National Identity

It is a tide populists and racists (same) will not be able to stop. History, reality is against them. Global economy, the internet, social media, transportation and climate change will mix up the planet population and no wall will stop it.

I just came from our family reunion and want to share some thoughts.

It was great as it have been for many years.

But I thought of it in the light of current events in our country.

A populist President

The rise of hate, intolerance, isolationism.

Anti-immigration policies, growing divisions in American society.

Family reunion

Meeting relatives that came from different parts of the country

I look around

Old and young

White, Asian, Hispanic

Jews, Christians, atheists

Straight, gay, lesbian,transgender

Big, loud, joyful, friendly crowd.

Talking, playing games, eating and drinking.

Enjoying time together

So free, open, uninhibited.

And I thought about our country

Not the country we came from – the soviet Union

No. It was never OUR country.

I thought about America.

The country where all these people are accepted as equals.

I am watching young people

They don’t see skin color, sexual orientation

They don’t see race or religion

None of this matters.

They see each other.

They see relatives, friends.

This is America I thought, real America.

This is America that accepted us…Russian Jewish refugees.

This is America where we feel free.

Our new home, real home.

Home we did not have before.

Home for our children and grandchildren

I want it to be the America that we came to.

To raise our family, to build a new life.

I want it to be “America the beautiful”, the beacon of the world.

The shiny city on the hill.

And I thought about current events, the face of America under the current regime.

Who are we? How do you define an American?

What is America’s national identity?

I am looking at my relatives, my friends.

Americans.

The microcosm of the world.

America is exceptional because it represents the World.

And it is beautiful, it shows the way, the future for humanity.

It is young, energetic, colorful, open.

And we need to do all we can to keep it this way.

To not allow the dark, rigid and hateful side of America to take ower.

New populism and preservation of identity.

There is a wave of populism washing over the world. From the Philippines to Brazil, from Hungary to US, populists got into power on promises to save their country’s national identity.

But let’s take a look at history. Great civilizations, powerful empires. Where are they? Check the history of any nation. For how long does any nation exist in its present form, language? Babylonians, Philistines, Incas, Mayans – where are they?

Nothing is forever. The world is changing, population moves around. The Earth is changing constantly. Societies are changing and people move. And that is how it should be.

As many as half of the world’s 7,000 languages are expected to be extinct by the end of this century; it is estimated that one language dies out every 14 days. Endangered languages, much like endangered species of plants or animals, are on the brink of extinction. Apr 15, 2013 https://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/List_of_extinct_languages

And it is inevitable as the world becomes smaller. What race, what nationality is America, Canada, Australia? How about the EU?

It is a tide populists and racists (same) will not be able to stop. History, reality is against them. Global economy, the internet, social media, transportation and climate change will mix up the planet population and no wall will stop it.

So let’s embrace it. The brave new world. Children are born without hate. Children don’t know races, religious differences. Children do not have preconceptions. We adults teach our children. And then they go into the world. And many discard these biases, these preconceptions. They, our children, accept the world, accept each other without hate and bias. They, the new generation, will build the better world.

I hope.

They will lead.

This World Is Ours

The world is disintegrating around me.
Ignorance, hate and fear are rising like poisonous fog, creeping, enveloping all.
And I am unable to be just an impartial observer. It is not who I am.
And it shows, my friends can see it in me.
Take it easy they keep telling me. Everything will be fine. Eventually.
Eventually is not good enough.

I am going about daily business as if nothing changed, nothing is wrong.

But I feel uneasy.

The storm is coming and I feel empty and heavy at the same time.

The uncertainty, it creeps in my heart.

This anticipation, expectation of something,

Something awful.

Maybe it is just paranoia?

The world is disintegrating around me.

Ignorance, hate and fear are rising like poisonous fog, creeping, enveloping all.

And I am unable to be just an impartial observer. It is not who I am.

And it shows, my friends can see it in me.

Take it easy they keep telling me. Everything will be fine. Eventually.

Eventually is not good enough.

I think many now can feel this dark primal fear around.

Fear is the companion of hate.

Ignorance feeds fear and fear breeds hate.

Only we humans are capable of hate, blood thirsty hate toward our fellow humans.

Continue reading “This World Is Ours”

Invasive Species

There could be many causes of extinction. Killer virus, meteorites, infertility or wars.
Are we humans capable to come to our senses and survive?
I give us 50/50 chance. And if we vanish from the face of the Earth no living thing will miss us.

Humans.

Humanity footprint
Destroying our home planet

Invasive species: “animals, plants or other organisms introduced by man into places out of their natural range of distribution, where they become established and disperse, generating a negative impact on the local ecosystem and species.” And a 2004 paper in Diversity and Distributions that examines the terminology of invasiveness notes that there is a lack of consensus on this topic and lists five dominant definitions for ‘invasive,’ the most popular of which is “widespread that have adverse effects on the invaded habitat.”
Read more:
http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/are-humans-an-invasive-species-42999965/#67GjHJStkA1H1lps.99

One time I was playing a computer game where you, the player, create the planet’s ecology and are trying to make a sustainable ecological system. In this game humans are listed under “natural disaster”.

I have been thinking about our place on this planet and lately came to the conclusion that we humans are the invasive species killing off everything living on Earth.

That the planet would be better off without us.

Forests
Humanity footprint

Now, scientists say, the Earth is on the brink of a sixth “mass extinction event.” Only this time, the culprit isn’t a massive asteroid impact or volcanic explosions or the inexorable drifting of continents. It’s us.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/06/22/the-earth-is-on-the-brink-of-a-sixth-mass-extinction-scientists-say-and-its-humans-fault/

There is plenty of information on the extent of the damage we humans have inflicted on our planet. Disappearing rain forests.

Extinction of animal species. A report by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has found that populations of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish have declined on average of 52 per cent in the last 40 years.

And for freshwater creatures the situation is even bleaker, with population collapse of more than three quarters over the same period.

Almost the entire decline is down to human activity, through habitat loss, deforestation, climate change, over-fishing and hunting.

Anyone born in 1970 or before would have lived in a world teeming with animals compared to life today. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/wildlife/11129163/Half-of-worlds-animals-have-disappeared-since-1970.html

We humans are so proud of our accomplishments…science, the arts, philosophy.

Humans are sending spaceships to other planets and are dreaming about going to the stars.

Extinction
Only humans

And yet we are not able to save our home planet. Selfishness, greed, ignorance, hate and apathy are ruling our species. None of these attributes are associated with other life forms on Earth.

Only humans are capable of killing their own species for so many “reasons” that are invented by humans. Religion, race, natural resources and many other excuses human species use to fight and kill each other.

We are deeply flawed creatures. Any scientific advances are being used first and foremost on inventing new ways of destruction.

There is a natural delicate ecological balance of life forms on Earth. The only exception – humans. Why are we here? Was Mother Nature aware of what will become of us humans? Do we have reason, logic and intelligence just to use it against ourselves and our planet? Is there a future for our species?

Is Darwinism working on a planetary scale?

Nature will be better without people.
Humans are gone. Finally.

There have got to be millions of habitable worlds even in our Galaxy. But is there a critical time in evolution when most intelligent species die out? Are we humans at that threshold presently? 

There could be many causes for extinction…a killer virus, meteorites, infertility or wars.

Are we humans capable of coming to our senses and surviving?

I give us a 50/50 chance.

And if we vanish from the face of the Earth, no living thing will miss us.

To confront a bully.

Leading up to World War II, Germany, under the leadership of Adolf Hitler, participated in many aggressive actions which violated the Treaty of Versailles. France and Great Britain, in an attempt to maintain peace in Europe so soon after The Great War, gave in to many of Germany’s demands and actions.

To antagonize: to cause (someone) to feel hostile or angry; to irritate or upset (someone)

And that is exactly what Russia is doing now.

Putin Uses Ukraine, Iran to Antagonize the West

By continually testing the global community with his actions in Ukraine, Putin has shown to the world that the West is not willing to help Ukraine defend itself. Though the United States and the European Union have tried to inflict economic pain on Russia in the form of sanctions, for Putin, these measure don’t go far enough.

http://www.thetakeaway.org/story/putin-pursues-energy-relationships-china-and-iran/

But the West is afraid to antagonize Putin

Other U.S. and NATO military officials, though, are wary of antagonizing the Kremlin. Speaking Thursday at an alliance gathering in Brussels, U.S. Air Force Gen. Philip Breedlove, NATO’s top commander, said delivering weapons to Ukraine “could trigger a more strident reaction from Russia.”

NATO member Poland offered this week to provide arms to Ukraine. Merkel, however, has argued that the conflict needs more diplomatic intervention, not more guns. Hollande, in a stop to Russian President Vladimir Putin, said before embarking on the trip with Merkel that he opposed NATO membership for Ukraine.

http://www.sentinelsource.com/mcclatchy/in-kiev-western-officials-press-ukraine-russia-to-end-conflict/article_82f8a81d-6472-576d-862d-82abf5882903.html

The West tried to appease Hitler before WWII

Leading up to World War II, Germany, under the leadership of Adolf Hitler, participated in many aggressive actions which violated the Treaty of Versailles. France and Great Britain, in an attempt to maintain peace in Europe so soon after The Great War, gave in to many of Germany’s demands and actions. The policy of giving in to Germany’s demands in order to maintain peace was known as appeasement. http://www2.maxwell.syr.edu/plegal/history/pattonwq1.htm

The appeasement failed. The European cowardliness resulted in WWII and millions of lives lost. 
Putin Rejects Attempts to Contain Russia After Peace Talks Fail. 

Merkel, in a speech at the Munich meeting, repeated her opposition to supplying weapons to Ukraine. “The progress Ukraine needs won’t be achieved with more weapons. I have a lot of doubts,” she said.
http://investmentwatchblog.com/peace-talks-fail-russian-president-vladimir-putin-rejects-attempts-to-contain-russia-after-peace-talks-fail/#0AED7rJ1Zrm5VlBm.99

If Europe, the US and the rest of the civilized world will not stop Russia now it will embolden Putin to even more reckless behavior.

Every time Putin escalates the bullying and Europe does nothing practically ensures the bullying to continue. And increases the possibility of the big war between NATO and Russia.

Unopposed
A bully

Never Lose Hope

A terrible summer of wars and violence is continuing. Russian – Ukrainian conflict, the Middle East in turmoil, the flight MH17 tragedy. Humanity continuous path to self distraction

This has been written over 3 years ago but I think this article is as relevant today as it was then. Different country, another conflict but really nothing changed. Nothing. Violence and wars and blood.  Over and over again. For as long as humanity exists. Why is that in order to exist humans have to be at each other throats all the time. No other animal does this. It seems that most of the energy and ingenuity of people is directed on better ways to kill each other. And yet there is always hope. It has to be. Otherwise life would be impossible. As I am reading this old letter and as I am writing this foreword I do hope that some day, some distant day humanity will grow up and stop the madness.
I STILL HOPE.
Some thoughts about current and not so current events

The forces of light and darkness
Dawn

This war will never end. This war began with the creation of the Universe.

It is the eternal war of two opposites.

Call it the forces of Light and Darkness, Life and Death, Love and Hate.

The forces of light represent progress, advancement and growth.

The forces of dark – regression, death and entropy.

The Entropy and Regression are older, more probable states of the Universe.

The moment the forces of Light become complacent, relax, look the other way the Darkness advances, gets stronger.

We are at that stage now

Terrorism is like a dark poisonous cloud that creeps around the world slowly advancing and filling every available void.

The Evil is evolving, adapting, changing. It creeps up on the unsuspecting world filling every void created by absence of forces of Light.

It is filling Afganistan, Iraq, Africa, Lebanon, Gaza, Europe.

Yet the world does nothing

It is not enough to destroy the darkness. One has to replace it with light, fill the void.

There can not be Gray. If the forces of Light do not fill the void, the darkness comes in.

Israel can not do it alone.

America cannot do it alone

Europe cannot do it alone (not that it is trying)

Because the forces of dark are always ready to fill the void.

When the Israelis left Lebanon 6 years ago they left the void. The world did nothing to fill the void.

The Darkness came in.

Unless the forces of Light and Life unite, the forces of Dark and Death will win.

In supporting the oppressive regimes around the world we are just delaying the inevitable.

These regimes will explode. Dictatorships always crush.  Meanwhile there are undercurrents of anger, frustration and opposition that in many cases become violent and directed toward America. There is a price we pay for supporting dictators and being on the wrong side of history. Always.

So maybe this time we got a little smarter handling crisis in Egypt and Tunisia.

Smarter by not invading or forcing the outcome.

Smarter by being on the right side of history.

My old article from 2008.

There are many forces that are involved in shaping the future of our planet
I just thought I would try to put some sense into what is going on and what may happen in the near future. I may be too pessimistic and you are welcome to disagree. But the purpose of this letter is not to make you feel good but to face reality.

I found my old article from 2008 and just wanted to see if it is still relevant today.
Text in red is current.
About Peace and Oil 01.11.08
There are many forces that are involved in shaping the future of our planet
I just thought I would try to put some sense into what is going on and what may happen in the near future. I may be too pessimistic and you are welcome to disagree. But the purpose of this letter is not to make you feel good but to face reality.

It seems like the whole world is falling apart.  It’s as if a giant spring is tightening more and more until the moment when it will release with destructive force unraveling our civilization.

– The world is facing an escalating conflict with militant Islam.

– Russia is rapidly moving to the all too familiar totalitarian regime based this time on Russian nationalism.  Why does Germany come to mind?
– China is moving toward a strange society almost from an alternative history in some Sci-Fi stories; an incompatible combination of dictatorship    and private enterprise.
– Pakistan is on the brink of becoming a theocracy with nuclear weapons in its possession.
– The Middle East is an unstable set of tribal societies put together by colonialists and ruled by kings and warlords.
– Africa is a lost continent ruined by colonialism and Western civilization.
– Europe with its deep-rooted snobbism is in real danger of being ruled by Sharia law.
– And what about our country?
The way things are going in our country, we will lose our democracy in no time and we won’t even know what hit us.
Just wonderful.  Yes – and Global Warming on top of that.

Can things get any worse?  Yes.  If we sit like a frog in hot water and do nothing.  Or if a giant meteorite hits the Earth.

So what is going on?
Let us start with what we call Democratic countries.
Europe.  The main danger is the Muslim immigrants who feel like second class citizens and are not allowed to integrate into European societies. As the Muslim population in Europe grows and becomes more violent, Europeans elect more and more conservative governments.  And the
public becomes less tolerant to immigrants.  That in turn will increase the Muslim hostilities toward the population from inside and outside Europe.  Eventually that will leave Europeans with difficult choices:  to expel Muslims or to succumb to Sharia law.
But Europe needs energy…oil currently.  So Europeans are trying to appease the oil-rich regimes such as Iran, Russia and the Arab countries. In Europe, side by side with the European Union, nationalistic tendencies are growing, especially in Eastern Europe.  And as a result hostilities between Christian and Muslim populations are growing.
Continue reading “My old article from 2008.”

Let’s Celebrate.

Our whole family was watching the opening of the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. What a great show! Fantasy, imagination and technology working together. I am sure Russians are proud and happy that the Games are in their country.


peaceful competition
Winter Olympics.


Opening cremony
Beautiful presentation

Our whole family was watching the opening of the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. What a great show! Fantasy, imagination and technology working together. I am sure Russians are proud and happy that the Games are in their country.
I read and hear a lot in our media about the problems: Unfinished hotels and toilet paper issue and twin toilets in a stall.
But we were watching the Grand Opening spectacle and the athletes walking in the stadium. Young smiling so excited and happy. Happy to be here in Sochi and so proud to represent their country. 88 countries big and small. Some represented by just one athlete, some with over two hundred. But I could feel a powerful unifying force present here in this grand stadium. 
I am not sure how to name this feeling. The World getting together to celebrate the spirit of peaceful competition. Not with enemies - with peers. Proudly representing their countries, wearing different outfits and yet so similar. Young, happy, excited, beautiful. And that's how it should be.
One world. Our world. Our only home.

Sport unites
Beautiful

Happy Olympians
We are all one


A Tale about Intelligent Species

So, during this short moment of the Universe’s time, these intelligent species are busy killing each other and killing their little planet in order to become more important, meaning they will be able to kill more of their fellow humans. And that is how this circle of life continues. And the question comes up: Why do these species consider themselves intelligent?

Large scale structure of the Universe.
Mysterious

In the infinitely dark and mysterious Universe–somewhere in one of the billions of galaxy clusters in an insignificant region of the Universe–there is an ordinary galaxy. Humans call it the Milky Way.

Somewhere on the outskirts of this ordinary galaxy is an ordinary star. Humans call it the Sun. There are a few little specks of dirt rotating around this insignificant star, held by its gravitational field.

On one of the smaller specks rotating around the Sun, the dead matter, for reasons not yet fully understood, became organized, or self-organized. The dead matter became alive. It started to reproduce and change. Humans call this life.

Intelligent species

Eventually, due to strange circumstances, some forms of this live matter got an advantage and in time became dominant. And in a few short moments, by the Universe’s measure of time, some of these forms became self-aware. Humans call this ability “intelligence.”

So, that is how, unknown and invisible in this infinitely mysterious Universe, a little speck of dust became populated with intelligent species–Humans. In a few moments of Galactic time, humans invented tools that help them to survive and multiply. But most of all these tools helped these intelligent species to kill each other. The more humans killed each other, the more important they became in their eyes, and some of them who killed more became even more important.

Humans kill each other in name of God
Intelligent Species

As humans built better tools that helped them to survive, they killed more and more of their fellow humans. And, the most important of humans could kill thousand and millions of their own species.

So, on this insignificant, almost invisible speck of dust, the so-called intelligent form of matter became very busy killing each other and killing the other life forms that provide humans with means to survive. And, as some humans became more and more important (meaning, they could kill more other humans), they had less time to ponder on the mysteries of the great Universe. These humans were preoccupied with just one thing – how to become even more important, meaning to have more power over other humans’ life.

But considering that tools helped humans to survive and multiply even faster then they could kill each other, human species infested the whole little planet they call Earth. And this little planet Earth got sick.

In the name of God

But the species, humans, were too busy fighting each other over many important things, like who is more important and whose God is more important–and by “God” they meant some entity that created the whole infinite, mysterious Universe just for them, humans. And this entity, this God, follows closely every human who lives on this little planet on the outskirts of an ordinary Galaxy. And this God, according to humans, checks how they dress, what they eat and how many other humans they kill in the name of this God.

So, during this short moment of the Universe’s time, these intelligent species are busy killing each other and killing their little planet in order to become more important,

What have we done?!

meaning they will be able to kill more of their fellow humans.

And that is how this circle of life continues.

And the question comes up: Why do these species consider themselves intelligent?