Daily Archives: July 3, 2007

July 3, 2007 — Contents

TUESDAY JULY 3 CONTENTS


(1) Annals of Cold War II: The Battlefront in Cyberspace

(2) Khodorkovsky Strikes Back

(3) Rewriting Russian History

(4) Annals of Russian “Sportsmanship”

(5) Responding to an Anonymous Comment re Russia Blog

Cold War II Battlefront: It Starts in Cyberspace

The Washington Post reports:

A political battle is raging in Russian cyberspace. Opposition parties and independent media say murky forces have committed vast resources to hacking and crippling their Web sites in attacks similar to those that hit tech-savvy Estonia as the Baltic nation sparred with Russia over a Soviet war memorial. While they offer no proof, the groups all point the finger at the Kremlin, calling the electronic siege an attempt to stifle Russia’s last source of free, unfiltered information. The victims, who range from liberal democrats to ultranationalists, allege their hacker adversaries hope to harass the opposition with the approach of parliamentary elections in December and presidential elections in next March.

Some independent experts agree. “A huge information war awaits Russia before the elections,” said Oleg Panfilov of the Center for Journalism in Extreme Situations. The groups claim the attackers use vast, online networks of computers infected with malicious software — whose owners probably aren’t aware they are involved — to paralyze or erase targeted Web sites. Stanislav Belkovsky, a political analyst believed to have close ties to Kremlin insiders, said a senior associate of President Vladimir Putin is leading the cyber assault. The government denies it and insists it has nothing to do with the onslaught. The Kremlin said hackers could easily forge Internet Protocol addresses registered to government offices. Belkovsky, founder of the Moscow-based National Strategy Institute, said the Kremlin is upset that it has been unable to control the political content of online media. “The Kremlin can’t just tell their editors to remove an unwanted publication,” he said.

The attacks are similar to assaults _ sometimes a million computers-strong _ unleashed in April and early May against Web sites in Estonia. Officials there say waves of attacks crashed dozens of government, corporate and media Web sites in one of Europe’s most wired societies. The cyber warfare included computer-generated spam and so-called Distributed Denial-of-Service, or DDoS, attacks. It erupted during violent protests by ethnic Russians against the decision to move a Soviet-era Red Army monument out of downtown Tallinn, the Estonian capital. The DDoS attacks involve a flood of computers all trying to connect to a single site at the same time, overwhelming the computer server that handles the traffic. Estonian authorities claimed they traced the attacks to Kremlin IP addresses.

Outside experts say blocking this type of Web assault is difficult or impossible because the host server has no way of distinguishing between legitimate and bogus requests for access. “It doesn’t matter if the Web site itself has a lot of protection,” said Hari Balakrishnan, a computer science professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “People are not breaking into it. People are just making requests of it.”

Government security services have long been suspected of engaging in hacking. In 1999, an unidentified hacker in Moscow penetrated U.S. Defense Department computers for more than a year, copying classified naval codes and data on missile guidance systems. The Kremlin denied involvement. The Chinese government is suspected of using the Web to break into computers at the Defense Department and other U.S. agencies between 2003 and 2005, in what was dubbed Operation Titan Rain. Since 2001, Chinese “hacktivists” have organized attacks on and defaced U.S. Web sites to oppose what they call the imperialism of the United States and Japan. China has set up an extensive surveillance system to prevent its citizens from accessing online materials considered obscene or politically subversive. Russia does not filter or block Web sites, and the Internet plays a critical role as the only form of mass media over which the government has no control.

The Kremlin, either directly or indirectly, owns the three major national television networks, major radio networks, wire services and print publications. Meanwhile the remaining independent media, face growing pressure to engage in self-censorship. In March, Putin created an agency that will license broadcast, print and online media. The following month, the government banned what it considered extremist statements — such as those by pro-separatist Chechen Web sites or supporters of legalizing marijuana — and broadened the definition of extremism. The legislation covers slander or libel of a government official, but it’s up to a court decide whether it counts as extremism. The new law resulted in a string of fines, warnings and trials for Russia’s online journalists, bloggers and participants in politicized Web forums. Critics fear the Kremlin could use these and other measures to resurrect Soviet-style media monitoring and censorship.

So far, however, the Web has operated largely outside government control and has grown into the opposition’s main tool for recruiting and organizing. Garry Kasparov, the former chess champion turned opposition leader, was only half-joking when he told The Associated Press in May: “YouTube for the Russian opposition is the only way to communicate.” But reliance on the Web also makes the opposition vulnerable to hackers. The outlawed National Bolshevik party says its Web sites were repeatedly hacked between February and April, as the nationalist group used the Internet to marshal “Dissenters’ Marches” in Moscow, St. Petersburg and elsewhere. The attacks were sophisticated as well as massive, said Alexei Sochnev, who is in charge of the National Bolsheviks’ online network. “They killed the entire U.S. server that hosted us,” he said. When the attacks ended, traffic fell by about two-thirds, from 6,000 to just 2,000 visits a day. Group leaders say the crash cut attendance at opposition rallies.

Mainstream media have also come under cyber-assault, especially when they carry information likely to draw the attention of the government. Kommersant’s Web editor, Pavel Chernikov, said the major daily newspaper’s site was attacked in early May. He called it retaliation for publishing a transcript of the interrogation of Boris Berezovsky — a self-exiled oligarch who lives in London — by Russian investigators. While British prosecutors have identified a former KGB agent living in Moscow as the prime suspect in the murder of Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko, Russian authorities have focused on Berezovsky, Putin’s political foe. On the same morning, the Web site of Ekho Moskvy, a liberal Moscow radio station where criticism of Kremlin policies can often be heard, was brought down by a DDoS attack.

Similar tactics have frequently been used by Western hackers — in 2000, the Web sites of CNN, Yahoo! and eBay were paralyzed by online blackmailers. Massive attacks in 2002 and February 2007 attempted to disable the Internet itself. The United States — especially the government sector — was the target of more than a half of DDoS attacks worldwide, according to Symantec. The FBI recently arrested several DDoS hackers as part of “Operation Bot Roast” sting. Nothing of the kind is happening in Russia. Panfilov of the Center for Journalism in Extreme Situations said Russian opposition Web sites will find themselves under increasing pressure as election season heats up. “There will be purges of online publications, shutdowns or takeovers of last independent media outlets and strong pressure on Web users,” he said.

Khodorkovsky Strikes Back!

Business Week reports:

Lawyers for jailed oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky filed a lawsuit Monday against two state prosecutors, accusing them of ignoring a court decision to transfer him from a Siberian prison camp to Moscow amid a new money-laundering investigation. Lawyer Yuri Shmidt said deputy chief prosecutor Viktor Grin and prosecutor Salavat Karimov had failed to comply with a Moscow court ruling to transfer Khodorkovsky to the capital amid a new investigation into theft and money laundering charges against him. “The prosecutors’ insolence has gone beyond all limits,” Shmidt told journalists Monday. The Prosecutor General’s Office, where the suit was lodged, declined immediate comment. Khodorkovsky, once Russia’s richest man, was arrested in 2003 in a tax inquiry that eventually put the oil company he founded, OAO Yukos, into state hands. He was convicted of fraud and tax evasion, and has been serving an eight-year sentence in the Siberian city of Chita, about 3,000 miles east of Moscow. In February, prosecutors filed new charges, accusing Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev of stealing property worth $34.3 billion from Yukos subsidiaries. In March, Moscow’s Basmanny District Court overturned a prosecutors’ decision to base the new investigation in Chita, and ordered the transfer to Moscow of Khodorkovsky and his business partner Lebedev, who faces similar charges. That decision was upheld in April, but Khodorkovsky was never transferred. Khodorkovsky has denied the new charges against him, calling the case a “shameful farce.” His legal team has long insisted the company’s business structure was legal and meticulously audited by foreign consultants to meet international standards. The trial of Khodorkovsky was widely seen as Kremlin-driven punishment for his challenging President Vladimir Putin.

Rewriting Russian History

Writing on Strategy Page, uber-blogger James Dunnigan (pictured, left) explains how the neo-Soviet Union is picking up right where the USSR left off:

Russians have been rewriting their own history, more so than most nations, for a long time. The most recent example is their current attitude towards the Cold War, how it ended, and the legacy of 70 years of communist tyranny. Because most Russians, especially the leaders, have not accepted the Soviet Union as a truly evil institution, it’s possible for many Russians to blame the collapse of the Soviet Union, and end of the Cold War, on the missteps of Soviet leaders, especially the last head of the Soviet empire, Mikhail Gorbachev. However, most Russians go with the, “we just got tired of the incompetent Soviet bureaucrats and shed them” explanation. Either way, most Russians have not come to terms with no longer being one of the world’s two superpowers.

Russia today is a much diminished version of the Soviet Union. The population of 140 million is shrinking because of a plunging birth rate, and falling life expectancy. The Russian GDP, at $900 billion, is less than seven percent of the United States (which has more than twice as many people). That, however, is an improvement. In the early 1990s, when economists and accountants got the first good look at the Russian economy since the early 20th century, it was found that the Russian GDP was about four percent of the U.S. GDP. Add back all the lost components of the Soviet Union, and you still don’t have a GDP amounting to more than six percent of the American one. How did the Soviet Union achieve superpower status on such a thin economic base? They did it mostly with illusion, and an excessive arms budget that ruined the economy. Starting in the 1960s, the military got a priority on government spending, and permission to build an industrial complex that dominated the entire economy. This was part of a political deal, to keep one faction of the Communist Party in power.

With a GDP more than ten times the size of the Soviet Unions, the U.S. could spend five percent of GDP on defense, and far outspend the Soviet Union. Worse yet, Soviet accounting practices, like so much else they did, were opaque and self-delusional. It wasn’t until after the Soviet Union collapsed that anyone could get an idea of how large the Soviet defense budgets were, and it turned out they were less than half the size of the American ones. Suddenly, a lot of Soviet military policies made sense. Russia bought lots of weapons, but did not have the money to maintain them, or even allow the troops to train with them. That was known, and in light of how the Soviet defense budget was set up, was understandable, and inevitable.

The really bad news is, most Russians are still not aware of how screwed up their Soviet era military was. There are two reasons for this. First, Russians take for granted how their armed forces operates. Russians complain about the brutality and incompetence in the military, but that’s all they’ve ever known. Second, Russians remember fondly that their ramshackle armed forces defeated the Germans during World War II. What the Russians play down is how much the Germans lost World War II in Russia, rather than being beaten. The Germans made a lot of serious mistakes during the war, while the Russians got their act together. What Russians fail to realize is that the Soviet Union was an accidental, and largely imaginary, superpower. Russia has long employed large scale deception, and the Soviet Union continued this on a sustained basis. Military weaknesses (poor training and readiness) were hidden, and strengths (sheer number of weapons and troops) emphasized. But as was seen many times (from Budapest in 1956, to Chechnya in 1994), the Soviet military system produced little in the way of real military power. Soviet weapons, as impressive as they appeared to be, always came out a distant second when they were used against Western ones. The main thing that kept the Soviet military reputation going was the need of Western militaries to make the Soviet Union look strong, in order to justify high Western military budgets. The one effective weapon the Soviets did have were their nuclear armed ballistic missiles. Better maintained than the rest of the military, enough of this missile fleet would work, if used, to devastate Western nations. Russia still has a large part of that nuclear arsenal. But that does not make Russians feel like a superpower. That’s because Russia no longer has the huge fleet, air force and army. And that’s because this huge force was all an expensive illusion, which was disbanded in the 1990s, once it was obvious what a waste it all was. But the big thing that’s missing is the size of the Soviet Union. Over half the population of the Soviet Union were not Russian, and did not want to be part of the Soviet Union. Most of these people got their wish in 1991, when the Soviet Union came apart. Many Russians want to undo that, but they cannot. It took Russia over four centuries to build that empire, and the inept Soviet Bureaucrats a few weeks to lose it all. An increasing number of Russians want it back, but are unwilling to confront how they lost it in the first place, or why rebuilding the empire is an uncertain and dangerous enterprise. This is all very dangerous stuff.

Annals of Russian "Sportsmanship"

When Maria Sharapova was getting brutally whipped by American Lindsey Davenport in the semi-finals of the 2004 Wimbledon and it started to rain, the match was immediately stopped. After the delay, Davenport was a different player, and Sharapova prevailed. But what happens when Maria is winning? The Herald Sun reports:

Wet weather returned to Wimbledon yesterday morning as Sugiyama faced three match points against world No. 2 Sharapova’s serve. The 26th seed complained bitterly to American umpire Lynn Welch that court one had become too wet after drizzle turned to rain. But after briefly inspecting the surface and glancing at an impatient Sharapova – who was standing ready to serve at the baseline – Welch directed the players to continue. By the time Sharapova clinched a 6-3 6-3 victory two minutes later, ground staff were milling around the court ready to cover it. Sugiyama bluntly made her feelings clear to Welch after the match as play was halted on all other courts.

The only other player to advance on a dismal day was defending champion and No. 4 seed Amelie Mauresmo. The Frenchwoman pounded Italian Mara Santangelo 6-2 6-1, leaving Sugiyama to wonder if she had fallen victim to Wimbledon’s star syndrome. “It was very wet at the end,” said Sugiyama, who is renowned for her fairness. “The last two games were really slippery. So I was a bit concerned about the condition. Right before the match point, actually, it start to rain. Of course, it’s not easy to stop right there, on match point. But at the same time I didn’t want to like give it away because if it’s not easy to run, it seems like giving up, so I didn’t want it. I just told them that it’s too slippery. But she (Welch) like touched the grass, it was not so wet for her, so I couldn’t say anything. I just thought it was too wet to play. It’s her (Welch’s) decision. It’s their (Welch and Sharapova’s) decision, actually. I couldn’t really refuse to play,” the No. 26 seed said.

Sharapova denied she had influenced Welch’s judgement. “I was starting to get agitated,” the Russian said. “I saw the rain in the middle of the second set. “I knew if it keeps going, obviously the grass is going to get wet. I didn’t want it to be too dangerous to play out there. But it worked out well in the end. I didn’t really feel that it was too slippery.” Sharapova blasted a linesman for wearing sunglasses in the gloom, admitting she was beginning to choke in the last game amid a flurry of over-rules and poor calls. “It’s just a weird situation because you know the rain is coming,” Sharapova said. “It’s the third call that the guy got wrong. You look at him and he’s wearing sunglasses – he loses all credibility at that point. It’s a little bit of a tense moment. That’s why I was quite pleased to finish it.”

If you thought this type of behavior was limited to Shamapova, think again. The men (who’ve never won the Wimbledon title and obviously have sour grapes) are ven worse. Classic Russian thugs. Check out the boorish comments of Russia’s two leading men, from The Age:

RUSSIA’S two highest-ranked male players have attacked the running of the most prestigious tournament in tennis. Nikolay Davydenko, a man not renowned for his personality or flair, described Wimbledon as the world’s most boring tournament. Apparently cranky at officials refusing to clear the backlog of rain-affected matches by playing on middle Sunday — the traditional rest day — Davydenko said there was no entertainment for players and that the past week had been a big yawn. “Wimbledon is the world’s most boring tournament,” Davydenko told the Sovietsky Sport newspaper. “There’s hardly anything to do apart from tennis. You constantly find yourself yawning. There’s no entertainment here.” Davydenko’s Davis Cup teammate, Marat Safin, vented his annoyance at the price of the food at the All England Club. “A plate of spaghetti costs $US25 ($A30),” he said. “Where else do you see such outrageous prices? “It’s definitely not the Cipriani of New York. That’s one of the best restaurants in New York, and I could have great pasta there for $20,” Safin said. “And we could certainly get a better pasta in Russia for 20 bucks.” Safin didn’t stop at the spaghetti. The security guards irked the big Russian, too, even before security at the championships was increased following the attempted car bombings in London and Glasgow. “The only thing they do is search your bags and all your pockets about 300 times a day,” Safin said before he was knocked out in the third round by defending champion Roger Federer. Davydenko, the world No. 4, has never been at ease on the slick lawns at Wimbledon, failing to progress beyond the second round in his five previous visits but he made a breakthrough this year to reach the last 32 for the first time after coming from two sets down to beat Australia’s Chris Guccione. Despite his whingeing, Davydenko said things could have been worse — he could be staying in the suburb of Wimbledon. “We’re staying in the city centre, so it’s a bit better,” he said. “If we rented a house near Wimbledon, it would have been a total bore. There’s absolutely nothing to do besides tennis.” Earlier this year, Davydenko slammed the Sydney International, labelling it a small tournament that no one cared about. The 26-year-old joined a multitude of big names to withdraw from the Australian Open lead-up event, supposedly through injury. When asked why he thought so many players were pulling out, Davydenko said: “Because it’s a small tournament. “So I don’t think nobody cares about here.”

You Can’t Get Stupider than Russia Blog and its Readers: LR’s Response to Anonymous Unpublished Comment

Ignoring our rules, someone left a comment titled “anonymous” on our most recent post about Russia Blog, seeking to defend that malignant institution of lies and deception. For this reason, and because Russia Blog doesn’t publish comments from us, this pathetic “comment” won’t be published. However, we feel compelled to respond to its absurdly dishonest claims since they undoubtedly represent some of the lies being told about us within the warren-like dark places of the Russophile minions.

This commenter stated: “You have fewer published comments than Russia Blog.” It’s quite clear that this commenter, in the classic style of the Russophile idiot, made no actual attempt to count the number of comments the two blogs have received since he/she failed to state the numbers. Apparently, he/she thought we wouldn’t do so. We have, and we admit we’re a bit surprised by the results. In the month of June 2007, this blog received 430 comments. During that same period, Russia Blog had just 90 comments — over four times fewer than LR had. Russia Blog generated 34 posts during June and nearly a quarter of them (eight) received zero comments, while an additional eight received only one comment (for a total of nearly half Russia Blog’s posts generating one or zero comments). Only ten posts (less than a third) had more than two comments. Once again, the mendacious lies from the animals at Russia Blog and their crazed “readers” is exposed as a pathetic sham. Note that this doesn’t even count the comments received by LR on the Publius Pundit blog, which if included would make the picture even more overwhelmingly lopsided. Our most-commented-upon post of the month, about Nashi, had almost twice as many comments (27) as Russia Blog’s most-commented-upon post (15) about their extremist wacko leader’s weird little trip to Russia (after which he purports to be an expert).

Now, let’s be clear: La Russophobe has never said she wishes to attract comments, has never bragged about getting them, nor has she ever said that the number of comments a blog receives is an indicia of its quality. The purpose of this blog is to record history, not serve as a discussion forum, but we are happy to allow comments within reasonable limits. Comments are no part of the LR index (though given the above data, maybe they should be; if they were, the gap between LR and Russia Blog would grow even wider). Many fine blogs don’t even allow comments, or actively discourage them, or simply don’t receive them for whatever reason (Robert Amsterdam and David McDuff leap to mind). The only reason we even mention this issue is because of the SPAM-like comment we’ve received from this Russophile slob, perhaps (indeed, probably) from the publishers of Russia Blog itself in disguise . What we’ve said is that the ridiculously small number of comments received by Russia Blog belies its claimed level of traffic, indicating that SPAM technology is being used to generate artificial traffic. The same can be said of the puny number of links from other blogs that Russia Blog has received when compared to its alleged monumental traffic (with far less traffic, for instance, Robert Amsterdam generates far more Technorati links per month than does Russia Blog). Our point is simply this: Russia Blog claims to have thousands of visitors every day. If they are legitimate visitors, they should be leaving far more comments than they do (unless of course Russia Blog is simply censoring a mountain of criticism, which we admit is quite possible). That’s all we’ve ever said, and we wouldn’t expect the illiterate publishers of Russia Blog (or their insane cohorts) to understand.

The moronic and egregiously dishonest anonymous commenter also stated: “Your method of measuring traffic, based on Technorati tags from blogs, is a joke.” Our method of measuring traffic has nothing whatsoever to do with Technorati. We rely on Alexa, the most respected source of information on blog traffic, for that data, and we have repeatedly acknowledged that Alexa shows Russia Blog has a higher level of traffic than any other Russia blog (the crudely dishonest, thug-like commenter chose to ignore that fact). We use Technorati information, unquestionably the leading source in the blogosphere, for data on links from other blogs, as do many substantial corporations who based investment decisions on Technorati data. La Russphobe far exceeds Russia Blog in Technorati links per month of existence and Technorati favorites, two more indications that its traffic is a sham. But the best indication of all of the hollowness of Russia Blog’s traffic claims is that they are not transparent. Russia Blog has never provided any data whatsoever to document its claims despite specific requests that it do so, and it doesn’t even have a public counter. We blend Technorati and Alexa data so that a range of criteria, fair for all blogs, is utilized — and when we do, we come out on top. Naturally, that’s much to the chagrin of the scum-sucking parasites at Russia Blogl, and they respond in the only way they can — with bile.

And to top it all off, this asinine wacko actually had the audacity to complain that “nobody knows who you are” (referring to LR). This from a little microbe who couldn’t even think of a name for himself, much less create a blog to stand behind it. This is yet one more indication of the nature of the opponent we are struggling with, an opponent who thinks nothing of telling the most ridiculous lies in order to get what it wants, just like the old USSR used to do. In that way, it’s a perfect embodiment of neo-Soviet Russia — utter failure, embarassing to anyone who sees it.

To this commenter we say: We doubt you have the guts to stand behind your outrageous statements, but if you do then we demand an apology for your recklessly false statements. However, we greatly appreciate the confirmation of the fundamentally dishonest nature of both Russia Blog and its readers.

You Can’t Get Stupider than Russia Blog and its Readers: LR’s Response to Anonymous Unpublished Comment

Ignoring our rules, someone left a comment titled “anonymous” on our most recent post about Russia Blog, seeking to defend that malignant institution of lies and deception. For this reason, and because Russia Blog doesn’t publish comments from us, this pathetic “comment” won’t be published. However, we feel compelled to respond to its absurdly dishonest claims since they undoubtedly represent some of the lies being told about us within the warren-like dark places of the Russophile minions.

This commenter stated: “You have fewer published comments than Russia Blog.” It’s quite clear that this commenter, in the classic style of the Russophile idiot, made no actual attempt to count the number of comments the two blogs have received since he/she failed to state the numbers. Apparently, he/she thought we wouldn’t do so. We have, and we admit we’re a bit surprised by the results. In the month of June 2007, this blog received 430 comments. During that same period, Russia Blog had just 90 comments — over four times fewer than LR had. Russia Blog generated 34 posts during June and nearly a quarter of them (eight) received zero comments, while an additional eight received only one comment (for a total of nearly half Russia Blog’s posts generating one or zero comments). Only ten posts (less than a third) had more than two comments. Once again, the mendacious lies from the animals at Russia Blog and their crazed “readers” is exposed as a pathetic sham. Note that this doesn’t even count the comments received by LR on the Publius Pundit blog, which if included would make the picture even more overwhelmingly lopsided. Our most-commented-upon post of the month, about Nashi, had almost twice as many comments (27) as Russia Blog’s most-commented-upon post (15) about their extremist wacko leader’s weird little trip to Russia (after which he purports to be an expert).

Now, let’s be clear: La Russophobe has never said she wishes to attract comments, has never bragged about getting them, nor has she ever said that the number of comments a blog receives is an indicia of its quality. The purpose of this blog is to record history, not serve as a discussion forum, but we are happy to allow comments within reasonable limits. Comments are no part of the LR index (though given the above data, maybe they should be; if they were, the gap between LR and Russia Blog would grow even wider). Many fine blogs don’t even allow comments, or actively discourage them, or simply don’t receive them for whatever reason (Robert Amsterdam and David McDuff leap to mind). The only reason we even mention this issue is because of the SPAM-like comment we’ve received from this Russophile slob, perhaps (indeed, probably) from the publishers of Russia Blog itself in disguise . What we’ve said is that the ridiculously small number of comments received by Russia Blog belies its claimed level of traffic, indicating that SPAM technology is being used to generate artificial traffic. The same can be said of the puny number of links from other blogs that Russia Blog has received when compared to its alleged monumental traffic (with far less traffic, for instance, Robert Amsterdam generates far more Technorati links per month than does Russia Blog). Our point is simply this: Russia Blog claims to have thousands of visitors every day. If they are legitimate visitors, they should be leaving far more comments than they do (unless of course Russia Blog is simply censoring a mountain of criticism, which we admit is quite possible). That’s all we’ve ever said, and we wouldn’t expect the illiterate publishers of Russia Blog (or their insane cohorts) to understand.

The moronic and egregiously dishonest anonymous commenter also stated: “Your method of measuring traffic, based on Technorati tags from blogs, is a joke.” Our method of measuring traffic has nothing whatsoever to do with Technorati. We rely on Alexa, the most respected source of information on blog traffic, for that data, and we have repeatedly acknowledged that Alexa shows Russia Blog has a higher level of traffic than any other Russia blog (the crudely dishonest, thug-like commenter chose to ignore that fact). We use Technorati information, unquestionably the leading source in the blogosphere, for data on links from other blogs, as do many substantial corporations who based investment decisions on Technorati data. La Russphobe far exceeds Russia Blog in Technorati links per month of existence and Technorati favorites, two more indications that its traffic is a sham. But the best indication of all of the hollowness of Russia Blog’s traffic claims is that they are not transparent. Russia Blog has never provided any data whatsoever to document its claims despite specific requests that it do so, and it doesn’t even have a public counter. We blend Technorati and Alexa data so that a range of criteria, fair for all blogs, is utilized — and when we do, we come out on top. Naturally, that’s much to the chagrin of the scum-sucking parasites at Russia Blogl, and they respond in the only way they can — with bile.

And to top it all off, this asinine wacko actually had the audacity to complain that “nobody knows who you are” (referring to LR). This from a little microbe who couldn’t even think of a name for himself, much less create a blog to stand behind it. This is yet one more indication of the nature of the opponent we are struggling with, an opponent who thinks nothing of telling the most ridiculous lies in order to get what it wants, just like the old USSR used to do. In that way, it’s a perfect embodiment of neo-Soviet Russia — utter failure, embarassing to anyone who sees it.

To this commenter we say: We doubt you have the guts to stand behind your outrageous statements, but if you do then we demand an apology for your recklessly false statements. However, we greatly appreciate the confirmation of the fundamentally dishonest nature of both Russia Blog and its readers.

You Can’t Get Stupider than Russia Blog and its Readers: LR’s Response to Anonymous Unpublished Comment

Ignoring our rules, someone left a comment titled “anonymous” on our most recent post about Russia Blog, seeking to defend that malignant institution of lies and deception. For this reason, and because Russia Blog doesn’t publish comments from us, this pathetic “comment” won’t be published. However, we feel compelled to respond to its absurdly dishonest claims since they undoubtedly represent some of the lies being told about us within the warren-like dark places of the Russophile minions.

This commenter stated: “You have fewer published comments than Russia Blog.” It’s quite clear that this commenter, in the classic style of the Russophile idiot, made no actual attempt to count the number of comments the two blogs have received since he/she failed to state the numbers. Apparently, he/she thought we wouldn’t do so. We have, and we admit we’re a bit surprised by the results. In the month of June 2007, this blog received 430 comments. During that same period, Russia Blog had just 90 comments — over four times fewer than LR had. Russia Blog generated 34 posts during June and nearly a quarter of them (eight) received zero comments, while an additional eight received only one comment (for a total of nearly half Russia Blog’s posts generating one or zero comments). Only ten posts (less than a third) had more than two comments. Once again, the mendacious lies from the animals at Russia Blog and their crazed “readers” is exposed as a pathetic sham. Note that this doesn’t even count the comments received by LR on the Publius Pundit blog, which if included would make the picture even more overwhelmingly lopsided. Our most-commented-upon post of the month, about Nashi, had almost twice as many comments (27) as Russia Blog’s most-commented-upon post (15) about their extremist wacko leader’s weird little trip to Russia (after which he purports to be an expert).

Now, let’s be clear: La Russophobe has never said she wishes to attract comments, has never bragged about getting them, nor has she ever said that the number of comments a blog receives is an indicia of its quality. The purpose of this blog is to record history, not serve as a discussion forum, but we are happy to allow comments within reasonable limits. Comments are no part of the LR index (though given the above data, maybe they should be; if they were, the gap between LR and Russia Blog would grow even wider). Many fine blogs don’t even allow comments, or actively discourage them, or simply don’t receive them for whatever reason (Robert Amsterdam and David McDuff leap to mind). The only reason we even mention this issue is because of the SPAM-like comment we’ve received from this Russophile slob, perhaps (indeed, probably) from the publishers of Russia Blog itself in disguise . What we’ve said is that the ridiculously small number of comments received by Russia Blog belies its claimed level of traffic, indicating that SPAM technology is being used to generate artificial traffic. The same can be said of the puny number of links from other blogs that Russia Blog has received when compared to its alleged monumental traffic (with far less traffic, for instance, Robert Amsterdam generates far more Technorati links per month than does Russia Blog). Our point is simply this: Russia Blog claims to have thousands of visitors every day. If they are legitimate visitors, they should be leaving far more comments than they do (unless of course Russia Blog is simply censoring a mountain of criticism, which we admit is quite possible). That’s all we’ve ever said, and we wouldn’t expect the illiterate publishers of Russia Blog (or their insane cohorts) to understand.

The moronic and egregiously dishonest anonymous commenter also stated: “Your method of measuring traffic, based on Technorati tags from blogs, is a joke.” Our method of measuring traffic has nothing whatsoever to do with Technorati. We rely on Alexa, the most respected source of information on blog traffic, for that data, and we have repeatedly acknowledged that Alexa shows Russia Blog has a higher level of traffic than any other Russia blog (the crudely dishonest, thug-like commenter chose to ignore that fact). We use Technorati information, unquestionably the leading source in the blogosphere, for data on links from other blogs, as do many substantial corporations who based investment decisions on Technorati data. La Russphobe far exceeds Russia Blog in Technorati links per month of existence and Technorati favorites, two more indications that its traffic is a sham. But the best indication of all of the hollowness of Russia Blog’s traffic claims is that they are not transparent. Russia Blog has never provided any data whatsoever to document its claims despite specific requests that it do so, and it doesn’t even have a public counter. We blend Technorati and Alexa data so that a range of criteria, fair for all blogs, is utilized — and when we do, we come out on top. Naturally, that’s much to the chagrin of the scum-sucking parasites at Russia Blogl, and they respond in the only way they can — with bile.

And to top it all off, this asinine wacko actually had the audacity to complain that “nobody knows who you are” (referring to LR). This from a little microbe who couldn’t even think of a name for himself, much less create a blog to stand behind it. This is yet one more indication of the nature of the opponent we are struggling with, an opponent who thinks nothing of telling the most ridiculous lies in order to get what it wants, just like the old USSR used to do. In that way, it’s a perfect embodiment of neo-Soviet Russia — utter failure, embarassing to anyone who sees it.

To this commenter we say: We doubt you have the guts to stand behind your outrageous statements, but if you do then we demand an apology for your recklessly false statements. However, we greatly appreciate the confirmation of the fundamentally dishonest nature of both Russia Blog and its readers.

You Can’t Get Stupider than Russia Blog and its Readers: LR’s Response to Anonymous Unpublished Comment

Ignoring our rules, someone left a comment titled “anonymous” on our most recent post about Russia Blog, seeking to defend that malignant institution of lies and deception. For this reason, and because Russia Blog doesn’t publish comments from us, this pathetic “comment” won’t be published. However, we feel compelled to respond to its absurdly dishonest claims since they undoubtedly represent some of the lies being told about us within the warren-like dark places of the Russophile minions.

This commenter stated: “You have fewer published comments than Russia Blog.” It’s quite clear that this commenter, in the classic style of the Russophile idiot, made no actual attempt to count the number of comments the two blogs have received since he/she failed to state the numbers. Apparently, he/she thought we wouldn’t do so. We have, and we admit we’re a bit surprised by the results. In the month of June 2007, this blog received 430 comments. During that same period, Russia Blog had just 90 comments — over four times fewer than LR had. Russia Blog generated 34 posts during June and nearly a quarter of them (eight) received zero comments, while an additional eight received only one comment (for a total of nearly half Russia Blog’s posts generating one or zero comments). Only ten posts (less than a third) had more than two comments. Once again, the mendacious lies from the animals at Russia Blog and their crazed “readers” is exposed as a pathetic sham. Note that this doesn’t even count the comments received by LR on the Publius Pundit blog, which if included would make the picture even more overwhelmingly lopsided. Our most-commented-upon post of the month, about Nashi, had almost twice as many comments (27) as Russia Blog’s most-commented-upon post (15) about their extremist wacko leader’s weird little trip to Russia (after which he purports to be an expert).

Now, let’s be clear: La Russophobe has never said she wishes to attract comments, has never bragged about getting them, nor has she ever said that the number of comments a blog receives is an indicia of its quality. The purpose of this blog is to record history, not serve as a discussion forum, but we are happy to allow comments within reasonable limits. Comments are no part of the LR index (though given the above data, maybe they should be; if they were, the gap between LR and Russia Blog would grow even wider). Many fine blogs don’t even allow comments, or actively discourage them, or simply don’t receive them for whatever reason (Robert Amsterdam and David McDuff leap to mind). The only reason we even mention this issue is because of the SPAM-like comment we’ve received from this Russophile slob, perhaps (indeed, probably) from the publishers of Russia Blog itself in disguise . What we’ve said is that the ridiculously small number of comments received by Russia Blog belies its claimed level of traffic, indicating that SPAM technology is being used to generate artificial traffic. The same can be said of the puny number of links from other blogs that Russia Blog has received when compared to its alleged monumental traffic (with far less traffic, for instance, Robert Amsterdam generates far more Technorati links per month than does Russia Blog). Our point is simply this: Russia Blog claims to have thousands of visitors every day. If they are legitimate visitors, they should be leaving far more comments than they do (unless of course Russia Blog is simply censoring a mountain of criticism, which we admit is quite possible). That’s all we’ve ever said, and we wouldn’t expect the illiterate publishers of Russia Blog (or their insane cohorts) to understand.

The moronic and egregiously dishonest anonymous commenter also stated: “Your method of measuring traffic, based on Technorati tags from blogs, is a joke.” Our method of measuring traffic has nothing whatsoever to do with Technorati. We rely on Alexa, the most respected source of information on blog traffic, for that data, and we have repeatedly acknowledged that Alexa shows Russia Blog has a higher level of traffic than any other Russia blog (the crudely dishonest, thug-like commenter chose to ignore that fact). We use Technorati information, unquestionably the leading source in the blogosphere, for data on links from other blogs, as do many substantial corporations who based investment decisions on Technorati data. La Russphobe far exceeds Russia Blog in Technorati links per month of existence and Technorati favorites, two more indications that its traffic is a sham. But the best indication of all of the hollowness of Russia Blog’s traffic claims is that they are not transparent. Russia Blog has never provided any data whatsoever to document its claims despite specific requests that it do so, and it doesn’t even have a public counter. We blend Technorati and Alexa data so that a range of criteria, fair for all blogs, is utilized — and when we do, we come out on top. Naturally, that’s much to the chagrin of the scum-sucking parasites at Russia Blogl, and they respond in the only way they can — with bile.

And to top it all off, this asinine wacko actually had the audacity to complain that “nobody knows who you are” (referring to LR). This from a little microbe who couldn’t even think of a name for himself, much less create a blog to stand behind it. This is yet one more indication of the nature of the opponent we are struggling with, an opponent who thinks nothing of telling the most ridiculous lies in order to get what it wants, just like the old USSR used to do. In that way, it’s a perfect embodiment of neo-Soviet Russia — utter failure, embarassing to anyone who sees it.

To this commenter we say: We doubt you have the guts to stand behind your outrageous statements, but if you do then we demand an apology for your recklessly false statements. However, we greatly appreciate the confirmation of the fundamentally dishonest nature of both Russia Blog and its readers.

You Can’t Get Stupider than Russia Blog and its Readers: LR’s Response to Anonymous Unpublished Comment

Ignoring our rules, someone left a comment titled “anonymous” on our most recent post about Russia Blog, seeking to defend that malignant institution of lies and deception. For this reason, and because Russia Blog doesn’t publish comments from us, this pathetic “comment” won’t be published. However, we feel compelled to respond to its absurdly dishonest claims since they undoubtedly represent some of the lies being told about us within the warren-like dark places of the Russophile minions.

This commenter stated: “You have fewer published comments than Russia Blog.” It’s quite clear that this commenter, in the classic style of the Russophile idiot, made no actual attempt to count the number of comments the two blogs have received since he/she failed to state the numbers. Apparently, he/she thought we wouldn’t do so. We have, and we admit we’re a bit surprised by the results. In the month of June 2007, this blog received 430 comments. During that same period, Russia Blog had just 90 comments — over four times fewer than LR had. Russia Blog generated 34 posts during June and nearly a quarter of them (eight) received zero comments, while an additional eight received only one comment (for a total of nearly half Russia Blog’s posts generating one or zero comments). Only ten posts (less than a third) had more than two comments. Once again, the mendacious lies from the animals at Russia Blog and their crazed “readers” is exposed as a pathetic sham. Note that this doesn’t even count the comments received by LR on the Publius Pundit blog, which if included would make the picture even more overwhelmingly lopsided. Our most-commented-upon post of the month, about Nashi, had almost twice as many comments (27) as Russia Blog’s most-commented-upon post (15) about their extremist wacko leader’s weird little trip to Russia (after which he purports to be an expert).

Now, let’s be clear: La Russophobe has never said she wishes to attract comments, has never bragged about getting them, nor has she ever said that the number of comments a blog receives is an indicia of its quality. The purpose of this blog is to record history, not serve as a discussion forum, but we are happy to allow comments within reasonable limits. Comments are no part of the LR index (though given the above data, maybe they should be; if they were, the gap between LR and Russia Blog would grow even wider). Many fine blogs don’t even allow comments, or actively discourage them, or simply don’t receive them for whatever reason (Robert Amsterdam and David McDuff leap to mind). The only reason we even mention this issue is because of the SPAM-like comment we’ve received from this Russophile slob, perhaps (indeed, probably) from the publishers of Russia Blog itself in disguise . What we’ve said is that the ridiculously small number of comments received by Russia Blog belies its claimed level of traffic, indicating that SPAM technology is being used to generate artificial traffic. The same can be said of the puny number of links from other blogs that Russia Blog has received when compared to its alleged monumental traffic (with far less traffic, for instance, Robert Amsterdam generates far more Technorati links per month than does Russia Blog). Our point is simply this: Russia Blog claims to have thousands of visitors every day. If they are legitimate visitors, they should be leaving far more comments than they do (unless of course Russia Blog is simply censoring a mountain of criticism, which we admit is quite possible). That’s all we’ve ever said, and we wouldn’t expect the illiterate publishers of Russia Blog (or their insane cohorts) to understand.

The moronic and egregiously dishonest anonymous commenter also stated: “Your method of measuring traffic, based on Technorati tags from blogs, is a joke.” Our method of measuring traffic has nothing whatsoever to do with Technorati. We rely on Alexa, the most respected source of information on blog traffic, for that data, and we have repeatedly acknowledged that Alexa shows Russia Blog has a higher level of traffic than any other Russia blog (the crudely dishonest, thug-like commenter chose to ignore that fact). We use Technorati information, unquestionably the leading source in the blogosphere, for data on links from other blogs, as do many substantial corporations who based investment decisions on Technorati data. La Russphobe far exceeds Russia Blog in Technorati links per month of existence and Technorati favorites, two more indications that its traffic is a sham. But the best indication of all of the hollowness of Russia Blog’s traffic claims is that they are not transparent. Russia Blog has never provided any data whatsoever to document its claims despite specific requests that it do so, and it doesn’t even have a public counter. We blend Technorati and Alexa data so that a range of criteria, fair for all blogs, is utilized — and when we do, we come out on top. Naturally, that’s much to the chagrin of the scum-sucking parasites at Russia Blogl, and they respond in the only way they can — with bile.

And to top it all off, this asinine wacko actually had the audacity to complain that “nobody knows who you are” (referring to LR). This from a little microbe who couldn’t even think of a name for himself, much less create a blog to stand behind it. This is yet one more indication of the nature of the opponent we are struggling with, an opponent who thinks nothing of telling the most ridiculous lies in order to get what it wants, just like the old USSR used to do. In that way, it’s a perfect embodiment of neo-Soviet Russia — utter failure, embarassing to anyone who sees it.

To this commenter we say: We doubt you have the guts to stand behind your outrageous statements, but if you do then we demand an apology for your recklessly false statements. However, we greatly appreciate the confirmation of the fundamentally dishonest nature of both Russia Blog and its readers.