Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Russia Bans Environmental Group

If you want to see what the U.S. might look like under a couple of more years of sociopathic con man Donald "Rump" Trump, just look at the thugocracy in Russia today. While Rump would love to repeal the First Amendment and set himself up as the arbiter of what's "real" news, Russian thug and Rump's controller Vladimir Putin is well underway in his failing country. If he's not assassinating journalists and political opponents or jailing them on fabricated charges, he's shutting down organizations that would shed light on his regime's excesses.

Moscow announced that it was prohibiting Pacific Environment from operating its pro-environmental organization in Russia because it constituted a "security threat." The San Francisco-based environmental group works with local environment groups to oppose logging, mining and fossil fuel extraction from the Far East and Siberia. No doubt one or more of Putin's oligarchs asked a favor of him. Pacific Environment is one of 15 banned groups that the Kremlin viewed as a threat to its internal activities. In 2015, Putin signed a law banning "undesirable" organizations from operating in Russia, apparently in retaliation for international sanctions imposed against Russia for its annexation of Crimea and military aggression in eastern Ukraine in 2014.

Rump would like to operate like his model Putin does, but still has constraints placed on him. His Twitter rampages against the media and, lately, social media like Google, is a window into his angry authoritarian mind. November looms ever larger in solidifying those constraints.

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