С новым годом from Vlad -- Russian President Refuses to Retaliate for Expulsion of 35 Diplomats, Prepares for Improved Relations with PEOTUS Trump, Wishes Americans a Happy New Year

It ought to be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things. Because the innovator has for enemies all those who have done well under the old conditions, and lukewarm defenders in those who may do well under the new. This coolness arises partly from fear of the opponents, who have the laws on their side, and partly from the incredulity of men, who do not readily believe in new things until they have had a long experience of them. — Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince (h/t to the Conservative Treehouse blog for this appropo quote from a classic published in Anno Domini 1515 - JWS)

— http://www.constitution.org/mac/prince.pdf

A dissenting view...courtesy of @BanksterSlayer and Brandon Smith of Alt-Market...JWS

The Trump/Putin billboards of Montenegro, a tiny country on the Adriatic Sea being dragged into NATO against the wishes of its people who were bombed by the Alliance in 1999.

We regard the recent unfriendly steps taken by the outgoing US administration as provocative and aimed at further weakening the Russia-US relationship. This runs contrary to the fundamental interests of both the Russian and American people. Considering the global security responsibilities of Russia and the United States, this is also damaging to international relations as a whole.

As it proceeds from international practice, Russia has reasons to respond in kind. Although we have the right to retaliate, we will not resort to irresponsible ‘kitchen’ diplomacy but will plan our further steps to restore Russian-US relations based on the policies of the Trump Administration.

The diplomats who are returning to Russia will spend the New Year’s holidays with their families and friends. We will not create any problems for US diplomats. We will not expel anyone. We will not prevent their families and children from using their traditional leisure sites during the New Year’s holidays. Moreover, I invite all children of US diplomats accredited in Russia to the New Year and Christmas children’s parties in the Kremlin.

It is regrettable that the Obama Administration is ending its term in this manner. Nevertheless, I offer my New Year greetings to President Obama and his family.

My season’s greetings also to President-elect Donald Trump and the American people.

I wish all of you happiness and prosperity.

— http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/53678