New Years Eve–2017

The year is all but a memory and I would like to thank all my followers and commenters for their continued patronage and for making 2017 an excellent year for IST.

It has been a helluva a year….the election of a president without the popular vote…..the systematic tear down of the institution that we Americans have come to depend on….the total destruction of our diplomatic endeavors….a year where autocrats were praised and democracy takes a back seat to personal gain….a year of fake news and a year of accusations…..

Now we look forward to the new year, 2018, that is……and most of us have little what to expect….will the country destroy itself from the inside or will it finally come to its senses?

Here is a little help with the expectation thing…..

The world is on edge. North Korea is threatening war. No one knows what Donald Trump will do next. And deeper forces of disruption are at work, from fake news to cryptocurrencies.With that in mind, welcome to the latest edition of the Pessimist’s Guide…to 2028. It’s an attempt not just to look at the potential shocks of next year but also to consider how they could shape the coming decade.The scenarios outlined here are not meant as forecasts. Instead, they are provocative ideas intended to make you think about how quickly our world is changing.
There is another look at what to expect in the coming year…..
I hope that all have a good evening and remember do not drink and drive….contact me for a hang over cure if needed…..enjoy you celebration but carefully……be safe……chuq

Rasputin, The Mad Monk

Today is the last day of December and as usual I have some history to impart to my readers…..I cannot let the month and the year go without one last shot at educating the reader.

How many Americans know of the monk Rasputin?  The Mad Monk of Moscow…….

Grigori Rasputin was born into a peasant family in Siberia, Russia, around 1869. After failing to become a monk, Rasputin became a wanderer and eventually entered the court of Czar Nicholas II because of his alleged healing abilities. Known for his prophetic powers, he became a favorite of the Nicholas’s wife, Alexandra Feodorovna, but his political influence was minor. Rasputin became swept up in the events of the Russian Revolution and met a brutal death at the hands of assassins in 1916.

The story goes that he had so muck influence over the tsarina that some military types took it upon themselves to rid the monarchy of this influence.

The story goes that he was poison, shot, clubbed and drowned before he actually died…..

The end of December marked the 100th anniversary of the death of Rasputin, the “mad monk of Russia”, or “lover of the Russian queen” if you believe the Boney M song, though you probably shouldn’t. While the song is undoubtedly a floor-filler, unsurprisingly it is not exactly a reliable historical account of Rasputin’s life.

Grigori Yefimovich Rasputin, a mystic and spiritual healer born in Pokrovskoe in Siberia, wielded huge influence over the Russian royal family, particularly Alexandra, the Tsarina, who looked to the spiritual healer to cure her haemophiliac son, Alexei. The life of Rasputin was certainly pretty strange but it is the stories surrounding his death that are the strangest of all.

What is known is that one evening Rasputin went to the Yusupov Palace in St Petersburg at the invitation of Prince Felix Yusupov. Rasputin’s dead body was recovered from the frozen Neva River days later. No one is completely sure what happened in between these two events.

This is a fascinating story…..and a mystery for the ages…..this is your last history lesson of the year, 2017….but the new year will bring even more….my gift to my readers….you are welcome.