VIDEO: Yellow Journalism & The Demand Drought

Adam Taggart
By Adam Taggart on Thu, Sep 4, 2014 - 7:42pm

Here's Chris' most recent weekly update video, in which he addresses the displaying lack of evidence the Western press is using to justify its position on the events in Ukraine.

He also addresses the recent report by Brian Pretti which exposes the fundamental shortcoming of the global economy: the lack of final demand.

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42 Comments

Atreat's picture
Atreat
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Confirmation appreciated

Thanks for the confirmation that indeed no evidence supports the assertions of Russian aggression at this point.  Propaganda can be slippery, presented with conclusions that are really just unbacked assertions or outright lies,it is assumed that somewhere the evidence exists and that our "trusted"  journalists are simply reporting these reasonable conclusions.  I know many intelligent people who assume just that.  I have done plenty of it myself, but have become wiser to the game over the last decade or so.

The layers are interesting as well.  No one I speak to has any awareness of our overt destabilization of the then existing political structure in Ukraine leading up to all this nor the inherent threat that any powerful nation state would perceive when an opposing alliance advances to its border as NATO is trying to do against historical promises.  Putin may well intercede when circumstanes suit him, but what else should be expected?

 

Thetallestmanonearth's picture
Thetallestmanonearth
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Putin

I agree that there is an embarrassing amount of propaganda, misinformation and outright lies on the part of the US, NATO and main-stream-media.  What is shameful is how many people buy into it without digging deeper.  I've given up on discussing the topic like I have with many topics before it.  Most Americans just want the entertainment version of the news and have forgotten about substance.

I am concerned about the alt-media putting Putin up on a pedestal however.  I don't think that is what Chris has done in this video, but I am seeing it all over the internet these days.  Putin, though clearly a better player, is still moving the pawns around the board in the interest of the agenda he adheres to.  He doesn't seem any more benevolent to me than any of the other players at the board.  I say we bite all their fingers when they reach for us contemplating their next move.  At times like these we need to be very careful who we idolize.  We are approaching a phase change and during such events people are overly susceptible to giving power to men who don't serve their best interests.

cmartenson's picture
cmartenson
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No pedestal, but some admiration
Thetallestmanonearth wrote:

I am concerned about the alt-media putting Putin up on a pedestal however.  

No pedestal placing going on here on my end, but I do confess to having a big soft spot for those who can keep their sense of humor.

As the preposterous and unsubstantiated claims of a Russian invasion by the western media and power brokers mount, you might imagine Russia becoming rattled or perhaps cranky.

Maybe they are, but this tweet from the Russian embassy made me chuckle as they offered up evidence of a Russian invasion to match the quality of the claims from the west:

(Source

Yep.  I do admire that sort of response.  I got a good laugh out that.

Arthur Robey's picture
Arthur Robey
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The Solution to many Embarassments

This is getting scary.

There many motives coalescing towards one solution.

It is 2am here internet traffic is at a minimum and there is a problem with Chris's video? I shall try again later. I am becoming paranoid.

To fill in the interlude, here is a video from RT. They seem to have the story right.

I would like to remind NATO and the Neocons that if they are trying to tame the Bear by forcing him to spend up big on conventional weapons there is much cheaper option for waging war.

I am repulsed by pink pansy politicians and bankers who are prepared to destroy the world in order to save their useless  parasitical skins. An advanced parasite does not destroy it's host.

Arthur Robey's picture
Arthur Robey
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In Stereo.

My paranoia was unfounded- the video came through.

I am getting the message in surround sound.

I wish I knew what percentage of the population had the same allergic reaction I had when I listened to some MSM hack on the news today. The steady stream of lies was unbearable. (Has anyone got a stronger word than "lies" that is polite?)

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Time2help
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In Stereo
Arthur Robey wrote:

I wish I knew what percentage of the population had the same allergic reaction I had when I listened to some MSM hack on the news today. The steady stream of lies was unbearable. (Has anyone got a stronger word than "lies" that is polite?)

Nope, it's all bulls#*t.

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Yellow Journalism, finally a credible voice on Ukraine

Just listened to Democracy Now's Amy Goodman interview with Dr. Stephan Cohen, a noted Russian expert, who largely supported Chris's point of view on the Ukraine situation.  

davefairtex's picture
davefairtex
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NATO evidence

Did a google search on evidence for Russian Incursion.  Here's what I found:

http://usnato.tumblr.com/post/96003086125/new-satellite-imagery-exposes-russian-combat-troops

The article contains marked up photos from that company you mentioned.  Most of the pictures seem to be self-propelled artillery deployed with the guns pointing into Ukraine.

I had a thought.  Let's assume Russia is run by smart people who want to retain plausible deniability for as long as possible.  Under that assumption, if I were tasked with the mission of getting a brigade or two of light troops into a nearby area without having them show up on satellite photos, how would I do it?

I'd probably send my light forces in small groups.  I wouldn't send combat vehicles.  Or if I did, I'd send them one at a time.  And the troops would go in one truck at a time as well - one squad of light infantry per truck.  Now this assumes Russians care about deniability, and it assumes they're being clever rather than stupid.   Lastly, it assumes they're ok with taking a few weeks to move the brigades, and they aren't worried about the brigade having to fight as a unit on its way into the country.

If I wanted to be even sneakier, once in country, I'd integrate rebels with my forces, and let them do all the talking whenever we deployed.  Call it "advisors plus."

The one wrinkle: brigade artillery is really useful to have to support your light troops, and it is hard to hide.  Artillery would definitely show up on photos.

Regarding MH-17 - the fact the west hasn't released the data just smells bad to me.  I must therefore assume it implicates "the wrong people", just as Russia suggests.

So my opinion is, I think both situations can be true: Russians are there on the ground, in force, without showing up on satellite - but mostly with light forces, and perhaps a small force of tanks they snuck in one at a time.  And NATO and the west is suppressing evidence on MH-17.

I also think if the west allows Ukraine to join NATO, we're just idiots.  I mean really, words fail me.  Giving those corrupt oligarchs our defense guarantees is just painfully stupid.  Give the whole place to Russia and good riddance.  They can cough up the billions per year and hand them to corrupt oligarchs and we'll all call it a day.

Just once I'd like someone else to back the corrupt oligarch and write the check.  Can't we be like Br'er Rabbit: "oh please don't throw me into that briar patch?"
 

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Yesterday morning, Irish

Yesterday morning, Irish national radio RTE, actually interviewed political science Professor Mearsheimer of

of University of Chicago, also supporting, with authoritative article in " Foreign Affairs ",  Chris's position.

RTE not normally known for lateral thinking.

 

cmartenson's picture
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About those photos
davefairtex wrote:

Did a google search on evidence for Russian Incursion.  Here's what I found:

http://usnato.tumblr.com/post/96003086125/new-satellite-imagery-exposes-russian-combat-troops

The article contains marked up photos from that company you mentioned.  Most of the pictures seem to be self-propelled artillery deployed with the guns pointing into Ukraine.

(...)

Those photos you linked to are the only ones and they come to us courtesy of SHAPE public affairs (Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe) and they raised my hackles...

Why is SHAPE using Digital Globe photos?

Why is SHAPE not releasing highly detailed images from European and US satellite assets?  After all, the various news articles spoke of "two armored columns" which, as the Russian's rather humorously and accurately pointed out, would require a large assortment of different vehicle types.  

So, again, no photos = no armored columns.

Now is it possible that Russia has boots on the ground in there?  Count on it.  We already know that Russia has allowed refugees from the two afflicted regions to cross the border into Russia and it's certainly highly probable that they also allowed some fighting age folks to go back ... with a proper kit of equipment we'd guess.

So there are those people.

And then there are almost certainly other assorted Russians, probably of the highly trained sort...but again I don't think this is brigade level because I have not yet seen any evidence of that many Russians kicking around in Ukraine.  It's possible, as you describe, that they are blending in but until I have evidence of some sort, I'm on the fence about that idea.  

I have been viewing a lot of source material scanning for materiel and manpower and there are a lot of journalists reporting from Ukraine...just very few of them westerners for whatever reason.

Here's one interesting source, which describes horrible morale in the Ukrainian forces and postulates that disgruntled Kiev fighters may be heading home to start Maidan-3 but this time with machine guns.

Note that this is obviously a very heavily Russian slanted newscast and I do *not* take it at face value.  Rather I am watching for what Russians are being told and for whatever I can glean from the images.

Still, that video is about as far from the US/EU position as you can get...and that's notable all on its own.

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russian incursions

So my whole point was that the Russians have definitely staged their incursion, that photos were not necessary to conclude this (and that the lack of photos is not particularly suspicious to me, it just means the Russians care about deniability) - and indeed, photos are not likely to be forthcoming unless it was a group of really useful vehicles such as a platoon or two of self-propelled artillery, which dutifully showed up on those commercial satellite photos.  So the only question in my mind is, how many Russians are there, and what is their role.

I say a brigade or two, you say less - or maybe you aren't sure.  But I don't think the brigades are operating as brigade-sized units.  Instead, I think they're more spread out, blending in, acting as a stiffening and training core force for each rebel group.  And if the Russians were careful to select their soldiers, it might be exceedingly difficult for anyone outside of Russia and Ukraine to tell the Russians from the Eastern Ukranians.

Ultimately, it comes down to a matter of motivation.  If this is seen by Putin as a matter of Russian national interest, prestige, and pride (and I think it is all of those things), he'll send as many troops as he can possibly manage to squeeze into the area while retaining a modicum of deniability.

From what I understand, his popularity inside the country originally came from his - shall we call it "strong" leadership during the 2nd Chechen War.  He's still the same guy, but he's operating far more in the presence of cameras than he was in Chechnya, so he is treading more carefully.

But he's still the same guy.

The fact that the fight in Ukraine turned so swiftly and conclusively for the rebels suggests to me there was a new factor injected into the conflict.  My guess: Russians waited for the untrained Ukrainian army to commit itself, and then once it did, the Russians came out of the woodwork helping the rebels in their counter-attack.

To me its an interesting discussion - how many troops are there, what are they doing, etc - but it is dwarfed by the horribly misguided policy decision to even engage in such a place.  THAT is what I think is missing from the press these days; not challenges about missing photo recon evidence from KH satellites, but challenges to the basic policy we've put in place.  Its like two 10-year trillion-dollar wars against third world countries weren't enough for us, now we want one with a well-equipped nuclear nation right on their doorstep, in an area of clear national interest to them.  Oh, and with a very long history of resisting just this sort of thing.

Mind-boggling.

Arthur Robey's picture
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Evidence, as if we need it.

Leaked docs show cozy relationship with "embedded" MSM journalists.

Arthur Robey's picture
Arthur Robey
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Toys for Big Boys.

This is not the sort of weapon that you can buy at the corner shop. And those operators are not autodidacts.

Russia is up to its hips in this. But then, all naivety has long been washed out of the Russian genepool.

I find it interesting that the reporter is South African. Probably Capetown if I have the accent pinned down.

Edit: Read the comments section. It looks as though my interpretation is incorrect after all.

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Arthur Robey
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Bigger Toys.

Here is a video of the more up-to-date BM-30. A completely different beastie.

It looks as though the Grad launcher can be bought from the corner shop after all. I was too easily impressed.

( In case any young men are attracted by NATO's pay and conditions, you had better look at this video.)

Arthur Robey's picture
Arthur Robey
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The Council of Foreign Affairs and Satan.

The CFR is often cited as a Neocon think tank. They have demolished that reputation with this piece.

According to the prevailing wisdom in the West, the Ukraine crisis can be blamed almost entirely on Russian aggression. Russian President Vladimir Putin, the argument goes, annexed Crimea out of a long-standing desire to resuscitate the Soviet empire, and he may eventually go after the rest of Ukraine, as well as other countries in eastern Europe. In this view, the ouster of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych in February 2014 merely provided a pretext for Putin’s decision to order Russian forces to seize part of Ukraine.

But this account is wrong: the United States and its European allies share most of the responsibility for the crisis.

 

It looks as though I owe somebody an apology. But if it isn't the Neocons then what is driving this Meme? My next best guess is that it is a perfect example of a mental virus that has infected the herd. And that is my definition of Satan.

Unless of cause this is disinformation whose purpose is to distance the CFA from the enormity of the consequences of their actions.

In which case I owe no-one an apology.

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...and China

The top three and arguably the US, Japan, and China is the world economy. It takes no stretch of the imagination to see final demand may never recover from its glory days, ever, but, as an open society I will nod a little to the prospects for the US as the Hispanic populations and opening our borders to the best and brightest will always benefit the US over our closed society Asia counter parts.

Regarding "0" news: It is a terrible shame as you intimated, of course, and very suspicious. Then again, it is a war torn area and suppression of any information and the gleaning of how this information has been gathered has in my mind made this a classified affair. For the in the "need to know" crowd so I am not even concerned really. That's war.

I don't need photo's of a Russian Division and its supply train to guess Russia is extremely active in the Ukraine. Eastern Ukraine's are not supplying their own weapons are they? I can easily surmise that Russia is active in this region. I even agree that it is in their best interest to take a stand here but they will have to weigh this against their treasury and will have to suffer whatever responses made against them by the world leaders (the West) and in particular "The Cell" working at the US Treasury. Russia is going to lose the world opinion battle whether she likes it or not and ruin her economy in the process. Oh well, that's just the silliness of greed and stolen treasures by the oligarch. I shed no tears. I even laugh at the relationship of China and Russia as if their history of coexisting together over time has been so intimate. Their not the US and Canada after all.

Russia is guilty and so are we to any imagined thought here at this site. Its War.

The BRICS will fall apart as China will be in no shape to support the exporting countries and demand for commodities. She will need energy and is why her and Russia decided to jump into their pj's and have a slumber party. No other reason than that. Talk about Debt, 24 Trillion since 2000. Do you know how much a Trillion is? This site provided me with some serious visuals. The Crash Course is genius. 

Lastly, it is DEBT and Debt alone that will blow apart this ponzi scheme and just a matter of time. I am a mean reversion believer so I am highly confident that when not if the sh#t hits the fan that "mean" will be passed through to the downside and cause " the greatest transfer of wealth" the world has ever seen. S&P 450 then? 

http://wolfstreet.com/2014/09/02/the-sky-is-falling-on-chinese-corporations/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/30/russia-economy-recession_n_5238879.html

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Arthur Robey
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Russia and China.

Russia and China may not be perfect bedfellows but they have got each others backs.

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JayPaul
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???...

Russia is terribly dependent on oil and natural gas for their treasury. So, I have read that a large percentage of their treasury comes from Europe, and China is still a pipe dream, literally, as she hasn't the infrastructure to handle the table napkin agreement between the two nations. What this tells me is that the Ukraine is still a negotiated cease fire away from Europe getting their gas and Russia its treasury. Everything else is a kids game played by idiots.  Everything else is status quo BS in my view and a senseless game except Russia gets to show off Putin's considerable skills in calisthenics and self defense, all vulnerable to world perception. Money talks, BS walks is a saying and Putin just might want to step back a bit as all he has going for him is his nuclear stock piles. He isn't that stupid, right? If the world thinks so then his people just might too and Putin's love affair with his comrades just might take an Obama hit and he will find that he isn't as loved as he needs to be. Talk about a Man who needs his binky all the time, that's Putin. Then again, I feel this for all politicians the world over. Europe will get its gas, I am fairly confident.

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or...

the troops already were in country with equipment as I am pretty certain that Cremia was planned for many months in advance and the best way to go undetected is to have been in place before you started blowing things up! Plausible, yes? To stay busy they did recon missions and set up cells at different locations and all because they had a plan. I think Russia is formidable so are convinced they move as they wish.

Mr.DaveF., just wanted to share my opinion and wasn't intended to cast your thoughts as incomplete, they weren't. This will probably be my last posting here, this subject is one I care about and so commented.

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nuclear confrontation over Ukraine??

When it comes down to cases, Russia cares a lot more about Ukraine than the United States does.  That's the fundamental truth underlying this whole situation, and everyone on both sides knows this.  The opposite was true during the Cuban missile crisis.  The US had far more of a direct interest in Cuba than Russia did.

If faced with the ultimate challenge, Obama - or any US leader - would back down on a nuclear confrontation over Ukraine with Russia, simply because in the final analysis, we just don't care all that much.  All our thoughts about "policy" and "precedent" would go right out the window.  A face-saving solution would be found, we'd declare some sort of 1972 Vietnam-style victory and then go home.

So my thought is, why even bother "going there" (or heck, why even head in that general direction) in the first place if you know where the moves will all end up?  Just look ahead on the chessboard half a dozen moves, see where it will all lead, summon some political courage and abandon the effort before someone's nose really gets rubbed in the poop.  One possible solution: "OMG ISIS is a huge problem!"  Pivot the news cycle to Iraq, quietly tell Yats he has to settle on autonomy for eastern Ukraine, or else he's out.  Western Europe will breathe a huge sigh of relief.  Eastern Europe may not be nearly so happy.

Putin is a man who believes that hard power solves problems.  Russian people are historically adept at weathering hard times.  Contrast that with Germany and especially France; "what, work more than 35 hours per week?  Revolution first!"  If push comes to shove, Europe will fold long before Russia does on this matter.  No gas revenues may cause problems, but honestly, the Russian people overall are a lot better at sucking up bad news and weathering storms than people in the west.  And historically, external threats always unite people against their perceived attacker.  And at the end of the day - we really just don't care about Ukraine.

We should just look a few moves ahead, examine the balance of forces, and see where this all will inevitably end up.  Is that too much to ask?

 

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JayPaul
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Correct, and the Russian people proved their resilence...

and I respect them very much for their examples to us. They went through an insolvency in our generation, and Putin seems to have them all running in the same direction, so kudos to him. My hope, direct our affairs elsewhere and quietly set this aside through negotiations and give this one to Putin. No big deal which aligns me with your over all thoughts Dave. Truth is, I haven't read anything from you that fundamentally I disagree with. How refreshing. JP

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davefairtex
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thanks JP

Thanks for your kind words JP.

I don't think "giving this one to Putin" is consequence-free for him.  The more territory he ends up grabbing, the more he will end up alarming his neighbors and pushing them further towards the west, re-invigorating NATO (which took a month to get it together enough to bomb nearby third-world-Libya), and generally looking like the Russian Menace of old.

Perhaps that's the intent of the US Deep State in all this.  Place Putin in a position where he predictably growls and grabs territory that we ultimately don't care about in order to spin up NATO and the west once again.  I don't think its a great idea, but the US defense budget is being cut, so perhaps I'm just not seeing things from their side clearly enough.

Here's an article from Stars & Stripes, dated April 2013, which provides some perspective.  Right now, NATO struggles to scrape up a multi-nation "rapid reaction force" of brigade strength.  At the peak of the cold war, NATO had 20 armored divisions (there are 3-4 brigades per division) stationed in Germany.

http://www.stripes.com/news/us-army-s-last-tanks-depart-from-germany-1.214977

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Arthur Robey
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The Wolfowitz Doctrine

Dr Paul Craig Roberts explains that the Ukrainian situation is a direct consequence of the Wolfowitz doctrine.

The doctrine states that the USA must not allow any other Power in the world, therefore as a logical consequence the world is committed to nuclear holocaust. (Good one, Left Brain).

So it is not me that is mad. It is the rest of you. The world is clinically insane. The more insane, the more talented. You don't get to the top by being normal.

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JayPaul
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Thanks for the article...

the webs we weave to deceive is at work in spades, and again I agree that there's more (always) to these games than meets the eye.   

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Arthur Robey
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Slav point of view.

I have spoken to the mother of the third child. She is Moldovan with strong connections to the Ukraine. This is a Slav on Slav war, and both sides point the finger of blame at the USA.

The propaganda war might convince a minority of patriots in the West, but the dung won't stick on Slavs.

I would love to be a fly on the wall at a Serbian family gathering.

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Putin

Here is a detailed, if somewhat dated article on Putin's reign.

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2011/12/19/the-civil-archipelago?curre...

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Have to admire Putin

I think that other then what seemed like some annoyance at the undignified collapse of Ukraine's pro-Russian government and looking a little self conscious when Crimea jumped into his lap and gave him a big, slobbery, kiss on the lips, he has been playing this thing with a great deal of precision and skill. The tone of Obama's voice and the cast of his shoulders during his last appearance suggested a man that is hoping that he will be allowed to walk away, hat in hand, without specifically asking to be excused.  As fall turns in to winter, the temperature falls and the pressure mounts, it will be interesting to see of Putin magnanimously settles for autonomy for Ukraine's eastern provinces, or is going to play hardball and demand that Germany come to his bed as a concubine.

The United States, on the other hand, was unable to maintain control of Iraq, won't be able to maintain control of Afghanistan, was unable to influence Israel and is more and more apparently becoming irrelevant in Europe.  We are ignorant, broke, and have a delusional sense of entitlement.

I am finding this all to be fascinating.  It used to be terrifying.  After a great deal of analysis I realized that the likelihood of my surviving a grid down shit storm was essentially zero, now anything less then that looks pretty good.

Looking forward to seeing what happens next,

John G 

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In politics, is having skill enough to merit admiration?

Hi John G,

While you make it clear that you admire Putin for his skill, there is some lack of clarity about the difference between Putin's skill and his goodness among the comment sections in the alternative media.  In some of these threads (e.g. ZeroHedge) many commenters cheer Putin on as if he were a hero, apparently because they are frustrated with Obama - or US policy in general - and see Putin as the anti-Obama.

Putin is probably ahead of the US/Obama in terms of strategy and positioning, although he has an easier time with this because he's operating in a sphere of influence very close to his political and military power base whereas the West is reaching almost certainly beyond its area of influence.  Also, he is not as overextended or as willing to take on risk as American foreign policy seems to be, partly because Russia experienced a type of defeat in 1989, whereas many in the West claimed that we "won."

But admiring someone for political or strategic skill or ability is very different than admiring someone for their goodness.  I think I'd reserve the use of the term "admire" with respect to political leaders only when they're doing something that I considered to exceptionally and clearly good, which means that I don't use that term very often in a national political context.  :)

I might use the term "admire" to describe the skills of carpenters or basketball players or musicians, but I can't say that I find skillful political maneuvering very admirable unless it's for an exceptionally worthy cause, such as Gandhi's peaceful independence movement.  

For better or for worse, skill in politics often entails a lot of very un-admirable and Machiavellian lapses in honesty, corrupt bargains and even violations of human rights.  Anyone familiar with Putin's leadership is aware that his regime has engaged in all of the above on several occasions.

Another example of Putin's effectiveness is his cultivation of his image in a way that carries some echoes of the the cult of personality that Krushchev warned against.  Playing the macho-man and raining bombs upon Grozny may be popular among the majority of Russians, but it's not admirable.

According to Machiavelli's criteria, Putin is a more successful prince than the current leadership in Washington only because he is more effective.  However, this says nothing about Putin's goodness.

I am content to admire the good qualities of the people and culture of both the US and Russia and at the same time very much mistrust the political regimes in these superpowers.

I certainly agree with the significance that you attribute to the conflict.  While it seems that most contracting or collapsing civilizations fall into rivalry and warfare (as if expanding societies didn't also do this...), I hope that we can stave off another massive war for at least a few more decades, if not longer.  Here's to hoping...

Hugh

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Goodness

Hi Hugh,

I can offer no opinion as to the "goodness" of Mr Putin, I have no personal experience of him.  He does seem to be an effective politician and tactician. 

I don't think that many will dispute the value among humans of the quality of "goodness".  I am concerned that we are heading into a time when the evidence would seem to suggest that some substantial portion of the human race is going to go away, one way or another.  It would be nice if we could get together as a species and agree to limit our population growth to one fifth of zero population growth for a couple of generations, but I don't think it's likely.

So, recognizing that the world is heading into a very dangerous time, I think it hardly surprising that people in the west might envy the Russians.  For my part, I think it would be reassuring to look to the helm and see a steely eyed person with apparent confidence and skill, piloting the ship of state, rather then the three ring circus of finger pointing, name calling buffoons that we seem to be blessed with as "leaders".

John G

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Putin Titbit:  The Irish

Putin Titbit:  The Irish Independent recently ( really must learn how post these ) stated it was common knowledge in diplomatic circles, that Putin lies as easily as he breaths, promises one thing, and does another and is generally a transparently shifty fellow.  I've also read at least one book on him that that convinces he's done the nastiest things or approved them.   However, I still believe he's generally right about the Ukarine and the " West"  wrong.

Other "Irish Independent' Titbit:  the Euro's gonna crumble because of high level parting of ways between French and German opinion leaders.  Basically, the Germans believe in saving, the French in spending and won't accept being bossed by Germans much longer.  Since these two are the Eurozone's core, it's over.

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HughK
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Joined: Mar 6 2012
Posts: 763
competent leadership versus consolidating power
jgritter wrote:

Hi Hugh,

I can offer no opinion as to the "goodness" of Mr Putin, I have no personal experience of him.  He does seem to be an effective politician and tactician. 

I don't think that many will dispute the value among humans of the quality of "goodness".  I am concerned that we are heading into a time when the evidence would seem to suggest that some substantial portion of the human race is going to go away, one way or another.  It would be nice if we could get together as a species and agree to limit our population growth to one fifth of zero population growth for a couple of generations, but I don't think it's likely.

So, recognizing that the world is heading into a very dangerous time, I think it hardly surprising that people in the west might envy the Russians.  For my part, I think it would be reassuring to look to the helm and see a steely eyed person with apparent confidence and skill, piloting the ship of state, rather then the three ring circus of finger pointing, name calling buffoons that we seem to be blessed with as "leaders".

John G

Fair points, John.

I agree that we have no basis for judging Putin as an individual, but that is not the point.  We do have a decent amount of information on which we can judge the policies of most political leaders in terms of their goodness or badness, and although there will clearly be disagreement on what those terms mean in the context of public policy.  Nonetheless, most people would agree that Gandhi, on one extreme, advocated for good political action and that Hitler and Stalin committed a number of bad actions.  I'm not obsessed with trying to do that with each leader, as most are somewhere in between in much grayer area.  But, we have a great deal of information about what Putin, Obama, and other political leaders have done while in office, and so we do have a basis for assessing whether any of these leaders merits admiration due to their goodness, by which we mean - for political leaders - the goodness of their policies. 

In your second paragraph, you have recognized that Putin is like almost all other contemporary politicians in that he is doing very little in order to organize a well-informed response to limits to growth.  So, like Obama, Putin is responding to short-term problems but not taking any significant long-term measures to address the really big limits to growth problems that we face.  For an example of this, see Putin's handling of the 2010 Russian heat wave and wildfires that killed about 55,000 people.  One of the consequences of conferring power onto a new nobility and using public forests as private piggybanks is that the the Russian government did not effectively fight these forest fires, and that people were very angry at the government about that.  Does this look like a confident and steely-eyed leader piloting the ship of state?

Putin, of course, is not used to solving tricky problems like heat waves and forest fires.  It's much easier to solve problems with faces, so to speak.  If Putin can identify the American government or Chechens as the problem, than he's in his element.  But, if you're looking for long-term, visionary responses to limits to growth, such as increasing odds of freak heat waves and the concomitant forest fires, then you are right that we'll have to look elsewhere.

He's the consummate siloviki - a power guy - and former KGB mission chief (in Dresden).  Putin is good at consolidating power and control, securing loyalty, arresting, poisoning or assassinating dissenters (e.g. Khodorkovsky, Yuschenko, Litvenko; Politkovskaya and over 20 other journalists).  He's a security man - so a war against the "terrorists of Chechnya" is right up his alley, but administering Russia's lands and infrastructure for the public good...well...not so much.

Here are some reasons why I think that people of the West would not envy Russia in terms of Putin's leadership. I don't have time right now to link these examples, but if someone needs me to, I can link them tomorrow.

-Journalists in Russia are beaten and/or killed on a regular basis;  National TV stations can't really criticize Putin.  Imagine the outcry if Obama sent government reporters into the Fox News studios and sent Hannity, O'Reilly and co. packing. This happened to Berezovsky's TV channel in the mid 2000's because the channel criticized Putin.

-People in Russia have a standard of living of less than half of what westerners have, even after over 14 years of Putin at the helm (note: most concede that the buck stopped with Putin when Medvedev was president and Putin was PM)

-Putin took away the right of the Russian states to elect their governors.  Now he appoints them.  (By states, I mean Russia's federal subjects)

-Corruption in Russia is quite bad, and while different palms are being greased under Putin, there is still tremendous waste of public money

-Putin has an organized policy of placing people loyal to him into the directorship of major Russian companies, so that most of the big oil, gas and other major Russian companies are partially or wholly controlled - indirectly - by the Kremlin.

-Most importantly, Putin waged a bloody war against Chechnya, in which tens of thousands of Chechnyan citizens were killed at the hands of Russian soldiers or by Russian bombs.

So, while I agree that Putin has the upper hand in the irresponsible game of strategy that the US seems to be playing in Ukraine, I don't think this alone merits a claim that many in the West would envy having Putin as president or find it reassuring to have at the helm an autocrat who has dismantled many of the fledgling attempts Russians have made at building a civil society and democratic post-USSR. 

Instead, I think that some continue to assume that just because Putin is likely to beat the US in the long run in Ukraine means that he's the type of leader that they would like to see in power in their country.  This assumption ignores a lot of the more corrupt, incompetent, authoritarian and sometimes deadly aspects of Putin's time in office. 

Cheers,

Hugh

 

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jgritter
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World views

Hi Hugh,

It seems apparent that you and I have divergent world views.  You seem to hold to the idea that there can be truth, justice and democracy as we transition to the post petroleum world.  I would suggest that truth and justice are determined by who has the most money and that democracy is dead, at least at the federal level in the United States.  Going forward are you looking for a leader who is going to sit and politely listen to the nattering of the cranks in the back row, or are you going to follow someone who isn't afraid to break some bones?  I think that you're running with the herd, man, and the herd is heading off a cliff.  It's full speed ahead to the eighteenth century.  Ask the French how that turned out.

John G.

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HughK
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Posts: 763
jgritter wrote:Hi Hugh,It
jgritter wrote:

Hi Hugh,

It seems apparent that you and I have divergent world views.  You seem to hold to the idea that there can be truth, justice and democracy as we transition to the post petroleum world.  I would suggest that truth and justice are determined by who has the most money and that democracy is dead, at least at the federal level in the United States.  Going forward are you looking for a leader who is going to sit and politely listen to the nattering of the cranks in the back row, or are you going to follow someone who isn't afraid to break some bones?  I think that you're running with the herd, man, and the herd is heading off a cliff.  It's full speed ahead to the eighteenth century.  Ask the French how that turned out.

John G.

Hi John,

Hmmmm...you are right that this could be a much larger conversation than just whether or not Putin is admirable.  I will just send a short reply now and maybe later, if time permits, try to write more at a later time regarding the ramifications of your last post.

For now, I'd just say that it's just as wrong to assume that justice and democracy are necessarily impossible in a contracting world as to be sure that they can exist.

And, even if authoritarian regimes do have some special characteristic that makes them better suited for a post-peak world, you've already recognized that Putin is not formulating any serious response to the destabilizing energetic and environmental shifts we're facing.  He's just as business-as-usual as western leaders.

I certainly don't think it's time for us to all pick our favorite strong man and rally around him. In Putin's case, I can't admire the killing of independent journalists ("nattering cranks"...really?) and the "breaking of bones" (i.e. killing) of Chechen civilians.  We all speak in euphemisms sometimes, but your choice of words belies a lack of proportion for some of the polices that Putin has perpetrated. 

Cheers,

Hugh

 

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LogansRun
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
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We are not supposed to be a democracy!
HughK wrote:
jgritter wrote:

Hi Hugh,

It seems apparent that you and I have divergent world views.  You seem to hold to the idea that there can be truth, justice and democracy as we transition to the post petroleum world.  I would suggest that truth and justice are determined by who has the most money and that democracy is dead, at least at the federal level in the United States.  Going forward are you looking for a leader who is going to sit and politely listen to the nattering of the cranks in the back row, or are you going to follow someone who isn't afraid to break some bones?  I think that you're running with the herd, man, and the herd is heading off a cliff.  It's full speed ahead to the eighteenth century.  Ask the French how that turned out.

John G.

Hi John,

Hmmmm...you are right that this could be a much larger conversation than just whether or not Putin is admirable.  I will just send a short reply now and maybe later, if time permits, try to write more at a later time regarding the ramifications of your last post.

For now, I'd just say that it's just as wrong to assume that justice and democracy are necessarily impossible in a contracting world as to be sure that they can exist.

And, even if authoritarian regimes do have some special characteristic that makes them better suited for a post-peak world, you've already recognized that Putin is not formulating any serious response to the destabilizing energetic and environmental shifts we're facing.  He's just as business-as-usual as western leaders.

I certainly don't think it's time for us to all pick our favorite strong man and rally around him. In Putin's case, I can't admire the killing of independent journalists ("nattering cranks"...really?) and the "breaking of bones" (i.e. killing) of Chechen civilians.  We all speak in euphemisms sometimes, but your choice of words belies a lack of proportion for some of the polices that Putin has perpetrated. 

Cheers,

Hugh

 

http://www.whatourforefathersthought.com/DemoRep.html

Republic vs. Democracy
 
Rule by Law vs. Rule by Majority
 
Just after the completion and signing of the Constitution, in reply to a woman's inquiry as to the type of government the Founders had created, Benjamin Franklin said, "A Republic, if you can keep it."
 
A Republic is representative government ruled by law (the United States Constitution). A Democracy is government ruled by the majority (mob rule). A Republic recognizes the unalienable rights of individuals while Democracies are only concerned with group wants or needs for the good of the public, or in other words social justice. 
Lawmaking is a slow, deliberate process in our Constitutional Republic requiring approval from the three branches of government, the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial branches for checks and balance. Lawmaking in Democracy occurs rapidly requiring approval from the majority by polls and/or voter referendums, which in turn is mob rule 50% plus 1 vote takes away anything from the minority. Here is one example; if 51% of the people don’t pay taxes they can vote a tax increase on the 49% that do, which is mob rule.
Democracies always self-destruct when the non-productive majority realizes that it can vote itself handouts from the productive minority by electing the candidate promising the most benefits from the public treasury. To maintain their power, these candidates must adopt an ever-increasing tax and spend policy to satisfy the ever-increasing desires of the majority. As taxes increase, incentive to produce decreases, causing many of the once productive to drop out and join the non-productive. When there are no longer enough producers to fund the legitimate functions of government and the socialist programs, the democracy will collapse, always to be followed by a Dictatorship. 
Even though nearly every politician, teacher, journalist and citizen believes that our Founders created a democracy, it is absolutely not true. The Founders knew full well the differences between a Republic and a Democracy and they repeatedly said that they had founded a republic in numerous quotes, and documents.
 
 
Article IV Section 4, of the Constitution "The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion", the word Democracy is not mentioned in the Constitution at all. Madison warned us of the dangers of democracies with this quote, along with more warnings from others.
 
"Hence it is that democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and in general have been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths... A republic, by which I mean a government in which a scheme of representation takes place, opens a different prospect and promises the cure for which we are seeking." James Madison, Federalist Papers No. 10 (1787).
"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!" Ben Franklin
“A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine.” Thomas Jefferson
“Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.” John Adams
“But government in which the majority rule in all cases can not be based on justice, even as far as men understand it.”  Henry David Thoreau
 
 
 
Our military training manuals use to contain the correct definitions of Democracy and Republic. The following comes from Training Manual No. 2000-25 published by the War Department, November 30, 1928.   
 
 
 
Below is what the Manual No. 2000-25 says in Section IX Lesson 9.
 
DEMOCRACY: 
A government of the masses. 
Authority derived through mass meeting or any other form of "direct" expression. 
Results in mobocracy. 
Attitude toward property is communistic--negating property rights. 
Attitude toward law is that the will of the majority shall regulate, whether is be based upon deliberation or governed by passion, prejudice, and impulse, without restraint or regard to consequences. 
Results in demagogism, license, agitation, discontent, anarchy.
 
 
REPUBLIC: 
Authority is derived through the election by the people of public officials best fitted to represent them. 
Attitude toward property is respect for laws and individual rights, and a sensible economic procedure.
Attitude toward law is the administration of justice in accord with fixed principles and established evidence, with a strict regard to consequences. 
A greater number of citizens and extent of territory may be brought within its compass. 
Avoids the dangerous extreme of either tyranny or mobocracy. 
Results in statesmanship, liberty, reason, justice, contentment, and progress. 
Is the "standard form" of government throughout the world.
 
 
 
The manuals containing these definitions were ordered destroyed without explanation about the same time that President Franklin D. Roosevelt made private ownership of our lawful money (US Minted Gold Coins) illegal. Shortly after the people turned in their $20 gold coins, the price was increased from $20 per ounce to $35 per ounce. Almost overnight F.D.R., the most popular president this century (elected 4 times) looted almost half of this nation's wealth, while convincing the people that it was for their own good. His right hand man, Harry Lloyd Hopkins, the New Deal architect, who suggested many of F.D.R.’s policies said.
 
"We shall Tax and Tax, Spend and Spend, Elect and Elect, because the people are too damn dumb to know the difference".  Harry Hopkins
 
 
 
HughK's picture
HughK
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Posts: 763
Republic = representative democracy

Hi LogansRun,

I agree with your outline of our system in the U.S. and I consider the US design as that of a constitutional republic, which people also call a representative democracy.  

One can split hairs between these two terms, but it seems accurate to refer to the US, as it is supposed to be according to the Constitution, as a republic and also a representative democracy.  

One clear example of the democratic nature of the US is the framers' decision to make Article I about the legislative branch; this was a conscious choice and reflects the fact that they believed - as did John Locke - that the government's legitimacy emanated from the people.

The word democracy, at its root, just means rule by the people.  That can take many different forms and I certainly agree that the US was meant to be a constitutional, representative democracy (or republic, if you prefer) with a separation of powers, federalism, and limited government.

Also, even very strict constitutional originalists today probably don't think that it is still OK to allow slaves in the southern states to be counted for purposes of Congressional districting as 3/5 that of a free citizen or that states have the power to restrict males who own no property from voting in federal elections.  

So, while we certainly need to honor the Constitution - and I agree that there are a disturbing number of infringements today - just because the Framers used the term democracy in a certain way 220 years ago doesn't mean that we can't use it as a more general adjective today that describes a number of systems where the authority of the leaders is conferred by the people, who are the sovereign, including the systems of the US and Western Europe.  If you feel that the term glasses over the parts of our system that aim for liberty, federalism, and limited government, then fair enough.

Just b/c the people are sovereign in this theory does not mean that there is no room for constitutional limitations on the power of the government.  I agree that we need such limits, and the Framers designed a system that allowed for liberty, as well as democracy, despite the fact that the franchise was limited at that time.

So, when I say democracy in the context above, I mean representative democracy or republic.  In common parlance, we use the term democracy and also Western democracies to describe the constitutional republics of North America and Western Europe.  

Whether or not they are real functioning constitutional republics is another question, of course. :)

Cheers,

Hugh

 

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jgritter
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Posts: 273
Hugh, your nattering.

The original question was did Putin deserve the admiration he seemed to be getting from some in the western media.  I said I thought so and that he seemed to be doing a good job.  You came back with yeah but, yeah but, yeah but...Sure Putin killed some Chechens, a case could be made that the most recent President Bush (or who ever ordered the Second Gulf War) is responsible for over a million deaths, I think president Obama had someone killed just last week.  What's your point?

My concern going forward is how to keep things as stable as possible for the benefit of as many people as possible.  Does that mean that the men who have guns get together and elect a War Chief?  Likely.

"Do you have a battle rifle and a field kit?  No?  Thank you for your interest, but you are excused, you are not eligible for a leadership position and no one is interested in your opinions on governance."

"Do you have specialized knowledge or skills and the tools to go with them?  Yes?  You maybe considered a citizen, but still have no vote."

"Can you take direction and put in a full day of physical labor?  Yes?  Be polite and report to the slave pens, there might be something for you to do that will get you fed."

"If you did not fall into any of the above categories, I'm very sorry, there doesn't seem to be a place for you in a transitional society.  Good bye and good luck."

Triage and culling.

So what qualifies as a "good" leader?  It's a sincere question.  I don't think "let's all play nice in the sandbox" is going to be sustainable as things get harder.  That said, history is resplendent with examples of how things can go horribly, HORRIBLY, wrong.

Have you got a battle rifle and a field kit, Hugh?

John G

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HughK
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Posts: 763
Before I'm off to the slave pens...
jgritter wrote:

Have you got a battle rifle and a field kit, Hugh?

John G

 

Hi John,

I have some experience regarding how to survive in the field, actually, including some gear, but definitely no rifle here.  Even if I had a rifle, it wouldn't do much good without some training, and that's not really in the cards at this time or place in my life.  If the opportunity arises for me to learn combat, in a way that makes sense, I might indeed take it, but that's the type of thing best learned young, I would expect.

So, it may indeed be to the slave pens with me when the time comes.  I've certainly considered that possibility, both for me and for many others.  The chips will fall where they may.  The hierarchy that you laid out so succinctly definitely resonates with me as similar to what I have imagined.

But, before I'm off to my cage, I have a few things yet to do, here in the year 2014.

For better or for worse, there are a few things I'd like to be doing that I'm not. I don't have land, so I'm not doing any permaculture.  No house, so no off-grid electricity backup, although I am an active member of the solar photovoltaic cooperative where I Iive.  We started producing power just a few months ago, in fact, and we have a meeting tonight.  No bunker, and just the most basic reserve of food staples.

What I do now - just about as diligently as I am able - is to try as many different ways as possible to introduce limits-to-growth concepts as well as possible responses to students at the high school where I work.  I've probably exposed about 50 students so far to these concepts in one form or another, whether in class or in an after-school club, which a couple of colleagues and I are working hard to expand.  It's hard work because most teachers - like most people, probably - are set in their ways and don't see a big reason to integrate these kind of concepts into the curriculum.  It's also a trick to try to help students explore these concepts in a way that help them see the opportunities in understanding this and changing their trajectories.

In addition to that, comes the regular work of a teacher, the most important aspect of which has nothing to do with the curriculum, but is rather to give attention and time to young people in order that they grow up stronger, healthier, more confident and responsible, and - hopefully - better emotionally equipped to deal with whatever comes their way.

So, whether or not I go to the slave pens eventually, or die in a nuclear blast, or I manage to live out my years in some corner of the world that experiences a relative amount of calm, for whatever reason, I'm quite at peace with not having a rifle, whatever consequences that brings, because I've offered my best in the way that I am able.

Another thing that comes with being a teacher, John, is a habit of trying to reason through tricky problems from different perspectives.  This, of course, is also what we are also trying to do here at PP, especially the parts of the site that involve big-picture discussions on big shifts and political crises, so I guess we all have that in common.  

In other words, John, we do a lot of talking, thinking, and debating in these parts of the site.  You might prefer to call that nattering, and that's fine with me, just as long as you acknowledge that you're part of the club of natterers here.  I would call it reasoning, considering, and sharing about things we all think are important, and see from a range of perspectives.  

Speaking of this type of nattering, I have a couple of questions for you regarding your criteria for picking a war chief.

You don't want a guy who "plays nice in the sandbox" as you put it, but you probably also don't want a Stalin type, by which I mean someone who is so bloodthirsty that they kill many of their own valuable lieutenants as well as a very good portion of the civilian population.  How do you decide? Of course, this very well might be a decision for those who carry the rifles, although some of those will heed to the advice of their wives for one reason or another.  But even if it's a council of soldiers that chooses the chief, they're going to have to....natter.  Even just deciding to kill a rival alpha who seems to be rising to the head of the pack, involves murmuring between a few of the plotters...reasoning, consideration, and discussion pops up again.

The second question is, what separates a murderous gang leader from a responsible local strongman?  Again, the few and the proud who have the military cred to sit at the conference table will have to engage some amount of reflection for who they will support.  Reasoning and shared values have a place even in the direst age of violence, and they certainly have a place in the threads of PP.  

Finally, with regards to Putin, there is very little mention here, and elsewhere in the alternative blogosphere regarding Putin's domestic policies.  Whether that is because people do not know and/or are not interested in knowing, or for some other reason, I cannot say.  I will continue to offer information that I know about Putin's policies and if you wish to integrate it into your opinions about him, you're welcome to do so.  

Now it's off to another square meal, a meeting with students, and a quiet end of the evening at home, here in the year 2014... in the twilight of the age of nattering.  It's really not so bad.  :)

Cheers,

Hugh

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jgritter
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Joined: Dec 13 2011
Posts: 273
Hugh, LOL

Hi Hugh,

I beg your pardon, I seem to have twisted your tail further then I intended. 

I absolutely agree that a variety of perspectives is one of the attractions of this site and that there seems to be a variety of interesting people contributing.  I don't think I will be the first to observe, however, that many of these conversations would be better after a nice meal and with a beverage of choice in hand.  A lot is lost in not being able to see each others faces.

I have a rifle, as well as a variety of experience and skills. I also have medical issues that essentially make it impossible for me to "bug out".  I hope that I might be useful enough if things get bad to be productive and earn my keep, but on way or another I am going to have to stand in the place were I am.

Again, no offense was intended, if there is a emoticon for "twinkle in the eye with a slight smile" I don't know what it is.

John G

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Arthur Robey
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Posts: 3936
The Prince and That Hat.

Here is the how-to manual for being a leader.

I have my copy, but am disinclined to wear the hat.

Methinks it suits Putin though.

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LogansRun
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 18 2009
Posts: 1444
Representative Democracy only

 

Representative Democracy only came into use after the 16th and 17th Amendments were illegally passed by the Rothschild syndicate.  The founding fathers never used that term that I'm aware.  Constitutional Republic was used.  Representative Democracy is a bullshit term to make the masses believe their representatives have power, but in truth, the power was given to the Federal Gov't over the States Gov'ts at that time.

I know this is a futile post as, you've set your ways but......

HughK wrote:

Hi LogansRun,

I agree with your outline of our system in the U.S. and I consider the US design as that of a constitutional republic, which people also call a representative democracy.  

One can split hairs between these two terms, but it seems accurate to refer to the US, as it is supposed to be according to the Constitution, as a republic and also a representative democracy.  

One clear example of the democratic nature of the US is the framers' decision to make Article I about the legislative branch; this was a conscious choice and reflects the fact that they believed - as did John Locke - that the government's legitimacy emanated from the people.

The word democracy, at its root, just means rule by the people.  That can take many different forms and I certainly agree that the US was meant to be a constitutional, representative democracy (or republic, if you prefer) with a separation of powers, federalism, and limited government.

Also, even very strict constitutional originalists today probably don't think that it is still OK to allow slaves in the southern states to be counted for purposes of Congressional districting as 3/5 that of a free citizen or that states have the power to restrict males who own no property from voting in federal elections.  

So, while we certainly need to honor the Constitution - and I agree that there are a disturbing number of infringements today - just because the Framers used the term democracy in a certain way 220 years ago doesn't mean that we can't use it as a more general adjective today that describes a number of systems where the authority of the leaders is conferred by the people, who are the sovereign, including the systems of the US and Western Europe.  If you feel that the term glasses over the parts of our system that aim for liberty, federalism, and limited government, then fair enough.

Just b/c the people are sovereign in this theory does not mean that there is no room for constitutional limitations on the power of the government.  I agree that we need such limits, and the Framers designed a system that allowed for liberty, as well as democracy, despite the fact that the franchise was limited at that time.

So, when I say democracy in the context above, I mean representative democracy or republic.  In common parlance, we use the term democracy and also Western democracies to describe the constitutional republics of North America and Western Europe.  

Whether or not they are real functioning constitutional republics is another question, of course. :)

Cheers,

Hugh

 

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HughK
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 6 2012
Posts: 763
Carrying the fire.

No worries at all, John.  I also hope that I didn't rattle your cage too much either.  The line between thought and action, reason and force, compromise and violence, is always present, and you are certainly right that the vast majority of us, in our specialized, expanding world have been sheltered from the cold steel of violence for quite a while now, and that era is very likely coming to an end for most.  But, just as violence has not ceased to exist now, but has rather been banished - for the most part - the the periphery - reason and goodness can also never be completely banished from human affairs.

While we may, based on that, draw slightly different conclusions and admire different people, we certainly agree that  - with apologies to Chris - the next one hundred years is going have a lot more long pig on the menu than the last one hundred years.  Makes me appreciate my warm bright living room here in the present moment.

If I ever had the opportunity to have this conversation with you over a beer and a meal (save for the one mentioned above) I'm sure I would enjoy it.

Cheers,

Hugh

Boy:  We wouldn't ever eat anybody, would we?

Man:  No.  Of course not.

Even if we were starving?

We're starving now.

You said we weren't.

I said we weren't dying.  I didn't say we weren't starving.

But we wouldn't.

No. We wouldn't.

No matter what?

No matter what.

No. No matter what.

Because we're the good guys.

Yes.

And we're carrying the fire.

And we're carrying the fire. Yes.

Okay.

-The Road, Cormac McCarthy

 

 

 

 

 

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HughK
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 6 2012
Posts: 763
LogansRun wrote:I know this
LogansRun wrote:

I know this is a futile post as, you've set your ways but......

Hey LogansRun,

In my experience, when there is dialog, it's almost never futile.  

I've changed my view of quite a few things in the past five or six years, that's for sure.  Enough so that close friends, family, and colleagues have joked, or - on one occasion - cried, about my reflective hat. That doesn't mean that I believe every alternative interpretation that I hear, but I have definitely looked into a couple of the major ones and come to think they are true.

While the idea that the 16th Amendment was pushed through by Rothschild interests is not an interpretation I'd heard before, if you want to send a link, I'd look at it.  I have never claimed to have everything figured out, although I am a little wary of those who are sure that they do make such claims.  So, my ears are open if you wish to speak more.

Also, no need to get too caught up in terminology, I think, but if you feel that the term rep. democracy is somehow significantly different than republic, that's OK too.

Cheers,

Hugh

 

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