#JAILTOTHECHIEF- Shit Just Got Real

Bartholomew Gallacher

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So the elephant in the room is: which type of organization could succeed the NATO? Some type of EU army, the militarisation of the EU is already underway - or should the WEU be resurrected from its ashes?

The advantage of the WEU would be that it could have no direct ties to the EU, and this would be more charming for the UK.
 

Innula Zenovka

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I don't even want to think about that.

Here's why:



For me this is really close to home.

Back when I was growing up, I had many Polish and Ukrainian friends -- that is, they were British but their parents came from those countries as refugees or had been resettled in my area as displaced persons (DPs) after WW2 by the British government (primarily for the men to work as miners and women in light industry and the garment trade).

My late partner, from some way north of me, was the child of a Latvian DP, who, along with his father, were the only surviving family members after the Soviet occupation.

This is very recent history for me.
 

Aribeth Zelin

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I don't even want to think about that.

Here's why:



For me this is really close to home.

Back when I was growing up, I had many Polish and Ukrainian friends -- that is, they were British but their parents came from those countries as refugees or had been resettled in my area as displaced persons (DPs) after WW2 by the British government (primarily for the men to work as miners and women in light industry and the garment trade).

My late partner, from some way north of me, was the child of a Latvian DP, who, along with his father, were the only surviving family members after the Soviet occupation.

This is very recent history for me.
Yeah, finding out my maternal grandfather's parents were from what is now Poland, even they came over well before WWII [or, I think, WWI], makes me pretty angry too - but then, I really hate rewritten history, unless its to restore the truth. But come on, this just sounds like victim blaming.
 

Romana

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Another article of impeachment?
 

Innula Zenovka

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Yeah, finding out my maternal grandfather's parents were from what is now Poland, even they came over well before WWII [or, I think, WWI], makes me pretty angry too - but then, I really hate rewritten history, unless its to restore the truth. But come on, this just sounds like victim blaming.
It's more than victim-blaming, I think. It's what's now called "gaslighting," I think, in that Putin and his government are trying to rewrite history, and for very sinister reasons.

The point about the Nazi-Soviet non-aggression treaty, at least from the Soviet point of view, was that it restored to the Soviets, or placed it under their "sphere of influence" much of the territory lost by Russia after the Revolution -- notably Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Belarus and Moldova --- in the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk when the new Soviet Union made peace with the Central Powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary and their allies) -- along with Poland, which had ended up in the hands of the White Russian army before becoming an independent state as a result of the 1918 Armistice with the Allied powers (and which had, of course, repelled a Soviet invasion in the Polish-Soviet War of 1919--21).

The pact made possible the Nazi invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939, thus starting WW2 as Great Britain and France honoured their treaty obligations to protect Poland, since it meant they didn't have to worry about either the USSR joining in or about a British naval blockade, which had proved so effective in WW1. On September 17, the Soviets invaded Eastern Poland (now part of Ukraine) and then coordinated with the Germans. Over the following 18 months or so, until the German invasion of the USSR, the Soviet Union annexed its half of Poland and the Baltic Republics, and tried unsuccessfully to annex Finland (also part of its "sphere of influence" under the treaty).

This state of affairs was preserved by the post WW2 peace treaties and continued until the collapse of the Soviet Union in the 1990s.

Russia's view -- Putin's, anyway -- hasn't changed. They regard the "near abroad" as very much their territory and want it back, along with, at least in the view of Putin's openly fascist ideologues like Vladislav Surkov and Aleksandr Dugin, the whole of continental Europe as part of a new "Eurasia" of satellite states, and it's very difficult not to see this historical revisionism about the Nazi-Soviet pact as part this whole campaign.

NATO was set up precisely to prevent this from happening, which is one of the reasons that Trump's attacks on NATO so worry me. We've already seen what Putin has done in Crimea and in Eastern Ukraine (much of Western Ukraine was part of Poland until the Nazi-Soviet division of the country), and I fear that this historical revisionism about the Nazi and Soviet invasion of Poland is just another step in the same process, along with the close ties between the Russian, European and American far right.

Way back when I was at school -- my year's intake at secondary school marked the first year when all students at the school had been born after the end of WW2 -- the annual Remembrance Day school assembly always included a reading by the head of the French department of the very end of Camus' novel The Plague, about an outbreak of bubonic plague in a city in French North Africa which, among many other things, is an allegorical account of French responses to the Nazi occupation. This was our parents' war, of remember, and the reason many of my schoolfriends had Polish or Ukrainian surnames.

As the city of Oran celebrates the end of the plague, Dr Rieux, the protagonist, decides to write an account of the outbreak of plague in the city:

he knew that the tale he had to tell could not be one of a final victory. It could be only the record of what had had to be done, and what assuredly would have to be done again in the never ending fight against terror and its relentless onslaughts, despite their personal afflictions, by all who, while unable to be saints but refusing to bow down to pestilences, strive their utmost to be healers.


And, indeed, as he hastened to the cries of joy rising from the town, Rieux remembered -that such joy is always imperiled. He knew what those jubilant crowds did not know but could have learned from books: that the plague bacillus never dies or disappears for good; that it can lie dormant for years and years in furniture and linen-chests; that it bides its time in bedrooms, cellars, trunks, and bookshelves; and that perhaps the day would come when, for the bane and the enlightening of men, it would rouse up its rats again and send them forth to die in a happy city.
Should that day come in our lifetimes, our French teacher explained, we had to be equal to the challenge of fighting the plague, just as our parents and their generation had done some years before.

Events have given me cause to remember that passage more and more in recent years, and with growing alarm.
 

Sid

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You have to be dead to be put on a stamp. At least I thought you did. So wishful thinking...is he actually dead now?
Over here in NL a lot of living people are on a stamp..... like the king on a standard one.
A few years back you could even make a stamp with your own picture. I don't know if that is still possible.
I seldom post letters these days.

Edit to ad: I just googled a bit and yes it is still possible to make your own personal stamps. They are more expensive than the regular ones though.
10 stamps for € 11,35. So vanity isn't really that costly in the end.
Could be a nice birthday present for some. :unsure:
 
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Innula Zenovka

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From 2011:


In the UK, we've had living people other than the Queen on stamps on several occasions. These, for example, are some of the stamps commemorating the British winners of gold medals at the 2012 Olympics:



 
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Kara Spengler

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Over here in NL a lot of living people are on a stamp..... like the king on a standard one.
A few years back you could even make a stamp with your own picture. I don't know if that is still possible.
I seldom post letters these days.
Does anyone? I have lost count how many books of stamps I have bought simply because I knew I had one but could not remember where I left it after the first time it was used.
 

Sid

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I know that problem. I have at least 30 stamps in stock and a few for international use and last year I send precisely zero letters.
So I have enough stamps for the rest of my life most likely.
 
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Myradyl Muse

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NATO was set up precisely to prevent this from happening, which is one of the reasons that Trump's attacks on NATO so worry me. We've already seen what Putin has done in Crimea and in Eastern Ukraine (much of Western Ukraine was part of Poland until the Nazi-Soviet division of the country), and I fear that this historical revisionism about the Nazi and Soviet invasion of Poland is just another step in the same process, along with the close ties between the Russian, European and American far right.
Agree completely. Half of my heritage is Polish, and Poland as a non-warring nation has been annexed, sliced up and grabbed for centuries by psychopathic bullies. This latest ploy by Putin et al is another scary, dangerous slide into engineering complacency. We must not allow a repeat of this heinous recent history because the witnesses are disappearing.
 

Kara Spengler

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I know that problem. I have at least 30 stamps in stock and a few for international use and last year I send precisely zero letters.
So I have enough stamps for the rest of my life most likely.
Yeah, there is always *one* place every year or so that insists they can only do something by snail mail when all their competitors figured out how to do routine stuff over the web (or a phone) decades ago. So I need to figure out who sells stamps outside of the post office, buy a book so I have enough to last me a few years, then by the time I need a stamp again have no idea where the book went. Rinse and repeat.

For example, you know how credit cards expire every few years and you get a new one with the same number but just a different expiration date (and maybe the 'security' code). One of my insurance companies maintains they can not update the expiration date except by my filling out a form that they then mail to me. I have long since given up arguing with them. If I did they would probably insist on a fax and block internet faxing sites.
 

Soen Eber

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Rhetorical question: Why is this guy so disgusting to listen to? He actually makes me nauseous, squirmy, and have brain pain. Ugh.
I think it's the uncanny valley thing. He seems like a real person, but it's all bluster and emptiness inside.

Putin scares me, and a few others. I hope after what's-his-name is no longer president we can return to being merely annoying, and not scary.
 

Innula Zenovka

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Yeah, there is always *one* place every year or so that insists they can only do something by snail mail when all their competitors figured out how to do routine stuff over the web (or a phone) decades ago. So I need to figure out who sells stamps outside of the post office, buy a book so I have enough to last me a few years, then by the time I need a stamp again have no idea where the book went. Rinse and repeat.

For example, you know how credit cards expire every few years and you get a new one with the same number but just a different expiration date (and maybe the 'security' code). One of my insurance companies maintains they can not update the expiration date except by my filling out a form that they then mail to me. I have long since given up arguing with them. If I did they would probably insist on a fax and block internet faxing sites.
I keep a book of stamps tucked in one of the compartments of my credit card holder. Don't use it that often (the book of stamps, that is -- the credit cards see all too frequent use) but I've always got it with me.
 
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Argent Stonecutter

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I have a book of stamps on a shelf beside my desk, one in my backpack, and one in my messenger bag. On one occasion recently when a member of my household needed a stamp, I tried to direct them (over the phone) to any one of these books, and they claimed they couldn't find any... and were boggled when I pointed to the one in plain sight.

I think this was the first time they were needed since some time in 2018.
 
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