The Corona Diaries – Day 740

A miserable day here in Yorkshire – quite cold and drizzly rain all day. Suits the mood of the country!! Our recovery from Covid is not quite complete! We are both feeling lethargic and I still have some sinus problems and phlegm. Apart from that we are back to normal!!

I decided to stay inside, work on my latest poetry book and listen to some outrageous Fugs. A day not wasted!

Meanwhile, out in Coronaland, things go from bad to worse. The war in Ukraine is raging with cities being pounded into rubble with missile attacks and heavy artillery.

According to Putin this was a mission to save the Ukrainian people from slavery under a neo-fascist government (that they elected). It seems that Putin has the same philosophy that the USA had in Vietnam. These people need killing in order to save them.

The Ukrainians were supposedly brothers!! Now brothers can be quite competitive and they can even develop a jealous, haeful relationship but this is taking sibling rivalry to a whole new level. This is vindictive madness.

Did Putin really expect the population of Ukraine to welcome him in??

The trouble with these things is that once the genie is out of the bottle there is no telling where things will lead.

Putin is now a rat trapped in the corner. He can’t see a way out. He did not expect the rest of the world to utterly condemn his aggression and take these massive steps to isolate him and starve him of cash. As Lavrov said: ‘The West imposes sanctions and then a week later they are back crawling for business’. Not this time I think. Not only are they shutting the banking system, pulling out of Russia and freezing the cash supply, they are looking to break their dependence on Russia oil and gas. Hopefully this will accelerate the move towards green energy and do away with gas and oil altogether. Not only would it be great to break our ties with Russia but also those loathsome regimes in the Middle East.

Putin has bitten off more than he can chew.

Not only that, but the world can clearly see the limitations of the Russian military. One of the greatest powers in the world – not! Bogged down, blown up, logistically inept. Ukraine, with it’s limited resources is showing it up. They are reduced to using the same horrendous tactics they used in Syria – mass, long-range use of missiles and artillery to kill civilians and reduce cities to dust and rubble.

How long can he pour resources in and suffer these casualties and costs? We’ll see!

What it has done is to create a unity in the world and a renewed determination to make Russia pay for these atrocities. Hopefully they will.

But, like that trapped rat, Putin is dangerous. He is hitting out. In Russia there is extreme suppression of news, shutting down of criticism and legislation to oppress people. This is a return to Stalinist repression. No alternative views are allowed. And he dares to call Ukraine neo-Nazi? Incredible!!

He is threatening nuclear war and as an extreme act of stupidity actually attacking, shelling a nuclear plant. How can a nuclear power plant put up resistance?? How can that be a legitimate target?

Insanely, in true Orwellian double-speak, he is blaming it on Ukrainian subversives. He’s gone nuts.

Having an unstable madman in charge of the country is not a good thing. We know. We’ve got one ourselves! Johnson is quite on a par but he is an inept loony.

The one thing we can be grateful for is that we don’t have Trump in charge. He’d either be in there with his mate Putin invading Ukraine or we’d already be in the midst of a nuclear conflagration.

So where is this going? Who knows? It’s going to be one of a number of things:

A third world war nuclear madness in which Russia, Europe and the USA get wiped off the map

A protracted war of attrition (like in Syria) with the complete destruction of Ukraine and uimpoverishment of Russia

A negotiated settlement

We’ll see.

Meanwhile, while all this is going on, our useless clown is laughing his head off. Everyone’s forgotten about the MET report, parties, Sue Gray, the lies, sleaze and corruption. They are worrying about being instantly vapourised. Johnson, miraculously, lives to fight another day.

Mind you, another major problem has come along for this crime syndicate masquerading as a government: the public have found out that they are being funded by the Russians and are knee-deep in Russian sleaze. It has resurrected the whole Russian business – the sleazy deals, the donations, the meddling in elections (Trump, Johnson and Brexit), the oligarchs in the House of Lords, money laundering and dirty Tory profiteering. We’ll see where that goes. No doubt, with the media in their back pocket, it’ll melt away back uner the carpet along with everything else. The problem is that the carpet is now bulging up to the ceiling!! They can’t get much more under it!!

We’ve all forgotten we’re still in the midst of a pandemic. Johnson said it was over and everybody conveniently agreed. We didn’t need science or facts. All very Trumpian!! Just talk bollocks and everyone will agree with you.

We are now living with the virus – though there has been no debate, no guidance and no scientific input – Just Johnson sorting his own job out. The new cases have gone up to 45,683 new cases today with another 194 deaths. We are told it’s going down though!!

I’m OK. Having just had it I’m not in immediate danger of catching it and neithwer will I be spreading it for a while to come.

Stay safe!! Caught between a nuclear melt and the ventilator – not a great choice!!

17 thoughts on “The Corona Diaries – Day 740

  1. Opher – A grey day across most of the U.K, I think, and more rain coming tomorrow. It does indeed suggest at the nation’s mood. Somber, anxious, and deeply concerned, all eyes are on the war in Ukraine. As more images emerge, the greater the depth of feeling grows for the people of Ukraine suffering at the hands of Putin, a warmongering dictator. Grave days, sad times in our human history.

    Putin is as you suggest stuck in a corner with no way out and no off-ramp (diplomacy seems to have failed), but for all intents-and-purposes he is holding the trump card on Day 9/10 of the invasion: Europe’s largest nuclear complex is under his direct control. (Russian forces are also said to be within 15 miles of another site, and Chernobyl has already fallen where spent fuel rods are stored.) There are 8 or 9 other nuclear reactors in Ukraine for Russian forces to take. Putin’s control of the NPP is a huge negotiating tool.

    Whilst we contemplate apocalypse, feed arms to Ukrainian forces, and sanction multi-billionaires and banks, Putin continues his murderous subjugation of Ukraine. There is mounting evidence that Putin’s forces are committing war crimes as the death toll mounts, and belief is that such atrocities will escalate further. I can’t be the only one asking at what point would NATO say enough is enough and intervene? Would they consider the risk far to great to world security to intervene? I don’t know. Only this evening, Zelenskiy said NATO has given a ‘green light to bombing’ by not putting in place a no-fly zone. I hope he is wrong. Gratefully, I’m not the one to have to make such a monumental decision about saving Ukraine whilst safeguarding the world. Either way, I don’t want WW3 or a nuclear winter. But for the humanities sake, surely something substantial has to be done in order to stop Putin in his advance?

    News just in: a Sky T.V crew have been shot at by a suspected Russian ‘death squad’ in a town just outside of Kyiv. No deaths, but two crew hit. If verified, such news doesn’t bode well for other T.V crews operating in the war zone. Putin appears intent on clamping down on media coverage of his war both in Russia, and if Ukraine, by force. With cameras denied, I hope that doesn’t suggest at further escalation in atrocities?

    I don’t think the U.K has forgotten about BoJo’s troubles. In fact quite the opposite, the more rubles found the greater his trubles become! In the public’s mind, Putin is now firmly synonymous with Russia, dirty Russian money is paying for Putin’s war, and it is clear that dirty Russian money props up Londongrad and funds the Tories. Putin’s hand connects them all, and Putin is loathed by the world. The mud will stick: the longer Putin’s war continues, and the longer the U.K delays sanctioning those with wealth in the U.K who have links to Putin, the harder that sticky mud will be to remove. One can hope for natural justice to prevail: BoJo’s hen’s will come home to roost.

    ‘Stay safe!! Caught between a nuclear melt and the ventilator – not a great choice!!’ Good grief! Well, my bags are packed, and I’m heading for the hills! Back in a about 20 years. (Seriously, we may despise their wealth, but Musk and Bezos might just have the right idea about getting off this ball of rock after all!)

    DN

    1. I don’t think there is much doubt about Putin taking Ukraine. The question is how long and at what cost.
      NATO have made it quite clear that they will not intervene – apart from supplying weapons to cause a greater attrition of Russian forces. Ukraine will be sacrificed. If they put up enough of a fight there is a chance of a negotiation. Best we can hope for. The Russians will do the same job they did in Syria and Chechnia.
      I hope you are right about the Tories and Russia. For some reason people insanely forgive people like Trump, Johnson and Bolsonaro anything. The Russian connection was so obvious with Trump and yet there a hatred of communism among his supporters. Makes no sense! They forgive their lies, immorality, sleaze and corruption. It’s classic double-think.

      1. Today Putin has stated that sanctions applied to Russia were akin to a declaration of war. This could well be all the justification Putin needs to extend his violence elsewhere. For example, Bosnia is facing an increasingly assertive Bosnian Serb separatist movement that is understood to have received support from Moscow. To encourage stability the French are proposing fast-jet training flights over Bosnia.

        Promoting instability in other former Soviet regions is one possible route of escalation Putin may authorize. Sleeper cells, hit squads, WMD, all could already be in place.

        The fact remains, that we don’t know and can’t second guess Putin’s agenda, nor can we be sure just how far he proposes to go in his war against perceived nazification and demilitarization of Europe?

        Finland and Sweden are already strengthening military ties, whilst other former Soviet nations are supplied weapons by NATO and sure up their economies.

        There has been no let up in Putin’s war in Ukraine. It appears Putin is intent on flattening Ukraine whilst unnerving other EU nations, and holding the world ransom. He holds all the cards.

        So, the question remains, will NATO stand by if other non-NATO nations are invaded by Putin, or will those nations also be sacrificed for the greater good? How many countries must fall before NATO drops the hammer?

        The U.K’s unwillingness to support at speed sanctions against Oligarchs exposes the growing divide between the government’s saber-rattling rhetoric and its actual deeds. People are seeing the Tories for what they are, immoral liars. We’ll see in the local elections just what impact their now widely broadcast relationship with dirty Russian money has on the electorate, and how that might translate in a GE. Time to rid ourselves of the money-grabbing, self-serving, Tory reprobates.

        DN

      2. Putin is becoming desperate, cornered and dangerous.
        I don’t think he can afford more war. Ukraine is proving a tough nut and draining him. I do not think he has the resources.
        NATO forces far outnumber Russia’s and he knows it. That leaves the nuclear option.
        Johnson and the Tory Party have always been big on words with no end product – all bluster/ no trousers.

  2. Opher, my money is on the protracted war of attrition. I know quite a few Ukrainians, and those guys fight. They won’t give up until they’re all dead. The only quick way out I can see is for somebody in Moscow to remove Putin – by whatever means. The military could do it, but at this point they seem to be too deeply involved in the atrocities to back out.

    That’s where the 16th-century political system we are still forced to live under has brought us to. Big change is needed, both in Russia and here. Not just replacing the gang at the top, but de-legitimizing the entire system and replacing it by something that works for all honest people.

    But one disagreement. Ostracizing the Russians won’t do anything towards green policies. If anything, I think the Ukraine situation will do the opposite. Already the Germans are starting to back away from their green mania, now they realize that it has led them to buy large amounts of Russian gas; and that the money they have been paying for Russian gas has financed Putin’s atrocities. And their energy minister is a Green! Even the slowest are now starting to understand that compared to a real threat like Putin, the hyped threat from “global warming” is zilch.

    The fact is, Opher, that trying to power an industrial civilization on wind and solar alone simply cannot ever work. And it’s obvious why; on a grey, cold day like yesterday and today, solar power produces nothing at all. And when the wind dies down too, as it often does at the coldest times of year, “renewables” as a whole produce nothing at all.

    Oh, and another disagreement. I haven’t forgotten about Johnson’s well-deserved troubles. Nor have you. Nor has Dewin, as his comment above shows (I like the rhyme of “rubles” with “trubles!”) In fact, I think very few people in the UK have forgotten about Johnson’s problems. That some considerable % of the population still regards Johnson as the least bad alternative should make you think; why? To which my answer is, because they (like me) are already pissed off with all the others!

    1. I think Putin’s Russia is teetering. We’ll see what happens. He’s becoming desperate and that could be very dangerous.
      Buying lots of Russian gas has nothing to do with green policies Neil. Gas is a fossil fuel. We need to do away with it.
      Global warming is only just starting and already it’s effects are being felt. Even in Britain we have the flooding and extreme weathers. That will get a lot worse. Around the rest of the world we have worse problems – droughts, bushfires, floods, extreme weather, heatwaves. Huge swathes are becoming uninhabitable. That’s when the problems really start.
      Solar and wind won’t do it on their own but with adequate insulation, heat retrieval systems, geothermal, heat pumps, wave and tidal, hydroelectric and the novel ways of storing energy they will be more than sufficient, far less polluting and destructive and far cheaper too!!
      Green is the future.

      1. Yes, Putin’s Russia is teetering. Yes, the situation is dangerous. I think NATO are quite right not to impose a “no fly” zone; that would be too much provocation. Better to do things covertly.

        Oh, but Germans buying Russian gas has everything to do with green policies, Opher. Those policies have led them to close their coal-fired plants, leaving a shortfall of reliable energy for winter. And they are closing down nuclear power, too! They had to buy Russian gas to cover the shortfall, and were about to chain themselves permanently to Russia via Nordstream 2. In a democracy, isn’t keeping the lights and heating on more important than pipedreams of powering the world with pixie farts? To “solve” a problem that has never even been proven to exist?

      2. Lol Neil. Gas may be slightly preferable to Coal but not a lot. The UK shows clearly that Green power works and is cheap! Renewables are currently over 40% of our energy consumption. By 2035 they will be 100%. We need to move faster than that.
        https://www.pv-magazine.com/2021/07/29/uk-power-generation-in-2020-renewables-up-to-43/
        With technological improvements in storage we will make huge inroads. The sooner we stop being dependent on Russia and the Middle East the better. The sooner we stop funding terrorism, religious fanaticism and nuclear enemies the better!!

      3. Opher, you have left the path of reality. If green power is so cheap and so effective, why have our energy bills increased so much in the last year – and are about to increase even more?

        To quote a very old proverb: “There are none so blind as those who will not see.”

      4. Are you not following the news Neil?? It’s the ridiculous hike in the price of gas and oil that has caused this enormous hike. Gas has gone up 5 fold!

      5. Neil – I think you’ve attached yourself to a view that you are reluctant to let go. In the face of all the evidence on global warming and the increasing cheapness and efficiency of renewable energy sources you are still in denial.
        Of the wind, solar and other renewables that came on stream in 2020, nearly two-thirds – 62% – were cheaper than the cheapest new fossil fuel, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). This is double the equivalent share for 2019. The cost of renewable energy is falling.
        https://www.irena.org/newsroom/pressreleases/2021/Jun/Majority-of-New-Renewables-Undercut-Cheapest-Fossil-Fuel-on-Cost

      6. Oh for goodness’ sake, Opher. Oil and gas price rises have been caused mainly by failure to invest in oil and gas production. Prompted by… green activists. As to “the evidence on global warming,” show me some.

      7. Lol – very simplistic answer to quite a complex situation. All you do is ignore anything that doesn’t support you and select that which does. You’ll be agreeing with the flatearthers soon!
        Global warming – I give up with you. You’ll still be denying it when you are neck deep in water.

  3. Opher, I asked you for evidence to support your case on global warming, and instead of providing any, you ranted about “simplistic,” “flat earthers” and “denying!” That’s not how someone who claims to be a scientist should be arguing. BTW, I live at 92 metres (302 feet) altitude, so at current rates of sea level rise (about 8 inches per century) I have over 45,000 years before I will be “neck deep in water!”

    As to flat earthers, back in the days of WriterBeat I explicitly did an experiment (on the Worcestershire Beacon) aiming to prove that the earth is not flat! My experiment failed, but the principle was right – if the earth were flat, in perfect visibility the distance you can see over a flat plain or over the sea would not vary with your height above it. You can determine by observation that this is false, so the earth isn’t flat.

    As to the costs of green energy, it needs to be calculated over the full life cycle of equipment – from construction to operation to de-commissioning. Green energy advocates never bother do do this; and it’s obvious why. For a start, they ought to factor in the costs of the back-up power (e.g. gas or nuclear) that has to kick in when renewables can’t cut the mustard; and the costs of keeping it running but idle when renewables are doing relatively well. When you do the costs including all of these things, renewables aren’t any cheaper than fossil fuels – or, at least, wouldn’t be if green meddling hadn’t totally disrupted the energy markets. Green promoters and supporters have a lot to answer for.

    1. Lol Neil – I’ve sent you loads of information on global warming and species diversity. You only accept sources from the few outliers that agree with you. The evidence is so great that it hits you in the face every day.
      I agree – the total costs. Indeed they did that today on the radio on an electric car. It takes two years of use (in the USA) to move into ‘profit’. The production of the car and battery is two years burning of petrol in an ordinary car. I think that’s pretty good. Assuming the life of a car is ten years you get 8 years of non pollution. I’ll check out the wind turbines and I know for a fact that solar panels have become enormously more efficient and much cheaper. Green energy is already cheaper than oil, coal and gas.

      1. Well I agree with the first part. There is no proof.
        The second part is utter nonsense. The evidence from myriad sources is overwhelming. To prefer conspiracy to science is as bad as believing in an invisible spirit. As an intelligent statistician, you should know better. You’ve nailed your flag to a sinking ship.

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