Thursday, December 20, 2007

TIME person of the Year 2007 redux


There are two ways to stabilize a country. Probably more, but I'm concentrating on the two most obvious methods.

UPDATE: I'm invoking the "Oh Shit key" or its equivalent.

You follow the word rule of law. You sanction chaos within limits. You endorse opposition, dissent, challenges and engage in dialogue and debate. Its worked for the US for nearly 225 years. Stopping, of course, with the current idiot in the White House.

It brings to mind a quote I have to paraphrase and can't cite.

If you always agree with me, one of us is unnecessary.

Or you can oppress or jail or send to a psych hospital anyone who speaks out, who opposes you, who challenges the system. You can impose strict controls on your people so instability isn't countenanced. You can force your will on all people in all enterprises.

If everyone has to adhere to one person's control, stability is a snap.
TIME's Person of the Year is not and never has been an honor. It is not an endorsement. It is not a popularity contest. At its best, it is a clear-eyed recognition of the world as it is and of the most powerful individuals and forces shaping that world—for better or for worse. It is ultimately about leadership—bold, earth-changing leadership. Putin is not a boy scout. He is not a democrat in any way that the West would define it. He is not a paragon of free speech. He stands, above all, for stability—stability before freedom, stability before choice, stability in a country that has hardly seen it for a hundred years. Whether he becomes more like the man for whom his grandfather prepared blinis—who himself was twice TIME's Person of the Year—or like Peter the Great, the historical figure he most admires; whether he proves to be a reformer or an autocrat who takes Russia back to an era of repression—this we will know only over the next decade. At significant cost to the principles and ideas that free nations prize, he has performed an extraordinary feat of leadership in imposing stability on a nation that has rarely known it and brought Russia back to the table of world power. For that reason, Vladimir Putin is TIME's 2007 Person of the Year.

Putin is not a boy scout. [?] No shit!

And I loved this from AFP.
It was handed to Putin for reshaping a country that Managing Editor Richard Stengel said had "fallen off our mental map."

"At significant cost to the principles and ideas that free nations prize, he has performed an extraordinary feat of leadership in imposing stability on a nation that has rarely known it and brought Russia back to the table of world power," Stengel wrote.

"For that reason, Vladimir Putin is Time's 2007 Person of the Year," he added, saying the Russian leader had made Moscow "a critical linchpin of the 21st century."

"If Russia fails, all bets are off for the 21st century. [emphasis mine]

This is so fucking funny. Basically, if we're wrong...uh...nevermind! We get a "do over".

The fact is, TIME made a mistake which they will never admit.

My vote goes for the Burmese monks.* But TIME doesn't give a shit what I think.

* Is it Burma or Myanmar? I lean toward Burma.

Via TIME.

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