Sunday, April 26, 2009
US Declares Public Health Emergency for Swine Flu
Now the US has declared a public health emergency in order to prepare for a possible pandemic. As of now about 20 deaths from this virus occurred north of the border.
I haven't checked in at work yet, but I'm sure Washington State Emergency Management Division (WA EMD) is now gearing-up and putting folks on stand-by to man the Emergency Operations Center (EOC).
Here's the story so far:
This morning Comrade Karla sent me us an earlier story:
The above picture by-the-way is of soldiers patrolling the streets in Mexico City.
Now That's the Way to Do It!
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Who's Side is He on?
This was blatantly irresponsible for Obama to release such documents. Now terrorists will know how to resist any interrogation techniques--if any--we employ. In an interview, Former VP Dick Cheney made a great point: As long as Obama released such documents, why not release other classified documents that highlight our success in the War on Terror.
So with Obama's new protocols, military members undergoing SERE (Survival Evasion Resistance & Escape) will be treated worse than any terrorist we have in custody.
My Definition of Gun Control
Meanwhile, the Seattle Times finally caught on to a trend that's over 6 months old:
Gun sales here in WA increased last October and then went up dramatically right after Election Day. Gun sales spiked again when Obama said he was considering re-initiating the assault gun ban. One of my coworkers told me it was like "Black Friday" in the gun stores after Election Day.
What Flag of Truce?
One of my friends sent us this story:
NEW YORK -- The sole surviving Somali pirate from the hostage-taking of an American ship captain arrived in New York, smiling for a gaggle of cameras and reporters as federal agents led him into custody to face charges in the attack at a court hearing Tuesday.
Federal agents escorted Abduhl Wali-i-Musi into Federal Plaza to face charges.
Abduhl Wali-i-Musi was handcuffed and had a chain wrapped around his waist. His left hand was heavily bandaged from the wound he suffered during the skirmish on the ship two weeks ago.
The smiling teenager seemed poised as he entered a federal building in a rainstorm late Monday, but he did not say anything in response to reporters' shouted questions about whether he had any comment about the pirate episode.
Mr. Wali-i-Musi is the first person to face trial in the U.S. on piracy charges in more than a century. He was flown from Africa to a New York airport and taken into custody ahead of Tuesday's court hearing.
A law enforcement official familiar with the case said that the teenager was being charged under two obscure federal laws that deal with piracy and hostage-taking. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the charges had not been announced.
The teenager's arrival came on the same day that his mother appealed to President Barack Obama for his release. She said her son was coaxed into piracy by "gangsters with money."
"I appeal to President Obama to pardon my teenager; I request him to release my son or at least allow me to see him and be with him during the trial," Adar Abdirahman Hassan said in a telephone interview from her home in the Somali town of Galka'yoia.
The age and real name of the young pirate remained unclear. The mother said he is only 16 years old and is named Abdi Wali Abdulqadir Muse. The law enforcement official says he is at least 18, meaning prosecutors will not have to take extra legal steps to put him on trial in a U.S. court.
His worried family asked the Minneapolis-based Somali Justice Advocacy Center to help get him a lawyer, said the organization's executive director, Omar Jamal.
"What we have is a confused teenager, overnight thrown into the highest level of the criminal justice system in the United States out of a country where there's no law at all," Mr. Jamal said. Mr. Wali-i-Musi speaks no English and may never have attended school, he said.
The suspect was taken aboard a U.S. Navy ship shortly before Navy SEAL snipers on the guided-missile destroyer USS Bainbridge killed three of his colleagues who had held Capt. Richard Phillips hostage.
The U.S. officials said the teenager was brought to New York to face trial in part because the FBI office here has a history of handling cases in Africa involving major crimes against Americans, such as the al Qaeda bombings of two U.S. embassies in East Africa in 1998.
Ron Kuby, a New York-based civil rights lawyer, said he has been in discussions about forming a legal team to represent the Somali.
"I think in this particular case, there's a grave question as to whether America was in violation of principles of truce in warfare on the high seas," said Mr. Kuby. "This man seemed to come onto the Bainbridge under a flag of truce to negotiate. He was then captured. There is a question whether he is lawfully in American custody and serious questions as to whether he can be prosecuted because of his age."
Copyright © 2009 Associated Press
After an exchange of YGTBSM (You Got To Be Crapping Me) e-mails about the liberal press turning one of the pirates who held Captain Phillips into the victim, my friend then sent us this headline from CNN's website:
Alleged Maersk pirate arrives in New York
There's nothing "alleged" about the scurvy dogs boarding the Maersk Alabama and holding Captain Phillips hostage.
Meanwhile across the Atlantic, several German lawyers are planning to fly to Kenya in order to defend some pirates held in Kenyan jails...
Monday, April 20, 2009
Miss California: PC Heretic
Last night at the Miss Universe competition she fielded a question by Perez Hilton about her feelings on gay marriage.
She spoke her mind--against it--much to the disappointment to Mr. Perez. And it's apparent this cost her the Miss Universe crown.
Here's the latest news memo from FOX News:
Other news headlines stated that Miss California stumbled over the question. Watching the video, I thought she answered it right away and straight-up.
Here's a YouTube video of "the question":
I only watched a few moments of Mr. Hilton's rant and was appalled when he called her a "dumb bitch." He also claimed she was booed when she responded. Maybe so, but I couldn't tell because of the substantial cheering from the audience. No, there wasn't any standing-ovation or thunderous applause. But I didn't hear any booing either.
It amazes me how intolerant these--supposedly--liberals are of other people's opinions.
Fortunately, there's a large amount of support for Miss Prejean.
While big stories regarding the direction of our nation dominate the news; Obama's massive spending package, closing Guantanamo Bay, etc; I find myself more concerned about the subtle undercurrents moving within our society. It's small items like whitewashing Obama's profile on Wikipedia, which I posted on 9 March 09, that I also find disturbing. Such currents can go unnoticed--until it's too late.
Future beauty queen contestants hoping to win the crown will answer similar questions "correctly" according to politically correct dogma.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
A Good WTFO Story
Susan Boyle stumped on stage and faced a snickering audience and 3 hostile judges including the infamous Simon Cowell. Everyone was expecting the usual train wreck. Instead, Miss Boyle didn't just "hit this one out of the park," she sent this into orbit. Half way through her performance, the audience was on their feet cheering.
Miss Boyle's perfomance is a real-life "don't-judge-a-book-by-it's-cover" inspirational story.
Various YouTube videos are on-line viewed by millions with thousands of ratings--all 5 stars.
May Miss Boyle continue to enjoy the success she deserves.
Susan Boyle sing's I Dream the Dream from Les Miserables:
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Being Conservative = Being a Right Wing Extremist
Meanwhile another report issued in January discussed the possible increase in cyber attacks by left-wing extremists. At least this report contains some facts regarding specific groups and their past activities. But according to this report we only have to worry about left wing cyber-hackers, as opposed to the more violent-prone right wingers.
Neither report mentions Islamic terrorism which since 11 September 2001 has killed thousands of innocent people.
Michelle Malkin's website posted the story on 14 April (along with Debbie Schlussle):
Today, Ralph Peters rolls-in on this in the NY Post:
And Debra Saunders follows with a post on the SF Chronicle:
While the new DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano hasn't been "sent down to the miners" as Ralph Peters suggests, she did offer an apology:
Comrade Karla had this to say:
I think I can see why this has had this impact, though. It's the timing. I think any other time this would have not been noticed…but you have a new administration and they will get scrutinized during the first weeks/months (by somebody, if not his water carriers in the MSM). We have a massively deteriorating problem on the border; piracy abroad and Al Qaeda/Islamonuttery…well, everywhere.
Then this comes out with little or no substance behind it and rightly or wrongly it looks gratuitious to a part of the population who have been constantly ragged on as "unAmerican" for criticizing the new regime.
It's "Tea Parties" not "Tea Bagging Parties"
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Asad the Dead Pirate?
Hopefully more pirates will end up dead like 3 of Captain Phillips' captors. Maybe comedian, Jeff Dunham can add a companion for his "Achmed the Dead Terrorist" puppet?
And since our income tax reports are due today, TEA Party organizers banded together to launch a nation-wide protest.
From FOX News:
So if you disagree with our Community Organizer-in-Chief's social engineering program, then it's time to "party like its 1773!"
Michelle Malkin's site provides a synopsis of the history of the 2009 TEA Parties:
Monday, April 13, 2009
The "Romance" of Piracy
The Score is Still USN-3, Pirates-0...
Here, AP provides some pirates with a forum to make threats against the US, France and other civilized nations:
(Last week French commandos stormed a pleasure boat held by pirates. Four pirates were killed, but unfortunately so was one hostage).
In this article AP implies that the military "crackdown" won't resolve anything because pirates will move their operating bases:
Comrade Karla points out some facts:
First of, there has been no "crackdown." If there were, you WOULD see a decrease in pirate activities because they'd be, well, dead.
Second, if the "crackdown" consists of "criminal charges" rather than doing a Barataria, then nobody should be surprised if results are--shall we say--limited?
Finally, while a number of events appear to be reported accurately, the article remains (at least to me) another example of trying to make a public case for inaction. Where's Hearst when you need him?
At least the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) has the right idea:
And finally, the renown military historian John Keegan hits the nail on the head:
So our campaign must be ruthless and pitiless: pirate ships must be sunk on sight and the crews left to swim to safety, if it can be reached.
The esteemed Mr Keegan doesn't mention anything about emergency meetings at the United Nations, or voting on yet another useless resolution.
Nothing of the sort is needed. There are already laws on the books dealing with piracy--it's time to enforce them.
Pirate havens in the Horn of Africa exist because they are allowed to do so. Merchant ships can be armed, but until the pirate havens are wiped out, the scurvy dogs will continue to prey on peaceful ships. Elimnation of pirate nests however, will require the use of military forces--which no nation--even ours--is willing to employ at this time.
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Our Distracted President
The barbarians aren't quite banging at the gates in overwhelming numbers.
But they don't have to be.
They're currently busy trying to undermine our laws within our country while attacking our interests abroad.
What does this mean for us?
If all we show is weakness, then this will embolden our enemies; be they Somali pirates in motorboats to dictators with dreams of irradiated glory. The world then, will slip into a new dark age.
According to Mark Steyn the process has already begun.
Most westerners seem to think that history is an "onward & upward," one-way street.
Mr. Steyn points this fact out on a regular basis in his articles and latest books. Today's article highlights some of these ominous trends and events:
Now that the White House pizza party is over, the Mainstream Media (MSM) is cooing over what breed of dog our royal couple has chosen. Meanwhile, the Great Community Organizer remains silent on the fate of Captain Richard Phillips, captured by some of those "distracting" Somali pirates four days ago.
Exurban League gives a humorous spin on what O-Bow-Ma (a new nickname in reference to his bow to the Saudi king) might say.
That is, once he polishes of the last of the pizza "pi":
Friday, April 10, 2009
نحن الالناس... (We the People...?)
Obama: Islam Has Shaped the U.S.A.
By Robert Spencer
“We will convey,” said Barack Obama to the Turkish Parliament Monday, “our deep appreciation for the Islamic faith, which has done so much over the centuries to shape the world — including in my own country.”
Undeniably the Islamic faith has done a great deal to shape the world – a statement that makes no value judgment about exactly how it has shaped the world. It has formed the dominant culture in what is known as the Islamic world for centuries. But what on earth could Obama mean when he says that Islam has also “done so much” to shape his own country?
Unless he considers himself an Indonesian, Obama’s statement was extraordinarily strange. After all, how has the Islamic faith shaped the United States? Were there Muslims along Paul Revere’s ride, or standing next to Patrick Henry when he proclaimed, “Give me liberty or give me death”? Were there Muslims among the framers or signers of the Declaration of Independence, which states that all men – not just Muslims, as Islamic law would have it – are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, including life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? Were there Muslims among those who drafted the Constitution and vigorously debated its provisions, or among those who enumerated the Bill of Rights, which guarantees – again in contradiction to the tenets of Islamic law – that there should be no established national religion, and that the freedom of speech should not be infringed?
There were not.
Did Muslims play a role in the great struggle over slavery that defined so much of our contemporary understandings of the nature of this republic and of the rights of the individual within it? They did not. Did the Islamic faith shape the way the United States responded to the titanic challenges of the two World Wars, the Great Depression, or the Cold War? It did not. Did the Islamic faith, with its legal apparatus that institutionalizes discrimination against non-Muslims, shape the civil rights movement in the United States? The Civil Rights Act of 1964 mandated equality of access to public facilities – a hard-won victory that came at a great cost, and one that Muslim groups have tried to roll back in the United States recently. One notable example of such attempts was the alcohol-in-cabs controversy at the Minneapolis-St. Paul international airport, when Muslim cabdrivers began to refuse service to customers who were carrying alcohol, on Islamic religious grounds. The core assumption underlying this initiative – that discrimination on the basis of religion is justified – cut right to the heart of the core principle of the American polity, that “all men are created equal,” that is, that they have a right to equal treatment in law and society.
Surveying the whole tapestry of American history, one would be hard-pressed to find any significant way in which the Islamic faith has shaped the United States in terms of its governing principles and the nature of American society. Meanwhile, there are numerous ways in which, if there had been a significant Muslim presence in the country at the time, some of the most cherished and important principles of American society and law may have met fierce resistance, and may never have seen the light of day.
So in what way has the Islamic faith shaped Obama’s country? The most significant event connected to the Islamic faith that has shaped the character of the United States was the attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. Those attacks have shaped the nation in numerous ways: they’ve led to numerous innovations in airline security, which in generations to come – if today’s politically correct climate continues to befog minds -- may be added to future versions of the fanciful “1001 Muslim Inventions” exhibition. The Islamic faith has shaped the U.S. since 9/11 in leading to the spending of billions on anti-terror measures, and to the ventures in Iraq and Afghanistan, and to Guantanamo, and to so many features of the modern political and social landscape that they cannot be enumerated within the space of a single article.
Of course, it is certain that Obama had none of that in mind. But what could he possibly have had in mind? His statement was either careless or ignorant, or both – not qualities we need in a Commander-in-Chief even in the best of times.
Robert Spencer is a scholar of Islamic history, theology, and law and the director of Jihad Watch. He is the author of eight books, eleven monographs, and hundreds of articles about jihad and Islamic terrorism, including the New York Times Bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book, Stealth Jihad: How Radical Islam is Subverting America without Guns or Bombs, is available now from Regnery Publishing.
In short, Islam provided NO help or influence in founding and shaping of our country.
Except, maybe as Comrade Karla points out in reference to the above article:
Well, he [Mr Spencer] left out one important aspect of how Islam shaped early US history--the Barbary Pirates!
Thursday, April 9, 2009
It's the Regime Stupid!
His solution is to disarm responsible nations--primarily ours. (Gun control advocates take a similar view. They want to "get guns off the street." But instead of enforcing tough criminal laws they seek to disarm law-abiding citizens).
Mark Steyn rolled-in on this yesterday in his section of "The Corner" of NRO:
...I think the Obama response to the North Korean test is a good example of that: The wish for "a world without nuclear weapons" is not merely a pacifist delusion but one that obliquely subscribes to the false equivalence so assiduously promoted during the Cold War.
I wouldn't lose a moment's sleep if I read in the paper that New Zealand and Switzerland had decided to become nuclear powers. It's not the technology (which can't be un-invented, any more than the rifle or the spear or the sling could). It's the regime. North Korea and Iran going nuclear is not the same as Norway and St. Lucia going nuclear. It is so depressing to see the president of the United States mired in obsolete Cold War non-proliferation bromides.
Consider two possible responses to the inevitable Iranian nuclearization:
a) The Sunni Arab dictatorships (Saudi Arabia and perhaps Egypt) decide to go nuclear rather than live under Iran as the regional hegemon.
b) The Sunni Arab dictatorships knuckle under the Iranian nuclear umbrella and Teheran becomes the de facto controller of Arab oil supply and much else.
I'm not sure proliferation wouldn't be the least worst option.
It's not just embarrassing to hear the so-called "leader of the free world" talking like a 14-year old who's been up in his room listening to "Imagine" for too long. I fear this presidency has the makings of global tragedy.
Here's another quote from a transcript from the Rush Limbaugh show, which aired on 6 April:
"We're building a world right now in which the wealthiest nations in history from Norway to New Zealand, are incapable of defending their borders; while decrepit Third World basket cases from North Korea to Sudan, go nuclear. How long do you think that arrangement is going to last?"
A War By Any Other Name...
Contingency! What’s It Good For? The Obama administration purges the language of war.
By Andrew C. McCarthy
‘Our nation is at war against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred.” That was Pres. Barack Obama’s inaugural proclamation to the throng assembled on the National Mall, and to the additional millions huddled around televisions throughout the world. As it turns out, that’s not exactly his position.
Behind the scenes, the Pentagon has received orders from on high — which, in this administration, is the Office of Management and Budget — that war is out. The word “war,” that is. “This administration prefers to avoid using the term ‘Long War’ or ‘Global War on Terror,’” according to the guidelines, which were first reported in the Washington Post. Our warriors were curtly told, “Please use ‘Overseas Contingency Operation."'
That this “overseas contingency” on which we are “operating” has left a rather large hole in the ground in lower Manhattan apparently is beside the point. Or maybe that’s exactly the point. War is a powerful word, redolent of power, force, zeal, and national purpose. That’s precisely why the Left routinely invokes war in its beloved campaigns against poverty, obesity, and other abstractions. But real wars, the forcible defense of our nation and the pursuit of our interests, are to be avoided. As are real enemies. Thus, the complementary announcement that “enemy combatants” aren’t enemy combatants anymore. They are simply “individuals currently detained at Guantanamo Bay,” according to an affirmation filed in federal court by Attorney General Eric Holder.
This risks some confusion of jihadists with Cuban refugees. During the Clinton administration, in which Holder served as deputy attorney general, those apprehended while seeking to escape Communist tyranny also became known as “individuals currently detained at Guantanamo Bay” — a policy aggressively defended by the Justice Department at the time, without much harrumphing from the leftists who scathed George W. Bush’s purported Gitmo gulag. Perhaps that’s why Holder occasionally opts for “individuals captured or apprehended in connection with armed conflicts and counterterrorism operations” — more precise, not quite as catchy.
It remains an “armed conflict” for now — but not for long. In Iraq, the “contingency” has been over for about a year. We won and al-Qaeda was routed, and that’s why you haven’t heard about it. During an election, it’s inconvenient for the media if our nation wins a war that their chosen candidate has declared a dismal failure. But that inconvenience can be addressed with a little linguistic massaging.
Ratcheting down the “armed conflict” in Afghanistan is a bit trickier. The Obama Left considered Afghanistan the “good war” — not because they actually thought it was good, but because doing so bolstered their case that Iraq was the “bad,” “immoral,” “illegal” “war of choice” that “Bush lied us into.” With Iraq won, Afghanistan goes back to being a regular old war again, one without any rhetorical use. And not only are we losing a war, it’s not even the noble battle against trans-fats. So the war in Afghanistan must be gradually downshifted to the Left’s pre-Iraq take on it: the “improvident” “quagmire” that “really solves nothing” and has only (as Obama said of the Bush approach) “given a huge boost to terrorist recruitment in countries that say, ‘Look, this is how the United States treats Muslims.’”
Degrading Afghanistan from a “war” to an “overseas contingency operation” is the start of this transformation. Obama’s budget will do much of the rest. Despite at least tripling government borrowing and spending (which Obama nonetheless described during Tuesday night’s press conference as “moving [away] from an era of borrow and spend”), the administration allocates only $50 billion for Afghanistan and Iraq combined — a total that won’t be enough to withdraw, as planned, from Iraq, much less conduct “operations” in the ongoing “contingency” in Afghanistan.
No matter. You can’t have a “contingency” without “individuals captured or apprehended in connection with armed conflicts and counterterrorism operations.” We’re getting rid of ours. The Obama plan calls for closing Gitmo by 2011, even if that requires releasing all the “individuals currently detained at Guantanamo Bay” to countries where they will be free to go back to the “contingency” (the Arabic word for which is jihad).
Holder has hinted that some of the “individuals currently detained at Guantanamo Bay” will be released in the United States, serving as an example to wavering host countries that we can be just as insane as we’re asking them to be when it comes to importing “contingencies.” Meanwhile, those not released outright will enjoy a new title: “defendant.” That is the same title they had during the 1990s, when “extremists” repeatedly engaged in “anti-Islamic activity” until things got very contingent on 9/11, resulting in nearly 3,000 regrettable terminations of vital functions.
Once the contingency is returned to its rightful place in America’s courtrooms, it will no doubt become a “war,” fought with all the zeal and success of the war on drugs.
Saul Alinsky, Obama’s community-organizing inspiration, wrote at length about words in Rules for Radicals, about their power to inspire and to enervate. “In communication as in thought, we must ever strive toward simplicity” when it is our purpose to inspire. Such a purpose calls for “a determination not to detour around reality.” An opposite purpose, Alinsky writes, calls for an opposite approach. Avoid the “force, vigor, and simplicity” of the right word, and “we soon become averse to thinking in vigorous, simple, honest terms.” Instead, “We strive to invent sterilized synonyms.” Such “new words,” Alinsky taught, “mean something different, so that they tranquilize us, begin to shepherd our mental processes off the main, conflict-ridden, grimy, and realistic power-paved highway of life.”
Tranquilized, we will sleep. As we found the last time we tried this, our enemies won’t.
The above cartoon by Dave Granlund illustrates the first PC semantics change:
"Comrade Karla Senior" rolled-in on this one:
Is there also a new term for ally? I guess we can't call them co-combatants, if this is no longer a war. "Fellow operatives?" But for some of them this "contingency" can hardly be called "overseas" -- can it? I mean, for some it's right where they live. What was the "contingency" on 9/11? Maybe a "domestic contingency?" I don't want to call it something it isn't Oh, it's all so confusing for an old person.
How about, "Unfriendly combatants"? Then we could have "friendly co-operatives." There would be no casualties, of course. Some would become "inactively operative," others maybe "permanently inoperative". You're right. It's semantics, or "silly-mantics."
I think Blackfive's comments captures the "WTFO Factor" regarding the semantics issue:
While Hot Air had this to say about the latest PC-approved definitions:
Taking Care of Pirates the Good Old Fashion Way (We Wish)
And in the maritime tradition, worthy of a Horatio Hornblower novel, the sailors retook their ship. Unfortunately, the pirates made off in a life-boat taking Captain Richard Phillips hostage. At the time of this post the guided missile destroyer USS Bainbridge is on-scene and FBI hostage negotiators are assisting the US Navy in this matter.
Clearly, this guy hasn't read any history. It was the military that solved the problem in the first place and so will it be the case today, assuming various countries with functioning navies cure their cranial rectitis about everything being a legal problem.
I can see why this particular situation is playing out the way it is given the hostage situation…. but navies sink pirate vessels and hang pirates. Then you find their lairs and destroy them. Seems to work pretty well to me.
Sunday, April 5, 2009
Copycat Nutjobs Strike
N. Korea Launches its Missile
In response, the UN Security Council will meet today to discuss the matter.
FOX News has been playing the "Shark Tank" scene of the movie Team America.
Very appropriate, especially since N. Korea claims they put a satellite into orbit while US and S. Korea are saying the final stage fell into the sea.
Friday, April 3, 2009
Shooting in Binghamton NY
A lone gunman barricaded the back door of the American Civic Center with his car, entered the front door and started shooting. As of now, 13 people have been killed, the gunman committed suicide and 4 people are in critical condition.
Pictured here is an AFP photo of BPD securing Front St.
Here's the story from the Seattle Times website:
A friend of mine I've known nearly all my life is on the Binghamton PD. My family and his grew up practically next door to each other. I still knew his mom's phone number and called her to see if he was okay. Fortunately he is. He's part of a permanent detachment that patrol's the city's high school. (When I grew up we didn't have police patrolling the corridors). Binghamton High School is just up the road from the American Civic Center and was immediately locked down when the 911 call came through.
It's so weird watching this news unfold and looking at familiar images clear across the country.
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Russia's April Call-Up
This story generated several comments from my on-line friends. One responded to the comment about hazing due to boys not knowing what to do with themselves:
No, hazing happens because like the rest of Russian society, they are corrupt and undisciplined. Also, their military completely lacks any sort of professional NCOs to protect the conscripts from their fellow conscripts.
Comrade Karla had this to say:
Political Culture and societal structure are key to this…go back to the late tsarist period--say 1890-1914--and you can see where the glimmer of a civil society was starting to form along side the bad old traditions--which were routinely challenged by the more centerist political parties. WWI and the Revolution changed that. No concept of civil society ever formed in Russia and only the top-down control under the Soviets "managed" the sort of thing that is going on now. The overly-rapid changes post 1991 was like opening an airlock without depressurizing the ship--stuff shot out everywhere; add to this the fact that societal and governmental structures that are supposed to prevent this sort of thing suddenly had no controls on them and its no surprise that social anarchy and a Hobbesian situation has resulted--think of all those "Ministers" of this commodity or that who suddenly became "entrepeneurs," taking entire sectors of industry along with them.So on the surface you have government bureacracy, the army and any number of theoretically responsible structures that are anything but. [A friend] probably knows this better than the rest of us, but I know from university research stories just how endemic bribery and corruption is, ranging from archivists to militia traffic cops. Add to this the Red Army's unfortunate tradition of never developing a professional NCO class (junior officers routinely do the job of a senior NCO) and the result is predictable. This makes for an interesting contrast with WWII--ranks were not inflated then as captains routinely commanded battalions and senior NCOs sometimes commanded platoons. Partly this had to do with a shortage of those suitable to officer rank, but shows what was possible. But it just wasn't an option under Stalinism…and with a huge army that turned over enlisted men every two years, the groundwork for what is happening now was well and truly laid. It'd be interesting to see what truly functional formations they have--it seems like they focus on "elite" units like VDV, SOF, etc and maybe a select number of tank and motor rifle formations. But how do they sustain it? Not only do you have this draft dodging, but the Great Russian population base is dwindling while the "alalalalalalalalalalala!" crowd are doing anything but.
...The stories of what goes on in the Russian military behind the scenes to their own soldiers are just horrific, and it is completely understandable why everyone does everything he can to avoid being drafted. Avoiding the draft isn't the only problem they have to deal with. From the time they are first exempted from the draft until they turn 27 they are at risk every time they are stopped by the police for any reason, because the police insist on bribes to keep for turning in draft-age eligible men to the local military commisar (i.e. the snap judgement of the police and commisar can undo a "not fit for service" health exemption if they believe the guy is healthy enough, and can then immediately induct him into the military).. Basically, it is a system that ensures a steady flow of bribes to everyone.