Daily Archives: September 9, 2010

September 13, 2010 — Contents


(1)  EDITORIAL:  William Burns, Craven Braying Jackass

(2)  The Russian Wrench in the EU Works

(3)  The Rise fo the Neo-Soviet Proletariat

(4)  The Neo-Soviet Train Wreck in Russia

(5) CARTOON:  Russian Pac Man

NOTE:  Ouch. USA basketball lays a whipping on the Rooskies.

EDITORIAL: William Burns, Craven Braying Jackass


William Burns, Craven Braying Jackass

William Burns, braying jackass

When we read a statement from Oleg Orlov last week indicating after a meeting with top American diplomat William Burns that the undersecretary intended to offer “public criticism” of the Putin regime’s abysmal human rights record, we were heartened. Maybe at last, we hoped, the craven Obama regime has got the message that it can’t simply ignore the appalling neo-Soviet crackdown underway in Putin’s Russia.

But then we read how Burns chose to respond to the fact that Lev Ponomarev had been absent from the meeting because he’d ben arrested for daring to assemble in public to discuss Putin’s atrocities without first getting Putin’s written permission.  To say we were disappointed is putting it mildly.

Burns stated:  “I should note that it is regrettable that Lev Ponomarev, who was supposed to be at the meeting, was not able to attend.  The freedom of assembly is very important to the United States and very important for any democratic society.”

That’s pretty lame all by itself, but then it got much worse.   Burns went on to meet with Kremlin officals and all that could be reported afterwards was: “The arrest was also discussed at the U.S. officials’ meetings with their Russian counterparts.”

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The Russian Wrench in the EU Works

Vladislav Inozemtsev, a professor of economics, director of the Moscow-based Center for Post-Industrial Studies and editor-in-chief of Svobodnaya Mysl. writing in the Moscow Times:

Amid all of the talk of modernization, the Russian economy is gradually changing, but it is doing so despite government modernization policies and programs, not because of them.

In recent years, PSA Peugeot-Citroen, Mitsubishi Motors and Volkswagen have opened factories in the Kaluga region, Siemens opened a transformer plant near Voronezh, and Western investors have launched a range of businesses manufacturing construction materials and food products.

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The Rise of the Neo-Soviet Proletariat

Paul Goble reports:

Those Russians now making enough to pay for food and clothing but not major purchases constitute that country’s new “working poor,” an incipient working class that increasingly views its interests as being different than those of the state and itself as a segment of society ignored or oppressed by the state, according to a Moscow analyst. In an interview with the Novy region Moskva agency, Mikhail Delyagin, the director of the Moscow Institute of Problems of Globalization, said that in the 1990s, many Russians were far poorer but now, those near the top of the poverty groups are doing better and they form nearly 48 percent of the population.

Such workers, he continued, “can purchase food and clothing,” but they lack the funds for more expensive durable goods. Because of their share of the population, they are potentially able to make greater demands on the state precisely “when the [latter] has decided that it can do whatever it wants with [them],” although as yet they do not constitute a serious threat.

Instead, Delyagin argues, the long slow decline in their economic position over the coming years is likely to allow them gradually to become conscious of themselves as a force in society, something that politicians may seek to exploit for their own purposes or that they may act on, either of which will ultimately change the nature of Russian politics.

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The Neo-Soviet Train Wreck in Russia

Vladimir Ryzhkov, writing in the Moscow Times:

In the Svirstroi village in the Leningrad region, there is a large bronze statue of a strong, stocky man in a long coat and cap on a high red granite pedestal, located behind brightly colored tents where the locals do a brisk business selling souvenirs at the Vepskoi market. The inscription reveals that this is a monument to Sergei Kirov, the leader of the Leningrad Communists who was killed under mysterious circumstances in 1934. It was his murder that gave Josef Stalin an excuse to unleash the Great Terror during the second half of the 1930s.

Higher up, beyond the statue of Kirov, stands the Svirskoi hydroelectric plant, built during Stalin’s reign by gulag prisoners, at least half of whom were imprisoned for political crimes. Estimates indicate that no fewer than 480,000 people in the northwestern region of the Soviet Union suffered during those horrendous years of repression, and tens of thousands of those — including a part of the workers who built the hydroelectric plant — were shot and killed. But the Leningrad region has only a few memorial cemeteries and monuments to those victims, while there are hundreds of monuments and streets dedicated to Lenin, Kirov, Bolshevik leader Moisei Uritsky and other Communist leaders.

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CARTOON: Russian Pac Man

Source:  Ellustrator.