Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Monday, August 27, 2007
Because of Mikhail Sergeevich Gorbachev's inability to perform his duties as the president of the USSR, due to health reasons, in accordance with Article 127 of the Constitution of the USSR, the vice president of the USSR has temporarily assumed the office of acting president.Gennadii Yanayev (USSR Vice President), Chairman of the "State Committee on the State of Emergency" -- the "government" set up by the anti-Gorbachev coup d'état plotters -- 19 August 1991.. . .The Chamber of Deputies agrees:. . . To likewise point out that by virtue of their responsibilities, their pledge of allegiance to the Constitution and to the laws. . . it is their duty to put an immediate end to all situations herein referred to that breach the Constitution and the laws of the land with the goal of redirecting government activity toward the path of Law and ensuring the constitutional order of our Nation and the essential underpinnings of democratic coexistence among Chileans. . ."Declaration of the Breakdown of Chile's Democracy" passed by the Chamber of Deputies of Chile, 22 August 1973: widely held to be an invitation for the military to carry out a coup d'état against left wing President Salvador Allende. The coup finally took place on 11 September 1973.
General Pace - you have the power to fulfill your responsibility to protect the troops under your command. Indeed you have an obligation to do so.
You can relieve the President of his command.
Not of his Presidency. But of his military role as Commander-In-Chief.
(bold in original)
Sunday, August 26, 2007
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Theo: [sees LAPD SWAT armored vehicle approaching] Wait a minute, wait a minute. What have we here, gentlemen? The police have themselves an RV. Southeast corner.Die Hard (1988) (directed by John McTiernan, Clarence Gilyard Jr. as "Theo.")Wars may be fought with weapons, but they are won by men. It is the spirit of men who follow and of the man who leads that gains the victory.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Martov: No wonder they call you Robespierre. Everyone's got to think like you, or they're out!
Trotsky: He thinks freedom is something you write on a wall, you don't actually practice it.
Lenin: That's not true. Of course, I agree you're free to say what you like. And you must agree I'm free to shoot you for saying it.
Nicholas and Alexandra (1971) Directed by Franklin J. Schaffner (Michael Bryant as Lenin, Brian Cox as Trotsky, Stephen Grief as Martov).
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
“What China needs” the Times explains “is some effective and transparent regulatory system to enforce product safety standards.” Great ! And Darfur and Iraq need the welfare state; we need the crops to grow; the trains to run on time; the poor to be rich; and, a chicken in every pot.
“Clear responsibility of companies” eh ? I’m just having visions of a bunch of pursed-lip scolds hanging around the Times last night – banging-out this editorial before hurrying out for umbrella drinks at some Upper East Side bar: there to talk about the Harvard class reunion, bitch about how hard it is to find good child care in the City and how the maid was late again.
While we’ve making the American companies buckle down to their “clear responsibilities” we need to get on the stick with the Chinese too:
American regulators, who are constantly playing catch-up, must also do a lot more to ensure the safety of Chinese-made goods, sending their own personnel to China to perform inspections of factories and test goods before they are shipped.
It is obvious there have been problems with some goods we import from China. One good solution, for those who are concerned – might be to be more careful about what we buy (the Times does point this out). Anything, in fact, that reduces American imports from China a bit would be no bad thing, given all the money we owe them.
Still, China ain’t Burbank, and the Times, and a lot of other people, need to quit gratuitously harassing the bank before the check is presented. At least they could quit treating public displays of impotence, like this Times editorial, as some kind of badge of honor.
Monday, August 13, 2007
There is no doubt Afghan militants are supported from Pakistan soil. The problem that you have in your region is because support is provided from our side.
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
Death is the solution to all problems. No man - no problem.
Saddam was good at that -- that's one reason we have so much trouble in Iraq: there was no logical person in country to succeed him, so the whole system collapsed and had to be rebuilt from scratch. Saddam knew his Stalin (most successful of all modern dictators) intimately well (he was a big admirer and had read all the biographies of him). As Edvard Radzinsky points out in his very readable biography of Stalin, the unsafest place in the Soviet Union was near Stalin -- dangerous, dangerous to know anything about the man, or his plans, or be known to him. Although ruthless, I'm not sure Mugabe is as effective at getting rid of potential opponents as Saddam and Josef Vissarionovich -- and that will be the determining issue in Zimbabwe. A big weakness of some dictators is the desire to have stability in terms of persons you deal with daily.
Trouble is, as Stalin understood, you have to weed out the overmighty subjects who know too much and control too much every so often. Mind you: this is not a moral judgment, it's simply the nature of personal dictatorship. When you choose to rule by decree: to ride the white horse, and put your own face on the money; you also choose to have a secret police, dungeons, prison camps and all the rest -- or you have chosen to be very dead, very soon.