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Comment Re:Orthodox Christians (Score 1) 111

[W]ell before the madness of WW-II, Jews experienced persecution at the hands of Orthodox Christians in Russia. It's the Fiddler-on-the-Roof thing; the Russian-refugee experience is the family history of many persons of Jewish heritage here in America.

To the extent that Jewish persons seek to influence policy in a way informed by life experience and family history, along with everyone else, Jews in America may have a somewhat different perspective on Russia and other Orthodox Christian countries than Israelis.

You do recognize that persecution of Jews in Russia happened before the October revolution of 1917, right? You do recognize that repressions against Jews were a major reason why many Jews sought to support and lead the October revolution, right? You do know those events had very dramatic effects.

...dude, I don't think you should let ancient life stories affect modern-day policies.

Comment Re:Hmm (Score 1) 1028

"everything sounds nice and rosy until you find yourself being forced into being a farmer because that's what some bureaucrat designated you as"

Sounds more like 1990s with its free market embrace. As a child I used to spend a good portion of my summer at a family farm because it was the only way the family could meet the ends. And no, it's not because we preferred organic food.

Comment Re:It's Hillary time! (Score 1) 271

From Strobe Talbott's "Russia Hand", it's clear that the official U.S. supported Russia's Government during the First Chechen war, fought in 1994-1996:

"What little we did know about Chechnya and Dudayev inclined us to accept Moscow's version that it was dealing with an ugly mixture of secessionism and criminality. Besides, the independence that the Chechens were fighting for was against American policy. As a global principle, we were for federalist solutions that preserved existing international boundaries and against the fractionation of large, heterogeneous countries into ethnically based microstates. Hence Gore's terse public comment in Moscow: 'We are following [the situation] closely. We hope very much it can be solved by negotiations. We believe it is an internal matter.' "

They even went that far as to compare the First Chechen War to the American Civil War, when explaining the situation to the press.

Comment Re:It's Hillary time! (Score 1) 271

"The US deserves at least some of the blame for Russian attitudes. The State Department in particular never got out of its 'The Russians are the enemy' mode. That's why in the 90s, they were supportive of the Chechens"

Conventional wisdom has it wrong. In the 90s the US were openly supportive of Russia's Government, approving or turning a blind eye towards its undemocratic policies while it was seen to fit the US interests. That's why the U.S. criticism of undemocratic policies of Putin's Russia is so — should I say — Hillarious. Actually Putin is clearing the mess created by his predecessor with the US approval. It's especially evident, for example, if you compare the number of journalists killed for their work under Yeltsin and under Putin.

Comment Life in Russia (Score 3) 52

I've read this comments thread, and I need to admit that the MSM propaganda works. I presume that's what Snowden could have meant (alright, I can't read minds so I don't know) by "surprisingly" free -- that life in Russia turned out to be better than what he could have expected from reading the MSM.

Of course Russia isn't a human rights paradise, but neither is it a nightmare. And if you believe the media are your eyes through which you can see other countries without actually bothering to pay a visit there, you are very wrong.

Comment Re:Its not over priced (Score 1) 187

Isn't it heartwarming how quickly those Commies embraced Capitalism?

It wouldn't harm to do a bit of reading to better appreciate the Russian culture since after the collapse of the Soviet Union. You could start with a popular 1997 sci-fi novel.

Basically there was wild Capitalism since 1991, and it's not fun.

Comment Re:Its not over priced (Score 1) 187

That's about 6 million rubles is that enough to retire?

It's a not-too-much-qualified programmer's wage during 4 years, assuming a domestic Russian employer (a monthly wage of 120k roubles is what pretty much any guy can get doing programming in a Russian company). But a person that qualified always has the option to work for a Western company, in which case it's about a year's wage, give or take.

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