Barter System May Be Best Anti-Crisis Measure

In response to "Millionaire's Crisis Plan: Return to Bartering," a front page article by Nadia Popova on Jan. 27.

Editor,
I read with great interest your article on multimillionaire German Sterligov and his idea to set up the Anti-Crisis Settlement and Accounting Center.
Finally, there is a person who has the courage to leave wealth, greed and vanity to live a simple life in the village.
I do not understand those criticizing his plans to resume barter. Barter is an ancient way to commerce and provides fairness in trade rather than a frenetic rush to maximize profits.
I am convinced that bailout funds will never reach those who really need them.
Sterligov's plan is an alternative to the liquidity crisis for sure. Banks and financial institutions have lost their way.
Instead of lending into the real economy, they have preferred to throw all of their financial forces into speculative, risky products.
Sterligov should be highly praised for his initiatives.
Thomas Kochnitzky
Lausanne, Switzerland

Thanks for Your Concern



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In response to "A New Russia Upon a Hill," a comment by Igor Panarin on Jan. 12.

Editor,
My message to Panarin: Try figuring out a solution for your own country's problems, and we'll try to take care of our own mess, thank you very much.
Japan will never reclaim Hawaii. Did Panarin forget what happened the last time Japan tried this?
China would never attempt to take possession of an entire state such as California because it knows that the United States and U.S. companies would respond by withdrawing their Chinese investments. Beijing's leaders understand very well that a complete U.S. divestment would mean a devastating collapse of China's economy.
Russia sold Alaska to the United States a long time ago, so the author can forget about trying to get it back.
And the most hilarious aspect of Panarin's theory is that Mexico, of all countries, could take over Texas! Remember the Alamo? Plus, Mexico is lucky if it can control its own collapsing economy.
And the U.S. Eastern Seaboard joining the European Union? Where did the author get that idea from?
It seems that most of Panarin's conclusions are based on his sincere hope that the United States will fall apart into six different pieces. He can give up on that dream.
The United States is not a weak country. We have a long history of overcoming adversity, including the Great Depression. So this current recession -- although admittedly severe -- is just another hurdle that we will certainly overcome.
In his capacity as an analyst, Panarin should stick to analyzing his own government and economy, which are mired in organized crime, runaway inflation, lack of transparency and accountability and overall inefficiency.
He should particularly focus on where Russia's money is being spent, where it is fleeing and how to get money back into the hands of average citizens.
Wayne Lanham
Thurston, Oregon

Editor,
Responding to Panarin's fantasy about the collapse of the United States, it is obvious that the author is ignorant of the deep union that liberty brings to a people governed in a free nation.
If he ever lived in the United States, he would know that we are not held in bondage by a totalitarian regime or despotic oligarchy but by the inalienable rights of life, liberty, justice and the pursuit of happiness.
This is why we will never break up into pieces, as Panarin predicts. Our strength is that we are -- and will always be -- the United States of America.
Timothy Davis
Anchorage, Alaska

Not So Easy to Be British



In response to "How to Become British for Only ?1," a column by Alexei Pankin on Jan. 27.

Editor,
Is it possible to become British simply by buying a losing newspaper? Hardly.
It appears that Alexander Lebedev is a man of conviction with deep pockets.
Carol Head
Sarnia, Ontario

Courteous Visa Inspection



In response to "Realities of a Russian Visa," a comment by Mark H. Teeter on Jan. 19.

Editor,
Mark Teeter's story of a typographical error that changed his name on his visa from Teeter to Titer reminds me of a similar incident I experienced several years ago.
The authorities in St. Petersburg wrote down the wrong passport number on my student visa. When I crossed back into Russia from Ukraine early in the morning, the border officials asked me to quickly take my bags with me and come off the train.
The officials went through my luggage, but they were very courteous. After completing the search, they carefully folded everything back up in my suitcase.
After several hours, they had determined that there was no mistaken identity, and I was released.
The visa officials offered to send two guards to escort me to a local internet cafe so I could send e-mail messages regarding my delayed return trip. They also sent an officer to accompany me to the train station.
Barrie Hebb
Halifax, Canada