Hijabs and Fertility

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On September 16th, Mahsa Amini, a 22 y/o woman of Kurdish origin, was detained in Tehran by the Morality Police, an outfit dedicated to enforcing strict adherence to the religious mandate of wearing head scarves and robes. She was visiting the city with her family. She died later that day while in custody. Physical abuse while in detention is suspected.
Long repressed resentment has led to protests and many dead across Iran.
Women have seized the moment to go on the offensive and reject the religious strictures aimed at suppressing their femininity. They have taken to publicly burning their hijabs or head scarves. Many have been incarcerated.
Yesterday, a NYT article reported that Iran’s top leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in a speech at a police academy graduation, blamed foreign interference for the disturbances. He cited the US and Israel, along with paid Iranian traitors as the main culprits. Videos on Twitter show scenes of people shot and of protesters at Sharif university, a technology center in Tehran.
But he never mentioned the effect the battle for freedom in Ukraine is having on Iranian women. Never mentioned the drones that Iran is selling Russia so they can more effectively kill Ukrainians.
Iranian women, long fed up with the regime’s repression, want freedom too.
They want their freedom to be women. Why should the gifts that nature gave them be covered up?
Why? To suppress their sexuality? Yes. To hide their looks and the power they have over men? Yes.
Women have reason to be angry that they are denied the option of showing their bodies. Apparently, the regime believes that would be too unsettling for Iranian men.
Allowing women to show their bodies is seen as too disruptive by the theocracy in power.
What will they want next? Political power? NO!
They must be kept in their places, under the control of men. Doing what religion says they ought to do. Bear children and be quiet.
And in a city square somewhere in Iran, I can hear the cry of a proud Iranian woman addressing a crowd of supporters, both women and men, as a bonfire sparkles and crackles before her.
‘It is up to us to change the rules that govern us, up to us women, because we are the most oppressed.’
She has her hijab in one hand as she steps forward and throws it into the bonfire.
Cheers rise from the audience. Some of the women in the audience step up to the bonfire and toss their hijabs into it also.
‘This fight is just starting… so what can we do to make our statement and improve our condition?’ continues the speaker.
And all the women raise their fists and start chanting, ‘Free Iranian women!’
And the speaker says, ‘We need to do something radical to gain our freedom… so let us all stop having sex!’
People in the audience laugh, at first incredulous, asking themselves, is she serious?
‘Yes’, resumes the speaker, ‘Let us stop having sex, even if you’re married. Stop. In the name of freedom. Stop. All women should say, we will not have sex and will not bear children until we are free to be who we are!’
‘Woman power!’ resume the chant from the audience, now more vigorous.
Some of the men in attendance laugh at first, but then slowly start joining in.
‘It has come to that point…’ restarts the speaker, ‘that we have to deny our nation a new generation… until such time as all of us women are granted our freedom.
To control us is unacceptable. The profound disregard for us have shown the ayatollahs to be inept. They should go back to their temples, get on their knees and ask god where was it that they went wrong.
So as difficult as it may seem, I ask that all Iranian women choose chastity… and deny our nation the option of fertility… for it is not a given.
For a woman to be fertile she must be respected… and we are not respected in our land.’
‘Woman power!’ resumes the chant from the audience. ‘Woman power!’
‘Long live Iran!’ cries the speaker, ‘and long live Ukraine… blessed nation and inspirer of people all over the world.’
Applause.
Then a gun shot rings in the night.

Oscarvaldes.medium.com

Putin on the Progress of the War

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He is in one of his vacation homes, a hilly, secluded area heavily guarded by a top security team.
He strolls in the open field behind it accompanied by his faithful dog. Putin carries a short stick in his hands.
In the near distance, a small lake glistens invitingly. It’s early morning.
Much has been happening in the battlefields of Ukraine and he needed to step back.
They walk by a small stable with three horses that lies to their left.
A short distance past they reach the lake. He sits on a rock, facing the water, and looks off pensively into the distance. It’s a bit cold and windy and he’s wearing a heavy jacket. The dog has a thick fur coat.

Putin – It’s not going well. I underestimated the West. Overestimated the resolve of my forces.
But it’s not over.

The dog lies down on the ground.

Putin – I’ve been surprised by the reaction to my calling up the reservists. People leaving Russia every way they can. But I’m putting a stop to it. Three hundred thousand men should help in the short run. I worry, though, that many will die, that they won’t be a match for the battle-hardened Ukrainians, which is why I’ve started to talk about using nuclear weapons.
It unnerves the West.
Would I use them? Not if Russia’s territorial integrity is not breached. I’m not including occupied Ukrainian land, even from 2014 on.
I still have the support of my people, but I won’t deceive myself about a growing resistance. Like the car explosion that blew up Aleksandr Dugin’s daughter… and now the bombing of the Nordstream pipeline. We put a lot of money into it. Those bombs were set off by insiders who want me out. But we’re investigating and we’ll get them.
I need time. I am hoping the results of the mid term elections in America will help. If enough supporters of Trump get in, then the aid Congress has authorized to help Ukraine could be blocked. And Biden’s allies in Europe will complain. I’m not sure Biden can keep them together.

The dog whimpers and Putin pats him.

Putin – Winter is almost here, the rains are coming and that’ll slow things on the battlefield, which buys me time.
The assault on the Capitol on January 6th (2021) was my signal to invade. I’d been thinking about it all along but that clinched it. I thought, look how weak they are… how divided. I already knew how decadent they are… how they shoot each other all the time… how they rip each other apart over abortion and immigration… how so many of their people die from drug overdoses… and they pretend to be the leader of the world. They love to glorify themselves, ‘exceptionalism’ they call it. Ha!
And yet… they managed to surprise me… managed to pull themselves together when I threatened to invade Ukraine, a far away land. Now, that is exceptional.
I never imagined that someone, who I thought was a second rate politician who couldn’t stop talking, had the nerve to pull Europe together. I should’ve taken the hint when he chose to pull out of Afghanistan against fierce criticism. I missed that.
But I’m still hopeful that I can beat back Ukraine. Bomb all their energy producing facilities… leave them without any electricity… without any potable water… destroy all their dams… their hospitals… everything… bomb and bomb… until they get on their knees and beg to surrender.

The dog whimpers again, looks up at Putin, who rubs his head.

Putin – I need Republicans to win back both houses… not just any Republicans but those who take instructions from Mar-A-Lago. That’s what will make a difference in supporting Ukraine. They’ll protest that Ukraine is too far away and they need those funds to battle immigration… to help their own… and get back to finishing the wall facing Mexico. Those are my allies in America, the Right. The farther right the better. And I will have my cyber security experts do everything possible to inflame the immigration issue… make clear how those devils are harming America, how it’s the immigrants who are responsible for the country’s decadence. Ha! If they only could get rid of them they would be wholesome again. And inflation, that too, even though theirs is lower than England’s and Europe’s, that could be worked up, blame it on the incompetence of a senile president who’s leading them to destruction.
If I can get congress to reduce their support of Ukraine, that will be the signal for Europe to back off and push Ukraine to negotiate instead. And we’ll get Erdogan from Turkey to moderate the talks.

Thinking aloud has made him feel better.

Putin – Yes, there’s hope. I won’t be defeated. I mustn’t forget that I have friends in the West, people who like autocrats… who are tired of democracy and its constant fights… people who prefer to have permanence… prefer to have one president who can stay in power until he dies… like I’d like to… and like Xi Jinping would like to… and like Modi in India would like to, also. It simplifies our existence. Permanence, stability, they are beautiful.
As far as the nuclear weapons is concerned… if you don’t violate my territorial integrity, I’ll never fire them. They have weapons too… and once the firing starts, anything could go wrong… and my dear Russia could be burned to a crisp. Me included.

His dog stands.

Putin – Washington, you want some exercise?

The dog licks his hand. Putin stands and throws the stick far into the lake.

Putin – Go get it! Go!

And the dog runs off, jumping into the cold waters and paddling away in search of the stick.

Putin – As to Biden, I wish I’d had the chance to shine like he has. What a moment he’s living. To have pulled together Europe against the invasion. Now that’s glorious. But in a sign of their growing decadence, Americans are not giving him credit. They can’t see it. Instead, they want to defeat him in the mid term elections on account of inflation… and immigration.
On that they’re showing little imagination… showing their decadence… which is great for me.

And he shouts out to his dog, ‘Go Washington, go!’

Oscarvaldes.medium.com

Hate Russia?

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Two old friends, Pete and Sandy, get together for breakfast at a diner in Greenville, South Carolina.

Pete – Heard about the two doctors who got charged with conspiracy?
Sandy – No, I didn’t.
Pete – Read about it yesterday. They were working at a military base, I think in Virginia, and they contacted the Russian embassy offering to help.
Sandy – Oops.
Pete – Well, our intelligence services found out and had an undercover agent interview them. One of them was willing to provide medical records of soldiers to Russia to see if they could use them.
Sandy – That would’ve been the start…
Pete – It came out that they were disturbed by the hatred for Russia here in the US.
Sandy – How old are they?
Pete – Late thirties.
Sandy – Amazing. Do you hate Russia?
Pete – I don’t. I’m angry at them. Angry that they let themselves be bamboozled by Putin.
Sandy – It goes back to the implosion of the Soviet Union during Gorbachev… and their feeling diminished in the world stage as a result. Putin slowly worked up that sentiment… stoking hopes that one day they’d get it all back.
Pete – But they’d have to surrender their freedom.
Sandy – Something similar is happening in China today. Surrender your freedom today and one day – sometime in the future – we’ll be on top of the world.
Pete – But you won’t get your freedom back.

They laugh.

Sandy – Once given, it’s gone. You have to fight for it to get it back.
Like you, I am angry at Russians… how the majority has gone along with the massacring of Ukrainians. But they are waking up. The massive exodus of people wanting to avoid the draft has stung Putin. Yet he still has his supporters.
Pete – When will they get angry enough to remove Putin is the question, because they’re sure taking their sweet time.
Sandy – It’s going to take a while because they’ve identified with him… letting him sink his claws into them, as they yearned to be great again… even though other nations were passing them by in terms of economic growth. The US, China, Japan, Germany, India, the UK, France, Brazil, Italy and Canada, all have greater GDPs than they do. And it has to hurt because they know they have the human capital to shine, in addition to an abundance of natural resources. But they couldn’t break away from the spell Putin had cast over them. ‘We will be great again,’ kept chanting the sorcerer in the Kremlin, just stick with me. And most Russians went along.
Pete – ‘We will be great gain.’ Maybe that’s where our own sorcerer got that from.
Sandy – Probably. He loves Putin.
Pete – I hope our people get that.
Sandy – I’m an optimist, I think they have.
Pete – I’m not so sure. With what we saw on January 6th (2021), a clear attempt of Trump’s to install himself for a second term, we should have all stood up as one person, livid with rage at the blatant abuse of power. But that didn’t happen. Instead, there was significant opposition to the creating of the congressional committee investigating the incident, and there are many, many Republicans still in awe of the man. So something is very wrong in America.
Sandy – Putin saw that and chose to invade.
Pete – It wasn’t Biden pulling out of Afghanistan which gave him the impetus, it was Trump’s behavior and the free pass he got from a large number of Americans.
Sandy – You’re angry, Pete.
Pete – I am. And in spite of the sad spectacle of Republicans in both houses waiting for instructions from the sorcerer in Mar-a-Lago, there’s the possibility Republicans may hold both houses after the midterm elections. I can’t believe it. While we pour money to support Ukrainians fighting for their freedom, many here at home have tried to look the other way when one of our own has tried to negate the results of fair elections.
Sandy – The dissonance is alarming.
Pete – Yet you still think the majority is getting it?
Sandy – I do.
Pete – Immigration is an issue that needs to be fixed. Both sides have to sit down and come to an agreement. But compared to Trump’s attempt to usurp power on January 6th, immigration is child’s play.
Sandy – Maybe our differences will have to become even sharper before we sit at the table to try and build bridges.
Pete – They’re sharp enough.
Sandy – Inflation was expected in the wake of all the financial support Americans got for covid, but now it’s being held against Biden. The big picture is not seen.
Pete – If Biden wants to help democrats win in the mid terms he needs to campaign against Trump, how the man is a Putin admirer, and then give himself due credit for his tremendous role in forging an alliance with European nations to push back Putin. He has to do that. That issue is his. Trump could never have done what Biden has.
Sandy – We have to educate the electorate…
Pete – Good luck on that.
Sandy – So, do we hate Russia?
Pete – Of course not… but courage has been in short supply in their land… so they have to get it back. Meanwhile, we have to be mindful that we don’t lose ours.

Oscarvaldes.medium.com

Dear Russian Military

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The time is now.
Now that Putin is scared of Ukraine’s mounting offensive and growing desperate that the exodus of Russians cries out loudly, ‘we don’t trust you, you’re destroying our nation, do not sacrifice our lives for your lies.’
If he had been sleeping well at night, that has changed.
That cry is haunting him and has opened a precious opportunity for you to act.
Russia has been underperforming as a nation for a long time. You know that.
And you can make a difference.
The world knows of Russia’s economic, intellectual and artistic capacities but yet the nation remains on the margins. There are various reasons for it but lack of sound leadership has been a key factor. It takes a little luck for nations to have good leaders. You have not had such luck.
After being dominated by the czars, the communists took over.
There was a very brief period in the late 1980s until 1991 when Gorbachev brightened your heavens, but then his star dimmed. Boris Yeltsin, who had the distinction of leading the protests that stopped the coup against Gorbachev, went on to make the horrible mistake of appointing Putin as prime minister in 1999.
But opportunities return. There is today a great opening for a courageous Russian military officer to lead the effort to depose Putin.
Your nation cannot and must not allow itself to be degraded the way Putin does.
Think of why you joined the military. If you joined to get a pension then stop reading this and go back to your crossword puzzle. But if you joined because you wanted to do something for your country then this is for you.
To seize the opportunity that is now before you, a great deal of courage is needed. It will not be easy. You will be risking your life and will need fellow officers to work in concert with you.
But the rewards will be enormous, for you will change the world.
You will have a chance to free millions of people, to change the present geopolitical balance and to remind the oppressed everywhere, that men and women of courage are here today and willing to step up in the hour of need.
Putin must be stopped. The West has done an excellent job forming a united front and supporting Ukraine. But it is not enough. We need you now.
Dear Russian military, we know you exist. There was the bombing death of a spokesperson for Russia’s Far Right a few weeks ago and just this last Monday, 9/26, the Nordstream pipeline was damaged by explosions that created 4 gas leaks. Maybe it came from you or maybe it didn’t, but both actions required very specific information.
I do not advocate violence against anyone, not even against Putin, for there are other ways that can be used to neutralize him.
But for you to remain passive in the face of the atrocities committed in the name of Russia, does not make any sense. It makes you a de facto accomplice. I am sure that was not why you joined the military.
Mikhail Gorbachev’s actions had a resoundingly positive worldwide impact. Germany is united today because of him. And though he subsequently ran into much resistance at home, I don’t think he should have chosen to voluntarily cede power to Yeltsin in 1991.
Such decisions can have enormous consequences.
And yet, the spirit of Gorbachev lives on. The light that he shone on the world can still be seen and is there to guide Russia and its courageous soldiers in the effort to remove Putin.
Open your hearts and minds and step up.
Now is the time to join with Ukraine in the quest for freedom.

Oscarvaldes.medium.com

Why a Nuclear Deal with Iran?

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Iran is not a good actor.
They’ve gone ahead with selling drones to Russia so it can kill more Ukrainians.
They have bombed our positions in Iraq.
They are strengthening their economic ties with Putin which aids in his aggression.
They’re in constant cyber warfare with Israel and recently launched destructive cyberattacks on Albania, a NATO nation.
They assist Assad in Syria with the brutal repression of its people.
They are violent participants in the strife in Lebanon, Gaza and Yemen.
Yet talks have resumed in an attempt to revive the nuclear deal that Trump had quit in 2018.
When that happened, sanctions were reinstated and that dampened significantly their economy.
The purpose behind the original agreement, drawn up with the US, France, Germany and other nations, was to delay Iran’s effort to enrich uranium so that such heavy metal would not reach the grade needed to produce a nuclear bomb.
Iran’s nuclear research was being closely monitored by international specialists who could certify the degree of uranium enrichment remained in compliance with the terms of the treaty.
But Trump didn’t trust them and pulled out of the deal. On that he was right.
When Biden became president, he opened talks to reinstate the agreement in the belief that diplomacy would work. (before the war started)
Sadly, it doesn’t look that way. The US, France, Germany and other nations have returned to the negotiating table willing to find a solution but Iran has not been cooperative. Given that, in the interim, Iran may have advanced toward their goal of obtaining the uranium they need to make the bomb, the West has insisted on inspection of their facilities to verify the level of uranium’s enrichment. Iran has declined. I can see why. They are likely very close to where they need to be but still want the benefits of reinstating the deal.
I used to think that while Israel was Israel, Iran would not have the bomb. I think differently now. Iran will get its bomb. They have been very diligent and creative about it. And while having the bomb would significantly raise the possibility of a confrontation with the Jewish state, we should also ask if having the bomb would act as a deterrent to avoid MAD, Mutually Assured Destruction. It could.
The fact that with a renewed deal Iran would again be able to sell its oil on the open market does not now appear to be a big incentive anymore. They have found ways to bypass the restrictions. For a while, in concert with Russia, they were helping the dictatorship in Venezuela sell their oil. And they now assist Russia in circumventing sanctions by taking deliveries of their crude on the Caspian Sea, then reselling it to other nations to the south.
There is another reason Iran returned to the bargaining table, perhaps the most important. The possibility that if the nuclear deal is reinstated, they would be eligible for a sizeable cash payment, likely in the order of billions of dollars, something apparently specified in the original deal.
But in light of their alliance with Russia, is that the right thing to do?
How can the West be paying Iran anything when they are selling drones to Russia to then kill Ukrainians?
Likewise with oil. It is immoral to be buying oil from a nation that uses those moneys to support Putin.
There will be voices who say, ‘well, with Iran selling us oil, we’ll have less of an energy shortage this winter, and who knows when the war will end? So, let’s deal.’
But they are wrong.
A big part of what has renewed our commitment to freedom in the West has been the morality of the Ukrainian cause. The strength of their heroism.
Putting up with some pain is part of the deal. Part of what gives strength to morality. An incentive to end this war as soon as possible and do so honorably.
‘No, you shall not tread on us,’ have said the Ukrainians, and that is a deeply moral cry.
We were not deaf to that cry and responded.
Iran’s alliance with Russia and their willingness to join in the massacring of Ukrainians is deeply immoral.
We should not count on Iranian oil to alleviate our problems. It is tainted oil.
There may be other reasons we have no knowledge of which may still lead to a deal.
But those reasons should be made public before anything is signed. And if there is outrage, let the outrage be heard.
Greater availability of oil should not be the driver of a new agreement. There is oil elsewhere.
We should pay nothing to Iranians, regardless of what was agreed to before, for they have become allies of Putin’s brutal regime and its actions to enslave another nation.

Oscarvaldes.medium.com

Yesterday, I saw a clip of Putin speaking to his country. He was angry. He said that representatives of NATO nations were threatening to use nuclear weapons on Russia and that’s why they had to be ready to fire their own nuclear weapons. And he reminded his audience, that their weapons were better. ‘More modern,’ he said. I played the clip back to make sure I heard it right. I had. No one has threatened Putin but inventing a threat will aid in recruiting the next 300 thousand soldiers he needs. Innocent men and women he will use as cannon fodder.
When will it stop?

Dear Russian

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Just learned that Putin has authorized that 300 thousand Russians be conscripted into the army. In other words, he’s giving you no choice. Just do as Putin says.
He’s ordering the mass enlistment because he’s losing the war in Ukraine. A war he started because he didn’t give a damn about Ukrainians and thought they would kneel before him and kiss his feet when he asked them to join a new and greater Russia.
Something like the Soviet Union but even bigger. Maybe to include all of Europe.
And as you know, or maybe don’t know, if you only watch television and avoid the internet, Russians are losing in Ukraine.
One estimate has it that there have been 80 thousand plus Russian casualties so far, from a total of 200 thousand he sent in starting on February 24th, hoping to quickly take Kyiv, the capital, and then march all the way to the West and South and celebrate a grand victory.
But Ukrainians didn’t cooperate. Instead, they put up a heroic fight in defense of their land, a feat we haven’t seen since World War II.
You see, contrary to what the television is telling you, Ukrainians don’t want to be Russian. They want to be Ukrainians and rule their own land.
Would you want China to invade you and tell you how to live your life?
Of course not. (although it could happen one day if you don’t keep your guard up)
The war has been a colossal tragedy.
Putin is getting beat by the Ukrainians but he’s saying, ‘Wait, I have more Russians willing to die for my dream of a great Russian empire. And after I use these next 300 thousand, I’ll enlist another 300 thousand if I need to.’
You get what I’m saying? That’s right. Your life means nothing to Putin. He’ll put a helmet on you, give you a gun and tell you, straight ahead, and kill as many Ukrainians as you can.’
You might want to ask, ‘what am I fighting for?’ And he’ll likely answer, ‘for a greater Russia.’
Eighty plus years ago Russia fought bravely against the Germans in World War II and helped turn around that war. Twenty million Russians died in that disaster. And you showed enormous courage, but you were fighting for your land. You weren’t taking another people’s territory (at least not at first, then Stalin decided to conquer parts of Europe).
There is a similarity between that war and this one in Ukraine. They were started by one man. One man who convinced millions of other people that they needed to offer their lives for his dream. Yes, Hitler and Putin have much in common.
But dear Russian, you do have a choice.
You can rebel. You can say ‘No! I won’t go into Ukraine to kill people who are fighting for the freedom to be who they want.’ You could say that. And say it loud so others can hear you. And Putin will put you in prison for not giving him your life to play with. But you will be alive. And if all Russians say ‘No! I won’t go fight Ukrainians,’ then Putin will have to back off.
That’s why it’s so important that you listen to your conscience. Do not believe what the government’s television is telling you.
You do have an enemy to deal with but it’s not Ukrainian.
Your enemy is Putin. The man you didn’t think you had surrendered to until he came asking for your life.

Oscarvaldes.medium.com

Dear Mr Biden. Ukraine

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Read an article earlier today on the heroic resistance that Ukraine put up at the beginning of the war which prevented Russia from taking control of Kyiv.
Titled ‘The Ragtag Army that Won the Battle of Kyiv and Saved Ukraine,’ by James Marson, it is a detailed account of the brave actions that some of the participants engaged in so they could stop an impending Russian occupation. Here’s the link https://www.wsj.com/articles/russian-invasion-ukraine-battle-of-kyiv-ragtag-army-11663683336?st=zx1dqhhndyr5z6z&reflink=desktopwebshare_permalink
The article captures the commitment of a people determined to not be vassals of another nation.
People from very different occupations came together to say to the Russians, ‘No, you shall not pass.’ And Kyiv was not captured.
As I read it, I felt that those men and women’s actions were speaking to all of us here in America, saying, ‘freedom is in the fight to defend what you value, freedom is in the fight to have your voice heard, in the fight to be respected and in the fight to learn to respect others.’
I couldn’t help but think that, no matter what else they do with their lives, those men and women will always be able to say that they stood up and offered all they had when their nation demanded it.
Their struggle for their independence is now in the 7th month. Thousands of lives have been lost with more to come. But today, because of Ukrainians’ will to fight and the enormous support they have got from the West, we can see that the end is near.
We should not think in terms of a protracted war.
We should think in terms of ending this war as soon as possible.
The recent advances by Ukrainian forces offer a great opportunity to accomplish this.
There is evidence of low morale in the Russian army, of incompetence and lack of commitment.
This is the time to strike hard against the enemy.
I do not see this war as a war against Russia but as a war primarily against Putin. And there is evidence that more and more people in Russia are gaining the courage to disagree with him.
Putin knows he’s headed for a defeat. He may or may not be able to stay in power after that.
But our task is to help Ukraine push Russia out of all their territory as soon as possible and to achieve that we should give them everything they need.
Will Putin use nuclear weapons?
I don’t think so. You have made it very clear that any such action will not be tolerated.
Putin does not want to be extinguished. He still sees some role for himself as an ally of China.
But when and if that happens, will be up to the Russian people.
A Free Ukraine has become a shining light for all the world to see and, I trust, an inspiration to Russia itself.
You, Mr Biden, have played a leading role in making it happen. Do not deprive yourself of the chance of seeing it in its full splendor.
This is the time to give to that great nation all the support they need.
We must not hesitate.

Oscarvaldes.medium.com

The West to Putin

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The recent advances by the Ukrainian army have shown that they can push back your soldiers.
Push them back all the way to behind your borders, handing you a defeat that you will not be able to explain to your people.
Ukraine is now committed to driving all Russians out from the eastern section which you illegally appropriated some years before and from Crimea also.
Quite different than what you expected, isn’t it, when you made a great show of surrounding the north and eastern section of Ukraine in the weeks and months prior to the invasion this last February.
Now Ukraine needs longer range weaponry, so it can bring this war to an end.
They have shown far more courage than your troops have. Far more commitment than you ever imagined.
There is presently division in the West as to how to proceed. A side arguing that such longer range weaponry would be very dangerous since it could make possible attacks within Russia, even near Moscow. The other side countering that there are ways to manage such risks and so bring this war to an end more quickly.
You have responded by saying that such longer range weapons would make the West a co combatant, implying that you would make the West a direct target.
President Biden has said that the West will put no troops on the ground in Ukraine and he’s sticking to it. That is what would make us a co combatant, not giving Ukraine the weapons they need to stop the loss of life.
It is you who is the single culprit of this tragedy.
You who started decimating the Ukrainian people and their cities, men, women, children, schools, theatres, hospitals, places of industry and so on. You who chose a path from which there is no way back.
You have no right to tell us what to give or not give to Ukraine when not doing so is to prolong their agony and suffering.
You have lost this war.
There is no way for you to reclaim your prior standing, when you could meet with world leaders, even as you had allied yourself with ruthless dictators like Assad in Syria and the oppressive governing elite in Iran, shamelessly trampling on their people in the name of God.
Mr Putin, you are done as a world leader. You will govern Russia for as long as they allow you to do so, but the likelihood is that they will tire of you and remove you from office.
But back to the use of longer range weapons. The West should give Ukraine everything they need to bring this war to an end as quickly as possible. Everything short of nuclear weapons.
The end is in sight.
Your depravity has caught up with you.
You will be welcome nowhere in the West.
We will not forget.
Still, if you have any decency left in you, there is a way out.
Commit suicide.
That way you will open the door for Russians to begin to emerge from their long sleep, and to start to reengineer their country so it can become the strong and prosperous nation it has the potential to become.
Russia cannot be Russia with you onboard. You just killed too many people.
Suicide is an honorable option.

Oscarvaldes.medium.com

What a Father Can Teach his Daughter or Son

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He can teach them they are unique. No one exactly like them has come before or will come after. And so the child’s task is to express their possibilities in the world they inherit.
A world where the contributions of many are already manifest and there to be used.
One hundred years ago, air travel was in its infancy, the car industry was just getting on. Medical care was vastly more limited. Life expectancy much shorter. People didn’t think smoking cigarettes was a problem. The movies had yet to have sound or color and never mind computers and smartphones.
It took the effort of many to get us where we are.
A father can teach his daughter or son that the more developed world they’re inheriting, with all its problems, is both a gift from all who have come before, and a challenge to improve it.
To answer the challenge, the child must discover what they are good at and which ability they enjoy the most. This search is crucial, for it will be the ability they enjoy the most the one where they will be the most productive.
Committing to it, will make them less envious of others, for the child will be able to say, ‘I know what I have. You know what you have. I have my power. You have yours. I have my limits, you have yours, so let us do what we must.’
Some things the daughter or son will know to do intuitively. But if they have a little hesitancy, they may need to be gently reminded that achieving physical, emotional and sexual intimacy with someone they love is crucial to their wellbeing and overall growth.
A father can teach their child to be kind to others. Everyone, but specially to those who, for one reason or another, have had difficulty realizing their possibilities.
A father can teach their child how fundamental it is that they understand their emotions. Without such understanding we cannot have a full mind, for to have a mind is to have the capacity to reason while integrating our emotions.
Which then enables the child to fully express their essence, which in turn leads them to embrace freedom.
A life is not well lived if human beings cannot speak their minds.
A life is not well lived if the person is too frightened to make clear who they are, to fully manifest the core of their being. It amounts to cheating yourself and the rest of us, choosing to simply pass through without leaving a mark.
To be in hiding is to waste a life, to dishonor those who gave to us.
A father can help his child not err in such manner.
And should the father commit to the task, there are rewards for him, too, for seeing that he can influence another human being, he will find inspiration to fulfill what he has not yet.
Give and it will come back to you in ways unexpected.
A father can help deliver a daughter or son onto the world, but it will be up to the woman or man to come into their own.
A word on fame or material riches. The pursuit of them without personal development, emotional and intellectual, will not let you appreciate them, for if you happen to hold them, they will slip through your fingers.
It’s never too late to start.

Oscarvaldes.medium.com

Biden Talks to Putin

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They meet secretly, using a special CIA managed Zoom pathway. Biden is in the Oval office with only Harris, Blinken and Sullivan present.
Putin is on the large screen.
Biden has made it a point to speak to him on the anniversary of the bombings in 2001.

Biden – You will not have Ukraine. Our alliance will do whatever is needed to block you from having Ukraine. You may end up keeping some of the territory and even some of the newly conquered, but you will not have Ukraine.
Putin (smiling) – We’ll see.
Biden – Second, you’ve succeeded in uniting the West, succeeded in helping us begin to put together a new energy grid that excludes you. Permanently. And you’ll have to invent all the replacement parts that the sanctions we’ve imposed forbid you to have.
Putin (smugly) – We can do it.
Biden – Turkey and China can help you in the meantime. But it won’t last forever.
Putin (laughs) – Erdogan will outfox you anytime. He’s a master.
Biden – Third, please listen carefully… the West will make Ukraine a star nation.

Putin turns serious.

Biden – We will invest in them so they will shine and be the envy of the world. I understand they have a history of corruption, but a nation who has fought as valiantly as they have will be able to correct their mistakes. We will help them.
We in the West will invest in Ukraine so that the nations in your sphere of influence, who now demean themselves by kneeling before you will have a clear example to follow.
We in the West believe that all those nations oppressed by you, have the will to rise and oppose you, risking their lives.
Putin – You know nothing about how effective my controls are.
Biden – One day soon, Belarus, will overthrow Lukashenko… and they will find their courage and fight to be like their Ukrainian neighbors.
Putin – You live in a dream world, Biden, you probably won’t even win both chambers in congress this Fall, and I will do everything possible to persuade the millions and millions of gullible Americans into thinking Trump is the greatest leader your land has ever seen.
Biden – Try at your own peril.
Putin – Oh, we will, I assure you.
Biden – As a catholic, I believe in redemption… in the capacity to restore ourselves. You have done great harm to humanity… and yet… you could still work to atone for your behavior.
Putin – Let me see, you’d want for me to surrender?
Biden – Better than that… guide your people to freedom.
Putin (laughing loudly) – You’re mad.
Biden – You’ve lost your way… you’re responsible for the killing of thousands and thousands of Ukrainians and Russians… and for what? To restore a Soviet Union that was already crumbling from internal decay?
Mikhail Gorbachev saw it clearly back in 1985… and came up with perestroika (restructuring) and glasnost (opening)… you should now pick up where he left off.
People everywhere yearn from freedom… no political system that seeks to curtail it will last… and that means China, too.
Putin – You’re a fool.
Biden – Perhaps but I’m a free man and you’re not… and neither is Xi Jinping. Human beings with cruel instincts are not free, but prisoners of their demons. You’re no different than the leaders of Iran, enslaving people in the name of God.
Putin – Russians adore me… they will do whatever I ask them… they will endure whatever hardships they must.
Biden – I won’t keep you longer. Maybe I’m wrong and you’re beyond redemption. To end, I will repeat my central point. We will not surrender Ukraine.
And we will make it the envy of the world.
All Russians, and the peoples from Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, all will yearn to be Ukrainians, free human beings, not the slaves of other men.
Putin – My people will conquer all of Ukraine. Even if I have to use nuclear weapons.
Biden – Threaten as you wish… but don’t forget… we’re free men… and free men don’t surrender.

Oscarvaldes.medium.com