image:google fails badly in a search

Too Often, Google Fails Badly as a Search Engine: It Omits Inconvenient Information

All Too Often, Google Fails Badly. Why? All too often, a search in Google fails badly because it omits inconvenient information, that’s why. And it’s why you must question everything. Let me explain. Since the coming of the ‘information messiah’, Google, the very notion of seeking information, or even ‘the Truth’, has become immortalized as the new verbal imperative, “Google it”. You’re told that if you want to know about something, just go to Google or Google Chrome, or even some of the other search engines built on Google, such as Duck Duck Go, or even Brave. And you’re ‘sure’ …

Read more

Vladimir Putin's approval rating over time

Putin’s Approval Rating: Open Response to Seymour Hersh’s Post on Putin’s Landslide Victory

Seymour Hersh on Vladimir Putin’s Approval Rating and Resounding Victory: An Open Response Recently, renowned journalist, Seymour Hersh questioned Putin’s approval rating and poll results, which he posted in an article on his Substack.  I, as a free subscriber, received an email, which was truncated, since I don’t pay for a subscription. There are many great journalists, and I just don’t have the money to support everyone. But I was struck by his opening: Forwarded this email? Subscribe here for more THE IRON-CLAD PIÑATA Putin is an enemy the West cannot topple—so why does Biden keep swinging? The Russian president’s …

Read more

A Fun Day in Irkutsk, The ‘Cool’ Capital of the Irkutsk Oblast (Region)

  Where in the World Is Irkutsk? As you can see according to the World Atlas, Irkutsk is midway across the vast country of Russia, which itself spans multiple time zones. It’s north of Mongolia, and directly north of China, Thailand and Southeast Asia. Because of this, it is a crossroad of various cultures, both Mongolian, Central Asian Turkic, Slavic and numerous indigenous communities. Russia comprises well over 100 different ethnic groups and languages. All recognized and supported. By Pablitto, Marcin Konsek, Ася Волкова, Vaiz Ha, Fanzuga, Вячеслав Ребров.Pablitto – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Pictured above are some …

Read more

TRip to Lake Baikal. A view from a cliff

My Trip to Lake Baikal August, 2023

Trip to Lake Baikal: Oldest, Biggest, Deepest Lake in the World Why I Chose to Make the Trip to Lake Baikal ““In ancient times all life was considered sacred. Now those times are gone, nobody thinks about it any more.” Well, I do. So, I decided to see for myself and took the trip to Lake Baikal. Lake Baikal held fascination for me because of its uniqueness. It is 25 million years old, making it by far the oldest lake in the world. It also is by far, the deepest lake, 1.2 miles, with more fresh water than any …

Read more

Iconic Photo by Photographer Nikolai Rachmanov

Russia Journey, 2023. First Leg, Moscow from July 25-August 4th.

Arrival at the Downtown Metro Station   After a couple of days’ rest following my roughly 25 hour trip–from Chiang Mai, to Bangkok, Thailand, a 4 hour wait, a 6 hour flight to Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, another 4 hour wait, and another 6 hour flight to Moscow, and another two hours to get my bags and find a taxi to my final destination, I was ready to take on Moscow. First order of business was to get my long awaited refund from Aeroflot. My trip in 2020 was cancelled due to Covid, and the airline wasn’t offering any …

Read more

Mosaic in Kievsky Metro Station, Moscow

My Trip to Russia 2022 Part Four: Back to Moscow

        Back to Moscow Since I had a couple of extra days to stay in Moscow, with my new train ticket, I had to find a place to stay. My friend Dean at the Povordie Hostel, where I’d stayed before, helped me out again. He got me a reservation to stay there, for two nights, September 6th and 7th, before my return flight. When I got to Moscow, Dean met me at the train station to help me with my baggage. We got the front desk and I checked in. Uh, Oh, Another Check-in Problem It turned …

Read more

FDR letter honoring the Soviet victory in Stalingrad

My Trip to Russia 2022 Part II: Volgograd

   Volgograd, Formerly Stalingrad, a Hero City of the Soviet Union Introduction Except for the relatively small percent of those either drafted or enlisted in the Wars of the West, which are wars fought far–very far–from the borders of the United States, most Americans from the US have little direct experience or understanding, of what it is like to be invaded.  And interestingly, when opposition to the many US wars takes place, it is often in terms of how many of ‘our’ people die, compared with how many of ‘the Other people’ die following our ‘export of freedom and democracy’–usually …

Read more

My Trip to Russia 2022 Part Three

Traveling to Crimea After Volgograd, I planned to go to Crimea. I’d taken a plane flight to the capital of Crimea, Simferopol, in 2015. But due to safety concerns (getting shot down by the Ukrainian military), no civilian airplanes are flying to Crimea as of this writing, late September, 2022. So, with the help of Kira, who could pay online for a ticket in advance, I took a train. It’s a sleeper train, with the train cars designed to have upper and lower bunks, about 20 inches wide, and less than 6 feet long. The lower bunk is a lot …

Read more

My Trip to Russia Part I

Part One While I was at a yoga resort in July, my friend Regis Tremblay, a peace activist and documentary filmmaker sent me an email. He’d visited Manita and Yuri, whose hostel I’d stayed at in 2015, in Sevastopol, the famous seaport and naval base, which has been part of Russia since 1783. Manita sent a video message, “We miss you…and remember the garden you promised?”. While there in 2015, I’d seen a patch of land that was unused, and strewn with weeds. So I’d suggested planting fruit trees there. I’d planned to go back in 2020, but Covid prevented …

Read more