02/16/2014 archive

Anti-Capitalist Meetup: What in Tarnation is “Prout” and Why Should We Care? by Galtisalie

Introductory Note: As background for this diary, it might be helpful to read Geminijen’s excellent and balanced diary from a few weeks ago, Anti-Capitalist Meetup: Fagor Goes Bankrupt – Trouble in Camelot, which discusses one of the world’s most important cooperative movements, founded by a do-gooder Catholic priest. The subject of the instant diary also involves cooperatives, but as will be apparent, much more.

I am biased but to me, “Prout,” which stands for “Progressive Utilization Theory,” is a lovely theory of progressive socialism we all should study, learn from, and consider adopting as part of our praxis and our goals for humanity. Unfortunately, as a new student of Prout, I cannot nearly do it justice in this diary or anywhere else at this time. In addition, I am not in a position to report on the practical experiences of putting Prout into practice. As someone who grew up in irrational Christian fundamentalism (and still lives in the repressive Deep South, where I can see such “faith” put into practice on a daily basis in anti-“other” bigotry and legislation), I no longer like to make my decisions based on “enthusiasm” for what people, spiritual or otherwise, say as opposed to what they do. And I am HIGHLY skeptical about any religion’s ability to confront the harsh world of capitalism in an effective and objective manner (although, from what I understand, Prout’s associated spiritual movement claims not to be a religion).

But I do not want to let my skepticism itself turn into blinders or cynicism for what may have value in the critical work for justice down here on terra firma. All human endeavors are to some degree a mixed bag. I am, after all, a socialist, after a century of ultimate public humiliation of the cause I still dare to hold dear. Course correction is nothing to be embarrassed about but rather something to be celebrated. The work to save humanity is entitled to a mulligan every single day until we get it right.

The first part of my personal credo is to “accept[] life’s complexity.” To me that includes the challenge to evaluate honestly both the positives and the negatives of all things relating to “spirituality.” Prout is not only a system with many complex moving parts but also a holistic system whose whole is intended to vastly exceed the sum of its parts. I can only give my gut impressions of whether it could even theoretically help to accomplish the enormous task of like “saving the world” or something else “major” for humanity, but I am not qualified to explain much less critique all of its parts.  

Fortunately, I have a lovely book to help me explain its details, Dada Maheshvarananda’s 2012 updated version of a book first published in 2003, and currently titled After Capitalism: Economic Democracy in Action (Innerworld Publications).

And, I have you, my comrades, to help me critique the parts and the whole within the context of various movements and sub-movements on the left, both historical and potential.

Dr. Marcos Arruda says of the book in the Foreword, “The nine years that have passed since Dada Maheshvarananda first published this precious book have proven its validity and relevance.” I could not agree more. One of the things I have greatly benefited from in the last couple of years are book recommendations from kindred spirits on the left with whom I have gratefully come into contact via the information superhighways and byways. I am still no socialist scholar (and do not make it a priority to become one), and often the people giving me book suggestions are, but if I had to make one book recommendation at this point in my fledgling socialization process, this would be it. Not because the book is perfect or because I agree with everything in it or in Prout more generally, but because Prout as explained in this book comes closest to announcing to the world the direction I think we should be heading than anything else I have yet read.

Plenty of us realize capitalism is a disaster. Marx got that quite right, and Prout, whose founder actually was a big fan of Marx, seconds the notion. Prout also does a really good job of telling us where we should be going to fix things. And this book is a compelling, reasonably detailed, and accessible explanation of Prout.

I only learned about Prout when I read Hans Despain’s helpful article It’s the System Stupid: Structural Crises and the Need for Alternatives to Capitalism in the November 2013 Monthly Review. Here Despain first succinctly surveys the playing field:

The conventional wisdom is “There Is No Alternative,” or TINA. For this reason most Americans simply acquiesce to capitalistic social relations and, like Sisyphus, are resigned to performing eternal tasks while enduring the “endless” quadruple crises generated by a pathological system.

The most extraordinary aspect concerning the absence of an alternative is that it is fallacious. The capitalistic system itself must be transformed. To put it into a slogan: Capitalism Is No Alternative, or CINA.

Despain describes Maheshvarananda’s book as outlining “the failures and pathologies of ‘multinational corporate’ capitalism. He argues that Prabhat Ranjan Sarkar’s PROgressive Utilization Theory, or PROUT economics, already exists as a well-developed alternative to both capitalism and state socialism. PROUT has important similarities with both Marxism and Participatory Economics, but its real philosophical basis is in Tantra Yoga, with influences from Hinduism, Taoism, and Buddhism (especially Zen). …”

Then Despain contrasts it to three other recent books outlining somewhat comparable approaches on the left:

Maheshvarananda, much like Wolff, Schweickart, and Alperovitz, believes that the activity needed for the democratization of the workplace and economy is already underway. Maheshvarananda offers many existing examples of Proutian enterprises. Most of these are the same discussed by Schweickart and Alperovitz, including the Mondragon cooperative in Spain and Evergreen in Cleveland. However, Maheshvarananda also offers extensive details of cooperatives in Venezuela, where he has founded a PROUT research institute.

In addition to mending the social pathologies of capitalism, he explains how Proutianism promotes leisure, spirituality, and a new humanistic ethic. He also insists that a transformation away from capitalism is urgently needed for environmental production and a new Agrarian Revolution to save the planet and human life. In this sense, Maheshvarananda is far more ambitious than Wolff, Schweickart, and Alperovitz, and is sure to be far more controversial for left-wing theorists and activists. …

Wolff, Schweickart, and Alperovitz … have given less thought toward the longer term goals. Maheshvarananda has in mind a very long-term alternative to capitalism. It requires not only transformation in the workplace, but transformations in the political dimension. On the one hand, it could be argued his vision is far more remote, while on the other hand, once the transformation within the workplace begins, the ripple effect could be massive and sudden. For this reason Maheshvarananda’s perspective can be understood in highly practical terms and can be seen as complementary to the works of the other three. …

From whence cometh Prout? A brilliant loving species-being who seemed particularly determined, while walking a blissful personal path, to eschew any selfish material benefits for himself from his insights, and whose most determined followers are described as monks and nuns, but seem remarkably well-connected to a place I and all on the left take quite seriously, namely the suffering-filled, harsh, and chaotic reality where the billions of marginalized poor and desperate live around our class-embattled world:

Prabhat Ranjan Sarkar was born in 1922[ 6] in Jamalpur, Bihar, India into a respected family that had its roots in regional leadership and ancient spiritual traditions. To support the family after his father’s death, Sarkar chose to discontinue his higher education in Calcutta, and in 1941 returned to Jamalpur to work as an accountant in the railways. About that time he began to teach the ancient science of Tantra meditation, insisting that every practitioner follow a strict code of moral conduct. In 1955, at the request of his followers, he founded the socio-spiritual organization Ananda Marga (” The Path of Bliss”). In 1959 he introduced the Progressive Utilization Theory (Prout), a blueprint for how to reorganize society and the economy for the welfare of everyone.

The Ananda Marga and Prout movements spread quickly in India during the 1960s. Many of Sarkar’s followers – who held key positions in the Indian civil service – actively challenged the systemic corruption of the government as well as the Hindu caste system. Opposition therefore arose from nationalistic Hindu groups, eventually leading the government to declare Ananda Marga to be a politically subversive revolutionary organization, banning any civil servant from being a member. Perhaps surprisingly, the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) – which for decades controlled the state government of West Bengal – also opposed Ananda Marga and Prout because Sarkar’s unique blend of spiritual and social ideals was attracting members away from the Party.

Maheshvarananda, Introduction.

Many, to my current view highly unfair, attacks on the group both in India and worldwide have been documented, which I will not go into here in any detail, including the framing for a 1978 bombing of a Hilton in Sydney, Australia that actually seems to have been the murderous plot of the self-justifying state security apparatus. The recent decades have been gradually more serene for the serene folk who make up the movement, but not because they avoid desperate situations. Rather, in a way that seems highly compatible with Pope Francis’s Evangelii Gaudium (which I discussed in detail here from a combined socialized praxis and Jesuit history and scholarship perspective) the movement seems to want to make both tangible and intangible headway in, and to replace as soon as possible, a sick capitalist world. The emphasis of Prout on cooperatives is shared with the Catholic Church, on paper at least, going back to the late 19th century. But, unlike the Church at most times, Prout seems to be fixated on making cooperatives a “reality” on the nasty ground around the world rather than a pious talking point for criticizing those nasty commies without actually proposing and fighting for a suitable alternative. Further, Prout has an openness to spirituality that many Liberation Theology and leftist Dorothy Day-style Catholics have found to be perfectly compatible with their faith in action. Given that I am a leftist pro-choice “Anglo-Catholic,” I just want all us supposedly “spiritual” folk, what with the whole idea of communion and such, to get along while waging a kind but effective revolution, which means to keep our eye on the prize of rejecting capitalism and putting in a system that meets shared “Proutist” goals.

Please go below the fold for my generally favorable summary of the good monk’s omnibus Prout in a nutshell, as well as a few concerns that I have about Prout. Or, if you have no interest in spirituality and other “soft” topics which much of the world may now or in the future appreciate as complementary to economic justice, here’s Despain’s nice but barebones “materialist” list:

PROUT’s economic principles are that: (1) all citizens deserve the minimum requirements of life of food, shelter, clothing, medical care, and education; (2) employment is guaranteed; (3) the progressive use of science and technology and a federal institution geared toward research and development should be promoted; (4) the federal political system must include decentralized planning at the level of the local economy, with balanced development of what is needed by local citizens; (5) a three-tier economic system that supports privately owned small businesses, cooperatively owned medium and large businesses, and government-run large industries must be created; (6) “decentralized self-sufficient” local economies should be maximized; and, (7) crucial to PROUT, are the cooperatively owned businesses.

I like this list, as it initially sparked my interest in Prout. However, for brevity’s sake he also necessarily left off many materialist Proutist notions, including that little subject of “world government,” (a critical aspect of Prout’s long-range ideas for governance, Ch. 11) a dream many of us, Proutists or not, hold dear.

Bolivar quote at U.N. Headquarters

In the march of the centuries, perhaps there will be one single nation covering the universe: the federal nation

Simón Bolívar

(For more amateur photography by yours truly from a recent field trip to the U.N. Headquarters in New York City, and heartfelt support for one single nation covering the universe without squandering centuries we do not have and billions more lives on capitalist despair, please see this tongue-twisting hopeful post, Niebuhrian Coercion and a Non-Utopian Version of a Vision That Hopefully Will Never Die: Bolivarian-Burnsian International Justice and Solidarity.)

XXII Day 10

Both Teams eliminated.  O Canada.

    Time     Network Event
4 pm CNBC Curling, men’s: USA vs. Sweden.
5 pm Vs. Hockey: Game of the Day.
7 pm NBC Figure skating: ice dancing short dance; alpine skiing: men’s Super-G gold medal final; snowboarding: women’s snowboard cross gold medal final; speed skating: women’s 1500m gold medal final; bobsled: two-man competition.
11:35 pm NBC Biathlon: men’s 15km mass start gold medal final.
12:35 pm NBC Figure skating: ice dancing short dance; alpine skiing: men’s Super-G gold medal final; snowboarding: women’s snowboard cross gold medal final; speed skating: women’s 1500m gold medal final; bobsled: two-man competition. (repeat)
3 am Vs. Curling, women’s: USA vs. Korea.
5 am USA Curling, men’s: USA vs. Switzerland.
7 am Vs. Women’s hockey, first semifinal: Canada vs. Switzerland.
10 am Vs. Figure skating: ice dancing gold medal final.
noon MSNBC Women’s hockey, second semifinal: USA vs. Sweden.
1:30 pm Vs. Ski jumping: men’s team K-125 large hill gold medal final; biathlon: women’s 12.5km mass start gold medal final.
3 pm NBC Biathlon: women’s 12.5km mass start gold medal final; snowboarding: men’s snowboard cross; freestyle skiing: men’s aerials.
3 pm Vs. Hockey.
5 pm CNBC Curling, women’s: Denmark vs. Great Britain.
5 pm Vs. Hockey: Game of the Day.

Sunday medal results are below the fold ~TMC~

Rant of the Week: Keith Olbermann on Michael Sam

Michael Sam Comes Out of the Closet, NFL Executives Go Into It

Michael Sam makes a brave and courageous entrance into the NFL…and he is met by men too weak to stand behind their own words. Keith explains.

On This Day In History February 16

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

February 16 is the 47th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. There are 318 days remaining until the end of the year (319 in leap years).

On this day in 2006, the last Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH) is decommissioned by the United States Army. The Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH) refers to a United States Army medical unit serving as a fully functional hospital in a combat area of operations. The units were first established in August 1945, and were deployed during the Korean War and later conflicts.

The MASH unit was conceived by Michael E. DeBakey and other surgical consultants as the “mobile army surgical hospital.” Col. Harry A. Ferguson, the executive officer of the Tokyo Army Hospital, also aided in the establishment of the MASH program. It was an alternative to the system of portable surgical hospitals, field hospitals, and general hospitals used during World War II. It was designed to get experienced personnel closer to the front, so that the wounded could be treated sooner and with greater success. Casualties were first treated at the point of injury through buddy aid, then routed through a battalion aid station for emergency stabilizing surgery, and finally routed to the MASH for the most extensive treatment. This proved to be highly successful; it was noted that during the Korean War, a seriously wounded soldier that made it to a MASH unit alive had a 97% chance of survival once he received treatment.

The MASH unit made its way into popular culture through the 1968 novel M*A*S*H by Richard Hooker, the 1970 feature film based on the novel, and the long-running television sitcom (1972-1983) based on the movie. A 1953 film, Battle Circus, also took place at a MASH.

MASH units continued to serve in various conflicts including the Vietnam War. In October 1990 the 5th MASH, 44th Medical Brigade, XVIIIth AirBorne Corps, Fort Bragg, North Carolina, deployed to Saudi Arabia and was the first fully functional Army Hospital in country. This unit moved forward six times, always as the first up hospital for the region. In March 1991 the 5th MASH was operationally attached to the 24th Infantry Division to provide forward surgical care (often right on the front battle lines) to the combat units that attacked the western flank of Iraqi Army. In March 1991, the 159th MASH of the Louisiana Army National Guard operated in Iraq in support of the 3rd Armored Division during Operation Desert Storm.

In 1997, the last MASH unit in South Korea was deactivated. A deactivating ceremony was held in South Korea, which was attended by several members of the cast of the M*A*S*H television series, including Larry Linville (who played Frank Burns), and David Ogden Stiers, (who played Charles Winchester). MASH units have since been replaced by the U.S. Army’s Combat Support Hospitals.

Worldwide, the last MASH unit was deactivated on October 16, 2006. The 212th MASH – based in Miesau Ammo Depot, Germany – was the first U.S. Army hospital established in Iraq in 2003, supporting coalition forces during Operation Iraqi Freedom. It was the most decorated combat hospital in the U.S. Army, with 28 Campaign streamers on the organizational colors. The 212th MASH’s last deployment was to Pakistan to support the 2005 Kashmir earthquake relief operations. The U.S. State Department bought the MASH’s tents and medical equipment, owned by the DoD, and donated the entire hospital to the Pakistani military, a donation worth $4.5 million.

The 212th MASH’s unit sign now resides at the Army Medical Department’s Museum in San Antonio, Texas.


Out of necessity, the “4077th MASH” unit depicted in the television series was considerably smaller than many of the MASH units deployed by the United States in the Korean War. In the series, about four surgeons depicted as being assigned to the unit, the administrative staff consists of the C.O. and his assistant, and few soldiers were shown to be present. By comparison, the 8063rd Mobile Army Surgical Hospital had personnel including twelve nurses, eighty-nine enlisted soldiers of assorted medical and non-medical specialties, one Medical Service Corps (MSC) officer, one Warrant Officer and ten other commissioned officers of assorted specialties. On one occasion, the unit handled over 600 casualties in a 24 hour period.

Punting the Pundits: Sunday Preview Edition

Punting the Punditsis an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Punting the Pundits”.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

The Sunday Talking Heads:

Up with Steve Kornacki: Preempted for Winter Olympic coverage.

This Week with George Stephanopolis: The guests on “This Week” are: North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory; Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti; Climate Central chief climatologist Dr. Heidi Cullen; ABC News Senior Meteorologist Ginger Zee, and ABC News Chief Business and Economics Correspondent Rebecca Jarvis who will discuss the ice storms in the south and drought in the west.

Author and former Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe; Sports Illustrated senior writer Pete Thamel; and Outsports.com co-founder Cyd Zeigler will talk about the Michael Sam, the college football standout poised to become the first openly gay player in the NFL.

At the political roundtable are ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl; Fusion’s “AM Tonight” host Alicia Menendez; Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan; and editor and publisher of The Nation and WashingtonPost.com columnist Katrina vanden Heuvel.

Special guest actor Kevin Spacey in an exclusive interview on the second season debut of the Nerflix  political drama “House of Cards.”

Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer: Mr. Scheiffer’s guests are Gov. Pat McCrory (R-NC); and Jim DeMint, president of the Heritage Foundation’

University of Missouri defensive end Michael Sam’s spokesman Howard Bragman; Cyd Zeigler of OutSports.com; Jarrett Bell, NFL Columnist for USA Today Sports; and Donté Stallworth, an NFL wide receiver and current free agent will discuss the implications of Sam’s announcement that he is gay.

Joining him for on the panel are Neera Tanden of the Center for American Progress; Bob Woodward and Jennifer Rubin of The Washington Post; David Sanger of The New York Times, and John Harris of Politico.

Meet the Press with David Gregory: The guests on Sunday’s MTP are 2012 Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney;  scientist and educator Bill Nye “The Science Guy”; Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Vice Chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee; former American Figure Skater Brian Boitano and Bravo’s Host of “Watch What Happens Live” Andy Cohen.

Guests at the roundtable are NBC News’ Chuck Todd, Republican Strategist and former White House Communications Director Nicolle Wallace; Associated Press Chief White House Correspondent Julie Pace; and Democratic Strategist and former Senior Adviser to President Obama David Axelrod.

State of the Union with Candy Crowley: Ms. Crowley’s guests are Senator John McCain (R-AZ); businessman Steve Forbes and Austan Goolsbee, former Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers.

Her panel guests are CNN Political Commentator Kevin Madden; The Root‘s Corey Dade, and democratic pollster Margie Omero.

Six In The Morning

On Sunday

Egypt’s Morsi due to stand trial on spying charges

 16 February 2014 Last updated at 07:56

 The BBC

Deposed Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi is due to start a new trial, on charges of espionage and conspiring to commit acts of terror.

He and 35 others are accused of working with Lebanese and Palestinian groups to carry out attacks in Egypt.

The charges are one of four prosecutions that the Islamist former leader now faces.

Mr Morsi was ousted by the military last July following mass street protests against his rule.

Since then there has been a severe crackdown on his Muslim Brotherhood group, as well as on other activists seen as hostile to the military-backed government.

Sunday’s Headlines:

Brazil’s World Cup courts disaster as delays, protests and deaths mount

Pakistan braced for Afghan refugee crisis which could see three million cross the border in July

Pro- and anti-Maduro groups rally in Venezuela, US voices concern

Somali government accused of diverting weapons to warlords

North Korea promotes key military officials

World Travelers

Bill McKibben on Extreme Weather and Keystone XL



Punk Prayer

Pussy Riot is a Russian feminist punk rock protest group based in Moscow. Founded in August 2011, it has a variable membership of approximately 11 women ranging in age from about 20 to 33. They stage unauthorized provocative guerrilla performances in unusual public locations, which are edited into music videos and posted on the Internet. Their lyrical themes include feminism, LGBT rights, opposition to the policies of Russian President Vladimir Putin, whom they regard as a dictator, and links between Putin and the leadership of the Russian Orthodox Church.

On February 21, 2012, five members of the group staged a performance in Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Savior. Their actions were stopped by church security officials. By that evening, they had turned the performance into a music video entitled “Punk Prayer – Mother of God, Chase Putin Away!” The women said their protest was directed at the Orthodox Church leader’s support for Putin during his election campaign.

On March 3, 2012, two of the group members, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina, were arrested and charged with hooliganism. A third member, Yekaterina Samutsevich, was arrested on March 16. Denied bail, they were held in custody until their trial began in late July. On August 17, 2012, the three members were convicted of “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred”, and each was sentenced to two years imprisonment. Two other members of the group, who escaped arrest after February’s protest, reportedly left Russia fearing prosecution. On October 10, following an appeal, Samutsevich was freed on probation, her sentence suspended. The sentences of the other two women were upheld. In late October 2012, Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova were sent to separate prisons.

The trial and sentence attracted considerable criticism, particularly in the West. The case was adopted by human rights groups including Amnesty International, which designated the women prisoners of conscience, and by a number of prominent entertainers. Public opinion in Russia was generally less sympathetic towards the women. Putin stated that the band had “undermined the moral foundations” of the nation and “got what they asked for”. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said he did not think the three members of Pussy Riot should have been sent to jail, but stressed that the release of the remaining two imprisoned members was a matter for the courts. Having served 21 months, Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina were released on December 23, 2013 after the State Duma approved an amnesty.

Vlad, in addition to having the perkiest nipples of any major world leader which he loves to expose at every opportunity by posing topless, is a 16 year veteran of the KGB rising to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.  To say he’s a ruthless corrupt despot is as obvious as pointing out that homophobic persecution is sypmtomatic of individuals who have unresolved issues with their own sexual desires.

Just saying.

Before taping February 4th, Pussy Riot said that now that Jake and Elwood were out of Joliet they’ll be putting the band back together with “Too Big” Hall, “The Colonel” Cropper, Donald “Duck” Dunn,   “Murph” Dunne, Alan Rubin, “Blue Lou” Marini and Matt “Guitar” Murphy.

Pussy Riot tell New York ahead of Sochi they will perform again

By Edith Honan, Reuters

NEW YORK Tue Feb 4, 2014 7:16pm EST

Two members of the Russian punk band Pussy Riot may have remade themselves as global human rights advocates since their imprisonment for hooliganism, but on Tuesday they vowed to return to the stage as performers.

“It’s absolutely impossible to take this out of us,” Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 24 told a New York news conference ahead of Pussy Riot’s appearance at an Amnesty International concert on Wednesday, a day before the Winter Olympics open in Sochi, Russia.

Tolokonnikova and her bandmate, Maria Alyokhina, 25, will be introduced at the Amnesty concert by pop star Madonna, and will speak but are not expected to perform at the event.

Have I mentioned Free YouTube Download?  Not that I approve of piracy (argh), but I imagine there will be an (ahem) unexpected abscence soon.  In any event it’s not my problem.

You may have read the headlines about how Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina have been booted from Pussy Riot because they appeared at the Amnesty International concert.

Not so.

There was an open letter published on the group’s website-

… which professed to be from Pussy Riot’s current membership. “It is no secret that Masha and Nadia are no longer members of the group, and will no longer take part in radical actionism,” they wrote. “Yes, we have lost two friends, two ideological teammates, but the world has acquired two brave human rights defenders … Unfortunately we cannot congratulate them in person because they refuse to have any contact with us.

According to this letter, Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina’s appearance at an Amnesty International event in New York would never have been endorsed by the anti-Putin punks. “Our performances are always illegal,” they wrote. “We never sell tickets to our ‘shows’.” They also took offence to the advertising of the Amnesty gig, which included the image of a man wearing one of Pussy Riot’s distinctive balaclavas. “We are an all-female separatist collective – no man can represent us either on a poster or in reality.”

Really?  News to them.

“I don’t know who they are, these people who claim to be from Pussy Riot and write on social networks,” Tolokonnikova said at yesterday’s Berlin press conference. “We never left Pussy Riot.” In a separate interview with the New York Times, Alyokhina asserted that she and Tolokonnikova are “still in contact with … the people we performed with” at Moscow’s Christ the Saviour Cathedral.

Not so, Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina told the Times. “Pussy Riot can be anyone”, including men, “and no one can excluded from Pussy Riot”, Tolokonnikova said. “[This letter] doesn’t follow the ideology of Pussy Riot … Pussy Riot can only grow.” The two women also seemed bewildered by the pseudonymous Pussy Rioters who had signed the online document – Garadja, Fara, Shaiba, Cat, Seraphima and Schumacher. Apparently this list of names includes Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina’s former aliases.

Speculation is that their website was hacked by the Putin Dictatorship and this letter is pure disinformation.

Nice guy Mr. Perky Nips, ain’t he?

XXII Day 9

Highlights?  Women’s Super-G, Men’s K-125, Men’s Skeleton.  Women Curling dead against Sweden and Canada who are both near certain finalists, Men ditto except that if they win they still have a chance.

Oh and Hockey, USA v. Russia.

    Time     Network Event
5 pm CNBC Curling, women’s: USA vs. Sweden.
6 pm Vs. Hockey, men’s: USA vs. Russia.
8 pm NBC Alpine skiing: women’s Super-G gold medal final; short track: men’s 1000m gold medal final; speed skating: men’s 1500m gold medal final; ski jumping: men’s individual K-125 large hill; skeleton: men’s gold medal final runs.
midnight NBC TBA
1 am NBC Alpine skiing: women’s Super-G gold medal final; short track: men’s 1000m gold medal final; speed skating: men’s 1500m gold medal final; ski jumping: men’s individual K-125 large hill; skeleton: men’s gold medal final runs. (repeat)
3 am Vs. Curling, men’s: USA vs. Canada.
3 am USA Hockey, men’s: Austria vs. Norway.
5 am MSNBC Curling, women’s: USA vs. Canada.
5 am Vs. Cross-country skiing: men’s 4x10km relay gold medal final.
7:15 am Vs. Hockey, men’s: Slovenia vs. USA.
7:30 am USA Hockey, men’s: Russia vs. Slovakia.
10 am Vs. Figure skating: ice dancing short dance.
noon USA Hockey, men’s: Finland vs. Canada.
2 pm Vs. Biathlon: men’s 15km mass start gold medal final.
3 pm NBC Snowboarding: women’s snowboard cross competition; cross-country skiing: men’s 4x10km relay gold medal final.
3 pm Vs. Hockey.
4 pm CNBC Curling, men’s: USA vs. Sweden.
5 pm Vs. Hockey: Game of the Day.

Saturday medal results are below the fold ~TMC~