Voices from Russia

Monday, 11 July 2011

A View from Moscow by Valentin Zorin… Lost Faith

______________________________

Information that just came out of Washington, without any exaggeration, is some of the most important news in recent years. Yet, the American media, wrongfully, and probably not without intent, didn’t comment on it, and pushed it into the background, although we’re talking about facts that weigh much more heavily on the political scales than the lurid sensationalism that the media offers, on a daily basis, to American society.

Now, it’s common knowledge that, last year alone, banks seized more than a million family-owned houses in America because the owners either defaulted on the mortgage or were overdue in payments on them. The same fate befell more than 900,000 American families the year before. As a result, during the current economic crisis, experts estimate, seven to eight million Americans lost the roof over their heads and the banks threw them out into the street. However, in this case, you shouldn’t just talk about life’s hardships and the deprivations suffered daily by millions of Americans, although this is very serious in itself. We’re talking about more. For Americans, home ownership isn’t only a material asset, but, more importantly, it’s a symbol, an embodiment of the ideology of Americanism, of what many called, for a century-and-a-half, the “American Dream”. For an American, to own your own home isn’t just that you possess a place of residence; it’s the most tangible embodiment of the “American Dream”.

Therefore, what has happened and continues to happen, isn’t simply a tragedy of life for millions of American families, but it’s also something more substantial… it’s a tragedy of frustration, a loss of faith in ideals nurtured in them from their youngest years. The blow inflicted by the banks on hard-pressed homeowners fell primarily on the middle-class, as they had the opportunity to obtain loans to purchase houses. However, the middle class, who’re in such very difficult circumstances these days, is, above all, the main bearer of the ideals of Americanism, the linchpin of contemporary American society, including its political and economic support systems. Today, in American society, nearly all levels are disillusioned with the “American Dream”; it isn’t just the middle class. Otherwise, you can’t understand the shock of recently-published poll data; it showed that 50 percent of Americans, that is, every second respondent, believed that their children would be much worse off than they are. A prominent American trades union leader, Tom Woodruff, bitterly observed that this was the first time that such happened in the history of the USA.

All the reasons for public pessimism are evident. The US national debt has reached an unprecedented figure; it now exceeds 14 trillion USD (395 trillion Roubles. 10 trillion Euros. 8.8 trillion UK Pounds), close to the size of the national GDP. For Americans, it is not just a punishing amount in relation to the national economy, but it’s also a heavy burden, personally, for each of them. According to published official data of the US Department of the Treasury, the share of every American, including the elderly and children, of the national debt is now 42,000 dollars (1.185 million Roubles. 30,136 Euros. 26,467 UK Pounds). However, not only will the current generation of US citizens be in the hole, experts believe that this debt will fall, at least, on the shoulders of the next two generations. The present crisis shakes the long-cherished beliefs of Americans, it hasn’t only hit their wallets and bank accounts, its shaken the minds and souls of millions of Americans, who have lost faith in their children’s future. Yet, to ignore these facts shows that the US media is nothing but empty-headed chatterboxes, narrow-minded and devoid of any sense of responsibility for this state of affairs. This is dangerous both for them and for their country.

11 July 2011

Valentin Zorin

A View from Moscow

Voice of Russia World Service

http://rus.ruvr.ru/2011/07/10/53021707.html

Editor’s Note:

The Republican Party screams that all Americans demand tax breaks for the rich. THAT will put things right, it claims. It refuses to face the fact that the present mess is directly due to the voodoo economics pursued by the US since the time of Ronald Reagan. The insane arms build-up in the ‘80s was coupled with Reagan’s tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. This arms binge without proper funding almost broke the American economy. The USA did NOT win the Cold War… it ended in a stalemate at Reykjavik in ’87. To claim that the USA won the Cold War, one has to ignore the fact the collapse of the USSR was entirely due to internal factors, it had nothing to do with a “defeat” in the Cold War. It’s a classic example of post hoc ergo propter hoc (“after this, therefore because of this”). The USA was spavined economically, as Reagan had pursued his militaristic goals on tick, he didn’t pay for it with taxes. The USA needed a generation to recover from such foolishness. It didn’t get it.

William Jefferson Clinton left GWB a modest surplus. The Republicans, as is their wont, spent through it in a flash like drunken sailors by giving additional tax breaks to their wealthy paymasters (Dropout Scott Walker was to do this on a smaller scale in Wisconsin in 2011… interesting to see how consistent the GOP is, isn’t it?). Then, GWB started two hellishly-expensive foreign wars… without raising the taxes necessary to wage them. The strain of this imprudent economic foolishness and recklessness broke the economy, sending it into the toilet in 2007, after six years of Bush’s Alfred E Neuman leadership. Reflect on this… every Republican candidate for president in 2012 wants to continue Bush’s tax cuts for the wealthy, but raise taxes on ordinary folks to pay for the costs of Bush’s failed wars and policy (in their lights, the rich are the “productive” people, and we can’t raise any taxes on them).

The Democrats are little better (although we’ll probably have to hold our noses and vote for them in 2012 to avoid worse)… no American believes in either major party, except for those who directly benefit from their partisan allegiance. Neither party cares for the common man… neither party sees ordinary Americans as anything other than cannon fodder for their foreign adventures and cash cows to be milked for the benefit of the Five Percenters. NO ONE BELIEVES IN “AMERICA”… that’s the tremendous news that Val Zorin’s reporting… and even he dared not say it openly.

We see the wreckage of American Exceptionalism before us. America’s no better and no worse than any other state or nation. This crisis has rubbed our noses into that, forcefully. We’re not “supermen” or “a city set high on a hill”… I do remember that another country thought that they were the Übermenschtum… that led to Oświęcim and Hadamar. It’s time to be ordinary and normal human beings, to cease the hegemonic project that’s ruined our country, both economically and psychologically. It’s time to attend to our own garden… we simply don’t have the money to do otherwise. If the oligarchs wish war so badly, let them pay for it themselves, and let them fight it personally… that would cool their jets, I’d warrant…

Let’s have peace… not only does God demand it, plain humanity and decency demand it. Why is that so bloody difficult to grasp?

BMD 

 

“War is Good for Nothing…”

Trofim Trifonovich Mironenko from the village of Terenichi, despite all the difficulties in his life, had a clear goal; he wanted to live to be ninety years old. However, he exceeded his hopes, for he’s now in his 92nd year.

He went through the war, going through almost the whole of Europe, and only survived by a miracle. Trofim Trifonovich received orders to fight in the Soviet-Finnish War. In 1940, when he was his way to the front, near the Baltic States, the sides announced a truce. Therefore, he and his comrades returned to Minsk, to Starye Dorogi. During the entire length of the Great Patriotic War, Trofim Trifonovich served as a driver in an Auto Transport Brigade directly subordinate to STAVKA (Supreme Command). They transported food, ammunition, and seriously wounded soldiers. There were plenty of chilling experiences along the way. In 1941, Trofim Trifonovich and his unit went to Baranovichi to evacuate dependents of military officers. However, before they reached their destination, German planes bombed them, there were only 12 survivors amongst the 60 men who had set out. Then, the unit went to Smolensk, where the Germans bombed them at the river crossing. After that, they went to the front near Moscow, where they stayed until 1942.

He went everywhere… Rzhev, Tula, Kursk, Voronezh, Kiev, Poltava. He got to know almost all of Europe… having gone through Romania, Hungary, Austria, Czechoslovakia, and Poland. Trofim Trifonovich was wounded in the war; he survived many “close call” escapes. Therefore, he said, “I was born under a lucky star”. For example, on the second day of the war, during a German bombing raid, three tried to take cover; they “hit the dirt”. Two died, but the third, the man in the middle, stood up. This was Mironenko. In another incident, in Lvov Oblast, when the Nazis had already sent one of their guys forward to disarm the Red Army men, Trofim Trifonovich escaped… he was strong. He survived bombs and bullets. He didn’t have any decorations, and he was just an ordinary soldier throughout the war. Nevertheless, doubtlessly, the war will remain in his memory forever. “War is good for nothing. Sometimes, we didn’t even eat for a week, but no one complained. Everybody understood that such things happen under such circumstances”, he said. However, even going hungry wasn’t so bad… a biscuit and a cup of tea a day after a week of starvation was the norm. A much worse fate awaited those who didn’t deliver needed munitions to the front. If they didn’t do their job, when they got back, the firing squad awaited them.

Trofim Trifonovich was in Dresden (a city in Germany) on Victory Day. He recalled, “We were very tired, we swallowed dust and smoke, and had stopped to rest. We had pulled off the road on the morning of 10 May 1945. Then, there pulled up this captain, then, a colonel, giving us the news about the victory”. By the way, nobody believed it at first, no one took the news seriously, but everybody was overjoyed when they found out that it was true! After the victory over Nazi Germany, Trofim Trifonovich’s unit went to the front facing the Japanese, as fighting continued there. However, by fate, they didn’t get to the combat zone. They went to a rear area, so, for Trofim Trifonovich Mironenko, the war was over.

1 July 2011

SozhNews

http://www.sozhnews.info/comuna/2088-vojna-ne-daet-dobra.html

11 July 2011. If You Support the Republican Party… You Support the Taking Away of the Sole Support of Millions of Families for the Sake of the Further Enrichment of the Five Percenters

Filed under: politics,USA — 01varvara @ 00.00

Here’s the God of the Republican Party… any questions?

______________________________

Read this:

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/lookout/next-big-hit-economy-133429498.html

Note this:

At the start of 2012, the extended unemployment benefits approved by Congress in December 2010, which cover a maximum of 99 weeks per person, will expire. Though the benefits are hardly lavish… a little more than 300 USD (8,475 Roubles. 214 Euros. 188 UK Pounds) a week for most recipients… their total impact on the economy is huge, because so many Americans are currently taking advantage of them. Moody’s Analytics estimates that when the benefits expire, 37 billion USD (1.045 trillion Roubles. 26.4 billion Euros. 23.3 billion UK Pounds) will be taken out of the economy, the New York Times reports. That’s enough to exert a significant slowing effect… at a time when the recovery is already a long way from robust. …

Indeed, economists say that the withdrawal of jobless benefits will create a major ripple effect on growth as a whole. Consumer spending accounts for around 60 to 70 percent of US economic activity, economists say. But with so many Americans having lost wealth in the housing bust, spending has been tepid for a while, preventing the recovery from gaining any momentum. Now, the end of the extended benefits will likely soon put a further crimp in spending.

The Republican Party wants to slash unemployment benefits in order to fatten the boodle bags of their rich contributors. Last year, the five percenters gave themselves a 29 percent pay raise, whilst, at the same time, they shed US employees, and gave the survivors a measly 2 percent pay hike (after a 10 percent rise in productivity). That is, the fatcat backers of the Tea Party stole any gains made by the US economy. Now, they’re demanding FURTHER cuts, in what are the lowest taxation rates on the rich in the developed world.

Let’s keep this simple. The five percenters REFUSE to shoulder ANY of the pain of the Great Recession. They DEMAND that wage-earners pay for their folly of cutting high-end tax rates and waging two hellishly-expensive wars at the same time. There’s something wrong with that picture. Furthermore, have you noticed how many strident Tea Party supporters are on government cheques of one sort or another? Don’t they realise that supporting the GOP only cuts their own throats? Don’t forget… Ronald Reagan was an actor… he had the knack of being “sincere” in his delivery. We wuz fooled… we shouldn’t be fooled again. The Tea Party wants to sentence millions of Americans to penury for the sake of their rich backers. That ain’t right… and I think that I’m not alone in thinking so. Vote in 2012… if nothing else, vote “against” the Republican Party. Otherwise, we face a long night, to slightly paraphrase Viscount Grey, “The lights are going out all over America; we’ll not see them lit again in our lifetime”. I think that we can keep the lights on… what about you?

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Monday 11 July 2011

Albany NY

11 July 2011. Cry-baby Glenn Beck Can’t Take the “Heat” in “Liberal New York”… Fleeing to Neoliberal Laissez-faire Texas

Filed under: politics,USA — 01varvara @ 00.00

Glenn Beck sez, “Lady, there isn’t enough money in the world, that’s why I’m taking MORE than my fair share of it!” 

______________________________

Read this:

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/cutline/official-glenn-beck-texas-bound-180127679.html

Get a load of this:

There, Beck’s said to be renting a 4 million USD (113 million Roubles. 2.85 million Euros. 2.5 million UK Pounds) manse owned by a Swarovski crystal heiress and a major league baseball player. Beck’s rep wouldn’t comment on or confirm the living arrangements, but you can take a virtual tour of the property, which reportedly comes with a 20,000 USD (565,000 Roubles. 14,250 Euros. 12,500 UK Pounds)-a-month lease, over at Gawker.

Real “man of the people”, eh? His lease would run 240,000 USD (6.78 million Roubles. 171,000 Euros. 150,000 UK Pounds) per annum. How many of you make that in a year? This guy’s so radical that even Fox News couldn’t take him. That’s sayin’ a lot, kids. He’s a multimillionaire who pisses on his supporters (by supporting the rapine of working people by the commercial class); he laughs at their stupidity and ignorance as they buy tickets to his events. It does take all kinds… have you noticed how the evil are so often cowards and poltroons? That’s illustrated in spades, here. Rick Perry and Glenn Beck… birds of a feather… let him go; it only proves that the rightwing leadership is nothing but dubious and dodgy bullies, at base. Hell, that reminds me of an old ‘60s cartoon, Super Chicken… have a laugh, smile, but don’t let ‘em out of your sight… you’ll regret it if you do. Remember what a great Texan, Kinky Friedman, said:

Money may buy you a fine dog, but only love can make it wag its tail.

That is, money ain’t everything… which destroys the entire crystalline palace of the Neoliberal Free Marketeers… but they’re not going to rest until they’re stopped or until the whole structure collapses due to their feckless greed. I prefer the former to the latter, don’t you?

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Monday 11 July 2011

Albany NY   

Next Page »

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.