Thursday 29th of July 2021

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worldsworlds

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maybe the Aliens Really Are Here


But if so, it’s probably in the form of robotic probes—something both UFO enthusiasts and SETI scientists should be able to agree on...

 

SETI, as a modern astronomical endeavor, dating to 1959 (first paper) and 1960 (first observation). Modern UFO sightings date to the late 1940s. Though superficially similar, the two fields in practice have had virtually nothing to do with one another. SETI usually requires a graduate degree in astronomy, and its scientists tend to disdain UFOers for requiring nothing more than a camera that takes blurry photos and a butterfly net in case a little green man appears.

However, the two camps may be moving closer together.

In the classic SETI paradigm, stars are observed for artificial signals. But this communication strategy has severe drawbacks from ET’s point of view. In order for it to succeed, ET would have to target each of potentially millions of promising nearby stars (including ours) continuously, and do so over potentially billions of years. Additionally, it would need to maintain a dedicated receiver for each target star to be certain not to miss a return message if and when it arrives. The cost of this strategy to ET in time, energy and materials would be immeasurable. Further, by announcing its presence to so many stars, it invites disaster should any civilization prove aggressive. Added to this is the problem of communicating with a target civilization of which it would know nothing. Perhaps the transmitting civilization communicates in color oscillations like a cuttlefish, while the recipient only understands bee-like waggles.

 

Read more:

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/maybe-the-aliens-really-are-here/

 

As more extremist evangelicals are trying to get into the Aussie parliament and make your life an upright moral misery (vote for donisha... ), it's time again (I'm boring, aren't I?) to revisit the stupidity of religious beliefs, despite the freedom of religious beliefs which are all designed to blancmange your sheep brains. See tax all churches...

Meanwhile we're afraid of the dark space that, through our consciousness, is afraid of its own darkness. Our worst sin at the moment is for the UK to keep JULIAN ASSANGE in prison on behalf of the crappy multi-sinning monoculturalist USA empire. Forget what you believe and stop for a moment... Please all of you, the Christians and the journalists around the world, the atheists and the communists, the aliens from Dorka and those from Whatsi, idiots and scientists alike... wake up and feel the need to shout:

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Come on... Make my day...

having a good time...

Plentiful food supply, swollen rivers discouraging herd from heading south

A herd of wandering elephants that has received global attention may have a prolonged journey back to their traditional habitat due to their current easy access to food and swollen rivers that are difficult for calves to cross, experts said.

After leaving their forest home in the Xishuangbanna National Natural Reserve in Southwest China's Yunnan province last year, the herd traveled about 500 kilometers northward before reaching Kunming, the provincial capital, on June 2.

The group, currently comprising 14 elephants, has been hanging around the city of Yuxi, also in Yunnan, since leaving Kunming six days later. A male elephant that strayed away about two weeks ago has yet to rejoin the herd.

Preliminary monitoring suggests the herd may be attempting to return to Xishuangbanna, but determining its likely route will need further research, said Shen Qingzhong, the reserve's chief engineer.

With over three decades of experience in research on Asian elephants, Shen has been working with the headquarters in charge of monitoring the herd since May 27.

From 6 pm Thursday to 6 am Friday, the herd moved about 3 km to the southwest-toward their former habitat. However, in the following 24 hours they didn't move much, according to the headquarters.

There is an abundance of crops that elephants like eating on farmland in the area, and that could be a factor making them hesitate to return home, Shen said.

Many areas in the Xishuangbanna reserve are "too well-protected", with the forest becoming so dense in some elephant habitats that the short plants they like to eat struggle to get the sunshine they need to grow, he said.

On its way back home, the herd, which includes two calves, will also encounter many difficulties crossing rivers swollen by the ongoing monsoon, Shen said.

"We are prepared that they will stay for an extended period of time," he said.

Chen Mingyong, a science professor at Yunnan University who has been working with Shen at the headquarters, said he expects the herd will return home in winter.

He said the headquarters is making great efforts to guide the herd to move southward to more suitable habitats.

China's Asian elephants, primarily found in Yunnan, are under A-level State protection. Thanks to enhanced protection efforts, the wild elephant population in the province has grown to about 300, up from 193 in the 1980s.

For over a month, authorities have sent police to escort the herd, evacuated roads to facilitate its passage, and used food to distract the elephants from entering densely populated areas.

In their efforts to send early warnings to residents in villages the herd approaches, monitors from the Yunnan Provincial Forest Fire and Rescue Service and local public security authorities have worked around the clock to monitor the animals with the help of drones and infrared equipment.

In an interview with People's Daily, Ahimsa Campos-Arceiz, a researcher with the Chinese Academy of Sciences' Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, not only commended the performance of governments in escorting the herd while ensuring people's safety, but also the country's achievement in protecting the endangered species.

An expert on elephants, he said it would not have been easy to prevent them causing casualties while traveling through so many densely populated areas.

 

Read more: 

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/a/202106/22/WS60d12070a31024ad0baca80e_1.html

 

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observing the mad planet...

 

For centuries, Earthlings have gazed at the heavens and wondered about life among the stars. But as humans hunted for little green men, the extraterrestrials might have been watching us back.

In new research, astronomers have drawn up a shortlist of nearby star systems where any inquisitive inhabitants on orbiting planets would be well placed to spot life on Earth.

 

The scientists identified 1,715 star systems in our cosmic neighbourhood where alien observers could have discovered Earth in the past 5,000 years by watching it “transit” across the face of the sun.

Among those in the right position to observe an Earth transit, 46 star systems are close enough for their planets to intercept a clear signal of human existence – the radio and TV broadcasts which started about 100 years ago.

 

The researchers estimate that 29 potentially habitable planets are well positioned to witness an Earth transit, and eavesdrop on human radio and television transmissions, allowing any observers to infer perhaps a modicum of intelligence. Whether the broadcasts would compel an advanced civilisation to make contact is a moot point.

“One way we find planets is if they block out part of the light from their host star,” said Lisa Kaltenegger, professor of astronomy and director of the Carl Sagan Institute at Cornell University in New York. “We asked, ‘Who would we be the aliens for if somebody else was looking?’ There is this tiny sliver in the sky where other star systems have a cosmic front seat to find Earth as a transiting planet.”

Earthly astronomers have detected thousands of planets beyond the solar system. About 70% are spotted when alien worlds pass in front of their host stars and block some of the light that reaches scientists’ telescopes. Future observatories, such as Nasa’s James Webb Space Telescope due to launch this year, will look for signs of life on “exoplanets” by analysing the composition of their atmospheres.

To work out which nearby star systems are well placed to observe an Earth transit, Kaltenegger and Dr Jackie Faherty, an astrophysicist at the American Museum of Natural History, turned to the European Space Agency’s Gaia catalogue of star positions and motions. From this they identified 2,034 star systems within 100 parsecs (326 light years) that could spot an Earth transit any time from 5,000 years ago to 5,000 years in the future.

One star known as Ross 128, a red dwarf in the Virgo constellation, is about 11 light years away – close enough to receive Earth broadcasts – and has a planet nearly twice the size of Earth. Any suitably equipped life on the planet could have spotted an Earth transit for more than 2,000 years, but lost the vantage point 900 years ago. If there is intelligent life on any of the two known planets orbiting Teegarden’s star, 12.5 light years away, it will be in a prime position to watch Earth transits in 29 years’ time.

 

At 45 light years away, another star called Trappist-1 is also close enough to eavesdrop on human broadcasts. The star hosts at least seven planets, four of them in the temperate, habitable zone, but they will not be in position to witness an Earth transit for another 1,642 years, the scientists write in Nature.

The findings come as the US government prepares to publish a hotly anticipated report on unidentified flying objects (UFOs). The report from the Pentagon’s Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force, which was set up to gain insights into the nature and origins of unknown aircraft, is not expected to reveal evidence of alien antics, or rule it out.

Prof Beth Biller at Edinburgh University’s Institute for Astronomy, who was not involved in the Nature study, said the work could change how scientists approach Seti, the search for extraterrestrial life. “What was striking to me was how few of the stars within 100 parsecs could have viewed a transiting Earth,” she said.

“The transit method requires a very precise alignment between the transiting planet, its star, and the sun for a given planet to be detectable, so this result is not surprising. Now I am curious about what fraction of the stars in the Gaia catalogue of nearby stars have the right vantage point to detect the Earth via other exoplanet detection methods, such as the radial velocity method or direct imaging!

 

Read more:

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2021/jun/23/scientists-identify-29-planets-where-aliens-could-observe-earth

 

Read from top.

Any alien with a brain would avoid visiting planet Earth at all cost... It's the planet of the mad naked apes, with a brain a quarter the size of their arse, on average...

 

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saving lebanon...

 

The Russian delegation that has been in Lebanon for a week, has offered to tackle the problems plaguing the country in terms of food, drinking water and electricity supply.

Russia has expressed its intention of building grain silos (destroyed by the explosion in the port of Beirut), water purification and power generation plants. Initially, the facilities created through Russian investments would be owned by Russian state companies. Once fully absorbed, after some 30 years, they would pass into the hands of the Lebanese state.

Less than 3 weeks ago, Hezbollah announced its intention to turn to Iran if the Lebanese state proved incapable of resoving the severe food shortage, lack of drinking water distribution and power generation.

Taking note of the decisions adopted at the US-Russia summit in Geneva (aka “Yalta II”), which place Lebanon under Syro-Russian tutelage, on 26 June Walid Jumblat, Druze leader of the Progressive Socialist Party allied to the United States, set the seal on his reconciliation with pro-Russian Druze leader Prince Talal Arslan. Meanwhile, militiamen from both parties guilty of murdering members of the other party over the past three years were immediately brought to justice.

France, which harbors the hope of recovering its place as a “mandatory” power, rejected the conclusions of the Geneva summit regarding Lebanon.

On 25 June, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken stopped over in Paris to appease his French counterpart, Jean-Yves Le Drian, and left Paris assuring that he can now speak about Lebanon on behalf of France and Saudi Arabia.

He then turned up at the Vatican to prepare for the special meeting on July 1st, when Pope Francis will host all the Christian religious leaders of Lebanon, including representatives of the Orthodox and Protestant Churches. Pope Francis is expected to advocate in favor of declaring Lebanon’s neutrality and placing this country under joint US-Russian tutelage.

Since the French mandate, Lebanon has been constitutionally divided ingo 17 religious communities, mainly composed of Christians, Sunnis and Shiites.

 

Read more :

https://www.voltairenet.org/article213538.html

 

Read from top...

 

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jesus was gay...

 

 

Did Russia’s Foreign Minister Get His Bisexual Jesus Riff From TikTok?

 

Russian officials deny that Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov gets his misinformation from TikTok. He relies, instead, on an obscure Christian website, which he misreads.

 

 

RUSSIA’S TOP DIPLOMAT, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, baffled Russian journalists this week when he claimed, without evidence, that schools in several Western countries routinely teach children “that Jesus Christ was bisexual.”

The bizarre false claim, in a lengthy opinion essay published Monday, was presented by Lavrov as an example of the sort of “aggressive LGBT propaganda” that Russia has barred by law since 2013. In recent weeks, European Union leaders have strongly criticized Hungary for passing a similar law, which bans the portrayal of LGBTQ+ characters in textbooks, advertising, and even television shows likely to be seen by children.

In both Russia and Hungary, the often violent repression of LGBTQ+ citizens appears to be an effort by reactionary, conservative ruling parties to portray themselves as defenders of traditional, Christian societies that are under siege from progressive ideas imported from the supposedly decadent West.

 

Read more:

https://theintercept.com/2021/07/01/russias-top-diplomat-pushes-false-claim-western-schools-teach-kids-jesus-bisexual/

 

————

 

Here we go again… Not able to bring down Putin from his pedestal (while still trying hard to push and shove), the Western media is having a go at Lavrov. Lavrov could be the most intelligent foreign minister on this planet, speaks at least 8 languages and has a great sense of history — plus, like Putin, he has a great sense of dark Russian humour, especially when taking the piss out of the Western media…

 

But Lavrov may not be fishing in "vague obscure Christian websites" (Ohlala — he knows better) but simply on The Guardian:

 

Was Jesus gay? Probably

by Paul Oestreicher

 

 

or The Christian Post…

 

 

See for example, amongst many

 

Eight years after lifting a ban on homosexual youth when it boasted more than 2.7 million members, the Boy Scouts of America now has just 762,000 members as it continues to grapple with some 82,000 sexual abuse claims from former Scouts, court records show.

In just one year alone, from 2019 to 2020 amid the pandemic, the BSA’s flagship Cub Scouts and Scouts BSA programs lost 850,000 members dropping from 1.97 million to 1.12 million over the period. Since then, membership in those programs have fallen a further 358,000 to the current 762,000 according to figures recently reviewed by The Associated Press.

Read more:

https://www.christianpost.com/news/boy-scouts-lost-2-million-members-since-lifting-ban-on-gay-youth.html

 

 

 

———————

 

What is amazing is that Lavrov wrote nearly 5,000 word in a serious article and the Intercept zoomed in on a couple of paragraphs which are supported by Lavrov stating: 

 

Attempts by reasonable politicians to shield the younger generation from aggressive LGBT propaganda are met with bellicose protests from the “enlightened" Europe.

 

 

We always have placed limits on what the young ones can see or experience, haven't we, often in the face of limiting confusion beyond “show me yours and I’ll show you mine."?

 

Here is the spiel by Lavrov. Whether you agree with it or not, this is the work of a mature adult who knows the price of fish:

 

 

 

By imposing the concept of a rules-bases order, the West seeks to shift the conversation on key issues to the platforms of its liking, where no dissident voices can be herd. Thе original Russian version of this article is published in the Kommersant newspaper and Russian edition of Russia in Global Affairs journal.

The frank and generally constructive conversation that took place at the June 16, 2021 summit meeting between presidents Vladimir Putin and Joseph Biden in Geneva resulted in an agreement to launch a substantive dialogue on strategic stability, reaffirming the crucial premise that nuclear war is unacceptable. The two sides also reached an understanding on the advisability of engaging in consultations on cybersecurity, the operation of diplomatic missions, the fate of imprisoned Russian and US citizens and a number of regional conflicts.

The Russian leader made it clear, including in his public statements, that finding a mutually acceptable balance of interests strictly on a parity basis is the only way to deliver on any of these tracks. There were no objections during the talks. However, in their immediate aftermath, US officials, including those who participated in the Geneva meeting, started asserting what seemed to be foregone tenets, perorating that they had “made it clear” to Moscow, “warned it, and stated their demands.” Moreover, all these “warnings” went hand in hand with threats: if Moscow does not accept the “rules of the road” set forth in Geneva in a matter of several months, it would come under renewed pressure.

Of course, it has yet to be seen how the consultations to define specific ways for fulfilling the Geneva understandings as mentioned above will proceed. As Vladimir Putin said during his news conference following the talks, “we have a lot to work on.” That said, it is telling that Washington’s ineradicable position was voiced immediately following the talks, especially since European capitals immediately took heed of the Big Brother’s sentiment and picked up the tune with much gusto and relish. The gist of their statements is that they are ready to normalise their relations with Moscow, but only after it changes the way it behaves.

It is as if a choir has been pre-arranged to sing along with the lead vocalist. It seems that this was what the series of high-level Western events in the build-up to the Russia-US talks was all about: the Group of Seven Summit in Cornwall, UK, the NATO Summit in Brussels, as well as Joseph Biden’s meeting with President of the European Council Charles Michel and President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen.

These meetings were carefully prepared in a way that leaves no doubt that the West wanted to send a clear message: it stands united like never before and will do what it believes to be right in international affairs, while forcing others, primarily Russia and China, to follow its lead. The documents adopted at the Cornwall and Brussels summits cemented the rules-based world order concept as a counterweight to the universal principles of international law with the UN Charter as its primary source.

In doing so, the West deliberately shies away from spelling out the rules it purports to follow, just as it refrains from explaining why they are needed. After all, there are already thousands of universal international legal instruments setting out clear national commitments and transparent verification mechanisms. The beauty of these Western “rules” lies precisely in the fact that they lack any specific content. When someone acts against the will of the West, it immediately responds with a groundless claim that “the rules have been broken” (without bothering to present any evidence) and declares its “right to hold the perpetrators accountable.”

 

 

The less specific they get, the freer their hand to carry on with the arbitrary practice of employing dirty tactics as a way to pressure competitors. During the so-called “wild 1990s” in Russia, we used to refer to such practices as laying down the law.

 

 

To the participants in the G7, NATO and US-EU summits, this series of high-level events signalled the return by the United States into European affairs and the restored consolidation of the Old World under the wing of the new administration in Washington. Most NATO and EU members met this U-turn with enthusiastic comments rather than just a sigh of relief. The adherence to liberal values as the humanity’s guiding star provides an ideological underpinning for the reunification of the “Western family.” Without any false modesty, Washington and Brussels called themselves “an anchor for democracy, peace and security,” as opposed to “authoritarianism in all its forms.” In particular, they proclaimed their intent to use sanctions to “support democracy across the globe.” To this effect, they took on board the American idea of convening a Summit for Democracy. Make no mistake, the West will cherry pick the participants in this summit. It will also set an agenda that is unlikely to meet any opposition from the participants of its choosing. There has been talk of democracy-exporting countries undertaking “enhanced commitments” to ensure universal adherence to “democratic standards” and devising mechanisms for controlling these processes.

The revitalised Anglo-American Atlantic Charter approved by Joseph Biden and Boris Johnson on June 10, 2021 on the sidelines of the G7 Summit is also worth noting. It was cast as an updated version of the 1941 document signed by Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill under the same title. At the time, it played an important role in shaping the contours of the post-war world order.

However, neither Washington, nor London mentioned an essential historical fact: eighty years ago, the USSR and a number of European governments in exile joined the 1941 charter, paving the way to making it one of the conceptual pillars of the Anti-Hitler Coalition and one of the legal blueprints of the UN Charter.

By the same token, the New Atlantic Charter has been designed as a starting point for building a new world order, but guided solely by Western “rules.” Its provisions are ideologically tainted. They seek to widen the gap between the so-called liberal democracies and all other nations, as well as legitimise the rules-based order. The new charter fails to mention the UN or the OSCE, while stating without any reservations the adherence by the Western nations to their commitments as NATO members, viewed de facto as the only legitimate decision-making centre (at least this is how former NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen described NATO’s role). It is clear that the same philosophy will guide the preparations for the Summit for Democracy.

Labelled as “authoritarian powers,” Russia and China have been designated as the main obstacles to delivering on the agenda set out at the June summits. From a general perspective, they face two groups of grievances, loosely defined as external and internal. In terms of international affairs, Beijing is accused of being too assertive in pursuing its economic interests (the Belt and Road initiative), as well as expanding its military and, in general, technological might with a view to increasing its influence. Russia stands accused of adopting an “aggressive posture” in a number of regions. This is the way they treat Moscow’s policy aimed at countering ultra-radical and neo-Nazi aspirations in its immediate neighbourhood, where the rights of Russians, as well as other ethnic minorities, are being suppressed, and the Russian language, education and culture rooted out. They also dislike the fact than Moscow stands up for countries that became victims to Western gambles, were attacked by international terrorists and risked losing their statehood, as was the case with Syria.

Still, the West reserved its biggest words to the inner workings of the “non-democratic” countries and its commitment to reshape them to fit into the Western mould. This entails bringing society in compliance with the vision of democracy as preached by Washington and Brussels. This lies at the root of the demands that Moscow and Beijing, as well as all others, follow the Western prescriptions on human rights, civil society, opposition treatment, the media, governance and the interaction between the branches of power. While proclaiming the “right” to interfere in the domestic affairs of other countries for the sake of promoting democracy as it understands it, the West instantly loses all interest when we raise the prospect of making international relations more democratic, including renouncing arrogant behaviour and committing to abide by the universally recognised tenets of international law instead of “rules.”

 

 

By expanding sanctions and other illegitimate coercive measures against sovereign states, the West promotes totalitarian rule in global affairs, assuming an imperial, neo-colonial stance in its relations with third countries. They are asked to adopt the democratic rule under the model of the Western choosing, and forget about democracy in international affairs, since someone will be deciding everything for them. All that is asked of these third countries is to keep quiet, or face reprisals.

 

 

Clearheaded politicians in Europe and America realise that this uncompromising policy leads nowhere, and are beginning to think pragmatically, albeit out of public view, recognising that the world has more than just one civilisation. They are beginning to recognise that Russia, China and other major powers have a history that dates back a thousand years, and have their own traditions, values and way of life. Attempts to decide whose values are better, and whose are worse, seem pointless. Instead, the West must simply recognise that there are other ways to govern that may be different from the Western approaches, and accept and respect this as a given. No country is immune to human rights issues, so why all this high-browed hubris? Why do the Western countries assume that they can deal with these issues on their own, since they are democracies, while others have yet to reach this level, and are in need of assistance that the West will generously provide.

International relations are going through fundamental shifts that affect everyone without exception. Trying to predict where it will take us is impossible. Still, there is a question: messianic aspirations apart, what is the most effective form of government for coping with and removing threats that transcend borders and affect all people, no matter where they live? Political scientists are beginning to compare the available toolboxes used by the so-called liberal democracies and by “autocratic regimes.” In this context, it is telling that the term “autocratic democracy” has been suggested, even if timidly.

These are useful considerations, and serious-minded politicians who are currently in power, among others, must take heed. Thinking and scrutinising what is going on around us has never hurt anyone. The multipolar world is becoming reality. Attempts to ignore this reality by asserting oneself as the only legitimate decision-making centre will hardly bring about solutions to real, rather than farfetched challenges. Instead, what is needed is mutually respectful dialogue involving the leading powers and with due regard for the interests of all other members of the international community. This implies an unconditional commitment to abide by the universally accepted norms and principles of international law, including respecting the sovereign equality of states, non-interference in their domestic affairs, peaceful resolution of conflict, and the right to self-determination.

Taken as a whole, the historical West dominated the world for five hundred years. However, there is no doubt that it now sees that this era is coming to a close, while clinging to the status it used to enjoy, and putting artificial brakes on the objective process consisting in the emergence of a polycentric world. This brought about an attempt to provide a conceptual underpinning to the new vision of multilateralism. For example, France and Germany tried to promote “effective multilateralism,” rooted in the EU ideals and actions, and serving as a model to everyone else, rather than promoting UN’s inclusive multilateralism.

 

 

By imposing the concept of a rules-bases order, the West seeks to shift the conversation on key issues to the platforms of its liking, where no dissident voices can be herd.

 

 

This is how like-minded groups and various “appeals” emerge. This is about coordinating prescriptions and then making everyone else follow them. Examples include an «appeal for trust and security in cyberspace”, “the humanitarian appeal for action”, and a «global partnership to protect media freedom.» Each of these platforms brings together only several dozen countries, which is far from a majority, as far as the international community is concerned. The UN system offers inclusive negotiations platforms on all of the abovementioned subjects. Understandably, this gives rise to alternative points of view that have to be taken into consideration in search of a compromise, but all the West wants is to impose its own rules.

At the same time, the EU develops dedicated horizontal sanctions regimes for each of its “like-minded groups,” of course, without looking back at the UN Charter. This is how it works: those who join these “calls” or “partnerships” decide among themselves who violates their requirements in a given sphere, and the European Union imposes sanctions on those at fault. What a convenient method. They can indict and punish all by themselves without ever needing to turn to the UN Security Council. They even came up with a rationale to this effect: since we have an alliance of the most effective multilateralists, we can teach others to master these best practices. To those who believe this to be undemocratic or at odds with a vision of genuine multilateralism, President of France Emmanuel Macron offered an explanation in his remarks on May 11, 2021: multilateralism does not mean necessity to strike unanimity, and the position of those «who do not wish to continue moving forward must not be able to stop … an ambitious avant-garde» of the world community.

Make no mistake: there is nothing wrong with the rules per se. On the contrary, the UN Charter is a set of rules, but these rules were approved by all countries of the world, rather than by a closed group at a cosy get-together.

An interesting detail: in Russian, the words “law” and “rule” share a single root. To us, a rule that is genuine and just is inseparable from the law. This is not the case for Western languages. For instance, in English, the words “law” and “rule” do not share any resemblance. See the difference? “Rule” is not so much about the law, in the sense of generally accepted laws, as it is about the decisions taken by the one who rules or governs. It is also worth noting that “rule” shares a single root with “ruler,” with the latter’s meanings including the commonplace device for measuring and drawing straight lines. It can be inferred that through its concept of “rules” the West seeks to align everyone around its vision or apply the same yardstick to everybody, so that everyone falls into a single file.

While reflecting on linguistics, worldview, sentiment, and the way they vary from one nation or culture to another, it is worth recollecting how the West has been justifying NATO’s unreserved eastward expansion towards the Russian border. When we point to the assurances provided to the Soviet Union that this would not happen, we hear that these were merely spoken promises, and there were no documents signed to this effect. There is a centuries-old tradition in Russia of making handshake deals without signing anything and holding one’s word as sacrosanct, but it seems unlikely to ever take hold in the West.

Efforts to replace international law by Western “rules” include an immanently dangerous policy of revising the history and outcomes of the Second World War and the Nuremberg trials verdicts as the foundation of today’s world order. The West refuses to support a Russia-sponsored UN resolution proclaiming that glorifying Nazism is unacceptable, and rejects our proposals to discuss the demolition of monuments to those who liberated Europe. They also want to condemn to oblivion momentous post-war developments, such as the 1960 UN Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, initiated by our country. The former colonial powers seek to efface this memory by replacing it with hastily concocted rituals like taking a knee ahead of sports competitions, in order to divert attention from their historical responsibility for colonial-era crimes.

The rules-based order is the embodiment of double standards. The right to self-determination is recognised as an absolute “rule” whenever it can be used to an advantage. This applies to the Malvinas Islands, or the Falklands, some 12,000 kilometres from Great Britain, to the remote former colonial territories Paris and London retain despite multiple UN resolutions and rulings by the International Court of Justice, as well as Kosovo, which obtained its “independence” in violation of a UN Security Council resolution. However, if self-determination runs counter to the Western geopolitical interests, as it happened when the people of Crimea voted for reunification with Russia, this principle is cast aside, while condemning the free choice made by the people and punishing them with sanctions.

Apart from encroaching on international law, the “rules” concept also manifests itself in attempts to encroach on the very human nature. In a number of Western countries, students learn at school that Jesus Christ was bisexual. Attempts by reasonable politicians to shield the younger generation from aggressive LGBT propaganda are met with bellicose protests from the “enlightened Europe.” All world religions, the genetic code of the planet’s key civilisations, are under attack. The United States is at the forefront of state interference in church affairs, openly seeking to drive a wedge into the Orthodox world, whose values are viewed as a powerful spiritual obstacle for the liberal concept of boundless permissiveness.

The insistence and even stubbornness demonstrated by the West in imposing its “rules” are striking. Of course, domestic politics is a factor, with the need to show voters how tough your foreign policy can get when dealing with “autocratic foes” during every electoral cycle, which happen every two years in the United States.

Still, it was also the West that coined the “liberty, equality, fraternity” motto. I do not know whether the term “fraternity” is politically correct in today’s Europe from a “gender perspective,” but there were no attempts to encroach on equality so far. As mentioned above, while preaching equality and democracy in their countries and demanding that other follow its lead, the West refuses to discuss ways to ensure equality and democracy in international affairs.

This approach is clearly at odds with the ideals of freedom. The veil of its superiority conceals weakness and the fear of engaging in a frank conversation not only with yes-men and those eager to fall in line, but also with opponents with different beliefs and values, not neo-liberal or neo-conservative ones, but those learned at mother’s knee, inherited from many past generations, traditions and beliefs.

It is much harder to accept the diversity and competition of ideas in the development of the world than to invent prescriptions for all of humanity within a narrow circle of the like-minded, free from any disputes on matters of principle, which makes the emergence of truth all but impossible. However, universal platforms can produce agreements that are much more solid, sustainable, and can be subject to objective verification.

This immutable truth struggles to make it through to the Western elites, consumed as they are with the exceptionalism complex. As I mentioned earlier in this article, right after the talks between Vladimir Putin and Joseph Biden, EU and NATO officials rushed to announce that nothing has changed in the way they treat Russia. Moreover, they are ready to see their relations with Moscow deteriorate further, they claimed.

Moreover, it is an aggressive Russophobic minority that increasingly sets the EU’s policy, as confirmed by the EU Summit in Brussels on June 24 and 25, 2021, where the future of relations with Russia was on the agenda. The idea voiced by Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron to hold a meeting with Vladimir Putin was killed before it saw the light of day. Observers noted that the Russia-US Summit in Geneva was tantamount to a go-ahead by the United States to have this meeting, but the Baltic states, siding with Poland, cut short this “uncoordinated” attempt by Berlin and Paris, while the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry summoned the German and French ambassadors to explain their governments’ actions. What came out of the debates at the Brussels summit was an instruction to the European Commission and the European Union External Action Service to devise new sanctions against Moscow without referring to any specific “sins,” just in case. No doubt they will come up with something, should the need arise.

Neither NATO, nor the EU intend to divert from their policy of subjugating other regions of the world, proclaiming a self-designated global messianic mission. The North-Atlantic Treaty Organisation is seeking to proactively contribute to America’s strategy for the Indo-Pacific Region, clearly targeted at containing China, and undermining ASEAN’s role in its decades-long efforts to build an inclusive cooperation architecture for Asia-Pacific. In turn, the European Union drafts programmes to “embrace” geopolitical spaces in its neighbourhood and beyond, without coordinating these initiatives even with the invited countries. This is what the Eastern Partnership, as well as a recent programme approved by Brussels for Central Asia, are all about. There is a fundamental difference between these approaches and the ones guiding integration processes with Russia’s involvement: the CIS, the CSTO, EurAsEC and the SCO, which seek to develop relations with external partners exclusively on the basis of parity and mutual agreement.

With its contemptuous attitude towards other members of the international community, the West finds itself on the wrong side of history.

 

 

Serious, self-respecting countries will never tolerate attempts to talk to them through ultimatums and will discuss any issues only on an equal footing.

 

 

As for Russia, it is high time that everyone understands that we have drawn a definitive line under any attempts to play a one-way game with us. All the mantras we hear from the Western capitals on their readiness to put their relations with Moscow back on track, as long as it repents and changes its tack, are meaningless. Still, many persist, as if by inertia, in presenting us with unilateral demands, which does little, if any, credit to how realistic they are.

The policy of having the Russian Federation develop on its own, independently and protecting national interests, while remaining open to reaching agreements with foreign partners on an equal basis, has long been at the core of all its position papers on foreign policy, national security and defence. However, judging by the practical steps taken over the recent years by the West, they probably thought that Russia did not really mean what it preached, as if it did not intend to follow through on these principles. This includes the hysterical response to Moscow’s efforts to stand up for the rights of Russians in the aftermath of the bloody 2014 government coup in Ukraine, supported by the United States, NATO and the EU. They thought that if they applied some more pressure on the elites and targeted their interests, while expanding personal, financial and other sectoral sanctions, Moscow would come to its senses and realise that it would face mounting challenges on its development path, as long as it did not “change its behaviour,” which implies obeying the West. Even when Russia made it clear that we view this policy by the United States and Europe as a new reality and will proceed on economic and other matters from the premise that we cannot depend on unreliable partners, the West persisted in believing that, at the end of the day, Moscow “will come to its senses” and will make the required concessions for the sake of financial reward. Let me emphasise what President Vladimir Putin has said on multiple occasions: there have been no unilateral concessions since the late 1990s and there never will be. If you want to work with us, recover lost profits and business reputations, let us sit down and agree on ways we can meet each other half way in order to find fair solutions and compromises.

It is essential that the West understands that this is a firmly ingrained worldview among the people of Russia, reflecting the attitude of the overwhelming majority here. The “irreconcilable” opponents of the Russian government who have placed their stakes on the West and believe that all Russia’s woes come from its anti-Western stance advocate unilateral concessions for the sake of seeing the sanctions lifted and receiving hypothetical financial gains. But they are totally marginal in Russian society. During his June 16, 2021 news conference in Geneva, Vladimir Putin made it abundantly clear what the West is after when it supports these marginal forces.

These are disruptive efforts as far as history is concerned, while Russians have always demonstrated maturity, a sense of self-respect, dignity and national pride, and the ability to think independently, especially during hard times, while remaining open to the rest of the world, but only on an equal, mutually beneficial footing. Once we put the confusion and mayhem of the 1990s behind us, these values became the bedrock of Russia’s foreign policy concept in the 21st century. The people of Russia can decide on how they view the actions by their government without getting any prompts from abroad.

As to the question on how to proceed on the international stage, there is no doubt that leaders will always play an important role, but they have to reaffirm their authority, offer new ideas and lead by conviction, not ultimatums. The Group of Twenty, among others, is a natural platform for working out mutually acceptable agreements. It brings together the leading economies, young and old, including the G7, as well as the BRICS and its like-minded countries. Russia’s initiative to form a Greater Eurasian Partnership by coordinating the efforts of countries and organisations across the continent holds a powerful consolidating potential. Seeking to facilitate an honest conversation on the key global stability matters, President Vladimir Putin suggested convening a summit of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council that have special responsibility for maintaining international peace and stability on the planet.

Efforts to bring more democracy to international relations and affirm a polycentric world order include reforming the UN Security Council by strengthening it with Asian, African and Latin American countries, and ending the anomaly with the excessive representation of the West in the UN’s main body.

Regardless of any ambitions and threats, our country remains committed to a sovereign and independent foreign policy, while also ready to offer a unifying agenda in international affairs with due account for the cultural and civilisational diversity in today’s world. Confrontation is not our choice, no matter the rationale. On June 22, 2021, Vladimir Putin published an article “Being Open, Despite the Past,” in which he emphasised: “We simply cannot afford to carry the burden of past misunderstandings, hard feelings, conflicts, and mistakes.” He also discussed the need to ensure security without dividing lines, a common space for equitable cooperation and inclusive development. This approach hinges on Russia’s thousand-year history and is fully consistent with the current stage in its development. We will persist in promoting the emergence of an international relations culture based on the supreme values of justice and enabling all countries, large and small, to develop in peace and freedom. We will always remain open to honest dialogue with anyone who demonstrates a reciprocal readiness to find a balance of interests firmly rooted in international law. These are the rules we adhere to.

 

Read more:

https://eng.globalaffairs.ru/articles/the-law-the-rights-and-the-rules/

 

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The Boy Scouts of America has reached an $US850 million ($A1.1 billion) settlement with groups representing tens of thousands of men with sexual abuse claims, a major step toward addressing a deluge of accusations that sent the organisation into bankruptcy.

In a filing on Thursday with the US Bankruptcy Court in Delaware, the Boy Scouts (BSA) said the settlement with the Coalition of Abused Scouts for Justice and two other groups covered claims by about 60,000 abuse survivors.

It said the accord provides a framework for a global resolution of abuse claims and could allow it to emerge from Chapter 11 protection “late this year”.

 

“Bringing these groups together marks a significant milestone … as the BSA works toward our dual imperatives of equitably compensating survivors of abuse and preserving the mission of scouting,” the 111-year-old non-profit said in a statement.

 

The groups separately called the accord a “significant accomplishment that achieves consensus” among most claimants, the Boy Scouts and more than 250 local councils.

Thursday’s settlement requires a judge’s approval and could face opposition from insurers that would be on the hook for payouts.

In a court filing, affiliates of American International Group, Chubb, Travelers Cos and other insurers said the Boy Scouts excluded them from negotiations and gave victims’ lawyers too much of a say in crafting a settlement.

“With only the fox guarding the hen-house, the outcome is utterly at odds with what BSA itself asserted was necessary for a confirmable (bankruptcy) plan,” the insurance affiliates said.

Founded in 1910, the Boy Scouts filed for Chapter 11 in February 2020 after being hit with hundreds of sexual abuse lawsuits.

These lawsuits were filed after several US states, including New York, began letting people sue over alleged sex abuses that occurred decades earlier.

The bankruptcy filing covered the national organisation, but did not include local councils.

 

Read more:

https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/world/us-news/2021/07/02/boy-scouts-abuse-settlement/

 

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