Putin – Russia and acts of a desperate man

Warning – Dangerous times ahead!

Okay, we do not know that for a fact yet but Putin is a somewhat unpredictable individual and I do not believe anyone can say with certainty that they “do” know what he will do next. The man is, or appears to be, a smart cookie – after all, he has been in a major position of power for a very long time since he left the KGB years ago. And if anyone believes Medvedev was in charge while being President of Russia, they should re-think that…

Putin may well be moving into a state of desperation what with the way the Ruble is falling, or maybe I should say it is falling more precipitously than oil at this time (Dec 16, 2014).

Not to cast aspersions on Japan of today but if anyone happens to recall – Japan became a desperate nation prior to World War II because of oil (one of the major reasons) and look at what happened on December 7, 1941.

I do not claim to know what the man, Putin, is doing, let alone thinking – no one can claim that but he is in a position where his country could very likely lash out at the world in no certain measures. To bring back Russian hegemony for that side of the world… or attempt to do so.

Here, look at what has happened in recent history, because of Putin:

Crimea – illegally taken because Putin believes Crimea belongs to Russia and Khrushchev had no authority over a half century ago, in 1954, to give up the country Putin primarily wants Crimea because of the naval base there and access to the ocean from that part of the world.

Ukraine – Russian troops in the eastern portion of Ukraine – there are a lot of natural resources located there that Russia could sorely use… and not actually looking out for any Russian citizens living in Ukraine

Military buildup – Putin is doing a great deal of military buildup, in troops, ships, planes, etc – why?  Is there something Russia is afraid of, like China invading Russia, in the 21st century – for sure no other country is going to nor has a desire to do so.

   Are we going back to an arms race again? (Look at China, their latest stealth fighter that was built from stolen U.S.A. R & D defense contractors – sorry, built solely from the creative and innovative minds of the Chinese engineers there – Bloomberg ran a story that states that the new Chinese jet can defeat the American F-35 in a fight.) Maybe China is going to invade Russia for its resources.

   Maybe China and Russia are going to team up and take over the world, no one knows the answers.

Gays – Putin, instead of helping all Russians, has let the super-conservative go out and beat up (and kill) gays living in Russia. A supposed super-power would want to allow their people to live their lives they desire, instead of being told who they can love or make love to… (maybe Putin is afraid of homosexuals?)

Censorship – Many Americans are just not aware of the massive invasion of privacy and snooping and censorship that occurs in mother Russia. People think the Great Firewall of China is something;  little do they know how pervasive Russia’s wiretapping is (all the forms of the Russian SORM laws).

Malaysia Airliner – Then there is the shoot down of the Malaysia air liner, for whom many point to Russia being party to that horrific incident (no rebel could obtain that kind of missile in Ukraine)

 

Russia has massive mineral resources in their own region to work with. The country could work much better with the international community with open arms and the will to be an open country. But no, Putin and some of the other leaders (many of them who are more corrupt than is expected – and again yes, we, in the U.S., also have corrupt leaders but not on the scale of Russia’s leaders) – they seem to want to continue to have a massively concentrated government that removes all personal liberties from the private citizen.

And the criminal element, we are not quite sure how bad it really is because from what we see, some of the Russian leadership (as far as we know and is alleged) are in bed with those criminal elements. And the government is going to put a positive spin on anything that goes over the air waves, until it is a story about the evil and untrustworthy U.S.

How does a Russian political figure become rich as they are (far richer than American political figures become while in and after leaving office). There is no way in Hades Russian political figures can get that rich on a government salary – surely not as many as has become wealthy over the past several decades.

But let’s ask Putin, a man who is reported to have up to $50 billion squirrelled away in some bank(s) somewhere…

So, with:

  • The Ruble crashing
  • Oil revenues eroding
  • Unrest growing amongst the Russian population
  • Being snubbed and having the 2014 G8 summit taking place outside of Russia that Putin was looking forward to having in his own country
  • International sanctions taking more and more of a bite out of Russia, all because of Mr. Putin

what does Putin do next?

What should we expect next out of this man who pictures himself as the greatest egomaniac, sorry, leader in Russian history?

This is someone who can get people killed, using Polonium, for just speaking up – ask Alexander Litvinenko (dead) and the journalist Yuri Petrovich Shchekochikhin (dead) and Viktor Yushchenko (who is still alive but suffered from TCDD poisoning).

 

No one wants to invade Russia. 

The civilized world only wants Russia to pick itself up by its boot straps and become the power they continually claim they are.

If Russia (Putin) wants Russia to be on the world stage, it should start acting like a leader, not a despot, and start the painful (and expensive) task of getting:

  • Its people a better education
  • Better health care
  • A better economy
  • Getting its act together on the business front and have better collaborative engagements with all other countries
  • Start leading as great leaders do – and yes, the U.S. does have its own share of leadership problems but at least the U.S. is acting on it in the open, as much as possible with as many cloak and dagger behind the scenes Machiavellian schemes being uncovered – there are no police or military crackdowns for people speaking their mind, as long as they do it peacefully that is.

Even China is starting to slowly come around to being better leaders, at least as far as we can see from what Xi JinPing is doing in China on their slow, laborious path (or multi-year plan) to root out corruption and bring China up to a better economic platform…

Many people of the civilized (as it is), democratic and developed world only want to see Russia give its people freedom of choice and freedom from invasion of privacy that people in other parts of the world enjoys…

 

What do we expect a rational leader to do in a desperate national situation? The key phrase there is a rational leader. The Russian people are not as aware as they believe they are of what is going in the rest of the world, let alone their own country – not when the national media is controlled by the national government editing and removing content (censorship).

We need to keep a very close eye on all the activities that Putin is undertaking, everything from: military actions (buildup’s and movements), political forays and crackdowns, economic indicators (ruble and oil slides and significant interest rate hikes), the rich moving money out of Russia, media content (the scrubbed and un-scrubbed, if we can get it), agricultural successes and failures across the country, rise in poor health due to failing medical system (due to lack of supplies), diplomatic overtures and on and on and on…

For one, I am frightened as to the next steps that Putin may engage in with the rest of the developed world (and the developing world for that matter) as he gropes for answers or power.

**** Remember, Putin ‘did’ remind the world, over the summer that they have nuclear weapons… ****  here is one link –> http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/08/31/putin-threatens-nuclear-war-over-ukraine.html

 

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In a Sane World – Religion, Race & Gender

 

Okay, this past week of incidents has gotten my dander up, too many crazy things going on in the world. In watching Rachel Maddow one night, I saw her talking about John McCain and what he said about Chelsea Clinton and Janet Reno during the 2008 Presidential campaign. After seeing that piece, I have lost complete respect for him, decorated POW or not, he of all highly educated people should know better. The segment was the one on Reno and Eric Holder being the only two non-white or non-white males out of 82 Attorneys-General in our history. What McCain did was, he made a very disparaging joke about Chelsea C and Janet Reno – I won’t repeat it here. Very, very sexist!

Then there was the ISIS beheading of the French individual who was kidnapped.

And then there was the shooting of a black guy in Ohio who was following a policeman’s request to show his drivers’ license and the poor guy wound up being shot (by a poor shooter).

 

So, let’s talk about freedoms that everyone on the planet should be observing, freedoms that allow each and every one of us to be happy.

Sure, everyone has an inalienable right to partake in any religion they desire. And yes, people can also be a bigot, or rather, an individual that believes they are more superior to others of a different color. And yep, you can also dislike the opposite sex as well.

But, here’s the kicker – you cannot take your religion, gender discriminations and racist leanings and do harm to others. That harm could take the form of mental, physical and/or emotional abuse. You just can’t.

 

Let’s take on religion first. Religious battle has been going on since time immemorial. Those battles have gone on for millennia, not just centuries where people of one religion fought with those of a different or no religion. Those battles have gone on far longer than the old saying of – ”earth was created 6,000 years ago.” And yes, there is a lot of fossilized proof to prove humans have been around for quite some time, you just need to do your own research. The reason why I say do your own research is because that is the only way you will learn anything. Just because someone else tells you a fact that in and of itself may not convince you, you need to dig into the info on your own.

We will never get anywhere if people continually throw religion into the mix of politics or society instead of using commonsense and respect for the other. Muslims are not going to follow Catholics. Those of Jewish descent are not going to follow Muslims. Baptists are not going to follow Catholics. That list goes on and on and on. Who is going to bend and simply recognize that people follow other religions because that is what they choose to do. No one can make another believe in their own religion or god. There are only a tiny proportion of religious individuals who do respect and follow those of another religion, as far as I know….?

We have seen time and time again, so many high level religious leaders with their hands in the cookie jar. The cookie jar could any of the following or more:

== Embezzlement

== With prostitutes

== Partaking of drugs and alcohol [WHILE railing those who do, during church sessions]

== Engaging in homosexual acts [WHILE railing against the act as being sinful] and/or

== Just not acting as a religious leader when they “think” no one is looking

So, many of the pious out there do not have a moral leg to stand or lean on…

And as for the extremist crazies around the world today, who in their right mind would willingly follow those folks?

In this piece, you may notice the use of lower case g’s throughout… It is not meant to be disrespectful; it is only personal disbelief towards any god.

What matters is that you, the individual, are respected as a person – pure and simple. It is not the religion which only makes up some of you (even though many will say that religion is all of their makeup – let’s just agree to disagree). YOU are what matters. That which makes up your character, your integrity – that is what matters for many of us. It is the person inside.

 

Now, let’s take a peek at racism next. Racism has gone on unchecked for, again, millennia and not centuries, around the globe. Too many people in the world are “STILL” worried and scared of others only because they look different, because the other has a different hue of skin color. Or that they have different facial features.

At this time, many people just do not follow the path of history and use “their own mind,” “their own brain” to do any research or logical thinking beyond their favorite radical radio show or favorite reality television show.

There seems to be no consideration, at least the way it appears, to what kind of conditions people have to live in, in their part of the world. And then of course there is not much consideration to how the ancestors of those people had to endure even harsher elements to survive. Have many people, in the 21st century, simply stopped thinking for their own sake and are relying on those with loud voices but few truths?

No one can subjugate a race of people and make them subservient or to stay in the status of less than second class people or some kind of lower caste system. That is, unless you wish to bring back an older and uglier time to the present…

What matters, again – is you and your character, your integrity! That is what matters for many of us, not the simple, ridiculously thin layer of upper epidermal skin color. It is the person inside.

 

And now, on gender, just because the other is a woman; what gives anyone else the right to harass her? What gives anyone the right to be a dictator over that woman, even if they are boyfriend/girlfriend or married? Who gives the right to say that a woman cannot be a CEO or President of a company or any country? A woman can also become a submarine captain if she is qualified and not be denied that position just because she is a woman.

Just because a woman has a uterus and a pair of breasts, why do so many continue to act as if she does not have a brain (sometimes a BETTER brain) than you do???

 

Does anyone, today in the 21st century, realistically believe that anyone can control another human being because of race, gender or religion? Why?

Why does anyone believe that they are far more superior, just because of race, gender or religion and for some reason has some inherent right to control others?

Could it be a case of “well, I’m bigger and stronger and I can beat your head in if you don’t listen and do as I say” – is that it?

Is it a case of “well, I’m of a different and better race (or caste), so of course I am far more superior to you” – really?

Or, is it a case where “well, MY god is the one true god and since we follow that god, we are more arrogant, sorry, superior to you because our god is the only god” – c’mon? Not everyone believes in superstition and mythical beings that have evolved since humans learned to walk and became clans with their shamans, or their witch doctors and then later on, priests and bishops. Just because some people believe in a god, it does not mean that everyone else has to believe – just because someone else says you should or must.

 

We now have a situation in Colorado where a school district (Jefferson County west of Denver) wants to “only teach positive and patriotic aspects about the U.S. and nothing negative” to students in the AP history classes [1, 2].

This truly is incredible that a schools’ educational system wants to: “only teach positive aspects” and maybe not talk about the Suffragist Movement, or how the Chinese were treated in building the U.S. railroad system or even slavery in this country…

Say it ain’t so – that we have another state that wants to foster censorship, in the schools no less. Has McCarthy arisen from the grave? Because censorship is what it boils down to, the students in that school district full well know and understand that it would be censorship.

If we censor history, then our descendants will most definitely repeat the sins of the fathers – as it was nearly all men who fostered most of the atrocities in our near and distant past. The originator(s) of the school district proposal may have had their hearts in the right place but were completely misguided in even thinking about ‘removing the negative aspects of our history’ because that is what it is if you start deliberately whitewashing, sorry, if one starts leaving out chunks of history.

This is akin to what Japan of old attempted to do with the Nanking, China situation. The Japanese leaders wanted to alter the history books in Japan so no one would learn about the atrocities that took place in Nanking decades ago. As if the rest of the world would forget about it…

Or, it could be similar to Kansas in how they want to, ahhh, remove evolution from their history books… On this one, there is no reference added, please, do yourself a favor and research this and come to your own conclusion. There is plenty of lucid and accurate content out there on Kansas and their ongoing struggle between evolution and creationism and what to teach their children (I would not suggest to any family to move to Kansas).

 

Have people lost their minds? No one can sugar coat the past. No one can control others in what they believe in. If a group of people want to believe in a god that is up to those people. But those people cannot force it on others.

Listen, if no one wants to talk about the problems that exist, they just won’t magically go away – now will they? We have to communicate with other in reaching compromises. That is how we coexist.

But with religious extremists, now that is a whole ‘nuther cup of noodles. It seems that communication does not work with that group. The only thing that works is if you convert to their religion and their way of life, simple as that. Oh wait, if you do not, well, they kill you.

People around the globe have got to become better educated, learn to communicate and try to see through the eyes of the other. In doing so – that is the only way we are all going to survive as a race of people. It will not matter if you are male or female, black or white or green, religious or non-religious – communication and compromise will be the only solutions to the survival of the human race.

To prove how much better you are than others, you only have to show it in the good things you do – that’s it.

 

Folks, we all share the same basic DNA and that will never change, not in the next couple of decades anyway. The genetic difference between individuals is something like 0.1% and of that, skin color differentiation is even more miniscule than that… Many people will simply refuse to believe the differences between the different races are so tiny. Yet, we do. As well, many people would be shocked to learn that they are not as pure as they believe themselves to be. Some will be shocked into learning that they might have the same racial traits as others of a different race, thanks to their long ago ancestors.

So, people, come together and enjoy life instead of trying to destroy the lives of others. Please.

 

References

1 – Hundreds of Colorado students stage protest over history curriculum, http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/sep/24/denver-students-walkout-protest-history-school-board, 24 Sept. 2014, retrieved 25 Sept 2014

2 – Colorado students walk out to protest proposed curriculum changes, http://www.latimes.com/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-colorado-student-protests-story.html, 24 Sept. 2014, retrieved 25 Sept 2014

 

Freedom…. or Death…..

Originally posted Aug 30, 2013 at & moved from: http://patrick642.wordpress.com/
Change. Improve. Innovate. Be better.
~ Pressing issues, from cyber security, to strategy, to innovation, to improvements (self, others, organizations)

 

WMD Well, it looks as if more people of the world would rather watch the innocent Syrians continue to be massacred by Al-Assad…. The evidence continues to be clear that there are chemical weapons being used. And I am willing to bet that it is not Syrian rebels using those kinds of chemicals on other Syrians… Two years and 100,000 people killed – and counting…

Yes, America did the wrong thing in hindsight years ago when Iraq used chemical weapons and we did nothing to stop that. But that was then and today, I don’t believe any American in their right mind would condone another country using chemical weapons on their own people.

Hopefully the U.N. inspectors, even after a lengthy and diluting time period, have found some kind of chemical evidence to prove to the U.N. itself and other countries of the world that ‘yes,’ there were chemical weapons used.

Syria’s Friends Syria is a country that has had a dictatorial government, errr sorry, dictatorial leaders for decades. The people of Syria have been dead set on resolving that matter and wanting to elect, democratically, new leadership for the people (if they can avoid the religious divisions that is hurting Egypt’s elections). The Syrian people no longer want to have someone born into power to run the country and the people. And we have Al-Assad, who does not want to give up that absolute power.

As to friends of the Syrian leadership – is it any surprise they are other countries where the people are controlled, and I will say absolutely controlled, by their country’s leadership. a – China A country with no true religious freedom, no democratic freedom (despite what the leaders say because the leadership is still communistic) and no Internet freedoms because the Chinese ‘Net is monitored and censored to only allow what the Chinese government will allow and shut down when that leadership decides to… b – Iran A country where the former leader, Ahmadinejad, stated there are no gays in Iran, no religious freedom, no “true” democratically elected leadership (clerics still run the country) and no Internet freedom because the Iranian ‘Net is monitored and heavily censored AND can be shut down when their government decides to… c – Russia Another country where to be gay is to be illegal…. But where there actually is freedom on the ‘Net – even if that ‘Net is HEAVILY monitored by state/federal police for ANY kind of dissident or deviants… These are the Syrian leaders’ friends – other countries with severe and heavy handed control of the people. Oh, and countries that want to continue selling weapons to enforce controlling their people…

Uniting So then. I am not sure what is going to transpire next, Syrians continue to die while the rest of the world stands by because many of the people of the various countries do not want their government to get them involved. Instead, people of the world are hoping that: 1 – Conversations will solve the problem (two years and counting), 2 – Sanctions will solve the problem (two years and counting), 3 – Diplomacy will solve the problem (two years and 100,000 people killed and counting)…

And if we, the U.S. and other allies (if they do join us) do get involved with U.N. approval for precision (as best possible) strikes, what will be the aftermath? What will Russia and Iran do to help their ‘Friend’ Syria, a country that purchases munitions from them? Will Russia and Iran condone losing their business buddy – even if Al-Assad is killing innocents wantonly? Or are these two countries using nothing but bravado and bluster to say, “Hey, I’m important, you have to listen to me?” Or will one or both of them take some kind of retaliatory action against the U.S. and allies – kinetically (missiles, bombs), via cyberspace (some kind of debilitating virus / worm) or maybe even some kind of chemical weapon against the U.S.

Conclusion What do we do, continue to talk – or worse, let our do nothing congress engage in rabbithole approach to some kind of answer. And yes, congress is supposed to be giving approval for any kind of strike. Maybe our do nothing congress will surprise us…. While I am not a Hawk, I don’t want to turn ‘any’ cheek while people are getting massacred.