Posts Tagged ‘Putin’

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THE WORLD ACCORDING TO PUTIN

March 21, 2014

“So long as there aren’t the political circumstances, like now, for an important format like the G-8, then there is no G-8…Neither the summit nor the format”

Chancellor Angela Merkal then announced that the “European Union was readying further sanctions and that the G-8 forum of leading economies have been suspended indefinitely.”

And with that, BOTH the EU members and the US started sanctions against Putin & Russia, and President Obama clearly stated there’ll be no military actions; but US and allies will mobilize all diplomatic resources.

For those of you that have already positioned this as a “repeat of actions that didn’t stop the Nazis”-take note.  I’d say Angela Merkal and other EU leaders most likely have a clearer memory and a picture of today’s reality than do you.

Will sanctions alone work?  Who really knows.  I am an avid “once a KBG’ always a KBG kind of person so I have my doubts. But nevertheless, we have a responsibility to try all options before we start clamoring for a confrontation that puts our military and country into yet another war.

Yesterday, I advocated for a strong refugee plan-led and financed by the EU members so that Ukraine does not become further weakened by the cost and burden of that.  Just relocating 25,000 troops and their families out of Crimea will be a great burden to them as they juggle not only that, but also the seizure of their warships and continue to plan for what they fear will happen next – a Russian invasion and takeover of the Ukraine as well.

So, here’s another thought for all the Americans who think we know best.  Who is better at “Advertising” and Consumer Spin in the world than us?  Why not rally our spin doctor experts to assist in a counter plan to what Charles Lane of the Washington Post has labeled “The World According to Putin.”?

First step might be to change the nomenclature.  This is NOT a Putin vs. Obama dustup; so lets nix the “Obama’s war” labeling and start calling it what it is:  “Putin vs.The Free World.”

Don’t dwell on the fear factor, but make good use of Putin’s KGB background; and be careful about labeling it “Russian” bullying.  Keep the Russian people engaged and not climbing on Putin’s bandwagon.  Reality, not nationalism, needs to guide the Russian people.  Avoid stirring up their pride; memories of life under the Communists will be more effective, I think.

Use the Washington Post editorial as the starting point.  Take the Putin 40 minute dissertation apart word for word, line by line.  Show what’s FACT; point out the Putin interpretive twists and what is totally fiction.  Don’t spare anything.  Every untruth and contradiction should be identified; then draw the parallels between  the communist USSR and the  Russian “reality” under the KBG and Putin today.

Then take this truth and LAUNCH IT as an advertising campaign…not just here and in Europe, but everyway we can throughout Russia.  “Life in Russia” or “The World According to Putin” or some emotional, catchy, and memorable theme that ties Putin to the bad times of the KGB and the USSR.

Be relentless!  Use every communication and social media method we can.  Let’s see if we can “conquer” the KGB Russians the same way we “conquer” our own citizens.  Guns and death are not the only alternative.  We need to change their minds. We need to use our talents – not to move a new product, but to change world thinking!

 

 

 

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SUNDAY’S REALITIES

March 3, 2014

CRIMEA and the UKRAINE

It’s been a long path to “nowhere” since Florence NIghtingale almost 160 years ago or to the Yalta Conference of 1945. But, although time passes, the Black Sea, the Crimea and the Ukraine remain a flashpoint threatening world peace.

I understand the key elements here revolve around Soviet KGB style-thinking Putin, a key military advantage in the 1940s, and Russia’s fears that their lease on land to house that massive fleet and navy personnel of theirs may be in jeopardy.

But step back and think about that.

Is the US, its allies and the world really ready to be drawn into that conflict over housing a fleet-much more important 75 years ago than it is today? Not so much, I think.

I know for most, the horrors of that war live only in a textbook. But as a student of Dr. Deutsch at UM in the 1960s, I certainly have a different perspective, and even so, no solutions. I just keep thinking how ironic it is that Khrushchev is the one who gave the Ukraine the gift of the Crimea in 1954 and 60 years later, they want it back. So they have only themselves to blame, from my warped way of thinking.

And equally ironic is that in this current disagreement in which Russia fights for a home for its Black Sea fleet, they encounter once again the Tators whom they deported from Russia in 1944…a people whom they have been trying to eliminate since the 18th century. The Tators represent some 10-15% of all those that live in Crimea. Will they deport them one more time, or in good Soviet stead, will they just kill them this time? And then what will the we do?

With all this reeling around in my brain, I took a break from the STRIB and tuned in to “Meet the Press”.

I expect I will be viewed as the one out of step, but that Meet the Press discussion today attempted to paint Obama as the weak, out of touch leader who won’t put war on the table. I was particularly concerned about a phrase repeated over and over (paraphrased as- ) “This conflict between the Russians and Obama.” What?!! Most of them sounded like Putin was justified in invading a foreign country – simply because Obama did not threaten war.

Everything that panel said; every position they took REINFORCED old out-dated 20th century thinking – just like Putin represents old Soviet Union thinking of the 20th century. I felt like I was caught in a time warp and had been whisked away back to my youth. And shame on me; I also thought Obama was the President of the United States; not just a name of some individual stirring up trouble against a foreign country. But apparently I was wrong- at least in terms of our national news position as heard on Meet the Press!

It was a very scary moment as it pointed out we have very few open minds or minds that understand the impacts of this giant shift being revealed to us as we move into the 21st century. I felt like I had been transported back in time fifty years to an old COLD WAR era before we learned there could be a better way than wars.

Of course, none of us have the expertise to know what lies ahead, but we sure all seem to be mimicking the mistakes made by the experts as the 20th century was born. Remember those that knew best then and led us into not one, but two world wars? Seems to me, we at least should TRY alternative options that might be available before we point fingers and draw up troop movement plans.

Little did I know a panel on Meet the Press would become not only the prosecutor of the President of the US on trial, but also the judge and jury of our land. Personally, I call what I witnessed just more evidence of the hubris of the Press today.

NUCLEAR WASTE LEAKS

Meanwhile, as we stand on the precipice of yet another war, it seems to me we have an equally important situation for which we cannot blame the Soviet ghosts we see everywhere. No, this one we caused ourselves and although it was not even worthy of mention on Meet the Press, the STRIB gave it space in not just one, but two articles this morning.

“Worry about Leak at Nuclear Dump Grows” at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant – and outdoor unprotected storage site at Los Alamos; and new reports of problems at the Washington State Hanford nuclear reservation where design and integrity of storage tanks are being questioned in “Safety of Waste Tanks Doubted” article.

Those both seem to be strong signals to me that we’d be best served to get 1940s-1960s disagreements resolved soon so we can turn our attention to the mess we have made of our work ever since!

NICOLLET AVENUE

And now back to something I really DO know a little bit about. Although I object to building a “Nicollet Island” in the midst of Nicollet Mall, I applaud the progress towards correcting the K-Mart urban planning mistake made at Lake and Nicollet.

Indeed, my drean would be to eliminate this foolish error made by the white man and reestablish the native people’s connections from the Mississippi River all the way to the Chain of Lakes.

And with that worthy dream, I’ll get back to re-ordering my desk for the new life that awaits me tomorrow.

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October 26, 2013

THE BEST THEY CAN DO…

Think about that.  If you were failing at your job, should you be maintained by your employer because it is the BEST you can do?  Or would you understand if you were released from employment so that you could move on to find something that you could do well and your employer could also find someone to better fit the parameters of the job?

That is a basic principle of business.  Define a need; write a job description; outline requirements, and prioritize those responsibilities and needs.  Then recruit, interview, hire and monitor results against expectations on an annual basis.

This morning I learned that Paul Ryan and Harry Reid agree:  There will be no coming together on a United States budget; the BEST they can do is to perhaps take a small step to reduce slightly the impact of sequestration!

I believe I am recalling correctly that the Federal Budget is a top priority responsibility of Congress outlined in Article I of the US Constitution.

 If Congressional leaders, members and staff cannot accomplish what we pay them WELL to do- (remember the figures of $170K/annually, lifelong healthcare and retirement benefits)-then is it time we the public OWN UP to making some significant hiring mistakes?  

I think it is time to review the Job Descriptions, make any agreed-upon adjustments, give official notice to these folks they have  been granted a probationary time to improve , while at the same time,  we take the initial steps to start looking for and recruiting talent that match the needs  that have been so defined by the founding fathers and  recommitted to by the  majority of the people  in 2012.

That’s what I would have been expected to do in my twenty-five years in the corporate world; that is what I do on a smaller scale in my small business. 

Unless you are an HR person, no one likes to write, review, redefine job descriptions.  No one likes to prepare for and participate in Annual Reviews, and no one likes to get bad marks and that discussion of improve or you are gone and no one likes to start the cycle all over again whether you are the employer OR the employee.  But that’s life. And that is what needs to be done here.   

THE BEST THEY CAN DO is not good enough.

“WE HAVE LOST THE TRUST OF THE  EU”

The STRIB Front Page Headline reads “Germany, France want new spying ground rules” with a tone that the Press loves to reinforce….even our friends have lost their trust and yet the reality appears  to be that what they want is the same kind of relationship we have with the Brits, Canadians, and other English-speaking countries.  It’s one of those mutual trust/mutual respect issues …”we will both quit spying on each other”.  From my perspective, wouldn’t that be a step in the right direction?  But meanwhile, we are all in a frenzy that Obama (my, but he is a powerhouse to be able by himself to create all this mischief:-) is so terrible that he has EU allies concerned and distrustful.  Seems to me, if BOTH parties are spying, we are BOTH distrustful.  So ever the optimist, I take the stand this a good thing- but probably not something that was planned.

 However, now that concern has arisen, I am in agreement that we need a sensible review of the implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which was written in 1966 and came into force in 1976.   That was before the internet or the now all-encompassing Digital World.  It is an acknowledgement of that world and the fact the rules have changed and is perhaps the nudge that is needed to start shutting the door on the 20th century and putting our heads together to RETHINK the 21st!

Meanwhile:

THE RUSSIANS NEED US…

Is a topic outlined in “Top News” on the front page, and there it is on Page Three – Russians ask for teamwork and US help…

And guess what they need us for?   They need help in identifying threats and keeping the Olympics safe.

To be fair, Russia is reaching out to US and 80 other countries to help them identify threats from abroad.  Most worrisome are the Russian militants that are fighting in Syria along with Al-Qaida.  They are expected to return home well trained in Al-Qaida ways…thereby adding to the problems the Russians are already having, battling extremists in the North Caucasus.

As it turns out, the US and Russians started discussing this at the time the Chechens wreaked havoc on the Boston Marathon.   Putin/Obama agreed to intensify security cooperation for the Games and we will send an undisclosed number of Diplomatic Security agents to Sochi to help ensure safety of American athletes and corporate sponsors.

My mind connects the two situations.   More fodder to make NSA such a difficult issue with no right answers when judged by 20th century principles in a 21st century world.  Maybe all this represents the “growing pains” of reinvention for a new world and how we will balance going forward security vs. privacy issues. .

 

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THE BIRDS

September 22, 2013

Some may remember this very scary movie from the 50s-60s but little did we know those birds would grow up, run for US Congress and become what I refer to as the ANGRY OLD BIRDS…living, judging, and preaching in the past….turning our world into one of horror-just like the movie.

But this past week, that put one of the point men for the flock migrating right into what can only be called a hilarious situation.

Our favorite KBG man and now leader of Russia wrote an Op-Ed for the NY Times where he scolded Americans as though we were misbehaving chicks in the nest.  We read it; some of us were irritated; some of us laughed; and most of us just passed it off as Russian propaganda for the 21st century….you know, reach the audience by using the media source in which they live/use/have a presence.  When we do that, that audience engages, interacts, and is often moved to action.

And boy, did Putin score BIGTIME – as he chattered loudly, scolding the chicks in the US nest and taunting McCain into one-ups-man-ship!

Angry Old Bird # 1 was mad!  He wanted a chance to throw a little sand in that box he perceived Putin had put HIM in…so he figured out how he could retaliate in kind through a responding OP-ED in Pravda.

Unfortunately, our Angry Old Bird from Arizona – still stuck in another era – had missed a key point.  Pravda was the tool of the Cold War , and yes, in the olden days, it was THE instument of propaganda for a US enemy known as the USSR.

However, although some elements of the USSR have survived – like a KGB man becoming the leader of Russia, Pravda was not as lucky as Putin…it fell on bad times.  In fact, in terms of media popularity polls, it now ranks 535th on the list of media read in Russia today.

But we all know McCaim. HIS ideas are the RIGHT ideas.  Agree or you are wrong…so his carefully crafted response is now floating around Russia in a publication much like those “rags” we find at the grocery check out counters.  Remember?  The trash we loaded up on as we headed  up to Wild River for our annual camping trip with the Meetings folks?  It always gave us a few laughs…and certainly a few big flames around the campfire.

So rather than clipping a few wings, the world is chirping about McCain’s mistake…and I’m sure Putin is roaring with laughter as he scored a BIG ”GOTCHA”!

 

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A BEAUTIFUL SATURDAY…clouded with some disturbing thoughts:

August 10, 2013

KATHERINE KERSTEN; REVISITED

On July 22, I shared my views of Katherine Kersten’s column in the STRIB regarding the Metropolitan Council and her misguided fantasy of the EVIL lurking in any thought of a regional perspective.

On August 9, I thanked Paul Slack, a local pastor and leader of a group of churches for his comments and for his support of the Met Council in view of Kersten’s editorial.

Today, August 10, an employee of Carmichael Lynch shared his (excellent) perspective on the Met Council as he, too, pointed out the numerous flaws in Kersten’s rationale.

Three different perspectives from three different entities – an individual, a church organization, and a successful business organization- all refute Kersten’s point of view. 

And for that, I feel exonerated! 

Now what do we do about her and the misconstrued and often incorrect “factoids” she spews forth that poison any good conversation on any issue that can only be resolved by openness, listening and coming together of differing perspectives for the common good?

Her continual one-sided insular perspectives often tempt me to respond to her in kind…and that makes me so angry with myself…I have higher expectations of myself than to allow myself to be pulled down into the muck of her self-righteousness unless I remain consistently “On Guard”.  Any good ideas that will stop her in her tracks, pass them on!

CLIMATE CHANGE UPDATE

Four former REPUBLICAN heads of the Environmental Protection Agency – all serving past Republican presidents over the last 40 years  (1970 to 2003) are appealing to their Republican Party to accept Climate Change.

“Obama’s plan is just a start.  More will be required.  But we must continue efforts to reduce the climate-altering pollutants that threaten our planet.  The only uncertainty about our warming world is how bad the changes will get, and how soon.  What is most clear is that there is no time to waste.”

What are the odds, do you think, that this will make any impact on the naysayers?  Unfortunately, I am afraid they are all too busy studying the new (and official) Republican Congressional Recess  script of where to pose for pictures, when to wear a hardhat and which button to push in their brain to generate which allowed response to constituents.

 THE STEPFORD MEN are” FIGHTING WASHINGTON FOR ALL AMERICANS”

Look it up, it is called “Fighting Washington for All Americans” advisory kit…basically a primer their leaders thought they should have for getting good publicity on break….as well as where and when to allow press to cover what they are doing.

You’ll be surprised at how much advice Republican representatives in the House are getting of how little they should do in public and how much should be done in private – away from their constituents and the general public’s eyes.

So let’s make this a new game for August. Instead of tracking the Press Sightings of the President and his family on vacation, let’s keep an eye on our own Congressional Representatives right here in Minnesota.

 Let’s start at the State Fair.  When you go, count how many times you hear “Every day I serve in Congress, I work to fight Washington.”    That is the suggested slogan for the month of August, by the way.  So, call them out.  Ask them if they can share something original that means something to them personally.  Ask them for specific examples of what they have done or accomplished; ask them to name the successes and the legislation passed to support it.   If you prefer not to challenge them in person, send a note to their local office.  Tell them they were “hired” by the people to represent them, not to represent the Republican publicists.  Share your actions on line and share any responses on line.

Every time you see the phrase “Every day I serve in Congress, I work to fight Washington” on Facebook, Twitter, or your own favorite social media tool; respond the same way. Challenge them!

Every time you see some footage on your favorite TV station and hear “Every day I serve in Congress, Iwork to fight Washington”- call them on it.  Ask them to site examples of how they are doing that; ask them for results they can share; leave the comment on the station’s online page or pages. 

Let’s not let them get away with this manipulation carefully engineered by the Republican Party publicists to cover up the DO NOTHIING Congress that trumps all DO NOTHINGS in US history! 

They’ve returned to their districts pretty cocky; assured by their party, they will recover by repeating the slogan often enough that the American people will buy into believing that “Washington” means Democrats and Obama not Congress and the Administration.  I am, and YOU ARE smarter than that;  and we have a right to expect more.  Call them on it.  Do not let them shift the blame…focus it right back where it belongs on the Republican-led House of Representatives.

A FINAL THOUGHT OF THE MORNING

This morning, an unruly thought jumped back into my brain…and try as I might, I have not been able to banish it to the “I forgot” bin that things I WANT to remember tend to get lost in.

Why was it ok in 2001 for a Republican president with that stunned look still on his face to start a 12 year+ war against Afghanistan because they granted  asylum to an enemy of the US; thereby multiplying the tragedy of 3000 persons who initially died to some gargantuan number -still not capped off -of additional Americans, friends of America,  Afghans and innocent bystanders …and yet it is not okay for a Democratic President to merely verbally challenge Russia and cancel his planned Summit meeting with Putin for providing a safe harbor for Snowden?

Those of you that cheered as we blundered into Afghanistan are the same ones muttering Obama has set back the progress made with Russia and he should have restrained himself.  Excuse me?

We should not forget, folks, that Afghanistan did not attack the World Trade Center – Osama bin Laden, whose family roots were Yemen with ties to the Saudis, was the culprit. He just went to Afghanistan to hide.

Snowden, on the other hand, whom our federal government has determined was a traitor – no matter what your personal beliefs are on whistleblower vs. traitor-has been granted asylum.  Despite the fact that I think that is pretty good punishment in itself-let’s not kid ourselves that he will stay there or not be heard from again.  

 I am all for a well-thought out careful approach to show our displeasure for the interference.  At least Obama did not send planes and ships of Americans off to die  in a no-win situation from which we still cannot extract ourselves.