Voices from Russia

Sunday, 4 December 2016

4 December 2016. DAPL Stopped… FOR NOW… Will Trump Reverse the Order?

00-usa-standing-rock-protestors-indians-first-nations-041216

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There’s much glee about the supposed rerouting of the DAPL by the Army Corps of Engineers. I’d say that it’s much too early to break out the bubbly. Trump will take office in six weeks, and he’s got his own money invested in the pipeline. Furthermore, he’s an asshat who enjoys suckerpunching people. Therefore, just because Obama and the Corps of Engineers rejected the present route, doesn’t mean that Trump won’t reverse that order. There’s no call for any celebration yet. It’s time to organise… for when the plug-uglies pull a fast one (it’s not a question of “if”). Besides, the Corps didn’t nix the pipeline, it merely rerouted it, which means that DAPL is still a threat to the environment. I’d point up that’s there’s no call for joy in Mudville, yet. There’s every chance that the oligarchs are planning a riposte, with their boy in office. Have a care… the times are evil…

The First Nations won a reprieve for the time being, not a lasting victory (sad to say).

BMD

Thursday, 8 September 2016

8 September 2016. Sheriff Wants to Arrest Dr Jill… Issues Warrant…

01 fat cop

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A North Dakota sheriff just issued warrants against Jill Stein and her running mate for vandalising construction equipment. Actually, what they did was to spray graffiti on some bulldozers. The stupidity this shows is mindboggling. If they had just ignored it, well, Dr Jill would’ve gotten no publicity. Instead, it’s all over the social media, which is where this campaign is really taking place. The absolute mindnumbing STUPIDITY of the Dems and Repugs is just breathtaking. Oh, yes… the Libertarians are just Repugs on steroids… so, the stupidity sticks to them, too. This gained Dr Jill some votes… so, on balance, a good thing…

Dr Jill is the only candidate to go up to Dakota to support the First Nations people and their fight to protect their burial grounds and sacred sites from corporate vandalism. Dr Jill is the only candidate who agrees with the Native people that corporate polluters won’t contaminate our drinking water’s purity for the sake of filthy lucre. That tells you something. No decent person can vote for Chilly Hilly, Trump the Chump, or Scary Gary. In a four-way election, you needn’t get a majority to win. Dr Jill can be the New Honest Abe (in many ways). After all, he was an obscure “Third Party” candidate “with no chance of winning”… history does laugh at times, doesn’t it? God DOES have a sense of humour. What does this tell you about the Duopoly and its lapdog media? No one knows what’ll happen on Election Day… no one… we may all have a surprise…

BMD

Thursday, 28 February 2013

US Congress Backs Expanded Protections For Domestic Violence Victims

01d Political Cartoons 08.11

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On Thursday, the US House of Representatives passed a new version of the Violence Against Women Act that would expand federal protections to gays, lesbians, and other vulnerable groups; US President Barack Obama pledged that he’d promptly sign the bill into law. The bill, approved by the US Senate last year, passed in the Republican-controlled House on Thursday by a vote of 286-138 after months of delay over rightwing objections to extending federal protections based on sexual orientation and expanding jurisdiction of Indian courts in domestic violence cases. In a statement posted on the White House website, President Obama said, “Renewing this bill is an important step towards making sure no one in America is forced to live in fear, and I look forward to signing it into law as soon as it hits my desk”.

The original US Violence Against Women law came into effect in 1994, backed by Vice President Joe Biden when he was a senator, and was credited with raising public awareness about domestic violence directed at women, assisting its victims, and prosecuting its perpetrators. The law expired in 2011; whilst politicians in both parties were in general agreement on the need to extend the measure, they were at odds on many details, including its expansion to protect homosexuals and bolstering the authority of Native American courts in prosecuting crimes on Indian reservations. Biden released a statement of his own, saying that domestic violence in the USA fell by 64 percent since the original law was passed, adding, “I’m pleased that this progress will continue, with new tools for cops and prosecutors to hold abusers and rapists accountable”. The Violence Against Women legislation authorises funding for a range of programmes that help victims of violence and support prosecution of people accused of domestic violence and sexual assault. The new law also contains provisions dealing with stalking as well as the improper use of spyware and video surveillance equipment.

28 February 2013

RIA-Novosti

http://en.rian.ru/crime/20130301/179742792/US-Congress-Backs-Expanded-Protections-From-Domestic-Violence—.html

Editor’s Note:

The crime that “may not be named” is clergy abuse. That is, it’s a sort of “domestic violence” that we often refuse to face, or we attack the victim, rather than the abuser. All too many of the konvertsy are hyperclerical, that is, they give clergy too much power over their lives (this is true of some fanatical semi-monastic sorts as well, but it’s not so marked in the cradle set). This is most patent amongst former cultists such as the HOOMies, for we had the stupidity to ordain their cult leaders as clergy. These jabronies control just about every facet of their flock’s lives… and the idiots just eat it up… reflect on this… they don’t want freedom. They reject it, even though Orthodoxy is the freest, most Zen-like, least juridical, and most tolerant part of Christendom. Why did they join us in the first place? Damned if I know… however, watch for them to criticise this new law. Bear in mind, part of it is due to the fact that they tolerate abusive clergy, and that they think that abusive situations in marriage are just as normal and moral. That’s nasty… they oppose people having recourse to the law… both in abusive marriages and in abusive church settings. That’s a meaty bone to gnaw upon, no? It takes all kinds… and some are beyond the pale… NEVER forget that.

BMD

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

2 October 2012. Were Lenin and Stalin Heroes or Villains?

GULag memorial, Ust-Nera (Oymyakonsky RaionSakha Republic (Yakutia). Far Eastern Federal District) RUSSIAN FEDERATION

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I’m going to piss off quite a few people with what I’m going to write now. However, let’s start with what Ron Chernow wrote of John D Rockefeller Sr:

What makes him problematic… and why he continues to inspire ambivalent reactions… is that his good side was every bit as good as his bad side was bad. Seldom has history produced such a contradictory figure.

That goes double for Vladimir Lenin and Iosif Stalin. In fact, the most utter evil and the most admirable good coexisted and interacted in both men. Firstly, let’s discount all White and Red propaganda. These men were NOT ogres; on the other hand, they weren’t angels, either. We can’t discount two men who ruled one of the most powerful nations on earth for a period of 36 years, that’s nearly two generations. For instance, Vladimir Lenin was a truly modest man in his personal life… he didn’t care for wealth and its trappings. He did love raw power… perhaps, overly-much (certainly, more than Stalin did, interestingly enough)… but he wasn’t corrupt or venal. Stalin enjoyed the perks of power to a greater degree than Lenin did (and was more corrupt), but he still didn’t reach the level of consumption or decadence of a prerevolutionary noble or of a post-Soviet oligarch.

The USSR of 1953 had many achievements over and above 1917 Tsarist Russia. Education had spread throughout the country in a mass literacy campaign. Electric power came to the villages. Universities and Institutes popped up all over the country. Medical care was free and available in the meanest settlement. Most of all, the country beat back an invader bent on genocide, conquest, and resettlement (much as in Manifest Destiny in the USA), and the destruction of the Russian kultura, narod, and kollektiv (I’m using the Russian words as they have overtones lacking in their English analogues). That is, the achievements of Lenin and Stalin are without doubt.

Yet, at the same time, in the same country, the greatest evil reigned. The state killed thousands of clergy and millions of believers, all in a grand experiment to extirpate religion. There was the heartbreak of Collectivisation, which led to millions more deaths. That’s where the fairy tale of the Golodomor started… in the reality of the suffering of the peasants at this time… but it was all over the USSR, not just in the Ukraine. There was no genocide… it wasn’t directed at “Ukrainians” as a people… it was an assault on a social class, and it so happened that there were many “rich peasants” in the Ukrainian steppe (but there were many such in the black-earth regions outside of the Ukraine, too). Yet, no matter, it was a tragedy, and millions died. Besides all that, Stalin and his henchmen were insecure as all get-out, which led to further bloodletting, including amongst the Party apparat. Need I even mention the reality of the GULag? If this wasn’t evil, then, what was it? That is, the barbarity of Lenin and Stalin is without doubt.

Yet… I’d say this. Solzhenitsyn was right… the period of 1914 to 1991 was a New Dark Age, and we’ve not yet shaken it off completely, yet. The West is still sick with the violence and brutality of that age. “Don’t worry if the drones kill civilians, they’re only wogs… they don’t count as much as real people”. In some ways, that’s WORSE than what Lenin and Stalin did. Indeed, whilst the USSR did convulse several times in periods of repression, suspicion and alarm brought on by constant subterfuge against the socialist state by Western capitalist states caused them. Yes… the USSR did have enemies… yes… they were surrounded on all sides by foes… yet, was such a reaction justified? I think of the title of Roy Medvedev‘s book… Let History Judge.

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The inscription on this memorial in Hamburg reads, “On the night of 29 July 1943, 370 persons perished in the air-raid shelter on the Hamburgerstrasse in a bombing raid. Remember these dead. Never again fascism. Never again war”. … mass killing wasn’t a Soviet monopoly.

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If we’re to “Let History Judge”, then, we must be fair. Is the West totally without blame? No… repression wasn’t solely on the side of the USSR. Ask an inhabitant of an American Indian reservation or a black person who lived in the “separate but equal” American South. Ask anyone who lived through McCarthyism. Ask any Japanese-American who found themselves in internment camps simply for being Japanese during World War II. Ask an Arab-American today, after all the Fox News propaganda. Ask the Coptic-Americans, who find themselves tarred for the actions of a single aberrant member of their community… one could go on, but you catch my drift. I could add, ask ANY American who’s been invasively searched by TSA goons simply because they wanted to fly to here or to there (remember, the TSA operatives don’t carry the burden of blame… those who gave the orders and lied to create the agency in the first place have such an onus upon their heads).

In short, the West’s shield is as marred and scarred… no one was left unscathed by the New Dark Age. Indeed, this entire period was one where “evil had its day”. If the USSR had the GULag, the USA had Hiroshima and Nagasaki. If the USSR had the massacre of the innocents on its head (the killing of clergy and believers), then, Britain has the stain of Operation Gomorrah (the deliberate firebombing of civilians in Hamburg) on its head. NO ONE WAS INNOCENT. NO ONE.

I don’t think that it’s yet time to come to a proper judgement on Lenin and Stalin. The French believe that history starts a century ago… anything later is too close to the present to be viewed objectively, they think. I’ll say this though… they lived in an age of iron and blood, and they had their fair share of gore on their hands. On the other hand, they lived in one of the most fast-paced eras of technological development in history, and they brought the USSR forward into that new world.

I’d say let’s attend to George Orwell (a self-described Democratic Socialist):

It can’t be said too often… at any rate, it isn’t being said nearly often enough… that collectivism isn’t inherently democratic, but on the contrary, gives to a tyrannical minority such powers as the Spanish Inquisitors never dreamt of. However, a return to “free” competition means for the great mass of people a tyranny probably worse, because more irresponsible, than that of the state.

That is, the excesses committed by Slobberin’ Ronnie in empowering the One Percent are worse than anything committed by Lenin or Stalin (the latter merely killed you… Ronnie put you in chains for life). The same is true of Margaret Thatcher. It does make one think, doesn’t it?

The camps in the Kolyma, yes, they existed… but there was there was the bravery of the crew of Osoaviakhim-1, too. The Great Victory is a fact… but so is the Sorrow of Collectivisation. In fact, it’s a classic textbook example of “the wheat and the tares”. Since I didn’t condemn or praise these men, I think that many will vilify my submission. So be it… as Roy Medvedev and his brother Zhores said… “Let History Judge”.

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Tuesday 2 October 2012

Albany NY

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