Although I live a blessed life in Pittsboro, North Carolina, I keep wondering about the current fate of Alexei Navalny. Alexei, 44, is in a coma at the Charite’ Hospital in Berlin, Germany, after …
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Although I live a blessed life in Pittsboro, North Carolina, I keep wondering about the current fate of Alexei Navalny. Alexei, 44, is in a coma at the Charite’ Hospital in Berlin, Germany, after unknowingly drinking poison from a cup of tea prior to boarding a Russian air flight. Alexei is a very loud political opponent of President Vladimir Putin and the bulky pack of amendments to the “Basic Law” of the Constitution of the Russian Federation just ratified. “The ‘results’ they have just announced are a fake and a huge lie. They don’t have anything to do with the opinion of Russian citizens,” Navalny said this summer (according to dw.com).
Why do I even care about a political outcome so far away from where I live?
If I could take a jet from my house to Moscow, the flight would cover 5,110 miles. The BL amendments had already been approved by the Russian Parliament anyway, and the voter turnout that followed was just a courteous “consultation.” These changes were finalized, ironically, during the same week as our Fourth of July observance. Former KGB Officer Putin insists his intentions were as pure as the legal abolishment of gay rights that were also piously included. Political scientists note he managed to cleverly scheme a “self-coup” that ensures he’ll remain President until he’s 83 in 2036. I never heard of a “self-coup” before.
Many financial experts believe that Putin is likely the richest man in the world today. His financial wealth is extremely difficult to ascertain because his expertise in keeping things secretive entirely avoids any public records. Still, a palace he covertly owns on the Black Sea has been valued at more than $1 billion alone and was paid for with help from an exclusive group of mutually obsessed Russian oligarchs. A January 2017 Money article alleged that he had 19 other palaces, four yachts and 58 aircraft. All this in a country where the 2020 median income of its citizens sags under $18,000 a year!
Everyone knows (but nobody will ever prove) that Alexei is just the latest victim of a government determined to preserve the extravagant privileges of a small powerful elite at the expense of a much larger common citizenry. The psychology of entitlement is evident in countless other countries including the USA, where compensation for CEOs has risen 1,000% since 1978 while remaining under 12% for employees in the average category. As commerce and governance become ever closer buddies, deservingness is claimed by the rich and the poor alike.
Anger and fear, along with dripping dollops of smirk, are the actions of drunkards unapologetically inebriated by their illusions of power. Putin is perfectly content to let people fret that his critics (OK, enemies) will be killed under ninja circumstances. Leaders in Russia have conveniently forgotten the cruel atrocities of their infamous Czars and apparently its forever struggling populace. Anger, fear and smirk often cavort in our own country too whenever one family maliciously acts above another or one ethnicity acts superior within the overall society.
I recently saw a wire puppet stuck alongside a mailbox flag during a walk. There was a Black Lives Matter sign in adjacent yard. Smirkers giggle about taunting. But I wonder if God will suggest, in another life yet to come, that they become the ones to suffer from funny business?
Ed Bronson became a wood shop teacher for exceptional middle school students at age 40. He wonders what became of them as well as thousands of high school students who graduated from a Career & Technical Education campus where he was principal until his retirement in 2015. He has a B.A. in Cultural Studies: Religion and a M.S. in Instructional Development.
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