Or is it a case where the Russian leader has taken the measure of the resolve of the world, specifically American President Obama and believes that the world will "blink" and back down much as Russia did during that oh so long ago (at least by the standards of this instant news world we now inhabit) Cuban missile crisis?
It seems that the stream of American political pundits crying out loud for the last term and a bit about how weak the sitting President is on the world stage may, just may, have a point.
Then again, to carp and whine is easy - but to wear the cap of authority and act accordingly, one wonders how well those folks would acquit themselves.
It is so easy to sit back and snipe isn't it?
But when you are in the crosshairs - well, that is a different story right?
No matter what, the situation in the Ukraine will probably define how history looks back on both Mr. Obama and Mr. Putin.
Hopefully, there will be a history for the world to look back on.
And yes, that is how grim I think it is.
And to show that in today's brave new world, money trumps humanity, reports from Germany state that in 2012 Germany sold €40 million worth of rifles, pistols and armoured vehicles to Russia.
What is that old phrase "money talks and....?"
In Argentina, the uneasy tidings of economic peril continue to emerge from reports from the government itself.
Simply put, the trade balance in the first quarter dropped 92%.
Industrial production in March dropped 6%.
And the Argentine Catholic University (UCA) released its estimates for poverty in the last quarter of 2013, with an upper estimate of 27.5% - far from the last government stated poverty rate of less than 5%.
Sadly 2014 is shaping up as a potentially horrible year for the people of that fabled land
In Italy, that sad spectacle of a former respected politician, Silvio Berlusconi once again showed incredible stupidity by saying at a party meeting that in his opinion "according to Germans, there never were concentration camps."
And to show how corrupt the Italian legal system seems to be, he is a convicted felon and has yet to serve a day in prison.
Canada has Rob Ford as a laughingstock and Italy once again shows the New World that the Old World is better at providing incompetents.
In Afghanistan, the presidential elections failed to produce a clear cut winner this week. Therefore a runoff will be done and to many, that is a positive sign of democratic progress in a country once totally ravaged by insane wars and tribal feuds over centuries. Just ask the British and Russians how they view the Afghan people after their failed attempts to colonize the country.
Yes, a dim ray of hope but still, it is a hope.
Speaking of America, have you noticed how the airwaves and print outlets are very quiet on the topics of Healthcare and budget problems?
Not sexy enough right now one supposes.
That being said, the full cost of the changes to the health system, dubbed Obamacare by critics, is just starting to impact the economy of the country and for sure the impact on the "average" citizen is yet to be felt - for better or worse.
And for the budget/money woes?
This Winter/Spring it was assuaged by a series of temporary measures but those just pushed the ticking fiscal "bomb" a bit down the calendar road so to speak. In a sublime act of crass political arrogance shown by all stripes of politcos on Capital Hill, this "stuff" will not hit the fan until after the next round of elections.
How convenient right?
How dare the electorate even think that these self serving trough feeders would do anything that might make them accountable before rather than after an election!
Sadly, it seems that the average American is just that docile.
But talk about guns and whoa Nelly indeed, that gets them stirred up it seems.
Hard to fathom at times.
Canada has no reason for smugness here as the recent news from the Supreme Court (legal body ) of Canada ruled that the elected Government cannot close down the so called Chamber of sober second thought AKA The Senate without meeting a series of conditions that are impossible to do. So...an un-elected group of grossly overpaid non accountable political appointees cannot be touched by anyone at all.
Nope, never gonna happen.
And of course the Canadian public will meekly accept this.
The Yanks could learn some cool things about greed and corruption from the Canucks one thinks,
Over to the Sandwich islands for some sanity.
Did you know that this year is the 51st for the Merrie Monarch festival?
It is a celebration to pay homage to alii, including King Kalakaua, Queen Lili'uokalani and Prince Lot as well as Princess Likelike. Also 13 solo dancers vied for the title of Miss Aloha Hula, which went to Ke'alohilani Tara Eliga Serrao of Ka La 'Onohi Mai O Ha'eha'e.
Well done indeed!
photo courtesy of the Honulu Star Advertisor
Here on my Island, well...Spring continues to show its varied colours to one and all. Indeed I went for a walk near the local harbour and snapped the following sights...
take care out there,