With the Russian invasion of Ukraine, there has been a great amount of misinformation coming from Russia, Ukraine, US, and Western media. It is difficult to unwind what is true and what is not. But one thing we know – the ‘Ghose of Ukraine’ didn’t recently die. We know this because he never lived.
We’ve seen great thinkers like Adam Kinzinger get embarrassed by the information coming out of Ukraine. Kinzinger was fooled into believing that the name of the ‘Ghost of Ukraine’ was revealed and it was none other than Samuyil Hyde (an Internet meme).
Kissinger famously fell for an internet prank back in February.
But the real problem with Kinzinger’s identification of the Ghost of Ukraine, is that this fearless fighter is not real. Kinzinger was fooled here as well. The Gateway Pundit identified parts of the imagery used in this story were from a 2019 article published in Ukraine at Censor.net. Other parts of the imagery come from a video game.
But the story of the Ghost of Ukraine lives on.
Sadly, the Ghost of Kiev reportedly died in March. The London Times reported that Major Stepan Tarabalka died in March during a dog fight with Russians. Daily Caller reported:
The condemnation of the Russian invasion of Ukraine is coming from governments that have committed war crimes, without media coverage, for decades.
This does not justify Russia’s actions.
Any actions taken by governments that harm, displace and kill innocent people should be condemned and forbidden.
Why do we only hear a one-sided story from Western legacy media?
Why are people who have a different view of this conflict, and other issues, instantly condemned in today’s society?
Are we creating a culture where people who oppose narratives can’t even speak, share their opinion or fear to do so?
What’s happening in our world when relationships are ruined due to a certain narrative we believe?
Human rights groups, civil liberty groups and press freedom advocates received a glimmer of hope when Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks, won the right to ask the Supreme Court to block his extradition to the United States.
At that time last January, the High Court ruled that Assange had an arguable point of law and that he can petition the Supreme Court to hear the case. This was allowed to happen over concerns about how the US justice system would treat Assange, especially given the fact that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) wanted to assassinate him.
Heart’s sank on Monday when the British Supreme Court refused Assange’s latest appeal to prevent his extradition to the US. The case now moves to UK Home Secretary Priti Patel to authorize the extradition.
According to his Lawyer Barry Pollack, Assange will continue the legal process fighting his extradition to the United States to “face criminal charges for publishing truthful and newsworthy information.”
Assange was charged under the Espionage Act and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, largely for actions rightfully recognized as protected news-gathering practices. He made public previously classified documents exposing various war crimes carried out by the US and other governments.
A favourite quote of mine comes to mind here from Nils Melzer, the Human Rights Chair of the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law who has served as the UN Rapporteur on Torture and Other Inhumane or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.
“How far have we sunk if telling the truth becomes a crime? How far have we sunk if we prosecute people that expose war crimes for exposing war crimes? How far have we sunk when we no longer prosecute our own war criminals? Because we identify more with them, than we identify with the people that actually expose these crimes. What does that tell about us and about our governments? In a democracy, the power does not belong to the government, but to the people. But the people have to claim it. Secrecy disempowers the people because it prevents them from exercising democratic control, which is precisely why governments want secrecy.”
Nils Melzer, Human Rights Chair of the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law
This is why it’s ironic that the western military alliance and their allies overseas are condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The point is not that it shouldn’t be condemned, any violent conflict that escalates to the point where innocent people have to fear for their lives should always be condemned. The point is that it’s hypocritical given that the West has done the same, and in many cases the citizenry is programmed to praise it.
Multiple governments, the United States included, are guilty of some of the most significant war crimes in human history. Just look at what’s happened in Iraq and various parts of the Middle East over the decades. Governments funding, arming and even ‘creating’ terrorist organizations that they claim to be ‘fighting against’ has been a common theme exposed by Assange and many others.
Again, this doesn’t justify the Russian invasion, but it’s important to note that facts about tensions that have been boiling for quite some time have been omitted.
War and geopolitical issues are always followed by propaganda campaigns by governments to influence the perception of their own citizenry. The screenshot below is a great example. This is an unfortunate part of our reality, and the most horrendous atrocities have always been committed and disguised as a noble action.
Stella Moris, partner of Julian Assange and mother to his two boys explains,
“Julian was just doing his job, which was to publish the truth about wrongdoing. His loyalty is the same as that which all journalists should have: to the public. Not to the spy agencies of a foreign power. He published evidence that the country that is trying to extradite him committed war crimes and covered them up; that it committed gross violations that killed tens of thousands of innocent men, women and children; that it tortured and rendered; that it bombed children, had death squads, and murdered Reuters journalists in cold blood; that it bribed foreign officials and bullied less powerful countries into harming their own citizens, and that it also corrupted allied nations’ judicial inquiries into US wrongdoing.”
The US alone has displaced between 38 and 60 million people across eight countries since 2001. Keep this in mind the next time you hear US government officials pledge to defend “international law,” “human rights,” or “sovereignty and territorial integrity” abroad, or any government for that matter.
There is ongoing conflict on this planet almost at all times, the US-Saudi led war in Yemen has killed nearly half a million people and more than 20 million are facing famine.
Making Sense of War Is Difficult
These days it’s nearly impossible to decipher what’s actually happening, but does it really matter? Innocent people have become the sacrifice of governments who seem to enjoy playing their war games. When it comes to the Russian Ukraine conflict, we are only presented with one side from legacy media, while all other perspectives, whether legit or not, are deemed a “conspiracy theory” or, in this case, “Russian propaganda.”
An open, balanced, and grounded discussion is never had. Opposing points are never addressed, and dialogue is not welcome. You’re not allowed to ask questions about COVID in the same way you’re not allowed to question the mainstream narrative with regards to what’s happening in Ukraine. If you are, you’re condemned for it.
Is this a slippery slope? Have we created an unsafe space for meaningful dialogue? What will the effects be of the continued shutdown of dialogue?
This underlying cultural theme is why people like Julian Assange are in jail – and suffering. This is why the US Department of Homeland Security has stated that sharing “misinformation” online may be considered domestic terrorism. The only issue is, they (the US government) are the ones acting as ‘the ministry of truth.’
A few days ago Saudi Arabia executed 81 people for having “deviant beliefs.”
Ben Wizner, Director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project, American Civil Liberties Union, explains with regards to Assange,
“For the first time in the history of our country, the government has brought criminal charges against a publisher for the publication of truthful information…It establishes a dangerous precedent that can be used to target all news organizations that hold the government accountable by publishing its secrets. And it’s equally dangerous for U.S. journalists who uncover the secrets of other nations.
Ben Wizner, Director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project
Seeking truth threatens the power and control governments and corporations continue to grasp day by day. What we see today is the justification of unethical actions that are deemed by government to be justified for the good of the world. This requires massive propaganda campaigns to convince a large portion of the citizenry to obey, and stigmatize those who don’t.
“National Security” has become a term used to justify secrecy on virtually anything that threatens the power, control, and reputation of governments and organizations that are tasked with looking out for humanity’s best interests.
What’s The Solution?
It’s high time citizens of the world refuse to get caught up in the back and forth banter of what’s happening, what’s right and what’s wrong. This doesn’t mean running away from truth-seeking, but instead seeking a different and more balanced conversation on the grounds of good faith. It means being ok with the idea that the “popular” narrative and the one presented to us by our “leaders” may not be the only one.
The world is growing tired of people being divided on both sides of a crisis to the point where relationships with friends and family are ending because we cannot find comfortable ways to discuss ideas.
At the heart of any meaningful action in our world is our ability to make sense of reality and unite on a direction. The problem we face in sensemaking is breaking down as we are shutting out a balanced inquiry and pretending that anyone who opposes an idea in the mainstream is just operating off of ‘misinformation.’
We need to unite in something where most of us agree, allowing and giving governments the power to kill innocent people should not be tolerable. It’s not fair that innocent people continue to suffer with regard to complications that have nothing to do with them. I’m not sure what the solution is. A massive shift in consciousness is needed on this planet, and that shift needs to happen in those who “govern” us and seem to desire more power and control. At the same time, an “us versus them” mentality also seems useless.
Multiple days following Kiev alleging mass killings of civilians committed by Russian forces in the Ukrainian town of Bucha which has been driving headlines in the West, China has weighed in for the first time, also as the EU and US ratchet sanctions on Moscow over what they say are clear war crimes.
China’s ambassador to the United Nations Ambassador Zhang Jun said on Tuesday that the reports and images coming out of Bucha are “very disturbing”, but stressed that any accusations against Russian forces must be independently verified and based firmly in facts.
“Attacks against civilians are unacceptable and should not occur,” the ambassador said. “The reports and images of civilian deaths in Bucha are deeply disturbing.”
But he added a key caveat while stopping short of condemning Moscow or Vladimir Putin, stressing that “circumstances and specific causes of the incident should be verified and established” and that “all sides should exercise restraint and avoid unfounded accusations.”
And Reuters reported further his words as follows:
Speaking at a Security Council meeting, Ambassador Zhang Jun repeated Beijing’s stance that sanctions are not effective in solving the Ukraine crisis but instead they accelerate the economic spillover. He also called the United States, NATO and the European Union to engage in a dialogue with Russia.
Chinese state-run media suggested what’s widely being referred to as the ‘Bucha massacre’ in which at least 300 civilians died is a manufactured event meant to paint Russia into a corner. “An editorial in Global Times, the nationalist tabloid affiliated with party mouthpiece People’s Daily, said the incident should not be used as a pretext for inflaming the situation,” SCMP notes.
Meanwhile the European Union has implied that Beijing is being tone deaf on the Ukraine issue, with EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell characterizing the latest EU summit with Xi Jinping as a “deaf dialogue”.
“China wanted to set aside our difference on Ukraine,” he said of last week’s virtual summit. “They didn’t want to talk about Ukraine. They didn’t want to talk about human rights and other issues, and instead focused on the positive things.”
China’s foreign ministry on Wednesday accused Washington of “fanning the flames” in Ukraine…
The clear allegation out of Brussels is that Beijing is showing little active interest in ending the war in Ukraine. Recently European leaders have been urging Beijing to intervene diplomatically to convince Putin to halt the invasion, which is now focused on securing Ukraine’s eastern regions.
Google censored President Trump for years pushing hit pieces on the 45th President to the top of their search results. Google frequently censored top conservative websites like The Gateway Pundit and news broke that Google-YouTube censored and removed over a million videos on Covid-19.
Last August, Google demonetized The Gateway Pundit from their ad network. The Gateway Pundit is one of the top 200 websites in America today, according to Alexa ranking.
“Our goal is to help enable a free and open internet by giving publishers the ability to monetize their content. We do this by maintaining a clean and safe ad network that is part of a healthy digital advertising and publisher ecosystem,” said Google in their email to The Gateway Pundit.
Now, the far-left company warned more publishers that they will demonetize any websites that “imply victims are responsible for their own tragedy or similar instances of victim-blaming, such as claims that Ukraine is committing genocide or deliberately attacking its own citizens.”
Google also indicated that it may also demonetize for other reasons including talking about Nazi aspects of Azov Battalion.
“The article doesn’t blame the people of Ukraine or justify the war in Ukraine in any way, but it just talks about some of the uncomfortable aspects of the conflict that many other people have also been pointing out i.e. presence of neo-Nazi elements in Ukraine’s establishment. Azov Battalion is one such element.
The war in Ukraine has also brought out how the big tech and social media companies could align themselves in international conflict and act as supernational entities.”
Biden said, “For God’s sake, this man [Putin] cannot remain in power.”
Biden’s handlers immediately went into clean up mode and ‘clarified’ Biden’s regime change remarks.
According to Axios and Washington Post, Biden’s last line calling for Putin to be taken out was not on his teleprompter.
So Dementia Joe just blurted it out and escalated tensions with a nuclear power for no good reason.
“Do you believe what you said that Putin can’t remain in power, or do you now regret saying that because your government has been trying to walk that back? Does you words complicate matters?” NBC’s Kelly O’Donnell asked Biden.
Side note: Since when is the White House a separate entity from Joe Biden?
“I’m not walking anything back,” Biden said before admitting he has no control over his emotions. “I was expressing moral outrage I felt toward the way Putin is dealing… and the actions of this man – just brutality… half the children in Ukraine — but I want to make it clear, I wasn’t then nor am I now articulating a policy change..”
Biden said he ‘makes no apologies’ for expressing his ‘personal feelings’ on Putin.
Ukrainian men who identify as women are being turned back attempting to flee the country, as they are, in fact, men and thus required to remain and be conscripted for military service.
“Trans women are reportedly being denied passage to safer countries, despite their legal status as women and the danger posed by Russia’s transphobic policies,” the U.K. Guardian lamented in a report on Tuesday.
“Ukrainian border guards undress you and touch you everywhere,” said Judis, a transgender “woman” who spoke with the British newspaper. “You can see on their faces they’re wondering ‘what are you?’ like you’re some kind of animal or something.”
Although Judis’ birth certificate identifies him as female, Ukrainian border guards determined he was a male and refused to allow him passage into Poland, where women and children have been fleeing to escape the invasion.
Men have not been allowed to leave the country since martial law was declared on Feb. 24.
Activists told The Guardian that dozens of transgender “women” have also been turned away despite being legally recognized as women, “with many fearing for their lives in the event that Russia’s transphobic regime takes over.”
Ukraine isn’t so hot when it comes to transgender rights all the same. Although transgenders have been allowed legal recognition since 2017, they must undergo extensive psychiatric observation and a “lengthy bureaucratic process” to change official records, so many found themselves still stuck with “male” on their passports when Russia invaded.
“Martial law says all males are obliged to serve in the military, so they can’t leave the country,” Ukrainian transgender activist Olena Shevchenko told The Guardian.
“Technically, the law applies to trans people as well, including both certified trans men and trans women who had not changed their documents. But it sounds like Ukrainian border guards are preventing even trans people with a valid certificate reflecting their new gender from leaving Ukraine, and nobody knows why.”
Really? Nobody knows why?
The border guards were pretty straightforward with Judis as to why he wouldn’t be allowed to cross. They told him “you’re a guy, so get the hell out of here” and that he should be grateful they didn’t call the police, The Guardian reported.
“‘Go to the war’, they replied, adding that more than 3 million people had already fled the country and they weren’t going to let me out,” he said.
Well, this is going to be awkward for everyone with a Ukraine flag right next to their pronouns and LGBT pride emojis in their Twitter bio.
Here’s the blunt reality — men are men, plain and simple.
We are witnessing this brutal reality here in the West as University of Pennsylvania Lia Thomas and other transgender athletes blow away their female competition thanks to woke athletic governance organizations that prefer to virtue signal their acceptance of LGBT+ ideology regardless of how it hurts female athletes. And transgender “women” in Ukraine are getting a horrifically brutal reality check that, when it comes down to defending one’s country, biology really does matter.
What’s ironic, of course, is that the Westerners who have been most emphatic about supporting the Ukrainian government as it fights the Russian invasion probably didn’t even stop to consider the fact that the country isn’t exactly a glorious paradise of liberalism and democracy before jumping on the bandwagon.
Just as I’m sure so many moderns who support transgenderism because it’s en vogue culturally haven’t spent a lot of time considering that it doesn’t apply to real life quite as easily as academia and the woke intelligentsia make it sound.
As an American Supreme Court nominee struggles to define what a “woman” is, Ukrainians are sticking to the tried-and-true definition because they’re both a) not a Western, wokified country and b) they need men to fight the Russians.
The blunt, impolite, politically incorrect basic truth about gender identity and all gender politics applies to Lia Thomas, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s professed ignorance of basic biology, and Ukraine’s refusal to let men flee the country even if they identify as women.
That is, that our bodies define who we are, and men and women are different. What’s more, I would strongly assert, we sorely need to be able to define the differences between men and women in order to continue to protect women.
This is why men simply cannot be women. As Thomas unfairly dominates his fellow competitors in the pool, transgender “women” fleeing Ukraine would be granted privileges that need to be reserved for women and children, that is, the privileges of a protected, physically weaker class of humans, biologically suited to better tend to and protect the children they flee with, to run to safety while men stay and fight.
It’s barbaric to pretend otherwise.
My heart continues to ache for gender dysphoric individuals, and I doubt this compassion will abate anytime soon, but the sympathy I have for them can never change the fundamental truth that human civility will never be preserved if we diminish the definition of a “woman.”
War, like athletics, makes it impossible to deny the undeniable about gender — no matter how much it hurt men who identify as women, men can simply not be women, and women sorely need men to remain men.
Otherwise, there will no longer be any definable concept of “women’s rights” — much less the godly, chivalrous, moral protection that women sorely need.
We must be willing to die on this hill, if need be, if there is to be any hope of maintaining a fair society for women.
Aaron Mate of the Grayzone asks Col Douglas Macgregor his take on the dominant narrative in the US that militarily this is a disaster for Russia. Colonel Macgregor believes that in the West there is no truth and there is only wishful thinking. Max Blumenthal follows up with a question on the military situation.
Col Macgregor’s take is the entire Russian Operation is focused on the Military Destruction of the Ukrainian Army. The Russian Army is largely successful in this goal, but it is going slow, because of the Russian intent to maintain critical infrastructure.
The Azov Battalion’s operations Mariupol also comes up as point of discussion as one of the dynamics of the conflict.
Authorities are reporting 23 civilians dead, including children, after a Ukrainian missile strike against a civilian center in the Russian-speaking city of Donetsk. Western mainstream media has neglected to report on the alleged attack on civilians while the Ukranian Government is denying it ever happened. However, extensive video footage has been released documenting the strike and its casualties.
The Russian defense ministry and Donetsk authorities report that 23 civilians were killed in a Ukrainian missile attack on the city of Donetsk, the capital of the Donestk People’s Republic. An additional 28 civilians have been reported wounded in what those on the Russian side of the conflict are calling a war crime.
Donetsk, along with several other Russian-speaking regions of Ukraine, broke away from the nation in 2014 after its elected pro-Russian government was overthrown in a “revolution” backed by George Soros and Barack Obama. Ukraine has been in chaos ever since and the Russian state has accused the Ukrainians of committing genocide against the Russian-speaking population, though it should be noted that these claims have not been verified.
In one video clip of the alleged Ukrainian missile strike taken from a surveillance camera, civilians in Donetsk can be seen in what appears to be a bank. Business is seen carrying on as usual in the clip before its subjects are suddenly thrown to the floor and windows are blasted out of the building as the missile landed nearby.
Outside, a bus stop in the city center had been ravaged and dead civilians, including children, dotted the street. Some citizens could be seen frantically mourning the losses as emergency workers responded.
“People were waiting in line near an ATM and were standing at a bus stop,” Denis Pushilin, the head of the Donetsk People’s Republic told the media. “There are children among the dead,” he went on to say.
The Russian side claims the missile was a Ukrainian Tochka-U rocket and was designed to act as a “cluster munition” capable of detonating above the city of Donetsk to inflict maximum damage. To the contrary, at least one pro-Russian separatist leader says the Ukrainian missile was actually intercepted and shot down, breaking into pieces as a result.
On the other hand, the Ukrainians deny the missile came from them, and say there is no point in even talking about it. “It is unmistakably a Russian rocket or another munition, there’s not even any point talking about it,” Leonid Matyukhin, a Ukrainian military spokesman, told media during a briefing, suggesting the missile attack was a false flag.
As the Russo-Ukrainian War has unfolded in recent weeks, Western media and social networks have sought to tightly control the narrative coming out of embattled regions, censoring combat footage and other news that paints the Ukrainian side in a bad light, while likening the Russians to German Nazis in World War 2.
As previously reported by National File, Americans and other Western volunteers who traveled to Ukraine to aid in the war effort have reported horrifying experiences and brutality among the Ukrainian forces. One American volunteer described his harrowing experience on video, and claimed that Westerners had been killed in an airstrike on Ukrainian positions. The same man, who made it out of Ukraine, reported that Western volunteers are effectively locked inside the country. He said that while foreign volunteers have been attempting to leave, Ukranian has destroyed their passports and threatened to shoot them in the back should they walk away.
By the end of 2022, we are going to witness very serious shortages of food in many parts of the globe. In fact, World Bank President David Malpass is openly admitting that we are now facing “a huge supply shock” as a result of the war in Ukraine. Of course, we were already moving into a global food crisis even before the war erupted. According to the UN, worldwide food prices in February 2022 were 20.7 percent higher than they were in February 2021, fertilizer prices have gone absolutely nuts, crop production is down all over the planet due to crazy weather patterns, and supply chain problems caused by the pandemic continue to create ongoing headaches. But now World War 3 has erupted, and that is going to push this rapidly growing global food crisis to a level that none of us have ever seen before.
Under normal conditions, Ukraine exports tremendous amounts of food and is considered to be one of the most important “breadbaskets” on the entire planet.
Unfortunately, everything has changed now, and this has pushed the global price of wheat up 55 percent since a week before the invasion happened…
Ukrainian farmers have been forced to neglect their fields as millions flee, fight or try to stay alive. Ports are shut down that send wheat and other food staples worldwide to be made into bread, noodles and animal feed. And there are worries Russia, another agricultural powerhouse, could have its grain exports upended by Western sanctions.
While there have not yet been global disruptions to wheat supplies, prices have surged 55% since a week before the invasion amid concerns about what could happen next. If the war is prolonged, countries that rely on affordable wheat exports from Ukraine could face shortages starting in July, International Grains Council director Arnaud Petit told The Associated Press.
I really don’t like that “shortages starting in July” part.
Now that exports from Russia will be greatly reduced and exports from Ukraine will be virtually non-existent, some countries will almost immediately be facing extreme stress.
For example, just consider Lebanon. The Lebanese normally get 60 percent of their wheat from Ukraine…
War-ravaged Syria recently announced it would cut spending and ration staples. In nearby Lebanon, where a massive explosion at the Beirut port in 2020 destroyed the country’s main grain silos, authorities are scrambling to make up for a predicted wheat shortage, with Ukraine providing 60% of its supply. They are in talks with the U.S., India and Canada to find other sources for a country already in financial meltdown.
Very high food prices caused (contributed to – Ed.) riots all over the Middle East in 2011, and now we are moving into a food crisis that will be far greater than anything that we experienced back then.
Things are going to be very challenging in Europe as well, because Ukraine normally provides almost 60 percent of the corn that Europeans use…
Ukraine supplies the EU with just under 60% of its corn and nearly half of a key component in the grains needed to feed livestock.
Meanwhile, crops all over the world are in surprisingly poor shape because weather conditions have been so strange.
Earlier today, I was stunned to learn that it is being projected that China’s winter wheat crop could be “the worst in history”…
The condition of China’s winter wheat crop could be the “worst in history”, the agriculture minister said on Saturday, raising concerns about grain supplies in the world’s biggest wheat consumer.
A limited supply of soft white wheat, the primary type of wheat grown in the Inland Northwest, has helped lead to a six-year low for wheat exports from the United States. That’s according to the USDA wheat report for February. The report also states that 71 percent of U.S. winter wheat is being hit by drought in 2022.
We struggle to feed the entire world even in the best of years, and this definitely is not going to be one of the best of years.
Another factor that is going to drive up the cost of food is soaring energy prices.
Gasoline prices surged to the highest level since 2008 on Sunday, as crude oil supply fears stemming from Russia’s war on Ukraine increase the impact on consumers at the pump.
The national average for a gallon of gas hit $4.009 on Sunday, according to AAA, which is the highest since July 2008, not adjusted for inflation. Prices have been rising at a fast clip. Consumers are paying 40 cents more than a week ago, and 57 cents more than a month ago.
Of course the price of gasoline is much higher in some parts of the nation than in others.
The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in Los Angeles County rose to $5.247 on Saturday, but some gas stations in the area have even higher prices.
The Shell gas station located at Olympic Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue in Mid-City was advertising regular unleaded at $6.99 a gallon. The price for premium was listed at $7.29 a gallon.
I suppose that I should stop warning about “seven dollars a gallon” for gasoline, because it is already here. So many of the things that I have warned about have already happened, and things are only going to get worse from here.
In fact, I think that it won’t be too long before some Americans are paying ten dollars for a gallon of gasoline.
Would do you think that will do to our economy?
This war is going to end up deeply affecting every man, woman and child on the entire planet.
If you were waiting for things to “return to normal”, you can stop waiting, because a perfect storm has arrived and things are definitely not going to be “normal” for the foreseeable future.
“As far as I'm concerned, it's a damned shame that a field as potentially dynamic and vital as journalism should be overrun with dullards, bums, and hacks, hag-ridden with myopia, apathy, and complacence, and generally stuck in a bog of stagnant mediocrity.” -Hunter Thompson