Україна - Ukraine, the Borderland

Sat, Jan 25, 2014 - 5:49am

This is a snapshot of a nation that has reached the end of its rope. It’s not so much just the most recent events (atrocities? trampling of the rule of law? naked excess of power?). It’s the decades and centuries of pent-up frustration. It’s little people, who are sick of being trampled upon, taken advantage of, robbed of the fruits of their labor. It’s people that have seen through the veneer of what is supposed to pass for democratic institutions, representative legislature and government and realized (yet again) that the system is there to exploit them – not to serve. It's people that are mad as hell, and are not going to take it any more.

Their rage is amorphous, inchoate, not focused enough. The anger centers on the current controversy, the current figurehead – but has not yet reached a level of clarity to recognize that the ‘other guy’ would and WILL be just as bad. The crowd gathers, both in size and in inner strength from its growing mass and momentum. Spaces are occupied, enforcers of the regime are confronted, buildings and objects destroyed. But the most recent spark of the rebellious nature inherent in their DNA ultimately will not generate enough energy, momentum and direction to TRULY change the state of affairs. After the weeks and months of demonstrations, people eventually grow weary and tired. They need to go to work to support their families, they lack the stamina to maintain their protest – and never escalate to truly ‘majority size’ nationwide, nor to overwhelming force against any true target objectives in the capital.

No, it’s not Kiev 2014 -- though it may as well be.

The above shots are from Budapest 2006. If any specific moment in time could be attributed to my waking up, and beginning truly look around (besides the one previously mentioned), this was it.

The setup:

The prime minister (no proper noun status for him) is holding a speech at a closed conference for his party, following an election they had just won. The speech is surprisingly frank, detailed, and incredibly incriminatory. It is leaked four months later to the state-owned national radio, and is broadcast nationwide. Whether the leak is from an embittered party member, a planted mole from the opposition, or a byproduct of the wonderful All_Seeing_Eyes_and_Ears™ system deployed by the No Such Agency and its cohorts worldwide is an interesting detail, but one I have no answer to.

The salient points of the speech:

“There is not much choice. There is not, because we have fucked it up. Not a little but a lot. No European country has done something as boneheaded as we have. It can be explained. We have obviously lied throughout the past one and a half-two years. It was perfectly clear that what we were saying was not true. We are beyond the country's possibilities to such an extent that we could not conceive earlier that a joint government of the [socialist party] and the liberals would ever do. And in the meantime, by the way, we did not do anything for four years. Nothing. You cannot mention any significant government measures that we can be proud of, apart from the fact that in the end we managed to get governance out of the shit. Nothing.

If we have to give an account to the country of what we have done in four years, what are we going to say? Naturally, it is [i.e. the government's work] not constructed nicely, calmly or scrupulously. No. No. It is being prepared at a mad break-neck speed because we could not do it for a while in case it came to light, and now we have to do it so damned desperately that we are almost at the breaking point. And then we slowly end up falling over. Because we cannot do better in keeping up the pace. This is the situation.”

They essentially cooked all the books (labor/inflation/debt statistics/budget) in order to a) secure elections by projecting optics, b) secure loans/funding to ensure a), and c) to (appear to) meet EU requirements. The same that all other periphery EU members did/are doing, the same that USGOV is currently doing, etc.

On one hand, the (much longer) speech was a welcome breath of fresh air. At least they RECOGNIZED their incapability to govern, at least they acknowledge the tremendous problems facing the country. The quote above is taken out of context (as these things always are), and is actually part of a motivational speech to the party faithful. It talks of pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps, and changing the quagmire we find ourselves in. Reforming the system. Making things different this time.

On the other hand, this is just another version of the same breed of political animals that infest many other parts of the world. Come to think of it, ALL parts of the world. Sociopaths who will say and do ANYTHING to cling to power -- including tearful confession of past wrongs, and chest-thumping pledges to do better after being born again.

I almost felt a little sorry for the guy. But only almost, as of course our gentle protagonist had made himself a multimillionaire by what the country more or less universally believed to be his access to the capital, connections and cronyism arising from his leading role in the fading communist nomenclatura of the previous regime. His defense of the whole affair is here, for the sake of completeness. The sad part is that one may almost believe his sincerity in intending to effect change for the betterment of the country – until sanity reasserts itself.

Some highlights of the months of protests that followed the revelations:

The crowd was more than a little upset by the fact that the evening news of the primary national TV channel announced that ‘around 900 people were demonstrating’. Their numbers at that point were in the tens of thousands. Marching over to the TV headquarters building, they attempted to get a petition aired. After the demonstrators besieging the TV building beat back several police attempts to disperse the crowd, the building was evacuated and the station was shut down. Upon reaching this impasse, the crowd escorted the remaining riot police back to their unit. The petition was aired the next day.

An enterprising group of gentlemen brought a set of truck batteries and jumper cables to the park in front of city hall, where WWII-era tanks were parked on display. Breaking into one of the tanks, they connected the batteries, fired it up and let it rip. While foolhardy and certainly risky in such a crowded urban environment, I cannot help but cheer them on whenever I see this:

Video unavailable
Stolen tank (T-34) Budapest 2006 riot

And it makes me extremely mad to see the idiocy of the representatives of authority responding thus to a decommissioned, de-weaponized T-34 in the middle of such a crowd of citizens:

This guy is certainly going to have some tales to tell his grandkids…. He ended up with a probationary sentence, and a 3-year ban from driving.

But in the end, it was all for naught. The ‘elected’ government stayed in power, though the 'Justice Minister' and the national and capital police chiefs stepped down. The pm eventually abdicated to another party crony three years later.

In the election that followed in 2010, the nation elected ‘the other guy’ -- who had been prime minister BEFORE the then-current corrupt, socialist governemnt. The guy who was supposed to be the antithesis of the corruption, unaccountable greed for power and money that the previous regime represented. He was already on record for having, among other things, awarded the contracts for supplying materials for expanding the interstate-highway system in the entire country to… (wait for it… wait for it…) a construction firm owned by his father. The litany of other similarly ethical/wise/beneficial feats of governance in his second, currently ongoing term would fill a book.

The way to discern a true revolution is that it rapidly ends in one of two ways: abdication of government and lots of executions, or defeat of the rebels and lots of executions. If neither of the above happens, the social upheaval in question can (in my mind) be thought to have ultimately never truly reached a revolutionary state. The problem is that over the centuries, professional agencies have grown remarkably adept at fostering/igniting existing powderkegs (of their own making, in many cases, though not a prerequisite) into ‘revolutions’. Hijacking existing revolutions is even easier. This latter version ends in feigned concessions and gestures to placate the populace who have been allowed to vent their ‘spleen’ against the authorities. Different cronies are hoisted, not to lampposts, but to positions of power. Say hello to the new boss, same as the old boss. Or even worse, these situations can devolve into full-scale civil war – with the final end of the spectrum being proxy warfare between competing empires.

These pictures actually ARE from Kiev from the last few days/weeks:

(Notice the creative application of heavy machinery and recycling of police gear)

Current newsfeed of events can be found here.

I do find it more than a little convenient that such a significant degree of unrest should develop on the doorstep of the New Russian Empire. Along with the Syrian forensic photos (sponsored by today’s broadcasting partner, Diamond Level contributor Emirate of Qatar – which is not to say the Syrian regime DOESN’T commit atrocities against its citizens) and the ‘shocking expose of gold-trade-related corruption’ in Turkey that the (also-guilty) government of Erdogan seems to have ‘resolved’ (thanks ag1969). How very opportune. All that is missing is some kinetic action that goes beyond the ski jumps in the Black Sea resort next month… as promised by that favorite Bush brother, Bandar earlier. I guess we’ll see if that conversation was a red herring, and/or where the imperial entanglement lines truly lie. Then again, someone ELSE could actually do it, and then merely reference those alleged comments and have SA take the fall. The possibilities are endless…

My heart is with the people of Ukraine. I sincerely hope their perfectly justified anger at the current system, at the power struggle they find themselves trapped in the middle of, at Russia AND the US finds a more focused, organized and effective shape. I wish them godspeed in their attempt to reclaim their birthright of freedom, (true) self-determination and the prospect of building a better life. I truly hope they can do better than their current, recent and more distant historical predecessors/counterparts/neighbors were able to do.

Author’s note: I am, despite the much-discussed obstacles in the path of free enterprise, in the process of planning for starting a business. This is taking up a lot of my time, and thus my notes will probably become less frequent for a while. For any of you software development/DBA-minded Turdites interested in an epic WISA vs. LAMP cage-match in large data, distributed storage/processing arena, do drop me a line via PM (larger-scale project for competent and experienced PHP/MySQL team). For other employment/venture ideas, this link goes to a forum I started a while back (that ultimately went dormant). I would encourage all so inclined and positioned, to post your ‘help wanted’ ads, venture ideas or any other employment-related thoughts.

About the Author


Jan 25, 2014 - 6:16am

Up Late???

I'll be first to say, I've been watching these protests with great interest... Picking up tips & strategies for later! ;-O

Jan 25, 2014 - 6:46am


Thanks for the interesting post. I am up early because I can't sleep even though I have been working 70 hours per week lately. I will try catching up on Turd world today. I have to admit, I was not aware of the protesting in Russia. I guess I have been focused on work and negative real interest rates domestically. Certainly feels like a false flag event the good ole USA is imminent.

Jan 25, 2014 - 7:51am

thanks JY

That is the problem, we are mere irritants to the elites. The FSA outnumbers us and won't upset their gravy train. The end.

sierra skier
Jan 25, 2014 - 8:42am

These folks have been misled 

These folks have been misled for too many years

sierra skier
Jan 25, 2014 - 8:46am

These folks have been misled 

I love the fact they were able to fire up the tank.

Jan 25, 2014 - 8:51am

4th turning?

Aquarius? The Great Awakening? Something wicked this way come.

Great Article JY896

Jan 25, 2014 - 9:13am

thanks JY

Super post and great eye opener.

From the US Declaration of Independence... "When in the Course of human events........Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form"

It seems that the waves of civilian dissatisfaction around the world are more frequent. When the next .5% (well off but powerless) join the 99% the TPTB will be toppled along with crony governments. A great reset seems to be at hand. Where and when is any's guess but like a coiled spring something somewhere is going to give.

Stack on as best you can it won't be easy to hold your stack.

ps I miss Puck. His insight would be fantastic

Jan 25, 2014 - 9:26am

Corruption, The Dukes of Hazard, and Revolution

JY, nice job and I wish you all the best in your new endeavor.

The little Ag's have taken a liking to the old Dukes of Hazard TV reruns.(Sigh)

They were watching an episode this morning where the repugnant, corrupt "Boss Hogg" has gotten himself into some trouble by doing a diry deal with even dirtier people than himself. He employs the Dukes, whom he is constantly trying to exploit by using his power and authority to subvert the law and put his boot on their neck. Being the Good Ole Boys that they are, and in the interest of saving their homeland (Hazard County) they help Boss Hogg, capture the bad guys, and as soon as they complete this task and free Boss Hogg, Boss Hogg immediately turns on them and goes right back to stomping on the neck of the Dukes. Roscoe, his lacky, looks at Boss very confused after benefiting from the kindness of the Dukes, that he looks at Boss Hogg and says, "Boss, can I ask you a question? Just whose side are we on anyway?"

Boss Hogg replies, "The winning side you idiot."

A perfect representation of the world we live in today. The politician has no loyalty to anyone or anything. He has spilled no blood for freedom, and has not pledged his sacred honor. He exists only for his own, selfish, dirty, personal gain. He will turn on anyone that stands in his way of stealing more money from the honest folks of Hazard. He stands for no principles, morals, and does not abide by the Golden Rule. Boss Hogg personifies today's political class. He personifies both Democrats and Republicans.

In The Dukes of Hazard, the good ole boys always win the day, simply by doing the right thing. It might be considered revolutionary to stand up and fight against a corrupt government, but it is the right thing to do. They are the lawbreakers, they are the terrorists, and they are commiting atrocities the world over in the name of the good ole boys, just so they can be on the winning side, the good ole boys be damned.

The Dukes don't seem to care about all of Boss Hogg's nefarious activities, so long as he would just leave the Dukes alone. But he doesn't leave them alone. He always needs their compliance in order to commit his crimes and validate his power. But every time he stomps that boot to hard, the good ole boys push back.

Abguy4 has some quote in his signature that says, "As our dear Bob Dylan told us ; "To live outside the Law. YOU must be Honest"

If you remember the song, those Dukes "have been in trouble with the law since the day they was born"

Sound familiar?

Jan 25, 2014 - 9:46am

Ukraine will be split in 2 ;

Ukraine will be split in 2 ; problem areas are Kiev and Crimea. Both sides are irreconcilable since it became independent.

Something else struck me:

Already now USD is on gold standard in a sense you can buy gold if you have USD, no? It is redeemable in gold.

The value is fluctuating but they will learn how to stabilize it within +- 15% corridor with CB or state interventions. When they will collect big enough gold pool - I expect in 2017 - UK, Japan, Swiss, USA- may be loaning to themselves gold that is physically in their countries- they can stabilize the price at around 1500+- 15% .

Of course, they will have to manage debt very strongly and money supply but that is nothing new- it was done in last century, there are still books around how to do it and some people alive who has practiced it in 50-ties and 60-ties.

Jan 25, 2014 - 10:23am

Powerful stuff as always JY

Really interesting. I cannot help but wonder how such pictures would be different with a populace that had not been disarmed for generations by communist rule. The guy with the shield and the hatchet is at a great disadvantage to TPTB. If he were carrying an AR, not so much... I have no idea if that would just mean TPTB would up the ante with Hellfire missiles etc. but it is an interesting question.

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