Out of Focus

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.

18 thoughts on “Out of Focus

  1. There are no good guys here. Not the Russians, the Ukrainians or NATO nations. They’re all just as bad as one another. War crimes? Hey, NATO bombed hospitals and civilians in Syria, Bosnia and Serbia to mention but three.

    The weather has turned for the better here in Mayo, and I have many jobs up the meadow and yard to do. Constructive jobs like planting trees, buildings to refurbish. Stuff their war.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have been missing your pearls.
    Best wishes to you and CStM. Don’t let the dour Scottish attitude seep into your soul.
    And whatever you do, do not listen to Wee Nippy, aka Wee Jimmy. The droning of her voice will make you yearn for the sound of the bag pipes, Cheaper whisky because of a glut? Not if she can help it. She would rather use it as an additive to petrol. And if it wrecks your engine you can buy a Noddy Car powered by a battery. And no, she does not care about votes in teuchter land with your fragile electric grid. Let them use bicycles.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. As far as I can make out, the Russians were not actually particularly well prepared to go invade their neighbour. Their trucks were running on cheap, inferior tyres, their armour isn’t defended against the latest common anti-tank weaponry, and their troops are not prepared for all the panoply of drones and semi-autonomous weaponry that is getting deployed against them (a war where you can measure your new, shiny war-drone against actual pukka Russian kit is a rare thing indeed). Ergo this wasn’t exactly planned on Putin’s part, but was precipitated by outside events.

    The world response has been dramatic, not to say histrionic. Russia has landed its self in a world of economic woe which Putin probably won’t survive. This was predictable, ergo Putin was pushed by circumstance unknown into this.

    Of the other players, the EU are unthinking children and the peripheral states are little better. The US can play a lot looser as it has its own massive oil supplies to ride out hard times with. The Chinese will likely do best of all by simply hunkering down, staying quiet and not annoying any other party whilst quietly taking full advantage of all weaknesses.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Allegedly there are plans to replace the mumbling sponge-brain Brandon with a new puppet, as he still believes he’s allowed to speak off-prompter. Firstly they’ll have to ‘move’ Kneepads, as no-one wants that as President. Probably too late to save the petrodollar – the SWIFT debacle has exposed the rotten core of the system and it cannot be hidden again. Russia is expected to sell abroad in payments of physical gold (to the West), or Roubles or Yuan to their Asian friends.
    Apart from energy issues, America is very short of fertiliser and most of it comes from…Russia! There are expected to be famines next year, if not before, as crop yields diminish worldwide from the lack of it. Better stock up on essential basic foodstuffs while you can.
    Positive reactions to the war: slowly, the obvious weakness of relying on imported energy is waking up EU & our ‘greenutters’ to the need for independent sources – even BoJo, assuming he can ignore Princess Nut-Nut for a few moments, may change back to a sensible strategy.
    Oh, & climate up/down/in/out/shake it all about: suddenly it’s not so important – who knew?

    Liked by 3 people

  5. First off, THANK YOU for an insightful and informative “Both Sides Now” presentation on the U&R war. I’ve felt a strong lack of that in the last few weeks, aggravated by Putin so cooperatively jumping into wearing the VantaBlack hat with his invasion. If the info about Ukraine’s misbehavior is true, they could have gathered evidence and reported it to the world. If the UN was publicly presented with clear enough evidence to support a condemnation THEN Putin could have demanded reforms with inspections and guidelines and done his military thing AFTER that demonstration of its necessity. Yes, we and many other countries would likely have condemned his military force, but he would not have suffered anything close to the condemnation he’s facing today.

    The fact that he did NOT do so argues strongly that conditions simply were NOT that bad, since Putin seems smart enough to have done the above analysis.

    Perhaps the NY TIMES and Washington Post should examine those claims from as clear a fly presented neutral perspective as possible – if they haven’t already done so – and put it out there strongly so as to keep Putin’s cap a nice non-shiny shade of black: They both almost certainly had enough reporters running around the Ukraine the last few months that the “truth” should/could be fairly irrefutable presented.

    – MJM, a peacenik with an actual degree in it… unlike Antismokers running around in the media as doctors without noting it’s a PhD in engineering!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. “President Zelenskyy, currently being lauded as the new St. Patrick by none other than Bonio himself. Since he came to power in 2014,”

    As a point of fact, Zelenskyy was voted in as President in 2019, beating the previous incumbent since the 2014 revolution, Petro Poroshenko.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. One other thing which may be relevant: It has been noted that Putin seems unnecessarily paranoid regarding his own health of late, and the displays of actual physical strength have dropped off markedly recently. The man may well be ill in some way, perhaps even on his last legs. Certainly decades of low-level steroid abuse to maintain the physique of a thirty year old won’t have helped his health; he may even be terminally ill and have recently learned of this.

    That would make a fairly compelling narrative (which of course may be complete bollocks!) in that he moved to make one last move to keep Russia strong before he and his wonderfully enlightened leadership vanish forever. This is absolutely classic Great Dictator psychology: these sorts think that nobody can do grand leadership better than they can so when informed that they’re coming to the end of their personal road they plan on one last grand action to secure the future for their country.

    Generally, the last grand move is poorly planned and poorly executed (as Putin’s would seem to be) and lands the country in worse trouble than it began with. Putin (and of course the demented mini-me over in North Korea) are also demonstrating other classic Great Dictator symptoms: a fascination with flashy wonder-weapons whilst neglecting commonsense basic things. Putin has hypersonic missiles, for instance, but lacks the gumption to ensure his trucks have decent tyres and that his officer corps are properly paid and that his tanks have defenses against common anti-armour missiles. The Russian conscripts were also told that they were on an exercise, then told to keep going over the border; the Ukrainian move of getting them to make video calls home to their parents to let the parents know first-hand that they were OK and that the Ukrainians were obeying the rules regarding prisoners of war was a classic counter-propaganda move.

    Putin’s little adventure is already failing and will fail further simply because his power structure is not really a formal one but more a Mafia family. As the Grand Don all he had to do was ensure that the lesser dons lived upon clover and were able to lord it over their own little kingdoms. Sanctions of all sorts basically overturn this relationship and then the Grand Don has to rely on various enforcers remaining loyal to him to keep the rebellious mini-dons in line.

    This only works for a short while and fairly soon we can expect a palace coup and Putin to simply vanish. There will then be a short interregnum then Putin the second will rule.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. A good succinct article and my very reasons for avoiding tw…..r and voicing no opinions about this whole debacle in real life. I am already the tinfoil hat wearing crackpot at work and in the family for my anti-fauxine views. Someone at work asked my opinion as I had studied history at university and I suggested they read alternate viewpoints, weigh up the evidence and arrive at their own answers but I did not buy the mainstream current agenda. When I was accused of studying ancient history I politely reminded them I had studied Russian and Middle East history as well as the theme of dissent, revolts and revolutions. I always had an interest in how people arrived at that point and we are currently living through the latest round of stupidity, greed and gullibility.

    Liked by 1 person

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