The Right x American-Israeli Right appears to be threatening the Left x American-Israeli Left with claims of a nuclear peace accord revival — return to Kerry’s pink tie escapade and a massive drug deal of a bribe — when, in BackChannels estimation, those days are gone forever. Russia has mumbled through its bullying in Crimea and destruction in Syria; Tehran has never done other than despoil its environment and disappoint its politically suffocated (and once modern) constituency.
From the Awesome Conversation
Given the Moscow-Tehran post-Soviet nexus and Tehran’s aggression via IRGC directly (Syria) and proxies (e.g., Houthi insurgents, Yemen; Hezbollah, worldwide), I’d suggest not doing the $1B drug deal again. Hold the west’s position in the ME; repair the Atlantic Alliance (!); and leverage China — Tehran’s oil buyer — off the extremist-supporting tack.
As if I ruled the world . . . .
The post’s a feel-good made possible by Biden’s page on FB – why not send a note across the virtual hall now that all has been reduced to plain text e- communications? So done although one may ask where such a “missive” really lands — is there a virtual cookie jar for FB or other e-notes to the President? 🙂
Navalny’s team is calling for people to fill the streets and to support him and to express their anger with the regime. And the whole thing has become like a snowball. It went viral when Navalny released his movie about Putin’s palace [editor’s note: an online investigation, released after Navalny’s return to Russia last week, that explores Putin’s massive Black Sea estate and the money flows that financed it in great detail], which has already reached some kind of astronomical number of views. And now we’re seeing the accumulated effect of 20 years of Putin’s dictatorship, the growing disappointment of the Russian people with their socioeconomic conditions, and anger about corruption and the wealth of Putin’s oligarchs. We’re seeing a clear a message from the young generation of Russians that they’re not going to tolerate Putin’s indefinite rule.
Yes, laziness — or efficiency — has me fooling with style in the captioning of YouTube videos.
Absolute Power, corruption, and criminality in Russia have apparently left bereft much of the Russian Federation’s constituency. Programmatic theft, so forced in and around Russia under the Bolsheviks and especially vicious during Stalin’s tenure, has undermined affection and trust for Putin as the “Great Leader”. From leveraging himself into power with the Moscow Apartment Bombings to the presence of the palace (long covered but not quite so investigated as by Alexei Navalny) to now this latest confrontation having to do with basic integrity in state leadership, Putin as wrapped together — but also around himself — the most rogue forces of Russian civilization.
The appellation “Russian Mafia State” has at this pass garnered broad internal popular interest and now there’s a product — Navalny’s documentary — able to inform Russians about their own deep exploitation.
The YouTube counter approaches 99 million views on this captioned video –>
Power in Russia’s authoritarian political system is concentrated in the hands of President Vladimir Putin. With loyalist security forces, a subservient judiciary, a controlled media environment, and a legislature consisting of a ruling party and pliable opposition factions, the Kremlin is able to manipulate elections and suppress genuine dissent. Rampant corruption facilitates shifting links among bureaucrats and organized crime groups.
In Russia, the robber barons and thugs have won their state, but the same appear to be losing the hearts and minds of Russians who have not themselves experienced the privileges known to favorable association with the “Vertical of Power”.
During Joe Biden’s presidential confirmation, the entire free world watched in horror and fear at the onslaught of incited crowds on the sanctuaries of American democracy – the Senate and House of Representatives. But for those of us who noticed Israeli flags hoisted alongside the neo-Nazi shirts, the experience was even more shocking.
For anyone for whom Zionism and humanism are important, especially those who remember the trauma of the UN resolution equating Zionism with racism, it is hard to think of a more disturbing connection than the one we witnessed that night.
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis on Wednesday marked the 76th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp by urging people to keep a close watch on ideological extremism, because “these things can happen again”.Slideshow ( 3 images )
We each of us know what belongs to each by way of our persons and our families, and if we’re a little larger than that, our companies and communities, but we falter some with “my air; my water; my mountains; my rivers; my shores”. Some objects are too large for singular possession. Even subdivided and sold off in lots — so one might own a patch or an estate (and hunting grounds) — such resources and spaces may have lives of their own and greater than appreciated. OUR rain forests, for example, may be critical to OUR planetary oxygen supply.
As our species matures — however else we may think of ourselves (as framed by our nearly 7000 living language cultures and directed, somewhat, by our 4300 active religions), we may consider the fragility of our species foremost — we may do well to look far forward of our positions rather than fix and freeze ourselves as we are. If we are to contemplate, for example, the end of the Eon of Oil and continued Global Warming or merely increasingly severe oscillations in temperature, this may be the best time to think about the energy resources and insulating technologies of the 22nd Century.
Why not — and why not this minute?
It’s never too late?
It’s never too soon.
What if the world hadn’t to deal with what have become essentially political criminals?
What are we — or what is the world — still doing here — in the same frozen situation — with Ukraine?
Ukraine’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba said on January 11 that Russia “has done everything to fulfill nothing.” His latest attempts with his German counterpart “to hold another round of talks at the level of foreign minister were unsuccessful,” Mr. Kuleba said. He said the continuing deadlock is a situation in which, “on the one hand, there is progress on Donbas, and, on the other, there is no progress.”
While it may be understood that we are not all angels, one might wonder why any state population must be made to weather the bullying criminality of gangs, more or less, of so-called “state elites” and leaders — or invasion by alien forces ordered by the same with precisely that mentality?
I had thought both the feudal and medieval eras known to European and Russian history finished off by the allied powers of World War II.
While at this post-Trumpian moment (start HIS history as an American President with Manafort, his first choice for campaign manager), no American has the right to ask how others could have been blown so far off course from the modern and practical demands for accountability, integrity, and responsibility in governance, the complaint begs a question as applicable to every capital as well as Kiev and Moscow: who would be the good stewards of states and regions and on up the scale to global assets?
These “leaders” that draw out crowds to brave their batons and bullets and mass arrests — who would have time for them were they not so brazen and stuffed full of themselves?
An advertisement for Good Stewards of any geopolitical space: ability to both imagine and think beyond one’s own existence and interests; ethical; good-willed; holistic; honest; magnanimous; possessed of high integrity; responsible; sense of humor a must.
What if through democracy coupled with ambitious public education, the world really could think about and tend to its own collective future well being as expressed through Qualities of Living x Area-Squared (or Cubed) for any geopolitical space?
I know at this point — I am 65 — my references are a bit dated but I feel their spirit still to be realized. If those who wish for themselves and future generations better lives, the answers, means, and methods are certain to be found in the comprehending of global issues and the development of related cooperation across space and time.
The slogans, e.g., “Think Globally — Act Locally”, have been around for a long time. The businessmen and politicians up to the challenge of producing a better world NOW and for setting up into the next century? Apparently, far less than would seem immediately desirable.
Books and circulars, first, radio, television, and films, later, have long presented us to ourselves, and so much so that it has long been common to reference our behavior in terms of characters well known. There has been the Great White Hunter’s perspective too in which the white guy — the Ernest Hemingway of one American generation; the Peter Beard of another — would view the journey into the “back of beyond” as exotic, and one day not too long ago, it was exotic.
The Grand Tour may be that no longer.
We are all here making our appearance known on desktop around the world. “Global Culture” — what we look like in recordings worldwide — has had these other and epic tours since the 1990s, and now we in North America have had in place for at least 14 years an astonishing “World Wide Web” through which all may see the world — including themselves — in states closer and closer to real time — or with live feeds within seconds of “real time”.
How are we now supposed to separate?
It’s too late — and we’re not going to go backward into more parochial decades or centuries.
In fact, we’re going to go through the life process and illness and death in the company of our virtually relayed but quite real familiars — our Facebook buddies, Twitter rosters, Instagram producers, and such — thousands of miles from our own desktops. When these new old friends fall ill . . . we’ll know it depending on our emotional and relational distance, not our geography. We’ll be asking what can be done (hit the FB “Cares” icon!) and what can we do — and about so many things: what can be done and what can we do sitting where each of us sits?
In terms of the larger picture, the significance of the Euromaidan, or generally the Maidan, of 2013-14 can hardly be overstated: it not only caps the period of hybrid post-Soviet existence initiated by independence in 1991, but also provides a kind of closure to the complex and drawn-out process of Ukrainian nation-formation that began in the 19th century.
Russia’s in trouble today — https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/24/world/europe/photos-russia-navalny-protest.html — and partially for stubbornly clinging to its 19th Century political culture with its absolute and uncaring power. While the state has strongly supported its Defense and Energy businesses, and used the latter to pry Turkey from NATO (in spirit — the matter’s complicated but the Turkish Stream energy project plays strongly in Erdogan’s relationship with Putin) — it’s in trouble (as usual) for being backward. Sooner or later, it too will have to deal with modern issues, including democracy, environmental ethics, and human rights.
I repeat —
Inspiration for the post: Biden’s working of the Keystone Pipeline issue seemingly to Russia’s advantage as an energy competitor. Recall that the United States under Obama had become energy independent and energy exporting. However, underlying issues having to do with . . . human agency and responsibility may more determine the politics of the future — if we as a species are to have a future that more opens time than closes down in darkness within it.
I don’t know why I should have the spread of friends that I do on Facebook, so many have turned out reactionary conservatives muttering about a communist front that just hasn’t been shaping up as such. Have a look at the Communist Party USA’s membership number. Read Jacobin if you want to — I rather appreciate the alternative views but seem to be missing out on the sound of the earth-shaking thundering herd raging behind it. Inspiration for the following: the boast that former President Trump fought Chinese Communism (China’s elite society and growing class of billionaires left that blue serge lifestyle behind some time ago) and rightly put “America First!” The slogan was old before it came out of his mouth and the go-it-alone of the paranoid narcissistic personality may have only abetted Putin’s 19th Century ideas for destroying the political cohesion of a truly democratic and modern EU/NATO.
November’s election and today’s inauguration brought back to the United States of America the most fundamental of American principles and values riding right beside our glorious Constitution: a government by and for — i.e., responsible and responsive to — The People of the Nation in all our varied colors, cultures, and creeds.
We are Americans — no adjectives required unless appreciated and enjoyed — once again.
Beneath the banner of Communism, Beijing’s financial, ideological, and political realities differ quite from what imagination may supply in minds restricted by tired old presumptions. The state has been fairly minting billionaires and producing an elite within lines of authoritarian control in some ways mirroring what Moscow has going in the way of a deeply autocratic and politically repressive state.
For all intents in the United States, the Communist Party USA (CPUSA) may at best boast a membership around or beneath 10,000.
Excessive autocratic control — totalitarian in China these days — backed by military and paramilitary force have marked Beijing and Moscow’s respective narratives. In EU/NATO, the post-9/11 “New Nationalism” has similarly scarred “The West” in Hungary, Italy, Poland, and Turkey. However, as bad ideas reach their nadir, one may expect the reactionary drift (also in the United States) to reverse and more return to practical democratic approaches to a spread of tough and real — rather than imaginary — issues involving how we live together and how we (Americans) work together as a political society.