Tuesday, August 20, 2013

We have to address, to explore and to understand these issues

Mr. Putin issued his first warning to me in January of 2010, not long after I published one of my first comments in "Russian Journal" on the article "Президента пытаются шантажировать - Махать кулаками после драки" by Sergey Markov  which was published on October 16, 2009. This comment or the brief satirical article was titled "Как моя жена научилась щи варить" ("How my wife learned to cook a cabbage soup"), in reference to Mr. Putin's remarks about the foreign election monitors, who, according to him "should teach their own wives how to cook a cabbage soup" (but not the experienced and skillful Russian cooks) and was published on November 2, 2009 when I was in Russia (I spent more than a year there, in 2009 - 2010) and this article was signed by a pen name "Михаил Тошненко", which literally means "I want to throw up"; in reference to and as a paraphrase of the name of well known satirical writer of the Soviet, Stalin's times, Михаил Зощенко Later on, about a couple of years later, all the comments in "Russian Journal" were erased by its new editor (Нет уж, дорогой "гуманистический психиатр"); apparently and at least in part, due to my "excessive commenting activity"; my first, original blog "Russia and The West", published on Wordpress platform was closed by Wordpress, without any explanations and opportunity to address their concerns, most likely after complaints by Russians, hypocritically citing some quotes as "inappropriate or using offensive language" and I republished some of these comments and articles in a collection of various materials titled "Избранные места из NEпереписки с ПростоФилей" in the current "Russia and The West" blog on Blogger platform. 

In his wailed warning, mentioned in a speech at the "Meeting of State Council on the problems of development of Russian political system" (Стенографический отчёт о заседании Государственного совета по вопросам развития политической системы России, 22 января 2010 года, 14:00  Москва, Кремль), Mr. Putin said:

"Что касается преследований различных функционеров, политических деятелей. Конечно, если что-то происходит необоснованно – это абсолютно недопустимо. И Дмитрий Анатольевич ставит перед правоохранительными органами соответствующие задачи, и на уровне Правительства мы будем всё делать, чтобы исключить подобные вещи.
Вместе с тем было сказано, что никогда не было практики преследования за идеи, за дела. Вспомним пресловутую статью за антисоветскую деятельность. Она была и активно применялась. А если мы вспомним Зощенко, который как-то сказал – помните, была у него такая фраза: «Говорят, слово не воробей, вылетит – не поймаешь. А у нас догонят, поймают и посадят». И всё это в нашей жизни, к сожалению, было." 
I will translate the last part of this abstract: "And if we recall Zoshchenko (Зощенко), who said once, if you remember, he had the following phrase: "They say a word is not a sparrow, if it flies out, you cannot catch it. But in our country ("у нас"), they will go after you, they will catch you and put you in jail." 
Mr. A. Lukashenko (a president of Belarus), apparently also had his own reasons to be quite unhappy or angry with me, because I mentioned him in previous comments, published in "Russian Journal" article "Россия – за равноправные отношения в Европе". These comments were also erased later on and were reproduced in my blog on the same page
Notorious and very disliked by today Russian liberal politicians and activists, and recently fired from his government job (he was in charge of "ideological" issues) Vladislav Surkov, whose original background is in military intelligence and later in Khodorkovsky case, and who was also an unofficial curator of "Russian Journal" (this publication apparently is subsidised by the Russian government in some obscure and mysterious ways, like almost everything that is done in Russia and is in fact just a front for a modern days KGB, whatever it is now called and is used by "kontora" as a source of misinformation, disinformation and half-truth information under the hypocritical cover of "liberalism") and who also used to freelance as an occasional commentator for "Russian Journal" (in addition to his "high official duties", which included, among others the co-chairmanship of American-Russian Committee on "Civil Society" or something like this) apparently also had his reasons to be very unhappy and angry at me for some very sharp comments published in the same "Russian Journal". I will not quote them here because I do not have them at hand, but I think that those who are interested, can find them easily. I clashed with him in these commentarial discussions quite severely. 
These persons and probably some others, (and, of course it is not that easy to figure out who exactly; possibly all of them to the various degrees), apparently decided to get back at me in a "nonverbal way" and to "teach me a lesson". And, which is more, to retaliate with an extensive "public humiliation", in return to what they perceived as their own "public humiliation" in my writings. This did not, does not and will not affect me at all: If "public" is a faceless mob you cannot be affected by its approval or disapproval; it is just nothing, like an empty barking of dogs or senseless mooing of cows; you can only be amazed with it and laugh at it, viewing it as one of the funny social phenomena: animalistic herd mentality and behavior. We can be truly affected by our equals, our peers only, those who are close to us and whom we feel a part of; those whom we sincerely respect and love. And they never judge us too harshly, because we are a part of them. As great A. Pushkin said, "Ты сам свой высший суд": "You yourself are your own supreme court", which means: your own conscience and your own values. Or as Marcus Aurelius said, "Anything in any way beautiful derives its beauty from itself and asks nothing beyond itself. Praise is no part of it, for nothing is made worse or better by praise." And we can add: social approval or disapproval is also no part of it. 
I do not know the exact mechanisms and arrangements of their "retaliatory actions", although I do have some ideas about them. They used or arranged the local circumstances to achieve their goal, no doubts about it. Apparently, as the old saying goes, they conveniently used some "cats' paws" to pull their "chestnuts out of the fire" for them, as their habit and custom is; which provided them with an excellent cover. The question is, how exactly they did this, through what channels and ways, and this becomes a very serious question which does require a very serious attention. The issue, of course, is not me personally, I am not a politician, not even any significant political activist, I am, as I see myself, just a regular blogger, who sometimes writes on political subjects, Russian and others. A great many people do that, although some of my comments and articles were very sharp and critical. The issue is the general significance of this occurrence if, of course, my interpretation of the events is correct or close to being correct. 

It probably was also "a smart ass" attempt and a part of Russian Intelligence well pre-planned and coordinated design to influence me against the domestic surveillance and to use my voice in this discussion. Learn to work, boys and girls! Go back to school! Transplant some good cerebellums into your intellectually deficient brains, you need them; but not mine. Your problem is that you have "no brains, no schooling and no class" and you have nowhere to get them. The only thing that you know how to do well is to steal and to try to manipulate and to exploit. Try to do this with your own "high officials", they need it. Otherwise poor Mother Russia will remain headless, brainless and forever and hopelessly miserable and lost. Do your homework before trying to start with me. All this should be a good learning experience for you. And if you try to play with me again, you will get it back so hard that you will not get up. 
And this brings us to the next, and also very important issue: the political process and the right of the people (any person, any of us) to express their opinions freely. Political satire is a very old and recognised genre, and politicians have to be tolerant of it, even if sometimes they feel quite hurt by these satirical writings (see СВОБОДА СЛОВА И РАБСТВО ХАМСТВА), which are produced and publicised not to hurt them personally but are a part of democratic political process. In our free country, God bless it, very sharp and very satirical pieces are published in The New York Times and other major papers, radio programs, TV shows, etc., regularly; and, I suppose, no sane politician would ever contemplate any revenge or retaliation. In Russia, despite all their lofty words and considerably greater freedom of speech and press than in old Soviet times (if only on a surface), the reality and mentality unfortunately do not go far enough. They use the Snowden affair hypocritically and very loudly to highlight the issues of electronic surveillance, while they themselves are a totalitarian surveillance society (I can judge on the basis of my personal experience), electronic and otherwise, intolerant of political opposition and various NGO-s (which are forced to register as "foreign agents"), suppressing the free and independent thinking and truly free, well armed press, including the area of investigative journalism and political satire in its robust, "biting" forms; especially in this period of "Putin Redux": his third, and, I think, very unfortunate for Russia, presidential term
This post, on my part, is not an attempt to "blackmail" the current Russian President or "to waive my fists after a fight", as was the title of the article on which I published one of my first comments in "Russian Journal" ("Президента пытаются шантажировать - Махать кулаками после драки"); there is no need or reason to do this. We have to address, to explore and to understand these issues, because no one of us; anywhere, be it Russia or Puerto Rico or any other place should face crude physical retaliation and attempts at intimidation and silencing. God gave us our tongues, minds and verbal abilities not to hide our thoughts and feelings, not to be afraid; in any area, and especially in political matters, but to express them freely, and when it is necessary, openly and very loudly; even if sometimes it may be unconventional or unpopular thinking. And this is one of the major differences between our country and our mentality and the countries like Russia and some others, where this right is not tolerated or is not tolerated fully and the free speech in its various forms, be it journalism (killings or intimidations of "undesirable" journalists and bloggers in Russia and other unfree countries is almost a common occurrence) or artistic expression, even if it is perceived by some as insulting , offending or simply "out of place", as for example, in Pussy Riot case
If we do not think and express ourselves freely, we will risk going radically against our own nature; risk ceasing to be humans, risk enslaving ourselves, and lives like that are simply not worth living. 

As I wrote in one of my previous posts, I think that we are in the midst of a fully fledged information war, a relatively new and still unexplored fully in its particulars, processes and consequences type of a warfare but no less cruel, senseless (and at the same time meaningful) and potentially lethal and devastating. I do not think that there are that many people who like wars, and, for one, I certainly do not. But "à la guerre comme à la guerre". There are times for wars, "the creative destructions"; and there are times for peace, the post-destructive, constructive and productive creations; new contents, new forms, new meanings and new lives in the new, more fair and viable social and international paradigms. 
Michael Novakhov 


And here are some funny cartoons for your entertainment. Please change (at least mentally) the date from 2030 to 2013 - 2014. This thinking might be wishful but I hope it is fair. 


http://zmeelow328.livejournal.com/176941.html     Filed under: Соломон Хайкин


Links and References

» Putin, Lukashenko – mine's bigger than yours | Andrew Mayers
17/08/13 10:00 from World news: Russia | guardian.co.uk
The strongmen of Russia and Belarus like to prove their worth with a big catch. Ed Miliband ought to pull in this kind of whopperI may be just a humble London metrosexual, but now I know what it feels like to be an eastern European despot, ...

» Russia's former 'grey cardinal' denies new Kremlin role
20/08/13 12:50 from Reuters: International
MOSCOW (Reuters) - The architect of Russia's tightly controlled political system denied on Tuesday he had accepted an offer to return to the Kremlin, according to a friend, a move that would strengthen liberals in President Vladimir Putin's...

Mike Nova comments: The "return" of Surkov (he never "left") signals a "return" (it never turned around) to the conservative, manipulative and "Machiavellian" line, with more, but more "intelligent", more "playful" tightening of the screws. Me thinks, Vovchick is readying himself for the "all out" information war on internal market as a preventive measure and as an attempt to strengthen his own personal position in a power structure. 


First published on 8.11.13 at 10:05 AM      Last update on 8.24.13 

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