Did No Russian Die in Recent Years? The only way that the latest Russian government figures about increases in life expectancy can be true is if one assumes that not one of them died in recent years, an obvious absurdity but not one that is often pointed out (forum-msk.org/material/news/11215771.html).
__ via WindowonEurasia2
Russia is a place where nothing happens unless Kremlin media says it happened. Nobody dies, there are no abortions, no one gets sick, no one is unhappy — unless official media and statistics says so. And even those can be erased and re-written — a la Orwell’s 1984.
A Tragedy in the Making
Every year some 200,000 to 220,000 young people become “social orphans” when their parents divorce or when one of them deserts the family or is killed in battle, Syrtlanov says. And “almost 700,000 children at present” are in orphanages of one kind another – a figure that means “that every fifth child in the country” is in them rather than at home in a family.
These figures are “twice as large as after the Great Fatherland War [a Soviet name for the WW2 – Ed.],” the retired colonel says, and they do not include the additional horror that today, as many as five to seven million Russian children are living on the streets as “besprizorniki,” who seldom go to school and often turn to drugs and crime. _ Paul Goble
The Kremlin is Preparing for Something Bad
Picture the scene. It is 2016, oil costs on average $35 per barrel, and Russia’s recession rolls into its second year. The economy shrinks by 2-3 percent. Unemployment creeps up, and wages continue to fall, depressing consumer spending. The ruble devalues, driving up inflation. To keep price rises in check, interest rates remain high, discouraging investment. The government drains its reserves, hoping that the oil price picks up before they run dry.
… “We must prepare for difficult times,” said Finance Minister Anton Siluanov, whose budget relies for around half its revenues on taxes from the oil and gas industry. As the Central Bank published its research, Siluanov said oil prices could fall below $30 per barrel at certain periods, according to the TASS news agency. __ MoscowTimes
Not all Russians are as stupid as opinion polls would have them seem. Of those who understand the shite they are in, some turn to the comforting oblivion of cheap spirits, drugs, or suicide. Of those who are more aware, the lucky ones get out.
On Saturday, a small, almost entirely silent group of protesters supporting the Russian constitution (on constitution day, no less) were trailed by police, with numerous people being dragged away into waiting buses. Razor wire was added to the fences surrounding the TV center at Ostankino, and military parade rehearsals were announced, curiously coinciding with the protests of independent truckers against the Platon fee system.
… What will bring people out into the streets has to be generalized suffering. When food prices skyrocket and people’s grandparents are freezing to death in a country so rich in natural gas, the “blame the West” rhetoric isn’t going to be so effective. Note that I didn’t suggest it won’t be effective at all. There will still be plenty of people who think they just need to “endure” a little more in order to defeat the imaginary Western onslaught, but their numbers will dwindle. __ Something Happening Here
Infrastructure has been set at a very low priority, now that more weapons must be built, and more wars must be fought. This is the same trap into which the USSR fell. Eventually, demographics reflects capital misallocation. People revolt or they eventually die off.
Russia has long suffered from a lack of proper transportation infrastructure and the deterioration of what has already been built. Critics blame the government for failing to use burgeoning oil and natural gas revenues to invest in a modern, country-wide infrastructure. Not a single highway or expressway has been built in Russia over the past two decades, and the smaller roads that have been constructed are very few. China, which is commonly given as a comparison, has laid more than 40,000 thousand miles of high-volume roadways over the same amount of time. __ Things are Getting Worse, not Better
Infrastructure always decays, unless constantly monitored and repaired. Such close maintenance of critical infrastructure can no longer be afforded.
The smarter Russians who happen to be stuck inside Russia, will prepare as best they can. But if they ever believed the propaganda, they no longer do.
Russian Cruise Missile Hits Apartment Block in Arkhangelsk. Kremlin media have played up the deadly accuracy of Russian cruise missiles during the campaign in Syria, but residents of the northern Russian city of Arkhangelsk may have a different view. One Russian cruise missile went off course and crashed into an apartment block there. Fortunately, no collateral damage deaths have been reported (rufabula.com/news/2015/12/15/rocket). ____ via http://windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2015/12/a-bakers-dozen-of-neglected-russian_18.html
Belief is a very subjective phenomenon. Here at the Al Fin Institutes, we believe nothing at all. Some things are more likely to be closer to the truth than others, of course. There are likely probabilities, after all. Since we must act in the world, we base our actions upon the most likely probabilities, as best we can determine.
While we always say that “It is never too late to have a Dangerous Childhood,” there are some levels of enlightened scepticism that are difficult to achieve once one has become saturated with “the consensual delusion.”
Life is hard, and then you die. And at the moment of death, everything you think you know, just ain’t so. All the belongings you worked so hard to accumulate, are scattered to the winds. All the changes you tried so hard to make in the world around you, begin to crumble and fade. Before too many years have passed, no one will ever think of you, or know who you really were.
That is Basic Human Condition 101. It is something to be learned and understood early, then transcended in magnificent and optimistic style. Those who immerse themselves in propaganda and consensual delusions never reach the bottom step of the long stairway.
Try not to be one of those.
Some tumultuous events are underway. Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst.
Hint: No one can prepare for the worst. But do the best you can.
The Russia : China interaction is one of the key components to anticipating future events. Pay no attention to what comes out of the mouths of official spokesmen. Pay attention to the things that they do — particularly the things that are ignored or downplayed in official pronouncements and state propaganda ( and the echo choirs and troll factories of state propaganda).
Follow the money — the real money, not the conspiracy tale fantasy money. Most modern college graduates have been dumbed down since kindergarten. They can’t see beneath the surface layers. You need to do better than that.
Bonus Infographic: Russia’s Customer Base at Risk
The Power of Siberia pipeline is proceeding in tardy fashion, by fits and starts. China needs less energy now, and will re-negotiate prices — and delay construction of critical links — to apply further pressure on Moscow.