By Karl Spain
I love this time of year because I like to watch professional football and nothing is better than playoff football. Of course, I could be happier because I’m a Redskins fan. I used to laugh at those long suffering fans they make movies about like the Cubs and Red Sox fans and I used to think, “Why not just switch teams?”
I mean really, what’s the big deal, why do people stick with a loser for decades, even a lifetime of losing? Then Danny (Daniel) Snyder bought the Redskins and over the years we’ve had a team; where I didn’t like the owner, the name of the team, the coaches, the general managers and even some players (in that order of declining disgust) and yet I still loved the team, watched them, scrounged tickets where I could — and cheered heartily when we beat Dallas — regardless of how else the rest of the season is going — a caveat I’ve had to lean on a lot in recent years.
The bottom line is, our team is our team.
Doesn’t really matter if you have to wear a bag over your head or not at the games, it’s better to belong to something, anything; a family, a company, a country, a religion, even a gang — than to face this world alone. Not wanting to spend the big playoff weekend alone I invited a friend of mine, Gorby, over for chips and dip. Naturally our discussion strayed east as the teams made their way north and south up and down the field.
Russia is in big trouble.
Putin gambled that he could invade Ukraine, swallow it whole like he did the Crimea (and 2 or 3 other little states recently) and the world wouldn’t notice. That was a huge miscalculation since a brave group of Ukrainian patriots, Germany, the U.S., and some other key other European allies have basically shut down Russia’s economy in the last 6 months, literally thrown it from a vigorous growth state into a state of confusion and contraction, and such an unpredendented feat is not an insignificant event.
The effort was aided of course, by a worldwide demand and supply imbalance in the oil markets, which has crushed Putin’s cash flow, effectively throwing him from a cash flow positive position of $100 Billion per year down to $100 Billion negative.
Now comes the real problem.
How to separate the actions of the U.S. and German governments toward Putin from their actions which will hurt the Russian people, maybe for 25 years.
And that’s assuming a non-nuclear outcome. I know what you’re thinking; can’t we all just go back to thinking about football? People shouldn’t even talk about stupid stuff like nuclear war.
Usually I agree with that. But the following little quote is from Reuters, reprinting a long interview with former USSR head Mikhail Gorbachev, who has gotten vocal lately about the ongoing Ukrainian situation.
“A war of this kind (conventional war in Ukraine) would unavoidably lead to a nuclear war,” the 1990 Nobel Peace Prize winner told Der Spiegel.
“We won’t survive the coming years if someone loses their nerve in this overheated situation,” added Gorbachev, 83. “This is not something I’m saying thoughtlessly. I am extremely concerned.” Reuters.
Russia’s currency crisis, looming GDP crisis, concurrent political and border crisis is identical to the world situation in Europe before both world wars.
People forget the Germans didn’t start WWII by themselves, the Russians invaded Poland from the west just 2 weeks after Hitler attacked from the east, all of this by pre-agreement of course.
That’s right, the Russians planned the start of WWII with the Germans and only ended up on our side because Hitler stabbed them in the back and invaded Russia after Poland fell like a leaf from a tree in fall.
Hitler and Stalin were truly a pair.
The big thing is, the Germans, the Russians, the Americans, we’re all just people, sometimes led well, other times by idiots.
We remembered that at the end of WWII — and today Germany and Japan are both strong allies.
We need to communicate that same message to Putin and the Russian people today.
We aren’t the enemy and we can prove it.
We need to let our foot off the Russian economy as the first down payment on that statement. According to Gorbachev, the man who took down the Iron Curtain, the lives we save may be our own.
O.K., I’ll talk football, I don’t see any way Seattle doesn’t win it all this year, they’re monsters. Oh, and one more football thing, the Redskins should change their name to the Bravehearts. I’m not sure how to get rid of our owner, I’m just glad he doesn’t have nukes, because I’m pretty sure if he heard the fans talking regime change around him, he’d nuke us all.