Lately I am finding it very hard to focus. It feels like information overload, so much information coming in on so many different subjects, much of it contradictory and a lot of it demonstrably fake. I can’t seem to tune it out. Yes, it is affecting my work. There has also been another death in the family, a young one this time. More on that at some future point.
I can quite understand those who reduce their thoughts to one side of an argument or the other. It must be so much easier for those who can decide ‘this is the answer, it stops here, no more information required’ but I’ve never been able to do that. Information keeps coming and my conclusions are always fluid.
Take the current fighting in Ukraine. First information was that Putin is the bad guy and it’s an unprovoked invasion. Lots of photos and even video appeared online – and so far, almost all of it has been demonstrated to be fake. The most recent videos show the Ukrainian militia tying their own people to trees and posts and beating them. Is that real? I have no way to be certain.
A little digging shows that for the past eight years, Ukraine has been systematically killing Russian-speaking Ukrainians in the east of the country. Those Russian speaking regions voted to leave Ukraine and become autonomous regions. For this they have been punished. Violently. Nobody in the West recognised their vote, but Putin did. So they asked him for help.
However, that would have been a limited incursion into the Eastern regions that wanted the Ukraine government to stop killing them. It is not an excuse to go after targets in other parts of Ukraine such as Odessa – or Kiev, the capital. So what’s Putin up to here?
Now, Putin is not a good guy. Criticism of the government in Russia can get you 15 years in jail. Political opponents routinely disappear or are found dead. Protestors are rounded up and arrested. This guy is not an angel. Indeed, many Western politicians now claim he should be facing a Nuremberg style trial for his invasion of Ukraine.
Yet when you remove the emotion and look at it logically, what Russia has done in Ukraine is really no different to what America and much of Europe did in Iraq, Libya and other countries. In fact, so far at least, Russia has done far less. So if Putin has to face war crime charges, what about Blair and Bush? They flattened Iraq on faked documents claiming Saddam had WMDs. He didn’t. And they knew it. They left a hell of a mess behind them and walked away. Then some maniac had the idea of making Blair a ‘peace envoy’ to the Middle East!
Putin has stated he wants to take out the bioweapons labs in Ukraine. America insisted they didn’t exist. Then admitted they did exist but weren’t bioweapons labs. Then claimed they were concerned that Putin might take over the labs and release the bioweapons in them. Numbers vary, but there are around 15 of these labs in Ukraine and some are very close to the Russian border. I can see why Russia would be nervous about them.
In 1997, none other than Senator Joe Biden stated that the only thing that would provoke an agressive response from Russia would be an expansion of NATO into the Baltic states. That has happened, and Ukraine wanted to join too. Basically, Russia faced having the opposing team almost surrounding them and having their military right on the doorstep. With at least 15 bioweapons labs at their disposal.
And then we have the Ukraine government and President Zelenskyy, currently being lauded as the new St. Patrick by none other than Bonio himself. Since he came to power in 2014, the press has been full of stories of Ukrainian government corruption (to be fair, it was already corrupt before he took over) and the openly Nazi Azov brigade militia, now officially part of the Ukrainian army and responsible for much of the attacks on the Russian-speaking population in the east.
Suddenly, these are the good guys.
The sanctions against Russia have descended into childishness. MacDonald’s pulled all their business out (they still operate in China, which has been engaged in genocide of the Ughyurs for quite some time). Banks and PayPal don’t operate there any more. Farcebok is happy to allow calls for violence against individual Russians even though they aren’t in Russia and haven’t invaded anyone. Perhaps silliest of all, so far, Yuri Gagarin has been demoted from First Man In Space. Yes, facts don’t matter when you have The Feels. Yuri Gagarin died in 1968. He isn’t responsible for anything happening today. But then, here in the West we are busily deleting our own history so deleting someone else’s… well, it’s what we do now.
The response? Russia nationalised all the abandoned MacDonald’s outlets, turned the logo on its side, renamed it Uncle Yuri and now sell much the same stuff cheaper. Can’t sell oil to the West? They’re selling it to India, Pakistan and China instead, and they aren’t using dollars for the trade. Global wheat shortage? Not in Russia, they are a very big exporter but the West won’t buy it any more. I bet the Middle East and Africa will. Sure, there will be problems with planting in Ukraine because of the war but there won’t be any such problems in Russia itself. Oh, and they export most of the fertiliser too. Or they used to.
None of these sanctions applied when the USA and allies decided to pulverise Iraq or Libya or anywhere else. MacDonald’s didn’t pull out of the UK. No country stopped buying scotch whisky (I’d have been fine with that, it would have made it cheaper here if they had a glut). No country turned away American or any European exports. And yet here we are, with Russia attacking something it perceives as a threat while we flatten African and Middle Eastern countries that were no real threat to us and suddenly we have sanctions and playground retaliations against one corrupt regime attacking another corrupt regime? I just wish they could all lose.
I will not pick a side in this. The information we are getting is war propaganda from both sides. It’s too easy to just pick a side and believe their information while disregarding the other side’s information. It is, as in all wars, possible – indeed likely – that neither side is telling the whole truth.
However, the world has been irrevocably changed by this. Not by Russia but by the West. The petrodollar is finished. The sanctions on Russia mean that the oil trade is now in Yuan and Roubles. MacDonald’s will never again sell their burgers in Russia and I fully expect that to spread into China and India. The EU will block payments to Russia for gas and oil and that supply will stop. There is no infrastructure left to take up the slack.
There are stories that Russia pushed us all into accepting the Green nonsense that we can power our homes with mirrors and windmills. What I see suggests that Russia had nothing to do with that. We did that to ourselves. China, the big supplier of rare earths for magnets and solar panels, simply took advantage of our governments’ idiocy. They didn’t need to push us into it, our current crop of idiots did that themselves. Now they just want to blame someone else.
So many other information streams. The pseudo vaccines, people are now aware of the dangers yet still demand extra shots like it’s some kind of genetic cocaine. The shortages – toilet paper, remember that one? The petrol shortage that wasn’t. The truck driver shortage that wasn’t. Now we have high fuel prices blamed on Russia even though we only get a small percentage of our fuel from there.
There was talk of a new Covid variant – no surprise to those of us who know a coronavirus can throw up a new variant several times a day. This new one has cold symptoms, because that’s where they all end up, and yet it’s so terrifying you have to take an experimental gene therapy that won’t stop you spreading or catching it to protect you… and people believe it.
Klaus Schwab spoke of ‘smart dust’ and we all rolled our eyes. Tinhat foilery. This is not Star Trek, the Borg nanobots are not real. Well, turns out they are, and have been for at least five years. Originally designed to let amputees control prosthetic limbs, there are tiny sensors that fit to nerves in the brain and communicate with machinery outside. Then it all went quiet.
Well. You have just invented something that lets a human control a machine with thought. You really can’t be surprised when military eyes light up all over the world. So yeah, it went quiet, but it didn’t go away.
Rather like the mRNA jabs we see today. Many years back it was touted as a potential treatment for things like cystic fibrosis but then it went quiet. Now it’s back and corrupted into something dangerous.
Soon the weather will improve and I can hide in the garden from the infostream for an hour or so each day. Not today though – there’s a hard frost out there. Meanwhile I have been trying to disconnect by making little models – more on that soon – so that I can get focused on the work at hand again and ignore the insanity that has gripped the modern world.
There is so very much of it.