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Putin Turns into Petty Tyrant, Takes Page Out of North Korea’s Playbook

Putin’s fall from grace has provided a fair amount of schadenfreude, but it also has the Russian dictator acting like a desperate rat in a trap.

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Vladimir Putin is embarrassed, surely.  The rumors of his nation’s military might have been largely misguided, and Russia’s stalled invasion of Ukraine has many world leaders wondering just why they’ve let the former KGB agent-turned-tyrant get away with so much for so long.

And while there certainly is a bit of schadenfreude to savor in all of this, an embarrassed Vladimir Putin is also a bit terrifying.  There is little doubt that his tight grip on power will grow tighter in the coming weeks, especially as he attempts to contain the fallout of this mess.

In fact, this week saw Putin take a page out of Kim Jong Un’s playbook, further cementing his downward spiral into despotism.

Russia has announced plans to block Facebook in the country, claiming that the social media platform has discriminated against Russian media and information sources. The government of Russia is reportedly considering declaring Facebook an “extremist organization,” a decision driven in part by Mark Zuckerberg’s decision to allow users to call for the death of Russians.

TechCrunch reports that just one week after placing restrictions on the social media giant Facebook, the Russian government has announced that it will begin blocking the social network in the country completely. The announcement was made by Russia’s internet regulatory agency Roskomnadzor, which cited “26 cases of discrimination against Russian media and information resources” in its decision.

North Korea, China, and a handful of other true dictatorships have already banned social media on some way or another, as these desperate diplomats attempt to sanitize their own worldly reputation – a reputation that they’ve cultivated with violence and chaos for decades.

Opinion

NEW NATO NARRATIVE: Ukraine Can ‘Win’ War with Russia

Know one would have even considered the possibility 3 months ago.

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Well that is one heck of a turnaround, eh?

We’ve gone from watching Russia amass an enormous fighting force on the borders of Ukraine, (all while telling the world that it was all routine and to butt out), to watching those same tanks and personnel roll into the sovereign neighboring nation, all the while worried that Russia would simply steamroll Kyiv and take the whole country for itself in a matter of days.

Nearly three months later, and that story is changing…and dramatically.

Ukrainian forces say they have pushed back the Russian military in the region around Kharkiv in northeastern Ukraine, and near the border with Russia, continuing a counteroffensive that has prompted Russian troops to withdraw from around Ukraine’s second-largest city.

Then came a surprising suggestion.

NATO’s Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Sunday that “Ukraine can win this war” following an informal meeting of the group. His comments came after Finland announced it would apply to join the military alliance in what marks a historic move for the traditionally neutral Nordic country.

Joining the military alliance will “maximize” Finland’s security after Russia’s unprecedented invasion of Ukraine in February, President Sauli Niinisto said.

Sweden is expected to follow suit with both applications likely to enflame tensions between NATO and Russia further. Moscow warned last week of “retaliatory steps” if Finland joined the alliance.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is drinking the proverbial Kool-Aid as well, having claimed that Eurovision will be able to hold its enormous, annual songwriting competition in Mariupol next year.

 

Well that is one heck of a turnaround, eh? We’ve gone from watching Russia amass an enormous fighting force on the borders of Ukraine, (all while telling the world that it was all routine and to butt out), to watching those same tanks and personnel roll into the sovereign neighboring nation, all the while worried that Russia would simply steamroll Kyiv and take the whole country for itself in a matter of days. Nearly three months later, and that story is changing…and dramatically. Ukrainian forces say they have pushed back the Russian military in the region around Kharkiv in northeastern Ukraine, and near the border with Russia, continuing a counteroffensive that has prompted Russian troops to withdraw from around Ukraine’s second-largest city. Then came a surprising suggestion. NATO’s Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Sunday that “Ukraine can win this war” following an informal meeting of the group. His comments came after Finland announced it would apply to join the military alliance in what marks a historic move for the traditionally neutral Nordic country. Joining the military alliance will “maximize” Finland’s security after Russia’s unprecedented invasion of Ukraine in February, President Sauli Niinisto said. Sweden is expected to follow suit with both applications likely to enflame tensions between NATO and Russia further. Moscow warned last week of “retaliatory steps” if Finland joined the alliance. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is drinking the proverbial Kool-Aid as well, having claimed that Eurovision will be able to hold its enormous, annual songwriting competition in Mariupol next year.  

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Opinion

Biden Approval Crashes Again, This Time to Historic Low

This is just sad at this point.

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Look around your country.  See the struggle in real time.  Watch how hard it is for the rest of this nation to get to where they need to be, every day, and ask yourself “why does it need to be like this?”.

And then realize that all of this trouble is coming to America in what was supposed to be the launching months of a new “roaring twenties”; as COVID faded and the economy roared back to life, America was poised to be a global show for the ages.

Instead, the last year and a half have been filled to the brim with turmoil and strife and not much nice.

US President Joe Biden is taking his lumps on account of it.

An NBC News poll released Sunday shows Biden’s job approval rating has plunged to a fresh low, with just 39 percent of Americans approving of the job he’s doing and 56 percent disapproving.

This was a new milestone for the reluctant leader.

Those numbers represents the lowest mark of his presidency.

Inflation, the economy and border security are the three main areas where voters see Biden failing them. The overall cost of living is standing as the public’s top issue.

Biden’s approval rating has experienced a few brief reprieves over the course of his presidency, but has continued on a steady decline almost from the start.

Look around your country.  See the struggle in real time.  Watch how hard it is for the rest of this nation to get to where they need to be, every day, and ask yourself “why does it need to be like this?”. And then realize that all of this trouble is coming to America in what was supposed to be the launching months of a new “roaring twenties”; as COVID faded and the economy roared back to life, America was poised to be a global show for the ages. Instead, the last year and a half have been filled to the brim with turmoil and strife and not much nice. US President Joe Biden is taking his lumps on account of it. An NBC News poll released Sunday shows Biden’s job approval rating has plunged to a fresh low, with just 39 percent of Americans approving of the job he’s doing and 56 percent disapproving. This was a new milestone for the reluctant leader. Those numbers represents the lowest mark of his presidency. Inflation, the economy and border security are the three main areas where voters see Biden failing them. The overall cost of living is standing as the public’s top issue. Biden’s approval rating has experienced a few brief reprieves over the course of his presidency, but has continued on a steady decline almost from the start.

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