Martin Luther King: A Deleted Reddit Post

I’m sick and tired of censorship, not because censorship is inherently bad, but because the social contract I was given as a student included a lot of bullshit, but also the addition: at least you can say anything you want. The Woke Empire has revoked the contract without my consent, so there I go.

The moderators at Reddid deleted this post that I’m pasting underneath, and that’s the reason why I’m doing this. I have nothing to do with the post, and I don’t know how accurate it is. I just want this information to be out there for people to be able to research and make up their own minds.

Martin Luther King Jr.: A wife-beating, alcoholic fraud? A comprehensive update in 2021.

Mecca of Badhistory por /u/Granimal-Boofluff

[Note to self and reader: an update in 6 years will be greatly appreciated once the FBI recordings of MLK Jr are released to the public (2027). Some information has also been removed from this reuploaded post to fit the rules of this community. The comment section of the original is pretty insightful though.]

This will be an update on the MLK Jr controversies given new information and some new perspectives in the last 6 years.

6 years ago in the post (129) Martin Luther King Jr.: A wife-beating, alcoholic fraud? Gish Galloping at its finest., the user u/FFSausername addressed many extreme claims about Martin Luther King Jr which could have involved this figure in what is referred to as “cancel culture” [2].

This will be a brief update on the MLK Jr controversies given new information and some new perspectives in the last 6 years, especially about MLK Jr’s predatory behavior. I will be referring to specific claims the user makes and may include more relevant claims, as well as some concluding thoughts about this subject matter.

Trigger warning: there may be some difficult information about rape, but I believe it to be necessary for addressing some issues today.

Plagiarism and Fraud

The original post’s conclusion stands. Although King often lacked citation in almost all of his academic works (which is a direct definition of academic plagiarism), this behavior was not present during his professional scholarship [3].

Marital Abuse

The original post’s conclusion stands. There is no evidence I can find of MLK Jr abusing his spouse.

Sexual Abuse and Other Sexual Scandals

This is the main issue since the release of the FBI files in 2019. Puliter-prize author David J. Garrow summarized the series of FBI documents of MLK Jr’s sexual behavior [4]:

  1. Present during, and encouraging the rape of a woman [5]
  2. Multiple affairs with married and unmarried women
  3. Participation in orgies
  4. Direct exchange of money for sex (prostitution)

One report of King quotes him saying that he “started the ‘International Association for the Advancement of Pussy Eaters’” [6].

Many sources, often left-leaning, have moved to immediately discredit this claim. One post by the Washington Post has called this “irresponsible” while sources on the right have used this information to incite political opponents [7].

While some assert that the FBI may have fabricated a series of false statements and documents in an effort to undermine the civil rights movements (consistent with the FBI’s blackmail of MLK Jr), it is worth noting that none of these documents were leaked or spread until their release in 2018 – decades after his death [8][9]. In fact, the purpose and behavior of these documents corroborate the nature of Hoover’s FBI [9].

And past descriptions of MLK Jr from his close allies also support this view of him [10].

Whether or not these 50,000+ FBI documents remain true will be determined by the release of the surveillance footage and audio tapes of MLK in 2027.

Conclusion

[Removed – related to modern politics]

References

  1. (129) Martin Luther King Jr.: A wife-beating, alcoholic fraud? Gish Galloping at its finest. : badhistory (reddit.com)
  2. The Long and Tortured History of Cancel Culture – The New York Times (nytimes.com)
  3. Dissertation of Martin Luther King, Jr. | The Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and Education Institute (stanford.edu)
  4. DJGStandpoint2019.pdf (davidgarrow.com)
  5. docid-32989551.pdf (archives.gov)
  6. docid-32989551.pdf (archives.gov)
  7. Martin Luther King Jr. sex allegations: David Garrow’s FBI evidence outrages historian – The Washington Post
  8. FBI–King suicide letter
  9. How to Make Sense of the Shocking New MLK Documents – POLITICO Magazine
  10. Black Leaders Demand Abernathy Retract Account of King (apnews.com)
  11. [Removed – related to modern politics]
Posted in Sights and Sounds | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Maidan Lies: How Ukrainian Nationalists Used False-Flag Killings to Further NATO Goals

A very intriguing academic paper (“The far right, the Euromaidan, and the Maidan massacre in Ukraine,” Journal of Labor and Society 23(1):5-29, by the University of Ottawa’s Ivan Katchanovsky) thankfully published in March 2020, well before the Russian invasion of the Ukraine, examines the role of the Ukrainian far right in the Euromaidan in Ukraine, primarily in the Maidan massacre and other key cases of violence.

As the abstract states, “the involvement of far‐right organizations in these crucial events in the Ukrainian and world politics has been politicized and polarized in Ukraine, the West, and Russia” and “the findings reveal that radical nationalist and neo‐Nazi organizations had significant but minority representation among the Maidan leadership and protesters. However, the analysis shows that the far‐right organizations and football ultras played a key role in political violence such as attempting to seize the presidential administration and the parliament.”

In particular, the paper reveals involvement of the Right Sector in violent clashes with the Berkut special police force during the highly publicized dispersal of Maidan protesters on November 30, 2013. And how the Right Sector and Svoboda had crucial roles in the violent overthrow of the Yanukovych government, in particular, in the Maidan massacre of the protesters and the police.

I recommend reading the whole paper, which is even-handed and judicious. But some tidbits are particularly striking. Take this:

A comprehensive study concluded that the Maidan massacre of the protesters and the police was a successful false flag operation conducted covertly by the elements of the Maidan opposition in order to overthrow the Yanukovych government and seize power in an asymmetricarmed conflict (Katchanovski, 2015b, 2016b). These findings were replicated by Hahn (2018).However, these studies did not take into account newly available evidence, which was madepublic during the ongoing Maidan massacre trial.The Maidan massacre trial and the investigation by the Prosecutor General Office ofUkraine revealed various evidence that protesters were massacred by snipers in Maidan-controlled buildings on February 20. The absolute majority of wounded Maidan protesters, withwhose shooting Berkut policemen were charged, testified at this trial and the investigation thatthey were shot from Maidan-controlled buildings, in particular, the Hotel Ukraine or that theywitnessed snipers there and were told about them by other protesters during the massacre(Katchanovski, 2015b, 2018).The official forensic investigations which were made public at the Maidan massacre trialrevealed that on February 20 the absolute majority of the protesters were shot from side andback directions and from top to bottom directions, while videos and photos of the massacreshowed them facing the Berkut special police force on the same ground level. In January 2015,a forensic ballistic examination conducted upon the request of prosecution concluded that bul-lets extracted from killed protesters did not match the bullet samples from any Kalashnikovassault rifle which members of the Berkut special police force were then armed. The findings ofthis computer-based ballistic examination and results of the other 40 ballistic examinationswere reversed in a couple of ballistic examinations conducted manually in the very end of theinvestigation. Such unexplained reversals which contradicted other evidence, such as testimo-nies of wounded protesters and results of forensic medical examinations, suggested that thefindings of the new examinations of bullets were unreliable and likely falsified. The forensicballistic examinations also found that many protesters were killed on February 18–20 by hunt-ing pellets and expanding hunting bullets, in particular, with caliber that did not match calibersof weapons used by the special police company, whose members were charged with killing these protesters (See Katchanovski, 2018). Government ballistic experts in at least seven on-site investigative experiments determinedthat Maidan protesters were killed and wounded from Maidan-controlled buildings. But the investigation did not employ ballistic experts to determine bullet trajectories in the absolutemajority of the cases and did not do this even after the Maidan massacre trial ordered suchexaminations, specifically determining whether these trajectories were from the Maidan-controlled buildings. No evidence of orders by then President Yanukovych, his internal affairsand security service ministers, or police and security service commanders to massacre unarmedprotesters has been revealed by the trials and the investigations or made public by the prosecu-tion or the media. But despite the evidence, the government investigation denied the existenceof snipers in the Maidan-controlled buildings (Katchanovski, 2018).A U.S. architecture company argued in the 3-D model created for Maidan victims’ lawyersthat three Maidan protesters were killed from Berkut sectors. However, the wound locations of the killed Maidan protesters in the 3-D model did not match the wound locations in the autopsyreports, which were used in this simulation to determine the locations of the shooters and pub-lished on the its website.6A study by Katchanovski (2018) showed that their wounds locationsin this 3-D model were moved sideways and made from top to bottom to nearly horizontal inorder to fit Berkut positions, while actual locations of entry and exit wounds pointed toward Maidan-controlled buildings.

And this:

Bandeira (2019, pp. 206–207), Cohen (2018), Hahn (2018), Katchanovski (2016b, 2018), andLane (2016) noted the far-right involvement in the false flag Maidan massacre of the protestersand the police. However, they did not focus on this specific issue comprehensively. Kudelia (2018) also found that the violence was initiated by the far-right Maidan protesters, who killed and wounded many policemen, but argued based on government investigation that the Berkut special police force then massacred unarmed protesters in response to such provocation.This study focuses on the involvement far right organizations in the violence during the Euromaidan in Kyiv, primarily in the massacre of the Maidan protesters and the police on February 18–20, 2014 and in the dispersal of protesters by the Berkut police on November20, 2013. These events are selected because they were turning points, respectively, in the violent overthrow of the Yanukovych government and the start of the mass anti-government protests. They are also important because the Euromaidan is presented by the Western and Maidan governments, the media in the West and Ukraine, and many researchers, primarily, non-academic ones, as a nonviolent mass protest and a popular democratic revolution against theundemocratic government, which massacred the Maidan protesters on February 18–20, 2014 and violently dispersed the peaceful protest of students on November 30, 2013. The involvementof the far right in these crucial cases of violence is often ignored, denied, or attributed without evidence to Yanukovych government or Russian government agent provocateurs.

And:

As result of their involvement in the crucial Euromaidan violence that led to the overthrowof the Yanukovych government, the far right after the Euromaidan radically increased theirinfluence in the Ukrainian politics. The far-right members became integrated in the Ukrainiangovernment, the police, the military, and the security services, took active part in starting andwaging the civil war in Donbas. The far-right organizations, leaders, and members are treatedas mainstream by the Ukrainian government and the media. The far right also obtained powerto overthrow the Maidan and post-Maidan governments by force or threat of force (seeKatchanovski, 2015b, 2016a). Far-right paramilitary organizations significantly increased theirstreet mobilization, legitimacy, and veto power and contributed to radicalization and shifttoward nationalism of the Ukrainian politics and government policies after the Euromaidan(see Ishchenko, 2018b)

The question one is left with, after reading this stuff, is: why should anyone trust NATO atrocity propaganda now, when it’s clear that they were lying to your face before? Do you think they’re now more professional and accurate?

Posted in Sights and Sounds | 1 Comment

Memorias de García Oliver, ministro anarquista pasado de rosca (4)

(Viene de una entrada anterior)

El entorno social de García Oliver, lleno de amor libre y vacío de convenciones burguesas por así decirlo, era muy de la época. Hablando de un tal Fábregas, un progresista millonario simpatizante de las causas anarquistas, lo describe de este modo: “Yo sabía que era liberal, pues había vivido unido y no casado con su mujer.” Continúa:

No era mala persona Fábregas, pero se había enriquecido fabulosamente. Y cuando el Comité regional de la CNT me llamó para pedirme que les proporcionase cinco mil pesetas para enviar a Madrid a los compañeros que iban a ajustarle las cuentas a Eduardo Dato…

Aquí García Oliver, con su inconfundible desparpajo, se refiere al asesinato del presidente del gobierno Eduardo Dato en 1921, el último de varios magnicidios causados por los anarquistas — tras los asesinatos de Cánovas del Castillo (1897) y Canalejas (1912), que dieron la puntilla a la Restauración. Es muy común hablar de cómo el Desastre de Annual, unos meses después, llevó a la dictadura de Primo de Rivera, pero habría que considerar que igual la élite política y el rey estaban hartos de los asesinatos socialistas y anarquistas (que también lo habían intentado con el propio rey).

…pensé que nadie mejor que Evaristo Fábregas para pedírselas. Como todos los hombres de negocios, se beneficiaba de la clausura gubernativa de nuestros sindicatos, y alguno de ellos tenía que aportar lo que el Comité regional necesitaba. Y fue Fábregas. Estaba de pie junto a la mesa, pequeño y orondo. A su lado, el capitán Sediles, displicente, recibiendo el homenaje de quienes se acercaban a estrecharle la mano. Los ciudadanos reusenses que se acercaban al capitán lo hacían como forzados, con el espíritu encogido, rumiando el poco acierto que tuvo la Junta republicana al traerlo a Reus —ciudad liberal en la que se celebró el primer matrimonio civil en España y cuyo cementerio había sido el primero del “país en ser secularizado. Reus se había distinguido siempre por la separación entre su población y los mandos de la guarnición acuartelada en la ciudad. Nadie en Reus recibía ni alternaba con los oficiales y jefes del regimiento de caballería allí destacado.

Estas cosas las escribe García Oliver con orgullo. Cuando ellos manden en el ejército, durante la II República, será — por supuesto — pena de muerte malmirar a los oficiales. Y la República eventualmente llega, una década después. García Oliver, quien literalmente había arriesgado la vida en el empeño, no expresa gran entusiasmo ante la tremenda componenda/golpe de estado que resultó en el escape del Alfonso XIII:

La República no era expresión de gentes nuevas, de nuevas escalas de valores políticos y sociales. Se hablaba de los nuevos repúblicos del día, como Niceto Alcalá Zamora y Miguel Maura, monárquicos de siempre. Y hasta de Largo Caballero, el socialista que para hacer grande a la UGT había aceptado formar parte del Consejo de Estado que respaldaba a la dictadura de Primo de Rivera. En el fondo, me hubiese gustado anclarme definitivamente en Reus. Y no haber tenido que salir nuevamente hacia Barcelona, la capital del sindicalismo revolucionario.

Obviamente, la república que entreveía García Oliver no era el apaño progre-conservador al que aspiraban ilusos como Alcalá-Zamora y Maura. García Oliver sabía perfectamente de qué iba a ir el juego:

Pronto entré en relación con los compañeros que trataban de crear una oposición ideológica frente a la actitud claudicante de los viejos sindicalistas. Me había trazado una línea a seguir dentro de la Organización: considerar a la república recién instaurada como una entidad burguesa que debía ser superada por el comunismo libertario, y para cuyo logro se imponía hacer imposible su estabilización y consolidación, mediante una acción insurreccional pendular, a cargo de la clase obrera por la izquierda, que indefectiblemente sería contra-rrestada por los embates derechistas de los burgueses, hasta que se produjera el desplome de la república burguesa. Crear en la manera de ser de los militantes anarcosindicalistas el hábito de las acciones revolucionarias, rehuyendo la acción individual de atentados y sabotajes, cifrándolo todo en la acción colectiva contra las estructuras del sistema capitalista, hasta lograr superar el complejo de miedo a las fuerzas represivas, al ejército, a la Guardia civil, a la policía, lográndolo mediante la sistematización de las acciones insurreccionales, la puesta en práctica de una gimnasia revolucionaria.

Continúa:

En el local del Sindicato de la Construcción de Barcelona se reunían Parera, de Banca y Bolsa; Luzbel Ruiz, de Peluqueros; Castillo, de Artes Gráficas; Juanel, de Construcción; y algunos más, todos ellos viviendo la pasión de los puritanos, y a quienes unía el afán de impedir que la CNT cayese en el abismo de la transigencia con los compromisos que Pestaña y otros líderes sindicales contrajeron en el pacto de San Sebastián, que muchos dieron por muerto, pero que el azar de unas elecciones municipales había revitalizado. Los compañeros que se reunían en el local de la Construcción eran la expresión activa de lo que se había salvado del anarquismo organizado: algunos grupos anarquistas de afinidad en Barcelona, en Cataluña, en España. Eran la FAI, la Federación Anarquista Ibérica. Por ellos tuve conocimiento de los motivos y circunstancias que dieron nacimiento en Valencia en 1927 a la FAI. Su aspiración era impedir que el aventurerismo político y reformista se apoderase de la CNT. Me acogieron cálidamente. Esperaban mi apoyo a su línea de militantes revolucionarios. Me puse totalmente a su lado. Y nos pusimos a laborar… Desde el camión-tribuna dirigí una mirada a los cuatro lados de la multitud, y grosso modo, conté no menos de cien compañeros que, con su pistola entre pantalón y barriga, sólo esperaban la oportunidad de lanzarse, a su manera, a la práctica de la gimnasia revolucionaria. La manifestación, que marchaba tras las grandes banderas, cantaba los Hijos del pueblo, se engrosaba a medida que se acercaba a la calle Fernando. Al ir a penetrar en la plaza de San Jaime, los guardias de Seguridad y los mozos de escuadra que custodiaban las esquinas y las puertas del Ayuntamiento y de la Generalidad, trataron de impedir que los manifestantes se aglomera-sen ante las puertas de los dos palacios, temerosos de que todo terminase en el asalto del Ayuntamiento y de la Generalidad. Y se desencadenó un gran tiroteo. En aquel momento, Parera y yo hacíamos esfuerzos verbales para convencer al jefe de los mozos de escuadra del interior de la Generalidad de la conveniencia de abrirnos las puertas y dejarnos pasar para hacer entrega a Maciá de las conclusiones aprobadas en el mitin. El jefe insistía en que en el palacio no se encontraban Maciá ni ninguno de los consejeros del gobierno catalán. Como el tiroteo arreciaba, temiendo que cuantos nos encontrábamos ante la puerta fuésemos segados por una ráfaga de ametralladora, hice señas de empujar, logrando penetrar toda la comisión del mitin en el gran patio, donde, rodeado de mozos de escuadra, se encontraba el teniente de alcalde de la ciudad, Juan Casanovas, a quien en defecto de otra autoridad civil, hicimos entrega del pliego de conclusiones. Entretanto, en la plaza y en las calles adyacentes menudeaban los tiroteos entre guardias y los compañeritos que llevaban sus pistolas «por lo que pudiera ocurrir»… Aubí y su grupo de ganadores de la lotería dominaban la esquina de la calle Fernando; Severino Campos y su grupo eran los dueños de la otra esquina; Ordaz y su grupo estaban en la esquina de Ragomir; y así todas las esquinas, como si la acción hubiese sido ensayada previamente. De haber sido planeada la acción, y no resultado de un incidente, aquel Primero de Mayo hubiera contemplado la toma del Ayuntamiento y del palacio de la Generalidad. Desde lo alto del balcón dimos a entender que debía cesar el tiroteo. La conmoción fue enorme. Se vio que más allá de los compromisos contraídos por los dirigentes sindicalistas, existían fuerzas indómitas. Los comentarios de los periódicos y revistas de Barcelona, de España y del mundo entero, daban cuenta de la impresión producida por la aparición de aquella nueva fuerza llamada por unos «la FAI» y por otros «los anarcosindicalistas de las banderas rojinegras».

Ya desde una época muy temprana se observaba una contradicción entre el separatismo catalán, que básicamente pasaba de unas siglas a otras, de un lado al otro del espectro político, siempre en busca de sus objetivos separatistas, y el sindicalismo revolucionario:

En el restaurante Avenida del Tibidabo se reunieron en banquete los jerarcas de Esquerra Republicana de Cataluña, que habían acaparado la mayoría de puestos del Ayuntamiento y del gobierno de la Generalidad. Los republicanos siempre fueron muy amantes de los banquetes. Puede decirse que por aquellos días España —la España de los republicanos— se sentaba diariamente a las mesas de los banquetes. El republicano burgués, desde los días de la revolución francesa del 93, festejaba con banquetes o hacía funcionar la guillotina. Me tocó formar parte del equipo de camareros que servirían el banquete de los republicanos catalanistas

García Oliver siempre presume de purista. Recuerda que, durante sus años de encierro en penales de Pamplona y en Burgos no tuvo noticias de Ascaso y Durruti; éstos, libres de los cargos que se les imputaban por el fracasado proyecto de atentado contra Alfonso XIII, andaban sueltos por Alemania y Bélgica, los mismo lares por donde los golpistas del separatismo catalán se pasearían un siglo después: “Sentía mucho que no se hubiesen aproximado a quienes nos proponíamos salvar a la CNT del reformismo.” Continúa:

Las andanzas de Ascaso, Durruti y Jover en América dejaban mucho que desear desde el punto de vista ideológico, y estorbaban francamente a quienes basaban su carrera en una limpia hoja de antecedentes penales. No hice esfuerzos para obtener la valiosa cooperación de Ascaso y Durruti. Se alejaron de mí y buscaban hacerse querer de los líderes del sindicalismo político. Allá ellos. Se iba a celebrar el Congreso nacional de la CNT, y del disuelto grupo «Los Solidarios» sólo yo asistiría en tanto que delegado, representando al sindicato único del ramo de la Madera de Barcelona, y como exponente de la tendencia que iba adquiriendo fuerza como anarcosindicalismo, que muchos llamaban «faísmo», de la FAI… Me debatí en el Congreso casi solo. Mi voz fue u n a aislada requisitoria ininterrumpida, hasta que un ataque de nefritis me obligó a regresar a Barcelona. Logré que la mayoría de las delegaciones asistentes al Congreso, integrada por compañeros de los sindicatos de provincias, se dieran cuenta de que en el seno de la CNT subsistía la tendencia revolucionaria sobre la que siempre se había asentado nuestra Organización, todavía en exigua minoría pero fieramente enfrentada a la tendencia reformista.

A medida que una parte del republicanismo buscaba entenderse con los restos del monarquismo, los anarquistas iban preparándose para empujar hacia la ruptura total:

Esquerra Republicana de Cataluña fue perdiendo influencia y prestigio. Igual les ocurría a los partidos republicanos que se crearon en España para administrar en exclusiva el nuevo régimen. El Partido Socialista se corrompía aceleradamente; muchos de sus dirigentes eran llamados «enchufistas» por el afán de acumular cargos remunerados; se fueron olvidando de la clase obrera a que pertenecían, lo que facilitaba nuestra obra de crear sindicatos anarcosindicalistas en pueblos y ciudades de rancio abolengo ugetista.

(Continuará)

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Russia’s Proposed Peace Treaty with US & NATO

It wasn’t recently proposed. It was announced in December, 2021 (and dismissed by the US in January 2022, a month before the start of the Ukrainian War), and the full terms are here:

Treaty between The United States of America and the Russian Federation on security guarantees

The United States of America and the Russian Federation, hereinafter referred to as the “Parties”,

guided by the principles contained in the Charter of the United Nations, the 1970 Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation among States in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, the 1975 Helsinki Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, as well as the provisions of the 1982 Manila Declaration on the Peaceful Settlement of Disputes, the 1999 Charter for European Security, and the 1997 Founding Act on Mutual Relations, Cooperation and Security between the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the Russian Federation,

recalling the inadmissibility of the threat or use of force in any manner inconsistent with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations both in their mutual and international relations in general,

supporting the role of the United Nations Security Council that has the primary responsibility for maintaining international peace and security,

recognizing the need for united efforts to effectively respond to modern security challenges and threats in a globalized and interdependent world,

considering the need for strict compliance with the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs, including refraining from supporting organizations, groups or individuals calling for an unconstitutional change of power, as well as from undertaking any actions aimed at changing the political or social system of one of the Contracting Parties,

bearing in mind the need to create additional effective and quick-to-launch cooperation mechanisms or improve the existing ones to settle emerging issues and disputes through a constructive dialogue on the basis of mutual respect for and recognition of each other’s security interests and concerns, as well as to elaborate adequate responses to security challenges and threats,

seeking to avoid any military confrontation and armed conflict between the Parties and realizing that direct military clash between them could result in the use of nuclear weapons that would have far-reaching consequences,

reaffirming that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought, and recognizing the need to make every effort to prevent the risk of outbreak of such war among States that possess nuclear weapons,

reaffirming their commitments under the Agreement between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on Measures to Reduce the Risk of Outbreak of Nuclear War of 30 September 1971, the Agreement between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on the Prevention of Incidents On and Over the High Seas of 25 May 1972, the Agreement between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on the Establishment of Nuclear Risk Reduction Centers of 15 September 1987, as well as the Agreement between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on the Prevention of Dangerous Military Activities of 12 June 1989,

have agreed as follows:

Article 1

The Parties shall cooperate on the basis of principles of indivisible, equal and undiminished security and to these ends:

shall not undertake actions nor participate in or support activities that affect the security of the other Party;

shall not implement security measures adopted by each Party individually or in the framework of an international organization, military alliance or coalition that could undermine core security interests of the other Party.

Article 2

The Parties shall seek to ensure that all international organizations, military alliances and coalitions in which at least one of the Parties is taking part adhere to the principles contained in the Charter of the United Nations.

Article 3

The Parties shall not use the territories of other States with a view to preparing or carrying out an armed attack against the other Party or other actions affecting core security interests of the other Party.

Article 4

The United States of America shall undertake to prevent further eastward expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and deny accession to the Alliance to the States of the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

The United States of America shall not establish military bases in the territory of the States of the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics that are not members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, use their infrastructure for any military activities or develop bilateral military cooperation with them.

Article 5

The Parties shall refrain from deploying their armed forces and armaments, including in the framework of international organizations, military alliances or coalitions, in the areas where such deployment could be perceived by the other Party as a threat to its national security, with the exception of such deployment within the national territories of the Parties.

The Parties shall refrain from flying heavy bombers equipped for nuclear or non-nuclear armaments or deploying surface warships of any type, including in the framework of international organizations, military alliances or coalitions, in the areas outside national airspace and national territorial waters respectively, from where they can attack targets in the territory of the other Party.

The Parties shall maintain dialogue and cooperate to improve mechanisms to prevent dangerous military activities on and over the high seas, including agreeing on the maximum approach distance between warships and aircraft.

Article 6

The Parties shall undertake not to deploy ground-launched intermediate-range and shorter-range missiles outside their national territories, as well as in the areas of their national territories, from which such weapons can attack targets in the national territory of the other Party.

Article 7

The Parties shall refrain from deploying nuclear weapons outside their national territories and return such weapons already deployed outside their national territories at the time of the entry into force of the Treaty to their national territories. The Parties shall eliminate all existing infrastructure for deployment of nuclear weapons outside their national territories.

The Parties shall not train military and civilian personnel from non-nuclear countries to use nuclear weapons. The Parties shall not conduct exercises or training for general-purpose forces, that include scenarios involving the use of nuclear weapons.

Article 8

The Treaty shall enter into force from the date of receipt of the last written notification on the completion by the Parties of their domestic procedures necessary for its entry into force.

Done in two originals, each in English and Russian languages, both texts being equally authentic.

For the United States of America                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           For the Russian Federation

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Wonders of Capitalism: Mafia Bonds

Before you criticize capitalism, you really want to understand how capitalism works. Explanation by the peerless Matt Levine of Bloomberg News:

I want to read the risk factors here:

International investors bought bonds backed by the crime proceeds of Italy’s most powerful mafia, according to financial and legal documents seen by the Financial Times.

In one case, the bonds — backed in part by front companies charged with working for the Calabrian ’Ndrangheta mafia group — were purchased by one of Europe’s largest private banks, Banca Generali, in a transaction where consulting services were provided by accountancy group EY.

An estimated €1bn of these private bonds were sold to international investors between 2015 and 2019, according to market participants. Some of the bonds were linked to assets later revealed to be created by front companies for the ’Ndrangheta.

“Nice perfected security interest you’ve got here,” the risk factors should say. “Shame if anything were to happen to it, you know what I mean?”

Apparently the story is that the ’Ndrangheta ran some corrupt businesses providing health-care-related services (ambulances, funeral services, food in refugee camps) to government health authorities in Calabria. They would bill the government for those services. This involved a mix of extortion, “widespread fraud and double billing of invoices.” Instead of just collecting money from the government, though, the ’Ndrangheta would securitize the invoices for the money that they’d extorted or embezzled:

Under EU law, overdue invoices owed by state-connected entities incur a guaranteed penalty interest rate. This makes them attractive for special purpose vehicles, which place them into a large pool of assets and issue bonds backed by the expected cash flows from the future settlement of the invoices.

For instance:

One example of how money tainted by ’Ndrangheta activity ended up in the legitimate international financial sector is a so-called ­special purpose vehicle called Chiron. In May 2017, this was one of numerous such entities established by companies specialising in healthcare financing in Italy.

The Chiron vehicle bought up close to €50m of unpaid healthcare invoices, including bills originating from Calabria and other parts of southern Italy. … One of the companies that contributed to ­Chiron’s invoices was Croce Rosa Putrino SRL, an ambulance and funeral company servicing the hospital in Lamezia Terme. In late 2018, police arrested 28 people, after an investigation by the public prosecution office of Catanzaro alleged that various front companies for local ’Ndrangheta families, including Croce Rosa Putrino, had seized control of the hospital’s funeral, ambulance and other health services. The case is still being prosecuted.

I mean, why not. If you’ve got a good enough extortion racket, it will have stable and predictable cash flows; why shouldn’t you get non-recourse financing by assigning those cash flows to a special-purpose vehicle and then selling bonds out of the SPV? That’s the basic move of modern finance: You put cash flows in a box and sell bonds referencing the box, and the goal is always to find new things to put in boxes. If you put a thing in a box that has never been put in a box before, you give investors access to a new asset class, a new thing to bet on, a new set of cash flows that might be uncorrelated with the rest of their portfolio. “Diversify your portfolio with some extortion bonds,” an investment banker could say to a pension fund, and it is not a … terrible … pitch? I mean I guess you might get in trouble. Also the government might try to deny payment on the invoices—due to them being, you know, criminal—and then you’d lose your money. But those are uncorrelated risks, everyone’s favorite kind of risk, and the interest rate is presumably high.

The investment banks, advisers and investors all say they were trying to invest in legitimate health-care receivables and did due diligence to avoid financing crime, and it seems like Chiron wasn’t mostly mafia receivables. It is not like there is an entire sector of asset-backed securities for extortion and embezzlement. Give it time though. Here’s a quote about the people running the ’Ndrangheta now:

“A number of the younger generation, those who I grew up at the same time as, have degrees from the London School of Economics or even Harvard. Some have MBAs,” says Anna Sergi, a Calabrian-born criminologist at the University of Essex. “They live outside Calabria and appear like respectable businessmen, not directly involved in street-level illegality but there to offer technical expertise when it is needed.”

It’s like anything else; the industry starts small and scrappy, with people who really care about the work itself (extortion), but when it gets lucrative enough it starts to attract Harvard MBAs, until eventually real innovation stalls and everyone spends all their time on financial engineering and optimizing capital efficiency.

This is the true Levine Gold right here:

We are in the early stages of extortion-backed securities but it is a predictable path. Soon there will be mafia quants, hired to optimize the portfolios and engineer arbitrages and game the ratings agencies. “The senior tranche of this bond should be rated AAA because, while the probability of any one business refusing to pay protection money is X, the historical correlation among businesses refusing to pay is only essentially zero, so there is no real risk of eating through the credit support,” the mafia quants will argue to the ratings agencies, and the big guy behind them with a lead pipe will add some support to their mathematical arguments. I would absolutely watch—I may have to write—a movie about a mafia ABS quant.

Eventually the ’Ndrangheta will move to an entirely originate-to-distribute model, with no “skin in the game” in its extortions; it will send low-level criminals to extort promises to pay from people with no assets or income in rushed five-minute conversations, securitize those promises, and not have to worry about collecting. Its underwriting will decline, as will its collection efforts: Why bother breaking people’s legs if their payments are going to anonymous bondholders? The ’Ndrangheta securitizers will become so disillusioned with their origination practices that they will start shorting their own products, buying credit default swaps to bet on defaults in the bonds they structure. Then they’ll go to local businesspeople and threaten to break their legs if they do pay their protection money. The triumph of financial capitalism will be complete.

Oh yeah! I love financial journalism.

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