Voices from Russia

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

11 September 2012. “Yelp” War Breaks Out Over Pizza Guy Hugging the Prez

Pizza n’ beer… a match ordained by the Almighty. Of course, the Junk Food Trinity is hot pizza, cold beer, and spicy wings… just as the Breakfast of Champions is cold pizza and warm beer (the wings were all eaten the night before).


I get the CNET news feed, as so many of us do. There’s been much brouhaha over a pizza guy hugging the Prez (click here for the CNET post). Here’s one of the Neanderthal comments:

Well… I’d eat there but after seeing the owner grab our leftist President, I felt compelled to disrespect his establishment as much as the President disrespects our constitution. Shame on you Scott Van Duzer for thumbing your nose at all the small business owners this President has disrespected for the last four years. I guess you DIDN’T BUILD IT! I hope you’re prepared for many more Yelps like this!!! Maybe you weren’t thinking, or maybe you are the only liberal pro-Obama business owner, who knows… but you won’t get mine or anyone else’s business for your treachery.


Yes… people DO talk like that. Thankfully, decent people far outnumbered the creepozoids:

These reviews demonstrate that the rightwingers DON’T support small businesses. They support small businesses that agree with their stinking POLITICS, which is the same thing as not supporting small businesses AT ALL. …

Good stuff… and the morons who voted one star because of politics, I hope you eat somewhere else and get the runs for a lifetime… and everyone is better off that you won’t be around this restaurant. …

I fully believe that ALL of the blame here belongs to the people who attacked the restaurant. The fact that people would try to put a restaurant out of business (or, at the very least, hurt it) because the owner doesn’t agree with their political beliefs is not only incredibly depressing, but also extremely stupid and… even more depressingly… not at all unexpected. Technically, the people who posted the five-star reviews were also abusing the rating system. However, they did it in response to the negative reviews, not as a way of rewarding the owner. …

Some people are just ignorant. If a business owner does something I don’t agree with, I may speak badly of him, I may avoid his business, I may direct people I know from his business. I wouldn’t go to a ratings site and give the business itself a bad rating. …

People that would go on to a ratings site just to harm a business they don’t politically agree with are petty. They probably call themselves “good Christians” t’boot when that’s a very unchristian thing to do. I’m not surprised, though. The Republicans pander heavily to the close-minded crowd, the “afraid of the ‘other’” crowd, and the socially conservative crowd, though the social conservatives could fall under the close-minded category. Oh, the politics of fear. …

Like it or not the GOP, which is the group that seems to be doing the bashing, is largely made up of people who claim to be Christians. These same people tend to vote against anything that would be a Christian value other than something like the hot button issue of abortion.


There’s more, but if you want to read it, click on the link above to get to the CNET site. My opinion’s clear… if you bake a good pie, I don’t give a damn what your politics or religion is, I’ll be first in line at your shop. If you bake shitty pizza, I don’t care if you’re a genuinely pious person or a sincere supporter of social justice… I ain’t buying it and I ain’t eatin’ it (I’m not going to upset my tummy and, possibly, get the hot trots). I’ll be short… the rightwingers call themselves “Christians”… I’ll be frank… their nasty political behaviour isn’t Christian in the least, especially, their assault on the social safety net (for Orthodox people, that means that Fathausen, Moriak, Freddie M-G, Rod Dreher, Reardon, Mattingly, et al are all disgusting and lying hypocrites… for shame!). If you assault the safety net, you take away from poor women the chance to “choose life”, so, all of your professions concerning “Pro-Life” are hypocritical and pietistic nonsense. It’s blasphemy of the most impioius sort… WORSE than the sort that Pussy Riot engaged in. At the least, Pussy Riot didn’t pretend to be “Christian”…



Saturday, 1 September 2012

Romney is Another Obama… The Only Difference is that He’s a Mormon


Former Governor Mitt Romney of Massachusetts formally accepted the Republican presidential nomination. His final speech on the last day at the Republican National Convention in Tampa FL met with a storm of applause. As one watched the convention, it was easy to get the impression that Romney was already president. The question of whether America is ready to elect its first Mormon president is still open. It happens in politics, just like in business, that a product becomes more popular due to the scale of its advertisement. However, the advertisement doesn’t change the product’s quality. This is Romney’s main problem. Even Romney’s rather unusual “confessional orientation” doesn’t matter as much. Why not elect a president from the ranks of the LDS movement? After all, four years ago, America elected its first Afro-American President, Barack Obama.

Sergei Mikheyev, the director general of the Centre for Political Status, said, “The fact that Romney’s a Mormon will play a certain role in the election, but this role won’t be decisive. The religious views of the voters themselves are likely to have an influence on their choice. Let’s be frank, the Mormons’ reputation is a bit tatty, but at the same time, there are many undisclosed Mormons amongst famous and influential people in the USA. In any case, America is a country of sects, although they wear many different visages. That’s why America, where everything intermingles, turning into an undreamt of mélange, may elect a Mormon as president”.

Romney’s main problem is that he’s a “hard sell” to most Americans. He can be inconsistent, and very few people are able to discern where one Romney, the moderate centrist, ends, and the next one, the radical rightwinger, begins. Hardly anyone notices a fascinating fact. Just before the last day of the RNC in Tampa, the American press published an opinion poll of likely Republican voters, which revealed an interesting fact… Romney’s one of the most unpopular GOP candidates in the past 30 years! Even George W Bush was better “liked”. Bush, by the way, didn’t receive an invitation to the RNC in Tampa; he had to be satisfied with an “appearance” via a video link. It was too problematical for them to claim the legacy of the last Republican President. The Democrats, by the way, at their convention, will give much attention to Bill Clinton.

Compared to Paul Ryan, the favourite of the Radical Rightwing Tea Party and “conservatives”, Mitt appeared quite “moderate” at the convention. On the one hand, Ryan’s candidacy will attract Teabaggers, but on the other hand, it greatly disappoints moderates and “independents”, who may stay home on Election Day. Romney needs all the help that he can get in this election campaign, but his ratings numbers are abysmal. His “approval” numbers run from 15 percent all the way up to 40 percent. It’s been a struggle for him to get even that. In the end, if we average out the polls, they show that Obama beats Romney by anywhere from 1 to 8 percent. If we factor in that the contenders for the White House in the last four elections were separated by a difference of 1 to 6 percent (Obama’s margin in 2008), then, it appears that Romney may have a slight chance to win 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

However, looking at the Republican Romney-Ryan ticket, the “friends of Barack” should be satisfied… the facts are such that the chances of Obama’s re-election aren’t decreasing, but increasing. Unless the economy collapses, which is unlikely, it looks like he’ll be lucky again. It’ll be a replay of 2008, where he had the luck of being matched with John McCain, an unelectable old codger. This time, it’ll be a somewhat different kind of luck. Lucky for them, the Republican economic programme is so confused that it resembles a mushy concoction, a problematical mixture of unrelated ideas and programmes. On the one hand, they promise to cut taxes, reduce government, and boost spending on defence, on the other, they promise no cuts in Social Security and Medicare. How they could reconcile this on the basis of the current tax base, it’s difficult to understand. Nevertheless, the current election is all about the economy, jobs, and money in your wallet.

Many see Romney as a moderate conservative. When one takes into account that the American South is an especially-rabid hotbed of the Radical Right, as shown by its support for the so-called Tea Party movement, and that it’s the Baptist Bible Belt” of America, where Mormons are thought of as worse than heretics or schismatics, it’s not so simple for him. If you averaged all the polls amongst American Christian believers {that is Radical American Sectarians, in real terms: editor}, it turns out that a quarter to a third of them aren’t ready to accept a Mormon in the White House. Whilst Mormons claim to be Christians, outside of their sect, members of the LDS movement still face a prejudiced and/or suspicious attitude. Mitt Romney isn’t just a simple rank-and-file Mormon… he’s former “clergy” of the LDS movement, the head of a ward (parish). I must say that Mormon “clergy” are more like businessmen than real clergy. Later, he became a bishop, the head of a stake (this includes several dozen wards).

Mitt shows signs of flexibility and political consideration. However, his Democratic rivals and opponents believe that he’s notorious for waffling, concealment, distortion, and God knows what else. For example, David Axelrod, who was the chief architect of Barack Obama’s victory in 2008, who’s now one of the leading lights in his current election campaign, called Mitt a “charlatan”, saying, “He takes two positions on every issue, one more moderate, and the other on the Far Right, but that doesn’t make you a centrist. It makes you a charlatan”. Amazingly, even fellow Republican Texas Governor Rick Perry claimed (prior to Romney winning the GOP nomination), “[Mitt’s] a buzzard, a Fibber, and differs very little from Obama in his gutter ideology”. Indeed, everywhere, Mitt seems to say exactly what he thinks people want to hear. He’s a furious Tory in one state, a moderate in another, and politically malleable in a third. However, any road, he’s still a Mormon.

The only trouble is that he doesn’t present any real alternative to the Obama’s economic course. This delights Obama’s camp, for it makes it easier for Obama to compete against Romney. As Professor Viktor Kremenyuk, deputy director of the Institute of the USA and Canada, said, “Romney doesn’t have much chance of winning. It isn’t because he’s a bad candidate, but because it’s difficult to defeat a sitting president, who has powerful administrative resources at his disposal. To do this, he should be someone outstanding, but Romney isn’t that. I think the strategy of the Republicans is only to give a formal opposition in this election; they’re focusing on seriously preparing for the next election, when Obama’s second term expires”.

Romney’s a graduate of Harvard Business School; he’s a lawyer, businessman, and politician, a very wealthy man, the head of Bain Capital, a major investment firm. In 2002, he was head of the Winter Olympics Organising Committee in Salt Lake City UT. He managed to eliminate waste in collected funds, and instead of a projected shortfall of 375 million USD (12.1 billion Roubles. 300 million Euros. 235 million UK Pounds), the Games gained a profit of almost the same amount. Mitt and his wife invested in about a million dollars of their own funds in the Games. When Romney was the governor of Massachusetts in 2003-07, he conducted an economic policy that was similar to Obama’s current economic policy. When he took office, the state treasury had a shortfall of 600 million USD (19.4 billion Roubles. 477 Euros. 378 million UK Pounds) to meet current outlays, and there was an estimated deficit of 3 billion USD (97 billion Roubles. 2.4 billion Euros. 1.9 billion  UK Pounds) for the following year. Yet, he raised taxation over expenditures by almost 700 million USD (22.7 billion Roubles. 556 million  Euros. 440 million UK Pounds). He solved his budget problems by closing tax loopholes for corporations, increased excise duties on petrol, and introduced higher fees for driving licences, gun licences, and marriage licences, and so on. By the way, his state was the first one to introduce a mandate that all citizens obtain health insurance. Obama was only able to do something similar on the national level after three years. In general, everything or most of the things that Romney did in Massachusetts, the Obama administration is doing now. Does America really need a second Obama, with the only difference is that he’s a Mormon?

31 August 2012

Andrei Fedyashin

Voice of Russia World Service


Saturday, 25 August 2012

25 August 2012. Which Do You Want… Do You Want the America of FDR or Do You Want the America of Rush Limboob and the Tea Party? Choose Well…


THIS is why I refuse to vote for ANY Republican candidate for ANY office. THIS is what “rugged individualism” and “economic freedom” means to the GOP. Remember this when you vote in November. Obama‘s no prize package, but the alternative is FAR worse…


Tuesday, 6 September 2011

6 September 2011. You Can Believe Rush… Or, You Can Believe Reality… It’s Up to YOU

Deficits ROSE under the Republican Bush, they fell under the Democrat Obama…


Spending increases were more massive under the Republican Bush than they were under the Democrat Obama…


There were massive job losses under the Republican Bush; there was recovery (although not back to pre-recession norms) under the Democrat Obama…


Reality stands in stark contradiction to the rhetoric of Rush Limboob and the Rightwing Commentariat. Indeed, reality is diametrically opposite to what the purveyors of hate state daily. If John McCain had won election in ’08, the Bush policies would’ve continued, with disastrous results for the country. FDR saved the capitalists’ bacon in the ’30s… Barack Obama saved them in the noughts… and the ungrateful SOBs hate them for it. That’s strong food for thought…


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