Voices from Russia

Monday, 9 February 2015

Alabama Loses Yet Another Fight to Remain in the 18th Century

00 Politics. Tea Party Fantasyland. 02.01.14

The Alabama version of “history”…

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On Monday, the state of Alabama lost yet another fight to remain in the 18th century, extending a losing streak that dates back to the 19th century. Alabama, whose first attempt to remain in the 18th century took place between 1861 and 1865, has never shown signs of giving up the fight, even after a string of stunning defeats in the 1950s and 1960s. According to historians, Monday’s loss brings the number of failed attempts by Alabama to more than 4,000. However, even with this latest defeat, some of the state’s residents, such as Chief Justice Roy Moore, of the Alabama Supreme Court, remained resolute in their fight to return to a time before electricity and indoor plumbing. Moore said, “The US Supreme Court decided that it’s the 21st century. I say, ‘Not in Alabama, it isn’t’”.

9 February 2015

Andy Borowitz

The Borowitz Report

The New Yorker

http://www.newyorker.com/humor/borowitz-report/alabama-loses-yet-another-fight-remain-eighteenth-century

Editor:

Let’s not be coy, some of the “religious”, especially, those that I like to call “religious hobbyists”, make a fetish of standing against modernity. That’s ridiculous. Christ and His Apostles used the full spectrum of technology available to them. They did NOT attack contemporary science (indeed, the Apostle wrote that we should listen to our doctors, as God gives them their skill at healing). They did NOT propagate ignorant suppositions in the place of real knowledge (such as “creation science”). In any case, if you want to know what Christianity holds dear… read the Creed. That’s non-negotiable. Everything else is commentary. ‘Nuff said…

BMD

Monday, 18 February 2013

Good Ol’ Silvio Rides Again… “Bribes are Necessary”

silvio_berlusconi

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Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi shocked the Italian media with his views on bribery and its necessity in doing business in Third World markets. A series of corruption scandals has rocked the Italian political scene, whilst the current election campaign added to the intensity of the media inquiries into the unsavoury business practises of Berlusconi’s former allies. Amongst the targets of the latest anti-corruption campaign are the CEOs of Finmeccanica S.p.A. and Eni S.p.A.. It seems that Berlusconi felt the need to defend them, telling a Financial Times correspondent, “Bribes are a phenomenon that exists, and it’s useless to deny the existence of these necessary situations when you’re negotiating with Third World countries and régimes”.

The former Italian Prime Minister also tried to explain that bribing government officials is basically an unavoidable part of doing business, and that Giuseppe Orsi (former head of Finemeccanica) and Paolo Scaroni (former head of Eni) were actually paying “commissions”. Finmeccanica and Eni are Italian companies where the Italian government has significant stakes; therefore, the media often links the bribes paid by those companies to the corrupt practices of government officials. Both former CEOs denied any wrongdoing, but it’s unknown whether they appreciate such a form of public defence from Berlusconi, a politician who’s been heavily-involved in corruption scandals. Berlusconi’s political enemies used this opening to criticise him for “supporting corruption”, whilst current Prime Minister Mario Monti emphasised that his government has taken unprecedented measures to root out corruption. Given the fact that Mario Monti is a former employee of Goldman Sachs (a bank that often faced charges of corrupting government officials across the world), it’s safe to assume that both sides of the Italian political spectrum lack anti-corruption credentials.

18 February 2013

Voice of Russia World Service

http://english.ruvr.ru/2013_02_18/Bribes-are-necessary-Berlusconi/

Editor’s Note:

Like it or lump it, Good Ol’ Silvio speaks the God-honest truth. You don’t have to agree with or like someone to acknowledge that. If you want to do business outside Western Europe or the Anglosphere, it’s best to include a hefty allowance for… ahem… “extraordinary expenses”. If one was dealing with Mobutu’s Zaïre or Batista’s Cuba (or any Good Ol’ Boy state in the Southeastern USA or some local “machines” in the Northeast (our local boss, Jerry Jennings, is smarter than that… he knows that a modest “return” ensures “repeat business”))… well, that “margin” could be very dear, indeed.

BMD

18 February 2013. You Can’t Make Up Shit Like This… Berlusconi Says He’ll Get Drunk If Monti Loses Election

Berlusconi tames the court

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On Sunday, former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said that he was about to prepare sparkling wine to celebrate the electoral loss of caretaker premier Mario Monti and his allies. Parliamentary elections in Italyare due on 24-25 February. Speaking at a campaign event in Torino, Berlusconi said, “If Monti, Fini, and Casini don’t get into the Chamber of Deputies, I’ll get drunk. I guess it’s time to put some sparkling wine into my fridge. There’s a possibility that I’ll get drunk within the next few days”. Chamber of Deputies Speaker Gianfranco Fini responded by saying, “Berlusconi’s already drunk with all that nonsense he’s been saying”. Electoral rhetoric in austerity-hit Italy intensified as parliamentary campaign nears its end. Earlier, Berlusconi described Monti as “a person who knows nothing about economy”, whilst Monti, in his turn, called Berlusconi a “scoundrel” in his recent TV speech.

18 February 2013

RIA-Novosti

http://en.rian.ru/world/20130218/179534564/Berlusconi-Says-Will-Get-Drunk-If-Monti-Loses-Polls——–.html

Editor’s Note:

Ya gotta hand it to Ol’ Silvio… he’s a character, he knows it, and he capitalises on it. If nothing else, he’s NOT boring or staid, that’s for sure! Save me a snort, Silvio… I’ll join you… life’s a bitch, ain’t it?

BMD

 

Saturday, 6 October 2012

6 October 2012. Sergei Yolkin’s World. The First Round’s a Draw

The First Round’s a Draw

Sergei Yolkin

2012

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The first round of the presidential debates in the USA, contrary to expectations, didn’t enliven the dull campaign. According to a national survey by CNN, about 47 percent of the voters who watched Republican Mitt Romney and Democrat Barack Obama dispute domestic policy issues thought that no one won the verbal duel.

4 October 2012

Sergei Yolkin

RIA-Novosti

http://www.ria.ru/caricature/20121004/766034394.html

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