Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, a former lawyer and KGB (Committee for State Security) agent, has just been re-elected as president of the Russian Federation, for a third non consecutive term.

In 1999, Putin entered the political scene as acting Deputy Prime Minister after Boris Yeltsin’s unexpected resignation. He then transitioned as acting president, which led to his two official presidential terms of eight (8) years, which is the maximum length of time that one can hold such position in Russia. He was then appointed Prime Minister by his successor and long time friend, Dmitry Medvedev.

Four years passes by (that is 1461 days or 4 revolutions) and 2012 finally comes around: “Welcome back Mr. Putin. It feels as if you never left.”

Surprised? … not really …

Glasnost? … not really …

Perestroika? … kind of , in a “full circle” kind of way

* Please note that if you are under the impression that Glasnost and Perestroika might be a Vodka based drink that is popular in Moscow’s trendy bars, I invite you to click on their respective hyperlinks.

But as I now think of it, these would make great names for drinks….

– Waitress, may I please have glass of Glasnost with two shots of Perestroika?

– Listen, Gorbachev is gone and he is not welcomed back.

– … but didn’t he …

– I suggest you leave the establishment.

Okay Bref, back to history. Over two decades might have elapsed since the end of the cold war but the Soviet mind never forgets (as my fictitious waitress demonstrated).

Seems as if “Revolution” is as relevant in today’s Russia as it was back in 1991.

Putin has been clearly expressing his views on his nation’s enemies, especially the Americans. He has made it very clear that he is not interested in the “love / hate” relationship that the United States is offering. Matter of fact, he is not interested in any partnership with them.

He often warns the U.S. against military strike on Iran. He also cautions them against a NATO styled attack on Syria, as it was conducted on Libya.

Although all these omnipresent warnings are addressed to foreigners, he also warns his fellow citizens against potential invasion, such as Napoleon’s of 1812.

From 1812 to 2012, same difference perhaps.

From St. Petersburg, to Petrograd, to Leningrad, to once again St. Petersburg.

From Russian Bribes, to Russian Brides, to Russian Pride, to once again Russian Bribes.

From President, to Prime Minister, to President, same difference perhaps.

The earth’s revolution is completed in 365.25 days. As for Russia’s revolution, the clock is ticking…

Ready when you are Vlad. You might just be historically remembered as one of Russia’s emperors , as the following are:

Alexander I: the Blessed

Alexander II: the Liberator

Alexander III: the Peace-Maker

Alexander IV Vladimir I: the ____________

Well done Sir Czar. But always remember … “Thus Always to Genius” → “Thus Always to Tyrants”.

Copyright © 2012 Thus Always To Genius. All Rights Reserved.

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On the Day of Atonement, a Mass is performed by Roman Catholic priests wearing Kippahs, ringing bells and waving incense, symbolically leading up to the immolating of Jesus. The participants figuratively eat the body of Christ and drink his blood. This Mass is believed to be beneficial with respect to having ones sins atoned for.

We are handed this precious gift of life. Each one of us is granted Redemption from Christ: murderers, rapists, and molesters, all of us, including hedge fund fat cats. All we have to do is repent and God takes us into His kingdom. The time has come for us to be worthy of His love.

The walk on the road to salvation might have already begun: Right now.

However, as churches and cathedrals are left empty, the masses have reassembled in courthouses and tribunals. The priests have been replaced by attorneys, judges and solicitors. This transposition has one similitude: Sins. And they are as despicable as they would if viewed in a religious stance.

In October 2009, Raj Rajaratnam, self-made billionaire and hedge fund manager and founder of the Galleon Group, was arrested by the FBI on allegations of insider trading.

After his arrest: Road to Redemption. In January 2010, Rajaratnam’s returned all funds to each and every one of his investors, with profit.

As an ethnic Sri Lankan Tamil, he has also contributed $3.5 million to the Tamils Rehabilitation Organization (TRO), a group allegedly connected to the Tamil Tigers (LTTE) which is proscribed as a terrorist organization. TRO‘s offices were raided by the FBI in 2006 but the organization was never charged with any wrongdoing.

The “Billion Dollar Raja” was eventually found guilty on all 14 counts of conspiracy and securities fraud. As it was the largest hedge fund insider trading case in United States history, it resulted in the ruling of the longest prison sentence ever handed out for insider trading. He was then sentenced to 11 years in prison and fined with a civil penalty of $93 million in November 2011.

In December 2008, Bernard Lawrence “Bernie” Madoff, an American businessman, stockbroker and investment advisor, confessed to his family that his firm was a massive Ponzi scheme. The following day, FBI agents arrested Madoff and charged him with one count of securities fraud. He was at the time worth up to $830 million.

While on house arrest: Road to Redemption. Madoff and his wife both attempted suicide by ingesting a cocktail of prescription medication after his fraud was exposed.

In March 2009, Madoff, former non-executive chairman of the NASDAQ stock market, admitted to have orchestrated a Ponzi scheme since the 70s. It is considered to be the largest financial fraud in U.S. history. The amount missing from client accounts was almost $65 billion but the court-appointed trustee estimated actual losses to investors of $18 billion.

After pleading guilty to 11 federal felonies, “Winky Dink” was sentenced to 150 years in prison, the maximum allowed.

The main question remains; why adopt a Ponzi scheme when failure is bound to be its absolute “fortune”? I mean this fraudulent investment operation pays returns to its investors from their own money or the money paid by subsequent investors.

It is destined to collapse because the earnings are ALWAYS less than the payments to investors.

One could say that in the 20s, Charles Ponzi did leave us a damaging legacy, but yet again, greed could be embedded in human nature. In his defense, despite popular notion, Ponzi did not create that system. Charles Dickens’ novel, “Little Dorrit”, described such a scheme.

The ones that take expiation seriously and wish to get as far as possible from the Babel Tower(s) might want to convert and embrace their new Mennonite identities. After all, the Amish are known for simple living and unwillingness to adopt modern technology.

But wait, the proliferation of greed spares no one. In September 2011, Monroe Beachy, an Amish man, who began raising money in the 90s, assured investors they were earning funds from safe US government securities.

He was charged with mail fraud after allegedly defrauding thousands of people out of $17 million.

Road to Redemption: not applicable as they mostly believe that the gates of heaven are naturally open to them.

For the believers of the ” Thus always to tyrants / genius ” doctrine, the time has come to confess your sins and atone, before it is too late.

  • Goldman Sachs has cut bonuses by 20%;
  • Lloyds Banking Group has cut £2m from bonuses paid to 13 executives;
  • Citigroup has cut bonuses by about 30%;
  • Barclays is cutting back on bonuses by 32% and will be capped at $100000 for its investment bankers;
  • Royal Bank of Scotland is cutting bonuses to the “absolute legal minimum” by more than 90%t to £175million. The bank had to be bailed out by the taxpayer to the tune of £20billion;
  • Merrill Lynch has cut bonuses by 40%;

The walk on the road to salvation has already begun …take a number.

Old pirates, yes, they rob I;
Sold I to the merchant ships,
Minutes after they took I
From the bottomless pit.
But my hand was made strong
By the hand of the Almighty.
We forward in this generation
Triumphantly.

Won’t you help to sing
These songs of freedom?
‘Cause all I ever have:
Redemption songs,
Redemption songs.

Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery;
None but ourselves can free our minds.
Have no fear for atomic energy,
‘Cause none of them can stop the time.
How long shall they kill our prophets,
While we stand aside and look? Ooh!
Some say it’s just a part of it:
We’ve got to fulfill the Book.

Won’t you help to sing
These songs of freedom?
‘Cause all I ever have:
Redemption songs,
Redemption songs,
Redemption songs.

Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery;
None but ourselves can free our mind.
Wo! Have no fear for atomic energy,
‘Cause none of them-a can-a stop-a the time.
How long shall they kill our prophets,
While we stand aside and look?
Yes, some say it’s just a part of it:
We’ve got to fulfill the book.
Won’t you have to sing
These songs of freedom?

‘Cause all I ever had:
Redemption songs
All I ever had:
Redemption songs:
These songs of freedom,
Songs of freedom.

Redemption Song, by Robert Nesta “Bob” Marley
(produced by Chris Blackwell, from album: “Uprising”)

Copyright © 2012 Thus Always To Genius. All Rights Reserved.

 

A few days ago, rising from Ethiopia’s oldest maximum security prison, the new $200 million African Union Headquarters (AUHQ) proudly erects as a monolith should. China, who completely funded the project, already battling accusation of land grabs, further established suspicions.

An important organization such as this one obviously requires a modern, highly functional, state of the art setting to operate as the survival and progression of Africa depends on it.

The AU sent peacekeeping troops to various hotspots in Africa but when it came to Darfur, the task was dumped on the United Nations’ desk. Besides that, not sure what they do or how to justify that building, yet alone their existence.

Donating buildings to other nations is not unusual. But nowadays, it might be news worthy as the donors are not the well-intentioned and generous European saviors shielded behind the “Civilizing Mission”.

In ancient history, the Trojan Horse donation resulted in the Greek conquest of Troy. In 2012 Addis Ababa, instead of a snip on the horse’s muzzle, they have a large outdoor emblem of the Xinhua News logo, which is the New China News Agency. Well-intended warnings coming from all parts of the world read: “Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes (I fear the Greeks, even those bearing gifts)”.

But why aren’t they listening to their own advice? World domination is rarely selective. If they are convinced that the Chinese government’s motive is evil and opportunistic, why are they seeking, surely begging behind closed doors, its assistance?

China has been buying everything from French vineyards, Portuguese Power plants, Russian oil, British water networks … no need to go on … I mean they already own over $1.4 trillion of the US debt.

Bref, the Xinhua News logo has been glowing in Time Square months before its appearance on the AUHQ building. You can see it below, right underneath the sign for Prudential. Not much government outrage and warnings against that.

You might notice glimpses of reality from time to time, but you must remember that nothing belongs to its “owner”. I call it the: “It’s not my name on my building” era.

Even the tallest building in the world, the Burj Dubai’s project was completed thanks to Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al Nahyan’s financial assistance. The name then changed to Burj Khalifa.

“Pride comes before the fall”

– Proverbs 16:18

Burj Khalifa’s completion in 2010 coincides with the most recent (and present) Great Recession.

The American Great Depression followed the completion of the Chrysler Building in 1930 and the Empire State Building the following year.

In the 70s, One World Trade Center and the Sears Tower emersion coincided with a period of oil price increases that lead to another global economic crisis that coincided with the completion of the Petronas Towers.

On that note, forget Alan Greenspan and let’s focus on who’s building skyscrapers.

Oh wait, isn’t the AUHQ building the tallest in Addis Ababa? And there it goes … “It’s not my name on that building!”.

Copyright © 2012 Thus Always To Genius. All Rights Reserved.