Feb 27, 2010

Glenn Beck sends 'evil' anarchist manual's sales rocketing | Books | guardian.co.uk

Glenn Beck sends 'evil' anarchist manual's sales rocketing | Books | guardian.co.uk
The Coming Insurrection's condemnation at the hands of Fox News commentator provides huge boost to anonymous authors 
Alison Flood | guardian.co.uk, Friday 19 February 2010
Glenn Beck
'This is evil stuff' ... Glenn Beck. Photograph: Mike Mergen/AP
It's undoubtedly the last thing he wanted to happen, but when Fox News's vocal right-wing presenter Glenn Beck described French anarchist revolution manual The Coming Insurrection as "quite possibly the most evil thing I've ever read" he sent it soaring to the top of the bestseller charts.
The book, by an anonymous collective of French authors calling themselves the Invisible Committee, is a "call to arms", rejecting the official left and "aligning itself instead with the younger, wilder forms of resistance that have emerged in Europe around recent struggles against immigration control and the war on terror".
Describing itself as "a prescription for an emergent war-machine to spread anarchy and live communism", it has caused ructions in France, where it was proclaimed a manual of terrorism by the French government and where it has also been selling in its thousands. In 2008, the French government arrested four men and five women known as the Tarnac Nine over far-left terrorism, alleging that one of them was the book's author.
Published in the US by tiny Californian press Semiotext(e) last August with an initial print run of just 3,000, a barrage of anti-endorsements from Beck on Fox News has apparently led to it hovering around the top 10 of Amazon's US bestseller charts for the last week, alongside more recognisable titles by the likes of Stieg Larsson and Rick Riordan.
"This is quite possibly the most evil thing I've ever read and it's about to play out in streets of Greece. It's been played out in France," Beck said last week, brandishing a copy of the book. "The story is written by 12 people. Some of them are in jail now over in Europe. They're actual communists. They've been masquerading as democratic socialists: 'Oh, we're not Marxists, we're not communists, we're like you' … This is evil stuff … In it there's one chapter on how to destroy the family". The book promptly soared up Amazon's charts from below the 400 mark where it had been languishing to a high of seventh and a current place of 12th, ahead of Stephenie Meyer's hit Breaking Dawn and Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol – particularly impressive given that it's available for free online in both English and French.
Beck had previously given the book a boost last year even before it was published. Pointing to an extract from the book – "Take up arms. Do everything possible to make their use unnecessary ... There is no such thing as a peaceful insurrection. Weapons are necessary" – he told his viewers to read it. "People on the extreme left are calling people to arms. I am not calling for a ban on this book. It's important that you read this book [...] And let me tell you something: Don't dismiss these people. Don't dismiss them."
Publisher Semiotexte has been lapping up Beck's words, using them as part of its collection of reviews to promote the book and seeing a spike in sales every time he mentions it. "We're having trouble keeping stock in the warehouse," Rebecca Schrader at the book's distributor MIT Press told US publishing magazine Publishers Weekly. "And we're dealing with reprint quantities that we don't see every day."
Beck is probably more pleased with the effect his recent endorsement had on A Patriot's History of the United States, which claims to correct the "biases" that have "distort[ed] the way America's past is taught", rejecting previous history books' searches for "instances of racism, sexism, and bigotry in [America's] history while downplaying the greatness of America's patriots" in favour of recounting the "public virtue, personal liberty, and private property that make this nation uniquely successful".
After Beck spoke about the book on his show last week, he claimed that it moved from around 58,000 on Amazon.com to a current position of one. "I read a lot of in-depth history," said Beck. "This is a beginner's book of history, it is a gateway into the history that no one is teaching ... Last night I mentioned this book, it was 58,000 on Amazon.com. I got off the air, it was number one. It's still number one. Good. Please, please read it."

Feb 26, 2010

Glenn Beck: Tea Parties go global...

Glenn Beck - Interviews - Glenn Beck: Tea Parties go global...

Glenn Beck: Tea Parties go global...

February 26, 2010 - 11:56 ET
British politician and Member of the European Parliament, representing South East England for the Conservative Party.
GLENN: Daniel Hannan is on from Europe how are you sir?
DANIEL: Glad to be here.
GLENN: First of all, I want to talk a little bit about a tea party, is it this weekend in England.
DANIEL: Tomorrow in Bryson. But obviously this being England, we'll be serving tea at it rather than dumping it into the channel.
GLENN: Yeah, it's like we shouldn't listen to those Americans.
DANIEL: Here's a funny thing, your listeners may find this weird. But we've got a pretty long history of tax revolts in this country, too. And your patriot leaders at Boston, they didn't just come up with these ideas in a vacuum. They were drawing very heavily on English political thought and the idea that.
GLENN: Now you're trying
DANIEL: That it should be only imposed by people you can vote for. We've got a worst problem than you now.
PAT: Listen to him how to spin this. It's all British thought.
GLENN: Just like a Brit to say and we were the ones who came up with your revolt. We were the ones that wanted you to break away. John Locke, blah, blah, blah.
DANIEL: I would argue that the taxpayer's revolt that began your revolution started on this side of the Atlantic. At the end of the war against the French we were paying 25 schillings in tax the average Englishman. The average American was paying six pence. It was because our parliament was reluctant to try and get that money from this population. But we started to impose all these new levies and stamp and tea duties on you guys. So on both sides of the Atlantic there was a pretty strong feeling that taxes were too high and were being imposed by people you really couldn't do anything about. So I think that's a pretty universal thing within the anglo tradition.
GLENN: Daniel, in the great American tradition, we're taking credit for it. It's ours.
DANIEL: Sure. You can take credit. I'm just saying your guys
GLENN: We were just trying to get away from any money that involved six pence.
DANIEL: Your patriot leaders, they saw themselves as free born Englishmen standing up for their rights, what they understood to be their rights, against what they saw a revolutionary court. In their eyes they were conservativists. Our countries moved more parallel than sometimes they realized. Because at the moment they were starting from a pretty similar place.
GLENN: How many people are you expecting to show up at the English this is the first time this has ever happened, a tea party, if you will, in England.
DANIEL: First time we've ever done it in this way. I don't huge it to be huge, honest. As I understand it as the case in the U.S. when they started in 2008 they began initially as a trickle. Then they became a flood. But I'm confident that they will grow. We have a government, this is the amazing thing, you're protesting with nothing like as much to protest as we have. We have a government that has taken a trillion pounds in additional taxation since they took office. More than we would have done if my party had been in power at the same rate. 111 tax rises since 1997. And this is unbelievable, with all these extra tax rises, we're running a deficit of 12.6% of GDP. We have the same deficit Greece has. Where has all the money gone? And that's something that you don't have to be kind of a strong conservative to have concerns about.
GLENN: In the EU, Daniel, because you are a member of the EU parliament, right?
DANIEL: Correct.
GLENN: How concerned are you about I mean this is a domino. Man, you've got Greece, Spain is in this mix. Portugal is in this mix. Ireland. All of Europe and the United Kingdom seems to be in real peril.
DANIEL: Well, we would be if we had joined the Euro. Thank heaven we kept the pound. Because, like I say, Greece's deficit is 12.7. Ours is 12.6%. The only thing that saved us from a Greece like collapse is the fact we were able to have a devaluation of our currency instead of having that devaluation in output and jobs. You guys wouldn't want to swap your problems for Europe, as severe as your problems are with the way things are going there. But I'll tell you another thing. We've got, when you say we're stealing your idea about the tea parties and stuff. The warcry of tax without representation doesn't really apply so much these days in the U.S. Yes, your taxes are too high and they're rising but at least they're set by people you can vote for. Increasingly, the European Union is starting to levy, if you like federal taxation, and so the protest of no taxation without representation is now much more relevant in Europe, because we feel that we have impulse being levied on us that we can't get rid of.
GLENN: What's going to happen to you see the hedge funds today. They're all coming out against the Euro. They're going to decimate the Euro. What do you think is going to happen to the European Union?
DANIEL: It's always tempting in journalism to say that there's going to be some massive immediate crisis. Often the worst thing is not to have the big blow up, but the slow grinding posit of not having the crisis. The tragedy here is not that Greece is going to leave the Euro, but that Greece can't leave the Euro. Greece will be condemned to stagnation and deflation and lack of growth for decades for years to come. And these are able, young Greek people unable to find work in Greece, they'll work as laborers in the Germany and the United Kingdom. That's the real tragedy.
GLENN: Are Europeans the type of people that will just put up with that? I don't see we just did an event here in America called CPAC. Here we have the youth of America going splitting off going progressive Marxists, but you also have the conservative movement, the right moving much more like our Founding Fathers and they're 20-25 years old. The youth I don't believe are going to put up with this type of non-sense. You have the invisible committee, you have the coming insurrection, the forces of actual communists in labor movements over in Europe. Do you really see that they're not going to plant unrest. How about this do you think that the Islamic extremist movement wouldn't kick up additional unrest when they see that Europe is right for the taking?
DANIEL: Well in both countries I think there is popular feeling that against big government and taxation. I mean if you did an opinion poll in the US or in the UK and said do you think your level of taxes too high too low or just about right, you'd get a similar answer in both cases. The difference is that you've got I think a more decentralized system, a system where people can express themselves more effectively through the ballot books. I mean, the Massachusetts result was a huge thing because your taxes are set by legislators, all of whom could find themselves in a Massachusetts type situation if they think, if they fall out with their voters. That's the difference. The decision makers are so remote that it's much harder to capitalize on a large majority of public opinion that is against additional taxation and additional regulation and additional borrowing because we have weaker systems of democratic accountability. That's the big challenge for an incoming conservative government here. We've got to devolve power, decentralize power, repatriate our revolution, go back to the British ideas which formed the constitution in Philadelphia but what we're forget in this country.
GLENN: That's what I'm asking you specifically, because there's no valve to relieve steam and pressure over there, here we do have elections. And we have been relieving the steam through tea parties and relieving the steam through elections. Because you don't have that, what stops a radical from starting on the left or the extreme right a neo Nazi movement to a communist movement and a movement towards a revolution there, or at least massive civil unrest?
DANIEL: I think we're some way from that. Obviously you do get those things when there's a complete breakdown of democracy when people feel they're completely unrepresented. I don't want to be misunderstood here. I'm not saying there are no elections in Europe. We have elections all the time. But it's just that the decision, the decisions are made by people who are not subject to those elections. We have those massive standing official dom, this nomenclature of bureaucrats who are not elected and make all the big decisions. Yeah, you're absolutely right. Justin said this in his inaugural address that democracy is the pressure valve. He didn't use the pressure valve because it's an an anachronism. But that's what we've got to get back to. Just to come back to what you started with when you said what am I doing having a tea party movement in Britain. If you had run an opinion poll in 1775 in Britain you would have found pretty much the same level of sympathy for the colonial grievances in Great Britain than North America. But the difference it was a much more restricted franchise in Britain. No way to assert itself in parliament, that's the real thing. You're lucky because you've got this system that allows laws and taxes to be passed only by the people that you vote for. I was against your stimulus package. I was against Bushes and Obama's and if I was a Congressman I would have voted against it. But at least the decision was taken by elected representatives who knew within a year or two they would have to go back and explain to their voters who are also the taxpayers. In the UK Gordon Brown decreed a much larger stimulus package in per capita terms with not so much parliament, in recesssive time. Not only was there a no vote, there wasn't even a debate about it. And this is something we've come through a Civil War to establish the principle that only parliament could raise taxes.
GLENN: Daniel Hannan is with us. And one last question. You keep saying that the tea party and it's about taxes and about taxes. That is, I think, one of the, you know, the misunderstandings of the tea parties here. It is about taxes, but more about the coming taxes that we know will have to be coming. There was a CNN poll today. The majority of Americans now feel our government is a threat to our rights. And that's really the basis of the tea party. It is a growing, out of control, all powerful government. Is it the taxes over in Europe, or is it the growing out of control scope and size of government?
DANIEL: It's both of those things. And more immediately than either of them it's the deficit that our argument is that we should close the deficit by reducing spending rather than by raising taxes. And it can be done. People sometimes say, you know, Hannan you're complaining about all this, the fact that we've got a 12.6% deficit that Gordon Brown has doubled the national debt how can you argue for tax rises. My favorite modern U.S. president was Ronald Reagan he was asked a similar question. When the deficit is so big how can you be talking about tax cuts he came out with one of my favorite Gipper lines in a crowded field. He said I'm not worried about the deficit. It's big enough to look after itself. You know what, in a funny way he was right because he made this calculated gamble if you cut taxes, revenues would go up, there would be growth in the economy. The government, over time, would get more money out of people because tax rates were lower and there were more incentives and the deficit would look after itself. And that's exactly what happened. And that's exactly what Margaret Thatcher succeeded doing at the same time in the 1980s in the United Kingdom. That's what we've got to rediscover. The idea that you get rid of this huge unfunded debt, not by raising more money from people, but by giving them more money to keep and spending less as a government.
GLENN: Daniel, may I give you a starting point for your speech tomorrow at your tax party, your tea party. If you will look up the depression, the American Depression of 1920 and look at what Calvin Coolidge and Harding did to solve it. Nobody in America even knows, the Depression in America in 1920 was bigger in some ways bigger in scope and deeper than the Depression of the 1930s, it was solved because they cut spending in half and they cut taxes from 74% to 25%. It is the answer. Daniel, thank you very much. And best of luck at your tea party over in Great Britain tomorrow.
DANIEL: Thank you.

The Lebedevs visit Gordon Brown ahead of Independent deal | Media | guardian.co.uk

The Lebedevs visit Gordon Brown ahead of Independent deal | Media | guardian.co.uk
  • Monday 22 February 2010
Peter Kirwan today examined the details of the likely deal, which could cost INM around £20m, although closure would be more expensive.
Evgeny, left, and Alexander Lebedev at Downing Street
Evgeny, left, and Alexander Lebedev at Downing Street. Feel free to post your caption suggestions below. Photograph: Guardian/Martin Argles
Alexander Lebedev and his son Evgeny are understood to have met the prime minister, Gordon Brown, for a meet-and-greet at Downing Street today ahead of finalising their deal to buy The Independent.
The deadline for a proposed deal in which the Russian billionaire would buy the newspaper and its sister Sunday title is this Friday, having been extended a week ago.
MediaGuardian understands that Independent News & Media is keen to conclude a deal before its results are unveiled on 24 March at the latest to appease shareholders (who were formerly bondholders). In November INM secured the backing of shareholders to complete a restructuring plan. Bondholders were left with 46% of the company in a deal to repay €200m (£173m).
Peter Kirwan today examined the details of the likely deal, which could cost INM around £20m, although closure would be more expensive.
Lebedev Sr promised to put £30m over three years into the London Evening Standard when he bought it last year. Lebedev's plans for the Independent remain tightly under wraps, although he is understood to have dropped a scheme to make former Radio 4 Today editor Rod Liddle the editor of his new newspaper.
Lebedev is believed to be playing hardball in the final stages of negotiations. Independent journalists have accepted a reduced redundancy package in the hope that this will make the deal happen. There have also been negotiations over a £19m printing contract with Trinity Mirror. It is understood that pensions are not an obstacle to the deal.
But pensions are understood to not have been a sticking point. The last time INM plc reported its financials, for the period to June 2009, the company disclosed a significant €150m hole in its overall pension fund. Given the recent history of another O'Reilly-backed company, Waterford Wedgewood, this deficit has caused concern among some observers in Ireland.

However, the accounts of the UK subsidiary companies that contain the Independent's assets and cashflows make no mention of a pension deficit relating to journalists on the Independent and Independent On Sunday. Instead, the accounts of Independent News and Media only mention a pension fund tied to the Belfast Telegraph, which has been part of the company since its acquisition by INM in 1999.

Feb 24, 2010

EUobserver / EU diplomats to benefit from new intelligence hub

EUobserver / EU diplomats to benefit from new intelligence hub

EU diplomats to benefit from new intelligence hub

The new intelligence hub will contain a cell of delegates from EU states' secret services (Photo: Anonymous9000)


22.02.2010 @ 08:49 CET

EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - The EU is planning to pull together three intelligence-sharing bureaus based in Brussels to form a new department in the bloc's External Action Service (EAS).

The EU's foreign relations chief, Catherine Ashton, is currently drafting a proposal for the future structure of the union's diplomatic corps, with a final paper expected in March.

But sources in the EU institutions say she aims to merge into one new department the EU Council's Joint Situation Centre, its Watch-Keeping Capability and the European Commission's Crisis Room to help guide EAS decisions on security matters.

The Joint Situation Centre, known as SitCen, today has 110 staff and is located on Avenue de Cortenbergh, in the heart of the EU quarter.

It contains a cell of secret service agents seconded from EU capitals. The cell, headed up by a French agent, pools classified information sent in by member states and drafts occasional four-to-10-page-long reports on topics ranging from terrorism to, for example, Iran's diplomatic contacts with neighbouring countries.

SitCen also runs a round-the-clock alert desk which uses open sources, such as BBC Monitoring or photos taken by commercial satellites, and sends emails and SMSes to selected EU diplomats two or three times a day.

The Watch-Keeping Capability is in the same building. Its team, made up of 12 people from EU states' police and armed forces, pulls in news from the EU's 23 police and military missions, such as the EUMM in Georgia.

The Crisis Room, around the corner in the commission's Charlemagne building, is run by six officials. It operates a secure website with breaking news about the world's 118 active conflicts from open sources and from the commission's foreign embassies. It uses scientific tools, such as statistical analysis, and high-tech software: One program scans TV broadcasts round the world and automatically picks out quotes on search terms, such as people's names.

The details of the EAS' new intelligence branch are still up in the air.

It is unclear where it will be situated and who will be in charge. But the current head of SitCen, former British diplomat William Shapcott, is the top candidate due to his friendly ties with member states' secret services.

The mandate for the new department also remains to be written. Some EU diplomats would like it to make policy recommendations as well as analytical reports. Others are posing questions about its ethos: "Will it be used to aggressively pursue member states' national interests or for common goals, such as peace-building and crisis relief?" one EU official asked.

SitCen already sends staff to visit the EU's foreign police and military missions to gather information and has a mystique due to the secretive nature of its work. But the new EAS branch will not have undercover operatives in the field on the model of member states' intelligence agencies. "Belgium and Austria proposed this [creating an EU secret service] after Madrid. But we are still light years away from it," the EU official said, referring to the terrorist bombing in Spain in 2004.

Circles within the circle

The questions of equal access to information and geographic balance are likely to feature in Ms Ashton's thinking on appointments.

SitCen's official reports are equally available to all 27 EU countries via their envoys to the Political and Security Committee (PSC), a group of member states diplomats which meets regularly in the EU Council to discuss security issues.

But the quality of the reports is in dispute: "When I read magazines like Time or Newsweek the quality of analysis is sometimes the same. I sometimes get faster alerts from my national newswire," one EU diplomat said. "The added value is that the information has been checked. You have to be damned sure it's good because decisions can be based on it," another diplomatic source said.

Meanwhile, the best classified information is often shared through informal channels between smaller groups of EU countries with a history of intelligence co-operation. "There are circles within the circle. It's an informal reality that takes into account the sensitive nature of intel," a contact acquainted with SitCen's work told EUobserver.

Ms Ashton will also take charge of the PSC itself by appointing a permanent president for its meetings, with a mandate up to five years long.

The names floating about for the new post include the current PSC ambassadors of Sweden (Olof Skoog), Belgium (Walter Stevens) and Spain (Carlos Fernandez Arias Minuesa). But an early favourite is France's former PSC ambassador, Christine Roger, who now works in the EU Council secretariat. "The French are worried that the EAS will be dominated by British people," one EU official said.

Starting small

SitCen and the Crisis Room have come a long way since their beginnings some 10 years ago.

SitCen started out as "a piece of A4 paper, a telephone and a pool table," according to one anecdote. When 9/11 struck in 2001, the commission's phone lines and internet crashed due to heavy traffic, leaving it cut off and triggering the creation of the Crisis Room. "There was one TV set in the building. We were crouched round a telephone listening to the TV at the other end of the line," another EU official said.

Feb 22, 2010

Tea Party Leader: 'We Are Turning Our Guns On' Moderate Republicans

Tea Party Leader: 'We Are Turning Our Guns On' Moderate Republicans
Read More: Charlie Crist, Charlie Crist Tea Party Movement, Crist Rubio, Dale Robertson, Jim Greer, Mark Rubio, Rubio Crist Race, Tea Party, Tea Party Movemenet, Politics News
Dale Robertson doesn't mince words. The tea party spokesperson and head of Teaparty.org in Houston issued a strong statement this week warning state GOP leaders that if they didn't support strongly conservative candidates, their jobs were at risk.
"We are turning our guns on anyone who doesn't support constitutional conservative candidates," Robertson said. "If they don't get that, and their party chairmen don't get that, they are going to be ostracized."
Jim Greer, Florida's GOP Chairman, was forced to resign earlier this week under similar pressure from far-right activists following his endorsement of Charlie Crist, a "big-tent" Republican who has been criticized by some conservative factions for being too moderate. Tea Party activists have backed Crist's opponent, Marco Rubio, in the upcoming Republican primary.
Crist has notably broken from the Republican party on a few key issues. He's supported green initiatives such as cap-and-trade legislation, and potential offshore drilling. Perhaps most markedly, Crist was a strong proponent of the stimulus bill, going as far as to hug President Obama while introducing him at a rally in Ft. Meyers.
"I think it's just all-around frustration with some in our party who have a very pure philosophy of how you should govern," Greer told the New York Times Magazine. "People want a common-sense approach to governing. And approaching it with purity won't get anything done."
Jenny Beth Martin, the national coordinator of Tea Party Patriots, explains the Tea Party's latest offensive. "People in America are very tired of the irresponsible taxing and spending that has happened in Washington. They want a return to fiscal responsibility, constitutionally limited government and free markets."

Ron Paul on Discusses CPAC Straw Poll Win on TV News | Ron Paul 2012 | Campaign for Liberty at the Daily Paul

Ron Paul on Discusses CPAC Straw Poll Win on TV News | Ron Paul 2012 | Campaign for Liberty at the Daily Paul

Feb 21, 2010

Tea Party Leader: Sarah Palin Is A 'Wolf In Sheep's Clothing'

Tea Party Leader: Sarah Palin Is A 'Wolf In Sheep's Clothing'

Dale Robertson, Palin, Palin Wolf In Sheeps Clothing, Sarah Palin, Sarah-Palin, Tea Party, Tea Party Crash, Tea Party Hijacked, Tea Party Movement, Tea Party Profiteers, Tea-Party, Politics News

Sound the alarm!
"A Political firestorm is inevitable as the Tea Party is quietly targeted for capture!" Tea Party leader Dale Robertson warned in a statement on his site TeaParty.org on Thursday.
Robertson cautioned Tea Partiers to be wary, because Sarah Palin, headliner of the recent National Tea Party Convention, represents a threat "to the heart of the Tea Party:"
"I am sending an alarm to the Tea Party membership! Be alert to turncoats and deceivers being herded into the Tea Party by usurpers from the weakened Republican Party for the sole purpose of capturing our populist movement," Robertson said.
More from Robertson's letter, which is posted on his Tea Party site:
"Sarah Palin's well delivered speech and her attractive demeanor is little more than a veneer for her less attractive political philosophy. She seems more like a duck out of water among true Conservative Constitutionalists. Palin demonstrates her NeoCon flippant viewpoint and her naivete as she seems envious of the swelled numbers of Patriots pledging their allegiance, to of all things, AMERICA and not to a kool-aid ridden political dinosaur.
Sarah Palin is not dense or erroneous in her view of the Tea Party, just the opposite. She represents a growing insider's attack to the heart of the Tea Party. Very much like a wolf in sheep's clothing entering in at the gate as an ally, but for all intents and purposes there to seize and capture, not only one or two stray sheep, but the whole flock!Robertson also isn't the first person to point out the Tea Party's vulnerability to hijacking. Many expressed outrage at the concept of this month's for-profit, corporate-sponsored National Tea Party Convention in Nashville where Sarah Palin delivered a keynote speech.

Ron Paul wins CPAC straw poll; Palin a distant third | Washington Examiner

Ron Paul wins CPAC straw poll; Palin a distant third | Washington ExamBy: David Freddoso

Online Opinion Editor
02/20/10 7:40 PM EST

The ReLOVEution continues. (AP / Owen)
Rep. Ron Paul, R-Tex., won CPAC's presidential straw poll with 31 percent of the vote. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney came in second at 22 percent. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin came in third with 7 percent, with Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty close behind at 6 percent.
The straw poll had other interesting results, as well. Eighty percent of the 2,400 conservatives who voted (54 percent of them young people between 18 and 25 years of age) identified themselves primarily as limited-government conservatives, as opposed to being primarily national-security or social conservatives. Forty-four percent had an unfavorable view of RNC Chairman Michael Steele, with just 42 percent viewing him favorably.
Far and away, the highest priority of those participating was to reduce the size of the federal government. Offered an opportunity to name their first and second choices, 35 percent chose this as their top choice and another 17 percent as their second choice for a combined 52 percent. The runner up was cutting government spending, which 12 percent chose as their top priority and another 21 percent made their second choice for a combined 33 percent. These priorities ranked far above cutting taxes (18 percent, first and second choice combined) or ending abortion (10 percent, combined), perhaps reflecting the perceived shortcomings of both the Bush and Obama administrations.
Thirty-three percent of respondents believed that Republicans will win back the House of Representatives this year.

Flashback: Ron Paul: How a Fringe Politician Took Over the Web

Ron Paul: How a Fringe Politician Took Over the Web
Brendan Spiegel 06.27.07

Republican presidential candidate Congressman Ron Paul
When Texas Congressman Ron Paul entered the race for next year's Republican presidential nomination, few political analysts paid much notice.
Paul has no backing from political bigwigs or any campaign war chest to speak of. As the Libertarian Party presidential nominee in 1988 he won less than one-half of 1 percent of the national vote.
Yet despite his status among the longest of the long shots, the 71-year-old has become one of the internet's most omnipresent –- and some say most irritating -– subjects.
According to Technorati, "Ron Paul" is one of the web's most searched-for terms. News about Paul has an outsize presence on Digg and reddit, two sites that allow users to highlight their preferred content. Paul's YouTube channel has been viewed over one million times, dwarfing efforts from competitors like John McCain and Rudy Giuliani. The Ron Paul internet boom has born everything from Belgians for Ron Paul to a reggae music video promoting Paul's views on monetary policy and habeas corpus.
During the 2004 election, a web-savvy campaign staff helped turn Howard Dean's anti-war candidacy into the first online political phenomenon. But the Ron Paul frenzy seems to have sprung from the internet itself. Paul's libertarian message – he is against big government, the war, and pretty much anything that costs taxpayers money – has attracted a group of anti-establishment, tech-savvy supporters who have taken everyone by surprise.
"The people who are actually working for the campaign are a little overwhelmed with what's happening," says Alex Wallenwein, a supporter who organized two of the 362 Meetup.com groups dedicated to Paul.
To many immersed in the political blogosphere, Paul's passionate supporters seem to be everywhere at once. Editors of political websites are inundated with angry e-mails demanding they devote more coverage to Paul. Blog posts that criticize Paul are often followed by hundreds of livid comments from his fans. Most frustrating to those not on board the Ron Paul bandwagon, he routinely ranks first in online presidential polls on sites ranging from CNN.com to niche political blogs.
Conversely, Paul rates in the low single digits in scientific telephone polls and few political pundits afford him any chance of winning the nomination. When the editors at National Journal's The Hotline compiled their well-respected White House 2008 Rankings in May, they put Paul in last place among the 12 Republicans running, tacking on a fed-up message to his fans: "Just please stop e-mailing us."
They aren't the only ones who see Paul supporters as a nuisance. Many users of Digg and reddit are perplexed to see story after story about Paul topping lists of the most popular news. Critics say Paul supporters disregard the spirit of these social content sites by posting messages on blogs that encourage readers to go to Digg or reddit and vote for every story about Paul. One Digg user complained Paul supporters are violating the site's terms of service, which prohibit any organized effort that artificially alters the most popular news list.
Many prominent bloggers complain Paul's supporters have tainted informal, unscientific polls by organizing large-scale get-out-the-vote campaigns through blogs and social networking sites. As a result, the polls are less a measure of which candidate has the most support than whose fans are putting the most time into their voting efforts.
Matt Margolis runs GOP Straw Polls, a popular series of monthly surveys that are posted on numerous blogs in an attempt to gauge how much support candidates have throughout the conservative blogosphere. Margolis originally didn't include Paul in the polls but added his name when his fan base began to grow. Paul now dominates the polls, winning nearly half of all ballots cast in the most recent survey.
Margolis says Paul's success is the result of his supporters' "coordinated efforts to show themselves and their power in these polls." While most readers will vote once or twice and then move on, Margolis says Paul fans are visiting numerous blogs hosting the polls and voting repeatedly, while encouraging others to do the same through messages on MySpace, Facebook and blogs.
"There is certainly a higher frequency of multiple voting among Paul supporters than others," says Margolis. "I was perfectly fine with giving them the opportunity to vote for him. But they make the data of the poll almost useless by their methods."
Many bloggers have expressed concern that Paul's massive online vote totals could only be accomplished through the use of bots that automatically send hundreds of votes. While no one has presented evidence to prove this, several blogs have removed Paul's name from their polls. Not surprisingly, Paul fans have responded with streams of angry e-mails.
Paul supporters say his success is just the results of the wild, wild web operating at its finest, giving voice to a movement that would otherwise find no traction in traditional media. "If we have 20,000 passionate supporters who go and vote in an online poll and Rudy Giuliani can only get 1,000, we're not going to apologize for that," says Jesse Benton, Paul's campaign communication director.
Michael Nystrom, founder of the Daily Paul blog, says, "What I find interesting is that other candidates have more money, but Ron Paul has something money can't buy, and that's this very active online community." Whether or not Paul's online support translates into any real world success, it is clear this candidate has stumbled upon a new brand of internet activism that has the rest of the web scrambling to adapt.

CPAC Gets Younger, Hipper, More High Tech -- Politics Daily

CPAC Gets Younger, Hipper, More High Tech -- Politics Daily
Marco Rubio, Mitt Romney, and Liz (and Dick) Cheney gave big speeches on the opening day of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) -- and Glenn Beck closed it to a rousing ovation, but just as interesting as the speakers on stage was the ages of the people sitting in the seats, congregated around the bars and cafes, and holding court in the lobby of the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel.
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I speak from experience. My first CPAC conference was eleven years ago. Since then, I've attended seven or eight of the annual affairs. The most obvious difference this year is that there are more young people in attendance.
CPAC director Lisa De Pasqual told me: "Our pre-registration numbers were 20 percent above last year's. We're expecting over 10,000 attendees and more than half of them are college students. I think it really speaks to the excitement and energy in the conservative movement right now."
One seasoned CPAC veteran, who asked not be named, bluntly told me, "I've been coming to these for years. This used to be a convention of blue hairs; now it has youthful energy." If you're a conservative -- as I am -- it was nice to see fresh young faces, who attend at a greatly reduced price. "Blue dog" Democrats are one thing, blue-haired Republicans are quite another.
Liberal blogger Bill Scher, who has gone to previous CPAC's, speculated to me that the increase in young attendees is a result of "the James O'Keefe Effect" -- a referece to someone their own age who made a splash. Scher's theory is that young conservatives now have a contemporary example of a person in their age bracket who made a difference, and got lots of attention in the process.
For young conservatives, who exist in a sea of skepticism, if not downright hostility, on the typical college campus, CPAC offers a safe haven where they can network with other like-minded students. A student named Kelly Schumacher, who attends college in Milwaukee, told me, "It's nice to have a conversation with someone who isn't arguing with you."
Added Chelsea Lapp, a high school student attending CPAC with 18 of her classmates at Westfield Academy near Buffalo, New York: "Everybody seems pretty pumped up about it."
Jason Mattera, a young conservative who works for Young America's Foundation, was so pumped that he gave a rousing, if politically incorrect, speech at CPAC -- and found himself singled out for criticism in the New York Times for his trouble. That might mortify a typical liberal college student. Here, it's a badge of honor.
Conference organizers did more than just offer to reduce the entry fees for students. For the past few years, bloggers had been relegated to the nether reaches of an exhibition hall, requiring them to dash upstairs to wait in line for the keynote speakers, and then scurry back to their warrens to write up something about the speech -- before setting out in search off a stray WiFi connection. This year, as New Media consultant Justin Hart told me, "bloggers have the best seats in the house. WiFi was up ... and the blogger row table has gone from seating 25 to seating about 100."
"Our new set-up for Bloggers Lounge is packed thanks to Erick Erickson and Redstate.com," explained De Pasqual, referring to relatively new stars of the conservative blogosphere. "We've also integrated a lot of panels and speakers who can educate attendees about modern media success stories and how they can apply them to their efforts."
Aside from bloggers getting a huge upgrade, and aside from seeing more young people than ever, it was also interesting to note who was not seen. There are always gadflies who show up at these things -- you see them year in and year out -- but this year, they were noticeably in short supply. I had assumed that the Tea Party movement would mean an influx of unkempt grassroots activists at CPAC, but if they were here, they brought their khaki pants with them.

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CPAC: Ron Paul wins CPAC straw poll - ends Romney's CPAC domination / The Christian Science Monitor - CSMonitor.com

CPAC: Ron Paul wins CPAC straw poll - ends Romney's CPAC domination / The Christian Science Monitor - CSMonitor.com

Texas Congressman Ron Paul won the CPAC straw poll on Saturday with 31 percent of the vote. Mitt Romney came in second with 22 percent and Sarah Palin finished third with a distant seven percent of the vote. The CPAC straw poll comes at the end of the three day conference.

By Jimmy Orr / February 20, 2010

And the winner of the 2010 CPAC straw poll is... Ron Paul? Yep. The libertarian-leading congressman from Texas bested all-comers today with an impressive victory at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington, DC.

Romney/Spock 2012

Mitt Romney was unable to keep a "Vulcan grip" on his three-year reign as CPAC's top vote getter netting 22 percent of the ballots for a solid second place finish. Perhaps rap-loving Republicans were sending a message to Romney that they disapproved of his problem solving skills on that airplane the other night.

Then again, as Talking Points Memo blogger Evan McMorris-Santoro points outs, there are no rap-loving Republicans.

Palin wins the bronze

Sarah Palin, who enjoys a new kinship with Joy Behar, grabbed the CPAC bronze medal with seven percent. Was Palin crushed by the third place finish? She seemed more concerned with another race.

"Family is getting ready for Todd's IronDog race tomorrow," Palin tweeted. "I'm watching @GlennBeck on TV now giving #CPAC speech, while racers are in garage."

Quickly discounted

Despite Paul's significant victory, boos rang out from the convention hall when the poll results were announced. And many in the blogosphere quickly discounted the results.

"We can thank Ron Paul for showing just how worthless straw polls are," wrote RedState blogger Erick Erickson.

"There’s never been a poll Ron Paul couldn’t win, unless you count a presidential primary race," adds the guys over at Little Green Footballs.

Not so fast

Hang on, writes the National Review's Robert Costa. Paul knew what he was doing.

There may have been some boos, but Paul was by far one of the more popular speakers at CPAC this year," Costa writes.

"While Paul mingled with his acolytes, the big guns — Pawlenty, Romney — were often shrouded by aides or mingling backstage," he adds. "Believe me: CPAC folks noticed. And now, thanks to the straw poll, for a moment, Paul’s opening line from his address is true: His 'revolution is alive and well,' at least this weekend."

Disclaimer: This doesn't count

In case you thought that today's event meant that Paul had actually won the presidency, FOX News offered this helpful reminder: "The straw poll is not binding."

And Ben Smith over at Politico notes that the attendees of the conference don't really sync up with the rest of the country.

"Not only did Obama's approval rating stand at 2%, but Congressional Republicans stand at a full 62% approval rating," he writes.

That makes you wonder how those two percent got in there.

World record

By the way, the nearly 2,400 people who voted represents an all-time high for the conference. Republican pollster Tony Fabrizio said the number is about 40% higher than last year.

Here's the final tally.

Ron Paul 31%
Mitt Romney 22%
Sarah Palin 7%
Tim Pawlenty 6%
Mike Pence 5%
Newt Gingrich 4%
Mike Huckabee 4%
Mitch Daniels 2%
John Thune 2%
Rick Santorum 2%
Haley Barbour 1%

MOX NEWS: Russia Today: Taliban says it worked to prevent 9/11

Taliban says it worked to prevent 9/11

February 15, 2010 Russia Today

Damage control: Fox News stresses that CPAC straw poll is "way early" and "unscientific" | Media Matters for America

Damage control: Fox News stresses that CPAC straw poll is "way early" and "unscientific" | Media Matters for America

Mox News on Ron Paul At CPAC 2010 Part 1 - Ron Paul 2012!

YouTube - Ron Paul At CPAC 2010 Part 1 - Ron Paul 2012!

Part 1 of Ron Paul at CPAC, February 19 2010 Paul was the only speaker so far to fill the entire convention hall at the Conservative Political Action Conference

Decoding Glenn Beck’s CPAC Speech: An Egomaniac With An Inferiority Complex « SpeakEasy

Decoding Glenn Beck’s CPAC Speech: An Egomaniac With An Inferiority Complex « SpeakEasy
Or, If America Was More Like Me, It Would Be Great!
In a speech peppered with the jargon of Alcoholics Anonymous, Glenn Beck brought thousands of right-wingers attending the annual Conservative Political Action Conference to their feet by promising them that economic hardship was good for them, and that the progressive movement was “a cancer” that is “designed to eat the Constitution.” Government spending, he said, is creating an “economic holocaust.”
While dazzling the crowd with dizzying dynamic swings and a confessional narrative about his life as a recovering alcoholic, Beck handily played his role as community organizer to one of the greediest men in the world: his uberboss, Rupert Murdoch, chairman of News Corporation, the parent company of Fox NewsChannel, where Beck nightly plies his trade.

The problem with America right now is progressives’ attempt to “deprive you of your right to struggle,” Beck said. But failure is a character-building exercise, he said, using as an example his own battle with alcohol. Until you know the shame of having done wrong, he essentially said, you’ll never do right.
“If drinking wasn’t causing me a problem in my life, I’d be drunk right now,” Beck told the roaring crowd, which packed one of the largest hotel ballrooms in Washington, D.C.
His ire wasn’t reserved solely for Democrats; he took repeated swings at the Republicans as well, comparing their propensity for government spending to his own addiction.
“I’m a recovering alcoholic and I screwed up my life six ways to Sunday; I believe in redemption,” Beck said. But the first step to getting redemption is, you gotta admit you’ve got a problem. I’ve not heard people in the Republican Party yet admit that they’ve got a problem…I don’t know what they even stand for anymore. ‘Hello, my name is the Republican Party, and I’ve got a problem. I’m addicted to spending and big government…I’m addicted to spending and I just don’t want to spend today.’ Good — keep comin’ back.”
“Keep coming back” is one of the signature slogans of AA — a recovery program laced with slogans. But “keep coming back” at times acquires a tone of derision when said to a member who has just shared a thought or two that seems “off the AA beam,” to quote the program literature.
“We have a right to fail. Without failure, there is no growth,” Beck said. “Fifteen years ago, I was completely broke. I was completely out of control. I had no answers in my life — none. I was living in a little one-room apartment; I had lost my family — everything. My whole life was spiraling out of control. I was [sic] on the fetal position [sic] of my apartment. Am I going to die — or figure it out and live?”
He continued: “Because no one was there — if somebody would have been there to hold me up, I wouldn’t have been down here enough” — here he dropped to his knees — “to dust myself off and say, ‘No, I’m not going to spend my life here, I’m going to stand up on my own two feet, figure it out and because of that failure, I can stand here today.” The crowd rose to its feet, applauding wildly.
“What we don’t have a right to is health care, housing or hand-outs,” he said.
Earlier in the program he seemed to accuse liberals of whining about their childhoods. “Don’t talk to me about your childhood,” he said. “You want to hear me go on about my childhood? No!”
Then he proceeded to go on about his childhood. He told of how, from the age of seven, he worked in his father’s bakery, cleaning pots and pans in the back with his father, while his sisters “worked the front of the store” with his mother. Then, he said, the town his family lived in went bust, and the bakery went out of business.
“But you know what?” he asked. “I learned from that. I learned from the mistakes; I learned from the failure.”
He talked of how he only got one semester of college because he couldn’t afford it, but never thought that was unfair. Instead, he educated himself by going to the library, “where books are free.”
Well, not exactly. Somebody’s taxes paid for those books — and the building that housed them, and the electricity that kept the lights on, not to mention the salaries of those dreadful public employees. (Public employees came in for a special bashing throughout CPAC.) Has anybody told Beck that he doesn’t have a right to have a library in his town? In a lot of towns, the public library, if it still exists, is on the verge of going out of business.
Just another failure to learn from, I suppose.
There was more to Beck’s nearly hour-long performance than just his personal story, though. There was the the classic Beckian history lesson, complete with the signature blackboard.
Woodrow Wilson, Teddy Roosevelt: very, very bad. Calvin Coolidge: very, very good. The best thing Warren Harding did was have a heart attack so that Calvin Coolidge could become president. (”Divine providence,” Beck said.)
Progressives = Marxists and communists. The name “progressive” is just a cover. What right as the liberal “minority” to “hijack” America?
Tiger Woods was used as a corollary to Beck’s own addiction narrative. “People said to me, Tiger Woods, is he really gonna change? Well, I don’t know” Beck said, “it may not be his bottom.”
Beck wasn’t, here, talking about Woods’ keister. He was employing yet another 12-step term, “hitting bottom.”
However uncertain he was about the final thud of Woods’ fall, he was pretty clear that America’s was nigh. “This is a pretty good bottom,” he said. “This is as bad as I want it to get.”
Throughout the speech, Beck made numerous references to vomiting.
As a recovering alcoholic myself, I found Beck’s exploitation of the 12-step code nearly enough to have me spewing.
But here’s the real rub: for all of his AA-sloganeering, the critical part of Beck’s alcoholic recovery metaphor flies in the face of the 12-step ethos, which cautions against excessive self-reliance. True humility is in the asking for help and becoming part of a community, the literature says.
God is defined as the God of one’s understanding, not the God of Glenn Beck or the Founders or the God who struck Warren Harding dead to give us Calvin Coolidge.
More than anything, the program is apolitical — “AA neither endorses nor opposes any causes,” according to a statement read aloud at meetings.
Like all of us, Beck is entitled to his personal narrative, and to use it any way he pleases. But to put the lexicon of a life-saving program into the service of Rupert Murdoch’s quest to grab all the marbles for himself and his heirs — well, that’s just venal.
Keep comin’ back, Glenn.Adele M. Stan is AlterNet's Washington bureau chief.

Feb 20, 2010

EUobserver / Tymoshenko's EU allies keen for end to election dispute

EUobserver / Tymoshenko's EU allies keen for end to election dispute
18.02.2010 @ 17:39 CET
EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - Ukraine Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko's allies in the EU's centre-right political establishment have hinted that she should give up her presidential campaign if she loses a key court challenge.
Ms Tymoshenko is set to appear at a hearing of Ukraine's Higher Administrative Court on Friday (19 February) to press her claim that rival candidate Viktor Yanukovych used fraud to win the second round of the election. 
Tymoshenko: with her trademark white tiger mascot (Photo: byut.com.ua)

The court is expected to rule by Sunday, potentially clearing the way for Mr Yanukovych's inauguration on 25 February.

German centre-right MEP Elmar Brok, a leading figure in the European People's Party (EPP) and in the EU parliament's foreign affairs committee, told EUobserver that Ms Tymoshenko has every right to bring a legal challenge if she has evidence of wrongdoing.

But when asked if she risks alienating EPP allies by protracting her refusal to accept defeat, Mr Brok added: "This should not last too long ... There will be a court decision and then it should not be the case to continue [the dispute] for a long time so that we have a deadlock."

British Conservative MEP Charles Tannock, a personal friend of Ms Tymoshenko but whose party is no longer an EPP member, said: "My advice to Yulia is: In a democracy, if you have been beaten fair and square, then you have to concede defeat."

"I have to say with a heavy heart that I'm afraid Yanukovych won the election. If she can't produce the evidence and she persists, then she risks eroding support," he added.

Ms Tymoshenko has made much of her EPP support in the run-up to the vote, publishing statements by EPP chairman Hans Martens and pictures of herself at the EPP congress in Bonn last December on her official website.

The EU's top officials, EU Council President Herman Van Rompuy and EU commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso, who also hail from the EPP family, have already congratulated Mr Yanukovych and invited him to come to Brussels.

Mr Yanukovych has been to the EU capital before and did not make a great impression. "He looks every inch the old Soviet apparatchik," an EU parliament contact said.

Some post-election remarks by the president-elect and his advisors, such as saying that Ukraine should join a customs union with Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, have also jangled nerves.

"Potential Ukrainian membership in the customs union would be an obstacle for our negotiations and the conclusion of the Free Trade Agreement," an EU official said.

But Mr Yanukovych is seen in the EU institutions as a pragmatist who is likely to make pro-Russian statements for the sake of public relations while rolling out pro-EU integration reforms.

"Yanukovych tries to be liked in Russia and therefore he makes such steps and statements. But just look at [Belarus president] Lukashenka, who signed the protocols on Belarus' participation in the customs union (which still has not been launched and is not operational) and who is now voicing some concerns against it," the EU official added.
Tymoshenko: with her trademark white tiger mascot (Photo: byut.com.ua)

Патриарх Кирилл поедет на инаугурацию Виктора Януковича

Lenta.ru: В России: Патриарх Кирилл поедет на инаугурацию Виктора Януковича

19.02.2010, 23:55:53

Патриарх Кирилл. Фото с сайта Московской патриархии
Патриарх Московский и всея Руси Кирилл планирует принять участие в церемонии инаугурации избранного президента Украины Виктора Януковича. Об этом РИА Новости сообщил неназванный источник в Московской патриархии.
Официального подтверждения того, что визит патриарха на Украину состоится, пока нет. Подробности собеседник агентства также не сообщил.
Патриарх Кирилл. Фото с сайта Московской патриархииКак напоминает РИА Новости, патриарх Кирилл поздравил Януковича с победой во втором туре президентских выборов еще до окончания подсчета голосов 9 февраля. Тогда глава Русской православной церкви пожелал украинскому народу, чтобы "вместе с прошедшим голосованием постепенно ушел в историю период потрясений и нестабильности".
Ожидается, что Янукович, набравший 48,95 процента голосов и опередивший премьер-министра Украины Юлию Тимошенко на 3,48 процента, вступит в должность 25 февраля. Однако 17 февраля Высший административный суд Украины приостановил решение ЦИК, согласно которому на выборах победил Янукович. Это было сделано в связи с иском Тимошенко об отмене результатов выборов.
Ранее неназванные источники в Киеве сообщали, что на инаугурацию Януковича хочет приехать президент России Дмитрий Медведев. Тем не менее, окончательное решение пока не принято, так как в Москве опасаются, что представители проигравшей выборы стороны могут сорвать церемонию.

Flashback: Религия в светском обществе / Religion in Secular Society // Презентация Корпорации Православного Действия

Религия в светском обществе / Презентация Корпорации Православного Действия

03.08.2004 19:56
(обновлено 10.03.2005 15:58)
Презентация Корпорации Православного Действия

3 августа в Институте национальной стратегии Станислава Белковского состоялась презентация новой организации - Корпорации Православного Действия (КПД), среди учредителей которой также целый ряд клириков и политически активных мирян Русской Православной Церкви. КПД провозгласила своей задачей создание мощного православного политического движения уже к выборам 2007-2008 гг.
Наш подробный репортаж см. в разделе "Новый консерватизм в России".

Flashback: СТАНИСЛАВ БЕЛКОВСКИЙ: У православных есть определенные ресурсы, которые могут серьезно повлиять на исход выборов и других политических процессов.

СТАНИСЛАВ БЕЛКОВСКИЙ: У православных есть определенные ресурсы, которые могут серьезно повлиять на исход выборов и других политических процессов.
Как сообщалось ранее, Одессу посетил Станислав Александрович Белковский, известный российский публицист и политтехнолог. В аэропорту он любезносогласился ответить на вопросы журналистов, касающиеся предстоящих Президентских выборов на Украине, - во многом оценки С. Белковского были неожиданны. Очень интересен его взгляд на такие проблемы, как участие православных в выборах Президента Украины, участие русских организаций в политических процессах и их взаимодействие с консульскими и другими российскими государственными структурами, прозвучавшие в вопросах председателя общественной организации "Единое Отечество" Валерия Каурова.
-Насколько можно говорить о том, с точки российского политтехнолога, что Кремлю выгоден Янукович и степень заинтересованности в Януковиче как Президенте Украины?
-Я бы не сказал, что занимаю жесткую антиющенковскую позицию. Я постараюсь посмотреть с каких-то новых сторон, в новых разрезах на предвыборную политическую ситуацию на Украине, не пытаясь в нее агрессивно вмешаться. Я считаю, что попытки механического переноса российских технологий и представлений на украинскую почву далеко не всегда могут быть эффективными с точки зрения российско-украинских отношений и отношений между элитами России и Украины. Я склоняюсь к мысли, - чем дальше, тем больше, - что оптимальным вариантом, с точки зрения Украины, насколько с этих позиций можно оценивать происходящие политические процессы, было бы сохранение в той или иной форме Леонида Даниловича Кучмы у власти. Потому что здесь надо понять, каким образом вообще сохранилась Украина в качестве независимого государства после распада Советского Союза и чем она была в составе Советского Союза. Республики ССР сформированы "большим ученым" Иосифом Виссарионовичем Сталиным в соответствии с неизбежностью внешнего управления. Границы союзных республик были таковы, что каждая из республик могла эффективно и стабильно функционировать только в режиме управления из Москвы, т.е. из Кремля. И все конфликты на постсоветском пространстве, все неустроенности и слабости, все кризисы государств и государственных машин связаны с тем, что эти сталинские границы не отвечают принципам независимого существования бывших союзных республик в качестве независимых государств. Вот, как в Грузии или в Молдавии это проявляется очень ярко: и там и там мы видим кризис государственности, который сегодня в Грузии частично преодолевается только благодаря наличию яркого харизматичного лидера Саакашвили. И при отсутствии такого лидера в Молдавии государство, так или иначе, идет к гибели и бездне военного вмешательства НАТО и Евросоюза. Приднестровская проблема по Кишиневскому сценарию быть решена не может. Там идет речь о внешнем управлении, только уже не из Москвы, не из Кремля. В этом смысле республика Украина также является диспропорциональным государством, по сути состоящим из нескольких субгосударств. И историческую заслугу Леонида Кучмы, как бы к нему не относились и какие бы ошибки за ним не числились, я вижу в том, что он практически был двойным агентом: агентом Запада Украины на Востоке Украины, и агентом Востока на Западе и, фактически руководствуясь идеей национальной независимости Украины и собственным украинским проектом, он был только потому успешен, что был своим на Востоке. Если бы Ющенко занимал место Кучмы 10 лет назад, то Украина могла бы и развалиться. В этом смысле мне представляется, что ни Ющенко, ни даже Виктор Федорович Янукович, при всем к нему уважении, является оптимальным для Украины лидером, потому что эти фигуры не сообразны тому украинскому проекту, который успешно с хитрецой присущей ему, тихой сапой Кучма реализовывал все эти годы. И, если Украина существует как независимое государство, если этот национальный проект состоялся, при всех диспропорциях и фантасмагориях украинской жизни. Сейчас мы с вами находимся в городе, где не так уж хорошо распространен государственный язык. В Украине я сталкивался с тем, что огромное количество официальных должностных лиц не знает государственного языка и не пользуется им ни на работе, ни дома. Это фантасмагория, конечно, но если бы этой фантасмагории не было, если бы она была разрушена каким-то насильственным путем, то не было бы Украины как единого независимого национального государственного организма. И заслуга Кучмы в том, что он все это понимал - сознательно или бессознательно. И опять же, при всех претензиях, которые к нему можно применить, он стратегически вывел Украину на орбиту независимого существования. Поэтому я бы считал оптимальным решением повторение конституционной реформы так, чтобы Леонид Данилович Кучма в той или иной степени стался у власти. Победа Ющенко приведет к поляризации общества, это безусловно, точно так же, как и победа Януковича, которая будет трактоваться на Западе, как катастрофическое историческое поражение. Это даст повод Виктору Ющенко при поддержке Запада и. конечно, США, пытаться повторить нечто вроде Тбилисского сценария.
- И все -таки что же для Украины более оптимально - Ющенко или Янукович?
- Кучма.
-Вы допускаете, что действующий Президент будет участвовать в выборах?
-Думаю, что нет. Хотя время еще есть, он уже выдвинут формально, насколько я знаю. До 1 августа еще есть время определиться. Скорее, я думаю, что можно говорить о новом варианте конституционной реформы, которая позволила бы Леониду Даниловичу остаться у власти. не раздражая Запад выдвижением на третий срок и избежать политико-экономичских проблем, чтобы нагнать его сейчас не очень высоко стоящий рейтинг.
Самые разные политики пытаются в предвыборное время поймать свою рыбу. В пространстве политико-экономического торга выторговать что-то себе в пользу своей заинтересованности в ключевых субъектах выборов, т.е. Ющенко с Януковичем с помощью своих ресурсов, даже небольших. Но это не сыграет решающую роль. Мне кажется, у обоих претендентов нет понимания той исторической изюминки Украины, того исторического проекта, носителем которого является Кучма. И сами выборы, и их исход представляются в контексте межклановой борьбы, что означает понижение планки.
- Говорят, что эти выборы на Украине будут одними из самых честных. Будет очень большой количество иностранных наблюдателей. Что, как вы думаете будет делать Янукович, чтобы поднять свой рейтинг, чтобы все-таки одержать победу.
- У Януковича работает огромная команда российских политтехнологов, в том числе и ведущих, я думаю, они дадут ему советы. Я с сочувствие отношусь к российским политтехнологам и не хочу их лишать заслуженного куска хлеба. Моя доктрина сводится к тому, что при всем уважении к Виктору Федоровичу Януковичу, который, я уверен, еще долгие годы будет занимать ключевые места в политической системе Украины, я считаю оптимальным сохранение ныне существующего режима с небольшими поправками и изменениями, с учетом текущего исторического момента и тем актуальным взаимодействиям между Кучмой и народом Украины.
Я подозреваю, что ни один из кандидатов (Ющенко и Янукович), на мой взгляд, не является носителем целостного национального проекта, а является носителем некоего подпроекта, удобного для какой-то части Украины. Учитывая то, что Украина состоит из нескольких частей, победа кого-либо из них может привести к тому, что реальное управление страной распадется на субгосударства. Хотя государство формально не разложится, - этого не допустят, но на деле политико-экономическое пространство может рухнуть и Украина будет состоять из нескольких формальных субгосударств. Поэтому, чтобы украинский национальный проект укрепился, потому что этот проект имеет достаточно ограниченную историческую перспективу, тот режим, который показал свою эффективность, потому что я думаю, что если бы политики, аналогичные Ющенко или Януковичу пришли к власти 10 лет назад, неизвестно была ли бы сегодня Украина, существовала ли бы она как независимое государство. И Ющенко, и Янукович могут быть субъектами этого проекта, это не значит, что один должен быть уничтожен, а другой возведен на престол.
Я бы не переоценивал бы влияние России на украинские дела. Для России, конечно, Янукович из основных кандидатов лучше, чем Ющенко. Просто потому, что победа Ющенко не благоприятна для России по символическому значению. Несколько очень крупных российских бизнесменов активно лоббируют Ющенко в Кремле, потому что на этот момент существует мнение, что именно Ющенко в состоянии обеспечить интересы российского бизнеса на Украине, в отличие от Януковича, который сам, будучи представителем определенной бизнес-группы, будет обеспечивать приоритет интересам этой бизнес-группы. Я считаю, что проект, связанный с сохранением Кучмы, без радикальных шагов, которые могли бы подорвать репутацию всей властной системы, примирило бы лоббизм экономических интересов российских с неизбежной позицией Кремля, который не может просто так согласиться с победой Ющенко, хотя итого выборов будут легитимированы Россией, в любом случае, - ни при каких обстоятельствах Россия не заявит после выборов, что она не признает победившего кандидата.
-В последнее время на Украине особенно активизировалась деятельность православной общественности. Верующие должны активно участвовать в предстоящих выборах, они не должны оставатьтся безучастными ещ в связи с тем, что Ющенко лоббирует интересы "киевского патриархата". Какую лепту может внести в предвыборную борьбу участие православных верующих?
- На этот счет существуют самые различные оценки. Я, как православный человек, считаю, что если Православие хочет утверждаться, как социальная сила, то это не может происходить без активной позиции самих православных верующих и их организаций, светских, конечно. Мы не должны забывать о том, что мы не можем вовлекать Церковь напрямую в политическую борьбу, но помогать Церкви выполнять определенные функции, оказывать поддержку Православной Церкви мы, как православные верующие мы просто обязаны. В этом, конечно, вопрос совести каждого верующего. У православных есть определенные ресурсы, которые могут серьезно повлиять на исход выборов и других политических процессов.
-Вопрос об участии в выборах русских сил, проросийских сил на Украине. Почему на Украине до сих пор не создана всеобъемлющая русская организация? Как российское общество оценивает ситуацию русских на Украине и какуюбы Россия могла бы оказать нам поддержку в организационных вопросах. - нет Русского Культурного Центра в Одессе...
- Вина за это, в значительной мере, лежит на России, потому что в 90-е года Россия была субъектом американского проекта, который не предполагал прямого вмешательства России в дела стран бывшего Советского Союза и тенденция эта во многом сохраняется. Россия не осуществляет активного целенаправленного вмешательства в интересы своих соотечественников за рубежом даже в тех ситуациях, когда это вмешательство, при небольших затратах политических и экономических ресурсов, могло бы стать решающим. И Украина здесь далеко не исключение, вот, только что были выборы президента Литвы, минимальное участие России в которых привело бы к победе пророссийского кандидата и тем самым коренным образом изменилась бы ситуация не только в Литве, но и вокруг Калининграда - одной из важнейших российских проблем. Но российская исполнительная власть никакой роли не сыграла, в силу того, что российская элита далека от идеи реинтеграции в рамках Советского Союза. Ее страшит сама постановка этого вопроса. Потому что это элита 90-х годов, это элита американского проекта, элита распада. Но здесь надо отметить позитивную в негативном заслугу Леонида Даниловича Кучмы, - то, что он хорошо понимал, что наличие мощной автономной русской организации может мешать реализации того проекта, который был направлен на создание независимого государства. И тут надо отдать ему должное, но шел к совей цели весьма эффективно.
-Но сейчас ситуация меняется. В Москве было заседание всех послов и консулов Российской Федерации и там они получили указание Владимира Владимировича Путина поддерживать имидж России на должном уровне. Что это значит?
-Консулы и сотрудники дипломатической системы никогда не достигали до политических проектов, они обслуживают политические решения. Практически главой Министерства Иностранных Дел России является Владимир Путин. Он определяет всю внешнюю политику. МИД является техническим инструментом реализации этой политики. Не надо недооценивать или переоценивать те или иные формальные шаги. За это предстоит еще большая борьба, борьба общественных структур. С одной стороны борьба пророссийских и русских сил в Украине и новой элиты, которая нарождается в России и пробивается к рычагам управления властью, преодолевая сопротивление элиты 90-х годов, у которой по-прежнему большинство властных позиций и ресурсов. И здесь не должно быть никаких иллюзий.
-Одесса - это своеобразный регион, здесь много национальностей, коенфессий...
Одесса и Одесская область - это одно из тех субгосударств, на которые может разделиться Украина. Я думаю, что сохранение Украины как единого целого было связано с учетом Кумой особенностей региона. И в дальнейшем. если эти особенности будут учитываться, и не будут игнорироваться, значит, Украина как едино целое будет существовать и укрепляться. Если же будет попытка унификации, а это возможно в случае победы одного их полярных кандидатов, причесывание субгосудраств под одну гребенку. То это будет равноценно центробежной тенденции в Украине и распаду этой единой государственной сущности. Я, вместе с моими единомышленниками, заинтересован в том, чтобы Россия и Украина были друзьями и стратегическими партнерами и относились друг к другу без взаимной подозрительности и создавали одни геополитический проект, а не два разных.
Среди православных есть такое основополагающее понятие, как соборность. К сожалению, многие, применяя его с существующей политической ситуации, делают ложный, на мой взгляд вывод, что соборность, в данном случае, - это слепая покорность руководящей воле. Мол, за кого скажут, за того и проголосуем. Нет, братья и сестры, мы должны быть на слепой, а сознательной силой. Пора оставить рефлексы тоталитарной системы с ее формальными выборами. Соборность наша проявляется в стоянии за чистоту Православия, в борьбе с еретиками и раскольниками. Соборность - во всемерной поддержке нашего канонического священноначалия и покорности его воле в вопросах христианской жизни.
Подготовила Ольга КРАВЕЦ, обозреватель пресс-службы Единого Отечества.

См. также:
Материалы сайта к предстоящим выборам: "Православные против блока "Наша Украина" не допустим Ющенко в президенты Украины
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