A Very Russian Contradiction

This is what it is to live in Vladimir Putin’s Russia.

POLICE PER HUNDRED THOUSAND CITIZENS

Russia: 564.6

United States:  226.7

HOMICIDE PER HUNDRED THOUSAND CITIZENS

Russia:  10.2

United States:  4.7

The worst of all possible worlds.  Russia has all the disadvantages of a massive police state with none of the benefits.  Freedom, creativity and innovation are destroyed but the streets are not made safer.  Russia has twice the police presence that the USA does (and twice the expense and loss of freedom that implies), and twice the crime.

Putinomics: The Torpedo that Sank Russia?

Over on the mighty Pajamas Media Mega blog, LR publisher and founder Kim Zigfeld has published the latest segment in her ongoing series addressing the collapse of the Putin economy. Here are the items so far:

Tracking the Russian economy over the past year is a truly harrowing task for anyone who actually has to try to make living under it.  Putin, who has no credentials whatsoever to manage a large complex economy, is simply doing what comes naturally, repress, steal and lie.  These are the same tactics practiced by the Politburo on the Soviet economy, and the results will be no different.

Will Russia show itself Disabled in Sochi?

The Opening Ceremony for the 2010 Winter Paralympics in Vancouver, Canada, was sold out. 60,000 people watched the parade of nations, and 230,000 tickets were sold for the competitive events, a new record for the Paralympics.  Russia took first place in the total medal count by a huge margin, and narrowly missed first place in gold medals.

Russia is hosting the 2014 Paralympics, so one might expect an amazing new ticket sales plateau to be reached. Radio Free Europe reports, however, that this is far from being the case:

Tickets for the Games went on sale last week. But despite their comparatively low price and the strong showing of Russia’s Paralympic team in the 2012 London Games, officials themselves are warning that this year’s event could generate only limited interest among Russians. The head of the Russian Paralympic Committee, Mikhail Terentyev, said there were “significant concerns” that the competition would not attract enough spectators to fill Sochi’s vast new stadiums.

RFE reports that Russia remains a hellish nightmare for disabled people.  In order to host the 2014 Winter Olympics, Russia was forced to host the Paralympics as well, and in turn was forced to make the Winter Olympics venues fully accessible. But this hasn’t meant that Russia has done anything to improve the lives of its own disabled citizens at all.

Will Russia disgrace itself by leaving the Paralympic venue halls to stand empty?

Now, Russia Starts Arresting Americans

Over on the powerful and influential American Thinker website, LR publisher and founder castigates the Obama administration for failing to stand up for Peter Willcox, the American captain of the Greenpeace protest vessel Arctic Sunrise which was seized in international waters after attempting to protest Russia’s use of dangerously outdated technology at a Gazprom offshore oil drilling rig.

The piece has been translated into Russian by inoSMI.

It’s simply amazing that Russia would dare to use military force to board a Greenpeace vessel that was not in Russian territorial waters and arrest an American citizen who had done absolutely nothing to interfere with the operation of the rig.  What’s even more shocking is that Russia has dared to accuse Willcox of piracy, a crime which even Vladimir Putin himself admits Willcox can’t be guilty of, and threaten him with fifteen years in a Russian dungeon.

Welcome to Cold War II.

We challenge you, dear reader, to answer this question:  Suppose the USA used military force to board an Russian ship that was not in American territorial waters and arrest the Russian citizen who was that ship’s captain. Suppose the ship was full of Nashi activists whose purpose was to protest American “aggression” in Georgia or Syria.  And all the activists were arrested right along with the captain, and threatened with 15 years in prison. How would Russians react?

Kicking some Rooskie Hiney

P1-BN383_USBOOM_NS_20131002182407

As shown by the chart above, the Wall Street Journal reported this week that the United States of America is about to overtake Russia as the world’s #1 producer of oil and gas.  Simultaneously, Russian “Prime Minister” Dima Medvedev penned a long tract in Vedemosti in which he admitted that Russia is descending into neo-Soviet economic stagnation.  And the WSJ reported that Putin’s response to this nightmare is stunningly inappropriate, the exact opposite of what he should be doing:  Instead of pursuing policies to encourage foreign investment, Putin is adopting measures to explicitly choke it off. And he’s embarking on massive new programs to vastly increase military spending while cutting the delivery of basic services to Russian citizens.

Russia is being decimated by the USA in its own bastion of strength, fossil fuels. Nothing could more powerfully express the total blindness and failure of Vladimir Putin as an economics manager.  Russia has seen its economic growth rate spiral relentlessly downward, and now it stands on the precipice of a double-dip recession. Even Putin’s own PM admits that Putin’s policies are failing. And Putin’s response is neo-Soviet crackdown rather than innovation.

Russia is doomed.