Daily Bread for 2.28.22: Free Markets Bring Prosperity and Peace, but Putin Chooses War and Poverty

Good morning.

Monday in Whitewater will be sunny with a high of 44.  Sunrise is 6:30 AM and sunset 5:43 PM for 11h 13m 31s of daytime.  The moon is a waning crescent with 6.3% of its visible disk illuminated.

Whitewater’s Urban Forestry Commission meets at 4:30 PM, and the Whitewater School Board goes into closed session at 6 PM, and returns to open session at 7 PM.

On this day in 1997, GRB 970228, a highly luminous flash of gamma rays, strikes the Earth for 80 seconds, providing early evidence that gamma-ray bursts occur well beyond the Milky Way.

The tragedy in Ukraine is that Russian soldiers are killing and displacing innocent people. The blame lies solely with the Russian regime: they chose this war, this killing, and this destruction.

Sympathy lies with those deserving sympathy, so to speak.

And yet, in the years since the fall of the Soviet Union, ordinary Russians have enjoyed a standard of living that they could not have imagined under the Soviets. Putin brings death and destruction to Ukraine, but also poverty to his own people, all in the name of Slavic brotherhood. (Putin’s brotherhood is no better than the relationship of Cain to Abel.)

Anton Troianovski reports The ruble crashes, the stock market closes and Russia’s economy staggers under sanctions:

MOSCOW — The ruble cratered, the stock market froze and the public rushed to withdraw cash on Monday as Western sanctions kicked in and Russia awoke to uncertainty and fear over the rapidly spreading repercussions of President Vladimir V. Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

As the day began, Russia’s currency lost as much as a quarter of its value within hours. Scrambling to stem the decline, the Russian Central Bank more than doubled its key interest rate, banned foreigners from selling Russian securities and ordered exporters to convert into rubles most of their foreign-currency revenues. It closed the Moscow stock exchange for the day because of the “developing situation.”

“The economic reality has, of course, changed,” the Kremlin’s spokesman, Dmitri S. Peskov, told reporters, announcing that Mr. Putin had called an emergency meeting with his top finance officials.


And with dozens of countries closing their airspace to Russian planes, major foreign investors pulling out and the West placing debilitating restrictions on Russia’s biggest banks, it was becoming clear that Mr. Putin’s invasion of Ukraine was ushering in a period of international isolation for Russia unseen since the Cold War.

“So, has Russia become Venezuela or is it still Iran?” the morning-show host on the liberal-leaning Echo of Moscow radio station asked an economist on Monday.

“We’ll go through the Iran phase,” Yevgeny S. Gontmakher of Moscow’s Higher School of Economics responded, referring to sanctions placed on Iran because of its plans for uranium enrichment, “but what happens after that is hard to say.”

Russia now experiences ‘the Iran phase’ because it has violated international law murderously.  What many ordinary Russians accumulated since the fall of communism will now be lost; they have their rulers to blame.

These ordinary Russians might have enjoyed lives like those of Italians, Spaniards, or Germans, in peaceful commerce with Europe and the world beyond.

Not now.

Putin, of course, has already stolen billions from his people. Now they’ll lose even what he left for them.

See what Putin stole from his people in PUTIN’S PALACE (full length with subtitles in English):

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