One of the greatest problems with history is that people refuse to pay attention to it. Libraries are full of books which essentially tell us what is going to happen in our society (meaning right now) if we would only read them. History does repeat itself. While it may not be predictable in the sense of modeling, and making definite predictions- see Karl Popper’s Poverty of Historicism, in our day and age we have seen the same events occur over and over, and they will continue to do so. Here I refer to those singular events in history that have affected millions of people at a time, the nationalistic factionalisation of societies with murder, warfare, and destruction as the ultimate outcome, something the modern world cannot escape.

Do we need examples? In the last century alone, in the western world we have “personalities” (I am loath to call them leaders) such as Hitler, Marx, Lenin, Stalin, Mussolini… Milošević, and now Putin. Those are just the “big names” that everyone should know and be frightened by when put into the context of August, 2022. How many more can we come up with, how many lesser-known dictators, agitators, regional would-be authoritarians followed the model and their own psychopathic, deviant beliefs to commit mass murder, genocide, crimes against humanity? And then there is the rest of the world- Asia, Latin America, Africa, the middle east… not a very pretty picture of humanity when you think about it.

As my perennial example I always use the the Balkans, the Third Balkan War- the fall of Yugoslavia. The “personality” in this case was Slobodan Milošević. As I see it, the turning point came in 1987 with his speech at Kosovo Polje, the battlefield where the Serbs were defeated in 1389. Here he reached far back in time- a common tactic- to successfully create a nationalistic fervor that would destroy Bosnia, tear apart Kosovo and many parts of the Balkans, and cause the death of hundreds of thousands. The damage he caused has never been, and never will be, completely repaired.

The difference between the outcomes of these past events and what the outcome might be today is glaring- in 1945 the allies took control of war-ravaged Europe and rebuilt it. After the siege of Sarajevo ended money, aid, relief came and now Sarajevo, for example, appears to be a thriving European city. The mafia state of Russia invaded the sovereign country of Ukraine, and the United States, most of Europe, and many countries in the world have stepped up in opposition.

But if we, in the United States follow the same path and allow our country to be destroyed by a pathological, megalomaniacal, criminal psychopath- the path we are currently on- no one is going to come and save us. No one will come to help us rebuild- we will be on our own.  We will fall, and since we will not be there to lead the world, the world will follow.

Moving on to a couple of current events.  A car bomb in Russia, not surprising.  Agents provocateurs at work, false flag operations, deceit?  Almost certainly. And immediately the criminal state of Russia has issued a declaration, without a shred of evidence, placing blame on Ukrainian agents, and also implicating Estonia for harboring them. More Russian lies- do not believe a single word that comes from them!

Serbia and Kosovo are next. Talks broke down, of course. Serbia is another… questionable government (see above reference to Third Balkan War.) The governing body of the country does not want peace, reconciliation, prosperity for the people of Europe. Hatred, division, violence, and suffering bring power and money- the goal.

Final thought- read. Read everything, and if you haven’t read them since high school or college, today start with Sinclair Lewis’s It Can’t Happen Here. Revisit Walter Van Tilburg Clark’s The Ox-bow Incident. And of course anything Orwell, Jack London’s Iron Heel, and maybe Lord of the Flies and Clockwork Orange thrown in.

Conspiracy theories run rampant in Russia. They are part of Russian society, deeply entrenched throughout at least much of the 20th century onward, and from what I can gather, are readily consumed by the populace. The biggest creator and perpetuator of conspiracy theories  is the Russian government… no surprise there. One only needs to open any of the government controlled  “news” sites and this is perfectly clear, especially right now. The line between conspiracy theories, “fake news”- a term which I loathe, and consider engineered to deflate the only word which should be used in this case- LIES, has become blurred in Russian society, and of course in our own, as well as in most countries across the globe.

One thing that struck me recently, while wading through Masha Gessen’s The Future is History, is that the “pedophile lobby” as Gessen calls it, features very prominently in Russian conspiracy theories.  (I say “wading” only because Gessen’s book contains so much information, so many facts to follow up on, so many books to add to my reading list, and the content itself is so unbelievable and disturbing- it takes effort and focus to digest it all. To clarify, if you want to develop an understanding for the last 30 years of Russian history, the power vacuum that developed, and the society’s return to authoritarian rule, you must read this book!)

Reading about the perpetuation of the myth of the “pedophile lobby” in dissident circles in Russia, and how at certain times it permeated and took over so much of life there, brought me to theorise on the origins of QAnon, our own “pedophile pizza cult”, and how and why it captivates and captures so many.

First, the parallel evolution of the underground, subversive, and criminal pedophile cults in Russia and the U.S. bear far too much resemblance to be coincidence. The timing of their emergence is curious as well. Between 2005-2010, according to Gessen, Russia saw a surge in the fear of the pedophile lobby by the government and many government funded organisations, thereby perpetuating the same in the general populace, with the government actively promoting the disinformation and fear, and as a result legitimising violence against people who were deemed part of it. According to Gessen, violence could be arbitrary, directed at anyone who was suspect or different (think of the literary examples of Miller’s The Crucible, or It Can’t Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis). According to Gessen dissidents, activists, and gay men and lesbians were primary targets.

In the U.S., extremist, conservative, and right wing “news outlets” began promoting the “pedophile pizza cult” around 2014, adding that it centered on government officials and Washington D.C. It certainly came into the forefront in 2016 during the election campaign when used against Hillary Clinton. Coincidence… or easily managed subversion? It worked in Russia. Russia (that is, Putin) was very much interested in the U.S. presidential race, so why not force it into a U.S. market? Gullible is gullible, no matter what country or continent.

What does it all boil down to? Simply this- disinformation is used to divide people against each other so they are distracted from the corruption, thievery, lies, and criminal acts of governments. Division allows governments to conquer. The pedophile cults of Russia and the U.S. are nothing more than disinformation. Ocham’s razor tells us to look for the simplest reason behind an occurrence- there being not a shred of verifiable evidence on either side of the ocean, the pedophile cults become nothing more than a work of fiction created by the state. In this case Russian disinformation which overtook that country so easily reformulated and fed to a hungry American audience where it was swallowed without the slightest regard to its source or the verity of its content.

To use a familiar family adage, conventional wisdom holds that one should not go grocery shopping while hungry.  These days when all of us force-fed our news, when we are trapped in feedback loops and information bubbles, I would add that we should stay away from listening to, watching, or reading any news when we are looking for answers to the instability and insanity of today’s world. We just might find what we are looking for.


As we move forward during these dark days, with the Russian military openly and illegally killing the citizens of a peaceful, democratic, and sovereign nation, one myth used by the perpetrator of these criminal acts must be dispelled. Most people have heard, somewhere in Putin’s continued rhetoric, about NATO’s promise not to expand eastward. This is one of his key arguments for the invasion of Ukraine.

The short answer to Putin’s statement is that NATO never gave such a promise. There is no truth in Russia’s claim that sovereign countries such as Ukraine and Georgia are, by the agreement, not allowed to join NATO. As the text of the document reads, Russia agrees to

respect for sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of all states and their inherent right to choose the means to ensure their own security“.

Further, the fact that Putin has himself initiated war upon Ukraine seems to void many parts of the document, which assumed peace on both sides. The arguments against Putin’s claims are many; they have all been clearly laid out in the various links below.

As background, Putin is referencing the 1997 NATO Russia Founding Act (full text), one of a number of documents created to keep peace and stability in the region in the post-Soviet era. Russia agreed to and signed the act, along with others over the years which were equally important in maintaining peace, stability, and the sovereignty of nations in the region. Historically, the agreement began much earlier than 1997, with discussions on the reunification of Germany, Poland’s bid to join NATO, and even with the discussion of Russia becoming a NATO partner.

The summary of the act issued by the US State Department on 15 May, 1997 can be found in archived form here.

NATO refutation of Putin’s claims, posted on 27 January, 2022 can be found here.

A Guardian article from 12 January, 2022 clearly lays out and refutes the main claims, and gives background on the Act as well as other points of negotiation with various world leaders over the years.

Final word, if you are thinking about how you can help the people of Ukraine, donating to the World Central Kitchen is a safe and fast option which will show immediate results. They are feeding thousands of refugees at numerous borders crossings, as well as in the country of Ukraine. This link will take you directly to their donation page.

The worst lies are those we tell ourselves. Food for thought.

Trumpwinkle: “Hey, Rocky! Watch me pull a Coronavirus recovery out of my hat.”
Rocky: “Again?”
Trumpwinkle: “Nothing up my sleeve. Presto!” (We see the head of a roaring lion.)
Trumpwinkle: No doubt about it, I gotta get another hat!

Better luck next time.


The trouble with tariffs instituted out of desperation, ignorance of how the  world works, egoism, and stupidity is that they are… stupid.

As a retail store and e-commerce businessman, I already see the affects of the tariffs that are going to make America great again (it doesn’t even deserve capitalization.) I will let you in on a little secret- it isn’t going to work!

Sales are dropping and will continue to drop as  tariffs begin to affect the supply chain.  Cost increases will be passed on and on and on, until finally you and I will be paying for those 20% tariffs that are going to save America.  Will wages and income increase 20% as well? Highly unlikely.  What will we do? Rework budgets, forego purchases, and try to ride it out.  And what effect will this have on our economy, on the global economy for which we are responsible (yes, we are responsible for it and have been since the end of World War II)?  You figure it out.

Hindsight is 20/20.  If we would have stayed out of NAFTA and GATT to begin with, if we wouldn’t have agreed to so many “free-trade” agreements, we would not be in this mess.  But that is the past.  Today, we are in the thick of it, part of the global mess we have created, for better or for worse.

Big D., if you read this, you cannot make massive changes to an intricately entangled, delicately balanced system and expect the system to adapt in the blink of an eye. Or even over the course of years. A small storm becomes a typhoon easily enough. Typhoons destroy. A big enough typhoon will destroy everything.

Short-sighted, reactionary, and isolationist responses to world-wide economic issues will do nothing but harm to our economy, and by default, to the economies of much of the world.  It will increase the power of dictators such as Putin, and cause countries that are barely holding on to move backwards. The acceptance and support of populist movements in Europe is just the beginning. A return to the nationalism and fascism that lead us into war are next.


Let it be known that my affordable health care has increased by nearly $100 again this year. I am now paying nearly $1000 a month- very affordable! I paid about $450 dollars a month before it became affordable.  Thank you to Barack Obama, Congress, and Cigna for all your help with this matter. I am so happy to support big business, giant healthcare concerns, Wall Street, and all the entitled millions of Americans, and non-Americans, that need my help.

“Single acts of tyranny may be ascribed to the accidental opinion of the day; but a series of oppressions, begun at a distinguished period and pursued unalterably through every change of ministers, too plainly prove a deliberate, systematical plan of reducing us to slavery.”

From The Rights of British America, 1774 by Thomas Jefferson

Give this statement some thought, and think about the change that never occurs no matter how many times you vote or for whom you vote.

Many of us have been around to see a number of “bubbles burst”, as economists and disinformation sources like to put it. Let’s start with my favorite, the Savings and Loan scandal of the 1980’s (thank you very much Bush family). Then we have the housing bubble of the 1990’s, next the tech bubble of the 2000’s, and finally the Great Recession of recent memory (my memory at any rate).

So, what is next? Will it be a bursting bubble? Or an Earth-shattering, or at least dream-shattering, explosion? My choice for a title so far is “The Great Lie of the Teens.”


I just got off the phone with my insurance agent. It seems that my health plan, once again, does not fall withing the guidelines of the “Affordable Care Act”.  And so, once again, it is being phased out. The result, once again, the cost will go up- another $100 per month perhaps.

On the bright side, if this continues to happen I might reach the point where I pay so much for health care coverage that I will be able to get subsidies!
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again- God Bless America!