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Posts Tagged ‘lithuania

[OBSCURA] On that graffiti showing Putin and Trump kissing in Lithuania

The above wall, this photo taken by the Associated Press’ Mindaugas Kulbis, has gone viral. This is a fantastic image that gets right down to the fundamental similarities between Russia’s actual and America’s potential leaders. Timothy Snyder’s NYR Daily post of last month goes into detail about this odd couple, and what attracts them to each other.

It is not hard to see why Trump might choose Putin as his fantasy friend. Putin is the real world version of the person Trump pretends to be on television. Trump’s financial success (such as it is) has been as a New York real estate speculator, a world of private deal-making that can seem rough and tough—until you compare it to the Russia of the 1990s that ultimately produced the Putin regime. Trump presents himself as the maker of a financial empire who is willing to break all the rules, whereas that is what Putin in fact is. Thus far Trump can only verbally abuse his opponents at rallies, whereas Putin’s opponents are assassinated. Thus far Trump can only have his campaign manager rough up journalists he doesn’t like. In Russia some of the best journalists are in fact murdered.

President Putin, who is an intelligent and penetrating judge of men, especially men with masculinity issues, has quickly drawn the correct conclusion. In the past he has done well for himself by recruiting among politicians who exhibit greater vanity than decency, such as Silvio Berlusconi and Gerhard Schröder. The premise of Russian foreign policy to the West is that the rule of law is one big joke; the practice of Russian foreign policy is to find prominent people in the West who agree. Moscow has found such people throughout Europe; until the rise of Trump the idea of an American who would volunteer to be a Kremlin client would have seemed unlikely. Trump represents an unprecedented standard of American servility, and should therefore be cultivated as a future Russian client.

(Needling at least one homophobe is, I think, a bonus.)

The Associated Press carried an article explaining why the Vilnius eatery Keulė Rūkė commissioned this work.

Restaurant owner Dominykas Ceckauskas said Saturday the presumptive U.S. Republican presidential nominee and the Russian president both have huge egos “and they seem to get along pretty well.”

He said the image is “an ironic view of what can be expected.”

Local artist Mindaugas Bonanu created the wheat paste poster for the eatery in the capital Vilnius on Friday. It’s on the outside of the Keule Ruke restaurant— Lithuanian for “Smoking Pig” — along with the text “Make Everything Great Again” — a play on Trump’s slogan “Make America Great Again.”

Ceckauskas said the poster was a nod to a 1979 photograph of Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev kissing East German ally Erich Honecker on the mouth — once a customary greeting between Socialist leaders. The iconic shot was later painted on the Berlin Wall.

The only downside that I can see is that, if Trump actually does get elected, Lithuania could be in for hard times. Offending two narcissists is risky enough when only one actually could have power over your country.

Written by Randy McDonald

May 16, 2016 at 9:41 pm

[BLOG] Some Thursday links

  • blogTO notes that Canadian Backpackers Hostel is set to close down to make room for condos.
  • Centauri Dreams looks at ways to use the Earth’s transit of the Sun to find potentially watching extraterrestrial civilizations.
  • Dangerous Minds notes the human zoo.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze looks at the packed planetary system of young HL Tauri.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes that primates in North America were not outcompeted by rodents.
  • Geocurrents maps the substantial progress in development seen in Brazil.
  • Language Log notes intriguing research suggesting some songbirds have a capacity for grammar.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes the environmental injustice of hog farms.
  • Marginal Revolution notes it is now possible to get loans with negative interest rates in Germany.
  • Rachel Kessler reflects on otherness and the need for empathy in the works of Octavia Butler.
  • The Russian Demographics Blog commemorates the first mention of the name “Lithuania” in March 9, 1009.
  • Torontoist debates Ontario’s funding of the Catholic separate school system.
  • Transit Toronto looks at the latest plans for Smartttrack in Toronto.

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

  • blogTO identify five neighbourhoods in downtownish Toronto with cheap rent.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze notes one paper suggesting Earth-like worlds may need both ocean and rocky surfaces to be habitable.
  • The Dragon’s Tales reports that Pluto’s Sputnik Planum is apparently less than ten million years old.
  • Geocurrents begins an interesting regional schema of California.
  • Language Log notes a Hong Kong ad that blends Chinese and Japanese remarkably.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes that societies with low inequality report higher levels of happiness than others.
  • The Map Room points to the lovely Pocket Atlas of Remote Islands.
  • Marginal Revolution wonders why Amazon book reviews are so dominated by American reviewers.
  • Savage Minds considers, after Björk, the ecopoetics of physical geology data.
  • Window on Eurasia “>commemorates the 25th anniversary of the Vilnius massacre.
  • The Financial Times‘ The World blog looks at Leo, the dog of the Cypriot president.

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

  • Centauri Dreams reports on the non-existence of Alpha Centauri Bb.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes the exciting new findings from Pluto, including news that it supports a subsurface ocean.
  • The Everyday Sociology Blog looks at the power of student protests at the University of Missouri.
  • Joe. My. God. notes the promise of anti-viral injections in treating HIV.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money reacts to a historical student of slavery in the US urban south.
  • Marginal Revolution notes the slow pace at which US immigration records are being digitized.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer notes that before 1960, contrary to the current trend, African-Americans with identifiably African-American names did better than average.
  • The Russian Demographics Blog notes the size of Poland-Lithuania in 1635.
  • Towleroad notes how a photo of Justin Trudeau with the same-sex family of Scott Brison went viral.
  • Transit Toronto looks at the upcoming TTC open house on the 12th.
  • Window on Eurasia notes that North Caucasians have reason for protest apart from ethnicity and suggests Russian regionalism is not related to ethnicity.

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

  • 3 Quarks Daily hosts an essay by one Akim Reinhardt talking about the history of the Oglala Sioux.
  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly shares her personal credo.
  • Crooked Timber notes the various concerns of different societies in the past over migration.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper suggesting that O and B-class supergiants do not destroy their protoplanetary discs.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes the French development of hypersonic weapons.
  • The Everyday Sociology Blog considers the question of infamy. To what extent should people responsible for horrors be studied?
  • Geocurrents maps some innovative Wikipedia maps of world religion.
  • Language Hat reports on new Chinese borrowings from Japanese.
  • Language Log notes the apparently strong preference for pinyin input in writing Chinese electronically.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money considers the complexity of colonialism in naming a sports team in Oregon the “Pioneers”.
  • Marginal Revolution describes how one Turkish economist disproved his father-in-law’s involvement in an alleged coup conspiracy.
  • The New APPS Blog looks at the philosophy job market.
  • Strange Maps shares some beautiful watercolour maps of the world’s divides.
  • Supernova Condensate points out how very small our civilization’s electronic footprint is.
  • Towleroad links to one defense of Danny Pintauro’s coming-out as HIV-positive.
  • Transit Toronto notes the threatened TTC lawsuit against Bombardier and notes the refurbishing of some older streetcars.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy reports on why a Pennsylvania court refused to recognize a Saudi custody order on the grounds of its inconsistency with American public policy.
  • Window on Eurasia notes that Russia does not own the Russian language, looks at Armenia’s intake of Syrian refugees, suggests the Russian intervention in Syria is not supported by Russia’s neighbours, and looks at how Belarus is using Lithuanian and Latvian ports instead of Kaliningrad.

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

  • blogTO notes that Toronto has been ranked the 12th most expensive city in the world.
  • Centauri Dreams is impressed by Pluto’s diverse landscapes.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze notes that the debris disk of AU Microscopii hints at planetary formation.
  • The Dragon’s Tales observes Russia’s fear of American hypersonic weapons.
  • Joe. My. God. notes a GoFundMe campaign for a man who was harassing a lesbian colleague.
  • Language Hat notes the adaptation of the Cherokee language to the modern world.
  • Language Log examines the complexity of the language used by Republican candidates in a CNN debate.
  • Marginal Revolution notes a major difference between national and international markets is the latter’s lack of regulation.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money looks at how migrant labourers in California can be cheated out of their pay.
  • Registan notes the likely sustained unpleasantness in the Donbas.
  • Peter Rukavina quite likes the new Island musical Evangeline.
  • The Russian Demographics Blog shares photos of Lithuanian castles in Ukraine.
  • Spacing notes the cycling infrastructure of Toronto.
  • Towleroad observes that the new constitution of Nepal explicitly protects LGBT people.
  • Window on Eurasia wonders if Syrian Circassians will go to Russia as refugees and examines the complexities of Karabakh.

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

  • blogTO notes Uber competition could mean lower taxi rates.
  • Centauri Dreams notes the New Horizons data is starting to come in.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to some papers suggesting that the solar system is not exceptional.
  • The Dragon’s Tales reports on the linkage between Enceladus’ surface features and its geysers.
  • Far Outliers’ Joel writes about efforts to convert Japanese in Hawai’i.
  • Language Hat links to an article on endangered languages.
  • Languages of the World reports on the complexities of describing the history of the Slavic laqnguages.
  • Marginal Revolution reports on the Syrian-Lebanese diaspora of Haiti.
  • Out of Orbit’s Diane Duane announces a new Young Wizards novella.
  • The Russian Demographics Blog notes the exceptional size of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.
  • Spacing Toronto describes the complexity of education in inner-city Toronto.
  • Transit Toronto notes the repairs at Dupont Station.
  • Window on Eurasia notes the scale of the Russian HIV/AIDS epidemic.
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