Ooobie on Everything

Take a Walk on the Dark Side

Trump finally has caved to incessant pressure and bile from the left and destructive obstructionism from the GOP nabobs and is moving to the dark side for succor. He wants action and the only group in Congress willing to accommodate him are Democrats. For a price. The price apparently is to do everything the Democrats want, while shafting his voting base. His readiness to accede has earned him high praise from the Trump Haters, who want to see more such suicidal acts from the president, and pure fury from his base. The irony is that the Trump Haters will manage to use Trump’s capitulation against him before all is said and done. (“A man without principles!” and who can object?)

Trump’s latest perfidy is the betrayal on immigration. Who wants to send these wonderful people home? he asks us. My answer is I would, Mr. President. At some point the US has to convey vividly that it will enforce its border by saying no to the legalization of those who have come here illegally. Our government doesn’t know the difference between legal and illegal as far as I can tell. Our failure to articulate that difference has given an opening to groups like La Raza to erase the distinction entirely and assert a right for the illegals to live here, work here and even vote here (and vote they do).

Trump’s deal with Nancy and Chuck was a dirty one. It was done not only out of spite against Ryan and McConnell and all the other GOP elitists, but of course, out of conviction as conveyed to him by Ivanka and Jared. In return he took what the Dems offered, vague promises of support for future border security measures, the same old, same old. And Trump cavalierly tells us that the wall thing — it is nothing but patching up holes in whatever useless contrivances we have erected at present. The other wall thing, the one that actually is built and secures our border, that wall is in the future somewhere and apparently still at the mercy of the Democrats.

Trump seems to believe his own hype that we’d forgive him even if he shot a man while walking down Fifth Avenue. Here’s a news flash: I won’t. And for me his imperious action on DACA and his back-door deals are the equivalent of cold-blooded murder.

Instead of trying to relaunch as a fervent DACA supporter, Trump should be calling out the chest-thumping Latino governments for refusing to welcome home and assist these brilliant, good, talented, persecuted and saintly youths. These “kids,” many of them, are now adults, having been shipped out of Mexico wholesale in an earlier immigration inundation with the encouragement of one corrupt Mexican government or another. Today many have the skills or education that will enable them not only to function, but succeed in their home country. They already speak the lingo, they know the culture, and their presence will bolster Mexico’s middle class as a whole. Mexico could do with a good dose of middle class conscience and work ethic. If I were Trump, I’d offer assistance for the relocation of these people in their home countries, whether Mexico or Peru. I applaud the growing number of “Dreamers” who have come to the same conclusion. Trump should be on this, but his governance so far lacks imagination and direction.

What galls most, of course, is the lack of honor Trump is showing. I’m tired of policy decisions based on his mood or his umbrage level and not on practicalities and realities. I say that even knowing that the GOP Congress deserves the treatment it is getting for being obstructionist and unproductive to an extreme, squandering its few remaining moments of “total power” to do nothing at all. But Trump made promises, not a lot but very specific ones, and on the basis of those promises he won his election. Immigration reform and a wall were one promise, and a  new direction in US foreign policy away from interventionism and regime change and toward constructive cooperation was another.

Instead of mending fences with Russia, Trump now thumbs his nose at the country and its leader. Why? Because each new senseless act to insult Russia or “punish it” gets the anti-Trump maniacs briefly, for one instant, off his back. There seems to be little consideration given to the wider implications of his actions and policies; everything is transitory and reactive. In Syria, after calling off CIA assistance to an assorted group of terrorists, Trump has given his blessings to continued meddling. Having failed to stop the Syrian government, with Russian military assistance, from reasserting control over wider and wider areas of the country, now we are seeking to carve off a piece of the country to create a state of Kurdistan that some, and especially the Turks, see as a threat to their own security.

Meanwhile, over at State, Tillerson is being advised by the same nincompoops who advised Obama. The USG expelled Russian diplomats for alleged intervention in US politics. This led to a retaliatory expulsion of many, many more US diplomats from Russia (and don’t you wonder why we have so many there?). The State Department judged Russia’s action “unwarranted” and tore up the Vienna Diplomatic Convention in response. The FBI used Gestapo tactics against Russian diplomats in San Francisco, where the latter were given just 48 hours to vacate their homes so that they could be searched top to bottom. The Consulate was given similar treatment in the wake of its ordered closure, and the smoke from the chimneys indicated the frenzied destruction of protected diplomatic communications to prevent them from becoming FBI toilet paper. Agents also seized Russian-owned properties used as recreation for their diplomats and staff. This is behavior even the KGB didn’t exhibit in the USSR — they at least had the decency to search our apartments when we were gone, without all the drama and terror. And when the US Embassy once suffered a fire during the Cold War years, the US was very concerned about even Soviet firemen entering the building! Where will it all end?

So there stands Donald Trump, angry at everybody in the whole world and determined to get something done, no matter how traitorous or counterproductive or dangerous it is. He is being guided by people who step by step are teaching him that wrong decisions beget a negative response from the Dark State, and right decisions get praised. Most importantly, by not caring what he gets, he can make deals day and night with the Democrats.

 

 


Oh, for heaven’s sake. Now it’s the rage in America to march against freedom of speech

I have tried mightily not to return to the pages of this blog. Frankly, it was all boringly repetitive. How many times can you say that the Russia story is bogus, made up for political goals, and provide clues, before you decide nobody in this country cares? It is far easier to write off the disastrous Clinton campaign to treachery than it is to accept that you boobs on the left chose a lemon for your honey. I was bored with the deliberately provoked angst over Ernst Blofeld aka Vladimir Putin trying to take over the world. I never found a convincing answer to the question: how can Russia be so third-rate and so first-rate at the same time? I never heard an answer of any kind to “where is the proof that Russia did any of the things you accuse it of?” and certainly not to the question, “where did Russia change any election results in any precinct in the country?” I got tired of asking. The left-provoked hysteria made the American air rancid, like bad breath. I decided I’d let Judicial Watch do the digging and asking for me.

I was (and am!) tired of the women in this country, who have all the opportunities a woman could want and are still whining because the country didn’t hand them the presidency. They feel offended, and I’m offended by their offense. I’d say taking their side and my side together, every woman in America is now offended by something. And as an aside, I was really tired of women who marched so jolly wearing a knit hat said to be a pussy, but which looked nothing like any definition of the word. The very idea of such an antic points to the essentially juvenile nature of the left and its useful fools.

I am tired of the men who aren’t men at all, but think it is okay to be a “little gay.” Although gay is so tame. Who cares about gay? Today we have women who mutilate themselves by taking male hormones, cutting off their breasts and hanging on to the other stuff, and no doubt many “men” as well. As Cher’s benighted daughter said, she wasn’t giving up her fun as a woman just because she wants to be a man. No real commitment there, if you ask me.  I have seen two stories in which such a creature has given birth after “becoming” male. Think of that poor child. In any humane state, such critters would be sterilized at the same time as their sex change operation, even if only partial. This will prevent any poor child from being conceived by such people. Who is paying for all this medical experimentation? When I was young, insurance companies would not even pay for infertility treatments for women!

I am tired of the suffocating hypocrisy of the left, on all matters, but Charlottesville and Boston come to mind. I remain floored that 15000 people came out and marched against freedom of speech. That’s the flat truth of the matter, no matter how the media gussies it up. The licensed demonstrators put out a list of “rules” in advance that stated their goal of giving support to the First Amendment and advised that demonstrators were not to bring any  type of arm or carry  any type of hate paraphernalia, not to provoke or be provoked, etc. So as not to invade the safe space of all those Boston folks so afraid of free speech, I guess. In any case, people were riled up that there was still somebody not cowed enough to shut up about free speech, which everybody knows is just a code name for racism, insensitivity, cultural buffoonery, ignorance, homophobia, and so on. This thus required a mob of 15000 to show those licensed demonstrators who was boss and warn they better shut up. And guess what? The licensed demonstrators were frightened by the mob and left, taking Freedom of Speech with them.

Oh, yes, Boston and its famed university are well down that slippery slope to irrelevance and even treachery to the US Constitution. Go Sox!

Meantime, those wise men who made our country great, and led great conflicts at risk of life, but who were not lucky enough to be born in the 21st c. with its cultural nuances and deep morality, are having their statues torn down (as if Thomas Jefferson gives a fuck). And pulled down by people who look like potential deportees or escaped criminals, who have zero understanding of US history or our cultural values (or those that were). Our history is to be rewritten by idiots.

What really rankles most is the creeps we somehow elected to the US Congress when they were posing as conservatives– where the hell does Rubio get off saying it’s all right to use violence against people whose messages you don’t like? Viva Fidel! He won’t be getting my vote or my measly ten bucks this next time. He can go home to Cuba, which I understand is now a free country or what he might accept as such. And Jeff Flake — elected on a wave of Tea Party support and now turned full scale progressive. Open borders (and strong backs!). Tell us Jeff Flake — what did you do for Arizona lately? You didn’t produce a health-care bill, did you? Or tax reform? But you found time to carry on a tirade against the President. I hope you don’t make it through the next Arizona primary and if you do, that you lose your seat. I’d rather an honest communist sitting in Congress than a false friend such as you.

Now we can come to the source of many of my frustrations, the President himself. I must say, even when I was harsh toward him, I was hopeful that the dynamism that made him successful in business would translate to the presidency. I am skeptical. And I am skeptical despite granting that on certain things he has fulfilled his campaign pledges or is  making progress to that end, and that his policies have actually worked (and will in time develop their own problems, as always will happen). Look at the drop in illegal immigration, which is making business scream in pain and leave advisory councils by the dozens. (How about an actual law to let workers sans families in to fill those empty spots and earn some money?)

I think Kelly has put an end to the harmful leaks, but he seems to be killing diversity of thought in the process. Steve Bannon’s departure is really, as Bannon himself said, the end of the “MAGA” period of Trump’s presidency. Slowly but surely Trump is being herded into the smooth notch where all the interests of the Elite and the Dark State meet. He is still resistant on the foreign war bit, but give his enemies (and ours) time.

If all Trump is doing is bringing some order to his policy-making process, then well and good. I said from the start that Trump had better be prepared to deal with all the variant outlooks he was putting on his staff and Cabinet, and he was certainly not prepared or able to do so. So Kelly’s iron fist is good, for now. On the other hand, I also see an emerging pattern in which all the conservatives are herded out of the White House and its environs to give place to those minions of the Deep State who never gave up occupancy. If that is the case, then I’m with Bannon — we have a war on to save the ideas that were behind Trump’s win; all we lack is a leader.

 

 


Is Hillary Clinton a Psychopath? Or just a chronic liar?

Well, that certainly takes the cake. Mrs. Clinton, formerly a Secretary of State, sat before a Congressional investigatory committee and lied her head off. She testified grudgingly, angrily, and self-righteously, and she lied her head off. Worse, she lied about things that everybody in this country with a scintilla of mental alertness knows she was lying about. She lied about something that video and our own memories prove she was lying about. It wasn’t like she fudged things, saying something like, “perhaps or perhaps not, I can’t recall as I was in the midst of a stroke.” No, she flat-out LIED about it.

Mrs. Clinton’s lies in her testimony were so many and so egregious that I can only touch on a few here, so let’s start with the very worst of her lies, all of them centered on Benghazi. Bear in mind that Clinton was the godmother of the bombing of Libya, the murder of Qaddafi, and the agreement to give diplomatic cover to a CIA facility for gun-running to the good terrorists in Syria. She owned everything doing with Libya. She evaporated from sight and sound when things went south in Benghazi, that snake-pit, thus suggesting that perhaps her pitiful agreement to abandon Americans under siege may have been due to her physical condition that resulted in the stroke.

Hillary Clinton told us that she never claimed that the Benghazi slaughter was a result of a video clip produced in America, a horrible hateful video clip that enraged people of the Moslem persuasion so much they just upped and spontaneously attacked a US facility of unknown purpose while carrying all sorts of deadly armaments and in the process killing a few Americans. But everybody knows she talked of it plenty of times, up until the moment the truth had been outed, when suddenly she mentions it as a terrorist act. She was clever enough to refuse to flog that lie on the networks, which work fell to the foolish Susan Rice, but she sold the story herself. Clinton claimed that she mentioned that video, but she never said (in so many words) “see, this mean-spirited video is what caused Benghazi, not my stupidity or my desire (in tandem with that of the Big O) to prevent ugly facts from dampening electoral enthusiasm in the upcoming vote.” In fact, she said that although she mentioned that video clip, it was merely a “warning” to others in the region not to try anything.

Fact: The father of one of the victims has made public his notes of his meeting with the Secretary after the deaths. He wrote at the time that Mrs. Clinton said “we’re going to arrest the filmmaker responsible for the video that caused your son’s death.” So she’s certainly lying now just as she was lying then. Not to mention that she used the arm of the law as a punishment for a man who was merely voicing his views.

Opinion: I somehow doubt that the failure of the USG to lift a finger in defense of its personnel in Benghazi would warn off any Moslem fanatic from doing the same thing, over and over and over, with great zeal. I mean, really. Only a fool or Mrs. Clinton’s fact-resistant supporters would buy such a lame story. Even Obama was cautious enough to drop the term terrorist early in the game — even if not in relation to Benghazi but to vague places around the globe.

I’m sitting here and just this instant Fox is replaying Clinton’s claim that she never denied there was an assault involved. The Congressman questioning her rightly slapped her down on that particular idiocy. Treyvon Martin jumping George Zimmerman was an assault. And she knows that too, but it all depends on what the meaning of is is. When the use of the word assault is one of the pillars of her defense, I think the case is made.

Here are some more lies she told. She said that she as Secretary of State would never dream of overriding a head of bureau’s recommendation on something like security, and she was sure no other Secretary of State would have, either. I refuse to believe for one instant that Hillary Clinton, with her degree of responsibility in Libya, would not have insisted on being fully briefed on Embassy concerns and putting in her two cents. Libya was her brainchild. Ergo, if security was denied, then ipso facto Mrs. Clinton failed to intervene in and overturn what she claims was the Department’s security consensus. I don’t believe that the Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security would have opposed the Benghazi security requests. I think this was a Hillary brainchild, but I can’t prove it. Any effort to claim that her views weren’t sought is a lie embedded in lies. It would be as if Secretary Dulles was not made aware of Embassy Moscow’s security needs during the Cold War. It would have been a case where the Secretary would indeed weigh in, were the decision contrary to his or her views on the matter. And surely the security of her dear friend Ambassador Stevens was of special importance to her? But no, she actually didn’t intervene to say, give them what they need. She deferred to her subordinate’s judgment.

One last thing that got me a little riled: her claim that she has always said she takes full responsibility for everything. I thought the Republicans did a good job trouncing her. One Republican, from Illinois, actually asked her to explain how she saw “responsibility” after one such assertion, In reply she blathered on about non-relevant things like, I was really busy, and then he called her out again. What in relation to Benghazi is your perception of responsibility? She couldn’t or wouldn’t answer the question, but it is one that I have been pondering since she dropped out of sight for about three months after the disaster in Benghazi.

It’s as if every other word that ever comes out of Hillary Clinton’s mouth is a lie. She’s so artificial it is painful and the idea of four or  more years with a woman who sounds like a braying jackass is impossible to contemplate.

And that’s the subject of another Ooobie. How the Republicans could pull out a victory. I’m not sure they have a cohesive brain anymore, so it’s going to have to be by our own efforts to see that Clinton doesn’t get her hand in the public treasury again. It is my fervent wish that all her future endeavors should involve illicit transactions in tropical countries. By the way, that Representative Brooks got a huge hurrah from me for her brilliant and spirited attack on the non-existent Clinton character. Just great.


The Supreme Court Rewrites American Culture

I’ve been wanting for weeks to write something about that lying sticky-fingered candidate for the presidency, the Missus, but it’s a lazy summer and it has made me lazy too. Still, things around me have suddenly begun to fall apart at an alarming rate, although Americans appear oblivious. You’d get a far larger percentage of Americans who could tell you about the Kardashians latest inanities or the newest “K” for Caitlyn than can tell you why the US is not coordinating with the whole world to bring down ISIS, or why Russia is Public Enemy Number One again, not that they really care about any of those things anyway. Now I see how it was that terrible things like WWII happened. Nobody saw it coming or cared, either.

And you can be sure that most Americas are unaware that the US is now for the first time inserting itself directly on Russia’s doorstep with our heavy weapons, our materiel, our jets, our military advisers and even our troops. The risks of direct confrontation are thus exponentially greater than they were when the threat from NATO/US was less immediate. Russia will respond and is already accelerating its move away from western production of any kind of military components or devices to domestic production, as well as toward accelerated production of nuclear weapons both tactical and ballistic. They will forward base their own weapons and materiel, right there across the street from NATO.

But it is at home where the greatest damage to America is being incurred. The US Supreme Court in just a couple of decisions has attempted to rewrite western culture. With one sweep of the judicial pen, these justices have pretty much annihilated the institution of marriage, leaving in its wake some alien and absolutely malleable something that in the end will expand to include ever  more bizarre unions, all of them equally good or bad or neutral or whatever. As one of the judicial dissents on gay marriage noted, it is a predictable and foregone conclusion that the next to qualify as married will be the polygamists. He didn’t add “and after them, any combination of two or more persons (no doubt even animals and inanimate objects) including those of family members and adults and children.”

This obscenely wrong decision came right after the Court’s majority repeated its earlier derogation of duty by totally ignoring the text of the law under consideration in rendering judgment on Obamacare subsidies. In this case, the actual words of Obamacare were not rewritten, as in changing a “penalty” to a “tax.” They avoided the problem of very clear text they opposed by deciding not to rely on text as a basis for their analysis, opting instead to divine the “intent” of those hundreds of legislators who wrote and passed the bill. As if there were one single intent, like a bee hive or an ant hill, which is what the leftists running the asylum would have us be, in a perfect world (the same one where communism is the perfection of socialism). John Roberts could just be called a traitor; or even suspected of being a blackmail victim; but then he voted the next day to uphold traditional marriage. I guess it’s better to call him crazy. Maybe it was the head problem he had. Maybe as a result it isn’t always John Roberts on the bench, but maybe, sometimes, Teddy Roosevelt or Jesus Christ himself.

We all know what is coming. The left is baying for blood — stop tax exceptions for the religious! Silence the anti-gay right! Shut down the churches, hound the believers out. This is totally nuts. The do-gooders of the Court have opened the gates to hell.

They are joined in their perfidies by the US Congress, those spineless corrupt traitors to the American people. The latest insult and injury is that GOP leaders have ignored vociferous bipartisan public objections to both the secrecy of the TPP treaty text and the wheeling and dealing going on (again behind closed doors). Part I of this screw-you-America legislation has already successfully cleared the hurdle of Congressional approval and now gives the President the right to “fast-track” trade negotiations. What’s the damned rush about? The secrecy shrouding this bill is a repeat of the “considerations” that preceded imposing Obamacare on an unwilling nation. It is absolutely unacceptable and a violation of the public trust. What are we doing about it, then? Not a thing.

The GOP leadership all got big donations at the time they were pushing the legislation. I’m sure you’ll find the exact same situation on the Democrat side. It’s all about power and money. It’s my new mantra: power and money, power and money. It explains everything.

Speaking of power, money and corruption: those emails are keeping Hillary busy making up stories or steadfastly ignoring the news as she tools around the US presenting herself, the owner of her very own e-mail server, as Everywoman. If we had an opposition leadership in DC we’d be wiping up the floor with the self-righteous but sinister Mrs. Clinton and her list of suspected felonies. Instead we have a bunch of self-interested valueless men who sell themselves as pragmatic. This business of the server may in fact bring her down, even if only Trey Gowdy wants to do so. She did not turn over all her work-related emails to the State Department or to the US Congress under subpoena. She withheld, at a minimum, relevant Benghazi emails. In addition, those emails she sent that contained not one confidential thing were riddled with confidential information. The US Department of State, trying to cover its ass, has actually now given the correct classification and redacted the emails sent to Congress. (The upside of confessing that you failed in your institutional duties by allowing valuable and sensitive information to be sent daily on an insecure server is that you don’t have to let Congress see what Mrs. Clinton was saying.) Even the White House ignored her use of a private server, apparently sharing the Secretary’s blasé attitude toward national security. The State Department is now looking thoroughly politicized and incompetent.

As for the Republicans, they’ve been an across-the-board failure at anything other than playing to their interests. They haven’t succeeded in or seriously attempted to make good on anything promised in 2012. They have played hard-ball only with their own members, in particular those who think the words of the Constitution mean something, like Justice Scalia. They seem to think the public is an ass. They work hand-in-glove with the Democrats in Congress to satisfy the same money/power sectors and the will of the rest of us is worth bupkis. Among the presidential aspirants, I’m a Rand Paul supporter, but I also love Ted Cruz. Unfortunately, the Machine has its own candidate and as in recent past elections, their choice will win and it will be Pablum Redux. Then the question will be, how many who feel betrayed and ignored within their own party will stay home or vote for somebody else? How many will decide they really have wasted enough votes on Dem Lite? I can’t believe those fools in the RNC haven’t figured out what’s coming.

 


Domestic and international politics

There’s so much to talk about. First, that mad pilot Andreas Lubitz, taking so many other innocent souls to their deaths while he was ending his own life. If you’ve ever seen Annie Hall, you’ll get why I thought of Annie’s brother Dwayne confessing to Woody Allen’s character that he feels a compulsion to drive his vehicle, at night, straight into another car’s headlights. Only this wasn’t funny. Here’s what I don’t get: why didn’t the doctor who obviously thought he was a dangerous dude behind any wheel only put a note in the file. Huh? Who reads a file before filling his duty roster? The seriously deranged Lubitz  no doubt was”advised” by his shrink to stay home for the day (or a lifetime, he did not add but may have thought, as he cancelled next week’s flight to France and booked a train ticket). If he thought Lubitz should not be flying, why wouldn’t he pass it along to somebody responsible for allowing him to board the flight? Was it his assumption that any sane man would jump at the chance for a day off, paid?

Well all I can say is, good luck, Lufthansa. I really like that airline, but it is going to be facing crippling judgments against it financially. Not that Germanwings is any worse than any of the budget airlines that scrimp here and there to survive at the low fares, and don’t do due diligence all the time. I remember when Jet Blue blew up over the Everglades. That’s something I had trouble even thinking about. If you didn’t die outright, there you were, bloody, tempting, in the middle of thousands of acres of snakes and gators. And bugs. Ugh.

What else? Oh, yes, Mrs. Hillary Rodham Clinton wiped her server clean of any trace it was ever used for anything other than decoration, and then wiped it about one hundred times more. She doesn’t really care if it looks prima facie as if she were trying to destroy subpoenaed evidence, which of course she was. I try to pray to God only for serious things, like people’s lives, but then I think people’s lives depend on this woman not getting in the White House. Just imagine Hillary and her best friend, John (The Maverick) McCain behind the wheel. Andreas Lubitz times a million. And I’m not even going to wade into the muck of corruption involving her brother and others standing to reap rich rewards from a direct line to the US official/political appointee who can override every other officer’s judgment and issue visas necessary to the general enrichment of parties involved.

Ted Cruz came out as a candidate for the presidency, and while I love the man and his ideas, I thought his performance was not as inspiring as it could have been. There was a lot of awkward pauses (for applause, I thought) and that never looks good if somebody has to wave a sign. His ideas are still great, but he has to pour on a little more True Ted. A little more Cuban, or Texan, or something other than Supreme Court clerk. I hate to agree with Peggy Noonan on this, but he did come across too packaged. So far, he hasn’t supplanted Rand Paul in my heart. Paul has enough of Daddy in him to cheer me up, and his ideas on foreign policy are almost the only sane ones around. His curls are cute, too.

So who will win among the Republicans? I sure hope it isn’t Bush, just because it is too much Bush. Just as Mrs. Clinton is waaaay too much, like the Clintons boiled down to their putrescent essence. I say, we have a clash of two philosophies; why not run those who best exemplify our divergent ideals? For the GOP base, unlike its leadership, that would not be Bush (who is nevertheless a good and decent man). And for the Democrats, it sure doesn’t seem to me that this old retread Hillary (I’ll be president by hook or by crook) Clinton does much for that all-but-in-name socialist party. What’s wrong with Warren? She is the new face of the Dems, no kidding either. Give her a chance to strut her stuff.

I’d love to see a Paul-Warren face off. It would be so novel. Then I’d like to see Paul win, and then I’d like to see him tear apart this edifice of stifling nanny-ism that Obama has created with the help of the GOP elite.

In foreign policy the US House has voted a resolution (non-binding, of course) to arm Ukraine. Nothing surprising here, the hawks are ascendant and gloating, even — and they are pretty relentless. Let’s see if Obama will continue to defy them on this latest lunacy. I’m hoping. I have a suspicion the unwillingness to play along with the hawks was behind Obama’s refusal to receive the head of NATO, Mr. Stoltenberg, during the latter’s visit to DC on other errands. Obama no doubt figured that the McCain Cadre wanted to get a meeting so that Stoltenberg could use the press conference to play up what a scary threat Russia is. If that was his reasoning, it gives me new hope that Obama is not entirely brain-dead.

I am really amused by the headlines emanating from the countries of the former Soviet Union and eastern Europe about Russia’s militarization. It’s true, Russia is re-arming at triple time and in line with all the requirements of modern warfare, but since it is a reaction, rather than an action, it is no more significant than night following day or a rash developing after contact with progressives. It is NATO that provoked all of this with its “jihad” for democracy in which international law was highly elastic or entirely dispensable and the use of force was only for the victims’ own good. Now we have all the provocative little former Russian duchies and possessions crying foul because Russia is flying in international waters over the Baltic but “very close” to their borders.

Here’s a news flash for anybody impressed by those claims. While flying close to Latvian airspace, let us say, Russia is also flying very close to its own borders. They are neighbors and not friendly ones, either.

Now, let’s take the US as the example of aggressive patrolling of others’ borders: the US air force, flying a “NATO” flag, are patrolling very close to Russian borders, but halfway around the world from our own.

Just a thought.

 

 


Update on “Who Dunnit?” and on US Politics, or “Who Dindunnit?”

Well, that didn’t take long, did it? That last piece was no sooner published than Americans, from high officials to talking heads, told us that Putin did it. That  wily man who has NATO doing pretzel turns trying to show they’re bigger and tougher  than Russia was totally stupid on that one day. He killed somebody of no threat to him thereby turning him into a threat, in particular by having the deed carried out right there under his nose at the Kremlin. The only stupider thing he could have done would be to plant the body in his own office and have red arrows painted leading the public to his doorstep. Unfortunately, the real culprits couldn’t get in there.

In fact this killing was a deep, dark deed, but  I would bet my pension Mr. Putin was the true intended victim, and not the hapless Mr. Nemtsov. My betting is that the plot was cooked in Ukraine; some Russians like the east Ukrainians for the job, I rather lean to the west Ukrainians and their east European NATO pals myself. Either one of them would have as much ease of access in Moscow as any Russian, being undetectable unless they try to pronounce hard g’s. Some Russians argue it was the hard-core criminal element that Russia squeezed out of the fighting in Ukraine that was getting even with Putin by killing Nemtsov. That’s sounds a tad sophisticated for leaders of car-theft rings, and I don’t need to outline the reasons to suspect west Ukraine. I understand that Victoria Nuland, the Empress of West Ukraine and a State Department Bigwig pretty much drew Congress a picture to show them that Putin was ultimately responsible for the murder of her dear friend Boris Nemtsov, whom she described as a hero. (He was actually a professional “oppositionist,” not somebody with a plan of his own. He was like a theater critic, only his bailiwick was the Russian State. He became such when Yeltsin passed him over to anoint Putin his successor. Having been rejected, he refused to participate in the new government. He thus became a remnant of his former glorious self, but was nevertheless a good guy and a decent man with a commitment to opposition.)

I was listening to the tv news and was amazed to note that not a single talking head had anything to say other than “it is obvious Putin did it.”  The least vitriolic say Putin created an atmosphere of hate that facilitated the crime. But then, I think to myself, Obama’s race-baiting and incessant incitement of class envy also have created an atmosphere of rancor and hate in the US. And that rancor and hate has resulted in things like knock-out gangs aimed at whites, and young black kids shoving their way into police cars to pound on a cop — and to deaths like that of Trayvon Martin. Yet I don’t hear the US media waging a campaign against Obama for creating a climate of hate leading to violence — certainly not the State Media like NBC and ABC and CBS and PBS, ad nauseum. So what’s the deal? Is it a crime to create a climate of hate, even if you think you’re justified and if so, how come only some people get called on it?

Happily for Washington, you can twist any set of facts to suit your purpose, and Ms. Nuland is not letting a good crisis go to waste. She is working over-time to depict Putin as a foe that we can only defeat by bringing Ukraine into NATO and the EU, and what helps more than the suggestion that a Stalin-like purge is in the offing or that Stalin has come to life in Moscow? Nuland even went so far as to suggest that Ukraine was absolutely central to US plans for Europe. Wow. Ukraine started out as the birthplace of Russia, but now it is absolutely vital for the US to have it in its own anti-Russian military bloc? You can see how that is going to end up. If you have kids of military age, I’d be worrying about that draft coming back. Although in the end it will be everybody paying, not just the kids.

In any case, a passel of Chechens is under arrest in Moscow, but that doesn’t mean it has a thing to do with Chechnya and its own problems. The head of Chechnya, a Chechnyan terrorist at one time and now the chief honcho in this Caucasus paradise (where there is oil), has boys fighting on the east Ukrainian side (and the west Ukrainian side). They might not have appreciated Nemtsov’s pro-Kiev stance on Ukraine, but again — this is a message to Putin from somebody.

I have a little prediction — Putin will get to the bottom of who did the killings, because he knows stirring up domestic problems in Russia was the goal and the strategic objective: regime change. I also predict that when he knows who was behind it, that person/persons/countries would be well advised to be on the alert. The best strategist doesn’t always respond directly, but from another sector and in a place of his own choosing. He certainly doesn’t attack on his own doorstep, however.

Now on to brighter things: the Republican Party! Just joking. What a mess the top dogs are making of things in Congress. Can you believe it was only weeks ago that everybody was pontificating: “The GOP is going to have to work really hard and fast to convince the voters they’re serious if they want to be in contention in 2016”? Working fast? Try “at all.” These guys are playing for the away team. McConnell is a disaster. After breaking all the promises to voters he posts a picture showing how tough he and his colleagues are gonna be on Iran because it is a matter of strategic objectives. My response was, great, you get “strategic objectives.” Getting the Republicans in control in both houses was one, and so was “and then gutting every anti-constitutional measure the Dems have enacted since Obama took office.” We got part one, and if we don’t get  part two, Mr. McConnell is never going to see the inside of the Senate again except as a tourist.

I am seriously aghast at the state of the nation. We have an anti-democratic President waging a burgeoning number of wars around the globe for “democracy” and with no visible success. Every one of these places wants the US to bomb for them. Think about it. That is what the US has become. The world’s armorer and bomber.

If you wonder how somebody who grew up so in love with the idea of America and freedom and the independence of the individual could become so harsh a critic, it is only because if you go to bed with Marilyn Monroe, you don’t want to wake up with Sylvester Stallone’s mother.  And in fact our country has undergone incredible changes in its international behavior in the past twenty years. As somebody who analyzes everything, I can’t not analyze our own actions, and I see a country that has lost its way and its humility in the process of becoming The World’s Only Superpower. They say that absolute power corrupts absolutely. I think we are no exception, it’s a process, but it is underway. And it is visible both in our domestic governance, where those in office are contemptuous of the voters and the laws, and in our international behavior, where we routinely break international law citing one justification or another, and then scream bloody murder when others use our precedents to their own advantage.

I’d like to go back to that fantastic time when America believed in itself and had a reason to. But right now, I wonder if I’ll be dead before the bombs go off. That would be nice, if Anybody is listening.


The Hawks (?) of War are Flocking

The entire time I have been writing about the US sliding into war, I was certain that somebody of supreme common sense would intervene to stop it. Boy, was I ever wrong.

But my predictions have not been wrong. Today we see Russia taking the land bridge that it so obviously needed to secure Crimea. It is widening the territory it controls. It is re-arming. It is, in sum, reacting the way any great nation reacts when threatened by another great nation or, in this case, an entire aggressive military bloc.

I don’t want to hear how good NATO is and how bad Russia is. It isn’t the Russian border that encroached on NATO since the collapse of the USSR, is it? NATO has vastly expanded its territory and every time it expands it needs more expansion, because the newest members also want a buffer zone between them and Russia. That is the very definition of expansionism, which NATO expansionists claim this process of expansion is NOT. Russia is the only country that doesn’t get a buffer zone, and how do you figure that? How likely is it that Russia agrees that Poland gets a buffer zone (Ukraine) and Russia gets none? Or that Romania, or Hungary, or Bulgaria get buffer zones, but Russia gets none? I am guessing there is zero likelihood.

And I also don’t want to hear that lame excuse that these other countries want to be NATO members. How is it that NATO ceded its authority to determine who is a member to any country that wants to be a member? How about if Russia said, we want to be a member of NATO too! Would NATO say, “what can we do, Russia wants in!” Fat chance. So we assume that NATO expansion was a deliberate policy with a specific goal, that of hemming in the beast, Russia.

It isn’t Russia who is putting missiles, tanks and other sophisticated weaponry into place along the US-Mexican border, or Russia who is sending specialists to make their proxies assault-ready in Mexico, or Canada, or both. It is the US via NATO, with a powerful dose of manipulation by NATO’s eastern members, that is driving us toward a nuclear war with Russia.

Take that knucklehead, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, that air-headed little Danish puppet who declared Russia an adversary for the first time since the end of the Cold War. Having declared Russia a foe, Rasmussen now is enraged that Russia is acting as if it has been challenged by a … foe. Rasmussen, thought to be long gone, surfaced just today with a story about how Russia is going to try to move militarily against the Baltic states. The man is totally certifiable, and yet he is greeted as an oracle among the militarists of the west.

Rasmussen’s hysteria indicates the level of Russophobia in the west, which is reaching an alarming level among the political elite. The latest stupid drivel to emit from this government was a Pentagon report, prepared by some low-level drones without a shred of evidence, that Putin is autistic. How the hell did those morons suppose the autistic Putin survived in Cold War Berlin and in that vicious group of aspiring spies, the KGB? There was nobody less tolerant of any kind of weakness or flaw than the KGB. This is an example of the psy-ops that are now actually being practiced on US citizens by their own government to convince them to support a mad policy of militarization and confrontation that is going to cost the entire globe dearly.

John McCain for me is the face of that hawkish mob. A man who never saw a war he didn’t like, a mean-spirited, deliberately rude and aggressive man without much in the brains department. He tried to fob a PhD student off as a doctor of great experience who no doubt earned a hefty salary on his committee seeking to overthrow Assad in Syria. Now he’s looking to overthrow Putin in Russia and heaven only knows what kind of charlatans he has advising him, since he personally is totally ignorant on the subject. It is typical of the thickness of such so-called leaders that they have no comprehension whatsoever of Russia, it’s history, its sufferings. McCain doesn’t care! America Rocks! Bring on the jets!

This attitude provokes the exact same attitude in Russia. Russia is going to survive one way or the other and it isn’t going to be under NATO’s boot. The Russian people are now far more fully engaged than the American public, and every bit as angry at both the US and NATO, who represent The Enemy for them. And NATO and the US certainly haven’t seemed friendly ever since they carried out that coup in Kiev a little over a year ago. Suddenly NATO and the EU and the US seem to think they have ownership rights in Ukraine.

But the drums of war are reaching a crescendo now. The steps the US is taking are a direct threat to vital Russian national security interests. I don’t know about Putin, but here’s what I would do. I would send in my army and take the entire Donbass and Lugansk regions under occupation. I would let NATO deal with that de-facto partition of Ukraine, thus short-circuiting NATO plans for eastern Ukraine. I would say, let your lousy sanctions roll. You have pushed us against the wall and this is step one of pushing back. If you want eastern Ukraine, you must take it by force.

Well, that’s just a guess. Putin, that autistic idiot polyglot, might be more subtle, but time is a-wasting. NATO is fully under control of its malicious little Russophobes in eastern Europe and there are enough useful fools among the rest to allow them to work their mischief. I expect things are going to heat up.

Message to world: is there a sane leader in the West who will stand up against this There should be a prohibition against any further expansion of NATO and a declaration of guaranteed neutrality for the rest of the former Soviet Union. I am one American who doesn’t want to go to war for the west Ukrainians, or for Moldova or Georgia.

 


Obama Continues the Crusade for Communism

The Republican-led House voted Wednesday to overturn President Obama’s immigration actions from last November — and to unravel a directive from 2012 protecting immigrants who came to the U.S. illegally as children — sending the bill to the Senate where it faces an uncertain fate.

So sayeth Fox News. The House has acted to rein in the Emperor O, who in my mind is eternally wearing a leopard-skin cape over a scrawny hairless chest with a golden spear in one hand. I guess that is ethnocentric; he could as easily be pictured as a really bad white high-school teacher who fancies himself a Marxist, sleeps with students, and doesn’t know his supposed subject. Mr. Obama says he will veto the defiant House bill that dares to question Obama’s authority, and the Republicans are unlikely to find the needed votes to overrule. (And isn’t that sad, all by itself?) It makes no difference that the majority of Americans want Obama’s immigration edicts swept into the trash bin. The man rules from such heights that you and I could never hope to understand how  little he cares about us way down here. In some circles, that is referred to as psychotic or creepy. Many call him The Savior, or Jesus, but those folks have IQs south of 70 and require a boundless faith that there is still more booty to be had if they can only keep The One in power, or somebody who will continue the give-away (that would be you, Hillary “The Hips” Clinton). His supporters can’t think deep enough to worry about the fewer and fewer who are actually producing and not just consuming, wondering what happens when there aren’t enough producers to continue the handout.

But wait, at the very same time that we hear about the courage of House Republicans in facing down Obama over his imperial tendencies we also hear that the GOP is quietly working on an immigration proposal that will satisfy everybody except the Party’s own constituency. Or at least the numerous and un-monied part of its base, the stooges that keep voting Republican year after year, regardless. I don’t think there is in anybody’s mind a belief that appeasing the illegal alien community is going to increase GOP vote share. I’d guess the opposite. Mostly the GOP leadership wants a) the issue to go away and b) enough cheap labor to keep big business happy, big business being seen inexplicably as the root of GOP success.

As a mere observer, it looked to me like Big Business jumped on the Obama bandwagon and they were slavishly attentive to the Clintons when those two dirtied the White House with their scandalous goings-on. Churches want believers and entrepreneurs want near-slaves, and the Democrat (Socialist) Party wants voters. All the forces are aligned against the idiots who populate this country but count for next to nothing except as rhetorical devices.

How about that State of the Union? It should have been called “Stake through the Union.” It is absolutely no surprise that Obama chose ideology over pragmatism. He really thinks he’s got the US engine going, with an oil boom he despises and opposed that seems to this observer to be highly vulnerable to collapse. I worry about earthquakes that have been registered in fracking zones and new oil’s own downward impact on prices necessary to sustain the fracking industry. Obama also boasted about the great employment scene, but not a word about the incredible shrinking labor market (it’s just the Boomers retiring) or the poor quality of jobs on offer. And he wants to make higher education free, two useless years of community college. There is already more pay for a tradesman with a real skill than for any community college graduate. Why not fund tech schools? Why  not let kids who want to work and not study segue into a technical institute where they can learn a trade for their last two years of high-school ? Why waste the money by giving grown adults with no skills the chance for another two years on the public dole that will provide them with very few new useful ones? If they want those low-cost two years of education (already subsidized by states and cities) then let them invest in them with their own labor, or hard work, two dirty terms among the left-wingers. Obama’s brand of governance is what I call highway-robbery. This is a system in which the tax burdens on the productive individual, indirect or direct, are growing to enable the Big Give-Away to continue. In this way, the wealth-earners are expropriated of their rewards which are passed to the wealth-consumers at the bottom levels of society.

The EU is unable to shake off its slump, Russia is hurting, China is slowing down — but the US is going to keep going strong? The page is turned? And yet terrorists are likely to launch some attack here at home at any time now, but it won’t affect us? We’re up to our eyeballs in military adventurism around the globe, at risk of triggering some calamity while championing freedom, while illegal immigrants hoist banners at home reading “the border is illegal, not the people who cross it” and thousands await the next signal to flood the US border. How is that? I’m just a little more cautious than to believe his rosy picture of a US socialist paradise. I think the world is more insecure than ever before. I don’t think the jihad is “dying out.” I don’t think NATO is spreading peace, but war. I hardly believe anything the USG says anymore. And that is both at home and abroad.

The Republicans of course trashed a trash-able presentation by the President, but that’s not news. I anxiously await the next practical steps in the Republican revolution against the tyranny of government being constructed by Obama and his leftist clique. The solution isn’t for the GOP to wring their hands, then defy public will and collaborate with the Democrats on doing whatever it is the Democrats want to do. It is to offer alternatives. Where is the insurance bill that will free up health care coverage and make pricing competitive? Where is anything to do with Obamacare? Stop leaking information about alleged immigration proposals and share them with us. Stop your war on conservatives and rein in USG super-agencies with strict oversight and accountability and a veto power for Congress over any agency administrative decree costing taxpayers’ money. Let’s hear a call for the criminal prosecution of Lois Lerner, and John Koskinnen, and others in these public institutions who are acting for partisan political goals.

If the GOP thinks it can sit around and take the pulse of the public for two years, they’re smoking something.

 


Random Musings on Life

They say that a person becomes wiser as they grow older. I think that this process is an inevitability unless somebody spends his whole life scooting over the surface of life and never paying attention. There were quite a few years in my own life where that would describe my approach to disasters: don’t dwell on it, there are a thousand other mistakes yet to be made!

But in the last decade a far more contemplative self has emerged as the other end of the journey peeps over the horizon. I remember Jane Fonda (no fan am I) saying that these days she cries at everything. I can sympathize. What happens to us women (somehow I can’t see this happening to my husband) that makes us so overly sad even when everything is going just fine? How can a dog dying trapped in a sewer in India send a tear down the cheek? But then I think, well, heck, old people have a lot more to be sad about than young people do. There is a lot of loss as you get older, not only of your own youthful attributes but of people and places and things. No more Merry Christmas! You’ll have to make do with your memories. All these sadnesses just mount up until they’re ready to express themselves in tears over silly things and not just momentous tragedies.

And this morning I noticed that somebody beat Alabama, and I guess that would be football. My dear friend Eleanor, a direct descendent of Thomas Jefferson and a southern lady to the tips of her polished nails, would have been really disappointed, I thought, although maybe she was an Auburn rooter. I told her as much in my mind, saying “good thing you’re not around now, Eleanor.” I realized that I spend a lot of time in my mind talking to lost friends and loved ones and then it occurred that maybe that’s what happens with very old people. They talk in their heads with all those who have gone and since there are more and more of those, and fewer and fewer real people they even know anymore or even want to know, they just find a comfort zone in their interior landscape and stay there.

For the nonce, however, I am still in the here and now where I can hardly tear my eyes from this car-crash known as US foreign policy. And the thought that the hawks in the McCain camp (and that includes Democrats) will have the upper hand now doesn’t improve my mood. I find it fascinating that the Obama clique now want to soothe Russia’s ruffled nape. As with the Cuban desperado brothers, Fidel and Raul, the US president hopes to turn all expectations on their head by emerging as dear friends with a far more understanding and cooperative Putin. If that fails, he can shrug his 3000 dollar suit shoulders and say he tried.

Of course this is silly, what the two sides demand are light-years apart at this point. If NATO isn’t prepared to ebb from Russia’s borders, there can’t be any deal. Here’s what Russia wants: an agreement to cede Crimea to Russia to be concluded with Kiev; Ukraine to be fully federated, as in Germany, with the eastern provinces having an equal say in the country’s federal affairs; international recognition of the autonomy of the two break-away Georgian regions and Russia’s commitment not to annex; the neutral status of all remaining non-NATO states of the former Soviet Union internationally guaranteed; the right to trade according to a  nation’s own interests affirmed. Agreement would lead to a corresponding series of Russian measures to back down from its aggressive posture.

What the USG is asking might be Russia out of Ukraine; Crimea unsettled but not closed either; agreement to the freedom of the remaining former Soviet republics to associate with NATO and the EU; withdrawal of Russian forces from eastern Ukraine; involvement to far greater degree of OSCE and other international bodies in eastern Ukraine. The carrot is the lifting of sanctions that are hurting Europe as well as Russia, and an easing of the propaganda war against Russia, a kind of second chance for Russia to become a US lackey.

I rate the chances of success at about zero, although out of respect for Kissinger’s intelligence and rationality on most things, the Russians could agree to some window-dressing measures. They would like a return to Minsk and the inclusion of the rebels and Russia, too. The Kievan government will resist all the measures aimed at appeasing Russia at their expense, and the right wing will continue to grow stronger in that part of the country. I am utterly charmed by the west Ukrainian skill at dumping people into disgusting trash bins whenever they say something the mob leaders don’t like. What a collection of allies the US has gathered.

If there is one offer that I think could work, it would be to declare NATO off-limits to the remaining non-NATO countries on the territory of the former USSR. If this were done with the agreement of all, then I believe that Russia would make significant gestures of its own and we could climb down. But as long as NATO sits on Russia’s doorstep picking its teeth with missiles, Russia isn’t going to budge.

And here at home, we have public figures egging on the blacks and hispanics against whitey and “the people” against the police; this is provoking counter-racism, which isn’t pretty either. We have organizations openly working to make immigration easier than ever (Wall Street Journal) and Republican representatives embracing them and their ideas, and we have cyber-hacking of pretty much everything.  There is some prospect of another Clinton-Bush race, but please, God, spare us from both.

Happy New Year.


The Year Ends

Gads, it’s the end of the year. When did life start picking up such speed? I remember being a kid and thinking I would explode if I couldn’t grow up and SOON. All the Golden Oldies are playing on our multi-media devices, it’s almost like having Santa in the room these days. We just got a super-dooper and frighteningly large television (I guess that is what they call them still) for our bedroom and it’s as if I’m watching Playhouse 90 again, it is the “studio effect.” Look how fast technology is changing, I’m sure in a year there will be something totally retro in this tv set and every six months it will become more so. You used to be able to keep a television set forever.

Oh, yes, politics. Well, as I have been saying since November, I’m waiting. There seems to be civil war brewing in the Congress and maybe it is about “pragmatism” versus “ideology.” This is true of both parties, although the Dems are splitting over the issue of being “left” and the Republicans over who is “true conservative.” That is good. I like the idea of keeping at least the GOP on its toes and considering this simple fact: we are watching you. Otherwise, the genial barkeep Mr. John Boehner is likely to reach some compromise over something fundamental (Obamacare? Immigration? IRS? EPA?) that is going to pull the rug out from under GOP cohesion. It will be war and the outcome foreordained. The GOP only wins if it pulls together all the discontented toward a re-consideration of the state of the union. To do that, it has to show it CAN do it. I’m waiting. I’m watching. I don’t need a list, I just count the whole bunch of them as guilty if the party doesn’t act appropriately.

On to that never-ending circus, the foreign affairs arena. North Korea hacks a damned film studio and we act as if they bombed Pearl Harbor. Of course it’s a cyber-crime, and Sony should sue or otherwise retaliate. It has the means to pay for a little assistance. Instead top US sages practically call for bombing North Korea and claim it is war against America. Furthermore, somebody surfaces the absurd claim that China, Russia, and Iran are also behind it. That is just so neat, tying up a handful of your deadly foes (per Washington) in one more global rumor intended to blacken their names. Psy-ops. Then somebody disrupted the internet system in North Korea and people have been quick to speculate that it was the US, just to show we can. But as my wise husband said, “they’re  doing the North Korean government a favor by doing that — the government would love to knock out the internet in North Korea!” And everywhere else if possible.

The US is not only saber-rattling in Russia’s face, it has two swords out and is making a terrible racket. Russia is now good and roused and the Bear is getting its own swords honed. The US Congress has authorized the US President to provide lethal military assistance to the government of west Ukraine and to impose still more economic sanctions, but it is up to Obama if he chooses to use the authority or not. Over in Russia, the Duma revoked the authority it gave Putin to act militarily and immediately in defense of Russian interests in event of a crisis, but it did so at Putin’s request as a “confidence-building measure.” I’m sure it was tongue-in-cheek for Mr. Putin, as “confidence building measures” (or CBMs in the industry) is a concept from west European leftists who promoted the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to build bridges to the East that are now being burned down by the EU. Now the Duma is about to give the authorization to Putin again. I don’t doubt he will use it if necessary, but I think Russia prefers that this be settled through federation of Ukraine rather than continuation of an unsuccessful unitary state. On the other hand, it all depends on how the US proceeds. A course of militarizing Ukraine in NATO’s favor is going to lose Ukraine all its eastern sector and the south, too.

Russia isn’t ceding an inch, no matter what pressure the West exerts. Their money plummeted under what I am quite sure was a deliberately-provoked hysteria, but now the Central Bank is intervening and there is some stabilization. Russia is demanding its giant enterprises (LUKoil, Rosneft, etc.) sell part of their foreign currency domestically to ease the pressure and all of them are stepping to the plate (or else, no doubt), having sold a reported one billion dollars worth in the past days.  The US and EU have tried to injure Russia through the financial system the West controls, and Russia has responded by creating its own alternative systems, a growing trend among the world’s regional powers.  Russia is not denominating future contracts in US dollars and that, too, is a trend. Russia-China trade is one billion dollars — and it is being denominated in yuan or rubles henceforward. Everybody is learning from Russia’s trials, learning that the US is not trustworthy, that NATO is aggressive, and that the West will use any measure, regardless of how hurtful to ordinary populations, to impose its will. The only answer is to become independent of such channels of pressure. It is happening.

When Sweden complained that a Russian jet-fighter came too close to a Swedish plane and wasn’t using its transponders, the Russian military responded that NATO flights close to Russian borders had increased to 3,000 in the past year, and that NATO jet fighters fly without transponders along Russian borders and have had numerous documented near misses with Russian aircraft. He added that Russian maneuvers close to EU airspace are as dangerous to the EU as NATO flights close to Russian airspace are to Russia. In response to US military activity in eastern Europe, Russia is certainly going to be redeploying its own forces. In fact this was hinted at during the press conference when a woman from Kaliningrad (a Russian enclave surrounded by NATO) complained of the hateful propaganda coming at Kaliningrad from the west and the increased military activity at the territory’s borders. She asked if Russia would be deploying military assets to Kaliningrad to protect them. Putin carefully did not answer the question in his response.

And finally — how can I not mention Cuba? The resumption of diplomatic relations with this seedy little island, emigrants from which are among my relatives and friends, is being done “for the people of Cuba” and because we  now see that economic sanctions don’t work. I have never known the USG to do anything for anybody else; it is always a matter of US interests, as it should be. And second, on the sanctions thing — does this mean the US will be lifting sanctions elsewhere, like against Russia? Or Iraq? I mean — if a seedy little island can resist the full force and will of the US for all these years, do they really think Russia is going to cave?

Well, I sure hope the New Year brings us some people with clear vision, common sense and the right experience to guide our foreign policy, which is sinking into a bog of mistakes. And John Boehner — I’m watching you.