Vladamyr Putin is flexing his muscles. Thank God he didn’t take his shirt off for this gymnastic episode. He is former KGB and roams the halls of the Kremlin at night bewailing the fall of the USSR from its pedestal alongside the US of A. as partners in global dominance. His philosophical basis goes back to 19th century authors of Russian “exceptionalism”. I think the last time we heard that was in the 1930’s when a wallpaperer by the the name of Hitler was singing out of the same hymnal. Some call him brutal. Some call him maniacal. I call him a sign of the times.
A couple of years ago there was a lone patriot who self immolated in the middle of a square in beautiful downtown Tunis. What was to follow shook the Mideast and all the petty tyrants to the core. One after another the mighty have fallen like one of those cray domino mazes that keep going and going after just one toppled to get the ball rolling. You could not have predicted the “Arab Spring” and it just so happened all the billions we have spent on the CIA and NSA could not have forewarned us about the events of the day.
Think of all the chaos that was wrought after 9/11. A couple of hundred Al Quaeda have caused billions of people to rethink their whole manner of being. We dutifully shed our shoes in seemingly endless lines at airports and then are searched, frisked and x-rayed until our innermost secrets are held out for scrutiny. Whole industries have cropped up to provide terrorism consulting, limos like armored tanks, and ongoing annuities for service brass to tell you the next Bin Laden is right around the corner of Smallville, America.
Look at what one rogue hero or villain named Snowden has done to every aspect of our cyberspace. We were fat dumb and happy to check our emails, catch the latest Facebook post, join the multitudes for this or that You Tube and then all of that shattered. We found “we know where you live” went far beyond a sophomoric threat. Who knows what kind of info they have on me? Ted’sHead may be subversive and downright heretical but you already knew that. But just ask yourself where we would be if this 29 year old had not decided to have a pang of conscience for what he was being paid $125,000 per year to slave away at?
Chavez, Mubarak, Hussein, Churchill, Eisenhower, Hitler, Lincoln, Jobs, Brandt, Gates, Roosevelt, Wilson, Stalin, Lenin, Buffett, Jesus et alia were solitary people. Somewhere along the line they broke from the pack. Some were prodigies and a few were ne’er do wells. Some were book learned but many got their PHD’s from the streets. Was it predestined or merely a turn of fate? Dunno but the bottom line is these individuals in every aspect managed to get the masses behind them. They changed history for better or worse. Now the real quandary is whether they were exceptional leaders or were their constituents dutiful sheep?
Whether you are radical or Messiah you have to be pitching change. The old way of doing things hasn’t quite worked out to the benefit of most. It can be a revolution of the left or the right but it has to be something different. Prosperity can be bland and fleeting. Someone is always going to be pissed off at something. You just have to find that burr in their saddle and tweak it. Refine the message and then sell like hell.
But I just can’t pass over what dopes we all are. Let’s just say there are a few hundred leaders of both government and industry in the world. There are over 6 billion of us working slobs that are led by these dudes and dudettes. Maybe I am just distasteful of anything authoritative or demagogic but this just gets in my craw on both sides of the fence. Why are we so eager to follow and nod dumbly when they tell us things could be better? Do we cogitate or merely capitulate?
I think we are all frustrated by something called government either by claiming it has too much largesse or not enough. We need to cut back waste and inefficiency. We need to stop fraud. We need to drastically overhaul our method of education. Infrastructure? Just look around you. But how many of us have really sat down and pondered these failings? Who is behind it? Why can’t charlatans and connivers be brought to the light of day?
Turns out very few of take time to study a problem. We are too busy. Just give me a capsule summary. I can’t read the whole story. Just let me listen to someone who thinks the same way as I do. Or better yet you just tell me which way to vote by party banner or brand loyalty. If Rush or Rachel say it is, then it must be so. School Boards and Water or Highway Commissions? Those people just dig that stuff. I can’t be bothered.
Mover and shakers take us for a ride every day. They really have it quite easy because no one doth protest too much. Sure we will grouse and especially after a cocktail or two but don’t worry fearless leaders we will all fall in line. I guess that makes us very democratic.The very few can set the tone…good or bad. Been like that for centuries. Give them a bone to chew on and they will follow you anywhere whether you are right or terribly wrong. Sleep tight. Don’t worry. You won’t know what hit you.
Ted The Great
The average American spends up to 4 hours per day participating in social networking. The lower your economic status the time spent is higher. These are the same people who don’t have time to look into a variety of topics in depth. You know I am just so jammed. I have more important things to do.
The Internet has facilitated the growth of one or two person organizations. No longer hindered by “getting published” or achieving notoriety in the press, cyberspace has provided a petri dish for movements both good and bad.
The United Stated armed forces number 1,365,000. We spend $550 billion per annum to maintain this group. This is approximately 39% of what is spent by all nations of the world on defense. We have 285 ships of which 240 are designated warships. We have approximately 20,ooo aircraft.
Terrorist groups probably number less than 50. Abu Nadal, Hamas, Hezbulah and numerous national groups in Columbia, Spain and others. Loosely organized they probably have no more than a couple of hundred in any one command structure. The trained personnel are also no more than a thousand in any one group except for Hezbulah. These few wreak havoc in our civilized world and also have many thousand “sympathizers” who facilitate their activities. We may have to go to Plan B.