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Are Russian Bombers Flying Nuclear Drills Near Europe—Or Just Testing NATO’s Defenses? – The Daily Beast

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/10/30/are-russian-bombers-flying-nuclear-drills-near-europe-or-just-testing-nato-s-defenses.html

Putin ‘ s goal now is to prove that NATO is a fiction. He will provoke, and provoke, and provoke some more. Then he will strike. There will be no retaliation because NATO is US and US finds it almost impossible to strike blond, blue – eyed people.

And there are only 2 years left for Putin to make sure NATO falls apart and is revealed for a baseless fantasy it is.

Enough Already!

Andrew Cuomo Makes it Official: He’s at War With Teachers http://danielskatz.net/2014/10/31/andrew-cuomo-makes-it-official-hes-at-war-with-teachers

When will everybody just stop futzing with the stupid testing systems, teacher evaluations, test scores, common cores, NCLBs,  etc and realize that it’s a total waste of time? Teachers are fine. Testing systems are fine. The only problem is that they are asked to perform functions that are not theirs.

My Analysis of Putin’s Speech, Part V

Remember how well Putin’s speech started? He actually found the courage to talk about the collapse of the current state model and the profound changes the contemporary state is undergoing. Such a great introduction that was but it was only a huge red herring. All Putin wanted was to engage in his favorite game of US-bashing. And he doesn’t stop at blaming the expiration of the nation-state on. . . the United States!

Let’s ask ourselves, how comfortable are we with this, how safe are we, how happy living in this world, and how fair and rational has it become? Maybe, we have no real reasons to worry, argue and ask awkward questions? Maybe the United States’ exceptional position and the way they are carrying out their leadership really is a blessing for us all, and their meddling in events all around the world is bringing peace, prosperity, progress, growth and democracy, and we should maybe just relax and enjoy it all?

Let me say that this is not the case, absolutely not the case.

Putin is lucky in that he has somebody to blame for the developments of modern history. It’s very easy to choose a bugbear (or, in psychoanalytic terms, a shadow) and blame everything that goes wrong anywhere on the planet on that single evil figure. 

A unilateral diktat and imposing one’s own models produces the opposite result.

Let’s remember that “one’s own models” in Putin-speak refers specifically to representational democracy and individual rights. He is saying that they are not what everybody needs and it is unfair of Americans to push these values onto the people who have no interest in them.

My Analysis of Putin’s Speech, Part IV

Ready? Here goes:

In a situation where you had domination by one country and its allies, or its satellites rather, the search for global solutions often turned into an attempt to impose their own universal recipes.

We all know what “one country” Putin has in mind, right? His ideology is pretty simple: it’s unfair that there should be a single global power (the US) that pushes its own recipes (democracy, human rights “Western values,” gay marriage, separation of church and state) on everybody. So it’s only fair, Putin says, that there should be another world power who would promote the exact opposite to create a more balanced system.

The profound cynicism of this position lies in the attempt to convince the world that Putin’s assault on democracy and human rights in Russia and neighboring countries is only done for the benefit of the planet.

“Don’t you see what I’m doing, you dummies?” he says. “I’m killing Ukrainians, rigging elections, and bashing gays (to name just a few favorite pursuits) to benefit you! So that our shared planet is a more objective and just place!”

I knew before starting to read the speech that our dear friend Mr. Snowden would make an appearance and serve a useful purpose. And so he did, even earlier in the speech than I thought:

It is not for nothing that ‘big brother’ is spending billions of dollars on keeping the whole world, including its own closest allies, under surveillance.

Obviously, I’m no longer naive enough to think that this will in any way influence Snowden’s fans to abandon their hero-worship.