A personal interest of mine is politics. Yeah, I know, I can hear some of you groaning out there. You can thank being locked up for 24 years for this. I’ve long since counted all the bricks in the building, I’ve watched every bird on the compound and I can tell you when each one starts the day, and I’ve fed the one wild cat we have a thousand times from my window. It was inevitable I’d make my way to politics.
My interest is part hobby and part serious observation. I follow world events closely, and I like to ponder the actions of world leaders. Part of my interest stems from family, but a great portion from the fact that I am incarcerated and I’m forced to pay attention to my surroundings. This means paying attention to those around you, and by virtue of doing so you learn about people and what makes them tick. I didn’t always have an interest in what makes people say and do the things that they do. Time has a way of focusing things.
Early on I discovered I had a natural ability to read people. It should come as no surprise then that I love to watch events like political campaigning. Politicians are consummate liars. Most everyone understands this truth on some level. Even if they don’t believe that their candidate lies, they believe that the opposing candidate does. So I rarely take what people say at face value. I’m more interested in what is not said and what body language is saying, because therein often lay the truth.
Over time, multiple observations paint a true picture of the inner thoughts of people. This is as true for the old lady who walks her dog every afternoon in the park, as it is for someone like President Trump. It’s as true for offenders who are incarcerated regardless of their crime or socioeconomic background as it is for someone like Vladimir Putin.
A past time of mine is to apply game theory to the actions and reactions of world leaders. When I get it right, it further reinforces my understanding of the individual and the government he or she leads. When I’m wrong, I ask myself what I missed, learn and adjust, and then form new analysis. Maybe in another life I could have made a career with one of our government agencies.
Anyhow, a past time of mine is Vladimir Putin. Several years ago I wrote a short paper titled: “Vladimir Putin as the Prison Yard Thug,” about how Vladimir Putin is no different than the typical prison yard thug. It was during a time shortly after “little green men” annexed the Crimea from Ukraine and well-trained, well-armed “separatists” sporting the latest Russian military hardware suddenly appeared out of the air *poof!* taking control of swaths of eastern Ukraine.
I’ve decided to post that paper here for you. After all, what good is it if no one reads it but me? As for the quote at the beginning of this entry? It was spoken by Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin.
I find it very revealing as to how he views the world.
You can read my paper here.
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If you are a reader in China, I’d love to hear about how ordinary Chinese view the Hong Kong protests. Is it as big of a deal as the U.S. media makes it sound? I’d also love to hear from someone if they know of a good English language Chinese political blog there in China. Post in comments or email me–thanks!
*If you enjoyed this post, please like and share with your friends. In the meantime, I’ll keep writing for you! Also, if you know of other blogs written by inmates, please let me know because I enjoy reading what other guys write. Frankly, it helps keep me sane.