Donald Hank
Putin bashing
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By Donald Hank
September 15, 2013

Several articles have come out recently claiming that Putin and Obama are really identical in philosophy and are working toward the same destructive end.

These articles, their web sites and outlets and their authors have always in some way, subtle or overt, supported US military actions wholeheartedly and many of them support a strike on Syria, despite the fact that the 'rebels' are heavily infiltrated with Al Qaeda and reports coming out of Syria, such as those by Italian correspondents Piccin and Quirico, are exposing the 'opposition' as riddled with foreign fighters and ruthless anti-American and anti-Christian murderers. They also have been found by the Turks, by UN observer Carla De Ponte and by AP reporter Dale Gavlak to possess chemical weapons. Reporters and most ordinary citizens are afraid to even mention these facts. Here in the Land of the Free.

Rush made a big deal out of Putin's statement that Americans who think they are exceptional are responsible for wars.

Rush then launched into a long tirade on what American exceptionalism is and boiled it down to 'freedom.' Besides myself, I know of no other conservative who has dared remind his fellow Americans that our first Constitution was only for white males. If we stand for freedom, why do conservatives hesitate to tell the truth about their history? They shouldn't hesitate because it wasn't conservatives who endorsed this original Constitution. It was southern slave holders, the physical and spiritual ancestors of the Democrat Party.

Be that as it may, once slavery was abolished, we did achieve a degree of freedom, not only by encouraging religious diversity but also by allowing competitive capitalism to thrive. But the year 1913 marked an ominous change, when Congress authorized the income tax and surrendered its constitutional money printing and currency control power to the Federal Reserve Board, which proceeded to launch an inflationary policy that continues to decimate the value of the dollar, particularly today with reckless quantitative easing, which, thanks to devious propaganda, has somehow become as American as apple pie. Yet these same 'conservatives' who support attacks on non-enemies and crow about exceptionalism never seem to notice that America is in the hands of a small cabal of bankers and politicians who run rough-shod over our will and our values, granting amnesty to lawbreakers comprising a disproportionate number of violent criminals, refusing to guard the border (in violation of Article 4, Section 4), confiscating our sustenance to supply weapons to terrorists in the Middle East, selling arms to Mexican cartels, refusing to rescue foreign diplomats in mortal danger, squandering our sustenance to such an extent that city after city is going bankrupt; imposing draconian economy-strangling measures by insisting that global warming is killing the polar bears when in fact, the polar ice is increasing in surface area; persecuting journalists who dare to tell the truth; spying on us all, etc.

So what freedom, Mr. Limbaugh? Competitive capitalism has been almost completely supplanted by corporatist crony capitalism.

Friends, forget freedom for you and me. Rush has economic freedom and can do and say anything he pleases. He enjoys Limbaughian exceptionalism. You and I will see the dollar decline almost to oblivion, widening the yawning gap between rich and middle class and threatening social security until such time as the BRICS nations introduce a new currency.

Putin bashers, while showing some aptitude in American history, fail to understand is Russia and its culture and history.

Rush says the Russians don't think they are exceptional. That is simply not true. I made friends there in the early 1970s and heard many of them proudly assert "I am a Russian man." They even imagined themselves to be a new species of human, Homo sovieticus. They declared that they were eliminating crime and corruption and assured foreigners that there was no such thing as prostitution in Russia. Sure, it was nonsense.

Yet in some ways, they actually were exceptional.

The Russians were the only people in the world to rout both Napoleon and Hitler.

One recent article in this genre says that Putin is "ruling what is left of a country that ruled with the brutal fist of Communism for 70 long years." Now keep these words in mind as you read on. These words unmistakably suggest that there is not much left of Russia after the ravages of the Soviet Union.

But consider this. Back when the Soviets ruled, the US still had a powerful economy and a strong manufacturing base.

If the US were an individual household, any economic advisor would say we are trending toward bankruptcy, with a debt to GDP ratio of over 100%. Yet the political class wants to borrow more. In stark contrast, Russia has a debt to GDP ratio of only 8.4%.

Forget the status quo. All is in flux. No economic analyst looks at static figures. They look at trends. Nothing else matters. And as the following reports clearly show, the trend between the US and Russia has reversed itself completely since the Soviet Union broke up.

The author might more accurately have spoken of "what is left" of the USA.

We are heading toward a collapse with unprecedented reckless spending and borrowing policies and Russia is looking at growth and minimal debt thanks to its extremely cautious policies.

US unemployment with job hunt dropouts subtracted is said to be 7.4%

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/08/02/208209836/u-s-unemployment-sinks-to-7-4-percent-in-july-jobs-report

But in fact, the government lies (by subtracting the labor force dropouts). 63% of Americans are out of work. That's 37% unemployment, Folks, almost double the rate for Greece or Spain!

http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2013-09-06/business/41816402_1_labor-force-labor-department-job-market

Russian unemployment, latest is 5.3%, and Russia does not pay welfare to people who drop out, so the dropout rate is minimal and that figure is infinitely more accurate than our government reports:

http://www.tradingeconomics.com/russia/unemployment-rate

Russia debt to GDP (8.4%)

http://www.tradingeconomics.com/russia/government-debt-to-gdp

US debt to GDP (101.6%)

http://www.tradingeconomics.com/united-states/government-debt-to-gdp

Russian economic growth: 2.5-2.8% expected in 2013

http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/fb19d7c8-f098-11e2-929c-00144feabdc0.html#axzz2d17Z8Yjv

US growth projected at 1.7% by IMF:

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-07-09/imf-reduces-global-growth-projections-as-u-s-expansion-weakens.html

Recipients of 'social payments' (in Russian)

http://pfrrt.ru/citizens/pensioneram/poluchateljam-sotsialnykh-vyplat/

3 categories:
    – Vets

    – families of deceased vets

    – invalids and children of invalids.

    – People who have 'dropped out' of the work force do not get anything.
This seems to be the bulk of what we would call welfare.

In the US, over 100 million receive welfare:

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/over-100-million-now-receiving-federal-welfare_649589.html

Freedom?

The government seems to exert pressure on the media in the Russian Federation, but at least there, the media represent a genuine 4th Estate. In the US, the media and the government are a virtual monolith. In addition, despite having most media reps on his side, Obama is now exerting unprecedented influence over the media, as illustrated by the charges brought against James Rosen.

Solzhenitsyn, in the last speech he gave at Harvard, said that while in Russia, the government controls the media, in the US, the media and the government work hand in hand. That is why it was his last speech.

In the Land of the Free.

Finally, Rush and many others claim that Putin is really a communist, beneath the rhetoric.

Well, if the above economic results reflect communist policies, then we had better become communists as soon as possible.

The fact is, while Russia is experiencing difficulties seguing to a capitalist economy, these results would have been impossible under communism. What Rush and other misguided analysts are doing with their Putin bashing is subtly suggesting that communism is not all that bad.

Recently, in a G-20 speech, Putin mentioned some of the economic statistics reflected above. He is obviously pleased and proud to head up a vital and robust capitalist state.

While some diehards like to repeat the phrase "once a communist, always a communist," the example of Russia should spawn a new phrase to describe them:

"A failed communist is the most ardent supporter of capitalism."

Finally, unlike almost all Western leaders (whose monolithic policies reflect epic economic failure), Putin rejects the prevailing notion of what he calls a "unipolar world" – or what many now refer to as the New World Order.

Now, Mr. Rush Limbaugh and other Putin bashers, please explain how Vladimir Putin, one of the few world leaders to show true patriotism toward his people and deep concern for the Western economy on whom Russia depends in large part, is in league with and conspiring with Barack Obama to destroy the country whose economy is most vital to Russia's interests: the United States of America. A country that, as reflected by its leaders' spectacular incompetence, has shown outstanding aptitude in destroying itself and a resolute will to rid itself of itself once and for all.

Now if you were in Putin's shoes and you cared for your own country and knew it relied for its economic health on a country that is in the hands of people hell bent on destroying it but whose people were opposed to that government's policies, you know what I would do?

I would start appealing to those people by writing letters to the New York Times.

© Donald Hank

 

The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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Donald Hank

Until July of 2009, Don Hank was operating a technical translation agency out of his home in Wrightsville, PA. He is now retired and residing in Panama with his wife and daughter.

A former language teacher, he holds an undergraduate degree in French and German from Millersville State University (PA), a Master's degree in Russian language and literature from Kutztown State College (also in PA), has studied Chinese for 3 years in Taiwan at the Mandarin Training Center, and is self-taught in other languages, having logged a total of 8 years abroad in total immersion situations.

He is also the founder of Lancaster-York Non-Custodial Parents, a volunteer organization that provides Christian counseling for non-custodial parents.

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