“In September last year, Putin and Medvedev announced their plans to swap jobs after Medvedev’s presidential term expires in 2012. Putin said the plans were agreed four years ago when he picked Medvedev as his successor on the presidential post.”
— RIA Novosti, 2 March 2012
Well planned and executed. Duh, the democracy.… -->
As Forbes joked, “in a country where there is an Old New Year must be an old new president too.”
On the elections:
Russia’s Putin faces protests after poll triumph
Russia election: Vladimir Putin celebrates victory
Vladimir Putin: ‘We have won. Glory to Russia’
On the “democraty”:
Selective capitalism and kleptocracy
As Russia Claims Democracy, Is It Redefining The Word?
Природа (нашей) демократии
The unfortunate thing about the elections in Russia is that they are boring. At least in some other countries the elections are staged so that you have an illusion of a fight for power, you get excited over the process and wait eagerly for results. Russia does not bother. Boring.… -->
Some people take security seriously by traveling light to China and Russia. An excellent routine is to erase the devices when you travel somewhere at all. Why carry all the important things that can get stolen? Keep it at home and take only the necessary – that is not only for security but a common sense too.
But you can get too paranoid. When the article mentions that “a thermostat in one of its corporate apartments were still communicating with an Internet address in China” you cannot help going like “yeah, right!” A healthy amount of paranoia is, well, healthy but this is taking the fear levels too far. Not to worry, soon your refrigerator will be reporting to China what you ate for breakfast back in California. Be scared.… -->
It simply amazes me to watch the colonial wars in our time. Somehow years ago I thought it would not be possible to do large-scale colonial wars anymore, that nobody in their right mind would actually dare start a war like that anymore. And there we are, it is all happening in front of our very eyes. Simply unbelievable. Yes, like Iraq, Syria and Libya and all that.
Today they have it in the news that NATO provides air support to the “rebels”. I do not even know where to start laughing at that. At the notion of “rebels”? At the NATO support to anyone but the rightful country administration? At the fact that they are fighting over the control of oil fields? At the comments of Australians that the actual government’s “days are numbered”? At the equally cool reaction to all this of the whole brainwashed population right across the globe?
We had recently an outbreak of some weird bacterias that took away several lives and almost started an epidemic in Northern Germany. I guess nobody sees this as a direct result of the colonial wars or what? No, the services that must know – they know, I am sure. The disease that combines the most horrible parts of two bacterias and resists contemporary antibiotics comes from cucumbers and lettuce? Give me a break! It comes from the demonstrated desire of France and UK to join the colonial wars and cut a piece of pie for themselves and from the outspoken desire of Germany to stay away from it. You want a piece of war? You do not want to give support? Here is a bit of bacteriological warfare for you, think twice before cutting ahead of Uncle Sam.
Strangely, we do not seem to be able to trust ourselves anymore. You know, a hundred years ago people were more honest, I think. Honest to themselves. They would admit they are going to war. They would say to their own population that we are a country at war and there will be casualties even if we all do watch out. Now we pretend that nothing has happened and blame it on the farmers. Yeah, right.
I do not think they can keep up the good appearances forever. There are destabilizing forces that force EU time and time again to look internally rather than externally. Those forces are man-made. I think they have to be known. It is much more efficient to fight against known enemies. The people must know what they are up against. Well, that is, if we really are up against something… -->
A very interesting watch of the news again. As you probably noticed (if not – good for you!), there are heavy floods in Pakistan and China. Facts are as follows, according to BBC:
Around 350 million people are affected in China
Around 20 million people are affected in Pakistan
Estimated 1500 people were killed in China
Estimated 1600 people were killed in Pakistan
Some villages in China were totally wiped off the face of the Earth
Some people in Pakistan do not have electricity
What do you think BBC is talking about? Of course, it is Pakistan. Why? According to me, your most reliable analyst, the situation is as follows:
Things are basically better organized in China with army and rescue involved, judging by the very few reports by BBC, while in Pakistan things are pretty much left up to the local people.
Pakistan has a huge debt to IMF, as opposed to China, so the top honchos have some relationship with the “big brothers in the West”. They will also be sufficiently dependent on the West to agree to basically any conditions.
China would not accept aid with “strings attached” and would not aid willingly in schemings of the West.
It is therefore easy to propose aid to Pakistan under the cover of a difficult situation (that means “money”). So we have the full coverage of the flood in Pakistan, cries for help and shows of suffering (hey, people did not have internet for 3 days, so they are angry!) over there but there is little, if any, mention of the situation in China.
How much money are we talking about? Oh, well, it is not really that much, only half a billion dollars or thereabout. For the time being, that is. People are greedy. Might be raised to a cool billion shortly, watch the news.… -->
The recent article on damn lies by Tim Worstall in The Reg ended with a lament “It’s something of a pity that the upcoming ballot papers will not have a “hang them all” box to tick.”
Now, that got me thinking… You know what? What an excellent idea! This should indeed be an option on the ballot papers. Someone wants to be a public servant? Well, jolly good, you be the servant to the end, including, if public finds it necessary, to the bitter end. Every ballot should have such a line “hang him/her” as an option. If people get dissatisfied, they’ll hang him. If people feel bored, they’ll hang him. Why not? Getting a share of money, and a good share it is, must involve some risk. We are now at the position where being a politician is a totally risk-free job. You just do what you want, get rich and either get out or get on with it. No risk, only gains. Let’s put some risk into the job! Maybe then people will consider carefully their ability to govern the country to the common good…
Today, for a bit of local idiotic thinking, we have the government declare a “Smog Alert”. That means all traffic must slow down, highway in particular to 90 km/h. The intended result is to reduce the amount of hard particles in the air, the “smog”.
Now, the radio gave a fairly good summary of facts about the whole affair today:
The smog is caused by particles drifting with the wind from far abroad, not by local pollution.
The number of traffic jams was extraordinary, roughly 400 km compared to the usual 100 km.
The number of traffic accidents was quite extraordinary as well, although they did not give any numbers to compare.
The traffic jams happened in places where usually no traffic jams were ever seen, without any observable cause (no road works, no accidents).
The radio then asked someone at the government about whether all this mayhem was caused by the reduced speed. The answer was roughly “well, the smog usually comes together with bad road conditions, slippery and wet roads and so on, so no wonder there are accidents but it is just a coincidence.
Hmm… Let me just peek outside… Right, +4 C, completely dry, sunshine.
So how the fuck does it help? Well, it does not. The government makes again an appearance of doing something tangible about some problem and the result is usual. They get awards and money. We get traffic jams, accidents, bad humor and pollution. Government is cool, we are all idiots. Welcome to reality.… -->