Me again

It's nice in the sun, the shade's not fun. ~ Neighborhood mail carrier.

It's been pretty chilly in Seattle. I overheard the mail carrier saying that to a neighbor. We all had a good laugh at the unintentional rhyme. I'm glad we haven't given into the awful temptation over the years to get rid of the USPS.

Anyone playing Wordle? I've had a lot of fun with it. My family has a text thread where we share our results. I like that it's a quick activity, limited to one try per day.

Has anyone else been doomscrolling? My bet is that Chuck has very sensibly managed to avoid it. I've been doomscrolling, following the coverage of the events in Ukraine. A combination of things has kept me glued to the screen: the inevitable suffering, flashbacks to my old State Department job, remembering debates about NATO expansion, looking at how the war is covered, etc.

I've been tempted a few times to write some thoughts on the situation, but each time I closed the blog shortly after opening it. The world really doesn't need another person talking about it. I have to mention one thing, though. It's something I've mentioned before here. It seems like people are increasingly only able to hold one thought. I hope that's not actually the case, but instead something limited to the internet.

Here's the best example I can give. In the online world, if you mention that the eastward expansion of NATO, actual membership or the prospect of membership, was a bad idea, you're going to be labeled as a Russian asset or useful idiot. A friend of mine told me I was repeating Russian talking points, and that NATO was strictly a defensive entity. His perspective seems common, which surprised me. Journalists and politicians are claiming that the NATO issue is made up. That also surprised me.

John Mearsheimer, a professor at the University of Chicago, is one of America's leading international affairs experts. He's been warning about the dangers of NATO expansion since the topic came up. His premise is simple - great powers get nervous when other great powers are near their borders. That's essentially the reason for the Monroe Doctrine. Here's an opinion piece he wrote in 2014. Thomas Friedman had a good article about the same topic the other day. (It's nice to be a NYT hotshot - the article has parts of an old conversation with George Kennan.)

It sometimes feels like we're losing our ability to have complex discussions. I'm hoping it's an online thing mainly, and I'm hoping that most people aren't glued to their screens. I'll stop droning on about it. The most important thing now is that there is an awful war going on in which people will suffer tremendously. Heart-breaking, tragic, and unnecessary.

Sorry for the downer of a post! I need to make some site tweaks. Minor things behind the scenes, under the hood. But I am skilled in breaking things and making things more difficult, so if something seems weird here the next few days, that's the reason.