Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Understanding Putin

You can get up to eight articles a month free from Foreign Policy, and this might ought to be one of them. It's a good look at the personal journey of Vladimir Putin, from a pragmatic patriot seeking to haul Russia out of the chaos of the 90s to an idealist who "genuinely believes that Russian culture is both exceptional and threatened and that he is the man to save it."

As the authors say, "[t]his notion of an empire built on the basis of a civilization is crucial to understanding Putin." And understanding Putin is pretty important at the moment.

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2 Comments:

At 3:56 AM, April 24, 2014 Blogger Bill the Butcher had this to say...

Foreign Policy.com floats on a sea of lies and propaganda. Anything on it can be considered malignant mendacity unless confirmed by reliable outside sources.

 
At 6:23 AM, April 24, 2014 Blogger The Ridger, FCD had this to say...

I certainly don't feel that strongly but I only recommend things I believe to be true. This article jibes with everything I know about the man.

 

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Monday, April 21, 2014

Franklin Graham thinks Putin is doing good

And the Russians are eating it up with a spoon.

Vzglyad, a Russian business newspaper (think the Economist or the WSJ - it deals with a lot besides "business") has a story about Franklin Graham holding Putin up as an example for Obama. The teaser for it on other pages is this: Christian Values. Yep. Putin exemplifies Christian values. And even Americans think so. And Obama simply "won't do what's right" for America.
CHRISTIAN VALUES - American Evangelical holds Putin up as example for Obama

Nice going, there, Franklin. You've been dragging your father's name through the dirt for years, but this has to be the topper.

Here's the story, and here's my translation of it:

US Evangelists holds Putin up as example to Obama

Russian president Vladimir Putin is doing the right thing for Russia, especially when he banned homosexual propaganda to minors, said American Christian Evangelical leader Billy Franklin Graham.

Graham noted that it was "very wise" on Putin's part to protect the children of his country, and lamented the fact that the US not longer has a president who, unlike before, could do "what is right for the country," according to ABC (translation into Russia by the Center for Current Politics).

The Reverend Graham stated that Putin made the decision which he thought would protect Russian children.

No one and no social group should be allowed to exploit children, and in this Putin is absolutely right, Graham believes.

Franklin Graham is an American religious and social activist and a Baptist clergyman. He is a member of the largest Baptist organization in the world, the Southern Baptist Convention. For many years he was a spiritual counselor to US presidents.

Since the end of July 2013 Russia has had a law forbidding disseminating gay propaganda among children. According to this law, promoting nontraditional sexual relations among minors carries a fine, while propaganda by mass media can result in their suspension for up to 90 days.

The law evoked conflicting reactions abroad. Along with sharp criticism from a number of social activists, its passage was supported by some rights defenders and leading religious figures in the United States.

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At 10:47 AM, April 23, 2014 Anonymous Mark P had this to say...

Maybe we shouldn't be surprised at this. After all, the primary obsession of all fundamentalists is sex. Human rights, not so much.

 

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Profit!

lenta.ru uses 'profit!' meme in EnglishLenta.ru has a Facebook page (as who doesn't?) and this was on it this morning, teasing one of those "humourous news" or "foreigners are funny" stories. It always amazes me how Russians use English in their media, especially with humor and/or Internet stories. Bonus points if you can figure out how this was supposed to work:

How to get settle a score with  your boss, Chinese style:

1)  send him 1,130 ducks;
2) he refuses to pay for them;
3) you have to pay;
4) PROFIT!

(The headline is "A Chinese man sent his boss 1,120 ducklings for revenge")

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Friday, April 18, 2014

Ducks going down

Duck Dynasty is faltering, and I'm heartened by it.
Promoters announced last month that members of the Robertson family would appear at a show titled "Faith, Family & Ducks" at an 11,000-seat arena in Springfield, Mo.

For $37, $50 or $58, fans could enjoy live music and hear the bayou millionaires talk about "living the American dream" while staying true to their "family values and modest lifestyle."

But according to local media reports, the April 27 event has been canceled due to low ticket sales.

The golden era for the A&E reality series appears to be over. Ratings for last month's season five finale were down almost 30 percent from the previous year.
If they can't get Bible Belt butts in the seats, they can't get any.

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Two questions

If I could, I'd pose two questions to Bundy and his posse out there in Nevada.

1. While there is some basis for arguing that the original thirteen colonies and Texas and California were at least at one time "sovereign" (though not much of one, given that they all willingly joined the US), exactly how is Nevada sovereign? Its entire existence is owed to the US, which created it as a political unit.

2. (And this is the one I'd have answered if only one could be) If you don't even acknowledge the US's existence, if you think the USA is an illegitimate, imaginary thing, why the hell are you always waving American flags around? Just one non-hypocritical, non-venal reason, please.
American flags in Bundyland, picture from TPM

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Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Bing -1, Google .5 ......

Again, I clicked on the "see translation" icon from Facebook:

caption reads 'Вождь жжет!' and FB offers a translation service'

Bing offers 'chief žžet!'

This is less than helpful, Facebook/Bing.

Again, to be fair, Google Translate isn't much better. They offered "Chief of burns".

Вождь жжет! is a bit on the slangy side, but it shouldn't be beyond either of them. "Chief" is pretty good for "Вождь" but here it's referring to Kim Jong-un, who's a Вождь or capital-L Leader in the literal sense (like Putin, Stalin, his dad, and Margaret Thatcher all were). "Chief" would be for your boss, I think, not this guy. And жжет is a verb, third person singular of 'to burn'. Google got the root but inexplicably thought it was a noun in the genitive which, no way, and Bing didn't know the word at all. Yes, it's pretty darned irregular (the infinitive is жечь (zhech'), present tense is жгу, жжёшь, жжёт, жгут (zhgu, zhzhyosh', zhzhyot, zhgut) and past is жжег жжгла (zhzhyog, zhzhgla). But Bing really ought to have been provided this paradigm, it's not at all a rare verb.

And what жжет! means is "on fire" in the sense of "rulez!" or "is totally awesome!"

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At 12:29 PM, April 09, 2014 Anonymous Kathie had this to say...

Our translating profession is still secure for a while longer, I see :-)

 

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Friday, April 04, 2014

Daffy?

"Besides Mickey, name a character you might see walking around Disneyland," Steve Harvey asked in the last moments of Family Feud (just before Jeopardy! starts).

"Daffy Duck!" she answered.

My first thought: Daffy's not Disney, he's WB! My second: of course, all she needs is other people not to know that. This show isn't so much about being right as it is about saying things that the "survey said", and there have been many times I've blinked in astonishment at what people thought was right.

But this time, whew! she was alone. Zero points.

"Goofy was the number one answer." (I'd probably have said Donald, myself, and I'm sure that's who she meant.)

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At 10:10 PM, April 04, 2014 Anonymous Kathie had this to say...

My first reaction would've been Minnie.

 

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Final Four

NCAAW logoFinal Four this weekend. Once again, I'm going on vacation with someone who doesn't care about sports - at all. But once again, my main interest is that UConn not win. I am in fact pulling for Maryland (one, they beat UT and two, I live here), but I expect Notre Dame to beat them. If Stanford takes out UConn, I'll be very happy.

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At 10:12 PM, April 04, 2014 Anonymous Kathie had this to say...

Sorry, but friends don't let friends root for Stanford. It's wrong on so many different levels.

 

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Thursday, April 03, 2014

What did they do?

Talk about your good news-bad news.

How'd you like to be in the Jeopardy! Challenge of the Decades tournament and then find out you were on the same night as Ken Jennings?

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At 10:17 PM, April 04, 2014 Anonymous Kathie had this to say...

Scant comfort, I realize, but at least Jennings missed the Final Jeopardy, too (although I got it).

 

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