Monday Open Comments

The Russians are among the most murderous people in the history of mankind.  This investigative article by a group at Buzzfeed News reveals a foreign government assassinating people in London seemingly at will with no visible resistance from British authorities.  It really is stunning.

From Russia With Blood

A two-year investigation by BuzzFeed News has now uncovered explosive evidence pointing to Russia that the police overlooked. A massive trove of documents, phone records, and secret recordings shows Young was part of a circle of nine men, including the exiled oligarch Boris Berezovsky, who all died suspiciously on British soil after making powerful enemies in Russia. The files reveal that Young lived in the shadow of the Russian security services and mafia groups after fronting for Berezovsky – a sworn enemy of the state – in a series of deals that enraged the Kremlin, including the doomed Russian property deal known as Project Moscow. British police declared the deaths of all nine men in Berezovsky’s circle non-suspicious, but BuzzFeed News can now reveal that MI6, Britain’s secret intelligence service, asked its US counterparts for information about each one of them “in the context of assassinations”.

and this also,

Poison in the System

The British government is suppressing explosive intelligence that Alexander Perepilichnyy, a financier who exposed a vast financial crime by Russian government officials, was likely assassinated on the direct orders of Vladimir Putin.

Perepilichnyy, who faced repeated threats after fleeing to Britain, was found dead outside his home in Surrey after returning from a mysterious trip to Paris in 2012. Despite an expert detecting signs of a fatal plant poison in his stomach, the British police have insisted there was no evidence of foul play, and Theresa May’s government has invoked national security powers to withhold evidence from the inquest into his cause of death – which is ongoing.

But an investigation by BuzzFeed News has now obtained fresh evidence that the authorities have deliberately sidelined, and has uncovered how Perepilichnyy spent his last days in Paris. Secret documents and interviews with more than a dozen current and former intelligence and law enforcement officials in the US, France, and the UK reveal…

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98 thoughts on “Monday Open Comments

  1. Happy June-teenth, the day that the emancipation proclamation reached Texas and freed the slaves here.
    In other news, a civilian retaliation in London against the muzzies has happened. A guy in a car drives into a crowd exiting a mosque.

  2. AC repair man is on the way. Got plenty of chores to take care of today, but wait on AC man is a priority. I flipped the light on out back last night, and there were 4 or 5 deer sitting around my artificially created watering hole (a restaurant bussing tray filled with water) chewing their cuds. I couldn’t get a picture, but if I could have, I though an appropriate name would be “Deer Camp.” I didn’t want to scare them away by going outside. As hysteria grips the city, awaiting arrival of the yet to be formed catastrophic storm, things are just sleepily moving along out here – those that might have interest are just hoping we might get a rain out of it. Used to they wouldn’t start the fear campaign until the storm had at least formed up – but now, they’ve got to start revving things up even earlier. And then they wonder why no one responds when an actual storms does come along. Guess They never read the story about the little boy who cried wolf.

  3. Hubby starts jury duty today. We were just on the phone, and I wondered it he’d be able to stay awake all day. He doesn’t sleep well at night, and if he’s not moving, he falls asleep.

    He may get sent home early….

  4. 5 EG

    And what you don’t see in the aircraft battle group are the communications/surveillance satellite systems, the nuclear submarine, 2 LAMPS (Light Airborne Multi-Purpose System) capable warships and probably 2 anti-submarine destroyers.

    Lethal indeed.

  5. Morning, everyone. I am paying a high price for my prolonged “light duty” status, as I am forbidden to do vigorous exercise. That includes my mere 10 minutes per evening on the stationary bike. I was keenly aware than those 10 minutes of fastest pedalling I could do were keeping my bionic knees very flexible. Now I wake up every morning more stiff and clumsy and a little achy. I can use a topical pain rub, but usually just grit on through the aches. By the time the cats are fed, I have usually walked enough to be limbered up.

  6. How you gonna make a proper omelette without a few eggs getting themselves cracked every now and then?

  7. Seen in a discussion on “preferred pronouns”:

    French: This chair is feminine – ‘La Chaise’.
    Italian: This chair is feminine – ‘La sedia’.
    German: This chair is masculine – ‘Der Stuhl’.
    English: This chair is a freaking object, I don’t see a skirt or a pair of trousers anywhere on its cold hard surface, you people are insane.
    Japanese: If you don’t pronounce chair exactly right, you’ll end up saying testicles instead.

  8. We should do away with pronouns altogether.

    Whenever you are speaking and you come to where you need a pronoun, you just grunt loudly.

  9. I’m reading the lead story about the Russians being murderous people. First, the examples given seem to reflect on the Russian government and not necessarily the Russian people. Most of the Russian people that I have met have been pretty down to earth, common folks, just trying to scratch out a living like most Americans. I would expect the Russian peoples and the American peoples to actually get along pretty well with each other absent government intervention. Going back in time, the Vikings were apparently a pretty viscous breed themselves, as most of the Nordic tribes tended to be. The Brits ruled the world by being known as a “take no prisoners” type should one of their outposts be overrun – even though it might take a few years to exact their revenge. If Americans don’t redevelop some sense of strength of resolve, we will be over run by other barbarians in short order. The idea of a noble warrior has got to be reborn.

  10. [grunt] should do away with pronouns altogether.

    Whenever [grunt] are speaking and [grunt] come to where [grunt] need a pronoun, [grunt] just grunt loudly.

  11. I really dig this chick.

    HEADLINE: Rape fakers must pay a higher price

    By Michelle Malkin • June 19, 2017 12:57 AM

    It’s settled, but far from over. The University of Virginia fraternity that was slimed and defamed by sicko fabulist Sabrina Erdely will receive a $1.65 million payment, the fraternity announced this week.

    Erdely’s manufactured tale of gang rape by Phi Kappa Psi members, spun through a manipulated UVA student dubbed “Jackie” and published by left-wing Rolling Stone magazine, combusted spectacularly after scrutiny by independent journalists in late 2014. The latest payout over the fictional hit piece comes in the wake of another defamation lawsuit by UVA dean of students Nicole Eramo. She won a $3 million jury verdict last year after suffering great damage to her reputation after Rolling Stone and painted her as an uncaring, obstructionist school official who covered up sexual assault on campus.

    The judgment, Eramo told NBC 29 in Charlottesville, Virginia, last week, “was vindicating.”

    But is it enough to compensate for the harm done — and is it enough to deter future rape hoaxers and their media enablers from perpetrating more lies against innocent young men?

  12. Senior US intelligence officials said they had been watching the pattern of suspected assassinations across the Atlantic with mounting alarm, concerned that it could spread to American shores. Their fears intensified following the strange death of the Russia Today founder Mikhail Lesin – who died of blunt force trauma to the head, neck, legs, arms, and torso in a Washington, DC, hotel room in 2015. Investigators announced that he had sustained his fatal injuries by falling while drunk – but a former senior national security official, echoing others, told BuzzFeed News the death had been privately viewed as “suspicious”, and there was “concern” that the Russian government would “start doing here what they do with some regularity in London”.

    “He fell down the stairs. A lot.”

    “He knocked himself unconscious, then continued to beat himself until he succumbed to grave internal trauma.”

  13. reflect on the Russian government and not necessarily the Russian people. Most of the Russian people that I have met have been pretty down to earth, common folks, just trying to scratch out a living

    They’ve tried to say the same thing about those sweet ol’ Germans for the last eighty years, too.

  14. Great moments in the history of vodka…

    Smirnoff’s actual ties to Russia ended during the Bolshevik revolution. Vladimir Smirnov (son of founder Pyotr Smirnov) ultimately fled to Nice, France. In need of money, he placed an ad in a local paper offering the family name and vodka recipe for a price. Businessman (and fellow Russian emigre) Rudolf Kunett purchased those rights and in 1934 built America’s first commercial vodka distillery—Smirnoff in Bethel, Connecticut. But Americans weren’t quite ready for that odorless, flavorless spirit so the factory only managed to sell 4,000 cases in its first years. John Martin of Heublein then acquired Smirnoff in 1939 for $14,000. A few years later he helped invent the Moscow Mule—vodka, ginger beer, lime, ice, served in a copper mug.

    Martin claimed it was a march in New York City in June 1950 that catapulted Smirnoff. As he later related to the Hartford Times, “The bartenders had a big parade down Fifth Ave. and they had a big banner that read ‘Down with the Moscow Mule—We Don’t Need Smirnoff Vodka.’ It made page one of the New York Daily News, the whole page. Our people came rushing in to me. ‘What are we going to do about this,’ they wanted to know. Do! It was great. All the people who saw the sign were rushing into the bars to try the drink.”

    Bonus is this hilarious Smirnoff commercial poking fun at millennials. The comic actress, Alison Brie, in this ad is very good.

  15. 19 Shannon

    Yeah, most of the Russians I know are Jewish refugees or their children. I know a couple of non-Jewish Russians who are decent and bright, but you cannot refute the record over the last couple of millennium. See Joseph Conrad, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, etc. There is a strange darkness in the collective soul of those people and it is reflected in their culture. Maybe it’s the Cossack genetics or the weather.

  16. 20 Shannon

    When Putin & Gang need especially dirty work done and they want it be gory, they hire Chechen Muslim hitmen to do the work. You’re not so far off the mark.

  17. We got back from Kroger, and immediately went on the walking wounded list. I suddenly had a horrible charlie horse in my left foot and actually could not walk on it. Hubs had to carry almost everything in and then he was exhausted. I’m ok again but too tired to prepare a lunch. I’ll just go lie down and check back later.

  18. Sunshine got her new puppy today. Some kind of lab mix, it seems.

    I’ll bet everyone is all aquiver with excitement…except maybe Ollie, the previous sole owner of the title “4 legged child”.

  19. The dogs help keep the chilrens entertained. It was Sunshine’s idea to have another pet, and she had to earn it, first.

    Now, let’s see how well she takes care of it…before Mom and Dad take over.

    It’s a cutie. I love labs. It might have some terrier, or else the photo angle just makes the body look a little longer than normal.

  20. One of my old friends used to define the term “feeling tolerable” as feeling good enough to eat but not good enough to work. Sounds like mh is now feeling sub-tolerable. Hope you two can get back on your feet soon. It’s hard to live a spiritual life when you are in pain.

  21. Going back to using Fatsecret. My weight’s creeping up again, though the blood sugar is doing well.

    Sucks to have my genetics. I saw a picture of my father with his brothers, and I remember thinking they looked like a bunch of bowling pins. Or that God had squished ’em all down with the palm of his hand.

    I had a real skinny grandpa on my mother’s side. Why couldn’t I get his genes?

  22. You never know what kind of rabbit trail the innanet will lead you down. For some unknown reason I started researching minivans a month or two ago and discovered not a single bad review of the new Chrysler Pacifica which will replace the ancient Grand Caravan and the Town & Country. The big name reviewers have all moved it to the top of the category.
    Now I’m a Pacifica fanboy.

    If I’m forced to take early retirement I figure it will be the best vehicle to live out of. And a profound statement about just how uncool I really am.

  23. Hah, we both got up and went to the kitchen simultaneously. I wanted mac&cheese with some chicken nuggets, plus some tasty artisan bread from the bakery — toasted and buttered of course. Hubs looked at what I was putting on my plate and pronounced it “too much food”. So he toasted 2 pieces of plain wheat bread and spread peanut butter on them. At least he won’t starve if he can toast bread.

  24. Having contemplated off and on replacing Fay’s sixteen year old truck with an SUV, I have determined they are all at least 8,000 to 15,000 dollars overpriced. You could get a whole lot more vehicle – loaded – in a minivan.

  25. Late to the party today since neighbors dropped by after lunch to visit and tell us about their recent trip to Key West and the Bahamas. They live directly behind us across our back pasture, and we can see their house from the back of ours and keep an eye on it when they’re gone.

    We are celebrating our wedding anniversary today, number 52. Going out to dinner with dear friends this evening. Spouse brought roses home on Friday, and we exchanged cards this morning. There are a couple of wedding pictures in the house that we walk past every day, but today requires lingering to look at them for a while.

    Could we have ever been that young? Of course we could, otherwise we’d never be celebrating this anniversary. But it does make one stop and think about all the years that now seem to have flown by. Reaffirms we made the right choice way back then, and we’re grateful both of us are still here today.

    My matron of honor and best friend through grade school and high school and beyond passed away two years ago. Her husband and my spouse’s best friend and best man back then is still with us. Both my bridesmaids have been widows for several years. We still keep in touch and mourn their losses. But today is a great occasion to look forward, not backward. And we do.

  26. I figure Sarge would outfit my Pacifica with a hammock real cheap. I wouldn’t have far to fall in the van.

  27. Need about nine feet point to point for a good hang.

    But, hey. At least you’re not going to be cleaning cookie crumbs and melted crayons out of the seats and carpet, so you’ve got that going for you.

  28. Won’t you need 2 hammocks in your van?? I assume Fay will go with you if you become an itinerant van person.

    Remember that line from SNL, long long ago? Chris Farley’s character, a motivational speaker, telling people they needed to get clean and motivated, or they’d end up living in a van down by the river.

  29. Congrats!
    It does seem like just a couple of weeks ago y’all were celebrating the last one!

  30. It will be a lifestyle adjustment.

    The king size we have isn’t big enough for the three of us now.

  31. Texpat

    Bonus is this hilarious Smirnoff commercial poking fun at millennials. The comic actress, Alison Brie, in this ad is very good.

    Alison Brie is good at what? All I noticed about her is that she has legs that start at the floor and go way up there to make an…….. oh wait I cannot say that. she got legs that reach to the…….. nope nope cannot say that either. Dang it that is one long legged………….. sheesh I gotta behave. Never mind. So Alison is her name. Nice name.

  32. I thought it was just Max, but YouTube reveals that beagles have this weird thing about sleeping with their front legs straight out, completely extended.


  33. I have come to the conclusion that the only reason the 4 o’clock news does stories on sun screen is so they newsies can ogle nubile young lasses sunglasses.

  34. Oh good play on words. “Spray sunscreens may be a bust.'” and then they give us a 1 minute primer on how to apply spray sun screen. No sunglasses shown. Guess the glasses were just for the teaser.

  35. Went to Columbus to look at a project. Ate lunch at a place called Schobel’s, pretty good food. I seldom make it west of Katy but will be making some more trips to Columbus. Looks like there is a good Mexican joint to try.

  36. I didn’t even know I wasn’t supposed to like Smirnoff. I’ll have to get some even though I don’t care for vodka.

  37. Folks listen up cause ABC 13 says so:

    We are due for a direct hit and we are due very soon.

    Dun dun Dunnnnhhhhhhhh

    And Edd Emmit is coming back home 3 days early form his vacation, yanno just in case. My spies report that he has been practicing his HUNKER DOWN speech so that he does not make any mistakes

  38. I watched a vidiot clip of Judge Jeanine Pirro castigating the GOOPees in the GOOPee party for not leading, for being wimps and it’s about time they put their man pants on and start leading.

    It was a nice rant but it won’t make a bit of difference.

    GOOPee swamp monsters don’t wear pants, especially perennial loser GOOPee swamp monsters. They wear scales, slime and the leeches flock and attach themselves to their skin.

    Being comfortable swamp monster losers is what they really relish while getting rolled over by the Baloney, the Mayo and the stupendously sticky fingers of Zippers Down Schumer. They want to get trounced in 2018 so they can feel they have no responsibility to lead even though they know not what the word means.

    So what else is there?

    Well there’s this and I think it’s magnificent.

  39. 50 gto

    Glad you had a good experience at Schobel’s. Perhaps they have a new chef, but I doubt it, being a family run operation. We had a short family tradition where three sisters and their husbands would regularly go over there to eat on a Friday or a Sunday. I finally put my foot down and told Fay I wasn’t riding/driving all the way over there for such fare. (Full disclosure – I also wasn’t a fan of one of the other brother-in-laws.)

    Anyway, they did a passable job on anything fried. That’s about it.

    Ironically, our grandson ended up running the kitchen at the New Braunfels location (now closed). I told him I figured they dumped the vegetables straight out of the can into the hot table pans. He said I wasn’t far from the truth.

    No seasoning on the food.

    I compare it to the hideous Black-eyed Pea. Or Cracker Barrel.

    One step above low-sodium hospital fare.

    I suggest you bring your bottle of Tabasco.

    Or something.

  40. Forty something years ago I guess I insulted my then-mother-in-law. Stupid me thought we were close enough to speak frankly.
    She was from Pennsylvania.
    I indicated that certain parts of this country had generally bland food.

    She said southerners had less-than-sophisticated palates.

    Damn Yankee.

  41. #55, Ordered off the menu. Liked the food and they kept the tea glass full. I am not such a ‘foodie’ fan that I will travel far for a meal. But since I will make a trip or two back I’ll dine there again. Any recommendations for the area? Was told to turn right on 71 to find (grunt) job, wound up in Columbus. Looked like a couple nice food joints there. Vaguely remembered driving under the railroad back in HS, going to see friends in UT.

  42. 58 Shannon

    I live in this part of the country. Nobody, but nobody, drives to Pennsylvania to eat. They are famous for nothing.

    (exception: Downtown Philadelphia for a real philly cheese steak sandwich, but that’s it)

  43. 58
    I should have told her, “Well, by G_d, at least we don’t put oysters in the Thanksgiving dressing. What’s the matter with you people?”

  44. ‘I indicated that certain parts of this country had generally bland food.’ Visited my sister who lives outside of D.C. Easy to see how she stays thin.

  45. Any recommendations for the area?

    Not really. I don’t get over that way much anymore. I’m sure things have changed. Had a few darn fine ribeyes at Kathy’s steakhouse years ago.

    Good, full tea service, too. 🙂

  46. 59 gto

    I’ve been out of the state for too long, but Schobel’s has been a pretty mediocre country cafe for a long time. There used to be a really good Tex-Mex joint on the main drag in downtown Columbus, but I don’t think they are there anymore. The only steakhouse in town is now called Nancy’s. There’s a Tex-Mex place called Los Cabos just south of I-10 on 71 that gets good reviews.

  47. The only dish from up there I really liked was
    Corned Beef and Cabbage.

    My mother-in-law’s sweet daughter did a fine job on that.

    We WILL NOT discuss that which they called chili. Other than it had noodles in it.

    Think goulash.

  48. I married into a family from Lake Charles. Sure miss cornbread dressing at Thanksgiving.

  49. Under that old bridge in Columbus!

    That would be a pretty spot to park the van.

    Much nicer river.

  50. Anybody know if the Triple A Diner on Airline Drive is still open ? Now that was some great food and easily the best chicken fried steak in Houston.

  51. Somebody help me. What was the name of the big cafe/truck stop in Flatonia on the southwest corner of I-10 and 609, the main Flatonia exit ?

    Shorty’s, Snuffy’s…? I ate a hundred chicken fried steaks there over the years and drove there just order my young daughter her first one. They also had the most unbelievable pies.

  52. i don’t know where you’re keeping yourself, but if you need cornbread dressing,
    that can be arranged quite easily around here.

    We don’t know any other kind.

    Except through Pennsylvania in-laws.

    And Homey don’t do that anymore.

  53. Schobel’s is a fairly new looking place. If I ever dined there it was 30+ years ago and do not remember it. Dunno their past put it has a long lunch buffet, very roomy and clean dining room. Nice service, will go go back.

    On another restaurant, Top Water Grill. Had a bad lunch there, lousy service, and think I commented here. They were packed last Saturday and the service was great. Fried oysters, fish tacos, and gumbo. All top notch.

    July 4th, Fire works are still legal in San Leon. Gots lots of space to set them off if Smacktle shows up.

    Gilhooley’s has changed ownership but the only change I have seen is one cannot smoke inside. The waitress with the Compass Rose tattoo on her arm is the best. She does not let the tea run out of ice or leave a beer empty and balances with attire that does not annoy the wife. But hubba hubba.

    Bubba’s Shrimp Palace and Noah’s Ark are great places to go. You can watch the ships pass through the channel from those. Noah’s serves a guaranteed heart attack breakfast buffet.

  54. You know it’s bad when Shannon is watching Walker, Texas Ranger.

    Just one more reason to hate summertime.

  55. If you find yourself stranded in Columbus, Schobels is certainly acceptable.

    I’m just not willing to burn 2.5 hours of my limited time off to go over there for mediocre food, with bad company.

  56. Stopped at Grumpy’s quite a bit in my oilfield, field days. After then, always planned trips out that direction hitting Flatonia at eatin’ time. Think I introduced most of my family members to it at one point or another over the years.

  57. Same as going through Brownwood, always planned hitting it at lunch or supper to eat at Underwoods.

  58. 81 gto

    More than likely. Gruene Hall was a hangout of mine going way back before most folks in Austin knew about it.

  59. Yeah, Texpat.
    Time for you to come back and we can stay in that same place around the corner from Gruene.


  60. Anybody left down there with the storm bearing down on you? I figure if you leave right now you might get in front of the mandatory evacuation orders from on high. I’ve got room for a few refugees if necessary. Probably won’t be anything left to return to though the way it’s sounding. It might actually reach named storm status or at least get issued a TD number before it wipes you out. Good luck all – I’ll be watching for you on TV – oh wait, I don’t have any TV except Netflix and Amazon. Oh well, the documentaries will be out soon detailing the devastation. Night night

  61. EG, ain’t worried. Numerous flocks of mind controlled ducks seem to have everything under observation. Not sure how, but they do. Ours is not to reason why.

  62. Good lord. You’d think that surrounding yourself with a bunch of black folks would help but she managed to suck the soul right out of them and make it disappear.

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