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Is the left forgetting how evil communism was?
Rare ^ | 2-18-14 | W. James Antle III

Posted on 02/18/2014 7:33:56 PM PST by ReformationFan

Is communism making a comeback? On its face, the question seems more than a little absurd. The Berlin Wall came down over 24 years ago. We are more than 22 years removed from the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War.

All that remains are the Stalinist museum pieces of North Korea and Cuba, the former an isolated country known mainly for its absurd dictator and starving population, the latter a beautiful island stuck in a 1950s time warp due to backwards economic and social policies.

Even China, the one major power still ruled by a Communist Party, is so far removed from the strict economic teachings of Marx and Engels as to nearly constitute some other political system entirely (albeit one that is still tyrannical).

What Jimmy Carter called an “inordinate fear of communism” today requires a degress of obsessiveness that combines Joe McCarthy with Jenny McCarthy. Surely the American body politic has been vaccinated to prevent anything like that.

Yet there does seem to be a growing tendency to not take communism as seriously as Nazism, to treat it as a historical curiosity rather than assign the discredited dogma to its rightful place among the totalitarian nightmares of the twentieth century.

rollingstone_900 Rolling Stone published the economically illiterate musings of one Jesse A. Meyerson, who featured the “full communism” hashtag in his Twitter bio. (It contained sage observations like “as much as unemployment blows, so do jobs.”) Meyerson denied that his preferred economic reforms had ever really been tried, despite some of them being road-tested in the Soviet constitution, and suggested his critics were more responsible for things like global warming than he was for the indefensible human rights record of communist regimes.

Late last year, BuzzFeed posted not one but two cutesy items about Cuba that almost seem designed to whitewash the government’s crimes. The first says more about the U.S. embargo of Cuba (an ineffectual anachronism I oppose) than the nature of the government itself, allowing that ordinary people “just don’t have the money” in a country that is “still pretty darn socialist” while also positing that “the basic safety net of the government” has made Cuba different and “less dangerous” than other impoverished Latin American countries.

The second one, a slideshow, starts off promisingly enough by acknowledging, “Cuba has a repressive government, disastrous economic policies and was ruled by Fidel Castro—and now his brother Raul — for decades.” The piece ends with an update that says, “As noted by some readers, these are interviews with admirers of Cuba, none of whom discussed the country’s much maligned human rights record, which you can read about more here and here.”

In between, readers are treated to a series of images that is part tourism brochure, part Gus Hall propaganda show.

stalin 2 More recently, when Pete Seeger died he was hailed not just as a folk music legend but a political visionary. New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof praised him as someone whose “folk music backed the civil-rights movement and stood up to Congress.” President Obama celebrated Seeger as one who “believed deeply in the power of song” but also “in the power of community.”

There was no mention of the fact that Seeger long defended Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin, first criticizing him publicly 40 years after the mass murderer’s death. Seeger opposed U.S. entry into World War II during the Hitler-Stalin nonaggression pact and continued to compare subsequent Soviet rulers to nonviolent figures like civil-rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

The New York Times, a newspaper that won a Pulitzer prize when its reporter Walter Duranty covered up Stalin’s crimes, in 2007 dismissed this lingering debate, “If anything, the interest in Mr. Seeger’s views on the Soviet Union shows the durability of cold war ideological debates.”

This myopia persists in some circles today, as evidenced by certain reports coming out of Russia during the Olympics. “The empire that ascended to affirm a colossal footprint; the revolution that birthed one of modern history’s pivotal experiments,” enthused an NBC opening video. “But if politics has long shaped our sense of who they are, it’s passion that endures.”

Signboard of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalinís Villa is seen in Sochi There was also a justly condemned CNN report “At home with ‘Uncle Joe’ Stalin.” He was a “notorious dictatorial leader,” yes, but he also “helped create much that is modern Sochi, the host of the 2014 Winter Games.” We are treated to tales of the “cinema room where Stalin used to view his favorite Charlie Chaplin movies” but no stories of the 20 million people murdered by his regime, atop another 20 million killed in war (considered by some to be a conservative estimate).

Adolf Hitler would not—and emphatically should not—receive such fawning treatment. Why do Stalin and other communist murderers? How can videos of Fidel Castro’s island prison sit alongside quizzes about which “Friends” character the reader is? To quote Lennon rather than Lenin, “But if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao/You ain’t going make it with anyone anyhow.”

“Everything old is new again,” goes the old adage, especially true in an era of hipsters and ironic detachment. But there is a big difference between pretending Pabst Blue Ribbon is fine wine and normalizing the crimes against humanity carried out underneath the hammer and sickle.

Even before the Berlin Wall crumbled, a not insignificant amount of American history made it sound like the worst things that happened during the Cold War were McCarthyism, the House Un-American Activities Committee, Roy Cohn and Red scares. A lot of the people who wrote that history were more directly affected by blacklists than forced starvation, Stalinist purges or five-year plans.

From the treatment of dissidents at home to the support for illiberal governments abroad, American anti-communists have been guilty of sins of their own. But to pretend that what Pete Seeger went through in testifying before Congress was in the same universe as the liquidation of the kulaks, to cite just one example of communist crimes, is morally grotesque.

It has also long been easy for people to compartmentalize the various aspects of communism, sealing off what they like (such as government-provided health care or free college) from the human rights abuses they dislike. From the 1930s to the 1960s, this included many activists and normal citizens who displayed decent and humane impulses on other contemporary issues, like the fight against Jim Crow. It includes some well-meaning people today.

gulag People who would never dream of saying a nice word about Hitler because of the autobahn nevertheless praise Chinese and Soviet social experiments because they naively see communism as not inherently bigoted or discriminatory. Not only is this not always true—ask members of various minority groups in communist countries or look at the plight even of South African blacks before the local communist party decided to use the anti-apartheid cause for recruitment—it prioritizes refraining from discrimination over refraining from mass murder.

But because the bizarre and evil racial theories behind Nazism are apparent early on to all but the most obtuse, Nazism tends to repulse most people of good will living in the postwar era rather quickly. In modern times, fellow travelers of Nazism are almost always racists and anti-Semites rather than people in denial about the true meaning of Hitlerism.

By contrast, people have been attracted to communism because of the prosperity it falsely promises to share without willing anyone to be a victim of the secret police. (Though such people often remain willfully ignorant of the secret police’s existence.)

Das Kapital can be sanitized of the gulag in a way that Mein Kampf can never be scrubbed of the concentration camp. That’s what allows us to be cute about Uncle Joe and to perhaps dismiss anti-communism as a dated right-wing concern.

kulaksstarved Nevertheless, communism should be held to the same standard as Nazism and fascism. It is no historical accident that communism’s denial of human nature has always and everywhere required a massive denial of human rights.

Jonah Goldberg observed that some grapple with America’s legacy of slavery while ignoring the Soviet Union’s. (An exception is Ronald Reagan’s “Evil Empire” speech, famous for its denunciation of Soviet communism, containing a less-noticed passage describing slavery and racism as “a legacy of evil with which” America “must deal.)

“Watching the opening ceremonies of the Olympics,” Goldberg wrote, “you’d have no idea that from the Moscow metro system to, literally, the roads to Sochi, the Soviet Union—the supposed epitome of modernity and ‘scientific socialism’—was built on a mountain of broken lives and unremembered corpses.”

The victims of communism had names, even if they were lost in the vast numbers. It is time to remember, and indeed never forget.


TOPICS: History
KEYWORDS: academicbias; antle; boycotttimewarner; castro; communism; communismkills; disney; evil; google; left; mao; nbc; nsa; orwelliannightmare; polpot; redistribution; revisionisthistory; rollingstone; rollingstoned; salon; salonlovescommies; sovietrussia; soviets; stalin; stalinisttactics; ussr; wjamesantleiii
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1 posted on 02/18/2014 7:33:56 PM PST by ReformationFan
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To: ReformationFan

Forgetting?

They share that evil


2 posted on 02/18/2014 7:34:59 PM PST by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans!)
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To: ReformationFan

Not forgetting, this is the way they have always covered it.


3 posted on 02/18/2014 7:35:33 PM PST by ansel12 (Ben Bradlee -- JFK told me that "he was all for people's solving their problems by abortion".)
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To: ReformationFan

Forgetting ? If they were just forgetting they wouldn’t be trying to implement everything they did to the T ! NO THEY AREN’T FORGETTING ! They want it with all their souls and being they want it !


4 posted on 02/18/2014 7:35:58 PM PST by ATOMIC_PUNK (I'm not afraid to say what i mean nor should you be afraid of what you know to be true !)
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To: ReformationFan

The problem is they are, with China’s help, and America is helping them.

Both parties are contributing to this.

Our country is 17.25 trillion dollars in debt, and China now exports more than America does.

Americans cannot own factories in China.


5 posted on 02/18/2014 7:38:04 PM PST by Cringing Negativism Network ( http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/balance/c5700.html#2013)
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To: ReformationFan

They’re just dumb enough to think they can do it better this time.


6 posted on 02/18/2014 7:39:29 PM PST by vpintheak (Thankful to be God blessed & chosen!)
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To: ReformationFan

They aren’t forgetting the part that the ones in charge live pretty well in communist countries.


7 posted on 02/18/2014 7:39:35 PM PST by Vince Ferrer
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To: ansel12; GeronL; ReformationFan

like the current potus is bad wait until we get thrown under the succubus—hillary 2016


8 posted on 02/18/2014 7:39:50 PM PST by bigheadfred
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To: GeronL

Ornaments of Mao adorned the Clinton Whitehouse christmas tree. Along with condoms.


9 posted on 02/18/2014 7:40:17 PM PST by blackdog (There is no such thing as healing, only a balance between destructive and constructive forces.)
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To: GeronL

This must be a younger person, fell for that baloney about “Mr. X and containment” false narrative they floated at that time. Leftists were anti-anti-Comminists.


10 posted on 02/18/2014 7:40:56 PM PST by gusopol3
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To: ReformationFan

It was only evil because they weren’t in charge. No evil regime sees itself as evil.


11 posted on 02/18/2014 7:41:16 PM PST by Blood of Tyrants (Haven't you lost enough freedoms? Support an end to the WOD now.)
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To: ReformationFan

When the left went gaga over Gorbachev when he made his first trip here I believe in 1988 that was all that was needed to show me what the Democratic Party was all about. They treated Comrade Gorbachev a thousand times better than Ronald Reagan so what does that tell you about the left’s political leanings?


12 posted on 02/18/2014 7:41:37 PM PST by dowcaet
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To: Cringing Negativism Network

our only hope is a mass exodus of americans to china

they have empty cities waiting to be filled


13 posted on 02/18/2014 7:42:12 PM PST by bigheadfred
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To: ReformationFan

Forgetting?

They’re looking “FORWARD” to it...

See what I did there?


14 posted on 02/18/2014 7:42:49 PM PST by Old Sarge (TINVOWOOT: There Is No Voting Our Way Out Of This)
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To: ReformationFan
Forgetting?

Why do you think they fired all the generals, bought up all the ammunition, and are now planting commissars in all the newsrooms?

-PJ

15 posted on 02/18/2014 7:43:03 PM PST by Political Junkie Too (If you are the Posterity of We the People, then you are a Natural Born Citizen.)
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To: ReformationFan

Of course they know how horrible Communism is, that is why they EMBRACE IT..their goal, kill as many Conservatives as humanly possible, if they could make a Holocaust just for Conservatives they would do it in a New York minute


16 posted on 02/18/2014 7:43:36 PM PST by Sarah Barracuda
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To: ReformationFan

Their argument is the same with Islamic terrorism.....It’s was only a few evil people that made it look bad.


17 posted on 02/18/2014 7:45:22 PM PST by Dallas59 (Obama: The first "White Black" President.)
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To: ReformationFan

haha...forgetting..LOL..
They crave it and all the misery it brings; they crave the power of oppression.

My last laugh will be watching the left/democrat underlings being exterminated far before me (I pose a greater danger in trying to exterminate; I’ll be left for last). The underlings have not studied history too much in earnest and think they will be welcomed in. Jokes on you useful idiots. You’ll be gone first when the power grab is underway.


18 posted on 02/18/2014 7:45:56 PM PST by Ghost of SVR4 (So many are so hopelessly dependent on the government that they will fight to protect it.)
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To: ReformationFan

No, they’ve never seen communism as evil. They’ve seen it as hamhanded and clumsy, and see liberalism and progressivism as better approaches to achieving communist goals.


19 posted on 02/18/2014 7:46:06 PM PST by smoothsailing
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To: ReformationFan

The left thinks it’s just fine to murder babies with scissors.


20 posted on 02/18/2014 7:46:10 PM PST by Manic_Episode (GOP = The Whig Party)
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To: gusopol3

BUMP


21 posted on 02/18/2014 7:47:15 PM PST by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans!)
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To: ReformationFan

Huh? .... The Left IS communism


22 posted on 02/18/2014 7:48:02 PM PST by goodnesswins (R.I.P. Doherty, Smith, Stevens, Woods.)
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To: Political Junkie Too

They didn’t buy up all the ammo....jus’ sayin’!


23 posted on 02/18/2014 7:48:32 PM PST by SgtBob (Freedom is not for the faint of heart. Semper Fi!)
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To: ReformationFan

What a silly question. The Left is evil. They want you to forget how evil they are. So they can do it all again.


24 posted on 02/18/2014 7:50:12 PM PST by Gluteus Maximus
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To: ReformationFan

Communism IS Evil. That’s an aspect that has NEVER changed.


25 posted on 02/18/2014 7:51:46 PM PST by Howie66 (John Wayne McCornyn...he's just like US! Honest!)
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To: SgtBob
Yeah, yeah... I saw that article.

Several years of buying ammo, hiding containers throughout the country, militarizing the police, armored personnel carriers being deployed to police departments, and one article to disprove it?

And now the post office is buying ammo?

-PJ

26 posted on 02/18/2014 7:55:46 PM PST by Political Junkie Too (If you are the Posterity of We the People, then you are a Natural Born Citizen.)
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To: vpintheak

If you have the stomach for it try this.

just point out to your favorite flaming pinko commie that their fantasy world of communism always fails and then prove it. It’s not hard.

You will in the end get this exact response when they run out of BS.

“well if I had been in charge, things would have worked”

It’s the ultimate in condescending. We are all just too stupid for our own good.

That’s what were dealing with folks.

Have a nice night and keep your powder dry.


27 posted on 02/18/2014 7:56:26 PM PST by gfbtbb (Ladies and Gentlemen, we are on our own.)
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To: GeronL

Forgetting? Is that a joke? America’s Liberals were the greatest aiders and abettors of Stalinism from 1930 on until it became politically expedient for Khruschev to denounce the monster he had served so loyally. Even then our homegrown “Liberals” reserved their deepest venom for Conservatives, not for murderous Communist brutes like Mao or Pol Pot.


28 posted on 02/18/2014 7:58:20 PM PST by Robwin
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To: ReformationFan

No.

They want YOU to forget


29 posted on 02/18/2014 8:01:07 PM PST by digger48
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To: ReformationFan
Is the left forgetting how evil communism was?

What do you mean "forgetting"? Few on the Left ever appreciated how evil Communism was.

30 posted on 02/18/2014 8:02:42 PM PST by Fiji Hill
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To: ReformationFan

Western intellectuals never had to pay a price for being so wrong. The Right never spiked the football, mostly due to ... wait for it ... take a guess ... could it be ... the GOPe. Every leftist from Noam Chomsky to Oliver Stone to the silly little twit who taught me Poly-Sci 101 should have been ridiculed for years. Liberal Democrats were horribly wrong on all of it, but never had to suffer for it. They can proceed in their stupidity 100% free of any consequences.


31 posted on 02/18/2014 8:03:05 PM PST by cdcdawg (Be seeing you...)
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To: GeronL

The end justifies the mean, in their minds.


32 posted on 02/18/2014 8:03:17 PM PST by Jonty30 (What Islam and secularism have in common is that they are both death cults)
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To: ReformationFan
No, they don't see the evil, to them it's good.

33 posted on 02/18/2014 8:07:47 PM PST by BitWielder1 (Corporate Profits are better than Government Waste)
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To: ReformationFan

The left forgetting? It’s the rest of the people they want to forget about it, so they can try it again.


34 posted on 02/18/2014 8:11:55 PM PST by lepton ("It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into"--Jonathan Swift)
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To: ReformationFan

Whitewashing, yes.

Forgetting? No.


35 posted on 02/18/2014 8:14:42 PM PST by MortMan (Is a delayed shower a "stay of exablution"?)
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To: ReformationFan
"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction..." Ronald Reagan

It is, and always has been, a game of make-believe for the Left. History is easier to falsify than to learn, envy is easier to hold than understanding, and scapegoating is easier to cling to than taking responsibility for one's own actions. It is no accident that it has been a generation away from the fall of the Soviet Union that a vast fabric of mythology has been rewoven.

There are key phrases that betray this: "true communism has never been tried" is an indication that the speaker is defining "true" communism as one that works. It's a lovely fantasy. These are children who have never given up unicorns and castles, with themselves in the role of prince or princess and always somebody else emptying the chamber pots. And they'll happily kill for that illusion.

We see this in the profoundly anti-intellectual fashion of what is ironically termed "Critical Thinking", two lies in a single phrase. "White privilege" is one of its offshoots - a doctrine that cannot be tested, cannot be falsified, and even to question it validates it. It's invisible, it's magical, it explains everything. What it isn't, is real.

We see it in the economic falsehood that one cannot earn anything fairly, that inequities in material possession are uniformly the result of theft and unfair systems, and that merit is impossible except for those who are clever at turning a rhetorical phrase. We see it most openly in the insatiable desire to rule the lives of other people. One may display that without being a Leftist, but one cannot be a Leftist without it. We see it in the constant, relentless effort to change language instead of changing the reality it represents. We see it in the elevation of hatred and envy to virtues, of nihilism to truth.

It isn't going away.

36 posted on 02/18/2014 8:21:03 PM PST by Billthedrill
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To: Billthedrill

Excellent yet sad point.


37 posted on 02/18/2014 8:35:36 PM PST by ReformationFan
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To: ReformationFan

My mother believed all the lies from the left media about how great USSR was, and when the truth finally was revealed she refused to believe it.


38 posted on 02/18/2014 8:43:12 PM PST by Rusty0604
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To: GeronL

You beat me to the draw. I had the same set of words buzzing on the tip of my tongue and the tips of my fingers on the keyboard but you got there first.


39 posted on 02/18/2014 8:44:02 PM PST by arthurus (Read Hazlitt's Economics In One Lesson ONLINEhttp://steshaw.org/economics-in-one-lesson/)
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To: dowcaet

I’ve had more than one liberal tell me that Gorbachev stopped the cold war, not Ronald Reagan.


40 posted on 02/18/2014 8:44:58 PM PST by Rusty0604
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To: ReformationFan

Evil is just a word. State Socialism is a goal.


41 posted on 02/18/2014 8:48:22 PM PST by Elsiejay
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To: vpintheak
They don't care if they can do it better, if you mean being more economically successful. If they can capture the USA then they don't have to be better. They cannot imagine that America won't still have the strongest military in the world and the strongest economy after America becomes Communist. After that particular transformation it will be Russia or China that is the military big dog. The American military will not be supportable any more after only a few years and the other autocracies who have shed some of the left idealism for practical development will run over the Communist American entity. Somewhere in the mix the Saracens will be trying their last great Jihad before they run slap out of resources after the US quits buying their oil because the US is descending into national pauperdom.

When the US has dissipated its strength Russia and China won't buy Arabian oil any more either. They will colonize it.

42 posted on 02/18/2014 8:54:41 PM PST by arthurus (Read Hazlitt's Economics In One Lesson ONLINEhttp://steshaw.org/economics-in-one-lesson/)
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To: cdcdawg
They can proceed in their stupidity 100% free of any consequences.

At least until the show trials. Once the Left is Ascendant and Supreme they will start eating their own in earnest. Everybody then becomes Trotsky and Budenny.

43 posted on 02/18/2014 8:59:22 PM PST by arthurus (Read Hazlitt's Economics In One Lesson ONLINEhttp://steshaw.org/economics-in-one-lesson/)
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To: Rusty0604

That reminds me of this story:

‘A guy thought he was dead, but in reality he was very much alive. His hallucination became a real problem for his family and they finally took him to see a psychiatrist.

‘After spending many laborious sessions trying to convince the guy he was still alive, the psychiatrist tried one last approach. He opened his medical book and proceeded to show the man that dead men don’t bleed.

‘After a mind-numbing study, the man seemed convince that dead men don’t bleed, and the psychiatrist asked: “Do you now agree that dead men don’t bleed?” “Yes I do” the man replied.

‘”Very well, then,” the psychiatrist said. He took out a pin and pricked the man’s finger. Out came a drop of blood.

‘The doctor asked. “What does that tell you?” “Oh my goodness!” The patient exclaimed as he stared doubtfully at his finger.” “Dead men DO bleed!!”’


44 posted on 02/18/2014 9:02:20 PM PST by ReformationFan
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To: Rusty0604

Gorby can be given some of the “credit” for bringing down the Soviet Union, at least fro bringing it down a modicum faster than its already established trajectory. He was using a monkey wrench as a screw driver in attempts to adjust the machinery.


45 posted on 02/18/2014 9:04:07 PM PST by arthurus (Read Hazlitt's Economics In One Lesson ONLINEhttp://steshaw.org/economics-in-one-lesson/)
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To: ReformationFan

lol


46 posted on 02/18/2014 9:07:51 PM PST by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans!)
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To: ReformationFan

To those on the Left, the Eternal Refrain is always the same: TRUE communism was never tried and we’ll certainly do better.

The delusion never dies.


47 posted on 02/18/2014 9:32:08 PM PST by Jack Hammer
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To: ReformationFan

bkmk


48 posted on 02/18/2014 11:32:54 PM PST by AllAmericanGirl44
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To: BitWielder1
No, they don't see the evil, to them it's good.

You are right. To a communist, anything that furthers the cause of communism, is good, moral and just, so if killing 100 million people furthers communism, to them, it is good. I often wonder why these people are such fanatics about it. I think it is their "religion" so they are dedicated to their religion.

49 posted on 02/19/2014 1:09:03 AM PST by Mark17 (Chicago Blackhawks: Stanley Cup champions 2010, 2013. Vietnam Vet 70-71 Msgt US Air Force, retired)
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To: ReformationFan

bfl


50 posted on 02/19/2014 1:27:16 AM PST by FreedomPoster (Islam delenda est)
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