Ukraine Endgame in Sight?, "The World at War" at 50, The 'Once-Utopian' San Fernando Valley, Ethno-State vs. Liberal Democracy, David Lynch's "Blue Velvet"
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The US is fighting Putin's land grab with little to no collateral damage.
While the US is funding Bibi's land grab with huge proficiency for murdering children in their 75 year old open air concentration camp.
Maybe Biden's handlers will wake up and see the optics are no good.
And send more money to the Kiev laundry!
"Corruption in Ukraine is at Nigeria-levels, with billions being squirreled out of the country, into offshore accounts and invested in fancy real estate purchases."
Ukraine has always had corruption to rival Sub-Saharan Africa.
Just that the war brought in a flood of free American and European money, and the oligarchs and bureaucrats need only send others to die so that those oligarchs can collect their choice cuts.
I got standing room tickets to the Vienna Opera House and wound up next to two Ukrainian cuties 👍
The Austrian usher girl kept telling them to stop talking
Taking into account how wildly unpopular most western politicians and their policies are with their respective publics (compare with the genuinely popular Putin or Xi), "democracy" as it is practiced is basically a cover for rulers to do what they want. The technical term for this is a "beard".
After all, your elected representatives approved this. If you don't like it, you can vote for the *other* carefully vetted corporate imperialist muppet next time around. So until then, shut up and fall in line!
I have to be honest, I was only here for Blue Velvet
My favorite example of democracy and diversity is comparing the early 1990s elections of monoethnic Slovenia and multiethnic Bosnia, both then republics in Yugoslavia.
Slovenia's election looks like a standard Western European parliamentary election. The "Democratic reformist," Socialist, Social Democrat, Christian Democrat, Liberal Democrat parties and a few others all got between 7 and 18 percent of the vote. Slovenia went on to quickly win independence and fairly quickly join the EU, Eurozone, and Schengen.
In Bosnia 70% of Muslims, 85% of Serbs, and 95% of Croats voted for their own ethnicity's parties. Massive war broke out, country is still a political charlie foxtrot.
San Fernando Valley: For a deep dive into California during the 60s and 70s - and in magical prose - you just cannot do better than Slouching Towards Bethlehem, the collection of essays that launched Joan Didion as one of America's great late-20th c. writers. It also happens to be the title I chose for my own Substack....https://grahamcunningham.substack.com/p/are-we-making-progress..... partly because of Joan Didion but also because of these awesome opening lines of WB Yeats' poem 'The Second Coming' with which she introduced her essay collection:
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
You just could not get a pithier and more prescient description of 'Woke' 21st c. Western liberalism
Y'all: Should there be a ceasefire in the Hamas-Israel war? What conditions would you place on either party? How, and who, would they be enforced? (Note the UN's record on Israel.........)
Someone needs to explain to me why being an "ethnonationalist state" has become some sort of moral atrocity, synonymous with Nazi fascism. Aren't at least half the countries in the world run by a dominant (socially and numerically) ethnicity? Are we all supposed to make believe that humans aren't tribal apes who prefer their own (as opposed to WEIRDos and their religious devotion to abstractions like universal human equality)? (And I won't even ask why Freddie the famous Marxist is now humping "liberal democracy", which I thought all Marxists consider a bourgeois mask for exploitation. Has he gone full Fukuyama? Never go full Fukuyama!)
The WEIRD religion, which can be more or less summed up by its holy hymn, John Lennon's "Imagine", has the same blind missionary zeal as the Christianity it's supplanted—these people seem to really believe that inside the heart of every human there's the desire to become a consumerist monad who exchanges his tribe and tradition for bespoke pronouns and a Starbucks gift card.
Modern liberals, which I guess include everyone from Freddie de Boer to Hillary Clinton, are besotted by all their various sacred OUGHTs (we ought to be a single undifferentiated lump of humanity!), and completely blind to all the basic ISes of the human condition.
I watched The World at War with my Dad. He was just barely too young for World War II, and got drafted during Korea but was not sent into combat. Hence I exist. I can still hear the opening music, and hear Lawrence Olivier's voice, and see the faces, one after another, disappearing into the flames. An absolute masterpiece. Thank you for bringing back those memories.
If the US abandons Ukraine, East Europe will not forget it, cause it knows that being in NATO is not enough of a guarantee. Ukraine was in NATO in all but name. US seems incapable of having proper alliances and too weak to impose a war economy when it is needed.
US comes out as a big loser, not winner out of this. Everyone will smell its weakness and incapacity. Afghanistan, now this, and everyone sees what US is doing with Israel too "unconditional support".
Where's the unconditional support for Ukraine? How is Israel special?
NATO is on its last breaths of air if it can't figure out a way to help Ukraine. They literally expected it to gain the Donbas with 300 tanks? Without air support? Without enough artillery?
Oh, how we will remember the US here.
The US is the big winner?
Sure if you are a defense contractor...
"Moral lecturing and grandstanding is all that we can expect to receive these days." or as Wolf Blitzer once emoted, "so poor, so black"
As far as Polansky, he needs to work on his obfuscation methods. His ability to telegraph its ok when one person does it because I don't have to explain myself to ppl beneath me approach is a bit lacking of the proper sophistry the moment demands
If this is a Russian victory, then may God preserve Russia from any more such victories. It surely can't survive another one.
There's no such thing as a Jewish state. There is a Zionist project, which has as much to do with Judaism as a SoCal valley girl.