Finland and Sweden are on their way to being NATO countries.  Good for them!  Next up, Ukraine, at the very least… is Moldova ready yet?

In other parts of the world, elections in Lebanon- from Aljazeera- Hezbollah and its allies lose seats, independent candidates make gains. 

A good read- if you have access to Foreign Affairs online, read the article The Coup in the Kremlin- How Putin and the Security Services Captured the Russian State.  Pay attention to the author’s choice of words- “state organs”, “chekists”, “siloviki”, the KGB (now FSB and still in the original Luyanka KGB headquarters?), NKVD, and so on- these and other references to the Stalinist Soviet Union are very timely. History repeating.

If you have a couple of free hours, you can view the Brookings Institute webinar from today- Threats to American Democracy, the Thirteenth Annual A. Alfred Taubman Forum on Public Policy . The webinar had two parts, the first one covering the electoral and institutional challenges facing the US, the second part covered digital threats, misinformation, and disinformation. The second part interested me immensely, making comparisons to the autocratic decision making processes of Russia, China, and corporations!  Each has a very specific agenda, and tailors information to its needs. There were mentions of tribalism, discord, and division, all of which are necessary, sought after, and promoted by authoritarians and corporate media in order to thrive and profit. Give that some thought.

Finally, if we abandon Ukraine, we abandon freedom, democracy, justice, and a bravery that is protecting us all, whether we realise it or not.

Arm Ukraine Now!

Arm Ukraine Now!


Justice? As I have said again and again, it is an illusion. Our “democracy” has become an abortion. For four long years, and more slowly, more insidiously for many more years and decades before that, it has been steadily destroyed, trampled on, chipped away, thrown in the trash bit by bit. But more damage has been done in these last four years than throughout the history of our country, overt destruction of what my country stands for. But this is the nature of political systems including democracy; all democracies eventually degrade into tyranny. Just the way it is. Now back to the present day.

Do we live in the United States, or am I confusing my country with the so many countries in the middle east, the Caucuses, the Balkans, or maybe Ukraine, Belarus, or some other eastern European Russian satellite playground? Trump clearly emulates Putin, the dictator of Russia for those who don’t recognise the name. Both suffer from serious mental incapacities, megalomania, delusions of grandeur, etc. and so on, and pass that suffering on to us, the citizens who they purportedly work for.

Make America great again… ha! Destroy America and make us the laughing stock of the world. This is the sad reality of the state of the greatest nation in the world, the leader of the free world, the scion of democracy. America as we knew it is gone. We will never recover from Trump.

And speaking of Donald Trump (inserting opinion here), he should be taken away in a straight jacket at the very least, at best in handcuffs for a few life sentences for treason, sedition, fraud, deceit, and countless criminal actions he has committed. Not to mention incompetence and stupidity… if only Americans valued intelligence, logic, foresight, leadership, and strength the way they do television, Mc Donald’s, and beer. But we are far beyond that. At least with justice served, Trump in handcuffs being led out of the white house, filmed and broadcast live around the world, we will feel like there is still some semblance of democracy left. It won’t happen though, because our “leaders” are spineless, and thereby complicit, afraid to upset their own positions in the illusion. Nothing more can be said about that. Get ready for the next four years… we haven’t seen anything yet.

Elections in Turkey

2 April 2019

Elections in Turkey still up in the air.  Or, legitimacy and the state of democracy in Turkey still up in the air. From the the BIRN website:

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, who has warm relations with the Turkish strongman, was the first regional leader to congratulate Erdogan even before the preliminary results were released.

Curious how results are in before the votes are counted.




Duty of The People

13 March 2019

When the people are afraid of the government, that’s tyranny. But when the government is afraid of the people, that’s liberty.
-Thomas Jefferson

To take Jefferson’s poignant truth a little further and update it for the 21st century, let’s make it “When the people are afraid of the corporations, that’s tyranny. But when the corporations are afraid of the people, that’s liberty.”

Your job for today: think about the latter, updated quote and how you feel about Facebook, Google, and Amazon. Then ask yourself what part you have in it, and then, what is your duty?

“America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”
-Abraham Lincoln,1862

Give that very appropriate quote some thought, not just in the context of the United States, but globally. Or pick just about any country in Europe and apply it. No matter where you look, Lincoln’s quote might be considered now more than ever, a prophesy.

Food for thought, or supporting evidence (take your pick) can be found in two recently published works: The Empty Throne: America’s Abdication of Global Leadership, by Ivo Daalder and James Lindsay. Also see Hunger and Fury: The Crisis of Democracy in the Balkans, by Jasmin Mujanovic.

“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.