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Election Day 2022 brings good news. So you want to live in China or, maybe Russia?

Election Day 2022 — 1

Anyone old enough to remember this?

They’re rioting in Africa. They’re starving in Spain.There’s hurricanes in Florida and Texas needs rain.
The whole world is festering with unhappy souls.
The French hate the Germans. The Germans hate the Poles.

Italians hate Yugoslavs. South Africans hate the Dutch.And I don’t like anybody very much!

But we can be tranquil and thankful and proudFor man’s been endowed with a mushroom shaped cloud.

And we know for certain that some lovely daySomeone will set the spark off and we will all be blown away.

The Kingston Trio released this song in 1959.
And, would you know it, you and I are still alive today in 2022 — 63 years later.

Election Day 2022 — 2

Today I was up for Town Dog Catcher.
It’s a good job. You get to keep the dogs.
Every Sunday, you auction them in the town square.
You get to keep the proceeds. What a job.

Election Day 2022 — 3

This is me, feeling proud of the little sticker the nice lady gave me.

I have no idea who’s wining all those races today. And tonight I don’t care. (Susan says I need a haircut.)

I’m happy to be an American and to live in Columbia County, about 120 miles north of New York City.

My friends worry about our divided country. I worry less. I was here during the Vietnam War. I bet the Civil War was no fun, either. 620,000 people died. We’re still here.

60 minutes on Sunday did a piece on dissent, fake news and all that. It said about 8% of the left and 8% of the right were to blame. The rest (over 80%) are like you and me – semi-normal. I found 60 Minutes upbeat.  Watch here.

And China? The New York Times just did a piece

X1 is scaring away China’s business elite

For decades, China’s business class had an unspoken contract with the Communist Party: Let us make money and we’ll turn a blind eye to how you use your power.

Like most Chinese people, they bought into the party’s argument that its one-party rule provides more efficient governance.

Now, the tacit agreement that entrepreneurs had come to count on is dissolving in front of their eyes. China’s leader, Xi Jinping, used an important Communist Party congress last month to establish near-absolute power and make it clear that security will trump the economy as the nation’s priority.

“My last lingering hope was dashed,” said the founder of an asset management firm in the southern city of Shenzhen who contacted me hours after the congress ended.

“Totally finished, completely lost control and absolutely terrifying,” a tech entrepreneur in Beijing texted me after seeing the party’s new leadership lineup, which is packed with Mr. Xi’s acolytes.

Like many Chinese, they fully expected Mr. Xi to secure a third term, breaking a norm followed since the 1980s. Still, they held on to the hope that his dominance would be tempered by other power factions within the party. Mr. Xi’s sweeping victory, by pushing out perceived moderates in favor of loyalists, made it clear that it would be a one-man-rule system that could last for decades.

China’s last leader as powerful as Mr. Xi, 69, was Mao Zedong, who led the country into the Great Famine and the Cultural Revolution, which resulted in tens of millions of deaths, social chaos and economic destruction.

Last month’s party congress jolted the Chinese business world with uncertainty. It was seen publicly in the immediate market response: China’s stocks plunged, and its currency, the renminbi, fell in value. I am hearing it in the voices and messages of the many businesspeople I have spoken to in recent weeks who repeatedly call their reaction a “political depression.”

Give thanks you don’t live in China.

You can read the full article here.

Of course you could live in Russia

Here’s a piece I just picked up out

What is Vladimir Putin like as a person?

The Loneliest Man in the World

Today, Vladimir Putin officially opened a new front in his war against the world, with China.

A “billion people country” wants to “eat up a chunk of Russian land. We’re gonna knock their teeth out. That’s the reason why we need to develop our armed forces.”

Russia is already fighting Cold War with the West. Hot war in Ukraine, Middle East (Syria), and Africa (via Wagner Group mercenaries).

There are no friends left. Everyone is either an enemy or a potential enemy.

He is completely isolated from his countrymen – physically, in his palace; and mentally, as he cannot relate to their experiences anymore after living for more than two decades in the ivory tower as a dictator micromanaging and macro-managing affairs of Russia, passing laws, electing and firing every single governor and mayor in the land.

He divorced his wife. He had a girlfriend for some time who gave birth to twin sons, but she too drifted away. His youth friends have become super rich and busy with spending money while they can.

Only the minister of defence Sergei Shoigu, a reindeer herder from a Turkic tribe, like a faithful dog is always around his master taking him to the taiga in his homeland to practice shaman rituals.

Dictator in his Labyrinth, at the end of his reign. Paranoid, resentful, scared. Absolute power has drained him of any empathy and compassion for human beings. An empty husk of a man and a warning to any democratic nation whose leader is eager to derail it into autocracy.

For eight years Putin had flown around the world, always late to meetings and forums with foreign leaders to show his supremacy. In the meantime, a minted elite of new oligarchs formed the ruling class.

Officials and intelligence service operatives were tripled in number to satisfy the greed of millions who wanted to do nothing and have a lot of money.

Putin created this system and tolerated corruption that became the bedrock of his reign, for he was the most corrupt leader in the history of Russia as well as the richest one.

On paper, he owned nothing. In reality, he has at least eighteen palaces and mansions throughout Russia. A fleet of planes and dozens of cars. He lived in luxury having all the money in the world that was at his disposal as all he had to do is flick his finger and any oligarch would give him a couple of billion dollars for expenses.

Putin was one of the most recognized people of modern times that was a match to the absolute power that he held sway over the biggest country in the world. He saved Russia from disintegration and made it great again.

He staged Olympic Games in Sochi and doped athletes so they would become champions to demonstrate greatness of Russia and his personal greatness to the whole world. This heathen nation has found its ultimate barbaric hero and fell in love with him.

Europe was at his feet dependent on his gas and oil. He was buying their politicians and parties. A few more years and the entire Europe will be drawn into Russia’s sphere of influence. And then who knows, America will be next?

But then, during a temporary make belief transfer of power, former Soviet republics began to show their disinclination to be part of Putin’s master plan.

First Georgia ???? and then Ukraine ???? changed the allies and scuttled for the West.

Wars were launched. Counter-sanctions were imposed. From a popular dictator loved by his countrymen, Putin returned to his persona of a KGB operative. He got a windfall: annexation of Crimea was celebrated by his countrymen, who like him, earned for greatness like Spaniards of the old had craved after gold.

Putin began to build an Iron Curtain to fight external and internal enemies. From prosperity, his nation returned back to poverty, from which he had pulled it two decades ago.

His grand design popped like a balloon. Illusions were gone and the harsh reality was exposed: Russia was a gas station with nukes ruled by a corrupt dictator.

A poor, isolated Russia and its populace living hand to mouth – this is the nation that Putin is going to leave behind. That is his legacy.

The Loneliness Man in the World. And his woeful people with millions of square miles of empty land, self-isolated, delirious, and lost in the fantasies of heathen Gods.

I cry for you, Russia.

Meantime, for a few laughs, here are some favorite recent cartoons:

Sleep tight. This is what the papers say at 11:19 PM, Tuesday November 8, 2022 — as I send this blog out.

Hug your partner. Hug the kids. Hug the grandkids. Sleep tight.

See you shortly. — Harry Newton