Inside the envelope was a nice gold-embossed store-bought thank you card. I opened the card.
For some reason I immediately thought of the recent murder of Anna Politkovskaya, which puts the lie to claims of "glasnost" (openness) in the "former" Soviet Union.
As a strong critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, especially his repressive policies re: Chechnya, she was regarded by many as "the conscience of the nation."
This is a role that Russian society has long required in its public life, from the time of the Tsars through the Soviet period to the oil-state authoritarianism of today: some prominent figure to serve as a moral counterbalance to the ruthless machinations and arbitrary will of the ruling cliques. It has been filled by such people as Lev Tolstoy, Boris Pasternak, Anna Akhmatova, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Andrei Sakharov and Yelena Bonner.Not that I'm anywhere near being in Politkovskaya's league, but rather that someone in Springfield -- perhaps someone who heard me speak at the Greene County Medical Society, or the Bethesda Retirement Community -- was grateful to hear my ideas, but afraid to identify him/herself as being in agreement, at least while being outside a "free speech zone."
Chris Floyd, "Red October: Killing the Truth in Moscow"
I tend to be paranoid. It was probably just an oversight. If you're reading this blog, "You're welcome."