Lunacy That Is Ukraine

AS the war between Ukraine and Russia enters into another month….the news is pretty much the same from day to day….but we report anyway…..

Looks like the US Congress has approved yet another waste of cash, $40 billion to be exact, and I ask to what end?

$40 billion Ukraine aid package galloping through Congress, Biden has finally found his bipartisan project and he’s willing to risk a recession, refueling the pandemic and nuclear war to get it…

Rand Paul has never thought clearly about economics, and the relation between his morality and his partisan politics is not the subject of this column. No one needs a reminder that Rand Paul is an Ayn Randian “libertarian.” That is deadbeat and misses the crucial point in this timeline of events. Entirely. The brute fact remains that Rand at least raised the question of public accounting of a vast war budget. When there was a bipartisan stampede to approve the recent 40 billion dollar Ukraine war budget, his dissent was crucial in delaying automatic approval.

The more pointed and timely question is why Bernie Sanders went AWOL, along with the entire Progressive Caucus in Congress. Whether any of them belong in any school of Marxism whatsoever is a side issue. What matters most is whether they pursue a practical policy of peace. Do they raise the ground floor of social democracy across public policies such as health care, housing, and education? Bipartisan war budgets that expand from year to year have the sure consequence of strip-mining public funds away from basic social goods and services.

Congress Approves 40 Billion Dollar Ukraine War Bill

Sorry I do not see where this waste will end this war.

But not to worry Biden wants to send even more cash and equipment to the war effort…..

The Pentagon announced Thursday that President Biden authorized another $100 million weapons package for Ukraine, bringing the total military aid shipped to the country since Russia invaded on February 24 to $3.9 billion.

The Pentagon said the latest weapons package includes 18 155MM Howitzers, 18 tactical vehicles to tow the Howitzers, AN/TPQ-36 counter-artillery radars, field equipment, and spare parts.

The Biden administration started sending Howitzers to Ukraine in April, marking a significant escalation in US military aid. The US also started training Ukrainian troops in Germany and elsewhere in Europe to use the Howitzers and other advanced equipment.

The $100 million authorized on Thursday came from a drawdown authority that allows President Biden to ship weapons from the Pentagon’s stockpile directly to Ukraine. The $100 million package exhausted the remaining drawdown funds left from the $13.6 billion in Ukraine aid that was part of a spending bill President Biden signed in March.

(antiwar.com)

Some thoughts on this conflict as we enter into yet another month…..

I expect the war will go on for awhile until the generals and politicians get tired of it. An international antiwar movement with significant numbers could hasten that moment. One does not demand peace because there’s a war on. Indeed, that’s why one demands peace. The movement against the Vietnam war was organized and expanded while the war escalated, not before or afterwards.

Since the example of the USSR arming Vietnam is being used as a reason to support arming Kyiv by some on the left who support NATO arms shipments, I think it is useful to turn that comparison upside down, as it were. This argument understands that Ukraine’s history is much longer than South Vietnam’s was and that it does meet criterion for a nation (we’ll leave my distaste for nationalism out of the conversation). However, it rejects this element of the left’s argument that the war is a Ukrainian anti-colonial struggle.

I would argue that modern Ukraine’s situation is closer to that of what Washington named South Vietnam than Vietnam in general That country was nominally independent, but fiercely determined to stay in the sphere dominated by Washington. In fact, its very life depended on Washington’s largess. Modern Ukraine has a different genesis, having been established in the wake of the disintegration of the USSR. Since then, its government has switched back and forth between favoring the Russian economic sphere and that of the US-dominated west. Since the US-assisted overthrow of the elected government in 2014, the government in Kyiv has given itself to the latter. It is firmly in Washington’s grip, even making its desire to be part of NATO an article in its most recent constitution. Of course, this came with a price. While it seems unlikely that Zelenskyy and his government knew that the price would include the destruction of many of its cities and the deaths of thousands of Ukrainians, there were certainly those Ukrainians who understood this possibility.

Some Thoughts on the Russia-Ukraine Conflict in Week Number Twelve

So Putin’s war to keep NATO from expanding to its border has resulted in a nation (Finland) on Russia’s border, a stone’s throw from Putin’s hometown, applying to join NATO. NATO, which had pretty much been left for dead in Europe after the Yugoslavian wars, suddenly has been resurrected, flush with weapons, money and a re-branded raison d’être. Putin now has the permanent threat on Russia’s border that he can use to justify a tightened grip on power and a build-up of weapons Russia can’t afford. The Ukraine war benefits all the players, except of course average Ukrainians and the ethnic national conscripts in the Russian Army who have been pushed forward as Javelin missile fodder on the frontlines of the fighting.

Putin is just repeating history with Ukraine…..

Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly invoked World War II when justifying the invasion he launched of neighboring Ukraine 10 weeks ago. For the Russian public, the Soviet victory over Germany in 1945 remains a source of immense pride. Putin’s allusions to that event have helped him bolster public support for his latest war. He has claimed, for example, that Ukraine is ruled by Nazis and that soldiers of the Russian army are seeking to “de-Nazify” Ukraine and defend the Russian homeland against nefarious external forces.

Putin’s assertions about Nazis in Kyiv are baseless, but there are striking analogies between the way the USSR’s Red Army operated during World War II and the way the Russian army is operating currently against Ukraine. These analogies, far from reflecting favorably on either the Red Army or today’s Russian army, underscore the deeply immoral nature of Russia’s war in Ukraine.

https://www.wbur.org/cognoscenti/2022/05/04/russians-invasion-ukraine-overtones-wwii-mark-kramer

I do not know if a agree with the ‘nazi’ thing….after all Zelensky incorporated the fascist Azov Battalion into the Ukrainian militia …so there is a grain of truth in the accusation from Putin.

The press and the admin spend an inordinate amount of time in demagoguery of Putin….which in my opinion is a waste of energy….why?  It is an excuse for actions that smell a lot like propaganda (to me)…..

Using Wimbledon as an example….

Chris Bryant, the British MP who chairs the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Russia, appears to be either a fool or knave. He confuses banning Russian tennis players from Wimbledon with defeating Moscow in war. And demagogues anyone who questions punishing people who have done nothing other than be born in Russia.

Russia’s attack on Ukraine was unjustified and has had hideous consequences. But it isn’t the only terrible tragedy that occurred in the world. Indeed, the morality asserted by Britain’s Lawn Tennis Association, which is banning Russian and Belarusian citizens from its tournaments, most importantly Wimbledon, is highly selective.

Demagoguery Won’t Stop Moscow’s Aggression: West Should Stop Sacrificing Principles in Ukraine’s Name

Finally a thought on the ‘popular’ meme of the nukes…..

Despite this, an intellectual fad of the Cold War era was to “think about the unthinkable,” to “war game” or plan for various nuclear “exchanges” resulting in the deaths of hundreds of millions of people, even to imagine that there could be a “winner” of such a war. Remarkably, in the context of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, that fad is returning today as pundits write articles that suggest the US needs to show the Russians it is willing and able to fight and win a nuclear war, as an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal argued on April 27th of this year.

Such suggestions are madness.

Don’t Think About the Unthinkable

Just a few thoughts on this Friday…..

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Convention Of The States

This is a draft of mine from those dark days before we became fixated on Ukraine…..

Or as we use to call this thing….a Constitutional Convention….

A Convention is the mechanism used to amend our US Constitution……or as some call it exercise the Article Five of the Constitution…..

For those that are ignorant of this article…..

Article V Convention, amendatory convention, or a convention of states, applied for by two-thirds (currently 34) of the state legislatures, is one of two processes authorized by Article Five of the United States Constitution whereby the United States Constitution may be altered. Amendments may also be proposed by Congress with a two-thirds vote in both the House of Representatives and the Senate…..

Article V of the Constitution says how the Constitution can be amended—that is, how provisions can be added to the text of the Constitution. The Constitution is not easy to amend: only twenty-seven amendments have been added to the Constitution since it was adopted.

Article V spells out a few different ways in which the Constitution can be amended. One method—the one used for every amendment so far—is that Congress proposes an amendment to the states; the states must then decide whether to ratify the amendment. But in order for Congress to propose an amendment, two-thirds of each House of Congress must vote for it. And then three-quarters of the states must ratify the amendment before it is added to the Constitution. So if slightly more than one-third of the House of Representatives, or slightly more than one-third of the Senate, or thirteen out of the fifty states object to a proposal, it will not become an amendment by this route. In that way, a small minority of the country has the ability to prevent an amendment from being added to the Constitution.

Article V does potentially provide a way for the states to bypass Congress, although it has never been used. Article V says that “on the Application of two thirds of the Legislatures of the several States, [Congress] shall call a Convention for proposing amendments.” The convention can propose amendments, whether Congress approves of them or not. Those proposed amendments would then be sent to the states for ratification. As with an amendment proposed by Congress, three-quarters of the states would have to ratify the amendment for it to become part of the Constitution.

Article V also allows Congress to choose between two ways that the states might ratify an amendment. An amendment can be ratified by the state legislature—the part of the state government that enacts laws for the state. But Congress can provide instead that the states must call conventions for the single purpose of deciding whether to ratify an amendment. So far, though, with one exception (the Twenty-First Amendment), every amendment has been ratified by state legislatures.

Now the Civics lesson is over let’s move on…..

The last attempt to ratify was the Equal Rights Amendment…..and that was a clusterf*ck……

I have been saying for decades that we need a convention to clarify the Constitution…..the Founders did a helluva job in being vague which in my mind leads to all the confusion and chaos around our Constitution.

Let me return to the thought of the day……

The latest attempt to ratify is going to be the same chaotic mess as the ERA…..

Conservatives in states have put together a campaign of ratify the Constitution in their favor…..mostly it deals with money……

Georgia, Alaska, Florida, Alabama, Tennessee, Indiana, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arizona, North Dakota, Texas, Missouri, Arkansas, Utah and Mississippi have also approved resolutions of their own.

It will take 34 states to trigger a Convention of the States. COS organizers  said “momentum” is on their side.

For me there are several problems with this attempt by conservs……

Calling a Constitutional Convention is very dangerous. If Congress called a Constitutional Convention, or attempted
to do so, the country would be thrown into great turmoil, a period of extraordinary tension and deep anxiety, and
likely find itself quickly mired in momentous, lengthy legal and political battles of great consequence to the nation’s
future.
 States cannot limit the agenda of a Constitutional Convention. A Constitutional Convention would open up the
Constitution to whatever amendments its delegates chose to propose, just as the convention that produced the current
Constitution ignored its original charge, to amend the Articles of Confederation, and instead wrote an entirely new
governing document.
A balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution would be a highly ill-advised way to address the nation’s longterm fiscal problems. By requiring a balanced budget every year, no matter the state of the economy, such an
amendment would raise serious risks of tipping weak economies into recession and making recessions longer and
deeper, causing very large job losses. That’s because the amendment would force policymakers to cut spending, raise
taxes, or both just when the economy is weak or already in recession — the exact opposite of what good economic
policy would advise.

This is just another attempt to exclude portions of our society from the government….a typical conserv ploy that goes back for decades…..the same trivial games these conservs always play.

I say if you call for a convention then the attempt should be made to clarify all the vagueness in the Constitution….not pick and choose what will be addressed.

Any thoughts?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”