I'm ex-military, served in the US Navy from 1968 to 1977. I spent three years jumping out of aircraft in conflict zones as part of an advance team of naval gunfire spotters. I was lucky. I never got shot at.

Unlike so many cowards in Congress, I've actually put my life on the line for this country. Most of the time we were doing things that needed to be done, in my opinion. Trying to keep dictators and Nazis at bay.

Today, I'm sickened by the bands of Republican apologists for Putin, most of whom are Trump cult members. Scumbags like Ted Budd and Madison Cawthorn. I can't imagine a more disgusting crew of traitors, people who gleefully cheer the destruction of democracy and the rise of evil.

So let me say this: If you're willing to support or stand silent about Putin's European aggression, you are my sworn enemy and I will do anything I can to keep your stupidity from influencing our nation's course of action.

And if you're out there finding fault with the measured actions President Biden is taking this week, just stop. Give the man the benefit of your doubt for a few days. Don't make yourself part of the problem.

This is a time when civilized people must come together in defense of decency and democracy. Don't make me come down there.



I'm not a hawk

and have never been a fan of war. But what's happened with Putin is just plain evil, built on the same pattern of lying we've seen from Herr Trump. If we allow this to continue unchecked, the world will regret it for a century.

I'll have more later,

but suffice it to say I'm not pro-Russia by any stretch of the imagination. And I think Biden is charting the best course (there is no "good" course), but we shouldn't be holding back any sanctions right now. The sooner those effects are felt by Russians, the more likely he will back off. Or not try to swallow the whole damn country.


Trump and Putin have delivered us to the doorstep of unending chaos and despotism. I honestly don't see a way out, but fervently hope that cyber and economic activities can blunt the impending disaster.

This might be a little long...

First let me establish a few minor bona fides. I was in the Army from early 1982 to late 1988, and most of that time was spent opposing the Soviet Union's efforts to control parts of Africa. Parts that we wanted to control, but that's another discussion for another day. But I also began studying history at Campbell University (Ft. Bragg campus), and those studies were targeted to two main areas: African history during and after colonialism, and Russian history post-Revolution. The latter with a sharp focus on the genesis of the KGB and Russian military tactics and units (like Spetsnaz).

One of the things I learned from these studies was the influence of corruption on the state apparatus, which, more than any other element, is what brought about the collapse of the Soviet Union. The black market was not a niche shadow, it grew feverishly, eventually touching every Soviet citizen in one way or another. Out of this spawned the true Oligarchy, the ones who controlled the Communist Party. And while that system of government could no longer survive, the Oligarchy kept churning right along. They are still there, more powerful than ever.

But they are still (in their hearts) a black market. Seeking extravagant profits from the suffering of others, engineering monopolies wherever possible, exploiting resources both human and natural, and corrupting government officials to keep it all rolling.

They've wanted to resume exploiting the Ukraine for a long time, but we made that a lot harder. And it's not just the push for NATO membership for the Ukraine, but also the trade stuff. Not just U.S. trade, but all the other trading partners in the Club. A Club that (for the most part) Russia is not a member of.

They say that business is war, and sometimes it actually is. That's why making our sanctions personal, targeted at specific Russian businessmen, is crucial right now. Profits don't do you much good if you can't spend them. If Putin backs off, it will be because the Oligarchy wants him to. We have to make them want that.