Voices from Russia

Friday, 18 February 2011

Scott Walker Took a Loaded Pistol… Put it to the Temple of the National Republican Party… and the Demented Child Manically Giggles

Filed under: politics,USA — 01varvara @ 00.00

Many people are writing much on the current political standoff in Wisconsin… much of it worthless twaddle, especially that issuing from rightwing sources (one of the most unhinged was an “expert” from the Cato Institute). My first reaction was to look up the birthdates of Scott Walker (1967), Scott Fitzgerald (1963), and Reinhold Reince Priebus (1972). Walker and Preibus are immature kids still crapping in their nappies, as far as leadership and maturity goes. Fitzgerald, as a former combat arms officer should know better… but his impulsive remarks reveal him as a “perfumed prince”, better suited to dodging “paper bullets” than the real thing. Priebus is a “chicken hawk” legal eagle (like most loudmouth rightwingers, he screams for perpetual war, yet refused to serve himself)… does that surprise one? Walker’s another “chicken hawk” coward… he was a salesman, that speaks volumes for his (lack of) character.

Note well that when Walker threatened to call out the National Guard, Fitzgerald and Priebus smiled dribbling idiot grins of approval. This is dumb as dirt… the protestors aren’t minorities… they aren’t unemployed marginal people… they’re the neighbours of the (part-time) troops that Drooler Walker would call out to suppress them (he forgets that most National Guard units are understrength and underequipped, led by officers with more political connections than ability (as illustrated by Fitzgerald)). Such troops are not full-time soldiers… they have to go back to their communities after any kafuffle (just like the Russian soldiers, who were conscripts who knew that they were going home after their demob). He needs to bring in troops from out-of-state… but he can’t… President Obama wouldn’t allow it (President Obama would probably also put the kibosh on any deployment of the National Guard for Republican political violence). He’s cruising for a repeat of ’91 in Moscow and the current events in the Middle East. Scott Walker is holding a knife to the working people of Wisconsin, and he and his pals are all giggling like frat boys with one too many beers in their systems.

What should he have done? Firstly, he should have used an old poker manoeuvre, “I’ll see ya bet, and raise ya ten”. That is, when the Democrats left the state, he should have prorogued the legislature, called a 30-day cooling off period, and asked the protestors to go home. He didn’t do that… and it’s too late to do it now. This would have defused the situation, and got it out of the national news cycle. Walker is an immature bullying brat who thought with his balls, not his brain. His first reaction was to send the cops after one of the legislators. That tells us volumes about Scott Walker’s inherent nihilism… his first instance action was to threaten and attempt to use force. That baby Priebus approved of that (revealing him as a nihilistic mammon worshipper, too)… certainly, he didn’t slap down Walker publicly (a necessary move if the GOP is to have cred in the Upper Midwest in ’12).

Instead, the situation is spiralling out of control… President Obama is letting the situation “ripen”… as well he should. By staying his hand, Obama gives the teabaggers the rope they need to commit political suicide, and the doltish little horrors are taking the bait willingly and fastening it about their necks without a care. John Boehner is, probably, aghast at this turn of event… it threatens to overturn the GOP plans for 2012 by revealing the true face of the Republican Party prematurely.

Again… Scott Walker threatened to call out the National Guard. That’s the “nuclear option”… by resorting to it immediately, he told the world that he doesn’t care how many lives he snuffs out or how many he brutalises, so long as the oligarchs get to line their pockets. Remember, the state of Wisconsin had a surplus at the beginning of the year. Walker, in irresponsible giveaways to the prosperous, spent through it all. It was just like George W Bush… GWB inherited a modest surplus from Bill Clinton, the country was on its way to paying off the massive debt burden laid upon its back by Ronald Reagan. Bush started two hellishly expensive wars and gave his rich pals tax breaks up the wazoo. THAT led to the current economic meltdown. Walker is doing the same thing. What’s more, he’s made it clear that his first impulse is to smash a rifle butt full force into the faces of the working people of Wisconsin, and that he’s not going to temper that impulse or restrain it.

This is what’s facing us. We have to thank the Terrible Trio… Walker, Fitzgerald, and Priebus showed us the full ugliness and horror of the present Republican Party. There’s nothing redeeming about them in the least. Note well that John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, and Rand Paul all smiled slack-jawed grins of approval at Walker’s juvenile threats and violent rhetoric. It’s clear… the Republican Party is a rabid dog… those who support it are either dupes, lickspittles of the oligarchs, or the oligarchs themselves. We can’t do anything about the latter two groups… but we can appeal to the first. Do you want to live in a police state? Remember… that knock on the door at midnight may be for YOU…

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Friday 18 February 2011

Albany NY

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A Multimedia Presentation. En Pointe: Russia and France

Filed under: art music,ballet,music,performing arts,Russian,video — 01varvara @ 00.00

In Moscow, a tour of the Ballet de l’Opéra National de Paris opened…

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The complete ballet La Sylphide (1 hour 48 minutes) in a presentation danced by the Ballet de l’Opéra National de Paris as broadcast on French television. All 12 parts are available… follow the prompts on the right-hand side…

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Three one-act ballets and one full-length work…  the Ballet de l’Opéra National de Paris arrived on tour in Moscow with such “baggage” in tow. The French ensemble is performing at the Bolshoi Theatre on 10-17 February, accompanied by its own orchestra. According to the directors of the two troupes involved, the overall goal of the tour is to elucidate the deep connections in the art of the ballet shared by Russia and France. One of the most famous dance companies in the world, the Paris National Opera Ballet is on its fifth visit to Moscow since 1958. That doesn’t count individual “exchanges” of dancers… they’re countless.

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An excerpt from the gala concert ending the Year of Russia in France, the Bolshoi Theatre Ballet dancing The Flames of Paris

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With pleasure, the Director of the Bolshoi Theatre, Anatoly Iksanov, told us, “Our true friends came to us, a ballet troupe with whom we, especially in recent decades, had both creative and personal contacts. Our soloists are constantly present on the Paris Opéra stage… likewise, French artists dance at the Bolshoi Theatre. In December, we combined forces for a passionate gala concert dedicated to the closure of the Year of Russia in France; now, I’m very pleased that Mme Lefèvre brought to us her amazing troupe”.

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A solo for Odette (Agnès Letestu) from Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake choreographed by Rudolf Nureyev (1938-93), danced by the Ballet de l’Opéra National de Paris

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A video of the great choreographer Roland Petit (1924- ), aided by Agnès Letestu (1971- ) (Chevalière de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and Chevalière de l’Ordre National du Mérite), demonstrating basic ballet technique

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For her part, Brigitte Lefèvre, the Director of the Ballet de l’Opéra National de Paris added, “We not only had connections during this symbolic year, but there’s been a century of friendly links connecting Russia and France, amongst other things, in the field of dance. Indeed, between us, we’ve truly had a very fruitful collaboration, based on professional relationships and personal friendships. Knowing how well you know and love ballet, I won’t talk about Petipa, Nureyev, or Serge Lifar, as well as many others… these “names” of the ballet only confirm the century of friendship that’s existed between us”.

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Finale of Suite en Blanc by Serge Lifar (1905-86), danced by the Ballet de l’Opéra National de Paris in January 2009

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Undeniably, that’s the way it is. In the 19th century, in fact, French choreographer Marius Petipa created the Russian “school” of ballet, and, in the 20th century, its outstanding students, such as dancer-choreographers Serge Lifar and Rudolf Nureyev, played similar roles in the development of the art of the French ballet. For instance, Critics and audiences dubbed Lifar, “the King of the Paris Opéra”. His ballet, Suite en Blanc (A Suite in White) was the first number on the French company’s Moscow tour playbill.

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From 1975, Maya Plisetskaya (1925- ), People’s Artist of the USSR, dances Maurice Béjart’s (1927-2007) (Member of the French Academy of Fine Arts) choreography of Ravel’s Bolero

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However, Russian and French ballet history reminds one of many productions. Take l’Arlésienne, choreographed by Roland Petit, who worked not only in France, but also with the dancers of the Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg and the Bolshoi in Moscow. Besides that, of course, there’s Bolero, Maurice Béjart’s choreographic masterpiece, which the magnificent Russian ballerina Maya Plisetskaya splendidly interpreted. Finally, there’s the three-act ballet Park… a statement from Angelin Preljoçaj, the “fierce reformer of modern dance”, who recently created a choreographic setting of the biblical apocalypse at the Bolshoi. There was only one “blemish” in the programme of the Paris National Opera tour… it was too short. As Brigitte Lefèvre said, “I dreamed that we could stay longer in Moscow to show more new works and surprise the Moscow public. Yet… I don’t know whether I could surprise you at all!”

10 February 2011

Olga Bugrova

Yelena Andrusenko

Voice of Russia World Service

http://rus.ruvr.ru/2011/02/10/43777635.html

Valentin Zorin: Reagan… A President Who Was Always an Actor

Filed under: history,politics,Russian,Soviet period,USA — 01varvara @ 00.00

Val Zorin of VOR (right) interviewing US President Ronald Reagan (1911-2004) in the 1980s

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On 6 February 2011, Ronald Wilson Reagan, former US President, would have turned 100 years old. He called the Soviet Union an “evil empire”, and, then, hand in hand with Mikhail Gorbachyov, strolled through Red Square; a fierce critic of communism, yet, he, together with the first President of the USSR, ended the Cold War. Russians remember the 40th US president in Russia, for in the years when Ronald Reagan was in the White House, the world began dramatic changes. The Iron Curtain between the United States and the Soviet Union collapsed; they began a dialogue to curb the nuclear arms race. Valentin Zorin, one of the most authoritative Russian experts on the US, a political analyst and doctor of historical sciences, was a direct witness to the restructuring of relations between the two world superpowers and the formation of a new world order. At that time, he worked as a special correspondent for Gosteleradio in the USA. In an interview with Voice of Russia, Valentin Sergeyevich shared his memories of Mr Reagan, whom he knew well.

Lada Korotun

Valentin Sergeyevich, you first met Ronald Reagan in 1963, when the American actor only just began his political career. What interested you about his politics?

Valentin Zorin

I was a correspondent for Gosteleradio, and in this capacity, shot a film, Куда ведут дороги Лос-Анджелеса? (Where do the Roads in Los Angeles Lead?) These roads led me to Hollywood, where I first met Ronald Reagan. Then, he was the leader of the Hollywood actor’s trade union; he later won election as Governor of California. At that time, the Republican Party had just nominated him for that post. Reagan was on the extreme right wing of the Republican Party, he spoke very harshly against the Soviet Union. I was curious to see what kind of man he was, and I decided to interview him. He agreed. Then, many years later, President Reagan explained to me why he decided to meet with a Soviet correspondent at that time, “You were the first real communist from the Soviet Union that I had ever seen”, Mr Reagan said. This conversation took place in 1988, when I interviewed him at the White House when he was president. Before his visit to Moscow, he invited the Soviet press to the Oval Office. What he did at the beginning of this meeting surprised me. He smiled, shook my hand, and said, “Mr Zorin, I remember you”. I said, “Mr President, you really can’t. We met back in ‘63, at the beginning of your career. Over the years, you’ve met thousands of people”. Mr Reagan insisted, “I remember you very well, because, then, for all my dislike of the Soviet Union, when they told me that a reporter from Moscow wanted to meet me, I was curious”.

Lada Korotun

Do you think that his acting career in Hollywood affected Reagan’s “approach”… as in when he negotiated? Was he just “acting” in those or other difficult situations?

Valentin Zorin

When talking about Ronald Reagan, one always took his cordiality and warmth with reservations, because he was and always remained an actor. Moreover, he could be icy cold, and be extremely affable, too. Even though he wasn’t the most skilled actor in Hollywood, he still had acting ability.

Lada Korotun

Ronald Reagan cooked up the term “Evil Empire” and applied it to the USSR. However, due to Perestroika, the situation there changed rapidly. Did Reagan change his perception of the Soviet Union, or, did he simply follow his old political views?

Valentin Zorin

The first question I asked President Reagan at our meeting in the Oval Office was, “amongst American politician, you’re the one who coined the term “evil empire” for my country. We’ve dealt with this harsh treatment from your hands for many years. Today, I’m meeting with you before your trip to Moscow. How do you reconcile the “evil empire” with your intention to visit to Mikhail Gorbachyov in Moscow?” He replied, “You know, first of all, it’s one thing when a politician looks at the world from the limited vista of California, and quite another thing when you’re President of the United States, responsible for the fate of the country. They’re different positions, offering different views of the world, and I, obviously, over the years, have come a long way”. It was a very revealing conversation, indeed, soon afterwards, Ronald Reagan was walking arm in arm with Mikhail Gorbachyov in Red Square in Moscow. He did coin the term “evil empire”. He hadn’t changed his views… He hadn’t changed his rejection of communism. He hadn’t changed his assessment of the risk, which, in his opinion, came from the Soviet Union. Nevertheless, he said that responsibility lies on the shoulders of the President of the United States. That explains a lot. I don’t agree with those Russian pundits who allege that a wily Reagan deceived the simple-minded Gorbachyov. It wasn’t like that. This wasn’t a game; it was a historical process, one with results.

Lada Korotun

As a politician, most Americans regard Ronald Reagan as one of the greatest presidents in their history. In the USA, a survey revealed that Reagan was one of the most popular American presidents, along with John F Kennedy and even Abraham Lincoln. Valentin Sergeyevich, what do you think was the secret of his popularity?

Valentin Zorin

I must say that Reagan was a somewhat unusual politician. On the one hand, he was, well, let’s say, not very educated. He himself admitted that during any given year he read no more than one or two books. Even then, they were mostly detective novels. On the other hand, he showed the gift of a serious politician with great intuition, strong-willed, with the ability to pick a very strong team. Besides which, his presidency coincided with a favourable moment for the American economy. Moreover, Americans rate their politicians not so much on their actions, although such are of great importance, as much as they do by the size of their wallets. In addition, his tough foreign policy toward the Soviet Union impressed many Americans. Ordinary Americans had a great fear of the USSR, because of brainwashing. In those years, whenever I went to some small American town, everybody asked me the same question, “Are you going to fire your missiles on the USA or not?” Then, another factor was that he was a charismatic leader, with a special ability in speaking on television. In my opinion, with regard to Reagan’s skill before the television cameras, he not only equalled, he perhaps surpassed Kennedy and other American leaders. Acting and Hollywood helped his political career. Nevertheless, the most important thing that I believe is to the credit of Ronald Reagan is that he eventually moved from “confrontation” with the Kremlin and moved to dialogue. That changed the style of relations between Moscow and Washington… finally, we were able to hear each other.

6 February 2011

Lada Korotun

Voice of Russia World Service

http://rus.ruvr.ru/2011/02/06/43035048.html

Editor’s Note:

Let’s keep this tight and sweet. The current economic depression is the result of Reagan’s economic policies, carried out over 30 years’ time. This sweet old codger dismantled regulation intended to forestall another stock market meltdown like of 1929 to please his rich investor neighbours… look at what happened. Valentin Sergeyevich makes a trenchant observation:

When talking about Ronald Reagan, one always took his cordiality and warmth with reservations, because he was and always remained an actor. Moreover, he could be icy cold, and be extremely affable, too. Even though he wasn’t the most skilled actor in Hollywood, he still had acting ability.

In short, all those who scream that Reagan was a great president are either those who profited from his policies (the smaller portion), or, those taken in his shtick (the greater number by far). Reflect well that the public face of the Tea Party is in the hands of media shills… don’t be fooled. Just as Reagan was the cat’s paw of his country club buddies, the current crop of media poseurs are nothing but fronts for their oligarchic backers. THEY’RE the true enemies of all Americans. How long must we suffer? God willing, let it be as short as possible, but still long enough to draw all of the pus out of the wound.

BMD

Walker Orders Cops to Track Down Democratic Legislator… How DO You Spell “State Security?”

Filed under: politics,USA — 01varvara @ 00.00

THIS is the true face of the Tea Party/GOP, not only in Wisconsin, but throughout the country. Any questions?

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Read this:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110218/ap_on_re_us/us_wisconsin_budget_unions

Scott Walker is a fascist. His first instinct is to use force… as you can see in his ordering the State Police to track down a state legislator. This is something that would be done in a third-rate banana republic at the behest of United Fruit (or whoever was the local corporate sugar daddy). Scott Fitzgerald and Scott Walker are sending a message, all right, “We’re fascists who believe in ‘might makes right’… We’re worshippers of the Almighty Dollar… the people be damned, ‘let them eat cake'”.

This is a sad day for America. Over the past two years, the increasingly repressive actions of the Republican Party have concerned me. Today, I can say that I have utterly and absolutely repudiated this pack of self-centred, lying, and hypocritical jackals. They have only one motto… MORE! They have only one recourse… REPRESSION.

I’ll say this, “This land is my land, this land is your land”, it’s not the “restricted private property (keep out, you unwashed SOB)” of the oligarchs. Let’s emulate Vladimir Putin, and put some of those slippery bastards in prison orange… that, and only that, will learn ’em good.

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Friday 18 February 2011

Albany NY

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