poemless. a slap in the face of public taste.

February 12, 2010

Apropos of nothing…

Filed under: Politics: Russia,Politics: U.S. — poemless @ 4:19 PM
Tags: , ,

Contents: Epic democracy fail; What’s the Mayor’s son doing in Moscow?; Russia moves one step closer to world domination.

I have what they call “writer’s block” and I call “just not bothering to sit down and write and anyway Lost is on!” The Olympics are about to begin, which means I’ll have “just not bothering to sit down and write and anyway the Olympics are on!” The outlook is bleak, my friends. But I refuse to let guilt about a silly blog and pandering to its followers stop me from indulging in the bliss that is watching the Olympic games.

On the other hand, I can’t go on with that video at the top of the page like that. Every time I check my blog, I am overcome with an overwhelming urge to click “play,” and then I have that damned Gorby song in my head all day. It’s gotten to the point that I don’t want to visit my own blog. Also the stalkers freak me out. But that’s a matter for a different post. Something must be done. On the one hand something must be done and on the other I do not wish to do it and this, dear readers, is the story of my life. Which refuses to write its damned self.

A couple of weeks ago we had an election. You know, that beaming floodlight in that beacon in that city on that hill. No one came. What if you held and election and no one came? A man who runs a pawn shop, beat his ex-wife, owes child support and abused his prostitute girlfriend is elected Lt. Gov., apparently. Perhaps you are thinking, “Well, what’s the Lt. Gov. responsible for anyway?” Nothing. Until his boss is indicted and impeached or imprisoned, which the 2 previous Governors have been. Nothing, until they wake up one day and are Governor of Illinois because their boss tried to sell Senate seat and now they have to figure out how to run the State while their boss goes on Celebrity Apprentice to pay for his legal bills. Nothing. Some say, “Eh, let’s get rid of the position of Lt. Governor. They don’t do anything anyway. Put the Attorney General next in line for Governor.” Do you know who says that? Our Speaker, Mike Madigan. Whose daughter is … get outchyer drums kids … Attorney General. Rock. And. Roll.

I do hope that the previous paragraph illustrates for you why I believe all the “OMG!! Russia’s not a democracy!! Call an exterminator!!” hysteria is … still have those drums? … bullshit. Your moral compass needs tuning if you’d wish this upon anyone else, and your intellect honing if you think Russia is exceptional in its horrorshow embarrassment of a democracy.

I was going to write a thoughtful piece on democracy. I was going to call it, “Let’s talk about Democracy,” and have Salt’n’Peppa do a back up jingle. I was so disappointed in our little election. The turn out was about 27%. The most common excuses for not voting were 1) the 2 inches of snow that fell that day and 2) corrupt politicians. When 69% of Ukraine came out to vote, I was coated with another layer of embarrassment. And anger. I felt so passionately about what was at stake here. I had things to say. Now? I’m exhausted and cynical and know people don’t care. I’m also PMS-ing and don’t f***ing care bout your f***ing democracy right now, ok? Fortunately I did begin to write something before I took the last pink pill in the pack:

If the vast majority of people don’t vote, they’ve already handed their personal agency and government over to a minority. And yet these same people would be up in arms if a minority drove in with tanks and took over. Citizens would begin chanting, “Of the people, By the people, For the people!” They’d retaliate and win because that’s how much we love our democracy in this country. But on election day, somehow voting is for losers who still believe in the system, who have too much time on their hands, or who are fanatics. People with that attitude not only suck, they make me understand the appeal of authoritarianism. And yet if people are ignorant of the process and what is at stake, the solution should be to inform and enlighten them, not blame them. We require students to learn the Constitution. But they’re left on their own to figure out how our democratic system works. Unfortunately, to increase the funding for education to ensure that the electorate is both informed of the process and has developed the critical thinking skills necessary to make responsible decisions, people have to go to the polls and vote to increase funding whichalsomeansmoretaxeswhichthemoronsdon’twantsowe’rejustscrewed! Motherf***ers!

I added that last bit a little later. Ignore it. The irony – absurdity, really – of our situation should be clear. As should the source of my frustration, both with my fellow Americans who fail to understand that sitting at home distrusting the system does not, in fact, improve accountability, and with those who peddle democracy like snake oil as the cure to whatever is wrong with your country. The democratic process may be imperative for ideological reasons: the right of every human to equal access to government in order to advocate for their rights and needs. But as a system, it is hardly impervious to apathy or corruption. So it is peculiar to me that it’s what we prescribe, top-down, for Russia’s political ailments. Which seem to be, above all, apathy and corruption. Meanwhile back in Illinois, rampant apathy and corruption is not met with proclamations from on high that we need more or better democracy. In fact, it seems people are coming to the conclusion that Illinoisans should no longer be allowed to choose their leaders. In fact, it seems 75% of Illinoisans agree.

Apropos of nothing…

Mayor Daley’s son was called to active duty. Normally this kind of announcement would go in one ear and out the other. War fatigue. But innocuously buried within the press release was the following, “Patrick Daley was living in Moscow when he got word of his recent redeployment…” It is 2010 and there’s no reason a young American man shouldn’t be living in Moscow for any number of reasons. But this is no ordinary young American man. This is the son of Mayor Daley and the grandson of Mayor Daley. A chill ran down my spine. This is a combination that goes together about as well as Stoli and Valium. I used to joke that Chicagoans could teach the Kremlin a thing or two about corruption and fixing elections. And when I lived in Moscow and told people I was from Chicago, without fail I was asked if I knew Al Capone (no, really, I was). Moscow was positively crawling with mobsters and somehow my hometown carried weight, bought me some cred, even though I’d only seen Capone in the same movies they had. Anyway, my point is that Chicago and Moscow have things in common and they are not good things: inclement weather, political corruption, organized crime. So when I read that “Patrick Daley was living in Moscow when he got word of his recent redeployment…” my first thought was not, “Oh, I wonder if he’s writing a thesis on the portrayal of women’s morality in the latter works of Chekhov as a reflection of social anxiety about modernity or some bs.” My first thought was, “Certainly nothing good can come of this…”

But that is not fair. I don’t know Patrick. Maybe he is writing a thesis on the portrayal of women’s morality in the latter works of Chekhov as a reflection of social anxiety about modernity or some bs. I would not want to be judged by the actions of my father. And I don’t want to be one of those tiresome angry bloggers out to destroy the reputations of complete strangers. So I googled to find out what Patrick was doing living in Moscow. I still don’t know (private equity investment manager or something – I wasn’t putting much effort into it) but this was the first thing that came up:

Sun Times: Russian emigre Garber now king of Chicago taxi empire. He’s a friend of Daley’s son, but City Hall says he got no special treatment.

Fifteen years ago, after being introduced to high-ranking Russian government officials, Garber started a taxi business in Moscow, the Chicago Tribune reported in 2004. He has said he operates 900 cabs in Moscow.
“It’s all about who you know,” Garber told the Tribune. “It’s important to be well-connected. Life is a two-way street.”

Garber has said he met Patrick Daley in Moscow.

“Me and Patrick are very good acquaintances,” Garber told the Sun-Times in a 2008 interview. “We met in Russia somewhere in August 2001. One of my friends, he introduced me to Patrick. We were there twice at the same time. And one time we went out in New York” — where Patrick Daley worked for Bear Stearns, the now-defunct investment and financial services company.

By fall 2002, Garber had started buying taxicab medallions in Chicago, many of which had been surrendered by Yellow Cab as part of its effort to focus more on managing cabs and less on ownership of cabs. Garber had control of 300 medallions in June 2003 when he got a license from the Daley administration to begin operating Chicago Carriage Cab.

In Chicago, as in New York, City Hall has complete control over cab companies. City officials determine the number of cabs, who can operate them, who can own them, who can drive them and how much riders pay to ride in them.

Though Garber expanded to Chicago within a year of meeting Patrick Daley, the mayor’s son had no role in Garber’s getting a license from the Daley administration, Garber has said. And the mayor’s press secretary, Jacquelyn Heard, echoes that.

“Patrick didn’t help me with anything,” Garber told the Sun-Times in 2008. “We did not go out in Chicago socially. I knew he was the mayor’s son, and I didn’t want to have any implications that anyone is helping me run my company.

“The only business deals were with a bottle of vodka,” he said then. “Patrick is an excellent guy. Great drinker, knows how to hold his liquor. We played some rugby. He has a great sense of humor.”

Heard says the mayor and his son have never spoken about Garber.

Heard explains Garber’s success in Chicago this way: “Here’s a young man who started a business in New York and did well and then came to the second-biggest market, Chicago, and started a business here.”

Patrick Daley, who has recently been living in Moscow, didn’t respond to an e-mail asking about Garber.

Patrick Daley, who has been a venture capitalist for several years, has been under investigation by the city’s inspector general and federal authorities over the hidden ownership stake he bought in 2003 in a sewer-inspection company that won millions of dollars in no-bid contract extensions from City Hall.

A year after Garber got into the cab business in Chicago, he hired the mayor’s former chief of staff, Gery Chico, to lobby Norma Reyes, the mayor’s commissioner of business affairs and consumer protection.

Chico didn’t return phone calls seeking comment.

Reyes says she believes Chico was trying to get the city to raise the lease rates Garber charges drivers — and wasn’t successful.

Garber’s cab company keeps growing. During the first nine months of 2009, even as Chicago and the rest of the nation remained mired in recession, city records show Garber and his associates kept buying taxi licenses. They bought 68 medallions, paying more than $9.1 million.

Well there you go. An unusually successful Russian businessman who happens purely by chance to be a drinking buddy of the Mayor’s son. Who is under under investigation by the city’s inspector general and federal authorities. And is living in Moscow. Which has no extradition treaty. Meh. Nothing to see here, kids. Move along…

For a moment I was worried that our Mayor might be up to no good, sending his son to Moscow like Michael Corleone was sent to Sicily. And seriously, what would the kids in Kremlin want with the Daleys? It’s hardly as if Chicago is a success story other places would seek to emulate. We lost the Olympic bid, our public transportation is on life support, there are gaping holes in the ground where new skyscrapers were supposed to go and Daley’s been on a madcap privatization rampage, holding one going out of business sale after another to pay the city’s bills. Seriously, it’s not like we’re full of bright ideas over here…

What’s that? You say Medvedev is calling for what? More privatization?

Apropos of nothing…

A Russian company just bought a whole entire town in Latvia. I think the plan is to privatize everything, have private companies or oligarchs buy up our towns and sports teams and when the time is right, re-nationalize it all. Pwned!

And you thought they would arrive on tanks.

Ok, thank you for reading & have a lovely Valentine’s Day! [Stupid consumerist patriarchal holiday. And I’m not just saying that because I’ll be spending it with a pint of Häagen-Dazs, watching Johnny Weir and Yevgeny Plyushchenko duke it out in sparkly leotards. Really. I’m not. Even though it would still be true even if that were my reason for saying it. Hmph.]


  1. Did you read latest Kasparov salvo?
    What do you think about commission which Kasparov thinks “simply insulting”?

    Comment by FarEasterner — February 13, 2010 @ 8:42 AM | Reply

    • Gah. Kasparaov’s article is behind a firewall. As to the US-Russia Bilateral Commission and its Civil Society working group (I assume this is what you are refering to), I touched upon it here.

      Since I can’t read Kasparov’s piece, I only know other people’s objections, namely those of the GOP, whose grounds for opposition are the choice of Surkov, which result from 1) the neo-con lobby (more on that here) and 2) their opposition to EVERYTHING constructive Obama has attempted. I can’t really get behind 1) the GOP 2) the neo-cons or 3) attempts to derail Obama out of sheer spite. Also, as you may have noticed, I rather like Surkov.

      However, the question of whether or not to support the Commission should absolutely NOT come down to ideology, party affiliation or russophile/russophobe camps. I think it should be supported and encouraged regardless. Why? Because agreeing to communicate and work together on issues like, oh, child trafficking, is not an endorsement of someone else’s political system. Because over the past several years US-Russian relations have been either strained or dysfunctional. This is not beneficial to the US, to Russia, or to the rest of the world, which is disproportionately effected by the decisions these countries make. You don’t have to have a license to practice therapy to know that the first step to improving a bad relationship is communication. To my mind, the dangers of NOT getting into a room and talking to each other, of NOT attempting to work on some projects together, are far worse than the dangers of appearing doing so. The group hasn’t done much at this point (that I am aware of) but it is far to early to take our balls and go home.

      I can assure you I have as much, if not significantly more, of a problem with McFaul (Surkov’s American counterpart in the group) than the some in Congress and the Wall Street Journal have with Surkov. I feel he is a terrible pick. But I nevertheless whole-heartedly support this Commission. It is a step in the right direction.

      Comment by poemless — February 13, 2010 @ 4:09 PM | Reply

      • thanks for such detailed reply. you could easily read WSJ article using Google news.

        As for Kasparov I was amused to find how smallish paw in politics the mighty chess king has become. Not that I don’t wish him good, but he could do it (politics in Russia) much much better, using all still available means. He just needs good strategy and execution. So far his wits have failed him. Returning to article he expresses (or thinks so) the views on Russia prevalent in GOP therefore his criticism of Obama’s Russian policy which by the way in view of pending Iran sanctions is regarded in Washington as a rare foreign policy success of the first year of Obama’s presidency. I don’t think Obama or Clinton would be easily goaded by Kasparov, GOP or anybody else into confrontational mode towards Russia. But what their Russian policy is founded upon is still not clear.

        you know yesterday I found another intersting piece on the topic – Leon Aron’s demand for Glasnost

        Of course his think tank is out of favor right now nevertherless his piece is very interesting and requires diligent study and disscetion. I think I could write even short diary on the topic, Western relations with Russia using and commenting his article, in which he carefully outlined the main Western demands from Kremlin, both on internal and external policies. I would like to say what I think how these demands will be met and overall predict possible outcome of the Russian Western entente.

        Comment by FarEasterner — February 14, 2010 @ 6:08 AM | Reply

        • “He just needs good strategy and execution.”

          For example, a good winning strategy would have been to answer the troubles and needs of the Russians.

          Instead, Kasparov sais: “Give me the control over the federal television, and after two weeks the whole country will support me.”

          I don’t know how such issues are addressed in the U.S., but in Russia politicians making the like claims are “punished” with total public disregard.

          Comment by evgeny — February 14, 2010 @ 8:47 AM | Reply

        • Kasparov used different wordings, but the idea is the same:

          “Two weeks of answers on the TV, and this regime will come to its end!”
          “Две недели ответов на телевидении, и этому режиму придет конец!”

          “Two weeks of TV without censorship will remove all myths about the contemporary Russian power.”
          “Две недели бесцензурного телевидения развеют все мифы о нынешней российской власти”

          Kasparov is a political type of a scavenger who waits for the “Putin’s” regime to collapse, to reign on its debris.

          His only support group are people in the radical opposition in Russia, and, as you noted, GOP likes in the U.S.

          Comment by evgeny — February 14, 2010 @ 9:14 AM | Reply

        • 1. I agree with you about Kasparov’s lack of serious political strategy. Though it almost all of the opposition lack this, it is especially perplexing in his case. It seems the skills required to be a chess master would translate well to serving his political ambitions. And yet – I don’t see him applying them. I don’t know what to attribute this to. I was originally inclined to believe that it was a result of ignorance. Despite assertions that Russia is returning to the bad old days – the fact is the political system did undergo a dramatic change, and it can’t be expected that people would learn to navigate it overnight. I might even say that it is not the system that is the problem, but that both those in power and the opposition continue to apply the same logic to the new system that they used under Communism, falling back into old dynamics and roles and thinking. But even if writing op-eds and staging rallies seemed like a good approach at one point, it is clearly not working. Why has the strategy of the opposition not changed?

          2. “But what their Russian policy is founded upon is still not clear.”

          Agreed. In fact, what any of Obama’s policy’s have been founded upon is unclear to me.

          3. Listening to AEI’s advice for the Russian administration is, to me, like listening to the Chicago School’s advice for the economy. I don’t doubt there are intelligent people of conviction there, but I think it is time we started listening to someone else’s advice.

          4. You should write that diary!

          Comment by poemless — February 14, 2010 @ 3:18 PM | Reply

          • Poemless, I’m afraid you are missing the most important point about Kasparov — his intrinsic radicalism. His ideals are OK, more or less. But it’s his means to reach those ideals that raise great concerns.

            A quote from the official manifesto of the United Civil Front:

            “Our country is ruled by the regime which stands against both the interests of Russia as a whole, and practically every its citizen. Except only for the top people in the security services and the corrupted bureaucracy, that use the state machine in their private interests. This regime makes the steady go to destroy all the institutes of the democratic society: elections, free media, independent court.

            The major UCF task of the day is breaking Putin’s regime, its complete dismantling. We believe that today it’s already impossible to limit ourselves to the only consolation of the fact that Russia is headed towards the wrong direction. Today it is the time to come from words into the action, plainly because it will be too late tomorrow. It’s this phrase — ‘From words to the action’ — that will become the major motto of the new organization at the current stage.”


            Okey, what then, once the “Putin’s regime” is dismantled? He will have a country without any functioning bodies of power at all. It’s the same state of anarchy that you sampled in 1990s.

            How will this ever help to implement the ideals of freedom, independent judiciary, free media?..

            Comment by evgeny — February 14, 2010 @ 6:17 PM | Reply

            • This is the question I raised re: Shevtsova. What then? I defend Kasparov’s right to express his views, however radical, as well as his right to participate in the political process. The problem is not that his views are radical. Most of my fellow countrymen would find my views radical. At one time the abolition of slavery or women’s suffrage were considered radical ideas. The problem with Kasparov and much of the opposition -as I see it- is that they argue that Putin’s administration (nevermind the fact that someone else is President) should be isolated, punished, even the “dismantled.” Not because it is ineffective or incompetent. Because it is undemocratic, corrupt, full of elites, etc. etc. So far, this does not rouse my frustration. However! I have seen from them neither a proposal to isolate, punish, even dismantle the current administration through democratic, transparent or popular means, nor a list of measures they would take to ensure the government they run remains democratic, transparent and popular. In fact, it seems clear to me that their strategy: a group of elites using access to foreign media and political connections to pressure foreign governments (and I suspect other enterprises) to do their bidding in order to weaken their current government at home, is anything but democratic, transparent or popular!

              Which leads me to the logical conclusion that their real grief with the Putin administration cannot be that it is undemocratic, corrupt, full of elites. Since they themselves fit that description. Even though that might be a very valid complaint. Their real grief with the Putin administration is that they are not in it. And their logic seems to be that lack of democracy can be the only explanation. Thus, by their logic, they become synonymous with democracy. Which leads to the even weirder logic that any marginalization of them is an attack on democracy. And they if they were in power, Russia would be a democracy, evidenced by the fact that they are in power. Voila!

              Curiously absent from this circular thinking: the average Russian citizen.

              Comment by poemless — February 15, 2010 @ 11:56 AM | Reply

              • This looks to be a fair analysis.

                Yet, they aren’t the only opposition. For example, the party “Right Cause” does have a democratic program — meaning a list of measures to strengthen democratic institutes, such as free media. The Right Cause is a weak party thus far (e.g., if compared to the United Russia), but real, anyway.

                Comment by Evgeny — February 16, 2010 @ 5:17 AM | Reply

                • You are right: it’s lazy and unacceptable to lump all of the opposition together. On the other hand – I can’t keep track of it all; it’s all so fluid. How to divide them up, by party, by coalition? Will today’s parties become tomorrow’s coalition? Will today’s coalitions split off into tomorrow’s opposing parties?

                  Right Cause has a platform? United Russia doesn’t even have a platform, does it? (Beyond, “Don’t forget the 90’s. And besides, we’re the only ones who can win.”) I suppose a few of my complaints remain: conflating economic liberalism with democracy, and using their lack of support as evidence of a lack of democracy. I’m sorry, I am suspicious of pro-business types mewing about human rights. There is nothing about the “free-market” that places a priority on either democracy or social justice. Unless the only right you are pursuing is the right to get rich. But it does look like Right Cause is the adult in the room, with some political strategy and maturity.

                  How much overlap is there among parties like Just Russia, Right Cause, Yabloko, etc?

                  Comment by poemless — February 16, 2010 @ 2:10 PM | Reply

                  • Thanks for a detailed reply!

                    I don’t have time to answer right now 😦

                    About parties, a link to a blog entry of a Russian writer S. Lukyanenko. It’s a bit dated (3 parties merged to form the Right Cause since that time), but mostly valid.


                    Lukyanenko is a sci-fi/fantasy writer with audience of several hundreds thousands or millions, and he often says something political.

                    Just in case, his new blog is dr-piliulkin.livejournal.com

                    Comment by Evgeny — February 17, 2010 @ 6:13 AM | Reply

                    • Wait, is that Lukyanenko’s l-j (dr. livsy)? That’s pretty succinct, isn’t it?! For those who don’t know (as if anyone is reading this thread). Lukyanenko writes vampire novels…

                      Comment by poemless — February 18, 2010 @ 11:43 AM

                  • United Russia, AFAIK, doesn’t have an agenda. Yet, it has an ideology — “national conservatism”, as defined few months ago.

                    Well, I did not actually study much about those parties, as well.

                    Just Russia is a left-wing party, in Russian common understanding of left-wing as socialists/communists, and right-wing as pro-democracts. Just Russia is between the Communists and the center.

                    I don’t understand what’s the Right Cause. Before SPS and Civilian Power merged, I disliked SPS for it’s “pro-business types mewing about democracy” as you put it, and my sympathies were with the Civilian Power — “a party of professionals, of small and medium businesses, of intelligentsia”. I hope to think of myself as a professional one day, so I voted for the CP.

                    Of the Right Cause, the last what I heard of it, was that it endured some internal power struggles. Overall, Russian democrats needs to learn a lot, just to become a single unit. They are too separate so far.

                    Besides, reading to whatever I might write, you shouldn’t wait from me any superb understanding of Russian politics. My background is, speaking generally, 100% technology related, as opposed to humanities. I have my own personal understanding, but it’s expert knowledge.

                    Comment by Evgeny — February 17, 2010 @ 1:48 PM | Reply

                    • *but it’s NOT the expert knowledge.

                      Comment by Evgeny — February 17, 2010 @ 1:49 PM

                    • “I hope to think of myself as a professional one day, so I voted for the CP.”

                      In America, people hope to think of themselves as a rich one day, so they vote for those who protect the wealthy…

                      Comment by poemless — February 18, 2010 @ 11:46 AM

              • Poemless, could I ask you, what do you think of the Russian Communists? It looks, that the existence of KRPF is somewhat of a taboo for western journalists — e.g., compared to the amount of attention that “radical democratic opposition” political dwarfs enjoy. So, your opinion would be certainly interesting!

                Comment by Evgeny — February 16, 2010 @ 5:33 AM | Reply

                • There does seem to be a media blackout in the US when it comes to discussing the Communist Party. Why? Because most Americans assumed it died along with … Communism? Because while it’s perhaps the most viable opposition party it doesn’t do a lot of opposing in reality? Because the only opposition we acknowledge is that which promotes our agenda? For all the talk about the evilness of UR, I don’t see a lot of op-eds here backing the Commies…

                  Dude, did the agrarian party really merge with UR? Well, you can’t blame an American for being confused. We can only wrap our heads around 2 parties, which are not all that different, truth be told. Not much of a political spectrum here. As many as 3 parties sends us into a panic. If a Green party member can’t get enough signatures to get on the ballot, well, that’s the way God meant it to be. But, stragely, as few as 3 parties in Russia is apparently criminal and a sure sign of no democracy. Do I understand this? No. No, I do not…

                  Comment by poemless — February 16, 2010 @ 2:28 PM | Reply

          • Poemless,

            I think you are right with the point 1. I think, that people are adopting familiar patterns of thinking — be it the power or the opposition. They must be referring to the experience of the Soviet Union, so the tragedy repeats now as a farce.

            Another reason is, IMHO, that with the de-facto international isolation of Russia, we are slowly turning mad.

            Comment by evgeny — February 14, 2010 @ 6:43 PM | Reply

    • May be it would be interesting for you — that article of Kasparov was translated into Russian by the staff of InoSmi.Ru:


      You can read there also the comments of Russian people.

      For example:

      “figvam: Kasparov is a typical bolshevik, and desires a Revolution. He didn’t have any chances in Russia, but he has quite different opportunities in the U.S. Look, he even started to bite Obama.”

      “sko: Harry has somehow lost self-control, so now he without any deeper considerations claims what Obama should do, and what he shouldn’t, being absolutely assured that his opinion is the only absolutely true.”

      “RIK: Dirty Harry has ultimately disclosed, who pays him and who employs him.”

      “Glogbvsm: Eh, Harry, Harry, better would you play chess.”

      “Gvozd: The bird started singing. Look, Obama, it’s such a dog, that can even bite your finger. And yet he’s a writing editor. Better would he play the chess, damn. Or better, dominoes.”

      “dixie: I’m reading, reading, and can’t understand, what’s the ridiculous, torn, inconsistent style — usually reporters, even russophobic ones, do not write _that_ bad. When I read the down to the author’s name, I cursed for long.”

      “bear631: better would he play chess… He was a great chess player, but he is a complete zero as a politician. And better even not to speak of his human qualities… Eh, Harry!..”

      “SERPENTUS: My personal opinion: Harry Kasparov is a man without decency [honor].”

      Comment by Evgeny — February 15, 2010 @ 5:12 AM | Reply

      • The comments are pretty funny, but I propose that we not actually judge anything by the comments people leave on the Internet.

        Comment by poemless — February 15, 2010 @ 1:34 PM | Reply

  2. It’s an interesting comment, that refusing to take part in the election essentially equals to letting invaders capture your land. The basic idea is what everyone says when it comes to elections, but the exact wording looks fresh and quite assertive.

    Just in case, who are those nefarious stalkers? Imho, you are doing more than a great job as a blog runner.

    Comment by evgeny — February 13, 2010 @ 1:12 PM | Reply

    • 1. Pretty disconcerting that stating the obvious has become fresh and assertive…

      2. Thanks!

      Comment by poemless — February 13, 2010 @ 4:11 PM | Reply

      • 1. Here, most commonly people are saying that if you don’t vote you let the others to decide for you, or that if you don’t take responsibility you refuse of rights, or even that the ruling party will fill in your bulletin if you don’t vote.

        But I’ve never heard that if you don’t vote, it equals to military defeat. Does such wording have anything to do with self-identification of Americans as the Free People? Like in Steinbeck’s “The Moon is Down”, where the Free People would better die than lose their Freedom.

        Comment by evgeny — February 13, 2010 @ 4:28 PM | Reply

        • I don’t think I said it equals military defeat. Well, I said what I meant to say.

          Comment by poemless — February 14, 2010 @ 3:20 PM | Reply

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