Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member All Forums Issue Forums Culture Forums Alliance Forums Region Forums Support Forums Help & Search


rpannier's Journal
rpannier's Journal
February 28, 2022

FIFA's Decison on Russia falls like a Stone

FIFA (arguably more useless and corrupt than the IOC) saw its plans potentially blow up as far as World Cup Qualifying goes
FIFA decided that Russia could remain in the quest for the World Cup, but only on neutral ground, they couldn't use the Russian flag and they would be referred to as "Football Union of Russia."

Well... a dung heap is a dung heap no matter what you call it... "Today's FIFA decision is totally unacceptable," tweeted Polish FA president Cezary Kulesza. "We are not interested in participating in this game of appearances. Our stance remains intact: Polish National Team will NOT PLAY with Russia, no matter what the name of the team is."
To further complicate things, the winner of Sweden-Czech Rep is supposed to play the winner of Poland-Russia and both Sweden and the Czech Republic have said they refuse to play against Russia no matter what they call themselves as well.
Which I guess this leaves out 'The International Acorn Eating, Accordion Playing, Clog Dancers' as well.

France, England and Wales have also said they refuse to play any games against Russia should they draw Russia in the World Cup or in any other competition.

FIFA's response has been as feckless as usual:
"taken good note of the positions expressed via social media by the Polish Football Association, the Football Association of the Czech Republic and the Swedish Football Association."
"FIFA will remain in close contact to seek to find appropriate and acceptable solutions together,"

There appears to be a limited number. Kick Russia out and keep the other three in, allowing the next team in line from the UEFA Qualifying into playoff.
Kick Russia out and Poland plays the winner of Sweden-Czech Rep.
Insist Russia stays in and deal with the fallout of no team with any character willing to play the Russians.
A FIFA bracket with Saudi Arabia, Russia, Qatar and some other autocratic country I guess is possible -- but FIFA doesn't like two teams from the AFC in the same group for the opening.
Though never bet against the weak-willed teams from CONCACAF caving and using the "politics should never be mixed with sports" defense.

February 27, 2022

Russian agent who infiltrated the NRA says Ukraine shouldn't hand out rifles in case a child gets hu

A Russian agent who infiltrated the National Rifle Association says Ukraine should not hand out weapons to its citizens in case a child gets hurt.

Maria Butina condemned the embattled country’s leadership for dishing out more than 18,000 guns to civilian volunteers in an effort to drive back Russian invaders.

But that is apparently not acceptable for the convicted spy, who told Russian state media TV show Vremya Pokazhet on Saturday that “people don’t know how to handle them and a child might be killed at home”.


Uhhhhh... yeah... or something
Not really sure what to say.
The Russians have invaded a country, are shelling cities and she doesn't want the Ukrainians to arm themselves because a child might get hurt.
How about Russia getting the f out of Ukraine and no child will get killed because the Russians are blowing up Ukrainian cities.

February 27, 2022

Dominik Hasek calls Alex Ovechkin a 'chicken (expletive),' wants NHL to suspend all Russians

Hockey Hall of Famer Dominik Hasek has called for the NHL to "immediately suspend contracts for all Russian players" amidst Russia's deadly invasion of Ukraine.

The 57-year-old Czech also had some choice words for Washington Capitals' Russian-born star Alex Ovechkin, a supporter of President Vladimir Putin.

Hasek, who played in the NHL for 16-seasons and is widely considered one of the best goaltenders of all time, called Ovechkin an "alibist," a "liar" and a "chicken (expletive)" after Ovechkin failed to publicly denounce Putin and his country's aggression.


Although Ovechkin said it's "it’s hard to see the war," Hasek said Ovechkin and other complicit Russian players should be "immediately suspend(ed)" from the league.

I understand where he comes from. He likely has some first-hand memories of the Soviet invasion in the 60s.
I strongly disagree with him when he says the NHL should suspend anti-Putin Russians.
I find that counter-productive
And he's spot on about Ovechkin.
Ovechkin is not only buds with Putin, but he's also friends with Ivanka Trump


February 26, 2022

Putin's Apologists. Or as I like to call them, the Blame America First crowd

1. Donald Trump: The most obvious of the group. The man who thinks Putin is a genius for invading the Ukraine

2. Tucker Carlson, aka Kremlin Karlson:Once the bow tie wearing stooge of mockery by Jon Stewart, this white nationalist, Putin loving douche wonders why supporting Russia (not an ally) is not okay and supporting Ukraine (an ally) is -- the answer Tucker is in the parenthesis

3. Tulsi Gabbard: She has fitted up her cart and has been on an 'I Love Putin' tour. Her rationale for supporting Putin has been so bizarre that Sean Hannity has called her out. But, how do you reason with a person like Gabbard? She's says the Ukraine isn't a democracy and, after Russia invaded, she faulted the US for not meeting Russia's demands (and got over 40k likes on her twit)

4. Sen Josh Hawley: The Israeli newspaper The Haaretz has labelled josh Hawley 1/3 of Putin's 'Dream Team', with Tucker and trump being the other two. Hawley has been peddling that the US could potentially push Putin into the arms of China, which would lead to the destruction of the dollar. Uhhhh... yeah... because Putin and Xi haven't been very close for sometime now, or something like that.

5. Alex Jones: Raise your hands if you're surprised. His (ir)rationale? George Soros and Transgendered people. Soros was going to take over the Ukraine and (I guess) force transgenderism on the country -- or something. I gave up trying to figure this guy out a long time ago -- hopefully Satan calls him home soon.

6. JD Vance: Trying to do his best to endear himself to il douche, Vance says he doesn't care about the Ukraine and you shouldn't either. Why? Well, apparently, Russia is anti-woke and Ukraine is woke.

Honorable Mentions -- only because they have retracted their positions on Russia-Ukraine and admitted they were wrong

1. Matt Taibbi: This one was a bit painful because I do like Taibbi. But he has been nauseating over the past two months in his "Putin won't invade. The hysteria over the Ukraine is a great PR win for Putin." Then... as we all know... Putin invaded aaaaaaand Taibbi was wrong. I thought he might pull a Gabbard and Blame America First, but he didn't. He wrote a mea culpa. He did write "When you're wrong, you're wrong." And damn was Taibbi ever wrong.

2. Milos Zeman: If you don't know who Zeman is it means you didn't read my post "Five Things You May Not Know About the Russian Invasion of Ukraine." (for shame) Zeman is President of the Czech Republic and has been one of Europe's biggest Russia cheerleaders. When Russia took Ukrainian territory in 2014, he stated he had no opposition to it. He has chided NATO and the other EU states for being so mean to Russia. Certain that Russia would never invade Ukraine, he has now admitted he was wrong and apologized. Too bad leaving office and hiding under a rock wasn't included. But, he's in poor health and the Prime Minister runs the country, so that's something

February 26, 2022

Could Sen Mike Lee (UT) be in danger of being shown the door?

To be clear, he's not going to lose to a Democrat.
But, Mike Lee compared Donald Trump to the Angel Moroni.
For those who don't know, Moroni is the angel who visited Joseph Smith many times and was the Guardian of the Golden Plates, which Latter Day Saints believe make up the Book of Mormon
His baffling heresy has not gone unnoticed -- unlike white, evangelical, fundamentalist Christians, Latter Day saints apparently see no similarities between a revered angel of their faith and a thrice married, foul-mouthed, egotistical twit like Trump.
Already former state legislator Becky Edwards and Ally Isom (not a politician) have said they are going to run against him in the primary. They'd likely have a better chance of ousting him in primary if Isom dropped out.
Even if he does win the primary Evan McMullin (of the 2016 Presidential run) is planning to run against him in the GE.
The Democrats in Utah will have to decide if they want someone in the senate who will caucus with the Republikkans, but isn't a butt-kissing ass-circus like Mike Lee
Side note: In 201 McMullin and Clinton together got 48% of the votes cast and Trump got 45%.
We do know that the people of Utah will not vote for a Democrat, as seen by Trump's victory over Biden. But they may be willing to vote for a Republican who isn't Lee and is running as an independent

February 26, 2022

Five Stories from the Invasion of the Ukraine you may not have seen

1. By invading Ukraine, Putin loses allies in eastern Europe

PRAGUE (AP) — Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has shocked the former Soviet satellite states of Central and Eastern Europe, drawing strong condemnation even from the region’s most pro-Kremlin politicians.

For some of the countries that fled the Soviet bloc following a series of anti-communist revolutions more than 30 years ago, footage of tanks and troops rolling in to punish a nation trying to pursue its own independent course looks painfully familiar.

Two until now major pro-Russian voices in the European Union, Czech President Milos Zeman and Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban, didn’t mince their words in criticizing Moscow’s most aggressive action since the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979.


“Russia attacked Ukraine this morning with military force,” Orban said in a video on Facebook. “Together with our European Union and NATO allies, we condemn Russia’s military action.”


2. Russian Government Orders Media Outlets To Delete Stories Referring To 'Invasion' Or 'Assault' On Ukraine

Russia’s media-monitoring agency Roskomnadzor has ordered media outlets to delete reports using the words “assault,” “invasion,” or “declaration of war” to describe Russia’s massive, unprovoked military incursion into neighboring Ukraine.

The agency said on February 26 that it had launched an investigation into the “dissemination of unreliable publicly significant information” against the independent newspaper Novaya gazeta, Ekho Moskvy, InoSMI, Mediazona, New Times, Dozhd, and other media outlets for their coverage of the war in Ukraine.


About 100 Russian journalists, including a few from state media such as TASS and RT, have signed an open letter condemning "the military operation that Russia has started against Ukraine."


In the first two days after the invasion of Ukraine began, Russian police detained more than 1,800 people in 60 cities for protesting against the war, according to OVD-Info, a nongovernmental organization that monitors political repression.


3. 'Dark Hour': Council Of Europe Suspends Russia

The Council of Europe has suspended all representatives of Russia from participation in the pan-European rights body’s Committee of Ministers and its parliament over Moscow's attack on Ukraine.

The 47-nation Council of Europe announced the suspension on February 25, saying in a statement it decided to suspend the rights of representation of Russia from the committee and the assembly “with immediate effect.”

Council of Europe Secretary-General Marija Pejcinovic Buric described the attack on Ukraine as a "flagrant violation" of the statute of the Council of Europe and the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), which the body oversees.


4. Thousands Of Georgians Protest Russia's Invasion Of Ukraine

Thousands of people have rallied in the Georgian capital, Tbilisi, calling for an end to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Huge crowds gathered outside the parliament buildings on February 25, and also called for the resignation of Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili, who said his country would not join the West in sanctioning Moscow.

(video at link)

5. Russia Barred From Eurovision Song Contest; Bolshoi Ballet In London Canceled

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) says no acts from Russia will be part of this year’s Eurovision Song Contest because of the country's invasion of Ukraine.

The union said in a statement on February 25 that the decision followed the recommendation by the Eurovision Song Contests’ governing body based on the rules of the event and the values of the EBU.

"In light of the unprecedented crisis in Ukraine, the inclusion of a Russian entry in this year's contest would bring the competition into disrepute,"the EBU statement said.

This year's finale is being held in Turin, Italy, on May 14. The annual musical pageant typically draws tens of millions of viewers across Europe and other parts of the world.


February 14, 2022

TD Bank freezes accounts of people supporting the Freedom Convoy

A Canadian bank has frozen $1.1 million in donations to Freedom Convoy protesters through a crowdfunding platform as the anti-mandate movement drags into its third week.

Toronto-Dominion Bank made the move after the Ontario Superior Court of Justice issued an order barring the dispersal of convoy donations made through GiveSendGo, which has raised more than $9.2 million for convoy supporters.

A spokeswoman for the bank confirmed the funds were seized in accordance with last Thursday's court ruling.

'TD has asked the court to accept the funds, which were raised through crowdfunding and deposited into personal accounts at TD, so they may be managed and distributed in accordance with the intentions of the donors,' Carla Hindman told the Globe and Mail.


February 14, 2022

Five Stories from Europe You May Have Missed

1. ‘I’ve met 10 popes, from Pius X to Bergoglio’: tiny Italian town sets record as 10th resident turns 100

Vittorio Lai, nicknamed Pistol, still drives and hunts wild boar, and on Saturday became the latest person in Perdasdefogu, a remote mountain town on the Italian island of Sardinia that set a world record for longevity, to celebrate his 100th birthday.

He will be joined this week by another sprightly centenarian, Piuccia Lai (no relation), who has no qualms about hopping on a plane to visit her sons in Milan, bringing the total number of over-100s in the town to 10 among a population of 1,765.

Sardinia has been identified as one of five regions in the world that have high concentrations of people who have eclipsed the century milestone. There are 534 people across the island who are 100 or older, or 33.6 for every 100,000 inhabitants.

But Perdasdefogu, a town tucked high up in the rugged mountains of south-eastern Sardinia accessible only by a narrow, winding road, is unique in the sense that the number of centenarians in a town of its size is 16 times the national average.


2. In Serbia, A Toxic Mix Of Nationalism And Animal Rights

BELGRADE -- In a gruesome social media video, a dog fight is taking place in what appears to be an open-air basketball court. Two pit-bull-like dogs are set against each other by a group of young men, who surround the battling animals in a circle. One dog quickly overpowers the other, digging its teeth into the upper lip of its opponent's snout, prompting squeals of agony.

The scene then cuts to smartphone footage that follows another group of young men walking through a dimly lit street in dark clothing, their identities obscured by caps and the shadows of the night. They knock on the door of a rural house, where one of the alleged perpetrators from the video answers.


The video was recorded and posted online by a group that calls itself Levijatan (Leviathan) and became popular in 2017, when its heavily tattooed, muscle-bound members began to capture the attention of the Serbian media with their "reeducation" videos. Levijatan could best be described as a cross between Britain's fascist National Front and the People For The Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), a U.S.-based animal rights group that is known for its provocative media campaigns.

"Levijatan isn't just a movement, it's an idea that you live by 24 hours a day," says Pavle Bihali, the 40-year-old founder and figurehead of the group, as he leans back into a gray armchair in Levijatan's spacious office in downtown Belgrade. Sprayed onto the wall is a stencil of convicted war criminal commander Ratko Mladic alongside a tag that reads "Smrt svima osim psima!" ("Death to everyone except dogs!&quot A laundry rack stands nearby and there are piles of clothing on the floor of an adjacent room.


3. One dead and eight hospitalised after spiked drinks in Bavarian bar

One man died and eight others were hospitalised in serious condition after drinking spiked drinks at a bar in Bavaria, German police said Monday.


Police didn't say what the group of people had been drinking because of the ongoing investigation but said they had ordered and shared one bottle.

The incident happened Saturday night in the Bavarian town of Weiden. When police arrived at the bar, they found people lying on the ground with cramps and eight of them had to be hospitalised.

A police spokeswoman told public broadcaster Bayerischer Rundfunk that there was a suspicion of negligent homicide but that they weren't looking at any suspects for the time being.


4. Armenia Detains 19 People Suspected Of Being In Spy Ring That Used A Dating Service

YEREVAN -- The National Security Service of Armenia (HAAT) has detained 19 people suspected of being members of an "espionage network" in the South Caucasus nation.

The HAAT said on February 10 that dozens of servicemen in different units of the the armed forces may have been involved in the activities of the spy network, which worked for an unspecified nation.

According to the security agency, recruitment took place via an online dating service through which Armenian servicemen who possessed classified data and documents would eventually join the spy ring.

Once part of the operation, the servicemen would receive payments for sending the secret data to foreign intelligence services from mobile devices.


5. Welsh government urged to trial four-day week for public sector

Hair stylist Joel McCauley had seen too many colleagues burn out after a perpetual cycle of work, eat and sleep, so when he opened his own salon in Cardiff he was determined to do things differently.

Staff at Slunks in Morgan Arcade now work a four-day week for no less pay than for working five days. They are happier, more productive and provide a better service, said McCauley.

“When you have more time, you can think about life in a different way,” he said. “At work, you’re likely to have more energy and fewer non-productive days. Outside work, you can be a better person, a better parent, a better member of the community. I feel better, staff feel better – we’re all working better.”

More people could be working a four-day week across Wales after the country’s future generations commissioner, Sophie Howe, called on Monday for the Welsh government to launch a shorter working week trial.

February 11, 2022

Woman who posted antisemitic conspiracies about Grenfell fire jailed

A woman who spread false antisemitic conspiracy theories on Facebook about the Grenfell Tower tragedy has been jailed for 11 months.

Tahra Ahmed, 51, said the 72 victims were “burnt alive in a Jewish sacrifice” in a video posted to social media just four days after the tragedy on 14 June 2017.


Ahmed, who reportedly worked as a volunteer with victims of the fire, posted her false conspiracy theories “virulently” on Facebook, the court heard. On 18 June 2017, she posted a video on Facebook of the fire and described it as a “Jewish sacrifice”, the court heard.


“They are very real and genuine, their pain and suffering is raw and deep and their disgusting neglect by authorities continues. Watch the footage of people trapped in the inferno with flames behind them. They were burnt alive in a Jewish sacrifice.”


February 11, 2022

North Macedonia's President walks bullied 11-year-old girl with Down syndrome to school

The President of North Macedonia walked an 11-year-old girl with Down syndrome to school after he heard she was being bullied.

President Stevo Pendarovski held Embla Ademi's hand as he walked her to her elementary school in the city of Gostivar on Monday.

Embla has experienced bullying at school due as a result of having Down syndrome -- a genetic condition that causes learning disabilities, health problems and distinctive facial characteristics -- a spokesperson for the President's office told CNN.

Pendarovski "talked to Embla's parents about the challenges she and her family face on a daily basis," and discussed solutions, his office said in a press release.


Profile Information

Gender: Male
Current location: Boseong
Member since: Fri Jan 30, 2004, 04:44 AM
Number of posts: 24,241

Journal Entries

Latest Discussions»rpannier's Journal