanka, vanka...."

Ralph L said...

GEM gone Gucci Gucci.

eddie willers said...

Everyone keeps calling you he, Once, but I swear you write like a girl.

mezzrow said...

Professor, you can't reason with a bot. That's what's up here.

I'm not saying there isn't a human life-support system involved (maybe), but what we have here is a bot. A rude bot, but a bot nonetheless.

Birkel said...

Remember, all, that comments referring to a banned commenter will also be deleted. Don't waste the pixels and make the hostess' job harder.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

It is TREASON to do any opposition research on dear leader Hillary.

Repent!

Ann Althouse said...

If you are getting deleted, you should not keep posting. You are proving your bad faith! Go away now. Find something else to do.

Ann Althouse said...

Once you are on my bad faith list, I delete without reading. Posting comments is not a way to communicate with me. You cannot redeem yourself with arguments or even the kind of good comments you could have started writing. I will not be reading it.

Birkel said...

When writing in the subjunctive tense (or mood) one should use were and not was.

buwaya said...

Russia is in an interesting situation.
They aren't merely an economy living off Hydrocarbons.

If they were they would be no more significant than Saudi Arabia, or rather less so due to the lack of a religious/ideological dimension to their power, they lost that and a lot of other power-enhancing assets in 1991.
However, they really have grown in other ways.

Russia is, again, as in Tsarist times, a great food exporter. And this is without the Ukrainian breadbasket.

And it has about doubled its per capita gdp since the fall of the Soviet Union - and this growth occurred in times of high and low energy prices. The prosperity in the upmarket parts of the place are good indicators.

Note also that Russia was badly hit by the same recession as the US and Western Europe in 2008-2009, but recovered extremely quickly (helped by energy prices of course) but even this recovery was nowhere near as fast as the previous growth decade of 1998-2008, when it was one of the fastest growing economies in the world. I suspect that its slow growth since then was part of the general global malaise, though in their case buffered by oil & gas.

Looking at the big picture, they really aren't like Saudi Arabia, as energy exports, though very large, are a smaller share of the economy, and a much smaller amount per capita, than the Arab oil kingdoms, as it has a much larger population and they do actually make things.

As there is no longer a religious-ideological war with them I don't see why they should not be treated as simply another nation. Russia, without an ideology, is in no way a challenger of the Pax Americana.

clint said...

Re: the picture above...

Is that G.U.M.? The big shopping mall on Red Square?

It looks just like a western shopping mall. What a difference. Lenin must be rolling over in his Tomb.

I guess I should look in to this Google Street View thing. I did a lot of traveling when I first graduated college. It might be fun to see how much those places have changed.

Birkel said...

buwaya,
The energy sector is Russia's greatest lever against Europe, as I understand it. Is that not so?

Ann Althouse said...

I'm not trying to engage people in the topic of my deletion of comments and bad faith and I will be deleting my own comments soon, so don't discuss them.

Ann Althouse said...

"Is that G.U.M.? The big shopping mall on Red Square?"

I don't know the name of it, but yes, it's near/in Red Square. It's very high end.

pacwest said...

"The salivation was audible."

Nice.

Birkel said...

Is it any wonder that the abusive side has lost the middle? Over 1000 Democrat politicians who now work elsewhere would like to know.

Out: Triangulation.
In: Strangulation.

We are watching the auto-erotic asphyxiation of the Left.

I am not Laslo.

buwaya said...

Birkel,

There are two ways to look at this.

Gas was a lever vs its neighbors and Western Europe, being at one time more a tool than an economic asset. But its economic value grew (as the stagnating old Soviet Union became much more dependent on foreign exchange denominated imports). And more so non-Communist Russia.

The old tool in service of strategic interests itself became a strategic interest.
That changes things. The threat of withholding the gas-pipe from those addicted to it becomes less like a genuine threat, if the goal is to keep them sucking on the pipe. Threats are likely to drive them to another vendor.

buwaya said...

To put it another way, all the old advice to engage with an adversary, offered so often and so uselessly re Cuba, for instance, and applied with gusto to China for the last forty years, applies enormously more so with respect to Russia. Russia has nothing genuine to gain from foreign aggression, and a lot to get rich (or much richer) on through business and trade.

There is an awful lot in Russia to invest in. Make peace.

Ralph L said...

Is that G.U.M.?
The architecture looks like it to me. I came up with GEM, which was a strange store in Alexandria decades ago. Now a Home Depot.

Russia, without an ideology, is in no way a challenger of the Pax Americana.

What's left of the Light Brigade might disagree.
But at least they aren't as rich as the Chinese, so they can't project power like they used to.

Birkel said...

If that analysis is correct, buwaya, then perhaps Russia overplayed its hand during the recent Ukranian unpleasantness. Trump is exporting natural gas (which is good for the environment) and decreasing Russian influence over Poland.

But that would mean Trump is not a Russian stooge.

Where would Leftists turn for solace if your theory and mine are both true? Perhaps we can find them a safe place?

Hagar said...

Tucker Carlson had a guy on tonight who said that the Russian government has channeled millions to environmental groups protesting fracking in the U.S. in order to protect their own oil and gas business in Europe.
He also said that Hillary! complained loudly about this back when she was Secretary of State.

MountainMan said...

Yes, that is G.U.M.

For anyone really interested in what Russia looks like today. go to YouTube and subscribe to a channel called "Real Russia." It is run by a very enthusiastic and entertaining young Russian named Sergei Baklykov. He has over 100 videos out there of various lengths chronicling much of everyday life in Russia as he lives it. You can get a nice tour of Moscow, including the G.U.M store (yes, it is now a very upscale mall); visit his home; go shopping at the supermarket; go to school with his daughter; visit him when he is in the hospital. One of my favorites is a gathering of an American muscle car club at Moscow State U. Probably my favorite channel on YouTube. He also visited the US with his wife and daughter last fall and they drove all the way from NYC to CA, usually staying as guests with American families who are fans of his channel. His views on life in the US were quite entertaining, especially the cars.

As Sergei says in each episode: "Real Russia. No fake. No bullshit."

Birkel said...

10551607322231833310

33310 is easy enough to remember after the inevitable name change.

Hagar said...

The "Ukrainian unpleasantness" is far from over and won't be until Russia and Ukraine agrees on a border.

Ralph L said...

There is an awful lot in Russia to invest in. Make peace.
Its government is (relatively) untrustworthy and corrupt compared to the rest of the West and the Pacific Rim.
What the nationalizers overlooked was how much they discouraged future foreign investment.

buwaya said...

" then perhaps Russia overplayed its hand during the recent Ukranian unpleasantness. "

Russia did overplay its hand. The Crimea thing was a very quick and very cheap victory, but the Donbas business became a quagmire. Russia cannot afford such quagmires. It doesn't have unlimited cheap manpower to throw at a military problem, especially if there is no payoff, nor has it got tank armies ready to flow like a tidal wave to Kiev. Nor does it have divisions of the NKVD to hold the place.

What would Russia do with the Ukraine, in this modern world? An expensive white elephant, full of hostile people to very expensively keep suppressed with a huge internal security force? All of whom, these security fellows, that will expect medical insurance and a decent pension?

And for what? There is a reason colonialism died; after a while all the colonialists figured out that the state of modern economies ensured that there was no money in it. Nearly all of these once-prized possessions turned out to be money-sinks. Investment in countries that the imperialists didn't actually own paid better.

Birkel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hagar said...

I am thinking that Trump could also give Putin some grief by holding joint naval xercises with Japan (don't know if Japan has a navy, but if not, I bet they have one hell of a "coast guard") off the coast of Sakhalin.
Putin is already stretched very thin, and having to respond to threats in the Far East would not be a joke for him.

Come to think of it, that would also get some attention from the Chinese - with respect to Russia as well as Japan.

Birkel said...

Hagar,
We agree. But see buwaya's point that Russia is caught in a trap of its own making.

buwaya,
As per usual our respective reads of the situation are similar. Given that the United States are now exporting natural gas to Poland with capacity to do much more exporting, what is your view of Putin's position? He's quite skilled, if thoroughly repugnant, but I don't think he's likely to see an increase in Russian influence any time soon. The investments he made toward depressing U.S. energy competition by anti-fracking and global warming propaganda (along with Saudi Arabia) has proven ineffective.

I just can't see how Russia stays much of an international player, save its nuclear arsenal and technical know how, over the mid- to long-term. You? I am genuinely interested to read your take.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Don't waste the pixels : A Haiku

Wise words, many apps.

So much warmer by the fire...

But some'd rather howl

Hagar said...

Might even encourage both of them to help us out a little with Kim Jong'un!

buwaya said...

Birkel,

Russia is an extremely large country with only trivial utilization of its massive natural resources, an intelligent people with an easy grasp of the most sophisticated reaches of technology, and utter safety from any significant aggressor.

They have everything, and more, that the US has ever had, with the exception of the cultural capital to keep themselves out of trouble. They could, with some reasonable leadership, get to a first-world standard of living. Putin was well on the way to getting them there in his first decade. A renewed round of global growth might do it.

I don't think Putin is going to seriously try to grab any of his neighbors. If everyone calms down there is endless scope for yet another few decades of global peace and plenty.

But who knows, entire peoples have gone mad before. Here in the US today we see an entire leadership class fallen into a vicious strain of insanity. I worry a lot more about the US than Russia, or even China.

clint said...

MountainMan said...
"Yes, that is G.U.M.

For anyone really interested in what Russia looks like today. go to YouTube and subscribe to a channel called "Real Russia." It is run by a very enthusiastic and entertaining young Russian named Sergei Baklykov."

That sounds awesome. I will definitely be looking him up.

SukieTawdry said...

As is so often the case, Junior's biggest mistake was not disclosing the whole episode at the appropriate time (when will they ever learn). Was it a deliberate attempt to conceal or deceive? I don't know. Seems like something one wouldn't forget and even if he had forgotten, wouldn't the whole Russian collusion uproar have jogged his memory? Anyhow, just when you think we might finally be putting this whole sorry mess behind us...

I imagine it's hard being Donald Trump's son. Especially when your bright and talented younger sister and her brainiac husband are celebrated as the heirs apparent.

robother said...

"The salivation was audible."

Ann, you da Man.

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

It seems like it was just yesterday that Althouse was pushing the idea that the media had completely dropped the Russia thing. Of course it, according to former-lawprof, wasn't just dropped, there was some sorta sneakiness behind this change such that they were supporting the Ds. Or something like that.

Althouse is funny.

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

BTW, I wouldn't be surprised to learn that the gal in this image enjoys cheese.

Ya see Madison, and other fat folk, don't think of cheese (and such) as something where quantity is the important thing.

Oso Negro said...

It is an amazing shopping mall and directly across from Lenin's Tomb, where people STILL argue the merits of communism!