by Kyle K. Mann – Gonzo Today Contributing Editor and Publisher
One of the roughest news weeks in my 60 years of observation of current events is in the books. A lot of people are numbed, enraged or celebrating the U.S. Supreme Court decisions on concealed guns and the takedown of Roe v. Wade.
But whatever our personal views on those issues, I suspect most people would agree that the most important fact of our time is that the world has not experienced a global nuclear war.
It seems obvious that if you are about to experience a nuclear bomb attack, that all other matters pale in significance.
Which brings us to Kaliningrad.
Most Americans have no idea where Kaliningrad is, what it’s history is, and why it could be the flashpoint for the end of the world as we know it.
Until 1945 the city of Kaliningrad on the Baltic Sea was a part of Germany, and before Germany existed as a national state, a major component of the nation of Prussia. The city was called Konigsberg before being renamed in 1946 and was originally Prussia’s capital. The Prussians were a militarized state that fought often with their neighbors, usually successfully, and reached their territorial peak in 1870. In 1871 it became the core of the German Empire.
This is a drastic simplification of Prussian history, which goes back 800 years. When the Russians conquered East Prussia and Konigsberg in 1945 they deported the German population and were awarded the land in the Treaty of Potsdam. In 1990 the reunified German government renounced any claim to the renamed Kaliningrad Russian territory, which is now surrounded by NATO members Poland and Lithuania.
Goods are brought in from Russia by way of rail through a 40 mile corridor between Kaliningrad and Russian ally Belarus, which is Lithuanian and Polish border territory named the Suwalki Gap.
In the past week Lithuania has declared that Russian goods that are sanctioned as a result of the current Ukrainian conflict will not be permitted transit through Lithuanian land. Belarus and Russia have made several threatening statements in response.
This could lead to direct conflict between NATO and Russia that would possibly include the other Baltic states of Latvia and Estonia, as well as Poland.
Whether this leads to nuclear war is debatable, but if one side starts losing, the temptation would be considerable to use nukes.
Which means World War Three.
Dire scenario? Absolutely. Overblown? I hope so. I hope a compromise can be worked out fast.
Phew. What else besides War and the Supreme Court are in the news, as if that wasn’t enough?
How about the 75th anniversary of Kenneth Arnold’s “flying disc” sighting?
OK, so anyone following the ongoing saga of UFO’s knows that a pilot named Kenneth Arnold was the percipient of the first widely popularized sighting of what became known as “flying saucers.” The Idaho-based flyer was over Washington state at the time, flying near Mt. Ranier. Arnold was interviewed by United Press International aka UPI, and the story “went viral” as we say these days.
Two weeks later, it was Roswell’s turn, which means we are going to see a lot of UFO articles in the coming weeks commemorating Roswell, which is iconic in the UFO topic universe.
Phew again. 75 years of either incredible governmental bungling or deliberate coverup of something so colossal that it’s merely the biggest story in human history.
What else? G7 countries want to give 600 billion to developing countries. Translation: fear of China’s Belt and Road Initiative.
Turkey arrests over 200 gay pride marchers. Turkish police prevent news reporters from filming the arrests at the banned event. Personally I never wanted to go to Turkey since ‘Midnight Express’ came out.
Over 20 teens die from unknown causes in a South African bar. Underage drinking suspected, it says here, but waitaminnit, sounds more like poison. Or something.
The UK’s Boris Johnson vows to stay in office for years to come. Then buy a comb, dude. I thought Jeremy Corbyn was a much better choice. Hey, Corbyn’s on the picket line in the UK rail strike. Digging deeper, I see Corbyn said three days ago he was threatened by the UK military. Shades of JFK. This article mentions CIA Director Pompeo making veiled threats about Corbyn. Ugh.
UK and US ban Russian imports of gold. Like that’s gonna do anything. The gold backed ruble, there’s a threat to our lovable printed-up fiat currency.
Over 20 African immigrants killed attempting to cross into Spanish territory in Africa. I imagine as food shortages increase worldwide that we will be seeing more and more horror stories like this.
Elon Musk trimming Tesla employees. Ah, here’s a report that the long-awaited Cybertruck design is complete. He blames the chip shortage for the delay, and the long waiting time for current vehicles. Musk says it will be another year before it’s available. Uh, ok.
Burning out now, laughing weakly, then more deeply. Planet of the humans, what a crazy place.
Maybe Musk can launch me to Mars.
Reporting from Topanga for the Gonzo News Update, this is Kyle K. Mann.