Daily Archives: April 18, 2010

April 21, 2010 — Contents


(1)  EDITORIAL:  The Continuing Crisis in Sochi

(2)  EDITORIAL: South Korea vs. Russia

(3)  Bursting the BRIC Bubble

(4)  Lenin:  Yep, Still There

(5)  What does she look like to you?

NOTE:  You can watch the award-winning cartoons (with English subtitles)  of a Russian blog called Mr. Free Man here.

EDITORIAL: The Continuing Crisis in Sochi


The Continuing Crisis in Sochi

Sergei Volkov

Last week Sergei Volkov, a senior Russian scientist who had been working as a consultant for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, fled Russia after warning there could be a series of disasters because of the way the facilities are being built.  Russia is constructing the Sochi venues on land that is routinely plagued by massive landslides and often experiences building collapses.

Now, Volkov fears he’ll be arrested after receiving threats from the Russian authorities, who want him to pipe down.

Volkov’s concerns are just the latest in a long line of horrific warnings being sounded about the proposed 2014 Olympiad in Sochi.

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EDITORIAL: South Korea vs. Russia? D’uh, no-brainer!


South Korea vs. Russia? D’uh, no-brainer!

The nation of South Korea has less than 10% the territory and barely one-third the population of Russia.  South Korea has virtually no natural resources, while Russia is flooded with them.  Yet, the tiny Asian nation produces $800 billion in wealth each year according to the CIA, while Russia produces just $1.2 trillion.  That means that on a per capita basis South Korea ranks #40 in the world, while Russia languishes at a pathetic #58.

And that’s just for starters, of course.  South Korean churns out all kinds of desirable consumer products, including a vast array of automobiles, while Russia produces nothing at all that the world wants besides oil and gas.  South Korea is a vibrant democracy, while Russia languishes in the KGB-dominated dictatorship of yesteryear.

So it could hardly surprise any informed intelligent person to learn last week that the investment experts at First Trust had decided to boot Russia out of the so-called “BRIC” conglomeration and replace it with South Korea.  What used to be BRIC is now BICK.  Bye bye, Russia.

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Bursting the BRIC Bubble

Ariel Cohen, writing on the Heritage Foundation website:

On April 15–16, the city of Brasilia will host a summit of the leaders from Brazil, Russia, India, and China (BRIC). Since Goldman Sachs economist Jim O’Neill employed the acronym BRIC in 2001 to help sell emerging markets investment products, the world has been bullish on the BRICs.

At the BRIC summit, China’s Hu Jintao, India’s Mammohan Singh, Russia’s Dmitry Medvedev, and Brazilian host Lula da Silva will seek to advance the impression that the BRICs are uniquely positioned to shape the global economic and political agenda. Such an impression is reinforced by the Obama Administration’s readiness to buy into the notion that America is declining in competitiveness, influence, and power as part of a transition to a “Post-American,” multi-polar world. Yet, there are five myths about BRIC that Americans should recognize before succumbing to Obama-inspired fatalism

Myth 1: BRIC Economies Are Eclipsing the U.S.

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Lenin: Yep, Still There

Writing in the Moscow Times, Alexei Bayer reminds us that despite the dictatorial power wielded by Vladimir Putin, the lunatic Lenin still lies in a tomb on Red Square. Putin could remove him with the stroke of a pen but he doesn’t, which means he wants him to stay.  And that says all you need to know about the prospects for real progress in Putin’s Russia.

During the Soviet era, Vladimir Lenin’s mausoleum was the focal point of Red Square. It sat right in the middle of the square and was watched over by a military guard that changed at the stroke of the huge Kremlin clock in an elaborate goose-stepping ceremony.

It was the center of the country’s political life, too — the only place where the average Russian saw his leaders in the flesh. The Politburo reviewed twice-yearly marches of their loyal citizens while standing, quite literally, upon the founder of the Soviet state.

Communism was supposed to be the creed of the future, but its prophet lay mummified in a pyramid harking back to ancient Egypt or Persia. (The word “mausoleum” comes from Mausolus, the Persian satrap of Caria from the fourth century B.C.) The long line of waiting visitors matched the countless other lines snaking outside stores across the Soviet Union, as people hoped to buy chronically scarce food and consumer goods.

Writer Sergei Dovlatov put it best when he claimed that so many places in the Soviet Union stank so badly because the country’s main corpse had never been properly buried.

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What does she look like to you?

Katerina Barduchian

To Russians, she looks like dinner.