Putin was President of Russia for two consecutive terms, from 2000 to 2008. Due to constitutionally mandated term limits, he could not run for a third term. His right-hand man Medvedev ran instead, and appointed Putin as his Prime Minister for the past 4 years. Now, after “sitting out” one term, Putin is again eligible for two more terms, this time 6-year terms, through 2024. This “election” has effectively put Putin (and his right-hand-man Medvedev) in control of Russia for up to 24 years.
Today, May 7, 2012, about 1,000 protesters tried to protest along Putin’s motorcade route to the Kremlin.
Putin’s response was unprecedented security measures in the center of Moscow, where streets were closed to traffic and passengers were prevented from exiting subway stations. Over 700 people have been detained.
The Kremlin ceremony of passing the “nuclear suitcase” from outgoing leader Dmitry Medvedev to Mr Putin was overseen by Russian Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov, news agency Interfax reported.
Widely seen as a relic of the Cold War stand-off between Moscow and Washington, the suitcase accompanies the Russian president on all his foreign trips. – The Australian
In the light of above facts, how can anyone call Russia a democracy today?
We are back in the USSR.
I come from a Lithuanian family displaced by Soviet (U.S.S.R.) occupation, annexation, deportation of 120,000 people in 1940, followed by attempted sovietization of Lithuania.
I can only hope and pray for the Russian people today, as well as for the rest of us. An old Soviet brand of autocracy seems to be creeping back into the government of Russia, against the wishes of the Russian people, and under the guise of democracy. Putin continues to quote democracy, while defying all democratic principles shamelessly.
Attempts to shut people’s mouths with the help of a police baton are senseless and extremely dangerous. - Gennady Zyuganov, Communist Party leader.
The ex-state security officer (Putin was in the KGB) is inclined to see hidden enemies and conspiracies where others only see coincidences. The level of suspicion of Putin and his supporters will only increase. Now that the opposition has become more active, it will not stop, maybe even get stronger, especially if the opinion of some observers happens to be true that the protests in response to the fabricated election results showed to the Russian people that the king was naked, that, despite the talks about the ruthless government of Putin and their own qualms, the Kremlin was vulnerable.
Let us hope, work, and pray that Election 2012 is a fair election, that Americans realize what is at stake, and that Vladimir Putin’s buddy Obama loses the traitorous “flexibility” he promised Vladimir Putin after the election, because Obama has been removed from office.
Brainstorming for a title for my article on the merits of “taxing the rich,” I stumbled across an article entitled “Killing Your Neighbor’s Cow: The Defining Sin or Our Times.” The relevancy of this concept to my article was so striking that I borrowed it. I am grateful to Charles Colson of Catholic Exchange for his perceptive article, which is well worth reading. (We’ll get to the cow later. Or scroll down.)
Kevin D. Williamson analyzed the possibilities regarding taxing the rich in the United States in his National Review Online Article
Define the goal:
National Debt: 15 trillion ($15,000,000,000,000)
Yearly Deficit: 1.3 trillion ($1,300,000,000,000)
Define the rich:
Definition A: households earning $250,000 ($250K)
Definition B: households earning $1,000,000 ($1 million)
There are 2.2 million households in the US earning more than $250K. To raise enough money to wipe out the annual deficit of 1.3 trillion, each of these households would have to pay $600K per year ( more than twice their entire income). continue reading…
Liberal to Conservative Shift in Wisconsin
Conservative fiscal thinking is catching on, and now “conservative is the new liberal.” Not only in Wisconsin, but in our entire nation. As power shifts from liberals to conservatives, liberals are not relinquishing power gracefully. They are frantically employing unethical Alinsky tactics , trying to get their way (despite being the minority), “by hook or by crook”.
The power shift was very dramatic in Wisconsin, where Democrats have long been accustomed to being in power. The situation was exacerbated by the fact that the state capitol of Wisconsin, Madison, has remained very liberal, and now has become an island of liberalism surrounded by a sea of conservatism in Wisconsin.
Many people and officials in Madison do not approve of the conservative changes voted in by the rest of Wisconsin. Yet the Capitol
building, which houses the legislative chambers and the Governor’s Office, the place where conservative changes are now being implemented, is the central fixture around which all of downtown Madison is clustered.
One local liberal paper recently featured a front-page article entitled “Not my Madison,” in which the author bemoaned “a new sense that normal citizens can’t change anything.” The numerous long-ensconced Madison Democrats had come to feel an entitlement to Madison as well as to control of the State Government. When conservatives finally gained power, liberals have become outraged and took over the Capitol, disrupting the smooth functioning of the Democratic process. continue reading…
How many participants and tents in “Walkerville?”
The “tent city” established in downtown Madison (by public unions in protest of the limitation of collective bargaining) is not a City at all, but a group which has shrunken to twelve overnight campers and some 20 empty tents. Many families are bigger than that.
This is not news. Even if Madison’s City Council permitted family reunions on Madison’s Capitol Square, all of Madison and Wisconsin would not want to read about it over morning coffee. Yet Madison’s media continues their sympathetic coverage of “Walkerville,” publishing close-up shots of individual (empty) tents and describing what the last family left camping at the Capitol had for dinner last night.
I live 3 miles from Capitol Square, and my parish Church is 3 blocks away. Irritated by completely nonobjective reporting on public union issues, I’ve tracked events myself and I’ve taken some photo tours around the Capitol (photos and links below).
Is Walkerville really similar to Hooverville?
On a typical day, there are about 20 R.E.I.-type tents with electric fans and cases of Dasani outside, 30 attendees at a noontime rally dominated by hot pink Planned Parenthood T-shirts (WHAT does Planned Parenthood and abortion have to do with teachers unions?
Do teachers unions officially support the abortion of their future students?). There are typically 6 people carrying protest signs, a lone vuvuzela trumpeter, a lone plastic bucket beater, some posters showing vulgar comments, and very little else visible in downtown Madison. What IS visible resembles Yuppie Ghost Town more than it resembles Hooverville, after which unions named Walkerville.
It is somewhat shocking to compare teachers who have upper middle class lifestyles and benefits which dwarf those of the rest of America—shocking to compare these privileged individuals to the starving and jobless people of Hooverville during the Great Depression .
Opposition to public unions growing
It is not surprising that support for public unions in Madison seems to have fizzled out.
A noise complaint against “Walkerville” was even filed with police by the wife of Democrat
minority leader Senator Fred Risser. Apparently the Senator and his wife live a block away from the Capitol Building, and the poor lady could not take the loud drumming noise any longer. Risser was one of the fourteen democratic senators who fled the state for Illinois in February to stall Walker’s proposed reduction of collective bargaining rights for most public employees. Risser also led the effort to impose sex education programs authored by Planned Parenthood (America’s largest abortion provider) on public school children in Wisconsin.
Debbie Brown, a retired state employee and Democrat writes (letter to the editor, Wisconsin State Journal) : Walkerville a tantrum, not a helpful event: “To the demonstrators (current state employees, graduate students who may not even be from Wisconsin, and educators), you are behaving like children, throwing tantrums because you’re not getting your way.”
Where have all the protesters gone?
Why has support for public unions fizzled out since the massive demonstrations in downtown Madison in February?
More to come?
Today, with the GOP state lawmakers preparing to make another run at passing Gov. Scott Walker’s reduction of collective bargaining for public employees, it will be interesting to watch what activity the unions will be able to muster downtown. Stay tuned, more camera tours will be posted on this website.
“Rights” or entitlement philosophy?
Few people want cutbacks or belt-tightening, including my family, which has already suffered 15% cuts here in Madison, Wisconsin. We don’t enjoy it.
However, when the choice is 15% cuts for everyone, versus senior workers (like me and my husband) hogging tenure and privileges while the young are fired, then we welcome the cuts. The American spirit of sharing burdens and walking together through hard times must prevail.
As people start to realize that protests are organized by senior public union officials who are not poor by any definition of the word, who are clinging to their luxurious bubble lifestyle of the past, while young teachers are losing their jobs and the rest of America carries an unfair share of the burden—as people realize these things, the support for public unions shrinks, and the support for Governor Walker grows.
I have great compassion for those who don’t want to give up the privileges they previously enjoyed, and for those who don’t want to give up their dreams of a cushy retirement. I belong to that group. However, the public union officials don’t seem to realize that at this point in the economy, if they cling to their very generous slice of pie, they are depriving others of having any pie (or bread, for that matter) at all.
For those who are unaware of the “cushiness” senior union members have carved out for themselves, or of the effects of this comfort on the rights of children, see The Impact of Collective Bargaining on Teacher’s Rights and Children’s Rights– What is Fair?
More links and photos:
Pre-Walkerville: Thursday, June 2nd, Protesters disrupt budget committee meeting, several carried out.
Day 1: Saturday night, June 4th :Camp set up(You Tube), ~80 tents, 100 people
Day 2: Sunday morning: ghost town –You Tube -biker rides around the Capitol filming, finds 30 tents, few straggling demonstrators. 4 people shouting “Recall Walker”. You Tube interviewing several participants — attendance sparse. Badger Herald posts photos.
Day 4: Tuesday:Lunch rally attracts 30; ~20 tents, 6 demonstrators
Day 5: Wednesday: Union demonstrators dressed as zombies interrupt the Special Olympics ceremony scheduled at Capitol Square. Severe thunderstorms threaten “Walkerville” campers. Isthmus sets up live blogging on Walkerville. Down to 12 overnight campers.
Day 6: Wisconsin State Journal covers the campers, reporting that they “show spirit.” CNN reports, misleadingly showing large crowds from February demonstrating. In actual fact, “Walkerville” houses at most two dozen people. Public News Service discusses “tent city” without mentioning that the population is a couple dozen.
Day 9: AFL-CIO live blog with photos and schedules.
Day 10: Sunday 5PM, Russ Feingold scheduled to appear: no crowds yet at 4:45 PM; about 20 demonstrators with one vuvuzela and one plastic bucket.
"Walkerville" demonstrators sparse, Day 10
State Street uncrowded
Looks like Russ Feingold is posturing himself to replace Scott Walker (poster).
Campers looking quite comfortable
Are teachers really supporting the abortion of their future pupils?
Restoration and security bills ~$8million
Wow… 3 miles from my home, and 3 blocks from my parish in Madison…
Last night, police “ceded control of the State Street doors and allowed the crowd to surge inside.” Some report that demonstrators broke windows—see the situation here:
Last night, Republican legislators were told to flee Madison for their own safety(Senator Grothman, March 9, 2011).
Mayor Dave Cieslewicz instructed Madison Police Chief not to allow his officers to participate in removing demonstrators from the building. Last week, the City of Madison also issued a supportive statement about crowds “peacefully assembled to exercise democracy andFirst Amendment rights.”
Media has been reporting protests as “peaceful,” although there is much evidence to the contrary.
Last week Police gave no protection to Senator Grothman when a mob of 200 pursued him.
President Obama has been supporting the unions, not Governor Walker.
The impression many conservative Madison, Wisconsin residents have is that liberal/union crowds have run amok, and that Madison’s liberal City government, liberal police and liberal media are forsaking their responsibilities to the public and are assisting the rebels.
This is being done because a minority objects to legislation which duly elected conservative legislators
are attempting to pass, according to democratic process. Incidentally, contrary to liberal propaganda, Governor Walker is not eliminating ALL collective bargaining rights for teachers, he is just trimming them to be a little more in line with the rest of Wisconsin’s workers. If teacher collective bargaining in Madison were left unrestrained, all the cuts unions are pretending to accept this week could be reversed next week.
During recent weeks, even the liberal Wisconsin State Journal has begun showing support for Governor Walker — to the dismay of the Isthmus, an extremely liberal Wisconsin paper.
Again contrary to liberal claims, last night’s vote to limit union collective bargaining was valid – Wisconsin Open Meeting Law states that “every public notice of a meeting be given at least twenty-four hours in advance of the meeting, unless “for good cause” such notice is “impossible or impractical.” If “good cause” exists, the notice should be given as soon as possible and must be given at least two hours in advance of the meeting.
It would be difficult to imagine that threats of mob attack on legislators in the absence of police protection would not constitute “good cause.” Two hours notice WAS given. In actual fact, the possibility of this vote was discussed several weeks ago, so the 14 renegade Dems had closer to 3 weeks notice that this vote was imminent. The Dems have been out-maneuvered legally, and they are raging mad.
All very shocking and becoming scary– the tactics being used by unions/liberals who were voted out in November. Even MORE shocking, they seem to have the cooperation of Madison’s City government, police and media. The situation has become more disturbing than anyone previously realized. We are well on our way to MOB RULE– by a loud unruly minority.
Governor Walker is a long-overdue Godsend – may God help him and may God help us all!
The culmination of these events occurred on Ash Wednesday, at the beginning of Lent. Lent is a time to give up comforts and privileges for our own spiritual strengthening and edification, and for the common good. The unions/liberals at the Wisconsin Capitol should be reminded of this. In difficult economic times, the unions need to take their fair share of cuts and limitations for the common good, so that thousands of others would not be left without jobs at all.
A prayer marathon is in order.
God come to our assistance, Lord make haste to help us.
Our help is in the name of the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.
Stem Cell Research
The Wisconsin State Journal published an article on stem cell research and the Wisconsin Governor’s race .
The controversy boils down to the difference between two types of stem cells – embryonic and adult – and the science can get tedious to follow.
It’s actually not too complicated…….
The superiority of adult cell research has been recognized widely – Adult Stem Cell Research is Far Ahead Of Embryonic – Aug 2, 2010, USA Today, ABC News, FOX News, Huffington Post, physorg.com, NY Times ……..)
Yet UW scientists (and WSJ reporters) misrepresent the science to support their own research. They state that embryonic cells are more valuable in research than adult cells, despite the fact that embryonic cells have produced zero cures during 20 years of research.
In online discussion following the article, some readers jump to ridicule those who have religious objections to the morality of killing embryos ( for fruitless research, incidentally).
As a Ph.D. biochemist who has done research on the regulation of cellular proliferation at Princeton University, I have no difficulty whatsoever in reconciling religion with science. Good religion welcomes science. Good science is compatible with religion. God is not opposed to science, He invented it. It is when humans try to manipulate science for politics that a discontinuity occurs.
Scientists rarely have consensus on any issue – scientists are not perfect. They make mistakes, bad assumptions, they do poor controls; some even misrepresent their results intentionally for advancement/recognition. Some scientists even cross moral lines when it comes to experimenting on human beings.
This is where the Church (moral expert) comes in. Dismissing the guidance of moral experts on experimentation with human life is as foolish as dismissing scientific rules for good experimental design.
The scientists who believe that they can violate ancient rules of morality to satisfy their scientific curiosity are recklessly violating ancient teachings which have been the foundation of our culture and of our medical ethics for millennia. These religious and medical teachings include Judeo-Christian and ancient Greek medical teaching (Hippocrates). The teachings are common-sense, logical, and designed (primarily by a mind greater than ours) for our welfare and protection.
Checking with the Church (moral expert) on the moral limits of experimentation with human life is as essential as checking experimental design for good controls!
Why is anyone surprised that the route forbidden by ancient morality, which involves the destruction of human life, has yielded no good scientific fruits to date?
To summarize the politics: