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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Straight out of a Bond movie

(above, Vladek Sheybal as Kronsteen, the SPECTRE agent in From Russia With Love; right, Vladimir Putin as Russian Prime Minister)

Actor Vladek Sheybal, according to Wikipedia, "excelled in playing cold, sinister villains." The producers of From Russia with Love were looking for an evil, wily, Slavic-looking actor when they chose Sheybal to play the champion chess player.

Vladimir Putin looks like Kronsteen's more forceful but equally conniving brother. (George W. Bush must have fallen off the wagon that afternoon.) A few quotes to give a sense of Putin's personality:

"Whoever does not miss the Soviet Union has no heart. Whoever wants it back has no brain."

(This is an interesting twist on the old saying, "If you weren't liberal when you were young, you have no heart; if you're not conservative when you're old, you have no brain.")

"There is no such thing as a former KGB man."

(Hmm. This, from one who used to work for them.)

"You must obey the law, always, not only when they grab you by your special place."

[on Moshe Katsav] "He raped ten women. I never expected it from him. He surprised all of us. We all envy him."

(How soon after an American politician said this would he be forced to resign?)

Putin may not be politically correct, but he is certainly a Grandmaster at obtaining and consolidating power.

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