Ooobie on Everything

Soviet Show Trials, part three

sovietprison

The day after I spoke with Boris Mityashin at his place and agreed to meet again later that week at mine, I heard from him again. His voice was extremely tense and his tone urgent. He said he needed to see me as soon as possible because the KGB was about to arrest him. I agreed and he came to my apartment at about five in the evening. It was the long white nights in Leningrad and broad daylight still when he arrived, and I know that I, for one, was worried that a KGB agent would appear out of the stairwell to whisk Mityashin away. They did not, their plan was a little different.

The first thing Mityashin did was ask if my phone was plugged in. I said yes, and he went to it and pulled the cord from the wall. “They listen in through the telephones,” he said. I knew, of course, that in the apartments of foreign diplomats they also listened in through planted microphones and might even have hidden cameras. I did not mention it to him.

He told me he had gone to the trial that day and bumped into Lena, “the weak link.” He saw immediately that she had started singing at the top of her lungs. She refused to look him in the eye and told him that she did not think she could hold out any more. Now it would be only a matter of hours, not days, before he was arrested. He was so desperate to unburden himself that I have never forgotten it.

First he told me about his first stint in the prison system. He had been arrested as a political prisoner, but they got no special treatment under the Soviet system. No “limited security for nerds” facilities under the fist of the Reds. He was dumped straight into the heart of the State prison system, sharing his cell with murderers and other assorted hardcore criminals. And the real criminals, the cons, were contemptuous of the politicals and abused them. (Imagine Noam Chomsky sharing a cell with inner city gang members or motorcycle gangs.) In this way, the State turned one group against another and let the cons do a lot of the punishing on behalf of the authorities. Mostly Mityashin tried to keep a low profile. He did not associate himself closely with any of the other politicals, who huddled together whenever they got a chance. It was always three groups: the cons, the pols, and him.

He said he would listen to the politicals whisper among themselves at night, frightened of their cellmates and of the future, always carping about something. Finally Mityashin could not keep his silence. One night as the pols continued their complaining about the cons picking on them, he asked them why they took it. “In this cell there are more of us than there are of them. If we all stand together, we can beat them and then they will leave everybody in peace.” They agreed enthusiastically. Of course, why hadn’t they thought of it? The very next time somebody was victimized by a con, all the pols would rise up as one and overwhelm the con.

Shortly after this pledge of unity, he had occasion to test it. Mityashin had been given a prized lower bunk (a wooden plank attached to the wall with chains) and had been using it for a while. One day it was announced that all the prisoners had to leave their cells to allow fumigation (lice were a constant plague). When he got back to the cell, he took off his jacket and laid it across the bed. Just at that moment, one of the cons with an upper bunk moved next to Mityashin and with the toe of his dirty boot threw the jacket on the floor. “I’ll take this,” he said.

Mityashin remembered the pledge and he stood his ground. “It’s my bunk, you don’t get it.”

“Oh, yeah?” said the con, who swung and hit Mityashin in the face with his fist. As Mityashin awaited in vain the thronging of his comrades rushing to his defense, all the cons united and beat Mityashin mercilessly. The guards did not intervene. When it was all over and Mityashin was lying on his top bunk, bleeding and bruised and aching, the criminal who had taken his bed spoke to him.

“Don’t be stupid, kid” he told him. “You’re all in here for a couple of years and then out, but we are here for the rest of our lives. This is it for us and we control this place. If you learn that, you won’t have any more problems.” Mityashin absorbed the lesson and lived by it for the rest of his sentence. He never again had a problem with the criminals, who had gained respect for Mityashin because he had dared to stand up and take a beating. For them, Mityashin was the real idealist, as opposed to the posturing limp-wrists cringing in the corner.

“I saw in prison a microcosm of life in the Soviet Union,” Mityashin told me. “There are so many more of us than there are of them, but nobody dares to  rise up in defense when the State turns on some innocent. Unity is impossible.”

With regard to the Fund, Mityashin explained how he had been recruited into the organization and how the KGB had set up the director, Valeriy Repin, for arrest.  A “volunteer” with the Fund (in fact a KGB mole) went to Repin’s door and rang the bell. Repin, no doubt peering through the peephole and ascertaining that it was a familiar face, opened the door. The visitor shoved a brown paper-wrapped parcel at him and Repin instinctively took it.  At that moment, out of the shadows stepped the photographers, snapping the illegal transaction, followed by the KGB, who arrested the director for possession of prohibited literature. I was not there when it happened, but I imagine he was hauled off with maximum humiliation and lots of cameras, his wife and children left crying in the background. Remember that with the communists, public opprobrium was excellent medicine for the transgressors. “Name and shame!” The mob against the individual and the individual doesn’t stand a chance.

The Red Arrow between St. Petersburg and Moscow

Since her husband’s arrest, Lena was handling the funds, said Mityashin, and squandering them. “She uses the train between Leningrad and Moscow as if it were a trolley,” he charged with some heat, no doubt thinking of the help those many train tickets would bring to those in need of it. Now the Fund was being rolled up by the KGB, which was arresting everybody involved and putting paid to the Fund. Mityashin was headed back to the Gulag.

He did not even mind going back, Mityashin said. But he was almost finished with his book and if he could finish that, he would go at peace and happily. He asked if he could take up sanctuary in the Consulate (as religious believers had done in our Moscow Embassy) until then. I was mortified. Didn’t it seem only humane to agree? But I had to explain to him that this was prohibited by State Department policy.

It was probably eleven o’clock at night before Mityashin finally rose to leave. Even today I think about that, about his leaving our candle-lit apartment, knowing where he was going. I cannot even imagine how he felt. My heart was very heavy for him and I gave him a gold good-luck charm. It didn’t work. The gold charm no doubt quickly found its way to some KGB employee’s girlfriend. Mityashin was arrested after leaving the building, when the sky had turned dusky for the brief moments before it rose again.

I don’t know what ultimately happened to Mityashin and will always wish I did. But about six months later, in one of the State-owned newspapers, I read a notice of an upcoming trial of Boris Mityashin.

The notice said the trial was closed to the public.


Soviet Show Trials, part two

On that summer day in Leningrad my colleague and I sat in Mityashin’s tiny hot room drinking tea and listening with fascination to his story. His life consisted of injustices the average American could hardly conceive of, but that were commonplace in the totalitarian paradise of the Soviet Union. It was a place  where you dare not express your view openly on anything other than sports, because it was frowned upon, if not outright prohibited. Everything Mityashin had in the world was in that cubbyhole and most of those possessions were books.  The size of his accommodations spoke eloquently to his standing with the authorities and was testimony to life under socialism cum communism.

Mityashin gave us a synopsis of the day’s trial, which consisted of the prosecutor presenting the charges against the defendant. One of the key charges was conspiring with the US Consulate to smuggle in prohibited literature for distribution to the public.  The State’s case was coming together quite well. The head of the Fund was already in prison and the KGB had warned his wife that if she did not give them the information they wanted, they would put her and her children in the forced labor camps. She was the weak link in the chain and Mityashin did not expect her to hold much longer. When that happened, he too would be arrested and get another visit to the labor camps. He wanted to talk and he did not have much time, so he began from the beginning.

Mityashin was 18 years old in 1968 when the Prague Spring was crushed by Soviet tanks. Until then, his life had been unremarkable, just a smart Russian boy growing up in the only sort of system he knew. The invasion of Soviet troops into Prague shocked and angered him, and he joined other students in an entirely peaceful protest of the action. Of course they were all arrested. Mityashin was given a three year sentence in the Gulag, and there he had his eyes opened about the reality of Soviet repression and life in the labor camps.  After his release he was deprived of the right to attend university or any other sort of training institute. He was condemned to a life without the higher education he had taken for granted, without a decent job (or even a legal one), and without respect in society. He found unofficial work in the grey market, that place where so much economic activity occurred in the Soviet Union. He worked as a night guard at some factory.  At 34, he had no wife and no children.

Mityashin said the life suited him. Nothing ever happened at the factory and he was free to read all he liked. He had educated himself in those long quiet nights with nobody around to snoop or report on him. Now he was an expert in philosophical dualism and ecology. (On the latter subject, Mityashin was disgusted — he accused the communists of criminal incompetence for squandering and polluting Russia’s abundant natural resources and destroying the country’s ecology. He was right.)

Mityashin heard about the Solzhenitsyn Fund through the rumor mill and perhaps more likely, though he did not say so, through a friend. He decided this was an excellent cause, he wanted to help people held in the Soviet Union’s vast network of prison camps, the infamous Gulag.  But it was high-risk. You obviously could not ask for references from somebody willing to undertake the kind of dangerous work that the Fund needed them to do. So there were plenty of shady characters working with the Fund and the KGB had long ago infiltrated their own moles, collecting information on the top activists and the volunteers. The information would be deployed when the time came for a public trial that would send a message to other would-be dissidents. Maintaining contact with the families of political prisoners or the prisoners themselves was nothing to be done lightly. It could easily be labeled treasonous and that is how the Soviet authorities saw it.

(Google “Solzhenitsyn Fund to Aid Soviet Union Dissidents” for an example of how the public leaders of the Fund and the clandestine workers were hounded out of the country or imprisoned. http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=zQdlAAAAIBAJ&sjid=5HkNAAAAIBAJ&pg=6097%2C4986812

The Fund basically provided minimal subsistence support to the prisoners and their families. The families needed the help as badly as did the prisoners, as they were considered in some way equally as guilty as their imprisoned relatives. The family members often lost their jobs in the official economy and faced other deprivations. There was no mercy even for the children of such prisoners, who would be shunned at school. If the Fund could offer a string basket with the necessities plus a sausage, some tea and sugar, maybe a bottle of cognac — it would be gratefully accepted by the recipients.

Mityashin pulled out from between some of the many books he had in his room a postcard with a woman’s picture on the front. She had been imprisoned for many years, he said, first falling into the hands of the Soviets during WWII. She was only sixteen, living in that multi-ethnic swath of Poland that changed hands more than once in history. She was a girlfriend of one of the Polish partisans fighting Germany. When Soviet troops occupied that part of Poland, the partisans fought them, as well. They were all eventually arrested and then the authorities went for the associates of the partisans. This middle-aged woman, then only a girl, was arrested and had been imprisoned in the Gulag ever since. There was one brief reprieve: she was released under Nikita Khrushchev as part of his liberalization in the post-Stalin era. However, she was almost immediately re-arrested for poetry she had written on scraps of paper that they found in her cell. Only very recently had she been released into internal exile. Usually this was a looser form of supervision in some godforsaken wilderness. And what she wrote was this: “thank you for the warm jacket you sent me, I needed one — it is even colder here in this place than it was in the camps.”

I invited Mityashin to come to my house for dinner at the week’s end so we could continue our discussion. He agreed. Before we left, he went to his window and looked out. “There, look; there are several KGB cars waiting for you.” Nevertheless, he walked us out to our car, leaving with a promise to be at my apartment in a few days’ time.

It turned out he did not have as much time as that. In the next part, I will tell you the rest of his story and what happened to him.

 

 


Reminiscences of life under communism: Soviet Show trials, part one

Alexander Solzhenitsyn as Gulag inmate

The title is totally misleading and not at all misleading.  First, my apologies to all those who actually lived under communism, because I only lived in the USSR for a little while (three years). So these are vignettes from a life under the shadow of Marx and Stalin from someone who was free to leave at will. 

It was early-1980s Leningrad, as St. Petersburg was known under communism, practically on the doorstep of the collapse of the Soviet Union, but so deep in the slough of communism that nobody would have considered it possible that a monumental change was in the offing. Bustling Moscow, where my then-future husband was serving at the same time, had a reasonable KGB to foreigner ratio. In the backwater of the one-time capital of the Russian Empire, the ratio was out of sight, more than 10-1. Still, it didn’t matter if you had five KGB thugs in black leather jackets dogging your footsteps or fifty. They always got what they wanted in the Soviet Union.

Today’s vignette (for I hope to add one every so often) involves a brave man or a fool, depending on your point of view, and a foolhardy American (yours truly) trying to evade the KGB long enough to get the truth out. 

At the time of these events, it was 1984. (Oh, yes! I have a photo of a Russian tv screen that notable New Year’s Eve in Leningrad. Across a black background in stark white letters was only the year, 1984). This was a time when the struggling powers-that-be in the Soviet Union (struggling more than we knew) were dealing with the fall-out from Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s long-distance activism in Russia through the Solzhenitsyn Fund. I knew little about the organization beyond its fundamental purpose, to assist political prisoners and their families in the Soviet Union. But the Soviet authorities knew all about the group and its members and in 1983-1984 the first of the show trials for those who aided the cause began. While the Moscow head of the organization was in the dock, the KGB set up and arrested the Leningrad head. In preparation for the public spectacle, the Soviets aired via the state media the lie that the US Consulate in Leningrad had used the sacrosanct diplomatic pouch (once just a leather mail pouch and today bales and bales of diplomatic mail) to smuggle prohibited copies of the Gulag Archipelago into the USSR. It thus came to be that my superior officer, the Consul General, asked me to attend the public trial and to report to Washington on what the accusations were.

I showed up at the trial in my Chrysler K-car, a disastrous buy made to support the US auto workers (I, the conservative) and parked it on the street amid a handful of tiny beat-up Soviet cars, the ubiquitous Ladas. I went with the Consulate Regional Security Officer, who spoke only rudimentary Russian, so the burden was on me to report accurately on the proceedings. As we sat cooling our heels waiting for the show to get going, I observed our fellow attendees. They were all clearly dissidents, many Jews, long hair, dirty clothes, deliberately provocative to the authorities. For my part, I sat as quiet as a mouse, hoping to escape detection. No doubt the officials there saw me and said “Georgian,” since the Georgians said the same. In any event, I was unmolested as long as there was nothing to do but sit with my mouth shut.  

Finally, an officious man came into the room and told everybody to line up to pass into the courtroom. I watched with growing anxiety as everybody was searched (no doubt for the weapons nobody could possibly have). When it came my turn, the man told me to leave the purse and get it back when I was on my way out.

I wasn’t born yesterday.

“Here,” I said. “Take the purse, I’ll hold the id.” That was it. The man went off to speak to someone and then there appeared a bigger cheese to deal with me.

“You have to leave,” he told me, all those dissidents watching with avid interest. Resistance!

“Why do I have to leave?” I asked. “The papers said it was a public trial, it didn’t say only Soviet citizens, so here I am. Why am I prohibited from attending?”

“Oh,” he replied with an easy smile, “you are not prohibited from attending. It’s just that it is impossible.”

This was life in the Soviet Union.

And so I left, annoyed beyond expression. My friend, meanwhile, who spoke only pidgen Russian, was left behind because he carried no purse. I went to my K-car and circled the block endlessly, vowing to wait until one of the dissident attendees exited to find out what I wanted to know. I must have circled a thousand times before my colleague showed up, having been ejected at the mid-day break  — just because it was impossible that he be there. He then circled with me in the big American car, the cynosure of all eyes, for ten, then twenty minutes, then an hour and another. At last I saw people, the very same grubby people I had seen in the court waiting room. As I looked for a likely one to accost, another man walked up to my car and leaned in the window.

“Are you here about the trial?” he asked.

It was as if the Great Kreskin had spoken. “How did you know that?” I stupidly asked.

“You’re driving around and around in this big American car, it’s like some act of provocation. Do you want to know what happened in there?”  he asked.

“Yes,” I said, “do you want a ride somewhere?”

“Sure,” he replied. But as he started to get in, the man who had thrown me out of the trial came striding up to him. “You are in big enough trouble,” he said, not unkindly. “Don’t get in the car.”

The man, my savior, just looked at him with contempt and got in the car, watching the other man walk away angrily. This would look bad for the Enforcer, too.

We headed off to the man’s home, me driving and Boris Mityashin, our heaven-sent Russian, directing. All the way we were followed by the KGB, one car peeling off as the next one took its place. Finally we arrived at Mityashin’s humble abode; it was not in a classy part of town, but at least it was not out in the boondocks of the vast city. His building was as rundown and smelly as all the others in the USSR. Vagrants and alcoholics, usually one and the same, would go into the entryways at night and urinate, so the residents lived with the results. Mityashin lived in a cubicle no bigger than a pantry and it was located smack-dab inside somebody else’s cubicle.  (I know something about those cubicles; my husband and I own a Moscow apartment in the Central District that once housed twelve cubicles and one cubicle-within-cubicle.)

In that small space, over tea sweetened with jam, Boris Mityashin explained to me what is was like to be a rebel in the land of communism. In my next post, I will tell his story — so we remember the past and are not condemned to relive it.

 

 

 



More reading on Mali, Libya

I’m working on a new post on the indignant Mrs. Clinton and her many lies under oath in relation to the murder of our Ambassador and military personnel at Benghazi.  In the meantime, I recommend an outstanding article (two actually) on what is going on in Mali, to be found online at the Foreign Policy Reseach Institute website.The FPRI is a think tank with a lot of expertise in the matters they raise for consideration. The author Adam Garfinkle is riled about the US war-making in Libya and how the consequences are playing out in the ethnic patchwork quilt of the region. He knows a lot about the situation in Africa, and his writing is excellent.  Go to http://www.fpri.org/articles/2013/01/mali-understandiing-chessboard

 

 

 

 

 

 


Hey, Republicans! Psst. Pity the poor Democrats

Death to Capitalism or Death under the Capitalist?

I was ironing the other day and I had Fox News Channel prattling in the background. Suddenly my ears pricked up. Two of those annoying “experts” that tv broadcasters trade around were arguing over whether the evolution of the Democrat Party campaign organization into a permanent apparat was bad for the party and good for Barack Obama. One of the two pooh-poohed the idea and the other (a Clintonista) expressed alarm that it was precisely a move to strengthen Barack Obama’s power at the expense of the rest of the Party.

I think we can forget a third term; Obama is going the Robert Mugabe route, president for life.

The transformation of the Chicago Machine on Steroids into an apparat is screaming at the world “we are Marxists – we are here to stay forever!”  Do you have any idea how long these ultra-left absolutists have been waiting to take over the world? The communists were expansionist and internationalist from their very inception and now they have landed in the citadel of the enemy, the home of the free and land of the brave.

Remember that what Obama and company are creating isn’t a PAC, it is the administrative and coercive arm of a dictator. It is analogous to the establishment of “soviets” (peoples councils) in the first February Revolution that preceded the Russian Tsar’s fall in October 1917. The apparat was how the vanguard (elite, power center, brains, ideologues) of socialism/communism maintained their power. Its purpose was control. It was a googlepus with countless arms that strangled freedom and executed the leader’s bidding. Under the Soviet regime that lasted nearly 80 years, there was both a Party apparat and a State apparat, but everybody was a communist party supporter, nobody bucked the leader, and the staffing of the two machines were often interchangeable.

It turns out that the historic leader that Barack Obama is most like is not Abraham Lincoln or Ronald Reagan, but Vladimir Ilyich Lenin or maybe Josef Stalin. And this is going to spell big trouble within the Democrat Party. To demonstrate my point, here is some history in a nutshell: in 1903 the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party (Lenin’s party) broke into two factions. His Bolsheviks were the minority but he gave them the name “majority.” He then tarred his opposition, the majority, with the title “Mensheviks” (minority). Lenin won the internal battle for power and drove out the infidels from the party (and the country). This vignette shows the power of propaganda: a rose by any other name is no longer a rose —  it is whatever you want it to be, like that murderer Mitt Romney. Here is what  The Urban Dictionary says about the two factions:

The Bolsheviks thought that only a violent uprising in the proletariat can truly create a communist state, with the rebellion to be headed by a small number of intelligent revolutionaries. The Mensheviks, on the other hand, believed that reform and democracy would gradually bring Russia into communism.

That sounds like a good description of the Obama and Clinton camps — of one mind about where they want to go, but divided on how much force to use to get there. The Bolsheviks took Russia off into that far left hell that Lenin renamed communist, perhaps ironically, since communism was a mythical paradise. Under Marxism, it was that imagined stage of human existence when there was no more need for any government at all because the people would be perfected and give fully according to their abilities and take only according to their needs. It is important to remember that there is no real difference between socialism and communism. The socialists in Europe are only “democratic” to the extent that they do not yet control the means to force everyone to do their bidding; the more socialist they are, the less democratic they are.

You are probably saying to yourself, “so how is this bad for the Democrats when it sounds like it’s bad for the rest of us.”  It is bad for the rest of us, but we can enjoy what is going on in the opponents’ camp, too. You see, Barack Obama is about to squeeze out the aging and fading Clintonistas (Bolsheviks v. Mensheviks) in order to establish his personal self and his Machine as the king-makers of the Party.  This will allow his faction to take the Party (and the State) in a new and radical direction as quickly as possible, before anybody can fight back. As I’ve said before, they ought to rename the party the Socialist Democrat Party and that might actually happen one day soon.

For your consideration today, I’m going to present some history nuggets about how Lenin took over his party and what his intentions were, followed by some quotations from Vladimir Ilyich himself. The first citations are from a treatise by British Commie Alan Woods and published on his website Marxist.com.

–Lenin and the Bolsheviks did not lead the workers to victory in October 1917 with a view to “building Socialism” within the frontiers of the former Tsarist Empire, but to strike the first blow for the international Socialist Revolution.”

–“We have made the start,” wrote Lenin on the fourth anniversary of the October Revolution. “When, at what date and time, and the proletarians of which nations will complete this process is not important. The important thing is that the ice has been broken; the road is open, the way has been shown.”  (Note: Did not Obama just say “we must finish what we have started’? and you wondered what it is that he thinks he started?)

— Lenin’s last active days were spent organising his fight against the Stalin faction at the Congress. It should also be pointed out that Lenin’s bloc constituted a political faction – what was later known by the Stalinists as an “anti-party bloc”. The Stalinists had already organised their faction which controlled the party machine. (Emphasis mine.)

The next quotes were taken from The Peoples Cube website but were first uttered by the forefather of modern totalitarians.  They are enough to give you the willies.

— Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted;

— Destroy the family, you destroy the country;

— The way to crush the bourgeoisie is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation;

—  It is true that liberty is precious; so precious that it must be carefully rationed;

— He who now talks about the “freedom of the press” goes backward, and halts our headlong course towards Socialism;

— One of the basic conditions for the victory of socialism is the arming of the workers and the disarming of the bourgeoisie;

— One man with a gun can control 100 without one;

— A system of licensing and registration is the perfect device to deny gun ownership to the bourgeoisie;

— The goal of socialism is communism;

— There are no morals in politics; there is only expedience. A scoundrel may be of use to us just because he is a scoundrel.  (Note: Former Florida Governor Charlie Crist springs to mind along with a certain chubby guv.)

And finally, a quote I remember from my University studies: one hundred organized men are worth 1000 unorganized men. That was one of his guiding precepts and it served him well.  He succeeded in carrying out his mission as stated in his famous revolutionary tract, What is to be Done? — the destruction of the capitalist machine and its judicial arm and its substitution with the power of the proletariat, harnessed through the instrument of the “soviets,” councils that functioned all the way down to the block level. Those were his organized men (and women) and they managed to send millions to their deaths and to reduce the rest of the population to sheep.

Here is the bottom line. Barack Obama is as true a scion of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin as any communist who ever trod the back of a neck in the USSR. He is openly following the tried and trued methods of communist takeovers the world over, but his first step is to disarm his rivals for power inside his party and to expand and fully take over the party apparat. If he succeeds in doing that, you can mull over the quotes from Lenin to get an idea where Obama would take us.

But in the meantime — I will enjoy watching this power play work its way to fruition. Pity poor Hillary. Pity poor Bill. Two more Baby Boomers who are now grist for the Death Panels.

 

 

 


Messianic Foreign Policy, Part III?

tuaregThe Wall Street Journal today carries an article by Shiraz Maher of the International Centre for the Study of RadicalisationKing’s College London. Mr. Maher writes on the “Jihadist Eruption in Africa” and what he says provides the perfect follow-on to my posts on US foreign policy. I couldn’t have said it better.  Here’s how the article opens:

The hostage crisis that broke out on Wednesday in Algeria—where more than 40 Westerners were taken captive at a gas plant by al Qaeda fighters—ostensibly has its roots in Mali, Algeria’s neighbor to the southwest. The hostage-takers claim that they acted in response to France’s intervention last week in Mali to combat gains by a jihadist insurrection. But the story actually begins in Libya, where unintended consequences of the Arab Spring are now roiling North Africa and West Africa. When NATO forces decided to support the Libyan rebellion against Moammar Gadhafi in 2011, they could scarcely have predicted the impact of their involvement on the region’s labyrinth of competing ethnic and confessional interests.

I have no idea if Mr. Maher thinks our interventions were good ideas, but we certainly agree on the consequences so far. I know it’s all the rage, but we are wading into a sea of trouble and misery because of our insistence on meddling in the internal affairs of other countries about whom we sometimes seem ignorant and without thought to the long-term burdens we are assuming. We cannot afford to be the world’s gendarme anymore. We’re broke. Right now, I think the only purpose these interventions serve is to puff up The Dude’s already over-inflated presidential self-esteem. We cannot continue to tear countries to pieces by goading on the opposition, just to impose our own values on other people. We always end up walking away because it’s too expensive to stay and we are leaving non-viable states behind.  Right now our philosophy is losing ground in the Middle East and Africa, not gaining it, and we had better face the facts. If we continue to use our Air Force as the military arm of foreign insurgents, the chickens will come home to roost.  In fact, I can already see a few birds on the branch now.


Thoughts on Propaganda and Racism

parrots

I am beyond fed up with the big mouths from the “infotainment” complex who pass up no opportunity to display their general and political ignorance in the public forum and expect their listeners to take them seriously. Do you care what Madonna thinks about anything?  A woman who dances around in her bra while she sings about a priest and wraps a bit of red yarn around her wrist in order to keep her marriage together? (Note:The yarn didn’t work.) Do you feel guilty when Sean Penn, who cannot string together two coherent sentences, blames the racist right for all the world’s ills? Do you wonder what these two talked about when they were married? It’s enough to make your head spin — Sheryl Crow telling us to use just one square of toilet paper (!) to help the environment, or Charlize Theron warning that she will never get married until gays can marry, too, or that woman of easy virtue (and perhaps none at all) Eva Longoria, telling us who to vote for if our skins are brown.

The stars of stage, screen and porn are only actors in search of lines. They are the useful idiots fielded by the real brains in the infotainment field, the money men and producers and directors who have always been committed leftists. And the brainless “talent” (also the talent-less “talent”) do their bidding by repeating tired slogans like parrots and resorting to juvenile obscenities and ridicule, actual intellectual discourse being foreign to them. As Saul Alinsky taught his acolytes, “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon. It is almost impossible to counteract ridicule.”

Speaking of the ridiculous, think about how sensitive they are in Hollywood to the issue of race. In Hollywood, black is fantastic, but some black is better than other black. For example, a large number of Hollywood stars, always female, always white and usually without husbands, have gone to Africa and brought home African babies. Angelina Jolie went to Somalia to buy an infant, that little girl with a mouth just like Angelina’s. She gave some money to an organization there by way of payment. My question was, why not give the money to the family with the kid so they don’t have to give her away to you, Angelina? Why not adopt a poor black kid from the LA ghetto? Why not a poor Latino kid from the barrio? No, like everything else, they demand authentic, like their Gucci bags and Jimmy Choo shoes. The kids they carry around on their hips during likely photo ops are just another badge of stardom, black kids from Africa.

How many times have we been lectured to on politics by Roseanne Barr, an aging star desperate for the limelight who is also seriously loco. Most of Hollywood’s trashy celebrities manage to maintain more or less before the cameras, but Roseanne makes you wonder if she’s taking her meds. Remember her proposal that people opposing Obama should have their heads cut off or be sent to reeducation camps? She is one of that herd of sheep that chants the mantra “if you don’t like Obama you’re a racist.” She’s an example of the bad things that happen when the mentally ill can’t be locked up for their own good, people like Adam Lanza and Jared Loughner and Bill Maher. How many of these empty egotists have been or are or should be under serious psychiatric care?

The talking heads of the news fraternity are no better than their Hollywood comrades, although they actually can read and write and many have higher education and ideas beyond immediate gratification. Unfortunately, all their ideas are the same as all the ideas of every other journalist with whom they associate and they are thus convinced of the rightness of those ideas. Today that sense of rightness is so absolute that they have come out of the closet. They not only don’t care if you know what their politics are, they insist on telling you. One of them even said right out in the open that he felt it was his duty to do everything possible as a journalist to assist the Obama gang. And the Chicago Machine, never missing a beat, has taken the offer to heart. Today what we have is no kind of independent “mainstream media,” but official organs of the Obama Presidency who coordinate with their White House handlers and then air the official propaganda line. All you have to do is read the headlines to know what that propaganda line is because journalists no longer bother much to dress up the official talking points to make it appear that they thought them up themselves. The important thing is, just get the message out over and over and over. Today we are seeing the development of a true State Media, engaged in political propaganda, against whom there is only Fox News, the blogosphere, and talk radio.

I don’t mind this open partisanship, but I would ask that they have the decency (don’t laugh) to label their role clearly. Every so-called msm outlet should be forced to carry a banner that admits “we are shills for the State.”  Then it would be perfectly okay for Bob Schieffer to compare Second Amendment supporters to the Nazis, and for that aging Lolita of the State Media, Diane Sawyer, to get drunk toasting Obama’s victory on election night, or for the whole bunch of them together to declare that the Tea Party stands for racism. Lucky for the late Walter Cronkite he managed to die before all his luster turned to dross, but I will never forget his comment that the victory of George Bush Junior showed that Americans were too stupid to vote.

I’m afraid journalism today is giving journalism a bad name.

The latest stupidity from the Left was more bile from Danny “The Red” Glover. You’d think making millions off his white audiences would have softened Danny’s outlook on them, but he has said plainly that the color of his skin is always his number one issue. Boys and girls, can you spell “r-a-c-i-s-t”? This is a guy who won’t pass up an opportunity to stick it to Whitey, whose skin color really gets Danny’s goat. He has no problem calling people he never met and about whom he knows nothing racists. Now once more he has gone and displayed his ignorance for one and all to see, claiming that the Second Amendment came into being to allow Whitey to steal the land from the Indians and keep the black man in chains. I suppose that means that if you support the Second Amendment you are (can you guess?) racist.

Wow. This is a novel analysis of the motives behind the Second Amendment, maybe even more ingenious than the suggestion that the Second Amendment was intended to protect the rights of hunters. In view of the fact that Danny explains almost all his ideas by reference to movies he has been in or seen (much like one of my sisters who also votes Democrat), I am not surprised about the lack of facts. Of course, I’m assuming that Danny’s inane explanation was not actually cribbed out of a textbook from a California primary school.

Flinging the racist label around like confetti is not going to do the Left much good, although I don’t expect them to give up the nasty habit. First of all, like calling every ethnic clash the Holocaust, you diminish the significance of the very term you are using to make your point. Furthermore, this ain’t your Daddy’s racism. It isn’t a racism that makes an average person say “that sucks.” This racism has nothing at all to do with skin color.  It is a political statement. This “racist” means anyone with whom a person on the left disagrees, or anyone who dislikes Obama and certainly one who doesn’t vote for Obama or opposes him on any issue. It means anyone who thinks the welfare state should shrink rather than grow, it means anyone who thinks opportunity is a chance to work your way up, not a chance for a handout. It means anyone who thinks criminal cover-ups by high-ranking US officials (Eric Holder? Hilary Clinton?) should be investigated and punished. Racist means a Tea Party member or just a plain old vanilla Republican and probably the undecided voter as well. Racist is the guy who wants to preserve the US Constitution. Racist is anybody who isn’t a clone of the attacker.

Both whites and blacks can throw around this political version of the term racist with impunity as long as the white is a Lefty and as long as the victim of his slur is a conservative. We have been told by the blacks themselves that a black person can’t be a racist. The left can get away with their race-baiting because many blacks are distantly related to slaves and this invests them with a magical aura, a kind of force field, behind which they can shelter as they pelt the opposition with tar and mud. If a white fellow who isn’t a Democrat US Senator calls a black American a nigger, that would be very bad; but if Eleanor Holmes-Norton of Washington DC says Clarence Thomas only “purports” to be black, or a left-wing mob is filmed calling for Thomas to be lynched, that is okay.  And it’s a-okey-dokey to tell that oreo Condoleezza Rice (black on the outside, white on the inside)  that growing up in 1950’s Birmingham doesn’t make her black. Utah’s Mia Love can be slandered as a “House Nigger,” and Herman Cain can be insulted non-stop — because the people carrying out this particular type of hate crime hide behind the magic shield provided by the color of the black leftist’s skin.  This is racism as political weapon.

The most consistently racist group of people in the United States of America are black Americans, at least so far. I exclude from them the small but  much esteemed ranks of black conservatives who have overcome the tendency to view every issue through the race prism. Other than that, America’s black population is just doing what they have learned is effective: scream racism and watch the folks scurry. Scream racism and the added benefits rain from the skies. Scream racism and watch the dorks in the GOP knock themselves out trying to prove a negative. America’s blacks know they can say anything they want about the targets of their venom and the victims won’t fight back. I remember standing in line at the State Department bank one day during the OJ trial and two black maintenance workers came in talking about the case.  “That white bitch got what she deserved,” said one of them loudly, while his friend laughed and agreed. Not one of us white sheep waiting to cash a check had the guts to tell him to put his racism where the sun doesn’t shine, although I considered it. Just imagine if somebody said that about a black woman. Reverse racism is okay.

The blacks were taught by the Democrats to play the race card, but mis hermanos from Latin America have learned pretty quick. Once upon a time Latinos were hard workers who shunned public assistance. Now they too know how to deploy the poor-pitiful-me routine to get all sorts of benefits from unwilling American taxpayers. Who would have dreamt of illegals marching in our streets, shaking their fists, and waving Mexican (or Guatemalan or Honduran or Nicaraguan) flags, demanding their so-called human rights? This is what happens when you have what amounts to an open borders policy. We don’t got no respect. This is what you get when you start creating fictitious “rights” for people, like the right to slander and libel those with whom you disagree because of your own skin color.

In that best of worlds, all this blather about racism would be in the past, where it belongs. But race serves a very useful purpose in the Obama Reign, it is an instrument to divide and conquer. Today black against white, maybe tomorrow hispanic against black — as a weapon racism is versatile. But the weapon only wounds if you let it.

Here is my suggestion. Why don’t we stop acting like deer caught in the headlights whenever some psuedo-intellectual roots around in that grubby insult bag of his and hurls an ugly name at us. Why don’t we just laugh in his face and say, “hey, if you had any brains you could come up with a real insult.” And that’s the truth — that racist term is used so indiscriminately that now it has lost its mojo. Who cares if you call us racist?

It’s like NATO and the Warsaw Pact — if one warring party disbands, shouldn’t the other side as well?  If it is shameful when white folks use racist terms, and they mostly don’t, shouldn’t it be equally shameful if black people use racist terms against whites? I guess not.  So I will close with this thought: sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Recommended Reading

 

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Anyone interested in what life is like under communism, the dreariest of tyrannies, should go to Conservatives on Fire  or Investors.com— both have posted her numerous articles on the subject of America’s dire peril from the left and her reminiscences about life in the Soviet Union.  She writes beautifully and presents a vivid and true picture of what it was like “back in the USSR.”  Her observations are well worth reading and considering, because she has lived the future and the future are us, alas.  Kudos to Svetlana Kunin for her insightful essays.

 


Forty More Years

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Soon half of the United States crowns its new Emperor, naked though he might appear to the other half of the country. As this psychotically narcissistic man with his alien philosophy takes what used to be a sacred oath and mocks it, we hold no illusions about the struggle that is coming. Freedom may still be our byword, but it isn’t that of Mr. President, who is not even bothering to pretend anymore. He still lies about almost everything, but he isn’t pretending about who he is or where he wants to take us.  Anybody in America who does not now see his true face is a fool.

A few predictions of coming events that no doubt coincide exactly with those of a million other bloggers, but God bless each and every one of you.  I think that Obama and his henchmen in the next four years will try the following, among many other nefarious actions as yet undreamt of:

Create an Apparat and hire all the little apparatchiki: This is the famous “let’s just use that campaign structure to flatten any opposition to our will” strategy that is already underway. In the next four years, we will see the institutionalizing of the Obama campaign machine as a permanent State and Party apparatus, with presence all the way down to the city blocks. The machine will expand to cover the entire country, even your red neighborhoods where the schools (see education) will be turning out left-wing machine cogs by the thousands.  Reinforcing the machine will require hiring lots and lots of the “little people” who are so dependent on the State (and Party). These committees will agitate for Obama edicts and exert pressure (also known as intimidation) on the non-conformists. They will be the Mafia of the modern age.

Pull together a Party army under the guise of something else: We will see a re-surfacing of Obama’s dream of starting his own personal army with something that might be like the Civilian Conservation Corps — little earth-colored Brown Shirts, maybe with Green Berets, who have to learn to shoot to keep the bears away, not to mention the snakes.

Suppress information and expand control of media: Obama starts with the advantage of having a ready-made State media and State entertainment industry. The USG will start subsidizing these failing media outlets in defiance of the “no State media” practice. The left-wing minions of the media/entertainment industry, the two parts of which are increasingly and incestuously intermingled, will get the payback they fully deserve by way of hand-outs, tax breaks, inside information and no doubt many a boondoggle.  There will be new efforts to control the “other” media, i.e. the right wing, conservative or center-right opinion that impedes the Party’s full ability to shape information. Could we see a resuscitation of the Fairness Doctrine? Look for more Internet “standards” or boards or regulations that start squeezing out the opponent. Maybe something international and certainly regulations aimed at “hate” blogs (that means any blog hostile to the State and Party).

Bring education fully under the influence of Party ideology:  Obama will strengthen the hand of unions in schools, try to impose a national educational curriculum that rewrites history and sells the Party line, and eliminate vouchers and home schooling (already illegal in England).  The incoming teachers would already have been indoctrinated in the public school systems, so no problem from that angle.  He could also issue regulations that would force religious schools to close.

Expand control of government over personal lives and choices, other than sexual: Could social monitors be checking out your house for the smell of tobacco? (marijuana is okay)  How about weigh-ins at the office to make sure you are insurable and don’t need to be put on a HHS diet?  Can your kids be taken from you because you teach them homosexuality is a deviancy and not the norm?  How about if they are chubby or resist indoctrination in the schools? Will your child be asked to report on his parents behavior?  It’s coming — but don’t look for any standards on sexual behavior.  In that field, the less orthodox the better.

Expand the welfare state and ensnare millions more in State honey trap: watch the US debt soar out of orbit as the Socialists enact still further benefits for their constituencies; the right of the Congress to impede creation of debt will be eliminated by Executive Branch. Recruitment of new beneficiaries of give-away programs will be expanded.

Centralize economic decision-making; Government will foster creation of state-dependent industries. Merely by inflicting thousands and thousands of new regulations, the government is centralizing economic decision-making and driving out the little guys who are so infuriatingly independent and propaganda-resistant. These statists prefer larger-size “too big to fail” enterprises and will continue to give breaks to the big.

Enact punitive tax rates on wealthy (except for your friends):  The only new things here will be the ever-higher tax rates that are coming and the efforts to prevent capital flight; already, so I am told by someone who researched it, if you expatriate, give up US citizenship, the USG takes forty percent of your holdings.  What the hey?  Tighter controls on transfer of money from US to other countries are probably coming, as well.

Introduce new types of taxes that hit all taxpayers including entire middle class:  These will pay for expanding welfare and ballooning government.  Value Added Tax– and there is a Marxist concept for you in its pristine form — will be the most likely gambit as a starter, to be complemented by taxes to support international organizations and projects; taxes on mileage (and no doubt gas consumption, too, in addition to just regular old gas taxes); taxes on snack foods, taxes on marijuana cigarettes, taxes on soda pop.  I can’t keep going, it’s too depressing.

Get the weapons out of the hands of the People: There will be more efforts to round up guns in the country, starting in blue states and working their way into blue pieces of red states. Propaganda output of anti-gun hypocrites will skyrocket; watch for Hollywood movies soon. Obama will sign US up for UN gun registration global project.  Perhaps mandatory confiscation of “assault weapons” or even semi-automatic weapons. Restrictions on manufacturing?

Suppress religious practice and especially propagation of faith:  Hold on to your hats, Christians, the show is only starting. As people particularly attached to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, Christians are a dangerous species of animal.  While the USG will continue to smile on the Moslem faith here and abroad, there will be no quarter given to the Christians. Could religious schools face new regulations that will force them to shut down? Will the government finance atheist programs for our schools to be “fair” to “everybody”? Do you really doubt there will be more State support for the removal of God from all public aspects of our lives? Don’t expect any effort to curb anti-Christian rhetoric and action. Look for deepening conflict between Church and State.  Might they try to tax the churches?

Reeducate the doctors or squeeze them out of the system and replace with androids: The Administration (or Court or Reign, perhaps) will continue to hound independent-minded US doctors who think they should care for their patients, not Kathleen Sibelius. This will lead to big outflow of doctors and there could be some effort to punish these doctors with some special “fine” for taking their skills elsewhere.  We could see the move to “outlaw” the provision of a doctor’s care outside State system, a la Canada.   There will be a big push to compress physician education and training to maybe half what it is now, or even less, so the government can shovel undertrained “doctors” into the system to replace all the trouble-makers who leave.  These paramedics cum doctors will be beholden to the State for the jobs and will, in any case, be products of the education system and thus inclined to support their employers. Medical care rationing will no longer be something suppressed by the State media, but talked of openly and without the slightest trace of concern. Look for proposals to allow euthanasia of “limited” categories of humans, which can then be expanded as needed.

Open the door and come on in: Immigration — well, you already know everything there is to know on Obama and immigration.  Come on in, the poorer and less literate the better and while you’re at it, here’s your Party card.  Expect millions more on the way to the State honey trap (see above).

Take over the Supreme Court and the entire judicial system:  I really hate to say this, but if I were one of five Supreme Court Justices, I would be watching my rear end.  The thought of an unfortunate accident to one of them sends shudders down my spine, but tears of joy to the eyes of the left.  This is so vitally important to the consolidation of the left’s control of the future.  Say your prayers.

Regain control of the House: judging by what I see so far, this is a no-brainer for the Socialists.  Just deploy as in last election, add water and stir and you get a Democrat House majority and full control of the US Government (except for those pesky Justices).

Bring US more fully under sway of international law and international bodies: This is a given.  It is exactly where the US is headed.  From the environment, to gun control, to wars (interventions), the US will call the shots and the international organizations will execute them, the two working hand in glove.

Bring US military down to size and focus on fun parts:  Nuclear arsenal way too big, will be unilaterally reduced to “reasonable levels.”  NATO is useful for interventions, hold on to that; actively recruits more gays and minorities into Armed Forces, hopefully driving out rednecks and heroes.  Reduce investment in defense overall, but keep fun parts, like drones. Could be renamed as Department of Drones, but then it could be easily confused with the other federal departments.

Act to further divide Republican Party to the point of dissolution: unless the Republicans can unite behind a sane policy of resistance to the Socialists, they are going to be damaged fatally.  The infighting among the Party factions will be abetted by Democrat ploys that pit the flame-bearers against the Philistines.  We could see emergence of a third party, which would still further strengthen Dems.

None of the above can possibly be considered “off the wall” anymore.  Each and every one of the things I have  mentioned are already under way as we have all noted with alarm. Now Obama, the newly anointed Emperor of a Socialist State (ignore contradictions) will move ahead without having to stay under the public radar. He can be blatant about it, swagger and puff and reign.

I wonder what we can do about any of the above, other than letting our only hope (shrIek!), the GOP, know that they cannot count on our support absent a remarkable change of approach to our political crisis.  I have serious doubts about the ability of the entrenched GOP interests to re-position and re-group, and mostly I doubt their ability to inspire.

One thing we have to do, and I am hopeful that some good group somewhere is doing it, is to bring suit on every single violation of the US Constitution and to get as quickly as possible to the Supreme Court.  We have to do that now before Justice So-and-So slips on a patch of ice and cracks his head open or gets run over by a hit-and-run driver. While we still have a chance in that august body. I have a whole list of suits I hope someone is bringing, starting with the bypassing of Congressional will through the declaration of law by the Executive Branch (the Executive Order ploy). Let’s include the unfair taxation system — I’d like to challenge the legality of the nearly 50 percent who pay no federal income tax having a vote on how much to raise taxes on the other half.  Let’s flood the courts with our Constitutional complaints!

Here’s another idea and I sure wish we had done it before the election:could we possibly get together a MASSIVE march on Washington by all center-right Americans who feel threatened by this government — not because we expect to have any impact on the potentate in the White House and his Imelda Marcos-like wife, but because we need to show all our fellow angry Americans that we are there and we are legion.  We have to stop suffering in the privacy of our homes and go public with our views.  I sure hope someone who can push the idea will do so.  I’ll march in that parade, wouldn’t you?

And meanwhile, my coolest congratulations to Mr. Mephistopheles, the one and only. His calculations (or perhaps, really, the calculations of his controllers) have worked out to a tee. For the moment, he has the world in his hands.

It’s our job to wrest it from him. If we don’t succeed, we could be looking at not four more years, but forty.