Realism and Ukraine

Note: The Monday Taki post is up. I take up the same theme in the post today, but from a slightly different angle.  Sunday Thoughts is up behind the green door and it is all about the big story.


America is a nation of moralizers, which is why every issue is cast as a fight between good guys and bad guys. This is something that goes to the very beginning of the country and it continues to define the culture. We saw this with Covid, where it quickly became a fight between those who worshipped Covid and those who were the villains for not obediently following government commands. We are seeing it with the war in Ukraine, where it is all good guys and bad guys.

Reality, of course, is not white hats versus black hats, at least not when it comes to relations between countries and people. The Charles de Gaulle quip that “No nation has friends only interests” reflects this reality. The moral thing to do in international affairs is that which serves the interests of the people. That will often conflict with what is seen as the right thing to do by some other nation. This is made clear in Ukraine, where Russia is waging a war in what they see as their vital interests.

If one needs to have a moral principle in this area, then it is that a moral government acts in the interests of its people. After all, the point of government, no matter the style of government, is to protect the collective interest of the society. For government to act outside the interest of the society means it is not a legitimate government. It is something imposed on an unwilling population. This is the argument against colonialism, no matter the practical benefits to the locals.

With that in mind we can assess the players in Ukraine. The Russian side is the easiest as Putin has been the most vocal in explaining his motives. The Russians see NATO, especially America, as an expansionist adversary. They are not wrong about this, at least with regards to the United States. The whole point of meddling in Ukraine has been to destabilize Russia. Washington views conquering Russian as unfinished business from the Cold War.

The Russians have had to lie back and take it since the collapse of the Soviet Union, but now they have decided to fight back. From their perspective, Ukraine is the line in the sand and they are acting from both the narrow interests of Russia, but also the historical reality of Eurasia. The Russians, in part, define themselves within the greater definition of Eurasia. Their role is to defend this region, which includes the Ukraine and the Ukrainian people, who they see as brothers.

One can not like the results of this point of view and also respect it. War is an ugly business and it is a tragedy for the people in Ukraine. The Russians are not wrong, however, in how they view the situation. They see they have no choice and it is clear they are right about that. The West has done nothing to seek peace, instead opting to flood the area with weapons. It is a terrible thing, but the actions of Russia align with that old Charles de Gaulle maxim.

One the other side is Ukraine, which is a much more complicated thing as there is more than one player. There is the Zelensky government, which is largely the creation of Washington. Then you have the various nationalists groups. How much they have been supported by Washington is unknown. Then there are opposition groups that want Ukraine to follow the model of Belarus. They are characterized as pro-Russian, but they view themselves as the genuine Ukrainian nationalists.

The easy one to analyze is the Zelensky government. It is clear at this point that they have no interest in the people. They are in this for personal reasons. If they cared about the interest of Ukrainians, they never would have gone down this road. They certainly would not be telling Ukrainians to fight to the death, while they shoot videos for Western consumption in Poland. Instead, they would be ready to take the deal on offer, but that is not where their bread is buttered, so the war continues.

The ultranationalists, on the other hand, are the mirror of the Zelensky government, in that they are motivated by ideals. They have an image of a Ukrainian ethnostate modeled on Israel and Japan. This may be unrealistic or even insane, but they genuinely believe it is in the best interest of their people. The fact that they are being used by Washington as a disposable pawn on the international chessboard is a good reminder that the enemy of the national interests is naivety.

As an aside, this is the appeal to Western nationalists. Nationalism does not exist in the West as a practical matter. There are no nationalists parties, other than those wearing the idea as a fig leaf. Victor Orban is popular with the American Right because he is seen as something that has not existed in American politics for a century. In Western Europe, genuine nationalism is forbidden. This makes the Ukrainian nationalists seem like heroes, despite the disastrous results on the ground.

Finally, we have America, which is the world’s great meddler. The Biden administration could end the war tomorrow, but their real supporters see a profit in prolonging the conflict so that is the plan. This means a decline in the standard of living for Americans and possibly worse. They have repeatedly said that your suffering is the price they are willing to pay for whatever it is they are doing. The interests of Americans count for no more than the lives of Ukrainians.

Of all the players in this war, it is Washington that is the furthest away from the standard implied by Charles de Gaulle quip. There are no American interests in Ukraine and the American people are not benefitting from the war. In fact, Washington is much like the Zelensky government, in that they are acting from narrow self-interest. It was not so long ago when it was revealed that the Biden family had been taking bribes from the Ukrainians going back to the Obama years.

The best one can say about the Washington position is they are demanding you and your family suffer in defense of the abstract principles of liberal democracy. Maybe you can fashion an argument that says they are acting from the interest of the Global American Empire, which benefits some residents of North America. Many nationalists have drawn a parallel between this view and the and Eurasianism while condemning Russia and supporting Ukraine.

The problem with that approach is it puts the self-proclaimed Western nationalists on the side of the Global American Empire and the EU, entities that are explicitly anti-nationalists and arguably anti-Western. This quickly looks like a suicide pact in favor of maintaining intellectual purity in the face of reality. It is a reminder that intellectual purity can be as self-defeating as moral purity when it comes to reality. No man should put his ideals ahead of the life of his people.

In the end we are where history always leads us. There are no good guys or bad guys, no grand morality tale to frame the future. Ukraine is about the nature of great powers, fading empires and the decline of the West under American leadership. War is the violent transition from one scene of history to the next. What must matter to the genuine nationalist is what is best for his people, even if it means being flexible on those noble ideas that are so inspiring in the abstract.


If you like my work and wish to kick in a few bucks, you can buy me a beer. You can sign up for a SubscribeStar subscription and get some extra content. You can donate via PayPal. My crypto addresses are here for those who prefer that option. You can send gold bars to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. Thank you for your support!


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link. If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


The Test Of Reality

Last week, the current president of Ukraine thanked Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg for his role in helping him win the propaganda war. Facebook lifted its ban on praising the various neo-Nazi militias in Ukraine. Then it announced it would allow calls for violence against individual Russians. In the world of infinitely malleable ethics, this is what Silicon Valley now calls a principled stand. Ukraine supporters are proud of their work on social media wining the meme war with Russia.

In the real world, the Russian army is slowly turning Ukraine into the world’s largest mound of rubble. In the Donbass, they have the Ukrainian army and the tens of thousands of militia members surrounded. It is not easy to get reliable information about what is happening on the ground, but reliable estimates say fifty thousand pro-Ukrainian fighters are now trapped in the Donbass “cauldron.” Barring a peace deal, they will be vaporized over the next couple of weeks.

In the south, the Russian army has created a corridor to the Crimea. This was a primary objective of the invasion. Mariupol, a city in southeastern Ukraine, lies along the estuary of the Kalmius and Kalchik rivers near the Sea of Azov. This city has been surrounded and cutoff by the Russian army. The Ukrainian army based there has been given the chance to surrender, but the irregulars will be given no quarter. It is a preview of what will happen in the Donbass over the next month.

The point here is that despite losing the social media war, the Russians are winning the actual war in Ukraine. It has been slow going as the Russians do not wage television friendly wars, so no cool video. Ukraine was slowly being turned into a fortified outpost by Washington, so the Ukrainian army is well trained and supplied. Digging them out of those fortification will not be easy, but it is inevitable. The Russians will turn Ukraine into rubble if that is what it takes to achieve their objective.

What this war has revealed is a clash of realties. On the Washington side, reality is played out on TV chat shows, office politics and the internet. They really think winning the public relations campaign matters. In the reality in which Western leaders live, words count for everything. Facts are just tools to be used to decorate a clever argument or a novel public relations campaign. From the perspective of the West, the war has been a disaster for Russia.

On the other side, the Russians operate in a different reality. They are focused on securing their border, which means neutralizing Ukraine. They have prepared for the economic consequences. They have prepared their people, who seem to be overwhelming supportive of the effort. Westerners have described Putin as having a medieval mindset, which may be true, but he is dealing with a people and a reality that still thinks the old way about the world.

Ukraine is now caught between two realities. The one reality is what Samuel Huntington labeled the Orthodox civilization. This is Eurasia. On the other side is what he called the Western civilization. According to Huntington, the future will be shaped by the clash of the civilizations he outlined in his book, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order. What we are seeing in Ukraine is a collision between these great tectonic plates that define conflicting realities.

Of course, the quarter century crusade against Islam by the Global American Empire was a similar clash of civilizations. Huntington called that area the Islamic civilization for obvious reasons. It is what is commonly referred to as MENA, which stands for Middle East and North Africa. America tried to impose its reality on the Islamic world and the result was chaos. Every country in the region, except Israel and Iran, is in worse shape now than when the crusade was launched.

In many respects, what we are witnessing is the test of two competing post-Cold War theories of the future. One is the Huntington theory and the other is the Francis Fukuyama theory, laid out in his book The End of History and the Last Man. In it he argued that mankind had reached the end-point of mankind’s ideological evolution and the triumph of Western liberal democracy. There was nothing left to discuss, as liberal democracy was the winner of the ideological contest.

By any measure, Fukuyama’s theory is proving to be all wrong, while Huntington’s theory is looking prophetic. We are now in the midst of a second great civilizational conflict where the reality of the West is crashing onto the reality of another civilization, in this case Eurasia. The reality of the West, social media campaigns and glib responses at press conferences, is proving no match for artillery and armor, at least not in the part of the world controlled by the Orthodox civilization.

On the horizon is the certain collision between what Huntington called the Sinic civilization (China) and the West. East Asia is a bit more complicated as there are a many old rivalries in that region. Huntington diced the region into various subgroups like Buddhists, Hindus and the Japanese. Even so, China will make a play to recover what she considers to be her lost province, Taiwan. As we see in Ukraine, this will be a clash between the reality of the West and the reality of China.

Lost in all of this is whether the reality of the Global American Empire can survive these clashes with alternative realities. Prudence said that the empire should respect the perspective of Russian with regards to these areas along her border. Prudence said that the Muslim world should be left to sort itself. Western liberal democracy was incompatible with Islamic culture. Despite all of this, Washington continues to operate in its own reality where words can conquer culture.

What we may be seeing is not only the clash of civilizations, but the great test of the underlying sense of reality that animates Western elites. Can they survive in a world in which they need to impose their reality on the rest of the world, but the rest of the world will not accept it? Either the West comes to terms with the fact that the rest of the world will continue to operate by its own logic or it will destroy itself in civilizational wars to impose its reality on the reality of alien civilizations.


If you like my work and wish to kick in a few bucks, you can buy me a beer. You can sign up for a SubscribeStar subscription and get some extra content. You can donate via PayPal. My crypto addresses are here for those who prefer that option. You can send gold bars to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. Thank you for your support!


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link. If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


A Lesson From Ukraine

One of the underlying plot lines of the conflict in Ukraine is the role nationalism has played and in playing in the conflict. Fundamentally, the West, especially the United States, is responding to the purest of nationalist calls. The response to Ukrainian patriotism is an endorsement of the basic tenets of nationalism. The Ukrainians are a unique people with a common language, culture and territory. Therefore, they have a right to their own nation.

Conveniently left out of American coverage is the fact that ultra-nationalists have been playing a key role in the drama. These are the militia groups that have a fondness for fascist ideas and iconography. The most famous example is the Azov Battalion, but they are just one of many operating in Ukraine. These groups have been doing the fighting in the breakaway republics. This was true when the Ukrainians were assaulting the areas and now that the Russians have invaded.

Of course, the West is now organized around opposition to nationalism, especially the form expressed by the Ukrainian ultra-nationalists. In every country in Europe, nationalist groups have top meet in secret to avoid the wrath of state sponsored terrorist groups like Antifa. In Germany, nationalism is illegal as a practical matter. A party that sounds too nationalistic, like the AfD, will be crushed by the state. In theory, Ukraine is what the rest of Europe opposes.

Then there is the reality of Russian nationalism. The Western media is painting it as the new fascism, but this is another example of the antifascist legacy. Russian nationalism is now a mirror of Europeanism. Listen to Putin and what you hear is a call for pan-Slavism or Eurasianism, to use a Dugan term. Instead of a unified Western Europe it is federation of Eurasian people with the Russians leading the way. It is the EU for people with no natural place in the EU.

There is another aspect to the Russian side that the nationalists have thus far struggled to accept or even understand. What Russia is arguing for is an older, more realistic form of nationalism that is based on blood and history. Putin talks about the long history and shared suffering of the Russian and Ukrainian people. It is a call to solidarity that transcends the whims of map makers. The modern dissident nationalist is mainly focused on maps and objections to globalism.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has put the dissident nationalists in a crisis, because it is placing them on the wrong side of history and the wrong side of the present. All of a sudden, nationalists are standing shoulder to shoulder with the people they know are the enemies of nationalism. It is turning out that modern nationalism is more of a pose than a well-considered political morality. They have been left with the same silly flag waving that we see from actors in the news media.

It is not an accident that many of the people who fly the nationalist flag were all wrong about the Covid response. Nationalism, in the modern sense, is nothing more than warmed over cartoon fascism. The modern nationalist dreams of wearing snappy uniforms and being at the top of the status hierarchy. He is fully engaged in opposition to the prevailing cosmopolitan globalism, but he has no agenda of his own, other than opposition to the polices of globalism.

This is not to say that nationalism is a bad thing, especially in the way the modern ruling elite describes it. Nor does it mean that the nation state is a failed idea. What the crisis in Ukraine reveals is that modern nationalism is simply not ready to be anything more than a holding pen for the disaffected. Nationalists in Europe need to understand that no one in the European elite is shedding any tears for what is now happening to the ultra-nationalist at the hands of the Russian military.

What the Ukrainian disaster provides is an opportunity for nationalists to regroup and plot a course that acknowledges present and future reality. The Global American Empire is fading and we see that in Europe now. What comes next is open for debate and if nationalists are to be a part of that debate, they have to have a positive agenda, rather than a list of complaints about American globalism. Nationalism needs to offer a way forward in the post-America Europe.

The place for them to start is Ukraine. Nationalism needs to explain why the Zelensky government violated its duty to the people by picking a fight with Russia. It also has to explain why Ukrainian patriots are right to defend their country, even if their government is a corrupt puppet regime of another power. In other words, nationalist need to fuse their theory with practical politics. Political theory is a fine thing but it is worthless if it cannot solve the practical problems of human organization.

The Ukraine disaster should be a lesson to American nationalists, especially the pro-white variety. The cultural, biological and linguistic differences between Russians and Ukrainians are small, certainly not worth fighting over. That is the theory, but the reality is the bombed out schools and dead soldiers. America is a big diverse place with differences that dwarf the differences between Russians and Ukrainians. Uniting any group in America is a gargantuan task.

For any form of nationalism to work in America, as it descends into majority-minority demographics, it must respect the vast regional differences. Simplistic calls to demographic reality will work no better than the simplistic calls to nationalism have worked in Ukraine. Laundry lists of complaints about the present or the past are not a viable agenda. Whatever comes next for America will have to be rooted in a positive agenda that promotes a future that inspires the target population.

Finally, what the Ukraine disaster shows is that the old categories and the old ways of speaking of politics no longer work. The ultranationalist are not Nazis, despite their adoption of some Nazi iconography. Putin is certainly not Hitler. There are no white hats and no black hats. The simplistic world of the past where everyone had a convenient role to play is over. In the post-American Empire, we will need not only new labels, but a new political morality to go with it.


If you like my work and wish to kick in a few bucks, you can buy me a beer. You can sign up for a SubscribeStar subscription and get some extra content. You can donate via PayPal. My crypto addresses are here for those who prefer that option. You can send gold bars to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. Thank you for your support!


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link. If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


Stupid & Crazy

Far-left talking head Michael Kinsley once said that a gaffe is when a politician accidently blurts out the truth. It was a funny line that has been popular in Washington for a long time, because everyone in Washington knows it is true. It is not just politicians who lie to their voters. Everyone in Washington lies. In fact, the semi-permanent ruling class lies more than the elected class. As a result, they are less prone to gaffes, but every once in a while, one of them blurts out the truth.

Yesterday we had one such example. Victoria Nuland, the moral nullity responsible for the disaster in Ukraine, was called up for a very friendly chat about Ukraine with fellow warmonger Marco Rubio. This was supposed to be part of the highly choreographed public relations campaign in favor of starting war with Russia. Instead, Nuland blurted out what should never have been said. That is, the United States has been running biological weapons labs in Ukraine.

The reason for Rubio’s question about the bio-labs is this has been circulating on-line since last week. The Russian Ministry of Defense posted documents they said were found at a biological lab in Ukraine. This was ignored by Western media, but then the Chinese government made a statement about it. This is harder to ignore and it started to get traction on-line. Rubio assumed Nuland would dismiss it as disinformation, which was in his copy of the script.

Rubio is not a smart man, but like all politicians he has the vermin like rapaciousness that has come to define the political class. When Nuland confessed that the US was operating biological labs in Ukraine and they were worried that the Russians would find out about it, so they instructed the Ukrainians to destroy the evidence, Rubio’s lizard brain kicked into action. He quickly got her to employ the Opposite Rule of Liberalism, which is now the Opposite Rule of Liberal Democracy.

Briefly stated, the Opposite Rule of Liberal Democracy says that you should take whatever they say, start with the opposite, and you are close to the truth. In this case, she hilariously rolled out a version of “they cry out it pain as they strike you.” This was one of those moments people used to call a Freudian slip. She blamed the Russians for doing what she was doing at that very moment. Her entire life is based on blaming others for what she herself is actually doing.

Another interesting aspect of this gaffe is that the foreign policy establishment heard about the bio-lab documents last week. They probably knew about this from Ukrainian sources prior to the Russians posting the documents. After all, the State Department was running the labs, so they knew they existed and they knew the Russians would capture them at some point. Again, no one in charge has any doubts about the results of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

This is why they planted a story in Foreign Policy claiming this is the work of the QAnon shaman, the guy dressed like a bear who entered the Capitol on January 6th and who is currently rotting in prison. This is a classic political tactic. You not only get your version of the lie in circulation first, but you also tie the truth to conspiracy theorists and crazy people in order to anathematize it. This has been the go-to move of Washington since the Clinton crime family blew into town.

That is what makes the Nuland-Rubio exchange amusing. Marco Rubio is as dumb as a goldfish but he knows how to read his lines and follow direction. If politics did not pay so well for so little work, he could have made a career in movies. He read his line expecting Nuland to repeat the QAnon stuff. Instead, she blurted out the truth and he had to try and save the scene. It was one of those moments when you see just how dumb the people are behind the Ukraine fiasco.

Putting the performance issues aside, the question that should be on everyone’s mind is just how crazy are these people? We know that America had a hand in the Covid lab leak that set off the Covid pandemic. The media is back-paging this story now, but the evidence is clear that the virus came from a lab and it was most likely the lab in Wuhan, which was supported by the American government. We will never get the full truth, but we know the basic outline now.

China is a serious modern country with a serious government, so maybe this collaboration made sense in some way. Ukraine is not a serious country and it certainly does not have a serious government. Its government is literally run by a television comedian, the local version of Mr. Bean. Even if there is some reason to justify this, the time to close it down was months ago when the Russians started building up forces for what the American government said was an invasion.

There is a recklessness here that should be terrifying to serious people. Victoria Nuland is a stumble-bum with a long history of screwups. She was caught on tape during the American overthrow of the Ukrainian government in 2014. In tradecraft for beginners, they teach students to assume all electronic communication is being monitored by people with hostile interests. Cubicle jockeys at Langley get fired for making this sort of error, but Nuland just keeps getting promoted.

It is no wonder the world is rocketing toward disaster. It is not just that Victoria Nuland has a job, but that the people around her think she is highly qualified. In other words, this stupid woman is the part of the iceberg we can see. These are the same people now responsible for avoiding a global calamity over the war in Ukraine. Even more frightening is the fact that not a single politician in either party is pointing out what should be obvious even to Marco Rubio now.

This will not end well.


If you like my work and wish to kick in a few bucks, you can buy me a beer. You can sign up for a SubscribeStar subscription and get some extra content. You can donate via PayPal. My crypto addresses are here for those who prefer that option. You can send gold bars to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. Thank you for your support!


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link. If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


The Haunting

Note: The Monday Taki post is up. I was not sure about this one, but sometimes you just have to go where the original thought takes you. Sunday Thoughts is up behind the green door and it is all about the big story.


General Hastings Ismay famously said that the point of NATO was “to keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down.” Since the 1950’s this has been the commonly accepted view of the alliance. After the war this made perfect sense as the Western nations faced off with the Soviets. There was also the well-understood fear of German nationalism. Britain and America had just gone through a terrible war in order to defeat the Nazis.

This sentiment carried on through the Cold War, even though it should have become obvious that German nationalism was no longer a real fear. The generation that fought the Cold War, however, was haunted by the past. NATO was just one example of an institution that evolved around the fear of nationalism in general, but that special nationalism in particular. The added threat of communism, which was often described in the same terms as fascism, only added to the fear.

This fear was obvious after the collapse the Soviet Union. The reunification of Germany was the central concern, as Europe reorganized. Margaret Thatcher was opposed to German reunification on the grounds that she was still not sure the Germans had been cured of their desire to conquer the world. The Russians, of course, had other reasons, in addition to her ancient fear of German nationalism. The post-Cold War period would also be haunted by those old fears.

This specter continues to haunt the minds of American foreign policy elites, who have transferred old fears of German nationalism onto Russia. NATO probably should have been dissolved or replaced after the Cold War. As a practical matter, it existed to check the Warsaw Pact, which no longer exists. Russia was flat on her back after the collapse of communism and the rest of Europe was rushing to embrace liberal democracy and American consumerist economics.

Most important, it was obvious to anyone engaged with reality that Germany was long past nationalism, especially that special form of nationalism. In fact, fascism in general existed only in the fevered minds of oddballs out on the fringes and the professional antifascist on the Left. As a political force, political fascism was less relevant than monarchism in Europe. The only role left for NATO was to keep America engaged in Europe, which could be done economically.

Of course, those old fears have proven to be far more important than observable reality among American elites. Since the 1990’s it has been a relentless drive to expand NATO to the edge of the Russian frontier. First it was the old members of the Warsaw Pact then it was Balkan nations. Then it was the scheme to add the former Soviet republic of Georgia, a nation thousands of miles from the Atlantic. Then, of course, it was the scheme to add Ukraine to NATO.

It is assumed that the sole reason to keep adding nations to NATO is to contain the Russians, but that old fear of German nationalism is still there. Germany is now the dominant economy of Europe and the leader of the European Union. It is the German relationship with both Russia and Ukraine that is at the heart of the current crisis that had led to war in Europe. Germany has been developing stronger ties to Russia, especially economic ties, and Washington hates it.

This is why Washington has refused to even consider peaceful solutions to the crisis in Ukraine over the last ten years. Those disputed eastern provinces have been racked by a civil war for close to a decade. Estimates vary, but the consensus is that twenty thousand people have died there since 2014. The Ukrainian government has been supplying those militias with weapons, which come from the United States through the Ukrainian military or various NGO’s.

Obviously, one driver in all of this is corruption. War is good for the war business, so the usual suspects have been happy to provoke all sides in this conflict. Zelensky has been for sale since day one, so he has been easy to manipulate. The greater issue has been the number of important Americans on the payroll of the Ukrainians. Hunter Biden is just one example. Many others have been taking bribes from Ukrainian interests seeking to profit from the turmoil.

None of this would be possible, however, if Washington were not haunted by the shadow of long gone figures. The old joke was that the foreign policy establishment wakes up most nights to the sound of hoofbeats. While certainly true in many cases, it is also true that they live in the shadow of antifascism, which has become something of a cult among the American ruling class. Who they are now is defined by the fear of and opposition to that long gone political movement.

This strikes the practical minded as implausible, but people are not willing to sacrifice for practical things. That should be obvious now. The Russians are risking economic isolation in order to restore their pride and sense of identity. This war will cost them economically, but it will all be worth it to feel that ancient pride again. The Ukrainian soldiers who know they are fighting a hopeless battle, will fight to the end because there are things more important than stuff.

The crisis in Europe that promises to plunge the world into depression, revolt and possibly nuclear war is not about stuff. It is about that old specter that should have been consigned to the history books long ago. It is the apparition of fascism that has driven Western elites to the brink of madness. Their desire to free themselves of this haunting is driving them to try and reorganize the world in opposition to it. Instead, they are driving the world to organize against the madness of the West.


If you like my work and wish to kick in a few bucks, you can buy me a beer. You can sign up for a SubscribeStar subscription and get some extra content. You can donate via PayPal. My crypto addresses are here for those who prefer that option. You can send gold bars to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. Thank you for your support!


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link. If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


The Bug Men

Imagine one day you wake up to see that some people, but not all, just the beautiful people, are now wearing flowerpots on their heads. You first see it on the television while making coffee. Then you see people with the flowerpot things while on your commute into the office. They are not wearing actual flowerpots, but hats that look like a pot holding a shrubbery. Not only are they wearing these ridiculous hats, but they are also acting like it is perfectly normal.

This is the world most Americans woke up to last week when news broke that the Russian army had crossed into Ukraine. Suddenly, as if they had received orders from the hive queen, all of the beautiful people were Ukrainian nationalists. They were all saying “keev” as if they had developed some new mental disease. They were sporting Ukrainian flag lapel pins. At the Biden state of the union show they were dressed in the colors of the Ukrainian flag.

This is not just a partisan marketing campaign either. The mouth breathers of conservatism are right there with their masters on the Left waving the yellow and blue of their new homeland. The same people who were wearing the angry face about being called a Putin shill a few years ago are now calling anyone skeptical of this new fad a tool of the evil Vladimir Putin. The same people who tell us nations no longer matter now sound like white nationalists in their support of Ukraine.

It is easy to dismiss this as the sort of superficial sincerity that we have come to expect from the beautiful people. A big part of the gulf between the Cloud People and the Dirt People is the Cloud People lack normal human emotions. Instead, it is these programmed responses to programmed questions. You get more authenticity from an ATM machine than from Jen Psaki. While this Ukraine fetish is part of the programming, it reveals something else about them.

These are people who lack all meaning in life. The reason they all swarmed to the Ukraine stuff is that it allowed them to experience what they imagine is normal human emotion and community spirit. Their conjured image of the brave Ukrainians taking up arms against the aggressor reflects their own lack of purpose. Many Americans have been reduced to the bug-man existence of consuming product but the Cloud People are the pinnacle of the bug-man lifestyle.

This is why they are so fond of using analogies drawn from comic book movies and children’s books. You will notice that the people comparing Putin to Lord Voldemort from the Harry Potter movies are childless. They did not pick up the reference from watching the shows with their kids. They are the primary consumers of this material. This fantasy material has become folklore for people who lack the cultural structure that provides an adult frame of reference to understand the world.

Dissidents are fond of pointing out how the modern age consumes the normal social capital, converting it into cash to fuel the consumer economy. This process has slowly obliterated the natural community of America. The result is endless miles of generic housing developments named after whatever it is that was destroyed in order to build these crimes against nature. We are slowly being converted into pod people who experience the world via the internet.

The thing is this process is complete among the Cloud people. They are cutoff from the rest of us, living in a fantasy world that operates by its own rules. It is why they think it makes sense to lecture working class people about white privilege while Mexican drug gangs flood working class neighborhoods with narcotics. It is why Joe Biden’s programmers think Ukraine is more important than food prices. In their world, what matters is what gives them meaning.

That is the thing though. Their lives have no meaning because they are living the fully atomized and transactional life. These are people who will slit each other’s throat for a better spot on a cable channel. They have no loyalty, no code, no sense of decency because they are just particles in a system that exists for its own purposes. It is why the image of Ukrainians taking up arms is so enthralling to them. Our bug-man rulers long for even the hint of such a life.

This is why they hate the Dirt People so much. Despite it all, normal people still try to form and maintain community. They may not be able to articulate it, but they sense that having beers with a neighbor as they watch the kids play in the backyard matters more than anything they consume on-line. The Cloud People hate the Dirt People because for the Dirt People, Harry Potter will always be entertainment for their kids, not a guidebook for understanding the world.

Also note the solipsism in all of the Ukraine love. The people wearing the colors of the Ukrainian flag have only the most superficial understanding of the people and history of the region. It is why they embraced the most superficial and meaningless part of Ukrainian identity, the flag. It is a cheap decoration that lets them feel like they are a part of something. They are standing with Ukraine with the same sincerity they do everything else in their hollow and pointless lives.

You also note that they frame the Ukraine issue as brave innocents defending themselves from the dark forces. This comes from people who deliberately lock themselves inside razor wire fences guarded by armed troops. Their emotional isolation from normal human experience now manifests as a physical isolation from the people they supposedly rule. For the Cloud People, Ukraine is a metaphor for how they see themselves in relation to the Dirt People.

The Devil finds work for idle hands and that is what we see with our rulers. Much of what ails the West these days is the result of a ruling class without much purpose as a ruling class and without much meaning as people. The crisis in Ukraine is the fault of people who use children’s books to provide meaning to their lives. We not only have an excess of elites, but we also have a shortage of reasons for them to exist. It is why they are now decorated with Ukrainian flags. They have nothing else.


If you like my work and wish to kick in a few bucks, you can buy me a beer. You can sign up for a SubscribeStar subscription and get some extra content. You can donate via PayPal. My crypto addresses are here for those who prefer that option. You can send gold bars to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. Thank you for your support!


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link. If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


The Worst Case

It is assumed that the worst case scenario for the Russo-Ukrainian conflict is the direct or even indirect involvement of NATO in Ukraine. If NATO forces came into direct conflict with Russian forces, the result would be total war and total war could easily and quickly lead to nuclear war. This is a remote possibility as NATO has been adamant about not getting militarily involved. The West is content to use the economic weapons at its disposal that it assumes the Russians have anticipated.

While there is nothing worse than nuclear war, the fact that it is the least likely outcome means it is not the worst probable outcome. The fact is, the Cold War was a good lesson in the use and non-use of these weapons. Nuclear weapons are last resort defensive tools. A nation will use them as a last gasp at survival. This is why Israel stole the technology from America in the last century. It is why North Korea is developing the ability to deliver a nuke to North America.

If nuclear holocaust is off the table and a wider scale war in Europe is off the table, then that leaves the softer, less predictable outcomes. We are already seeing big ripples in the financial markets as people try to figure out the downstream consequences of the economic sanctions on Russia. Despite what the media may claim, Russia, Belarus and Ukraine are not hermit kingdoms. They have a lot of economic links to the rest of the world and are a vital part of the global supply chain.

For example, one bottleneck in the chip supply chain is in Ukraine. The world has just started to turn the tide on the chip shortage, but now a vital bottleneck has been closed due to the war. Optimistic predictions said the chip shortage would be over by the end of 2022, but now that date is pushed well into the future. Everyone in the dreaded private sector knows the mischief caused by the chip shortage. That mischief is now going to play out for a much longer period than expected.

That last part is where to focus. Economics is about expectations. People will stock up on something, for example, if they anticipate a shortage or price hike. On the other hand, people will take risks in good times, risks like starting a business, buying a new home or hiring new staff. A massive amount of risk has been dumped into the global economy as a result of this war and the response from the West. For the first time in a long time everyone has a reason to not take any risks.

On the more tangible side, energy prices are spiking at a time when we have spiraling food prices globally. The last time this happened there was civil unrest throughout the Middle East and North Africa. The so-called Arab Spring was marketed as a quest for freedom but it was a revolt over food and fuel shortages. It is good to remember that the same people who sold those results as a positive are the ones responsible for the mess in Ukraine and responsible for managing the fallout.

Ten years ago, the Arab Spring was watched in America during a time of historically low inflation and interest rates. The population was fairly content. Today, America has double-digit inflation and is now about to get an energy cost spike. The population is also at each other’s throats because the people in charge are sure one half of the population are evil insurrectionists. A global depression is not going to help sooth the social tensions that exist in Western nations.

Wide-scale supply chain and financial disruptions is probably the rosy scenario end of this conflict in Ukraine. Shippers are already hesitating to take on Russian products, even those products are not sanctioned. It is conceivable that deliveries of vital natural resources like fertilizer, food and energy from Russia, Belarus and Ukraine will be delayed for the next several months. These countries ship a lot of food to the global south, so it is a profoundly serious problem.

If that is not enough to consider, think about the last time waves of men flooded into Europe from the south. That was largely driven by economics. Given the socio-economic mood in Europe right now, how well will they handle a million men marching into the heart of Europe from the Middle East and Africa? Who will be blamed this time for the demographic calamity that would follow? Far-right candidate Eric Zemmour could end up sounding like a moderate.

The global order that the West, led by the United States, has evolved over the last several decades assumed certain things. For example, populism was assumed to be impossible in a system that efficiently delivered quality consumer goods. It assumed that price shocks were a thing of the past. Similarly, inflation was assumed to be controlled by the judicious control of the money supply. It assumed the free flow of goods, capital and information.

The system struggled to contend with the populist revolts of the last decade. Two years of mismanagement of the Covid crisis have brought populism back to the fore and called into question key economic axioms. We have labor shortages all over the place, despite rising wages, but we also have spiraling inflation. This is at a time of historically low interest rates. Prior to the war, this combination was assumed to be impossible and now it will only get worse as a result of the crisis.

When the axioms of a system begin to crumble, people quickly begin to doubt the system that rests on those axioms. Confidence in the socio-political order was already falling as a result of demographics and mismanagement. The banging of war drums by the geriatrics ruling Washington is not going to change this. In fact, it is clear that the public blames those geriatrics for the Ukrainian mess. We are entering uncharted territory with regards to public confidence in the system.

It very well may be that the worst case scenario is upon us with regards to the Russo-Ukrainian conflict. A fragile system that was already wobbling due to demographics and mismanagement is now about to receive a series of economic body blows. Europe may be getting a new wave of demographic reality. The worst case scenario may be a revolution in public consciousness about the socio-economic order. The elites may be blowing their world up the old fashioned way.


If you like my work and wish to kick in a few bucks, you can buy me a beer. You can sign up for a SubscribeStar subscription and get some extra content. You can donate via PayPal. My crypto addresses are here for those who prefer that option. You can send gold bars to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. Thank you for your support!


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link. If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


Russia – Ukraine

One of the interesting sidelights to the crisis in Ukraine is the hyper-reaction of the American media. It has been a blend of foaming at the mouth jingoism, unhinged hysteria and absolute nonsense. Since the rest of the English-speaking world follows the lead of the American media, the world has been flooded with what probably sounds like a tidal wave of craziness. The start of actual fighting in Ukraine has made the situation worse in the information space.

As is so often the case, the one place you must avoid if you want to know what is happening in Europe right now is the American media. They have fallen for at least one Sam Hyde gag. They have been caught using old pictures from different events and screenshots from movies. They seem to be willing to believe the most outlandish nonsense about both sides. Of course, the Ukrainians are the Spartans at Thermopylae and the Russians are bloodthirsty Nazis.

What we know so far is that there has been some contact between Ukrainian forces and Russian forces. We also know the Russians are now staged in-country, outside various cities and strategically important spots. We also know that the Ukrainians have been willing to talk, after initially refusing peace talks. The first round happened a couple of days ago and another round is scheduled this week. We also have not seen much in the way of reliable footage indicating heavy combat.

Taken as a whole, with the understanding that lots of pieces of the puzzle are missing, the most likely situation right now is not much is happening. The Russians swept in but stopped short of going into major cites. They have most certainly occupied the disputed provinces in the east and have liquidated the Ukrainian irregulars. Otherwise, the lack of images is the result of two armies in a stand-off as the political and psychological war rages around them.

For their part, the Ukrainians have no reason to engage the Russian army directly, as they would eventually lose. It may take a few weeks, but the outcome is certain and the price to the civilian population would be high. They have the backing of the West to a point and the longer their army is in the field and functioning, they have a chance to cut a deal with the Russians. For Zelensky, his army and his cities are chips he will play over the next weeks to make a deal for himself.

Interestingly, the Russians may have a similar calculus. As long as their army is camped outside Kiev, they have options they did not have last week. For example, they can settle the question of the eastern provinces now. The facts on the ground matter and those two provinces no longer belong to Ukraine. They can also force NATO to discuss their security concerns in a serious way. The longer their army is in the field the more willing the West is to cut a deal with them.

That is where the Ukrainian and Russian similarities end. Zelensky agreed to talks because he knows the other option is he becomes a CNN anchor. If the press reports were true and the heroic Ukrainian army was fighting the Reds to a standstill, his position would be simple. Russia leaves or else. He is at the table to buy time and avoid being run out of his own country. He is looking for a face-saving deal that leaves him in power and in good standing with the West.

The Russians want what they have plus two more things. They have the provinces and they are not going back to Ukrainians control. What they want from the peace talks is agreement from Zelensky on this fact. That becomes an endorsement of the deal and thus strips the West of claims to the contrary. They also want an end to discussions about Ukraine joining NATO or the EU. If this comes from the Western puppet government, it basically comes from Washington.

A wildcard in all of this is time. It is assumed the Russians wanted to quickly knock out the Ukrainians, but that appears to be false. They want a deal with this Ukrainian government, not one they install. That means they came into this with a much longer timeline than has been suggested. How long they are willing or able to keep their army in the field is unknown, but it is probably months, maybe longer. All we know is we do not know their timeline for ending this.

For now, the Ukrainians have all the time in the world. The West is waving around their flag on social media and promising support. They know this is mostly public relations and that eventually, the West will move into other issues. For now, they have no reason to cut a deal with the Russians. They have every reason to stall for time and hope some miracle happens that causes the Russians to change their position. Like the Russians, they have months, maybe longer to wait.

Another wildcard in all of this is economics. Ukraine and Russia ship a lot of food and energy to the MENA countries. The reason that region was convulsed by revolts ten years ago was food and fuel prices spiked. In a world already suffering double-digit retail inflation and supply chain problems, another factor driving up prices for essentials could create massive headaches for everyone. It is not as if the Western countries are in peace and harmony right now either.

That brings in the other wildcard. Another wave of migrants from the south could easily swamp Europe this spring. What keeps the waves of migrants from flooding Europe are countries like Syria and Turkey. The former is a Russian client state and the later has a lot of axes to grind with the Europeans. Turkey has been in economic crisis for months, so opening up the migrant valve could be a useful way to lower the temperature domestically, especially if there are food shortages.

What all of this means is this conflict could stagger on for a long time before the parties decided they have to settle things. It also means the geniuses in Washington who instigated this did not anticipate any of what is happening. That will surely cause problems in trying to reach a deal. They have backed themselves into a corner and cannot sign off on any deal right now. That will drag out whatever negotiations are happening between Ukraine and Russia.


If you like my work and wish to kick in a few bucks, you can buy me a beer. You can sign up for a SubscribeStar subscription and get some extra content. You can donate via PayPal. My crypto addresses are here for those who prefer that option. You can send gold bars to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. Thank you for your support!


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link. If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


View From The Road

Note: No show today as I am traveling this week. I will be posting travel logs behind the green door for those interested. Here is the first installment. I also have a lengthy book review ready to go and once that is posted, I’ll update this with a link.


One of the funny things you experience when traveling to another English-speaking country is their version of your news. I first experienced this in Dublin half a dozen years ago when I popped on the BBC in the hotel. When I travel, I never turn on the television, as the room is just a place to sleep and shower. It was pouring rain so I decided to check out Irish television for the first time. I was greeted by two actors confidently spewing out laughable nonsense about the news.

One guy was talking about Trump as if he had grown up with the man and knew him like a family member. The trouble was, the things he was saying were so absurd that it felt like satire of a crazy MSNBC talking head, but it was serious. The person on the other side of this was an over-the-top version of the pompous news anchor. He was an English version of Ron Burgundy from the movie Anchorman. I was sitting there cackling like Kamala Harris while watching it.

I clicked around the many versions of the BBC and then found Sky News. I had never consumed this product, but my understanding was that it was the Fox News Channel for the rest of the English-speaking world. In reality, it was just another version of the BBC, without the same level of smugness. They had a different actor pretending to know the mind of Donald Trump, telling the audience for this stuff what they needed to hear to get through the trauma of the election.

After I recovered from the hysterical fits of laughter, I realized I was watching the modern version of the freak show. The difference is the freak show never tried to normalize the freaks. The modern freak show seeks to normalize the weirdness in order to open the mind of the viewer to the messaging. Then I realized that like all Americans, I had grown up in the same freak show, with different freaks. In other words, American mass media was worse than I noticed.

This week I have been busy with a million things and I am on the road in Orlando, so I have not been following the news very much. I caught some bits about the war in Europe, but I have not had time to look at the inevitable commentary or watch the chattering skulls on television. What I know about what is happening comes from what I know about the history of the area, prior analysis and the many e-mails I have been getting from readers in Eastern Europe.

At the airport, they had CNN on and it was all war news, but I saw no one watching is so I followed the mob and ignored it too. I’ve been in a lot of airports during tranquil times and turbulent times and the airport crowd is always a good gauge of whether something is resonating with people. In the 2016 election cycle, people stopped to watch Trump news at the airport. Even people busy living their lives knew it was a big deal so they stopped and watched the man.

Putting the news out of my head meant I missed all the talk and analysis until I arrived in Orlando Thursday evening. The Uber driver asked me about it, but it turned out his reason had nothing to do with the news. He is just a huge Putin fans so this is like seeing his favorite sports team in the championship. He wanted to talk about it because it makes him feel good to talk about it. That said, his analysis would turn out to be the most sensible I’d hear that day.

After checking into the hotel, I decide to see what the news was saying about the great Slavic invasion of Europe. War is good television and the pioneer in modern war television was CNN. They are down on their luck these days and this is the sort of thing to boost their ratings, so I hit CNN first. Memories of the freak show from Dublin rushed into my mind as one lunatic after another came on to make sure they said “Keev” several times, rather than “kee-ev” like a normal person.

Luckily, MSNBC seemed to be in a commercial loop, so I broke free and went over to Fox News, which has fallen into an alternative reality. In this new reality, it is the year 2000 and the chicken hawks are at their zenith. Instead of Saddam Hussein as the next Hitler, it is Putin. They are all saying “Keev” now too. The amusing thing is that when these simpletons say it, they stumble, because they have not had enough time to practice saying this weird new word in front of the mirror.

Like the goofy English pundits on the BBC claiming to know the mind of Trump, the current pundits all claim to know the mind of Vladimir Putin. Of course, they tell us that he is the evil monster they need to justify the warmongering. You see, if Americans do not accept ten-dollar gasoline and breadlines, Putin will march all the way to Paris, just like you know who, in what always feels like yesterday for these people. You must sacrifice for their principles.

It really is a freak show. The one exception is Tucker Carlson, which is the great irony in all of this. The people trying to understand what is happening and maintaining healthy skepticism and objectivity are cast as mindless puppets of evil. The people suddenly saying “Keev” like they have contracted a new form of Tourette’s are the deep thinking, worldly servants of all that is holy. This is not propaganda. It is an alternative reality used to impose mass psychosis.

What is amazing about the Fox News coverage is it all sounds like the stuff you see on CNN and MSNBC. It is just various ways of repeating whatever the White House is saying, but with a hint of Biden criticism. They try to compare him to Neville Chamberlain when the opportunity arises. In other words, they are following the lead of the ratings losers, instead of the most popular man in the mass media. It just shows the real face behind those masks they wear.

One final observation about Fox News. Sean Hannity was never a guy working math problems in his free time, but he seems to have gotten dumber. He always looks like he is going to snap and fly into a Chris Farley-like tantrum. His show is angry stupid man interviews stupid people pretending to be smart. You have to wonder about the audience for such content. You can excuse people for wanting to see the Siamese twins or wolf-boy, but what is the excuse for watching Hannity?

There are many theories of the mass media. They usually revolve around the Orwellian propaganda angle. When you can look at it from the proper distance, you get the sense that maybe the real point is to fill the air with the sounds of weirdos and lunatics, so the sober voices cannot be heard. A guy like Tucker lives like a serious lecturer employed by the traveling circus. Even if you like his content, it is hard to appreciate it over the sound of freaks and carnies.

It is not entirely spontaneous, of course. You see that with the vapid repetition of the word “Keev” from these airheads. There are people behind the curtain injecting phrases and opinions into the system for the freaks to repeat. On the other hand, it is a system  that operates by the logic of people who think the purpose of life is to win the catchphrase contest each day. The mass media is the freak show populated with credentialed members of the managerial elite.


If you like my work and wish to kick in a few bucks, you can buy me a beer. You can sign up for a SubscribeStar subscription and get some extra content. You can donate via PayPal. My crypto addresses are here for those who prefer that option. You can send gold bars to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. Thank you for your support!


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link. If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.


The End Of Empire

At the end of the Cold War, the American empire was at the height of its global influence and power. The verdict of history was that it had the best economy, the best military and the best political culture. Thirty years on and no one looks at the American economic model with envy. China is viewed as having the best economy. While the military has amazing weaponry, its culture is looked upon as increasingly bizarre. Of course, the political culture has become coarse and unstable.

The sharp decline in the competence of the Global American Empire is where the decline is most evident. The place to start is the blunders in the Bush years, where they miscalculated at every step in the crusade against Islam. One can argue about whether they should have anticipated the 9/11 attacks, but the response was poorly conceived and poorly executed. Like a sports team that takes a far weaker opponent lightly, the empire survived the encounter with Islam. It did not win.

The Obama years brought new failures. The administration started with the goal of resetting relations with Russia, which had been soured by the behavior of the Bush administration in the Russo-Georgian war. They sent Hillary Clinton to cackle with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. The Obama administration ended with Hillary Clinton’s election team manufacturing a smear campaign and conspiracy theory around the now famous Russian collusion hoax.

The Trump years were mostly filled with noise, but the fact that Trump was president at all suggested the competence of the empire was cratering. The system left to the current ruling class was supposed to prevent both Clinton and Trump. Worse yet, when the system failed and Trump was selected, the people in charge engaged in a four year tantrum rather than making the best of it. For his part, Trump spent his four years giving the Israel lobby a blank check.

The Biden regime has ushered in a new era of bungling. The exit from Afghanistan was never going to be smooth, but it had to be done. This was known in the Trump years but the system refused to cooperate with Trump. A competent system would have let the hated orange man own the ugly exit. Instead, they left it to Biden and then proceeded to find ways to blunder no one thought possible. The sight of Afghan herdsman sitting in abandoned Blackhawk helicopters was a poignant symbol.

Now we have the Ukraine debacle, which threatens global stability. This crisis is a long time coming so it is not all the fault of the Biden administration. The Empire has been trying to encircle and destabilize Russia since the Bush years. The overthrow of the Ukrainian government by the Obama people and the installation of a puppet government was just one step in a long process. Biden does own the attempted coup in Belarus and Kazakhstan.

Ukraine is a complicated place with a tragic history. That history has mostly been defined by great armies marching through its territory. Modern Ukraine is the product of the communists committing genocide, then the Nazis committing genocide then the communist returning to impose three generations of communism. Since the end of the Cold War, Ukraine has been defined by corruption and a massive brain-drain as its people head for the rest of Europe.

Ukraine is the counter to the old De Maistre aphorism about government. He said that every country has the government it deserves. This has always been interpreted in the West to mean bad government is the fault of the people. This is not how De Maistre meant it, but even if he did, Ukraine shows the idiocy of that sentiment. No people deserve the governance Ukraine has received over the last century. It is proof that government is a ruling class tool of control.

It is the corruption that has come to define American policy with regards to both Russia and Ukraine recently. Senior members of the political elite have had family members put on the payroll of Ukrainian oligarch. The most famous of which is the drug-addled son of President Biden, who was put on the board of Burisma Holdings, the energy conglomerate owned by Ukrainian oligarch Mykola Zlochevsky. Ukraine has been buying a lot of influence in Washington this way.

Now we have the Russian military moving into Ukraine on the pretext of protecting both the large Russian population in Ukraine and the two breakaway republics in the east of Ukraine. This could have been avoided if the Global American Empire had recognized the reality of the situation. They could have hashed out a deal with Putin on the issues at the heart of the crisis. Instead, we got months of bizarre hysteria that only served to undermine peaceful solutions.

The fate of Ukraine is not particularly important. What matters in this crisis is the display of staggering incompetence by the empire. They managed to turn what should have been a minor diplomatic matter on the fringe of Europe into a global crisis. The result is soaring energy prices in a time when the global economy is still staggering from two years of incompetent Covid polices. We have double digit inflation now. Just wait until massive spikes in energy prices hit the system.

The incompetence does not end here. We are now seeing a parade of experts from the imperial chattering class compare Ukraine to the Sudetenland, Putin to Hitler and Biden to Neville Chamberlain. Some are just yesterday men looking for one last grift before they exit the stage. Most are people locked into a blinkered mindset bounded by their ignorance and self-regard. To people with any knowledge of the issue, they sound like idiots because they clearly do not know what they do not know.

Much of this public relations campaign is aimed at shifting the focus from the failure of American foreign policy. The Russia hawks blaming Biden is a way of shifting the blame from the permanent foreign policy establishment. That too is another example of the incompetence of the system. Instead of learning from their error, they are shifting the blame to a convenient target, so they can continue in error. Thirty years of failure since the end of the Cold War has taught them nothing.

Put side the armchair diplomacy and what we are seeing is the world slowly adjusting to the reality of the Global American Empire. It is the sick man of world politics and the world knows it. Putin easily outmaneuvered the empire on this issue. The Europeans made sure to not make any enemies on the Russian side. The empire is left with talking tough from a distance. This is what the end of empire looks like. The question now is just how quickly it reaches its inevitable conclusion.


If you like my work and wish to kick in a few bucks, you can buy me a beer. You can sign up for a SubscribeStar subscription and get some extra content. You can donate via PayPal. My crypto addresses are here for those who prefer that option. You can send gold bars to: Z Media LLC P.O. Box 432 Cockeysville, MD 21030-0432. Thank you for your support!


Promotions: We have a new addition to the list. Havamal Soap Works is the maker of natural, handmade soap and bath products. If you are looking to reduce the volume of man-made chemicals in your life, all-natural personal products are a good start. If you use this link you get 15% off of your purchase.

The good folks at Alaska Chaga are offering a ten percent discount to readers of this site. You just click on the this link and they take care of the rest. About a year ago they sent me some of their stuff. Up until that point, I had never heard of chaga, but I gave a try and it is very good. It is a tea, but it has a mild flavor. It’s autumn here in Lagos, so it is my daily beverage now.

Minter & Richter Designs makes high-quality, hand-made by one guy in Boston, titanium wedding rings for men and women and they are now offering readers a fifteen percent discount on purchases if you use this link. If you are headed to Boston, they are also offering my readers 20% off their 5-star rated Airbnb.  Just email them directly to book at sales@minterandrichterdesigns.com.