Russia: Where the Real Fascists Are

Perhaps fascism has indeed won—in Russia and not in Ukraine.

Russian National UnityRussian National Unity/PublicDomainThe claim that last month’s democratic revolution in Ukraine was actually driven by ultra-right extremists, fascists, or even “neo-Nazis” has been a staple of Kremlin propaganda. It is also echoed by Western pundits who think that Vladimir Putin is getting a bum rap and the United States is backing the bad guys in this conflict. It is true that far-right nationalists are a troubling, though by no means dominant, presence on Ukraine’s political scene and a potential problem for the new leadership’s quest for European integration. But the cries of “fascism” from Moscow and its apologists are breathtakingly hypocritical, considering the Putin regime’s entanglement with far-right, ultranationalist and, yes, fascist elements at home and abroad.

It’s hard to gauge the actual extent of extremist involvement in the Maidan protests, which began in late November in response to Yanukovych’s rejection of a European Union trade deal. At the start of February, Vyacheslav Likhachev, a Russian Jewish journalist and board member of the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress, estimated that “radical nationalists” made up about one percent of the protesters. On one occasion in the early days of the “Euromaidan,” a notorious hatemonger, poet Diana Kamlyuk, took advantage of an open microphone night to make overtly racist and anti-Semitic remarks; but Likhachev stressed that this was an isolated, widely condemned incident, and that the rallies featured prominent Jewish speakers as well as Jewish religious and cultural events.

As tensions between protesters and riot police escalated, the radicals took on a larger role—particularly Right Sector, a paramilitary group some view as bordering on neo-Nazism because of its admiration for World War II-era Ukrainian nationalist, onetime Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera. (While Bandera’s record on anti-Semitism is a matter of some dispute, his followers unquestionably committed atrocities toward Poles, Russians, Jews, and others; by any objective reckoning, he was certainly more terrorist than freedom fighter.) Right Sector has made some effort to improve its image: its leader, Dmitro Yarosh, has met with the Israeli ambassador in Kiev to assure him that the group strongly opposes anti-Semitism and xenophobia. Yarosh and other militants have also praised Jewish fighters on the Maidan. Still, concerns about their influence justifiably remain.

Another alarming factor is the nationalist party Svoboda (“Freedom”), whose head, 45-year-old Oleg Tyahnibok, has a history of anti-Semitic and racist comments—though he has tried to reinvent himself as a moderate. Svoboda has about 8 percent of the seats in Ukraine’s parliament; thanks to the deal brokered by Germany and France before Yanukovych’s resignation, it also holds four of the twenty posts in the interim government, including that of Minister of Defense. The party’s attempts to shed its thuggish reputation have not been entirely successful; on March 18, three Svoboda parliament members threatened and assaulted the chief of Ukraine’s TV Channel 1, angered by what they regarded as the station’s pro-Russian slant, and forced him to write a statement of resignation. The incident, which caused near-universal outrage, is now being investigated.

The good news, as historian Timothy Snyder points out in The New Republic, is that current polls show Svoboda getting 2 or 3 percent of the vote in May’s presidential election. And some reports on the right-wing menace in Ukraine clearly overstate the party’s impact. Thus, a March 13 column in the Los Angeles Times and a March 18 Foreign Policy article pointed to Svoboda’s successful push for a law making Ukrainian the country’s sole official language—without mentioning that Interim President Oleksandr Turchynov later vetoed the bill.

Meanwhile, in Russia, nationalists in the upper echelons of power include such prominent figures as former NATO envoy and current Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, who first entered the political scene as a leader of the nationalist bloc Rodina (Motherland). In 2005, Rodina was banned from Moscow City Council elections for running a blatantly racist campaign ad: the clip showed three Azerbaijani migrants littering and insulting a Russian woman and Rogozin stepping in to tell them off, and ended with a slogan promising to “clean up the trash.” While Rogozin is no fan of America, he has some peculiar American fans: in 2011, a glowing tribute that concluded with, “Let’s hope that Rogozin rises to power in Russia—and for the rise of a ‘Rogozin’ in America and elsewhere throughout the West,” appeared on the “white identity” website, Occidental Observer.

Rodina co-founder and Rogozin’s erstwhile rival for its leadership, Sergei Glazyev, most recently served as Putin’s man in charge of developing the Customs Union—the alliance with Kazakhstan and Belarus that was also to include Ukraine. Like Rogozin, Glazyev has attracted the sympathetic attention of far-right kooks in the Unites States—in this case, Lyndon LaRouche: in 1999, LaRouche Books published an English translation of Glazyev’s book, Genocide: Russia and the New World Order, with a foreword by LaRouche himself.

But Rogozin and Glazyev are mere peons compared to self-style “traditionalist” intellectual Alexander Dugin, a writer and professor at Moscow State University. In his New Republic article, Snyder identifies Dugin—“an actual fascist”—as “the founder of the Eurasian movement,” the ideology that provides the foundation for Russia’s expansion into Ukraine.

In fact, Dugin—who, in his writings in the 1990s, was quite explicit about the fascist and even Nazi roots of his views, asserting that true fascism had never been tried and would be born in Russia—is more than just the father of an idea. As documented in a 2009 article by Ukrainian scholar Andreas Umland (who has also chronicled the rise of extremism in Ukraine), Dugin has extensive, close ties to Russia’s political elites and the pro-Kremlin media. A number of high-level officials and journalists have served on the leadership council of his organization, the International Eurasian Movement. Dugin’s admirers include Ivan Demidov, a TV producer who at one point, in 2008, headed the ideology section of the ruling party, United Russia.

Dugin’s frightening rhetoric has been on display in recent days. After a massive antiwar demonstration in Moscow on March 15, he wrote on his Facebook page, “This is no longer simply filth, ideological opponents, or dissenters, but a parade of traitors. Today, they have risen against the Russian people, against our State, against our history. They are defending murderers, occupiers, Nazis, and NATO. All the participants in this march of the fifth column have been condemned—by history, by the people, by us.” Then, he quoted a line from a famous wartime poem: “As many times as you see them, kill them.” (The poem, of course, referred to German invaders.)

If those are the ideologues, it’s hardly surprising that some of Russia’s foot soldiers in the conflict with Ukraine are of the brownshirt type. Most notable among these is Pavel Gubarev, the pro-Russian activist in Donetsk who briefly proclaimed himself the city’s “People’s Governor” and raised a Russian flag over the local government building. A few days after Gubarev gained notoriety, it was revealed that he had once been an activist in the militant group Russian National Unity, whose emblem bears an unmistakable resemblance to the swastika. (Photos of Gubarev in uniform made the rounds of the Internet.) And, shortly before the March 16 referendum, the Kremlin’s man in Crimea, Sergei Aksyonov, used a blatant anti-Semitic code in a televised speech, referring to Ukraine’s new leadership as “an unnatural union of cosmopolite oligarchs who have grown rich plundering the Soviet era’s heritage, and neo-Nazis.” Of course, “cosmopolite” was once an infamous Soviet euphemism for “Jew”—and it is no coincidence that the best-known business oligarch allied with the new government is a Jewish man, Ihor Kolomoysky.

Then there’s the matter of the “international observers” Moscow invited to the referendum in Crimea—a veritable freak central of neo-Stalinists and far rightists including Belgian neo-Nazi Luc Michel, Hungarian right-wing extremist Bela Kovacs, and Serbian-born American paleocon and war crime apologist Srđa (Serge) Trifković. Another observer, Polish parliament member Mateusz Piskorski, who praised the referendum in a Russia Today interview, is a former neo-Nazi in a very literal sense. As one of Poland’s leading newspapers, Gazeta Wyborcza, reported in 2006, in the late 1990s and early 2000s Piskorski published a magazine called Odala, which openly praised Nazi Germany, interviewed Holocaust deniers, and proclaimed that “considering the decay and multi-racialism of the West,” a united Slavic empire was “the only hope for the White Race.” Piskorski now belongs to Dugin’s Eurasian Movement.

Umland’s 2009 article on Dugin and creeping Russian fascism ended with the eerie prediction: “Should Dugin and his followers succeed in further extending their reach into Russian high politics and society at large, a new Cold War will be the least that the West should expect from Russia, during the coming years.” Perhaps fascism has indeed won—and not in Ukraine.

This article originally appeared at RealClearPolitics.

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  • GILMORE||

    Relevant - Jim Goad @ Taki Mag on "31 Flavors of Fascism"

    - why the word means almost everything and nothing in modern political discussions, and why ""the main problem with being an individual is that you always wind up outnumbered""

    http://takimag.com/article/31_.....z2woMgvrDy

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Written by a right-wing apologist. He probably claims Hayek as a conservative.

  • GILMORE||

    Everyone short of Pol-Pot is right wing to you, Buttplug.

    Remember? I'm the resident *SoCon* according to your finely-tuned sensibilities.

  • Sevo||

    Palin's Buttplug|3.23.14 @ 3:45PM|#
    "Written by a right-wing apologist."

    And the above was written by a lefty slime-ball.

  • Mike M.||

    Named David Weigel.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    Does his health insurance cover dermatology? Just curious.

  • Mike M.||

    The horrible skin probably comes from all the loads that get shot into his face.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Sergei Aksyonov, used a blatant anti-Semitic code in a televised speech, referring to Ukraine’s new leadership as “an unnatural union of cosmopolite oligarchs who have grown rich plundering the Soviet era’s heritage, and neo-Nazis.” Of course, “cosmopolite” was once an infamous Soviet euphemism for “Jew”

    Yes, Ms. Young, I am fully convinced by your assertion that the prime minister of Crimea addressed his country and claimed the Ukraine was ruled by a cabal of Jews and neo-Nazis. Because that combination makes complete sense and is not ludicrous at all; thus, that was obviously what Aksyonov meant.

  • ||

    It wouldn't be the first time that someone trying to stoke national fervor threw together a mix of historical bogeymen that didn't make sense next to one another.

  • Wasteland Wanderer||

    Yup. And also remember that the Soviets beef with the Nazis wasn't their antisemitism. The Soviets were plenty antisemitic themselves, though not nearly as fervent as the Nazis were.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Stalin just didn't see as much gain in killing Jews as Hitler did. He was too busy purging.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    The Soviets were plenty antisemitic themselves

    Eh, I'm not sure that's entirely accurate. Of course, Stalin was very anti-Semitic, there is no denying that, especially after the Doctor's Plot. And even then, Stalin's answer the "Jewish Question" was to ship them all East to form their own ethnic enclave. However, if you look before him, Lenin was neutral, or even philo-Semtic, and Trotsky was Jewish himself. After Stalin, the Soviets were anti-Zionist mainly due to Cold War posturing, which of course had negative effects upon the refusniks. Had the socialist Arab states and those Palestinian groups that were Marxist in ideology been not such useful pieces on the geopolitical chess board, I believe life would have been better for the average Soviet Jew.

  • Acosmist||

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    It wouldn't be the first time that someone trying to stoke national fervor threw together a mix of historical bogeymen that didn't make sense next to one another

    Help a brotha out with an example, will ya?

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Lyndon LaRouche?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Well, I meant someone with actual political power, but point taken.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Pat Buchanan?

  • SusanM||

    Didn't Pat team up with some Green Party loony a few years ago?

  • ||

    Mahmoud Ahmadinejad?

    Didn't he rattle off a ton of slights against Persia in his UN speech with no unifying theme except to say that the world owed Iran? Because consumerism, the middle ages and Jooos...

  • ||

    Also, didn't every soviet or maoist purge begin with linking unfavorable strains of the movement to capitalist infiltration?

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Soviet purges were driven by Stalin's political paranoia more than anything else. If he had only been limited to an ethnic group or political identification, he couldn't have cleansed out his own military officer corps.

    "Who recruited you?" and "Who did you recruit?"

    That said, the Poles and the kulaks probably took the worst of it.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Because consumerism, the middle ages and Jooos...

    But that at least has an internal consistency, if you're arguing from the "Jews as usurious capitalists" canard, where Jews are suspect because they uprooted feudalism by managing to exist outside the feudal contract by serving directly as the King's middlemen. Thus, even though they were successful, because they didn't "work the land" like the honorable pig-shit farmers, they should be viewed with contempt.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    It makes historical sense that communists would be opposed to both capitalistic Jews and Nazis.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Firstly, from what I can tell, Aksyonov is not a communist but a Russian nationalist in the mold of the Putinistas (Putiniks?)

    Secondly, I understand that the Soviets would have been opposed to both groups, but I don't recall them ever suggesting they were working in concert. And even if they did, I don't see how it lends any weight to Young's speculation as to what Aksyonov meant by "cosmopolitans" in this context. He could have been referring to those cocktail-swilling cosmotarians who own import-export businesses in Russia!

    I still find Young's insinuation as to Aksyonov to be unconvincing. (Not that the man is a paragon of sweetness and light, either.)

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    I find that Russian nationalism and pining for the bygone strength of the USSR go hand in hand.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Fascists and communists had a strange symbiotic relationship in Germany. The commies there in the 1920s had the motto 'first brown then red', because they thought that Nazism would be followed by Communism. That did happen in Eastern Germany but not in the way they wanted.

    It appears the reverse is happening in Russia.

  • BardMetal||

    I thought the only real difference between the two was that a communist says "workers of the world unite" and a fascist says "workers of Germany unite"

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    For all the window dressing and rancor between ideologies, the main differences between fascism and communism are sartorial.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    I find that Russian nationalism and pining for the bygone strength of the USSR go hand in hand.

    That's true, but let's not confuse them with the honest-to-goodness real Communists in present-day Russia.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    I'll stay close to Crimea with this one - Saparmurat Niyazov

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Again, I know the dude was bat-shit insane, but what radically antithetical groups did Niyazov actually group together?

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Pretty much anybody who wasn't Turkmen.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Sometimes you are just a bit too clever HM. You're right the idea that Ukraine is ruled by a Jew-Nazi cabal is a ridiculous proposition by Aksyonov not Cathy Young.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Young is the one claiming Aksyonov is using a "dog-whistle" term for Jew. Aksyonov in the quote never used the term.

    By the way, did you know that Jews control Bollywood too?

  • Cytotoxic||

    Is cosmopolite not a code-term for Jew? He isn't talking about Welch and the other cocktail-consumers at Cato is he?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Is cosmopolite not a code-term for Jew?

    It, like many things, depends on context; and can you say you have enough context to judge, considering all you have is what Young reported that he said?

    Even if Aksyonov was being anti-Semitic, so what? The entirety of Young's article is nothing more than tu quoque directed at God-knows-whom. The fact that Russia has fascist elements, just as Ukraine does isn't news. Pamyat has been around for more than a century. Justifying the actions of these two countries based on who has the least perceived amount of neo-Fascist loonies is a simp's game I refused to play.

  • Cytotoxic||

    No, your posts are nothing more than an exercise in intellectually dishonest false equivalence. Ukraine has fascists (like every country in Europe), Russia has them in positions of power and influence and behaves in accordance with their ideology.

  • Virginian||

    It's Europe. You can choose between nationalist socialists and internationalist socialists, for the most part. Maybe there is a liberal (in the old sense of the word) party in Parliament who holds 15% of the seats, in a good year.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    No, your posts are nothing more than an exercise in intellectually dishonest false equivalence

    I see no need for insults. Disagreeing with you is not being "intellectually dishonest", regardless of what Rand told you. And again, if anyone is making a false equivalence, it's Young and company.

    Ukraine has fascists (like every country in Europe), Russia has them in positions of power and influence and behaves in accordance with their ideology.

    Again, in comparing Russia to Ukraine, we have no idea how this new Ukraine will behave as the country's government is, what, about a month and a half old.

  • The Original Jason||

    It's not far off from rootless cosmopolitan.

  • Jerry on the boat||

    Can't we just agree that they're all fascists and we should stay the fuck out?

  • Cytotoxic||

    I can agree on staying out but they are NOT all fascists.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Where is SIV? He would certainly object to this close association of "right-wing" with fascism.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    This post seems to be based on the fallacy that if Russia and Ukraine are fighting over Crimea, one must be the good guy and one must be the bad guy. The Ukrainian government has shown itself to be just as thuggish as the Russian government:

    http://www.nydailynews.com/new.....-1.1727271

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    Some parliament members ! = "Ukrainian government"

    But thanks for playing, Walter Duranty.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    Yes, but note a week later, those Parliament members are still in Parliament, whereas their victim is still resigned.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    Right, because slapping one guy around (abhorrent behavior though that is) is "just as thuggish" as bootstrapping an annexation of an entire region. Please stop embarrassing yourself now.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    While the Crimean referendum was obviously illegitimate, the fact is most of the people there DON'T what to be far of Ukraine. A legitimate referendum would have had the same results, if not by the inflated margin of the illegitimate one.

    Why is Ukraine's annexation of Crimea any more legitimate than Russias? Especially since the neo-confederates here keep telling me how sacred the right of secession is.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    While the Crimean referendum was obviously illegitimate

    which automatically defeats your assertion that the Ukrainian government is just as bad as the Russian one.

    Why is Ukraine's annexation of Crimea any more legitimate than Russias? Especially since the neo-confederates here keep telling me how sacred the right of secession is.

    I never said it was, and your crack there is off-point and not even logical.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    A legitimate referendum would have had the same results


    Not according to the polling mentioned in this very article. Maybe Crimea would rather be independent of the Ukraine, but that doesn't mean it wants enosis with Russia.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Oh, and Ukraine never annexed Crimea; Crimea voted to become part of Ukraine in the 90s -- which is more than can be said of the two times Crimea has been annexed by Russia.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    People acting badly in the throes of losing their country are just as bad as the aggressors taking that country. #derp

  • BardMetal||

    A part of the country thats ethnically Russian, where much of the population wants to be part of Russia, that also contains the Russian Black Sea fleet, and is of vital strategic importance to Russia.

    I guess the complicates the derpy "Russia evil Ukraine good" narrative a little bit.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    (1)Irrelevant, (2) says who?, (3) irrelevant and (4) irrelevant. Seriously, the fact it's "important" means what again? Canada is of strategic importance to the US, ergo Canada is game for annexation, right?

    naturally, your last sentence you can chalk up to "things I never said"

  • BardMetal||

    Important means that Russian isn't going to allow a government that is hostile to Russian interests control it.

    And what hell kind of response is simply labeling every irrelevant? Irrelevant to what? You? To some sort of rules that exist in your head for when it's ok to annex an area? Or do you think the way borders are drawn now should be the way they are kept for all eternity?

  • Cytotoxic||

    'Irrelevant' means 'does not justify' or make excusable'. There was no way Ukraine's new government was going to seize Russia's Crimean bases.

  • Not an Economist||

    Part of the reason that part of the country is ethnically Russian is because prior inhabitants of that region were relocated and ethnic Russians moved in. The government that did that was Russian.

  • Virginian||

    Yeah but you can't go back and undo that. It's wrong to "relocate" ethnic groups, period.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    The Ukrainian government had no problems when those thugs were directing their violence toward the aims of the coup.

    Sorry, you can't ally with Svoboda to achieve your goals and then pretend you have nothing to do with them when they start to embarrass you.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    that still doesn't mean you get to draw equivalence between Russia and Ukraine.

  • Cytotoxic||

    1) There was no 'coup' it was a revolution.

    2) Those 'thugs' were defending the protesters from the real thugs, which were the police that opened fire on them.

    Sorry, you can't ally with Svoboda to achieve your goals and then pretend you have nothing to do with them when they start to embarrass you.

    Guilt by association. 0/10

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    There was no 'coup' it was a revolution.

    One man's revolution is another man's coup.

    Those 'thugs' were defending the protesters from the real thugs, which were the police that opened fire on them.

    That may be so. So they get to beat the shit out of anyone they want now?

    Guilt by association. 0/10

    Lazy (and erroneous) claim of logical fallacy without actually engaging the ideas of the argument.

    -1000 to you and +e to me.

  • Cytotoxic||

    1) I'm not reading this BS please support your claim yourself.

    2) Beatings? Citation? Are you talking of the isolated incident regarding Svodoboda?

    3) There was no argument just your logical fallacy and I gave it all the engagement it merited. PWND

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    I'm not reading this BS please support your claim yourself.

    It's not a "claim", its the fact that a historical event can be viewed differently by differing groups.

    Beatings? Citation? Are you talking of the isolated incident regarding Svodoboda?

    Did you read Stormy's link?

    There was no argument just your logical fallacy and I gave it all the engagement it merited.

    Your Intro. to Symbolic Logic instructor owes you a refund. "Guilt by association" is only a fallacy when the association is not one that is able to be chosen. For example, Obama is of mixed racial heritage; I am of mixed racial heritage. If you attempted to connect me with Obama's views based on that would be a fallacious association. However, an association that is able to be freely chosen does not fall under this fallacy. If I join the Mafia, even if I don't kill, hurt, or rob anyone, it is still logically valid and sound to argue that I support killing, hurting, and robbing for profit as I freely joined an organization that espouses those views.

    PWND

    Really, dude? Save that shit for our weekly Reason: Hit and Run Crusader Kings II game. Which is now totally a thing.

  • Cytotoxic||

    So the claim of beatings was just an isolated incident that you are trying to dishonestly elevate to the systematic brutality of Russia's Putin. Thanks for clarifying.

    The Ukrainian revolutionaries didn't pick their fellow revolutionaries from a list. The Svoboda fellows were elected. How their existence stains the rest of the revolutionary movement I have no idea and neither do you, as much as you want to believe it is true.

    Further, coups are not subjective. A coup is when one branch/part of the government seizes control of the government. That didn't happen in Ukraine.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    that you are trying to dishonestly elevate to the systematic brutality of Russia's Putin

    I never claimed that, and I challenge you to show me where I did. You made the claim that the organization the people beating the news broadcaster on live television represent weren't "thugs" because they protected the protestors. I asked if their protection of the protestors grants them license to beat up, well, anyone, much less owners of television news stations who broadcast things they don't like.

    A coup is when one branch/part of the government seizes control of the government.

    I disagree with that definition. I would argue that what makes a coup a coup is the number of people involved in the actual seizing of power and the speed in which this is conducted, as it was borrowed from the original French definition of the term. "coup" meaning a quick stroke. It could be an existing part of a government or it could be a small group of vanguardists outside the government.

    However the semantic properties of the term wasn't even my original point, it was that you were trying to claim a difference in definition between words that mostly differ in connotation.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Really? I wasn't aware that the Ukrainian parliament had recently banned all things gay, that it had authorized an irredentist war, or that it had annexed a territory not its own in violation of all international and civilized norms.

    Let's have some fucking perspective.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Ok, who said "Mary Tony Tulpa Shriek" three times while facing the bathroom mirror?

  • ||

    I THOUGHT IT WAS JUST AN URBAN LEGEND!

    *Hangs head and weeps sobs into hands*

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Not my style but the writer certainly has the low-info DiddleHead prattle down.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    oh right. "Chatter" was the key.

    dammit. go fuck off Mary.

  • gaoxiaen||

    It's a Nancy.

  • Mike M.||

    Hello once again Mary Cecilia Stack of 8113 Sun Meadows Court, Fort Worth, Texas 76123, phone number 817-263-4116!

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    ah ha. nice.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    That's what 200k will get you in Ft. Worth?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Schwing!

  • General Butt Naked||

    Put in my address and it valued my house for 50% more than I paid 2 years ago. Not getting my hopes up over that.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Interesting. What part of the country you live in? It undervalued my home slightly (It has no idea that the kitchen and bathroom were recently reno-ed).

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    That's a good thing. Don't let the tax man know. I added on a room for the baby, and got a re-assessment and a retroactive tax bill for the 2 prior years.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    re-assessment and a retroactive tax bill for the 2 prior years.
  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Hmm...it ate the rest of my comment. The question was "Is that even legal?!"

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    I did the add-on 2 years prior, and it took them that long to process the changes. I don't know if it is legal, but I don't want a tax lien on my house either.

  • Virginian||

    The question was "Is that even legal?!"

    Of course it's legal. The government said it was.

  • General Butt Naked||

    I'm in pittsurgh and bought at the height of the downturn here, i.e. a few years behind the rest of the nation.

    I've done some minor repairs/cosmetic things so the value would actually be more.

    I'm wondering if they're using comparable properties currently on the market to get that price. There are about 8 houses for sale in a 3 block radius that have not sold for a couple of years. They may be asking too much and making the neighborhood look more expensive.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    I'm wondering if they're using comparable properties currently on the market to get that price. There are about 8 houses for sale in a 3 block radius that have not sold for a couple of years. They may be asking too much and making the neighborhood look more expensive

    That's probably it.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    The "zestimate" on Zillow is spot on here. It is within a few percent on almost all of the sales here in the past year.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    TX property taxes are a bitch! I pay a lot more than that, but the percentage is lower.

  • seguin||

    Yeah, that and sales tax is what we have instead of income tax

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    What is sales % in TX? CA is 9.25% in my county.

  • Virginian||

    6.25% and counties can levy a maximum of up to 2% in addition to that.

    So max possible is 8.25%

  • General Butt Naked||

    It's actually kinda awesome that this person is someone of means that deems harassing a bunch of dubmasses like us a good use of time.

    I mean, if it's some neckbeard trolling that doesn't have the income to do anything else we're actually adding some meaning to their lives by being harassable. But to a wealthy person with, presumably, friends and family our existence and, by extension, their time-wasting attempts to troll us are actually sucking the meaning right out of their lives.

    Like a black hole, Hn'R sucks up potentially productive, meaningful and enjoyable time of Mizz Stack and spits out nothing more than a Hawking radiation f vitriol and emptiness.

    I hop this person spends much more time here.

  • Mike M.||

    What makes this annoying cunt even more twisted, funny, and ironic is that her husband is actually a small business owner.

  • PapayaSF||

    Careful, or you'll appear in the next edition of "Libertarian Stalkers."

  • General Butt Naked||

    Hilarious considering it comes from a person so deranged that they tried to have one of the commenters here (heller) kicked out of school by informing the uni's admin of his comments here.

    He wasn't.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    I wasn't aware of that. Jesus.

  • ||

    She hacked John's Facebook page around the same time, too.

  • julieejulia120||

    my co-worker's step-mother makes $63 every hour on the computer . She has been laid off for 6 months but last month her pay was $18624 just working on the computer for a few hours. i was reading this.......
    http://www.Works23.us

  • AlmightyJB||

    I know what you are but what am I?

  • GILMORE||

    Mary?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    It goes by Calzone Kraphole now, when it's not misspelling the word "mulatto".

  • GILMORE||

    Yes, Mary.

    Wow, that only took 2 seconds.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    It is the weekend. She forgot to mention Epi.

  • Cytotoxic||

    You know how the neocons can't stop comparing everything with Hitler's taking of Sudetenland or the Munich agreement? Well like a broken clock or the Boy Who Cried Wolf, they got this one right. Putin's Russia really is gripped by a similar expansionist fascistic ideology and it's belligerence will only end with crushing defeat and/or economic bankruptcy. Russia may not be nearly as powerful as Germany and it is not a threat to America but by golly those Eastern European nations better stop whining like weak little bitches for the West to save them and begin a massive military buildup. The key short term goals are prevention of further invasions of Ukraine and keeping Russia out of Moldova. Then, drill for gas and oil like nothing else.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    "No, Mr. Shepard. With respect, it is not the moral of the story. The moral of the story is that if you have grounds to believe there is a ferocious predator at large, don't appoint as your sole watchman as 12 year old child whom you have resolved to ignore."

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=66SQKEf7UIs

  • BardMetal||

    Rather then trying to join NATO maybe some of those Eastern European nations would be better off starting their own alliance.

    A Polish-Ukrainian alliance might be a strong enough counterweight to Russia in Eastern Europe.

    That or a powerful Germany, but I don't see that happening.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Poland, Ukraine, and the Baltic states would make a strong combo and could be a foundation for fucking with Russia's intentions in Moldova and the Balkans. Poland is also bordering Belarus and Kaliningrad. I imagine Germany as a sort of distant benefactor and guide.

  • Archduke von Pantsfan||

    Uh, whatever you say JFKboy.

    Jewish control of the media is preventing an open discussion of the Holocaust, prominent Hollywood director Oliver Stone told the Sunday Times, adding that the U.S. Jewish lobby was controlling Washington's foreign policy for years.

    In the Sunday interview, Stone reportedly said U.S. public opinion was focused on the Holocaust as a result of the "Jewish domination of the media," adding that an upcoming film of him aims to put Adolf Hitler and Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin "in context."
  • Heroic Mulatto||

    I would admire his trolling, if his films weren't so damn dull, nowadays.

  • Cytotoxic||

    He made Alexander The Great boring and tedious, which is incredible, but Savages was pretty good. Uncompromisingly brutal.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    I agree with you about Alexander. Haven't seen Savages but I might enjoy it if it's as brutal as you claim.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    When you're born you get a ticket to the freak show. When you're born in America, you get a front row seat.

    George Carlin

    (one of our greatest)

  • nancy284||

    Start earning with Google. Just work for few hours and have more time with friends and family. I earn up to $500 per week. Its actually the nicest job Ive had. Linked Here www.Pow6.com

  • Ken Shultz||

    I don't need a big-eyed bunny in charge to feel sorry for the Ukrainians.

    The primary concern of U.S. foreign policy should be America's best interests, and if and when it's in the best interests of the United States to back some nasty people, then that's what we should do.

    The idea that we should only help those that are pure in heart and spirit is childish.

    And that doesn't just go for the Ukraine. That goes for Syria and everywhere else in the world.

    Sometimes, it's in America's best interests to drop nuclear bombs on people. I thought everyone except religious fanatics, children, and Pollyanna liberals understood this stuff.

  • Virginian||

    It's in America's best interest to nuke hostile invasion fleets. Or asteroids on a collision course for Earth.

    Not sure how incinerating a pack of Japanese civilians kept the homeland safe.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Do you think it was ever in America's best interests to drop bombs on people?

  • Virginian||

    People meaning civilians? Or people meaning uniformed soldiers fighting in a declared war?

  • Ken Shultz||

    Do you think it ever could be in America's best interests to drop nuclear bombs on people?

  • Virginian||

    I could see a moral use of clean nukes against military targets. I do not think indiscriminate use of them to murder civilians by the million is in America's interest.

  • Ken Shultz||

    What about in retaliation?

    Iranian ICBMs are incoming, and they'll hit New York, Chicago and Los Angeles in seven to ten minutes--you don't think we should retaliate with nukes?

  • DRM||

    It's true that the only important thing incinerating a pack of Japanese civilians did was keep millions of Japanese alive. But I personally think that was worthwhile.

  • Sevo||

    Virginian|3.23.14 @ 5:12PM|#
    "Not sure how incinerating a pack of Japanese civilians kept the homeland safe."

    I'm going to guess that you know nearly nothing of the context, but just for the heck of it, which alternative to the bombing would you have preferred?

  • Virginian||

    lol I know plenty about the context.

    At the time of the nuclear strikes, Japan was completely cut off thanks to the US submarine campaign, and every fleet unit was either destroyed or tied at the dock from lack of view. They never had a strategic air arm capable of striking the US.

    Japan in the spring of 1945 was completely incapable of repeating Pearl Harbor. They were through.

    Now you can argue that nuking them to compel their surrender was the right call on some grounds, but there wasn't anyway the Japanese were ever going to harm the American homeland. Which is the only claim I ever made.

  • Sevo||

    Yes, you seem to have some knowledge, but you've yet to answer my question.
    Please answer, WHICH ALTERNATIVE WOULD YOU CHOOSE?
    Simply claiming you would rather not bomb is akin to saying you'd rather have your cake and eat it, too.
    Again, WHICH ALTERNATIVE WOULD YOU CHOOSE?

  • Virginian||

    Eh, I just have an issue with the whole grand crusade model. Because the mass bombing and later nuclear strike happened because of the insistence on unconditional surrender by FDR.

    They might have called it quits months earlier if we'd cut a deal where the Emperor stays, we send him a list of generals and politicians he can order to commit suicide, and they pay reparations and renounce all their colonies.

    But again, nuking those cities didn't keep America safe. It led to the surrender of the Japanese government, but America was safe from about Midway on by any reasonable definition of the term.

  • Sevo||

    So you have some high-school 'knowledge' of the subject at best. To pick one comment:

    "They might have called it quits months earlier if we'd cut a deal where the Emperor stays"

    Total and complete bullshit. Japanese comm in June of 1945 SPECIFICALLY stated they would not accept those terms.
    And your arm-waving about how it would have been nice it the world were different isn't helping.
    That bombing ended a 5 year war and as best as anyone can determine saved millions of lives on both sides. And now you from the safety of your computer trivialize all the considerations that went into it with some feel-good BS.
    Nest time, before you moralize, try learning something about the subject; you won't look as stupid as you do here.

  • mtrueman||

    "Total and complete bullshit. Japanese comm in June of 1945 SPECIFICALLY stated they would not accept those terms."

    But things change. Annoying, I know, but what may have been true in June 1945, may have been no longer true in August. Were the Russians at war with Japan in June 1945? They were not. But by August they were. Did the Soviets have a long record of regicide under their belts? I'll leave that for you to puzzle out.

  • mtrueman||

    "It led to the surrender of the Japanese government"

    I'm not sure the bombing lead to the surrender of anyone. The bombings of places like Tokyo and Nagoya etc were far more punishing and consequential. They lead to no surrender. Why would the brutal and dictatorial military leadership suddenly pale at the loss Christian ridden backwaters like Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Especially if they suspected the Americans didn't have the will to invade.

    The Russians had declared war on Japan and nobody doubted their will to invade and remain. They are still occupying Islands in the north. I think that was the motive to surrender quickly. That and the apparent deal with the Americans to allow the emperor to remain on his throne.

  • GILMORE||

    Putin Explains His Actions

    http://alturl.com/kgtjv

  • David_B||

    I'm so sick off people, even the supposedly intelligent, confusing Fascism with far right extremism.

    {{{{{FASCISM IS FAR LEFT, NOT FAR RIGHT}}}}}

    Far Right is Anarchistic, no rules, no government, every man for himself, individualistic.

    Far Left is Collectivist, totalitarian, Utopian, Fascist, Communist, Socialist, Religious, dogmatic.

    Why supposedly intelligent people don't seem to get this is profoundly perplexing.

  • Wasteland Wanderer||

    Because "left" and "right" are meaningless, context-less, arbitrary and relative terms. And hence are absolutely useless for accurately describing political movements.

    They work well for rabble-rousing, though.

  • David_B||

    Left and Right are perfectly understandable if placed into a perfectly understandable context.

    Left/Tyranny

  • David_B||

    Left and Right are perfectly understandable if placed into a perfectly understandable context.

    Left/Tyranny

    Right/Liberty

    Where's the confusion?

    Fascism for example, which is a tyrannical, centralized, collectivist state, is far Left wing.

  • Wasteland Wanderer||

    Ok...so why is "left" tyranny? Why is "right" liberty? What inherently about the direction of left vs. right makes either of those definitions anything but utterly arbitrary?

    The entire etymology of the left/right classification system has to do with where a bunch of French assholes sat in parliament 300 years ago. It might have made sense at that time and in that place, but the changing political landscape rendered it obsolete.

    It's a completely and utterly useless classification system, as it doesn't inherently convey any actual meaning.

    Frankly, we ought to ditch the entire thing together, and instead use terms that actually convey meaning.

  • Robert||

    Suppose Russia got back their whole empire. They had good relations with the USA then. Even sold a nice chunk of it. Kept Hawaii warm too. Until 1918.

  • shipley130||

    Well, it's not like Ukraine was a fantastic country that got deprived of land that they had so dearly taken care of.

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