Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The blurring of current events

As 2014 winds down, the events of the world seem to be moving faster.  When things move faster, we sometimes see things as blurred rather than clearly.

Take for example all of the electrons that were needlessly during the Sony hacking story.  At first, Americans did not understand they were supposed to be upset that North Korea had hacked a the entertainment division of a Japanese corporation.  Americans were far more entertained by the scandalous content of the leaked emails rather than by how these emails had been obtained.  The likely culprit was North Korea since their president was insulted by his fictional assassination in the movie "The Interview".  The connection did not seem to resonant at first with the media and public.

Sony's Amy Pascal was far more fascinating to Americans.  She came off looking like a backstabbing phony insulting the very people who were making money for her division.  Things were looking bad so Sony Pictures had to lawyer-up in an attempt to stop the media from sharing everything the hackers had leaked.  At the same time, the FBI was the first government agency to announce that yes indeed, North Korea was to blame (albeit a week late).

But things began to take an interesting turn.  North Korea is not known for having a sophisticated cyber-warfare ability, even more telling was the fact that the servers used to hack Sony Pictures were not in North Korea at all but China.  When the White House asked China for their help in tracking down the hackers, they received a non-answer from Beijing.  A fair question is, why wasn't China a suspect especially given the number of cyber-attacks launched against the US (and the former "pivot towards Asia" strategy by the US)?

Strangely, had this been say China or Russia the calls for taking action would have been much louder.  If this were somehow or other a ruse to get the US and North Korea into some sort of a conflict, it has fizzled thus far (despite North Korea's threat to attack any theater showing "The Interview" in a 9/11 style attack).  Sony did pull "The Interview" at first but when their stars started to grouse, Sony released the movie via the Internet (from the reviews, probably just as well).

The story became blurs though as US headlines were grabbed by the assassination of NYPD officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu by a gunmen allegedly set on killing officers in retaliation for Eric Garner (who had been choked to death by a NYPD officer who was not indicted).  The situation between NYPD and Mayor de Blasio has deteriorated to the point where the officers attending the funeral for Officers Ramos and Liu turned their backs en masse on their mayor.  NYPD officers are now allegedly ignoring petty crimes for fear this might be a set-up for another assassination attempt.

Meanwhile other officers have been slain in Florida and an unsuccessful attempt in Durham, NC.  Police had already been vilified by shooting of Michael Brown (Ferguson, MO) and Tamir Rice (Cleveland, OH).  Distrust between the public and those sworn to protect them hasn't been this low since probably the Civil Rights era.

As I've said before, wouldn't this though be a very interesting way to manipulate the US for if matters continue as they seem to be headed, martial law for at least New York is not inconceivable.  If martial law ends-up getting imposed, then it will escalate as more and more Americans become concerned of the probability of martial law being imposed across the nation.  What an awesome way to take our mind off of foreign matters.

While your mind gets blurred by that thought, an interesting thing happened on the way to the Christmas break.  Mr. Obama took the first steps to normalizing relations with Cuba.  (It has always puzzled me why once the Soviet Union fell that the US did not reach out to Cuba.)  At first, this looked like an excellent move to trump Russia's increased military activity in this hemisphere.  But then Mr. Obama announces that Iran has the opportunity to become "a successful regional power"?  WTF?

After the history the US has had with Iran (not to mention the US citizens being held hostage by Iran), now Mr. Obama wants to make nice and is even talking about a US embassy in Tehran?  Well if normalizing relations with Cuba was to be some kind of check on Russia, the overture to Iran has had just the opposite reaction from Moscow.  Russia may halt any bilateral cooperation in regards to Syria and Iran's nuclear program.

If you haven't started scratching you head and rubbing your eyes, then ponder for a moment that while Mr. Obama "celebrates" the end of the war in Afghanistan, the US has quietly been increasing troops in Eastern Europe (as part of the NATO rapid reaction force) and Western Africa (to deal with the ebola outbreak).  Russia has not pulled any of their forces out of Ukraine and are now fielding ballistic missiles mounted on rail cars.

My conclusion is we are being manipulated by information overload to avoid a clear understanding of what is going on.  We can't worry about things overseas if we are worried that our own police force may is out to get us (or vice versa).  We can't worry about a potential war with Russia if our minds are being occupied by salacious tales of our favorite celebrities by sent by movie studio executives.  And just in case you may still think we are going to war, then you won't be once you pay less than $2.00 per gallon at the pump (thanks to Saudi Arabia wanting to stick it to Russia's oil production).  Yes, speed does blur everything.

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