January 11th, 2012


What is Russia for you? Ally, enemy or just neighbor?

Update. This poll is broken. Take the poll at my new entry in this community

    Dear members of great TALK_POLITICS community. As you know Mother Russia regained her lost political clout and now every country has to reckon with her. This was mostly due dominant leadership of prime-president Putin over second hand president Medvedev. Until recently it looked like russian people is satisfied with their life and never again going to make any uprisings or revolutions. But everybody was wrong.
        After obviously fraudulent elections in december 2011 thousands of russians participated in action of protest against Putin's government. Political lull was over. But how this turmoil did affect attitude ordinary russians to their american peers??
Honestly, attitude is pretty bizarre. Here in LiveJournal everybody easily could communicate with any foreigners thanks to google translate. But it's very unusual when 2 biggest parts of LJ communicate with each other. Why?
        You remember, of course, well-known maxim Russia is the riddle into mystery. It happened again. But I don't want to get you into details until some Day F. Because I came up with some idea to conduct couple short polls both for russians bloggers and for american's with purpose to find out what those peoples think about each other. Most questions I asked are the same for both sides and I'll have good opportunity to compare answers.
         Actually I'm pretty much aware of opinion of russian side, but I'm curious what you americans and other westerners think about regular Russian guys. I know some of you contacted or at least read comments of russian bloggers. Do you like their point of view regarding American politics or yourself? Can you be swayed to vote for more tough candidates after you read russian bloggers point of view?
         Do you believe russian bloggers support anti-american stance of future president Putin or you just don't care and not afraid what Putin doing? I'm pretty much interested and appreciate if you cross-post this and bring your friends to participate in poll.


okay, I don't get it...

Killer's pardon sparks fears, worry

Outgoing Mississippi governor Haley Barbour, as one of his last acts, pardoned four convicted murderers including David Gatlin, who, as the story linked described, murdered his estranged wife while she was holding her baby, and attempted to murder her friend. That friend, who survived a gunshot wound to the head, is now (rightfully) living in fear that Gatlin may try to finish what he started. Gatlin, sentenced to life in prison, has just recently been informed he would not be granted parole. But, perhaps because he is a "trustie" (an inmate who gets to perform restaurant-style jobs at the Mississippi Governor's Mansion for his "good behavior" in prison), Barbour is giving this cold-blooded murderer a free pass to reenter society.*

And this is coming from one of the most "pro-life" governors in America, dedicated to fighting for the lives of unborn babies***, who led what he himself described as an "enormously pro-life state." Also, as Barbour's own website declares, a big part of his platform is public safety, including:

Haley's Plan: Safer Communities

* Lead the fight against drug crime
* Protect our children from drugs and sexual predators
* Support Law Enforcement
* Manage the prison system so convicts stay behind bars

Yeah, that last one, emphasis mine, is working out real well. It's not as if Gatlin were some frail old guy near his deathbed who only wants to see his grandkids one last time before he dies. It's not as if he were some dumb kid who made a mistake and was harshly punished by a vindictive judge. It's not as if he were a black man convicted on specious evidence and sentenced by a racist justice system. It's not as if he were some born-again prison preacher who reformed his ways and tries to make his fellow inmates' lives better. Those are all perfectly reasonable bases for pardons. Gatlin, however, was a cold-blooded killer who went after his wife, brutally murdered her, endangered an infant in the process, and then tried to murder another innocent person. The parole board, two weeks ago, thought him insufficiently reformed/punished to be released into society, and denied him parole. That's evidence enough to me that the guy does not deserve to be out on the streets again.

But, he pours wine at fancy gubernatorial dinners, so it's ok.

* I'd say "civilized society" but we are talking about Mississippi here.**
** Okay, that was a cheap shot.
*** Although in Gatlin's case, the baby in the line of fire was already born, and it's a well known fact that "pro-life" folks of Barbour's type only care about a kid's life and wellbeing if it's unborn.
  • ddstory

A libertarian seasteading project

Most of you have probably heard about this already. Peter Thiel, the founder of PayPal and one of the first investors in Facebook, has invested one and a quarter million dollars in the Seasteading Institute company, which funds a project by one Patri Friedman, a former engineer at Google. The project is to build the perfect libertarian utopia on artificial islands off the coast of California.

The islands are expected to be constructed on floating platforms powered by diesel engines. The weight of each platform should be 12 thousand tons and one of those things should host up to 270 people. The islands will float some 370 km away from San Francisco, which means in international waters. The project includes building a whole archipelago of these islands and eventually hosting millions of people by 2050.

The first floating office will be built sometime during this year, and in 2019 the first towns will appear in the Pacific, ready to be populated.

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