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moscow-winter

It has now been exactly a year since I returned to Russia.

One of the questions I get asked the most from Russians and foreigners alike is whether I enjoy living here, or whether I am disappointed. My answer is that it fell within my “range of expectations”. I like to think that this is a function of my perception of Russia prior to 2017 having been reasonably accurate, and considering I was blogging as “Da Russophile” on Russia matters until 2014, that’s pretty much an accolade. In my experience, the typical response of visiting foreigners and expats to life in Russia is one of pleasant surprise, no wonder since Russia might as well be “Equatorial Guinea with hackers” so far as the Western media today is concerned. However, I banally didn’t have anything to be particularly surprised about, pleasantly or otherwise.

Even so, there are areas where Russia shines, as well as some where it doesn’t (that’s for an upcoming just published post on 10 Ways Life in America is Better than in Russia).

First, the good points – where Russia performs better than the United States.

***

spb-sapsan-2

Train station in Saint-Petersburg.

1. Everything’s So Cheap

I don’t have the foggiest how Moscow ever acquired its reputation as one of the world’s most expensive cities. Probably idiots and Intellectuals Yet Idiots dumb enough to buy the $5 bottled water at Sheremetyevo Airport before taking one of the shady, overpriced Caucasian gypsy cabs down to their five star hotels in central Moscow.

In reality, food, rent, utilities, property, hotels, travel, restaurants, museums, transport, healthcare, and education are all far cheaper than in major cities in the United States.

The basic staples – carbs, meat, eggs, vegetables, seafood, most alcohol – are all approximately twice cheaper. Boneless, skinless cuts of turkey are less than 300 rubles ($5)/kg at my local market, which is run by Armenians. Wild salmon, at 500 rubles ($9)/kg are actually cheaper than farmed salmon from Norway, though in another of Russia’s strange inversions, farmed salmon is more prestigious, unlike in the West. It is actually easier to list expensive exceptions. Vodka is still somewhat cheaper than in the United States, but only by a factor of perhaps 1.5x, instead of more like 10x some fifteen years ago; this is a good thing.

The Big Mac, a classic item international price comparisons, costs 130 rubles in the Moscow suburbs, which is twice cheaper than in Britain and the USA. A similar relationship holds as you move to more upscale restaurants, at least after you adjust for the requirement to pay tips in the USA.

For obvious reasons, anything that’s imported is similar to US/EU prices. To the extent this affects me, that’s only Tabasco sauce and some Indian spices. Prices are also comparable for domestically produced Russian wines, whose quality has been improving by leaps and bounds even in the one year that I’ve been here, helped along by sanctions and my personal demand. Probably the single item that I miss most due to the sanctions is feta cheese; there is an East European equivalent called brynza, but it’s not really comparable. Otherwise, local Russian producers have developed competitive alternatives to many popular West European cheeses, at least to the extent that I, a non-connoisseur, am unable to distinguish them from European imports (the local blue-veined cheeses I have found to be especially impressive). Unless you really can’t do without your little Gorgonzola and your little Gruyère and your particular brand of prosciutto, you should be just fine here.

Property and rent are both approximately thrice cheaper in Moscow than in comparable locales in London. However, in one of the few positive aspects of the post-Soviet privatizations, almost 90% of Russians own their own homes.

Most utilities are so cheap that they might as well be free. In the past year, I paid $8 (500R) per month for 72Mbps Internet versus $80 for 15Mbps downloads and 5Mbps uploads with Comcast in California, and $45 for 10Mbps downloads and 0.5Mbps (!) uploads in London. Similar numbers with mobile plans, and what’s better, unlike in the United States, there are no multi-year contracts which are next to impossible to get out of. In both cases, Russian prices are held down by vigorous competition, whereas in the United States many ISPs have de facto monopolies over any particular region. This might surprise some people, but much of Russia’s information infrastructure is more modern than in the USA – for instance, one click money transfers with national state-owned banking giant Sberbank have long been standard, whereas I received an email from Wells Fargo announcing this as a new functionality just a few months ago.

Road and rail transport is approximately 5x cheaper. A 100km rail journey from Moscow to Kolomna or Volokolamsk on an elektrichka costs no more than $5 (300R); in the UK, a similar journey from London to Portsmouth will cost at least £25. I paid about $75 for a high speed Sapsan to go from Moscow to Saint-Petersburg, though I could have gotten there for as cheap as $25 on platskart shared accommodation. In contrast, my American round-trip cost me $700 with Amtrak – and I sat the entire route (not something I would have the stamina for nowadays). In Saint-Petersburg, there were several three star hotels in the center offering accommodations for as low as $50 a night; a similar location in Washington D.C. would have set me back by at least $200 a night.

It’s not exactly a secret that the astronomical cost of American healthcare and higher education is the stuff of horror stories in Europe, and Russia is no exception. $4,500 endoscopies are very much an #OnlyInAmerica type of thing, even if you use private healthcare in Russia. One of my acquaintances did a one year Master’s program in International Relations at LSE last year, which cost $50,000; one year on a PhD program that you can do at one institution of the Academy of Sciences can cost $1,000, if not entirely free. Vets are also far cheaper. For instance, one of my acquaintances found a stray puppy several months ago, which required complex spinal work to fix her hind legs; this ended up costing an incredible $200.

The converse of all this is, of course, that Russian salaries are 4-5x lower than in the US. Adjusting for twice lower prices, the average Russian lives 2x poorer than the average American, and this gap is much larger for healthcare professionals and researchers. For example, while $10,000 per month is common for American anesthesiologists, his Russian equivalent would be lucky to take home $1,000.

On the other hand, this is paradise for anyone with a dollar-denominated income stream.

 

grain-field

Rural field.

2. Better Food

One possible cause of the massive rise in American obesity in the past generation is that the nutrients to calories of American crops has plummeted due to commercialized agriculture and the infiltration of corn and soy into every conceivable category of foodstuff. Russia is only at the start of this process, so the food you can buy at the local markets here tends to be organic and grass fed by default – and without the associated markup that you get in the West.

Speaking of the local markets, although it has much declined relative to the 1990s and the Soviet period, every so often you still meet a trader willing to barter and haggle. Although time-consuming, I would argue that it is also more “authentic” to the human experience; bargaining at local markets has long been an integral part of post-agricultural life, and perhaps many moderns miss it, as attested to by the inclusion of this mechanism in almost every video game RPG.

Apart from being healthier, many common foods are simply “better” than their equivalents in the West. Perhaps the two most striking examples are cucumbers and watermelons. The most common (and cheapest) cucumbers are small, prickly things, which are far less watery than the long, smooth ones you will encounter in a standard American or British supermarket. The watermelons of the Caspian region are bigger and far sweeter than the slurpy spheres that are standard in the West.

Russian cuisine doesn’t have a reputation for being exactly healthy. But it depends on what parts of it you adopt, really. Like the French, there is a culture of eating animals “from head to tail” in Russia, so it is easy to find organ meats and bones for making broth at the markets. I would also note the popularity of aspics here, which is known as kholodets; it is the paleo/ketogenic to the max. In my opinion, Russia also has some of the world’s best soups – my personal favorite is sorrel soup. All this shows up in waistlines – there are almost no obese young women.

In some categories, the variety on offer is substandard to what you can expect in the West – cheeses, spices, and wines are the obvious ones. In others, it is better – pickles come to mind, in both variety and quality (pickles in Russia are genuinely fermented, instead of being bathed in vinegar). Even though I live in a “prole” area of Moscow, my local tea shop has about thirty sorts of Chinese teas on sale, some of them remarkably rare, but all of them at rather reasonable prices. In London, you’d probably have to go to something like the venerable Algerian Coffee Store to find a similar Chinese tea collection.

 

kolomna-restaurant

Knyazich restaurant, Kolomna.

3. Nicer Service

Yes, you read that right. Shop assistants and waiters now tend to be at least as, if not more, courteous than their equivalents in the United States. Contra Matt Forney’s experience in Eastern Europe, I find that the stereotype of sullen sovok service is about as outdated as the hammer and sickle. Nor does this just apply to Moscow. Russia’s regional cities have also been rediscovering that the stale Soviet stolovaya had been preceded by service a la russe in Tsarist times.

One partial and amusing exception: Georgian restaurants, especially those with a long pedigree for supposed “excellence.” My theory is that in the USSR, Georgian cuisine was considered to be the most exotic cuisine accessible, at least to people outside the high nomenklatura, so those establishments continued to be patronized by Soviet people, with their less demanding requirements. Since people with the Soviet mentality primarily went to restaurants to network and to show off how rich they are, as opposed to just having a good time, you tend to get much less enjoyment for the ruble at those places.

The variety of restaurants one can choose from is almost as great as in the great Western metropolises. You don’t have near the same variety in Chinese and especially Indian restaurants that countries with huge diasporas from those two countries can boast, but those are substituted for by Central Asian and Caucasian cuisine. I am not a fan of Caucasian cuisine: Georgian cuisine is too pretentious, while Dagestani/Chechen cuisine is possibly the most primitive on the planet – their signature dish is dough and meat boiled in water, which I suppose is “honest” but hardly something to go out of your way for. However, I have gained considerable respect for Uzbek food (the Uryuk chain is recommended).

However, the center of Moscow has been crafted into an SWPL paradise, so there is no shortage of cuisines from American-style burger joints with craft beers and lettuce leaf burgers (no, really) to Vietnamese pho bars (I especially like the Viet Cafe chain).

Finally, unlike most of Europe – Moscow is a 24/7 city, like America. Most supermarkets and restaurants are open late into the night, or 24/7. Life here is convenient. Only major restriction: Shops can’t sell booze past 11pm.

 

map-metro-2033

Moscow Metro in 2033.

4. Public Transport

Moscow, Saint-Petersburg, and all the cities with around one million people have well-developed metro systems. Contrast this with the US, where the concept of “public transport” – at least outside the north-eastern seaboard, the Bay Area, and Seattle – is pretty much non-existent.

In fairness, the Moscow Metro closes at 1am (Saint-Petersburg at 12pm), whereas the New York subway works 24 hours a day – if with frequent stoppages. However, Moscow’s reputation for having the most aesthetic metro system in the world is well-deserved, even though I have a soft spot for Chicago’s old-style wooden platforms and Washington D.C.’s bunker-like concrete grottoes.

One problem in the old days was that Moscow’s metro stations were far apart, especially once you head out into the suburbs. But this is no longer relevant with the rise of the ride-sharing revolution. It is now trivial to get an Uber (or more frequently a Yandex Taxi) ride on the cheap to any part of Moscow.

 

moscow-afroshop

“Afroshop” near my other ghetto apartment. Still an exception, not the rule. But for how long?

5. Still Recognizably European

Many Russians complain about the flood of Central Asian Gastarbeiters. However, even Moscow – which remains about 85% Slavic, even adjusting for unofficial residents – feels like a veritable Whitopia after spending time in Latino-majority California and Londonistan. Moreover, Uzbeks and Tajiks are far preferable to many minorities in the West, such as US Blacks with their absurd crime rates, or the sea of black niqabs that you encounter in many areas of London.

Meanwhile, vast swathes of provincial Russia – including its central demographic heartlands – are as uniformly Slavic as the countries of Visegrad Europe. Even if they have their own, rather serious problems, such as poverty, corruption, and alcoholism. If you happen to value the quality of being amongst one’s own, then Russia does better than virtually any other white country outside Poland, Czechia, and the Baltics. Moscow is the last and only megacity in the world where Europeans remain a solid majority.

I don’t know if this will last. All major political factions in 1960′s Germany also expected their Gastarbeiters to eventually go home – didn’t work out like that. And there is as yet demographically tiny but nonetheless ideologically distinct and high IQ cluster of pro-”tolerance” and sundry “anti-racist” characters shilling for open borders. And they have a ready audience amongst Moscow’s blue-haired yuppies. I give it 15 years.

 

dacha-lake

Lake by our dacha.

6. The Outdoors

About 50% of Muscovites own a dacha outside the city, including people of modest means. This is much rarer in the United States and Western Europe, where only the upper-middle class has such opportunities.

Personally I don’t have much interest in this – the Internet is too slow, and there are too many biting insects – but people less autistic than myself will likely appreciate this.

 

moscow-parking

Typical Moscow sleeper suburb.

7. Freedoms

This might surprise people who associate Russia with reams of red tape, but while there’s no shortage of that, there are also any number of domains with few or no regulations.

Getting almost any drug is a simple matter of going down to the pharmacy and checking up if they have it in stock; if not, they can usually order it. While you need doctor’s prescriptions for some of the most elementary drugs in the United States, in Russia that is the exception, not the rule. They are also typically generic and cost much less than their equivalents in the United States, though there are far more counterfeits. Ergo for contact lenses – you just state your specifications and they order them; no eye tests required. Setting up a trading account is also much easier. Instead of filling out countless forms promising that yes, you do indeed have 5 years intimate experience with collateralized debt obligations, in Russia it’s pay to play. If you can bring money to the table, you’re good to go.

In effect, with the notable exception of gun rights, there is much less of the “nanny state” and more of what American conservatives call “personal responsibility” in Russia.

Russia is one of the world’s great pirate havens. No Internet provider is ever going to send you angry cease and desist letters for torrenting Game of Thrones. It is theoretically possible, but you can count the number of such cases on the fingers of your hand. (However, business-scale piracy has been cracked down upon and is much less prevalent than it was back in 2010). It is therefore no surprise that the world’s largest depositories of pirated books and scientific articles are Russian enterprises. The only things that most Russians don’t massively pirate is video games. Steam prices are 3-4x lower in the Eurasia region, making GabeN’s offerings even more of a cornucopia.

This freewheeling world, a legacy of the 1990s – a heaven for the intelligent and far-sighted, a potential hell for the duller and lower future time orientated (I have second-hand knowledge of some people who lost their apartments on currency speculation) – is being slowly but steadily constrained by more and more laws and regulations. The world is not long for the old Russia of limitless parking opportunities and playgrounds not yet despoiled by tomes of health and safety regulations. More worryingly, whereas the Russian Internet was genuinely free as little as half a decade ago, censorship on grounds of “extremism” is accelerating at an exponential pace. Even so, at least for now, many aspects of life are surprisingly freer and more accessible than in the putative “Free World.”

 

faggotry

8. Less Faggotry

Did that trigger you, snowflake?

Nobody in Russia cares, LOL.

Even though I don’t particularly care for hardcore homophobia, I consider the right to call things and people you don’t like “gay” as one of the most important freedoms there are. Happened all the time at school, but since I graduated in 2006, liberal faggots have all but criminalized this. Russia remains free of this cultural totalitarianism; here, you can still call a spade a spade and a gender non-fluid helicopterkin a faggot (пидор) without any particular worries for your professional career and social status.

I don’t think this will last so enjoy (or suffer) it while you still can.

 

moscow-zarydie

Zaryadye Park, Moscow.

9. Intellectual Ferment

Most of Russia is one large West Virginia so far as this goes. However, Moscow and to a lesser extent SPB are glaring and indeed cardinal exceptions.

Many new startups, including in exciting new fields like machine learning, quantified self, personal genomics. The city is buzzing with entrepreneurial energy.

Specific personal example: Back in the Bay Area, I liked involving myself in the futurist/transhumanist community. I can’t say that Moscow can compete with it, but it’s probably no worse than London in this respect, the foremost West European H+ cluster. There’s a LessWrong meetup group, a “techno-commercial” transhumanist group (Russia 2045), and an active community of radical life extension advocates, which overlaps into the cliodynamics community (the daughter of the guy who runs Kriorus, Russia’s Alcor, is also a cliodynamicist).

Even the nationalists are more interesting, more intellectual than their American or West European equivalents, as I observed in Saint-Petersburg. I suspect this is a function of Eastern Europe being less advanced on the path of Cultural Marxist rot, thanks to Communism effectively “freezing” social attitudes; the human capital hasn’t yet been fully monopolized by neoliberalism.txt. There is no real equivalent to the intellectual caliber of Sputnik and Pogrom in the United States.

As in Eastern Europe, my impression is that the historical recreation movement – perhaps as an implicit stand of white identity as any – is if anything stronger in Russia than in the United States.

 

moscow-cloudy

Dmitry Chistoprudov: Cloudy Moscow 7.

10. More Technologically Advanced

On coming to the Bay Area, the technological heart of the United States, tech writer Alina Tolmacheva struggled to hide her disappointment: “No flying hoverboards, food isn’t delivered by drones, and parking fees are paid with coins, whereas in Moscow everyone had long since switched to mobile apps.”

This is somewhat tongue in cheek, but the general point stands.

As she further points out, monopolies dominate transport, banking, telephones, and the Internet. The Caltrain from San Francisco Airport to Mountain View takes 1.5 hours. The highest building is 12 storeys of concrete in the style of Le Corbusier. “Rent is paid with checks. It is necessary to take a piece of paper, fill in the details, and send it by mail. The owner then goes to a bank branch and cashes it out. Technology older than VHS and cassette players.” In Moscow, even aged grandmothers have been collecting rent money through mobile apps for years.

Contactless payments are not yet prevalent in Moscow, like they are in London. But this is a minor issue. On the other hand, the Moscow Metro has already had free WiFi for several years, which is now in the last stages of becoming integrated into the wider Moscow transport system, including buses and trams. This is hugely convenient, since many commuters spend around an hour traveling in the Metro on working days. Neither London, nor BART in the SF Bay Area, nor any other American underground system that I know of has gotten round to installing free WiFI.

Moscow is more developed as a “technopolis” than any other major city in the Anglosphere.

Addendum

If you enjoyed this post, you may also enjoy my comprehensive comparison of life in Russia, America and the United Kingdom that I wrote in 2011: http://akarlin.com/tag/national-comparisons/ .

 
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  1. More later but I would say that contactless in Saratov matches the UK, maybe slightly better because grocery stores take them, not inevitable in the UK.

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  2. I agree with almost everything here. But you’d better speak Russian and it’s a highly-inflected language (the words change their forms according to their meaning in the sentence and their relationship to other words) and some words change with the addition of prefixes, which makes a dictionary search fruitless unless you can recognize the root. It is a difficult language for a brain wired for English and the older that brain gets, the more difficult the process becomes. It’s hard to appreciate a country when you’re constantly wondering what is going on and have no idea what people are saying to you.

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    • Replies: @Twodees Partain
    Yes, the language barrier would probably prove insurmountable for me, at my age. I'd love to live in Russia for a year or so, for the experience, though.
    , @22pp22
    I can make myself understood in Russian. The inflections are not as bad at the stress that moves around all over the place. Take the word golovA meaning 'head'. The declension is just sadistic.

    Nominative golovA
    Accusative gOlovu
    Genitive golovY
    Dative golovE
    Instrumental golovOI
    Locative golovE

    In the plural gOlovy gOlovy golOv golovAm golovAmi golovAkh

    In an act of pure sadism to foreign learners , they also insist on inflecting numerals.

    I find Bulgaria is a great place to learn Russian. The older generation often speaks it well and they tend to speak more slowly and clearly than Russians and in full sentences. Also they avoid the incredible crude slang some Russians use.

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  3. There is no real equivalent to the intellectual caliber of Sputnik and Pogrom in the United States.

    Unz much, much, much better

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    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    Thanks, but Unz.com isn't a nationalist resource, strictly speaking - though it might well be the closest thing to SiP in the West.

    SiP's analogues in the West:
    * Radix - Never as good, and now kaput anyway
    * AltRight.com - with all due respect to Greg Hood and Vincent Law, its two star writers, otherwise a duller version of Radix
    * Counter-Currents, Occidental Observer - good essays, but 1) have a fraction of SiP's visitorship, despite censorship against SiP; 2) more whimsical/philosophical than SiP, which I think is more "grounded" in the real world; 3) can't compete on design.
    * Daily Stormer - only resource that competes on viewership number, funnier, but 10x stupider.
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  4. Interesting.

    I can, apparently, expect most of these recent (last 5 years or so) Russian immigrants to move back into that better place.
    No Russian talk when walking along the beach anymore, I suppose.

    Let’s wait and see.

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  5. @melanf

    There is no real equivalent to the intellectual caliber of Sputnik and Pogrom in the United States.
     
    Unz much, much, much better

    Thanks, but Unz.com isn’t a nationalist resource, strictly speaking – though it might well be the closest thing to SiP in the West.

    SiP’s analogues in the West:
    * Radix – Never as good, and now kaput anyway
    * AltRight.com – with all due respect to Greg Hood and Vincent Law, its two star writers, otherwise a duller version of Radix
    * Counter-Currents, Occidental Observer – good essays, but 1) have a fraction of SiP’s visitorship, despite censorship against SiP; 2) more whimsical/philosophical than SiP, which I think is more “grounded” in the real world; 3) can’t compete on design.
    * Daily Stormer – only resource that competes on viewership number, funnier, but 10x stupider.

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    • Replies: @DFH

    2) more whimsical/philosophical than SiP, which I think is more “grounded” in the real world
     
    The one thing that has always annoyed me about nationalists is how much time they waste on mystical
    rubbish like Evola, Spengler, Nietzsche etc. It has come to such a point that I've seen fans of such people insult other nationalists for caring about actual, empirical data like HBD (e.g. I saw someone call Jared Taylor a 'spiritual autist' in a tweet the other day). The co-hosts of Spencer's podcast are the absolute worst in this regard.
    Why this affinity exists I have no idea, I would have expected the opposite given that so many people are made nationalists by looking at facts.
    , @Verymuchalive
    You didn't mention Occidental Dissent, the organ of Brad Griffin ( AKA Hunter Wallace ). Whilst most of the articles relate to news stories, I have found Mr Griffin's historical articles about Southern Nationalism and its background in the British Caribbean to be outstanding.
    Whilst your own articles about Russian Nationalism have been highly illuminating and informative, and would be difficult to find anywhere else in the Anglosphere, Mr Griffin's are even better. He's overturned many of my views about the American South - and for the better.
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  6. I am assuming that “Afroshop” is a front to sell drugs. On that topic have you ever had a frank conversation with the average man on the street regarding the future non white world? How aware are they of mass immigration into the post Western world, if they are aware do they think this is a significant event, is there anyone who is aware of the sheer numbers that Africa will be producing, do they envisage Moscow becoming like Paris or London?

    I also must add that I also live in land where nobody really cares about pirating stuff, I am curious if the people that do this watch Game of Thrones in Russian or English.

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    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin

    On that topic have you ever had a frank conversation with the average man on the street regarding the future non white world?
     
    No, I try to be a normie in everyday life. I don't back away from my views if the conversation drifts there, but I don't seek to actively raise it either.

    How aware are they of mass immigration into the post Western world... do they envisage Moscow becoming like Paris or London?
     
    Russian mass media actually loves to talk about Western Europe's immigration apocalypse. Cologne was comprehensively covered.

    Still, this is done as a sort of "fuck you" to the West, not out of any concern for unbiased news or even the future of the white race. :)

    Yes, there's a lot of concern about Moscow becoming far less Russian at the level of common people (though this isn't something that officials except nationalists and the occasional based commie talk about).

    I also must add that I also live in land where nobody really cares about pirating stuff, I am curious if the people that do this watch Game of Thrones in Russian or English.
     
    Dubbed over in Russian, for the most part.

    Incidentally, this is another case of Russia's strange "inversions." It is actually the liberals here who are more against pirating - you have the whining about it being "stealing," that it's not like how "the West does things," etc, etc. Whereas in the West it is precisely the liberals as opposed to the conservatards with their worship of "sanctity of property rights" who don't have any moral qualms about piracy.

    Russian "vatniks" pirate everything (except occasionally video games). Libcucks pay Western corporations.
    , @melanf

    How aware are they of mass immigration into the post Western world, if they are aware do they think this is a significant event, is there anyone who is aware of the sheer numbers that Africa will be producing, do they envisage Moscow becoming like Paris or London?
     
    Yes, definitely. About the influx of migrants to Europe in Russia know well. Migrants are perceived as a definite threat to Europe (which often causes gloating). There is a similar concern for Russia, and there are very common antiimmigrant views. These views, however, are not racial but cultural in nature (migrants evil, not because of race but because of their alien culture)
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  7. @Anatoly Karlin
    Thanks, but Unz.com isn't a nationalist resource, strictly speaking - though it might well be the closest thing to SiP in the West.

    SiP's analogues in the West:
    * Radix - Never as good, and now kaput anyway
    * AltRight.com - with all due respect to Greg Hood and Vincent Law, its two star writers, otherwise a duller version of Radix
    * Counter-Currents, Occidental Observer - good essays, but 1) have a fraction of SiP's visitorship, despite censorship against SiP; 2) more whimsical/philosophical than SiP, which I think is more "grounded" in the real world; 3) can't compete on design.
    * Daily Stormer - only resource that competes on viewership number, funnier, but 10x stupider.

    2) more whimsical/philosophical than SiP, which I think is more “grounded” in the real world

    The one thing that has always annoyed me about nationalists is how much time they waste on mystical
    rubbish like Evola, Spengler, Nietzsche etc. It has come to such a point that I’ve seen fans of such people insult other nationalists for caring about actual, empirical data like HBD (e.g. I saw someone call Jared Taylor a ‘spiritual autist’ in a tweet the other day). The co-hosts of Spencer’s podcast are the absolute worst in this regard.
    Why this affinity exists I have no idea, I would have expected the opposite given that so many people are made nationalists by looking at facts.

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    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    Richard Spencer's wife, Nina Kouprianova: "Excluding actual academics studying psychometrics, the so-called HBD (IQ studies and the like) is for nerds with Asperger's. Like Ayn Rand and Libertarianism, HBD can only interest any self-respecting person for no more than six months--in their teens and early twenties--moving onto bigger and better things. Like crime-stat studies, this area will *never* win any culture and civilization wars."

    https://twitter.com/ninabyzantina/status/876621429676093441

    Okay, I don't really care what she passively-aggressively says about me. Still, I can't help but wonder about the relationship dynamics here, considering that IQ/crime *quantitative* data is one of the central planks of Spencer's Alt Right (and the main thing that makes them better than most European nationalist movements).
    , @Cagey Beast
    The co-hosts of Spencer’s podcast are the absolute worst in this regard.

    You're damned right about that. If I hear the word "Faustian" again, I'm going to lose it.
    , @reiner Tor
    I am in the middle. Humans have a deep-seated need for some spirituality, and Nietzsche and Spengler are occasionally obscure enough to be some kind of substitute for this. I personally don’t like Evola as much as these two. Nietzsche is sometimes more poetry than philosophy, but his philosophy was also usually quite smart. Even Spengler’s prose is also enjoyable, and he is often perceptive. (Like regarding his having voted for the Nazis: “We wanted to abolish the parties; now only one remains, the very worst one.”) I will also try to read Heidegger again, though apparently his main work is almost impossible to decipher. (Would therefore be an ideal holy book of a new religion!) His other writings are better, and he really was some kind of Nazi.

    Regardless, of course you need HBD, not only because it’s a useful description of reality, but also because it’s interesting, as is most science. I wonder if the anti-HBD nationalists think that anyone interested in science is an autistic nerd?

    By the way it’s similar to re-litigating history. History is very interesting in and of itself, but it’s not enough to deal with history. Also, you cannot totally re-litigate history anyway, unfortunately. Hitler wasn’t Satan, but he wasn’t a decent white nationalist either. Heck, his main goals included mass murdering tens of millions of whites. What can be re-litigated needs to be re-litigated, because it also weakens the narrative, and also because why leave them any undeserved spoils? Why let them get away with worshiping Che Guevara, while they viciously attack anyone who even mentions any 1933-45 German in a positive light?

    So I think both approaches are needed, and if you don’t like one, do the other, and ignore what you don’t like. Nobody can force you to read Nietzsche or Spengler anyway. Neither is HBD forced down your throat.

    , @Lemurmaniac
    Culture comes from the cult, which is what is considered sacred in a society. Without a sense of the sacred, no discourse can exist through which the understanding of the underlying biological reality can be integrated into the consciousness of the people. In other words, you need the 'social construct' to perpetuate the racial substrate and vice versa.

    'What is more convincing' is yet another optics war. What is actually convincing is the dissemination of our talking points from the commanding heights of the the modern narrative economy. Thus, our task is to produce cadres who can access the levers of power and adjust them according to our analysis of the world .
    , @in the middle
    The one thing that has always annoyed me about nationalists..

    Nationalism has been a recurring facet of civilizations since ancient times, though the modern sense of national political autonomy and self-determination was formalized in the late 18th century.

    My take in 'Nationalism' is that you love your country, and want your country to remain so, enjoying what your nation (country) has created or become throughout its history. No a day when you profess such feelings, you are called names, and anti some one or something.

    Every man who loves peace, every man who loves his country, every man who loves liberty, ought to have it ever before his eyes, that he may cherish in his heart a due attachment to the Union of America, and be able to set a due value on the means of preserving it.
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  8. @DFH

    2) more whimsical/philosophical than SiP, which I think is more “grounded” in the real world
     
    The one thing that has always annoyed me about nationalists is how much time they waste on mystical
    rubbish like Evola, Spengler, Nietzsche etc. It has come to such a point that I've seen fans of such people insult other nationalists for caring about actual, empirical data like HBD (e.g. I saw someone call Jared Taylor a 'spiritual autist' in a tweet the other day). The co-hosts of Spencer's podcast are the absolute worst in this regard.
    Why this affinity exists I have no idea, I would have expected the opposite given that so many people are made nationalists by looking at facts.

    Richard Spencer’s wife, Nina Kouprianova: “Excluding actual academics studying psychometrics, the so-called HBD (IQ studies and the like) is for nerds with Asperger’s. Like Ayn Rand and Libertarianism, HBD can only interest any self-respecting person for no more than six months–in their teens and early twenties–moving onto bigger and better things. Like crime-stat studies, this area will *never* win any culture and civilization wars.

    Okay, I don’t really care what she passively-aggressively says about me. Still, I can’t help but wonder about the relationship dynamics here, considering that IQ/crime *quantitative* data is one of the central planks of Spencer’s Alt Right (and the main thing that makes them better than most European nationalist movements).

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    • Replies: @Cagey Beast
    It's a spectrum, Mr Karlin. Spencer's Alt-Right ideas are far more materialist and eugenicist than more the mystical and cultural nationalism of others but he's still nowhere near as interested in stats and DNA as the HBD gang. He does have that WASP love of abortion for other people babies but that's likely something he picked up in the air around him.
    , @inertial
    As you noted before, Russians tend to treat the HBD stuff with suspicion. That's because in the past Russians were often designated as dumb Untermenschen by various Western proto-HBD experts. Many Russians of the nationalist kind remember and resent this. The are others who agree, though. Your HBD arguments might fare better with them.
    , @Weaver1
    Steve Sailer offers a nice balance. It is correct that HBD has its limits, and IQ can be fuzzy.

    Eugenics too can be dangerous, even harmful. The mainstream "Antifragility" book concept could be applied to eugenics though, to ensure top-down meddling doesn't create problems. Eugenics in some form seems necessary due to our easy lives, but it could certainly cause great harm, especially to identity.

    Dr. Fleming at Chronicles and other Paleos have often warned of the limits of HBD. They're correct. But it certainly has value as well.

    Russians seem to dislike how they're slightly mixed, but in my view they should simply take pride in being a distinct group since race often flows from one part of the world to another. They can still be distinct. I doubt Russian IQ is wanting, but I've never looked into such a thing.

    The great risk of Russia is: Who fills Putin's shoes? Russia could be a disaster post-Putin.
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  9. Farmed salmon is fattier than the wild version. If you try to follow a paleo/keto style diet, it’s better. Otherwise a question of taste, both are good for what they are.

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    • Replies: @Avery
    {Farmed salmon is fattier than the wild version.}

    Junk fat.

    Farmed salmon are fed pelletized food and other processed junk.
    Also, due to being confined in large numbers in very tight spaces and susceptible to various diseases due to crowding, they are pumped full of antibiotics, similar to factory-farms of beef.

    Antibiotics and other contaminants mostly accumulate in the fat of the fish.

    , @RobinG
    What Avery said, plus they are given a chemical to make them 'salmon' colored. (They would otherwise be grey due to being raised in confined pens.) The chemical has been shown harmful to human eyesight.
    , @Alden
    Sometimes I eat wild salmon and ling cod caught at 1 in the afternoon off a small boat or kayak in the Pacific Ocean and served at 7 pm.

    Sometimes I eat farm salmon from Costco, trader joe’s and when it’s on sale at the cheaper supermarkets.

    I can’t tell the difference.
    , @Todd
    Farmed salmon isn’t nearly as good for you as wild caught. The protein ratio is off and these farmed fish live in veritable sewers while being fattened for market. They are fed things salmon aren’t meant to eat. Sounds like Russians are buying the lies of western food corps that spend millions trying to convince you that their knockoffs are better than the real thing,
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  10. @neutral
    I am assuming that "Afroshop" is a front to sell drugs. On that topic have you ever had a frank conversation with the average man on the street regarding the future non white world? How aware are they of mass immigration into the post Western world, if they are aware do they think this is a significant event, is there anyone who is aware of the sheer numbers that Africa will be producing, do they envisage Moscow becoming like Paris or London?

    I also must add that I also live in land where nobody really cares about pirating stuff, I am curious if the people that do this watch Game of Thrones in Russian or English.

    On that topic have you ever had a frank conversation with the average man on the street regarding the future non white world?

    No, I try to be a normie in everyday life. I don’t back away from my views if the conversation drifts there, but I don’t seek to actively raise it either.

    How aware are they of mass immigration into the post Western world… do they envisage Moscow becoming like Paris or London?

    Russian mass media actually loves to talk about Western Europe’s immigration apocalypse. Cologne was comprehensively covered.

    Still, this is done as a sort of “fuck you” to the West, not out of any concern for unbiased news or even the future of the white race. :)

    Yes, there’s a lot of concern about Moscow becoming far less Russian at the level of common people (though this isn’t something that officials except nationalists and the occasional based commie talk about).

    I also must add that I also live in land where nobody really cares about pirating stuff, I am curious if the people that do this watch Game of Thrones in Russian or English.

    Dubbed over in Russian, for the most part.

    Incidentally, this is another case of Russia’s strange “inversions.” It is actually the liberals here who are more against pirating – you have the whining about it being “stealing,” that it’s not like how “the West does things,” etc, etc. Whereas in the West it is precisely the liberals as opposed to the conservatards with their worship of “sanctity of property rights” who don’t have any moral qualms about piracy.

    Russian “vatniks” pirate everything (except occasionally video games). Libcucks pay Western corporations.

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    • Replies: @neutral

    Still, this is done as a sort of “fuck you” to the West, not out of any concern for unbiased news or even the future of the white race. :)
     
    I get there is some kind of schadenfreude, but a brown Western Europe that consists of regimes with ideologies such as BLM types tearing every white statue down, brown SJW types such as Sadiq Khan and "affirmative action kremlinology" (that you have mocked here before), is going to create huge problems for Russia, profoundly more dangerous than how things are now. One can argue such regimes will not be able muster strong economies and armies because of their degraded populations, but having such hostile populations right next door is going to cause big pain to Russia, that the media is so callous to this future is almost depressing.
    , @Philip Owen
    There is an intermediate level of "approved pirates" who seem to supply good stuff at not quite basement prices. I do wonder if they are actually fronts for the major software publishers.
    , @jbwilson24
    "On that topic have you ever had a frank conversation with the average man on the street regarding the future non white world?"

    I have, albeit through my wife (Russian). I've been over there a few times, and apart from the atrocious peasant food it was very pleasant. More non-whites than in Kiev, but definitely better than London, Paris or the like.

    Anyhow, I've had varying reactions. Most of the women that I talked to were well aware of the disappearance of whites. They lamented that white people would be extinct soon. Many were extremely hostile to Uzbeks and the like, and they tend to dislike Chinese intensely. My wife, for instance, scowls at both Uzbeks and Chinese when they are seen in Russia.

    Never had a bad reaction in bringing that up, but then I am an obvious foreigner who doesn't speak the language so they might write me off as a crazy person.

    The last time I did so was on an overnight train out of a smaller city and into Moscow. The guy in our sleeping quad was headed to London. He asked my wife if I was British, and she said 'yes, by descent... but he refuses to go on account of the fact that it has been taken over by Pakistanis'. He looked surprised, as he obviously thought it was still an English city. Joke is on him. I muttered a few words about purging them all and went to sleep.
    , @Not Raul
    It seems that you are using the term “liberal” in two ways. For the West, you seem to use the term “liberal” to mean leftist; for Russia, you seem to use the term “liberal” to mean Thatcherite. So, there really is no paradox.
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  11. @Anatoly Karlin
    Thanks, but Unz.com isn't a nationalist resource, strictly speaking - though it might well be the closest thing to SiP in the West.

    SiP's analogues in the West:
    * Radix - Never as good, and now kaput anyway
    * AltRight.com - with all due respect to Greg Hood and Vincent Law, its two star writers, otherwise a duller version of Radix
    * Counter-Currents, Occidental Observer - good essays, but 1) have a fraction of SiP's visitorship, despite censorship against SiP; 2) more whimsical/philosophical than SiP, which I think is more "grounded" in the real world; 3) can't compete on design.
    * Daily Stormer - only resource that competes on viewership number, funnier, but 10x stupider.

    You didn’t mention Occidental Dissent, the organ of Brad Griffin ( AKA Hunter Wallace ). Whilst most of the articles relate to news stories, I have found Mr Griffin’s historical articles about Southern Nationalism and its background in the British Caribbean to be outstanding.
    Whilst your own articles about Russian Nationalism have been highly illuminating and informative, and would be difficult to find anywhere else in the Anglosphere, Mr Griffin’s are even better. He’s overturned many of my views about the American South – and for the better.

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  12. @DFH

    2) more whimsical/philosophical than SiP, which I think is more “grounded” in the real world
     
    The one thing that has always annoyed me about nationalists is how much time they waste on mystical
    rubbish like Evola, Spengler, Nietzsche etc. It has come to such a point that I've seen fans of such people insult other nationalists for caring about actual, empirical data like HBD (e.g. I saw someone call Jared Taylor a 'spiritual autist' in a tweet the other day). The co-hosts of Spencer's podcast are the absolute worst in this regard.
    Why this affinity exists I have no idea, I would have expected the opposite given that so many people are made nationalists by looking at facts.

    The co-hosts of Spencer’s podcast are the absolute worst in this regard.

    You’re damned right about that. If I hear the word “Faustian” again, I’m going to lose it.

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    Why? Faustian is a good expression describing something real. Why use another word? Or, you can of course listen to other podcasts. Or no podcasts at all. I prefer reading anyway.
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  13. @DFH

    2) more whimsical/philosophical than SiP, which I think is more “grounded” in the real world
     
    The one thing that has always annoyed me about nationalists is how much time they waste on mystical
    rubbish like Evola, Spengler, Nietzsche etc. It has come to such a point that I've seen fans of such people insult other nationalists for caring about actual, empirical data like HBD (e.g. I saw someone call Jared Taylor a 'spiritual autist' in a tweet the other day). The co-hosts of Spencer's podcast are the absolute worst in this regard.
    Why this affinity exists I have no idea, I would have expected the opposite given that so many people are made nationalists by looking at facts.

    I am in the middle. Humans have a deep-seated need for some spirituality, and Nietzsche and Spengler are occasionally obscure enough to be some kind of substitute for this. I personally don’t like Evola as much as these two. Nietzsche is sometimes more poetry than philosophy, but his philosophy was also usually quite smart. Even Spengler’s prose is also enjoyable, and he is often perceptive. (Like regarding his having voted for the Nazis: “We wanted to abolish the parties; now only one remains, the very worst one.”) I will also try to read Heidegger again, though apparently his main work is almost impossible to decipher. (Would therefore be an ideal holy book of a new religion!) His other writings are better, and he really was some kind of Nazi.

    Regardless, of course you need HBD, not only because it’s a useful description of reality, but also because it’s interesting, as is most science. I wonder if the anti-HBD nationalists think that anyone interested in science is an autistic nerd?

    By the way it’s similar to re-litigating history. History is very interesting in and of itself, but it’s not enough to deal with history. Also, you cannot totally re-litigate history anyway, unfortunately. Hitler wasn’t Satan, but he wasn’t a decent white nationalist either. Heck, his main goals included mass murdering tens of millions of whites. What can be re-litigated needs to be re-litigated, because it also weakens the narrative, and also because why leave them any undeserved spoils? Why let them get away with worshiping Che Guevara, while they viciously attack anyone who even mentions any 1933-45 German in a positive light?

    So I think both approaches are needed, and if you don’t like one, do the other, and ignore what you don’t like. Nobody can force you to read Nietzsche or Spengler anyway. Neither is HBD forced down your throat.

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  14. @Anatoly Karlin
    Richard Spencer's wife, Nina Kouprianova: "Excluding actual academics studying psychometrics, the so-called HBD (IQ studies and the like) is for nerds with Asperger's. Like Ayn Rand and Libertarianism, HBD can only interest any self-respecting person for no more than six months--in their teens and early twenties--moving onto bigger and better things. Like crime-stat studies, this area will *never* win any culture and civilization wars."

    https://twitter.com/ninabyzantina/status/876621429676093441

    Okay, I don't really care what she passively-aggressively says about me. Still, I can't help but wonder about the relationship dynamics here, considering that IQ/crime *quantitative* data is one of the central planks of Spencer's Alt Right (and the main thing that makes them better than most European nationalist movements).

    It’s a spectrum, Mr Karlin. Spencer’s Alt-Right ideas are far more materialist and eugenicist than more the mystical and cultural nationalism of others but he’s still nowhere near as interested in stats and DNA as the HBD gang. He does have that WASP love of abortion for other people babies but that’s likely something he picked up in the air around him.

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  15. @Cagey Beast
    The co-hosts of Spencer’s podcast are the absolute worst in this regard.

    You're damned right about that. If I hear the word "Faustian" again, I'm going to lose it.

    Why? Faustian is a good expression describing something real. Why use another word? Or, you can of course listen to other podcasts. Or no podcasts at all. I prefer reading anyway.

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    • Replies: @DFH

    Faustian is a good expression describing something real
     
    It, in the Spenglerian sense, is too vague and is used as a substitute for proper analysis. I suppose that it means something like 'The tendency of (Western) Europeans towards the new and unknown'.
    It is true that Europeans have discovered, invented and expanded far more than any other civilisation. If that's all that's meant by describing it as Faustian, then it's true but trivial and the term is obfuscatory. Perhaps what's meant is that European civilisation is, for some reason, predisposed towards such discovery and expansion. In that case, then actual analysis is needed to show why (for cultural/genetic reasons, as I believed Duchesne does), and simply tagging it as 'Faustian' and leaving that as the explanation (as very often happens) is just a vapid substitute.

    Spencer's friends in particular also tend to use it normatively as an argument (e.g. we should colonise the moon because it's an expression of western man's Faustian soul). This is just a non-argument of associating a positive word with something, which stated otherwise would be rather less convincing (we should colonise space because our civilisation have in the past tended to explore new places).

    Or, you can of course listen to other podcasts.

     

    True, if this were just a few people or just a hobby then I would be unreasonable to complain. What worries me though is that the broader tendency to mysticism
    1. Pushes nationalists away from persuasive discussion topics (HBC etc.) to far less persuasive ones
    2. Leads to a worse understanding of the world (if it's taken seriously) which leads to worse decisions
    , @Cagey Beast
    They put the word "Faustian" on everything, like ketchup.
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  16. Charlatanry like that described in 9 ought to count very heavily against any place where it is practiced.

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    • Replies: @DFH

    Charlatanry like that described in 9 ought to count very heavily against any place where it is practiced.
     
    Canada?
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  17. Russia also has some of the world’s best soups – my personal favorite is sorrel soup.

    Excellent soup, yes, but the true showstoppers are solyanka and kefir okroshka. On that note, Borodinsky bread also deserves a place in the food canon.

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    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    Are you and Anatoly both conceding that Ukrainians make a better borshch than Russians? I've tasted most all Slavic style soups and none match the majesty and specialness of a great red borschch. Make a large pot and eat it for a week, it gets better day by day. Meaty (with fat too) pork ribs, beets, tomatoes potatoes, carrots, cabbage, beans. and dill. Bring out the sour cream, cleaned garlic cloves, Borodinsky bread and some fantastic Nemirov Honey Pepper vodka and you've just entered heaven. By day four, you might want to bring out a bottle of Siracha sauce, or better yet Pepper Garlic paste (made by the same company that originated making siracha, the one with the little rooster on the bottle; Anatoly you lived in California and should know what I'm talking about). Ukrainians in North America will accept no substitute for the King of Soups:

    https://youtu.be/MWVeMTBOnck
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  18. @Anatoly Karlin
    Richard Spencer's wife, Nina Kouprianova: "Excluding actual academics studying psychometrics, the so-called HBD (IQ studies and the like) is for nerds with Asperger's. Like Ayn Rand and Libertarianism, HBD can only interest any self-respecting person for no more than six months--in their teens and early twenties--moving onto bigger and better things. Like crime-stat studies, this area will *never* win any culture and civilization wars."

    https://twitter.com/ninabyzantina/status/876621429676093441

    Okay, I don't really care what she passively-aggressively says about me. Still, I can't help but wonder about the relationship dynamics here, considering that IQ/crime *quantitative* data is one of the central planks of Spencer's Alt Right (and the main thing that makes them better than most European nationalist movements).

    As you noted before, Russians tend to treat the HBD stuff with suspicion. That’s because in the past Russians were often designated as dumb Untermenschen by various Western proto-HBD experts. Many Russians of the nationalist kind remember and resent this. The are others who agree, though. Your HBD arguments might fare better with them.

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    • Replies: @melanf

    As you noted before, Russians tend to treat the HBD stuff with suspicion. That’s because in the past Russians were often designated as dumb Untermenschen by various Western proto-HBD experts.
     
    HBD ideas in Russia is almost completely unknown. The idea of hereditary differences in behavior between different people - this idea in Russia is quite common. Such views appear periodically in scientific work and are common place for the common people. But the Western HBD research in Russia almost completely unknown, IQ is perceived as a fun curiosity.

    Ideas which are absolutely unacceptable for the absolute majority of Russian - Nazism and neo-Nazism (in any form). For this reason, "Sputnik and Pogrom" which have a stigma of neo-Nazism site, will never have real success in Russia
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  19. These freedoms + slowing rising SJWism + creeping Internet regulation (under the familiar banners of fighting piracy and terrorism) is pretty much my experience of Kiev, though Kiev is distinctly weaker than Moscow on points 9 and 10. The intellectual life is a weird mishmash of pre-20th century beliefs and contemporary Western BS, and I would not be surprised if they reached full poz years before Moscow. If my business acquaintances are to be believed, the foreign wannapreneur also faces far more bureaucracy and more blatant “fuck you, pay me” type of corruption than in Russia.

    Can someone explain how Belarus fares on 1-10?

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    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    Fascinating, thanks.

    Statistical and anecdotal data indicates that Belorussia is considerably less corrupt than Russia, which is modestly less corrupt than the Ukraine.

    Internet restrictions are similar to Russia's. Russia was once freer, but has since converged to Belorussia's level.

    However, Belorussians are significantly more socially liberal than Russians, though more religious, too. Also higher levels of trust.

    Powerful Westernizing forces ("The Cathedral") are free to roam in the Ukraine, so it is indeed becoming more liberal than Russia on certain matters close to their heart, e.g. support for gay marriage (even though the Ukraine is innately more conservative than Russia, according to opinion polls).
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  20. @Anatoly Karlin

    On that topic have you ever had a frank conversation with the average man on the street regarding the future non white world?
     
    No, I try to be a normie in everyday life. I don't back away from my views if the conversation drifts there, but I don't seek to actively raise it either.

    How aware are they of mass immigration into the post Western world... do they envisage Moscow becoming like Paris or London?
     
    Russian mass media actually loves to talk about Western Europe's immigration apocalypse. Cologne was comprehensively covered.

    Still, this is done as a sort of "fuck you" to the West, not out of any concern for unbiased news or even the future of the white race. :)

    Yes, there's a lot of concern about Moscow becoming far less Russian at the level of common people (though this isn't something that officials except nationalists and the occasional based commie talk about).

    I also must add that I also live in land where nobody really cares about pirating stuff, I am curious if the people that do this watch Game of Thrones in Russian or English.
     
    Dubbed over in Russian, for the most part.

    Incidentally, this is another case of Russia's strange "inversions." It is actually the liberals here who are more against pirating - you have the whining about it being "stealing," that it's not like how "the West does things," etc, etc. Whereas in the West it is precisely the liberals as opposed to the conservatards with their worship of "sanctity of property rights" who don't have any moral qualms about piracy.

    Russian "vatniks" pirate everything (except occasionally video games). Libcucks pay Western corporations.

    Still, this is done as a sort of “fuck you” to the West, not out of any concern for unbiased news or even the future of the white race. :)

    I get there is some kind of schadenfreude, but a brown Western Europe that consists of regimes with ideologies such as BLM types tearing every white statue down, brown SJW types such as Sadiq Khan and “affirmative action kremlinology” (that you have mocked here before), is going to create huge problems for Russia, profoundly more dangerous than how things are now. One can argue such regimes will not be able muster strong economies and armies because of their degraded populations, but having such hostile populations right next door is going to cause big pain to Russia, that the media is so callous to this future is almost depressing.

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    • Replies: @Mitleser

    profoundly more dangerous than how things are now.

     

    Not buying that.

    but having such hostile populations right next door is going to cause big pain to Russia
     
    That was always the case. White or not, Russophobia has been an issue in the West for a long time.
    , @Anonymous

    but having such hostile populations right next door is going to cause big pain to Russia, that the media is so callous to this future is almost depressing.
     
    So, you mean, life as usual!
    , @Twodees Partain
    Those hostile populations you mention can't even exist without being heavily subsidized. as long as Russia never pays the invaders to come in, they will never become a problem.
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  21. @reiner Tor
    Why? Faustian is a good expression describing something real. Why use another word? Or, you can of course listen to other podcasts. Or no podcasts at all. I prefer reading anyway.

    Faustian is a good expression describing something real

    It, in the Spenglerian sense, is too vague and is used as a substitute for proper analysis. I suppose that it means something like ‘The tendency of (Western) Europeans towards the new and unknown’.
    It is true that Europeans have discovered, invented and expanded far more than any other civilisation. If that’s all that’s meant by describing it as Faustian, then it’s true but trivial and the term is obfuscatory. Perhaps what’s meant is that European civilisation is, for some reason, predisposed towards such discovery and expansion. In that case, then actual analysis is needed to show why (for cultural/genetic reasons, as I believed Duchesne does), and simply tagging it as ‘Faustian’ and leaving that as the explanation (as very often happens) is just a vapid substitute.

    Spencer’s friends in particular also tend to use it normatively as an argument (e.g. we should colonise the moon because it’s an expression of western man’s Faustian soul). This is just a non-argument of associating a positive word with something, which stated otherwise would be rather less convincing (we should colonise space because our civilisation have in the past tended to explore new places).

    Or, you can of course listen to other podcasts.

    True, if this were just a few people or just a hobby then I would be unreasonable to complain. What worries me though is that the broader tendency to mysticism
    1. Pushes nationalists away from persuasive discussion topics (HBC etc.) to far less persuasive ones
    2. Leads to a worse understanding of the world (if it’s taken seriously) which leads to worse decisions

    Read More
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  22. @5371
    Charlatanry like that described in 9 ought to count very heavily against any place where it is practiced.

    Charlatanry like that described in 9 ought to count very heavily against any place where it is practiced.

    Canada?

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  23. It’s refreshing to have Anatoly Karlin’s personal, detailed and informative take on matters Russian, along with that of Israel Shamir, especially given how some years back, the alt-media sphere re Russia was rather too shaped by the often oily and offensively demeaning scribbles of Matt Taibbi, Mark Ames and Yasha Levine of ‘The Exile’ (apparently still around as ‘ExiledOnline’)

    There is a maturity in Anatoly Karlin’s writing beyond his apparent youth, as if continuing a discourse begun in a previous lifetime

    Regarding appealing places to live or sojourn in the Slavic East (none flaw-free, of course, but so it always goes), I will just say one word here: Croatia

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    • Replies: @Polish Perspective

    Regarding appealing places to live or sojourn in the Slavic East (none flaw-free, of course, but so it always goes), I will just say one word here: Croatia
     
    Isn't that place overrun by tourists? We're seeing a trend of wealthy (and often older) Westerners moving en masse to poorer and much more demographically European countries. I know the Portuguese are complaining a lot about property prices (and even more so rent) in their major cities becoming completely unaffordable due to a massive influx of Western expats and pensioners.

    Portugal is still quite demographically European and it is cheap. I'm guessing we'll see the same wrt Croatia, if we aren't already. It's a reasonable well-off country, has good climate and is demographically quite homogenous and safe. That in of itself makes it less safe for the zerg rush of Westerners seeking a 2nd home, driving up all the prices and driving down the ideological free climate. EU free movement should end.

    I am hearing the same things from my Czech brothers. Prague is like a foreign city to them now, at least the central parts. And it isn't just in the tourist season. Even in March(!) there are full of tourists and given the Chinese New Year being in the early months of the year, that effect is true in February and end of January as well.

    The only good thing about Warsaw being destroyed - and as a consequence being much uglier today than before the war, when it was referred to as the 'Paris of the East' - is that it has far lower attraction for tourism. Krakow is not as safe, though, and Krakow is the best city infrastructure-wise in Poland.

    The only EE country that has somewhat escaped the hordes is Slovakia and I expect that to remain true for the overseeing future. The Baltics do well as well, at least Latvia and Lithuania. Estonia is rising on this map, too. I think the somewhat colder climate is paradoxically 'helping' the Balts here.
    , @Twodees Partain
    "oily and offensively demeaning scribbles of Matt Taibbi, Mark Ames and Yasha Levine of ‘The Exile’ (apparently still around as ‘ExiledOnline’)"

    What a group of ninnies. I live in hope of seeing Matt get his ass whipped someday.
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  24. Long ago I studied Russian at university and can read it easily, but speak it very badly. I would love to go there for an extended vacation. My wife and I are Kiwis and New Zealand is the only English-speaking countries to maintain half-way good relations with Russia. Obtaining a visa of some sort might not therefore be completely impossible. After many years living in the rural South Island, we both now find large cities physically repulsive.

    Where would you recommend?

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    • Replies: @Lemurmaniac
    We have to stop the Asians pouring in and pushing every increasing urban sprawl here...
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  25. @Blockshame
    These freedoms + slowing rising SJWism + creeping Internet regulation (under the familiar banners of fighting piracy and terrorism) is pretty much my experience of Kiev, though Kiev is distinctly weaker than Moscow on points 9 and 10. The intellectual life is a weird mishmash of pre-20th century beliefs and contemporary Western BS, and I would not be surprised if they reached full poz years before Moscow. If my business acquaintances are to be believed, the foreign wannapreneur also faces far more bureaucracy and more blatant "fuck you, pay me" type of corruption than in Russia.

    Can someone explain how Belarus fares on 1-10?

    Fascinating, thanks.

    Statistical and anecdotal data indicates that Belorussia is considerably less corrupt than Russia, which is modestly less corrupt than the Ukraine.

    Internet restrictions are similar to Russia’s. Russia was once freer, but has since converged to Belorussia’s level.

    However, Belorussians are significantly more socially liberal than Russians, though more religious, too. Also higher levels of trust.

    Powerful Westernizing forces (“The Cathedral”) are free to roam in the Ukraine, so it is indeed becoming more liberal than Russia on certain matters close to their heart, e.g. support for gay marriage (even though the Ukraine is innately more conservative than Russia, according to opinion polls).

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    • Replies: @Beckow
    Belarus is partially less corrupt because of its better demographics.

    But, not liking 'bryndza' is a faux pas that I cannot forgive. Fresh bryndza cheese (with 'n' in the middle) is substantially better than most feta cheeses. And a lot more healthy. Where does Russia get its bryndza now with sanctions on EU food? To make quality bryndza one needs tall mountains and wet meadows, so it could be a geography issue. Or, maybe Russia has a shortage of loving bryndza-producing 'bacas'.
    , @EugeneGur

    Powerful Westernizing forces (“The Cathedral”) are free to roam in the Ukraine, so it is indeed becoming more liberal than Russia
     
    This is a ridiculous statement. The forces free to roam Ukraine are ultra-nationalist neo-Nazi - every other force, even the most benign, is suppressed. Well, perhaps, this could also be called "Westernizing", since the West is moving in the same direction, but I am sure that's not what the author meant.

    Everything else, like the beloved "gay marriage", is nothing but a comedy played by the Kiev rulers to please their Western masters. The word "liberal" in any imaginable sense cannot possibly apply to Ukraine of today.
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  26. The man likes his country. Fine. Nothing is wrong with that.

    But this is silly. The flow of Russians to the US (vs. in the other direction) is very one-directional.

    The strongest point is ‘less faggotry’.

    The weakest is ‘things are cheaper’. Yeah? What is the average household income. Perhaps acquaint yourself with the concept of ‘Purchase Power Parity’.

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  27. @Anatoly Karlin

    On that topic have you ever had a frank conversation with the average man on the street regarding the future non white world?
     
    No, I try to be a normie in everyday life. I don't back away from my views if the conversation drifts there, but I don't seek to actively raise it either.

    How aware are they of mass immigration into the post Western world... do they envisage Moscow becoming like Paris or London?
     
    Russian mass media actually loves to talk about Western Europe's immigration apocalypse. Cologne was comprehensively covered.

    Still, this is done as a sort of "fuck you" to the West, not out of any concern for unbiased news or even the future of the white race. :)

    Yes, there's a lot of concern about Moscow becoming far less Russian at the level of common people (though this isn't something that officials except nationalists and the occasional based commie talk about).

    I also must add that I also live in land where nobody really cares about pirating stuff, I am curious if the people that do this watch Game of Thrones in Russian or English.
     
    Dubbed over in Russian, for the most part.

    Incidentally, this is another case of Russia's strange "inversions." It is actually the liberals here who are more against pirating - you have the whining about it being "stealing," that it's not like how "the West does things," etc, etc. Whereas in the West it is precisely the liberals as opposed to the conservatards with their worship of "sanctity of property rights" who don't have any moral qualms about piracy.

    Russian "vatniks" pirate everything (except occasionally video games). Libcucks pay Western corporations.

    There is an intermediate level of “approved pirates” who seem to supply good stuff at not quite basement prices. I do wonder if they are actually fronts for the major software publishers.

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  28. @reiner Tor
    Why? Faustian is a good expression describing something real. Why use another word? Or, you can of course listen to other podcasts. Or no podcasts at all. I prefer reading anyway.

    They put the word “Faustian” on everything, like ketchup.

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  29. @Swedish Family

    Russia also has some of the world’s best soups – my personal favorite is sorrel soup.
     
    Excellent soup, yes, but the true showstoppers are solyanka and kefir okroshka. On that note, Borodinsky bread also deserves a place in the food canon.

    Are you and Anatoly both conceding that Ukrainians make a better borshch than Russians? I’ve tasted most all Slavic style soups and none match the majesty and specialness of a great red borschch. Make a large pot and eat it for a week, it gets better day by day. Meaty (with fat too) pork ribs, beets, tomatoes potatoes, carrots, cabbage, beans. and dill. Bring out the sour cream, cleaned garlic cloves, Borodinsky bread and some fantastic Nemirov Honey Pepper vodka and you’ve just entered heaven. By day four, you might want to bring out a bottle of Siracha sauce, or better yet Pepper Garlic paste (made by the same company that originated making siracha, the one with the little rooster on the bottle; Anatoly you lived in California and should know what I’m talking about). Ukrainians in North America will accept no substitute for the King of Soups:

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  30. Very interesting. Thanks.

    On teas:

    A few years ago I had a contract with a taxi company. One of their drivers was an old guy who, in his younger days, managed a tea plantation in Assam. According to him, at the leaf auctions the best price for the top quality leaf was always paid by Russian buyers.

    Mother England’s giant companies were content with the sweepings from the floor…

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    • Replies: @Philip Owen
    True for a long time. The British drink very strong tea.
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  31. How are the subway dogs faring? Are they only in Moscow, or also in SPB? The dogs may seem crudely materialist, but I see them as Evolian nobility based on the videos I’ve seen on youtube. Berlin should be the natural home of the subway dog, but the Prussian remnant there remains too orderly and they also may have anti-canine Turks running the subway.

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  32. @reiner Tor
    Farmed salmon is fattier than the wild version. If you try to follow a paleo/keto style diet, it’s better. Otherwise a question of taste, both are good for what they are.

    {Farmed salmon is fattier than the wild version.}

    Junk fat.

    Farmed salmon are fed pelletized food and other processed junk.
    Also, due to being confined in large numbers in very tight spaces and susceptible to various diseases due to crowding, they are pumped full of antibiotics, similar to factory-farms of beef.

    Antibiotics and other contaminants mostly accumulate in the fat of the fish.

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    • Replies: @Twodees Partain
    All good points about "farmed" salmon. I recently learned that the sewage raised salmon has to be dyed orange, because the flesh is actually gray, due to the fact that the fish don't feed on shrimp and other naturally preferred food sources that they would eat in the wild.
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  33. Agree to all of this. But you mentioned the watermelons but not the strawberries – so much better than the comparatively tasteless bloated ones in the USA. You also didn’t mention the women.

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    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin

    You also didn’t mention the women.
     
    A bazillion other expats already have. :)
    , @Michelle
    When I first bought my tiny cottage in the Bay Area, an Estonian couple lived in one of the other cottages. They were heavy partiers and always had a lot of Estonian expats around. Their female friends were just gorgeous. During one of the parties, I asked an Estonian guy, "Do you ever get used to the stunning beauty of your women?"

    "No, he replied. That is why we all want to go back to Estonia".

    , @Jay Fink
    That's what I was thinking. IMO, the better the women, the better the country. American women have become fat, ugly and frumpy while Russian women (from what I understand) are thin, beautiful and stylish. This means Russian culture is superior to American culture because we cultivate ugliness in women.
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  34. @inertial
    As you noted before, Russians tend to treat the HBD stuff with suspicion. That's because in the past Russians were often designated as dumb Untermenschen by various Western proto-HBD experts. Many Russians of the nationalist kind remember and resent this. The are others who agree, though. Your HBD arguments might fare better with them.

    As you noted before, Russians tend to treat the HBD stuff with suspicion. That’s because in the past Russians were often designated as dumb Untermenschen by various Western proto-HBD experts.

    HBD ideas in Russia is almost completely unknown. The idea of hereditary differences in behavior between different people – this idea in Russia is quite common. Such views appear periodically in scientific work and are common place for the common people. But the Western HBD research in Russia almost completely unknown, IQ is perceived as a fun curiosity.

    Ideas which are absolutely unacceptable for the absolute majority of Russian – Nazism and neo-Nazism (in any form). For this reason, “Sputnik and Pogrom” which have a stigma of neo-Nazism site, will never have real success in Russia

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  35. @Anatoly Karlin

    On that topic have you ever had a frank conversation with the average man on the street regarding the future non white world?
     
    No, I try to be a normie in everyday life. I don't back away from my views if the conversation drifts there, but I don't seek to actively raise it either.

    How aware are they of mass immigration into the post Western world... do they envisage Moscow becoming like Paris or London?
     
    Russian mass media actually loves to talk about Western Europe's immigration apocalypse. Cologne was comprehensively covered.

    Still, this is done as a sort of "fuck you" to the West, not out of any concern for unbiased news or even the future of the white race. :)

    Yes, there's a lot of concern about Moscow becoming far less Russian at the level of common people (though this isn't something that officials except nationalists and the occasional based commie talk about).

    I also must add that I also live in land where nobody really cares about pirating stuff, I am curious if the people that do this watch Game of Thrones in Russian or English.
     
    Dubbed over in Russian, for the most part.

    Incidentally, this is another case of Russia's strange "inversions." It is actually the liberals here who are more against pirating - you have the whining about it being "stealing," that it's not like how "the West does things," etc, etc. Whereas in the West it is precisely the liberals as opposed to the conservatards with their worship of "sanctity of property rights" who don't have any moral qualms about piracy.

    Russian "vatniks" pirate everything (except occasionally video games). Libcucks pay Western corporations.

    “On that topic have you ever had a frank conversation with the average man on the street regarding the future non white world?”

    I have, albeit through my wife (Russian). I’ve been over there a few times, and apart from the atrocious peasant food it was very pleasant. More non-whites than in Kiev, but definitely better than London, Paris or the like.

    Anyhow, I’ve had varying reactions. Most of the women that I talked to were well aware of the disappearance of whites. They lamented that white people would be extinct soon. Many were extremely hostile to Uzbeks and the like, and they tend to dislike Chinese intensely. My wife, for instance, scowls at both Uzbeks and Chinese when they are seen in Russia.

    Never had a bad reaction in bringing that up, but then I am an obvious foreigner who doesn’t speak the language so they might write me off as a crazy person.

    The last time I did so was on an overnight train out of a smaller city and into Moscow. The guy in our sleeping quad was headed to London. He asked my wife if I was British, and she said ‘yes, by descent… but he refuses to go on account of the fact that it has been taken over by Pakistanis’. He looked surprised, as he obviously thought it was still an English city. Joke is on him. I muttered a few words about purging them all and went to sleep.

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  36. A beautiful article.
    Life in Russia is so good I wanna immigrate there immediately.

    Problem is that I already live in Russia.
    And I can’t really enjoy all the listed benefits.

    Farmed salmon is cheaper?
    Yay! Great Russian WIN!
    Too bad I can’t afford it.

    And I feel soooo good that I can buy beetroots and rumex 2 times cheaper than those capitalist.
    To bad my earnings are 10 times lower than theirs.

    Service and public transportation sections of the article also have little in common with Russian reality.

    As well as FREEDOM. Damn you can get a jail sentence for a repost. And don’t forget hordes of mad chechens. The etnical mafia that rules this so-called WHITOPIA. Common Russian can’t say a damn against them.

    Please, MISTER Karlin. Invite me to your wondrous fairy Russia. I’m kinda tired of living in the real one.

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    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin

    Too bad I can’t afford it.
     
    I am sorry to hear that. Each country has its rich and poor. The Russian average is about 50% that of the average Westerner, as I pointed out (in PPP terms). Some will find themselves far above that level, some below it. However, the trend is positive.

    http://ic.pics.livejournal.com/uspehrussia/78398531/438900/438900_900.jpg

    As well as FREEDOM. Damn you can get a jail sentence for a repost.
     
    As I pointed out, that no longer applies to the Internet.

    In fact, few have written more about it in English: http://www.unz.com/akarlin/country-282/

    The etnical mafia that rules this so-called WHITOPIA. Common Russian can’t say a damn against them.
     
    Again, not something that I'm unaware of, or have ever shied from covering. Still doesn't compare to the sea of niqabs in London (from an aesthetic perspective), nor to the state-sanctioned rape by Pakistani grooming gangs of thousands of British girls (from the more important legal/crime perspective).
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  37. @neutral
    I am assuming that "Afroshop" is a front to sell drugs. On that topic have you ever had a frank conversation with the average man on the street regarding the future non white world? How aware are they of mass immigration into the post Western world, if they are aware do they think this is a significant event, is there anyone who is aware of the sheer numbers that Africa will be producing, do they envisage Moscow becoming like Paris or London?

    I also must add that I also live in land where nobody really cares about pirating stuff, I am curious if the people that do this watch Game of Thrones in Russian or English.

    How aware are they of mass immigration into the post Western world, if they are aware do they think this is a significant event, is there anyone who is aware of the sheer numbers that Africa will be producing, do they envisage Moscow becoming like Paris or London?

    Yes, definitely. About the influx of migrants to Europe in Russia know well. Migrants are perceived as a definite threat to Europe (which often causes gloating). There is a similar concern for Russia, and there are very common antiimmigrant views. These views, however, are not racial but cultural in nature (migrants evil, not because of race but because of their alien culture)

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  38. That’s cute

    However, I believe you wouldn’t be that optimistic if you’d actually lived in Russia, though.

    Of course, many goods in Russia might be cheap, but wages are also horrendously low. Let’s consider me as an example: I’m working at the scientific university right now and my usual wage is around 150 dollars. Per month. The only thing that saves me is that my parents are helping me out a lot. In other case I would be starving. And of course any goods that are not produced locally, such as any electronic devices are very, very expensive, almost unbearable for common folk.

    I’m not trying to accuse you in lie, but your opinion about Russia is heavily based on your experience as an outsider. Again, you wouldn’t be that optimistic if you’d actually lived in Russia.

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    • Replies: @Polish Perspective
    He does live in Russia. I think what you - and "Sad Guy" above - are referring to is that he doesn't earn as a Russian. So that's why he enjoys the cheap public goods and services but he does so with a much better income stream than the average Russian, which probably skews his perspective at least to some extent.
    , @Kimppis
    You two just happen to post almost at the same time?

    $150 dollars? Isn't the average wage like 700 dollars even after the devaluation (much higher in Moscow). That 150 dollars is totally ridiculous, way below the minimum wage (which should be purely theoretical as well).

    Did you actually even read the article? Quote: "The converse of all this is, of course, that Russian salaries are 4-5x lower than in the US. Adjusting for twice lower prices, the average Russian lives 2x poorer than the average American..."

    10 times lower my ass. The PPP GDP per capita is 25K, with a very high HDI. Maybe you should read his other articles and wait for part 2 (things that are better in the US).

    , @melanf

    I’m working at the scientific university right now and my usual wage is around 150 dollars. Per month.

     

    How many hours do you work per month?

    And of course any goods that are not produced locally, such as any electronic devices are very, very expensive, almost unbearable for common folk.
     
    "any electronic devices" - computers, iPhones, iPads? In this case, your statement is just a lie
    , @Anatoly Karlin
    I question whether you and Sad Guy actually read my post.

    Two salient points:

    1. This is a list of things Russia does better than the United States. The list of things it does worse will be published later (and I imagine will get me a countering flood of butthurt Russophiles to balance you guys out).

    2. Most or all of both of your criticisms are actually mentioned in my post.

    Anyhow, in response to your points:

    However, I believe you wouldn’t be that optimistic if you’d actually lived in Russia, though.
     
    I do indeed live in Russia, and have made it explicit that I don't earn a "Russian" wage.

    However, the data I provide is fact-based. If it isn't, feel free to point out any mistakes, and I will correct it accordingly.

    Of course, many goods in Russia might be cheap, but wages are also horrendously low. Let’s consider me as an example: I’m working at the scientific university right now and my usual wage is around 150 dollars.
     
    Yes, I explicitly mentioned that wages are low (though buffered by lower prices). I also mentioned that not just here but in many other posts that the discrepancy is particularly large for some categories of workers, such as medical personnel and researchers.

    That said, as melanf (a "real" Russian) points out I have trouble believing you earn $150 as a full-time researcher at an accredited institution. From what I know of academia, and I know a lot of people in this sphere, it sounds like you are doing this either very much part-time, or that it is your stipend as a graduate student.

    Just a note that I don't like Russia wasting its money on boondoggles like stadiums and the bridge to Sakhalin and again have said as much over the course of my blogging. I consider the current level of research funding criminally low and would like to see it at least quadrupled. I am not a shill for Putin by any stretch of the imagination, least of all on this question. Ask any longtime reader here - they can confirm.

    And of course any goods that are not produced locally, such as any electronic devices are very, very expensive, almost unbearable for common folk.
     
    First, yes, I explicitly said that imported products cost as much as they do overseas. But some things (e.g. some services) are much cheaper than 2x relative to the US (e.g. Internet, education). The PPP adjustment is the average across the product basket. If you dislike their methods, then I am not the person to take it up with, but with people like Rosstat and the IMF.

    Second, as melanf again points out, Russia produces plenty of electronics of its own. My electric kettle and power drill/other DIY instruments are Russian made. Even the flat screen TV I got for a relative is Russian made and works as well as a Samsung while being 50% cheaper. The main exceptions are cell phones (though you can nowadays get very competitive Chinese handsets for a tiny fraction of the price of iShit), laptops, and computer components.
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  39. @neutral

    Still, this is done as a sort of “fuck you” to the West, not out of any concern for unbiased news or even the future of the white race. :)
     
    I get there is some kind of schadenfreude, but a brown Western Europe that consists of regimes with ideologies such as BLM types tearing every white statue down, brown SJW types such as Sadiq Khan and "affirmative action kremlinology" (that you have mocked here before), is going to create huge problems for Russia, profoundly more dangerous than how things are now. One can argue such regimes will not be able muster strong economies and armies because of their degraded populations, but having such hostile populations right next door is going to cause big pain to Russia, that the media is so callous to this future is almost depressing.

    profoundly more dangerous than how things are now.

    Not buying that.

    but having such hostile populations right next door is going to cause big pain to Russia

    That was always the case. White or not, Russophobia has been an issue in the West for a long time.

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  40. @Brabantian
    It's refreshing to have Anatoly Karlin's personal, detailed and informative take on matters Russian, along with that of Israel Shamir, especially given how some years back, the alt-media sphere re Russia was rather too shaped by the often oily and offensively demeaning scribbles of Matt Taibbi, Mark Ames and Yasha Levine of 'The Exile' (apparently still around as 'ExiledOnline')

    There is a maturity in Anatoly Karlin's writing beyond his apparent youth, as if continuing a discourse begun in a previous lifetime

    Regarding appealing places to live or sojourn in the Slavic East (none flaw-free, of course, but so it always goes), I will just say one word here: Croatia

    Regarding appealing places to live or sojourn in the Slavic East (none flaw-free, of course, but so it always goes), I will just say one word here: Croatia

    Isn’t that place overrun by tourists? We’re seeing a trend of wealthy (and often older) Westerners moving en masse to poorer and much more demographically European countries. I know the Portuguese are complaining a lot about property prices (and even more so rent) in their major cities becoming completely unaffordable due to a massive influx of Western expats and pensioners.

    Portugal is still quite demographically European and it is cheap. I’m guessing we’ll see the same wrt Croatia, if we aren’t already. It’s a reasonable well-off country, has good climate and is demographically quite homogenous and safe. That in of itself makes it less safe for the zerg rush of Westerners seeking a 2nd home, driving up all the prices and driving down the ideological free climate. EU free movement should end.

    I am hearing the same things from my Czech brothers. Prague is like a foreign city to them now, at least the central parts. And it isn’t just in the tourist season. Even in March(!) there are full of tourists and given the Chinese New Year being in the early months of the year, that effect is true in February and end of January as well.

    The only good thing about Warsaw being destroyed – and as a consequence being much uglier today than before the war, when it was referred to as the ‘Paris of the East’ – is that it has far lower attraction for tourism. Krakow is not as safe, though, and Krakow is the best city infrastructure-wise in Poland.

    The only EE country that has somewhat escaped the hordes is Slovakia and I expect that to remain true for the overseeing future. The Baltics do well as well, at least Latvia and Lithuania. Estonia is rising on this map, too. I think the somewhat colder climate is paradoxically ‘helping’ the Balts here.

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    • Replies: @Beckow

    "only EE country that has somewhat escaped the hordes is Slovakia and I expect that to remain true for the overseeing future"
     
    Up to a point. In the last few years the hordes have started to show up in Bratislava. They come on day-trip boats from Vienna, and on endless cheap buses run by Balkan 'entrepreneurs'. As always a big issue are also the local business people who will greedily sell anything, future be damned. One can see the Asian 'tourists' literally casing the surroundings for any opportunity to move in. Hungry eyes, desperate faces, looking for a way out of their Third World misery.

    Prague went through this 15-20 years ago. But outside of big cities, the traditional European life goes on. Except in a few spa and mountain resort towns. But my guess would be 50-50 which way this is going in the next 10-20 years (in other words, I don't know :)...

    South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa both have over a billion desperate people ready to move - Merkel, Macron and Juncker say they need 'new homes' in EU. And they know better than some mere mortals.

    , @attonn
    "The Baltics do well as well"...

    LOL.
    If having world's fastest depopulation rates counts as "doing well", then full extinction will probably be called an "ultimate success". It's not too far away, so might as well start spinning it right now.

    All in all, this must be some kind of corky Polish humor that escapes me.
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  41. @22pp22
    Long ago I studied Russian at university and can read it easily, but speak it very badly. I would love to go there for an extended vacation. My wife and I are Kiwis and New Zealand is the only English-speaking countries to maintain half-way good relations with Russia. Obtaining a visa of some sort might not therefore be completely impossible. After many years living in the rural South Island, we both now find large cities physically repulsive.

    Where would you recommend?

    We have to stop the Asians pouring in and pushing every increasing urban sprawl here…

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    • Replies: @22pp22
    Are you a Kiwi?

    I couldn't agree more. Central Otago is not as big as it seems and the narrow valleys where habitation is possible can easily be filled up with houses, but still the South Island only has a population of one million and half of them live in and around Christchurch. I live on the border between Central Otago and Southland and we're pretty isolated. The nearest town of any size is Invercagill and that is two hours away.

    I was hoping Anatoly Karlin would use his local knowledge to recommend a small town/city in Russia where we could spend a few months, but he didn't reply to my post.
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  42. @Osingran
    That's cute

    However, I believe you wouldn't be that optimistic if you'd actually lived in Russia, though.

    Of course, many goods in Russia might be cheap, but wages are also horrendously low. Let's consider me as an example: I'm working at the scientific university right now and my usual wage is around 150 dollars. Per month. The only thing that saves me is that my parents are helping me out a lot. In other case I would be starving. And of course any goods that are not produced locally, such as any electronic devices are very, very expensive, almost unbearable for common folk.

    I'm not trying to accuse you in lie, but your opinion about Russia is heavily based on your experience as an outsider. Again, you wouldn't be that optimistic if you'd actually lived in Russia.

    He does live in Russia. I think what you – and “Sad Guy” above – are referring to is that he doesn’t earn as a Russian. So that’s why he enjoys the cheap public goods and services but he does so with a much better income stream than the average Russian, which probably skews his perspective at least to some extent.

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  43. You need a balance between empiricism and spirituality/philosophy. You can’t base a nation purely on race, even though it is a significant factor.

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  44. BTW Anatoly, you sound thoroughly blackpilled. At most of those points, you sort of undermine yourself by turning around and proclaiming that it’s already being undone now anyway. I’m thinking specifically on the internet censorship, cultural SJW:ism and the like.

    Though as your thread on when “alt right was banal centrism” showed, you can have overwhelmingly public opposition to poz, but as long as there is a critical mass among elites, it may not matter.

    On that topic, I did find it interesting to note that Sweden’s finance minister came out today – and she’s part of the social democratic party – and said that mass migration isn’t working for the country. She didn’t say it in the way Merkel did in 2010 when Merkel slammed multiculturalism. Merkel did it in the context of a debate on the topic and tried to gain political favour from it. This woman did it unchallenged.

    That’s also why I think they are trying to push migrants on CEE. They want to spread the disease around, so they can conceal it better from their electorates and as such stay in power longer. If it gets concentrated, then the bad effects of mass third world migration will be much harder to wave away and claim it’s all “right-wing myths”.

    From a Russian PoV, if this happens, then it will help in the debate over Russia’s own creeping third worldisation. The West will no longer be able to deflect. The next few years will be critical. If CEE gives in, it will buy them at least a decade or more. If CEE doesn’t give in, not only will the EU see serious strain – potentially fatal – but it will also help in the Russian debate. Though perhaps I am underestimating the sheer extent that Russian liberals are worshipping the West and the length to which they are willing to go to nourish their delusions.

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    • Replies: @Lemurmaniac
    Polish Perspective, what blackpills me about Poland is nationalists who don't seem to realize what NATO represents.
    , @Anatoly Karlin

    From a Russian PoV, if this happens, then it will help in the debate over Russia’s own creeping third worldisation.
     
    I don't exactly think we need more examples - as I told I think German_reader in another thread, the Russian government is quite happy serving them up themselves on federal TV.

    If immigration policy in Russia was to be decided by popular opinion, or at least by politicians not beholden to oligarch (cheap labor) or "geopolitical interests" (we must stabilize Central Asia so that they don't radicalize/we must not allow the Americans to get Kyrgyzstan - no, seriously, here's Israel Shamir on this), then we would become like Poland or Hungary in this respect in a matter of weeks. Sure, the Echo of Moscow degenerates will be very, very sad about it, but they are demographically almost irrelevant.
    , @neutral

    Russia’s own creeping third worldisation.
     
    I think you should start worry about things to closer to home, as the impending article 7 is used to control Poland, the floodgates into Poland will be opened. Unlike Russia that is getting people from the stans in Central Asia (strictly speaking they are part of the second world immigrants), Poland is going to be getting the true third world, MENA, sub Saharan Africa and the Indian subcontinent.
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  45. @DFH

    2) more whimsical/philosophical than SiP, which I think is more “grounded” in the real world
     
    The one thing that has always annoyed me about nationalists is how much time they waste on mystical
    rubbish like Evola, Spengler, Nietzsche etc. It has come to such a point that I've seen fans of such people insult other nationalists for caring about actual, empirical data like HBD (e.g. I saw someone call Jared Taylor a 'spiritual autist' in a tweet the other day). The co-hosts of Spencer's podcast are the absolute worst in this regard.
    Why this affinity exists I have no idea, I would have expected the opposite given that so many people are made nationalists by looking at facts.

    Culture comes from the cult, which is what is considered sacred in a society. Without a sense of the sacred, no discourse can exist through which the understanding of the underlying biological reality can be integrated into the consciousness of the people. In other words, you need the ‘social construct’ to perpetuate the racial substrate and vice versa.

    ‘What is more convincing’ is yet another optics war. What is actually convincing is the dissemination of our talking points from the commanding heights of the the modern narrative economy. Thus, our task is to produce cadres who can access the levers of power and adjust them according to our analysis of the world .

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  46. @Polish Perspective
    BTW Anatoly, you sound thoroughly blackpilled. At most of those points, you sort of undermine yourself by turning around and proclaiming that it's already being undone now anyway. I'm thinking specifically on the internet censorship, cultural SJW:ism and the like.

    Though as your thread on when "alt right was banal centrism" showed, you can have overwhelmingly public opposition to poz, but as long as there is a critical mass among elites, it may not matter.

    On that topic, I did find it interesting to note that Sweden's finance minister came out today - and she's part of the social democratic party - and said that mass migration isn't working for the country. She didn't say it in the way Merkel did in 2010 when Merkel slammed multiculturalism. Merkel did it in the context of a debate on the topic and tried to gain political favour from it. This woman did it unchallenged.

    That's also why I think they are trying to push migrants on CEE. They want to spread the disease around, so they can conceal it better from their electorates and as such stay in power longer. If it gets concentrated, then the bad effects of mass third world migration will be much harder to wave away and claim it's all "right-wing myths".

    From a Russian PoV, if this happens, then it will help in the debate over Russia's own creeping third worldisation. The West will no longer be able to deflect. The next few years will be critical. If CEE gives in, it will buy them at least a decade or more. If CEE doesn't give in, not only will the EU see serious strain - potentially fatal - but it will also help in the Russian debate. Though perhaps I am underestimating the sheer extent that Russian liberals are worshipping the West and the length to which they are willing to go to nourish their delusions.

    Polish Perspective, what blackpills me about Poland is nationalists who don’t seem to realize what NATO represents.

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    • Replies: @neutral

    Polish Perspective, what blackpills me about Poland is nationalists who don’t seem to realize what NATO represents.
     
    Even worse is what the EU represents.
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  47. @Osingran
    That's cute

    However, I believe you wouldn't be that optimistic if you'd actually lived in Russia, though.

    Of course, many goods in Russia might be cheap, but wages are also horrendously low. Let's consider me as an example: I'm working at the scientific university right now and my usual wage is around 150 dollars. Per month. The only thing that saves me is that my parents are helping me out a lot. In other case I would be starving. And of course any goods that are not produced locally, such as any electronic devices are very, very expensive, almost unbearable for common folk.

    I'm not trying to accuse you in lie, but your opinion about Russia is heavily based on your experience as an outsider. Again, you wouldn't be that optimistic if you'd actually lived in Russia.

    You two just happen to post almost at the same time?

    $150 dollars? Isn’t the average wage like 700 dollars even after the devaluation (much higher in Moscow). That 150 dollars is totally ridiculous, way below the minimum wage (which should be purely theoretical as well).

    Did you actually even read the article? Quote: “The converse of all this is, of course, that Russian salaries are 4-5x lower than in the US. Adjusting for twice lower prices, the average Russian lives 2x poorer than the average American…”

    10 times lower my ass. The PPP GDP per capita is 25K, with a very high HDI. Maybe you should read his other articles and wait for part 2 (things that are better in the US).

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    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @Philip Owen
    In Saratov, the minimum wage assessment is about 11,000 Roubles. I pay my remaining staff 25,000 Roubles, about £400 last month. This is very high. They are not tempted to look elsewhere. $150/month for a low level University post doesn't seem impossibly low.
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  48. @Osingran
    That's cute

    However, I believe you wouldn't be that optimistic if you'd actually lived in Russia, though.

    Of course, many goods in Russia might be cheap, but wages are also horrendously low. Let's consider me as an example: I'm working at the scientific university right now and my usual wage is around 150 dollars. Per month. The only thing that saves me is that my parents are helping me out a lot. In other case I would be starving. And of course any goods that are not produced locally, such as any electronic devices are very, very expensive, almost unbearable for common folk.

    I'm not trying to accuse you in lie, but your opinion about Russia is heavily based on your experience as an outsider. Again, you wouldn't be that optimistic if you'd actually lived in Russia.

    I’m working at the scientific university right now and my usual wage is around 150 dollars. Per month.

    How many hours do you work per month?

    And of course any goods that are not produced locally, such as any electronic devices are very, very expensive, almost unbearable for common folk.

    “any electronic devices” – computers, iPhones, iPads? In this case, your statement is just a lie

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  49. I think the difference in healthcare access and affordability can’t be over-stated. I had my chest sawed open in a Moscow suburb hospital. Stayed at the hospital for a week recovering. Total cost, including surgery, room and board: about $100 — and that’s because I was a completely uninsured foreigner. Sure, the facilities aren’t sparkling and new, but who cares? American healthcare is such a monumental scam. It’s mind-melting.

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    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
    I had a four-day hospital stay in Los Angeles nearly a year ago. No surgery, no experimental or unusual drugs or treatments. The bill was over forty two thousand dollars.

    My employer provided medical insurance ended up covering almost all of it, after a modest deductible.

    BUT:
    (1) a large and I think increasing number of people don't have employers provided medical insurance (admittedly, some millions of US residents don't have it because they are here illegally and/or because they work off the books (and don't pay taxes, another problem), but tens of millions of people work full-time and don't have it through their work)

    (2) although the Med insurance covered almost everything, the absurdly high bill leads directly to higher premiums for our family and everyone else on our plan;

    (3) the huge amount paid to the hospital did very little to provide jobs for actual core Americans, yes meaning European-Americans, as almost all of the orderlies / aides / LPNs and even the RNs and MDs were foreigners. One of the two MDs was a white American and the other was a disinterested Indian prick who obviously didn't care and checked his phone while speaking with me for two minutes and then billing bigtime. One RN was a white American, one Vietnamese. One aide was a typically surly black American, and the other staff with whom I had contact were two Nigerians and a bunch of filipinas.

    The Nigerian guy I saw the most was quite friendly and funny and we enjoyed ourselves, but the point is that every one of these jobs could and should have gone to Americans born and raised here to parents and grandparents born and raised here. EuropeanAmericans ought to be training for these needed jobs rather than all believing that they can be lawyers, actors or singers, video game animators or coders, social quote workers and diversity officers and HR directors and other bureaucrats, and other fields that result in people working at starbucks and retail stores and bitching about the unfair system and capitalism. Asshole quote guidance counselors and unrealistic parents ae doing these young people a disservice. They should and readily could be making a living doing all the jobs that this SWARM of foreigners did at the hospital where I stayed.

    This medical system is sick and also contributing to our impoverishment and our demographic replacement. These people never should have gotten H1Bs to come here. Pay enough and Americans will do the jobs. (Deport millions of illegal aliens and their broods, and stop making taxpayers cover the care of noncitizens legal or illegal, and we'd have plenty of money to pay salaries high enough to attract EuropeanAmericans aka Americans.)
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  50. @Lemurmaniac
    We have to stop the Asians pouring in and pushing every increasing urban sprawl here...

    Are you a Kiwi?

    I couldn’t agree more. Central Otago is not as big as it seems and the narrow valleys where habitation is possible can easily be filled up with houses, but still the South Island only has a population of one million and half of them live in and around Christchurch. I live on the border between Central Otago and Southland and we’re pretty isolated. The nearest town of any size is Invercagill and that is two hours away.

    I was hoping Anatoly Karlin would use his local knowledge to recommend a small town/city in Russia where we could spend a few months, but he didn’t reply to my post.

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    • Replies: @The Big Red Scary
    The cities of the Golden Ring, north of Moscow, are especially lovely in summer: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Ring. They would have been large city states in the middle ages, but are of quite modest size by modern standards. A reasonable thing to look for is a medium sized city near which is an old colony of dachas, where you can rent a house for the summer. That way you can enjoy country life while still having the advantages of a modern town (in particular, access to good groceries, which you can even have delivered). melanf can perhaps comment on small cities near St. Petersburg.
    , @Anatoly Karlin
    I really love Yaroslavl, though with 800,000 people it might still be too big for you.

    Problem is that Russian cities tend to get worse the smaller they get, at least so far as civility, creature comforts, etc. go.

    Couple of exceptions that I know of:

    Kolomna (150,000) is pretty decent, and only around 120 km from Moscow; has a historic and lovingly preserved city center, and a Kremlin. But like many cities in this class it looks distinctly run down.

    Suzdal, with just 10,000 people, is extremely good, modern, etc.; but as one of the key centers of medieval Russia, it is almost entirely tourist-y.
    , @Philip Owen
    Kaluga is a fashionable smallish town outside Moscow.
    , @melanf

    I was hoping Anatoly Karlin would use his local knowledge to recommend a small town/city in Russia where we could spend a few months, but he didn’t reply to my post.
     

    melanf can perhaps comment on small cities near St. Petersburg
     
    What are the priority when choosing a town, and what time of year you want in the town to live?
    Around St. Petersburg as comfortable as possible places are resort towns to the North such as Zelenogorsk

    http://yct.spb.ru/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/%D1%84%D0%BE%D0%BD-1.jpg

    http://walkday.ru/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/lindulovskaya_08.jpg

    http://www.fiesta.city/uploads/slider_image/image/49182/v880_dxthfhfgh.jpg

    This settlement on the shore of Finnish Bay, surrounded by forests and lakes, a 40-minute drive from the centre of Saint-Petersburg (regularly train). But of course to New Zealand local nature hopelessly inferior.

    , @melanf
    But if you want to plunge into the life of the Russian provinces, and to spend a little money - you can choose Novgorod
    https://grandgames.net/puzzle/full/velikiy_novgorod.jpg

    and Pskov
    https://ic.pics.livejournal.com/tivir/70658698/415908/415908_900.jpg

    . This is a small historic town not far from St. Petersburg (3 and 6 hours train trip). Life in these towns is poor and cheap

    , @Lemurmaniac
    i am a kiwi.

    Our elites plan to turn us into Singapore - a multicultural Asian nation with an authoritarian government (to manage Diversity) utterly controlled on the one hand by global oligarchs and on the other by far left scum who want to destroy ever last shred of what used to make us who we are.
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  51. @Lemurmaniac
    Polish Perspective, what blackpills me about Poland is nationalists who don't seem to realize what NATO represents.

    Polish Perspective, what blackpills me about Poland is nationalists who don’t seem to realize what NATO represents.

    Even worse is what the EU represents.

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  52. @22pp22
    Are you a Kiwi?

    I couldn't agree more. Central Otago is not as big as it seems and the narrow valleys where habitation is possible can easily be filled up with houses, but still the South Island only has a population of one million and half of them live in and around Christchurch. I live on the border between Central Otago and Southland and we're pretty isolated. The nearest town of any size is Invercagill and that is two hours away.

    I was hoping Anatoly Karlin would use his local knowledge to recommend a small town/city in Russia where we could spend a few months, but he didn't reply to my post.

    The cities of the Golden Ring, north of Moscow, are especially lovely in summer: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Ring. They would have been large city states in the middle ages, but are of quite modest size by modern standards. A reasonable thing to look for is a medium sized city near which is an old colony of dachas, where you can rent a house for the summer. That way you can enjoy country life while still having the advantages of a modern town (in particular, access to good groceries, which you can even have delivered). melanf can perhaps comment on small cities near St. Petersburg.

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    • Replies: @22pp22
    Thank you.
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  53. @The Big Red Scary
    The cities of the Golden Ring, north of Moscow, are especially lovely in summer: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Ring. They would have been large city states in the middle ages, but are of quite modest size by modern standards. A reasonable thing to look for is a medium sized city near which is an old colony of dachas, where you can rent a house for the summer. That way you can enjoy country life while still having the advantages of a modern town (in particular, access to good groceries, which you can even have delivered). melanf can perhaps comment on small cities near St. Petersburg.

    Thank you.

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  54. @AP
    Agree to all of this. But you mentioned the watermelons but not the strawberries - so much better than the comparatively tasteless bloated ones in the USA. You also didn't mention the women.

    You also didn’t mention the women.

    A bazillion other expats already have. :)

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  55. @Sad Guy
    A beautiful article.
    Life in Russia is so good I wanna immigrate there immediately.

    Problem is that I already live in Russia.
    And I can't really enjoy all the listed benefits.

    Farmed salmon is cheaper?
    Yay! Great Russian WIN!
    Too bad I can't afford it.

    And I feel soooo good that I can buy beetroots and rumex 2 times cheaper than those capitalist.
    To bad my earnings are 10 times lower than theirs.

    Service and public transportation sections of the article also have little in common with Russian reality.

    As well as FREEDOM. Damn you can get a jail sentence for a repost. And don't forget hordes of mad chechens. The etnical mafia that rules this so-called WHITOPIA. Common Russian can't say a damn against them.

    Please, MISTER Karlin. Invite me to your wondrous fairy Russia. I'm kinda tired of living in the real one.

    Too bad I can’t afford it.

    I am sorry to hear that. Each country has its rich and poor. The Russian average is about 50% that of the average Westerner, as I pointed out (in PPP terms). Some will find themselves far above that level, some below it. However, the trend is positive.

    As well as FREEDOM. Damn you can get a jail sentence for a repost.

    As I pointed out, that no longer applies to the Internet.

    In fact, few have written more about it in English: http://www.unz.com/akarlin/country-282/

    The etnical mafia that rules this so-called WHITOPIA. Common Russian can’t say a damn against them.

    Again, not something that I’m unaware of, or have ever shied from covering. Still doesn’t compare to the sea of niqabs in London (from an aesthetic perspective), nor to the state-sanctioned rape by Pakistani grooming gangs of thousands of British girls (from the more important legal/crime perspective).

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  56. @Osingran
    That's cute

    However, I believe you wouldn't be that optimistic if you'd actually lived in Russia, though.

    Of course, many goods in Russia might be cheap, but wages are also horrendously low. Let's consider me as an example: I'm working at the scientific university right now and my usual wage is around 150 dollars. Per month. The only thing that saves me is that my parents are helping me out a lot. In other case I would be starving. And of course any goods that are not produced locally, such as any electronic devices are very, very expensive, almost unbearable for common folk.

    I'm not trying to accuse you in lie, but your opinion about Russia is heavily based on your experience as an outsider. Again, you wouldn't be that optimistic if you'd actually lived in Russia.

    I question whether you and Sad Guy actually read my post.

    Two salient points:

    1. This is a list of things Russia does better than the United States. The list of things it does worse will be published later (and I imagine will get me a countering flood of butthurt Russophiles to balance you guys out).

    2. Most or all of both of your criticisms are actually mentioned in my post.

    Anyhow, in response to your points:

    However, I believe you wouldn’t be that optimistic if you’d actually lived in Russia, though.

    I do indeed live in Russia, and have made it explicit that I don’t earn a “Russian” wage.

    However, the data I provide is fact-based. If it isn’t, feel free to point out any mistakes, and I will correct it accordingly.

    Of course, many goods in Russia might be cheap, but wages are also horrendously low. Let’s consider me as an example: I’m working at the scientific university right now and my usual wage is around 150 dollars.

    Yes, I explicitly mentioned that wages are low (though buffered by lower prices). I also mentioned that not just here but in many other posts that the discrepancy is particularly large for some categories of workers, such as medical personnel and researchers.

    That said, as melanf (a “real” Russian) points out I have trouble believing you earn $150 as a full-time researcher at an accredited institution. From what I know of academia, and I know a lot of people in this sphere, it sounds like you are doing this either very much part-time, or that it is your stipend as a graduate student.

    Just a note that I don’t like Russia wasting its money on boondoggles like stadiums and the bridge to Sakhalin and again have said as much over the course of my blogging. I consider the current level of research funding criminally low and would like to see it at least quadrupled. I am not a shill for Putin by any stretch of the imagination, least of all on this question. Ask any longtime reader here – they can confirm.

    And of course any goods that are not produced locally, such as any electronic devices are very, very expensive, almost unbearable for common folk.

    First, yes, I explicitly said that imported products cost as much as they do overseas. But some things (e.g. some services) are much cheaper than 2x relative to the US (e.g. Internet, education). The PPP adjustment is the average across the product basket. If you dislike their methods, then I am not the person to take it up with, but with people like Rosstat and the IMF.

    Second, as melanf again points out, Russia produces plenty of electronics of its own. My electric kettle and power drill/other DIY instruments are Russian made. Even the flat screen TV I got for a relative is Russian made and works as well as a Samsung while being 50% cheaper. The main exceptions are cell phones (though you can nowadays get very competitive Chinese handsets for a tiny fraction of the price of iShit), laptops, and computer components.

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  57. @Polish Perspective
    BTW Anatoly, you sound thoroughly blackpilled. At most of those points, you sort of undermine yourself by turning around and proclaiming that it's already being undone now anyway. I'm thinking specifically on the internet censorship, cultural SJW:ism and the like.

    Though as your thread on when "alt right was banal centrism" showed, you can have overwhelmingly public opposition to poz, but as long as there is a critical mass among elites, it may not matter.

    On that topic, I did find it interesting to note that Sweden's finance minister came out today - and she's part of the social democratic party - and said that mass migration isn't working for the country. She didn't say it in the way Merkel did in 2010 when Merkel slammed multiculturalism. Merkel did it in the context of a debate on the topic and tried to gain political favour from it. This woman did it unchallenged.

    That's also why I think they are trying to push migrants on CEE. They want to spread the disease around, so they can conceal it better from their electorates and as such stay in power longer. If it gets concentrated, then the bad effects of mass third world migration will be much harder to wave away and claim it's all "right-wing myths".

    From a Russian PoV, if this happens, then it will help in the debate over Russia's own creeping third worldisation. The West will no longer be able to deflect. The next few years will be critical. If CEE gives in, it will buy them at least a decade or more. If CEE doesn't give in, not only will the EU see serious strain - potentially fatal - but it will also help in the Russian debate. Though perhaps I am underestimating the sheer extent that Russian liberals are worshipping the West and the length to which they are willing to go to nourish their delusions.

    From a Russian PoV, if this happens, then it will help in the debate over Russia’s own creeping third worldisation.

    I don’t exactly think we need more examples – as I told I think German_reader in another thread, the Russian government is quite happy serving them up themselves on federal TV.

    If immigration policy in Russia was to be decided by popular opinion, or at least by politicians not beholden to oligarch (cheap labor) or “geopolitical interests” (we must stabilize Central Asia so that they don’t radicalize/we must not allow the Americans to get Kyrgyzstan – no, seriously, here’s Israel Shamir on this), then we would become like Poland or Hungary in this respect in a matter of weeks. Sure, the Echo of Moscow degenerates will be very, very sad about it, but they are demographically almost irrelevant.

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    • Replies: @Polish Perspective

    I don’t exactly think we need more examples – as I told I think German_reader in another thread, the Russian government is quite happy serving them up themselves on federal TV.
     
    I was talking specifically about Russian liberals, though. You know them better than I do, but I have a feeling that they don't take what's on Federal TV very seriously and probably treat it with contempt, at least if they are like the Polish liberals, and as such would view any such media coverage as "right-wing nonsense" and "corrupt government propaganda".

    You can still visit many European cities, especially in Scandinavia, where you don't even see all that much diversity. That which exists tends to be very segregated and cordoned off. If the current migration pattern continues for 10 years or so, that won't be the case. So when Russian liberals will travel abroad in such a scenario, they won't be able explain it away on "Putinist propaganda" or "right-wing nonsense". It will be undeniable. Remember that people like you or me are much more sensitised to these issues. They will only (maybe) get it when it's really long beyond the point of cognition for most.

    If CEE gives in to the pressure and accepts being the dumping ground for the Western European immigration policies, they'll be able to indulge themselves in such talking points for much longer as the impact won't be shown as quickly, which will hurt you.


    If immigration policy in Russia was to be decided by popular opinion [...] then we would become like Poland or Hungary in this respect in a matter of weeks
     
    True, but the same can be said of the US or Sweden - or at least 20-30 years ago before they were subjected to a heavy and sustained barrage of media propaganda. Key lesson of the West is: the elites matter and not always public opinion. The same lesson was present in your last "when alt right was banal centrism". Overwhelming public opposition to miscegenation was overcome through an elite consensus.

    The supporters of mass migration in the West are not just leftists but also capitalists and the geopolitical types, and the same seems to be true in Russia. Smart fractions matter.


    Sure, the Echo of Moscow degenerates will be very, very sad about it, but they are demographically almost irrelevant.
     
    I chuckled, though I know what you mean ;-)
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  58. Are you and Anatoly both conceding that Ukrainians make a better borshch than Russians> I’ve tasted most all Slavic style soups and none match the majesty and specialness of a great red borschch. Make a large pot and eat it for a week, it gets better day by day. Meaty (with fat too) pork ribs, beets, tomatoes potatoes, carrots, cabbage, beans. and dill. Bring out the sour cream, cleaned garlic cloves, Borodinsky bread and some fantastic Nemirov Honey Pepper vodka and you’ve just entered heaven.

    I left borscht out since it’s Ukrainian, but yes, it’s a real treat. (The joke runs that people believe that borscht is Russian, when it’s actually Ukrainian, and that chicken Kiev is Ukrainian, when it was actually invented by a french chef in Saint Petersburg.) I’m glad to hear you eat yours with rye bread. In Kiev, it’s always served with garlic pampushki, which is clearly inferior.

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    • Agree: Mr. Hack
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    Pampushki are good, and I prefer the meat filled ones,but rye bread is what I grew up with in my home when eating borshch. You seem to know some culinary history, so please explain to me why there seemss to be an arbitrary 't' at the end of its spelling? In Ukrainian, Russian or Polish, where it's eaten the most (thanks for confirming its Ukrainian origins), in the native languages, there's no 't' on the end? It sounds just plain goofy when prononunced 'borscht'.
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  59. @22pp22
    Are you a Kiwi?

    I couldn't agree more. Central Otago is not as big as it seems and the narrow valleys where habitation is possible can easily be filled up with houses, but still the South Island only has a population of one million and half of them live in and around Christchurch. I live on the border between Central Otago and Southland and we're pretty isolated. The nearest town of any size is Invercagill and that is two hours away.

    I was hoping Anatoly Karlin would use his local knowledge to recommend a small town/city in Russia where we could spend a few months, but he didn't reply to my post.

    I really love Yaroslavl, though with 800,000 people it might still be too big for you.

    Problem is that Russian cities tend to get worse the smaller they get, at least so far as civility, creature comforts, etc. go.

    Couple of exceptions that I know of:

    Kolomna (150,000) is pretty decent, and only around 120 km from Moscow; has a historic and lovingly preserved city center, and a Kremlin. But like many cities in this class it looks distinctly run down.

    Suzdal, with just 10,000 people, is extremely good, modern, etc.; but as one of the key centers of medieval Russia, it is almost entirely tourist-y.

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    • Replies: @22pp22
    Thank you.
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  60. Shop assistants and waiters now tend to be at least as, if not more, courteous than their equivalents in the United States.

    Hope some of the dames give you their number.

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  61. @Kimppis
    You two just happen to post almost at the same time?

    $150 dollars? Isn't the average wage like 700 dollars even after the devaluation (much higher in Moscow). That 150 dollars is totally ridiculous, way below the minimum wage (which should be purely theoretical as well).

    Did you actually even read the article? Quote: "The converse of all this is, of course, that Russian salaries are 4-5x lower than in the US. Adjusting for twice lower prices, the average Russian lives 2x poorer than the average American..."

    10 times lower my ass. The PPP GDP per capita is 25K, with a very high HDI. Maybe you should read his other articles and wait for part 2 (things that are better in the US).

    In Saratov, the minimum wage assessment is about 11,000 Roubles. I pay my remaining staff 25,000 Roubles, about £400 last month. This is very high. They are not tempted to look elsewhere. $150/month for a low level University post doesn’t seem impossibly low.

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  62. @22pp22
    Are you a Kiwi?

    I couldn't agree more. Central Otago is not as big as it seems and the narrow valleys where habitation is possible can easily be filled up with houses, but still the South Island only has a population of one million and half of them live in and around Christchurch. I live on the border between Central Otago and Southland and we're pretty isolated. The nearest town of any size is Invercagill and that is two hours away.

    I was hoping Anatoly Karlin would use his local knowledge to recommend a small town/city in Russia where we could spend a few months, but he didn't reply to my post.

    Kaluga is a fashionable smallish town outside Moscow.

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    • Replies: @Philip Owen
    Not Kaluga, a moment of inattention there, Tarusa!
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  63. @Cortes
    Very interesting. Thanks.

    On teas:

    A few years ago I had a contract with a taxi company. One of their drivers was an old guy who, in his younger days, managed a tea plantation in Assam. According to him, at the leaf auctions the best price for the top quality leaf was always paid by Russian buyers.

    Mother England’s giant companies were content with the sweepings from the floor...

    True for a long time. The British drink very strong tea.

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  64. @Philip Owen
    Kaluga is a fashionable smallish town outside Moscow.

    Not Kaluga, a moment of inattention there, Tarusa!

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  65. I will observe that small business owners were, until 2014, visibly better off than their equivalents in the UK. There are fewer SMEs so the ones that are up and running do well. That said, retail, especially groceries, is consolidating. Big new malls don’t help. Travel agencies have had a tough time too, of course. Builders have had a great time. Car mechanics is very fragmented. New regulations will consolidate back garage operations around registered, qualified mechanics.

    One way of splitting GDP is household income, business profits and government revenue. The collapse in GDP after 2014 was mostly at the expense of the government. So far this has been ameliorated by the sovereign wealth funds. However cut backs, e.g. defence, are taking place. Household income will not decline. Russia has a rapidly declining workforce. Labour is short supply so short that either stagnation Japanese style in overall GDP or large scale immigration is inevitable. (Keeping women housebound as mother’s in a booming labour market will be a challenge). Shifting low added value work to China by importing won’t help much as the Chinese face the same problem on an even bigger scale. Hello Vietnam.

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    • Replies: @neutral

    Labour is short supply so short that either stagnation Japanese style in overall GDP or large scale immigration is inevitable.
     
    Always the same nonsense, can't have people earning more, so the only solution is to import millions from the third world and pretend that this does not undermine the nation. I am curious what the end game to all of this is though, so far I have never gotten a response, say Britain has a population of 300 million or so, is the solution still to import ever more people to solve your "wage and pension problem".
    , @Kimppis
    One major issue with that: Japan is already fully developed, Russia (and other Eastern European countries ) as well as China are not, so aging population shouldn't be that huge of a problem for economic growth before (more or less) full convergence.
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  66. @Polish Perspective
    BTW Anatoly, you sound thoroughly blackpilled. At most of those points, you sort of undermine yourself by turning around and proclaiming that it's already being undone now anyway. I'm thinking specifically on the internet censorship, cultural SJW:ism and the like.

    Though as your thread on when "alt right was banal centrism" showed, you can have overwhelmingly public opposition to poz, but as long as there is a critical mass among elites, it may not matter.

    On that topic, I did find it interesting to note that Sweden's finance minister came out today - and she's part of the social democratic party - and said that mass migration isn't working for the country. She didn't say it in the way Merkel did in 2010 when Merkel slammed multiculturalism. Merkel did it in the context of a debate on the topic and tried to gain political favour from it. This woman did it unchallenged.

    That's also why I think they are trying to push migrants on CEE. They want to spread the disease around, so they can conceal it better from their electorates and as such stay in power longer. If it gets concentrated, then the bad effects of mass third world migration will be much harder to wave away and claim it's all "right-wing myths".

    From a Russian PoV, if this happens, then it will help in the debate over Russia's own creeping third worldisation. The West will no longer be able to deflect. The next few years will be critical. If CEE gives in, it will buy them at least a decade or more. If CEE doesn't give in, not only will the EU see serious strain - potentially fatal - but it will also help in the Russian debate. Though perhaps I am underestimating the sheer extent that Russian liberals are worshipping the West and the length to which they are willing to go to nourish their delusions.

    Russia’s own creeping third worldisation.

    I think you should start worry about things to closer to home, as the impending article 7 is used to control Poland, the floodgates into Poland will be opened. Unlike Russia that is getting people from the stans in Central Asia (strictly speaking they are part of the second world immigrants), Poland is going to be getting the true third world, MENA, sub Saharan Africa and the Indian subcontinent.

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    • Replies: @Mitleser
    Poland needs these people because not enough are born in Poland and for the sake of making Poland a more normal EUropean country.
    , @Polish Perspective
    Do people actually believe this nonsense? Art 7 has no realistic binding power in the current political environment because it requires unanimous consent and Hungary has said since forever that they will block any attempt to take away Poland's voting rights. It's a toothless tiger.

    In fact, to even get to a vote to take away our voting rights, you'd need 22 EU countries agreeing on it first. And even that is now looking unlikely as more and more CEE nations know that they will be next since the EU is no longer pretending that the "one-off" quota is one-off but in fact the first step to permanent relocation. So I fully expect 2018 to be fireworks between CEE and Brussels and this time, it won't just be Poland or Hungary. Czechia has joined the fight by allowing themselves to be sued and more countries will follow.

    I would humbly ask posters to please read up on the geopolitics of the EU before posting nonsense that "EU will doom you" or the usual claptrap that we must exit NATO at once for reasons which are - I assume - totally unrelated to Russia's geostrategic interests, apparently. Who are you fooling? From where I stand, only yourselves and those who believe in the nonsense already.

    BTW Look at the Pew projections of muslims in Europe by 2050. Norway and Switzerland are not part of the EU yet both have more muslims as a percentage of the population than many EU countries. This is projected to stay true by 2050.

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  67. I would also add, based on my own visit there for a few months in 2015:
    -much more high culture, and cheaper to attend (also more traditional folk culture, too). This one was especially noticeable for me, but I guess people who don’t especially care about culture won’t care.
    -good grocery shops usually within under-5-minute walking distance (can buy fresh food daily if you want). Don’t need a car to grocery shop.
    -apartment houses don’t have connected air ducts (so you’re not forced to smell your neighbour’s cigarettes). They generally do in Canada.
    -people are less standoffish, easier to get along with (at least for me)
    -kids still commonly play outdoors unattended, like it’s the 1970s

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    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin

    -much more high culture, and cheaper to attend (also more traditional folk culture, too).
     
    Excellent point - possible to get tickets for as low as $50 at the Bolshoi and $30 at the Mariinsky.

    As I recall, I paid $200 to watch Chicago at one of the Broadway theaters.

    The folk culture I alluded to in my observation that historical recreation seems to be more prevalent.
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  68. @Philip Owen
    I will observe that small business owners were, until 2014, visibly better off than their equivalents in the UK. There are fewer SMEs so the ones that are up and running do well. That said, retail, especially groceries, is consolidating. Big new malls don't help. Travel agencies have had a tough time too, of course. Builders have had a great time. Car mechanics is very fragmented. New regulations will consolidate back garage operations around registered, qualified mechanics.

    One way of splitting GDP is household income, business profits and government revenue. The collapse in GDP after 2014 was mostly at the expense of the government. So far this has been ameliorated by the sovereign wealth funds. However cut backs, e.g. defence, are taking place. Household income will not decline. Russia has a rapidly declining workforce. Labour is short supply so short that either stagnation Japanese style in overall GDP or large scale immigration is inevitable. (Keeping women housebound as mother's in a booming labour market will be a challenge). Shifting low added value work to China by importing won't help much as the Chinese face the same problem on an even bigger scale. Hello Vietnam.

    Labour is short supply so short that either stagnation Japanese style in overall GDP or large scale immigration is inevitable.

    Always the same nonsense, can’t have people earning more, so the only solution is to import millions from the third world and pretend that this does not undermine the nation. I am curious what the end game to all of this is though, so far I have never gotten a response, say Britain has a population of 300 million or so, is the solution still to import ever more people to solve your “wage and pension problem”.

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    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    If you keep hearing it, its because it isn't nonsense.

    Its fundamental to the entire setup of "pay later" pensions and setups, which require an undefined future population to pay for the past. I saw it myself when I spent time in the Nordic states, which have an immense welfare network and despite the notions of it being utopia, essentially ran into this exact same problem of wage structure stagnation. Either immigration(to pay for past obligations), business exodus(businesses exit to cheaper production) or straight up stagnation(to prevent both, increasing government agencies to consume even more resources to block this) is ultimately the result.

    Its not wrong to argue that its rather ridiculous to ask for effectively infinitely increasingly population, but its built on the fundamental notion of infinitely increasing obligations of the state(which in a democratic society, will continue to spiral, as its the legal way to "buy votes.")
    , @Verymuchalive
    You really have nailed this ****. He should be sent back to The Economist where he belongs.
    , @ussr andy

    can’t have people earning more
     
    or working less (industrial revolution, home appliances revolution)
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  69. @22pp22
    Are you a Kiwi?

    I couldn't agree more. Central Otago is not as big as it seems and the narrow valleys where habitation is possible can easily be filled up with houses, but still the South Island only has a population of one million and half of them live in and around Christchurch. I live on the border between Central Otago and Southland and we're pretty isolated. The nearest town of any size is Invercagill and that is two hours away.

    I was hoping Anatoly Karlin would use his local knowledge to recommend a small town/city in Russia where we could spend a few months, but he didn't reply to my post.

    I was hoping Anatoly Karlin would use his local knowledge to recommend a small town/city in Russia where we could spend a few months, but he didn’t reply to my post.

    melanf can perhaps comment on small cities near St. Petersburg

    What are the priority when choosing a town, and what time of year you want in the town to live?
    Around St. Petersburg as comfortable as possible places are resort towns to the North such as Zelenogorsk

    This settlement on the shore of Finnish Bay, surrounded by forests and lakes, a 40-minute drive from the centre of Saint-Petersburg (regularly train). But of course to New Zealand local nature hopelessly inferior.

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    • Replies: @Simpleguest
    "But of course to New Zealand local nature hopelessly inferior."

    This is a joke, right?

    , @22pp22
    Thank you
    , @RadicalCenter
    New Zealand is so isolated, limited, and generally boring after gazing at the natural beauty. Wonderful place to visit, and thank God that there are still some places that are relatively uncrowded, quiet, and unspoiled. (With mass immigration, we are importing noise, air pollution, crowds, and generally a less healthy, less peaceful way of life.)

    But for our purposes, despite the admittedly major factor of the bitter cold, someplace more affordable near Moscow or Saint Petersburg would Be way more enjoyable. Some of the finest symphony orchestras, choirs, ballet, professional hockey, and architecture in the world.

    Moreover, to our minds, Maori "culture" is only briefly interesting for the sake of novelty and seeing a different corner of the world, and has little to recommend it. About 15-16%percent of the NZ population is Maori, and they enrich the community with their drastically higher rates of violent crime and property crime, gang membership, lower intelligence, abandonment of their children and children's mothers, uncivilized behavior, repulsive appearance, and slothfulness. They are the Africans of NZ. At such a substantial portion of the population, Maoris alone give Russia the edge.
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  70. @22pp22
    Are you a Kiwi?

    I couldn't agree more. Central Otago is not as big as it seems and the narrow valleys where habitation is possible can easily be filled up with houses, but still the South Island only has a population of one million and half of them live in and around Christchurch. I live on the border between Central Otago and Southland and we're pretty isolated. The nearest town of any size is Invercagill and that is two hours away.

    I was hoping Anatoly Karlin would use his local knowledge to recommend a small town/city in Russia where we could spend a few months, but he didn't reply to my post.

    But if you want to plunge into the life of the Russian provinces, and to spend a little money – you can choose Novgorod
    and Pskov
    . This is a small historic town not far from St. Petersburg (3 and 6 hours train trip). Life in these towns is poor and cheap

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    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
    They look beautiful. But how many months are brutal winter?
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  71. @melanf

    I was hoping Anatoly Karlin would use his local knowledge to recommend a small town/city in Russia where we could spend a few months, but he didn’t reply to my post.
     

    melanf can perhaps comment on small cities near St. Petersburg
     
    What are the priority when choosing a town, and what time of year you want in the town to live?
    Around St. Petersburg as comfortable as possible places are resort towns to the North such as Zelenogorsk

    http://yct.spb.ru/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/%D1%84%D0%BE%D0%BD-1.jpg

    http://walkday.ru/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/lindulovskaya_08.jpg

    http://www.fiesta.city/uploads/slider_image/image/49182/v880_dxthfhfgh.jpg

    This settlement on the shore of Finnish Bay, surrounded by forests and lakes, a 40-minute drive from the centre of Saint-Petersburg (regularly train). But of course to New Zealand local nature hopelessly inferior.

    “But of course to New Zealand local nature hopelessly inferior.”

    This is a joke, right?

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    • Replies: @melanf

    “But of course to New Zealand local nature hopelessly inferior.”
    This is a joke, right?
     
    Apparently poorly expressed thought. I meant - In comparison with New Zealand the nature of the North-West of Russia is hopelessly inferior.
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  72. @E
    I would also add, based on my own visit there for a few months in 2015:
    -much more high culture, and cheaper to attend (also more traditional folk culture, too). This one was especially noticeable for me, but I guess people who don't especially care about culture won't care.
    -good grocery shops usually within under-5-minute walking distance (can buy fresh food daily if you want). Don't need a car to grocery shop.
    -apartment houses don't have connected air ducts (so you're not forced to smell your neighbour's cigarettes). They generally do in Canada.
    -people are less standoffish, easier to get along with (at least for me)
    -kids still commonly play outdoors unattended, like it's the 1970s

    -much more high culture, and cheaper to attend (also more traditional folk culture, too).

    Excellent point – possible to get tickets for as low as $50 at the Bolshoi and $30 at the Mariinsky.

    As I recall, I paid $200 to watch Chicago at one of the Broadway theaters.

    The folk culture I alluded to in my observation that historical recreation seems to be more prevalent.

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    • Replies: @AP
    I remember ~10 dollar tickets to the Bolshoi when I spent the winter of 1999-2000 there. Eifman's "Red Giselle" was the best ballet I ever saw.

    I could have settled in Moscow in the mid 2000s but was looking at a monthly salary of $250 at a state hospital which meant essentially living off my wife's rental property which was over ten times that. Have always been envious of those expats who found a way to stay, though most of those seem to be businessmen.
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  73. @Philip Owen
    I will observe that small business owners were, until 2014, visibly better off than their equivalents in the UK. There are fewer SMEs so the ones that are up and running do well. That said, retail, especially groceries, is consolidating. Big new malls don't help. Travel agencies have had a tough time too, of course. Builders have had a great time. Car mechanics is very fragmented. New regulations will consolidate back garage operations around registered, qualified mechanics.

    One way of splitting GDP is household income, business profits and government revenue. The collapse in GDP after 2014 was mostly at the expense of the government. So far this has been ameliorated by the sovereign wealth funds. However cut backs, e.g. defence, are taking place. Household income will not decline. Russia has a rapidly declining workforce. Labour is short supply so short that either stagnation Japanese style in overall GDP or large scale immigration is inevitable. (Keeping women housebound as mother's in a booming labour market will be a challenge). Shifting low added value work to China by importing won't help much as the Chinese face the same problem on an even bigger scale. Hello Vietnam.

    One major issue with that: Japan is already fully developed, Russia (and other Eastern European countries ) as well as China are not, so aging population shouldn’t be that huge of a problem for economic growth before (more or less) full convergence.

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    • Replies: @Philip Owen
    Russian productivity growth is deeply unimpressive. Without capital to invest and foreign investment to transfer technology it is likely to stay low.
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  74. @Simpleguest
    "But of course to New Zealand local nature hopelessly inferior."

    This is a joke, right?

    “But of course to New Zealand local nature hopelessly inferior.”
    This is a joke, right?

    Apparently poorly expressed thought. I meant – In comparison with New Zealand the nature of the North-West of Russia is hopelessly inferior.

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    • Replies: @Parbes
    You are an idiot with an inferiority complex toward Westerners. Like many Russians. Which is why they walk all over you - in everything from politics, to economic sanctions, to threats of war, to demonizing in media, to Olympic bans.
    , @Simpleguest
    "I meant – In comparison with New Zealand the nature of the North-West of Russia is
    hopelessly inferior"

    So, it's not a joke, after all.

    A word of advice, if I may: please, do not ever use words like "inferior" not to mention "hopelessly inferior" when describing your home.
    It reveals a deep seated "inferiority complex".

    Just take a look at the Middle East where various people fight "tooth and nail" over a far more "inferior" landscapes so that they can just call it home.
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  75. @neutral

    Russia’s own creeping third worldisation.
     
    I think you should start worry about things to closer to home, as the impending article 7 is used to control Poland, the floodgates into Poland will be opened. Unlike Russia that is getting people from the stans in Central Asia (strictly speaking they are part of the second world immigrants), Poland is going to be getting the true third world, MENA, sub Saharan Africa and the Indian subcontinent.

    Poland needs these people because not enough are born in Poland and for the sake of making Poland a more normal EUropean country.

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  76. @Kimppis
    One major issue with that: Japan is already fully developed, Russia (and other Eastern European countries ) as well as China are not, so aging population shouldn't be that huge of a problem for economic growth before (more or less) full convergence.

    Russian productivity growth is deeply unimpressive. Without capital to invest and foreign investment to transfer technology it is likely to stay low.

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    • Replies: @Polish Perspective
    Russian productivity performance has been unimpressive because of three reasons. First, the neoliberal looting of the 1990s was an utter disaster in Russia. It was far worse than what any other EE country faced with the possible exception of Ukraine. This meant that a lot of time was spent either just preventing the decline and later catching up to where they started.

    The second reason is that Russia has so many natural resources (oil and gas are the most known but it is also true of wheat, timber, iron ore and even fresh water) that it hasn't needed to rely on industry nearly to the same extent that Visegrad Europe - much poorer in natural resources - have had up until now.

    Finally, Russian IQ did suffer as a result of the 1990s, not just because diet took a turn for the worse but also because of emigration. Both of those are now normalising. Fundamentally the way to think about Russia is that this is a country with a (nominal) per capita GDP of around 10,000 USD but has an IQ of around 99 for its native population with potential to go up possibly higher to 100 or even 101. Most such societies have a nominal per capita GDP of 30,000 and up. Thus, Russia should see a steady convergence even after the oil&gas sector loses its importance.

    Finally, on aging, it's important to bust some neoliberal myths on this topic. There's a great MIT paper which came out on this topic this past year. Even if you are not an economist, as long as you are reasonably intelligent you should be able to understand it. It's well-worth reading (or at least skimming) to truly get away from the nonsense myth that perpetual population growth is a necessity. There's in fact quite weak empirical evidence for it.

    http://economics.mit.edu/files/12536

    , @Swedish Family

    Russian productivity growth is deeply unimpressive. Without capital to invest and foreign investment to transfer technology it is likely to stay low.
     
    Indeed, but the solution here is to tackle the source problem, not to import millions of low-productivity workers.
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  77. @Anatoly Karlin

    From a Russian PoV, if this happens, then it will help in the debate over Russia’s own creeping third worldisation.
     
    I don't exactly think we need more examples - as I told I think German_reader in another thread, the Russian government is quite happy serving them up themselves on federal TV.

    If immigration policy in Russia was to be decided by popular opinion, or at least by politicians not beholden to oligarch (cheap labor) or "geopolitical interests" (we must stabilize Central Asia so that they don't radicalize/we must not allow the Americans to get Kyrgyzstan - no, seriously, here's Israel Shamir on this), then we would become like Poland or Hungary in this respect in a matter of weeks. Sure, the Echo of Moscow degenerates will be very, very sad about it, but they are demographically almost irrelevant.

    I don’t exactly think we need more examples – as I told I think German_reader in another thread, the Russian government is quite happy serving them up themselves on federal TV.

    I was talking specifically about Russian liberals, though. You know them better than I do, but I have a feeling that they don’t take what’s on Federal TV very seriously and probably treat it with contempt, at least if they are like the Polish liberals, and as such would view any such media coverage as “right-wing nonsense” and “corrupt government propaganda”.

    You can still visit many European cities, especially in Scandinavia, where you don’t even see all that much diversity. That which exists tends to be very segregated and cordoned off. If the current migration pattern continues for 10 years or so, that won’t be the case. So when Russian liberals will travel abroad in such a scenario, they won’t be able explain it away on “Putinist propaganda” or “right-wing nonsense”. It will be undeniable. Remember that people like you or me are much more sensitised to these issues. They will only (maybe) get it when it’s really long beyond the point of cognition for most.

    If CEE gives in to the pressure and accepts being the dumping ground for the Western European immigration policies, they’ll be able to indulge themselves in such talking points for much longer as the impact won’t be shown as quickly, which will hurt you.

    If immigration policy in Russia was to be decided by popular opinion [...] then we would become like Poland or Hungary in this respect in a matter of weeks

    True, but the same can be said of the US or Sweden – or at least 20-30 years ago before they were subjected to a heavy and sustained barrage of media propaganda. Key lesson of the West is: the elites matter and not always public opinion. The same lesson was present in your last “when alt right was banal centrism”. Overwhelming public opposition to miscegenation was overcome through an elite consensus.

    The supporters of mass migration in the West are not just leftists but also capitalists and the geopolitical types, and the same seems to be true in Russia. Smart fractions matter.

    Sure, the Echo of Moscow degenerates will be very, very sad about it, but they are demographically almost irrelevant.

    I chuckled, though I know what you mean ;-)

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  78. @Anatoly Karlin

    -much more high culture, and cheaper to attend (also more traditional folk culture, too).
     
    Excellent point - possible to get tickets for as low as $50 at the Bolshoi and $30 at the Mariinsky.

    As I recall, I paid $200 to watch Chicago at one of the Broadway theaters.

    The folk culture I alluded to in my observation that historical recreation seems to be more prevalent.

    I remember ~10 dollar tickets to the Bolshoi when I spent the winter of 1999-2000 there. Eifman’s “Red Giselle” was the best ballet I ever saw.

    I could have settled in Moscow in the mid 2000s but was looking at a monthly salary of $250 at a state hospital which meant essentially living off my wife’s rental property which was over ten times that. Have always been envious of those expats who found a way to stay, though most of those seem to be businessmen.

    Read More
    • Replies: @melanf

    Eifman’s “Red Giselle” was the best ballet I ever saw.
     
    If so, then you were very unlucky in life with the ballet
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  79. @neutral

    Russia’s own creeping third worldisation.
     
    I think you should start worry about things to closer to home, as the impending article 7 is used to control Poland, the floodgates into Poland will be opened. Unlike Russia that is getting people from the stans in Central Asia (strictly speaking they are part of the second world immigrants), Poland is going to be getting the true third world, MENA, sub Saharan Africa and the Indian subcontinent.

    Do people actually believe this nonsense? Art 7 has no realistic binding power in the current political environment because it requires unanimous consent and Hungary has said since forever that they will block any attempt to take away Poland’s voting rights. It’s a toothless tiger.

    In fact, to even get to a vote to take away our voting rights, you’d need 22 EU countries agreeing on it first. And even that is now looking unlikely as more and more CEE nations know that they will be next since the EU is no longer pretending that the “one-off” quota is one-off but in fact the first step to permanent relocation. So I fully expect 2018 to be fireworks between CEE and Brussels and this time, it won’t just be Poland or Hungary. Czechia has joined the fight by allowing themselves to be sued and more countries will follow.

    I would humbly ask posters to please read up on the geopolitics of the EU before posting nonsense that “EU will doom you” or the usual claptrap that we must exit NATO at once for reasons which are – I assume – totally unrelated to Russia’s geostrategic interests, apparently. Who are you fooling? From where I stand, only yourselves and those who believe in the nonsense already.

    BTW Look at the Pew projections of muslims in Europe by 2050. Norway and Switzerland are not part of the EU yet both have more muslims as a percentage of the population than many EU countries. This is projected to stay true by 2050.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mitleser

    Do people actually believe this nonsense? Art 7 has no binding power because it requirea unanimous consent and Hungary has said since forever that they will block any attempt to take away Poland’s voting rights. It’s a toothless tiger.
     
    Just because Hungary says so it does not mean they will also block it.
    Orban can be pressured to support it.

    Norway and Switzerland are not part of the EU yet both have more muslims as a % of the population than many EU countries
     
    Like Poland, Norway and Switzerland are part of the Shengen "Freedom of Movement" area.
    They are wealthier, hence more immigrants, but that is changing.
    , @neutral
    I think you should ask yourself if trying to use the rules of EU to save you matters, the goal is clear, mass immigration into Europe, the EU has broken many rules to get what it wants, I fail to see why it would stop doing so now. It is simply naive for you to think that someone like Merkel is seriously going to abide by rules or voting rights.

    And I am not Russian btw.
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  80. @Polish Perspective
    Do people actually believe this nonsense? Art 7 has no realistic binding power in the current political environment because it requires unanimous consent and Hungary has said since forever that they will block any attempt to take away Poland's voting rights. It's a toothless tiger.

    In fact, to even get to a vote to take away our voting rights, you'd need 22 EU countries agreeing on it first. And even that is now looking unlikely as more and more CEE nations know that they will be next since the EU is no longer pretending that the "one-off" quota is one-off but in fact the first step to permanent relocation. So I fully expect 2018 to be fireworks between CEE and Brussels and this time, it won't just be Poland or Hungary. Czechia has joined the fight by allowing themselves to be sued and more countries will follow.

    I would humbly ask posters to please read up on the geopolitics of the EU before posting nonsense that "EU will doom you" or the usual claptrap that we must exit NATO at once for reasons which are - I assume - totally unrelated to Russia's geostrategic interests, apparently. Who are you fooling? From where I stand, only yourselves and those who believe in the nonsense already.

    BTW Look at the Pew projections of muslims in Europe by 2050. Norway and Switzerland are not part of the EU yet both have more muslims as a percentage of the population than many EU countries. This is projected to stay true by 2050.

    Do people actually believe this nonsense? Art 7 has no binding power because it requirea unanimous consent and Hungary has said since forever that they will block any attempt to take away Poland’s voting rights. It’s a toothless tiger.

    Just because Hungary says so it does not mean they will also block it.
    Orban can be pressured to support it.

    Norway and Switzerland are not part of the EU yet both have more muslims as a % of the population than many EU countries

    Like Poland, Norway and Switzerland are part of the Shengen “Freedom of Movement” area.
    They are wealthier, hence more immigrants, but that is changing.

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    • Replies: @Polish Perspective

    Just because Hungary says so it does not mean they will also block it.
    Orban can be pressured to support it.
     
    If things were moving in the wrong direction, you wouldn't see Czechia join us and allow themselves to be sued by refusing to partake in the relocation. As I said, more will join in 2018 as the EU discards the previous propaganda that it was just a one-off and now explicitly states that they will try for a permanent relocation mechanism. This means all those CEE states which were hiding behind the shoulders of Poland and Hungary will be faced with a choice sooner or later. Czechia understands this too and they made their choice to join us. They won't be the last.

    Like Poland, Norway and Switzerland are part of the Shengen “Freedom of Movement” area.
    They are wealthier, hence more immigrants, but that is changing.
     
    Finland is also part of Schengen and unlike those two, it is also part of the EU and the eurozone as well. So Finland has achieved maximum integration that you can possibly do. Yet it is more homogenous than Norway. It has less than half of a non-white percentage of the population.

    So if we follow your crude logic, namely more EU = more diversity, how does that explain it? And Iceland is also part of Schengen yet it is 99% white. It's not because it is cold. Average temperatures in their capital is not far off from what you'd get in Oslo. Iceland's nominal GDP per capita is catching up fast with Norway, too. And has lower unemployment. They just have a stricter immigration policy.

    I repeat, it'd be helpful if people with little to no knowledge of the EU refrain from talking nonsense. It would help us all in the long run. The reputation of those who say foolish things and the time and convenience of those who have to read it.

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  81. Я хочу жить в стране не фагготая. Русии мало гогы, впрочем.

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  82. @Philip Owen
    Russian productivity growth is deeply unimpressive. Without capital to invest and foreign investment to transfer technology it is likely to stay low.

    Russian productivity performance has been unimpressive because of three reasons. First, the neoliberal looting of the 1990s was an utter disaster in Russia. It was far worse than what any other EE country faced with the possible exception of Ukraine. This meant that a lot of time was spent either just preventing the decline and later catching up to where they started.

    The second reason is that Russia has so many natural resources (oil and gas are the most known but it is also true of wheat, timber, iron ore and even fresh water) that it hasn’t needed to rely on industry nearly to the same extent that Visegrad Europe – much poorer in natural resources – have had up until now.

    Finally, Russian IQ did suffer as a result of the 1990s, not just because diet took a turn for the worse but also because of emigration. Both of those are now normalising. Fundamentally the way to think about Russia is that this is a country with a (nominal) per capita GDP of around 10,000 USD but has an IQ of around 99 for its native population with potential to go up possibly higher to 100 or even 101. Most such societies have a nominal per capita GDP of 30,000 and up. Thus, Russia should see a steady convergence even after the oil&gas sector loses its importance.

    Finally, on aging, it’s important to bust some neoliberal myths on this topic. There’s a great MIT paper which came out on this topic this past year. Even if you are not an economist, as long as you are reasonably intelligent you should be able to understand it. It’s well-worth reading (or at least skimming) to truly get away from the nonsense myth that perpetual population growth is a necessity. There’s in fact quite weak empirical evidence for it.

    http://economics.mit.edu/files/12536

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    • Replies: @Art Deco
    It’s well-worth reading (or at least skimming) to truly get away from the nonsense myth that perpetual population growth is a necessity.

    Perpetual population growth is not a necessity. The problem arises when you have 1 grandchild charged with the task of looking after 4 elderly grandparents. Reproduction at replacement rates, wherein succeeding age cohorts are of roughly similar dimensions at birth, is what's needed (more or less).
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  83. @Swedish Family

    Are you and Anatoly both conceding that Ukrainians make a better borshch than Russians> I’ve tasted most all Slavic style soups and none match the majesty and specialness of a great red borschch. Make a large pot and eat it for a week, it gets better day by day. Meaty (with fat too) pork ribs, beets, tomatoes potatoes, carrots, cabbage, beans. and dill. Bring out the sour cream, cleaned garlic cloves, Borodinsky bread and some fantastic Nemirov Honey Pepper vodka and you’ve just entered heaven.
     
    I left borscht out since it's Ukrainian, but yes, it's a real treat. (The joke runs that people believe that borscht is Russian, when it's actually Ukrainian, and that chicken Kiev is Ukrainian, when it was actually invented by a french chef in Saint Petersburg.) I'm glad to hear you eat yours with rye bread. In Kiev, it's always served with garlic pampushki, which is clearly inferior.

    Pampushki are good, and I prefer the meat filled ones,but rye bread is what I grew up with in my home when eating borshch. You seem to know some culinary history, so please explain to me why there seemss to be an arbitrary ‘t’ at the end of its spelling? In Ukrainian, Russian or Polish, where it’s eaten the most (thanks for confirming its Ukrainian origins), in the native languages, there’s no ‘t’ on the end? It sounds just plain goofy when prononunced ‘borscht‘.

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    • Replies: @for-the-record
    please explain to me why there seemss to be an arbitrary ‘t’ at the end of its spelling? In Ukrainian, Russian or Polish, where it’s eaten the most (thanks for confirming its Ukrainian origins), in the native languages, there’s no ‘t’ on the end? It sounds just plain goofy when prononunced ‘borscht‘.

    It's from the Yiddish pronunciation, I believe (באָרשט).
    , @Swedish Family

    Pampushki are good, and I prefer the meat filled ones,but rye bread is what I grew up with in my home when eating borshch. You seem to know some culinary history, so please explain to me why there seemss to be an arbitrary ‘t’ at the end of its spelling? In Ukrainian, Russian or Polish, where it’s eaten the most (thanks for confirming its Ukrainian origins), in the native languages, there’s no ‘t’ on the end? It sounds just plain goofy when prononunced ‘borscht‘.
     
    I'm by no means an expert on these things, but I remember reading somewhere that the Swedish transcription of щ, sjtj, reflects the old Russian pronunciation. I would guess that this is also true of the English transcription, only that English transcribed it as scht in the past and has retained that spelling in some common words. So:


    щи = shchi (eng.) = sjtji (swe.)
    борщ = borscht (eng.) = borsjtj (swe.)

    Here's Wikipedia throwing some more light on the matter:

    In English, Shcha is romanized as ⟨shch⟩ or ⟨šč⟩ (with hačeks), both reflecting the historical Russian pronunciation of the letter. That can lead to some confusion, as the ⟨ch⟩ in the transcription may seem to indicate that Щ is a combination of Ш and a strong Ч, which is true in Ukrainian but not Russian, where this sound is always more softened.
     
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shcha
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  84. @neutral

    Still, this is done as a sort of “fuck you” to the West, not out of any concern for unbiased news or even the future of the white race. :)
     
    I get there is some kind of schadenfreude, but a brown Western Europe that consists of regimes with ideologies such as BLM types tearing every white statue down, brown SJW types such as Sadiq Khan and "affirmative action kremlinology" (that you have mocked here before), is going to create huge problems for Russia, profoundly more dangerous than how things are now. One can argue such regimes will not be able muster strong economies and armies because of their degraded populations, but having such hostile populations right next door is going to cause big pain to Russia, that the media is so callous to this future is almost depressing.

    but having such hostile populations right next door is going to cause big pain to Russia, that the media is so callous to this future is almost depressing.

    So, you mean, life as usual!

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  85. @Mitleser

    Do people actually believe this nonsense? Art 7 has no binding power because it requirea unanimous consent and Hungary has said since forever that they will block any attempt to take away Poland’s voting rights. It’s a toothless tiger.
     
    Just because Hungary says so it does not mean they will also block it.
    Orban can be pressured to support it.

    Norway and Switzerland are not part of the EU yet both have more muslims as a % of the population than many EU countries
     
    Like Poland, Norway and Switzerland are part of the Shengen "Freedom of Movement" area.
    They are wealthier, hence more immigrants, but that is changing.

    Just because Hungary says so it does not mean they will also block it.
    Orban can be pressured to support it.

    If things were moving in the wrong direction, you wouldn’t see Czechia join us and allow themselves to be sued by refusing to partake in the relocation. As I said, more will join in 2018 as the EU discards the previous propaganda that it was just a one-off and now explicitly states that they will try for a permanent relocation mechanism. This means all those CEE states which were hiding behind the shoulders of Poland and Hungary will be faced with a choice sooner or later. Czechia understands this too and they made their choice to join us. They won’t be the last.

    Like Poland, Norway and Switzerland are part of the Shengen “Freedom of Movement” area.
    They are wealthier, hence more immigrants, but that is changing.

    Finland is also part of Schengen and unlike those two, it is also part of the EU and the eurozone as well. So Finland has achieved maximum integration that you can possibly do. Yet it is more homogenous than Norway. It has less than half of a non-white percentage of the population.

    So if we follow your crude logic, namely more EU = more diversity, how does that explain it? And Iceland is also part of Schengen yet it is 99% white. It’s not because it is cold. Average temperatures in their capital is not far off from what you’d get in Oslo. Iceland’s nominal GDP per capita is catching up fast with Norway, too. And has lower unemployment. They just have a stricter immigration policy.

    I repeat, it’d be helpful if people with little to no knowledge of the EU refrain from talking nonsense. It would help us all in the long run. The reputation of those who say foolish things and the time and convenience of those who have to read it.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mitleser

    So if we follow your crude logic, namely more EU = more diversity, how does that explain it?
     
    Finland is poorer than Norway and one of the most peripheral EU countries.
    Iceland is more peripheral than both.
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  86. @AP
    I remember ~10 dollar tickets to the Bolshoi when I spent the winter of 1999-2000 there. Eifman's "Red Giselle" was the best ballet I ever saw.

    I could have settled in Moscow in the mid 2000s but was looking at a monthly salary of $250 at a state hospital which meant essentially living off my wife's rental property which was over ten times that. Have always been envious of those expats who found a way to stay, though most of those seem to be businessmen.

    Eifman’s “Red Giselle” was the best ballet I ever saw.

    If so, then you were very unlucky in life with the ballet

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    • Replies: @AP
    To each his own I guess. I saw it when it was AFAIK new, at the millennium. I watched a ballet about Napoleon in the Kremlin that year. The young soldiers in the audience were impressive - I couldn't imagine a bunch of American GIs taking their dates to the ballet.
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  87. @neutral

    Labour is short supply so short that either stagnation Japanese style in overall GDP or large scale immigration is inevitable.
     
    Always the same nonsense, can't have people earning more, so the only solution is to import millions from the third world and pretend that this does not undermine the nation. I am curious what the end game to all of this is though, so far I have never gotten a response, say Britain has a population of 300 million or so, is the solution still to import ever more people to solve your "wage and pension problem".

    If you keep hearing it, its because it isn’t nonsense.

    Its fundamental to the entire setup of “pay later” pensions and setups, which require an undefined future population to pay for the past. I saw it myself when I spent time in the Nordic states, which have an immense welfare network and despite the notions of it being utopia, essentially ran into this exact same problem of wage structure stagnation. Either immigration(to pay for past obligations), business exodus(businesses exit to cheaper production) or straight up stagnation(to prevent both, increasing government agencies to consume even more resources to block this) is ultimately the result.

    Its not wrong to argue that its rather ridiculous to ask for effectively infinitely increasingly population, but its built on the fundamental notion of infinitely increasing obligations of the state(which in a democratic society, will continue to spiral, as its the legal way to “buy votes.”)

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  88. @Polish Perspective

    Just because Hungary says so it does not mean they will also block it.
    Orban can be pressured to support it.
     
    If things were moving in the wrong direction, you wouldn't see Czechia join us and allow themselves to be sued by refusing to partake in the relocation. As I said, more will join in 2018 as the EU discards the previous propaganda that it was just a one-off and now explicitly states that they will try for a permanent relocation mechanism. This means all those CEE states which were hiding behind the shoulders of Poland and Hungary will be faced with a choice sooner or later. Czechia understands this too and they made their choice to join us. They won't be the last.

    Like Poland, Norway and Switzerland are part of the Shengen “Freedom of Movement” area.
    They are wealthier, hence more immigrants, but that is changing.
     
    Finland is also part of Schengen and unlike those two, it is also part of the EU and the eurozone as well. So Finland has achieved maximum integration that you can possibly do. Yet it is more homogenous than Norway. It has less than half of a non-white percentage of the population.

    So if we follow your crude logic, namely more EU = more diversity, how does that explain it? And Iceland is also part of Schengen yet it is 99% white. It's not because it is cold. Average temperatures in their capital is not far off from what you'd get in Oslo. Iceland's nominal GDP per capita is catching up fast with Norway, too. And has lower unemployment. They just have a stricter immigration policy.

    I repeat, it'd be helpful if people with little to no knowledge of the EU refrain from talking nonsense. It would help us all in the long run. The reputation of those who say foolish things and the time and convenience of those who have to read it.

    So if we follow your crude logic, namely more EU = more diversity, how does that explain it?

    Finland is poorer than Norway and one of the most peripheral EU countries.
    Iceland is more peripheral than both.

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  89. @melanf

    Eifman’s “Red Giselle” was the best ballet I ever saw.
     
    If so, then you were very unlucky in life with the ballet

    To each his own I guess. I saw it when it was AFAIK new, at the millennium. I watched a ballet about Napoleon in the Kremlin that year. The young soldiers in the audience were impressive – I couldn’t imagine a bunch of American GIs taking their dates to the ballet.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AP
    Just looked it up - it was from 1997, so not completely new when I saw it. But perhaps it is now stale? My wife was very impressed by it also.
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  90. @Polish Perspective
    Russian productivity performance has been unimpressive because of three reasons. First, the neoliberal looting of the 1990s was an utter disaster in Russia. It was far worse than what any other EE country faced with the possible exception of Ukraine. This meant that a lot of time was spent either just preventing the decline and later catching up to where they started.

    The second reason is that Russia has so many natural resources (oil and gas are the most known but it is also true of wheat, timber, iron ore and even fresh water) that it hasn't needed to rely on industry nearly to the same extent that Visegrad Europe - much poorer in natural resources - have had up until now.

    Finally, Russian IQ did suffer as a result of the 1990s, not just because diet took a turn for the worse but also because of emigration. Both of those are now normalising. Fundamentally the way to think about Russia is that this is a country with a (nominal) per capita GDP of around 10,000 USD but has an IQ of around 99 for its native population with potential to go up possibly higher to 100 or even 101. Most such societies have a nominal per capita GDP of 30,000 and up. Thus, Russia should see a steady convergence even after the oil&gas sector loses its importance.

    Finally, on aging, it's important to bust some neoliberal myths on this topic. There's a great MIT paper which came out on this topic this past year. Even if you are not an economist, as long as you are reasonably intelligent you should be able to understand it. It's well-worth reading (or at least skimming) to truly get away from the nonsense myth that perpetual population growth is a necessity. There's in fact quite weak empirical evidence for it.

    http://economics.mit.edu/files/12536

    It’s well-worth reading (or at least skimming) to truly get away from the nonsense myth that perpetual population growth is a necessity.

    Perpetual population growth is not a necessity. The problem arises when you have 1 grandchild charged with the task of looking after 4 elderly grandparents. Reproduction at replacement rates, wherein succeeding age cohorts are of roughly similar dimensions at birth, is what’s needed (more or less).

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    • Agree: Philip Owen
    • Replies: @polskijoe
    Exactly. Europe needs 2-3 fertility rate. 1 or 1.5 is too little.
    And of course no one is saying we need 7 kids like Africa.
    , @Swedish Family

    Perpetual population growth is not a necessity. The problem arises when you have 1 grandchild charged with the task of looking after 4 elderly grandparents. Reproduction at replacement rates, wherein succeeding age cohorts are of roughly similar dimensions at birth, is what’s needed (more or less).
     
    Read Polish Perspective's link again. The study argues that such imbalances, historically (1990-2015), may have been offset by greater investments in automation. They find a mild positive correlation between aging populations and GDP growth and a strong positive correlation between aging populations and the adoption of automation.

    http://economics.mit.edu/files/12536
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  91. @AP
    To each his own I guess. I saw it when it was AFAIK new, at the millennium. I watched a ballet about Napoleon in the Kremlin that year. The young soldiers in the audience were impressive - I couldn't imagine a bunch of American GIs taking their dates to the ballet.

    Just looked it up – it was from 1997, so not completely new when I saw it. But perhaps it is now stale? My wife was very impressed by it also.

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  92. Great article, thank you.

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    • Agree: Mr. Hack
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    I think Karlin should include more articles of the travelogue variety to his blog, and cut down on the 'futuristic IQ racist' ones. He seems to get a far better response to articles such as this one, and definitely shows an impressive writing flair in this arena too. I'd rate this as one of his more sumptuous posts!
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  93. @Polish Perspective
    Do people actually believe this nonsense? Art 7 has no realistic binding power in the current political environment because it requires unanimous consent and Hungary has said since forever that they will block any attempt to take away Poland's voting rights. It's a toothless tiger.

    In fact, to even get to a vote to take away our voting rights, you'd need 22 EU countries agreeing on it first. And even that is now looking unlikely as more and more CEE nations know that they will be next since the EU is no longer pretending that the "one-off" quota is one-off but in fact the first step to permanent relocation. So I fully expect 2018 to be fireworks between CEE and Brussels and this time, it won't just be Poland or Hungary. Czechia has joined the fight by allowing themselves to be sued and more countries will follow.

    I would humbly ask posters to please read up on the geopolitics of the EU before posting nonsense that "EU will doom you" or the usual claptrap that we must exit NATO at once for reasons which are - I assume - totally unrelated to Russia's geostrategic interests, apparently. Who are you fooling? From where I stand, only yourselves and those who believe in the nonsense already.

    BTW Look at the Pew projections of muslims in Europe by 2050. Norway and Switzerland are not part of the EU yet both have more muslims as a percentage of the population than many EU countries. This is projected to stay true by 2050.

    I think you should ask yourself if trying to use the rules of EU to save you matters, the goal is clear, mass immigration into Europe, the EU has broken many rules to get what it wants, I fail to see why it would stop doing so now. It is simply naive for you to think that someone like Merkel is seriously going to abide by rules or voting rights.

    And I am not Russian btw.

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    • Agree: RadicalCenter
    • Replies: @Swedish Family

    I think you should ask yourself if trying to use the rules of EU to save you matters, the goal is clear, mass immigration into Europe, the EU has broken many rules to get what it wants, I fail to see why it would stop doing so now. It is simply naive for you to think that someone like Merkel is seriously going to abide by rules or voting rights.
     
    You may well be right, but I'm with Polish Perspective on this one. I get the sense that Europe's elites have started to budge on this question, partly out of fear of right-wing movements and partly because immigration problems are discussed far more openly than in the past. In Sweden, for instance, even left-wing politicians have started addressing the fact that antisemitism and extreme expressions of misogyny are mostly found among immigrants. This would have been unheard of even three years ago.

    I also believe that the countries of eastern Europe stand a good chance of winning the dispute over the migrant quotas. From what I hear, they seem to have EU law on their side -- so long as they keep each other's backs -- and they enjoy broad support from common people in other EU countries, which would put even more pressure on the elites. The presence of Trump may also help their cause.

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  94. @Mr. Hack
    Pampushki are good, and I prefer the meat filled ones,but rye bread is what I grew up with in my home when eating borshch. You seem to know some culinary history, so please explain to me why there seemss to be an arbitrary 't' at the end of its spelling? In Ukrainian, Russian or Polish, where it's eaten the most (thanks for confirming its Ukrainian origins), in the native languages, there's no 't' on the end? It sounds just plain goofy when prononunced 'borscht'.

    please explain to me why there seemss to be an arbitrary ‘t’ at the end of its spelling? In Ukrainian, Russian or Polish, where it’s eaten the most (thanks for confirming its Ukrainian origins), in the native languages, there’s no ‘t’ on the end? It sounds just plain goofy when prononunced ‘borscht‘.

    It’s from the Yiddish pronunciation, I believe (באָרשט).

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    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    Aren't they the ones that gave the world Manischewitz Borscht? YECH! :-(
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  95. @melanf

    “But of course to New Zealand local nature hopelessly inferior.”
    This is a joke, right?
     
    Apparently poorly expressed thought. I meant - In comparison with New Zealand the nature of the North-West of Russia is hopelessly inferior.

    You are an idiot with an inferiority complex toward Westerners. Like many Russians. Which is why they walk all over you – in everything from politics, to economic sanctions, to threats of war, to demonizing in media, to Olympic bans.

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    • Replies: @melanf

    You are an idiot with an inferiority complex toward Westerners. Like many Russians. Which is why they walk all over you – in everything from politics, to economic sanctions, to threats of war, to demonizing in media, to Olympic bans.
     
    I think that you have complexes. North of Petersburg is a great wild lands, but (unlike New Zealand) there is no subtropical climate, evergreen forests, warm ocean, mountains, volcanoes, hot springs, geysers, unique chicken fauna, etc. For this, as a resort, the shore of Finnish Bay loses to New Zealand shores
    My assertions are incorrect?
    By the way, the wild around St. Petersburg hopelessly inferior to the wild of Tanzania (Serengeti). Tell me doctor, I have an inferiority complex to African blacks?
    On the other hand with regard to palaces, cathedrals and museums, New Zealand is hopelessly inferior to Saint Petersburg. I have an superiority complex ?

    In Russia there are places where nature is not less interesting than in New Zealand. This Is Kamchatka
    https://imgur.com/a/p1MeX
    https://sdelanounas.ru/blogs/89168/

    Kuril Islands
    http://novayagazeta-vlad.ru/uploads/news/2015/08/14/e7ce460d3dcfce7602267aa5183a501f.jpg

    http://www.surfholidays.ru/upload/medialibrary/d9f/surfing_russia_kuril_iturup_©taniaelisarieva_33.jpg

    Wrangel Island

    http://ic.pics.livejournal.com/danaviira/73963546/21784/21784_900.jpg

    http://meros.org/uploads/gallery/c2/d6/3d/c29d633d79932a490d5aebf20ebc3bdd.jpeg

    etc. But not the coast of Finnish Gulf
    , @22pp22
    I think you're being harsh. I don't think melanf has an inferiority complex towards Westerners in general, just New Zealanders which is natural and normal.

    When Australians talk about New Zealand, the cultural cringe is just embarrassing.

    When asked abut Kiwis living in Australia, out prime minister wisely said that he supported it as it raises the IQ of both nations.
    , @white noise

    You are an idiot with an inferiority complex toward Westerners. Like many Russians. Which is why they walk all over you – in everything from politics, to economic sanctions, to threats of war, to demonizing in media, to Olympic bans.
     
    I've enjoyed this article and most of the comments over the fascinating Russian culture and society.

    Your comment, though, is a thuggish attack on an otherwise very interesting conversation among civilized people. melanf is genuinely trying to inform, whilst being friendly.

    ... Then, you, a virtual thug, come and hit him with insults. This is the main tool of trolls, insults, and you showed the manners and flair of a total... idiot.

    You disrupted a very enjoyable conversation with the idiotic, intruding tone of a moron, so that's what you are, no doubt.

    You added nothing to the conversation but real hate speech... Bravo, moron!

    And, saying that one place in my country is inferior to similar places in other countries does not mean that I have an inferiority complex, it means I am objective and realistic. Are you stupid or what?! That you can't grasp simple things?

    You can insult me back. I know you probably will, given your trolling tendencies. A troll is nothing but a virtual thug, like you.

    ... By the way, my insulting you is not meant as an insult. I'm just stating a fact: whether you get money trolling or not, you are an idiot.

    It's just very annoying, that this site doesn't have moderators who will delete unjustified personal attacks, and all other forms of trolling.
    The site will lose relevance if this is not corrected.

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  96. @for-the-record
    please explain to me why there seemss to be an arbitrary ‘t’ at the end of its spelling? In Ukrainian, Russian or Polish, where it’s eaten the most (thanks for confirming its Ukrainian origins), in the native languages, there’s no ‘t’ on the end? It sounds just plain goofy when prononunced ‘borscht‘.

    It's from the Yiddish pronunciation, I believe (באָרשט).

    Aren’t they the ones that gave the world Manischewitz Borscht? YECH! :-(

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  97. @Mr. Hack
    Pampushki are good, and I prefer the meat filled ones,but rye bread is what I grew up with in my home when eating borshch. You seem to know some culinary history, so please explain to me why there seemss to be an arbitrary 't' at the end of its spelling? In Ukrainian, Russian or Polish, where it's eaten the most (thanks for confirming its Ukrainian origins), in the native languages, there's no 't' on the end? It sounds just plain goofy when prononunced 'borscht'.

    Pampushki are good, and I prefer the meat filled ones,but rye bread is what I grew up with in my home when eating borshch. You seem to know some culinary history, so please explain to me why there seemss to be an arbitrary ‘t’ at the end of its spelling? In Ukrainian, Russian or Polish, where it’s eaten the most (thanks for confirming its Ukrainian origins), in the native languages, there’s no ‘t’ on the end? It sounds just plain goofy when prononunced ‘borscht‘.

    I’m by no means an expert on these things, but I remember reading somewhere that the Swedish transcription of щ, sjtj, reflects the old Russian pronunciation. I would guess that this is also true of the English transcription, only that English transcribed it as scht in the past and has retained that spelling in some common words. So:

    щи = shchi (eng.) = sjtji (swe.)
    борщ = borscht (eng.) = borsjtj (swe.)

    Here’s Wikipedia throwing some more light on the matter:

    In English, Shcha is romanized as ⟨shch⟩ or ⟨šč⟩ (with hačeks), both reflecting the historical Russian pronunciation of the letter. That can lead to some confusion, as the ⟨ch⟩ in the transcription may seem to indicate that Щ is a combination of Ш and a strong Ч, which is true in Ukrainian but not Russian, where this sound is always more softened.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shcha

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  98. @melanf

    “But of course to New Zealand local nature hopelessly inferior.”
    This is a joke, right?
     
    Apparently poorly expressed thought. I meant - In comparison with New Zealand the nature of the North-West of Russia is hopelessly inferior.

    “I meant – In comparison with New Zealand the nature of the North-West of Russia is
    hopelessly inferior”

    So, it’s not a joke, after all.

    A word of advice, if I may: please, do not ever use words like “inferior” not to mention “hopelessly inferior” when describing your home.
    It reveals a deep seated “inferiority complex”.

    Just take a look at the Middle East where various people fight “tooth and nail” over a far more “inferior” landscapes so that they can just call it home.

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    • Replies: @melanf
    Answered in the message 104. If in this case, the problem in some features of the language then sorry. English I know badly
    , @white noise

    A word of advice, if I may: please, do not ever use words like “inferior” not to mention “hopelessly inferior” when describing your home.
    It reveals a deep seated “inferiority complex”.
     
    Really? :)

    Orwellian/Freudian bullshit!!

    It reveals a description, nothing else. What are you up to? Making Russia look bad? It's not working. And, is Simpleguest another variation of 'anon'? = Troll!

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  99. @Renoman
    Great article, thank you.

    I think Karlin should include more articles of the travelogue variety to his blog, and cut down on the ‘futuristic IQ racist’ ones. He seems to get a far better response to articles such as this one, and definitely shows an impressive writing flair in this arena too. I’d rate this as one of his more sumptuous posts!

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    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
    I'd like more of both types of article from Anatoly. One of my writers on unz or anywhere. And I'd be glad to catch dinner with him when I finally take the family to Moscow and SPB someday.
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  100. @Polish Perspective

    Regarding appealing places to live or sojourn in the Slavic East (none flaw-free, of course, but so it always goes), I will just say one word here: Croatia
     
    Isn't that place overrun by tourists? We're seeing a trend of wealthy (and often older) Westerners moving en masse to poorer and much more demographically European countries. I know the Portuguese are complaining a lot about property prices (and even more so rent) in their major cities becoming completely unaffordable due to a massive influx of Western expats and pensioners.

    Portugal is still quite demographically European and it is cheap. I'm guessing we'll see the same wrt Croatia, if we aren't already. It's a reasonable well-off country, has good climate and is demographically quite homogenous and safe. That in of itself makes it less safe for the zerg rush of Westerners seeking a 2nd home, driving up all the prices and driving down the ideological free climate. EU free movement should end.

    I am hearing the same things from my Czech brothers. Prague is like a foreign city to them now, at least the central parts. And it isn't just in the tourist season. Even in March(!) there are full of tourists and given the Chinese New Year being in the early months of the year, that effect is true in February and end of January as well.

    The only good thing about Warsaw being destroyed - and as a consequence being much uglier today than before the war, when it was referred to as the 'Paris of the East' - is that it has far lower attraction for tourism. Krakow is not as safe, though, and Krakow is the best city infrastructure-wise in Poland.

    The only EE country that has somewhat escaped the hordes is Slovakia and I expect that to remain true for the overseeing future. The Baltics do well as well, at least Latvia and Lithuania. Estonia is rising on this map, too. I think the somewhat colder climate is paradoxically 'helping' the Balts here.

    “only EE country that has somewhat escaped the hordes is Slovakia and I expect that to remain true for the overseeing future”

    Up to a point. In the last few years the hordes have started to show up in Bratislava. They come on day-trip boats from Vienna, and on endless cheap buses run by Balkan ‘entrepreneurs’. As always a big issue are also the local business people who will greedily sell anything, future be damned. One can see the Asian ‘tourists‘ literally casing the surroundings for any opportunity to move in. Hungry eyes, desperate faces, looking for a way out of their Third World misery.

    Prague went through this 15-20 years ago. But outside of big cities, the traditional European life goes on. Except in a few spa and mountain resort towns. But my guess would be 50-50 which way this is going in the next 10-20 years (in other words, I don’t know :)…

    South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa both have over a billion desperate people ready to move – Merkel, Macron and Juncker say they need ‘new homes’ in EU. And they know better than some mere mortals.

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  101. @Anatoly Karlin
    Fascinating, thanks.

    Statistical and anecdotal data indicates that Belorussia is considerably less corrupt than Russia, which is modestly less corrupt than the Ukraine.

    Internet restrictions are similar to Russia's. Russia was once freer, but has since converged to Belorussia's level.

    However, Belorussians are significantly more socially liberal than Russians, though more religious, too. Also higher levels of trust.

    Powerful Westernizing forces ("The Cathedral") are free to roam in the Ukraine, so it is indeed becoming more liberal than Russia on certain matters close to their heart, e.g. support for gay marriage (even though the Ukraine is innately more conservative than Russia, according to opinion polls).

    Belarus is partially less corrupt because of its better demographics.

    But, not liking ‘bryndza’ is a faux pas that I cannot forgive. Fresh bryndza cheese (with ‘n’ in the middle) is substantially better than most feta cheeses. And a lot more healthy. Where does Russia get its bryndza now with sanctions on EU food? To make quality bryndza one needs tall mountains and wet meadows, so it could be a geography issue. Or, maybe Russia has a shortage of loving bryndza-producing ‘bacas’.

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    • Agree: Mr. Hack
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    You can readily get bryndza in Ukraine. Milk, be it from sheep, goats and increasingly more from cows is first procesed into what is known as budz. The budz is consumed much like farmers cheeze in the West. Budz is layered into wooden barrels, salted and then aged until it becomes bryndza. It's very popular throughout Eastern Europe and is its equivalent for feta cheeze - I don't really understand the differences? One difference that you can't avoid noticing is that bryndza is a much more pungent smelling cheeze than feta...
    , @anonymous coward

    Where does Russia get its bryndza now with sanctions on EU food?
     
    Serbia.
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  102. @neutral

    Labour is short supply so short that either stagnation Japanese style in overall GDP or large scale immigration is inevitable.
     
    Always the same nonsense, can't have people earning more, so the only solution is to import millions from the third world and pretend that this does not undermine the nation. I am curious what the end game to all of this is though, so far I have never gotten a response, say Britain has a population of 300 million or so, is the solution still to import ever more people to solve your "wage and pension problem".

    You really have nailed this ****. He should be sent back to The Economist where he belongs.

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  103. Red beets are a relative newcomer to diets of Russia, Ukraine and Poland. Various chards related to beets were known but red beets as root vegetables were introduces in 18-19 century. BORSCHT is a wider category of soups and stews that not necessarily included red beets. In Poland there is white borscht soup that is made form fermented wheat flour which is similar to zurek that is made from fermented rye flour. There is a wide family of weeds heracleum sphondylium (cow parsnip) that used to be a part of diet in central Europe before more roots vegetables and potatoes (as well as topinambour) were introduced. Some of those weeds had common folk names from which the word BORSCHT or BARSZCZ in Polish is derived. Thus the connotation that BORSCHT should be red because it contains red beets is relatively recent (19 c.).

    What Ukrainians, Russians and Poles ate before the discovery of America: no potatoes, no zucchini (kabachki), no sun flowers, no peppers, no tomatoes, no pumpkins, no melons (except water melon) and no beans? Yes, there was no beans in Europe. The only legumes were peas, lentils, chick peas, lupine beans and fava beans.

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  104. @Parbes
    You are an idiot with an inferiority complex toward Westerners. Like many Russians. Which is why they walk all over you - in everything from politics, to economic sanctions, to threats of war, to demonizing in media, to Olympic bans.

    You are an idiot with an inferiority complex toward Westerners. Like many Russians. Which is why they walk all over you – in everything from politics, to economic sanctions, to threats of war, to demonizing in media, to Olympic bans.

    I think that you have complexes. North of Petersburg is a great wild lands, but (unlike New Zealand) there is no subtropical climate, evergreen forests, warm ocean, mountains, volcanoes, hot springs, geysers, unique chicken fauna, etc. For this, as a resort, the shore of Finnish Bay loses to New Zealand shores
    My assertions are incorrect?
    By the way, the wild around St. Petersburg hopelessly inferior to the wild of Tanzania (Serengeti). Tell me doctor, I have an inferiority complex to African blacks?
    On the other hand with regard to palaces, cathedrals and museums, New Zealand is hopelessly inferior to Saint Petersburg. I have an superiority complex ?

    In Russia there are places where nature is not less interesting than in New Zealand. This Is Kamchatka

    https://imgur.com/a/p1MeX

    https://sdelanounas.ru/blogs/89168/

    Kuril Islands

    Wrangel Island

    etc. But not the coast of Finnish Gulf

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    • Replies: @MarkinPNW
    Where I live nature provides us a connection to Wrangel Island; this is where the Snow Geese of Wrangel Island come to winter. Along the coast of Puget Sound, about 50 to 70 miles (100 or so km) northwest of Seattle, Concentrating on Fir Island, an island of the delta of the Skagit River where it empties into the Sound.

    Amazingly, the snow geese seem not to care about Russiaphobia, Putin, or human politics in general.
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  105. @Simpleguest
    "I meant – In comparison with New Zealand the nature of the North-West of Russia is
    hopelessly inferior"

    So, it's not a joke, after all.

    A word of advice, if I may: please, do not ever use words like "inferior" not to mention "hopelessly inferior" when describing your home.
    It reveals a deep seated "inferiority complex".

    Just take a look at the Middle East where various people fight "tooth and nail" over a far more "inferior" landscapes so that they can just call it home.

    Answered in the message 104. If in this case, the problem in some features of the language then sorry. English I know badly

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    • Replies: @Mikel

    If in this case, the problem in some features of the language then sorry. English I know badly
     
    I don't see any need to apologize. You might have chosen "the quality of natural landscapes", for example, instead of your simple "nature", just for those of slow comprehension (many monolingual English speakers) but the meaning of your phrase was crystal clear to me from the beginning. I have no idea what those two are nitpicking about and would advise to totally ignore them.

    On the other hand, I have been to both the Gulf of Finland north of SPB and to Patagonia (very similar to South NZ) and yes, I get your point and agree with it.
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  106. Also, a question about everyday economics, both to Anatoly Karlin and to the other Russian locals who’ve commented…

    The last time I visited, I got the impression that although many things (except perhaps food) were comparatively more expensive considering local salaries, by two or more times, the BIG cost-items (rent/mortgage+ utilities, healthcare) were MUCH cheaper than they were in Canada. So in the end, perhaps it balances out? In Toronto, for example, standard monthly rent is $900 at least, for the smallest studio apartment, and it’s usually more.

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    • Replies: @AP
    When the USSR collapsed everybody fully owned the places where they happened to be living, so no mortgages or rent. Of course, that was almost 30 years ago. People who don't inherit places to live from parents or grandparents have to buy or rent of course. Prior to 2014 events, Moscow real estate was very expensive.
    , @melanf
    In Saint Petersburg rent of one-room apartment is about 20 000 rubles per month. The median salary -38 000 rubles.
    , @Anatoly Karlin
    In post-devaluation Moscow, an apartment studio in an unprestigious suburb is around 25,000 rubles ($400) and around 60,000 rubles ($1,000) in the most prestigious central parts.

    Healthcare is indeed cheap, but the main problem is that you get what you pay for - many complex, very expensive procedures are simply unavailable to ordinary people.
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  107. @E
    Also, a question about everyday economics, both to Anatoly Karlin and to the other Russian locals who've commented...

    The last time I visited, I got the impression that although many things (except perhaps food) were comparatively more expensive considering local salaries, by two or more times, the BIG cost-items (rent/mortgage+ utilities, healthcare) were MUCH cheaper than they were in Canada. So in the end, perhaps it balances out? In Toronto, for example, standard monthly rent is $900 at least, for the smallest studio apartment, and it's usually more.

    When the USSR collapsed everybody fully owned the places where they happened to be living, so no mortgages or rent. Of course, that was almost 30 years ago. People who don’t inherit places to live from parents or grandparents have to buy or rent of course. Prior to 2014 events, Moscow real estate was very expensive.

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    • Replies: @E
    (also replying to melanf and Anatoly Karlin)

    Hm, so in other words, sucks to be you if you actually have to pay for rent, but most people own their own places, and therefore that's only an issue for a minority of mostly "newcomers"?

    Any idea how large that minority is? What about the majority of people who own their own places, how much do they have to pay each month in household-related costs (utilities, maintenance)?

    I was talking to somebody in Voronezh when I was there, and remember being astonished at how little he paid for household-related costs as a percentage of his income. (unfortunately, I've forgotten the figures now... though I might find them somewhere if I look hard enough)

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  108. @Beckow
    Belarus is partially less corrupt because of its better demographics.

    But, not liking 'bryndza' is a faux pas that I cannot forgive. Fresh bryndza cheese (with 'n' in the middle) is substantially better than most feta cheeses. And a lot more healthy. Where does Russia get its bryndza now with sanctions on EU food? To make quality bryndza one needs tall mountains and wet meadows, so it could be a geography issue. Or, maybe Russia has a shortage of loving bryndza-producing 'bacas'.

    You can readily get bryndza in Ukraine. Milk, be it from sheep, goats and increasingly more from cows is first procesed into what is known as budz. The budz is consumed much like farmers cheeze in the West. Budz is layered into wooden barrels, salted and then aged until it becomes bryndza. It’s very popular throughout Eastern Europe and is its equivalent for feta cheeze – I don’t really understand the differences? One difference that you can’t avoid noticing is that bryndza is a much more pungent smelling cheeze than feta…

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    • Replies: @Beckow
    I think sheep bryndza is by far the best. There is also a seasonal element to it, late spring bryndza has the most pungent taste. Bryndza is smoother than feta, creamier, and has a wide variety of tastes. In Slovak mountains people put it on everything, they even drink the watery residue ('zincica') as a health drink.

    Bryndza is very perishable, I think feta people have figured out how to preserve it better. With bryndza some producers load it up with salt to preserve it and that ruins it. As with most food items, bryndza is by far the best when totally fresh.
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  109. @E
    Also, a question about everyday economics, both to Anatoly Karlin and to the other Russian locals who've commented...

    The last time I visited, I got the impression that although many things (except perhaps food) were comparatively more expensive considering local salaries, by two or more times, the BIG cost-items (rent/mortgage+ utilities, healthcare) were MUCH cheaper than they were in Canada. So in the end, perhaps it balances out? In Toronto, for example, standard monthly rent is $900 at least, for the smallest studio apartment, and it's usually more.

    In Saint Petersburg rent of one-room apartment is about 20 000 rubles per month. The median salary -38 000 rubles.

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  110. @Mr. Hack
    You can readily get bryndza in Ukraine. Milk, be it from sheep, goats and increasingly more from cows is first procesed into what is known as budz. The budz is consumed much like farmers cheeze in the West. Budz is layered into wooden barrels, salted and then aged until it becomes bryndza. It's very popular throughout Eastern Europe and is its equivalent for feta cheeze - I don't really understand the differences? One difference that you can't avoid noticing is that bryndza is a much more pungent smelling cheeze than feta...

    I think sheep bryndza is by far the best. There is also a seasonal element to it, late spring bryndza has the most pungent taste. Bryndza is smoother than feta, creamier, and has a wide variety of tastes. In Slovak mountains people put it on everything, they even drink the watery residue (‘zincica’) as a health drink.

    Bryndza is very perishable, I think feta people have figured out how to preserve it better. With bryndza some producers load it up with salt to preserve it and that ruins it. As with most food items, bryndza is by far the best when totally fresh.

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    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    This makes sense, obviously I only have access to the supermarket versions of bryndza.
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  111. @E
    Also, a question about everyday economics, both to Anatoly Karlin and to the other Russian locals who've commented...

    The last time I visited, I got the impression that although many things (except perhaps food) were comparatively more expensive considering local salaries, by two or more times, the BIG cost-items (rent/mortgage+ utilities, healthcare) were MUCH cheaper than they were in Canada. So in the end, perhaps it balances out? In Toronto, for example, standard monthly rent is $900 at least, for the smallest studio apartment, and it's usually more.

    In post-devaluation Moscow, an apartment studio in an unprestigious suburb is around 25,000 rubles ($400) and around 60,000 rubles ($1,000) in the most prestigious central parts.

    Healthcare is indeed cheap, but the main problem is that you get what you pay for – many complex, very expensive procedures are simply unavailable to ordinary people.

    Read More
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  112. @Beckow
    I think sheep bryndza is by far the best. There is also a seasonal element to it, late spring bryndza has the most pungent taste. Bryndza is smoother than feta, creamier, and has a wide variety of tastes. In Slovak mountains people put it on everything, they even drink the watery residue ('zincica') as a health drink.

    Bryndza is very perishable, I think feta people have figured out how to preserve it better. With bryndza some producers load it up with salt to preserve it and that ruins it. As with most food items, bryndza is by far the best when totally fresh.

    This makes sense, obviously I only have access to the supermarket versions of bryndza.

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    • Replies: @Beckow
    Get away from supermarkets. Take a trip to Tatras and enjoy the local bryndza - late spring is the best time.
    , @Anonymous
    For comparison the cost of renting a prestigious place in Beijing is higher. In the centrally located Sanlitun neighborhood which has the main bar street in the city, a studio apartment costs about 8000-9000 RMB ($1216-1368).
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  113. @Anatoly Karlin
    I really love Yaroslavl, though with 800,000 people it might still be too big for you.

    Problem is that Russian cities tend to get worse the smaller they get, at least so far as civility, creature comforts, etc. go.

    Couple of exceptions that I know of:

    Kolomna (150,000) is pretty decent, and only around 120 km from Moscow; has a historic and lovingly preserved city center, and a Kremlin. But like many cities in this class it looks distinctly run down.

    Suzdal, with just 10,000 people, is extremely good, modern, etc.; but as one of the key centers of medieval Russia, it is almost entirely tourist-y.

    Thank you.

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  114. @melanf

    I was hoping Anatoly Karlin would use his local knowledge to recommend a small town/city in Russia where we could spend a few months, but he didn’t reply to my post.
     

    melanf can perhaps comment on small cities near St. Petersburg
     
    What are the priority when choosing a town, and what time of year you want in the town to live?
    Around St. Petersburg as comfortable as possible places are resort towns to the North such as Zelenogorsk

    http://yct.spb.ru/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/%D1%84%D0%BE%D0%BD-1.jpg

    http://walkday.ru/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/lindulovskaya_08.jpg

    http://www.fiesta.city/uploads/slider_image/image/49182/v880_dxthfhfgh.jpg

    This settlement on the shore of Finnish Bay, surrounded by forests and lakes, a 40-minute drive from the centre of Saint-Petersburg (regularly train). But of course to New Zealand local nature hopelessly inferior.

    Thank you

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  115. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    I don’t have the foggiest [idea] how Moscow ever acquired its reputation as one of the world’s most expensive cities.

    That’s because you are, having a luxury to live in Moscow rent-free (thanks to the legacy of the USSR), lacking basic awareness of the situation in the housing market.

    The moment you have to pay for a two bedroom that does not require over one hour commute, you’d realize that, proportionally to the median income, Moscow is as expensive as S-F Bay area.

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  116. $10,000 per month is common for American anesthesiologists

    Not even close. $120K a year would be somewhere in the bottom 5%. Anesthesiologists are well-paid, more than most doctors. $250K median would be much closer to reality. (Of course, they also bear higher burden of insurance policies).

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    • Replies: @Twinkie

    Anesthesiologists are well-paid, more than most doctors. $250K median would be much closer to reality. (Of course, they also bear higher burden of insurance policies).
     
    Actually, even that is on the lower end. A large healthcare system with which I am intimately familiar pays $250K per year for part-time anesthesiologists. Full-time, call-taking ones are paid $300-450K per year. For those in pain management, sky is the limit ($500K and up) unless the payer mix is bad (high Medicare/Medicaid patients), in which case the compensation will be quite poor and may even be a net loss for the facility.

    And these are employee-physicians. In the “good old days” when physicians owned their own practices as partners or shareholders, income was even higher for well-run practices situated in lucrative markets (affluent areas with good payer mixes). Of course, those days are long gone for most young doctors.

    Anesthesia used to incur extremely high liability costs, it being just about the only specialty in which one could kill a healthy patient within minutes, perhaps even seconds. But anesthesia as a discipline has engaged in aggressive risk management practices (“defensive medicine”) in the past 10 years, and the liability costs have tumbled down dramatically.
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  117. @ak:

    having the usual holiday debates, the following accusations versus russia got thrown around: “its a putin dictatorship without free elections, without free media (i.e. all media is controlled by putin, tv shows only pro putin viewpoints) and where any opponent of putin is directly put in jail or eliminated”

    what is your take on this?

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    • Replies: @melanf

    without free media (i.e. all media is controlled by putin, tv shows only pro putin viewpoints)
     
    The article gives examples with links
    http://russia-insider.com/en/press-freedom-russia-putin-dog/ri21544
    , @E
    That's a completely false understanding of Russia's media landscape. The people who told you that have no first hand experience - it sounds like they still think it's the Stalin era there.

    What they forget is that THAT version of propaganda failed BADLY (remember, how the USSR collapsed?). Russia's leaders KNOW that it failed badly. Therefore, they're now trying a rather different approach. Mainly: giving lots of air time to the opposing viewpoints. Pro-US, pro-EU and pro-Ukrainian speakers are allowed on air every evening on the Russian talk shows. A few articles about how it works:
    http://russia-insider.com/en/politics/demonizing-russian-media/ri17802
    https://thesaker.is/re-visiting-russian-counter-propaganda-methods/

    All the Russian state media has to do is to translate for Russians the offensive nonsense that is said about their country in the West (and such nonsense isn't hard to find, because most Western Russia analysts are paid to say bullsh*t about Russia to people who have no first-hand experience to call them out on it). The more they do that, the more Russians start to dislike and distrust the West. That's what sites like Inosmi have been doing. That's why even the local pro-West anti-Putin people are now begging the Westerners to dial it down a little.

    , @Kimppis
    This would probably be a very good read as well (although some points are outdated, but still):

    http://www.unz.com/akarlin/top-50-russophobe-myths/

    The "pro-Western liberals" (and journalists) have probably always been safer per capita than the general population and their actual popularity and influence is very low. They are not the actual "main" opposition or challenge to the Russian establishment and most so-called "Putin critics" are very much alive.

    Your friends/family (?) are some real experts on Russia (/s). Sad!

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  118. pickles in Russia are genuinely fermented, instead of being bathed in vinegar

    False. Pickles in Russia are not fermented. True that they don’t have as much vinegar. It’s just that the acid is being substituted for salt as a preservative. E.g., both cucumbers and mushrooms (соленые огурцы/грибы).

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  119. In 2009 I lived for a time in a small (3000 people) village in the far northwest. The internet there was substantially faster and cheaper than what I previously had living in New Orleans, presumably because it was much newer.

    Anatoly, concerning freedom in the area of weapons, how are things concerning your acquirement of a shotgun? For those not in the know, when one is a citizen, this is quite easy with most paperwork being done electronically.

    I regularly get boneless, skinless cuts of chicken in СПБ for 200 rubles/kg. Such expensive turkey must be for rich москалей)).

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  120. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    About 50% of Muscovites own a dacha outside the city, including people of modest means.

    No way it is true. What you are citing is % of owners of any land outside the city. Which is in most cases just a vegetable patch. Among those, the dachas with a livable house are about 25% and no more than 10% are suitable for all-season living.

    You really have a very skewed impression of who Muscovites are.

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  121. God bless Russia for my 20+GB library of stolen books.

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  122. I am disappointed that the author considers Internet piracy a good. Not long ago, using my modest savings, I founded a one-person music production company and produced an album, at a cost of tens of thousands of dollars. Only a few weeks ago, a Russian musician advised me not to offer an MP3 download of the album for sale, on the grounds that it will be readily posted online. I find the author’s remarks in reply to a comment, such as ‘you have the whining about it being “stealing” [sic],’ ‘Libcucks pay Western corporations,’ and ‘ worship of “sanctity of property rights”,‘ worthy of utter contempt.

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    • Replies: @Lemurmaniac
    shut up you poncing moralfag
    , @WHAT
    In the age of free information flow, copyright is a death reinvented anew for the digital world. By the usual (((moneychangers))) at that.
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  123. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Regarding why Moscow was rated as “expensive”, one common reason for misleading ratings is that they are based on an identical basket of goods normally consumed by travellers—those snacks at Sheremetyevo, cabs, hotels, &c.

    One interesting discrepancy happened with Paris. In one survey, a cab from Charles de Gaulle airport cost 100+ EUR, but the airport also has a subway station and you can commute for only a few euros if you choose that option.

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  124. @AP
    Agree to all of this. But you mentioned the watermelons but not the strawberries - so much better than the comparatively tasteless bloated ones in the USA. You also didn't mention the women.

    When I first bought my tiny cottage in the Bay Area, an Estonian couple lived in one of the other cottages. They were heavy partiers and always had a lot of Estonian expats around. Their female friends were just gorgeous. During one of the parties, I asked an Estonian guy, “Do you ever get used to the stunning beauty of your women?”

    “No, he replied. That is why we all want to go back to Estonia”.

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  125. @22pp22
    Are you a Kiwi?

    I couldn't agree more. Central Otago is not as big as it seems and the narrow valleys where habitation is possible can easily be filled up with houses, but still the South Island only has a population of one million and half of them live in and around Christchurch. I live on the border between Central Otago and Southland and we're pretty isolated. The nearest town of any size is Invercagill and that is two hours away.

    I was hoping Anatoly Karlin would use his local knowledge to recommend a small town/city in Russia where we could spend a few months, but he didn't reply to my post.

    i am a kiwi.

    Our elites plan to turn us into Singapore – a multicultural Asian nation with an authoritarian government (to manage Diversity) utterly controlled on the one hand by global oligarchs and on the other by far left scum who want to destroy ever last shred of what used to make us who we are.

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    • Replies: @22pp22
    So true
    , @Leisure Larry
    Why do you you say "our elites"?
    You have no elites. Every English speaking nation has been hijacked by the Global Jewish Nation through a massive program of extortion against government figures.
    The game is genocide of the White race. You should ask your local Jews to desist from murdering your family.
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  126. @Saturn
    I am disappointed that the author considers Internet piracy a good. Not long ago, using my modest savings, I founded a one-person music production company and produced an album, at a cost of tens of thousands of dollars. Only a few weeks ago, a Russian musician advised me not to offer an MP3 download of the album for sale, on the grounds that it will be readily posted online. I find the author’s remarks in reply to a comment, such as ‘you have the whining about it being “stealing” [sic],’ ‘Libcucks pay Western corporations,’ and ‘ worship of “sanctity of property rights”,‘ worthy of utter contempt.

    shut up you poncing moralfag

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  127. @neutral

    Labour is short supply so short that either stagnation Japanese style in overall GDP or large scale immigration is inevitable.
     
    Always the same nonsense, can't have people earning more, so the only solution is to import millions from the third world and pretend that this does not undermine the nation. I am curious what the end game to all of this is though, so far I have never gotten a response, say Britain has a population of 300 million or so, is the solution still to import ever more people to solve your "wage and pension problem".

    can’t have people earning more

    or working less (industrial revolution, home appliances revolution)

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    • Replies: @ussr andy
    PS I'm not saying this is desirable, only that every time "they" said that soon people won't know what to do with all the free time they have, it was eaten up by something else
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  128. @ussr andy

    can’t have people earning more
     
    or working less (industrial revolution, home appliances revolution)

    PS I’m not saying this is desirable, only that every time “they” said that soon people won’t know what to do with all the free time they have, it was eaten up by something else

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  129. @Anatoly Karlin

    On that topic have you ever had a frank conversation with the average man on the street regarding the future non white world?
     
    No, I try to be a normie in everyday life. I don't back away from my views if the conversation drifts there, but I don't seek to actively raise it either.

    How aware are they of mass immigration into the post Western world... do they envisage Moscow becoming like Paris or London?
     
    Russian mass media actually loves to talk about Western Europe's immigration apocalypse. Cologne was comprehensively covered.

    Still, this is done as a sort of "fuck you" to the West, not out of any concern for unbiased news or even the future of the white race. :)

    Yes, there's a lot of concern about Moscow becoming far less Russian at the level of common people (though this isn't something that officials except nationalists and the occasional based commie talk about).

    I also must add that I also live in land where nobody really cares about pirating stuff, I am curious if the people that do this watch Game of Thrones in Russian or English.
     
    Dubbed over in Russian, for the most part.

    Incidentally, this is another case of Russia's strange "inversions." It is actually the liberals here who are more against pirating - you have the whining about it being "stealing," that it's not like how "the West does things," etc, etc. Whereas in the West it is precisely the liberals as opposed to the conservatards with their worship of "sanctity of property rights" who don't have any moral qualms about piracy.

    Russian "vatniks" pirate everything (except occasionally video games). Libcucks pay Western corporations.

    It seems that you are using the term “liberal” in two ways. For the West, you seem to use the term “liberal” to mean leftist; for Russia, you seem to use the term “liberal” to mean Thatcherite. So, there really is no paradox.

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    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    To an extent, but not really.

    Intelligent, progressively minded people in general tend to disparage copyright law in the West, but respect it in Russia.
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  130. In the UK this is what you get if you click on: http://gen.lib.rus.ec/

    “Access to the websites listed on this page has been blocked pursuant to orders of the high court.

    More information can be found at http://www.ukispcourtorders.co.uk

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    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    1. Get a VPN.

    2. UK is weak on Internet rights too.
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  131. @melanf

    You are an idiot with an inferiority complex toward Westerners. Like many Russians. Which is why they walk all over you – in everything from politics, to economic sanctions, to threats of war, to demonizing in media, to Olympic bans.
     
    I think that you have complexes. North of Petersburg is a great wild lands, but (unlike New Zealand) there is no subtropical climate, evergreen forests, warm ocean, mountains, volcanoes, hot springs, geysers, unique chicken fauna, etc. For this, as a resort, the shore of Finnish Bay loses to New Zealand shores
    My assertions are incorrect?
    By the way, the wild around St. Petersburg hopelessly inferior to the wild of Tanzania (Serengeti). Tell me doctor, I have an inferiority complex to African blacks?
    On the other hand with regard to palaces, cathedrals and museums, New Zealand is hopelessly inferior to Saint Petersburg. I have an superiority complex ?

    In Russia there are places where nature is not less interesting than in New Zealand. This Is Kamchatka
    https://imgur.com/a/p1MeX
    https://sdelanounas.ru/blogs/89168/

    Kuril Islands
    http://novayagazeta-vlad.ru/uploads/news/2015/08/14/e7ce460d3dcfce7602267aa5183a501f.jpg

    http://www.surfholidays.ru/upload/medialibrary/d9f/surfing_russia_kuril_iturup_©taniaelisarieva_33.jpg

    Wrangel Island

    http://ic.pics.livejournal.com/danaviira/73963546/21784/21784_900.jpg

    http://meros.org/uploads/gallery/c2/d6/3d/c29d633d79932a490d5aebf20ebc3bdd.jpeg

    etc. But not the coast of Finnish Gulf

    Where I live nature provides us a connection to Wrangel Island; this is where the Snow Geese of Wrangel Island come to winter. Along the coast of Puget Sound, about 50 to 70 miles (100 or so km) northwest of Seattle, Concentrating on Fir Island, an island of the delta of the Skagit River where it empties into the Sound.

    Amazingly, the snow geese seem not to care about Russiaphobia, Putin, or human politics in general.

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    • Replies: @ussr andy

    the snow geese seem not to care about (...) human politics in general.
     
    pfft, typical anatids.


    /s
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  132. @MarkinPNW
    Where I live nature provides us a connection to Wrangel Island; this is where the Snow Geese of Wrangel Island come to winter. Along the coast of Puget Sound, about 50 to 70 miles (100 or so km) northwest of Seattle, Concentrating on Fir Island, an island of the delta of the Skagit River where it empties into the Sound.

    Amazingly, the snow geese seem not to care about Russiaphobia, Putin, or human politics in general.

    the snow geese seem not to care about (…) human politics in general.

    pfft, typical anatids.

    /s

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  133. @Parbes
    You are an idiot with an inferiority complex toward Westerners. Like many Russians. Which is why they walk all over you - in everything from politics, to economic sanctions, to threats of war, to demonizing in media, to Olympic bans.

    I think you’re being harsh. I don’t think melanf has an inferiority complex towards Westerners in general, just New Zealanders which is natural and normal.

    When Australians talk about New Zealand, the cultural cringe is just embarrassing.

    When asked abut Kiwis living in Australia, out prime minister wisely said that he supported it as it raises the IQ of both nations.

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    • Replies: @melanf
    In comparison with New Zealand the nature near Saint Petersburg loses

    http://reserves-park.ru/images/stories/parki5/egmont.jpg

    http://yuriy-photo.narod.ru/karelskiyperesheek2002/target/01_pukhtolovagora/2002_05_26-125236.jpg


    On the other hand with regard to palaces, cathedrals and museums, New Zealand loses to Saint Petersburg.

    http://st.gde-fon.com/wallpapers_original/634985_auckland_new-zealand_gorod_3781x2288_www.Gde-Fon.com.jpg

    http://files2.ostagram.ru/uploads/content/image/1125278/img_c1820314bf.jpg
    , @Parbes
    The New Zealanders that I've known didn't seem to be that near-divine at all. In fact they were quite pedestrian sorts.

    Nice try at some Christmas humor though!
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  134. @Diversity Heretic
    I agree with almost everything here. But you'd better speak Russian and it's a highly-inflected language (the words change their forms according to their meaning in the sentence and their relationship to other words) and some words change with the addition of prefixes, which makes a dictionary search fruitless unless you can recognize the root. It is a difficult language for a brain wired for English and the older that brain gets, the more difficult the process becomes. It's hard to appreciate a country when you're constantly wondering what is going on and have no idea what people are saying to you.

    Yes, the language barrier would probably prove insurmountable for me, at my age. I’d love to live in Russia for a year or so, for the experience, though.

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    • Replies: @Diversity Heretic
    I did live in Russia for a little over a year. It is, in many ways, quite a nice place--Anatoly's right. But the language is difficult, unless you have prior experience with it, or are just naturally gifted. I found that I was making such slow progress that I gave up after about a year (I'm 63). We learned most ex-pats last 2 or 3 years tops in Russia.

    The Moscow climate is also surprisingly dreary. Not bitterly cold, usually, but lots of overcast days with some rain or snow. Southern Russia might be different.
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  135. @neutral

    Still, this is done as a sort of “fuck you” to the West, not out of any concern for unbiased news or even the future of the white race. :)
     
    I get there is some kind of schadenfreude, but a brown Western Europe that consists of regimes with ideologies such as BLM types tearing every white statue down, brown SJW types such as Sadiq Khan and "affirmative action kremlinology" (that you have mocked here before), is going to create huge problems for Russia, profoundly more dangerous than how things are now. One can argue such regimes will not be able muster strong economies and armies because of their degraded populations, but having such hostile populations right next door is going to cause big pain to Russia, that the media is so callous to this future is almost depressing.

    Those hostile populations you mention can’t even exist without being heavily subsidized. as long as Russia never pays the invaders to come in, they will never become a problem.

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  136. @Brabantian
    It's refreshing to have Anatoly Karlin's personal, detailed and informative take on matters Russian, along with that of Israel Shamir, especially given how some years back, the alt-media sphere re Russia was rather too shaped by the often oily and offensively demeaning scribbles of Matt Taibbi, Mark Ames and Yasha Levine of 'The Exile' (apparently still around as 'ExiledOnline')

    There is a maturity in Anatoly Karlin's writing beyond his apparent youth, as if continuing a discourse begun in a previous lifetime

    Regarding appealing places to live or sojourn in the Slavic East (none flaw-free, of course, but so it always goes), I will just say one word here: Croatia

    “oily and offensively demeaning scribbles of Matt Taibbi, Mark Ames and Yasha Levine of ‘The Exile’ (apparently still around as ‘ExiledOnline’)”

    What a group of ninnies. I live in hope of seeing Matt get his ass whipped someday.

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  137. @Avery
    {Farmed salmon is fattier than the wild version.}

    Junk fat.

    Farmed salmon are fed pelletized food and other processed junk.
    Also, due to being confined in large numbers in very tight spaces and susceptible to various diseases due to crowding, they are pumped full of antibiotics, similar to factory-farms of beef.

    Antibiotics and other contaminants mostly accumulate in the fat of the fish.

    All good points about “farmed” salmon. I recently learned that the sewage raised salmon has to be dyed orange, because the flesh is actually gray, due to the fact that the fish don’t feed on shrimp and other naturally preferred food sources that they would eat in the wild.

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  138. @first time poster
    @ak:

    having the usual holiday debates, the following accusations versus russia got thrown around: "its a putin dictatorship without free elections, without free media (i.e. all media is controlled by putin, tv shows only pro putin viewpoints) and where any opponent of putin is directly put in jail or eliminated"

    what is your take on this?

    without free media (i.e. all media is controlled by putin, tv shows only pro putin viewpoints)

    The article gives examples with links

    http://russia-insider.com/en/press-freedom-russia-putin-dog/ri21544

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  139. @Lemurmaniac
    i am a kiwi.

    Our elites plan to turn us into Singapore - a multicultural Asian nation with an authoritarian government (to manage Diversity) utterly controlled on the one hand by global oligarchs and on the other by far left scum who want to destroy ever last shred of what used to make us who we are.

    So true

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  140. @22pp22
    I think you're being harsh. I don't think melanf has an inferiority complex towards Westerners in general, just New Zealanders which is natural and normal.

    When Australians talk about New Zealand, the cultural cringe is just embarrassing.

    When asked abut Kiwis living in Australia, out prime minister wisely said that he supported it as it raises the IQ of both nations.

    In comparison with New Zealand the nature near Saint Petersburg loses

    On the other hand with regard to palaces, cathedrals and museums, New Zealand loses to Saint Petersburg.

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    • Replies: @22pp22
    Sorry, that was my bad attempt at humour. I am a massive Russophile and have been ever since I took the Transsiberian Railway back in 1987. Even when held back by communism, Russia had a huge amount to offer and I would really like to go back and spend a reasonable amount of time there.
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  141. @Twodees Partain
    Yes, the language barrier would probably prove insurmountable for me, at my age. I'd love to live in Russia for a year or so, for the experience, though.

    I did live in Russia for a little over a year. It is, in many ways, quite a nice place–Anatoly’s right. But the language is difficult, unless you have prior experience with it, or are just naturally gifted. I found that I was making such slow progress that I gave up after about a year (I’m 63). We learned most ex-pats last 2 or 3 years tops in Russia.

    The Moscow climate is also surprisingly dreary. Not bitterly cold, usually, but lots of overcast days with some rain or snow. Southern Russia might be different.

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    • Replies: @Anon 2
    Moscow's dreary climate is one reason why someone
    I know indirectly decided to move to Warsaw. She is
    about 20, was born and raised in Moscow but has some
    Polish ancestry. Between Moscow and St. Petersburg she
    prefers the latter. Here are some of the reasons why she
    (and her brother) moved to Poland:

    - There are more sunny days in winter in Warsaw than
    in Moscow. One look at the nearly vertical isotherms and
    one can see why the climate in Europe generally deteriorates
    as one goes east. Thus France has a better climate than Germany,
    Germany better than Poland, and Poland better than Russia;

    - She says people in Moscow are sad and overworked. She is
    a good-looking and spirited girl, and says this was beginning
    to affect her;

    - Moscow is far from the great centers of the European
    civilization. She likes to visit Italy or France on the spur
    of the moment, and this is much easier from Poland than
    from Russia;

    - She is vegetarian, a runner, and likes to be close to nature. In
    Moscow due to its enormous size she says she was always surrounded
    by asphalt and concrete, whereas in Warsaw you're never far
    from nature (due to the population ratio: 3 million in Warsaw vs
    12 million in Moscow).

    She's a university student, and so far seems very happy.
    As a Russian speaker she says she found Polish very easy
    to learn. Her parents are still in Moscow. I don't know
    what they think of their daughter's "crazy" idea
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  142. @melanf
    In comparison with New Zealand the nature near Saint Petersburg loses

    http://reserves-park.ru/images/stories/parki5/egmont.jpg

    http://yuriy-photo.narod.ru/karelskiyperesheek2002/target/01_pukhtolovagora/2002_05_26-125236.jpg


    On the other hand with regard to palaces, cathedrals and museums, New Zealand loses to Saint Petersburg.

    http://st.gde-fon.com/wallpapers_original/634985_auckland_new-zealand_gorod_3781x2288_www.Gde-Fon.com.jpg

    http://files2.ostagram.ru/uploads/content/image/1125278/img_c1820314bf.jpg

    Sorry, that was my bad attempt at humour. I am a massive Russophile and have been ever since I took the Transsiberian Railway back in 1987. Even when held back by communism, Russia had a huge amount to offer and I would really like to go back and spend a reasonable amount of time there.

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    • Replies: @Mikel
    Now that the real experts have spoken, I'll offer two humble suggestions that, in my view, should appeal to someone who is happy living in the South of NZ but note that, unfortunately, I still have not been to any of them.

    - Somewhere around Sochi, possibly some small resort on the coast to its North. You get a combination of warm sea, forests and the Caucasus Mountains with the conveniences of a big city nearby.

    - Barnaul. Medium size city in the most human-friendly part of Siberia (plenty of agricultural activity). Close to the breath-taking Altai Mountains and to the vast Siberian expanses of forests and lakes. Not far from Mongolia and China through the spectacular Chuya Highway.
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  143. @AP
    When the USSR collapsed everybody fully owned the places where they happened to be living, so no mortgages or rent. Of course, that was almost 30 years ago. People who don't inherit places to live from parents or grandparents have to buy or rent of course. Prior to 2014 events, Moscow real estate was very expensive.

    (also replying to melanf and Anatoly Karlin)

    Hm, so in other words, sucks to be you if you actually have to pay for rent, but most people own their own places, and therefore that’s only an issue for a minority of mostly “newcomers”?

    Any idea how large that minority is? What about the majority of people who own their own places, how much do they have to pay each month in household-related costs (utilities, maintenance)?

    I was talking to somebody in Voronezh when I was there, and remember being astonished at how little he paid for household-related costs as a percentage of his income. (unfortunately, I’ve forgotten the figures now… though I might find them somewhere if I look hard enough)

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    • Replies: @melanf

    Hm, so in other words, sucks to be you if you actually have to pay for rent, but most people own their own places, and therefore that’s only an issue for a minority of mostly “newcomers”?
     
    There is still a significant minority that receives money for renting apartments. Because this business is for the most part is hidden (so as not to pay taxes), accurate data is difficult to call.

    What about the majority of people who own their own places, how much do they have to pay each month in household-related costs (utilities, maintenance)?
     
    I pay about 6 000 rubles (per month) for a three bedroom apartment (Saint Petersburg)
    , @gogis
    Let's start with examples. I had a choice to live in rural Russian city with huge military plant, earning about 40k rubles (I checked with my former colleagues just recently; it's IT) and pay about 6k rubles monthly maintenance of 4-room flat I own, or live in Moscow, pay 28k for 1-room flat somewhere on Voykovskaya (so I commute like a human), but earn 200k.

    Basically, almost everybody have hereditary home, which cost peanuts to maintain, but if you can make it bigger (I mean job), you rent. People who rent property in Moscow and live off 40k are literally insane (and I know such people). With 200k+ in Russia question of money is rarely even pop in your mind (and it's normal wage in senior IT/coders crowd)

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  144. @first time poster
    @ak:

    having the usual holiday debates, the following accusations versus russia got thrown around: "its a putin dictatorship without free elections, without free media (i.e. all media is controlled by putin, tv shows only pro putin viewpoints) and where any opponent of putin is directly put in jail or eliminated"

    what is your take on this?

    That’s a completely false understanding of Russia’s media landscape. The people who told you that have no first hand experience – it sounds like they still think it’s the Stalin era there.

    What they forget is that THAT version of propaganda failed BADLY (remember, how the USSR collapsed?). Russia’s leaders KNOW that it failed badly. Therefore, they’re now trying a rather different approach. Mainly: giving lots of air time to the opposing viewpoints. Pro-US, pro-EU and pro-Ukrainian speakers are allowed on air every evening on the Russian talk shows. A few articles about how it works:

    http://russia-insider.com/en/politics/demonizing-russian-media/ri17802

    https://thesaker.is/re-visiting-russian-counter-propaganda-methods/

    All the Russian state media has to do is to translate for Russians the offensive nonsense that is said about their country in the West (and such nonsense isn’t hard to find, because most Western Russia analysts are paid to say bullsh*t about Russia to people who have no first-hand experience to call them out on it). The more they do that, the more Russians start to dislike and distrust the West. That’s what sites like Inosmi have been doing. That’s why even the local pro-West anti-Putin people are now begging the Westerners to dial it down a little.

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    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
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  145. @E
    (also replying to melanf and Anatoly Karlin)

    Hm, so in other words, sucks to be you if you actually have to pay for rent, but most people own their own places, and therefore that's only an issue for a minority of mostly "newcomers"?

    Any idea how large that minority is? What about the majority of people who own their own places, how much do they have to pay each month in household-related costs (utilities, maintenance)?

    I was talking to somebody in Voronezh when I was there, and remember being astonished at how little he paid for household-related costs as a percentage of his income. (unfortunately, I've forgotten the figures now... though I might find them somewhere if I look hard enough)

    Hm, so in other words, sucks to be you if you actually have to pay for rent, but most people own their own places, and therefore that’s only an issue for a minority of mostly “newcomers”?

    There is still a significant minority that receives money for renting apartments. Because this business is for the most part is hidden (so as not to pay taxes), accurate data is difficult to call.

    What about the majority of people who own their own places, how much do they have to pay each month in household-related costs (utilities, maintenance)?

    I pay about 6 000 rubles (per month) for a three bedroom apartment (Saint Petersburg)

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  146. @Anonymous

    $10,000 per month is common for American anesthesiologists
     
    Not even close. $120K a year would be somewhere in the bottom 5%. Anesthesiologists are well-paid, more than most doctors. $250K median would be much closer to reality. (Of course, they also bear higher burden of insurance policies).

    Anesthesiologists are well-paid, more than most doctors. $250K median would be much closer to reality. (Of course, they also bear higher burden of insurance policies).

    Actually, even that is on the lower end. A large healthcare system with which I am intimately familiar pays $250K per year for part-time anesthesiologists. Full-time, call-taking ones are paid $300-450K per year. For those in pain management, sky is the limit ($500K and up) unless the payer mix is bad (high Medicare/Medicaid patients), in which case the compensation will be quite poor and may even be a net loss for the facility.

    And these are employee-physicians. In the “good old days” when physicians owned their own practices as partners or shareholders, income was even higher for well-run practices situated in lucrative markets (affluent areas with good payer mixes). Of course, those days are long gone for most young doctors.

    Anesthesia used to incur extremely high liability costs, it being just about the only specialty in which one could kill a healthy patient within minutes, perhaps even seconds. But anesthesia as a discipline has engaged in aggressive risk management practices (“defensive medicine”) in the past 10 years, and the liability costs have tumbled down dramatically.

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    • Replies: @anonymous

    A large healthcare system with which I am intimately familiar pays $250K per year for part-time anesthesiologists.
     
    … hmmmm …
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  147. “Moscow Metro in 2033″ – no, its from a Russian Game, called “METRO 2033″

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  148. @Not Raul
    It seems that you are using the term “liberal” in two ways. For the West, you seem to use the term “liberal” to mean leftist; for Russia, you seem to use the term “liberal” to mean Thatcherite. So, there really is no paradox.

    To an extent, but not really.

    Intelligent, progressively minded people in general tend to disparage copyright law in the West, but respect it in Russia.

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    • Replies: @Eagle Eye
    The "Copyright Clause" of the U.S. Constitution gives Congress the power to enact legislation "to promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries."

    The Founding Fathers would have interpreted "limited times" as periods in the range of 5 - 15 years from the time of invention/creation.

    Current U.S. copyright continues throughout the author's life, and for 70 years thereafter. Copyright created for a company can remain effective for 120 years. Clearly, particular interests (film studios, news media) have more pull in DC than the ordinary Jane.
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  149. @jimmyriddle
    In the UK this is what you get if you click on: http://gen.lib.rus.ec/

    "Access to the websites listed on this page has been blocked pursuant to orders of the high court.

    More information can be found at www.ukispcourtorders.co.uk "

    1. Get a VPN.

    2. UK is weak on Internet rights too.

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  150. @22pp22
    I think you're being harsh. I don't think melanf has an inferiority complex towards Westerners in general, just New Zealanders which is natural and normal.

    When Australians talk about New Zealand, the cultural cringe is just embarrassing.

    When asked abut Kiwis living in Australia, out prime minister wisely said that he supported it as it raises the IQ of both nations.

    The New Zealanders that I’ve known didn’t seem to be that near-divine at all. In fact they were quite pedestrian sorts.

    Nice try at some Christmas humor though!

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  151. @Twinkie

    Anesthesiologists are well-paid, more than most doctors. $250K median would be much closer to reality. (Of course, they also bear higher burden of insurance policies).
     
    Actually, even that is on the lower end. A large healthcare system with which I am intimately familiar pays $250K per year for part-time anesthesiologists. Full-time, call-taking ones are paid $300-450K per year. For those in pain management, sky is the limit ($500K and up) unless the payer mix is bad (high Medicare/Medicaid patients), in which case the compensation will be quite poor and may even be a net loss for the facility.

    And these are employee-physicians. In the “good old days” when physicians owned their own practices as partners or shareholders, income was even higher for well-run practices situated in lucrative markets (affluent areas with good payer mixes). Of course, those days are long gone for most young doctors.

    Anesthesia used to incur extremely high liability costs, it being just about the only specialty in which one could kill a healthy patient within minutes, perhaps even seconds. But anesthesia as a discipline has engaged in aggressive risk management practices (“defensive medicine”) in the past 10 years, and the liability costs have tumbled down dramatically.

    A large healthcare system with which I am intimately familiar pays $250K per year for part-time anesthesiologists.

    … hmmmm …

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    • Replies: @Twinkie
    What’s “hmmmm”?
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  152. @Anatoly Karlin
    This makes sense, obviously I only have access to the supermarket versions of bryndza.

    Get away from supermarkets. Take a trip to Tatras and enjoy the local bryndza – late spring is the best time.

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  153. @first time poster
    @ak:

    having the usual holiday debates, the following accusations versus russia got thrown around: "its a putin dictatorship without free elections, without free media (i.e. all media is controlled by putin, tv shows only pro putin viewpoints) and where any opponent of putin is directly put in jail or eliminated"

    what is your take on this?

    This would probably be a very good read as well (although some points are outdated, but still):

    http://www.unz.com/akarlin/top-50-russophobe-myths/

    The “pro-Western liberals” (and journalists) have probably always been safer per capita than the general population and their actual popularity and influence is very low. They are not the actual “main” opposition or challenge to the Russian establishment and most so-called “Putin critics” are very much alive.

    Your friends/family (?) are some real experts on Russia (/s). Sad!

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    • Replies: @utu
    I have just happened to be reading Russophobia by Shafarevich which I strongly recommend. It is not dated.

    "Do not remain silent, Lord, stand up for your chosen ones, not for our sake, but for the sake of your vow to our fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Loose upon them the Chinese, so that they may glorify Mao and work for him as we have for them. Lord, let the Chinese destroy all Russian schools and rob them, and let the Russians be forcibly Sinofied, and let them forget their language and their writing. And let the Chinese organize for them a Russian National Okrug in the Himalayas."
     
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  154. @Kimppis
    This would probably be a very good read as well (although some points are outdated, but still):

    http://www.unz.com/akarlin/top-50-russophobe-myths/

    The "pro-Western liberals" (and journalists) have probably always been safer per capita than the general population and their actual popularity and influence is very low. They are not the actual "main" opposition or challenge to the Russian establishment and most so-called "Putin critics" are very much alive.

    Your friends/family (?) are some real experts on Russia (/s). Sad!

    I have just happened to be reading Russophobia by Shafarevich which I strongly recommend. It is not dated.

    “Do not remain silent, Lord, stand up for your chosen ones, not for our sake, but for the sake of your vow to our fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Loose upon them the Chinese, so that they may glorify Mao and work for him as we have for them. Lord, let the Chinese destroy all Russian schools and rob them, and let the Russians be forcibly Sinofied, and let them forget their language and their writing. And let the Chinese organize for them a Russian National Okrug in the Himalayas.”

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  155. @melanf
    Answered in the message 104. If in this case, the problem in some features of the language then sorry. English I know badly

    If in this case, the problem in some features of the language then sorry. English I know badly

    I don’t see any need to apologize. You might have chosen “the quality of natural landscapes”, for example, instead of your simple “nature”, just for those of slow comprehension (many monolingual English speakers) but the meaning of your phrase was crystal clear to me from the beginning. I have no idea what those two are nitpicking about and would advise to totally ignore them.

    On the other hand, I have been to both the Gulf of Finland north of SPB and to Patagonia (very similar to South NZ) and yes, I get your point and agree with it.

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  156. @Diversity Heretic
    I agree with almost everything here. But you'd better speak Russian and it's a highly-inflected language (the words change their forms according to their meaning in the sentence and their relationship to other words) and some words change with the addition of prefixes, which makes a dictionary search fruitless unless you can recognize the root. It is a difficult language for a brain wired for English and the older that brain gets, the more difficult the process becomes. It's hard to appreciate a country when you're constantly wondering what is going on and have no idea what people are saying to you.

    I can make myself understood in Russian. The inflections are not as bad at the stress that moves around all over the place. Take the word golovA meaning ‘head’. The declension is just sadistic.

    Nominative golovA
    Accusative gOlovu
    Genitive golovY
    Dative golovE
    Instrumental golovOI
    Locative golovE

    In the plural gOlovy gOlovy golOv golovAm golovAmi golovAkh

    In an act of pure sadism to foreign learners , they also insist on inflecting numerals.

    I find Bulgaria is a great place to learn Russian. The older generation often speaks it well and they tend to speak more slowly and clearly than Russians and in full sentences. Also they avoid the incredible crude slang some Russians use.

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    • Replies: @utu
    I find Bulgaria is a great place to learn Russian.

    How can they speak good Russian if Bulgarian language has no declension? Perhaps it is the only Slavic language w/o a declension.
    , @Anonymous

    In an act of pure sadism to foreign learners , they also insist on inflecting numerals.
     
    It's OK - most native Russian speakers these days can't properly inflect numerals either. In fact, chances are good that even Anatoly frequently makes mistakes in the more complex cases. Things like "пятью тысячами восьмистами шестьюдесятью тремя" are becoming a forgotten art to say.
    , @ussr andy
    the stresses are also somewhat ambiguous. is it кра́лась or крала́сь (she crept), звоня́т or зво́нят (they ring)? both variants feel correct, but only one is. I think many people wouldn't know without looking it up (it's the first.) there's nothing compared to that mess for example in German.

    to be clear, I'm not saying this is incompetence or whatever. I think ambiguities like this are usually indicative of some historical process of language change (maybe change from stress to length) that we just happen to be in the middle of.

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  157. @22pp22
    Sorry, that was my bad attempt at humour. I am a massive Russophile and have been ever since I took the Transsiberian Railway back in 1987. Even when held back by communism, Russia had a huge amount to offer and I would really like to go back and spend a reasonable amount of time there.

    Now that the real experts have spoken, I’ll offer two humble suggestions that, in my view, should appeal to someone who is happy living in the South of NZ but note that, unfortunately, I still have not been to any of them.

    - Somewhere around Sochi, possibly some small resort on the coast to its North. You get a combination of warm sea, forests and the Caucasus Mountains with the conveniences of a big city nearby.

    - Barnaul. Medium size city in the most human-friendly part of Siberia (plenty of agricultural activity). Close to the breath-taking Altai Mountains and to the vast Siberian expanses of forests and lakes. Not far from Mongolia and China through the spectacular Chuya Highway.

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    • Replies: @melanf
    Based on my childhood memories - very nice place is the town of Alupka in Crimea. This town is between mountains and the sea appeared around the most beautiful castle in Russia.

    http://ruotpusk.ru/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/2-43.jpg

    http://crimeaplus.ru/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/wpid-voroncovskiy-dvorec-v-alupke_i_2.jpg
    http://travelliving.ru/_bd/5/72179996.jpg
    http://70.r.photoshare.ru/00705/006ba3fe41c70f83cd5d6ad04ee2156384e53156.jpg

    And Crimea is a place where many natural and architectural attractions are concentrated close to each other, they can be viewed during a short break from Alupka

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  158. @anonymous

    A large healthcare system with which I am intimately familiar pays $250K per year for part-time anesthesiologists.
     
    … hmmmm …

    What’s “hmmmm”?

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    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
    I took it to mean, “hmmm, i wonder if it’s too late for me to switch fields....”

    I know I was thinking, “maybe I’ll encourage our kids to study that if they have the aptitude. Part-time?? What a wonderful life.”
    , @norse nestor
    doubt
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  159. @Anatoly Karlin
    This makes sense, obviously I only have access to the supermarket versions of bryndza.

    For comparison the cost of renting a prestigious place in Beijing is higher. In the centrally located Sanlitun neighborhood which has the main bar street in the city, a studio apartment costs about 8000-9000 RMB ($1216-1368).

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    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    Thanks - not surprised, after the devaluation and continued price growth in China.

    I remember the good old days (half a decade ago?) when it was $500 in Beijing/Shanghai and $200 in the "smaller" (<5 million) regional cities.
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  160. @22pp22
    I can make myself understood in Russian. The inflections are not as bad at the stress that moves around all over the place. Take the word golovA meaning 'head'. The declension is just sadistic.

    Nominative golovA
    Accusative gOlovu
    Genitive golovY
    Dative golovE
    Instrumental golovOI
    Locative golovE

    In the plural gOlovy gOlovy golOv golovAm golovAmi golovAkh

    In an act of pure sadism to foreign learners , they also insist on inflecting numerals.

    I find Bulgaria is a great place to learn Russian. The older generation often speaks it well and they tend to speak more slowly and clearly than Russians and in full sentences. Also they avoid the incredible crude slang some Russians use.

    I find Bulgaria is a great place to learn Russian.

    How can they speak good Russian if Bulgarian language has no declension? Perhaps it is the only Slavic language w/o a declension.

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    • Replies: @Simpleguest
    "Perhaps it is the only Slavic language w/o a declension."

    No, it's not.
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  161. anonymous • Disclaimer says: • Website

    OT:

    A federal judge ruled Saturday that the U.S. military must provide legal counsel to an American citizen who was picked up months ago on the Syrian battlefield and accused of fighting with Islamic State militants.

    The unidentified American, who has not been charged, surrendered to U.S.-backed fighters in Syria around Sept. 12 and is currently being held in Iraq as an unlawful enemy combatant.

    The American Civil Liberties Union filed a court petition challenging his detention and asking to act on his behalf to provide him access to legal counsel.

    Not up on all the nitpickery of Constitutional Law but shouldn’t counsel have been appointed before he/she surrendered? So he/she could consider his/her options? How can we be sure the so-called surrender was knowing and voluntary?

    Late last month, the U.S. government acknowledged that it has detained an American citizen accused of fighting with IS for months without fulfilling his request to see a lawyer. Responding to a court order, the government said the man picked up on the Syrian battlefield indicated he was willing to talk to FBI agents but “felt he should have an attorney present.”

    In her ruling, U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan denied the Defense Department’s motion to dismiss the matter and ordered the military to let the ACLU “immediate and unmonitored access to the detainee” so that it can determine whether he wants the ACLU to represent him. The judge also ordered the Defense Department not to transfer the detainee until the ACLU tells the court of the detainee’s wishes.

    Thank Allah we have Feral Judges willing to stand up to Trump, else we would literally be living in Nazi Germany.

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  162. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @22pp22
    I can make myself understood in Russian. The inflections are not as bad at the stress that moves around all over the place. Take the word golovA meaning 'head'. The declension is just sadistic.

    Nominative golovA
    Accusative gOlovu
    Genitive golovY
    Dative golovE
    Instrumental golovOI
    Locative golovE

    In the plural gOlovy gOlovy golOv golovAm golovAmi golovAkh

    In an act of pure sadism to foreign learners , they also insist on inflecting numerals.

    I find Bulgaria is a great place to learn Russian. The older generation often speaks it well and they tend to speak more slowly and clearly than Russians and in full sentences. Also they avoid the incredible crude slang some Russians use.

    In an act of pure sadism to foreign learners , they also insist on inflecting numerals.

    It’s OK – most native Russian speakers these days can’t properly inflect numerals either. In fact, chances are good that even Anatoly frequently makes mistakes in the more complex cases. Things like “пятью тысячами восьмистами шестьюдесятью тремя” are becoming a forgotten art to say.

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    • LOL: Anatoly Karlin
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  163. @Twinkie
    What’s “hmmmm”?

    I took it to mean, “hmmm, i wonder if it’s too late for me to switch fields….”

    I know I was thinking, “maybe I’ll encourage our kids to study that if they have the aptitude. Part-time?? What a wonderful life.”

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    • Replies: @Twinkie

    I know I was thinking, “maybe I’ll encourage our kids to study that if they have the aptitude. Part-time?? What a wonderful life.”
     
    Well, part-time in this case means 40 hours per week with no paid vacations, no sick days, no benefits except liability insurance, barebones insurance*, and a tiny stipend for professional expenses. Full-time means 60+ hours per week, call (working overnight at the hospital) every 4 days, and one call weekend (working at the hospital the whole weekend) once a month. As you can imagine, most of the part-time anesthesiologists in this particular healthcare system is made up of women with children.

    And you get to have this wonderful life (full of regulations and stress) on top of pre-med undergrad for four years, four years of medical school, one year of internship, and three-to-four years of residency, during which time you might rack up $300,000 in debt. Now you start, at age 30 or so and begin your career in earnest.

    In the mean time, your friends with similar cognitive profiles (i.e. smart enough to get high SAT and MCAT scores and dedicated enough to pass organic chemistry in college) will have entered law, investment banking or IT years earlier and will have been making six-figure salaries all along, and probably already married with children, a house, and a dog.

    *One sad aspect of all this is that most healthcare systems/hospitals are quite chintzy and provide very barebones health insurance for their employees - frequently much worse than what the patients they treat have (if those patients have normal professional jobs).

    Don't get me wrong. $250-500K a year is nothing to sneeze at, but for most high-IQ/high-drive people, there are easier ways to make that kind of money, with much nicer quality of life.
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  164. @utu
    I find Bulgaria is a great place to learn Russian.

    How can they speak good Russian if Bulgarian language has no declension? Perhaps it is the only Slavic language w/o a declension.

    “Perhaps it is the only Slavic language w/o a declension.”

    No, it’s not.

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    • Replies: @utu
    "No, it’s not" that Bulgarian has declension or "No, it’s not" that other Slavic language than Bulgarian has no declension?
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  165. @Art Deco
    It’s well-worth reading (or at least skimming) to truly get away from the nonsense myth that perpetual population growth is a necessity.

    Perpetual population growth is not a necessity. The problem arises when you have 1 grandchild charged with the task of looking after 4 elderly grandparents. Reproduction at replacement rates, wherein succeeding age cohorts are of roughly similar dimensions at birth, is what's needed (more or less).

    Exactly. Europe needs 2-3 fertility rate. 1 or 1.5 is too little.
    And of course no one is saying we need 7 kids like Africa.

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    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
    Please, have four kids each and send one per family to join us here in the USA. We need them.
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  166. @Simpleguest
    "Perhaps it is the only Slavic language w/o a declension."

    No, it's not.

    “No, it’s not” that Bulgarian has declension or “No, it’s not” that other Slavic language than Bulgarian has no declension?

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    • Replies: @Simpleguest
    It's not the only Slavic language without declension.
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  167. @utu
    "No, it’s not" that Bulgarian has declension or "No, it’s not" that other Slavic language than Bulgarian has no declension?

    It’s not the only Slavic language without declension.

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    • Replies: @utu
    It’s not the only Slavic language without declension.

    Which Slavic languages have no declension?
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  168. @Art Deco
    It’s well-worth reading (or at least skimming) to truly get away from the nonsense myth that perpetual population growth is a necessity.

    Perpetual population growth is not a necessity. The problem arises when you have 1 grandchild charged with the task of looking after 4 elderly grandparents. Reproduction at replacement rates, wherein succeeding age cohorts are of roughly similar dimensions at birth, is what's needed (more or less).

    Perpetual population growth is not a necessity. The problem arises when you have 1 grandchild charged with the task of looking after 4 elderly grandparents. Reproduction at replacement rates, wherein succeeding age cohorts are of roughly similar dimensions at birth, is what’s needed (more or less).

    Read Polish Perspective’s link again. The study argues that such imbalances, historically (1990-2015), may have been offset by greater investments in automation. They find a mild positive correlation between aging populations and GDP growth and a strong positive correlation between aging populations and the adoption of automation.

    http://economics.mit.edu/files/12536

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    • Replies: @Art Deco
    The study argues that such imbalances, historically (1990-2015), may have been offset by greater investments in automation.

    I've heard libertarian technophiles talk like that. I doubt one of them has ever encountered real eldercare issues. There is no substitute for your children.
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  169. @Philip Owen
    Russian productivity growth is deeply unimpressive. Without capital to invest and foreign investment to transfer technology it is likely to stay low.

    Russian productivity growth is deeply unimpressive. Without capital to invest and foreign investment to transfer technology it is likely to stay low.

    Indeed, but the solution here is to tackle the source problem, not to import millions of low-productivity workers.

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  170. @neutral
    I think you should ask yourself if trying to use the rules of EU to save you matters, the goal is clear, mass immigration into Europe, the EU has broken many rules to get what it wants, I fail to see why it would stop doing so now. It is simply naive for you to think that someone like Merkel is seriously going to abide by rules or voting rights.

    And I am not Russian btw.

    I think you should ask yourself if trying to use the rules of EU to save you matters, the goal is clear, mass immigration into Europe, the EU has broken many rules to get what it wants, I fail to see why it would stop doing so now. It is simply naive for you to think that someone like Merkel is seriously going to abide by rules or voting rights.

    You may well be right, but I’m with Polish Perspective on this one. I get the sense that Europe’s elites have started to budge on this question, partly out of fear of right-wing movements and partly because immigration problems are discussed far more openly than in the past. In Sweden, for instance, even left-wing politicians have started addressing the fact that antisemitism and extreme expressions of misogyny are mostly found among immigrants. This would have been unheard of even three years ago.

    I also believe that the countries of eastern Europe stand a good chance of winning the dispute over the migrant quotas. From what I hear, they seem to have EU law on their side — so long as they keep each other’s backs — and they enjoy broad support from common people in other EU countries, which would put even more pressure on the elites. The presence of Trump may also help their cause.

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    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
    Some great points. But I seriously doubt that the average person in Germany supports common sense and the right of any European people to maintain their countries and their cultures. Other euro countries, maybe.
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  171. @Beckow
    Belarus is partially less corrupt because of its better demographics.

    But, not liking 'bryndza' is a faux pas that I cannot forgive. Fresh bryndza cheese (with 'n' in the middle) is substantially better than most feta cheeses. And a lot more healthy. Where does Russia get its bryndza now with sanctions on EU food? To make quality bryndza one needs tall mountains and wet meadows, so it could be a geography issue. Or, maybe Russia has a shortage of loving bryndza-producing 'bacas'.

    Where does Russia get its bryndza now with sanctions on EU food?

    Serbia.

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    • Replies: @yurivku

    Where does Russia get its bryndza now with sanctions on EU food?
     
    domestic bryndza is good enough. What really not good yet - it's Parmesan. Currently it's from Argentina and it's not good.
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  172. @Mikel
    Now that the real experts have spoken, I'll offer two humble suggestions that, in my view, should appeal to someone who is happy living in the South of NZ but note that, unfortunately, I still have not been to any of them.

    - Somewhere around Sochi, possibly some small resort on the coast to its North. You get a combination of warm sea, forests and the Caucasus Mountains with the conveniences of a big city nearby.

    - Barnaul. Medium size city in the most human-friendly part of Siberia (plenty of agricultural activity). Close to the breath-taking Altai Mountains and to the vast Siberian expanses of forests and lakes. Not far from Mongolia and China through the spectacular Chuya Highway.

    Based on my childhood memories – very nice place is the town of Alupka in Crimea. This town is between mountains and the sea appeared around the most beautiful castle in Russia.
    http://travelliving.ru/_bd/5/72179996.jpg
    And Crimea is a place where many natural and architectural attractions are concentrated close to each other, they can be viewed during a short break from Alupka

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  173. @Swedish Family

    Perpetual population growth is not a necessity. The problem arises when you have 1 grandchild charged with the task of looking after 4 elderly grandparents. Reproduction at replacement rates, wherein succeeding age cohorts are of roughly similar dimensions at birth, is what’s needed (more or less).
     
    Read Polish Perspective's link again. The study argues that such imbalances, historically (1990-2015), may have been offset by greater investments in automation. They find a mild positive correlation between aging populations and GDP growth and a strong positive correlation between aging populations and the adoption of automation.

    http://economics.mit.edu/files/12536

    The study argues that such imbalances, historically (1990-2015), may have been offset by greater investments in automation.

    I’ve heard libertarian technophiles talk like that. I doubt one of them has ever encountered real eldercare issues. There is no substitute for your children.

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    • Replies: @Swedish Family

    I’ve heard libertarian technophiles talk like that. I doubt one of them has ever encountered real eldercare issues. There is no substitute for your children.
     
    Your doubt is understandable, but healthcare is one area where automation promises to be particularly effective (in most advanced economies, nurses and other healthcare professionals are burdened with large amounts of repetitive administrative tasks). The technology is already in place, so expect to see huge improvements on this front in the coming years.
    , @RadicalCenter
    Exactly right. European peoples everywhere need to have many more children, and there is no substitute for our own children economically, culturally, spiritually, emotionally, or morally.
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  174. @Riley
    I think the difference in healthcare access and affordability can't be over-stated. I had my chest sawed open in a Moscow suburb hospital. Stayed at the hospital for a week recovering. Total cost, including surgery, room and board: about $100 -- and that's because I was a completely uninsured foreigner. Sure, the facilities aren't sparkling and new, but who cares? American healthcare is such a monumental scam. It's mind-melting.

    I had a four-day hospital stay in Los Angeles nearly a year ago. No surgery, no experimental or unusual drugs or treatments. The bill was over forty two thousand dollars.

    My employer provided medical insurance ended up covering almost all of it, after a modest deductible.

    BUT:
    (1) a large and I think increasing number of people don’t have employers provided medical insurance (admittedly, some millions of US residents don’t have it because they are here illegally and/or because they work off the books (and don’t pay taxes, another problem), but tens of millions of people work full-time and don’t have it through their work)

    (2) although the Med insurance covered almost everything, the absurdly high bill leads directly to higher premiums for our family and everyone else on our plan;

    (3) the huge amount paid to the hospital did very little to provide jobs for actual core Americans, yes meaning European-Americans, as almost all of the orderlies / aides / LPNs and even the RNs and MDs were foreigners. One of the two MDs was a white American and the other was a disinterested Indian prick who obviously didn’t care and checked his phone while speaking with me for two minutes and then billing bigtime. One RN was a white American, one Vietnamese. One aide was a typically surly black American, and the other staff with whom I had contact were two Nigerians and a bunch of filipinas.

    The Nigerian guy I saw the most was quite friendly and funny and we enjoyed ourselves, but the point is that every one of these jobs could and should have gone to Americans born and raised here to parents and grandparents born and raised here. EuropeanAmericans ought to be training for these needed jobs rather than all believing that they can be lawyers, actors or singers, video game animators or coders, social quote workers and diversity officers and HR directors and other bureaucrats, and other fields that result in people working at starbucks and retail stores and bitching about the unfair system and capitalism. Asshole quote guidance counselors and unrealistic parents ae doing these young people a disservice. They should and readily could be making a living doing all the jobs that this SWARM of foreigners did at the hospital where I stayed.

    This medical system is sick and also contributing to our impoverishment and our demographic replacement. These people never should have gotten H1Bs to come here. Pay enough and Americans will do the jobs. (Deport millions of illegal aliens and their broods, and stop making taxpayers cover the care of noncitizens legal or illegal, and we’d have plenty of money to pay salaries high enough to attract EuropeanAmericans aka Americans.)

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  175. @22pp22
    I can make myself understood in Russian. The inflections are not as bad at the stress that moves around all over the place. Take the word golovA meaning 'head'. The declension is just sadistic.

    Nominative golovA
    Accusative gOlovu
    Genitive golovY
    Dative golovE
    Instrumental golovOI
    Locative golovE

    In the plural gOlovy gOlovy golOv golovAm golovAmi golovAkh

    In an act of pure sadism to foreign learners , they also insist on inflecting numerals.

    I find Bulgaria is a great place to learn Russian. The older generation often speaks it well and they tend to speak more slowly and clearly than Russians and in full sentences. Also they avoid the incredible crude slang some Russians use.

    the stresses are also somewhat ambiguous. is it кра́лась or крала́сь (she crept), звоня́т or зво́нят (they ring)? both variants feel correct, but only one is. I think many people wouldn’t know without looking it up (it’s the first.) there’s nothing compared to that mess for example in German.

    to be clear, I’m not saying this is incompetence or whatever. I think ambiguities like this are usually indicative of some historical process of language change (maybe change from stress to length) that we just happen to be in the middle of.

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    • Replies: @ussr andy
    ...which would also mean it may be happening in other Slavic languages and whatsmore each language is in a different phase of it (some where it just started, some where it's near completion.) In the latter case it would be amusing to identify it because that's how Russian might sound once, too.
    , @Chet Bradley
    Good points, USSR Andy. The question is, if you stress a word differently, does it change its meaning? I don't know Russian, but I know Serbian, where similar issues exist. In most cases, if you change how you stress a word it may sound funny, but people will understand you.

    Also when I say "sound funny", it doesn't necessarily mean wrong. Different regions have different accents, so what sounds funny to a big city speaker may sound perfectly normal to a speaker from a more distant province; that's just how they speak in that province.

    There are not that many words, in relative terms, where changing the stress would change the meaning altogether, so remembering those specifically isn't that much of a burden.

    I agree with most others here that, if you come from a language without grammatical cases (падежи, also referred to as "declensions" and "inflections" on this thread), it is hard to get to the stage where using them becomes natural. I tried learning Russian a bit (in the U.S. where I live), and while grammatical cases come natural to me, the extremely confusing part was that Russian dative ends like a Serbian genitive, and Russian genitive ends like a Serbian dative (speaking from memory, don't quote me), and I could never get that right. When something is so similar to make it look easy, but just different enough to throw you off, it makes it difficult to master. It felt easier learning Italian or Spanish, no prior knowledge to mislead me.
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  176. @ussr andy
    the stresses are also somewhat ambiguous. is it кра́лась or крала́сь (she crept), звоня́т or зво́нят (they ring)? both variants feel correct, but only one is. I think many people wouldn't know without looking it up (it's the first.) there's nothing compared to that mess for example in German.

    to be clear, I'm not saying this is incompetence or whatever. I think ambiguities like this are usually indicative of some historical process of language change (maybe change from stress to length) that we just happen to be in the middle of.

    …which would also mean it may be happening in other Slavic languages and whatsmore each language is in a different phase of it (some where it just started, some where it’s near completion.) In the latter case it would be amusing to identify it because that’s how Russian might sound once, too.

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  177. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    one of the two MDs was … a disinterested Indian prick who obviously didn’t care

    This is surprisingly common. Probably even above 50% among Indians and Pakistani. They just don’t give a damn so much of the time. I say “surprisingly” because the rates are very obviously lower in MDs of other ethnicities. Doctor-wise, most of the time you’d be better off with a Latino than Indian. Although, alas, blacks are the worst on average simply because so many of them are relatively incompetent.

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  178. @ussr andy
    the stresses are also somewhat ambiguous. is it кра́лась or крала́сь (she crept), звоня́т or зво́нят (they ring)? both variants feel correct, but only one is. I think many people wouldn't know without looking it up (it's the first.) there's nothing compared to that mess for example in German.

    to be clear, I'm not saying this is incompetence or whatever. I think ambiguities like this are usually indicative of some historical process of language change (maybe change from stress to length) that we just happen to be in the middle of.

    Good points, USSR Andy. The question is, if you stress a word differently, does it change its meaning? I don’t know Russian, but I know Serbian, where similar issues exist. In most cases, if you change how you stress a word it may sound funny, but people will understand you.

    Also when I say “sound funny”, it doesn’t necessarily mean wrong. Different regions have different accents, so what sounds funny to a big city speaker may sound perfectly normal to a speaker from a more distant province; that’s just how they speak in that province.

    There are not that many words, in relative terms, where changing the stress would change the meaning altogether, so remembering those specifically isn’t that much of a burden.

    I agree with most others here that, if you come from a language without grammatical cases (падежи, also referred to as “declensions” and “inflections” on this thread), it is hard to get to the stage where using them becomes natural. I tried learning Russian a bit (in the U.S. where I live), and while grammatical cases come natural to me, the extremely confusing part was that Russian dative ends like a Serbian genitive, and Russian genitive ends like a Serbian dative (speaking from memory, don’t quote me), and I could never get that right. When something is so similar to make it look easy, but just different enough to throw you off, it makes it difficult to master. It felt easier learning Italian or Spanish, no prior knowledge to mislead me.

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    • Replies: @ussr andy
    There are words that change meaning, and not too few either. Some may just change case and number but remain the same basic word. I could think offhand only of больши́е (big ones) - бо́льшие (bigger ones), but there are more: http://accentonline.ru/homograph.html
    though many are a tad artificial and can't be a source of confusion even if stressed on the wrong syllable, for example because they're different parts of speech (a noun and a verb.) A funny one:
    бе́лки (squirrels) - белки́ (eggwhites/proteins)
    Also many issues due to the letter ё not being a "first-class citizen", but this is a problem only in written language.
    , @yurivku

    When something is so similar to make it look easy, but just different enough to throw you off, it makes it difficult to master. It felt easier learning Italian or Spanish, no prior knowledge to mislead me.
     
    Staying in the UK quite a long time ago, when my aquitances say "Russian is too difficult to study" - I always was saying - "the distance between Russian and English is equal in both directions".

    And if many of us can use English at least on understandable level - I see no reason for english talking people not to do the same. I think there is only one cause - lack of desire to do that. Well, it really needs to work hard.
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  179. @Art Deco
    The study argues that such imbalances, historically (1990-2015), may have been offset by greater investments in automation.

    I've heard libertarian technophiles talk like that. I doubt one of them has ever encountered real eldercare issues. There is no substitute for your children.

    I’ve heard libertarian technophiles talk like that. I doubt one of them has ever encountered real eldercare issues. There is no substitute for your children.

    Your doubt is understandable, but healthcare is one area where automation promises to be particularly effective (in most advanced economies, nurses and other healthcare professionals are burdened with large amounts of repetitive administrative tasks). The technology is already in place, so expect to see huge improvements on this front in the coming years.

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    • Replies: @Art Deco
    (in most advanced economies, nurses and other healthcare professionals are burdened with large amounts of repetitive administrative tasks).

    They weren't in 1950. The repetitive administrative tasks are a consequence of compliance people having taken over the world.
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  180. @Anonymous
    For comparison the cost of renting a prestigious place in Beijing is higher. In the centrally located Sanlitun neighborhood which has the main bar street in the city, a studio apartment costs about 8000-9000 RMB ($1216-1368).

    Thanks – not surprised, after the devaluation and continued price growth in China.

    I remember the good old days (half a decade ago?) when it was $500 in Beijing/Shanghai and $200 in the “smaller” (<5 million) regional cities.

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  181. @Chet Bradley
    Good points, USSR Andy. The question is, if you stress a word differently, does it change its meaning? I don't know Russian, but I know Serbian, where similar issues exist. In most cases, if you change how you stress a word it may sound funny, but people will understand you.

    Also when I say "sound funny", it doesn't necessarily mean wrong. Different regions have different accents, so what sounds funny to a big city speaker may sound perfectly normal to a speaker from a more distant province; that's just how they speak in that province.

    There are not that many words, in relative terms, where changing the stress would change the meaning altogether, so remembering those specifically isn't that much of a burden.

    I agree with most others here that, if you come from a language without grammatical cases (падежи, also referred to as "declensions" and "inflections" on this thread), it is hard to get to the stage where using them becomes natural. I tried learning Russian a bit (in the U.S. where I live), and while grammatical cases come natural to me, the extremely confusing part was that Russian dative ends like a Serbian genitive, and Russian genitive ends like a Serbian dative (speaking from memory, don't quote me), and I could never get that right. When something is so similar to make it look easy, but just different enough to throw you off, it makes it difficult to master. It felt easier learning Italian or Spanish, no prior knowledge to mislead me.

    There are words that change meaning, and not too few either. Some may just change case and number but remain the same basic word. I could think offhand only of больши́е (big ones) – бо́льшие (bigger ones), but there are more: http://accentonline.ru/homograph.html
    though many are a tad artificial and can’t be a source of confusion even if stressed on the wrong syllable, for example because they’re different parts of speech (a noun and a verb.) A funny one:
    бе́лки (squirrels) – белки́ (eggwhites/proteins)
    Also many issues due to the letter ё not being a “first-class citizen”, but this is a problem only in written language.

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  182. @DFH

    2) more whimsical/philosophical than SiP, which I think is more “grounded” in the real world
     
    The one thing that has always annoyed me about nationalists is how much time they waste on mystical
    rubbish like Evola, Spengler, Nietzsche etc. It has come to such a point that I've seen fans of such people insult other nationalists for caring about actual, empirical data like HBD (e.g. I saw someone call Jared Taylor a 'spiritual autist' in a tweet the other day). The co-hosts of Spencer's podcast are the absolute worst in this regard.
    Why this affinity exists I have no idea, I would have expected the opposite given that so many people are made nationalists by looking at facts.

    The one thing that has always annoyed me about nationalists..

    Nationalism has been a recurring facet of civilizations since ancient times, though the modern sense of national political autonomy and self-determination was formalized in the late 18th century.

    My take in ‘Nationalism’ is that you love your country, and want your country to remain so, enjoying what your nation (country) has created or become throughout its history. No a day when you profess such feelings, you are called names, and anti some one or something.

    Every man who loves peace, every man who loves his country, every man who loves liberty, ought to have it ever before his eyes, that he may cherish in his heart a due attachment to the Union of America, and be able to set a due value on the means of preserving it.

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  183. @Swedish Family

    I’ve heard libertarian technophiles talk like that. I doubt one of them has ever encountered real eldercare issues. There is no substitute for your children.
     
    Your doubt is understandable, but healthcare is one area where automation promises to be particularly effective (in most advanced economies, nurses and other healthcare professionals are burdened with large amounts of repetitive administrative tasks). The technology is already in place, so expect to see huge improvements on this front in the coming years.

    (in most advanced economies, nurses and other healthcare professionals are burdened with large amounts of repetitive administrative tasks).

    They weren’t in 1950. The repetitive administrative tasks are a consequence of compliance people having taken over the world.

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  184. @Simpleguest
    It's not the only Slavic language without declension.

    It’s not the only Slavic language without declension.

    Which Slavic languages have no declension?

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    • Replies: @22pp22
    I have a shopping bag in my house with the logo:

    от любов към българия (Ot liubov km Bulgaria)

    It means "for the love of Bulgaria" and is practically the same as Russian except that the preposition ot requires a following noun to be in the genitive. Hence, liubov becomes libvi. Km (k in Russian) requires a following noun to be in the dative. So Bulgaria becomes Bulgarii. These noun declensions no longer exist in Bulgarian, but Bulgarian students of Russian do not find hem too difficult to learn.

    Bulgarian verbs are just as heavily inflected as Russian ones. Also, in common with Greek, Bulgarian lacks an infinitive, so every verb has to have an ending.

    When Simpleguest says thet Bulgarian is the not the only Slavic language to have dropped its noun endings, I think he is referring to Macedonian.

    Macedonian and Bulgarian are almost the same language.
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  185. @melanf

    I was hoping Anatoly Karlin would use his local knowledge to recommend a small town/city in Russia where we could spend a few months, but he didn’t reply to my post.
     

    melanf can perhaps comment on small cities near St. Petersburg
     
    What are the priority when choosing a town, and what time of year you want in the town to live?
    Around St. Petersburg as comfortable as possible places are resort towns to the North such as Zelenogorsk

    http://yct.spb.ru/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/%D1%84%D0%BE%D0%BD-1.jpg

    http://walkday.ru/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/lindulovskaya_08.jpg

    http://www.fiesta.city/uploads/slider_image/image/49182/v880_dxthfhfgh.jpg

    This settlement on the shore of Finnish Bay, surrounded by forests and lakes, a 40-minute drive from the centre of Saint-Petersburg (regularly train). But of course to New Zealand local nature hopelessly inferior.

    New Zealand is so isolated, limited, and generally boring after gazing at the natural beauty. Wonderful place to visit, and thank God that there are still some places that are relatively uncrowded, quiet, and unspoiled. (With mass immigration, we are importing noise, air pollution, crowds, and generally a less healthy, less peaceful way of life.)

    But for our purposes, despite the admittedly major factor of the bitter cold, someplace more affordable near Moscow or Saint Petersburg would Be way more enjoyable. Some of the finest symphony orchestras, choirs, ballet, professional hockey, and architecture in the world.

    Moreover, to our minds, Maori “culture” is only briefly interesting for the sake of novelty and seeing a different corner of the world, and has little to recommend it. About 15-16%percent of the NZ population is Maori, and they enrich the community with their drastically higher rates of violent crime and property crime, gang membership, lower intelligence, abandonment of their children and children’s mothers, uncivilized behavior, repulsive appearance, and slothfulness. They are the Africans of NZ. At such a substantial portion of the population, Maoris alone give Russia the edge.

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    • Replies: @22pp22
    As some one who actually lives in New Zealand, I have to admit there is some truth in what you say.

    However, I would add:

    1). Maori are responsible for a hugely disproportional amount of crime, but there are large areas of the country where there are not that many of them and the people who claim to be Maori are barely so. The places you want to avoid are East Cape, Porirua, South Auckland and Gisborne. There all on the North Island and I rarely go there.

    One or two small towns like Kaingaroa and Dannevirke up north also have a bad reputation. Taupo, on the other hand, is close to paradise.

    The only places of the South Island I would definitely avoid are Mataura and a part of Timaru.

    Also they may be the African-Americans of New Zealand, but they are usually a great deal better than the equivalent minorities in a lot of other societies. I have walked through these areas at night. I wouldn't do that in England.

    2). In sports and science, New Zealand massively punches above its weight. It has a high smart fraction with almost as many gifted people as Brazil.

    New Zealand leads the world in several areas of research such as geothermal energy and often comes top in the per-capital medals table in the Olympics (ie it's not just rugby)

    3). For a small country in the middle of nowhere, it actually has a good cultural life. Maori culture lacks the depth of the Russian opera, but there is plenty of European culture available to those who want it.

    Virtually nowhere else on earth has the cultural life of Moscow or St. Petersburg.

    4). I have PhD in Asian history and a degree in geology. I am educated to a fault, but I do not find life in a very isolated town to be boring. The education system here has been ruined by PC, but rural New Zealand has very, very good PISA scores.

    In so far as it really impacts the quality of life here, I would list the following.

    1). Foul language. Some people use the f-word like commas and full stops.
    2). Pressure to conform. This can lead to pressure to conform down and behave like the worst elements in society. Kiwis recognise this failing in themselves and fall it the Tall Poppy Syndrome.
    3). Aircraft noise. A lot of people like to fly small aircraft. It really ruins some of the county's best scenery.
    4). Binge-drinking.
    , @Art Deco
    About 15-16%percent of the NZ population is Maori, and they enrich the community with their drastically higher rates of violent crime and property crime, gang membership

    New Zealand's homicide rate is 0.9 per 100,000, actually slightly lower than the west European mean. The homicide rate in New Guinea averages about 10 per 100,000. That in the small insular societies of the Pacific averages 3 per 100,000. Polynesia isn't Latin America.
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  186. @melanf
    But if you want to plunge into the life of the Russian provinces, and to spend a little money - you can choose Novgorod
    https://grandgames.net/puzzle/full/velikiy_novgorod.jpg

    and Pskov
    https://ic.pics.livejournal.com/tivir/70658698/415908/415908_900.jpg

    . This is a small historic town not far from St. Petersburg (3 and 6 hours train trip). Life in these towns is poor and cheap

    They look beautiful. But how many months are brutal winter?

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Novgorod, Pskov and St. Petersburg all have milder winters than, e.g., Chicago. Not as hot during summers, too.
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  187. @Mr. Hack
    I think Karlin should include more articles of the travelogue variety to his blog, and cut down on the 'futuristic IQ racist' ones. He seems to get a far better response to articles such as this one, and definitely shows an impressive writing flair in this arena too. I'd rate this as one of his more sumptuous posts!

    I’d like more of both types of article from Anatoly. One of my writers on unz or anywhere. And I’d be glad to catch dinner with him when I finally take the family to Moscow and SPB someday.

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  188. @polskijoe
    Exactly. Europe needs 2-3 fertility rate. 1 or 1.5 is too little.
    And of course no one is saying we need 7 kids like Africa.

    Please, have four kids each and send one per family to join us here in the USA. We need them.

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  189. @Swedish Family

    I think you should ask yourself if trying to use the rules of EU to save you matters, the goal is clear, mass immigration into Europe, the EU has broken many rules to get what it wants, I fail to see why it would stop doing so now. It is simply naive for you to think that someone like Merkel is seriously going to abide by rules or voting rights.
     
    You may well be right, but I'm with Polish Perspective on this one. I get the sense that Europe's elites have started to budge on this question, partly out of fear of right-wing movements and partly because immigration problems are discussed far more openly than in the past. In Sweden, for instance, even left-wing politicians have started addressing the fact that antisemitism and extreme expressions of misogyny are mostly found among immigrants. This would have been unheard of even three years ago.

    I also believe that the countries of eastern Europe stand a good chance of winning the dispute over the migrant quotas. From what I hear, they seem to have EU law on their side -- so long as they keep each other's backs -- and they enjoy broad support from common people in other EU countries, which would put even more pressure on the elites. The presence of Trump may also help their cause.

    Some great points. But I seriously doubt that the average person in Germany supports common sense and the right of any European people to maintain their countries and their cultures. Other euro countries, maybe.

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  190. @Art Deco
    The study argues that such imbalances, historically (1990-2015), may have been offset by greater investments in automation.

    I've heard libertarian technophiles talk like that. I doubt one of them has ever encountered real eldercare issues. There is no substitute for your children.

    Exactly right. European peoples everywhere need to have many more children, and there is no substitute for our own children economically, culturally, spiritually, emotionally, or morally.

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  191. @RadicalCenter
    They look beautiful. But how many months are brutal winter?

    Novgorod, Pskov and St. Petersburg all have milder winters than, e.g., Chicago. Not as hot during summers, too.

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  192. @RadicalCenter
    New Zealand is so isolated, limited, and generally boring after gazing at the natural beauty. Wonderful place to visit, and thank God that there are still some places that are relatively uncrowded, quiet, and unspoiled. (With mass immigration, we are importing noise, air pollution, crowds, and generally a less healthy, less peaceful way of life.)

    But for our purposes, despite the admittedly major factor of the bitter cold, someplace more affordable near Moscow or Saint Petersburg would Be way more enjoyable. Some of the finest symphony orchestras, choirs, ballet, professional hockey, and architecture in the world.

    Moreover, to our minds, Maori "culture" is only briefly interesting for the sake of novelty and seeing a different corner of the world, and has little to recommend it. About 15-16%percent of the NZ population is Maori, and they enrich the community with their drastically higher rates of violent crime and property crime, gang membership, lower intelligence, abandonment of their children and children's mothers, uncivilized behavior, repulsive appearance, and slothfulness. They are the Africans of NZ. At such a substantial portion of the population, Maoris alone give Russia the edge.

    As some one who actually lives in New Zealand, I have to admit there is some truth in what you say.

    However, I would add:

    1). Maori are responsible for a hugely disproportional amount of crime, but there are large areas of the country where there are not that many of them and the people who claim to be Maori are barely so. The places you want to avoid are East Cape, Porirua, South Auckland and Gisborne. There all on the North Island and I rarely go there.

    One or two small towns like Kaingaroa and Dannevirke up north also have a bad reputation. Taupo, on the other hand, is close to paradise.

    The only places of the South Island I would definitely avoid are Mataura and a part of Timaru.

    Also they may be the African-Americans of New Zealand, but they are usually a great deal better than the equivalent minorities in a lot of other societies. I have walked through these areas at night. I wouldn’t do that in England.

    2). In sports and science, New Zealand massively punches above its weight. It has a high smart fraction with almost as many gifted people as Brazil.

    New Zealand leads the world in several areas of research such as geothermal energy and often comes top in the per-capital medals table in the Olympics (ie it’s not just rugby)

    3). For a small country in the middle of nowhere, it actually has a good cultural life. Maori culture lacks the depth of the Russian opera, but there is plenty of European culture available to those who want it.

    Virtually nowhere else on earth has the cultural life of Moscow or St. Petersburg.

    4). I have PhD in Asian history and a degree in geology. I am educated to a fault, but I do not find life in a very isolated town to be boring. The education system here has been ruined by PC, but rural New Zealand has very, very good PISA scores.

    In so far as it really impacts the quality of life here, I would list the following.

    1). Foul language. Some people use the f-word like commas and full stops.
    2). Pressure to conform. This can lead to pressure to conform down and behave like the worst elements in society. Kiwis recognise this failing in themselves and fall it the Tall Poppy Syndrome.
    3). Aircraft noise. A lot of people like to fly small aircraft. It really ruins some of the county’s best scenery.
    4). Binge-drinking.

    Read More
    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
    Thank you for the additional info and honest assessment. The strong sense of envy and resentment of achievement or eccentricity, would be rankling to me. That's also more present in my country, the USA, more than it used to be, but perhaps not as much as NZ, Sweden, and the like.

    Hey, I love my USA, and its trajectory before the recent engineered Third World transformation, was impressive and promising overall. But now it is dysfunctional and annoying in many ways too, in our core white population and more so in several of its other populations.

    And I'd love to spend more time in your country and hope you aren't offended. My tentative preference for the best parts of Russia doesn't mean that your homeland doesn't have much to offer for residents and for potential retirees from elsewhere.

    NZ would presumably compare favorably to much of Russia and to much of the increasingly Mexican, poor, uneducated, dirty, depressing, unfriendly USA.

    I do not blame you guys for the Maoris except to the extent that you should have gradually winnowed down their population long ago. And should be employing voluntary sterilization to reduce their procreation. And should encourage both armed citizen response and the death penalty to eliminate their most aggressive and violent members.

    Similar criticism applies to our failure to take much more forceful individual and collective defensive & retributive measures against Africans here in America. (Better if nobody had engaged in the evil of slavery in North America and had never brought their ancestors here in the first place, a big difference from the maoris, who were already there.)

    In any event, I hope to have the privilege of a return trip to NZ, and several trips to Russia with my wife and children, before I shuffle off this mortal coil. Merry Christmas to our Kiwi cousins and Russian cousins alike.

    , @for-the-record
    1). Foul language. Some people use the f-word like commas and full stops.

    Irish influence? (according to Wikipedia the Irish "diaspora" in NZ is around 600,000)

    I was amazed at its prevalence in Ireland when I lived there in the 1990s, and in particular that women used it no less frequently than men.
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  193. @utu
    It’s not the only Slavic language without declension.

    Which Slavic languages have no declension?

    I have a shopping bag in my house with the logo:

    от любов към българия (Ot liubov km Bulgaria)

    It means “for the love of Bulgaria” and is practically the same as Russian except that the preposition ot requires a following noun to be in the genitive. Hence, liubov becomes libvi. Km (k in Russian) requires a following noun to be in the dative. So Bulgaria becomes Bulgarii. These noun declensions no longer exist in Bulgarian, but Bulgarian students of Russian do not find hem too difficult to learn.

    Bulgarian verbs are just as heavily inflected as Russian ones. Also, in common with Greek, Bulgarian lacks an infinitive, so every verb has to have an ending.

    When Simpleguest says thet Bulgarian is the not the only Slavic language to have dropped its noun endings, I think he is referring to Macedonian.

    Macedonian and Bulgarian are almost the same language.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Simpleguest
    Precisely, But, you could say the same for all Slavic languages.
    That they are almost the same, that is.
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  194. @22pp22
    I have a shopping bag in my house with the logo:

    от любов към българия (Ot liubov km Bulgaria)

    It means "for the love of Bulgaria" and is practically the same as Russian except that the preposition ot requires a following noun to be in the genitive. Hence, liubov becomes libvi. Km (k in Russian) requires a following noun to be in the dative. So Bulgaria becomes Bulgarii. These noun declensions no longer exist in Bulgarian, but Bulgarian students of Russian do not find hem too difficult to learn.

    Bulgarian verbs are just as heavily inflected as Russian ones. Also, in common with Greek, Bulgarian lacks an infinitive, so every verb has to have an ending.

    When Simpleguest says thet Bulgarian is the not the only Slavic language to have dropped its noun endings, I think he is referring to Macedonian.

    Macedonian and Bulgarian are almost the same language.

    Precisely, But, you could say the same for all Slavic languages.
    That they are almost the same, that is.

    Read More
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  195. @22pp22
    As some one who actually lives in New Zealand, I have to admit there is some truth in what you say.

    However, I would add:

    1). Maori are responsible for a hugely disproportional amount of crime, but there are large areas of the country where there are not that many of them and the people who claim to be Maori are barely so. The places you want to avoid are East Cape, Porirua, South Auckland and Gisborne. There all on the North Island and I rarely go there.

    One or two small towns like Kaingaroa and Dannevirke up north also have a bad reputation. Taupo, on the other hand, is close to paradise.

    The only places of the South Island I would definitely avoid are Mataura and a part of Timaru.

    Also they may be the African-Americans of New Zealand, but they are usually a great deal better than the equivalent minorities in a lot of other societies. I have walked through these areas at night. I wouldn't do that in England.

    2). In sports and science, New Zealand massively punches above its weight. It has a high smart fraction with almost as many gifted people as Brazil.

    New Zealand leads the world in several areas of research such as geothermal energy and often comes top in the per-capital medals table in the Olympics (ie it's not just rugby)

    3). For a small country in the middle of nowhere, it actually has a good cultural life. Maori culture lacks the depth of the Russian opera, but there is plenty of European culture available to those who want it.

    Virtually nowhere else on earth has the cultural life of Moscow or St. Petersburg.

    4). I have PhD in Asian history and a degree in geology. I am educated to a fault, but I do not find life in a very isolated town to be boring. The education system here has been ruined by PC, but rural New Zealand has very, very good PISA scores.

    In so far as it really impacts the quality of life here, I would list the following.

    1). Foul language. Some people use the f-word like commas and full stops.
    2). Pressure to conform. This can lead to pressure to conform down and behave like the worst elements in society. Kiwis recognise this failing in themselves and fall it the Tall Poppy Syndrome.
    3). Aircraft noise. A lot of people like to fly small aircraft. It really ruins some of the county's best scenery.
    4). Binge-drinking.

    Thank you for the additional info and honest assessment. The strong sense of envy and resentment of achievement or eccentricity, would be rankling to me. That’s also more present in my country, the USA, more than it used to be, but perhaps not as much as NZ, Sweden, and the like.

    Hey, I love my USA, and its trajectory before the recent engineered Third World transformation, was impressive and promising overall. But now it is dysfunctional and annoying in many ways too, in our core white population and more so in several of its other populations.

    And I’d love to spend more time in your country and hope you aren’t offended. My tentative preference for the best parts of Russia doesn’t mean that your homeland doesn’t have much to offer for residents and for potential retirees from elsewhere.

    NZ would presumably compare favorably to much of Russia and to much of the increasingly Mexican, poor, uneducated, dirty, depressing, unfriendly USA.

    I do not blame you guys for the Maoris except to the extent that you should have gradually winnowed down their population long ago. And should be employing voluntary sterilization to reduce their procreation. And should encourage both armed citizen response and the death penalty to eliminate their most aggressive and violent members.

    Similar criticism applies to our failure to take much more forceful individual and collective defensive & retributive measures against Africans here in America. (Better if nobody had engaged in the evil of slavery in North America and had never brought their ancestors here in the first place, a big difference from the maoris, who were already there.)

    In any event, I hope to have the privilege of a return trip to NZ, and several trips to Russia with my wife and children, before I shuffle off this mortal coil. Merry Christmas to our Kiwi cousins and Russian cousins alike.

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  196. @Diversity Heretic
    I did live in Russia for a little over a year. It is, in many ways, quite a nice place--Anatoly's right. But the language is difficult, unless you have prior experience with it, or are just naturally gifted. I found that I was making such slow progress that I gave up after about a year (I'm 63). We learned most ex-pats last 2 or 3 years tops in Russia.

    The Moscow climate is also surprisingly dreary. Not bitterly cold, usually, but lots of overcast days with some rain or snow. Southern Russia might be different.

    Moscow’s dreary climate is one reason why someone
    I know indirectly decided to move to Warsaw. She is
    about 20, was born and raised in Moscow but has some
    Polish ancestry. Between Moscow and St. Petersburg she
    prefers the latter. Here are some of the reasons why she
    (and her brother) moved to Poland:

    - There are more sunny days in winter in Warsaw than
    in Moscow. One look at the nearly vertical isotherms and
    one can see why the climate in Europe generally deteriorates
    as one goes east. Thus France has a better climate than Germany,
    Germany better than Poland, and Poland better than Russia;

    - She says people in Moscow are sad and overworked. She is
    a good-looking and spirited girl, and says this was beginning
    to affect her;

    - Moscow is far from the great centers of the European
    civilization. She likes to visit Italy or France on the spur
    of the moment, and this is much easier from Poland than
    from Russia;

    - She is vegetarian, a runner, and likes to be close to nature. In
    Moscow due to its enormous size she says she was always surrounded
    by asphalt and concrete, whereas in Warsaw you’re never far
    from nature (due to the population ratio: 3 million in Warsaw vs
    12 million in Moscow).

    She’s a university student, and so far seems very happy.
    As a Russian speaker she says she found Polish very easy
    to learn. Her parents are still in Moscow. I don’t know
    what they think of their daughter’s “crazy” idea

    Read More
    • Replies: @AP
    In a truly great city such as Moscow (or even Chicago) climate doesn't matter much. Theaters, concerts, museums, etc. make the weather somewhat irrelevant, an inconvenience at worst.

    Also, Moscow is a lot sunnier than Warsaw in summer, and only slightly less sunny in winter. Overall Moscow has more annual hours of sunshine than central Europe (Germany, Czechoslovakia, etc.):

    https://www.currentresults.com/Weather/Europe/Cities/sunshine-annual-average.php

    Moscow has a continental climate, like the interior USA, with hotter summers and colder winters (as well as lower humidity) than in a city of similar latitude in western Europe. Which one is "better" is a matter of taste. If you like summers hot enough for women to wear short skirts and winters cold enough to enjoy consistent cross-country skiing, ice sculptures, etc. Moscow might be better.
    , @Anon 2
    One reason this Russian speaker found the Polish
    language fairly easy to learn was because, unlike
    in Russian (or Czech), the stress almost invariably
    falls on the penultimate syllable. There are minor
    exceptions, esp. in foreign words e.g., matemAtyka
    , @RadicalCenter
    Great point about Poland being a comparatively quick trip to Italy, France, and other classic European cities. But from what i have been hearing and reading, Rome and Paris and the like are fast becoming unpleasant places to visit, especially for women. I wonder what her personal impressions and experiences in those place should has been recently?

    I have an American acquaintance who took a job in Krakow about ten years ago, learned Polish, fell in love with a Polish girl, and never left. They have a baby and plan to have another, and they walk without harassment or stress day or night, unlike MANY cities in the USA I've lived in and visited. Can't say it's hard to understand his decision.
    , @Anon
    If people are sad in Moscow, they'd be better off if they'd drink less, exercise more, and stop trying to work with a hangover.
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  197. @Anon 2
    Moscow's dreary climate is one reason why someone
    I know indirectly decided to move to Warsaw. She is
    about 20, was born and raised in Moscow but has some
    Polish ancestry. Between Moscow and St. Petersburg she
    prefers the latter. Here are some of the reasons why she
    (and her brother) moved to Poland:

    - There are more sunny days in winter in Warsaw than
    in Moscow. One look at the nearly vertical isotherms and
    one can see why the climate in Europe generally deteriorates
    as one goes east. Thus France has a better climate than Germany,
    Germany better than Poland, and Poland better than Russia;

    - She says people in Moscow are sad and overworked. She is
    a good-looking and spirited girl, and says this was beginning
    to affect her;

    - Moscow is far from the great centers of the European
    civilization. She likes to visit Italy or France on the spur
    of the moment, and this is much easier from Poland than
    from Russia;

    - She is vegetarian, a runner, and likes to be close to nature. In
    Moscow due to its enormous size she says she was always surrounded
    by asphalt and concrete, whereas in Warsaw you're never far
    from nature (due to the population ratio: 3 million in Warsaw vs
    12 million in Moscow).

    She's a university student, and so far seems very happy.
    As a Russian speaker she says she found Polish very easy
    to learn. Her parents are still in Moscow. I don't know
    what they think of their daughter's "crazy" idea

    In a truly great city such as Moscow (or even Chicago) climate doesn’t matter much. Theaters, concerts, museums, etc. make the weather somewhat irrelevant, an inconvenience at worst.

    Also, Moscow is a lot sunnier than Warsaw in summer, and only slightly less sunny in winter. Overall Moscow has more annual hours of sunshine than central Europe (Germany, Czechoslovakia, etc.):

    https://www.currentresults.com/Weather/Europe/Cities/sunshine-annual-average.php

    Moscow has a continental climate, like the interior USA, with hotter summers and colder winters (as well as lower humidity) than in a city of similar latitude in western Europe. Which one is “better” is a matter of taste. If you like summers hot enough for women to wear short skirts and winters cold enough to enjoy consistent cross-country skiing, ice sculptures, etc. Moscow might be better.

    Read More
    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
    Dude, Moscow Tourism Board should hire you! I already wanted to visit Moscow, and now I'm wondering how soon we can go ;)

    For vacation, I'd even go there during wintertime, precisely to see ice sculptures, go ice skating (ineptly, in the case of me and my tropically-raised wife), and simply to experience each of the four seasons as the locals do.

    Our young children, however, have been raised in Southern California. If we want to give them a good impression of a place, we had better take them first in warmer weather, and only later during winter.

    , @RadicalCenter
    Elsewhere I note the difficulty of "selling" our Los Angeles-raised children on places that get as cold and snowy as Russia, even for a vacation. But your comment contains the solution, at least for my son: wait till he is a teenager, take them in the summer, and let him see the Russian girls in those skirts. Somehow I think a return trip in wintertime won't be such a horrible prospect for him ;)
    , @Anon 2
    There is a reason why Russia, Scandinavia, Canada,
    and Alaska are severely underpopulated. Most people
    find living that far north very dispiriting. Moscow at
    56°N is much farther north than Warsaw (52°N). Warsaw
    is much farther north than Boston (42°N) but for
    Europe that's reasonable. And due to Global Warming
    the winters in Warsaw have become relatively mild.
    By the way, Warsaw, Berlin, and London all have the
    same latitude. One great thing about Poland is that
    if you want to, say, go skiing in Austria or Italy, you
    just hop in the car and drive. If you want to see great
    museums, you drive to Berlin. All those places are
    very close.

    Conversely, the elites in the U.S. (i.e., people whose philosophy
    of life is: nothing but the best for me) will always prefer
    California or the Northeast. California, with its Mediterranean
    climate, is now at 40 million, and short of a major earthquake,
    is likely to reach 50-60 million soon (producing thousands of the
    homeless).
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  198. @Anon 2
    Moscow's dreary climate is one reason why someone
    I know indirectly decided to move to Warsaw. She is
    about 20, was born and raised in Moscow but has some
    Polish ancestry. Between Moscow and St. Petersburg she
    prefers the latter. Here are some of the reasons why she
    (and her brother) moved to Poland:

    - There are more sunny days in winter in Warsaw than
    in Moscow. One look at the nearly vertical isotherms and
    one can see why the climate in Europe generally deteriorates
    as one goes east. Thus France has a better climate than Germany,
    Germany better than Poland, and Poland better than Russia;

    - She says people in Moscow are sad and overworked. She is
    a good-looking and spirited girl, and says this was beginning
    to affect her;

    - Moscow is far from the great centers of the European
    civilization. She likes to visit Italy or France on the spur
    of the moment, and this is much easier from Poland than
    from Russia;

    - She is vegetarian, a runner, and likes to be close to nature. In
    Moscow due to its enormous size she says she was always surrounded
    by asphalt and concrete, whereas in Warsaw you're never far
    from nature (due to the population ratio: 3 million in Warsaw vs
    12 million in Moscow).

    She's a university student, and so far seems very happy.
    As a Russian speaker she says she found Polish very easy
    to learn. Her parents are still in Moscow. I don't know
    what they think of their daughter's "crazy" idea

    One reason this Russian speaker found the Polish
    language fairly easy to learn was because, unlike
    in Russian (or Czech), the stress almost invariably
    falls on the penultimate syllable. There are minor
    exceptions, esp. in foreign words e.g., matemAtyka

    Read More
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  199. @22pp22
    As some one who actually lives in New Zealand, I have to admit there is some truth in what you say.

    However, I would add:

    1). Maori are responsible for a hugely disproportional amount of crime, but there are large areas of the country where there are not that many of them and the people who claim to be Maori are barely so. The places you want to avoid are East Cape, Porirua, South Auckland and Gisborne. There all on the North Island and I rarely go there.

    One or two small towns like Kaingaroa and Dannevirke up north also have a bad reputation. Taupo, on the other hand, is close to paradise.

    The only places of the South Island I would definitely avoid are Mataura and a part of Timaru.

    Also they may be the African-Americans of New Zealand, but they are usually a great deal better than the equivalent minorities in a lot of other societies. I have walked through these areas at night. I wouldn't do that in England.

    2). In sports and science, New Zealand massively punches above its weight. It has a high smart fraction with almost as many gifted people as Brazil.

    New Zealand leads the world in several areas of research such as geothermal energy and often comes top in the per-capital medals table in the Olympics (ie it's not just rugby)

    3). For a small country in the middle of nowhere, it actually has a good cultural life. Maori culture lacks the depth of the Russian opera, but there is plenty of European culture available to those who want it.

    Virtually nowhere else on earth has the cultural life of Moscow or St. Petersburg.

    4). I have PhD in Asian history and a degree in geology. I am educated to a fault, but I do not find life in a very isolated town to be boring. The education system here has been ruined by PC, but rural New Zealand has very, very good PISA scores.

    In so far as it really impacts the quality of life here, I would list the following.

    1). Foul language. Some people use the f-word like commas and full stops.
    2). Pressure to conform. This can lead to pressure to conform down and behave like the worst elements in society. Kiwis recognise this failing in themselves and fall it the Tall Poppy Syndrome.
    3). Aircraft noise. A lot of people like to fly small aircraft. It really ruins some of the county's best scenery.
    4). Binge-drinking.

    1). Foul language. Some people use the f-word like commas and full stops.

    Irish influence? (according to Wikipedia the Irish “diaspora” in NZ is around 600,000)

    I was amazed at its prevalence in Ireland when I lived there in the 1990s, and in particular that women used it no less frequently than men.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Art Deco
    Irish influence?

    No, just general vulgarity. As recently as 1970 in the U.S. (to take one example), sexual and scatalogical profanity was something you heard in stag settings only, the ample population of ethnic Irish notwithstanding. Ireland is one of those countries (Quebec and the Netherlands are other examples) which has had a cultural ecosystem flip and has ended up corrupt and disgusting in ways in which societies which were less intently virtuous cannot manage.

    http://assets.nydailynews.com/polopoly_fs/1.1432882.1377110821!/img/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_1200/slanegirl22n-1-web.jpg
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  200. @for-the-record
    1). Foul language. Some people use the f-word like commas and full stops.

    Irish influence? (according to Wikipedia the Irish "diaspora" in NZ is around 600,000)

    I was amazed at its prevalence in Ireland when I lived there in the 1990s, and in particular that women used it no less frequently than men.

    Irish influence?

    No, just general vulgarity. As recently as 1970 in the U.S. (to take one example), sexual and scatalogical profanity was something you heard in stag settings only, the ample population of ethnic Irish notwithstanding. Ireland is one of those countries (Quebec and the Netherlands are other examples) which has had a cultural ecosystem flip and has ended up corrupt and disgusting in ways in which societies which were less intently virtuous cannot manage.

    Read More
    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
    I cannot count how many times people here in Los Angeles have cursed in front of our children, including during their infancy and toddlerhood. Including women, and here of course I do not say "ladies." When we ask them please not to do it, a few have directly told us to f--- off. I am not small and not yet old, but not a fitness buff anymore by any means and getting too old to "get into it" on the streets over such slights. Yet another indignity that we have to learn to live with on a regular basis in some many US cities. (In my experience, Vancouver/Richmond, BC was better than here in that regard, though the white kids from the burbs were especially vulgar and disrespectful at times.)

    I have the impression that people in Russia and much of Eastern Europe haven't developed this particular brand of rudeness, coarseness, and ugliness yet in their public conduct.

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  201. @RadicalCenter
    New Zealand is so isolated, limited, and generally boring after gazing at the natural beauty. Wonderful place to visit, and thank God that there are still some places that are relatively uncrowded, quiet, and unspoiled. (With mass immigration, we are importing noise, air pollution, crowds, and generally a less healthy, less peaceful way of life.)

    But for our purposes, despite the admittedly major factor of the bitter cold, someplace more affordable near Moscow or Saint Petersburg would Be way more enjoyable. Some of the finest symphony orchestras, choirs, ballet, professional hockey, and architecture in the world.

    Moreover, to our minds, Maori "culture" is only briefly interesting for the sake of novelty and seeing a different corner of the world, and has little to recommend it. About 15-16%percent of the NZ population is Maori, and they enrich the community with their drastically higher rates of violent crime and property crime, gang membership, lower intelligence, abandonment of their children and children's mothers, uncivilized behavior, repulsive appearance, and slothfulness. They are the Africans of NZ. At such a substantial portion of the population, Maoris alone give Russia the edge.

    About 15-16%percent of the NZ population is Maori, and they enrich the community with their drastically higher rates of violent crime and property crime, gang membership

    New Zealand’s homicide rate is 0.9 per 100,000, actually slightly lower than the west European mean. The homicide rate in New Guinea averages about 10 per 100,000. That in the small insular societies of the Pacific averages 3 per 100,000. Polynesia isn’t Latin America.

    Read More
    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
    Thank you for the information. Good to hear it. I stand corrected to that extent. The other Kiwi commenter above further advised us that Maoris are concentrated in certain locales and can largely be avoided.

    And yeah, Latin America and African enclaves most everywhere seem to be in a class of their own.
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  202. @anonymous coward

    Where does Russia get its bryndza now with sanctions on EU food?
     
    Serbia.

    Where does Russia get its bryndza now with sanctions on EU food?

    domestic bryndza is good enough. What really not good yet – it’s Parmesan. Currently it’s from Argentina and it’s not good.

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  203. @E
    (also replying to melanf and Anatoly Karlin)

    Hm, so in other words, sucks to be you if you actually have to pay for rent, but most people own their own places, and therefore that's only an issue for a minority of mostly "newcomers"?

    Any idea how large that minority is? What about the majority of people who own their own places, how much do they have to pay each month in household-related costs (utilities, maintenance)?

    I was talking to somebody in Voronezh when I was there, and remember being astonished at how little he paid for household-related costs as a percentage of his income. (unfortunately, I've forgotten the figures now... though I might find them somewhere if I look hard enough)

    Let’s start with examples. I had a choice to live in rural Russian city with huge military plant, earning about 40k rubles (I checked with my former colleagues just recently; it’s IT) and pay about 6k rubles monthly maintenance of 4-room flat I own, or live in Moscow, pay 28k for 1-room flat somewhere on Voykovskaya (so I commute like a human), but earn 200k.

    Basically, almost everybody have hereditary home, which cost peanuts to maintain, but if you can make it bigger (I mean job), you rent. People who rent property in Moscow and live off 40k are literally insane (and I know such people). With 200k+ in Russia question of money is rarely even pop in your mind (and it’s normal wage in senior IT/coders crowd)

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  204. @Chet Bradley
    Good points, USSR Andy. The question is, if you stress a word differently, does it change its meaning? I don't know Russian, but I know Serbian, where similar issues exist. In most cases, if you change how you stress a word it may sound funny, but people will understand you.

    Also when I say "sound funny", it doesn't necessarily mean wrong. Different regions have different accents, so what sounds funny to a big city speaker may sound perfectly normal to a speaker from a more distant province; that's just how they speak in that province.

    There are not that many words, in relative terms, where changing the stress would change the meaning altogether, so remembering those specifically isn't that much of a burden.

    I agree with most others here that, if you come from a language without grammatical cases (падежи, also referred to as "declensions" and "inflections" on this thread), it is hard to get to the stage where using them becomes natural. I tried learning Russian a bit (in the U.S. where I live), and while grammatical cases come natural to me, the extremely confusing part was that Russian dative ends like a Serbian genitive, and Russian genitive ends like a Serbian dative (speaking from memory, don't quote me), and I could never get that right. When something is so similar to make it look easy, but just different enough to throw you off, it makes it difficult to master. It felt easier learning Italian or Spanish, no prior knowledge to mislead me.

    When something is so similar to make it look easy, but just different enough to throw you off, it makes it difficult to master. It felt easier learning Italian or Spanish, no prior knowledge to mislead me.

    Staying in the UK quite a long time ago, when my aquitances say “Russian is too difficult to study” – I always was saying – “the distance between Russian and English is equal in both directions”.

    And if many of us can use English at least on understandable level – I see no reason for english talking people not to do the same. I think there is only one cause – lack of desire to do that. Well, it really needs to work hard.

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    • Replies: @Chet Bradley
    I agree with you, but my personal example is probably less common compared to most people who read this blog.

    I am a native Serbian speaker, but have been learning English since childhood and have been living in the U.S. for the second half of my life so far. Other languages I learned (or tired learning) as an adult. Italian was pretty easy - phonetic writing, easy pronunciation rules, verbs have declensions (first/second/third person, singular/plural) just as Slavic languages, the only hard part is the irregular verbs, you just have to memorize them.

    Russian probably wouldn't be too hard for me if I were immersed in it, i.e. if I tried learning it in Russia. However I tried learning in in the U.S. with no opportunity to practice with anyone except my tutor. I understand about half of spoken Russian, depending on the topic and who is speaking, even though Russian and Serbian aren't that close. We have one more падеж (vocative), which you guys don't. We use падежи the same way, but the endings can be different which is confusing at first, and perhaps for a while. Russian has generally "softer" pronunciation compared to Serbian, when you compare same or similar words.

    Speaking of other Slavic languages, for me Bulgarian is easy to understand, about the same as Macedonian, as is Slovak. Czech is a little harder than Slovak but still pretty easy. Polish is the hardest by far. Slovenian is not that easy, even though they aren't that far geographically and we lived in the same country. Russian is somewhere between Czech and Polish in terms of my ability to understand it based on my Serbian knowledge. I haven't heard enough Ukrainian or Belorussian to be able to tell them apart from Russian. All these estimates are based on my travels in those countries and trying to get by while speaking Serbian and listening to whatever local language was, without using English as a go-between.
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  205. @Anon 2
    Moscow's dreary climate is one reason why someone
    I know indirectly decided to move to Warsaw. She is
    about 20, was born and raised in Moscow but has some
    Polish ancestry. Between Moscow and St. Petersburg she
    prefers the latter. Here are some of the reasons why she
    (and her brother) moved to Poland:

    - There are more sunny days in winter in Warsaw than
    in Moscow. One look at the nearly vertical isotherms and
    one can see why the climate in Europe generally deteriorates
    as one goes east. Thus France has a better climate than Germany,
    Germany better than Poland, and Poland better than Russia;

    - She says people in Moscow are sad and overworked. She is
    a good-looking and spirited girl, and says this was beginning
    to affect her;

    - Moscow is far from the great centers of the European
    civilization. She likes to visit Italy or France on the spur
    of the moment, and this is much easier from Poland than
    from Russia;

    - She is vegetarian, a runner, and likes to be close to nature. In
    Moscow due to its enormous size she says she was always surrounded
    by asphalt and concrete, whereas in Warsaw you're never far
    from nature (due to the population ratio: 3 million in Warsaw vs
    12 million in Moscow).

    She's a university student, and so far seems very happy.
    As a Russian speaker she says she found Polish very easy
    to learn. Her parents are still in Moscow. I don't know
    what they think of their daughter's "crazy" idea

    Great point about Poland being a comparatively quick trip to Italy, France, and other classic European cities. But from what i have been hearing and reading, Rome and Paris and the like are fast becoming unpleasant places to visit, especially for women. I wonder what her personal impressions and experiences in those place should has been recently?

    I have an American acquaintance who took a job in Krakow about ten years ago, learned Polish, fell in love with a Polish girl, and never left. They have a baby and plan to have another, and they walk without harassment or stress day or night, unlike MANY cities in the USA I’ve lived in and visited. Can’t say it’s hard to understand his decision.

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    • Replies: @Anon 2
    Like most young women she loves loves
    Italy and France. For her it's all about the
    cuisine, couture, and the palm trees. So far
    she only visited Northern Italy, which isn't
    so bad yet in terms of the migrants.

    By the way, in Russian she uses the words
    "blin" and "vot" a lot, and is very self-conscious
    about it
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  206. @AP
    In a truly great city such as Moscow (or even Chicago) climate doesn't matter much. Theaters, concerts, museums, etc. make the weather somewhat irrelevant, an inconvenience at worst.

    Also, Moscow is a lot sunnier than Warsaw in summer, and only slightly less sunny in winter. Overall Moscow has more annual hours of sunshine than central Europe (Germany, Czechoslovakia, etc.):

    https://www.currentresults.com/Weather/Europe/Cities/sunshine-annual-average.php

    Moscow has a continental climate, like the interior USA, with hotter summers and colder winters (as well as lower humidity) than in a city of similar latitude in western Europe. Which one is "better" is a matter of taste. If you like summers hot enough for women to wear short skirts and winters cold enough to enjoy consistent cross-country skiing, ice sculptures, etc. Moscow might be better.

    Dude, Moscow Tourism Board should hire you! I already wanted to visit Moscow, and now I’m wondering how soon we can go ;)

    For vacation, I’d even go there during wintertime, precisely to see ice sculptures, go ice skating (ineptly, in the case of me and my tropically-raised wife), and simply to experience each of the four seasons as the locals do.

    Our young children, however, have been raised in Southern California. If we want to give them a good impression of a place, we had better take them first in warmer weather, and only later during winter.

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    • Replies: @AP
    Moscow is magical around New Year's - the place is lit up so beautifully. If the kids can handle the cold (they might find the snow exotic and fun) it might make a stronger impression. There is a great circus and puppet theater for the kids.

    It can get hot and dusty in summer, if you don't have a dacha in the forest to escape to.
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  207. @Art Deco
    Irish influence?

    No, just general vulgarity. As recently as 1970 in the U.S. (to take one example), sexual and scatalogical profanity was something you heard in stag settings only, the ample population of ethnic Irish notwithstanding. Ireland is one of those countries (Quebec and the Netherlands are other examples) which has had a cultural ecosystem flip and has ended up corrupt and disgusting in ways in which societies which were less intently virtuous cannot manage.

    http://assets.nydailynews.com/polopoly_fs/1.1432882.1377110821!/img/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_1200/slanegirl22n-1-web.jpg

    I cannot count how many times people here in Los Angeles have cursed in front of our children, including during their infancy and toddlerhood. Including women, and here of course I do not say “ladies.” When we ask them please not to do it, a few have directly told us to f— off. I am not small and not yet old, but not a fitness buff anymore by any means and getting too old to “get into it” on the streets over such slights. Yet another indignity that we have to learn to live with on a regular basis in some many US cities. (In my experience, Vancouver/Richmond, BC was better than here in that regard, though the white kids from the burbs were especially vulgar and disrespectful at times.)

    I have the impression that people in Russia and much of Eastern Europe haven’t developed this particular brand of rudeness, coarseness, and ugliness yet in their public conduct.

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    • Replies: @AP

    I have the impression that people in Russia and much of Eastern Europe haven’t developed this particular brand of rudeness, coarseness, and ugliness yet in their public conduct.
     
    Provincial Russia can be real bad with respect to vulgarity. The Russian language can have an ebonics-like capacity for vulgarity:

    Here is a classic and extremely vulgar 90s song demonstrating it:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JUWVLzxMvVU

    Poland and western Ukraine are very clean, however.
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  208. @Art Deco
    About 15-16%percent of the NZ population is Maori, and they enrich the community with their drastically higher rates of violent crime and property crime, gang membership

    New Zealand's homicide rate is 0.9 per 100,000, actually slightly lower than the west European mean. The homicide rate in New Guinea averages about 10 per 100,000. That in the small insular societies of the Pacific averages 3 per 100,000. Polynesia isn't Latin America.

    Thank you for the information. Good to hear it. I stand corrected to that extent. The other Kiwi commenter above further advised us that Maoris are concentrated in certain locales and can largely be avoided.

    And yeah, Latin America and African enclaves most everywhere seem to be in a class of their own.

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  209. @AP
    In a truly great city such as Moscow (or even Chicago) climate doesn't matter much. Theaters, concerts, museums, etc. make the weather somewhat irrelevant, an inconvenience at worst.

    Also, Moscow is a lot sunnier than Warsaw in summer, and only slightly less sunny in winter. Overall Moscow has more annual hours of sunshine than central Europe (Germany, Czechoslovakia, etc.):

    https://www.currentresults.com/Weather/Europe/Cities/sunshine-annual-average.php

    Moscow has a continental climate, like the interior USA, with hotter summers and colder winters (as well as lower humidity) than in a city of similar latitude in western Europe. Which one is "better" is a matter of taste. If you like summers hot enough for women to wear short skirts and winters cold enough to enjoy consistent cross-country skiing, ice sculptures, etc. Moscow might be better.

    Elsewhere I note the difficulty of “selling” our Los Angeles-raised children on places that get as cold and snowy as Russia, even for a vacation. But your comment contains the solution, at least for my son: wait till he is a teenager, take them in the summer, and let him see the Russian girls in those skirts. Somehow I think a return trip in wintertime won’t be such a horrible prospect for him ;)

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    • Replies: @Corvinus
    "Exactly right. European peoples everywhere need to have many more children, and there is no substitute for our own children economically, culturally, spiritually, emotionally, or morally."

    Indeed, there is no substitute for having children. But European and non-European peoples do not "need" to have more children, it is a matter of "wanting" to have children. For some whites, they cannot bear children, so they adopt. Which is noble on their part. And for other whites, they married outside of their race and also had kids, which, is "exactly right".
    , @Corvinus
    Of the cohort of Maori inmates he has seen, there are some familiar themes.

    "The majority have problems with literacy and numeracy. The majority of offenders have some kind of drug or alcohol abuse problem, which is immediately attached to their offending behaviour. The majority of offenders will come from a dysfunctional family," Campbell says. "By dysfunctional, I mean there will be generational unemployment. Generational substance and alcohol abuse histories. Generational problems with lack of education. Generational problems of being disconnected from wider whanau [family] or support networks. Problems with adoption. Problems being raised in social welfare families.

    "They all have a history and a whakapapa [ancestry] of offending that goes right back to a very young age, and in a lot of instances, before they were born. Hence the generational problem."

    Campbell is quick to point out that understanding and analysing these factors is not to offer an excuse for their behaviour, but it does put their actions in some kind of context.

    "A lot of the time, impulsivity is just connected to survival. It doesn't give an excuse for offending behaviour because, at the end of the day, everyone has still got choices. But if you begin to examine those things, you very quickly start to realise that people's choice pools are at varying depths."

    http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2016/05/maori-zealand-prisons-160525094450239.html
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  210. @RadicalCenter
    Dude, Moscow Tourism Board should hire you! I already wanted to visit Moscow, and now I'm wondering how soon we can go ;)

    For vacation, I'd even go there during wintertime, precisely to see ice sculptures, go ice skating (ineptly, in the case of me and my tropically-raised wife), and simply to experience each of the four seasons as the locals do.

    Our young children, however, have been raised in Southern California. If we want to give them a good impression of a place, we had better take them first in warmer weather, and only later during winter.

    Moscow is magical around New Year’s – the place is lit up so beautifully. If the kids can handle the cold (they might find the snow exotic and fun) it might make a stronger impression. There is a great circus and puppet theater for the kids.

    It can get hot and dusty in summer, if you don’t have a dacha in the forest to escape to.

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  211. @RadicalCenter
    I cannot count how many times people here in Los Angeles have cursed in front of our children, including during their infancy and toddlerhood. Including women, and here of course I do not say "ladies." When we ask them please not to do it, a few have directly told us to f--- off. I am not small and not yet old, but not a fitness buff anymore by any means and getting too old to "get into it" on the streets over such slights. Yet another indignity that we have to learn to live with on a regular basis in some many US cities. (In my experience, Vancouver/Richmond, BC was better than here in that regard, though the white kids from the burbs were especially vulgar and disrespectful at times.)

    I have the impression that people in Russia and much of Eastern Europe haven't developed this particular brand of rudeness, coarseness, and ugliness yet in their public conduct.

    I have the impression that people in Russia and much of Eastern Europe haven’t developed this particular brand of rudeness, coarseness, and ugliness yet in their public conduct.

    Provincial Russia can be real bad with respect to vulgarity. The Russian language can have an ebonics-like capacity for vulgarity:

    Here is a classic and extremely vulgar 90s song demonstrating it:

    Poland and western Ukraine are very clean, however.

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    • Replies: @Mikel

    Poland and western Ukraine are very clean, however.
     
    I've lived both in Ireland and in Poland and the very generous Irish usage of the F-word doesn't come anywhere close to the Polish usage of the K-word, among many others of the same variety.
    , @Anonymous
    This is not a song. It's Russian "chastushki". Something that has >200 years tradition. Just like, say, limericks.
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  212. @AP

    I have the impression that people in Russia and much of Eastern Europe haven’t developed this particular brand of rudeness, coarseness, and ugliness yet in their public conduct.
     
    Provincial Russia can be real bad with respect to vulgarity. The Russian language can have an ebonics-like capacity for vulgarity:

    Here is a classic and extremely vulgar 90s song demonstrating it:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JUWVLzxMvVU

    Poland and western Ukraine are very clean, however.

    Poland and western Ukraine are very clean, however.

    I’ve lived both in Ireland and in Poland and the very generous Irish usage of the F-word doesn’t come anywhere close to the Polish usage of the K-word, among many others of the same variety.

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    • Replies: @Anon 2
    If by the K-word you mean "kurwa," the word is not considered
    terribly vulgar. It simply means a whore. However, some
    people substitute "kurcze" or (jokingly) "kurcze pieczone" ( fried
    chicken) as the word "kurcze" is related to "chicken." Even Barbara
    Streisand is known to use the expression "she's a little kurva."
    But, true, Polish, like Russian, abounds in true vulgarities such
    as "Huju jebany!" or "zapierdalaj" (NSFW)
    , @AP
    Kurwa means "Whore." It's sort of a tribute to Poland's cleanliness that the main swear word is "whore", rather than crude words for genitals or sex acts.
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  213. @Mikel

    Poland and western Ukraine are very clean, however.
     
    I've lived both in Ireland and in Poland and the very generous Irish usage of the F-word doesn't come anywhere close to the Polish usage of the K-word, among many others of the same variety.

    If by the K-word you mean “kurwa,” the word is not considered
    terribly vulgar. It simply means a whore. However, some
    people substitute “kurcze” or (jokingly) “kurcze pieczone” ( fried
    chicken) as the word “kurcze” is related to “chicken.” Even Barbara
    Streisand is known to use the expression “she’s a little kurva.”
    But, true, Polish, like Russian, abounds in true vulgarities such
    as “Huju jebany!” or “zapierdalaj” (NSFW)

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    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
    You’re gonna make me look them up? ;)
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