Friday, September 17, 2010

Obama is not Putin

We are all well aware of the fact that President Obama is painfully thin-skinned. The president is constantly complaining about what others are saying about him. He gets upset with Fox News, and conservative talk radio, and Republicans, and people carrying unflattering posters of him. He gets upset when his facts are challenged, like on health care. He gets upset when he is called on his hypocrisy, on everything from breaking his promise not to hire lobbyists in the White House to broadcasting health care meetings on C-SPAN to not curtailing earmarks to failing in his promises of transparency and bipartisanship. Mr. Obama feels he is always the aggrieved, always the violated, always the victim of some injustice. Apparently he believes that he is America's virtuous and valorous hero, a man of unusually pure motives and uncommon wisdom, under assault by the forces of darkness.

As irritating as this is, he should probably be grateful that we do not have Vladimir Putin to contend with. When Obama gets upset, he runs out and makes another speech and/or unleashes his attack dogs (i.e., his Press Secretary, Robert Gibbs). We are then harangued by endless rhetoric designed to impress us and inspire us back into his social engineering program. When Putin gets upset people go to jail. He is one person who really does not like people to disagree with him. He is a master of strong-arm tactics and he knows how to enlist corporate support for them. He is now using Microsoft to help him crack down on those who dare criticize the Russian government. They now have a policy of doing an “unannounced inspection” of all computers and systems to ensure that everyone has the proper software licenses from good old Microsoft. It seems software piracy is rampant in Russia and it must be combated. These “inspections” involve taking the suspect computers, sometimes every computer in the subject company (like a newspaper for example) to search the hard drives and ensure everything is properly licensed. Of course, that time consuming process could take several weeks or months.

Microsoft and their Russian lawyers provide Mr. Putin with complete lists of the properly purchased software and licenses so they can be recorded and verified. I wonder how Bill Gates feels about being used this way. However he feels about it, they have been pointing to this as a potential model for combating piracy in China. No hypocrisy there…

We may get a little irritated with how touchy our President can be about criticism, but we should probably be grateful his roots are in community organizing and not the KGB.

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