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Standing In Its Own Defense - Ukraine Resists Russian Attack, by Peter Boyce

Posted on February 28, 2022 at 10:00 AM Comments comments (84)

The meek - out numbered and out armed, but persisting in battling the blundering mighty, clearly sums up Ukraine's resistance to Russia's violent invasion of its homeland.

Media reports have confirmed that the very large and supposedly well-equipped Russian invasion force, has been met in Ukraine by fierece resistance from the local army and people utilizing everything from western-donated sophisticated weapons as well as crude molotov cocktails. Ukrainians have downed Russian planes and helicopters and they have also destroyed Russian tanks, armored personnel carriers, fuel tankers, artillery pieces, cars and missile systems. Thus far, Ukrainians have been able to ward off occupation of their capital, Kyiv and other cities.

Vladimir Putin's order to Russian troops to invade independent Ukraine last week, was suppose to be an easy and quick overrun of the much weaker Ukraine. So Putin thought. Yet, without any North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) personnel to stand with them in defense of their territory, a 'fight-to-the-death' patriotism, a longing to retain sovereignty and a sound opposition to Russian dominance, have stoked Ukrainians to continue to resist the mighty Russia.

Ukrainian resistance is frustrating Putin. Twice last week he alluded to his nuclear arsenal and he has since placed his nuclear force on alert, a plausible indication the Russian leader's rational thought is fading faster than his violent incursion into Ukraine.

Most of the international community, with notable exceptions China, North Korea and Putin's co-hort Belarus, have moved to sanction and to isolate Putin's Russia. Even Switzerland, which historically has been neutral, but sensing the gravity of Putin's unprovoked attack upon humanity via the invasion of Ukraine, has now also moved to freeze all its held Russian assets.

Peace talks set between Ukraine and Russia come as some 500,000 Ukrainians are forced to become refugees and as scores continue to die beacuse of Russia's war on the sovereign nation of Ukraine. Could a ceasefire be accomplished? Would Putin recall his troops? Will there be a wider war in Europe? Only Vladimir Putin appears to hold those answers. The world should stand with Ukraine.

Russia Invades Ukraine, by Peter Boyce

Posted on February 24, 2022 at 8:45 AM Comments comments (872)

Russian forces under the direction of President Vladimir Putin have invaded neighbor Ukraine, an event the United States (US) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), have warned about for a number of weeks as an imminent event.

Under sanctions and threats of greater sanctions for the sovereign assault of Ukraine, Putin has blatantly rebuked the communlative power of the Western alliance and has persisted with his flagrant sovereign violation upon independent Ukraine. CNN and the BBC-News are reporting that Russian tanks, planes, missiles and soldiers have crossed the borders of Russian and Belarus into Ukraine. Deaths and explosions have been reported deep inside Ukraine and close to its capital, Kyiv.

Ukraine, defending alone, stands unmatched to the power of Putin and his formidable military forces. And while the US and NATO continue to speak of sanctions to punish Putin and Russia for the assault upon Ukraine, Ukrainians will die and perhaps lose their sovereignty in the absence of military help from neighbors, friends, NATO and the international community.

That the international community has thus far failed to put together, at least, a voluntary military personnel force to counter Putin's aggression on a sovereign nation, clearly speaks of the weakness, the exposure and the vulnerability of non-NATO members to aggression from any foe.

Eight-years-ago on this Blog, I wrote in support of the Ukrainian youth, who stood at the Maidan and expressed a very strong willingness to be closer to the West, yet, today, they stand alone again amid a heavy assault from Russia as western powers speak of idle sanctions to combat Putin's crimes against humanity. Ukraine needs military defense against the dictator Putin and any failure to deliver assistance to the people of Ukraine amounts to a travesty of humanity.

A Landslide Victory of Confidence Reaffirms Mia Mottley as Prime Minister of Barbados, by Peter Boyce

Posted on January 21, 2022 at 10:00 AM Comments comments (39)

Disclaimer: [I was born in Barbados and worked there as a journalist until my immigration to the Unisted States (US), Christmas Day, 1984. On the island, I was a staunch supporter of the Democratic Labour Party (DLP).]

Barbadians went to the polls on January 19, two-days-ago in a snap election and they resoundingly reaffirmed great support for the island's first female Prime Minister Mia Mottley as they voted all 30-seats in the Barbados Parliament to Mottley and her Barbados Labour Party (BLP).

It was the second landslide victory for the 56-year-old Mottley and her party. They previously accomplished a similar feat back in the General Election of 2018, however one-member of the BLP crossed the Parliament aisle and became the lone parliamentary Opposition.

Wednesday's vote was called some 18-months earlier than the constitutional deadline and it came upon the November 30, 2021 declaration of Republic by the island-nation, which ended more than 400-years of British sovereign leadership despite the country's Independence on November 30, 1966. Queen Elizabeth II has been replaced by a Barbadian head of State, Sandra Mason, who previously had been the Queen's appointed Governor General on the island.

That Mottley and her BLP were that overwhelmly victorius over the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) and other smaller political parties, greatly speaks of the confidence Barbadians have placed in their first female prime minister, the nations's eighth leader since 1966. Prime Minister Mottley has achieved international acclaimed ever since her frank ramarks last year at COP26, Glasglow, Scotland, where she deemed any inaction and delay on Climate Change as a death sentence for small island nations. Her stark remarks resulted in much respect from world leaders, including a hand-in-hand walk with United States President Joe Biden.

Mottley in 2018  inherited an almost bankrupt treasury from the former DLP government, which had led from 2008. Negotiations and confidence from the International Monetary Fund (IMF)  has now netted Barbados much needed fiscal relief. Yet, fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic has severely blighted the nation's 'bread-and-butter' tourism industry. Some international investments have rolled in to assist on infrastructural projects and Mottley has promised to build 10 000 affordable homes for Bajans. 

The Prime Minister and her new Cabinet will face the reality of meeting IMF obligations via a six percent growth on GDP. And with a resounding mandate of confidence from the people, Mottley must now deliver on relief from a still pestering COVID-19 pandemic as well as increase investments in order to employ and to house thousands of Barbadians. The tenacity of Mia Mottle could certainly deliver the goods and services needed to sustain Barbados. May God Bless Barbados and all its people.

Barbados Becomes a Republic, by Peter Boyce

Posted on November 30, 2021 at 10:15 AM Comments comments (49)

History shall now record that on this 30th Day of November, 2021, the people of Barbados - my birthland, on the said day of the 55th anniversary of  independence of the island, stood before the entire World, including the British monarchy, and duly and peacefully declared a new Republic, thus ending 396-years of British doiminance over the 166-square-miles island in the Caribbean.

Barbados first came under the spell of the British Empire in 1625 which settled the island in February 1627. Slavery became systematic at the height of the sugar revolution in the 1640s; emancipation finally came in 1834; and independence on November 30, 1966. Barbadians did not attain full sovereignty via independence as the British monarch remained as head of state of the island, ruling through a Governor General and within a constitutional monarchy system with a Prime Minister as head of government of a bi-carmel parliamentary democracy.

At midnight on November 30, 2021, Dame Sandra Mason was installed as the first President of the world's newsest Republic - Barbados, in a ceremony full of pomp in the capital city, Bridgetown, and attended by the Prince of Wales, Prime Minister Mia Mottley, superstar Rihanna and other dignitaries. So the British monarchy is no longer head of Barbados, a Barbadian is, yet good 'blood' remains between Barbados and the United Kingdom and Barbados will remain in the Commonwealth.

The transition to a Republic was championed by Prime Minister Mia Mottley, the island's first female head of government, who appears to be evolving as a Barbadian, Caribbean and international politician intent on leaving a remarkable mark on humanity.

Delay and Inaction on Climate Change - To Risk the Continuity of All Humanity, by Peter Boyce

Posted on November 1, 2021 at 1:25 PM Comments comments (73)

Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley, among all the world leaders to speak at the opening of COP26 ( the United Nations Conference of the Parties on Climate Change), Glasglow, Scotland, United Kingdom (UK), earlier today, perhaps issued the most stark and real of an assessment of the Climate Crisis facing humanity. She admitted that a global temperature rise of two degrees Celsius, amounted to a "death sentence" for island nations, including Barbados, Antigua, Barbuda, the Solomon Islands and others, due to rising sea levels and extreme weather, the BBC-News reported.

Prime Minister Mottley affirmed what most climate scientists have concluded should the current Climate Crisis continues at today's pace, which according to the UN, is on track toward a "climate catastrophe" with temperatures rising by 2.7 degrees Celsius by 2100, well above the globally sought 1.5 degrees Celsius. Moreover, what the Barbadian leader and others have admonished thus far at COP26, which runs until November 12, is that delay and inaction on Climate Change represent a clear danger to the continuity of all humanity, of nations, of peoples and of future generations.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told world leaders that "we are digging our own graves" and he urged that climate policies and plans should be evaluated and leaders held to account every year and not every five years, the BBC-News reported. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he wanted countries to end the use of coal, phase out petrol-powers cars, and to reverse deforestation.

Yet, the Brit erred when he claimed that "the children who will judge leaders for failing to act (on Climate Change) "are not yet born". The children and young people of today's Planet Earth are judging the present slate of leaders and that is why many of them have assembled in Glasgow, and continue to stand up on a weekly basis in many countries, in protest to inaction on Climate Change. They have been judging leaders and protesting for better protection of their "air" for a considerable amount of time. And as noted biologist David Attenborough has told COP26, the future of young people should promote impetus to "turn tragedy into triumph" over Climate Change.

COP26 - Climate Hopes, Promises, Negotiations, Delays and Failures, by Peter Boyce

Posted on October 29, 2021 at 9:35 AM Comments comments (136)

COP26 - the 26th United Nations (UN) Conference of the Parties on Climate Change, will convene at Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom (UK), this Sunday, October 31 and run until November 12.

This very important global conference on Climate Change comes at a crucial time for Planet Earth, which is experiencing unprecedented increases in temperatures and calamitous natural events from wild fires, to extreme weather happenings across the many continents because of high concentrations of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) from emissions due to the vast burning of fossil fuels in factories, vehicles and in homes. The last decade, according to scientific data, has been the warmest on record and the world is 1.2 degrees Celsius warmer today that it was in the 19th Century, while CO2 concentrations have risen by 50%. 

Scientists have warned of climatic catastrophies, worsening droughts, greater sea level rise and mass extinction of species should humanity fail to keep global warming under 2 degrees Celsius by 2100.

So at COP26, about 200 nations have been challenged to submit their plans to cut poisonous emissions by 2030. COP26 follows the significant COP21 at Paris, France, December 12, 2015, when 196 countries, for the first time ever, signed the lagally binding Paris Accords on Climate Change that went into effect on November 4, 2016, imploring nations to cut greenhouse gas emissions and to limit temperature rises below 2 degrees Celsius, preferrably, 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels, with a view to reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Yet, the reality of actions by humans has seen individual nations and the world faultering on implementing the most likely steps to combat Climate Change. Four-years of Climate action in the United States (US) was wasted under Donald Trump when he pulled the nation out of the Paris Agreement before President Joe Biden, sensibly, returned the US to the global pact. The Courts of France are monitoring the Republic's faultering pledge to keeping up with the accords of COP21. India and China have just increased coal production in order to keep up with industry and residential demands for more energy. And whereby wealthy nations in 2009 pledged $100 billion a year by 2020 to help poorer nations make the transition to clean energy, that figure has never yet been met. $52 billion was given in 2013; $44.6 billion in 2015; $71 billion in 2017 and $79.6 billion in 2019. The 2020 $100 billion pledge has now been deferred to, hopefully, 2023.  

COP26 holds big hopes to set humanity onto a sustainable path toward achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050. If all of the parties should agree to abide by efficient low-emission scientific means, then COP26 could be a savior for Planet Earth. But will nations live up to their promises and responsibilities to salvaging our Globe from reaching the point of beyond recall in respect of Climate Change? Are negotiations plausible per humanity's actions to saving itself? Can our World surviive anymore delays to cementing concrete climate protections? Can humanity afford to fail at putting in place immediate Climate protections? Time will certainly tell and it will be sooner, rather than later.

A Failing of Humanity - Selling Children for Family Sustenance, by Peter Boyce

Posted on October 26, 2021 at 10:55 AM Comments comments (43)

[NB: I took a much needed break (from writing) from bleeding my heart and feeelings out in love and in servitude to humanity. After four-trying years of bearing witness to an unprecedented assauilt upon humanity, democracy and decency under the Donald Trump presidency, I thought the adaptation back to some forms of normalcy for humanity under a new President Joe Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris, would be easy. It hasn't. In the United States (US), Trump and his cohorts remain as stumbling blocks to the continuity of democracy and western rational thought. And across the globe from Sudan, to Afghanistan, to Syria, to Brazil, to Poland, to Hungary, to Latin America and elsewhere, there are examples of other failings of humanity. So i've returned to bleed a bit more in admonishing humanity to mend its ways.]

Perhaps the most heart-wrenching example of humanity's failing is that revealed in recent news reports of families in Afghanistan, living under the returned Taliban regime, forced to sell children in order to obtain means for mere sustenance. According to the report by the BBC-News, an "Afghan baby girl sold for $500 by starving family" amid a stark warning from the United Nations (UN) that millions will die if urgent aid does not reach Afghanistan soon. "Afghanistan is facing the biggest humanitarian crisis in the world, with the country seeing a sharp deterioration in the situation since the Taliban seized power in August," the BBC-News reported.

Some international funds to Afghanistan have dried up with the return of the Taliban to the helm of the nation of 40-million people. With the Taliban not allowing girls in schools as well as many women back into the workplace, obviously, international donors are very concerned about financing such a system. Therefore, a secondary effect of Taliban rule sadly brings the selling of children for family sustenance - a gouging blemish upon modern humanity.

Any and all sales of persons should be condemned in spite of any known cultural acceptances. Modern humanity must reject any and all circumstances and conditions that yield such extreme practices. 

The socio-economic conditions of Afghanistan are sadly too similar to other jurisdictions, including, Yemen, Syria, Central African Republic, Sudan, and Venezuela. Impacted by war, internal strife, the COVID-19 pandemic and Climate Change, many more nations will join a growing list of peoples who will fail humanity's norms in desperate attempts for unsustainable short-run relief from long-term problems and issues.

A New Beginning Amid Some Uncertainty and Some Chaos, by Peter Boyce

Posted on August 31, 2021 at 9:45 AM Comments comments (58)

My two younger sons - both now High Schoolers, yesterday, returned to their classrooms in Washington, District of Columbia - the first time since Friday, March 13, 2020, when District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS), shuttered its education institutions because of health concerns associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Today, places of learning in the United States (US) and in the continents - from elementary to tertiary level education, are functioning once again. That my sons and millions of other American school children and others across the globe were absent from physically being at school for some 18-months, is truly extraordinary. 

Yet, the resolve for human continuity questing the light of knowledge within a framework toward the polonged existence of humankind on Planet Earth, was clearly  exhibited by many children, therefore underscoring a new beginning for humanity - a new beginning, mindful of humanity's inherent weaknesses and of humanity's direct responsibility for the health and welfare of the environment.

The COVID-19 pandemic is still very much evident and up-ending millions of lives across thje world. While new highly contagious variants of the disease account for uncertainties as to humanity's immediate future, very effective vaccines made available by reputable drug companies and taken by informative adults and children (12-17-years-old) offer wide stability in a chaotic world of mis-information and vast stupidity.

Uncertainties per the full impact of human actions that have harmed the environment are major sources of concern. But with increasing numbers of youth now more aware of the necessity to protecting the environment, there's high hope for an emergence of a large and sustaining generation of environment-conscious leaders. Today's youth are the vanguard of all change in society. Their return to a certain degree of normalcy denotes a leading path for other branches of humanity out of uncertainty and chaos and into a new charted future of human exploration, discovery and continuity.

An Arduous Task - Salvaging Damaged American Democracy, by Peter Boyce

Posted on June 22, 2021 at 10:55 AM Comments comments (33)

As long as those who explicitly tried to maim American democracy remain free -  living, under an assumed impunity to callous inciting speech and violence, and deliberate acts against the security of the Republic, then democracy in the United States (US) will not return to its pre-Donald Trump highs of great integrity, admiration and wide global influence.

Moreover, the added reality that many Republicans are championing voter restriction laws nationally and across the many States, underscores the arduous task toward salvaging America's injured democracy, which grossly suffered with the violent and deadly insurrection at the US Capitol, January 6, 2021. 

Furthermore, Republican pushback in the US Senate against an inquiry commission into the events of January 6, 2021, also confirms the extent to which democracy has been damaged and surppressed in America. 

The difficult task of halting the waning of American democracy should include a broadening of voter rights in full rebuke to Republican efforts toward voter suppression. And even more crucial to the salvaging and resurrecting of the integrity of democracy would be the held-accountability of those responsible for the events leading up to, including, and after the deadly violent insurrection at the seat of the US Legislature - the Capitol, January 6, 2021.

A Summit of Two Worlds - Democracy and Diplomacy v. Authoritarianism, by Peter Boyce

Posted on June 17, 2021 at 10:00 AM Comments comments (129)

An apparent inherent weakness of democracy has been its genuine kindness; its gentleness; its strong reliance upon diplomacy as a problem solver; its willingness to compromise and to be empathetic with others, while often offering an olive branch to wolves to join the flock of passive and forgiving sheep. Such was the circumstance of the Summit between United States (US) President Joe Biden and the Russian leader Vladimir Putin, yesterday, at Geneva, Switzerland. A Summit of two worlds - democracy and diplomacy pitted against authoritarianism. 

And as is often the case with the "nice guy" getting the worse of any outcome, it might appear in the short-run that Putin got the best of Biden at the meeting in Switzerland. He got a prime showcase spot on the world stage thanks to the invitation of President Biden. Putin made no concessions or admissions of Russian guilt to any meddlings and agitations or to cyber crimes. He dscribed the meetings as "constructive". 

Amid facts and allegations of Russian meddling in many areas from the US Presidential Elections, to the security of Ukraine, to agitations across Europe and elsewhere along with involvement in assassinations and attempted poisonings at home and on foreign sovereign soils, Putin was still invited by President Biden, who being a seasoned politician, former Vice-President, now President and an avid believer in democracy, hoped diplomacy extended to a bad actor could better global security and cooperation. 

In the long-run, history could show that Biden's overture to Putin did better the general security of humanity. If that is not manifested, and eventually, the US and allies are forced to counter Russian actions, then Biden will have justification for any reactions taken since he first waved an olive branch at Geneva, Switzerland, June 16, 2021.