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Showing posts from September, 2007

Having a way with words

I have always been impressed by and envied folks who have a way with words. The most recent example is from an interview with Camille Paglia:

On Hilary Clinton - "stridently partisan" with a "pretend marriage". "No emotional intelligence, no real instinct for the stage ... a thoroughgoing Methodist, a grim social activist" with a "mafioso attitude".

On Al Gore - "a mournful character," who is "much too vulnerable to the women around him" and "lacks a masculine identity".

Russian history "Do-Over"

There is apparently a new manual being distributed to Russia's history teachers that hopes to put a more positive spin on the nation's history and give a bit more upbeat and "feel good" view of Russia's past. It has the explicit support of President Putin and is part of the broader effort at defining the Russian national identity.

Some of the more interesting nuggets:

Stalin is apparently described as "the most successful Soviet leader ever" and the guide explains his purges and the system of camps for political prisoners as a function of his desire to make the Soviet Union strong.

Mr. Putin in a meeting with teachers apparently stated that killing at 700,000 of one's own fellow citizens at a time of peace and for political reasons is not as bad as the US use of the atomic bomb in World War II.

The manual says "The democtratic political culture that has formed in Russia over many centuries (emphasis added by MH) has become the main instrument of it…