Don’t call me stupid

How do you solve a problem like Obama? He combines that fantastic combination of arrogance, ignorance, laziness and stupidity, and yet with the American institutional respect for the Presidency (at least amongst Republicans) it is hard to get Americans to make personal statements about their head of state. So now the Iranians have done it for us:

President Barack Obama is a “low-IQ US president,” whose threat to launch a military offensive should nuclear talks fail is an oft-cited punchline in the Islamic Republic, particularly among children, an Iranian general said on Tuesday.

“The low-IQ US president and his country’s Secretary of State John Kerry speak of the effectiveness of ‘the US options on the table’ on Iran while this phrase is mocked at and has become a joke among the Iranian nation, especially the children,” General Masoud Jazayeri said, according to the semi-official Fars News Agency.

You don’t often find me agreeing with Iranian generals. The effect of marijuana on the intelligence of adolescents is well understood and there was the young Barack, member of the “Choom Gang” in his high school days. But it is even potentially worse than that if we come to this editorial in The Washington Post of all places, titled President Obama’s foreign policy is based on fantasy:

FOR FIVE YEARS, President Obama has led a foreign policy based more on how he thinks the world should operate than on reality. It was a world in which “the tide of war is receding” and the United States could, without much risk, radically reduce the size of its armed forces. Other leaders, in this vision, would behave rationally and in the interest of their people and the world. Invasions, brute force, great-power games and shifting alliances — these were things of the past. Secretary of State John F. Kerry displayed this mindset on ABC’s “This Week” Sunday when he said, of Russia’s invasion of neighboring Ukraine, “It’s a 19th century act in the 21st century.”

That’s a nice thought, and we all know what he means. A country’s standing is no longer measured in throw-weight or battalions. The world is too interconnected to break into blocs. A small country that plugs into cyberspace can deliver more prosperity to its people (think Singapore or Estonia) than a giant with natural resources and standing armies.

Unfortunately, Russian President Vladimir Putin has not received the memo on 21st-century behavior. Neither has China’s president, Xi Jinping, who is engaging in gunboat diplomacy against Japan and the weaker nations of Southeast Asia. Syrian president Bashar al-Assad is waging a very 20th-century war against his own people, sending helicopters to drop exploding barrels full of screws, nails and other shrapnel onto apartment buildings where families cower in basements. These men will not be deterred by the disapproval of their peers, the weight of world opinion or even disinvestment by Silicon Valley companies. They are concerned primarily with maintaining their holds on power.

This sense that Obama lacks a fixed sense of reality, that he is incapable of dealing with conditions as they are, is also found in an article by Elliot Abrams which is titled, If he believes it, it must be so and subtitled, “Obama’s scary interview”. Here is his summing up of Obama’s thoughts on Iran:

When it comes to Iran, Obama shows an attitude that can only be described as solipsistic: what’s in his mind is reality. And any other reality is just plain silly.

He has his own private reality that is not shared by any of his major advisors. A low-IQ president with a private reality of his own who will not listen to anyone else is not a good bet at making serious decisions.

How can Obama be influenced? At the moment in many cases he is prevented from doing what he might wish to because of constitutional constraints. But how can he actually be influenced? I can only think that that Iranian general might be onto something. Just call him stoopid. Say out loud that what he is doing is stoopid. That he is stoopid. His decisions are stoopid. His policies are stoopid. It’s just a thought but given that other obvious characteristic of the Obama personality, his incredible vanity, it might at least get him to concentrate a bit more on the issues and less on playing golf and shooting hoops. The US is heading for a train wreck, and will take the rest of us with it if he can’t be stopped. If they won’t impeach him, they must find some way to discipline him so that the stated policies of a president of the United States are no longer seen as an international joke.

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137 Responses to Don’t call me stupid

  1. stackja

    his incredible vanity,

    will probably ignore any comments by anyone. Only the USA voters can deflate his incredible vanity.

  2. gabrianga

    his incredible vanity

    Obama even makes “Our Kev” look like a shrinking violet…and that takes some doing.

  3. Jimp51

    The same applies to Rudd. It took two terms of labor before Aussies saw the light. Maybe we could accelerate Americas downfall by sending Krudd over to America after he has fixed all Putins problems in the Ukraine. Plain Stoopid.

  4. Tintarella di Luna

    Obama even makes “Our Kev” look like a shrinking violet…and that takes some doing.

    Obama is a shy guy compared to Kev — at least Obama hasn’t gone over to Kiev to broker a one-man solution to the Ukraine crisis. The insufferable poltroon is beyond parody

  5. Ant

    He combines that fantastic combination of arrogance, ignorance, laziness and stupidity…

    In a POTUS those won’t necessarily lead to the total dismantling of the things that make the United States the powerhouse that it has been and still is. It’s civil society and institutions can ‘carry the can’ over the stretch of a couple of terms of an idiot president without and be robust enough to bounce back (consider the Carter and Reagan years).

    Combine them with a truly radical ideology, which is the total antithesis of the “American Way’, and a sickeningly obsequious and largely monolithic news media, and you’re got a very serious problem.

    In Obama, the US has a very serious problem.

    And that doesn’t even take into account the countless examples of his micro-managing societal and economic “transformations”. Just consider Obama’s nomination to head the Justice Dept’s civil rights division.

    It truly is quite astounding. He doesn’t even bother hiding it anymore.

  6. Token

    Great title, A Fish Called Wanda is a classic and Kevin Kline was never better.

  7. Rabz

    Don’t call me stupid

    “No, Bronco, that would be an insult to stupid people.”

  8. Fess

    There is a fatal flaw in affirmative action and quota systems that we see in Obama, Julia Gillard, Nicola Roxon and others. These people worked their way through systems of patronage that emphasise gender or race. Without a full focus on merit these systems tend to choose those who are best at gaming the system of patronage. A natural result is mediocrities, dissemblers, outright crooks and inflated egos boosted to positions beyond their abilities. Well-intentioned folk who create these system to hasten what should be a good result produce very poor results. What’s wrong with merit as a selection principle? It doesn’t exclude any race, gender or minority. For goodness sake, they gave Obama a peace prize before he had done anything at all, let alone anything good. Was it an affirmative action peace prize?

  9. mizaris

    krudd and obummer – a pair of posturing poons!!!! Not a useful brain cell between them, fluttering around like a fart in a bottle and seriously believing they are relevant.

  10. nic

    ‘Where’s their nerve? Today’s comics mock poop, not the powerful’, an interesting article that contains this gem:

    Still, Obama is exactly the kind of stuffed-shirt know-it-all — pompous, humorless and in love with himself — that Ramis mercilessly lampooned. To my knowledge, Obama has never spontaneously said anything funny. But he does say alarming things like, “We’re gonna punish our enemies,” and goes on amazing adventures in self-aggrandizement.

    Personality-wise, Obama is just Nixon with a shiny Harvard veneer. Somewhere, a new Obama-era EPA bureaucrat is frustrating some small businessman like Peter Venkman, except in real life, the Venkmans have no chance against the gooey green blob of authority that slimes all of us.

    http://nypost.com/2014/03/01/wheres-their-nerve-todays-comics-mock-poop-not-the-powerful/

  11. Steve

    “Stupid is what stupid does”

  12. Talleyrand

    Of course with Kev in Kiev , all will naturally be paid for by the Australian taxpayer, via the allowances, and indulgences granted to all retired Prime Minister.

    Perhaps Therese can tell Putin how lacking in compassion he is, and Jessica (nee Rudd) can write a terse SMH article about travelling to Moscow as a refugee.

    FFS, go stand on the Ukraine’s Crimean border Kev, and see how long you last.

  13. The Consigliere

    Wow. This post must have taken a while to compose. How did you endeavour to pack in so many Foreign Policy fallacies, such lack of understanding of US power and complete ignorance of historical context all into one small blog entry?

    The reality is this. Comparative power of the US and of Russia is waning. The invasion in the Crimea is what you get with mismanagement and miscalculation of a ego-driven autocratic leader unable to cope with this eventuality.

    A series of political missteps over the past few years has led Putin to make such an overt display of desperation on the world stage.

    The Crimea in general, and Sevastopol in particular, has over a very long period of time been the projection point from which Russia maintained its world power status. They spent a lot of blood and treasure from long before the Crimean War to maintain their hold on it. They’ll continue to do so for long into the future.

    The Crimea not being in Russian control is an unstable political situation. The only reason they were happy with that set of circumstances for the last 50 years (not a very long time in the scheme of things) was because they thought Ukraine was under their control. A traditional Russian vassal state.

    That changed with EU meddling and over-extension in the Ukraine. Don’t get me wrong, I want the Ukraine to be part of the EU, but this is the cost that we need to pay.

    To Obama and to anyone with any knowledge of the historical realities of the region this is the bleeding obvious. He might talk the talk of peace and democracy and civilised norms, but that’s only because in reality there are no other options for a waning power other than to establish a set of international rules for when the time comes when they are needed.

    National self-interest dominates global politics to an extent that you seem not to appreciate. Of the two of you it’s not Obama who is living in fantasy land.

  14. C.L.

    The invasion in the Crimea is what you get with mismanagement and miscalculation of an ego-driven autocratic leader unable to cope …

    Right. So you agree with the post.

  15. A Lurker

    To think he was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize…was that award given so that the bureaucrats of the EU could then control him? If so, they sure picked a dud one.

    This is what comes when you vote in ‘seeming’ and not actually ‘doing’. We’d all point and laugh at the US if it wasn’t so deadly serious.

  16. The Consigliere

    You’re a clever little boy CL.

    Now go play somewhere else while the adults are talking ok?

  17. C.L.

    A series of political missteps over the past few years has led Putin to make such an overt display of desperation on the world stage.

    Right again!

  18. .

    I’ve parsed some stuff together that doesn’t seem coherent.

    Comparative power of the US and of Russia is waning. The invasion in the Crimea is what you get with mismanagement and miscalculation of a ego-driven autocratic leader unable to cope with this eventuality.

    A series of political missteps over the past few years has led Putin to make such an overt display of desperation on the world stage.

    They spent a lot of blood and treasure from long before the Crimean War to maintain their hold on it. They’ll continue to do so for long into the future.

    The Crimea not being in Russian control is an unstable political situation.

    I don’t really know what you are saying is going to happen.

  19. C.L.

    Consigliere is saying that Putin is right so Steve is wrong to say that Obama is wrong.

    But that also means Obama is wrong except insofar as his ineptitude has enabled what’s right.

    And for Obama disciples, that’s close enough to being right, outright.

  20. cynical1

    You are all RAAAAAAAAAcists…

    Last year you were Misogynists…

    “The Consigliere” ? Stop sucking Mario’s Puzo.

    Wanker…

  21. Ivan Denisovich

    Chance (Peter Sellers) is a middle-aged man who lives in the townhouse of an old, wealthy man in Washington, D.C. He is simple-minded and has lived there his whole life, tending the garden. Other than gardening, his knowledge is derived entirely from what he sees on television. When his benefactor dies, Chance is forced to leave and discovers the outside world for the first time.

    Chance wanders aimlessly, wearing his former employer’s expensive clothes. Chance passes by a TV shop and sees himself captured by a camera in the shop window. Entranced, he steps backward off the sidewalk and is struck by a chauffeured car owned by Ben Rand (Melvyn Douglas), an elderly business mogul. In the back seat of the car sits Rand’s wife Eve (Shirley MacLaine).

    Eve brings Chance to their home to recover. Drinking alcohol for the first time in the car ride home, Chance coughs as he tells Eve his name. Eve mishears “Chance the Gardener” as “Chauncey Gardiner”. Judging from Chance’s appearance and manners, Rand assumes that Chance is an upper class, highly-educated businessman. Chance’s style and seemingly-insightful ways embody the qualities Rand admires. Chance’s simplistic utterances about gardens and the weather are interpreted as allegorical statements about business and the state of the economy.

    Rand is also a confidant and adviser of the U.S. President (Jack Warden), whom he introduces to “Chauncey”. The president interprets Chance’s remarks about how the garden changes with the seasons as economic and political advice. Chance, as Chauncey Gardiner, quickly rises to national public prominence. He becomes a media celebrity with an appearance on a television talk show and soon rises to the top of Washington society. He remains very mysterious, as the Secret Service men are able to learn almost nothing about his background. Public opinion polls start to reflect just how much his “simple brand of wisdom” resonates with the jaded American public.

    Rand, dying of aplastic anemia, encourages Eve to become close to Chance. At his funeral, while the president delivers a speech, members of the board of Rand’s companies hold a whispered discussion over potential replacements for the President in the next term of office. As Rand’s coffin is about to be interred in the family mausoleum, they unanimously agree on “Chauncey Gardiner”.

    Oblivious to all this, Chance wanders through Rand’s wintry estate. He straightens out a pine sapling and then walks off across the surface of a small lake. The audience now sees Chance physically walking on water . He pauses, dips his umbrella into the water under his feet as if testing its depth, turns, and then continues to walk on the water as the president quotes Rand: “Life is a state of mind.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Being_There

  22. Old School Conservative

    Perhaps even more worrying than having a President whose stupid ways have led to massive internal debt and shrinking external power is the theory that the USA is being led deliberately down this pathway.

  23. Ant

    TC sounds like Sarah Palin.

    Can you still see the Crimea from your front porch?

  24. Token

    How did you endeavour to pack in so many Foreign Policy fallacies, such lack of understanding of US power and complete ignorance of historical context all into one small blog entry?

    By your capitalisation I presume you are taking down the condescending & so often wrong magazine of that name.

  25. Token

    Consigliere is saying that Putin is right so Steve is wrong to say that Obama is wrong.

    It is amazing to see how hard people work to justify the invasion of another nation’s sovereign territory.

  26. Vasily

    And you guys think Putin is the dangerous one?
    Kerry advocated a missile strike against Syria to neutralize their chemical weapons manufacturing ability. Obama the Nobel Peace Prize winner dithered, out of his depth, while talking up the prospects of Islamist insurgents. Putin negotiated a deal to take those weapons off the table, generously bringing the US in on it and he expressed concern for Syrian Christians and other minorities, which was conspicuously lacking from Obama. That’s what statesmanship looks like, friends.

  27. The Consigliere

    Hello dot.

    What’s going to happen? It’s pretty simple. The Crimea was, is and always will be under Russian control. One way or another.

    This could have been achieved with much less cost to long-term Russian interests if Putin had been a tad bit more subtle about it. Though I suppose partly he felt that the EU forced his hand on this. But partly he’s out for lunch and doesn’t really know what the hell is going on most of the time in his cave of self-delusion.

    He might seem like grand chess-master to Lindsey Graham, but that says more about Lindsey Graham than about Putin.

  28. The Consigliere

    Token, its nothing to do with justifications. Just what it is.

    Them smart folk call it realpolitik with a k and no space.

  29. Empire Strikes Back

    You’re a clever little boy CL.

    Now go play somewhere else while the adults are talking ok?

    It’s cute when children pretend to be “grown ups”, to a point.

    Now run along and go spank your two inch piss fat. You are a consigliere to nobody and a delinquentello to all.

  30. Token

    Token, its nothing to do with justifications. Just what it is.

    Gotcha. Like the coast line Putin & his cronies stole & took personal possession in Georgia, the Crimea has been annexed and will not be returned while he & his cadre are running the show.

  31. Token

    The Crimea was, is and always will be under Russian control. One way or another.

    It wasn’t according to the agreement from 1992, Putin has just acted in the Russian way to “correct” that error.

  32. Vasily

    @ Token

    Afghanistan and Iraq, they were invasions of other nation’s sovereign territory. Justify that.

    Btw, you do know Crimea is an autonomous republic with its own parliament which will hold a referendum later this month to decide its future? Let the people speak.

  33. Luke

    Yeah in the world of conflict every significant event is a black swan event. It’s only in hindsight that everything is obvious and the retrospective narrative is created.

    The problem with Obama and the kind of people he has as advisers etc is that they think everything is known or, at worst, known to a calculable risk. To them there is no known unknowns and certainly no unknown unknowns. Thus, to them and their fellow travelers in the press everything that is off plan or intention is always ‘unexpectedly’.

  34. The Consigliere

    Token, since you know about 1992 you’d also know how the people in Crimea reacted to the political manoeuvrings of the early 90s.

    I agree with your second sentence entirely.

  35. Fisky

    Anyone seen Tillman or Sayne Wanderson? They must have strong opinions about this stuff.

  36. Harry Buttle

    Obama isn’t the problem. Obama is a symptom of the problem, the problem is the US public who elected him – they believe in the same idiotic world view, in sufficient numbers, that he got elected, then re-elected. expect it to end badly both internationally and on the domestic front.

  37. Gab

    “Grigory M” reminds me of Tillman.

  38. Harry Buttle

    re the Crimea, the lesson here for all to learn is never put your faith in international law or the assurances of other countries to provide your national security.

  39. Fisky

    What this episode shows is that US electoral law must be changed to make it illegal for parties to spend more than 5% of their budgets campaigning outside of the main areas of economic management, defence and foreign policy. Obama campaigned mostly fringe issues of no national importance (abortion, contraception, tampons, Zimmerman, etc, etc), in order to stir up hatred and envy among his target constitutencies and get them out to vote. This was very damaging to the US, it isn’t legitimate free speech, and it must be banned.

  40. Robbo

    It’s all very well to rattle on about Obama on this blog and in the Washington Post but the vast bulk of the voters in the US remain ignorant of what a tool they have as President. Even if he was impeached, and that is not going to happen, what happens then? Put that village idiot Biden into the top job? No you say, then how about that screaming leftie incompetent Nancy Pelosi? That’s the problem they have, a choice between dangerous hopeless dumb and dangerous hopeless dumber.

  41. Zatara

    Obama Skips National Security Team Meeting on Invasion of Ukraine

    The illustration says it all.

    No need to be concerned about his skipping the meeting when he had nothing else on his schedule though. It seems Susan Rice, of Benghazi lies and cover-up fame, was to brief him on what he missed.

    One small problem though, she skipped the meeting as well.

  42. Zatara

    “the vast bulk of the voters in the US remain ignorant of what a tool they have as President.”

    This seems to indicate otherwise. But don’t let that slow down a good meme.

    Or was “vast bulk” a fat joke?

  43. egg_

    To them there is no known unknowns and certainly no unknown unknowns.

    Didn’t the US Navy put out a press release re AGW and mentioned all but ‘unknown unknowns’.
    Glowball coolening would be ‘unexpected’; little call for icebreakers, eh?

  44. Ant

    A good meme, Zatara; is that what you call it?

    You can find any number of polls that now show most Americans have awoken to the fact that Obama is a first class assclown.

    Obviously the voting majority is acting wise after the fact, seeing that they voted him back after the evidence of his clownassery was abundantly clear and dripping down in front of their eyes – had they cared to look beyond the singsong-isn’t he just fabulous narrative being blarred out by the American news media.

    Bit late, though, innit?

  45. DrBeauGan

    Once a politician discovers his electorate is much more interested in contraception and tampons than in foreign policy that’s what he will talk about. I agree with Harry Buttle. This is what happens when you give the presidency to a glib fathead because he’s a black glib fathead. This sort of thing looks perfectly sensible to fatheads. And with universal suffrage, half the electorate has subnormal intelligence. Democracy can only work when fatheads discover they are fatheads and don’t presume to vote.

  46. DrBeauGan

    Or to put themseles forward for president.

  47. .

    It is amazing to see how hard people work to justify the invasion of another nation’s sovereign territory.

    Amazingly, the Con walks in and does this right away.

    Ah, Foriegn Policy.

    What the Con calls “it is what it is” was described by FP as “silly and far fetched”.

    Vasily’s comments are for once acceptable. In fact, utterly correct.

  48. Oh come on

    Shouldn’t Drudge be hat tipped? Or do we just take that as a given when Steve posts?

  49. Alfonso

    “Can you still see the Crimea from your front porch?”

    Well, you can certainly see Russia from Alaska, in the right conditions from small hills in western brown bear hunting blocks….if that helps.

  50. Oh come on

    It wasn’t according to the agreement from 1992, Putin has just acted in the Russian way to “correct” that error.

    Right, so Russia needs to either give Ukraine back its nukes or pay the Ukrainians a shit tonne of money for them.

  51. nic

    From Wiki:

    The Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which unskilled individuals suffer from illusory superiority, mistakenly rating their ability much higher than is accurate. This bias is attributed to a metacognitive inability of the unskilled to recognize their ineptitude.[1] Actual competence may weaken self-confidence, as competent individuals may falsely assume that others have an equivalent understanding.

  52. Squirrel

    A quarter of a century on, there have been ample reminders that Fukuyama was just a tad premature in talking about the end of history. The relevant (and immeasurably more worldly-wise) observation here is De Gaulle’s comment that “great powers are cold monsters, and gratitude is not one of their stronger motivations”.

  53. Vasily

    @ Zatara

    “It seems Susan Rice, of Benghazi lies and cover-up fame, was to brief him on what he missed.
    One small problem though, she skipped the meeting as well.”

    Yes, but Joe Biden was there…via teleconference. That must be a big relief for you guys?

  54. Zatara

    Ant

    Bit late, though, innit?

    You’ll get no argument from me on that at all!

    I was just pointing out that apparently the message has finally sunk in so they, or at least the ‘vast bulk’ of them, don’t “remain ignorant”.

  55. Ant

    Quite so, Zatara.

    Although, it still leaves me a little stunned nevertheless at just how gullible and downright stupid people can be.

    But, hey, we gave Rudd/Gillard Labor a 2nd chance as well.

  56. Vasily

    So, how you do all think it came to this in the West?
    What explains the rise in narcissism, even among your leaders?
    The 1960s cultural revolution?
    The decline of Christianity?
    Declining educational standards?
    All of the above and more?

  57. JC

    Vodka, vasily, lots of vodka both straight and mixed.

  58. The Consigliere

    The illegal immigrants Vasily. They bring the vodka.

  59. Vasily

    :0)
    Straight is a killer, believe me. No. 1 killer in Russia.
    A recipe for self-destruction, yes, but not for narcissism.

  60. Infidel Tiger

    So, how you do all think it came to this in the West?
    What explains the rise in narcissism, even among your leaders?
    The 1960s cultural revolution?
    The decline of Christianity?
    Declining educational standards?

    The rock and roll music and the women being allowed to vote.

  61. Vasily

    So, 1 vote for 1960s cultural revolution (women’s liberation).

  62. Vasily

    Have to go to a meeting. Back later or tomorrow depending.
    Please discuss…would like to know how we can avoid path of massive social collapse like West ;0)

  63. egg_

    Probably as was alluded to on the open thread(?)*, narcissism promoted in post WWII advertising – particularly TV.
    Weeboks &c.

    *You deserve brand X…

  64. Ivan Denisovich

    So, how you do all think it came to this in the West?
    What explains the rise in narcissism, even among your leaders?
    The 1960s cultural revolution?
    The decline of Christianity?
    Declining educational standards?
    All of the above and more?

    http://harvardmagazine.com/2011/04/greatest-hits-solzhenitsyn

  65. Infidel Tiger

    would like to know how we can avoid path of massive social collapse like West ;0)

    Sorry buddy, but Russia is already dead.

    Your economy is rooted, your women are barren and your menfolk are impotent drunks.

    Your country sucks arse.

  66. Zatara

    Quite simply the meteoric rise in the welfare/entitlement state which began in the early 60s.

    Put differently, wealth redistribution writ large with no responsibility attached to the “right” to someone else’s money.

    The west is doing it’s own experiment with socialism and it isn’t working out too well.

  67. Tel

    Please discuss…would like to know how we can avoid path of massive social collapse like West ;0)

    If you haven’t been paying attention, it’s the West that is following in the footsteps of that massive social collapse known as “Socialism”. Fortunately (or unfortunately depending on your point of view) we haven’t hit the worst of it yet.

  68. JohnA

    Alfonso #1213223, posted on March 5, 2014 at 4:01 pm

    “Can you still see the Crimea from your front porch?”

    Well, you can certainly see Russia from Alaska, in the right conditions from small hills in western brown bear hunting blocks….if that helps.

    [Governor of Alaska:] Mr President (and people of America), I don’t want to say “I told you so”, but we did actually predict this outcome.

  69. .

    Please discuss…would like to know how we can avoid path of massive social collapse like West ;0)

    The next time Russia defaults, we will demand that you hand over your nukes. Tough shit.

  70. Vasily

    @ Infidel Tiger and LPD guy

    Are all Australians so boorish?
    Surely not, from others I see here.

  71. .

    There is nothing boorish about it. Russia is doomed like Japan.

  72. Vasily

    @ Tel & Zatara

    No, Socialism is quite different from Communism, let me assure you.
    But I take your points.
    May I suggest, though, that rampant individualism is just as destructive of society?
    Please, don’t quote the Iron Lady back to me ;0)

    @ Ivan Denisovich
    Yes, of course. But I think Western conservative still have not come to terms with Aleksandr Isayevich’s Harvard speech. That’s why I threw in the religious question. But from the foul language and boorish attitudes here (which you would not find on a Russian forum purportin to serious discussion), I suspect religion does not play a large part in Australian discourse. I would therefore also recommend to our Australian friends the great Anglo-American poet T.S. Eliot’s ‘The Idea of a Christian Society’. I suggest until you reconnect with your Christian roots, you cannot save your society.

  73. Vasily

    @ LDP guy

    And what is Australia’s native birth rate as compared with your Muslim immigrants?
    We all face the same problem!

  74. JC

    Here Vasily

    Russia is more fucked than a Thai hooker.

    Yet like most of Europe, Russia has recently seen its population dwindle even as countries like China, India and much of the third world have seen sharp rises in their own populations. As AEI’s Nicholas Eberstadt observed in World Affairs: “in the last sixteen years of the Communist era, births exceeded deaths in Russia by 11.4 million; in the first sixteen years of the post-Soviet era, deaths exceeded births by 12.4 million.” Unless Russia can reverse this depopulation for a sustained period of time, it will likely become increasingly irrelevant in international politics.

    Another source of modern Russian power has been its massive energy reserves. Indeed, high oil prices during the 1970s allowed the Soviet Union to flex its muscles abroad. However, as energy prices stabilized during the 1980s the artifice upon which the Soviet system began to crumble. Far from continuing to expand, the end of the decade saw the Soviet empire disintegrate, with Moscow powerless to stop it.

    The so-called resurgence Russia has enjoyed since Putin first assumed power has also been built on high energy prices. And like the Soviet leaders before him, Putin has squandered the temporary respite provided by high energy prices instead of using it to reinvest in the country and its people. As the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development noted gloomily in December 2012, “Not only are Russian exports highly concentrated in natural resources, this concentration has increased over time: the shares of oil, gas and other minerals in Russia’s exports are higher today than they were 15 years ago.”

    It went on to reflect: “In 2012 Russia remains highly dependent on its natural resources. Oil and gas now account for nearly 70 percent of total goods exports…. Oil and gas revenues also contribute around half of the federal budget. The non-oil fiscal deficit has averaged more than 11 per cent of GDP since 2009, while the oil price consistent with a balanced budget is now in the region of US$115 per barrel and rising.”

    The problem with the Russian Federation’s economic model, much like that of the Soviet Union’s before it, is that it is only sustainable so long as energy prices remain artificially high. But, of course, energy prices are almost certainly going to decline over the coming years as a result of greater energy efficiency in the West, slowing growth in the East, and greater supply as a result of the energy revolutions being enjoyed in the Western Hemisphere and elsewhere around the world. And as goes the price of oil so goes the Russian state.

    Also like the Soviet Union, Putin’s Russia has managed to maintain a modicum of global influence through the sale of its military weaponry. Although Russian military technology is greatly inferior to the West and the United States, it is sufficient to meet the national security needs of most states around the world. More importantly, Moscow continues to exhibit a willingness to provide it to states that the West refuses to deal with on moral or geostrategic grounds. In these states at least, Russia has been able to maintain a degree of influence.

  75. candy

    Vasily is such a romantic name.
    Obviously I’ve been reading too much Tolstoy.

  76. Gab

    I thought Vasily was a Greek name.

  77. Vasily

    @ JC

    Can Australians not express themselves without profanity?
    Is this the convict stain? Please, prove me wrong!
    I am looking for intelligent discussion with friends “Down Under”.
    Am I looking in wrong place?

  78. JC

    Yes I agree with your boorish angle, Vas. These Australians, which sadly I’m one too, are very boorish, ill-mannered people who don’t behave like gentlemen such as you and I.

    Over the years I valiantly tried to instill some manners here at the Cat, but my attempts have failed. You just have to live with the fact that one of these boors will end up referring to you as a vodka swilling Russian doofus. Just learn to accept it and move on.

  79. Vasily

    @ candy

    You cannot read enough Tolstoy! I encourage you in that pursuit.
    Tolstoff is my surname, as it happens; no relation, but close!

    @ Gab

    Vasily = Russian for Basil, after various saints named Basil.

  80. Gab

    Ah yes but the origin is Greek.

  81. Vasily

    @ JC

    The Russian soul at its best seeks communion with others.
    It is hard to move on; every soul is of infinite value.

  82. JC

    Can Australians not express themselves without profanity?

    It’s quite hard, especially if one or two of these boors hung around trading desks.

    Is this the convict stain? Please, prove me wrong!

    Coiuld be the convict stain as my folks arrived here in the 50′s and I never use foul language.

    I am looking for intelligent discussion with friends “Down Under”.

    You can, but you have to accept a certain level of foul, unnecessary language.

    Am I looking in wrong place?

    Always show up here in the mid afternoon when most of the fuckers aren’t drunk.

  83. Vasily

    @ Gab

    Yes, the original St Basil was Greek.

  84. candy

    You cannot read enough Tolstoy! I encourage you in that pursuit.
    Tolstoff is my surname, as it happens; no relation, but close!

    I love the books, and short stories too. Despite the cultural differences, I feel so close to the
    characters, more than in any other novels I’ve read I think.

  85. Vasily

    @ JC

    I perceive you have an inner struggle between your good and evil selves.
    I recommend Dostoevsky.

  86. JC

    The Russian soul at its best seeks communion with others.

    Really? I never saw much of that in the cold war.

    It is hard to move on; every soul is of infinite value.

    Some more than others.

    ——–

    Hey Vas,

    Lee Rhiannon, one of our esteemed and noble senators was educated in the Soviet Union. It’s one of the qualities we so much admire about her.

  87. Vasily

    @ candy

    You feel close to the characters because Tolstoy is the greatest novelist ever, even in translation.
    He is like Mozart; somehow, into such unpromising human material, God injected something of his own creative spirit.

  88. JC

    I perceive you have an inner struggle between your good and evil selves.

    I’m perfectly at ease with myself, Vas. It’s the the rest of the reprobates here at this site I’m worried about.

  89. Gab

    Can Australians not express themselves without profanity?

    Some can, some can’t. Just ignore the profanity – you are Rusky after all, no? Then don’t be such a wilting Chamomile.

  90. .

    What a vodka swilling doofus.

    Russia isn’t going to fail like Australia, but Vaseline reckons we face the exact same problems.

    Uh…okay…

  91. Vasily

    @ JC

    “Really? I never saw much of that in the cold war.”

    War, hot or cold, brings out the worst.
    But you must have heard of Pasternak, Solzhenitsyn, Prokofiev, Shostakovich…just as I have heard of Patrick White, Glanville-Hicks, Namatjira?

  92. candy

    I recommend Dostoevsky.

    I always found Raskolnikov puzzling, Vasily, could never quite pinpoint it. But it’s been a few years since I’ve read it.
    That can make a difference to understanding.

  93. Infidel Tiger

    But you must have heard of Pasternak, Solzhenitsyn, Prokofiev, Shostakovich…

    Terrific players on clay courts, but never much chop on grass.

  94. Vasily

    @ candy

    Raskolnikov is initially puzzling candy.
    The name itself includes the Russian word for schismatic.
    To quote Solzhenitsyn, the dividing line between good and evil runs through each of us.
    Dostoevsky illustrates this with his character Raskolnikov. The element of goodness and hope is, paradoxically, introduced with the character of Sonya, who leads Raskolnikov to the possibility of redemption. It is fundamentally a religious novel.

  95. candy

    The name itself includes the Russian word for schismatic.
    To quote Solzhenitsyn, the dividing line between good and evil runs through each of us.
    Dostoevsky illustrates this with his character Raskolnikov. The element of goodness and hope is, paradoxically, introduced with the character of Sonya, who leads Raskolnikov to the possibility of redemption. It is fundamentally a religious novel.

    Yes. But still the brutality of the crime, I’ve had trouble understanding that given his other fine qualities and his love for his mother and sister.
    Even with his desperate poverty and situation, the brutality and what he did, it has eluded me.

    But I need to read it again and put it into place with when it was written. I’m comparing it too much to present days, I think.

  96. Vasily

    @ Gab

    Profanity undoubtedly has it place…on the battlefield or doubtless the prison.
    But not in intellectual discourse.
    I think this is an important cultural difference, which perhaps symbolises Western cultural decline.

  97. Gab

    which perhaps symbolises Western cultural decline.

    oh don’t be such a politically correct Nazi and embrace freedom of speech. :)

  98. DrBeauGan

    Vasily, you are welcome to give your opinions here but you need to familiarise yourself with the Engish idiom of ‘taking the piss’.

  99. Infidel Tiger

    Rest assured Vas knows all about “taking the piss”. He might be the biggest piss taker we’ve had here in some time.

  100. DrBeauGan

    And it might be worth pointing out that many people here are highly intelligent but would get annoyed at being thought to be intellectuals. Which is a term of abuse and a frightful insult.

  101. Vasily

    Have to go for now my friends.
    From one Christian to others:
    “Let us begin the time of fasting in light, preparing ourselves for spiritual combat. Let us purify our soul, let us purify our body. As we abstain from food, let us abstain from all passion and enjoy the virtues of the spirit….”

  102. Vasily

    Vasily is not Tillman, Gab.
    Vasily is without guile, even if he says so himself.

  103. Gab

    Vasily is not Tillman,

    What a pity.

  104. Vasily

    @ candy

    We are each capable of the grossest of crimes given the right…or wrong circumstances.
    For Dostoevsky, Raskolnikov symbolises the pernicious influence of Western nihilism on the Russian soul. Sonya, for all her contradictions, represents the purity of the Russian soul. It is, admittedly, not a perfect work of art. Dostoevsky himself admitted it was easier to portray evil than good. That says a lot about our human condition, yes? I doubt even Dosotoevsky could have portrayed a redeemed Raskolnikov. Such a prospect is best left to the pious imagination.

  105. Vasily

    @ Gab

    Who is this Tillman anyway?
    It is a German name, yes?

  106. Gab

    Tillman is a legend. And infamy.

  107. Vasily

    Intriguing.
    But way above my capabilities, I assure you.

  108. Brian of Moorabbin

    How can anyone think that Vasily is a Greek name, especially when it plays such a big part in that famous movie starring the Scottish-accented Lithuanian….

    “Give me a ping Vasily…. One ping only please.”

  109. Oh come on

    But you must have heard of Pasternak, Solzhenitsyn, Prokofiev, Shostakovich…just as I have heard of Patrick White, Glanville-Hicks, Namatjira?

    It’s not surprising that you have heard of those people, as you are a worldly individual, are you not?

    Name-dropping is most unbecoming.

  110. Fisky

    Vasily, your points about Russia are compelling, but I’d be fascinated to hear your views on Nidal Hasan, the convicted jihadist mass murderer. Are you a fan of his?

  111. .

    Vasily
    #1213631, posted on March 5, 2014 at 11:14 pm
    @ Gab

    Profanity undoubtedly has it place…on the battlefield or doubtless the prison.
    But not in intellectual discourse.

    Which is why it is appropriate when chiding pro opression freaks such as yourself.

  112. Vasily

    @ LDP guy

    What makes you think I support oppression? False accusation.

    @ Fisky
    Hasan is a convicted murderer now where he belongs. I assume you agree.

  113. .

    Defend Putin’s record now, you have tied your own rope, lets see if it breaks.

  114. Vasily

    @ LDP guy

    Record on what?

  115. Vasily

    I wouldn’t seek to defend everything Putin does. Russia is democracy, you know? Specifics please.

  116. Vasily

    Waiting. I have to go to work soon. I will be back this afternoon, Moscow time.

  117. Vasily

    @ Fisky

    That was “out of left field”, btw. Are you too trying to set trap? Your move. Do you like chess?

  118. Vasily

    @ Fisky @ LDP guy

    Your move. Shall I set timer? I prefer analogue to digital; old fashioned guy.

    I have 15 minutes before I go brave the weather and the Metro. Another day another ruble.

  119. Fisky

    No, I’m genuinely interested in your position on Nidal Hasan. Some people adore him and praise his work.

  120. Vasily

    @ Fisky

    OK. My apology. To tell truth I had to look him up, then I remembered.
    I have to go now. Have a good day.

  121. .

    Russia is democracy

    Bullshit.

  122. Vasily

    Adore him? They must be crazy! Stay away from them, Fisky.

  123. Token

    Btw, you do know Crimea is an autonomous republic with its own parliament which will hold a referendum later this month to decide its future? Let the people speak.

    You are a funny guy Vasily (in a dark way):

    Dozens of pro-Russian gunmen in combat fatigues have seized parliament and government buildings on Ukraine’s volatile Crimea peninsula the country’s ousted leader won assurances that Moscow would protect him.

    The dawn raid in Crimea came a day after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered snap combat readiness drills to be held near the Ukrainian border, raising fears the Kremlin might use force to sway the outcome of a three-month crisis that has pitted Moscow against the West in a Cold War-style confrontation.

  124. Vasily

    @ LDP guy

    “Bullshit” is not an argument. You do not have very large vocabulary, do you?
    Until later.

  125. Vasily

    @ Token

    Please read the history then get back to me. I am not dark at all (was that pun?).

  126. Vasily

    @ Token

    Everything I said was fact. Why do you find that funny? Perplexed.

    Gotta go or I will be late. Please get back to me with your reading of history.

  127. Gab

    Vasily, can you please just drop the “@” business? Just by you using the person’s name they will know you are addressing them. No need for the “@”, it is redundant.

  128. .

    Vasily
    #1214316, posted on March 6, 2014 at 2:29 pm
    @ LDP guy

    “Bullshit” is not an argument. You do not have very large vocabulary, do you?
    Until later.

    How many people has Putin imrpisoned because they oppose him or are a rival to his ambition?

    Answer the question honestly you jerk.

  129. Token

    Please read the history then get back to me. I am not dark at all (was that pun?).

    We know how 2 million Tatars were ethnically cleansed to create the current demographic which provides the Russians with a majority. Very well aware of that fact.

    It is the same reason why there is a Russian majority in Kaliningrad.

    Everything I said was fact. Why do you find that funny? Perplexed.

    In a Russian totalitarian sense it is.

  130. .

    How many people has Putin imrpisoned because they oppose him or are a rival to his ambition?

    Answer the question honestly you jerk.

Comments are closed.