Their reasoning is sound: if India, the PRC, and the USA aren’t stupid enough to sign off on bad science by reducing their energy production*, why should Russia? …Particularly since Canada’s off of the reservation. Not to mention (potentially) various Russian satellite states. And… well, do we need more examples, really?
I mean, I personally love the Citizens United case. Aside from liking free speech, it seems to be a positive spur to creativity. Check out this latest spy spoof from American Crossroads, with Barack Obama starring as the almost-urbane secret agent trying to fumble-finger the rest of us into giving up our missile defense plans:
For the record: no, really, Vladimir Putin really does go parading around shirtless, and on a horse. (shrug) It apparently plays well in Russia. As does planning to give away the store on missile defense; which should cheer up the President. At least the notion is popular somewhere…
…at least, if I’m reading this right. There are a lot more photos at that link; it’s fascinating, even if you aren’t into Russian history (which I am not especially). David Thompson often has interesting links like these: you should check out his site.
“I do not think that ‘top-rock’ or ‘down-rock’ breakdance technique is compatible with alcohol or drugs,” Putin told cheering hip-hoppers who responded with chants of “Respect, Vladimir Vladimirovich”.
No, that’s not really taken out of context: Putin went to hang with Russian rappers. I think that I’ve mentioned before that the man really needs to get cracking with discovering that he’s actually descended from the Princess Anastasia?
God, I miss the days of the Bush administration, when we didn’t do things like this.
Referring to the long history of Russia-U.S. trade stretching back more than two centuries, Obama told an audience of business people in Moscow:
“Along the way, you gave us a pretty good deal on Alaska. Thank you.”
Contra Reuters, this was not a “pointed quip” (as Ed Morrissey notes, it only works as one if you assume that the President wanted to insult his hosts): it was a “somebody didn’t read the briefing materials (particularly the bits about Vladimir Zhirinovsky) gaffe.” What’s next? Thanking the Chinese for their involuntary help with training up our Navy during the Boxer Rebellion? That should go over well: they’re even touchier about their history than the Russians are.
And I actively dread thinking about what the current President is going to say, the next time that he visits Japan.
“I suspect when I speak to President..eh.. Prime Minister Putin tomorrow, he will say the same thing.”
That’s just him saying what we all know. I have yet to grasp why Putin hasn’t just gone ahead and found that evidence that he’s actually the son of the Princess Anastasia, and thus heir to the Romanov Dynasty. Pravda would eat that up.
I was originally going to do a you’ll-like-this-guy – A Song for Arbonne is brilliant, you’ll love everything that he does, buy everything that he wrote – but never mind that now: read this article about the recent Russian poll of the greatest Russian ever. (Stalin in third, Lenin in sixth):
It would feel self-indulgent to launch a jeremiad about how very, very evil Lenin and Stalin and their system were. The novelist Martin Amis did this in a book a little while ago, Koba the Dread, which is essentially about his own belated discovery of that truth. And how his father, Kingsley Amis, and godfather, Robert Conquest (who exposed the atrocities of the Great Terror for the west) had been … right all along while Amis and his college chums had been proclaiming the glories of the Soviet Union and Mao’s China in the 1960s. It was nice to see Amis fils getting around to getting it right, but the tone of shocked baby-boomer awakening bordered on the amusing.
No, it seems to me there’s another point, a narrower focus to be sought here, and it comes from – unsurprisingly – Alexander Solzhenitsyn, whose The Gulag Archipelago, smuggled out to the west thirty-five years ago, documented the abomination of the Soviet internment camps with a terrifying mixture of Biblical prophet and meticulously detailed scientist. (Solzhenitsyn, who did more to expose the reality of Lenin and Stalin and the Soviet empire to the world than anyone else who ever lived, and did so with unfathomable courage, did not surface anywhere near the top of the balloting, by the way.)
Here’s the issue that seems necessary to register after considering this vote: in The Gulag Archipelago Solzhenitsyn makes the point that as of 1966 some 86,000 Germans had been convicted in Germany for Nazi crimes. But what about in the Soviet Union – the Gulag, the enforced starvations, the Terror? “In our own country (according the reports of the Military Collegium of the Supreme Court) about ten men had been convicted.” (The italics are his.) And he asks, “What kind of disastrous path lies ahead of us if we do not have the chance to purge ourselves of that putrefaction rotting inside our body?” Continue reading Looking for someone to read? (Guy Gavriel Kay)