Voices from Russia

Sunday, 10 November 2013

10 November 2013. There Be Some Wise Heads Down There on the Farm

00 Political cartoon. USA. Lockstep. 10.11.13

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If everyone’s thinkin’ the same, then, only one person’s doing the thinkin’.

unknown Iowa farmer

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Look at the American media… CNN and Fox are but two sides of the same corroded and worthless coin. Anyone who depends on them for information is in sad shape, indeed. Remember, BOTH are in thrall to corporate interests. Keep informed… check out non-American news sources (especially Russian and Chinese), and compare them to the pabulum churned out by the American media news duopoly. Even non-American Western sources bring in a bit of cleaner air. It gives you a FRESH view of the world. Try it; you’ll like it!

BMD

 

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Monday, 5 November 2012

As John Robles Sees It… USA Bans OSCE Observers: What are They Trying to Hide?

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The American states of Texas and Iowa {both have undemocratic Republicans as Governors: editor} openly stated that OSCE Election Observers will face criminal prosecution if they come anywhere near election polling locations. What hypocrisy! The country that lectures the world on “democracy” is afraid to allow international observers to view its election process. That speaks volumes and brings into question the very fundamental legitimacy of that power. The world superpower that natters to every country on earth about democracy, transparency, and the rule of law, the country which attempts to justify aggressive invasions and the assassination of leaders of countries it doesn’t care for, for one reason or the other, by throwing around the word “democracy”, whilst it launches invasions and arms terrorists to remove rightful leaders, looks absolutely absurd and hypocritical in light of the fact that it’s attempting to intimidate and bar international elections observers from observing its “democratic” presidential election process.

Once again, the USA violates another international treaty or agreement it has signed or is bound to. This isn’t unusual and is more the rule for the USA than the exception, examples includes the Geneva Conventions, the Vienna Conventions, international anti-racism agreements, agreements regarding the treatment of indigenous peoples, prisoners of war, and scores of other agreements. Other areas where the USA does as it pleases include international standards and laws regarding the declaration of war, international arrests, territorial and sovereign integrity, pollution, labour practices, extra-judicial executions, and the list goes on. This time however, the double standards and absolute hypocrisy couldn’t be clearer.

The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) plans to deploy up to 100 elections observers all around the USA on Election Day to monitor polling and other associated processes. This comes after a warning, according to the web site thehill.com was issued to OSCE official Daan Everts earlier this month by the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights (LCCHR), the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) regarding “a coordinated political effort to disenfranchise millions of Americans, particularly traditionally disenfranchised groups like minorities”. Rather than welcoming international observers, as one would logically assume any country would do which claims to be the world leader in “democracy”, rightwing and “conservative” groups, include the supposed anti-election fraud group “True the Vote”, have come out screaming against international observers.

For those not blinded by the constant rhetoric and aware of the racist agendas of the far-right, this isn’t surprising. It’s one thing to suppress minority voters and throw up every barrier one can think of to keep them from the polls, and have them disgruntled and screaming racism, it’s yet another when that’s documented and observed by respected members of a respected and solid international inter-governmental body like the OSCE. After the election débâcle of 2000, when George W Bush’s brother Jeb Bush suppressed minority votes in Florida leading to George Bush’s winning the presidency in the Supreme Court, raised the interest of the international community as to the fairness of the American system, the OSCE was invited to observe American elections by George Bush himself in 2004, after UN observers were refused, although they’d been doing so since 2002.

The states in question, which threatened OSCE observers with arrest and imprisonment, currently include Texas and Iowa, with others likely to follow. Iowa has stated that it will arrest OSCE observers who come within 300 feet of polling locations with Texas issuing similar threats. The USA, as one of 56 OSCE members is supposedly committed, as are other member countries, to allow its elections to be observed, this has been true since 1990. Although the USA is supposed to allow observers, the OSCE agreement isn’t legally binding, and includes wording that calls for domestic laws to be followed, which allows individual US states and local authorities almost carte-blanche to do as they see fit.

According to the web site the Axis of Logic the head of the OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), Ambassador Janez Lenarčič, wrote a letter to the US State Department of State and Hillary Clinton denouncing threats made against OSCE observers. He wrote, “The threat of criminal sanctions against international observers is unacceptable. The United States, like all countries in the OSCE, has an obligation to invite observers to observe its elections. Our observers are requested to remain strictly impartial and not to intervene in the voting process in any way. They are in the USA to observe the elections, not to interfere in them”. The USA has a lot to hide when it comes to elections, much more than most of the international community realises. The fact that domestic American human rights organisations have requested international observers should be triggering alarm bells worldwide.

The problems with the American election process are many. Starting with the actual voting process, the USA has shown that there are problems with electronic voting machines, such as the Diebold machines, which caused widespread scandals during the Bush elections, including counting votes for Bush, when the other candidate was selected, which are known to be easily manipulated. Then, there’s the fact that there are locations where there are no paper ballots and, hence, no reliable way to verify votes. Another problem is that observers aren’t allowed in many polling stations in many locations where there are paper ballots; to observe that the actual ballots are placed in the boxes and that they’re sealed and not tampered with. There are scores of other suppression and illegal tactics taking place in the steps leading up to the actual voting booth. Amongst these are limiting who’s allowed to vote, and actions taken by right-wing “conservative” racist groups to keep segments of the population away from the polls, as a rule, black and minority voters, along with the poor and the elderly, that is, voters who generally vote for Democratic or third party candidates.

Such tactics include varied and widespread voter purges which have been manipulated all over the USA, including those supposedly purging felons, voter ID laws that target the poor and elderly, and an array of activities designed to intimidate and otherwise keep minorities, the poor, and the elderly away from the voting booth. For example, there are reports in areas with large concentrations of Spanish speaking voters of leaflets distributed by rightwing groups with the wrong date of voting printed on them. There are also widespread reports of billboard campaigns stating that improper voting or mistakes in the voting booth may be felony offenses, a clever move to frighten people into thinking if they make some little mistake then they may go to prison. There are also rightwing groups deploying millions of “observers” who may intimidate “selected” voters by making them provide proof of their identities before allowing them into polling stations.

According to the site CNSNEWS.com, “The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and others urged OSCE observers to deploy in states where they allege there is ‘a coordinated political effort to disenfranchise millions of Americans’, especially minorities and low-income groups”. Of all of the problems there are also complaints about the arcane and archaic Electoral College system, the re-zoning of electoral districts in many states such as Texas, where votes are taken away from minority and poor areas and moved to “white” areas, and even claims that there are only 32 counties in the US that’ll decide the vote, and 41 out of 50 states are being ignored because they are either red “Republican” or blue “Democratic”.

Another problem in the USA is access to the media, only available to candidates with millions, if not billions of dollars, effectively making it impossible for third party candidates to compete. Then, there’s the entire presidential debate process, which is decided by private corporations, and third party candidates are effectively banned from participation. Unfortunately, these aren’t the only problems. There are also a slew of problems making it almost impossible for many third party candidates to get on the ballots in many states. Add to that, unfair federal funding practises and impossible thresholds that are supposed to be met, and you have a system that only benefits the wealthy and is completely controlled by those who are already in power.

Perhaps, the USA could take lessons from Russia on democracy and running fair elections? Russia, for example, has web cameras in the polling stations allowing anyone to observe, transparent voting boxes with an observable secure process from start to finish, hundreds of thousands of observers, nine parties, all with equal television air-time, inclusive debates, and the right of every citizen to vote. That’s unlikely, the USA has a fine-tuned system to keep the wealthy white class in power and keep everyone else as subjects. “Everyone else” includes all “minorities” (who are, in fact, not minorities in many states), American Indians, the poor, the disabled, the young, students, migrant workers, displaced people, the elderly, and everyone else not fitting the wealthy white ideal.

Lastly, the USA has become a country controlled by corporations and big money, they control the government and the political processes, this is a fact few would argue with. The system is designed to suppress a huge segment of the population on racist and other lines. According to any dictionary, by definition, the USA has slipped into a state of Fascism, or neo-Fascism, if you prefer. Of course, such a system wouldn’t welcome election observers. They can’t allow the “secret” to get out of the bag.

6 November 2012 (MSK)

John Robles

Voice of Russia World Service

http://english.ruvr.ru/2012_11_06/US-bans-OSCE-observers-What-are-they-trying-to-hide/

Editor’s Note:

Most real ethnic Orthodox are Democrats, as the Republican bosses treated them badly (and cheated them horribly) when they came to this country. Quite often, this persists even if they become affluent, as they remember the base cruelty, greed, and racism of most Republicans.

The konvertsy are mostly Hard Right anti-government loon Republicans. They have nothing in common with us socially or politically. They’ve made common cause with the remnants of the Hard Right anti-commie loons in the ROCOR… for now. You see, the ROCOR anti-commies will come around to reason… their ethnos/narod will trump their politics. Then, the konvertsy will stand alone…

Be patient, God IS sorting things out…

BMD

 

Monday, 16 January 2012

US Presidential Candidates Experience the Power of Faith: Mormon Mitt Romney Faces a Christian Opponent

Rick Santorum’s noxious pandering to his fat-cat paymasters on the backs of the elderly and the poor didn’t bother the “evangelicals” one little bit… can you see why many Catholics, Orthodox, and Mainline Protestants don’t consider them real Christians? 

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Opponents of the nomination of Mitt Romney for the office of US President used virtually the last trump card against the leader of the Republican race… religion. A meeting of 150 leaders of the most influential American evangelical organisations named a single Republican candidate as an alternative to Mormon Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, a former senator and a champion of Christian values. The appearance of a figure bringing together the conservative wing of the Republican Party introduced a new aspect to the race.

Last weekend, influential conservative Republicans convened an emergency meeting of leaders of American evangelical organisations at a ranch near Houston TX because of their profound concern about the strong lead that former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, a Mormon, had taken in the race for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination race. In early January, he won the Republican caucus (meeting of party activists) in Iowa, and, a week later, won the primary in New Hampshire by a wide margin. This has prompted many to say that these victories mean that the Republican nomination’s in his pocket. The polls predict another success for Mitt Romney in the primary scheduled for next Saturday in South Carolina. If he does win, and outpaces his competition, his opponents will seem to lose their last hope to have someone other than Romney face Barack Obama in the coming election.

In this case, Mitt Romney’s opponents regard the primary in South Carolina as a decisive battle, leaving on the table one last trump card… religion. Given that 60 percent of South Carolina’s population are evangelicals, the organisers of the Texas meeting wanted to send the voters of the state a powerful message from the leading figures of the evangelical movement. The poll taken on the ranch near Houston was in three stages, to name a single candidate for Republican conservatives in the upcoming presidential election. At the end, the result showed that 52-year-old Rick Santorum, a former US Senator from Pennsylvania, received 75 percent of the votes, and former US Speaker of the House of Representatives Newt Gingrich got 25 percent.

It’s noteworthy that Santorum’s already created a sensation in the current race, as he was behind Mitt Romney in Iowa by only eight votes. However, after this success, he looked very pale in New Hampshire, winning only fifth place. Nevertheless, the conservative wing of the Republican Party has bet on him. The father of seven children, Rick Santorum’s a devout Christian and a known staunch opponent of abortion and gay rights. However, the experts took a very guarded estimate of the last move by Romney’s opponents, believing that they missed the boat. In their opinion, the meeting at the Texas ranch would’ve had a far greater impact if it took place a week-and-a-half earlier… before the caucus in Iowa, when Romney wasn’t so confident. Nevertheless, the evangelical leaders’ proposal revived the almost extinct Republican race, forcing everyone to wait for the outcome of the primaries… at least, the one in South Carolina.

16 January 2012

Sergei Strokan

Komersant

As quoted in Interfax-Religion

http://www.interfax-religion.ru/?act=print&div=14180

Thursday, 8 December 2011

8 December 2011. The Horrid Reality of the Situation Facing Working Folks in America… and Their Response to It All

The world has to be made safe for investment bankers and their political pals. They have payments to meet on their McMansions… poor babies!

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Read this. Note this:

The political class thinks of Iowa these days mostly as a staging ground for the long presidential campaign surrounding January’s first-in-the-nation caucuses (including Saturday’s Republican presidential debate at Drake University, sponsored by Yahoo! and ABC News). But for many people in Iowa, the most important day-to-day concern is the state’s struggle, along with the rest of the country, to throw off the effects of the Great Recession and the halting recovery that’s followed.

For America outside the ambit of the Affluent Effluent, there’s been no recovery. All that we hear is “Give back, give back, give back”, from those whose real incomes are 250 percent above their 1981 level, whilst ours have stagnated, and even receded… ordinary families outside of the Favoured Five Percent have only 85 percent of their 1981 income in real terms. Look below to see a response to all this:

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People aren’t sitting down in response to the greedy and grasping Favoured Five Percenters. Supposedly, the per capita GDP in the USA is 48,147 USD (1.505 million Roubles. 35,898 Euros. 30,650 UK Pounds). That would mean that Nicky and I should have 96 Gs (3 million Roubles. 71,600 Euros. 61,100 UK Pounds) as our fair share of that… and we don’t. Let’s be blunt… the Affluent Effluent’s stealing more than’s their fair share. They’ve “earned it”, dontcha know! They’re “productive!” It IS a “zero-sum game“… and the Five Percenters have rigged the game since the time of Slobberin’ Ronnie. It’s time to return to the Socialism of the New Deal, no doubt about it. The charade can’t go on indefinitely…

Note to Russian Orthodox people:

Jonas Paffhausen, Victor Potapov, Rod Dreher, John Whiteford, and Lyonyo Kishkovsky all defend the Affluent Effluent and the policies of the Rightwing that embody its greed (JP’s recent speech at the extremist American Enterprise Institute was a case in point). You know what to do… send them no money… starve them out.

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Thursday 8 December 2011

Albany NY

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