The United States vs Angela Merkel: Deutsche Bank Crisis a Lunatic Game of ‘Chicken’?

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel

Over the last week, media analysts and commentators have been sounding the alarm over the financial position of Deutsche Bank, the third-largest bank in the EU economy and 11th largest bank in the world.

Deutsche Bank’s shares plunged to record lows this week, sparking talk of a government bailout to avert a new financial crash. The turmoil surrounding Germany’s biggest bank demonstrates that all of the contradictions of the global financial system that led to the meltdown of 2008 are once again erupting. Now, however, these contradictions are fuelling and intersecting with economic and political tensions between the major powers. These geo-political conflicts are, in turn, intensifying the financial crisis.

The financial position of Deutsche Bank has been of concern for a number of years, with the International Monetary Fund saying last June that it appeared to be “the most important net contributor to systemic risks in the global financial system.”

It appears for German Chancellor Angela Merkel, that ‘what goes around comes around’ after the German crushing of the Greek economy last year. Now, it appears, the boot is on the US’ foot, and they are lining up a significant kick in the pants for Ms Merkel and the German government. The point of contention? Allegedly, corrupt trading practises by Deutsche Bank (DB) regarding the sub-prime mortgage market that contributed to significant problems with the US economy during the 2008/09 global financial crisis. The US Department of Justice announced a $14 billion fine of DB as punitive measures for the company’s criminal behaviour, but the bank claims that they should be able to settle, like other banks have previously, for much less than the declared amount.

Seemingly conf[i]rming the rumor, Agence France Press reports that Deutsche Bank is nearing a $5.4 billion settlement with the US Justice Department. This has catalyzed another leg higher in Deutsche Bank stock and lifted the whole market [this occurred on Friday, last stock-trading day for the week]

Anyone who has been paying any kind of serious attention to what has been happening in world financial markets over the last twenty years knows that the entire system is a complete cesspit of corruption, graft, and outright theft, with regulatory bodies like the US DOJ issuing only token fines and punishments in their role as PR managers for the banks’ outright looting of the population’s wealth & assets. As the real economy has continued to decline however, less and less profits are being extracted from the public despite the greed of the psychopathic banking cabals growing ever-more expansive.

That greed has resulted in large-scale treaty frameworks such as the TPP and TTIP – treaties designed to strip away sovereign rights of member countries and translate that reduced sovereignty into increased profits for transnational corporations (primarily US ones) for the foreseeable future. Unfortunately, despite their psychopathic Trojan-horse members of various governments, the implementation of these two treaties appears to have stalled – most notably the TTIP in Europe, where the German Deputy Chancellor recently publicly stated:

“Negotiations with the United States have de facto failed, because we, as Europeans, must not bow to American demands,” Gabriel said according to an excerpt of an interview with the German public broadcaster ZDF.

The French Prime Minister, Manuel Valls, expressed similar sentiments back in late June:

France’s Prime Minister Manuel Valls has dismissed the possibility of an agreement on the US-EU transatlantic trade deal, since it goes against the interests of the European Union.
“No free trade agreement should be concluded if it does not respect EU interests. Europe should be firm. France will be vigilant about this,” Valls said addressing members of the governing Socialist Party on Sunday, AFP reported.

“I can tell you frankly, there cannot be a transatlantic treaty agreement. This agreement is not on track,” Valls added.

So now, with the TTIP looking virtually dead & cremated, and the anglo-American empire’s conquest projects faltering in Syria & the rest of the Middle East, the political and economic ‘elite’ of the US appears to have decided that it was time to send a message to German government to ‘get onboard’ with the imperial treaty arrangements, lest they get any ideas about ‘pivoting’ towards any of their more regional economic trading partners, let’s say, Russia.

The US DOJ declared fine for DB, $14 billion, is actually more than the bank’s capital assets – meaning that DB might literally not be able to pay such a fine without going bankrupt.

Media and market actors immediately began speculation about a ‘bailout’ of the bank by the German government, but Angela Merkel has allegedly denied any such possibility. Since then, DB shares have taken a massive slide over the last week, with good analysis by market-watchers Tyler Durden, Michael Snyder and Max Keiser:

The biggest confidence-shaker in the bank appears to be recent moves by several hedge funds to both withdraw assets from, and place ‘short bets’ against, the beleaguered bank.

Meanwhile, several large hedge funds have pulled billions of dollars in assets from the bank. A number also are betting the stock will fall, known as short bets. Those that have disclosed short positions include Marshall Wace LLP, Discovery Capital Management LLC and Highfields Capital Management LP, according to filings.

Marshall Wace first declared a short position in Deutsche Bank in February. By Tuesday, it had doubled its bet, although this was cut back Thursday. Discovery first disclosed a position at the start of August and increased it late that month, while Highfields first disclosed a position in July, which it quickly increased.

AQR Capital Management LLC, which has $159 billion in assets, disclosed that it had a short position in Deutsche Bank on Wednesday, according to a filing made public by the German regulator on Thursday. AQR also was among a number of funds that have recently taken steps to withdraw securities or cash from the bank, or dial back their trading activities, the Journal reported Thursday.

Hedge funds’ bets against the troubled German lender have been cranked up in recent days, according to the filings, although they are still below levels hit earlier this summer.

Commentary on social media platform Twitter regarding the bank has been trending upwards, with the hashtag #DeutscheBank getting significant discussion.  With some of that discussion revolving around a possible “bail-in” of the bank (a bail-in is where a bank unilaterally seizes some of its depositors’ funds in order to remain viable), and public interest in the issue building, the bank now risks a serious run on its depositors’ assets – those providing the underlying capital for the bank to be able to function at all.

DB will be protected to some extent by the fact that Monday is a bank holiday in Germany, so depositors will be unable to make significant withdrawals of assets, but this could work against it also, in that more time is available for the information about the parlous state of the bank to become public – heightening the ability of DB customers to become aware enough to do what they should have already done some time ago – get their assets out.

With rumours and false rumours of a potential settlement with the US DOJ going around (AFP reported a false story that claimed the settlement would actually be around $5.4 billion), new information has just emerged detailing six current and former DB managers charged in Italy over falsifying the accounts of Italy’s third-largest bank, Monte Paschi.

Just as importantly, the firms are also named as defendants in the indictment, as the Italian law provides for a direct liability of legal entities for certain crimes committed by their representatives. Which means even more legal charges, fines and settlements are looking likely in DB’s future.

Although it is unlikely that this latest criminal prosecution was coordinated with Washington, it seems that the US pathocracy is sending a message to the German government, daring them to a ‘game of chicken’ where the US can potentially bankrupt DB, or not, depending on whether Germany signals it will move forward with implementing the TTIP, or not. Such a signal would likely consist of the Germans providing a state-sponsored bailout for DB, in direct contradiction to their stated principles and past positions on bailouts – most notably and visibly with regard to the Greek government last year.

Presumably, if the German govt ‘eats sufficient crow’ and shows the US empire that they are willing to go against the overwhelming public support they have on the issue and do their bidding, the US DOJ will then magnanimously provide a light ‘tap on the wrist’ (not even a ‘slap’) to DB by massively reducing the amount of their fine. This will no doubt preserve DB (and the European markets) in the immediate short term, but cause increased financial hardship to Europe by further delaying and worsening the eventually-inevitable results of decades-(even centuries-) long financial mismanagement.

With other world markets open for business as usual on Monday, the pressure will no doubt continue to increase on DB until either the German govt caves in to the US, or DB fails, causing what could become a systemic crash of the Western (read: anglo-American) financial system. The ‘Greek Chorus’ of the Western financial media is already beginning to display a unanimous narrative in recommending that Germany must bail out DB.

The question is: Does Ms Merkel have the leadership capability and strength of will to do what she has overwhelming public support to do – face down the terrorist anglo-US empire threatening to bring down the majority of Europe’s economy if it does not get its way regarding the undemocratic and freedom-gutting TTIP?

We can only hope so. The next week promises to be extremely enlightening.

The Multicultural Roots of Australia

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Once again it is Australia Day, and once again, various commentators are extolling the virtues of flags and barbecues while ignoring Australia’s criminal treatment of refugees on Christmas Island, Manus Island and Nauru. A particularly heart-wrenching video was recently published showing young children begging for release from captivity, describing the abuse and neglect they have been suffering for years while a pusillanimous bureaucracy has mostly ignored their plight and a pathological government has used them as a political weapon to divide the public and bolster support from racist authoritarian followers and naive idiots. The right-wing mainstream media has been following in lockstep with the government, catapulting propaganda at the domestic population and attempting to marginalise voices of compassion and empathy that dare to dissent against unjust and illegal policies.


If we peel back the layers of ideology though, we can ask the question: are these maneuvers doomed to fail in the long-term? A recently released video by BuzzFeed Australia highlights some interesting demographics of the Australian population, and shows that the racist governing tactics of an outdated, crumbling elitist structure are becoming increasingly less relevant to this outpost colony on the fringes of the anglo-American empire the more time passes.



As we can see, the notion of ‘white Australia’ is a pathetic anachronism that should be discarded by any clear-thinking individual. Geographically, and geo-strategically, Australia sits an ocean away from the centre of the empire, and economically, her major trading partners are located on the Eurasian continent, which is taking its rightful place in the 21st century as the continent that will steer the course of the future of the new multi-polar world order. China, for all the media fanfare about its economic ‘downfall’ since the beginning of 2016, is still expected to grow its economy by a ‘mere’ 6%, in contrast to the outlooks for the economies of the major imperial nations that present at ‘~2%’ (and that’s notwithstanding the potential for a complete collapse of the western economic system). India has not yet even begun to tap its economic potential (and is projected to grow by 5.2% in 2016), and the Russian economy will rebound strongly once the price of oil rises as predicted later this year.

The Eurasian Economic Union is moving from strength to strength, with even pathological nations like Israel seeking to sign free-trade zone agreements with it. And let’s not forget that Iran, having just disposed of sanctions that have artificially suppressed its economic growth for years, will be part of the ‘New Silk Road’ initiative that China is promoting as a potential economic juggernaut across Eurasia. Oh, and did I mention that the Asian Infrastructure and Investment Bank just opened for business this month?

Yes ladies & gentlemen, Eurasian integration is proceeding at a pace now that may soon go exponential.

Australia, for all its faults, has good relations with many of these countries. The recent entry into force of the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (or ChAFTA, for short) has seen a massive groundswell of interest from all sectors of the economy, China being Australia’s major trading partner by a significant margin. Chinese tourism to Australia has also become a noteworthy economic earner for the country, and is expected to become even more so into the second-half of this decade.

Australia’s treatment of refugees and aboriginals are the major ‘black spots’ (no pun intended) on Australia’s international political reputation, although the various Middle-East wars we entered into at the orders of the empire have no doubt tarnished us somewhat as well. We need to address these.

Much is made of Australia’s multiculturalism by the nation’s ‘left’, with good reason. According to Wikipedia, Australia and Switzerland are the two countries with the highest proportion of immigrants in the western world. In Australia, 28.1% of the population was born outside of the country according to 2014 figures. Out of the top-ten countries for immigration, only 10% of that 28% can be considered to be from traditionally ethnically ‘white’ countries.

Of course, this doesn’t take into account multi-generational immigrant ethnicities. Nor does it take into account those of native aboriginal ancestry, who make up approximately 3-4% of the Australian population.

Sorry, ‘white’ Australians: we’re in the minority.

Of course, when ethnically ‘white’ people run most of the corporations and hold most of the political power, and have done since the colonisation of the continent, you can understand why some white people might have the perception that they ‘own’ the country. But possessive, greedy arseholes aren’t uniquely white. They’re found in all ethnicities around the world. As are psychopaths, who are attracted to money & power like moths to a flame.

It is an interesting question as to whether ‘white’ ethnicities contain a higher percentage of psychopaths in their populations than other ethnic groups. Most evidence to support this idea (such as the vast majority of serial killers being white) is circumstantial and anecdotal. More research needs to be done. Many of history’s greatest scientists and humanitarians have also been white, so this is clearly a complex issue that relates more to human biology and genetics than skin colour.

The various historical, biological and psychological reasons for ‘white privilege’ in Australia aside, the reality of our current demographic, economic and geostrategic status shows that Australia has many ethnic and cultural ties to many regional and global countries that could translate into a bonanza of economic and diplomatic benefits that would substantially grow the nation’s ‘soft power’.

For instance, did you know that many Chinese gold miners fought alongside Australians (and others) at the Eureka stockade? That martial arts legend Jackie Chan got his first name from the nickname “Little Jack” that he was given working as a construction worker in Canberra? Or that an Indian migrant named Pankaj Oswal became one of Australia’s billionaires? That at least a thousand Russian migrants were part of the ‘Diggers’ that fought in WWI (at least 150 fought at Gallipoli), and that there were more Russians in the army at that time than any other nationality except for Irish, British, and Australian?

Interesting, huh!

The rich, shared cultural heritage of this nation makes us potentially one of the best mediators in international affairs and diplomacy – just look at the reputation Switzerland built up by maintaining a policy of strict neutrality in conflicts (mostly). Sure, we might not have the biggest military or nuclear weapons, but we don’t need either if we make cooperation the keystone of our foreign policy.

On the subject of the armed forces, despite the Australian military’s historical reputation, the size of other regional military forces compared to ours makes conventional warfare a non sequitur in any large-scale conflict. The pursuit of ‘hard power’ is simply not a viable strategic option for Australia – and we have neither the population nor the economy to support it.

Of course, the nature of a pathocracy overrules such rational considerations. Military alliances are forged as an instrument of politics, and when politics is corrupted by psychopaths acting in the interests of themselves and their kind, the pragmatic pursuit of national interests tends to become a secondary concern. The agents of the empire have dictated the course of Australia’s foreign policy since at least the end of the Whitlam era. While a ‘pivot to Eurasia’ might be the most logical course, we should not expect the current power structure in Canberra to act decisively, or even reasonably.

Our current immigration policy is proof of this. Locking refugees (including women and children) up on island prisons for years while enriching private security corporations (whose employees rape and abuse the people they are supposed to be helping) at taxpayers’ expense really does point to a terminally-corrupt system that will only change when it is made to change.

As psychologist Andrew Lobaczewski wrote, about psychopaths in positions of power:

The following questions thus suggest themselves: what happens if the network of understanding among psychopaths achieves power in leadership positions with international exposure? This can happen, especially during the later phases of the phenomenon. Goaded by their character, such deviant people thirst for just that even though it ultimately conflicts with their own life interest, and so they are removed by the less pathological, more logical wing of the ruling apparatus. Such deviants do not understand that a catastrophe would otherwise ensue. Germs are not aware that they will be burned alive or buried deep in the ground along with the human body whose death they are causing.

Australia, we need to speak up en-masse about the inhuman and illegal policies of this government, or the likelihood is that events will follow the trajectory of the United States, the UK, and Europe: towards increasingly racist and xenophobic rhetoric by public figures and politicians, false-flags attacks that induce public compliance, the further legislative removal of what remaining freedoms we have, and ultimately, a fascist dictatorship run by a shadow government full of psychopathic perverts.

All done in the name of “keeping us safe”.

If, for some reason, that doesn’t sound bad enough, then consider what happened to the outposts of the Roman empire as the empire fell. Consider what happened to Nazi Germany in 1945 and their leaders at the Nuremberg trials. Those who fail to learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat it.

So, spend some time to think today about the plight of those refugees waiting on Christmas Island, Manus Island, and Nauru, and consider that their best interests may also be in Australia’s best interests. What kind of country would you like them to come to?

Happy Australia Day.


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Earlier this year, acclaimed author, historian, and general all-around polymath Laura Knight-Jadczyk wrote an extremely interesting article entitled “Bizzaro World“. In it, she discusses the concept of doublespeak and doubletalk, described with those names by George Orwell and Andrew Lobaczewski respectively in their writings:

Doublethink leads us to ‘Doublespeak’ which does not actually appear in Orwell’s book [1984] though he did talk about it in his essays “Politics and the English Language“, where he says “unscrupulous politicians, advertisers, religionists, and other doublespeakers of whatever stripe continue to abuse language for manipulative purposes”. 5

“In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defence of the indefensible… Thus political language has to consist largely of euphemism, question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness… the great enemy of clear language is insincerity. Where there is a gap between one’s real and one’s declared aims, one turns as it were instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms”. 6

“Doublespeak is language that deliberately disguises, distorts, or reverses the meaning of words. Doublespeak may take the form of euphemisms (e.g., “downsizing” for layoffs, “servicing the target” for bombing[Pentagon Is Given an Award, but It’s No Prize”. The New York Times. November 24, 1991.]), in which case it is primarily meant to make the truth sound more palatable. It may also refer to intentional ambiguity in language or to actual inversions of meaning (for example, naming a state of war “peace”). In such cases, doublespeak disguises the nature of the truth. Doublespeak is most closely associated with political language.” 7

Edward S. Herman, political economist and media analyst, describes in his book, Beyond Hypocrisy the principal characteristics of doublespeak:

“What is really important in the world of doublespeak is the ability to lie, whether knowingly or unconsciously, and to get away with it; and the ability to use lies and choose and shape facts selectively, blocking out those that don’t fit an agenda or program.” 8

In his seminal work, Political Ponerology,14 psychologist Andrew Lobaczewski discusses the issue of what he terms “Doubletalk” at various points in his text. The first mention of the term comes in the section on Ideology where he notes that a group – any group and that includes national governments, international organizations, religions, etc – that has been infiltrated by pathological individuals, begins by gradually adapting the primary ideology and goals from the original formative ones, to what usually are completely opposite purposes. In other words, it can be a transformation of Earth to ‘Htrea’ – Bizarro World. This process leads to a sort of layering, or schizophrenia of ideology. The outer layer, or circle, still adheres to the original content that was advertised at the beginning as the group’s purposes; this layer is aimed at the lower-echelon members and the public. But within the inner circles, the core of the group, it is completely understood that the words have different meanings; that identical names signify different content. Lobaczewski notes that this very duality of language is a symptom of the transformation of the group into a Bizarro World. Lobaczewski notes:

“Doubletalk is only one of many symptoms. Others are the specific facility for producing new names which have suggestive effects and are accepted virtually uncritically…” [p. 191]

He then notes that there are certain characteristics that are additional symptoms of the pathological nature of such a group:

“We must thus point out the paramoralistic character and paranoidal qualities frequently contained within these names. The action of paralogisms and paramoralisms in this deformed ideology… Anything which threatens pathocratic rule becomes deeply immoral.” [p. 191]

Doubletalk can take many forms, ranging from the more benign, like puns and double entendres, to the more sinister, such as equivocation and insinuation. Anyone with any kind of observant mind these days will have assuredly noticed the verbal torrents of doubletalk that spew forth from the mouths of Western politicians. But it’s not just politicians. Deviant ‘humans’ of all stripe occupy positions in fields of science, media, industry, healthcare, academia… and they all operate under a shared assumption – the assumption that those ‘others’ (i.e. normal human beings with feelings) must be destroyed, dominated, or at the very least, controlled.

And doubletalk is a principal means of control for them – the “sound and fury, signifying nothing” that spreads the confusion, doubt and plausible lies that can cause naive human beings to act contrary to their own best interests. For example, on the subject of Syria, US president Barack Obama recently stated:

The Russians now have been there for several weeks, over a month, and I think fair-minded reporters who looked at the situation would say that the situation hasn’t changed significantly. […]

Now, where we continue to have an ongoing difference is not on the need for a political settlement; it’s the issue of whether Mr. Assad can continue to serve as President while still bringing the civil war to an end.  It’s been my estimation for five years now that that’s not possible.  Regardless of how you feel about Mr. Assad — and I consider somebody who kills hundreds of thousands of his own people illegitimate — but regardless of the moral equation, as a practical matter, it is impossible for Mr. Assad to bring that country together and to bring all the parties into an inclusive government.  It is possible, however, to preserve the Syrian state, to have an inclusive government in which the interests of the various groups inside of Syria are represented.

And so, as part of the Vienna process, you’re going to see the opposition groups — the moderate opposition groups that exist within Syria — some of which, frankly, we don’t have a lot in common with but do represent significant factions inside of Syria — they’ll be coming together in order for them to form at least a negotiating unit or process that can move Vienna forward.

Now, there are outright lies there – Assad killing hundreds of thousands of his own people, for instance – but the doubletalk is in the more subtle details. For instance, the adjective “fair-minded” likely means something other than the literal meaning of fair-minded, given that it is followed by a blatant lie – “the situation hasn’t changed significantly.” A truly fair-minded reporter would have to admit the situation in Syria has changed very significantly since Russia began its military campaign in Syria, not least with the recent disruption of the ISIS oil-trafficking black market to Turkey – a black market that high-level officials in the Turkish government have been involved in.

Then there are contradictory terms like “moral equation” and “moderate opposition”, as if morality could be somehow ‘calculated’ (a paramoralism itself), and alleged ‘opposition groups’ (in reality a covert proxy army of mercenaries) who start a civil war against ‘their’ government could be somehow “moderate”.

Then there is the double mention of “inclusive government” in as many sentences, a phrase which likely sounds wonderful to the Democrat party faithful in the US, but no doubt means something quite different to the US State Department.

The problem goes much deeper than that, of course – these are fairly mild examples. As to what can be done about it, Laura points to one suggestion Lobaczewski makes:

At this point, Lobaczewski makes a very useful suggestion regarding how to cope with this need to become fluent in the language of Doublespeak/Doubletalk for our own protection:

“We thus have the right to invent appropriate names which would indicate the nature of the phenomena as accurately as possible, in keeping with our recognition and respect for the laws of the scientific methodology and semantics. Such accurate terms also serve to protect our minds from the suggestive effects of those other names and paralogisms, including the pathological material the latter contain.” [p.191]

The word Lobaczewski invented to explain this field of research, ponerology, is itself an example of this principle at work. The book contains many other suggestions, but at the very least, we all need to start pointing out the doubletalk of politicians and authoritarians if we expect to have any hope of finding our way out of the Bizarro World situation in which we find ourselves.

Quick Reality Check

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Okay, so here are the major world issues happening at the moment, just off the top of my head:

  • Russian bombing of ISIS/Western proxy-mercs in Syria.
  • US invasion of Syria via Special Forces.
  • Saudi Arabia’s ongoing invasion of Yemen.
  • Investigation of Russian flight 7K9268.
  • Israel continuing its ethnic cleansing of Palestine.
  • Refugee crisis in Europe.
  • US provoking China in the South China Sea.
  • Ukraine continuing to implode as a state.
  • US Police State continuing its murderous authoritarian rampage.
  • Mass shootings at colleges and universities in the US seem to have become epidemic.
  • Western public protests against injustice and the economy intensifying.
  • TPP and TTIP treaties threaten to remove more civil liberties at the behest of corporations.
  • Western spy agencies want power to see absolutely everything everyone is doing on the Internet, including banning strong encryption from consumer use.
  • Eurasian Economic Union and BRICS continue to strengthen.
  • China now positioning the Yuan as a global reserve currency.
  • First signs of a very cold winter in the Northern Hemisphere.
  • Severe earthquakes and storms continue to develop, with the occasional volcano going off as well.
  • Increased signs of meteor/fireball activity e.g. recent fireballs above Bangkok and probably flight 7K9268.

That about cover it? 🙁


Words and Meanings

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Okay, rant time.

I have seriously had enough of the shitty examples given in the Oxford Dictionary of English that is provided as part of Apple’s “Dictionary” application in OS X. The dictionary usually has a serviceable definition of a word, but the contextual examples provided after the definition are often distorted, perverse, or just flat-out wrong.

For example: I recently looked up the Latin phrase “mutatis mutandis” to see what it meant. Here’s what the Oxford dictionary supplied:

mutatis mutandis |mu??t??t?s mu??tand?s, mju?-, -i?s|


(used when comparing two or more cases or situations) making necessary alterations while not affecting the main point at issue: what is true of undergraduate teaching in England is equally true, mutatis mutandis, of American graduate schools.

ORIGIN Latin, literally ‘things being changed that have to be changed’.

Okay, I get it – a Latin phrase that describes that two cases or situations are basically analogous, with only minor details different. Now look at the example:

what is true of undergraduate teaching in England is equally true, mutatis mutandis, of American graduate schools.

This example is completely wrong. The study towards a degree-level certification (e.g. a Bachelor of Science) is referred to as undergraduate study in both the English and American systems of education. Therefore, the main point of undergraduate teaching in England (to gain the knowledge required for a degree-level certification) is NOT THE SAME as an American graduate school – an educational institution that ALREADY REQUIRES the completion of a degree-level certification as a prerequisite for advanced studies. Thus, the example given directly contradicts the definition of the phrase.

Now, no doubt some smart-arses out there are thinking, ‘but you haven’t understood that they meant… xyz’. If so, you are completely missing the crux of the matter. The nebulous phrase “what is true of…” could apply to many aspects of both cases, and the reader is left to interpret what particular aspect of undergraduate teaching in England vs graduate teaching in America is supposed to be the “main point at issue” in order to try and reconcile the definition of the phrase with the example given so as to gain a correct understanding of the phrase “mutatis mutandis”.

The imprecision and lack of clarity in the example potentially confuses the reader, and this is something that is unprofessional, and just plain stupid from a dictionary that is supposedly the ‘gold standard’ in defining the English language.

If you think I am over-reacting, I invite you to start using the Oxford dictionary as your ‘go-to’ dictionary and enjoy the many backwards, upside-down and inside-out examples that you will absolutely encounter there, because a good example seems to be the exception, rather than the rule in it.

In truth, I got completely fed up with this a long time ago, and changed to using Webster’s 1913 Dictionary of English, one that I have discovered preserves the meaning of most common English words with precision, provides multiple examples, and is a great deal more informative than the Oxford one. The drawback is that it doesn’t contain many modern words and phrases (including common non-English words and phrases used in English) that the Oxford one has. Also, the Oxford dictionary, it has to be admitted, does include a good etymology for nearly all the words it contains.

Through using the Oxford dictionary over time though, I have received the impression from it that the editors, or at least some of them, have that supercilious, arrogant quality of many intellectuals that leads them to suppose that they are ‘teaching’ people by providing examples that lack sufficient information to logically deduce an answer, instead, creating a confusing ‘puzzle’ that requires the reader to make an inductive ‘leap’ in order to resolve contradictions. This type of attitude often seems to accompany ambiguity in speech and writing, and I would like to take this opportunity to inform such ‘individuals’ should they be reading, that true teaching involves taking responsibility for the understanding of the student, or the reader, in this case. Maximum information, precision and clarity are to be striven for with a goal of good-faith communication.

Unfortunately, such things are rarely the case with those who enjoy wordplay without giving a damn as to the potential confusion or enlightenment of those around them. Is it too cynical to wonder if certain editors at the Oxford English Dictionary are such types? Or to wonder if such behaviours betray certain psychological deformations characteristic of pathology?

Well, the Oxford English Dictionary still remains useful in some ways. I’ll probably keep using it for certain tasks for now, but I stopped using it as my ‘go-to’ dictionary a long time ago. I suggest you all do the same.


A Nasty Halloween Surprise

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By now you may have heard about the apparent crash of Russian airline Metrojet flight 7K9268 over the Northern Sinai peninsula in Egypt. Currently known facts point towards some kind of technical malfunction that led to the plane ‘falling out of the sky’ and crashing approximately 35 km south of Arish, the largest city in the Sinai. There is, however, some highly strange context about this terrible disaster:

Russian aviation sources still can’t confirm the whereabouts of the passenger plane, despite earlier reports that the aircraft had made contact with Turkish air traffic control, according to TASS [news agency].

“Preliminary reports suggest that the Airbus 320, Kogalymavia flight 92-68 from Sharm el-Sheikh to St. Petersburg, set off at 6:51 Moscow time (4:51GMT) and failed to make contact with Larnaka air traffic control in Cyprus at 7:14, when the plane was last seen on radar. There were 212 passengers and seven crew on board,” the agency’s spokesman Sergey Izvolskiy said. (Source: RT News)


Egyptian aviation authorities now say the Russia-bound plane is safe. After a brief radio silence, the pilot made contact with Turkish air traffic control, and is now believed to be flying in the country’s air space.

“The … Russian airline had told us that the Russian plane we lost contact with is safe and that it has contacted Turkish air traffic control and is passing through Turkish skies now,” Ayman al-Muqaddam, the head of the central air traffic accident authority in Egypt, told reporters in a statement. (Source: RT News)


The flight was traveling from the Egyptian resort to St. Petersburg. It belonged to the Kogalymavia airline, which also uses the brand name Metrojet, an operator popular among Russian tourists going to Egypt. The plane was supposed to contact air traffic in Turkish Cyprus’ Larnaca after leaving Egypt’s airspace, but failed to do so.

The plane climbed to its designated altitude of over 10,000 meters before rapidly dropping and then vanishing from radar. Some reports in the Egyptian media cited eyewitnesses as saying the plane was on fire as it fell.

A source at Sharm El-Sheikh Airport told RIA Novosti the pilot of the missing plane requested a change of course, saying the jet would have to land in Cairo. The source said the crew of the crashed plane had complained to the airport’s technical service that the jet had engine problems. (Source: RT News)


According to Egypt’s security forces, as cited by Reuters, a technical fault was to blame for the crash.

Search and rescue teams are finding bodies in a radius of up to 5km (3.1 miles) from the crash site. Approximately 150, some burnt, have been pulled out of the wreckage so far.

The sources say the aircraft took almost a vertical trajectory as it plummeted down. Large parts of the fuselage burned in the process. (Source: RT News)


Kolavia [Metrojet] believes human error was not behind the Saturday crash, according to RIA Novosti. The plane had been fully serviced and the pilot was an experienced one, with 12,000 hours under his belt. […]

An overhaul on the Airbus A321 was carried out in 2014. Comprehensive preflight maintenance operations were also completed, Kolavia said. (Source: RT News)


The pilot of the crashed plane did not address flight operations officers at Sharm El-Sheikh International Airport before the catastrophe, said the Egyptian civil aviation minister Hossam Kamal.

“Communication between flight operations officers and [the] Russian aircraft was carried out in normal way up to the moment of the catastrophe,” he said at a press-conference in Cairo, stressing that the pilot had not asked for help and the plane “suddenly” disappeared. (Source: RT News)


The aircraft crew of the Airbus A321 made no complaints about the technical state of the plane during pre-flight operations in the Russian city of Samara, TASS reported citing the regional transport prosecutor’s office.

“On October 30, after arriving to Samara airport… the aircraft did not undergo overhaul as there were no maintenance requests from the plane commander. The crew also made no remarks concerning the technical state of the airplane,” a spokesperson for the office told the agency. (Source: RT News)


“As far as it’s known, Islamic State and its affiliate groups don’t have the capability to bring down aircraft flying at the height that this aircraft reportedly was, which is something around 10,000 meters,” security analyst and former UK counter-terrorism officer Charles Shoebridge told RT. “That doesn’t mean to say though that at least theoretically they couldn’t bring the plane down by other means, for example by sabotage at the departing airport or a bomb on board,” he added, but pointed out that “the mechanical failure of some sort is the most likely cause, as with most air accidents.”

As of why the terrorists would make such claims, Shoebridge said that it “increases their propaganda, and it also can be seen as punishment – as they would like to call it – for Russian involvement against Islamic State in Syria, so therefore one can expect them to take advantage of opportunity like this regardless whether they are responsible or not.” (Source: RT News)


The last large-scale Russian airline incident happened in November 2013, when Tatarstan Airlines Flight 363 crashed at Kazan International Airport while attempting to land. Fifty people died in the incident. (Source: RT News)


The last major commercial airliner crash in Egypt happened in 2004, when a Flash Airlines Boeing 737 plunged into the Red Sea after taking off from Sharm el-Sheikh. The 148 people aboard that flight, most of whom were French, were killed. (Source: ABC News)


7K9268 A321 crash is the deadliest accident involving Airbus A320 family – 224 casualties (Source: RT News via Twitter)


The Saturday crash in the Egyptian skies became the deadliest in Russian and Soviet aviation history, surpassing the 1985 disaster in Uzbekistan which killed 200 people. (Source: RT News)

Consider those last few facts closely – the deadliest air crash in Russian and Soviet aviation history, and the deadliest accident that has affected the Airbus A320 types of aircraft. Consider also the contradictory reports coming from Egyptian officials after the incident initially took place. Consider also the airline’s statements regarding the technical state of the aircraft and pilot’s capability prior to the incident. Consider also the destruction of flight MH17 as a false-flag attack against Russia, Russia’s current partnership with the Syrian government in the annihilation of terrorist groups in Syria and the location of Sharm el-Sheikh airport.

Then ask what may seem to be an unpalatable question – who might benefit? Who might benefit from an ‘accident’ like this occurring?

ISIS? Certainly. But considering their lack of capabilities, and the much more sophisticated capabilities of those pulling the strings behind them, we once again arrive at a three-letter acronym synonymous with much of the actual terrorism than has been perpetrated around the world in the last five decades: The CIA.

Of course, Saudi Arabia’s ‘intelligence’ services also could fit into a potential ‘line-up’ of perps. It’s unlikely though, that they would try something so brazen without the explicit approval and probable assistance of, the ’empire’, especially when they have a ‘war’/turkey shoot in Yemen they are dealing with. So again, CIA.

Mossad perhaps? While they definitely have the means and opportunity, I don’t see that much of a motive for Israel to risk itself doing something so dangerous when it has been making notable efforts (on the world stage, at least) to ‘buddy up’ to Russia. Same with MI5 in the UK, although they’re trying to ‘buddy up’ to China. One less-likely possibility is of a false-flag by the Mossad against the CIA – to make Russia think the CIA took down the airliner. If so, expect to see US-Israeli relations begin to deteriorate in a BIG way over the next six months. But it more likely actually was the CIA.

A more interesting question, I think, is why? What would the CIA hope to gain out of such idiocy? They surely cannot be so stupid as to think that some kind of covert ‘message’ to Russia about targeting its civilians will make Putin back down in Syria. Putin (and the Russian government) are already well-aware of the empire’s targeting of Russian civilians for political purposes, and have taken/are taking steps to protect them. If anything, Russian airstrikes against ISIS/CIA etc. targets will likely increase in response.

To ‘demonstrate’ some new kind of weaponised technology to the Russians? EMP targeting of aircraft, perhaps? Given Russia’s ‘reverse propaganda’ articles about the capabilities of their EMP-hardened military units, I think Russia has been aware of possible U.S. military/DARPA ‘secret weapons’ for some time, and has been working to build defences against them.

Or perhaps, by attacking Russia in such an ‘obvious’ way, to demonstrate the supposed ‘vulnerability’ of Russia to other nations watching the geopolitical situation and that the U.S. can and will deal out the same to any regional countries that don’t ‘toe the party line’ in the upcoming Syrian ‘ceasefire’ negotiations?

Or perhaps to send a message to Egypt about getting too cosy with Russia? They did buy those Mistral carriers from France, after all. And they’re paying a Russian company $1 billion to outfit them with military gear. Not to mention all the other economic co-operation going on such as creating a free trade zone with the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) and Russia building nuclear reactors for them.

Dunno. There are few facts available at this stage, and, while I can guess that the Russians will investigate this incident with an extremely suspicious eye as to any possible ‘cloak and dagger’ stuff, the likelihood of any ‘smoking gun’ proof being found is not high.

There is also the possibility that ‘natural’ factors caused the downing of the flight, such as an EMP pulse from an overhead meteor explosion (perhaps a small ‘travelling companion’ of the ‘Halloween asteroid’ that has just flown by Earth).

At the moment, the known facts suggest an accidental malfunction of some sort. But other known facts suggest that such a malfunction was unlikely.

Hopefully, we will know the Truth soon. My condolences to all the families and friends of the victims.