Thursday, November 27, 2008

Russia's Resurgence or Downfall?

Russia is rotting from the inside - morally and demographically. It may be strong enough to kick around weak neighbors, but that's about it.

Its population is increasingly falling into alcoholism, even among women now, with the resulting early death rates. Russians are literally drinking themselves to death. (The Russian government is now relying on alcohol excise tax receipts to take them through the economic crisis!) And the reproduction rate is not high enough to support any real resurgence in the world. They are aborting themselves into oblivion. The Western European abortion rate is 20-25%. The American abortion rate is 30%. The Ukrainian abortion rate is 45%. The Russian abortion rate is 60-70%. (That's according to Russia's Surgeon General.) That means two out of every three pregnancies in Russia end in death. How do they expect to build a great nation on self-destruction?

The Russian economy is not weak because it's monocultural. It's weak because it is highly dependent on oil and gas production and export (60% of the Russian budget!), and we all know how wildly the price of oil can swing up and down. The Ukrainian economy, by the way, has a similar weakness because it is still strongly dependent on metals exports. And when the world price of steel drops 4 times, like it did a couple months ago, all of the sudden the economy is in trouble. Both Russia and Ukraine badly need to diversify their economies away from natural resource extraction into value-added products and services. If you want to know where the main strengths of any economy are, all you need to do is look at who the richest people are. The richest people in Russia and Ukraine are oil and gas tycoons, and various metals oligarchs. Rinat Akhmetov, Ukraine's steel tycoon, has declared himself to be the richest person in Europe a half a year ago, with a $50 billion fortune behind his name. (And in Russia you would have to include the heads of state - because Putin's personal fortune was reportedly over $10 billion in 2004.) There are no billionaires in the post-Soviet space who have built their wealth from software production and marketing (like Bill Gates, Sergey Brin, Larry Page, et al), stock market investments (like Warren Buffet), department stores (like Sam Walton), etc. The bad thing about resource extraction and export is not just that its prices swing wildly and that it doesn't have a broad beneficial effect on the entire economy, but that it requires the least intellectual and creative labor, causing a certain degree of stagnation in society (look at the Middle East). The other major problem with natural resource extraction is that these are the most corrupt industries, and if they are dominant in a particular economy, they increase the level of corruption in the entire society.

The American quasi-empire is fundamentally a commercial empire. Its strength is primarily economic, and its cultural and military strength flows out of that.

The Russian (very real) empire is fundamentally a military empire. It was built through brute physical force, deception and propaganda, starting from the small fiefdom of Muscovy 700 years ago. And it should not suprise anyone that the Russian Federation is using those same tools to maintain or try to re-build their largest empire. Historically this strategy served Moscow well, as its neighbors were comparatively weak and its population and the military was comparatively large. This is no longer the case in several major respects. Russia neighbors a far numerically superior and economically dynamic China in the Eastern part of its empire and it neighbors NATO in the West, which is stronger than the Russian Empire, primarily because it includes the United States. So, Moscow's past strategy is counter-productive today, because if they keep pushing military conflict, they will inevitably get into a war with the world's major powers, a war that they will loose. (Unless they use major nuclear weapons, in which case everyone looses, but Russia still looses more.) It is also counter-productive because most European nations have abandoned brute imperialism and militarism in the second half of the 20th century. Only Russia has not shed its empire or its militarism. It is the wayward and unruly child of Europe.

Another major issue in mid-term perspective, that no one seems to be paying attention to until its going to be too late, is that radical Islamization of Russia. First off, Russia is fast turning into a Muslim nation. The Russian army recruits are already 40% Islamic. The next generation of Russian citizens after them is going to be majority Muslim (and non-Slavic). Aside from the religious factor this might not have been so bad if it it wasn't combined with the radicalization of Russian Muslims. When the Soviet Union fell apart, Russia proper had 400 mosques. Today it has over 40,000! The vast majority of these new mosques have been built on Saudi money (and money from other Gulf States), and are staffed with Wahhabi imams, who are teaching radical political Islam to Russia's historically moderate Muslims. That's why there is a high likelihood that in one generation Russia is going to be a majority radical Muslim state. Does anyone think this is going to be good for Russia's neighbors or for the world?

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Russian Historical Forgetfulness

An excerpt from a Washington Post article:

"But few debate that Russians are unwilling to properly honor the victims of Soviet-era purges, reconsider the dark pages of the country's history and acknowledge that the Soviet regime was guilty of grave crimes. Critics say that reluctance to face Soviet crimes is rooted in the fact that the Kremlin is increasingly moving away from democracy and reverting to authoritarian practices."

Українці та Російський Імперіалізм

Факт є фактом, через пропаганду чи ні, але більшість росіян вороже налаштовані до України. Справа в тому, що більшість українців самі себе не поважають, а росіяни про справжню Україну майже нічого не знають, бо українці їм нічого ніколи про це не говорять. Чи то через побоювання згубити друзів, чи через зневагу до самих себе.

Я свої справжні думки про Росію від росіян не приховую. Реакція буває різна. Деяки мені відразу кажуть що я ненавиджу «русскіх». Для таких особисто пояснюю що проблем з русскімі в мене немає, а от з російским урядом є, і багато. Ті хто самі не люблять КГБ навіть погоджуються.

Для тих хто називає любого поважаючого себе українця націоналістом, пояснюю що таке націоналізм, і що таке самоповага. І що росіяни тут якраз самі націоналісти.

Деяки починають сперечатись про історію. Таких вантажу фактами з української історіологіі, про які більшість з них чують вперше, і які багатьох приголомшують. Вони просто не знають що відповісти, бо ніколи такого не чули.

Тих хто називає українців образливими назвами, чи розказує анекдоти про «тупих хохлів», запитую чому в них така соромна зневага до українців, на що вони часто починають доказувати свою велику любов до України і українців.

Зневажати себе чи українців в своїй присутності не дозволяю. Через деякий час, більшість навчаются не робити тупих висловів проти українців. І навіть ті хто зі мною незгодні, вже не сперечаються, і намагаються розмови в це русло більше не заводити.

Справа в тому, що російська історія, так як її викладають в Росії, є по суті своїй анти-українська. Україні відводится роль маленького брата, який завжди був «ісконной» частиною Росії і як наслідок завжди повинен бути. Тому мене зовсім не дивують анти-українськи росіяни.

А от чому в Росії влада така, це вже треба питати російських демократів.

Від себе скажу, що поки Росія залишається імперією, вона просто не може бути демократичною країною. Щоб стати нормальною європейською країною, яка зможе відноситись до своїх сусідів з повагою, вона повинна згубити цю імперію. А якщо росіяни цінують велику імперію понад людськи цінності, то вони заслуговують на таку владу. А українська влада просто повинна навчитись як правильно поводити себе із імперією.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

How Many Ukrainians Died in the Holodomor?

The demographic data from the Soviet Union can only suggest the lowest number. Going by the Soviet data, the lowest possible number is 5 million dead. And we know the Soviets had reason to inflate post-Holodomor numbers, so the number is likely higher. Besides that, Ukraine had one of the highest birth rates in Europe in the 20th century, so between the dates of the Censuses, the population should have grown, just as it did in Russia.

If we assume that under normal conditions the population of Ukraine should have grown with rates similar to the population of Russia, then Ukraine's population should have increased by 20% in the span of 11 years between the Soviet censuses. Since the population of Ukraine actually decreased by 16%, then the actual difference is 36%.

So, it is reasonable to conclude based on this data that Ukraine lost about a third of its population to Holodomor, which is over 10 million victims.

Communism Should Be Condemned By Humanity

It is my firm belief that both fascism and communism need to be condemned by humanity. Unfortunately, not all fascism was condemned. German fascism was fully condemned. But Japan never underwent the same process as Germany. Unlike Hitler in Germany, Emperor Hirohito of Japan stayed in power and many of the crimes of the Japanese in China (just read The Rape of Nanking for a horrific picture) and Korea were covered up.

The Koreans and the Chinese are demanding to this day that the Japanese acknowledge their crimes. And the Japanese keep stonewalling them and denying the truth in their history books.

The same thing is true about communism. It was never condemned and judged the way at least German Nazism was. And many of the individuals who committed horrific crimes in Soviet years are living to their ripe old age in Moscow, given high state awards by the Russian government and treated as heroes of Russia. And the Russian public never learns the truth of what they did and the propaganda glosses it over as "something they had to do for their homeland". No wonder surveys in Russia show that the Russians think that Stalin was the greatest Russian in history!

The same thing goes for the symbols of Fascism and Communism. For some reason, while it's seen as wrong to wear a fascist cross, the symbols of hammer and sicle and the CCCP shirts are seen as a popular fashion item, in Russia and in the West. The same thing goes for the Che Guevarra t-shirts. Che Guevarra was a murderer who killed millions of people, including women and children. To celebrate him as an admirable symbol is at best obtuse.

The world needs to fully deal with Communism and condemn its utopian inhumanity and brutality.

Ukrainian Economy Increasingly Independent of Russia's

If you think that Ukraine's independence is a good thing, then this is going to be good news for you. I would actually go so far as to argue that Ukraine has already been torn away from Russia, at least as far as the economy is concerned.

The European Union is already Ukraine's largest trading partner and that number is increasing, so economically speaking Ukraine is already integrating into the EU.

Russia today accounts for 22% of Ukraine's exports and 25% of Ukraine's imports, which is half of the early post-Soviet figures, and those numbers continue to go down, regardless of regular declarations by Russian and Ukrainian politicians about being strategic partners, and inspite of the fact that the past increases in oil and gas prices significantly drove up the dollar figure of Ukrainian imports from Russia.

Belarus, for example, is much more tied into the Russian economic orbit. Russia accounts for 37% of Belarus exports and 60% of their exports.

Even Kazakhstan gets 37% of their imports from Russia.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Gorbachev, Obama and the end of USSR

This is a response to the following blog post on Lex Libertas:
Gorbachev Urges Obama to Carry Out Perestroika
You are talking about the downfall of the Soviet Union like it was a bad thing. The only people who think it was a bad thing are the Communists and the Russian nationalists.

I think it was a wonderful thing because it made liberty and democracy possible for tens of millions of people who were languishing in the Soviet system (Ukrainians, Georgians, the Balts, the 20-30 million slaves in the gulags.). Freedom is well worth the price of a decade of economic hardship following the collapse of communism. And Gorbachev was not necessarily to blame for it. The seeds of the Soviet system's collapse were planted long before the 1980s. (And much of the post-Soviet economic hardship was the result of post-Soviet government policies, and especially so in Ukraine, where the government kept printing money to meet its social obligations, jacking up inflation to 14,000% at one point, and causing the longest post-Soviet economic decline until the year 2000.)

The first seed of destruction, philosophically speaking, was in the beginning, when the entire system was founded on official godlessness and state socialism. But more to the point, Brezhnev (and Reagan) was responsible for the credit hole the Soviet Union was in. A lot of old Soviet citizens remember his senile rule with nostalgia, because sausages were cheap (read subsidized) and there was general internal peace in the empire. But this lifestyle was supported by the countless credits extended by Western institutions, which doomed the Soviet economic system to the 1990s-style downturns. If it wasn't for the West stupidly extending credits to the Soviet Union, it would have collapsed much sooner.

Another reason for collapse was the fact that Saudi Arabian monarchs performed a wonderful service for their American ally at the request of Reagan. Just like Russia today, the Soviet Union was an energy tiger. (So, in a sense this is nothing new.) The Soviet leadership was planning to rely on its energy might for economic stability and political influence in the world, as well as hard currency receipts. Reagan asked the Saudis to start pumping out significantly more oil (I think they doubled it), which collapsed the world price of oil, and undermined the entire Soviet strategy. Russia today is in the same place. The price of oil falls 3 times and the Russian market is down over 70%. (Something similar in Ukraine as well, with the price of steel down 4 times, the markets are down almost 70% now.) Pretty predictable, really. Another "problem" was his anti-alcoholism campaign, which deprived the Soviet central government of significant revenues. The Russian government today is relying on these revenues to take them through the rough times. Sure, they are killing their people with alcoholism and lowering the life expentancy of Russians even further, but at least they are ensuring the excise tax revenues are coming in.

Blaming the collapse of the USSR on Gorbie is at best disingenuous, unless you believe communism and repression is a good thing, and certainly not the whole story. It was inherent in the illiberal system itself. As soon as Gorbie allowed the Soviet people to breathe a little more freedom, the Balts and the Georgians demanded their independence, and were met with some violence. Certainly not in the hardline Soviet style, but there were tanks on the streets in their Republics. The rest of the Soviet system held together, until Yeltsin went around Gorbachev's back, and while demanding the independence of Russia from the Soviet Union, met with his Belarusian and Ukrainian counterparts in Belarus in 1990, sealed an agreement with them and officially declared the end of USSR. The Ukrainian (Communist!) parliament immediately voted for independence. And a year later, in 1991, the Ukrainian people confirmed in a referendum by a vote of 96% (including a majority in Crimea!) that they wanted independence for Ukraine. That was the final nail in the coffin of the Soviet Union.

What you need to understand about Gorbachev is that he is a social-democrat, Western European style. What he wanted to do was to make the Soviet Union more like the rest of Western Europe, by changing it into a socialism with a soft face. This is precisely what he is asking Obama to do, to make the United States more like Western Europe. Needless to say, that would be bad, as most Western European economic growth rates are at 1-2% per year. Social democracy lowers economic growth by consuming productive capital that's needed for growth.

Ukraine Genocide Analysis by Yevhen Zakharov

In regards to the legal classification of Holodomor as genocide, I would strongly recommend the legal analysis by Yevhen Zakharov of the Khakiv Human Rights Protection group:

Opinion: Legal classification of Holodomor 1932-1933 in Ukraine and in Kuban as a crime against humanity and genocide

The basic fact is that due to the rolling back of free-maket NEP policies of the 1920s and forced mass-collectivization, shortages and famines broke out all over the territory of the former Soviet Union in the 1930s. However, only in Ukraine did it take on the nature of a crime, because every shred of food was requisitioned from every village house, and Ukraine's border was cordoned off to prevent Ukrainians from leaving Ukraine's territory in search of food.

As far as targeting of ethnic Ukrainians is concerned, it's very simple. While there were many ethnic Russians in Eastern Ukraine (who largely came there in late 19th, early 20th century because of the rapid industrialization of the region), they were overwhelmingly workers (not peasants) and lived overwhelmingly in the cities, which were not targeted by Stalin's policies. Hence, Ukrainians were targeted almost exclusively by definition.

Russian KGB and Ukraine

The Russian people are not an enemy of Ukraine. I personally have more Russian friends than Ukrainian friends. But unfortunately the Russian government is an enemy of an independent Ukraine.

The trouble is with the fact that the Russian government is run by the KGB (FSB), which has two main goals:

1. Increase their power as much as possible.

2. Make as much money as possible. (Much of which ends up on the personal accounts of the leaders.)

The infamous false Hitler dolls story, by the way, was cooked up by the KGB, and spread all over Russia and the world. You have to be dreaming not to see that they are working on subverting Ukraine's population with propaganda, and sullying Ukraine's image in the world as much as possible. The same thing goes for the current condemnation of Ukraine for selling weapons to Georgia, as if it was something illegal or immoral. Ukraine sells much more weapons to Russia than to anyone else, so Georgians actually have much more reason to complain!

Why would the KGB interests want to invade Ukraine? Two reasons: increase their power and make as much money as possible. There is only one absolutely sure way to gain and maintain wealth in Russia - rise through the KGB and then the world is your oyster. Everyone else can loose both power and wealth by making the wrong move (or by simply being alive) - and very quickly too.

There is a liberal opposition in Russia, with highly intelligent politicians like Valeriya Novodvorskaya, who are absolutely pro-democratic and anti-imperialistic, highly sympathetic to Ukraine (and support Ukraine's NATO and EU strivings) and wish that Russia would emulate Ukraine's democratic reforms and that the friendship between the two nations would be based on shared democratic, European values. (By the way, Grigoriy Yavlinskiy, who was born and raised in Lviv, and has headed Russia's Yabloko Party for decades, is also part of that opposition.)

Some resources on Novodvorskaya:

Голова партії "Демократичний союз"
Валерія Новодворська про Україну, НАТО й Росію (5 kanal):

уважаемая валерия ильинична, я один из ваших самых преданных поклонников! многие вас не поддерживают, а я считаю одним из немногих трезвых людей из этой страны! скажите пожалуйста в связи с стремлением украины вступить в нато и ес и вообще интегрироваться в мировое сообщество подальше от россии. как ей следует (политикам украины) "умнее себя вести" с россией? и вообще как вы считаете в чем основные проблемы современной украинской политики и кризиса в украине, какие вы думаете есть выходы? буду с нетерпением ждать ответа!

васюков александр, украина, одесская область, город южный
Послушать ответ Валерии Новодворской:

Articles by and about her:

She is also widely published in Ukrainian press:

Just do a simple search in Google for: Валерія Новодворська

Unfortunately, Russian thought leaders like Valeriya Novodvorskaya do not get through to the majority of the Russian public, because the KGB knows how to use the media very skillfully to promote its propaganda, which is not at all friendly to Ukraine. If Ukraine is ever on the news in Russia, it's always in a negative light. And this was true even during Kuchma's term. This is one of the reasons why 50% of Russians think Ukraine is Russia's enemy, while only 20% of Ukrainians think that Russia is Ukraine's enemy. 60% of Ukrainians think that Russia is a friendly nation, while only 20% of Russians think this of Ukraine. KGB propaganda is one of the reasons why the Russian citizens see every other nation as an enemy. Belarus, for example, is practically a part of Russia already, but only 50% of Russians think of it as a friendly nation. And this is the highest number among Russians, because Belarus is seen as the most friendly nation. In essense, if you want most Russians to see your nation is friendly, you first need to become a slave of the Russians. And then they will think of you as a friendly people.

There is also a huge demographic problem in Russia, as a result of their own imperial policies. The Russian Federation is fast turning into a non-Slavic, Muslim nation. (Ukraine's demographic problem is much smaller by comparison.) The Russian army is already 40% Muslim. This is Russia's next generation of leaders. More than half of the children born in Russia today are born into non-Slavic, Muslim families. And unfortunately, thanks to Saudi money, Russia's moderate Muslims are fast radicalizing today. Almost all new mosques in Russia (in the thousands since USSR's collapse) are built on Saudi money, and staffed by Wahabbi-trained imams. (Who produce by far the greatest number of radical Islamic terrorists worldwide.)

There are several options the Russian leadership has in regards to this:

1. Russian leadership may see a necessity to ward off this radical demographic and religious/cultural change by increasing their Slavic population through adding Belarus, Ukraine and Northern Kazakhstan to Russia's territory.

2. If Russia's leadership does not see this as a problem and continues to finance the de-Slavization and Islamization of Russia (to the tune of $10,000 per child), then Ukraine is going to have much bigger problems to deal with in a couple decades. Not only is Ukraine going to have a large, aggressive and imperialistic neighbor to the East, but it is also going to be an empire with a majority radical Muslim population. I wish Ukraine's leaders much good luck in dealing with a problem of this magnitude.

3. If people like Valeriya Novodvorskaya governed Russia, Russia would solve its demographic problems by scaling down its empire and giving freedom to all of its restive Southern Muslim nations. And Ukraine and Russia would both be part of both NATO and the EU by now, and would be best friends forever. Unfortunately, we live in a different world with a different reality. KGB is an implacable, professional, cold, and calculating enemy. The only way to deal with them is by being cool, professional, rational, and strong. (Something unseen in Ukraine's current crop of leaders.)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Yuri Bezmenov: The KGB and the Brainwashing of the West

The Russian Embassy in DC is the largest embassy in the United States, with over 3,000 employees. The KGB business is proceeding briskly inside of it, just as it was in Soviet days. In fact, if you believe American intelligence analysts, Russian intelligence in the West is stronger today than it has ever been during the Cold War.

And even though Ukraine has a mutual agreement with the Russian Federation to not spy on each other, the KGB and Russian military intelligence are quite active in Ukraine as well, working towards subversion of Ukraine and keeping it within the zone of Russian influence.

A clip from a fascinating 1985 interview with a high-ranking KGB defector to the West, Yuri Bezmenov:

You can watch the entire interview below:

Yuri Bezmenov Explains Soviet Strategy for Subversion 1 of 9

Yuri Bezmenov Explains Soviet Strategy for Subversion 2 of 9

Yuri Bezmenov Explains Soviet Strategy for Subversion 3 of 9

Yuri Bezmenov Explains Soviet Strategy for Subversion 4 of 9

Yuri Bezmenov Explains Soviet Strategy for Subversion 5 of 9

Yuri Bezmenov Explains Soviet Strategy for Subversion 6 of 9

Yuri Bezmenov Explains Soviet Strategy for Subversion 7 of 9

Yuri Bezmenov Explains Soviet Strategy for Subversion 8 of 9

Yuri Bezmenov Explains Soviet Strategy for Subversion 9 of 9

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Dining near Chornobyl attracts British TV show
Dining near Chornobyl attracts British TV show

The Age newspaper of Melbourne, Australia, put the spotlight Oct. 30 on the BBC-produced TV program "Cooking in the Danger Zone." Naturally, TV host Stefan Gates found his way to Chornobyl, site of the world's worst nuclear power accident in 1986.

"This week's series return sees him traipse around Chornobyl, Geiger counter in hand, to meet Ukrainians flaunting dire health warnings to continue to live within the 'zone of alienation' around the stricken nuclear power plant," according to the newspaper. "A combination of necessity, ignorance and stolid fatalism has seen peasants move back illegally into the area, in which wildlife has ironically flourished since the 1986 accident."

Gates sets his sites on the nearby town of Slavutych and, according to The Age, "finds himself swayed by the combined powers of a toothless babushka, her alcoholic husband and a stoic bunch of Ukrainian men, to taste food cultivated deep within the contaminated zone."

Kyivskyi Pohlyad with Evheniy Kyselyov

If you understand Ukrainian, I would recommend the weekly analytical program "Kyivskyi Pohlyad" with Evheniy Kyselyov, on the Ukrainian TV channel TBI, which regularly discusses Ukrainian economics, politics and culture.

A new edition comes out every Sunday.

You can watch it here:

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Deputy Andriy Shevchenko appeared in NYC to appear at U Penn

Summary by Bohdan Oryshkevich, Founder of the USA/USA Program

Verkhovna Rada Deputy from BYUT, Andriy Shevchenko, appeared in the East Village of New York City on Saturday November 1, and met with members of the Ukrainian American community and with USA/USA students from Ukraine who came from as far away as Johns Hopkins and the University of Pennsylvania. His appearance created a lively afternoon with sharp questions and an enthusiastic response for the openness of the forum if not for the responses obtained. Mr. Shevchenko made three essential points:

First, there will be no basic reforms in Ukraine until after the Presidential elections in 2009.

Second, the Verkhovna Rada will remain corrupt and inert until its deputies are elected on an individual basis rather than through party lists.

Third, Mr. Shevchenko pointed out that with the recent confusion in Ukrainian politics, Ukraine has lost all the credibility it had with reference to EU and NATO integration.

For another summary of the meeting go to:

Mr. Andriy Shevchenko is in the USA for four month stay as a Yale World Fellow.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Yulia Tymoshenko Congratulates Obama On Victory

In Ukraine, where Obama will confront a region where Russia is playing an increasingly assertive role, Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko called Obama's victory "an inspiration for us. That which appeared impossible has become possible."

Blacks everywhere have a reason to celebrate, as do whites, about electing the first black (or actually half-black) man for the Presidency of the most developed and most powerful nation on earth. But that's about the only thing to celebrate, for those who don't see socialism as progress.

Tymoshenko's response to Obama doesn't surprise me. In some ways she has a similar ideology to Obama's. She believes in a strong role for the government in the economy and in income redistribution (to a point). That's why I think she would be much better as a president of Ukraine than as a prime minister, because she would not be able to do much damage to the economy as a president of Ukraine and would be able to do quite a few good things for Ukraine in foreign affairs.

One of the reasons for the struggles between Yushchenko and Tymoshenko is the ideological difference. Even though Nasha Ukraina and Byut both stand for clean elections and a Western civilizational choice for Ukraine, ideologically Nasha Ukraina is actually closer to the Party of Regions than to Byut. NU and PR both believe in a "rising tide lifts all boats" philosophy that resulted in the bettering of economic conditions in Ukraine in the past decade. It's not a secret that most of this growth was achieved by large enterprises, "big business" so to speak, that drove economic growth in Ukraine, especially the metals industry.

It's hard to parse Ukrainian politics by ideology, because all three major forces are still representatives of particular major business interests, including Byut. Nevertheless, the ideological difference is there and it can be seen in how Yulia Tymoshenko acted when she was in government. I would call her ideology "social-democrat" .

Political Analysis of the American Elections

This post is in Ukrainian language:

Політичний Аналіз Американських Виборів

Ці нотатки було написано у відповідь на цей постінг:

Щодо моралі можна подискутувати, а от щодо інтелектуальних здібностей, автори цього листа не занадто далекозорі. Поняття червоних і синіх штатів досить химерне. За останні 15 років тільки 17 штатів були завжди синіми і тільки 16 завжди червоними. А ще 17 змінювали свій кольор, голосуючи то за Клінтона, то за Буша - двічі, то знов за Обаму. Так що штати тут треба ділити не на дві частини, а на три - ліва, права, та помірна. Подивитись це графічно можна тут:
(На справді треба аналіз робити на рівні районів, counties, які набагато більш стабільні в політичних нахилах.)

А якщо дивитись далі в минуле, наприклад 20-30 років назад, то тоді взагалі майже вся країна голосувала за Республіканців, принайми за Рейгана. В 1980-му він виграв 44 штата і 489 електоральних голосів, проти 6 штатів і 49 електоралних голосів Картера. Тобто від набрав електоральних голосів в 10 разів більше Картера! Дивись діаграму:

А в 1984-му, Рейган взагалі виграв 49 штатів і 525 електоралних голосів, залишаючи Мондейлу тільку Монтану (і нещасних 13 електоральних голосів), так як це був штат Мондейла. Рейган міг би взяти в той раз і Монтану, але, як джентельмен, не провадив там виборчої кампанії і залишив його демократу. Діаграма тут:

Так що коли Американські ліві намагаются спаплюжити спадщину Рейгана, вони це роблять несправедливо, бо його справді любила вся країна.

Доречі, як ти можеш побачити на цих оригінальних картах, до 1988 року червоний був кольором демократів, так же як і по всьому світові червоний - це кольор лівих. Але Американськи медіа змінили кольори. Це таке цікаве намагання американских лівих приховати свої справжні кольори. Так і постає така кумедна ситуація коли ліберал в Америці, в Європі зветсья соціалістом. А ліберал в Європі, в Америці називається консерватором. А червоні в Європі чомусь стали синіми в Америці. Сміх та й годі.

Ще цікавійший факт політичного аналізу, це те що в 2004-му, за Буша проголосувало 2.506 районів (counties) Америки, тоді як за Керрі проголосувало тільки 535 районів Америки, або 33.300.000 квадратних міль проти 779.000 квадратних міль. Якщо ти подивишся на карту районів виборів 2004-го, то ти побачиш червоне море із синіми острівками:

Наприклад, більшість районів штату Нью-Йорк є червоними, але місто Нью-Йорк тягне цілий штат на блакитну площину. Така ж сама ситуація і в штаті Пенсильванія, де майже весь штат червоний, але Філаделфія, Скрентон і Піттсбурґ можуть тягнути весь штат на синю сторону.

Доречі і в 2000-му, і в 2008-му, ця карта виглядає майже так само:

Справа в тому що міста Америки здебільшого голосують за демократів, а передмістя та сільскі райони голосують за республіканців. Тому більшість теріторії Америки є червона.

Класова та освітня різниця також цікава. В демократичній партії переважають вищи класи та нижні, а в республіканській партії переважає середній клас. Тому і зрозуміло чому міста голосують за демократів, бо в містах Америки живуть як найбідніші, так і найбагатші Американці. Тоді, як в передмістях і в сільских районах переважає середній клас.

Якщо подивитися на освіту, то ситуація також подібна. В республіканській партії більше людей, які мають вищу освіту, але тут переважають люди з дипломами бакалавра та магістра. А більшість із тих хто має докторати є демократами. Так як і більшість із тих хто має тільки шкільний диплом, і переважна більшість із тих хто має незакінчену шкільну освіту. Це й не дивно - бо в багатьох великих містах Америки, більше як 50% афро-американських студентів на закінчують школу (High School).

Також цікавий той факт що більшість мільонерів є республіканцями, але більшість мільярдерів є демократами. Більшість професорів (70-80%) є демократами, як і більшість адвокатів (60-70%) і журналістів (85%), але в бізнесі, в армії, у фермерстві переважають республіканці (70-90 відсотків).

Можна багато ще чого сказати, але одна річ ясна - не все так просто як ці писаки написали і ти з ентузіазмом переклав. Якщо ліберані американці хочуть відділитися від консервативних, їм придется імпортувати свою їжу, імпротувати робітників корпорацій, і підходити під протекторат ООН, або ризикувати стати частиною Російскої або Китайскої імперії, бо своїх вояків в них один, два і обрахувався. А сподіватись на енергетичну незалежність і зовсім не буде можливості, бо майже вся і нафта, і вуголь, і вітряки, знаходяться в червоних районах.

А про низький рівень розлучень в синіх штатах, це вже взагалі смішно. Справа в тому що в синіх штатах багато людей не бачать моральних проблем із сексом без шлюбу і набагато менше взагалі одружуються, тому і рівень розлучень нижче. А в червоних штатах більшість ще вірить у святість шлюбу, тому і набагато більше одружуються.

Доречі, більшість університетів Америки знаходяться не в містах, а в передмістях та сільскій місцевості, тобто в червоних районах.

Я забув до цього додати що республіканці, як люди, щасливищі ніж демократи на 50%. (Вчені соціологи кажуть що це тому що серед них найбільш релегійні люди.)

Республіканці також мають набагато краще психологічне здоров'я, аніж демократи або інщі американці, здебільшого з тих самих причин.

Так що, в синіх районах Америки (і в лавах лівих партій тa серед атеїстів) знаходиться переважна більшість депресивного населення Америки і користувачів найпопулярнішого медикамента від депресії - всемогутній Прозак (Prozac).

Також мушу додати, що україно-американці історично голосують за Республіканців, десь на 70 відсотків! І вони мають на це всі історичні підстави.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Ukraine's Film Industry Struggling to Survive

I think Ukraine's film industry has been given a boost by a Ukrainian court order that required the Ukrainian dubbing or subtitling of all films shown in Ukraine. This will give a boost to Ukrainian actors, or at least the Ukrainian voice actors.

The Russian film industry is nothing compared with Hollywood or Bollywood, but it's definitely ahead of the Ukrainian film industry. One of the reason is that the Russian government has made major cash infusions to produce politically correct propaganda movies about "Great Russian history". The other is that Russia's economy is ahead of Ukraine's, thanks to oil and sooner reforms. And the third reason is that the Ukrainian market is simply 3 times smaller.

Here's to hoping the Ukrainian film industry can survive and someday become something like the French film industry in France. And why not? Ukraine is a similar sized country and has a very attractive culture.

And it's beyond argument that Ukraine has very attractive people, both male and female! :)