Russia's Backsliding Continues


The squalid little authoritarians in Russia rubber stamped a new law yesterday that would "boost the powers of the successor to the Soviet KGB, allowing it to summon people it believes are about to commit a crime and threaten jail for those who disobey its orders." According to Reuters, the law "could be used by the FSB security service to detain opposition activists and independent journalists and undermine President Dmitry Medvedev's promises to foster civil rights."

Vladimir Ulas, of the opposition Communist Party, complained, with no evident trace of irony, that the new law was "a step toward a police state. It is effectively a ban on any real opposition activity." And Ulas, who joined the party in 1981, knows a thing or two about police states.

According to RFE/RFL, police in Moscow broke up a small protest of Yabloko activists and arrested four people protesting the new law in front of the Duma today. And in other depressing Russia news, the children of Saint Petersburg (which is probably due for another name change. Perhaps Putingrad?) are being encouraged to pray for their muscly, bear-killing president.

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  1. new law yesterday that would “boost the powers of the successor to the Soviet KGB, allowing it to summon people it believes are about to commit a crime and threaten jail for those who disobey its orders.”

    Ooh, they’re quickly catching up to us.

  2. Apparently we’re not the only country w/ precogs.

  3. The Yablokos are bolshy great.

  4. “…Saint Petersburg (which is probably due for another name change. Perhaps Putingrad?)…”

    Let Canadians take it over. Then it can be Poutinegrad.

    1. *Applause*

  5. “Bear-killing president” links to Putin. Is there a stock photo of Dmitry Medvedev killing ursidae anywhere?

    1. Putin is the president. Medvedev is the prime minister. Russian prime minister’s have a term limit, which is why Putin needed a stooge in the first place.

      1. Mostly right, except you have it backwards. Medvedev is the current president. Putin is the former president and current prime minister. Not sure if the PM has a term limit, but the Presidency does.

      2. Mostly right, except you have it backwards. Medvedev is the current president. Putin is the former president and current prime minister. Not sure if the PM has a term limit, but the Presidency does.

    2. I don’t think Medvedev would kill himself.

      (For those who don’t speak Russian, “Medved'”/??????? is the Russian word for “bear”. In Cyrillic, of course, but Reason has problems with non-Latin character sets….)

      1. I should kill myself.

  6. As a Libertarian, why should I give a fuck what Russia does in Russia? If the Russian citizenry doesn’t want to eat shit, then they’re the ones that need to address this.

    1. Uh, there is a difference between caring what Russians do in Russia and trying to interfere.

      The former is the normal concern of one human being for the welfare of others, the latter is stupid and counterproductive.

      1. I’d be all in favor of “interfering,” if someone would tell me what I, as a private citizen, can do about this. Or for that matter, what the U.S. government can do about this. Russia’s not one of the places in the world that the U.S. can invade. Russia doesn’t even export stuff that we could boycott.

    2. As a libertarian you should want to see liberty increasing – not decreasing – no matter where it occurs. You’re right, Russians who care about liberty need to address this, but if we truly believe liberty to be important, why wouldn’t we at least give moral support to those in other nations who would want to defend it?

      1. While I don’t believe we should intervene, what can the average Russian citizen do? The Russian government has proven it has no problem killing anyone who it doesn’t like, or trying to, at any rate.

        If I was a believer, I’d be praying for Putin. Praying for a quick and painful death, preferably with his stooge Medvedev.

        1. “May God bless and keep the Tsar…

          …far away from us.”

          – the rabbi in Fiddler on the Roof

      2. As a libertarian you should want to see liberty increasing – not decreasing – no matter where it occurs.

        More of the “every libertarian should want what I want” fallacy. This attitude leads to a lot of problems down the road.

        Anyhow, moral support and 50000 rubles will buy you a cup of vodka, so there’s little difference.

    3. Because you’re not an ultra-nationalist who’s indifferent to anything that happens to individuals who are not part of your super special race?

      1. Because you’re not an ultra-nationalist who’s indifferent to anything that happens to individuals who are not part of your super special race?

        What the hell? You one of them faggoty-ass, East-coast “cosmotarians”? Enough of you and your city-slicker book larnin’.


  7. I looked into his eyes and saw his soul.
    And I gotta tell ya’, a little blood flowed to my penis.

  8. Is anyone actually surprised by this? I mean really.


  9. Wow that makes a lot of sense dude

    1. Boooooooooooooooooo *jeers*

      Bring back Lou!

  10. As an aside, I do like the ads that come up whenever Russia is discussed.

    1. Buy 1, get 1 free!

      Guaranteed to know English!*

      Free shipping!

      Hand-signed certificate of authenticity from Mr Putin himself!

  11. When the FSB comes for you at night will they take the buttons off your shirt like the Cheka?

  12. Why as the USA not already formed a political union with Russia?

  13. “…Vladimir Ulas, of the opposition Communist Party…”

    It’s tough to know who to root for here, isn’t it?

  14. This is kinda like driving while black in the states. The cops know who is going to commit crime and they harass them.

    Not saying that in support of the cops.

    1. Or, it’s kinda like being white in America than defending yourself against a black thug, the cops will arrest the white person charge him with a hate crime for defending himself.

      Not saying that in support of the cops. Just saying?

      A White in your Amerika is more likely to be racially profiled as evil, racist for defending himself, or even arguing or looking at a black person the wrong way than a black person is to be pulled over by a cop.

      How sad, you guys can’t even question Obama or else your considered a racist. And, you call Russia authoritarian? No leader in the world besides maybe Kim Jong Ill is as worshiped, protected, hyped for no apparent reason than your prezident.

      Russia, is freer than Amerika, your nation has two parties, Russia has half a dozen, your nation has already enacted laws (Patriot Act) that gives your FBI exclusive power to round up and wire tap people.

      You call Russia authoritarian?

      Do you Americans ever, and I mean ever examine yourselves, your nation is the obese Ronold McDONALD Mcd’s, big bad bullying police state in the entire world full of self-loved, idle worshiping American flag waving obese fat idiot clowns.

      1. In Putin’s Russia, Internet Trolls YOU!

      2. Americans getting lectured by Russians about civil liberties. I can’t help but regard this as progress.

  15. It seems that there is something in the Russian psyche that adores totaltarianism or fears the consequences of liberty.


    1. J sub D (and everyone else), I highly recommend Hedrick Smith’s The Russians. While the events chronicled in the book took place in the early 1970’s, I think a lot of what Smith wrote about still has value when trying to understand the Russian psyche*.

      It’s also useful, as it’s a(n unintentional) basic primer on why top-down central planning is bound to fail, and gives several great examples of that failure in action.

      *Yes, I know that this is a collectivist notion. Still, there are ideas and values that are transmitted throughout cultures, and are shared by many in the culture.

    2. It seems that there is something in the Russian human psyche that adores totaltarianism or fears the consequences of liberty.

  16. Vladimir Ulas, of the opposition Communist Party, complained, with no evident trace of irony, that the new law was “a step toward a police state. It is effectively a ban on any real opposition activity.”

    Having come of age in the early eighties I still get a silly grin every time I read something like that. I look back and think how utterly unthinkable this situation would be circa 1980.

    As for Putin, well, all forms of collectivism eventually end up as fascism. The Communist all started out singing the Internationale but ended up in mutually hostile rabidly nationalistic states governed by a increasingly hereditary caste of political mandarins and “company” executives (see the “Red Managers”.) I think we have to look at the collapse of the Soviet Union as less a rejection of authoritarian collectivism and more a hiccup in the USSRs evolution toward the overtly-fascist state. The USSR was 80%+ the way there already.

  17. I know I’m going to make a lot of people angry in here with this notification, but nobody gives a shit about Yabloko in Russia. It is not the “genuine opposition” social liberals in the west always portray it and the liberal media likes to idealize it. It is a tiny fringe party that hasn’t had parliamentary seats in the last 3 years and has never had over 10% support in elections or public opinion polls. It in no way represents Russian publicly supported political opposition of this day.

    The opposition parties of Putin’s United Russia are the “liberal democratic” LPDR (nationalist opposition, right) and the Communist Party (statist opposition, left). United Russia is neo-liberal and internationalist by Russian standards, and it’s leadership would face backlash from the public if it’d try to push through liberal reforms western besser-wissers are always advocating.

    1. Oh, well if they’re not the real opposition, then it’s OK for the KGB 2.0 to arrest them for protesting. Never mind.

  18. Apparently it does take strong religious principles and wise leadership to establish and perpetuate a lasting democracy. It seems to me that some colonial clad fellows of long ago very sternly warned us about these prerequisites to perpetual freedom.

    1. Those fellows also thought that allowing black people, women, and propertyless males to vote would ruin democracy. So forgive me for taking their opinions with a grain of salis.

  19. Re: Russia parliament votes to strengthen KGB successor: Is it coincidence the Russian KGB successor FSB was granted that same power by their Parliament two days ago that Obama asked for two weeks ago in his Security Speech?

    Could Obama Be America’s First Defacto President?

    Innocent Americans increasingly are sent to prison based on false evidence manufactured by police forensic crime labs. Now President Obama wants the power to incarcerate U.S. Citizens not on evidence, but for what they might do.

    Compare: Two days after the 1933 burning of Germany’s Parliament Building, blamed on communists, Hitler responded with a powerful speech before Parliament. Hitler asked Parliament to suspend sections of the Reich Constitution that protected Citizens’ Rights and Civil Liberties. Hitler said the suspension was necessary so government could protect the homeland from being destroyed by communists. Hitler promised Parliament the Constitution would later be restored. After Parliament passed Hitler’s Discriminatory Decrees and Hitler signed it February 28, 1933, Hitler immediately used the news laws to abolished Parliament. See Hitler’s 1933 Discriminatory Laws below:

    Obama gave a speech in May 2010, that proposed incarcerating in indefinite prolonged detention without evidence, any person government deemed a “combatant” or likely to engage in a violent act in the future; that would include U.S. Citizens “without evidence of wrongdoing.” With that amount power Obama like Hitler could arrest members of Congress, drag U.S. Citizens off the street and from their homes to be imprisoned indefinitely based only on Government’s claim they are a “combatant” or likely to engage in a violent act in the future.

    If Congress approves Obama’s categories of people likely to engage in violent acts, overnight millions of lawful U.S. activists could be subject to arrest, Indefinite Prolonged Detention. When you examine Obama’s speech, it appears Obama wants retroactive power to incarcerate anyone government claims (prior) supported violent acts on the premise that person is likely to support violent acts in the future: U.S. activists would be extremely vulnerable because no activist can control what another activist or group might do illegally they network with domestically or overseas. Government would only have to allege a person; group or organization might commit a violent act in the future to order Preventative Detention of lawful participants with no evidence whatsoever. Americans would be afraid to speak out.

    It is foreseeable any “individual” who writes on the Internet or verbally express an opinion against or entity of U.S. Government or its coalition partners could be deemed by authorities a “Combatant” or likely to engage in or cause violent acts: government too easily could claim an author’s writings inspired people in the past and will in the future to commit or support violent acts. It is problematic that indefinitely detained U.S. Citizens not involved in terrorism or hostile activities, not given Miranda Warnings or allowed legal counsel; interrogated, will be prosecuted for ordinary crimes because of their alleged admissions while held in indefinite “Prolonged Detention. Obama wants the power to override the U.S. Constitution. Obama wants the power to detain indefinitely any American without probable cause or evidence, based on conjecture someone might do something violent in the future.

    Obama similar to Hitler is centralizing power in the federal Government by getting passed legislation the U.S. government could potentially use to intimidate and threaten corporations among others. Hitler got passed similar laws shortly before the burning of the German Parliament building blamed on the communists. Immediately after the fire, Hitler used his new laws to coerce corporations and influential Citizens to support passage of fascist legislation that suspended provisions of the German Constitution that protected Citizens’ freedoms and civil liberties. Obama is now approaching a position where he can use similar new laws, including the Patriot Act and 200 asset forfeiture laws to seize any corporation or individual’s assets; and force U.S. corporations and other institutions like Hitler did to support legislation that threatens or curtails rights of Americans.

    More recently Obama has moved forward to crush Free Speech, silence his critics by pushing passage of HR 5175: this abomination will choke the 1st Amendment, denying the right of free speech to ordinary Americans. Under Title II: groups like Gun Owners of America and other groups including bloggers that only mention “public officials” within 60 days of an election, could be required to file onerous disclosures?and potentially have to disclose their membership lists?despite the Supreme Court ruling in NAACP v. Alabama that held membership lists like those of GOA’s) are off limits to government control. Is Obama’s support of HR 5175 similar to what Hitler did to shut up his critics? In the run up to Parliament passing his police state laws including the 1933 Discriminatory Decrees that abolished Citizen’s Free Speech, Hitler employed thugs to beat up reporters, arrest anyone who had courage to criticize the Fuhrer or his Nazi government or expose introduced legislation. Is Obama by supporting HR 5175 to shut up his critics, trying to take American to the same place?

    Alarmingly the Obama Government recently employed a vendor to search Internet social networking sites to collect information about Americans that could potentially be used by this government to injure Americans, for example, if you apply for a federal job, your name might be crossed referenced by the Obama Government with comments you made at Websites against Obama; or if you make application at a bank for a loan the Government has control since the financial crisis, could your Internet comment(s) prevent you getting that loan? Obama’s monitoring of the Internet sites can too easily be used by Government to intimidate Citizens from speaking out. Obama Top CZAR Cass Sunstein prepared a 2008 paper that proposed spying on Americans, infiltrating groups and organizations to obstruct Free Speech, disrupt the exchange of ideas and disseminate false information to neutralize Americans that might question government.

    To hear Obama proposing Indefinite Prolonged Detention without evidence, you may access the video-sound tape at the following web address:

    See Hitler’s 1933 Nazi Laws below:


    Note: Based on translations by State Department, National Socialism, 1942 PP. 215-17, and Pollak, J.K., and Heneman, H.J., The Hitler Decrees, (1934), pp. 10-11.7

    In virtue of Section 48 (2) of the German Constitution, the following is decreed as a defensive measure against Communist acts of Violence, endangering the state:

    Section 1
    Sections 114, 115, 117, 118, 123, 124, and 153 of the Constitution of the German Reich are suspended until further notice. Thus, restrictions on personal liberty, on the right of free expression of opinion, including freedom of the press, on the right of assembly and the right of association, and violations of the privacy of postal, telegraphic, and telephonic communications, and warrants for house-searches, orders for confiscations as well as restrictions on property, are also permissible beyond the legal limits otherwise prescribed.

    Section 2
    If in a state the measures necessary for the restoration of public security and order are not taken, the Reich Government may temporarily take over the powers of the highest state authority.

    Section 4
    Whoever provokes, or appeals for or incites to the disobedience of the orders given out by the supreme state authorities or the authorities subject to then for the execution of this decree, or the orders given by the Reich Government according to Section 2, is punishable?insofar as the deed, is not covered by the decree with more severe punishment and with imprisonment of not less that one month, or with a fine from 150 up to 15,000 Reichsmarks.

    Whoever endangers human life by violating Section 1, is to be punished by sentence to a penitentiary, under mitigating circumstances with imprisonment of not less than six months and, when violation causes the death of a person, with death, under mitigating circumstances with a penitentiary sentence of not less that two years. In addition the sentence my include confiscation of property.

    Whoever provokes an inciter to or act contrary to public welfare is to be punished with a penitentiary sentence, under mitigating circumstances, with imprisonment of not less than three months.

    Section 5
    The crimes which under the Criminal Code are punishable with penitentiary for life are to be punished with death: i.e., in Sections 81 (high treason), 229 (poisoning), 306 (arson), 311 (explosion), 312 (floods), 315, paragraph 2 (damage to railroad properties, 324 (general poisoning).

    Insofar as a more severe punishment has not been previously provided for, the following are punishable with death or with life imprisonment or with imprisonment not to exceed 15 years:

    1. Anyone who undertakes to kill the Reich President or a member or a commissioner of the Reich Government or of a state government, or provokes to such a killing, or agrees to commit it, or accepts such an offer, or conspires with another for such a murder;

    2. Anyone who under Section 115 (2) of the Criminal Code (serious rioting) or of Section 125 (2) of the Criminal Code (serious disturbance of the peace) commits the act with arms or cooperates consciously and intentionally with an armed person;

    3. Anyone who commits a kidnapping under Section 239 of the Criminal with the intention of making use of the kidnapped person as a hostage in the political struggle.

    Section 6
    This decree enters in force on the day of its promulgation.

    Reich President
    Reich Chancellor
    Reich Minister of the Interior
    Reich Minister of Justice

    1. Cool story, bro.

  20. I really don’t see a problem with this.

  21. Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon.

  22. So why is Russia getting a billion dollars a year in aid from Washington?

    1. Welfare system at work

  23. Jimmy Choo’s beginnings can be traced back to his workshop in London Borough of Hackney, North London, which he opened in 1986 by renting an old hospital building.

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