America is a Great Country and has been a significant historical experiment ever since its creation almost 200 years ago. During WWII our country demonstrated the capacity to stand up to significant global dangers, that, if we had left it to others in the global community, would have, perhaps, changed all our lives beyond repair. However, since then the US and its citizens have squandered almost all its goodwill and power to be a global exemplary model for responsible, compassionate and visionary behavior by allowing the US tax payers to fund a perpetual war machine that has created a terrible, inhuman and unproductive collection of countries and regions across the globe. No one has benefited from America's almost 100 year long wars on foreign soil. Except, perhaps, stockholders owning stocks in companies supplying the Military-Industrial Complex that President Eisenhower warned us against. And, last, but certainly not least, it has bankrupted America and destroyed our Faith in ourselves and our country. As an Independent voter I pray for a 3rd Party in the US to offer us a real choice from the perpetual wars that both the Democratic Party and the Republican Party has supported year after year. Perhaps they can call it CommonSenseUSA. Well written and timely article, and the inclusion of Donne's poem is a smart way of showing that artists often act as 'the canary in the coal mine."

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Feb 24, 2022·edited Feb 27, 2022

Yes, a war against one is a war against all, and, sorry to say, we are substantially responsible for this one.

What?!, many will ask -- how so?!!

All we have to do to realize this is to put ourselves in the other fellow's shoes, as Bernie Sanders, God bless him for this, said recently.

How did we react when Russia pushed hard into our long-declared sphere of influence in the Americas by installing nuclear missiles in Cuba? -- which for us was a matter of vital strategic interest?

'nuff said?

If not, then to be more specific, how could we have expected Russia to allow what they see as our encroachment into their sphere of influence -- which for them is a matter of vital strategic interest?

Moreover, speaking of vital interests, compare the casualties: how many people did we lose in the Cuban missile crisis?, and how many millions did they lose in the huge invasions from Western Europe by France and Germany?

How then could we have failed to recognize the truth of Russia's clearly stated security concerns, addressed them at the table, and thereby protected the people of Ukraine from invasion?

Our own wiser leaders warned us about this very thing decades ago.

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“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”

“Long” reflects the space; “bend” is the time to travel it. The laws of physics state that, relative to a fixed point, the progression of local time slows down radically the faster the speed or the closer to a gravitational field that severely bends time and space, such as a black hole.

Might we apply time dilation to the moral universe as well? Bloodthirsty autocrats like Putin and shameless acolytes like Trump are the black holes, bending the arc of immorality toward injustice. Their surrounding galaxies of lesser bodies are growing ever larger and more influential. No longer is it within the realm of a mere possibility that someone with the moral fiber of mush could become President of the United States, the land of the brave and foolhardy.

Trump made it a fact. So did Bush Junior/Darth Cheney. Throw in Bush Senior, Reagan, and Nixon for their senseless and bloody international blunders colluding with the forces of evil. Who’s next, Fucker Carlson, the radical right’s guiding light? Sure, Democrats share the blame; but mostly, they’ve been trying to preserve civilization and end idiotic wars of choice, not start them. And Putin’s black hole has been lurking there all along, drawing ever closer.

As everything collides, seemingly all at once, can the weight of justice resist both Trump and Putin? The two opposing arcs are long and curving in opposite directions, but sometimes entangling with cataclysmic results. Keeping with the metaphor, Putin and his Retrumplican stooges have reached their event horizon and there’s no turning back.

The greatest unknown of this tragicomical dance playing out somewhere in warped time and space will be which force is stronger, energy or gravity, good or evil? Is our ultimate fate swirling in the balance open-minded or closed? It’s the oldest drama since the Big Bang. 💥 Unknown energy indicates an ever-expanding universe where there's not enough dark matter to collapse everything back in on itself, which, metaphorically, offers some hope, I suppose, for the long-term in our otherwise bleak picture. However, with life-killing climate destruction also looming on the event horizon, does Mother Earth have the TIME to squander while drunk monkeys with loaded guns fly the starship straight into a black hole?

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I say again, oligarchs ARE the problem.

This morning as you summarized the valuable natural resources in Ukraine, it clarified for me the reasons for the conflict in Ukraine.

It's a battle between two groups of oligarchs for which one gets to expliot and profit from those resources. The "legalized mass murder" and destruction are collateral damage of greed. #UkraineConflict

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The oligarchs no longer run Russia; they opted to put someone into office they thought they could control. Silly them! Now he has stolen enough money to control THEM. He owns every one of them plus the army, the cyber systems, cyber-spies, and the spy-spies. He kills people that defy him, including oligarchs.

Putin is popular, especially in rural areas, even after he has robbed the whole country blind. How can they believe in him? I don't know, maybe you could ask a Trump supporter. I see the Russian protestors in the cities are getting arrested, bless their hearts. All males must serve, so I feel sorry for any military people that hate him.

You can wax poetic all you want, but this is about basic sanity. The rest of the world has enough sane intelligent people to expose these psychopaths for what they are and what they do. I'm thinking "the turning" is being brought to you by the internet, millions of media sources, and a camera in every pocket.

Putin is an aging, paranoid, psychopath. That is his ONLY game. He is not brilliant, and he is not playing "chess" or a long game. Who will rid us of this menace to the world?

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A war against one is a war against all...

I'll pledge that.

Every action, of intent or otherwise, catalyzes a spherical wave form undulating outward, landing upon distant shores of both literal and figurative boundaries. This rape of life - celebrated and perpetrated by the incessantly wretched within our species - will eventually come home to a nation infatuated by some mythological theater of violence. The abundance of useful idiots who are criminally ignorant to the realities of war is not a surprising condition. In a society that has long reaped treasure through pillaging and terrorizing other nations and peoples, it should come as no shock that we will most likely find ourselves on the receiving end in due time. Most of us know nothing of wholesale pandemonium.

I do not wish this on my fellow humans.

To the rapists of our decency, our innocence, our desire for peace and a progressive culture, I offer this metaphor:

When dealing with the destructive nature of fire, we the humans do not contain it in a box and allow it to continue burning - we snuff it out. This day exists, but I do not know when...

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Cheney should never have gone with Blackwater to Azerbaijan hoping to build a Pipeline to The Caspian Sea. No Armour Humvees to make Iraq a Christian Country was dumb, Trump making a Deal with The Taliban for Afghanistan was dumber and now, once again as with Viet Nam, The Americans are underestimating The Enemy. All they had to do was ask Whelen what Gorbachev had told him about Putin All you had to do was 'connect the dots'

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Another "hinge point in history" it is... Another 4th-Turning Crisis manifested by a Russian unprovoked attack on Ukraine. As William Strauss & Neil Howe put it in their 1997 book "The Fourth Turning" : "Somewhere before the year 2025, America will pass through a great gate in history, commensurate with the American Revolution, the Civil War, and the twin emergencies of the Great Depression and World War II." (p.6). Like clockwork, every roughly 80 years since the War of the Roses in England (1485) when a commoner deposed the King of England there has been a 4th-Turning Crisis in the form of a deadly, life-changing war. One might ask: "What on Earth is going on here?" How can such devastating crises manifest so far apart in time & place...and yet so regularly? A big clue is to be found in the War of the Roses: The tradition of monarchies was long a part of European history by the middle of the 15th century, but a commoner, Henry Tudor, defeated & killed King Richard III of England. This broke the well-established social more known as the divine right of kings--a Human creation justifying its authoritarian social hierarchy. Henry Tudor challenged that tradition....and broke it....thus expanding the consciousness of people all over the world that one is not necessarily locked into one's position in society by birth. In short, this was a major milestone on the socio-political human evolutionary road that eventually saw the overthrow of many European monarchies as people rose up and demanded greater recognition and say in their governance. Three centuries later the first modern experiment of a "democracy" was established in America via the Revolutionary War with England. And very significantly, in each of the six 4th-Turning Crises, the victor has each time been on the side of the egalitarians and not the authoritarians. In our crazy, dichotomous universe it seems to take a BIG BAD DUDE--and I use the word "DUDE" pur- posely--to stir up the mild, peace-loving people to finally rise up and fight off the dictatorial DUDE. Again, like clockwork--80 years + 2.5 months since the USA was drawn into WWII on Dec. 7, 1941--another dictatorial leader (Vladimir Putin) has attacked a peaceful, democracy (Ukraine)....and it's up to the rest of the world to decide which side it wishes to be on....and then hopefully muster enough strength to tip the balance once more toward a more egalitarian future.

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Thanks Thom! Great assessment as usual. Unfortunately, we have another bully raging on the horizon and we have not yet reached the point of recognizing what we must do to address the bully. We continue to to take half steps hoping it will go away and leave us alone without really taking a stand. Half steps in commitments of support of those facing the bully, half steps in sanctions of the bully, half steps to deal with bullying insurrectionists. We have laws supposedly to deal with a bully but can’t seem to bring ourselves to use them and so the bullies take over. Poets can remind us of the consequences but only if we listen. I’m 2016 our corporate politicians robbed us of the opportunity for a significant change and we got Trump, in 2020 they did it again and here we are watching the bully push and shove there way into a weaker country. When will we learn that a bully only goes away when you beat them into submission, take away their toys, and destroy them.

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I am flashing back on the fate of "Billy" in The Year of Living Dangerously. He knows that his gesture of defiance and truth is fleeting and futile, yet gives his life. The question is how, how can we stand up to the madness, when so many are willing to "follow orders?" Established international law and treaties seem to be failing Ukraine. Thom seems to say, it is America's job to defend Ukraine, technicalities be damned. But we peons know so little. Maybe there is a "credible" fear that Putin really has gone mad enough to use nukes. God bless Joe Biden.

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Our mercenary foreign policy eventually would come home to roost, both in the form of the January 6th insurrection and in the form of confrontations between superpowers. If we were not playing biggest bully in the sandbox, which now sees "progressives" backing Biden's tough guy foreign policy antics. The moments I remember before this are Biden and the Democrats going all out to massacre hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians for no apparent cause (apart from Cheney's oil interests and Bush's political capital), both parties embracing the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan, Biden leaving in a haphazard fashion that would have you and Democrats tearing their hair out if Trump did it, then Biden stealing the Afghanistan peoples' money from their banking system and offering it to 9/11 victims. I see President Obama aiding Saudi Arabia in a genocide in Yemen, Biden promising to end "offensive" assistance and then essentially going about business as usual with our ally MBS. I see Biden and the Democrats and progressive media ignoring the annexation of Palestine by Israel and the daily human rights violations and atrocities imparted upon the Palestinian people. I see a lot Thom. So when it comes to Putin and Ukraine, if we had a China/Russia military coalition at our southern border we would be doing a lot worse than Putin is doing right now. That is not an excuse for Putin's aggression, but it is a realistic context rather than the selective outrage that you and the Democrats show to support a rudderless president whose poll numbers are sagging. This is a tragic moment in that respective political parties seem to rally when white people are menaced by the enemy we wish to demonize at the time, yet our concern for the wholesale slaughter of black and brown people at our leaders' hands is all but forgotten and forgiven. Putin is a madman to be sure, but I fear all the profound quotes and references and eulogies for the Ukrainian people are propaganda in themselves looking towards the next election cycle. I just haven't seen or heard such waxing prophetic about the people we kill on regular basis around the globe. The window has turned into a mirror that nobody apparently wants to look into because...well...Putin.

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Great read! Thank you!

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