teisipäev, märts 26, 2013

étienne

Étienne is one of my oldest friends, not that I have known him for so long, but because, literally, at age 74, he is among my oldest friends. I had known this French geneticist for years before I had the courage to ask him the question, "So, if you're about 40 years older than me, does that mean that you remember the war?"

"I do have a few recollections from WWII, not tragic ones, my family and myself didn't go through particularly tragic moments, especially, of course, as seen through a child's eyes..." said  Étienne. "I do remember German soldiers playing with my little sister's pram, sitting in it and launching themselves down an incline," he said. "And I remember, really remember, not because people told me about it, the liberation of Paris, the noise of tanks driving through our street, the hurried cutting of a few flowers in our garden and the rough, unshaven cheek of a solider I was kissing on the tank on which I had been hoisted -- these were French tanks from the "Division Leclerc", as the Allies had gracefully allowed them to come in first. Of course I wasn't aware of all the awful things that were taking place."

I share these stories of Étienne's because they remind me of my wife's grandmother's story about the March 1949 deportations. The Laanemaa (nee Landmann) family was on Stalin's shit list for a number of reasons. One: Martin, the father, had served in the Estonian War of Independence. Two: Martin, the father, had been a member of Omakaitse, the Estonian national guard, both before the war and during the German occupation. Three: the Laanemaa family was wealthier than average. Because of this, Martin had already been deported in 1948. In 1949, they came for his wife and two daughters. The eldest, Salme, was arrested and sent to Siberia. The mother, Anna, and her younger daughter, Laine, hid in the forest and managed to escape deportation. They made an attempt to return to the village (on the west coast of Estonia), but decided against it when they saw other villagers walking around wearing their clothes. Their house had apparently been looted.

That is the kind of detail you can only get from talking to your older relatives. We know so much about what happened in occupied Paris, but who can now forget the image of two young German soldiers stealing a little girl's carriage and taking turns riding it down a hill? Likewise, who can now forget -- for I surely can't -- the image of a woman and her teenage daughter, who had been living in the forests in March, peeking out from behind some bushes only to see a neighbor walk by wearing one of their coats? So, if you get a chance, talk to your older friends and relatives about their memories of certain events. You may be surprised by what you hear.

50 kommentaari:

Liivimaa parim ratsutaja ütles ...

My dad remembers Russians hoisting dead forest brothers behind horses and dragging them all the way from the edge of the forest into their courtyard. Children and everybody standing, looking on. Everybody knowing everybody. He said he was amazed how much blood there is inside the human being because the red trail in the snow was so long.

And I look at my blakc and whit family picutres and the only smiling face I see is mine.

I was probably looked on as a village idiot.

Who else smiles in Estonia?

Nobody.

Sure. I've long since left the town too. I cannot take it. To much fuckin pain.

I wash it. I take none of it. This sin has nothing to do with me.

I am too far, and too high above of it all.

Liivimaa parim ratsutaja ütles ...

I don't even want to talk to my elders. Their stories make me throw up ... and hate the world and the people in it ... I cannot add to the pain I already have ...

Marko ütles ...

Is it just me but the whole war-thingy id just getting too much lately. I came from work the other night an my partner just finished "Shades of grey", a Lithuanian account of some of the events that took place during the war. He says he wants to get to know the past and prepare himself when we move to Estonia etc. And he was telling me stuff from the book, like peoplr burried alive and graphic rape scenes, and after 15 minutes I just shouted "Please, stop!". I just don't want to know any more. it's different when somebody tells you a horror story, but when it involves people you might know, there's only so much you can take in. I don't care if it fascinates people or thrills them. It's twisted and should be left for history lessons and enthusiasts. It's not stuff you discuss at dinnet table, sorry.

Thr hell with the war and that bloody occupation.

Only story my nan used to tell me was that after the war there was lots of meat in the shops, but nobody bought it as everyone knew there was horsemeat in iy, and Estonians dont eat horse. She alwsys giggles when she tells the story. :)

brett ütles ...

"and Estonians dont eat horse"

http://news.err.ee/Society/f79cc7a7-a179-49e3-8b95-40449972aaea

oops

Liivimaa parim ratsutaja ütles ...

I won't make a big deal out of eating horse meat. I have eaten frogs ... how is that worse than venison?

I love oysters, but any reasonable person would take one look at an oyster and trash it without eating it, right?

How bad can horse meat be?

I love rabbit stew. Is eating an Easter Bunny as cruel as chomping on Mr. Ed?

I do belive in truth in labelling though.

Brett, that is why I think conservatives in US have been mislabeled, btw. No conservative would ever allow drilling in sanctuaries or wasting military resources bombing desert sand with taxpayer money.

brett ütles ...
Autor on selle kommentaari eemaldanud.
brett ütles ...

I'll take the bait...

If the USA had a Federal Balanced Budget Amendment prior to September 11, 2001, I seriously doubt the Iraq War and Afghanistan War would have led to long term occupations. In fact, they may never have included land invasions. A Federal Balanced Budget Amendment is a conservative idea and responsible idea, but I didn't hear this discussed by Obama or Romney in 2012.

As far as drilling goes? If the US wants to ignore the Middle East we should explore and capture domestic resources. Let the conservationists argue whether it's a good idea to be reliant on middle east oil. I wonder if I will be telling my grandkids will be asking me "why did the USA even care about Iraq or Afghanistan?", after the USA began to harness it's domestic resources to the fullest or after we had rid ourselves of this reliance.

Conservatism in the sense of land use and conservatism in the sense of sane fiscal policy have very little in common.

There is a stark difference between "fiscal conservatism" and the Democratic Party. There is often a difference between "fiscal conservatism" and the Republican Party, many times it's just lip service.. Fiscal conservatism relies on logic, the Dems and Repubs rely on votes..

Giustino ütles ...

I don't necessarily associate irresponsible spending with social democratic policies. From my own personal experiences working in Manhattan, the private sector wastes exorbitant amounts of money because, well, you've got to shell out a ridiculous amount of money for catering events, and don't forget about the company retreats, and the limousines, and flying first class [always] and staying in four-star hotels. It is as if the entire city's economy is (or at least was) built around conspicuous consumption. These are the same companies who live by the WSJ's editorial page and consider themselves proponents of a "lean state," so they can capture more of that wealth and piss it away.

Marko ütles ...

These are foodies, Brett. If Stalin couldn't get my grandmother eat horsemeat, neither will the EUs marketing people. :) Apparently my local supermarket has been feeding me this stuff secretly for some time now. Not sure how I feel about it though. Maybe I should take them to court, lol.

brett ütles ...

When private companies spend money irresponsibly the taxpayer is not being forced fund such behavior. As a common citizen we can vote with out wallet and or as a stakeholder we can (hopefully) vote with our proxy. In a competetive marketplace the company that wastes resources will lose to the company that allocates resources in the most efficient manner.

When the Federal Government spends money or allocates resources they do this unrestrained by a meaningful budget. These decisions are directly funded by the current taxpayer and deferred to future generations. We can try to vote them out and demand better and smarter leadership but neither Party is willing to balance the budget (Paul Ryan is the only guy willing to have a meaningful discussion, be is crusified for trying to address Medicare by far the largest portion of the Federal Budget. But never mind him, he is just one guy in a sea of greed and vote chasers.)

Again, we need a Balanced Budget Amendment to force the Washington to act responsibly. The current taxpayers (electorate) should be funding the current government. Borrowing 40 cents for every dollar spent and raising taxes on only the top earners, helps separate the electorate from the wasteful spending and lack of leadership. It promotes not only generational theft, it wages classwarfare.

Giustino, if think a Balanced Budget should be considered a "lean state", what would you call the current levels of deficit spending and debt accumulation?

When Bush brought his advisers into the room to decide whether or not to give Saddam that 48 hour ultimatum, I am almost certain the Secretary of Treasury was not consulted. I am almost certain cost was never a serious consideration. Cost in Washington is not constrained, by the Leadership, Taxpayer, and definitely not the beneficiary of the expenditures. Nevermind whether a private company in NYC wants to waste their money. What about the taxpayers money?

Temesta ütles ...
Autor on selle kommentaari eemaldanud.
Temesta ütles ...
Autor on selle kommentaari eemaldanud.
Temesta ütles ...

If the government has a surplus, the private sector and/or the foreign sector (by which I mean the rest of the world) has a deficit. This is an accounting identity, which is true by definition. Mathematically: S=I+(G-T)+(X-N), where S is private sector saving, I is private sector investment, G is government spending, T is taxes, and X and N exports and imports.
Mostly it is not a problem if the private sector has a deficit, but it can become a problem, certainly if the foreign sector has a persistent surplus (Spain, Ireland, US, Estonia, Latvia,... in the run-up to the crisis)

Giustino ütles ...

When private companies spend money irresponsibly the taxpayer is not being forced fund such behavior.

They need a bailout on occasion. And, while you're bailing me out, don't forget those severance packages and bonuses!

As a common citizen we can vote with out wallet and or as a stakeholder we can (hopefully) vote with our proxy.

And, as citizens, we can vote with our votes.

In a competetive marketplace the company that wastes resources will lose to the company that allocates resources in the most efficient manner.

Says who? And over what course of time? You pass this off as holy writ.

When the Federal Government spends money or allocates resources they do this unrestrained by a meaningful budget.

That's how they do business. It has no bearing on whether social democratic policies (such as a state-run health care system) can be managed efficiently.

Again, we need a Balanced Budget Amendment to force the Washington to act responsibly. The current taxpayers (electorate) should be funding the current government. Borrowing 40 cents for every dollar spent and raising taxes on only the top earners, helps separate the electorate from the wasteful spending and lack of leadership.

How did we get from talking about talking to old people about historical events to this?

It promotes not only generational theft, it wages classwarfare.

These are catchphrases.

Giustino, if think a Balanced Budget should be considered a "lean state", what would you call the current levels of deficit spending and debt accumulation?

I am neither for nor against one. I only stated that social democratic policies could be pursued in a cost-efficient manner. State-run healthcare is not by definition less efficient than private sector-run healthcare. As I showed in my example, the private sector is quite talented at finding ways to waste money. It's part of the gig. They are all doing it. Of course they fly everybody first class, because all of their competitors do. Who wants to work for a second rate organization? I want to work for a company that takes me skiing in Colorado!

Nevermind whether a private company in NYC wants to waste their money. What about the taxpayers money?

Could it be that habits acquired in the private sector follow people into the public sector? Or vice versa? Maybe Americans just like to waste money. Seems that people in other countries like to as well.

Temesta ütles ...

Why even arguing with Brett? He adheres to libertarianism like an Islamic fundamentalist to his Quran. Our arguments cannot convince him, he has already decided in advance that all our arguments are wrong. And that's how it should be, because they are not in accordance with his ideology. You do not find the word 'pragmatism' in his dictionary.

brett ütles ...

The Social Security Administration sends out a statement every year to future beneficiaries...for the last several years (since I have bothered to look), directly under the explanation of benefits it says that the SS trustfund is running out of money and unless congress acts, my generation will recieve 70% of what current generations recieve (adjusted for "estimated inflation). Obama cut the individual FICA tax from 6% to 4% (decreasing the individual compensation by 33%). He defunded the SS Trustfund in his first term. Then his reinstated the original 2008 levels after he won election. In other words, he privatised SS on the front end by 33%. This is a Hallmark of a Social Democratic agenda and Obama has zero consideration for my generation's SS. He was only concerned with winning re-election, not the future impact of this policy...let's also remember that the FICA tax funds Medicare and Medicaid. These Social Democratic programs are put further at risk by Obama's cut...


Temesta, when I look at the ill affects of deficit spending I think in terms of the democratic process. If you insolate the electorate from funding the current Wars, Social Benefits, Duck Reproduction Research...the electorate is no longer motivated to demand responsible budgeting. I Also, look at the interest paid. Using the interest paid on the debt over the last 10 years, the US could have fought 2 more Iraqs or rebuilt and transformed endless highways or public schools.

Temesta ütles ...

In 1981 the ratio of total gross debt to U.S. GDP was just 161 percent. By 2000 it had reached 268 percent. But by the first quarter of 2009 it had reached 362 percent. Nearly all this increase was in the private sector, particularly the household and financial sectors. Thus the overall ratio of private gross debt to GDP rose from 123 percent in 1981 to 222 percent in 2000 and 298 percent by the first quarter of 2009. The ratio of household gross debt to GDP jumped from 48 percent in 1981 to 71 percent in 2000 and 98 percent in the first quarter of 2009. Meanwhile, the ratio of gross financial sector indebtedness-a measure of leverage within the sector- exploded from 22 percent of GDP in 1981 to 83 percent in 2000 and 121 percent in the first quarter of 2009.

Martin Wolf. Fixing Global Finance, p. 205-206.

Liivimaa parim ratsutaja ütles ...

I love to jujitsu with repoubs and castrate them on with their own words and ideas ... It is like playing basketball with 4th graders ...

I am a mean man.

I might be a pedofile on that account. Sorry Brett. Dont sue me.

brett ütles ...

Could you put that in English?

brett ütles ...

Could you put that in English?

Marko ütles ...

Nevermind. Some of the guys round here do economics actually for living. I'm just an average Joe and the way I see it that if you go too much in to detail, you might find yourself lost in it. Everybody just shouts figures and bottom line never gets revealed. Accountants should just do the accounts and politicians should translate it to people like me. Journalists, writers and bloggers are free to illustrate, the more the marrier.

Estonians have always been very individualistic people, but at the same time we always pull together to get things done. Argument here rolls over means rather than cause. So what's the bloody difference? Public sector, private sector, grass roots initiative? Which ever suits you , Sir. Inequality is an issue, on all levels. So lets deal with the issue and leave the small print to the people who get paid for dealing with it.

brett ütles ...

How does this help defend the US Federal Govt borrowing 40 for every 100 spent? If a private comapny or an individual goes into debt or is over leveraged, why would the average joe be concerned? Unless of course we bailout those who can't fulfill their obligations or maintain sufficient reserves to continue operating.

My argument regarding debt at the Federal Level is rather simple and logical. 1) without a meaningful budget process how are current and future revenues being appropriated efficently? 2) If the current electorate is insolated from the cost or sacrifice for current expenditures, why would the electorate ever challenge wasteful spending and demand better governance? 3) Why does anyone want a Government that pays interest rather than earns interest? Take for instance my Credit Union, payes me a dividend based on any profit generated. Think if the Fed Govt ran a surplus and we got a check in the mail.

Trying to say the private sector is over leveraged so the Federal Government should be following the same practice is just sad. The government is not leveraging anything. They are not investing in the future. They are ignoring it, because the future taxpayers can not yet vote.

Marko ütles ...

But government isnt there to run a country like a business, is it now. It would be great if they would break even, but if country like US can't, just imagine what we have to go through to keep the books balanced. A country is an administrative unit, nothing else nothing more.

Either way someone has to pay the losses, and that's what I dont understand, in a nutshell if they take 10 pence from every pound I earn or they take 50 billions from bankers pocket, life will go on. I will not die, the banker will not die. Just get on with it.

I expect no cheques from in the post from my government, neither should they expect anything from me. But when the shit hits the fan, why is it so bloody difficult for some people to deal with it? Why can't we just get it sorted? I know, it's the selfishness and greed that gets on the way. But why can't government just ignore that? As good administrators do?

Liivimaa parim ratsutaja ütles ...

Brett ... I happen to work for a multinational outfit that is a true vampire squid on the face of the taxpayer ... it strikes its blood funnel deep into anything that smells like money ...


I help to sharpen the tip of the funnel my own way ...

usually by writing "techincal approach" sections of the responses to RFPs.

You have no idea how private business and government are in bed togehter to make sure that bloodflow never stops.

It is so childish to talk about left, right, repubicans, democrats ... the real game is played behind the scenes and completely out of sight of the birds like you ... the so called "true belivers" ... "tea baggers" and other naive idiots ...

like "occupy wall streeters" etc.


Never mind ... there is no way to put all that into English for you and in fact, it would make no difference ...

Ignorance is bliss. It is biblical. Enjoy ignorance. It is a good feeling.

You must never know the amounts of money that is being wasted ... completely legally. There is no way of stopping that squid.

You can write and write, bitch and moan and take to the streets .. nothing will change.

Ah, whatever ...

Marko ütles ...

I think I just contradicted myself there. :) Time for bed.

Ants Parder ütles ...

I have seen a very sad story fall from grace into the turbulent storm of a discussion on US financial priorities. Here in New Zealand the US economy is seen as much of a cot case as the Euro seems to be. Mean while the tragedy of my own family and the heroics of those who survived appalling misery have been washed away in something no one wants to come to grips with. Tyrants and their ilk will persist if we neglect the memory of their cruelty.

brett ütles ...

Giustino, why did this conversation become about the future? Well, I often think about what my grandchildren will ask me. What type of USA will they grow up under? What type of Estonia will my daughter be exposed to?

I assume you would support a Medicare For All type solution in the USA? But first, shouldn't we be able to judge whether we can afford the impact on the Budget?

I assume you thought Iraq and Afghanistan was a waste of resources (human and taxes)? Don't you wish our leaders would have been forced to make a cost benefit analysis before entering?

Why is the Federal Government picking winners and losers? You just argued "they need a bailout on occassion". I think you are missing the point, when the government bails out a private party they are spreading the cost to the taxpayer. The failed pricate entity could have been just that failed, and we could spare the taxpayer the burden.

Future generations can not vote but we are passing current bills to them. Also, we can vote but both the Dems and Repubs spend without regard. You, say "that's how they do business". That is exactly what we need to argue against. The "business" is not working. We need to force them to pay for their policies in today's revenue and today's elections.

As far as generational theft and class warfare go? With 16Trillion in debt and 70% of Americans receiving more benefits from the Federal Government than they contribute these are more than just catchphrases they are a reality, that if left unchecked will dictate our converstations in 40 years.



brett ütles ...

Liivimaa, TARP 1 and TARP 2 enough for to understand how interconnected our leaders are with the corporate world. I am not arguing that this will change.

Every State must balance their budget and many have part time legislatures. What if DC operated the same? States often have divided government and still seem capable of handling their business, maybe because they are forced too.

Feel free to label me whatever you want, but also feel free to offer a constructive counter argument. But I do understand and feel your hopelessness. But Estonia, I believe still must have hope. They have yet to give into the entitlement society that is crippling the US budget.

A Balanced Budget Amendment go a long way in cutting the waste out of government. As for the private sector, I could careless. It would be a lot harder to bail them out when a budget needs balanced.

Temesta ütles ...

"If a private comapny or an individual goes into debt or is over leveraged, why would the average joe be concerned?"

If a lot of them are over-leveraged it could become a problem for the economy as a whole, if they cannot pay back their debts or start massively to delever.

"Trying to say the private sector is over leveraged so the Federal Government should be following the same practice is just sad."

No one said this. Current government borrowing is just a consequence of the recession and the deleveraging of the private sector. It automatically increases the deficit because tax receipts go down and SS payments up, actual stimulus in the US is quite small. But if for you government spending is by definition wasteful, government borrowing is certainly wasteful. It seems that you even think that the government is the devil incarnate.

Liivimaa parim ratsutaja ütles ...

Was it the Republicans who introduced and pushed through "The Patriot Act?"

Under that act most republicans could be apprehended as enemy combatants and sent to Quantanamo.

NRA, the paramilitary outfit of the republican party is spouting ideas of battle grade weapons in the hands of civilians as a means to fend off "government tyranny". Assuming that the government they have in mind is US government, they have now declared war and stand no different from AlQaeda. Hence, they should be rounded up and sentenced without trial.

Using their own laws against them. The sweetest solution, if you were to ask me.

LOL

Giustino ütles ...

NRA, the paramilitary outfit of the republican party is spouting ideas of battle grade weapons in the hands of civilians as a means to fend off "government tyranny". Assuming that the government they have in mind is US government, they have now declared war and stand no different from AlQaeda. Hence, they should be rounded up and sentenced without trial.

It is interesting how much influence they have. The big, bad NRA. And what are they really? Just another special interest group (except with guns).

Giustino ütles ...

I have seen a very sad story fall from grace into the turbulent storm of a discussion on US financial priorities.

He'd probably fit in better at a blog focused on US politics, such as Daily Kos or Red State. A man can waste years of his life arguing with people on the Internet about such things. Might as well waste all that time arguing with interested partners.

Giustino ütles ...

Giustino, why did this conversation become about the future?

You are wasting your time, Brett. Watch this: "You're absolutely right, Brett. I agree, we really need a Balanced Budget Amendment. That's what our Founding Fathers [crosses himself] would have wanted"

And now this: "I am opposed to such an amendment and will do anything within my power to stop it."

Did anything change in that second between me writing those two lines? No. That's because it doesn't matter what my opinion is on this subject. Moreover, this post has absolutely nothing to do with fiscal conservatism. Nothing. Your comments are uninvited. You can continue to talk to yourself, but that doesn't mean we have to answer you ...

Bea ütles ...

My grandparents are all dead already. I've heard some of their (mostly my father's parents) stories because my father asked them to tell us. My granddad had been deported to Siberia. He himself would mention what did they eat there when we, children, would awfully refuse to eat something.
I think, it goes from the grandparents to grandchildren and that's where it stops. I don't feel like telling all the scary stories of my grandparents to my children and people of that young or younger generations.

brett ütles ...

Giustino, please reread how we got on the subject of conservatism.

Also, your post is about reflecting on the past. Why should we not be reflecting on the future and learn from the past?

Also, are you only interested in an echo chamber? I hope not....To me I am not trying to convert you to my views, I am trying to thoughtfully discuss how we can make the USA better in 40 years and how Estonia can learn from the mistakes of Estonia over the past 70....I assume we are both jaded beyond return. Yet maybe you might have some followers (in the US and Estonia) who arent so jaded.

brett ütles ...

Correction...How Estonia can learn from the mistakes of the USA over the last 70 years...

Liivimaa parim ratsutaja ütles ...

Brett, could we get reimburesd for the Iraq and Afhanistan wars? See we have this deficit whole that Republicans biaaatch about. We need some cash to fill that hole. Badly.

Let's sue the party who started that s###t.

Was that GOP?

Bunch of rich white guys (and their clueless rendeck lackeys)

Let's have them cough up the cash they spent so frivolously and balance the freaking budget already!!!

Liivimaa parim ratsutaja ütles ...

Giustino's blank eyed, brainwashed followers ...

Sign me up.

LOL

Marko ütles ...

Sorry Brett, not being rude, but not really interested in America. I'm generally interested in foreigners in Estonia, snd how you guys get on. It doesn't matter to me if you're from Boston, Poland or Bangladesh. It's irrelevant, and even more so your former homelands political pickering.

On the subject. Bea is absolutely right. Enough damage was caused by the events themselves, no need to prolong the agony. We don't discuss with the young ones their grannys autopsy results, do we? We talk about their life and stuff they did, not what was done to them.

brett ütles ...

I believe, Iraq and Afghanistan are examples of expenditures that are allocated for in the current budget. I argue that any expenditure should be subject to a balanced budget. In other words, in order to fund any project revenues must be increased or resources must e reallocated. For instances like Relief for Hurricane Sandy, the government should plan ahead and create reserves that can be tapped.

My arguments have very little to do with the current platforms of either party, or faction. My point is that the system is broken because there is no special interest demanding smarter use of revenue. I have not argued against SS (a Social Democratic program), I have argued about how it is being funded and abused for political purposes.

It's interesting all the references to GOP or Republicans, because I have consistently stated both parties are part of the problem and ignoring solutions. But feel free to frame the issue in whatever way you see fit.

Liivimaa parim ratsutaja ütles ...

I just wanted to needle your a## as a republican. If you are not, then you are not and I leave you alone.

"Griftopia" actually addresses what you said. It is not left or right thing, it's the whole shabang.

Peace.

brett ütles ...

I am opposite a moderate...somewhere between a peace loving hippie and rand paul libertarian.

Liivimaa parim ratsutaja ütles ...

See! It IS a male dating site. We were such enemies with Brett and now we are off to make out.

Sorry Marko, I found a new guy.

LOL

Ants Parder ütles ...

Three some?

Giustino ütles ...

I think, it goes from the grandparents to grandchildren and that's where it stops. I don't feel like telling all the scary stories of my grandparents to my children and people of that young or younger generations.

I've heard the familial historical memory stretches back about 150 years. This might be true. The earliest personal stories I know about my family are from about the 1860s. My grandmother's great grandfather hid in the family cellar with a shotgun while the Confederate Home Guard rode around trying to round up deserters. He owned no slaves, and he refused to fight for the Confederacy. Another branch of the family made a living importing cotton to New York at that time. From what I understand, they collected the broken bales and somehow made them resellable.

Those kinds of details are absent prior to that date. I honestly can't think of any personal memory from before then ... so maybe the 150 year spread is correct. There is a book in Estonia based on interviews with old Estonians done in the 19th century about the Great Northern War (1700-1721). I guess the same idea was at work there ... They couldn't remember the event, but they had older relatives who told them personal stories about it. These personal stories are often interesting, because they have nothing to do with what you have been taught in school.

Giustino ütles ...

Brett,

Sorry for being a bit bitchy -- full moon. I hope it passes soon, because 90 percent of females around me are mysteriously attractive. I was booking a hotel online, and i found myself drawn to the tiny image of the Indonesian customer service agent. "Oh, she's cute ..." Of course, when the big moon passes, I wouldn't even notice the picture.

Honestly, I would need to read several books before attempting to engage someone in a discussion about a Balanced Budget Amendment. The same thing happens in the US with other topics -- someone wants to start some shit about healthcare or taxes ... Look, do I look like an expert on American healthcare or taxation? As a consumer of healthcare, I often found the private model to be extortionate, based solely on squeezing as much money out of payers as possible while minimizing the support provided to them {and, of course, since they are sick, there's little they can do about it}, but that doesn't mean I can get up on a podium and lecture about it. Allow me to plead ignorance.

Bea ütles ...

Giustino, I love your thoughts and attitude of personal touch to everything. Actually maybe you are right about 150 years. My own great grandparents from mother's mother's side had lived long enough for me to remember them. :) It's my mother who asked them to tell their life stories and told them over to us, her kids, when we were old enough to understand them. The stories had been about their life in proper Russia before 1918 and about their interwar commercial deals. It was interesting.
My fathers grandparents died before I was born but my mother had seen them and told some impressions about them. My father had asked his own father about his parents and told over to us as his children. :)
But I've found myself quite exceptionally lucky there, because some of my friends had seen their grandparents (not great grandparents) die when they were 6 or 10 y. o.
And it was Soviet stagnation and relative misery we had all lived then. It was not even that scary for us to hear some older stories of bigger misery. Now, I think even my Soviet stories sound too odd, incredible and useless to children. Grandparents are younger now, but life changes faster and it feels like nobody needs the past. Even their very own, let alone the stories about Jewish mass-graves in forests. :)

Personally, I loved this blog post of yours. :)

brett ütles ...

Bea was right when he said a good post had been ignored by the ensuing discussion. I apologize for not expanding on your post. And do know, I was not offended by any counter arguments. Our motives should not be questioned and our beliefs should not always align.

Liivimaa parim ratsutaja ütles ...

Happy Easter, everyone ...

from me and from Kung Fu Grandpa ...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYvw68IneV4

LOL

Liivimaa parim ratsutaja ütles ...

http://www.tallinnapostimees.ee/1189304/tallinna-tanavad-lahevad-iga-aastaga-hullemaks