Just a Thug.

Listening to the experts’ opinions about Putin and his strategic plans and what his next move will be, one can think that Putin is a reincarnation of professor Moriarty. Let me state it in the simplest of terms: Vladimir Putin is a thug. That is about it.
So what is the explanation for his actions? There is a wise saying: follow the money.


Putin's grand plans.
A small man rules a big country.
Thug:  a cruel or vicious ruffian, robber, or murderer.  http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/thug
A cutthroat or ruffian; a hoodlum.  http://www.thefreedictionary.com/thug
Listening to the experts' opinions about Putin and his strategic plans and what his next move will be, one can think that Putin is a reincarnation of professor Moriarty. 
Let me state it in the simplest of terms:  Vladimir Putin is a thug. That is about it.
So what is the explanation for his actions?  There is a wise saying:  follow the money.
Putin's personal fortune.
Putin is stealing money from Russia.
$1 Billion Putin’s palace on the Black Sea.
Many experts of Russian government and politics agree that, without question, Putin has used his last decade of absolute power and wholehearted corruption to stash away a vast personal fortune estimated at more than $70 billion.  A fortune that simply does not jibe with the humble, man-of-the-people, portrait Putin paints of himself.”  http://beforeitsnews.com/opinion-liberal/2014/03/vladimir-putins-fortune-2478250.html
Where did all the money come from?
“His most vocal critics assert that Putin has leveraged his power to acquire a 4.5% ownership stake in the natural gas producer, Gazprom, a 37% stake in the oil company, Surgutneftegas, and a 50% stake in Swiss oil-trader, Gunvor.  Gazprom alone does over $150 billion in revenue annually, Gunvor does $80 billion and Surgutneftegas over $20 billion.  Using their most recent market capitalizations, Putin’s combined ownership stakes would give him a personal net worth of $70 billion!”  http://beforeitsnews.com/opinion-liberal/2014/03/vladimir-putins-fortune-2478250.html
More about the Emperor Putin money.
Putin amassed wealth.
Putin’s yacht
“Putin is known to sport a $150,000 Patek Philippe watch on most occasions and his total collection has been valued at $700,000.  He also has full access to a $40 million ultra-luxury yacht that features a wine cellar, Jacuzzi, helipad and outdoor barbecue area.  In terms of living accommodations, Putin has access to 20 mansions throughout the world including a lavish ski lodge and Medieval castle.  The crown jewel of his property portfolio is a $1 billion palace overlooking the Black Sea that he allegedly owns through an anonymous trust.  Furthermore, Putin makes frequent use of 15 Presidential helicopters and more than 40 private jets, many of which feature gold plated interiors.  http://beforeitsnews.com/opinion-liberal/2014/03/vladimir-putins-fortune-2478250.html
Russia does not get respect from the West?
A distinguished professor and “expert” on Russia, Steven Cohen, is accusing the west of not respecting Russia's interests and making threatening moves like accepting Eastern European countries into the European common market and NATO.  Please note the word “accepting”. My understanding is that these countries ASKED to be accepted.  Asked, voluntarily.  These former communist countries and former Soviet Republics did not want to align with Russia.  They have had enough of Russia.  They have had enough of the Soviet Union.  These small countries fear and distrust Russia (meaning Putin).
Dear professor:  These countries are not just pieces of property that are owned by the West or by Russia.  These are independent countries that follow the will of their people.  These people wanted to be part of Europe, not part of the Russian “Empire”.These countries are not pawns as you, dear professor, would think.
There is a consensus that taking Crimea is harmful to Russia and it's economy in the long run.  So why did he (Putin) swallow Crimea?
There are strategic reasons like the Black Sea Russian Fleet.
But there may be one simple reason.  Just keep in mind that Putin is not a chess player.  Putin is a thug. 
He blew over $50 Billion in Sochi at a time when the Russian economy is in the tank.
Many oligarchs lost a ton of money on this “enterprise”.
Poverty in Russia is growing.  Putin made a lot of Russia's people unhappy.  He is just a plain scared thug that needed to divert peoples' attention, to play in Russia's nationalism.  Nationalism that he, Putin, supported and encouraged through state-controlled media.  Now Putin got to feed Russian militant nationalism he helped to grow.
Also Professor Cohen accepts as a given that Russia has to confront the aggressive behavior of the US and Europe.  Why?  Former soviet block countries got integrated into the West economy and are doing just fine. 
Compare Ukraine and Poland:  The 2013 population of Poland is approximately 38,300,000 people, with a total surface of 120,696.41 square miles. 
The Ukraine population of 45,593,300 people, which represents an increase of 140,018 people compared to 2011, with a total area of 233,000 square miles. 
Former Soviet republics
Former parts of Russian/Soviet Empire.
And yet look at the statistics.
Ukraine output by 1999 had fallen to less than 40% of the 1991 level.  Ukraine's dependence on Russia for energy supplies and the lack of significant structural reform have made the Ukrainian economy vulnerable to external shocks.  It depends on imports to meet about three-fourths of its annual oil and natural gas requirements and 100% of its nuclear fuel needs.
Poland - Ukraine GDP
$814.1 billion (2012 est.)
$797.8 billion (2011 est.)
$764.7 billion (2010 est.)
note: data are in 2012 US dollars
$340.7 billion (2012 est.)
$340.2 billion (2011 est.)
$323.4 billion (2010 est.)
note: data are in 2012 US dollars
For the last 20 years Putin's people ruled Ukraine.  And Russia likes it this way because it can keep Ukraine and other satellites vulnerable and dependent on Russia. 
Why does Russia want to confront the West?  Why is Russia different, or want to be different?
Putin friends are thugs.
Putin’s friends.
Remember:  Putin is a thug.  Follow the money.  70 billion is not enough.  Putin, the emperor, wants it all. 
Look at who Putin's friends are:  Iran, Syria, North Korea...countries ruled by thugs like Putin.
Russia sells whatever they these thugs want: nuclear weapons technology, conventional weapons - Putin does not care. As long as he and his cronies get paid.
So what is happening is that the unscrupulous gang of rogue states like Russia, North Korea, Iran and a few others are blackmailing the world in order to get a ransom:  power and money.
Putin's “chess” game is simple:  the more turmoil in the world, the more expensive oil and natural gas, the more money and power he gets.  Just a thug.

CNN New Reality Show.

CNN is airing a new reality show that is appropriately named “Where is the plane?” It’s main characters are actual people who call themselves “reporters” The airplane is real and is actually missing. The rule is that the “reporter” who comes up with the most outlandish idea on “Where is Waldo… sorry…the airplane” wins.


Baseless speculations
Go CNN!
Sensationalism based media
Daily Wisdom

Pure speculation by CNN
CNN breakthroughs.
Breaking news: CNN is airing a new reality show that is appropriately named, "Where is the plane?"  It's main characters are actual people who call themselves "reporters".  The airplane is real and is actually missing.  The rule is that the "reporter" who comes up with the most outlandish idea on "Where is Waldo... sorry...the airplane" wins.
Nothing is off limits: Bermuda Triangle, Black Hole, Time Warp, Teleportation, alien abduction - anything and everything goes!
Participants can ask for help if they are out of outrageous ideas.  They (the "reporters") can call relatives, psychics, even scientists.  So far people love the show.  The suspense, the imagination, resourcefulness are amazing! And what is great about this new show is that the cast doesn't have to use facts! 
The sky is the limit!  Oops...sorry, not true.  The Universe is NOT the limit. 
Episodes are aired with short intermissions when bored "reporters" talk about the silly world's affairs like wars, the economy, Putin and other stuff.  But here is the good news.  Considering multiple complaints CNN will broadcast the show without intermissions!
We viewers have power!  We, the People!  Go CNN!
CNN the gossip channel.
Just watch this plane disappear!
 

	

Conservative Turtles.

“Pro life” ideology and caring for our children. The demagogues who shoot doctors don’t rally care for children. They are against women’s rights and equality. For these fanatics women are useful for procreation and as sex objects.

GOP obstractionism
A little Turtle that doesn’t.
Poverty and children in the US
Where are the pro-lifers?

A friend sent me a picture of a turtle on a beach.
It came, laid the eggs in the sand and then it was gone.
So the young are on their own.
Reminds me of the pro-life fanatics.
They are crying about the unborn.
As soon as the baby is born the pro-lifers are gone.
The difference is that turtles are programmed this way by nature.
Republicans are mostly hypocrites.

 

America's shame.

On their own

How To Support Our Veterans or GOP Tough Love

Senate Republicans on Thursday derailed a sweeping $21 billion bill that would have expanded medical, educational and other benefits for veterans — in another chapter of the ongoing feud over amendments, spending and new sanctions on Iran.

With just 41 votes, Republican senators block veterans benefits bill. 
Senate Republicans on Thursday derailed a sweeping $21 billion bill that would have expanded medical, educational and other benefits for veterans — in another chapter of the ongoing feud over amendments, spending and new sanctions on Iran. 
Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2014/02/veterans-benefits-senate-republicans-104060.html#ixzz2vOZDrKaE 
War mongers
McCain and Graham tough guys.

Republican’s plan to support veterans:

Stay in Iraq

Stay in Afghanistan

Bomb Syria

Go to war with Russia.

That is what real men do!

Like Senators McCain and Graham!

And don’t be sissies and ask for help if you loose a leg or two!

Occupation by Infestation.

Putin asserts that Russia has “the right to protect Russian-speaking populations” beyond its borders.
During Soviet times ethnic Russians spread into the “independent” republics. All 15 former Soviet republics have sizable Russian populations.
That fact gives Putin a good excuse to invade these former Soviet republics to “protect” Russian people. Crimea may just be a warm-up.

Putin's grand plans.
Russia’s savior.
Vladimir Putin is building an empire.
Putin to the rescue.

 Crisis in Crimea.

Putin asserts that Russia has “the right to protect Russian-speaking populations” beyond its borders.
During Soviet times ethnic Russians spread into the “independent” republics.  All 15 former Soviet republics have sizable Russian populations.
That fact gives Putin a good excuse to invade these former Soviet republics to “protect” Russian people.  Crimea may just be a warm-up.

The Story of Russia

We have to realize that Russia is an important country. It is the largest country by territory. Russia has an abundance of natural resources. I have a great respect for Russian people. Unfortunately Russia has a long history of bad leaders…and really bad roads:

We have to realize that Russia is an important country.  It is the largest country by territory.  Russia has an abundance of natural resources.  I have a great respect for Russian people.  Unfortunately Russia has a long history of bad leaders…and really bad roads:

First of all before I even start to talk about Putin and his world view, I am stating that the US does not have any moral authority to condemn Putin and to express its outrage about a Russian invasion in Crimea.  Not after the invasion and occupation of Iraq for over 10 years.  America feels justified invading and attacking any country to protect its (America) interests.  Korea, Vietnam, Panama, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya.  America's Military Industrial Complex demands to be fed.  It needs wars to profit.
Now about Putin and Russia.
The Emperor or Back to the Future.
putin the greatPutin dreams of greatness...for Russia to return to its glorious past as a great Empire.  But most of all he, Putin dreams of greatness for Putin.
He, Putin, will bring Russia back and he, Putin, will rule over the great Russian Empire that would include all these little countries that used to be under Russian or Soviet domain.
Georgia, Belarus, Asian republics, near Baltic republics and of course Ukraine.
Especially Ukraine.  After all Kiev was the first capitol of Russia.  Ukraine has been the richest agricultural center with it's rich soil and moderate climate.  It was feeding half of Russia.  Ukraine is a very important industrial and science center with cities like Kharkov and Donetsk.
The Russian gas pipeline to Europe runs through Ukraine.
The Black Sea fleet is stationed in Crimea near Sevastopol.
So yes, Ukraine is crucial for Russia and Putin does not want to share Ukraine with Europe.
In a way he thinks of himself as an equal to Peter the Great.  Ironically the difference is that Peter fought to open Russia to Europe and to learn from Europeans.  Putin wants to close off Russia from Europe and in the process to drag a few of its satellites with it.  It is a delusional idea in today's world.  And a very dangerous one.  For the world but especially for Russia.
Russian economy is in trouble.
The main exports from Russia are its natural resources like gas, oil, metals, timber and military equipment.
 But “European demand for natural gas about 30 percent of which comes from Russia -- has been steadily falling since 2010.  Additional supply could come on line in the coming years from the U.S  and Israel at the same time as Russia expands its own production capacity.  The net effect could be a glut that would lower prices and further reduce Russia's access to hard currency.
Meanwhile, world oil prices have been flat for years, while Russian production costs have rapidly increased.  Some analysts think Putin's recent adventurism in Ukraine has been an attempt to distract his domestic constituents from these unpleasant economic prospects.”  http://finance.yahoo.com/news/aide-putin-makes-stupidest-threats-090338005.html 
Dirt roads are still common in Russia.
Strategic road in Russia.

Russia’s infrastructure – roads, railroads – is old and decrepit.

Russia is surrounded by enemies in the East – Asian Muslim republics, in the South – Ossetia, Dagestan, Chechia, Georgia.  The near-Baltic republics, Latvia, Litva, Estonia, just got their independence from Russia and are very suspicious of Russia and Putin.

Putin’s “friends” are a few rogue states like Syria and Iran

And now by invading Crimea Putin antagonized Europe and the United states.

So the Russian road to “greatness” may be tough.

Putin’s trump card is Europe’s dependency on Russian gas and oil.  And its nuclear arsenal.

But as mentioned above this dependency is falling.  So what remains is the nuclear arsenal.

There is no love lost between Russians and Ukrainians. 

Man mad famine in Ukraine.
Stalin killed over 7 Million Ukrainian people during 1932-1933 famine.

The Ukrainians remember the famine in 1932-1933 orchestrated by Stalin.  “Joseph Stalin, leader of the Soviet Union, set in motion events designed to cause a famine in the Ukraine to destroy the people there seeking independence from his rule.  As a result, an estimated 7,000,000 persons perished in this farming area, known as the breadbasket of Europe, with the people deprived of the food they had grown with their own hands

http://www.historyplace.com/worldhistory/genocide/stalin.htm

Soviet Union Invaded Ukraine in 1939

Russians remember that many Ukrainians who hated the Soviet Union were helping Nazis during the war.  So there are grievances on both sides.  And that is why it is so dangerous if the situation escalates.

The big question is what can be done to stop Putin?

Sometimes the hardest thing to do is not to do much and to avoid the knee-jerk reaction (McCain's hysteria is a good example)
Yes, the world has to condemn Putin's disregard for international laws. 
Yes, the world needs to consider imposing some trade and financial sanctions.
But most of all we need smart diplomacy.  And patience. 
In his mind Putin may genuinely believe that Russians in Ukraine are in danger.
So the world community has to make sure that Russia and Ukraine are involved in discussion on how to end the crisis.
After all, almost every country on this planet has some grievances with its neighbors.  So, if we go back in time and fight over past memories, this would create a never-ending world war.