I read an interesting article about those meddlesome Ukrainians spoiling Putin’s plans for world domination. It was titled ‘Ukrainians anger Putin by learning to shoot down Russian missiles and drones.’
Mr. Putin, do you know what angers Ukrainians?
You and your military invading their sovereign lands, bombing and burning their cities and towns to the ground, levelling entire communities, pillaging agriculture stores and destroying countless families by murdering their loved ones and burying them in mass unmarked graves like livestock.
If your drones and missiles are so precious maybe you should keep them out of Ukraine. Better yet, set a playdate with your generals and the oligarchy. You can play with all your toys together at a big Kremlin milieu. If Ukraine and the rest of the world get lucky it will turn out to be one explosive party!
Now that 2022 is firmly in the rearview and we can all look forward to a new year I can say that overall it wasn’t a bad year personally.
Yeah, the world went to shit with Russian aggression in Ukraine and COVID spending policies coming home to roost.
Inflation fucked with most of the free world’s economies in 2022 and we will likely see its ramifications for years to come. Still for those of us who lived through the late 1970s and early 1980s these rates are not that bad. Imagine a U.S. peak of 18.39% in July 1981 or a Canadian high of 21% in August of that same year. Things don’t look bad viewing it through that lens. Let’s hope we don’t let it get there.
On the European front, the tone from the Kremlin over the holiday has started to shift. Russia’s military is floundering badly in Ukraine and the Motherland’s losses continue to mount. Even more crippling to Putin’s war effort, the U.S. and its allies now appear willing to provide assistance to Ukraine in the form of modern sophisticated weaponry it needs to push Russia to the brink. In light of these factors, it would seem Putin and Moscow’s resolve for war are beginning to wane. That does not mean we are out of the woods and Russia’s nuclear arsenal remains a constant threat. That said there does seem to be some hope for optimism as the Kremlin’s apparent shift may be signalling that Putin and his government are laying the groundwork for possible exit strategies that would allow the tyrant to save face and hold onto power. Time will tell.
Closer to home, Greg’s Blog has had a great year, by far the best on record for my tiny corner of the world wide web. (Does anyone call it that anymore?) 2022 saw views of my blog climb from 1071 in 2021 to 6156 in 2022 (a 475% increase year over year) and visitors climb from 467 to 2785 (+496%). In terms of real numbers I know it’s still relatively small compared to some of the superstars I like to follow but it’s still something. Keep in mind it has also been my most active year blogging and it did see the start of a couple of weekly or bi-weekly features on my site. With the hectic holiday season over I hope to get back at it more regularly again and hope I can build on some of that 2022 momentum in the new year.
It has been fun interacting with so many of you and I hope to continue reading/viewing what everyone has to offer and hopefully put out content that you enjoy interacting with. Thanks to everyone for a great 2022 and I hope 2023 turns out to be a phenomenal year for everyone!
Welcome to Five Word Weekly. Each Monday, five words will magically appear on Greg’s Blog at 5:00am Eastern Time (Canada/United States). Your task is to craft prose or poetry using any or all of the word prompts. How you participate is entirely up to you. Your work(s) can be a single piece, a series of stand-alone projects, or an epic serial. Let the words be the inspiration that takes you wherever your imagination leads.
November 11th is Remembrance Day in Canada. This week’s challenge remembers the men and women who fought and died for our way of life. Although the challenge does not adhere to a weekly theme, the group of words presented may occasionally share a common thread. You as the author can write about anything without being bound to a theme.
Andi survived alone, hidden from the Chinese military patrols. America’s interest in democracy had waned three generations earlier, inevitably falling to the Communist regime in the anarchy that ensued. Her only escape was imagining the picturesque herds of wild buffalo, tall grasses and the endless blue mid-west sky she’d read about in forbidden books.
A Month had passed since intercepting a message. Most believed it was intercepted from a Chinese-Russian military satellite, our enemy in a war the Allies were losing, but I believed it had come from someone or something else. Everyone knew cracking the code, completely indiscernible to the best and brightest working around the clock, was key to our victory.
As I sat staring at the letters, numbers, and symbols, my eyes bugging out of my head, they began to lift from the page and realign before my eyes. I had done it, I’d found the key to deciphering the entire transmission. The message read,
Bombs rain down indiscriminately as sirens pierce the evening air. A city set ablaze as it crumbles to the ground. Plumes of grey and purple smoke rise into the red dusk. A mother and her child dance through the streets. Arms outstretched as the ashen sky falls like confetti about them. Choosing to join the dead than ever surrender.
In 2003 a United States led coalition invaded Iraq. The Iraqi forces were quickly overwhelmed leading to the fall of the Ba’athist government led by Saddam Hussein. The coalition would remain in Iraq for the next 8 years, officially withdrawing from the country in 2011.
In October 2008 Chicago based punk rock giants Rise Against released their 5th studio album entitled “Appeal to Reason“. The theme for this week Song Lyric Sunday is Army / Soldier / War and I have chosen to highlight the track “Hero of War” from that release. The track was only released as a promo single but did receive significant play on alternative radio.
This originally started as a reply to a post that Jim at A Unique Title for Me posted. It got me thinking about the broader context of government and in particular the idea that the people are accountable for the action of their government. In particular, Russians when it comes to Putin.
Yes, Vladimir Putin gave the order to invade Ukraine, the former Soviet republic that declared its independence on January 22nd, 1989. Putin has chosen this path not because of the excuses such as “denazification” or the perceived threat NATO presents to Russia if Ukraine achieves member status. It is all smoke and mirrors to hide the real reasons for Putin’s war, to turn back the clock to a bygone era. To return to some perceived Russian greatness that never really existed. He alone must answer to the world for his illegal actions in Ukraine and the war crimes he has committed in the name of Mother Russia.
I will say that from a world perspective I do not believe the international community and the allied countries of the West are doing enough to quell the Putin threat. Russian aggression in Ukraine has the eerie feel of Nazi Germany’s invasion of Poland in 1939. The parallels are well documented elsewhere and too many to list here. We the world must stand with Ukraine and prevent history from repeating itself.
I believe the Russian people are good people. Historically they have suffered immeasurable hardship. For the record, the Russian experience is not unique. Many other peoples in various parts of the world have suffered repeatedly at the hands of internal and external forces. That type of suffering creates a certain pathos that brings about insecurity in the people of a nation. It doesn’t require a great leap to see how people end up following someone like Putin who instills a sense of national pride by assuaging their collective vulnerabilities and making them feel whole again.