Saturday, September 19, 2020

World War Four


Karl Marx famously stated once that religion was the opiate of the masses. Sure, I'll buy that for the most part but here in the United States the OxyContin of the great unwashed is conspiracy theories. The land of the free and home of the brave is now awash in all manner of bizarre and brazenly stupid and semi-suicidal theories about malevolent forces plotting behind closed doors to bring an end to all that is good and righteous.

The overwhelming majority of the time the second anyone I'm around brings up a conspiracy theory, I suddenly remember a desperately urgent errand that has to be accomplished before that person starts spouting his or her insanity. Personally, any story or premise that even hints at a National Enquirer-level of intelligence I immediately classify the spreader of such information a worthless fool.

Here's the problem though, all conspiracy theories are not created equal. Most are indeed playthings for dangerous childish idiots such as President Obama orchestrating “Deep State” attacks of the Orange Buffoon's Administration. But a small minority dance just in the realm of the possible while not likely given their complex nature and the number of people who would be required to implement such plans.

But what if the perpetrators of these conspiracies don't really try to hide their activities?

Despite initially trying to hide their actions my favorite boogeyman, Russia, has been openly interfering in the elections of dozens of nations. Most notably, from my point of view, are the elections here in the United States with them going full court press back in 2016 to get the Orange Buffoon elected.

While Russian intelligence was able to hack into the voter rolls of various states in 2016, I haven't seen any strong evidence they were able to alter election results. There was more than enough idiots and fools who stayed home or voted third-party to throw the election. But the Russians have been proven to have engaged in an active, and eager, cooperation with the Trump Campaign as well as conducting a massive disinformation and propaganda program on social media that the idiots and fools bought hook like and sinker.

Here's where I begin to drift into what could be called the conspiratorial realm.



Way back in the late-1990 I read an article where a Russian professor by the name of Igor Panarin, who predicted the breakup of the United States and its balkanization into six different parts. Five of these new countries would then fall under the dominion of various powers like the European Union, Canada, Mexico, China or Japan. This Panarin believed independent Alaska would revert back to Russian control like it was in the first half of the nineteenth century. Truth be told, Russia has a bit of a neurotic fixation on Alaska since they feel the United States stole it from them.

But Russia is nursing more than a neurotic fixation on a lost piece of territory. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union certain powerful Russians and a good chunk of the general population have been nursing a heavy grudge against the United States. For a people who have always believed they were ordained by God to play a huge role in global destiny, going from a superpower to almost a failed-state would naturally cause physiological issues.

To a certain extent, I believe the powerful in Russia have gone beyond just holding a grudge and wanting to sow chaos in the United States to pursuing an active course of violent destabilization. The unexpected growth of bizarre conspiracy beliefs, such as the scary “QAnon” is just too convenient given that Russia is trying to reassert itself on the global stage.

A “normal nation” wanting to play in the geopolitical big leagues would mobilize its economic and military might achieve such goals. But Russia doesn't have the Gross Domestic Product, population, nor military resources available for such endeavors.

Sure, Russia is constantly producing nice artistic renderings of massive aircraft carriers, new manned space capsules, and other fancy toys only militarily and economically viable countries like the United States and China can produce. But while they are pursing a course of military modernization, they just don't have the economy nor population to maintain such programs.

In fact, like the late Senator John McCain said, Russia is just a glorified gas station whose only claim to global importance is their nuclear weapons. Unlike the United States, China, the European Union, and Japan no one wants any products from Russia like cars, televisions, airplanes, or any number of other pieces of technology. All they have is oil, and while it is currently a valuable product, in the years ahead its importance will steadily decline.

Throw in its declining birth rate, well below replacement level, there is little chance the Russian economy will be able to maintain its current standing. In other words, Russia is destined to fade in the global background as nations in Asia blow past them in importance.

But that isn't stopping Russia from wanting to reclaim what its sees as its lost status. So in my opinion it is pursuing a form of asymmetrical global warfare by funding various right-wing nationalist movements in Europe and its social media campaign here in the United States. This is more than just the old divide and conquer strategy, Russia is clearly working to discredit the European Union because a massive economic superpower made up of liberal nations might threaten all the autocrats and plutocrats living in and around the Kremlin.

But the United States holds a special place of hate in the Russian autocracy. Vlad Putin and any number of his cronies want to hurt the United States like they feel was done to them. While saying they have an active military-like plan to destroy the United States might be an overstatement, I truly believe they would be happy to see our cities burn and our people kill each other in the streets.

That they have centered their efforts of our centuries old racial divisions and fears, exacerbated by our own economic issues just shows they have been listening to Igor Panarin and others like him. 



"As If Things Weren't Bad Enough, Russian Professor Predicts End of the U.S." Wall Street Journal December 29, 2008


Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Darth Wiggles Goes to Clemson


Well my wife and I reached another milestone in life last Saturday. Our daughter, Darth Wiggles, is now a full time student at Clemson University and living on campus. You would think being a full time student would naturally mean living on campus, but with the Covid pandemic throwing everything into chaos, she was doing online courses for three weeks here at home before it was her time to move up there.

The actual move to campus wasn't that bad compared to stories I have heard from other people. We did have to drive two cars because of all the stuff my daughter needed, but only barely. And the campus police and other Clemson staff had most everything dealing with the incoming students expertly planned out and carefully managed.

In fact, I only made a fool of myself twice that day, the first was unknowingly driving off the actual street and onto a pedestrian walkway. The second example was somehow getting lost LEAVING the campus. Once my wife and I had Darth Wiggles settled into her dorm room, we said goodbye and drove away in our respective cars. My wife pulled out of the parking lot immediately but I wanted to find an interesting podcast on my phone, so I didn't started driving for about fifteen minutes. Long story short, I missed a turn going out somewhere and was heading towards the South Carolina/Georgia/North Carolina border area for twenty minutes.

Darth Wiggles appears to be settling nicely into her new surroundings while for her parents the house to just too damn quiet. Right now the plan is for her to spend four to five weeks up there before coming home for a visit. No matter how much she was looking forward to getting on campus, there will be a period of homesickness to overcome.

It still sucks though, for my wife and I.

Monday, September 7, 2020

True Losers and Suckers



U.S. Armed Forced veterans are overwhelmingly a conservative bunch. It's a mindset that if you don't already have upon entering the service it's one that you'll eventually adopt in some fashion. See, what few of my fellow liberals and next to no progressives understand is that when your in combat or even just training for war there isn't any time to question the circumstances.

The orders handed down to any soldier, Marine, sailor, or airman have to be obeyed immediately and without question or people could die. I understand that sound dramatic and maybe even cliché, but it happens to be true. Military operations whether they be actual campaigns with real bombs and bullets flying or a field training exercise on a military post, being in the wrong place at the wrong time can get lots of people dead. And the one thing every member of the armed forces wants to avoid above getting themselves killed is being responsible for the deaths of others.

Many in the civilian world misinterpret this professional dedication as robotic and unthinking, that we soldiers, Marines, or whoever don't quite have the brainpower to avoid danger. Worse still, many convince themselves that anyone joining the military is already suffering a vital shortage in IQ points. That only brutes, bullies, or near-sociopaths would willingly surrender the control of their lives to get a chance to kill other human beings.

I'm not going to lie, some of those people do join the military. The same goes for such individuals that hear the call of crusade or want to live out their Rambo and Chuck Norris fantasies. But believe it or not, the officers and NCO's of all services have a pretty good record of weeding such mutants out of the service.

This begs the question often asked by members of the civilian world: why does any sane person join organizations where the pay is crap, the living conditions are at best cramped, and where you could suffer painful disfigurement or death? 


For the right reasons it has to be the benefits, whether they be medical for loved ones or educational for themselves. Being able to take you kid to a dependable doctor without having to worry about going bankrupt is pretty good reason. So is being able to pay for college without being weighed down by student loans.

Yes, patriotism is a good reason to join but so much mud has been mixed in those waters that we start drifting into territory where we have to watch out for brutes, bullies, and the near-sociopaths. I've personally know about leadership in one of my units cutting soldiers from a deployment roster because they advertised their desire to go Rambo or Chuck Norris on the locals. Such wannabe movie commandos don't like being a team player and have a tendency to get others killed.

Far too many misconceptions now exist between the the safe and soft civilian world and those of us who serve or have served. At one time it was safe to say that Republicans had at least some inkling about the sacrifices and tribulations members of the armed forces and their families suffered through. That many of the politically conservative members of our society having taken on the burdens and hardships of military service themselves understood the dedication it took to something greater than themselves.

Even though I'm politically liberal, I'll admit many of my Democratic cohorts are as self-centered, self-destructive, and oblivious to the nature of the real world as their Republican counterparts. Many on the political left refuse to understand that the world is a dangerous place. Even though it was made that way through corporate or old fashioned national imperialism, that doesn't give any other third-world country or group the right to kill Westerners. Yes, peace and reconciliation is the best way to solve the world's problems but that's a long hard road.

All that being said last week showed that while the liberal and progressives don't have much of, or any idea about what it takes to resist chaos. But now its become public what the Orange Buffoon truly thinks of the men and women who serve in the armed forces.

No I'm not surprised, the Orange Buffoon has never given one slight instance that he ever believed in anything that didn't make him money or got him laid. Even when he was nominally considered a New York Democrat, any of his appearances on television I happen to view left me feeling dirty and nausea afterward.


Being a twenty-one year veteran of the active army and National Guard with enough IQ points to spare for something other than eating and breathing, this news of his true feelings did make me laugh. We're talking about a family that got caught read handed stealing funds from a kids cancer charity. The Orange Buffoon and his parasitical offspring and assorted gold diggers don't give a damn about any other people but themselves.

The Orange Buffoon's one talent is his ability appeal to the fears and hate of the Marching Morons. He has never shown a drop of empathy to another human being and brags about playing all the angles when it comes promoting himself. Usually saying another human being has no redeeming qualities is a gross overstatement, but in Trump's case it happens to be true. I despise the man, his family, and all his sycophants to the point I worry about my mental health.

Strangely, I don't totally hate his rank and file supporters. Their inability to see through his deceptions and look beyond their own hates and fears makes them the true losers and suckers in this disaster.