20 years ago the old Soviet Union effectively disintegrated. Yes, it did last as a country till the end of 1991, but by the early September this disintegration was a done deal. Jewish Russian Telegraph is linking to an article on the subject and asking whether it was worth it:
As Muammar Gaddafi’s rule crumbles in Libya, the anniversary of another revolution is passing by almost unnoticed. In August 1991, a cabal of Kremlin hardliners moved against Mikhail Gorbachev, whose reforms they saw as weakening state power and giving too much autonomy to the Soviet Union’s constituent republics. Gorbachev was detained on a Crimean vacation and officially declared to be taking a health-related leave of absence, with an eight-man State of Emergency Committee taking the reins of power. After three tense days that saw tanks in Moscow’s streets and a deadly clash between Soviet troops and pro-democracy protesters, the coup failed, and the fallout helped hasten the end of the communist regime and the Soviet empire.
In my opinion, it was definitely worth it, especially for the Russians and other residents of the former Soviet Union. Although, I believe that it would have been easier for our government here in America to deal with a single entity, if a democratic Soviet Union was ever possible, the disintegrated Soviet Union is better than a totalitarian regime that existed before fall of 1991. And despite the authoritarian tendencies existing in Russia today, modern Russia is much more free than the old Soviet Union ever was. Russian nationalism is dangerous, but perhaps the good life made possible by the market economy will keep the dangerous tendencies in check.
Is there any difference? Especially, in light of Jimmy Hoffa Jr’s rhetoric:
Cranking up the anti-Tea Party rhetoric, Teamsters President Jimmy Hoffa called on workers to "take these son-of-a-bitches out" as he warmed up a crowd Monday in Detroit ahead of President Obama’s Labor Day speech.
But then, historically the mafia connection was always there. And, with rhetoric like this, Jimmy Hoffa Jr. was practically asking for this connection to be brought up.
As an engineer, I often get frustrated when politicians make pronouncements on some technical issues. I often know for a fact that what they might be saying is idiotic, and they have no idea what they are talking about. Technical progress does not happen because politicians just wish for it. And physics cannot conform to political sound bytes. Turns out, I am not the only engineer frustrated with technical illiteracy of the politicians. Here is an article in EE Times:
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has mandated that the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standard reach 54.5 miles/gallon by 2025 (so many significant figures in that goal—the precision is truly admirable!). Before you say "huh?", note that this goal has many loopholes, subclauses, and qualifiers, befitting a number set by bureaucrats, see here.
After long period of neglect it was finally time to update my links. Some links that no longer worked got deleted. Some new links got added. All the new links are worth checking out. The ones I’d like to mention separately are:
HillBuzz, by former Democrats who after 2008 elections realized that the Democratic Party they used to support was very different from the leftist monstrosity it has become lately.
One interesting thing about HillBuzz authors is that the core authors is a Gay couple who used to support Hillary Clinton. They seem to have no problems with religious Christians who might not approve of their lifestyle, but agree with them on all the other issues. Perhaps one of the reasons for this is that this Gay couple realizes that the religious Christians, while might voice their disapproval, will never do anything beyond that. On the other hand, we are facing the enemies that will kill them for their lifestyle. Add to this the fact that Socialism creates misery equally for everybody, Gay or straight, and you have a couple of Gays who are just as Right-Wing as I am: real liberals.
In light of the HillBuzz story, it is worth mentioning one of the deleted links, Charles Johnson’s Little Green Footballs. Immediately after 9/11 Charles was instrumental in starting anti-jihadi blogosphere. However, toward the end of Bush’s term he started vicious arguments on his blog with whoever he perceived not polite enough to our enemies. He also found himself arguing with religious Christians over issues that were ultimately irrelevant to our struggle against those who want to kill us. And he was willing to twist the facts and words of those who he disagreed with in order to advance his arguments. For example, in one of his attacks on Glenn Beck he twisted Beck’s argument to make him into an idiot, even though Beck was arguing the same point Charles was. All right, I’ll mention what it was about. Back then some video appeared on Youtube about some FEMA camps. The argument was made that Obama was preparing concentration camps. Glenn Beck showed the video on his program and then proceeded to talk about ridiculousness of this conspiracy theory, even bringing in experts to explain how ridiculous this theory about Obama preparing concentration camps was. For the record, I have no love for Obama administration and I do believe that comparisons between this administration economic policies and National-Socialist economic policies have merit. And there is no conspiracy in it. But that particular conspiracy theory was indeed ridiculous. Charles Johnson and Glenn Beck both pointed that out. But Beck also showed that Youtube video on his program in order to illustrate what he was talking about. Charles posted about it on his blog, portraying Beck as a supporter of the conspiracy theory he was arguing against. Well, anybody can make a mistake. But I saw that particular Beck’s program. So, I made a comment on Charles’s blog, pointing out his mistake. It did not matter: Charles continued piling on Beck. Lately Charles’s blog degenerated into vicious attacks against anybody who disagrees with him personally. So, I am not going to link to his blog any longer.