Vladimir Putin fixes America

Vladimir Putin, czar of Russia, is going to get a big surprise tomorrow morning. He’s going to wake up in the body of a 6-2 gardener from Arkansas. He’ll spend the rest of his life spreading mulch, double-digging beds, propagating thornless blackberries, mowing grass, cutting up fallen trees and writing short essays on resilience.

Meanwhile I’ll in be a 5-7 balding ruthless dictator. I’ll miss being 6-2, but I’ll enjoy wielding the ceremonial mace of the Russian kings. I’ll especially enjoy toying with Joe Biden and Anthony Blinken for the next three years. And the vast internet troll farms targeting the US–those will be fun to control.

Vlad and I were both born in 1952 so we experienced the same world, basically. Like me, his favorite band in high school was the Beatles. After that we found slightly different paths as he became a KGB agent and I am only rarely mistaken for a CIA agent. I think he’ll adjust to my life pretty easily. He’ll have to relearn judo and sambo since I know neither. He’ll probably also use my contacts to try to build a new empire here in the US, but I doubt he’ll have much luck

Meanwhile I’ll be the person named the most powerful man for four consecutive years by Forbes. I’ll be one of the few men in the world with an ‘Above the Law’ status. I’ll also be surrounded by a group of equally ruthless oligarchs who would like nothing better than to supplant me.

So I won’t be able to really change Russia that much since the new Vlad will be much less malevolent and vindictive than the old Vlad. In fact, my first move will be to resurrect my old friend Dmitry Medvedev and officially anoint him as my successor. I’ll start deferring decisions of state to him and I’ll gradually spend more and more time using my internet troll farms to make Americans a little more Russian.

I’ll become a much more active member of the Russian Orthodox Church. I might even take up residence at one of their more liberal monasteries with the cover story of adopting a life of contemplation and meditation. That would be the perfect cover for my internet manipulations.

I’ll turn over Syria and Ukraine to Dmitry. He’ll take care of them. I’ll donate my $133,000 salary to the Russian Orthodox Church in the US. Since my net worth is still over $70 billion, I’ll have plenty of resources for my new work.

I’ll continue the old Vlad’s style of being impeccably dressed, except I will gradually switch to more and more often wearing a monk’s robes and sandals. I’ll donate to randomly selected poor Russians my string of villas and palaces across the country and abroad. That should be some fun. Won’t the tabloids have a field day chronicling the new life of the peasant who is given my Mediterranean villa? I’ll also give away one of my private jets, but probably keep the other one so I don’t have to wear a mask when I travel.

Not sure what I’ll do with my watch collection.

sOnce I get Medvedev accustomed to his new role and the oligarch satisfied that nothing will really change in Russia, I’ll really dig into the troll farms.

The troll farms have been really effective at making bots powered by artificial intelligence do things like get liberal Americans all worked up about the threat of white supremacists. They haven’t been so effective in countering the push against critical race theory. My new task for the farms will be undermining both Democrats and Republicans in favor of a new American party.

I’ll have to introduce this change gradually so that all my Russian hackers are bought in before I abandon the old goals of the troll farms.


By the way, the movie rights to this evolving story line are still available.

Copyright © 2021 by Jim Worstell


Democrats can’t be hypocrites

It pains me to write anything negative about Democrats. I came of age in the 60s and the media was already sure that Republicans were the party of big business and anti-environment. I campaigned for McCarthy and McGovern and skipped school on the Moratorium against the Vietnam war.

Fidel Castro and Biden’s friend George McGovern presage Biden’s ice cream photo ops.

I was elected the youngest ever Democratic committeeman of the Audrain County (Missouri) Democratic Party and went to the county convention to be elected a McGovern delegate in 1972. After the miserable failure of that campaign, I took a long hiatus from politics.

Nowadays I know lots of Democrats, but they are soooo different from those I knew in my youth. Today’s Democrats have a strange relationship with moral principles. They condemn behavior of Republicans but overlook it in Democrats. They have strong opinions about “welfare to work” and “don’t ask don’t tell” until they change and support welfare without work and acceptance of radical LGBTQ+ ideas about gender transition in 4 year-olds.

Democrats still have a lot more concern for the environment than most Republicans and I work with them on those issues, so I probably am cutting off my nose to spite my face here. To mitigate that a bit, I’ll note that many Republicans also have no core beliefs except that their party should be in power.

But my point here is not really to denigrate Democrats, but just to point out that Democrats can’t be hypocrites on subjects for which they have no core beliefs. A hypocrite is someone who acts in a way that goes against what he claims to believe. Democrats today have no solid beliefs, but change them according to whatever will gain power. They don’t believe in anything except power. They actively suppress criticism of Joe and Hunter Biden for actions that would be vociferously and scornful condemned in the Donald Trumps. What they believe in is power for their party.

If your main belief is in power for your party, then criticizing Donald Trump, Jr., for agreeing to a meeting with a Russian is wholly consistent with overlooking Hunter Biden selling his father’s influence to the Chinese, the Ukrainians, the Mexicans, the Russians and who knows who else.

Now if they ever criticize Biden for something, such as the surrender in Afghanistan, then they would be hypocrites. And other Democrats would decry them. Because that would be inconsistent with the basic belief of Democrats: the power of the party must be increased.

Of course it is possible that some Democrats are waking from their slavish devotion to party as they see the ruin the Party is bringing to Afghanistan. Or maybe the chaos on the Southern border, inflation or critical race theory will wake them up.

A similar transition began in the 1960s as working class folk reacted to riots in the cities and the Vietnam war and began realizing the Democrats were not a party of consistent with their principles. The result was the triumph of Nixon and Reagan and Bush I and control of the House and Senate for decades.

However, there are a few true believers hidden among the Democrats. Many of my college friends from the 70s became college professors and decry anything American. They have never outgrown their love of Fidel and Soviet Russia and socialism. Yet of all the beliefs espoused by the Democrats of the 70s, the only one which lasts is anti-Americanism. All the others have morphed beyond recognition. They will continue to change because the party has no core beliefs except that it should be in power.

As long as they are consistent in pursuit of power at any cost, the Democrats can not be accused of hypocrisy.

Cave men with machine guns: a guide to stop obsessing over Afghanistan

The best way to get someone to think about bananas is to tell them to quit thinking about bananas.

In late 2021, on planet Earth, it would sure be nice to not think about Afghanistan. Better yet to not have a reason to think about Afghanistan.

The best way to quit thinking about something is to explore it until you find a more basic essence of it. So to quit thinking about bananas you starting thinking about the squishiness of eating a raw banana, remembering the texture, the mouth-feel, the way it slides down your throat. Soon you are thinking about all sorts of things that have little to do with any fruit, much less those which grow on plants of the Musa genus.

Try to do that with the ongoing troubles in Afghanistan. Maybe you’ll realize that the Taliban and ISIS K and Al Queda are just cave men with machine guns and other crude weapons.

Cave men all belong to tribes who are convinced that they should survive and all outsiders are eligible for death. The land we call Afghanistan is no more a country than North America was a country in the 1600s. It is a collection of fiefdoms run by vicious warlords. Or in modern terminology: militias beyond political accountability (never mind the rule of law). Law has no meaning to them. The strongest make their own laws.

We mistakenly call them Moslem terrorists when no modern Muslim considers them even religious. They use a few religious words to cover their lack of obedience to any law except the law of power.

Places where vicious warlords still act like cavemen, but with machine guns, are places we don’t want to think about.

Until recently, we didn’t have to think about Afghanistan because NATO planes were bombing any significant movement of any of the militias–to support Afghan Special Forces on the ground. The American-led coalition had a monopoly on air power and the Taliban had no answer for air power. (The US supplying plane killing howitzers to Bin Laden and his buddies is what defeated Russia in Afghanistan in the 1980s.)

The problem with such bombing is that civilian casualties are inevitable, the tribes have a common enemy, and they are likely to set aside differences to temporarily unite against the outside foe.

Meanwhile the NATO coalition built a structure which resembles a functioning modern society, but is actually just a support system for the outsiders. So when the outsiders and their resources leave, the whole society begins to collapse. This has already begun in Afghanistan. The collapse won’t happen overnight because of all the resources the US left. Videos abound of rooms filled with cash and storehouses filled with thousands of weapons. These can be sold to enable a “government” to continue to feed the support system for awhile. But as those resources dwindle, so will the government.

Afghanistan will return to its natural state of tribes warring against other tribes–none of which see the other tribes as worthy of treatment as humans (at least not from a New Testament perspective).

What’s happening in Afghanistan has happened in dozens of places we call countries all over the world. Rich countries define a place as a country and then move in ostensibly to help tribes work together and create a nice Western society. But the tribal social system remains and the society superficially similar to a Western country is just a support system for the outsiders. As long as that the outside resources flow in, the support system for the outsiders is maintained. When the outside resources decline, so does the superficial government.

In a few days, the last NATO soldiers will be out of the land area we call Afghanistan. They’ll stay out until some outsider like Bin Laden comes in and starts exporting terrorists again. Then someone will probably go back. That is, if we have solved our own problems such that we have the resources and will to go back.

Until then we can go back to not thinking about Afghanistan.

Genuflecting to which tribe?

Introducing yourself on Zoom used to be easy. Name, organization, something silly to break the ice. Lately it’s getting difficult. Now you have to put in your pronouns. I like best my pronouns in Polish. He, him becomes on, on. On and on seems like a good introduction to me.

More recently, its got more complicated. Land acknowledgement is the latest trend. This week I was on a Zoom call where we were supposed to list what indigenous tribe was the real owner of the land where we live. That is who owned the land before the Europeans took it and then do some penance for the theft.

That’s a tough one for those living in Missouri and Northern Arkansas. Technically the Osage ruled the roost back in the 1700s. Before them, in the 1500s, the great mound-building Mississippian culture dominated the entire area. Some of their towns (such as Cahokia) had 20,000 people stretching over several kilometers. Called the Caddo by early explorers, they were a peace-loving people with a sophisticated language, religion, and culture. The blood-thirsty, nomadic Osage rarely settled long anywhere and had little farming ability.

The Osage, like their brother Lakota and Sioux, rose to prominence by mastering the wild horses which escaped from the early Spanish explorers and settlers. They used horses to sweep in and raid the Mound-builder cities. Taking whatever loot and women they wanted and fleeing back to their hideouts. Eventually they weakened the Mound-builder cities until the Caddo eventually left and retreated South. The decimated Caddo established small farming villages as far from the Osage as they could.

But the Caddo were not as peaceful as the people they took the land from. They obtained the land from the Hopewell culture–which were also mound-builders but with an artistic bent. The Serpent Mound in Southern Ohio epitomizes them. The Hopewellians were known for their vast trade networks from which they imported obsidian, copper, shells, mica, and alligator bones from different parts of the present-day United States. Many of these objects were recovered from the Hopewell sites. They were also master craftsmen who specialized in making stone pipes, ceramics, obsidian spear points, and jewelry. These objects were later deposited under the mounds as grave goods. The Hopewell seem like the best ancestral owners to honor. But they also took the land from the Clovis people. So who do we acknowledge as the rightful owner and the evil thieves of this land?

Anyone in North America has the same dilemma. Most North American tribes did not view other tribes as truly human. They tortured and butchered their enemies and took their land if they could.

So maybe we shouldn’t be so species-ist and think about the dozens of species of huge, indigenous animals which inhabited our region before the Clovis people arrived from Asia–the mastodon, mammoth, horse, tapir, ground sloth, giant bison, giant beaver, giant tortoise, American lion, short-faced bear, and saber-toothed tiger. Over-hunting caused the mass extinction of these animals as the Ice Age ended. More than thirty species of large animals became extinct. By about 10,500 years ago, these megafauna no longer roamed North America.

So maybe the saber-tooted tiger is the rightful owner of this land. But that doesn’t fit the approved narrative in today’s dis-United States of America.