Thursday, December 29, 2011

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Oligarchies, American and Russian

russblogger has some video from the 24th in Moscow on Sakhorov Prospecket. The driving force behind these events in Russia have more to do with income inequality rather than so called freedom. Reading the NYT and the WashPO are probably the worst way of following reality in Russia. Americans are only now coming to grips with the fact the country is basically an oligarchic kleptocracy. Both countries show that the real issue in elections is not vote fraud but vote tampering and suppression. Vladimir Putin is not Josef Stalin and U.S. media has great difficulty coming to deal with this. The concerns of the Russian people are quite similar to Americans as they both adjust to former super-power status and acknowledgement of oligarchic kleptocracies that run the world. Luke Harding gives one of the more succinct explanations of power in Russia:
"Putin’s system, Harding writes, has created ‘the most unequal society in Russia’s history’. To keep the have-nots at arm’s length, the wealthiest Russians live in exclusive, walled-off residential compounds like those along the Rublyovo-Uspenskoye Road outside Moscow. But since the highest fliers among Russia’s nouveaux riches lead an essentially borderless existence, their most prized gated communities are located in the West. Those who own real estate abroad include numerous public officials and civil servants: ‘Russian bureaucrats have their houses and families in London, and their children are going to Cambridge and Oxford.’ The reason this ‘very strange political class’ craves an extraterritorial foothold is illuminating: ‘They keep their money outside Russia because none of them believes in Russia and none of them believes in official stability. All of them know that this stability could be finished any day.’ They don’t believe in official stability because, as the ones responsible for guaranteeing it, they are aware of their own limitations. For all their talk about ‘the restoration of Russia’s superpower status’, Russia’s senior political officials have an astonishingly ‘primitive mission’, which is to ‘take this money outside Russia, buy houses outside Russia and give their children a future abroad’. Russia’s affluent classes are irresistibly drawn to relocate their assets to countries where there appears to be a future. Their lack of confidence doesn’t reflect a fear that the government they work for is too strong and may one day initiate mass confiscations. Their worry, on the contrary, is that their government isn’t stable enough to protect their investments."
This doesn't sound a lot different from American Corporations off shoring assets to prevent them from actually assisting the country in which their workers actually live in and products are sold.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Fitzwalkerstan 2nd In The U.S. For "Mass Layoffs"

Further evidence for ongoing economic collapse in Wisconsin was reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics:
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on Thursday released a report showing Wisconsin with the second-highest number of unemployment claims from mass layoff events in the nation last month. A "mass layoff" is any event affecting at least 50 workers, according to the BLS. Its mass layoff report for November estimated Wisconsin with 90 such events in the month, impacting 9,359 individuals. Only California, with an estimated 274 events affecting 19,677 individuals, had more initial unemployment claims from mass layoffs. Read more:
Meanwhile Wonkette weighs in on the latest Walker video effort at calming the masses:
Also: the video ends in their family living room with a particularly AMAZING awkward shot of Scott Walker blubbering like he can’t feel his face from all the Xanax while his sons hover awkwardly in the back of the room looking judgmental and teenager-y. The most comical part is that this is the best that Scott Walker can do even though he has been outspending his recall organizer opponents four to one in the contest so far: At the outset of Wisconsin’s historic recall fight, GOP Gov. Scott Walker and his allies are outspending the other side on television by a margin of roughly 4-to-1, an advantage he’s expected to maintain in the weeks ahead. The governor has already aired more than $1 million in broadcast ads since he hit the airwaves in mid-November, according to the ad-tracking firm Kantar Media CMAG. Ha ha, and that’s been working so well that organizers already have 507,000 of the 540,000 signatures needed to trigger the recall election in just half the allotted time period.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Fitzwalkerstan Looses 14,000 Jobs In November, Scott Walker Gets $5 Million.

The further Implosion of Wisconsin is documented on a monthly basis through the jobs report. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel elaborates: "
"Wisconsin lost private-sector jobs for the fifth consecutive month in November, the same months that the nation has been adding private-sector jobs, according to a report Thursday from the state Department of Workforce Development. The state lost an estimated 11,700 private-sector jobs in November from October, the deepest since April 2009, when the nation was in the throes of the recession. The figures are based on a monthly government survey of employers and adjusted to smooth out recurring seasonal factors, such as winter-related slowdowns in construction or holiday hiring by retailers. The government sector, meanwhile, continued to lose jobs at the city and county level, as it has for much of the past two years. All told, the state lost an estimated 14,600 nonfarm jobs when the losses in the private sector are combined with the losses in the public sector."
As a result of his job creating success Scott Walker has attracted big money as outlined at TPM:
"Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) is clearly preparing to bring his best game against the Democratic effort to recall him from office. And he’s raising a lot of money for it. As the Wisconsin State Journal reports, Walker has raised $5.1 million since this past July — much of it in the past month, aided by a state law that allows the target of a recall to raise unlimited funds. In all, Walker has received 18,000 donations since November, the month when the recall process was triggered. Also, $2.4 million of the total has come from out of state — notably a $250,000 donation from Bob Perry, the Texas businessman who financed the Swift Boat Veterans For Truth campaign of 2004, which spread false information about Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry’s war record."
Savoy Brown's "Hell Bound Train" seems appropriate:

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Thousands Protest Election Fraud in Moscow: Беспорядки 5 декабря у Чистых прудов

Russblogger provides footage of rally of several thousand resulting in the arrest of 300 people protesting election fraud in Moscow December 5th.

Booing United Russia: Коменданте: Против "уплотниловки". Народ освистал "Е.Р."

United Russia gets a less than enthusiastic reception from "Komendante", pensioners, and people concerned about pollution. The outrage against vote tampering in Russian parliamentary elections could be instructive to Americans who are dealing with voter suppression, and tampering with every election. As Josef Stalin (a closet republican) said, " It's not those who vote that count but those who count the votes."

Saturday, December 03, 2011


Doug Stanhope weighs in on the value of our opinions including blogging, which I hate to say, he is probably correct about.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Walker-Putin Conspiracy Against Democracy

In an unintended coincidence both Scott Walker and Vladimir Putin cracked down on democracy in their respective fiefdoms. Putin decided to put a stop to the group Golos (or Voice) from putting out pesky reports about voter suppression in Russia. Meanwhile the Tsar of Fitzwalkerstan has made it almost impossible for citizens to voice their opinions around the state capitol. I for one think we should ask Golos to monitor any elections in Fitzwalkerstan and report the results to the U.N.