THE LONG ARM OF US LAW GETS SHORTER – ANOTHER DOLLY SAFE IN VICTOR’S ARM

By John Helmer in Moscow

The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (New York) decided yesterday that the US racketeering statute can reach Russian wrongdoers only if their deeds are done on American territory. Running the loot, laundering, or spending it through US banks and bank accounts, or on American real estate and other haven assets, isn’t enough to allow jurisdiction, the 3-judge panel has decided, following the precedent of a new Supreme Court ruling issued early this year.
(more…)

EVRAZ KEEPS ITS TAR BABY — CANCELS SALE OF US VANADIUM UNIT STRATCOR

By John Helmer in Moscow

The Russian steelmaking group Evraz announced today that it has cancelled the sale of its Connecticut-based vanadium producer, Strategic Minerals Corporation (Stratcor). Without giving a reason, the announcement says the company “notes the recent publications regarding the possible sale of…Stratcor…Following a comprehensive analysis of Evraz’s strategic options in relation to its US vanadium subsidiary Stratcor, Evraz has terminated negotiations regarding the possible divestment.”
(more…)

LONDON REGULATOR BANS THE TWO BLOOMBERG PEOPLE FROM GETTING TOO FAMILIAR WITH THE MATTER

By John Helmer in Moscow

One of the lucrative carry trades is about to be chopped.

A new report by the UK market regulator, the Financial Services Authority (FSA), has warned that it intends to crack down on links between companies preparing share market sales and financial media reporters and columnists, the effect of which, according to the FSA, has been to unlawfully hype share price and make money on the sly. In short, market abuse by insiders and their media accomplices.
(more…)

ALADDIN’S CAVE WILL SHORTLY BE OPEN — YAKUTS AGREE TO ALROSA SHARE RESTRUCTURING AND PRIVATIZATION, ON CONDITION THEY GET TO RUB THE MAGIC LAMP WHEN THEY WANT

By John Helmer in Moscow

The Sakha government has agreed to a reorganization of the Alrosa shareholding, legalizing open-market trading of Alrosa shares for the first time, and promising a privatization of state-owned shares soon.
The Yakuts will not agree, however, to privatizing more than 20% to 25% of Alrosa shares; the federal government and Alrosa chief executive, Fyodor Andreyev, have been wanting to sell up to 49%.
(more…)

SERGEI FRANK’S COMMISSIONS TAKE A HIGH JUMP – SOVCOMFLOT FINANCIAL REPORT REVEALS 51% INCREASE

By John Helmer in Moscow

Sovcomflot, the Russian state-owned tanker group, reports that, despite rising revenues of $678.6 million in the first six months of this year — up 11% over the same period of 2009 — earnings have fallen 4% to $292.6 million; and net income has dropped 5% to $111.2 million. Revenues rose in part because the company has added 11 vessels to its operating fleet, with a total now of 10.5 million deadweight tonnes, making an increase of 13% in fleet tonnage. The fleet gains include four new Suezmax oil tankers and one ice-class shuttle tanker for operations in the Arctic.
(more…)

SACRE-COEUR IS A MAGIC MULTIPLIER – WHY MORDASHOV PAID AN 88% PREMIUM FOR A JUNIOR GOLDMINER THAT IS CURRENTLY PRODUCING LOSSES, NOT GOLD

By John Helmer in Moscow

Sacre-Coeur Minerals (SCM) is a small Toronto-listed goldminer prospecting the malarial swamps of Guyana (South America), so far without striking El Dorado.

The company is so small, its website doesn’t publish financial reports. But the required filings with the stock exchange indicate that it is producing no gold; its operating expenses exceed its income; it paid out more in compensation last year to its Canada-based employees and consultants than to its Guyana prospecting organization; and it has obligations to share, warrant and options holders amounting to C$40.8 million.
(more…)

SHORT HISTORIES, TALL TALES, AND THE RUMPELKSTILTSKIN EFFECT — HONG KONG EXCHANGE ALLOWS PAVEL MASLOVSKY, PETER HAMBRO AND THEIR SONS TO LIST IRC WITHOUT DISCLOSING BANKRUPTCY RECORD

By John Helmer in Moscow

Rumpelstiltskin is one of the nastier dwarves in the canon of scary children’s stories. But for investors in goldmining, it is worth remembering that his investment in gold production proved to be pretty successful until he got careless when talking to himself, and revealed his name.
(more…)

HONG KONG STOCK EXCHANGE FAILS THE TRANSCONTAINER CRASH TEXT – RUSSIAN STATE GIVES GREEN LIGHT TO LONDON INSTEAD

By John Helmer in Moscow

Transcontainer, the state-owned Russian Railways box transport company, has revealed that it will not list shares in its initial public offering on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

The announcement confirms that for state-owned shares, the Kremlin sees little value, and considerable risk, in associating with the Hong Kong Exchange (HKEx). The Transcontainer IPO plan, which is being managed by JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley, also reveals that in the investment markets for Russian shares, Hong Kong is regarded as the market of last resort for Russian companies unable to meet the disclosure requirements, governance tests, and investor risks that prevail in London, New York, Paris, and Frankfurt.
(more…)

SOS – NEW US LAW PROTECTING JOURNALISTS FROM UK LIBEL THREATS TO BE ENACTED GLOBALLY

By John Helmer in Moscow

The US has responded with a powerful SOS for reporters, setting in motion a model for similar protections worldwide. SOS stands for Sod Off Schillings.

The new American legislation will make it impossible for practical purposes for Russians to attack American reporting of their activities by suing them or their newspapers in London. Russian businessmen who have made use of the London courts in this fashion include Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Alisher Usmanov, Roman Abramovich, Sergei Frank, Gennady Timchenko, Sergei Generalov, Alexander Lebedev, Nikolai Gluchkov, Boris Berezovsky, and Oleg Deripaska. The London-based law firm of Schillings has made a great deal of money issuing threats to stop publication of investigations of the likes of them.
(more…)

SPIES, PYRAMIDS AND OTHER FANCIES HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH THE TROUBLES PETROPAVLOVSK APPEARS TO BE HAVING TO GET ITS SPINOFF LISTED IN HONG KONG

By John Helmer in Moscow

It hasn’t been a golden autumn for Peter Hambro (Petro) and Pavel Maslovsky (Pavlovsk) or their London Stock Exchange mining play, Petropavlovsk plc.

First, there was a problem with falling production – and falling share price. Then there was the refusal by the Hong Kong Stock Exchange listing committee to approve the application to spin off the iron-ore and titanium assets and sell shares of their new company called IRC Limited.
(more…)

EVRAZ TO SELL US VANADIUM PRODUCER STRATCOR — BUT THIS BABY MAY NOT BE GOING OUT WITH THE BATHWATER – THE RUBBER DUCK STAYS SILENT ON WHO GAINS, WHO LOSES IN THE DEAL

By John Helmer in Moscow

Evraz, the most heavily indebted of Russian steelmakers, is signaling that it is about to sell a US subsidiary producing the valuable steel alloy ingredient, vanadium. But the signs are that there is no intention on the part of the controlling shareholders of Evraz – Roman Abramovich, Eugene Shvidler, and Alexander Abramov – to toss the vanadium baby out with the bathwater. The idea apparently is to take the company off the Evraz books, making the profit and loss accounts look better for banks and share markets, but keeping control of the vanadium by selling the company to a shareholder – for the time being.
(more…)

VEKSELBERG IN COURT AND ON TRIAL FOR THE FIRST TIME IN HIS LIFE

By John Helmer in Moscow

Victor Vekselberg, the chairman of the board of UC Rusal, went on trial in the Federal Penal Tribunal of Switzerland this week, charged with sharemarket violations, and facing a fine of 40 million Swiss francs ($40 million). That, according to the report of Le Temps today (see illustration), is the largest fine ever imposed by the Swiss authorities for stockmarket abuse.
(more…)

ENDEAVOUR SHIPS OUT – CREW GOLD SOLD TO MORDASHOV FOR A PROFIT OF $81 MILLION IN EIGHT MONTHS — BUT WHY DID NODDY PAY SO MUCH?

By John Helmer in Moscow

Endeavour Financial Corporation, a Cayman Island goldmine investment fund, announced on Monday that it has found buried treasure in a surprising place — in Alexei Mordashov’s pocket.

The fund, which is listed in Canada and controlled by Frank Giustra, has announced that it had sold out its 43% shareholding in Crew Gold — a junior goldminer with a sole producing mine in the west African republic of Guinea — for a cash payment of $215 million. Since Endeavour Financial had paid just $134.5 million when it started buying its stake in January, and then fought Mordashov for shareholding control in the company, Mordashov’s purchase has given Endeavour Financial a profit of $81.5 million in just eight months – a 124% rate of return on an annual basis.
(more…)

HAPPY 500TH FOR MOSCOW THE THIRD ROME – SUFFER THE LITTLE DOGS TO COME UNTO ME ON A LEASH AND MUZZLE

By John Helmer in Moscow

This is the year that makes five hundred since Filofei, a very clever monk of Pskov, wrote an appeal to the ambition of Vasily III, Grand Duke of Muscovy, letting him know that if he played his cards right with the Church, the Church would take care of him better than it had managed in faithless Constantinople. “Now two Romes have fallen, but the third stands, and the fourth there shall never be… No one will replace your Christian Tsardom”, Filofei wrote in either of three letters, or in all three, starting in 1510; or possibly in 1525; or possibly later.
(more…)

LUKOIL – WEST AFRICAN OIL OR MOSCOW TAX PLOY

By John Helmer in Moscow

An announcement last week by LUKoil’s number-2 executive and shareholder, Leonid Fedun (see image), that the Russian oil producer expects to find more crude oil in Africa than in Russia was intended to set off alarms bells at the Ministry of Finance in Moscow. That is where Fedun is negotiating for tax concessions for his company’s newly developed oilfields in the Russian sector of the Caspian Sea and in western Siberia. Company sources admit there was nothing new about the African projects in what Fedun had to say. Whether the Finance Ministry intends to offer tax benefits to temper LUKoil’s African enthusiasm remains to be seen. And for the time being, West African spending represents a small fraction – maybe less than a tenth – of LUKoil’s global exploration budget.
(more…)

RETRO TV — FORWARD RUSSIA! FIGHT THE ZIGZAGGERS! WATCH THAT PRAM! CAPTAIN OBVIOUS, CROMWELL’S HEAD, AND THE FAT LADY OF NABUCCO SHRUNK TO SIZE!

link 1 link 2

By John Helmer in Moscow

The Valdai International Discussion Club is a collection of journalists, academics and erstwhile opinion-makers from countries whose hostility towards the Kremlin has traditionally been a problem. Neutralizing that sentiment has been the principal reason the club’s annual autumn trip to Russia and talk-show with Vladimir Putin have been organized and paid for out of the state’s information budget.
(more…)

RUSAL AND BLOWBERG TRY SELLING CHINESE MCNUGGET BONDS AND A BIG MACPASKA

By John Helmer in Moscow

The promoters of United Company Rusal at Bloomberg have kicked off a new marketing campaign for Oleg Deripaska’s heavily indebted aluminium company, disclosing this week that “Rusal is planning Russia’s first offering of bonds in China, spurred by McDonald’s Corp.’s debut sale in yuan.” A roadshow to test whether the Chinese taste for McDonald’s will carry over to an appetite for Deripaska risk products is planned with investors and banks in about a fortnight’s time. Yuriy Humber, Bloomberg’s ace reporter on Rusal’s affairs, found a source in Frankfurt, Germany, who says: “For Hong Kong-based investors, this issue will be a great diversification play with significant yield pick-up compared to the majority of local bonds.”
(more…)

CONSOLATION PRIZE FOR OUSTED OLIGARCH — RYBOLOVLEV GETS HIS AIRFORCE BACK FOR $130 MILLION

By John Helmer in Moscow

Even in ignominy or retirement, a big boy’s toys are worth playing with.

Uralkali is Russia’s dominant producer of potash fertilizer and will soon merge with Silvinit to become the national potash champion, according to a government scheme first reported here on June 15. At the time, the head of investor relations for Uralkali, Anna Batarina, called this report disreputable nonsense.
(more…)

PUTIN VISITS NORILSK NICKEL, HANDS OUT WARNINGS – DERIPASKA GETS A PUTDOWN

By John Helmer in Moscow

Oleg Deripaska is preparing a series of presentations to institutional investors next week in Boston and New York, chaperoned by one of his largest creditor banks, BNP Paribas. Rarely has so unconvincing a lamb been led to market by so well-known a wolf; or such an odd couple asked to be believed for the sincerity of their hand-holding.

The prospectus released by United Company Rusal to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on December 31 reveals that BNP Paribas’s affiliated banks are owed more than $415 million by Rusal; no other international bank appears to be owed a larger sum by Rusal than that.
(more…)

RED HAS TURNED YELLOW – THE GREEK AND CYPRIOT COMMUNISTS ARE FLYING A DIFFERENT FLAG IN THE UKRAINE WAR



By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

The Ukraine war is splitting the communist parties of Europe between those taking the US side, and those on the Russian side.

In an unusual public criticism of the Greek Communist Party (KKE) and of smaller communist parties in Europe which have endorsed the Greek criticism of Russia for waging an “imperialist” war against the Ukraine, the Russian Communist Party (KPRF) has responded this week with a 3,300-word declaration:  “The military conflict in Ukraine,” the party said, “cannot be described as an imperialist war, as our comrades would argue. It is essentially a national liberation war of the people of Donbass. From Russia’s point of view it is a struggle against an external threat to national security and against Fascism.”

By contrast, the Russian communists have not bothered to send advice, or air public criticism of the Cypriot communists and their party, the Progressive Party of Working People (AKEL). On March 2, AKEL issued a communiqué “condemn[ing] Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and calls for an immediate ceasefire and the withdrawal of the Russian troops from Ukrainian territories….[and] stresses that the Russian Federation’s action in recognising the Donetsk and Luhansk regions constitutes a violation of the principle of the territorial integrity of states.”

 To the KPRF in Moscow the Cypriots are below contempt; the Greeks are a fraction above it.

A Greek-Cypriot veteran of Cypriot politics and unaffiliated academic explains: “The Cypriot communists do not allow themselves to suffer for what they profess to believe. Actually, they are a misnomer. They are the American party of the left in Cyprus, just as [President Nikos] Anastasiades is the American party of the right.” As for the Greek left, Alexis Tsipras of Syriza – with 85 seats of the Greek parliament’s 300, the leading party of the opposition – the KKE (with 15 seats), and Yanis Varoufakis of MeRA25 (9 seats), the source adds: “The communists are irrelevant in Europe and in the US, except in the very narrow context of Greek party politics.”

(more…)

IF IT SMELLS ALLURING, IT’S RUSSIAN – IN WARTIME L’ORÉAL (FRANCE) AND ESTÉE LAUDER (US) MAKE A BAD SMELL



By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

The war plan of the US and the European allies is destroying the Russian market for traditional French perfumes, the profits of the French and American conglomerates which own the best-known brands, the bonuses of their managers, and the dividends of their shareholders. The odour  of these losses is too strong for artificial fresheners.

Givaudan, the Swiss-based world leader in production and supply of fragrances, oils and other beauty product ingredients, has long regarded the Russian market as potentially its largest in Europe; it is one of the fastest growing contributors to Givaudan’s profit worldwide. In the recovery from the pandemic of Givaudan’s Fragrance and Beauty division – it accounts for almost half the company’s total sales — the group reported “excellent double-digit growth in 2021, demonstrating strong consumer demand for these product categories.”    Until this year, Givaudan reveals in its latest financial report, the growth rate for Russian demand was double-digit – much faster than the  6.3% sales growth in Europe overall; faster growth than in Germany, Belgium and Spain.    

Between February 2014, when the coup in Kiev started the US war against Russia, and last December, when the Russian non-aggression treaties with the US and NATO were rejected,   Givaudan’s share price jumped three and a half times – from 1,380 Swiss francs to 4,792 francs; from a company with a market capitalisation of 12.7 billion francs ($12.7 billion) to a value of 44.2 billion francs ($44.2 billion). Since the fighting began in eastern Ukraine this year until now, Givaudan has lost 24% of that value – that’s $10 billion.  

The largest of Givaudan’s shareholders is Bill Gates. With his 14%, plus the 10% controlled by Black Rock of New York and MFS of Boston, the US has effective control over the company.

Now, according to the US war sanctions, trade with Russia and the required payment systems have been closed down, alongside the bans on the importation of the leading European perfumes. So in place of the French perfumers, instead of Givaudan, the Russian industry is reorganizing for its future growth with its own perfume brands manufactured from raw materials produced in Crimea and other regions, or supplied by India and China. Givaudan, L’Oréal (Lancome, Yves Saint Laurent), Kering (Balenciaga, Gucci), LVMH (Dior, Guerlain, Givenchy), Chanel, Estée Lauder, Clarins – they have all cut off their noses to spite the Russian face.

(more…)

THE WAR AGAINST FOOD – WHO IS TO BLAME



By Nikolai Storozhenko, introduced and translated by John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

This week President Joseph Biden stopped at an Illinois farm to say he’s going to help the  Ukraine ship 20 million tonnes of wheat and corn out of storage into export, thereby relieving  grain shortages in the international markets and lowering bread prices around the world.  Biden was trying to play a hand in which his cards have already been clipped. By Biden.  

The first Washington-Kiev war plan for eastern Ukraine has already lost about 40% of the Ukrainian wheat fields, 50% of the barley, and all of the grain export ports. Their second war plan to hold the western region defence lines with mobile armour, tanks, and artillery  now risks the loss of the corn and rapeseed crop as well as the export route for trucks to Romania and Moldova. What will be saved in western Ukraine will be unable to grow enough to feed its own people. They will be forced to import US wheat, as well as US guns and the money to pay for both.

Biden told his audience that on the Delaware farms he used to represent in the US Senate “there are more chickens than there are Americans.”  Blaming the Russians is the other card Biden has left.  

(more…)

EXILE



By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

The problem with living in exile is the meaning of the word. If you’re in exile, you mean you are forever looking backwards, in geography as well as in time. You’re not only out of place; you’re out of time — yesterday’s man.

Ovid, the Roman poet who was sent into exile from Rome by Caesar Augustus, for offences neither Augustus nor Ovid revealed, never stopped looking back to Rome. His exile, as Ovid described it, was “a barbarous coast, inured to rapine/stalked ever by bloodshed, murder, war.” In such a place or state, he said, “writing a poem you can read to no one is like dancing in the dark.”

The word itself, exsilium in Roman law, was the sentence of loss of citizenship as an alternative to loss of life, capital punishment. It meant being compelled to live outside Rome at a location decided by the emperor. The penalty took several degrees of isolation and severity. In Ovid’s case, he was ordered by Augustus to be shipped to the northeastern limit of the Roman empire,  the Black Sea town called Tomis; it is now Constanta, Romania. Ovid’s last books, Tristia (“Sorrows”) and Epistulae ex Ponto (“Black Sea Letters”), were written from this exile, which began when he was 50 years old, in 8 AD, and ended when he died in Tomis nine years year later, in 17 AD.  

In my case I’ve been driven into exile more than once. The current one is lasting the longest. This is the one from Moscow, which began with my expulsion by the Foreign Ministry on September 28, 2010.  The official sentence is Article 27(1) of the law No. 114-FZ — “necessary for the purposes of defence capability or security of the state, or public order, or protection of health of the population.” The reason, a foreign ministry official told an immigration service official when they didn’t know they were being overheard, was: “Helmer writes bad things about Russia.”

(more…)

IN THE FOG OF WAR THERE’S THE GUTERRES CERTAINTY AND THE CADIEU CERTAINTY – GORILLA RADIO SEES THROUGH THE COVER-UP



By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

Antonio Guterres is the Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN), who attempted last month  to arrange the escape from Russian capture of Ukrainian soldiers and NATO commanders,  knowing they had committed war crimes. He was asked to explain; he refuses.   

Trevor Cadieu is a Canadian lieutenant-general who was appointed the chief of staff and head of the Canadian Armed Forces last August; was stopped in September; retired from the Army this past April, and went to the Ukraine, where he is in hiding. From whom he is hiding – Canadians or Russians – where he is hiding, and what he will say to explain are questions Cadieu isn’t answering, yet.

(more…)

DID UN SECRETARY-GENERAL GUTERRES COMMIT A WAR CRIME AT AZOVSTAL?

By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

Antonio Guterres, the United Nations Secretary-General, is refusing this week to answer questions on the role he played in the recent attempt by US, British, Canadian and other foreign combatants to escape the bunkers under the Azovstal plant, using the human shield of civilians trying to evacuate.

In Guterres’s meeting with President Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin on April 26 (lead image), Putin warned Guterres he had been “misled” in his efforts. “The simplest thing”, Putin told Guterres in the recorded part of their meeting, “for military personnel or members of the nationalist battalions is to release the civilians. It is a crime to keep civilians, if there are any there, as human shields.”  

This war crime has been recognized since 1977 by the UN in Protocol 1 of the Geneva Convention.  In US law for US soldiers and state officials, planning to employ or actually using human shields is a war crime to be prosecuted under 10 US Code Section 950t.  

Instead, Guterres ignored the Kremlin warning and the war crime law, and authorized UN officials, together with Red Cross officials,  to conceal what Guterres himself knew of the foreign military group trying to escape. Overnight from New York, Guterres has refused to say what he knew of the military escape operation, and what he had done to distinguish, or conceal the differences between the civilians and combatants in the evacuation plan over the weekend of April 30-May 1.May.

(more…)

THE LAST DITCH IS POLAND – RUSSIA’S PHASE-3 PLAN FOR WESTERN UKRAINE



By Vlad Shlepchenko, introduced & translated by John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

The more western politicians announce pledges of fresh weapons for the Ukraine, the more Russian military analysts explain what options their official sources are considering to destroy the arms before they reach the eastern front, and to neutralize Poland’s role as the NATO  hub for resupply and reinforcement of the last-ditch holdout of western Ukraine.

“I would like to note,” Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, repeated yesterday, “that any transport of the North Atlantic Alliance that arrived on the territory of the country with weapons or material means for the needs of the Ukrainian armed forces is considered by us as a legitimate target for destruction”.  He means the Ukraine border is the red line.

(more…)

THE MATLIN PLOT, THE BROWDER PLOT AND THE NEW YORK TIMES PLOT



By Lucy Komisar,  New York*
  @bears_with

Here’s a story the New York Times has just missed.

US politicians and media pundits are promoting the targeting of “enablers” of Russian oligarchs who stash their money in offshore accounts. A Times article of March 11   highlighted Michael Matlin, CEO of Concord Management as such an “enabler.” But the newspaper missed serious corruption Matlin was involved in. Maybe that’s because Matlin cheated Russia, and also because the Matlin story exposes the William Browder/Sergei Magnitsky hoax aimed at Russia.

(more…)

YELLOW COAL, THE FUEL MADE OUT OF RACE HATRED — MAY DAY MESSAGE FROM SIGIZMUND KRZHIZHANOVSKY, 1939



By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

In 1939 a little known writer in Moscow named Sigizmund Khrzhizhanovsky published his idea that the Americans, then the Germans would convert human hatred into a new source of energy powering everything which had been dependent until then on coal, gas, and oil.

Called yellow coal, this invention originated with Professor Leker at Harvard University. It was applied, first to running municipal trams, then to army weapons, and finally to cheap electrification of everything from domestic homes and office buildings to factory production lines. In Russian leker means a quack doctor.

The Harvard professor’s idea was to concentrate the neuro-muscular energy people produce when they hate each other.  Generated as bile (yellow), accumulated and concentrated into kinetic spite in machines called myeloabsorberators, Krzhizhanovsky called this globalization process the bilification of society.

(more…)

IS CAESARISM THE PROBLEM, THE SOLUTION, A FANCY DRESS COSTUME, OR A PROPAGANDA CARTOON?



By John Helmer, Moscow
  @bears_with

In imperial history there is nothing new in cases of dementia in rulers attracting homicidal psychopaths to replace them.  It’s as natural as honey attracts bees.

When US President Woodrow Wilson was incapacitated by a stroke on October 19, 1919, he was partially paralysed and blinded, and was no longer able to feed himself, sign his name, or speak normally; he was not demented.

While his wife and the Navy officer  who was his personal physician concealed his condition, there is no evidence that either Edith Wilson or Admiral Cary Grayson were themselves clinical cases of disability, delusion,  or derangement. They were simply liars driven by the ambition to hold on to the power of the president’s office and deceive everyone who got in their way.  

The White House is always full of people like that. The 25th Amendment to the US Constitution is meant to put a damper on their homicidal tendencies.

What is unusual, probably exceptional in the current case of President Joseph Biden, not to mention the history of the United States,  is the extent of the president’s personal incapacitation; combined with the clinical evidence of psychopathology in his Secretary of State Antony Blinken;  and the delusional condition of the rivals to replace Biden, including Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

Like Rome during the first century AD, Washington is now in the ailing emperor-homicidal legionary phase.  But give it another century or two, and the madness, bloodshed, and lies of the characters of the moment won’t matter quite as much as their images on display in the museums of their successors craving legitimacy, or of successor powers celebrating their superiority.  

Exactly this has happened to the original Caesars, as a new book by Mary Beard, a Cambridge University professor of classics, explains. The biggest point of her book, she says, is “dynastic succession” – not only of the original Romans but of those modern rulers who acquired the Roman portraits in marble and later copies in paint, and the copies of those copies, with the idea of communicating “the idea of the direct transfer of power from ancient Romans to Franks and on to later German rulers.”

In the case she narrates of the most famous English owner of a series of the “Twelve Caesars”, King Charles I — instigator of the civil war of 1642-51 and the loser of both the war and his head – the display of his Caesars was intended to demonstrate the king’s self-serving “missing link” between his one-man rule and the ancient Romans who murdered their way to rule, and then apotheosized into immortal gods in what they hoped would be a natural death on a comfortable bed.

With the American and Russian successions due to take place in Washington and Moscow in two years’ time, Beard’s “Twelve Caesars, Images of Power from the Ancient World to the Modern”,  is just the ticket from now to then.

(more…)
Categories
Archives

Copyright © 2007-2017 Dances With Bears

Copyright © 2007-2017 Dances With Bears

Education Template