What's the difference between an Irish wedding and an Irish funeral?
One less drunk.
Judy: Billy got fresh with me last night, so I slapped his face. But I was sorry just as soon as I did it.
Trudy: Because you like him?
Judy: No, because he was chewing tobacco.
I've never made an "easy payment."
Winter isn't cold, it's heat challenged
Remember, honesty is the best policy, unless you're dealing with other people.
Why is the third hand on a watch called a second hand?
When skeptics see the handwriting on the wall, they claim it's a forgery.
It isn't difficult to make a mountain out of a molehill, just add a little dirt.
I want to figure out the meaning of life, because then I'd be rich.
It is easy to be flexible when one is spineless.
Matter is neither created nor destroyed, it only gets more expensive.
Late night TV is very educational, you realize you should have gone to bed earlier.
What’s the best present you can gift?
A broken drum.
Nobody can beat that.
Approximately 10 to 20% of U.S. power outages are caused by squirrels.
On the positive side, it's usually only once per squirrel.
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“Back home, Americans have lost everything due to Hurricane Ian, the border is open, fentanyl is killing hundreds of thousands and inflation is raging. Yet the left and the establishment right just voted to send another 12 billion to Ukraine?” - Congressman Paul Gosar
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Full text of Vladimir Putin's address on September 30, 2022:
Dear citizens of Russia, citizens of the Donetsk and Lugansk people's republics, residents of Zaporozhye and Kherson regions, deputies of the State Duma, senators of the Russian Federation!
You know, referendums were held in the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics, Zaporizhzhya and Kherson regions. Their results have been summed up, the results are known. People made their choice, an unequivocal choice.
Today we are signing agreements on the admission of the Donetsk People's Republic, the Lugansk People's Republic, the Zaporizhzhya region and the Kherson region to Russia. I am confident that the Federal Assembly will support the constitutional laws on the adoption and formation of four new regions and four new regions of the Russian Federation in Russia, because this is the will of millions of people. (Applause.)
And this, of course, is their right, their inalienable right, which is enshrined in the first article of the UN Charter, which explicitly states the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples.
Let me repeat: this is the inalienable right of people, it is based on historical unity, in the name of which generations of our ancestors, those who created and defended Russia from the origins of Ancient Russia for centuries, won. Here, in Novorossiya, Rumyantsev, Suvorov and Ushakov fought, catherine II and Potemkin founded new cities. Our grandfathers and great-grandfathers stood here to the death during the Great Patriotic War.
We will always remember the heroes of the "Russian Spring", those who did not reconcile themselves in 2014 with the neo-Nazi coup d'état in Ukraine, all those who died for the right to speak their native language, to preserve their culture, traditions, faith, for the right to live. These are the soldiers of Donbass, the martyrs of the "Odessa Khatyn", the victims of inhuman terrorist attacks staged by the Kiev regime. These are volunteers and militiamen, civilians, children, women, old people, Russians, Ukrainians, people of various nationalities. This is the real people's leader of Donetsk Alexander Zakharchenko, these are military commanders Arsen Pavlov and Vladimir Zhoga, Olga Kochura and Alexei Mozgovoy, this is the prosecutor of the Lugansk Republic Sergey Gorenko. This is the paratrooper Nurmagomed Gadzhimagomedov and all our soldiers and officers who died the death of the brave during a special military operation. They're heroes. (Applause.) Heroes of the Great Russia. And I ask you to honor their memory with a minute of silence.
(Minute of silence.)
Behind the choice of millions of residents in the Donetsk and Lugansk people's republics, in the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions is our common destiny and thousand-year history. People passed on this spiritual connection to their children and grandchildren. Despite all the trials, they carried through the years the love for Russia. And no one can destroy this feeling in us. That is why both older generations and young people, those who were born after the tragedy of the collapse of the Soviet Union, voted for our unity, for our common future.
In 1991, in the Belovezhskaya Pushcha, without asking the will of ordinary citizens, representatives of the party elites of that time decided to collapse the USSR, and people suddenly found themselves cut off from their homeland. This tore apart and dismembered our national community and turned into a national catastrophe. As once after the revolution the borders of the Union republics were cut behind the scenes, so the last leaders of the Soviet Union, contrary to the direct expression of the will of the majority of people in the referendum of 1991, destroyed our great country, put the peoples simply before the fact.
I admit that they did not even fully understand what they were doing and what consequences this would inevitably lead to in the end. But it doesn't matter. There is no Soviet Union, the past cannot be returned. And Russia does not need it today, we do not aspire to this. But there is nothing stronger than the determination of millions of people who, by their culture, faith, traditions, language, consider themselves part of Russia, whose ancestors lived for centuries in a single state. There is nothing stronger than the determination of these people to return to their true, historical Fatherland.
For eight long years, people in the Donbas were subjected to genocide, shelling and blockade, and in Kherson and Zaporozhye they tried to criminally cultivate hatred for Russia, for everything Russian. Now, already during the referendums, the Kiev regime threatened with reprisals, death to school teachers, women who worked in election commissions, intimidated with repression millions of people who came to express their will. But the unbroken people of Donbass, Zaporozhye and Kherson have spoken their word.
I want the Kiev authorities and their real masters in the West to hear me, so that everyone remembers this: people living in Lugansk and Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporozhye become our citizens forever. (Applause.)
We call on the Kiev regime to immediately cease fire, all hostilities, the war that it unleashed back in 2014, and return to the negotiating table. We are ready for this, it has been said more than once. But the choice of the people in Donetsk, Lugansk, Zaporozhye and Kherson will not be discussed, it has been made, Russia will not betray it. (Applause.) And today's Kiev authorities should treat this free expression of the will of people with respect, and nothing else. This is the only way to peace.
We will defend our land with all the forces and means at our disposal and will do everything to ensure the safe life of our people. This is the great liberating mission of our people.
We will definitely rebuild the destroyed cities and towns, housing, schools, hospitals, theatres and museums, restore and develop industrial enterprises, factories, infrastructure, social, pension, healthcare and education systems.
Of course, we will work to improve the level of security. Together we will make sure that citizens in the new regions feel the support of the entire people of Russia, the whole country, all the republics, all the territories and regions of our vast Motherland. (Applause.)
Dear friends and colleagues!
Today I would like to appeal to the soldiers and officers who are participating in the special military operation, to the soldiers of Donbass and Novorossiya, to those who, after the decree on partial mobilization, join the ranks of the Armed Forces, fulfilling their patriotic duty, who themselves come to the military recruitment offices at the call of their hearts. I would like to appeal to their parents, wives and children about what our people are fighting for, what enemy is confronting us, who is throwing the world into new wars and crises, deriving their bloody benefits from this tragedy.
Our compatriots, our brothers and sisters in Ukraine – the native part of our united people – saw with their own eyes what the ruling circles of the so-called West are preparing for all of humanity. Here, in fact, they just threw off their masks, showed their true guts.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the West decided that the world, all of us, would forever have to put up with its dictates. Then, in 1991, the West hoped that Russia would not recover from such upheavals and would continue to fall apart on its own. Yes, it almost happened – we remember the 90s, the terrible 90s, hungry, cold and hopeless. But Russia has resisted, revived, strengthened, and regained its rightful place in the world.
At the same time, the West has been looking for and continues to look for a new chance to hit us, to weaken and destroy Russia, which has always been dreamed of, to fragment our state, to pit peoples against each other, to condemn them to poverty and extinction. It simply haunts them that there is such a great, huge country in the world with its territory, natural resources, resources, with a people who cannot and will never live by someone else's orders.
The West is ready to step over everything to preserve the neocolonial system that allows it to parasitize, in fact, plunder the world at the expense of the power of the dollar and technological dictates, collect real tribute from humanity, extract the main source of unearned well-being, the rent of the hegemon. The preservation of this rent is their key, genuine and absolutely self-serving motive. That is why it is in their interest to be completely de-sovereignized. Hence their aggression against independent states, traditional values and original cultures, attempts to undermine international and integration processes beyond their control, new world currencies and centers of technological development. It is critical for them that all countries surrender their sovereignty to the United States.
The ruling elites of some states voluntarily agree to do this, voluntarily agree to become vassals; others are bribed, intimidated. And if it does not work out, they destroy entire states, leaving behind humanitarian disasters, disasters, ruins, millions of ruined, distorted human destinies, terrorist enclaves, social disaster zones, protectorates, colonies and semi-colonies. They don't care, just to get their own benefit.
I would like to stress once again that greed and the intention to preserve their unrestricted power are the real reasons for the hybrid war that the "collective West" is waging against Russia. They don't want freedom for us, they want us to be a colony. They do not want equal cooperation, but robbery. They want to see us not as a free society, but as a crowd of soulless slaves.
For them, the direct threat is our thought and philosophy, and therefore they encroach on our philosophers. Our culture and art are a danger to them, so they try to ban them. Our development and prosperity are also a threat to them – competition is growing. They don't need Russia at all, we need it. (Applause.)
I want to remind you that the claims to world domination in the past have been repeatedly broken by the courage and resilience of our people. Russia will always be Russia. We will still defend our values and our Motherland.
The West is counting on impunity, on the fact that it will get away with everything. As a matter of fact, I've gotten away with it so far. Agreements in the field of strategic security fly into the trash; agreements reached at the highest political level are declared fables; firm promises not to expand NATO to the East, as soon as they were bought by our former leaders, turned into a dirty deception; treaties on missile defence and intermediate-range and shorter-range missiles have been unilaterally torn up under far-fetched pretexts.
We can only hear from all sides: "The West defends the order based on rules." Where did they come from? Who has ever seen these rules? Who agreed? Listen, this is just nonsense, a complete deception, double or already triple standards! Fools are designed simply.
Russia is a great thousand-year-old power, a civilizational country, and it will not live by such manipulated, false rules. (Applause.)
It was the so-called West that trampled on the principle of the inviolability of borders, and now at its own discretion decides who has the right to self-determination and who does not, who is unworthy of it. Why they decide so, who gave them such a right is unclear. To themselves.
That is why they are wildly angry about the choice of people in Crimea, Sevastopol, Donetsk, Lugansk, Zaporozhye and Kherson. This West has no moral right to evaluate him, not even to stutter about the freedom of democracy. No and never has been!
Western elites deny not only national sovereignty and international law. Their hegemony has a pronounced character of totalitarianism, despotism and apartheid. They brazenly divide the world into their vassals, into the so-called civilized countries and into all the others who, according to the plan of today's Western racists, should replenish the list of barbarians and savages. False labels – "rogue country", "authoritarian regime" – are already ready, they stigmatize entire peoples and states, and this is nothing new. There is nothing new in this: the Western elites as they were, remained so – colonialist. They discriminate, divide peoples into "first" and "other" varieties.
We have never accepted and will never accept such political nationalism and racism. And what, if not racism, is Russophobia, which is now spreading around the world? What, if not racism, is the categorical conviction of the West that its civilization, neoliberal culture is an indisputable model for the whole world? "Whoever is not with us is against us." It even sounds weird.
Even repentance for their own historical crimes is shifted by Western elites to everyone else, demanding that both the citizens of their countries and other peoples be responsible for something to which they have nothing to do at all, for example, during the period of colonial conquests.
It is worth reminding the West that it began its colonial policy in the Middle Ages, and then followed by the world slave trade, the genocide of Indian tribes in America, the plundering of India, Africa, the wars of England and France against China, as a result of which he was forced to open his ports to the opium trade. What they did was to hook entire nations on drugs, purposefully exterminate entire ethnic groups for the sake of land and resources, and arrange a real hunt for people as beasts. It is contrary to human nature itself, truth, freedom and justice.
And we are proud that in the twentieth century it was our country that led the anti-colonial movement, which opened up opportunities for many peoples of the world to develop, to reduce poverty and inequality, to defeat hunger and disease.
I would like to emphasise that one of the reasons for the centuries-old Russophobia and undisguised anger of these Western elites towards Russia is precisely that we did not allow ourselves to be robbed during the colonial conquests and forced the Europeans to conduct trade for mutual benefit. This was achieved by creating a strong centralized state in Russia, which developed, strengthened on the great moral values of Orthodoxy, Islam, Judaism and Buddhism, on Russian culture and Russian word open to all.
It is known that they repeatedly made plans for interventions in Russia, tried to use both the troubled times of the beginning of the XVII century, and the period of upheavals after 1917 – failed. The West still managed to get to the riches of Russia at the end of the XX century, when the state was destroyed. Back then, we were called friends and partners, but in fact they treated us like a colony – trillions of dollars were pumped out of the country according to a variety of schemes. We all remember everything, we have not forgotten anything.
And these days, people in Donetsk and Lugansk, in Kherson and Zaporozhye spoke in favor of restoring our historical unity. Thank you! (Applause.)
Western countries have been saying for centuries that they bring freedom and democracy to other peoples. Quite the opposite: instead of democracy, there is suppression and exploitation; instead of freedom, enslavement and violence. The entire unipolar world order is inherently anti-democratic and unfree, it is deceitful and hypocritical through and through.
The United States is the only country in the world that has twice used nuclear weapons, destroying the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. By the way, we set a precedent.
Let me also remind you that the United States, together with the British, turned Dresden, Hamburg, Cologne and many other German cities into ruins without any military necessity during the Second World War. And this was done defiantly, without any, I repeat, military necessity. There was only one goal: just as in the case of the nuclear bombing in Japan, to intimidate both our country and the whole world.
The United States left a terrible trace in the memory of the peoples of Korea and Vietnam with barbaric "carpet bombing", the use of napalm and chemical weapons.
They still actually occupy Germany, Japan, the Republic of Korea, and other countries, and at the same time cynically call them equal allies. Listen to me! I wonder what kind of alliance this is? The whole world knows that the leaders of these countries are being monitored, the first persons of these states are installing listening devices not only in office, but also in residential premises. It's a real shame. Shame on those who do this, and on those who, like slaves, silently and meekly swallow this rudeness.
They call orders and rude, insulting shouts against their vassals Euro-Atlantic solidarity, the development of biological weapons, experiments on living people, including in Ukraine, noble medical research.
It was with their destructive policies, wars, and looting that they provoked today's colossal surge in migration flows. Millions of people suffer deprivation, humiliation, death by the thousands, trying to get to the same Europe.
Bread is being exported from Ukraine now. Where is he going under the pretext of "ensuring food security in the world's poorest countries"? Where is it going? Everything goes to the same European countries. There, five percent only went to the poorest countries in the world. Again, another swindle and outright deception.
The American elite, in fact, uses the tragedy of these people to weaken their competitors, to destroy nation-states. This also applies to Europe, this also applies to the identity of France, Italy, Spain, and other countries with a long history.
Washington is demanding more and more sanctions against Russia, and most European politicians dutifully agree with this. They clearly understand that the United States, pushing for the complete rejection by the EU of Russian energy and other resources, is working practically to deindustrialize Europe, to completely take over the European market – they understand everything, these elites are European, they understand everything, they prefer to serve other people's interests. This is no longer a lackey, but a direct betrayal of their peoples. But God is with them, it's their business.
But the Anglo-Saxons no longer have enough sanctions, they have moved to sabotage – incredibly, but a fact – having organized explosions on the international gas pipelines of Nord Stream, which pass along the bottom of the Baltic Sea, they actually began to destroy the pan-European energy infrastructure. It is obvious to everyone who benefits from this. Who benefits, he did, of course.
The dictate of the United States is based on brute force, on fist law. It is beautifully wrapped, it happens without any wrapping, but the essence is the same – fist right. Hence the deployment and maintenance of hundreds of military bases in all corners of the world, the expansion of NATO, attempts to put together new military alliances, such as AUKUS and the like. Active work is also underway to create a military-political link between Washington and Seoul and Tokyo. All those states that possess or aspire to possess genuine strategic sovereignty and are able to challenge Western hegemony are automatically designated as enemies.
It is on these principles that the military doctrines of the United States and NATO are built, requiring, no less than total domination. Western elites present their neocolonial plans just as hypocritically, even with a claim to peacefulness, talk about some kind of containment, and such a disingenuous word wanders from one strategy to another, and, in fact, means only one thing – the undermining of any sovereign centers of development.
We have already heard about containing Russia, China, Iran. I believe that other countries in Asia, Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, as well as current partners and allies of the United States, are also in the queue. We know that if they don't like it, they impose sanctions against their allies – sometimes against one bank, then against another; sometimes against one company, then against another. It's the same practice, and it will expand. They have everyone in their crosshairs, including our closest neighbors, the CIS countries.
At the same time, the West has clearly and for a long time been wishful thinking. So, starting a sanctions blitzkrieg against Russia, they believed that they could once again build the whole world on their own command. But, as it turned out, such a bright prospect does not excite everyone – except for complete political masochists and fans of other non-traditional forms of international relations. Most states refuse to "take under the visor", and choose a reasonable way of cooperation with Russia.
The West clearly did not expect such disobedience from them. They are just used to acting according to a template, taking everything by snoring, blackmail, bribery, intimidation, and convince themselves that these methods will work forever, as if ossified and frozen in the past.
Such overconfidence is a direct product not only of the notorious concept of one's own exceptionalism – although this, of course, is surprising simply – but also of a real "information hunger" in the West. The truth was drowned in an ocean of myths, illusions and fakes, using extremely aggressive propaganda, lying for nothing, like Goebbels. The more incredible the lie, the faster they will believe it – that's how they act, according to this principle.
But people cannot be fed printed dollars and euros. It is impossible to feed these pieces of paper, and it is impossible to heat the home with a virtual, inflated capitalization of Western social networks. All of this is important, what I'm talking about. But no less important is what has just been said: you can't feed anyone with papers – you need food, and you can't heat anyone with these inflated capitalizations either – energy is needed.
Therefore, politicians in Europe, for example, have to convince their fellow citizens to eat less, wash less often, and dress warmly at home. And those who begin to ask fair questions: "Actually, why is this so?" are immediately declared enemies, extremists and radicals. They turn the needle on Russia, they say: here, they say, who is the source of all your troubles. They lie again.
What I want to emphasize is that there is every reason to believe that the Western elites are not going to look for constructive ways out of the global food and energy crisis that arose through their fault, precisely through their fault, as a result of their long-term policy long before our special military operation in Ukraine, in Donbass. We do not intend to solve the problems of injustice and inequality. There is a fear that they are ready to use other, familiar to them, recipes.
And here it is worth recalling that from the contradictions of the early XX century, the West emerged through the First World War. Profits from the Second World War allowed the United States to finally overcome the consequences of the Great Depression and become the largest economy in the world, to impose on the planet the power of the dollar as a global reserve currency. And the overdue crisis of the 80s – and in the 80s of the last century the crisis also worsened – the West largely overcame it by appropriating the heritage and resources of the collapsed and collapsed Soviet Union. That's a fact.
Now, in order to get out of the next tangle of contradictions, they need to break Russia and other states that choose a sovereign path of development at all costs in order to further plunder other people's wealth and at this expense close and plug their holes. If this does not happen, I do not rule out that they will try to completely bring the system to collapse, to which everything can be blamed, or, God forbid, decide to use the well-known formula "the war will write everything off."
Russia understands its responsibility to the international community and will do everything to bring such hotheads to life.
Clearly, the current neocolonial model is ultimately doomed. But I repeat that its real owners will cling to it to the end. They simply have nothing to offer the world except to maintain the same system of looting and racketeering.
In fact, they spit on the natural right of billions of people, the majority of humanity, to freedom and justice, to determine their own future. Now they have completely moved to a radical denial of moral norms, religion, and family.
Let's answer very simple questions for ourselves. I would like to return to what I said, and I would like to address all the citizens of the country – not only the colleagues who are in this hall – all the citizens of Russia: do we really want us, here, in our country, in Russia, to have "parent number one", "number two", "number three" (completely crazy already there!)? Do we want perversions to be imposed on children from primary school in our schools that lead to degradation and extinction? That they were told that in addition to women and men, there were allegedly some other genders and offered to undergo sex reassignment surgery? Do we want all this for our country and our children? For us, all this is unacceptable, we have a different, our own future.
Let me repeat that the dictatorship of the Western elites is directed against all societies, including the peoples of the Western countries themselves. It's a challenge to everyone. Such a complete denial of man, the overthrow of faith and traditional values, the suppression of freedom acquires the features of a "religion on the contrary" – outright Satanism. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus Christ, denouncing the false prophets, says, "By their fruits ye shall know them." And these poisonous fruits are already obvious to people – not only in our country, in all countries, including for many people in the West itself.
The world has entered a period of revolutionary transformations, they are of a fundamental nature. New centers of development are being formed, they represent the majority – the majority! – the world community and are ready not only to declare their interests, but also to defend them, and in multipolarity they see an opportunity to strengthen their sovereignty, which means to gain true freedom, a historical perspective, their right to independent, creative, original development, to a harmonious process.
All over the world, including in Europe and the United States, as I have already said, we have many like-minded people, and we feel, we see their support. Within a wide variety of countries and societies, a liberation, anti-colonial movement against unipolar hegemony is already developing. Its subjectivity will only increase. It is this power that will determine the future geopolitical reality.
Today we are fighting for a fair and free path, first of all for ourselves, for Russia, for the fact that dictate and despotism will forever remain in the past. I am convinced that countries and peoples understand that a policy built on the exceptionalism of anyone, on the suppression of other cultures and peoples, is essentially criminal, that we must turn this shameful page. The breakdown of Western hegemony that has begun is irreversible. And again, it won't be like it before.
The battlefield to which fate and history have called us is the battlefield for our people, for the great historical Russia. (Applause.) For the great historical Russia, for future generations, for our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. We must protect them from enslavement, from monstrous experiments that are aimed at crippling their consciousness and soul.
Today we are fighting so that no one will ever think that Russia, our people, our language, our culture can be taken and erased from history. Today we need the consolidation of the entire society, and such cohesion can only be based on sovereignty, freedom, creation and justice. Our values are humanity, mercy and compassion.
And I want to conclude my speech with the words of a true patriot Ivan Aleksandrovich Ilyin: "If I consider Russia to be my Motherland, it means that I love, contemplate and think in Russian, Sing and speak Russian; that I believe in the spiritual forces of the Russian people. His spirit is my spirit; his fate is my destiny; his suffering is my grief; its heyday is my joy."
These words are followed by a great spiritual choice, which for more than a thousand years of Russian statehood was followed by many generations of our ancestors. Today, this choice is made by us, made by the citizens of the Donetsk and Lugansk people's republics, residents of Zaporozhye and Kherson regions. They made the choice to be with their people, to be with the Motherland, to live its fate, to win with it.
Behind us – however, behind us – Russia!
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