Daily Archives: May 4, 2009

May 6, 2009 — Contents

WEDNESDAY MAY 6 CONTENTS

(1)  EDITORIAL:  Russia is (still) Burning 

(2)  EDITORIAL:  Russians Yearn to Breathe Partly Free

(3)  EDITORIAL:  Here we go Again

(4)  We must Defend Georgia!

(5)  They Serve (themselves) and Protect (criminals)

NOTE: Do not fail to appreciate the signifance of the interplay between our three editorials today. #1 and #3 document the increasingly egregious and painful failure of the Putin administration across a wide range of social policy challenges.  #2 makes clear that the only response the government has to this failure is the crackdown, denying information about it and keepiing the nation in the neo-Soviet darkness while brutally crushing anyone who dares to talk back.

NOTE:  Once again the world chess grand prix has been held on Russia soil and once again a non-Russian has taken the title. In fact, the Russians didn’t even make the finals. Ouch. How the mighty have fallen, Mr. Putin.

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EDITORIAL: Russia is (Still) Burning

EDITORIAL

Russia is (Still) Burning

Russia watcher trivia quiz:  When was the last time Russian ruler Vladimir Putin spoke publicly about Russia’s horrifying problem with residential fire fatalities, and what is his proposal for making Russian homes safer from fire?  Bonus points for naming the last family of residential fire victims that Putin visited for comfort.

Last weekend, firey explosions killed eight Russians, seven in Irkutsk and one in St. Petersburg.  That’s only a tiny fraction of the nearly 20,000 fire-related fatalities that Putin’s Russia records each year, about fifty each and every single day of the year.  In the United States, fires claim the lives of only about 2,500 people per year, nearly eight times less than in Russia, a figure which is all the more stunning when you remember that the U.S. population is twice as large as Russia’s.  That means the rate of fire fatality in Russia is more than fifteen times higher per capita than in the United States.  Just one more reason that you take your life in your hands every time you choose to spend a night in Russia.

What does Putin have to say about all this?

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EDITORIAL: Russians Yearn to Breathe Partly Free

EDITORIAL

Russians Yearn to Breathe Partly Free

The Statue of Liberty implores the world to send America all citizens who “yearn to breathe free.”  But this may be a bit much to ask where the barbaric denizens of Russia are concerned. Perhaps, all we can ask for is those who wish to breathe partly free — such is the state of the benighted quagmire they call home.

One  of our most-admired readers is known as “Penny” and last week directed our attention to the latest global press freedom survey by the internationally-known human rights institution Freedom House, which is doing yeoman work in plumbing the depths to which neo-Soviet Russia has descended under rule of KGB tyrant Vladimir Putin.

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EDITORIAL: Here we Go Again

EDITORIAL

Here we Go Again

Russia’s foreign currency reserves are back in freefall, and Russia’s largest company, Gazprom, is withering like a raisin in the sun.  Welcome to the horror that is government by KGB spy.

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We must Defend Georgia!

Defense policy analyst Zbigniew Mazurak, writing on the American Thinker (and quoting Kim Zigfeld!):

Unless European states and America suddenly adopt a hawkish foreign policy and strengthen their militaries, Europe will become a mere province of the Russian empire.

And, suprisingly, the fate of Europe will be decided not in Paris, Berlin, London, or Brussels, but in Georgia, a tiny, seemingly irrelevant country. The Caucasian republic hosts several strategic oil and gas pipelines. These pipes are the only fossil fuel corridors leading from Asia to Europe that are not controlled by the Russian Federation. Whoever controls Europe’s fossil fuel supply rules the European continent.

If the Russians seize those pipelines, their country will be a monopolist in Europe. The Old Continent will then have no choice other than to rely on Russia for the fossil fuel supply. This will mean that Russia will have a de facto veto right over the decisions of European governments. (Russia already has this power with regard to French and German governments; Germany obtains 40% of the natural gas it uses from Russia.)

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Russian Police: They Serve (themselves) and Protect (criminals)

Russian “prime minister” Vladimir Putin believes it is so impossible that Russian law enforcement authorities  could have been involved with the bomb attacks in Moscow that were used to justify the invasion of Chechya that no investigation of the possibility is necessary.  Moscow Times crime blogger Carl Schrenk has other information about the nature of high-ranking law enforcement officers in Russia (LR readers will recall our report last week about the Moscow district police chief who turned out to be mass murderer):

In a quirky case that mirrors the plot of a famous Russian movie, a St. Petersburg police investigator is suspected of organizing the escape of an jailed felon with whom she had apparent romantic links.
 
Prosecutors say Yana Antonova, an investigator for “especially important cases” with the St. Petersburg police, forged an order for the jail transfer of suspect Mikhail Beryukov and then spirited him off to a rented apartment, where they spent a week together. 
 
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