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Friday, July 25, 2014

Putin wants to see a Russian military victory to a renewed Cold War

There's a direct correlation between Russia's useless ruble (one ruble - $0.28 US) and President Vladimir Putin's aggression in the Ukraine and, potentially, elsewhere.  

As the ruble currency tanks, Putin's obsession to keep Russian prominence in the world order increases. This dangerous correlation has caused Putin to have delusions about opening the old Cold War, but with a Russian victory, even if it means using military might to achieve what his Soviet predecessors were unable to accomplish.

The Cold War was a sustained state of political and military tension between powers in the Western Bloc (the United States, its NATO allies and others such as Japan ) and powers in the Eastern Bloc (the Soviet Union and its allies inWarsaw Pact). China was originally close to the USSR but became distanced over the question of fidelity to Marxism. Historians haven't fully agreed on the dates, but 1946-1991 is common. It was "cold" because there was no large-scale fighting directly between the two sides.

Obviously, Putin didn't learn much about why the Cold War ended. Although Putin was a minor player in Cold War politics during the 1980s and 90s, the reason the Soviet Union was
overcome by Cold War politics was because their nation's economy tanked and the ruble was worthless. 

Today, Putin is resurrecting the Cold War by driving aggression in the Ukraine, taking the risk that President Obama will not retaliate. This aggression rips the scab off of Cold War politics. Even more dangerous, this time Putin is using the military strategy his predecessors withheld, because of fear of atomic retaliation.  

Putin would've been a lot further along in his aggressive plan to stir up war over the Ukraine if troops sympathetic to the Russians hadn't used a heat seeking missile to mistakenly shoot a civilian Malaysian airliner MH17 out of the sky, murdering everyone on board. Included among the victims were highly praised public health experts who specialized in the treatment of HIV-AIDS. Small children, babies and a religious nun were also among the innocents lost.

Yet, Putin and Russia will eventually pay huge reparations for the death, and destruction of the MH17 disaster. At the same time, Putin must continue to pay (in rubles) for the military aggression he has commanded.

President Putin must take a refresher course to learn the reasons why the Cold War ended with Russia taking the brunt of effective Western and NATO policy.  Russia came in last in Cold War politics because their nation's economy was collapsing under Communism. Right now, a chuck of Russian wealth is living in Southeast Asia and, likely (although I'm speculating about this information ) these new Oligarchs are hiding their wealth far-far away from where Putin can claim it back for his own purposes.  
Putin can't possibly keep Russia solvent in the absence of a viable currency.  

Nevertheless, Putin can cause havoc as a result of being cornered into an economic silo by Western sanctions. Putin's anger can erupt like the heat seeking missile that horribly took down an innocent Malaysian passenger jet. 

Obviously, Putin is like a caged bear with no place to go except to attack his captors.  

Therefore, bringing back Cold War politics is sort of like throwing away the locks on Putin's bear cage. Putin is breaking out of the confines of economic sanctions with the excuse of Russian nationalism as his misplaced cause. This time around, Putin is determined to win the Cold War, regardless of what it costs or how badly the world perceives his ambitious motivations.

Clearly, the world is a more dangerous place as a result of Putin's anger, ambition and aggression.

Putin is in a pile of political problems at home, because of his nation's tanking economy and worthless ruble. Any reasonable person would want to win the confidence of the wealthy Western nations, to bring Russia back to economic prosperity. Unfortunately, this is clearly not going to happen while Putin is obsessed on retaliation to NATO for winning the Cold War.  

Tragically, it's just a matter of time before the West must confront President Putin or risk falling victim to growing aggression. Not only will the Cold War be re-opened but the ghosts of the Hitler era seem to be looming as well.

Surely, the Russian people will eventually see through Putin's ambitious veneer and demand his removal. Russians have a violent history of getting rid of leaders when they no longer serve the people. Sadly, Putin will do a lot of damage in the world before any decisive actions can effectively oppose him and his aggression. What Putin can't calculate, however, is how his aggression is solidifying the West in the same way NATO was aligned during the Cold War. With Russia's economy on the brink of disaster and the West unified against Putin's aggression, it's clearly fanciful thinking on Putin's part to believe the outcome of his renewed Cold War aggression will turn out any differently than in 1991, when Russia's economy collapsed. President Putin is in a pile of political problems, but he has not seemed to calculate the risk of a unified NATO to respond to his aggression.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Airplanes shot out of the sky innocent victims must receive compassion

Although the heinous shoot down of Malaysian airlines flight MH17 over the eastern Ukraine was totally preventable, with nearly 300 innocent people blown out of the sky, this unfortunate tragedy isn't an isolated incident.  It seems like all airplanes are at risk for unforeseen catastrophes.

Nevertheless, the cause of the MH17 aggression caused an extraordinary reaction against how Russia horribly responded to this unfathomable killing of innocents.  

World wide condolences are flowing to the families of the victims of the MH17, most of them from the Netherlands. 

Nevertheless, the Russians don't "get" what their nation should've done to respond.  

Unbelievably, Russian leadership hasn't shown the compassion they should've demonstrated, regardless of the circumstances of the assault on the innocent passenger airplane.

This attack is a war crime. Shooting MH17 out of the sky with hundreds of innocent lives lost, because the airplane happened to be flying at 33,000 feet, over a war zone, is a war crime.  

Russia will pay reparations for this crime. 

President Putin has pushed the world to an unusual tipping point, not entirely because the airplane MH17 was shot down, presumably by a Russian heat seeking missile. That's heinous enough.

MH17 was a preventable shoot down, but the world could rationalize the incident as the airliner being in the wrong place at the wrong time.  

No, it's not the incident that's caused international outrage.  

Rather, it's the total lack of compassion by Russian President Putin and his right wing finger pointing that's caused world outrage.

Very sadly, the preventable shooting down of MH17 has shown Russian President Putin to be an egotistical dictator. He showed no compassion toward the victims of the MH17 airline disaster.  

Now, it appears President Putin is planting conspiracy theories about how the MH17 tragedy might have happened and the motivation behind the attack on the airplane. Unbelievable, there are are people who are quick to believe any conspiracy theory for any of a litany of issues. Nothing will dissuade the conspiracies.

Compassion, however, can't be projected to a conspiracy theory.

Wouldn't it be amazing if Russian President Putin's leadership was taken down because he grossly mis-manged the MH17 response, by demonstrating a lack of compassion? 

Perhaps the tipping point Russia has pushed upon the world won't become a "quid pro quo" or an "eye for an eye".

Instead, the world might've finally reached a tipping point with President Putin because he had virtually no compassion for innocent people.

If lack of compassion brings down President Putin, then the lives lost on MH17 may not have been entirely lost in vain.

Sadly, their deaths might....(might)...have changed the world.


Monday, July 21, 2014

Sand Hill- Franco-Americans in Augusta

Sand Hill- Franco-Americans in Augusta

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Obamacare the winners and losers so far article from The Week

Republicans who are harping about the value of the private sector over government programs and claim to be fiscal hawks, have again demonstrated the hypocrisy of their obsessions.

Obamacare is the latest winner in the list of issues Republicans have wasted time and energy trying to discredit. 

Right wing political opposition is based upon the wrong minded argument that the Affordable Care Act is another "government handout".  In reality, the law has brought about important insurance reforms while improving access to health care coverage for the uninsured.

Republicans wasted millions in negative ads during their relentless attack on the law, passed by Congress, with the intention of providing uninsured Americans with affordable health insurance, in a statute deemed Constitutional by the Supreme Court

Obamacare: The winners and losers so far is reported in the July 25,2014 "The Week":

"Obamacare haters, your case just got weaker," said Johathan Cohn in A Commonwealth Fund study revealed last week (July 2014) that about 9.5 million fewer adults are uninsured than when open enrollment in the Affordable Care Act's exchanges began last fall. Many of these adults had purchased subsidized insurance under Obamacare or enrolled in "the newly expanded Medicaid program." Even better, they're satisfied customers, regardless of their politics. Even 74 percent of Republicans are happy with their new coverage. The ACA has faced nonstop "predictions of disaser" from conservatives, said Paul Krugman, in The New York Times, "none of which have come true."  Enrollment has surged past White House targets, and most people have bought policies on the exchanges at low or reasonable cost.  "The usual suspects will keep crying failure, but the truth is that health reform is----gasp!----working."

Predictions of a catastrophe from conservatives who spent millions to defeat and discredit Obamacare, simply has not occurred, said Ezra Klein in  

Indeed, many more insurance companies are joining the exchanges in 2015, and the ACA will only improve as competition increases and the bugs are worked out.  

Most important, in my mind, is how Obamacare is using the private sector to improve access to health insurance and the private insurers are joining in the program exchanges.

Obamacare: The winners and losers so far isn't totally about health insurance and coverage of the uninsured. In addition to achieving the goals of the program to bring down health care costs and increase access, the Obamacare law has proven, again, how Republicans really are the "stupid party" as Gov. Bobby Jindal prophesied. They've wasted taxpayer money to create a myth about a law that's Constitutional and, "gasp!" might even be working. 

Grand Old Party hypocrisy reigns with their party's stupidity.

I simply can't imagine how Republicans can continue to preach about fiscal austerity, when they waste millions to create myths.

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Saturday, July 19, 2014

Putin in a pile of problems

Ordinary Russians visited the Dutch embassy in Moscow to pay their condolences for the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 over Ukraine as it was flying from Holland to Malaysia. Many left flowers, reports BuzzFeed

And some left notes. This one says, simply, “Forgive us”.

It seems the Russian people are already way ahead of their heinous leader Putin in asking for forgiveness.  

Vladimir Putin, president of Russia,on the other hand, hasn't even acknowledge Russia's involvement in providing the missile and the technology that took down the passenger airliner.

Well, maybe the Dutch, who suffered the unimaginable loss of citizens in the completely unwarranted attack on the Malaysian Airliner MH17 by a Russian built missile, can possibly forgive the Russian people.  But they absolutely won't forgive Vladimir Putin.

Russians leave flowers at Dutch embassy in Moscow

As a matter of fact, President Putin is up to his cold blue eyes in a pile of problems resulting from the destruction of MH17.  

Now only did the Dutch people loose nearly 200 people in the attack, but the world lost a team of international AIDS experts who were excellent advocates for humanitarian public health. 

Putin must somehow explain how Russia will pay reparations for the unprovoked crime against a passenger airliner with heat seeking missile. Moreover, he must resign as a result of his failed leadership.  
Not only has Putin's puffed up ego driven Russia into economic stasis, he's created a useless ruble worth about "2 bits" or a US quarter. His outrageously grand spending on the Sochi Olympics drove the Russians into debt and Putin's war mongering in the Ukraine brought about US economic sanctions. Now, Putin's problems include international disdain, including the potential for a United Nations investigation. Moreover, his arrogance and lack of remorse reflect on Russians living or traveling in Asia. Many Russians live as expatriated Oligarchs in Asia. Now, they'll likely be in a position of having to pretend they're either Polish or Ukrainian, to avoid the ire of the Asians, who also lost citizens in MH17 and, by the way, don't like the Russians' bossy attitudes, anyway.

Putin is in a pile of problems. His predicament is creating pressure on him to respond. Unfortunately, Putin has been in a defensive and finger pointing mode. He's in psychotic denial of the preponderance of evidence about the Russian mistake that now puts his leadership in jeopardy.

Meanwhile, it will be a long time before Russia can recover from this totally preventable MH17 tragedy.  

Regardless of how Putin ends up - banished or worse, the Russian people will have to find a way to pay reparations to the Dutch and Malaysian airlines for this disaster. I doubt the families of the victims of this tragedy will be very patient with their expectations.

P.S. Additionally, when Putin goes, as he must,......Syria's tyrannical President Assad will be vulnerable, as well.

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Friday, July 18, 2014

Franco-Americans: Who are they and where do they live?

Franco-Americans: Who are they and where do they live?

Acadian Roots: Images of the St. John Valley ready for CMA 2014

Acadian Roots: Images of the St. John Valley ready for CMA 2014

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Russians living high life in South East Asia will see Rubles used for Mahjong chips

1 Russian Ruble equals 0.028 US Dollar

In other words, an American quarter is roughly the equivalent of a Russian currency ruble. 

Looking at it another way, Russian rubles might make interesting Mahjong wager chips.

Russian rubles will likely be reduced to the creating arts and crafts projects when reparations are demanded for the destruction of a Malaysian airliner, taken from the sky today, by a Russian heat seeking missile.

Was it a mistake, deliberate, terrorism or something unforeseen? Whatever the motivation, the cause will support the assessment of the cost of what Russia will have to pay to the Malaysian airlines and to the 265 victims of this airline attack disaster. Indeed, the cost will be extraordinarily high.

Russian President Putin continues to lie about his nation's persistent involvement to stir up trouble in the eastern Ukraine. He lies about this involvement because Russia can't withstand much more in the way of international economic pressure to leave the Ukraine. Therefore, Putin pretends his nation is an innocent victim of the US led international sanctions.  

Meanwhile, the Russian ruble is the value of a US "two bit" quarter, while the billion dollar bill to pay for the exorbitant Putin Olympic games in Sochi will probably never be paid.

When my husband and I visited Southeast Asia a few years ago, we were surrounded by Russians who were doing business, touring and acting like their Oligarch's rubles would last forever.  

Well, even if the Russians swarming Southeast Asia have rubles hiding in the foundation of their beach homes, their reputation among the local people (which was never very good because, frankly, they're "cheap"), will now tank. 

Russia clearly made a horrible humanitarian, and financial mistake by somehow releasing a surface to air heat seeking missile, to attack and destroy an innocent Malaysian airliner, with civilian passengers on board.  Russia will pay for this mistake. Moreover, Putin will undoubtedly be forced to face the court of international opinion, or worse, as a result. Russia may not recover from this attack.  

Worse, terrorist factions within Russia might now have an opportunity to escape their barbed wire encampments and retaliate for the oppression they've experienced as a result of Putin's pogrom of extremists . 

These are dark days for Russians as well as for the governments around the world that must respond to the attack on the innocent Malaysian airliner. 

Regardless of the intention, motivation, mistake or whatever else, the Russians will pay a huge price for this disaster.

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