Archives for February 2013

I Don’t Care About Bradley Manning

No matter how you look at it, he is a traitor. He violated the UCMJ. Although he is free to make ethical arguments as to why he leaked Collateral Murder and the US Embassy cables, the US is fully within its rights to prosecute him. I’m quite consistent about this: Treason is a punishable offense, no matter […]

What Happens If The US/Israel Attack Iran?

It might happen this June or later, reports RT citing Israeli media. Obama and Netanyahu are at least discussing the prospect. In previous years I was sure that it would happen eventually, probably before year end 2012. That is because that was the most convenient window between the fielding of the Massive Ordnance Penetrator (early 2012) and […]

Russia Now Produces As Many Cars As The USSR Did At Its Peak

As I write the book, I create a lot of graphs. Here is one of them. So in manufacturing terms, as far as cars are concerned, the “deindustrialization” era is decidedly over. Of course it’s also important to note that in 1985 they were producing this whereas today they are producing this as well as various […]

Much Ado About Rape: Quantifying A Big Taboo

The past two days I had the pleasure of observing the blowout over a post by blogger Matt Forney about rape – or more precisely, about “how to rape women and get away with it.” It’s completely satirical, quite funny, and one can’t help but by impressed by the size of the balls (no homo) […]

Are Caucasians Stealing Russian University Places? The Data Says, “Probably Not.”

In one of the recent posts on corruption, commentator AP wrote: Kids from Moscow are having trouble getting into universities now because entrance, based on exam results, skews the chances of acceptance in favor of those students from corrupt regions where they can buy better results. Moscow is less corrupt than, say, Dagestan so Dagestani […]

The Decline Of Russian Skinheads

It’s not just the gopniks who are withering away; so are racist skinheads. According to the SOVA Center – an NGO which is about as anti-Kremlin as it gets, so no point in speculating that it cooks the figures for PR purposes – racist attacks in Russia have plummeted from their peak levels in 2007-2008, back […]

Flynn Effect DOES Apply To South Korea

Regular readers of this blog may remember my comments regarding Ron Unz’s theory that East Asians have high IQ’s independent of time/nutrition/urbanization whatever it is that causes the Flynn Effect. Here is his original article on his theory of the “East Asian Exception” and my two responses are here and here. Anyway a new paper […]

Why Homosexuality Shouldn’t Be Promoted

I knew that gays had a maybe five or even ten times higher chance of getting AIDS and other STD’s than heterosexuals. I didn’t know the differential was actually more like 50. Something like 20% of the US gay population (which makes up 3.5% of its total population) is HIV positive. It is 5% in the […]

Russia’s Corruption In Comparative International Perspective

Continuing from my previous post (which focused mostly on trends), this one focuses exclusively on international comparisons as per the results of Transparency International’s Global Corruption Barometer survey of 2010-11. The graphs represent affirmative answers to the question of whether the respondent had paid a bribe in the past 12 months to each of 9 […]

Antisocial Punishment: Why China Will Defeat Corruption, But Russia And The Arabs Won’t

One of the books I’ve been reading lately is Steven Pinker’s massive door-stopper The Better Angels of Our Nature. Incidentally, I found it a very interesting read with tons of cool factoids, although it could have done with a third of its text and a tiny fraction of its liberal sanctimonious. But that’s for the […]

If Sunlight Is The Best Disinfectant, Why Is The Russian Mafia State Opening The Blinds?

My latest for the US-Russia.org Expert Discussion Panel. Also as usual it appears at Voice of Russia. The version printed here is a slightly longer one: There are already a lot of opinions on the topic of Russian corruption, and I see no pressing need to add more to that morass. I do however think it […]

Translation: Vladimir Kolokoltsev – “The Death Penalty is Society’s Normal Reaction”

In an interview with Dmitry Nadezhdin, Russia’s chief police officer says that he, as a citizen – if not as a government Minister – supports the return of the death penalty for the worst crimes. Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov says that it ain’t happening. Vladimir Kolokoltsev: “The Death Penalty is Society’s Normal Reaction” The Interior […]

Translation: Deputy Minister of Communications Volin explains Media-Business Relations

On 9 February, 2013 the Deputy Minister for Communications schooled Moscow State journalism students in the “propaganda model.” They were none too thrilled about the lesson, as Natalia Romashkova writes. Deputy Minister of Communications Volin explains Media-Business Relations The Deputy Minister for Communications and Mass Media Alexey Volin explained the heated reactions to his speech […]

What Political System do Russians Prefer?

A new Levada poll indicates that after a brief infatuation with markets and “Western-style democracy” in the early 1990s, Russians more or less consistently consider the Soviet system to be the best one out there. Russians on the Country’s Political and Economic System Which of these political systems do you think is best: The Soviet […]

The Rapid And Mostly Unnoticed Decline Of Abortion In Russia

One of the keystones of the “Dying Bear” meme is the factoid that abortions outnumber births in Russia. As Mark Steyn put it, “When it comes to the future, most Russian women are voting with their fetus.” The only problem is that there is no causal relation between abortions and demographic health whatsoever – and […]

Navigating The Collapse Map – Transhuman On The Dark Mountain

Heard of the political compass? Well, one enviro person compiled something similar for those who seriously entertain the possibility that industrial civilization will collapse. (H/t Mark Sleboda for pointing me to it.) Needless to say, the “deniers” are almost as absurd as the “rapturists.” All the business as usual scenarios lead to collapse by mid-century. […]

My Article For Komsomolskaya Pravda On Press Freedoms In Russia And The West

Here it is in Russian: Вверх-вниз по рейтингу свободы. This translation here is of a longer version at my Russian language blog. A version of it also appears on Voice of Russia: Press freedom – on both sides of the Information Curtain. Thanks to Alexei Pankin (who is a regular at Komsomolskaya) for making it happen – and […]

Translation: Up And Down The Freedom Rating

In a comment for popular Russian newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda, Anatoly Karlin compares media freedoms – or the lack thereof – in Russia and the “free” West. There is a longer version of this article at Da Russophile. Recently the French human rights organization Reporters Without Borders unveiled new press freedom ratings, which showed Russia sinking to […]

Translation: Skolkovo In The Ratings

Russia claims one of the top places in a new ratings system of national innovation compiled by Bloomberg. According to the latest studies, the US was recognized as the world’s most innovative country in a new rating. This is not surprising for a country that hosts the likes of Apple and Microsoft. But Russia at […]

Translation: Sergey Magnitsky: Act Two

Maxim Kononenko, the gadfly of Runet, on how the hunters may become the hunted in the Magnitsky saga. The representatives of the founder of Hermitage Capital, William Browder, have informed the High Court of London that their client sees no reason to respond to respond to the lawsuit against him by Major Pavel Karpov, the […]