Patterico's Pontifications

9/24/2017

The First to Stop Applauding

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:00 am

I began reading The Gulag Archipelago by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn yesterday. I’m only 100 pages in or so, but in Chapter Two I ran across a great story that I wanted to recount to you here. It is timeless, and frightening, and funny, and horrific — all at the same time. And Solzhenitsyn assures the reader that this story — like every thing else he recounts — really happened.

Is it relevant to today? You be the judge!

Here is one vignette from those years as it actually occurred. A district Party conference was underway in Moscow Province. It was presided over by a new secretary of the District Party Committee, replacing one recently arrested. At the conclusion of the conference, a tribute to Comrade Stalin was called for. Of course, everyone stood up (just as everyone had leaped to his feet during the conference at every mention of his name). The small hall echoed with “stormy applause, rising to an ovation.” For three minutes, four minutes, five minutes, the “stormy applause, rising to an ovation,” continued. But palms were getting sore and raised arms were already aching. And the older people were panting from exhaustion. It was becoming insufferably silly even to those who really adored Stalin.

However, who would dare to be the first to stop?

The secretary of the District Party Committee could have done it. He was standing on the platform, and it was he who had just called for the ovation. But he was a newcomer. He had taken the place of a man who’d been arrested. He was afraid! After all, NKVD men were standing in the hall applauding and watching to see who would quit first!

And in that obscure, small hall, unknown to the Leader, the applause went on –- six, seven, eight minutes! They were done for! Their goose was cooked! They couldn’t stop now till they collapsed with heart attacks! At the rear of the hall, which was crowded, they could of course cheat a bit, clap less frequently, less vigorously, not so eagerly –- but up there with the presidium where everyone could see them?

The director of the local paper factory, an independent and strong-minded man, stood with the presidium. Aware of all the falsity and all the impossibility of the situation, he still kept on applauding! Nine minutes! Ten! In anguish he watched the secretary of the District Party Committee, but the latter dared not stop. Insanity! To the last man! With make-believe enthusiasm on their faces, looking at each other with faint hope, the district leaders were just going to go on and on applauding till they fell where they stood, till they were carried out of the hall on stretchers! And even then those who were left would not falter. . . .

Then, after eleven minutes, the director of the paper factory assumed a businesslike expression and sat down in his seat. And, oh, a miracle took place! Where had the universal, uninhibited, indescribable enthusiasm gone? To a man, everyone else stopped dead and sat down. They had been saved! The squirrel had been smart enough to jump off his revolving wheel.

That, however, was how they discovered who the independent people were. And that was how they went about eliminating them. That same night the factory director was arrested. They easily pasted ten years on him on the pretext of something quite different. But after he had signed Form 206, the final document of the interrogation, his interrogator reminded him:

“Don’t ever be the first to stop applauding.”

(And just what are we supposed to do? How are we supposed to stop?)

It’s easy to suppose that such fits of insanity can never happen to us. Well. In a foreward to the version of the book I am reading, Solzhenitsyn writes:

There always is this fallacious belief: “It would not be the same here; here such things are impossible.”

Alas, all the evil of the twentieth century is possible anywhere on earth.

Settle down, Trumpers. I’m not saying or suggesting in any way that Donald Trump is the return of Stalin or Hitler. Nor is this a post about Barack Obama, or a suggestion that he resembled those monsters.

But each has led cults of personality — and while those cults have not approached anything approaching the fanaticism that was seen under a Stalin or a Mao, such evils are “possible anywhere on earth.” We would be fools not to learn the lessons of history — not to be on the lookout for a repeat of such horror.

Crying wolf is not just foolish. It is dangerous. But if the wolf has attacked in the past, it is equally foolish and dangerous not to watch for the warning signs that the wolf may approach again. When I read the accounts of the torture suffered in Soviet Russia, I recognize some of the same techniques that were used in Abu Ghraib. When Solzhenitsyn writes that for men to do evil, they must convince themselves that they are doing good — and when he writes that ideology helps men justify their evil deeds as serving a greater good — I recognize the attitude of the more ideological Trump or Obama or Hillary or Bernie supporters, who argue that the use of a nasty tactic by the other side justifies the use of the same tactic by their own side. And a Clickhole article I saw yesterday sums up nicely, in humorous fashion, the attitude of some of the more mindless Trump drones:

Before attacking the president by pointing out the many flaws in his reasoning, why don’t you try agreeing with everything he says? The only people complaining about Trump are biased against Trump according to Trump, so you can’t trust anyone that questions the president, even when that person is you. This is America. If you’re not prepared to sell your values down the river to spew President Trump’s talking points word for word, well, you can find a different country to live in.

For the good of the country, Republicans like me must unite to automatically parrot whatever knee-jerk policy announcement Trump has surprised us with over Twitter. Conservatives must abandon our own long-held viewpoints and ideologies in favor of the random hodgepodge of right-wing causes Trump happened to talk about today. Sometimes it’s difficult to repeat Donald Trump verbatim when it goes against my very sense of right and wrong, but I know history will look kindly on patriots like me who compromise their integrity to echo the rhetoric of a president they vehemently disagree with.

It’s relevant to Trump today because he’s president, but let’s not pretend this is a phenomenon that happens only on one side. (Of course, many on this blog will argue that it does happen only on one side. And many commenters on a partisan lefty blog will argue that it happens only on one side. They’ll just disagree as to which side is the source of original and inherent evildoing.)

I’m tired of arguments that suggest that human nature is different for different political parties. After all, we on the right really thought we had the left pegged as the people who followed a cult leader. And then Trump came along. It’s a little hard to be too smug now.

The Clickhole article is very funny. And yet: the phenomenon of a room full of people who all know they are supporting something crazy, but are all scared to say so, is a reality that has been no joke at times in human history.

No, Trump drones and Obama cultists, I am not saying these guys are the return of history’s greatest monsters. Nor am I saying that you are the return of their supporters.

But . . .

But if you think such a thing could never happen again . . . think again.

[Cross-posted at RedState and The Jury Talks Back.]

153 Responses to “The First to Stop Applauding”

  1. A religious perspective is not absolutely necessary for cultism…https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cult but it helps to have a divine excuse for imposing one’s political beliefs on the Infidel.

    Human nature sure seems the fulcrum for the masses, and admitting error is the last of those qualities we recognize. The purity of our own special politics is evidence of insecurity and doubt even though the exterior seems full of confidence. If humility were a precious metal it would outscore palladium.

    Ben burn (dc0ec1)

  2. this post smells like #resist

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  3. To offset the human tendency to bull-up I encourage everyone to avoid the habit of pride in ignorant purity. Read something you may not agree with.

    Ben burn (dc0ec1)

  4. The Gulag Archipelago is a great read. I read it in my senior year of high school IIRC in 1975.

    One should also read anything on the Soviet Union by Robert Conquest.

    Using TGA to compare Trump supporters to those wishing for excesses of government power favored by Obama and Sanders is a real reach.

    harkin (166824)

  5. @ harkin, who wrote (#4):

    Using TGA to compare Trump supporters to those wishing for excesses of government power favored by Obama and Sanders is a real reach.

    You might want to re-read at least twice what our host wrote, because what you just described isn’t a fair or even remotely plausible summary of what he wrote.

    That said, I have been urged by strong Trump supporters in the past comments on this blog going back to the GOP primaries that unless I am a strong proponent of Hillary Clinton, I therefore need to clap for Trump, continuously and loudly, and it’s been carefully pointed out to me that my that my failure or refusal to clap for Trump all the time (and not just on the rare occasions when I think he’s done anything to merit it) has indeed been noticed, and my name as well. I believe the term “cuck” was involved.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  6. In the wake of the 2016 election, there’s been a lot of talk about how Americans are stuck in partisan bubbles, especially on Facebook and Twitter. Anecdotes like the ones above remind us that bubbles don’t happen accidentally or passively. Instead, many politically minded people are in a state of motivated ignorance: They neither know — nor want to know — what the opposition has to say.

    https://www.google.com/amp/www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-frimer-skitka-motyle-motivated-ignorance-20170104-story,amp.html

    Ben burn (dc0ec1)

  7. I’ve read Gulag Archipelago many times. One of the recurring themes is how normal people do horrible things to each other, out of fear or envy or just going along. “The line between good and evil runs through every human heart.”

    I have always hated how our popular culture depicts Nazis, for this reason: they are made to seem as though they were not otherwise normal people.

    Frankly I see more of the “don’t ever be the first to stop applauding” coming from the Left these days, with their endless denunciations of deviation and demand for purges and conformity. But it can be found everywhere, when conditions are right.

    Frederick (a81afc)

  8. Jordan Peterson talks about this book. It’s one of a few he says everyone should read at least once in their lifetime because it’s about personal morality and decisionmaking and how that changes the world, for good or ill. This is why he is refusing to call someone a preferred pronoun; once the State orders you to do it, it’s wrong.

    You can see this phenomena when you look at videos of audiences cheering for the NORK dictator. They look like a bunch of bad extras all clapping at once and grinning. No one wants to be the first one to stop.

    Patricia (5fc097)

  9. Greetings:

    And thanks for the Abu Gharib memento. Did you forget Viet Nam ???

    11B40 (6abb5c)

  10. Leaders like Obama and Trump come and go. Corrupt bureaucrats and elected officials are forever. Someday our children and grandchildren will fix it.

    crazy (d99a88)

  11. I think what Patterico is talking about is happening right now in academia.

    AZ Bob (8784fc)

  12. The country will get the leaders it deserves. What has been broken is the result of an emptiness of the soul, too many following what the left prescribes and promotes: dysfunctional behaviors that lead to broken homes, ruined lives, criminality, no personal responsibility, etc. Parents don’t teach their children respect for the law, their elders, or any other folks who have historically had a positive, stable influence on their lives.

    Colonel Haiku (d82f96)

  13. @AZ Bob:I think what Patterico is talking about is happening right now in academia.

    The examples are countless. A few months ago, a professor at Evergreen; today Amy Wax and Larry Alexander. Every few months it’s a new example of the same thing: the whiff of heresy, the ritual denunciations, the authorities that utter platitudes while putting the heretic out of their protection–and sad to say, the cringing apology and self-denunciation.

    Frederick (a81afc)

  14. this post smells like #resist

    happyfeet (28a91b) — 9/24/2017 @ 8:01 am

    That’s the dirty laundry stacking up in your bedroom, happyfeet.

    Bill H (383c5d)

  15. maybe but i still think this post is very resisty especially when you reflect how way more conservative President Trump has governed than we ever could have expected from a pervert like Mitt Romney or from lying war hero trash like John McCain

    (not to even mention the George W. Bush fiasco)

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  16. 11 – AZBob: re academia: exactly.

    5 Beldar: I also am a conservative who refused to vote for Trump. I have critizlcized him repeatedly since he first joined the race. I never once in here was called a cuck or told I had to “applaud ” Trump or been told my name was “noticed”.

    It has to be said again that the cult of the herd is currently best exhibited on college campuses and lefty “thought” ennlaves…..but it’s spreading.

    harkin (fc9aef)

  17. Just curious harkin..did you go Lib or Green?

    Ben burn (dc0ec1)

  18. happyfeet (28a91b) — 9/24/2017 @ 8:01 am

    This is the face a child makes when presented a spoonful of medicine, before the medicine is taken.

    felipe (023cc9)

  19. blech

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  20. harkin (166824) — 9/24/2017 @ 8:11 am

    That is not what P is doing. It is merely what you are claiming he is doing.

    felipe (023cc9)

  21. maybe but i still think this post is very resisty especially when you reflect how way more conservative President Trump has governed than we ever could have expected from a pervert like Mitt Romney or from lying war hero trash like John McCain

    I think you’re missing the point, happyfeet. This post isn’t about resistance, it is about a warning to beware of a cult of personality. Something you need to understand is people like myself accepted Trumps win the first Wednesday in November last year. That doesn’t mean we gave up our right to speak against him. It also doesn’t preclude me from praising him or congratulating him on a win or a job well done. I am, however going to stop applauding whenever I feel like it.

    Bill H (383c5d)

  22. 3.To offset the human tendency to bull-up I encourage everyone to avoid the habit of pride in ignorant purity. Read something you may not agree with.
    Ben burn (dc0ec1) — 9/24/2017 @ 8:09 am

    We do. We read you.

    10.Leaders like Obama and Trump come and go. Corrupt bureaucrats and elected officials are forever. Someday our children and grandchildren will fix it.
    crazy (d99a88) — 9/24/2017 @ 8:57 am

    Someday our children and grandchildren will replace them. FIFY.

    Rev.Hoagie® (6bbda7)

  23. i’m not a big applauder either but i sure do like how President Trump’s been doing stuff

    i probably don’t say it often enough

    but i really love him

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  24. Seems the pattern more often, is first to denounce, I think he has strayed watered down his promises and some of his appointees have done re the Iran deal, and I’ve that point clear, the clarity of his stance on Islamic extremism, but then one sees this foolish caterwalling about the very mild sauce of a temporary ban, which some like that judge in the 3rd circuit clearly understood the events in londonblSt week, the provocAtion in Charlottesville and this grishenko maskirovna that has occupied better part of a year

    narciso (98b563)

  25. I should add read ‘with open mind’ hoagie.

    Ben burn (dc0ec1)

  26. 17 –” Just curious harkin..did you go Lib or Green?

    I only cast my vote for a candidate I deem fit for office so do the math.

    20 – Felipe – fair enough but that’s how I read it. Comparing the cult of personality that was everywhere in media and the public when Chairman Zero was president to that of a guy being roundly rejected and hated by a HUGE majority of media and public is a joke.

    If not, I guess that’s why so many in the NFL are afraid to kneel….I mean that’s the equivalent of ceasing the applause first right?

    harkin (fc9aef)

  27. i’m not a big applauder either but i sure do like how President Trump’s been doing stuff

    i probably don’t say it often enough

    but i really love him

    happyfeet (28a91b) — 9/24/2017 @ 9:34 am

    And it’s OK by me. You are allowed to do that. Not because I say so, but that’s how our system works. I’m at the opposite end- I rather dislike him.

    Discounting Maxine Waters’ continued cowardly calls for impeachment (she’s a member of the House- she should step up and specify charges), we’ll see come 2020 what happens.

    Bill H (383c5d)

  28. “I only cast my vote for a candidate I deem fit for office so do the math.”

    Hillary? Write in? You really got me curious.

    Ben burn (dc0ec1)

  29. Shirley, you didn’t leave blank?

    Blank would be most qualified.

    Ben burn (dc0ec1)

  30. 28 – NOTA

    harkin (fc9aef)

  31. If not, I guess that’s why so many in the NFL are afraid to kneel….I mean that’s the equivalent of ceasing the applause first right?
    harkin (fc9aef) — 9/24/2017 @ 9:42 am

    No, it isn’t. Long before Colin got it in his head to protest the National Anthem because of his mistaken understanding that the “slaves” in one verse was a reference to African slaves, one could observe people sitting during the National Anthem.

    Why do you assign “fear” to those who stand? To disagree is to fear? Do you read hearts?

    felipe (023cc9)

  32. this post smells like #resist

    Where can I get an explanation of that code? felipe? Beldar? I have not been able to make it work on Chrome on a Mac.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  33. Btw Solzhenitsyn perhaps because of the whirlwind that summer’s unleashed was a supporter of putin.

    narciso (48ecae)

  34. I think what Patterico is talking about is happening right now in academia.

    I do too, AZ Bob. There are certainly examples in this country of the sort of cultish thinking that rejects all wrongthink and has people looking at each other uneasily — as everyone says, with a rather desperate look on their face, that of course they agree with this thing being said . . . that many of them actually believe is twaddle.

    That this has not resulted in a totalitarian government or mass extermination of people by the millions is no reason not to be on guard. Because yes: we see human beings here engaged in many of the same behaviors.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  35. My friend clarice has tackled the deep state from the first successful watergate appeal (the subject passed away last year) to via having covered up the admission of war criminals as state policy, under the lodge act

    narciso (48ecae)

  36. I’ve read Gulag Archipelago many times. One of the recurring themes is how normal people do horrible things to each other, out of fear or envy or just going along. “The line between good and evil runs through every human heart.”

    That line jumped out at me, Frederick. I think you’re exactly right.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  37. 31 -turn up the sarc meter. Trump had a chance to inject reason and truth to the kneeling fad and instead poured gas on it.

    The players and their herders who were calling for Nov. to be ‘Social Justice Month’ in the NFL were being ignored – Trump breathed life into their ridiculous cause. His comments were the best they could have hoped for.

    harkin (fc9aef)

  38. Is there any publication or news outlet that doesn’t start with the two minute hate, from the today show to whoever replaced ferguson, at least half the time their premise is entity wrong. And conversely Mueller and specially comey are exalted despite their ethical and perhaps criminal lapses.

    narciso (c9924e)

  39. Btw Solzhenitsyn perhaps because of the whirlwind that summer’s unleashed was a supporter of putin.

    Yes. Solzhenitsyn died in August 2008, three months before Sergei Magnitsky was arrested. But the writing was on the wall regarding the type of ruler would be by the time Solzhenitsyn and Putin met. Murders and oppression and thuggish tactics were known to be Putin’s currency by then. Yes, I still like to think that if Solzhenitsyn had lived another decade, the picture would have been so clear that Solzhenitsyn would have rejected Putin. But Kasparov had Putin figured out in 2007, so this may be wishful thinking on my part.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  40. Probably worth mentioning that while Solzhenitsyn was a brave opponent of totalitarianism, he did not believe in “liberty” as we use the word, and he did not, to my knowledge, publicly condemn Putin when given opening to do so.

    For example, this interview in Spiegel, when asked why he’d accepted an award from Putin’s government:

    “Vladimir Putin — yes, he was an officer of the intelligence services, but he was not a KGB investigator, nor was he the head of a camp in the gulag. As for service in foreign intelligence, that is not a negative in any country — sometimes it even draws praise. George Bush Sr. was not much criticized for being the ex-head of the CIA, for example….

    ..Putin inherited a ransacked and bewildered country, with a poor and demoralized people. And he started to do what was possible — a slow and gradual restoration. These efforts were not noticed, nor appreciated, immediately. In any case, one is hard pressed to find examples in history when steps by one country to restore its strength were met favorably by other governments.”

    Frederick (a81afc)

  41. Our host asked, “Where can I get an explanation of that code? felipe? Beldar?”

    I don’t know javascript, but I’ll try. Some diagnosis first:

    I assume you’ve already tried the routine described here. Were you able to create, name, and save a new bookmark? Were you able to copy the script into the text field where the URL would appear if you were trying to edit that bookmark?

    Are you viewing the blog, perhaps, through some “View Blog” or “Preview” function in your software that you use to create and edit blog posts? If you were able to create a bookmark that seems to have the script pasted into its URL field, try this: Open an incognito window (CTRL+Shift+N by default in Chrome, at least on Windows, but thru Chrome settings if that doesn’t work). Navigate to your blog and to a particular post so that everyone’s comments are being displayed. Then click on the bookmark again. (I’m just trying to rule out causes that might be related to your presumed “super-user privileges” as Master and Commander Second Only to God for this blog, but that’s a wild guess on my part.)

    If you have any more specifics you can supply regarding your attempts and the non-results, perhaps those might provide a hint. Or perhaps one of the several commenters who know more about javascript and/or browsers can suggest something.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  42. Would that were so, but these maladroit overpaid underperforming layabout process their virtue like a creed is we forget ‘ hand up don’t shoot ‘already, conversely a support for law enforcement might earn you physical duress, shirley.

    narciso (c9924e)

  43. Browder didn’t catch on after khodojorsky and berezovsky, I guess it depends on whose ox is being fired.

    Perhaps the focus on skadden will make one see the folly of Mueller, who waller has pointed out how woeful counterintelligence was on his watch.

    narciso (c9924e)

  44. @ harkin (#37): We agree certainly on the cynicism that is being exhibited by those who are quite deliberately pouring gasoline on the “take a knee” debate. I imagine this conversation took place at the White House last week:

    TRUMP: Did you find me an issue that the public opinion polls show a huge break on? Something north of 70%, something very current.

    KELLIANNE: The Reuters poll conducted on September 6-12 has this, Mr. Trump: “72 percent of Americans said that they thought Kaepernick’s behavior was unpatriotic. Another 61 percent said that they do not ‘support the stance Colin Kaepernick is taking and his decision not to stand during the national anthem.'”

    TRUMP: That’ll do. I’ll use that in Birmingham.

    If the numbers had been reversed — if 72% of Americans thought Kaepernick’s behavior was patriotic — Trump would have sung the hymn in that key instead.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  45. (Link re the poll quote, sorry.)

    Beldar (fa637a)

  46. Kasparov had Putin figured out in 2007

    Kasparov is a chess player. A musician would be more reliable.

    Kevin M (752a26)

  47. Another point since property records are public, it should be fairly easy to identify where the prevezon cash went seeing as two were renaissance capital and hsbc, but those resources don’t seem to be employed, which makes the whole exercise seem dubious.

    narciso (c9924e)

  48. 44 – “If the numbers had been reversed — if 72% of Americans thought Kaepernick’s behavior was patriotic — Trump would have sung the hymn in that key instead.”

    I can’t go that far. Although Felipe thinks I can, I cannot see what’s in people’s hearts. Trump didn’t follow the consensus on CAGW so I will give him the benefit of the doubt here.

    Just when I was about to wish that Ted Cruz would be the one responding to the NFL kneelers….I remembered his ham-handed comment on New York values……conservatism sorely needs a spokesperson who can engender positive, productive thought while being called a nazi.

    harkin (fc9aef)

  49. I just went to the Java site and ran a test to see if Javascript was downloaded/enabled/working on my computer and got this message:

    “The Chrome browser does not support NPAPI plug-ins and therefore will not run all Java content. Switch to a different browser (Internet Explorer or Safari on Mac) to run the Java plug-in. More info”

    I don’t think I am so motivated to make this work that I am willing to abandon Chrome over it.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  50. Today, two games started at 10AM on TV in LA. CBS & Fox. Both networks intentionally obscured who was kneeling and who was standing, although there seemed to be a black/white divergence.

    The crowd was quiet (or muted), the stands seemed full (New England and Philly), and nobody was walking out.

    Kevin M (752a26)

  51. Kasparov had Putin figured out in 2007

    Kasparov is a chess player. A musician would be more reliable.

    I don’t follow. He’s a little more than a chess player. How much do you know about him? My knowledge of him is largely based on reading his book “Winter Is Coming.”

    Patterico (115b1f)

  52. Patterico: Java and Javascript are unrelated.

    Kevin M (752a26)

  53. @Kevin M:Kasparov is a chess player.

    Kasparov also happens to hold some very nutty ideas. That he’s good at chess doesn’t make smart about everything, that he’s perceptive about Putin doesn’t mean he’s not taken in by others.

    “The New Chronology is a pseudohistorical theory which argues that the conventional chronology of Middle Eastern and European history is fundamentally flawed, and that events attributed to the civilizations of the Roman Empire, Ancient Greece and Ancient Egypt actually occurred during the Middle Ages, more than a thousand years later. The central concepts of the New Chronology are derived from the ideas of Russian scholar Nikolai Morozov (1854–1946), although work by French scholar Jean Hardouin (1646–1729) can be viewed as an earlier predecessor. However, the New Chronology is most commonly associated with Russian mathematician Anatoly Fomenko (born 1945), although published works on the subject are actually a collaboration between Fomenko and several other mathematicians. The concept is most fully explained in History: Fiction or Science?, originally published in Russian.

    The New Chronology also contains a reconstruction, an alternative chronology, radically shorter than the standard historical timeline, because all ancient history is “folded” onto the Middle Ages. According to Fomenko’s claims, the written history of humankind goes only as far back as AD 800, there is almost no information about events between AD 800–1000, and most known historical events took place in AD 1000–1500.”

    Frederick (a81afc)

  54. There’s an actual thread to discuss the #TAKEAKNEE!!!! stuff. Can you guys take that discussion there, please?

    Patterico (115b1f)

  55. I knew a lot of chess players at college. Odds are you would rather your daughter married a rock musician.

    Kevin M (752a26)

  56. @Patterico: I think Beldar is using Chrome. I use Vivaldi and to get the script to run requires some extra steps there.

    Frederick (a81afc)

  57. Patterico: Java and Javascript are unrelated.

    They are? I did not know that. So how do I test whether I have, on this computer and this browser, what I need to make this script work?

    Patterico (115b1f)

  58. 8. Patricia (5fc097) — 9/24/2017 @ 8:48 am

    You can see this phenomena when you look at videos of audiences cheering for the NORK dictator. They look like a bunch of bad extras all clapping at once and grinning. No one wants to be the first one to stop.

    I think that’s all choreographed, precisely so that they don’t run into the situation described in Chapter Two of Part I of Gulag Archipelago!!

    I think the North Korean propaganda drectorss, though, don’t realize how implausible it is for some of the praise and clapping to be spontaneous and genuine. The Khmer Rouge had a similar problem. It gets really implausible when you have young children – 8 years old or so – echoing propaganda.

    Incidentally, I read Part II first, and I don’t think I read the other two parts completely. The Gulag Archipelago is also worth studying (and reading) for how to translate something – you keep alot of unusual terms and explain them in footnotes. You don’t really have to use too many.

    Sammy Finkelman (ff268d)

  59. Apparently, Netscape licensed the “Java” name for its scripting language to get on the Java bandwagon in ’95. They were intended to be complementary (script vs compiled language) but came from two entirely different lineages.

    Kevin M (752a26)

  60. From here. Click Beldar’s Tutorial. It’s a comment. Then leave this page alone so you refer back to it as you follow the directions. Open a new tab for the rest of what you do. Follow Beldar’s instructions scrupulously.

    nk (dbc370)

  61. The Khmer Rouge had a similar problem. It gets really implausible when you have young children – 8 years old or so – echoing propaganda.

    I dunno. Have you seen the Obama election sing-alongs?

    Kevin M (752a26)

  62. @ Patterico (#57): Your Chrome browser definitely already knows how to use, and constantly uses, javascript already in displaying any of the websites you regularly visit. Whatever the problem is, that’s not it.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  63. Frederick,

    That is interesting. Your comment implies that Kasparov subscribes to the most radical aspect of the “New Chronology” — “that events attributed to the civilizations of the Roman Empire, Ancient Greece and Ancient Egypt actually occurred during the Middle Ages, more than a thousand years later.” I know better than to accept Wikipedia at face value, but it is often right about politically uncontroversial things, and it describes that aspect of the New Chronology as a “reconstruction”:

    The New Chronology also contains a reconstruction, an alternative chronology, radically shorter than the standard historical timeline, because all ancient history is “folded” onto the Middle Ages.

    I highlight this because according to the same Wikipedia article, Kasparov does not in fact subscribe to that aspect of the theory:

    Fomenko’s historical ideas have been universally rejected by mainstream scholars, who brand them as pseudoscience,[34] but were popularized by former world chess champion Garry Kasparov.[35][36][37] Billington writes that the theory “might have quietly blown away in the wind tunnels of academia” if not for Kasparov’s writing in support of it in the magazine Ogoniok.[38] Kasparov met Fomenko during the 1990s, and found that Fomenko’s conclusions concerning certain subjects were identical to his own regarding the popular view (which is not the view of academics) that art and culture died during the Dark Ages and were not revived until the Renaissance. Kasparov also felt it illogical that the Romans and the Greeks living under the banner of Byzantium could fail to use the mounds of scientific knowledge left them by Ancient Greece and Rome, especially when it was of urgent military use. However, Kasparov does not support the reconstruction part of the New Chronology.[39]

    That seems like a fairly significant point, if true, and would take most of the force out of your critique of him as someone who believes in nutty ideas.

    I don’t really have the motivation to go research the finer points of exactly to what extent Kasparov believes in this theory. I just wanted to bring to your attention a link that, if true, shows your comment to be misleading (I’m not saying you intended that). If you are intent on suggesting that Kasparov actually believes in a revision of the historical timeline, the burden is going to be on you to provide more evidence of that than you have.

    In any event, I can admire Kasparov without thinking him infallible. He’s far more eager to get the U.S. engaged in military conflicts than I am, for example.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  64. By “this page” I mean the page you got when you clicked the link I gave you above. The one that has Beldar’s Tutorial/Comment. So you can refer to the directions at will.

    nk (dbc370)

  65. what Patterico is talking about is happening right now in academia.

    I think it’s starting to happen right now in the National Football League, with even some owners who are friendly with Trump being pushed into condemning him. (as opposed to merely disagreeing with him)

    BTW, Beldar, Trump seems to be going in the opposite direction from Flag football rules – he’s complaining that the NFL is doing too much to avoid injury to their players. He gave a riff about that at the rally for Luther Strange. It probably won’t get the Moore voters to switch.

    Trump, as quoted by the New York Times Sunday:

    Today if you hit too hard
    — 15 yards! Throw him out of the game! They’re ruining the game. That’s what they want to do. They want to hit. They want to hit! It’s hurting the game

    I don’t think Donald Trump is such a big tradional football fan, but he may think some people in Alabama are! And that
    they disproportinately are inclined to vote for Roy Moore.

    Sammy Finkelman (ff268d)

  66. Puttin was doing, or seemed to be doing, everything Alexander Solzhenitsyn advised in his 1974 “Letter to the Soviet Leaders”: (except possibly for enmity to China, but that wasn’t obvious in the mid 00’s.) g

    It was a dictatorship, without Marxism, without persecution of religion and without travel restrictions. The only thing, in effect, that would be left was the KGB.

    But I don’t think that’s what Alexander Solzhenitsyn actually wanted, although he was quite the Russian nationalist. It was written ti rulers, about their self-interest.

    Sammy Finkelman (ff268d)

  67. 62.

    Kasparov also felt it illogical that the Romans and the Greeks living under the banner of Byzantium could fail to use the mounds of scientific knowledge left them by Ancient Greece and Rome, especially when it was of urgent military use.

    They had “Greek fire” which the ancient Greeks and Romans did not have (and which was lost afterwards) and which provided a pretty solid defense and made offense somewhat unnecessary, AND you can’t learn militarty techniques and engineering from books.

    They also had tremendous economic regulations – byzantine in fact you could say – that prevent almost anything that was not the status quo from being undertaken.

    Sammy Finkelman (ff268d)

  68. 61. The Khmrer Rouge pretended what the children said were honest opinions and worth paying attention to.

    Sammy Finkelman (ff268d)

  69. @Patterico:. I just wanted to bring to your attention a link that, if true, shows your comment to be misleading (I’m not saying you intended that)

    Did you look at the other link I included, that was NOT Wikipedia, which has direct quotes from Kasparov, where he’s expressed varying and equivocal levels of acceptance of these theories?

    Yes, when directly challenged he has sometimes said that he doesn’t except everything put forth by them, and sometimes retreats to “it’s good that they’re asking these questions”.

    Frederick (a81afc)

  70. By the time Constantinople fell, gunpowder weapons, including cannons, had been in use for at least 100 years. New science.

    nk (dbc370)

  71. @Patterico:I can admire Kasparov without thinking him infallible.

    That is my own attitude. And the same with Solzhenitsyn’s remarks on Putin. I can admire him, but he wasn’t infallible.

    I will be interested to see what you think of Solzhenitsyn’s time as a camp informer. That’s in Gulag Archipelago, Book III I think.

    Frederick (a81afc)

  72. Did you look at the other link I included, that was NOT Wikipedia, which has direct quotes from Kasparov, where he’s expressed varying and equivocal levels of acceptance of these theories?

    I did! I saw quotes like this: “I do not advocate Fomenko and Nosovsky’s theory.” Or, while praising some of the points Fomenko had made, nevertheless said: “the hypotheses and reconstructions put forward by the authors can be challenged in some respects.” It sounds like what Wikipedia said. He does not accept the reconstruction but is intrigued by some of their arguments. I believe your comment suggested he did accept the reconstruction, and to the extent you did, I think that’s unfair to him.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  73. When does Pavlov enter into the equation?

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  74. 68… which political party does that bring to mind, Sammy?

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  75. Yes, when directly challenged he has sometimes said that he doesn’t except everything put forth by them, and sometimes retreats to “it’s good that they’re asking these questions”.

    That’s a little different from the implication of your first comment, which I thought suggested that he fully subscribed to this theory in every respect.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  76. Re Fomenko and Nosovsky: Anti-religion arguments in the 19th centiry used to attribute many things from religion to originating in “the Middle Ages” so this kind of thing may be a bit older than those two. It;s still used a litttle in arguments.

    But should be much less plauaible than then. I mean, we’ve got ooins, and some manuscripts. Of course, in time, we would on;y have verbal testimony for them.

    Sammy Finkelman (ff268d)

  77. What century was it God sent the Black Plague, Sammy?

    Ben burn (dc0ec1)

  78. I don’t think Donald Trump is such a big tradional football fan, but he may think some people in Alabama are! And that
    they disproportinately are inclined to vote for Roy Moore.

    Trump was an original owner of a USFL football team.

    Mike K (b3dd19)

  79. Again, there is a new thread for the whole TAKE A KNEE thing. Please discuss that topic there.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  80. This one is reserved for a discussion of the phenomenon of cult followings of political leaders a discussion of whether Garry Kasparov believes in a nutty alternate version of history.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  81. To supplement my comment from a few days ago with instructions, along with screen captures of the editing process and the results:

    Here is a link to a 2:12-length .mp4 video that I just made to demonstrate the process of downloading, editing, and then creating a bookmark containing the script file using Windows 10 on a Chrome browser. You can either download this video file to your computer (right-click and choose “save link as”) and then play using your regular media player, or else (probably) right-click and open in a new tab to play instead in your browser. Hope this helps. If it’s confusing, specify how and I’ll try to improve it.

    (In the prior instructions I mis-remembered the variable. It’s not (as I said in the comment) “user1,” “user2,” etc., but rather “name1,” “name2,” etc. I hope that’s not the source of anyone’s confusion.)

    Beldar (fa637a)

  82. One of the heroes in solzhenutsyns red wheel series was stolypin, only the first two volumes were translated, he strongly suggests inthe second volume if stolypin had lived, (he was nurxered by a social revolutionary begaev (six) who was under surveillance of the okrana, one might have avoided the revolution. This is counter to the view that king holds in 1963, re our own time of troubles, he posits the civil rights bill might nit have passed, yet would have happened anyways, and things degenerate from there (he borrows liberally from grimwoods replay)

    narciso (d1f714)

  83. @55. Bingo. And a self-consumed self-promoter as well. Not that there’s anything wrong w/that but certainly not a singular source of wisdom on a window into Vlad.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  84. Well damn. Blew a link, the one to the video. Trying again:

    To supplement my comment from a few days ago with instructions, along with screen captures of the editing process and the results:

    Here is a link to a 2:12-length .mp4 video that I just made to demonstrate the process of downloading, editing, and then creating a bookmark containing the script file using Windows 10 on a Chrome browser. You can either download this video file to your computer (right-click and choose “save link as”) and then play using your regular media player, or else (probably) right-click and open in a new tab to play instead in your browser. Hope this helps. If it’s confusing, specify how and I’ll try to improve it.

    (In the prior instructions I mis-remembered the variable. It’s not (as I said in the comment) “user1,” “user2,” etc., but rather “name1,” “name2,” etc. I hope that’s not the source of anyone’s confusion.)

    Beldar (fa637a)

  85. It worked! It worked!

    Happyfeet Blocked

    Patterico (115b1f)

  86. Ben burn may get the treatment next, just because he posts so dang much.

    I think I’ll do a post about this and permalink it on the sidebar.

    I did notice the error about name1 vs. user1 but that was not hard to figure out. I can replicate those instructions while fixing that error and use Beldar’s video. Thanks for all the time you put into this, Beldar.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  87. Ben burn, I find some things you say thought-provoking. But you have to calm down.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  88. As I’ve said previously, the thanks go to felipe and before him, to milhouse, but you’re very welcome. This gizmo has absolutely improved my experience here.

    You & your co-bloggers can still ride herd, doing your moderator schtick to whatever degree you deem appropriate, which may sometimes require not using the script blocker. But the script blocker frankly reduces IMHO the need to closely moderate, given that legally (under the DMCA and otherwise) you’re not responsible for nor deemed to be promoting the idiocy posted by some commenters here.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  89. The time I and others have spent is a compliment to your blog and the many commenters here with whom I do enjoy engaging in worthwhile conversations. I’ve already gotten a many-fold return on that time, and will continue to profit by its expenditure.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  90. yes yes the blocker thingy is so nice it cuts down on a lot of whining to where the comments are more focused and enjoyable

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  91. Beldar (fa637a) — 9/24/2017 @ 12:56 pm

    I missed a lot! Thanks Beldar, for doing all the heavy lifting. Patterico’s screenshot in 9/24/2017 @ 1:03 pm is most gratifying. I am excited for him, and I hope he does permalink the code for all commenters here. I think it to be a great way to keep the peace.

    felipe (023cc9)

  92. Honestly, when the person who created the website and works hard (and pays money) to keep it up has to “derez” specific commenters…well, that’s a sad world. If I was commenting on someone else’s site, and the person who created that site did not care for the cut of my jib…well, I would find somewhere else to post, or change my ways.

    This isn’t a First Amendment issue. It’s Patterico’s site.

    But then, trolls post for reasons entirely different from Patterico’s.

    Simon Jester (c8876d)

  93. And I agree that comments tend to be more focused as a result.

    felipe (023cc9)

  94. I warned what a gardenslug Ben was , but does one ‘listen to zathras’. No one doesnt, when we have the left, well Samuel Jackson shows he wasnt acting in kingsman, just being on point,

    narciso (d1f714)

  95. So, how is Kingsman2, narciso?

    felipe (023cc9)

  96. “Ben burn may get the treatment next, just because he posts so dang much.”

    Ben burn, I find some things you say thought-provoking. But you have to calm down”

    Please elucidate the proper protocols.

    Ben burn (dc0ec1)

  97. Obamacare Repeal Officially Dead After Cruz Says No

    Cruz and McCain all up in it together good lord

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  98. Haven’t seen it will wait till VCR, hoping blade rumner wont be dissapointment

    narciso (d1f714)

  99. No disrespect intended but your lack of responses to my posts indicated disinterest and I strive for clarity of expression/comprehension.

    Ben burn (dc0ec1)

  100. Trump was an original owner of a USFL football team.
    Could be wrong, but if memory serves, he went the USFL route because he couldn’t secure a NFL ownership/partnership at the time. The other owners weren’t keen on letting him into their ‘club.’

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  101. Patterico, for your sidebar version, I recall the following points being made, usefully, in other comments since I posted, and you might want to include some or all of this info:

    As you learned today and someone else here explained to me a few weeks ago, javascript isn’t the same as the Java app, and no one need download any software from Java or load any special extensions or apps in Chrome. This script is just using your browser’s built-in command set for how it’s supposed to display web pages, but it probably does need some tweaking for browsers other than Google Chrome.

    Commenter JoeH noted that the script is not case-sensitive, so “Ben Burn,” “Ben burn,” and “ben burn” will all work.

    Also it works with embedded blanks and punctuation, such as with “Q! bert.”

    One of the errors I made repeatedly when I was trying to get this working was trying to paste the edited script into the browser’s main URL field, on the assumption that so doing would essentially be the same thing as clicking a bookmark with the script saved in the bookmark’s URL field. That doesn’t work at all; it has to be in a bookmark.

    And you might also want to include a warning/explanation that the newly created bookmark must again be clicked, and the script thereby again run, after every page re-load. Thus, if you leave a comment on a page, when you hit “Submit Comment” that will also re-load the whole page, so any previously hidden comments will suddenly re-appear.

    If you want to read any particular blocked comment, just left-click anywhere on that comment and it will toggle back and forth from hidden to revealed.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  102. @91. Mr. Feet: in the 50’s they build bomb shelters and felt secure; today they construct echo chambers for same. It’s a passing fad. Do you still hula-hoop?

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  103. I find no pleasure in blocking ideas inconvenient, but then, I’m a hairpin with function.

    Ben burn (dc0ec1)

  104. i don’t hula hoop no mores but it’s one of the best noises ever, that noise what that little bead or whatever inside there makes

    it sounds like america

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  105. Please elucidate the proper protocols.

    Fewer comments?

    Patterico (115b1f)

  106. Also re your sidebar: You’re welcome to use the links I’ve used — which go to TypePad’s servers and my blog’s storage space, and which will therefore be up and available as long as I have breath and coin to pay TypePad and they’re still in business — or to re-save those on your own server space and edit the link URLs appropriately. You’re likewise welcome to use or revise anything I’ve made or written about this, including code, text, photos, and videos.

    If you’d like me to re-do the video after you post your sidebar — but using your sidebar post as the background — I’d be happy to do that and either post or email you the resulting .mp4 file.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  107. 98, Cruz might have slit his own throat. If there’s some sort of Dacamonster bill, I bet you Trumps gonna offer ORourke the second billing.

    urbanleftbehind (b003da)

  108. Yes. Fewer comments. How much Fewer? Is there a formula? It seems appropriate for a di*less commenter to ask.

    Ben burn (dc0ec1)

  109. @108. He thinks so much of himself, he’s likely believes he’s going to primary Trump and succeed. He’ll start his preaching by quoting ‘Reagan.’ That should wow the masses in 2020.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  110. There is no formula.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  111. All I can say is I will post as infrequently as I need to.

    Ben burn (dc0ec1)

  112. @112. Suggestion: discern the difference between ‘need’ and ‘want.’

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  113. Also re your sidebar: You’re welcome to use the links I’ve used — which go to TypePad’s servers and my blog’s storage space, and which will therefore be up and available as long as I have breath and coin to pay TypePad and they’re still in business — or to re-save those on your own server space and edit the link URLs appropriately. You’re likewise welcome to use or revise anything I’ve made or written about this, including code, text, photos, and videos.

    If you’d like me to re-do the video after you post your sidebar — but using your sidebar post as the background — I’d be happy to do that and either post or email you the resulting .mp4 file.

    I seem to get errors when I try to upload the text file.

    The video is likely to take up more of your bandwidth. Let me see if I can figure out how to upload that.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  114. The video is now linked to my site and not yours, Beldar.

    Let me work on that text file one more time…

    Patterico (115b1f)

  115. Nope, for the text file I keep getting this message:

    “Sorry, this file type is not permitted for security reasons.”

    One more thing I can try is to create a page with the text. I just don’t know if it will allow me to. Let me try.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  116. Nope. Won’t work. Not sure if this is possible with WordPress. Odd.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  117. My blog’s bandwidth is still flat-fee, so neither the video nor the text file cost me anything out of pocket, don’t worry about that.

    No idea about why the text file won’t save, although it’s possible, in general, to embed malicious code in such files (as is also true of .pdfs, for example), so you may indeed be bumping into some sort of WordPress protocol. Maybe there’s a work-around; you could ask your webmonkey guys.

    Beldar (fa637a)

  118. different strokes for different folks I guess,

    http://ntknetwork.com/mnuchin-nfl-wouldnt-let-dallas-honor-fallen-cops-lets-players-disrespect-flag/

    and it’s on goldstar mothersday to boot,

    narciso (d1f714)

  119. 113

    Eh?

    Ben burn (dc0ec1)

  120. Please elucidate the proper protocols.

    Ben burn (dc0ec1) — 9/24/2017 @ 1:27 pm

    Remember the old saying, Ben: “When all you have is a ban hammer…..” :)

    Bill H (383c5d)

  121. @120. Ben, there is a difference between what you need to say as opposed to what you want to say. If we all said what we truly wanted to say we’d all be banned in a day. So suggest you chose your words and make your point as needed. If you meander out of the lines, Mister P. will let you know. We’ve all done that from time to time. He’s a good egg about that and over the years, has mostly encouraged a good mix of commentary — and kept it fun.

    I’ve been participating on this blog on and off now for a decade or so– even had a few comments lifted to a posting position. And been most decidely in the minority, taking more flack from the dedicated Right when they’re wrong than the 8th AF did over Germany. It’s never been much of a bother. Even been banned a time or two in heated exchanges, but more importantly, even w/a scrolling function, there isn’t a single commenter I’ve ever felt the need to block nor cheered the capability to do so.

    Not one.

    Sure, Mr. Feet is saucy seasoning for this stew; Haiku a tasty challenge to chew on and Beldar is, well, akin to spooning cold porridge and a bit of a ‘belch-dar’ to digest, but still a reasonable read. But unlike him– and a few others, I see no need to gleefully block others. That speaks more about them than anything they could every post to persuade with discussion and argument. It’s an element of frustration- or desperation; perhaps fear, maybe ego, but certainly a desire to preach to a choir who’ll respond in same and claim affirmation from all– in an echo chamber.

    If they pitch 1+1=11, simply post ‘nyet,’ 1+1=2… and leave it at that.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  122. Point taken DC.

    Ben burn (dc0ec1)

  123. @124. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xJz9dLyRI8

    Remember, Dr. Zaius hid from the truth because he feared it.

    His porridge is getting cold, too. 😉

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  124. There’s no echo chamber. The trolls want to think so.

    You can disagree in a way that doesn’t make people want to block you. If people block you because they’re jerks, that’s their loss.

    But trolls don’t want to engage, they want to disrupt, and that’s why they can’t tolerate the thought of people blocking them without them knowing it, and that’s why they hit this “echo chamber” note.

    You have to renew the block every time you click, so if a troll stopped being a troll people would stop blocking him–if he hadn’t already exhausted everyone’s patience and good will.

    Frederick (a81afc)

  125. What is the cookie Cochrane ratio.

    narciso (d1f714)

  126. This is what I was referring to earlier:

    https://souloftheeast.org/2011/09/07/solzhenitsyn-stolypins-murder/

    Bekys peterberg has a slightly more jaundiced view of the matter, one anarchist attacker is the son of a czarist interior official, modeled on ignatiev or pobestdenev

    narciso (d1f714)

  127. @narcisco:What is the cookie Cochrane ratio.

    Typically 30-40% of every thread. Add in happyfeet, for balance, and you get like 50-60%.

    The blocking script has been around for a long time, but there wasn’t that much interest until these three started crapping up the threads.

    Frederick (a81afc)

  128. @129. ‘These three’…

    ???

    “I have here a list of two hundred seven persons who are known by the Secretary of Defense as being members of the Communist Party!” – Sen. John Yerkes Iselin [James Gregory] ‘The Manchurian Candidate’ 1962

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  129. @126. Except there is one under construction.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  130. @DCSCA: The Manchurian Candidate? Really?

    Why would a Wookiee, an 8-foot-tall Wookiee, want to live on Endor with a bunch of 2-foot-tall Ewoks? That does not make sense! But more important, you have to ask yourself: “What does this have to do with this case?” Nothing.

    Ladies and gentlemen, it has nothing to do with this case! It does not make sense! Look at me, I’m a lawyer defending a major record company, and I’m talkin’ about Chewbacca. Does that make sense? Ladies and gentlemen, I am not making any sense! None of this makes sense! And so you have to remember, when you’re in that jury room deliberating and conjugating the Emancipation Proclamation… does it make sense? No! Ladies and gentlemen of this supposed jury, it does not make sense! If Chewbacca lives on Endor, you must acquit! The defense rests.

    Frederick (a81afc)

  131. @126. Who’s trolling who? Ask yourself why these blockers need to build a wall when Patterico has created an elegant ‘living room’ on his alternative blog- ‘The Jury Talks Back’- where elevated dialogue is welcomed and encouraged, discourse is discreetly policed and proper etiquette is required [if you have no jacket or tie, the Management will provide them] for the self-ascribed loftier gas bags to vent? The answer is oblivious to some yet obvious to most.

    “New York abstains. Courteously.” – Lewis Morris [Howard Caine] ‘1776’ 1972

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  132. Stalin was a bird of a different feather. He did not bluff and bluster. He is reputed to have said: Death solves all problems. If a man is dead, he is not a problem.

    The Russians turned his murderous callousness into a funny parable. An “anecdote”:

    Stalin is giving a speech at an event. In the middle of his speech, somebody in the audience sneezes. Stalin stops and surveys the crowd.
    “Who sneezed?” he asks. Deathly silence.
    “I repeat,” says Stalin, “who sneezed?” Not a peep.
    Stalin says: “First row, stand up!” Everyone in the first row stands up. “Guards! Kill them!”
    The entire first row of the audience is gunned down.
    “Now, who sneezed?” Still no answer. “Second row, stand up! Guards! Open fire!” The second row breathes its last.
    “Again, who sneezed?” Absolute silence. “Third row! Stand up! Guards! Op….”
    “Wait! Wait!” From the sixth row a man stands up. “Please! Comrade Stalin! It was me. I sneezed.”
    And Stalin says: “Bless you, comrade!”

    nk (dbc370)

  133. He has a marathon man level of understanding, before. Weinstein and radosh, not to mention klehr and mitrokhin, the latter filled in the level of soviet penetration into the 80s

    narciso (d1f714)

  134. narciso (d1f714) — 9/24/2017 @ 12:59 pm

    (he borrows liberally from grimwoods replay) Grimwood;s book “Replay” does have an alternate history, in the rplay in which they go public, but Kennedy gets killed regardless, except not by Oswald – that’s just what he did in the book, although everything else can change Ken Grimwood just didn’t want to write about that)In later replays, the main character comes back later, after it is over. But he has Reagan getting elected in 1976 in one version, and acting somewhat likw Curtis Lemay or the worst miitary people in the 1950s.

    He ends the book with someone in Scandinavia in 2013 going back to 1988, but he never wrote that book. He was dead by 2013, although he probably wouldn’t have written the boon anyway.

    Sammy Finkelman (ff268d)

  135. @134. You have to give ‘Putin the Pest’ credit for projecting a global power perception from the flotsam of a wrecked superpower when he’s essentially of the ‘Oneoff Dynasty’ in what’s now a just regional power. Took him 20 years to build it all but he’s likely just past his peak as well. He’s 62, but if he dropped dead tomorrow– who’d pick up the reigns of power? Chances are Russia will likely not follow Putin’s path much further along but those old KGB habits die hard– but they are dying. The Russia of the next 10 to 20 years, post-Putin, has great potential and should be the one the West should be planning to deal with. Managing w/Vlad is dealing w/yesterday.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  136. Yeti was focusing on the dystopia angle,quadfafi is assassinated around q978, but one of successors form a group somewhat Like Al queda, Reagan confronts both khomeini and the Russians, in this new timeliness. This is all because someone was told quaddafi would be threat.

    narciso (d1f714)

  137. He sees himself like peter the great, in that era before the Swedish war, the Baltic were independent, Poland was a duchy of sorts and the caucasus and the eastern balkans were Ottoman, this is much the same sutuatuon with byelorussia and portions of Ukraine in Russian hands

    narciso (d1f714)

  138. 137. DCSCA (797bc0) — 9/24/2017 @ 6:31 pm

    The Russia of the next 10 to 20 years, post-Putin…should be the one the West should be planning to deal with. Managing w/Vlad is dealing w/yesterday. </blockquote. Post-Putin is the Russia after the next 10 to 20 years. I think so, too, hus successor is niot likely to be nterested in the sort of stuff Putin is. If a crook, will not be as competent and will be more interestedjust in retaining his gains. And to taht end might actually want more legality (for the future) That’s what all the oligarchs gravitate to,

    You can tell it is all over when they start revealing secrets. Like they sarted in the early 1990s.

    Sammy Finkelman (ff268d)

  139. The Chinese Communist regime also won’t be around in 2- years. They are now replacing their leaders every 10 years. Xi has no potential successor who is like him, and as, if things don’t change, only five more years to go.

    You might get worse han him, though. But it;ll be something new.

    Dictatorships, although stable in the short run, are fundamentally unstable over a 20 or 30 year period.

    Sammy Finkelman (ff268d)

  140. Historically as long a regime as putin of a hardline character, is followed by a so what more moderate one, Nicholas 1/alexander 2, Stalin/ malenkov kruschev, and Brezhnev chernenko/ Gorbachev.

    X’s successor is likely to be more nationalist, then again if the economy keeps unwinding Katie bar the door, what holds midern china together.

    narciso (d1f714)

  141. you are a liar. page please. i’m reading it too

    newrouter (c26eb6)

  142. Malenkov even though he was somewhat of a moderate was responsible fir the aocuret ptrigran which gave us sputnik and mad in reverse order.

    narciso (d1f714)

  143. Disagree that the Soviet clapping phenomenon was a personality cult. It was a way of showing power, the power of the leader to make you do stupid stuff and make you insist you would love to do even more of it.
    Sure,Stalin did it. But it doesn’t seem he needed the adulation as much as he wanted to make sure everybody knew their place…which was pretty low on any imaginable totem pole.

    Richard Aubrey (0d7df4)

  144. @140. You got it, Sammy. They’re quite nationalistic– a very proud people regardless of what we think of them. Can’t see them following Putin’s path after he’s gone and a change would be welcomed. Good for them; good f/t world.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  145. I was blessed to be educated before the New-Politics declared that every teacher was mandated to impose a Soviet-style conformity on their students. As a result, in addition to Animal Farm and Brave New World, I also read 1984 and Eighth Moon, by Bette Lord, in high school.

    About a year after graduation, while working in as a bookkeeper, I found a paperbook version of The Gulag Archipelago, and was from that time forward, inoculated against the rampaging Leftism of my time.

    One thing I am going to work on is collecting used books that oppose the mainstream Progressive/Leftist mindset, with the goal of distributing them, for free. My plan is to be the Johnny Appleseed of Conservative/Libertarian Thought. Perhaps some trees will sprout, but that’s up to God. My job is to spread the seeds.

    Linda Fox (d2932f)

  146. @Richard Aubrey:Sure,Stalin did it. But it doesn’t seem he needed the adulation

    Stalin wasn’t there. Nobody important was there. There wasn’t a directive to applaud and keep applauding. The sustained applauding was a spontaneous expression of fear of being seen as insufficiently pro-Stalin, because someone was going to report you, and probably someone who wanted your job or your apartment.

    Frederick (64d4e1)

  147. This is how it looks from the ground:

    https://www.theatlantic.com/photo/2017/09/disconnected-by-disasterphotos-from-a-battered-puerto-rico/540975

    Houston has a robust electrical grid. Florida had starengthened its grid, and all power was restored within about ten days (although not as fast as they kept on promising people who called up)

    Puerto Rico had acorrupt and mismanaged public electric utility that used the worst fuel, and even lied about what fuel it was using at one point – it used something even worse)

    Private companies, if they don’t control the government, are afraid of the politicians and the lawyers, and of going broke, and the people in charge of losing their jobs, and of the competition, if there is any. Politicians don’t seem to be so ready to criticize non-profitmaking institutions, lawyers don’t sue, they can’t go out of business, or so it it looks to the people in charge, and also there may be ways to convert some of teh authority into private oprofit or to use its resources or borrowing ability to help with something else. So that’s how Puerto Rico’s infrastructure got to be so bad and inadequate.

    http://www.npr.org/2015/05/07/403291009/power-problems-puerto-ricos-electric-utility-faces-crippling-debt

    All the electricity on the island is distributed by the government-owned Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, also known as PREPA. Power on the island costs more than in any U.S. state, except Hawaii….

    [That’s partly because of the Jones Act – it raises the cost of imported fuwl by some 20% or 30%. By the way the xost of electrricity there is still cheaper tahn New York City or Long Island – SF]

    ….After years of borrowing to cover budget deficits, the U.S. territory is more than $70 billion in debt. The biggest chunk of the debt, more than $9 billion, is owed by PREPA…

    …Nearly a third of PREPA’s accounts receive subsidized rates that require them to pay little or nothing. That includes many large users. City governments and hotels are officially exempt from paying.

    Maeso says others, including the schools and the island’s train system, simply don’t pay. The rest of PREPA’s customers pick up the tab…

    …After decades of mismanagement, for Puerto Rico’s power company, time has run out.

    It’s $9 billion in debt and now unable to make scheduled payments to creditors. It’s operating week to week under a series of temporary agreements with Wall Street firms. Some of those bondholders have said they want to raise rates.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  148. Probably worth mentioning that while Solzhenitsyn was a brave opponent of totalitarianism, he did not believe in “liberty” as we use the word, and he did not, to my knowledge, publicly condemn Putin when given opening to do so.

    For example, this interview in Spiegel, when asked why he’d accepted an award from Putin’s government:

    “Vladimir Putin — yes, he was an officer of the intelligence services, but he was not a KGB investigator, nor was he the head of a camp in the gulag. As for service in foreign intelligence, that is not a negative in any country — sometimes it even draws praise. George Bush Sr. was not much criticized for being the ex-head of the CIA, for example….

    ..Putin inherited a ransacked and bewildered country, with a poor and demoralized people. And he started to do what was possible — a slow and gradual restoration. These efforts were not noticed, nor appreciated, immediately. In any case, one is hard pressed to find examples in history when steps by one country to restore its strength were met favorably by other governments.”
    Frederick (a81afc) — 9/24/2017 @ 10:21 am

    Liberty as we use the term is an anachronism. So what? How much can I fault a guy undergoing the Soviet Gulag experience for not familiarizing himself with Edmund Burke?

    Steve57 (0b1dac)

  149. I’ve been following the series on Scientology, and it’s a perfect example of a group, based on a cult of personality, doing bad things to people, all in the name of good.

    ROCHF (877dba)

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