Daily Archives: November 9, 2008

November 12, 2008 — Contents


(1)  Another Original LR Translation:  Russia’s Rent-a-Mob Racket

(2)  EDITORIAL:  More Shameless Lies from Wired Magazine

(3)  Essel on Russian Patriotism

(4)  Kozlovsky on Freedom of Expression

(5)  EDITORIAL: Russia Scales new Heights on Failure Mountain

(6)  Annals of Russian Female Tennis Failure

Another Original LR Translation: Russia’s Rent-a-mob Racket

Russia’s Rent-a-Mob Racket

by Dave Essel

We all know that neo-nazi Russia does not permit genuine popular demonstrations. I can never quite get it through my mind how one can have a constitution permitting the freedom to demonstrate and the fact on the ground that authorisation to demonstrate has to be sought and obtained. Unauthorised demonstrations lead to broken heads and arrests – to a greater or lesser extent depending on whether it is neo-nazi youth getting a bit too turbulent without having been invited to do so (in which case expect some nominal arrests and quick releases with a warning, as was the case last November 4, or people genuinely moved to demonstrate about a genuine evil, in which case it’s 14 days in the cells as it takes that long for semi-literate cops to compose a case).

So it was with particular interest that I read this report in Novaya Gazeta about how actual demonstrations are organised.

Just as capitalism in Russia bears only a slight resemblance to the real thing – more 19th century factory screwing workers by paying in factory notes that can only be used for purchases in the company store than voluntary and mutually beneficial exchange of goods/service for money) so Russian demonstrations are not spontaneous manifestations – of course, but rent-a-mob with the added element of manages to screw the rented mob and make money for the stewards!

Sweet land of блат, pork (in very small portions for all but the select), and exploitation of the disenfranchised….

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EDITORIAL: More Shameless Lies from Wired Magazine


More Shameless Lies from Wired Magazine

Writing on Pajamas Media back in September (Part I, Part II), our publisher Kim Zigfeld exposed some shameless dishonesty on the part of Wired magazine’s “military correspondent” David Axe.  Relying solely on the unsubstantiated reports of a shameless Kremlin shil without warning his readers of that fact, Axe tried to claim that because Georgia used artillery against Ossetia this proved it started the conflict.  It was total nonsense from start to finish, with no credible sourcing and no connection to real facts of any kind, as Kim’s devastating reports made quite clear.  Now, a colleague of Axe’s over at Wired is trying to sweep the whole ugly mess under the carpet.

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Essel on Russian Patriotism

What Goes on in the Mind of an OMON Riot Cop

by Dave Essel

If a demonstrator is carrying it, it’s got to be wrong. Right?

Patriotism flowers in Putin's Russia

Patriotism flowers in KGB-ruled Russia

Sorry, mindless thug, but, surprised and approving as I am, you’re wrong from the point of view of your superiors!

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Kozlovsky on Freedom of Expression

Oleg Kozlovsky, writing on Robert Amsterdam‘s blog:

On 5th November the world’s attention was drawn to American presidential elections and the victory of Barack Obama. Meanwhile, Russian authorities used this day to declare an unprecedented reform in the country’s recent history—changes to the Constitution. Dmitry Medvedev in an annual address to the houses of the Parliament suggested that the presidential term should be increased from 4 years to 6 years and the Duma’s term—to 5 years.

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EDITORIAL: Russia Scales new heights on Failure Mountain


Russia Scales new heights on Failure Mountain

If there is a basic theme on this blog, it is surely this:  No matter how wretched things might be in Russia today, when you wake up tomorrow you may well learn something that will make it impossible for you to recall why you thought yesterday was so bad.

Commenter “Barb” notified us that this past Saturday nearly two dozen Russian sailors were killed by the fire-fighting system on board their nuclear Akula-class attack submarine while on a testing mission at sea.  For some reason, the system decided to go off at random while over 200 sailors were on board, and for some reason the system produced a toxic cloud that asphyxiated 10% of the crew.

If that isn’t Russia in a nutshell, we don’t know what is.  Not only does the system that is supposed to save lives end up taking them en masse, but the event occurs right at the moment when Russia’s KGB overlords are strutting and preening, bristling with cold-war confrontation, threatening to put offensive Russian nuclear missiles in Kaliningrad — reminding the world of the infamous Kursk disaster at precisely the wrong moment.  Russia was already being ridiculed by foreign policy experts as a “sulky teenager you don’t want to have to deal with” because of its childish tit-for-tat threats against NATO, and now it has shown itself once again to a be a paper tiger.

Indeed, in light of this story it seems that those who should most fear the installation of nuclear missiles in Kaliningrad are the people of that enclave themselves — and not because the result would obviously be having Kaliningrad targeted by NATO missiles but because the Russian missiles themselves may well spontaneously explode.

Hero journalist Grigori Pasko has more on the disaster over at Robert Amsterdam’s blog.

Annals of Russian Female Tennis Failure

Yet another of the great beauties for which Russia is justly famous, Vera Zvonareva struts her feminine mystique for all to see

Yet another of the great beauties for which Russia is justly famous, Vera Zvonareva struts her feminine mystique for all to see

Last week, the WTA Tour Championships tournament was played out in Doha, Qatar.  Supposedly the marquee event of the entire women’s season, deciding the best player of the year in round-robin competition, the event was despoiled by the presence of far too many Russian frauds.

Four of the eight players in the draw were Russians, so Russia might have hoped to fill all four slots in the semi-finals after round robin play in which the group of eight highest-ranked players this season is divided in half and each player has a match against each other group member, with the best two results moving into a semi-finals contest.

But once again, the Russians went down to humiliating failure.  At the end of the tournament, Russia was left to have its honor defended in the finals by its lowly and yawn-inducing #5 player, Vera Zvonareva, who’s never even reached a grand slam semi in her entire career, against America’s thrilling and charismatic #2, Venus Williams, the year’s Wimbledon champion, in the finals.  The study in contrasts could not have been more unfavorable to Russia, nor the outcome more humiliating.  The Russian had four set points in the first set on her serve but could not convert them, and was forced into a tiebreaker which she won on a freak net cord in her favor.  She then failed to win a single game in the second set and took just two in the third, getting emphatically blown off the court by the American, who seemed to be playing an entirely different sport.

And that was just the tip of the iceberg where Russian failure was concerned.

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