This list is neither comprehensive nor fully representative of related content on this blog, but each post also conveys three computer-generated suggestions for related reading, not that anyone suffers for lack of reportage obsessed with Donald John Trump. Still, as I’ve repeatedly relayed some of these via Facebook and Twitter (welcome back, Don, you should see yourself in the mirror that is the World Wide Web), I thought to put a dozen blogs from January 6 to this November on one page as a potential and helpful (I hope) contribution to what lies ahead.
Ambitious men with nothing to offer and old ones with even less may take an interest in designing and exploiting the political value of an explosion guaranteed to make them look strong — or strong again.
Erdogan Rounds Up His Usual Suspects
Nothing could be more dumb or predictable than the rounding up of PKK suspects in the near immediate aftermath of yesterday’s explosion in Istanbul.
ISTANBUL, Nov 14 (Reuters) – Turkey blamed Kurdish militants on Monday for an explosion that killed six people in Istanbul and police detained 47 people including a Syrian woman suspected of planting the bomb.
No group has claimed responsibility so far for Sunday’s blast on the busy pedestrian Istiklal Avenue, and the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) denied involvement in it.
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been waging against the Kurdish community for many years but with periodic sustained ceasefire arrangements with the PKK. However, on July 20, 2015, a suicide attack against Turkish leftists had Erdogan’s government blaming the Kurds while the Islamic State was claiming responsibility. Erdogan’s own Sunni extremism appeared to have surfaced in the authoritarian’s somewhat twisted stance toward ISIL. The sense of confused politics may be gotten through this paragraph in Wikipedia–
One would not bring up even the notion of a “False Flag Operation” with any liberal humanist leader of any open democracy anywhere, but for more than 20 years, Erdogan has displayed himself as another “populist” autocrat merely propping the very much nominal “democratic” of a Turkish state that has repeatedly proven anti-democratic, illiberal, and deeply repressive, and not exactly unlike what Putin has had going in Russia.
As of publishing, no trustworthy investigation of Sunday’s bombing at a popular shopping mall has been conducted (given the overnight spread of associated arrests or detentions), and given the autocratic and feudal-medieval character of Erdogan and his regime, none may be expected.
It’s possible as well that given the chaos attending radical enterprises in their configurations, numbers, and relationships that one or more in the dragnet “done it” and leadership(s) elsewhere may not known of related plans for “action”.
Call the attitude here “Epistemological Ambivalence”, the possibility remains that the leader who has displayed contempt for his society’s journalists and others has indeed put on a bloody little play–and if not, who among Turkey’s journalists and publishers are left to believe him out of independent reason rather than fear?
Erdogan has converted his popular mandate into power and used that power to remake Turkey’s relations with the rest of the world. He has expanded Turkish influence in Syria and northern Iraq and tilted Turkey—a NATO member—toward China, Iran, and Russia. His use of power has also generated dissent among feminists, leftists, and the secular middle class. Under Erdogan’s watch, Turkey has become the world’s largest prison for journalists. Filmmakers, novelists, photographers, and scholars are also among the imprisoned. Turkey has banned gay and transgender pride marches since 2015; Wikipedia has been blocked since 2017.
Even though Putin has quieted on “tactical nukes”, he still has them, and he and his regime remain deeply untrustworthy. Caution seems appropriate. The true ends of the story needs must take place in Moscow and St. Petersburg and in the Kremlin, the FSB, and related criminal and defense circles. Russia has absolutely nothing to gain by way of its feudal-medieval and altogether piratical and politically criminal and retrograde “Imperial” fascist totalitarian revanche, its leader, and his regime.
#MaligNarc #TsarVladimirTheSmaller has, both “of course” and tragically (for our species) the power to destroy himself and the world with it, would that he would keep destroying himself, at which he is excelling, and leave the world to both more compassionate and rational actors.
At his command nonetheless: doomsday underwater systems, hypersonic missiles, stealthy submarines, and “tactical” nuclear warheads.
Living within reach of that destructive capability is not an option as it has long been a given, and while the concepts of “balanced power” and “mutually assured destruction” may allay some ambitions and impulses, we seem to be waking up close to “midnight” every day with this one most execrable (#PutinFullTonto) excuse for a human being in power.
On Archaic Beliefs and Systems
Good: Expanding, Harmonious, and Open Systems; Human and Technological Evolution; Greater Peace and Prosperity On the Bedrock of a Spacious Humanism and Predominant Global Security.
While the west approaches accepting some moderation in its policies associated with hedonism and related industries, there remains for consideration the darkest political ramifications associated with corruption, “dark money”, and “kompromat”. Most in and of the west remain deeply committed and steadfast in relation to the experience of freedom as reliant on an atmosphere in which we may live as authentic persons with our own agency, efficacy, ideas, and options, even naughty or tawdry 🙂 , within the realm (and boundaries) of the predominantly healthy and good.
The political hell of the Russian mafia state, greed-ridden and deeply hypocritical and mindlessly subject to the power of a heartless and vacuous lunatic, would have all of western freedom, law, and tradition choked by criminal intents, fraudulent political theater, and related force. Unfortunately, and it’s just my opinion, the west has been poisoned itself by KGB methods and related and equally unsightly and malign narcissism in cultural and political circles–as much would help explain the #GOPofGreed’s issues with authoritarian and reactionary bents.
It tires me to work up one more repeated reference section, but I will offer a short selection here, and with reference to my own citation, there’s plenty of additional reference on most BackChannels posts.
Although Putin has been doing a fine job of destroying himself as well as the wealth, power, and relative security of his closest assigns and associations, he has still advanced weapons systems in submarines, hypersonic missiles, and “tactical” nuclear warheads, and he knows he may destabilize and destroy with impunity whatever he wishes for fear of his lunacy.
No mass death or destruction have yet come to Moscow or St. Petersburg.
The imposing of western sanctions has been but a matter of adjustment in relationships elsewhere.
The “Fragile Empire” has been proving surrounding polities, not only the “demo” made of Ukraine, more fragile in their development and heightened sensitivity to threats–or now imposed–disruptions.
How would you like to be hit by an enemy you’re not allowed to hit back?
What if it was your friend’s enemy enjoying that impunity, and you knew that you and yours would be next to be beaten, bribed, intimidated, robbed?
What if you knew that your forces were blocking 90 percent of airborne attacks but the ten percent getting through was destroying basic civilian power infrastructure?
What does “winning” mean when your losing enemy forces are nonetheless freezing and displacing your people?
Of course, Putin and his Russia are losing too, but he is only losing the better–the more good–of his human resources, and his state is only losing money and international stature. That’s not enough for stopping him. As the Malignant Narcissist (#MaligNarc) that he has been, he and his circle needs must be deprived of power and stopped cold, for in his own delusional mind, he cannot lose, and his enablers, sycophants, and fellow thugs are all in too deep for leaving him. War criminals themselves for what they have abetted, they, and exactly like the Nazis before them, may find no refuge elsewhere–or sadly find it through some realpolitik involving occult cash reserves that may land an obscure outpost or two for living (very well, thank you) on the lowdown.
Boris Epshteyn is also dealing with the legal ramifications of his conduct outside of work. He is on probation, according to court records, after pleading guilty late last year to disorderly conduct and fighting during a late-night bar incident in Scottsdale, Ariz. — the second such arrest in Arizona in seven years.
Epshteyn declined to answer questions on the record about those arrests, or any other topic, for this article.
For Carolyn Broe and her family, the 2022 midterms have unfolded the way they have for countless others: with great bitterness and turbulence.
Edith, I was raised on the Torah, my wife, and the Qur’an. My oldest son is an atheist, my youngest is a Scientologist, my daughter is studying Hinduism–I imagine there is room there for a Holy War in my living room, but we practice live and let live. Why don’t you sit down?
I think the “amateur psychologists” have been written off by the rough and tough get-it-done warfare analysts, but, sigh, Russia really does have a deranged narcissistic feudal-medieval “Vertical of Power” who has by his destructive and ruthless wiles and will made the powerful and wealthy of Russia dependent on his existence and his on them.
Who is Vladimir Putin to judge any of them?
Beneath heaven–and would they would ask themselves the same thing–I don’t know.
Whatever the answer (blackmail? intimidation? grandiose promises?), he has inveigled an entire class of associates, executives, and warriors in an archaic narrative of utterly barbaric cruelty, destruction, and ethnic cleansing. So far, not one of Putin’s oh-so-powerful associates appear capable of preparing any resistance to him or his crimes–or it’s they, at least a few, who have perhaps been pushing him. Either way, all have become themselves complicit in the leader’s ugly and cowardly fantasy about himself–and they are losing as mightily as they are clinging fast to this most backward, myopic, and villainous of daddies.
Are they brain dead?
Have they lost the last vestiges of conscience, humanity, and integrity?
Perhaps the worst thing–the most special truth, frankly–is they know what they have done and are doing and believing themselves bought in, doomed, and enslaved are walking themselves to their own ignominious end.
. . . two greater-than-civilizational stories run through the history of the region: 1) who were the Vikings, really, as defined both by the character of their leadership and the makeup of their complement? And 2) the condition of Russian soil (not so good) and the desirability of one of the world’s great crossroads and agricultural centers. The drive for Ukraine has been always south from today’s St. Petersburg. Boredom, corruption, criminality, greed have indeed enriched Ukraine’s soil over centuries. The inhabitants of the land in the early Byzantine Era had been Turkish (“Turkic”) tribes who chose to declare themselves Jews and probably so in defiance of expanding Christian and Muslim power.
The source I generally cite for Russian history from before the Rus has been Pipes, Richard. Russia Under the Old Regime: The History of Civilization. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1974, but I have reached an age where re-reading seems in order while the taking of voluminous notes defies the contemporary zeitgeist, however enamored one may be of 19th and 20th Century methods in scholarship. Informal conversation serves the note as well, and one may indeed “fly” south from St. Petersburg via Google Maps and practically hit Kiev as is being done today but primarily for want of unobtainable pride.