Monday, March 27, 2006

Long Overdue Felis in the Hot Seat

This blog has experienced a surge of growth and much of my growth can be directly traced to Felis and Democracy Frontline. The posts in Bad Eagle and Always on the Watch have also contributed to the growth of this blog. The change in format has also created more interesting content. Felis has single handledly broadned my readership base and my blog is becoming more global.

The Communist Follies
1 You lived under a Communist regime are anti Communists like myself exagerating the evils of Communism ?
2 Does Communism have a religious base or theme ? Why do its advocates keep on rationalizing failure and piles of dead bodies ?
3 Is a delusional elitism part of the persona of a dedicated Communist. We hear boasts of fictional IQ and intellect. Communism seems more akin to a theft by an imagined self appointed elite then a coherent system ?
4 What did ordinary Poles think of Western Revolutionary pilgrims who visited Communist countries on guided tours ?
5 Was there any truth to the claims that healthcare was readily available, no crime,
no homelessness, free education and superior working conditions for labor.

Polish History

6 The Nazi invasion of Eastern Poland is well known. However the invasion of Western Poland by the Soviets is dissmissed and swept under the rug. My Uncle was in Lvov and remembers round ups and executions by the Soviets well before the larger exterminations of the Nazis. Was the Katyn massacre an isolated incedent or part of something larger.
7 What happened in the Communist years were Poles swept into the Soviet Gulag or was there a local set of prisons that served that function.
8 Can you remind our readers of the famous role of the Polish knights in halting the advance of Islam through Europe ?

Islam

9 I am not the first or last to note the similarities between Islam and Communism. Does Islam remind you of Communism ?
10 I have numerous friends who are refugees from Muslim countries. They all seem to say the exact same thing. If you want to understand Islam read the Koran. You have an excellent grasp and have devoted much time. Is this good advice ? Should the average person spend a few days and read the Koran ?
11 Is radical Islam a global problem ? I see Islam in conflict with every other religon on the planet. Jews and Christians lived in peace in India until guess who shows up.
12 Are you against altering the laws of Australia to accomodate Islamic practices such as on domestic violence ?

Australia

13 Americans have a sterotype of Ausies as fun loving and rugged ? Is Mr Beamish a natural Australian ?
14 Is there a fine arts Museum in Sydney
15 Americans love the adventures of the Crocodile Hunter is that show popular in Australia ?
16 What is Vegemite ????
17 What type of wildlife do you see in a short drive from your home
18 Is there an Australian term for road kill

General

19 Who are your favorite authors ?
20 Is there Conservative Talk radio like we have in the USA
21 In real life Charles Bronson was a Pole. His last name was Buchinsky . Can you name the two films where he played a Pole. Did he do a credible job ? This is a tough question.
22 Italian vs Japanese food pick one.
23 Have you driven a motorcyle ?
24 Are you a fan of a particular painter

25 Are people that talk to their plants eccentric or bored ?
24

38 comments:

nanc said...

#18 - cornfed muslims?

beakerkin said...

I just don't think road kill Wallaby has potential at Racoon or muskrat. Wallaby is too normal for good roadkill

nanc said...

i won't eat marsupials, they give me gas - i don't care how many times you run over one.

American Crusader said...

I've been looking forward to this interview. What's wrong with eating possum?

American Crusader said...

What is Vegemite ????

This question is long overdue.

nanc said...

a.c. - are they those little bugs that hang around carrots? possum is an animal best left un-et!

MissingLink said...

Beak,
I am honoured.
Please give me some time I've just started my day.

beakerkin said...

Looking foward to the answers no cheating on the vegemite question .

I am sure everyone is looking foward to an excellent interview.

nanc said...

i'm getting my beer and nuts ready!

and speaking of beernuts - do y'all know what they have in common with deer nuts?














they're both still under a buck! oy, these opening numbers - where's beamish when you need him.......

Always On Watch said...

Crusader,
What's wrong with eating possum?

Too greasy, or so I've heard.

Old joke: armadillo = possum on the half shell.

Iran Watch said...

lmao@possum on the half shell. Came over here for the felis interview.Should be good.

Warren said...

I know what Vegimite is.

It ain't pretty!

;^)

Warren said...

BTW,
I heard from Elijah. He's having computer problems.

beakerkin said...

He's tried to get in on the blog twice. I would like to let him sit for a pop culture interview.

Where did you find Vegemite I have been looking all over.

Kajando is up and running again

Iran Watch

You should sit for an interview. It promises to be a fun experience.

nanc said...

warren knows everything. dayam - i want to be a girl warren when i grow up.

nanc said...

p.s. beak - did you see my call in to steve? i called him "bagel boy" the other day and that got his attention!

MissingLink said...

The Communist Follies
1 You lived under a Communist regime are anti Communists like myself exagerating the evils of Communism ?
No, not at all.
The danger is far more real than most of us can realize. Living under a stable and prosperous democratic system gives us a false sense of security.
Communism as any other totalitarian ideology/political system has enormous destructive power. It is so easy to destroy and so difficult to build stable system, something that actually works.
We probably don’t do enough to marginalize communism, to bring it to the same level as Nazism, and therefore it can still find followers especially that our schools and universities are full of educated idiots on a mission.

2 Does Communism have a religious base or theme ?
Communism in its Marxist form is defined as scientific. It is based on a number of premises, which are treated by the followers as scientific, universal laws of “nature” (like gravity). You cannot argue with such “hard evidence”.
Only mad, uneducated people can doubt in the power of science.
At the basis of it all it is only “faith” – taking for granted that these premises are true of course.
If you do not believe in the very existence of God there isn’t much point in preaching theology alone.

Why do its advocates keep on rationalizing failure and piles of dead bodies ?
Here again, we can see the power of blind faith in a dogma, which has never proved to be right.
The whole world would collapse if you are left without your GOD, all your deeds are meaningless, all your friends become your enemies, the whole knowledge base, which made you educated and special is worthless, the whole set of higher ethics, which made you immune to murder, rape and pillage is brought down to the level of simple criminal activities.
In many cases your whole career is built upon your faith – how many imams wish to get rid of Islam?

How about this line: “The ideology is good only a few extremists spoilt it.”
Let replace communism with Nazism shall we?
Nazism is a good and humanitarian ideology and we cannot judge it because of Hitler’s atrocities. – Absurd.
Of course there are criminal ideologies and Marxism is one of them.
As most of the totalitarian theories, Marxism also has a defined enemy, which can always be found when needed – class enemy.
It is up to those enlighten ones who understand Marxism to decide who can be named as the class enemy of the week (capitalists, doctors, engineers, kulaks etc).
Never blame yourself always blame others.

And so: “Communism is good but it was the class enemy, revisionist Stalin who gave communism bad name.”
The new age communists voice loudly once again the goodness of the dictatorship of the proletariat as a perfect democratic system.

The necessary conclusion drawn by revolutionary Marxists as a consequence: that the working class can exercise state power only within the framework of state institutions of a type different from those of the bourgeois state, state institutions arising out of' sovereign and democratically elected and centralized workers councils (soviets), with the fundamental characteristics outlined by Lenin in State and Revolution
- Does it sound good to you?
Majority rules, elected state officials, socialist democracy – nothing to be afraid of.
Not too mention that greed, yes greed is eliminated as the state owns the means of production.
What a beautiful vision based upon a blatant lie.
Not even Karl Marx, after gaining some basic experience in life, would believe in being able to secure the majority of any potential electorate.
In fact the comrades could not even agree among themselves on the most basic issues and so the communist movement has always been the most divisively split political movement in the history of modern politics.
Now imagine that you cannot secure unity within your own movement and you try to convince the whole working class (read nation) to agree about the same things.
The preposition of one party representing the whole class of people, who elect their local representatives into councils (soviets), is very noble but how in practice do they suppose to vote on hundreds of issues?
As individuals, clubs, groups (Karl Marx had never explained that either)?
What if the majority says no and they want to change the revolutionary government?
Karl Marx had foreseen these problems, in fact they became evident earlier during the French revolution or any other previous social unrest when it came to decision making.
The idea of organized “revolutionary terror” was born.

The working class must act in such a manner that the revolutionary excitement does not collapse immediately after the victory. On the contrary, they must maintain it as long as possible. Far from opposing so-called excesses, such as sacrificing to popular revenge of hated individuals or public buildings to which hateful memories are attached, such deeds must not only be tolerated, but their direction must be taken in hand, for examples' sake."
(From Karl Marx, Address to the Communist League (1850). Cited in E. Burns (ed.), A Handbook of Marxism (1935), p. 66 )

3 Is a delusional elitism part of the persona of a dedicated Communist. We hear boasts of fictional IQ and intellect.
I think so. I’ve never met a real communist, whom I could describe as really bright and intelligent.
I suppose, It took them some time to absorb and potentially understand all this wisdom and so they feel very special.
They possess the ultimate wisdom, a perfect formula on life, history, philosophy, art – you name it.
Of course you know the story about Stalin’s Brain Institute.

Communism seems more akin to a theft by an imagined self appointed elite then a coherent system ?
It’s all about the ownership of private property and the rights protecting it.
When people cannot have their own private property (apart from personal belongings), the whole sector of “ownership” moves into various fringes, which even the wisest “economists” wouldn’t think of as “property”.
In most cases it is the position, which a person can secure for himself. There is certain power attached to every position in a government system and it is not the pitiful salary but what you can get in exchange for your goods and services (position of power).
Since the position you have may be taken from you at any time you try to transfer as much from it into you personal belongings as you can.
E.g. doctors will operate on patients if the relatives of the sick person provide certain tokens of friendship. Medicines will be officially written off the records to find their way into private clients and the local black market.
Policemen will take certain gratifications from drivers instead of traffic fines.
I could quote thousands of examples.
This leaves the environment in a state of total corruption, disrepair and chaos.
The higher you get in the communist hierarchy the more fringe benefits you can secure for yourself.
Stalin was very good at organizing this kind of fringe economy and private networking and so he understood the need for clean up in the ranks – purges.
This way no group could gain too much power to threaten him.

4 What did ordinary Poles think of Western Revolutionary pilgrims who visited Communist countries on guided tours ?
We despised them.
They were the people who gave the criminals, who ran our lives, legitimacy abroad.
In fact many crimes were committed because our rulers knew they could act with no consequences whatsoever as these idiots would find any excuse to explain these actions or show them in a favourable light.
Do you remember this moron Sting singing “Russians love their children too”?
These kind of lunacy made a lot of people in the West identify communism as yet another, way of living, a different exotic culture, something that we chose for ourselves.
You get this same situation now with Iraq – WE (patronizing we) mustn’t interfere with different cultures and political systems.
I don’t know if it’s just stupidity and ignorance or criminal insanity.

5 Was there any truth to the claims that healthcare was readily available, no crime, no homelessness, free education and superior working conditions for labor.
Healthcare.
That was the theory. To get some service you had to pay, bribe, bring gifts.
There were no medicines, equipment was scarce and old.
Education was free but private tutors were always handy if you wished to have this extra “unfair” advantage.

Education.
Our careers were really decided when we finished primary school.
Only about 5% would go to general high schools, another 5% percent would go to so called technical high schools. Probably 20% would get into 3 year vocational schools.
Majority wouldn’t go beyond primary school.
Only a fraction of the 10% high school graduates would make it to the universities.
Universities weren’t too bad – keep in mind it was a real elite who could get there (not always on merit alone).

Crime was everywhere.
It was petty crime and vandalism because the militia had monopoly on real crime.
No criminal in his right mind would step into the “mafia’s” territory, militiamen had enormous powers and they didn’t need witnesses or paperwork to prove anything.
A word of a cop would get you a few years behind bars.

There were homeless people, but most importantly people lived like sardines, one on the top of another and there was always chronic shortage of housing.

Working conditions?
We worked seven days a week, only Sunday was a day off.
The pay was very low.
Working conditions overall weren’t too bad but nowhere near as good as those in the West at the same time.
The work safety wasn’t too good at all.

Polish History
6 The Nazi invasion of Eastern Poland is well known. However the invasion of Western Poland by the Soviets is dissmissed and swept under the rug. My Uncle was in Lvov and remembers round ups and executions by the Soviets well before the larger exterminations of the Nazis. Was the Katyn massacre an isolated incedent or part of something larger.
Soviets were late when they attacked Poland on September 17, 1939, and Hitler was mad because the fighting was a bit harder than he expected without the synchronized attach from the East.
It was according to the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, 1939, which even included the establishment of occupation zones between Soviets and Germany prior to the invasion.
No, Katyn was not an isolated incident at all.
It was very painful however, because Poland lost in a very short time a massive number of young people from its intellectual elite.
Majority of the soldiers shot in “Katyn” were officers of the Army Reserve, who in their civilian lives were doctors, dentists, lawyers, engineers, teachers etc.
Also, as you pointed out there were mass executions of Polish citizens here and there but the most terrific loss of population happened after the transfer of Polish citizens in to remote areas of Russia.
When the Soviet Army crossed the Polish borders they rounded up millions of civilians and shifted them into the Gulags of Siberia.
It is very hard to estimate the number of victims, or even to say whether they died or just never returned (Stalin blamed the Germans and the Germans blamed Russia).
According to 1947 census Poland had a population of 18.5 million as opposed to 36 million in 1938.
Some of the people returned to Poland after the war from these parts which were incorporated into Soviet Union (mainly Ukraine and Belarus) and so the total number in 1950-53 can be estimated as about 22-23 million people (rough estimate).
Only in the mid 1980’s Polish population reached 1936 mark.
Of course the Germans are as much responsible for the extermination of Polish citizens, especially of Polish Jews.

7 What happened in the Communist years were Poles swept into the Soviet Gulag or was there a local set of prisons that served that function.
After the war there were still people sent to Gulags but they were mostly members of the Polish Home Army and old political parties and so we can say the numbers were in tens of thousands (not so significant) and many of them returned after 1956.
Polish communist security was doing a very good job in political cleansing locally.
My maternal grandmother’s brother was beaten to death in one of the local units. I don’t know the exact numbers of people, who died or served their time in communist prisons in Poland after war.
When I was still in Poland the figures were not available.

8 Can you remind our readers of the famous role of the Polish knights in halting the advance of Islam through Europe ?
Oh, this is a very long history!
It started in the 15th century long before the fall of Constantinople in 1453.
Polish kings helped Hungary to withhold the Muslim assault There were voluntary expeditions but since Wladislaw III was also crowned as the King of Hungary(1443) , Poland was involved with the struggle against the Ottoman Jihad until the end of the 17th century.
Wladislaw III was actually killed in the great battle at Varna (today’s Bulgaria) in 1444 and this was the final step in surrounding the remains of the Byzantine “Empire” by the Muslim armies.
Another Polish-Hungarian king Ludvig (Jagiellonczyk) was also killed in the battle of Mohach in 1526 and this was basically the end of Hungary as a local power.
From then on Poland had a border with the Ottoman Empire, which launched new attacks every couple of years.
It was the 1683-4 campaign of John III Sobieski, which finally brought the Ottoman Jihad to a halt (Ottomans besieged Vienna and Poland decided to give its neighbour a hand).
Ottoman empire had never recovered from this war.
It was actually the end of the non-stop Muslim push towards Europe which started in the 7th Century.
Only recently with the growing importance of oil as a energy source the Jihad came to life again.

Islam
9 I am not the first or last to note the similarities between Islam and Communism. Does Islam remind you of Communism?
It is different in many respects but it is a totalitarian ideology nonetheless.
-It aims to take control over the world
- the power is administered centrally
- It doesn’t tolerate any difference of opinion (single political ideology)
- the right of individuals are only to serve the greater goal of the political entity
- there is a defined enemy to fight against
- there is no protection of private property (state controls all) and not much of taxable income
-as a consequence of the above the state economy must feed on (physical) expansion as the state cannot support itself over longer periods of time
- public service runs the country and the officers can be replaced at will
- the ethics are relative (good - what’s desirable for the ultimate goal, evil - what is in the way to achieve it)

To name just a few similarities.

10 I have numerous friends who are refugees from Muslim countries. They all seem to say the exact same thing. If you want to understand Islam read the Koran. You have an excellent grasp and have devoted much time. Is this good advice ? Should the average person spend a few days and read the Koran?

Absolutely but it should not be the only reading.
The knowledge of history and economics of Islam is vital as well as the Hadith.
I am going to list “Islamic” resources on our website (soon).

11 Is radical Islam a global problem ? I see Islam in conflict with every other religon on the planet. Jews and Christians lived in peace in India until guess who shows up.
Islam is a problem.
There is no such thing as radical Islam.
There are radical or less radical Muslims but Islam just IS.
People who don’t take it seriously are NOT radical but and this is just our luck that most Muslims don’t know the Qur’an and Sharia at all.
Islam unfortunately cannot be reformed, because if you try to change just one rule you automatically become an apostate.
And you know what that means.

12 Are you against altering the laws of Australia to accomodate Islamic practices such as on domestic violence?
I am against recognizing Islam as a legitimate mainstream religion in the Western society (in fact anywhere).
I believe that majority of Muslims are VICTIMS of this perverted ideology and need to be liberated.
I wouldn’t ban it.
I mean if you wish to believe in it it’s your bad luck, but to get the government support, tax exemptions etc. – NO!
Tony Blair doesn’t help when he says – “Islam is progressive”.
Mustafa Kemal tried to secularize Islam and he failed, why should we make the same mistake (especially that we do not have to).

Australia
13 Americans have a stereotype of Ausies as fun loving and rugged ? Is Mr Beamish a natural Australian?
Sure thing – Mr Beamish the honorary Ozzie!
Don’t you know that being a true blue Ozzie is a state of mind?
Australians are fun loving easy going people who are probably the most open and definitely believing in “live and let live” rule.
Their work ethics are great (as long as they don’t work for the government).
Don’t get fooled about Australian larrikin behaviour – they are much more sophisticated that any University halfwit can possibly imagine – they will act for you of course.

14 Is there a fine arts Museum in Sydney
Yes. There are National Art Galleries in every large city in Australia.
Perhaps not as huge as in Europe but still, we try.

15 Americans love the adventures of the Crocodile Hunter is that show popular in Australia?
Not really.
It is not that popular at all ( ….but …..I don’t watch much TV)

16 What is Vegemite ????
A delicacy.
Matured yeasts with Soya sauce (more or less)
It’s good fo’ yah.

17 What type of wildlife do you see in a short drive from your home
Lots of birds, blue tongued lizards, occasional echidna.
But I live in a bushy area and so we have possums and even wallabies visiting.

18 Is there an Australian term for road kill
There sure is – it’s called “road kill”

General
19 Who are your favorite authors?
I love so many, mostly history; Huizinga, Burkhardt, Bullock, Le Geoff, to name just a few.

20 Is there Conservative Talk radio like we have in the USA
There conservative DJs but not a conservative radio channel.
I think the market is a problem here.
We are only 20 million people living within an area which is just slightly smaller than the USA.

21 In real life Charles Bronson was a Pole. His last name was Buchinsky. Can you name the two films where he played a Pole. Did he do a credible job ?
Act of Vengeance – Yablonsky – union organizer
The Dirty Dozen ( I think ?) Wladislaw - a crim
To me he was always the same Charles Bronson (even as a real Injun – Pato’s land)

This is a tough question.
22 Italian vs Japanese food pick one.

Japanese – I always prefer Asian no matter what part of Asia(perhaps with one exception – real Mongolian cuisine).

23 Have you driven a motorcycle ?
Never ever.
But I’ve driven T57

24 Are you a fan of a particular painter
Breugel and early Salvatore Dali

25 Are people that talk to their plants eccentric or bored ?
Beg, you pardon?
The last time I talked to my carrots they told me I was a great guy.
Nuts.

beakerkin said...

Felis You found anither Polish Charles Bronson Role. He played a Pole in the Great Escape. His charachter was one of three who escaped. An Ausie played by James Coburn also escaped.

I missed the road kill question. Is there really an Australian term for that ?

beakerkin said...

This was an excellent interview.

MissingLink said...

Beak,
Is there really an Australian term for that ?
"Road Kill" is the only term that I know.;-p
BTW I answered that No 18

nanc said...

bravo.

nanc said...

bravo.

nanc said...

must be a glitch somewhere in this room.

Warren said...

Missinglink, you'll have to excuse Beak, He doesn't understand plainly spoken Oz.

Beak, Oz for road kill is, its road kill, mate!

;^)

Vegemite History

Eat it like peanut butter, or with peanut butter. On toast with lots of butter.

"16 What is Vegemite ????
A delicacy."


So is agave worms boiled in Linseed oil. But give me fresh slice of dog, any day! ;^)

Great interview! I'm going to copy and store it for future use. I found your answers about Poland under Communism and your insights well worth saving for future reference.

A question. I've driven all types of American military equipment but haven't been close enough to inspect any Soviet military equipment, although in 1971 I was close enough to the East/West German border to direct artillery fire and did practice (dry fire) exercises on it. What type of steering mechanism did the T57s have, tiller bars or a steering wheel?

nanc said...

ODG - picture warren getting hot!

MissingLink said...

Warren,
Dual tiller bars.
But give me fresh slice of dog, any day! ;^)

True, dogs are delicious if cooked properly but nothing can beat fresh witchetty grubs.
Awww, this tingling sensation on your tongue....when these multiple little feet caress your taste buds...
YUM!
http://www.rumbalara-e.schools.nsw.edu.au/bushtucker/Xyleutes_sp.htm

Mr. Beamish the Instablepundit said...

Witchetty grubs look like they'd taste good fried up with some potatoes and onions.

nanc said...

my husband offered me a grub from a cedar log once as he was poppin' one in his mouth and i had to say, "no, i'm not that kind of indian." and i'm still not.

themerrywidow said...

Excellent interview! Especially about growing up in Poland. A much malined and misunderstood country. You can keep my share of the vegemite! Notice it rhymes with dynamite?

Always On Watch said...

Felis,
Excellent! This was worth the wait. You really blasted some myths about Communism.

our schools and universities are full of educated idiots on a mission

You know how I feel about that topic.

I’ve never met a real communist, whom I could describe as really bright and intelligent.

Excellent salvo there.

Islam unfortunately cannot be reformed, because if you try to change just one rule you automatically become an apostate.

The problem, concisely stated.

Vegemite--A delicacy.
Matured yeasts with Soya sauce (more or less)
It’s good fo’ yah.


But what does it TASTE like? Just an approximate comparison will do.

I have one dear Aussie friend. He lives off the wildlife of the land here--venison, mainly. When his mother was widowed, this friend was the oldest of the children and literally put meat on the table for all the years he remained in Oz. And his American-born son really knows how to cook venison. Sometimes, when I go to that house for piano lessons (Reston, Virginia), I see the latest kill on the back deck. One doesn't see such a thing very often here in citified Fairfax County. My Aussie friend is equally proficient with both rifle and bow-and-arrow.

MissingLink said...

Thank you Brak for this opportunity to talk about something different than Islam.
Thank you guys for your kind wors.

Mr Beamish,
Me, I like 'em raw, but then I like everething raw.

Nanc,
And you refused?
NO appreciation even for this kind of ultimate sacrifices.
I must say I'd hesitate before sharing me grubs with me missus.

AOW,
Have you ever drunk soya sauce?
Well, vegemite tastes like thick soya sauce.
It's very salty and delicious.
You may say it takes getting used to this kind of tucker but hey I know some people who actually enjoyed French food.
Can you imagine????

MissingLink said...

Beak,
I meant Beak not Brak

nanc said...

brak is what the aliens call him.

nanc said...

p.s. linkster - you can have my share of grubs - they're probably good with your sauce...

Anonymous said...

Awesome interview! Thanks for the insights. So much for books like "The End of Faith"... I'll take the "uncertainty" of faith over the certainty of "scientific communism" any day.

-FJ

Warren said...

I don't mind the grubs but there is just something about their heads that turn me off. I think its that annoying "crunch".

Of course, I've never seen a 5" long grub around here.

Australia has such amazing wildlife!

nanc said...

warren - are you bringing the bbq sauce to beak's roast tomorrow? i'll bring the horseradish!

Elmer's Brother said...

sorry I missed this when it came out originally. Want to know what vegemite tastes like? Ever heard that old skit by Cheech and Chong?
Looks like dog *hit? *sniff* *sniff* smells like dog *hit? etc