Friday, Feb. 23, 2024 |
Share this story
On Putin’s war against democracy
This is a new series of articles about the complex Putin-Ukraine situation. The first series focused on the historical background. Kaua‘i is the perfect place to tell what is occurring far away, especially since we learned on Sunday, March 13, that Elena Branson, aka Elena Cherykh, a suspected KGB agent, was operating on Kaua‘i.
War is the greatest game of all. To understand the Ukrainian war, we must clear the game table of as much emotion as possible. There will not be a nuclear war. Putin is bluffing, says President Zelenskyy, and I agree. Unless NATO and America (the Allies) make tragic mistakes, there will not be World War III. To date, the Allies are playing the game correctly. Chemical or biological weapons will not be used.
It is almost impossible to set aside the humanitarian emotions stirred by the Ukrainian war. I am not immune to these emotions, but to explain what is occurring, I must.
Who are the players in this game? Russia, China, the Allies, and Zelenskyy, who represents democracy in Ukraine. Why is China a player?
Putin and Xi Jinping know how America wages some wars. It is by economic sanctions. Examples: Roosevelt’s economic sanctions of Japan in June-July 1941; America’s economic war on Iran. Both countries have prepared for the economic war by treaties/agreements.
Russian assets worth $77 billion are in China. There are trade agreements between the countries for transit of Russian oil and natural gas into and through China. (Western Europe imports Russian natural gas.) There are other financial arrangements involving credit and ATM cards. Despite all sanctions, as long as China is supportive of Putin, he can make war in the Ukraine.
Propaganda. I have explained its use. Before the Ukraine war, Putin pushed propaganda on the Russian people. It is not war, but “…an operation to eliminate the Nazis and drug dealers in the government of the Ukraine.”
Russian agents/collaborators are in the Ukraine today. (News: March 5, 2022, Denis Kireev, member of the Ukraine delegation negotiating with Russia on the Ukraine war was executed by the SBU, Ukraine version of KGB, for treason). These agents spread propaganda about the war in the Ukraine.
Propaganda is not limited to Europe. It exists in America. It is the KGB way to undermine our will to fight Russia. Propaganda ploy: “40,000,000 Russians killed by Nazis in World War II. Ukrainians collaborated with the Nazis. The war is against Nazis and drug dealers.” KGB agents operate in America to convince some of us that Russians are good people.
Propaganda in China. “40,000,000 Russians killed in WWII. NATO has Nazi invaders of Russia. Putin is protecting his country from invaders. Putin is our ally against America.”
Propaganda in NATO. “Soviet Russia took over our countries after World War II. Putin’s goal is to bring the former Soviet Union back.”
Putin’s game plan: end the democratic movement in the Ukraine, exhibited by the current SBU and President Zelenskyy. Return power to the corrupt SBU, which will align with Russian interests and oppose NATO.
European history, especially Russian history, is a murky jungle. It is cloaked in intrigue, assassinations, poisons, spies, torture, terror and prison sentences. Europe has drawn America into two world wars. We must not be seduced into a third.
The SBU mentioned above is the Ukraine counterpart of the Soviet Union KGB. It was created on Jan. 14, 1918, when the newly formed “Ukrainian Peoples Republic” founded a security service to protect its sovereignty.
William J. Fernandez is a retired judge and Kapa‘a resident.
With all the inflation, a few things remain unscathed
Inflation is so bad a local food truck got rid of their mayonnaise tip jar and replaced it with a 5-gallon water jug! This is a joke I made up to ease the stress of what’s happening in the world.
You may blame it on the supply chain, you may blame it on the shutdown of the XL pipeline, you may blame it on the pandemic, the Russians, or you could blame it on Joe Biden. No matter who you blame it on, inflation is at an all-time high.
Gas is at an all-time high. Go to the supermarket and your favorite foods are nearly double what they were a year ago. The Kapa‘a farmers’ market that used to be a deal in the past, selling papayas at $1 to $1.50 each, is now selling them at three for $10. I like to joke with the local vendor and say those are the “Joe Biden variety” of papayas. I always manage to get a laugh out of him. I imagine it’s more a courtesy laugh since I am a customer and he’s being polite. I don’t believe he understands my humor and sarcasm, just as many of you reading this.
What I do find refreshing amongst all the changes and record-high inflation is the few things that have remained unscathed.
You can still after over 25 years purchase a 1/4-pound, all-beef hot dog with a refillable soft drink at Costco for $1.50. You can also purchase in-store their famous rotisserie chicken for $4.99, and to boot those chickens are the size of small turkeys.
The other store I’d like to recognize is Safeway. They still feature “$5 Fridays” where you can purchase depending on what’s on the circular for that week anything from meatloaf, eight pieces of fried chicken, four pieces of pollack, one pound of chicken tenders, one pound of chicken wings, roasted whole chickens and, my all-time favorite which they have every week, $5 sushi.
When you intentionally sell a product below its market cost as part of your pricing strategy, it’s called a “loss leader.” Loss-leader pricing is used to stimulate sales of more-profitable products or services. Therefore, by getting customers in the door, the store hopes to sell more-profitable items. Why do you think Costco has the rotisserie chickens at the very rear end of the store? You must pass through hundreds of tempting items before you get there! I love the loss-leader concept. Just be careful to not get sucked in.
I am thankful for those things that have not changed, Mahalo nui to Safeway and Costco for keeping prices down and even selling some of their products below cost to get valued customers in the doors.
Last but not least, many like to criticize the corporate world. However, the corporate world has managed to make life affordable, and they also manage to hire local people. In these days of double-digit inflation and climbing daily, it’s important to shop for the best deal, whether in the big-box store, Amazon or in the ma-and-pa corner store.
COVID has taught us many things which can help during this upcoming recession of inflated prices of everything. Try using telemedicine with your doctor appointments whenever possible to save time on the road and the high cost of transportation and gas. Become an Amazon Prime member and get free shipping on all your orders on any item you buy delivered right to your door. You don’t need to drive to the store for every little item you need.
Finally, let’s not forget our friends at the fast-food franchises. For me, they are the only places I still can afford to eat out at. Did someone say, “Two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame-seed bun?”
James “Kimo” Rosen, Kapa‘a
I received a notice from the CDC. It stated that because of the daily ongoing high gas prices, it is better to wear your mask over your entire face before pumping gas.
Steve Martin, Wailua
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
By participating in online discussions you
acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful
discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments
are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines,
send us an email.