Friday, November 30, 2018

Russia’s Re-Stalinization: Father of Nation or Mass Murerer?

Here’s how the Kremlin argument goes:  Stalin was a complex figure. Granted, he killed and imprisoned many innocent people, but in the process he eliminated a potent Fifth Column. Stalin had to use political terror to protect the world’s first socialist state from foreign agents, class enemies, and supporters of the old regime. He had no choice but to apply terror indiscriminately. Yes, Stalin’s forced industrialization imposed hardship – famine, work quotas, and extreme labor discipline – but his harsh measures toughened the Russian people for a war that was sure to come. The USSR could not have beaten Hitler without the Gulag camps that mined the resources of the godforsaken East and produced the tanks and airplanes that won the war. The death squads of political prisoners sent out into German minefields saved the lives of loyal Russian soldiers. Yes, Stalin did bad things, but he did them for the good of his nation – so goes the argument.

go to Defining Ideas

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Putin Wags the Dog to Raise Sagging Popularity

Putin’s current ratings are almost identical to those leading up to the Crimean annexation and Russia’s invasion of Eastern Ukraine. The most significant threat to Putin came in December 2011 through March 2012, when Putin announced his return to the presidency, prompting mass demonstrations and a slogan: “Russia without Putin.” 

go to The Hill

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Republicans Lost the House by Conceding Medical Care to the Democrats

go to The Hill

HR676 bill, also called “Medicare for All, would end the entire American health-care system as we know it, including its most popular features, such as employer health insurance. All medical services will be nationalized or provided by non-profits. Private suppliers of medical care must be converted into government or non-profit enterprises.  Seniors on Medicare must complete with 250 million other claimants of scarce medical providers.