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Horror of horrors, Putin shut down Voice of America and Radio Free Europe programming! Some of us are a little more jaded regarding these "independent" "American voices of freedom."

But lets take a closer look, shall we?

Yevgeny Strelchik, a top official at the Russian Culture Ministry's media department, said the curtailment came because many radio stations were using Radio Liberty programming but made no mention of that in their license applications.

"We have no complaints against Radio Liberty. It is a purely a question of the stations' licenses, of them violating their 'programming conception,''' he said. (source)

Officials said that the changes had been ordered because the stations had violated their licences by failing to get permission to broadcast news from other sources. Staff at Radio Liberty and Voice of America, which are both funded by the US Government and produce news in Russian, have condemned the move. (source)

As for the appointment, rather than election of governors, Putin points out that this is the case in India and no one debates that India is democratic. He also points out that the candidate he selects is then sent to the local parliament, which is directly elected by the people, to confirm or deny. (source)

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, a man whom I admire and I'm sure you would claim to admire, makes precisely my point about western arrogance.

For centuries governors in Russia were appointed. It makes sense. The governor implements the will of the central government locally. Yeltsin, with his broad sweep, introduced free elections of governors. Ninety governors? Okay, let it be 90. Were these elections prepared? Not at all, there was a total mess in the local elections.

The local moneybags interfered, money, bribes, cheating decided everything, and in some places the elections were downright criminal, run by the local mafias. But the worst of it was that the government thought it was not enough to rob people of their savings. A lot more was up for grabs. What riches! They are there for the taking. They robbed Russia, quickly, quickly. Chubais bragged at the time that no country in the world had seen such rapid privatization. And he was right, nobody in the world had ever witnessed such quick privatization.

Quite right, nobody in the world had there been such idiots. With immense speed our God-given resources, minerals, oil, non- ferrous metals, coal and production were distributed. Russia was stripped naked. Nothing is left. Is that democracy? Was there a referendum on this issue? Was anyone's opinion asked? Was it a case of the people exercising its power and deciding its future? And so they created out of filth some kind of billionaires who had done nothing for Russia. At best they grabbed what was given to them for free or almost for free. They grabbed chunks of property to become billionaires and in our impotent despair we now admire them. We have a cult of millionaires.

(...)

[Here he speaks of the various Western controlled and funded colored "revolutions" that have been sweeping Eastern Europe, starting with the 2000 overthrow of Milosevic and now stalled with Lukashenko in Belarus]

As it is, who can respect Russia if they see that Russians can be trampled underfoot in any national republics without Russia ever stepping in to defend them. It fails to interfere, it provides no consular protection. That alone rules out any respect for Russia. Thinking about the relations with the CIS, I think we should first of all try to cure ourselves. And let the CIS cure itself. The common economic space may be saved. You speak about "orange revolutions". Strangely, I myself marveled when the orange revolution occurred. The methods are reminiscent of our revolution in February 1917.

(...)

America now -- in fact, for more than ten years now -- has been carried away by a harebrained project or impulse: to impose democracy throughout the world. To impose it. And they set about doing it with a vengeance. First, they staged a bloodbath in Bosnia. Then they bombed Yugoslavia. In Afghanistan they claim to have installed democracy, and in Iraq too. Iraq is a great success in democracy. Who is next? Maybe Iran. (source)

If Russia were to join the North Atlantic Alliance [He means NATO], which is engaged in propaganda and forcibly inculcating the ideology and practices of today’s Western democracy in various parts of the planet, it would lead not to an expansion, but to a decline of Christian civilization. (source)
Edited by Owen Parsons
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John unconvincingly wrote:

Luckily, the UK education system does not remove teachers from the classroom for holding left-wing views.

Wanna be a lefty? Do it on your own time. You have zero right to proselytize or indoctrinate a captive audience. Spartacus is not "education"; it's a laughably biased, one-sided stroll through the darkest recesses of your mind.

Of course, the United States famously did this during the 1950s. I suppose you would like to return to those days. Maybe you already have.

Sorry, wasn't alive yet. It this some sort of veiled allusion to so-called McCarthyism, another of your pet obsessions? Far-left classroom radicals like John tend to invoke phrases like "witch-hunt" to remind their charges that witches never actually existed. While that may have been true in 17th century America, that was hardly the case in the 1950s. I hate to break this to you, but Communists in the State Department, Pentagon, and Hollywood did exist, except that McCarthy never found them. The witches were there (ever read the Venona papers?), but the hunt was incompetent and spectacularly flawed. And no, you had no right to a classroom or the airwaves if you were Communist at the height of the Cold War, just as unrepentant Al Qaeda/terrorist sympathizers (hello, Ward Churchill) have no such rights today. It's not that complicated.

I believe in some states like Texas you control the purchase of textbooks in the same way that the Soviet Union did during its period of communist rule.

Please take off your dunce cap. Every state has a department of education that works closely with local leaders to determine the best resources for each school district. Furthermore, each local board of education has to conduct monthly, on-the-record meetings/q&a sessions with the public. Then there are the bi-annual parent-teacher conferences. It's democracy at its finest, which makes your Soviet analogy all the more bizarre and repugnant. BTW, some people have accused Texas textbooks of being too liberal:

http://www.eagleforum.org/educate/2003/jun...textbooks.shtml

All dictatorships take a special interest in the way that history is taught in schools. That is the one thing that Hitler and Stalin had in common. As Khrushchev once said: “historians are dangerous people”.

Yep, 50 different dictatorships, from Maine to Hawaii. God I love living in this totalitarian hellhole.

Aren't you the guy who's supposedly concerned about corruption everywhere, and not just the US? Then I look forward to your voluminous, critical posts addressing Saudi Arabian textbooks:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/conte...6051901769.html

The problem for conservatives like you is that you are losing control of the situation.

Oh? Who was the last self-identified, proud liberal to win the White House? I'd say I'm in total control of the situation.

Texas might be able to control the textbooks that their students can use, but they cannot stop them using the internet.

Gid forbid they wash up on Spartacus' shores.

I have recently had a series of complaints from the people who administer the Texas school system about my website.

Because it's a jaundiced, hate-filled clearinghouse of crap with zero redeeming academic value.

They have become concerned about the large number of their students who have been using my page on the Ku Klux Klan. At Google it is ranked 1st out of 4,490,000 pages.

Obsessed with the Klan, eh? How many trains and buildings have they blown up recently? How many kidnappings and beheadings? When was their last lynching? Why oh why did I accuse you of being fixated on American shortcomings? You should sue me for defamation.

The Texas authorities are especially concerned about my explanation of the role played by Nathan Forrest in the establishment of the Ku Klux Klan. As you probably know, Forrest was the KKK’s first Grand Wizard. That is very embarrassing for the Texas school system as they portray him as a national hero.

Good for him. I like people who show initiative, like the former KKK Grand Wizard who is now a US Senator. Of course, he's a Dem, so that means we have to sweep it under the rug.

As you see it is quiet a problem for those who wish to brainwash their students. Maybe you will have to act like China and do a deal with Google concerning the censorship of the web.

Actually, I'm much more concerned by anti-democratic events unfolding on your home turf, where lefties are attempting to make the expression of unpopular political opinions in the context of voting punishable by law:

From the Independent:

A branch of one of the world's biggest banks has been found guilty of racism after a senior member of staff told a colleague she would be voting for Robert Kilroy-Silk [head of the United Kingdom Independence Party] at the last general election because she said he promised to "get rid of the foreigners".

The remark was overheard by another employee, who sued the bank, HSBC, for race discrimination. Ruby Schembri, 35, a Maltese national, reported the remark. This week an employment tribunal ruled the remark could be construed as racist and ordered HSBC and the supervisor to pay compensation. The case is one of the first to find that a comment not directly made to another person can constitute racism.

This is an expansion of Britain's pernicious "hate" speech codes because now one can be sued for having been overheard. Please remember this travesty of justice the next time you itch to accuse Bush of curtailing civil liberties. Otherwise, I'll just have to throw it in your face. Cheers.

Edited by Brendan Slattery
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I hate to break this to you, but Communists in the State Department, Pentagon, and Hollywood did exist, except that McCarthy never found them. The witches were there (ever read the Venona papers?) (...)

Yeah, have you? The Venona intercepts show Julius Rosenberg to be guilty of spying (not so much Ethel). Alger Hiss, Lauchlin Currie, and Harry Dexter White are looking as innocent of espionage as ever, though. See here and here.

Edited by Owen Parsons
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I dunno Brendan, would you like it if a "Voice of Cuba" or "Voice of People's Republic of China" was broadcasting anti-American propaganda into the States? In any case, it appears you missed the part about the stations violating their licenses.

You didn't even address the rest of my post, particularly Solzhenitsyn's comments. Not that I'm surprised.

Edited by Owen Parsons
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I dunno Brendan, would you like it if a "Voice of Cuba" or "Voice of Peoples Republic of China" was broadcasting anti-American propaganda into the States? In any case, it appears you missed the part about the stations violating their licenses.

You didn't even address the rest of my post, particularly Solzhenitsyn's comments.

I'd like it just fine because I'd still have the power to, you know, NOT LISTEN. Don't you think the Russian people deserve that same CHOICE? And please don't tell me you're so naive as to think the licensing issue is anything more than a ruse to suppress opinions they don't like. BTW, Beeb World Service is state-sponsored radio. Are they propagandists too?

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I'd like it just fine because I'd still have the power to, you know, NOT LISTEN. Don't you think the Russian people deserve that same CHOICE?

Of course they deserve that choice. And they still have it. If you hadn't noticed, there are four stations that didn't violate their licenses. They continue to broadcast the VOA propaganda. There are many other American/NATO propaganda outlets that continue undisturbed.

And please don't tell me you're so naive as to think the licensing issue is anything more than a ruse to suppress opinions they don't like. BTW, Beeb World Service is state-sponsored radio. Are they propagandists too?

It probably is a ruse, but that doesn't mean that the stations didn't actually violate their licenses. What Putin did was perfectly legitimate and legal, even if the motives were probably not exactly "pure." And yes, I am aware the BBC is state-sponsored. It serves the interests of the British government when necessary, but it is nowhere near VOA in propaganda output.

Edited by Owen Parsons
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Well, it looks like Brendan is done attempting to defend his ludicrous opinions about Russia. Now we move on to attacking Cynthia McKinney with embarrassing screen caps taken from Fox News. :lol:

Because we all know W hasn't been attacked, lampooned, maligned, or satirised on this forum. You can dish it out ...

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Because we all know W hasn't been attacked, lampooned, maligned, or satirised on this forum. You can dish it out ...

Yeah, but the discussion was at no point about Cynthia McKinney. This is just a diversionary tactic on your part to avoid serious discussion and scrutiny.

Edited by Owen Parsons
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Because we all know W hasn't been attacked, lampooned, maligned, or satirised on this forum. You can dish it out ...

Yeah, but the discussion was at no point about Cynthia McKinney. This is just a diversionary on your part to avoid serious discussion and scrutiny.

Not true. Mark invoked "crazy" leaders in DC, and she's certainly one of them. I win.

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Not true. Mark invoked "crazy" leaders in DC, and she's certainly one of them. I win.

No, you lose. Mark didn't use the word "crazy." He used the word "scary" (quite appropriately, IMO) to describe people holding political views much like your own who are currently on the rise in my country. The McKinney picture didn't address anything he said.

Edited by Owen Parsons
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This guy Slattery is SCARIER than Bush. Bush lies to cover up his Nazism most

of the time*, but Slattery is upfront about his neonazi beliefs. Does somebody

pay him to xxxxx around and scare us?

Jack

*George Bush: "If this were a dictatorship, it would be a heck of a lot easier -

just so long I'm the dictator." December 18, 2000.

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