Dishonorable Devin Nunes: What Are His Loyalties?

March 29, 2017 at 12:18 pm | Posted in Abuse of Office, Disinformation, Dysfunctional Politics, Enemies of Freedom, Presidential election | Leave a comment
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Illustration of the Devil in the Codex Gigas, folio 270 recto, early 13th century, by Herman the Recluse of the Benedictine monastery of Podlažice.

Illustration of the Devil in the Codex Gigas, folio 270 recto, early 13th century, by Herman the Recluse of the Benedictine monastery of Podlažice.

To what Is Devil Nunes loyal?

The one who is better known as Devin Nunes (R-Calif.)

Based on his stonewalling of investigations into Russia’s role, and his frantic attempts to divert the focus of the investigation away from Russia and away from Trump’s campaign, and toward the patriots who alerted the country, and his secret nightime trip to confer with the White House, it appears that Devin Nunes’ loyalties, in their order of importance to him, are

  • First, Devin Nunes himself, followed – possibly closely – by his family.
  • Second, Trump, followed – possibly closely – by the Republican Party in its present grotesquely deformed version.
  • Third, possibly the United States, possibly including the district that he supposedly represents.

Given that order of priorities, it is not fitting that Nunes should be a member of the House Intelligence Committee, much less that he should chair it.

Nunes was in Trump’s transition team. Yet he claims that there is no conflict of interest for him to lead the investigation of contacts between Trump’s campaign and Russia.

The conflict of interest is clear. Nunes cannot be objective about this issue.

In attempting to deflect attention away from the real danger – Putin’s mafia – Devin Nunes betrayed his country.

He doesn’t belong in Congress.

For his future, his best career option is to apply to become a caddy at one of Trump’s golf courses.

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Questions that Moderators Should Ask Trump in the Presidential Election Debates

September 19, 2016 at 3:27 pm | Posted in Conceited, Enemies of Freedom, Enemies of Planet Earth, Presidential election | 2 Comments
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The Presidential Election Debate on September 26 will be moderated by Lester Holt,

Lester Holt, Sept. 25, 2012, before departing Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan.

Lester Holt, Sept. 25, 2012, before departing Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan.

that on October 9 will be moderated by Martha Raddatz and Anderson Cooper,

Martha Raddatz interviews John W. Miller, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, U.S. 5th Fleet, Combined Maritime Forces, 24 September 2014.

Martha Raddatz interviews John W. Miller, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, U.S. 5th Fleet, Combined Maritime Forces, 24 September 2014.

Anderson Cooper at Tulane University, 14 May 2010 . By Tulane Public Relations (Anderson Cooper & Tim Clinton) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.

Anderson Cooper at Tulane University, 14 May 2010 . By Tulane Public Relations (Anderson Cooper & Tim Clinton) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons.

and that on October 19 will be moderated by Chris Wallace.

Chris Wallace in Washington, D.C., February 23, 2010. Photo by Jim Greenhill from Arlington and Durango, USA - 100223-A-3715G-168 .

Chris Wallace in Washington, D.C., February 23, 2010
Photo by Jim Greenhill from Arlington and Durango, USA – 100223-A-3715G-168 .

Here are three questions that every moderator of a Presidential Debate should ask Trump.

Why hasn’t Trump released those of his tax forms that are not being audited?
If they will be released, when?


Trump admires Putin.
Putin supports Assad, the dictator of Syria.
Does Trump support Assad?

Trump admires Putin’s way of controlling Russia, and of suppressing dissent.
Putin’s techniques are completely contrary to the US Consititution.
Which of Putin’s techniques would Trump adopt, and which would he reject?

A moderator who does not ask these questions is not exercising due diligence.

An addendum to this post:

Mr. Trump, you have expressed your approval of the forcefulness of so many dictators:
– Putin;
– the Chinese Communist Party, for its brutal suppression in June 1989 of the demonstrating students in Beijing and in other cities;
– Kim Jong Un .
Please name the dictators – present (such as Assad) or historical (such as Saddam Hussein) – whose forcefulness you don’t approve. How do the dictators you do approve differ from those you don’t approve?

Mr. Trump, an op-ed by defense and intelligence experts Michael Morell and Mike Vickers says that “At the Comander-in-Chief Forum on Sept. 7, you [Trump] said that as long as Putin says nice things about you, you will say nice things about him.” If we were back in the 1930s, would you have said “As long as Hitler says nice things about me, I’ll say nice things about him”? After all, Hitler would have liked your isolationism, so he would indeed have said nice things about you.

Fact: Of all of the dictators, past and present, Trump most resembles Mussolini.

 

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Putin => Wikileaks => Trump

July 24, 2016 at 5:16 pm | Posted in Disinformation, Dysfunctional Politics, Enemies of Freedom, Presidential election | 2 Comments
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Trump Approves of Putin. Image created by thepoliblog.WordPress.com.

Trump Approves of Putin. Image created by thepoliblog.WordPress.com.

 

(After writing this posting, I searched for URLs to cite as evidence for what is asserted in it. It immediately became evident that others had come to the same realizations: see the articles by Abby Phillip and by Amber Phillips in the Washington Post. But since different aspects are emphasized in what follows, it seemed non-redundant to go ahead and post it.)

 

Putin is the Tyrant of Putinia (which has replaced Russia).

Putin ordered his minions to hack into the computer files of the Democratic National Committee to steal the emails and plans of Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

Putin wanted to use that information to boost Trump’s chances in the US Presidential election in November.

Putin wants Trump to win.

Trump and Putin like each other’s philosophy and style. Both are authoritorian and greedy. Each hides his insecurity by projecting brazen self-confidence. Neither of them gives a hoot about the constraints imposed by laws, or even Constitutions.

Trump also drools over the potential for business opportunities in Putinia.  So he is careful to always ‘make nice’ to Putin, and never challenges what Putin does.
Some leader of the free world Trump would be! He has a built-in conflict of interest.

Putin cannot legally afford to admit that he is responsible for the hacking.

Also, if it were known that the release of the information was intended to aid Trump, then the impact of the released information would be diminished.

So Putin had the stolen information forwarded to Wikileaks. Having Wikileaks release the information gave Putin deniability.

Wikileaks – having no sense of privacy and decency, and deserving none – eagerly made the stolen information public.

Releasing the stolen information can have had only one possible purpose: to embarrass and hamper Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

Trump is guilty of many things, but he had no knowledge of this.

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Why Trump Esteems Putin

June 30, 2015 at 11:56 am | Posted in Conceited, Enemies of Freedom, Presidential election | 4 Comments
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Trump Approves of Putin.  Image created by  thepoliblog.WordPress.com.

Trump Approves of Putin. Image created by thepoliblog.WordPress.com.

This astonishing fact appeared in an important column by Michael Gerson on Trump’s political position, and was discussed in the second half of the previous post.

The present post seeks to understand why Trump esteems Putin.

Why does Trump not see in Putin’s actions what everyone else sees?

The explanation is to be found in Trump’s job history.

“Trump began his career at his father’s real estate company”, according to Wikipedia. So he started with a strong dynastic advantage.
Trump spent almost his entire career as the unremovable top executive of a large company.
No one in his company could gainsay him.
No one in his company could contradict him.
No one in his company could refuse to do what he asked.
Despite nearly fatal business mistakes in 1989 through 1991, no one in his company could criticise him.
Only sycophants were allowed.

In his company, he became an autocrat.
He enjoyed being an autocrat. (“You’re fired!”, said he, with relish and glee. )
He eventually came to believe that autocracy was the only effective way to obtain results.

That is why Trump approves of Putin, and is unable to see how massively Putin has damaged Russia.

Conscience leads almost every autocrat to wish to believe that they are a benevolent autocrat.

Trump wants to believe that he is a benevolent autocrat.
That is why he repeatedly says “They love me!” (The emphasis is his.)
When you hear words, even if they were spoken by yourself, they activate the same neural chains that are activated by words spoken by others.
So words spoken aloud by yourself are more comforting and supportive, and they carry a whiff of objectivity and outside validation.
(That is why prayer and wishes and political slogans said aloud, either by yourself or spoken in unison in a crowd, are so much more reassuring than silent prayers or wishes or slogans.)
So Trump says again and again, emphatically, “They love me!”

Of course benevolent autocrats are rare, even among those who wish to believe that they are benevolent. Lord Acton’s insight applies: “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Acton’s insight does not refer to corruption by greed, but to corruption by rationalization and by arrogance.

Picture of John Dalberg-Acton, 1st Baron Acton. Created, no later than 1902, and published in the book 'Letters of Lord Acton to Mary Gladstone', published by Allen & Co.

Picture of John Dalberg-Acton, 1st Baron Acton.
Created, no later than 1902, and published in the book ‘Letters of Lord Acton to Mary Gladstone’, published by Allen & Co.

Trump is the opposite of George Washington, that avid self-taught student of the history of freedom versus autocracy, who, as the first President of the US, deliberately and adamantly refused to set monarchical precedents, and who accepted the decison of Congress even when he thought it to be mistaken. Washington thereby set the most precious precedents of all.

The Lansdowne portrait of George Washington, painted by Gilbert Stuart in 1796.

The Lansdowne portrait of George Washington, painted by Gilbert Stuart in 1796.

Trump is a would-be President who doesn’t understand or like democracy.
He doesn’t understand the creativity and self-correction that is provided by the intellectual
crowd-sourcing that arises from the uproar that occurs in any open society.

Trump is utterly unfit to be President.

Trump’s advantaged career history also explains his other peculiarities:

Trump is arrogant. While announcing his candidacy, Trump astoundingly asserted that he would make Mexico pay for building a wall along its US border. Make? How? This is Bluster’s Last Stand.

Trump is conceited. So he feels no need to have his ideas critiqued before announcing them or acting upon them. Trump asserted that Mexico keeps its good people for itself, and “sends” its criminals and other misfits to the US. Does Trump suppose that a panel in Mexico reviews information about each of it citizens, and then issues orders to each, either stay or head north? This breathtaking idiocy is of a piece with Trump’s assertion that Putin has boosted the rest of the world’s opinion of Russia. It is also of a piece with Trump’s disastrous business decisions during the late 1980s and early 1990s, which nearly bankrupted his business and himself.

Trump is tone deaf. He has far less than the normal ability to see himself as others see him. He has lost much of his former skill in mentally mirroring others that was demonstrated by his college career. He seems to have retained only the mental mirroring skills needed for business deals.

It is sometimes asserted that sucess in business is one of the best indicators of suitability for executive office.

Trump illustrates the truth that being a business executive who lacks extensive experience in elective politics, or in another arena having frequent give-and-take between evenly matched participants, does not indicate suitability for high office. Instead it indicates unsuitability. (The same is true for military leaders.)

Trump illustrates the truth that a sense of entitlement is the root of most evil.

Trump is utterly unfit to be President.

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Was Donald Trump Born in the US?

June 25, 2015 at 12:31 pm | Posted in Conceited, Disinformation, Enemies of Freedom, Enemies of Planet Earth, Global warming, Presidential election | 5 Comments
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Trump Sr. at Citizens United Freedom Summit in Greenville South Carolina May 2015, photo by Michael Vadon.

Trump Sr. at Citizens United Freedom Summit in Greenville South Carolina May 2015, photo by Michael Vadon.

Donald Trump recently announced that he is running to become the next President.

This is the same Donald Trump who refused to accept the abundant evidence that Barack Obama was born in the US, and that Obama’s Presidency was therefore legitimate according to paragraph 5 of Section 1 of Article II of the Constitution of the United states of America.

This is the same Donald Trump who insisted that President Obama publish a validated copy of his birth certificate.

Billboard challenging the validity of Barack Obama's birth certificate. The billboard is located in South Gate, and photo was taken on November 12, 2010.

Billboard challenging the validity of Barack Obama’s birth certificate. The billboard is located in South Gate, and photo was taken on November 12, 2010.

Barack Obama's long form birth certificate, from the State of Hawaii Department of Health

Barack Obama’s long form birth certificate, from the State of Hawaii Department of Health.

This is the same Donald Trump who wasted so much of his own time and attention, and that of the public, by being the last prominent ‘birther’ to refuse to accept the abundant solid evidence about the place of Obama’s birth. This is the same Donald Trump who ensured that time and energy and newsprint and bandwidth would continue to be wasted on what was generally acknowledged to be a refuted claim.

This is the same Donald Trump who selected himself to stand in the schoolhouse door, in what everyone knew would be a futile attempt to block Obama’s path.

Is this Donald Trump eligible to be President?

Is the energy and time – his own and the public’s – that Trump expended on this silly charade, an indication of how he would allocate his attention and the nation’s resources, if he became President?

He was smart enough to know that it was a charade, wasn’t he?

If he did, then his wasting of our time and energy was so egregious that it was unpatriotic.
If he didn’t, then he is unfit to be an executive of anything.

I cannot believe that he was stupid enough to fall for the birther wishful thinking.

Therefore he had chosen self-promotion over the welfare of the country.

That is unpatriotic enough to make us wonder, was Donald Trump born in the USA?

At Trump’s every campaign appearance, demand to see his birth certificate.

Demand that he publish a certified copy.

—————————————–Trump’s Approval of Putin

Michael Gerson recently reviewed lesser known aspects of Trump’s political history.

The review contained a bombshell: Donald Trump’s approval of Putin, the most destructive tyrant of Russia since Stalin. Gerson’s column says of Trump:

The defects of democracy, in this view, are remedied by the strongman. It is not a coincidence that Trump expresses admiration for Vladimir Putin. “He’s doing a great job,” says Trump, “in rebuilding the image of Russia and also rebuilding Russia, period.”

Official portrait of Vladimir Putin (2006). This file comes from the website of the President of the Russian Federation and is copyrighted.

Official portrait of Vladimir Putin (2006). This file comes from the website of the President of the Russian Federation and is copyrighted.

Putin: the person who derailed Russia’s transition to becoming a fair and open society, governed by the rule of law, instead of by the convenience of a mafia.

Putin: the mugger who robbed Crimea from Ukraine because Ukraine had overturned Putin’s protogee Viktor Yanukovych. Putin: who subsequently manufactured a surprisingly well equipped military separatist movement in eastern Ukraine that has triggered a new cold war.

Somehow Trump forgot to mention his admiration of Putin while announcing his candidacy.

After all, the voters deserve to know about each candidate’s role models.

Is someone who approves of Putin fit to be President?

At Trump’s every campaign appearance, ask him about his approval of Putin.

At every interview, ask Trump about his approval of Putin.

Donald Trump:

320x480.DonaldTrump.May2015.UpsideDown

A birther, who wasted everyone’s time by pretending that a dead issue was still alive, solely to draw attention to himself.

An admirer of Vladimir Putin’s approach to governing.

This post can be summarized in three words: Trump Tramples Truth!

Your comments are welcome.
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Who Owns a Found Thing?

August 4, 2014 at 9:28 pm | Posted in Fairness | 4 Comments
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 "Clouds over the Atlantic Ocean" by Tiago Fioreze

“Clouds over the Atlantic Ocean” by Tiago Fioreze

Breathe in.  Now breathe out.

That air you just breathed – you did not create it.  You just found it where you needed it, and used it.

"Cuesta del Obispo en la Provincia de Salta - Argentina" by fede.cerutti

“Cuesta del Obispo en la Provincia de Salta – Argentina” by fede.cerutti

The land on which you stand is part of a land mass that you did not create.  You just found it where you needed it, and are using it.

The same is true of the ocean which floats your boat, and of the atmosphere that waters your crops and provides the water you drink and wash with and cook with, and whose fluid supports your aircraft.

"West Texas Pumpjack" by Eric Kounce TexasRaiser - Located south of Midland, Texas.

“West Texas Pumpjack” by Eric Kounce TexasRaiser – Located south of Midland, Texas.

Oil extraction in the ocean: "Devils tower 2004" by VaderSS .

Oil extraction in the ocean: “Devils tower 2004” by VaderSS .

"Coal mine Wyoming" by Unknown

“Coal mine Wyoming” by Unknown

The same is true of any oil or coal or gas or metal or metal ore from the ground or the ocean.

The same is true of the planet Earth, with its temperate temperature, and its protective atmosphere and magnetic field, and of the Moon, which tidally helps to stabilize the Earth’s spin axis, and the Sun, whose light illuminates and warms the Earth.

Glass beakers for chemistry.

Glass beakers for chemistry.

Surface-mounted electronics: "Arduino ftdi chip-1" by DustyDingo.

Surface-mounted electronics: “Arduino ftdi chip-1” by DustyDingo.

The atoms and molecules in all those things, you did not create them.  You found them, or at most you modified them from atoms and molecules that you found, using energy that you found, via physical processes that obey rules that were already there, and that you merely used.

The same is true of any life form that we catch or grow, to eat or to use in other ways.  It is true even of life forms that we have varied by breeding, or that we have genetically modifed directly.

Who owns them?  Whose property are they, and by what right?

They are not in any essential way the property of any individual, family, business, collective, class, nation, society, or species.

But it is sometimes convenient to treat them as if they were.  Doing so reduces conflict, except when it instigates conflict.

Eastern Hemisphere, Lambert Azimuthal projection, by Sean Baker.

Eastern Hemisphere, Lambert Azimuthal projection, by Sean Baker.

Western Hemisphere, Lambert Azimuthal projection, by Sean Baker.

Western Hemisphere, Lambert Azimuthal projection, by Sean Baker.

Here are some examples:

– Repeatedly, groups of people from Africa migrated to Europe and Asia, settling those formerly unpeopled areas.

– Groups of people from Asia then migrated to the Western Hemisphere, Australia and New Zealand, settling those formerly unpeopled areas.

– Groups of people from Europe migrated to the western Hemisphere, settling in those already-peopled areas, and not gently.

– Due to the never-ending reverberation of past religious competition, large numbers of Jews in Europe (including Central and Eastern Europe) finally gave up on those areas, where their ancestors had dwelled for millenia, and migrated to the already-peopled Middle East.  They were joined by co-religionists from elsewhere in the Middle East and North Africa who had there been harassed by the persistent reverberations of past religious competition in those locales.  The resulting turbulence has not yet dissipated.

– The Sunnis and the Shiites, the persecution of the Rohingya in Burma – the list goes on and on.

– Putin’s grabbing of Crimea, using arguments like those that the Nazi’s used to justify their seizure of Sudetenland, and its attempts to peel off Eastern Ukraine.

Caption in Wikipedia: "A Sudeten German Voluntary Force unit in 1938."

Caption in Wikipedia: “A Sudeten German Voluntary Force unit in 1938.”

Enough examples!

Now some background and some conclusions.

"Henry George" by Unknown.

“Henry George” by Unknown.

Readers who are familiar with the work of Henry George (1839-1897) will recognize some of his ideas in the present blog posting.  To quote Wikipedia, Henry George argued that “people should own what they create, but that everything found in nature, most importantly the value of land, belongs equally to all humanity.”

The views expressed in the present blog post are clearly a variant of those views.  But there are at least three differences:

(1) The present blog post implies that for tangible objects, ‘creating’ is merely ‘clever re-arranging’.  So only limited ownership should be conferred by the ‘creating’ of tangible objects.  That is said with full respect for the ingenuity, resourcefulness, value-added, and the hard work required.  In fact, those contributions are what justify the limited ownership.  In the creation of intangible works – new concepts, new ways of working, new chains of reasoning, and art of all types – a larger part of the result is truly created, justifying a larger degree of ownership, but still a limited one.

(2) The present blog post implies that to ascribe ownership to all of humanity would appropriate to our species what intrinsically belongs equally to all species, both terrestrial and extraterrestrial.  The same idea is often expressed by saying that we are just the stewards of spaceship Earth.

(3) Apart from the limited ownership that is justified by the ‘creation’ of tangible objects, and the greater degree of ownership that is justified by the creation of intangible works, the present blog argues that ownership is a legal fiction created for social convenience, rather than being intrinsic and fundamental.  But once ownership has become established as a convenient fiction, morality and justice require that it thereafter be ascribed fairly.

 

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Morsi and Putin

July 24, 2013 at 7:17 pm | Posted in Abuse of Office, Conceited, Enemies of Freedom | Leave a comment
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Mohamed Morsi, photographed at on May 8, 2013 by Wilson Dias for Agência Brasil, during Morsi's reception by President Dilma Rousseff, of Brazil. The original image has been turned upside down.

Mohamed Morsi, photographed at on May 8, 2013 by Wilson Dias for Agência Brasil, during Morsi’s reception by President Dilma Rousseff, of Brazil.
The original image has been turned upside down.

Before he was overthrown, the former President of Egypt, Morsi
– “temporarily granted himself unlimited powers to “protect” the nation in late November 2012″
– granted himself “the power to legislate without judicial oversight or review of his acts”
– rammed through changes to the Constitution that would favor himself and his former party, which represented the Islamic Brotherhood.
(The quotes are from an article in Wikipedia.)

Morsi’s overthrow was not undemocratic.  His overthrow did not undermine the rule of law.  It was not a coup: Morsi’s acts were the coup.
In the long run, if Eygpt’s military lives up to its promises, Morsi’s overthrow will have protected the rule of law.

Overthrowing Morsi was just and necessary, because Morsi was acting more and more like Putin.

Official portrait of Vladimir Putin (2006). This file comes from the website of the President of the Russian Federation and is copyrighted.

Official portrait of Vladimir Putin (2006). This file comes from the website of the President of the Russian Federation and is copyrighted.

 

A Russian Patriot Battles Russia’s Greatest Enemy

June 17, 2013 at 9:07 pm | Posted in Abuse of Office, Conceited, Disinformation, Enemies of Freedom, Fairness, Judicial Injustice | Leave a comment
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Alexey Navalny, 26 May 2012, photographed by MItya Aleshkovskiy

Alexey Navalny, 26 May 2012, photographed by MItya Aleshkovskiy.

For criticizing Putin, Alexei Navalny is being prosecuted on spurious charges of fraud and embezzlement.

This is a favorite tactic for Putin and his cronies.  They use it against anyone who criticizes them, including those who expose theft by officials.  It was previously used against Sergei Magnitsky (see below).

Navalny isn’t a perfect human being, but he is honest, and he is trying to benefit his country, not himself.

Not only is Putin and Co. Russia’s greatest enemy, it is very nearly Russia’s only enemy.

Recent actions by the Russian Parliament are evidence that responsibility for the imprisonment, judicial injustice, torture and death of Sergei Magnitsky, and for covering up those criminal acts, reaches much higher than was supposed before.  By approving and protecting those responsible, Putin becomes a party to their crimes.

See also here and here and here.
Putin and his cronies do not defend Russia, they rape it.

Putin and his cronies do not love the Russian people, they despise them.  They regard the Russian people as unfit to identify abuses, or to propose solutions, or to govern themselves.

Putin is not the protector of Russia, he is the protector of those who pillage Russia

An example is Putin’s protection of those who persecuted Sergei Magnitsky, and then fostered Magnitsky’s death.

Magnitsky’s only ‘crime’ was to expose those who had pillaged Russia.  But corrupt officials charged him with some crime he had never committed, and a corrupt judge convicted him of that imaginary crime.  As noted above, that has become the standard trick in Russia for persecuting anyone who is inconvenient for those in power.

Putin never asked for an investigation.  When a few of the criminals were chastized by the Sergei Magnitsky Act in the US, Putin was not pleased to see the the culpable being punished.  Instead, he whined about the US legislation, and pushed a bill that ostensibly punished the US, but whose main effect was to hurt Russian orphans.

His response proved that Putin’s priority was to protect those who pillaged Russia, and that he cared nothing for the true patriots who exposed the pillaging.

That made Putin an accessory to the crime.

That erased all doubt.  Russia is ruled by a criminal mafia, and Putin is a member of that mafia.

While Putin remains in power, Russia cannot breathe.

Saint George and the Dragon, painted by Bernat Martorell (1390–1452). AA.VV.,El llibre d'or de l'art català, Edicions Primera Plana, Barcelona, 1997.

Saint George and the Dragon, painted by Bernat Martorell (1390–1452). AA.VV.,El llibre d’or de l’art català, Edicions Primera Plana, Barcelona, 1997.

Russia does not need to be defended against a dragon.  It needs to be defended against a pit of vipers.

Timber rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus), photographed 4 May 2007, 13:03 by Tad Arensmeier from St. Louis, MO, USA.

Timber rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus), photographed 4 May 2007, 13:03 by Tad Arensmeier from St. Louis, MO, USA.

De-fang Putin and his viper cronies, and Russia will unclench, stretch out, and breathe.

Putin’s Place in History

December 19, 2012 at 5:25 pm | Posted in Abuse of Office, Conceited, Disinformation, Dysfunctional Politics, Enemies of Freedom, Judicial Injustice | 2 Comments
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Official portrait of Vladimir Putin (2006). This file comes from the website of the President of the Russian Federation and is copyrighted.

Official portrait of Vladimir Putin (2006). This file comes from the website of the President of the Russian Federation and is copyrighted.

History will deem Putin to have sabotaged and delayed Russia’s development into an open, equitable society that can achieve its full potential.

Putin will be called

– Yeltsin’s biggest blunder

– Defender of Kleptocracy

– Defender of dictatorial regimes that oppress and stifle their own people

Let’s consider each of these, in turn.

Yeltsin’s biggest blunder

A previous post noted that Russia is at present like a Centaur:   human above the  waist, all brute below.  A deranged Centaur, whose brutal part fears and hates its human part, and strives to keep it on a tight leash.

So-called “Old Centaur”: centaur teased by Eros (missing). Grey-black marble, Roman copy after an Hellenistic original. From the Villa Adriana near Tivoli, 1736. Currently in the Capitoline Museums, Palazzo Nuovo, first hall, great hall. Photographed by Jastrow (2006).

So-called “Old Centaur”: centaur teased by Eros (missing). Grey-black marble, Roman copy after an Hellenistic original. From the Villa Adriana near Tivoli, 1736. Currently in the Capitoline Museums, Palazzo Nuovo, first hall, great hall. Photographed by Jastrow (2006).

Putin has delayed by more than a decade the Centaur’s transformation into something fully human.

Thin-skinned and scared inside, Putin stifles Russia’s best citizens, its most conscientous and brave citizens, its only true patriots, blocking them from contributing to its improvement.
Not long ago his boot came down on the rock group Pussy Riot.

The rock group  performance artists Pussy Riot, photographed 11 January 2012 by Igor Mukhin

The rock group performance artists Pussy Riot, photographed 11 January 2012 by Igor Mukhin

Today, with puppy-like eagerness to please his master, a corrupt prosecutor now levels ludicrous charges against Alexei Navalny, a brave blogger.

Alexei Navalny in Moscow, 26 May 2012, photgraphed by MItya Aleshkovskiy.

Alexei Navalny in Moscow, 26 May 2012, photgraphed by MItya Aleshkovskiy.

The ludicrousness of the charges is deliberate.  It is part of Putin’s intended message, as was noted by Fred Hiatt in the Washington Post.

Defender of Kleptocracy

Instead of protecting Russia from the mafia, Putin protected the mafia from Russia.
Instead of protecting courageous Russian patriots, Putin looked away when they were persecuted and killed.
A recent example was Sergei Magnitsky.

The grave of Sergei Magnitsky, 27 June 2012, photographed by Dmitry Rozhkov.

The grave of Sergei Magnitsky, 27 June 2012, photographed by Dmitry Rozhkov.

Putin could have stopped the persecution of Magnitsky.

Putin could have ordered an investigation into stealing by government officials  from the Russia nation, based on Magnitsky’s discoveries.
Instead he looked away while Magnitsky was falsely charged, arrested, tormented and killed by corrupt generals, judges, police, and doctors.
The names of the thieving generals are known.
The names of the corrupt judges are known.
The names of the police who ordered the beating and the names of the police who conducted the beating are known,
the names of the malpracticing doctors are known, at least to the ‘authorities’.
None of the culprits have been charged, nor punished, nor even admonished.

Russia Putinesca is not a tasty or nutritious dish for most Russians, only for the kleptocracy.

Defender of al Assad’s murderous regime in Syria,and of Khamenei’s murderous regime in Iran
Quite apart from any questions of national interest, it is not in Putin’s interest to see autocrats be challenged and overthrown.
It is in his interest for the world to contain as few open societies as possible.

Putin will also be remembered as being opinionated, but uninterested in facts and in the world at large.  He never grew intellectually, nor morally.

Putin will be remembered as an autocrat, and as a person whose foreign policy was driven by envy.

What if a Mexican Drug Cartel Ran a Country?

August 3, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Posted in Abuse of Office, Enemies of Freedom, Judicial Injustice | 2 Comments
Tags: , ,

What would a country be like if it were run by a Mexican drug cartel – ruthless, lawless, dominated by insatiable greed and lust for power?

What if that country also contained outstanding scientists, mathematicians, engineers, writers, artists, musicians, dancers, athletes, and political philosophers?

You would have Russia, under Putin’s thumb.

You would have a centaur, but one in which the human half was not in control.  Control would reside just beneath the tail of the horse half.  The horse half would tolerate parts of the human half, but would feel threatened by the other parts of the human half.  The horse half would hurl the disliked parts of the human half against tree trunks, rocks and brambles.

A stark example is what happened to Sergei Magnitsky, who was a towering example of insight, courage and principle.  His torture and murder is recounted in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sergei_Magnitsky .

Another valuable site is http://russian-untouchables.com/eng/sergey-magnitsky/ .

A bill that is now before the Senate would impose sanctions on those known to have participated in this horrific crime.  Passing the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act of 2011 (S.1039) is a moral imperative.

Fortunately the bill has a long and bi-partisan list of sponsors.  To see the bill and its list of sponsors, and to track its progress, see
http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/112/s1039/text
and
http://www.opencongress.org/bill/112-s1039/show .

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