Saturday, January 31, 2009

Most Admired Person.

Since two days ago, the most admired person for the Armenian right-winders is none other than the Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan. He has been praised for being a great patriot. The reason for such praise was Erdogan's criticism of Israel.

It's quite bizarre to come across such things among Armenians. I guess the antisemitism these guys have trumps the fact that 1.5 million of our ancestors were massacred by the Turks. Or maybe because their spiritual godfather, bandit number one Serj Sargsian, is buddies with Erdogan.

Talk about an unintended consequence of Football Diplomacy.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Accounts Payable and Bankruptcy.

I was going through the accounts payable aging reports for a potential acquisition. There were two funny items: they have been stiffing their collection agency since early last year and an accounting firm who did their valuation in mid 2007.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


Blagojevich has been booted from the office. It's always exciting to follow the political intrigues, backroom dealings and fighting to survive. It takes a lot of skill to take a few flimsy facts, build a case on it and topple someone.

But it makes me glad that I am not involved in politics. In the corporate world things may be cutthroat but the politics is a little bit easier.

17 Year Anniversary of the Army.

Yesterday there was a celebration of the 17-th anniversary of the Armenian Army. Quite a few people went to Yerablur to celebrate it. Normally, that would be a welcome thing to do. The problem is that this was used by political parties who have had nothing to do with the army in order to promote themselves. People like Gagik Tsarukian even bought space in media to show that he celebrates the army. In the meanwhile, the government that he is part of has jailed a number of people who were at the beginning of the army and fought for Karabakh.

Very little of what happens in Armenia surprises me anymore. I just can't help to write about the degradation of the society.

Monday, January 26, 2009

All the Europeans Need Is an Excuse.

SS has pardoned what he has termed 16 'political prisoners'. Out of these 16 people, only 2 are political prisoners. The rest are your regular criminals. In the list are the looters - recidivist thievs and robbers who were also part of Serj Sargsian's election committees. (Aramazd has more information on it).

There is no doubt that the Europeans are going to claim this as a gesture of goodwill by the Armenian regime. All they need is a light excuse to maintain their current approach. As long as Serj doesn't eat little babies for lunch, the Europeans are not going to bother with Armenia's problems. It's something that the Armenians should take care of and not rely on people in distant places.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Sane Voices from Israel.

[...] The only way to make sense of Israel’s senseless war in Gaza is through historical context. Establishing the state of Israel in May 1948 involved a monumental injustice to the Palestinians. British officials bitterly resented American partisanship on behalf of the infant state. On June 2, 1948, Sir John Troutbeck wrote to Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin that the Americans were responsible for the creation of a gangster state headed by “an utterly unscrupulous set of leaders.” I used to think that this judgment was too harsh, but Israel’s assault on Gaza and the Bush administration’s complicity have reopened the question. [...]

Read the entire article by Avi Shlaim.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Another Political Prisoner.

The latest political prisoner on the list of what is now 60 people convicted by the Armenian banditocracy headed by Serj Sargsian and his band of thugs is Garen Hayrapetian from the town of Hartavan located in the Aragatzotn county. The crime of this 18 year old soldier is his refusal to provide false testimony as a witness to the trial of another political prisoner.

This hero will now serve a 1 year sentence.

UPDATE: It turns out that Garen Hayrapetyan's father, Parouyr Hayrapetian, is a Karabakh war veteran. He was wounded in the war and has second degree disability. A few days before Garen was sentenced, the cops visited his family and threatened to imprison Garen's older brother as well if he continued to refuse to falsely testify against the political prisoners. When Parouyr Hayrapetian protested that he has fought for the country and such threats are immoral, the cop's response was short:

- Who told you to go and fight?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Am I Missing Something?

In the latest brief from Stratfor, I came across this text when discussing on the war in Afghanistan and the logistics of supporting the coming surge while avoiding the now risky route of Pakistan.


When we look at a map, the two routes through Pakistan from Karachi are clearly the most logical to use. If those were closed — or even meaningfully degraded — the only other viable routes would be through the former Soviet Union.

  • One route, along which a light load of fuel is currently transported, crosses the Caspian Sea. Fuel refined in Armenia is ferried across the Caspian to Turkmenistan (where a small amount of fuel is also refined), then shipped across Turkmenistan directly to Afghanistan and through a small spit of land in Uzbekistan. This route could be expanded to reach either the Black Sea through Georgia or the Mediterranean through Georgia and Turkey (though the additional use of Turkey would require a rail gauge switch). It is also not clear that transports native to the Caspian have sufficient capacity for this.
  • Another route sidesteps the issues of both transport across the Caspian and the sensitivity of Georgia by crossing Russian territory above the Caspian. Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan (and likely at least a small corner of Turkmenistan) would connect the route to Afghanistan. There are options of connecting to the Black Sea or transiting to Europe through either Ukraine or Belarus.
  • Iran could provide a potential alternative, but relations between Tehran and Washington would have to improve dramatically before such discussions could even begin — and time is short.

Many of the details still need to be worked out. But they are largely variations on the two main themes of either crossing the Caspian or transiting Russian territory above it.

Though the first route is already partially established for fuel, it is not clear how much additional capacity exists. To complicate matters further, Turkmen acquiescence is unlikely without Russian authorization, and Armenia remains strongly loyal to Moscow as well. While the current Georgian government might leap at the chance, the issue is obviously an extremely sensitive one for Moscow. (And with Russian forces positioned in Azerbaijan and the Georgian breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Moscow has troops looming over both sides of the vulnerable route across Georgia.) The second option would require crossing Russian territory itself, with a number of options — from connecting to the Black Sea to transiting either Ukraine or Belarus to Europe, or connecting to the Baltic states. [...]

Am I missing something? How is fueld refined in Armenia being transported to Afghanistan? You might think that they have misidentified Armenia instead of Azerbaijan but then they speak of her loyalty to Russia. The attached map of potential routes includes the Armenian portion of Kars-Gyumri-Tbilisi that starts at the Aegeian Sea and reaches Kabul. That is one alternative but it explains the whole Turkey-Armenia soccer diplomacy deal.

The Most Important Blogger in the World.

Barack Obama has his own blog.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

What a Nation!

Inspired by "Appalachian Spring", Aaron Copland
John Williams (Arranger), Itzhak Perlman (Violin), Yo-Yo Ma (Cello), Gabriela Montero (Piano), Anthony McGill (Clarinet)

Monday, January 19, 2009

Upset with Banana Republics.

As the readers know, the trial of the seven political prisoners is still ongoing. While the accused rot in jail, the judge representing the banditocracy refuses to start the trial on grounds that the defendants are in contempt of the court. In a normal country one does expect for everyone to respect the law and order and the courts. But if you are a political prisoners, by default you are not in a normal country so you should not have any respect for the court or the regime they serve.

In the meanwhile, the court has been off limits to the relatives of the defendants and the press. It is instead filled with the thick heads - the bodyguards of the oligarchs, policements, KGB operatives and such. The supporters and the media are instead outside the court in the yard. They have regularly been harassed by the police but the height of the harassment was last Friday when the police encircled the people and physically abused them. A few people sustained injuries and at least one person, journalist Gagik Shamshian, has sustained a concussion.

See more on Tzitzernak2.

Friday, January 16, 2009

God was looking out for these guys.

Yesterday an airplane crash landed on the Hudson river in New York. Luckily, all the passengers made it safe and sound. The pilot,Chesley B. "Sully" Sullenberger III, a Purdue University grad with a Masters in Psychology and an owner of a security consulting firm, has been praised for his skills and ability.

When I used to travel a lot, I would always choose exit rows. Even though I carefully studied the procedure to exit the plane, I always thought that if something happened, I would probably die and there would not be a chance to escape the plane alive. But, apparently, it is sometimes possible to survive.

© AP Photo/Edouard H. R. Gluck

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Waiting for my Ammunition.

The most unpleasant places to shop in the area are the gun stores. I do not find it very comfortable to shop in a place where the salespeople pack heat. So lately I have been buying my ammunition online. The prices are almost half as much as what you see at a retail outlet - a Russian made 50 pack of 9x18 caliber ammo is about $15 while the retail stores charge $25 for an allegedly inferior US made product.

The biggest problem is that due to the gun control laws, UPS can't leave the package at my door when it arrives. So I am confined to the house waiting for the delivery guy to arrive. Not having a tracking number (the online stores are staffed by equally unpleasant folk who do not provide tracking numbers) does not help.

Update: After the second attempt at delivery, I successfully received the package. The hassles seem to be worth so I recommend the gun-owning US based readers of this blog to get their ammunition online.


Նախագահական կայքում երեկ պաշտոնական հաղորդագրություն է տեղադրվել Սերժ Սարգսյանի ստորագրած հրամանագրի մասին, որով նա ներում է շնորհել մարտի 1-ի իրադարձությունների արդյունքում ազատազրկման դատապարտված 9 անձանց: Իրականում սա պաշտոնական մակարդակով մատուցված սուտ է: Այսպես, թվարկված 9-ից 4-ը` Եղիշե Գրիգորյան, Կառլեն Մանուչարյան, Արմեն Մովսիսյան եւ Հարություն Մկրտչյան, ազատության մեջ գտնվող անձինք են: Մեկը` Ավետիք Ղռեջյանը, ընդհանրապես մարտի 1-ի հետ կապ չունի: Նա այն ԵԿՄ-ականներից է, ում տանը անցած տարվա փետրվարի 24-ին խուզարկություն է կատարվել, եւ հայտնաբերված մի քանի փամփուշտի համար նա դատապարտվել է ազատազրկման` չնայած ի սկզբանե փաստել էր, որ իզուր են իրեն որպես ընդդիմադիրի հետապնդում:

Մնացած չորս ներվածներից` Կարեն Թարխանյան, Սարգիս Պարունակյան, Նորիկ Հարությունյան եւ Ռաջու Պետրոսյան, քաղբանտարկյալների ցանկում են միայն առաջին երկուսը: Կ. Թարխանյանը, ինչպես հայտնի է, խոշտանգումների արդյունքում կորցրել է մեկ աչքի տեսողությունը եւ իսպառ կուրացման վտանգի առաջ է կանգնած: Ուստի քաղբանտարկյալ ընկերները նրան խնդրել էին օգտվել իրենց պատանդ վերցրած ավազակապետերի առաջարկից եւ ներման միջոցով ազատ արձակվել` խուսափելով իսպառ կուրացումից:

Wednesday, January 07, 2009


Here is the video of Oscar Grant, a father of a 4 year old, being shot to death by an officer employed at the underground train in Oakland, CA - a certain Johannes Mehserle. This video may be a testament that there is still a lot of resentment about having a non-white President elected in the US. Johannes Mehserle calmly shot Oscar grant in the back who died seven hours later in the hospital.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Cultural Enlightenment of the Day.

Pickled chicken foot - a 35 gram snack. Found everywhere in Chinese supermarkets near the checkout lines for those with impulse snack purchasing habits. Available in a number of flavors.

Young No More.

Looks like I have reached the age when the music of my youth is becoming stuff that the oldies channels play. Many a drunk party night have been spent in night clubs and discos in Cyprus and the US under this kind of music.

Unfortunately, I don't know what they play nowadays. As an old fart, I don't go to these places any more. Maybe I need to befriend young people...

A little older.

I seem to recall this one, too.

Monday, January 05, 2009

On War Crimes.

The trick with war crimes is to able to get away with it.

Israel seems to be able to do that for some time now. Any modern warfare supposes a high level of civilian casualties; there are estimates that claim that up to 90% of the casualties in modern warfare are civilians. In the US we call them 'collateral damage' rather than call them 'civilian casualties'. I don't know what the Israelis call them but I'm sure it's something impersonal and detached like the term used by the US policymakers and media.

One necessary ingredient about getting away with war crimes is to belong to the right club. The perpetrator needs to be an ally of the US and to a lesser degree the EU. These are the countries that control the public opinion where it matters and are the ones who prosecute the war criminals if they get a chance. The Serbs did not belong to this club so we see their criminals punished at the Haague. The Palestinians are not even considered to be victims let alone victims of war crimes.

This is not some revelation but it's the sad reality.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Innocent Until Proven Guilty.

This short blurb is about the Governor of Illinois Blagojevic. He was arrested for corruption but soon posted bail and is still employed by the state. He has also recommended one Roland Burris. apparently a big-shot in Illinois, to fill the Senatorial seat of Barack Obama.

Every Democrat I have seen and read of have condemned Blagojevic about his insistence to not resign and continue to perform his duties. They also are threatening not to seat Mr. Burris.

I may be a naive romantic but as far as I know, the constitution of the country guarantees that a person is innocent until proven guilty. So I think it is wrong for the Senate Democrats to not accept Mr. Burris and call Mr. Blagojevic to resign. They may be concerned about keeping a clean image for themselves but I do not see a problem with the governor doing his job. What I would like to see is the prosecutor bring charges and start a trial as soon as possible. Other than that, I see no reason to try to impeach him or call for his resignation. From what I have read, there is a thought to commit a crime but no conspiracy, planning or actual crime commited.

The first half of 2009 promises to be interesting as Mr. Blagojevic gives his party the middle finger salute.