Welcome to Astoria!
Following a long, peaceful drive through the light rain and beautiful forests and mountains, we arrived in Astoria on the remote northwest coast of Oregon. Pulling into town, I had an odd feeling…something I haven’t felt in a long time…
This feeling was a feeling of “THIS! THIS is where I need to be!” The feeling only intensified by the moment. The further we drove into town and through the side streets, the more the feeling was confirmed!
A little side note: the way my brain works, I have a tendency to remember locations and directions in my mind whenever I’m visiting a place, it’s a habit from my previous work (memorise routes, know where all the exits and entrances are, etc). Once again, just like everyplace I have lived in the past, I found myself driving every single street and alley, memorising all the ins and outs and back alleys of a town, to get to know it as best I can.
Sure…everybody that travels always visits the “beaten path”. They hit the “tourist traps” that every single other person visits when they have no intention of living there. It’s only those who are truly in love with a place that will take the time and effort to slowly drive all the streets in town just….taking it all in!
After driving the town for several hours, I told the person I was with “We NEED to find somebody in town with a laser printer! I need to print out resumes and hit the streets!” So we found a small “mom and pop shoppe” who we offered $10 to print out a few copies of resumes and then hit several locations in town.
We stayed several days in the city then visited Cannon Beach on the way down to Silverton via the coast. This is the beach from the 1980’s movie “The Goonies”. The waves were incredibly powerful!
Next stop, Silverton, Oregon!
One of the questions that has recently been on my mind, with the fresh involvement of the USA in Ukrainian/Russian geopolitical situations going on right now, was this: will the Russians retain a buffer zone in the EU that is at least neutral or will the West penetrate so far into Ukraine that they are 700 kilometres away from Moscow?
For Russia, the status of Ukraine is an existential threat. The Russians cannot let go, for the US, in the event that Russia holds onto Ukraine where will it stop? Therefore, it is not an accident that the American generals are talking about prepositioning troops in Romania, Bulgaria, Poland and the Baltics. This is the “Intermarium” that Józef Piłsudski dreamt of; this is the “solution” for the US.
“Intermarium” between Russia and EU
The issue to which the US does not have the answer, is “what will Germany do?” That is the real wild card in Europe, as the US builds its cordon sanitaire, not in Ukraine, but to the west when the Russians try to figure out how to leverage the Ukrainians out.
The US, at this moment, does NOT know the German position. Germany is in a very peculiar position, as its former chancellor, Gerhard Schröder is on the board of Gazprom. The Germans have a very complex relationship with the Russians. The Germans themselves don’t even know what to do. They must export, but the Russians cannot take up the exports; on the other hand, if they lose the Free Trade Zone, they need to build something different to make up for this.
For the United States, the primordial fear is German capital and German technology combined with Russian natural resources and manpower, as this is the only combination that has for centuries scared the hell out of the United States. As far as how this will play out, the US has already “put its cards on the table”…it is the line from the Baltics to the Black Sea.
For the Russians, their cards have always been on the table. They must have at least a neutral Ukraine, not a pro-Western Ukraine. Belarus is another question to be addressed at a later time and date. Whomever can correctly predict what the Germans will do, will be correctly predicting the next 20 years of history.
Unfortunately, Germany still hasn’t made up their minds, as has always been the problem of the Germans throughout history – they are enormously economically powerful, geopolitically very fragile, and never quite knowing how to reconcile the two.
Ever since 1871, this has been the German question. The question of Europe. Until Germany knows what their future plan of action is towards the current Russian/Eastern European situation, nobody can accurately predict the direction current hostilities will take.