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2007 – 2014
Sunday, April 20, 2014
UKRANIAN SELF-DESTINY, REVISITED
Hi again from the shores of the Salish Sea. As I write, I have just finished reading a New York Times article slightly mis-headlined U.S. and Russia Agree on Pact to Defuse Ukraine Crisis But as the NYT is quick to add, The foreign ministers of the United States, Russia, Ukraine and European Union reached an agreement in Geneva after more than five hours of talks.
I found the piece very informative and also realistic as I understand the diplomatic process. The first step is to get those involved to the table to talk about it and this is a promising first step. What I did not appreciate was President Obama’s observing, “I don’t think we can be sure of anything at this point,” he said, but there is a chance “that diplomacy may de-escalate the situation.”
With all due respect, Mr. President? Is that not the purpose of diplomacy in the first place? And if diplomacy does not “de-escalate the situation,” are you suggesting it is time to send in the Marines again? A chance, Mr. President? How about the best shot we’ve got at it?
The other thing that has bothered me about this is the vilification of Vladimir Putin. The entire power structure of Russia is still based on over a thousand years of autocratic rule. Putin is another tsar and he rules at the discetion of the power structure that put him there in the first place. All he has essentially belongs to the state and if the state chooses, they can strip him of it all and send him to the Gulag.
And Russia, for all its relatively recent Europeanization. remains true to the Tatars who first brought order to the steppes and the fertile plains of the Ukraine. Saving face is very important to Russian leaders. And being tough is the single most important trait a leader in Russia can have. If Putin appears to be backing down, he’d better be able to justify it as a geo-political chess move. The fact that he has lasted as long as he has in this often precarious office suggests that he knows the board.
I so totally wish outside intervention was not necessary but if it is, I am glad the European Union is also involved. Diplomats in many of those countries are not political appointees chosen for their campaign contributions but people who have risen through the ranks of the foreign service, know the culture of the country and are fluent in its language(s). They have also been doing it much longer than America has and often without gunboats the size of the USS Missouri to back them up.
I have said from the start that the Ukraine deserves to decide her own destiny. So it will be interesting to see if those involved in this pact of which she is also a member agree. And for some reason, I cannot help wondering what America would have been like if, instead of fighting for its freedom, the First Continental Congress let the super powers of that era ~ England, France, Spain and Portugal ~ decide how the people of this new nation should live.
If there is a conscience left at all alive in the world, the Ukraine will remain free to choose her own destiny. And if there is a god in Heaven, may She be listening now.
Editor’s Note: We would also like to take this opportunity to wish our readers of all faiths the fullest measure of the holiday(s) they are now celebrating.
Sometimes this planet reminds me of what an Irish setter puppy does after a good bath. That having been said, our prayers are with those affected. Magnitude-7.2 earthquake shakes Mexican capital; no immediate word on damage or casualties
There is not a species on this planet which turns on its young like ours. Dutch man charged in Amanda Todd online blackmail case
For so many reasons, this did not need to happen. Vice principal rescued from sinking South Korean ferry found hanging from tree
University of Calgary struggles to come to terms with tragedy. Our hearts and prayers are with you.
This is not good news. Canadians facing near-record gasoline prices
One of those responsible for Rehtaeh Parson’s suicide is being charged with a related crime. If I was this lad’s father, I would be mad at God for not giving me a human child.
Sam: Okay, Felina, it looks like this is another morning when I get to guess who is coming to breakfast? There is some weird stuff on the table today.
Felina: Quite so, love of my three lifetimes. Have I ever told you about my cousin, Jeremiah, the Jewish Jaguar?
Sam: Nope, Sweetheart. I think I would have remembered the biggest cat in this hemisphere, especially if it spoke with a Latin American accent and wore a yarmulke.
Felina: That is probably because Jeremiah is not from down there. He was born in Florida.
Sam: Where his folks went every winter on vacation.
Sam: And his parents were probably from a borough in New York City, like Brooklyn or the Bronx, where there are lots of other Jewish jaguars.
Felina: Actually, I believe it was this place called Trampled Bush.
Sam: Ah, of course. I should have remembered. There are lots of very large orange and black spotted cats of the Jewish faith in Trampled Bush.
Felina: Yes, Dear.
Sam: And nobody really notices that they aren’t exactly human Hebrews.
Felina: After the Diaspora, those of the Jewish faith learned how to assimilate themselves into any culture which accepted them. They became quite good at it, as I understand.
Sam: Apparently at least in Trampled Bush, a borough of New York City.
Felina: The Big Orange is noted for its cultural diversity and for its tolerance of same.
Sam: The ladle of the great melting pot, so to speak.
Felina: Your eloquence makes me smile, my rapacious rapscallion.
Sam: Okay, that made the cave spin.
Felina: You are my knight of a thousand delights, Samuel.
Sam: And thank you also for reminding me I can still blush. However, we digress.
Felina: We are the Thelma and St. Louis of digression. And the Samuel Pecking Paws of the smooth segue.
Sam: And we await this huge leopard look-alike to eat food I’ve never seen before in honor of what essentially amounts to Jewish Independence Day.
Felina: Yes, precisely. If the mate of my three lifetimes has no objections?
Sam: Felina, not only do I have no objections, I would be honored to share our cave and our table with your cousin, Jeremiah the Jewish Jaguar. And on that note, then, Sweetheart?
Felina: On that note, we would like to wish those of our readers of the Jewish faith a most excellent Passover. Until next week, may the wind be always at your back and may the Creator keep you forever safe in the palm of Her paw.
When it comes to standing up and being counted, the citizens of this Northwest Canadian town stand second to none.
This sounds like a real good idea. Huge New York Development Project Becomes a Data Science Lab
Here’s someone who makes a good role model. M. Sanjayan on what it’s like to live dangerously in search of climate change
By the Numbers: Should big-brained marine mammals be kept in captivity? Of course not. What have they done to deserve life in prison?
The various law enforcement and security agencies in the U.S. monitor the lives of millions of Americans who don’t even jaywalk. How in the world then, did they miss this guy? Bullets, Blood and Then Cry of ‘Heil Hitler’
The Devil’s got the bridal suite waiting for this one. Utah Garage Cleaning Turns Up Boxes of Suffocated Infants
EXPLORATION, HISTORY, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
The more I read about this, the cooler it got. Bend It, Charge It, Dunk It: Graphene, the Material of Tomorrow
Now this is ambitious. With Purchase of Drone Maker, Google Sees a Fleet of Satellites
Scientists Find ‘Just Right’ Planet and if we left today traveling at the speed of light, it would only take 500 years to get there.
NORTHSTAR WEEKLY QUIZ
Okay, gang, how much do you know about Passover.
Merriam-Webster Online offers a short battery of games to improve one’s spelling and vocabulary. They are short, timed and the scores are ranked by age group. These are also activities you can share with friends and family. In my house, learning together is also considered cool.
THE GREEN AGENDA
Cancer: What do you know? ~~ Test your knowledge by taking our quiz.
Looking past calories: Approach to dieting evolves ~~ The calorie counting that defined dieting for so long is giving way to other considerations, like the promise of more fiber or natural ingredients.
Four of nine women who received transplanted wombs trying to get pregnant ~~ A Swedish doctor says four women who received transplanted wombs have had embryos transferred into them in an attempt to get pregnant
YOUTUBE “JUST TO FEEL GOOD” STUFF
BEST OF THE NET
For those of us who missed it, Photos of a Blood Moon: First Total Lunar Eclipse of 2014 Wows Stargazers
It is an America gone mad from the addiction to war and desperate for resources beyond her own borders. A military dictatorship controls the country and life is grim. The Republic is fighting for its very survival and for decades, especially with Latin America.
This is the world of the United States Coast Guard cutter Testament, a cybernetic patrol boat, and her six-person crew. Her mission, and those of her sister craft, is simple.
Quench the rebellion and stop the flow of Americans seeking refuge in Canada. Kill when expedient. Deliver the survivors to the BellinghamRe-EducationCenter.
A simple operational order and one which has served America well. Until Testament
Feature Magazine Articles
ALL CREATURES, GREAT AND SMALL
Here’s a chance to die of cute. Check out these three Bengal tigers born in the Buenos Aires Zoo.
Here’s another reason to be careful wading, swimming or SCUBA diving in the oceans of the world. Video: Killer Sponges
Here’s another splendid example of inter-species cooperate and makes me glad I’m one of them involved. Swim to Sea? These Salmon Are Catching a LiftRELATED LINKS: Living With Wildlife BBC’s wildlife finder National Geographic Daily News – Animals
YOU GUYS THINK I MAKE THIS STUFF UP
We now know what snow-kiting is. After watching this, so will you.
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Until next week, then, take care, stay well and Godspeed. Rusty