Thursday, December 27, 2018

Contrast: Two opposite kinds of human… or president... and today's "spiritual leaders."


As I write this, Donald Trump finished a super-secret couple of hours hurrying in-and-out of Ain Assad Air Base in Iraq, safely in the middle of nowhere. Snubbing Iraq’s leaders, who deserved a meeting in their own country, which all of DT’s predecessors had the courtesy – and courage – to include. And certainly no visit to men and women actually in the field, which Bush, Clinton and Obama all did. Well well, now he’s able to say “See? I visited troops!”

Today, Mr. Trump is not our central topic, but an illustrative example of how far down a rabbit-hole of hypocrisy and rationalization have plunged those who claim to be America’s spiritual guides. That plunge is demarked with clarity by comparing Trump to one of his predecessors.

== We were all better at 39 ==

Probably the most devastating indictment of the monstrous men who have taken over most American Christian pulpits and seminaries comes by comparing their adulation of Donald Trump – a salacious pervert-bully who avoids church like getting a cavity filled – vs. Jimmy Carter, a modest, generous, faithful man who taught Sunday school for all the 72 years he was married to the same woman, except while serving his country in creaky submarines that saved the world.

Case in point: this modest recollection of how, as a young naval officer, he (heroically) dashed into a melted Canadian reactor as part of a team to disassemble the core. Faith, humility, skill, courage…

…and yet the party line among fundies – especially Baptists – is that men were designed to be aggressive louts and flawed sinners. And hence those who sin a lot, and then repent, are the highest order of being. Of course they say that, with literally hundreds of pastors now accused of sexual perversions on a par with their beloved “saved-sinner” president. (Though notice that the church-going, once-married Bill Clinton is not allowed to repent.)

Despite the absolutely damning and verified salacious dastardy of the “pussy-grabbing” tape, and countless stories from a life of philandering, about 80 percent of white evangelical voters backed Trump in 2016, and exit polls from this year's mid-term election showed little or no erosion of that support, even after porn star Stormy Daniels, and Playmate-of-the-Year, Karen McDougal, offered detailed accounts of sex with him while he was married. Nor is the hypocrisy just about Trump. An eight-month investigation by reporters at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram uncovered hundreds of sex abuse allegations at independent fundamentalist Baptist churches around the country. 
This article notes 412 allegations of abuse across nearly 200 churches just among unaffiliated Baptist institutions, without tabulating complaints within the Southern Baptist Convention or other denominations.

That only scratches the surface. A “conservative” movement that once frowned on divorce now has twice the rate of Democrats. Preaching “abstinence,” red states have far higher rates of teen sex/pregnancy, STDs and domestic abuse. Gambling used to be sin and “cleanliness was next to godliness.” Now the GOP is owned by casino moguls, oil-sheiks, pederasts, pimps, polluters, mafia dons and raised-communist Kremlin agents. Setting aside the anomaly of Utah, name a metric of either decent living or following the teachings of the Sermon on the Mount in which red states aren't worse than blue… including fiscal integrity and balanced budgets.

Yeah, sure. Male humans inherit a bunch of obsolete impulses from either evolution or a God who designed them in. (Ironically, belief in evolution lets God off the hook for a grotesquely culpable crime.)

So, how do these folks feel about a man like Jimmy Carter, who spent his life controlling those base instincts and setting an example as a real man? Well, funny thing about it. According to fundies, that’s a lesser kind of person than a repentant hyper-sinner. Go ahead, do everything opposite to the bearded-beaded, sandal-wearing, tolerance-preaching, asylum-seeking refugee rabbi from Galilee. All is washed away once you sob on TV, declare yourself forgiven, and then cash the checks that come pouring in.

(Theological note: that trick – to sin knowing you’ll repent for absolution later – was declared by church leaders centuries ago to be the one that's unforgivable! And hence, these thumpers on TV are, by process of elimination, almost certainly cynical atheists.)

But let's revisit the 94-year old Jimmy Carter, our generation's Harry Truman.

== A rough-tough presidency ==

Yes, President 39 inherited a shitstorm. The wild, Vietnam-fueled economic mismanagement of LBJ, Nixon and Ford came to roost just as Arab nations (inevitably) seized power over our gas prices. Any other president would have arm-twisted the Fed to keep employment up, but Carter appointed Paul Volcker and said “fix this.” Whereupon Volcker imposed short term pain that ended hyper-inflation, and Ronald Reagan basked in the credit. (Today’s right adulates Volcker, but not the man who appointed him.)

Carter kept making “maturity mistakes,” assuming that doing the right thing would always pay off… the diametric opposite to Trump, whose “deal” errors always arise from the nastiest instincts. Hence, in the biggest mistake of Carter’s presidency, when Iranian revolutionaries took over a hundred US hostages, he “set an example” by taking the equivalent Iranian diplomats in the US and putting them on planes for Tehran, stunning the ayatollahs, who had expected an exchange of threats followed by a formal trade.  Carter should have ensconced the Iranian “counter-hostages” in a beachfront, comfy hotel and let the difference in treatment get photographed daily, highlighting the radicals' barbarity till the mullahs did a swap.

That, alone, might not have ensured re-election. But throw in no-betrayal by Ted Kennedy… and liberals smart enough not to insist on their worst, most-insane error... forced school bussing … and things might have gone differently.  The Roosevelt coalition of the Greatest Generation might have held together enough to stymie wave after wave of Supply Side (voodoo) rapes of the middle class. Might have. Might have.

Oh, forget ‘might have.’ What stands out now is a Christmas contrast. That supposed Christians sneer at the ex-president who most clearly follows the teachings of Jesus, while singing hosannahs to one who is diametrically opposite to admirable in every conceivable way… and his VP who daily prays for the world to end. 

Read this essay – or at least read captions till the important last few pages.

And now, contrast all that kind of man to one who speaks and acts from “the gut.”

== The micro-biota speaks ==

"I have a gut and my gut tells me more sometimes than anybody else's brain can ever tell me." 

Yes, 
ol' Two Scoops really made it that explicit.  

Of course this is insane. But it would be one thing if his gut had led him to good policies in either business or statecraft. 

In fairness, there were times when his "gut" did serve him! Like betting on New York City when it hit tock bottom in the 70s. And playing Merv Griffin for a billion dollar scam. But that only means his failed casinos etc. were even worse losses, because it's been documented he would be richer today if his inheritance had simply gone into a stock market index fund. Some gut.

(Watch as the whole "collusion" thing becomes a sideshow to Money Laundering -- billions from Russian oligarchs channeled through Deutsche Bank.)

The killer about this "gut" thing is not Trump's open war against science and all other fact-users, including the intel/military/law professionals. The entire GOP-confederacy shares that. 

No, it's the number of "great guys" he appoints, whom he later denounces for betraying him. More than all of the last ten presidents combined. 

That can't be arm-waved away with magical incantations. (This same article expresses his rage at Fed chairman Jerome Powell, his own appointee.) Trump Began His Presidency With 30 Senior White House Staffers. Only 10 Are Left. A similar ratio holds for cabinet rank officers, as Trump clears out any who might betray him via the 25th Amendment.

A clear majority of his "great guys" later betray him in one way or another. Who do you know who has a worse "gut" than that?

And all of the above was written before the firestorm over Defense Secretary James Mattis's spectacularly repudiating resignation. Another "great guy" who later "betrays."

The gut has the same IQ as the rest. And we need to understand that the real civil war is by an idiocracy against smart people. Period.

From FB commenters:

Special Counsel Mueller should hire a gastroenterologist on the team. Interviews will tell nothing. A colonoscopy is required here.” And…

“In Kurt Vonnegut's MOTHER NIGHT, the narrator gives a eulogy for a Neo-Nazi by saying to his mourners/supporters, "There will be more like him as long as there are more men who think with their guts instead of with their heads."

DT, after meeting with North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore this past June: "Our conversation was ...very productive. We produced something...beautiful." But after five months of canceled meetings and dissatisfaction, there is no sign of progress toward "denuclearization" of the North. Nada. Um, accomplishments, anyone?

Oh... but "We fell in love" says ol' Two Scoops. Word has it he even let Kim have a rare second scoop of ice cream... and got us what?

== And finally... ==

I'm not the only one worried about how many of the world's mafias and despots want a US+Israel vs Iran mini-war. 
It will help distract attention from domestic woes for Trump, the Saudis, Netanyahu and the Iranian mullahs themselves. 
It will send oil prices skyrocketing, benefiting guess who. 
And the mastermind Don-of-all-world-mafias, Vlad, gets to rake in all the chips at the end.


46 comments:

Daniel Duffy said...

We don't need to worry about Putin's Russia in the long run. It's a giant Potemkin village destined for demographic demise.

Aside from being a corrupt, oligarchic, mafiya state whose only source of income is ever cheaper oil (classic case of a "resource trap"), Russia is demographically doomed. By 2050 there will be 50 million fewer Russians:

http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/content/russian-demographics-perfect-storm

The shrinking population is the result of deaths outnumbering births for nearly two decades without sufficient immigration to compensate for the deficit. The increasing number of deaths reflects the persistence of comparatively high mortality. The decreasing number of births is due to the prevailing low fertility, which plummeted to 1.2 births per woman in the late 1990s and now hovers at 1.7 births per woman. That rate is still about 20 percent below 2.1 births per woman, the level necessary to ensure population replacement.

High rates of smoking, alcohol consumption, drug use, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, obesity, heart disease, violence, suicide and environmental pollution contribute to Russians’ poor health. Russia’s current male life expectancy at birth of 64 years is 15 years lower than male life expediencies in Germany, Italy and Sweden.

Notwithstanding a recent fertility uptick, low fertility persists due to inadequate reproductive health services, lack of modern and low-cost contraceptives, widespread and unsafe abortions, infertility, fewer women of childbearing age, changing attitudes toward marriage and voluntary childlessness. In addition, Russia’s abortion rate, estimated at two abortions for every birth, has traditionally been the highest in the world.

Russia’s aging population has placed strains on the economy that will impact numerous sectors including agriculture, manufacturing, the armed forces and retirement schemes. In the next decade, Russia's labor force is expected to shrink by more than 12 million, or around 15 percent.

The contraction of Russia’s labor force is exacerbated by low retirement ages: 60 for men and 55 for women. In certain situations, for example, hazardous occupations or unemployment, retirement ages are lower. Nevertheless, Russia’s older population does not fare well. According to a 2014 global survey of the social and economic well-being of older people, Russia ranked 65 among 96 countries.

Daniel Duffy said...

(cont.)

Which will lead to political collapse:

http://www.businessinsider.com/startfor-predictions-for-the-next-decade-2015-3#russia-will-collapse--1

"There will not be an uprising against Moscow, but Moscow's withering ability to support and control the Russian Federation will leave a vacuum," Stratfor warns. "What will exist in this vacuum will be the individual fragments of the Russian Federation."

Sanctions, declining oil prices, a plunging ruble, rising military expenses, and increasing internal discord will weaken the hold of Russia's central government over the world's largest country. Russia won't officially split into multiple countries, but Moscow's power may loosen to the point that Russia will effectively become a string of semi-autonomous regions that might not even get along with one another.

"We expect Moscow's authority to weaken substantially, leading to the formal and informal fragmentation of Russia" the report states, adding that "It is unlikely that the Russian Federation will survive in its current form."

Russia is unimportant, nothing but "Zaire with permafrost":

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2001/05/russia-is-finished/302220/

Over the past decade Russia's population has been shrinking by almost a million a year, owing to a plummeting birth rate and a rising number of deaths from alcoholism and violence. Predictions are astonishingly grave: the country could lose a third of its population (now 146 million) by the middle of the century. This does not factor in new scourges—tuberculosis and HIV, in particular, which have been spreading exponentially since 1998. As its population shrinks, Russia will find itself less and less able to face demographic challenges from China. Overpopulation is pushing the Chinese into the Russian Far East—a trend that at present benefits Russia by bringing it trade and small-scale investment but that could someday lead to ethnically based separatism.

Mike Will said...

Great thinkers going back to Socrates have worried about the ease with which democracy could be corrupted/nullified. We need wide, deep, and sincere scientific literacy. With only reliance upon spiritual leaders and shallow heroes, or facile deference to ivory towers to save us, we're doomed. Democracy must be internalized, not defined by pervert-bullies or stingily doled out like manna by the elite. It must be noble and hopeful. Isaac Asimov warned against "the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge’ ".

David Brin said...

Daniel D. you are erudite and correct about Russian demographic collapse... and entirely wrong about the implications. Yes, Russian women do not want children with Russian me and yes the nation has a diminished future...

... but this matters not a whit to Putin et. al. who are not working for the benefit of Russia, per se, but for the Russian oligarchic mafia, which in turn controls the resources and power of a nuclear-armed state. That mafia wins, no matter what happens to the average Russian, if this planet falls back into feudalism ruled by mafia clans, of which Putin is confident he will be chairman. An outcome already evolving as he rebuilds a new Warsaw Pact periphery of satrapies from Crimea through Ankara, Damascus, Baghdad to Tehran.

Especially since he has China neutralized by selling them Siberia. And the US and Saudis neutralized by making deals with their mafias.

David Brin said...

To see the desired outcome, see Vladimir Sorokin's DAY OF THE OPRICHNIK.

Lorraine said...

I read that book (on your recommendation). It's more than a little obscene. Should come with multiple trigger warnings. It'd be apt social criticism if it weren't so hyperbolic.

porohobot said...

>> Daniel Duffy (Duffer) said...
\\We don't need to worry about Putin's Russia in the long run. It's a giant Potemkin village destined for demographic demise.

Yeap. Rats are loosy little critters... what a fool one who are feared them, isn't it?
But they do carry plague. Period.


\\Aside from being a corrupt, oligarchic, mafiya state whose only source of income is ever cheaper oil (classic case of a "resource trap"), Russia is demographically doomed. By 2050 there will be 50 million fewer Russians:

They encourage immigration from post-soviet republiks.
And provide anti-abortion and birth encourage laws.
And any time can re-conquer post-soviets and effectively double that amount.

Anyway... USA with its 300 mln are just pigmeis in compare with China, India and others.
And WHO said to you, that they'll fight with you directly? Not via this proxies (like N.Korea), while staying under their Nukelear Umbrella???

Its just not wise to underestimate the enemy.


\\Which will lead to political collapse:

You think Putin do not know about it?
That his current rush movements is NOT reaction on that threats?
And that he himself said "do not chase rat into corner" -- it's not a threat?

Saddam have had no weapon of mass destruction -- Putin have it.
And he is much more cunning then that simpleton straightforward Hussein,
which took USA decade and Fall of Twins to rid of.


\\Sanctions, declining oil prices, a plunging ruble, rising military expenses, and increasing internal discord will weaken the hold of Russia's central government over the world's largest country.

One question -- how well do you know history of Russia???


\\"We expect Moscow's authority to weaken substantially, leading to the formal and informal fragmentation of Russia" the report states, adding that "It is unlikely that the Russian Federation will survive in its current form."

Yeah. Of course. It will become Nukelear Khalifat under reign of Scary Chechen Kadyrov.

It will be much safer for USA. For sure. (sarcasm) %)))


\\Russia is unimportant, nothing but "Zaire with permafrost":

For you? Yes. (the same as it was Germany and Japan in 30th -- I assume)
But just ask your allies on the East of Europe...

porogobot said...

>> David Brin said...
\\... but this matters not a whit to Putin et. al. who are not working for the benefit of Russia, per se, but for the Russian oligarchic mafia,

Same queston to you -- how well do you know Russia history?

Because it was ALWAYS the same way to govern that theritory... as that you foul-mouthing as "oligarchic mafia".
Current regime even is the best in compare to previous chekists mafia and way more effective then czarism mafia...


\\which in turn controls the resources and power of a nuclear-armed state.

First of all they do control state of mind of their people.


\\That mafia wins, no matter what happens to the average Russian,

No. That mafia is ONLY (realistic) hope of that average russian...
and he know it damn well. "If not Putin, then cat?" (c)
"""
Q: What realistic way to fix RFia's economy?
A: Realistic? Its when aliens come to Earth and fix it. That it'll be fixed by our government -- it's fantastical.
"""


\\if this planet falls back into feudalism ruled by mafia clans, of which Putin is confident he will be chairman.

He never have had such dreams.

What he is doing -- he sees it as "pragmatic only" responce to a current and future threats (like Oil Peak and War for Resources).

Treating him as mere lunatic is not wise.


\\An outcome already evolving as he rebuilds a new Warsaw Pact periphery of satrapies from Crimea through Ankara, Damascus, Baghdad to Tehran.

I saying it to you yet one time. Warsaw Pact -- it was a jail for nations of Eastern Europe -- NOTHING ELSE. They ever was SLAVES to USSR. "Limitrofs". "Sanitary border" between USSR and NATO.

NEVER they been treated as hanchmens, as minions. Even.

(yeah... and it is USA guilt that they was succumbed to "uncle Joe" Stalin... the same way as "ma'dam/marsh arabs"... so that treason have way lo-o-ong history)


\\Especially since he has China neutralized by selling them Siberia. And the US and Saudis neutralized by making deals with their mafias.

Daniel Duffy said...

Dr. Brin,

Intelligence estimates of international threats involve analyses of both their intentions and capabilities.

I agree with you that Putin's intentions are to restore the glory of Mother Russia and the power of the USSR (which he served loyally as a KGB colonel), destroy democracy and replace it with oligarchy.

But his capabilities are woefully inadequate for the task. With a declining and aging population, and an economy completely dependent on falling oil prices, he doesn't have the means to achieve his desired ends.

Russians play chess, and Americans play poker.

All Putin has in his hand is a busted straight. And he has managed to bluff his way to a few pots. But he can't keep doing that.

His only real capability is in cyber-warfare and agitprop. As I recall from a recent interview of a former CIA chief, we already have the means to "fry every computer" in that St. Petersburg warehouse were all of Putin's hackers work. Our cyber capabilities are vastly more extensive and far more sophisticated.

We have only to use them.

porohobot said...

>>Daniel Duffy (Duffer) said...
\\I agree with you that Putin's intentions are to restore the glory of Mother Russia and the power of the USSR (which he served loyally as a KGB colonel), destroy democracy and replace it with oligarchy.

Wro... ehm, it's not exactly right.


\\But his capabilities are woefully inadequate for the task.

First. As we assumed above -- it's not his task.

Second. He have army, he have fleet, he have powerfull secret service machine.
And its all under Great Nukelear Unbrella ever feared by USA.

What MORE capabilities he need??? for any task he can think of.


\\With a declining and aging population, and an economy completely dependent on falling oil prices, he doesn't have the means to achieve his desired ends.

I understand it well. When such things saying our ukrainian politics and experts.
We have nothing to bet. Against H-bomb. So wishfull thinking is the last resort.

Americans who are thinkin the same -- is worst possible news. %(((


\\Russians play chess, and Americans play poker.

They playing "fool". %)))))


\\All Putin has in his hand is a busted straight. And he has managed to bluff his way to a few pots. But he can't keep doing that.

He can. And he will.


\\His only real capability is in cyber-warfare and agitprop.

Yeah? And what about SS-18 Satan and nuclear uboats?


\\As I recall from a recent interview of a former CIA chief, we already have the means to "fry every computer" in that St. Petersburg warehouse were all of Putin's hackers work. Our cyber capabilities are vastly more extensive and far more sophisticated.

So what?


\\We have only to use them.

%))) And free hands for China and every other nation that ever have grudge on you?

porohobot said...

\\To see the desired outcome, see Vladimir Sorokin's DAY OF THE OPRICHNIK.

That what called on Russia "fofudia".

Pelevin's "S.N.U.F.F." (and all other Pelevin's starting from "Generetion P"(mean generation Pepsi)) is more adequate.

porohobot said...

______________Just this instant______________________
______Talking points from main RFia news channel_____

(in my free but (factually) accurate translation)

1. RFia can kill you stupid american... any time and without retaliation (because WE have new powerfull weapon) and NITHER your Anti-missile Defence NO any other your capabilities will ever save YOU.

2. And THIS simple thought MUST be delievered to EVERY american. And make him fear it. Hard. As well as to all and any USA ally and all and each member of NATO.

3. ONLY reason why it still NOT happen -- its because there is SANE people in the Kreml. But, what if they'd be overthroned or become UNsane... do YOU read THE message, stupid pindos?

4. So... policy of your damned stupid government about detterence -- do not working.
And only makes US more unstable and prone to point 3 -- do you understand?

5. So... you must think hard, and say your NO to the politics of sunctions against RFia.


PS From Russia. With Luv.

PPS Only problem with translation... what I was not able to do correct. Is intonation.

I'm unable to suppress my emotions about it. All emotional things here -- is mine.

They are... talking it as calm and self-evident... like discussing recipe of that cherry pie. (crazy) %(((((((


PPPS So... equally... I am surely unable to deliver MY message -- that NOTHING you are hoping to THREAT russians -- would EVER work.

ALL and ONLY they can be threated with -- its something REAL.
Like it was with Pershing missiles in Turkey. Like with Anti-missile System in Poland. Like Tomahawks launched from Baltic sea toward Moscow. Like new and deadly weapon given to Ukraine.


PPPPS To you Duffy Duffer... you are BUSTED your poker face ALREADY. Busted it by your "smart-ass deal" with N.Korea -- that showed HOW SCARY are to you... even not capable to reach USA missile with or more possible... without warhead.

Daniel Duffy said...

Dr. Brin,

Looks like you have been invaded by a Russian bot, and not a very intelligent or sophisticated one at that.

Can you ban it?

porohobot said...

\\Looks like you have been invaded by a Russian bot

I'm NOT fucking pizdo-russia bot. I'M UKRAINIAN BOT %)))))))))))) POROHO-BOT BU-HA-HA!!!

And yeah... its so LIKE russians -- to stigmatize ones who asks hard questions.
To say that they are mere bots,trolls,propagandists and foreign agents at all. %)))

Instead of trying understand it and to face it.

So... HOW do WE can know here... that YOU ARE american yourself???

And not some clevar russian bot -- with unrealistic rhyming name -- who sings some convenient lullabies...

porohobot said...

to Daniel Duffy

I checked your account. You are here for a long time. So my accusations are false.
As well as my foul-mouthing.

I beg my pardon.

I took it too emotionally. Your accusation that I'm russian bot. %(

Lorraine said...

I'm interested in this term "fofudia." My searches so far on fofudia (porohobot's transliteration) lead me to believe fofudia is something one wears (admittedly, this is what "urban dictionary" is telling me). Is fofudia akin to the "vatnik" subculture? What about the "pofig" subculture?

porohobot said...

\\ Is fofudia akin to the "vatnik" subculture?

Its like wearing some old, traditional outdated clothes.

Фофудья/Fofudiya -- precious eastern fabric from which sewed clothes. In the current context, the word "fofudiya" appeared in the Internet chat with the leader of the Communist Party of Ukraine Petro Symonenko, when a person pranked him with queston related to "all russians, their language, traditions are oppressed in Ukraine" narrative: "My daughter like to wear our etnic russian _fofudiya_. But evil ukrainians forbid it. Please, help us."(my translation)
https://fofudja.livejournal.com/1146278.html

Depicts (most) caricatural manifestations of russian chauvinisme.

No. Its different.
"vatnik" it usual till today working clothes (often for dirty work and cold weather)
like jeans was earlier.
Russians took some selfpraise in it. (as you can see positive connotation -- with hard working and self-sacrifice Great Generation of Russia/USSR)
While for other its just synonim to be proPutin, succumbed by state propaganda.


\\What about the "pofig" subculture?

To my knowledge its like "oh, fuck it" subculture. %)

porohobot said...

y-e-a-p! %)

David Brin said...


Lorraine, the Oprichnik novel was intended to be shocking as a cautionary tale, of course. Especially the hypocrisy of pervert sadists claiming to be agents of God.

Porohobot: “And WHO said to you, that they'll fight with you directly? Not via this proxies (like N.Korea), while staying under their Nukelear Umbrella???”

I have said this before and I agree. That is the whole and entire reason why the PRC props up the NK state, which they could end at any moment they choose.


Your question… I do know a lot of Russian history, from the Varangian/Northmen of the Rus to Novogorod and the Mongols to Ivan and the boyars to Alexander Nevsky to Peter & Catherine and the assassination of Alexander and so on. The lack of safe boundaries led to a permanent sense of insecurity and a need for buffers… and then a need for more protections for those buffers. Americans have no idea how traumatic it was, when the people of Ukraine ousted Yanukovich and turned westward. Putin swore revenge against Obama and H. Clinton… and upon all of us.


I have no doubt that the Putinists are better than the checkists and the Streltsi and the NKVD.
But they are of the same tradition, They assume that others are plotting against them and that they must plot harder and deeper.
They assume that western NGOs are agents of western governments.
They assume that the oligarchy knows best, and that any attempt to limit the oligarchy’s power must be a plot against Russia.
They believe in family above-all.
And that those who oppose the family deserve death.

That is mafia.

“No. That mafia is ONLY (realistic) hope of that average russian...
and he know it damn well. "If not Putin, then cat?" (c)”

Yes, that is the reflex. Thank you for illustrating it. That is the reflex used by every feudal society to justify its leaders.

“Treating him as mere lunatic is not wise.”

I do nothing of the sort. He is brilliant. And it is not his fault that he is incapable of grasping the meaning of the Enlightenment. The logic of Locke and Montesquieu and Adam Smith and Franklin and Jefferson will never make sense to a feudal mind, even after 200 years of enormous success.

Putin managed to put his personal agent in the US presidency. That is an accomplishment of stunning effectiveness.

“I saying it to you yet one time. Warsaw Pact -- it was a jail for nations of Eastern Europe -- NOTHING ELSE. They ever was SLAVES to USSR. "Limitrofs". "Sanitary border" between USSR and NATO.”

Of course. As I said, there is a desperate need for buffers.

Up to this point, I found the conversation interesting. But then porohobot’s postings seemed to go over the edge of a cliff.

I assume this is temporary. He is interesting enough that I will continue to try to get through the strange syntax for a while, I hope that he will climb back out.

porohobot said...

\\ I do know a lot of Russian history, from the Varangian/Northmen of the Rus to Novogorod and the Mongols to Ivan and the boyars to Alexander Nevsky to Peter & Catherine and the assassination of Alexander and so on.

Its old and romantic version of history.
What I'm talking is more recent one...
And anyway "Russia its a country with unpredictable history" -- to support that claim just one screaming example -- in 90-teens after "Archipelag GULAG" and Suvorov's "Ledocol" Stalin become notorious figure, blamed for crimes against humanity and all...
but now, Stalin again become "father of the nation", most praised of fathers-founders.


\\The lack of safe boundaries led to a permanent sense of insecurity and a need for buffers…

Interesting rationalization.
Never heared it from russians. %)


//Americans have no idea how traumatic it was, when the people of Ukraine ousted Yanukovich and turned westward. Putin swore revenge against Obama and H. Clinton… and upon all of us.

Traumatic? Maybe for Putin, yeah. As precedent of how his own reign can be finished. %)

No. All that case with "exile of YanukOvosch" was orchestrated by him.

And all "swore revenge" is just for bigger drama.

Its a play, to fool russian people... and all other World, if possible.

And as I see it -- successful.


\\But they are of the same tradition,

Yeap.

\\They assume that western NGOs are agents of western governments.

They do it JUST for their convenience.
As foreign backed NGOs was most independent and provided "bad" example for others.
And label of "foreing agents" -- it was just like that stars on jews.

\\They assume that the oligarchy knows best, and that any attempt to limit the oligarchy’s power must be a plot against Russia.

There is NO oligarchs... there is just another version of Politburo and Red Diretors.

\\They believe in family above-all.
And that those who oppose the family deserve death.

It's dramatisation and romanticisation.
They have NO such cultural traits.

Your analogy with don Capone beats geniune understanding of RFia phenomena.


\\I do nothing of the sort. He is brilliant

Its also not true.
Its like name cow shit a poison -- its not true, but then again name it precious spice -- also not true.
Shit is just shit. %)


\\And it is not his fault that he is incapable of grasping the meaning of the Enlightenment.

Just today. While listening that Russia news channel.
One of the points was exact that -- that "Enlightenment was forced on us to make as slaves, it's the core of so called Globalization"... Locum-like isn't it? %)

So... its not like he do not grasp. He... or more like his ideoligists -- are totally against it.
Trying to imprint into own people attitude of fanatic fundamentalists -- notion of all western as "foreign desease".

Yeah... I see it... if you wanna choose analog of it.
It's better to take ayatollahs as example... not Sicilian dones.

sociotard said...

I really wonder, what would happen if it came to light that Trump paid for a mistress to have an abortion. That is, after all, the sacred cow of the Evangelicals. Would they stick by him, even after he personally paid for an abortion, so long as he put roe-overturners on the court?

David Brin said...

There is nothing inconsistent about “ Stalin again become "father of the nation", most praised of fathers-founders.”

The “strong man” is the strongest of all traditions. Putin calls the fall of the USSR the “greatest tragedy in history.” Yet he erects a statue to Nicholas II, one of the worst leaders and murderers in the history of the world?

It is not egalitarian socialism that he misses about the Soviet Union, but STRENGTH!


I am sorry, but many of your other statements are very hard to understand.

But I believe you are saying that you understand my mafia reference.

Putin may understand enlightenment thoughts IN THEORY, but he rejects them as propaganda for new elites… because that is the way he thinks. He is incapable of looking at 6000 years of history and seeing that all forms of feudalism failed.

Pragmatically, the enlightenment worked and feudalism fails. But he cannot admit that. He must come up with excuses to justify a new version of feudalism.

===

Sociotard: so far all they are is rumors. I fear that Mueller made a deal to let David Pecker keep sealed the contents of the National Enquirer safe. Such a pity.

Ilithi Dragon said...

A couple notes on the Russian state news reporting that they have the capability to annihilate any threat, including the US, without fear of retaliation.

1. Anything that comes directly from the Russian state news agency should be taken with a heavy grain of salt, they have a history of heavy propaganda

2. Russia/USSR has a history of claiming capabilities that they do not have, or creating a weapon/vehicle/platform that *technically* has the greatest performance in a specific category in the world, just so that they can claim to have the "best at X," but in all actuality, the capability is a lie, or technically correct but in a platform that bent so far over backwards to achieve that specific feat, that it is marginally useful in actual capability, or good for nothing but a stunt demonstrator.

Examples include the recent Russian robot tech demo, where Russians presented an amazingly advanced and sophisticated robot that could move and dance, albeit awkwardly, and could even intelligently respond to questions from the audience. In actuality, it was a person in a robot costume.

Then there MiG-25 "Foxbat" - a supersonic jet fighter that is capable of exceeding Mach 3, and the reason why we designed and built the F-15. The problem with the MiG-25 is that, while it technically can exceed Mach 3 (one was clocked at Mach 3.2 fleeing the Israeli Air Force outbound across the Israeli border), the plane is little more than a pair of giant STEEL engines strapped to a couple wings, with a cockpit duct-taped on as an afterthought. It's operational performance in anything other than going fast in a straight line is poor, and it requires government permission to go to full power on its engines, because despite being made out of STEEL, the engines will literally melt themselves. So, yes, it can technically exceed Mach 3, once. Then the plane needs to be put in for major overhaul, or have the engines swapped out to be rebuilt.

We somehow got a couple aircraft engineers to a Russian airshow featuring the MiG-25 (I suspect the Russians knew they were there and were "showing off" their "Mach 3 fighter" on purpose), and they saw the MiG-25 performing at Mach 3, and we freaked out, because we took the Russian claims at face value, and we didn't have anything that could compete with the MiG-25. So we went all-out and ended up developing the F-15, which while it couldn't quite match the MiG-25 for speed (it could "only" exceed Mach 2.5), it was vastly superior in every other respect, and remains superior to or competitive against anything else the Soviets put into service until their latest Gen 5 stealth fighter.

Of which, they only have a handful of, and it doesn't match the performance of the F-22.

Then there is the Tsar Bomba, largest nuclear bomb ever detonated. Tested at only a half-yield, because the full yield was too large to actually deliver (the plane wouldn't be able to escape the blast radius in time). Only deliverable by plane (too large to put on an ICBM), only a handful of planes that could do it, and only one per plane. Yes, technically the largest bomb ever developed or tested. Totally impractical and non-functional as an actual weapons system.

So if Russia wants to claim that they have the capability to strike without retaliation (a lie in and of itself, because of our SSBN fleet), they are either lying about their capabilities, or making a claim that is technically-accurate-but-not-functionally-accurate, and we'll take them at face value, and develop vastly superior systems in response.

Militarily, the only thing Russia has that is a major threat to the West (or the Far East if tensions flare up over there) is their nuclear arsenal. If it actually functions (nukes have a shelf life).

Anonymous said...

Would they stick by him, even after he personally paid for an abortion

Yes.

Anonymous said...

Russia wants to claim that they have the capability to strike without retaliation

The news stories I read has Russia saying that the US couldn't strike without fear of retaliation, because their missile shield wouldn't protect them. (Which was the logic behind the ABM, IIRC: remove the temptation to strike thinking you are protected behind a missile shield.)

Duncan Cairncross said...

Hi Anonymous
The USA has NEVER had a "missile shield" that could protect against Russia - at best they were protecting against Iraq/Iran/NK sized threats

matthew said...

My conspiracy spidey sense is tingling. 911 service is out in parts of 37 states. Big transformer failures in both NY and AZ. Is someone testing capabilities? If we get a third major infrastructure weirdness in the next day or so, then I suggest looking really closely at the Blofeld Rule.

https://techcrunch.com/2018/12/28/911-service-outage-centurylink/
https://www.cnn.com/2018/12/27/us/ny-fires-con-ed-power-plant/index.html


Not really putting on the tinfoil hat yet but... it's interesting.
Eyes open.

Jon S. said...

It's kind of an open secret that the only successes our ABM system has scored has been when the whole "test" is weighted heavily in the system's favor (for instance, targeting slow-moving "missiles" silhouetted against balloons). What kept the US, the USSR, and China from open warfare against one another throughout the Cold War was Mutually Assured Destruction, a war plan with the most apt acronym ever (supposedly, Defense Secretary McNamara, when first briefed on it, responded, "What you have isn't a war plan, General! This is some kind of horrible spasm!").

And what's going to keep us safe from this magic Russian missile, assuming it even exists, is the same thing. You don't need hypersonic delivery systems; good old-fashioned ballistic missiles and super- and sub-sonic bombers would suffice. (That's one reason why I never understood the furor over North Korea developing their own huge phallic symbols to launch bombs. If they really wanted to devastate the coastal US, which is the furthest their missiles could reach even in theory, all they'd have to do is use commercial shipping vessels.)

Matthew, remember Occam's Razor. That 911 outage is because local governments always seek the cheapest solution to an issue, and CenturyLink has long provided some of the cheapest telephone and Internet service around (and worth every penny, as my father used to say). When bottom-line cost is your only concern, you can wind up using some infrastructure that is both fragile and far too interconnected. Imagine houses put together from the cheapest available lumber, held together by as few nails as you can get away with, and all assembled by whoever was willing to take minimum wage to do it - would you be surprised when the entire development is flattened by a tornado? No conspiracies needed, just politics as usual.

the hanged man said...

Where is our dear Winter? I am missing him terribly.

the hanged man said...

Mathew,

No one believes Trump anymore, but occasionally he tells the truth. He has shut down the government, just before the Dems moved in; He will be closing the border. Since the 2016 election, the republicans have been acting as though there would never be another election— that has been the plan all along.

My spidey sense is tingling, too

Larry Hart said...

the hanged man:

Since the 2016 election, the republicans have been acting as though there would never be another election— that has been the plan all along.


Well, that plan has already failed in 2018. If that's the plan all along, then Trump isn't the only fool among them.

porohobot said...

\\It is not egalitarian socialism that he misses about the Soviet Union, but STRENGTH!

It's just propaganda... of old good times. When we was united. And was able to overcome our enemies.

Yes. It's like nazi propaganda. (if you still don't see it yourself)

So. Putin is NOT mafia. Putin is (wanna be) fascist. (with all the GOOD things like yes strength, respect, autobans, lebensraum... and NO bad -- like jews slayed and defeat in war)

That's the core message I as ukrainian want to deliver to you (to americans, to all world).

I wrote it in short sentencies. Hope it more easy to understand that way.

porohobot said...

\\A couple notes on the Russian state news reporting that they have the capability to annihilate any threat, including the US, without fear of retaliation.

It's internal propaganda.
The SAME way as propaganda of "wonderwaffe"/miracle-weapon in Nazi Germany in late WW2.
Putin's speech on 1st of March of this year -- it exactly about that -- "do not fear my little citizens, WE HAVE WEAPON(s) so great, that nobody could withstand US".

And my point here -- any policy of deterrence devised by USA,
with sanctions or other staff,
will NOT work... while such propaganda DO work on russians.

On germans it was working till the very end -- while old gizers of folksturm and hitler-youth was dieing under US and USSR tanks.


\\1. Anything that comes directly from the Russian state news agency should be taken with a heavy grain of salt, they have a history of heavy propaganda

They have NO news agencies... only propaganga agencies today.
Because they believe they IN WAR with all World around.
So it's war time propaganda needed, they believe.


\\2. Russia/USSR has a history of claiming capabilities that they do not have...

It's true.
But current RFia its not USSR... while USSR was all bark and no bite.
But most often of Putin's claims today is "while we cannot confront USA directly... we can do it asymmetrically".
And they doing it... in Syria, in Ukraine... with Polonium and Novichok... etc.


\\Examples include the recent Russian robot tech demo

It's anecdotal evidance.
Same as "north koreans was sending astonauts to the Sun". %)


\\the plane is little more than a pair of giant STEEL engines strapped to a couple wings, with a cockpit duct-taped on as an afterthought.

So what? %)
Black Bird leaking fuel for example ;) %P


\\it was vastly superior in every other respect, and remains superior to or competitive against anything else the Soviets put into service until their latest Gen 5 stealth fighter.

Russians still do boast that their Su-27 far better... "because of integrted hull". %) %P


\\Of which, they only have a handful of, and it doesn't match the performance of the F-22.

They have NONE. %P
Its all just "war time tricks" their officers taught in their war academies.


\\Then there is the Tsar Bomba, largest nuclear bomb... Totally impractical and non-functional as an actual weapons system.

Even when installed on their Saharov's Neptune Super-Torpido?
Especially when with cobalt shell?



\\So if Russia wants to claim that they have the capability to strike without retaliation (a lie in and of itself, because of our SSBN fleet), they are either lying about their capabilities, or making a claim that is technically-accurate-but-not-functionally-accurate, and we'll take them at face value, and develop vastly superior systems in response.

You don't see what a problem here, isn't it?

Their people do not know, do not believe in YOUR claim.
So... Putin have totally free hands to do anything he want.
While YOUR presidents are bent with rules.

And HE successfully playing on it.


\\Militarily, the only thing Russia has that is a major threat to the West (or the Far East if tensions flare up over there) is their nuclear arsenal. If it actually functions (nukes have a shelf life).

Why you don't see it? While it's so simple.

They can give nukes to terrorists. Or make terroristic attack on its own.

And be safe with it. Denying it and vetoing it in UN Council.

porohobot said...

>> Anonymous Anonymous said...
\\\\Russia wants to claim that they have the capability to strike without retaliation

\\The news stories I read has Russia saying that the US couldn't strike without fear of retaliation, because their missile shield wouldn't protect them. (Which was the logic behind the ABM, IIRC: remove the temptation to strike thinking you are protected behind a missile shield.)

It's for external use. To show "peacefull policy of RFia to all good people of the World". To show "it's USA who are warmongers... with their militaristic claims of world domination... not us".

The internal propaganda is THAT I showed above.


>> Jon S. said...
\\And what's going to keep us safe from this magic Russian missile, assuming it even exists, is the same thing. You don't need hypersonic delivery systems; good old-fashioned ballistic missiles and super- and sub-sonic bombers would suffice.

Yeap.
But only when you know... and can prove (what Putin's pedaling, hard... you didn't think, why?)
who was culprit.

But what if it was launched from international waters?
Or from Africa? N.Korea?


\\North Korea developing their own huge phallic symbols to launch bombs. If they really wanted to devastate the coastal US, which is the furthest their missiles could reach even in theory, all they'd have to do is use commercial shipping vessels.

You said it.

porohobot said...

But the quality of the Russian military is not the point. What is important, at least in the context of a broader discussion on comparative nuclear posture, is that 20 years ago, when Russia was militarily inferior to the United States, the Russian leadership embraced a policy of nuclear “de-escalation,” which envisioned the early use of tactical nuclear weapons by Russia to offset the conventional military advantages enjoyed by the United States and NATO. Through this policy, Russia sought to leverage its strong capabilities in tactical nuclear weapons by making the cost of regional engagement too high for any potential opponent. The policy of nuclear de-escalation was born during the time of the Chechen crisis, in the late 1990s, when Russia feared the possibility of Western intervention in that conflict. It served as the backbone of Russia’s nuclear posture in both 2008 and 2014, when Russia intervened in Georgia and Ukraine [sic], respectively. And it backed up Russia’s decision to intervene in Syria in 2015.

This Russian nuclear policy was noted in the 2018 U.S. Nuclear Posture Review, which said that “Russian strategy and doctrine emphasize the potential coercive and military uses of nuclear weapons. It mistakenly assesses that the threat of nuclear escalation or actual first use of nuclear weapons would serve to ‘de-escalate’ a conflict on terms favorable to Russia. These mistaken perceptions increase the prospect for dangerous miscalculation and escalation.”



Article of obvious putinferstainer and usefull idiot... but still makes a good points.

yana said...


Orange guy came to power claiming to "turn the economy around." Sounded odd, since the economy was doing just fine. Now we know what erraticism at the top does to a complex economy: large markets down 10% in his second year, and a surge in smuggling. In the broader sense, when leadership is a moral vacuum then mercenary economics can lodge a higher bid. In the particular sense, it's about six months until we see Dem challengers start to emerge. Their only winning message versus orange guy is "Return To Stability" so god help them, finding a candidate who fits the plank but can also yak the yak.

On the Rep side, there are three possibilities. After the clown show, a few centrists may coalesce into a 2-white-male ticket which can win a primary. Or else, it's full frontal clownshow with orange guy finally figuring out how to take over state conventions via Twitter. Or else, bored by the workload cutting into golf, with HR subcommittees getting closer every month, orange guy might not even want 4more. 22 months out, and looks like a 30% chance that the orange guy won't even be on the ballot.

That could be the worst possible outcome for the Dems. Their winning message in 2020 is that you can poke the world economy along a jalopy track of boom-bust, but we can manage it carefully, like Obama did. Without the orange guy as a fop, a foil, then this core message founders. And if a message flops on the deck, you need a chatty amiable huckster. Booker 2020.

porohobot said...

But the quality of the Russian military is not the point.

Damn, forgot how to write tags. %)

yana said...

I think "%)" means "oops", in case that helps anyone. Other than that, Distract! Distract!

porohobot said...

Hmm... I always used it as "crazy smile" smailey/emoticom

Mike Will said...

I have zero contributions to the (endless) Russian discussion. If we're all glowing dust, then humanism, scientific literacy, and computational citizen science have failed. Until then, Calculemus!


Enjoying "Foundation's Triumph". Go Seldon. Go Jimmy Carter.

porohobot said...

\\If we're all glowing dust, then humanism, scientific literacy, and computational citizen science have failed.

Psychology... must be part of decision.
And we need to learn how to become proficient in it too.
And to much larger scale. Not only separate person, but whole nations.

As what Putin (and not him alone... I hope you'd understand my wink)
doing with RFia people -- its classical double bind -- we did nothing wrong (as country)... but we must be proud of what we did (as country).

Larry Hart said...

porohobot:

So. Putin is NOT mafia. Putin is (wanna be) fascist. (with all the GOOD things like yes strength, respect, autobans, lebensraum... and NO bad -- like jews slayed and defeat in war)


Interesting way of looking at it. Also (in my opinion) futile, because the "good" parts of Naziism seem more incidental to the philosophy--things that could be done under many different forms of government--while the bad parts (oppression/killing of "inferiors" and defeat in war) are necessary corollaries to Naziism itself. The dehumanization and scapegoating of "others" is an essential component of the form, and one which inevitably unites all "others" against the reich as a matter of survival.

Larry Hart said...

porohobot:

It's anecdotal evidance.
Same as "north koreans was sending astonauts to the Sun". %)


Did they go at night, when it would be cooler? :)

David Brin said...

"So. Putin is NOT mafia. Putin is (wanna be) fascist."

Nonsense. The two are very, very closely affiliated. Both emphasize tribal identity. Both murder all opposition. Both have utter contempt for any concept of accountability to law.

Fascism has a bit more of a political tone, in that seizing the powers of the state is primary, followed by destruction of foreign enemies.

A mafia is the same, except it may be more willing to control the state by surreptitious means.

There is a reason why "mafia" is a more general term. No one would call the oppressive-royalist Saudis "fascist." Because thei have a monarchal flavor of legitimacy. But every behavior is that of a very very rich mob. ANd if you read DAY OF THE OPRICHNIK you can see why that is Putin's long term aim, as well.

All have the central goal of permanent feudalism. See another variant in THE HANDMAID'S TALE.

David Brin said...

onward

onward

Ayman Fadel said...

People should take a listen to President Carter's July 15, 1979: "Crisis of Confidence" speech.

https://millercenter.org/the-presidency/presidential-speeches/july-15-1979-crisis-confidence-speech

IMO, it describes the disintegration of the dream of a United States where people support each other into the ongoing nightmare of individual self-promotion through consumption.