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Voting, carpe diem style

Putin Fishing; (cc) photo by Flickr user PIX-JOCKEY (Roberto Rizzato)

“Some of the most suspicious results came in the north Caucus, where tallies showed that 99.5 per cent of Chechens and 91 per cent of Dagestanis voted for United Russia. More than 90 per cent of patients in mental hospitals did the same.”   December 6, Financial Times: “Moscow protesters accuse Putin’s party of securing power by fraud”

Today’s Moscow protests remind me of an essay written by Elena Gorokhova on Putin walking out of the Black Sea with two nearly intact ancient amphorae in his hands. Her vranyo, Russian for lying, alarm went off, she says. As did mine when I saw this Putin fishing photo set and Sunday’s election results. It seems like more  people are on to the vranyo than Elena expected.

From Russia With Lies” by Elena Gorokhova, October 21, 2011:
“But then it occurred to me that a great number of Putin’s constituents were born during or after Perestroika. They were never forced to march in an October Revolution Day parade. They didn’t grow up with only two major newspapers, The Truth and The News, or know the standard joke that there is no news in The Truth and no truth in The News. They never had an Aunt Polya to teach them about vranyo. While I envy this uncommunist generation, I do see one deficiency: They have lost the ability to detect a lie…. Did those young Russians who never learned about vranyo believe in the Putin who waded out of the sea, clutching history? Did they see him as a hero? The picture had everything to make our hearts flutter with patriotic pride: a strongman defying time and human limitations. My own heart warmed not to Putin but to the photograph’s Black Sea backdrop. It made me pine for my youth, for the Crimea and for blue-eyed Boris.”


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BART candidates talk about crime and safety

Waiting for the Walnut Creek BART. Photo by John Morgan

BART is the fifth-busiest heavy rail rapid transit system in the United States with nearly 340,000 people riding every weekday. The system is governed by a nine-member board of directors who are elected to vocalize their constituencies needs and concerns.

In November 2010, less than two years after the murder of Oscar Grant which put BART under much heat, voters went to the polls to elect a board member for district four.

Here the three candidates, Carole Ward-Allen, Robert Raburn and Monique Rivera, talk about what they think is the best way to maintain a safe transport system.