Rss

Archives for : Russia

A Fond Farewell

A Fond Farewell

Well, this is the last you will hear from me. It might be for good, it might just be temporary, I don’t know yet. It’s been a privilege to be able to express the things that rattled around in my head. I’m grateful to Ruthless for giving me an audience and a medium where I could express my thoughts. Unfortunately, with my schedule soon to be packed with writing I’ll be pretty busy.  So, without further ado, I present to you my final ramblings. This place will get on just fine without me,k so, farewell all you crazy readers.

Cuba

So, let’s talk about Cuba for a minute. The Cold War has been over for awhile now and it seems that the United States is finally willing to get around to normalizing relations with Cuba — good, it’s about time. I don’t understand why the Republican’s are up in a furor over the fact that we traded 3 Cuban “:spies” to get one American back, but these are the some geniuses that  if we didn’t get the American released would have cried that the President didn’t care about American’s. It’s a bit of a hilarious Catch 22 situation if you’re the President; you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

Sure, Casto wasn’t the nicest of guys but we still have normalized relations with plenty of other autocratic despots, the only difference is that Cuba sided with the Soviet Union during the Cold War and for whatever reason America has this super aversion to communism — I’ve never quite fully understood why we as American’s hate communists just for being communists, it seemed pretty pointless to me, and the restrictions America has imposed on Cuba are just absurd at this point in time.

It is definitely time to let bygones be bygones and just let things get away from the toxicity that has been America’s foreign relations. We need more friends in the world, not less. We need to stop hanging onto grudges and stop acting like we’re so star spangled awesome that we’re above the rest of the international community. No, giving 3 Cubans up for 1 American is not a bad deal. English Law has been heavily weighed by Blackstone’s Foundation, which states:

It is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer

The same concept generally applies in this situation. Sure, the 3 Cubans might have legitimately been spies, and Alan Gross had legitimately not been one, than there is no argument in my mind that we should have done whatever possible to let him go — even if that means letting 3 enemy spies go. It isn’t the first time we’ve swapped spies, anyways.

North Korea

So, North Korea dictates Hollywood now. It’s a little sad, because I was looking forward to seeing The Interview because it looked funny but I suppose I can say farewell to that as well. Is that the situation we have come to? That every anonymous threat of terror is capable of bringing our country to its knees? That we bend the knee to the lunacy of North Korea and its childishly deluded dictator?

Incase you missed it, in light of the cyber attack on Sony Pictures and threats received, Movie Theater chains have backed out on showing The Interview so Sony has cancelled the planned release of the movie. Likewise, a move called Pyongyang that was in production by FOX has essentially died on the vine in lieu of these situations. At what point in time do we consider a cyberattack like this an act of war? That is where policy is steadily heading, and I believe the United States of America has already reserved the right to respond to a cyberattack with real military force.

I don’t really have much more to say on this other than that it is utterly absurd that we are so paralyzed in fear that we now allow North Korea to dictate what we can and cannot see. Is anyone seriously expecting North Korea to make good on whatever threats these theaters have received? I doubt it would happen, but oh well.

Ukraine

I was thankfully wrong in the Ukraine — don’t get me wrong, the Republican’s made good on my prediction of trying to shoehorn military aid to the Ukrainian military but I was wrong in the sense that it doesn’t seem like we’ll actually be getting involved in a war there. Sending the Ukrainian Government  Military Weapons would only throw us into another Cold War esque proxy war with Russia — hey guys, do you remember how fun those were?

Thankfully, however, the Russian economy is steadily buckling beneath the weight of crippling economic sanctions, proving once and for all that you actually can accomplish something without bombs. Russia has few choices open to it at this moment — the only way for the sanctions to be lifted is for Russia to withdraw its support from the Eastern Ukraine, and that really seems to be the only way that Russia will survive due to the fact that oil prices are toppling down. Sure, Putin might have gotten a nice public opinion boost but I’m pretty sure he can say farewell to that once Russians start asking why they’re in breadlines again over the Eastern Ukraine.

If Putin had half a brain, he would abandon his dreams of rebuilding the Russian Empire and leave Ukraine alone. This isn’t the 1800s, there is no way Russia is economically viable in a global economy. The only way the USSR survived as an economic entity was because of the intricate closed-market economy developed between Russia and all of its USSR satellites — without that network, the Russian Federation has no chance of surviving economic isolation as noted by the fact that their economy is already nose diving.

Iraq

I don’t have much to say about Iraq except “I told you so”. We’re already beginning to see the involvement of Untied States troops in ground combat. Just recently ISIS attempted to overrun a base in Iraq which played host to 100 US Military advisers. Those 100 US Military Advisers thoroughly wrecked the ISIS forces and forced them into a retreat.

Unfortunately, attacking a base with US Servicemen on it is like walking up to a bear and poking it with a stick. You can bet your shiny stars that American’s are already getting their shitkicking boots ready for Iraq War 3: ISIS Boogaloo. I doubt we’ll allow the fact that they actively tried to kill American’s go unpunished, because we do so love to be vengeful.

We might not see it in the coming weeks or months, but you have a story of how 100 US Servicemen broke the back of an ISIS Attack — it’ll be hard to argue those results and it’ll get even tougher to argue why aren’t we actively fighting ISIS on the ground as time drags on and more lives are lost.

 

So, that’s it for me. See you later, space cowboy. I bid thee adieu.

War

War

Si vis pacem, para bellum. An ancient saying which, for those of you unaware, translates to “If you want peace, prepare for war” and unfortunately, it seems that war is once again starting to rear its ugly head. To be frank, we’ve never really gotten a break from war. With the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq finally drawing to a close after so many years and so many deaths it seems that American’s are willing to once more send our troops unto the breach.

How so? Well, conflict in Iraq is revving up with the addition of a Syrian problem that President Obama had desired to end before it began (only to be shut down by popular opinion, Russia, and the Republicans) and now it is his fault that ISIS spawned out of it. To be fair, there wasn’t alot he could do though he did seem like he was ready and willing to pull the trigger at one point. Of course, Russia has proven to be a most hilarious and belligerent member of the world community with their recent foray into Ukrainian politics in a most uninvited manner.

So what changed? Well, you can probably start preparing for the inevitability of boots on the ground because the War Hawks are in power and their mouths are salivating with glee. I find it most humorous that when the POTUS was willing to act on Syria, the American public was almost entirely against it but now that ISIS has appeared as a direct result of the Syrian conflict and American’s have died because of it the public finds themselves upset that the POTUS did not do more to stop it. What did you want him to do? He wanted to intervene in Syria and you all sent him a clear message that you didn’t want it — he acted upon the will of the people at the time and because of that we now have the fustercluck of the century brewing on our hands. So, what is he to do now? Send troops in? Probably.

While I remain a firm moderate, something more happened this election day than just the republicans winning. No, American Exceptionalists saw a greater victory this election than anyone else. What are American Exceptionalists? Well, they are known by many names but primarily they are the War Hawk Neocons of the Republican Party such as good old John McCain. These are the same people with so much campaign money tied up in defense industry lobbyists that they can want nothing more than war. They will achieve their goals, hell, it’s almost inevitable at this point. John McCain who is expected to become the next chairman of the senate armed forces committee has already expressed his desire to send weapons to the embattled Ukrainian government as well as to look into broadening the war against ISIS.

In the short time I have been actively studying the politics in America I find an almost amusing trend in how people vote, assuming they even vote. They often yell and scream about how they want change before ultimately reverting to the same style of government they had before they fought so hard to change it, but beyond that, when America wants to go to war it seems that we always elect Republican. For instance, October saw a rise in the willingness of American’s to send troops on the ground in Iraq in Syria, up to 45% vs the 38% of September. Likewise, 71% of American’s polled believe that we should send ground troops in if ISIS attacks any America facilities in Baghdad.

As we see the public consciousness drift more toward accepting of a future war, we also saw them vote in surprising numbers for Republican candidates who had war hawk tendencies. I am no psychic, so I cannot predict what the future holds but the incoming Hawks have already pledged to ramp up that good ol’ Nationalism we all used to know and love from the days of yore. Indeed, McCain has not only spoken about sending American weapons to the Ukrainian Government and broadening the efforts to combat ISIS but there has also been talk about China and its incursions into the South China Sea. While I am a moderate, I am deeply worried that the effort we expended over the past six years to repair the image of our country is going to be flushed down the drain. The sending of weapons to Ukraine will escalate tension between the United States and Russia, and sending ground forces into Iraq and Syria once more will only reignite a war we had finally closed the books on. Infact, I can go so far as to wager that sending American troops into Iraq and Syria would only bolster the ranks of ISIS because Iraqi tribal leaders have, for the most part, made it clear that they do not want American’s to be fighting in Iraq again.

I am not sure what it is with the American fascination of returning to the same things we fought so hard to change, like a battered spouse that returns to their abuser we seem willing to repeat the same mistakes in the hope that the outcome will somehow be different. Call me a sensationalist, but the ramp-up of propaganda lately has been quite noticeable. No longer do the United States Marines encourage you to ‘run to the sounds of chaos’, but rather to essentially run to help those who cannot help themselves, a clear change in tone given the ongoing conflict against ISIS as well a justification that any combat we do is precipitated by the need to defend innocent lives. I wasn’t kidding when I said you could expect American soldiers to be deployed back into Iraq in the next 10 years. I have already heard reports from individuals within the military that I am friends with who have stated essentially that their units are being prepared to possibly deploy to Iraq.

So, that is my rambling for the day. I cannot predict the future, but I know the signs of a country revving up to go to war and with the public’s opinion gradually shifting more toward accepting it you can pretty much bet your bright stars that the war hawks we’ve recently elected to power will be more than happy to capitalize on it.

So yeah, I am the Revanchist. Same bat place, different bat time. Sorry if you’ve missed me, I had a bunch of bullshit going on in life that we’re just not even going to talk about. Until next week.

Sic luceat lux.

Religion

Religion to me, is quite a curious concept, but before i get into such a serious subject I believe a warning is in order. So, here goes. WARNING: The following is one man’s opinion on the concept of religion, including but not limited to church, Jesus, Souls, Spirits, Priests, Pastors, Nuns, and the bible. I DO NOT speak for the other members of this blog, nor do they necessary agree with my opinion, but allow me to share it on this site. I am not here to offend, degrade, insult, belittle, nor any other means of negativity for any belief or institution. Again this is simply my thoughts and opinions on a sensitive subject, not something meant to cause trouble.
 
Glad that’s out of the way. Ok Religion. As far back as I can remember church has always been a part of my life. If I wasn’t at Sunday school at the wee hours of the morning I was at choir sometime at night. Plays, camps, all kinds of sermons, and countless other things associated with church, I attended them all, but in the end my questions just kept coming. Why did God allow such things? Why would he test us in this way? The biggest one of all, the one that still keeps me from liking alot of organized religion, is why would god put us all here, break us up, and then punish all those who do not worship him. If God would punish a man who has never heard his ‘Holy’ word for an eternity, then a question has to be asked, do you want to worship such a cruel being?
 
Luckily enough my journey did not end there, with that question left simply at No i don’t. My mother disagreed with the bible, at least with some parts, and so did my father for the most part. I know i wasn’t the first person with those questions, and i hopefully won’t be the last, but religion isn’t something a child normally chooses for themselves. Instead it is inherited from the parents, swallowed down not because it is ‘right’ but because the authority figure believes it to be. So usually when the parent says something along the lines of ‘That’s just how it is’ the conversation ends there, and the question is rarely asked again. But i’m not built that way. I can’t simply let it fall, to ignore such an obvious flaw and allow it to go without scrutiny.
 
Tricky thing about it is no one can know for sure. That’s why you have to go on Faith, to believe with little evidence, and proceed as if it is certain. I choose instead to look at the source. I asked, did God write the bible? My father and others told me no, that it was God’s word written by human hands. Spoken to those chosen to spread his word. But even then it wasn’t in English.  The first  language was Hebrew, then translated to different languages again and again and again. I don’t know about you guys, but in school they told us about the Chinese telephone, an exercise to show how a simple sentence could be taken out of context, things added and taken away because it was misheard or misunderstood.
 
So if a school room full of people could take “I want two pizzas, one with mushrooms and the other with pepperoni” and get “Casey likes to eat domino’s with boogers and paste for dinner” Then isn’t it possible that the translation could be botched? Aren’t men capable of error, isn’t it possible that some things could be added, or taken away depending on who is translating it? So then, what if all these things the bible says for us to do or not do, is actually false, mistranslation‘s accepted by those ignorant of the original language?
 
Too many variables exist for me to accept it at face value, but it was my father who said something that sticks with me to this day. “The bible might not be 100% true, but there isn’t anything in there that will make you a bad person.” It’s a guide so to speak. A set of stories used to teach us lessons that, for the most part, can still be applied to the problems of today. Taking it literally is not something i do.
 
Recently i had a discussion with a Catholic woman, who has gone through a divorce because her husband was cheating on her. Apparently, through some weird way the religion is set up, because she didn’t get an annulment, her action was frowned upon. Now i’m not 100% sure that I got the whole story, and it is possible i’m not recalling it right either, but if she is to be cursed to hell because of something so trivial and onesided, then i have a problem. God, i believe, knows what’s in my heart, and my intent, even if i don’t always realize it myself. I believe the divine gave us a concious, a scale of right and wrong that we have a duty to follow. So while you might wrong someone, if you didn’t intend for it to be this way, i believe God will forgive.
 
I don’t think God warrents wars, nor do i believe that killing in the name of God is even remotely possible, yet for some reason our political leaders say God wants them to do this, to attack our enemies. They would tell you America is a place truly blessed by God, and it just might be, but wouldn’t God bless everywhere, not just this place? Wouldn’t God bless Africa, Europe, Russia, the whole world?
 
What i’m trying to say is that God exists outside the church or organized religion, just like he exists withen. Pray, find your own connection to God, and seek his guidance for yourself, because i firmly believe that if a religion puts a hate inside you that then i doubt it be godly. Hate the sin, love the sinner.

Imperial Dreaming

So it’s a new week here at Words Don’t Do It justice and there is a MAJOR Debut coming tomorrow. But before we get to the arrival of The Ronin, I wanted to get in on a subject, and maybe two, if we have time. I’ve been spending a lot of time lately getting bar stuff done. But when I need a moment to laugh or just get away from the serious stuff I watch the breakfast club interviews. Well that’s not entirely correct. I consume anything where Charlamagne tha god is making jokes. And the other day that lead me to watching the BEEF series. Specifically Damon Dash’s contribution. Which of course leads to this topic today.

You are probably already wondering how rapper beefs and radio DJs tie in with imperial dreams. The title is a bit of trap. No one truly dreams of an empire these days. Not the way people used to. There isn’t an upstart American building a private army to go conquer all the other states and countries to rule north and South America. I gave that dream up in junior high. No instead we consider our public personas and successes apart of our personal empire. We toss that word around a lot more liberally these days. What is it to have an empire of your dreams? Does it mean being entirely successful at everything you endeavor in? I don’t think so. Many times people try to expand the brand that is themselves and fail at it. So success and an empire can’t be mutually inclusive.

So what about diversification? Surely being into multiple opportunities and streams of revenue can mean an empire? Well it is certainly part of one. When your money comes to you in different ways like employees that could be seen as an empire of sorts. But no, all of these pale in comparison to what I mean by imperial dreaming. I don’t think imperial dreams are out of reach for most of us. The idea isn’t everyone is amazing at something so they should make an empire of them. Dreamers, dreaming a grander dream, if you will. No the idea is that you have a grand vision for what you want your existence to be. How to spend your blip on the stage of our Universe. Which comes to the ultimate question.

Is it better to build something truly yours or is it better to take your place among something that exists before you? A problematic question to be sure. But what if your vision, your path, is to be the best area manager for Gamestop? What if your goal is to be the top ad exec in the southwest? Are these bad goals? How about smaller? What if you want to be the best cover band in Las Cruces, New Mexico? Are these visions lesser than the guy who wants to open a music label, a clothing line, or a production company? I submit that they aren’t. People often use stay in your lane or play your position as a means of dealing with their objects of amorous pursuits getting “out of pocket” and doing things beyond their status. But the same goes for the idea of your personal empire. If we are going to fully devalue the term empire. If we are going to say every man’s/women’s home is their castle. If we are going to let anyone with multiple revenue streams call themselves a mogul. Then your personal world is your empire.

Now as we should know from history, empires crumble all the time. Mostly due to someone trying to take Russia(figuratively or literally). What is your personal Russia? I’m beginning to think mine is Zoe Saldana. Wait no that’s a pipe dream of mine. Let me explain the difference. A Russia is something you actively attempt to do in spite of evidence that you will fail, and a long track record of people failing, after which your empire is horridly shaken because you did in fact fail.  Russia in my case would be a radio show. I’ve had one. It was decent. But there is no way I’d really do well with a consistent one. A pipe dream is something you really want but know is impossible not just improbably and don’t really actively seek it out. I’m sure via some convoluted combination of lawyer friends, musician friends, Those Acoustic Kats, and sheer reality bending favor by the universe and dare I say God himself I could end up in the same place as Zoe. But if you imagined THE Ruthless Wonder deftly getting around her security and whomever else she’s with to say something smooth and yet deep and impactful enough to get her to spend some time with yours truly I’m gonna say you need more help than me. It isn’t happening and I pretty much know it.

But does my empire crumble because of it? Of course not. My empire is not focused on the possibility of ending my days sipping tropical drinks and eating fresh caught seafood on my island in the South Pacific with an actress I’ve never been within 300 miles of. But the rest of that sentence? Oh that is the moment when I have truly conquered. Every move an imperial march towards it. Because when an empire loses goals they become bloated, extravagant, and lose their influence. Just like a musical artist that gets the record deal, the sub label deal so they can sign artists, buys the cars, clothes, and houses and then has no idea what to do next. Their music suffers. Their life suffers. Because they no longer have a next level goal. That is what you have to avoid. Imperial dreaming is fine. Heck it gets the Ruthless stamp of approval. But you can’t stop. You have to think of a new move to make. A new goal to have. I’m about to hit my tier 3 goals in less than 6 month’s time. Took me longer than expected, and I had my Hannibal trying to bring elephants through the alps moment. But what happens after esquire I already have thought out.

The same should go for you. I realize this sounds very advice like. Very, you need your own empire and here’s how. That wasn’t the intention, but it is worth posing the question to you all. Which is better? The independent empire or the, for lack of a better term, reliant empire? And is it necessary to keep looking for more? Should we be looking for exactly our lane and position and stay there and play there? I leave the decisions for your lives, and the discussions to you in the comments section.

–          RW