Podcast Season 2 Episode 55: Burgers, Borscht, and Bad Decisions

As Ancient Rome burned, Emperor Nero sat on a hill and whittled away a piece of wood. Times have changed of course. Now it’s the world that’s burning, literally, and Nero President Obama doesn’t whittle, he goes for burgers. Big goings on this week and we cover it all, or at least a small portion of it. Plus resident “Legitimate Rape” guy Todd Akin has an epic appearance on MSNBC where he tries to man-splain his comments. Click the link, be informed.

Podcast Season 2 Episode 55: Burgers, Borscht, and Bad Decisions

Or find us here: http://unfilteredunfettered.podhoster.com/

Or go to iTunes and search Unfiltered Unfettered. Find the UF/UF icon, click, and enjoy every episode from season 1 and/or 2.

Then tell us what you think, ask questions, argue with us, mock us. Do it in the comment section below or the show’s email: theunmail@yahoo.com

On to the tease…

Hey! A world leader has to eat. #amiright!

Hey! A world leader has to eat. #amiright!

I’ll have the big fat nothing burger.

The President was on a fund raising trip to Delaware when the Malaysia flight was shot out of the sky, killing all 300+ people on board. Instead of making a statement, he went to a burger joint recommended by Crazy Joe Biden. The Prez’s only thoughts on the matter, “I think it will be a terrible tragedy.” Then he said , “And super size my fries.” (not really)

 

 

The world his oyster? Sure seems that way at the moment.

The world his oyster? Sure seems that way at the moment.

I’ll have the Crimea, with a side of Kiev, oh and some Borscht!

Comrade President Putin started this mess in the Crimea. Is he to blame, no matter who shot the plane down? With so many troops massed on the Ukraine border is he long from invading the entire country and taking the capital city of Kiev? Does he really eat borscht? That stuff is nasty.

 

 

 

Yes Todd Akin, he's talking about you.

Yes Todd Akin, he’s talking about you.

Hey Cletus, watch this!

Who had a worse Wednesday; the Michigan woman who shot herself in the face with a shotgun after slamming the butt to the floor trying to emphasize her point or Todd Akin, former Missouri Congressman who tried to explain why he said women don’t get pregnant from legitimate rapes because their bodies can, “Shut that whole thing down.” We report you decide!

Plus Tony and I dissect AG Holder’s comments about racial animus hindering the Obama Presidency, in our old segment “Is That Racist?”

Click link. Get smarter.

Podcast Season 2 Episode 55: Burgers, Borscht, and Bad Decisions

Then tell us what you think, ask questions, argue with us, mock us. Do it in the comment section below or the show’s email: theunmail@yahoo.com

Latvia, Estonia the Chaos theory

600px-Lorenz_attractor_yb_svg

Are we ready to make sacrifices for Latvia? Estonia? How about Albania?

How much are we willing to sacrifice? A lot?

Eh….probably not.

I’m reminded of that old Jay Leno bit “Jay Walking” I think it was, where Jay would ask pedestrians questions about history, geography, etc. I’d like to see the average pedestrian point to those places on a map. Scary. But it may affect all of our lives.

Do you know who’s in NATO?

For what would you consider risking  to avoid the start of WW III?

It’s funny how history works sometimes.

The oddest, and smallest, occurrences can sometimes start the biggest events. For the want of a nail, a kingdom was lost…that kind of stuff.  The Chaos theory in action.

An event that started as a complete failure was one of the significant events starting WW I, the assassination of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Visiting the Bosnian capital, Sarajevo, a group of six assassins from a nationalist group, gathered on a street where the Archdukes visiting motorcade would pass. One of the members of the group threw a grenade at the car, but missed. It injured some people nearby, but Franz Ferdinand’s convoy was able to carry on. The convoy was supposed to be stopped. The other assassins failed to act as the cars drove past. Franz Ferdinand  spontaneously went to the hospital to visit some of the injured. When returning from the visit, about an hour later, the convoy took a wrong turn into a street and the car, a convertible,  stalled. By an act of pure by coincidence, Princip, one of the intended assassins, had just walked out of a café where he had been lamenting their failed attempt. He walked out, looked up, and there was Franz Ferdinand in a stalled car. Princip pulled out his pistol, shot and killed Franz Ferdinand. Crazy, eh? It’s a story only Jeff Goldblum could retell with the appropriate artistry.

You could certainly say that, without WW I, America would not be the America we know today. Obviously, it had a pronounced influence on the development of our country. Check out the article linked below, “Without World War I, A Slower U.S. Rise, No ‘God Bless America.”

WW I leads to WW II, the end of WW II leads to the start of the cold war.

Thus begins NATO. On we go.

The original twelve members of NATO in 1949 were the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, France, Denmark, Iceland, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Belgium, Netherlands, and Luxembourg.

In 1952, Greece and Turkey joined. West Germany was admitted in 1955 and in 1982 Spain became the sixteenth member.

On March 12, 1999, three new countries – the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland – brought the total number of NATO members to 19.

On April 2, 2004, seven new countries joined the alliance. These countries are Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia.

The two newest countries that joined as NATO members on April 1, 2009 are Albania and Croatia.

From the NATO website, here’s a short paragraph on the history of their creation:

It is often said that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization was founded in response to the threat posed by the Soviet Union. This is only partially true. In fact, the Alliance’s creation was part of a broader effort to serve three purposes: deterring Soviet expansionism, forbidding the revival of nationalist militarism in Europe through a strong North American presence on the continent, and encouraging European political integration.

Do you know what article 5 of NATO is? Here it is.

 Article 5

The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defence recognised by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area.

Any such armed attack and all measures taken as a result thereof shall immediately be reported to the Security Council. Such measures shall be terminated when the Security Council has taken the measures necessary to restore and maintain international peace and security .

Here’s what it means.

Article 5 is at the basis of a fundamental principle of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. It provides that if a NATO Ally is the victim of an armed attack, each and every other member of the Alliance will consider this act of violence as an armed attack against all members and will take the actions it deems necessary to assist the Ally attacked.

This is the principle of collective defence.

So, here’s a question. If NATO was created as a result of the events after WWII, when the cold war ended, why didn’t NATO dissolve? You read the three reasons for the creation, and according to those, NATO would no longer be necessary.

So….we’ve surrounded Russia by encouraging and allowing former Soviet satellites (uh, except for the Ukraine, right) into NATO. Everything’s peaceful. The cold war’s over. Just terrorists to worry about. Then they invade the Ukraine.

So, for Latvia, Estonia, Albania, et al.,  we’ve made a commitment to these people. How sure are we Russia won’t eventually invade these or other surrounding countries? I would formulate that no one can be sure of anything at this point.

In the meantime, the  “The 80’s called, they want their foreign policy back.”

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The NATO expansion

http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/official_texts_17120.htm

http://www.nato.int/terrorism/five.htm

http://www.npr.org/2014/03/12/285916073/without-world-war-i-a-slower-u-s-rise-no-god-bless-america

http://www.nato.int/history/nato-history.html

A bear in a cage is still a bear (or, Crimea river)

russian bearI have no doubt that being the President of the United States is a hard job. I also believe that running for president and being the president are very different tasks. In Obama’s case, he is very good at running for president. But, again, being the president is a very different thing. For one thing, being the president is so unique. There simply aren’t that many of them. And, I believe, there are things about being the president that you won’t know, and simply can’t know, until you are the president.

Foreign policy is an area I can imagine that this is true. It wouldn’t surprise me to find out that once you get elected president, you start finding things out that, had you known them before, may have made you feel very different about your predecessor, or may have made you realize that things you were campaigning on weren’t very realistic in the first place. Things like “foreign policy will change under my administration.” I’m sure Obama’s not the first to learn this.

So the Ukraine is in a meltdown. To be clear, the whole thing is quite unclear.

In a recording that’s been leaked between assistant secretary of state Victoria Nuland and Geoffrey Pyatt, ambassador to Ukraine, while discussing the Ukrainian situation, Nuland says “Fuck the EU.” (I guess they thought they were exempt from everything being recorded?) The recording is linked below. While the conversation received press because of her use of the F word towards the EU, the conversation’s value really lies elsewhere. The topic of the call is who they intend to support coming to power in the Ukraine. If anything good could be said to come out of the Snowden incident, it should be that we can certainly say we don’t know what’s going on in our government, and we don’t know what they’re doing.

In spite of the administration’s stance, the point is, we’re very involved. The point is, we’ve been involved. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, eh?

We, the American citizen, have no real way to understand who the good guys and the bad guys are. Remember, the deposed president, Viktor Yanukovych, was democratically elected. He is, however, a bad guy. When you fire on your own people, you’re a bad guy. There are some real bad people on the other side as well. Regardless of who we, the United States, decides to support, our track record on supporting good guys isn’t that good. We supported a lot of good guys who turn into bad guys.

Part of the reason we have no way to figure it out is the sorry state of our media today. We’re not going to get any decent investigative reporting on the situation. What we’ll get will be packaged for what we like. We’ll get packaged news. Once the politicians determine who we’re for or against, (and they already have) then that’s what we’ll get.  So, if you’re just reading straight American media, NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN, Fox, you’re not going to get the whole story. You’re getting packaged American news.  Make no mistake, there are some very bad guys on both sides of this situation.

Let’s talk about the Russians for a second. If the Russians were mucking about in, let’s say Mexico, or Panama, or, let’s say Cuba, how do you think we’d take that? Probably not very well. Make no mistake, Putin’s a bad guy. But we haven’t hesitated to back him in a corner since the end of the cold war.

American foreign policy hasn’t really changed in about 50 years. However, the execution of the policy is a different story. The current administration seems to not only be bad at it, and in the case of Benghazi, unable to read the current tides, but then lie about things when they go bad.

Biden, in case you’ve forgotten, repeatedly ripped Obama on his knowledge of foreign policy when they were both running for president. Yea, you could overlook it as campaign talk if you want. Robert Gates in his book “Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War” is not particularly complimentary to Biden on foreign policy, nor is he complimentary of Obama towards the military leadership. Obama, among other things, has said “there will be consequences” if Ukraine “crosses the line” with the protestors. He’s also said “The United States will stand with the international community in affirming that there will be costs for any military intervention in Ukraine,” At this point I believe that is simply rhetoric.  I hope it is.

I know our own country has been willing to engage in military action we have felt necessary. Not everyone in the Ukraine is unhappy about the Russians being there. It’s a diverse country separated by culture, religion, geography, ethnicity, you name it. So now we’re calling Russia’s actions “an invasion” because they’re the bad guys.

Sergiy Aksyonov, the leader of the autonomous Crimean region, last week issued the statement “I call on the president of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, to provide assistance in securing peace.”

I don’t know anything about foreign policy. I’d like to leave it to smart people, I just don’t know who they are. If you want to learn about what’s going on in the Ukraine, you can’t just stick to American news outlets. That’s a shame, but I believe it.

If you want to listen to something interesting, click on the “Democracy Now” link below and listen to the interview with Stephen Cohen.

Arseniy Yatsenyuk, an opposition leader, concluded an interview last week by saying “Ukraine is in a big mess.” Yes. A mess Indeed.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2014/02/19/obama-on-ukraine-there-will-be-consequences-if-people-step-over-the-line/

http://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2014/feb/07/eu-us-diplomat-victoria-nuland-phonecall-leaked-video

http://www.democracynow.org/2014/2/20/a_new_cold_war_ukraine_violence

http://www.cnn.com/2014/02/28/politics/ukraine-obama-statement/

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-26397323