Son of Czech PM abducted to Crimea
13 November 2018 | 6:37 am his own father's Russian aide...
Another story in English here (one more)

Czech PM Andrej Babiš has been charged with subsidy fraud. By obfuscating the identity of the owner of a farm, the billionaire pocketed a $2 million subsidy for small businesses in the tourism industry when he was building The Stork Nest, a luxurious family farm and conference center. By now, police has about 10 huge packages of evidence (witnesses of many kinds, documents, data about the registration of Internet domains etc.) that he executed the subsidy fraud deliberately.

While he may be arrested for up to 10 years (the Parliament has stripped him of his immunity for this case) and this is not his only apparent crime, $2 million is obviously not a global story. But last night, two Czech investigative journalists have released a truly shocking story. A year ago, Russian people who work for Czech PM Andrej Babiš have abducted the prime minister's first own son, Andrej Babiš Jr, to (Moscow and then) the old new Russian peninsula, Crimea, to make sure that he – clearly a key witness – wouldn't be interviewed by the police during the Stork Nest investigation.

It makes perfect sense that the Russian guy (or someone else) chose Crimea – almost no Czech or Westerner would dare to go there.

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Andrej Babiš Jr is 35 and he used to be a pilot (Travel Service, Boeing 737; in Spring 2015 he was fired not due to health but for disobedience of authorities) – which, in my opinion, shows that his mental health was probably very good (although there have been exceptions among pilots, including the suicidal one). For several years, he's been treated as a psychiatric patient of a sort after he made fun of some cops. I don't know the details of that story but I feel suspicious about the whole reclassification of this guy as mentally unhealthy.

Two years ago or so, the Stork Nest investigation started. After some time of complete obfuscation, Babiš at least admitted that the Stork Nest stocks were actually owned by his kids including Mr Andrej and Ms Adriana (and by his current brother-in-law Mr Herodes) – the daughter lives in the Slovak capital. For some reasons, both Andrej and Adriana were reported as unable to be investigated due to their mental health issues even though they have worked in demanding occupations (Adriana is claimed to be bipolar now; Andrej Jr is officially "neurodivergent").

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Now, the bombshell story with a rather dramatic 34-video is called
Special investigation: my father wanted me to disappear. They kept me in Crimea. Reporters of found Babiš Jr in Switzerland.
The Czech police were unable to find Andrej Babiš Jr for years. The very fact that the son of a European prime minister is "invisible" for two years could be strange enough. But it gets worse. The two journalists who did a better job at looking for Babiš Jr were Mr Jiří Kubík and especially Ms Sabina Slonková, a redhead who used to work for a daily that was owned by Babiš himself (now the ownership continues indirectly through a trust).

She got inconvenient at some point, Babiš and pals have fired her, but because she's such an incredibly good journalist, she immediately created competing media and her influence over the media space increased further. Now she's been also hired by, the Czech formidable counterpart of Google owned by Mr Ivo Lukačovič, a young billionaire. "Seznam" translates as a "list" or a "directory". One of the newest projects of that company is a new TV channel – that is already available on old-fashioned TVs, too – and Kubík and Slonková work for the Seznam TV News. And she clearly continues to do some amazing job. Needless to say, Babiš is a favorite focus of her work and Babiš himself calls her a jilted redhead.

Don't get me wrong: I don't doubt that she has personal reasons to be negatively obsessed with Babiš but if she finds some very serious things, and it seems that she and Mr Kubík did, I don't think that their personal animosity changes anything substantial about the findings.

What have they found?

They tried to find Babiš Jr in Czechia, in the Slovak capital, and all the promising addresses of his residence have failed. But at some moment, they learned he could be in Switzerland, jumped on a flight, and went there. After some tricks, they got into the modest apartment block and found the door where Babiš Jr lives – it turned out, his mother and Babiš's first wife Beatrice lives there, too. Their names aren't even on the door. The first wife and first son of PM Babiš are clearly hiding.

They said they didn't want to talk to the journalists. At the same moment, it became immediately clear that they had something to share. In a few minutes of the interview, plus from some e-mails that Andrej Babiš Jr and the journalists exchanged later, lots of shocking facts were revealed. The last two years were hell for Andrej Babiš Jr.

After he had the spirited interaction with the cops, he was taken to a psychiatric asylum where he met Dr Dita Protopopová [the correct Czech name would be Protopopovová, however], a psychiatrist (who unsuccessfully ran for a mayor for Babiš's ANO movement and) who became his doctor and who later wrote that Babiš Jr was unable to be interviewed by the police (which seems to be clearly rubbish now, after we saw him by a hidden camera: to say the least, he is unquestionably capable of being interviewed in Czech; at any rate, the clash of her interests is obvious). Her Russian husband Mr Petr Protopopov looks like a typical scary muscular Russian gangster of a lower category.

A year ago, Babiš Jr said, he was told that it was necessary to hide him so that he couldn't be interviewed by the Czech police. He got two options from Ms Protopopová. Either he would be closed to a psychiatric asylum for good, or he would go to a vacation. He picked the vacation. He was transferred by Mr Protopopov to Moscow and then to top Crimean Black Sea resorts/cities, Yalta and Sevastopol (at least, the son should have been sent to the famous summer camp Artek). Mr Protopopov was threatening Babiš Jr in many ways, Babiš Jr seems to be scared to death. Babiš Jr told the journalists that Protopopov had told him that "he [Protopopov] and his dad [Babiš Sr] would make sure he's disappeared somewhere for good". Babiš Jr also said that "it was the Russian guy's idea to take him to Crimea, not my dad's". Well, I am not sure whether the son can know whether it was so.

Babiš Jr was then transferred from Crimea to Slovakia and he ultimately escaped from his kidnappers to Switzerland where he got citizenship.

The anxious young man and the journalists have exchanged some e-mail afterwards. Babiš Jr wrote a message to the journalists in which he clarified his previous verbal assertion that "technically he had something to do with the Stork Nest": Andrej Babiš Jr was basically forced to sign "something" even though he didn't really know what he was signing. Babiš has apparently used his son as one of the tools to complete the subsidy fraud.

Can you imagine that Donald Trump Sr would order abduction of Donald Trump Jr (also from the first marriage, also the same name) to Crimea or a psychiatric asylum against the son's will, to obstruct an investigation?

But the conclusions seem rather clear: In order to obstruct the investigation of his fraud, Czech PM ordered the abduction of his own son to Crimea where the son was accompanied by a self-evident Russian gangster ("a very pro-Russian primitive man") that has repeatedly scared Babiš Jr to death. He turned the life of his own son to hell. Thankfully, Dr Protopopová is no longer the physician of Babiš Jr. He found more friendly Swiss doctors and got the Swiss citizenship. We learned that Babiš Jr is still eating some psychiatric medication. Well, let's hope that there are reasons for that and the Swiss doctors aren't parts of the plot.

During his rants in the Parliament, Babiš was swearing to the health of his children that he had done nothing wrong. Curiously, two of the adult children are already ill. Needless to say, this terror against his own son that was made in order to cover Babiš's illegal activity is a powerful stuff, the reactions were immediate and came within hours, and the opposition plans a new vote on the confidence for the government. Lots of lawmakers in the Parliament have an infinitely strong stomach, however.

Meanwhile, Andrej Babiš Sr, the Czech prime minister, is outside Czechia. If you have read the story above carefully, you should be able to guess which Southern European city is currently hosting him on a business trip. Yes, Babiš is in Palermo right now – maybe he is there to give a talk titled "How to do your most favorite occupation more professionally". Palermo is so appropriate – except that Cosa Nostra always tried to be nice to all the family members.

The story is scary but it is just another level of the wrongdoing that Mr Babiš's political career has been able to survive so far – level that makes Czechia better at some "Central Asian" skills than most of the countries in Central Asia. Can he survive this? Can't he simply add "abduction" to "spying for the communist secret police" and "subsidy fraud" as issues that aren't problems for him? While I am shocked by the story itself, I am also amazed that we have investigative journalists of this caliber. Whether or not I would agree with all of their political opinions, and the answer is almost certainly No, I think that they're brave souls and truly competent professionals. And I am surely a person who appreciates such virtues.

Illegal migrants apparently given prepaid Mastercard debit cards by Soros, EU, U.N.
12 November 2018 | 5:50 pm

An hour ago, I was stunned by articles in the Czech media that were sent to me.

What is this Mastercard? Note that it is decorated by symbols of Mastercard, the European Union, and a branch of the United Nations. It's a prepaid debit card that was apparently found in the pockets of illegal migrants that are flowing to the territory of the European Union through the Balkan route that someone is apparently trying to revive.

According to Sputnik (original from The Hungary Journal) and other sources, the ruling parties in Hungary – Fidesz and the Christian Democratic People's Party – demand an explanation of these debit cards from the European Commission. The Western press seems to be completely hiding this story – or am I overlooking something?

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This story doesn't seem to be a hoax. One reason is that you can find a January 2017 Reuters story saying that Soros, Mastercard planned to partner to aid migrants and refugees. I must have missed that story last year – or I have forgotten about it.

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The preparations were shocking enough but now they apparently became a reality. Not only that. Aside from Mastercard and George Soros, the European Union and the Islamic fundamentalist "human rights" body within the United Nations have embraced that campaign as their own. None of the European citizens were told anything about that project.

I am simply not getting how it's possible that the police and intelligence services in many countries aren't rapidly arresting the people who have actively participated in this apparent scheme yet. It seems like an unquestionable case of sponsoring of organized crime and terrorism, money laundering, and a treason and the people behind this scheme deserve death penalty or life in prison if the death penalty was canceled in their homelands.

On top of that, some sources indicate that Soros actually isn't donating the money – he expects the steal the money back from the welfare programs with a hefty interest. This crime is called the damaging of the financial interests of the European Union.

Lots of people who have claimed that George Soros is funding – and the EU and the U.N. are collaborating in – the mass relocation of exotic migrants into the European continent in order to change the basic identity of the continent (the EU apparently prefers such a new colorful population because it's not attached to any European nation and is too dumb to be Euroskeptical) were labeled conspiracy theorists. But the data indicate that these conspiracy theories have turned to conspiracy facts.

If we allow these organized criminals to do these incredible things, what will be next? Will the invaders be also given weapons for their invasion to be even smoother? Will we passively watch what is going on?

Instructions showing it's a prepaid Mastercard without a name but with a PIN... Reports say that tens of thousands of such cards were distributed.

Bitcoin price is where it was 1 year ago
12 November 2018 | 7:09 am

In 2017, the Bitcoin price went from some $1,000 to $20,000 on December 18th. Since that moment, the price lost 66% while the Google searches for the Bitcoin plummeted by 92%.

In a recent month or so, the Bitcoin price lost much of its volatility and seems to be stuck close to $6350. That's pretty much exactly where it was a year ago, sometime on November 12th, 2017. That factoid is just a coincidence but it allows us to make certain interpretations.

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During the recent year or two, we've been bombarded by statements that the Bitcoin wasn't a bubble, it (and the underlying Blockchain meme) was a game-changing technology and the mechanisms deciding about your profits – if you bought some Bitcoins – are completely different than in the case of different bubbles. Just like every other time when a bubble was being inflated, this time was different, we were told all the time.

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Even when the Bitcoin price crashed from $20,000 almost to $5,000, the Bitcoin champions were presenting that drop as a fluke – a standard fluctuation in their way towards the infinite price or "to the Moon", as the true Bitcoin fans like to say. Volatility was so normal and a 75% drop, while large, wasn't deadly. After all, during the frantic epoch of skyrocketing Bitcoin prices in late 2017, the price could double – and therefore more than undo the 75% drop – in a week or two. The "hodlers" were de facto proud about becoming the most aggressive class of investors. They expected the most spectacular yields and claimed to be ready for the most spectacular "temporary" losses, too.

However, this counting just doesn't seem to work in recent months. A 10% daily growth of the prices is almost impossible. Most of the days, the Bitcoin price changes by less than 1%. Someone surely "wants" to keep the price nearly stabilized – the only unknown is whether the "someone" is a collective spirit of most traders or some specific traders, hodlers, or their group, and whether they are big fish. The cryptocurrency cost-and-benefit analysis could have been viewed as an indeterminate \(0/0\) or \(\infty/\infty\) ratio but things are different. The price movements look tiny and the possibility that the price could return to the $20,000 high by the end of 2018, to mention a specific proposition, looks like a science-fiction story.

Just half a year ago, the Bitcoin fans could have said that "the Bitcoin goes up insanely in the long run". It looked so at time scales comparable to one year. After all, it was the year 2017 when the prices got multiplied by 20 or so. However, in the recent weeks, even that timescale-bound proposition seems to be wrong. The Bitcoin doesn't seem to go up at the timescale of one year! By November 2018, it hasn't gone up at any shorter timescale, either.

Is it going up at timescales longer than 1 year? We can't know for sure. Before December 2017, the prices went generally up for 4 years or so. Is a timescale like 2 or 4 years the right one for which you can still say "the Bitcoin price goes up at this timescale"? We don't know with certainty yet. It will depend on the future movements. But I personally find it unlikely that the Bitcoin will revisit the $20,000 peak in the next year or two or three. There are just too many people who have lost the unlimited overbloated belief in the infinity and who are waiting for somewhat higher prices to sell their holdings – sometimes large holdings.

So I think it is more likely than not that the Bitcoin price no longer goes up at any timescale. The meteoric rise of the price in late 2017 was something I was completely unable to predict – the intensity of mass delusions keeps on beating my expectations. But it was just a huge dose of group think and irrationality that was exponentially growing for a while, a giant fluke. I think that it won't get repeated.

Even the very stupid people who are the typical Bitcoin buyers can notice that exactly one year ago, the price went from $6,350 to $20,000 six weeks later, before it crashed back to $5,000 and then $6,350 where it was stuck for a rather long time. So they see that it's damn possible that they could buy the Bitcoin for $10,000 or $20,000 and then see the price crash. That's why I think that they're unlikely to buy the Bitcoin for $10,000 again – anytime soon. The demand for the Bitcoin would probably go down if the Bitcoin approached these level again. And the supply would go up. I am pretty sure that there must already be some rather big holders who are sort of unloading their holdings.

If the father of the Bitcoin nicknamed Satoshi Nakamoto is e.g. Nick Szabo, he sits on some $7 billion and he may have the private keys needed to send the coins. But he may be afraid of announcing he's the founder of the currency. That's too bad because this is the guy who would deserve a few billion for this influential paradigm.

The cryptocurrency markets have become too boring, too stable, and the potential for some new fast meteoric growth of the price has shrunk considerably. In an extremely non-dramatic, gradual way, the reality has proven that the Bitcoin price growth was just an insane bubble without any rational justification. Most of the bubble has burst, if we take the peak price as 100%. A young generation wanted to play their own Airplane Game or another pyramid game. Now their desires for this kind of activity have been mostly satisfied for a decade – when a new generation starts to arrive that wants to "play" a pyramid game, too.

So while the cryptocurrency mining consumes almost as much energy as Czechia, all the unbacked cryptocurrencies have become utterly pointless. They don't seem to move much, the trading volumes are tiny relatively to the peak in early 2018, the chance to get rich quick are slim, but there is still some risk that you may lose a significant fraction soon. If you hold this stuff, you're still tempted to watch it even though nothing is happening. Nothing is happening but a Czechia worth of electricity is still being wasted.

Some champions of this stuff still don't seem to get how irrational this whole activity has gotten. Just to sustain these non-currencies that no one really uses for anything useful, and that don't even provide us with any interesting pyramid game or lottery anymore, lots of people work in the cryptocurrency exchanges and huge amounts of hardware are being produced just for this purpose and then they are swallowing insane amounts of electricity. The benefits are more or less self-evidently zero while the costs are huge.

How is it possible that a network whose costs exceed the benefits so clearly manages to survive? It survives for the same reason why the communist regimes survived for half a century or so. What is still powering the Bitcoin is no longer greed. It is some politically correct utopia about the moral duty to change the world in a certain way. And many people have already understood that they were wrong about their utopia but they're still afraid of admitting this serious blunder to themselves and others – which is why many of them keep on hodling, too.

Who is paying for the costs? Well, a small number of people who are still buying additional cryptocoins does. Why? Every year, over 600,000 Bitcoins or $4 billion are mined and added to the pool of 17 million Bitcoin in circulation. Those are stocks of a company that pays no dividends. The number of stocks increases by 4% (600k/17M) a year, nothing is changing about the company, so the stock price should go down 4% a year. The holders of the Bitcoin should normally see the dollar value of their holdings to drop by 4% a year in average – and by this drop, they would really be funding the electricity and hardware for the useless mining.

If you assume that the smoothed drop is less than 4% a year, it means that the people are still buying the newly mined Bitcoin – there is still some new demand for this stuff, some new inflow of real dollars to the game. But while all these people are slow, even that supply has to largely disappear.

On December 9th, 2017, I wrote the only blog post whose main goal was to explicitly urge all cryptocurrency holders to get rid of the stuff. The people who listened to me sold the Bitcoin for $18,000 or so and they are grateful to me. The blog post just happened to pick the Peak Bitcoin rather accurately. (Although, needless to say, I admit that I was similarly skeptical – while less explicit – about the future of the Bitcoin price at most other moments.)

But even now, when the Bitcoin price is already 68% below the peak, I recommend all slightly sensible people to sell most of the stuff because it has become so pointless, its costs exceed benefits very clearly, and the potential for this fad to be revived and generate growth rates similar to the frantic late 2017 rates looks extremely slim. The fact that the Bitcoin price hasn't collapsed 100+ times more quickly is a testimony of the irrationality of the people who are dealing with this stuff. But I am sure that many of them "fail" to be completely irrational, so even the current lower prices will turn out to be unsustainable.

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