Have you ever been late to work?
In the Stalin era, a person who arrived late to work three times could be sent to the Gulag for three years.
Have you ever told a joke about a government official?
In the Stalin era, many were sent to the Gulag for up to 25 years for telling an innocent joke about a Communist Party official.
If your family was starving, would you take a few potatoes left in a field after harvest?
In the Stalin era, a person could be sent to the Gulag for up to ten years for such petty theft.
Read more about Soviet gulag history.
"Each time they brought in the soup... it made us all want to cry. We were ready to cry for fear that the soup would be thin. And when a miracle occurred and the soup was thick we couldn’t believe it and ate it as slowly as possible. But even with thick soup in a warm stomach there remained a sucking pain; we’d been hungry for too long. All human emotions—love, friendship, envy, concern for one’s fellow man, compassion, longing for fame, honesty—had left us with the flesh that had melted from our bodies...“
“Dry Rations,” from Kolyma Tales.
at 12/12/2008 Posted by Sunny Badger
AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) - Authorities are investigating how a 6-year-old kindergarten pupil got a .22-caliber pistol taken to an Augusta school.
Wilkinson Gardens Elementary School principal Rickey Lumpkin said a teacher heard students talking about a weapon Wednesday morning. The pupil who took the unloaded pistol to school was given a short-term suspsension.
Lumpkin said there was no attempt to harm anyone.
Gun sales have been hitting all-time highs this holiday season in Jackson County and Oregon, propelled by fears that President-elect Barack Obama's administration will enact laws clamping down on assault rifles and ammunition.
The Oregon State Police reports that on Nov. 28 — the biggest shopping day of the year known as Black Friday — there were 2,198 background checks, 25 percent higher than the previous record on the same shopping day in 2005, when 1,731 checks were conducted.
"Address Gun Violence in Cities: Obama and Biden would repeal the Tiahrt Amendment, which restricts the ability of local law enforcement to access important gun trace information, and give police officers across the nation the tools they need to solve gun crimes and fight the illegal arms trade. Obama and Biden also favor common-sense measures that respect the Second Amendment rights of gun owners, while keeping guns away from children and from criminals. They support closing the gun show loophole and making guns in this country childproof. They also support making the expired federal Assault Weapons Ban permanent."
"It was unanticipated to be that high," said Marie Severson, firearms manager for the OSP.
In addition, during the month of November, 720 checks on average were conducted daily throughout the state, an increase from a year ago when 437 checks were conducted on average in the same month. About two percent of the background checks turn up disqualifying information such as felony convictions, misdemeanor assault convictions, being an illegal alien or renouncing U.S. citizenship.
at 12/11/2008 Posted by Sunny Badger
"In camp too, a man might draw the attention of a comrade working next to him to a nice view of the setting sun shining through the tall trees of the Bavarian woods (as in the famous water color by Dürer), the same woods in which we had built an enormous, hidden munitions plant. One evening, when we were already resting on the floor of our hut, dead tired, soup bowls in hand, a fellow prisoner rushed in and asked us to run out to the assembly grounds and see the wonderful sunset. Standing outside we saw sinister clouds glowing in the west and the whole sky alive with clouds of ever-changing shapes and colors, from steel blue to blood red. The desolate grey mud huts provided a sharp contrast, while the puddles on the muddy ground reflected the glowing sky. Then, after minutes of moving silence, one prisoner said to another, 'How beautiful the world could be!'"
Man's Search For Meaning
at 12/10/2008 Posted by Sunny Badger
"...Without dairy cows, the thump of the heavy metal presses would be silenced in Racine, West Allis and Kenosha, and Milwaukee beer would turn flat in the kegs for lack of customers. The trouble with leadership of both major parties in Wisconsin is that they don't consult the guy on the back forty, and (he) is getting pretty fed up with them.
The guy on the back forty isn't a man to go in for fancy stuff like moral principles. More often than not, he's inclined to the cynical belief that all politicians are crooks."
Sauk-Prairie Star (1954)
at 12/09/2008 Posted by Sunny Badger
"I came to Washington eager to set the world on fire. I made the mistakes a new Senator makes -- of moving into fields with no special knowledge, trying to save the country, instead of waiting for the experience and knowledge which comes after several years of careful research and study. I learned that the government is becoming so enormously big that it is getting out of control. We need discipline in federal spending...Waste is just as sure as the sunrise. The only way to cut down on this waster is to pound away as hard as you can, challenge the usefulness of all programs, insist on justification for every item...I have grown more aware of the enormity of the problem. But I wouldn't consider this a basic change in my philosophy...I'd call myself an eclectic middle of the roader who is dedicated to economy in government and human rights and vehemently opposed special privilege..."
"...It depends on what you mean by "liberal." The difficulty was I followed (Senator Joe) McCarthy, who was the epitome of reactionary Republicanism. The assumption, since I was a Democrat, was that I would be an extreme the other way....On economic matters, I try to be as pragmatic as possible. Economic dogma is so undeveloped, so unsure. I favor what on the basis of all the facts seems to make sense. On civil rights I feel strongly. That's a fundamental aspect of liberalism. On both civil liberties and civil rights, I feel government should do everything in its power to guarantee them to anyone....I don't follow the President, and I don't follow any groups within or without the Democratic party."
Senator William Proxmire
at 12/08/2008 Posted by Sunny Badger