The Shenzhou 9 flight took place in June 2012.
3 months ago
In its counter-espionage and counter-intelligence roles, SMERSH appears to have been extremely successful throughout World War II. SMERSH actions resulted in numerous captures, desertions, and defections of German intelligence officers and agents, some of whom SMERSH turned into double agents. Indeed, the Germans began to consider missions where their losses were less than ninety percent “satisfactory.” According to German sources, the Soviets rendered approximately 39,500 German agents useless by the end of the war.No telling how many Russians they rendered useless. Stalin was in charge then.
Film versions of novels where SMERSH appears substituted either SPECTRE or independent villains in order to avoid fomenting hatred of the Soviets, and so contributing to unstable relations with the USSR.I vaguely remember SMERSH from the novels. It's been decades since I read them. But now we have Hollywood, fulfilling our craving for violence through the use of fictional villains. I feel much better now.
Under capitalistic forms of economic organization, Banks must ordinarily be held accountable to deal with their distressed credits promptly and the public balance sheet must not be used to subsidize bad risk decisions nor to prop up zombie companies at public expense and to the ultimate detriment of employees, taxpayers and other more efficient and productive entities."Financial Repression". What a fine term.
However, this departure from the norm in order to favor creditor interests is exactly what has been happening.
These policies of Financial Repression have been followed before. The most obvious examples are failed communist states many of whom had to abandon the experiment over twenty years ago with the fall of the Berlin Wall and more recently, hyperinflationary Zimbabwe. Some examples in the developed economies include New Zealand in the late 1970’s / early 1980’s before the 1984 collapse and Germany in the immediate Post WWI “Weimar” period. In every instance, the outcome of these episodes was negative. Today, the Europeans (and North America and Japan) are conducting policies of Financial Repression in a variety of formats.
A year ago today we left Argentina to return to the US and I've wanted to write a post since we've left.
The only reason I ever came to Argentina was for the love of my life. I met her online, fell for her and came to visit her for a month almost a year after we met. Three months after I came home, on black Friday I took another flight to BA.
That time I ended up staying for almost two and a half years.
I won't bore you all with the details, but a lot of bad things happened, and a lot of wonderful things happened. The good things, although they were fewer in number, infinitely outweigh the bad things.
I got married in Argentina. I became a father in Argentina.
After so much time I got annoyed by the day to day bothers of life in Buenos Aires. I won't list them here because you know what they are already. I wore me down. I was ready to leave by the time my wife's visa was approved.
But I miss it. I would not rather be living there now, but I do miss it.
I can say that I miss the mercados, the empanadas, milanesa, Sunday asado, greeting people with a kiss on the cheek, the ease of getting around on the bus, but none of those are really why I miss it.
From the first taxi into the city to the taxi that dropped us off at Ezeiza, I have been captivated by it. There was just something that sucked me in. I could walk down the same street every day for a year and every day I would see something new. Every few blocks you have another panaderia and mercado and countless kioscos, each one of which has a character all its own. The stores here in the United States are all the same. You've been to one Harris Teeter and you've been to them all.
Every time I left the house to go somewhere, I never knew what to expect. Would there be a strike or concert somewhere that would make me have to get creative in my commute? How long would I have to wait for the bus at 2am? Five minutes? Fifty? And again, I rode the same bus for a year, looked out the same window at the same route through the city and I always always saw something new.
And there are the people. Even if you don't talk to the people, just sit on a bench in a park and watch. People from all walks of life are remarkably similar in Buenos Aires.
They all partake of the same things. Sunday asado, drinking mate in the park with friends, playing futbol, and so on. Rich, middle class, poor, very poor, for the most part, they are so similar. You don't see that here in the US.
Every taxi driver was different. For every driver who tried to drive us in circles, we had one who genuinely wanted to talk to us and share life's stories. There was the 10 block roller coaster taxi ride where the driver floored it from every stoplight. And we hit all five lights red in those 10 blocks. I was sick for an hour. And then there was the craziest ride of my life when my wife's water broke and the remise driver took it upon himself to be our ambulance. A trip that usually took 45 minutes took 15. He gave me a dirty orange hand towel to hold out about the car and he laid on the horn. At one point we were going the wrong way down Avenida de los Incas. Needless to say, he got a generous tip.
I could go on and on and on. I could talk about how every restaurant's empanadas are different and how each panaderia's facutas were different. I will tell you that the best facuras I had were from Panaderia La Paz in Nunez on Cuba between Quesada and Ibera. They were EXCELLENT.
I know it seems like I am only remember the goods things. I remember the bad ones, which is why I am glad that I am here in the US. My life is certainly easier here. My job is more consistent. My family is here. There are less day to day troubles here.
But Buenos Aires captured a place in my heart. I am not well traveled. Outside of the US, I have been to Argentina and Uruguay. But I've never been to a place like BA. The city is alive, it has a pulse. You never know what it will do next. You never know who you'll meet or even where you will end up.
I didn't love every minute of my time in Buenos Aires, but I love Buenos Aires. I am glad, at this point in my life, that we are not living there, but we will be back.
To everyone who complains all the time, I get it. I understand. I was one of you. I complained all the time about this and that. But take it from me, someone whose life if easy and boring now, enjoy it while you are there.
I still can't believe I did it. That I moved 5000 miles away from home, from everything I knew, and not knowing more than a few words of Spanish, to Buenos Aires. Even after a year being back in the US, I can't believe it.
By E.J. Dionne Jr., Published in the Washington Post March 17I copied the article instead of just providing the link because you never know when links to other sites will expire, and because we don't want you contaminated with any opinions that I have not personally vetted.
The question is not intended to discourage the healthy debate being pushed by Rand Paul and his allies over whether Republicans in the George W. Bush years were too eager to deploy our country’s armed forces overseas. After the steep costs of the Iraq war, it is a very necessary discussion.
But Paul has inadvertently called our attention to a deep contradiction within American conservatism.
Those who share Paul’s philosophical orientation are quite right in seeing the rise of American power in the world as closely linked to the rise of the New Deal-Great Society state at home. But this means that those who want the United States to play a strong role in global affairs need to ask themselves if their attitudes toward government’s role in our country, which are similar to Paul’s, are consistent with their vision of American influence abroad.
After World War II, there was a rough consensus in America, confirmed during Dwight Eisenhower’s presidency in the 1950s, in favor of an energetic national government.
We emerged from the war as a global power that had learned lessons from the Great Depression. Government action could lessen the likelihood of another disastrous economic downturn and build a more just and prosperous society at home by investing in our people and our future.
Thus did the Marshall Plan and the GI Bill go hand in hand. The Marshall Plan eased Western Europe’s recovery from the devastation of war, thereby protecting friendly governments and opening new markets for American goods. The GI Bill educated a generation of veterans, spurring prosperity from the bottom up by enabling millions to join a growing middle class.
Eisenhower built on these achievements by creating the first college loan program and launching the interstate highway system. It’s no accident that the former was established by the National Defense Education Act while the latter was known as the National Interstate and Defense Highways Act.
Lyndon Johnson operated in the same tradition. It’s worth remembering that passage of the landmark civil rights acts was helped along by our competition with the Soviet Union. We realized we could not appeal to the nonwhite, nonaligned parts of the world if we practiced racism at home.
And we fought poverty — for moral reasons but also because we wanted to show the world that we could combine our market system with economic justice. We forget that we succeeded. A strengthened Social Security system combined with Medicare slashed poverty rates among the elderly. Food stamps dealt with a real problem of hunger in our nation while Medicaid brought regular health care to millions who did not have it before.
Through it all, Keynesian economics kept our economy humming while widely shared prosperity created the sense of national solidarity that a world role required.
Paul and his allies deserve credit for consistency. They are against the entire deal.
“As government grows, liberty becomes marginalized,” Paul declared at the Conservative Political Action Conference, which announced Saturday that the libertarian senator from Kentucky had placed first in its 2016 presidential straw poll. I think the evidence of all the years since World War II proves Paul flatly wrong. But then I am not a conservative.
But what of conservatives who endorse continued American global leadership but would drastically reduce government’s investments in our citizens and our infrastructure, in economic security and in health care?
Do they honestly think voters will endorse the military spending they seek even as they throw 40 million to 50 million of our fellow citizens off health insurance and weaken health coverage for our elderly? Can they continue to deny that their goal of an internationally influential America demands more revenue than they currently seem willing to provide? Have conservatives on the Supreme Court pondered what eviscerating the Voting Rights Act would do to the image of our democracy around the globe?
And do conservatives who say they favor American greatness think they are strengthening our nation and its ability to shape events abroad with an ongoing budget stalemate created by their refusal to reach agreement with President Obama on a deal that combines spending cuts and new taxes? Would they rather waste the next three years than make any further concessions to a president the voters just reelected?
Rand Paul is very clear on the country he seeks. Conservatives who reject his approach to foreign policy need to consider where the strong America they honor came from in the first place.
Don't miss “Railroads on Parade,” the colorful pageant of the iron horses of the past and the streamlined engines of today. In 16 scenes and actual settings and costumes of the early days, actors, horses, covered wagons, stage coaches, oxen, mules and locomotives, you see the importance of transportation in the opening of this continent. Starting over 110 years ago, at the New York water-front, in the covered wagon era, the parade of actors, chorus and ballet tells the story of America's conquest of the wilderness.Via Scott and Shorpy dot com.
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