Voices from Russia

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

12 June 2012. This is Why You Should Vote AGAINST Wafflin’ Willy in November


The Dwindling Wealth of the American Family: By the Numbers

The Great Recession wiped out a huge chunk of the average family’s wealth, setting the USA back by nearly two decades. The median American family… the exact middle between the wealthiest and the poorest… had the same amount of money in 2010 as it did in 1992, according to the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finance, an extensive and detailed look at American wealth undertaken every three years. While the latest data is 18 months old, it underscores the astonishing economic devastation wreaked by the Great Recession, which, beginning in 2007, swept away a chunk of the wealth accumulated since the early 1990s. The Fed defines “wealth” as income plus assets… like homes, cars, and stocks… minus debts. Here’s a numerical look at the average family’s struggles:

126,400 USD 

(4.18 million Roubles 101,000 Euros. 81,200 UK Pounds)

Median American family net worth in 2007

77,300 USD 

(2.56 million Roubles. 61,800 Euros. 49,600 UK Pounds)

Median American family net worth in 2010

Family median wealth dropped 40 percent since 2007


95,300 USD

(3.15 million Roubles. 76,200 Euros. 61,200 UK Pounds)

Median home equity… the value of a house minus the balance owed on the mortgage…  in 2007

55,000 USD

(1.82 million Roubles. 44,000 Euros. 35,300 UK Pounds)

Median home equity in 2010

Median home equity dropped 42.3 percent since 2007


49,600 USD

(1.64 million Roubles. 39,700 Euros. 31,900 UK Pounds)

Median family income in 2007

45,800 USD 

(1.52 million Roubles. 36,600 Euros. 29,400 UK Pounds)

Median family income in 2010

Median family income dropped 8 percent since 2007


3,100 USD

(102,500 Roubles. 2,500 Euros. 2,000 UK Pounds)

Median credit card balance in 2007

2,600 USD 

(86,000 Roubles. 2,100 Euros. 1,700 UK Pounds)

Median credit card balance in 2010

Median credit card debt declined 16 percent since 2007


15.2 Median percentage of education-related debt in 2007
19.2 Median percentage of education-related debt in 2010

4 percentage point increase in median education-related debt since 2007

The proportion of median education-related debt increased 26.4 percent since 2007


7 Percentage of Americans late on debt payments in 2007
11 Percentage of Americans late on debt payments in 2010

4 percentage point increase in Americans late on debt payments since 2007

The proportion of Americans late on debt payments increased 57.2 percent since 2007


49,600 USD

(1.64 million Roubles. 39,700 Euros. 31,900 UK Pounds)

Median value of stock-based retirement plans in 2007

44,000 USD 

(1.46 million Roubles. 35,200 Euros. 28,300 UK Pounds)

Median value of stock-based retirement plans in 2010

Median stock-based retirement plans lost 7 percent of their value since 2007

12 June 2012

This Week

As quoted in Yahoo News



The above tragedy is the direct result of the Republican Party’s policies. This is what happened when GWB gave tax cuts to the affluent effluent and embarked on hellishly-expensive wars of aggression at the same time. We’re paying for it… no, we got none of the gain… yes, we got all of the pain. Reflect on this… Wafflin’ Willy, King Rush, Queen Ann, Grover Norquist, and all the rest say that that’s what’s normal… that ordinary people should pay for the fecklessness and irresponsibility of the top Five Percent. They call themselves “Christians”… fancy that…

You know what to do on 6 November. The president ain’t perfect, but the mess would’ve been worse had he not done what he did. Mittens wants to reinstate the very policies that caused this mess in the first place. You know what to do in the secrecy of the voting booth…



12 June 2012. We Gotta Protect the World From Those Nasty Ol’ Byelorussians! We Gotta Put SANCTIONS On ‘Em!


The above image is from a recent parade in Vitebsk in Byelorussia. It certainly looks rather normal and innocent to me. It doesn’t seem to pose a threat to anything… except for the local pols being on the far side of bad taste… but they share that trait with most of their Western counterparts, so, what’s the big deal? In fact, you could swap out the Byelorussian local pols and the Western local pols, and you’d see no difference at all. They’d be equally self-important, jealous of their small prerequisites, and small-minded… no one would notice the difference. As I told my daughter when she was small, “That’s City Hall… it’s where the crooks live”.

Lighten up and pass the jug. Byelorussia’s an achingly NORMAL place… don’t fall into the trap that the propaganda spinmeisters set… it’s SO obvious…


12 June 2012. What the Bush Spending Toot and Tax Cuts Did to the US Space Programme


This is a landing of a Russian Soyuz TMA capsule in Kazakhstan. Three cosmonauts were on board… one Russian, one American, and one Japanese. At present, the only way that US cosmonauts can get into space is to go aboard a Russian craft. Why? To put it plainly, the wastrel spending of the Bush administration, combined with its irresponsible tax cuts to the least productive (and most parasitical) part of the population, meant that NASA was starved of funds, to pay for Bush’s incessant warmongering in foreign parts. Ergo, whenever you pass a McMansion in the exurbs, you’re looking at what the Republican Party prefers to scientific exploration and research, education, and healthcare. After all, the common welfare of humanity doesn’t put money in their pockets. Here’s the kicker… they think that they’re doing society a favour.

Don’t argue with them… just remember this picture. THIS is what the American space programme came to, and we have George W Bush to thank for it.


No Clashes during Moscow Opposition Rally


The authorised March of Millions protest in Moscow on Tuesday turned out to be peaceful, with no clashes or provocations reported. Opposition activists marched from Pushkinskaya Square to Prospekt Sakharov in central Moscow. At midday, the participants started gathering on Pushkinskaya Square. To keep the peace during the march, they divided it into two columns, the one on the left comprising communist activists, headed by Left Front leader Sergei Udaltsov. The right-hand column featured people belonging to numerous political groups, including environmental activists and gay rights activists, led by Gennady Gudkov, an RF Gosduma Deputy from A Just Russia, Mikhail Kasyanov, co-chairman of the unregistered People’s Democratic Union party, and Yevgeniya Chirikova, the leader of the Defend Khimki Forest movement. The nationalists, who carried imperial yellow-and-black flags, marched to the sound of drumbeats. However, a minor scuffle occurred between the nationalists and gay activists, although it all ended peacefully.

The protesters chanted, “Authority to the millions, not to the millionaires!”, “If we’re united, we aren’t defeated”. Others carried banners reflecting their concerns about the country’s social policies, “We want free healthcare and education”, “Against the rule of red tape”. Maria, a pensioner, said, “The people are all very different here, but we’re all are equally worried about the future of Russia. I’ve come because I care for the future of Russia, for our education, our children, our healthcare. I attend rallies to express my discontent”.

All the participants agreed that the rally was well-organised. Unlike the previous demonstration on 6 May, which ended in clashes with riot police, this time the event unfolded peacefully. Volunteers helped the police to keep order during the march and prevent any provocations. 12,000 police officers were on duty during the march, and both the participants and the passersby praised them. Mikhail Fedotov, the head of the Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights, said, “The March of Millions was well-organised, the police were attentive and friendly”. Vladimir, a rally activist, commented, “Everything was organised perfectly! The only problem was that we had too little space to rally, as the number of participants was so large! I’m here to express my worries about what’s been going on in the country. If the people lack confidence in the authorities, they have a right to say this”.

The police say the opposition march attracted 15,000-18,000 people, although the organisers claim the number of participants was much higher. The MVD released images photographed from a helicopter to let the media and the public assess the number of participants on their own. A heavy rain forced many of the participants to leave the rally venue. The opposition leaders invited their supporters to attend the next rally in October.

12 June 2012

Margarita Bogatova

Svetlana Kalmykova

Voice of Russia World Service


Editor’s Note:

What I do is to take the number of marchers claimed by the police and the number claimed by the organisers and split the difference. The exception to this rule is the so-called Pro-Life movement. Personal experience has taught me that many Pro-Life leaders are egregious liars, so, I tend to discount anything (not just figures) I hear from them. They’re nothing but running-dogs for the worst faction of the Hard Right in the Republican Party, sadly enough. As for the present march in Moscow, the organisers claimed 50,000; the police claimed 18,000. The difference is 32,000; so, divide it by two, which comes up to 16,000, so, there were probably about 35,000 marchers in the anti-Putin rally, of whom two out of three were KPRF and Left Front people (based on my view of the available images… a whole lotta red out there).

This proves that the only political parties worthy of the name in Russia are the Left Front and the KPRF. Shall they merge in later years? Perhaps… we’ll be able to see it better after Gennady Zyuganov retires from active politics (since he was born in 1944, it may be near). All other “parties” are really factions centred on one or another political “celebrity”, including United Russia. Does this mean that the “Future is Red?” Not necessarily, but it’s certainly possible.


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