The War in Ukraine is a Serious Event, But What About the Climate Crisis?

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The United States is waist deep in another European war. By order of Vladimir Putin, Russia invaded Ukraine from three different directions, killing Ukrainians, including small children and the elderly, along the way. What the Hell is Putin thinking? Nobody knows.

Putin is a nut bar, which is why some on the right, like Tucker Carlson identify with him.

On Facebook I posted this, on the day Putin’s armies crashed into Ukraine: “The only way to stop a dictator like Putin is to put boots on the ground and planes and missiles in the air, then crush his military resoundingly. And if possible, remove him from power, from life even.

If the West, the E.U. and NATO, are not willing to do that it’s game over for Ukraine and every other small country that is bullied by a militarized tyrant regime.

War is war. People kill and others die. If the West does not want to go the distance, just sending defensive and offensive armaments, it makes me wonder just how sincere our government is when it comes to helping Ukraine.

Sanctions, like thoughts and prayers, mean nothing to people like Vladimir Putin.”

Many of my friends are against war — we should all be against war —and believe there are non-violent ways to defeat Russia, Vladimir Putin. I do not believe that for a moment. All these sanctions that President Biden and so many of our allies around the world are imposing on Russia, his economy will be crippled — but Putin doesn’t care.

Putin has often stated he wants to rebuild the Russian Empire, starting with Ukraine. At first we thought he meant the old U.S.S.R., but that wasn’t quite correct. Putin wants the Empire of the Czars. The man has deep delusions.

On March 2, the Russians started shelling the largest nuclear power plant in Europe. What could go wrong? This was after they took control of Chornobyl, site of the worst nuclear accident in history.

Putin wants to take over the entire power grid in Ukraine, especially every power plant, whether it is nuclear or not. That’s Putin’s jam: control the civilian infrastructure, cutting off all water, electricity (Heat), plus things like social media. While his military is busy doing that, they are bombing civilian areas. Including a pediatric hospital.

The one thing Putin didn’t expect was the Ukrainians fighting as well as they are, pushing the Russian army back.

The carnage in Ukraine is heart breaking. The U.N. says over two million people have left Ukraine, mostly women and children. Every male, man between the ages of 18-60 is required to stay in Ukraine and fight the Russians. You can bet there that plenty of men under the age of 18 and over the age of 60 are staying, along with plenty of women. Anything a man in a military uniform can do a woman can do it just as well.

Putin’s army is killing civilians indiscriminately throughout the country — and Putin is lying to us and the Russian people about what is happening in Ukraine. He has blocked out META, the company that owns Facebook and Instagram and other social media. In fact Putin wants a criminal investigation into META because Facebook and Instagram are adjusting their terms of service to allow people to promote violence against the Russian army.

Putin doesn’t want the Russian people to see the atrocities — the war crimes — the Russian soldiers are committing, all in the name of Russia and Vladimir Putin.

According to Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy the Russians are committing acts of genocide. Western observers are beginning to agree, but the Ukrainians aren’t going quietly into that very bad night.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the comedian turned president, refuses to leave his country. He leads his people right out in front of his troops.

How much longer can Putin continue this war? Eventually the Russian mothers will start asking why so many of their sons and husbands are coming home in body bags. Analysts and witnesses are saying tens of thousands of Russian soldiers have died since the start of the invasion. People in Russia have been protesting and thousands — we are told — have been arrested. Putin increased the penalty for demonstrating to 15 years?

Very few Americans are asked to sacrifice like this. Maybe 1% of our population has been touched by our last two military adventures. As far as our family goes, through the years: My grandparents on my dad’s side immigrated in 1905 and my grandparents on my mother’s side in 1915.  Someone in my family — our family — has served in nearly every war and conflict since 1917. World War I, my mother’s uncles, World War II, our dad and several of his brothers., Korea, my uncles, in Vietnam my oldest brother and brother-in-law, plus I who had enlisted during Vietnam. As far as I know we didn’t have any family in the First Gulf War, but my niece served in Iraq.

The point being, relatively few Americans have known what it means to dread the thought of receiving that telegram, delivers by an officer accompanied by the minister or pastor. Very few Americans understand how important it is to send letters from home, look for the emails (if possible) and the video phone calls. Listening to your loved one say he or she is doing all right, they even have American fast food they can buy. And as the one back in “the world,” knowing there has been some heavy fighting with American men and women getting wounded or, giving their last full measure of devotion.

Very few of us here in the United States understand that type of sacrifice. In Ukraine everyone has been touched by this war that Vladimir Putin started — this act of genocide. Every Ukrainian knows someone who has been killed, wives and sisters that were brutality raped and then killed. Every Ukrainian has not only been touched by this war; they have been bludgeoned. It has been very personal to every Ukrainian,

Apparently Hitl … err … Musso …pardon me, Stali … no, no, no — Putin — believed the Ukrainians had no stomach for war, nor had the defensive — and now offensive — military muscle to win. With the help of NATO.

The United States, along with its NATO partners, refuse to engage in Ukraine, except to send lethal and non-lethal aid. I wonder. The reason we are given I that we don’t want to start another world war, one that would include nuclear weapons. But many Ukrainians — and others — have said World War III has already started. Russia is now using foreign fighters from the Middle East and fighters from countries surrounding Ukraine have joined the fight against Putin’s army.

The U.S. and our NATO partners won’t set up a no fly zone over Ukraine. That would indeed put the U.S. and NATO military forces in the fight.

Has a new world war started in Ukraine? I’m thinking so. Many Russia/Putin “experts” think the Russian dictator is unhinged, mentally unstable. One of the reasons Putin used to justify his invasion of is that Ukraine is led by Nazis Despite the fact the Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy is not only Jewish, some of his family were murdered in the Holocaust

Now Putin claims the U.S. and some of our allies are run by Nazis.

What do I know? I felt we should have sent U.S. and NATO forces into Ukraine before Putin started his invasion. The question is: Does anyone really believe Putin is going to stop with Ukraine? Vice President Kamala Harris visited some of our NATO partners and said the U.S. was prepared to uphold Article 5 of the NATO charter, the provision that says an attack on one NATO member is an attack on all.

We probably don’t need to send NATO troops into the fight, although we should be sending more weapons. It seems Vlad is having issues with his military. They have already stopped their assault on Kyiv and its surrounding towns.

Not too many days ago President Biden called Putin a “war criminal.” Now, after the horrific videos and photos from Ukraine we have seen, everyone outside of Russia — well, maybe not some of the Fox News hosts — agree Russia and Vladimir Putin are guilty of war crimes. The pictures and videos don’t lie.

The second question on the minds of many: Is Vladimir Putin insane enough to use nuclear weapons?

At the moment the James Bond 007 film, Quantum of Solace is on. Daniel Craig as “Bond, James Bond,” Jeffrey Wright s CIA agent Felix Leiter, Giancarlo Gianini as ex pat Rene Mathis, Rory Kinnear as Tanner, Olga Kurylenko as Camille, Gemma Arterton as Strawberry Fields, and the great Dame Judi Dench s “M.”

From Casino Royale, the first Bond film with Daniel Craig:

  • James Bond: “I always thought M was a randomly assigned initial, I had no idea it stood for … ”
  • M: “Utter one more syllable and I’ll have you killed.”

Great repartee in all of these films featuring Craig and Dench — and now Ralph Fiennes as “M.” Fiennes plays the part very well, but the chemistry between Dench and Craig was very unique. Whoever the new James Bond is, and if Fiennes stays on as “M,” they will need to create a chemistry that can set those Bond films a part from the others, much like Sean Connery and Roger Moore did.

As Carly Simon sang for the 1977 Bond film, with Roger Moore in the lead, The Spy Who Loved Me, “Nobody Does It Better.”

Those three actors are definitely the best Bonds.

How is that for a meandering tangent?

The point being, in Quantum of Solace the bad guys, i.e. Greene Planet, a subsidiary of Spectre and its leader are trying to control the planet’s fresh water. The climate crisis is referenced to in the film. At the time the film came out (2006) the leaders of the GOP — and some Democrats — were denying climate change was a serious issue.

In all the years I have been watching James Bond films I never thought the producers were making overt political messages, but looking back there were some other social and political statements.

Our Secretaries of State and Defense Antony Blinken and Lloyd Austin were in Ukraine to speak with Ukrainian President Zelensky, assuring him the U.S. would be sending lethal defensive and offensive weapons. What does that mean, offensive? Will they be given rockets that can launch from Kyiv and hit Moscow? That’s only a distance of 766 kilometers, or 469 miles.

Secretary of Defense Austin said that Ukraine and the U.S./NATO wanted to weaken Putin’s military enough Putin will not be able to invade again. Austin stopped in Germany to speak with the NATO allies, especially Germany, which reversed a long-standing policy to not send lethal weapons to war zones. The Netherlands and Estonia soon followed suit.

And the climate crisis continues to get worse.

Plus a new book about to be published, by Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns, says Moscow Mitch McConnell and California Republican Congressman Kevin McCarthy criticized Donald J. Trump and his followers in Congress in the days following the January 6, 2021 insurrection.

And the eyes of the world are on Vladimir Putin and Ukraine and that country’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. And to think, before Zelenskyy took office he was a comedian. Now he is a national — maybe international — hero.

He and his military are steadily taking land back that the Russians have destroyed. Zelenskyy spoke about the Chernobyl accident, the worst nuclear disaster in history. That took place April 26, 196. Here’s one reason why world leaders and others say Putin is a war criminal and Russia a state sponsor of terror. On March 4 the Russians started shelling a nuclear power site, Zaporizhzhia. Zelenskyy said Putin and his military leaders knew exactly what they were shelling. That is what we can call Nuclear Terrorism and Vladimir Putin is a terrorist — with several thousand nuclear weapons in his arsenal.

That is important to know because Putin made a barely veiled threat to use nuclear weapons and just this week the Russian foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov said the use of nuclear weapons is “on the table” and spokesperson for the Kremlin, Demitry Peskov told Chistiane Amanpour of CNN, “We have a concept of domestic security, and it’s public. You can read all the reasons for nuclear arms to be used,” adding, “So if it is an existential threat for our country, then it can be used in accordance with our concept.”

What does Putin and his closest allies in the Kremlin consider an “existential threat?” All the aid pouring in from NATO nations, especially Poland and Bulgaria. As a result Putin has cut off oil and gas to those two former Warsaw Pact nations.

This is interesting: Until the fall of the Soviet Union there were satellite nations, like Poland, Czechoslovakia — now the Czech Republic — Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania and others. Plus there were a number of nations that were actually part of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republic, USSR.

Of the 30 nations in NATO today 12 — 13 of you count East Germany/Berlin boing folded in with West Germany/Berlin to make a unified Germany — 12 former Warsaw Pact nations belong to NATO. Putin may be a delusional nut bar, but the fact is many of the nations that were aligned with the Soviet Union are now aligned with what Putin considers the enemy. If I was Putin I would be a little paranoid — or maybe try to build bridges.

Putin wants to recreate the Soviet Union and to do that he must start a war with NATO, with the United States and if it ever came to that we must assume Russia’s threat of nuclear weapons is real.

And we still must deal with the climate crisis. It shouldn’t be a partisan issue or an issue we put off another year. It’s too late for some species of animals and plants. Not to forget the long drought in the west has diminished fresh water supplies, which we can actually see at Lake Mead, the man-made reservoir that was created when the Hoover Dam was completed.  There are a lot of ways the climate crisis effects the entire planet, not just coastal and arid areas.

Interesting piece of history: When former Vice President Al Gore’ movie, An Inconvenient Truth (2006) and its sequel An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power(2017,) The GOP had control of Congress and the White House.

  • “The science isn’t settled yet —”
  • “The science was settled at least 50 years ago when a Democratic Wisconsin Senator, Gaylord Nelson, helped create Earth Day. Now we are just cataloguing the many ways the climate crisis is hurting everything on earth.

What would the world be like if we had stopped destroying rain forests all those years when it was revealed The Amazon Basin was losing a football field size of rain forest, all to provide beef to the fast food chains.

Just a short confession: I like eating Big Macs, Double-Doubles with grilled onions and the Ultimate Cheeseburger. Throw in an order of fries — Animal Fries if it’s In-n-Out.

  • Just an aside: Whenever I visit Milwaukee, WI I have some Burgers at George Webbs.
  • I sure miss the lunch counter at Oriental Drugs

We can develop sustainable ways of growing beef, chickens, turkeys, pork and other animal-based foods including what we take out of the oceans, lakes and rivers and we can also make the effort to eat less animal products. In just over one year I have lost 40 pounds because I changed how I eat and how much I consume..

There was a time when I could pound away, in one sitting, a 22-ounce porterhouse plus a baked potato and some vegetable, usually broccoli. Now I usually order a 16-ounce, bone-in steak, usually ribeye, and end up saving about half of it and the potato for another day. Still, when I see a 22-ounce beauty in the meat department display …

Anyway … Russia invading Ukraine possibly starting World War III — you know China would get involved in some way. And Dr. Fauchi skas we are no longer in the pandemic phase, but it could surge again.

Can we still do something for the environment?