“You talk about Khodorkovsky [the head of Yukos whose assets and freedom were taken from him after he became a critic of Putin], and I talk about Enron,” Putin told Bush. “You appoint the Electoral College and I appoint governors. What’s the difference?”
At another point, Putin defended his control over media in Russia. “Don’t lecture me about the free press,” he said, “not after you fired that reporter.”
“Vladimir, are you talking about Dan Rather?” Bush asked. Yes, replied Putin.
Bush explained to Putin that he had nothing to do with Rather losing his job. “I strongly suggest you not say that in public,” he added. “The American people will think you don’t understand our system.”
“The daily work of self-government on our behalf”?
The problem with Dionne is that he believes that there is a correct way to do “self-government”, and an incorrect way to do “self-government”. He supports a specific vision of government which he believes is legitimate, and the duty of the “self-governing” people is to choose this vision and no other.
That is not a description of a self-governing people, it is a description of a people ruled by others.
If you aren’t an anti-Communist — a passionate anti-Communist, not an anti-Communist of the rhetorical box-checking variety — please don’t talk to me about how the Iraq War was immoral or how Bashar Assad is evil or how imperialism, slavery, and colonialism are forever stains on the American soul. Because there is no indictment of America — or any other nations! —that can be delivered credibly by someone willing to defend the record of Soviet (or Chinese) Communism.
The past few days I’ve read several short critiques of the BBC miniseries Downton Abbey. It’s an Upstairs- Downstairs melodrama set in the time between 1912 and about 1922 (so far). I watch it via Amazon streaming video.
Conservatives have criticized Downton Abbey because it is, apparently, receiving praise from liberals. George Will seems to have started the ball rolling with this.
I think Downton Abbey is pretty harmless. The political message is bien-pensant, when it can be detected at all. The way that social norms straightened the lives of women is given far greater emphasis than the way social social norms straightened the lives of men. Lord Grantham is a genuinely good-hearted person. Carson, the chief domestic, is tough, but fair. I was surprised to see the sole gay character, footman Thomas Barrow, presented as a villain (though they made him more likable by the end of season three).
It’s a period soap opera. Watch it if you like. Conservatives are under no obligation to disdain any entertainment that does not degrade mankind.
I’m leaving on Sunday for three weeks in England, I’ll have very little access to the internet unless I can find a hotspot for my Kindle. Don’t know if I’ll survive! It’s my first trip ‘ome for fourteen years, amazing how the time can slip by year by year.
Since I’m going over there, here’s a 60′s English song by Liverpudlian Cilla Black. Don’t know if she was well known over here, she was a big star in UK, one of the Liverpool mini explosion, along with The Beatles of course, Gerry and the Pacemakers, and many others.
This movie is entertaining. The nude scenes are tastefully done. The director is a Norwegian fellow named Wirkola. He made a movie, Dead Snow, about Nazi zombies attacking a group of Norwegian young people. That movie was also entertaining with tastefully done nude scenes.
Let me repeat: nude scenes with young Norwegian chicks. Tastefully done. Possibly the scenes were too short.
In the country, the president’s popularity is underwater. In the District of Columbia itself, as Gallup notes, it’s at 81%. The Washington area is now the wealthiest in the nation. No matter how bad the hinterlands do, it’s good for government and those who live off it. The country is well aware. It is no accident that in the national imagination Washington is the shallow and corrupt capital in “The Hunger Games,” the celebrity-clogged White House Correspondents’ Dinner, “Scandal” and the green room at MSNBC. It is the chattering capital of a nation it less represents than dominates.
So the old Communist Pete Seeger has kicked the bucket and we get the usual outpouring of treacly sentimentality on his greatness and what a great musician he was. As with obama I don’t get it, that people can’t see through the fraud, not a great man but a naive simpleton.
Of course, they being two peas in a pod as far as Communist upbringing is concerned, obama is as fawning and Hallmarky as the best of them.
As for his ‘great songs’, honestly, did you ever hear such trite unmusical garbage anywhere. They make John Lennon’s Imagine sound good.
Don’t take my word for it, Spengler, also a red diaper baby, has the goods on him.
I’m willing to forgive Seeger his Stalinism. Some of my most-admired artists were Stalinists, for example, Bertolt Brecht, whose rendition of his own “Song of the Unattainability of Human Striving” from The Threepenny Opera is the funniest performance of the funniest song of the 20th century. I can’t forgive him his musical fraud: the mind-deadening, saccharine, sentimental appeal to the lowest common denominator of taste in his signature songs — “I Had a Hammer,” “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?,” and so forth. Bob Dylan (of whom I’m not much of a fan) rescued himself from the bathos by poisoning the well of sentimentality with irony. His inheritance is less Dylan than the odious Peter, Paul and Mary.
One of Seeger’s great selling points is that during the great leveling of the 1960s, any idiot who could play three chords on a guitar could plunk and howl through most of his repertoire.
The annual State of the Union pageant is a hideous, dispiriting, ugly, monotonous, un-American, un-republican, anti-democratic, dreary, backward, monarchical, retch-inducing, depressing, shameful, crypto-imperial display of official self-aggrandizement and piteous toadying, a black Mass during which every unholy order of teacup totalitarian and cringing courtier gathers under the towering dome of a faux-Roman temple to listen to a speech with no content given by a man with no content, to rise and to be seated as is called for by the order of worship — it is a wonder they have not started genuflecting — with one wretched representative of their number squirreled away in some well-upholstered Washington hidey-hole in order to preserve the illusion that those gathered constitute a special class of humanity without whom we could not live.
It’s the most nauseating display in American public life — and I write that as someone who has just returned from a pornographers’ convention.
It’s worse than the Oscars.
…and why does everyone go along with it? Imagine being a Supreme Court Justice, wouldn’t you have the brains to see it for what it is and have the pride and fortitude to stay away? Not to mention the hoard of supposedly intelligent people the US has the misfortune to be governed by?
The people deserve better and they know it, that’s why Sarah Palin drew huge crowds wherever she went and it’s why the Establishment destrooyed her.
Looking at how obama’s lot are steeped in Chicagoo style gangster politics against their opponents it becomes more and more suspicious how SP quietly dropped out of the race for the Presidency.