Apples and Orange Revolutions

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Posted by mseidner on February 08, 2006 at 16:49:17:

In Reply to: Re: why don't you understand posted by their law on February 08, 2006 at 13:59:28:

There is a world of difference between the United States with a GDP of nearly 40,000 USD/person and Ukraine which is nearly 1,300 USD/person. The people I was writing about WEREN'T among the poor in Ukraine, sorry you assumed that, they were the “average” people here. No matter what you may think about my sensitivities towards the poor in America, the average people or even the majority of the poor aren't facing the problems I'm seeing in Ukraine. For example, not too long ago the poverty line in Ukraine was 24 USD/person per month, in the United States that same person would have to earn less than 800 USD/ month to be below the poverty line. Surprisingly, a lot of people here in Ukraine live below that line, and many are children.

Oh yes, there is corruption in America, look at Enron as a good example, but also look at how they and others are now in court or prison. The rule of law is more pervasive in the US. I never had to bribe anyone in America, never, not once in the decades of living there, in two years of living here, I've lost count of how many “gifts” I've had to make, because it's just a normal part of the culture here.

I won't go into the comments about bad urban areas in the US or elsewhere, I'm glad that most petty criminals here don't carry guns like in the US, I count that as an improvement, you are correct that the poor in America are usually ghettoized, overlooking for a moment places like Appalachia, and that I have not lived in those areas, and so the poverty is more evident to me here. It's also more egalitarian here as well, the poor I'm referring to are what would be called in America, the middle class, I'm talking about teachers, small business owners, carpenters, etc.

I'm afraid I have to disagree with you about the historical issues of Crimea, Tatars didn't arrive until the 13th century, by then Vladimir of Kieven Rus fame had established control over at least Chersonnes/Sevastopol region for hundreds of years. Tatars engaged in endless wars and slave raids against everyone in South Eastern Europe, Russians and even Cossacks were compelled to protect their people many times. The Tatar Khanate eventually became a vassal of the Ottoman empire, and the Turks established a military garrison here. Beginning with Russian expansion under Peter the Great, the Russians finally were victorious over the Turks in 1774. In April 1783, the Khan Shagan-Girei, was forced to abdicate his throne by those in his kingdom opposed to his modernizing efforts. This allowed the Russians to seize control on April 9, 1783 under a treaty. So Russians began to settle here, this was the first group in my reference to two settlements. The descendants of this group were wiped out or transported in the period of 1941-1944. For example, Sevastopol's population fell from 89,000 to about 800. After the war, it was a priority of the Soviet government to rebuild the city, and workers poured in from all over Russia, by 1959, the population was 152,000, this is the second Russian group of settlers.

As far as the language used in local courts, I raise this point, because the Ukrainian constitution specifically states that each Oblast can choose the language that best suits it, let's repeat, it's a constitutional right. Your analogy is a little absurd about using Ukrainian in the US, and actually reinforces the use of Russian in Ukraine, since that is “the language in most common use”, as English would be in the US.

Whether one language or culture is superior over another is not the point, the point is let the people make their choice and not the politicians in Kiev.

I'm glad you think a new wave of morality is sweeping Ukraine. It will make my morning job of sweeping up needles and syringes and broken vodka bottles from my daughter's school playground much easier, please let me know when this is going to occur.

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