Daily Archives: July 25, 2009

July 27, 2009 — Contents

MONDAY JULY 27 CONTENTS

(1)  EDITORIAL:  You Can’t take the Russia out of the Russian

(2)  EDITORIAL:  What the Big Mac says about Russia

(3)  Sweden Reaches out to Eastern Europe

(4)  Russia:  Harlot Nation?

(5)  La Tour de Fraud

NOTE:  Visit the Russian Tea Room and view Russian art on export to the West.

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EDITORIAL: You can’t take the Russia out of a Russian

EDITORIAL

You can’t take the Russia out of a Russian

You can take the Russian out of Russia but you can’t take the Russia out of a Russian.

Last week the world learned the horrifying news that the Putin regime had assumed yet another godawful dictatorial power.  Not content with appointing governors and mayors, the regime now claims the right to open anyone’s mail, whenever it feels like doing so.  Security services also now have access to post office databases, which show customer addresses and past use of the postal system.   What’s more, the Kremlin is moving to crack down on Internet communciation services like Skype, having already obtained the abilitty to read ordinary e-mails and receive person information from ISPs through the infamous “SORM” regulations.

Internationally known Russian human rights activists Lev Ponomarev told RIA Novosti that the move was “totally unacceptable” and “unconstitutional,” and said that he is . . . .preparing an open letter to Dmitri Medvedev.

An open letter, Mr. Ponomarev?  Gosh, are you sure you want to go as far as that? Isn’t it a bit of an overreaction?  Perhaps a postcard would be enough?

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EDITORIAL: What the Big Mac says about Russia

EDITORIAL

What the Big Mac says about Russia

big%20mac%20sculptureOne of the stupidest commentaries we’ve seen regarding Russia is the Economist magazine’s “Big Mac Index.”  Even while admitting it is “light-hearted” and totally without any real meaning the magazine goes right on publishing it.

This year’s index says that Big Mac sandwich costs $3.57 on average in four large American cities while it costs $2.04 in Russia (based on an unspecified number of cities surveyed). The world’s cheapest Big Mac is in Hong Kong (where it costs $1.72) and the most expensive is in Norway (where it will set you back $6.15).  So Russia has a claim to fame! It offers one of the cheapest American hamburgers on the planet (more than enough reason to book a plane ticket, right?).  Good job, Russians!

Based on this revelation, namely that the Big Mac is $1.53 or 43% cheaper in Russia than in the USA, the Economist concludes that the Russian currency is 43% undervalued and that the exchange rate should not be 32.8 rubles to the dollar, which it currently is, but rather 18.8 rubles to the dollar, which would make the price of the sandwich the same in both countries.

The implication of this is that Russians are foolishly willing to pay more than fair market value for a dollar, Americans foolishly unwilling to pay more for a ruble.  For various reasons, it’s surely one of the stupidest economic suggestions ever made.

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Sweden reaches out its Hand to Eastern Europe

Carl Bildt, Foreign Minister of Sweden, writing in the Moscow Times:

Pushing the “reset” button on diplomatic relations is a popular endeavor nowadays. U.S. President Barack Obama just journeyed to Moscow in order to reset strained U.S.-Russian ties. The European Union, though not in need of a reset because of strained ties with its eastern neighbors, is involved in a deep strategic reconstruction of those relations.

When the EU launched its new Eastern Partnership in May, the purpose was to promote further integration with the union’s six immediate eastern neighbors — Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. The global financial crisis had made an updated and strengthened policy for the EU’s eastern neighborhood an urgent need. Equally important was the fact that all the countries concerned expressed an ambition to move closer to the EU.

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Russia: Harlot Nation?

xin_2108023011356162050420A Russian marine biologist was short-listed for the “best job in the world,” caretaker of the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.  Until it turned out . . . opps! . . . she’s a secret Internet porn star. (Want the hardcore proof? Click here . . . but don’t say we didn’t warn you.)

Miss Russia 2009?  Oops!  You guessed it . . . also a secret Internet porn star (caution: link contains nude photo). She’s barely legal, by the way.

How about ex-Olympic gymnast and current member of the Russian parliament, you know, Svetlana Khorkina, the young lady Dima Medvedev recently said he might name governor one day soon? She’d be the one giving her all for her country in the photograph above (and yes, that’s an Olympic flag).

If it weren’t for Russian heros like Politkovskaya and Estemirova, one might think Russia is simply a nation of harlots, that prostitution and pornography are considered normal behavior even for the sub-21 set. Then again, maybe the Russian plan is to kill anyone who isn’t?

La Tour de Fraud

The fourteenth stage of the epic 21-stage La Tour de France bicycle race ran through the wine country of the Alsace region in the northern part of the country.  It was “won” by Russian rider Sergei Ivanov, but it was Rinaldo Nocentini who wore the sought-after yellow jersey denoting the overall leader at the end of the stage.

As seems to be routinely the case with Russians, their “win” was smeared with fraud.

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