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Joke About Sale of Alaska Hits a Nerve in Russia
CNSNEWS.COM ^ | 11/28/2005 | Sergei Blagov

Posted on 11/28/2005 10:42:49 AM PST by DogBarkTree

Moscow (CNSNews.com) - It may have been a joke, but some media organizations and politicians in Moscow appear to have taken half-seriously a satirical suggestion that the United States should sell Alaska back to Russia for $1 trillion.

The tongue-in-cheek proposal published in a U.S. newspaper raised the vague notion still present here that Russia could one day retrieve the territory it sold to the U.S.

The return of Alaska would be marked by a great national holiday, said Vladimir Zhirinovsky, an outspoken nationalist politician.

Russia would then have a presence on three continents -- Europe, Asia and America -- noted Zhirinovsky, who is deputy speaker of the lower house of parliament.

Last Wednesday, the Washington Post ran a satirical commentary entitled, "Alaska Would Be More at Home in Russia."

Business columnist Steven Pearlstein came up with what he called a "dynamite plan -- one that would cut the federal deficit and the debt, heal a major rift within the body politic, and restore some sanity to the annual appropriations process."

According to Pearlstein, "The timing couldn't be better ... as Russia is flush with $50 billion in petrodollars it doesn't know how to invest." The commentary added that "with the Kremlin still smarting about losing all those unpronounceable republics, Alaska would be just the sort of strategic acquisition to appeal to President Putin's imperial instincts."

Pearlstein wrote that Alaskans, free from the political grip of environmentalists, would finally be able to drill and fish to their heart's content.

Russia's state-run Channel One television described the idea as a "plan to solve American problems" in exchange for Russian money.

The network conceded that the article was a joke, but even so, it dispatched staff to interview New Yorkers about the "dynamite plan."

Some Russian media outlets appeared to have taken the article half-seriously. The Novye Izvestia daily headlined its report, "The U.S. has drafted a plan: to sell Alaska back to Russia."

Alaska has become a burden for the U.S., wrote the centrist daily, Trud.

The fate of Alaska, nicknamed Russian America, has long been an affront to Russian national pride.

Vitus Bering, a Danish sea captain serving in the Russian Fleet, and captain Alexey Chirikov claimed Alaska after discovering it in 1741.

The Russians established a commercial entity, the Russian-American Company, to capitalize on their new possession.

During the Crimean War, British and French fleets attacked and burned Petropavlovsk, the Alaska colony's supply point. As Russia's hold on the territory was threatened, Russian diplomats opted to sell it to friendly Americans than risk having it seized by British foes.

Another reason for the sale was that in the 1860s the Russian-American Company was making significant financial losses, thus becoming a burden for the Russian state coffers. After Alaska was sold to the U.S., the company holdings were liquidated.

The U.S. bought Alaska in 1867 for $7.2 million -- or two cents an acre. The move drew criticism in Russia over the loss of territory, and also in the United States, where the wisdom of public spending on an "ice box" was questioned.

During the Soviet era, rumor persisted here that Alaska had not been sold at all, but was instead leased to the U.S. for a 99- or 150-year period -- a theory not backed up by any historical evidence.

The speculation was partly based on the fact that following the 1917 Russian Revolution, the communist government renounced all previous laws and international treaties concluded by the Czarist government, including the Alaska sale.


TOPICS: News/Current Events; Russia
KEYWORDS:
The only Joke here is Zhirinovsky. What a moron. He must have been a Democrat in a previous life.
1 posted on 11/28/2005 10:42:49 AM PST by DogBarkTree
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To: DogBarkTree

Have you guys noticed an increase in "chatter" from this guy ? He's been quiet for years now, and lately he's been getting lots of press on one moronic thing or another. Well, that's his MO, but I'd have thought noone listened to the ramblings of an madman anymore.


2 posted on 11/28/2005 10:45:17 AM PST by farlander
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To: DogBarkTree

Zhirinovsky has been Russia's Clown Prince for awhile now..


3 posted on 11/28/2005 10:45:33 AM PST by sheik yerbouty ( Make America and the world a jihad free zone!)
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To: DogBarkTree

Actually we should sell them California for a nickel and the promise that they will never ever return it to us for eternity no matter what happens.


4 posted on 11/28/2005 10:45:52 AM PST by WillamShakespeare (What is a John Kerry?)
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To: sheik yerbouty

Would they settle for Massachusetts or Rhode Island?


5 posted on 11/28/2005 10:47:39 AM PST by bpjam (Now accepting liberal apologies.....)
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To: DogBarkTree

Molon Labe!


6 posted on 11/28/2005 10:49:27 AM PST by Jeff Head (www.dragonsfuryseries.com)
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To: DogBarkTree; eyespysomething

The Russians would probably allow them to resume derby crab fishing.


7 posted on 11/28/2005 10:49:28 AM PST by SittinYonder (Flea, feather, bird, egg, nest, twig, branch, limb, tree, and the bog down in the valley - o.)
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To: DogBarkTree

no doubt they want us to hold the mortgage..


8 posted on 11/28/2005 10:49:52 AM PST by ken5050 (Ann Coulter needs to have children ASAP to pass on her gene pool....any volunteers?)
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To: bpjam

They can have Taxachusetts..


9 posted on 11/28/2005 10:50:24 AM PST by sheik yerbouty ( Make America and the world a jihad free zone!)
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To: DogBarkTree

If it were true, Alaska resource production would no longer be tied up over making the state a national park.


10 posted on 11/28/2005 10:51:16 AM PST by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: DogBarkTree
The U.S. bought Alaska in 1867 for $7.2 million -- or two cents an acre. The move drew criticism in Russia over the loss of territory, and also in the United States, where the wisdom of public spending on an "ice box" was questioned.

Good analogy of the only thing one should invest in; Time. Time is the only true value, and I`ll be kicking myself in the arse forever for not knowing that back in Sept of `04 when I bought 500 shares of Google for $97 bucks and sold it a month later on "advice". As Howard Dean would say; "YAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRGH"

11 posted on 11/28/2005 10:51:17 AM PST by WillamShakespeare (What is a John Kerry?)
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To: DogBarkTree

It's interesting that Russia would take this idea seriously when they can't afford running water and toilets. Every aspect of their infrastructure is crumbling before their very eyes.


12 posted on 11/28/2005 10:51:22 AM PST by Excuse_My_Bellicosity ("Sharpei diem - Seize the wrinkled dog.")
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To: WillamShakespeare
Actually we should sell them California for a nickel and the promise that they will never ever return it to us for eternity no matter what happens.

Won't happen - it's not a match. One is a socialist, gun-grabbing, freedom-hating state. The other is a country in Europe.

13 posted on 11/28/2005 10:51:22 AM PST by Fudd
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To: DogBarkTree

There are also redoubts -- earthen forts -- built to protect Russian traders in Hawaii (prior to annexation by the US). Don't tell Zhirinovsky!


14 posted on 11/28/2005 10:52:56 AM PST by Tallguy
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To: Fudd

Same thing.


15 posted on 11/28/2005 10:56:03 AM PST by stan the beaver (We will kill the ones who eat us, and eat the ones we kill!!)
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To: DogBarkTree

How about a Sale/Lease Back?

Sell Alaska back to Russia for $1 trillion, then lease it back for, whatever;

THEN DRILL, BABY DRILL!!!!!!!!!


16 posted on 11/28/2005 10:57:45 AM PST by TRY ONE (NUKE the unborn gay whales!)
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To: DogBarkTree
Compound rate of return over 138 years = yield just a shade less than 9% (assuming annual compounding).

Not nearly enough, on economic grounds alone.

(steely)

17 posted on 11/28/2005 10:57:58 AM PST by Steely Tom (Fortunately, the Bill of Rights doesn't include the word 'is'.)
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To: Excuse_My_Bellicosity
It's interesting that Russia would take this idea seriously when they can't afford running water and toilets.

As the world's second largest energy producer, Russia happens to be flush with more cash than they know what to do with, thank you very much.

18 posted on 11/28/2005 10:58:34 AM PST by Alter Kaker (Whatever tears one may shed, in the end one always blows oneís nose.-Heine)
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To: DogBarkTree
I like the idea. We might be able to finally get some oil out of there.

</half-sarcasm>

19 posted on 11/28/2005 10:59:13 AM PST by Egon (By the way, I took the liberty of fertilizing your caviar.)
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To: DogBarkTree

I wish the Clintons would have bought N.Korea outright from them instead of just adopting the people of N.Korea.


20 posted on 11/28/2005 10:59:48 AM PST by Just mythoughts
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To: DogBarkTree

They'd drill on ANWR in a heartbeat and I doubt any of their citizens would care. It would almost be funny to see what the Greenies would do.


21 posted on 11/28/2005 11:01:03 AM PST by TX Bluebonnet
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To: WillamShakespeare
Actually we should sell them California

Now there is an idea with merit...

22 posted on 11/28/2005 11:05:17 AM PST by CommandoFrank (Peer into the depths of hell and there you will find the face of Islam...)
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To: WillamShakespeare
"I`ll be kicking myself in the arse forever for not knowing that back in Sept of `04 when I bought 500 shares of Google for $97 bucks and sold it a month later on "advice"."

At least you didn't "short" Google! I almost, almost did that some 14 months ago.
23 posted on 11/28/2005 11:06:20 AM PST by jdm
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To: CommandoFrank

Sell Alaska with one condition. Ted "The road to nowhere" Stevens goes with the sale


24 posted on 11/28/2005 11:12:40 AM PST by tom paine 2
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To: DogBarkTree
Alaska has become a burden for the U.S., wrote the centrist daily, Trud.

I think they spelled T-U-R-D wrong.

25 posted on 11/28/2005 11:15:07 AM PST by RockinRight (Itís likely for a Conservative to be a Republican, but not always the other way around)
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To: DogBarkTree
"The only Joke here is Zhirinovsky. What a moron. He must have been a Democrat in a previous life."

Communist- Democrat, what's the difference?

26 posted on 11/28/2005 11:16:01 AM PST by Forte Runningrock
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To: Fudd

LOL!


27 posted on 11/28/2005 11:16:06 AM PST by WillamShakespeare (What is a John Kerry?)
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To: WillamShakespeare
"I`ll be kicking myself in the arse forever for not knowing that back in Sept of `04 when I bought 500 shares of Google for $97 bucks and sold it a month later on "advice". As Howard Dean would say; "YAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRGH"

Ouch! In your defence, internet investments weren't doing so well at the time. It made investors jumpy.

28 posted on 11/28/2005 11:21:34 AM PST by Forte Runningrock
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Comment #29 Removed by Moderator

To: DogBarkTree

One trillion dollars would be far too little. One hundred trillion dollars might do it. As soon as they get done paying, we'll deed it over.


30 posted on 11/28/2005 11:29:55 AM PST by Brilliant
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To: jdm

You know why I sold it? Because a cousin of mine who supposedly is a "financial wiz" (according to my Aunt) told me "It will go down, it is just a search engine, search engines are on their way out.. you should short it"..

I figure right now that stock if I just held it would have been worth about a quarter mill and more being that it seems to be heading towards $500 now. Isn`t that amazing, listening to one fool cost me about $250 grand, and if you remember the first lesson of the stock market, it is don`t listen to ANYBODY!

I just knew that thing was going to take off which is why I bought it. It came off the IPO, went up then down on fears and I just knew that was the opportune time to buy and I was right on target more than I could have imagined. Can you imagine these people who bought 1000 shares and above at $100? I remember when I bought seeing some guy on Scottrade buy 10k shares. That`s a million bucks at $100 and now he is up (if he held it) to $4 million in ONE YEAR and will most likely see $5 mill by the end of `05. $4 million bucks profit in one freggin` year on just 10k shares.


31 posted on 11/28/2005 11:30:39 AM PST by WillamShakespeare (What is a John Kerry?)
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To: All

Let's keep the mineral rights...


32 posted on 11/28/2005 11:32:51 AM PST by ricer1
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Comment #33 Removed by Moderator

To: thackney

So soon we'll be calling you thackneyevski?


34 posted on 11/28/2005 11:36:43 AM PST by humblegunner (If you're gonna die, die with your boots on.)
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Comment #35 Removed by Moderator

To: thackney
Alaska, one big national park; Boy ain't that the truth. Just imagine if they run everyone off the land in New York State and made them all relocate in NYC.

Ten years ago, I was talking to a neighbor that had homesteaded his place before WWII. I asked him what was the biggest change he saw in Alaska over the years. He said most Alaskans were becomming plain old Americans demanding more government and control. He said the socialism created from all the oil wealth has ruined the place for the future. Not what I expected to hear from him but probably alot of truth to it.

36 posted on 11/28/2005 12:21:51 PM PST by Eska
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To: DogBarkTree

Maybe Israel's interested.


37 posted on 11/28/2005 12:43:54 PM PST by polymuser (Losing, like flooding, brings rats to the surface.)
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To: DogBarkTree
The littlest Farkers (curiously no Farkettes though) have noticed this thread.
38 posted on 11/28/2005 11:40:42 PM PST by FreedomCalls (It's the "Statue of Liberty," not the "Statue of Security.")
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To: FreedomCalls
well someone stirred up the whiney liberal contingent over there..
and the funny thing is, he was just trolling.. lol those wacky farkers..

39 posted on 11/29/2005 1:41:43 AM PST by wafflehouse (the hell you say!)
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To: Alter Kaker

Imagine if Alaska was part of Russia during the Cold War...


40 posted on 11/29/2005 6:25:01 AM PST by fzx12345 (This space is unintentionally left blank.)
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To: FreedomCalls
I noticed that on Fark - hey that link looks familiar... Did you see some of the comments over there about Free Republic?
DogBarkTree: The only Joke here is Zhirinovsky. What a moron. He must have been a Democrat in a previous life.
Elchip:Dad? Is that you?
http://forums.fark.com/cgi/fark/comments.pl?IDLink=1781856
41 posted on 11/29/2005 5:00:43 PM PST by gondramB
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