FRIDAY JULY 8 CONTENTS
(1) EDITORIAL: Craven Russia Soils Democracy
(2) EDITORIAL: Russia’s Very, Very Unfriendly Skies
(3) EDITORIAL: Russia and its “Wealth”
(4) EDITORIAL: Bulgaria gives Russia a Lesson
(5) Pain and Humiliation for Russia at Wimbledon
(6) Мы сегодня в цирк поедем!
NOTE: LR publisher and founder Kim Zigfeld documents on the American Thinker blog the relentless failure of the Putin regime and the equally horrific failure of Barack Obama’s Russia policy. She demands justice from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee as Obama seeks to confirm his proposed new ambassador. We join in that demand.
Craven Russia Soils Democracy Once Again
In light of what has occurred with former Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov’s People’s Freedom Party, it is hard for us to see how any thinking person can now view the people of Russia with anything but naked contempt.
Shamelessly, the Putin Kremlin has refused to allow PFP to stand for elections, denying them the basic right of registration. As Kasyanov put it: “Nothing that has been said or promised by Medvedev during these past three years has materialized. It has only gotten worse: that is more pressure on political opponents, even more falsification in regional elections.”
Meanwhile, despite telling the Financial Times that he thought political competition was essential to Russia’s future and that it was “very bad” that there were no liberal parties represented in the Duma, Medvedev himself said the he would not run against Vladimir Putin if Putin chose to seek the presidency for at third time.
Writing in the Wall Street Journal our favorite blogger, Vladimir Kara-Murza, told the world who Medvedev really is: “Medvedev’s recent statements about freedom and political competition have led many Western observers to hope for a new wave of democratic reforms in Russia. The Justice Ministry’s denial of the Popular Freedom Party’s registration papers last week shows that these statements are a fraud.”
A group of leading Western Russia scholars was blunt: They called the Kremlin’s decision “clearly political” and held that it violated international law to which Russia was obligated. And they challenged the US to respond: “The Obama administration is on record that democracy and human rights are important to U.S.-Russia relations. If so, the administration, and the U.S. Congress, should respond vigorously with measures designed to support democratic rights and freedoms. ”
Russia’s Very, Very Unfriendly Skies
A wise man never flies Russia's most unfriendly skies!
The month of June proved to be one of the worst and most humiliating in the history of Russian aviation. Unfriendly skies? Call them downright hostile!
First, a TU-134 airliner crashed while attempting to land near Petrozavodsk, killing all of its nearly four dozen passengers. This model drops out of the sky with metronomic regularity, and Russia was soon ordering it out of service. But this could only leave all intelligent people wondering: Why did Russia wait so long?
It was only the beginning, though.
Russia and its “Wealth”
According to the Wealth-X website, Russia has one-quarter the ultra high net worth (UHNW) citizens that Brazil has and close to one-tenth the number held by India and China. But Russia goes toe-to-toe with the other BRIC nations when it comes to billionaires, and those billionaires control a shocking 85% of all the wealth held by Russia’s ultra-rich. In Brazil and India (and for that matter the United States), billionaires do not even control a third of the ultra-rich asset base. Russia’s billionaires control a third of Russia’s GDP, whereas in the USA billionaires control just a tenth.
What this data shows beyond any question is that Russia is a disastrous failure when it comes to spreading the wealth. Russia is an oligarchy even within its oligarchy, as billionaires greedily refuse to allow millionaires to have a fair share of the investment pot. And Russia’s ultra-rich control an unspeakably vast segment of Russia’s total wealth, meaning that only a very narrow group of decision-makers controls the lion’s share of all important financial decisions. With such limited information and viewpoints, it’s inevitable that Russian innovation and entrepreneurship will suffer.
Bulgaria Educates Russia
We could hardly help squealing with delight late last month when Bulgaria gave Russia a lesson by painting a Soviet war statue, shown above, so that the Soviet soldiers looked like American superheros (Wolverine, Superman and Captain America, for instance), as shown below.
The third round of play at the All-England Club this year was utterly disastrous for Russian female tennis players .
It never ceases to amaze us how so many Russians will, when confronted by evidence of catastrophic failure like this, seek to rationalize it rather than to demand reform — the very thing they do in politics and all other aspects of their lives. Instead of calling for improvement by Russia, they invariably point to failures by other countries, as if that made it OK for Russia to fail.
It reminds us of the old Soviet-era joke: An American walks up to a hotel desk clerk in Moscow and complains loudly about the shockingly poor accommodations in his Russian hotel room. The clerk responds: “Yes, but you lynch blacks.” The result of this attitude was that the USSR never improved, collapsed and disappeared into the ashcan of history. And, or so it seems, Russians have learned absolutely nothing from that experience.
In the third round at Wimbledon 2011, both Russia’s top seed, world #3 Vera Zvonareva, and its third seed, world #12 Svetlana Kuznetsova, were cruelly slaughtered by lower-ranked opponents. Zvonareva, supposedly Russia’ s best player, suffered particularly intense humiliation, getting blasted off the court in easy straight sets by the tournaments’s lowest seed, a Bulgarian not ranked in the top 30 (and we report elsewhere in today’s issue on how the Bulgarians recently thumbed their noses at Russia over World War II — ouch!).
Declining Russia, which some idiots used to refer to as “dominant” in the sport, had a pathetic six seeds going into the tournament, and now two of the top three were gone before the fourth round could begin. What’s more, the #14 seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova had already lost in the second round, as had the #28 seed Ekaterina Makarova. After Kuznetsova and Zvonareva went down, this left only two Russian seeds with a chance of getting as far as the fourth round.
Мы сегодня в цирк поедем!
На арене нынче снова
С дрессированным Медведем
Укротитель дядя Вова.
От восторга цирк немеет!
Хохочу, держась за папу,
А Медведь рычать не смеет,
Лишь сосет потешно лапу,
Сам себя берет за шкирки,
Важно кланяется детям.
До чего забавно в цирке
С дядей Вовой и Медведем!