December 20, 2013

World War G and the Military-Industrial Complex

Boeing F/A-XX concept
America's Global War of Terror has been a huge moneymaker for Washington's Beltway, but it's starting to get a little old. Looking to the future, why not a replay of a tried and true honeypot: an arms race with Russia? 

Granted, the Russkies are still years from getting their F-22 competitor Sukhoi T-50 into military service, but America's F-35 program is such a boondoggle of incompetence and corruption that it's almost as if it were intended to give the Russians and Chinese time to catch up and turn this back into a ballgame.

But to justify lots more spending we need some reason to be angry at the Russians. They don't have 53,000 tanks pointed in the general direction of the Fulda Gap anymore, so the pretext isn't immediately obvious.

Good question ...

I know, gays! 

And Ukrainians, although they're kind of boring ... 

Hey, there must be some Ukrainian gays! Somebody get to work on this pronto.

To give you the latest Wall Street - Washington - City of London - Brussels perspective on why Russia is intolerable -- because it's intolerant! -- here's former executive editor Bill Keller's NYT column from earlier this week. 
Russia vs. Europe 
By BILL KELLER 
The world needs Nelson Mandelas. Instead, it gets Vladimir Putins. As the South African hero was being sung to his grave last week, the Russian president was bullying neighboring Ukraine into a new customs union that is starting to look a bit like Soviet Union Lite, and consolidating his control of state-run media by creating a new Kremlin news agency under a nationalistic and homophobic hard-liner...
Putin’s moves were not isolated events. They fit into a pattern of behavior over the past couple of years that deliberately distances Russia from the socially and culturally liberal West: laws giving official sanction to the terrorizing of gays and lesbians, the jailing of members of a punk protest group for offenses against the Russian Orthodox Church, the demonizing of Western-backed pro-democracy organizations as “foreign agents,” expansive new laws on treason, limits on foreign adoptions. 
What’s going on is more complicated and more dangerous than just Putin flexing his political pecs. He is trying to draw the line against Europe, to deepen division on a continent that has twice in living memory been the birthplace of world wars. It seems clearer than ever that Putin is not just tweaking the West to rouse his base or nipping domestic opposition in the bud. He is also attempting to turn back 25 years of history. 
“Putin wants to make Russia into the traditional values capital of the world,” said Masha Gessen, author of a stinging Putin biography, an activist for gay and lesbian rights and a writer for the Latitudes blog on this paper’s website. 
What, you may wonder, does Russia’s retro puritanism have to do with the turmoil in the streets of Kiev, where Ukrainian protesters yearning for a partnership with the European Union confront a president, Viktor Yanukovich, who has seemed intent on joining Putin’s rival “Eurasian” union instead? More than you might think. 
Listen to the chairman of the Russian Parliament’s International Affairs Committee, Alexei Pushkov, warning that if Ukraine joins the E.U., European advisers will infiltrate the country and introduce “a broadening of the sphere of gay culture.” Or watch Dmitry Kiselyov, the flamboyantly anti-Western TV host Putin has just installed at the head of a restructured news agency. Kiselyov recently aired excerpts from a Swedish program called “Poop and Pee,” designed to teach children about bodily functions, and declared it was an example of the kind of European depravity awaiting Ukraine if it aligns with Europe. (Kiselyov is also the guy who said that when gay people die their internal organs should be burned and buried so that they cannot be donated.) 

Hyping the specter of World War G is going to make some people a whole lot of money.

Keller is a Bloombergian centrist, a Voice of Responsible Opinion. So just remember if this struck you while reading it as hysterical and irresponsible in a 1913 kind of way of taking excessive umbrage at other Great Powers, well that just shows what an extremist weirdo you are.

103 comments:

Bert said...

I've had very similar suspicions for a very long time, but recently it's become pretty obvious.

Wars for tolerance. Maybe Orwell was right.

DJF said...

“””the Russian president was bullying neighboring Ukraine into a new customs union””’

Bulling? Russia is offering cheap oil and gas, plus continued buying of Ukrainian industrial output. That is not bulling, its bribery at worse, and good old fashioned deal making at best.

If Ukraine was smart it would sit in the middle between Russia and the EU and see who offers the best deal. The problem for the EU is that they have so many deals going on within itself that I doubt if they have money to match Russia’s offer while at the same time Ukraine probably won’t like getting stuck with the open borders, liberal agenda, and buying up and destruction of the Ukrainian economy that ties to the EU will bring

Anonymous said...

The only problem with this is that making money by ginning up arms races between two superpowers with nuclear weapons is like picking up pennies in front of a steamroller. Even if the sort of backroom meetings portrayed in JFK were representative, the voting public, and many of the politicians and military take these cold wars at face value. There were way too many close calls that could have ended up as armageddon to want to repeat another cold war.

Anonymous said...

the demonizing of Western-backed pro-democracy organizations as “foreign agents,”

Wait, so they're "foreign agents", despite, um, being "foreign agents"?

Anonymous said...

Europe is going to the the traditional values capital of the world in a few decades. They're just going about it in a different way.

Anonymous said...

I guess Lockheed got your memo:

"Defense and aerospace giant Lockheed Martin pulls pin on donations to Boy Scouts over organization's ban on gay Scout leaders"

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2526892/Defense-aerospace-giant-Lockheed-Martin-pulls-pin-donations-Boy-Scouts-organizations-ban-gay-Scout-leaders.html

Chicago said...

He's a US citizen so why does he care so much about Ukrainians? Yeah, let's all get worked up over whether or not they get into the EU. He seems to like Mandela and Wolfowitz which ought to send up a few red flags. Perhaps he is hoping to receive some Soros money.

ricpic said...

Yes, it was staring us in the face and we didn't see it, a war against that bastion of traditional values, Russia, is the next logical step for worldwide gayety. Of which Wash DC is the home office nonpareil.

TontoBubbaGoldstein said...

...the demonizing of Western-backed pro-democracy organizations as “foreign agents",...

Damn. That Putin guy is just NUTS!

Anony Mouse said...

Can someone explain to me when exactly homophobia became the worst sin ever? It's like the worst insult you can bestow now, save racist.

Anonymous said...

By any objective standard, Putin should be the person of the year in 2013. His Syria and Ukraine moves were quite impressive. Yet, for all the mediocrity Putin supposedly is, the real question is whether it is Putin who is so good or his Western opponents (Obama's admin, EU bureaucrats) that are so bad? I personally believe it's the latter. Obama was unbelievably incompetent on Syria.

2Degrees said...

The problem with picking a fight with Russia on the issue of gay rights is that saintly black people are far more likely to be mean to saintly gay people than Russians are.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_rights_by_country_or_territory

This is even more of a problem in New Zealand which has a number of dependent territories in the Pacific. The only one of these to take a tolerant attitude towards homosexuality is Australia. Sodomy is illegal in the Cook Islands.

Britain was shocked when Pussy Riot was jailed for defiling a church, but regularly jails people for defiling mosques.

http://www.frontpagemag.com/2013/dgreenfield/scotland-jails-man-for-10-months-for-putting-bacon-on-mosque-doors/

Anonymous said...

"It seems clearer than ever that Putin is not just tweaking the West to rouse his base or nipping domestic opposition in the bud. He is also attempting to turn back 25 years of history."

Bill Keller knows that the post-WWII USSR was socially conservative and that Putin is trying to turn back the clock in many ways, but Steve doesn't want to know this. Steve can't admit to himself that the US represented the liberal, leftist side in the Cold War and that the USSR represented the traditionalist side. Here this is spelled out to Steve by an actual leftist (Keller), but Steve will never admit this. To repeat:

[Putin] "is also attempting to turn back 25 years of history".

That's such a simple point. And it's true. The original Cold War was fought to bring buggery, porn, drugs, crime, radical feminism, third-world immigration and thievery through oligarchs to Russia and Eastern Europe. And this new budding cold war is shaping up to be about the exact same things. It's a replay. Keller understands this. But Steve will not, purely for patriotic reasons. If you think that patriotism required you to root for your side then, then why not now? What is the difference? That you were gullible then, and are skeptical of official lines now? That's not enough of a reason.

agnostic said...

"Russia’s retro puritanism"

LOL. Russians must be one of the drunkest peoples on Earth, and non-Balkan Slavic women are (in)famous in the Game world for being among the sluttiest in world.

Who would possibly have so much pent-up animus toward the backward Slavic peasantry, and the shiksa slutty farmer's daughter?

"[Masha] Gessen was born into an Ashkenazi Jewish family in Moscow. In 1981 Gessen moved with her family to the United States. She returned in 1991 to Moscow. She holds both Russian and US citizenship."

slumber_j said...

I really like how Keller avoids writing the words "Pussy Riot" here. Exquisite!

Anonymous said...

To me this is just another example of lefties being evil and righties being stupid. Naivete is a form of stupidity. This Keller person is evil, but at least he has his facts straight. Putin is trying to turn back the clock. If current trends continue, there will be a replay of the Cold War for exactly the same reasons as the first time around. The two sides are taking the same positions.

But American right-wingers can't admit this because that would mean admitting that they were bamboozled by guys like Keller the first time around. So even if they don't want a second cold war, they imagine that things are different now, that the two sides have somehow exchanged places. This is false.

Lefties have the info on this sort of stuff, the facts. They just want a different outcome. Righties desire the right outcomes, but are gullible, not as smart, easily led. And that's why the world at large is going to hell.

agnostic said...

World War G reminds me of the Victorian Scramble for Africa.

How much more trivial and bombastic can our national policy get?

Bert said...

"Can someone explain to me when exactly homophobia became the worst sin ever? It's like the worst insult you can bestow now, save racist."

The establishment has been moving in that direction since 2003, and perhaps earlier. Even though the GOP made hay out of the issue and used it to narrowly re-elect Bush, their hearts were never really in it. Once the issue finally stopped being enough to get those gullible Christian conservatives to pull the lever, the Republicans dropped it like a hot potato. In the upper echelon of DC nobody in either party opposes gay marriage. The GOP only still has that plank in their platform in order to keep us stupid white people thinking that they care about our values.

Anonymous said...

Keller drones on about gay rights as though that were the key component in this mess.

If Ukraine joins the EU their central bank forfeits the right to expand and contract the nation's money supply in response to larger global trade fluctuations. This is why the PIGS are screwed. They can't devalue their currency to lower their labor costs and make exports attractively priced so as to balance their foreign trade deficits.

Keller, as fawning bootlick for his greedy Masters of the Universe, knows this and by pushing such fluff as gay rights is blowing smoke so as to befuddle the gullible social liberals.

Anonymous said...

“Putin wants to make Russia into the traditional values capital of the world,” said Masha Gessen, author of a stinging Putin biography, an activist for gay and lesbian rights and a writer for the Latitudes blog on this paper’s website.

I love how he quotes Masha Gessen to prove Putin has irrational fears of gays and the agenda of the West. Masha Gessen is famous for admitting that the purpose of 'gay marriage' is to help destroy the institution of marriage. Yes, she thinks the institution of marriage SHOULD NOT EXIST. See here for the clip.

Care to comment on this Mr. Keller, or do you want to eradicate the institution of marriage too?.

I'd say Putin has every right to be suspicious. It's amazing how the left thinks the wind is in its sails so much that they are now admitting this stuff in public.

Oh yes. One more thing, she is not a 'post-Christian'.

David Davenport said...

The original Cold War was fought to bring buggery, porn, drugs, crime, radical feminism, third-world immigration and thievery through oligarchs to Russia and Eastern Europe.

No, the Cold War was fought to fight Stalin and his successors.

So sorry your hero lost. Most regrettable.

If current trends continue, there will be a replay of the Cold War for exactly the same reasons as the first time around. The two sides are taking the same positions.

But American right-wingers can't admit this because that would mean admitting that they were bamboozled by guys like Keller the first time around.


That's all nonsense.

David Davenport said...

America's F-35 program is such a boondoggle of incompetence and corruption

Could you specify or enumerate any of that alleged corruption and incompetence and boondoggling in any detail?

Steve, what do you know about the F-35 program aside from what you've read in the NY Times or the LA Times?

Svigor said...

Who would possibly have so much pent-up animus toward the backward Slavic peasantry, and the shiksa slutty farmer's daughter?

They had that yenta on NPR yesterday, I think it was. I knew she was a Jew before I heard her speak, before I heard her named. Hell, I know NPR's talking about a Jew the second they say, "Russia expert," but I didn't even hear that. I just heard the pansy mod recapping her views, and I knew. Then I heard him say she was "gay," and I double-knew. Then I heard him say she had a US passport, and I triple-knew. Then she said she was wealthy, and I quadruple-knew. It was only after that I heard her name and quintuple-knew, or whatever it wound up being in the final tally.

They called her a "Russian." My ass. She's a Jew. She doesn't even have a Russian surname, for crying out loud.

She's fleeing Russia, of course.

Anonymous said...

"USSR represented the traditionalist side."

USSR had abortion before the US. Its ideology was anti-'racist'. It was communist. It was officially atheist and tightly controlled religion. It suppressed Russian and other nationalisms to promote Soviet unity.

USSR wasn't more traditionalist. But it was more humanist since communism was more about populist morality than capitalism was.

Dave Pinsen said...

What a crazy world where a junior cavalry officer turned pop singer is more prudent about Russia than a 4-star US general or an NYT editor.

Anonymous said...

“Putin wants to make Russia into the traditional values capital of the world,” said Masha Gessen, author of a stinging Putin biography, an activist for gay and lesbian rights and a writer for the Latitudes blog on this paper’s website.

Masha Gassen on the real purpose of "gay marriage":

http://www.theglobaldispatch.com/gay-activist-masha-gessen-speech-for-viral-gay-marriage-is-a-lie-and-calls-for-end-to-marriage-58250/

"A 2012 speech by Masha Gessen, activist for the gay community, is viral across the Internet, as she states the gay marriage agenda is a lie and calls for an end to the institution of marriage and redefining the “traditional family.”

“Gay marriage is a lie,” Gessen is heard saying in the video.

“Fighting for gay marriage generally involves lying about what we’re going to do with marriage when we get there,” she added.

“It’s a no-brainer that the institution of marriage should not exist,” she said to loud applause.

“I have three kids who have five parents, more or less, and I don’t see why they shouldn’t have five parents legally… I met my new partner, and she had just had a baby, and that baby’s biological father is my brother, and my daughter’s biological father is a man who lives in Russia, and my adopted son also considers him his father. So the five parents break down into two groups of three… And really, I would like to live in a legal system that is capable of reflecting that reality, and I don’t think that’s compatible with the institution of marriage,” she said.

Gessen, a lesbian and a journalist, spoke frankly about this at a conference in Sydney, Australia, wrote: “It’s a no-brainer that we should have the right to marry,’ she said. ‘But I also think equally that it’s a no-brainer that the institution of marriage should not exist. … ‘Marriage equality’ becomes ‘marriage elasticity,’ with the ultimate goal of ‘marriage extinction.’ ”"

Bert said...

Russia will be a better place without Masha Gessen in it.

Dave Pinsen said...

Speaking of World War G, this is the Twitter outrage of the hour: a PR gal for IAC Interactive on her way to some charity event in Africa tweeted, "Going to Africa. Hope I don't get AIDS. Just kidding. I'm white!".

I don't think she has landed yet, but her employer has already removed her name and contact info from its site and deleted her twitter account. So she's probably going to be unemployed in Africa.

Anonymous said...

"USSR had abortion before the US."

The US had legalized homosexuality, the sexual revolution (aka sluttiness), the widespread use of drugs and porn, militant feminism, widespread divorce, the decline of educational standards and many other things of that nature before the USSR did. In context the issue of abortion looks like an outlier.

"It was communist."

After WWII, only in name. As are China and N. Korea now. China is national capitalist and N. Korea is national socialist. Both retain traditional morality. The US is and was culturally Marxist. THAT's the true heir of original Marxism.

"It suppressed Russian and other nationalisms to promote Soviet unity."

This is false. The Soviet educational system heavily stressed the nationalistic aspect of past military conflicts, from the Middle Ages (Alexander Nevsky against the Teutonic Knights, Russians against Mongols) to WWII, with everything in between.

"Its ideology was anti-'racist'"

It wasn't anti-white though. Parts of the USSR were always, since prehistory, populated by Asians, so it wasn't anti-non-white either. Migration across ancient ethnic boundaries was generally discouraged. Its extent was more than an order of magnitude smaller than in Western Europe of the same period.


"It was officially atheist and tightly controlled religion."

The Soviet state blew up churches the 1920s and 1930s, when it actually was Communist. After Stalin met with the leaders of the Russian Orthodox Church in 1943, relations improved considerably, but the state remained officially atheist. Churches were open though and most ethnic Russians baptized their kids during the middle and late Soviet periods.

"USSR wasn't more traditionalist."

I disagree. So does the guy Steve quoted in his post.

[Putin] "is also attempting to turn back 25 years of history. “Putin wants to make Russia into the traditional values capital of the world,” said Masha Gessen, author of a stinging Putin biography"

Gessen and Keller obviously think that 25 years ago Russia was a beacon of traditional values and that Putin wants a return to some of that. They have the right facts but the wrong motivations. You, Steve and most of the people reading this have the right motivations but the wrong facts on all of this.

Anonymous said...

Could you specify or enumerate any of that alleged corruption and incompetence and boondoggling in any detail?

Steve, what do you know about the F-35 program aside from what you've read in the NY Times or the LA Times?

You are way off base my friend, this plane was a huge disaster in the making from the very beginning, and a lot of the design flaws were implemented at the behest of the Clinton Administration. They wanted it to be stealthy and also a bomber, which added more weight and drag to a design that was already compromised by the vertical take off capability wanted by the Marine Corps. That notorious left wing think tank the RAND Corporation had two analysts with combat experience as pilots during the Gulf War look at it and they concluded that it " Can't turn, can't climb, can't run "

It is already going to a decade late in coming out, and the software is years behind schedule. This is something you rarely hear about in the context of the JSF, but L-M is adding a huge number of new programmers very late in the development process, this NEVER works in any large project. One of the key designers of the famous IBM 360 series of mainframes in the 1960's, Fred Brooks wrote a book about it called the " The Mythical Man-Month ". Adding manpower to a late project makes it later, but this is exactly what L-M is doing, redirecting 200 programmers who were working on other projects to the plane at this late development date. Not only will they not succeed, even if they did it wouldn't matter because the plane is a bad design aerodynamically. It's already 43 seconds SLOWER than the also single engine F-16 from Mach 0.8 to Mach 1.2 in the Navy version, and that in order to achieve top speed in the Navy and Marine versions the plane would use up almost all of it's fuel.

Simon in London said...

"“Putin wants to make Russia into the traditional values capital of the world,” said Masha Gessen"

This is a big part of why he's so popular outside Russia, especially in America - the anti-traditional-values capital of the world. Putin's values reflect those of most people even in the modern West. Meanwhile the transnationalist elite is growing ever more detached from the values of the common people, and ever more hostile towards them. So Putin becomes not a military threat, but a moral threat to them.

Simon in London said...

anon:
"By any objective standard, Putin should be the person of the year in 2013. His Syria and Ukraine moves were quite impressive. "

Putin has been very impressive ever since he gained power. I can't think of a single issue he's lost on. Syria and Ukraine are just the latest. From the reconquest of Chechnya through the defeat of the Georgian invasion of South Ossetia, and countless diplomatic issues, he keeps winning. People respect that.

Anonymous said...

Interesting that you mention the Ukrainian situation, Steve, - spmething that the western media has by and large ignored during last week's Mandela sackcloth and ashes fest - with added comedy highlights - that utterly dominated TV news bulletins for a solid week. (I doubt if Queen Elizabeth II died the UK media would lavish so much attention).


Anyhow, Russia is no longer the broke baske-case of 2000, but utterly, totally filthy rich and awash with cash. This cash is, of course, earned from the demand for oil, gas and raw materials that China has stoked up to sky-high prices. Ukraine having no real source of export cash and suffereing from crippling gas and foreign exchange shortages is basically bankrupt, and Mr. Putin has made them an offer they can't refuse. The goons at that *real* fascist totalitarian state, the EU,(sans Germany bankrupt themselves)want to nab Ukraine themselves, but alas bear no gifts of gas, (unless you count noisome flatulence),or even cash. All they want to do is to, literally, shove 'gay rights' down othodox throats, open the doors to 3rd world immigrants and *cost* the Ukrainians a great deal of cash.

I fully realise that western ukraine in particular bears strong historic grudges against the Russkies, and that basically the nation is divided. But after mega-klutz Gorbachev and his dumb, crazy, cack-handed 'policies' achieved what Hitler, Napoleon and a whole host of others failed to do ie sever Ukraine from Russia, or the head from the body, wily Mr. Putin is slowly putting humpty-dumpty together again.

Anonymous said...

Anyway, to add to the previous, what this current Ukraine/Russia situaution really tells us is how Chinese economic dominace, due to ramped up commodity prices in this case, has totally altered the global game-play.

Anonymous said...

So in an arms race between Russia and America, which side are White guys supposed to be on?

Matthew said...

"Defense and aerospace giant Lockheed Martin pulls pin on donations to Boy Scouts over organization's ban on gay Scout leaders"

Time to call your congressman and demand we pull the plug on the F-35.

Anonymous said...

I really am not sure what Communism has to offer for the anti-immigration or nationalist set, as it is being spruiked here. It's basically a fancy way for an intelligent, murderous and kleptocratic group of people/criminals to seize control of businesses and other wealth in a country, often with foreign backing. Which tends not to work so great in practice, because most often it was the people who had the genetically endowed skill-set and intelligence to build these industries or farms in the first place, and have been running them.

So, these organizations get their mostly competent leadership beheaded and in their place are put people who don't really know what they are doing but are great at quoting Marx, going to party meetings, and various cloak and dagger stuff. And who mostly have a childish view of how a business runs - that the only thing the management does is sit around smoking cigars and wearing top hats. So they don't have to worry about little trivialities like having a positive cash flow or making a profit.

Of course, that's going to turn out well. And this isn't the only crippling these businesses have to contend with, it's the ham-fisted Communist leadership dictating what should be produced by these businesses from Moscow, far away from the coal face.

What else does such a kleptocracy do but attempt to do the same thing to surrounding countries, as the Soviets did, until they reached the limits of that possibility. They survived on their oil wealth for a long time, but eventually went broke trying to compete with Reagan militarily.

I'm really not sure why the USSR is something that ought to be emulated, along with its gulags and executions. But certainly there do need to be checks on businesses and their leaders, as it is the greediness of such people that has something to do with the current predicament the West is now in, with its demand for cheap labor at any price, let the rest of society bear the negative externalities. IIRC Steve makes the point that what the USSR did do was to prod the West/USA into demonstrating that their system could benefit the average person just as well if not better.

neil craig said...

I dunno. Occupying Afghanistan for the sake of women's rights didn't work to well. Invading Russia to promote gay marriage doesn't sound like the sort of thing to get patriotic juices flowing.

Whitey Whiteman III said...

"Speaking of World War G, this is the Twitter outrage of the hour: a PR gal for IAC Interactive on her way to some charity event in Africa tweeted, "Going to Africa. Hope I don't get AIDS. Just kidding. I'm white!".


She probably meant it as anti-white -- a joke on white privilege.

Only black people get AIDS because racism. Like going to prison.

Anonymous said...

"Anyhow, Russia is no longer the broke baske-case of 2000, but utterly, totally filthy rich and awash with cash. This cash is, of course, earned from the demand for oil, gas and raw materials that China has stoked up to sky-high prices.

All of this money would have been stolen if Putin didn't take power from the oligarchs early on. Russia is solvent because Putin has scared the thieves.

"Ukraine having no real source of export cash and suffereing from crippling gas and foreign exchange shortages is basically bankrupt"

Ukraine is bankrupt because it is still run by its oligarchs. It is what Russia would have been like now if Putin didn't come along.

Anonymous said...

"Putin has been very impressive ever since he gained power. I can't think of a single issue he's lost on.

Off the top of my head, I would say Libya. Putin seemed to have a falling-out with Medvedev on that. Putin wanted Russia to do all it could to prevent Obama and co. from screwing up Libya. Medvedev wanted Russia to stand aside. Medvedev won. At least that's how I interpreted that.

A Working Class American said...

I suspect is playing to the large numbers of russians who are suspicious of the american elite obsession with gays and multiculturalism and pluralism, which is at the core of american fakeLeftism.

Perhaps russians realize that pluralism is just another face of voracious american capitalism.

FakeLeftism uber alles!

Pluralism, russians realize, is just another tool of Capital to realize higher profits via flooding the labor supply with third world imported labor, and they want nothing to do with it.

Beefy Levinson said...

Didn't you guys watch Seinfeld?

"Ukraine is game to you?! I SMASH YOUR GAME!"

Anonymous said...

Putin is a Judoka. A Judoka literally grabs his opponent and engages in a physical tug of war with him until one throws the other and/or is thrown by the other. It's as much a battle of wills and wiles as physical strength.

A person who has practiced this for so long as to have become very accomplished at it (and he has a third degree black belt) has a very deep understanding of human nature, especially under the stress of contest. It would be very difficult to bluff such a man or more importantly, to move him off of his center of balance. He will instinctively come back to a position that balances a stable defense with the potential for aggressive offensive maneuver. As Socrates observed, habits learned in the wrestling arena are also training for the Mind.

George said...

“Putin wants to make Russia into the traditional values capital of the world”

Oh no! That would be ter... wait... that's awesome!

Anonymous said...

"Could you specify or enumerate any of that alleged corruption and incompetence and boondoggling in any detail?

Steve, what do you know about the F-35 program aside from what you've read in the NY Times or the LA Times?"

For starters, you could ask a Navy pilot why a single-engine plane is being pushed for carrier operations. Every single one I've spoken to hates the idea.

Anonymous said...

"No, the Cold War was fought to fight Stalin and his successors."

That's a non-answer. Why do you think the powers that be in the West decided that Stalin was worth fighting after 1946, but was worth cosying up to before that? I have the answer, do you? My answer is that Stalin became an enemy of theirs when he turned anti-Communist in everything but name, when he embraced Russian nationalism and traditional morality. China isn't Communist anymore either, but it retains the label. The West hasn't been democratic in ages, but it retains the label. These labels are meaningless.

When the Soviet union was truly Communist, including in the early Stalinist period, it was an ally of the US and Britain. Uncle Joe and all of that. What changed by 1946? It was a gradual change, but the final break came in 1946. So what changed? Your answer (fighting Stalin) contains no response to that question. Masha Gessen knows what changed, by the way.

Gubbler of the Society of Reformed Chechenistics said...

Ukraine should really break up like Czechoslovakia did. It's really two nations made up of Ukrainians in the West and Russians in the East.

Anonymous said...

"It's basically a fancy way for an intelligent, murderous and kleptocratic group of people/criminals to seize control of businesses and other wealth in a country, often with foreign backing."

This described the original Communists (1917 edition) and the oligarchs who ruled Russia in the 1990s. It does not describe the Soviet Union of 1945 - 1990. Post-WWII Soviet Union was actually a reaction against what you described, as is Putin.

"They survived on their oil wealth for a long time, but eventually went broke trying to compete with Reagan militarily."

This is pretty funny. Ronald Reagan was an element of the foreign backing for the eventual 1990s takeover by the oligarchs.

Mr. Anon said...

".....the demonizing of Western-backed pro-democracy organizations as “foreign agents",...."

Imagine that - demonizing them as "foreign agents" just because they're, you know, foreign agents.

Mr. Anon said...

"...the Russian president was bullying neighboring Ukraine into a new customs union that is starting to look a bit like Soviet Union Lite,"

Why would Ukraine want to ally themselves with Russia? All they get from that is cheap oil and gas. Whereas, if they join up with the EU, they get an army of euro-busybodies insisting that they shut down family farms, accept immigrants from Africa, and permit gay-pride parades with public displays of homosexuality. How could they say no to that?

Gubbler of the Society of Reformed Chechenistics said...

"The US had legalized homosexuality, the sexual revolution (aka sluttiness), the widespread use of drugs and porn, militant feminism, widespread divorce, the decline of educational standards and many other things of that nature before the USSR did. In context the issue of abortion looks like an outlier."

Homosexuality is legal in today's Russia. What is not allowed is homo marches and homo propaganda for children.
If anything, US has illegalized a lot of drugs. There was a time when pot and hallucinogens were legal. Despite the recent legalization of pot in some states, the general trend has been to illegalize drugs. Ecstasy was legal through much of the 90s but has been made illegal since.
Sexual revolution was not 'legalized'. It was a cultural movement. It happened by confluence of social factors outside government control.
I mean how does a free nation ban rock music, which I'm sure you listen to also? Woodstock didn't happen because it was 'legalized' but because young people wanted to get together to put on a rock concert.
Decline of educational standards happened in the USSR as well.
Jewish enrollment and involvement in elite institutions were lowered to make room for less intelligent gentiles. Though the USSR produced some excellent scientists, it was hardly known as an intellectual powerhouse. Russian college students seemed more serious but only because far fewer young people attended college there, and most of them lacked access to consumer goods; so they read books.

And there were lots of Soviet women in the work place and managerial positions, not least because WWII killed off so many men. Also, it wasn't easy to get married and raise a family because of the tight housing.

"It was communist."

"After WWII, only in name. As are China and N. Korea now. China is national capitalist and N. Korea is national socialist. Both retain traditional morality. The US is and was culturally Marxist. THAT's the true heir of original Marxism."

Economically, USSR was still communist in that it was a command economy where individual enterprises of any notable scale was banned. Only with Gorbachev was there any extensive efforts to try a market economy. And North Korea is not national socialist. It's national communist. National Socialism(in Germany) was a mixed economy with the bulk of the economy in private hands; that is NOT the case in North Korea where the state owns everything. All non-western communist nations were nationalistic, but economically they were still communist.
And what would traditional morality be among the Chinese? Greed? or among North Koreans? Lying and thieving to have just enough to eat? There is no morality in a nation like North Korea. If this is traditional morality, you can have it.
True, they don't allow 'gay marriage', but they do a lot of things that would appall Western conservatives.

Gubbler of the Society of Reformed Chechenistics said...

"It suppressed Russian and other nationalisms to promote Soviet unity."

"This is false. The Soviet educational system heavily stressed the nationalistic aspect of past military conflicts, from the Middle Ages (Alexander Nevsky against the Teutonic Knights, Russians against Mongols) to WWII, with everything in between."

There was two kinds of nationalism in the USSR. Rightwing Russian nationalism was suppressed as it tended to stress Russianness against non-Russianness and even called for separatism and breakup of the USSR. Solzhenitsyn supported this, though he saw Ukraine as part of Russia. The Soviet brand of Russian-nationalism sought to use certain aspects of Russianness as a common glue for all peoples. It tried to universalize Russianess a proposition, just like Americans try to universalize Americanness and English language as something the whole world can share.
Hardcore Russian patriots hated this kind of use of Russianness as an abstract principle to hold the Soviet empire together. Similarly, white nationalists in America don't appreciate efforts to turn Washington and Jefferson into the multiculti fathers of not just white Americans but all Americans of all stocks and races.

"Its ideology was anti-'racist'"

'It wasn't anti-white though.'

It was when it came to capitalist enemies. USSR spread tons of propaganda that made American whites to be a bunch of KKK who were oppressing saintly helpless blacks. I had lots of contacts with Russian emigre community in the early 80s. They told me that they were taught 24/7 that American whites were a bunch of hateful 'racist-imperialists' who trampled on the rights of blacks and other non-white groups.

"It was officially atheist and tightly controlled religion."

"The Soviet state blew up churches the 1920s and 1930s, when it actually was Communist. After Stalin met with the leaders of the Russian Orthodox Church in 1943, relations improved considerably..."

Stalin was a total cynic on these matters, as were the rest of the Soviet leadership. They allowed some degree of religiosity to win support among diehard traditionalists and to fool the outside world that freedom of religion existed in Russia. But it was never the kind of freedom one finds in America.

"USSR wasn't more traditionalist."

"I disagree. So does the guy Steve quoted in his post."

USSR wasn't more traditionalist by design but by default. Since it produced far less goods and services than western nations, it offered far less choice to its people. When people have far less choice, they focus on basic necessities, and that makes them 'conservative'.
It's like more traditional buildings were preserved in Eastern Europe than in Western Europe. Again, this wasn't by design but by default. As communism was far less productive, it was less effective in destroying the old and building the new as happened on a huge scale in the far more productive west.

Similarly, despite the ideology of feminism, it was much tougher for men and women to scrape by in the USSR. Therefore, a lot of women had to do women's duties because they had no access to washing machines and the like.
And since a lot of kids didn't have record players, they played folk music at school and sang patriotic songs. Again, it was 'traditionalism' by default than by design.

But USSR was more humanist because communism is more focused on the moral worth of man whereas capitalist-consumerism is focused on the narcissistic vanity of man. So, most Soviet films were about good decent people working hard for the community that movie stars who acted like gods and goddesses on the silver screen.

Mr. Anon said...

What will our hostile elite call this new crusade? The war to make the world safe for sodomy?

Anonymous said...

As Socrates observed, habits learned in the wrestling arena are also training for the Mind.

I would take that with a grain of salt. Socrates also said that about pederasty.

Simon in London said...

me:
"Putin has been very impressive ever since he gained power. I can't think of a single issue he's lost on.

anon:
"Off the top of my head, I would say Libya. Putin seemed to have a falling-out with Medvedev on that. Putin wanted Russia to do all it could to prevent Obama and co. from screwing up Libya. Medvedev wanted Russia to stand aside. Medvedev won. At least that's how I interpreted that."

Fair enough - I wasn't thinking of internal Kremlin debates though. I meant international climb downs and humiliations, such as the first Chechen war. Or something milder such as the US govt declaring its intent to attack Syria then backing down. AFAICT Putin has avoided putting Russia in a position where she has obviously lost or had to back down on anything. Given how hostile the Western media is, if he had had to do so surely I'd have heard of it. If he releases Pussy Riot & co before the Winter Games they will want to spin it that way, so I wonder what he has up his sleeve there.

Dave Pinsen said...

"She probably meant it as anti-white -- a joke on white privilege. you're probably right.

Reg C├Žsar said...

When I want to see an average white guy make a desperation shot from way outside because he doesn't have the stature for a slam dunk, I'll look to the other Bill Keller instead. His attempts hit the target. And he stuck with his home team.

David Davenport said...

They wanted it to be stealthy and also a bomber ... The Clintons did the Navy in? Nope.

After the collapse of the Navy-only A-12 bomber program and after passing up on a carrier version of the F-22, the Navy somewhat belatedly realized that it wasn't going to get two new design, separate fighter and bomber aircraft. The F-35 was the only new tactical aircraft in the development pipeline.

Stealthy? You object to stealth? "Also a bomber"? Yes, of course. Otherwise, the Navy would have no carrier-capable bombers. The F/A-18 has long been assigned both fighter and attack, i.e., bomber roles. Both the failed, stealthy A-12 and a modernized version of the old A-6 carrier bomber would also have been tasked to also be interceptor fighters, carrying AIM-120 air to air missiles.


... which added more weight and drag

The Navy needed and needs fighter aircraft large enough to carry ample fuel and several air to air missiles to fill the fleet defense interceptor role.-- an aircraft at least as big and heavy as the F-18 E/F or the F-35C.


... to a design that was already compromised by the vertical take off capability wanted by the Marine Corps

The F-35C design is in no way compromised by the Harrier replacement F-35B. It's the other way around. A pure delta wing design without separate enpennage would have optimized the short takeoff, vertical landing F-35B. However, an airplane with more conventional tail is better for catapult and tailhook.

... That notorious left wing think tank the RAND Corporation had two analysts with combat experience as pilots during the Gulf War look at it and they concluded that it " Can't turn, can't climb, can't run "

Where are the test measurements and documentation proving that the F-35 can't turn, can't climb, can't run? Show us some numbers, not just vague gossip which any teenager on the Internet could emit.


It's already 43 seconds SLOWER than the also single engine F-16 from Mach 0.8 to Mach 1.2 in the Navy version, and that in order to achieve top speed in the Navy and Marine versions the plane would use up almost all of it's fuel.

"In the Navy version"? You do understand that the Navy's -C version has larger wing and horizontal stabilizer area than the Air Force's F-35A and the Marines' F-35B? Reason why? The catapult and tailhook carrier version has to have larger lifting surfaces because it has to have more lift at slower, take off and landing airspeeds than the other two versions. But the larger lifting and control surfaces also mean that the -C version has more drag at higher airspeeds, compared to the Air Force -A and the Marines' -B versions, which have smaller wings and tails.

In level flight and loaded to the same gross weight as an F-35C, the Marine version should have very nearly the same performance as the Air Force's -A.

You know what you're doing? You're sort of talking the USAF's anti-aircraft carrier party line, which is that ALL tail hook fighter planes are always compromised, sub-optimal fighter planes once off the deck. By the way, can you show any documentation for that 43 seconds slower claim?


For starters, you could ask a Navy pilot why a single-engine plane is being pushed for carrier operations. Every single one I've spoken to hates the idea.

Well then, why did the Navy allow its aviators to fly in those dangerous A-4's, F-8's and A-7's, or any number of naval aircraft of the 1950's, '40's, and on back? The A-7 was sill in use as recently as Gulf War I.

Hearsay has it that NAVAIR put out "single engines are unsafe" talk back in early 1970's. It was an excuse for refusing to buy a Navy version of the F-16.

David Davenport said...

Further comment: big aircraft carriers, including the new USS Ford, are to future wars what big battleships in the 1930's were to future wars of the 21th century.

Whether or not the F-35C is any good is a much smaller problem.

Whiskey said...

Steve, this more like the Gay Lobby throwing a fit over Putin's laws outlawing "Homosexual Propaganda." They figure Sochi makes him uniquely vulnerable. Thus the pressure.

The Russian Federation is not a massive threat. Their only real menace to the US is their support for Iran, based on the mutual desire to jack up oil prices like all cartel members with poor scale of production and corrupt societies.

I am somewhat sympathetic to Putin. He came in facing Beslan, the blowing up the Moscow Apartment buildings, two airliners, and the Nord-Ost theater terrorist jihad action all within a short space of time. His address to the nation that "the weak get beaten and we are weak" was correct. As far as the corrupt, Soviet based, oligarch-KGB derived society exists in Russia, he's the best of a bad lot. He is accurate in saying he defends traditional values, there is no contradiction between being a KGB officer and a devout Orthodox in late Brezhnev USSR.

And Putin is not what he is described in the West as an "ugly nationalist." Quite the contrary, the FT has done a fairly remarkable series of nationalism in Russia, mostly directed against the massive Central Asian Muslim immigrants, who can be expected to be at least 40% of Russia in the next twenty years. Putin wants to expand Russia's traditional influence in Central Asia, not the least to prevent oil competitors from arising to undercut his prices. At the same time his Russian people don't want half of Uzbekistan or Turkmenistan moving to Moscow. Thus Putin ***cracks down*** on nationalists and such, while allowing some minor deportations, and ***some*** reform of Russia's achilles heel: massive corruption. The Chechens were able to amass their weaponry to slaughter kids in Beslan because of easy bribery of Russian security officials. Rather than a police state it is a gangster state.

Russia outside of Iran is not a threat.

Gubbler of the Society of Reformed Chechenistics said...

"What will our hostile elite call this new crusade? The war to make the world safe for sodomy?"

Sodimination.

Whiskey said...

Let me add, Russia's nuclear submarine force after that disaster where one sank in the mid 2000's after some accident, stays almost entirely in port. There are no operating aircraft carriers in the Russian navy. Russia has a small, upgraded ballistic missile nuclear weapons force, and a decrepit, decaying, near-leaderless army. Its air force is third rate.

Russia strategically and tactically is not much of a threat to anyone but itself and its unfortunate conscripts at the moment. Russia's major problem is corruption, cronyism, fit-of-temper seizures of foreign investment (Putin criticized Russian business for incorporating and putting most of their money offshore when he himself created that situation by seizing oligarchs companies and jailing them when they got too independent). What did he expect?

Russia's only challenge to the US is its help in jump-starting Iran's nuclear ambitions and the Putin-Teheran team-up to jack up oil prices sky high. Other than that, they are not much of a threat.

The FT did an excellent series on Ukraine, most Ukranians want access to the European market because it is HUUUUGGGGEEEE! in best Donald Trump voice, compared to Russia's. This is true even in the Russian speaking East and South. The Ukranian President was never going to agree to the EU demands to release the prior President he jailed, in the Ukraine you lose an election you go to jail. Russia promised him $20 billion which it may not even have.

But you are right about the Defense Industry being in decline. Already Hollande's people are saying the EU needs to step up and support its defense industry otherwise it will collapse -- and they will be defenseless against regional threats or what the French Defense Minister said in thinly worded allegory, Camp of the Saints. [This two days ago in the FT.]

Whiskey said...

Last add and I'm out. The FT has run a series on defense firms in Europe. As both US and European firms find spending collapsing at home, they have tried to export. Unfortunately they have lost fairly big time to cheaper alternatives. Boeing lost in Brazil, and Dassault lost to Sweden's cheapo Gripon in Switzerland. The UAE cancelled orders for the Eurofighter Typhoon.

Defense firms though when they die, they can only be resurrected by great national urgency and ultra-high cost. People leave, expertise vanishes, high-tech tooling is dismantled and sold, production secrets forgotten, if a country is serious about protecting itself from threats it needs its own defense sector.

Now you might belive Pinker that human beings are all migrating to peace-love-understanding, and becoming basically like ObamaCare's Pajama Boy. But just because the Cold War is over does not mean regional threats if unopposed can't be serious. The Roman Legions were never seriously threatened by the Saxons, but once they left Britain was fair game.

Even Hollande's people are scared. I was shocked to see in the bureaucratic double-speak basically a reference to mass immigration from Africa in his statement. Newspeak about "emerging regional threats" for the record.

Europe knows it cannot depend on the US. Even if Obama left tomorrow to play golf in Hawaii for the rest of his life, internal politics would not provide them with the free ride they've had since 1945 for defense protection. They don't face a USSR, but they do face half of Africa and the ME wanting to come and live there, and get welfare, and impose their values.*

*Just last week a two Muslim men were arrested in Britain, finally, for harassing people in London to "comply with Sharia" in "Sharia-Controlled Zones" ... a couple holding hands, a person eating a hot dog, another drinking a beer, another walking a dog.

Anonymous said...

"Ukraine should really break up like Czechoslovakia did. It's really two nations made up of Ukrainians in the West and Russians in the East."

I'm not sure why Russia never laid claim to Eastern Ukraine when the USSR broke up. Then again, Yeltsin wasn't too good at looking our for Russia's best interests.

By all rights, the Crimea belongs to Russia too. It is majority ethnic Russian, and only became part of Ukraine when Stalin gave it to them as a gift.

Anonymous said...

"Sodimination"

It's sodomination, me fool.

Anonymous said...

"Russia strategically and tactically is not much of a threat to anyone but itself and its unfortunate conscripts at the moment."

True, it is in no shape or form a global power. But it is the only major nation that can, at the very least, defend itself from enemy invasion. China is the other one.

All other nations are either bitches of the US or helpless if attacked.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 11:26

Socrates a pederast?

Not according to Alcibiades, who was in a position to know and spoke about just that in the dialogue The Symposium.

Don't let your eagerness to giggle and slander interfere with your understanding the essential message of my post.

An advanced Judoka has extensive first hand experience in handling other human beings in contests of will and wiles. If they are intelligent, they will draw inferences from this experience.

The reason such a notion is denigrated in the West today is because of our Mind/Body split. Today's intellectuals believe that there are no lessons that the physical body can teach the intellect.

This in contrast to the traditional Ideal of the West in which mind and body augment one another to make up the integrated individual.

Percy Gryce said...

Steve, have you been following the Samuel See case:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/19/nyregion/questions-linger-after-death-of-yale-teacher-in-police-custody.html

Looks like Sailer bait.

Anonymous said...

Watch for the first state(s) to secede and look like they might have a chance at pulling it off be recognized by Russia, China, et al.

This is going to be the sharp stick in the eye that those who've been on the receiving end of "pro-democracy" agitators for years have been waiting for.

Anonymous said...

I hate to drag down the tone of the comments here but Im sure Im not the only red-blooded male here to regret the loss of Masha Gessen to the the lesbians.


anony-mouse said...

Here's something Putin has lost on-he can't get Russians to replace themselves.

And like most (all?) major Russian leaders he won't prepare a successor, so even if he's the greatest Russian leader of all time, when he goes his legacy will follow immediately.

He's currently 61.

David Davenport said...

The sometimes-reliable Wikipedia has some info on all three versions of the F-35, including criticism: Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II

The most troubled part of the F-35 program has been and remains the helmet mounted display and sight.

Here's a response to criticism of the F-35's aeronautical performance: The F-35 and the Infamous “Sustained G” Spec Change

ben tillman said...

Sexual revolution was not 'legalized'. It was a cultural movement. It happened by confluence of social factors outside government control.

Bullshit. For instance, in Gomez v. Perez, 409 U.S. 535, the central government decreed that States must offer financial incentives to encourage the birth of children outside of wedlock.

Anonymous said...

Not according to Alcibiades, who was in a position to know and spoke about just that in the dialogue The Symposium.

Socrates still advocated the practice he simply claimed that in Alcibiades he saw a potential student that was unlikely to have a malleable character. Alcibiades was a slave to his desires. And keep in mind when you say according to Alcibiades what mean is according to Plato. And look one read of Phaedrus is enough to suggest that when it comes to pedagogy Socrates has some good ideas and some that are simply insane if not interpreted metaphorically.

Don't let your eagerness to giggle and slander interfere with your understanding the essential message of my post.

An advanced Judoka has extensive first hand experience in handling other human beings in contests of will and wiles. If they are intelligent, they will draw inferences from this experience.

The reason such a notion is denigrated in the West today is because of our Mind/Body split. Today's intellectuals believe that there are no lessons that the physical body can teach the intellect.

No the reason this notion is denigrated is because it doesn't align with reality. By for the most consequential showdown between NATO and Russia over the past decade was over Libya. Russia lost its client sure he was able to save Assad for now but again Syria really isn't Russia' client its Iran's client. 1 for 2 against a completely non-interested light weight like Obama is hardly the kind of success whose origins need to be investigated.

ben tillman said...

And before that, the central government devoted enormous resources in the form of Great Society programs to encourage illegitimacy.

Anonymous said...

Re: Dave Davenport:
I don't object to stealth, but stealth is not something that can be effectively done in an aircraft that is supposed to engage in air to air combat, the F-117 and B-2 are not fighter jets, they are bombers. The design was already compromised by a wide fuselage necessary to accommodate a lift fan necessary for the B version for the Marines, in other words to replace the crappy Harrier jet, which has probably killed more of the pilots who have flown it than actual enemies it attacked. When you layer on stealth ( meaning that you have to carry weapons internally because externally they will reflect back radar ) you add still more girth, and adding bomber capability does more of the same. You can't make an aircraft that is a fighter jet, a bomber, a vertical take off aircraft, has stealth capability and can fly close air support for ground troops and expect it to do any of them well. In other words it's a jack of all trades, master of none.

map said...

Anonymous @#12/20/13, 6:24 PM

This does not make any sense.

The Soviets were opposed because they were a murderous regime that slaughtered millions of its own people during peacetime. Is everyone forgetting the Gulags?

The Ukrainians hate the Russians because they remember being starved to death to the tune of 7-8 million people and the relentless attempts at Russification over 70 years to stamp out the Ukrainian language and culture.

The Soviets were not some secret good guys fighting the fight against liberalism. America was not manifesting the horrors the Soviets produced and, even today, conditions in the USA have not deteriorated to Soviet norms.

Today, Putin is trying to turn Russia into a fascist, ethno-national and religious state, opposed mainly to the United States because there is so much demonstrable failure occurring in America that the Russian government does not want repeated in Russia. Fascist ethno-nationlism coupled with religion is the way the world appears to be going.

I don't regard fascism as something negative. In fact, Putin seems to regard the US as an institution run by former KGB agents who have gone rogue.

Anonymous said...

when Stalin gave it to them as a gift. Not that it matters, but it was Krushchev. Stalin never gave Ukraine anything but a famine(two actually 1932 and 1946).

Anonymous said...

I don't get why more commenters are not jumping onto Masha Gessen and her comments about marriage that others have linked. Here is a person who explicitly states that gay marriage is being used to destroy traditional marriage, and she is being quoted in this NY Times piece to portray how bad Putin is. How should Putin react when people essentially tell him he needs to get with the times and support gay marriage, while admitting gay marriage is going to be used to destroy traditional marriage? If you are the leader of a nation trying to recover from low birth rates, messing up the institution of marriage and family is the last thing you want, especially if you are actually simpatico with your people.

Anomaly UK said...

I love the “burned or buried” thing. It sounds way more awesome than the way we dispose of dead bodies, by interring or cremating them.

Anonymous said...

"Sexual revolution was not 'legalized'. It was a cultural movement. It happened by confluence of social factors outside government control."

"Bullshit. For instance, in Gomez v. Perez, 409 U.S. 535, the central government decreed that States must offer financial incentives to encourage the birth of children outside of wedlock."

It was the pill and pop culture that was mainly behind it.

Sexual Revolution was essentially about the change of attitudes among middle class Americans. And much of it involved no pregnancy as contraceptives became available.

Also, young people got more freedom and even their own cars, and lots of wild things happened in the back seats.

Anonymous said...

"You can't make an aircraft that is a fighter jet, a bomber, a vertical take off aircraft, has stealth capability and can fly close air support for ground troops and expect it to do any of them well. In other words it's a jack of all trades, master of none." - Don't forget that it requires the pilot to be able to perform all of those roles(and others such as the electronic warfare stuff I remember hearing about).

The F-35 is going to be no good in any kind of serious fight, but perhaps its the low cost solution to pushing third worlders around.

Anonymous said...

"Homosexuality is legal in today's Russia."

It was legalized after the Soviet system was abolished.

"If anything, US has illegalized a lot of drugs."

The USSR was literally drug-free. There were no drugs. Yes, you can think of vodka as a drug, but there was nothing else. Everyone who tells you that it's impossible for a state to eliminate the drug problem completely, that drugs will "always be with us" like poverty according to Jesus, is wrong. I don't know whether or not Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, etc. have been completely successful at this, but I know from personal experience that the USSR was.

"Sexual revolution was not 'legalized'. It was a cultural movement. It happened by confluence of social factors outside government control. "

The USSR was run by its government (WYSIWYG), the US was and is run by those who own and run its media and finance. These people set the course and draw the boundaries. If you're employed in the media and you overstep the boundaries or want to pursue a completely different course, they take the microphone away from you. The message is as controlled as it was in the USSR, but it's a more insidious message. Where the US media's message was sexual revolution, the post-WWII USSR's message was wholesomeness.

I don't accept the idea that the sexual revolution spontaneously bubbled up from the masses anymore than I accept the idea that gay lib did. Both were pushed from the top. So the top in the US works somewhat differently from how it works in WYSIWYG countries like the old USSR and modern China - so what? The mechanics aren't hugely important, the message itself is. If anything, the WYSIWYG system is more transparent, more honest.

Anonymous said...

"Woodstock didn't happen because it was 'legalized' but because young people wanted to get together to put on a rock concert. "

That's exactly what I don't believe. The people who owned record companies, movie studios, etc., decided to portray certain things as cool, and the sheeple gradually followed. As I said before, I don't think that any of this bubbled up from the people themselves. Woodstock was a long time ago, but at least you MUST have seen that the gay thing was was pushed by the top on the initially-unwilling public. That happened in your and my lifetimes.

"Decline of educational standards happened in the USSR as well. "

Nope. The replacement of rote learning with "new" kinds of learning, the dumbing-down of curricula, the fall in emphasis on classic literature and music - that happened after the Soviet system was abolished. Western educational systems were screwed up in the 1960s, the Russian system was only screwed up in the 1990s.

"Though the USSR produced some excellent scientists, it was hardly known as an intellectual powerhouse.."

Of course it was an intellectual powerhouse. Russian science was utterly decimated in the 1990s. I consider this to be a crime against humanity, by the way. The scientific and technological progress of humanity was retarded by an unknowable number of years by Gorbachov, Yeltsin, the murderous oligarchs and everyone else who was responsible for the 90s disaster in Russia. Scientifically, Russia is now a pale shadow of its former self. Basically, when the state stopped paying for science in the 90s, scientists either found other employment (everything from business to retail) or fled to other countries.

Anonymous said...

"and most of them lacked access to consumer goods;"

The extent of consumer goods dearth in the old USSR was greatly exaggerated by Western propaganda. It always amazes me how people who don't believe anything the media tells them about their own country believe everything it tells them about other countries. They lie about Arkansas, but they'll tell you the truth about North Korea. Why?

There was definitely a dearth of luxury goods. No one, not even Stalin, Brezhnev or Khruschov, lived like a modern Western decamillionaire, let alone a billionaire. And doctors lived very similarly to factory workers. Yet at the same time the average Soviet citizen had most of the consumer goods that the average Westerner had.

"Also, it wasn't easy to get married and raise a family because of the tight housing. "

The USSR had above-replacement birth rates throughout its history. The Russian, Ukrainian, etc. birth rates (really, those of all non-Muslim post-Soviet states) node dived after 1990. There was an enormous population loss (150 million to 143 million in Russia, even worse in percentage terms in the Ukraine). The Russian rate has picked up under Putin, but is not back to replacement yet.

"And North Korea is not national socialist. It's national communist. National Socialism(in Germany) was a mixed economy with the bulk of the economy in private hands; that is NOT the case in North Korea where the state owns everything."

From what I've read, the Kims allowed small-scale private enterprise after the 1990s economic crisis in N. Korea. Their economy isn't as capitalist as China's, but not as command-based as it used to be.

Mr. Anon said...

"Anonymous said...

I hate to drag down the tone of the comments here but Im sure Im not the only red-blooded male here to regret the loss of Masha Gessen to the the lesbians."

I wonder how much of her resentment of normal people and their normal lives is rooted in the fact that she is ugly.

Anonymous said...

"All non-western communist nations were nationalistic, but economically they were still communist. "

Pre-WWII Soviet Union was strongly anti-Russian. Even more anti-Russian than the US is anti-white, than modern Britain is anti-British, etc. THAT's what Stalin revolted against in the late 30s and early 40s and THAT's why the West began a cold war against him. Modern China is obviously very nationalist, but I don't have a feel for when that began, for what the Mao-Chang conflict was really about, etc. One has to know a culture deeply to be able to look through competing propaganda claims, and I don't know China deeply at all.

"And what would traditional morality be among the Chinese? Greed? or among North Koreans? Lying and thieving to have just enough to eat? There is no morality in a nation like North Korea. If this is traditional morality, you can have it.
True, they don't allow 'gay marriage', but they do a lot of things that would appall Western conservatives. "


This is what Western propaganda WOULD say, isn't it? I've read translations of N. Korea's own propaganda where they complain about race-mixing due to cheap foreign labor in S. Korea (saying it's unacceptable) and where they call homosexuality animalistic behavior not fit for humans. Would that be enough for Western media to hate N. Korea? Yes. If they hate something, do they lie about it? Yes.

"Rightwing Russian nationalism was suppressed as it tended to stress Russianness against non-Russianness and even called for separatism and breakup of the USSR."

"Hardcore Russian patriots hated this kind of use of Russianness as an abstract principle to hold the Soviet empire together."


The sort of Russian nationalists who would prefer a purely ethnic Russian state are rare. Most are proud of the empire for the same reason that Churchill was proud of his. Most see Gorbachov's and Yeltsin's giving away of huge chunks of the empire as treason. A lot of blood was shed over many centuries, going back to the 15th and before, to create that empire. As I said, the non-imperial, Russians-only nationalism is rare. Putin is actually now trying to bring the pieces together again with his Eurasian Union.

Prof. Woland said...

Russia's impact on global politics will not be due to them exporting expensive weapon systems but the cheap ones. Think AK-47. It will be modern tactical arms such as hand held missiles, miniature drones, remote controlled detonators, etc. in the hands of 21st century 'freedom fighters' will be what causes us fits.

Anonymous said...

"It was when it came to capitalist enemies. USSR spread tons of propaganda that made American whites to be a bunch of KKK who were oppressing saintly helpless blacks."

This is actually true. Propaganda-wise both sides in the Cold War used everything they could get their hands on. The USSR wanted to compete with the US for African and Latin American clients, so it used the above rhetoric. And the US portrayed the historical Russian occupation of Alaska (poor Eskimos!) and the then-current occupation of Eastern Europe in the same spirit. The US portrayal of life in Eastern Europe of that time was just as tendentious as the KKK stuff you mentioned above.

Internally post-WWII USSR was not anti-white or anti-Russian or anything like that.

" They allowed some degree of religiosity to win support among diehard traditionalists and to fool the outside world that freedom of religion existed in Russia. But it was never the kind of freedom one finds in America. "

No one pressured churches to perform gay marriages in the USSR or in Soviet-occupied Eastern Europe.

"USSR wasn't more traditionalist by design but by default. Since it produced far less goods and services than western nations,"

Again, it produced fewer LUXURY goods. The Soviet dearth of normal, middle-class-level consumer goods was exaggerated in Western media for propaganda purposes. Same for these goods' quality. Trust me, most of it beat modern Chinese crap.

"It's like more traditional buildings were preserved in Eastern Europe than in Western Europe."

Stalin built little, but in a grand, beautiful classical style. Look up "seven sisters" for a sample. Khruschov built a lot, but in a really ugly, purely utilitarian style. The closest US equivalent are housing projects. Brezhnev's modification of Kruschov's style is what the Chinese have copied on an enormous scale during the last few years. All of China now looks like Brezhnev-era Russian housing.

Khruschov once had a highly-publicized confrontation with a modernist Soviet painter during which he asked him if he had served in the war and then questioned his sexual preferences. He hated modernist art, but thought that the state should build as much as possible to fulfill a housing need. Style was an impediment to that.

"As communism was far less productive"

Again, this has been exaggerated.

And since a lot of kids didn't have record players, they played folk music at school and sang patriotic songs. Again, it was 'traditionalism' by default than by design. "

No, traditionalism was pushed from above, just like anti-traditionalism was and is pushed from above in the West. I really don't believe in the bubbling-up-from-below theory of the origin of leftist movements.

"So, most Soviet films were about good decent people working hard for the community that movie stars who acted like gods and goddesses on the silver screen."

Soviet movies and TV were highly moralistic and wholesome. That was by design. There was as much direction from above as in the West, towards wholesomeness, not away from it.

smartyfarts said...

"Going to Africa. Hope I don't get AIDS. Just kidding. I'm white!"

Hilarious. And what an imbecile she is, unless she was trying to get canned because she doesn't really want to live in Africa. In which case: genius!

boogabog said...

"I hate to drag down the tone of the comments here but I'm sure I'm not the only red-blooded male here to regret the loss of Masha Gessen to the lesbians."

Where is she? All I see is a homely dude. Is the standing behind him?

David Davenport said...

I don't object to stealth, but stealth is not something that can be effectively done in an aircraft that is supposed to engage in air to air combat ...

Seems to me that someone is scoffing at stealth because his nation's fighter planes have none. Sorry, Charley!

Re "jack of all trades, master of none," there is also the adage "[Pursuit of ] the best can be the enemy of good enough."

Gubbler of the Society of Reformed Chechenistics said...

"The Soviets were opposed because they were a murderous regime that slaughtered millions of its own people during peacetime. Is everyone forgetting the Gulags?"

Not really. It was because it was the other superpower.
Mao killed more than Stalin, but American elites loved it when Nixon went to China to shake the chairman's hand.

Anonymous said...

"Fascist ethno-nationlism coupled with religion is the way the world appears to be going."

Really? I don't see it in EU, Asia, Latin America, and Africa. And most Russians would rather just have a good time.

Anonymous said...

There's a long, detailed answer to this but the simple, quick one is this is just another example of

"Let's you and him fight."

Anonymous said...

" the real question is whether it is Putin who is so good or his Western opponents (Obama's admin, EU bureaucrats) that are so bad? I personally believe it's the latter. Obama was unbelievably incompetent on Syria."

Western leaders aren't being selected on merit they're being selected on one or more of
-corruptability
-blackmailability
or
-stupidity

Anonymous said...

"The original Cold War was fought to bring buggery, porn, drugs, crime, radical feminism, third-world immigration and thievery through oligarchs to Russia and Eastern Europe."

A 1960s style cultural revolution in every detail was applied in Russia after the 1917 revolution. It was so destructive the policy was reversed some years later and only retained as a weapon to use against the West by cultural Marxists.

Then everything changed as YKW gradually lost control of Russia as they gained control of the USA and Russia became more nationalist and traditionalist while the US became an aircraft carrier for cultural marxism.

.

"So in an arms race between Russia and America, which side are White guys supposed to be on?"

In the 1950s, America. Now, Russia.

.

"I really am not sure what Communism has to offer for the anti-immigration or nationalist set"

Communism as communism, nothing. Communism as turned into national-capitalism / national-socialism is better than the bankster capitalism plus cultural marxism we are currently ruled by.

Democratic capitalism is still better than both imo at least for those populations it is suited for - although it may need some more defensive adjustments to prevent it being so easily hijacked.

Anonymous said...

"I don't get why more commenters are not jumping onto Masha Gessen and her comments about marriage that others have linked."

I expect many already knew. The important thing with people like her is to keep a link and remember the name for use with people who don't yet understand it's a cultural war.

Anonymous said...


"The Soviet dearth of normal, middle-class-level consumer goods was exaggerated in Western media for propaganda purposes. Same for these goods' quality. Trust me, most of it beat modern Chinese crap."

TOTAL BS. Things were so lousy in the USSR that Russians thought they were in heaven when they visited Poland(during the communist era). You have no idea what you are talking about.
Even basic stuff was often hard to get,and the quality was unbelievably poor. Have you ever seen and felt a Soviet toilet? Have you ever used a Soviet TV?

Among eastern bloc nations, East Germany was most advanced, but have ever used an East German camera? My friend showed me lots of photos shot with commie camera and the quality was atrocious.

Chinese-made goods are solid gold compared to those.

Anonymous said...

"Soviet movies and TV were highly moralistic and wholesome."

Not wholesome. Wholesome is G-rated Disney stuff and Brady Bunch.

Soviet stuff had more grit. They were often realistic(if not exactly accurate) and featured life with all its blemishes.
But Russians always tended to be more naturalistic and earthy.

Anonymous said...

"Have you ever seen and felt a Soviet toilet? Have you ever used a Soviet TV? "

Yes, I've used those things. For many years. Unlike you, apparently. They were objectively better than the Chinese crap that has now filled the entire world.

Anonymous said...

"Yes, I've used those things. For many years. Unlike you, apparently. They were objectively better than the Chinese crap that has now filled the entire world."

You're better off using sandpaper.
I have one in my house as a souvenir from a friend.

At least all that Chinese crap is made with Western technology. Soviet crap was made with 'bonafide' soviet technology.

What other stuff do you have from the communist bloc? The yugo? The Trabant?