bm234 Kasparov and The Other Russia

by bicyclemark 4 Comments

Gary Kasparov is known for being a chess master. Now he is challenging the president of Russia for control of the country, calling it a battle to bring democracy back to the nation.  With the help of my guest, Olaf Koens, in Moscow, we look at the details of Kasparov that you may have not known, and beyond that.. the parties that are challenging the Putin backed campaign in the next Russian election. We Discuss:

  • – Who is Kasparov?
  • – His contreversial chess moves
  • – His politics
  • – Other parties aligned or not aligned with him
  • – The threshold
  • – The crazy writer
  • – The Putin candidates
  • – The communist party
  • – The likely outcome
  • – Apathy in Russia, Apathy in Europe

Shame on Jan

by bicyclemark 0 Comments

Greetings once again from Brussels, city of long work hours and dreary office work.

Today’s item that has me pretty disappointed involves the Dutch government and the iron fisted oligarch that runs Russia. They’ve struck a deal so that the Dutch gas company now controls a higher percent in the Russian state controlled Gaz-Prom.

Some might say its just business as usual, but after all the outcries about how the junta oppresses people in Burma or how Mugabe is starving his own people, it still bothers me that so-called human rights respecting governments make deals and allow their companies to make deals with known war criminals and political assassins. Not that Mugabe or the Junta deserve a free pass.. its the consistency when it comes to respecting human rights, that I’m calling for.

Later this week I shall have a return guest to talk about another political figure in Russia, the very interesting Gary Kasparov. So keep an eye out for that show, as Kasparov seems much more complex than I had originally thought.

More on Russian Oligarchy

by bicyclemark

As I periodically do on this blog, today I’m writing about how more and more obvious it becomes that the Russian Federation is run by an oligarchy.

Not that its so unique, lots of nations are run by oligarchies, but let’s stay on Russia today. Last weeks news that yet another person who was going to testify that the Russian secret police were responsible for the poisoning of that guy in the UK, once again threw an even brighter blinking red warning sign that not only is Russia run by an oligarchy, the oligarchs are willing to do whatever it takes to stay in power, and that includes the occasional murder.

Oligarchy: (according to webster) 1 : government by the few
2 : a government in which a small group exercises control especially for corrupt and selfish purposes; also : a group exercising such control

Radio Open Source had one of their must-listen-to programs the other day regarding Russia and just what has happenned to the country since their so-called adoption of the market system. Among the things that the interesting guests pointed out:

    – Moscow now has one of the highest number of billionaires of any city in the world.
    – President Putin may step down after the next election, but the next president will come from the same group that has ruled the country for the past 2 decades.
    – He can also just rewrite the statutes to make himself a powerful prime minister and keep ruling.
    – The KGB was never disbanded, it was simply given a new name.
    – All the big industries, especially fossil fuels like gas and oil, were taken control through secret deals, family connections, and of course the occasional government payoff.

Anyway there’s plenty more where that came from, but the concern remains the same. Huge inequality continues to grow in Russia while a small group of people plunder its natural wealth. The population is decreasing while the rest of the world pretends Putin is a nice guy and nothing is wrong because they are so addicted to the fuel Russia will provide for the forseeable future.

Eye on The Head Russian

by bicyclemark

Packing.. packing.. and watching.

Vladimir Putin.

Democracy shmerocracy, as time goes on, he reminds me of all the former Russian presidents/dictators going all the way back to Stalin and maybe that Tsar guy who had poor health.

I say this as I watch each report come in about his government’s latest move, public or secretive, to consolidate power, own lots of resources, and get rid of opposition.

Latest one is this 20bn dollar seizure of Shell and their gas projects in places like Siberia. Not that I love shell or gas for that matter, but it continues to seem suspicious that the state gas company buys up more and more and then seems to use this power to influence other countries that need this gas… for example.. the EU.

After the radiation poisoning of this agent guy and the murder of that wonderful journalist, both of which I obviously can’t confirm that government was involved in or at least had some knowledge about… these also seem to be odd occurances.

What did Bush say some 6 years ago about Putin during a state visit… he looked into his soul. We probably should have known then… if Bush looks in your soul and see’s good… well.. that IS probably a sign.

Whatever the case, my concern is with people… Russians, Europeans… Humans. Unfortunately we need these things like gas and oil, and the question is how will all of us be manipulated based on the whims of a leader that has proven, over his very long reign, that he will use all manner of force and persuation.. to get what he wants. Whatever that is.

Thankfully some bloggers are keeping watch…. here’s one I was flipping through today… Im going to keep reading and see if I can’t learn some things and understand better what is happening.