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Archive for February, 2012

Home Office worker let in illegal immigrants 'to give them a chance'…

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More couples signing pre-nuptials

Family lawyers say they have seen a tenfold increase in recent years in
couples signing pre-nuptial agreements on dividing their assets after

Resolution, a group of 5,700 lawyers, says the number has doubled in a year,
a BBC Breakfast investigation found.

The agreements are enforceable in Scotland but not in England and Wales,
although courts are paying more attention to them in their rulings.

The Law Commission is to consult on their use in England and Wales.

The Tories say they should become binding – but critics say people may feel
pressured into signing them.

Such agreements set out what happens to the assets each party brings into
the marriage – and their earnings during it – should they divorce.

A succession of high-profile break-ups, ending in huge settlements, have
raised awareness of their role.

Lawyers say the increasing number of independently wealthy women, coupled
with greater numbers of people marrying later in life with complicated
family arrangements, has increased their popularity.

Resolution’s David Allison said: "There’s been a tenfold increase in
‘pre-nups’. I’m doing considerably more now than I have ever done before and
that experience is mirrored around the rest of the country.

"People are doing it because they want to be able to sort this stuff out now
rather than later on."

Around 45% of marriages end in divorce – about 145,000 each year – and while
pre-nuptial agreements are still relatively rare, more are coming before the

They are already common in the US and are also binding in many European


The Law Commission is not due to report on the issue until 2012 but the
Conservatives want it done more quickly.

Shadow justice minister Henry Bellingham said: "We want to bring in a fairly
wide ranging divorce law reform bill and I’m very keen that part of it will
include ‘pre-nups’ and make them enforceable in law, subject to very strict

Some family lawyers say people may feel pressurised into signing them and
that making them binding would be a disaster.

Family lawyer Marilyn Stone said: "The whole emphasis is on divorce reform –
and I actually think we should be looking much more at marriage. I have to
say if I was asked to enter into a ‘pre-nup’ I wouldn’t."

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Stop the Civil Rights Abuses; Prepare for Domestic Violence Awareness Month…

By Anthrope1
From our friends at RADAR:

Have you, or a person you know, ever been falsely accused of domestic
violence? Targeted with a restraining order? Put in jail?

Each year over one million Americans are hit with a false or trivial
accusation of partner abuse. It’s now reached the point that domestic
violence laws represent the largest roll-back in Americans’ civil rights
since the Jim Crow era!

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and the theme is "Restore
Civil Rights to the Violence Against Women Act." DV Awareness Month is our
opportunity to get word out that our nation’s domestic violence laws have
gone too far, harming innocent citizens and diverting scarce resources away
from the true victims.

We are asking each and every person who reads this Alert to participate in
DV Awareness Month. You can attend one of the events sponsored by your state
domestic violence coalition – see listing of coalitions at

Or you can set up your own event, whether it’s an information table at a
local library, presentation to local police, press release, radio interview,
or whatever!

To assist your efforts, we’ve developed:

  a.. A 2-page Analysis of the Issues:
  b.. A 1-page flyer:
At the national level, several columnists have agreed to write articles on
the issue, and we will be holding a major lobbying event in Washington DC.

RADAR would like to have DV Awareness Month activities in every state around
the country. After you have your activity, event, or program, please send us
an email and let us know how it went: dvam2…

As we approach the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act in
2010, it’s critical that every American hear the message, "Restore Civil
Rights to the Violence Against Women Act."

"A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it’s the
only thing that ever has."
– Margaret Mead

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Name the jew

I know! I know! It’s called joo! They caught joo, and it made them think race-mixing was ok… poor bastards. Watch for the symptoms of joo now that it has nearly fully infected them. They include incessant violent behavior, the inclusion of the terms "muh dik" and "muhfugga" in every sentence, the inability to wear clothes that fit, the need to have one hand on their genitals at all times, speaking in an ever more primitive "language" that they don’t even understand themselves, the state of mind that they are better than the white man and that everything "be rayciss", "building/living" in a house made from their own feces, and finally death by AIDs/another std. Drug addiction and living on welfare/foodstamps have been noticed in most cases, but we don’t include them because they be rayciss. Did i mention it be highly cuntageis?

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Everyone Lives through History, We Just don't Realize It.…

by zed on September 25

.until we have.

These are exciting times for men.

I know that statement will cause some people to snort and roll their eyes
and start to think of all kinds of reasons that it is just plain crazy.
There is a lot of gloom and doom being circulated about men and boys these
days – "The Decline of Males", "The End of Men", the cackling of the pecking
hens that men are "obsolete"  because some scientist has claimed to be able
to produce sperm in a lab. Most of it comes from the necrotic husk of the
has-been lame-stream media. Too much of it comes from men themselves.

I don’t buy it – any of it.

I think I’m the oldest contributor here. I have lived through what many of
the  contributors here (and probably most of the readers) view as history
and know of only through the same manner that they know of Ancient Greece,
or the World Wars of the 20th century – from something they read or someone
told them. The 1960s may not seem as remote as an ancient civilization, but
from the perspective of a  participant-observer, I can tell you that a lot
of what has been said and is being said about life 50 years ago is 190 proof
horse manure.

Men’s lives in the 1950s and before were not all about the much mythologized
"male power and privilege," nor were woman anywhere near as "oppressed" as
has been claimed. History is always revisionist, and the revision is always
done by the victor. In considering the 2nd half of the 20th century, the
ideology of feminism was clearly the victor.

But, other than the ability to dictate how things are spoken about, and what
things can be said and what can’t, what did they "win." I think the real
answer turns out to be "nothing", except perhaps the booby prize. See, men’s
lives for most of history have been not about "power and privilege", but
rather about bone crushing and soul destroying work, huge responsibilities,
and disposability.

There has been much buzz about the internet recently about the finding that
women’s happiness has actually declined during the past 40 years that they
have been "winning", becoming "liberated", and pursuing "having it all" –
both in absolute terms, and relative to men. At the same time, men’s
happiness has increased – both in absolute terms and relative to women.

Now, let me say that again, and really let it sink in – men today are
happier than men were 40 years ago, and women are less happy. Lots of people
have analyzed the hows and whys of that to the level of terminal boredom,
but that one simple fact stands alone – men today, on the average and in the
aggregate, are happier than their fathers and grandfathers were.


Well, it’s really pretty simple – men’s lives today are simply better than
the lives their fathers, and grandfathers, and great-grandfathers, and all
the men in history who lived and died before them. Life for men, in general,
has never been better.

"What??!?!" you say. "How could that be?!!?! It’s just not so! The feminists
have told me!"

One of the better musical poets of my generation, Bruce Springsteen, summed
up very well what the lives of average men used to be like not very long
ago, in his powerful song, "The River."

"I come from down in the valley
where mister when you’re young
They bring you up to do like your daddy done."

Mens’ lives were incredibly constrained. What your "daddy done" was most
likely what you would end up doing, and your son, and his son. For the
college educated and middle class, this usually took the form of some sort
of business, mercantile, management, or professional white collar job. For
the working class, it meant –

"Then I got Mary pregnant
and man that was all she wrote
And for my nineteenth birthday
I got a union card and a wedding coat"

A white collar boy/man might marry Sally instead of Mary, and a get
clerkship in his father’s law office instead of a union card, but both
classes of men had their life script handed to them about the end of their
teens. And, all classes of men were expected to spend the vast majority of
their waking lives working for someone else in order to live up to the
protector/provider role which was most men’s alternative to being social
non-entities. In those days, the only roles which gave men any social
validity at all were husband, father, and wealthy man. In order for a single
man to have any social acceptance at all, he damn well better be wealthy.

Well, fast forward 50 years and we find that men have far more freedom and
flexibility than any group of men has ever had in the history of the world.
They can now choose to be husbands, and/or fathers, or anything else, and
the social pressure and stigma which used to force the vast majority of men
into early marriage (and often early graves) and the role of a specialized
beast of burden bred for the specific purpose of dragging around an
emotionally and financially dependent wife and family is simply no longer

Certainly, some men might wish to continue to choose those roles for their
lives.  And the social Luddites, who fear and resist change, may want to try
to keep men trapped in those old roles. But, as women’s roles have changed,
the system which gave men only one set of choices has changed whether people
wanted it to or not.

Men may choose to be husbands and fathers. Or not. They can choose to be
travelers, or explorers, or scholars, or X-box players. Or not. They can be
househusbands, assuming they can find a breadwinning wife and are willing to
deal with the residual social stigma toward a man who does not live up to
the traditional roles. But, women have blazed the way in breaking down those
old roles and in their place have left men a world of opportunities limited
only by their own imaginations.

The real challenges confronting men these days are the topics Novaseeker and
Prime have recently written about – defining core masculine values by which
men define
themselves. For too long men have been allowing women to define us – either
in the negative, by giving a us a list of things they don’t like about us,
or by  demanding that we become more like them. Some men are comfortable
with becoming more like women, and we will see how women really end up
liking them once the do.

But, for the rest of us, who have never had any desire to be women, we now
have the opportunity to completely define for ourselves what sort of
masculinity will serve us, and those we love, best in the coming years.

We men, right now, are living through history. To most of us, it just seems
like our lives. But, as time passes our lives of today will become our
context of tomorrow. And, our choices of today will shape the world that we
and our children will live in tomorrow. And, in far less time than they can
imagine, young men of today will have become the "older generation" of
tomorrow and find to their surprise that those who came after them are now
judging them based on the present they created for those next generations.

Instead of watching our feet, and looking behind us, and castigating the
boomers for their mistakes, our best future lies in reclaiming our
authenticity from those aspects of the culture which have become toxic. We
need to do what the younger men here have started to do and realize that we
no longer have sustainable values handed to us – as previous generations of
men did – and that we must now create them. We can seize the day and take
the best from the past ideals of masculinity, reclaim them from the dishonor
which has fallen on them, and at the same time shed the worst aspects which
have been the source of much of that dishonor.

More than at any other time in history, we have the ability to define not
just our own presents, but our futures and the futures of those we care

Yes, indeed, these are exciting times for men.

We are confronted with insurmountable opportunities.

Tagged as: the future

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Paedophile fears are 'driving male teachers from primary schools'…

By Sarah Harris
Last updated at 9:26 AM on 25th September 2009

More than a quarter of state primary schools have no male teachers, partly
because they have been deterred from working with young children for fear of
being labelled paedophiles, an expert claims.

The result is that thousands of boys are being taught solely by women and
have no educational male role models.

The trend is fuelling concerns that a generation of boys is growing up
without an authoritative male figure in their lives. —

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Re: Did Jake Roberts really invent the Expalliamus spell?

"Roger Ramon" <rogerra…> wrote in message…

- — -

>I just have to say that it’s a shame that The Snake is more known for
> his drunken antics and everything he did outside of the ring then in it.
> Jake next to Randy Savage are 2 of my fav wrestlers ever. It’s sad that
> people overlook that when Jake was in his prime there was almost no one
> that could touch him. He had a great look, a dark persona, great on the
> mic (probably one of the best ever), and he was good int he ring, not to
> mention having the snake as a gimmick was a great idea, it was a great
> way to get him over. Jake had some great matches with pretty much
> anybody, from Stemboat, Dibiase, Macho Man, etc. Anyway, according to
> Jake’s dvd he invented the DDT by accident because his opponent stepped
> on his foot and while in a headlock and they both fell back. But i have
> heard that some have disputed this. Some have said that other wrestlers
> did the ddt before Jake, but yet there has been little to no proof to
> show that. So did Jake really invent the DDT? If he didn’t then why has
> so many old timers claimed he did? So who really invented the DDT?

Wizard did it.

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Do NOT shelter under an overpass during a tornado

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The Sexual Liberation of Women

If you listen to feminists droning on about the contraceptive pill and
explaining how it was that women quickly ‘liberated’ themselves sexually
when they were able to get their hands on it, thus reducing their ultimate
dependence on men, you might be forgiven for thinking that feminists had
actually invented the thing.

They hadn’t. Feminists had nothing to do with it.

It was manufactured by a man – a medical scientist. And his work was mostly
based upon the work of the other male scientists who went before him.

You would also be led to believe by feminist disinformation that men, in
their desperate desire to keep women on the leash, were totally opposed to
the pill. And feminists would further like to persuade you that they,
themselves, wrestled politically, and successfully, with the male gender, in
order to force men into accepting the pill as a valid means of
contraception; a means which gave women the ‘upper hand’.

This is complete and utter rubbish.

I was actually a young man when ‘the pill’ came on to the market, and I can
you without reservation that it was men (like me) who couldn’t wait to get
their hands on the thing – or, more accurately, who couldn’t wait to get
their women to swallow it.

But, as is usual, the feminists have lied and deceived over this issue –
and, as is customary, they mostly distort our History in such a way as to
portray the men of the past as the most wicked oppressors of women.

Thus, they would also claim, for example, that only when feminists
themselves arrived on the scene to protect women from the tyrannical abuse
of male power were women truly ‘liberated’ from the oppression of men.

Well, as someone who was sexually active around the time that the pill
became available in the UK, here is what the situation was really like in
those days.

I remember very clearly the arrival of histrionic groups of hostile,
irrational women calling themselves ‘feminists’ in the very late 1960′s and
the early 1970′s.

They seemed to appear from nowhere.

‘Normal’ feminists (such as the likes of Erin Pizzey) had been around for
some time, and we were accustomed to them. They articulated a female point
of view. They were cuddly, loving, very feminine, and they danced around
with bare feet, snogging the boys and leading them astray in the grass.

Make love, not war!

These ‘new’ feminists, however, seemed more like a snarling lesbian
military. They barked. They screeched. They growled. And they seemed to do
little but taunt and deride men in the most appallingly derogatory manner.

Almost anything to do with men was denounced as unwholesome, and their sole
purpose really seemed to be nothing more than to inject male hatred into our
culture and to manufacture, from thin air, spurious and unjustified
accusations in order, so it seemed, to excuse an openly aggressive attitude
toward men.

The nation mostly looked upon these women with disdain, and hoped that they
would go away.

Regretfully, they didn’t.

They stayed.

By the very late 60′s women were indeed being ‘liberated’ from the kitchen,
partly thanks to the advent of the pill, but mostly due to the arrival of
many other technologies for the average home (such as the car! – and the
washing machine) – just about all of which were created by men.

But men were also being liberated by virtue of the fact that the pill
allowed them far greater freedom with regard to their own sexual activities.

When his girlfriend was on the pill, the man stood far less chance of being
responsible for a pregnancy which, in those days, virtually forced him into

Indeed, the young men of the 60s, and those who went before them, seemed to
be permanently pestered by their girlfriends into discussing an early
marriage whenever they opened their legs wider than nine degrees.

However, it is fair to say that, for most girls, in those days, marriage was
actually the best way of escaping from their homes and liberating themselves
from the restrictions of their parents. Marriage was considered by young
women to be the best route to their own freedoms – not (as feminists would
tell you) to one of lifelong oppression by the men whom they wished to

And so, I’ll give you sex if you give me marriage, summed up much of the
gender bargaining prior to the advent of the pill.

(The same sort of thing is true today. But, whereas, in those days, living
together ‘in sin’ (i.e. unmarried) was not considered appropriate by almost
anyone, today, not only is such a thing acceptable, it is almost mandatory.)

If you listen to feminists, however, you’ll be given the impression that
young men could hardly wait to entrap prospective females into marriage, for
their own domineering purposes, and that getting a wife was a priority that
was always on their minds.

This is a preposterous notion. And anyone who knows anything about young men
knows full well that their carnal desires have very little to do with
establishing permanent, long-term, monogamous relationships.

Indeed, it was the female gender that almost always equated sex with
marriage, not the men. This is the TRUTH of the matter.

Women wanted marriage after sex – and often before it – whereas men, most
usually, did not.

Marriage was a high priority for women. And so if feminists are right about
marriage being a means whereby men oppress women, then it is clearly the
case that the women were actually begging to be oppressed!

Also, and most importantly for the lustful young man, the pill dispensed
with the need to wear desensitising condoms and/or from having to withdraw
his penis just at the point when he really wanted it there.

The pill was an absolute godsend to the actively sexual male.

And to say that women quickly saw the pill as some sort of ‘liberating’
medical technology is to distort the truth completely. If anything, they saw
the pill as giving their male partners license to fool around with other
females without having to risk any consequences – particularly the one of
being found out!

Ask any man who was sexually active at the time which gender was more keen
to use the pill, and you will soon discover that it was men, rather than
women, who were MUCH more enthusiastic for the pill to be used.

In most cases, women had to be pressurised by their men into going on the
pill. It was not something that women were eager to do. Indeed, for many of
the earlier years, finding a young woman who was actually on the pill was
tantamount to winning the lottery.

And, "Is she on the pill? Is she on the pill?" was just about the very first
question that young men would want to know about your new girlfriend.

Most women, however, were simply too ‘ashamed’ to use the pill. They saw its
use as a ‘sign of promiscuity’ – and so did many others. They were likely to
be called ‘sluts’ by their very own mothers and their girlfriends if they
were discovered to be ‘on the pill’, and men often, therefore, had a hard
time convincing their female partners that the pill was, in fact, a ‘good

And those women who eventually grew brave enough to use the pill often hid
the fact that they did.

Another reason that ordinary women remained reluctant to use the pill was
because it was being so heavily advocated by feminists!

The last thing that most women in the early 70s wanted to do was to
associate themselves in any way with a group of hostile unfeminine
unattractive women who squawked and shrieked and poured nothing but venom
upon their menfolk.

It certainly wasn’t women or feminists who succeeded in encouraging women to
use the pill to liberate themselves sexually. It was men who eventually
persuaded their women to use the pill for the sake of their own sexual

Of course it was.

It has always been the case that men make up the gender wanting lots more
sex, and it is women who tend to restrain it.

As the years went by, the pill became more and more acceptable to women.

It was also true that those women who were known to be on the pill were a
lot more sought after by men. This is not surprising, for the same is true
today. Women, therefore, began to go on the pill in order to make themselves
more ‘available’ and, hence, more attractive.

I find it astonishing that feminists have, for so long, been able to get
away with the lie that, somehow, they were the ones who led the way forward
when it came to liberating women sexually. Nothing could be further from the
truth. If anything, feminists actually retarded the sexual liberation of
women because most women simply did not want to be seen to be like them.

Feminists repelled them.

And the vast majority of women, like the men, saw the ‘new’ feminists as
unattractive, cold, hostile and emotionally ‘genderless’.

Younger women today have been indoctrinated with the untruths that they were
sexually liberated by feminists. The truth is that men sexually liberated
themselves when they created and manufactured the pill, and, in doing so,
they liberated those very women with whom they wanted to have sex.

And exactly the same happens today. It is young men who ‘persuade’ and
cajole young women into liberating themselves sexually. It is young men who
tempt and harass young women into performing.

Indeed, so forceful are some of these young men in their endeavours, that
they end up in a whole lot of trouble!

And some even end up in prison.

It is absurd to believe that misandric feminists who can’t get along with
men AT ALL actually encouraged women to become more sexually involved with

Think about it. If feminists had truly had their way, young women would have
isolated themselves in women-only covens shouting abuse at the men who
passed by.

It’s pretty much what they do today.

And it is ludicrous to believe that the young men sat by, twiddling their
knobs, waiting patiently for feminists to get

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Ha! GORBACHEV, Not Reagan, Ended The COLD WAR! Sorry, All You Ronnie-Rump-Rimmers!

For years, people in the know knew that it wasn’t Ronald "Adult
Diapers" Reagan who brought the Soviet Union to its knees.  But
Reaganites and Bush-Boosters propounded and perpetuated the canard
that Ron’s ‘Star Wars’ fantasy caused the exasperated Ruskies to toss
in the towel.

Of course, designers and engineers knew that Star Wars would never
work as announced — but that it WOULD fill defense contractors’
coffers with billions of tax-dollars.  That was and is the Republican

Now, thankfully, and at last, we can dump another Repug false fairy
tale into the trash-heap of history!

"How Gorbachev Slowed the Arms Race"

"Tale More Complex Than Reagan’s Will"

By David E. Hoffman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, September 21, 2009

Adapted from "The Dead Hand: The Untold Story of the Cold War Arms
Race and Its Dangerous Legacy," published this week by Doubleday.

In his second inaugural speech, delivered in January 1985, President
Ronald Reagan offered a high-flying description of his Strategic
Defense Initiative, calling it a global shield to "render nuclear
weapons obsolete" by destroying the warheads before they could reach
their targets.

Later, the assertion was often made that Reagan’s vision had
bankrupted the Soviet Union — "the final straw for the Evil Empire,"
as former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher once put it.

Documents from inside the Kremlin during the late 1980s — as well as
diaries, memoirs, records of Politburo discussions and interviews with
key participants — tell a more complex story about one of the Cold
War’s most important turning points. The evidence shows that Reagan’s
dream of a global shield was not the driving force that reversed the
arms race. Rather, the agent of change was Soviet leader Mikhail
Gorbachev. He decided not to compete with Reagan on missile defense,
and at the same time he was waging a fierce internal struggle against
his own military-industrial complex to turn back the Cold War arms

Gorbachev had concluded that the sprawling Soviet defense
establishment — the army, navy, air force, strategic rocket forces,
air defense forces, and all the institutes, design bureaus and
factories that supported them — was a monumental burden on the
country. "Defense spending was bleeding the other branches of the
economy dry," he recalled. The extent of the bleeding was concealed by
such deep secrecy that even Gorbachev said he had trouble obtaining
accurate information.

President Obama’s decision last week to scale back plans for a
European long-range missile defense system rekindled arguments about
missile defense systems and their feasibility that date to the Reagan-
Gorbachev era and even earlier. Reagan envisioned a space-based global
umbrella, and the European shield was ground-based and regional, but
the two ideas shared a common difficulty: precision. Was it possible
to destroy one fleet of missiles with another, to "hit a bullet with a

Fresh details about Gorbachev’s campaign against Reagan’s version of
missile defense have emerged from internal memos and private notes
kept by Vitaly Katayev, who served for more than 17 years in the
Defense Department of the Central Committee of the Soviet Communist
Party, working under the Politburo member responsible for the Soviet
defense industry.

Katayev’s notes disclose that in the early summer of 1985, just months
after Gorbachev took power as Communist Party general secretary, the
directors, designers and constructors of satellites, space boosters
and lasers produced a colossal new plan to build a Soviet missile
defense system. The idea was to match Reagan’s ambitions, to build
their own "Star Wars," as Reagan’s dream had been dubbed. If Gorbachev
went along, this would prolong the arms race and extend it into outer

Katayev calculated that the plans involved 137 projects in design and
testing, 34 projects in scientific research, 115 in fundamental
science. Cost estimates ran into the tens of billions of rubles,
enough to keep the design bureaus working full tilt. The programs,
with obscure code names such as Fundament-4, Onega E, Spiral and Skif,
went on for pages and pages in Katayev’s notebooks. Building a Soviet
version of Reagan’s shield would mean lucrative new subsidies for
these projects.

In the summer and early autumn of 1985, Yevgeny Velikhov, an avuncular
and open-minded physicist, urged Gorbachev not to do it. Velikhov had
concluded, based on earlier research, that Reagan’s idea could not
work. He proposed that Gorbachev abandon the conventional Cold War
approach of matching what Reagan was doing, and argued instead for an
"asymmetrical" response, one that would answer Reagan but not be the

One asymmetrical option: Send thousands of warheads and missiles to
overwhelm the U.S. shield. To destroy such a threat, a defense system
would have to target and hit speeding points almost perfectly and
simultaneously. Inevitably, some Soviet missiles would get through.

Gorbachev alluded to this particular asymmetrical response at the
Geneva summit in November 1985. He told Reagan that if the United
States pursued the Strategic Defense Initiative, the Soviet response
"would not be a mirror," but "a simpler, more effective system."

"We will build up to smash your shield," Gorbachev said.

Katayev’s files contain documents on hypothetical modifications to the
SS-18 intercontinental ballistic missile so it could carry 38
warheads, rather than 10. The Soviet Union was good at building
missiles, and it would be easier and cheaper to double or triple the
warheads than to create a new defense system.

Still, this was not the solution Gorbachev had in mind. He wanted to
eliminate weapons, not propagate them. Questioned about the idea
during a 2006 interview, Gorbachev was still uneasy about discussing
it. "We did have a project," he said. "But it [was] closed down. . . .
It’s a horrible project, it’s a horrible response."

He added, "What is one missile, SS-18? It’s a hundred Chernobyls. In
one missile."

* * *

There was another asymmetrical response that Gorbachev favored more.
Words were his stock in trade, and infinitely cheaper than a vast new
arms buildup. The evidence shows that he set out to talk Reagan out of
this giant defense program that the United States did not yet possess
— and that the Soviet Union would have great trouble matching — and
exchange it all for something that both leaders wanted: deep
reductions in existing nuclear arms.

There was also an important domestic component to Gorbachev’s
negotiating strategy. If he could persuade Reagan not to build Star
Wars, he would find it easier to resist the generals and the missile
designers at home. This is the route Gorbachev took at the summit in
Reykjavik, Iceland, in 1986, and after.

Without a doubt, Reagan’s dream puzzled the Soviets. As Katayev
recalled it, Soviet experts often wondered what they were missing.
"What is it being done for?" the specialists asked themselves,
according to Katayev. "In the name of what are the Americans, famous
for their pragmatism, opening their wallet for the most grandiose
project in the history of the United States when the technical and
economic risks of a crash exceed all thinkable limits?"

Reagan’s zeal for his dream led the Soviet specialists "from the very
beginning to think about the possibility of political bluff and hoax,"
Katayev said. They pondered whether it was a "Hollywood village of
veneer and cardboard."

* * *

Meanwhile, Gorbachev let some of the plans of the military designers
collapse of their own weight.

One was the space laser known as the Skif-DM, the most tangible result
of the designers’ drive to build a Soviet Star Wars.

At 9:30 p.m. on May 15, 1987, at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in
Kazakhstan, the giant Soviet space booster Energia roared into the
sky, carrying a mysterious black container labeled Polyus with the
Skif-DM inside. In fact, there was no laser; the Skif-DM was a model,
a placeholder for a future weapon. The Soviet designers had not
mastered the technology.

The Energia booster performed flawlessly. Four hundred sixty seconds
after launch, the Polyus separated from the Energia. Then something
went wrong. The Polyus was supposed to turn 180 degrees and fire
engines to push itself into higher orbit. Instead, it kept turning all
the way to 360 degrees. It shot itself back down toward Earth and flew
straight into the Pacific Ocean.

All work on Skif came to a halt. Gorbachev did not try to revive it.

One of Gorbachev’s greatest accomplishments was in the things he did
not do. He had been urged to build a Soviet Star Wars by the military-
industrial complex. He did not. He could have tried to build a massive
retaliatory force. He did not.

In the end, the Soviet system bankrupted itself — without either
superpower making nuclear weapons obsolete.…

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