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August 29, 2016

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dolleric

Please staple this screed to your forehead and get back to us after four years. Trump is not the demon you say he is; the Democrats are far more dangerous than you are willing to admit. This election is a watershed, and either outcome will be very embarrassing for you because you continue to misjudge the nature of the opponents.

monkey

Well said. I could be wrong, but didn't you say you were from Estonia originally? No doubt Putin would love to get his hands on the Baltics as they are the most prosperous former USSR republics and are now members of the EU and NATO thus the fear of NATO invoking article 5 is probably the only thing stopping him, but if Trump isn't willing to defend them he just might attack them. Or he might do something even smaller, after all Narva in Estonia is on the Russian border, it is predominately inhabited by Russians not Estonians. Much like Hitler used as his justification for attacking the Sudetenland, I could easily see Putin using this rationale or perhaps maybe like Crimea he will try to stage a rigged referendum. Either way fully agree Putin wants a weaker West. I have been quite critical of US and European foreign policies, but if its a choice between Russia vs. the US or EU, UK, France whatever, its a no brainer on which side I would favour.

I would also add Donald Trump could be very bad for Canada. He plans to rip up NAFTA which would be devastating for us and also ironic as it was negotiated by a Republican president and the GOP has normally been the party of free trade not the protectionist one.

Cincinnatus

Dear Monkey:

Yes I am Estonian. And I think you are correct on Putin's intentions. For this reason, I keep a much closer eye on Eastern European affairs than most North Americans.

Dear Dolleric:

I would love nothing better than to be proven wrong in this score. I have provided an argument based on facts to support my conclusion.

If you can counter with a more cheery fact-based argument, I would sincerely like to hear it.

Cheers,

Bill Elder

It's under reported because it doesn't exist - except perhaps in Hillary's Alzheimer's-ravaged brain.

Cincinnatus

Cognitive dissonance at work.

monkey

I was wondering for curiousity if you know what percentage of the Russian minority in Estonia want to rejoin Russia. While I totally oppose them rejoining never mind most are Estonians who don't want to rejoin just curious. Certainly Estonia seemed a lot more westernized than many think. It was after all ruled by the Danish and Swedeish before Russians and was independent from 1918-1939 until the Russians got it under the Molotov-Ribbentop pact negotiated between Hitler and Stalin. Also they use Latin script instead of Cyrillic as well as they are Lutheran even though most are not religious instead of Orthodox Christian. I usually think of the East/West divide culturally as Eastern being using Cyrillic script and Orthodox Christian as opposed to Latin Script and either Protestant or Catholic historically albeit secular today. I was there just a month ago along with the other Baltic countries and didn't feel that Russian, only in the new subdivisions of Tallinn on the outskirts did I see Soviet style architecture not in the old Town where I stayed. Not to mention the language is most like Finnish although not mutually intelligible instead of Russian so while different the Finnish are probably the closest culturally I think.

Cincinnatus

Dear Monkey:

Your intuitions are 100% spot on. The language is Finno-Ugric and the culture is Germanic. The only Russian cultural influences on Estonia are Soviet, and they are, to say the least, negative.

The Russian minority is 25% of the population and getting less (slowly). What percentage of them want to return to Russia is an interesting question. Most public opinion polls indicate that a good majority do not. This is not surprising, first because if they want to go back they can. There is noting stopping them from crossing the border. At first (in the early 90's) some did.

But these days nobody in their right mind moves to Putinstan voluntarily. This is partly because of the unoppressive Estonian government, the freedom to move about in the EU, and the fact that the living standards of Russians in Estonia is about double that of Russians in Russia. While the official GDP per capita numbers are closer, Russia's Gini index is through the roof. And the local Russians would directly know this. They travel across the border regularly for cheap gas (thanks EU tax policy!) and bootleg alcohol. The Pskov Oblast, located directly beside Estonia, is the poorest in Russia.

On the other hand, the local Russians are marinated in Russian propaganda. If you think RT is bad in Canada, imagine what Russian propaganda in Russian is like. As a result, a troubling number of young Russians (too young to have first-hand memories of the USSR) are fired up by Putin's propaganda. How effective they will be as fifth columnists in a crisis situation remains to be seen.


bmatkin

The problem with this screed is that it is almost all anecdotal or inferred not factual.
Russia is always messing around with other nations politics, so is the US, UK, EU, Israel and everyone else.
Other than picking up known favors from Hillary, the entire screed is merely guess work.

Cincinnatus

"almost all anecdotal or inferred not factual": So I can assume that you base your support of Donald Trump (I assume here you do support Amnesty Don) on a logical analysis of a spreadsheet of official statistics?

You know, I am old enough to remember the days when the Republicans ran a hard-headed, pro-American foreign policy and the Democrats went all hug-a-thug with foreign tyrants.

Autoguy

My disagreement on this subject is a matter of degree. Trump has said unfortunate things about Putin. But the case that Russia was behind the wikileaks breakout is thin at best. The information behind that assertion seems to be associated with Democratic supporting organizations, and I simply do not trust those. Discrediting the information is the only real option Hillary has and it appears that she used, banking on a compliant press to forward that narrative.

Cincinnatus

Dear Autoguy:

Do you realize that one of the principal sources for my articles is John Schindler?

Not only has he led the charge on Hillary's e-mail problems, pointing out their criminal nature, but that he writes for the New York Observer, a newspaper wholly owned by Jared Kuschner, Donald Trump's son-in-law?

Autoguy

Frankly, I missed that, thanks...

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