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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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