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The Devil Comes Back From Georgia (Stalin's resurgence in Russia - God help us!)
Reason ^ | February 28, 2006 | Cathy Young

Posted on 02/28/2006 9:47:56 AM PST by neverdem

Stalin's resurgence in Russia

Two events last week starkly illustrate the dilemmas of countries grappling with a terrible past. In Austria, Holocaust denier David Irving received a three-year jail sentence for his public assertions that the Nazis did not carry out a systematic extermination of the Jews during World War II. Meanwhile, in Russia, as the country marked the 50th anniversary of its official turn away from Stalinism under Nikita Khrushchev, many people regard the late dictator's legacy as mostly positive—and a new museum celebrating that legacy is about to open.

Irving's sentence reflects Europe's hard-line approach to its Nazi past. Laws prohibiting Holocaust denial and pro-Nazi propaganda are stringent in Germany and Austria, the countries most directly implicated in Nazi crimes against humanity; but they exist in many other countries on the European continent as well. Such laws are troubling to most Americans.

To some, the issue is not clear-cut. Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, said that "while Irving's rants would not have led to legal action in the United States, it is important that we recognize and respect Austria's commitment to fighting Holocaust denial...as part of its historic responsibility to its Nazi past."

While I have no sympathy for Irving (who, faced with jail, tried to weasel out of his position with the ludicrous claim that new evidence has led him to believe people were slaughtered at Auschwitz after all), I still think that the law used against him is a bad idea. The state of Austria can own up to its responsibility to its past without criminalizing even the worst of speech. In the United States, even without legal sanctions, Holocaust denial is effectively marginalized by public opinion.

Meanwhile, the criminalization of Holocaust denial may perversely strengthen the hand of the deniers, leading some to argue that the defenders of Holocaust history must have little confidence in their facts if they feel they must silence challengers. Historian Deborah Lipstadt is concerned that the jail sentence could give Irving publicity and martyrdom instead of the obscurity he deserves.

On to Russia, where from the early 1930s until his death in 1953 Stalin slaughtered his own people on a Holocaust-like scale. It is estimated that at least 20 million died. The extermination was not as systematically deliberate as the Nazis', but the victims, in the end, were just as dead.

Fifty years ago at a secret Communist Party meeting, Stalin's successor, Nikita Khrushchev, gave a speech denouncing Stalin's "personality cult" and the repressions under his rule. This speech began the process of the de-Stalinization of the Soviet Union, Most political prisoners were released, and many of the dead posthumously exonerated. Yet neither the Soviet Union nor, in later years, post-Soviet Russia fully repudiated Stalin, or fully came to terms with his crimes. In recent years, Russian president Vladimir Putin has been advocating a more positive view of the country's Soviet past. Cities have erected monuments to Stalin.

A Stalin museum is scheduled to open in March in Volgograd, formerly known as Stalingrad.

Polls show that 30 to 40 percent of Russians now regard Stalin's role in history as mostly "positive," crediting him with turning the Soviet Union into a superpower and defeating Hitler.

Compared with this amnesia about state crimes against humanity, the German experience is certainly a good model—whatever one thinks of Germany's Holocaust denial laws. Sadly, amnesia about the crimes of communism is common in the West as well; historians who have downplayed and minimized those crimes, such as Miami University of Ohio historian Robert W. Thurston (who argues that there was no "mass terror...extensive fear did not exist...[and] Stalin was not guilty of mass first-degree murder"), have not been ostracized the way David Irving has been for a long time.

The resurgence of the Stalin cult in Russia shows the danger of such amnesia. Holocaust denial and Gulag denial should be finally seen as the twin evils they are.


Cathy Young is a Reason contributing editor. This column originally appeared in the Boston Globe.


TOPICS: Editorial; Foreign Affairs; Germany; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; Russia
KEYWORDS: andropov; cccp; coldwar2; communism; communists; kgb; mao; pootiepoot; premierputin; putin; russia; soviets; sovietunion; stalin; ussr; vladimirputin
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1 posted on 02/28/2006 9:47:59 AM PST by neverdem
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To: GarySpFc; RusIvan; Romanov; Hill of Tara; jb6

More misinformation from the Boston globe ping.


2 posted on 02/28/2006 9:50:47 AM PST by x5452
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To: neverdem
Now there're Russian Communists for 'ya.

Still worshiping someone who's been dead for 50 years.

That'll really help stimulate their economy.

If they were smart, they wouldn't be Communists.
3 posted on 02/28/2006 9:53:05 AM PST by conservativeharleyguy ( Democrats: Over 60 million fooled daily!)
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To: neverdem

Gulag denial is just as bad as Holocaust denial....we must keep reminding the left of that fact.


4 posted on 02/28/2006 9:53:25 AM PST by fizziwig (Democrats: so far off the path, so incredibly vicious, so sadly pathetic.)
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To: neverdem; sure_fine

This'll make the leftist, socialist, commie, fascist lib-dem trash here, happy, as he's one of their icons.


5 posted on 02/28/2006 9:55:13 AM PST by butternut_squash_bisque (Borders, Language, Culture™)
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To: neverdem

Dead wrong. Nazism was in a sense an aberration in German identity and history. That's why it has been possible to repudiate it - it does not go to the roots of "Germanity". Stalinism, OTOH, was not an aberration but an adequate and direct manifestation of a pretty long and sordid historical identity. That's why there are such difficulties with its repudiation.


6 posted on 02/28/2006 9:55:53 AM PST by GSlob
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To: conservativeharleyguy

The Globe is spinning statistics to create a falisy. The majority of Russians if you read the article do not feel Stalins effect was positive. Futher of those who do many consider that Russia would probably speak german today if not for Stalin in WWII, they still regard Stalin as an evil bastard but regard his somewhat more of his actions as having been positive than negative.

The Globe is spinning a tall tail. I'll take Secretary Rice over them any day:

Statements by Secretary Rice:

"I want to be very clear. It isn't the Soviet Union. You know this place. This Russian Government is not the Soviet Government and sometimes people overstate this to say things have gone all the way back"

http://www.state.gov/secretary/rm/2006/59375.htm

"This is not the Soviet Union; let's not overstate the case. I was a Soviet specialist. I can tell you that Russia bears almost no resemblance to the Soviet Union."

http://www.cdi.org/russia/johnson/2006-41-23.cfm


7 posted on 02/28/2006 9:57:03 AM PST by x5452
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To: x5452

Russia sucks.


8 posted on 02/28/2006 9:58:52 AM PST by MARKUSPRIME
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To: GSlob
You say 'dead wrong' but I don't see how anything you said contradicts the article. Just because there are deep reasons for 'Gulag denial' does not make it less of a danger.
9 posted on 02/28/2006 10:09:05 AM PST by TalonDJ
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To: butternut_squash_bisque

Its really imaginary propping up of one of their heros by a leftist publication.

If you read the whole article it's clear that the data does not support the assertions.


10 posted on 02/28/2006 10:10:18 AM PST by x5452
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To: TalonDJ

GSlob is a racist (he's called Russians baboons on other threads). Just an FYI.

As for 'deep reasons' you'll note that GSlob never mentions what the deep reasons are or provide any support for them, he just insist they exist.

Most Russians hate Stalin, and i know this having been there, but even the article makes that fact plain.


11 posted on 02/28/2006 10:11:50 AM PST by x5452
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To: neverdem
I'm sure there are liberal commie hippies from the Fremont area of Seattle are scouring Russia and Eastern european junkyards for a Stalin Statue to add to their collection of monuments to their heros. They already have a statue of Lenin erected in their town and have renamed the area, "Lenin Square".


12 posted on 02/28/2006 10:14:40 AM PST by Proud_USA_Republican (We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good. - Hillary Clinton)
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Comment #13 Removed by Moderator

To: TalonDJ
My "dead wrong" was referring solely to the parallel between Nazism and stalinism. IMHO, nazism was a superficial phenomenon, thus relatively easy to destroy and repudiate, while stalinism was/is much more fundamental to the whole way of life which engendered it. A more proper comparison would be between a deep skin blemish and metastatic melanoma.
14 posted on 02/28/2006 10:17:08 AM PST by GSlob
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To: neverdem

Who said the atheists don't beleive in God?


15 posted on 02/28/2006 10:20:00 AM PST by Galveston Grl (Getting angry and abandoning power to the Democrats is not a choice.)
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To: neverdem

At least Stalin made the trains to Siberia run on time!


16 posted on 02/28/2006 10:20:57 AM PST by Semper Paratus
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To: x5452

I heard their is trend in russia now to be sporting clothing with CCCP written on it. Its considered hip now.

That american figure skater, Johnny Weir, was seen at the olympics wearing a jacket with CCCP on it. What a moron.


17 posted on 02/28/2006 10:21:37 AM PST by Proud_USA_Republican (We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good. - Hillary Clinton)
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To: Proud_USA_Republican; sure_fine

Target of opportunity, IMO.


18 posted on 02/28/2006 10:21:40 AM PST by butternut_squash_bisque (Borders, Language, Culture™)
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To: x5452

Cathy Young is a libertarian, and is herself an immigrant from Russia. Although she was still a child when she came here, she knows the true evil of communism. She isn't someone I always agree with, but she's very careful with the facts.


19 posted on 02/28/2006 10:22:59 AM PST by RightWingAtheist (Creationism Is Not Conservative!)
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To: Proud_USA_Republican

The story I'd heard is that SSSR clothing was popular at the Olympics this year, not in Russia.


20 posted on 02/28/2006 10:26:45 AM PST by x5452
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To: x5452
The majority of Russians didn't approve of Stalin before he died either.

They may enjoy the benefit of hindsight today (as well as Stalin's absence), but believe me, they knew he was an evil bastard then also, because they were the one's living (and dying by the millions) w/him.

That doesn't mean he didn't have his adherents then, and it doesn't mean that their descendants are powerless today. They appeal to a very basic Russian cultural character flaw of an odd desire for, and yet resistance against, a dominant centralized power structure. That's a powerful force in a declining nation's fight for national survival.

As to WW2, in large measure they were able to prevail because Stain was perfectly willing to commit 10's of millions of his own people to sacrifice for the good of the "Rodina". The Germans just ran out of bodies for the fight before the Russians did.

However, also if not for Stalin, they might be speaking English today, because they were so crippled after the war we could have easily finished them off. They wouldn't have lasted 2 years against the Germans w/o our Lend/Lease equipment anyway.

Truman simply lacked the will, and Stalin successfully bluffed him at Yalta. None of which matters in the least, because it's all in the past, and at best it's Grad School/Think Tank speculation.

But it is feasible now, just as it was then, for a minority of fanatical hardliners (in this case, Russian, but also applicable in most places) to rule a country using xenophobia, terror, and imprisonment.

And while I absolutely love Ms. Rice, never forget, from their perspective, to them she's just a black woman in a white man's job, and in spite of their historical lip service to the notional equality of Communism, even today Russians are some of the most racist and sexist people on earth.

They may appreciate her ability to speak Russian, and they may even respect her, but they'll never fear her (w/ or w/o us to "back her up"), and that's a very key factor for dealing with them.


BTW, it's fallacy not "falisy.
21 posted on 02/28/2006 10:27:57 AM PST by conservativeharleyguy ( Democrats: Over 60 million fooled daily!)
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To: RightWingAtheist

From the article "30 to 40 percent of Russians now regard Stalin's role in history as mostly "positive"

Where does that leave 60 to 70 percent of Russians?


22 posted on 02/28/2006 10:28:04 AM PST by x5452
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To: neverdem
The extermination was not as systematically deliberate as the Nazis'

Oh, I just ... love ... this gem.

Tell that to the Crimean Tatars, the entire race of whom were deported to Siberia by the Stalin regime
Tell that to the "kulaks": the successful small-holder farmers who were slaughtered because they were successful
Tell that to the millions of Ukrainians who were systematically starved in the 1930s because some of them resisted collectivization
Tell that to the Russian survivors of German POW camps, who were sent off to Stalin's gulags as soon as they were liberated from the Nazis
Tell that to the millions who were worked to death in 50 below zero temperatures in the gulag hellholes of Kolyma and other places
Tell that to the families of people jailed under Article 58 because an informant accused them of anti-Soviet thoughts

Stalin was FAR WORSE than Hitler. Hitler was the wolf, where Stalin was the wolf in the sheep's clothing sewn for him by leftist "useful idiots" worldwide. IMHO, it's a crime that this historical fact continues to be shoved down the memory hole.

23 posted on 02/28/2006 10:29:14 AM PST by bassmaner (Let's take the word "liberal" back from the commies!!)
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To: x5452

with relatives who were murdered by him.


24 posted on 02/28/2006 10:33:14 AM PST by Proud_USA_Republican (We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good. - Hillary Clinton)
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To: bassmaner

(Numbers wise Stalin and Hitler about tie, and Mao beats them both)


25 posted on 02/28/2006 10:33:28 AM PST by x5452
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To: Proud_USA_Republican

oh i suspect the majority of that 30-40 share that...


26 posted on 02/28/2006 10:34:23 AM PST by x5452
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To: neverdem

Stalin Kicked The Bucket

Old Joe kicked the bucket, he's long gone.
He won't worry us from now on.
He lived in a place they call Moscow.
His number came up and he had to go.

Refrain: Yes, old Joe's dead and gone,
He stayed around too long,
And nobody now can save his hide,
'Cause old Joe laid right down and died.

Old Joe won't worry us no more;
He killed the helpless by the score;
Now I hope he's satisfied,
Since old Joe's taken his last ride

Refrain

While near the end, he couldn't talk,
He's paralyzed and he couldn't walk.
He died with a hemorrhage in the brain.
They have a new fireman on the devil's train.

Refrain

Although he was a man of power,
He was scared of Eisenhower.
So now the devil can retire,
'Cause old Joe Stalin will keep the fire.

Refrain

Ray Anderson [Kentucky Records #573, 1953]

This record is a cool, gone, solid platter, although it's hard to find.

27 posted on 02/28/2006 10:38:52 AM PST by Fiji Hill
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To: neverdem

You can deny the Moons' existance all you want, but not while it continues to show up at night.

Suppression of speech is a sign of weakness except when it is intended to prevent violence. Does Austria fear a resurgence of Nazism? One way to make sure a man is believed rather than merely heard is to cover his mouth after he speaks. Thank God for America where Speech Police have no authority.

As for Russia I keep in mind that not all that long ago they were subject to the barbarity of the Mongols. It will take time for that poison to wash from their psyche. Let the Chinese boohoo about their poor "Century of Shame" all their nasty selves like - the Russians are the way they are because of the lessons they learned from Chinese occupation. Thanks, Chinese Idiots.

Abraham Lincoln was a wartime dictator too, and we have monuments galore to him - but he was not a peactime dictator like Stalin. If the resurgence of Stalin worship is for his deeds in peacetime, then the Russians need to work on cleansing themselves of the poison the Chinese pumped up their butts.

Russia no longer has the buffer states it relied on as advance defenses, and even in those days they lacked the power to be more than a bad influence - and they knew it. They may have a bad attitude, but they aren't total idiots - they know that their only hope lies with the West. Especially in light of the reality that the only "liebensram" open to China is in Russia.

Much ado about Nada - keep your eye on China.


28 posted on 02/28/2006 10:55:01 AM PST by the Marshal
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To: x5452
Most Russians hate Stalin, and i know this having been there, but even the article makes that fact plain.

When polls that purport to be serious rank Bush in popularity with Hitler and Stalin, I think we have major league problems. Bush has made some errors, but the latter two deserve the lowest rung in the Inferno, IMHO.

If 30 - 40 percent of Russians think Stalin was a good guy, the same guy who collaborated with Hitler to bring about the circumstances that precipitated their Great Patriotic War, those folks are seriously DELUDED! It's hard to imagine a worse outcome. Putin's regime enobles all of the worst attributes of the KGB and the mafia.

29 posted on 02/28/2006 11:02:14 AM PST by neverdem (May you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows that you're dead.)
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To: Proud_USA_Republican
there are liberal commie hippies from the Fremont area of Seattle are scouring Russia and Eastern european junkyards for a Stalin Statue to add to their collection of monuments to their heros. They already have a statue of Lenin erected in their town and have renamed the area, "Lenin Square".

They sure are. Yet these same types will howl til they turn blue if you suggested TRUE national heroes like Washington or Jefferson should have statues in their cities.
And just forget about statues of SOUTHERN heroes.
30 posted on 02/28/2006 11:08:43 AM PST by RedMonqey (People who don't who stand for something, will fall for anything.)
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To: Galveston Grl
Who said the atheists don't beleive in God?

As long as it's a IRON god
(Stalin means man of Steel)
31 posted on 02/28/2006 11:11:44 AM PST by RedMonqey (People who don't who stand for something, will fall for anything.)
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To: RedMonqey

God help us if we try to put up a small monument of a Medal of Honor winner at the University of Washington Campus, ohh nooo, not allowed!!! But its ok to have a statue of Lenin up in Seattle.

The liberals in this town are brain diseased commie scumbags. I wish they could all get a taste of what it was like to actually live under the rule of someone like Lenin or Stalin. Its easy for them to idolize these monsters when they are already dead and didn't have to live in Russia during their reigns.


32 posted on 02/28/2006 11:25:45 AM PST by Proud_USA_Republican (We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good. - Hillary Clinton)
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To: Proud_USA_Republican
I wish they could all get a taste of what it was like to actually live under the rule of someone like Lenin or Stalin. Its easy for them to idolize these monsters when they are already dead and didn't have to live in Russia during their reigns.

I know how you feel. I told my nephew who listens at this crap all the time on campus that I wish that for thirty days the president would enforce FULL martial law for the country and REALLY show these leftist what a real dictator can do.

Never happen but it would be one helluva lesson....
33 posted on 02/28/2006 11:39:55 AM PST by RedMonqey (People who don't who stand for something, will fall for anything.)
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To: neverdem

Sad and distressing.

I agree with his mother.

At some point when Stalin was dictator of the Soviet Union, and his mother was quite aged, she asked him exactly what it was that he did. He is reported to have offered some explanation, of which only "something like the Tsar" sank in.

"Too bad," his mother is reported to have replied, "It would have been better if you had become a priest."


34 posted on 02/28/2006 12:00:00 PM PST by The_Reader_David (And when they behead your own people in the wars which are to come, then you will know. . .)
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To: GSlob

Fascinates me the number of Jews who celebrate Communism.
They have, however, been trained to despise almost anything German in spite of the Jews in the Nazi hierarchy.


35 posted on 02/28/2006 12:28:26 PM PST by Spirited
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To: Spirited

Read Hayek's "Road to Serfdom" - more specifically, his footnotes to it. From personal experience he wrote that quite a few of those leftists would have been embracing the rest of Nazi program, but for Hitler's anti-semitism.


36 posted on 02/28/2006 12:58:45 PM PST by GSlob
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To: RedMonqey

Ohhh, that is more like an idol or a false god.


37 posted on 02/28/2006 1:10:34 PM PST by Galveston Grl (Getting angry and abandoning power to the Democrats is not a choice.)
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To: neverdem

38 posted on 02/28/2006 1:12:23 PM PST by Calpernia (Breederville.com)
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To: conservativeharleyguy

I've seen 'Stalin Lives' propaganda sites that say Yakov Dzhugashvili, Stalin's first child, was assisted in escaping the Nazi POW camp.

I just can't help but wonder if there is any truth to that.


39 posted on 02/28/2006 1:15:26 PM PST by Calpernia (Breederville.com)
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To: fizziwig
>>>Gulag denial is just as bad as Holocaust denial....we must keep reminding the left of that fact.

Gulag denial and Unit 731 denial is just as bad as Holocaust denial....we must keep reminding the left of that fact.

40 posted on 02/28/2006 1:21:03 PM PST by Calpernia (Breederville.com)
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To: GSlob

I lived through those years. I know quite a few who did.
They supported the corporate fascist state. I see it happening here and it is revolting.


41 posted on 02/28/2006 1:22:28 PM PST by Spirited
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To: Spirited

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1573646/posts
How do you say No NAIS in Japanese?

See info added to thread also.


42 posted on 02/28/2006 1:31:29 PM PST by Calpernia (Breederville.com)
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To: conservativeharleyguy
They may appreciate her ability to speak Russian, and they may even respect her, ...

By the way, it is rather a myth that Ms.Rice speaks Russian. When she was in Moscow, journalists felt very enthusiastic about it and tried to speak in Russian to her several times, but she looked confused and needed interpreter's help every time. In the end she managed saying couple of common words. She definitely coudn't speak or understand Russian, may be she can read a little bit.

Probably, she studed the language long time ago but likely never used/exercised afterwards.

It is not that it changes anything in an attidute towards her, it's just interesting fact.

43 posted on 02/28/2006 1:42:35 PM PST by LostGirl
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To: conservativeharleyguy
Still worshiping someone who's been dead for 50 years.

Well, a lot of folks in this country are still worshipping someone who's been dead for 2000 years +/-.

44 posted on 02/28/2006 1:51:04 PM PST by Mogengator
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To: Mogengator
"Well, a lot of folks in this country are still worshipping someone who's been dead for 2000 years +/-..."

I'm pretty sure that guy didn't personally preside over the slaughter of 100 million of his own citizens (+/-).
45 posted on 02/28/2006 1:56:48 PM PST by conservativeharleyguy ( Democrats: Over 60 million fooled daily!)
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To: Mogengator

Is that a comparison of Stalin to Jesus Christ????


46 posted on 02/28/2006 2:00:15 PM PST by Calpernia (Breederville.com)
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To: LostGirl
"By the way, it is rather a myth that Ms.Rice speaks Russian..."

By the way, it is rather a myth that journalists know their asses from post-holes about pretty much anything.

But, in the interest of fairness, and never having had the opportunity to converse in Russian w/Ms. Rice, I'll accept your premise. My opinion of journalists notwithstanding (they are basically what remains when dirt excretes [i.e. dirt-sh*t]).
47 posted on 02/28/2006 2:03:30 PM PST by conservativeharleyguy ( Democrats: Over 60 million fooled daily!)
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To: Calpernia

They, each staring in his time, placed pretty similar claims on what could be poetically called human souls. Thus a comparison is both warranted, illustrative and necessary.


48 posted on 02/28/2006 2:14:04 PM PST by GSlob
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To: GSlob

staring=starting


49 posted on 02/28/2006 2:14:34 PM PST by GSlob
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To: GSlob
>>>> a comparison is both warranted, illustrative and necessary


50 posted on 02/28/2006 2:20:17 PM PST by Calpernia (Breederville.com)
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