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American "diplomat" Victoria Nuland and her not so diplomatic invitation to "copulate" with the EU ;-)

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ad Jorgis: (...) ...Romania and Bulgaria have at least gotten rid of their 'Roma problem' thanks to the EU. (...)

This is one of the topics where I regularly get mad at the decision-makers in Brussels. It is obvious that Roma are treated like second-class citizens (and in many cases even that is probably already an understatement) in Romania and Bulgaria. Entire villages are without water, electricity, their children are not sent to school, they are regularly subjected to verbal and physical attacks etc.

This is not to say that the Roma (and Sinti) are not to blame for some of the things going wrong. But it appears as if a fair amount of people in Romania and Bulgaria think that the "freedom of movement" will "solve the problem". Why should they start treating Roma and other minorities respectfully and award them the same rights if "these minorities can just leave if they don't like it"? Let others take care of them seems to be the motto.

If you make life for people as unbearable as possible and if they have a chance to leave the country, they will. I don't know if the people in Brussels are just too stupid to understand this "logic" or if they are even part of it. If Bulgaria and Romania fail to observe budgetary directives, Brussels will immediately institute proceedings against them. I have yet to see Brussels take a similar initiative when human rights are violated on such a big scale.....

Olympic coverage in the U.S. is pretty much confined to one channel, NBC, sometimes it's shown on MSNBC and CNBC (who are NBC affiliates), but it's really only NBC. It should be mentioned that they spent 4.38 billion dollars (4.8 billion CAD, 2.6 billion GBP) to secure rights to the games through 2020.

I think how Canadian and British outlets publish these things about gay rights and journalist prosecutions and etc. is similar to what happens here, but I think, as Steve said, they can basically be taken as a bitter pill or seen as justified. But I really don't think it's the same situation here: like easyrider said, it's pretty hard to pinpoint examples of cases where the U.S. openly puts out propaganda about Russia, but there's a constant subtle undertone, which is probably more effective anyway. There sure are a lot of embarrassing pictures of world leaders, but whenever they talk about Putin they show one of those embarrassing pictures of him slouching next to President Obama or something. This is probably as blatant of an example as you'll find.

This is a theme for pretty much anywhere but even still, everything on the news is always so irrelevant!! Why not talk about Russia's growing economy and how it's finally starting to emerge from the shadows of the Iron Block? The importance of the BRIC's in the next century? Why do 74% of Russians believe homosexuality is unacceptable, a reverse trend from 60% who said the same thing in 2002? How can the U.S. improve relations and still maintain our values? Sure, let the journalists complain about their double-toilets, but don't let it dominate the rhetoric.

It seems that Canadian outlets have a more progressive undertone, like the one in the article.


Bulgaria is probably one of the worst samples of EU-integration "successes". Though there were many other successes - those without inverted commas. Even I, though not from an EU-member country, have great personal reasons to be thankful to the Union and above all one of its countries.

However why I wanted to stick to this sample and especially the industrial side of it is that the starting points on the East-South of the Ukraine are somewhat similar to what they were in the North of Bolgaria before the integration started. The association agreement is not such a win-win for the Ukraine as it's sometimes presented.

As Steve fairly noted it's not for me to decide for the Ukraine, but as I pointed out earlier there are also other actors who have even lesser rights to involve - those we could hear on the tape - I find the f-word to be the least outrageous part of this tape.

will, I can't really comment since I do not watch a lot of TV. However, if NBC spent 4 billion dollars for the rights to the Sochi Olympics, I would tend to doubt that they do a lot bad mouthing of the Olympics. It just wouldn't make sense.

The Olympics is a time when double toilets, murky water and athletes exploits dominate. I am sure there is lots of serious coverage of the difficulties of the US-Russia relationship at other times.

I think that what sticks in the craw of Russians, and messes up relations, with Russia and other countries, is the American self-perception that they are some kind of special place, a "unique force for good in the world" was the way I remember Hilary Clinton describing it at a Democratic convention, a place with a lot of wisdom to share on any problem. In fact, it is just another country, among many. Bigger than most, richer than most, but with no special wisdom, and that includes the famous US universities, which really provide no better education than hundreds of other institutions, since education is up to the learner, not the buildings where the classes are held.

That is what makes Ms. Nuland's pretentious comments about the EU and the Ukraine so irksome.

The US is just another country pursuing policies that strive to protect and further what it perceives as its interests, whatever high flying verbiage is used to cloak these policies.

Many countries think they are unique, their culture unique, their morality unique, their spirit unique. In fact they are unique only the sense that all are unique, in other words not very unique at all.

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