Putin reinstitutes a Soviet-era fitness program while Kim Jong Un forces everyone to get his haircut

posted at 9:01 pm on March 26, 2014 by Erika Johnsen

I happened across both of these stories today out of Everybody’s Favorite Saber-Rattling Gulag State and America’s Bestest Frenemy, and I don’t even… obviously, “palate cleanser” is not the right term here. Whatever the antonym of “palate cleanser” is, this is that.

Until now, everyone in North Korea had to choose their haircuts from a list of state-approved styles. But now, all men in the hermit kingdom will be required to sport the same hairstyle as supreme leader Kim Jong Un, the BBC reports.

Pyongyang introduced the new law two weeks ago but is now rolling it out across the country. Unfortunately, some North Koreans may not be thrilled about the new look. According to a former Pyongyang resident now living in China, the Kim Jong Un cut is unpopular because it apparently resembles the style of Chinese smugglers. “Until the mid-2000s, we called it the ‘Chinese smuggler haircut,” the source told the Korea Times.

Women, however, will still be able to choose from a small variety of state-sanctioned hairstyles. So, there’s that. You’re welcome?

And over in Russia, via Charles Recknagel:

If you could turn back the hands of time, what would you wish for? For Russian President Vladimir Putin, it seems to be to return to the days of mass physical fitness. Not just of physical-education training in schools—which already exists in Russia—but of mass calisthenics in stadiums, mass parades of athletes through Moscow’s Red Square, and fluttering banners with slogans urging ‘Everyone to the Starting Line!’

On March 24, Putin, a well-known fitness buff, signed an executive order to bring it all back. He ordered the revival of a Stalin-era fitness program from the 1930s called “Ready for Labor and Defense,” or “GTO” by its Russian initials. The state-sponsored program, which mixed fitness, health, and patriotism, had been moribund since the collapse of the Soviet Union, when it fell victim to Russians’ suddenly greater freedoms of choice. …

In signing his decree, Putin did not specify why he wanted to bring back the GTO in its Soviet-era form, complete with the pomp and parades. He only said his government had been considering “how to attract the vast majority of our citizens to take part in regular physical training” and that “reviving the GTO would “pay homage to our national historical traditions.”

No word yet on what exactly the program will look like or just how mandatory it will be in its modern form, but whatever it is, it’s set to begin anew this September — so get excited to get fighting fit, comrade!

And, just to top off the list of things the world’s varying degrees of central planners did today, here’s the latest out of Cuba, which has now decided that it would like to try its hand at luring foreign businesses and investment, the better to integrate Cuba into the global economy. Why companies and investors haven’t shown much interest in doing business with the communist country before now, I simply can’t imagine.

Cuba is proposing a new Cuban foreign investment law that would cut the profits tax in half to 15 percent and exempt most investors from paying it for at least eight years, official media said on Wednesday. …

Cuba is promising legal protection for foreign investors, who have generally been averse to risking capital in the Soviet-style economy, and new incentives such as dramatically lowered tax. The National Assembly is expected to approve the draft of the law with little, or no changes.

However, foreign ventures that mine natural resources, including oil, can be subject to a higher profits tax of up to 22.5 percent, depending on how those ventures are negotiated with the state, according to details published in the official Juventud Rebelde newspaper.


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And here in the States..

We all have to where no cloths..

Like emperor Obama…

Electrongod on March 26, 2014 at 9:08 PM

wear….
:(

Electrongod on March 26, 2014 at 9:08 PM

No problem, America still contributes to food aid to the Nor Kos. I mean we have to keep our potential enemies from starving.

arnold ziffel on March 26, 2014 at 9:10 PM

I bet I can guess what’s next on Moochie’s To-Do list!

Besides another vacation, of course.

Maddie on March 26, 2014 at 9:11 PM

‘Everyone to the Starting Line!’

Is that like “Let’s Move!”? They’re just copying us again.

Kaffa on March 26, 2014 at 9:12 PM

wear….
:(

Electrongod on March 26, 2014 at 9:08 PM

clothes…unless you want us to wear cloths?

cozmo on March 26, 2014 at 9:12 PM

However, foreign ventures that mine natural resources, including oil, can be subject to a higher profits tax of up to 22.5 percent, depending on how those ventures are negotiated with the state

Heh. Well, I guess drilling for minerals and oil in Cuba is a better gig than in the West.

After all, the government is the Castro family, so you’re directly negotiating your tax rate with the strongman in charge.

At least until there’s a run of “bad luck” and he needs a scapegoat, anyway.

HitNRun on March 26, 2014 at 9:13 PM

How long until the hammer and sickle makes a comeback…

JetBoy on March 26, 2014 at 9:13 PM

Let’s hope President Rand Paul never forces everyone to get his haircut.

Mark1971 on March 26, 2014 at 9:13 PM

More Putin weakness./

wolly4321 on March 26, 2014 at 9:14 PM

How long until the hammer and sickle makes a comeback…

JetBoy on March 26, 2014 at 9:13 PM

Six years ago … only they re-labeled it “hope and change” …

ShainS on March 26, 2014 at 9:17 PM

Underwear is next.

Shaughnessy on March 26, 2014 at 9:17 PM

It’s just a tax.

pedestrian on March 26, 2014 at 9:18 PM

But now, all men in the hermit kingdom will be required to sport the same hairstyle as supreme leader Kim Jong Un, the BBC reports.

Will they have to get chubby, too?

whatcat on March 26, 2014 at 9:19 PM

Women, however, will still be able to choose from a small variety of state-sanctioned hairstyles. So, there’s that. You’re welcome?

Sexism.

Stoic Patriot on March 26, 2014 at 9:21 PM

How long until the hammer and sickle makes a comeback…

JetBoy on March 26, 2014 at 9:13 PM

Six years ago … only they re-labeled it “hope and change” …

ShainS on March 26, 2014 at 9:17 PM

In Russia, it happened during the Olympics.

whatcat on March 26, 2014 at 9:21 PM

We have “Common Core”!!!!

ladyingray on March 26, 2014 at 9:22 PM

clothes…unless you want us to wear cloths?

cozmo on March 26, 2014 at 9:12 PM

Darn

Electrongod on March 26, 2014 at 9:22 PM

Good thing this wasn’t widely known on Monday.

Otherwise one might have heard Justice Kagan yesterday, “It’s only a contraceptive mandate. It’s not as if we had a law telling Hobby Lobby’s owners what haircuts they could have.”

Wethal on March 26, 2014 at 9:23 PM

Whatever the antonym of “palate cleanser” is

“Gag me with a spoon.”

vlad martel on March 26, 2014 at 9:23 PM

Moochelle is extremely jealous. She begged Obimbo to make Let’s Move mandatory.

SoRight on March 26, 2014 at 9:23 PM

all men in the hermit kingdom will be required to sport the same hairstyle as supreme leader Kim Jong Un, the BBC reports.

Well apparently our own rat-eared tyrant isn’t the only dictator with a pen and a phone.

Happy Nomad on March 26, 2014 at 9:25 PM

that is one ugly haircut… if your’e going to force everyone to get the same haristyle, at least make it one that looks good! haha

Sachiko on March 26, 2014 at 9:26 PM

Has Mimi O’ The Workout Queen been commiserating on the sly with Pootin, the Straight Shootin’ Calisthenics King? Next thing ya know, they’ll be dictating whut school kids eat…oh, wait…

vnvet on March 26, 2014 at 9:27 PM

Because he secretly is insanely jealous of the 82ND Airborne and our high and tights!

hawkdriver on March 26, 2014 at 9:35 PM

Gammas wear green. I don’t like gammas.

Murphy9 on March 26, 2014 at 9:36 PM

I can’t see Putin’s order as “bad” especially compared to our Presidential fitness programs, let alone Michelle Obama’s (you’ll eat your gruel and exercise in the workhouses like Oliver Twist and like) “a better you makes for a better progressive society”.

Now mandating haircuts is something the feminist movement would happily promote over here – Women’s hair styles being an oppresive to working women of the world… #banhairstyling

Skywise on March 26, 2014 at 9:37 PM

I don’t have enough hair anymore for that kind of ‘do. Could I keep my buzzcut without being fed to the dogs?

ddrintn on March 26, 2014 at 9:41 PM

According to a former Pyongyang resident now living in China, the Kim Jong Un cut is unpopular because it apparently resembles the style of Chinese smugglers. “Until the mid-2000s, we called it the ‘Chinese smuggler haircut,” the source told the Korea Times.

Now, you’ll call it a BarkyCutTax … and you’ll love it.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on March 26, 2014 at 9:48 PM

In Russia, it happened during the Olympics.

whatcat on March 26, 2014 at 9:21 PM

Yeah, that was more than a little disturbing. It’s like having a big swastika in the opening ceremonies in a German city. I realize communism was a large part of Russia’s contemporary history, but there’s so much more than trotting out what should be a period of history best relegated to history’s trash heap.

JetBoy on March 26, 2014 at 9:48 PM

Underwear is next.

Shaughnessy on March 26, 2014 at 9:17 PM

THAT was a hilarious movie from back when Woody Allen was still funny. Which he hasn’t been in nearly 40 years.

ConstantineXI on March 26, 2014 at 9:49 PM

Mini-Kim is approaching the “Obey My ZORRGG! Worship My NOSE!!” threshold, at which a dictator for life descends into dangerous imbecility. The kind that makes a guy play toy piano while singing “Mairzy Dotes”- except that he’s playing with the launch control console for nuclear missiles.

By the time he gets to the rolling around on the floor, sucking his thumb, and gurgling stage, it’s just a bit too late.

As for Putin, part of me thinks he’s trying to build a new Red Army.

Then again, part of me thinks he just wants to watch hot Russian chicks doing aerobicize in skintight leotards.

I’m hoping that second part of me is right this time.

clear ether

eon

eon on March 26, 2014 at 9:49 PM

The US has Mooch’s food program, states with mandatory sex ed, the dark cloud of Obamacare drifting over the land, and the new Common Core.

A youth fitness program seems pretty minor. If the little brats are lucky they will get to go shooting.

sharrukin on March 26, 2014 at 9:49 PM

When I was a kid we called that a bowl-cut and anyone that had one was ragged on for a couple weeks.

slickwillie2001 on March 26, 2014 at 9:50 PM

I don’t have enough hair anymore for that kind of ‘do. Could I keep my buzzcut without being fed to the dogs? ddrintn on March 26, 2014 at 9:41 PM

Not if you are a schoolkid with a friend going through Chemo.

wolly4321 on March 26, 2014 at 9:51 PM

Yeah, that was more than a little disturbing. It’s like having a big swastika in the opening ceremonies in a German city.

JetBoy on March 26, 2014 at 9:48 PM

Actually … you know that Olympic Torch run that is so admired … yeah, that was a Nazi contribution that the Olympics lovingly carries on.

As to the commie symbol in the Sochi joke games … that was nothing compared to that insane and pathetic NHS dance routine with the nurses hopping around on beds taking “patients” through the Liverpool Care Pathway as the lead-in to an Olympics Games.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on March 26, 2014 at 9:53 PM

No problem, America still contributes to food aid to the Nor Kos. I mean we have to keep our potential enemies from starving.

arnold ziffel on March 26, 2014 at 9:10 PM

If only we had the sense to let failing things fail!

thuja on March 26, 2014 at 9:54 PM

No problem, America still contributes to food aid to the Nor Kos. I mean we have to keep our potential enemies from starving.

arnold ziffel on March 26, 2014 at 9:10 PM

If we sent them the food from Moochelle’s school lunch menu they’d still starve to death.

ConstantineXI on March 26, 2014 at 9:59 PM

that is one ugly haircut… if your’e going to force everyone to get the same haristyle, at least make it one that looks good! haha

Sachiko on March 26, 2014 at 9:26 PM

Hitler never forced Germans to grow his retarded little mustache…

ConstantineXI on March 26, 2014 at 10:00 PM

It looks more and more like Putin really has gone off the deep end, and surrounded himself with a bunch of yes-men who praise his every notion.

There Goes the Neighborhood on March 26, 2014 at 10:14 PM

Putin reinstitutes a Soviet-era fitness program while Kim Jong Un forces everyone to get his haircut

…and Mooch is on vacation!………….slacker!

KOOLAID2 on March 26, 2014 at 10:25 PM

Did they kill all the barbers or something… is that the best they could do?

TonyR on March 26, 2014 at 10:27 PM

Yeah, that was more than a little disturbing. It’s like having a big swastika in the opening ceremonies in a German city. I realize communism was a large part of Russia’s contemporary history, but there’s so much more than trotting out what should be a period of history best relegated to history’s trash heap.

JetBoy on March 26, 2014 at 9:48 PM

There is a good amount of nostalgia in Russia for the “good old days”. e.g. this lady
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9chetJZw488

whatcat on March 26, 2014 at 11:14 PM

Hitler never forced Germans to grow his retarded little mustache…

ConstantineXI on March 26, 2014 at 10:00 PM

Especially for the women. :D

PatriotGal2257 on March 26, 2014 at 11:22 PM

Maybe one day he’ll allow people to eat so they can grow fat like him too.

JellyToast on March 26, 2014 at 11:28 PM

If we sent them the food from Moochelle’s school lunch menu they’d still starve to death.

ConstantineXI on March 26, 2014 at 9:59 PM

But not if we ate the way her kids do at Sidwell

Here’s a sample of what they ate a couple weeks ago:

Lentil Soup ♥
▼ Spinach, Strawberry and Chèvre Salad
▼ Fattoush with Pita Salad ■
▼ National Nutrition Month
Housemade Baked MG Fish Cakes ■
Roasted Asparagus ■ Orzo w/ Fresh Chives ■
Ice Cream Novelties ♥

Not bad for Quakers


ImmigrantsWife on March 27, 2014 at 12:08 AM

Honestly, this kid is worse than his dad. How long before somebody nails this guy? And does the haircut look anything like Dennis Rodman’s?

ImmigrantsWife on March 27, 2014 at 12:10 AM

gulags-ok,forced abortion-alright, mandatory hairstyles- dam it, now you’ve gone to far.

jmtham156 on March 27, 2014 at 5:21 AM

Kim Jong Un as Procrustean barber is funny.

The effort to frame Russia’s fitness program as Hitler Youth is pathetic, if only in the light of the Presidential Fitness Program.

David Blue on March 27, 2014 at 5:30 AM

Could you imagine how awkward it would be if we all had to get Dear Leaders ears?

Brock Robamney on March 27, 2014 at 5:46 AM

Putin, a well-known fitness buff

Say what you want about the pint-sized Obama a** kciker, the dude wrestles bears, hunts Siberian tigers, and whoops mom-jean wearing western despots before he has his morning coffee. Heck, he’s even got his own superhero comic strip SuperPutin

RandallinHerndon on March 27, 2014 at 7:33 AM

It looks more and more like Putin really has gone off the deep end, and surrounded himself with a bunch of yes-men who praise his every notion.

There Goes the Neighborhood on March 26, 2014 at 10:14 PM

Hmm, that sounds eerily familiar. I’ve heard of that, but I ….. just …. can’t …. figure ….. out …. where.

RandallinHerndon on March 27, 2014 at 7:38 AM

The linked BBC article has been updated to say that the new hair standards only apply to male university students, not all men.

So that’s something of an improvement, I guess.

Mr. Prodigy on March 27, 2014 at 7:55 AM

If only we had the sense to let failing things fail!

thuja on March 26, 2014 at 9:54 PM

Were you referring to North Korea or Obamacare? At this point, NK looks like a better bet.

dreadnought62 on March 27, 2014 at 8:28 AM

national historical traditions

Oh, yeah, there’s the sort of phrase you want to hear from a guy who used to run the KGB……

but whatever it is, it’s set to begin anew this September

OK, I have to admit I’m less scared knowing that. Now, if he started it in October…….. /s

GWB on March 27, 2014 at 9:12 AM

Could you imagine how awkward it would be if we all had to get Dear Leaders ears?

Brock Robamney on March 27, 2014 at 5:46 AM

It’s OK, 0bamaCare will cover that.

GWB on March 27, 2014 at 9:28 AM

““Until the mid-2000s, we called it the ‘Chinese smuggler haircut,” the source told the Korea Times.”

Yeah, you better remain a “source”, fella. Or your next haircut will be about 9 inches lower than normal.

MDLibertyLover on March 27, 2014 at 11:12 AM

“state approved” sounds like the direction Michelle Obama is taking this country on food. I’m sure fashion is next.

jediwebdude on March 27, 2014 at 11:22 AM

Whats Rodman gonna do now?

BobMbx on March 27, 2014 at 12:32 PM

New headline: Obama to force all men in U.S. to wear mom jeans.

TarheelBen on March 27, 2014 at 3:19 PM

.. and, of course, the haircut law turns out to be total BS.

corona79 on March 27, 2014 at 7:26 PM