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  1. #61
    Moderator idesign's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tounge View Post
    Agree with

    what you have posted. However there can really be no true democracy anywhere.

    That is why the founding fathers

    of the US set up a REPRESENITIVE REPUBLIC. With an electoral college. Very, very wise indeed.

    A true democracy

    will eventually be doomed to failure. In its simplest form a democracy could be two wolves and a sheep voting on

    what's for dinner. Won't last long. A democracy established in a place like Iraq, would eventually be taken over

    by a sect that was fairly elected into power by a majority and then that sect changes law to whatever their whim

    will be. In essence making it likely that they will never be voted out.

    I don't think there has ever been a

    nation in the history of the earth that has been governed by a true democracy, for more than a blip in

    history.
    Good post.

    Look at California. Lots of ballot referenda. They were even allowed to vote on

    teaching Ebonics.


    As a result they've voted themselves into an energy crisis.

  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by idesign View Post
    Good post.



    Look at California. Lots of ballot referenda. They were even allowed to vote on teaching Ebonics.




    As a result they've voted themselves into an energy crisis.


    California was ruined by the left

    and liberalism. It was at one time a conservative and well run state. And of course it attracted many people because

    of its prosperity, and then of course the libs got control and destroyed the state.

  3. #63
    Moderator belgareth's Avatar
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    Yeah, I know. I lived there

    through it. When I was growing up they had the best schools in the country, now they are beat out by almost every

    state in education.

    Last I heard they were going to outlaw back yard, charcoal barbecues because of air

    pollution and you are pretty much stuck buying electric powered garden tools even though they have a power shortage

    due to the refusal to build new power plants. They send so much fresh water south that many areas in the north are

    becoming desert and they actually have to publish the salt content of tap water! Then the farmers who buy the fresh

    water at government subsidized rates don't use it and are trying to resell it to the public at commercial rates.



    I'm so glad I moved out of that state!
    To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.

    Thomas Jefferson

  4. #64
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    The Democratic Party in the US is doing the same thing. Their central message is

    change from Bush. They do not talk in detail about what they believe. They will not say "We want to take more of

    your money in taxes and increase government control over every life". They say instead "We want to give you "free"

    healthcare".


    Well,

    our world is not perfect, neither the politicians are By the way, my sister lives in France and they really have

    first-class medical care there. It is free and in some sense resembles the Soviet one but many times better.



    Are you a Republican?



    Reading your words

    helps me understand better what I have been thinking. The weight and inertia of your history may be impossible to

    alter.





    I would say that it may be very long process.






    The Russian desire for a strong central leader is a cultural

    enigma. With a leader such as Putin or (apparently) Medvedev, you have the security and safety of a Czar with the

    beginnings of personal freedom and economic prosperity.

    And

    the main thing is that we have not necessity to think ourselves By the way, our parliament is called Duma as

    under the Czars. ‘Duma’ is made from a word ‘dumat’ - to think. Its task was to help the Czar to think. But it is

    not a parliament, of course





    It raises another question: do you think the "average" Russian

    cares about politics in a pure sense? Of course everyone thinks about politics if they can see it effecting their

    life, but do you care about the structure of government or what its called?


    No, not in the

    least degree. Our political ignorance is unlimited.






    I think Putin has

    answered "yes". While he is not a real "democrat", he at least is moving away from certain vestiges of the past.

    What do you think?




    I think that he understands well that there is not other way to rule

    modern Russians but the way he does. Maybe some time later democracy will be possible. I agree with him.




    BTW, Colombia is

    an interesting study in security and democracy. What Uribe has done is nothing short of amazing. They still have

    problems with the FARC, but have turned the country around. Medellin's mayor, Fajardo, has done a great job in that

    city, former base of the now dead Escobar.

    Well, many

    countries had a strong leader as a transitional step.





    My next question would be: to what extent do Russians desire a

    real democracy?

    Most of Russians don’t want democracy openly

    and say that they prefer autocracy, as for others I think that the absolute majority of them haven’t even a notion

    what democracy is. Again, I was communicating with our ‘democrats’ - it is something terrible.






    Congratulations on your election Alexey. It was a tense moment

    waiting for the results.


    Thank you, Greg. It was a bit nervous indeed and till the

    last moment we didn’t know who might win. But it ended well. They say that in some Northern districts appearance of

    electors was even a bit more than 100% because bears came to support their candidate (‘medved’ means ‘bear’ in

    Russian and ‘ev’ is equal ‘son’ in Robertson or Johnson).

  5. #65
    Moderator idesign's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex157 View Post

    Well, our world is not perfect, neither the politicians are

    By the way, my sister lives in France and they really have first-class medical care there. It is free and in some

    sense resembles the Soviet one but many times better.


    Free is

    never free. I don't want to pay the tax of a Frenchman.



    Quote Originally Posted by Alex157 View Post
    Are you a Republican?



    I am a "medved". I only come out of the forest when there is

    a candidate worthy of more than 100% of the vote. I have become weary of the forest.



    Seriously, I do not identify with "Republican". I would say Conservative with Libertarian

    underwear.


    Quote Originally Posted by Alex157 View Post
    And the main thing is that we have not necessity to

    think ourselves


    America has become such a place, but for

    different reasons.

    Your government has imposed rule for centuries, and you have had the "luxury" of life

    without the responsibility of political thought.

    In America, our history is founded on fiercely independent

    thinking and lively debate. However, the progression of socialist programs and ideals in this century has lead to a

    rather large bureaucracy of what you might call "program perpetuators". This has led to our current electoral

    system in which people try to avoid thinking about it at all costs. So you see, we are the same.



    Quote Originally Posted by Alex157 View Post
    By the way, our parliament is called Duma as

    under the Czars. ‘Duma’ is made from a word ‘dumat’ - to think. Its task was to help the

    Czar to think. But it is not a parliament, of course


    Our

    parliament is called "Congress", which means "collection" or "collective". As our system evolved over time, it has

    also taken on the meaning "idiot", or "collection of idiots". Its task is to collect and spend money, regulate

    bowel movements and approve of itself by
    salary increases

    and
    periodic controlled elections. It is no longer a parliament of

    course...


    Quote Originally Posted by Alex157 View Post
    Our political ignorance is unlimited.


    As for us, our

    unlimited ignorance is political.

    In fact, the more stupid the idea, the better chance it has for political

    popularity.





    Quote Originally Posted by Alex157 View Post
    I think that he

    understands well that there is not other way to rule modern Russians but the way he does. Maybe some time later

    democracy will be possible. I agree with him.


    many countries had a

    strong leader as a transitional step.



    Most of Russians don’t

    want democracy openly and say that they prefer autocracy, as for others I think that the absolute majority of them

    haven’t even a notion what democracy is. Again, I was communicating with our ‘democrats’ - it is

    something terrible.



    Its very interesting to

    read your comments Alexey. I'm beginning to understand the situation in your country, its been a long time since I

    studied Russia.

    Like you say, Putin, and his way of governing, is a natural progression in your development. I

    hope Medvedev takes you just a little further.

    Let me say, for all of us, we are very fortunate to have you as a

    member of this forum. Thanks for your interesting conversation.



    Quote Originally Posted by Alex157 View Post
    They say

    that in some Northern districts appearance of electors was even a bit more than 100% because bears came to support

    their candidate
    We have a similar phenomena in our elections. Sometimes dead people and family

    pets vote for their favorite candidate.
    Last edited by idesign; 03-09-2008 at 09:36 PM.

  6. #66
    Moderator idesign's Avatar
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    Alexey, how did you find this

    forum? Do you use pheromones? Are you here for the very enlightening political discourse? I'm just

    curious.

    Allow me a question. If you could move to America and live here as a citizen, would you do it? Why?

    What would you expect the differences to be?

  7. #67
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    Greg, I was a bit busy (we are formalizing our divorce with Yabloko party ) and

    am going to answer your previous post at the weekend.




    Alexey, how did you find this forum?





    Oh, a great place. Really. I hope that I’ll stay here for long.



    Do

    you use pheromones?




    I don’t even know what it is






    Are you here for the very enlightening political

    discourse?
    I'm

    just curious.






    Actually, I was looking for a forum for practicing my English.

    But it seems that I can find here more.





    Allow me a question. If you could move to America and

    live here as a citizen, would you do it? Why? What would you expect the differences to be?


    Well, it is a difficult question. To

    be frank, I would prefer to stay in Europe. I would like to live in Czech republic or something like this. That is,

    I would prefer to live in Russia, but sometimes I begin to think that it is impossible to live here.


    But I would love to have an American wife for learning English

  8. #68
    Doctor of Scentology DrSmellThis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by idesign View Post
    Alexey,

    how did you find this forum? Do you use pheromones? Are you here for the very enlightening political discourse?

    I'm just curious.

    Allow me a question. If you could move to America and live here as a citizen, would you do

    it? Why? What would you expect the differences to be?
    I'm fond of this post. These are the kinds of

    questions we should be asking, even if they might seem a bit naive or ethnocentric.

    In my experience, people

    from abroad generally have a very nuanced view of America. It's not just a black and white situation of either

    "haters" (from terrible places, like FRANCE ) who buy into propaganda; versus "poor lost souls" and "tired,

    huddled masses" who yearn for the peace, freedoms and comforts of our "superior" lifestyle. Believing this really

    would be naive and ethnocentric.

    For every five Cuban soccer players seeking asylum, there are countless others

    who have very good reasons for preferring other places.

    What attracts me most to the US is that I am comfortable

    and familiar with the culture, and my family and friends are here. As it turns out, I think I'd feel isolated

    elsewhere. Otherwise, I'd look at about fifteen other countries for various reasons.
    DrSmellThis (creator of P H E R O S)

  9. #69
    Moderator Mtnjim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrSmellThis View Post
    ...Otherwise, I'd look at about fifteen other countries for various

    reasons.
    Given a choice, Spain or France for me. I liked those places when I lived there before.
    Freedom begins when you tell Mrs. Grundy to go fly a kite.
    --Lazarus Long

  10. #70
    Moderator belgareth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrSmellThis View Post
    Otherwise, I'd look at about fifteen other countries for various

    reasons.
    Retirement isn't all that far off for me. Maybe a place with a nice sandy white beach where I can

    bring in a sailboat? Someplace with low taxes and a low cost of living and blue water close by...
    To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.

    Thomas Jefferson

  11. #71
    Moderator idesign's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex157 View Post
    Greg, I was a bit busy (we are formalizing our divorce with Yabloko

    party ) and am going to answer your previous post at the weekend.


    No

    problem Alexey. Would you care to tell us more about your activities? It would be interesting to hear about. I am

    not KGB (can't remember the new name), so you can speak freely.



    Quote Originally Posted by Alex157 View Post
    Oh, a great place. Really. I hope that I’ll stay

    here for long.


    Your English is too good! My question

    "how did you find this forum" can be read two ways, and you answered the more colloquial (and difficult for

    foreigners) meaning of the phrase. I could alternatively ask "how did you discover this forum"?





    Quote Originally Posted by Alex157 View Post
    I don’t even know what it is



    Pheromones are the main point of this forum. You

    might want to read other areas of the forum and find out about the kind of people you're talking to.




    Quote Originally Posted by Alex157 View Post
    Well, it is a difficult question. To be frank, I

    would prefer to stay in Europe. I would like to live in Czech republic or something like this. That is, I would

    prefer to live in Russia, but sometimes I begin to think that it is impossible to live here.

    But I would love to have an American wife for learning English
    Its difficult for

    many (maybe most) Americans to understand how easy it is to live here relative to other countries. We complain and

    criticize a lot, for some good reasons, but not all of them are good.

    Our system is a 200 year old experiment,

    and today has no resemblance to its beginning. Honestly, I think we do not have the capacity to change the

    direction. However, there is nothing preventing me from living any life I choose and am able to make. Its becoming

    more difficult though.

    I am curious about your reason for saying "sometimes I begin to think it is impossible to

    live here (Russia)". Is it for reasons relating to daily life? Lack of opportunity?

    If you answer with a very

    long reply you will have good English practice, and we will have the benefit of very interesting reading. When

    your divorce is complete, of course.

    An American wife will teach you much more than English. But I am not

    complaining, quite the opposite.
    Last edited by idesign; 03-14-2008 at 06:44 PM. Reason: the usual

  12. #72
    Moderator idesign's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrSmellThis View Post
    I'm

    fond of this post. These are the kinds of questions we should be asking, even if they might seem a bit naive or

    ethnocentric.

    In my experience, people from abroad generally have a very nuanced view of America. It's not just

    a black and white situation of either "haters" (from terrible places, like FRANCE ) who buy into propaganda;

    versus "poor lost souls" and "tired, huddled masses" who yearn for the peace, freedoms and comforts of our

    "superior" lifestyle. Believing this really would be naive and ethnocentric.

    For every five Cuban soccer players

    seeking asylum, there are countless others who have very good reasons for preferring other places.

    What attracts

    me most to the US is that I am comfortable and familiar with the culture, and my family and friends are here. As it

    turns out, I think I'd feel isolated elsewhere. Otherwise, I'd look at about fifteen other countries for various

    reasons.
    I like naive, to a point. Did you ever read or see "Being There"? The character Chance was

    ultimately naive, and had a simplicity in his approach to life and people that was completely honest, and likable.

    Of course that's an extreme.

    Ethnocentricity is unfortunate, like, ummmm, lack of education.

    I think you're

    right about the world's view of America. I think if you eliminate political and geographic boundaries, and just

    think of "people" around the world, the opinions about the US will pretty much line up with opinions among

    Americans. That's to say, some will be hyper-critical, and some blindly adoring, with most in the middle

    somewhere.

    I don't think the world hates the US, nor do I think we need to worry about "restoring America's

    respect", as some politicians are fond of saying.

    Bel, Doc and Jim, I'm with you guys. I'm thinking of a place

    where the mountains are less than an hour from the beach. I think I'd have to come back for lengthy periods

    though.

  13. #73
    Doctor of Scentology DrSmellThis's Avatar
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    Idesign, Imeant it all as a

    compliment. "Seeming" naive or ethnocentric is different from being that. If I ask someone their opinion of my

    behavior to learn something about myself, it might seem self-centered on the surface. But it's not really. And what

    seems naive can really be open minded.

    Portland, Oregon is surrounded by huge mountains, ocean, rainforest,

    and desert, all within a 90 minute drive or less; in addition to being a great city, in terms of lifestyle, music,

    and culture. There is nowhere in the world quite like it, judging from the many comments of international travelers

    I've heard over the years. And it's right here in the good ole US of freakin A. There's ethnocentric for ya'.

    On the other hand, if you hate rain you are SOL here.
    DrSmellThis (creator of P H E R O S)

  14. #74
    Moderator idesign's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrSmellThis View Post
    Idesign, Imeant it all as a compliment. "Seeming" naive or ethnocentric is different from

    being that. If I ask someone their opinion of my behavior to learn something about myself, it might seem

    self-centered on the surface. But it's not really. And what seems naive can really be open minded.

    Portland,

    Oregon is surrounded by huge mountains, ocean, rainforest, and desert, all within a 90 minute drive or less; in

    addition to being a great city, in terms of lifestyle, music, and culture. There is nowhere in the world quite like

    it, judging from the many comments of international travelers I've heard over the years. And it's right here in

    the good ole US of freakin A. There's ethnocentric for ya'. On the other hand, if you hate rain you are SOL

    here.
    I used to sign my posts with my name, Greg, but fell out of the habit. I thought of having Bruce

    change my forum name but I guess its too late now. Anyway, call me Greg.

    No worries Doc, I knew what you were

    getting at. This writing/reading thing is like soooo overrated. Good thing we have emoticons to help out along

    the way.

    Perhaps we should establish a blanket agreement like Bel and I had in a previous thread. Something

    like "I promise to not be a jerk".

    I spent 2 weeks in and around Port Orchard, WA for a job and loved

    it, except the rain. Not much culture there either, but we took the ferry to Seattle and had a great time. Drove

    up to Port Angeles and the Olympic Range. Amazing place. Sequim is quite the lavender growing area (in a weird

    rain shadow), and every shop was full of it, very cool.

    There's too much to love about our country to not be

    ethnocentric to the point of loving it above others. I think that must be a pretty universal sentiment, even for

    people who live in difficult places.

  15. #75
    Doctor of Scentology DrSmellThis's Avatar
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    Glad you had a chance to enjoy

    the Pacific Northwest.

    Lavender, rock rose (labdanum), and rosemary grow all over the place here, as do roses

    and lots of evergreens. You can pretty much walk around with some grain alcohol and pick yourself an aftershave for

    free, if you know when to pick stuff. Plus, every neighborhood is filled with fragrant gardens.

    Sorry to

    digress, but I've been on an "I love Portland" kick lately.
    DrSmellThis (creator of P H E R O S)

  16. #76
    Moderator idesign's Avatar
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    Digress all you like, I enjoy

    reading it. Makes me wish I lived in a place I was passionate about. Don't get me wrong, its a nice place, if

    you're into surfing or sportfishing. I'm not into either, so I get my fix of interesting things by traveling

    around the region, which is FULL of very cool places. Lots of history along the east coast, which is nice.


    As

    an aside Doc... forgive me if I'm not all that adept at responding appropriately sometimes. I'm pretty new to the

    whole Forum format and I forget that people can't hear my voice or see my expressions. I'm also a little slow on

    the uptake at times.
    Last edited by idesign; 03-16-2008 at 07:00 PM.

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    Alexey, we miss your posts here.

    I hope you are well. Мы надеемся

    видеть вас снова

    скоро друг.

  18. #78
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    Alexey, if you're still

    there...

    One of our presidential candidates stated that Russia should not be a part of the G8 (economic Group of

    8) because of Russia's departure from Democracy. What do you think of this? He advocates allowing India and

    Brazil into the group.

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    Alexey, we miss

    your posts here. I hope you are well.
    Ìû äååìñÿ âèäåòü âñ ñîâ ñêîðî

    äðóã.







    Sorry for my absence, I was

    a bit busy with my Live Journal . They say that top bloggers get 4-5 thousands a month and the idea grasped me


    Plus, for some reasons I don’t get any notifications about new posts on

    the forum.





    Alexey, if you're still there...

    One of our presidential

    candidates stated that Russia should not be a part of the G8 (economic Group of 8) because of Russia's departure

    from Democracy. What do you think of this? He advocates allowing India and Brazil into the group.





    Greg, it was not clear for me what we are doing in G8 at all in the

    first place. I don’t know what Russia produces – it is definitely not cars, electronics or clothes, maybe tanks or

    missiles?

    I think that it was a political step and, of course, if we are

    booted out it would be an offence.

    If the West wants some democracy here

    it should negotiate with the Kremlin. It is possible if some money are donated. I mean organization of the second

    party and the like.

  20. #80
    Moderator idesign's Avatar
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    I agree Alex. Russia should be

    kept as a G8 partner. One would hope that pressure could be placed on Russia within that forum. These days, I have

    less hope for that.

    I suppose the most important work to be done in Russia is organizing and educating people

    about Democratic ideals. Is that what you're doing in your blog? Will it make a difference?


  21. #81
    Doctor of Scentology DrSmellThis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by idesign View Post
    I agree

    Alex. Russia should be kept as a G8 partner. One would hope that pressure could be placed on Russia within that

    forum. These days, I have less hope for that.

    I suppose the most important work to be done in Russia is

    organizing and educating people about Democratic ideals. Is that what you're doing in your blog? Will it make a

    difference?
    What I hear him saying is that it's not so much the ideals themselves, the shining cities on the

    hill, that are hard to grasp; but rather the landscape -- practical, problematic realities of where the society is,

    with respect to distance and terrain, in achieving anything like those ideals.

    Even here, where we like to think

    it all happened more or less "organically" (for most white people, and people with the biggest guns, anyway) the

    ugliness of the landscape we have crossed and are crossing strains the imaginiation at times.

    Rather, the lions

    share of the former responsibility, to make clear the ideals and benefits of liberty and democracy; remains ours.

    And it is not a matter of our words, to put it mildly. What good is it for them to learn more, when we have so much

    to learn before we can teach anybody much more than a confusing, and at times nonsensical story?

    There are

    certainly those who think we have done a great job of "spreading democracy", and consequently its ideals. But that

    belief happens most everywhere to evoke fiery and divisive debate more than any kind of understanding.

    If we

    ever achieve liberty and democracy here, for more than a minority, and demonstrate some integrity with that; there

    will be no problem anywhere in the world finding a majority of people to buy into it. It is now a very small world

    with a substantial collective consciousness. Most people want desparately to believe in ideals like these, on one

    level; but they have their good reasons for not doing so.

    A movie that brought some of this to light was

    "Control Room", a documentary about individuals working for Al Jazeera in Iraq, individuals who would have

    absolutely loved to spend their days dreaming about democracy, all other things being equal. I once reviewed it

    here.
    Last edited by DrSmellThis; 04-15-2008 at 12:46 AM.
    DrSmellThis (creator of P H E R O S)

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    I agree Alex. Russia should be kept as a G8 partner. One would hope that

    pressure could be placed on Russia within that forum. These days, I have less hope for that.






    So do you think, Greg, that Russia is going to be booted out from G8?




    I suppose the

    most important work to be done in Russia is organizing and educating people about Democratic ideals. Is that what

    you're doing in your blog? Will it make a difference?




    Well, again, I think that something is changed when the generation is

    changed.

    I opened a poll not long ago about who is to blame most for

    the war in Yugoslavia. And on a democratic forum most people tipped the box ‘USA’


    It was a jocular song here with stanzas like this ‘if there is no

    water in the house, the Jews have drank it’ and the like.

    It is

    senseless to talk to such people.

    My blog is photo one.

    http://bayukov.livejournal.com/
    I plan to add some politics but just for attracting people.



    However, we are constructing a site and there is going to be a section

    in English.

    I’ll tell you about it in details when it is ready.



  23. #83
    Moderator idesign's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex157 View Post
    So do you think, Greg, that Russia is going to be booted out

    from G8?


    Well, McCain was the one who mentioned it. If he's

    elected I'm not sure that he'll have a consensus. A lot could depend on Medvedev too. In the final analysis,

    Russia has no place among the G7. Perhaps it would be an offense to Russia, but perhaps that is what is needed to

    keep pressure on the Kremlin. I don't need to remind you, it was economics which broke the back of the Soviets.

    Putin is no stranger to pressure, and Medvedev will learn quickly. The pressure of non-acceptance is good healthy

    medicine for an autocrat.

    Having said that, membership in the G8 is meaningless for Russia until they have an

    economy which actually matters to the world economy. That, and democracy, will take some time, as you've said.





    Quote Originally Posted by Alex157 View Post
    Well, again, I think that something is changed when the generation is changed.


    I opened a poll not long ago about who is to blame most for the war in

    Yugoslavia. And on a democratic forum most people tipped the box ‘USA’


    It was a jocular song here with stanzas like this ‘if there is

    no water in the house, the Jews have drank it’ and the like.

    It

    is senseless to talk to such people.

    My blog is photo one.

    http://bayukov.livejournal.com/
    I plan to add some politics but just for attracting people.

    However, we are constructing a site and there is going to be a section in English.


    I’ll tell you about it in details when it is ready.

    I understand your sentiments with Russian political sophistication. I was mostly

    wondering about the group you are working in and what kind of things you are doing.

    I'm curious, what kind of

    politics/government are taught in the gymnazia? What is the next generation being taught?

    Even as I write this,

    I just saw on TV that Putin embraced the Peoples' Party, and spoke of "consolidating power". Kasparov said the

    power move was "byzantine". I have to agree, in a purely intellectual way.

    However, I understand and agree with

    your assessment of Russia's political necessity of having an autocratic leader. Personal security and economic

    stability require it, like you say.

    It seems to me that Russians are naive, and wonderfully untainted by

    politics. This is both a compliment and a criticism. Those who care about politics are as voices crying in the

    wilderness. The rest are married to their culture, perhaps not happily at times, but free of an added burden.

    I

    like your photo blog a lot Alexey. Is anyone allowed to post photos? I also enjoyed your "How I Participated in

    the Russian Elections".

    My favorite was your marriage commentary, and the bride in this picture:



    http://i011.radikal.ru/0803/25/fea70ee41380.jpg


  24. #84
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    I understand your sentiments with Russian political sophistication.
    I was mostly wondering about the

    group you are working in and what kind of things you are doing.





    It was several people from one of our parties Yabloko (apple). The

    most active one was a local leader of the youth organization under this party.


    Our last job was trying to organize answers of party candidates in their

    blogs. We asked candidates and just party members to open treads where people could ask them questions during

    campaign. The TV channels were virtually closed for them. However, as a rule they don’t want to answer anything.




    I'm curious, what

    kind of politics/government are taught in the gymnazia? What is the next generation being taught?

    Well, the next generation just are not taught that grandpa

    Lenin was the most human man and that communism is inevitable. I hope that the generation after it will be taught

    something else. Actually, it is a continuous fight between different ministers what should be taught in

    schools…

    I think that some basis of democracy are taught now.



    Even as I write this, I just saw on TV that Putin embraced the

    Peoples' Party, and spoke of "consolidating power".




    You mean ‘United Russia’, Greg? Putin now is a member of it and is going

    to be elected its leader.





    Kasparov said the power move was "byzantine". I have to agree, in

    a purely intellectual way.

    Yes, but with such politicians as

    Kasparov there are no other choice


    However, I understand and

    agree with your assessment of Russia's political necessity of having an autocratic leader. Personal security and

    economic stability require it, like you say.

    In Russia yes.

    Of course, if there is a middle class it is better to have democracy.





    It seems to me that Russians are naive, and wonderfully

    untainted by politics. This is both a compliment and a criticism. Those who care about politics are as voices crying

    in the wilderness. The rest are married to their culture, perhaps not happily at times, but free of an added burden.

    Yes, Russians are very naive. It is discussed why it is seen

    if a person is Russian . I remember an American movie and there was a moment when several tens of Soviet military

    went somewhere. One of actors was Russian and it was clearly seen tens Americans in Russian uniform and one Russian

    among them I don’t know what it is. Maybe some childishness in a face too.



    I like your photo blog a lot Alexey.


    Oh, thank you.



    Is anyone allowed to

    post photos?


    My

    journal is run by the Russian laws only They don’t forbid posting photos. However, technically it is possible

    to post photos on the main page by me only. Anybody else can post anything he/she wants in comments. Do you have

    something?



    My

    favorite was your marriage commentary, and the bride in this picture:
    [COLOR=#2

    22222][/COLOR]



    Yes, I like her too

  25. #85
    Moderator idesign's Avatar
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    Alexey, its been a long time

    since we spoke, I hope you are still there among us, and doing well.

    There is a lot of water which has flowed

    under our bridges.

    We have an election process and you have Georgia. From my perspective they are similar. One

    is attempting an invasion on another for political reasons.

    I will be very interested to hear about what you

    think of Putin's (Medvedev's) adventure into the Caucasus. Its interesting that the commentary made here in the

    US always refers to Putin's bold move, and not Medvedev.

    Is the spirit of Ivan IV alive in Putin? He is

    flexing muscles and looking like Czar. We in the west are mostly lost concerning Russia, but I know something about

    your history. Russia is like a woman for me: I love you, and vodka helps me forget the politics.


  26. #86
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    Greg hi
    yes, I am here and I

    am OK
    As for Georgia I think that Saakashvili is complete scum... However, the position of Russia is really

    funny. We granted citizenship all population of South Ossetia there and call ourselves peacekeepers....
    Anyway the

    problem is that the West started it with recognition of Kosovo, I believe... What do you think of it?
    and yes,

    Putin is strong and formidable

  27. #87
    Moderator idesign's Avatar
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    Glad to hear that you are alive

    and well Alexey!

    Hmmm, Kosovo. It was a big problem for Clinton and NATO. We tried to help a Muslim population

    and had no understanding of the complex history of the Balkans. When we recognized Kosovo we tried to do the right

    thing and, as it happened, did nothing to solve a problem. I don't know if you can blame the West, or anyone. I

    also don't know if the problem in the Balkans can be solved. The Ottomans caused the problem and they are no

    longer here to help us. Their ancestors are unwilling to negotiate.

    I'm curious about how you think Georgia

    relates to that situation. Do you think Russia's interest might be geographical and oil related? Georgia is an

    important link to the Black Sea, and is between there and Baku.

    What do you think of the defense missile system

    in Poland?

    I visited your website and it has grown a lot! Many beautiful images! A nice place to visit. I was

    thinking about posting some pictures there, but your artists are much better than what I do.

    Oh, why do you think

    Saakashivili is scum?


  28. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by idesign View Post
    Glad to hear that you are alive and well

    Alexey!
    Quote Originally Posted by idesign View Post

    Hmmm, Kosovo. It was a big problem for Clinton and NATO. We

    tried to help a Muslim population and had no understanding of the complex history of the Balkans. When we recognized

    Kosovo we tried to do the right thing and, as it happened, did nothing to solve a problem. I don't know if you can

    blame the West, or anyone. I also don't know if the problem in the Balkans can be solved.



    No, not helping Muslims was a problem. My opinion is not

    typical for Russians but I think that NATO had no choice but interfere there.

    I was saying

    about recognition of Kosovo. It was a direct violation of European principle of inviolability of frontiers in

    Europe. It was signed by all European countries and by the US too. The US is not a European country : ) but others

    have no excuse.

    By the way, such independence violates logic too. If Kosovo has a right to be

    independent from Serbia, any district of Kosovo where there are Serbian majority should have such a right also.






    Quote Originally Posted by idesign View Post
    I'm curious about how you think Georgia

    relates to that situation. Do you think Russia's interest might be geographical and oil related? Georgia is an

    important link to the Black Sea, and is between there and

    Baku.


    Well, first of all both nations –

    Abkazs and Ossetins want to be with Russia, not Georgia, it is a fact. So it is not easy for Russia to be

    indifferent since all Caucasian nations of Russia are against Georgia too and support Abkazia and South Ossetia. As

    NATO didn’t want to see how Albanians were killed in Kosovo we don’t want to see how Georgians kill Abkazs and

    Ossetins.

    Of course, the Kremlin has interests of its own there, but it has a great pretext

    for operating there.

    Now it is clear that both the West and the Kremlin have extremely

    hypocritical positions. Both accuse each other of doing what the are doing themselves.

    It is

    a top of hypocrisy to shout about violation of international laws in Kosovo and then to do the same in Georgia. The

    West has not any moral rights to accuse Russia after recognition of Kosovo too. It was the West who started it.






    Quote Originally Posted by idesign View Post
    What do you think of the defense missile

    system in Poland?


    As

    for me I think nothing, but I am sure that if Russia begins to built military bases in Cuba the US wouldn’t be too

    happy too.





    Quote Originally Posted by idesign View Post
    Glad to hear that you are alive and well

    Alexey!
    Quote Originally Posted by idesign View Post

    I visited your website and it has grown a lot! Many beautiful

    images! A nice place to visit. I was thinking about posting some pictures there, but your artists are much better

    than what I do.




    Greg, post something and we compare : )




    Quote Originally Posted by idesign View Post

    Oh, why do you

    think Saakashivili is scum?


    I saw the translations from the UN by the CNN. Of course, Georgian representatives have a good command of

    English and in comparison with our old Soviet apparatchik they look much better. Buy they lie as Stalin’s guys lied

    60 years ago in the UN.

    It was Saakasvili’s regime who started the

    war. And they started it cowardly at the first day of Olympics. Hundreds of civilians died for nothing since the

    Kremlin was just glad to this provocation and it was obvious that Russia would draw in its army.


    By the way, Saakashvili is a mental person too. It is strange that the

    West cannot see it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex157 View Post
    Well, first of all both nations – Abkazs and Ossetins want to be with Russia,

    not Georgia, it is a fact
    .
    That may well have to do

    with before the Soviet days, Georga engaged in "ethnic cleansing" in Ossetia. They hated each other.
    Freedom begins when you tell Mrs. Grundy to go fly a kite.
    --Lazarus Long

  30. #90
    Moderator idesign's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex157 View Post


    No, not helping Muslims was a problem. My opinion is not typical for

    Russians but I think that NATO had no choice but interfere there.

    I was saying about

    recognition of Kosovo. It was a direct violation of European principle of inviolability of frontiers in Europe. It

    was signed by all European countries and by the US too. The US is not a European country : ) but others have no

    excuse.

    By the way, such independence violates logic too. If Kosovo has a right to be

    independent from Serbia, any district of Kosovo where there are Serbian majority should have such a right

    also.


    Yes, I understand, but it is difficult to understand why a major ethnic

    population within a region cannot have their political freedom when political boundaries have historically been

    drawn randomly and without populations in mind. In Eastern Europe it is most difficult, especially in the Balkans

    (Yugoslavia and Albania).

    If Europe thinks its boundaries to be inviolable, then they need only think back to

    their history when the Western nations continuously shifted alliances against various Eastern powers and schemed to

    manipulate much of Eastern Europe (post-Ottoman) through those alliances. There was scarcely any time for E.Europe

    to establish modern States before the Soviets put an end to that.
    Modern Europe is only a little more

    enlightened, and they are concerned more with economic unity than ethnic freedoms.

    Its my thinking that W.Europe

    is not that comfortable being part of NATO as a useful force to begin with.

    Arbitrary boundaries will

    eventually be broken, and nowhere was it more volatile than the Balkans. But, there is little risk that smaller

    populations will have the resources to break from the boundaries recently

    established.



    Quote Originally Posted by Alex157 View Post
    Well, first of all both nations – Abkazs and Ossetins

    want to be with Russia, not Georgia, it is a fact. So it is not easy for Russia to be indifferent since all

    Caucasian nations of Russia are against Georgia too and support Abkazia and South Ossetia. As NATO didn’t want

    to see how Albanians were killed in Kosovo we don’t want to see how Georgians kill Abkazs and Ossetins.


    Of course, the Kremlin has interests of its own there, but it has a great pretext for

    operating there.

    Now it is clear that both the West and the Kremlin have extremely

    hypocritical positions. Both accuse each other of doing what the are doing themselves.

    It is

    a top of hypocrisy to shout about violation of international laws in Kosovo and then to do the same in Georgia. The

    West has not any moral rights to accuse Russia after recognition of Kosovo too. It was the West who started it.

    What you say makes sense, if you consider "self-determination" to be a goal for a modern

    political philosophy. MtnJim's point is well taken, and your explanation is enlightening. In this way of looking

    at Ossetia is Russia all that hypocritical? Of course you must discount other reasons.

    Int'l politics and law

    are constantly shifting, and have always been so. Today's hypocrite is yesterday's hero. The US knows this

    because they have been caught in their own devices many times, but the game must be played with today's cards.

    That's what makes yesterday's cards so troublesome.


    Quote Originally Posted by Alex157 View Post
    As

    for me I think nothing, but I am sure that if Russia begins to built military bases in Cuba the US wouldn’t be

    too happy too.
    Ah, do you interpret such actions through the lens of a Soviet camera? Or

    is the camera a modern Russian one? They are very different. Is it so hard to understand "manoeuvres

    defensif"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alex157 View Post
    I saw the translations from the UN by the CNN. Of

    course, Georgian representatives have a good command of English and in comparison with our old Soviet apparatchik

    they look much better. Buy they lie as Stalin’s guys lied 60 years ago in the UN.


    It was Saakasvili’s regime who started the war. And they started

    it cowardly at the first day of Olympics. Hundreds of civilians died for nothing since the Kremlin was just glad to

    this provocation and it was obvious that Russia would draw in its army.

    By the way, Saakashvili is a mental person too. It is strange that the West cannot see it.

    Yes, after some reading I think you are right.

    As another thought, what do you think

    of the UN?

    As for my pictures, they are only good "snapshots", and not artistically rendered. I will gather some

    and send them to you.

    Nice to see you again!
    Last edited by idesign; 09-03-2008 at 03:01 PM.


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