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Ruphus

Posts: 3691
Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

RE: Vive la France (in reply to Ruphus

PS:
Don´t take turncoats of the fromer Eastern block for pragmatic signs.

I know from not just my Russian sister in law who in the Seventies turned from originally soviet actress to rich westerner´s wife (and became more lofty jet-setting highness than any actual aristocrate. Equally to other good looking soviet citizens I saw marry western business men), how arrived emigrants feel obligate to vehemently condemn anything social or leftist, whilst not even understanding what a construct the USSR actually was.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 26 2015 13:17:49
 
BarkellWH

Posts: 2773
Joined: Jul. 12 2009
From: Washington, DC

RE: Vive la France (in reply to Richard Jernigan

quote:

People as intelligent and experienced as Colin Powell believed that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction....This is not to impugn the professionalism, honesty or dedication of the analysts who worked the problem. But if Cheney and Rumsfeld said, "Your job is to find evidence of WMD" how else are you going to make your way in the world? The intelligence people dredged up every shred of info they could find.


This simply is not the case across the board. It is a view that incorrectly considers the professional intelligence community in the same way that many misguided people incorrectly view the U.S. Government, i.e., as one monolithic whole without distinction or differentiation within. That the Central Intelligence Agency's National Intelligence Estimate made a case for WMD is not the whole story.

I mentioned in a comment above, and I repeat it here. As an example of internal dissent, in October 2002, the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) dissented from the conclusion in the National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq’s WMD capabilities that Iraq was reconstituting its nuclear weapons program. INR made its case but did not prevail. Nevertheless, State's Bureau of Intelligence and Research, as a member of the Intelligence Community, did not go along with Cheney and Rumsfeld and stuck to its dissent. Ironically, Colin Powell was Secretary of State making the case for WMD in Iraq at the same time State's INR was dissenting.

It was a very interesting situation and illustrates once again the folly of viewing everything in monolithic wholes. To my knowledge, no one in INR was reprimanded or punished for producing the dissent and sticking with it. But Colin Powell was not the type to reprimand or punish those who produced honest assessments backed by solid evidence, even though he himself mistakenly went along with the Administration's position on the issue of WMD in Iraq.

Bill

_____________________________

And the end of the fight is a tombstone white,
With the name of the late deceased,
And the epitaph drear, "A fool lies here,
Who tried to hustle the East."

--Rudyard Kipling
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 26 2015 17:47:12
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3691
Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

RE: Vive la France (in reply to Ruphus

Naturally, their will be different opinions on how to evaluate and proceed on the way.

But be an actually integer politician and see whether you´ll reacht to the upper level, and if you ever could, whether you would end up staying or like Olof Palme.

Prescribed to consequent integrity, to actual democracy and against exploitation and corruption, commonly you won´t get beyond municipal level in the first place, if at all. And if you are even just half-assed into such ideals, yet getting into parliament you´ll find yourself as an outcast who won´t be let into relevant body and hardly making it through a whole legislature perod.

It´s the only way to come out from parliament, not well connected, not rich, not considerably pensioned, instead rejected in the private sector and possibly even stranding on low middle-class level. I know that a small number of such carreers exist in Germany.

And that is no coincidence.
Coping delegates won´t end up that way, no matter how extra they used to be. For common members there´s always a host of extra cushion positions provided in orgs like UNO, EU parliament, etc., unless they fetched a chair with the industry as pals connecting lobbyists.

Ruphus
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 26 2015 18:43:45
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 2520
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: Vive la France (in reply to BarkellWH

quote:

ORIGINAL: BarkellWH

quote:

People as intelligent and experienced as Colin Powell believed that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction....This is not to impugn the professionalism, honesty or dedication of the analysts who worked the problem. But if Cheney and Rumsfeld said, "Your job is to find evidence of WMD" how else are you going to make your way in the world? The intelligence people dredged up every shred of info they could find.


This simply is not the case across the board. It is a view that incorrectly considers the professional intelligence community in the same way that many misguided people incorrectly view the U.S. Government, i.e., as one monolithic whole without distinction or differentiation within. That the Central Intelligence Agency's National Intelligence Estimate made a case for WMD is not the whole story.

I mentioned in a comment above, and I repeat it here. As an example of internal dissent, in October 2002, the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) dissented from the conclusion in the National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq’s WMD capabilities that Iraq was reconstituting its nuclear weapons program. INR made its case but did not prevail. Nevertheless, State's Bureau of Intelligence and Research, as a member of the Intelligence Community, did not go along with Cheney and Rumsfeld and stuck to its dissent. Ironically, Colin Powell was Secretary of State making the case for WMD in Iraq at the same time State's INR was dissenting.

It was a very interesting situation and illustrates once again the folly of viewing everything in monolithic wholes. To my knowledge, no one in INR was reprimanded or punished for producing the dissent and sticking with it. But Colin Powell was not the type to reprimand or punish those who produced honest assessments backed by solid evidence, even though he himself mistakenly went along with the Administration's position on the issue of WMD in Iraq.

Bill


Once again I seem to have given a wrong impression by trying to express myself colorfully.

I was not intending to say that the entire intelligence community concurred in the view that Saddam had WMD, nor that they had caved in to pressure from policy makers.

I meant to refer specifically to the Office of Special Plans, set up within the Pentagon by Paul Wolfowitz, at the direction of Rumsfeld. Many of its critics contend that its purpose was to evade the process of review that produced views unfavorable to those of Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz et al.

I was no longer employed in intelligence work during the run up to the invasion of Iraq, so I rely upon the testimony of friends, still in the business at the time, who say that the Office of Special Plans was the dominant source of intelligence on Iraq fed to Bush during the period preceding the invasion. They further say that an explicit mission of the OSP was to collect information indicating that Saddam had an active atomic weapons program and an active biological weapons program.

The OSP relied upon data collected by the real intelligence agencies, but they cherry picked what they used, and they ignored evaluations which cast doubt upon sources like Ahmed Chalabi, as well as views such as those of the State Department's INR.

I have great respect for the U.S. intelligence community. I have considerable experience with the diversity of opinion within it. I am also conscious of the difficulty of its tasks and of the inherent fallibility involved in trying to learn about an intelligent and determined adversary who is doing his best to deter and deceive you.

Where things went wrong in the case of the OSP was the preconceived objective. It's hard enough to avoid deceiving yourself without deciding what the answer is in advance.

Since I was no longer in intelligence during the all too brief period of relative openness between the USA and Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union, I sometimes wonder how many times I was on the winning side of a debate that was proved to be wrong when the facts became known.

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 26 2015 23:11:10
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 2520
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: Vive la France (in reply to Richard Jernigan

Since I seem to be prolific in giving wrong impressions lately, let me try to clear up something else.

When pointing out the frequent evil outcomes of good intentions, I am not meaning to excuse the perpetrators. I am cautioning against jumping to conclusions, and against unduly sanguine expectations for projects initiated with the best will in the world.

We are responsible for the consequences of our actions. We are obliged not only to regret evil consequences (which I believe many world leaders have done), but to try to understand what went wrong, so as not to repeat damaging actions.

This means we must face the fact that if we successfully prevented all the bad people from influencing affairs, there would still be disasters. To try to prevent future disasters, we must rely upon factual knowledge and careful analysis. We should not jump to conclusions, no matter how plausible they may seem. Maybe it was the bad guys. Maybe it was the good guys screwing up. It's important to distinguish, because the remedies are different.

Scott McClellan knew George W. Bush well before Bush ran for president. He worked for Bush when he was governor of Texas. At the time McClellan was no political neophyte, having run some of his mother's successful political campaigns.

My daughter was Assistant Attorney General of Texas while Bush was governor. She surprised me by saying she thought Bush had been a good governor. She had campaigned actively for Ann Richards, Bush's opponent when he was elected governor. My daughter cited Bush's alliance with Bob Bullock, the Democrat Lieutenant Governor who was the most influential figure in the State Legislature, resulting in bi-partisan policy making and a program that was constructive in many respects.

McClellan saw Bush as a friend when he became Press Secretary. He was involved in almost all major policy discussions. But he left the administration disillusioned, feeling he had been betrayed by Bush, Cheney and Karl Rove. After resigning, McClellan had no motive to polish Bush's reputation.

The only allegations I have read of corruption by Bush came from overseas. That's not to say there have been none in the well fertilized field of domestic political rhetoric, just that I haven't read any. But if he made $billions off the invasion of Iraq, why does he live in a much smaller house in a far less fashionable neighborhood in Dallas than my cousin, the retired medical doctor?

McClellan saying that Bush invaded Iraq with the intention of spreading democracy to the Near East was not an attempt to paint Bush in a better light. It was to point out Bush's formulation of policy "from the gut," and to exemplify Bush's "lack of intellectual curiosity."

It was also a warning against the potentially disastrous consequences of ill-informed "good" intentions.

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 27 2015 0:11:36
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 2520
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: Vive la France (in reply to Ruphus

quote:

ORIGINAL: Ruphus
"Good" but only failed intentions behind far more than just 70 years of plutocracies' instigating and supporting of fake democracy and dictatures?

No. That's not what I said.
quote:


That actually takes preset perspective whether as wishful thinking or as bias for whatever background.

To miss out on omnipresent corruption, lobbyism and nepotism it takes deliberate rejection of daily ongoings.


A heavy indictment from one so calm and unbiased as yourself, but I am sure you meant no offense.

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 27 2015 2:04:32
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3691
Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

RE: Vive la France (in reply to Ruphus

The comment was triggered by you two´s posts, but I was thinking generally of the world community who believes industries and officials to be different entities, and international policies to be on behalf of people.

In view of how things are going on over and over again, however, it should be rather clear that there exists no such responsible conduct.

And the longer it takes to realize that circumstance, the smaller chances will be to turn around and bring to life democracy in a still viable environment. Following facts actually it looks as if that threshold already passed.

Ruphus
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 27 2015 4:13:13
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 2520
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: Vive la France (in reply to Ruphus

Now that the heat is dialed back a bit, we come nearer to agreement. Throughout the nearly sixty years I have been conscious of U.S. politics I have perceived a steady increase in the influence of money on politics--or it would be better to say "greed".

Looking back I think this perception has two causes. One is that the influence of greed has increased. The second is that I have probably become more sensitive to it.

Since the framers of the Constitution had little or no concept of such a thing as a professional politician, they took no steps to limit the abuses we see nowadays.

As a result we see such aberrations as candidates and elected politicians obviously in the pockets of various industries or wealthy people, who finance the politicians' campaigns. The career politician makes his living from elected office, a concept foreign to the authors of the Constitution. Washington accepted a salary as the first president only because he felt that to refuse one would set a precedent unfairly burdensome to his successors. To be reelected the career politician needs money to spend on campaigning (almost interminably), advertising and organizing. He gets the money from wealthy people, who expect a return on their investment.

In the USA this can be carried on without breaking any laws. In fact, recent decisions by the Supreme Court have made things worse by relaxing most of the few restrictions which existed. Corporations as people with the right to free speech? Money as speech? Patent absurdities.

Powerful interests will find and exploit gaps in the laws. When the gaps are made into eight-lane superhighways, powerful interests will roll right through at high speed.

Another absurdity is an economic culture predicated upon rapid growth in consumption per person, while the population increases rapidly. In the USA this has become a mere myth in recent years. Gross Domestic Product has risen, while the great majority of people have suffered a declining standard of living. Exploitation of the environment for profit continues apace. But masses of people being exploited still vote for politicians who say, "Don't let them take away your freedom by regulating and taxing business."

Most Americans are very enthusiastic about freedom. Large numbers of them fail to understand what it might be.

Americans can be roused to action over domestic issues, however deceptively they may be presented by politicians or poorly understood by the electorate. But they have little interest and less understanding of things going on outside the borders of the country. Europeans in particular, visiting America are struck by our provincialism. Thus American economic and military actions overseas are seen almost entirely through the picture presented by the politicians, who in turn have a much freer hand overseas, as do American economic interests. That is not to say there are no laws or regulations of foreign commerce. China, for example behaves in a more cavalier fashion than the USA.

But Americans just aren't very interested in the overseas activities of their own country, except for wars.They are much less interested in wars than they were when there was "universal" military service. All-volunteer armed forces have given U.S. politicians and military leaders a much freer hand overseas than they had when most families contributed members to military service.

For years I subscribed to the centrist (on a Mexican scale) Mexico City daily paper, "El Universal." I read more about U.S. foreign policy and overseas economic activity in the Mexican paper than I did in the New York Times or the Washington Post.

I would not agree that "there exists no such responsible conduct." However I would say that conduct responsive to the welfare of the majority of people, responsible for the environment, and fair to less powerful countries, has diminished in my lifetime, and seems to me still to diminish.

Large numbers of Americans are seriously dissatisfied with the status quo, hence presidential candidates like Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump. i hasten to add that I do not equate the two, except in their attraction for deeply dissatisfied voters. Trump's positions are inscrutable, if they exist at all. Instead of policy positions, he simply excites and resonates with the outrage of a significant segment of the population, while he deflects their attention from their economic exploitation by people like him.

In a phenomenon not seen since Henry Wallace continued to accept the endorsement of the Communist Party when he ran for president in 1948, Sanders declares that he is a socialist. Significant numbers of people see that as a very good thing. Sanders has pursued a pragmatic and successful political career, while remaining true to his socialist principles, though in a state a little out of the mainstream of America..

Still, I believe the "establishment" will win the presidency, probably in its Democrat guise. The Republican candidates promise to destroy themselves in intra-party warfare, or to throw up someone seen as totally preposterous by a fair majority of voters.

At this point it seems likely that a Democrat president will be unequally yoked together with a Republican Senate and House of Representatives, due to the vagaries of the electoral system, and the Republicans' mastery of those vagaries.

Of course a lot can happen between now and November of next year, my predictions are deeply colored by my own political ideas, and political polling has become increasingly unreliable as fewer and fewer people choose to respond. Last time the Republicans were convinced they would win the presidency right up to the morning of election day.

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 27 2015 6:39:15
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3691
Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

RE: Vive la France (in reply to Ruphus

I agree with all of this, only that I estimate it to have developed much further. To the state of irresponsible conduct, as mentioned.

What elections are concerned, I don´t see why at all they should be authentic. When everything being in hands of the grey reign, from media over survey companies, up to election systems, why should there be refrained from setting things up to desire?
After the revealing years ago, of manipulation through suppliers of polling machines like Diebold Election Systems and Sequoia (- not meaning that there weren´t such in place before in analog time), are you, Richard, still certain that elections are what they are supposed to be?

Regarding Obama´s first election for instance the result to me seemed like no surprise. I thought that he was put through, so that after a further declined household the `economical incapability´ of the "left" spectrum could be made public motivation one other time for a following of Republican legislatures.
Only Obama´s election for a second round left me puzzled. Wondering what the sketch might have been.

There are so many coherences in the global marketing, resource claiming and official path making; one would need to be a super computer to figure out potentials and priorities of plans in the works.

Having said that, I am for instance glad that the arctic drilling projects seem to have been stopped, not without noticing though that the oil companies themselves had reached to the conclusion that mining would come out too expensive.

In view of politics and their possible content of common sense, respectively its opposite, privileged minority interests, I have been watching two documentaries on a French TV channel lately.

One was accompanying a French delegate for environmental matters, who is trying to bring awareness to national and international leaders and politicians about the fading ecological ground.

For his official position he will be granted several minutes long consultations, for which he flies around the world, yet, in the same time he is dealt with like with a kooky servant. A bit of nodding and a smile down the nose, then the `clown´ will be waved good-bye.
Even the French officials themselves, though having him around, like to emphasize that he has no say.

There is no will to realize the explosiveness of the situation, as you may expect with industrial delegates who just have other things to do.


Another documentary dealt with the super rich, their focus and the ways they live.
If only halfway informed on the worlds situation, you can´t but find it disgusting.

The psychological properties of the monetary elite that you have seen me mentioning before, have been conclusions from effects.

With the second or third documentary that I have seen by now about this new caste, the conclusions are being confirmed to the detail.

Not only that they either keep themselves entirely isolated from global news, or prefer dismissing them. But what these people do simply just to play with their funds, ONLY NOT to refrain from amassing or to avoid giving some back on behalf of hardship and misery is more than just incredible, but pathologic.

They are basically anxious about two things:

# To ensure obtaining of the greatest and latest, which for they employ experts to insure choosing by said criteria. (While often times not even having the time or actual interest to eye the new possession.)

All along wasting of a magnitude you can´t imagine. Like daily preparations on grand hotel scale in diverse entertained castle-like domiciles while owners not even there. Setting of tables and decorations anew en mass each meal time, etc. (Unclear where all the delicacy food e.g. then ends up.)
With extra efforts on top when owners abruptly announce themselves, only to then often times not show up.
Servants and service managers telling how owners when present keep servants needlessly running, over the day busy inventing orders back and forth just to have the staff moving for the salaries.

Whereas outside from home constantly searching opportunities to show inexhaustible solvency. And be it by ordering letters that are being sent to London´s house lords of houses worth 20-30 and more million pounds, asking them to sell as they would need housing for their domestic servants.

# Secondly, seeking prove of personal excellence through their offspring, which they torment with ordered trainings throughout the day (spare time / social intercourse with same aged about 30 min. daily) for them to become outstanding. Yet, not without failure. And sometimes despite it all no acceptance at elite universities.

It is reported that they want their children to succeed on their own (however consistent that be with any budget available for start-ups), the biggest fear allegedly being that the offspring could end up simply feeding on the inheritance.
Weird from parents who themselves cruise the world only for escaping boredom, isn´t it.

Anyway, these kind of mind-set´s funds & industry managers are who determine the worlds fate.
So, should one really wonder about irresponsibility and short-sightedness on all levels?

Ruphus
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 27 2015 13:40:52
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 2520
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: Vive la France (in reply to Ruphus

Why should elections be reasonably honest in the USA?

They weren't always honest in Texas. Lyndon Johnson was notoriously elected to the Senate for the first time by stuffed ballot boxes in south Texas. John Connally, subsequently governor of Texas and Secretary of the Treasury was Johnson's man who arranged the details. Connally's role was not generally known, but my father had been one of a group of young men who drove out the crooked government of Willacy County, and Dad knew the details of Johnson's election. Connally was popular during his term as governor, years after the election scandal. His sister was a close neighbor to my parents in San Antonio at the time. Eventually my mother asked her just to stop inviting them to occasions where Connally was present, since my father was tired of inventing polite excuses not to attend. My father never spoke to Connally after Johnson's first Senate election, and as far as I know was never in the same room with him, though both were active in Republican politics. I hasten to point out, this was before the present broad vein of demagoguery appeared in the Republican Party.

Connally was shot while riding in the car with Kennedy when he was assassinated. Subsequently he switched from the Democrat party to the Republican and ran unsuccessfully for the presidential nomination. My father and I were watching on TV when Connally appeared on the Republican National Convention floor.

My father said, "He may be a crook, but that took guts, to walk out into that crowd after what happened to him in Dallas."

To return to the question: In Texas elections were cleaned up after WW II, except for a couple of border counties that remained under control by criminal gangs who had replaced the Mexican caudillos. My impression is that similar events took place throughout the country where corrupt elections had been routine.

Elements of the news media retain some degree of political independence in the USA. Political scandal always attracts readers and viewers. I have met enough ethical reporters to conclude that they still exist in significant numbers. So the media are quick to pounce on political scandal.

Economic interests are generally careful to remain within the law in the USA when they exercise political influence, for a number of reasons.

The legal system affords them ample room to operate.

They are wary of public scandal.

Economic interests that operate counter to the general welfare are not necessarily corrupt in a sense of the word that all Americans would agree upon. Many Americans think that the exercise of laissez faire capitalism is a moral imperative, and that government regulation of corporate and market behavior is generally unjust. As long as corporations and rich people remain within the law, which grants them plenty of latitude, they retain the support of the advocates of unregulated capitalism. These advocates include the present leadership of both the Senate and House of Representatives. If you can elect them legally, why take the risk of breaking the law?

The other side of the same coin is that illegal activity by corporations or plutocrats would be handing the liberals a stick to beat them with.

Economic interests do quite well in controlling election results without having to engage in election fraud. They just select candidates through campaign financing, and retain influence by financing reelection campaigns.

Lastly, America is not the utter stew of greed and corruption that it looks like to you. There are honest politicians, honest and humane law enforcement agents, thoughtful and civic minded corporate executives, and so on. But there are enough unintentional failures by otherwise well intentioned people, and enough greedy and morally corrupt (but not necessarily legally corrupt) people in positions of power to lead to injustice and inequality.

There may or may not be a different political system that would be guaranteed to produce a better result. There has been no successful demonstration of such a system to date. Arriving at a prescription for a better system by "logical" analysis has so far resulted in failure, sometimes accompanied by horrific consequences.

This is not to say I am satisfied with the system we now have. It could and should be improved. But I am far more suspicious of sudden radical change than I was when I was 25.

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 27 2015 18:30:43
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 2520
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: Vive la France (in reply to Ruphus

During our time in Italy this summer we spent a few pleasant days on the island of Capri. Larisa's very good advice was to stay in Anacapri, over the mountain from the tourist crowds of the town of Capri. Anacapri was a prosperous but pleasant and otherwise typical Italian village. Our small hotel was hospitable and enjoyable. There were a number of excellent small restaurants.

We did go over the mountain to Capri a couple of times, once to swim at the Marina Piccola. Sitting in the pavilion we fell into conversation with the older couple in swimming suits and robes next to us. To our surprise they turned out to be a marchese and his wife.

"From Napoli," said the marchesa.

"We live a little outside of town, on a farm," added the marchese.

They had excellent manners, but no superior attitude.



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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 27 2015 18:43:06
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 2520
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: Vive la France (in reply to Richard Jernigan

When we indicated some of the yachts in the harbor, they shook their heads. The marchesa said, "We don't know those people."

"Nor do we care to," added the marchese.



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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 27 2015 18:45:47
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 2520
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: Vive la France (in reply to Ruphus

quote:

ORIGINAL: Ruphus

PS:
Don´t take turncoats of the fromer Eastern block for pragmatic signs.



The few people from the former Eastern block whom I met during the Cold War were all from the Soviet Union. Each had gone through a detailed background investigation by U.S. intelligence before I met them, for fear that they might have been decoys sent to deceive us. Each proved to have a valid and severe grievance against the Soviet regime, and the information they provided could be verified from other sources, often by technical means. I did not assume they were typical Soviet citizens, else we would have been swamped by volunteers.

All of the Russians I have met since the Cold War have been either visiting the USA or Europe, or living there. Some remained Russian citizens and returned home. Others emigrated voluntarily, all of these for economic reasons.

Every one of them, of both categories, viewed the Soviet regime as both evil and repressive.

quote:



I know from not just my Russian sister in law who in the Seventies turned from originally soviet actress to rich westerner´s wife (and became more lofty jet-setting highness than any actual aristocrate. Equally to other good looking soviet citizens I saw marry western business men), how arrived emigrants feel obligate to vehemently condemn anything social or leftist, whilst not even understanding what a construct the USSR actually was.


It is not surprising that your Russian acquaintances should confuse the Soviet Union with socialism. Larisa tells me that they had it pounded into them at school that the command economy, police state Soviet Union represented the perfections of socialism--not as Marx defined it, as a political condition that would result in the "withering away of the state."

Anyone who thought the Soviet Union was socialist would be right to attack "socialism" wherever the word was employed.

I am fortunate to know Russians, including Larisa, who can tell the difference.

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 27 2015 19:52:56
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3691
Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

RE: Vive la France (in reply to Ruphus

Thank you for the info, Richard,

I didn´t know that there have been numerous public scandals before, just as I don´t know much about inner US politics and history.

It goes without question that elder monetary artistocracy and aristocrat families are behaving much more educated and at times even down to earth than parvenus.

New upcomers tend to show extremely snobbish and banal in their attempt to set themselves apart from their social origin. Thus often times a very rude dealing with personel and disrespect for traditional values and customs.

Same in regard of embarrasing show off and tasteless acquisition. It is them who are customers for solid gold toilet seats and hoovers and thelike articles.

And it is also them who are behind the insane price race with trash articles, pseudo art and art. You can hear their suppliers saying thatt meanwhile it had become "very hard" to find exclsuive goods to spend money on, which generated a fierce competition for all kinds of items that are suited for raising publicity and allow for name dropping.

For, and that is from the mouths of special service companies, personel and object trackers, the new super rich instead of being satisfied are feeling still too minor as personality, hence all the time seeking for reckognition through public and uniqueness. From there also the engaging of celebrities in hopes of fetching some spot light.
All just how psychology predicts.

The undefeatable complex also transferring to their kids, whose personal trainers describe them as awkwardly bragging, even though you´d think on such material level one would feel no need for such at the latest.

Interesting the remark of a lady who lives from catering to this clientele, saying that obviously extreme assets do not make happy or fulfilled. And that the correlation of income and happiness would be ending at around 70 000 pounds yearly. Above that concerns would be setting in about maintaining, rivalry, image care etc., you name it.
As it seems, all focus away from reason and things that matter.

To my experience there are people who know how to live despite of great possession. But specially in a time of cultural level downhill everywhere, nouveaux riches´being out of mind mustn´t surprise.
The more with the late ways of capital that amasses in unseen proportions and by itself without special skills and contribution of owners, whose accounts record receipts of $ billions per year.

Ruphus
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 27 2015 19:53:33
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 2520
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: Vive la France (in reply to Ruphus

Johnson's first Senate election affords a cameo of Texas politics in the 1940s. His subsequent career illustrates the complexity of character that can accompany great power.

Robert Caro's detailed biography is a masterpiece in three volumes, so far. Acquaintances at the LBJ Library here in Austin tell me Caro is diligently at work on the final volume.

Johnson's father was a small town/rural politician. He was popular during his early career, but later failed both politically and financially. During Lyndon's childhood his family often depended upon relatives and friends for food and for financial assistance to keep from losing their house. In the small town where they lived, Johnson's father was denied credit by the local merchants, a public disgrace in such a small place where everyone knew everybody else's business.

Caro went so far as to find and interview people who went to elementary school with Johnson. They reported that at an early age he announced his intention to be president. He was one of the few boys in town who owned a baseball. If Johnson was not allowed to be pitcher he would take his ball and go home, keeping anybody else from playing.

Johnson studied at the teacher's college in San Marcos just south of Austin, unable to afford even the cheap tuition and living expenses of the University at Austin. In the summer he worked on a gang building and maintaining the gravel roads near his home town, desperately hot and fatiguing work.

Johnson's first political coup was to get elected president of the student body at San Marcos. Until that time the post had been held by popular young men who were athletes or could afford to belong to one of the fraternities. Johnson quietly put together an organization among the poorer, less popular students.

He used his office to befriend and become an openly devoted admirer of the college president. Johnson followed this pattern of attaching himself to older and more powerful men throughout his career. Soon the college president relied upon Johnson to parcel out the low paying jobs available to the poorer students. If you wanted a job in the cafeteria or as a janitor, you had to see Lyndon, and you had to support him politically.

Before finishing his studies, Johnson took a year off, teaching at a segregated Mexican-American school in the impoverished south Texas town of Cotulla. Later he said this was a formative experience. The children were far poorer than he had ever been. Many had no shoes to wear to school, even in winter. They were utterly blocked from any escape from poverty by the racism of south Texas.

After finishing his studies and further teaching jobs in Pearsall and Houston, Johnson entered politics, campaigning for a Texas congressman. This earned him a recommendation to Richard Kleberg of the King Ranch family, who was a congressman from south Texas. The wealthy Kleberg was more interested in Washington social life than politics. Johnson was soon running his office as surrogate congressman, fielding requests from constituents and negotiating with other congressmen.

The Little Congress was a club of congressional aides. Johnson was soon elected Speaker, the presiding officer. Many said his election was fraudulent, with his supporters stuffing the ballot box. Johnson was soon friends with influential young men in Washington including aides to president Franklin Roosevelt. He also attached himself to Sam Rayburn, the Speaker of the House of Representatives. Many said he became a surrogate son to the bachelor Rayburn.

Rayburn was one of the most powerful men in the USA. He was widely famous for unbending honesty and rectitude. Despite Johnson's notorious moral flexibility, the bond persisted throughout Rayburn's long life, and was a considerable source of Johnson's power.

Caro wrote, "Johnson's ambition was uncommon—in the degree to which it was unencumbered by even the slightest excess weight of ideology, of philosophy, of principles, of beliefs."

Johnson was elected to Congress, and used his position to benefit his rural Texas constituency. The first paved road was built to his home town, and electricity was brought to the countryside. But he did little else of legislative note during his 12-year term in the House.

Except for one thing, that is. During Franklin Roosevelt's presidency many public works projects were funded by the government in an effort to ameliorate the Great Depression. These provided not only employment for workers, but also profits for construction companies. The owners of the Houston firm which became Brown and Root approached Johnson for assistance in obtaining the contract to build a large dam just west of Austin. There were also legal obstacles to be cleared away.

Johnson served Brown and Root well, using his contacts in the Administration, and the power in Congress of Sam Rayburn. Brown and Root received the contract, built the dam, made a lot of money, and went on to become one of the largest international contracting firms in the world. They remained faithful supporters of Johnson, and he saw to it that they were rewarded throughout the rest of his political career.

But during 12 years of apparent legislative torpor Johnson was building relationships and contacts in Washington and among the wealthy. This included an affair with the beautiful and sophisticated wife of an older millionaire, apparently unknown to the husband, though it was obvious to practically everybody else. Lyndon's wife Lady Bird bore the affair with patience, though it was a public humiliation to her.

In 1948 Johnson ran against Coke Stevenson for the Senate. Stevenson was the most popular governor ever elected in Texas. In one election he carried all 254 counties in the huge state. Stevenson began as a poor cowboy, ran a tiny freight business with a wagon and a mule, camping out en route, established his own ranch, entered the State Legislature, was soon elected Speaker, then Governor. Stevenson was admired by the whole of the state for his honesty, integrity and "pulling himself up by his own bootstraps" Like most Texas politicians at the time he was racist and economically conservative.

Johnson had previously run as a supporter of the New Deal welfare state policies instituted by Franklin Roosevelt. This was popular among the small farmers of his congressional district. In the Senate Democrat primary race he tacked rightward. Stevenson came in first but did not poll a majority, due to a third candidate. A runoff resulted.

At first the runoff was too close to call. Almost all of the border counties (my father's home county the only exception I know of) and some east Texas counties held off reporting their vote counts until the other returns were in, so they could know how many votes they needed to report to elect their candidate. Johnson had secured promises for the votes of the gangster controlled border counties, prominent among them the empire of George Parr.

After days of suspense and a further trip to the border by John Conally, Johnson was declared the winner. He was put over the top by a margin of 87 votes after 202 votes were reported for him from ballot box 13 in Jim Wells county, controlled by George Parr and his gang. The last 42 names on the voter signature roll were in alphabetical order, all in the same handwriting, with the time shown after all others, when the poll was closing. Some of the voters were buried in the cemetery at the time of the election.

Winning the Democrat primary was tantamount to winning the election in Texas in 1948. No Republican had held statewide office since the end of the military occupation after the Civil War.

By a vote of 29-28, the party committee certified Johnson as the winner.

Stevenson sued in Federal court, alleging fraud. Johnson's lawyers countered that Federal courts had no jurisdiction over state elections. Despite this, the Federal judge ordered Johnson's name removed from the ballot for the general election and appointed special masters with the power of subpoena to investigate.

Time was short before the general election. If he was going to get his name back on the ballot Johnson had to act fast. The fraudulent ballot boxes, impounded by the Federal judge but not opened yet, were a ticking time bomb. He convened a meeting in Dallas of ten of the top lawyers in Texas to devise a legal strategy. The meeting went long into the night with no consensus. Johnson got on the phone to Washington, trying to track down Abe Fortas, a young lawyer in the group Johnson socialized with in his early days in Washington. It turned out that Fortas was in Dallas, visiting the wealthy merchant Stanley Marcus, founder of the Neiman-Marcus department store empire.

Johnson called Marcus's house and told Fortas of the situation. Fortas arrived at the meeting of the lawyers as soon as possible. After listening to the other lawyers for half an hour Fortas said, "Here's what we'll do. We'll go to the Fifth Circuit"-- the federal appeals court in New Orleans.

"But we will lose in the Fifth Circuit!" the lawyers objected. "Precisely, replied Fortas. And we'll lose right away. We'll take our petition to the Fifth circuit judge most likely to dismiss it out of hand. Then we'll appeal to the Supreme Court, where we will win."

"But how will we win? Any case in the Supreme Court takes months!"

"A single Supreme Court justice can vacate a lower court order on the grounds the Federal courts have no jurisdiction in the case. Hugo Black will do that in a day's time."

So it was done. One of the special masters appointed by the judge in Texas had the key in his hand to open the first of the fraudulent ballot boxes in Jim Wells county when the telephone call came rescinding his authority. The fraudulent boxes remained in state custody, but when they were opened years later the ballots had disappeared.

During the remainder of Johnson's political career until January 1969, George Parr was indicted more than 650 times for crimes ranging from embezzlement to murder, but he was never convicted, and remained in power in Duval and Jim Webb counties. Shortly before Johnson died in 1973 Parr was convicted of income tax evasion. Rather than go to jail, he committed suicide.

Abe Fortas, after a brilliant and successful law career, was appointed to the Supreme Court by Johnson while he was president.

Hugo Black became one of the longest serving justices on the Supreme Court and played a pivotal role in many important decisions, including Brown v. Board of Education which overturned racial segregation in public schools throughout the USA. Early in his political career Black had joined the Ku Klux Klan, by then a violent racist hate group. After he retired Black was questioned whether he thought his Klan membership, many long years before, was a mistake. Black answered, "At the time I probably would have joined anything I thought would get me votes."

Soon after election to the Senate, Johnson became Majority Whip, then Majority Leader. Johnson accumulated power. Southern Senators chaired the powerful committees, since chairmanships were awarded strictly on the basis of seniority, and southern Senators tended to be reelected numerous times. Johnson courted the leading southern Senator Richard Russell. In Johnson's well honed role as surrogate son, he learned the ways of the Senate, and became the most powerful leader of the Senate in its entire history, up to the present day. Along the way he engineered the demise of the seniority system and effectively placed the power of appointing committee chairmen in his own hands, via a committee he appointed and dominated.

Many southern Senators thought Johnson was on their side in the fight to preserve segregation, many northern Senators thought he was on their side to pass civil rights legislation. The rest were skeptical that Johnson had any principles whatsoever except the exercise of power, but they recognized his supremacy in that arena, and generally were persuaded to follow his "advice".

Johnson ran for the Democrat presidential candidacy in 1960, but lost to the much younger and less experienced John Kennedy. John Kennedy chose Johnson as his running mate for Vice President. Kennedy's younger brother Robert opposed the choice, earning Johnson's enmity for the rest of his life.

In the Kennedy administration Johnson was shunted aside from power. The advice of the greatest-ever master of legislative strategy was ignored in his principal area of expertise. Perhaps just as galling, the Harvard educated Kennedy staffers ridiculed him behind his back (they thought) for his unpolished Texan manners and speech, and his education at a Texas teacher's college for poor boys.

The night after Johnson became president upon the assassination of Kennedy, he convened a meeting at his house. Kennedy's family remained in the White House for a week or two. Johnson quashed any suggestion that they be nudged to move out.

At the meeting Johnson announced that among his first priorities was the passage of the civil rights legislation that Kennedy had introduced, but which was blocked in both the House and the Senate by the usual southern tactics. Johnson's advisers told him it would cost him a huge sum of political capital.

Johnson replied, "We'll lose the South for the next 20 years, but what the hell is the Presidency for, anyhow?"

With his unmatched mastery of congressional politics and the judicious application of power, the Civil Rights Act was passed. More importantly, the next year the Voting Rights Act was passed, giving the Federal government the power to enforce minority voting rights in states where they had been disfranchised since 1870 by poll taxes, "literacy tests" and violent intimidation.

Johnson was elected by a record majority in 1964, reversing the meaning of the sarcastic nickname he earned by his 87 vote win in 1948, "Landslide Lyndon."

I met Johnson very briefly on three occasions. Without anyone ever whispering in his ear, he remembered my name, those of several of my relatives and their occupations. He knew thousands of Texans by name, face, connections, and political complexion.

Austin was Johnson's political home base. His political deals and financial shenanigans were the frequent topic of gossip. He died with a net worth estimated at $20-million, but the only jobs he had held for the previous 40 years were on the public payroll.

Not long after the 1964 election I was at Sunday dinner at my parents' house in San Antonio. Lyndon's uncle Huffman Baines and his wife were there. Everyone called him "Mr. Baines," even his wife in public. He owned a small rural telephone company in an area between Austin and Waco. He was known throughout the state as a man of absolute integrity and propriety.

Mr. Baines said, "You folks may not know this, but while Lyndon was deciding to run on his own in 1964, some of us from here in Texas went up to Washington to try and talk him out of it."

"Why was that, Mr. Baines?" my mother asked.

"Lyndon lies too much."

John Onion, a judge on the Court of Criminal Appeals said, "Why Mr. Baines, isn't a politician practically obliged to color the truth a little, from time to time?"

Mr. Baines replied, "Some may think so. Lyndon lies because he enjoys it."

Johnson's next great project was the War on Poverty. He passed the legislation. But leading the country into the quagmire of the Vietnam war and his more and more transparent lies cost him his power, and tore the country apart.

Johnson declined to run in 1968, knowing that he had plunged the country into chaos by entering the war in Vietnam. He was smart enough to have figured out by then that the war could not be won, despite the optimistic predictions of the military. After leaving office he spent most of his time at his little ranch near the town of Stonewall. It was part of the much larger ranch that had driven his father into bankruptcy. He died of a heart attack in 1973 having been ill and more or less reclusive for months before.

Johnson was succeeded by Richard Nixon, the only president ever to be forced to resign. A French admiral once asked me, "Why did you people destroy Nixon? He ended the Vietnam war. He was the best president since WW II for foreign policy. He opened the door to China, after all."

I began my reply by saying, "The Constitution, with the division of powers potentially sets the President and Congress at odds. Nixon overstepped his bounds and ended up in opposition not just to Congress but to the courts as well. He flagrantly violated the law. But in the end, Nixon was crucified for our sins as well as his own."

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 28 2015 2:50:39
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3691
Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

RE: Vive la France (in reply to Ruphus

In late retrospectives on the Kennedy assassin I saw a TV-comment emphasizing Johnson´s hypocrisy when taking over. Psychologically in regard of the inaugural speech one could estimate his mentioning of how one otherwise should be glad to become president as a taking the wind out of his critics´sails.

Your telling throws a light on fundamental changes on many levels (information, technology, economics, culture) and within only few decades like never before in history. Sometimes not just within one tendency, but with elements of mentality bizarrely twisted back and forth in the same time.

There is that mentality of white settlers in America that starts with the very questionable and cruel attitude of the conquistadores and resumes with the other European countries immigration that for no small part consisted of convicted or fleeing criminals who brought a correspondingly unscrupulous mind-set with themselves. In the same time, -as I strongly assume- to get rid of the former life displaying and adapting a strong piety.

Together with the world-view of that time and its legal racism it appears to have emerged a culture of settlers back then which from today´s perspective presents a morally contradictive set of values.

On the positive side, likely also developed through the necessity of municipal bond in a challenging environment, solidary, attentive and breach-pursuing communities. Including a pride and reliability of the individual that for instance allowed solid agreements and deals through just spoken words and handshake.

In Texas, as I mentioned once before, so high in spirits that this state shines as the only one in the US history that held its promises and contracts with the native tribes. To my understanding a very remarkable point.

And so I guess, there is that modern development away from racism on the one hand, and the loss of integrity on the other hand (which will have made reliability and handshake contracts less practical over the past decades).
Also the communal / sociological instance that may have kept Johnson on a humble farm (boy, $20 mio. was some huge fortune at that time!) and possibly still today leave a Bush in a humble residence for similar matters of reputation, may not be as uniform / relevant as it used to be.

BTW, to a degree at least on public level, respecting the communal perspective appears to be still recommendable to ex-office holders in many of developed countries.

As you already mentioned, proportions have changed drastically. The corruption in Central-Europe of 50 years ago differed essentially from today´s standards. Lobbyists would be sneaking in through back doors and personal "donations" on national parliament level would hardly exceed 5 digits, often times even staying in the low 4. Sometimes they would get a pool built into their lot or an extension to their house.
Today with investigative journalism being down, you don´t get to hear of concrete numbers anymore. Only that at times some € 250 mio. disappear somewhere from a German states budget, or some $ 8 billion from an UNO account etc.


The least will request 10 mio. USD per consultation like a Putin does, who by now is reported to have become a billionaire, but there should be no doubt that other´s common offshore accounts, even if way smaller, won´t be looking all too shabby either. (I wonder what would happen if there appeared CDs with these extremely special bank data.)

And speaking of public eye, as blunt as it may have become, even a Putin decided to distance himself from a several hundred mio. worth residence (I think it was well over 350 mio.) that has been built in Russia. I mean he was chosen as successor by his predecessor in order to prevent investigations on resigned Yelzin and his daughter´s accumulations, and Putin will be preparing a similar insurance; but you never really know what the future bears, and why settle in a blatant pomp that will not leave any excuses possible.

Yet, Putin´s collection, let aside those of upper officials in the west, presenting literally peanuts to Middle Eastern despots foreign depositions with which if taken into account they should be leading the Forbes list.

What remains is that actual pecuniary dimensions have changed drastically, and accordingly possible scruples.

BTW, Nixon´s WG affair wasn´t really such a big deal seeing today´s standards. These days it wouldn´t be such a ground shaking revealing like it used to be.

Ruphus
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 28 2015 12:47:56
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 2520
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: Vive la France (in reply to Ruphus

The Watergate burglary itself was not a particularly big issue in my mind, nor in the minds of my friends and family.

The first serious issue was the criminal conspiracy to cover up the facts and committing the crime of obstruction of justice, by Nixon and his staff, including the Attorney General of the United States.

Another issue was the revelation of other burglaries committed by the Administration, such as breaking into the office of Daniel Ellsberg's psychiatrist in search of material to defame him. Ellsberg leaked the Pentagon Papers to the presss. The Pentagon Papers were official reports on the Vietnam war that presented a very different picture from that being presented by the Administration.

Another issue was the illegal activities of the FBI, engaging in surveillance of political groups, with no credible indication of criminal activity on their part. Two of my good friends were victims of this, in a small way. Fort Hood at Killeen, Texas is one of the largest Army bases in the USA. In the small town a coffee shop was opened by a group of anti-war people. They invited soldiers into the coffee shop and presented their anti-war views, a completely legal activity.

The police in Killeen raided the coffee shop after closing time and planted marijuana on the premises. The owners were arrested and charged with drug offenses.

Three of my friends were the top three graduates of the University of Texas Law school a few years before. They never would say who was first, second or third, but it was well known among our group of friends that they were the top three.

Two of them formed a partnership. A very preliminary investigation by them of the Killeen coffee shop case not only incriminated the police, but also revealed a pattern of such behavior. To make a name for themselves they took up the defense of the coffee shop owners at their own expense.

Quite soon in the preliminary skirmish of motions, they began to suspect that their consultations with their clients were somehow being monitored by the prosecution.

The father of the third friend was one of the most prosperous and influential lawyers in private practice in west Texas. Upon hearing the account of the younger lawyers he organized an investigation of his own. To shorten a long story, he proved that the FBI had bugged the offices of the young lawyers and tapped their telephones.

The Watergate investigation revealed a nationwide pattern of such behavior by the FBI. Attorney-client privilege is not only a right valued by the general population in the USA, it is sacred to the legal profession. All but a very few members of Congress are lawyers.

Another issue was Nixon's notorious Enemies List. Not the list itself. I would suppose many politicians might have one. The issue with Nixon was what he did with his. People on the Enemies List were audited by the tax authorities, victimized by slanderous rumors, and so on.

When the Senate began to investigate, Nixon defied and obstructed them. When the courts backed the Senate, he defied them, for a while.

The notorious Saturday Night Massacre

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saturday_Night_Massacre

was seen by Congress as an infuriating defiance of their authority. Within a few weeks polls were showing 44% of Americans in favor of impeaching Nixon, 13% undecided, and 43% against. Numerous resolutions of impeachment were introduced in the House of Representatives.

The issue was not the burglary itself. It was the astonishing magnitude of Nixon's abuse of power, and the personality that led to it.

Largely because of widespread opposition to the Vietnam war, but also as a residue of the civil rights movement, a deep split developed in the politics of the USA.

On one side were the anti-war protesters, and the largely distinct elements of the civil rights movement, mainly youthful, though many leaders of the civil rights movement were of a more mature age. A counter-culture developed that not only mistrusted, but actively despised the government and other institutions of authority. The counter-culture was largely nonviolent, but included such elements as the violent Weather Underground (our veteriniarian's daughter was on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted List for more than ten years) and militant Black Power groups. The counter-culture had its echoes in Europe, as in the Paris protests of 1968 and such groups as the Bader-Meinhof gang in Germany.

On the other side were those who supported order and authority. Even if they felt the institutions were at times fallible, they felt that civilization depended upon them, and feared that the left's activities would lead to chaos.

Many on the right had their doubts about Nixon. Sam Rayburn, the highly respected Speaker of the House of Representatives lived in a modest house in Texas. During Congressional recesses, when congressmen went back home to their districts, Mr. Sam would work in the flower beds and weed the lawn in front of his house. His constituents could just walk up and strike up a conversation. When questioned, Mr. Sam said to one of my friends, "When Nixon was in the Senate, we never caught him in the hen house, but a few times we did catch him coming around the corner with feathers in his mouth."

When the revelations of the Watergate investigation came to light, the left said, "We told you so." The right felt betrayed. For once they agreed: Nixon had to go.

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 28 2015 22:10:24
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3691
Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

RE: Vive la France (in reply to Ruphus

Wow; thanks for the overview!
Over time there have been many reports and documentaries, but I don´t recall a mentioning of all these connections.

The weed planting example is quite a method used in open dictatures.
Not long ago, a local friend of mine was freaking out, when a little dogsman (trying to blackmail money) was threatening him to have him stopped by police and a piece of opium thrown into his car, which would had ruined the man´s life for good.

Also Nixon´s refusal of releasing the tapes, ressembles the high-handed shredding of documents by German ex-chanceller Kohl.
It is incredible how such things can pass through in a so called democracy without fierce legal pursuit. Instead Kohl is still being celebrated as a historical and blameless figure. (Allegededly architect of German reunion, though that was all works of others. -With him partially even opposing.)

Despite of countless of shady operations, like using DM 20 mio. black till on funding right-wing extremists who would then bomb around in another European country to succesfully prevent a socialist government.
There also was a witness for a killer ordering through Kohl. The witness though quickly and self-evidently been declared as psychotic.

These kind of events are the most drastic appearing, however other kinds of routinely plotted issues that arrange for putting at disadvantage whole people, who then end up working several times as much for same income, lose on given or potential labour rights, social insurance coverage, spare time, self-development, opportunity to adequately care for offspring / family life and altogether on quality of life ... losing on communal / states property and on standards in general ... Even if such slicings on humanitarian conditions are not being realized by the public, do they ethically present criminal action which in effect is not of lesser significance than the kinds of more obvious misuse of power.

And I postulate that such routingly managed foiling of humane interests would not be possible without corrupt standards in parliaments.
Betrayal of societal representation on a regular basis would be nobrainer from just a secluded fraction, who would be detected by integer co-delegates in no time.

Is there way more authentic societal form and actual representation of the people possible? Absolutely.

And authentic representation would realize threats to society for what they are, like the one discussed in this thread.

There is no use in importing diametrally opposed mind-set that defies pragmatism and deconstructive thinking.
What be of definite help instead would be supporting democracy in the Middle East and at least eliminating western industrial´s scheming there.

One of the first and blatantly obvious things could have been for the USA as largest weapon manufacturer to NOT supply to SAE what they signed to deliver very recently.

I am sure that you personally agree on that basic circumstance.

Ruphus
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 29 2015 12:27:34
 
estebanana

 

Posts: 7497
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Vive la France (in reply to Ruphus

You two need to get a room. All this agreement is making me uneasy.

_____________________________

  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 29 2015 13:10:34
 
BarkellWH

Posts: 2773
Joined: Jul. 12 2009
From: Washington, DC

RE: Vive la France (in reply to estebanana

quote:

You two need to get a room. All this agreement is making me uneasy.


In viewing this series of valentines to each other over the past three days, I would estimate that Ruphus and Richard are about 70 percent in agreement. What is uncertain is who has moved to the other's position: Richard to Ruphus's or Ruphus to Richard's, or have they moved to meet each other somewhere in the middle? Or have they always been in agreement and the scales are just now falling from our eyes?

At any rate, it is good to see everyone getting along with each other. In addition to knowledge, different viewpoints, and interesting opinions, the Foro is supposed to foster good will. This it has done.

Bill

_____________________________

And the end of the fight is a tombstone white,
With the name of the late deceased,
And the epitaph drear, "A fool lies here,
Who tried to hustle the East."

--Rudyard Kipling
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 29 2015 17:08:11
 
Estevan

Posts: 1844
Joined: Dec. 20 2006
From: Torontolucía

RE: Vive la France (in reply to estebanana

quote:

All this agreement

"Not that there's anything wrong with that..."

_____________________________

Me da igual. La música es música.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 29 2015 19:51:27
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 2520
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: Vive la France (in reply to BarkellWH

As I see it, the basic disagreement between Ruphus and me is this:

Though he has never outlined in any detail what it might be, I think Ruphus believes there is a radically different political system which would cure most, or at least the most serious of the ills faced by humanity. (Correct me if I am wrong.)

I remain so deeply skeptical of this viewpoint as to label it a false hope.

Another disagreement is Ruphus's view of America as the world's arch villain, and my view that America has its flaws, some of them serious, but is among the best attempts at a reasonable political system so far.

My recent posts have been a response to Ruphus's accusations of blindness to America's flaws, due to bias or self interest. My recent posts have been an effort to let him (and others) know that this is not the case.

My experiences have made me somewhat skeptical, though on balance I regard America in a positive light. Ruphus's experiences seem to have elicited only condemnation, at least as expressed on the Foro.

But on the whole, I am pleased that the discussion has been calm and friendly.

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 29 2015 23:35:56
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3691
Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

RE: Vive la France (in reply to Ruphus

That is true. I see the global post WWII and even post WWI policies of the USA as a catastrophe to the world. Policies that have been against the people and against any attempts to democracy.

Regarding the different political system that I think we all should request, it isn´t really such a mysterious structure.
Just approaches to actual democracy like direct voting. Preceded by freed information and education about themes and coherences, and the freeing of the people from appropriated labour surplus value.

Simply human rights.

Accompanied by enhanced educational standards like individual´s talent detecting and support.

Ruphus
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 29 2015 23:53:06
 
estebanana

 

Posts: 7497
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Vive la France (in reply to BarkellWH

quote:

In viewing this series of valentines to each other over the past three days, I would estimate that Ruphus and Richard are about 70 percent in agreement. What is uncertain is who has moved to the other's position: Richard to Ruphus's or Ruphus to Richard's, or have they moved to meet each other somewhere in the middle? Or have they always been in agreement and the scales are just now falling from our eyes?


I have an idea of who moved to whom, but in the interest of diplomacy I demur comment.

Reading the third page casually I wonder if the next post we'll see is an invitation from Ruphus to Jernigan. I expect RNJ and Larissa to be lovingly invited to join "Ruficito" at his dacha on the coast of the Southern Black Sea for a winter vacation. There they will exchange further cold warrior stories while they imbibe draughts from Ruficitos stores of French wines and brand name vodkas. Late into the night they will puff Cuban cigars both claiming they are really not smokers, but will claim to only occasionally indulge a vice which they brazenly embrace instead of disclaim.

They will sit by the drawing room fire stoked hourly by Rufi's man servant until long after Larissa has retired from their company. They will speak of manly things in mans voices, intoning the past tasks of manly duties. Drinking as though the night were only beginning and drinking with a life force only men telling mens stories can drink with. Talk of manly valor and values will continue until the sun rises, at which time they each take a brief rest and splash water on their manly faces before rejoining the beautiful Larissa over the breakfast table.

Ruphus will announce the activities of the day over a breakfast of hand churned butter, brought up fresh from the cow barn by his house manager, over black rye bread which is piled with the finest caviar. Courses of eggs and cured hams follow and a small bowl of gruel to remind them both of their humble beginnings. A brisk morning toast with chilled akvivit serves as a manly preamble to Jernigan's request that Larissa be driven to town to visit her childhood friend who is also wintering at the sea.

"Of course!" Ruphus heartily exclaims. "Larissa will be driven in my Hispano-Suiza by Jaime my driver. Did I ever mention that the Hispano-Suiza was a gift from Picasso? Yes it was. Picasso was a tawdry soul, a decadent who deserved not to wave a paint brush before a white canvas. An ill willed evil doer to the classical culture; he was not intellectually fit to muck a stable much less be held up as a worthy artist and visionary. We should collectively loathe the day he was born as his is the worst destroyer of aesthetical worlds!. However he was a fine and dedicated topper in his youth and even though I recused my eyes from ever gazing on his monstrosities of shat out oil paint he was my friend."

A shout will issue up from deep with in Jernigan. "Here, here Ruphus old man! Another vodka! To the Alamo! Texas, Ann Richards and Pablo Ruiz freaking Picasso!"

Ruphus runs from the breakfast room leaving Jernigan and Larissa to enjoy the panoramic view of the mists of the sun rising on the Black Sea from a window trimmed in gold silk. Rufi returns to the breakfast room wearing his navy blue jodhpurs, and with a crack of his favorite riding crop over the edge of the czarist era cherrywood and silver fed dining table Ruphus states a bold proclamation. "Today dear Jernigan we shall ride with my hunting hounds and corner a fine boar to slay for the evening meal, BY JOVE!"

At this tremendous idea Jernigan snorts with pleasure."Damn fine idea Rufi. We shall hunt the boar and whilst we stalk the beast I shall regale you with remembrances of the day I hunted grouse with Hemingway and Churchill after our intelligence meeting two days after Yalta. Hemingway you know was a spy and he was a my asset. Brought him in on the company dime, but had to kill his dammed publisher, he knew too much."

Larissa rolls her eyes at the manly and valorous talk of the retired cold warriors and texts her childhood friend: *coming 20 minutes, I feel like a bloody mary and salad by the pool this afternoon. And perhaps this morning listen to the shore birds singing.*

Jaime rolls the Hispano-Suiza to the doorway to pick up Miss Larissa at the front door. Jernigan tenderly kisses her good bye for the day as she pats his cheek and smiles. Rufi and RNJ watch as Jaime navigates Larissa to see Anya whom she has known since they were was five. Once the speeding Hispano-Suiza pulls up over the hill Ruphus slaps Jernigan on the back and says "Tally ho old man, off to have you fitted with hunting togs."

And together they shout "Vive la France! Vive the Alamo!" And off to the stables they strode.

_____________________________

  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 30 2015 0:02:06
 
HeyDukeLives

 

Posts: 15
Joined: Nov. 27 2015
 

RE: Vive la France (in reply to keith

Interview with eagles of death metal, the band that played the Bataclan that tragic night:

  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 30 2015 2:23:46
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3691
Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

RE: Vive la France (in reply to Ruphus

Hey Stephen,

I would give something if only able to get my hand on any of the delicacies mentioned, except for the cigars. And hunting, though knowing the excitement of sneaking up in the woods, not for me. With a camera and a tele on though, why not!

Don´t think either Richard or me to be having anything in common with thelike of a Kissinger.
-

Can´t see the video, but find two things remarkable.

# The band themselves is being said to have disappeared faster than bullets could follow. Not blaiming them, as one can´t know how would be reacting oneself. (Can say to have been outrageous when once looking into a muzzle threatened with, as well as left over alone more than once at the side of acquaintance in trouble where crowds had spread off. But now that I´m older, even imagining total crack heads with automatic guns around, dunno.)

# With the contemporary cultural / sociological state -that makes say today´s reports of people´s behavior in havaries so different from those of the Titanic- I am flabbergasted to hear of people´s heroism that the band witnessed.
Makes you wonder whether whereabouts in France mean stronger relationships than common otherwise.

But depending on what is being pointed to with the link, I might be OT.
Certainly not OT however might be a mentioning of the psychopharmaka that IS blokes are being reported to be using. It is being said they would use them to overcome scruples, but I doubt them to be having any in the first place.

Ruphus
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 30 2015 12:47:13
 
estebanana

 

Posts: 7497
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Vive la France (in reply to Ruphus

quote:

Hey Stephen,

I would give something if only able to get my hand on any of the delicacies mentioned, except for the cigars. And hunting, though knowing the excitement of sneaking up in the woods, not for me. With a camera and a tele on though, why not!

Don´t think either Richard or me to be having anything in common with thelike of a Kissinger.
-


Kiss Singer, no I don't see any resemblance either.

_____________________________

  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 30 2015 13:18:20
 
BarkellWH

Posts: 2773
Joined: Jul. 12 2009
From: Washington, DC

RE: Vive la France (in reply to estebanana

quote:

Ruphus runs from the breakfast room leaving Jernigan and Larissa to enjoy the panoramic view of the mists of the sun rising on the Black Sea from a window trimmed in gold silk. Rufi returns to the breakfast room wearing his navy blue jodhpurs, and with a crack of his favorite riding crop over the edge of the czarist era cherrywood and silver fed dining table Ruphus states a bold proclamation. "Today dear Jernigan we shall ride with my hunting hounds and corner a fine boar to slay for the evening meal, BY JOVE!"


Damn fine story, Stephen. Damn fine indeed. And it should be continued, because while all appears idyllic on the surface, undercurrents are swirling ominously. While Richard and Larissa are enjoying Ruphus's largesse at his dacha, with all the accoutrements one would expect of the landed aristocracy to which Ruphus belongs (the Hispano-Suiza, Jaime the Chauffeur, wine, vodka, and of course the superb port Ruphus saves for his special guests), there are revolutionary rumblings on the horizon.

Just the other day, shortly before Richard and Larissa's arrival, Ruphus overheard one of the serfs who work the lands which support Ruphus's aristocratic lifestyle denouncing "landlords." At this, Ruphus smote the poor wretch across the face with his silver-handled riding crop and discovered he (the serf) was concealing a revolutionary pamphlet entitled, "Iskra" (The Spark).

Not wanting to upset Richard and Larissa, Ruphus has not mentioned to them anything concerning the incident above. Instead, as your story indicates, they engaged in hearty talk of boar hunting; Richard's running of agents, including Hemingway, during his heady days as an intelligence operative at the time of the Yalta conference; exploits both engaged in during the height of the Cold War; the fact that Richard did not bring his "batman" with him on this trip because Ruphus has plenty of servants to see to his and all their needs; and of course their common ancestry in that both are descended from Charles Martel and Charlemagne.

Nevertheless, Ruphus's aristocratic lineage notwithstanding, it is a question mark whether or not the revolutionary tide that appears to be building will engulf him and his class. Will the common run of serfs and the urban proletariat find the leadership to prevail? Or will Ruphus and his aristocratic peers mount a counterattack that renders them impotent? Meanwhile, there's boar hunting to pursue, boar and venison for fine dinners, rich port for postprandial enjoyment, and hearty talk of manly adventures.

Bill

_____________________________

And the end of the fight is a tombstone white,
With the name of the late deceased,
And the epitaph drear, "A fool lies here,
Who tried to hustle the East."

--Rudyard Kipling
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 30 2015 23:40:34
 
estebanana

 

Posts: 7497
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Vive la France (in reply to Ruphus

Bill,

These exploits are not a mere story, but the truth. I withheld two important details: Richard did not really meet with Churchill at Yalta, he is too young to have participated, he actually met with Yeltsin, "Yalta" became Richards' benefactors nickname for Yeltsin to confuse the revolutionary hordes. Churchill was code for nothing, for Rufi's dacha is located in a resort area called Church Hill because there is a hill with an old church on it. A kind of spy subterfuge in which the name of the project is really the name of the place where the project takes place because it is so obvious that this breaks all spying rules it works to throw off the enemy.

The objective of Project Church-hill was for Jernigan to buddy up to Ruphus as a cover for Larissa to secretly investigate a hidden counter revolutionary radar global-sat installation called ArGloSAt cleverly disguised as a child's amusement park next to the Black Sea in a popular vacation region. Ruphus unknowingly had Jaime his driver deliver Larissa direct to the doorstep where she met her team partner Anya for a day of secret evaluation of the ArGLoSat installation.

I can't divulge the name of the organization that Jernigan works for. All I can say is he was pulled out of retirement by a government agency so powerful and fearsome the very typing of it's name on my computer keyboard will result in my sudden demise by evaporation beams issued from the counter ArGloSat space based weapon which is called DeepSat9. ( I cannot confirm nor deny the existence of this weapons platform.) Larissa has become the main operative in Project Church-Hill, but Jernigan is running a very deep cover operation at Ruphus' dacha providing reason for the this radar fluent duo and world traveled power couple to be in proximity to the ArGloSat EurAsia base.

I think Jernigan is slyly enjoying the Black Sea high life as he spins his cover persona like a web for Ruphus to tread deeper and deeper into. However don't be fooled by his fake thirst for hedonistic behavior and braggadochio, he's fully alert and on point. And don't discount Rupus motives either, his role is not what it seems and both our bold investigators know full well this is a tight rope game of full concentration. Ruphus should not be misunderestimated at any junction in the operation.


Let's just say for now I should quit here and allow the gentle readers formulate opinions. And as for you and I Bill, perhaps we should lay low and see what develops. See how Larissa gains traction on the intelligence gathering and if Anya is really who she says she is, an innocent childhood friend turned professional spy, or a treacherous double agent. I suggest we retire post haste to the Jernigan Suite Bar and Grill as all this action has rendered my constitution famished for a brace of roasted quail, a good scotch and fresh fruit compote for desert.

It's best we step aside stage left before more nefarious parties confuse us for two late staying actors indulgently basking in stage lights whilst practicing encoded lines for tomorrows matinee.

_____________________________

  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 1 2015 2:11:15
 
BarkellWH

Posts: 2773
Joined: Jul. 12 2009
From: Washington, DC

RE: Vive la France (in reply to estebanana

quote:

It's best we step aside stage left before more nefarious parties confuse us for two late staying actors indulgently basking in stage lights whilst practicing encoded lines for tomorrows matinee.


It is too late, Stephen. For already there is someone silently watching us long after the theatre has emptied. He is carrying a well-thumbed volume by one Leonard Meyer, and he silently exits the theatre, closing the door quietly behind him, confident in his perception that he has just witnessed two individuals who lack all understanding of the great man whose legacy he holds in his hand, and that is summed up in two words: "Brownian Movement."

Bill

_____________________________

And the end of the fight is a tombstone white,
With the name of the late deceased,
And the epitaph drear, "A fool lies here,
Who tried to hustle the East."

--Rudyard Kipling
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 1 2015 3:44:55
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