These are people with something to protest. These are brave protesters, not like the coddled, partisan, made-for-TV "heroes" in this country. These are people who haven't had any real say in their own governance--in fact, who have seen their say decrease dramatically--in the 20+ years of Putin's reign, a reign that will never end (if he can help it) so he will never have to face justice for his crimes against his own people. (You can always spot a dictator because he tries to lengthen his term in office beyond existing rules; and it's always to avoid punishment for his crimes.)
The number being reported now--just a couple of hours later--is more than 2,100 Russian citizens arrested.
The military of Burma/Myanmar, citing allegations of voter fraud as the pro-democracy party out-performed the military's proxy party, took control of the government in a coup that puts in doubt the country's approximately 5-year experiment with implementing a democratic government. Among those detained by the military were the country's highest ranking civilian, the State Counsellor, former Nobel Prize winner Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.
The military declared a one-year state of emergency in which it says it will run new, fair elections. Major media networks and internet access were closed down, and journalists went into hiding for fear they would be detained in the coup.
Needless to say, nobody believes the military is defending democracy or intending to hold free, fair elections. It was the military that ruled for 50 years (1962-2011). While democratic reforms began in the intervening years, including the elections in 2015 which saw the election of the first non-military president in 50 years, the military retained large blocs in the legislature via a proxy party. That military party was blown out in the fall 2020 elections, winning supermajorities and spurring the military coup.
I have posted below an excerpt of Russian dissident (and hero, to me) Alexei Navalny's speech to the court during the "trial" by which he was sentenced to 2 1/2 years (though he is expected to get more). I adore parts of this speech in that he mocks and belittles the tyrant Putin. That is what bullies fear the most, that is what rankles those sad little criminals. To know that beyond fear, beyond respect, beyond terror, they're laughing at you, you incompetent fool.
In many ways it doesn't matter: Putin will win, Navalny will probably die at Putin's hands. Or rather, the hands of those stooges and thugs who work for Putin. But Navalny wins by being right. Navalny wins by showing people Putin's pathetic weakness, which he shows every time he shows "strength."
This is from the outlet Persuasion and is their translation. Everything below this is quoted from there:
"The explanation is one man’s hatred and fear—one man hiding in a bunker. I mortally offended him by surviving. I survived thanks to good people, thanks to pilots and doctors. And then I committed an even more serious offense: I didn’t run and hide. Then something truly terrifying happened: I participated in the investigation of my own poisoning, and we proved, in fact, that Putin, using Russia’s Federal Security Service, was responsible for this attempted murder. And that’s driving this thieving little man in his bunker out of his mind. He’s simply going insane as a result….
"It turns out that dealing with a political opponent who has no access to television and no political party merely requires trying to kill him with a chemical weapon. So, of course, he’s losing his mind over this. Because everyone was convinced that he’s just a bureaucrat who was accidentally appointed to his position. He’s never participated in any debates or campaigned in an election. Murder is the only way he knows how to fight. He’ll go down in history as nothing but a poisoner. We all remember Alexander the Liberator [Alexander II] and Yaroslav the Wise [Yaroslav I]. Well, now we’ll have Vladimir the Underpants Poisoner…
"The main thing in this whole trial isn’t what happens to me. Locking me up isn’t difficult. What matters most is why this is happening. This is happening to intimidate large numbers of people. They’re imprisoning one person to frighten millions.
"We’ve got 20 million people living below the poverty line. We have tens of millions of people living without the slightest prospects for the future. Life is bearable in Moscow, but travel 100 kilometers in any direction and everything’s a mess. Our whole country is living in this mess, without the slightest prospects, earning 20,000 rubles [$265] a month. And they’re all silent; they try to shut people up with these show trials. Lock up this one to scare millions more. One person takes to the streets and they lock up another five people to scare 15 million more.
"I hope very much that people won’t look at this trial as a signal that they should be more afraid. This isn’t a demonstration of strength—it’s a show of weakness. You can’t lock up millions and hundreds of thousands of people. I hope very much that people will realize this. And they will. Because you can’t lock up the whole country.
"The only thing growing in [Russia] is the number of billionaires. Everything else is declining. I’m locked up in a prison cell, and all I hear about on TV is that butter is getting more expensive. The price of eggs is rising. You’ve deprived these people of a future.
"Everything I’m saying now reflects my attitude toward the performance you’ve staged here. This is what happened when lawlessness and tyranny become the essence of a political system, and it’s horrifying.
"But it’s even worse when lawlessness and tyranny pose as state prosecutors and dress up in judges’ robes. It’s the duty of every person to defy you and to defy such laws.
"I am fighting as best I can and I will continue to do so, despite the fact that I’m now under the control of people who love to smear everything with chemical weapons. My life isn’t worth two cents, but I will do everything I can so that the law prevails. And I salute and thank the staff at the Anti-Corruption Foundation who have been arrested and all the honest people across the country who aren’t afraid and who take to the streets. Because they have the same rights as you. This country belongs to them just as it does to you and everyone else. We demand proper justice, decent treatment, participation in elections, and participation in the distribution of the national wealth. Yes, we demand all this.
"I want to say that there are many good things in Russia now. The very best are the people who aren’t afraid—people who don’t look the other way, who will never hand our country over to a bunch of corrupt officials who want to trade it for palaces, vineyards, and aqua-discos.
"I demand my immediate release and the release of all political prisoners. I do not recognize your performance here—it’s a deception and completely illegal."
If you're anywhere near my age or older, you probably remember going to grocery stores and seeing roughly two kinds of apples: red ones and green ones. (Usually Red Delicious and Granny Smith, respectively.) But in the past 20 years or so especially, even big box grocery stores, to say nothing of boutique markets, farmers markets, or the like, have five, 10, 15 types.
Many of those apples originate from the U of Minnesota, including prominently the Honeycrisp and Sweet Tango (technically SweeTango, I think). Being a heavy agriculture state, that school has long been a leader in agri-science, developing both what appeals to eaters and what grows well, fights disease, can travel without bruising, is good in storage, etc.
Admittedly, I only watched a few seconds (because it's hard for me to watch) but I never really understood the "finish the race" mentality. To an extent, sure, but if you can't finish strong, if you need to be helped, if you're putting your health in serious jeopardy...nah, doesn't feel right.
It was just 40 years ago today--which would have seemed like a big number to me once, but not anymore!--that the president of the United States was shot in an assassination attempt.
President Reagan was shot in Washington DC, as were press secretary James Brady, a police officer, and a secret service agent. Brady was paralyzed on the left side of his body. Reagan underwent emergency surgery but recovered.
It always seemed like ancient history to me, even when I was a little kid being told it had just recently happened. ("Two years ago" sounds like a lot when you're seven...) And I never felt there was much chance of another president being shot ... until President Obama took office. It struck me as possible then, thinking about the fringe white supremacist types.
And now? After the past year, I suspect I'll live long enough to see at least one more attempt. It could be politically motivated, it could be apolitical, but with the level of anger, distrust, and amoral alienation, I suspect it'll happen again.
I'd be curious what anyone old enough to have more vivid memories of the event recalls.
Post by Sheriff John Stone on Mar 30, 2021 12:36:24 GMT
I was at work (at a bank) at the time and, needless to say, work kind of stopped. We all gathered around a small TV in the break room and watched the news reports throughout the rest of the day. Because President Reagan was "ushered" into a car after the shooting, we didn't know if he was shot and/or if the wounds were serious. We knew he wasn't...dead...so there wasn't this frenzy or panic. A lot of concern, though.
And now, 40 years later, John Hinkley, Jr. is no longer institutionalized and living on his own.
I was just reading up on the incident this morning, and the story of Reagan initially being redirected to the White House, then coughing up "frothy blood" led them to reroute him to an unsecured hospital due to the emergency. When he got there, there were no stretchers ready so he walked into the hospital (having to drop to one knee on the way). His blood pressure was less than half of what is normal. In hindsight, America almost had a President G.H.W. Bush eight years earlier than what turned out.
You may have seen that G. Gordon Liddy died yesterday.
Our younger members may not recognize the name, but I'm guessing the older ones do. It's familiar to me mostly because I'm the youngest in my family, so I heard it from older relatives. Liddy was an FBI agent and the prosecuting attorney who eventually became a secret operative on behalf of the Nixon administration. He eventually was arrested, charged, convicted, and imprisoned for organizing and directing the Watergate burglary that led to Nixon's downfall.
While he was disgraced in the public eye, he didn't shrink from it: in fact, he became a public debater, a talk radio host, and occasional actor.
Here he is on David Letterman's show in 1982 showing a certain charm and wit, speaking about everything from his public debates with Timothy Leary and life in prison.
I'll add, they do discuss Watergate a little, near the end (maybe around 13 minutes). And in a poignant closing, Letterman notes that while Liddy is seen generally as a villain, in different circumstances he might have been seen a hero--and so how would he like to be remembered? Liddy basically says he doesn't think he will be, that his role and the event will fade over time. Letterman tries again, "so you don't see an eternal place for yourself in the grand scheme of things?"
"No, I think the place for me in the grand scheme of things is the same as your place, and the place of everybody here, and that is, we shall provide a diet for the worms."
Post by Sheriff John Stone on Mar 31, 2021 22:22:06 GMT
Of all of the participants who were directly involved in the planning or executing of the Watergate burglary, Liddy was easily the most well-known; actually as the years went by he was probably the only one known - in many ways thanks to his own self-promotion. Liddy served fifty-two months in prison as his sentence, and while he obviously did his time and paid his debt to society - and while he had the right to then go on to do whatever he wanted - I always resented his attitude toward Watergate and his role in it. He was far from apologetic; he actually came across as a braggart who thought he should've been congratulated or praised for it. Hey, way to go, G. Gordon...what a cool, tough guy you are. Oh, yeah, he profited big time from Watergate. He profited from a crime. It opened many if not all future doors for him, and I guess made him not only a "celebrity", but a multi-millionaire along the way.
I agree with you. He certainly didn't seem the slightest bit regretful in that interview I watched; if anything, he seems to have been proud of "taking his medicine" rather than spilling the beans on anyone else.
Vladimir Putin signed into law yet another exception to the Russian constitution, allowing him to run for president twice more, which (if he wins the "elections") would let him remain in power until he's 83 and would make him the country's longest-running ruler since Peter the Great, surpassing Josef Stalin.
I say "elections" since obviously Russian elections have become a sham under Putin. Under their constitution as it was when he took office, one would have expected his tenure as the head of Russian government to end in 2008. You may recall he then engineered a workaround to put his stooge Medvedev in power as president while he became prime minister for one term, then running for president again afterward. He had already changed the law since then to "run" again.
When someone changes laws to remain in power, no matter the country, party, or politice rhetoric, it's a good sign that the person doesn't deserve to be in power.
Oh, Putin says he hasn't decided whether he'll run again... Mmm-hmm. I'm sure.
Kapitan: Yes, let's keep it going. If you're not sure which years we've covered, check the first post of the thread: I've edited it to list each year we've touched upon.
Sept 22, 2021 13:10:08 GMT
jk: If no one jumps in soon, I'll go for 1997, which is 13 years back from 2010. Fact is, we haven't had a '90s year yet.
Sept 22, 2021 13:46:32 GMT
Kapitan: No, but we do have a whole '90s thread that covered a lot of that territory. (In fact, that's what inspired the idea, to some extent)
Sept 22, 2021 13:52:28 GMT
Kapitan: Not that I'm opposed to a '90s year, mind you
Sept 22, 2021 13:52:58 GMT
jk: I see where you're coming from, Cap'n. I even did a double-take when looking through 1997 albums and songs (these look familiar!). My next suggestion is that we go back 13 years from 1972 to 1959.
Sept 22, 2021 17:04:34 GMT
jk: OK, it's one of the "doldrum years" but it was crammed full of goodies that even register with folks who weren't born for another 20 years. Of course, if anyone has a better idea, I'm all for it.
Sept 22, 2021 17:05:59 GMT
Kapitan: That would make sense; we also haven't really touched the early to mid 80s, which I'm sure people (mostly) recall. And of course EVERY year in the '60s seems loaded...
Sept 22, 2021 17:06:53 GMT
jk: Yes, the early-ish '80s also came to mind. But let's see who else joins in...
Sept 22, 2021 17:08:04 GMT
Kapitan: So far we've had me, jk, kds, and carllove choosing years. Would love to expand that circle.
Sept 22, 2021 17:13:20 GMT
Kapitan: Which, I guess with four of us so far, is more a square.
Sept 22, 2021 17:13:38 GMT
jk: Ha, yes. Sheriff? B.E.? sockit? The Kid?... We'll see.
Sept 22, 2021 17:16:41 GMT
The Cincinnati Kid: I might come up with something. I love those kind of threads, but am terrible in participating. I still haven't posted anything for 2010.
Sept 22, 2021 19:26:41 GMT
lonelysummer: 1959 is a doldrums year? Hmm....
Sept 22, 2021 19:44:28 GMT
jk: That's what they say... you know, that period from *cough* "the day the music died" to the arrival of the British Invasion. Like you, I couldn't agree less with that notion, hence the inverted commas!
Sept 22, 2021 19:52:30 GMT
Kapitan: I assume he means the stereotype that between early rock and roll and the British Invasion, nothing happened. But that it was in quotes (plus his actual comments) make me think it was an ironic usage.
Sept 22, 2021 19:52:54 GMT
Kapitan: Whoops, near-simultaneous post. But it confirms my suspicion.
Sept 22, 2021 19:53:21 GMT
jk: Great minds and all that!
Sept 22, 2021 19:53:34 GMT
sockit: I would like to showcase the year 1983. That's the year I graduated high school and I was all in on what was current.
Sept 23, 2021 0:07:54 GMT
carllove: I was in College then. Sounds like a good year! Go for it! It’s a group effort!
Sept 23, 2021 4:31:48 GMT
carllove: BTW - I’d be down for 90’s years. I like the years being broken out. Meanwhile we can move to 1983 with sockit’s help. 1972 has ended its interest.
Sept 23, 2021 4:34:56 GMT