For those of you who have been napping for the past month, let me update you on world events:
The folks in Ukraine (formerly one of the Soviet Socialist Republics before the USSR went belly-up) are in full-fledge revolt. They want to align themselves with the European Union as they see that as the surest way for them to grow and prosper. As it is now they're a sneeze away from bankruptcy. Russia doesn't want to let go of their influence there, and is pulling the strings of the current Ukraine leader.
Vladimir Putin (aka Pootie-Pooh), the Russian President, is about to blow a gasket thinking about one of "his" neighbors rejecting him and taking up with their neighbors on the other side. He's very possessive, a man scorned, and he's an old school KGB'er at heart....not a good combination.
Meanwhile back in Sochi, the showcase Olympics that Pootie has spent the equivalent of $50B on is turning out to be a laughable mess. These Olympics are to Russia today what the 1936 Berlin Olympics were to Nazi Germany; a way to show the world how advanced, modern, and powerful they are.
So far that isn't working out well. Their facilities are woefully crude and crumbling and many of the venues themselves are simply inferior. The Russians are hockey obsessed and care about little else but their team winning the hockey Gold Medal. Yesterday they were knocked out....humiliated even....in a quarterfinal round.
Home-grown terrorists are somewhere in the Sochi shadows right now, hoping to cause mayhem. They have so far been kept at bay only because Russia has stationed a not-so-small army there (for now) to step on them. All this is taking its toll. The Russian (read: Vladimir Putin's) psyche has been severely wounded.
Remember the old joke...."What's worse than shooting at a charging bear and missing? Shooting at a charging bear and only wounding him."
If the protesters in Ukraine succeed in putting in place a new government that turns it's back on Russia, don't be surprised if Putin does something violent in response. Or maybe he'll even devise an excuse to physically go into Ukraine before it gets to that to "restore calm".
Of course the west will respond with a meaningless statement of condemnation, the Russians will curtail natural gas deliveries to Europe (they provide the majority of Europe's natural gas) as pipelines go down for "routine maintenance", and from there....?
Most catastrophes don't start out with one gigantic "boom". They're usually the result of a number of small things that go wrong and build on each other, culminating in one gigantic boom. Nobody, least of all little 'ol me, knows yet what's going to happen. But considering the crude, violent nature of politics in that part of the world, I'm guessing things aren't going to end well.