Sunday, February 27, 2022

I have a hunch

Russian progress in the invasion of Ukraine is not going to plan. That is evident from negotiations between the warring parties as I write this piece.
I have seen photos of burned out military vehicles and speculate that they are Russian.
Back during the end days of WWII when Soviet armour invaded Germany from the east, Germans were issued with large numbers of shoulder mounted anti tank weapons to help slow down the onslaught: Strategically positioned, one man could take out a Soviet tank in short order. And that happened.
Fast forward to Ukraine, shoulder mounted missile launchers are an order of magnitude more effective than in WWII with smart missiles actively seeking their targets over the course of their trajectory.
Sitting inside a tank these days, is sort of like being a knight in shiny armour, in the face of a lead ball from a musket. The tank becomes your coffin.

Ukraine - Canary in the Coalmine?

 The conflict in Ukraine is not just a territorial conflict. It is a also a conflict between two mindsets: "Traditional" vs "Progressive".
And, sadly, most people seem to fall into one of these two categories these days.
These mindsets are cemented in place by ideologies that demonize the other and glorifies itself.
Both seek to distort reality by picking the 'facts' they like and discarding what they don't like.
In other words, both provide a lens through which to look at the world, making it a lot simpler and more emotionally satisfying than it really is.

Self deception seems to be a popular pursuit in search of emotional comfort.

Saturday, February 26, 2022

Strategic musings

In September, 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union attacked Poland and carved it up in short order. Airpower was used extensively by Germany right from the outset against military targets and to terrorize the civilian population.

So far, in Ukraine, Russia has refrained from doing this, hoping that the population will not mount a serious opposition to the invasion.

If that hope is not fulfilled, things are likely to change rapidly as a stalled "blitzkrieg" would be to Russia's disadvantage.

You can't occupy a town by simply driving a few tanks into the town square and raise the flag.
Snipers would take you out in no time.

So, there you are,  expect drastic escalation in destruction if Ukrainians decide to take a stand.

Friday, February 25, 2022

Head scratcher

Listening to the Lavrov's news conference and reading Putin's letter to the world posted on my timeline, the word "Neonazi" keeps cropping up when their opponents in Ukraine are described.
The link between Ukraine's political class and North America's neoliberal class is well known. And they generally refer to anybody that oppose their ideas as "Nazis" and "White supremacists".
"Nazi" seems to be a very popular swear word these days,
the root of which is "National Socialist".
That term was invented by Adolph Hitler and his crew to counter the term "Socialism" which was popular in their day, but was international in character.
National Socialism was designed to awaken the nationalist spirit of the working class in Germany, and it worked.

From inside Putin's head

Vladimir Putin sees, when looking at the political leaders of the US, England, Germany, France, Australia or Canada, nobody who is a match for himself in terms of political cunning or leadership.
Joe Biden demonstrated his mental feebleness with the disaster that unfolded in Afghanistan, based on his lack of sound judgement.
British PM Boris Johnson's political career was likely saved by Putin's move into Ukraine, as he was about to be turfed by his own party due to indiscretions during the Covid pandemic.
The same goes for our own 'Prince' Justin here in Canada who has been busy dividing the country by invoking the Emergencies Act that was subsequently revoked a few days later due to the European situation.
And Jens Stoltenberg, my fellow countryman and mouthpiece for NATO, who came up through the ranks of the Labor Party in Norway and served as Prime Minister for a time.
Putin knows that none of these people are a match for him and that emboldened him to make a beeline for Kyiv to bring Ukraine back into the Russian fold.

When empires clash

A good analog is the movement of Earth's tectonic plates: Pressures build up over time to the point where earthquakes occur and pressures are released.
Something like that is now happening where the Western Empire and the Russian Empire have been grinding against one another in the Black Sea/ Ukraine area.
Meanwhile, the Russian Empire and the Chinese Empire are feeling an increased attraction towards one another against the "putsch" of the Western Empire, that they have both been experiencing for some time.
Akin to Ukraine, Taiwan is the sore spot between the Chinese Empire and the Western Empire.
The sheer momentum of the movement of empires is similar to that of tectonic plates and should not be confused with the wills and whims of individual leaders, who tend to ride-alongs rather than what they are perceived to be by the general populace.
Highly recommended reading: "1984" by George Orwell.

Thursday, February 24, 2022

Strategic thoughts

Will Russia and China form an axis, like Germany and Japan in WWII?
If so, they will have a major advantage over both Germany and Japan that were starved of natural resources going into WWII.
The two countries have common borders and have massive natural resources and lots of space.
Almost impossible to successfully invade by an external force, a missile attack would be the only real option open to a prospective enemy.
That means a missile attack in return......
In other words, none of us are safe.

What's new?

September 1, 1939
Germany invades Poland, initiating World War II in Europe. German forces broke through Polish defenses along the border and quickly advanced on Warsaw, the Polish capital.
February 24, 2022
Russia invades Ukraine, initiating World War III in Europe
Russian forces broke through Ukrainian defenses along the border and is quickly advancing on Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital.
Need I say more?

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Putin's perspective

I believe the Russians see themselves being encircled by NATO and are reacting accordingly. They see an enclosing ring of missiles and other military hardware placed on the soil of former eastern block countries.
So, Putin and his cohorts have decided control of Ukraine represents a line in the sand because of its strategic importance in relation to access to the Black Sea.
They know full well that the West wants to install another government in Russia, friendly to western interests.
It is the old geopolitical power play that goes on endlessly. The problem for the West is that Russians like their dictators and are, by and large, quite supportive of Putin.
What troubles me is the striking similarity in the increase in tensions between the West and Russia, and what happened between the West and Germany prior to the beginning of World War II.
And where does China stand in all this? Are they going to see an opportunity and make a similar move to what Japan did in WWII?

Monday, February 21, 2022


What we call "Canada" was cobbled together from disparate colonies and territories, beginning in 1867, by people in Central Canada, effectively creating a little North American based empire for themselves:
Manufacturing and commerce centered in what is now Ontario, with raw materials coming from the periphery. Not unlike the British Empire on a much smaller scale, knitted together by railway lines.
Since then, all manner of accolades and praises have been showered on Canada by her own 'elites', conveniently pushing any dirt under the carpet, like dead Indigenous children by the hundreds (or thousands) in unmarked graves across the country in residential school yards.
Now the shit is finally hitting the fan in a big way as Canada is being unmasked.

Sunday, February 20, 2022

Canadian State Broadcaster show its colours

This morning (Sunday) I listened to the latest political verbiage from our Neoliberal state broadcaster, the CBC.

The latest initiative is to try to link the Freedom Convoy people and its supporters to extremist neo-nazi groups in Alberta and elsewhere by interviewing 'experts'.

Not once, that I am aware of, did the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, funded by taxpayer dollars, ever try to interview any of the convoy leaders.

This blatant and obvious support for one political clique in Canada, financed by the whole population, now makes it unsafe for network reporters to appear at public demonstrations, and future body guards can be expected

In Ottawa, they have had to work behind the police lines and are now gloating over the outcome with no thought for the downstream consequences.

Saturday, February 19, 2022

Freedom Convoy postscript

Ottawa Party is over and folks have, by and large, gone home. They stirred up the country more than anything I have seen since coming here some 35 years ago.
The Neoliberal government in Ottawa grabbed the opportunity to invoke the Emergencies Act and has proceeded to close the bank accounts of its political enemies.
In the process they have caused panic amongst bank depositors who are withdrawing cash at an unprecedented rate, to the consternation of bankers.
All they have achieved is to send a good portion of the economy underground, resulting in lost tax revenues.
Pleeease, give me another banana!

Friday, February 18, 2022

From my perspective

What we are seeing in Ottawa today is likely the beginning of something much bigger.
Having lived in Canada for 35 years now, I have come to realize that this nation was cobbled together from a bunch of semi-independent colonies and territories that did not have a lot in common to start with.
People from all manner of places and ethnicities are sharing the same physical space held together by railway lines and roads running east-west.
From the outset, what is now Central Canada, was the hub of economic and political power which was exercised to control what happened in the western parts of what we now call Canada.
The West became to Central Canada what her colonies became to Britain: A source of raw materials and wealth for the elites.
And now the 'peasants' of Canada are being 'put in their place'
using a political sledgehammer called the "Emergencies Act".
Bank accounts of anyone suspected of being associated with the truckers convoy can be frozen and this is happening right now.
On the positive side, if you owe a lot of money, that may not be a bad thing? : )

Thursday, February 17, 2022

Review of today's (Feb 17) developments in Ottawa

Listening to arguments from both sides in the dispute and watching live coverage of events, it is becoming obvious that the main problem faced by authorities is a logistical one, rather than a legal one.
There are plenty of laws in place to remove the protesters already. The problem is their number and the sheer amount of passive hardware under their control.
Invoking the Emergencies Act is rightfully seen as a ploy to undermine the political enemies of the Trudeau government, in spite of all the assurances to the contrary.
We also know that Prince Justin is a protege of Klaus Schwab and his World Economic Forum. A good reason for mistrusting his motives.
The guy is just a walking disaster.

February 17 Ottawa snapshot

People from the US are now involved in reporting:
Live from downtown Ottawa, No evidence of police action so far.
Looks like emergency lanes are blocked, as well now.
Likely done by protesters to stop police vehicle access.
Looks like it is raining in Ottawa
Tamara Lich at War Memorial
No attempts by police to move in.
Don't blame them. There is not much they can do without stirring up a wasps' nest.
Interesting, trucks and cars are parked so close that you can't move in between them in many places. Reminds me of the Wild West when wagon trains used to form a protective circle against attackers.

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Latest Threat

Latest threat published on main stream media: Protesters in Ottawa will be issued with all kinds of tickets for illegally occupying city space.
Predicted response by protesters: "Thank you sir, have a good day".
And they have a reason to be confident. The Canadian court system is plugged up with cases to the point that tickets would likely not be processed for 2 years at the minimum.
And, if arrested, where would they be taken to? By the thousands? Who would be arresting them? Ottawa's police chief has already resigned. More are likely to follow him.
Most residents of Ottawa should remember that they wouldn't be there but for the tax dollars collected from Canadians.

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Interesting development in Ottawa

There are now a number of people almost continuously live streaming in downtown Ottawa with lots of people watching.
Because of that, ads are beginning to appear at the beginning of streams, giving "streamers" a commercial incentive to keep at it.
That means that any government intervention would be virtually impossible to carry out without the whole world watching.
Meanwhile the organizers have made sure that emergency vehicle lanes are kept open, streets are kept clean and garbage is disposed of. The hungry are fed and looked after.
In other words, a functioning city within a city. All that local police have to do is to drive around casually to make sure everything is OK.
Kudos to the organizers!

Collateral damage.

During the press conference yesterday, Finance Minister Freeland stated:
"As of today, a bank or other financial service provider will be able to immediately freeze or suspend an account without a court order. In doing so, they will be protected against civil liability for actions taken in good faith."
She has evidently not considered the downstream consequences for Canada's regulated banks: People will move their funds, en masse, into places out of Canadian government reach.
That means that the Canadian Banking system will lose a lot of capital. Another example of flawed and incompetent thinking and behaviour by the Trudeau government.
The main problem that Prince Justin and his cohorts have is that they don't understand the depth of feeling in, and extent of the movement they are dealing with, believing them to be a fringe minority.

Monday, February 14, 2022

Two solitudes

Op Ed by Helge Nome
Canada is now splitting into two camps. In one silo the federal government, the mainstream media and about half the population.
In the other silo, the rest of the people using social media of all kinds to reinforce a totally different narrative.
The two sides are demonizing one another and refuse to engage in any kind of meaningful discourse, each being convinced of the righteousness of its own position.
And then there are the native people watching and wondering what is coming next.
Another observation: The bulk of the folks in one silo live in the center/east of the country, the other predominantly in the west, as seen in the last couple of federal elections.
Prince Justin's invocation of the Emergencies Act today greatly reinforced existing divisions and has set the tone for future developments.
He should write a handbook on how to rip a country apart.

Troll in words

I woke up this morning to the news that Our Justin (poor dude) is invoking the Emergencies Act which replaced the War Measures Act in the nineteen eighties and gives him the legal power to put troops into the street.
Last night I pointed out, here on my timeline, that Canada, the banana kingdom, is sliding into the hole which is now perfectly evident to all.
In October, 1970, Justin's dad, Pierre, invoked the War Measures Act to deal with real terrorism and murders in Quebec. He also negotiated with the terrorists and allowed them to escape to Cuba after releasing an English hostage.
"King" Justin, the pouting spoilt boychild, is now giving himself the same kind of powers that his father used, to be wielded against peaceful men, women and children.
Surely, there must be some kind of advantage to live in a polarized banana kingdom? Like cheaper bananas??

Sunday, February 13, 2022

Canadian Karma

Op Ed by Helge Nome

I brought my family to Canada from Australia in 1987 and discovered a nation that was patting itself on its back about how nice it was, in a world setting.
It didn't take very long to discover what had happened to the indigenous people in the process of nation building.
And over time I discovered that I was living in country with a long colonial history of stresses and strains that has a problem in hanging together as a nation.
There are both regional stresses and strains between the various classes of people in Canadian society that have now been brought to the surface by the pandemic.
And, as in other banana republics and kingdoms, foreign money is very likely flowing in to support the various factions going after each other.
I expect that our indigenous cousins are watching with interest...

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

Crystal ball gazing:

Op Ed by Helge Nome

Where are the convoys headed in the longer term?
My guess is that the size of them is primarily driven by a sense of frustration after two years of pandemic.

So, as the world opens up again, thanks to the Omicron variant,
the reason for protesting fades and opportunities for economic gains change priorities for most folks.

In the wake of this is an increased number of people that have lost faith in the establishment and are prepared to do what it takes to retain their personal freedoms.

And that may be a good thing.

Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Good News for Alberta taxpayers

Shell has given up on the idea of dumping old infrastructure into the lap of taxpayers:

Sunday, February 6, 2022

New tool in politics: The Truck.

Op Ed by Helge Nome
In the past control of crowds has mostly involved moving, arresting individuals and generally dispersing crowds as needed.
Enter the truck and its reluctance to be moved along with its ability to support long term occupation of an area with food, warmth and sleeping shelter.
If all occupants are arrested and removed, the civil authority has to deal with physically disabled trucks by the hundreds clogging up civic infrastructure.
A highly agitated group of supporters would also be a potential menace to law enforcers.
A real head scratcher for those that are being asked to clear the streets.

Saturday, February 5, 2022

Troubling trends

Op Ed by Helge Nome

The Covid pandemic has increased stresses and strains in an already divided Canadian society and they are likely to remain after the pandemic subsides. The ongoing trucker convoy is an indicator of this fact.

Compared to a previous similar convoy to Ottawa a few years ago, this one is an order of magnitude larger and has resulted in an occupation of downtown Ottawa.

The Trudeau government in Ottawa has no sympathy whatsoever for the demonstrators and refuse outright to deal with them in any way, other than demonizing them to the best of its ability.

Meanwhile, the Canadian prairies and the American Midwest are entering a second year of drought with drastically reduced crop yields and facing ongoing water shortage challenges.

What will that do to people's sense of frustration and anger towards each other?

It is likely that a main factor in bringing down the Mayan civilization in Central America was ongoing drought amidst civil strife and wars.

Thursday, February 3, 2022