“We pointed the most powerful telescope ever built by human beings at absolutely nothing, just because we were curious, and discovered that we occupy a very tiny place in the heavens.”
Just because we were curious….
You’ll often hear people say that the size and complexity of the world and the universe around us makes our individual lives seem petty and unimportant by comparison. Yet I’ve always believed that the opposite is true….
If I said that the fact that you are one of the 6.7 billion people alive today, sharing in the legacy of the many more billions who have come before you, on a single planet among hundreds of billions of galaxies full of planets — is something that makes your life more significant, not less … would you understand what I mean by that?
IA-Forum: [Would] you please comment on the recent murder of Natalia Estemirova?
Mr. Satter: This is part of a whole string: Stanislav Markelov, Anna Politkovskaya… One of the signs of the cruelty or the lack of morality of the Putin regime is the fact that their protégé, Kadyrov, is really absolutely free to murder anyone he wants to, to torture, to kidnap with complete impunity; whether it’s in Chechnya, whether it’s in Russia, whether it’s in Vienna; as long as he keeps the situation under control for the leadership in Chechnya. This was a woman who was monitoring the human rights situation in Chechnya. She was a colleague of Markelov, who was a colleague of Politkovskaya. So who’s behind it? We know that Kadyrov said the people who are disappearing are being murdered. These are people who are his opponents and enemies.
And don’t expect any serious effort to investigate. When Markelov was killed along with Anastasia Barburova—in broad daylight near the Christ the Savior church on a crowded street—no one thought it worthy of comment until nine days later when Medvedev did an interview with Novaya Gazeta and said something. This shows the character of the regime. Bearing that in mind, an American president should not bend over backwards to praise Putin and to praise the Russian leaders. They are not deserving of that.