Lesley Stahl: Did you meet a lot of people who perpetrated war crimes who would otherwise in your opinion have been just a normal, upstanding citizen?
Benjamin Ferencz: Of course, is my answer. These men would never have been murderers had it not been for the war. These were people who could quote Goethe, who loved Wagner, who were polite–
Lesley Stahl: What turns a man into a savage beast like that?
Benjamin Ferencz: He’s not a savage. He’s an intelligent, patriotic human being.
Lesley Stahl: He’s a savage when he does the murder though.
Benjamin Ferencz: No. He’s a patriotic human being acting in the interest of his country, in his mind.
Lesley Stahl: You don’t think they turn into savages even for the act?
Benjamin Ferencz: Do you think the man who dropped the nuclear bomb on Hiroshima was a savage? Now I will tell you something very profound, which I have learned after many years. War makes murderers out of otherwise decent people. All wars, and all decent people.
If Putin’s Russia was more-or-less not involved in “throwing the election,” what would be his best move right now? To make it look like he did decide the election, of course.
Yesterday, the Wall St. Journal’s most recent article (paywall) talks about the how the press and the left are trying to make the most of the Trump administration’s ties to Russia. In fact, they’re not any closer (and perhaps less so) than U.S. policy and Democrat administrations working toward that policy. Before the Crimea sanctions in 2014, the policy of the U.S. was engagement toward Russian and the development of business and economic ties. To suddenly find evidence of a “Manchurian Candidate” behind every business relationship is fantasy to the point of derangement.
Likewise, anyone with half a brain understood the reality of the relationship between Putin’s Russia and the United States. We all know that former agent Putin has rebuild the security service of his nation on the model of his old KGB. We all know that Russia Today mixes real news, alternative stories, conspiracy theories and outright misdirection in a way that has appealed, particularly, to a certain segment of Americans. Anyone who couldn’t see the hand of new KGB behind that wasn’t paying attention. We all know that Russian mobsters are particularly adept at cybercrime and suspect that the ties between those mobsters and their government are a tangled web.
So knowing all that, are the “revelations” about the involvement of Russia really a sign of the greatest election corruption in the history of Democracy? Or is it pretty much business as usual for Putin’s Russia? We mere mortals have no way of knowing what the U.S. CIA, NSA, and FBI have as evidence regarding Russian activities. From what I’ve read, it is in line with what Russian has done for years.
But speculate with me here for a moment. If it is not. If there is evidence of a “smoking gun” connecting the Russian government to specific information release that impacted the election, which is easier? To hack Democrat’s email servers and provide the information to the public in a way that is a deciding factor to an election? Or to manufacture evidence, after the fact, to make it appear that intent and direction existed where there really was none?
The accusations of foreign meddling in elections is a favorite of Putin’s. If anything, it’s the conspiracy theories which bear his signature.
I direct you to a blog post by a Ukrainian citizen commenting on the involvement of Russia. His theory, which I like, is that whatever Putin may have done, the intent was not to throw the election. He, like everyone else, probably believe The Donald stood little to no chance. Instead, by feeding the anti-Hillary contingent during the election, he would weaken her administration by firing up the inevitable conservative opposition. Donald Trump as President may have actually been an even worse outcome, from Russia’s standpoint.
But now, his goal is still to embolden the opposition so as to weaken this administration. As before, he can do it by feeding this “Russian Stole the Election” mania of the left. Or, perhaps better yet, he can sit back and watch the American left try to destroy itself and everything else it can get its hands on.
As Napoleon was reported to have said to his Marshals, “When the enemy is making a false movement we must take good care not to interrupt him.”
“We support small businesses,” says nearly every political party, organization, or candidate for office.
This sentiment crosses party lines and political persuasions, so we have to assume that such a phrase means different things to different people. Indeed it does. For some, it means reducing government, both in terms of red tape and funding (i.e. taxes). For others, it means increasing government: more training, more infrastructure, and more direct involvement with business practices and their employees.
In both cases, this increases the likelihood that one’s jurisdiction (State, Town, etc) will “attract” new businesses. So why do we care? Why are most of us who are concerned about policy so please when a new business comes to our town.
Well, new businesses bring three things.
- Create jobs.
- Generate economic activity.
- Provide goods and services.
Usually, when celebrating these benefits, it is in that order. Politicians like creating jobs for their constituents. Getting a new or better job definitely makes someone happy and, hopefully even, grateful. Economic activity is touted, but that is harder to quantify. It means new taxes, surely, so that generally helps. It also often refers to things like construction, where identifiable projects (and countable jobs) are created, with the corresponding happy and grateful voters in tow. Naturally, we are also referring simply to incremental additions to the economy.These may be difficult to measure, much less perceive, unless the effects are very large. A major new manufacturing facility will result in a noticeable increase in restaurant receipts. A new 10-person technology firm, not so much.
But what about #3? It would generally be mentioned last, if at all. In fact, this is sometimes even the con to the #1 and #2 pros. A new national store “puts local stores out of business,” and so on.
But isn’t this strange. Isn’t #3 what business do? Isn’t this why we should like them? Isn’t growing the economy all about “providing new and better goods and services?”
When our expectations, from anything, is different from the nature of that thing, aren’t we often setting our selves up for failure or, at the least, disappointment?
Which do you think is worth more? The value that a worker provides to his employer and/or to society, or the value of his wages that he earns from that provision?
Why do birds sing so gay?