Dean Clough

February 25, 2022

Portico Darwin: Foot in Mouth Disease

Leave it to me to publish something that could be construed as supportive of Putin the day before he invades Ukraine (!).  I want to repeat:  his invasion is illegal and wrong, full stop.  These are dark days and the tone here reflects that.

But . . . I will stand by the point I was trying to make.  We expanded NATO right to Putin's door to increase the security of the region.  What has expanding NATO actually done?  Decreased the security of the region.

My point:  when are we going to try a new approach militarily, as a country?  I fully recognize our role in the world order and am supportive of it - to a degree.  But as I said on Wednesday, we had won The Cold War, and we could have taken a different path than trying to intimidate Russia by expanding NATO to their borders. 

My bit on NATO is an example  I don't know the answer to this, so perhaps someone can help me:  did we try any kind of Marshall Plan-like effort to help Russia rebuild, in say, the early 1990s?  Anything on a scale similar to what we did for Germany and Japan after they were vanquished by us (and Russia, BTW!) in World War II? 

No doubt we have extended aid since the collapse of the Soviet Union.  But it's more likely some Americans and American companies have participated in the corruption there, vs. helping rebuild their society and economy, as we did in Germany and Japan.  I know a lot of blame goes tot he mega-corrupt Boris Yeltsin, who succeeded the visionary Mikhail Gorbachev.  Still:  I am not aware of us making the same effort in Russia to help a defeated enemy as we did after World War II.

Why is that?  Well, the aforementioned Yeltsin and we also didn't have unconditional surrenders from the Eastern Bloc like we did from the Axis.  So the way we also dropped in tens of thousands of troops and planes and missiles into Germany and Japan couldn't have happened in a place like Poland.  I get it.

But I also believe it is because the Military Industrial Complex was and remains alive and well in the United States, now almost 70 years since we were warned by someone that knew what was coming, President Dwight D. Eisenhower.  We flush money building weapons systems and deploying troops, and ask questions later.  I believe our predilection for hard over soft power since Reagan is a big part of our decline as a nation.  Consider George W. Bush's invasion of Iraq after 9/11 - what an awful mistake.  The world could have been remade after 9/11, but we doubled down on bombs and shooting.

I am probably just stepping in it again?  Is this where I am supposed to include #StandWithUkraine?  Of course I do, but I long for employing a different strategy, so we avoid these fiascos in the first place.  Next up - Taiwan!  Fun!

Gosh, these are trying days.  Savage partisanship.  Pandemic.  Insurrection.  And now war in Europe.  And every single bit of it is the fault of Joe Biden and the radical left Commie Democrats!  Cheer up!


10 seconds of seriousness:  Trump's greasy and tiny hands are all over America's and the world's malaise right now.  Since 2016, he 
  • took our level of discourse as a society into the gutter, like no one before him;
  • fomented completely unproductive fear, uncertainty and doubt during the pandemic;
  • created The Big Lie that the election was stolen and used that to plot and incite a coup to remain in power;
  • enabled, empowered and adoringly praised Putin throughout his 4 years in office; and
  • turned down military aid requested by Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy 3 years ago, because Zelenskyy refused to announce an investigation (which didn't exist) into Hunter Biden's actions there.

So you tell me:  would America be better or worse if Trump had not been elected in 2016?  It's an interesting mental exercise to imagine Hilary Clinton having been elected instead.  What would have happened? 


Have a nice weekend.

No levity here, either.  From my dear friend Arthur, and this time, it's personal:

"Here are vetted charities to which you might want to link from your blog:  Want to support the people of Ukraine? These apps and websites can help you send money  

All of my grandparents were from Ukraine; grandpa Izzy left at age 17 to avoid being conscripted into the Russian army.  Going back to his time over 100 years ago, they didn't like the Russians there, and most residents still don't . . ."

Wow.  I hope you'll join Julie and myself with a donation to one of the organizations listed at the link.  What a tragedy and failure of the modern world.

Thank you to any one that is reading this newsletter.

Gosh, for this post maybe The Funeral March is appropriate?  Nope, but I will keep it melancholy.  Despite it being my single favorite album of all time, this is only the album's second appearance on KLUF.  Here in sterling high resolution and in its proper mono format are The Beach Boys and "Pet Sounds". 

Wouldn't it be nice, indeed.


About Dean Clough

Plans To Enjoy Life.