Watching Russian News & Reading Pravda : What I Learned

I grew up hating America. I lived in the Soviet Union and was a child of the Cold War. That hate went away in 1989, though, when the Berlin Wall fell and the Cold War ended. By the time I left Russia in 1991, the year the Soviet Union collapsed, America was a country that Russians looked up to and wanted to emulate….

I was perplexed by how the Russian people could possibly support and not be outraged by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. But I live in Denver, and I read mostly US and European newspapers. I wanted to see what was going on in Russia and Ukraine from the Russian perspective, so I went on a seven-day news diet: I watched only Russian TV — Channel One Russia, the state-owned broadcaster, which I hadn’t seen in more than 20 years — and read Pravda, the Russian newspaper whose name means “Truth.” Here is what I learned….

Russia’s propaganda works by forcing your right brain (the emotional one) to overpower your left brain (the logical one), while clogging all your logical filters. Here is an example: Russian TV shows footage of schools in eastern Ukraine bombed by the Ukrainian army. Anyone’s heart would bleed, seeing these gruesome images. It is impossible not to feel hatred toward people who would perpetrate such an atrocity on their own population. It was explained to viewers that the Ukrainian army continued its offensive despite a cease-fire agreement.

Of course if you watched Ukrainian TV, you would have seen similar images of death and despair on the other side. In fact, if you read Ukrainian newspapers, you will learn that the Ukrainian army is fighting a well-armed army, not rebels with Molotovs and handguns, but an organized force fully armed by the Russian army….

Comparing Putin to Hitler, as one of my Russian friends put it, is “absolutely abominable” because it diminishes Hitler’s atrocities and overstates by a mile what Putin has accomplished to date. Yet it feels as if we are at a Putin-of-1936 moment. Will he turn into a Putin of 1939 and invade other countries? I don’t know. But the events of the past nine months have shown Putin’s willingness to defy international law and seize the advantage on the ground, betting — correctly so far — that the West won’t call his bluff.

As Garry Kasparov put it, while the West is playing chess, responding tactically to each turn of events, Putin is playing high-stakes poker. We ignore Putin at our own peril.

By Vitaliy Katsenelson – InstitutionalInvestor.com –

Feds Prep Next Attack on Bundy Ranch

By Gary Franchi – World Television Service –

The FEDs are on the offensive once again – the target – BUNDY RANCH. We knew it wouldn’t be long after the Bureau of Land Management’s embarrassing retreat for them to regroup and return with a new strategy. The new battlefield, Instead armed troopers, they’re coming at Bundy with pen and paper. Administrative tactics, intended to pry the land away from the people of Nevada.

Before we get deeper into that, here’s the backstory. In April we brought you the story about on the Bundy Ranch Federal Seige in Southern Nevada – a battle that had been raging for decades – a battle between the Federal government, and ranch owner Cliven Bundy.

It all started years ago, when the Bureau of Land Management was established. Before that, cowboys and ranch hands were free to graze their cattle all over private property. Once the BLM came along, they decided to start imposing a tax for private ranches to be able to graze on open lands. Because the Bundy family had been feeding their cattle on those lands for years without a tax, they disputed the demands, calling it unnecessary.

To be clear, the Bundy’s don’t OWN the land, it’s actually owned by the STATE. But when the Feds came in and encroached on the land, it raised debates about the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution. The Tenth Amendment says, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

There it is, right in the Constitution, clear language saying the State OR the People have the power to govern and control anything not assigned to the Federal Government in the Constitution. But when the Feds showed up, they not only demanded the land, they also killed thousands of dollars worth of Bundy’s cattle, burying them in mass graves. Outraged by the encroachment and forced takeover, Bundy and hundreds of other locals showed up and blocked their path. After a long standoff, the Feds went home defeated.

Now, they’re back, with a new strategy. This time, calling 33 parcels of land, that contain nearly 2 million acres of Nevada of land “Areas of Critical Concern.” Bundy’s calling it a move of retaliation, several months after the Feds retreated..

But don’t count the Bundy family out just yet. When they learned of this new subtle attack by the Feds, they released this statement:

“We are not intimidated by the past action of the federal government, nor will we yield to their future attempt to subdue the State or the people. We refuse to submit to unconstitutional codes and regulation that dismantle Statehood and deprived our American neighbors and ourselves of the unalienable right so many of our kinsmen suffered and died for.”