Saturday, February 28, 2015


I hate it when Hollywood types talk about things like courage. Usually, it's in the context of Reese Witherspoon doing a movie without makeup, or Jennifer Aniston gaining weight for a role. Likewise, when liberals talk about speaking truth to power, they usually mean joining in the choir of criticism of an unpopular Republican (see George W. Bush).

Last week, I made light of the kerfuffle around Rudy Giuliani's comments that President Obama doesn't love America. Real courage involves criticizing someone who has the power to exact a price for such criticism, someone like Vladimir Putin. I invented a Russian named Victor Abalyshev, who made a similar criticism of President Putin. I ended my post as follows:

On a sad but unrelated note, Victor Abalyshev died suddenly last Thursday in a traffic accident. Russian police determined that he was at fault, apparently falling asleep while driving and crashing into a bridge abutment in a one-car accident.

My point being that while our President is a thin-skinned jerk, with a sycophantic media carrying water by criticizing anyone who questions him in any way, we're still better off than Russia, where such criticism takes real courage because it would be dealt with forcefully.

In my post, I assumed that Putin would at least put up a pretense of non-involvement with the murder of his rivals. That's the only aspect of the situation where I was mistaken:

Boris Nemtsov, a charismatic Russian opposition leader and sharp critic of President Vladimir Putin, was gunned down Saturday near the Kremlin, just a day before a planned protest against the government.

Well, that and I got his name wrong. Which really pisses me off, because in an early draft, I had his name as Boris.


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