Rays of Hope (extended)

44
Thu, Jul 31, 2014 - 7:58pm

I was in high school when I first started working for the powers that be. A helicopter landed in my hometown, carrying a few mid-level military officers (Brits, Dutch, Germans) that worked for the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission. The task force had been charged with setting up a base of operations for monitoring the then-recent ‘civil’ war in Yugoslavia. Desperate for local interpreters, the group was directed by the mayor to my bilingual high school – and in turn, the principal summoned me from class to accompany the delegation, who asked if I would be willing to work for them part-time as a liaison/interpreter/office manager as they set up an office in my town.

Over the years that followed, I worked for the OSCE, then for a military contractor that supplied interpreters to the US Army in Eastern Europe theaters of operation. I worked with Army/AF/Marine units. I recruited a classmate to work for AF Intel, saw bored and listless Marines operate drones (then a relatively novel concept) over Bosnia. Worked with an NGO who had come to my country to teach the locals about the wonders of the US stock market. Met NCOs who had been given a choice: 10 years in Federal penitentiary or 20 years in the Army (my friend had the misfortune of being caught boosting 18-wheeler rigs, and refused to name his fence). He became a heavily decorated gunnery sergeant, veteran of Gulf War I, who taught armored cavalry units how to shoot and maneuver throughout Europe.

My country spent a solid 20 years licking the bootheel of its erstwhile official mortal enemies in an attempt to integrate itself better with the EU and ‘Western values’ -- including ascension to NATO and a boatload of (pointless) military spending. This is all the more laughable as at the time, some military analysts calculated that the military could withstand a full assault from the Yugoslav army for about 30 minutes... The days of military viability were centuries in the past. Our markets were dumped with subsidized EU agricultural products, destroying much of the smaller local agricultural producers. Anyone with any skill/talent/language ability fled the country as soon as they gained their (highly respected and good-quality) university degrees to seek work in the UK, Germany, France, etc.. At least a quarter (if not half) of my high school class are now expats. Whenever I go home, all my relatives lament the distance of my domicile, but take great pains to tell me not to consider moving home.

I am writing this sitting at a newly opened outdoor bar in a small village. The proprietor explained to me that he opened this place not really to make money, but to have a business to give to his son and to try to create something new, something different in this sleepy little corner of the country. He was beset at all steps of the way by regional and local bureaucrats, tax officials and petty neighbors/competitors who continually called the cops on him (who apologetically showed up, conceded that nothing was wrong but they were obliged to respond to a ‘resident report’). Denied a building permit for an establishment in a commercial zone, he converted a railroad restaurant car into a bar and installed portable toilets on an empty lot. The long-established restaurant/bar next door closed at 9 (despite its stated hours through midnight), while he still has several dozen guests right now, well past midnight.

The indomitable spirit of entrepreneurship, innovation and a genuine desire to improve the local/regional/national/continental state of affairs is still flickering. The millions of residents who were suckered into Swiss-franc mortgages (due to the massive appreciation of the CHF versus the local currency, EVERYONE is now deeply underwater, forced to squeeze out monthly payments 2x greater than what they thought they signed up for a few years ago) are about to get some relief as Parliament finalized laws forcing the issuing banks to absorb much of the losses.

This is by no means a panacea. The government is still deeply corrupt, nepotistic and continues to run a fiat Ponzi. Its supermajority in congress was achieved in part by promising/granting social benefits, passports and voting rights to nationals living outside its borders (amounting to almost 50% of in-country population). Imagine the US.GOV granting Social Security and voting rights to all Mexican citizens (a little less than half of US population) on the grounds they shared linguistic and cultural bonds with current US citizens. The Prime Minister continues to grossly enrich his family and friends – his son was among the heads of state / world-class athletes / Pope / etc. in attendance at the World Cup finals in Brazil (guy in crimson tie pensively listening to the Putin-Merkel dialogue, flanked by dude in dopey black-rimmed glasses).

BUT. He is also on record declaring that he intends to use his (ill-gotten) powers to realign the country, to seek closer ties and cooperation with Russia, to emulate the models provided by China, Russia and Turkey, seeking independence from the influence of Western (US)-backed interests, lobbying groups and NGOs. He is taking steps to reduce the prevalence of the Free Shit Army™ by reorganizing benefit programs and Social Security. Yes, this was done in part by nationalizing individual retirement accounts. Yes, this still steers government contracts to cronies and connected oligarchs. Yes, freedom of the press is under attack on a daily basis, independent journalism penalized/persecuted. The Central Bank is no longer ‘independent’ (whatever that means) and is now merely a politicized extension of Treasury. But for better or worse, the country is being steered consciously on a course towards a path that is (IMHO) the direction of the future. A course aligned with a vision of ending the hegemony of Western dominance and USD-rule over the entirety of the globe. Lo and behold, there are ever-growing indications that the Eastern powers seek an avenue of economic cooperation outside the USD umbrella, with India and Russia being only the latest pair of bilateral efforts to this end.

What’s my point, you may rightly ask? If this small, relatively insignificant NATO-member and formerly staunch Keynesian lackey can indeed change, and brave the perilous waters of taking on the Fin_Mil_Industrial_Gov complex, there may yet be hope for the rest of Europe, for the rest of the world. I have no idea whether this truly a real ‘exit’ from the current world order. It would not take much for a false flag, or simple ‘ratfucking’ from the various intel agencies (such as recently seen in Ukraine) to derail the nascent reforms underway here. But perhaps, PERHAPS such an approach – if successful – can serve to light the EXIT sign for others. In and of itself, it is insignificant – but what if Baltic states were to one day overcome their deeply rooted (and justified) phobia of Russia? Romania has twice our population, Poland is four times our size. Austria is seeking an audit of gold reserves, the Swiss have a referendum on the docket for gold reserves in the Swiss National Bank. Norway has actual energy resources to bring to the fray, and might eventually like to be paid in something other than linen-rich coupons.

Maybe all of this is merely part of a pre-ordained and centrally orchestrated charade between the ‘Rocks’ and ‘Roths’, as our friend ivars alleges. And we are all forever doomed to be the serfs (knowing or not) of the banker families seeing all and ruling all. Perhaps this is merely a futile gesture of misplaced patriotism, along the lines of Zrínyi and Dobó.

Perhaps we are, indeed, all destined to be ground down between the cogs of the machine – and the best we can hope for is to profit from the even-greater misfortune of our brethren, and to be ‘greater’ slaves among lesser ones. But my lineage and upbringing dictate that I continue to believe in the indomitability of the human spirit. Light will eventually prevail, and victories that seem pyrrhic may topple symbolsand thus ideologies.

Video unavailable

As always, keep stacking. Choose your battles against the status quo, but choose to battle where possible.

PS: Somewhat (though not really) OT – check out this cartoon-based comparison of Orwell vs. Huxley before it is yet again taken down by copyright protection requests.

Epilogue

Wow. I was a little worried my choice of topic was a little too tangential, obscure and irrelevant. While the following does not prove conclusively that it was NOT, it's still somewhat of a vindication that the next day the same event (Hungarian Prime Minister Orban's manifesto against liberal democracy, delivered as a speech at a Transylvanian university) would be pilloried by both the New York Times, the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, the Financial Times and in general the entire MSM conglomerate.

'Hungary’s Mussolini' Vows to Make the EU Member an 'Illiberal State' -- Newsweek

"Viktor Orban, the prime minister of Hungary, has just cemented his reputation as the problem child of the European Union with a speech in which he argued that “liberal democratic societies cannot remain globally competitive”. All EU countries are meant to subscribe to a set of values that could broadly be described as liberal and democratic. But Mr Orban suggested that the Hungarian government is now looking elsewhere for inspiration – citing China, Russia, Turkey and Singapore as potential role models." -- FT

"The rise of Putinism" -- WaPo

"The commission could start by reducing the 21.91 billion euros (about $29.33 billion) the European Union has allocated to Hungary to finance infrastructure development from 2014-20. It should also begin proceedings to invoke Article 7 of the Treaty on European Union, which allows the suspension of voting rights of a member state that is at serious risk of breaching the values listed in Article 2, including the rule of law, freedom, democracy and respect for human rights. The commission would diminish its credibility if it fails to take steps to sanction Hungary for systematically breaching these values." -- NYTimes

"Orban, who was re-elected in April for a second consecutive four-year term, has clashed with the EU as he amassed more power than any of his predecessors since the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989, replacing the heads of independent institutions including the courts with allies, tightening control over media and changing election rules to help him retain a constitutional majority in Parliament." -- Bloomberg

The full text of the speech in question can be found here. Some salient points which, despite my reservations about politicians in general, and THIS one in particular, I found interesting:

"Or to go even further, according to an internationally recognised analyst, the strength of American soft power is in decline and liberal values today embody corruption, sex and violence, and as such discredit America and American modernisation. And then the Open Society Foundation published a report – this happened quite recently – in which it analyses Western Europe and makes statements such as the fact that Western Europe is so busy finding a solution to the situation of immigrants that it has forgotten about the white working class. Or the British Prime Minister says that thanks to the changes that have occurred in Europe, many people have become freeloaders on the backs of welfare systems. Or one of the richest people in America, who was one of the first investors in Amazon, claims that we are living in a society that is less and less capitalist and increasingly feudal, and if the global economic system does not change, then the middle class will disappear and, in his words, the poor will go after the rich with pitchforks. And so instead of an economic model that is built from the top going down, we need an economic model that grows from the middle. [...]

What this means is that we must break with liberal principles and methods of social organisation, and in general with the liberal understanding of society. [...] With regard to the relationship between two people, the starting point of the liberal organisation of society is based on the idea that we have the right to do anything that does not infringe on the freedom of the other party. [...A]lthough this is an extremely attractive idea, it is unclear who is going to decide the limits beyond which someone is infringing on our freedom. And since this is not automatically given, somebody must decide it. And since we have not appointed anybody to decide it, what we experienced continuously in everyday life was that the strongest decided. What we continuously experienced was that the weak were trampled over. Conflicts on the acceptance of mutual freedom are not decided according to some abstract principle of justice, but what happens instead is that the stronger party is always right. [...] The principle around which Hungarian society is organised should not be that everything is allowed that does not infringe on the other party’s freedom, but instead should be that one should not do unto others what one does not want others to do unto you. [...]

And so we can safely make the statement that the liberal democracy also proved to be incapable of protecting the community assets that are required for the self-sufficiency of the nation compared and in comparison to the other states of Europe. The liberal Hungarian state was also incapable of protecting the country from falling into debt. [...] It also failed to prevent families from falling into debt slavery. [...]

And so, if we want to organise our national state to replace the liberal state, it is very important that we make it clear that we are not opposing non-governmental organisations here and it is not non-governmental organisations who are moving against us, but paid political activists who are attempting to enforce foreign interests here in Hungary. [...]

It could happen, Ladies and Gentlemen, that in the United States – and I am referring to a piece of news I read yesterday – that in the United States the Senate, or perhaps it was the Senate and the House of Representatives together, decide to impeach the President of the United States for regularly overstepping his sphere of authority. And when I look behind these pieces of news I see that not only do they plan to impeach him, but the President of the United States has already been convicted of overstepping his sphere of authority on several occasions. Imagine what would happen in Hungary if Parliament took the Prime Minister to court for overstepping his sphere of authority and then the court found him guilty. How long could I remain in office, Ladies and Gentlemen?"

There is also a long passage equating the 2008 global financial crisis with the magnitude of changes the world underwent after WWI, WWII and 1990.

Like I said, words are cheap, and granting (quasi)dictatorial powers to an established demagogue has almost without exception led to tragedy. But when the guy sticks his neck out to defend Christian values, attack large multinational banks and supranational bureaucracies, to denounce the downing of MH17 without blaming Russia, I begin to wonder whether he has a sufficiently potent dossier for publication on deposit attached to a dead-man switch. And whether he spends enough on personal protection...

(photo credit: AFP/Economist)

About the Author

  44 Comments

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BohemianJ Y
Aug 3, 2014 - 5:43pm

Hi, my ex-neighbor ;-)

You're still my neighbor, in my heart, as many of us don't feel that split of Czechoslovakia was some destructive event. Frankly, we have solved that silly national and political problem, so -- right now, I don't think that our relations, between Czechs and Slovaks, were ever better. They can't say that we are responsible for something, and we are dealing with our own bullshit. ;-) And many of them don't like that split, but they know that it was the best solution.

I was often in Komarno after the revolution, visiting my friends. Of course, you call it Komarom and my friends are Slovak Hungarians, working and shopping in Komarom, on the other side. So, I am informed, to a degree: Orban, a dual citizenship, Benes' Decrees, some drunk idiot from Slovakia calling for a war with Hungary (after the revolution), just the old and proven BS. Actually, we were in a war once, because of that small, western piece of Ukraine, Zakarpatia, right? I have no idea why they decided with Masaryk, in the U.S., that this part of Ukraine should be a part of Czechoslovakia. But that's exactly why it is nearly impossible to solve the problem of Ukraine. It goes back for more than 100 years. Now, some 20 thousand ethnic Czechs requested the Czech republic for repatriation, after moving there during the Austro-Hungarian era, more than 100 years ago, before the Bolshevik revolution !!! So, they moved there, then their children were born over there, and then their children, and they were living there during the entire Soviet Union era, served in the Soviet army (and as the Soviet Union soldiers occupied Czechoslovakia in 1968), and now they are still considered to be ethnic Czechs, being caught in the ethnic cleansing Ukrainian war, between echte Ukrainians and echte Russians?!! It makes no sense. It's a mess, because the same is happening to ethic Poles and Germans, like during WWII. 80 thousand ethnic Poles were killed in Ukraine during WWII, 10 thousand ethnic Czechs, some 20 thousand Ukrainians for their "collaboration" with the enemy, or rather -- for not behaving as echte Ukrainians, not to mension their common enemy, Jews. Never ending story.

delacroixtreefrog
Aug 3, 2014 - 3:29pm

that's desert

that's desert, after the man course. ( fried chicken,watermelon,cadillac car. we aint as dumb as you think we is)

treefrog
Aug 3, 2014 - 1:38pm

mr fix,

is that obama's lunch?

treefrog
Aug 3, 2014 - 1:36pm
Spartacus Rex
Aug 3, 2014 - 5:18am

Raze of Hopium - When Liberals Are Faced w/ The Truth

Did anyone else catch Nancy Pelosi losing it on the House Floor Friday Night?

Republican Tom Marino angers Nancy Pelosi with immigration comments on house floor

https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2014/08/02/pelosi-loses-it-angrily-...

What This Republican Said About the Border Had Nancy Pelosi Charging Across the House Floor

https://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014/08/02/what-this-republican-said-ab...

ivars
Aug 3, 2014 - 3:40am

If it will be necessary for

If it will be necessary for pushing Russia into China(Roths) monetary sphere, second reserve currency sphere, take loans there, use that currency, etc. Rotschilds will see by attacking USD that USA (Rocks) delivers. And that could raise spectrum of USA actions against Russia which are unthinkable/unnecessary at the moment; it all depends how fast The market for China money supply is created by the USA, particularly given the potential time limit of 2 more Obama(Roths) time at helm. If Repubs take senate in 2014, things will slow down and Obama will have to apply more extreme executive action; if someone unacceptable wins 2016 presidential, everything may come to certain halt and deal reached so far renegotiated/dismissed by Rocks...so he will be killed , most likely, with a Roth plant VP ( as Theodor Roosevelt who broke up Sandard Oil, remember) ready to take over.

To summarize: Roths have 2 years for Obama to deliver markets ( debtors) from USD and Rocks to new coming Chinese monetary empire.That requires from Obama aggressive USA policies to turn away as many countries as possible, turn them Chinas (Roth) way.

The measure of his success or failure is very simple - the price of gold in USD; if Roths are happy with the way things develop for second monetary empire , price of gold will be stable/go down. If unhappy, price of gold will move up. This signaling is almost instant, no need for communications. Since tensions involving USA Israel move situation towards its aim, there is no wonder gold price does not react to wars, genocide, sovereign defaults (Argentina) . Because Roths are happy-market for second reserve currency is being created with every day of these events happening. China in turn has to come as strong but benign, opening its claws to all future monetary empire vassals.

So far since 2011 September they seem to be relatively satisfied. but there can be setbacks so Obama has to act faster; there can be acceleration in eruptions;

In Ukraine case, after rebels are pacified, Ukraine probably will try to get Crimea back ..perhaps by force. And of course it will get plenty of NATO and USA military support to alienate Russia further, push it eastwards.

Putin BTW knows this so he is playing along while standoff with the USA helps him maintain domestic popularity . Putin will deliver Russia into China monetary supply Empire. He is also Roths guy. Remember how he came to power in 1999..Yeltsin abdicated.

Quote:
Putin moved to Moscow in 1996 and joined President Boris Yeltsin's administration where he rose quickly, becoming Acting President on 31 December 1999 when Yeltsin resigned unexpectedly.

Whenever You see these "unexpected", "surprise" , usually there are background guys at work, telling politicians what to do. Putin was groomed, was ready and for him to win 2000 elections he needed to get known and control administrative resource. Which he got with Yeltsin abdication. For abdication Yeltsin and his family was granted immunity against law.

Quote:
The first Presidential Decree that Putin signed, on 31 December 1999, was titled "On guarantees for former president of the Russian Federation and members of his family".[55][56] This ensured that "corruption charges against the outgoing President and his relatives" would not be pursued.[57] Later, on 12 February 2001, Putin signed a similar federal law which replaced the decree of 1999.

Deal done.

Mr. FixMr. Fix
Aug 2, 2014 - 10:22pm

There are so many ways to poke fun at Obama.

Russian deputy PM mocks Obama by tweeting ‘unmanly’ photo of president

Days after announcement of US sanctions on Russia, the country's deputy prime minister challenges US president's masculinty by tweeting picture of Putin with a leopard and Obama with a poodle

Mr. Fixtyberious
Aug 2, 2014 - 10:09pm

Visit the FAQ page to learn how to track your last read comment, add images, embed videos, tweets, and animated gifs, and more.

erewenguy
Aug 2, 2014 - 7:49pm

Booty Call

(oops - I meant to put this here, and not in the vault. Sorry for the dupe post)

Oh, get yer mind out of the gutter. Not that kind of booty.

"7/31/14 Report - Booty Makes Big Discovery On Treasure Coast Wreck Site. Gold Pyx. Low Pressure Area Moves Closer.

Shown below are two parts of the same item found 25 years apart. The front part (on the right) was found 25 years ago, while the back (left) was recently found by the crew of the Booty.

A truly great discovery was made this summer by a Treasure Coast salvage crew. In fact a lot of discoveries were made, but the one I want to focus on today isn't a gold coin or even a bunch of gold coins, but something more important.

25 years ago a very intricate gold hinged frame was found, or at least that is what they thought it was. This year, last month in fact, another very intricate piece of gold was found by the Schmitt family who operates the salvage vessel Booty. It appears that the new find is the back of the item that was found 25 years ago.

The item appeared to be a frame before, exciting enough by itself, but having the additional part, they now believe the item is not just a frame, but it could be a pyx. A pyx is a small, flat, clamshell type of container made of brass or other metals but lined with gold used in Catholic services.

In the Catholic church a pyx would be used to hold the Eucharistic Host. It would sometimes by carried in a fabric or leather pouch with cords and worn by a priest, deacon or minister of Holy Communion along with a monstrance. When not carried, it would be kept in the church tabernacle.

This pyx would have definitely been owned by someone important. It reminds me of the Pelican of Piety, which was also found on the Treasure Coast, and which I believe could be associated with the pyx. Certainly both are very impressive gold religious artifacts."

https://treasurebeachesreport.blogspot.com/2014/07/93114-report-booty-makes-big-discovery.html

A couple of other articles are linked in this article, both with videos. Take a look at the videos with some better images. Cool stuff.

https://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/breakingnews/os-sanford-family-finds-sunken-treasure-20140729,0,1244901.story

https://www.wptv.com/news/region-st-lucie-county/fort-pierce/fort-pierce-booty-salvage-discovers-centuries-old-spanish-treasure-off-coast

DeaconBenjamin
Aug 2, 2014 - 1:33pm

New China-Singapore Railway

Thailand's ruling junta has approved a $23 billion (£13.6bn) transport project that will see two high-speed railways link up directly with China by 2021, in a move seen as a further consolidation of Chinese power in the region.

The National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), headed by Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha - who took control of Thailand in a bloodless military coup in May - unveiled plans this week connecting the northern border town of Nong Khai with Map Ta Phut, located south-east of Bangkok. Chaing Khong, just south of the Laos capital Vientiane, will also be connected to Ban Phachi, in the central Ayutthaya regions.

The railway lines will link up directly to Kunming, in China's southern Yunnan province, in what analysts have termed Chinese "high-speed railway diplomacy".

China is looking to build a 3,000km (1,860m) high-speed line from Kunming all the way down to Singapore, passing through Laos, Thailand and Malaysia — a project that would increase China's GDP and those of the involved nations by $375b, a former Chinese railway chairman told the China Daily.

According to China Railway Corp, it appears the Kunming-Singapore line will be constructed in four stages, from Kunming to Vientiane, Vientiane to Bangkok, Bangkok to Kuala Lumpur, and Kuala Lumpur to Singapore. Construction of the Thai lines is planned to begin next year as part of the new eight-year 741.4 billion baht ($23.3bn) infrastructure development project connecting Bangkok and other key cities with airports, seaports, border areas and cargo depots, the Bangkok Post reported, with some 106 new trains added to the existing fleet. Six dual-track railway lines will also be constructed under the same scheme.

The two routes comprise nearly 1,400km in total but unlike many other high-speed trains, which generally run at a speed of 200 km per hour, will only be able to run at 160 km per hour until further investment would allow a higher-speed system.

Map of the planned route

Chinese officials involved in the project have described the deal as a major scoop for the Chinese government, which had earlier struck a deal with former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra — only to see the project initially rejected by the junta when it came to power.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/aug/01/thailand-junta-approve-chi...

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