Vladimir Putin – the Man, the Myth

How the Russian Strong Man Came to Power and Maintains His Grip on It.

Photo of Kelly R. Smith   by Kelly R. Smith; © 2022
Putin Rides a Bear
Putin Rides a Bear
index sitemap advanced

This article was updated on 03/15/22.

Ads we feature have been independently selected and reviewed. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn a commission, which helps support the site.

He cuts a dashing figure, doesn’t he? But other than the public persona he has crafted for public consumption over the years, who is Vladimir Putin? He was born in 1952 in St. Petersburg (then known as Leningrad).

He attended Leningrad State University, later beginning his career in the KGB as an intelligence officer in 1975, and rose to the rank of Colonel.

Vladimir Putin After the KGB Years

Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, he left the KGB but Putin proved to have higher ambitions. He rose to the upper ranks of the Russian government, first joining President Boris Yeltsin’s administration in 1998.

His next rung on the ladder was becoming prime minister in 1999 and later taking over as president. Putin was appointed again to Russian prime minister in 2008. In a volatile and often cutthroat political environment, he retained his grasp on power by earning reelection to the presidency in 2012.

His training in the KGB, his ambition, and his wily personality served him well.

Putin Cultivates His Public Image

He holds very high popularity ratings among the Russian people. As of this writing, his approval ratings are consistently over 80 percent, according to various state and independent polls. So how does he do this when leaders like President Obama never could?

After the collapse of the Soviet Union and the return to Russia, the country had lost some of its status as a superpower. The citizenry understandably felt this and resented it. They needed a hero; this was not something vodka would solve. This was Putin’s hour.

He would prove to have a keen understanding of self-promotion. He has especially embraced photo-ops for public consumption. His goal? To be shown as a Man-of-Action.

Putin poses as a race car driver
Putin poses as a race car driver

Whether he’s driving a race car, performing martial arts (he is always shown body-slamming someone), scuba-diving, hanging out with a biker gang, or romping through the fields showing off his manly bare chest, he’s projecting that image.

Look at me; I am strong, I am victorious, I am Russia. It’s all very psychological and the population eats it up. It’s all a vicarious relationship-he that gives them a sort of national pride and they give him the votes. And it shows in the polls.

Vladimir Putin on the World Stage

The Soviet Union controlled vastly more real estate than present-day Russia does. Most analysts believe that Putin would like to re-establish much of that territory. In a 2005 speech, Putin famously stated that “the breakup of the Soviet Union was the greatest geopolitical tragedy of the 20th century.” His military forays into these territories have been labeled by many as “expansionism.”

Fast Forward to Ukraine, March 2022

Putin invades neighboring Ukraine. He treats both military and civilian targets with equal destruction, committing multiple war crimes and crimes against humanity. Unfortunately for him, what he anticipated would be an easy two-day foray has turned into what is now a two-week disaster and it’s not over yet.

He didn’t count on the citizens to resist, but they did. Like a boss. Although Putin deployed columns of tanks, artillery, and armored vehicles that stretch off into the distance, they are stalled. This makes them sitting ducks for tank-killing munitions. Going overland? It’s the wrong time of year ― everything mires down in the mud.

Understandably, neighboring countries that used to be part of the Soviet block and nervous about retaining their national soverignty.

Putin never would be so bold as to put this plan in action when President Trump held sway. Vlad simply laid low until a feckless and weak president occupied the White House. Joe Biden fit the bill perfectly.

Check Out More Trending Content

Looking for more great content? Visit our main page or partner sites:

Considered Opinions Forum

I Can Fix Up My Home

The Green Frugal

Running Across Texas

As Featured On Ezine Articles

I offer article and blog-writing services. Interested? Contact me for a quote!

Did you find this article helpful? Millions of readers rely on information on this blog and our main site to stay informed and find meaningful solutions. Please chip in as little as $3 to keep this site free for all.


Visit Kelly’s profile on Pinterest.

About the Author:

Photo of Kelly R. SmithKelly R. Smith is an Air Force veteran and was a commercial carpenter for 20 years before returning to night school at the University of Houston where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science. After working at NASA for a few years, he went on to develop software for the transportation, financial, and energy-trading industries. He has been writing, in one capacity or another, since he could hold a pencil. As a freelance writer now, he specializes in producing articles and blog content for a variety of clients. His personal blog is at Considered Opinions Blog where he muses on many different topics.

Democrat Activists Have Become the Deplorables

Maxine Waters waving the flag
Maxine Waters waving the flag

This article was updated on 02/18/20.

Do you find this hard to swallow, that the Democrats have become the new deplorables? Well, it’s true. Just the Red Hen restaurant refusing to serve Sarah Sanders is the tip of the leftist bigot iceberg. Not content with just refusing service, the owner “organized a mob and followed her family to their next restaurant where they yelled and screamed at them,” according to CNSNEWS.

How is this not like the Nazi treatment of the Jews? How is this not like the way the Blacks were treated in the Old South? Should we expect another home-grown Kristallnacht against conservatives?

This is how bigot Maxine Waters puts it, “For these members of his [Trump] Cabinet who remain and try to defend him they’re not going to be able to go to a restaurant, they’re not going to be able to stop at a gas station, they’re not going to be able to shop at a department store, the people are going to turn on them, they’re going to protest, they’re going to absolutely harass them until they decide that they’re going to tell the president ‘no I can’t hang with you, this is wrong this is unconscionable and we can’t keep doing this to children.'”

This is not what America is. Perhaps in California but not in fly-over country. But for some odd reason many Americans are A-OK with the mob mentality that Waters and other liberals advocate. It’s fine to persecute your adversaries as long as they are not in your voter base. This is the same tactic that Obama learned from Saul Alinski.

But keep in mind that this witch lives in a multi-million dollar mansion with guards and she is not offering to host any of these illegals in her home. Because she’s above all the riff-raff. Go figure. She is still against Trump’s border wall (she was for a wall when Obama held sway) likely because she sees illegals as future voters if only we can “give them enough stuff.”

Enter the Radical Anti-Semite Squad

The Democrat party has spent years trying to build an image as the “tolerant and compassionate” party despite its history with the Ku Klux Klan and Jim Crow. A lot of citizens bought it. But lately their prejudice and hatred is surfacing, spearheaded by the “Squad” — Reps. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York (AOC), Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts. Along with Bernie Sanders, they all lean towards Democratic Socialism.

AOC twists the truth. She claimed that Israel had committed a “massacre” of Palestinian protesters at the border fence last year. In reality, the vast majority were actually members of Hamas which of course is a terrorist organization using the fake “protest” to launch infiltrations and violent attacks against Israel.

As far back as 2012, Omar tweeted, “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.”

Tlaib made the strange statement that she experienced “a calming feeling … when I think of the Holocaust.” She explained by making the false claim that Palestinians had offered Jews a “safe haven” from the Holocaust.

The more moderate Democrats will not call these representatives out on their hate speech and anti-antisemitism, which is tacit approval. Even Speaker Pelosi is afraid of the power they wield. They have become, as Hillary would say, a basket of deplorables.

Looking for more great content? Visit our partner sites:

The Green Frugal

Running Across Texas

As Featured On Ezine Articles

I offer article and blog-writing services. Interested? Hire Me!

Did you find this article helpful? Thanks for supporting this free site with a small donation!

Visit Kelly’s profile on Pinterest.

Widget is loading comments…

The Case for National Soverignty

index sitemap advanced
Ineffective US/Mexico border wall
Ineffective US/Mexico border wall

This article was updated on 8/10/18.

National sovereignty has been a fundamental concept since mankind first began socializing and defining themselves into groups. It promotes and facilitates a structure of law, a common currency, an armed protection organization and a framework for the production and distribution of food.

Like anything else, the concept of national sovereignty can be used for good or evil. On one end of the spectrum witness a country like Switzerland. On the other end, consider Nazi Germany.

Case Study 1: The Porous US/Mexico Border

The border along the Rio Grande has long been a convenient gateway for smuggling operations. Today the commodity that gets a lion’s share of attention is human cargo, or, illegal aliens.

The political machine has been ineffective in establishing and implementing an effective policy to safeguard the border. Conservative Republicans favor strong control such as more agents and President Trump’s border wall.

Liberal democrats however, tend to favor an open-border concept. Parts leaders such as Nancy Pelosi (D-California) and Chuck Schumer (D-New York) see illegal immigrants as potential voters.

The effect of the influx of illegals from Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala is obvious-crime, overburdened schools, hospital emergency rooms used as primary care facilities and gang activities from the likes of MS-13 who may pose more of a threat that domestic gangs like Antifa.

MS-13 gang member
MS-13 gang member

It is clear that the problems (crime, drug wars, unemployment) that force these illegal immigrants to leave their home countries to sneak across the border pose a threat to the social structure and sovereignty of the United States. Many of these immigrants, even after having been given safe harbor, refuse to assimilate with the host country by learning the language and participating in the community. Taken to its extremes, the eventual outcome is a loss of national identity and culture.

Case Study 2: The Failed Socialist Experiment of Venezuela

For years the South American country of Venezuela enjoyed a windfall profit from the drilling and export of crude oil. An abundance of capital from a natural resource easily acquired made it easy for strongman Hugo Chavez to implement his socialist paradise.

Things went swimmingly for years, even Chavez passed the baton of party control to Nicolas Maduro. Then, everything began to unravel. Venezuela crude oil suddenly had two strikes against it. Modern drilling methods in North America made it easier for countries like the United States and Canada to get at the gold (so to speak) domestically, and Venezuelan crude is very sour (high sulfur content) making it harder to refine. The product of choice, as dictated by the market, is now a no-brainer.

So when the one national commodity dried up, so did the economy. The currency is in the toilet. The citizens are getting hungry and need somewhere to go. With the loss of national stability goes the nation’s sense of national sovereignty. The citizens disperse, often on foot, and enter their neighbor’s countries.

Brazil has been hard hit by this diaspora and their sovereignty is being brought into question as they harbor and care for their neighbors. “We’re very fearful this may lead to an economic and social destabilization in our state,” said the governor, Suely Campos. “I’m looking after the needs of Venezuelans to the detriment of Brazilians.”

One destabilization leads to another.

Case Study 3: European Immigration

Whether one agrees with the European Union’s concept of open borders or not there is no denial that immigration has been detrimental to individual countries and to the EU as a whole since 2014.

According to the National Review, “European Council president Donald Tusk admitted that most of the people coming in have no right to do so: ‘In most of the cases, and that is actually the case on the central Mediterranean route, we’re talking clearly and manifestly about economic migrants.’ He added, ‘They get to Europe illegally, they do not have any documents which would allow them to enter the European soil.’ In other words, these primarily aren’t refugees fleeing war, they’re economic migrants, who are coming in to countries along the southern Mediterranean that already suffer massive unemployment.”

Germany, the UK and France garner the most press about the problems that Muslim immigration is causing. The influx of immigrants over the past decade seem to have taken these countries by surprise although the result of lax policies should have been easy to predict.

Whenever immigrants refuse to assimilate with the host population and the immigrants go so far as to import their own law system (sharia law), the unfortunate and predictable result is the loss of national sovereignty.

What happens then? A breakdown of society and the framework of civilization as we know. You can certainly live under a different social paradigm, but do you want to?

Looking for more great content? Visit our partner sites:

The Green Frugal

Running Across Texas

As Featured On Ezine Articles

I offer article and blog-writing services. Interested? Hire Me!

Did you find this article helpful? Thanks for supporting this free site with a small donation!


Visit Kelly’s profile on Pinterest.

Widget is loading comments…

Trump and Kim Jong Un Played Chicken; Kim Blinked First

index sitemap advanced
Kim Jong Un's ballistic missile policy
Kim Jong Un’s ballistic missile policy

This article was updated on 8/18/18.

This morning we awake to yet another chapter in the unfolding global melodrama between President Trump and Kim Jong Un, the unhinged dictator of the hermit kingdom.

Kim Jong Un, or the “Pillsbury Doughboy with a really, really bad haircut” has been very vocal about his plans for the U.S. unincorporated United States territory of Guam. Specifically, he has been threatening to fire four missiles in order to surround the U.S. territory of Guam in “enveloping fire.”

Undoubtedly this is a trick right out of his father Kim Jong-il’s playbook. Rattle that rusty old saber, make a few headlines, and sit back and wait for humanitarian food aid.

Historically, US presidents back down from North Korean threats. For example, as recently as 2009 the Obama administration said that it will not enforce a UN resolution allowing the interdiction of North Korea’s shipping when suspected of illegal arms traffic.  Instead, the US will ask permission to inspect, and retreat when refused. This weakness did not bode well for Obama’s legacy.

Donald Trump is the New Sheriff in Town

No doubt Kim Jong Un imagined this tried and true strategy would keep working with his threat to attack Guam as he sipped 100-year old whiskey and cavorted with his concubines. However he was ill-prepared to hear President Trump warn Pyongyang last week that the U.S. military was “locked and loaded” and could engulf the North in “fire and fury.”

Kim’s response after having a look at a military plan presented to him by his senior officers was telling. He seems to have had an uh-oh moment and realized he wasn’t dealing with Obama anymore. This isn’t the former guy that spends his working hours playing on the golf course, this is the guy that owns the golf course.

Kim is now in full backpedaling mode and says he has resolved not to launch the attack on Guam just yet but instead advised the U.S. “to take into full account” whether the current standoff was to its benefit. He also said it was incumbent on the U.S. to “stop at once arrogant provocations against the DPRK and unilateral demands and not provoke it any longer.”

He went on to say, “If the Yankees persist in their extremely dangerous reckless actions on the Korean Peninsula and in its vicinity, testing the self-restraint of the DPRK, the [North] will make an important decision as it already declared.”

Sanctions Against North Korea Also a Factor

The recent UN-mandated sanctions against North Korea are likely a factor figuring into Kim’s come-to-Jesus moment. Although he usually scoffs at sanctions, this time even Russia and China committed.

China is the real surprise. It is Kim’s largest trading partner and cheerleader. The Chinese customs agency specified that on Monday it will cease processing imports of North Korean coal, iron and lead ores and fish at midnight on September 5.

The latest sanctions, considering all the nations that are participating, are expected to block exports valued at more than $1 billion. This is significant since total exports are valued at $3 billion last year.

Over the years Kim has used various means (other than ruthless treatment and starvation of his countrymen) to keep his grip on power. One of these is the state propaganda of the Kim Jong Un as a mystical figure. Perhaps he can use some of that mojo to channel his father and ask for advice.

Shop Where It Matters!

Looking for more great content? Visit our partner sites:

The Green Frugal

Running Across Texas

As Featured On Ezine Articles

I offer article and blog-writing services. Interested? Hire Me!


Antifa, Obama’s Shadow Government, Resistance Against Trump

index sitemap advanced

Antifa activists

This article was last revised on 08/12/18.

While there have always been fringe political groups, they are much more obvious today due to the internet, and of course, 24/7 cable news coverage. The range and scope of the organization of these groups on an internal level varies widely. Many are grass-roots groups that are self-funded; others are bankrolled from external sources that set the agenda to some extent and even issue paychecks to demonstrators (George Soros comes to mind).

Antifa has been Garnering Attention Lately

The Antifa moniker is shorthand for Anti-Fascism. The original movement began in Europe in the 1920s. Notably, Benito Mussolini’s propaganda machine used the term anti-fascist to label their opponents.

Anti-fascist groups also rose up to counter the Nazis such as the Red Front Fighter’s League. As you might infer from the term “Red” they were organized by the Communist party.

The political takeaway from these early anti-fascist groups is that they were resisting truly repressive regimes.

The current incarnation of Antifa in the United States is a bit different. Resisting a diplomatically-elected president such as Trump (or Clinton if that had of transpired), neither fascist by the way, is a bit of a stretch from the original intent.

www.thenation.com explains it like this,  “Antifa combines radical left-wing and anarchist politics, revulsion at racists, sexists, homophobes, anti-Semites, and Islamophobes, with the international anti-fascist culture of taking the streets and physically confronting the brownshirts of white supremacy, whoever they may be.”

Antifa encouraging killing police officers.
Antifa encouraging killing police officers. So brave; why the masks?

Their current target is Trump although none of the above-mentioned terms actually fit him or his politics. Rather, it would seem that members of this organization (and others) are being used as dupes.

Free Shipping Coupon for PatriotDepot.com

Is Antifa Going off Message?

Despite all their claims, they talk the talk but fall short of walking the walk. Recently, on Aug. 4, 2018, Paul Welch took the American flag with him when he went to Portland to oppose a right-wing rally being held at the Tom McCall Waterfront Park.

Sounds patriotic as apple pie, right? Standing up for fundamentalist anti-stormtrooper government types. But not for the thugs as he said two people dressed in black and covering their faces (did we mention cowards covering their faces?) approached him and demanded he give them the “fascist symbol” he was carrying. When he refused, the Antifa duo tried to rip the flag from his hands.

Another masked counter-protester then approached Welch and began striking him from behind with an unidentified weapon concealed in black fabric.

“It strikes me as the worst sort of political theater,” Welch said of what happened to him. “It’s kind of like you’re playing into your opponent’s hand when you do that sort of thing. That’s not what I was there for.”

Effie Baum, a spokesperson with Popular Mobilization, a group that helped organize the counter-protest at City Hall, declined to comment.

Of course Effie, because you are covering for a bunch of cowards with political Napoleonic complexes. Who live in their parent’s basements. And stuff their gobs with Cheetos. When they are not chasing Pokemon with their establishment iPhones. Please.

At least three people were hospitalized after clashes between right-wing demonstrators and Antifa protesters. Anger after the fact was largely directed at Portland police, who used “less-lethal” riot-control weapons.

Is there an Antifa Connection with Obama’s Shadow Government?

What is a shadow government? In general, it consists of groups and individuals who exert some degree of control over the official government. The groups may include the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), the Tri- lateral Commission, the Bilderbergers, the Federal Reserve, the World Bank, or the International Monetary Fund. The liberal mainstream media is certainly involved.

The individuals involved are the un-elected Obama era bureaucrats littered throughout the federal government. The judiciary and certain levels of state government are also involved. Undoubtedly many of these individuals (who wield quite a bit of power) are still loyal to Obama and his liberal policies.

Does Obama give them direct marching orders? That is unclear but to think so might be a bit too conspiracy theory-ish. However it’s no secret that he has remained very active politically since he left the White House and he is certainly sending out signals.

Is the failed Obama legacy the reason he just can’t accept the fact that he is not in charge anymore? It seems that this might be at least part of the reason. He is still trying to make his mark.

Now for the Antifa connection. It is extremely doubtful that the shadow government is directly pulling their strings. But the bottom line is that some of their goals coincide. In particular, foiling and if possible deposing President Trump. One way or another, they are marching in lockstep.

Democrats Fueling the Fire

Many Democrat Congress members seem to have abandoned doing the nation’s business in order to focus almost full-time on taking Trump down. For example, Elizabeth “Pocahantas” Warren, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer.

The shadow government takes their cues from these folks. In a loose way the end result is a very real coordinated resistance effort against Trump and his administration.

The bottom line is that all this is very bad for the American people. Their interests are not being served. The Trump election was a mandate for the changes he ran on. The problem is that the Democrats are resisting all these changes because it threatens their lofty positions in society.

Looking for more great content? Visit our partner sites:

The Green Frugal

Running Across Texas

As Featured On Ezine Articles

I offer blog-writing services. Interested? Hire Me!


I offer article and blog-writing services. Interested? Hire Me!

Did you find this article helpful? Thanks for supporting this free site with a small donation!


Visit Kelly’s profile on Pinterest.

About the author:

Photo of Kelly R. SmithKelly R. Smith is an Air Force veteran and was a commercial carpenter for 20 years before returning to night school at the University of Houston where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science. After working at NASA for a few years, he went on to develop software for the transportation and financial and energy trading industries. He has been writing, in one capacity or another, since he could hold a pencil. As a freelance writer now, he specializes in producing articles and blog content for a variety of clients. His personal blog is at I Can Fix Up My Home Blog where he muses on many different topics.

North Korea’s Missile Program and the Maniacal Kim Jong Un

Article updated on 08/08/18

North Korea has been ramping up their ballistic missile program at an ever-increasing rate. Not only has it been launching more missiles than ever before,  it has begun concentrating on longer distances (see the graphic below). This seems to be Kim Jong Un’s pet project, allocating more and more money to the program while more and more of the citizens starve. Clearly, this man is irrational (and it’s not just that goofy haircut).

North Korea’s Current Missile Arsenal

The missile and payload arsenal has been growing rapidly. The most recent nuclear test took place on last September 9th and yielded an impressive 30 kilotons which is double the force of the “Little Boy” bomb which was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan. It has also developed a bomb that is small enough to fit inside the nose cone of one of it’s missiles.

It’s missiles include the following:

  • Scud B/C/ER – short range
  • KN-02 – short range
  • Nodong (the jury is still out as to whether the developers were having a chuckle at Kim’s expense) – medium/intermediate range
  • Musudan – medium/intermediate range
  • KN-14 – Intercontinental
  • KN-08 – Intercontinental

Kim Testing President Trump’s Will

One of Kim’s trademark moves is saber-rattling. The problem is that his particular method involves not only hysterical and low-brow ineffectual insults (for example, “Obama always goes reckless in words and deeds like a monkey in a tropical forest.“) but also action.

This just goes to show that pundits are wrong when they compare Kim to Vladimir Putin. Yes, they are both cold-hearted tyrants but where Putin is an experienced thug Kim is still just a dangerous kid, paranoid rather than adventurous.

The graphic above shows how quickly the program has accelerated since Kim took over from his late father. In particular, Kim Jong Un has pledged to deliver long-range missiles capable of striking U.S. cities. Although President Obama basically gave him a pass and let it go. To his credit, he did employ cyber and electronic measures but the results were minimal. A maniac like Kim simply doesn’t respect any non-physical measures.

It remains to be seen how President Trump will handle the situation.Just before the inauguration of Trump he seemed to taunt Pyongyang in a Tweet declaring that North Korea’s plan for building intercontinental ballistic missiles “won’t happen.”

Did he over-speak or will he put his money where his Tweet is? Time will tell but judging from his propensity to honor his campaign promises, Kim would do well to tread softly. He might find himself receiving a prostate exam with the tip of Trump’s boot. In a battle of nerves, Trump will win.

The Sheer Lunacy that is Kim Jong Un

There is a reason North Korea is often referred to as the “hermit kingdom.” Very few can leave and nobody except religious missionaries and undercover photographers want to go there. This is national sovereignty on steroids.

One of the ways that Kim keeps his subjects loyal and perhaps even worshipful is through propaganda that showcases his lunacy. He claims to be an expert mountain-climber. Can you imagine? He casually scaled the 9000-foot high Mt. Paektu outfitted in only an overcoat and and leather dress shoes. Before sunrise!

Quite a sailor! At age nine he  raced the chief executive of a foreign yacht company visiting North Korea and “won sensationally.” He could drive a car by the age of three. Look out NASCAR!

He was born on Mt Paekdu, the most sacred mountain, in a log cabin. This cosmic delivery caused rainbows to appear, a bright star to shoot through the sky, and (oh my) the seasons immediately swapped winter for spring. Kind of makes the three wise men a bit lame. The truth is that he was born in a guerrilla camp in Russia.

He invented the hamburger, could speak like an orator at age three, and wrote 1500 books and six full operas between classes at university.

Clearly, we don’t need this bonehead to have his finger on the big red button.

Is Kim Jung Un Mentally Stable?

That is really the question, isn’t it? He is either off in the head or clever. Not only is his position with the U.S. wavering, now his position with South Korea is in flux. He has recently called the South “incompetent.” Excuse me but which economy is vibrant and which is in the proverbial toilet?

Since his meeting with President Trump Kim’s has shown some intent to denuclearize. He has shipped some G.I. remains home. Either he continues to make good on his word or he faces further sanctions and continued ostracization from the civilized world.

Looking for more content? Visit our partner sites:

The Green Frugal

Running Across Texas

I offer article and blog-writing services. Interested? Hire Me!

Did you find this article helpful? Thanks for supporting this free site with a small donation!


Visit Kelly’s profile on Pinterest.

Widget is loading comments…

Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)

Follow by Email
Follow Me