Global Analysis from the European Perspective. Preparing for the world of tomorrow

Assassination attempt on Robert Fico

The assassination in Slovakia – a shock for the public. The assassin from Slovakia – rather something familiar. A poet who used to give speeches at meetings of radical right-wing “Slovakian recruits”, only to take part in pro-Ukrainian demonstrations a few years later. A man makes sweeping changes in his political views, which is typical of secret agents who have to penetrate certain milieus, sometimes this one, sometimes that one, by presenting themselves as their own kind and telling fairy tales (a child’s play for poets). Such assassins are portrayed as madmen, as mavericks who often go berserk – all to justify the inadequacy of the secret services. No, no, the assassins never belonged, do not belong or will ever belong to the services themselves nor are they controlled by them, God forbid! To say so would be a conspiracy theory! And yet such acts are almost never committed by genuine extremists who have long been under the radar of the secret services: they are almost always people from nowhere who could not be located.

December 2009: Berlusconi is giving a speech in Piazza del Duomo in Milan. Suddenly a man throws a heavy figure from the cathedral right into his face. Serious wounds. Security officers react unprofessionally here too. It was a man with mental disorders who recently had his driver’s license revoked. Oh dear! How were we, secret service agents, supposed to suspect someone like that!

July 8, 2022: at an election rally, a former soldier easily threads his way to the immediate vicinity of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. To top it all, he does so with a 40 cm shotgun. Abe doesn’t survive while the body guard reacts as quickly as an old chaperon. Motives? Supposedly Abe supported the Myung cult, a cult that allegedly drove the assassin’s family to ruin. What?

The assassinations of Kennedy, Reagan, you name them. Very good shooters, indeed, snipers. Madmen who kill themselves or… are killed by other madmen. History does not happen on its own: rather, it is written, written with ruthless invisible hands.

Gefira 84: Between buying and selling sin is wedged

Amid the hostilities between the Western world and Russia, only the lazy or the unwilling cannot discern the signs of the impending fall of the former. It looks like the proxy war with its battleground in Ukraine is about to end soon, while the West stands no chance of reporting a victory. The defeat at the hands of the Russians is not merely the West’s military failure: there is more at stake. At stake is an enormous loss of face or prestige, the clear signal to the third parties that both NATO and the European Union are no more than talking heads, that reliance on Western leaders – promises – support is worthless, not to say dangerous, that the power of the West – including that of the United States – is declining and that perhaps it is about time to look to China or Russia for protection and guidance and economic aid.

As is known, in Moscow Russians have just made a display of the various pieces of destroyed Western armament for all to see: tanks, armoured vehicles, guns, you name it. Some of them were reputed to surpass anything Russians had ever had, some of them were sent to Ukraine almost like items of Wunderwaffe with which Ukrainians and the numerous multinational mercenaries in the Western pay were supposed to change the course of war. All the talk from merely two years ago that Russians were not properly equipped and that they dismantled washing machines in a desperate search for electronic parts for military use transpired either as inept propaganda or self-delusion. A bit more than thirty years earlier it was the Russians who suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of the West when they laid down their arms, thus bringing to an end the four-decade long Cold War. Today it seems to be the other way round.

What does all of this spell for that Western world? Will NATO continue as an alliance? Will the European Union survive this loss of prestige, especially when compounded by progressing de-industrialization, the ongoing massive influx of aliens and the economic weakening of Germany, its powerhouse? Will the United States still remain the world’s only superpower, the world’s policeman, the world’s bank and the world’s leader? These are legitimate questions.

In the meantime Anthony Blinken, the incumbent secretary of state, visited Kiev and – while patting his Ukrainian subordinates on the shoulders and encouraging them to further sacrifice their lives and limbs – having first tasted Kievan pizza, he grabbed the guitar from a member of a band that amused him during his stay in Ukraine’s capital and began strumming the strings, thus revealing his true nature. A disgusting picture.

The West has overreached itself. Its leaders had thought Russia was a weak sparring partner, someone to be swiftly dealt with and made to obey and serve. The endless waves of sanctions and the shameless grabbing of Russian financial assets have only shown the Western leaders’ incompetence and impotence when it turned out that despite all these measures Russia was alive and well. And yet, the Western leaders have been stubbornly taking similar similarly ineffective steps; the Western leaders – like spoilt children denied a toy or something sweet – cannot help throwing temper tantrums. One gets the impression that they are all obsessed with the figure of the Russian president. Listening to the Western leaders you can almost see the nails spat put of their mouths whenever they utter the name Putin. Oftentimes they seem to be ready to give up the whole of Ukraine to Russia if only in return for that they could get hold of Putin! Putin! Putin! and court-martial him. We may be dead certain that that’s the only prize they would request a good fairy to award them. They have invested so much hatred in the Russian leader that it has blinded them to reality, deprived them of common sense and incapacitated their mental faculties. Perhaps – who knows? – we are seeing Providence’s agency. After all, Quos Deus vult perdere, prius dementat or Those whom God wishes to destroy, he first drives into insanity.


Gefira Financial Bulletin #84 is available now

  • Free fall
  • Psychology of investing
  • Lithium and rare earths
  • Secrets of Bitcoin

Yes, one swallow does not make a summer, but what if there are more to follow?

My name is Tomasz Szmydt. I am a judge of the Second Department of the Provincial Administrative Court in Warsaw. Previously, I held various positions in the judiciary and administration of justice in Poland. I performed the functions of Director of the Legal Department in the Office of the National Council of the Judiciary.

Because of my disagreement with the policies and actions of the authorities, I was forced to leave my native country and am currently residing in Belarus. I was persecuted and intimidated for my independent political stance. I express my protest to the authorities in Poland, who, under the influence of the US and Britain, are leading the country to war. The Polish people stand for peace and good neighborly relations with Belarus and Russia. That is why I am in Minsk and ready to tell the truth.

These are the words (the highlighted sentences is in the original) posted by Tomasz Szmydt in his telegram channel. The text is concise and to the point, in Polish and in Russian. A sensational event in Poland. A few days ago a high-ranking official made his way to Belarus of all the places to seek political asylum there. Wow! For years it used to be quite otherwise: it was the Belorussian politicians and activists who used to flee to Poland (and other European countries) and request asylum. One Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, wife of Syarhey Tsikhanouski, once a candidate for president in Belarus, now under arrest, enjoys in Poland a status of an alternative head of state of Belarus. The Polish president, when he wants to talk to her, does not invite her to his presidential palace but travels to the villa given to her disposal by the Polish government out of gentlemanly courtesy, and to emphasize how important she is, the head of Belarus to be, a Belarus that is to be born and shaped in such a way as to suit the dreams of the European Union.

This time it is someone from the European Union who fled to Belarus. Tomasz Szmydt fled straight to Alexandr Lukashenko, the president of Belarus, to the man who is alternatively ridiculed and despised by all European leaders! Consider it for a moment. For decades the Belorussian president has been depicted in the Polish mass media as a dictator, Putin’s footstool, crypto-communist, a satrap – you name it. Belarus has been regarded as a backward country: any news about Poland’s eastern neighbour was always and invariably unfavourable. Common citizens of Poland have been made to believe – and they do believe – that Belorussians are living in squalid conditions and have absolutely no say in politics or social matters, that they suffer all kinds of shortages and so they all only dream about toppling the satrap and joining the European Union. Years ago – in 2007 – the Polish authorities launched Belsat TV – a TV channel broadcast from the territory of Poland to Belarus, a kind of revived Radio Free Europe, whose staff go out of their way to present Belarus to Belorussians as hell on earth in order to instigate them to radical political action. It is claimed that this TV channel is watched by a large segment of the Belorussian nation – with great interest – which is rather doubtful or else TV Belsat would not be on the verge of being liquidated. Its staff applies the same strategy of forcefully creating a separate Belorussian nation, a strategy that has been performed for three decades in Ukraine, a strategy that thrusts the Belorussian language down the throat of the Russian-speaking Belorussians (apart from chunks in Russian, just in case Belorussians are not quite at ease with their “mother tongue”). The Belsat staff is headed by a daughter of one of the former top political dissidents from the antediluvian times when Poland was ruled by the so called communists. It is some fun to watch Belsat or for that matter regular Polish TV channels as they paint Belarus in black and gray shades and compare with the programmes about Poland broadcast by Belorussian TV. As you might expect the two parties to the information war are mirror reflections of each other: Warsaw shows pictures of unrest in Minsk, Belarus’s capital, while Minsk shows shots of unrests in Warsaw, Poland’s capital; Polish TV correspondents interview angry Belorussians, while Belorussian TV corespondents interview angry Poles, and so on – you get the picture. With this as a backdrop, let us come back to the sensational event of the defection of the high ranking Polish official to Belarus.

Sure, Polish mass media began portraying him as an evil person or someone who was not quite in his rights senses or someone who violated the law and out of fear of being detected, arrested and punished created a legend about himself as a political dissident. The usual stuff in such cases. Warsaw claims he fled to avoid law and justice, Minsk claims he was fed up with democracy in Poland in particular and in the European Union in general. Be it as it may, it is his words that need scrutinizing. What Tomasz Szmydt wrote in his telegram message (and repeated during a press conference in Belarus) reads, among others: I express my protest to the authorities in Poland, who, under the influence of the US and Britain, are leading the country to war. Is it true or not true? That’s what matters. Is it true that Poland is under the influence of the United States and the United Kingdom? Is it true that Poland cannot act independently? Is it true that the West is trying to make Poland (and Romania, and the Baltic States) go to war with Russia? Irrespective of whether Tomasz Szmydt is a dissident or traitor, a crackpot or a hero, these are legitimate questions. Is it true that Tomasz Szmydt attempted to voice such opinions and was told to shut up or else? Since we cannot by any means verify it, it is legitimate to consider if you – any one of us – can voice a dissenting political opinion concerning the war in Ukraine in Poland or elsewhere in the West and get off scot-free. Another legitimate question is this: is it not so planned that after Ukraine has been unsuccessfully used as a proxy in the war against Russia, the job needs to be continued by Poland and Romania and the Baltic States? Are these countries not envisaged as battering rams against Russia? Tomasz Szmydt may be called names in the Polish mass media (and he is), yet the questions and their answers remain valid irrespective of who poses the questions and who responds to them. Tomasz Szmydt also said in his message that The Polish people stand for peace and good neighborly relations with Belarus and Russia. Though most of Poles are intensely anti Russian, barely anyone wishes to fight a war and to have his country ravished by missiles. There have been held anti-war marches in Warsaw and elsewhere while support for Ukrainians – so fervent two years ago – has significantly waned in Poland. We do not need to talk about the Polish nation alone: is there anybody in the collective West – apart from a few trigger-happy crackpots who volunteer for the fight in Ukraine to get a shot at a Russky – who is willing to join the combat and have a hand or a leg torn away from his body in defence of Ukrainian “democracy” and Ukrainian followers of Stepan Bandera, an ideologue of ethnic cleansing of non-Ukrainians?

Yes, one swallow doesn’t make a summer, but maybe we are in for more and more of cases like that with Tomasz Szmydt – more Poles, Lithuanians, Romanians, maybe Frenchmen or Germans – fleeing the European Union and voicing their political dissent in an attempt to stop this craziness of escalating the war that is waged for the purpose of having NATO firmly established in Russia’s underbelly. 

Nawalny the Saviour

Yes, it happened some time ago now, but it is symptomatic of our times, of what we can observe on a political stage, hence worth taking a look. It was Easter Friday this year when German Bishop Franz-Joseph Overbeck had a sermon that attracted the attention of the media, which are otherwise not interested in what the clergy say (unless some of them dare to challenge new morality, which they usually don’t). Why did the sermon attract the media’s attention? Well, in a long, longish text about truth and notions that are allegedly connected with truth, Bishop Franz-Joseph Overbeck compared the imprisonment and death of Alexej Nawalny to the trial and execution of no less a person than Jesus Christ. A breath-taking statement.

In his homily Bishop Franz-Joseph Overbeck used the word truth a hundred times or so, and intertwined it with – how otherwise? – love and freedom, not forgetting about democracy and ecology. He also drew a comparison between Alexei Nawalny with the assassins of July 20th, 1944, the White Rose circle, and the fate of protestant theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer. One more time to let it sink in: Alexej Nawalny was made to appear as a historical figure of immense dimensions and biblical proportions. He is the man who – Christ-like – represents or even embodies the truth, and who courageously stands up to his prosecutors – to his Pilate (read Putin). The listeners could read into the sermon also the comparison between the Russian Gulag (mentioned in the sermon), where Nawalny was imprisoned and the place of Golgotha (not mentioned).

What can you make of it? Why Nawalny found himself in jail – no word. He was incarcerated because… he defended the truth and was the embodiment of truth. He found himself behind the bars, and was later murdered just like the Scholls or Bonhoeffer or Stauffenberg the resistance fighters in Hitler’s Germany. In other words, he faced another Hitler and paid the ultimate price just like the German historical figures mentioned in the sermon. That was – as far as the mass media are concerned – the most thrilling part of the Easter Friday message delivered by German Bishop Franz-Joseph Overbeck.

As said above, the whole text is peppered with the word truth that occurs in a myriad of collocations which are made to put across meanings whose only purpose is to please the expectations of the listeners without regard for logical connectivity. Take one example from the very end of the bishop’s sermon, which reads: Truth is this power that comes from love and enables us to be friends with all people [Wahrheit ist jene Macht, die außer Liebe stammt und uns zur Freundschaft mit allen Menschen befähigt]. It certainly sounds nice to a casual ear of an average listener. But hang on for a moment and consider the sentence. The statement puts together and connects truth, love and friendship. Let us have a closer look at the trio. Truth comes from love? How can one say that truth comes from love? Truth is truth and love is love. Truth is about the correspondence between statements and facts, love is an emotion or also – especially as theologians and some psychologists want it – an act of will. Yes, Bishop Franz-Joseph Overbeck saying love, may have meant Christ himself, but Christ said about himself that he is the way and the truth and the life (not love), but with preachers you can never tell. Then we hear that truth enables us to be friends with all people [emphasis mine]. Really? Does it enable us to be friends with – dare we say it – Putin or Hitler himself? Judging by the contents of the sermon, it certainly does not! Hey, your excellency, has your argumentation just fallen apart in the last sentence of your homily?

Truth is truth, it has nothing to do with love and still less to do with enabling us to befriend all people. Everyday experience tells us that we are incapable of making friends with all people, and only hypocrites can say they respect each human. The truth which uncovers shameful or evil acts performed by certain individuals may just as well make us dislike (to put it mildly) those individuals in the name of… the truth about them.

Making use of such logic, a logic that combines the uncombinable, his excellency can “prove” whatever he pleases (in fact, whatever is politically expected of him because, somehow, the message overlaps with the political demand, does it not?), also a thesis that Alexej Nawalny is an embodiment of Christ while Pontius Pilate has reincarnated in Vladimir Putin.

This comparison between Jesus Christ and Alexej Nawalny is faulty at least in one respect. You see, Alexej Nawalny had the financial, political, psychological support of the whole West in his subversive activities against his motherland. At present this support has been transferred to Nawalny’s wife: Yulia Nawalna receives the same applause and lets herself be used as a battering ram against Putin just as her husband did. Did Jesus Christ enjoy support from a worldly power? Was his orphaned mother on anybody’s payroll? Were his disciples protected by any political entity? Why, no. It took some time and a lot of suffering along with personal sacrifice for their truth to be recognized as such. Alexei Nawalny and his adherents have all the acknowledgment, assistance and finances of the powers that be. They have even more than this: they have constant positive presence in the Western mass media. No need for them to travel long distances on donkey’s back, no need to fear persecution. Even in “scary” Russia they are not going to be crucified, are they? Really, his excellency should have known better while preparing the sermon. Even the Scholls, Bonhoeffer and Stauffenberg did not enjoy the West’s support. Worse, the world learnt about the Scholls and Bonhoeffer relatively late after the war. Your excellency, even your comparison drawn between Nawalny and the figures of the German resistance during the Second World War does not stand! Alexej Nawalny is not another Saviour (or Scholl, or Bonhoeffer, or Stauffenberg), as you would like him to appear, not by any measure.

Gefira 83: Homosexuals of all countries unite!

Homosexuals of all countries unite? What the heck is that? You won’t have heard a catchphrase like this one and yet you will have sensed it somehow. Why, if there is anything that unites various countries around the globe and especially the countries of the white man, it is not so much the Christmas season as increasingly love or pride parades as they have come to be known. Sexual deviants celebrate their sexuality in that they parade along the city streets and disclose to every passer-by how they satisfy their sexual drives. In case you are not familiar, you get the operating manual as parading homosexuals not only sport their weird clothing and expose their half-naked bodies but also mock-copulate. A scene unimaginable a mere few decades back, now touted and protected as a human right, with barely a squeak of protest from anybody, least of all the main Christian churches, which, scared out of their wits by the powers that be (or infiltrated by the same), sometimes join the crowd of sycophants claiming that they respect all people and all walks of life, and appreciate the “contribution” (fashionable word in today’s politically correct parlance) of all “communities” (another fashionable word) to the common good. You know, the usual clap-trap of high-visibility people, be they political or church leaders, be they actors or sportsmen.

What is particularly strange about the said pride or love parades is the fact that the United States as a political entity, as a world superpower, gives its full, unconditional support to them and demands of all the weaker countries to recognize such parades as a human right. Non-compliance incurs America’s wrath and creates ample opportunity for American diplomats to lecture and pontificate about progress and backwardness, about enlightenment and bigotry, about tolerance and intolerance. Non-compliance provides a perfect opportunity for Washington to meddle with another state’s affairs and to recruit – yes, you heard it right – America’s agents of influence, agents provocateurs and all other types of agents who go by the name of human rights activists. Fighting in defence of the rights for sexual minorities, they disrupt a state, a country, a nation and weaken it, while homosexuals of the said countries feel grateful to Washington for giving them a helping hand. Thus, an army of collaborators comes into existence, collaborators willing to betray their own nations and work in the interests of the United States. Reason enough for Washington to promote such marches everywhere and anywhere in the world; reason enough for Washington to fly rainbow flags from their embassies across all continents, as if these flags were alternative national banners or alternative banners of the United Nations.

You may have wondered why of all the countries it is the United States, and why of all the institutions it is the American embassies that disseminate and advance this particular sexual conduct of sexual minorities. They just make use of the ready army of the discontented and exploit them as a fifth column, as an instrument of political pressure, and lastly as America’s tentacles in another country. That’s at least the inference that Soviet and later Russian counterintelligence operatives have arrived at and shared with the world at large. A fascinating read.

Notwithstanding homosexuals who nowadays go by a myriad of various gender names, economy is not falling asleep. It has turned out that we were right: precious and industrial metals along with agricultural commodities become more and more pricey – a strong factor behind the unwillingness of most central banks to ease their monetary policy. Never mind that inflation has been curbed, at least according to the mainstream media.

It is cocoa that has attracted the interest of numerous investors. Why? Because you can gain more from dealing in this product than from speculating on bitcoins. Gefira 83 will walk you through the cocoa market and… oil, where the situation is particularly complicated. New opportunities for investors appear to be opening up.


Gefira Financial Bulletin #83 is available now

  • The Trojan Horse with a Rainbow Mane
  • Copper
  • Crude oil
  • Short squeeze on the cocoa market – buy chocolate in stock

He came down in history as great

Before medieval Rus’ split into its many parts, which in the course of hundreds of years led to the emergence of the present trio of Russia, Belarus and Ukraine, deep back in the 10th century it was ruled by Prince Vladimir, variously spelt as Volodymyr, Vladymir, Volodimir and the like. What a coincidence that today’s two parts of the medieval Rus’ are also governed by men whose names are reminiscent of the most famous medieval ruler Vladimir, with one of them being Vladimir Putin and the other – Volodymyr Zelensky. The few variants of spelling show accidentally how much dissimilar or rather how much similar are Russian and Ukrainian, descendants of the language used in Rus’ in the Middle Ages. The difference may be like that between Danish, Norwegian and Swedish, or Czech and Slovak, in which case mutual intelligibility stands at 95%, or that between German spoken in Bavaria or Berlin. Linguistic classifications are – just like anything that allegedly is part of otherwise objective science or scholarship – subject to political pressure to the effect that at one time in history two varieties of a language are recognized as… precisely two varieties, while at other historical times they are all of a sudden viewed as two totally separate tongues. The same was true of the Serbo-Croatian language now mercilessly split into three “very much” different languages of Croatian and Serbian and Bosnian. It was no less a figure than Bernard Shaw who is credited to have said that the United States and the United Kingdom are two countries divided by the common language, but we are digressing.

The medieval ruler of medieval Rus’ – Vladimir/Volodymyr (take your pick) – is regarded by both Russians and Ukrainians as a founder of their respective present-day states or – as it is customarily (yet somehow misleadingly) said in the English language – nations. He was the one who held the many territories in his iron grip, but first and foremost he was the one who in 988 joined Rus’ (present-day Belarus, Ukraine and Russia) to the Christian family of European states by having Rus’ christened. When Rus’ was about to be baptized, a name like Ukraine did not exist (and would not exist for many centuries to come); instead, the designation Belarus = White Rus’ had currency. It did not, however, denote a dukedom or principality, a kingdom or any other political entity: it denoted the Western part of the vast territories occupied by and collectively known as Rus’. Apart from White Rus’ we had Red Rus’ to denote the souther regions of Rus’ and Black and Green Rus’ the denote respectively the northern and eastern part of the same. There was a common word that resembled today’s name Ukraine, but it meant edge, border, or borderline. It had and still has a lot to do with the Slavic word meaning cut, cut off. With time it began to be applied to territories that were regarded as a country;s edge or that were cut off from a country. Such was the birthmark of the appellative Ukraine. By the way, the same could be observed in the former Yugoslavia, where the borderland between Croatia and Serbia is known as Krajina (cf.: u-kraine). Just as Ukraine was the south-eastern edge of the once large Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, an edge protecting the Commonwealth against Turks and the Grand Duchy of Moscow, so was Krajina a strip of land, guarding the Habsburg Monarchy, which comprised Croatia, against the Ottoman Empire, which at that time comprised Serbia. But again, back to the core story.

Vladimir, the ruler of all Rus’, had a hard time deciding to transform his nation. Christianity was by no means the only choice that he faced. Also Muslims and Judaic Khazars vied for the ruler’s attention, while Christians had already been split between the Western (later known as Catholic) and Eastern (later known as Orthodox) branches. Yet choose he had to, because stepwise, Vladimir along with the governing elite had grown out of the Slavic heathen beliefs. Much the same would play out a thousand years later when the elites of the heathen Soviet Union would begin to slough off the economically and politically pagan Marxism-Leninism and steer their country towards the family of the majority of the nations of the world by (re)accepting the political (democracy) and economic (free market) and financial (capitalism) credo.

Vladimir, the medieval ruler of Rus’, had a choice, as mentioned above. He could opt for accepting the faith of the Khazars, Muslims, Eastern or Western Christians. That would have automatically meant his alliance with Khazars, Muslims, Eastern or Western Christians. Vladimir decided to choose the Orthodox version of Christianity. He and his entourage became Christian, very soon to be followed by the rest of the Rus’ population. Vladimir just wanted to join his state to the family of Christian states. Why, at that time Europe was almos all Christian, either Catholic or Orthodox (Bulgarians and Serbs). Vladimir simply wished to (or felt compelled, or felt attracted to) turn Rus’ into a member state of Christendom. He may have thought that step would protect his subjects from being molested by the Christian rulers. Alas!

The chivalrous religious orders – non-state actors on the medieval political scene – were not only founded in the Holy Land during the notorious crusades: they were also founded in the Iberian peninsula, where they combated the Muslim invaders, and along the south-eastern Baltic littoral, where they were supposed to fight Lithuanian and Slavic pagans (in modern parlance, their task was to bring democracy and human rights). It took Lithuanians more time to let themselves be baptized, but medieval Russians did it, as said above, already in the 10th century. Never mind that detail. Approximately two and a half centuries later – i.e. when all of Rus’ was firmly in the Christian grip – the German Livonian order would continue to make inroads into Russian territory, which culminated in the famous Battle on the Ice of 1242, when Alexander nicknamed Nevsky, one of the many descendants of the same Vladimir that christened Rus’, reported a big victory.

It is worth bearing in mind that the Livonian Chivalrous Order tried to suppress and subdue chunks of northern Rus’ at precisely the time when almost all of Rus’ was struggling with non-Christian Mongols also known as Tartars. One might (naively) think, Western Christians would have been more than willing to come to the aid of their Christian Orthodox brothers, especially when those brothers were existentially threatened by non-Christian tribes. Sadly, that was not to be. Rus’ may have been Christian and still this act did not turn it into an acceptable member of Christendom.

At the very beginning of the 18th century, precisely when Russian Tsar Peter I was hurriedly and vehemently turning his backward Russia into a westernized, Europeanized modern state, it faced an invasion of Swedes, who were only stopped at the Battle of Poltava in 1709 (south of Kiev). At the very beginning of the 18th century, when Russia as an empire whose elites almost preferred to speak French rather than their native tongue and certainly admired everything and anything French, when native-speakers of French as tutors to the children and the youth of Russian aristocracy and gentry were in high demand (leaf through Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace in the original and notice the many French dialogues inserted here and there, illustrating how firmly the French languages was rooted in high society), Russia was invaded by… a French-led coalition of European armies which managed to even capture Moscow (1812). Though two years later Russian armies marched into Paris, nonetheless Rus’ or Imperial Russia continued to admire everything and anything French while the West continued to spurn and denigrate Russia.

Fast forward to the 20th century and we see the same events and the same phenomena repeating themselves: yes, Soviet Russia repelled the Western invader and captured Berlin, but still and despite having been almost obliterated by the Western armies, and still and despite waging a four-decade long Cold War that ensued after 1945, Russian elites just couldn’t restrain themselves from kowtowing to the West and eventually trading their sovereignty for the promise of being accepted as full members of the Western, democratic, capitalistic world. You know, that’s the spell that MacDonald’s and Jeans and rock music casts on nations with an inferiority complex. This time, another Vladimir, better known as Vladimir Putin, tried to make overtures to the Western powers and clearly played up to them, offering Rus’ with all its citizens and resources as a joining fee. Even before Putin in his capacity of President, to please the West, Russia discarded and abandoned its communist (heathen, pagan) faith, dissolved the Warsaw Pact (the Eastern equivalence of the Western Atlantic alliance), let go of its fourteen republics which became separate, sovereign states, imbibed Western democratic political rules, internalized capitalist economic principles and even wanted to be admitted to NATO, while putting forward proposals of expanding the European cooperation from Lisbon on the Atlantic to Vladivostok on the Pacific Ocean. To no avail.

Russia was rejected, spurned, and frowned upon. Yes, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia (all former Soviet republics, earlier also parts of the Russian Empire) could become NATO members, Ukraine and Georgia (also former Soviet republics, earlier also parts of the Russian Empire) were invited to join the alliance, yet Russia was denied. Why?

The medieval Vladimir, the ruler of medieval Rus’, had a choice between Khazars, Muslims, and Christians. Well, the present-day Vladimir has a similar choice between the Chinese, Iranians and the (post-Christian) West. A thousand years have passed and Rus’ – Russia – is faced with the same dilemma. A thousand years have passed and – as if nothing happened in the course of centuries – Russia is challenged again and again while its existence is threatened. Being snubbed by the West, Russia has gravitated into China’s embrace and has been made to ally itself with Iran and North Korea rather than becoming a NATO or EU member.

By the way, how did Russia become again pagan at the beginning of the 20th century, how did it become an atheistic Soviet republic? Why, while experiencing difficulties arising from the prolonged war, later to be known as the First World War, Russia fell prey to a series of events that today would be called colour revolutions: a more proper name for those occurring towards the end of the First World War would be calendar revolutions: the one that broke out in February is known as the February Revolution, while the other that took place in November – the November Revolution. How those revolutions come about? Just like the notorious Euromaidans in Kiev: Western powers (the British and the Germans) provided money and subversive activists (Kerensky, Lenin, Trotsky) to overthrow the ‘dictator’ commonly referred to as tsar, and then to topple the legitimate and democratic government. Just think of it: one hundred years apart, almost to the year (1917 – 2014) and the same scenario played out, earlier in Sankt-Petersburg/Petrograd, later in Kiev.

Whether Russia is Christian (from Vladimir to the outbreak of the October Revolution) or pagan (before Vladimir and during the time of the existence of the Soviet Union), whether it is capitalist or socialist, whether it emulates anything Western (French, American) or remains isolated, whether it expands its territory (especially under the rule of Peter I, Catherine I, Alexander I, Stalin) or shrinks, giving up on huge chunks of it (the 1917 Brest-Litovsk peace agreement with Germany, the 1991 dissolution of the Soviet Union), whether its is ruled by a tsar, a parliament, a secretary general of the communist party or a president, only one catchphrase rings in the Western mind: Ruthenia delenda est, come hell or high water.

A friendly reminder: the first Vladimir at the beginning of the millennial history of Rus’/Russia, the man who pondered whether to ally himself with Khazars, Muslims, or Christians, has come down in history as Great: Vladimir the Great. He is regarded as the father of the nation by Russians and Ukrainians and Belorussians. Which of the two present-day Vladimirs – the one ruling Ukraine or the one ruling Russia – will come down in history as great? 

Transgender Day of Visibility

Jeez… not that this day of Transgender Visibility is celebrated for the first time, but still. It all began in 2009 with the blessing from both Obama and Biden, then vice-president. Among the initiators was one Rachel Crandall Crocker, an attractive (see pic) activist of the movement that has invaded the minds of the Western civilization. In 2014, the day was observed around the globe. Then in 2021, President Joe Biden proclaimed March 31 as a Transgender Day of Visibility. This – 2024 – year it coincided with Easter Day. What a clash! 

The President’s Proclamation on Transgender Day of Visibility, 2024, reads, among others, that:

Transgender Americans are part of the fabric of our Nation [and because] they help America thrive [t]hey deserve, and are entitled to […] the most fundamental freedom to be their true selves. [Sadly] extremists are proposing hundreds of hateful laws that target and terrify transgender kids and their families — silencing teachers; banning books; and even threatening parents, doctors, and nurses […]. These bills attack our most basic American values: the freedom to be yourself, the freedom to make your own health care decisions, and even the right to raise your own child. It is no surprise that the bullying and discrimination that transgender Americans face is worsening our Nation’s mental health crisis, leading half of transgender youth to consider suicide in the past year. At the same time, an epidemic of violence against transgender women and girls, especially women and girls of color, continues to take too many lives. […] All of these attacks are un-American and must end. No one should have to be brave just to be themselves.

Notice that the said cases of suicide are offhandedly explained as caused by the hostile attitude of Americans with normal sex conduct towards those with sexual deviances, and not a thought is spared for the other explanation, namely that the high suicide rate is caused by the psychological confusion of not knowing which sex you are, but who cares? 

Notice also how the president pontificates from on high and from the bottom of his magnanimous heart that all he wants to protect is the right to be… yourself. Tear-jerking . Yet, we all know what the president and the paymasters of his clique mean by being yourself: you may choose to be transgender, but you must not choose to be an advocate of the interests of white Americans. In this case the rules of self-determination need not apply: the usual selectivity in the omnipresent newspeak of the present day that we have long been accustomed to, but never mind.

The American head of state continues in the same document:

Now, therefore, I, Joseph R. Biden Jr., President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim March 31, 2024, as Transgender Day of Visibility. I call upon all Americans […] to work toward eliminating violence and discrimination based on gender identity.

Some ostentatious pomp it is, is it not?! “I call on all Americans to eliminate violence and discrimination” as if attacks on people with abnormal sexual proclivities were part and parcel of American everyday reality rather than rising crime rates and a feeling of insecurity caused by the weakening of the police and open borders policy.

Towards the end of the document, the president says:

Witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-ninth day of March, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty-four, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-eighth.

You might know that Joe Biden is not merely a Christian but a Catholic. Catholicism is regarded by some as the strand of Christianity that is strictest in its moral demands. Catholic or no Catholic, the Christian Holy Bible does not beat about the bush when it comes to homosexuality, so Biden as a Christian and a Catholic, while invoking “the year of our Lord” (Jesus Christ is meant… yet?), should have had a moment of reflection, a moment of doubt, a moment of recollection of the following passage (emphasis added):

[Because t]hey exchanged the truth of God for a lie and revered and worshiped the creature rather than the creator,[…] God handed them over to degrading passions. Their females exchanged natural relations for unnatural, and the males likewise gave up natural relations with females and burned with lust for one another. Males did shameful things with males and thus received in their own persons the due penalty for their perversity.

Romans 1:26–27, New American Bible, Vatican site.

It may be that Joe Biden does not know his Bible; it may also be that he has theologians explaining the whole passage away, shedding a new light on it, as is practised nowadays with almost anything and everything regarding moral values: rather than being abolished or ridiculed, they are reinterpreted, deconstructed and construed to mean whatever pleases the managers of the world.

How could a Catholic president square his Transgender Day of Visibility coinciding with Easter Day this year? We may rest assured that the president’s conscience is not troubled in the least and that his theologians have told him that (i) St Paul did not really mean what he supposedly meant, (ii) that some of the apostles were transgender people (especially St John, who reclined on Jesus’ bosom/breast/next to Jesus – as the many translations have it – as evidenced in John 13:23), and that (iii) transgender people are our neigbours (in the religious sense of the word) and neighbours ought to be loved, which after all is the highest precept of Christian morality (second only to the love for God). Never mind all the other intricacies of the Holy Writ: Americans will not challenge such a theological claim, certainly not publicly, especially in the time when they are full aware that non-compliance with the new normal may cost them dearly in terms of their professional careers. It is not Jesus Christ, nor the pope, nor the Vatican, nor your local church community, nor your (Catholic or Protestant) priest, who are commonly feared nowadays: it is the likes of Rachel Crandall Crocker, whose denunciation will surely land you up in deep trouble and bring upon you the strongest, most severe societal condemnation or worse.

Through such decisions the world finds out what American values are at present. All transgender people in all countries either already know or will soon know that they can flock to the American fold and seek protection there against their oppressive governments that have not yet recognized this basic human right – a right to be yourself.

Look forward to the April issue of Gefira. We deal with the role of transgender people worldwide in American politics.

FED is not playing fair – can it go bankrupt?

The most important central bank in the world, the US Federal Reserve (FED), recently presented its financial report, which shows that it had a substantial loss of USD 114 billion last year. Why such a large loss for the FED? To explain this, one should first distinguish between two aspects of the central bank’s activities.

Firstly, the FED holds large quantities of US bonds, which in turn yield interest. Of course, in this case, this interest is income for the central bank. It is worth noting that since the FED began buying bonds on a large scale in 2008, interest rates have also risen considerably
Secondly, the Federal Reserve allows commercial banks and various types of funds to hold money in an account at the central bank. At the same time, it pays a certain amount of interest on these funds, which depends primarily on the level of interest rates.

Well, between 2022 and 2023, there was a series of interest rate hikes in the US. Eventually, a level of 5.5% was reached. This meant that the FED had to pay 5.5% interest to banks and funds (and there were a lot of them) that wanted to keep their money in a central bank account.

So on the one hand, the Fed still held a similar amount of bonds in 2023, for which it received interest rates close to the 2022 level (i.e. much lower than this 5.5%). On the other hand, it had to pay much higher interest rates to commercial banks or money market funds. This resulted in the loss.

You may ask: What happens when a central bank suffers a loss? From a purely financial point of view: Nothing significant happens. It is assumed that this loss will be covered by future profits. In the context of a central bank, it is difficult to talk about bankruptcy, especially as central banks can create gigantic amounts of money under the current system.
Gefira is critical of the monetary policy of central banks, but for completely different reasons. No one from the central bankers is commenting on the following questions:

1) Is it fair that the central bank only rescued and wants to rescue selected financial institutions simply because they operate on a large scale?

2) Is it normal for these institutions (especially banks) to hold their reserves at the central bank and safely receive a few percent interest in return?

3) What’s more – is it fair that unprofitable companies are kept alive by the central bank printing money, which in turn makes it more difficult for new companies to enter the market?

4) Is it good for the economy that unprofitable zombie companies are kept afloat in this way, which otherwise – in the real free economy – should have gone bankrupt long ago?

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