Daily Archives: March 7, 2010

March 10, 2010 — Contents

WEDNESDAY MARCH 10 CONTENTS

(1)  EDITORIAL:  Russia’s Barbaric, shameless Racism

(2)  EDITORIAL:  Putinomics Crushes the Russian Economy

(3)  Nemtsov mocks Putin’s Olympic Fantasies

(4)  Some Russians “get it” on Stalin

(5)  Exposing the Fraud that is Dima Medvedev

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EDITORIAL: Russia’s Barbaric, Shameless Racism

EDITORIAL

Russia’s Barbaric, Shameless Racism

The Russian language is bizarre and crude, a perfect reflection of the people who speak it, people who turn their backs on a torrent of annual race murders or, even worse, participate in them.

Take the image at left, for instance. It’s a snapshot of a billboard that hangs in many Moscow subway stations, the kind you’re forced to look at as you take interminable rides up and down endless escalators, which are so long because of the subway’s dual purpose as transit and bomb shelter.

The text reads:  “Your country needs your records.  Every minute in Russia three new people are born.”

It’s totally shameless, barbaric racism.  The billboard is saying:  “Lots of babies are being born in Russia, and way too many with dark skin. What are you going to do about it, white woman?”

Russia is not only losing population fast, but the Slavic population within Russia is doing the worst job of all, leading to projections that Russia will soon become an Islamic country.  The Kremlin, to put it mildly, is panicking.

The same people who publish and read such blasphemy, of course, who deny the citizenship rights of dark-skinned “Russians,” who believe that only white-skinned Slavic people can properly even be called “Russian,” these same people refuse to let places like Chechnya be independent.  Instead, using blood violence, they insist that such dark-skinned people remain under Russia’s thumb, enslaved.

But is the word “record” really the best that the Russian language can come up with to convey this idea?  It’s not even a “Russian” word, of course, even someone who doesn’t know a word of Russian could recognize it, if they could get past the Russian script.  Seemingly, Russians lack the initiative to invent their own words for things like “hamburger,” even when the word has a sound like “h” that doesn’t exist in Russian.  So Russians just call it a “gahmboorgehr.”  Even many Russians would have to do a double-take to figure out just what “record” is supposed to mean in this context.  Unfortunately, upon figuring it out precious few would disagree with the idea.

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EDITORIAL: Putinomics Crushes Russia’s Economy

EDITORIAL

Putinomics Crushes Russia’s Economy

“The Russian economy is in recovery!”  That’s the Kremlin’s story and it’s sticking to it, whatever the facts may show.

And what the facts in fact show is continuing disaster.

The VTB Capital purchasing manager’s index, for instance, shows that employment has fallen every month since October 2009, reaching 9.2% in January, the highest level since March 2009.  The PMI index fell to 51.0, it’s lowest level since last July, and just one point above the level that indicates a double-dip recession. VTB says that the services sector “slowed to nearly a standstill in February, as the number of new orders declined dramatically from the prior month.”

That’s only the tip of the bad-news iceberg where Putinomics is concerned.

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Nemtsov Mocks Putin’s Olympic Fantasies

Joshua Keating interviews Boris Nemtsov at TheStar.com:

Foreign Policy: So why do you believe it is a mistake to hold the 2014 Winter Olympics in your hometown, Sochi?

Boris Nemtsov: In all of Russian history, I can think of only one example as crazy as this. After he visited Iowa, (Soviet Premier Nikita) Khrushchev, told farmers around Murmansk, above the Arctic Circle, to grow corn in the frozen tundra. (Prime Minister Vladimir) Putin is now repeating Khrushchev’s experience. He has found one of the only places in Russia where there is no snow in the winter. He has decided to build these ice rinks in the warmest part of the warmest region. Sochi is subtropical. There is no tradition of skating or hockey there. In Sochi, we prefer football, and volleyball, and swimming. Other parts of Russia need ice palaces – we don’t.

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Some Russians “get it” on Stalin

The Putin regime has become so unhinged in recent days that, as Robert Amsterdam points out, even a cog in the RIA Novosti machine, writing on of all places Kremlin-funded Russia Profile, is deeply worried about the regime’s pro-Stalin stance:

If the human rights activists were more laid back, they would be able to rebuff any of their opponents’ claims not with demonstrations, but with a dull lecture for the semi-literate about the difference between a poster, a history textbook and academic research.

So, dear conservatives. There are some differences in genre. Scientific labor presupposes a kind of indifference on behalf of the scientist toward the final outcome of his study. Accepting the Solzhenitsyn Award, the great linguist Andrey Zaliznyak acknowledged the praise that he was given and stated the following: I did not try to confirm the authenticity of “The Lay of Igor’s Warfare” [an epic poem of old Russian literature], I just studied the issue. It just so happened that the authenticity was confirmed in the end. But if the poem turned out to be phony, it would have been a scientific finding all the same.

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Exposing the Fraud that is Dima Medvedev

Newsweek blows the lid off the “Medvedev is a liberal” myth, for all the world to see:

It says a lot about the kind of place Russia has become that just two minutes of mild mockery of the Kremlin could cause a political shock wave. But sure enough: when the state-controlled Channel One showed a short cartoon in January depicting Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and President.

Dmitry Medvedev dancing together in Red Square, singing a comic duet about the big news stories of 2009, liberals rejoiced. After years of political repression, tight media control, and officially ordained Putin-worship, they saw the lighthearted cartoon as a sign that Medvedev is finally changing Russia. The cartoon followed on the heels of a number of speeches the young president has given on the ills of Russia’s rotten bureaucracy and its broken economy. He’s promised, for instance, to slash bureaucracy and reform the corrupt judiciary, to simplify regulation, and to put government services online. He’s vowed to break Russia’s economic dependence on natural resources and build a knowledge economy. He also recently ordered the firing of 10,000 cops and 16 top police officials, and warned police to stop “terrorizing” private businesses. Nasty nationalist youth movements have been shut down, and human-rights activists once squeezed by Putin have been received as honored guests at the Kremlin. Taken together, these moves have made it seem as though spring is in the air. “I believe President Medvedev sincerely intends to liberalize the system,” says Kirill Kabanov, head of the National Anti–Corruption Committee, an NGO.

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