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Anti-Ballistic Missle Defence – The US Provocation That Threatens World Peace

The US and NATO ground missile complex “Aegis Ashore” at the Deveselu Air Force in Romania is not a harmless defensive facility.

Vladimir Kozin

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On 12th May 2016 a ceremony took place in Romania to commission the ground missile complex “Aegis Ashore” at the Deveselu Air Force base in the south of the country.

This Russian military-political leadership paid careful attention to this event, as did the leaders of many other countries around the world.  The reason for that is very simple: this is not a harmless defensive facility.

In accordance with the so-called “Phased Adaptive Approach” for the deployment of a global infrastructure for US ballistic missile defence (“BMD”) the systems which will be based at Deveselu air base will include US Mk-41 launchers for the combat and information management system “Aegis”.  These will eventually be equipped with”Standard-3″ 1B interceptor missiles as used on US combat ships as well as AN/SPY-1 radars for target acquisition and guidance.

The “Standard-3” 1B missiles are the most advanced U.S. missile defence interceptor.  US experts say they can hit all types of medium-range and shorter-range ballistic and cruise missiles up to a maximum range of 5500 km. Under the terms of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty signed in 1987 Russia does not have such missiles.

It would seem that deployment of such high-technology elements of the US missile defense system should enhance the security of the people of southern and central Europe, but is that really so?

The declared technical characteristics of the “Standard-3” missiles allow them to maintain “security” from hypothetical missile attacks within a horizontal radius of more than 500 km from the place of their deployment horizontally and up to an altitude of about 250-300 km. Thus, the zone of operation of these missiles covers the whole territory of Romania and of a number of neighbouring countries including the European part of the Russian Federation.

In other words these missiles can intercept ballistic and cruise missiles not just over the territory of Romania, but also over the territories of other states, including Russia.

More destabilising still is the claim the BMD base at Deveselu can protect itself – and by extension Romania – from strikes by Russian intercontinental ballistic missiles and Russian cruise missiles of extended range.

This is an wholly mendacious claim. Firstly, a militarily weak country such as Romania would be most unlikely by itself to be a target for Russian nuclear weapons. Secondly, deploying a US BMD base makes Romania such a target.  Thirdly, if the BMD base in Romania were attacked by Russian intercontinental ballistic missiles equipped with the sort of modern technical means needed to penetrate US BMD – something not only technically feasible but under active consideration by the Russian military and by Russian missile designers – then the US BMD base would hardly be able to protect even itself.

At the same time no one can ignore the fact that deploying a BMD base to Romania and in the near future in 2018 in Poland will plant a powerful destabilising mine under Russian-Romanian and Russian-Polish relations. After control of the use of interceptor missiles from the territories of Romania and Poland will be in the hands of  Washington, not of Bucharest or Warsaw. This follows from the bilateral agreements that have led on the deployments of the US BMD bases in Deveselu and Redzikowo.

Which conclusions can be drawn from all this?

It is logical to assume that by deploying of land and sea-based missile defence system in the European area, in the Middle East and in the Asia-Pacific  region the US is pursuing very different and distinctive goals. Of these one,  which was discussed at a top level meeting of representatives of the Russian Ministry of Defence of Russia and of the Russian military-industrial complex with the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin – and which looks very convincing – was described by President Putin with these words: “launchers, which will be placed after the commissioning of these bases in Romania and Poland can be easily used for emplacing medium-range and shorter-range missiles” – in other words missiles of an offensive not of a defensive nature.

The US Navy has already deployed since 2011 warships equipped with the “Aegis” BMD system in the seas and oceans around Europe.  There are more than 30 warships equipped with such a system, each ship carrying an average of 30-40 “Standard-3″ interceptor missiles.  This already existing very large naval deployment puts the proposed land based deployment in its proper context.

Deploying a number of Mk-41 universal naval launchers to land bases in Romania and Poland adds little to the already existing BMD capability provided by the naval deployment.  However these launchers can without wmodification house a wide range of missiles, including the notorious land-based “Tomahawk” cruise missiles whose deployment in Europe was prohibited by the Soviet-U.S. Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty of 1987. Deploying  offensive land-based “Tomahawk” cruise missiles in Romania using infrastructure supposedly created for BMD missiles could threaten almost the whole of Russia’s European territory.

The U.S. and NATO have mixed their nuclear and conventional arms in the so-called “Chicago Triad” since 2012 following an agreement hammered out at the NATO Summit in that city. Commitment to maintaining this Triad was confirmed by the NATO Summit in Wales in September 2014, and will probably be reconfirmed at the next NATO Summit to be held in Warsaw in July. This “Triad” is deployed on the “front lines” in the confrontation with Russia as forward-based weapons.

The philosophy behind this Triad is what explains why the USA is “defending” the inhabitants of Bucharest, but not those of Rome, Athens, Berlin or London by deploying BMD bases in Romania but not in Italy, Greece, Germany or the UK.  Quite simply the US BMD base in Romania is much closer to the sites of Russia strategic nuclear forces than would have been the case if it had been deployed on the territories of Italy, Greece, Germany or especially the UK.

There is probably another reason for deploying the BMD base in Romania –  one that may seem cynical but which is probably true.  This that in case of retaliation against the new U.S. anti-missile ‘shield’ the citizens of other countries – specifically those of Romania – can be victims rather than those of the US.

Would the United States have spent – in vain – billions of dollars to keep the not so developed Romanian economy afloat save in its own self-interest?  Perhaps there are serious people around who believe it did so for entirely disinterested reasons.  However one thing is for sure: Russian politicians and experts do not suffer from that sort of naivety.

Are the threats from the American BMD components in Europe critical to Russia? Apparently now they are, in part because of the presence of the combined “Chicago Triad”, which combines offensive  assets with a military doctrine that allows for a US initial nuclear first strike.

Thus we see emerging on the European continent the third in a row of US challenges to regional and global stability and world peace. The first was the series of actions taken by Washington in 1962 which unfolded as what the West calls “the Cuban Missile Crisis”.  The second was the adoption in 1979 by NATO leaders of the so-called “double-track decision” which paved the way for the deployment of nuclear ballistic and cruise missiles in Europe within strike range of the USSR. The third is the construction of the US BMD bases in Europe which is now underway.

In face of this latest challenge we should note the Russian leadership’s determination to take adequate countermeasures. These will be based on a comprehensive assessment of the balance of power in Europe and the world.

As has already been said, plans for Russian Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles capable of overcoming anti-ballistic missile defences far more advanced and capable than the most sophisticated anti-missile defence systems planned by NATO and the US already exist.  Russian long-range air and sea-based non-nuclear cruise missiles used against the terrorist organisations in Syria have already proved their exceptional capability.  The combat capabilities of the Russian Navy and of Russia’s electronic warfare capabilities are also being enhanced in a programme announced in 2008.

In the meantime the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin has warned that: “the countries of Eastern Europe which house the U.S. first strike missiles are becoming legitimate targets for the Russian retaliation strike.”

This is not Moscow’s choice. This is a necessary and forced response, prompted by the growing threat stemming from the United States of America.

Amongst the list of potential Russian countermeasures we could see Russia’s withdrawal from the INF Treaty, and even from the START-3 Treaty (known in the West as “New START”) which was signed in Prague in 2010.

It is also clear that there will be no further discussion with Washington of any possible new treaty limiting or reducing strategic offensive nuclear weapons.  Nor will there be negotiations on a treaty to reduce the number of tactical nuclear weapons.  Talks on such treaties will not happen whilst US nuclear missile and missile defence supported by general-purpose forces move towards Russia’s door step.

This hardly exhausts the list of possible countermeasures the details of all which remain classified.

What are the alternatives?

The short answer is that the US and NATO should reverse the dangerous course they have embarked on.  They should close the BMD base in Romania, withdrawing all their missiles from there, and cease building its twin in Poland.  The US should also withdraw its tactical nuclear weapons from Europe and Turkey and cease its and NATO’s provocative aerial displays over the Baltic States, which moreover use dual-capable aircraft capable of carrying nuclear weapons.

The US should also commit itself together with Russia to a policy of non first use of nuclear weapons and ideal to a policy of no use at all.

As the same time there should be serious negotiations for a new multilateral treaty on BMD – one which involves other states, not just the US and Russia as the old ABM Treaty did – and which limits the number and capability of such systems and prohibits their deployment beyond national borders.

Some in the West will balk at these steps saying they are unreasonable.  They are in fact the only reasonable response if the danger current US and NATO actions is creating is to be ended.

The author is Chief Adviser, Russian Institute for Strategic Studies, a Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, a Professor, of the Russian Academy of Military Sciences, a Member of the Scientific Board of the National Institute of Global Security Research, a Member of the Gorchakov’s Foundation Club and a Global Senior Fellow National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), Global Think Tank Network (GTTN)  in Islamabad Pakistan.  He is also a Ph.D., Senior Researcher (Academic Rank)

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‘Meme-killing’ EU regulation could end YouTube as we know it, CEO warns

The proposed amendments to the EU Copyright Directive would require the automatic removal of any user-created content suspected of violating intellectual property law.

The Duran

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YouTube’s CEO has urged creators on the popular video site to organize against a proposed EU internet regulation, reinforcing fears that the infamous Article 13 could lead to content-killing, meme-maiming restrictions on the web.

The proposed amendments to the EU Copyright Directive would require the automatic removal of any user-created content suspected of violating intellectual property law – with platforms being liable for any alleged copyright infringement. If enacted, the legislation would threaten “both your livelihood and your ability to share your voice with the world,” YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki warned the site’s content creators in a blog post on Monday.

The regulation would endanger “hundreds of thousands of job,” Wojcicki said, predicting that it would likely force platforms such as YouTube to allow only content from a hand-picked group of companies.

“It would be too risky for platforms to host content from smaller original content creators, because the platforms would now be directly liable for that content,” Wojcicki wrote.

While acknowledging that it was important to properly compensate all rights holders, the YouTube chief lamented that the “unintended consequences of Article 13 will put this ecosystem at risk.”

She encouraged YouTubers to use the #SaveYourInternet hashtag to tell the world how the proposed legislation would impact them personally.

“RIP YOUTUBE..IT WAS FUN,” read one rather fatalistic reply to the post. Another comment worried that Article 13 would do “immense damage … particularly to smaller creators.”

The proposal has stirred considerable controversy in Europe and abroad, with critics claiming that the legislation would essentially ban any kind of creative content, ranging from memes to parody videos, that would normally fall under fair use.

Alphabet, the parent company of Google and YouTube, has opposed Article 13 for months. The measure was advanced in June by the European Parliament. A final vote on the proposed regulation is expected to take place sometime next year.

World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee and Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales have also spoken out against Article 13.

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WSJ Op-Ed Cracks The Code: Why Liberal Intellectuals Hate Trump

WSJ: The Real Reason They Hate Trump

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Via Zerohedge


As pundits continue to scratch their heads over the disruptive phenomenon known as Donald Trump, Yale computer science professor and chief scientist at Dittach, David Gelernter, has penned a refreshingly straightforward and blunt Op-Ed in the Wall Street Journal explaining why Trump has been so successful at winning hearts and minds, and why the left – especially those snarky ivory-tower intellectuals, hate him.

Gelernter argues that Trump – despite being a filthy rich “parody of the average American,” is is a regular guy who has successfully resonated with America’s underpinnings.

Mr. Trump reminds us who the average American really is. Not the average male American, or the average white American,” writes Gelernter. “We know for sure that, come 2020, intellectuals will be dumbfounded at the number of women and blacks who will vote for Mr. Trump. He might be realigning the political map: plain average Americans of every type vs. fancy ones.”

He never learned to keep his real opinions to himself because he never had to. He never learned to be embarrassed that he is male, with ordinary male proclivities. Sometimes he has treated women disgracefully, for which Americans, left and right, are ashamed of him—as they are of JFK and Bill Clinton. –WSJ

Gelernter then suggests: “This all leads to an important question—one that will be dismissed indignantly today, but not by historians in the long run: Is it possible to hate Donald Trump but not the average American?“.

***

The Real Reason They Hate Trump via the Wall Street Journal.

He’s the average American in exaggerated form—blunt, simple, willing to fight, mistrustful of intellectuals.

Every big U.S. election is interesting, but the coming midterms are fascinating for a reason most commentators forget to mention: The Democrats have no issues. The economy is booming and America’s international position is strong. In foreign affairs, the U.S. has remembered in the nick of time what Machiavelli advised princes five centuries ago: Don’t seek to be loved, seek to be feared.

The contrast with the Obama years must be painful for any honest leftist. For future generations, the Kavanaugh fight will stand as a marker of the Democratic Party’s intellectual bankruptcy, the flashing red light on the dashboard that says “Empty.” The left is beaten.

This has happened before, in the 1980s and ’90s and early 2000s, but then the financial crisis arrived to save liberalism from certain destruction. Today leftists pray that Robert Mueller will put on his Superman outfit and save them again.

For now, though, the left’s only issue is “We hate Trump.” This is an instructive hatred, because what the left hates about Donald Trump is precisely what it hates about America. The implications are important, and painful.

Not that every leftist hates America. But the leftists I know do hate Mr. Trump’s vulgarity, his unwillingness to walk away from a fight, his bluntness, his certainty that America is exceptional, his mistrust of intellectuals, his love of simple ideas that work, and his refusal to believe that men and women are interchangeable. Worst of all, he has no ideology except getting the job done. His goals are to do the task before him, not be pushed around, and otherwise to enjoy life. In short, he is a typical American—except exaggerated, because he has no constraints to cramp his style except the ones he himself invents.

Mr. Trump lacks constraints because he is filthy rich and always has been and, unlike other rich men, he revels in wealth and feels no need to apologize—ever. He never learned to keep his real opinions to himself because he never had to. He never learned to be embarrassed that he is male, with ordinary male proclivities. Sometimes he has treated women disgracefully, for which Americans, left and right, are ashamed of him—as they are of JFK and Bill Clinton.

But my job as a voter is to choose the candidate who will do best for America. I am sorry about the coarseness of the unconstrained average American that Mr. Trump conveys. That coarseness is unpresidential and makes us look bad to other nations. On the other hand, many of his opponents worry too much about what other people think. I would love the esteem of France, Germany and Japan. But I don’t find myself losing sleep over it.

The difference between citizens who hate Mr. Trump and those who can live with him—whether they love or merely tolerate him—comes down to their views of the typical American: the farmer, factory hand, auto mechanic, machinist, teamster, shop owner, clerk, software engineer, infantryman, truck driver, housewife. The leftist intellectuals I know say they dislike such people insofar as they tend to be conservative Republicans.

Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama know their real sins. They know how appalling such people are, with their stupid guns and loathsome churches. They have no money or permanent grievances to make them interesting and no Twitter followers to speak of. They skip Davos every year and watch Fox News. Not even the very best has the dazzling brilliance of a Chuck Schumer, not to mention a Michelle Obama. In truth they are dumb as sheep.

Mr. Trump reminds us who the average American really is. Not the average male American, or the average white American. We know for sure that, come 2020, intellectuals will be dumbfounded at the number of women and blacks who will vote for Mr. Trump. He might be realigning the political map: plain average Americans of every type vs. fancy ones.

Many left-wing intellectuals are counting on technology to do away with the jobs that sustain all those old-fashioned truck-driver-type people, but they are laughably wide of the mark. It is impossible to transport food and clothing, or hug your wife or girl or child, or sit silently with your best friend, over the internet. Perhaps that’s obvious, but to be an intellectual means nothing is obvious. Mr. Trump is no genius, but if you have mastered the obvious and add common sense, you are nine-tenths of the way home. (Scholarship is fine, but the typical modern intellectual cheapens his learning with politics, and is proud to vary his teaching with broken-down left-wing junk.)

This all leads to an important question—one that will be dismissed indignantly today, but not by historians in the long run: Is it possible to hate Donald Trump but not the average American?

True, Mr. Trump is the unconstrained average citizen. Obviously you can hate some of his major characteristics—the infantile lack of self-control in his Twitter babble, his hitting back like a spiteful child bully—without hating the average American, who has no such tendencies. (Mr. Trump is improving in these two categories.) You might dislike the whole package. I wouldn’t choose him as a friend, nor would he choose me. But what I see on the left is often plain, unconditional hatred of which the hater—God forgive him—is proud. It’s discouraging, even disgusting. And it does mean, I believe, that the Trump-hater truly does hate the average American—male or female, black or white. Often he hates America, too.

Granted, Mr. Trump is a parody of the average American, not the thing itself. To turn away is fair. But to hate him from your heart is revealing. Many Americans were ashamed when Ronald Reagan was elected. A movie actor? But the new direction he chose for America was a big success on balance, and Reagan turned into a great president. Evidently this country was intended to be run by amateurs after all—by plain citizens, not only lawyers and bureaucrats.

Those who voted for Mr. Trump, and will vote for his candidates this November, worry about the nation, not its image. The president deserves our respect because Americans deserve it—not such fancy-pants extras as network commentators, socialist high-school teachers and eminent professors, but the basic human stuff that has made America great, and is making us greater all the time.

Mr. Gelernter is computer science professor at Yale and chief scientist at Dittach LLC. His most recent book is “Tides of Mind.”

Appeared in the October 22, 2018, print edition.

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The Trump Miracle and the Logical End of US Democracy: What Happened?

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I don’t wish to dine with a Clinton Snowflake.

And a Clinton Snowflake would rather see me off to San Quentin, the Deplorable that I am.

Something happened under Obama-Clinton rule that has never happened before, not even in the heat of passions culminating in the Civil War. The country polarized, splitting into two groupings. Forever.

Obama’s, Grand Canyon divide was cemented, subsequently, by Clinton’s “Deplorables” gaff interpreted as disdain and disrespect for the working, one-half of the country. Millions of Americans will never accept her and her Snowflakes and vice versa. “Never say never,” it’s said, often enough. But, this time, “never,” is an unequivocal: “Never!”

Quite simply, the Obama-Clinton regime politicized that which should never be politicized, namely, core beliefs and values, starting with God.

Debate is one thing, but the regime followed up with direct and indirect actions, which some writers call rainbow fascism. “You won’t bake a wedding cake for two gays out of some fossilized belief in scripture? We’ll shut you down.”

The regime’s aggression against the Church, the family, and the infant in the womb is dynamite inserted into the foundation on which the country stands.

Along with compassion and sensitivity to opposing views, compromise used to help mend political wounds. It allowed the nation to move on after an election. However, when religious tenets are challenged by a political Party with executive order power, the door on possible compromise slams shut. Obama-Clinton politicized the sacred and the Holy, a big no-no considering that politics divide. It wasn’t done out of ignorance, disrespect, or plain arrogance. It was a conscience, systematic attack by the Godless against God-fearing Christians.

God either exists or He doesn’t – no compromise, here. That is, “He might exist,” placates neither the believer nor the atheist. The Bible is either the Word of God as delivered through His prophets or it isn’t. No compromise possible.

Abortion-on-demand is another issue without compromise considering the commandment: Thou shalt not kill (murder). There is also common sense compassion, which makes us human and says that abortion is wrong. You’re either for murder of the defenseless or against it.

A partial birth abortion, despite the insinuation of compromise in the term, is actually a viler variant of infanticide because it’s performed in the last trimester, at 5-7 months. The well-developed, living infant is pulled out of the womb, legs first. The medical executioner then plunges a probe with a catheter into the living brain in order to suction out a bloody slurry and collapse the skull. Is it murder of the defenseless or a “woman’s right” as Snowflakes call it?

Clinton claims: “Fetuses feel no pain and have no rights.” Curiously, Himmler leaned on a nearly identical contention to justify ghoulish, medical experiments on pregnant women in Konzentrationslager. Is there a difference? Indeed, there is. Clinton is a woman, making her serial murders more of a monstrosity.

The Holy Bible is either the Word of God or it isn’t. It’s not a book to be adapted to one’s whims or sexual lusts. Scripture strictly condemns male homosexuality in at least three passages and, implicitly, in some one-half dozen others. Nonetheless, Obama-Clinton attached the promotion of LBGTq-ism to the Democratic plank, overriding scripture. Clinton informed one audience that Christians would have to change their beliefs on some issues.

Hold on! “I’m getting my musket,” as more than one American has said.

I used to enjoy dialogue. But a sour aftertaste remains from the last time that I waded, innocently enough, into an after-dinner, back-and-forth. The topic was the upcoming primaries.

Dodging a flurry of leftism hooks from a New York Cityite at a Hamptons hideaway, I smiled through early-round attacks recalling how Mohammed Ali used to taunt opponents and cockroaches until they lost their cool. It worked. My opponent promptly tangled himself up in the ropes of his emotions.

It became apparent, in the ensuing minutes, that the Achilles heel of the Left was the absence of a viable candidate. That is, one who could be liked – a leader with charisma with a realistic chance winning.

Hillary was the only figure looming big on the horizon. After flying about on her crooked broom, peddling influence and laundering bloody cash from terrorism-sponsoring sheiks, wads of cash stuffed her Pampers. The Wicked Witch of the West, as victims of her foreign policy still address her, apparently, had it all. Except likeability. Or, something new to offer millions of working Americans beyond the scandals, a world in flames, and the same old corrupt things, starting with her foundation, which kept the cash but forgot Hattian children.

Deep-down inside, my opponent knew that getting excited about Hillary would be a daunting task. It’s precisely Hillary’s inability to generate enthusiasm that eventually metamorphosed into, “What Happened?” It wasn’t Russia; it wasn’t the dog that ate her homework.

As Secretary of State, Clinton’s role in creating and sponsoring head-choppers, baby burners, and heart-eating fanatics in ISIS’s jumpsuits was already well-established for anyone who was interested in looking beyond the hyaluronic acid smile and the praise of her attendant, media handlers.

Propagandists led by CNN and MSNBC did their best to sequester her “Arab Spring” fiascos. Her ties and support of the Muslim Brotherhood, apparently, inspired by live-in aide and right-hand woman, Huma Abedin were off limits for the press. Lesbian lover or not, the real issue is the between-the sheets confidences of one woman, holding one of the highest positions in the US Government and another with connections to jihadist circles inspired by Sayyid Qutb, the godfather of al Qaeda. What would have been made of it by the press if Trump had a mistress whose grandfather was Osama bin Laden?

Clinton’s connivance, her intrigue, and her use of the sword to overthrow foreign governments constituted the essence of her foreign policy. Now, the rich, sweet thing is crying over supposed, Russian interference that she claims cost her the election! No proof of Russian involvement has been found, despite massive efforts and the wasteful expenditure of millions of dollars. Even so, in her warped sense of reality, it’s inconceivable that American voters chose a vulgar, thrice-married, casino operator who trash talks instead of her. Curiously, it was Christians, in particular – Catholics, Protestants and the Orthodox – fearing a de facto Obama third term, who voted in droves for Trump.

Jonathon Van Maren writes: “…Christians are having conversations around the dinner table about what do if the government forces curricula on them that they cannot accept, because their own government is increasingly indicating that Christian parents are too homophobic and too hateful to teach their own children.”

Fear is setting in at both ends of the political spectrum. Meltdown, weep-in snowflakes fear Trump yet he and Christians are not forcing the LGBTq groupings etc., to make lifestyle changes. In contrast, Obama-Clinton’s Rainbow Fascism demands core value changes, or else! It’s already ruining the lives of those who cannot compromise religious tenets. What’s next? Obviously, children must be taken away from homophobic and irresponsible parents. It’s already happening in Norway and Sweden.

Curiously, WaPo’s entire editorial board endorsed her. Isn’t endorsement of Clinton’s terrorism by proxy tantamount to being a terrorist? Can WaPo be trusted, again? Another liberally slanted paper, the NY Times largely swept Clinton’s sordid past under the carpet, with about 90 percent of its articles casting her in a positive light. In contrast, it was open season on Republicans and, soon enough, on Trump.

“Considering her international war crimes record, if you vote for her, as I’m sure you’ll end up doing, you’re going to be an accomplice. Of terrorism,” I sighed. “So unfriend me now, please.”

Swinging, aimlessly – now, a bug in my web – my opponent’s accusations turned Archie-Bunker-personal – “You’re a SOB, M#*/!er. All you do is criticize but you haven’t done squat! Do something in the community instead of blaming everything on Obama and Clinton.

“Some time ago, I saw little, practical sense in it,” I replied. “That is, in wasting time to change the system.”

If it was ever possible to improve matters on a local level, those days are gone. Plato, Socrates and Aristotle did not consider the rule of money to be compatible with democracy. After three, consecutive, two-term geniuses steering the US Titanic – Clinton, Bush, Obama – the scraping sounds of hitting the iceberg are all-too-audible. The mass media orchestra plays on yet the waterline has reached the nation’s gunwales.

“Sorry, trends are apparent enough. Liberty, freedom of expression – all on the wane. Government as well as media controls are tightening! Prisons are full. Stalin has been outdone. His maximum Gulag stay was 15 years regardless of the charge. What’s ours? A life sentence for being in a romantic relationship with a drug smuggler? Common sense is being pushed aside by nonsense. Sorry, I find little sense building sandcastles at ebbtide.”

My opponent had had enough. Spilling whisky to get away from me, he spewed more venom and parted the room. Forever.

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