2:48 PM, May 12, 2023
The Russians are retreating from Bakhmut. Russian soldiers are surrendering in great numbers as well, probably knowing they'll have a better chance at survival as a POW than as a combatant.
The Russian Black Sea Fleet is firing extremely expensive weapons they'd previously been saving for a conflict with NATO, for a one in ten chance of striking a random location in Ukraine, and a nine in ten chance of being intercepted by Ukrainian air defense.
The Russians are of divided purpose, low morale, and critically low supplies and materiel, while the Ukrainians get stronger every day. The UK just provided long-range weapons to Ukraine, after the US hemmed and hawed and shuffled their feet about it for almost a year. This means that the Ukrainians just dramatically INCREASED their ability to devastate Russian logistics, command, and supplies.
Ukraine has yet to start using the sophisticated vehicles and equipment they've been massing in the east for their large-scale counteroffensive, and has even said the counteroffensive will likely still take several weeks or even months to begin. But it seems that their enemy is disintegrating before their eyes, without an offensive even taking place.
Russia no longer has any position of power from which they may engage in negotiations. They are unequivocally losing, and outside the context of this war, Russia is ruined. No nation ever need fear them, as they were never close to as powerful as they were once believed to be, to say nothing of the complete hollowing their military has suffered as they've broken like waves against the people of Ukraine and the resolve of the West. The Russian war machine has been set back by over a century, as they desperately and foolishly poured every resource they possibly could into the impossible goal of the conquest of Ukraine.
Russia is finished. All that follows in the war is just cleanup.
11:46 AM, May 19, 2023
Villainy and Accountability
tagged with politics
Republicans being Republicans-- ie: accomplishing the more villainous elements of their political agenda --is good for Democrats. Decades of deliberate suppression and disenfranchisement produced an historic turnout for an off-year Supreme Court election in Wisconsin that sent a rebuke to the MAGA world one would expect in an undeniably blue state, but not Wisconsin, which is considered at best a purple state.
A longtime legislative and judicial goal of the GOP is the criminalization and delegitimization of reproductive rights and women's rights in general. In June 2022, they achieved a massive victory for their cause, with the overturning of the 1972 Roe v. Wade decision. They proceeded to dramatically underperform in the midterm elections, later that year, as another historic turnout sent another rebuke to those who would see a future with reduced personhood for women.
Putin invaded Ukraine and has committed acts of such brutality and disgusting disregard for the value of human life that support for Russia by free-thinking people is unthinkable. Yet parts of the GOP still support appeasing Putin and rewarding him-- including the presumptive nominee for President, Donald Trump --for Putin's unrepentant inhuman butchery.
Until the 2018 election, election outcomes indicated that the GOP villainy was running unchecked, largely because few people were paying attention. Even today, many people will avoid the topic in favor of more pleasant pursuits. "I don't like politics," I'm sure you've heard many people say. Maybe you've said it yourself. But this disengagement allows villainy to become law. Suppression and gerrymandering and the erosion of basic rights of people who don't fit a certain mold is the rule with the GOP. It has to be, since majority opinion on most issues is not on their side, and they have to shape the law to protect their rule.
After the 2016 election, I think the American electorate was shaken awake, as we found ourselves in the Presidency of a man who sought not to lead, but to rule-- and didn't really understand the difference. Since that time, advocacy groups have activated dormant voters all over the country, to great effect. Their work is ongoing, ad will most likely never actually be done, but the desired effect is playing out.
When Republicans achieve one of their goals, goals that stand in contrast to the values held by the great majority of voters, they have not been held accountable for it in the past. Now, through the aforementioned advocacy by political operatives and organizations, Republican villainy is laid bare, and in an increasing fashion, they are suffering for it in general elections.
So when I see the GOP not changing its behavior to align more with majority positions, I feel reassured that they have more electoral beatings to come.