Daily Archives: November 17, 2009

November 20, 2009 — Contents

FRIDAY NOVEMBER 20 CONTENTS

(1)  EDITORIAL:  More Blood on Putin’s Hands!

(2)  EDITORIAL:  31

(3)  EDITORIAL:  Kim & Dima Sittin’ in a Tree!

(4)  Medvedev the Comedian

(5)  Medvedev the Sucker

EDITORIAL: More Blood on Vladimir Putin’s Hands!

EDITORIAL

More Blood on Vladimir Putin’s Hands!

The river of opposition blood continues to flow freely in the Russia ruled over by proud KGB spy Vladimir Putin.  On Wednesday, Sergei Magnitsky perished in the Kremlin’s neo-Soviet gulag and the day before Ivan Khutorskoy was shot down on the Moscow streets outside the prison where Magnitsky breathed his last.

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EDITORIAL: 31

EDITORIAL

31

31.

That’s the number of countries on this planet, out of 180 surveyed by Transparency International, which just published its most recent results, that are more corrupt than Vladimir Putin’s Russia.

31.

It’s a truly staggering number.  It means that 83% of the world’s nations are less corrupt than Putin’s Russia.  It means that Russia, which makes pretensions to international leadership and membership on the G-8 panel, ranks in the bottom quintile of all world countries, including the most backwards and least-developed African banana republics.  It means that, in terms of civilized behavior, Russia is a wasteland.

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EDITORIAL: Kim & Dima Sittin’ in a Tree!

EDITORIAL

Kim & Dima Sittin’ in a Tree!

It probably does not surprise you to learn that blogger Dima Medvedev, whose other job is “president” of Russia, has a Facebook page:

But it may surprise you to learn who his friends are.  He’s got nearly 2,000 of them (granted, a relatively small number for a country with perhaps 15 million people able to access the Internet, to say nothing of the wider world; Barack Obama for instance has nearly 7 million friends — ouch!) and among them is . . . yes, you guessed it . . . . (those who are at risk for cardiac arrest induced by uncontrollable fits of hilarity should not click the jump, you have been warned) . . .

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Medvedev the Comedian

Vladimir Ryzhkov, writing in the Moscow Times:

President Dmitry Medvedev’s second state-of-the-nation address was tragicomic. The much-anticipated “plan for modernizing Russia” turned out to be a haphazard mix of utopianism and superficiality. His address lacked a sober, honest diagnosis of the serious maladies that are crippling the country. In fact, the president took the exact opposite approach, opting to preserve the political, economic and social status quo — directly contradicting his goal of modernization.

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Medvedev the Sucker

Lilia Shevtsova, senior associate at the Carnegie Moscow Center and chair of the Davos Forum’s Global Agenda Council on the Future of Russia, writing in the Moscow Times, says that Dima Medvedev has been put in place by the Putin regime as the sucker standard bearer for reform; he’ll then be submarined, reform condemned as a failure, and replaced by Putin as dictator for life.

History has seen many cases of the ruling elite leading society into a dead end while convincing the people all of the time that the road is leading toward a bright future. But it is a truly unique situation when a country’s leaders admit that they are at a dead end and then search for a way to stay there. This is precisely what the Kremlin is doing with President Dmitry Medvedev’s modernization program. Russia is trying to build a 21st-century society while preserving a system of personified power rooted in the 16th century. Even those who believe Medvedev’s best reformist intentions can’t avoid the question: How can the Kremlin pursue modernization if power remains in the hands of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, the man responsible for so much of the country’s anti-modernization?

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