The Foreign Invasion of American Politics

Much has been said this election about the amount of foreign money that appears to be streaming into our politics…..as one candidate has called it….”pay for play”…..

This is not the first time that foreign players have invested in our political process….but it is the first time it has gotten this much scrutiny…….

Foreign free riders hate Trump and love Hillary – with good reason

As one of my Twitter followers put it so succinctly: “Globalization: Where leaders from any country get to pick US Presidents.” As the Clinton campaign’s Robby Mook tears a page out of Joe McCarthy’s book and smears Donald Trump as being “Putin’s puppet,” the irony is that this election has seen foreign interference in American politics to an unprecedented degree – on Hillary’s behalf.

In the past, foreign actors tried to hide such activities, rightly thinking that they might encounter resentment – or even legal consequences – for trying to meddle in affairs that are none of their damned business. Not anymore. Now that we’re a global empire, with our leaders proclaiming the supreme importance of exercising “US leadership” and sticking our noses in every petty squabble on earth, our client states are openly interfering in our internal affairs. After all, if we can engage in “regime change” campaigns, and dictate the terms and results of Lower Slobbovia’s elections, why can’t they interfere in ours? To this end they employ legions of publicists, lobbyists, and tame congressmen to pursue their national interests, mostly at our expense: the billions in “foreign aid” we ship overseas come back to our shores in the form of exorbitant fees paid to PR firms – a rare trade deal where American firms actually come out ahead!

Source: The Foreign Invasion of American Politics – Antiwar.com Original by — Antiwar.com

This is one of the reason that the US is one of the top ten most corrupt countries….

1. The rich are well placed to bribe our politicians to reduce taxes on the rich. A nonentity like Donald Trump got filthy rich via tax loopholes, and is now trying to buy the presidency. The way the Supreme Court got rid of campaign finance reform and allowed open, unlimited buying of elections is the height of corruption. Note that despite his supposed “populism,” Trump never talks about the unfairness of our current tax system, instead dividing and ruling working and middle class Americans by stirring racial and religious hatreds. As it stands, 400 American billionaires are worth $2 trillion, as much as the bottom 150 million Americans. That kind of wealth inequality hasn’t been seen in the US since the age of the robber barons in the nineteenth century. Both eras are marked by extreme corruption.

There are other reasons as well…….

Source: Top 10 Signs the US is the Most Corrupt Country in the World | Informed Comment

And dat is da name of dat tune!

Death Comes To Helmand(Afghanistan)

What was the headline in your preferred news source yesterday?

Was it about the idiot swimmer that gives a whole new definition to the term “Ugly American”?  Perhaps it was the health of a candidate or two…….or even some celeb did something they always do…something stupid…..what was your headline?

It should have been the story about the death of an American soldier in Afghanistan……

The US military says an American soldier has been killed and another wounded by a roadside bomb during an operation in Afghanistan’s southern Helmand province, the AP reports. A statement says their patrol was struck by a roadside bomb on Tuesday in Lashkar Gah, the provincial capital, and that six Afghan soldiers were wounded. The attack came a day after officials said that 100 US troops had been sent to Lashkar Gah to help defend the city, which appears to be at increasing risk of falling to the Taliban. Afghan officials say the insurgents effectively control around 80% of the province. The US military says the unidentified soldier was killed while “conducting train, advise, assist activities with Afghan counterparts under NATO authorities.”

He died in a region that has a major uptick in activity, armed activity….it is so bad that the US is sending more troops…..

With gains in the Helmand Province mounting for Taliban forces, and the Afghan military struggling to defend both that and the other provinces around the country which the Taliban are advancing into, the Pentagon has announced an additional deployment of US ground troops into the Helmand capital of Lashkar Gah.

Officials are trying to present the deployment as primarily a “training” operation, in keeping with a policy of claiming that everything they do is “non-combat,” but the reality is that there are very limited Afghan forces in Lashkar Gah, and a deployment of around 100 troops by the US is almost certain to mean direct combat roles.

Brig. Gen. Charles Cleveland insisted US forces were committed to not allow the loss of Lashkar Gah, and clearly they can’t do this with a little idle encouragement to Afghan forces who are increasingly out-numbered and have been beaten by the Taliban time and again in the area.

More troops….more activity….the chances are rising for the possibilities of more American deaths and injuries…

When will this ever end?

Really!  When?

Maybe never….why?  It seems that the rise of the Taleban may not be the only problem that our military will have to face…….

The U.S is monitoring Daesh and its affiliated groups in Afghanistan besides helping the latter’s security forces to fight out the terrorist organization which is trying to expand its base in Afghanistan, a top American official has said.

“We are always looking at ISIL’s (Daesh) ability to find safe haven and then expand to work with, these affiliate groups, factions of groups such as the Taliban that they might be able to exploit. We are monitoring it very closely,” State Department Deputy Spokesman Mark Toner told reporters on Wednesday.

Source: US is Monitoring Islamic State Presence in Afghanistan: State Dept Official | World Affairs Journal

As long as we continue our deployments the more problems we will have to face…..and the chances for more American causalities….

Turkey and Iran Reach Agreement on Conditions for Syria Peace

Yes sports fans Turkey and Iran have come top an agreement on the Syrian civil war…..

I know that countries and pundits alike have been looking for a way to end the death and destruction in Syria….among other countries….and it appears that Turkey and Iran have come to some sort of agreement on how to proceed…..

In a stunning diplomatic surprise, Turkey and Iran have announced a preliminary agreement on fundamental principles for a settlement of the Syrian conflict.

The dramatic turn in the diplomacy of the Syria War was revealed in Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim’s regular weekly speech to the ruling AKP Party in the parliament and confirmed by a senior Iranian foreign ministry official Tuesday.

Both Yildirim’s speech and the Iranian corroboration were reported Tuesday by Al-Araby Al-Jadeed and Al-Hayat, Arabic-language newspapers published in London, but the potentially pivotal development has been unreported thus far in Western news media.

Source: Turkey and Iran Reach Agreement on Conditions for Syria Peace – Antiwar.com Original by — Antiwar.com

This is all well and good…..just I have one problem with this idea……

Where is the input of the Syrian people?  After all it is their country…..well at least for now…..I believe they should have a voice in any solution offered.

They had NO input in 1918 and look where that eventually came to…..maybe they should have the lead voice on any solution that involves their country…..just a thought.

Whatcha think?

But I guess since that plan is not what everyone wanted…….bullets are always easier then words……

Hillary’s Neoconservatives

Yes I know I have been railing against a Clinton presidency because of her ties with the hawks in Washington….I am hoping that some will read and understand just how important it is to NOT vote for a pro-war candidate….granted I am a small voice but I will not give up.

As much as I have written I still find some good articles about Clinton and her ties with the neocons……like this one in The American Conservative……

The Hillary Clinton campaign has recently been trumpeting endorsements from neoconservatives. The candidate’s embrace of figures such as Robert Kagan, Max Boot, and Eliot Cohen—all once regarded as anathema to the contemporary left—has engendered a wave of pushback from progressive critics.

Jane Sanders, wife of Bernie, is the most recent high-profile objector, publicly expressing queasiness about Clinton’s perceived allying with “architects of regime change.” Now, predictably, the pushback has been met with its own pushback, including from Brian Beutler of The New Republic, who cautions progressives not to fret.

Source: Hillary’s Neoconservatives | The American Conservative

Please for the sake of your country and your military….learn everything about the candidates and their plans for the use of force…..it may effect someone in your family…is that too much to ask?

How Does Your State GDP Match-Up?

In these days of massive tax cuts for governments…..how does your state match-up with other countries……

Amazing how many states have the GDP of third world countries, huh?

Is America still Number One? Depends on which metrics you use. By at least one measure, China’s economy already is the world’s biggest (1). Other criteria still put the U.S. ahead, at least for a few more years.

This map presents another way to gauge the size of the American economy, and one less prone to the ‘declinism’ of the eternal comparison to China.

Source: US States Renamed as Countries with Similar GDPs | Big Think

Ain’t graphics grand?

When Is The Death Penalty Needed

In most cases I am against the death penalty…..in most cases but there are a few that I think should be mandatory……that being when someone knowingly destroys a heritage site or a cultural site……

This guy for instance…….

The trial of a Malian jihadist, charged with war crimes for orchestrating the 2012 destruction of nine Timbuktu mausoleums and a section of a famous mosque, opened  Monday at the International Criminal Court

Ahmad al-Faqi al-Mahdi asked for forgiveness as he pleaded guilty to the 2012 attacks on the fabled city of Timbuktum in Mali, Africa, and urged Muslims not to follow such “evil” ways at his unprecedented war crimes trial.

“Your honor, regrettably I have to say that what I heard so far is accurate and reflects the events. I plead guilty,” he said as his trial opened, admitting a sole war crimes charge of cultural destruction.

Source: Muslim extremist pleads guilty to 2012 destruction of Timbuktu treasures | Public Radio International

This prick is sorry?  He knew what he was doing….there is NO excuse!  He should fry!

This destruction was NOT an isolated situation….

The following are examples of world cultural heritage destroyed or damaged during recent conflicts.

– Mali –

The fabled desert city of Timbuktu, named as the “City of 333 saints” and listed by UNESCO, was for months attacked by jihadists bent on imposing a brutal version of Islamic law.

In June 2012, Al-Qaeda-linked militants destroyed 14 of the northern city’s mausoleums, important buildings that date back to Timbuktu’s golden age in the 15th and 16th centuries as an economic, intellectual and spiritual hub.

The reconstruction of the shrines began in March 2014, relying heavily on traditional methods and employing local masons. Several countries and organisations financed the reconstruction, including UNESCO.

Work finished on the site in July 2015, and a ceremony marking the completion was held on February 4, 2016.

– Syria –

More than 900 monuments or archeological sites have been looted, damaged or destroyed by the regime, rebels or jihadists in Syria, where a devastating war has raged since 2011, according to APSA, the association charged with protecting Syrian architecture.

In September 2015, Islamic State (IS) fighters destroyed two of the most important temples in the UNESCO-listed Syrian city of Palmyra as they pressed a campaign to wipe out some of the Middle East’s most important heritage sites.

They include the ancient city’s most famed shrine, the 2,000-year-old Temple of Bel, blown up a week after the destruction of the temple of Baal Shamin.

Other notable sites damaged or looted include Dura-Europos in eastern Syria, once known as the “Pompeii of the desert”, Apamea, Ebla and Tal Ajaja.

However, the IS group is not the only one responsible for ravaging Syria’s heritage, with all sides in the fighting looting and destroying ancient sites.

“Two thirds of the ancient city of Aleppo have been bombarded and set on fire,” according to UNESCO.

– Iraq –

IS has carried out a campaign of “cultural cleansing”, razing part of ancient Mesopotamia’s relics and looting others to sell valued artefacts on the black market.

In a video released by IS on February 26, 2015 militants were shown using sledgehammers to smash pre-Islamic treasures in the museum in the country’s second city Mosul, sparking global outrage.

Thousands of books and rare manuscripts were also burned in February in Mosul’s library.

According to the Iraqi government, IS militants on March 5, 2015 bulldozed and blew up Nimrud, an ancient Assyrian city south of Mosul.

They also attacked Hatra, a Roman-period site, in the northern Niniveh province.

– Libya –

Several mausoleums have been destroyed by Islamist extremists since the overthrow of longtime dictator Moamer Kadhafi in 2011.

In August 2012, Islamist hardliners bulldozed part of the mausoleum of Al-Shaab Al-Dahman, close to the centre of the Libyan capital.

The demolition came a day after hardliners blew up the mausoleum of Sheikh Abdessalem al-Asmar in the western city of Zliten.

In 2013 suspected Islamic extremists destroyed the centuries-old mausoleum of Murad Agha in Tripoli, but the tomb inside withstood the attack.

Afghanistan –

In March 2001, Taliban leader Mullah Omar ordered the destruction of two 1,500-year-old Buddha statues in the eastern town of Bamiyan, because they were judged to be anti-Islamic.

Hundreds of members of the Taliban from across the country spent more than three weeks demolishing the gigantic statues carved into the side of a cliff.

In 2003 the cultural landscape and archaeological remains of the Bamiyan Valley were put on UNESCO’S world heritage list.

– Algeria –

Armed Islamic groups in the 1990s destroyed several sanctuaries which dotted Algerian soil.

(yourmiddleeast.com)

There must be consequences when you destroy a nation’s cultural and historic sites…execution would suit me just fine.

 

This Is What Politically Correct Looks Like

If you have any Right Wing friends or if you read Right Wing articles or if you listen to the more Right leaning news sources then you will have heard their favorite term over and over and over……Political Correct.

They use it as a catch all for anything that they cannot agree with and it is usually followed by other such adjectives as “apologist”….it is their most popular argument for whatever the subject maybe….after all it is easier than having an actual rebuttal to the issue.

I have the perfect example of what “political correctness” is…..

After warning Syria not to fly planes in the Hasakeh Province or risk getting them shot down by US planes in the area, the Pentagon is struggling to convince reporters that there is some sort of distinction between this zone you can’t fly in and a “no-fly zone.”

…….

The Pentagon has since expanded this to declaring the area “an exclusion zone,” which is distinct from a no-fly zone because the Pentagon says it is a different thing. Spokesman Peter Cook insisted the US has warned Syria not to fly planes in the area for a long time now.

(antiwar.com)

That my friends is the best example possible for what politically correct is……not the off-hand insult that some Righties regurgitate ad nauseum….

I must end my posting day…I am off to eat stuffed grape leaves, olives, figs, blue cheese with a little honey…..try it…….. you will like it!