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Nature Lover Vladimir Putin Flies With the Cranes 285

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the sarah-palin-vs-putin-rearing-his-ugly-wings dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Russian President Vladimir Putin is a nature lover. In 2007, the bare-chested president rode a horse through Siberia. In 2008, he fired a tranquilizer gun at a rare Siberian tiger. In 2010, he used a crossbow to shoot darts at an enormous whale in a fog-shrouded bay to collect tissue samples. Now Der Spiegel reports that on his way east to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, Putin stopped at the Arctic Circle to fulfill a mission for which the Kremlin says he prepared assiduously for a year and a half: helping to save an endangered species of crane. In a meadow some 2,000 kilometers northeast of Moscow, Putin donned a white jumpsuit and black aviator goggles before swinging himself into the seat of an ultralight aircraft and as loudspeakers played the recorded call of a mother crane, Putin lifted off and a group of orphaned white Siberian cranes followed, allowing the aircraft to lead them south toward their winter habitat. On the first attempt, only one of the young cranes followed him up, which Putin said was because a high tail wind had caused the hang glider to accelerate too fast. On the second attempt, five birds followed Putin, but only two stuck with him for the full 15-minute flight. Putin's flight, given many minutes of airtime on Russian television, provoked an array of contemptuous jokes on the Internet, one of the most popular being: 'So Putin is off to wintering with cranes. Does this mean he's not going to be back before spring?' The Russian president, however, hit back at critics telling reporters at the conclusion of APEC summit that, 'It's true that not all flew right away, but the ones that didn't fly were the weak cranes' apparently alluding to the errant ways of those involved in protests that have hit Russia over the last year."
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Nature Lover Vladimir Putin Flies With the Cranes

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  • Good ol' Putin (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DNS-and-BIND (461968) on Tuesday September 11, 2012 @02:10AM (#41296955) Homepage
    If anyone wanted to know what a country would look like if a Bond villain actually won, look no farther than Russia.
    • by Askmum (1038780)
      Putin, Vladimir Putin [geenstijl.nl]
    • by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Tuesday September 11, 2012 @02:30AM (#41297027)

      Except if Putin were a Bond villian, it would turn out he'd implanted high explosives into the orphaned cranes and was using this "rescue mission" as a cover for attacking Buckingham Palace and the Pentagon with explosive cranes.

      Wait - you don't suppose...?

    • Re:Good ol' Putin (Score:5, Informative)

      by flyingsquid (813711) on Tuesday September 11, 2012 @02:31AM (#41297037)
      Wonderful. Thank you, Slashdot, for posting an article glorifying this human piece of garbage. I suppose this is supposed to make us forget that Putin has jailed his critics, restricted the press, and rigged the electoral system to guarantee his victory? The man is nothing more than a bully, and these antics just show what a small, pathetic person he really is. The outlandish antics- tiger hunting, shooting whales, bare-chested horseback riding... he's doing it for the same reason as the guy who buys the really expensive, shiny, loud red pickup. He's compensating for deep insecurities. In his heart, he's nothing but a coward. If he weren't, he wouldn't have to spend all his time desperately trying to prove that he's such a badass. A real leader wouldn't spend all his time glorifying himself. And a real man wouldn't be so terrified by a bunch of girls in a punk band that he'd have to send them to prison for standing up to him.
      • Re:Good ol' Putin (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Hazel Bergeron (2015538) on Tuesday September 11, 2012 @02:57AM (#41297139) Journal

        If he weren't, he wouldn't have to spend all his time desperately trying to prove that he's such a badass.

        Nonsense. The guy is powerful beyond anyone's wildest dreams and is doing stuff that a) he enjoys; b) appeals as propaganda to the macho sort still prevalent in Russian.

        Russia has become precisely what the left expected Reagan+Thatcher wanted in toppling the USSR: a corrupt, undemocratic kleptocracy with few new freedoms but no social cohesion or state protections, where middlemen and government have their hands constantly down each other's pants, jacking each other off while they kick the common man. It is the neocon dream realised.

        Anyone who thinks that life wasn't better in Russia in the 1970s either 1) was not living there; 2) is one of the very few beneficiaries of business. (Hint: if you're a geek programmer living in Moscow, you're in category #2.) But the Soviet Russia will forever be remembered as it was in the late 1980s, which would be like judging capitalism only from the Great Depression, late 2008, the imperialist drive for profit, the Southern State free market definition of "person", Halliburton, &c., instead of all the good things it has achieved.

        • Re:Good ol' Putin (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Viol8 (599362) on Tuesday September 11, 2012 @03:48AM (#41297311)

          My wife comes from Ukraine. It might not be great now was NOT better in the 1970s. I don't know where you get your facts from but I'd find a new source other than Marxism Today if I were you.

          • Re:Good ol' Putin (Score:5, Interesting)

            by dkleinsc (563838) on Tuesday September 11, 2012 @08:02AM (#41298449) Homepage

            Well, I'm reminded of a political cartoon I saw about 15 years ago, that had 3 pictures of a depressed-looking man with a glass of vodka in his hand. The first was captioned "Russia under the Czars", the second "Russia under Communism", and the third "Russia under democracy".

            • by tnk1 (899206)

              You could have merged all three panels and had one guy with one glass of vodka and just put "Russia under the Chekists".

              The USSR and current Russia were not socialist or democratic paradises, they are essentially Secret Police states. Although Chekist is a term from Soviet times, you could probably say that the same thing goes for when it was under the Tsars too. People in Russia like strong authority and believe that that authority can protect them, in return, those sorts of state organizations crop up t

        • Unlikely as it seems (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Kupfernigk (1190345)
          Just before I joined the R&D department of one UK company in the early 1980s, one of the engineers left to go and live in the Soviet Union. The Thatcher recession had just started (a recession deliberately started by her government to justify a reduction in worker rights), the future of British industry looked bleak, and while installing equipment for the company at a Russian research institute he was offered a job. He also fell in love with his translator, to be fair. But the conditions of life for a r
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Viol8 (599362)

            "(a recession deliberately started by her government to justify a reduction in worker rights),"

            What utter cobblers. The recession was a result of the previous labour govns spend spend spend policy (sound familiar?) combined with bloody minded unions who went on strike or work to rule over their "rights" at the drop of a hat and made UK industry even more uncompetetive than the lazy morons had managed even up until that point. You're obviously old enough to remember the power cuts in the 70s as I am due to e

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              I can't believe that most people still believe this.

              Imperialist interference in Middle East -- oil crisis -- inflation -- increase income to management but refuse to pay more to workers -- strikes -- hardship -- blame response to injustice rather than cause.

              The '70s, dominated at the start and at the end by a Tory government, was the start of the tedious neocon war on labour which ended up with Britain becoming the laughable shell of a nation that it is today.

              You're right about one thing, though: the comple

              • by Viol8 (599362)

                "I can't believe that most people still believe this."

                Yes, because believing lies instead peddled by the left to justify their own botched policies is much easier isn't it.

                "Imperialist "

                Oh dear, we're down to student debating society level already. What next , "patriarchal" or perhaps something ending in "ist" or "ism"?

                "becoming the laughable shell of a nation that it is today."

                Right, because 13 years of Labour mismanagement had nothing to do with that did it. You are REALLY in denial.

                "pathetic, authoritari

            • Yes, the unions magically make things worse as the Bush tax cuts magically put us into recession. Fuck those poor people for wanted a say in their wages! They should slave all day and just make ME wealth while I pay them a pittance because I BUILT THIS without any help!

              On the other hand, you have our pal who believes gubermint creates recessions because contracting and thus LOSING profit I would have had otherwise from better demand is better for us because I want to remove my worker's right so I can make M

          • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

            by udachny (2454394)

            he was living in a standard engineer's apartment in a housing block, under their normal conditions, and was actually paid by the USSR government.

            - my grandmother was pushed back in the queue for a new apartment (she lived in a so called 'vremianka' - temporary accommodations, that means a shack with all amenities OUTSIDE the fucking house, and it was actually in the middle of a large industrial city with a million people, where many lived this way), so she was pushed back in the queue 3 times and waited for a total of 22 years before she got a 'scheduled' apartment, a 1 bedroom actually. Not bad, ha? In a capitalist country she could have bought h

            • by Hazel Bergeron (2015538) on Tuesday September 11, 2012 @09:13AM (#41299301) Journal

              my grandmother was pushed back in the queue for a new apartmen

              That sounds unfortunate. Many people have to wait up to a decade for new social housing in the UK, especially since Thatcher sold much of it

              In a capitalist country she could have bought herself a 1 bedroom in much less time than that just by working almost anywhere, and she wouldn't have to wait for 22 years, given the fact that in capitalist countries it was (still is) possible to get a loan, a mortgage.

              Certainly not in the UK - mortgages are such that no single person on minimum wage would be able to save up for a ~10% deposit, let alone be offered a 90% mortgage.

              1 was that they brought in some families from Cuba and placed them there, because of the 'Cuban brothers' who were also Communists of-course, their gov't needed to be shown how well people are treated in USSR.

              Yeah, the BNP complain about immigrants taking social housing in the UK all the time too.

              Another time was actually simpler than that, somebody with real connections to a local (regional) party leader wanted to have an apartment for their offspring. You think they had to wait for years for this?

              Probably not. In my local town, planning corruption is awful - you can pretty much do what you want wrt/ buildings if you grease the right palms. Not sure about assignment of housing per se. Knowing an MP mysteriously seems to sort out most local hurdles in a few days, though. Feeling nostalgic yet?

              7 of who got killed only on one side of the family because they had a farm... owned a shoe factory... in their possession part of a forest and a river and even a village...

              I assume this was a Stalinist kulak purge. I am sorry. It would have been sufficient to nationalise these things and there was no need to harm the old owners.

              As to Thatcher, she inherited a situation, which was so dire, here is what the former PM (before she came to power) said about it:

              You mean that Labour's Callaghan inherited a situation made awful by Tory Heath. While Callaghan tried to reform policy (not in the cleverest manner!), Thatcher decided to destroy Britain out of irrational hatred for certain parts of society.

        • by khallow (566160)

          Russia has become precisely what the left expected Reagan+Thatcher wanted in toppling the USSR: a corrupt, undemocratic kleptocracy with few new freedoms but no social cohesion or state protections, where middlemen and government have their hands constantly down each other's pants, jacking each other off while they kick the common man. It is the neocon dream realised.

          As others have noted, what we have now does beat what it was (most especially, I might add, for those outside of Russia!), no matter which decade of the USSR you cherry pick.

        • Re:Good ol' Putin (Score:5, Interesting)

          by AliasMarlowe (1042386) on Tuesday September 11, 2012 @07:18AM (#41298149) Journal

          Anyone who thinks that life wasn't better in Russia in the 1970s either 1) was not living there; 2) is one of the very few beneficiaries of business. (Hint: if you're a geek programmer living in Moscow, you're in category #2.)

          Well, life in the Soviet Union was of uneven quality, on geographical as well as political grounds. There were certainly places where life was better then than it is now. There were also many places where it was worse then than it is now. I spent time in both Moscow and Leningrad (as it was then called) for a period as a foreigner in the early 1980s, and formed opinions based on what I saw and what I was told by actual Russians. I'd class it as weird as much as good or bad.

          Taking the "good" side first, I saw no particular poverty (unlike most large Western cities), and the people were all fairly well-dressed and looked healthy enough. The streets were quite tidy, just like Nordic cities of today. Also, the people I met all had jobs or sinecures of some sort, and even the lowliest (cleaners) had some spare money. Basic rents were controlled and cheap, so was food.

          Taking the "bad" side, those I talked to (including our translator) said that it was a privilege to live in "display" cities like Moscow or Leningrad. Moreover, if they lost this privilege, life would be much tougher in the backwoods, and even keeping well-fed could be a challenge. Internal travel was highly restricted, and our translator needed internal permission papers for every place we visited or spent the night. The reason everyone had spare cash was because there were no luxuries available, and there was not much to spend money on after paying for food and rent - except for booze. Booze was cheap and plentiful, and consumed in prodigious amounts.

          Then there was the "weird" side. Whenever we went to a touristy place, we were met by well-dressed most unbeggar-like kids who were determined to haggle - they gave us badges with Lenin and suchlike, and we gave them Wrigley's chewing gum. I still have many of those badges, with their prices embossed on them from manufacture. The staff at every hotel wanted to haggle over our jeans - Levi's only, forget the designer shit - and paid up to 150roubles a pair in cash (a rouble was worth more than a dollar at the time). To break the ice when meeting groups of Russians in a business context, we learned to bring along a few bottles of vodka - it turned the event from a confrontation between potential foes into a meeting of long-lost friends after a couple of bottles were empty. On one of our first restaurant visits, we forgot to "bribe" or tip-in-advance the head waiter, so we ended up waiting a long time for a table. We were then informed that only the set meal was available, and that due to time constraints, we could not have the dessert but that the price was unchanged. The entire restaurant staff came out to indulge in "self-criticism" before we left, just to rub in the lesson and let the other guests know what cheap-skates we were...

          Another anecdote: a colleague left a party early and very drunk in late winter. He woke up the next day in our hotel on the other side of Moscow, with no knowledge or recollection of how he got there (and he didn't know the way). Our translator said that probably the police found him drunk and unconscious on the street, and took him to the correct hotel based on the ID in his pocket. She said that regular Russians would have spent the night in a police cell and would have been released early in the morning (a cold shower for the hangover was mentioned, but perhaps jokingly). Apparently, the main work for the police at night was picking up drunks before they froze to death. Most of my anecdotes from that period tend toward the scandalous; that one is tame enough.

          For a Westerner interacting with regular people, the weirdness overwhelmed the goodness and the badness.

          • by udachny (2454394)

            (a rouble was worth more than a dollar at the time).

            - I would like to qualify this statement with an explanation. NOBODY in Russia was allowed to deal in dollars OR gold. Nobody. Such deals were punishable by law with very lengthy prison sentences and confiscation of all private possessions, sometimes also by death.

            Due to this, the black market for dollars (or any other foreign money that was called the 'valuta') was almost non-existent among the general public, it was of a very limited use.

            Because of that fact only, the government was able to set an artif

      • by janek78 (861508)

        Wait. These articles are able to glorify Putin in anyone's eyes? I thought by now every new piece about how he saved a puppy from a burning house serves only to further ridicule him and make fun of him. He tries so hard that it became a kind of comedy performance. With a lot of these articles, couple years ago, you could mistake them from something from Onion.com. He became a caricature of himself, an iron-fisted evil dictator who's trying so hard people laugh at him.

        • He became a caricature of himself, an iron-fisted evil dictator who's trying so hard people laugh at him.

          Can't be all bad if you're allowed to laugh at him in public. Personally I would like to see a cage match between Putin and Palin, the cage should be mounted on an iceberg in the middle of the barring straight so that both nations can see it.

      • by Hentes (2461350)

        It's not as much compensating as fitting the expectations of the average Russian. Russia never really had democracy, an so they haven't developed a democratic culture. They don't want a democratically elected leader, they want a strong powerful one. Many of them still think nostalgically about Stalin. So if Putin wants to keep his public support, he has to constantly show power and build his cult of personality.

      • by Tom (822)

        What this actually proves is that humans are more complex creatures than pop psychology allows.

        We find it difficult to not label things and people. And we prefer simple categories. A fascist dictator who murders people and yet has a thing for the arts and supports starving artists just isn't something we have a category for, so we focus on the one and either forget or re-label the other.

        Of course it can't be that a good person does a bad thing - he was lead by circumstances into a situation he couldn't cont

        • Good Kings doing Bad Things - reminds me of 1066 And All That.

      • by ZosX (517789)

        fuck putin. that is all.

        those girls didn't deserve that.

      • The outlandish antics- tiger hunting, shooting whales, bare-chested horseback riding... he's doing it for the same reason as the guy who buys the really expensive, shiny, loud red pickup. He's compensating for ...

        I bow to your razor sharp analysis and take my hat off to you. Would you spend some of your precious time and analyse my glorious leader, the old Silvio? In his spare time he er..., well..., hunts and concurs. Although I suspect the prey and trophies are convinced to surrender with incentives. What's he compensating for?

      • by alexgieg (948359)

        I suppose this is supposed to make us forget that Putin has jailed his critics, restricted the press, and rigged the electoral system to guarantee his victory?

        No, no! It's supposed to make us know he does this all in AWESOME ways. As far as dictators go, and my country had its fair share of them, I'd have appreciated it if they at least had been entertaining. The way things are, Putin is posed to eventually chose his successor by organizing a Mortal Kombat-style championship. Wouldn't THAT be fun? :-D

        And a real man wouldn't be so terrified by a bunch of girls in a punk band that he'd have to send them to prison for standing up to him.

        Well, as I read on the case it seems they were condemned on some kind of anti-hate-speech. Russian judges don't seem to distinguish between, say, an antisemite band

      • And a real man wouldn't be so terrified by a bunch of girls in a punk band that he'd have to send them to prison for standing up to him.

        Perhaps I'm shallow, but I think that was worth doing just so we could read protest signs saying "Free Pussy Riot".

      • by crazyjj (2598719) *

        Putin has jailed his critics, restricted the press, and rigged the electoral system to guarantee his victory? The man is nothing more than a bully, and these antics just show what a small, pathetic person he really is.

        Wait, are you talking about Putin, or George W. Bush?

      • The real problem is, that people are strange things, we are not pure good or pure evil, we fall somewhere in the middle. Why can't we reward people for doing the right thing while punishing people for doing the wrong things.

        Part of the problem is when we have hero's they will let us down, because they are human beings, Now Putin is damn close to being a nasty dictator, but you can admire his environmental activism, at the same time think that he is way to dangerous of a person to be president... Again!!

      • by sl4shd0rk (755837)

        jailed his critics, restricted the press, and rigged the electoral system to guarantee his victory?

        Don't get too upset with Putin. That's pretty much par for the course in Democracy too.

      • I suppose Pussy Riot.
    • Here's not "Good o' Putin." He's a kleptocratic, fascist dictator who has directly caused the death of at least thousands of innocents and whose greed and duplicitous use of right-win poplusm has caused untold millions, both in Russia and in other states, from Uzbekistan to Ukraine, from Syria to Georgia, from Estonia to Africa to suffer. Let's stop the "wink wink" bond jokes and kitsch cutesy comments and unhesitatingly and forcefully condemn this evil man AND THOSE IN THE CORRUPT RUSSIAN MIDDLE WHO CONT

      • by X.25 (255792)

        Here's not "Good o' Putin." He's a kleptocratic, fascist dictator who has directly caused the death of at least thousands of innocents and whose greed and duplicitous use of right-win poplusm has caused untold millions, both in Russia and in other states, from Uzbekistan to Ukraine, from Syria to Georgia, from Estonia to Africa to suffer. Let's stop the "wink wink" bond jokes and kitsch cutesy comments and unhesitatingly and forcefully condemn this evil man AND THOSE IN THE CORRUPT RUSSIAN MIDDLE WHO CONTINUE TO SUPPORT HIM in the strongest way possible.

        Tell me, how many innocents died due to actions of military directly controlled by various US presidents?

        Make a wild guess.

      • by skegg (666571)

        Is it possible that the media that you're consuming paints such a negative portrait of him?

        Putin has reclaimed many of the assets that were pillaged after the fall of the USSR. Assets bought at deeply discounted prices to the detriment of the Russian populace. I'm talking about oil, gas, etc.

        I think Putin is being cast as a villain in the West because he's not allowing influential parties to rape Russia. He's standing in their way from making countless billions, and they want him gone. It's as simple as tha

    • President assassinates YOU!

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      If anyone wanted to know what a country would look like if a Bond villain actually won, look no farther than Russia.

      You mean, besides when we had Kim-Jong Il and his hirarious sungrasses?

      • Libya used to be pretty good as well. In particular, Gaddafi's Amazonian Guard pushed him well into Bond Villian territory on style points alone, and his identifiable cult of personality and history of nefarious plotting were icing on the cake.

        The new guys may or may not actually be less villainous; but they certainly are less colorful.

  • This crap is already plastered all over Russian news sites, now it's here as well. Thanks, dear submitter, now we'll have to wade through another round of silly jokes (because there's no other kind given the context).

  • by wonkey_monkey (2592601) on Tuesday September 11, 2012 @02:28AM (#41297013) Homepage
    This is News for Nerds?
    • by Deus.1.01 (946808)

      The Russians have bought Chelsea and TVR...you think they can't buy ./?

      • The Russians have bought Chelsea

        Chelsea CLINTON??

      • What's dotslash?

      • They have also bought The Independent, and as The Guardian slowly goes down the tubes and loses all its principles, The Independent seems to be emerging as the last British newspaper with any credibility. Some at least of the oligarchs seem to have the ambition to become English gentlemen, just as those English gentlemen turn out to be pretty obnoxious themselves.
        • Hasn't buying in to English Gentry been the ambition of the vulgar nouveau riche for at least a couple of centuries now? Back in the day, more than a few American industrial fortunes went into obtaining distressed-but-honorable lineages...

    • by Seumas (6865) on Tuesday September 11, 2012 @03:25AM (#41297251)

      Agreed. I read the submission twice. Then checked some comments. Then went back and read the submission a third time. I was sure I was missing something, somewhere. This has nothing to do with tech or nerds. It barely even qualifies as politics, for that matter. This belongs on Good Morning America or some other drivel.

      • Either someone at Slashdot is a major league communost or Putin-apologist, or actually thinks this retread of 20 year old show science is something novel.

        May we expect a piece on the cool scientific discoveries of Dr. Mengele next?

      • Seems to me most people are just jelly of the guy and don't like his politics, but if given a chance to do the flying would be super-exited and talk about the experience for ages afterwards.

        Seriously, the guy gets to do awesome fun things.
      • An ultralight, some loudspeakers, and having his antics displayed on television sets and subsequently joked about on the internet. Is this not enough tech-related material for you?

    • by Limecron (206141)

      I was waiting for the day after CmdrTaco left that I'd stop reading Slashdot, and I think I've found it.

      Peace out, y'all.

    • I propose we change the Slashdot logo for one day in October into all capitals and white-on-red, just like all of the other tabloids.
  • by maweki (999634) on Tuesday September 11, 2012 @02:30AM (#41297029) Homepage
    Even if it were all publicity, I must say, that I am impressed. Look what every other politician would do for some PR like that. Everybody can go around kissing babies. Doesn't matter what you think of him, but you have to commend his commitment.
  • Fuck this guy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 11, 2012 @02:36AM (#41297061)

    He should rather care about independent journalists - the most endangered species in Russia.

    Is /. being paid for these kind of articles?

  • Great (Score:5, Funny)

    by should_be_linear (779431) on Tuesday September 11, 2012 @02:40AM (#41297079)
    If only he tried to look like crazy dictator little less.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    These are exactly the same types of activities that Kim Jung Ill seems to excel at.

    • No, these are the types of activities that authoritarian rulers everywhere do. The exception might be some really poor African or Asian country where majority of the citizens live in rural villages whose only means of electronic communication are dirt cheap dumb phones. For the rest of the non-democratic world, the leaders have to somehow show their soft or human side. People want leaders who give the impression of being just another bloke who happened to carry the "burden" of leadership. So here you get th

  • by Rogerborg (306625) on Tuesday September 11, 2012 @02:41AM (#41297091) Homepage
    Somehow that's a little disappointing.
  • So basically he does what every heartland North American can do? Where's our photo op?
  • is now reenacting the movie Fly Away Home?
  • Fuck Putin (Score:3, Informative)

    by ZosX (517789) <zosxavius@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday September 11, 2012 @05:45AM (#41297687) Homepage

    2 years in prison for a song protesting him? I hope he burns in hell and history remembers him for the despot he is!

    • by dywolf (2673597)

      Ya. Putin totally deserves to burn in hell.

      Putin: maybe ordered a couple assassinations, jailed some protestors for a few years

      Stalin: murdered tens of millions of Jews, Germans, Polish, POWs, civilians (his own and other countries), ordered thousands of executions including his "friends" who all got "replaced" every few years, intentionally caused a famine that killed millions more...

      Perspective is a wonderful thing.

  • There are two things you will learn after reading the summary.
    1) This was the weirdest slashvertisment ever.
    2) If that joke is one of the most contemptuous and popular ones they need alot of practice and have a great lack of humor.
  • First I must state that by general default, I consider every global leader one of the following:
    1. An Actor
    2. A Power Proxy
    3. A Prostitute
    4. A Fool
    5. Insane
    6. In Extremis, Moribund, or Dead -- AKA -- Doing their job, Trying, or Successful

    However, Putin is difficult to fit into any particular of my standard categories. Unlike most Big-Time politicians or leaders, he seems possibly interested in the longterm survival of his own nation -- quite unlike what seems the case elsewhere. He is one of
  • and that is to have cranes with frickin' laser beams attached to their heads!
  • Apparently Putin thinks that he is Cal Worthington [nme.com]
  • A question, in all seriousness, to any Russians in the audience: does Putin doing these sorts of stunts actually increase his appeal to voters (I presume that's why he wants publicity of him doing these things), or is the reaction more along the lines of "there goes Putin, making himself look macho again"? Obviously national leaders have hobbies, just like anyone else does, but he's racked up a long list. Sometimes it seems like he's trying to get himself into Mountain Dew commercials [theonion.com].

  • If Putin was in the Middle East, he would be a hybrid of Libya's Gaddafi and Iraq's Saddam.

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