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Laughing at the Contradictions of Socialism in America [Old Soviet-era jokes work now in the U.S.]
pajamasmedia.com ^ | March 5, 2009 | Oleg Atbashian

Posted on 03/05/2009 5:42:04 AM PST by Tolik

Old Soviet-era jokes have become disturbingly applicable to the U.S.

There was a time in recent American history when certain Soviet jokes didn’t work in translation — not so much because of the language differences, but because of the lack of common sociopolitical context. But that is changing. As President Obama is preparing us for a great leap towards collectivism, I find myself recollecting forgotten political jokes I shared with comrades while living in the old country under Brezhnev, Andropov, and Gorbachev. (I was too young to remember the Khrushchev times, but I still remember the Khrushchev jokes.) I also noticed that the further America “advances” back to the Soviet model, the more translatable the old Soviet jokes become. Not all Soviet advancements have metastasized here yet, but we have four more glorious years to make it happen.

One of my favorite political jokes is this:

The six dialectical contradictions of socialism in the USSR:

  • There is full employment — yet no one is working.
  • No one is working — yet the factory quotas are fulfilled.
  • The factory quotas are fulfilled — yet the stores have nothing to sell.
  • The stores have nothing to sell — yet people got all the stuff at home.
  • People got all the stuff at home — yet everyone is complaining.
  • Everyone is complaining — yet the voting is always unanimous.

It reads like a poem — only instead of the rhythm of syllables and rhyming sounds, it’s the rhythm of logic and rhyming meanings. If I could replicate it, I might start a whole new genre of “contradictory six-liners.” It would be extremely difficult to keep it real and funny at the same time, but I’ll try anyway.

Dialectical contradictions are one of the pillars in Marxist philosophy, which states that contradictions eventually lead to a unity of opposites as the result of a struggle. This gave a convenient “scientific” excuse for the existence of contradictions in a socialist society, where opposites were nice and agreeable — unlike the wild and crazy opposites of capitalism that could never be reconciled. Hence the joke.

Then I moved to America, where wild and crazy opposites of capitalism were supposedly at their worst. Until recently, however, the only contradictions that struck me as irreconcilable were these:

Economic justice:

  • America is capitalist and greedy — yet half of the population is subsidized.

  • Half of the population is subsidized — yet they think they are victims.
  • They think they are victims — yet their representatives run the government.
  • Their representatives run the government — yet the poor keep getting poorer.

  • The poor keep getting poorer — yet they have things that people in other countries only dream about.
  • They have things that people in other countries only dream about — yet they want America to be more like those other countries.

Hollywood clichés:

  • Without capitalism there’d be no Hollywood — yet filmmakers hate capitalism.

  • Filmmakers hate capitalism — yet they sue for unauthorized copying of their movies.
  • They sue for unauthorized copying — yet on screen they teach us to share.
  • On screen they teach us to share — yet they keep their millions to themselves.
  • They keep their millions to themselves — yet they revel in stories of American misery and depravity.
  • They revel in stories of American misery and depravity — yet they blame the resulting anti-American sentiment on conservatism.
  • They blame the anti-American sentiment on conservatism — yet conservatism ensures the continuation of a system that makes Hollywood possible.

I never thought I would see socialist contradictions in America, let alone write about them. But somehow all attempts to organize life according to “progressive” principles always result in such contradictions. And in the areas where “progressives” have assumed positions of leadership — education, news media, or the entertainment industry — contradictions become “historically inevitable.”

If one were accidentally to open his eyes and compare the “progressive” narrative with facts on the ground, one might start asking questions. Why, for instance, if the war on terror breeds more terrorists, haven’t there been attacks on the U.S. soil since 2001? Why, if George W. Bush had removed our freedom of speech, was nobody ever arrested for saying anything? And if Obama has returned us our freedoms, why was a man harassed by police in Oklahoma for having an anti-Obama sign in his car? Why would anyone who supports free speech want to silence talk radio? And why is silencing the opposition called the “Fairness Doctrine”?

After the number of “caring,” bleeding-heart politicians in Washington reached a critical mass, it was only a matter of time before the government started ordering banks to help the poor by giving them risky home loans through community organizers. Which resulted in a bigger demand, which resulted in rising prices, which resulted in slimmer chances of repaying the loans, which resulted in more pressure on the banks, which resulted in repackaging of bad loans, which resulted in a collapse of the banks, which resulted in a recession, which resulted in many borrowers losing their jobs, which resulted in no further mortgage payments, which resulted in a financial disaster, which resulted in a worldwide crisis, with billions of poor people overseas — who had never seen a community organizer, nor applied for a bad loan — becoming even poorer than they had been before the “progressives” in the U.S. government decided to help the poor.

As if that were not enough, the same bleeding hearts are now trying to fix this by nationalizing the banks so that they can keep issuing risky loans through community organizers. In other words, to prevent the toast from landing buttered side down, they’re planning to butter the toast on both sides and hope that it will hover in mid-air. Which also seems like a sensible alternative energy initiative.

If that doesn’t fix the problem, there’s always the last resort of a liberal: blame capitalism. It’s always a win-win. Today government regulators may be blaming capitalism for the crisis caused by their dilettantish tampering with the economy, but who do you think they will credit after market forces resuscitate the economy?

Years ago, living in America made me feel as though I had traveled in a time machine from the past. But after the recent “revolutionary” changes have turned reality on its head — which is what “revolution” literally means — I’m getting an uneasy feeling I had come from your future.

As your comrade from the future, I also feel a social obligation to help my less advanced comrades in the American community, and prepare them for the transition to the glorious world of underground literature, half-whispered jokes, and the useful habit of looking over your shoulder. Don’t become a nation of cowards — but watch who might be listening.

Let’s start with these few.

People’s power:

  • Liberals believe they’re advancing people’s power — yet they don’t believe people can do anything right without their guidance.
  • People can’t do anything right — yet the government bureaucracy can do everything.
  • The government bureaucracy can do everything — yet liberals don’t like it when the government takes control of their lives.
  • Liberals don’t like it when the government takes control of their lives — yet they vote for programs that increase people’s dependency on the government.
  • They vote for programs that increase people’s dependency on the government — yet they believe they’re advancing people’s power.

Bush and the media:

  • The media said Bush was dumb — yet he won over two intelligent Democrats.
  • He won over two intelligent Democrats — yet the media said his ratings were hopeless.
  • The media said his ratings were hopeless — yet the 2004 electoral map was red.
  • The 2004 electoral map was red — yet the media said his policies failed.
  • The media said his policies failed — yet the economy grew and the war was won.
  • The economy grew and the war was won — yet the media said we needed “change.”

Public education:

  • Liberals have been in charge of education for 50 years — yet education is out of control.
  • Education is out of control — yet liberal teaching methods prevail.
  • Liberal teaching methods prevail — yet public schools are failing.
  • Public schools are failing — yet their funding keeps growing.
  • Their funding keeps growing — yet public schools are always underfunded.
  • Public schools are always underfunded — yet private schools yield better results for less.
  • Private schools yield better results for less — yet public education is the only way out of the crisis.

Foreign radicals*:

  • Foreign radicals hate America — yet they’re all wearing American blue jeans.

  • They’re all wearing American blue jeans — yet they disdain American culture.

  • They disdain American culture — yet they play American music, movies, and video games.
  • They play American music, movies, and video games — yet they call Americans uncivilized.
  • They call Americans uncivilized — yet they expect Americans to defend their civilization.
  • They expect Americans to defend their civilization — yet they think American capitalism is outdated.
  • They think American capitalism is outdated — yet most of their countries require American handouts.

(* Some Democrat politicians have similar opinions about their redneck constituents — yet they won’t shut up about how proud they are to have their mandate.)

Liberals and taxes:

  • Liberals want to help the poor — yet they won’t give money to charities.
  • They won’t give money to charities — yet they’d like the government to become a gigantic charity.
  • They’d like the government to become a gigantic charity — yet the money has to be taken from people by force.
  • The money has to be taken from people by force — yet they call it welfare.
  • They call it welfare — yet higher taxes make everyone poorer.
  • Higher taxes make everyone poorer — yet liberals find ways not to pay taxes.

  • Liberals find ways not to pay taxes — yet they get to be chosen to run the government.

Liberals and the CIA:

  • The CIA is a reactionary institution — yet its agents always leak information that helps liberals politically.
  • CIA agents always leak information that helps liberals politically — yet liberals say the CIA is clueless.
  • Liberals say the CIA is clueless — yet in their movies the CIA is running the world.
  • In their movies the CIA is running the world — yet they tell us that better intelligence could have prevented the war.
  • Better intelligence could have prevented the war — yet “enhanced interrogations” of captured terrorists must not be allowed.

Love and marriage:

  • Sex differences are the result of social conditioning — yet homosexuality is biological.
  • Homosexuality is biological — yet everybody is encouraged to experiment with it.
  • Everybody is encouraged to experiment with it — yet venereal diseases are treated at the taxpayers’ expense.
  • Venereal diseases are treated at the taxpayers’ expense — yet taxpayers have no right to impose standards since there are no moral absolutes.
  • There are no moral absolutes — yet gay marriage is an absolute must.
  • Gay marriage is an absolute must — yet family is an antiquated tool of bourgeois oppression.



TOPICS: Editorial; News/Current Events; Political Humor/Cartoons
KEYWORDS: lping; obamanation; olegatbashian; socialism; thepeoplescube
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1 posted on 03/05/2009 5:42:05 AM PST by Tolik
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To: Lando Lincoln; neverdem; quidnunc; .cnI redruM; Valin; King Prout; SJackson; dennisw; ...

Nailed It!

 

Read, Comrades, and laugh,

while you still can

 


 This ping list is not author-specific for articles I'd like to share. Some for the perfect moral clarity, some for provocative thoughts; or simply interesting articles I'd hate to miss myself. (I don't have to agree with the author all 100% to feel the need to share an article.)

I will try not to abuse the ping list and not to annoy you too much, but on some days there is more of the good stuff that is worthy of attention.

You are welcome to browse the list of truly exceptional articles I pinged to lately. Updated on February 10, 2009.  on  my page.
You are welcome in or out, just freepmail me (and note which PING list you are talking about).

Besides this one, I keep 2 separate PING lists for my favorite authors Victor Davis Hanson and Orson Scott Card.  

2 posted on 03/05/2009 5:46:45 AM PST by Tolik
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To: Tolik

Too close to the truth for me this morning..............


3 posted on 03/05/2009 5:47:10 AM PST by PeterPrinciple ( Seeking the truth here folks.)
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To: Tolik

Good article! My favorite Communist related joke:

How do you double the value of a Trabant (insert Prius nowadays)?

Fill the gas tank.


4 posted on 03/05/2009 5:47:36 AM PST by Reaganesque
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To: Reaganesque

**Good article! My favorite Communist related joke:**

told to me by a Russian who lived under old USSR

“We Pretend to WORK... and they PRETEND to PAY us!”

Give NOBAMA another 6 months.


5 posted on 03/05/2009 5:50:07 AM PST by gwilhelm56 (WE THE PEOPLE Demand TALK RADIO to be our 1st Amendment MEDIA WATCHDOG!!!)
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To: Tolik

One of my old favorite Russian jokes came from when Gorbachev was in power, and the USSR experienced a serious vodka shortage.

2 guys hear the State liquor store is getting a supply of vodka, they go and run to get in the endless line.

One guy says “ I can’t stand these lines anymore-I am going to go kill Gorbachev!”

His friend says - “you can’t do that, he is protected by KGB, at best you will go to Gulag, or you might get shot!”

Nonetheless, his friend leaves. He figures he will never see him again.

About two hours later, his friend comes back to the line- “well, did you kill Gorbachev?” he asks him.

No, his buddy replys - “that line was longer than this one!”


6 posted on 03/05/2009 5:51:05 AM PST by pineybill (`)
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To: Tolik

One of my old favorite Russian jokes came from when Gorbachev was in power, and the USSR experienced a serious vodka shortage.

2 guys hear the State liquor store is getting a supply of vodka, they go and run to get in the endless line.

One guy says “ I can’t stand these lines anymore-I am going to go kill Gorbachev!”

His friend says - “you can’t do that, he is protected by KGB, at best you will go to Gulag, or you might get shot!”

Nonetheless, his friend leaves. He figures he will never see him again.

About two hours later, his friend comes back to the line- “well, did you kill Gorbachev?” he asks him.

No, his buddy replys - “that line was longer than this one!”


7 posted on 03/05/2009 5:52:07 AM PST by pineybill (`)
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To: Tolik
The poor keep getting poorer — yet they have things that people in other countries only dream about.

America - the only country where the poor are fat.

8 posted on 03/05/2009 5:52:33 AM PST by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: All
http://www.thepeoplescube.com

 


9 posted on 03/05/2009 5:52:40 AM PST by Tolik
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To: PeterPrinciple
http://www.thepeoplescube.com


 

10 posted on 03/05/2009 5:56:17 AM PST by Tolik
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To: Tolik
Yakov Smirnoff is going to have to get all new material.

My favorite Russian joke is the "suitcase nukes". They built miniature nuclear bombs that would fit in a suitcase, and planned to smuggle them into the US and plant them in strategic locations. The plan had to be abandoned when it was discovered they didn't have any suitcases.

11 posted on 03/05/2009 5:57:55 AM PST by tacticalogic ("Oh bother!" said Pooh, as he chambered his last round.)
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To: Tolik

Brilliant column.


12 posted on 03/05/2009 5:58:41 AM PST by Gondring (Paul Revere would have been flamed as a naysayer troll and told to go back to Boston.)
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To: Tolik

Good stuff!


13 posted on 03/05/2009 6:00:15 AM PST by Canedawg (Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.)
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To: Gondring
That side is a treasure:   http://www.thepeoplescube.com

 

 

14 posted on 03/05/2009 6:00:48 AM PST by Tolik
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To: Tolik

great article


15 posted on 03/05/2009 6:02:37 AM PST by anniegetyourgun
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To: Tolik

A man goes into a Soviet automobile dealer to buy a car. He picks out the options he wants and places the order for the car. The dealer says, “Okay, you can pick up this car in ten years.”

“Ten years? Morning or afternoon?”

“Why? What difference does that make?”

“Well, the plumber is coming in the morning.”


16 posted on 03/05/2009 6:04:27 AM PST by wolfpat (Revolt, and re-establish the Constitution as the law of the land!)
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To: Canedawg
Oleg Atbashian is brilliant

  http://www.thepeoplescube.com

 
 
 

17 posted on 03/05/2009 6:05:39 AM PST by Tolik
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To: gwilhelm56
  http://www.thepeoplescube.com

 

 

18 posted on 03/05/2009 6:07:53 AM PST by Tolik
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To: Tolik

A few of my friends have been resurrecting old “Yakov Smirnoff” jokes ... but we’re applying them to the USA rather than USSR.


19 posted on 03/05/2009 6:11:01 AM PST by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: Tolik

A Russkie spots a comrade exiting a meeting at the Kremlin, and stops to chat a moment.

First Russkie: So, comrade, how do things look for the motherland?

Second Russkie: The situation is hopeless, but not yet bad.

:-/


20 posted on 03/05/2009 6:14:53 AM PST by LearsFool ("Thou shouldst not have been old, till thou hadst been wise.")
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To: PeterPrinciple

“We can’t expect the American people to jump from Capitalism to Communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving them small doses of Socialism, until they awaken one day to find that they have Communism.”—Nikita Khrushchev

“The American people will never knowingly adopt Socialism. But under the name of ‘liberalism’ they will adopt every fragment of the Socialist program, until one day America will be a Socialist nation, without knowing how it happened.”—Norman Thomas (Socialist Party presidential candidate Norman Thomas, grandfather of Newsweek’s Evan

“Paying more taxes is the patriotic thing to do. We want to take money and put it back in the pocket of middle class.”—Joe Biden, VP of USA

“I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.”—B H Obama, President of USA


21 posted on 03/05/2009 6:15:43 AM PST by Le Chien Rouge
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To: Tolik

mark


22 posted on 03/05/2009 6:25:02 AM PST by nkycincinnatikid
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To: nkycincinnatikid

As long as they pretend to pay us, we will pretend to work.


23 posted on 03/05/2009 6:25:41 AM PST by SparkyBass
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To: LearsFool; Alouette

Word goes out that a butcher shop in Moscow is going to have meat in the morning so a line forms the night before. It is a very cold Russian winter night so the people have built fires in trash cans and bundled up for the frigid night.

About 3 am the butcher goes out and announces, “There will be less meat than expected. All the Jews must leave the line.” The Jews grumble and go home.

At 7 am the butcher comes back out and says, “There will be no meat at all. Everyone go home.”

As they are going home, one Russian mutters, “Those damned Jews! They have all the luck!”

(Thought you would like that one, Alouette.)


24 posted on 03/05/2009 6:37:19 AM PST by Blood of Tyrants (The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money. Margret Thatcher)
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To: DuncanWaring

Well, we have to face the twin evils of famine and obesity.


25 posted on 03/05/2009 6:43:16 AM PST by coloradan (The US has become a banana republic, except without the bananas - or the republic.)
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To: Tolik

bookmarked for later reading...


26 posted on 03/05/2009 6:50:34 AM PST by EnigmaticAnomaly ("Liberals: Punishing success and subsidizing losers for 150 years")
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To: Tolik

Oh, I gotta bump this


27 posted on 03/05/2009 6:56:53 AM PST by Skooz (Gabba Gabba we accept you we accept you one of us Gabba Gabba we accept you we accept you one of us)
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To: EnigmaticAnomaly

And excellent reading it is... thanks for sharing! I intend to share some of those couplets with friends and family.


28 posted on 03/05/2009 7:02:44 AM PST by Liberty1970 (Democrats are not in control. God is. And Thank God for that!)
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To: Tolik

Good article. Unfortunately, he’s right.


29 posted on 03/05/2009 7:04:35 AM PST by fightinJAG (Good riddance, UAW.)
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To: Tolik

“Under Capitalism man exploits his fellow man, under Socialism it’s the other way around”


30 posted on 03/05/2009 7:08:30 AM PST by Poincare
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To: Tolik

I understand the author’s intent.

I am not laughing. In fact, right now I feel like breaking down and sobbing...


31 posted on 03/05/2009 7:11:26 AM PST by ForeignDude
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To: Tolik

bump


32 posted on 03/05/2009 7:14:48 AM PST by AmericaUnite
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To: Tolik; neverdem

Liberals and the CIA:

* The CIA is a reactionary institution — yet its agents always leak information that helps liberals politically.
* CIA agents always leak information that helps liberals politically — yet liberals say the CIA is clueless.
* Liberals say the CIA is clueless — yet in their movies the CIA is running the world.
* In their movies the CIA is running the world — yet they tell us that better intelligence could have prevented the war.
* Better intelligence could have prevented the war — yet “enhanced interrogations” of captured terrorists must not be allowed.

LOL


33 posted on 03/05/2009 7:25:37 AM PST by GOPJ (People who can't use the new WH phone system are trying to redesign half the US economy - Brooks)
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To: ForeignDude

In the country of developed surrealism (to borrow from Brezhnev’s “developed socialism”), laughing helped to maintain sanity. But, I know what you mean...


34 posted on 03/05/2009 7:29:23 AM PST by Tolik
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To: ArrogantBustard

In Obama’s America is freedom of speech. In Bush’s America is also freedom after speech


35 posted on 03/05/2009 7:36:38 AM PST by Incorrigible (If I lead, follow me; If I pause, push me; If I retreat, kill me.)
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To: Tolik

From an age when the USSR was copying everything we made:
“Who is Russia’s greatest inventor?”
“US RegPatOff”


36 posted on 03/05/2009 7:46:43 AM PST by Oatka ("A society of sheep must in time beget a government of wolves." –Bertrand de Jouvenel)
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To: Tolik; neverdem

Beautifully written.


37 posted on 03/05/2009 7:50:36 AM PST by Robert A. Cook, PE (I can only donate monthly, but socialists' ABBCNNBCBS continue to lie every day!)
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To: Tolik
Heartbreakingly accurate and brilliant.
38 posted on 03/05/2009 8:25:09 AM PST by Excellence (What Madoff is to finance Gore is to global warming.)
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To: Tolik

BTTT


39 posted on 03/05/2009 8:28:27 AM PST by spodefly (This is my tag line. There are many like it, but this one is mine.)
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bttt for later


40 posted on 03/05/2009 8:30:31 AM PST by boxerblues (Party like its 1773)
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To: Tolik

Great post. This guy is too good.

Isn’t it wonderful that we can now appreciate and participate in the tragicomic humor of the Russians?


41 posted on 03/05/2009 8:57:36 AM PST by Yardstick
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To: Tolik

“Hammering” out a reference PING...


42 posted on 03/05/2009 9:47:06 AM PST by TLI ( ITINERIS IMPENDEO VALHALLA)
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To: Tolik
Filmmakers hate capitalism — yet they sue for unauthorized copying of their movies.

I loved this line.

43 posted on 03/05/2009 11:33:30 AM PST by GOP_Raider (Have you risen above your own public education today?)
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To: GOP_Raider; bamahead

Bump and ping


44 posted on 03/05/2009 12:46:41 PM PST by dcwusmc (We need to make government so small that it can be drowned in a bathtub.)
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To: Tolik; Clemenza; rmlew; nutmeg; Yehuda; SJackson; PARodrig; firebrand; Reaganite1984
During the days in which Lenin instituted the NEP 5 year plan (new Economic Plan) to try to avoid the total collapse of the soviet economy. One of the policies was to implement greater trade and so USSR imported more tractors to aid in increasing agricultural production. The tag on the tractors and many other imported goods all read REGUSPATOF, soon rumors spread all over USSR that mother Russia had the world's greatest inventor and his name was Reguspatof. Reguspatof got a great reputation in the USSR. Of course, Reguspatof stood for REGISTERED US PATENT OFFICE.
45 posted on 03/05/2009 2:39:16 PM PST by Cacique (quos Deus vult perdere, prius dementat ( Islamia Delenda Est ))
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To: dcwusmc; Abathar; Abcdefg; Abram; Abundy; akatel; albertp; AlexandriaDuke; Alexander Rubin; ...



Libertarian ping! Click here to get added or here to be removed or post a message here!
46 posted on 03/05/2009 2:59:27 PM PST by bamahead (Few men desire liberty; most men wish only for a just master. -- Sallust)
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To: bamahead

In Soviet America...*sigh* This is just so wrong.


47 posted on 03/05/2009 3:24:18 PM PST by rabscuttle385 ("If this be treason, then make the most of it!" —Patrick Henry)
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To: Tolik

bookmark


48 posted on 03/05/2009 7:27:49 PM PST by traviskicks (http://www.neoperspectives.com/Ron_Paul_2008.htm)
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To: Tolik

This Running Dog has bookmarked the article Comrade.


49 posted on 03/05/2009 7:33:44 PM PST by Rome2000 (Peace is not an option)
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To: ForeignDude
I am not laughing. In fact, right now I feel like breaking down and sobbing...

I understand. However, we need to remember something. Whatever they should do to our country, our institutions and our way of life can be undone. It may take us a long time and it may be much harder than we imagine, but in the end it will be done.
50 posted on 03/05/2009 7:46:54 PM PST by dmartin (Not the 'Change' you were 'Hoping' for?)
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