Streetwise Professor

December 1, 2011

Remind Me Again: Who Are the Russophobes?

Filed under: Politics,Russia,Sports — The Professor @ 8:45 pm

I know that a trip to any ER or trauma center in the US hardly a walk in the park, but when a Russian hospital makes a heavily tattooed mixed martial artist (or would that be “artiste”?), who has seen and shed his share of blood blanche, that’s saying something:

Primitive conditions and equipment in a Moscow policlinic alarmed mixed martial artist Jeff Monson after his bloody defeat and Putin’s booing, but doctors say the size of their tools scared him.

. . . .

When Monson was taken to hospital afterwards he was appalled by the battered and bloodied patients he saw wandering the wards and the rough and ready approach he encountered, while full of praise for the doctors’ bedside manner.

. . . .

Many of Monson’s fellow patients were in a bad way, Monson said afterwards, “The hallways were full of wandering patients that looked like they were just out of a civil war battle,” he told Mixed Martial Arts news portal MMA Mania.

But what’s actually more sobering (an ironic statement that will become clear in a minute) is that the doctors basically said, “so what’s the big deal?”  That, and the reason they considered it no big deal:

The doctors at City Hospital No. 36 on Fortunatovskaya Ulitsa said he was probably just alarmed as he came in when there were lots of drunks, “You can indeed see an influx of patients everyday at around 6:00 pm with beaten up faces,” doctors told Moskovsky Komsomolets.

“About 40 – 50 patients will be like that, they are all local drunks or have been injured in domestic fights. They wait their turn to see the doctor in the corridor and by all accounts this is what Monson saw,” medical staff told the paper.

Six o’clock.  The drinking starts early, apparently.  That, and the domestic abuse. That’s normal, isn’t it?  What’s this American getting all riled up about?

Monson was also appalled by the Frankenstein stitch-up on his bloodied lip:

“I got 16 stitches on the inside and outside of my lip with a material that could of passed for chicken wire. It was so sharp it was making my gums bleed so I took them out myself,” he said.

Again, the doctors were dismissive:

But the hospital say that everything was perfectly standard and speculate that maybe it was the size of their instruments that gave him a fright, “Maybe, he had been given short-term anesthesia on previous occasions, so he hadn’t seen what size they were,” surgeons suggested to MK.

Anesthesia?  MMF wussie.  Man up, dude.  You’re in Russia now, son.  When we aren’t using these big awls to stitch people up, we repair shoes with them.

If you’ve been following the news, you’ll recognize Monson as the fighter who lost in the fight that Putin attended.  There was booing after the fight, when Putin was in the ring with the fighters.  There’s been a raging controversy whether the booing was directed at VVP.

The problem is, that the excuses intended to refute claims that Putin was the object of the cat calls tend to make regular Russians look bad.  One excuse is that the Russians were booing the battered Monson: this insult to Russian sportsmanship was offered by none other than Putin’s press flack, Dmitry Peskov.  Another, advanced by the Nashi trolls, is that the crowd was, uhm, just pissed.  Figuratively and literally.  Or, maybe it would be more accurate to say that they wanted to be pissing because they were pissed (in another colloquial use of the term):

Soon after the incident Kristina Potupchik, press-secretary for Kremlin youth group Nashi, mocked anyone who thought Putin was being heckled by the angry crowd. “Don’t you recognize a greeting?” She wrote on her Live Journal page.

She later conceded that the calls were scornful ones, but denied they were directed at the prime minister. “The occasional cries of ‘foo’ were caused by the stupid entry and exit system…That’s why some of the 22,000 bladders filled with beer started protesting,” she wrote.

“Foo”?  Really?  She should have said that the audience actually thought that they’d seen Dave Grohl in the crowd.  At least that wouldn’t have made the crowd look like unsportsmanlike boors.

So, just as the emergency room was filled with drunken brawlers, the audience for the actual MMA brawl was another bunch of drunks.

So Mr. Peskov and Ms. Potupchik: Congratulations for making ordinary Russians look so good!  I guess it’s better to slander your countrymen by the gross as drunken bad sports than admit even the possibility that people do not worship unconditionally the New Tsar.

I ask again: just who are the Russophobes?  Here, in one story, Russians in positions of authority–doctors, presidential shills, and “youth group” spokesgal–reflexively slag their fellow Russians as drunken, violent, louts.  Well done!

PS. But apparently some realize that this story hardly makes Russians look good.  I originally saw the story on RiaNovosti.  Then, a couple of hours later, the story wasn’t there.  Now it’s back.

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  1. There were a few others, I believe:
    * They were actually yelling pUUUUtin.
    * Booing is the new cheering.
    * etc.,

    Comment by So? — December 2, 2011 @ 12:25 am

  2. I’ve seen both sides of medical care in Russia. Private clinics can be quite good, but the public hospitals can be harrowing. I had to rescue an employee who got mugged one night. First, it was difficult to even find a place that was open late at night. Second, when we did, it was one of the most frightening places I’ve ever seen. The nurse rudely told my employee to go to the bathroom and clean the blood off his face (he was pretty bad off, so to treat him like that was the most insulting thing I ever saw in Russia). Meanwhile, the hospital was dirtier than most other public buildings in the city. Then, they barely took a look at him and shoved him off quite quickly.

    On the other end of the spectrum, there are some pretty first-class facilities available if you have the extra bucks, of course. I saw things more fancy and modern in a regional city in Russia than I’ve ever seen in the U.S. Still, I would recommend that Mr. Monson try a better option next time he gets his face beat up in Russia.

    Comment by Howard Roark — December 2, 2011 @ 12:55 am

  3. I was going to the Cherkizovski rynok up on the north end of the red Metro line with a friend one day, it was my first trip up there (looved the place, what a den of iniquity).

    We headed back to the Metro about sundown and when we got there, there were armed militsia galore and queues of loaded troop carriers lined up unloading a zillion milisia more. Was it a coup, a revolution, a takeover? We were completely freaked out.

    No. It was a soccer game. I hadn’t paid any attention to the giant soccer stadium right behind the Metro station.

    Russians have a reputation for behaving badly at sporting events. Seriously badly.

    Comment by gardener1 — December 2, 2011 @ 2:15 am

  4. I saw that story on RIA Novosti too and was quite surprised that they printed such a scathing account of the medical treatment a foreigner had received. Very surprised to see it indeed. Especially since VVP was mentioned in the same story.

    Didn’t realized that they had taken it down. And then put it back up? Kudos to them for letting the story stand. That’s a huge leap in journalism for Russia. Baby steps Professor, baby steps.

    Comment by gardener1 — December 2, 2011 @ 2:23 am

  5. Russians are among the most dissatisfied in the world with their health and well-being

    Read more:
    The Moscow Times

    Comment by La Russophobe — December 2, 2011 @ 6:38 am

  6. GARDNER: Your comment implies you think Russia has the time to make progress in baby steps. What factual basis do you have to make you believe that is a reasonable statement?

    Comment by La Russophobe — December 2, 2011 @ 6:46 am

  7. No such outrage could possibly have occurred while Our dear departed servant Boris Y. held power, or when Our assiduous servant Boris N. held power. This clearly was ordered personally by Our rebellious servant Vladimir!

    And We are certain it would be fixed if only Our junior colleague Mikhail Kh. would trade places with Our rebellious servant Vladimir and give Us control of the Russian energy sector!

    Comment by a — December 2, 2011 @ 6:54 am

  8. As follow up to Howard-before private clinics opened the situation was far worse since decent health care was not available at any price throughout much of Russia. I know families that left after finding out that their children could not receive decent health care. A teen son of an acquaintance suffered a head injury from a skiing accident and there wasn’t any x ray film available in the area let alone more sophisticated imaging. There are many tragic stories.

    Emelienko was a great champion as well as a gentleman. He represents well the best traits of Russian character and for that matter human character.

    Comment by pahoben — December 2, 2011 @ 7:36 am

  9. The hospitals in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk were pretty grim, but the staff generally seemed to be trying to do the right thing. By contrast, the local ISOS clinic appeared to be staffed by blithering incompetents and run on the basis that foreigners and foreign companies were there to be fleeced to the maximum extent possible. The former business development manager was a fat, ignorant, nasty piece of work called Filayev, who tried to have me sacked from my company because I dared complain about the shit service his clinic was providing and the boorish behaviour displayed by him personally. I was therefore not sorry when he burned to death in a plane crash in Papau New Guineau a year or so later. What comes around, goes around.

    Comment by Tim Newman — December 2, 2011 @ 10:52 am

  10. Tim-the first American Doc on the Island was an incredible piece of work. It was no surprise to me that he wasn’t practicing medicine in the US. I wouldn’t have him attending to my dog if given the choice.

    Comment by pahoben — December 2, 2011 @ 12:26 pm

  11. This reflects badly on Monson’s handlers who either didn’t do their homework prior to the match or didn’t think to call the Embassy for some advice. Lots of great private clinics in Moscow who’d have stitched him up sweet and sharp…for a nominal fee. I recommend the French docs of the EMC…thanks for zapping my kidney stone freres!

    As for the booing of Putin…you’d think mixed martial arts dudes would be fully on Putin’s side wouldn’t you? Curious. Well…he can always rely on the firm loyalty of hockey fans…


    Comment by Swoggler — December 2, 2011 @ 2:04 pm

  12. Yes, I was wondering too why Monson was was sent to a Russian hospital and not EMC.

    Perhaps it was late in the evening? I don’t know that EMC has after hours emergency service.

    Comment by gardener1 — December 2, 2011 @ 2:20 pm

  13. “11.This reflects badly on Monson’s handlers”

    No, it doesn’t. It reflects badly on the Russian hosts, who could not direct the injured and helpless foreign guest to appropriate medical treatment. This deflection of responsbility from the Russians who are truly at fault is the reason why Russia has so much difficulty making progress as a nation. It’s time to hold the Russians accountable, we are not doing them any favors by rationalizing their failure.

    Comment by La Russophobe — December 2, 2011 @ 6:23 pm

  14. “the staff generally seemed to be trying to do the right thing”

    Imagine thinking that while your family member is lying prostrate and helpless. It’s not very comforting, is it? Only those who know the true horror of Russia would be able to find comfort in such an observation.

    Comment by La Russophobe — December 2, 2011 @ 6:24 pm

  15. Who are the anti-Americans?

    Comment by Sublime Oblivion — December 2, 2011 @ 7:28 pm

  16. Only those who know the true horror of Russia would be able to find comfort in such an observation.

    And those who know Britain’s NHS. 🙂 Nursing staff there have a habit of sitting in their station gossiping, reading magazines, and surfing the internet whilst patients slowly starve to death lying in their own excrement.

    Comment by Tim Newman — December 2, 2011 @ 7:44 pm

  17. Don’t you know S/O any comments about the looming corporatist Anglo-American police state are off topic here? Even when the Professor complains about getting groped by the TSA? Everyone knows its Putinoids sticking their hands along his crotch, and if McCain says we all must go to Gitmo anytime the president deems us enemy combatants or sympathizers that means only Russophile scumbags will get hauled away, not Jacksonian gun lovers who get caught trafficking in American Eagles silver coinage or somesuch.

    Comment by Mr. X — December 2, 2011 @ 7:53 pm

  18. Anatoly, you don’t need to change the subject just because you don’t know anything about the topic at hand. You have a delightful blog where you can raise the enormities of America (and, apparently, Latvia) to your heart’s content. You don’t have to comment on everything Russia-related on this site you know. If you’ve never received health care from anything less medically advanced than an HMO…well…good for you. Let those of us who have lived or are living it now have a little chat.

    And X, weren’t you retiring? I guess booing Putin brought you back from your beekeeping in fury. Welcome back Celine.

    Gardner, EMC is open round-the-clock but late-night emergency services are exxxxpensive.

    LR, we disagree on this one. Any good manager should do everything in his power to ensure the health and safety of his meal ticket. Since violent blows to the face are not a bug but a feature in MMA fights it’s not unreasonable to have a trauma doctor and a plastic surgeon on speed dial wherever you go. But see? I’m displaying my own ignorance here. Maybe MMA fighters don’t travel with managers and just hop on the plane themselves.

    {Internal S/O inspired, Superman-near-kryptonite, monologue begins} “No! Must not display own ignorance. Must…pass self off as expert on…everything. Cannot…find easy data on…wikipedia. Must…change…topic…Jaguars…still…have…bad…wiring.” {Annnnnd scene.}

    Comment by Swoggler — December 2, 2011 @ 10:18 pm

  19. As Putin plans to stay, many Russians want out.

    Comment by La Russophobe — December 3, 2011 @ 2:10 am

  20. I am retiring. Commenting on other people’s blogs is a mental disease akin to alcoholism.

    I predict the Jamestown Foundation will keep Phobie on a steady cat food diet in Manhattan until she’s replaced by a Pentagon AI bot that will collate the day’s Russia-related headlines and spew Russophobic venom from a database of her posts over ten years without any wasteful spending on a human being to do it. My guesstimate is that’s 2016 or whenever Manhattan gets locked down by our new police state bosses ala a certain John Carpenter dystopic film starring Kurt Russell. Whichever comes first.

    And for the record, I’ve been to EMC. And the American Clinic in Moscow. No illusions that it isn’t first class all the way and hardly what most Russians in Yakutia or North Ossetia can expect. They offered to operate on my deviated septum and I said no thank you, I’d rather snore the rest of my life.

    Unfortunately it seems only A-list celebrities and U.S. Senators can expect the same quality of care in the U.S. now thanks to our rising oligarchy and ObamaCare (aka let’s give health insurers a corporatist cartel oligopoly FO-REVAAHHHHH! Shhh…don’t tell anyone that they can go to cheap clinics in Cuba or Panama either…as the grandfather Rockefeller of the current slimy Senator who just voted for indefinite detention and torture of his fellow Americans once said, ‘competition is a sin’).

    So perhaps, to answer the Prof’s parting shot question, the occasionally whiny expats have swapped places with the minigarchs and oligarchs who’ve fled to the UK and lord there over the expanding British underclass with their ill gotten gains.

    Comment by Mr. X — December 3, 2011 @ 4:25 am

  21. What? LaR is not a bot? That would make it the first human to fail the Turing test.

    Comment by So? — December 3, 2011 @ 7:43 am

  22. S/O. I have seen all the hue and cry over Sec. 1032 of the Natl. Def. Authorization Act that is referred to in the link that you post. I have seen the allegation repeated over and over that this section empowers the US military to detain anybody, including US citizens, indefinitely at its whim. But these breathless articles and blog posts and tweets etc. never actually quote the language of the section. Curious, I looked it up.

    Here’s the link to it. Here’s what it says:

    (a) Custody Pending Disposition Under Law of War-

    (1) IN GENERAL- Except as provided in paragraph (4), the Armed Forces of the United States shall hold a person described in paragraph (2) who is captured in the course of hostilities authorized by the Authorization for Use of Military Force (Public Law 107-40) in military custody pending disposition under the law of war.

    (2) COVERED PERSONS- The requirement in paragraph (1) shall apply to any person whose detention is authorized under section 1031 who is determined–

    (A) to be a member of, or part of, al-Qaeda or an associated force that acts in coordination with or pursuant to the direction of al-Qaeda; and

    (B) to have participated in the course of planning or carrying out an attack or attempted attack against the United States or its coalition partners.

    (3) DISPOSITION UNDER LAW OF WAR- For purposes of this subsection, the disposition of a person under the law of war has the meaning given in section 1031(c), except that no transfer otherwise described in paragraph (4) of that section shall be made unless consistent with the requirements of section 1033.

    (4) WAIVER FOR NATIONAL SECURITY- The Secretary of Defense may, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Director of National Intelligence, waive the requirement of paragraph (1) if the Secretary submits to Congress a certification in writing that such a waiver is in the national security interests of the United States.

    (b) Applicability to United States Citizens and Lawful Resident Aliens-

    (1) UNITED STATES CITIZENS- The requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to citizens of the United States.

    (2) LAWFUL RESIDENT ALIENS- The requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to a lawful resident alien of the United States on the basis of conduct taking place within the United States, except to the extent permitted by the Constitution of the United States.

    (c) Implementation Procedures-

    (1) IN GENERAL- Not later than 60 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the President shall issue, and submit to Congress, procedures for implementing this section.

    (2) ELEMENTS- The procedures for implementing this section shall include, but not be limited to, procedures as follows:

    (A) Procedures designating the persons authorized to make determinations under subsection (a)(2) and the process by which such determinations are to be made.

    (B) Procedures providing that the requirement for military custody under subsection (a)(1) does not require the interruption of ongoing surveillance or intelligence gathering with regard to persons not already in the custody or control of the United States.

    (C) Procedures providing that a determination under subsection (a)(2) is not required to be implemented until after the conclusion of an interrogation session which is ongoing at the time the determination is made and does not require the interruption of any such ongoing session.

    (D) Procedures providing that the requirement for military custody under subsection (a)(1) does not apply when intelligence, law enforcement, or other government officials of the United States are granted access to an individual who remains in the custody of a third country.

    (E) Procedures providing that a certification of national security interests under subsection (a)(4) may be granted for the purpose of transferring a covered person from a third country if such a transfer is in the interest of the United States and could not otherwise be accomplished.

    My read is that the criticism is hysterical and overwrought. But being inherently skeptical of government, legislation, etc., I understand the potential for abuse, and so I’m open to alternative interpretations of what the language means. For instance, it is widely claimed that the bill authorizes detention of US citizens anywhere. That seems directly contrary to 1032(b). It is also clear that the provision refers to those who are engaged in hostilities [1032(1)(a)], and is either in al Qaeda or involved in some way in attacks on US or Coalition forces [1032(a)(2)(B)].

    The straightforward interpretation is that this section allows the military to detain as POWs non-US citizens anywhere, and US lawful residents overseas, anyone in Al Qaeda and/or engaged in hostilities against US forces. Similarly, it does not extend such power to the military over US citizens, or lawful residents apprehended in the US. But again, I’m open to persuasion that this is a vast expansion of the powers of the government to seize and detain anyone, including US citizens; a trampling of Posse Comitatus, etc.

    Have at it.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — December 3, 2011 @ 9:03 am

  23. Ms. Potupchik: Congratulations for making ordinary Russians look so good! I guess it’s better to slander your countrymen by the gross as drunken bad sports than admit even the possibility that people do not worship unconditionally the New Tsar. Imagens do calendário foram publicadas no blog da porta-voz do grupo, Kristina Potupchik.

    Comment by Benito Amilcare Andrea Berlusconi — December 3, 2011 @ 11:57 am

  24. As I said, posting comments on other people’s blogs is akin to alcoholism. But I’ll take one shot before leaving:

    Section 1032 Professor is the sugar designed to make the arsenic go down. Quite simply, your argument was already made over at brother Alex Jones website in the comments WITHIN MINUTES of him posting an article slamming the bill and quoting Senator Rand Paul son of Ron earlier this week. Now you may dismiss this as paranoid rantings, but brother Jones claims the ISPs were all familiar to his staff and used by known pro-endless war drones that he says are paid Pentagon flacks. I doubt Alex Jones sitting in Austin has the ability to trace them directly back to northern Virginia and suburban Maryland based ISPs, but there you go.

    From sources that’re more credible to you, Rand Paul made exactly the point that sec. 1032 is totally contradicted by sec. 1031. Michigan freshman Republican Justin Amash told the Grand Rapids Press that the bill is deliberately written to mislead, referring to the 1031 vs. 1032 issue. Amash ought to be concerned, not merely because he’s an American of Arab Christian descent, but due to him having a large number of constituents who could conceivably be snatched off the streets and disappear into the Gitmo or even Latvian black prison rat holes. Former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore who’s chairman of a congressional committee on terrorism and likely supported the Patriot Act also concurred:

    Lastly, you have to ask yourself the question: why now? After so many years when any Republican Congress could have rubber stamped this bill, why all of the sudden do we need this alleged legal clarification which clarifies nothing and leaves all the decision making power in the hands of anonymous bureaucrats working for a President you clearly don’t trust with this awesome power to suspend habaeus corpus and posse comitatus, as Abraham Lincoln did only temporarily (as opposed to open-ended endlessly) during an actual Civil War?

    With the Fed having printed up unknown trillions to bail out the ECB, what are Senators McCain, Graham and Rockefeller preparing the U.S. for? Real martial law?

    Comment by Mr. X — December 3, 2011 @ 2:42 pm

  25. @Mr. X. Alcoholism+take one shot. Very droll juxtaposition–though I’m sure it was unintentional.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — December 3, 2011 @ 3:58 pm

  26. “The country has been going its way — down, down,” said Nina Kuzmina who, like other travelers, spoke through an interpreter. The 35-year-old was bundled up in the cold at Yaroslavsky train station in Moscow, ready to board a train back to the industrial city of Perm, in the Ural Mountains, where she is raising three children.

    Comment by La Russophobe — December 3, 2011 @ 4:14 pm

  27. Oh, Rand Paul said it, so it’s obviously gospel. Uhm, not really. And if you quote Alex Jones as gospel, you’ll have exactly the opposite of your intended effect. He’s a loser and an idiot. On his better days.

    Point to the parts of 1031 or 1032 that authorize suspension of habeus corpus or posse comitatus. Seriously: cite the language that authorizes this suspension.

    Re contradiction: Not seeing it. Here’s 1031:


    (a) IN GENERAL.—Congress affirms that the authority of the President to use all necessary and appropriate force pursuant to the Authorization for Use of Military Force (Public Law 107–40) includes the authority for the Armed Forces of the United States to detain covered persons (as defined in subsection (b)) pending disposition under the law of war.

    (b) COVERED PERSONS.—A covered person under this section is any person as follows:
    (1) A person who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored those responsible for those attacks.
    (2) A person who was a part of or substantially supported al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners, including any person who has committed a belligerent act or has directly supported such hostilities in aid of such enemy forces.

    1031 gives the President the authority to detain the covered persons defined as above. 1032 says the military “shall” detain covered persons. It thereby says the military has no discretion as to whether to exercise the authority that 1031 grants to the President: where’s the contradiction? 1032 directs how the authority granted in 1031 will be exercised. This power can only be exercised against covered persons as defined in 1031 who are “determined” under procedures to be established within 60 days. So no contradiction in terms of covered persons.

    Paragraph 1032(a)(4) means that the SecDef can decide not to detain someone, based on national security considerations. Presumably this is intended to allow the use intelligence sources that would be covered persons.

    Very weak, X man. Even for you.

    And are you saying that large numbers of residents of Rep. Amash’s district are (a) Al Qaeda, Taliban, or others engaged in hostilities against US or coalition forces, and (b) are neither citizens nor lawful resident aliens? I’m sure the people in that district will be so pleased that you hold them in such high regard.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — December 3, 2011 @ 4:22 pm

  28. And notice the difference, Mr. X You: (a) rely on the characterizations of a senator and US rep, (and even worse, some radio whackjob), but (b) do not actually quote or independently analyze the (readily available) original source material. (Weird that you would place so much faith in the word of any elected officials. How do you know they’re not part of the vast conspiracy?) I: actually read and analyze independently the actual legislation at issue. If you want to debate further, I suggest you do the same. Your style is analogous to a game of telephone.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — December 3, 2011 @ 4:47 pm

  29. Thank you professor , for take a shot the loony Putin -supporters . Mr X is my favorite Red-Brown LOONY , he is like a brainwashed Putin servant dutifully parrot the “party line” — Natalia Lepleiskaya is a 29-year-old IT manager. She and her husband are immigrating to Canada. She explained to an Associated Press reporter, “I don’t see how I can change things…and I don’t want to waste my youth on it.” That is unfortunately, the attitude of far too many of those leaving Russia today. Putin’s party has held the majority since 2000, and the second largest party is the Communists. Until and unless a third party, a truly democratic party, arises and wins significant power locally and nationally, this is how life will be in Russia – the older people will cling to what they know, communism, the younger will either follow Putin or leave the country.

    A poll of 1,600 Russians taken in May by the respected Levada Center showed that 22% of respondents said they wanted to immigrate, compared to 13% in April 2009. The margin of error is plus-or-minus 3.4%. Emigration statistics are hard to estimate. Few Russians apply for citizenship in the countries they move to, and that makes it difficult to get an accurate number. But Mikhail Denisenko of the Higher School of Economics in Moscow estimates that half a million Russians left between 2002 and 2009. He calls this the “fifth wave” of emigration since the beginning of the 20th century. Lev Godkov, head of the Levada Center, said that “The level of frustration is higher…it’s a feeling of discomfort, an aversion to life in Russia. The prospect of another 12 years of stagnation or even a worsening of the situation is frightening them and they are beginning to think about moving to a different country or at least providing a future for their children” abroad.

    The Russian web is filled with sites offering advice on how to emigrate and exposing the daily corruption of the ruling class. Blogger Anton Nossik, who holds seminars on emigration, said “The news that Putin is staying has spoiled people’s mood and this talk started resonating more.” Though there has been economic growth, corruption is practically institutionalized, dissidents are imprisoned – though with a veneer of legal trial – and there is no political competition. Education and health care are devolving from their levels in the Soviet Union, the army is plagued with mistreatment and no one has any faith in the judicial system.

    The first great wave of Russian emigration was after the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution, then after World War II, and between 1989 and 2002, when 1.6 million left. A wave of Russian Jews emigrated between 1971 and 1988.

    Comment by Anders — December 3, 2011 @ 6:01 pm

  30. Characterization? Since your refrain is read the damn blog, watch the damn videos!

    short version – direct question and response between Sens. Paul to McCain. You can also read elsewhere Rand’s remarks on terrorist profiling including folks missing fingers and other idiotic criteria. Notice McCain’s weasely response about detainees — if any of the detainees caught overseas were American citizens who’d fought/killed their fellow Americans on behalf of Al-Qaeda, why didn’t we just charge them with treason and be done with it or try them like Jose Padilla either before, during or after sending them to Gitmo? McCain doesn’t explain, because he worships unlimited, discretionary executive power, including wars totally in defiance of Congress like Libya
    Longer version and response

    The twisting of my words re: Amash was a weak debater’s trick. Amash clearly doesn’t believe his constituents are terrorists, nor do I. He merely notices that Michigan has the largest Arab-American population and therefore is statistically more likely to be affected by this law, regardless of the guilt or innocence i.e. the notorious case where some poor dude was snatched up simply for having the same name as a reputed Hezbollah member. I haven’t looked at his district to see if it includes Dearborn, the most Arab-American city in the U.S. But there’s obviously a reason besides his support for Ron Paul for president that he’s one of FIVE House Republicans to have opposed this bill.

    To paraphrase Stalin about vote counting Professor, it’s not the legislation, it’s who’s reading it that counts. I’m sure the precise legal language of the Reichs emergency laws passed after the Reichstag fire were innocuous.

    You didn’t answer the question WHY NOW. But why should you, you smugly feel like you’re part of The Establishment and thereby safe from this law being used to crack down on legit dissent. You tisk tisk around the edges here (complain about TSA groping, but don’t say a damn thing about how the bill was sneakily killed in the TX Legislature for example) and there but still go to the conferences with financial sociopaths who should be locked up.

    And I suspect Brother Alex makes more money than you do, loser or not!

    Further discussion of this issue or anything Russia-related here is pointless. The only thing that will wake you up is when some non-brown people in your state of Texas get arrested for having ‘too many [legal] guns’ or ‘dealing in illegal currencies [i.e. silver or bitcoin or somesuch]’ or some new, dramatically expanded definition of a terrorist. Untl then, good night and good luck.

    Comment by Mr. X — December 3, 2011 @ 6:07 pm

  31. Anders, ever heard of a guy called Simon Black? Let’s just say his posts on ZeroHedge advising Americans on how to get a second passport to flee the Homeland Security state get HUNDREDS OF TIMES more hits than the websites you reference, judging by ZH’s traffic in the top 900 U.S. websites.

    Comment by Mr. X — December 3, 2011 @ 6:15 pm

  32. So Professor, you have to believe that:

    Sen. Rand Paul is a hysteric or is promoting hysteria (so much for your alleged libertarian impulses, which always always always defer to the national security state)

    Global Guerillas’ John Boyd and the hundreds of distinguished military officers who follow his twitter feed and take him very seriously are all idiots or at best are guilty of repeating and retweeting hysteria. They should just shut up and defer to Pentagon civilians who know better like rytb. And groups like Oath Keepers are completely unnecessary and only promoted by Russia Today guests like Alex Jones. Right?

    And on and on and on…there is no point in debating this with you further, you have totally closed your mind. Deep down, I think it’s because if you came out of the closet as a Ron Paul supporter you fear some of those invites to conferences would dry up. If you said the Fed has destroyed all legitimacy or claims to independence by slavishly printing endless amounts of money no more CME roundtables. Etc etc etc.

    Comment by Mr. X — December 3, 2011 @ 6:24 pm

  33. When supporters of a given policy have to revert to totally full of it arguments (Rand Paul is weak on terrorism, Rand Paul wants FOREIGNERS detained outside of the U.S. read their Miranda rights and given trials, Rand Paul would just let all the Gitmo detainees go instead of trying them with laws and WWII legal precedents we already have and that Stewart Rhodes outlined in 2004) then you know they’re full of crap:
    Andy McCarthy tells gullible conservatives that Rand Paul is a paleo-libertarian radical, while advocating the truly radical position of no habeus corpus period, solely at executive discretion

    Comment by Mr. X — December 3, 2011 @ 6:31 pm

  34. And one last thing — I’m glad Putin got booed. It proves that while being a very weak if not not-quite democracy, Russia is not the totalitarian state Phobie and the other idiots swarming this site have constantly claimed it is. Try booing the Princes publically in Saudi Arabia or Bhahrain, America’s BFFs forever. They’ll cut your head off.

    Comment by Mr. X — December 3, 2011 @ 6:41 pm

  35. “Mr. X
    I am retiring. Commenting on other people’s blogs is a mental disease akin to alcoholism.”

    On what date does this ‘retirement’ commence?
    Now is good. Look into it.

    Comment by gardener1 — December 3, 2011 @ 7:51 pm

  36. The reference to SWP saying ‘a certain commenter saying I’m a shill for the banks and The Man’ — mission accomplished, to the extent that anything was ever possible commenting here. The answer gardener is NOW.

    Comment by Mr. X — December 3, 2011 @ 8:25 pm

  37. Try booing the Princes publically in Saudi Arabia or Bhahrain, America’s BFFs forever. They’ll cut your head off.

    No, they won’t.

    Comment by Tim Newman — December 3, 2011 @ 8:55 pm

  38. There are boxers who have retired fewer times than X man.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — December 3, 2011 @ 10:51 pm

  39. And you still haven’t pointed to a single goddam word in the actual goddam bill.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — December 3, 2011 @ 10:54 pm

  40. Proving that there’s always a market for paranoid bullshit.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — December 3, 2011 @ 10:54 pm

  41. Normally I am all for free speech, but Mr.X does make me wonder sometimes LOL.

    SWP, thanks heaps for posting the actual wording, it is a far cry from what morons like Mr.X have been spouting.

    As to why they don’t just charge American citizens with Treason, maybe because they are more use alive, if you know you are going to be executed for treason, you have no need to spill the beans, and long term detention is vastly preferable to the chair or firing squad.

    Comment by Andrew — December 4, 2011 @ 1:03 am

  42. Ha-ha – Russia is not a totalitarian state the paranoid Putin-mafia supporter Mr X tells us . Russia is a mafia run operation. Welcome to Putin’s “czarship.”
    Russian independent election watchdog found guilty

    Shibanova works for Golos (translation: Vote or Voice), an EU and US funded group that monitors elections. It is highly respected internationally for its integrity and honesty. It provides training for observers and runs a website for lodging complaints about irregularities. By Friday, it had already logged over 5,000 complaints about the Russian elections. Deputy Director Grigory Melkonyants said that “All our staff face threats and psychological pressure.”

    Human Rights Watch echoed Golos’ concerns, saying it is a victim of a smear campaign, with Putin claiming that the group is acting as a front for foreign governments that want to influence the Russian elections. Tanya Lokshina of HRW’s Moscow branch told Reuters that “They are trying to shut it up because Golos is the only large-scale, serious organization that is exposing election violations.”

    Golos was fined $1,000 on Friday for reporting “election related opinion polls and research” on Tuesday and Wednesday. It is illegal to do so for five days before an election. Tuesday would have been legal, Wednesday wasn’t, not even in a country that crosses nine time zones where it is Wednesday morning in Vladivostok when it’s Tuesday night in St. Petersburg.

    In one of those time-warp speeches so reminiscent of the old Soviet Union, President Medvedev told the Russian people on Friday night that their political parties enjoy “free and equal competition” in the election, even though his party, United Russia, will take the majority of seats in the Duma, with the Communists taking the second-highest number and a scattering of seats being held by the Liberal Democrats and Fair Russia, just the way the Duma is constituted today. Medvedev urged Russians to choose “responsible politicians who can help improve our people’s living standards in practice, and who will be guided in their actions by the interests of the voters and national interests.” Gee, we used to hear these speeches every few years from the likes of Khrushchev, Brezhnev, Andropov and Chernenko. The only thing missing is a five-year plan.

    Comment by Anders — December 4, 2011 @ 4:19 am

  43. Didn’t Mr. X say he was going to stop commenting? And HOW MANY comments followed after that??

    Here we see the neo-Soviet ape laid bare, words mean nothing except a welcome opportunity to lie.

    Comment by La Russophobe — December 4, 2011 @ 6:34 am

  44. Just because I don’t know where else to put this and the relevant information is so entertainingly uninformative…..I just had to post it.

    Russian news! Gotta love it!

    13:56 05/12/2011
    MOSCOW, December 5 (RIA Novosti)

    Two Ukrainians robbed of 3 million euros in central Moscow

    Four Muscovites stole a bag with three million euros from two Ukrainian nationals in downtown Moscow, a police source said on Monday.

    He said it took the police some 30 minutes to detain the thieves with the bag in northern Moscow on Saturday.

    The suspects, three unemployed Muscovites and a security guard, face up to 12 years in prison if found guilty.

    Really? Could you be less specific please? What fricking Ukranian is walking around downtown Moscow with 3 MILLION EUROS??!! And it was stolen? Really?

    The combination of journalism and detective work here is awe-inspiring, no?

    Comment by gardener1 — December 5, 2011 @ 6:31 am

  45. Just can’t trust the banks these days, gardener1. And who was dumber, the “victims”, or the perps–who were caught in 30 minutes by the crack Moscow police?

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — December 5, 2011 @ 10:10 am

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