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Putin Wants To Be Tony Soprano


“Putin is the godfather of a mafia clan ruling Russia. And like all mafia bosses, he barely distinguishes between is personal property, the property of his clan and the property of those beholden to his clan.”

-Journalist Masha Gessen, 2012

Reprint from August 29, 2008

putin0.jpg

PUTIN WANTS TO BE TONY SOPRANO

GREENPOINT, Brooklyn, Aug.28…Winston Churchill famously called Russia “a riddle wrapped in an enigma inside a mystery.”

In the aftermath of Russia’s brutal foray into Georgia, analysts were wondering what was going on behind the stone walls of the Kremlin and especially in the mind of its leader, Vladimir Putin.

Now Igor Yopsvoyomatsky, head of the Greeznyzidh Think Tank, feels he has unwrapped the enigma and solved the riddle.

“Putin doesn’t want to be Tsar or Commissar,” he says. “He wants to be Tony Soprano…”

In an interview at Golubchik’s Lounge, Yopsvoyomatsky, a recent immigrant from Pinsk said he didn’t truly understand Putin until he came to America.

“In Brooklyn, on the streets of the Bensonhurst, quarter, I saw scores of muscular young men in sleeveless undershirts they call “wife-beaters,” wearing heavy gold ID bracelets and big rings, which is Putin’s preferred outfit. I heard stories about Sammy “the Bull” Gravano, another short man with big muscles who controlled the neighborhood. This is Putin’s fantasy role, I thought. The Mafia strong man.

“Putin models his behavior on American gangster culture,” Yopsvoyomatsky said. “He uses blackmail and intimidation. He works behind front men, corrupts public officials, and assassinates those who defy him.

“If you look at things in Mafia context you can predict every move he will make”

Yopsvoyomatsky offered the Georgian invasion an an example.

“This is about wiping out a rival boss and at the same time crushing a front man who wouldn’t play ball,” he said. “A two-horse parley, Tony Soprano would say.”

Putin’s Mob had made a deal with British Petroleum to exploit Russian oil and gas resources. ” BP was big corrupt company,” Yopsovoymatsky said. ” Involved in bribery and blackmail scandals . It had ignored safety standards, which led to bursting of Alaska pipeline and an explosion in Texas that killed fifteen. So BP made a deal behind Putin’s back with Georgia to construct pipeline that would run from Baku through Tiblisi, the Georgian capital, to Ceyhan in Turkey, completely bypassing Russian pipelines and providing independent supply of natural gas to Western Europe.”

BP’s Georgian country manager, Hugh G. McDowell said at the time that the “oil and gas fields of the Caspian (were) among the most sizable and productive in the world.” The pipeline traveled 1,768 km and transported one million barrels of oil a day. When it was opened in July 2006, BP said it was the largest new non-Opec source of oil supply in 15 years.

With a grimace Yopsvoyomatsky threw down a shot of Popov, the vodka in the plastic bottle, coughed and wiped his streaming eyes.

“Tony Soprano would never let someone make big money in his backyard,” he said. “So Putin wasn’t going to let his front man make a deal with enemy mob in Georgia to cut him out,” he said. “He also wanted to teach BP a lesson, not to, how you say, mess with the Boss of all Bosses.”

The Russian invasion effectively shut down the Georgian pipelines. The Russian Navy took over the port of Poti, preventing oil tankers from docking. It bombed the main east-west bridge that connected various oil depots to Tiblisi. It crippled BP’s jet fuel business at Tiblisi airport. It intimidated the neighboring countries, serving notice of what would happen if they made deals with the West.

Was it a success?

Maybe, but…Yopsvoyomatsky shook his finger with a sly look. “This is not the way Tony Soprano would do business,” he said.

“Tony would have brought in top hit men to show strength. Instead, the world watched rusty Russian tanks break down. It got a good look at antiquated military in action…Russians were so desperate they stole American Humvees to drive their generals around…”

“Tony would have consulted his soldiers first to see if his family businesses would be affected,” he said. “Putin didn’t do this. And now the Russian stock market has lost much value; the ruble has sunk; investors are withdrawing from deals; Russians were gobbling up American steel companies, but now US Congress wants to put a hold on acquisitions.

“Tony would have requested permission from the other families before making such a big move in their neighborhood,”Yopsvoyomatsky said. “Dictators and Dons do not like to be taken by surprise. But Putin didn’t inform Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgystan and Tajikstan, not to mention China, which is its counterpart in the Shanghai Co-Operation Organization, Central Asian version of New York’s Five Mafia Families. These countries also have rebellious provinces with secessionist movements. They don’t want trouble. They did not give Russia a public vote of confidence at their annual meeting. China even expressed ‘concern about the latest developments in Abkhazia and South Ossetia,’ which is equal to slap in the face to Putin. Behind closed doors you can imagine how angry they really are.”

Yopsvoyomatsky thinks Putin has made a mistake. “He has no support from his so-called allies, his vassals are losing money and his enemies have forgotten their differences to unite against him.

“This is classic Mafia scenario,” he said. “The faithful Medvedev, the heir apparent, is watching in the wings as the Boss stumbles. He is having secret meetings, building alliances, biding his time.

Yopsvoyomatsky raised his glass. “Putin maybe has one more Mafia lesson to learn:

Dons don’t die in bed.”

ANALYSST: OBAMA’S VICTORY WILL REIGNITE COLD WAR

GREENPOINT, Bklyn, Nov.7…Toasts and cheers resounded at Golubchik’s tavern last night as Obama euphoria kept the party floating two days after the historic election.

“To change,” people shouted, raising their glasses.

“To peace.”

This was too much for Ivan Yopsvoyomatsky, recent immigrant from Pinsk and senior scholar at the Greezhnizihd Think Tank.

“Peace?…PFUI!”

Rising quickly from a stool he had occupied for two days, blood rushing to an unfamiliar location–his head–he faced the crowd with fine Slavic disdain.

“You pathetic puppets of Capitalism,” he sputtered. “Peace is when the ruling class has its foot on your neck and its hand in your pocket. Twenty-eight years with Reagan, Bush the Father, your precious Clinton and Bush, the Simple Son was peace…The Russians got rich, the Chinese richer with American corporate help and against the interests of American workers and consumers…Now that Obama has been elected get ready for total war.”

A waitress pushed a plate of piroshki across the bar. “Eat something Ivan…”

Yopsvoyomatsky sent it flying. “I haven’t finished my salad yet,” he said, dipping a cucumber in a glass of Popov vodka.

There was muttering in the cowed crowd. Finally, they pushed a young blonde in Uggies and a tight leather skirt forward for a timid challenge.

“But the world has welcomed Obama,” she said, cringing.

Yopsvoyomatsky leered and beckoned. “My dear you are victim of noble blowjob… I mean global snowjob. World leaders are quaking in their boots…”

“Bloggers in China went crazy,” someone hollered from in back. “One guy said this proved that America was a great Democracy and China was a one party oppressive dictatorship.”

Doorak,” Yopsvoyomasky boomed. “How do you think Hu Jintao felt when he read that? With China wheezing from pollution, puking from poisoned food, factories closing from financial crisis, people oppressed from internet crackdown, does he need proof that America is closest thing to real proletarian power?” He stroked the blonde under her chin. “I promise you, dooshenkya in party meetings they are talking about one thing only: how can we defeat this upstart Obama?

“But they are a great economic power, aren’t they?” the blonde asked, gaining confidence.

Yopsvoyomatsky smiled indulgently. “From slave labor, my dear. They make your underwear cheaper. Later we will see if your panties were made in Guangdong. But now you must understand that when Obama calls for tougher environmental and labor regulations they see their costs going up and their competitiveness coming down. When he promises to award tax breaks to companies that keep jobs in the US they say the dirty word: protectionism. They know that US market powers their economies. Without help from Bush and American financial interests to keep their yen low and their labor costs lower they will go broke…”

” Obama restored the American image in Europe,” a young man with a German accent said.

“You mean old, decadent, zero population growth Europe?” Yopsvoyomatsky sneered. “How many black faces in English House of Commons? Mostly flushed, overfed, flatulent whites enjoying their squeals of indignation while country’s business is done by MI6…French don’t allow headscarves in public schools…Turks are second-class citizens in Germany, even after three generations in residence. Do you think they want mixed race underclass to embrace electoral politics…?”

Several people finished their drinks and slipped out onto the rainy streets.

“Bush brought us to the brink with Russia,” a voice piped up. “They must be happy to see Obama…”

“Melancholic is closest Russians come to happy,” Yopsvoyomatsky said. “Russians follow Stalinist doctrine of probe with bayonet. Medvedev, latest in long line of metrically challenged rulers, climbs up on two Moscow phone books so he can see over lectern and makes hollow threat to put Iskander missiles in Kalingrad to counter US missile defense. Iskanders have range of 175 miles when they are working. They might land in a barnyard in Poland and kill a few chickens…”

“Russia must be dealt with,” a pale man young man said in a quavering voice said and ducked behind a pillar as Yopsvoyomatsky loomed over him.

“Russia is a gas station with a broken pump,” he roared. “A tavern with drunks snoring through frozen snot. Their market has lost 50% in value. The oligarchs, who grease their corrupt machine are broke. They have to kill a journalist a week just to stay in power…”

Sighing heavily, more people shrugged into their coats and left.

“Obama will bring peace to the Middle East,” a swarthy young man shouted angrily.

“Peace can only be made by people who are fighting each other,” Yopsvoyomatsky countered.

“People in the Middle-East have great hope for Obama.”

“Not Iranian daily Jamhou-ye Eslami,” Yopsvoyomatsky said. “They say: The most that black man can do is replace staff and change ceremony…He will never change capitalist, Zionist, racist structure of American regime.

Saudi daily Al Wotan says: There is no difference between McCain and Obama. Both mean to achieve America’s chief goal which is to rule for a hundred years…”

“But Bush favored Israel and that got us nowhere.”

“Nowhere is obviously where they want to be,” Yopsvoyomatsky said. “Jordan and Egypt do not want Palestinian theocracy funded by Iran on their borders. Lebanese do not want more power to Hezbollah allies. Anyway, Obama will be busy with economic crisis. Israelis and Palestinians will have to sit on back burner for years. They might do something sensational like a war of a terror attack to refocus the world’s attention…”

Most of the revelers had slunk away, leaving a few brooding in their cups. One man paused at the door.

“So there is no hope,” he said

“When does hope last more than a day?” Yopsvoyomatsky said. “The power of the status quo will be arrayed against Obama…Maybe he will prevail…”

He looked around the empty room with satisfaction. “Looks like the party is over,” he said to the blonde. “Want a cucumber?”

PUTIN WANTS TO BE TONY SOPRANO

 

putin0.jpg

PUTIN WANTS TO BE TONY SOPRANO

GREENPOINT, Brooklyn, Aug.28…Winston Churchill famously called Russia “a riddle wrapped in an enigma inside a mystery.”

In the aftermath of Russia’s brutal foray into Georgia, analysts were wondering what was going on behind the stone walls of the Kremlin and especially in the mind of its leader, Vladimir Putin.

Now Igor Yopsvoyomatsky, head of the Greeznyzidh Think Tank, feels he has unwrapped the enigma and solved the riddle.

“Putin doesn’t want to be Tsar or Commissar,” he says. “He wants to be Tony Soprano…”

In an interview at Golubchik’s Lounge, Yopsvoyomatsky, a recent immigrant from Pinsk said he didn’t truly understand Putin until he came to America.

“In Brooklyn, on the streets of the Bensonhurst, quarter, I saw scores of muscular young men in sleeveless undershirts they call “wife-beaters,” wearing heavy gold ID bracelets and big rings, which is Putin’s preferred outfit. I heard stories about Sammy “the Bull” Gravano, another short man with big muscles who controlled the neighborhood. This is Putin’s fantasy role, I thought. The Mafia strong man.

“Putin models his behavior on American gangster culture,” Yopsvoyomatsky said. “He uses blackmail and intimidation. He works behind front men, corrupts public officials, and assassinates those who defy him.

“If you look at things in Mafia context you can predict every move he will make”

Yopsvoyomatsky offered the Georgian invasion an an example.

“This is about wiping out a rival boss and at the same time crushing a front man who wouldn’t play ball,” he said. “A two-horse parley, Tony Soprano would say.”

Putin’s Mob had made a deal with British Petroleum to exploit Russian oil and gas resources. ” BP was big corrupt company,” Yopsovoymatsky said. ” Involved in bribery and blackmail scandals . It had ignored safety standards, which led to bursting of Alaska pipeline and an explosion in Texas that killed fifteen. So BP made a deal behind Putin’s back with Georgia to construct pipeline that would run from Baku through Tiblisi, the Georgian capital, to Ceyhan in Turkey, completely bypassing Russian pipelines and providing independent supply of natural gas to Western Europe.”

BP’s Georgian country manager, Hugh G. McDowell said at the time that the “oil and gas fields of the Caspian (were) among the most sizable and productive in the world.” The pipeline traveled 1,768 km and transported one million barrels of oil a day. When it was opened in July 2006, BP said it was the largest new non-Opec source of oil supply in 15 years.

With a grimace Yopsvoyomatsky threw down a shot of Popov, the vodka in the plastic bottle, coughed and wiped his streaming eyes.

“Tony Soprano would never let someone make big money in his backyard,” he said. “So Putin wasn’t going to let his front man make a deal with enemy mob in Georgia to cut him out,” he said. “He also wanted to teach BP a lesson, not to, how you say, mess with the Boss of all Bosses.”

The Russian invasion effectively shut down the Georgian pipelines. The Russian Navy took over the port of Poti, preventing oil tankers from docking. It bombed the main east-west bridge that connected various oil depots to Tiblisi. It crippled BP’s jet fuel business at Tiblisi airport. It intimidated the neighboring countries, serving notice of what would happen if they made deals with the West.

Was it a success?

Maybe, but…Yopsvoyomatsky shook his finger with a sly look. “This is not the way Tony Soprano would do business,” he said.

“Tony would have brought in top hit men to show strength. Instead, the world watched rusty Russian tanks break down. It got a good look at antiquated military in action…Russians were so desperate they stole American Humvees to drive their generals around…”

“Tony would have consulted his soldiers first to see if his family businesses would be affected,” he said. “Putin didn’t do this. And now the Russian stock market has lost much value; the ruble has sunk; investors are withdrawing from deals; Russians were gobbling up American steel companies, but now US Congress wants to put a hold on acquisitions.

“Tony would have requested permission from the other families before making such a big move in their neighborhood,”Yopsvoyomatsky said. “Dictators and Dons do not like to be taken by surprise. But Putin didn’t inform Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgystan and Tajikstan, not to mention China, which is its counterpart in the Shanghai Co-Operation Organization, Central Asian version of New York’s Five Mafia Families. These countries also have rebellious provinces with secessionist movements. They don’t want trouble. They did not give Russia a public vote of confidence at their annual meeting. China even expressed ‘concern about the latest developments in Abkhazia and South Ossetia,’ which is equal to slap in the face to Putin. Behind closed doors you can imagine how angry they really are.”

Yopsvoyomatsky thinks Putin has made a mistake. “He has no support from his so-called allies, his vassals are losing money and his enemies have forgotten their differences to unite against him.

“This is classic Mafia scenario,” he said. “The faithful Medvedev, the heir apparent, is watching in the wings as the Boss stumbles. He is having secret meetings, building alliances, biding his time.

Yopsvoyomatsky raised his glass. “Putin maybe has one more Mafia lesson to learn:

Dons don’t die in bed.”

OPEC LINKED TO OBESITY?

EDITOR OF paranoiaisfact.com

Igor Yopsvoyomatsky

answers reader’s questions.

Dear Igor,
Dr. Zeesebrot, my bariatric surgeon, tells me that the oil companies created the obesity epidemic in this country. Is this paranoia or fact?
Gordito Colon,
Ilium, N. Dak.

Dear Gordito,

This is fact.

A study released last week by the CDC (Center for Disease Control) showed that 25.6% of the US population was obese, while up to 37% were grossly overweight.

This means that almost two out of three Americans cannot fit behind the wheel of an economy car and must continue to drive gas guzzling SUV’s.

The US has the lowest average fuel economy and the highest rate of obesity among the developed nations.

People are getting fatter and oil prices are going up.

This is not an accident.

In the wake of the Yom Kippur-Ramadan war of 1973, the Arab states declared an oil embargo to punish the United States for supplying arms and spare airplane parts to the Israelis. For months there were long lines at the pumps. Soon gasoline was not only expensive, it was unavailable. The price of oil shrank to $10 a barrel. The embargo had backfired.

The anti-Arab backlash spread to Congress. Weathervane politicians cried out for “energy independence.” Congress enacted CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) mandating minimum mileage standards for all automobiles sold in the US. Lobbyists managed to exempt pick ups and SUV’s, but the writing was on the wall: Detroit would have to build smaller, more economical cars. Oil companies would sell less gasoline.

Fat cat propagandists sprang into action. The Heartland Institute (funded by Exxon) and the Bradley Foundation (funded by Coors Beer) declared that smaller cars were more likely to be damaged in collisions, causing insurance premiums to increase. Both conclusions were contradicted by Government actuaries.

In a panic the Elders of Petroleum called a secret meeting. How could they stifle this sudden urge for conservation? They sat in stymied silence until a room service waiter piped up timidly:

“If the cars are getting smaller, why not make the people bigger?”

That was it!

“Brilliant!” they cried.

The waiter was immediately defenestrated to assure his silence.

A secret protocol was issued, creating an operation code-named “Strasbourg” for the geese that are force fed to produce foie gras.

“In order to expand the market for petroleum and its derivatives we will expand the waistlines of the American consumer,” the mission statement declared.

The best brains in the American universities were given research grants to come up with ideas.

The microwave oven, neglected since its invention in 1945, was put on a fast track for consumer use. Up until this point food preparation had involved calorie-burning effort. But the microwave allowed people to cook more food quicker and with less effort. According to British scientist, Dr. Jane Wardle: “the obesity epidemic began with the invention of the home microwave oven.”

Fast food franchises proliferated. Ranchers and farmers were paid huge subsidies to keep food prices down so the burgers and fries could be sold cheaply.

Children’s meals were insidiously larded to generate fat cells in the growing tots that would genetically lock in obesity even if they tried to diet in later life.

There was a “dopey me moment” in the scientific community when it was discovered that it took more energy to move greater weight.

A senior researcher, who preferred to be nameless for fear of retribution from diabetics, cardiac patients and sex-starved flabbies developed a “fat/fuel” metric in which he could neutralize every gain in fuel economy with a corresponding gain in consumer weight.

“Simply stated it means that a hundred and fifty pound man will burn one gallon of fuel for every thirty miles traveled, while a three hundred pound man will burn not two but three gallons,” said the researcher. And then gloated: “Even in a Prius…”

Airlines have found that the combined weight of their passengers is now so great they have to stop in Cincinnati to refuel.

Studies show a statistical correlation between the profits of the oil companies (Exxon alone made 51 billion this quarter) and the rise in the rate of diabetes.

“Let ‘em increase gas mileage,” the anonymous researcher told me. “We’ll just throw another slab of cheese on the Happy Meal.:.”

GAZPROM vs. OPEC, WHO’S BLUFFING WHO?

MOSCOW, Russia, July 8…In a 1956 reception at the Polish Embassy, a tipsy Nikita Kruschev, then First Secretary of the Soviet Communist party, threatened the capitalist West: “History is on our side,” he said, referring to Marxist ideology. “We will bury you.”

Forty-three years later, in 1989, it was the Soviet Empire that was buried in the rubble of the Berlin Wall.

But the Empire has risen again–at least in its own mind. Only now, the weapon it intends to use to subdue the West is energy.

In remarks last week, Alexei Miller, chief executive of the Russian state-controlled gas group, said that Russia will soon overtake OPEC as the world’s dominant energy supplier.

“We think oil will reach $250 a barrel in the foreseeable future,” he said and indicated that Russia will extract maximum profit and political influence from this rise.

Russia, which is not a member of OPEC has repeatedly defied the cartel’s requests to bring its production in line with OPEC standards.

“OPEC doesn’t have any real influence on the global market nowadays,” Miller told the Financial Times. “Not a single decision has been passed of late that would really influence the global oil market.”

This, according to Africa Oil Week, “set the scene for a Cold War between Moscow and OPEC.”

Russia has surpassed Saudi Arabia as the world’s leading exporter of oil, pumping 8.6 million barrels a day to 7.96 million for Saudi Arabia. With global demand rising Russia will probably increase production to 9.2 million barrels, energy experts say.

Analysts estimate that the oil reserves of OPEC nations will be exhausted by 2050, while Russia with only 6% of the proven reserves in the world will only be beginning to use its resources.

Russia has the energy starved countries of Western Europe in a stranglehold, Miller hinted. With its new South Stream pipeline, which would take gas under the Black Sea to Bulgaria and then onto Western Europe, Russia will be able to turn the faucet on and off to extract financial and political gain.

“The sharp rise in Russian exports…raises the question: Is OPEC doomed,” said Leo Drollas of the Center for Global Energy Studies in London.

And is Russia poised to reclaim its Cold War superpower status?
“No to both of those questions,” says Igor Yopsvoyomatsky of The Gryazneezhid Think Tank in the Greenpoint section of Brooklyn.

Interviewed at Golubchiks Tavern, Yopsvoymatsky was emphatic. Raising a glass of vodka he declared: “Russia is the diseased old whore covered with face paint to hide her syphilitic scars.”

The customers cheered and the bartender slid another glass across the bar.

“For its entire history Russia has bluffed the world,” Yopsvoyomatsky, a recent immigrant from Pinsk said. “In 1787, Russian minister Potemkin had facades put up along the Dneiper River in Crimea to convince Empress Catherine that he had built villages to resettle Russians. There was nothing behind those facades but torches made to look like lamps and cooking fires.”

He dropped a lighted match on his corduroys trying to light a foot long Russian cigarette, but continued without noticing.

“In World War I Russian sent soldiers to battle with wooden rifles made to look like real thing,” he said. “They were immediately overrun by Germans…”

“Igor, your pants are burning,” the bartender said.

Yopsvoyomatsky waved irritably. “In Cold War, Russia impoverished its people trying to keep up with West. Its Army was poorly equipped with no spare parts. It could not afford to sustain nuclear program and did not have enough nuclear weapons to defend itself against attack. But frightened people in West thought it was a military juggernaut and then when it was beaten in Afghanistan they could see it was Potemkin military…”

A waitress swatted at his trousers with a wet towel, raising a cloud of smoke.

“Now in Russia you have thousands wealthy, siloviki, ex-KGB thugs, and everybody else poor or worse,” he said.

He raised a finger.

“One…Russia has lowest birth rate, 1.3 children per family, in its history, which means there will be no workers for its so-called big economic miracle…”

He managed to raise another finger…”Two…Russians alcoholism rate has tripled, according to consumer protection agency,” he said. “Russians drink three times as much as they did sixteen years ago. And now they are seeing alcoholics as young as thirteen in treatment centers…”

He tried to raise a third finger and fell over against the bar. “Three…Russian Ministry of Health says suicide rate is among highest in the world with over 60,000 suicides in 2007.”

With his head in a puddle on the bar, Yopsvoyomatsky continued. “Human Rights Watch says Russia has not ability treat rampant rise in drug addiction…Russian inflation is up to 15 per cent, Russian oil exploration and development has stalled because of corruption, inefficiency and xenophobia…”

A spark ignited Yopsvoyomatsky’s woolen socks and flames flared around his ankles. The bartender poured a pitcher of water over him and the waitress rushed in to pull off his burning pants.

“Russia rule the world?” Yopsvoyomatsky shouted. “Pfui, I say. Pfui!”