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Roger L. Simon

Back in the USSR: ‘Honey, Disconnect the Phone’

May 16th, 2013 - 12:25 am
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I visited the Soviet Union twice back in the eighties. Fascinating place. Loved the Russian orthodox churches and the gorgeous icons, the quaint dachas in Peredelkino where Boris Pasternak used to live. The caviar and blini was terrific too, washed down by endless shots of Russian Standard vodka. And, because I was on cultural exchanges, I met brilliant people like Yevgeny Yevtushenko and a dozen or so other well known Soviet writers and filmmakers.

Funnily enough, most of them would eventually take me aside and ask me if I could help them get out of there. I couldn’t, unfortunately, but I could well understand why they wanted to leave. At the end of both of my trips of about two weeks each, I desperately wanted to get the Hell out myself. I hated the place.

The Soviet Union was like one giant jail. You had no privacy. You had no life. KGB minders followed you everywhere — even, in my case, straight into the lobby men’s room of Moscow’s Cosmos Hotel to watch me tinkle. My Yalta hotel room was so obviously bugged that the painting bulged out at about a thirty degree angle to fit the microphone. (Yes, I peeked.) The Bulgarian mystery novelist in our entourage ran a whole roomful of reel-to-reel tape recorders on the fourth floor of that same hotel, smiling and blushing when I accidentally walked in on him with our Italian delegate. The young woman who interviewed me for Soviet Screen was also a spy, as was my interpreter, Oleg, who accompanied me everywhere. He kept close tabs on anything I was writing, taking notes and reporting back to his superiors.

Sound familiar? I’ve been thinking about it a lot these days because what with the IRS evidently watching our every move and the Associated Press and who knows who else under surveillance, I feel quite literally like I’m back in the USSR. And I haven’t even left home.

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Top Rated Comments   
Should we think that watching our country dying from strangulation be different from the garrotes used by the leftist revolutionaries who inspired ours?

Should we believe that the lessons at the knee of Frank Marshall Davis didn't take?

Or that Bill Ayers living room was merely a staging place for benign cocktail chatter?

Or the thundering for revenge from the pulpit of Jeremiah Wright's ministry of hate was 20 years of no consequence?

That Van Jones and Anita Dunn and the New Party and the Midwest Academy and Don Warden and the radical professors and the Socialist Scholars conventions...were light footfalls among the tulips, daisies and roses of sweet "liberalism"?

Those who admire, idolize, revere....Che, Fidel, Karl, and openly root against this land of ours in EVERY conflict...who barely conceal their contempt for "colonial powers" and Zionists and "people clinging to religion" of their "insidious Bibles"...what should we believe they would do, if they seized the mantle of power?

Become patriots and defenders of freedom? Cast aside their bloodthirst for revolution?

And...ahhh, our noble guardians at the gate. The arrogant lecturers of media, academia and Hollywood...telling us all in their smug and pedantic tones just how ignorant and unwashed we are, we the mouthbreathing embarrassments to their nobility.

Each twist of the ligature around our necks contain the smudges of their filthy fingerprints.

What did we expect? That ours would be a different outcome? That our Constitution, our freedoms, our passed down greatness would never succumb to those who intend to destroy it?

What fools we are then. We can hear our own death rattle precisely because we took for granted the life we had been bequeathed. Because we arrogantly and blithely ignored every sign and signal screaming out in the night for our response.

Quantum totalitarianism is not only more malevolent than we imgaine, it is more malevolent than we can imagine. We only know about those things that have come to light. That is a fraction of what is at hand. And all that we have yet to find out, that we have not caught, that remains hidden and uncovered, will one day have people who visited here say...I could not wait to get the hell out of there.

We are dying. If freedom shall ring again, it may have to be from some other place, where the people do not elect to commit mass suicide.

48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
Isn't it interesting where the Obama administration focuses its efforts. Not on jobs and the economy but on surveillance and underhanded attacks against citizens it defines as enemies. It truly is like communist rule.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
There was a time when the IRS went after Al Capone. Now, under Obama, the IRS is Al Capone.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (44)
All Comments   (44)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
Been away so long I early knew the place...
should probably be "hardly knew the place"
something that really sounds true of almost anywhere, when you have the lens of decades of memories and insight...
I have been remarking for years... on each visit to your U.S of A. ... how little freedom there seems to be...
I hope that you will retake the "home of the brave and the land of the free"...
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
Oh dear, we all have the IRS wrong. It is really IRSTASI.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
LET ME TELL YOU HOW IT WILL BE
you can't get the medical treatment you need.
'CUZ I'M THE TAXMAN

48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
OUR FUTURE IS DEATH PANELS
Since the IRS can disallow deductions, investigate people politically and prevent groups from getting a certain tax status, imagine what it will do when it controls Obamacare.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
The IRS victims need to be filmed or camcordered, ideally with some production value added. Calling PJTV. I'd contribute to a crowd-sourced funding of such a project, and I'm broke. Oh, don't forget the EPA victims, AG victims.....
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
What I have found creepy is how Obama speaks about Americans who happen to have a differing political point of view; Obama despises them (I think he hates and demonizes them far more than any member of the Muslim Brotherhood). I have never heard another American president speak about his political opponents in the manner of Obama -- with that level of hatred and revulsion (I think it is a first in the history of the United States). And, ironically, much of Obama's vitriol is projection -- his accusations are fitting descriptions of his own conduct (yet he is too blind, too lacking in insight, to realize this). Truly, the worst president in American history.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
They don't need the high tech toys to spy on us. The line in the Beatles song is good advice. My husband worked on a secret defense project in the 80s. He was told back then if you were going to have a confidential conversation be sure to physically disconnect the phone from the wall. Apparently you don't need a bug in the room to hear what is going on. If the phone is being tapped, they can keep that line open and hear what is going on in the room.

Now that it is known that the DOJ was tapping the AP lines and we know that the IRS was sharing information with progressive groups and the Obama campaign during the election, I think it is time that folks take another look at the McConnell case. They should get a hold of that tape and determine if it was recorded through the phone. It might not have been some little democrat operative who made that recording.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
Obama Lied. Privacy Died.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
"What we have now discovered about Barack Obama and Eric Holder’s America, if we didn’t already know it, is that any belief in a benign and decent government in this country is absolute horseshit. Liberalism has been revealed as a fascist joke."

You betchyourass, and I knew it in 2007, Mr. Simon. Do you think the AP and the rest of the LSM Ministry of Propaganda that have masquerading as journalists will remember it 18 months from now? I doubt it. They are too wrapped up in their iron clad ideology to care about little things like the Constitution and freedom for longer than the attention span of a juvenile gnat.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Back in the US
Back in the US
Back in the USSR"

I have long wondered whether that version of the chorus was meant to draw some kind of moral equivalence between the US and the USSR. I'm not sure if this is a Lennon song or a McCartney one but Lennon certainly had sympathy for leftist causes so I can well imagine him invoking some moral equivalence....

48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yes, I imagine you're right. But here's the irony. What Lennon and/or McCartney wrote may not have been true then, but it is rapidly becoming so now.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
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