The Hack

What’s scary about the Capital One hack is that it was done by a clearly deranged and quite stupid individual. It shouldn’t be so easy that every illiterate fool with a couple of semesters at a community college can do it.

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Contempt

Oh, so now Mitch McConnell is a Russian spy? That’s the famous Mitch strategy that was so conspicuously absent from the first Dem debate?

I’m having trouble determining who despises their followers more, Trump or Democrats. Because you have really got to consider people to be less than dirt to try to push this ridiculous Moscow Mitch narrative. But then again, Trump’s been fooling the wall seekers in the most egregious way ever, and they mostly buy it.

So maybe we deserve the contempt our politicians treat us with.

What Are They Protesting?

What are the Russian protesters actually protesting? This is an interesting question.

The government’s cynical decision to do nothing about the wildfires ravaging Siberia?

The murder of one of the last pro-Ukrainian dissidents a couple of days ago?

The arrest of a group of Crimean Tatars in the Red Square last week?

The torture or political prisoners?

The recent kidnapping by a Chechen family of a young woman who will now be sold into an arranged marriage?

No. None of the above.

They are protesting the fact that several candidates weren’t allowed to run for the Moscow municipal parliament. It’s important because all the money in Russia is in Moscow. Having access to the municipal funds opens enormous opportunities for corruption. Here is an example for those who don’t know how it works. You put a flower bed downtown and conspire with the flower company to charge you five million dollars for that single flower bed. The government pays and you split the money with the flower company.

Obviously, having access to a system like this is an enormous opportunity for enrichment. So it’s hard to get in. Very hard. The protesters want it to be less hard. Not for everyone, of course, but for a small segment of upper middle class muscovites.

They aren’t protesting against anything that will have any effect on the lives of, say, an indigent family in Tambov or impoverished retirees in Kaluga.

And they definitely aren’t opposing the presence of the Russian troops in occupied territories or in artificially stoked conflicts around the world.

They want better access to the system of power that creates the indigent, starts the invasions, and stokes conflicts.

I’m writing this because the reports I’m seeing in Western media are missing the point completely. “The masses” never engaged in any protests in Russia. The only people who ever rise up are the elites who think they don’t get enough access to money and power.

It’s been like this for centuries. The Decembrists, the October Revolution – it’s always the very fortunate getting all pouty about the privileges of the even more fortunate. The masses, in the meanwhile, “keep silent in every language because they are fine with everything,” as the great Ukrainian poet Shevchenko said.