Why Vladimir Putin is exactly the wrong person to lecture American’s on Syria



While Putin has good writers, we cannot forget the fact that this is exactly the kind of op-ed piece that would have you imprisoned in Russia. That this is an op-ed piece written by a man who hand-picked his predecessor, not to lead Russia into the future, but merely to keep the seat warm while they forced through changes to the Russian constitution so that Putin could be president again.


This is an op-ed written by a man who jails political enemies for having the audacity to run against him, or even dare speak against him. Putin talks about equality while he jails gays and lesbians for being who they are. He talks about the importance of the UN Security council while his own country flat out invaded its neighbor just to show force.
This is not a plea for restraint, this is a lesson in hypocrisy, down to the very fact that this article was published in a journalistic environment that just does not exist freely in his own country, mainly because of Putin. While he might be right on some points, remember that he has violated each and every point he makes.


I don’t agree with a lot of what we do worldwide. The US has a bad habit of doing the wrong thing for the right reasons and doing the right thing for the wrong reasons. Our moral rhetoric is backed by misguided use of force and a lot of terrible alliances. It would be nice if we could just start over, but unfortunately the world is not based on morals, but of competing national interests. Even now, when 100,000 people have already died in a bloody civil war that now involves a major chemical weapons attack, the argument against the use of force centers around US interests in Syria rather than the US’ ability to stop a regime from massacring its own people, because apparently, mass murder isn’t a good enough reason to intervene these days.


Putin has 2 real goals in this whole conflict, to project a more powerful international presence intended for domestic consumption and to prevent a regional war on its border. Putin is selling Russia to his citizens as the powerful global player it was in the days of the Soviet Union. If he merely dispatches destroyers to monitor US ships in the Mediterranean, then the result is Russian commanders watching American warships rain tomahawk missiles down on an ally, and if Russia cannot protect its allies close to its own borders, than how can it be a credible global leader.


Putin also does not want to be seen as an ally to a regime that gasses its own people. So the move to disarm Syria is as much about saving face as it is about out-shining the US. Russia has a lot to lose in military intervention in Syria, and that is the only reason for Putins diplomatic option.






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Architecture of Materials, Craft of Design

I am an architect… or am I
There was a time we built with materials
Now we put together products
Let me explain
Metal is metal
Until you panelize, standardize
Make it a kit and systemize
Box it up, ship it out, this is it, its what you get
Comes in gray, white, and red
Play with the colors, the sizes, and pretend you design
It bothers me, no angers me, no… it appalls me
That this is a an industry of off the shelf
A library of pre-designed, and redesigned
Assembled for the lowest denominator
Reassembled by the lowest bidder
Available to everyone, low cost, and easy to put together
Making it all the same glass wall extruded aluminum
Storefront… system… installed… not built
It’s time to realize its wasteful, disgraceful
Overbearingly distasteful
To use our talents putting in these products
These predesigned, copy and pasted, already annotated
System of parts and pieces, its easy, its plug and play
The installer can do it, I know they can 
Their paid for and certified, there is no one better
It’s on the label “Certified product installer”
To install the same prefabbed structures in 
Boston, Phoenix, and Beijing… 
Because a city is a city… right?
What I am talking about isn’t a builder
A builder is a craftsman 
Skills painstakingly perfected over time
Honed to make their material work just right
To be beautiful, as designed, and in the plan
It’s right there!  I took the time!  I specified the local species
Cut to this length, built to this height, cantilevered this much
MY DESIGN!  Dictated only by the environment
And not some pre-determined panel size
The architect specified the material 
It’s raw, it’s unchanged, the craftsman hand awaiting
Harvested nearby, so the building is vernacular
Feels it belongs, a member of its locality 
To be of the place it’s built and stands
And if it isn’t a builder that I speak of
And these aren’t materials that we work with
Then I am not the master builder
and I am certainly no architect.

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First Post… and clean up.

Who are you?

I’m an amateur at this blogging thing, and frankly, we will see how much time I have to spend on it.  Just in case you are only as observant as one of my roommates, my name is John, and well, I am an architect.  I live in the quiet city of Boston, though, if you watch movies lately, you would think gun battles between the mob and cops happens every 3 hours or so.  The mob wishes it was this strong, and the cops wish they were in that kind of shape.

Well I am gainfully employed, full time and a half, so it seems, architect.  I have a pretty sweet job where I touch on pretty much all areas of the design process, which is pretty awesome given my relatively young age.  Most of my work revolves around brick mill buildings.  Really old ones.  I love them, and I will refer to them often.  Being in New England, particularly in Northeast Massachusetts, I have seen my fair share of them.

So what’s this all about?

Design.  Architecture is my expertise (I say this in a very humbling manner.  Architecture is an old man’s profession.  It takes years to be a competent architect, or at least my idea of one.  So to say that it is my expertise, it is because I know more about architecture than any other design, and not that I am an expert, I haven’t reached that age yet.) , but I will certainly not leave out any other design oriented profession or opinion.

Why does this look like crap?

Why… because  I am learning about WordPress still.  Keep your pants on, it will get better in time.

Will there be pictures?

Well this post is in the area of 400 words.  If a picture is worth 1000 words, I can save myself a lot of time by adding a few of those.  Short answer, yes.  Also, design is a very visually stimulating field, and sometimes, words just don’t cut it.

Why am I still reading this?

Probably because I am awesome, and you are awesome, and we will all have one big awesome time.  There will be more to come as I get settled down into this format.

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