WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 2 CONTENTS
(5) Jesus of Siberia
WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 2 CONTENTS
(5) Jesus of Siberia
The Horror of Life under Putinomics
The Swiss bank UBS has just released its 2009 Prices and Earnings report reviewing of how much people earn and how much they have to pay to afford life in all the major cities around the world. The results for Putin’sRussia are simply stunning.
They show that, among the member nations of the Group of Eight, residents of Los Angeles need to work by far the shortest time — less than 10 hours — to pay for an eight-gigabyte iPod nano (which UBS calls an “ideal example of a globally uniform product”). Montreal comes next, 10 percent longer than L.A., followed by London (15 percent longer), Tokyo (25 percent longer), Berlin (50 percent longer), Paris (60 percent longer), and Rome (twice as long).
Bringing up the rear in its usual fashion is the G8 interloper, Russia. Muscovites in Russia’s capital city must work more than three times longer than Angelinos (a whopping 36 hours) to afford an iPod — and this grossly understates the Russian burden. Moscow, unlike virtually any other major city on the planet, usurps the national wealth to an obscene extent. For most ordinary Russians in the hinterlands, earning $3 and hour and praying their wages will actually be paid, an I-pod is an unattainable fantasy.
Russia is, in other words, totally without qualifications to sit on the G-8 panel as a simple matter of economics. Consider Russia’s barbaric political and legal systems, to say nothing of its open hosility to the security interest of the other G-8 members, and it’s easy to see why John McCain has called for Russia’s ouster.
We wouldn’t be doing what we do unless we thought there was some vague shadow of hope for Russia’s future, that the people of Russia were worth fighting for. And we wouldn’t hesitate to report good news about Russia, if there were any. Most days, because of malignancy of the Putin regime, there simply isn’t. But here’s some we’re glad to mention.
The Moscow Times reports on a tiny but determined trend in Russia cyberspace indicating the development of online markets for the Russian fashion industry. In particular, it points to a Live Journal Blog called Show Room Chic in which Dima Sher, owner of a vintage clothing bouttique called Shtripka, created to offer a forum to up-and-coming Russian designers. SRC has even been linked to online commerce, so the designers make sales as well as networking connections. SRC is loaded with high-quality fashion photographs made on the cheap, like the one shown above, and represents number of garments that appear quite well made an even, in some case, chic. It’s an example of what Russians can do at their cooperative, socializing best.
If the police are like this, can you — do you dare — imagine what Russia’s criminals are like? The Moscow Times reports:
As someone who pays close attention to such cases, I’ve noticed a disproportionately high number of incidents over the past year of law enforcement officials behind the wheel mowing down pedestrians.
This latest deadly accident in the Vladimir region, however, has an interesting twist: The traffic cop suspected of running down a female cyclist, hiding her body in a ditch and fleeing the scene of the crime — well, he apparently was investigating the crime for two days before his involvement was revealed, Gazeta.ru reported Tuesday.
Owen Matthews, Newsweek’s Russia correspondent, writing on the magazine’s website, say that Western nations shouldn’t send ambassadors to the Kremlin, they should send psychiatrists:
IN 1946 a young U.S. diplomat named John Fischer wrote an earnest little book called Why They Behave Like Russians. Fischer, who’d served with the United Nations in postwar Kiev and Moscow, was attempting to explain to a bewildered U.S. public why their wartime ally Joseph Stalin, recipient of billions of dollars in American Lend-Lease aid, had suddenly turned on Washington, declaring it a deadly enemy, and seemed hellbent on starting a Third World War. The book is still a fascinating read—not least because so many of its conclusions continue to ring true today.
We can only (excuse the pun) pray that reader “psalomschik’s” head does not explode when he sees this. The Daily Mail reports (click through for more photos of His Holiness):
The beard and long hair are both present and correct. And with his flowing linen robes and beatific smile he certainly does a fine impression of a holy man. But to his believers in this remote corner of Siberia, Sergei Torop, a former traffic policeman, is the literal reincarnation of none other than Jesus Christ
MONDAY AUGUST 31 CONTENTS
NOTE: Inspired by links from leading LR commenter “Robert” publisher Kim Zigfeld excoriates Barack Obama for backing away from missile defense in Eastern Europe in the latest installment of her Pajamas Media Russia column. Obama is the new Chamberlain! We cannot say we are surprised.
NOTE: Kim also has her latest installment on the powerful American Thinker blog up and running now, exposing the disgraceful efforts of an American PR firm to help Russia lie about its aggression against Georgia.