Daily Archives: August 19, 2009

August 21, 2009 — Contents

FRIDAY AUGUST 21 CONTENTS

(1)  EDITORIAL:  Putin’s Russia is a Basket Case

(2)  EDITORIAL:  Russia Stabs its Heroes in the Heart

(3)  EDITORIAL:  Stealing from Sberbank

(4)  Postcards from the Propaganda war in Georgia

(5)  Гогуль vs. Google

EDITORIAL: Putin’s Russia is a Basket Case

EDITORIAL

Putin’s Russia is a Basket Case

On Monday, nearly two dozen Russians were killed in the terrorist bombing of a police station in Nazran, Ingushetia, and more than a hundred were injured.  These weren’t the only photos of smoking ruins filled with twisted human carnage that blazed across the international newswires out of Russia.  The same day, on the other side of the country in the Siberian enclave of Khakassia, as many as five or six dozen more Russians had perished in a massive explosion at a dam which wiped out industrial electric power across the region for years to come, resulting in massive expected drops in industrial production.

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EDITORIAL: Russia Stabs its Heroes in the Heart

EDITORIAL

Russia Stabs its Heroes in the Heart

Russia is firing 200,000 of its military officers, having suddenly discovered they are superfluous.  Why? Because the government has run out of money to pay and house them, much less all the enlisted men they would supposedly manage.

Yet, to avoid a mass insurrection by destitute military men who know how to use guns, Russia has promised each of them a $400/month pension and a free apartment.  That pension alone would cost the Kremlin nearly a billion dollars each year to pay, with another gigantic sum being tacked on in monthly rent.  It makes no sense, of course, for the Kremlin to make such a claim when the reason for the firings in the first place was lack of funds, but sense has never been an obstacle to the Russian government.

So the officers are being relegated to tiny, moldy, disgusting trailer parks along with their families. 

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EDITORIAL: Stealing from Sberbank

EDITORIAL

Stealing from Sberbank

The world learned earlier this week that employees of Russia’s beleaguered state-owned national bank, Sberbank, had plundered their own company (and country) to the tune of nearly 200 million dollars.  Strange to say, the most outrageous feature of this story is that we don’t know whether we should believe it.

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Postcards from the Propaganda war in Georgia

LA Daily reports:

The Saylor Company, a Pasadena crisis-management firm, has just landed two high-profile ​contracts in one of the world’s violent flashpoints. The Georgian breakaway republics of South Ossetia and Abkhazia have hired the PR outfit to gain a little leverage in their war of words with big neighbor Georgia. Last year, of course, it was less about words and more about tanks and Grad rockets. Then, Georgia launched an ill-conceived attack on South Ossetia, only to be quickly overwhelmed by a Russian Army counter-blitz, which Abkhazia aided [LR:  By any logical standard, the American revolution was also “ill-conceived” and so was the defense of Leningrad]. The two autonomous regions, which remain unrecognized as sovereign nations except by Russia and Nicaragua, are virtual wards of Moscow, which is funding their crippled economies.

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Гогуль vs. Google

The Russian government is creating a new search engine called “Gogul” (gosh, that sounds familiar, doesn’t it?) to be used by children “safely,” without poisoning their brains with unpleasant information.  It has never heard of Vladimir Putin and it will only let you find pre-approved websites that the Kremlin finds suitable for young minds.

Welcome back to the USSR!