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Old 13-08-2013, 12:34   #166
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Re: Couple Flees America, Gets Tax Payer Rides Home

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I had that kind of first-hand experience, and on this continent (North America, that is) I haven't met too many people who overestimated quality of life under the soviet system. Far more people who seem to think that it was some sort of hell. Which it wasn't either.
I think most of the people who visit Cuba, now, for instance,(and yes, I've been there several times) go to a lot of trouble to not find out too much about how most of the people live there, so as not to spoil the whole vacation experience (for an eye opener and interesting social experiment, , next visit, point out a random Cuban citizen, tell your Cuban customs agent that the person asked if they could sneak about your boat to escape, and watch what happens next).

I've been to communist countries before, too, and had a great time. But, I never had to live in one. And, I never hated where I lived so bad I would try and turn a Chevy into a boat, or risk getting shot to climb a wall, to get out.
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Old 13-08-2013, 12:43   #167
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Re: Couple Flees America, Gets Tax Payer Rides Home

not sure why we have veered off to discussing communism, I mean very few countries actually practised it. it was rather a theoretical system.

PS DOJ my EPIRB button is green , does that mean its gone off, …. wait , woppah woppah, woppagh, oh err….. ( Hi guys, could I be repatriated to la la land, its saner then here)

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Old 13-08-2013, 12:44   #168
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[QUOTE=David_Old_Jersey;1310395]It may be that some will have read support for living under Communism in some of my prior posts. Far from it! Whilst I think the idea of Communism has much merit - I am against it because it does not work, and never can (it don't fit with Human nature).......but having folks live under it in the Soviet Bloc post WWII worked out very nicely for us (peasants) in the West as meant that our Lords & Masters were scared of us (if we objected to being treated as before WWII someone would support us - not to say that would turn out well for us , but sure as shinola would turn out bad for the rich ).............with the end of the Soviets that fear has now gone and we are back to the 1920's style of Democracy and Capitalism, no fear = don't care..........all we await is the new Messiah (there is always another - lets hope this one don't have a small moustache. or magic underpants ).[/QUOTE]

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Old 13-08-2013, 12:46   #169
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Re: Couple Flees America, Gets Tax Payer Rides Home

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not sure why we have veered off to discussing communism, I mean very few countries actually practised it. it was rather a theoretical system.

PS DOJ my EPIRB button is green , does that mean its gone off, …. wait , woppah woppah, woppagh, oh err….. ( Hi guys, could I be repatriated to la la land, its saner then here)

Dave
Yeah, what was the old Soviet saying that explained their lack of productivity?, "They pretend to pay us, so we pretend to work."

When theory and reality collide, reality almost always wins.
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Old 13-08-2013, 12:51   #170
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Re: Couple Flees America, Gets Tax Payer Rides Home

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Old 13-08-2013, 12:52   #171
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Re: Couple Flees America, Gets Tax Payer Rides Home

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Yeah, what was the old Soviet saying that explained their lack of productivity?, "They pretend to pay us, so we pretend to work."

When theory and reality collide, reality almost always wins.
rather like Homer Simpsons quip

" If you don't like your job, you don't go on strike. You just go in every day and do it really half-assed - that's the American way"

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Old 13-08-2013, 12:52   #172
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Yeah, what was the old Soviet saying that explained their lack of productivity?, "They pretend to pay us, so we pretend to work."

When theory and reality collide, reality almost always wins.
No... that was British Leyland and Triumph in the 70's...
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Old 13-08-2013, 12:54   #173
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Re: Couple Flees America, Gets Tax Payer Rides Home

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No... that was British Leyland and Triumph in the 70's...
no, they didn't even pretend to work.

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Old 13-08-2013, 13:30   #174
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Re: Couple Flees America, Gets Tax Payer Rides Home

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I've been to communist countries before, too
And I've grown up in one.

What you saw as "hell" was lack of creature comforts and freedom to be openly pissed off at your government. These things do contribute to happiness, but not as much as one would think.
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Old 14-08-2013, 07:52   #175
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Re: Couple Flees America, Gets Tax Payer Rides Home

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And I've grown up in one.

What you saw as "hell" was lack of creature comforts and freedom to be openly pissed off at your government. These things do contribute to happiness, but not as much as one would think.
Were you in one of the ones where they would kill you if you tried to leave?
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Old 14-08-2013, 08:22   #176
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Re: Couple Flees America, Gets Tax Payer Rides Home

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Were you in one of the ones where they would kill you if you tried to leave?
I was in east europe when the wall came down and worked there for several yrs after...The fellow I delt with in Poland worked in the garment business and later became the top producer of Paragliders in Poland and he was the Polish world champion at one time,when I asked about life pre -Perestroka(?sp?) he said it was "Hell"...I asked what one would do if he got sick and couldnt go to work? He said that you went to work anyways,I asked what if you were to sick to go what would you do?He said if you were that sick you went in and would see the nurse who gave two small pills and sent you back to work! He went on to say that there was a system wherein the young took care of the old and they in turn would get taken care of by the next young group,he said that if a person didnt work the system that the person was ostrisized by the others and his life was very ,very difficult from thereafter,He told me that "No one got sick enough not to work"!! Marx and Lennon suck out loud!
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Old 14-08-2013, 11:40   #177
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Re: Couple Flees America, Gets Tax Payer Rides Home

I was at the uni when the wall came down. My parents (a policeman and a teacher), had unlimited paid sick leave, like everybody else. With a caveat that you needed to get it in writing from a doctor, which was not a problem if you were actually sick. They also had two months of paid vacation per year - like everybody else in that part of the country (across the Baring Strait from Alaska), and free airfare to a sea resort on every other year. Maternity leave was fully paid for 12 months after the birth, with an option to extend it to partially paid 2 or 3 years. I got paid to study at the uni, rather than the other way around. Enough that I didn't need financial support from parents and could afford three white water expeditions a year in places like Caucasus and Siberia. I could keep going. Point being, soviet system employed a lot more carrot to ensure loyalty of its subjects than you probably think.

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Were you in one of the ones where they would kill you if you tried to leave?
If I tried to leave by illegally crossing the border and they couldn't stop me otherwise? Yeah. It's called "border guard" rather than "border observation" for a reason, you know.

As for why would some people risk their lives to get out of the country this way, that's a whole other story. Given their [relatively] small numbers, a normal soviet citizen would explain it away as some kind of insanity. Like we all do with the story at the top of this thread.
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Old 14-08-2013, 13:34   #178
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Re: Couple Flees America, Gets Tax Payer Rides Home

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I was at the uni when the wall came down. My parents (a policeman and a teacher), had unlimited paid sick leave, like everybody else. With a caveat that you needed to get it in writing from a doctor, which was not a problem if you were actually sick. They also had two months of paid vacation per year - like everybody else in that part of the country (across the Baring Strait from Alaska), and free airfare to a sea resort on every other year. Maternity leave was fully paid for 12 months after the birth, with an option to extend it to partially paid 2 or 3 years. I got paid to study at the uni, rather than the other way around. Enough that I didn't need financial support from parents and could afford three white water expeditions a year in places like Caucasus and Siberia. I could keep going. Point being, soviet system employed a lot more carrot to ensure loyalty of its subjects than you probably think.


If I tried to leave by illegally crossing the border and they couldn't stop me otherwise? Yeah. It's called "border guard" rather than "border observation" for a reason, you know.

As for why would some people risk their lives to get out of the country this way, that's a whole other story. Given their [relatively] small numbers, a normal soviet citizen would explain it away as some kind of insanity. Like we all do with the story at the top of this thread.
Is "policeman" code for KGB or GRU? I only ask because I was a cold warrior back then (before the breakup) and you seem to have the party line down fairly well, as well as a surprisingly benign and tolerant view of the USSR's emigration enforcement protocols. Not to mention that when the wall did fall, the first wave of immigrants we got had a lot of former KGB and GRU guys mixed in with them (who naturally needed to get out of town fast) who were trying to pass themselves off as something else.
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Old 14-08-2013, 14:19   #179
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Re: Couple Flees America, Gets Tax Payer Rides Home

Almost relevant to cruising and the original post was the cute story I'm trying to remember, so I'll make up a version:
A family of zealous, devout, fundamentalist Christians were warned by local officials of an impending flood by a local police squad car sent out to evacuate the neighborhood, but the head of the family replied that Jesus would keep them safe.
The flood came, the waters rose, they had to move upstairs, but when some neighbors came by in a boat, the family declined a ride out, saying that God would protect them.
Then the waters rose further, and they had to chop a hole through the ceiling to get to the roof. The national guard came by in an amphibious vehicle (DUKW/duck), but the family refused evacuation, saying God was with them.
Finally, a big double-egg beater Chinook rescue chopper came by and the pilot used a loud hailer to let the family know that they'd better get out, as the waters were still piling up. But, the family waved off the chopper.
Then the waters rose and swept the family to their deaths.
Awakening in front of the Pearly Gates, the family patriarch gave St. Peter a hard time and demanded to know why their faith hadn't been rewarded with being saved back on Earth.
St. Peter replied, "You idiots! We did everything we could to save you; we sent the cops, a boat, a DUCK, and a great big old helicopter and nothing we could do could give through your thick, bony skulls!"
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Old 14-08-2013, 15:13   #180
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Re: Couple Flees America, Gets Tax Payer Rides Home

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Is "policeman" code for KGB or GRU?
Nope. Forensics guy in the local police (aka militia) department. Small city in the middle of nowhere.

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you seem to have the party line down fairly well
News flash: The Party (tm) ceased to exist in 1991. Was banned by a law, in fact. Why would I have any skin in the game that nobody's even playing for more than 20 years? Just telling it how it was for me, my parents and a lot of their friends, who were all quite content with the way things were. Partly because they didn't know any better, and partly because it wasn't all that bad.

If you look at a footage from North Korean civil parades, with all the happy smiles, it's important to remember that by and large they are not faking it. And these folks actually have to starve every once in a while.

By the way, if you want hell, try being older than 40 in the 1990s ex-USSR right after the whole thing collapsed. Especially on the periphery of the empire, especially in any of the places where they had them a nice little war.
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