First, the war. As I post this, the world resonates with Ukrainian victory in Kherson and west of the Dnipro River.
Again, the key to resolving so many things can only come from awakening the Russian populace (and indeed our MAGAs) from their respective collective loyalty trances. Bits of info do get through, but can be shrugged off under incantations by state TV (or Fox).
In this case, what's needed is a direct confrontation that would penetrate every propaganda screen. Here's how.
Demand a Big Commission to investigate claims that Ukraine had been 'Nazi,' or building nukes, or joining NATO, before the February invasion (Putin's pretexts). Or whether there's any sign of 'satanists' running Ukraine or the US Democratic Party. Or to metric the extent of devastating harm done to Ukraine by RF forces, that RF citizens will have to pay for in taxes for generations.
What? You say Russian media will simply denounce the partiality of such a commission? The same way Fox nightly denounces every single US fact-using profession as terminally biased, from science to the FBI and military officer corps?
Well sure. Unless the public demand is parsed right.
So, demand the commission consist of 100 Russian citizens chosen randomly from old utility bills... and 100 Ukrainians, 100 westerners and 100 from non-aligned nations. And yeah, 100 Chinese... so long as all may converge in Turkey and freely choose (at US expense) to go anywhere and see and report on anything. Talk to anyone they choose. Including citizens of Kherson, both liberated and dispersed by RF kidnappings.
Sound expensive? Well it would be worth it. Except we'll never have to pay. Because Putin would shriek and refuse!
And it is that REFUSAL, penetrating through the borscht curtain, that would not be explicable or shruggable by any amount of blather on Russian state TV...
... just as wager demands over almost any testable foxite assertion ALWAYS result in MAGAs fleeing in jibbering panic amid the ruins of their macho preening.
It's called accountability. And I've only been yammering about it for 40 years.
== And more... ==
A note about the Ukraine war that tweaks a special place in my heart. Despite operating under severe adversity and continuous threats, Ukraine’s postal service carries on:
“Officials at Ukrposhta say that of its approximately 73,000 employees, 15 have been killed and 14 injured during the fighting. About 50 post offices have been destroyed, while 480 have been damaged, some repeatedly. Even so, Ukrposhta had continued to work until recently in some of the regions occupied by Russian forces.” They finally stopped because of repeated robbery by small roving bands of Russian soldiers.
Opposed to that positive symbolism is the other kind. Putin - who grew up reciting Leninist catechisms - later restored the crest and other symbols of the Romanov Czars, rebuilt their most tasteless edifices and erected a statue to Nicholas II, a monstrous dunce who, with his equally addle-pated cousin in Berlin, plunged the world into a century of wretched agony. Nicholas lost everything (and killed hundreds of millions) by underestimating Germany and hurling unhappy Russian boys into meat grinders.
Now step back and look at Vlad emulating his beloved Czar, in Ukraine. Try, try to see the context! History doesn't repeat. But it has recurring attractor states. It rhymes.
For an extensive look at recent ideological and cultural trends in Russia, take a look at: Cultural and Political Imaginaries in Putin's Russia, by Niklas Bernsand and Barbara Tornquist-Plewa.
Oh, an after-note on Russia's military might: Russia’s new super torpedo, the Poseidon, which is expected to be 2 meters (6.5 feet) in diameter and over 20 meters (65 feet) long, "is the largest torpedo ever developed in any country." Picture how big that is. These nuclear-capable torpedoes are designed to be launched from hundreds of miles away and to sneak past coastal defenses by traveling along the sea floor to deliver warheads of multiple megatons, causing radioactive waves that would render swathes of the target coastline uninhabitable for decades.
Apparently its big test, yesterday, was a botch.
== Topics I've explored elsewhere ==
A couple of my best older blog postings:
- Are you all down on humanity, especially short-tempered, harshly-divided Americans? Well, I have a tonic for your pessimism and gloom. No, I won’t try to talk (or beguile) you out of your sour funk. Instead, I propose a simple experiment! Going down to a busy 4-way stop sign intersection and just watch for a few minutes. Very soon you WILL feel better about yourself and your fellow citizens. Give this a try: Ritual of the Street Corner
- Alternate Visions of the Future: Some bold proposals having to do with my proposal for a World Ownership Treaty – If you own something, say so – which could (without raising taxes an iota) erase almost all national debts almost overnight and save honest taxpayers trillions. Oh and included are riffs on corporate transparency, Abraham Lincoln, and getting to be more like him.
== The word our New Lords never mention ==
And yeah, the noxious ones are back. See a fawning profile of Peter Thiel’s eagerly dyspeptic (and trivially refuted) incantations that ‘liberalism has failed,’ while wallowing in its protection and myriad benefits. I so hope the author of this piece misinterprets almost everything, in almost every paragraph because… wow. "Peter Thiel on the dangers of progress" by Mary Harrington.
The core take-away - revealed in his hostility to Universities and support of the "neo-monarchist" movement - is rejection of all aspects of our civilization that led to himself! Including the older-deeper meaning of 'liberalism' appraised and espoused by Adam Smith. Which is unleashing the fantastically fecund creativity of flat-fair-just-confident and fully-informed Competition...
...the c-word that was promoted by the First Liberal - Adam Smith - and the word that is never, ever mentioned nowadays by the gone-mad right. That core endeavor - of transparent/flat/fair competitive creativity - requires maximizing the number of skilled, confident competitors... (um, duh?)... as F. Hayek called-for. Which, in turn, necessitates social justice and mass education and especially freedom.
Sure, our Smithian reversal of 6000 years of oligarchic/racist hierarchy has been imperfect, improving with grinding slowness. But its effective outcomes (including Thiel himself) outweigh those of ALL other societies -- all the feudal/monarchal dope-zones combined -- across those sixty+ centuries.
Let's be clear. Thiel's proposed program of to-the-hilt technological progress toward personal, organic immortality must be advanced by the very fact-professions, researchers, scientists and university nerds who almost universally despise everything about the oligarchic putsch to restore feudalism that PT passionately pursues.
Nor is there a prepper citadel anywhere on the planet whose location isn't known by many in the nerd clade, down to the centimeter.
Perhaps (just a suggestion, m'lord) rejoining the Enlightenment might be the better choice.