Thursday, March 17, 2016

News Depresses Me, Baby Goats are Better

Some people eat to live; others live to eat.  I live to know, to absorb as much as I can about the past and present of countries and cultures that interest me.  To try to understand what and why.  So I read history books and news on the internet. European and in particular Russian history and news items about Russia, Ukraine, Turkey in particular (with related items on Syria, Poland, EU, Greece) and America, Canada too .  Every day, maybe 50 to 150 news items specifically related to my interests cross my screen via email links or Facebook links.  I can't read them all but I scan most of the headlines and read at least 25, wishing I could read them all. But my head won't let me.

Russian history is never an easy read.  Anne Applebaum's Gulag: a history is just one of many books dealing with the unspeakable crimes committed during Soviet times. David Satter's It Was a Long Time Ago, and It Never Happened Anyway: Russia and the Communist Past explores Russia's inability/refusal to deal with its past and therefore its continuation down the same pathway today under Putin. Is there ever to be a future for the Russian people different from their past?

Ukrainian/Russian news is singularly depressing and why I have not blogged about it lately. Day after day the stories are the same.  the names and places change but not much more.

This article will give you a feel for the Russian stories.

Chechnya turns into terror zone as another Russian human rights defender attacked

And this one for the Ukrainian stories.
Behind the scenes of civic society’s battle with corruption in Ukraine

Then when I read that the EU is pressuring Ukraine to implement Minsk unilaterally (the way Russia wants it) so they can drop sanctions and get on with business as usual and that Obama says Ukraine is a client state of Russia, I just despair.

Knowing and understanding what little I have over the years has brought me no peace. Today is St Patrick's Day.  I think I will finish off my bottle of Jamison and watch baby goats.


Goats playing


17 comments:

  1. Considering the Russian people have been under one form of authoritarian rule for what, a thousand years or so, I wonder if they just like it that way. Some folks want to be ruled. And even though we Americans talk the talk of individual freedom, I am certain a large charge of us here in the STates would rather be told what to do than be bothered with forming our own destiny.

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    1. True enough, MRM. Russians have never known anything different except in the 1990s and they never want a repeat of that. The collapse of Socialism in the USSR created terrible hardships which are blamed on 'democracy' though they never really had it in any kind of real form.
      The Trump phenomenon is not Trump but the rise in authoritarianism in America. Trump will not go away, he will be followed by others as bad or worse. Authoritarianism is on the rise the world over.

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  2. sucks...bites and blows..and ...fuck st patty that pagan killing bastid.

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    1. Thanks, Jackiesue.
      Keep in mind killing pagans has always been in style. Should America elect Cruz or his ilk, your turn will come.

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  3. Mankind never changes. Technology changes and Weapons change; but our basic instincts are still animal based. The main difference is that the changes and responses that at one time took years to effect, now with social media are almost instantaneous.
    Do you remember the book Future Shock by Alvin Toffler? He totally got it wrong ( that humans could not adjust to rapid change) but I think it poses food for thought that we now see change that once took decades now happens seemingly overnight.

    The Ol'Buzzard

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    1. I did not read Toffler but if as you say, humans could not adjust to rapid change, he may still be proven right. Authoritarianism is on the rise because of rapid change making people feel extremely threatened and the far right especially doing everything in their power to increase the feeling of insecurity. They drive people to seek easy answers from a strong leader who will save them and destroy their enemies. Trump and Putin may yet divide the world between them.

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  4. Did you ever get a copy of George Carlin's book? If not send me your mailing info and I will ship you my used copy.
    the Ol'Buzzard

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    1. I have four or five of his books in digital format. Reading them will make me laugh but not necessarily cheer me up. His grasp of truth is unfortunately too uncomfortable. Thanks for the offer though. Much appreciated.

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  5. In Wisconsin there is a place with birds and animals. They have a number of goats with some ramps and huts for them. One of the huts is about 10 feet up and there is a rope and pulley setup that the goats can pull up a bucket with food in it. They have coin operated machines where you can get food for the goats. Some of the goats have figured out they can hang out by the food machine and nose their way in to get at the food as it comes out of the vending machine. They are crafty little devils!!

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    1. Thank you! That made my day. Goats are very clever; smarter than me, though my kids claim almost everything is that.

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  6. Sometimes it all gets to be too much. I am not as avid as you on history, but I am aware of it. I try to keep up with current events. Finding a decent news source is difficult in this culture of entertainment, but I usually can wade through the crap to get what I need. It gets a bit depressing, though, and I go out and listen and watch the nature that surrounds me, forgetting the human condition for a while. Jamison and baby goats would also be a good "vacation".

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    1. It was a nice break but all too short. Nature surrounds us and you are right, it is a reminder that all is not lost.

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  7. The goats are so cute! I wish I could bottle their energy. Then again, as I watched their chaotic comings and goings it occurred to me it's been like that inside my brain lately. Off to look for a video of grass growing or paint drying now.

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    1. I'd suggest soccer but it might make me a few enemies

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    2. I'll never tell anybody you said it. ;-)

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